Crystal Cruises sets culinary voyages

LOS ANGELES -- Crystal Cruises' 940-passenger Crystal Harmony will sail roundtrip from San Francisco to Alaska this summer.

Renowned culinary and wine experts will join the cruises, beginning with the June 2 departure. CNN talk-show host Larry King will be featured on the Aug. 1 sailing.

The 12-day cruises will sail the Inside Passage to the ports of Sitka, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Depending on the itinerary, the cruise will include Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier.

Additional ports of call include Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.

According to Crystal Cruises, Crystal Harmony will be the only cruise ship to sail roundtrip from San Francisco to Alaska this summer.

The 940-passenger Crystal Harmony will sail roundtrip from San Francisco to Alaska this summer. The line is offering eight departure dates for the voyage: May 21; June 2, 14, and 26; July 8 and 20, and Aug. 1 and 13.

A host of chefs, restaurant owners, critics and sommeliers from the Bay Area to the Southwest and Pacific Rim will be on the following sailings:

  • June 2 to 14 -- Alan Wong, chef and proprietor of Alan Wong's in Honolulu, and Elizabeth Schweitzer, director, wine and spirits, at the Beverly Hills (Calif.) Hotel.
  • June 14 to 26 -- Hubert Keller, chef and proprietor of Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, and Fred Dame, wine educator.
  • June 26 to July 8 -- Janos Wilder, chef and proprietor of the Janos restaurant in Tucson, Ariz., and Larry Stone, wine director and partner at Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco.
  • July 20 to Aug. 1 -- Jean-Louis Palladin of the Napa Restaurant in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, and Philip di Belardino, wine educator and vice president of Banfi Vintners wine importers.
  • Aug. 1 to 13 -- Udo Nechutnys, executive chef of Jordan Winery in Sonoma, Calif., and Dan Berger, wine judge, educator and columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.
  • Aug. 13 to 25 -- Jacques Pepin, French chef, television personality and cookbook author; Bartholomew Broadbent, a San Francisco wine importer, and Martin Bernheimer, an authority on port and Madeira wines and a Los Angeles Times opera critic.
  • In addition, the cruises will feature special-interest lectures presented by geologists, historians and naturalists, who will share their insights about Alaska.

    Cruise fares start at $2,980 per person, double.

    Crystal Cruises also is offering pre- and post-cruise excursions.

    A three-night California program featuring winery tours, private tastings and dining at both the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena and the Auberge de Soleil in Rutherford is available for $2,170 per person.

    It includes accommodations at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and the Vintage Inn in Yountville; select meals; sightseeing, and transportation.

    One- to three-night stays, pre- or post-cruise, at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco are available starting at $375 per person, double, for the first night and $240 for each subsequent night.

    For more information about Crystal Cruises, call (800) 820-6663 or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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