Crystal augments Alaska itineraries

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LOS ANGELES -- Luxury line Crystal Cruises is adding variety to its lineup next year by introducing sailings between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, and Vancouver and San Francisco.

In total, the line will offer three 10-day itineraries between Vancouver and Seward and Vancouver and San Francisco in addition to six 12-day roundtrip Alaska sailings from San Francisco aboard the Crystal Harmony. In all, Crystal will offer one more itinerary to the "Last Frontier" next year, compared with last summer. Next year's departures are scheduled for June 14 and 24; July 4, 16 and 28; Aug. 9 and 21, and Sept. 2 and 14.

The Crystal Harmony will sail from Vancouver and San Francisco to Alaska next summer. Depending on the itinerary, the line's Crystal Harmony will visit the Alaskan ports of Skagway; Juneau; Sitka, and Ketchikan; head to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, and cruise the Gulf of Alaska, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage. Several of next year's voyages will be marketed as theme cruises, including Yoga, Health and Fitness (June 24); Crystal Wine & Food Festival (July 4, 16, 28 and Sept. 14), and Classical Music (Sept. 2).

Crystal said it is in the process of creating more than 50 shore excursions and extended land programs in conjunction with its Alaska sailings. Crystal also set new Perfect Harmony fares that are 40% off previously published brochure prices.

For the Sept. 14 Value Collection sailings, Alaska cruise prices start at $2,085 per person, double. Perfect Harmony pricing is offered on all other departures. With the promotion, cruise prices for the 10-day sailings in June start at $2,575 per person, double, and the 12-day roundtrip San Francisco cruises begin at $2,975 per person, double.

For the first time in four years, the luxury line is offering an extended Denali Park package, available only in conjunction with its first Alaska sailing on June 14. In addition to exploration of the park's mountain ranges, lakes, rivers and wildlife, the five-night program features overnight stays in Anchorage and Fairbanks. At the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, for example, the package costs $2,570 per person, double, including most meals.

Crystal once again will offer its Wine-Making Traditions of Napa Valley prior to all cruises starting in San Francisco. The three-night program includes visits to the Trefethen, St. Supery, Niebaum-Coppola and Domaine Chandon wineries; gourmet fare at the Culinary Institute of America and Auberge du Soleil, among other restaurants, and accommodations at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel and Yountville's Vintage Inn for $2,170 per person, double.

Clients who want to spend more time in Vancouver or San Francisco can add pre- or post-cruise hotel stays of one to three nights at Vancouver's Four Seasons Hotel or the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, starting at $245 for the first night and $150 for each additional night. Hotel prices are per person, double, and include hotel tax, porterage and airport-hotel-ship transfers.

For details and reservations, call Crystal Cruises at (800) 446-6620 or log on to www.crystalcruises.com.

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