Crystal sets fall wine, food sailings

LOS ANGELES -- Crystal Cruises announced dates for its fall series of Wine & Food Festival sailings.

Offered aboard the Crystal Harmony, clients can choose from one of the line's 11- or 17-day Panama Canal cruises, which depart Nov. 1, 12 and 23 from Acapulco, Mexico, Costa Rica and New Orleans.

As part of the Wine & Food Festival, a guest chef will prepare a four-course dinner featuring signature dishes, matched with wine pairings by a guest wine expert.

During the days on board, the visiting chef will hold demonstrations on cooking techniques; share recipes and tips, and participate in question-and-answer sessions.

Guest chefs scheduled for this fall's series are Guillermo Pernot of Philadelphia's new Pasion restaurant; Joseph Wrede, chef/proprietor of Joseph's Table in New Mexico; Karl Edelbauer, corporate executive chef of the Peabody Hotel Group, and Alain Sailhac, master chef and director of the French Culinary Institute in New York.

They will be joined by wine experts Robin Kelly O'Connor, U.S. liaison for the Bordeaux (France) Wine Bureau; Karen King, wine director of New York's Union Square Cafe; master sommelier Jay Fletcher from Syzygy in Aspen, Colo., and master sommelier Ken Fredrickson, director and proprietor of Terroir in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The master sommeliers and other wine experts will lead guests through wine tastings to compare appellations, vintages and varieties from various regions; teach the history of wine, and offer hints on choosing and pairing wines.

Guests also will be able to sample from the more than 200 selections in Crystal Harmony's wine cellar, one of the most extensive at sea, according to the line.

Depending on the itinerary, the 940-passenger Crystal Harmony will call in Aruba; Bermuda; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cartagena, Colombia; Caldera, Costa Rica; Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, and Tortola.

The Nov. 1 sailing also features Crystal Cruises' first call in Coiba Island, Panama.

Cruise fares for the fall Pamana Canal Wine & Food Festival sailings start at $1,595 per person with value collection pricing.

For more information or reservations, call (800) 446-6620 or visit the company's Web site at www.crystalcruises.com.

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