Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Crystal's Maiden Slovenia Call

With 2011 marking the 20th anniversary of Slovenia’s foundation as an independent nation, it’s only fitting that Crystal Cruises is making a maiden call there this autumn.

As part of its November 16 “Italian Splendour” sailing, ultra-luxury Crystal Serenity (above) will visit medieval Koper, Slovenia’s largest coastal town. Six new shore excursions, spread throughout the tiny Italo-Slavic nation, provide an in-depth exploration of the history and culture well beyond the Adriatic port.

Fairytale castles, oenophile indulgences, coastal hamlets and underground geological wonders are all part of the authentic local experiences planned. Guests can explore Koper, full of historical charm from centuries of Venetian rule…or join a Crystal Adventure to:

Ljubljana: The country’s picturesque capital and a former centre of Yugoslavian music and arts, full of cobblestone streets and architecture ranging from the Baroque to the neo-classical of famed local architect Joze Plecnik.

Bled & Miramare Castles: Two majestic, storybook castles - one, the oldest in Slovenia (dating to 1011); the other, a 19th century Austro-Hungarian relic of the Habsburg era.

Postojna Cave: Twelve miles of underground stalactite-filled passages, galleries and cathedral-like chambers, with the world’s only operating cave train.

Wine Region: A wine-tasting visit to Slovenia’s most prominent winemaker (out of 40,000 in the country), where the vines pre-date those of Italy, France and Spain.

Piran: A quaint, Mediterranean-style coastal town, full of Venetian Gothic buildings and narrow, atmospheric streets.

Portorož: A modern, beachside resort hub for sunbathing, swimming and thermal spas.

Trieste: A crossroads of Germanic, Latin, Austro-Hungarian and Slavic trade and culture, situated just over Slovenia’s border in Italy.

This 11-night “Italian Splendour” sailing starts with an overnight in Venice on November 16 and visits Koper, Dubrovnik, Sicily, Naples, Rome and Florence before finishing with an overnight in Barcelona. Prices start from £1,854 per person (a saving of £419 per person) including return economy flights from London, overseas transfers, 11 nights in a deluxe stateroom with picture window with all meals and soft drinks and port taxes.

For further information, visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk or the luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.