Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Crystal Cruises’ takes passengers behind the scenes of Downton Abbey

highclere castle, downton abbey

As the fifth season of  Downton Abbey gets into full swing  Crystal Cruises is offering its guests the opportunity to live the luxurious life depicted in the show, complete with early 20th century period costumes and cars plus exclusive access to filming locations, including Downton itself - the real-life Highclere Castle. The two-night English Countryside and Highclere Castle extended land programme will be offered post-cruise with Crystal Symphony’s 18-night, 8 July North Cape/Arctic cruise from Reykjavík to Dover. The White Sea Exploration cruise commemorates Crystal’s 25th anniversary of sailing with special receptions and events hosted by Chairman Nobuyoshi “Nōb” Kuzuya.

During the excursion, guests will visit Highclere Castle in Berkshire, arriving just like visitors in the series - in vintage 1920’s chauffeur-driven automobiles. They will be the guests of honour at a private Champagne reception and tour of the estate, including numerous rooms made famous on the series, such as the library and drawing room. Prior to visiting the Castle, guests will also visit Berkshire’s Basildon Park, which is used as the Grantham family’s London house; Swan Inn, where Lady Sybil and Branson elope; Byfleet Manor, known as the Dowager Countess’ home, for lunch Downton-style, with period-costumed hosts; and Bampton, a village filled with locations that double as the Crawleys’ home, the hospital and the church where Lady Edith was jilted at the altar. 

The cruise itself sails through the Arctic Circle and White Sea, with maiden calls in Solovetsky and Zayatsky Islands, Russian Federation, and Bodø, Narvik and Øye/Hørundfjord, Norway; overnights in Reykjavík  and Leknes, Norway; plus visits to Akureyri, Murmansk,  Honnigsvåg/the North Cape, Geiranger and Bergen, before ending in Dover.

Until 31 October, “Book Now” deadline, value-priced, all-inclusive cruise fares start at £6,163 per person, double occupancy. Fares for the English Countryside and Highclere Castle extended land programme start at $4,600 per person/double occupancy, including meals, accommodations and transport to and from Dover.

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