The Los Angeles, California-based luxury cruise operator of the super swank Symphony and Serenity has created one enchanted excursion during its April 9 and April 16, 2014 sailings of the Crystal Symphony which passengers can take before or after the cruises during a five-night Extended Land Program to Tibet.
In a press release receive today, September 17, the cruise company announced highlights of the bewitching five-night Extended Land Program that includes:
- Chengdu’s Giant Panda Research Base, passengers get to safely snuggle with baby pandas, while learning about the center’s hugely successful conservation and breeding efforts.
- Potala Palace, a 7th century UNESCO World Heritage Site, visible from every direction, that served as the Dalai Lama’s main residence until the 1959 uprising.
- Drepung Monastery, once the world’s largest monastery and home to more than 10,000 monks, seemingly precariously set on a hillside and accessible only by a steep, unpaved road.
- Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet, enshrining the country’s most precious treasure, the original gold Sakyamuni Buddha statue dating back 1,300 years.
- Barkhor Marketplace, the site of many Tibetan protests, as well as a busy commerce center, striking an intriguing contrast between deeply rooted spirituality and the bustling nature of market economics.
- Tibetan-style dinner, showcasing traditional song and dance while sampling a variety of yak-based dietary staples, from meat to tea.
- Sera Monastery, where passengers can watch monks prepare for their monastic exams with renowned mock debates in the picturesque courtyard.
- Norbulingka, another UNESCO site that boasts distinctly Tibetan architecture and has served as the administrative and spiritual centers, as well as the summer palace, for past Dalai Lamas.
- Jinli Street in Chengdu, an ancient market dating back to the Qing Dynasty, filled with everything from the aroma of spicy barbeque and authentic Sichuan favorites to local artists’ works.
The additional cost, added on to Crystal's all-inclusive cruise fare for the Timeless Tibet excursion costs $7,400 per person, double occupancy and includes one night at the Sofitel Hotel Chengdu, three nights at the recently-opened St. Regis Lhasa Resort, and one night at the China World Hotel Beijing.
Crystal Symphony’s 13-day April 9, 2014 voyage stops at Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dalian, Xiamen, and Beijing, with fares beginning at $4,910 a person. The April 16. 2014 15-day itinerary that calls in Beijing, Dalian, and Shanghai, China, as well as Nagasaki, Osaka, Shimizu and Tokyo, Japan features fares from $6,620 per person. The company claims that the price for both voyages represents a saving of $2,500 and $1,700, respectively if booked by October 31, 2013.
For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.cyrstalcruises.com.