Who says a cruise is sedentary? Crystal Cruises is letting passengers push the pedal with new innovative bicycle tours this summer on its European and Mediterranean voyages. The Los Angeles, California-based luxury ship operator will be offering 16 calorie-burning bike riding adventures ashore that will allow travelers experiences best explored by bike .
Available with May-September voyages on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, the half- and full-day excursions combine fitness with new, intimate perspectives on favorite destinations such as:
- Malta – A 12.5-mile route travels through countryside only accessible by bicycle and along the western coastline toward the highest point in Malta, the Dingli Cliffs – dramatically sheering straight down to the Mediterranean Sea and providing spectacular panoramic views.
- Tallinn – Guests can cycle back in time as they ride to the Baroque palace and summer home of Peter the Great, and around the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the city’s Old Town, complete with ancient walls, cobblestone lanes and 16th century architecture – including a pharmacy that has been in business since 1422.
- Copenhagen – Here in one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities cyclists can experience the sites like locals as they pedal along a winding, five-mile ride through a forest en route to a 500-year-old amusement park (the world’s oldest), Bakken, where they’ll have time to play and explore.
- Bordeaux/Bassens – Cyclists will ride a nine-mile combination of flat and hilly roads in the quaint village of Saint-Émilion – whose entire wine “jurisdiction” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where guests will enjoy views of beautiful chateaus and expansive vineyards of such premier estates as Château Angélus, Figeac and Cheval Blanc.
- Barcelona – This invigorating five-mile ride through the city’s bustling streets affords the opportunity to admire the profoundly impressive architecture of the cathedrals and other icons, while also enjoying performances from street artists that liven up the La Rambla boulevard.
- Guernsey/St. Peter Port – This ride along a six-mile stunning coastal path features L’Ancresse and Pembroke beaches and the Le Dehus Dolmen, home to Neolithic-era tombs that resemble a miniature Stonehenge.
Bicycle adventures are also offered in Valencia and Mallorca, Spain; Corfu, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Helsinki, Finland; Holyhead, Wales; Kotor, Montenegro; Skagen, Denmark; St. Tropez, France; and St. Petersburg, Russia.
“Many guests have become increasingly interested in more athletic pursuits that allow them to enjoy a destination in a more up close and personal way,” says John Stoll, vice president of land programs. “The bicycle excursions not only foster personal connections with the scenery and surrounding cultures, but also with each other. Each cycling group builds a special camaraderie as they share these experiences.”
The Crystal bicycle adventures are supervised by the ships’ staffs and expert partners ashore. The price ranges from $89 to $249 a person and includes terrain-appropriate bikes, helmets, bottled water, refreshments in most locales.
This summer Crystal vessels will sail 23 European voyages of seven to 14 days, with shorter “Crystal Getaways” and extended combination cruises also available. Until April 30, 2014, all-inclusive “Book Now” cruise fares for the line’s European sailings start at $1,730 per person.
For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.
Want to see how popular bike riding is in Europe? Watch the video.