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Crystal Cruises offering passengers epic “Game of Thrones” adventure ashore

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Today’s Los Angeles Times reported that HBO’s phenomenon/epic “Game of Thrones” TV series is on a roll with a record Fourth Season opening viewership of 6.6 million (according to Nielsen). “The show has steadily grown in audience since it premiered in 2011 with a modest 2.2 million viewers.” As a perk for passenger fans of the show, Crystal Cruises just unveiled a new Thrones-focused Adventure to be offered in Northern Ireland, one of the show’s key filming locations.

During a half-day excursion on August 24, 2014 as part of a seven-day British Isles cruise on the Symphony and on September 5th on the Serenity, Crystal cruisers will up close and person looks at several iconic production locations near Belfast. The adventure is intended to let passengers immerse themselves in the mythical medieval life, shooting arrows, taking photographs with show costumes, and learning how real, centuries-old castles and towers are transformed into sets for the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

The voyage goes from Belfast to the shores of Strangford Lough, location of 18th century Castle Ward and estate, which includes Forest Park and Audley’s Castle. The 820-acre landscape and medieval buildings have served as pivotal sites for the show’s first and second seasons, such as Winterfell, the Lannister encampment, Robb Stark’s campgrounds, and where he first fell in love with Talisa. People on the tour will discover how special effects are used to transform the real castles into those on-screen, and play their own Game game, matching actual sites to show scenes. Warrior-wannabes can also try their hands at the medieval sport of archery, and a photo op with series costumes will showcase the ingenuity that goes into creating characters’ different looks.

“Both show fans, and those who’ve never seen an episode, can immerse themselves in a fascinating, fantasy world, while connecting with the beautiful history and countryside of Northern Ireland in a very unique way,” says John Stoll, vice president of land programs.

The “Enter the Game of Thrones” Crystal Adventure costs $289 per person. The August 24 cruise sails from Dublin to Belfast and Londonderry, Northern Ireland; Galway and Cork, Ireland; Portland, England; Saint-Helier/Jersey, Channel Islands; and Dover/London, England, with three maiden calls en route. The September 5 voyage sails from London/Southampton to Guernsey/St. Peter Port, Channel Islands; Waterford, Dublin and Belfast, Ireland; Reykjavíc, Iceland (overnight); Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Boston, Massachusetts. Until April 30, all-inclusive “Book Now” fares start at $3,405 and $4,925, respectively, per person.

Is there too much sex and nudity on "Game of Thrones," viewing the attached video will provide the answer but you can be pretty sure Crystal passengers will be dressed for the excursions.

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