Want a rare cruise experience this fall? Six-star Crystal Cruises has got the East Coast trip for you with the launch of its ‘Boutique Adventures.’ These on-shore outings offer exclusive behind-the-scenes access to world-renowned venues for passengers on the Crystal Serenity from September to November.
Thanks to Crystal’s connections, here are some of the exclusive back-of-the-house events that foodies and art lovers can book as shore excursions available in New York City: A small group will be taken on a private tour while the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is closed to the public. An art historian will guide Crystal guests through MoMA, one of the world’s most iconic museums, and then participants will be given time to explore on-their-own, studying the famous collection of masterworks by Van Gogh, Rousseau, Chagall, Dalí and Andy Warhol.
MoMA was founded by a group of women, helmed by Mrs. John D. Rockefeller in 1929; it moved to its current West 53rd Street location ten years later. The vast collection includes such favorites as Picasso and Matisse, as well as sculpture, photography, prints and electronic media. Truly ‘modern’ in every sense of the word.
Another NYC outing option is to book a table at Daniel at 60 East 65th Street. This Manhattan dining institution has long been considered one of the best tasting menu experiences in the city. Crystal has reserved only four exclusive seats for in-the-know food lovers to experience Chef Daniel Boulud’s three Michelin-starred cuisines with a tasting menu at the chef’s table—a glass-enclosed Skybox suspended above the main dining room featuring its open kitchen.
The lucky four guests who pay the extra on-shore dining price might be treated to such delicacies as chilled peeky toe crab ‘cannelloni’ with early summer melon, lime coulis and pickled ginger to start; or a warm seafood salad with zucchini and piquillo peppers with lemon oil. How about an Emma Farms Wagyu beef rib eye with black trumpet, garbanzo beans, tomato marmalade and crispy panisse, followed by velours d’ abricot and a chocolate hazelnut biscuit and apricot-praline sorbet! Sound good? Crystal Cruises suggests you contact them now to find out more and book this 8-course tasting table for the most special occasion of your life. www.crystalcruises.com
In Boston, the New England Aquarium, on Central Wharf for the past 45 years, has arranged a behind-the-scenes walk for a small group with an expert museum educator who will show participants how the aquarium is run, see what goes on behind the glass tanks, and experience a demonstration of feeding the fish. Excitement follows with some hands-on petting of southern stingrays, cownose rays, yellow stingrays and coral catsharks. After the special tour, guests will sip champagne and have a chance to chat about those lionfish, tigerfish and batfish, oh my!
Then in Boston’s North End a local Italian foodie expert will walk hungry travelers through Boston’s Little Italy with a “cuisine crawl” of authentic neighborhood markets. When these journalists did a food crawl in the North End several years ago, we stopped into one of the most iconic Italian Delis where we sampled the best ever paper thin salamis and mortadellas, surrounded by an aroma that was described in the musical “The Most Happy Fella” – ‘the smella smoky mozzarella in the air!’
After the walk and samplings guests will end the day with a climatic meal at award-winning local favorite spot, Antico Forno restaurant. Called by many ‘the most authentic Italian restaurant’ this Salem Street spot offers the classic dishes Saltimbocca di Pollo and Linguine al Frutti di Mare, as well as those tasty wood-fired pizzas that most people wait in long lines out on the sidewalk to experience. With a mom-and-pop warm and friendly atmosphere, the Antico Forno staff will wish you a ‘Buon appetito!’
We’d be remiss not to mention that the ultra luxurious Crystal Cruises line is not for everyone. It’s an upscale and top-of-the-market experience for in-the-know sophisticated travelers. Yes, a plethora of high-caliber entertainment and consistently excellent dining experiences is included on board, and prices are commensurate with the unique style of cruising that makes Crystal the choice of savvy cruisers seeking unstuffy luxury. The ‘party boats’ cannot compare to the Crystal experience.
In other Crystal Cruises news, we’ve learned that starting in September the Crystal Symphony and, later, the Crystal Serenity, will be re-fitted with fitness equipment that has been the official choice for Olympic and World Cup competitors. Technogym will be installed in a new indoor fitness area and an outdoor ‘fitness garden’ will feature Danish designed Norwell Outdoor Fitness equipment. The 19-day dry-dock improvements on the Symphony will make this one of the cruise industry’s most comprehensive line of wellness enhancements. No wonder Crystal Cruises has received more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.
These five, seven- and 10-day cruises sail from Boston, New York City and Québec City September 19 and 29; and October 6, 16 and 26. Special fares are available until August 29. For more information about these and other behind-the-scenes on shore excursions in other cities, and to make Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit the website or Crystal Cruises on Facebook.
Booking a Crystal Cruise should be on every chic cruiser’s ‘A list.’ Why? Just take a look at the above embedded slideshow and video.
Written by Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Out and Travelin’