Crystal adds new Mediterranean ports

For its 2013 Mediterranean cruise season, Crystal Cruises is making first-time-ever visits to Çanakkale, Turkey; La Spezia, Italy; and Castellón de la Plana, Spain. The maiden calls offer new exploration of historic and off-the-beaten path areas from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the west, including the Dardanelles/Adriatic, Italian Riviera, and Costa del Azahar. The seven- to 13-day itineraries surrounding the new destinations also offer cultural capital overnights and extra port intensiveness. Highlights of, and cruises featuring, the inaugural ports include: !!! Çanakkale: A popular vacation getaway for local Turks, the harbour city also offers easy access to the archaeological site of Troy and Gallipoli’s historic battlefield and monuments. May 9, Crystal Serenity, nine days: Rome, Sorrento (overnight), and Sicily/Taormina, Italy; Santorini, Greece; Kusadasi, Çanakkale, and Istanbul (overnight), Turkey; July 25, Crystal Symphony, nine days: Istanbul (overnight), Çanakkale, and Kusadasi, Turkey; Valletta, Malta; Sicily/Taormina, Sorrento (overnight), and Rome, Italy. !!! La Spezia: Balcony-lined streets and a palm-lined promenade usher travellers into Italy’s Liguria region, offering a point of departure for walking uber-picturesque Cinque Terre, or a less-touristed day of sampling fine museums or delicious local cheese stalls in the town’s outdoor market. Sept. 28, Crystal Serenity, seven days: Monte Carlo (overnight), Monaco; Genoa and La Spezia, Italy; St. Tropez and Marseille, France; Barcelona (overnight), Spain. !!! Castellón de la Plana: Dating back to 1251, this Valencian town is the capital of one of Spain’s most mountainous provinces, offering a range of rural tourism, a Gothic and Renaissance-architecture “old quarter,”and fragrant orange trees blossoming in the fall. Nov. 2, Crystal Serenity, 13 days: Rome, Florence, and Porto Venere, Italy; Monte Carlo (overnight), Monaco; Palamós, Barcelona (overnight), Castellón de la Plana, and Cartagena, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Cadiz/Seville, Spain; Lisbon (overnight), Portugal. All-inclusive “Book Now”fares for the series start from US$3,110 p.p., with up to $1,500 p.p. in savings if booked by Dec. 28. (