Crystal to host ‘precious’ Hobbit home dinner party

Crystal Cruises is offering an exclusive new dinner experience this December, on the “Hobbiton”set used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and new prequel film. The unique shoreside opportunity will debut just days after The Hobbit opens worldwide, when Crystal Symphony calls in Tauranga during a New Zealand/Australia holiday cruise beginning Dec. 20. The Crystal Adventure will also be offered on a Jan. 29 voyage through the region. The two local cultures of New Zealand and “Middle Earth”will come alive, starting with a private, after-hours, guided tour of the village movie set. From Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit holes to the Brandywine Bridge, guests will enter buildings and stroll rolling hills, while learning about the massive efforts undertaken to build the site. On the grounds of the hobbit-frequented Green Dragon Inn, with a beautiful sunset view overlooking the lake and Mill, guests will enjoy a bevy of extraordinary local wine and beer, a traditional Kiwi barbecue, and other fresh fare served by wait staff in Lord of the Rings garb. The Hobbiton dinner and village exploration fee is $265. A second Lord of the Rings-themed Adventure is also offered on both cruises, visiting Edoras’ home, Mt. Potts Station and Lodge, and New Zealand’s Southern Alps from Christchurch. Between the two cruises, Crystal Symphony will sail variously through Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Picton, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, Sydney, Melbourne, and Dusky, Doubtful, and Milford Sounds, with single and double overnights in port throughout. (

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