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2016 World Cruise: Bhutan, temples, opera & pandas

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Written by editor

LOS ANGELES, CA – From the mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan and the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, to China’s Great Wall and Vietnam’s notorious caves, Crystal Cruises is taking its globetrotting guests t

LOS ANGELES, CA – From the mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan and the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, to China’s Great Wall and Vietnam’s notorious caves, Crystal Cruises is taking its globetrotting guests to some of the world’s most wondrous locales during Crystal Serenity’s 2016 World Cruise.

The line has unveiled more than a dozen Crystal Overland Adventures for its 102-day “Grand Pacific Panorama” voyage, highlighting some of the destinations’ – and the world’s – most stunning and fascinating sites. The one-to-four-night excursions take guests hundreds of miles from ports including Shanghai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Chan May, Xiamen and Sihanoukville to far-off places for in-depth, intimate exploration of treasured sites not accessible from the sea.

Among the captivating options are:

The Kingdom of Bhutan (2 nights from Laem Chebang/Bangkok) – Travelers can observe the customs of the last remaining Buddhist Kingdom, set within the Himalayas at 8,000 feet and completely isolated from outside visitors until a few decades ago.

The Temples of Angkor Wat (2 nights from Sihanoukville) – This magnificent complex of temples has earned UNESCO World Heritage status, offering travelers a glimpse into the Cambodian way of life and millennia of spiritual history that still shape it.

Beijing and the Great Wall (2 nights from Xiamen) – One of the Seven Wonders of the World, China’s Great Wall, is a highlight of this intrepid excursion, with additional visits to other exceptional landmarks including Tiananmen Square and Beijing’s spectacular Summer Palace and the adjacent Forbidden City.

Xi’an & Terra Cotta Warriors Adventure (2 nights from Xiamen) –Guests can travel to Xi’an for a chance to encounter one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century, the Terra Cotta Warriors and discover some of the other sights of the city, including the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

Giant Pandas and Treasures of Chengdu (1 night from Shanghai) – Guests will have the chance to explore the charming culture of Chengdu, which includes ancient temples, cuisine worthy of its status as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the acclaimed Sichuan Opera and the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding – where participants will witness the study and preservation efforts overseen there, and perhaps hold a baby panda.

“Crystal travel adventures need not be limited to wherever the ship is located,” says President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “It is always our goal to offer experiences that surpass guests’ expectations and offer experiences beyond what they’ve seen and done before; the Crystal Overland Adventures are a wonderful way to dive deeper into destinations.”

Crystal Overland Adventures explore Australia’s majestic Ayers Rock and other rock formations within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, as well as to the country’s bustling capital city of Canberra where guest visit the NASA Deep Space Communication Complex for some interplanetary enrichment. This adventure concludes with a hot-air balloon ride over the city, so travelers can revel in the beauty of the destination from above.

Sailing round-trip from San Francisco on January 24, the 102-day “Grand Pacific Panorama” voyage sails through the South Pacific and Australia before cruising a comprehensive route through China, Japan and Southeast Asia en route back to North America via Alaska. The epic sailing is offered in six segments of 12 to 23 days, with all-inclusive segment fares starting at $4,545 per person; full World Cruise fares begin at $36,325 per person. Fares for the 2016 World Cruise Crystal Overland Adventures start at $1,369 per person and include all transportation and accommodations. Due to the nature of these programs, which are designed to be exclusive and intimate, availability may be limited.

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in CondΓ© Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 21 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso in 2014. In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Exclusive Class – and Crystal Luxury Air by the end of 2018.