LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Four new Crystal cruises will feature Bali as a destination both on land and at sea in fall 2014 and early winter 2015. Complementing local overnights aboard Crystal Symphony are a bevy of native dancers, an Emmy award-winning Bali anthropologist/filmmaker, and arguably the island's most renowned traditional chef. Departing Nov 24, Dec 7, Jan 5 and Jan 17, each new 12- to 14-day itinerary also calls in several other Indonesian ports while sailing between Bali and Singapore, and boasts visits to Australia and Southeast Asia, depending on the cruise. Limited time "Book Now" fares offer $800 in air credit, and up to $2100 in savings, on the voyages.
The expanded onboard programming includes:
Chef Heinz von Holzen--Local chef and author behind the island's only authentic Balinese cuisine restaurant, bringing aboard his latest modern-meets-traditional recipes to share via hands-on cooking classes, demonstrations, a guest chef dinner for all, and a limited-availability Vintage Room dinner featuring multiple courses of the secret dishes, each perfectly paired with rare wines. (Jan 5 sailing only)
Dr. Lawrence Blair—Bali resident and anthropological expert, sharing personal tales from his Emmy Award-winning PBS series and book Ring of Fire, which explores the region's volcanic eruptions, gypsy pirates, man-eating animals (and people), and Blair's own homesteading in a Balinese village. (all voyages)
Local Kecak dancers—An ancient tradition, featuring a group of approximately 100 men clad in checked waist-cloths depicting the epic Hindu battle of Ramayana via native dance, chanting, and music. (all voyages)
Ashore, guests can ride an elephant through the forest, step inside temples once reserved only for the rajas, learn how traditional batik and other crafts are made, visit local villages and residences, taste and make even more traditional dishes, view volcano vistas and rice paddies, and experience other ancient stories through music, such as a Barong dance.
"From more time to explore the island itself to bringing the Island of the Gods' top experts in culture, cuisine, and art on board, each cruise offers a rare immersive experience from ship to shore," says Crystal President Edie Rodriguez. "Travelers can really embrace the genuinely warm and welcoming Balinese spirit that, although exotic, also so closely reflects Crystal's own culture."
Other Indonesian calls include Komodo Island (for the famed pre-historic Komodo dragons), Semarang (for UNESCO's magnificent world heritage site, Borobudur), Jakarta, Surabaya and a maiden visit to Belawan. Depending on the sailing, other destinations include Malacca City, Penang, KualaLumpur/Port Kelang and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Sydney, Darwin, Brisbane, Hamilton Island/Whitsunday Island and Cairns, Australia.; and sailing through the Great Barrier Reef, Java Sea and Indonesian Archipelago.
Until the June 30 "Book Now" deadline, all-inclusive cruise fares for the Bali sailings start at $3,110 per person, with special perks and offers available for solo cruisers, families sailing with kids under 17, plus air credits of up to $800 per person. Shorter "Getaway" segments are also available on the 2014 sailings, for those with less time.
Crystal's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.
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SOURCE Crystal Cruises