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Visit Antarctica with Crystal Cruises

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

This holiday season marks the last call for Crystal Cruises’ award-winning ships to Antarctica. Beginning in 2011, a proposed ban on the carriage of certain fuel oils on board will effectively prohibit the sailing of most passenger vessels in the Antarctic. Crystal Symphony’s December 20 Christmas/New Year cruise is the only time Crystal will be cruising the region in 2009 and 2010. The 19-day journey departs from Buenos Aires to Valparaíso with visits to several ports in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, including the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn.

“There’s no more exciting destination to spend the holidays than Antarctica, among the snow and stunning wildlife,” says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. “Additionally, while Antarctica can offer a magical ‘white Christmas,’ it’s summer in South America, allowing guests to enjoy two beautiful seasons on the same itinerary.”

Ashore, adventurous guests have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly to King George Island and walk on Antarctica, take a helicopter to a humpback whale sanctuary, enjoy a 4 x 4 expedition to a King penguin colony, and trek the mountains of Chile.

Completing the Crystal Holiday experience, Crystal Symphony will boast more than $100,000 of exquisite seasonal décor. Handcrafted ornaments, elaborately decorated trees and larger-than-life toy soldiers are among the ship’s holiday furnishings.

Extravagant holiday dinners, parties and entertainment are planned for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, culminating in a black tie gala on New Year’s Eve. Clergy will be on board to conduct services. Also during the holidays, Crystal’s junior activities staff will be on hand to coordinate daily programming for children of all ages. Cruise fares start at $8,995 per person, double occupancy.

crystalcruises.com

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