LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is providing a uniquely verdant perspective on the Mediterranean with a new Garden & Floral Design-themed voyage sailing from Barcelona to Venice on April 21. Aptly named “La Dolce Vita,” the Crystal Serenity cruise offers more than 15 serenity-filled Crystal Adventures visiting some of the most renowned, romantic, and private gardens that epitomize the Catalan coast and French and Italian Rivieras. On board, Britian’s celebrity floral designer, Paula Pryke, and Sybil Sylvester, founder of flower “creative think tank,” Wildflower Designs, will also offer hands-on workshops and presentations in floral design, arrangement, and other floral-related topics.
“The scenery in these destinations is simply spectacular, and is only enhanced by the artistry and historical significance expressed in their gardens,” says Victoria Harris, Crystal’s manager of hotel services and design. “Together, the ship and shore enrichment allow travelers to get to know the area, and its unparalleled landscape, in a really novel way, while also teaching green and black thumbs alike valuable ‘trip souvenir’ skills they can bring back home.”
Vacationers can “smell the roses” (and other flora and fauna blossoming next spring) in/near:
• Venice – Insider explorations of cozy Venetian squares and private courtyards include a garden created by Italian modernist architect Carlo Scapa, inside the 16th-century Palazzo Querini Stampalia museum and library complex.
• Monte Carlo – From exotic gardens of succulents and sub-tropical microclimate species, to umbrella pines and rare fruit trees, Crystal takes guests throughout the Cote d’Azur to explore classic French, Spanish, and even English garden design, complete with stunning coastline views and even a lesson in cooking with flowers.
• Barcelona – Excursions go off the beaten-tourist-path, from the city’s newest garden hotspot – the conservation-focused Botanical Garden, showcasing the plants of five Mediterranean climate – to the city’s oldest garden, the neoclassical Cypress-filled maze of Labyrinth Park…as well as to the area’s popular Park Güell, one of Gaudí’s most famous works.
• Rome – Italy’s finest Renaissance garden includes cascading fountains and dripping grottoes dating back almost 450 years.
In between overnights on both ends, the Experiences of Discovery luxury cruise visits Trogir, Croatia and Florence, Sorrento, and Sicily, Italy.
A second Garden & Floral Design-themed voyage sails from LA to NYC on May 6, offering visits to lush private and public gardens in Charleston, Florida, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean.
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.