Crystal Esprit: Summer 2016 in the Mediterranean

Cruise Advice
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When the latest addition to the Crystal Cruises fleet, the tiny 62 guest Crystal Esprit, sets forth on her inaugural Mediterranean season this summer, she will be an exciting addition to the selection of small ship cruises plying these fascinating waters.

Crystal Esprit makes her Mediterranean debut in Dubrovnik, where she begins a summer-long programme of seven or fourteen day cruise options (Dubrovnik to Venice 7 nights, Venice to Dubrovnik 7 nights, Venice round trip 14 nights or Dubrovnik round trip 14 nights). If you study these captivating itineraries, you will begin to get a fair idea of what 'yachting' in the Med is all about.

So why would you choose Crystal Esprit over a larger ship? Well, first of all, there are the bragging rights. Even if you aren't physically going to go and brag about it, there's something about being on the yacht that everyone stops to look at, the 'in your dreams' destination. And second, there are the port-intensive itineraries - just take a look. In fourteen days you are travelling within a tiny area, so you have time for an in-depth exploration of the region.

And what a region it is - a rich and exciting history of maritime adventurers, with wonderful architecture and swashbuckling stories. And also, an island-filled area of extraordinary natural beauty, with pretty beaches and fragrant scents, and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. And also, the people! And their food! What a mix of influences, religions, races and traditions.

Next, how about the excursions? With two included trips in every port, as well as some more extraordinary options (driving heavy machinery anyone? Climb aboard a bulldozer and two different-sized excavators to move some dirt, or even flip over some cars) at additional cost, every day could be super-busy, and really active. But if you prefer, play with the watersports equipment from the marina at the back of the ship, or just relax on deck.

Then there's the service. Of course, excellent service is the norm if you are a Crystal cruiser - but look at the ratio on Crystal Esprit. 1.5 crew members to every guest! You can be sure that this team are going to know your preferences inside out within hours of your arrival, whether it's your private butler, the bartender, or the charming individuals looking after your al fresco dining.

Yachting is a very outdoorsy experience, and on Crystal Esprit there is plenty of deck space to enjoy the daytime sunshine, or the balmy evening breezes. But for the ultimate in Crystal Cruises dining, the Yacht Club restaurant will be the perfect air conditioned option.

And finally, the fares. With all drinks, meals and gratuities, not to mention one or two excursion options each day, and lots of watersports equipment, all included in the fare, Crystal Esprit is a great value choice for a super exclusive experience.

If you're a fan of intimate small ships like Crystal Esprit, make sure you sign up to our Hundred Club mailing list, bringing you the latest news on our favourite ships carrying 100 passengers or less.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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