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Setting sail from New Orleans
New Orleans is a city with real soul, an exuberant, infectious sort of place where music fills the air every night of the week. Festivals and parades are a regular occurrence, with the highlights including Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. There's also plenty to feast your eyes on, such as the charming historic architecture of the French Quarter and the elegant mansions of the Garden District. Food is another real highlight, with lip-smacking Creole specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya and the legendary po-boy sandwich.
If it’s the music you’re after, go to Frenchmen Street, the "locals' version of Bourbon". Wander into the different venues – there may not even be a cover charge, but if not, don’t forget to tip.
Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman
Far more than just an offshore tax haven, Grand Cayman boasts the staggeringly beautiful white sands of Seven Mile Beach and some fantastic snorkelling in crystal clear waters. The capital, George Town, is a compact and friendly place, home to some interesting architecture and a suspiciously large number of registered companies.
The gabled houses of Willemstad lend an undeniably Dutch feel to the capital of little Curaçao, with a splash of Caribbean colour thrown in. The island itself is not your typical lush tropical paradise - the landscape is characterised instead by thorny shrubs and cacti - but there are some fantastic beaches and quaint little villages.
Grenada: St George's
Browse the markets of charming St George’s, fragrant with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg, and you’ll soon understand why Grenada is known as the ‘isle of spice’. This is one of the Caribbean’s most enchanting islands, fringed by gorgeous beaches and largely unsullied by mass market tourism.
French Guiana: Devil's Island
The Iles de Salut, a trio of islands more popularly known as Devil’s Island, were the site of a French penal colony which gained notoriety thanks to the harsh treatment of inmates. As well as the overgrown ruins of the prison, which closed in 1953, the islands are today also home to a surprisingly rich variety of wildlife.
Recife is a big and bustling metropolis on Brazil’s north east coast, with a historic core that has been mostly swallowed up by the urban sprawl. The nearby town of Olinda is a more appealing place to spend your day ashore, with an arty vibe and some lovely colonial architecture.
Colourful Salvador is Brazil’s third biggest city and a vibrant centre for Afro-Brazilian culture, with frequent festivals that fill the streets with music and dancing. The historic core of the old city is the biggest tourist magnet, where elegant, brightly hued colonial buildings line the cobbled streets.
Arriving in Rio de Janeiro
The carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro needs little introduction. We can think of few cities in the world that are able to compete when it comes to location: hugging the beautiful sandy shore and surrounded by jungle-clad islands and mountains, including the iconic Corcovado, the setting for Brazil's most vibrant city is simply breathtaking. Strut your stuff on Copacabana beach, shimmy to the rhythms of samba and bossa nova, or just drink in the view from the feet of Christ the Redeemer - Rio is truly a destination to be savoured.
Copacabana is the city’s most famous beach, and a must-visit, but we prefer Ipanema for its more upmarket vibe.
Your home from home
Crystal have repeatedly been voted the World’s Best cruise line, and Crystal Symphony is certainly a top level classic, not to be missed.
What we love
Crystal Symphony is not a new ship, but you wouldn't know it, since she is subject to an ongoing refurbishment programme, with constant innovations such as the Outdoor Fitness Garden, which ensures that the environment is always perfect and the style contemporary. This is, in short, a ship constantly honed to perfection. But ultimately it's all about the unmatchable food and service.
|Crew||575 International Staff|
Luxury with a difference: the resort style - with excellent entertainment and facilities, wide range of dining and highly developed on board programme - distinguishes glamorous Crystal from its competitors in the sector.
|Cruising speed||21 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in New Orleans
We love the Soniat House, right in the French Quarter.
Recommended tours in New Orleans
Visit one of the Cities of the Dead – the beautiful and extraordinarily ornate cemeteries.
Our favourite hotel in Rio
We like the Belmond Copacabana Palace – go for the upper floor suites for great views over the ocean.
The extraordinary thing is that right by the city is the Tijuca Forest, great for a four wheel drive tour in acres of lush mountainous national park.