IMAGINE being welcomed by a modern day princess to her family castle, or sitting in an ancient Greco-Roman arena in a World Heritage site as an orchestra plays much loved classics, or drinking scotch poured over 40,000 year old glacial ice in Antarctica.
Such exclusive experiences are among the feel-good offerings of cruise lines who want to stand out from the crowd.
Guests on APT’s ‘Royal Experience’ European river cruises next year have an invitation from Princess Heide von Hohenzollern to explore her home, Germany’s Burg Namedy Castle. A behind-the-scenes look at the castle will be followed by a champagne reception in the castle’s Knights Hall and a banquet dinner in the Hall of Mirrors.
Located in Andernach on the Rhine River, Burg Namedy’s history dates back to the 14th Century, and has been in the royal House of Hohenzollern, since 1908, aptouring.com.au
Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic (Australia’s Orion Expeditions are now part of that cruise fleet) give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the orang-utan infant care centre at Camp Leakey in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, with time to play with the oh-so-appealing infants there. As expedition leader, Mick Fogg told australiancruisingnews.com, “When you look into the eyes of an orang-utan there is a connection, it is like looking into the eyes of another human”, expeditions.com
Azamara Club Cruises has an “AzAmazing” evenins for guests on every cruise, such as an orchestral concert in a Greco-Roman amphitheatre at the World Heritage site of Ephesus in Turkey when the site is closed to tourists at dusk falls, azamaraclubcruises.com
Also memorable is drinking a glass of scotch on 40,000 year old glacier ice gathered at landings on the expedition cruise line Australis’ Patagonian itinerary that follows the route of Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle at the southern tip of South America, australis.com