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September 1, 2008

A note from the publisher:

Dear CruiseCompete Guests,

We hope you enjoy this continuing list of truly fascinating shore excursions. Please Contact a CruiseCompete member agent for more details about these exciting adventures.

Warmest Regards,

Heidi Allison-Shane


Exploring Fairly Tale Castles and Loch Ness
Location: Invergordon, Scotland
Duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Price: $1,875

Scotland's natural beauty and legendary attractions are showcased in this overland excursion from Invergordon to Edinburgh, offered by Silversea. Guests cruise the mysterious Loch Ness, Britain's deepest body of water and home to its beloved Nessy sea monster. Cruisers also will visit some of the most famous of castles and other attractions, including Urquhart Castle, Inverlochy Castle, Ben Nevis, Glen Coe, Glenturret Distillery, Stirling Castle and breathtaking Edinburgh.

Touring the Vatican an intimate visit
Location: Vatican City, Rome
Duration: 11 hours (full day)
Price: $769

Oceania offers its guests a rare opportunity to visit parts of Vatican City typically off limits to the general public. The private Vatican visit starts at the Bronze Gate, featuring many Bernini masterpieces. Guests next venture into the Royal Room, the private papal chamber where the Holy Father meets with international heads of state and other noted guests. The highlight of the visit is an exclusive, privileged visit to the Paolina Chapel, the Pope's private place of worship. During this stop, guests also enjoy an intimate view of the fabled Sistine Chapel, featuring Michelangelo's breathtaking frescoes. The tour wraps with the chance to see the Papal Treasures.

Racing to Space as a cosmonaut
Location: Star City, Russia
Duration: Approximately 17 hours
Price: $11,299

Relive the Space Race between the USSR and the United States with an exclusive Silversea visit to the cosmonaut training center in Star City, the center of Russian space exploration since 1960. Guests, transported by jet from St. Petersburg, have the opportunity to see a replica of the Russian Mir Space Station and a fully functional hydro lab. Also on display is a model of the Soyuz spacecraft, still used in the training of future cosmonauts. Cruise tourists then get a peak at the massive space centrifuge used in daily training exercises. The tour moves on to the Museum of the Cosmonaut Training Center, featuring one of the world's largest collections of documents, equipment and mementos related to the history of manned space flight in Russia.

Riding a camel in the Australian outback
Location: Australia
Duration: 3 nights
Price: $6,999

This overland adventure through the heart of Australia provides a fascinating glimpse of life in the outback. Crystal Cruises guests can expect the unexpected, including a camel ride along the Todd River and sunrise hot-air balloon ride along the MacDonnell Ranges. The journey would not be complete without your visit to the Olgas, a collection of 36 magnificent rock domes including Aboriginal paintings. There's plenty of wildlife to see, including kangaroos, wallabies and other native creatures. In addition to luxury accommodations and gourmet menus, savory outback dishes are served throughout the trip, including smoked camel, kangaroo sausage and other local delicacies. A special outback barbeque completes the adventure.

Climbing the Great Wall of China
Location: Beijing
Duration: 3 nights
Price: $2,655 per person

If this summer's Olympics peak your interest in Beijing, then a special overland tour to the country's capital and the Great Wall of China may be your ticket. In addition to visiting the popular 4,500 mile landmark (viewable in space), other stops include a visit to the Ming Tombs, Tiananmen Square, The Gate of Heavenly Peace, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven. There also is plenty of time for world-class cuisine and individual exploration throughout the city as well as the wonderful amentias that you will find on Cunard.

Discovering Ancient Egypt
Location: Luxor and Cairo, Egypt
Duration: 3 days/ 2 nights
Price: $1,999

Egyptian history comes to life for Cunard guests on this overland tour, with stops in Luxor to explore the Valley of the Kings and then Cairo to tour the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Cairo Museum. The visit to Luxor includes the Temple of Karnak and the Temple of Luxor, a stunning monument featuring a number of sphinxes. The next morning, travelers visit the historic Valley of the Kings, majestic Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and Luxor Museum, featuring an extensive collection of artifacts from ancient Thebes, statues found buried beneath the Luxor Temple and more.

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