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Cruise News and Information
August 18, 2008

A note from the publisher:

Dear CruiseCompete Guests,

We are constantly searching the globe for interesting opportunities on sea and land for your enjoyment.

Hope you enjoy this list of some of the most fascinating shore excursions we have ever seen. Contact a CruiseCompete member agent for more details.

Warmest Regards,

Heidi Allison-Shane


From fighter jets to Arctic Circle reindeer to Aboriginal paintings, when your sense of adventure peaks and cost is no concern, the cruise industry offers plenty of unique shore excursions guaranteed never to be forgotten:

1. Exploring the Italian countryside by air (balloon)
Location: Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy
Duration: Approximately 5 1/2 hours
Price: $1,695 and up, per adult

Azamara guests looking for a unique vantage point of the Chianti countryside can climb aboard a hot air balloon for a truly memorable experience high above rolling countryside. No two rides are the same, with air currents directing the trip. This excursion includes a gourmet dinner at Villa La Massa and your return trip to Livorno.

2. Piloting the Alaskan bush
Location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Duration: Approximately 3 hours
Price: $2,984 and up

The untouched beauty of Alaska comes into full view aboard a private floatplane tour, identical to ones flown by Alaska's famed bush pilots. NCL, Norwegian Cruise Line guests will soar through Misty Fjords National Monument, encompassing 2.3 million acres of wilderness, featuring soaring cliffs and peaceful lakes, not to mention abundant wildlife, including whales and bears.

3. Viewing Venice in a moonlit gondola
Location: Venice
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Price: $799 per person; $999 per couple

There's no better way to explore Venice than by traversing its famed canals, especially under the moonlight. Windstar guests board their gondolas near St. Mark's Square. Combine Italian champagne with the serenade of two violinists and your boat ride becomes a truly unforgettable, incredibly romantic, affair.

4. Pushing the envelope in a MiG fighter jet
Location: Moscow
Duration: One night
Price: $38,695

Adrenaline junkies will surely get a fix of a lifetime by climbing aboard a MiG fighter jet at Sormovo Airbase for a thrilling flight at two times the speed of sound over Russia's landscape. This adventure is not for the faint of heart, so a brief physical exam is required before you climb aboard. Crystal Cruises combines this exclusive ride with a full-day of sightseeing in Moscow and brief visit to historic Nizhny Novgorod.

5. Driving a sports car of one's dreams
Location: Monte Carlo to Venice
Duration: Approximately 7 hours
Price: $3,922

The dream of driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati can become a reality during an exhilarating sightseeing tour of Monaco in one of these exotic Italian sports cars. The vehicle will be waiting for you at the pier near where the Crystal Cruises ship moors. There is nothing quite like touring Monte Carlo's twisting roads and scenery at breakneck speeds although guests are encouraged to abide by local speed limits.

6. Jetting to Lapland and the Arctic Circle Take your Children on This One
Location: Baltic
Duration: Approximately 9 hours
Price: $8,174

The legend of Santa Claus comes full circle for guests visiting the Arctic Circle during a full-day adventure to Finland's Lapland. Guests are transported by private jet to Lapland. A special riverboat tour is combined with a visit to an authentic reindeer farm complete with Lappish food, cultural demonstrations and sightseeing of this remote northern land. Tourists also have the chance to explore Santa Claus Village, located on the Arctic Circle, and meet the real Santa compliments of Crystal Cruises.

7. Mingling with the jet-set at the Monaco Grand Prix
Location: Monaco
Duration: 3 days
Price: $2,400

The renowned Grand Prix in Monaco provides the perfect setting for Windstar guests to mingle with the world's most glamorous jet-set and view one of the most difficult and prestigious racing spectacles anywhere. In addition to the event, you will enjoy a private reception at the Rainier Private Auto Collection Museum, featuring 100 of the most famous automobiles ever built from manufacturers across the globe.

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