As if a cruise around the world in opulent luxury were not enough, premium cruise lines offer once-in-a-lifetime exclusive excursions that many travelers only dream of. These are far more than a bus ride around an iconic destination, a zip line swing through a jungle or a visit to some ancient ruins, any of which could make for great cruise vacation memories. To the few who appreciate the very best, Crystal Cruises has exclusive cruise excursions that might offer just what they are looking for.
Visiting Monaco‘s Grand Prix, Crystal Cruises has four new Crystal Cruise Adventures, created exclusively for Crystal Serenity’s May 18-30 Esprit du Grand Prix-themed Mediterranean cruise. Sound like a good idea? Be prepared to pay. Pretty much anything to do with Formula One Racing bumps up the price. Check the detailed description and pricing of these ultra-lux cruise experiences by Crystal Cruises that are far more than a “shore excursion”.
Exclusive Grandstand Experience- $829
After tendering ashore, you are greeted by your helpful host, who will lead you by foot, through the bustling streets, for the approximate 20-30 minute walk to your grandstand seats. Along the way, you will hear interesting commentary about the Grand Prix, one of the world’s most prestigious races. You will also be provided with your Grand Prix tickets in a souvenir ticket holder from Crystal Cruises, as well as a city map.
Arriving at the grandstands, you will receive a catered box lunch to be enjoyed at your leisure. Also provided are a seat cushion and ear protection to make the race more enjoyable.
Bidding farewell to your host, take to your seats located in Grandstand K, which is ideally situated close to the start/finish line and overlooking a wide swath of the port and surrounding streets. Grandstand K offers some of the best race viewing available, enhanced by a giant television screen and should you need assistance during your day at the race, Crystal staff will be on hand.
Events to unfold include the Porsche Supercup, Formula Renault, Drivers Track Parade and the start of Formula One, the 71st Grand Prix of Monaco. After 78 laps around the narrow course, the race will conclude.
You may return to the tender landing at any time, using the provided map. On your return, observe the general excitement on display in the crowded city streets during this final day of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.
In the company of your Crystal Cruises host, enjoy the approximately 45-minute walk from the tender pier through the bustling city of Monte Carlo to your private apartment. Along the way, you will hear interesting commentary about the Grand Prix, one of the world’s most prestigious races.
As you arrive at the flat and are greeted by its owner, you will discover a contemporary indoor-outdoor space ideal for watching the excitement of Formula One racing. The apartment and terrace are situated on the harbor in the center of the action, directly above the first chicane after the starting line and the Casino. Your panorama also includes Saint Devote corner and hill, the tunnel exit and the pool area. For additional perspectives on the race, you can watch the main giant television screen.
Inside the flat, creature comforts and arrangements have been prepared exclusively for you and your fellow Crystal guests, with seating, decorations and a continuously open bar offering champagne, beer, wine, soft drinks, water and coffee.
Breakfast and a three-course, part-buffet lunch accompanied by French wines will keep you fueled for the day’s excitement. Events to unfold include the Porsche Supercup, Formula Renault, Drivers Track Parade and the start of Formula One, the 71st Grand Prix of Monaco. After 78 laps around the narrow course, the race will conclude.
While you may not want to pull yourself away from the terrace views, you are free to do so, as you may come and go from the apartment as you please for a chance to explore the busy streets below.
You may independently return to the tender pier at your leisure. Whether you stay the entire day or make just a fun few hours of it, this surely will be an experience to remember.
VIP Nightclubbing at the Amber Lounge-$2199 per person
Tender ashore at approximately 9:45 pm and step aboard your host-accompanied private vehicle, which will convoy you through Monte Carlo (and perhaps along the Monaco Grand Prix race circuit, if available). Arriving at your destination, the chic Amber Lounge, passing potential paparazzi and celebrities, you will be escorted to a VIP table reserved exclusively for you and your fellow Crystal guests.
Surrounding you is the posh atmospheres of the club, along with some of the world’s most glamorous people, who have come to Monte Carlo to witness the Grand Prix—and perhaps even participate in it. Now, they join you in taking the weekend across the finish line in high style.
Indulge in an exquisite meal, sip unlimited Dom Perignon champagne or the cocktail of your choice, and dance to the hip beats of the latest music. This is not a quiet evening out. Rather, this is an electric night, both literally in the sleek, glowing décor of the Amber Lounge and figuratively in the celebratory energy of the high-roller guests and the pumping music.
The party will continue late into the night; actually, until 6:00 in the morning. However you have the option to step into your awaiting transportation and return to the pier at your leisure during the night or early morning. Indeed, this Amber Lounge after-race party is a once-in-a-lifetime VIP event, one that very few have the opportunity to join.
Meeting your host at the tender landing, you will be escorted a short distance by foot to your Zodiac inflatable boat. Avoiding the crowded streets, take to the water and proceed directly to the paddock team area.
Shoulder-to-shoulder with either Team Ferrari or Team Pirelli, you will enjoy a full day of activities, accompanied by your local host, so you won’t miss a moment.
You may enjoy a walk along the pit lane (at dedicated times), listen in on driver communications, and observe the cars during their final preparations. You may even have the opportunity to see one of the teams practice their pit-stop routines or catch a glimpse behind the scenes in a Grand Prix garage. Your exciting day is further enhanced with breakfast, a gourmet lunch, and open bar.
During the Driver Parade, you will be granted access to a private stand and hospitality area with champagne bar. Some say from your up close viewing position, you can see the emotions on the drivers faces and you can feel the excitement of the fans as they look on from the stands above. Indeed, there is hardly a better way to celebrate the excitement of the glamorous tradition of Grand Prix racing, a Monaco tradition since 1929.
The checkered flag waving on a long and thrilling day of Formula One racing, return to the tender landing by Zodiac at your leisure and then to your Crystal ship.
The 12-day Crystal Cruise voyage gives more than Formula One Racing too with a wide sampling of the Mediterranean’s most popular destinations, including Mykonos, Santorini, Sorrento, Corsica, and Florence, in addition to overnights in Istanbul and Barcelona at voyage’s start and end. Until October 31, all-inclusive “Book Now” cruise-only fares start at $4,690 per person, double occupancy.
Flickr photos by Nick J Webb
Here is some great footage of the first ever Monte Carlo Grand Prix in 1929