Celestyal Cruises Postpones Fall and Winter Sailings

Celestyal Cruises Introduces “Authentic Encounters”

Celestyal Cruises, which specializes in voyages to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, has introduced a new small-group shore experience program called “Authentic Encounters.”

These shore excursions will let guests go deeper into a destination and pursue personal interests such as food and wine; art and archaeology; culture; and active adventure pursuits. The shore excursions range in size from two to 20 participants and are priced from $84 per guest.

“Today’s traveler is looking for more immersive and experiential vacation options,” said Leslie Peden, chief commercial officer for Celestyal. “We have reimagined our shore excursion program with this in mind and have created a bespoke destination-rich program exclusively for smaller groups. This allows us to include more interactive experiences such as art-making, cooking and adventure activities. As Greece is Celestyal’s hometown, and we’ve been sailing to Turkey on an ongoing basis longer than any other cruise line, we are uniquely qualified to offer such deep destination enriching experiences that allow for our guests to make memories of a lifetime.”

In Rhodes, Celestyal is offering a hands-on pottery-making experience in a place where pottery has played a significant role in early Greek history and culture. The ancient Greeks used ceramic vessels in every aspect of their daily lives – for storage, carrying, mixing, serving, and drinking, and as cosmetic and perfume containers.

Celestyal offers a pottery-making experience in Rhodes. (Photo courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

At the Bonis Ceramic Factory guests will learn out about the various techniques in pottery making, and following a demonstration from a craftsman, guests can make their own ceramic item and have it shipped home.

Adventure-seekers can explore the coastline of the volcanic island of Milos on a guided kayaking excursion. Paddlers can see breath-taking rock formations, deep sea inlets, caves and turquoise crystal-clear Aegean waters.

kayaking with Celestyal Cruises
Celestyal Cruises offers kayaking excursions in places such as Milos and Rhodes. (Photo courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

Kayakers also can explore the “pirate coves,” rock formations and sea caves of Rhodes’ spectacular coastline. The excursion is led by expert guides who know the best routes to the tucked away beaches, pointing out the marine life and natural sculptures along the way.

In Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, passengers can learn the art of baklava making from Nadir Gullu, Istanbul’s “master baklavaci.” Turkish Baklava, also known as Fistikli Baklava or pistachio Baklava is a deliciously rich, buttery, sweet dessert made from phyllo dough, finely ground pistachios, butter, and a syrup made from sugar, water and lemon juice.

Turkish baklava
In Istanbul, Celestyal passengers can learn about baklava making from a master. (Photo courtesy of Celestyal Cruises)

The family business opened in 1820, and Nadir’s father moved the factory to Istanbul in 1949. Guests will tour the five-story factory across the water from the Topkapi Palace and watch a demonstration of the baklava-making process by the master himself, followed by the opportunity to join in and help with the production. This will be followed by a sampling of a variety of Turkish pastries and desserts.

This is just a sampling of the many new shore experiences being offered. For more information, click here.

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