Crystal Cruises Hobbit Experience Brings New Adventure To Sea

crystal cruises hobbit experience

Crystal Cruises are always looking for unique experiences to stand out from the crowd and an upcoming New Zealand sailing is no exception. Bringing adventure from the big screen to cruise passengers, Crystal Cruises has a new dinner experience this December, on the “Hobbiton” set used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and new prequel film.

Just days after “The Hobbit

opens worldwide, Crystal Symphony calls in Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand, home of the “Hobbiton” set used for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and new prequel film. On the December 20 sailing, Crystal Symphony guests can have a private, guided tour from Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit holes to the Brandywine Bridge, featuring local wine and beer and a traditional Kiwi barbeque served by wait staff in Lord of the Rings costume.

“We are always looking for unique, boutique ways for our guests to immerse themselves in a world different from their own,” said Crystal’s Vice-President, Land & Port Operations, John Stoll in a Popular Cruising report.A second “Lord of the Rings“-themed adventure is also offered on both cruises, visiting Edoras’ home, Mt. Potts Station and Lodge, and New Zealand’s Southern Alps from Christchurch.

The 16-day Christmas/New Year’s sailing voyage overnights in Auckland before sailing through Tauranga, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, Sydney (double overnight), Melbourne (overnight), and Dusky, Doubtful, and Milford Sounds.

“With ‘The Hobbit’ opening mid-December, this is an extraordinarily timely opportunity for Crystal guests to be transported to a place that many fantasy-fiction genre fans, movie buffs, as well as wine and foodies, and off-the-beaten-path travelers, from around the globe can only dream of visiting,” said Stoll. The Hobbiton dinner and village exploration fee is $265 per person.

Hobbits Take Flight in Air New Zealand's New Safety Video


[Photo credit: Crystal Cruises]

Ten Dublin Literary Attractions

Dublin

Dublin is known worldwide as the capital of Ireland, hosting landmarks such as the Spire of Dublin, Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Along with the UK’s Edinburgh, Melbourne, Australia, Iowa City in the U.S. and others, UNESCO recognizes Dublin as a City of Literature, reflecting the city’s rich and varied history of writers and writing.

As the birthplace of James Joyce and Nobel Literature Prize winners William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, Dublin pays tribute to its literary heritage in a variety of ways. Statues, streets, bridges, pubs and book stores that make for a grand tour that visitors can take in an organized way or on their own.

James Joyce Centre is dedicated to a better understanding of the life and works of James Joyce and has exhibitions, events and workshops.

National Public Library of Ireland has the most comprehensive collection of Irish documentary material in the world. Talks and major exhibitions are hosted throughout the year.

Dublin Yarnspinners invites visitors to listen as the Storytellers of Ireland spin an array of tales, tall and otherwise, from its members on the second Thursday of every month.DublinBewley’s Cafe Theatre has lunchtime drama and one of the city’s most popular venues for evening cabaret, jazz and comedy every day by reservation.

Sweny’s Pharmacy
features daily readings from the works of James Joyce in the original pharmacy where Leopold Bloom bought lemon soap.

Trinity College has an official, student-guided walking tour of the historic campus on a daily, scheduled basis. The 30-minute tours run from mid-May to the end of September.

St Patrick’s Cathedral, where writer/satirist Jonathan Swift was dean from 1713 to 1745 is open every day. Visitors to the cathedral can see his tombstone and epitaph on an escorted tour.

Marsh’s Library was the first public library in Ireland, opening in 1701. With over 25,000 books relating to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the collections covers medicine, law, science, travel and more. Open daily except Tuesday and Sunday.

Dublin City Bike Tours are an easy, eco-friendly way to see the sights with local guides along for the ride. Starting in the lobby of Isaacs’s hostel, the tours run three hours and begin at 10 a.m. daily.

The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is a fun, walking tour led by a team of professional actors who follow the footsteps of literary greats on an evening filled with prose, drama and song as we see in this video:



For more information on these and over 20 other Dublin literary attractions see www.dublincityofliterature.ie

[Flickr photos by infomatique]

Stunning Aerial Shots Of Cities From Around The World

bangkok Experiencing an unknown city is always exciting. That’s the great thing about travel – it allows you to try new things and explore new places. While wandering through a city on the ground is interesting, it’s also worthwhile to see a destination from a unique perspective you normally wouldn’t get to view.

Below, you’ll find beautiful aerial shots taken above some of your favorite cities. The lit up Las Vegas skyline twinkling various colors against a nighttime backdrop, the grey and intimidating buildings of the Big Apple as seen from above and the glossy and luxurious architecture of Dubai from a bird’s-eye view, are some of the stunning shots captured by photographers.

To see some of the best aerial views of cities from around the world, check out the gallery below.

[photos via Big Stock]

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Gorgeous time lapse of Australia’s “Southern Lights”

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to see the Northern Lights, that glorious display of eerie green “smoke” that appears to float above the nighttime sky of some of the furthest northern reaches of our globe. But now I have another sight to add to that list: the Southern Lights. Also know as “Aurora Australis”, it’s the southern hemisphere equivalent of the auroras that occur up north, captured in stunning time-lapse fashion near Melbourne, Australia by photographer Alex Cherney. Give the video above a click and watch as the Milky Way gracefully dances across the southern sky, punctuated by the mesmerizing warm pulses of pink, yellow and orange.

Advanced technology brings mandatory full-body scans to Australia

advanced technologyUsing advanced technology that makes passengers appear as stick figures, mandatory full-body scans are being rolled out at all of Australia’s major airports. Successful trials at Sydney and Melbourne airports last year signal the end of a loophole in legislation that had allowed passengers to request a pat-down instead of having to pass through a metal detector.

“I think the public understands that we live in a world where there are threats to our security and experience shows they want the peace of mind that comes with knowing government is doing all it can,” said Transport Minister Anthony Albanese in the Australian.

The new scanners, part of a $28 million overhaul, tested successfully year on more than 23,000 passengers in trials from August 2-19 in Sydney and September 5-30 in Melbourne.

The Australian government is touting the technology as the most advanced available, with the equipment able to detect metallic and non-metallic items beneath clothing with few radio waves emitted.
Made by L-3 Communications, the same company used in the United States to supply the scanners, the unisex images are discarded after each passenger has been cleared, satisfying privacy concerns.

The proposed Aviation Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 will make it mandatory for any passenger selected, except those with serious medical conditions, to participate in a body scan and will be rolled out at a total of eight international gateway airports including Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns and Gold Coast Perth.



TSA Eliminates Nude Body Scans With New Software



Flickr photo by DWissman