Crystal Cruises Ventures To Middle Earth With New Shore Excursion

Crystal Cruises is offering fans of the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy sailing onboard Crystal Symphony a chance to experience the charms of Middle Earth. The luxury cruise line has announced a duo of exclusive shore excursions to the film set of The Hobbit when the 922-guest ship calls at Tauranga and Christchurch in December 2012 as part of the “Southern Summer Holiday” voyage and January 2013 during its “Seas of the Southern Cross” sailing.


Exclusive Evening in Middle Earth: The Hobbiton Movie Set After Hours

The excursion begins with a private, after-hours guided tour of Hobbiton, which has been rebuilt in 2011 for The Hobbit prequel. Guests will learn about the creation of the set as they enter the tiny abodes of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, stroll the country paths or cross the Brandywine Bridge. A traditional Kiwi barbecue awaits at the local Green Dragon Inn, accompanied by local wines and beers from wait staff dressed as characters from the movies.


Journey to Middle Earth

From Christchurch, guests on this excursion will experience the breathtaking scenery of the Canterbury Plains, Rakaia Gorge, Staveley and stunning Lake Clearwater near New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The highlight is a visit to Mt. Potts station, better known as the hill fort of Edoras in the movies, where movie memorabilia and a picnic-style lunch will be served.


Between both cruises, Crystal Symphony’s oceania season will see the ship visit popular ports in Australia and New Zealand, including Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Napier, Picton, Tauranga and Wellington.


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