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Theme cruises on Crystal

You may look down your nose at theme parties, but Crystal Cruises has embraced the concept of thematically organized cruises. We’re not talking tacky toga parties or ’50s sock hops. Crystal has planned 26 voyages that focus on topics its sophisticated travelers find interesting.

Crystal has already announced its roster of 2007 theme cruises so you can plan early. Here’s next year’s lineup:

Big band and ballroom dance: You can learn all sorts of dances on the Crystal Serenity’s 10-night transatlantic cruise departing from Lisbon for Miami on November 9.

Cabaret at sea: Join the Mabel Mercer Foundation in celebrating American composers while on a weeklong Mexican Riviera cruise. The Crystal Symphony sails round-trip from Mexico, departing on March 4.

Crystal Comedy Club at sea: Comedians from around the country will make you laugh on this seven-night Caribbean cruise out of Miami. The Crystal Serenity departs on January 5.

Comprehensive Creative Learning Institute: You can take classes in music, art, language, and computers on the Crystal Symphony’s 17-night transpacific cruise sailing from Los Angeles for Hong Kong on March 11.

Film and theater festival: Expand your knowledge of movies and the dramatic arts while you sail from (where else?) London to New York. The Crystal Symphony departs on August 31 for a 14-night transatlantic journey.

Golf: Improve your golf game with clinics from PGA instructors and famous golfers on an 11-night British Isles cruise aboard the Crystal Symphony. The cruise departs from London on August 20.

Jazz: Enjoy jazz performances as you tour the Caribbean. The Crystal Symphony departs from Miami on December 1 for a weeklong cruise.

Mind, body, and spirit: You can improve your wellness with a cruise devoted to yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. You can choose from a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise departing on February 25 or an 11-night Panama Canal cruise departing on November 19.

President’s cruise: Vacation with Crystal’s company president on the Crystal Serenity. The 12-night Canary Islands sailing departs from Rome for Lisbon on October 28.

Smithsonian Journeys: Smithsonian Institution lecturers enlighten guests about the destinations they’re visiting on five separate sailings. You can learn about South America and Africa on the February 14 cruise, China and Japan on March 29, Southeast Asia on April 20, and the Mediterranean on May 25 and October 17.

Tall ships: This cruise features an overnight stay in Stockholm so you can see the 80 tall ships in town for a sailing festival. The 11-night Baltic Sea and Russia cruise aboard the Crystal Symphony departs from Stockholm for Copenhagen on July 29.

Crystal food and wine festival: Chefs and wine experts give lectures and cooking demonstrations on multiple departures. Sail dates are January 12, February 11, April 19, May 1, 17, and 25, August 9, October 6 and 24, and November 4.

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