Plans are already under way for two 2010 classical music cruises on board MS Europa following the success of the Stella Maris classical music and singing competition on that ship this autumn.
Even before the end of the 2009 Stella Maris cruise on board the Berlitz award winning ship MS Europa and the competition winners names being announced, the ship's owners Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, had commenced planning for the 2010 Stella Maris competition, in response to requests both from guests on board and from those who were unable to get berths as the 2009 event was completely sold out.
But before the 2010 Stella Maris competition, MS Europa will feature another classical music event, one which has been run successfully in previous years, the Ocean Sun Festival. As the name suggests, it will take place in the summer and for 2010 will be a Round UK voyage departing Kiel on 8 September for 15 days.
The Ocean Sun Festival offers a heady mix of classical music, with a string quartet from the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and several guest musicians and singers such as Magdalena Kozena, Gaultier Capucon and Ariel Zuckermann, oppor-tunities to visit historic castles and beautiful gardens in Scotland, the Orkneys, Ireland and Wales, and to add to the party atmosphere, a golf package where golfers can play on seven of the UK and Ireland's most respected golf courses.
Europa guests can visit malt whisky distilleries, a pipes and drum Military tattoo in Edinburgh Castle, Stone Age settlements on Orkney and many other places of interest.
The cruise finishes in Kiel. Cruise only fares start at £4,629 per person, based on double occupancy, with early booking discounts and other price incentives available for early bookers.
For 2010, the Stella Maris 20 day cruise departs Istanbul on 6 November, finishing with an overnight in Dubai before disembarkation at that port. As with the Ocean Sun Festival, in addition to the Stella Maris on board vocal competition, the programme will include many opportunities to visit unique and historic places shoreside.
These will include the ancient towns of Damascus and Sanaa, and evocative destinations including Luxor, the Pyramids and Petra, some as part of the cruise programme, others as optional extras which include a helicopter flight over Dubai City. A full programme of on board lectures by speakers knowledgeable on local histories and cultures are also planned.
Cruise only fares start at £5,779 per person based on double occupancy, again with early booking and other price incentives available for early bookers. Stateroom Upgrade Offer: guests paying the guarantee category 0 price will be upgraded to Category 4 stateroom with a private veranda. You can book through your preferred travel agent.
Both cruises could be enhanced with pre and post stays – Kiel for Hamburg with its magnificent city centre lake and parks, and both Istanbul and Dubai for the wonders both offer. Your agent will plan and book an entire programme for you.
Reproduced with permission from Stowaway magazine