Are you obsessed with Downton Abbey, the British drama about an Earl, his family, their house servants, their lives, life challenges and loves during the early 1900s? Do you close your eyes and picture yourself moseying through the lavish Edwardian mansion and park nestled in the lush North Yorkshire landscape? If you answered yes, then you need to know about a very special land program presented by Crystal Cruises.
On July 8th 2015, the Crystal Symphony will set sail from Reykjavik, Iceland, on an 18-night North Cape and Arctic Circle voyage, which concludes in Dover, England. Offered as a post cruise land package, guests will have the chance to enjoy a two- night “English Countryside & Highclere Castle” that takes guests to the sites and set of this popular PBS television series!
Guests begin their tour with a visit to Berkshire’s Basildon Park, which is used as the Grantham family’s London house. There is a stop at the Swan Inn, the infamous spot where Lady Sybil and Branson the chauffer elope, and a lovely lunch with period-costumed hosts at Byfleet Manor, known as the Dowager Countess’ home.
There will be plenty for guests to see and do in Bampton, a village filled with locations that double as the Crawleys’ home, the hospital and the church where Lady Edith was jilted at the altar. At night, tour participants will stay in an authentic English manor house, aka the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, boasting luxurious amenities amid its age-old setting.
The highlight of the tour is the visit to Highclere Castle in Hampshire, arriving just like visitors on the show, in vintage 1920’s chauffeur-driven automobiles! There, Crystal passengers will be the guests of honor at a private champagne reception and tour of the estate, including numerous rooms made famous on the series, such as the library and drawing room.
This two- night “English Countryside & Highclere Castle” is exclusive to Crystal cruisers. There is no other way for Downton fans to step back in time for a taste of how life might have been in England if they lived alongside the Grantham family."