As excitement builds around the fifth season of hit drama “Downton Abbey,” we’ve developed a rare opportunity to sample the luxurious life of the show’s Grantham family: the two-night, post-cruise “English Countryside & Highclere Castle” Extended Land Program. As a luxury cruise guest on Crystal Symphony’s 18-day North Cape/Arctic exploration from Reykjavík to London, you’ll have the opportunity for exclusive access to the show’s filming locations, including Downton itself—the real-life Highclere Castle—in Hampshire.
You’ll arrive at the castle in chauffeured, vintage 1920s automobiles. There, you’ll be a guest 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.
Leading up to the castle, you’ll visit Berkshire’s Basildon Park, which is used as the Grantham family’s London house; Swan Inn, where Lady Sybil and Branson elope; Byfleet Manor, known as the Dowager Countess’ home, for lunch Downton-style with period-costumed hosts; and 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, you’ll sleep in an authentic English manor house that has been transformed into the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, boasting the most luxurious of modern amenities amid a centuries-old setting.
The “White Sea Exploration” cruise, which departs July 8, 2015, commemorates our 25th anniversary of sailing, with special receptions and events hosted by Chairman Nobuyoshi “Nōb” Kuzuya.