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Cruises and Sailing

 March 22, 2006
Seabourn Spirit Explores Arabia & India In November

 Age-old Egyptian tombs and towering fjords; a long-lost city carved from solid stone and futuristic, glass-and-steel towers rising from desert dunes; a Persian-inspired marble dome, glowing in the first rays of the sun, and elephants bathing in a sun-dappled tropical river; these and many other unforgettable sights await travelers on two cruises aboard Seabourn Spirit in November of 2006.

Voted the world's best small cruise ship for the second consecutive year in the most recent Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Poll, the yacht-like ship will depart from Alexandria, Egypt on November 4, 2006 on a 16-day itinerary that begins with a transit of the Suez Canal.

Port calls in Egypt include Sharm el Sheikh on the rugged Sinai Peninsula and Safaga, from where guests can cross the Eastern Desert to the Nile, to visit the temples and tombs of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. Aqaba, Jordan provides access to the amazing rock-cut city of Petra or the majestic wind-carved monoliths of Wadi Rum.

Two calls in Oman explore this little-known nation. At Salalah, on the Arabian Sea, guests can learn the secrets of the ancient Frankincense Trail that linked the Far East with Greece in the classical era. Khasab reveals fortress towns built atop dramatic cliffs, towering over fjords cut deep into the rugged coastline. The ship's arrival at Dubai on November 19 will provide guests an overnight stay that will include a complimentary Exclusively Seabourn evening at a desert Bedouin encampment.

On November 20, a new 16-day cruise will begin with an overnight and a half-day stay in Dubai, a fascinating modern metropolis that has sprung up on the shores of the Persian Gulf. At storied Muscat, Oman, guests can opt for a sortie into desert canyons where streams create tranquil oases among the stony wastes. Mumbai, India provides a glimpse of the grandeur created by the colonial Raj, as well as an opportunity to tour the elaborately-carved and painted Hindu Elephanta Caves.

At Mumbai, guests may also opt for an overland visit to Agra and the Taj Mahal before rejoining the ship at Cochin, India, a surprising destination that hints at its mixed history with Chinese-style fishing nets, Portuguese and Dutch colonial buildings and even an 18th century Jewish synagogue.

At Colombo, Sri Lanka, visits are possible to a sanctuary for endangered Sri Lankan elephants, and to a breathtaking temple at Kandy, which holds the relic of the Buddha's Tooth. Penang, Malaysia, was an important port for the spice trade, and visitors here can view one of the world's largest reclining Buddhas, or survey the town's various ethnic neighborhoods from a privileged perch aboard a quaint trishaw. The cruise ends in Singapore on December 6, 2006.

The cruises comprise a revised itinerary from the voyages originally planned for this period, substituting the visits to the Arabian peninsula and India for cruises ending and beginning in Mombasa, Kenya.