Listen up, guys. Crystal Cruises is currently offering one of the coolest movie-related shore excursions ever: dinner on the "Hobbiton" set in Tauranga, New Zealand. The set was used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as the upcoming prequel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The movie makes its debut in the United States on December 14.
Tauranga, on North Island, is a popular cruise port on the Bay of Plenty. Visitors head here for the beaches, Maori cultural tours, art galleries, museums, and fine dining paired with New Zealand wines.
Crystal Cruises passengers will have the unique chance to play make-believe in the fantasy world created by J.R.R. Tolkien and brought to life in Tauranga by The Hobbit's movie crew. These offbeat excursions are offered on the December 20 "Southern Summer Holiday" and the January 29 "Asia Pacific Adventure" voyages aboard Crystal Symphony.
The event will include a private, after-hours guided tour of the village movie set. Guides re-tell a captivating narrative that explains how the movie was filmed and the massive undertaking of building "Middle Earth" in New Zealand.
An old-fashioned "kiwi" barbeque, featuring local wines and beer, caps off the tour. The wait staff will even don Lord of the Rings costumes to put everyone in the spirit.
Crystal's vice president of Land & Port Operations, John Stoll, is proud to bring Middle Earth to travelers: "This is an extraordinarily timely opportunity for Crystal guest to be transported to place that many fantasy-fiction genre fans, movie buffs, as well as wine and foodies, and off-the-beaten path travelers from around the globe can only dream of visiting."
The Hobbiton dinner and village exploration tour costs $265 per person. Cruise fares for the December 20 cruise start at $8,505 per person. Fares for the January 29 cruise begin at $4,480.
Photo credit: Crystal Cruises