Monday, November 29, 2010

Captiva Cruises presents Christmas Star cruise for holiday season

More than two thousand years ago, as the beloved Bible story goes, a star appeared in the night sky that was said to have heralded the birth of Jesus Christ, King of the Jews. Centuries later, holiday iconography still revolves heavily around the symbol of the Christmas star, though we usually find it perched atop an evergreen strung with lights and ornaments.

But this year, Captiva Cruises invites passengers to explore the mystery behind the Star of Bethlehem with a special “Christmas Star Astronomy Cruise,” departing Saturday, Nov. 27; Friday, Dec. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. from McCarthy’s Marina. 

“A lot of planetariums across the country do special programs this time of year about the Star of Bethlehem and this year, Captiva Cruises is offering the Christmas Star Astronomy Cruise in conjunction with the Captiva Holiday Village,” said Richard Finkel of Captiva Cruises. 

“It will be a fun and entertaining cruise. In particular we’ll ponder the Star of Bethlehem, also known as the Christmas Star, and we’ll label some of the constellations and planets and other features of the night sky,” Finkel said.

And though passengers won’t be traveling like the Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem, Finkel said a night on the water underneath the stars will be the perfect backdrop to discuss — and discover more about — this seasonal subject. 

“We’ll explore Biblical accounts and astronomical accounts behind the mystery of the Christmas Star, including theories as to what the star really was and what people actually saw those thousands of years ago. We’ll also discuss the origin of Christmas and winter solstice celebrations around the world.”

Throughout the holiday season, Captiva Cruises will offer many unique cruising opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, including a special Fireworks Cruise tonight, from 5 to 7 p.m., that will take passengers by ’Tween Waters Inn during their annual tree lighting ceremony. The ceremony is the official kickoff of the first annual Captiva Holiday Village, a month-long extravaganza of holiday events, programs and activities. 

Another special cruise available throughout the duration of the Captiva Holiday Village is the Royal Residences Tour, what Finkel calls a “combination of the past and the present” that takes passengers on an architectural tour up and down Roosevelt Channel.

“We’ll talk about the history of the area and we’ll go by the historic ‘Ding’ Darling fish house. Visitors are usually interested in what the houses of Captiva look like,” Finkel said. “They drive down Captiva Drive and a lot of the homes are camouflaged by the landscaping and I think they’re curious about what those hidden homes look like. Some people just have an interest in the architecture.”

Passengers on the Royal Residences Tours will be able to get off the boat and tour some of the homes on the cruise.

Explore these rarely seen Captiva mansions on Sunday Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. By JANE BRICKLEY
For more information or to make a reservations for any of Captiva Cruises’ programs, tours and special holiday events, Captiva Cruises at 472-5300.

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