Just this weekend, Crystal Cruises announced a gargantuan expansion that will include three new Crystal Exclusive Class cruise ships and three new travel brands: Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Luxury Air. Over the next three years, Crystal is set to redefine not only luxury cruising but luxury travel under the leadership of president and CEO Edie Rodriguez and Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.
Rodriguez said, “we continue to think bigger, aiming to create unparalleled luxury experiences and adventures for our loyal and new guests, who – like Crystal – continue to seek broader horizons and new perspectives on the world. We are ecstatic to continue pioneering new areas of luxury travel. Crystal’s newly expanded fleet will truly be travelers’ passport to virtually the entire world.”
December 23, 2015: Crystal Yacht Cruises
The Crystal expansion will begin late this year with Crystal Yacht Cruises and the 62-guest, 3,000-ton Crystal Esprit luxury yacht. Scheduled to be delivered to Crystal from new parent company Genting Hong Kong (GHK) in November, the all-suite vessel will be redesigned to match Crystal style and comfort (rendered here – click on images to enlarge). Featured expedition equipment will include a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger pontoon boats, a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender, water skis, wake boards, kayaks, personal watercraft and fishing, scuba and snorkel gear.
The Crystal Esprit will first set sail on December 23, 2015 in the Seychelles Islands. The yacht will frequent warm-water regions with seven-day itineraries, and 2016-early 2018 Seychelles Islands, Dubai and Adriatic Coast courses are listed by the cruise line below:
- Seychelles Islands – Mahé, Victoria; St. Anne Island, La Passe, la Digue; Baie Ste. Anne, Praslin; Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island; Anse Saint Jose, Curieuse Island; Cousin Island; Aride; Big Sister Island; and Desroches Island)
- Dubai – Khasab and Muscat, Oman; Doha, Qatar; Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi, UAB)
- Venice, Italy/Dubrovnik, Croatia – Rovinj, Sibenik, Trogir, Vis, Hvar, and Korcula, Croatia
- Dubrovnik, Croatia/Venice, Italy – Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Zadar, and Opatija, Croatia; and Piran, Slovenia
- Dubrovnik, Croatia/ Athens, Greece – Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Parga, Itea, Hydra, and Navplion, Greece)
Itineraries are exclusively available to be booked by Crystal Society loyalty members through August 31, 2015. All-inclusive fares begin at $2,690 per person for a four-day, roundtrip Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles itinerary in 2017.
2017: Crystal River Cruises
A currently undisclosed amount of river vessels will set sail as Crystal River Cruises beginning in the spring of 2017. Crystal says, “featuring expertly curated itineraries, Crystal River Cruises will offer the hallmarks of the all-inclusive Crystal experience – six-star service, world-class dining, and enriching shore-side adventures. Spacious suites with exquisitely designed interiors and elegant public rooms will punctuate Crystal’s entry into worldwide river cruising.”
2017: Crystal Luxury Air
Most unexpectedly, Crystal will take to the skies with Crystal Luxury Air and its very own Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2017. The aircraft, which normally accommodates 300 people, will be outfitted with only 60 fully-reclining business class seats, luxuriously transporting guests on approximately 28-day itineraries around the globe. Routes will feature 10-12 remote destinations, accommodations at fine hotels and resorts, cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs and impressive cultural entertainment.
Late 2018: Crystal Exclusive Class Cruise Ships
In 2018, Crystal will expand its bread-and-butter ocean cruising fleet with the first of three new Crystal Exclusive Class luxury ships, constructed by Lloyd Werft in Germany as polar ice class vessels. Each new 100,000-ton ship will carry 1,000 guests (a capacity comparable to the existing Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity) pampered on by 1,000 crew members, creating a cherished one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio.
“With an impressive 100 tons of space per guest, the average space ratio for luxury cruise ships being 60 tons per person, our new ships’ guest-to-space rations will be vast in comparison to past, current and under-construction luxury ships, reaching all corners of the world safely, smoothly and in the utmost style and comfort,” said Rodriguez.
The all-suite, all balcony cruise ships will be the first ever expedition-ready vessels of this size to feature full-scale luxury accommodations. Private suites will measure 400 square feet minimum in size, almost twice as much as on other luxury vessels, with one foot heightened 8 foot tall ceilings on all decks. Other features will highlight, according to the cruise line, “the art and expertise of Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs” and impressively include submarines, helicopters and pontoon boats.
Taking accommodations one step farther will be Crystal Residences, allowing guests to live onboard in 48 homes perched on the top deck. Crystal says they will come complete with a “private restaurant, reception and facilities, and much higher ceilings (9 feet) than residences on any other cruise ships or yachts; and equal to most land apartments. Residences will start at 600 square feet and go to more than 4,000 square feet of interior living area, which will be the largest on the high seas.”
Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, visit Crystal Cruises‘ website here.
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: CRYSTAL CRUISES