Crystal River Cruises Unveils Comprehensive New Collection Of Curated Destination Experiences

Line Debuts More Than 225 Excursions Designed To Cater To Travelers’ Personal Tastes In Europe’s Most Beautiful Locales

Crystal River Cruises today announced details of its new collection of destination experiences for voyages along Europe’s Danube, Rhine and Main rivers. By sea, river, land or air, Crystal has redefined the way the world views luxury travel. The world-renowned Crystal Experience – featuring global journeys with Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal AirCruises and Crystal Air – continues to entice the world’s most discerning travelers with incomparable luxury and unparalleled personal service. Crystal will expand its fleet with the upcoming Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel river ships, the Crystal Endeavor expedition yacht and an entirely new class of ocean ships over the next five years.

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises

Debuting in 2018, the newly added offerings focus on authenticity and are tailored to travelers’ individual interests, featuring smaller group sizes and unique details. Nearly 200 enriching excursions are included, with additional pursuits also available at a cost. The shore-side excursions highlight the multi-faceted character of each destination and comprise five types of experiences including:

  • Personal Connections – Those looking to explore the culture of a destination can enjoy a one-of-a-kind tour hosted by local residents, artisans and experts;
  • Tantalizing Gastronomy – Guests can relish in the signature culinary styles and specialties of the destination with a variety of dining and hands-on cooking opportunities;
  • Cultural Discoveries – Guests will enjoy comprehensive insight from expert guides into historical landmarks, museums, iconic sites and architectural marvels;
  • Exhilarating Adventures – Active cruise travelers can participate in a selection of invigorating pursuits that combine historical and cultural experiences;
  • Design Your Time – For a more tailored vacation, guests can choose this option, which features a concierge service that designs unique private tours as well as a menu of customized choices.

“Every detail of the Crystal River Cruises’ curated destination program has been revamped to focus on choices, and offer more intimate, immersive experiences that perfectly suit travelers’ preferences and properly showcase the charm and beauty of the destinations,” says Walter Littlejohn, managing director and vice president of Crystal River Cruises. “While each locale offers its own distinct ‘can’t-miss’ experiences, we recognize that every guest brings his or her own distinct style of exploration, and we strive to cater to that individuality.”Crystal River Cruises-Crystal-Bach-Danube-River

With many destinations offering more than a dozen choices for shore-side discovery, some of the new experiences featured on voyages in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia include:

Nearly 200 Inclusive Adventures including:

  • Immersive culinary experience in the foodie haven of Rotterdam;
  • String & opera performance in a historic Antwerp cathedral;
  • A full day exploring Salzburg from Linz;
  • Horse show & carriage ride at Lázár Equestrian Park;
  • An owner-hosted tasting at Schlagkamp Winery in Cochem;
  • Cycle to Veitshochheim Castle and its Rococo Garden in Wurzburg;
  • Behind-the-scenes tour of Amsterdam’s greenhouses, where the famous tulips are cultivated.

Dozens of Optional Experiences including:

  • Vintage photography adventure in Vukovar;
  • Hands-on instruction in Linzer torte baking;
  • Private home cooking lesson in Kehl;
  • Wine tasting in the renowned cellars of Vienna’s Palais Coburg;
  • Canoe through the romantic canals of Strasbourg;
  • Explore Budapest by Trabant Cars;
  • Hands-on creativity in one of Novi Sad’s last remaining tapestry workshops;
  • Horseback riding through the forests of Novi Sad’s Fruška Gora National Park.

Each river itinerary will also feature inclusive Signature Events – special events that offer rare access and musical performances in iconic landmarks including Vienna’s Belvedere Palace, Linz’s St. Florian Monastery, Rüdesheim’s Monastery Eberbach, and others.

To ensure that every detail of each experience is in line with Crystal’s exacting standards of service, excursion group sizes are limited to no more than 15 guests; for larger groups, guides are available to lead the tours in German, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages upon request. Crystal Collection shore excursions offer guest transport to iconic sites and regions via spacious motor coaches that include free WiFi.

Guests can fully embrace the culture, flavors, history and activities of each destination with the expansive selection offered aboard Crystal Mozart, Crystal Bach, Crystal Mahler, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel. Fares for Crystal River Cruises start at $3,175 per person including Early Booking Savings of up to $1000 per suite.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888.799.2437, or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Join the hundreds of thousands who follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram, and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

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Crystal Cruises Partners With Canadian Expedition Experts, Arctic Kingdom, For Second Northwest Passage Cruise

Following the astounding success and enthusiasm of its first-ever Northwest Passage sailing in 2016, Crystal CruisesCrystal Serenity will again traverse the elusive waterway this August. Aboard the ultra-luxury vessel will be a comprehensive team of Arctic experts from the Canada-based Arctic Kingdom, global leaders in Arctic travel, who will share their knowledge and passion for the region’s unique culture, wildlife and geography with guests onboard, as well as lead discovery expeditions ashore.crystal-cruises

The 32-day voyage departs Anchorage/Seward, Alaska for New York City on August 15, 2017, and sails through some of the most spectacular, remote areas of the previously unpassable polar region. Crystal Serenity‘s 2017 Northwest Passage Explorer will mark the final voyage for a classic Crystal ocean ship to sail through the Arctic region.

The Arctic is like nowhere else on the planet,” says Graham Dickson, Arctic Kingdom president and CEO. “As the top land-based operator in the Arctic, we are excited to be providing exceptional opportunities for Crystal Serenity guests to authentically experience the Arctic – unlike ever before.”

Local Inuit guides, Northerners, marine biologists, archaeologists, expert divers, conservationists, photographers, and wildlife experts round out Arctic Kingdom’s team of expedition leaders and speakers for the epic voyage. Besides the many environmental perspectives of the Arctic, there are several cultural nuances to be explored by Crystal guests during the historic passage with visits to Ulukhaktok, North West Territories; and Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

Polar Bears & Murres

Polar Bears in the Arctic Photo credit: (C)Arctic Kingdom

Partnering with Arctic Kingdom, the leading travel operator in this unique region, further raises the bar on the experience for our guests by offering them expertise from local adventurers,” says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s chairman, CEO, and president. “Planning and collaboration with top experts and authorities is a must to ensure the safety of our guests and crew. We continue to work closely with the United States and Canadian Coast Guards, Transport Canada, and a myriad of federal, state, provincial, territorial and local government agencies.

In addition to carefully crafted Crystal Adventures, the ship’s captain will safely position the ship to take advantage of impromptu “Unexpected Adventures,” supported by Arctic Kingdom, including zodiac outings to view glaciers, kayaking in protected bays, and trekking the tundra with an expert guide, and helicopter flights to view the Arctic landscape from the air, favorable weather conditions permitting. Likewise, expedition teams will be scouting for wildlife including polar bears and whales throughout the voyage. Specialized viewing equipment on board will allow guests to experience incredible viewing from the comfort of the vessel.

Just as it was last year, Crystal Serenity will be accompanied through the Canadian Arctic by an escort vessel, providing enhanced safety and both vessels will use low-Sulphur Marine Gas oil fuel, exceeding environmental regulations. The escort vessel will carry additional safety and environmental protection equipment, as well as personnel specifically trained in its use. In addition, it will serve as a platform for two helicopters for ice reconnaissance and flight seeing, and zodiacs for landings in areas without a port facility. Both vessels will be manned by highly trained crew members and Canadian ice-pilots experienced in all aspects of operating safely in the Canadian Arctic.

Arctic Kingdom is the global leader in land-based travel, custom experiences, and logistics in the Arctic. From scheduled Arctic safaris to private journeys, and logistic support for film & TV productions, Arctic Kingdom has been crafting legendary Arctic adventures for almost 20 years. Unparalleled expertise in Arctic wildlife and habitat, and unmatched access, built through years of experience and deep-rooted relationships with local Inuit communities, allows Arctic Kingdom to provide the most incredible Arctic experiences in safety and comfort. Arctic Kingdom uniquely offers polar bear viewing in every season throughout the year, as well as exclusive opportunities to safely see narwhal, bowhead whales, walrus, and even polar diving. www.arctickingdom.com.

All-inclusive cruise fares start at $21,855 per person and are available for booking by contacting your travel professional or calling 888.799.2437. Crystal’s “Crystal Clear Choices” promotional savings offers additional value for bookings made by March 31, 2017.

Crystal Cruises Announces The World’s Largest Megayacht “Crystal Endeavor”

Brand New Vessel Optimized For Expedition Cruising To Feature Extreme Amenities And “Toys,” Massive Penthouse Suites And Thrilling Global Itineraries

Months after the successful launch of Crystal Yacht Cruises 62-guest Crystal Esprit, and in response to traveler’s feedback and enthusiasm, Crystal Cruises is again upping the ante with the world’s first purpose-built polar class megayacht. Measuring 600 feet (183 meters) long, the 25,000 gross ton new build with 100 guest suites will be the largest and most spacious megayacht afloat.

Crystal Cruises Logo

Crystal Cruises Logo (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

During a special press event at the 2016 annual SeaTrade Cruise Global convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Crystal’s President and CEO Edie Rodriguez announced the introduction of the line’s first-ever expedition megayacht, Crystal Endeavor, which will debut in August of 2018. Named after Captain James Cooks’ research ship “HMS Endeavour,” which discovered Australia and New Zealand nearly 250 years ago – the newly built vessel will be designed for global expedition in Arctic, Antarctic and tropical conditions.

In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, introducing three new classes of cruising – the recently launched Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018), and Crystal Luxury Air (April 2016). Crystal Endeavor voyages will open for booking in late 2016.

With Crystal Esprit, we discovered there are many guests, young and young at heart, who enjoy sports at sea and discovering remote islands, and as the interests and age of luxury travelers increasingly vary, we will continue to expand our collection of luxury travel options,” says Rodriguez. “Luxury means something different to virtually everyone, and we strive to meet and exceed the wishes of the discerning modern luxury traveler. Crystal Endeavor will cater to a particularly daring audience, one who values luxurious comfort and amenities as much as life-changing adventures.”

The Crystal Endeavor

Crystal announces plans for new megayacht, Crystal Endeavor. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The megayacht will be the first purpose-built Polar Code compliant yacht in the world with a PC6 Polar Class designation. As such, Crystal Endeavor will be able to cruise in Polar Regions during the summer and autumn in medium “first year” ice which may include old ice inclusions. She will also be fitted with the state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology, with computer-controlled systems to automatically maintain the ship’s position with its own propellers and thrusters. This will enable the megayacht to float atop coral reefs and other underwater wonders without utilizing anchors, which can damage the terrain or other underwater wonders in waters too deep for anchors.

With the state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology, Crystal Endeavor will cruise in the Arctic; then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of the Americas and Europe to Antarctica during the winter. Along the way, she will visit remote islands in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, which cruise ships seldom call or cannot access. With a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV, used extensively in the offshore industry), expedition cruises will also be organized to see sunken galleons, warships and passenger ships, such as the Titanic at 12,500 feet.

The 200-guest capacity Crystal Endeavor will offer extreme adventures by air, sea and land with a complete range of “toys” which are not commonly found on today’s megayachts, including two helicopters and two landing pads for flightseeing expeditions, as well as two, 7-person submarines, eight electric amphibious zodiacs, jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, fishing facilities, paddle boards, snorkeling and scuba equipment, recompression chamber, dive support tender and a multi-person ATV. To further deliver guest experiences distinct from any other expedition vessels, Crystal Endeavor will be equipped with SEABOBs – the world’s most technically advanced and powerful underwater scooter – that allows you to move gracefully underwater.

The standard guest suites will measure a minimum 400 square feet (including balcony), larger than all current expedition and luxury cruise ships, while the yacht’s two Owner Suites‘ will each boast a whopping 3,122 square feet (1,615ft(2) interior and 1,507ft(2) balcony), making them the largest guest suites of any megayacht afloat. Owner Suites’ guests will enjoy a master bedroom and two guest bedrooms, indoor and outdoor living areas, private conservatory, garden and outdoor Jacuzzi, private spa and gym outfitted with sauna, steam room and treatment room. The Owners Suite can be connected to a penthouse suite (806ft(2)) for a combined square footage of 3,928 feet (2,227ft(2) interior and 1,654ft(2) balcony), – surpassing any current and future build accommodations at sea. Continue reading

Crystal Cruises Announces Plans To Restore America’s Flagship, The SS United States, To A Modern Luxury Cruise Ship

Crystal Signs Exclusive Purchase Option Agreement To Begin Work On Returning The Historic Vessel To Service As The Fastest Cruise Vessel In The World

Already in the midst of the most significant expansion in the company’s celebrated history, Crystal Cruises’ next step in expanding its award-winning fleet is truly an historic endeavor. Together with the SS United States Conservancy, Crystal has announced it will save “America’s Flagship,” the SS United States (Steam Ship United States), and embark on the enormous undertaking of bringing the ship into compliance with the latest standards, and returning her to oceangoing service. During the announcement, made at a press conference at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City, Crystal also committed to covering all costs associated with preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

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SS United States on her sea trials, June 10, 1952. Here she reached her highest recorded speed ever, 38.32 knots (44.1 mph). This is the greatest speed ever achieved by an ocean liner before or since. Photo courtesy of Charles Anderson and the SS United States Conservancy.

The prospect of revitalizing the SS United States and reestablishing her as ‘America’s Flagship’ once again is a thrilling one. It will be a very challenging undertaking, but we are determined to apply the dedication and innovation that has always been the ship’s hallmark,” says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “We are honored to work with the SS United States Conservancy and government agencies in exploring the technical feasibility study so we can ultimately embark on the journey of transforming her into a sophisticated luxury cruise liner for the modern era.

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The SS United States on a cruise to St. Thomas, 1966. The SS United States took 23 cruises during her service career, in addition to 400 round-trip transatlantic crossings.

The epitome of American post-war innovation and design, the SS United States was launched in 1952 and captured the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage – a record to this day that still stands. She remains the largest passenger ship ever designed and built in America. Before her retirement in 1969, the SS United States was the most glamorous and elegant ship in the world, having transported four U.S. presidents, international royalty, many of Hollywood’s “golden era” celebrities, as well as a million passengers. While the ship captivated travelers with its features and elegance, the ship’s origin was equally intriguing. She was designed as part of a top-secret Pentagon program during the Cold War, which stipulated it could be quickly converted from a luxury liner into a naval troopship in the event of a war, carrying 15,000 troops with a 240,000 shaft horsepower propulsion plant capable of traveling 10,000 nautical miles – almost half way around the globe – without refueling.

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The SS United States Today: The SS United States’ mighty funnels as seen from her after decks. Courtesy of the SS United States Conservancy

Crystal’s ambitious vision for the SS United States will ensure our nation’s flagship is once again a global ambassador for the highest standards of American innovation, quality and design,” said Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy and granddaughter of the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs. “We are thrilled that the SS United States is now poised to make a triumphant return to sea and that the ship’s historical legacy will continue to intrigue and inspire a new generation.”

SS United States will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities.

Artist Rendering: SS United States will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities.

In order to meet modern demands and be in full regulatory compliance, the SS United States will have to be extensively re-built to meet over 60 years of new maritime rules and shipbuilding practices. The modern United States by Crystal Cruises will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 luxurious suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities that are true to the ship’s storied history. Features of the original SS United States such as the Promenade and Navajo Lounge will be retained, while new engines and sophisticated marine technology will be installed to maintain her title as the fastest cruise vessel in the world.

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Artist Rendering: Crystal will examine new itineraries for the 60,000-gross-ton United States by Crystal Cruises including traditional transatlantic voyages from NYC and other key U.S. ports, plus international voyages.

Adds Rodriguez: “It is truly a privilege for the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line to be entrusted with the opportunity of restoring a ship that served as a symbol of patriotism and maritime supremacy and bring her into the modern day, while also giving guests a taste of a bygone era of luxury travel.” Continue reading

Crystal Launches New ‘All Exclusive’ Brand Campaign And Announces Private Charter Air Service

Aboard the newly christened Crystal Esprit, Crystal Cruises‘ ultra-luxury yacht, CEO and President Edie Rodriguez unveiled to special guests and distinguished travel partners the line’s new brand campaign – All Exclusive(TM) – heralding the debut of the new Crystal as the company embarks on the most significant brand expansion in luxury travel and hospitality in its history

All Exclusive Advertising Campaign (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

All Exclusive Advertising Campaign (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

In addition to sharing Crystal’s new advertising campaign, Rodriguez announced the company’s plan to expand Crystal Luxury Air that currently includes a Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the addition of two ultra-long-range aircrafts in an elegant ACJ319 jet and a Bombardier Global Express XRS.

A play on the all inclusive platform the line adopted in 2013, which offers travelers a world-class luxury vacation that includes fine wines and spirits, pre-paid gratuities and enriching onboard experiences, Crystal’s All Exclusive(TM) embodies the world’s most luxurious travel portfolio. The campaign highlights a revolutionary collection of experiences that go far beyond all inclusive luxury to offer the most elegant journeys around the globe – by ocean, yacht, river and air.

“In a single phrase, ‘All Exclusive‘ takes the common industry term of ‘all inclusive’ and reshapes it into something bigger, bolder and unprecedented, where all inclusive is all exclusive,” said Rodriguez. “Since my arrival at Crystal, it has been my vision to grow this brand into something even more magical. Today, we are reinventing travel in a class all by itself, and All Exclusive is the perfect representation of that. Whether it is by ocean, river or air, everything we do is designed to take our guests to a new level of luxury, service and adventure.

Crystal's All Exclusive(TM) (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal’s All Exclusive(TM) (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The comprehensive, 360-degree brand campaign roll-out will encompass all elements of Crystal’s marketing and sales – advertising, brochures, website, direct mail and more. Leveraging high-end, stunning and stylish photography to evoke the feelings and sensations unique to the award-winning Crystal Experience, the imagery portrays a dreamlike state where imaginations are brought to life, where anything you want in travel is available to you, any time, all the time, creating the memories of a lifetime.

Crystal’s private charter jet service, which takes flight in March 2016, will provide the luxury line’s superior guest service, catering to corporate executives, small groups and discerning travelers with a preference for flexible and individual travel. In addition to doubling the initial air projections with the expanded aircraft fleet, Crystal will work with the Registry of Aruba in developing and securing an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). This will pave the way for Crystal Luxury Air to launch international operations.

The twin-aisle BBJ B777-200LR will be redesigned to accommodate just 88 guests with flat-bed first class seats; a beautifully appointed lounge and bar; and offer 14- and 28-day around-the-world and international itineraries, beginning in 2017.

The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which typically seats up to 300 passengers, will be redesigned to accommodate just 52 guests, and boast the premium luxury that discerning global travelers have come to expect from Crystal, including copious amounts of guest space, plush amenities and Crystal’s world-class service and crew. Trips will include accommodations at the world’s most luxurious hotels, the finest Michelin star-level cuisine prepared by celebrated chefs and fabulous local cultural entertainment. Additionally, the aircrafts can be arranged for special charters.

The new planes will service private charters and transport guests to their Crystal destinations for ocean, river or yacht voyages from any point in the United States to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

The ACJ319 jet will accommodate just 30 travelers in the utmost luxury, including 16 lay-flat seats, and beginning summer 2016 it will transport guests to their desired Crystal destination, including to ocean, river and yacht voyages.

Recognized in the private jet industry as the epitome of luxury and comfort, the Bombardier Global Express XRS will feature a spacious two-cabin configuration, accommodating up to 13 guests, four executive wide club seats with foldout tables, a four-place conference space opposite a single seat workstation and cabinet, laptop imagery on cabin monitors, surround sound, high temperature oven and an aft entertainment cabin with a 31.5 inch LCD.

With our vast choice of aircrafts, we are confident Crystal Luxury Air will deliver the fast and hassle-free requirements our guests and discerning travelers have been wanting with global air travel,” said Rodriguez.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Crystal Esprit Christened In The Seychelles, Ready To Set Sail

Luxury Yacht Launches Crystal Cruises’ Next Chapter

New Ultra-Luxury Yacht Will Offer Extensive Roster Of Combinable Mediterranean Itineraries In Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Slovenia And Cyprus

On December 20, 2015 Crystal Esprit was christened in an elegant ceremony at Eden Island Marina in Mahe, Victoria, Seychelles.

On December 20, 2015 Crystal Esprit was christened in an elegant ceremony at Eden Island Marina in Mahe, Victoria, Seychelles.

Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, officially welcomed Crystal Esprit to its fleet of ultra-luxury vessels Sunday, as the sleek yacht was christened in an elegant ceremony held at Eden Island Marina in Mahe, Victoria, Seychelles. Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez, welcomed a distinguished audience of local dignitaries, yacht guests, travel partners and professionals and executives from the line’s new parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK), for a day of celebration, as Crystal Esprit marks the beginning of one of the most significant brand expansions in luxury travel and hospitality history.

Left to Right Crystal Chairman, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Crystal Esprit Captain, Nenad Willheim, Crystal Esprit Godmother, Lady Gaenor Anne Meakes; Crystal President & CEO, Edie Rodriguez; Crystal Cruises COO Thomas Mazloum; Special Advisor, Colin Au.

Left to Right Crystal Chairman, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Crystal Esprit Captain, Nenad Willheim, Crystal Esprit Godmother, Lady Gaenor Anne Meakes; Crystal President & CEO, Edie Rodriguez; Crystal Cruises COO Thomas Mazloum; Special Advisor, Colin Au.

On hand to christen Crystal Esprit was the yacht’s godmother, Lady Gaenor Anne Meakes, fiancee of Mark Richards, one of the world’s most awarded and recognized yachtsmen. Richards serves as chief executive of Grand Banks Yachts, based in Australia, and is an eight-time champion skipper of the 628-mile Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. Lady Meakes christened the yacht with the traditional breaking of Champagne against the hull – specifically a bottle of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut, 2004. The evening culminated with an elaborate fireworks display at sea.

To say today is a special day is an understatement,” said Rodriguez. “Since joining Crystal just over two years ago, a personal goal of mine has been to see Crystal realize the next step in continuing to pioneer luxury travel and hospitality; and today I am seeing that dream fulfilled.” She went on to personally thank GHK Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, for his and his company’s support of her vision for Crystal’s future.

Just months after its idyllic maiden voyage through the Seychelles, Crystal Yacht Cruises’ Crystal Esprit will spend the spring, summer and fall of 2016 cruising some of the Adriatic Coast’s most coveted locales. Each of the seven-day voyages aboard the 62-guest yacht can be combined with the following one to create expanded vacations without repeating ports. From the end of March through October of 2016, more than 30 itineraries will cruise to destinations, many of which are only accessible by smaller vessels, captivating guests with the destination’s beauty, charm and historical significance.

The launch of Crystal Esprit marks the beginning of one of the most significant brand expansions in luxury travel and hospitality history.

The launch of Crystal Esprit marks the beginning of one of the most significant brand expansions in luxury travel and hospitality history.

Crystal Esprit’s Mediterranean and Adriatic Coast voyages reflect the yacht itself – sailing in a region that has long been beloved by Crystal guests and travelers the world over, but also exploring destinations in an entirely new way,” says Rodriguez. “These itineraries perfectly blend some of Western Europe’s most famously bustling cities with other, more remote and quaint spots.”

The all-suite super-yacht caters to just 62 guests, featuring 31 luxurious yacht suites, all equipped with high-end amenities and butler service.

The all-suite super-yacht caters to just 62 guests, featuring 31 luxurious yacht suites, all equipped with high-end amenities and butler service.

With a focus on intimate access and active experiences, the sailings will offer new perspectives on currently favored destinations visited by the line’s ocean-going ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. All of the itineraries have been carefully crafted to heavily explore several destinations within one or two countries, allowing guests a more immersive cultural experience. Some of the yacht’s Mediterranean locales include:

Piran, Slovenia – Set at the very tip of the Slovenian peninsula, which is the heart of what is affectionately known as the world’s outdoor playground, but also boasting a beautifully-preserved historic Old Town. Here, Crystal guests can enjoy the bounty of natural adventures and meandering walkways between seafood restaurants.

Kotor, Montenegro – A tradition-rich town that blends imposing walled fortresses with welcoming piazzas. Set at the base of a dramatically sloped mountain, Kotor is loved by history buffs and travelers with a taste for striking architecture and rich cuisine. The spectacular Kotor Fjord that surrounds the destination is, in itself, a “must see” for travelers.

Limassol, Cyprus – Truly a playground for virtually every type of traveler, with its storied past (look for Byzantine castles, Venetian walls and conflicting Greek and Turkish influences); outdoor escapes (with rugged landscapes that beckon hikers and explorers and waters that scuba divers find irresistible); and a vast menu of foods that reflect the many cultural influences on the island.

Kaş, Turkey – Where divers will find more than exotic sea life, but also centuries-old shipwrecks to explore in the famously inviting waters. Besides the plethora of outdoor adventures for which Kaş is ideal, the town is also populated with ancient walls, theaters and rock tombs that help tell its fabled history. Continue reading

Travel News: Crystal Serenity 2017 Voyages Reposition To North & South America

Luxury Line To Introduce New Roster Of Luxury Itineraries For Award-Winning Crystal Serenity

Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, announced today that it will reposition one of its luxury ocean vessels in 2017, unveiling an entirely new lineup of itineraries. Following the 2017 “Southern Celebración” World Cruise round-trip from Miami, Crystal Serenity will sail throughout North America for the remainder of the year, offering routes along the east and west coasts, through Alaska, New England and Eastern Canada, as well as the eastern seaboard into the Caribbean. Historically, Crystal Serenity has spent the majority of her 12 years at sea cruising the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Black Sea but the line’s tremendous expansion plans afforded an opportunity for change.

Crystal Serenity off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Serenity off the coast of the Hawaiian Islands (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal’s newest vessel, luxury yacht Crystal Esprit, as well as its upcoming five luxury river yachts, will focus primarily in the waters of the Mediterranean region nearly year-round. Crystal Esprit will sail to and from long favored cities such as Venice, Dubrovnik and Athens, with calls to lesser explored gems only accessible by yacht. Likewise, the river yachts will grace the waterways of Europe include the Rhine, Seine, Danube, Main, Garonne, and Dordogne Rivers, visiting charming ports throughout Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, and others.

Crystal Cruises will be celebrating 25 years of sailing in 2015 with multiple theme cruises bringing back former Crystal captains, as well as current top executives. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises will be celebrating 25 years of sailing in 2015 with multiple theme cruises bringing back former Crystal captains, as well as current top executives. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Serenity’s new roster of ultra-luxury cruises includes a repositioning voyage from Miami to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal; convenient seven-day explorations of California’s coastline; a 14-day intensive Mexico itinerary; a 16-day route through the Hawaiian Islands; seven-, 9- and 10-day cruises through the ports and glaciers of Alaska and British Columbia; seven- and 10-day itineraries through the charming ports of New England and Eastern Canada; and warm-weather fall and winter cruises along the Southern East Coast into the Caribbean.

Bookings for the newly unveiled 2017 Crystal Serenity voyages will be available starting December 31, 2015, with “Book Now” fares starting at $2,275 per person through February 29, 2016.