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
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.
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.
“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.”
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