Crystal Cruises Releases 25th Anniversary Worldwide Cruise Atlas For 2015/2016

 Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has released its comprehensive Worldwide Cruise Atlas for all of 2015 and early 2016, detailing the line’s 72 luxury cruises visiting all seven continents aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.  The 175-page brochure, artfully designed to commemorate Crystal’s 25th Anniversary, is also filled with additional cruise planning tools, from info about onboard programming to exquisitely-appointed accommodations.  The “Destination Insider’s Guide” conveniently lists ports of call by country and is newly enhanced to include more local tips for destinations, boldly highlighting UNESCO sites in applicable locales.

The cover of the 2015-early 2016 Crystal Cruises Atlas.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The cover of the 2015-early 2016 Crystal Cruises Atlas. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Details of Experiences of Discovery(®) theme cruises, including hugely popular Wine & Food Festival and Jazz and Ballroom at Sea musically focused cruises, are also included in the comprehensive cruise guide.  The line’s exclusive “Boutique Adventures” and other shore-side highlights are also featured.

Throughout 2015 and into the first quarter of 2016, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity visit 235 ports in 75 countries, with 22 maiden calls in 2015 alone.  2015 highlights include:
— Nine immersive voyages in Asia, each with at least two overnights to explore Myanmar, China, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.  Optional pre- and post-cruise Extended Land Programs take guests further into the destinations.

 — Trans-Atlantic and Asia “Captain’s Cruises” May 4 (Crystal Serenity); April 11 and June 12 (Crystal Symphony), featuring veteran Crystal captains Glenn Edvardsen, Reidulf Maalen and Helge Brudvik, respectively, for special cocktail receptions, Q&A sessions and Crystal Adventures ashore in celebration of Crystal’s Silver Anniversary.
 — July European “Silver Anniversary” Chairman’s and President’s Cruisesrespectively hosted by Crystal’s chairman Nobuyoshi Kuzuya and president Edie Rodriguez, with specially planned celebrations and receptions.
— New routes in Western and Northern European and the Mediterraneanincluding Holy Land and North Cape/White Sea itineraries; both ships sailing the British Isles and more 7-day cruises than ever.
— A dozen round-trip sailings from favorite destinations like New York, London’s port of Dover, Monte Carlo, Singapore, Los Angeles, Montreal, and, for the first time, Copenhagen (for a new Baltic route).
Crystal Symphony‘s first-ever Brazil-focused holiday cruise from San Juan, with a New Year’s Eve overnight in Rio de Janeiro.
— A 77-day Grand Cruise, starting with Crystal Symphony’s December 19 “Brazilian Holiday” voyage, sailing from San Juan to Miami, cruising Antarctica, exploring Chilean fjords and the bustling cities throughout South America; offered in five segments.
— The “Silver Celebration World Cruise,” the line’s 20th World Cruise and first-ever full global circumnavigation, sailing round-trip from Miami on a 108-day journey.
— A new Trans-Atlantic route from Miami to Lisbon, overnight in Bermuda.
Continue reading

Shark Diver, Crocodile Hunter, and Global Yachtswoman Set to Tell Tales on Crystal ‘Extreme Thrill Seekers’ Cruise

NEW THEME ADDS ADVENTURE TO ENRICHMENT ABOARD WORLD CRUISE SEGMENT

Crystal Cruises’ new “EXTREME THRILL SEEKERS” EXPERIENCES OF DISCOVERY THEME CRUISE will see guests hunting crocodiles, encountering “great whites,” and sailing in an around-the-world yacht race—figuratively—via stories from renowned “extreme” experts speaking on board.  During a MARCH 10 SINGAPORE TO CAPE TOWN ULTRA-LUXE WORLD CRUISE segment, CRYSTAL SERENITY will be abuzz with stories of harrowing adventures and the world’s fiercest predators from:

Shark diver CHRIS FALLOWS, who will discuss his thousands of encounters with Great White Sharks around MIDSIZE_SHIP_13South Africa’s Seal Island and other breaching grounds throughout the world, in an effort to not only capture their striking images on camera, but also to educate others about the realities of the creatures and their conservation.

Round-the-World Yachtswoman and adventurer RONA CANT, whose inspiring story takes her from being a middle-aged secretary and single mom to sailing the world’s most difficult yacht race, the BT Global Challenge, as a tremendously novice sailor, to trekking Vancouver’s West Coast Trail (one of the world’s 10 toughest trails) just two days after, and dog-sledding across a 600k Arctic path that had never been traversed before.

“CROCODILE MICK” PITMAN, considered a real-life Crocodile Dundee, who will share his 30+ years of dynamic Aussie Outback experience hunting and capturing crocodiles.

The guest speakers are presented as part of a lineup of enhanced enrichment planned for CRYSTAL’S WORLD CRUISE voyages.  The segment offers travelers a peek into the rugged terrain and exotic coastlines renowned for adventurous endeavors, first visiting Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia as part of a complimentary pre-cruise land program, then sailing from Singapore to Jakarta, Indonesia; Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, South Africa.  Dozens of Crystal Adventures ashore allow guests to explore wild – and not so wild – life in the destinations, from big game safaris to food and wine.

A Crystal waiter in the Crystal Dining Room. (PRNewsFoto-Crystal Cruises)

A Crystal waiter in the Crystal Dining Room. (PRNewsFoto-Crystal Cruises)

Our Experiences of Discovery programming is always riveting and insightful,” says BRET BULLOCK, VICE PRESIDENT OF ENTERTAINMENT.  “But the ‘Extreme Thrill Seekers’ theme goes a step beyond, giving even our most worldly guests a fascinating peek into a life most could never imagine.”

Cruise fares start at $7,520 per person if booked by January 3, with shorter “Getaway” cruise legs also available from Singapore to Mauritius and Mauritius to Cape Town.

U.S. News & World Report Votes Crystal Cruises #1 In Luxury And Romance

ULTRA-LUXE LINE BOASTS INDUSTRY’S MOST WINS IN PUB’S INAUGURAL CRUISE RANKINGS

SHIP ITINERARIES IN EUROPE, THE PACIFIC, AND CARIBBEAN ALSO TOP SURVEY

Crystal Cruises Sommelier

Crystal Cruises Sommelier

Consumer advice and news magazine, U.S. News & World Report, has voted Crystal Cruises #1 in seven categories of its first-ever “Best Cruises” rankings– more than twice the first-place wins of any other line.  Crystal won “Best Luxury Cruise Line” and “Best Line for Romance” in the overall Best Cruise Line categories, and dominated several ship itinerary-based rankings within Region, Traveler Type, and Budget categories, winning “Best Cruises…”: “…for Couples“; “…for Luxury; and “…in the Caribbean,” “…in Europe,” and “…in thePacific,” respectively.  The 2014 survey also praised the company’s “unparalleled customer service,” called out its “distinct voyages around the world,” and gave Crystal Symphony perfect 5’s in its Health and Overall Ratings within several lists.  The complete results, profiling lines that “consistently meet the highest expectations of passengers and critics,” are now available at the magazine’s website, http://travel.usnews.com/cruises.

Crystal_Symphony_Guests_in_Prego0008

Boasting a long-earned reputation for high standards of unbiased methodology in its polls, the now-online publication added cruises to its venerable roster of “Best” schools, hospitals, and more to “help travelers find a cruise that caters to their specific needs.”  The “Best” were chosen based upon expert editors’ evaluations of onboard amenities, customer service, and lodging and dining options; customer satisfaction, including traveler approval MIDSIZE_SHIP_13ratings and reviews; and health ratings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The rankings were then determined by lines’ Overall Score and quality combined with analysis of upcoming itineraries, price class, and reputation among specific traveler types, such as popularity among couples for the “Romance” category.

The magazine does their due diligence.  We appreciate their considering both guest experience and judges’ opinions, and the strict health evaluations by the U.S. Government–an arena in which we consistently earn high scores for cleanliness, maintenance, and health standards,” says Crystal President Edie Bornstein.  “After winning top honors within the travel industry for twenty+ years, it’s extremely gratifying to also be WBCS5recognized as such by, arguably, the top consumer industry surveyor in the world.”

The latest victories cap off a huge winning year for Crystal, with more than 35 awards in 2013, including Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Cruise Line” (20th year), Gold List, and #1 and 2 “Top Cruise Ships in the World” (Midsize); Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” (18 consecutive years) and “World’s Best Service” (Large-ship); and numerous international accolades for the line’s service, spa, dining, entertainment, design, marketing, and overall experience.  As a leader in the luxury hospitality industry, the company has earned more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

Aboard the ultra-chic Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, luxury and romance abound, with offerings such as all-inclusive dining, serving fine wines and Nobu Matsuhisa cuisine at a candlelit table for two; dancing, including lessons, in several intimate venues; a 360-degree promenade deck for handCrystal_Cruises_Waiter30005-in-hand strolling; in-Penthouse couples massage; quiet lounges and comfortable relaxation spaces throughout the ship; completely customizable Crystal Adventures ashore; fresh flowers, chocolates, and champagne delivered to one’s Penthouse by a personal butler; and in-suite breakfast enjoyed in a plush Egyptian Cotton linen bed or in a fresh Frette bathrobe, while enjoying one’s private verandah view.  This fall, the line introduced Crystal Celebrations as a unique way to capture the magic of a milestone with loved ones, from a wedding to big birthday, via custom destination event planning around the world.

Providing worldwide vacations of five to 100+ days that bridge the best of land and sea, itineraries through early 2016 sail to the Mediterranean, Western Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia/Baltic & Russia, North Cape & Arctic Circle, Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, South America, Antarctica, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and a sumptuous annual World Cruise.  Until January 3, all-inclusive “Book Now” fares start at $1,215/person.

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

Endangered Black Rhino Conservation Is Newest ‘Boutique Adventure’ On Crystal African Voyage

Exclusive Excursion Offers Rare Close Encounter with Nearly Extinct Animal

Flying in a helicopter high above South Africa’s lush Maputaland, one can’t help but marvel at the black rhino – classified as “critically endangered” – resting below.  Crystal Cruises’ newest Boutique Adventure promises an ultra-intimate and exclusive, hands-on “Rhino Conservation Experience” in Africa, with tales to tell afterward that could rival any Ernest Hemingway novel.  Offered with Crystal Serenity’s March 10 2014 voyage from Singapore to Cape Town, the excursion makes guests a part of the vital local tracking and protection efforts that are fighting to keep the animal from extinction.  From helping locate rhinoceroses to notching their ears while anesthetized (enabling researchers to identify the animal and aide in the repopulation process), participants will assist the expert anti-poaching team from beginning to end.

Africa's black rhino.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Africa’s black rhino. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

How many times in one’s life do you get to stand right next to a one-ton+ wild animal in Africa, and feel its skin, study its valued horn, and know you’re part of an effort that will hopefully help this creature, and its descendants, survive?” says John Stoll, vice president of land programs.  “This is an experience that, both on a personal level and a larger, macro level, promises to be beyond rewarding and memorable – and that has been created exclusively for Crystal cruisers.”

Crystal’s “Rhino Conservation Experience” is available only to guests also participating in Crystal’s mid-CRYSTAL-CRUISES-LOGO1cruise, off-ship Overland Adventure to the Phinda Private Game ReserveThe Overland Adventure, which departs from Durban and returns to Port Elizabeth, features two nights of luxury accommodations and game drives in search of lions, elephants, buffalo and leopards.  The line’s Boutique Adventure collection, first introduced in January, features shoreside experiences that are extremely limited in participation and not available with any other cruise line.

The 21-day sailing departs Singapore for Jakarta, Indonesia; Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town (overnight), South Africa, with a two-night, inclusive pre-cruise program to Bangkok and Cambodia beginning on March 7.  Cruise-only fares start at $7,520 per person if booked by January 3, 2014.  The “Rhino Conservation Experience” is $1,287 per person. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Crystal Cruises Launches Custom Celebration Services Around The World

ULTRA-LUXURY, INTERNATIONAL PARTY-PLANNING ASSISTANCE IS INDUSTRY FIRST FOR SHIP AND SHORE

AN ELEGANT WEDDING IN THE HILLS OF TUSCANY. A BIRTHDAY BLOWOUT ON A BEACH IN BALI. A RETIREMENT ROAST AT ONE OF CAPE TOWN’S TOP WINERIES. A RENEWAL OF VOWS “ON TOP OF THE WORLD” AT SEA.

With Crystal Cruises’ new Crystal Celebrations Soiree Service, almost anything is possible just about anywhere CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY sail. CRYSTAL CRUISES (http://www.crystalcruises.com) sails to all seven continents, with voyages of 5-108 days in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia/Baltic & Russia, North Cape & Arctic Circle, Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, South America, Antarctica, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and a sumptuous annual World Cruise.

Crystal guests enjoy a private moment on the deck of Crystal Serenity.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal guests enjoy a private moment on the deck of Crystal Serenity. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Already known for an ultra-personalized approach to unforgettable travel experiences, Crystal has teamed with premier global event company Imagine VIP to create a first-of-its-kind bespoke event-planning service – only available with Crystal’s worldwide cruises.

Imagine VIP is a premier global event-planning company, with expertise in facilitating special celebrations with exacting detail. Experienced in creating hundreds of events all over the world, Imagine VIP’s Crystal Celebration consultants will help design and create tailor-made events, fulfilling their promise to impress guests with uniqueness, special touches, and highly personalized service. Continue reading

Hypoallergenic Luxury Accommodations to Debut On Crystal Cruises — An Industry First

No Additional Cost for New Allergy-Friendly Staterooms

According to Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, approx. 1 in 5 Americans–an estimated 50 million–suffer from allergies. 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. (World Health Organization), 6 out of 10 allergy sufferers say allergies impact their sleep quality. (Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America), 48% of them say symptoms interrupt partner’s sleep (Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America), 62% of respondents say they would be willing to pay a premium for an allergy-friendly environment and 81% wanted to be informed by travel agents and reservation agents about the availability of these room at the time of booking (Cornell University Survey 2012)

Crystal Serenity's new Deluxe PURE Staterooms offer soft, allergy-friendly bedding.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Serenity’s new Deluxe PURE Staterooms offer soft, allergy-friendly bedding. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The word hypoallergenic literally means “less allergenic.”  Products labeled hypoallergenic are purportedly less likely to cause an allergic reaction in the person using them.  This is because they are believed to contain fewer allergens, the substances and particles that irritate allergy-sufferers and cause them to have a reaction. It is important to understand however that hypoallergenic is not a medical or scientific term.  The word was essentially invented in a 1953 cosmetics campaign to describe a new line of make-up.  Since that time, various agencies and organizations have tried to regulate the use of the hypoallergenic label, but these attempts have been ruled invalid by US courts.

This is why hypoallergenic does not mean “allergy-free” or “non-allergenic.”  There can be no guarantee that a product will never cause an allergic reaction in every individual.  Rather, hypoallergenic only means that the product is somewhat less likely to cause a reaction compared to other similar products, whether that means a lot or a little. But just because hypoallergenic is a marketing term that may be exploited in some cases doesn’t mean that it has no value.  And just because hypoallergenic products cannot prevent reactions for every person doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider using them.

Allergy sufferers can check their discomfort at the door – of 70 Crystal Serenity doors, that is – when ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises launches the cruise industry’s first hypoallergenic staterooms.  Already renowned for having the highest standards of sanitation and comfort, Crystal is introducing a whole new category of luxury accommodations for the most refreshing night’s sleep possible on the world’s #1 cruise line: Deluxe PURE Staterooms. Crystal’s Deluxe PURE rooms are immediately available for booking.

Imagine returning to your room after a full day ashore in a bustling city like Rome or Bangkok, and then slipping into your purified sanctuary of ultra-clean air and hypoallergenic bedding,” says Jack Anderson, Crystal’s senior vice president, marketing & sales.  “For guests who suffer from allergies, have mild respiratory issues such as asthma, or who simply desire a respite from the air quality in many cities, these staterooms will become a haven of fresh air – for no additional cost.” Continue reading

Crystal’s Expanded 2014 Asia Season: Two Ships, 34 Voyages, Four Maiden Calls And Countless New Highlights

New 2-for-1 Air Promotion and Big Savings with Limited-Time Book Now Fares

Crystal Cruises (www.crystalcruises.com) is vastly expanding its presence in the exotic ports of China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei next year.  With a choice of 34 voyages (vs. just four in 2012), the five- to 29-day luxury Asia cruises offer a host of itinerary firsts and varied options, as well as tremendous added value, including a brand new 2-for-1 airfare bonus for select Crystal Symphony Asia cruises and Book Now bonus savings of up to $2,500 per person for bookings made by August 30, 2013.

CRYSTAL CRUISES HONG KONG: Both ships overnight in Hong Kong on several cruises in 2014, including an exotic holiday voyage round-trip from Bangkok (and in Hong Kong on New Year's Eve!).  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

CRYSTAL CRUISES HONG KONG: Both ships overnight in Hong Kong on several cruises in 2014, including an exotic holiday voyage round-trip from Bangkok (and in Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve!). (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The 2014 Asia collection offers a feast of new choices for guests returning to the region and extraordinary experiences for those visiting for the first time,” says Jack Anderson, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “Bonus air, land and Book Now fare promotions offer savings that are astounding.  Some cruises are priced less than those in 2013, but Book Now prices are only guaranteed through August 30.” Continue reading