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

Crystal Cruises Recognized As Best Cruise Line By Conde Nast Traveler Readers

Crystal Named No. 1 Midsized Cruise Ship Line for 22nd year in a row

For a record 22nd consecutive year, Crystal Cruises has been named the No. 1 “Midsize Cruise Ship Line” in Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The world’s most awarded luxury cruise line earned a final score of 90.456, which was the highest of all small and midsize cruise lines. Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry, commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.”

Crystal's Six Star Service (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal’s Six Star Service (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards will appear in the November issue of Conde Nast Traveler, available October 28 on newsstands nationwide. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.

We are extremely grateful and honored to once again be named the No. 1 Midsize Cruise Ship Line by the sophisticated readers of Conde Nast Traveler,” said Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO, Crystal Cruises. “This recognition validates the commitment and passion for service our team at sea and on land demonstrate, particularly as it is awarded by a distinguished group who are incredibly savvy about global luxury travel. We look forward to providing them with the same six-star service and luxurious experiences in the next chapter of Crystal experiences in yachting, river, air and ocean.”

Crystal Serenity in Sorrento, Italy

Crystal Serenity in Sorrento, Italy

Crystal continues to enhance its overall guest experience to ensure the highest level of satisfaction that the line is lauded for during the last 25 years. In 2015, Crystal introduced new features on board Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity – themselves frequent recipients of the lauded travel magazine’s “Best” awards – including free Wi-Fi to all guests for 60 minutes per day, new spa services including Medi-Spa, upgrades to the in-room amenities to the well-known ETRO luxury brand, and the introduction of new ports into the line’s versatile and immersive itineraries.

Crystal Serenity Stateroom with Balcony

Crystal Serenity Stateroom with Balcony

In continuing to provide guests with the best luxury experiences, Crystal announced plans to expand beyond its two ships within the next three years with the introduction of Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air, and the Crystal Exclusive Class ocean vessels which will feature Crystal Residences. Continue reading

Crystal Cruises’ New Crystal Yacht Cruises Opens Bookings To All Luxury Travelers

Crystal Esprit’s Warm-Water Itineraries Available For Booking September 1

Starting next month, travelers can book their luxury yachting vacation with Crystal Yacht Cruises, the most recent innovation from the world’s most awarded cruise line. As Crystal Esprit charts new waters with its maiden voyage this winter, Crystal Cruises is unveiling the complete itineraries and fares for 2016 through the beginning of 2018. The routes were first made available for booking exclusively for Crystal Society members-Crystal’s repeat guest program – and will be open to all travelers September 1.
11822461_10152591164582614_7749064190302278685_nThe new routes mark Crystal’s first-ever offering of engrossing itineraries focused in warm waters and reaching remote and coveted locales not easily reached by its larger cruise ships. The extravagantly appointed yacht – outfitted for adventure, both, on board and ashore – is set to call in ports never before visited by Crystal’s award-winning ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.

Crystal Esprit Marina (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Esprit Marina (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

On seven-day itineraries that changes seasonally, Crystal Esprit will take guests to stunning locales including the Seychelles, Adriatic Coast, Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, engaging guests in the destinations. The yacht’s first guests will sail December 23, 2015 on a route round-trip from Mahe/Victoria, Seychelles, with visits to neighboring islands. The yacht’s maiden voyage offers an inclusive post- and pre- cruise New Year’s Eve Extravaganza in Dubai, complete with three- or four-night accommodations at the extraordinary Dubai Taj Hotel and a spectacular fireworks display.

In 2016 through the beginning of 2018, travelers can visit:
Indian Ocean (January-March) – Sailing round-trip from Mahe/Victoria, Seychelles, with optional two- and four-night inclusive Dubai Land Package;
Cosmopolitan Emirates (December) – Sailing round-trip from Dubai, calling on such ports as Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; and Doha, Qatar;
Holy Land (March/April/November) – Sailing from Limassol, Cyprus and Aqaba, Jordan, calling in Haifa, Eilat and Ashdod, Israel;
Mediterranean (April-November) – Sailing various routes from Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Athens, Greece, calling in charming Croatian spots along the Dalmatian Coast and picturesque Greek Isles.

Most of Crystal Esprit‘s seven-day itineraries have been specifically developed and designed to allow travelers to combine two voyages into longer 14-day vacations.428732_559605247394604_201699439_n (1)

The vessel is an extravagantly appointed yacht, delivered to Crystal Cruises by Genting Hong Kong

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)

(GHK), and extensively redesigned to reflect the stylish elegance for which Crystal is renowned. The 62-guest, 3,300-tonnage yacht will offer intimate, exclusive, and fascinating experiences with a boutique ambiance. The all-suite yacht will feature posh, high-end finishes and modern technology, and is outfitted with some decidedly extreme features, like a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender for special boating adventures. Additionally, at their guests’ fingertips are water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, and snorkel equipment..

One of the most compelling and thrilling new elements that Crystal Esprit offers our guests is itineraries filled with destinations they’ve not been able to visit on a large cruise ship before,” says Crystal President & CEO Edie Rodriguez.  “The Crystal yachting experience will take our travelers to locales with the same spectacular beauty and culture, but a more intimate atmosphere.”

Boasting Crystal’s acclaimed all-inclusive amenities, entertainment, fine dining and premium beverages, fares for Crystal Esprit voyages begin at $3,920 per person. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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Crystal Cruises to Expand Luxury Travel in Ocean, River, Yacht and…Air

Exactly 25 years after Crystal Cruises set its course as a leader in luxury cruising with the launch of the first of three ships, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line is charting a new, much more vast, route. Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez and Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay announced Crystal’s plans for the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality.  Over the next three years, Crystal Cruises will introduce new ships – effectively establishing three brand new classes of cruising – as well as its own Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

In their special address to guests aboard the line’s annual President’s Cruise on Crystal Serenity and Chairman’s Cruise on Crystal Symphony respectively, Rodriguez and Tan Sri Lim made clear of new parent company, Genting Hong Kong’s investment in maintaining Crystal’s award-winning reputation and writing a new chapter in the continuing story of Crystal Cruises. The Chairman stated, “Our intent is to make Crystal Cruises the core of what will become the world’s premier luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand portfolio, not only for the immediate Crystal_Cruises_Logo_horzfuture but for years to come.

In her announcement on Crystal Serenity, Rodriguez shared her enthusiasm about the expansion of Crystal Cruises, saying, “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.” She added, “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.

Crystal Yacht Cruises – December 23, 2015

Late this year, Crystal Esprit will embark on its maiden voyage as the first expansion of the Crystal Cruises fleet.  The vessel is an extravagantly appointed yacht, delivered to Crystal Cruises by Genting Hong Kong (GHK), and extensively redesigned to reflect the stylish elegance for which Crystal is renowned.  The 62-guest, 3,000-tonnage yacht will offer intimate, exclusive, and immersive experiences with a boutique ambiance. The all-suite yacht will feature posh, high-end finishes and modern technology, and is outfitted with some decidedly extreme features, like a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender for special boating adventures.  Additionally, at their guests’ fingertips are water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, scuba, and snorkel equipment.

Crystal Esprit (Artist Rendition)

Crystal Esprit (Artist Rendition)

Set for delivery in November 2015, Crystal Esprit marks the debut of the new all-inclusive Crystal Yacht Cruises program, which will sail regional, warm-water itineraries of seven days and offer thrilling experiences on water and ashore.  The first voyage sails December 23, 2015, exploring the Seychelles Islands, followed by an inclusive, post-cruise New Year’s Eve celebration at the Taj Dubai Hotel. Effective immediately for Crystal Society members (the line’s repeat guest loyalty program), 2015 – through early 2018 Crystal Yacht Cruises itineraries are exclusively available for booking through August 31, 2015. (All-inclusive “Book Now” yacht fares start at just $2,690 per person for a four-day, roundtrip Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles itinerary in 2017.)

The Crystal Esprit features a variety of watersports equipment that can be used directly from the marina deck aft. Snorkel or swim in the inviting waters of the Adriatic or Seychelles; water ski and jet ski, or paddle a kayak in the early morning quiet. The Esprit’s activity director will help you plan your day on the water or ashore, with a variety of excursions or suggestions for personal discovery.

The hallmarks of the Crystal Cruises brand – service, space, quality and choices – will continue to thrive on a yacht that offers the best of all inclusive.  Butlers for every room, six-star service and food, unique Crystal Adventures designed for a more intimate, exclusive feeling translating the World’s Best Ocean Cruising to the World’s Best Yacht Experience. Crystal Esprit will redefine Luxury Adventure in some of the most beautiful cruising areas in the world.

One of the appeals of the Crystal Yachting Lifestyle is the unregimented environment, leaving you free to set your own pace, which is the ultimate luxury in itself. You can opt to explore on your own, join an active or cultural excursion with fellow guests, or simply relax on the deck while admiring the views.

This sleek and sophisticated yacht is characterized by Crystal’s unique understanding of luxury and is designed to deliver an exceptional customer experience. The overall atmosphere is classic elegance mixed with modern comfort. Suites feature a refined color palette of bright neutrals that are complemented by a series of soft grays and warm taupes. Natural materials, traditional patterns and subtle navigational cues offer a refined nod to nautical traditions. The textures of rich woods, lavish marbles and natural fabrics combine to create a welcoming environment where guests feel at home. Each suite is is further enriched by thoughtful appointments that accentuates the yacht’s unique interior design while providing superior guest comfort. Every detail has been accounted for – a variety of integrated cabinetry accommodate longer stays; architectural and task lighting can be adjusted on preference; an custom designed bathroom featuring high-end finishes and modern technology enhance guest comfort; and a tranquil master bedroom and lounge area help travelers unwind. (For more detailed information on cabins, amenities, etc., click here.)

For 2016 and 2017, and early 2018, Crystal Esprit routes for the Seychelles Islands, Dubai and Adriatic Coast include:

  • 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)

Crystal River Cruises – 2017

The spring of 2017 brings more growth with Crystal River Cruises. 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.

Crystal Luxury Air – 2017

Also in 2017, Crystal’s brand of Six-Star luxury will soar to new heights with the launch of Crystal Luxury Air, becoming the first in the luxury travel industry to offer extravagant around-the-world trips on the world’s most advanced twin-aisle Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  The plush aircraft, which typically seats 300, will fly 60 guests in fully reclining business class seats to coveted destinations to which major airlines do not offer nonstop service.  Each approximately 28-day itinerary will visit 10-12 remote and/or sought-after locales, with accommodations at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts; cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs inspired by the destination; and world-class cultural entertainment. Continue reading

Crystal Cruises’ Top Brass Of Past And Present Headline 2015 Silver Anniversary Theme Cruises

Luxury Line Celebrates Milestone with Special Parties, Special Guests

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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)

Luxury cruise leader Crystal Cruises announces a celebratory twist for its Experiences of Discovery theme cruises for 2015, when the line will mark its 25th anniversary of cruising.  During six designated sailings – in addition to more than a dozen themed cruises focused on culinary, musical, theatrical, political and athletic pursuits – Crystal guests will be treated to commemorative parties and receptions, where they’ll rub elbows with Crystal’s top leadership.  Of these, four voyages will be Crystal’s first-ever “Captain’s Cruises,” wherein former captains will join Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity again to regale travelers with their Crystal memories.  The four cruises, and hosts, include:

 April 11, Asia (Hong Kong to Tokyo) with Captain Reidulf Maalen, the captain of Crystal’s first ship, the Crystal Harmony, when the company began sailing in 1990.

—  May 4, Southern Trans-Atlantic (Miami to Lisbon) with Captain Glenn Edvardsen, a 21-year Crystal veteran, and the youngest Crystal captain when he joined the line in 1999.

—  June 12, Northern Trans-Atlantic (New York to London) with Captain Helge Brudvik, captain of Crystal Symphony in its inaugural year, retired from Crystal since 2000.

—  December 19, Caribbean/Brazilian Holiday (San Juan to Rio de Janeiro) with Captain John Okland, who just retired in 2012 after 15 years with Crystal.

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’s Experiences of Discovery theme cruises set throughout 2015 also include two Wine & Food Festival voyages in Asia (January 5 and 29) and one in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands (November 13); music-focused programming on two Trans-Atlantic Ballroom at Sea sailings (June 12 and December 11), a Jazz cruise down the Pacific Coast (May 11), and two back-to-back Mediterranean voyages featuring Emerging Artists from the acclaimed Music Center of Los Angeles (May 31 and June 12); plus a Trans-Atlantic Film & Theatre cruise (May 4); and a Golf-themed British Isles sailing (July 25).  Three segments of the 108-day “Silver Celebration” World Cruise also offer an Ocean Views theme, featuring debates and interactive discussion with some of the most knowledgeable world affairs experts of today.

We’re thrilled to welcome some of our most beloved captains back aboard to celebrate this milestone, as they have each played a significant role in our 25-year history of extraordinary worldwide explorations,” says Crystal President and COO Edie Rodriguez.  “Our anniversary theme cruises will be like Crystal family reunions, made even more special with our ship ‘masters’ returning home to celebrate with us.”

In addition to the Captains’ cruises set for the anniversary year, Crystal’s annual President’s and Chairman‘s voyages will also feature added programming and celebrations, hosted by Rodriguez on Crystal Serenity’s 13-day, July 12 Western Europe cruise; and Crystal Chairman Nobuyoshi “Nob” Kuzuya on Crystal Symphony’s 18-day, July 8 North Cape/Arctic Circle cruise.

All-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares for the Experiences of Discovery cruise series start at just $2,810/person, double occupancy, with up to $1,900/person in savings if booked by October 31.

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

Crystal Debuts Female Ambassador Hostesses For 2014 & 2015 Ballroom Dance Themed Ocean Crossings

In an industry first, ever-innovative ultra-luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is introducing Ambassador Hostesses on select cruises, expanding its hugely popular onboard dancing program.  Female counterparts to the line’s Ambassador Hosts – professional dance partners for ladies without one – will debut on three Ballroom at Sea Experiences of Discovery voyages in 2014 and 2015.  Along with eight male dance hosts (double the usual number), the Trans-Atlantic sailings will each feature two Ambassador Hostesses to cha cha, swing, and waltz with solo gentlemen during evening dance sets, live orchestra performances and dance classes in the ships’ posh lounges.  The three voyages set to get guests’ tapping this year and next include:

  • October 5, 2014, Lisbon/Miami, Crystal Symphony (10 days)
  • June 12, 2015, New York/London, Crystal Symphony (16 days)
  • December 11, 2015, Lisbon/Miami, Crystal Serenity (11 days)

“Thanks to the suggestion of one of our popular dance instructors, we tested Ambassador Hostesses on a recent cruise and the response was fantastic,” says Bret Bullock, vice president of entertainment.  “Similar to tennis players who play better when they play with a pro, dance enthusiasts are inspired by partnering with experts who really know the steps and the more advanced nuances.”

Dancing to the orchestra on board Crystal.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Dancing to the orchestra on board Crystal. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises has been featuring Ambassador Hosts on its cruises since the company’s inception, as there are traditionally more women than men seeking dance partners.  While every Crystal cruise boasts at least four Hosts, on select voyages with many more dance sessions, the line adds more when possible.  Hosts also serve as dance partners to guests traveling with spouses or companions who don’t dance, as well as socialize with all guests, join singles dining tables, and accompany group excursions ashore.

Crystal is known for its welcoming atmosphere for solo travelers, with some of the industry’s lowest single supplement fares, assigned seating in the Crystal Dining Room, a singles get-together, and a “Table for Eight” program that joins single cruisers together for dinner in specialty restaurants like Nobu Matsuhisa’s Silk Road and the Sushi Bar.

“A Crystal cruise is so inherently comfortable and luxurious for a single traveler,” adds Bullock. “But no matter how independent one is, one cannot ballroom dance without a partner.”

Until April 30, 2014, all-inclusive “Book Now” fares for the upcoming “Ballroom at Sea” cruises start as low as$2,595 per person.

Crystal Cruises’ award-winning entertainment offerings include a range of venues and performances, from cabaret nightclub to piano bar saloon; acclaimed productions to headline entertainers; and sophisticated enrichment activities to in-room Blu-ray-viewing, for all world travelers.

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

Happy New Year…2015! Prime Hong Kong Berth Puts Crystal Cruises Front-Row for Next Eve Spectacle

Southeast Asia Holiday Sailing is Crystal’s First-Ever Round-Trip from Bangkok

Before the bubbles have settled in this year’s champagne glasses, Crystal Cruises has set party plans to spend next New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong, home of one of the most spectacular Eve bashes on the planet.

From December 30, 2014 through January 1, 2015, Crystal Symphony will be docked at Ocean Terminal in KowloonCRYSTAL-CRUISES-LOGO1 for a bird’s eye view of the famously elaborate countdown celebration and musical pyrotechnics display in Victoria Harbour.  The prime spot also provides the perfect vantage point for viewing the massive skyscrapers specially illuminated for the holidays and the nightly Symphony of Lights – the largest permanent light show in the world.

This is a ‘bucket list’ opportunity for guests to enjoy a truly over-the-top New Year’s, in one of the world’s grandest ports, steeped in exotic traditions and history, while surrounded by the comfort of Crystal’s ultra-luxury handling,” says John Stoll, vice president of land programs.  “For anyone whose New Year’s resolution includes traveling more, this entire itinerary is a great way to commit.”

The “China Sea Holiday Spectacular” Asia cruise boasts several holiday celebrations.  Christmas and Hanukkah will be celebrated with traditional feasts, parties, holiday shows, and religious services amidst Crystal’s lavish seasonal décor.  On New Year’s Eve, besides taking in Hong Kong’s holiday festivities in  luxurious comfort on board, Crystal guests can also enjoy a multi-course gourmet dinner, champagne, live music, and a festive balloon drop.

The 15-day holiday voyage begins December 21 and sails to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City (overnight), Chan May, through Halong Bay, and on to Hanoi’s port of Hongai, and Hong Kong (two nights), conveniently round-trip from Bangkok’s port of Laem Chebang.  All-inclusive fares begin at $7,425/person, with $600/person air allowance if booked by February 28.

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.

Crystal Cruises has 19 Ways to “Getaway” to Asia in 2014

Guests around the jacuzzi on Crystal Symphony

Guests around the jacuzzi on Crystal Symphony

Crystal Cruises (www.crystalcruiese.com) has created 19 new “Crystal Getaways” in Asia and surrounding region for 2014.  Time-strapped travelers now have almost twice as many options to enjoy an ultra-luxe, all-inclusive, exotic cruise in Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Mauritius, Africa, and Australia next year.  The Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages range from five- to ten-days—making them ideal to either enjoy on their own or combine with time ashore.  Carved out from longer sailings, the “Getaways” start as low as $1,520 per person, double occupancy, if booked by January 3’s “Book Now” deadline.

Crystal Symphony Guests in Pool Pods

Crystal Symphony Guests in Pool Pods

Packed with local overnights, the choices include:

5-day: from $1,520

Feb 17: Shanghai (overnight)–Hong Kong (two nights)

Feb 23: Darwin–Komodo I.–Lombok (maiden call)–Bali (two nights)

Mar 5: Bangkok (overnight)–Sihanoukville–Singapore (overnight)

6-day: $2,685

Apr 3: Ho Chi Minh City (overnight)–Chan May–Hong Kong (overnight)

7-day: from $1,585

Feb 10: Tokyo’s port of Yokohama (overnight)–Osaka (overnight)–Nagasaki–Shanghai

Feb 15: Nagasaki–Shanghai (overnight)–Hong Kong (two nights)

Feb 16: Sydney–Cairns (overnight)–cruising the Great Barrier Reef–Darwin

Apr 19: Beijing–Dalian–Shanghai (two nights)–Nagasaki

Dec 7: Bali (overnight)–Semarang–Jakarta–Singapore (overnight)

Dec 14: Singapore–Koh Samui–Sihanoukville–Bangkok (overnight)

 

8-day: from $2,420

Feb 22: Hong Kong (overnight)—Hanoi (overnight)–Chan May–Ho Chi Minh City (overnight)

Feb 28: Bali (overnight)–Surabaya–Semarang–Makassar (maiden call)–Kota Kinabalu

Mar 2: Ho Chi Minh City (overnight)—Bangkok (overnight)—Sihanoukville–Singapore (overnight)

Mar 20: Mauritius—Durban—Port Elizabeth–Cape Town (overnight)

Mar 26: Singapore (overnight)–Bangkok (overnight)–Ho Chi Minh City (overnight)

Apr 19: Beijing–Dalian–Shanghai (two nights)–Nagasaki—Osaka

April 23: Shanghai (overnight)—Nagasaki—Osaka (overnight)—Shimuzu—Tokyo (overnight)

9-day: $4,620

Feb 13: Osaka (overnight)—Nagasaki—Shanghai (overnight)–Hong Kong (two nights)

10-day: $4,180

Mar 10: Singapore (overnight)—Jakarta–Mauritius

Whether craving a warm weather escape in winter, planning a family vacation over school break, or some inspiration and pampering in a region that does both so well, we have a plethora of choices for travelers,” says Crystal President Edie Bornstein.

New “Zensational” Air Allowance With Crystal’s Asia Cruises

Low Single Supplements and Third Berths Add Value to Expanded Asia Season

Ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises announces an airfare allowance of up to $800 on select Asia cruises that enables worldwide guests to fly for less, whether air is purchased through Crystal or independently.  Available in conjunction with “Book Now” savings, the special offer expires January 3, 2014. The air credit is available with eight 12- to 15-day Spring and Fall cruises that depart from Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, Bali and Bangkok, several of which are completely new Crystal itineraries.

Crystal Symphony in Hong Kong.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Symphony in Hong Kong. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Additional value promotions are set for many of the diverse Asia cruises. Depending on the sailing, these special offers include:

Reduced Single Supplements – Guests can enjoy sole occupancy accommodations for only a 10% surcharge, the lowest in the industry.

Kids Sail Free – Enabling junior cruisers (age 17 and under) to sail for free when sharing a third berth accommodation with two adults.

“Book Now” Fares – Offering savings up to $2,500 off the cruise fare for voyages booked by January 3, 2014.

Complimentary Hotel Programs – 3-day inclusive land programs in Beijing and Angkor Wat/Thailand.

Crystal Family Memories – Enabling families/friends to enjoy perks and even free berths for groups.

Fourteen 12-22-day cruises aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are available in China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei in early and late 2014. Cruise fares begin at just $3,165.

Crystal’s itineraries were meticulously crafted to combine a diverse selection of Asian regions that are steeped in history, beauty and culture,” says Edie Bornstein, Crystal’s president.  “For history buffs to foodies to photographers to spa enthusiasts to even shopaholics, Asia provides a veritable feast for the senses.  And, whether traveling solo or with loved ones, with this range of promotions, everyone can find a way to save on a most exotic and luxurious Crystal journey.”

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

Crystal Cruises Wins 20th Year As Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Best Cruise Line

2013 Score is Highest of All Small, Midsize, and Large-Ship Cruise Lines

For a record 20th year, Conde Nast Traveler magazine readers have voted ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises the industry’s “Best Cruise Line” (Midsize).  Crystal’s winning score of 94.4 is the company’s highest since 2004, second highest ever, and highest overall score of all Small, Midsize, and Large-ship cruise lines.  Crystal significantly outranked its luxury peers in

Conde Nast Traveler 2013 Readers' Choice Awards.  (PRNewsFoto/Conde Nast Traveler)

Conde Nast Traveler 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. (PRNewsFoto/Conde Nast Traveler)

almost all the voting categories, including Itineraries, Excursions, Service, Food, Activities/Facilities, and Design.  The line also bested its own previous top scores in the Service and Food categories, and tied its past personal best in Itineraries.  All Readers’ Choice winners and scores are listed at www.cntraveler.com/rca will be featured in the U.S. magazine’s November 2013 issue.

With ground-breaking enhancements to its vacation experience and $120 million invested in redesigns, while retaining the service, choices, and quality for which the line has been known, Crystal’s ratings have consistently climbed in recent years.

To earn this award once is an incredible achievement; to be recognized by discerning travelers for an unprecedented 20 years is astounding,” said Edie Bornstein, Crystal’s new president and chief operating officer, who joined the company today.  “While I have long admired Crystal from afar, it was only when I recently sailed that I fully grasped why this experience receives such consistent accolades.  Every single member of the Crystal team works incredibly hard to give discerning vacationers a Six-Star standard of luxury travel that is unwavering, while leading new developments within cruising.  I want to personally thank all of Crystal’s crew, employees, associates, and guests for their part in this humbling, momentous win, and look forward to leading the company into the next two decades of record-breaking awards.”

The Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are among the most preeminent in travel, honoring the best hotels, airlines, cruise lines, cities, rental car companies, and islands from around the world.  Almost twice as many readers voted this year as last — a record 79,268 — ranking their personal experiences with cruise lines’ Itineraries, Excursions, Service, Food, Activities/Facilities, Staterooms, and Design.

The renowned Crystal Experience has been rated “World’s Best” more than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  The newest “Best” award is but the latest in a string of readers’ choice awards Crystal has won it its size category this year, including Conde Nast Traveler’s #1 and #2 cruise ships, Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Cruise Line and Service and Cruise Critic’s Best Dining, Entertainment, and Public Rooms. Continue reading

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

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

Culinary Superstars To Host Crystal’s Extravagant Ultimate Wine Dinners In Europe

Celebrity Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Winemaking Royalty Bo & Heidi Barrett to Host Once-in-a-Lifetime Vintage Room Menus

In the “ultimate” dinner parties at sea, award-winning Napa Valley vintners Bo and Heidi Barrett and multiple Michelin star-winning Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa are each hosting one of Crystal Cruises2013 Ultimate Vintage Room Dinners, all for the first time ever.  Just 12 to 14 guests (per event) have the opportunity to attend one of the exclusive seven-course, ultra-rare wine-pairing feasts, either while sailing a Mediterranean cruise aboard Crystal Serenity (starting May 18) or the Black Sea aboard Crystal Symphony (departing July 13), respectively.  Held in the ships’ private Vintage Rooms just once or twice a year, the “dinner tab” to attend is $1,000 per guest.

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Hosts will be on-hand to oversee preparations and enlighten guests on their menu choices–

Bo and Heidi Barrett (May 18, Istanbul to Barcelona): Between Bo’s Chateau Montelena–the winery whose 1976 Judgment of Paris Chardonnay win was depicted in the recent film, Bottle Shock–and Heidi’s award-winning “cult” 1992 Screaming Eagle, this Napa couple is largely credited for putting California wines on the map. They will be personally selecting each vintage served for the evening.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (July 13, Rome to Istanbul): The mastermind behind a culinary empire, including Crystal’s Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, will be creating his first-ever “ultimate” meal for Crystal, accompanied by extraordinary rare wine and champagne pairings. Nobu will also hold autograph sessions, cooking classes, and larger omakase dinners throughout the sailing.

“The Ultimate Vintage Room dinners allow us to push the culinary envelope over the top, with each event truly a once-in-a-lifetime affair created just for Crystal guests,” says Toni Neumeister, Vice President, Food and Beverage Operations.  “This year’s dinners may be our most exciting ever, with culinary superstars who tend to be as impossible to get as the wines themselves.”

Both 12-day voyages boast equally exceptional itineraries, with the May 18 sailing overnighting in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix, in addition to overnights in Istanbul and Barcelona and visits to Mykonos, Santorini/Thíra, Sorrento, Bonifacio/Corsica and Florence/Livorno.  The July 13 Black Sea voyage explores Rome/Civitavecchia, Sorrento, Sicily/Taormina, Contanza, Yalta and Sochi, with overnights in Odessa and Istanbul.  When booked by April 30, all-inclusive cruise fares start at $4,790 and $5,510, respectively.  Cruising guests may book the Ultimate Vintage Room by calling the On Board Guest Services department in Crystal’s Los Angeles office.

EXPLORE SEVEN OF EUROPE’S MOST ROMANTIC SUMMER MEDITERRANEAN DESTINATIONS WITH CRYSTAL CRUISES

SOUTHERN EUROPE VOYAGES FILLED WITH CHARMING, DREAMY, PICTURESQUE TOWNS AND VILLAGES

The summer is filled with romance on CRYSTAL CRUISES, with seven ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive Mediterranean cruises that will visit some of the most romantic places in the world. From June 27 to September 2, via the award-winning CRYSTAL SYMPHONY, Crystal’s seven most romantic destinations for couples and singles seeking amour (with someone or someplace!) include:

Seaside dinner tables at Mykonos sunset.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Seaside dinner tables at Mykonos sunset. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

MYKONOS: Feed the flames of love while watching a classic Greek Island sunset over a seaside dinner with flaming saganaki.  (June 27, 9-day cruise from Rome to Istanbul)
TAORMINA: Chic meets antique in this perfectly preserved medieval town, where breathtaking views and romantic alleyways help travelers understand why Sicilians are among the world’s most passionate people. (July 6, 7-day cruise from Istanbul to Rome)
THE TURKISH STRAITS: From the Dardanelles through the Bosporus, view exotic minarets and mansions float by from Crystal’s wide Promenade or from the comfort of your own verandah, with Europe on one side, Asia on the other. (July 13, 12-day cruise from Rome to Istanbul) Continue reading

MASTER CHEF NOBU MATSUHISA TO HOST DINNERS, CLASSES & SAKE TASTINGS ABOARD CRYSTAL SYMPHONY’S 2013 BLACK SEA CRUISE

One of the world’s greatest culinary artists, MASTER CHEF NOBU MATSUHISA, will be visiting his luxury vacation partner, Crystal Cruises, this summer to teach, mingle, dine, and cook for Crystal guests. The famed sushi maestro, and mastermind behind the line’s exclusive SILK ROAD and THE SUSHI BAR restaurants, will join CRYSTAL SYMPHONY‘s 12-day “BOUNTIES OF THE BLACK SEA” ROME-ISTANBUL BLACK SEA voyage beginning July 13. Accompanied by FUMIO HAZU, the Sake Master behind Nobu’s exclusive, 140+-year-old sake brand, the two will showcase their expertise during several ultra-intimate gourmet experiences, including:

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in his Silk Road and the Sushi Bar on board Crystal Cruises.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in his Silk Road and the Sushi Bar on board Crystal Cruises. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises) 

Continue reading

CRYSTAL CRUISES’ SHIPS VOTED #1 AND #2 MEDIUM-SIZE SHIPS IN THE WORLD BY CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER READERS AS BEING AMONG THE TOP “100 BEST CRUISE SHIPS IN THE WORLD” FOR 2013 (Revised)

CRYSTAL CRUISES’ ultra-luxe CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY have been voted the #1 and 2 cruise ships, respectively, in the world (medium size category) by the refined readership of Condé Nast Traveler magazine (http://www.cntraveler.com/cruises/polls/2013/top-100-cruise-ships-in-the-world). With overall scores of 94.5 and 94 for CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY, respectively, the 2013 ratings mark the ships’  highest scores in five years, and are several points ahead of most every ship in the world.

Crystal Serenity at Sea (Courtesy: Crystal Cruises Media)

Crystal Serenity at Sea (Courtesy: Crystal Cruises Media)

Crystal Symphony in New York City

Crystal Symphony in New York City

Continue reading

BOUTIQUE, UNIQUE, & CHIC: CRYSTAL CRUISES DEBUTS NEW EXCLUSIVE EXCURSION COLLECTION

LOCALS TO WELCOME CRYSTAL TRAVELERS INTO THEIR PALACES, ART STUDIOS, HOMES, & WORKPLACES

Ultra-luxe CRYSTAL CRUISES is launching a new, uber-exclusive collection of “BOUTIQUE ADVENTURESSHORESIDE EXPERIENCES only available to Crystal travelers and not available with any other cruise lines. Debuting this spring 2013 with its Mediterranean cruises, the intimate BOUTIQUE ADVENTURES take guests inside private and enigmatic estates, art studios, museums, castles, and well-known businesses for exclusive, insider meals, lessons, workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours with fascinating, eminent local experts. Accommodating only 1-15 guests, the specially-designed outings provide cultural opportunities for deeper connections with local hosts and greater schedule flexibility “in-the-moment.”

Italy's Teatro Concordia, billed as the smallest historic public theater in the world.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Italy’s Teatro Concordia, billed as the smallest historic public theater in the world. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

KICKING OFF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEASON ABOARD CRYSTAL SYMPHONY AND CRYSTAL SERENITY VOYAGES ARE:
— FLORENCE: View the UFFIZI GALLERY‘s private (normally closed to the public) CONTINI BONACOSSI COLLECTION, featuring Bernini sculpture, Bellini and Savoldo paintings, majolica, furniture, and more.
FUNCHAL: Lunch with a local celebrity at the elegant REID’S PALACE or enjoy a private visit to a family-run Madeiran winery, followed by a leisurely, homemade lunch with the owners.
— ROME: Create unique souvenir jewelry under the tutelage of a Valentino model-turned-museum jewelry designer, opening her workshop for the first time ever only for Crystal guests.
CORFU: Be one of just six guests per outing to receive a private painting lesson from the President of the CORFU PAINTERS SOCIETY. Continue reading

CRYSTAL’S LUXURY TRAVEL PLANNING FORECAST FOR 2013 & 2014: A YOUNGER CLIENTELE. SHORTER VOGAGES. STRONGER BOOKINGS. BROADER SELECTION OF DESTINATIONS.

Luxury travelers take note: CRYSTAL CRUISES is kicking off 2013 with an emphasis on a younger clientele, shorter cruises, stronger 2013 bookings, a broader collection of ultra-luxe cruise destinations and savings. In 2013, CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY will visit 226 ports of call in 62 countries, while 2014 brings 194 ports in 68 countries.

Crystal Cruises' 2013 savings offers include multiple deals for Mediterranean sailings.  Pictured here, Crystal Serenity in Portofino.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises’ 2013 savings offers include multiple deals for Mediterranean sailings. Pictured here, Crystal Serenity in Portofino. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

With new Book Now fares available now and guaranteed only through February 28, 2013, the company is offering up to $1500 off Asia, $1500 off Europe, $1600 off New England/Canada, $1700 off South America, $1000 off Holiday sailings, and more.

Other new promotions include:
REDUCED SOLO TRAVEL FARES on 12 voyages in Asia, Mediterranean, Baltic and South America – as low as 110% for sole occupancy staterooms.
KIDS SAIL FREE on select July and August Western and Northern European cruises, in a third berth when sharing a stateroom with two adults.

Booking early reaps great benefits – in savings, third berth capacity, airfares, etc.,” says JACK ANDERSON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & SALES.  “When our last round of Book Now fares expired on December 28, we raised rates on 25 cruises in 2013 and seven in 2014.  By the end of December, we had over 70% of our targeted revenue on the books for 2013.  The word is out that these extraordinary fares for our ultra-luxury cruises are not guaranteed forever.”

Also significant, many more 2013 cruises are 10 days or less (almost half!), including a 250+% increase in shorter European cruises. Additionally, Crystal’s wildly successful Fall 2012 series of short Getaways are returning for 2013 with more options to more destinations.

CRYSTAL GETAWAYS:  As little as 5 days, 9 voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, New England/Canada and Alaska start as low as $1,470 per person.

More than 70% of our Getaways guests are new to Crystal and, on average, almost 10 years younger,” says Anderson.  “Some are time-crunched professionals.  Some are combining with land stays.  All in all, they’ve been blending in well with guests on more extended cruise vacations and are raving about their Crystal experience.”

Also worth noting for 2013:
— More than 50% increase in shipboard overnight stays in port on embarkation days – to better enjoy the destination and ease the travel experience.
— 25% more port days than 2012.

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

SPOTLIGHT ON: CRYSTAL SUMMER SAILINGS DEBUTING TOMORROW’S BRIGHTEST MUSICAL STARS

EUROPEAN ITINERARIES FEATURE MARQUIS PERFORMANCES FROM THE MUSIC CENTER OF LOS ANGELES

Aboard two Northern Europe cruises next summer, CRYSTAL CRUISES‘ guests will have the rare opportunity to enjoy live CRYSTAL-CRUISES-LOGO1performances from some of tomorrow’s brightest stars at the beginning of their professional careers. Continuing its exclusive partnership with the MUSIC CENTER OF LOS ANGELES‘ distinguished SPOTLIGHT PROGRAM, the ultra-luxury line will showcase the talents of the program’s most acclaimed young artists on its 2013 “EMERGING ARTISTS” EXPERIENCES OF DISCOVERY VOYAGES:

CRYSTAL SYMPHONY ICELAND/NORWAY VOYAGE (Reykjavic to London, June 4): Flamenco guitarist TIM CALLOBRE, vocalist GEOFFREY HAHN, and flautist SARAH JOHNSON will perform jazz, blues, and international classics, with Broadway personality KAREN MORROW leading a master class in vocal performance.

— CRYSTAL SERENITY SCANDINAVIA/GERMANY/RUSSIA CRUISE (Copenhagen to Stockholm, June 15): Opera singer SEAN PLUMB, classical pianist TIANPENG YU, and ballet dancers CHARLIE ANDERSON and SHELBY ELSBREE will perform classical and operatic pieces, with ballet mistress FRANCINE KESSLER-LAVAC leading a master class in ballet.

Ballet dancer Charlie Anderson 'warms up' during one of Crystal's Master Classes at Sea, offered during their 'Emerging Artists' theme cruises

Ballet dancer Charlie Anderson ‘warms up’ during one of Crystal’s Master Classes at Sea, offered during their ‘Emerging Artists’ theme cruises

The 11-day, June 4 “Emerging Artists” voyage overnights in REYKJAVIC, then visits HEIMAEY, ICELAND; TORSHAVN, DENMARK; ALESUND, HELLESYLT, BERGEN, EIDFJORD and STAVANGER, NORWAY; and LONDON.  The 10-day, June 15 sailing overnights in Copenhagen on June 15 before calling in BERLIN, GERMANY; HELSINKI, FINLAND; ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (two overnights); TALLINN, ESTONIA; and STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (overnight).  Through December 28, all-inclusive “Book Now” cruise fares start at $4,565 for 11 days and $4,580 for 10 days, respectively.

In addition to solo and ensemble performances on/in the ships’ stylish stages and expansive atriums, MASTER CLASSES AT SEA will offer behind-the-scenes insight into the discipline required to perform at/with such esteemed institutions as CARNEGIE HALL, JULLIARD, NEW YORK CITY BALLET, and KENNEDY CENTER at such young ages. A new, dedicated, in-stateroom Music Center television channel will also showcase the Music Center’s Spotlight program and the performers’ intensive training.

Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity

Like Crystal, the Music Center has been a preeminent leader in its field for decades, with the highest standard for talent and a reputation for excellence,” says CHRISTOPHER ESCAMILLA, CRYSTAL’S MANAGER, PRODUCTION OPERATIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT INTEGRATION. “When you consider the extraordinary stages these young artists have performed upon already, and the growing success sure to come in their futures, we’re thrilled to have them playing exclusively for Crystal guests during even a few short weeks en route to the top.”

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