Since being founded in 1988, Crystal Cruises have led the way in terms of luxury on the seas. The cruise line has gone on to become the world’s most awarded cruise line; offering superlative service, unbelievable itineraries and the highest level of cruising luxury.
2015 certainly is a year of huge changes for the cruise line; with NYK selling Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong in May. The announcement that followed the transfer, made on July 20th, will bring about the firm’s biggest ever expansion.
Up until now, Crystal Cruises was renowned for its two medium sized, luxurious ships: Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Both ships have capacity for 1,000 guests and offer the finest restaurants, luxurious staterooms and additional immersive extras such as lessons from Berlitz language teachers.
The ambitious and extensive new plans will see the introduction of three new cruise brands: expedition cruises; yacht cruises and river cruises. The firm also announced a new luxury air travel brand, with the aim of take passengers on mesmerising around the world journeys – a first for the luxury travel industry.
The first of the new brands to launch will be the yacht cruises, with passengers sailing on board the newly acquired Crystal Esprit from December 2015. The 3,000GRT yacht will carry 62 guests and offer a unique boutique ambience on board. All passengers will be accommodated in on board suites.
Perhaps the most striking element of this new brand is the extreme sports features available to all guests. This will allow passengers to participate in truly unique activities, using equipment such as water skis, wakeboards, kayak, snorkels and even a two-passenger submarine. Itineraries will include routes around the Seychelles, Dubai and the Adriatic Coast.
The River Cruise market is growing even faster than ocean cruise at this moment in time, and its set to grow even further when Crystal joins the industry in spring, 2017. The firm’s famous six-star service will be brought to the world of river cruising.
Two sister boats will sail Europe’s rivers and Crystal will become the first luxury cruise line to enter the world of river cruising with its own ships. We can expect spacious rooms with panoramic verandas; fine dining; and expertly-designed enriching itineraries.
As well as river cruises, Crystal will also be introducing Crystal Air – a first for the world of luxury travel. A 300 passenger Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be transformed into a 60 passenger aircraft, with each passenger able to take advantage of fully reclining seats.
The aircraft will take passengers on 28 day worldwide itineraries, stopping at anywhere between 12-15 destinations before arriving back in the original departure destination. Passengers will stay at some of the finest accommodations in the world; enjoy meals prepared by celebrity chefs; and witness world-class entertainment.
To round off these spectacular expansion plans, Crystal announced plans to launch three new “Crystal Exclusive Class” ships, with the first expected for delivery in late 2018. These new ships will be built as polar ice class vessels – making Crystal the first firm to offer luxury expedition cruise ships on a large scale.
Each of the new ships will accommodate 1,000 passengers and offer a one-to-one crew to passenger ratio. The ships will also provide 48 on board homes for sale – as part of another first for Crystal Cruises: Crystal Residences.
At Cruise Franchise, we strive to bring you the latest news from the cruise industry. 2015 has seen many anniversaries for the cruise industry, as well as many fantastic new ships and the announcements of many new brands.
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