Monday, July 20, 2015

To call it a growth spurt
would be an understatement. Travel + Leisure World's Best winner Crystal
Cruises—which currently has just two ocean-going ships, Crystal Symphony and
Crystal Serenity—just announced these major additions to the brand: the
62-passenger Esprit, a yacht which will sail seven-day warm-weather
itineraries beginning in December 2015; two river cruise vessels launching in
2017; a 60-passenger Boeing 787 Dreamliner, to fly guests on 28-day
round-the-world trips, also launching in 2017; and three ocean-going vessels
equipped with expedition capabilities, to debut in 2018. "You either grow as
a brand, or you die," president and CEO Edie Rodriguez told Travel + Leisure.
"This is a game-changer for the global luxury market. Our customers have told
us over the years that they wanted to try a yacht or a river cruise, but they
want to vacation in Crystal style. " The expansion begins this December 23
with the launch of Crystal Yacht Cruises. The first ship will be the
redesigned 62-passenger Crystal Esprit, a yacht currently owned by Crystal
Cruises' new parent company, Genting Hong Kong, a major shareholder of
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The all-suite vessel will have amenities
including jet skis, four Zodiacs, a water trampoline, and even a two passenger
submarine. "Guests can do a wedding under the water," says Rodriguez. The
ship will sail regional, seven-day itineraries, beginning in the Seychelles,
and eventually moving to the Persian Gulf and the Adriatic Coast. Bookings
are exclusively open to Crystal Society members through August 31. Both
river cruising and private jet travel have seen significant growth in recent
years: in 2017, Crystal will enter both of these markets, with Crystal River
Cruises and Crystal Luxury Air. Two new river cruise ships are currently
being built, to sail in the spring 2017. Also, a custom Boeing 787 Dreamliner
will accommodate 60 guests in fully reclining business-class seats on 28 day
trips around the world, visiting 10-12 destinations that typically do not have
non-stop service. (Overnights will be in hotels. ) "It's all about
exclusivity and customization: our guests can bring unlimited luggage,"
explained Rodriguez. And in late 2018, the brand expands at its core with
the first of three new 1,000-passenger ocean-going vessels, part of the
Crystal Exclusive Class. All will feature Michelin-starred and celebrity
chefs, as well as amenities like submarines, helicopters, and Zodiacs—the
latter key for excursions in the Arctic and Antarctica. "The demand for
luxury expedition-style cruising is there," says Rodriguez. "The ships will
be a quantum leap in terms of spaciousness: 400-square-feet per cabin, at a
minimum. Plus, there will be a crew to guest ratio of 1:1. " For the first
time ever, fans of the brand can purchase a residence at sea: on the top
floors of the Exclusive class, 48 homes, ranging from 600-4,000 square-feet,
will be for purchase. "This is all a game-changing strategy based on real
time data," said Rodriguez. "We will create the world's premier luxury and
lifestyle brand portfolio. " Crystal is not the only luxury cruise brand
expanding. Silversea recently announced a new ship, the Silver Muse; next
summer, Regent. More images of the Crystal Esprit, below:
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Courtesy of Crystal Cruises More good reads from
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Watch the Opening of the Cuban Embassy Live To call it a growth spurt
would be an understatement. Travel + Leisure World's Best winner Crystal
Cruises just announced major additions to the brand. Get the update here.

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