BORN AGAIN: Crystal returns with new owners, new vision
Crystal Cruises – a high profile victim of the pandemic – has officially relaunched under new ownership with the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony vessels set to sail again beginning this summer.
The high-end cruise line, which had operated for close to three decades, ceased operations in early 2022, with two of its ships seized in the Bahamas for unpaid fuel bills.
Now Crystal is back with a new vision – dubbed ‘Exceptional at Sea’ – and itineraries for 2023 and 2024, under the ownership of Abercrombie & Kent (the A&K Travel Group), which acquired the Serenity and Symphony in 2022.
The first sailings will be a Mediterranean cruise of Crystal Serenity on July 31 from Marseille and Crystal Symphony, scheduled to depart Sept. 1 from Athens.
Travel Advisors and guests with Open Deposits have exclusive access to an early booking window that began Feb. 1 – before bookings open to the public later this month.
Guests will sail on ships refurbished with reimagined with larger updated suites, a leading spa, fitness facilities and large pool. There are nine dining options onboard each ship and a series of guest chefs connected to the destinations visited, will add diversity and local flavours.
“I am delighted to announce that Crystal is reborn, with Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony reimagined and enhancements made to every part of our guests’ journey,” says Crystal president Jack Anderson. “Palatial suites, spacious verandas and guest rooms have been rolled out on both ships, reducing overall guest capacity. Personalized service – long a Crystal signature – has been elevated further. Dining is a journey through culinary specialties, with authentic food from around the globe. Local experts at Abercrombie & Kent have planned memorable experiences in each destination to guarantee beyond-the-guidebook access.”
Voyages will travel throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The collection of cruise, along with other information, can be viewed on crystalcruises.com.
The suites and guest rooms are more spacious, with elevated detail and contemporary craftsmanship. Suites feature marble quarried from Italy, with modern furnishings and fine cotton linens.
Both the spa and the gym will be revamped, and the Wimbledon courts will host both paddle tennis and pickleball. A refreshed approach to entertainment and events programming has been developed with more information to follow.
On shore, a seamless experience continues with A&K’s ground arrangements.
Agents can register on the Crystal web site to receive the latest updates.
First published at Travel Industry Today