Crystal Cruises today announced in a press release that it will "expand its reach in the Pacific region" with the opening of new dedicated corporate office in Sydney, Australia. The office will represent Crystal Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises and Crystal River Cruises, and serve as the central nerve for sales, marketing, finance and reservations for the Australia and New Zealand.

Leading the center is cruise industry veteran Karen Christensen, who most recently served as general manager and director of sales and marketing (Asia Pacific) for Silversea Cruises as part of her 10-year tenure with the company. During this time, she was integral in establishing the luxury cruise segment in Australia and New Zealand with the opening of the company’s regional office. Karen’s first official day with Crystal will be August 1.

“We are thrilled to further solidify our presence in Australia and New Zealand as our company grows and offers more options for travelers throughout the world,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s CEO and president. “Karen’s depth of knowledge of the Pacific market and its travelers’ wishes, habits and preferences will help ensure that our vast portfolio of luxury travel offerings is effectively communicated and expertly sold to the discriminating travelers in the region.”

The establishment of a dedicated sales and marketing center in the Pacific region marks the end of Crystal’s partnership with Wiltrans International Travel. Rodriguez added, “I want to thank Diane Patrick and the team at Wiltrans for their support and dedication to Crystal’s success over the course of 26 years.”

Christensen’s professional history in the cruise industry stretches more than two decades, including nearly 10 years as the general manager of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), having founded and served as chairman and board director of CLIA’s Australasia division. Christensen resides in Sydney, where she will lead a sales and marketing team and report directly to Rodriguez.