Crystal Cruises has announced a major brand expansion – of which the big news is the ordering of three luxury polar ice-class cruise ships from Lloyd Werft. The ships will be 1,000 passengers and more than 100,000 tons each. Delivery of the first ship is expected in late 2018. Other news announced included a luxury yacht, river cruises and a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
New company owner Genting Hong Kong has signed a letter of intent with Lloyd Werft in Germany to build the polar ice class vessels.
“Our vision and revolutionary plans for Crystal’s ocean vessels requires us to partner with a premium shipyard that has the expertise and resources to deliver the ‘Crystal Exclusive Class’,” said Tan Sri Lim, chairman. “Lloyd Werft is synonymous with successful world-class new builds and luxury mega yachts, including Luna, the second largest expedition private yacht in the world, measuring at 337 feet long (in length).”
“With an impressive 100 tons of space per guest, the average space ratio for luxury cruise ships being 60 tons per person, our new ships’ guest-to-space ratios will be vast in comparison to past, current and under- construction luxury ships, reaching all corners of the world safely, smoothly and in the utmost style and comfort,” said Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO, Crystal Cruises.
For the first time ever, guests will have the opportunity to call a Crystal ship “home,” with Crystal Residences. Situated on the top deck of the new ships will be 48 unique homes, with their own private restaurant, reception and facilities, and high ceilings (nine feet). Residences will start at 600 square feet and go to more than 4,000 square feet of interior living area, which will be the largest on the high seas.
Other features being introduced on Crystal’s new vessels are: 400 square feet minimum for the guestroom suites - nearly doubling the size on other luxury vessels; increased ceiling heights by one foot to 8 feet in all suites and decks; raising the bar on personal attention and service with 1,000 crewmembers on the ships to provide a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio; and intrepid yacht-like amenities including submarines, helicopters and zodiacs.
Additional news announced included the acquisition of a yacht from Genting, which is one of two smaller ships Star Cruises uses for charter clients.
Thus, the Crystal Esprit will embark on its maiden voyage later this year as the first expansion of the Crystal Cruises fleet. The 62-guest, 3,300-ton yacht will offer intimate, exclusive, and immersive experiences with a boutique ambiance, said the company.
Technology includes a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs, and a single 32-passenger yacht tender.
The spring of 2017 brings more growth with Crystal River Cruises, said a company statement. 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, said the company.
Also in 2017, Crystal will launch Crystal Luxury Air with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The aircraft, which typically seats 300, will fly 60 guests in fully reclining business class seats to 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, said Crystal.