For more than a decade Crystal Cruises was a mainstay at San Francisco, offering round-trip summer sailings to Alaska through 2005. The return of the 922-guest Crystal Symphony to the Pacific Coast is welcome news to thousands of luxury travelers in the Bay Area seeking a convenient summer holiday to Alaska, as well as global travelers.
â€œThe Port is honored to welcome Crystal Cruises and their 9,200 guests back to the beautiful San Francisco Bay,â€ said Monique Moyer, executive director of the Port of San Francisco. â€œThe continuity of a homeport ship for the summer season on the San Francisco waterfront means a lot for the local economy, both in terms of tourism and also jobs for longshoremen and ship support workers.â€
â€œWeâ€™re delighted Crystal Symphony will be returning to San Francisco, a destination where we have such deep traditions,â€ said Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. â€œBy 2011, we will not have had a summer series of Alaska cruises for six years. These itineraries add a fresh mix to our cruise repertoire and appeal to regional residents and Crystal cruisers worldwide. The convenience, beauty, and richness of the itineraries make this a perfect holiday for discerning individual travelers, couples, and family reunions.â€
Bill Knight, president of All Cruise Travel, based in San Jose, California, is thrilled about Crystalâ€™s return to San Francisco for the 2011 Alaska season: â€œAlmost all of the hundreds of our clients who booked a Crystal cruise to Alaska consider it to be the best vacation they ever had. Itâ€™s an unbeatable combination: cruising roundtrip from the most beautiful city in the world to one of the most beautiful places in the world, in six-star luxury on the worldâ€™s highest rated cruise line. There is nothing quite like enjoying the wonders of Alaska from a Crystal ship.â€ Â
The Port of San Francisco has begun development of Pier 27 as the cityâ€™s primary cruise terminal, taking over the role currently filled by Pier 35, a two-berth facility located near Fishermanâ€™s Wharf. The new Pier 27 Cruise Terminal will meet the latest industry standards and be built and operated employing the highest environmental and sustainable practices available. A shore-side power hook-up is expected to be on line in 2010, which will allow equipped cruise ships to reduce air emissions to near-zero. The Port will convert the existing maritime shed into a 120,000-square-foot terminal and incorporate an adjacent open-space plaza. The renovated Pier 27 will meet the evolved security and passenger-handling demands of the cruise industry, while also being configured to allow recreation and special-event uses.