Crystal Cruises: The Line With The Plan

An Updated Look At Crystal Cruises

Crystal Symphony at sea. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Crystal Symphony at sea. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises

Offering the best of both worlds, Crystal Cruises delivers an intimate, upscale cruising experience on a variety of ships with itineraries that span the globe. The line offers a unique blend of luxury coupled with the amenities and venues typically found on much larger vessels.

With just 922 and 1,070 passengers apiece, Crystal’s first two ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, globetrot around the world, spending significant time in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, and New England and Canada, not to mention voyages to the Far East, the South Pacific and South America. The company also operates world cruises, and plans to completely transit the fabled Northwest Passage in 2016.

Adding to the great value of a Crystal cruise, the line went all-inclusive starting in spring 2012, bundling alcoholic drinks (wine, spirits and beer) and gratuities in the fares, plus soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees and more.

Meet Crystal Esprit - and her own submersible craft. Photo-illustration courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Meet Crystal Esprit – and her own submersible craft. Photo-illustration courtesy of Crystal Cruises

In 2015, Crystal Cruises mounted an aggressive expansion campaign that saw the introduction of Crystal Esprit; a purpose-built expedition vessel that visits off-the-beaten-path ports of call in the Seychelles and the Mediterranean, and which even carries its own submarine.

It’s just the first prong of a massive three-pronged plan to expand the Crystal brand in ways the line could never have dreamed of just a decade ago. Crystal plans to introduce river cruises in Europe in 2016, beginning first with a re-purposed (and heavily-refitted) vessel called Crystal Mozart. Beginning in 2017, the line will begin to take delivery of its first purpose-built river cruise vessels, with the lead ship, Crystal Debussy, arriving in June of that year. Three additional ships – Crystal Bach, Crystal Ravel and Crystal Mahler – will follow between July and August of 2017.

The S.S. United States is closer than ever to returning to service, thanks to Crystal Cruises. Illustration courtesy of Crystal Cruises
The S.S. United States is closer than ever to returning to service, thanks to Crystal Cruises. Illustration courtesy of Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises also plans to debut three brand new oceangoing hybrid cruise-expedition vessels in 2018. These Crystal Exclusive Class vessels will measure 1,050 feet in length and will carry 1000 guests.

The line also announced in early 2016 that it has entered into an agreement to potentially restore the S.S. United States to oceangoing service, giving her an S.S. Norway-style makeover to convert her from an ocean liner to a modern-day cruise ship. Crystal has commissioned designs, renderings, and is undertaking a feasibility study for the remainder of 2016 to determine if the ship – which has been sitting at a Philadelphia berth since 1996 – is sound.

To top it all off, the line plans to  introduce its own fleet of Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft to whisk guests around in comfort.

It’s just one more piece of the exciting – and ever-changing – puzzle that is Crystal Cruises.

Click here to continue reading our full overview of Crystal Cruises

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