This year Crystal celebrates 30 years of luxury cruising. Since 1990 Crystal has been offering an unparalleled standard of excellence and luxury making it the ‘world’s most awarded luxury cruise line’. Today it is the only cruise line offering luxury experiences in ocean, river, yacht and expedition cruises.
30 years of luxury cruising
Founded in 1989 as Crystal Cruises, the company established the first true luxury travel experience at sea with the launch of its first ocean ship, Crystal Harmony. Since Crystal Harmony’s maiden voyage in 1990, it has been the Crystal Cruises credo to continue to best itself with exceeding levels of service, space, quality and choices aboard its ocean ships. Sailing innovative global itineraries to virtually every corner of the earth, the luxury cruise line offers travelers unforgettable vacation experiences highlighted by the company’s unique brand of personal touches and attention to detail.
Genting Hong Kong purchased the company in 2015, empowering Crystal’s vision to expand to new waters in response to its guests’ desire to travel the world in different ways in the embrace of the Crystal brand. Crystal Yacht Cruises launched in December that year with Crystal Esprit, followed by Crystal River Cruises in 2016 – which now boasts the youngest and most luxurious fleet on Europe’s rivers – as well as Crystal Luxury Air’s Bombardier Global Express Jet XRS that year, then Crystal AirCruises’ Crystal Skye in 2017.
Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity
At 51,044 and 68,870 tons, respectively, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are approximately half the size of mass-market mega-ships, yet large by luxury cruise ship standards. The two ships focus on considerable personal and public space throughout, with among the highest space and crew-to-guest ratios in the industry.
In 2017, Crystal Symphony underwent her most comprehensive dry dock redesign in her history, which added more butler-serviced Penthouses and Penthouse Suites and effectively reduced her guest capacity to 848, thereby increasing the crew-to-guest ratio even further. The newly added Seabreeze Penthouse with Verandah and Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Verandah were converted from pre-existing verandah staterooms.
In 2018, Crystal Serenity emerged from an extensive redesign with the addition of 36 new Seabreeze Penthouses and two Seabreeze Penthouse Suites, effectively reducing the ship’s capacity from 1,070 guests to 980 guests. The new accommodations offer the same personal butler service, specialty services, walk-in closets, spa-like bathrooms and spacious square footage as the other Penthouses on board.
Further reading: All aboard: Crystal Cruises
As part of Crystal’s 30th Anniversary celebrations the cruise line created a guest-curated playlist – Crystal: Sailing Through 30 Years – which is available for download on Spotify. The playlist of 30 songs is curated by Crystal Society members, who submitted selections of songs that most reminded them of the voyages and experiences they have enjoyed with Crystal over the past 30 years. Iconic tunes like Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, Andy Williams’ Moon River and Israel Kamakawiwo’le’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow – the traditional sail-away songs of Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Cruises, respectively – are complemented by guests’ choices including classics like Bobby Darin’s Beyond the Sea, Nat King Cole’s Stardust, Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Frank Sinatra’s Girl From Ipanema.
Crystal also curated the artfully designed Taste: Crystal’s 30th Anniversary Cookbook. The culinary tome, comprising more than 260 pages of Crystal’s acclaimed recipes for classic and modern dishes, desserts, cocktails and more, was previously exclusively available to guests sailing aboard a designated 30th Anniversary itinerary. Crystal’s globally inspired creative cuisine, served in an array of all-inclusive, onboard venues including Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s only seagoing restaurants, has long been a celebrated hallmark of the brand. Following the enthusiasm and high demand from guests after the book’s onboard release earlier this year, Crystal has decided to make the book available to all. Crystal’s 30th Anniversary Cookbook is available here.
Further reading: Crystal’s limited edition 30th Anniversary Cookbook offers a taste of celebrated onboard cuisine
While its fleet is paused, Crystal has been developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and ensure that guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. The new Crystal Clean+ 2.0 protocols are the initial set of measures for Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, developed with the latest data available from health experts and will be updated as new information and guidelines becomes available. Details can be found here.
Crystal is currently developing new measures for Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises and Crystal Expedition Cruises. The fleet will resume service when the company’s expert team and global health and government authorities indicate that it is safe to do so.