After a challenging 18 months, luxury cruise line Crystal is making a triumphant comeback. Under new ownership, the beloved 35-year-old brand is set to resume its operations. It is complete with the 12-night Mediterranean voyage on the Crystal Serenity, closely followed by the Crystal Symphony. This marks a new chapter for the cruise line that faced a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now ready to set sail again.
The Return of Crystal Serenity:
The much-anticipated comeback begins with the 740-passenger Crystal Serenity, the first vessel to return to service. Departing from Marseille, France, the ship will embark on a thrilling one-way trip to Lisbon. It is making stops in picturesque locations such as France, Monaco, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. This voyage promises to be a remarkable experience for the eagerly awaiting passengers.
The Crystal Serenity’s journey doesn’t end in Lisbon; it’s just the beginning. In August, the ship will set course for the U.K. and Iceland, offering travelers a chance to explore breathtaking landscapes. As September rolls in, North America will be the next destination, with sailings planned to Canada, New England, and the Caribbean. The return of these voyages signifies a revival of the cruise industry and an opportunity for travelers to create cherished memories once again.
A Tale of New Ownership:
After Genting Hong Kong’s collapse, luxury travel company A&K Travel Group emerged as the savior, purchasing Crystal’s brand name and its two largest oceangoing ships, the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. This deal was made in collaboration with Heritage, the holding company led by former Silversea Cruises owner, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, who holds a controlling stake in A&K Travel Group. With new owners at the helm, Crystal found renewed hope for a successful comeback.
Revamping the Ships:
To bring the brand back to its former glory, the new owners invested millions of dollars into upgrading the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Originally launched in 2003 and 1995, respectively, these ships received extensive renovations. The focus was on enhancing suite and cabin sizes, offering guests a more luxurious and comfortable experience. Additionally, the spas, fitness centers, and several restaurants underwent significant makeovers to cater to the discerning tastes of passengers.
A Commitment to Quality Service:
With a reduced passenger capacity due to suite and cabin upgrades, Crystal is setting a new standard in the cruise industry. The ships now boast one of the highest crew-to-passenger ratios, ensuring an unparalleled level of service and attention to every guest’s needs. The commitment to providing top-tier service remains a cornerstone of Crystal’s reputation, even during its resurgence.
A Vision for the Future:
Although Crystal begins its comeback with just two ships, its ambitious plans for the future are nothing short of grand. The top executive of the cruise line revealed plans to order four new ships in the next six years. This bold move signals Crystal’s determination to expand its fleet and continue its legacy as a luxury cruise leader.
As Crystal reopens its doors to eager passengers, the luxury cruise line’s resilience and determination are on full display. With new ownership, upgraded ships, and exciting voyages on the horizon, Crystal is ready to make waves in the cruise industry once more. As travelers’ step on board, they can expect an unforgettable experience, marked by impeccable service and breathtaking destinations. The comeback of Crystal is not just a return to sailing; it is a symbol of hope, endurance, and the enduring allure of luxury travel.