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Wednesday,  June 19, 2024 7:14 AM 

Crystal announces relaunch date, promises higher commission

  • Cruises
  •   02-02-2023  10:31 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Crystal announces relaunch date, promises higher commission
Crystal Serenity & Crystal Symphony are being refurbished ahead of their commercial relaunch. (Crystal Cruises)
Pax Global Media

Crystal Cruises will sail again, but with a shortened name, a new website and fresh branding under the guardianship of A&K Travel Group, which acquired the luxury cruise line in June 2022 after it collapsed.  

Crystal announced its relaunch plan this week, with ships Serenity and Symphony returning with 2023 and 2024 voyages, starting this summer. 

According to a company press release, Crystal Cruises will relaunch under a new name and vision: “Crystal – Exceptional at Sea.”

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony – which were seized by U.S. marshals in the Bahamas in early 2022 as former parent company, Genting Hong Kong, faced financial troubles  have been refurbished with larger, updated suites that include “artisanal finishes, cutting-edge-onboard wellness, and world-class dining and entertainment.”

Each ship has nine dining options on board, a spa, a fitness facilities and a large pool.

New itineraries

The ships will soon embark on itineraries around the globe, immersing guests in locations through the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Click here to see the new collection of voyages.

The company says the suites and guest rooms are more spacious than before, “with elevated detail and contemporary craftsmanship," including marble quarried from Italy.

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. (File photos/Crystal Cruises)

A complimentary food and beverage program has also been designed to bring “authentic dining experiences with efficient and personalized service no matter where and when you eat,” the company says.

“There will be a series of guest chefs connected to the destinations visited, adding diversity and local flavors.”

As well: both the spa and the gym will be revamped, and the Wimbledon courts will host both paddle tennis and pickleball.

A refreshed approach to entertainment and events programming has been developed with more information to follow.

On shore, the service continues with Abercrombie & Kent’s ground arrangements, which will maintain a sense of exclusivity. 

“A&K is well known for their ability to open doors closed to most, with exclusive access, the world’s leading guides and meticulous organization,” Crystal says. “Operating on every continent, they have been regarded as the gold standard for even the most discerning traveler for more than 60 years.”

Crystal reborn 

Crystal President Jack Anderson said he was “delighted” to announce the rebirth of the brand, and Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

Crystal President Jack Anderson. (Supplied/file photo)

“Palatial suites, spacious verandas and guest rooms have been rolled out on both ships, reducing overall guest capacity,” Anderson stated. “Personalized service – long a Crystal signature – has been elevated further. Dining is a journey through culinary specialties, with authentic food from around the globe. Local experts at Abercrombie & Kent have planned memorable experiences in each destination to guarantee beyond-the-guidebook access.”

Higher commissions promised

Travel advisors and guests with open deposits have exclusive access to an early booking window beginning Wednesday, February 1 - before bookings open to the public later this month.

And, according to this interview with Anderson in Travel Weekly, Crystal will pay higher commissions to travel advisors during the initial stage of its restart.

While the specifics are vague, Anderson said Crystal will pay high commission to advisors booking new-to-Crystal clients, but bookings for repeat Crystal customers will also earn a higher commission for a limited time.

First sailings

The first sailings will be a Mediterranean cruise of Crystal Serenity on July 31 from Marseille and Crystal Symphony, scheduled to depart September 1 from Athens, the company said.

Crystal Cruises shuttered its U.S. operations last year after an arrest warrant was issued for the Crystal Symphony because of unpaid fuel bills. 

The line had previously suspended sailings for several months after its parent company, Genting Hong Kong, declared bankruptcy in January 2022.

Royal Caribbean Group also acquired another former Crystal Cruises ship, Crystal Endeavor, which joined the Silversea fleet as Silver Endeavour.

For a breakdown of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, click here.

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