The latest news from Crystal Cruises

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When Edie Rodriguez, President and CEO of Crystal Cruises, arrived in London recently to talk about the latest news from Crystal, it was as if a whirlwind of energy had touched down to talk about the Crystal growth accelerator, before whooshing off across the Atlantic to spread the miracle dust elsewhere.

Let's look back to the announcement back in February that Genting Hong Kong had purchased Crystal Cruises. When the announcement was made it included the following sentence: 'With the support of GHK's financial strength and expertise in ship design, Crystal Cruises' fleet size will expand with a new ship, elevating the standard of luxury cruising and luxury cruise ships.'

So far so good. As we know, there was then a short pause while the purchase was completed, through until May 17th. Obviously during that period, time didn't stop still: behind the scenes activity was rumoured and whispered. Following the completion of the purchase, Edie's spending spree began: high level executives from other lines were recruited, and a new office opened in Miami. Clearly something was afoot.

On July 19th, twenty-five years on from the maiden voyage of Crystal Harmony in 1990, both Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, executive chairman of the Genting Group, and Edie Rodriguez, President of Crystal Cruises, one on Crystal Symphony and the other on Crystal Serenity, simultaneously announced a plan that took the cruise world by storm. First of all they would build not just the one ship, not two, but no fewer than three large luxury ships, with the first to enter service in late 2018. Considerably larger than the existing ships, but carrying the same number of guests, these ships will address all the existing issues about the current Crystal Cruise ships with larger suites and single open seating dining. Furthermore, they will also incorporate a number of private residences.

In addition, two river cruise vessels are planned for Europe with a late March 2017 launch date. The vessels will stand out from the competition with yacht style décor, and larger accommodations (250 square feet as standard) and space-toguest ratio than any other river cruise ship, and a fresh approach to the traditional river itineraries and experiences such as long stays in ports, an exciting programme of shore excursions and active land adventures, fine dining ashore and so forth.

Crystal's own Dreamliner airplane, reconfigured to carry just 60 guests in exceptional comfort, will depart on the first of every month on a 28 day journey to some of the most aspirational destinations in the world, with personalised travel arrangements at every stop.

And finally, the Crystal Yachts programme kicks off this very year as they transfer an existing yacht to the Crystal fleet - the vessel is currently undergoing a lavish refurbishment in Singapore, and will arrive in the Seychelles in time for a Christmas cruise from Mahe. Repositioning to the Mediterranean at the end of March, she will summer on the Adriatic coast with week long itineraries between Venice and Dubrovnik.

Finally, I was pleased to hear Edie refer to the excellence of the existing ships, saying, 'We must not take our eye off the ball. The 'World's Best' accolade we boast so proudly is not something to play with, and our existing ships must continue to deliver at superlative levels'.


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Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

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