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Cruises & Charters

Luxury Reimagined: The Remarkable Rebirth of Crystal Cruises

Last Updated

February 8, 2024

After facing significant financial challenges in 2022, Crystal Cruises has made a remarkable comeback. The luxury cruise line was acquired by A&K Travel Group and underwent a $150 million refurbishment. Now rebranded as "Crystal," the company offers enhanced suites and personalized services on their ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Guests can enjoy exclusive dining experiences, various amenities, and unique voyages, including a round-the-world journey. Crystal Cruises is once again setting the standard for luxury at sea.

Crystal Cruises has set sail once again, offering an extravagant round-the-world journey starting at $61,500 per person. The luxury cruise line faced significant financial challenges in 2022 when it was reported that they had millions in unpaid fuel bills. This led to the seizure of their ships in the Bahamas. However, the fleet found a new lease on life when A&K Travel Group acquired it at auction. The Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony were purchased for $103 million and $25 million, respectively, allowing the brand to continue its legacy of combining small-ship intimacy with big-ship amenities.

After undergoing a $150 million refurbishment in Italy, the company rebranded as "Crystal" and introduced the slogan "Exception At Sea." The ships now boast penthouse accommodations and larger rooms, enhancing the guest experience. Crystal Serenity's inaugural voyage took place on July 31, offering a 12-day trip from Marseilles to Lisbon. It will then explore Iceland and the U.K. before heading to North America in September, focusing on less-traveled ports. Prices for these voyages begin at $4,700 per person. Crystal Symphony is expected to join the fleet on September 1, with its first sailing departing from Athens.

The ships have retained their classic design but have been updated with modern features. Crystal Serenity now has 377 enlarged rooms and suites, all ocean-facing, accommodating a total of 740 passengers. The upper floors are lined with penthouses reminiscent of luxury apartments.

In January, travelers can embark on a global adventure with stops in destinations like Tahiti, Australia, Israel, Istanbul, and Monaco. Cristina Levis, CEO of Crystal Cruises, expressed excitement about the enhanced suites, which offer separate living and sleeping areas, large bathrooms with walk-in showers, and double faucets and sinks. The goal is to provide guests with the comforts of home while maintaining the luxury expected on a high-end cruise.

Guests can expect personalized service, including butlers who cater to every need, even finding the perfect cigar while in port. The ship maintains a nearly one-to-one guest-staff ratio, ensuring unparalleled attention to detail.

A highlight of the onboard dining experience is the exclusive Nobu at sea restaurant, UMI UMA, created by Michelin-starred chef Nobuyuki. The menu features Japanese-Peruvian dishes, and the space offers a relaxing atmosphere with stunning sea views.

The refreshed interior, designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden (TDoS), blends modern and classic aesthetics using premium materials. Guests can enjoy various amenities across the ship's 13 decks, including the Aurōra spa, fitness room, pickleball courts, afternoon tea in the Palm Court, Broadway-style shows in the Galaxy Lounge, and movies in the Hollywood Theatre.

For those looking to indulge in an extended luxury cruise, the January 2024 round-the-world cruise promises a four-month journey to some of the most enchanting destinations on the planet.

So, where can Crystal Cruises take you?

Europe & The Mediterranean: Cradles of Beauty & Culture

Crystal Cruises offers a romantic journey through the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, and Black seas. These voyages immerse passengers in magnificent scenery, rich cultures, and landmark sights. From exploring antiquities in Athens to wine tasting in Bordeaux, there's an adventure for everyone.

The Americas & Caribbean: The Sea of Bliss

The Caribbean is a welcoming destination with its white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and vibrant markets. Crystal Cruises also offers the unique experience of transiting the Panama Canal, making for an unforgettable vacation.

North America & Canada: Newport, New Brunswick, & The Majesty of the North

This corner of North America is home to renowned cities and unspoiled wilderness. Passengers can explore revolutionary history in Boston, old-world charm in Vieux Québec, and witness whales breaching off the shores of Nova Scotia.

Baltic & Northern Europe: Imperial Treasures

Northern Europe offers regal splendor and earthy adventures. Travelers can amble through Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, sample Iceland’s urban energy, marvel at Helsinki’s art and architecture, or toast their exploits in a Victorian Belfast pub.

Alaska: Beyond the Last Frontier

Alaska enthralls with its untamed wilderness and awe-inspiring landscapes. From towering glaciers to snow-capped mountains, Alaska promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who venture into its wilderness.

Africa & Indian Ocean: The Wonders of Egypt, Jordan, and the Arabian Peninsula

These journeys trace the storied spice routes of old, traveling back to the earliest roots of civilization — and forward to modern cities marking their vault into the future. 

Australia & New Zealand: The Isles Down Under

From the serenity of the South Pacific to the mysteries of Papua New Guinea and the intrigue of Indonesia, this corner of the world has long piqued the curiosities of the most ardent travelers.

South Pacific: Pearls of Polynesia

The gem-like islands of Hawaii and the South Pacific have long been the treasured muses of great artists, captivating all with their serene natural beauty.

Asia: Spirit of the Far East

In this region brimming with contrasts and complexity, discover the wonders of Thailand, explore Vietnam’s imperial treasures, and marvel at Sri Lanka’s many UNESCO sites.

South America: Big Adventures and Cultural Treasures

Uncovering the marvels of South America is an absolute must. The continent boasts an astounding range of diversity, from the planet's longest river and driest desert to its tallest waterfall. Crystal Serenity ensures you enjoy the finest onboard and destination experiences.

Book Your Crystal Sailing With LuxRally Travel

Choosing LuxRally Travel for your Crystal sailing is a decision you won't regret. With our strong relationship with Abercrombie and Kent, we ensure that your budget is maximized and onboard benefits are plentiful. But our service doesn't stop there. We also provide an in-house concierge on all Crystal sailings to assist with arranging private tours and managing pre/post sailing travel arrangements. With LuxRally Travel, every aspect of your journey is taken care of, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the luxury and adventure that Crystal Cruises offers. Get your free travel agent with just a few clicks by completing our new client form.

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