Crystal Cruises to renovate Serenity and Symphony again

The Crystal Symphony in Hong Kong.

Crystal Cruises said it will make major improvements to its two oceangoing vessels, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

In 2017 and 2018, the Serenity and Symphony will receive “massive enhancements” similar to the $52 million makeover Serenity got in 2013 and the $20 million redesign of Symphony in 2014, Crystal said.

One feature will be to reconfigure dining so that full open seating is available. A criticism of Crystal is that it doesn’t have dining capacity to accommodate all of its guests in one seating. Crystal also said there will be more suites.

The luxury line has announced plans to build three new-generation “Exclusive” class ships with high space ratios and residences on the top deck. The first of those was initially to be delivered in 2018, but that had been pushed back first to 2019, then to 2021 and now is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.

Crystal also pushed back the delivery date of the 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor expedition ship from 2018 to 2019, but said that it plans to build two additional such ships for 2020 and 2021. In addition, it has rebranded Crystal Yacht Cruises as Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises.

In the air, Crystal said it plans to add a second Global Express Jet to its Crystal Luxury Air fleet in 2017 due to the “popularity of the existing charter options, and travel partners and guests’ wishing to customize their vacation experiences with all things Crystal.”

On land, Crystal plans a marketing branch office in Sydney to open in 2017. An office in Amsterdam to support the operations of its river cruise fleet will officially open Nov.21, and a display center in Miami’s Boulevard Shops near downtown will open in spring 2017.

Advertisements

Silversea expedition ships to explore new destinations

By Tom Stieghorst
Silversea Cruises said its eight ships will visit a combined 845 destinations in 2016, with 107 new stops on 272 cruises.

Many of the new destinations will be visited by Silversea’s three expedition ships, which can go to very small ports not frequented by most cruise lines or by Silversea’s five luxury vessels.

Included among 88 inaugural calls on 95 expedition cruises are Gough Island, St. Helena; Lizard Island, Australia; Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles; Ko Phra Thong, Thailand; and South Cinque Island, Andaman Archipelago.

Silversea Discoverer will offer a new 17-day expedition to the Seychelles, Maldives, Mozambique, and Tanzania, with an inaugural visit to Aldabra, an raised coral atoll that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Silversea’s more traditional fleet will make 177 voyages, including a trio of 10-day cruises in South Africa aboard Silver Cloud. Among 19 new ports are Le Marin, Martinique; Shimizu, Japan; Rijeka and Rab Island, Croatia; and Bremerhaven, Germany.