Crystal Cruises is officially sailing again as Crystal Serenity has embarked on her inaugural voyage following the cruise line’s change in ownership as well as the vessel’s extensive refurbishment.
This marks a new era for the luxury cruise line and is a welcome return to service that loyal Crystal Cruises guests will celebrate.
The newly revamped 68,870-goss ton Crystal Serenity has set sail on her inaugural voyage, a 12-night voyage from Marseille, France to Lisbon, Portugal. Along the way, the luxury ship will call on such iconic ports as Cannes, Monaco, Portofino, Barcelona, Cartagena, and more.
The return-to-service for Crystal Serenity has been a long time coming since Crystal Cruises’ former owner, Genting Hong Kong, declared bankruptcy in November 2022.
In the succeeding months, A&K Travel purchased the cruise line with the goal of returning it to service with further elevated luxury and distinction.
“Crystal has been recognized for decades for exceptional experiences and we are excited to welcome guests back onboard for its new glided era,” said Cristina Levis, A&K Travel Group CEO. “It is an honor to be signaling this new chapter better than ever and right on schedule, all while retaining 80% of Crystal’s beloved crew on board.”
After this first voyage, Crystal Serenity will offer Northern Europe itineraries, an Icelandic cruise, Canada sailings for fall foliage, and early winter Caribbean sailings.
On January 18, 2024, the ship will set sail on its most amazing voyage yet, a 141-night World Cruise sailing that will visit 62 destinations in 29 countries, before offering Alaska sailings during the 2024 summer season.
Crystal Serenity has been completely revitalized with a multi-million dollar renovation. Unlike many cruise ship renovations that seek to add more staterooms and increase guest capacity onboard, Crystal Cruises has committed to remaining an industry leader in guest service and space ratios.
To do this, the cruise line has removed staterooms and lowered the vessel’s capacity to 740 guests (down from 1,040). Overall, the guest-to-space ratio is an impressive 1:93.1 cubic feet, better than any other cruise ship in the industry.
Along with that top ratio is a staff ratio of nearly one crew member per guest, ensuring personalized and attentive service for every passenger.
“In just one year, we’ve been able to revitalize the ships, a feat nearly unheard of in our industry,” said Levis.
Yet the speedy renovation has not meant compromising on quality or attention to detail. Crystal Cruises worked with leading cruise ship architectural firmGEM to guide the redesign of select guestrooms and suites, including updating décor and accentuating artisanal finishes. Solo suites and guest rooms have also been made available.
Crystal Serenity offers amazing luxury to all travelers, with 11 distinct dining options ranging from Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine to fine Italian dining to tapas-style tastings. Guests will also find delicious desserts, classic poolside grill snacks, and more onboard.
The ship’s redesigned and upgraded spa, Aurōra, offers a range of relaxation and wellness treatments, including signature facials, massages, and a full-service salon.
Various lounges, retail spaces, the ship’s well-stocked library, the beautiful Palm Court with its 270-degree forward view, and more all stand ready to welcome guests aboard now that Crystal Serenity is sailing again.
Still to come for the rejuvenated cruise line is the debut of the second revitalized vessel, Crystal Symphony. Slightly smaller than Crystal Serenity, the 51,044-gross ton ship will set sail on September 1, 2023 for an inaugural voyage from Athens to Venice, with various stops in Greece, Turkey, and Croatia.
While Crystal Cruises only operates the two vessels at present, the cruise line has announced plans to build four new ships over six years, including two classic vessels and two expedition ships.
This bodes well for the health and diversity of the cruise line, globally renowned for its luxury and guest experience. In time, many more guests will be able to experience the new era of “Exceptional at Sea” that Crystal Cruises brings to the oceans.
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