For more than 30 years, the Crystal Cruise brand was well-known for its posh accommodations at sea and exciting itineraries. After a COVID-induced collapse and ensuing bankruptcy in 2022, high-end adventure travel company Abercrombie & Kent acquired the Crystal Cruise brand and its two ocean ships.
Fans were excited and hopeful about the news, wondering what might be in store for the much-loved brand and its two ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Their wait is almost over, as the line’s relaunch is right around the corner.
Here’s what guests can expect during future sailings.
Reimagined Suites, Spaces, And Dining
Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony recently got extensive glow-ups and refurbishments in Italy; Serenity sails July 31 from Marseille and Symphony departs Athens September 1. Both feature larger suites and veranda rooms including high-end finishes. As a result, guest capacity is lower: the Symphony can accommodate just over 600 people and the Serenity 740. Both ships boast a staff-to-guest ratio of nearly one, ensuring top-notch, nearly bespoke personalized service.
Passengers will have plenty of choice when it comes to world-class dining — there are nine options on board each ship, including UMI UMA, an experience presented by Michelin-star Master Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu). It’s the only partnership the famed chef has with a cruise line and the spot will serve his renowned Japanese dishes with a Peruvian flair.
There are upgraded fitness facilities so guests can stay in top shape while on their sailing, including a new pickleball court on both the Serenity and Symphony. Crystal also promises exciting entertainment and enriching excursions.
“We are excited to now be part of the A&K Travel Group that has had an award-winning legacy of providing travelers with memorable and inspiring adventures for more than 60 years,” said Robyn Fink, director of communication and events for Crystal. “We are working closely with our new sister brand, Abercrombie & Kent, to enhance the Crystal product both on board and through our shore experiences program.”
The Spas Are Showstoppers
When guests board Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, a freshly redesigned spa concept awaits. Inspired by the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurōra will offer guests on both ships a wellness haven featuring sunrise-inspired signature treatments. A collaboration between Crystal and Tillberg Design of Sweden (TDoS), Aurōra features a dreamy vibe inspired by the Sun’s first morning light.
“Crystal’s spas have been completely reimagined,” said TDoS Partner & Cruise Design Director Iina Forsblom. “They offer a fresh and welcoming design with new finishes, exquisite materials, and a sophisticated color palette to support the new offerings on board.”
Aurōra will feature the latest technology and treatments through partnerships with British skincare brand ELEMIS and beauty experts Kérastase. Services will include cryo-facials, LED treatments, and of course, hot stone massage and other body treatments. There are also steam, sauna, and relaxation rooms, so you can seamlessly transform those sea days into valuable me-time.
Crystal’s new ships will criss-cross the globe, offering a wide range of destinations. Most itineraries aren’t too long, or too short, but just right for a family vacation.
“The average itinerary length ranges from 8–14 nights,” said Fink. “Planned voyages will travel throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.”
Crystal also has its own version of the ever-popular marathon world cruises scheduled in 2024: Serenity departs Miami in January for a 141-night sailing that visits 34 countries with exclusive excursion and entertainment options, including an exclusive palazzo tour in Italy and a Bollywood extravaganza in Mumbai. It’s the first of three such itineraries on the ship next year.
What To Know Before Booking
Crystal offers inclusive service; most dining options are included without an upcharge. Beer, wine, and spirits along with crew gratuities are covered. The casinos on both ships were replaced with lounge areas during the redesign (a big plus in our book!), and unlike some other high-end cruise options, children are welcome on board Crystal, making the line a great option for unforgettable multi-gen travel.
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