|Ruth Turpin, owner, Cruises Etc. Photo by Susan J. Young|
Agents are buzzing about the recently-announced major expansion at Crystal Cruises, which includes three new polar-ice rated ships, 48 owned residences, a new luxury yacht, two new river vessels and a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet. In addition, Crystal president & CEO Edie Rodriguez said last night in a press gathering in New York, that "there is more to come," declining to comment further.
“These are very aggressive expansion plans from Crystal Cruises, further positioning them as a leader in luxury travel,” says Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “The future looks bright for Crystal and Edie’s role as a powerful leader can help expand the premium brand. Travel agents will be able to sell Crystal’s diverse portfolio of ocean ships, river ships and air travel to their highest-end clients from a trusted brand.”
Ruth Turpin, owner, Cruises Etc., a Virtuoso member agency, agrees.
"I am very excited to have a 'true' luxury river cruise product," Turpin says. "This is the fastest growing part of our new revenue and this should be extremely successful. In fact, two boats won't be enough. We are of course thrilled to finally have new builds on the horizon, and details can't come soon enough for our clients. These are very exciting times for Crystal."
Brad Anderson, president of Avoya Travel, sees the announcement as a good thing for the travel industry.
"We’re excited to see how they will continue to evolve the luxury market, and in doing so, are confident Crystal will continue to see the value that travel agents provide their luxury guests,” Anderson says.
The new yacht, Crystal Esprit, is set to embark on its maiden voyage this December in the Seychelles. The 62-guest vessel will offer a variety of adventure activities, including a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger Zodiacs and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender. Our partner publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, has a sneak preview of the yacht here: www.luxurytraveladvisor.com/yacht-charter/photo-tour-crystals-new-esprit-yacht-15394
Crystal River Cruises will launch in spring 2017 with two newly built vessels set to sail European waterways. Also in 2017, Crystal Luxury Air will take flight on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, offering around-the-world, approximately 28 day itineraries by air. While the line will not be offering combination packages, guests will have the flexibility to set up custom trips combining portions of an air journey with Crystal's cruise products.
The first of the three new Crystal Exclusive Class ships are expected for delivery in late 2018. The all-suite, all balcony ships will accommodate 1,000 guests, and will also have a dedicated deck for 48 Crystal Residences.
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