Crystal Symphony to Begin Cruising From St. John's, Antigua, in August

Crystal late last week announced that Crystal Symphony will sail a series of 15 10-night "Luxury Caribbean Escapes" roundtrip from St. John’s, Antigua between August 5, 2021 and late December 2023. The ultra-luxury Crystal Symphony will call at Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands. Reservations for the new "Luxury Caribbean Escapes" will open on April 20, 2021.

Crystal Symphony’s return to sailing marks the resumption of service for 97 percent of Crystal’s oceangoing fleet in summer 2021. The line previously announced that Crystal Serenity will operate "Luxury Bahamas Escapes" and Crystal Endeavor will sail an inaugural "Luxury Iceland Expeditions" season.

With every booking on the three ships’ newly announced itineraries, Crystal is offering travel professionals a bonus commission of $100.

Antigua Homeport

Charles Fernandez, minister of tourism and investment for Antigua and Barbuda said: “We are delighted to welcome Crystal Symphony and her guests to Antigua and the Caribbean as this represents an important milestone in reinvigorating tourism here as well as deeper support of our island communities’ economies as Crystal becomes the first cruise line to homeport on a scheduled basis in St. John’s."

Fernandez said that together with local health authorities, the nation has developed the requisite health and safety protocols to ensure the protection of residents and guests. "With the continued commitment of the government of Antigua and Barbuda and our port operator, Global Ports (Antigua) Ltd., we are certain that Crystal guests will find themselves at home here," he said. 

“To have Crystal Cruises as our new homeport partner is truly a milestone in Antigua’s cruise history and reaffirms our commitment to the development of our country’s cruise experience,” said Done Regis-Prosper, general manager of Global Ports (Antigua) Ltd. “We are very happy to play an integral role in restarting cruise travel in the Caribbean after this long pause."

Regis-Prosper said Global Ports has just completed construction of a fifth berth in Antigua.

The new itinerary includes overnight stays in St. John’s, Bridgetown, Barbados and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten with sunset-sail-aways in Tobago, Castries (St. Lucia) and Tortola, B.V.I. The line said that as more islands in the Caribbean begin to open, Crystal may add additional ports to the itinerary and will inform its guests and travel partners of any changes.

Vaccination and Fares

Crystal announced in February that guests must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. This new requirement is in addition to existing, comprehensive "Crystal Clean+" measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, reduced capacity, social distancing, mask requirements and health screening questionnaires.

"Best Available" cruise fares start at $2,999 with "Book Now Savings" of up to $1,000 per guest and "'As You Wish" spending credits of $200 per guest. Returning guests will enjoy double Crystal Society Savings of five percent while new-to Crystal-guests will save 2.5 percent.

Travelers can book a Crystal Symphony "Luxury Caribbean Escape" with a reduced deposit of 15 percent and they will have until 60 days prior to departure to make final payments. Single supplements for these voyages begin at 125 percent. Guests with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these voyages.

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