|At the event Crystal talked guest demographics on the Crystal Esprit (pictured).|
Travel Agent is currently aboard Crystal Symphony, attending Crystal Cruises' 25th annual Sales Award Gala for top-producing travel advisors. 93 advisors qualified for and 79 advisors attended this year's gala, which is taking place on a cruise from Greece to Italy. The brand, which will celebrate its 26th anniversary this July, is commemorating the gala with the theme “Exclusively All About You”. This theme plays into Crystal’s new tag line “Where all inclusive is all exclusive.” The new branding pays homage to Crystal’s recent expansion in ocean cruising, river cruising, yacht experiences and air travel.
Here’s an update on what Gala attendees have heard so far.
Crystal Yacht Cruises – A Look at Q1
On December 23, 2015, Crystal Esprit launched in the Seychelles after a major refurbishment. (The yacht was originally built in 1991.) The yacht offers all-inclusive amenities, including Michelin-level star cuisine. Guests can choose to dine at the Cove bar with piano music and crafted cocktails, The Patio Café with indoor and outdoor space, the Yacht Club with an open kitchen, and the Sunset Bar.
The yacht also has adventure equipment, including an underwater vehicle. Esprit can carry a total of 62 guests, we heard that those travelers that sailed on Esprit during Q1 had a distinctive set of demographics. The average age of a guest on the yacht wass 53 years old, about 10 years younger than the average Crystal ocean cruiser. Travel agents should note that 68 percent of Q1 guests were new to Crystal and 38 percent were not yet retired. During Q1 there was a mix of international guests; however, 43 percent were from the U.S.
Crystal Cruises is attracting a younger global pallette of guests that haven’t cruised yet, explained Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Crystal. She added that yachting is not cruising; it’s a more active trip than cruising.
Travel agents at the Gala were reminded to explain in detail the nuances of the yachting experience to clients before booking. This is a smaller, more adventurous kind of travel that won’t be suitable to every traveler’s taste or abilities. For example, the yacht is not equipped with an elevator and guests can wear more casual attire than on the ocean vessels. Agents should note that Esprit is available for charters.
Esprit will be joined by a brand new yacht in 2018, Crystal Endeavor. This yacht will be the first-purpose built Polar Code-compliant yacht. This new vessel will sail in the Arctic and then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of America and Europe to Antarctica during the winter.
Depending on the itinerary on Endeavor, the ship will attract a range of guests and a range of ages, said Rodriguez.
Crystal’s new website will launch by the end of May and that personal URLs will be available on the site.
Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for more information from this year’s gala.