2012 is only half-way over, but Crystal Cruises is already planning for 2015. As part of its 22nd Annual Sales Achievement Awards Gala, Crystal executives shared with its top-selling agents and the media the details on its 2015 World Cruise and a new program that offers an "ultra-insider's" perspective to European port calls.
In honor of its 20th World Cruise, and 25th anniversary of the company, the ultra-luxe line will be offering its first-ever full circumnavigation of the globe.
"We're out further with our world cruise itineraries than any other [cruise] line," says Jack Anderson, director of sales and marketing. "We are reaping huge benefits because of it. Many World Cruise guests book a world cruise every other year, not every year. So if we have two years' worth of itineraries out, [agents] can make sure that they are aware of everything we have and get their clients locked in, hopefully before they see anything competitive."
The itinerary sails round-trip from Miami starting January 15, 2015. The all-inclusive, 108-day voyage will consist of six segments: Miami to Callao/Lima; Callao/Lima to Auckland; Auckland to Perth; Perth to Cape Town; Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro; and Rio de Janeiro to Miami.
"We wanted to do something very different that we haven't done before," says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. "We're going to throw it all into this one. We've had demand and requests for this type of cruise for several years."
Additional itinerary highlights include maiden calls in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Albany, Australia; Ambodifotra and Taolagnaro, Madagascar; and Richards Bay, South Africa, and stops in Easter Island, Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Reunion Island, Buenos Aires, Cartagena, Turks & Caicos and more.
Note: Full world cruisers receive a host of complimentary perks such as private enrichment classes, fitness programs, entertainment and more.
The new port call program, called "Local Insights," brings aboard native experts to share their niche knowledge about the destination's art, politics, archaeology or history. Guests will be treated to live talk show-style interviews when both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity call in more than two dozen towns along the Mediterranean and Northern European coasts.
Some experts include Gaudi Center architect Toshiaki Tange, ex-mayor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Khodyrev, Titanic expert Joe O'Neill and more. Additional ports where the program will be offered include Dublin, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Reykjavik, Odessa, Kotor, Livorno, Malaga, Cadiz, Valencia, Sorrento, Dubrovnik and Bilbao, Copenhagen, Bodrum and Venice.