In a deal announced just minutes ago, Crystal Cruises confirmed plans for no less than eight new builds, to be delivered via the German shipyards it has acquired over the last few months.
The announcement was made by Crystal CEO, Edie Rodriguez, to a select media group during a visit to Wismar-one of the German yards in question.
Highlight of the announcement was an enhanced order for six new river cruisers- two more than the quartet envisaged previously.
Germany will also deliver the expansive, 25,000 ton Crystal Endeavour mega yacht, as well as the first of a bruited trio of 100,000 ton, polar ice strengthened cruise ships. Thus far designated simply as Exclusive class ships, no formal name for this first new, ocean going ship has yet been formally announced.
All of this comes against the backdrop of the line preparing to launch it’s inaugural river sailings with the radically enhanced and refurbished Crystal Mozart, a vessel known for its sybaritic standards of luxury, and also the upcoming survey of the long moribund SS United States in Philadelphia. The aim is to return the legendary liner to service as an 800 guest, all suite cruise ship, subject to a truck to keel series of inspections.
Meanwhile, the long standing flag bearer, Crystal Symphony is beginning her European cruise season, while her sibling Crystal Serenity is embarking on her first dedicated Alaska season for several years; a role she will repeat again in 2017.
Add to this the recently created Crystal Air luxury air fleet, and you have an operation that has triggered the most expansive and exciting expansion that I can ever recall in the field of luxury travel. And, while all of these developments are dramatic enough in themselves, I’m particularly excited to see the new class of ocean going cruise ships as they come to fruition.
Obviously, so much more is to follow. As ever, stay tuned.