Crystal Cruises

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Crystal Cruises fleet

Review of Crystal Cruises

One of the top luxury cruise companies, and among the best lines for adults, the Crystal cruise company offers sailings on luxury passenger liners with all inclusive package deals. Both top rated cruise ships in numerous categories, they offer intimate cruising experience, superior service, 5-star amenities, elegance and perfection in every detail.

The Crystal Line was founded in 1988 (headquartered in Century City, Los Angeles), and is a subsidiary of the Japanese NYK Linefollow (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) – one of the largest shipping companies in the world.

One of the most emblematic luxury Scandinavian cruises to Norway Fjords, the Baltic capitals with Russia’s St. Petersburg are operated by the Crystal Line. The Crystal cruise ships also offer Arctic cruise trips to Spitzbergen and the North Cape. And probably the most special feature is the Crystal World Cruise each year to the most exotic sea vacation destinations in the world, including Hawaii, the South Pacific Islands, Australia New Zealand, Asia, and even Alaska. The Crystal ships call on over 180 ports in 60 countries.

The Crystal themed sailings are some of the best adult cruise vacations for a clientele of mostly older couples (50+ years old), who prefer an onboard environment of sophistication, style, and impeccable, highly personalized service. The Crystal onboard experience features:

  • Spacious, exquisitely appointed accommodations (most of them with verandas), with in-room Internet access, complimentary in-room dining (24 hours a day); penthouses with personal butler service.
  • Abundance of dining options; excellent alternate dining venues, with specialty restaurants like “Prego” (signature of “Valentino Restaurants), “Silk Road” and the “Sushi Bar” (overseen by Nobu Matsuhisa). Wine cellar with a selection of over 200 vintages, and more than 20,000 bottles.
  • The lavish Feng Shui-inspired “Crystal Spa” center. State-of-the-art fitness facilities with panoramic sea views; Yoga- and Pilates classes; the “Walk on Water” fitness program by Debbie Rocker.
  • Crystal special lounges: “Caesars Palace” at Sea Casino, “Galaxy Lounge” (with its state-of-the-art sound- and lighting systems), “Crystal Dining Room” and “Vintage Room”, “Avenue of the Stars” (with its shops and boutiques), “Trident Grill and Ice Cream Bar”, “Palm Court” (daily served afternoon tea), “Connoisseur Club” (also offering a selection of fine cigars), “Avenue Saloon” (jazz lounge).
  • Broadway-style productions; variety shows, indoor- and outdoor pool, paddle tennis courts, a casino (with complimentary cocktails), movie theater, nightclub, bingo.
  • “Creative Learning Institute” program (series of interactive classes) include: “Computer University@Sea”, Keyboard lessons (Yamaha), Language classes (Berlitz), Wellness lectures (the Cleveland Clinic), Tai chi instructions (the Tai Chi Cultural Center), Professional ACBL Bridge instructors, Dance lessons (including ballroom dances) with professional instructors, Golf lessons (Callaway golf equipment & PGA golf professionals), the “Crystal Visions Enrichment Program” (in which attend lectures renowned authors, culinary stars, journalists, historians, etc.)
  • “Ambassador Host Program” (for single travelers).
  • Themed cruises; many onshore activity options. 

Crystal cruise accommodation categories: Crystal Penthouse – veranda (300 m2), Penthouse Suite – veranda (150 m2), Penthouse – veranda (110 m2), Deluxe Stateroom – veranda (75 m2), Deluxe Stateroom (60 m2). Additional accommodations for guests with disabilities, connecting staterooms and family staterooms (with 3rd berth available), 24-hour complimentary room service, penthouses are butler-served.

For its premium service and an overall superb cruising, the Crystal company consistently receives “World’s Best” awards from the readers of such prominent and influential magazines, like “Travel & Leisure Magazine”,  and “Conde Nast Traveler”.

Crystal cruise ships

Crystal cruise ships are always at the first positions in the official Conde Nast votes for Top 10 cruise ships (in the “mid-sized ships” pole) and also at the first positions in the top 10 luxury cruise ships in the world (votes for passenger ships operating with all inclusive deals).

Crystal cruise ships are 5-star rated liners with some of the highest space-per-guest ratios at sea. Between the most expensive cruise ships in the world as to cabin rates, and operated by one of the top 5 best luxury cruise lines in the world, the Crystal ships are the perfect choice for people enjoying the bliss of being so very much rich, that prices starting from US$7000 are not an issue whatsoever.

Generally, Crystal ships sail on longer itineraries (with length of more than 2 weeks). They serve an affluent clientele of mid-aged passengers. Life on board is marked by superior style and sophistication, impeccable highly personalized service, tranquility, perfection in every detail, best enrichment programs. The vessels are Bahamas-flagged and belong to the unique Single-class. 

The Crystal cruise ship best features and amenities include: complimentary beverages, a library, jacuzzi, fitness-room, stationery, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, cell-phone service, personal safe, 9 dining venues, 2 pools, the Crystal Spa Fitness Saloon (treatment rooms, sauna, steam room), golf simulators and instructors, a ship-round Promenade, The Hollywood Theater (entertainment venue), Galaxy Lounge, a Library with movies, music, and books, and an Observatory lounge.

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises (division of Crystal Cruises) is the line’s new branch offering fully all-inclusive deals. Its product is marked by gourmet dining, expert enrichment, high-class entertainment, top-luxury amenities and impeccable service on newbuild European riverboats. In each port along the itinerary are offered culture-themed tours and excursions. In some of the ports, the new Crystal river ships offer overnight stays that allow passengers to enjoy high-class gourmet dining experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants ashore and also exclusive evening events and entertainment on the ship.Crystal river cruise ship design ( Bach, Debussy, Mahler, Ravel)

To start its operations, the Crystal river cruise company purchased an existing riverboat that was refurbished and renamed Crystal Mozart (scheduled launch in July 2016). The company additionally ordered four new luxury river yacht ships (builder Lloyd Werft, Germany) scheduled for delivery in mid 2017. MS Mozart (Crystal Mozart) is currently the Europe’s largest river ship, excepting, of course, the old-design Russian ships sailing on river Volga. The Mozart ship has capacity 160 passengers, luxury suites (ranging from 19-80 m2 / 200-860 ft2), multiple restaurants, even an indoor swimming pool.

In July 2016 Crystal River Cruises is soon to launch the first ship in its fleet, renovated Crystal Mozart and released new details on its first 4 new build ships, set to debut in 2017: Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel. The 4 new river yachts will feature a similar design to Crystal Mozart, though with some differences due to ships’ size. The newbuilds will accommodate nearly half the number of passengers as 160-passenger Crystal Mozart.

Sailing on the Danube, Rhine and Main Rivers, Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler will be 135 m long “Rhine Class” boats with 53 suites accommodating 106 guests. Crystal Ravel and Crystal Debussy will sail on the Dordogne, Garonne, Gironde and Seine Rivers as “Paris Class” yachts, 110 m long with a capacity of 78 passengers in 39 suites. 

All 4 yachts will provide butler service for every suite, Egyptian cotton linens, king-size beds facing toward panoramic balcony windows, full-length mirrors, walk-in closets, ETRO robes and slippers, Nespresso machines and wall-mounted flatscreen TVs. For dining, the options include a Waterside Restaurant, Vintage Room, Palm Court, Cove Bar and Bistro cafés. All ships will feature open-seating dining. Elsewhere on the new yachts, guests will enjoy a separate fitness center and full-service spa, as well as a partial indoor and outdoor pool on the aft of Crystal Mahler and Crystal Bach.Crystal river cruise ship design ( Bach, Debussy, Mahler, Ravel)

The Crystal Cruises' previous owner NYK sold in March 2015 the cruise company to the Malaysian corporation Genting Hong Kong Ltd for USD 550 million. Genting also owns the Asian line Star Cruises (Singapore-based holding company) and is a shareholder in the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

In January 2016, Genting bought the remaining 30% stocks of Lloyd Werft. The deal also included around 50% stake in the shipbuilder's real estate subsidiary company "Investitions und Verwaltungs". The acquisition plans were first announced on September 18, 2015. The announcement said that Star Cruises together with the German companies Petram Beteiligungs, Ehlerding Beteiligungs and BLG Logistics Group entered into a stock purchase agreement that allows Genting Hong Kong to acquire a majority stake in Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven GmbH. Before the announcement of this agreement, Genting signed a letter of intent with the shipbuilding company to build three Crystal’s new polar class cruise ships with expected delivery in late 2018 (later pushed back to 2019).

Polar Class Mega-Yachts

In March 2016 Crystal Cruises revealed plans to build the first purpose-built polar class mega-yacht in the world. Crystal Endeavor, the first-ever expedition ship of the luxury line, is due to enter service August 2018. The 600-foot, 25,000 GT vessel will carry 200 guests in 100 suites. Crystal claims that with a Remote Operated Vehicle, extensively used in offshore industry, expedition voyages will be organised to see sunken warships, galleons and passenger ships, such as Titanic at 12,500 feet.

The yacht will have 8 electric amphibious zodiacs, two 7-person submarines, 2 helicopters and 2 landing pads for ‘flightseeing’ trips. Crystal Endeavor will also offer jet skis, kayaks, wave runners, paddle boards, fishing facilities, snorkeling and scuba equipment. According to Crystal, the vessel will also be the world's first purpose-built Polar Code compliant yacht. This will enable the Endeavor to sail in Polar Regions during summer and autumn months in medium “first year” ice.Crystal Endeavor yacht cruise ship design

Crystal Endeavor will be fitted with "state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology" and computer-controlled systems in order to automatically maintain ship’s position with its own thrusters and propellers. This way the vessel will be able to float above coral reefs with no anchors, which can damage underwater terrain. The ship will compete with a similar ‘discovery yacht’ named Scenic Eclipse, currently under construction by Scenic Cruises. The Eclipse is also scheduled for delivery in 2018 to explore the Arctic and Antarctic.

Crystal Endeavor yacht cruise ship design

Crystal Endeavor will sail in the Artic and then follow the route of migrating whales along the Americas' coast and Europe to Antarctica during winter. Along the way, the mega-yacht will visit remote islands in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, which standard cruise ships cannot access or seldom call.Crystal Endeavor yacht cruise ship design

Steel cutting for the new ship will begin in May with delivery in August 2018. Crystal Endeavor cruises open for booking in late 2016. 

Itinerary of Crystal Cruises

In January 2017 Crystal Cruises pulled two Turkey cruise ports from upcoming voyages in light of violence in Istanbul. Sailings on Crystal Esprit and Crystal Symphony were affected.

The April 24 sailing of Symphony replaced visits to Istanbul and Kusadasi with calls at the Greek ports of Souda Bay, Navplion (overnight), Athens (overnight) and Hydra. Replacing the Turkish ports on the May 1 itinerary are Athens, Patmos and Rhodes. Pre-reserved shore excursions in Kusadasi and Istanbul are automatically canceled and refunded, for both sailings.

Ports of call in Turkey scheduled for Esprit in April and November are changed, but new itineraries have not been finalized yet. Other lines ready to pull Turkish ports from cruises include Disney Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises.

Crystal Cruises also announced its 62-guest mega-yacht, Crystal Esprit, will be redeployed to Caribbean in November 2017. The Esprit will offer roundtrip sailings every Sunday from Marigot Bay, Saint Martin, on 2 alternating 7-day routes. The first itinerary will feature visits to St.Barthelemy and 4 locations in the BVI. A second itinerary will take the ship to Anguilla, Saba, Nevis, St.Barthelemy and St.Martin.

In 2017, for the first time, Crystal Cruises will base a ship in North America for an extended season. Crystal Serenity will spend most part of 2017, following its world voyage, sailing itineraries to the Caribbean, both U.S. coasts, Canada/New England and Alaska.

The 2017 cruises of Crystal Serenity will include:

  • Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles
  • 7-night California coastal sailings
  • 14-night Mexico voyages
  • 16-night Hawaii cruises
  • 7-10-night Alaska & British Columbia
  • 7- and 10-night New England & Eastern Canada
  • Fall and winter Caribbean cruises and sailings along the Southern East Coast

Early-booking fares, starting from $2,275 per person, are on offer through Feb. 29, 2016. 

Four maiden calls are offered on 2017 'Southern Celebración' world cruise aboard Crystal Serenity in the Americas. The 94-day adventure operates round-trip from Miami FL to destinations in Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and the Caribbean, with Antarctica scenic sailing. The new ports of call include Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala, featuring rugged adventures, ancient Mayan ruins (UNESCO World Heritage-listed), exotic foliage and wildlife. Matarani, Peru is a small UNESCO-listed fishing port, serving as the gateway to Arequipa, surrounded by three volcanoes at heights of nearly 20,000 feet. In Chile, the mining history of Iquique evokes America's Old West. There is also restored Georgian and Victorian architecture, wide swaths of beach, a sea with terrific surfing and duty-free shopping. Chiloé on Castro Island is the third oldest city in Chile in continued existence. It offers UNESCO sites plus renowned contemporary art and archaeological museums.

Crystal Cruises will take Serenity out of its longtime European home because it has a new yacht and river ships that debut from late 2015 through 2017. The new ventures will offer itineraries along the seas and rivers of Europe. To make the change, however, the line had to remove previous sailings of Crystal Serenity scheduled from Apr. 15 through Oct. 27, 2017.

Crystal Cruises 2017-2018 cruise schedules of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony show 57 maiden port calls (new port visits) worldwide. The schedules of Serenity and Symphony (the line's largest ships) include a total of 109 itineraries visiting 116 different countries and a total of 469 cruise ports (of which 57 are first-time calls). Also featured are 7-day round-trips from Vancouver BC, world cruises(with customized itinerary options), luxury safari tours (in Madagascar and Mauritius), visiting the exotic regions of Amazon, North Cape, Red Sea. 

The line's new itinerary program announcement coincided with the launch of the All Exclusive' brand campaign. It features a luxury travel portfolio, including Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air, as well as Crystal Residences aboard the brand new Exclusive Class vessels (debuting in 2018).

  • 2017 itinerary highlights include Crystal's return to Northwest Passage, Alaska (offered also in 2018), with more 7-day round-trips out of Vancouver, and Crystal Serenity 'Southern Celebración' world voyage, a 94-day cruise around South America.
  • In 2017, Crystal returns to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale). Starting in October, the Serenity and Symphony ships will operate 8 itineraries to and from Fort Lauderdale. Currently, the cruise line occasionally offer departures out of Miami. Crystal's last departures from Port Everglades were in 2006.

Crystal Symphony will be one of the first ships to call at  Doha, Qatar and her 'Grand Pacific Explorer' 99-day cruise will call at 46 ports in 14 different countries, from Australia to Japan. Inclusive 2- or 3-night pre- and post-cruise land-based programs to Paris, Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls will be available. The itineraries are designed around Midsummer’s Eve in Stockholm, the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh and an overnight at Muscat on sultan’s birthday.

Crystal's first African holiday cruise will sail round-trip from Cape Town, on December 22, 2017 to January 7, 2018.

In 2018, Crystal Cruises will operate 4 world cruises, with travelers able to switch vessels to customize their itineraries. The company will feature luxury African safaris on an itinerary visiting Madagascar and Mauritius. The cruises will explore Amazon, North Cape, Arabian Gulf and Red Sea.

New Year’s Eve cruises include a 'Hawaiian Holiday' sailing round-trip from Los Angeles, CA and 'Creole & Caribbean Celebration' out of New Orleans.

Northwest Passage Cruises 2016-2017

In Summer 2016, Crystal Serenity entered the list of Arctic cruise ships with a Northwest Passage Cruise itinerary.

  • The 32-days long one-way itinerary was from Seward Alaska to NYC New York (August 16 to September 16), with ports of call Kodiak Island Alaska (Aug 17), Dutch Harbor Unalaska (Aug 19), Nome Alaska (Aug 21), Victoria Island Nunavut Canada (Aug 27 and 29), Baffin Island Nunavut Canada (Sept 4), Ilulissat Greenland (Sept 7), Sisimiut Greenland (Sept 8), Nuuk Greenland (Sept 9), Bar Harbor Maine (Sept 13), Boston Massachusetts (Sept 14) and Newport Rhode Island (Sept 15).
  • In 2017, the Serenity ship has scheduled a second Northwest Passage transit. The 2017 cruise itinerary (32-days Seward to New York City, August 15 through September 15) included the same ports of call - Kodiak Island Alaska (Aug 16), Dutch Harbor Unalaska (Aug 18), Nome Alaska (Aug 20), Victoria Island Nunavut Canada (Aug 25 and 28), Baffin Island Nunavut Canada (Sept 3), Ilulissat Greenland (Sept 6), Sisimiut Greenland (Sept 7), Nuuk Greenland (Sept 8), Bar Harbor Maine USA (Sept 12), Boston Massachusetts USA (Sept 13) and Newport Rhode Island USA (Sept 14).
  • For the August 2017 Northwest Passage, the company hired a comprehensive team of Arctic experts from "Arctic Kingdom" (Canada-based company), who will do regular onboard lectures on the region's geography, culture and wildlife, and also will lead all the expeditions ashore.
  • Crystal's "Northwest Passage" cruise prices started from USD 21,855 per person (double occupancy rates). The cruise line's "Crystal Clear Choices" promotion offers savings for bookings made by March 31, 2017.

Crystal river cruise itineraries

In July 2015, Genting announced its expansion plan that includes building new ships for its river cruise line. The new boats feature larger staterooms and bigger space-to-guest ratio in comparison to any other river cruise vessel. The boats' itineraries are planned to maximize port times for quality tour experiences ashore.

The new river brand's operations started in 2016 and are exclusively on European waterways. The Crystal company’s product is well known worldwide for its exceptional quality and fully all-inclusive deals.

The Crystal River Cruises line operates a fleet of all 5 (for now) top-luxury "river yachts". All riverboats sail on rivers in Europe.

  • Crystal Bach (2017)
  • Crystal Debussy (2017)
  • Crystal Mahler (2017)
  • Crystal Mozart (2016, former MS Mozart)
  • Crystal Ravel (2017)

Itineraries are in Europe exclusively - on the rivers Rhine, Main, Danube and Moselle. They intentionally deviate from traditional waterways routes to avoid congestion in the visited ports. The list of destinations (visited countries along the itinerary) includes Germany, Switzerland, Holland, France, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary. On Grand European itineraries (between Baltic Sea and Black Sea) are additionally included ports of call in the Balkan countries Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Itineraries and fares were announced in 2015. The online bookings are available since December 1, 2015 at To book Crystal river cruise deals you should contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625.

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All river passenger shipping line companies and their fleets are listed there.

Crystal cruise ship tracker

Our Crystal cruise tracker is a function integrated into all Crystal river ship review articles. At page-bottom in each page you’ll find a map with the boat’s current location (AIS position). All the real-time tracking data is provided by VesselFinder. It’s all about convenience – you will find where is your Crystal ship cruising today and right now along its current itinerary - in realtime!

The complete list of Genting cruise brands and assets includes the following vessels:

  • Crystal Cruises ships
  • Crystal Serenity (2003)
  • Crystal Symphony (1995)
  • SS United States (renovated ocean liner)
  • Crystal Yacht Cruises fleet (luxury mega-yachts)
  • Crystal Endeavor (2018 )
  • Crystal Esprit (1989 as "MegaStar Taurus")
  • Crystal AirCruises (private jet tours around the world)
  • Bombardier Global Express XRS (2016)
  • Boeing 777-200LR (2017)

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