Crystal Cruises plans to build the first purpose-built polar class mega-yacht in the world. Named Crystal Endeavor, the first-ever expedition ship of the luxury line, is due to enter service August 2018.
Joining the world's newest cruise ships fleet, 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 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 will sail in the Arctic 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.
Steel cutting for the new ship will begin in May with delivery in August 2018. Crystal Endeavor cruises open for booking in late 2016.
Edie Rodriguez, Crystal president and chief executive, said:
“With Crystal Esprit, we discovered there are many guests, young and young at heart, who enjoy sports at sea and discovering remote islands, and as the interests and age of luxury travelers increasingly vary, we will continue to expand our collection of luxury travel options.
“Crystal Endeavor will cater to a particularly daring audience, one who values luxurious comfort and amenities as much as life-changing adventures.”