On 31st July, Crystal was officially relaunched under the new ownership of A&K Travel Group, as ’Crystal Serenity’ sailed following a multi-million dollar refurbishment programme.
Departing on her inaugural voyage from Marseille, the cruise line’s largest vessel accommodates 740 guests and is the first of two ships to return to service this summer.
With an industry-leading space-to-guest ratio (1 to 93.1 cu ft) and nearly one staff member per guest, ’Crystal Serenity’ fosters endless opportunities for inspiration and enrichment, complemented by unparalleled service, the company claimed.
Larger, redesigned suites, speciality dining restaurants and restored public spaces are aimed at giving passengers heightened experiences.
“Crystal has been recognised for decades for exceptional experiences and we are excited to welcome guests back on board for its new gilded era,” said A&K Travel Group CEO, Cristina Levis.
“In just one year, we’ve been able to revitalise the ships, a feat nearly unheard of in our industry. It is an honour to be signalling this new chapter better than ever and right on schedule, all while retaining 80% of Crystal’s beloved crew on board.”
After her first voyage from Marseille to Lisbon, ’Crystal Serenity’ will sail towards Northern Europe calling in the UK, Ireland, and Iceland. The ship then travels to the Americas, ranging from Canada to Cartagena, Colombia, before beginning her 2024 World Cruise.
Crystal contracted cruise ship architectural firm, GEM, to undertake the redesign of select guest rooms and suites. Accommodation features neutral tones and high-end fixtures, complemented by subtle hues of pastel colours.
As part of the ship’s refurbishment, there are two new guest room categories – the Jr Crystal Penthouse Suite and Single Guest Room with Ocean View – that serve as an option for solo travellers without the worry of paying additional single supplements.
Furthermore, Crystal recently announced the appointment of Dalila Roglieri as Head Nutritionist for the brand.
‘Crystal Serenity’s’ sister ship ’Crystal Symphony’ is currently undergoing trials having been renovated at a Fincantieri shipyard and is due to resume service from Athens (Piraeus) on 1st September.
Later, during a briefing to media and travel advisors sailing on board ‘Crystal Serenity’s’ preview voyage, Levis, announced that the brand is working with their advisors, lenders and export credit agencies to sign a memorandum of agreement with two European shipbuilders for four new ships.
These will include two classic ships and two expedition vessels.