On 1st September, ’Crystal Symphony’, officially re-entered service following an extensive refurbishment after being purchased by A&K Travel Group last summer.
Departing on its inaugural voyage from Athens, the vessel, which now accommodates 606 guests, has joined sistership ’Crystal Serenity’ in a new chapter for the brand.
With nearly one staff member per guest, ’Crystal Symphony’ now boasts larger, revamped suites, specialty dining restaurants and expansive public spaces. In just one year, and on schedule, Crystal revitalised the two ships and re-instated more than 80% of the line’s crew.
“We are so proud that ’Crystal Symphony’ has officially joined ’Crystal Serenity’ back in the water, signalling an exciting new chapter for Crystal – two ships refurbished and back in service in under a year is completely unprecedented,” said Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group, the new owner of Crystal Cruises.
“The ship’s exceptional enhancements reflect our unwavering commitment to providing guests with inspiration and enrichment as they sail to the globe’s most coveted destinations.”
Crystal collaborated with cruise ship interior designer, GEM, to revamp select guest rooms and suites. As part of the ships’ refurbishments, there are two new guest room categories – the Jr Crystal Penthouse Suite and Single Guest Room with Ocean View, which serves as an option for solo travellers.
These new categories will also increase the availability of the Sapphire Suite category, the company said.
Fincantieri was tasked with modernising the two cruise ships at its Trieste shipyard. The contract was finalised in December, 2022, and, after an initial phase committed to engineering development, work lasted for about five months.
The ships’ hotel portion, both public areas and suites and guest rooms, was upgraded, deeply affecting the systems as well, in order to lengthen their operational life. The project was concluded with the usual drydocking in preparation to a return to service.
Aspects relating to their environmental sustainability were also upgraded, with particular reference to wastewater treatment and energy recovery systems. Finally, the hulls were treated with special ecosilicone paints, which reduce friction and fuel consumption.
Pierroberto Folgiero, Fincantieri CEO, said: “This is one of the most important orders managed at our Arsenale Triestino San Marco, allowing us to further consolidate Fincantieri Services’ leadership in the refitting and refurbishment sector globally, which will grow a lot in the coming years, due to the ongoing digital and green revolution.
“Supporting as a technology partner the re-launch of a brand like Crystal is a very significant achievement, which starts in the best possible way the relationship with a client like Crystal that today refers to a shipowner we know very well as Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio,”.he said.
‘Crystal Serenity’ and ‘Crystal Symphony’ have a length of nearly 240 m, a gt of about 51,000 and a maximum capacity that today stands at around 740 and 606 passengers, respectively.
In addition to the two vessels returning to service, Crystal recently announced that it is currently working with advisors, lenders and export credit agencies to sign a memorandum of agreement with two European shipbuilders. This could lead to the building of four new ships in the next six years, including two classic ships and two expedition vessels.