Crystal's Rapid Growth: Luxury Cruise Line Plans New Ships Post-Restart



by NOUMAN RASOOL

Crystal's Rapid Growth: Luxury Cruise Line Plans New Ships Post-Restart

Crystal Cruises, the esteemed luxury cruise line, is set to embark on a remarkable expansion journey, aiming to introduce four new ships by the close of the decade. The ambitious announcement was made by Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group, the parent company of Crystal and Abercrombie & Kent luxury tour company, during an exclusive press conference held aboard the opulent Crystal Serenity, accommodating 740 passengers.

While the contracts with shipyards are yet to be signed, Levis assured that the planning for the new vessels is well underway. The company intends to commence construction on the initial two ships, featuring one traditional cruise ship and one expedition vessel, as early as the second quarter of 2024.

Levis revealed that Crystal is collaborating with esteemed lenders, export credit agencies, accomplished naval architects, and two prominent shipbuilding companies in Europe to bring these grand plans to life. Although precise details about the ships' specifications were limited, Levis disclosed that two of the vessels would be expedition ships designed to host around 220 passengers each, while the other two would be traditional ships with a capacity of approximately 650 passengers.

Emphasizing the company's commitment to preserving an intimate ambiance, Levis stressed, "We are keeping it small."

Continuity of Luxury Experiences

During the engaging Q&A session that followed the announcement, Bernie Leypold, Crystal's senior vice president for hotel operations, revealed that the new ships would offer comparable amenities to those found on Crystal's existing fleet.

The objective is to maintain consistency in the high-quality product and deliver the same exquisite experiences that Crystal's discerning clientele cherish. This ambitious expansion plan comes as Crystal Cruises reemerges as a brand after its temporary shutdown in early 2022 due to the financial collapse of its parent company, Genting Hong Kong.

The luxury cruise line is now under new ownership led by the esteemed figure of the cruise industry, Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, who, along with his family, previously owned and managed Silversea Cruises. The eagerly awaited Crystal Serenity, one of the two ships acquired by Lefebvre d'Ovidio's holding company and A&K Travel Group from the liquidators, will soon embark on its first cruise with paying passengers after an extensive overhaul in an Italian dry dock.

The second vessel, Crystal Symphony, is scheduled to recommence operations on September 1st, presenting passengers with refreshed and upgraded spaces, including larger suites and redesigned restaurants. As Crystal Serenity majestically sailed off the Italian coast from Naples to Livorno, Levis' announcement echoed the company's soaring ambitions for the future, symbolizing a new chapter in the illustrious history of this luxury cruise line.

With the prospect of four magnificent new ships on the horizon, Crystal Cruises stands poised to redefine the pinnacle of ultra-luxury cruising and enthrall discerning travelers with unparalleled experiences on the high seas.