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The comeback begins: Luxury cruise line Crystal resumes sailings 18 months after shutdown

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The comeback of luxurious cruise line Crystal is lastly at hand.

On Monday, the much-beloved, 35-year-old model will function its first voyage with paying passengers in 18 months because it restarts operations underneath new homeowners.

The 12-night Mediterranean crusing out of Marseille, France, will happen on the 740-passenger Crystal Serenity, which is the primary Crystal vessel to return to service. A second Crystal ship, the 606-passenger Crystal Symphony, will restart operations Sept. 1.

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Crystal Serenity’s preliminary comeback voyage shall be a one-way journey to Lisbon with stops in France, Monaco, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Crystal Serenity will then function voyages to the U.Okay. and Iceland in August earlier than heading to North America in September for sailings to Canada, New England and the Caribbean.

Crystal is restarting operations underneath new homeowners after collapsing together with its former guardian firm Genting Hong Kong in early 2022. The collapse got here after revenues plummeted because of COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns.

The high-end journey firm A&Okay Journey Group purchased the road’s model identify and two greatest oceangoing ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, out of chapter months after its collapse with a promise to restart it.

A newly built Sapphire Verandah Suite on Crystal Serenity
A newly constructed Sapphire Verandah Suite on Crystal Serenity. GENE SLOAN/THE POINTS GUY

The 2 oceangoing ships have been bought at the side of Heritage, the holding firm managed by former Silversea Cruises proprietor Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio. Lefebvre additionally owns a controlling stake in A&Okay Journey Group.

The model’s former proprietor, Genting Hong Kong, is not related to the model.

For now, Crystal will function with simply two ships. As a part of the road’s chapter in 2022, 5 river ships and an expedition cruise vessel the corporate previously operated have been offered to different cruise corporations.

That mentioned, Crystal’s prime govt on Saturday revealed plans to order 4 new ships to vastly increase the road over the following six years.

To convey again the model, its new homeowners have poured thousands and thousands of {dollars} into upgrading Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

The 2 ships have been initially unveiled in 2003 and 1995, respectively. The upgrades embrace growing the dimensions of suites and cabins, which has decreased the passenger capability of the vessels. The spas, health facilities and a number of other eating places on the ships even have been redone.

Because of the discount in passenger capability, the ships will now sail with practically one crew member for each passenger — one of many highest crew-to-passenger ratios within the cruise enterprise.

Amongst different notable modifications, the model is now identified merely as Crystal relatively than its earlier identify, Crystal Cruises.

Associated: Why I might have been devastated if this model disappeared without end

After crusing to the Caribbean this winter, Crystal Serenity will set off on an epic, around-the-world cruise lasting 141 days.

Crystal Symphony will head to Asia, Australia and New Zealand within the fall after preliminary sailings within the Mediterranean.

Fares for Crystal’s preliminary sailings in 2023 begin round $500 per individual per day for the smallest cabins. Prime suites are priced nearer to $2,000 per individual per day.

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