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|Headquarters||Los Angeles, United States|
Crystal Cruise Lines, most commonly referred to as Crystal Cruises, is a luxury cruise line with its headquarters in Los Angeles in the United States. The line was established in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the large Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK).
Readers of Condé Nast Traveler have voted the line Best Midsize Cruise Ship Line for 21 years. Readers of Travel + Leisure have voted Crystal Cruises World's Best for 19 consecutive years. The cruises offered by Crystal Cruises include an annual World Cruise on the Crystal Serenity of about 110 days in length.
In March 2015, NYK announced that it was selling Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong (GHK), the owner of Star Cruises and a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The transfer was expected to close within the second quarter of 2015.
The company was founded in 1988 and is notable for its two medium-sized, high-end ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, each of which carries about 1,000 guests. In 2003, the new Crystal Serenity entered service with Crystal Cruises. In 2005, the Crystal Harmony, was retired from the Crystal fleet and transferred to the parent company, underwent some renovations, renamed the Asuka II, and now caters to the Japanese cruise market as part of Asuka Cruises.
On March 3, 2015, NYK announced that it was selling Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong (GHK), the owner of Star Cruises and a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The sale price was US$550 million in cash, subject to certain adjustment items. Simultaneously, NYK announced that Crystal Cruises would be building a new ship, but did not provide any specifics, such as the new ship's size, or date of entry into service. In a statement accompanying NYK's announcement, GHK said that it would provide financial resources and proven expertise in innovative ship design, to build the new ship so as to set the highest standard in luxury cruise ships. On May 15, 2015, GHK announced that it had closed on the acquisition.
On July 20, 2015, Crystal announced major expansion plans, including new subsidiary brands and holiday types.
Starting in December 2015, yacht cruises are offered on board the newly acquired Crystal Esprit. The 62-guest, 3,000-tonnage yacht is outfitted with special features including a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender for special boating adventures. Additionally, water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, scuba, and snorkel equipment are all available for passengers.
- River cruises and Air travel
In 2017, Crystal will launch Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Luxury Air, bringing the brand to river cruising and luxury air tours. Crystal Luxury Air will be the first in the luxury travel industry to offer around-the-world trips on the world's most advanced twin-aisle Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and a Boeing 777-200LR Business Jet.
- Exclusive ships
Finally, in 2018, Crystal will launch the first of three new "Crystal Exclusive Class" cruise ships with the first expected for delivery in late 2018. Genting Hong Kong has signed a letter of intent with Lloyd Werft in Germany to build the polar ice class vessels.
SS United States
It was announced on February 4, 2016 that Crystal Cruises has signed a purchase option for the SS United States, Crystal will cover docking costs in Philadelphia for nine months while it conducts a feasibility study.
|Crystal Symphony||1995||Kvaerner Masa-Yards||1995||51,044 tons||Bahamas|
|Crystal Serenity||2003||Chantiers de l'Atlantique||2003||68,870 tons||Bahamas|
|Crystal Esprit||1991||Flender Werke||2015||3,370 GT||Previously MegaStar Taurus
Part of the newly launched Crystal Yacht Cruises sub-brand.
|Crystal Harmony||1989||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||1990–2006||50,142 tons||Bahamas|
|Ship||Class||Inaugural run||Gross tonnage||Notes|
|TBA||Prototype (Polar Ice-class )||2018||100,000 GT||This ship is scheduled for delivery in 2018, being the first of three.|
|TBA||TBA||TBA||100,000 GT||Sister to the 2018 new build.|
|TBA||TBA||TBA||100,000 GT||Second sister to the 2018 new build.|
The Crystal Symphony is the smaller of the two, holding 940 passengers. It was last refurbished in 2012. The Crystal Serenity can hold 1,050 passengers and about 650 crew, and was last refurbished in 2011.
Each Crystal ship features two specialty restaurants, including the Italian restaurant Prego (overseen by Piero Selvaggio of Valentino restaurants), and Silk Road and the Sushi Bar (overseen by Japanese restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa). Specialty restaurants require a cover charge $30 per person, per dining experience. Daytime activities include pools, lectures, a movie theater, lessons by Yamaha keyboard instructors, and instruction by Berlitz language teachers.
Crystal Cruises enlisted Caesars World to operate an onboard casino, Caesars Palace at Sea, on its first liner, Crystal Harmony. The partnership continued with Crystal's current vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Each casino had about eight table games and 100 slot machines. Caesars received "minute" earnings from the casinos, but considered them good marketing. The management agreements with Caesars expired in the spring of 2006.
In February 2015 Crystal Cruises announce that passengers will be able to use on-board credit in the casinos on their ships, making it the first to allow credit other than cash in a cruise ship casino.
- Hutcheon, Helen (3 November 2013). "The fab four". The Australian. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Miramar Ship Index: Crystal Harmony, ID#8806204.
- Sloan, Gene (March 3, 2015). "Shake-up in luxury cruising as Crystal gets new owner". USA Today. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
- Dake, Shawn (March 3, 2015). "Crystal Cruises Sold To Genting Hong Kong For $550 Million". Maritime Matters. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
- Norton Masek, Theresa (May 16, 2015). "Crystal CEO Rodriguez Comments on 'Thrilling, Yet Bittersweet' Sale". TravelPulse.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015. External link in
- Crystal add another aircraft type for luxury air travel
- Knego, Peter (December 21, 2015). "CRYSTAL ESPRIT Christened". Maritime Matters. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
- Cudahy, Brian J. (2001). The Cruise Ship Phenomenon in North America, p. 269; Haworth, R.B. Miramar Ship Index: Crystal Symphony, ID#9066667.
- Sloan, Gene. USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/travel/cruises/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=44498316.blog. Missing or empty
- "Cruise Guidebook - Dining". Crystal Cruises. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Beyette, Beverly (28 May 2006). "What makes a cruise a 5-star experience? It's all in the details". Los Angeles Times.
- Yoshihashi, Pauline (5 April 1989). "Cruise line owned by Japanese bets on floating casino". Wall Street Journal (via ProQuest). Retrieved 2012-05-03. (subscription required)
- Berns, Dave (17 Mar 1997). "Cruise ships lure gaming clients". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- Form 10-K (Report). Harrah's Entertainment. 14 March 2006. p. 15.
- "Crystal Move to end Casino Discrimination". Cruise.co.uk News. Feb 11, 2015.
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