Crystal Cruises

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Crystal Cruises
Industry Transportation
Founded 1988
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Key people
  • Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay , Chairman
  • Tom Wolber, President and CEO
Products Cruises

Crystal Cruises is an American luxury cruise line[1][2] with its headquarters in Los Angeles in the United States. Crystal and its brand experiences have been awarded many top industry accolades, winning "World's Best" recognition from Travel + Leisure magazine a record number of years, as well as honors from Condé Nast Traveler.[3]

In March 2015, former parent company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) announced that it was selling Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong (GHK). Since the acquisition, Crystal Cruises has become Crystal, Ltd., now including brand expansions Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air and Crystal AirCruises.


The company was founded in 1988 and is notable for its two medium-sized, innovative luxury ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, each of which accommodates approximately 1,000 guests. In 2003, the new Crystal Serenity entered service with Crystal Cruises. In 2005 its first ship, Crystal Harmony,[4] 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 GHK, the owner of Star Cruises and a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.[5] The sale price was US$550 million in cash, subject to certain adjustment items.[6] 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.[5] On May 15, 2015, GHK announced that it had closed on the acquisition.[7]

Brand expansion[edit]

On July 20, 2015, Crystal announced its blueprint for an ambitious series of brand expansions in the luxury travel and hospitality industry. Apart from Crystal Cruises, the group would now include the following divisions:

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises[edit]

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises launched in December 2015 with the Crystal Esprit. The 62-guest, 3,000 ton yacht is outfitted with features including a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for excursions and a 12-passenger yacht tender for boating adventures. Additionally, water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, scuba, and snorkel equipment are available.[8][9] On January 15, 2018, the company cut steel for Crystal Endeavor at MV Werften.[10] Crystal will debut its new expedition yacht in 2020. Crystal Endeavor will have a tonnage of 19,800 GT and will operate polar expeditions. All the ship's staterooms will be suites.[11]

Crystal River Cruises[edit]

In July 2016, Crystal launched Crystal River Cruises with the debut of the re-furbished Crystal Mozart (de). Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler, the first two of four "Rhine Class' new-build river ships, were added in 2017, becoming the first all-suite, all-French balcony river ships in Europe, with all categories of accommodations set above the waterline and offering Crystal's butler service. The next two, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, will join the fleet in 2018.

Crystal Debussy will accommodate 106 guests. She is scheduled to depart on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam on April 9, 2018.[12]

All five Crystal river ships will sail itineraries along Europe's waterways, focusing primarily on the Danube and Rhine Rivers, with trips along the Moselle and Main Rivers as well.

Crystal Luxury Air/Crystal AirCruises[edit]

Crystal Luxury Air private jet service launched in 2015 with the company's Bombardier Global Express jet, available for charter and accommodating 12 guests. In August 2017, Crystal AirCruises took flight with the launch of Crystal Skye, a Boeing 777-200LR configured with 88 first class flat-bed seats, a lounge/dining room that seats 24 and a full bar. The charter price is estimated by the company to be $55,000 per hour. The National Hockey League is one of its first three charter customers.[13] In addition the company took delivery of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in May 2017. This aircraft is currently stored.[14]

SS United States[edit]

It was announced on February 4, 2016 that Crystal Cruises has signed a purchase option for the SS United States, Crystal would cover docking costs in Philadelphia for nine months while it conducted a feasibility study.[15][16]

The plan was formally dropped on August 5, 2016, citing too many technical challenges. But Crystal Cruises did announce a donation of $350,000 to cover docking costs through to the end of the year.[17]


Current fleet[edit]

Name Built Builder Entered service
for Crystal
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Crystal Symphony 1995 Kvaerner Masa-Yards 1995 51,044  Bahamas Crystal Symphony 1.JPG
Crystal Serenity 2003 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 2003 68,870  Bahamas Crystal Serenity 01.JPG
Crystal Esprit 1991 Flender Werke 2015 3,370  Bahamas Previously MegaStar Taurus
Operated by Crystal Yacht Cruises .[8][9][18]
Crystal Esprit.jpg
Crystal Mozart 1987 MV Werften (redesign) 2016 532  Malta Operated by Crystal River Cruises / Named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Mozart (ship, 1987) 006.jpg
Crystal Bach 2017 MV Werften 2017  Malta Operated by Crystal River Cruises / Named after Johann Sebastian Bach Crystal Bach in Kiel Canal I
Crystal Mahler 2017 MV Werften 2017  Malta Operated by Crystal River Cruises / Named after Gustav Mahler
N989SF 2007 Bombardier Aerospace 2015 United StatesUnited States Bombardier BD-700 Global Express. Operated for Crystal Luxury Air by Corporate Flight Management, Inc
Crystal Skye
2011 Boeing 2017 ArubaAruba Ex Air Austral B777-29M(LR) reg F-OLRA. Operated for Crystal AirCruise by Comlux Aruba NV.

Future fleet[edit]

Ship Class Debut
Crystal Debussy River 2018
Crystal Ravel River 2018
Crystal Endeavor Yacht (PC6 Polar Class) 2020
Crystal TBA Diamond Class 2022

Former fleet[edit]

Ship Built Builder Service
for Crystal
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes Image
Crystal Harmony 1989 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 1990–2006 50,142 tons  Bahamas Renamed Asuka II Crystal Harmony (7328030088).jpg


Crystal Cruises originally set sail in partnership with Caesars Palace at Sea casinos on its first ship, Crystal Harmony.[19] The partnership continued with Crystal's subsequent ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. After the acquisition by GHK, the casinos were re-branded under a new partnership with Resorts World Casinos.[20]


  1. ^ "404". Archived from the original on 2009-06-28. 
  2. ^ Hutcheon, Helen (3 November 2013). "The fab four". The Australian. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Travel Inspiration". 
  4. ^ Miramar Ship Index: Crystal Harmony, ID#8806204.
  5. ^ a b Sloan, Gene (March 3, 2015). "Shake-up in luxury cruising as Crystal gets new owner". USA Today. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ Dake, Shawn (March 3, 2015). "Crystal Cruises Sold To Genting Hong Kong For $550 Million". Maritime Matters. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ Norton Masek, Theresa (May 16, 2015). "Crystal CEO Rodriguez Comments on 'Thrilling, Yet Bittersweet' Sale". Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "404". Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. 
  9. ^ a b "Crystal: Three New 100,000 Ton Ships, Plus Luxury Yacht, River Cruises and Boeing 787 - Cruise Industry News - Cruise News". 
  10. ^ Staff, CIN (2018-01-15). "Construction Starts on Crystal Expedition Ship". Retrieved 2018-01-16. 
  11. ^ Staff, CIN (2018-03-06). "Crystal Reveals More Details on Endeavor". Retrieved 2018-03-09. 
  12. ^ Staff, CIN (2018-03-10). "Crystal Introduces New River Vessel to Its Fleet". Retrieved 2018-03-12. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Crystal Luxury Air Fleet Details and History". Planespotters Net. Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  15. ^ "Crystal Signs Purchase Option for SS United States - Cruise Industry News - Cruise News". 
  16. ^ "S.S. United States, Historic Ocean Liner of Trans-Atlantic Heyday, May Sail Again". The New York Times. 4 February 2016. 
  17. ^ "Crystal Drops SS United States Project - Cruise Industry News - Cruise News". 
  18. ^ Knego, Peter (December 21, 2015). "CRYSTAL ESPRIT Christened". Maritime Matters. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  19. ^ 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)
  20. ^ Berns, Dave (17 Mar 1997). "Cruise ships lure gaming clients". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 


External links[edit]