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Crystal plans 3 ocean newbuilds, and will branch into river, yacht, air sectors

Crystal Exclusive Class - 1,000 passengers, one-to-one crew ratio and 48 residences on a ship larger than 100,000gt
Under its new owner, Genting Hong Kong, Crystal Cruises is charting a dynamic expansion. The brand will be growing with the addition of a yacht in December this year, river cruise vessels and world trips on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2017 and three 1,000-passenger expedition vessels from Lloyd Werft, starting in 2018.

The first Crystal Exclusive Class ocean vessel is to arrive in late 2018. Genting HK has signed a letter of intent with Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven to build polar-class vessels in excess of 100,000gt that will allow Crystal to offer expedition-capable ships with all the signature features and amenities of a luxury ship or private yacht.

The all-suite, all-balcony design will accommodate 1,000 passengers, similar to the capacity on Crystal Symphony (922) and Crystal Serenity (1,070).

Additionally, for the first time, travelers will have the opportunity to call a Crystal ship 'home,' with Crystal Residences. Situated on the top deck will be 48 homes with extra-high ceilings, their own private restaurant, reception and facilities. Residences will start at 600 square feet and go to more than 4,000 square feet of interior living area—the largest at sea.

Other features of the ships will be staterooms at a minimum 400 square feet and 1,000 crew to provide a one-to-one crew to guest ratio.

Before then—late this year—Crystal Yacht Cruises will debut with a vessel from Genting HK, to be called Crystal Esprit. The 62-passenger, 3,300gt all-suite ship will offer exclusive, immersive experiences with a boutique ambiance. It will be outfitted with a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger Zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super-yacht tender.

Warm-water seven-day cruises are planned, first in the Seychelles Islands, but also in the Arabian Gulf (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Qatar, Oman) and the Adriatic and the Greek Isles.

Spring 2017 brings Crystal River Cruises. The line initially will be building two river vessels featuring spacious suites and six-star service, to operate in Europe. More details to come.

Also in 2017, the new Crystal Luxury Air will offer extravagant around-the-world trips on a twin-aisle Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft, which typically seats 300, will fly 60 travelers in fully reclining business class seats. Each approximately 28-day trip will visit 10 to 12 remote and/or sought-after locales, with accommodations at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts, cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs inspired by the destination and world-class cultural entertainment.

The expansion news was announced Sunday aboard the line’s annual President’s Cruise on Crystal Serenity and Chairman’s Cruise on Crystal Symphony, respectively, by Crystal president and ceo Edie Rodriguez and chairman Tan Sri KT Lim.

'Our intent is to make Crystal Cruises the core of what will become the world’s premier luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand portfolio, not only for the immediate future but for years to come,' Lim said.

For Rodriguez, the plans embody her growth vision for the company since taking the helm in 2013.

[For more details see also a Seatrade Cruise News one-to-one interview with Edie Rodriguez.]