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New ports, admired captains, hosted events punctuate Crystal's 25th year

New ports, admired captains, hosted events punctuate Crystal's 25th year
Crystal Cruises is embarking on a year of 25th anniversary celebrations including cruises hosted by the company’s leadership, past and present, and more ports (224) in more countries (65) and more than double the number of maiden calls (24) in 2014.

Kicking off Crystal’s 25th anniversary is the line’s first circumnavigation. The 108-day, round-trip Miami cruise begins Jan. 14 on Crystal Serenity and is the line’s 20th annual epic journey.

Crystal Symphony begins 2015 immersed in an Asia series featuring Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Japan. New on-board entertainment and amenities, and enriching experiences ashore punctuate the coming year.

Of the 224 ports, two dozen are new for Crystal. They include lesser-known locales like Albany, Australia; Ambodifotatra and Taolanaro, Madagascar; Arrecife, Canary Islands; Richards Bay, South Africa; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Souda Bay/Chania, Greece; Aomori, Japan; Archangel, Korsakov and Solovetsky Islands, Russian Federation; Belawan, Indonesia; Rijeka, Croatia; Bodø, Narvik and Øye/Hjørundfjord, Norway; Helgoland, Germany; Londonderry/Greencastle and Galway, Ireland; Kochi, Japan; Sanya, China, and Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.

Among the 25th anniversary events are special parties and receptions and European voyages hosted by Crystal president Edie Rodriguez and Crystal chairman Nōbuyoshi Kuzuya. Additionally, the festivities continue on four trans-Atlantic, South America and Asia itineraries hosted by Crystal captains Glenn Edvardsen, Reidulf Maalen, Helge Brudvik and John Økland.

The company enters 2015 with many fresh elements.

Crystal Symphony emerged from a $20m-plus drydock redesign in the fall, and features a new outdoor Fitness Garden, new equipment in the indoor Fitness Center, new designs in the main lobby area and bar, redesigned spa and casino spaces, additional PURE allergy-friendly staterooms and technology upgrades.

'My Life: The Music of Billy Joel' is the newest show aboard Crystal Serenity. It pays tribute to Grammy Legend Award recipient and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Billy Joel and is led by James Fox, who starred as the 'The Piano Man' in the Broadway hit 'Movin Out.'

Crystal recently introduced a collection of 'Late Risers' excursions with departures at 11 a.m. or noon. And, for runners, the line now offers 'Site Running' adventures.

Crystal Society members receive 60 minutes of free Internet access for every day of their cruise. A 10-day cruise, for example, will offer 600 free minutes per person (or 1,200 minutes per couple). The minutes can be used any time throughout the voyage.

Until Jan. 2, all-inclusive, value-priced 'Book Now' fares for 2015 start at $1,730 per person.