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Crystal Announces Plans for Four New Ships

Crystal Announces Plans for Four New Ships

Ahead of its first sailing since early 2022, the top executive for the relaunched cruise line Crystal said the company plans to order four new ships to be delivered over the next six years.

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During a briefing for media and travel advisors before Crystal Serenity’s preview voyage, CEO of Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) Travel Group Cristina Levis revealed Crystal Cruises’ (now known simply as “Crystal”) plan to build four new ships by 2029.

The new build announcement arrived just ahead of the company’s relaunching of its remaining ships Serenity and Symphony. The original Crystal Cruises brand collapsed in early 2022 amidst the bankruptcy of previous owner Genting—but many of its assets were purchased by A&K.

The relaunched Crystal Serenity is one of two original Crystal ships acquired by A&K Travel Group (image courtesy of Crystal)

Related: Crystal Cruises Will Relaunch in Summer 2023

“We have ambitious growth plans for Crystal and are proud of what we have accomplished with the relaunch of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony in just under a year following the purchase of the brand,” Levis stated during the briefing.

“We are now thrilled to formally announce that we will be growing our fleet and continue to offer the most exceptional cruising experiences in the industry,” she continued.

The order hasn’t been finalized yet, but the brand is working to sign a memorandum of agreement with two European shipbuilders for four new ships—including two classic ships and two expedition vessels.

“We are quite advanced in particular for the expedition ships,” Levis explained, adding that those vessels likely will be Polar Class 6 (PC6) ships for cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic.

Related: What Is an Expedition Cruise (and Why You Should Consider One)

Levis explained that construction on one expedition ship and one ocean-going ship should begin by Q2 of 2024.

Each of the new expedition ships will carry 220 passengers, while the classic cruise ships will be built for 650 passengers. The upcoming classic ships will accommodate slightly fewer guests than the line’s existing ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

Although shipbuilding contracts aren’t yet in place, Levis shared that executives are currently working with lenders, European credit agencies, and naval architects, as well as two shipbuilding companies.

Crystal Serenity welcomed passengers embarking at Marseilles on her inaugural cruise with the reimagined Crystal brand on July 31. The ship, built in 2003, recently underwent a $150 million renovation.

Crystal’s two current ships, Serenity and Symphony, have recently had extensive refurbishments (image courtesy of Crystal)

Crystal Symphony, built in 1995, is undergoing similar renovations and will debut on September 1, sailing from Athens.

Levis also explained that the brand’s luxury tour division will continue chartering expedition ships from Ponant. At least 40 of the crewmembers on the charter ships will be former Crystal Cruises employees.

More news about Crystal

Were you a fan of the old Crystal Cruises? What are your thoughts on Crystal’s relaunch and planned expansion? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen