It seems incredible to believe that 2015 will mark the 25th anniversary of Crystal Cruises. Back in 1990, the then brand new, Crystal Harmony set sail on her first cruise, and a whole new style of cruising began to bloom.
‘The Crystal Harmony will be superior to the QE2. It will be superior to the Royal Viking Sun…..’
I remember reading that statement of intent at the time. And I also remember thinking it was a somewhat fatuous boast.
Well, mea culpa. I was wrong.
Since then, the unique Crystal cocktail of flawless, personalised service offered on a brace of sumptuous, beautifully wrought ships, coupled with an all inclusive on board policy and served over a smorgasbord of stunning, worldwide destinations, has become the widely acknowledged apogee of modern luxury cruising.
Little wonder then that, for it’s distinguished 25th anniversary, the line has come out with a whole conga line of sumptuous, seductive goodies to celebrate the event. Among the 2015 highlights on offer are;
No less than sixteen maiden ports of call for Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, including Macapa, Brazil; Helgoland, Germany; Richards Bay, South Africa and Rijeka, Croatia.
More shorter cruises; around one third of the sixty four itineraries on offer will be of ten nights’ duration or less. In addition, more than a dozen voyages will be round trip sailings from convenient, ‘banner’ ports such as Dover, Monte Carlo, Los Angeles and Singapore.
A string of one or more overnight stays in popular ports of call is also on the menu, including such highlights as Hong Kong, Bermuda, Monte Carlo, Yangon and Saint Petersburg.
My personal favourites from among the glut of good stuff on offer includes an April 3rd, 2015, transatlantic crossing from Cape Town to Rio, with lots of sea days to really soak up the sumptuous on board vibe. And there’s an amazing, New Year’s Eve adventure that sails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, arriving in Rio for an overnight on New Year’s Eve itself.
For those looking towards Far East landfalls, Crystal is serving up eight voyages featuring Thailand, Bali, Hong Kong and Singapore. And, if time is an issue, there is a series of short but sweet seven night itineraries in the mix as well, including several in Europe, as well as a couple of sassy sailings along the west coast of the Pacific.
Creme de la Creme? No question on this one; it’s the blockbuster, 108 day, complete world cruise- the line’s first ever global circumnavigation. Available also as any combination of six consecutive segments, and sailing round trip from Miami (the first world cruise I can ever recall starting from the Florida port), this epic voyage showcases Central and South America, the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, Indian Ocean, South Africa, and the Caribbean.
All things considered, this is possibly the most all embracing and comprehensive menu of offerings ever served up by Crystal. It offers the long, the short, and the truly tall aboard the two most highly rated big ships afloat anywhere.
Any voyage with Crystal is an adventure; as the luxury line cruises serenely into it’s banner, twenty fifth anniversary year, these voyages are sure to be historic events in and of themselves. Enjoy.