OVER THE PAST DECADE, Crystal Cruises soared to the top echelons of ocean cruising with its two fine ships, the Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Serenity, two of the largest vessels in this rarefied class, each carrying about a thousand passengers. Crystal has been able to offer more options in entertainment, enrichment and activities than its top-of-the-line competitors while maintaining superb service with extremely high passenger-to-staff and passenger-to-space ratios. Crystal passengers have come to expect gratuities to be covered and fine wines, premium spirits, Champagne and specialty coffees to be complimentary. The cruise line recently added free internet and WiFi connections, too. Along the way, Crystal became the leader in providing multigenerational family cruises for well-to-do travelers.
What more could Crystal Cruises do, one began to wonder. Then, in 2015, under new ownership, Crystal did do more, much more, creating its own fleet of luxurious river ships in Europe, adding an upscale expedition yacht and even taking to the air.
Crystal River Cruises came on the scene in 2016 with the launch of the Crystal Mozart, at 160 passengers the largest and widest cruise ship plying the Danube. The launch of the Crystal Bach, Crystal Mahler, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel quickly followed. This fleet of five brought high-luxury ships rather than another round of riverboats to the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers, offering all passengers balconies, butlers and suites. In 2019 the Crystal Ravel will be the only vessel making seven-night Danube cruises from Vienna to ports in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.
While extending its luxury ocean cruise experience to river cruising, Crystal simultaneously entered the expedition sailing market with the launch of the Crystal Esprit, a 62-passenger, all-suite, all-butler yacht designed for the adventurous upscale traveler. In 2019 the Crystal Esprit will explore the Côte d’Azur (with VIP access to the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix); the seaside gems of Italy; the offshore isles of Greece; and, with its Arabian Nights Collection, Egypt, Oman, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises will add its second ship, the 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor, in 2020, with bookings already open for explorations of the Russian Far East, Tasmania and Antarctica.
After posting its impeccable cruising credentials on ocean, river and expedition sailing, was there any place left for Crystal to venture? Turns out the sky was the limit, literally. Crystal created two more new lines: Crystal Luxury Air, to offer on-demand charter flights worldwide for up to 12 guests on its redesigned Bombardier Global Express Jet XRS, and the other, Crystal AirCruises, operating the largest private charter luxury tour jet in the industry, the 88-passenger Boeing 777-200LR Crystal Skye.
Bring out the fine crystal, wherever you’re bound.
This summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles began highly-anticipated enhancements. The property celebrates its 10th birthday next year and the renovations are the largest changes the property has ever seen. They impact the hotel lobby, all 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Seats on new JetBlue flights between New York City (JFK) and Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, are now available for purchase. The route takes off April 2, 2020, on the new Airbus A321neo aircraft. With a flight time of five hours from New York City, the route delivers intrepid travelers to what JetBlue calls “a playground for adventurists and modern-day explorers.” The route also serves the largest Guyanese American community in the United States, located in New York City.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
An industry-first update to the award-winning Four Seasons app allows guests to plan travel more seamlessly. The app, completely overhauled, now includes a new trip planning itinerary feature that allows guests to easily customize their stay.