As 2015 comes to a close, all I can say is, wow! What started as a milestone in itself with our 25th anniversary of luxury cruising, became a whirlwind of thrilling developments and long-awaited product offerings for our company. Just this year, many of my visions for Crystal Cruises have come to fruition, making each day I arrive at the office – which, today, happens to be Crystal Esprit, our brand new luxury yacht – filled with possibilities and new adventures.
All of this is thanks to you, our valued guests, and discerning travelers who continue to demand more options and opportunities to pursue their own adventures and dream vacations in the utmost luxury. As I reflect on the year at Crystal Cruises, I am astounded at what we’ve accomplished in 2015, but more so what lies ahead of us as we chart a new course in luxury ocean, river and air travel. This year, we gained a new parent company, Genting Hong Kong, whose support has enabled Crystal to grow in measures never before seen in luxury hospitality.
As usual, so much happens behind the scenes to make even one seemingly small new program or product happen – and we’ve introduced three in 2015! In case you missed it, here are the highlights:
New waters – Crystal Esprit, the newest luxury vessel to join our award-winning fleet, was christened on Sunday, December 20 in the Seychelles, officially launching Crystal Yacht Cruises.
New rivers – Crystal River Cruises was announced in July – then reannounced a few months later with the update of five new river yachts planned to launch in 2016 and 2017. The overwhelming enthusiasm from travelers inspired this more-than-double expansion of our venture in the picturesque rivers of Europe.
Up in the air – Crystal Luxury Air will also launch in 2016, with the introduction of a Bombardier Global Express XRS, which will be available for private charter to transport up to 12 guests to meet virtually any Crystal voyage. Additionally, in 2017, an all-first-class Boeing 777-200LR will join the fleet.
Our beloved ocean ships have also continued to shine, earning Crystal recognition as the “Top Midsize Cruise Line” from the readers of Condé Nast Traveler for a record 22nd year. Travel + Leisure also honored us once again – for the 20th consecutive year! – as the “World’s Best Luxury Cruise Line”.
Beyond the brand new and upcoming products and world-class vacation experiences we’ve unveiled in 2015, we continue to enhance the overall Crystal Experience for our guests and strive to listen to your wishes and make them happen. To this end, 2015 has seen the debut of designer Etro spa products on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity; complimentary Wi-Fi for all guests aboard the ships; new Extended Land Programs in Berlin, Montréal and Toronto; new glamorous production shows in the posh Galaxy Lounges; and premier designer apparel featured in the onboard boutiques.
These new developments and continued honors simply reaffirm to me that we are on the right track, continuing to anticipate what luxury travelers seek and grant their wishes even before they have them.
In addition to our stellar crew and Crystal family at sea, who work tirelessly to ensure our guests’ experience is seamless and wonderful, we’ve expanded our shore-side team to support our expanding fleet and offerings. We’ve opened an office in Miami, which complements our headquarters in Los Angeles, and also appointed several luxury travel industry veterans to helm Crystal’s new ventures. Above all, these changes help us maintain our commitment to providing the highest possible standard of luxury.
It has been our privilege to sail another year with you. I look forward to sharing many more years of travel and adventure aboard your favorite Crystal vessel.
Wishing you the happiest holiday and New Year,
President & CEO, Crystal Cruises