In Crystal Yacht Cruises™

New Waters, New Guests, and a Godmother for Crystal Esprit

If it has seemed to you that lately, every time you read about Crystal Cruises, there has been some thrilling development or announcement, you’re right! The past several months have seen a whirlwind of extraordinary news that has been in the works for quite a while, and we’re now in the thrilling stages of sharing it with our guests. Just this week, we were again honored – for a record 22nd year! – by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler as the Best Midsized Cruise Ship Line. This recognition, along with your enthusiastic response and support of the new offerings set for the coming few years, has been astounding!

To that end, I’m happy to share that the inaugural voyage for Crystal Yacht Cruises’ Crystal Esprit (sailing through the Seychelles on December 23) is completely sold out! Beyond the obvious business implications of such “success” is what’s most exciting to our land-based and shipboard teams – the fact that the majority of the guests who have booked this maiden sailing are brand new to Crystal Cruises. We’ve striven for 25 years to earn the loyalty of the world’s most discerning luxury travelers and have found that once guests have sailed with us, they’re likely to return, whether for the magical itineraries, the welcoming comfort of our gorgeous ships, the world-class cuisine, or even their personal butler who became a friend through warm service and genuine care.

In a little more than a month, returning Crystal Society members will board Crystal Esprit alongside new-to-Crystal guests with different perspectives, but both will be met with a brand new Crystal Experience…one that combines the celebrated luxury and service we’ve always offered, with an intimate setting that feels like you’re traveling with 62 of your closest friends. And, by the end of your voyage, that might be the case! While the yacht is designed to feel like a private home away from home, the encounters and experiences guests will enjoy are largely tailored around specific interests, hobbies and enrichment that tend to unite travelers and foster camaraderie between former strangers.

As we prepare to officially launch Crystal Esprit, we are proud to call upon a Godmother who has a strong connection to yachting. I am pleased to officially announce Lady Gaenor Meakes – the fiancée of Mark Richards, who is one of the world’s most successful and recognized sailors – as the Godmother of Crystal Esprit. She and Richards are based in Australia with their family. I am honored that Lady Gaenor will join me and esteemed dignitaries in the Seychelles on December 20 for a special pier-side ceremony.  The celebration will include the ceremonial champagne bottle breaking across the yacht’s bow.

Lady Gaenor Meakes and Mark Richards
Lady Gaenor Meakes and Mark Richards

Among many choices for Crystal Esprit’s godmother, few are so passionately devoted to the world of yachting as Lady Gaenor. Richards is the Chief Executive of Grand Banks Yachts, an iconic brand for true yacht lovers, and an eight-time champion skipper of the 628-mile Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race between 2005 and 2013, generally considered one of the toughest race in the world. Richards also led Australia to victory in the last Admiral’s Cup race in the U.K. in 2003 and has participated in two America’s Cup regattas, representing Australia.  Mark is still sailing as the current skipper of Wild Oats XI – the 100ft maxi yacht that has competed in multiple events around the globe.

While we have no plans to enter into yacht racing, we are excited with the fact that we are preparing to embark into new waters, with new vessels and new guests, and we ask you to prepare yourselves for the new perspectives, friends and memories you’ll gain when you set sail.

Until October 31, “Book Now” to enjoy additional savings for Crystal Esprit voyages.



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  1. Marc
    5 years ago

    Looks like it would be a wonderful experience….cruising in a vessel like that….makes you feel like your on your own yacht….cant wait to experience…

  2. Marji Holden-Kenger
    5 years ago

    I was excited to review your 2018 itineraries and was thrilled that you had scheduled a beautiful cruise which includes Israel as well as Cyprus and some ports in Italy. I then checked the calendar of Jewish holidays and was shocked to find that the cruise starts exactly on the eve of the Jewish New Year and runs through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Could you have planned this at a worse time? Are you trying to ensure that Jewish people will not be able to visit Israel on your ship? Really! This couldn’t be more insulting or insensitive. Perhaps your itinerary schedulers are not aware that the Jewish New Year is not a time for hats and noisemakers. I believe that you know better, but choose to display ignorance. What a bad plan!

    1. Crystal Cruises
      5 years ago

      Dear Marji, thank you for your attention and concern for our valued Jewish guests’ ability to observe the holy days during their Crystal vacation. We strive to ensure utmost respect for such occasions. Please note that the itinerary at hand is scheduled so that guests traveling from the U.S. to the ship will leave home the day before Rosh Hashanah (September 9-10) and will be comfortably on board before the start of the holiday at 7:00 that evening. On September 18, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) starts at 6.53 p.m., by which time the ship will have departed the port and will be at sea during the 25 hour duration of this holy day. On this sailing, like all our sailings that include a major Jewish holiday, we will have a Rabbi on board to conduct religious services. We do hope this addresses your concern, and that we’ll see you on board very soon.

  3. Barrie Wellens
    5 years ago

    Edie Rodriguez has brought new ideas, spirit, and excitement to Crystal Cruises! Her lively out-of-the-box thinking has encompassed every means of group travel on land, sea, and air. In case land doesn’t make sense to you, she’s even thought of fleets of buses!

    I’d like to thank Edie for maintaining the piano program that so many of us enjoy. Before she arrived they took the piano studio away from the Symphony–an unforgivable irony.

    Those of us who have sailed with Crystal appreciate the improvements made and have renewed confidence that the company will prosper!


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