Crystal Yacht Cruises, the new sister brand to ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises, is charting new waters beginning with the maiden voyage of the 62-guest yacht Crystal Esprit this winter. As Crystal’s latest venture embarks on Dec. 23, luxury travelers can dive into the destinations – and the waters between them – with a slew of Crystal Adventures ashore, some of which are offered complimentary.
The yacht’s maiden voyage offers an inclusive post- and pre- cruise New Year’s Eve Extravaganza in Dubai, complete with three- or four-night accommodations at the Dubai Taj Hotel and a fireworks display.
The yacht, which is being restored and outfitted for adventure, will call in ports never before visited by Crystal’s ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.
“Yacht travelers expect all of the fine nuances that make a Crystal vacation extraordinary, but with a more intimate, personalized feel. The Crystal Adventures offered with Crystal Esprit’s voyages will satisfy – and surpass – this expectation, with most options available only with Crystal Yacht Cruises,” says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez.
On itineraries throughout the Indian Ocean/Seychelles, Mediterranean/Adriatic Coast, Holy Land and Middle East/Persian Gulf, Crystal Esprit says it will feature shore-side options to suit virtually any interest, with an emphasis on doing more. Among the options are:
* Deep-sea fishing off the coast of Desroches, Seychelles, for the chance to make an exotic catch of Barracuda, Wahoo, Dogtooth and Yellowfin tuna and Giant and Bluefin Trevally
* One-tank scuba dive in St. Anne Island, Seychelles, geared toward certified divers, who can immerse themselves in the underwater world of shipwrecks, giant rock formations and spectacular sea life
* Rafting the Krupa and Zrmanja Rivers in Zadar, Croatia, then picnicking in Muskovac
* Quad adventures on the rugged trails of Cyprus, taking adventurers to secluded spots most visitors don’t even know exist, with views of waterfalls and swimming at the Baths of Adonis
* Trek to Delphi at Mount Parnassus in Itea, Greece, the imposing and sacred site once thought to be the center of the earth.
Every Crystal Esprit itinerary will also offer at least one free excursion in every port, including hiking and rafting the Acheron River in Parga, Greece; ziplining through the dense forest in Ephelia (from Mahé, Seychelles); and exploring the medieval city of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia (from Piran). “In-transit” excursions allow guests combining itineraries to fully maximize their time in embarkation/disembarkation ports between voyages.
To celebrate the inauguration of Crystal Esprit, Crystal will be offering two inclusive land programs for guest who would like to extend their vacation and even ring in the New Year with Crystal. These programs are:
Seychelles’ Inclusive Dubai Program, a two-night, pre-cruise experience inclusive with every Seychelles voyage, giving guests the opportunity to explore Dubai, from haute couture shopping malls and traditional gold souks to desert safaris, world-class golf and complimentary entrance to the Wild Wadi Water Park.
New Year’s Eve Dubai Extravaganza, a three or four- night program offered to guests who sail on one of the first two Crystal Esprit sailings, includes an uninterrupted view of the Burj Khalifa New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, where the world’s tallest building lights up in a dazzling presentation of light and pyrotechnics.
Complete itineraries and fares for December 2015 through the beginning of 2018 are now available on Crystal’s website. The routes are available for booking exclusively for Crystal Society members – Crystal’s repeat guest program – now through Sept. 1, when bookings open to all travelers. The Inclusive Dubai Land Programs feature luxury hotel accommodations, all transfers from/to hotel and yacht at airports in both Dubai and Victoria, all taxes and porterage, and breakfast daily.
Crystal made headlines earlier this summer when it announced a major expansion of it brand. Along with the yacht, Crystal is building three ocean-going ships, creating a river cruise unit and buying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to offer 28-day around-the-world tours, starting in 2017.