Crystal is rebranding its planned Crystal Yacht Cruises as Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises.
The new offshoot will feature three new expedition mega-yachts, including the previously announced Crystal Endeavor.
The purpose-built polar class vessels will navigate “first year ice” and feature submarines, helicopters and remote operated vehicles.
The luxury expedition ships will cruise in the Arctic and then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of the Americas and Europe to Antarctica during winter.
Crystal is due to take delivery of Crystal Endeavor in mid-2019, with the additional two expedition vessels arriving in succession the following years, according to the company.
The move follows research over three years which found that almost 70% of Crystal passengers have a strong interest in expedition cruising.
The company also plans to “heavily invest” in “massive enhancements” to its two ocean cruise ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity Crystal, in 2017 and 2018.
The main change will be the introduction of full open seating dining on both ships and more suites.
The work will be similar to past refurbishments, such as the $52 million “extreme makeover” of Crystal Serenity in 2013 and the $20 million redesign to Crystal Symphony in 2014, according to the company.
Chief executive and president Edie Rodriguez said: “Not only do our ocean cruise ships continue to earn the highest guest satisfaction feedback, they do so with record-breaking margins.
“This enthusiasm only validates our commitment to continuing to invest in the most innovative itineraries and onboard spaces and amenities, as those are the features that are resonating with our discerning guests.”
Crystal plans to introduce the first Crystal Exclusive Class ocean ship in the first quarter of 2022, including Crystal Residences, privately owned apartments will range from 600 to 10,000-plus square feet and have access to private amenities, dining and other services.
The company opens a Crystal River Cruises office in Amsterdam on November 21 to support the day-to-day operations of its expanding river yacht fleet. The recently launched Crystal Mozart will be followed next summer by Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler, while Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel will follow in 2018, with two additional new builds to follow.
The first four vessels will sail on itineraries along the Danube, Rhine and Main Rivers.
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