… Crystal Endeavor will be the first and only true luxury expedition yacht to restart cruising in the Arctic and Northern Europe
COURTESY Crystal: Miami, April 5, 2021 – Crystal announced the much-anticipated inaugural deployment of Crystal Endeavor, the first groundbreaking ship for Crystal Expedition Cruises. As the first and only true luxury expedition yacht to restart cruising in the Arctic and Northern Europe, Crystal Endeavor will sail five 10-night immersive voyages circumnavigating Iceland’s most dramatically beautiful and fascinating locales beginning July 17, 2021. The Luxury Iceland Expedition voyages will sail round-trip from the ship’s homeport of Reykjavík, affording travelers convenient air options, just six hours from New York City, three hours from London and with frequent non-stop flights from many major cities in the U.S. and Europe. Reservations for Crystal Endeavor’s Luxury Iceland Expedition journeys open April 13.
The 20,200-GRT vessel is designed to the highest standards of renowned German engineering, with a focus on the luxurious details that have earned Crystal the travel industry’s highest accolades for more than 30 years. Built at a cost of more than half a billion U.S. dollars, Crystal Endeavor will be the most spacious, fastest and most powerful expedition ship in the industry, with a Polar Class 6 (PC6) classification that enables her to sail in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
Crystal Endeavor is designed to accommodate just 200 guests with a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio delivering the personal and genuine service for which Crystal is known. Her luxurious design features expansive personal and social spaces, with 100 gross tons per person and 10,000 cubic feet per guest for a passenger space ratio of more than 100, making her the most spacious luxury expedition ship in the industry. This spaciousness will be further enhanced as she embarks on the Luxury Iceland Expedition Iceland voyages with reduced capacity.
“As we prepare to welcome Crystal Endeavor to the Crystal fleet, we share our guests’ great anticipation of this extraordinary new ship and the journeys to come,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s interim president and CEO. “We know that travelers have looked forward to this thrilling new way to explore the world with Crystal and, like every Crystal ship that has come before her, Crystal Endeavor will set a new bar for luxury in her market, with onboard accommodations, amenities, spaciousness, experiences and service that are simply unmatched in the industry.”
Anderson added, “We are grateful to Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation of Iceland, and her team for their partnership and collaboration as we begin this new chapter of luxury expedition cruising. The spectacular destinations of Iceland are the ideal beginning for Crystal Endeavor’s adventures, as they embody and inspire a spirit of deep exploration, bold nature and sense of curiosity.”
State-of-the-Art Excellence in German Engineering and Luxury
Crystal Endeavor recently completed her technical sea trial in Germany, where the experts at MV WERFTEN are building the industry-leading luxury expedition ship in Stralsund, part of a family of shipyards known for their passenger ship, icebreaker and private yacht building expertise.
From bow to stern, Crystal Endeavor is designed with power, efficiency, and the environments of the world in mind. The ship’s propulsion system includes two Azipod D units and a diesel electric power plant designed specifically for ice-going vessels to help them operate at optimum efficiency while providing 13,020 kW of installed power, delivering well-balanced power and propulsion installation, giving both speed and comfort.
According to Captain Thomas Larsen, who will helm the ship: “The design and building caliber of Crystal Endeavor is outstanding. Contracted for max speed of 19.7 knots, she delivered an actual max speed of 20.5 knots during the sea trial, exceeding all performance expectations and standards with little to no vibration even during ‘crash stop’ tests. This means a comfortable, enjoyable experience for guests even in unpredictable weather conditions. With her responsive, agile maneuverability, safety and technical capabilities, this vessel is akin to driving a finely tuned German-built elite sports car such as a Porsche. Combined with the programs and features that will bring the journeys to life, Crystal Endeavor represents the pinnacle of luxury expedition cruising and I look forward to exploring the world with her and our valued guests.”
He added, “Every element of Crystal Endeavor’s design emphasizes space. Even her lifeboats and rafts are built to accommodate 600 people – 50 percent more than needed for the approximately 400 total guests and crew on board – to ensure that her safety standards reflect Crystal’s commitment to the highest caliber in the industry.”
Intensive, Enriching Expeditions
Designed to take travelers far off the beaten path of traditional cruise routes, the Luxury Iceland Expedition voyages offer intensive exploration of massive glaciers, breathtaking wildlife and stunning landscapes of the region during the season of endless daylight. Expert-led expeditions may include zodiac landings to rarely explored coastlines and treks to remote hidden locales.
Among the highlights of the itinerary are overnight stays in Reykjavík and Akureyri; a call to Grímsey Island and crossing the Arctic Circle; the unspoiled Arnarfjörður fjord, cascading Dynjandi Waterfall and famous geothermal springs of Vopnafjör?ur and Sey?isfjör?ur. The itinerary – which sails through peak whale migration in the region July through mid-September – also visits Patreksfjör?ur, and pink- and red-sand Rauðasandur Beach; Iceland’s whale-watching capital of Húsavík; and Heimaey, home to a beluga whale sanctuary. Birder havens include “puffin paradise” Hafnarhólmi; Flatey Island, a floating nature preserve that is home to thousands of puffins, Eider ducks, Black Guillemots and Arctic Terns; Vigur and the Látrabjarg Cliffs, where thousands more puffins reside.
Guests will have the rare opportunity to stand on the Bridge Between Two Continents, which spans the Mid-Atlantic rift and connects North America with Eurasia. Two of Iceland’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites are also featured: Þingvellir National Park and sailing around volcanic Surtsey Island.
A pre- and post-cruise luxury hotel program at the Hotel Borg in Reykjavík allows guests to extend their Crystal vacation in the heart of Iceland’s captivating capital city. Located in the beautiful square of Austurvöllu and across from Althing, the Icelandic Parliament, the Hotel Borg is within walking distance from creative hubs of art, design and culture, including the city’s burgeoning music scene. History buffs will relish museums and sites dedicated to Iceland’s rich maritime and Viking past, while foodies will find innovative local fare ranging from fine cuisine to globally influenced fusion restaurants. Guests have the option of one-, two- or three-night stays, with inclusive transfers between Crystal Endeavor, the hotel and the airport and all taxes and resort fees.
Aboard the Luxury Iceland Expedition sailings and Crystal Endeavor itineraries throughout the world, expedition guides and guest experts will be on hand to offer insights into the local environments, landmarks and traditions, fostering deeper connections and appreciation for the various ecosystems and cultures of each destination. Depending on the itinerary, the expedition team onboard will include biologists, marine biologists, naturalists, historians, ornithologists, geologist, ecologists and others. All shoreside adventures are subject to conditions and the discretion of the expert guides.
Enhancing the expedition experience, a SHOTOVER gimbal camera system will be installed on the ship’s mast and operated by ship specialists can be zoomed in for closer views of wildlife and other points of interest in real time. The views will be streamed directly on the HD TVs throughout the ship, in public areas and guest suites and on the large 65-inch screens in Palm Court and 86-inch screens in the Expedition Lounge. The Cove will feature a video wall, with a massive 218-inch-wide center screen and two 145-inch-wide side screens. The camera will shoot 4K video with remote control locations in the Palm Court and in the Expedition Lounge that will offer interactive activity between the camera operator and guests.
Ocean Robotics’ Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Aegir 50 will roam to depths of nearly 2,000 feet, capturing data and imagery that will also be broadcast across the ship. Drone footage will also be captured, offering birds-eye views of the surrounding regions.
The Unrivaled Onboard Crystal Experience
Crystal Endeavor’s accommodations will be elegantly appointed retreats for guests after days full of exploration, and among the largest, most spacious suites in expedition cruising. The 100 suites will include one Owner’s Suite (1,867 sq. ft.), one Expedition Penthouse (1,668.5 sq. ft.), eight Penthouse Suites (534.5 sq. ft.) and 90 Deluxe Suites (355.5 sq. ft.) – all with dramatic views of the destinations and private verandahs. The Expedition Penthouse can connect with the adjoining Deluxe Suite to create the palatial Expedition Suite (2,025 sq. ft.). Every suite offers private butler service, with convenient butler pass-throughs for maximized service and privacy. Luxury touches in every suite include king-sized beds, walk-in closets; heated storage for drying parkas; spa-like bathrooms with adjustable heated floors, dual vanities, anti-fog mirrors and rain-showerheads. The stylish design is matched by state-of-the-art technological amenities that will enhance the experience with fine details, like ambient lighting, interactive streaming TVs and bedside iPads in every suite that offer voyage information and numerous international daily newspapers.
As Michelin-level, globally inspired culinary options are a hallmark of the Crystal Experience, Crystal Endeavor will feature eight distinct dining venues for guests to enjoy a world of exquisite cuisine. Waterside, the ship’s main restaurant, features ever evolving menus of classic and modern cuisine in a casually elegant space, while Crystal’s renowned specialty restaurants Prego and Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar offer international flavors. Wine aficionados can indulge in the Vintage Room, and guests seeking fresh light bites will favor the Marketplace’s two-story Solarium for breakfast and lunch, the Bistro’s European café setting and the Pantry’s 24/7 espresso, teas, wines and more. In-suite dining is also available from Waterside 24 hours a day, as well as from Prego and Umi Uma during their operating hours.
Palm Court – a favorite hub for afternoon tea, cocktails, dancing and floor-to-ceiling views aboard Crystal’s ocean and river ships – will be on board Crystal Endeavor for entertainment, as well as enrichment presentations and classes. Other elegant social spaces will be the Connoisseur Club cigar lounge; Crystal Cove, the heart of the ship where guests will gather for expert guest speakers and entertainment; and the only casino on an expedition yacht. Enrichment venues will include the Captain’s Lounge, the Expedition Lounge, the Helicopter Lounge (two helicopters will be onboard in designated locations) and the Library.
The Promenade will stretch from Crystal Cove to Waterside and be a more intimate space for guests to enjoy cocktails, conversation and spectacular views. The glass-covered, two-story Solarium – which houses the Seahorse Pool and Jacuzzi – provides panoramic views from sea to sky, perfect for stargazing and capturing stunning events like the Northern Lights and the surrounding scenery. The space also transforms for evening entertainment, with a stage and ample space for guests to dance. Crystal’s onboard boutiques, Apropos and Facets, will feature designer accessories and fine jewelry shopping. Wellness options will include a fully-equipped fitness center and Crystal Life Spa & Salon with three treatment rooms, separate men’s and women’s steam and sauna facilities and a relaxation room, as well as a wrap-around Promenade Deck, rare in the industry but a key Crystal design element.
Expansive mud rooms are designed to accommodate preparation for the day’s adventures and offer cleaning of boots and equipment upon guests’ return from a day exploring ashore. The ship’s marina will feature all the “toys” found aboard a private yacht for further explorations including a fleet of zodiacs, kayaks, snorkel, and other equipment including a six-guest submersible allowing for deep-water explorations up to 980 feet in select areas of the world, depending on the itinerary.
Crystal Clean+ and Crystal Pristine
Crystal announced in February that guests must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. This new requirement is in addition to existing, comprehensive Crystal Clean+ measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, reduced capacity, social distancing, nimble mask policy, rigorous cleaning procedures, isolation rooms in case of illness and health screening questionnaires.
As part of its ongoing commitment to sailing responsibly through its Crystal Pristine program, the company has equipped Crystal Endeavor to connect to shore power while in port, installed several water treatment systems and will clean exhaust emissions through a Selective Catalytic Reductant system.
The ship will be outfitted with offshore dynamic positioning capabilities, enabling the vessel to remain in one place utilizing GPS and its thrusters, rather than dropping anchor, avoiding any potential damage to delicate reefs. In addition, the ship will deploy state-of-the-art underwater sonar technology, providing real-time 3D images of the terrain and activity along the ship’s route up to 1,000 meters ahead of the vessel and to a depth of up to 50 meters, with a mapping range up to eight times the water’s depth. Such vision will enable the captain and bridge officers to detect potential hazards and sea life far in advance to navigate appropriately.
Crystal is enticing travelers with compelling savings, reduced deposits and an extended final payment date to 60 days prior to first date of service, as well as other incentives. Cruise fares for the Luxury Iceland Expeditions start at $13,999 per guest, including up to double Book Now Savings at $3,000 for a limited time only. Guests will receive a $300 per person As You Wish shipboard credit; Crystal Society Savings will double to five percent; new-to-Crystal guests will save 2.5 percent; and solo fares start at just 150 percent. Travelers with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these sailings.
A leader in unrivaled luxury cruising for 30 years, Crystal Cruises distinguishes its ships and its voyages with fine details and nuances that make a big impact for discerning travelers. All-inclusive experience with award-winning entertainment; diverse enrichment options; globally inspired dining; unlimited pours of fine wines, beers and premium spirits and an unwavering standard of genuine, personal service for each guest underscores the Crystal difference.
Only the world-renowned Crystal Experience offers an unwavering, unparalleled standard of excellence and luxury across four distinct cruising options: Crystal Cruises, the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line; Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line; Crystal Yacht Cruises, offering boutique luxury and bold adventure in the world’s most elite harbors; and Crystal Expedition Cruises, taking Crystal’s acclaimed elegance to the farthest reaches of the world. Crystal has been recognized with top honors in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for a record 27 years including, in 2019, for Best Medium-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Cruises, Best Small-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Yacht Cruises and Best River Cruise Line for Crystal River Cruises. Crystal was also voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for 24 years, including, in 2017 and 2020, Best River Cruise Line for Crystal River Cruises; and won “Cruise Line of the Year” and “Most Luxurious Guest Experience” by Virtuoso for 2018 & 2019.?Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the advisors of ASTA.