Ship Sets Sail Today From Athens on Inaugural Voyage
COURTESY Crystal MIAMI (Sept. 1, 2023) – Today Crystal Symphony officially re-enters service following an extensive refurbishment after being purchased by A&K Travel Group last summer. Departing on its inaugural voyage from Athens, the vessel which accommodates 606 guests, joins sister ship Crystal Serenity in an exciting new chapter for the renowned brand.
With nearly one staff member per guest and an impressive space-to-guest ratio (84.2 cu. ft. for every guest), Crystal Symphony now boasts larger, revamped suites, award-winning specialty dining restaurants and expansive public spaces – all complemented by industry-leading service. Crystal Symphony’s re-entry to service marks an impressive feat; in just one year, and on schedule, Crystal revitalized two ships and returned more than 80% of the line’s beloved crew.
“We are so proud that Crystal Symphony has officially joined Crystal Serenity back in the water, signaling an exciting new chapter for Crystal – two ships refurbished and back in service in under a year is completely unprecedented,” said Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group. “The ship’s exceptional enhancements reflect our unwavering commitment to providing guests with inspiration and enrichment as they sail to the globe’s most coveted destinations.”
Following the ship’s inaugural voyage from Athens to Istanbul, Crystal Symphony will sail eastward, towards exciting destinations such as Santorini, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai. For the remainder of 2023, the ship will sail throughout Oceania visiting locales including Sydney, Auckland, Papua New Guinea and Bali.
Suites & Guest Rooms
Crystal collaborated with renowned cruise ship architectural firm, GEM, to revamp select guest rooms and suites. The refreshed design incorporates a palette of neutral shades and elevated touchpoints, enhanced by gentle pastel tones reminiscent of the ocean’s colors. As part of the ship’s refurbishments, there are two new guest room categories – the Jr. Crystal Penthouse Suite and Single Guest Room with Ocean View, which serves as an option for solo travelers. These new categories will also increase the availability of the popular Sapphire Suite category.
- Single Guest Room with Ocean View: Cozy bedroom (up to 215 sq ft) redesigned in 2023, with welcoming and comfortable detailing, butler service, and ocean views.
- Sapphire Veranda Suite: Spacious suite (up to 430 sq ft) with living area, elegant finishings and private veranda, accompanied by attentive butler service. Sapphire suites are available to book in new and classic designs.
- Junior Crystal Penthouse Suite: This new, large suite (up to 645 sq ft) includes spacious rooms with separate dining and living areas looking onto a private veranda, also accompanied by attentive butler service.
With 10 distinct dining options, including 24-hour in-suite dining service, guests onboard Crystal Symphony now have access to unparalleled culinary experiences like the following:
- Umi Uma: The return of legendary Master Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma – the only Nobu dining concept at sea where guests can enjoy award-winning, innovative Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.
- Osteria D’Ovidio: Named for Crystal’s Executive Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, this restaurant specializes in traditional Italian meals.
- Waterside Restaurant: Crystal’s main dining room features open seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- The Bistro: A modern café and coffee bar with light snacks such as fresh pastries, bagels and fruit in the morning and a selection of international cheeses, pâtés, prosciutto, smoked salmon and dessert delicacies throughout the afternoon.
- Trident Grill: Set poolside, Trident Grill features classic delights like burgers, melts, salads and more.
- Scoops Gelato Bar: Crystal’s sumptuous dessert bar features authentic Italian gelato with fresh toppings, frozen yogurt, homemade cookies and more.
- The Vintage Room: Offers intimate guided pairings and dinners highlighting the vast selection of wines in the ship’s onboard cellar.
- Tastes Kitchen & Bar: Globally inspired cuisine and casual “family style” dining experience, Tastes offers tapas-style cuisine for guests to enjoy on their own or with newfound friends.
- Marketplace: A buffet-style dining venue wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows and a chic open-air dining area.
In addition to now offering a full-sized paddle tennis and pickleball court and a revamped fitness center, Crystal’s new spa concept, Aur?ra offers a completely fresh design. Aur?ra boasts light-bright neutral colors, an illuminated fiber optic starlight ceiling and organic materials like natural salt crystal and silk-brushed slate stone. The extensive treatment offerings include more signature facials, massage treatments and a full-service Salon. Highlights include:
- The SuperTech Facial uses advanced technologies to meet your individual needs and targets multiple signs of aging to resurface, firm and smooth.
- The Chariot of Light Massage resets the circadian rhythm, reduces inflammation, increases circulation and improves the texture of skin with the therapeutic benefits of LightStim® Pro-Panel LED light therapy.
- Grown Alchemist Restoration Shave offers an enzyme exfoliation, deep cleansing mask, and hot towel compress for an expert shave.
In addition to Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity being back in service, Crystal recently announced the brand is currently working with advisors, lenders and export credit agents to sign a memorandum of agreement with two European shipbuilders. The agreement is poised to include the development of four new ships in the next six years including two classic ships and two expedition vessels.
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For more than three decades Crystal has been synonymous with exceptional, award-winning voyages. In 2022 A&K Travel Group acquired the Crystal brand and its two vessels, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, ushering in a new era of Exceptional at Sea. The globally renowned cruise line offers discerning travelers’ industry-leading, authentic, and enriching experiences both onshore and at sea. Crystal’s pioneering partnership with Abercrombie & Kent provides guests with unparalleled access to the most sought-after experiences, destinations, and the latest cultural makers around the world. The reimagined ships will boast larger, updated suites with artisanal finishes, new cutting-edge wellness offerings, spectacular entertainment, and complimentary world-class dining – including the return of UMI UMA – the only dining experience by Michelin-Star Chef Master Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) at sea. With a legacy of unrivaled service and commitment to sophistication and elegance at every touchpoint, once on-board passengers feel as if they are perfectly at home.