A new era in Luxury Cruising is about to begin!

Crystal Cruises, a highly rated luxury line is planning a massive (and impressive) expansion that will include the addition of spacious ocean ships, river ships a yacht and even an airplane.

Edie Rodrguez, Crystal Cruises’  President & CEO reported to USA TODAY that the two ship line has signed a letter of intent with Germany’s Lloyd Werft shipyard to build three ocean vessels with all suite accommodations that are nearly twice the size of those  on other luxury ships. Crystal Cruises also is committed to adding yacht-like amenities such as submarines and helicopters.

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The luxury cruise line is schedule to enter the fast growing river cruise market in the spring of 2017 with two custom built luxury ships. The river ships will boast first rate service, world class dining, spacious suites and elegant public rooms.

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Jumping into super high-end cruising, and expanding the brand to include Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal Cruises will offer its clients yacht-like cruising starting in December 2015 with the addition of water toy-filled, 62 passenger vessel. To be called Crystal Esprit, the ship will carry innovative features like a 32 foot boat for adventuring, zodiacs, jet skis, kayaks and even a two person submarine.

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Looking to dominate the market, Crystal has another big move in play. CEO Rodriguez also confirms that Crystal Cruises plans to acquire an airplane. The luxury lines aims to purchase a Boeing 787 configured to hold just 60 passengers in sumptuous, fully reclining seats instead of the 300 that is typical of that model aircraft. The strategy is to offer extravagant, around the world trips as part of a new brand extension to be called Crystal Luxury Air. Twenty-eight itineraries will feature stops in 10 to 12 remote and/or sought-after locales, with accommodations at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts.

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Moving well beyond its luxury ocean cruise origins, Crystal is preparing to become a leader in luxury travel of all types. Rodriguez says “There is power in the Crystal Brand” emphasizing the global strategy to become the world’s premier luxury, hospitality and lifestyle brand portfolio.

Starting in late 2018, the new ocean vessel will measure more than 100,000 gross tons while carrying 1,000 passengers, resulting in an unprecedented space-to-passenger ratio of 100. This is an astonishing 20% higher than the most spacious luxury cruise ship afloat today, Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2.

CEO Rodriguez says even the smallest suites on the new vessel will measure 400 square feet and they’ll also have higher than normal ceilings for ocean ships. The ship will also sail with 1,000 crew members that will result in an unprecedented one-to-one crew passenger ratio. Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs will enhance menu options for guests to enjoy. In an unusual twist, the new ocean ship will also have 48 residences that wealthy travelers will be able to buy as second homes. Ranging from 400 to 4,000 square feet, they will occupy a top deck and come with their own private restaurant, reception and facilities.

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Demand for more high-end travel options in general also is strong and growing, Rodriquez says. “We listened to our loyal customers, they have told us how they are going on other luxury vacations (that) are not on Crystal, but they would love for them to be on Crystal”. Crystal Cruises’ guest base is the top 2% of the world’s wealthiest global consumer.

The new yacht trips are available for booking today for members of the line’s Crystal Society frequent cruiser program. Voyages start sailing December 23rd, 2015 with sailings in the Seychelles Islands starting at $2,690 per person for four nights.

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