Crystal releases 2013-early 2014 cruise calendar
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Adding to its previously-released early 2013 schedule, ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises announces 63 more, exciting itineraries, filling the rest of '13, plus early 2014--the line's earliest-ever advance schedule announcement. In all, 269 ports in 75 countries, with more than a dozen maiden calls and 146 local overnights, comprise the May to May schedule, which will be open for booking later this fall.
Savvy planning has created:
A 7-/12-/9-day Mediterranean route rotation, offering back-to-back combination possibilities with minimal repeat ports
75% of summer cruises lasting 7 to 10 days, with more than half weekend departures
Two- to three-day stays in 53 different locales, including such stunners as Tokyo, Cape Town, and Bali, the majority of overnights on embarkation or debarkation days
Crystal Symphony will spend the summer throughout Northern Europe, followed by a North American autumn, returning to Antarctica for the holidays, then traversing the South Pacific and New Zealand/Australia for seven Asian-centric voyages in early 2014. Crystal Serenity will be in the Mediterranean from April to December, returning to North America for a Caribbean/Central America holiday before heading westward around the globe for 2014's "World Cruise."
New itineraries, several built around renowned local festivities, fill the schedule. Examples include:
May 9 and July 6: Two shorter (nine and seven days, respectively) Greece-Turkey only sailings, both including Istanbul overnights, ports rarely visited by Crystal, and maiden calls (Canakkale, Turkey or Skiathos, Greece).
May 18: The Monaco Grande Prix takes center stage, with two race days docked in Monte Carlo.
May 23: Spring New England/Canada cruise, from NY to Reykjavik, with overnights on both ends.
June 4: Norwegian/Viking-intensive Reykjavik-Copenhagen, stopping at the Faroe Islands and five ports in Norway.
August 10: Tuscany's famous piazza horse race, Il Palio di Siena, features as voyage highpoint.
August 19 and 26: Two seven-day British Isles sailings, with an Edinburgh/Rosyth overnight and maiden call in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
September 16: New England/Canada cruise with two maiden calls (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Baie-Comeau, Quebec).
September 28: Seven-day Mediterranean with zero sea days, Barcelona overnight, and maiden call to La Spezia, Italy.
November 16: Seven-day Miami round-trip calling in Belize, Puerto Costa Maya, and Key West.
November 2: Intimate Spanish voyage featuring five calls in Spain (including a Castellon de la Plana maiden call) and no sea days.
December 21: Two Holiday cruises, one an extended Caribbean/Central America RT from Miami, including a maiden call in Santa Martha, Colombia, the other circling Cape Horn from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, sailing through Antarctica—for which Crystal is incurring extra cost and effort to meet new Antarctic environmental fuel restrictions which now keep most larger cruise ships away.
January 18: 89-day, five-segment World Cruise from LA to Southampton, UK via Asia and Africa, with overnights throughout, rare calls in USA's Mariana Islands and Guam, three calls each in Vietnam and South Africa, and a maiden call in Luanda, Angola.
January 8 and 20: Back-to-back Polynesian explorations, beginning with an unusual southern-Trans-Pacific, stopping at Easter Island, Pitcairn Islands, Mo'orea, and Papeete, Tahiti, then continuing on to the Cook Islands, Tonga, and Fiji.
February 28: Four Indonesia calls, including a Bali overnight, plus Malaysia and Brunei visits.
April 9: Ten-day "all-China" with a Hong Kong overnight, double overnight in Shanghai, and optional three-day, add-on land package to Beijing.
Crystal is also reprising two popular 2012 itineraries in 2013: a seven-day Montreal round-trip exploring the less-visited Gulf of Lawrence and Saguenay River area (September 26) and a 12-day intimate Brazil cruise (December 9) revisiting five 2012 maiden calls.
The full list of maiden calls for the remainder of 2013 includes Baie-Comeau, Quebec; Canakkale, Turkey; Castellon de la Plana, Spain; Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec; La Spezia, Italy; Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; Natal, Brazil; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; Santa Martha, Colombia; and Skiathos and Zakynthos Island (Zante), Greece, plus a first-time visit to Luanda, Angola and Malacca, Malaysia for early 2014.
Numerous ports less-frequented by Crystal are also back on the books, including Ibiza; the Shetland Islands; Murmansk, Russia; Izmir, Turkey; Isle of Man; and Cartagena, Spain in 2013, and Pitcairn Islands, UK; Anderman Islands, India; multiple Indonesian calls (Lombok, Surabaya, Ujung Pandang, Jakarta); and Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan in first quarter 2014.
All itineraries can now be viewed at crystalcruises.com, with pricing to be released later this year.
Crystal's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history, including Conde Nast Traveler's recent Readers' Choice crown for 2011's "Best Mid-Sized Cruise Line."