Crystal Symphony's 2002 World
Cruise Sets New Course
(2001 World Cruise details appear in 3rd article down)
Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is going around the world in a new direction in 2002. For the first time ever, the line has set a round-trip Los Angeles itinerary to the four continents bordering the Pacific for its annual World Cruise.
The new 100-day "Grand Pacific Circle" voyage -- the ultimate cruise opportunity in Crystal's repertoire -- will depart Jan. 17, 2002 and call in 33 ports in 20 countries in North and South America, Australia and Asia.
Crystal Symphony's seventh consecutive World Cruise blends a mix of new ports with cosmopolitan, exotic, and historic destinations. In all, from Los Angeles, the itinerary includes Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; Valparaiso and Easter Island, Chile; Pitcairn Island; Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Papeete and Moorea, Tahiti; Raratonga, Cook Islands; Nuku'alofa, Tonga; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Hayman Island, Cairns and Darwin, Australia; Bali and Semarang, Indonesia; Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Hiroshima, Osaka, Yokohama and Shimizu, Japan; Oahu, Maui and San Francisco, and returns to Los Angeles.
Crystal Symphony's "Grand Pacific Circle" features nine maiden calls for the luxury vessel: Valparaiso, Hayman Island, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Hiroshima, Osaka, Yokohama and Shimizu.
Optional unique day tours and extended overnight programs, which are hallmarks of the World Cruise shore excursion program, are planned throughout the itinerary, including explorations to the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, the South Island of New Zealand, Ayers Rock, Angkor Wat and the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi'an.
As in previous years, Crystal Cruises surveyed past guests and travel agents to aid in the development of the 2002 World Cruise itinerary. "This cruise was designed by our guests and their travel agents. Many expressed a desire for the cruise to begin and end in California and we listened," says Joseph A. Watters, Crystal Cruises' president.
Renowned for its award-winning entertainment and stimulating onboard enrichment programs, Crystal Cruises will once again schedule a stellar lineup of lecturers and celebrity guests from Broadway, film, music, history, literature, journalism, politics and the culinary arts to further enhance the World Cruise experience.
"World Value Fares" for the complete 100-day voyage start at $38,725 per person, double occupancy, and include round-trip First or Business Class air transportation (depending on stateroom category) from a Crystal Cruises' North American air gateway, private car airport/ship/home transfers, prepaid gratuities, $1,000 shipboard spending credit, luxury overnight hotel accommodations and gala bon voyage party in Beverly Hills the night before embarkation, an overnight program in Beijing, and other exclusive events in Costa Rica, Tahiti, Bali and Hawaii, among others.
A five percent savings is offered for payment in full 180 days before departure. Savings of up to $7,500 are also offered to Crystal Society members (past guests).
The 100-day odyssey is also available in four individual "Grand Pacific Voyages," ranging in length from 18 to 34 days, sailing from Los Angeles, Valparaiso, Sydney and Hong Kong. Cruise fares for the shorter voyages begin at $7,180 per person, double occupancy, and include a complimentary pre-cruise, two-night hotel package. Complimentary air transportation is also included for those guests on two or more segments. Specially-priced air fares are offered to those guests booking a single segment.
Crystal Cruises Orders New Build
Crystal Cruises announces that its parent company, NYK, has signed a Letter of Intent with French shipyard Chantiers de l'Atlantique for the construction of a new luxury ship. The 68,000-ton, 1,080-guest ship is expected to join Crystal's existing Six-Star rated fleet in the fall of 2003.
"The order for this new state-of-the-art cruise ship further demonstrates our commitment to Crystal Cruises and reinforces NYK's continuing support of the line's award-winning product," said Takao Kusakari, president of NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha), the largest shipping company in the world.
With 1,880 berths, Crystal is the largest luxury cruise operator in the industry. The unnamed vessel will increase Crystal's capacity by almost 60%. Crystal's new build will feature an even greater space-per-guest ratio than sister ships, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, considered two of the most spacious ships afloat. Plans include expanded areas for spa services and other athletic, cultural and intellectual pursuits. Within a range of luxury accommodations, the line will increase its number of penthouses and enlarge its deluxe staterooms with verandahs. Approximately 85% of its all outside staterooms and suites will offer private verandahs.
"Our new ship will reflect the quality and tradition of the Crystal fleet with splashes of innovative comforts and services," said Joseph A. Watters, president, Crystal Cruises. "Since its inception, Crystal's strength has been to provide unparalleled service and the luxury of choices, a formula that has been enthusiastically endorsed by our guests and their travel agents."
Like Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, the new build
will boast a full outside promenade, a grand observation lounge, a variation of the ships'
popular Palm Court lounge, multiple dining venues, and a variety of entertainment lounges,
including a state-of-the-art theater to showcase Crystal's critically-acclaimed production
shows. Environmentally-friendly diesel engines will power the ship, and an azimuthal pod
propulsion system will be incorporated for greater maneuverability.
Surf Around the Clock:
Crystal Cruises Enhances Its Cyber Program
Effective immediately, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises features 24-hour Internet and e-mail access. This is the newest expansion in the line's communications program that debuted e-mail aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony in 1997 and Internet connections earlier this year. Even when the dedicated Computer University @ Sea lab is closed, guests can now explore the world wide web or log in to their e-mail accounts through the night by using newly installed computers in additional public areas.
At the program's inception in 1997, about 10% of Crystal's guests sent or received e-mail. Today it is up to 66%, more than six times the initial usage. In addition, approximately 70% of the crew uses the service.
"Many of our well-traveled guests, whether for personal or business reasons, find it necessary, or just simply enjoy, staying in closer touch with their world back home," says Bret Bullock, Crystal Cruises' vice president, entertainment. "Crystal Cruises' service philosophy is to meet and exceed one's expectations of a luxury cruise experience. We're able to do this for our guests by combining 24-hour availability -- the ultimate in service -- with the technology to which we've all become accustomed on land."
Earlier this year, several of the more than 25 Compaq® laptops and desktops in Crystal's Computer University @ Sea labs were configured for Internet access to enable cruise guests to not only explore cyberspace, but also to send or retrieve e-mail instantly via their own Internet e-mail system or Internet service provider, including MSN, Yahoo, Earthlink and America Online. Guests also retain the option of sending/receiving e-mail through the ships' e-mail service.
With the launch of its innovative Computer University @ Sea on its 1997 World Cruise, Crystal Cruises became the first cruise line to offer regularly scheduled computer instruction and e-mail capabilities. Due to the program's overwhelming popularity, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony added dedicated computer labs to each ship and the program was soon offered on all sailings. Depending on the length of the cruise, there are three to nine instructors teaching curriculums ranging from Microsoft Windows and e-mail classes to more advanced subjects such as manipulating digital images and using a personal data assistant.
By 1999, Crystal Cruises increased private e-mail transmissions from once daily to four times a day, and began printing a personal e-mail address on each guest's cruise ticket, which enables a traveler to leave personal contact information with family, friends and business associates before setting sail. Today, with the real-time Internet connection, e-mails are sent instantly from Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony.
Crystal's around-the-clock Internet capabilities augment many other on-board information services that keep guests fully up to date. Guests can watch CNN and ESPN 24 hours a day in most destinations, read daily summaries of The New York Times, receive free delivery of USA Today in most ports, or follow their investments via a personalized stock-tracking e-mail service.
Computer University @ Sea charges depend on the guest's service preference. Guests
accessing their Internet-based e-mail or exploring cyberspace are charged $1.25 a minute,
with a 10-minute minimum. As an alternative, e-mails sent or received via a guest's
personal shipboard e-mail address provided by Crystal Cruises cost $3 each. For both
services, there is a nominal one-time set-up fee of $5. Printing, workshops and group
instruction are complimentary. For added convenience, guests may rent laptop computers, on
which they can create and read e-mail in the comfort of their staterooms. Private
instruction is also available.
From Ayuthaya to Zululand in 2001:
Crystal Cruises Offers More New World Cruise
Shore Excursions Than Ever Before
A private tea with the mayor of Mombasa, flightseeing over Mt. Everest, and a dip in your personal Phinda Rock Lodge plunge pool in Kenya are just three of the more than 30 new shore excursions slated for Crystal Symphony's 2001 World Cruise. In all, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has developed a diverse roster of 120 intimate cultural experiences, exclusive safaris and historical expeditions -- from half-day excursions to lengthier overland journeys -- in Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa, the Canary Islands and Western Europe.
Departing Los Angeles for London on January 12, Crystal's sixth consecutive World Cruise visits 38 exotic ports in 31 countries. While it is sold primarily as a 104-day voyage or in four 24- to 28-day individual cruises from Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Dubai and Cape Town, the luxury line is also offering shorter World Cruise sailings ranging in length from as few as eight to 17 days. Crystal's land programs experts have crafted new shore excursions for each of the individual World Cruise voyages.
"To complement the grandness of Crystal's World Cruise, we strive to create the ultimate program of shoreside opportunities," says Craig Laforest, Crystal Cruises' director, land programs. "As guests aboard Crystal Symphony's World Cruise are most often experienced travelers who have accumulated unforgettable memories of the world's top attractions and more remote destinations, it's our goal to provide unique adventures they can add to their collection."
Special World Value Fares for the complete 104-day World Cruise begin at $36,990 per person, double occupancy, and include round-trip first class or business class air transportation (depending on stateroom category), and a long list of luxurious perks. The 104-day sailing is also available in 11 individual World Cruise Voyages, ranging in length from eight to 28 days. Cruise fares for the individual segments begin at $3,085 per person, double occupancy.
Crystal Cruises Sets 2001 Theme
Photography and Personal Finance & Investments
What's current -- what's classic -- and what piques a person's interest are the inspiration for Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony's 2001 Theme Cruises. New in 2001 is a Personal Finance & Investments sailing for insights on investment opportunities, and a Photography cruise in Africa with picture-taking tips to better capture the continent's landscape and wildlife.
In all, themes are slated on 29 cruises in 2001. Other themed programs touch on the fine feats of culinary masters (Crystal Wine & Food Festival); demystifying cyber and software technology (Crystal's Computer University@Sea Comprehensive); motivation to lead healthy, more rewarding lives (Crystal's Health & Fitness series); an appreciation of masterpieces (Crystal's Arts programs); and the snazzy sounds of swing (Crystal's Jazz & Big Band series).
While every Crystal sailing offers the Crystal Visions Enrichment Lecture Series with guest speakers from a broad range of disciplines, such as politics, academia, science, journalism, and the Arts, Crystal's Theme Cruises add depth to the featured topic. "Our guests tell us that Crystal's Theme Cruises enrich their cruise experience," says Adam Leavitt, vice president, marketing for Crystal Cruises. "To develop the themes, we keep our eye on the news of the day and match these timely topics with guests' requests and the Crystal Cruises' philosophy -- to provide a stimulating, inspiring, and pampering, luxury vacation."
Guests aboard these theme cruises can participate in seminars and interactive workshops related to their favorite hobbies and educational interests while sailing to the world's most fascinating ports of call. Crystal's 2001 Theme Cruises range from 10 to 104 days, from Jan. 20 through Dec. 6. The Theme Cruise schedule begins with Crystal Symphony's annual World Cruise through the Pacific, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The variety of themes continues on cruises in South America, the Panama Canal, Alaska, Canada, the Mediterranean and the United States East Coast.
On 20 sailings in nine different destinations in 2001, the Crystal Wine & Food Festival brings aboard culinary stars, wine experts and master sommeliers for gourmet cooking demonstrations, gala guest chef's dinners and wine tastings from Crystal's extensive collection of more than 170 vintages and varietals.
Crystal's Computer University@Sea Comprehensive theme sailing on March 21 includes workshops on developing a home page, PC faxing and phoning, tax preparing with TurboTax and selecting an Internet provider.
For a voyage to greater wellness and vitality, Crystal's Health & Fitness cruise will feature renowned authors and health, nutrition and yoga experts to offer helpful tips for diet, exercise and to enhance one's own soulful journey. This Panama Canal cruise departs March 31.
For those with a love of the Arts, Crystal features Art & Architecture
cruises through the Mediterranean, May 22 and Sept. 19; the Los Angeles Opera
during the Alaska/Canada Cruise, Aug. 13; the natural wonders of a Photography
adventure in Africa, Oct. 25; and a Film Festival Nov. 25 crossing the
Inaugural Amazon River Voyage
Crystal Cruises' 2001 South America Season
The Pantanal and Iguazu Falls Headline New Extended Land Programs
Based on the popularity of its previous winter season in South America, Crystal Cruises has slated five sailings in the region for January through March 2001, including the luxury line's maiden voyage in the Amazon. For further exploration of South America's most famous natural attractions, Crystal Cruises will debut two optional pre- or post-cruise overland programs to Brazil's verdant Pantanal and Argentina's thunderous Iguazu Falls.
In 2001, Crystal Harmony's expanded South America program offers five cruise departures, ranging in length from 11 to 16 days, on Jan. 13, and 29; Feb. 10 and 23; and March 10. Depending on the itinerary, the Six-Star rated vessel will explore the east and west coasts of South America, including calls in the West Indies, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. The season's highlights include the breathtaking landscapes of the Chilean fjords; an overnight stay in stylish Buenos Aires; a two-day visit to Rio de Janeiro that coincides with Carnaval, the city's festive costume and musical celebration; and the dramatic cliffs of Cape Horn. Exotic shore opportunities include a day trip by private plane to Iguazu Falls, and a visit to a Patagonian penguin colony.
"Crystal Cruises' guests are continually seeking new travel experiences, and the Amazon has been a popular request," said Adam Leavitt, vice president, marketing for Crystal Cruises. "The Amazon also offers our repeat guests three new maiden calls in this lush region of the world, as well as unusual wildlife, dramatic scenery and cosmopolitan nightlife, all of which can be experienced from the elegance and comfort of Crystal Harmony."
Two of Crystal's South America cruises conveniently originate or conclude in Ft. Lauderdale, including one of the new Amazon itineraries on March 10. Crystal Cruises has also developed new South America shoreside programs to appeal to adventure-seekers and naturalists. A five-night program from Sao Paulo or Manaus delves deep into the Amazon and the heart of South America, the Pantanal, via small boats and canoes. This rich natural reserve is home to 125 species of mammals, such as the spotted jaguar, 656 different species of birds, including the blue hyacinth macaw, and 263 species of fish.
The price for the five-night program, including accommodations and meals is $2,870 per person, double occupancy. From Buenos Aires, guests may venture inland to lush, tropical jungles and the spectacle of Iguazu Falls, with its impressive series of 250 individual torrents that form a waterfall 2.5 miles wide -- four times broader than the Niagara. Small crafts will traverse narrow waterways to one of Iguazu's most impressive falls, the Devil's Gorge.
The four-night post-cruise program is $2,980 per person, double occupancy; the five-night pre-cruise program is $3,170.
Crystal Cruises also offers more "a la carte" hotel arrangements in Buenos Aires and Santiago. Pre- or post-cruise one- to three-night hotel stays are available starting at $235 for the first night, and $110 each additional night, per person, double occupancy. Hotel prices include hotel tax and porterage, airport/hotel/ship transfers and a Crystal Cruises Hospitality Desk representative who can offer recommendations on sightseeing.
Added Internet Service Enables
Crystal Cruisers to Stay Connected
Luxury Line Boasts More Computers for Guests Than Any Other
Would you like to surf the Internet, cruising between Casablanca and Agadir? Send digital photos of your dog sledding adventure while sailing through the Inside Passage? Or monitor your stock portfolio, crossing the South China Sea from Hon Gai to Kampong Som?
With its new enhanced satellite capabilities, Crystal Cruises is enabling its guests to explore the world and the world wide web. Effective May 2000, several of the computers aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony have been configured for Internet access. In addition to searching cyberspace, cruise guests can now send or retrieve e-mail instantly via their own Internet e-mail system or Internet service provider, including MSN, Yahoo, Earthlink and America Online. Guests also retain the option of sending/receiving e-mail through the ships' e-mail service.
With 22 Compaq® laptops and desktops in its Computer University @ Sea labs plus laptops for rental, Crystal Cruises features more computers for guests' general usage than any other cruise line.
Computer University @ Sea charges depend on the guest's service preference. Guests accessing their Internet-based e-mail or exploring cyberspace will be charged $1.25 a minute, with a 10-minute minimum. As an alternative, e-mails sent or received via a guest's personal shipboard e-mail address provided by Crystal Cruises cost $3 each. For both services, there is a nominal one-time set-up fee of $5. Printing, workshops and group instruction are complimentary.
For added convenience, guests may rent laptop computers, on which they can create and read e-mail in the comfort of their staterooms. Private instruction is also available.
"Many of our guests today find it necessary to stay in close touch with their world back home, for both business and personal reasons," says Adam Leavitt, Crystal Cruises' vice president, marketing. "Crystal Cruises' broad array of communication services illustrates how we meet, and exceed, the expectations of the changing cruise market."
Crystal Cruises Showcases Its
Excellence in New Cookbook
In a classic example of art imitating the finer things in life, Crystal Cruises debuts The Crystal Cookbook, a stylish collection of nearly 100 recipes and wine pairings from the ultra-luxury cruise line's award-winning culinary repertoire.
The 180 pages of stunning full-color images and insightful descriptions elevate this elegant hardcover book to a level of artistry that food, wine and travel enthusiasts will treasure in their home collection. As declared by Master Chef Andre Soltner in the book's preface, "The next best thing to dining aboard Crystal Cruises is owning a copy of this book ... "
Outscoring every other large- or small-ship cruise line in the 1999 readers' surveys conducted by both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines, Crystal Cruises embodies the philosophy that fine cuisine is an integral part of the luxury travel experience. The Six-Star rated luxury liner's culinary programs are acclaimed by gourmet critics for an unparalleled level of innovation and sophistication and consistently win top industry honors. In fact, in the 1999 Condé Nast Traveler readers' poll, Crystal Cruises scored the highest rating for cuisine over all other large- and small-ship cruise lines, and also received the third highest rating of all international travel opportunities, including the finest hotels and resorts, and worldwide destinations.
Crystal Cruises produced the cookbook in response to years of guest requests to share its secrets for haute cuisine. Under the supervision of Toni Neumeister, director of culinary operations, and Elizabeth Hecker, creative director, the Crystal Cruises culinary team compiled recipes from hundreds of regionally inspired dishes served aboard the line's two luxury liners, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Harmony.
Segmented into chapters correlating to Crystal's worldwide sailing regions, the book captures the distinctive character of each locale through the evocative text and spectacular color photography shot exclusively onboard the ships by award-winning food photographer Deborah Jones (recently garnering praise for her work in Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook). Each beautifully photographed recipe is accompanied by text that shares the creative inspiration behind the dish, instructions for classic preparation and presentation tailored for the home chef. With a nod to the line's impressive shipboard wine cellars, at least two specific wines are recommended to complement the flavors of each dish.
Also featured in the book are recipe contributions from Andre Soltner, Barbara Tropp, Jacques Pepin, Wolfgang Puck, and Charles Dale and others who are among the distinguished guest chefs who have sailed with Crystal as part of its Wine & Food Festival. The preface by Andre Soltner, who praises the book as a "culinary classic," a glossary of recipe basics and cooking methods, plus an insightful 24-hour diary of the behind-the-scenes shipboard culinary operations contribute to the book's exclusive appeal.
Professionally trained in the skills of classic French cooking, Crystal's chefs artfully blend these formal techniques with the regional cooking styles, exotic ingredients and celebrated local dishes found in Crystal's worldwide cruise destinations: Western Europe and Scandinavia, Latin America and the Caribbean, California and Alaska, the Mediterranean, Asia, and the South Pacific. Among the recipes that have garnered the highest praise from guests and industry experts are: Tuna Sashimi and Wakame Seaweed Salad; Chilean Sea Bass Baked in Banana Leaves with Glazed Mango and Orange Butter; Roasted Loin of Venison with Apple-Lingonberry Relish, Celery Mousseline and Mashed Sweet Potatoes; Alaskan Crab Soup with Melun Brie Cheese; and the White Chocolate Cheese Tart Moderne with Raspberry Coulis, which Neumeister prepared as part of his guest chef dinner at the prestigious James Beard House.
Crystal Cruises showcases recipe selections from each of the ships' celebrated dining venues, including the Crystal Dining Room, the Italian restaurant Prego, Kyoto and Jade Garden (the ships' Asian alternative restaurants), the Bistro, and the elaborately-themed Mozart tea time, to name a few.
"This long-awaited cookbook truly captures Crystal's highest standards of culinary integrity, creative excellence and gourmet dining choices," said Adam Leavitt, Crystal Cruises' vice president, marketing. "Fine food enthusiasts -- whether they have sailed with Crystal or not -- will experience the essence of an ultra-luxury cruise as brought to life through these classic words and images."
The Crystal Cruises Cookbook is available for purchase through a dedicated toll-free number (800) 567-0557 and in retail boutiques on board Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony. The Crystal Cruises Cookbook retails for $39.95 plus $9.95 shipping and handling plus sales tax as applicable. Gift wrapping and express delivery are also available for an additional fee. All major credit cards are accepted.
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