Crystal Cruises Expands Fleet into Air Travel

Crystal River Cruises
Crystal River Cruises

Crystal Cruises recently announced an unexpected addition to its fleet—a Bombardier Global Express XRS jet—which will enter service on April 3. The aircraft is one of several developments for the Los Angeles-based luxury cruise line, which announced a significant brand expansion after being acquired by Genting Hong Kong last summer.

Designed to accommodate 12 people, the Bombardier Global Express XRS jet will offer smaller groups traveling on a variety of Crystal itineraries the option to fly privately and have full access to the jet’s three spacious cabins. The forward cabin includes four executive wide club seats with foldout tables for dining or meeting, while the mid cabin provides five seats and a workstation to be used for conferences. The aft cabin also features a three-person divan, which can be converted into a large bed.

The jet is the cruise line’s first venture into air travel with Crystal Luxury Air. In 2017, however, the company will also debut the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as part of its fleet, which will take passengers on a 28-day, around-the-word itinerary to visit 10 to 12 remote locations. The typically 300-seat plane will fit 60 guests in business-class seats to exclusive destinations that major airlines don’t already offer nonstop service.

In the cruise world, Crystal Cruises launched Crystal Esprit on Dec. 23, marking the first expansion of the Crystal Cruises fleet. Not only does the 62-guest yacht offer culturally immersive experiences, it also features a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for excursions and a 12-passenger 32-foot yacht for boating adventures.

Crystal Cruises also plans to launch all-inclusive river cruises on newly built ships in spring 2017. Then in 2018, it will launch three of its Crystal Exclusive Class cruise ships. These all-suite ships will accommodate 1,000 and will include Crystal Residences—48 homes with their own private restaurant and reception area.