Bio-diversity, active adventure and the natural and cultural history of destinations will be the hallmarks of Crystal Expedition Cruises’ inaugural program in 2020. The luxury cruise operator’s launch expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, is now just 11 months away from her maiden cruise from Tokyo, Japan on 10 August.
At 20,000 gross-tonnes, Crystal Endeavor is touted as “the most spacious purpose-built polar class expedition yacht in the world”. The ship will accommodate 200 guests and boast the luxurious amenities and special touches that Crystal is renowned for.
Indeed, it’s those characteristics which have seen Crystal bag a range of accolades in 2019, including Signature Luxury Travel & Style’s Best-of-the-Best Luxury Cruise Awards in the following categories:
- Ocean Ship (over 750 passengers) for Crystal Cruises
- Ocean Ship (under 250 passengers) for Crystal Yacht Cruises
- River Cruises (Europe)
Crystal Endeavor‘s 2020 season will see the yacht traverse Japan and the Russian Far East; Antarctica via the Ross Sea; New Zealand and Australia; and Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines.
In her 2021 season, Crystal Endeavor will add New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands; Alaska and the Aleutian Islands; Norway and the United Kingdom; Canary Islands, Atlantic and South America, as well as an extraordinary voyage through the Northeast Passage.
Voyages range from 10 to 28 nights with itineraries encompassing dozens on UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Australia’s Turquoise Bay and Ningaloo Reef, and a multitude of wildlife observations in the Aleutian Isles, Tasmania, Indonesia, the Antarctic Peninsula and beyond.
“Crystal Endeavor’s extraordinary voyages are categorised to reflect three types of expedition experiences,” Karen Christensen, Crystal’s Senior Vice President & Managing Director for Australasia told LATTE.
“For guests who may not have done an expedition cruise before, it’s beneficial in their planning to distinguish the truly ‘Remote Expeditions’ in Antarctica or transiting the Northeast passage for example, to the ‘Cultural Discovery’ voyages featuring immersive cultural stops throughout Japan or New Zealand, and the ‘Destination Exploration’ itineraries that explore the exceptional biodiversity, eco-treasures and wilderness of destinations such as Alaska.”
Journeying to Earth’s remote polar regions and faraway destinations, these are true expert-led expedition voyages combining rugged adventure and Zodiac landings with rare discovery, extraordinary wildlife and stunning landscapes few have ever seen.
Here’s some examples:
- Indonesian Immersive & The Great Barrier Reef
Indonesia’s mosaic of colours and cultures meets the great southern lands of Australia on this fascinating voyage. Visit jade-coloured islands, discover ancient Komodo dragons, stand on the edge of an active volcano, and revel in the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Banda Neira and Raja Ampat in Indonesia host some of earth’s richest marine biodiversity, followed by an exploration of Australia’s Thursday Island, Cape York, Lizard Island, Ribbon Reefs, and finally Cairns.
This 16-night voyage departs 15 October, 2020.
- The Northeast Passage
Exploring the coasts of the High Arctic on this elusive route, Crystal Endeavor will navigate the realms of polar bears and rare bird species on a 29-night expedition departing 18 August, 2021. This voyage will visit locales few have explored before such as Severnaya Zemlya in Russia’s high arctic, the last charted place on earth. From Kolyuchin Island in the Chukchi Sea to Wrangel Island and Ayon Island, these locales are teeming with wildlife. Franz Joseph Land is an archipelago of 192 flat islands and an ideal lookout point across the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean. Honningsvag embodies the natural majesty of Norway, with a sprawling natural landscape and spectacular fjords.
From legendary lands and exotic isles to modern-day cities and destinations renowned for their history, art and nature, these voyages delve into the cultural heart and iconic wonders of each unique locale with adventurous experiences, landings and insight.
Here’s an example:
- Japan’s Island Immersive
Japan’s archipelago of 6,852 islands has long captured the curiosity of creatives, philosophers and explorers. Embarking on extraordinary adventures to discover ancient shrines and temples, rain-forested islands, dramatic mountains and idyllic villages, with ports including Muroran, Sado Island, Kanazawa, Miyajima, Hiroshima and Tamano, on the immersive 14-night itinerary from Tokyo to Osaka departing 15 May, 2021.
Deeply immersive explorations and landings in rarely-visited destinations – distant islands and coastal landscapes home to exceptional biodiversity, eco-treasures and wilderness – are combined with visits to world-class cities featuring an expedition twist.
Here’s an example:
- Great Australian Adventure
Exploring eucalyptus forests and coastal hiking trails, underwater adventures and world-class vintages amidst the spectacular landscapes of Margaret River, this Australian expedition is diverse and daring. Travelling from Melbourne to Perth on a 10-night voyage, Crystal Endeavor will call into King Island, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln, followed by fascinating stops into Middle Island with its famous Lake Hillier, Albany and Busselton, departing 24 March, 2021.
On board, guest expedition guides, scientists and destination experts will further illuminate journeys with engaging presentations and seminars focusing on the unique nature and history of the region.
At all times, itineraries and ports of call are subject to the Captain’s discretion based on prevailing weather and ice conditions and government permits. Wildlife sightings and wilderness highlights on any itinerary cannot be guaranteed. Crystal Endeavor images are artist’s renderings and subject to change.
Explore Crystal Endeavor’s voyages here.