Crystal offers staggered opening for 2025 World Cruise

Crystal Serenity's 123-night voyage features five optional A&K overland itineraries

Crystal‘s 2025 World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity has opened for reservations. Departing on 7 January, the 123-night voyage will sail from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona, visiting 64 destinations in 31 countries and including 17 overnights.

The voyage bypasses Australasia completely, with a focus on the Americas, Africa, the Indian Ocean, India, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Traditionally, Crystal’s World Cruise has included visits along the Australian coastline.

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This new itinerary heads south from Florida through the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and along the western coastline of South America, to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, then north to Rio de Janeiro before crossing the Atlantic with a stop in St Helena. Crystal Serenity with continue onto Namibia, track around Southern Africa to Zanzibar, and across to Seychelles, Maldives and Mumbai. After which the ship will steer towards the Middle East and Egypt, through the Suez Canal, Greece, Italy and conclude in Spain.

Bookings have initially opened exclusively for guests booked on the 2024 World Cruise for a seven-day period, after which Crystal Society members who have sailed 15 or more times with the brand will have early access for a four-day window, before members who have cruised 14 times or less will have five-days to book. Reservations to the general public will open on 30 August 2023.

Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro | Credit: Crystal/Facebook
Crystal 2025 World Cruise

Guests booking the full journey will be privy to three exclusive World Cruise Events, which include a tango experience in Buenos Aires, a Dionysian festival in Athens and a night tour of Colombo.

The World Cruise will include five overland options which are powered by Crystal’s sister company, Abercrombie & Kent (as flagged recently by Crystal).

“Crystal’s partnership with A&K Travel Group redefines onshore experiences by blending Crystal’s knowledge at sea with A&K’s unparalleled expertise in immersive travel,” Crystal’s website says. “Together, they curate authentic, enriching encounters, ensuring guests access the most extraordinary destinations with insider insights and seamless luxury.”

These overland trips enable guests to disembark Crystal Serenity in one port for between two and five days, and return to the vessel a few days later in another location.

The optional Crystal Overland Experiences for the 2025 World Cruise include a:

  • 4-day Galapagos Journey from Guayaquil,
  • 4-day Machu Picchu Adventure from Salaverry
  • 2-day Lights of Luxor experience from Safaga
  • 4-day Serengeti National Park Adventure from Zanzibar;
  • and a 5-day Taj and Tigers side trip from Colombo

Benefits of booking early include a US$1,500 ‘As You Wish’ shipboard credit, private transfers, luggage valet, unlimited dining at Osteria d’Ovidio and Umi Uma, exclusive onshore events (see below), exclusive gala dinner and more.

Guests will also receive an allowance of AU$8,000 per person towards the cost of their flights.

Fares for the 123-night 2025 World Cruise start at US$66,200 per guest.

Symphony sea trials success

Meanwhile, Crystal Symphony, the second Crystal ship to relaunch following Crystal Serenity’s recent return to service, successfully completed sea trials in anticipation of its inaugural cruise from Athens, Greece, commencing 1 September 2023.

Currently in the final stages of an extensive refurbishment at Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, Italy, the vessel had a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested the ship’s navigation, technical and mechanical systems, and all passed inspection. Additionally, Crystal has ensured that the fire-resistant panels were certified correctly and are not defective.

“Following the launch of Crystal Serenity on July 31st, we are thrilled that Crystal Symphony has completed sea trials and is one step closer to returning to service in a few short weeks,” said Roberto Fazi, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations at Crystal. “To be able to relaunch our brand and two ships within such a short amount of time is completely unprecedented, and we could not have done it without the amazing work of our leadership and teams, both on board and shoreside.

Crystal Symphony

“We also wouldn’t be here without our partners at Fincantieri who worked around the clock to deliver this beautiful ship on time.”

When guests board for the first time, they will find updated and larger suites with artisanal finishes, and refreshed specialty dining venues including the new Osteria d’Ovidio which pays homage to Crystal’s Executive Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio and his family’s Northern Italian heritage. They will also be greeted with cutting-edge onboard wellness, including the completely renovated and renamed Aurōra Spa, as well as a new pickleball court and re-energized entertainment and events.

The stateroom and suite reassignment will see Crystal Symphony decrease capacity from 848 passengers to 646.

Crystal Symphony will spend the rest of the summer in Europe following the inaugural cruise from Athens before repositioning to Africa in October and then hosting voyages in Australia and Asia.

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