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Crystal Cruises Returns to the Seas With Revamped Vessels and a New Owner

Chris Dong's image
Chris Dong
Chris Dong's image

Chris Dong

Editor & Content Contributor

88 Published Articles 74 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 54U.S. States Visited: 36

Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full time ...
Edited by: Nick Ellis
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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

164 Published Articles 807 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...

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After an 18-month hiatus, luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises is back on the water.

On July 31, 2023, the Crystal Serenity set sail on its inaugural voyage from Marseille, France following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment. It’s the first of 2 ultra-luxury Crystal ships returning to service this summer.

Here’s what you need to know.

Crystal Cruises Comeback

Formerly owned by now-bankrupt Genting Hong Kong, Crystal was acquired by luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) Travel Group in mid-2022.

After an extensive year-long renovation, the 740-passenger Crystal Serenity is back in action. Later this summer, the smaller Crystal Symphony ship will restart operations from Athens, Greece.

“Crystal has been recognized for decades for exceptional experiences and we are excited to welcome guests back onboard for its new gilded era,” said A&K Travel Group CEO, Cristina Levis. “It is an honor to be signaling this new chapter better than ever and right on schedule, all while retaining 80% of Crystal’s beloved crew on board.” 

Jr. Crystal Penthouse Suite
Junior Crystal Penthouse Suite. Image Credit: Crystal Cruises

Crystal was already well-regarded for its tailored service, with nearly 1 staff member per guest and an industry-leading space-to-guest ratio (1 to 93.1 cu. ft.), according to a press release. For the Serenity, A&K redesigned select guestrooms and suites in partnership with architectural firm GEM.

A new spa and wellness concept, Aurora, is also now on board with extensive treatment offerings such as signature facials and a full-service salon.

There are 11 dining options available on the Serenity, the highlight being the return of Master Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma, the only Nobu dining concept at sea. Cruisers can also expect dining options from across a range of cuisines and styles, including fine Italian dining at Osteria D’Ovidio; casual poolside eats at Trident Grill; coffees, pastries, and other assorted breakfast items at The Bistro; and more.

Umi Uma Crystal Cruises
Umi Uma. Image Credit: Crystal Cruises
Hot Tip:

Looking to book a cruise without paying cash? Here’s our full guide to how to leverage points and miles for cruising.

Final Thoughts

Luxury seekers who wish to sail the 7 seas are in luck with the re-emergence of the Crystal Cruises brand. But it certainly won’t come cheap. For the summer of 2023, both the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony will sail the Mediterranean and Northern Europe to destinations like Istanbul and Santorini, with fares starting at a steep $3,800 per guest. 

Chris Dong's image

About Chris Dong

Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full-time at The Points Guy, his work can now be found at AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, and Lonely Planet, among others

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