|At the event Crystal talked guest demographics on the Crystal Esprit (pictured).|
Luxury Travel Advisor is currently aboard Crystal Symphony, attending Crystal Cruises' 25th annual Sales Award Gala. 93 advisors qualified for and 79 advisors attended this year's gala, which is taking place on a cruise from Greece to Italy. The brand, which will celebrate its 26th anniversary this July, is commemorating the gala with the theme “Exclusively All About You”. This theme plays into Crystal’s new tag line “Where all inclusive is all exclusive.” The new branding is a part of Crystal’s recent expansion, which includes expansions in ocean cruising, river cruising, yacht experiences and air travel. Here’s an update on the yacht experiences, as well as more practical information about the brand.
Crystal Yacht Cruises – A Look at Q1
On December 23, 2015, Crystal Esprit launched in the Seychelles after a major refurbishment. (The yacht was originally built in 1991.) The yacht offers all-inclusive amenities, including Michelin-level star cuisine. Guests can choose to dine at the Cove bar with piano music and crafted cocktails, The Patio Café with indoor and outdoor space, the Yacht Club with an open kitchen, and the Sunset Bar.
The yacht also comes complete with adventure equipment, including an underwater vehicle. Esprit can carry a total of 62 guests, and travelers that have sailed on Esprit during Q1 have a distinctive set of demographics. The average age of a guest on the yacht is 53 years old, about 10 years younger than the average Crystal ocean cruiser. Advisors should note that 68 percent of Q1 guests were new to Crystal Cruises and 38 percent were not yet retired. During Q1 there was a mix of international guests; however, 43 percent were from the U.S.
Crystal Cruises is attracting a younger global pallette of guests that haven’t cruised yet, explains Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Crystal. She goes said that yachting is not cruising; it’s a more active trip than cruising.
And at this year’s gala, advisors at the gala were reminded to explain in detail the yachting experience to clients before booking. This is a smaller, more adventurous kind of travel that won’t be suitable to every traveler’s taste or abilities. For example, the yacht is not equipped with an elevator and guests can wear more casual yachting attire than found on the ocean vessels. Advisors should note that Esprit is available for charters and, depending on flexibility, advisors can now use their Platinum cruise on Esprit.
Esprit will be joined by a brand new yacht in 2018, Crystal Endeavor. This yacht will be the first-purpose built Polar Code compliant yacht. This new vessel will sail in the Artic and then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of America and Europe to Antarctica during the winter.
Depending on the itinerary on Endeavor, the ship will attract a range of guests and a range of ages, said Rodriguez.
Advisors should note that Crystal’s new website will launch by the end of May. Additionally, all technical systems will be up and running by the end of the year. Note: Personal URLs will be available on the new website.
Stay tuned to www.luxurytraveladvisor.com for more information from this year’s gala.