MIAMI — Crystal Symphony will join Crystal Serenity in the Caribbean this summer with a series of 10-night ‘Luxury Caribbean Escapes’ roundtrip from St. John’s, Antigua.
The 15 sailings start Aug. 5 and run through December 2021 and include a holiday sailing on Dec. 23. Ports of call include Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten and British Virgin Islands. It marks the first time a cruise ship has established a homeport on a scheduled basis in St. John’s.
The stop at Trinidad and Tobago is subject to government review with changing health and safety conditions.
Crystal also notes that as more islands in the Caribbean begin to open, the cruise line may add additional ports to the itinerary and will inform passengers and travel partners of any itinerary changes.
Reservations for the new Luxury Caribbean Escapes, with reduced capacity sailings, open on April 20.
Crystal announced in February that guests must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. This new requirement is in addition to existing, comprehensive Crystal Clean+ measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, reduced capacity, social distancing, mask requirements and health screening questionnaires.
“The islands of the Caribbean are a warm welcome back to traveling the world, rich in fascinating history and the kind of natural beauty that astounds even the most seasoned travellers, and St. John’s is an ideal home port to begin luxury journeys through such a paradise,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s interim president and CEO.
BOOKS ALREADY OPEN FOR CRYSTAL SERENITY’S BAHAMAS SAILINGS
The news comes four weeks after Crystal Cruises announced, on March 11, 2021 that Crystal Serenity would set sail in July 2021 with all-Bahamas itineraries.
The news made Crystal the first ocean-going cruise line to offer 2021 sailings in the Americas amid the pandemic.
Other cruise lines including NCL, Silversea, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have also opened bookings on Caribbean and Med itineraries.
CLIA and the cruise lines have pushed back against the CDC’s revised Conditional Sailing Order, after new measures were announced April 2, accusing the CDC of sending out mixed messages as air travel in the U.S. ramps up exponentially.
On April 8 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida had filed a lawsuit against the federal government to demand cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately.
“AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE IN REINVIGORATING TOURISM”
Crystal says Crystal Symphony’s return to sailing marks the resumption of service for 97% of Crystal’s oceangoing fleet in the summer 2021.
“Minister Charles Fernandez and his team, and the local tourism businesses throughout the islands, have been working to renew travel to the islands safely and we are thrilled to partner with them to support economic growth in the region and to deliver the kind of luxuries and hospitality Crystal guests have been craving for the past year,” said Anderson.
Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism and Investment for Antigua and Barbuda, said he is “delighted to welcome Crystal Symphony and her guests to Antigua and the Caribbean, as this represents an important milestone in reinvigorating tourism here, as well as deeper support of our island communities’ economies as Crystal becomes the first cruise line to homeport on a scheduled basis in St. John’s.”
Best available cruise fares start at US$2,999 with Book Now Savings of up to $1,000 per guest and As You Wish spending credits of $200 per guest. Returning guests will get double Crystal Society Savings of 5% while new to Crystal guests will save 2.5%. Travellers can book their Crystal Symphony Luxury Caribbean Escapes with a reduced deposit of 15% and have until 60 days prior to departure to make final payments. Single supplements for these voyages begin at 125%. Passengers with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these voyages.