LOS ANGELES — Crystal Cruises has once again raised the bar for luxury on the high seas by announcing the world’s first purpose-built polar class megayacht. Measuring 600 feet long and offering 100 guest suites, the 25,000 gross ton new build will be the largest and most spacious megayacht afloat.
During a recent press event at the annual SeaTrade Cruise Global convention in Fort Lauderdale, Crystal’s President and CEO Edie Rodriguez announced that the line’s first-ever expedition megayacht – Crystal Endeavor – will debut in August 2018. Named after captain James Cook’s research ship ‘HMS Endeavour’, which discovered Australia and New Zealand nearly 250 years ago, the new vessel will be designed for global expedition in Arctic, Antarctic and tropical conditions.
Upon completion, Crystal Endeavor will be able to cruise in polar regions during the summer and autumn in medium ‘first year’ ice, which may include old ice inclusions. She’ll also be fitted with computer-controlled systems to automatically maintain the ship’s position with its own propellers and thrusters. This will enable the megayacht to float atop coral reefs and other underwater wonders without using anchors, which can damage the terrain.
After cruising in the Arctic, the Endeavor will follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of the Americas and Europe to Antarctica during the winter. Along the way, she will visit remote islands in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, where cruise ships seldom call or cannot access. With a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), expedition cruises will be organized to see sunken galleons, warships and passenger ships, such as the Titanic at 12,500 feet.
To allow for maximum adventures off-shore, the 200-guest capacity Endeavor will offer a complete range of ‘toys’ not commonly found on today’s megayachts. These include two helicopters and two landing pads for flightseeing expeditions, as well as two seven-person submarines, eight electric amphibious zodiacs, jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, fishing facilities, paddle boards, snorkelling and scuba equipment, recompression chamber, dive support tender and a multi-person ATV. If that weren’t enough, the ship will be equipped with SEABOBs, the world’s most technically advanced and powerful underwater scooter.
Onboard, standard guests suites will measure a minimum 400 square feet (including balcony), which is larger than all current expedition and luxury cruise ships. The yacht’s two Owner Suites will each measure 3,122 square feet, making them the largest guest suites of any megayacht. These can be connected to a penthouse suite for a combined square footage of 3,928 square feet, surpassing any current and future build accommodations at sea.
Other onboard facilities and amenities include a signature Palm Court that offers 270-degree panoramic views for whale watching, a combined spa and conservatory space, Jacuzzis, an infinity pool, six dining options, a 200-seat theatre, lecture rooms, cinema, card room and a computer centre. There’ll also be acclaimed butler service for all guests, providing a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio to ensure above-par service.
Crystal Endeavor voyages will be open for booking in late 2016. Steel cutting for the ship will begin in May, with Crystal taking delivery in August 2018.