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LUXURY CRUISE: CRYSTAL ESPRIT 
Crystal Cruises’ devotees don’t have much longer to wait until the debut of Crystal Esprit, the company’s first venture into small, luxury yacht cruising. Crystal Cruises are renowned world-wide for the excellence of their award-winning cruise ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, and now they have extended their formidable expertise into yacht cruising.
Crystal Esprit will make her inaugural cruise on December 23, 2015 with a round-trip from Mahe/Victoria exploring the alluring islands of the Seychelles followed by an inclusive post-cruise stay at Dubai’s amazing Taj hotel and a New Year’s fireworks extravaganza. 

The 62-guest, all-suite yacht will offer intimate, immersive experiences in the boutique ambience of the yacht itself, as well as offering some rare and unique adventure experiences at sea and ashore. Her new routes offer guests an opportunity to experience intimate access to remote and coveted locations inaccessible to larger cruise ships.

While extravagantly appointed, Crystal Esprit comes equipped with some decidedly extreme features such as a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger 32 foot super-yacht tender for special boating adventures. There will also be wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing and snorkelling equipment.

Some of the unique options available to Crystal Esprit’s guests are deep-sea fishing off the coast of Desroches, Seychelles, for Barracuda, Wahoo, Yellowfin tuna and Giant Bluefin Trevally, whereas certified divers might prefer to get up close and personal with the sea life and shipwrecks around St Anne Island in the balmy waters of the Seychelles. Or: there’s river rafting down the Krupa and Zrmanja rivers in Zadar, Croatia and picnicking in Muskovac to follow. Every Crystal Esprit itinerary will offer at least one complimentary excursion in every port. Some examples are: a trek to Delphi at Mount Parnassus in Greece, or ziplining through the dense forest in Ephelia (from Mahe, Seychelles), or exploring the medieval city of Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. 

On seven-day repositioning itineraries, Crystal Esprit will take guests to stunning locales in the Seychelles, the Adriatic Coast, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Crystal has long been recognised for its fine cuisine, and Crystal Esprit will continue the legacy. Her culinary concept will showcase locally-sourced ingredients of the Seychelles and Mediterranean coast served in a stylish, casually chic atmosphere. Menus will offer elegant and eclectic choices featuring globally-inspired Michelin-starred cuisine to satisfy the most discerning of guests. Superb seafood dishes served on the al fresco terrace will become a highlight to savour.

 

According to Crystal President & CEO Edie Rodriguez “The outstanding food and wine experience has always been a highlight of the Crystal Experience and will continue to be an integral part of the onboard experience aboard Crystal Yacht Cruises”.  Crystal Esprit will offer guests an array of culinary choices at any time of day or night, from small bites and midnight snacks, to casual lunches al fresco and chic, multi-course dinners. “Local” versions of favourite Crystal dishes will also be served, using the freshest ingredients available in each destination. Onboard eateries include: The Yacht Club and its outdoor extension for Crystal classics, the Patio Café, The Sunset Bar & Grill for burgers and tapas style tastes reflecting the destinations visited and The Pantry for light snacks while those wanting to dine in the plush surrounds of their suites can opt for 24-hour stateroom dining.

A hallmarks of Crystal’s acclaimed all-inclusive amenities, are entertainment, fine dining and premium beverages.

Fares for Crystal Esprit voyages begin at US$3,516* per person double occupancy including all taxes for a six-day round trip Mahé/Victoria sailing when booked by 31 October, 2015.

Marking their 25th year of operation, the company has announced more ground-breaking news with their entry into river cruising in 2017; Crystal Luxury Air - a customised Boeing 787 Dreamliner also in 2017, and three, Crystal Exclusive Class new-build ocean vessels scheduled for late 2018. 

Meanwhile the line is offering ultra-luxury voyages on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity for 2016 by extending the “Book Now” deadline to 30 December, 2015, allowing travel professionals to offer savvy travellers the most attractive fares without the risk of increases before the end of the year.
Crystal is also guaranteeing lower fares for nearly every category on 2017 and 2018 voyages, automatically adjusting brochure fares to ensure new bookings benefit from the celebration while existing bookings are protected at the new lower fares. In addition to savings of up to US$6,000 per stateroom, the line’s “As You Wish” shipboard spending credits of up to US$500 per stateroom will allow guests to customise their acclaimed Crystal experiences on select voyages.

For complete itineraries and fares for December 2015 through till the beginning of 2018 contact Wiltrans International on 1800 251 174 (Australia) or 0800 446 376 (New Zealand).

Luxury Cruise Link: www.crystalcruises.co.uk 
 Maggy Oehlbeck 22/9/15
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