Arrivals & Departures Luxury heads undersea

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

There’s luxury travel and then there’s cruising on a mega yacht with its own submarine.

A submarine, a privately owned Boeing 777 and plans for a ship with home-sized private residences could take luxury cruising to a new level.

Luxury cruise company Crystal has a long list of river yachts, polar-class mega yachts and an ocean ship on its production line over the next few years.

First up there is that submarine – the first ever in the cruise industry, according to Crystal. It is carried aboard the 62-guest Crystal Esprit which was christened in the Seychelles just before Christmas last year. The submarine holds two passengers, plus the pilot, and can dive up to a thousand feet. 

According to Wiltrans International, the sales agent for Crystal Cruises in Australia, the popularity of the submarine has been huge and pre-booking well in advance of a cruise is recommended.

The submarine is available on all Crystal Esprit’s sailings except the Athens-Limassol and Limassol-Aqaba itineraries.

Submarines will also be carried aboard three yet-to-be-built polar class mega-yachts. Built to navigate first year ice in the Northwest Passage, the yachts cater to the expedition luxury market. Joining the submarines will be onboard helicopters and remote controlled vehicles.

The mega-yachts will cruise in the Arctic then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of the Americas and Europe to Antarctica during winter. With Crystal Serenity already successfully cruising the Northwest Passage in the northern summer, the company will also take delivery of Endeavor in mid-2019, with the additional two vessels debuting in succession in the following years.

The next piece of extreme-luxury the company has embarked on is its own Boeing 777. Bookings for the maiden journey of Crystal AirCruises Boeing 777 opened last week. 

The company also launched Crystal Luxury Air in April, a private jet charter service with a Global Express Jet that accommodates 12 guests.

In 2022, Crystal will debut its first Crystal Exclusive Class ocean ship with Crystal Residences, allowing travellers to literally call the ship home. The privately owned apartments will have access to private amenities and dining.

On the river, the company recently launched Crystal Mozart which will be joined by Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler in next year’s European summer. Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel will follow in 2018, with two more new ships thereafter. The vessels will sail itineraries along the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers.

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