Is Crystal Endeavour the most luxurious ship to visit Australia?
She won’t be out for another two years, but already the impressions and information coming from the line are making her sound mouthwateringly ritzy.
“Crystal Endeavour will be the largest, most spacious purpose-built polar class expedition yacht in the world, accommodating just 200 guests and boasting all the luxurious amenities and special touches for which Crystal is known for,” the line boasts.
Crystal has also announced a partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer. Members can earn Qantas points on all cruise itineraries booked. Crystal will offer three Qantas points for every US$1 spent on 2018 bookings made on all cruises from 1 September. And for bookings made on 2019-2021 cruises, guests will receive two Qantas points per US$1.
Toys? The ultra-luxury Crystal Endeavour yacht will have a few: its own fleet of 18 electric, amphibious zodiacs, seven-seater submarines, two, eight-seater helicopters and Endeavour’s ROV (remote operated vehicle), the most technically advanced underwater scooter in the world.
There will be six dining venues, including specialty restaurants Umi Uma by renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Silk Kitchen & Bar, Italian fine cuisine at Prego, main dining room Waterside, Bistro Café and the 24-hour buffet restaurant, The Pantry. Daily afternoon tea will be served at the Palm Court lounge while cigar-smoking clients will have their own smoking lounge at Connoisseur Club.
The ship’s 100 suites range in size from 400 sq ft to a whopping 3,120 sq ft for the Owner’s suite. All accommodation will have a butler, spacious bathrooms with adjustable heated floors, dual vanities, anti-fog mirrors, walk-in closets and high tech, in-suite amenities including a heated storage for drying parkas.
The Crystal spa wellness complex will cover an area of 10,000 sq ft including a gym and Jacuzzis. There will also be a two-storey solarium pool deck with a glass-domed roof and a pool which can be converted into an alfresco dining area.
The line unveiled its inaugural sailing season from August 2020 to January 2021 which includes voyages to the Arctic, Antarctic, Russian Far East, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
“Crystal Endeavour will take guests to remote destinations not typically accessible on a cruise, as well as some iconic places, albeit with a decidedly adventurous twist,” said Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber.
Endeavour’s maiden voyage of 17 days will take passengers from Russian Far East to Japan calling at Russia’s dramatic Kamchatka Peninsula, Kuril Islands and Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido and Rishiri.
Endeavour will head to Australia in October 2020 on a 14-day itinerary and call at the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island, Dunk Island, Magnetic Island and Fraser Island before cruising the coast of Australia to Sydney.
In November, she will offer a 14-day itinerary from Sydney to Tasmania and the fjords of New Zealand calling at King Island, Wine Glass Bay, Bruny Island and Hobart before cruising the Tasman Sea to visit Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Stewart Island, Dunedin and Christchurch in New Zealand.
Her tour Down Under will feature exclusive and immersive experiences currently being created by Karen Christensen, managing director and senior vice president, Australia. She has been working with Mark Spillane, sales and marketing manager, Crystal Yacht Expeditions.
Both have been working in Tasmania and Ms Christensen will be in Bruny Island to scout out experiences that match the exclusive Crystal style.
Both maintain that the Crystal Endevour’s size means she will be able to visit many destinations others can’t reach, and agreements with local businesses will ensure guests will have exclusive access to a variety of experiences.
The highlight of Endeavour’s 15-day itinerary in December from Christchurch to Australia will see passengers spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney harbour. The cruise will call at NZ’s Stewart Island, Doubtful Sound, Milford Sound before cruising the coast of Australia and visiting Eden, Flinders Island, Wine Glass Bay, Bruny Island and Hobart.
On 6 January 2021, the Endeavour will head for the ice and offer a 22-day itinerary from Hobart to the Antarctic and the Ross Sea expedition before reaching her final destination in Christchurch. She will cruise the Southern Ocean, cross the Antarctic Circle, then cruise the Ross Sea to visit Cape Adare, Cape Hallet, Terra Nova Bay, Ross Island, Marble Point before cruising the Ross Ice Shelf, calling at Coulman Island in the Antarctic before heading to Christchurch.
On 28 January 2021, the Endeavour will offer the same 22-day journey in reverse from Christchurch to the Antarctic, Ross Sea Expedition before heading for Hobart. Highlights include visits to the Svott and Shackleton’s historic huts, glacier landings, Borschgrevink’s historic hut, Drygalski Ice Tongue, Dry Valleys and pack ice cruising.
Prices start from US$13,349 per person twin share. For more information, visit www.crystalcruises.com.