Where is the luxury market heading? It seems cruise lines are looking for the kind of brand recognition that top French fashion houses have attained – with some interesting experiments in diversification.
Ponant, the French line with a fleet of new ships, was recently acquired by the French family that own Gucci.
And Crystal Cruises has announced that it would be transforming the brand to include super-luxury permanent residences onboard their new ships, yacht cruising and even two Boeing 787 Dreamliners for exclusive air holidays.
At a recent conference, CEO of Crystal Cruises spoke about reinventing cruises through exclusivity and customisation.
The Dreamliners will tackle 28-day journeys and retain the full butler service of their water-bourn Crystal counterparts.
Ships will have up to 48 private apartments for sale to those who want to live aboard these luxury ships.
“We really came up with a global strategy to become the world’s premier luxury, hospitality and lifestyle brand portfolio,” said Ms Rodriguez. “There is power in [the Crystal] brand.”
“It will make everything else that exists pale in comparison,” she says. “It will be just extraordinary … innovative offerings not found on luxury cruise ships today.”
Crystal is now pushing full steam ahead with its new yacht, the Crystal Esprit after the line announced that its new godmother is Lady Gaenor Meakes, a legend in the yachting world.
The partner of Mark Richards, one of the most recognised sailors and a seven-time champion skipper of the Sydney-to-Hobart race, Lady Gaenor is a keen supporter of the sport.
“Few are so passionately devoted to the world of yachting as Lady Gaenor,” said Ms Rodriguez.