The christening of the CRYSTAL ESPRIT marks the first step in Crystal Cruises’ massive expansion.
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THE SANDS OF ALANG: Knego’s latest DVD about shipbreaking in Alang, India
All photos courtesy of Crystal Cruises.
CRYSTAL ESPRIT bottle break.
On Sunday, Crystal Cruises’ newest addition, the CRYSTAL ESPRIT was christened at Eden Island Marina in Mahé, Seychelles. In a ceremony attended by Crystal executives and VIPs, the yacht’s Godmother, Lady Gaenor Anne Meakes (fiancée of renowned yachtsman Mark Richards), sent a magnum of Louis Roederer Crystal Brut 2004 crashing into the ship’s bow.
CRYSTAL ESPRIT and submersible.
The 62-guest, 3,370-gt vessel will feature a two-passenger submarine, four zodiacs and a 12-guest tender for luxe expeditions.
CRYSTAL ESPRIT Suite.
The ship was built in 1991 for a failed Greek company named Navitol and was originally to be named LADY DIANA but actually entered service as the AURORA II for New Frontier Cruise Line. In 1994, she became Genting-owned Star Cruises’ MEGA STAR TAURUS but was laid up in 2008. In her latest transformation, she has been fully outfitted with opulent new interiors.
MV CRYSTAL ESPRIT.
CRYSTAL ESPRIT marks the first major step in Crystal Cruises massive expansion that includes a new river division with five river cruise ships, three polar class cruise ships and a new Crystal Luxury Air division (featuring all first class accommodation aboard a Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 dreamliner) in the works or on order. Before this infusion of cash and support from new owners Genting Hong Kong, the luxury cruise line had maintained a two ship fleet for twenty five years.
“To say today is a special day is an understatement,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s new CEO. “Since joining Crystal just over two years ago, a personal goal of mine has been to see Crystal realize the next step in continuing to pioneer luxury travel and hospitality; and today I am seeing that dream fulfilled.” Rodriguez went on to personally thank GHK Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, for his and his company’s support of her vision for Crystal’s future.
With special thanks to Kalle Id and Clive Harvey
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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