Crystal Cruises has announced its plans to restart cruising with new close-to-home Bahamas Escapes beginning July 3, 2021 with a series of 16 seven-night, round-trip cruises from Nassau on its flag ship, Crystal Serenity. In addition to its Nassau itineraries, Crystal will also offer 16 seven-night voyages round-trip from Bimini beginning on July 4, 2021. With her new Bahamas Escapes cruises, Crystal Serenity becomes the first ship to homeport in The Bahamas, as well as the first ocean ship to sail from the Americas since the cruise industry’s voluntary halt in operations almost a year ago.
“Like our guests, we have been eagerly looking forward to the day we can welcome them back on board, and we’re thrilled that this day will come in The Bahamas,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s interim president and CEO. “The new Bahamas Escapes cruises will allow travellers to enjoy luxury cruising now, as well as bring much-needed benefits to the local workforce, airlines, restaurants, retailers and hotels for pre- and post-cruise stays. The launch of these cruises will also drive economic growth to The Bahamas, which, like other destinations around the world, has been negatively affected by the global pandemic.”
“The Bahamas is ready and delighted to welcome cruise visitors back to the islands and to partner with Crystal Cruises in the effort to restore and help re-activate our tourism industry and protect jobs and businesses,” said the Honourable Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism & Aviation for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. “Crystal Cruises will go on record as the only cruise line offering Bahamas-only voyages that highlight the signature features and experiences travellers can find here in our islands, and the support that these cruises will bring to multiple communities within the country will be tremendous. We have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe and healthy stay for all travellers, enhancing the innately spacious and outdoor-focused experience the islands provide. Guests will find ample room to roam and a warm welcome from the people of this unique destination.”
Anderson added, “We can offer these cruises with mutual confidence, thanks to the meticulous planning and health and safety protocols that both Crystal Cruises and The Bahamas have put in place, which Crystal Cruises’ sister cruise line, Dream Cruises, has successfully implemented in Taiwan and Singapore for over seven months with no incidents on board. The all-Bahamas itineraries allow us to sail without risk of border closures, and our North American guests to sail as close to home as possible.”
The Exumas' famous swimming pigs
The Beauty of Exploring Again
Crystal Serenity will return to sailing with reduced capacity, providing guests a passenger space ratio that is twice that of contemporary cruise lines and allowing for the best social distancing aboard any cruise ship. The onboard Crystal Family will welcome guests back home to a shipboard experience that features spacious guest staterooms and suites and social areas; abundant choices for activities and enrichment; elegant surroundings and amenities; and most importantly, the genuine, personalized service provided by Crystal’s celebrated crew.
The new itineraries highlight the enchanting, romantic nature of The Bahamas and its islands, where guests will find a bevy of sun-drenched pursuits that showcase the destination’s ecotourism; thousands of miles of irresistible beaches and blue waters; scuba diving and snorkelling; world-class fishing; dining; resort experiences; and much more.
Departing from either Nassau or Bimini, Bahamas Escapes feature four idyllic Bahamian destinations:
- Harbour Island, called the Nantucket of the Caribbean with its colourful New England architecture and famed for its Pink Sand Beach. The island is a former capital of The Bahamas and has been twice recognized as 'The Best Island in the Caribbean' by Travel + Leisure magazine. Guests can also discover Preacher’s Cave, Glass Window Bridge and Sapphire Blue Hole on North Eleuthera Island;
- Great Exuma, the largest of the 300+ islands and cays of the Exumas, home to waters so stunning they can be seen from outer space and the famous swimming pigs. Guests can island-hop among pristine isles, snorkel gorgeous reef-fringed cays, escape to secluded beaches and hidden caves, enjoy an ATV adventure and dive clear waters;
- San Salvador Island, featuring more than 50 dive spots and splendid beaches. Guests can hike up to Watling’s Castle ruins and gaze out at French Bay from the lookout tower; also they can visit the first landing spot of Christopher Columbus, marked by an iconic stone cross;
- Long Island, an 80-mile-long island straddling the Tropic of Cancer and known for its white-sand beaches, technicolor waters and lush greenery. Guests can explore the geological and ecological exploration of Hamilton’s Cave and Dean’s Blue Hole and enjoy some of the bluest waters in the islands at Gordon’s Beach.
These ports of call are subject to final confirmation and enhancement and may also vary according to the captain’s discretion due to weather or other conditions.
Comprehensive Health and Safety Measures
Crystal announced last month (February) that guests must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. This new requirement is in addition to existing, comprehensive Crystal Clean+ measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, reduced capacity, social distancing, nimble mask policy and health screening questionnaires.
Crystal is also offering compelling savings, reduced deposits and an extended final payment date to 60 days prior to first date of service, as well as other incentives. Best available cruise fares for the new Bahamas Escapes cruises start from US$1,999 per guest, including $500 Book Now Savings and $500 air savings along with Best Available Savings by category. Guests will receive a $125 per person As You Wish shipboard credit with Crystal Society Savings doubling to five percent; new-to-Crystal guests saving 2.5 percent; and solo fares starting at just 125 percent. The company’s Crystal Confidence program offers a no-money-down deposit window until April 5, 2021, with a reduced deposit of just 15 percent due at that time as part of its Easy Book program. The Bahamas Escapes cruises open for reservations on March 18, 2021; and travellers with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these sailings.
The new Bahamas cruises will replace Crystal Serenity’s previously scheduled itineraries that were set to sail July 8 through and including October 19, 2021. Guests who were booked on these voyages have the option to transfer their bookings to one of the new cruises with an applicable 115 percent cruise credit based on cruise fare paid.