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Five Things You Missed About Cruising #2
You can be forgiven if you might believe Crystal Cruises is seeking to take over the world around it. Since being sold to it's current owner, Genting Hong Kong, which owns Star Cruises and until recently a majority of Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal has been planning a comprehensive array of services and ships.
The line has since the 2015 change in ownership, announced plans to add five more ships to it's operations. Were that all there were to the news it would hardly rate as news worthy. It is the types and history of the existing ships and the purpose of new vessels that is striking. In 2015 it added the 62 passenger mega-yacht "Crystal esprit" to the existing fleet of small sized 1,000 passenger luxury cruise ships. Among the new builds on-order an expedition ship intended for arctic cruising and three modern sized 117,000 GRT ships. Outside of the deep water ships five river cruise ships are also being built.
Beyond the new and existing ships, Crystal stunned the industry and ocean travel aficionados by purchasing the historic SS United States, long rusting after decades of inactivity and dubious attempts at restoration. Subject to a 9 month engineering survey said to be currently underway, Crystal may spend nearly one billion dollars on restoring the Unite States to new glory.
Yet the moves by Crystal and it's parent company have moved beyond simply running ships. Genting purchased three entire ship yards with an eye toward ensuring a preferred supplier for it's ships. The cruise line has purchased a Boeing 777-200LR and 787-8 Dreamliner which will be converted for customized VIP service across the world. These will join a Bombardier jet already in service.
As 2017 fades into 2018 the Crystal Cruises that began in 1988 as a Japanese company will have become part of a cruise empire for it's new owner in Hong Kong.