“It goes to show how much pent up demand there is for the expedition segment in the cruise industry,” said Mark Spillane, director of sales and marketing for Crystal Yacht & Expedition Cruising. “It’s a natural segment for Crystal to go into with our clients expecting more adventurous experiences.”
Based in Miami, Spillane said that demand was coming first from past Crystal guests, but noted that other bookings were not only new to Crystal, but new to cruise and generally trending younger in age range.
Marketing is showing off the 20,000-ton, 200-guest ship as a more active and flexible experience.
“We don’t put in port times, for example. We want to be able to take advantage of any wildlife sightings,” Spillane explained. “We want to be able to stop the ship and do zodiac cruising.”
As for what’s hot, it’s the second voyage of the inaugural season, sailing August 27 roundtrip from Tokyo and featuring a circumnavigation of Japan.
Dubbed Japan’s Cultural & Coastal Discovery, the ship sails 17 days with early bird fares starting at $18,649 per person. Destination highlights include Shikotsu-Toya National Park, Kenroku-en Garden, Izumo Shrine, Tokoji Temple, Torii Gate, Hiroshima, Ise Grand Shrine, Mikimoto Pearl Island, Kyoto and Nara, and Mount Fuji.
Also booking at a clip are two Ross Sea voyages for the 2020-2021 season.
“The typical Antarctica experience goes roundtrip from Ushuaia,” Spillane explained. “But we will be in Australia and New Zealand at the end of 2020, and have two voyages in the Ross Sea, which hasn’t been done too often in the past and certainly hasn’t been done with a new luxury vessel.”
A 2021 Northeast Passage is also nearly sold out, said Spillane, with just a few cabins available.
About the Expedition Market Report:
The 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News is a comprehensive overview of the booming expedition market, profiling 39 operators, over 40 new ships and projecting capacity growth through 2027. The 196-page PDF is a deep dive into all aspects of the expedition cruise market.