Crystal Cruises has announced that the Crystal Symphony will sail a series of 15 10-night Luxury Caribbean Escapes round-trip from St. John’s, becoming the first ship ever to homeport in Antigua.
Beginning Aug. 5 through December, including a holiday sailing on Dec. 23, the Crystal Symphony will visit Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten and British Virgin Islands, offering travelers to discover the local cultures with plentiful air options from most major U.S. cities. The Crystal Symphony’s return to sailing marks the resumption of service for 97 percent of Crystal’s oceangoing fleet in the summer of 2021. Reservations for the new Luxury Caribbean Escapes open on Apr. 20, 2021, the cruise line said.
“The islands of the Caribbean are a warm welcome back to traveling the world, rich in fascinating history and the kind of natural beauty that astounds even the most seasoned travelers, and St. John’s is an ideal home port to begin luxury journeys through such a paradise,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s interim president and CEO. “Minister Charles Fernandez and his team, and the local tourism businesses throughout the islands, have been working to renew travel to the islands safely and we are thrilled to partner with them to support economic growth in the region and to deliver the kind of luxuries and hospitality Crystal guests have been craving for the past year.”
“We’re looking forward to welcoming our Crystal onboard family back, as well, as Crystal Symphony’s new itinerary, combined with Crystal Serenity’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes and Crystal Endeavor’s Luxury Iceland Expeditions will mean that nearly all of our Ocean crew members will return to work very soon and we know they are as excited about returning to the seas as our guests,” he added.
The Honorable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism and Investment for Antigua and Barbuda, said that he was delighted to welcome the vessel.
“(T)his represents an important milestone in reinvigorating tourism here, as well as deeper support of our island communities’ economies as Crystal becomes the first cruise line to homeport on a scheduled basis in St. John’s,” he said. “Together with the local health authorities, we have developed the requisite health and safety protocols to ensure the protection of residents and our guests. With the continued commitment of the government of Antigua and Barbuda and our port operator, Global Ports (Antigua) Ltd., we are certain that Crystal guests will find themselves at home here, as our local businesses and tourism specialists share Crystal’s spirit of hospitality and relish sharing the rich culture and beauty of our islands with travelers.”
“To have Crystal Cruises as our new homeport partner is truly a milestone in Antigua’s cruise history and reaffirms our commitment to the development of our country’s cruise experience,” said Done Regis-Prosper, general manager of Global Ports (Antigua) Ltd. “We are very happy to play an integral role in restarting cruise travel in the Caribbean after this long pause. Having just completed construction of our fifth berth just in time for the start of the season developing our port health and safety procedures in collaboration with local health authorities, we’re prepared to welcome Crystal guests to this beautiful island.”
The Crystal Symphony’s Luxury Caribbean Escapes will take guests to the Caribbean’s most celebrated destinations that are full of history and still show Dutch, French, British and other global influences. The itinerary spends overnights in St. John’s, Bridgetown and Phillipsburg, with sunset-sailaways in Tobago, Castries and Tortola.
The Crystal Symphony will return to sailing with reduced capacity. Crystal announced in 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, mask requirements and health screening questionnaires.
Best Available cruise fares start at $2,999 with Book Now Savings of up to $1,000 per guest and As You Wish spending credits of $200 per guest. Returning guests will enjoy double Crystal Society Savings of 5 percent while new to Crystal guests will save 2.5 percent. Travelers can book their Crystal Symphony Luxury Caribbean Escapes with a reduced deposit of just 15 percent and have until 60 days prior to departure to make final payments. Single supplements for these voyages begin at just 125 percent. Guests with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these voyages.