Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Crystal Cruises is a luxury Japanese cruise line which has been voted the World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line more than any other. In fact, readers of Conde Nast Traveler have voted Crystal Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for the last 16 years, and readers of Travel and Leisure have proclaimed their love of the line too, voting it the World’s Best for 16 consecutive years.
It all began in 1988, when the line was founded with the intention of creating a way of luxury travel where the ships offer all the design and ambience of the world’s top luxury liners and hotels but with a completely forward-thinking approach to vessel technology, too.
As for itineraries, from the outset, it was the line’s intention to offer travellers an exciting choice of worldwide destinations, with the specifically designed vessels getting right to the heart of a number of previously difficult to reach locations.
The line began to turn its dream into reality in 1990, with the advent of its first vessel, Crystal Harmony, which boasted stylish interiors and some of the industry’s largest suites and verandah staterooms. It was Crystal’s level of service however, which turned industry heads more than anything else; which offered an effective and satisfying balance of efficiency, sophistication and friendliness.
The line clearly believes in the maxim of quality not quantity and after retiring Crystal Harmony in 2005, today it operates just two vessels, Crystal Symphony launched in 1995 and Crystal Serenity, which debuted in 2003. Since their launch, both vessels have undergone extensive refurbishment and renovation, ensuring that the line stays at the top of its game when it comes to offering passengers the best.
Though Crystal Cruises is 25 years old, its maritime lineage goes back much further, as the line’s parent company, Nippon Yusen Kaisha launched its first ship on the ocean way back in 1885. Today it’s one of the world’s largest shipping companies and the only one to be recognised by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.
By Simon Brotherton