(12:00 a.m. EDT) — Crystal Cruises has topped its recent string of debuts with the surprise announcement of Crystal Endeavor, the world’s largest purpose-built, polar class mega yacht, as well as its own jet.
«Crystal Esprit is getting a sister!» president and CEO of Crystal Cruises Edie Rodriguez revealed at a media event held in the Sheltair Hangar in Fort Lauderdale tonight. Esprit, the cruise line’s first ship in its new Crystal Yacht Cruises line, was christened just three months ago.
The second yacht — named after Captain James Cook’s research vessel, HMS Endeavour, upon which he discovered Australia and New Zealand — is scheduled to launch in August 2018. Crystal Endeavor will accommodate 200 passengers in 100 suites, ranging from 400 square feet to 3,122 square feet. Endeavor’s two Owner’s Suites will feature a 1,615-square-foot interior plus a 1,507-square-foot balcony, and can be connected to a penthouse for a combined square footage of 3,928 square feet.
Suite passengers can enjoy a private conservatory; indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi; spa and gym with sauna, steam room and private treatment room; in addition to plenty of living space (inside and out). The ship will also feature spaces similar to that of Esprit including Palm Court, a sightseeing area with 270-degree views; an infinity pool that can become a dance floor or dining area; and a full-service spa and wellness center measuring 10,000 square feet.
Endeavor will sail expedition-style itineraries to Antarctica and the Arctic, the coast of the Americas, Europe, remote islands in the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as tropical locales. The vessel will be polar code compliant, with a PC6 Polar Class designation, which means it will be able to sail in polar regions rife with thick ice during the summer and fall. Offshore dynamic positioning technology will allow the yacht to automatically maintain its position, which means Endeavor can float atop coral reefs and other delicate marine life without the use of potentially damaging anchors. Utilizing ROV (remote operated vehicles), passengers will be able to see sunken ships and other relics, including the Titanic, with dynamic positioning of the ship’s navigational technology.
Along with far-flung itineraries and luxury accommodations, Crystal Endeavor will offer just about every feature to explore your destination by air or sea: two helicopters with landing pads for flightseeing; two seven-person submarines; eight electric Zodiacs, a fleet of Jet Skis, WaveRunners, kayaks and paddleboards; snorkeling and scuba gear, including a recompression chamber and dive support tender; a multi-person ATV; and underwater scooters called SEABOBs.
When completed, Crystal Endeavor will measure 600 feet and 25,000 gross tons. The ship will be built by the Lloyd Werft Group in Bremerhaven, Germany, with steel-cutting to begin in May 2016.
The second mega yacht was an unexpected announcement at the ribbon-cutting event that was primarily held to celebrate the kick-off of Crystal Luxury Air. Standing on the steps of the private jet, Rodriguez promised a lifestyle and hospitality brand expansion of «all things Crystal.»
«In the spirit of ECO — exclusivity, customization and options — we’re harnessing the power of the best brand out there, in my humble opinion, with the generosity of our parent company to grow the brand,» she said.
Crystal’s Bombardier Global Express XRS jet, in pearly white and touches of teal, will take off on April 3, 2016. Accommodating up to a dozen people, the jet has plush seating areas, a four-person table for dining or meetings, a workstation, a divan and even a bed. Other amenities include a chiller, an oven, XM Radio, high-speed Internet, in-flight phone service, LCD TV, a laptop connection on cabin monitors, and an Aerolux Nespresso machine.
Private charters on the Crystal jet are set at a price tag of $8,000 per hour, but Rodriguez assured it would be more cost-effective, in her mind, than flying a party of 12 to the same locales on Emirates. Passengers can choose to fly nearly anywhere in the world, with a maximum flight time of just under 12 hours per leg.
The air fleet will expand into the next two years with a Boeing 777 debuting in 2017 and a 787 Dreamliner coming in 2018.
«At Crystal we aim to surprise and delight; promise a lot and deliver more,» Rodriguez said.