Crystal Cruises Initiates COVID-Safe Cruises in the Caribbean
New 10-night voyages from St. Maarten expand travel options for Caribbean Escapes, allowing guests to sail round-trip from either St. Maarten or Antigua
May 9, 2021
|Crystal Cruises is taking vaccinated passengers and giving them luxury-laden sailings in the Caribbean. Those efforts are set to begin in early July with the cruise line’s first-ever all-Bahamas voyages out of Nassau and Bimini in the Bahamas on the 980-passenger Crystal Serenity.
Crystal will begin deploying its 922-passenger Crystal Symphony on 10-night Caribbean sailings from Antigua a month later and continues to expand choices for travelers eager to return to easy and safe option for getting out there again.
Crystal is adding 15 new Caribbean sailings departing roundtrip from St. Maarten aboard Crystal Symphony running August through December of this year. The newly added voyages are part of Crystal Symphony’s 10-night Luxury Caribbean Escapes and offer guests the option of cruising roundtrip from either Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on 15 voyages beginning August 2, or the previously announced voyages departing roundtrip from St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, on 15 voyages beginning August 5. All of Crystal’s 10-night Luxury Caribbean Escapes, including a holiday cruise, will explore the tropical islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten, and the British Virgin Islands. Reservations for the new 15 voyages from St. Maarten open this week.
The addition of St. Maarten as a port of departure expands the air options for guests as major U.S. cities provide airlift into the country. The itineraries, together with the recently announced 10-night Luxury Iceland Expeditions aboard the Crystal Endeavor and 7-night Luxury Bahamas Escapes aboard Crystal Serenity, bring the resumption of service to 97 percent of Crystal’s ocean-going fleet.
“Crystal continues to be at the forefront of the return to cruising. Our goal is to ensure guests have abundant options to tailor their travel experiences to their personal tastes,” said Jack Anderson, president of Crystal.
Crystal Symphony’s Luxury Caribbean Escapes feature overnights in St. John’s, Bridgetown and Philipsburg, and while uniformly spectacular, each locale boasts its own character and highlights for Crystal guests.
Phillipsburg, St. Maarten – This tiny land mass boasts a robust local culture that stretches beyond the predominant Dutch-French sides. Travelers here will find innovative fine cuisine and a passion for the great outdoors with all kinds of water sports as well as hiking and zip lining. With the extra day here, guests can also explore farther with a visit to neighboring Saba, the untouched “Queen of the Caribbean.”
Roadtown, Tortola, British Virgin Islands – The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is a haven for beachgoers, scuba enthusiasts who will relish exploring shipwrecks, and hikers who will find rewarding views of bougainvillea-covered hills. A brief ferry ride takes travelers to Virgin Gorda, where The Baths’ granite boulders lay out an impressive geological wonder across the breathtaking beach.
St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – With its UNESCO-listed English Harbour on the south coast and an enduring British heritage, St. John’s is the starting point for Antigua’s rich historic highlights, but it’s the 365 beaches – one for every day of the year – that make the island a picture-perfect destination.
Bridgetown, Barbados – The Barbados UNESCO-listed capital still wears its British history proudly, with significant sites throughout the city to appeal to history buffs. From the original Trafalgar Square and Broad Street’s bustling shops to the island’s famous rum, beautiful Botanical Gardens and Harrison Limestone Cave, there is much to discover beyond the crystal-clear sea.
Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago – The tiny, relaxed half of this two-island nation, Tobago is ideal for travelers seeking to connect with nature, offering rain forest hikes, spectacular dive sites and secluded bays. Pigeon Point Nature Reserve is a highlight, offering 125 acres of pristine natural landscape with boating, diving and wildlife observation opportunities.
Castries, St. Lucia – Vibrant color and Creole flavor are at the heart of the town, while toward the pristine beaches travelers will find world-class scuba diving and lush surrounding forest punctuated by the UNESCO-listed towering green Pitons. Guests can also visit Sulphur Springs, the only volcano in the world where people can dive in for mud baths.
Designed with personal and social space throughout the ship, Crystal Symphony will return to sailing with reduced capacity, increasing its social spaciousness even more. 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 see Crystal Society Savings of five percent, while New-to-Crystal guests will save 2.5 percent. Travelers can book their Caribbean Escape trips with a reduced deposit of just 15 percent and have until 60 days prior to departure to make final payment. Single supplements for these voyages begin at 125 percent. Guests with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these voyages.
Note: As more islands in the Caribbean begin to open, Crystal may add additional ports to the itinerary and will inform its guests of any changes. Island nations are at all times subject to review pending changing health and safety conditions.