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Andy Geller

Crystal Announces Maiden Journey of Crystal AirCruises

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I was just looking at the video of this. Looks interesting. I wonder how they deal with the logistics of luggage, packing/unpacking etc. And I wonder how to find out about pricing. I see that it mentions 'from' $159k/person, but doesn't give any detail about what is/is not included, or details of what category of room is included for this price. There is no further info on the website so far as I can see. Presumably it will be forthcoming in the next few days if booking is to open in 4 days.

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Very nice itinerary. Twenty seven days for $ 159,000.00 pp. I can't wait to see the break down of the countries of the passengers......Should prove very interesting and it will be a full sell out I'm sure.....lucky people, wish I could be one of the lucky ones.

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I was just looking at the video of this. Looks interesting. I wonder how they deal with the logistics of luggage, packing/unpacking etc. And I wonder how to find out about pricing. I see that it mentions 'from' $159k/person, but doesn't give any detail about what is/is not included, or details of what category of room is included for this price. There is no further info on the website so far as I can see. Presumably it will be forthcoming in the next few days if booking is to open in 4 days.

 

Hi DaisyUK,

 

As the news is just breaking, I'd anticipate additional details shortly. I'm looking into your questions. Please stay tuned !

Edited by Andy Geller

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Hi Everyone,

 

Here's today's Press Release (10/27/16) from Crystal :

 

===================================

 

CRYSTAL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PENINSULA HOTELS

FOR CRYSTAL AIRCRUISES INAUGURAL JOURNEY

 

Glamorous Peninsula- curated events await guests aboard the first-ever Crystal AirCruise; open for booking on November 1

 

NEW YORK, October 27, 2016 – Crystal CEO and President, Edie Rodriguez announced today a partnership with The Peninsula Hotels for the maiden journey of Crystal AirCruises ultra-luxury Boeing 777-200LR jet, taking off on August 31, 2017.

 

The 27-day “The Peninsula Grand Inaugural Crystal AirCruise” flies from New York to Paris, stopping in 10 glamorous cities, where guests will embark on cultural, culinary and exhilarating adventures. In each destination, The Peninsula Hotels will welcome Crystal guests, offering the superior standard of luxurious hospitality for which both companies are celebrated. Additionally, in each destination, guests will be treated to exclusive events that showcase the locale.

 

Remarkable, Peninsula-curated events that depict the authentic spirit of each destination await Crystal AirCruises guests, including four special galas, beginning with a rooftop cocktail reception with the New York skyline as the glittering backdrop; a private party and dinner on the Great Wall of China in Beijing; an over-the-top dinner reminiscent of the glamour of “Old Shanghai” at The Peninsula Shanghai; and a special Loy Krathong “Festival of Lights” celebration at The Peninsula Bangkok. Additionally, in Tokyo, guests will enjoy a private performance of the ancient art of Kabuki, while the conclusion of the program in Paris takes guests on a journey to the Champagne region for an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes and private lunch at a famed Champagne house. In each destination, guests will be treated to The Peninsula’s famous Afternoon Tea experience.

 

“It is our honor to partner with The Peninsula Hotels for the landmark occasion of Crystal AirCruises’ inaugural journey, as their reputation for excellence is legendary, and their philosophy of exceeding guests’ expectations and wishes aligns beautifully with Crystal’s own,” says Rodriguez. “For more than two decades and throughout our tremendous expansion, our guests continue to expect innovative experiences and new heights of luxury with their Crystal vacations. Crystal AirCruises will offer these with our signature meticulous service and attention to detail.”

 

Travelers aboard the inaugural journey will be treated to truly immersive destination experiences from takeoff to landing, as each Peninsula Hotel visited boasts authentic cultural atmosphere and heritage of its location. Destinations and Peninsula Hotels set to enhance this journey of rare privilege include:

 

The Peninsula New York, with its glamorous Fifth Avenue address, offers the perfect scene for a rooftop toast to the inaugural journey, set against the Manhattan skyline and setting an enchanting tone for the adventures ahead.

The Peninsula Chicago, delivering a landmark location in the heart of Michigan Avenue’s famous dining, museums, music, shopping and theater.

The Peninsula, Beverly Hills, just steps from the world-renowned shopping found on Rodeo Drive, and just a bit farther from the quintessential Southern California beaches that are shrouded in sunshine.

 

The Peninsula Tokyo, steeped in the ancient history of its surroundings while simultaneously an icon of modern chic, the property is surrounded by lush Hibiya Park, as well as Tokyo’s vibrant and unconventional fashion scene at every turn.

 

The Peninsula Beijing, with its grand pagoda gateway entrance, symbolizes the ancient culture that continues to permeate every facet of the city, from the Temple of Heaven to shopper’s paradise Wangfujing Road.

 

The Peninsula Shanghai, boasting an exclusively striking vantage point of this chic city from The Bund, including the sleek skyline, iconic Pearl Tower and a world of colors, sounds, and treasures in between.

 

The Peninsula Hong Kong, affectionately known as the “Grand Dame of the Far East,” is a luxurious home base for Crystal AirCruises guests, who will likely savor the hotel’s world-renowned Afternoon Tea as much as their many other memorable experiences in the city.

 

The Peninsula Manila, which is nestled lavishly into the city’s mix of old world and new flavor, treats guests with inspired cuisine and impeccable service amidst their explorations of Manila’s edgy art galleries and lively music scene.

 

The Peninsula Bangkok, its riverside locale an ideal take-off point for adventures along the Chao Phraya River, or into the bustling town center for an array of colorful experiences.

 

The Peninsula Paris – The Grand Finale of the journey and itself an architectural masterpiece in a city that boasts some of the world’s finest, as the hotel’s rooftop affords 360-degree perspective of the City of Light. Surprise events showcasing the romance, history and culinary arts of Paris will conclude guests’ journey in the most magical way.

 

“Two world class brands are partnering to create the ultimate global journey with “The Peninsula Grand Inaugural” Crystal AirCruise, says Simon Yip, Vice President of Sales, The Peninsula Hotels. “We couldn’t imagine a more perfect partner than Crystal to offer a guest experience reminiscent of the historical “grand tours,” now elevated to include a private air experience unlike any other paired with our incredible hotels and bespoke destination programs.”

 

As an introduction to each city, The Peninsula will arrange for a special welcome cocktail reception hosted by a “local insider”- from renowned artists and gallerists to fashion and jewelry designers – who will share their first-hand knowledge of the city’s cultural heartbeat.

 

The luxury hotel group’s famed Peninsula Academy programs will also integrate into the itineraries across all 10 cities, from dumpling making class in Beijing to Chinese tea appreciation with The Peninsula’s Tea Master, each program is masterfully arranged.

 

The dramatically redesigned aircraft is larger and newer than any global jet tour travel option, appointed with features rarely found in even the most luxurious private jets. The Crystal Exclusive Class seats are designed for maximum personal space and ergonomic comfort, and convert to 180-degree, lie-flat beds. The expansive social lounge with stand-up bar and dedicated table seating fosters friendly camaraderie among luxury travelers. Cuisine will be prepared by a dedicated executive chef in two state-of-the-art galleys and paired with an elegant premium wine list. For the inaugural AirCruise, special Peninsula amenities will also be present on-board, creating a seamless experience both on the ground and in the air.

 

Guests will also enjoy comforts and conveniences including Bose® Noise Cancelling headphones, Apple® iPads, complimentary global Wi-Fi, interactive TVs with on-demand programming and music library, individual USB ports and power outlets, and a live cockpit-to-ground listening channel. Additionally, spacious lavatories appointed with amenities offer more than the comforts of home during the global journeys.

 

Crystal AirCruises’ maiden journey will open for booking on November 1, 2016 with all-inclusive voyages starting at $159,000, per person. Aircraft operated for Crystal AirCruises by Comlux Aruba NV.

 

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel professional, call 855-207-2778, 789.971.1010 (international calls), or visit http://www.crystalaircruises.com. Join the hundreds of thousands who follow the Crystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram, and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

 

###

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I saw a post on Face Book from Edie that she is at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City where this is all being announced.

 

Andy thanks for posting this.

 

Keith

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When Edie visited us on Serenity during the NWP, she said that Crystal would make a major announcement mid to late October. As I recall, she did not state the nature of the announcement. (Others can and will correct me if I am wrong.) This announcement fits her timeframe. She has met the schedule.

 

Other anticipated announcements for the Endeavor itineraries / schedules and the Symphony and Serenity refits MAY come soon, but not necessarily by the end of October.

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When Edie visited us on Serenity during the NWP, she said that Crystal would make a major announcement mid to late October. As I recall, she did not state the nature of the announcement. (Others can and will correct me if I am wrong.) This announcement fits her timeframe. She has met the schedule.

 

Other anticipated announcements for the Endeavor itineraries / schedules and the Symphony and Serenity refits MAY come soon, but not necessarily by the end of October.

 

The CEO's press release of the 28th September quite clearly states that the enhancements to Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony would be announced 'next month', which in my book would mean sometime in October. See post No. 5 of the Crystal Newbuild Schedule thread...

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2407061

 

Anne..

Edited by Jayayeff

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When Edie visited us on Serenity during the NWP, she said that Crystal would make a major announcement mid to late October. As I recall, she did not state the nature of the announcement. (Others can and will correct me if I am wrong.) This announcement fits her timeframe. She has met the schedule.

 

Other anticipated announcements for the Endeavor itineraries / schedules and the Symphony and Serenity refits MAY come soon, but not necessarily by the end of October.

 

Rhonda, yes it was mentioned during the very brief Q&A.

 

However, it was about Ocean Vessels, rather than Air.

 

Keith

Edited by Keith1010

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The CEO's press release of the 28th September quite clearly states that the enhancements to Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony would be announced 'next month', which in my book would mean sometime in October. See post No. 5 of the Crystal Newbuild Schedule thread...

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2407061

 

Anne..

 

Thanks, Anne,

 

You are correct. We should hear something about the Symphony and Serenity refits soon.

 

BTW, I am enjoying your Mozart blog and am eagerly awaiting your next entries. Our next big trip will be aboard the Mozart in 2017, and your blog and Claudia's blog are so useful for our planning. I am glad that overall you had a great experience.

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Here's the routing for this air voyage:

 

map?P=jfk-ord-lax-nrt-pek-pvg-hkg-mnl-bkk-cdg&MS=bm

 

Segment distances:

 

JFK to ORD 740 mi

ORD to LAX 1,744 mi

LAX to NRT 5,451 mi

NRT to PEK 1,329 mi

PEK to PVG 681 mi

PVG to HKG 779 mi

HKG to MNL 711 mi

MNL to BKK 1,361 mi

BKK to CDG 5,878 mi

 

So, not much opportunity to enjoy the onboard experience of the aircraft. Only two of nine segments more than 1800 miles in length, and four of nine under 800 miles. Not much those onboard chefs can do on sub-800 mile segments. Looks more like just a way to move people from one Peninsula Hotel in Asia to another, with the Crystal air being the incidental part of the trip.

 

Damn. Was so looking forward to enjoying the onboard experience and comparing it to the Etihad Residence. Guess that Mrs FT and I will have to find something else to do with the spare $320k I have burning a hole in my pocket.

 

NOTE: Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

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Good for Crystal. I love the Penn hotels and my fave is of course in HKG. that being said I prefer the Nat. Geo private jet experience for 2017. MUch richer itinerary and for 24 days the price is only 79,950.pp. Single supplement is not bad at all for an additional 8950.00

 

I hope their future itineraries go in the direction of Nat Geo as they offer Around the World, with two different routes as well as a "sacred places" itinerary for 20 days.

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Thanks, Anne,

 

You are correct. We should hear something about the Symphony and Serenity refits soon.

 

BTW, I am enjoying your Mozart blog and am eagerly awaiting your next entries. Our next big trip will be aboard the Mozart in 2017, and your blog and Claudia's blog are so useful for our planning. I am glad that overall you had a great experience.

 

There is an addition to the blog today. Sadly I'm having to rewrite them all as I lost the previous ones I'd written but not yet posted when my laptop crashed. Should be a couple more added over the weekend..

 

Anne...

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The tie-in with Peninsula is impressive in many ways. It's an outstanding brand. However, they don't have many properties -- I think this trip may use all of their properties -- and I don't think they have any resorts. Four Seasons must have dozens of properties. I don't think Peninsula has more than a handful. I very seriously explored the Four Seasons chartered air product and was impressed in reading comments by the importance to those who had been on the trips of downtime in one of the Four Seasons resorts. Make no mistake: this will not be a leisurely cruise-like trip. I am sure it will feature top-drawer luxury, but there will be a lot of moving about, packing and unpacking, touring, attending special events, etc. I would think that a multi-day resort stay somewhere around the middle would have been welcome.

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Sorry guy's I doubt highly this will sell out and very overpriced. We have been to all theses destinations and have stayed at our leisure at these Peninsula Hotels and very lovely. A trip at this this high cost for 26 days can be tailored by a luxury travel agen and you can fly on award winning Emirates in a private suite as well as have private meet and greet...not touching luggage and whisked to your own private car. The Emirates A-380 also boasts two showers and excellent wines and champagnes plus a bar. The food is excellent as well. The Crystal cabin looks like business class with no privacy and also, really for this amount of money do not want to be with 60 people and attending galas and socializing on a structured trip. We can afford this trip but why do it?

 

For 320k we could travel at our leisure for less money and get more bang for our money and stay in better suites and tailor our travel days. That being said, we have an expert private travel planner TA that leaves no stone unturned. The aircraft being used is a 777-200LR very old IMHO. For 12K per day or 6k per person one can certainly do anything they wanted to privately.and certainly longer doing everything top notch from soup to nuts.

 

We can fly EK around the world first class for half the price or the two of us in a private suite and stay as long as we want to in cities with five star hotels.

 

We just completed a private trip,to Africa for 32 days which was above and beyond what Crystal could do. This was an epic trip as the four of us were completely private in all reserves and over the top. In Africa we stayed at places that would even beat the Penn Hotels and reserves that were just dedicated to us. We had our own private leather seat Caravan aircraft and a pilot that stayed with us throughout our journey. We also had a bar in the aircraft with whatever we wanted during our stops to lodges and exclusive camps and also in our private 4x4 at our disposal. We stayed at the most beautiful private 60,000 acre reserve owned by Alec Wilderstein Jr.....his father was a multi billionaire and his son inherited this gorgeous estate. Alec Juniors mother is known as the cat lady who designed the main house and cottages and the gorgeous pool and spa area. This place is over the top and extremely private and very chic with a butler and attendants availabe to us 24/7. We had a personal chef and masseuse.

 

From Ole Jogi we were one of the the first visitors to a real tribe that can only be reached by helicopter. We were only the second visitors as Tom Hanks was the first who was at the lodge three weeks ago with his family for a week. You cannot book this place with groups at all and most TA's know nothing about it. Now that is exclusive. If you are a party of two or twelve this place is all yours. We were only four and nobody could book in.

 

The bottom line, with a private plane and pilot and flexibility we did not spend 320k for the two of us...far from it.

 

This was our best trip by far for the four of us and we are use to the very best in travel. This was like traveling like a movie star in private. 320k going not private is absurd money no matter how much you have. You can do it much better with a real private travel planner for less and get the same or better result..

Edited by Suite Travels

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I wanted to add one thing about tribes. The Masai's you see on a normal visit are very commercial and touristy. We saw tribes that that you cannot reach and that was epic and historical. Many of these tribes are still at war with other tribes and they sell nothing and you need special permission to go there and a tracker goes by helicopter to ask the chief if we can visit. They have nothing western to communicate i.e no cell phones so it takes a tracker to go. The helicopter company dontes 1k for conservation and that is all they ask for. No selling anything to us at all. I am sure this was better than the NWP.

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You know in the end what one person thinks is great value someone else might not. What one person enjoys another person might have no interest in it.

 

I know some people who don't like to fly. Others who have no interest in safaris. I also know plenty of people who have no interest in cruising. And obviously the reverse is true.

 

I know plenty of people who look at the prices of a luxury cruise and say, "I can do plenty of other things for the same price and be happy.

 

For the vast majority of people Crystal Air is not for them. They either cannot afford it or have no interest in it. But then again for the vast majority of people a luxury cruise is not for them either. But there is enough of a market that books luxury cruises and there might be just enough of a market that will book Crystal AIr.

 

Like most things, time will tell how successful or not this product is.

 

In the end, the only opinion that maters is your very own.

 

Glad to see that this product is coming to fruition and that the details are coming in just a few days for those who are interested in it.

 

If we all had the same priorities, and the same interests this would be a boring world.

 

Choice is good.

 

Keith

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Keith you missed the point entirely. We could duplicate this entire trip and travel first class and do this privately and as long as we want and have the same exact experience for much less money and I don't have to share it with anyone else. I just mentioned our private safari as an example which you well know about. For 360K I know we can beat the Crystal Air experience by far and do it at our pace in luxury and better for a longer period of time. We want to spend our time in private with the exception of cruising and do it our way.

 

To me it is silly to spend that kind of money being with a group for only 26 days and obligated to a structured tour and attending galas that would not interest us. The 777-200 is old and configured like a deluxe business class with no privacy I.E. enclosed suites such as EK A-380 or their new 777-300W which has only eight suites. So are you booking this air trip Keith?

Edited by Suite Travels

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Good for Crystal. I love the Penn hotels and my fave is of course in HKG. that being said I prefer the Nat. Geo private jet experience for 2017. MUch richer itinerary and for 24 days the price is only 79,950.pp. Single supplement is not bad at all for an additional 8950.00

 

I hope their future itineraries go in the direction of Nat Geo as they offer Around the World, with two different routes as well as a "sacred places" itinerary for 20 days.

 

The Penn in HKG is fantastic we have stayed their twice and probably one of the best of their hotels.

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The Penn in HKG is fantastic we have stayed their twice and probably one of the best of their hotels.

 

But you really need to arrive in style at the Hong Kong Peninsular Hotel in one of their dark green Rolls Royce. Crystal might arrange for a convoy comprising the entire Rolls Royce fleet. Now that would be a sight indeed.

 

Having said that their Rolls Royces are reasonably priced given similar hotel transfers around the world.

Edited by JohnKen3

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But you really need to arrive in style at the Hong Kong Peninsular Hotel in one of their dark green Rolls Royce. Crystal might arrange for a convoy comprising the entire Rolls Royce fleet. Now that would be a sight indeed.

 

Having said that their Rolls Royces are reasonably priced given similar hotel transfers around the world.

 

The Rolls Royces are a good bargain for sure. They picked us up at the airport for about the same price as a private transfer.

 

They upgraded us to a huge suite but how many telephones do you need? We had six.😳

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Registering my interest in this

 

And it's ZERO

 

Good luck to those who want to do it but it would be one of the few rest options I would strike off being incuded on any bucket list

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Just spent a week in a large balcony room at the Peninsula Bangkok, it was $135/night. Nice hotel, nice service. Also spent a week at the Four Seasons Hong Kong, now that hotel was incredible and actually one that I prefer over the Peninsula HK (dining options at the Pen in BK was poor - dinner buffet!?). I think Four Seasons would have been a better partner, but then again they have their own planes....

 

Overall the Crystal trips seems very expensive for the limited amount of cities served by Peninsula hotels

 

Also, I have to think how many people that have $135K to spend on a vacation haven't already been to the major cities served by Peninsula (NY. LA, Paris)

Edited by avalon1025

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