Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2022

5 2 FEATURE: FLORIDA- CARIBBEAN CRUI S ING Enticing itineraries Jack Anderson shares why Crystal chose to sail cruises from Florida, USA to destinations across the Caribbean when it returned to service in July 2021 When Crystal began planning its long-awaited return to ocean cruising in the wake of the pandemic, the brand wanted to offer itineraries from familiar ports to safe destinations that would excite guests and encourage them back to the seas. Hence, it restarted operations in July 2021 with seven-night ‘Luxury Bahamas Escapes’ onboard Crystal Serenity. The cruises were so popular with guests that Crystal recorded the biggest-ever day of bookings within the first 24 hours of opening reservations. “While Crystal is typically known for globe-spanning itineraries, we had the chance to offer our guests Miami as an embarkation port for Crystal Serenity’s Bahamas itineraries when we returned to cruising in 2021,” says Jack Anderson, president of Crystal. “There is a familiarity and comfort level with cruising from Florida, and Miami is a famed gateway to The Bahamas and the Caribbean, plus it offers great connectivity as a departure point. “Similarly, The Bahamas has been especially appealing to our guests in 2021 because it is a world away in terms of exotic beauty and experiences but offers guests the peace of mind and convenience of departing roundtrip from a US port of call close to home. Crystal worked closely with The Bahamas to ensure a safe and healthy stay for our guests who continue to enjoy the Bahamian islands’ warm welcome and vast outdoor pursuits.” Visiting The Bahamas also enabled guests to enjoy the island pursuits that continue to make the Caribbean appealing to many travellers. “Our ‘Luxury Bahamas Escapes’ offered guests the chance to discover rare ports of call in the pristine Out Islands of The Bahamas and enjoy gorgeous beaches and unique experiences – from the swimming pigs of Big Major Cay in Great Exuma to Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, and the crystal-clear waters and coral reefs of San Salvador,” says Anderson. “They have enjoyed the opportunity to visit these idyllic places that are not featured on other cruise lines’ itineraries.” According to Anderson, the Out Islands of The Bahamas are a perennial favourite for Crystal’s guests, consistently achieving high satisfaction ratings. “Guests have been charmed by the unspoiled beauty of the Out Islands of The Bahamas and the chance to experience these exclusive places usually only accessible by planes or private yachts and sailboats,” he explains. “They have enjoyed the natural wonders and authentic, upclose experiences with the generous people of The Bahamas.” Eager to ensure its Caribbean itineraries remain fresh and enticing for both new and repeat guests, Crystal strives to continually incorporate new destinations into its itineraries alongside popular ports. Crystal Symphony, for example, began sailing a series of new Luxury Bermuda Escapes and two 10- and 11-night itineraries to the exclusive enclaves of the Lesser Antilles, the yachting harbours of the Virgin Islands and the Bahamian Out Islands in November 2021. The ship will remain in the region until March 2022. Crystal Symphony will visit various new Caribbean destinations in the winter 2021-2022 season as part of Crystal’s efforts to diversify its itineraries