Crystal, the new luxury cruise brand formerly known as Crystal Cruises, announced that Crystal Symphony, the second of its two ships, has successfully completed sea trials and is on schedule to debut in Athens, Greece, in early September. The vessel has undergone an extensive refurbishment in Italy.
Engineers Test Navigation, Operational Systems
Crystal Symphony will soon join her sister ship, Crystal Serenity, on the high seas now that she has passed her sea trials following a major refit at the Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, Italy.
Crystal, which has refurbished both ships, is owned by A&K Travel Group, a well-known luxury travel company that acquired the vessels after their former owner, Genting Group, went bankrupt in 2022.
Crystal Symphony, with a full staff of officers, technicians and engineers on board, was tested for navigation, technical and mechanical systems, and all passed inspection.
The cruise line has also ensured that the ship’s fire-resistant panels were certified correctly and are not defective. The reassurance followed industry reports earlier this summer that indicated some fire-resistant panels used in cruise ship construction might be faulty.
The 51,044-gross ton Crystal Symphony has a guest capacity of 606, down from 960 guests prior to her refit, illustrating how additional public spaces and larger staterooms were created.
Her sister ship, Crystal Serenity, which debuted two weeks ago, now has a maximum guest capacity of 740, down from 1,040 passengers.
“Following the launch of Crystal Serenity on July 31, we are thrilled that Crystal Symphony has completed sea trials and is one step closer to returning to service in a few short weeks,” said Roberto Fazi, Crystal’s Senior Vice President of Marine Operations.
“To be able to relaunch our brand and two ships within such a short amount of time is completely unprecedented, and we could not have done it without the amazing work of our leadership and teams, both on board and shoreside. We also wouldn’t be here without our partners at Fincantieri who worked around the clock to deliver this beautiful ship on time,” added Fazi.
Crystal Symphony’s inaugural voyage is set to depart Athens on September 1. The 14-night voyage to Venice features port calls in Greece, Turkey, and Croatia.
The ship will spend the rest of the summer in Europe, sailing 7- to 10-night cruises between Venice, Rome, Athens, and Istanbul. The ship will reposition to Dubai in October and operate Africa and Indian Ocean sailings, followed by cruises in Australia and Asia.
Onboard the ship, guests will find that suites have been enlarged and dining venues refreshed. One of the dining spaces is the newly created Osteria d’Ovidio, named for Crystal’s Executive Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio. He is the former owner of the luxury line Silversea Cruises, which he sold to Royal Caribbean in 2018.
The Aurora Spa aboard Crystal Symphony was renovated, a pickleball court was added, and new entertainment and events are being introduced. The cruise line in April announced the names of cruise and music directors for each of the ships.
Crystal Resuming World Cruises
Crystal recently revealed it will offer a 2024 World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity. Guests can join the world cruise from either Miami or San Diego, on January 18 or February 3, respectively. The full itinerary is 141 days, calling at 62 destinations in 29 countries.
From San Diego, the voyage follows a route through the South Pacific and Asia, to India, Arabia, and the Middle East, through the Eastern and Western Mediterranean.
After a transatlantic crossing, the ship calls at Caribbean ports, and transits the Panama Canal before returning to San Diego.