The news that the “Crystal Cruises” brand, along with Crystal’s ships, had been acquired by A&K Travel Group Ltd. was met with praise from travel advisors who were happy to see one of the industry’s most-beloved brands get revived.
On Tuesday, Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group, updated the public on what’s happening with Crystal’s future, including what guests and travel advisors can expect out of the new Crystal.
Bookings for the next phase in the life of Crystal, which is expected to start sometime over the next year or so, are not yet open. Levis said that the company is still working on finalizing the itineraries, refurbishing the ships, and bringing Crystal’s crew back into the fold.
“Crystal’s extraordinary crew has always provided the unequaled difference in guest care and service,” she added. “We are reaching out to invite them back and are confident many will return.”
The plan is now to offer travel advisors and consumers the opportunity to make an “open booking” with a nominal $500 per suite refundable deposit.
Once everything is finalized—itineraries, deck plans, and pricing—those who opted for the open booking will get the first chance to select a voyage and suite category. The timetable for that depends on the refurbishments of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, which will be shared when they are also finalized, Levis said.
Levis added that travel advisors should also look out for some “goodwill” initiatives for 2023 sailings.
“The expressions of hope and support from past guests have been overwhelming and heartwarming. We recognize that we must rebuild trust and confidence and expect to soon communicate about goodwill initiatives for 2023 sailings,” she said.
As for travel advisors, or consumers, who are waiting on claim settlements for the Crystal Cruises, LLC Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC) case that started in Florida in February, Levis said that A&K is not involved in the case.
“We are not involved in the case and have nothing to do with approving or paying claims. We are legally not a party to, and have no say, in these court-appointed efforts. This process is likely to take several months to complete, according to the Assignee. Our involvement was limited to purchasing specific assets and our significant monetary effort will provide funds to make a contribution towards paying creditors.”
Levis added that questions regarding claims or credits should be directed to Michael Moecker & Associates.