(12:40 p.m. EDT) -- Crystal has been busy expanding from a two-ship ocean line into a luxury travel portfolio, and today it announced updated plans to expand its collection of vacation options. The eagerly awaited announcement includes more expedition ships and major refurbishments to ocean ships.
Without revealing too many details, Crystal announced it will "heavily invest in massive enhancements" to Crystal Symphony in 2017 and Crystal Serenity in 2018. The line has shared that after the upgrades, both ships will offer full open seating dining and more suites, leading Cruise Critic readers to speculate that the line will reduce the current capacity of both ships to accommodate the changes.
In addition, Crystal has updated the launch date of its first Crystal Exclusive Class cruise ship. The unnamed ship, which will feature the first privately owned apartments (called Crystal Residences) for the line, is set to debut in the first quarter of 2022.
Due to strong passenger interest in expedition-style cruising, Crystal is planning to build three expedition mega-yachts, including the previously announced Crystal Endeavor. These mega-yachts will join the existing Crystal Esprit to form the rebranded Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises. The new yachts will be polar class and combine onboard luxuries, like penthouse suites, with high-tech toys including submarines, helicopters and remote-operated vehicles.
Crystal Endeavor will launch in 2019, with the second two yachts debuting in 2020 and 2021.
Crystal is sticking to its latest plan to debut Crystal Bach and Mahler in 2017, with Crystal Debussy and Ravel setting sail in 2018 and two more river ships planned for a future date. To support its river operations, Crystal is setting up an office in Amsterdam to open this November.
Crystal cruisers might also be interested in the company's air travel products; the line has announced a second Crystal Luxury Air charter jet, a Global Express Jet, in 2017. In addition, 2017 will see the first voyages of Crystal AirCruises, where passengers travel the world via a private Boeing 777 and stay at The Peninsula Hotels.
--By Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor