Rendering of Crystal Endeavor

(2:05 p.m. EDT) -- The first itineraries for Crystal Cruises' new luxury expedition ship, the 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor, will explore Antarctica and Russia's Far East, as well as New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.

Crystal Endeavor will sail a series of charters and special event voyages before the inaugural season begins on August 8, 2020. Sailings will feature Zodiac landings and helicopter explorations from equipment carried on the ship, as well as active experiences such as hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling and diving.

"Crystal Endeavor will take guests to remote destinations not typically accessible on a cruise, as well as some iconic places, albeit with a decidedly adventurous twist," said Crystal president and CEO Tom Wolber.

Cruises for the first season are as follows:

  • August 10, 2020 -- Russia Far East Maiden Expedition, Tokyo roundtrip, 17 days. This sailing will cruise the coast of Japan before heading north to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. Passengers on the maiden voyage will also receive a complimentary one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay and have the opportunity to participate in the ship's naming event.
  • August 27, 2020 -- Japan's Cultural and Coastal Discovery, Tokyo roundtrip, 17 days. This sailing is an immersive look at Japan, including remote islands; it will also stop in South Korea.
  • September 13, 2020 -- Island Explorations of Japan, Tokyo to Taipei, 16 days. This cruise sails the coast of Japan and many off-the-beaten path islands before arriving in Taipei.

  • September 29, 2020 -- Philippines, Borneo and Indonesia Quest, Taipei to Bali, 16 days. This cruise offers wildlife exploration in Borneo, as well as diving and snorkeling.
  • October 15, 2020 -- Indonesian Immersive and the Great Barrier Reef, Bali to Cairns, 16 days. This trip visits Komodo as well as other Indonesia Islands before arriving at Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Hiking, diving, swimming, snorkeling, Zodiac and helicopter excursions will be available.
  • October 31, 2020 -- Australian Offshore & The Great Barrier Reef, Cairns to Sydney, 14 days. This trip will make an in-depth exploration of the islands on Australia's east coast. Expect reef expeditions and mangrove Zodiac trips, as well as hiking, diving and helicopter options.
  • November 14, 2020 -- Tasmania & The Fjords of New Zealand, ydney to Christchurch, 14 days. This sailing will cruise the coast of Australia and dip down to Tasmania before crossing the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, where it will visit Milford Sound, as well as other locations
  • November 28, 2020 -- New Zealand Immersion, Christchurch to Auckland, 12 days. An in-depth look at New Zealand, visiting locales on both the South and North island. Expect winery visits, as well as hiking, kayaking, Zodiac trips and helicopter opportunities.
  • December 10, 2020 -- The Remote Coasts of New Zealand, Auckland to Christchurch, 12 days. This in-depth cruse will visit the North and South islands, including Milford Sound. Excursions will include winery visits, as well as a stop at the Captain Cook Monument.
  • December 22, 2020 -- Holiday Expedition to New Zealand and Australia, Christchurch to Tasmania, 15 days. This cruise visits Milford Sound and the South Island before crossing the Tasman Sea to Australia. Highlights include New Year's Eve in Sydney Harbour.
  • January 6, 2021 -- Antarctica and The Ross Sea Expedition, Hobart to Christchurch, 22 days. This sailing will cruise south from Tasmania to Antarctica, visiting the Ross ice shelf, as well as Scott and Shackleton's historic huts. Expect glacier landings and pack ice cruising.
  • January 28, 2021 -- Antarctica and The Ross Sea Expedition, Christchurch to Hobart, 22 days. The cruise goes south again to the Ross Sea and Antarctica, visiting remote islands and explorer huts. Glacier landings and pack ice cruising will also take place.

Crystal Endeavor will be a luxury ship, with private butler service for each suite, king-sized beds, walk-in closets and spa-style bathrooms with dual vanities, anti-fog mirrors and rain showerheads. A nice addition, given its destinations: the ship will also have heated storage for drying parkas, as well as adjustable heated floors in the bathrooms.

The itineraries will go on sale to Crystal Society members on August 8 and to the public on August 22. Fares starting from $12,749 per person (based on double occupancy, excluding port taxes and fees).

--By Chris Gray Faust, Managing Editor