Crystal Cruises has announced the addition of 15 new Caribbean sailings departing roundtrip from St. Maarten aboard Crystal Symphony this August through December. The newly added voyages are part of Crystal Symphony’s 10-night Luxury Caribbean Escapes and offer guests the option of cruising roundtrip from either Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on 15 voyages beginning August 2, or the previously announced voyages departing roundtrip from St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda, on 15 voyages beginning August 5. All of Crystal’s 10-night Luxury Caribbean Escapes, including a holiday cruise, will explore the tropical beauty of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten, and the British Virgin Islands. Reservations for the new 15 voyages from St. Maarten open May 12, 2021.
The addition of St. Maarten as a port of departure expands the air options for guests as major U.S. cities provide airlift into the country. The itineraries, together with the recently announced 10-night “Luxury Iceland Expeditions” aboard Crystal Endeavor and seven-night “Luxury Bahamas Escapes” aboard Crystal Serenity, comprise the resumption of service of 97 percent of Crystal’s ocean-going fleet.
Crystal Symphony’s Luxury Caribbean Escapes feature overnights in St. John’s, Bridgetown and Philipsburg. Here are some of the highlights.
- Phillipsburg,St. Maarten – This tiny land mass boasts a robust local culture that stretches beyond the predominant Dutch-French sides. Travelers here will find innovative fine cuisine and a passion for the great outdoors with all kinds of water sports as well as hiking and zip lining. With the extra day here, guests can also explore farther with a visit to neighboring Saba, the untouched “Queen of the Caribbean.”
- Roadtown, Tortola, British Virgin Islands–The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is a haven for beachgoers; scuba enthusiasts who will relish exploring shipwrecks and hikers who will find rewarding views of bougainvillea-covered hills. A brief ferry ride takes travelers to Virgin Gorda, where The Baths’ granite boulders lay out an impressive geological wonder across the breathtaking beach.
- St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda – With its UNESCO-listed English Harbour on the south coast and an enduring British heritage, St. John’s is the starting point for Antigua’s rich historic highlights, but it’s the 365 beaches – one for every day of the year – that make the island a picture-perfect destination.
- Bridgetown, Barbados–The Barbados UNESCO-listed capital still wears its British history proudly, with significant sites throughout the city to appeal to history buffs. From the original Trafalgar Square and Broad Street’s bustling shops to the island’s famous rum, beautiful Botanical Gardens and Harrison Limestone Cave, there is much to discover beyond the crystal-clear sea.
- Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago –The tiny, relaxed half of this two-island nation, Tobago is ideal for travelers seeking to connect with nature, offering rain forest hikes, spectacular dive sites and secluded bays. Pigeon Point Nature Reserve is a highlight, offering 125 acres of pristine natural landscape with boating, diving and wildlife observation opportunities.
- Castries, St. Lucia – Vibrant color and Creole flavor are at the heart of the town, while toward the pristine beaches travelers will find world-class scuba diving and lush surrounding forest punctuated by the UNESCO-listed towering green Pitons. Guests can also visit Sulphur Springs, the only volcano in the world where people can dive in for mud baths.
Designed with abundant personal and social space throughout the ship, Crystal Symphony will return to sailing with reduced capacity, increasing its social spaciousness even more. The onboard Crystal Family will welcome guests home to spacious staterooms, suites and social areas and to an experience that is punctuated by abundant choices for activities and enrichment; elegant surroundings and amenities; and most importantly, the genuine, personalized service provided by Crystal’s celebrated crew.
Crystal announced in February that guests must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any Crystal ship. This new requirement is in addition to existing, comprehensive Crystal Clean+ measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, reduced capacity, social distancing, mask requirements and health screening questionnaires.