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Embracing innovation while honoring its legacy, Crystal's reputation is undergoing a renaissance. As we prepare to return to sailing, we introduce guests to an onboard world where cutting-edge design meets timeless tradition. Experience a harmonious fusion of modernity and reverence for the past, promising a journey like no other on the high seas.

Written by

Authoress Zoe Hearne

Zoe Hearne

Published on 06/28/2023

Redefining Exceptional at Sea: Crystal’s Exquisite Onboard Redesign

Regardless of whether you are new to Crystal or simply can’t wait to get back on board, one thing is sure. Setting sail on Crystal has always been synonymous with unforgettable experiences, both onboard and onshore.

We have already mentioned how our partnership with A&K Travel Group will give you far more on shore when it comes to destination experiences. But what can you expect when stepping (back) onboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony when the ships return to the water this summer? From redesigned public spaces and modern guest rooms and suites to refined in-room amenities and exclusive linens designed for royalty, the new Crystal experience is a feast for the eyes.

In the below video, learn all about what design upgrades to expect once we return to sailing on July 31st, 2023.

Tillberg Design of Sweden: Elegance and Inspiration from Suites to Spa

With a rich history of collaboration with Crystal, we entrusted world-leading design company Tillberg Design of Sweden with redesigning a selection of our social areas including the recently announced spa, and key dining venues. Tillberg was a perfect choice; not only does their exceptional interior design expertise speak for itself, but the long-standing relationship between our two companies is based on a proven track record of trust and success.

Tillberg seamlessly incorporated fresh, natural, modern design elements into the redesign, creating spaces that evoke a sense of freshness and tranquility. The use of traditional materials in their signature stylish way lends a touch of classic elegance, while a Mediterranean influence infuses the interiors with an understated modern flair. Throughout the ship, the result is a harmonious fusion of natural elements, light tones, and open spaces, creating an ambiance that feels both timeless and inviting.

Naturally, the inspiration behind Aurōra was the Goddess Aurōra, the personification of dawn, who streaks across the sky every morning to announce the sun’s arrival, revitalizing and replenishing herself to offer an oasis of light to mortals. Under Tillberg’s stewardship, our new spa concept channels the beauty of light, energy, and balance. From the glorious soothing spaces (where you’ll find therapeutic calm thanks to a beautiful design that emulates the sun’s golden glow), to the dawn-inspired treatments themselves, Aurōra offers a holistic moment of indulgent relaxation.

Restaurants, too, have been given the Tillberg touch. New materials, a palette of Mediterranean colors, and sophisticated layers of classic, contemporary design are comfortably at home in their new, refreshed settings. The use of traditional materials in Tillberg’s uniquely modern way adds a timeless charm to the spaces, evoking a feeling that is characteristic of Crystal.

We are delighted to once again receive the trust from Crystal, this time with a studious and sophisticated renewal of the brand and its rich heritage,” says Tillberg Design of Sweden Partner & Executive Director Fredrik Johansson. “We are working closely with Crystal management to ensure that their iconic fleet stays top-rated by the guests and profitable for the owners.”

Tillberg’s use of the Mediterranean color palette plus their attention to details make Umi Uma one of the most coveted restaurants at sea.
Tillberg’s use of the Mediterranean color palette plus their attention to details make Umi Uma one of the most coveted restaurants at sea.

GEM: Maintaining Crystal’s Identity Through Structural Excellence

As a trusted architectural firm in premium cruising for almost 40 years, GEM has been instrumental in preserving Crystal’s identity while introducing structural enhancements to the ships. GEM fully understood the importance of capturing the essence of Crystal’s renowned design.

“It was a pleasure to spearhead the design of select guest rooms and suites for Crystal. Our vision was to create a refined space for guests that embodies an ambiance of contemporary and classic elements while complementing the already existing collection of adored accommodations,” said Lorenzo Mortola, Managing Director of GEM.

GEM’s expertise was already unmistakable in the extensive refurbishments of Crystal Serenity in 2018 and Crystal Symphony in 2016. In the 2023 suite redesign, GEM created a new layout that optimizes space and functionality, ensuring exceptional onboard experiences for guests. During the layup, the ships were meticulously maintained, so the 2023 refurbishment was easy to manage. Mortola worked closely with the Crystal team to ensure that the Crystal identity was maintained, but was updated for the cruise line’s new direction.

Through meticulous planning, attention to detail, and working closely with the instructions to improve, not change, the current look and feel GEM’s family-run company brought a shared ethos of respect and dedication to the project. The result? A seamless integration of architectural changes that bring the light of the outside in to the suites, while harmonizing with Crystal’s reputation for exceptional design at sea.

This is not without saying that some challenges had to be overcome. The tight turnaround time from conception to inception plus shortages in material availability posed unique obstacles for the redesign of both ships. However, GEM’s commitment to excellence ensured that only the highest quality materials were sourced, ensuing a seamless blend of structural changes that enhance your experience, despite the lingering, post-pandemic constraints.

A Superlative Experience Awaits

From the fresh, natural aesthetics to the seamless integration of modern amenities, these structural and design upgrades mean Crystal has meticulously crafted an environment so it can sail confidently into its future. Additional touches, such as the custom-made bed linens by prestigious Italian brand Jesurum and indulgent bathroom amenities by Sicilian brand Ortigia further underscore the guest experience, ensuring that every moment spent on board exudes elegance and sophistication, and is centered on your relaxation.

And for returning guests who are curious to see how Crystal’s new direction will affect the traditional experience that they know and love, no one puts it better than A&K Travel Group Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, “for the Crystal passengers who are coming back, you have my word. You’re going to find the same Crystal but enhanced.”