A&K Travel Group (AKTG) has revealed plans to build four new Crystal Cruises ships by the end of 2029.

The group, which acquired the line last year after it entered bankruptcy under the ownership of Genting Hong Kong, will build two expedition ships and two standard ships to join Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, which have both been refurbished under AKTG.

AKTG chief executive Cristina Levis made the announcement at a press briefing held on the shakedown cruise for Crystal Serenity on July 29, ahead of its inaugural sailing from Marseille on July 31.

More: Crystal Serenity completes sea trials

She said: “We are working closely with our lenders, with naval architects and with two shipbuilding companies in Europe to build four more ships.

“Our aim is to have the four new-builds completed by the end of 2029. [There will be] two expedition ships and two classic ships.”

Levis revealed plans are “quite advanced”, with construction for one of the expedition ships and one of the regular ships expected to start in spring next year, but stressed the company has not yet signed a ship-building contract. The group hopes the first ship will be delivered in 2026.

Crystal Cruises senior vice-president of hotel operations Bernie Leypold and his team have been working on developing the quartet of new ships while refurbishing Serenity and Symphony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, added Levis.

The Ice-class expedition ships, which will each have a capacity of about 220 passengers, will offer itineraries in the Arctic and Antarctica but will not be restricted to the polar regions.

The other two new builds, which will each carry approximately 650 passengers, will be similar in style to Serenity and Symphony but with a slightly more relaxed feel, revealed chief marketing officer Peter Chipchase.

Chipchase, who joined A&K in December 2022, believes now is the perfect time to expand and “elevate” the line’s fleet.

He said: “You can see from the way the cruise industry is moving, with new players coming in from the hotel space, that it is in a real growth phase.

“These new brands will come in and pitch their product at an ultra-high level. We feel that, where the market currently is, there’s a space in between luxury and ultra-luxury.

“We think we can elevate our product to ensure we still appeal to our current customers, who we’re still really focused on, while attracting new people to Crystal.”

Tokyo Transport Guide

Tokyo has developed a dense network of metro, train and bus lines that serve the Greater Tokyo area. As Tokyo is a very busy city, the public transport is the best way to get around the city. With the multilingual signage and instructions, the public transport is very accessible for tourists.

The rail network dominates the public transport in Greater Tokyo. There are several companies which operate the most extensive rail network in the world. The 13 metro lines cover central Tokyo, especially the area inside the Yamanote circle, around Ginza and east of the loop line. The busiest stations are Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station and Shibuya Station.

JR East is the largest railway company in the world. It provides most of the railway traffic in Tokyo, as well as, to other destinations in Japan. There are several other companies that provide commuter train service to the nearby area. The Shinkansen (Bullet Train) is fast train service that connects the major cities in Japan. The travel time from Osaka/Kyoto to Tokyo is about three hours.

The bus network is not heavily used in the city centre. It's more convenient for places outside the central area. They are not as frequent as the trains, but they are a good alternative if you want to avoid the crowds.

Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) is the main one serving Greater Tokyo. It is located on the border between Narita and Shibayama, around 60 km from Tokyo. There are regular train, bus, taxi and private airport transfer services to Tokyo and the surrounding area.

Narita Airport is served by express and commuter trains. Narita Express is connected to Tokyo Station via the Narita and Sobu lines. The suburban JR rapid service train follows the same route to Tokyo Station with several intermediate stops which makes the travel time longer. Keisei provides train services to central Tokyo and the suburbs, as well.

Regular bus services run from Tokyo Narita Airport to the Tokyo City Air Terminal, major hotels and railway stations in the Greater Tokyo Area. Buses are generally slower than trains because of the traffic conditions. An overnight bus service to Kyoto and Osaka is available, as well.

The airport taxi service in Tokyo is fast and reliable. They charge by the meter and additional charges may apply for night rides.

To stay away from the crowds, it's best to book a private Tokyo Narita airport transfer with us. Our premium service includes a door-to-door airport transfer in comfortable and luxury vehicles at fixed cost. The English-speaking driver will meet you at the arrivals gate and take you directly to your hotel, and we hope you enjoy the airport transfer from Tokyo Narita Airport to Tokyo city centre.

Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) is the second one that serves Greater Tokyo. It is located closer to the city centre, around 14 km. There are regular train and bus lines that run to Tokyo. The latest prices for a private airport taxi from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tokyo city centre are on the link.

In Japan, we offer private transportation in Kyoto and Osaka.

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Toyota Crown (Non English Driver)


Toyota Crown (Non English Driver)


Toyota Crown (Non English Driver)


Toyota Crown (Non English Driver)


Toyota Crown (Non English Driver)


Toyota Crown (Non English Driver)

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