Crystal Cruises will start to homeport out of the Bahamas from this July as the luxury cruise line launches new close-to-home escapes out of Nassau and Bimini. This continues a new trend with cruise lines shifting towards homeports outside the United States.
Crystal Cruises Calling the Bahamas Home
It looks like Crystal Cruises and the Bahamas government have been working very hard behind the scenes to resume cruises. What’s different about this is that we see a shift away from the U.S., and for the first time, Crystal Cruises will homeport out of Nassau and Bimini.
In the joint virtual announcement held by Crystals and Honorable Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism & Aviation for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, it was revealed that Crystal Serenity would begin sailing from the country on July 3, 2021.
Jack Anderson, Crystal’s interim president and CEO, said:
“Like our guests, we have been eagerly looking forward to the day we can welcome them back on board, and we’re thrilled that this day will come in The Bahamas.”
“The new Bahamas Escapes cruises will allow travelers to enjoy luxury cruising now, as well as bring much-needed benefits to the local workforce, airlines, restaurants, retailers and hotels for pre- and post-cruise stays. The launch of these cruises will also drive economic growth to The Bahamas, which, like other destinations around the world, has been negatively affected by the global pandemic.”
The luxury cruise ship will sail a series of 16 seven-night sailings from Nassau. The ship will also offer 16-night cruises from Bimini from July 4. As you can tell, both ports will be homeport calls during each of the voyages, which gives an excellent choice to guests.
Worth Reading: Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas
The Crystal vessel will become the first to homeport in the Bahamas and the first ocean cruise ship to sail from the Americas since the suspension first began back in March 2020.
D’Aguilar has even said that “Crystal Cruises will go on record as the only cruise line offering Bahamas-only voyages that highlight the signature features and experiences travelers can find here in our islands.”
The new cruises are not just for residents in the Bahamas life what we’ve seen with other domestic sailings. One of the reasons the cruise line chose the Bahamas was that the islands were so close to the United States, offering short travel for embarkation. However, guests will need to be fully vaccinated to be allowed to cruise with crystal and follow the Crystal Clean+ 4.0 health measures.
To make it even easier, Crystal cruises offers extended land and hotel packages including Nassau’s SLS Baha Mar and Hilton Resorts World Bimini. The pre- and post-cruise hotel programs in Nassau and Bimini start at $359 and $299 per guest, respectively, including transfers between the resort properties and the airports and all taxes and resort fees.
Crystal Cancels Sailings
As a result of the new cruises coming this July, it does mean that Crystal Cruises needs to make cancellations. The regular itineraries set to go ahead from July 8, 2021, through October 19, 2021, are canceled.
Also Read: When Will Cruises Resume in 2021?
The cruise line will provide impacted guests the option to transfer their booking to the new Bahamas cruises with 115% cruise credit.
At the moment the cruise line’s operations remain suspended for Ocean sailings through June 2021. River cruises remain on hold through May 2021.
Cruise Lines Looking at Homeports Away from the U.S.
This news follows a new trend of cruise lines moving away from U.S. homeports. Ryal Caribbean is leading the way with this shift after already cruising out of Singapore. The new Odyssey of the Seas will also homeport out of Israel from May for its inaugural season.
There have been hints of Royal Caribbean possibly even using Cozumel as a homeport. However, that development is still ongoing and could end up being nothing. There is no doubt as the U.S. keeps the cruise industry suspended, cruise lines may be forced to start looking elsewhere for survival.
Main Photo Courtesy: Crystal Cruises