by Kevin Griffin writing for cybercruises.com
After the launch of Crystal Yacht Cruises’ 62-berth Crystal Esprit, Crystal Cruises has made another announcement, claiming to have ordered the world’s first purpose-built polar class megayacht. Measuring 600 feet in length, the 25,000-ton 200-berth vessel will be the largest and most spacious megayacht afloat.
Crystal Esprit (Courtesy Crystal Cruises)
To be delivered in August 2018, the new ship will be named after Captain James Cooks’ research ship HMS Endeavour, which discovered Australia and New Zealand nearly 250 years ago – the newly built vessel will be designed for global expedition in Arctic, Antarctic and tropical conditions.
Although Crystal claim the megayacht will be the first purpose-built Polar Code compliant yacht in the world, with a PC6 Polar Class designation, Scenic has already announced Polar Class 6 for its Scenic Eclipse, also due for delivery in August 2018.
Both ships will thus be able to cruise in Polar Regions during the summer and autumn in medium “first year” ice which may include old ice inclusions. Both ships will also be fitted with offshore dynamic positioning technology, with computer-controlled systems that automatically maintain the ship’s position using her propellers and thrusters.
Crystal Endeavor (Artist concept, courtesy Crystal Cruises)
This will enable these megayachts to float atop coral reefs without utilizing anchors, which can damage the terrain or to keep position in other waters too deep for anchors.
Crystal Endeavor will cruise the Arctic; then follow the route of migrating whales along the coast of the Americas and Europe to Antarctica during the winter. Along the way, she will visit remote islands in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, at which cruise ships seldom call or cannot access.
With a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), expedition cruises will also be organised to see sunken galleons, warships and other ships, such as Titanic at 12,500 feet, and with dynamic positioning, she will be able to hover over deep sunken attractions.
The 16,500-ton, 228-berth ocean-going cruise ship Scenic Eclipse (Artist impression courtesy Scenic Cruises)
The new ship will offer adventures by air, sea and land with a complete range of toys not commonly found on today’s megayachts. This will include two helicopters and two landing pads for flightseeing expeditions, as well as two 7-person submarines, eight electric amphibious zodiacs, jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, fishing tackle, paddle boards, snorkelling and scuba equipment, compression chamber, dive support tender and a multi-person ATV.
Crystal Endeavor will also be equipped with Seabobs, the world’s most technically advanced and powerful underwater scooters, that allow riders to move gracefully under water.
Standard guest suites will measure a minimum 400 square feet including balcony, larger than all current expedition and luxury cruise ships, while two Owner’s Suites will each boast an area of 3,122 square feet (1,615 sq ft interior and 1,507 sg ft balcony), making them the largest guest suites on any megayacht afloat. The Owners’ Suite can be connected to a penthouse suite (806 sq ft) for a combined square footage of 3,928 (2,227 interior and 1,654 balcony), surpassing any current accommodations at sea.
Crowning Crystal Endeavor will be Crystal’s signature Palm Court, which will offer 270-degree panoramic views for whale-watching and viewing other wildlife. The megayacht will feature six dining options, as well several guest amenities including a 200-seat theatre, numerous lecture rooms, cinema, card room and a computer centre.
The line’s acclaimed butler service will be available for all guests, as the megayacht will boast a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio, with 200 crew members serving the 200 guests. Steel cutting for the ship will begin May 2016 and Crystal will take delivery in August 2018.