January 21, 2019

Cruising 101: Everything You Need to Know About Crystal Cruises & the Crystal Endeavor

Picture of Nick Cabugos
Nick Cabugos

Creative Director, Montecito Village Travel

Planning a Cruise? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Cruising Experience Aboard the Crystal Endeavor

For more than 28 years, Crystal Cruises has been a leader in luxury travel and is recognized as the most awarded luxury cruise line in the world. They are experienced in operating cruises to some of the world’s most remote locations, from Alaska to Antarctica, as well as two transits of the Northwest Passage — Crystal was the first luxury line to embark on this legendary route. Together with a team of expedition cruise experts, Crystal incorporates all of their knowledge gained from these historic voyages to curate the Crystal Endeavor Experience.


Q: What will I experience on a Crystal Endeavor voyage?

The nature of expedition cruising is intentionally flexible to take advantage of wildlife sightings. While certain encounters cannot be guaranteed you can expect to enjoy thrilling experiences such as Zodiac landings, kayaking adventures, helicopter flight-seeing and submersible underwater exploration. Ashore, overland and private adventures include visits to historic and protected sites, expert-hosted nature hikes and walking tours, professionally led photography tours and more.

  • Discovery of the most remote regions of the world

  • Exploration of secluded fjords, rugged terrain, isolated beaches and areas with wild scenic beauty, unique flowers and rare wildlife

  • A deeply experienced Expedition Team of 25 aboard every voyage, offering insight and leading small-group exploration ashore

  • Photography workshops, destination lectures and topical discussions

  • Immersion with local communities with rich cultural heritage and iconic monuments representing the tapestry of each unique location

  • Itineraries designed with flexibility, deliberately allowing for unexpected and spontaneous exploration as conditions warrant (wildlife sightings, pod of whales, penguins, bears walking along a wilderness shoreline, etc)


Q: What will Crystal Endeavor have on board that makes it different from classic ocean cruising?

  • Expedition Team of 25

  • 18 Mark V & Mark VI Zodiacs

  • 14 2-person kayaks with dry suits

  • Two customized areas for expedited boarding of Zodiacs, kayaks and other discovery eqiupment

  • Two luxuriously appointed Mud Rooms offering boot-washing stations, warming racks and lockers for expedition gear

  • Fold-out Marina Platform for launching of water excursions and activities

  • Two Alana Airbus H135 helicopters (5-6 guests including pilot) housed in dedicated hangers on board

  • Gyro-stabilized camera technology and ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle)

  • A submersible accommodating up to six guests, one pilot, reaching depths of up to 650 ft. (200 meters) depending on location; fully acrylic pressure hull with top-hatch

Crystal Endeavor will offer two types of discovery ashore. Crystal Expedition Adventures are planned in advance allowing you to pre-reserve before your travels. Crystal Unexpected Adventures are serendipitous stops in locations when weather and wildlife present the opportunity for impromptu discovery. These might be by Zodiac, by kayak, or by helicopter. In some instances, the Captain may position the ship for guests to view wildlife and wilderness from various public rooms, or even by TV via the gyro-stabilized camera or ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle).

Bali Waterfall

Q: What is an example of a Crystal Unexpected Adventure?

The Captain, Crew and Expedition Team will be on continuous lookout for naturalistic features such as ice formations, wildlife sightings, and visits to uninhabited islands. In these instances, the Captain will position the vessel to the extent possible dependent on weather and local permissions, to maximize discovery. These unexpected opportunities might be explored by Zodiac or even by helicopter, conditions allowing.

In certain ports of call the Crystal Adventures Land Programs Team will be available to curate customized experiences at an additional cost.

Every day is an adventure with the anticipation of wildlife encounters, glacial ice, remote islands or local community and cultural discovery. The Expedition Team will share their insight and knowledge at lectures and conversational discussions on board, and host small-group excursions ashore. It is important to note that facilities and infrastructure in many of the destinations visited are limited or nonexistent. Crystal Endeavor will be equipped with the latest outfitter gear to provide the ultimate expedition experience.


Q: What is included on a Crystal Endeavor voyage?

Some Crystal Expedition Adventures and Crystal Unexpected Adventures will be offered complimentary (please consult website). We will also offer a wide-variety of high-end Crystal Expedition Adventures that offer a more in-depth experience with certain added value components. Use of stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and snorkeling gear in warmer climates, and expedition parkas and attendant gear in the polar regions, is also included. Binoculars will be provided complimentary. See Signature Hallmarks on last page.

Services provided at the Crystal Life Spa, gaming in the Resorts World at Sea casino, shopping and items/services of a personal nature will be available as an added expense. Helicopter flightseeing adventures, submersible tours, scuba diving, Crystal Overland, Boutique or Private Adventures, or any Crystal Expedition Adventures as noted, will be offered at an additional cost. 


Yes. Please note the following group policy is currently in place: 1 for 9 TC (tour conductor) $300 per person shipboard credit Maximum 3 TCs Maximum 15 suites / 30 guests Crystal Memories Groups will not be accommodated on Crystal Endeavor Holding space for a group is not permitted

Crystal Esprit

Q: Is an expedition voyage good for those with physical limitations?

It depends on the itinerary. Guests are advised to carefully review the itinerary when selecting a Crystal Yacht Expedition voyage to ensure it is in line with personal fitness levels. In many instances, they will be making wet landings on uneven surfaces ashore from Zodiacs in places without any docks.

The Expedition Team will be on hand to assist each person on and off the Zodiac. It is important for all guests and their travel professionals to review the “Important Notes” included on every shore excursion description to learn the physical requirements to participate on any given tour.

This is important to set the right expectation to ensure each guest gets the maximum enjoyment out of every day of the voyage. For Zodiac access, guests must be able to walk up and downstairs and negotiate challenging gangways. The same applies for kayaks. Crystal reserves the right to refuse passage to anyone who fails to inform us of a physical disability or is deemed unfit for travel. As per the required Health Statement, guests must advise Crystal of any physical disability or frequent or on-going medical requirements prior to the cruise.


Q: What will Crystal do to protect the environment in these destinations?

The ship’s sophisticated waste management equipment, storage and procedures ensure nothing will be left behind unless pre-arranged with a specific community equipped to handle waste. Grey and blackwater discharge parameters exceed international requirements as per Crystal’s policy. The ship will be equipped with advanced dynamic positioning technology to ensure no harm is made to delicate underwater ecosystems and reefs.


Guests should confirm if the destinations visited on their itinerary of choice requires vaccinations prior to arrival. Crystal also recommend guests seek a professional medical from their physicians regarding vaccinations; sometimes vaccinations may adversely affect people taking other medications. Travel to the remote regions to which Crystal Endeavor sails may not suitable for people who require frequent or on-going medical attention.

Crystal Endeavor

Q: Will I have Internet access and mobile phone coverage?

The ship’s internet and telephone services will be available throughout each voyage, although signals may be slowed or not available at all in some areas. Shore-based cell phone signals may or may not be available in some of the more remote places we visit. The Captain and crew will always have operational and emergency communication throughout the entire cruise.

Q: Do I need to purchase Travel Insurance?

We strongly recommend that all guests traveling aboard Crystal Endeavor purchase travel insurance. In many of the remote locations to which Crystal Endeavor will travel, emergency medical evacuation is the only way to get urgent and/or critical medical attention which can reach costs of $50,000 or more. Therefore, proof of a minimum of $50,000 per person in Emergency Evacuation Repatriation insurance is highly recommended. Guests will be required to complete a Health/Travel Insurance Form via PCPC (Priority Check-in & Planning Center) prior to embarkation.


Q: What deposit amount is required to confirm my reservation?

A 25% deposit will be due within 7 days of making a booking to secure the reservation. What are the cancellation penalties? From time of deposit until 121 days prior to sailing, if a booking is cancelled there will be a $500 per guest administration fee which may be applied toward a new booking by Ocean, River or Yacht Expedition within one year from date of cancellation. If canceled 120-91 days prior to sailing, there is a 25% penalty; 90-61 days prior to sailing, a 50% penalty; 60-31 days prior to sailing, a 75% penalty; and for cancellations made within 30-0 days of departure date, the penalty is 100%. Will I receive Crystal Society® credits on Crystal Endeavor voyages? Yes. However, only select milestones will be able to be redeemed on a Crystal Endeavor voyage.

A Montecito Village Travel Advisor can help you with all phases of the travel booking process, and help you along your entire journey.

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