By Kristen Shirley
This story originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
In this issue, Elite Traveler introduced The Hot List, our roundup of top hotel openings, the best trips to book and the places you must go. For our Adventure Issue, we picked two over-the-top journeys, a private estate in Santorini and St. Regis’s first private island resort. Whether you want to relax on a hammock swinging over the Indian Ocean or dine with a princess at her home in Bali, Elite Traveler has you covered.
Crystal launches AirCruises
Once, on a trip, when I was relaxing in the warm ocean near a private island accessible only by a tiny boat, a friend half-joked that if we were on a Crystal Cruise, there would be a butler wading through the water with chilled glasses of champagne. I say “half-joke” because there is probably a Crystal Cruise passenger who has had that exact experience. This year, Crystal brings its unparalleled luxury on the water to the air, aboard a custom-designed Boeing 777.
The inaugural air cruise takes place in September and travels to all 10 Peninsula hotels. The second trip will be more adventurous, hitting 10 of the world’s most iconic sites, including Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Victoria Falls, the Taj Mahal and a safari in Chobe and Zambezi. At each destination, you’ll stay at world-class hotels and find four all-inclusive options, so you can do what you want to do, even if someone in your party has different priorities. And if there is something off menu you want to do, the butlers can organize a custom program for you.
In the air, you’ll find Michelin-inspired cuisine prepared by an in-flight chef, a dedicated team of butlers and many exclusive offerings, including an area for socializing with dining tables, a stand-up bar and a wine cellar. Each chair is a fully reclining flat-bed seat with 24in monitors, Bose headphones, unlimited Wi-Fi and personal iPads.
If your experience on board is over but you don’t want your time with Crystal to end, charter Crystal Luxury Air’s Bombardier Global Express XRS from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale and embark on a classic Caribbean cruise aboard Crystal Serenity, making stops in Grand Turk, Grand Cayman and Key West.
AirCruise from $139,000 per person, Luxury Air from $7,000 per hour, Tropical Treasure cruise in Crystal Penthouse from $13,500 per person. To book, contact +1 888 722 0021, crystalcruises.com