Crystal Symphony will be the first cruise ship to homeport in Antigua

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T0412CRYSTALSYMPHONYANTIGUA_HR The Crystal Symphony in Antigua.
The Crystal Symphony will sail 10-day cruises from Antigua beginning in August.

Crystal Cruises will homeport a second ship in the Caribbean this summer, with the Crystal Symphony set to sail 10-day cruises out of St. John's, Antigua, becoming the first cruise ship ever to homeport on the island.

Beginning Aug. 5 and running through December, the Symphony will visit Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands. Crystal Symphony's return to service, combined with the Crystal Serenity launch from the Bahamas and the Crystal Endeavor from Iceland, both in July, means that 97% of Crystal's oceangoing fleet will be in service this summer.

Jack Anderson, Crystal's interim CEO, added that "nearly all of our ocean crew members will return to work very soon, and we know they are as excited about returning to the seas as our guests."

The expansion in its return-to-service plans comes after what Crystal said were record bookings for the Serenity's Bahamas program.

The line joins other luxury cruise lines that have recently said they would launch sailings from outside the U.S. for vaccinated adults. Silversea this week said it would resume operations in the Greek islands in June, as will Seabourn.

Reservations for the Antigua sailings open April 20. Crystal implemented a vaccine mandate for all of its ships in February.

Charles Fernandez, the minister of tourism and investment for Antigua and Barbuda, said the move "represents an important milestone in reinvigorating tourism here as well as deeper support of our island communities' economies."

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