NEW YORK -- Crystal Cruises will inaugurate its new air tour product, CrystalAir, in partnership with Peninsula Hotels, which will offer accommodations in each city on a 10-stop, 27-day jet excursion around the world next year.

Crystal CEO Edie Rodriguez announced the inaugural tour at the Peninsula New York alongside Simon Yip, vice president of sales for Peninsula. Rodriguez called Peninsula "one of my personal favorite brands."

The tour will begin in New York on Aug. 31 and conclude in Paris nearly a month later. In between there will be stops and overnight stays in Peninsula luxury hotels in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila and Bangkok.

Peninsula Hotels vice president of sales Simon Yip with Crystal CEO Edie Rodriguez.
Peninsula Hotels vice president of sales Simon Yip with Crystal CEO Edie Rodriguez.

Guests will fly between cities on CrystalAir's specially appointed Boeing 777 outfitted for just 84 passengers, plus crew that includes 12 butlers and a lead butler, a concierge, a chef and a doctor. For the Peninsula tour, the passenger count will be a maximum of 80.

Yip said that Peninsula had been approached by several private jet companies in the past, but that Crystal's promise to establish "a new level of luxury for air travel" was the reason the hotel company chose to partner with CrystalAir.

"Our two brands epitomize the high of luxury," Yip said.

The cost will be $159,000 per person and will include four galas: a rooftop cocktail reception in New York, a private party and dinner on the Great Wall of China, an "Old Shanghai" dinner at the Peninsula Shanghai, and a festival of lights in Bangkok.

Other highlights include a private kabuki performance in Tokyo and an excursion into the Champagne region in France.

Yip said the hotel group's Peninsula Academy programs will be integrated into the itineraries to offer, for example, dumpling-making classes in Beijing and a course in Chinese tea appreciation taught by the Peninsula's Tea Master.

The Peninsula experience will also be integrated on the flights, with Peninsula menus from its chefs and Peninsula-branded champagne produced by Deutz just for the hotel brand. General managers from Peninsula hotels and destination experts will fly with guests and help them create individualized programs at each stop.

To make the transition between hotels and the airplane smoother, Peninsula has created a system that will enable each guest to use one key that will work at every hotel on the itinerary, so guests won't have to check in at each hotel.

Additional CrystalAir tours launching next year are a series of five journeys of 15 to 29 days, departing roundtrip from New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Itineraries and some of their stops include a 29-day trip from Los Angeles visiting Peru, Tibet and Mauritius; a 16-day trip from San Francisco visiting Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Italy; and a South Pacific-themed 15-day tour, also from Los Angeles, visiting Easter Island, Bora Bora and Cairns, Australia. The tours begin at $69,500 per person, based on double occupancy.  

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