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
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.
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
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