Cruising Press Releases

Crystal Announces Partnership with California Ocean Alliance

Crystal Announces Partnership with California Ocean Alliance

COA researchers and scientists to join Crystal Endeavor’s Antarctic expeditions to conduct whale research and provide interactive guest experiences


The state-of-the-art expedition yacht will also host ORCA scientists on select voyages in 2022


MIAMI April 22, 2021 – Furthering Crystal’s ongoing commitment to stewardship of the world’s oceans, today the line announced a new partnership with the California Ocean Alliance, (COA) an organization dedicated to cutting-edge marine research to safeguard oceans for the protection of marine mammals worldwide.


Scientists from the COA will join Crystal Endeavor, the line’s new expedition yacht, aboard a series of five remote expedition cruises to collect data on whale behavior utilizing submergible acoustic recorders, drones, suction cup tags, and remote biopsy sampling, and engage Crystal Endeavor guests to assist with their research efforts while traversing the waters of the Antarctic. Ranging in length from 11 to 19 nights, these select voyages depart roundtrip from Ushuaia, Argentina, December 2021 through February 2022.


“It is a privilege to join with the California Ocean Alliance in its critical research to inform and promote conservation and management of our oceans and the health and survival of marine mammals,” said Walter Barinaga, Director, Crystal Destination Experiences and the You Care, We Care Crystal Voluntourism Adventures program. “Crystal guests have a thirst for exploration and a passion for the oceans and the destinations and wildlife they experience on our voyages. They will, no doubt, be enriched by the chance to engage with and learn from the distinguished researchers from the alliance for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diverse ecosystems we explore.”


“We are excited to partner with Crystal as not only do we know the company’s steadfast commitment to operating responsibly but we have the opportunity to conduct important conservation research in this remote area of the world,” said Dr. Ari Friedlaender, Associate Researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz and part of the senior leadership team for COA. “We also look forward to sharing our knowledge and engaging with Crystal’s guests to help foster a deeper understanding of marine animals and ecosystems and the direct connection between the health of world oceans and marine mammals to the well-being of ecology and all living organisms across the globe.”


Crystal’s new partnership with COA expands upon its wildlife conservation efforts, including its partnership with ORCA, a leading marine conservation organization dedicated to the protection of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. In 2019, wildlife experts from ORCA traveled on board Crystal Symphony in Alaska to train Crystal’s bridge crew in the protocol for collecting scientific data about the animals’ behavior and treated guests to hours of whale watching. ORCA wildlife experts will join Crystal Endeavor for three designated destination and cultural expeditions in April and May of 2022, including a 13-night voyage of the isles and coastal cities of Africa, Spain, and Portugal, a 14-night voyage into the heart of Seville and Bordeaux, and a 14-night voyage exploring the British Isles.


ORCA experts and COA researchers and scientists will join Crystal Endeavor’s slate of expedition experts such as biologists, marine biologists, naturalists, historians, ornithologists, geologist, ecologists and others (depending on the itinerary) who will be on hand to offer insights into the local environments, wildlife, landmarks, traditions and cultures.



Crystal Endeavor – Antarctic Expedition Cruises featuring California Ocean Alliance

  • Expedition Antarctica – Dec. 10 – 21, 2021 (11-nights) Departing roundtrip from Ushuaia. Explore the Antarctic Peninsula to discover an icy wilderness of stunning landscapes and extraordinary wildlife few have ever seen. Fares starting at $14,649*.
  • Antarctic Holiday Expedition – Dec. 21, 2021 – Jan. 5, 2022 (15-nights) Departing roundtrip from Ushuaia. Ring in the new year with adventure, following in the footsteps of explorers and the currents of humpback whales and elephant seals, with explorations of Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands, Falkland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Fares starting at $22,049*.
  • Expedition Antarctica – January 5 – 16, 2022 (11-nights) Departing roundtrip from Ushuaia. Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in search of penguin colonies, seals, whales, and seabirds. Fares starting at $15,999*.
  • Falklands, South Georgia, & Antarctic Wildlife Expedition – Jan. 16 – Feb. 4, 2022 (19-nights) Departing roundtrip from Ushuaia. Spy glittering glaciers, magnificent icebergs, and the largest penguin colony on earth, on explorations of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Elephant Island, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, with fares starting at $28,899*.
  • Expedition Antarctica – Feb. 4 – Feb. 15, 2022 (11-nights) Departing roundtrip from Ushuaia. Departing roundtrip from Ushuaia. Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in search of penguin colonies, seals, whales, and seabirds. Fares starting at $15,999*.


Crystal Endeavor – Spring Destination & Cultural Voyages featuring ORCA Experts

  • Expedition Africa – April 16 – 29, 2022 (13-nights) From Dakar to Málaga. Journey from Cape Verde to the Canaries to explore birding paradises, experience legendary Marrakesh and Casablanca, and revel in the glamour of the Costa de Sol. Fares starting at $10,599*
  • River Discovery: Heart of Seville & Bordeaux – April 29 – May 13, 2022 (14-nights) From Málaga to Bordeaux. Explore the stunning Algarve Coast, dock in the heart of Seville, discover the Basque culture of Spain and France and savor the famed vintages of Bordeaux. Fares starting at $12,999*.
  • Exploration: Springtime in the British Isles – May 25 – June 8, 2022 (14-nights) From London to Edinburgh. From cosmopolitan London to the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the windswept Shetlands, each magnificent isle reveals a new treasure. Fares starting at $13,599*.


State-of-the-Art Excellence in German Engineering, Environmental Best Practices


Built at MV WERFTEN in Stralsund, Germany, part of a family of shipyards known for their passenger ship, icebreaker and private yacht building expertise, Crystal Endeavor will be the fastest, most powerful and most spacious expedition yacht in the industry, with a Polar Class 6 (PC6) classification that enables her to sail in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.


The 20,200-GRT vessel is designed to the highest standards of renowned German engineering and, with her responsive, agile maneuverability, safety and technical capabilities, the yacht is akin to a finely tuned German-built elite sports car for seakeeping (like Porsche, a fast, smooth, powerful ride) and little vibration (like Mercedes).


Featuring state-of-the art technology and systems to operate with the greatest care in the communities and destinations she visits, the ‘Made in Germany’ ship features dynamic positioning capabilities enabling the ship to remain in one place utilizing GPS and its thrusters, rather than dropping anchor, avoiding any potential damage to delicate reefs. Cutting-edge sonar FarSounder 1000 technology allows the captain and bridge officers to detect sea life far in advance and navigate appropriately, utilizing 3-D imaging of the terrain up to 1,000 meters ahead and 50 meters deep. As part of its responsible cruising efforts, the company has equipped Crystal Endeavor to connect to shore power while in port, installed several water treatment systems and will clean exhaust emissions through a Selective Catalytic Reductant system – just a few examples of the yacht’s environmental best practices elements and the company’s commitment to eco-friendly world exploration.


Crystal Endeavor’s luxurious design will offer discerning travelers elegantly casual, expansive private and public spaces with 100 gross tons per person and 10,000 cubic feet per guest for a passenger space ratio of more than 100. The ship accommodates just 200 guests with a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio delivering the personal and genuine service for which Crystal is known. Accommodations are elegantly appointed retreats for guests after days full of exploration, with every suite offering private butler service.


Throughout the yacht, Crystal hallmarks will accent guests’ onboard experience: Michelin-inspired dining options including Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar, Prego, 24-hour room service and the Vintage Room experience; spacious social spaces; the only casino on an expedition yacht; a glass-covered, two-story solarium – which houses the Seahorse Pool and Jacuzzi – providing panoramic views from sea to sky; and the full-service Crystal Life Salon & Spa with a state-of-the-art Fitness Center as well as a wrap-around Promenade Deck, rare in the industry but an iconic Crystal design element. Expedition-specific amenities and spaces will enhance guests’ experience, including enrichment areas, designated mud rooms, and an Expedition Lounge. The ship’s marina will feature the “toys” found aboard a private yacht for further explorations including a fleet of zodiacs, kayaks, snorkel gear, and more.


*Travelers should book by May 5th to enjoy generous Early Booking Savings on Crystal Endeavor voyages.



About Crystal


Only the world-renowned Crystal Experience offers an unwavering, unparalleled standard of excellence and luxury across four distinct cruising options: Crystal Cruises, the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line; Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line; Crystal Yacht Cruises, offering boutique luxury and bold adventure in the world’s most elite harbors; and Crystal Expedition Cruises, taking Crystal’s acclaimed elegance to the farthest reaches of the world. Crystal has been recognized with top honors in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for a record 27 years including, in 2019, for Best Medium-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Cruises, Best Small-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Yacht Cruises and Best River Cruise Line for Crystal River Cruises. Crystal was also voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for 24 years, including, in 2017 and 2020, Best River Cruise Line for Crystal River Cruises; and won “Cruise Line of the Year” and “Most Luxurious Guest Experience” by Virtuoso for 2018 & 2019. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the advisors of ASTA. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel advisor, call 888.799.2437, or visit Join the hundreds of thousands who subscribe to the Crystal Insider blog, follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page; @crystalcruises onTwitter and Instagram; @crystalrivercruises on Instagram; and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises, #crystalrivercruises and #WhereLuxuryisPersonal.