INSANE: Check Out Crystal’s New Luxurious “Private” 777

I’ve written in the past about the Four Seasons private jet, which is a 757 with just 52 fully flat seats. The idea is that this allows Four Seasons to offer seamless round the world journeys, where they can create itineraries that shuttle guests between Four Seasons properties around the world. For example, here’s a link with some of the itineraries they offer.

Admittedly they’re going after a very specific type of customer here. I’m not just talking about the uber wealthy, but also people who have the time to take long trips and don’t mind being in groups. Some people love being able to customize their journeys and travel independently, and it’s unlikely they’d enjoy one of these itineraries. However, others like groups and are happy just booking a single itinerary and having all the details taken care of by others.

Well, if you think the Four Seasons private jet was over the top, then get ready to be blown away. Crystal Cruises is known for their over the top luxury cruises, and it looks like they’ll soon be expanding to the skies.

Per Forbesin October 2017, Crystal will be introducing private jet tours on a Boeing 777-200LR. The plane will accommodate just 84 passengers, which is less than a third of the usual capacity.

777-Crystal

The plane will have pretty standard fully flat business class seats. Apparently they’re intentionally going with a 2-2-2 configuration, given that they expect most people will be traveling as couples, so a private suite isn’t as practical.

Crystal-Cruises-Plane

However, beyond the seating, the 777 will feature an onboard restaurant and bar, which looks pretty incredible.

Crystal-777

Crystal-Cruises-777

They’re planning on offering two to four week itineraries, and while prices haven’t yet been published, they’ll likely be $100,000+ per person.

This sure is an ambitious project. On one hand there’s definitely a market for people who want an all inclusive luxury vacation without having to deal with the hassles of transfers, etc.

At the same time, this is a bit different than the Four Seasons jet, since it’s not like Crystal has their own hotels that they’re flying people to. Furthermore, the fact that they’re using a 777 can be a bit limiting, since it won’t be able to land at many airports due to its size.

This project is something Crystal has been working on for a while, as they also plan on taking delivery of a Boeing 787-8. Per a press release last year, here’s the motivation:

“Our mission is to make Crystal the core of what will become the world’s premier luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand collection, not only for the immediate future, but for years to come,” said Crystal Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. “The acquisition of our second luxury aircraft is another profound step toward establishing our goal.”

“Following our expansion announcement, travelers and travel agents expressed a strong interest in all-inclusive luxury air travel with a wider range of itineraries,” says Crystal’s President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “Based on this enthusiastic feedback, we are growing our fleet to meet the demand from our guests and travel partners in luxury air options.”

 

I’d be fascinated to see their business plan behind this idea, as I can’t imagine this will be easy to turn a profit on (though I’m sure they’ve done their research).

Comments

  1. The seats seem to be pretty standard, same model that e.g. Air India has on 787 and most Chinese airlines have on their A330s.

    The restaurant is a very very cool feature, though.

  2. This is why we need trump to win. He will give a tax break to ultra wealthy 1% so they can take these cruises while his minions shoot poor black people in the streets.

    Americans are actually dumb enough to vote against their own interests. God help us!

  3. At those kind of prices it’s cheaper to get a Netjets card. Unlimited top ups and far better then sharing a flight with anyone. Quite frankly f cabins are only marginally more expensive particularly transatlantic then Netjets if you have a small group.

  4. I think they are not doing the 787. They abandoned this. With Crystal and its flashy CEO last year’s press release may be this year’s no-go.

    I am not impressed by the drawings. Why not have real first class seats/suites rather than business class six across? Perhaps we do not want to eat with two other couples at the six tops. And why not eat at seats? There should be plenty of opportunities to eat with other tour folk on land.

    Crystal has also promised new ships to replace it’s now old ships, but there are no drawings, no details. The new ships are supposed to have residences for permanent occupancy, but again no details.

  5. My friend and her mom and sister are on the current FS trip. They just left Peninsula Papagayo and are on their way to Lanai, but had to stop today in Cabo (or PV) to refuel and have lunch on the ground (on the plane). Go figure.

  6. @Paul

    Well it depends on what the actual “product” is. Is it just air transportation? As you mention, there are already offerings in many categories for many travelers (your typical NH/CX F, and then a huge range of business jet offerings, as you mention).

    But if this is a part of an integrated land/air/sea package, then this is a different offering than what NetJets will give you, as it goes far beyond just transportation. (It’s no different than people claiming, I don’t know why you would want to cruise anywhere, flying is so much faster.)

  7. Who are these people?!! Being smart with points is the only way I’ve been able to see business class other than through a curtain. I can’t imagine having that kind of money to burn….

  8. I suspect this will be used as a sort of round-the-world cruise tour. Picture something like Southampton to New York by ship, then fly to Anchorage, then to Vancouver by ship, then fly to Hong Kong to catch a ship to Sydney. Rinse and repeat until you get back to London. FWIW, as both a cruise fanatic and an avgeek, I’d absolutely do a trip like this. Of course, I’d also be paying off the credit card bill for the next 20 years.

  9. Anyone can create a rendering and say “coming soon next year!” Let’s see if they actually build it. But hey, their marketing is working as it got your attention. 🙂

  10. Not sure I am seeing this with the same eye…but the product looks drab and fairly underwhelming. Basically, a stretched (and more uncomfortable) versions of luxury biz jets.

  11. Looks like Abercrombie and Kent competition. They use a 757 with all business configuration for about 50 people – with prices at about $150K per person for a 4 week around the world trip. These trips sell out fast, with many repeat customers. Close friends have done several. There are lots of people that can afford these types of trips, who want exclusive VIP access with everything handled.

    The key is whether Crystal is just offering luxury travel or do they have the same kind of contacts that Jeffrey Kent has? Mr. Kent has direct phone access to the Queen of England. His trips are all VIP with special access with security teams, etc. For dangerous areas like Indonesia they use helicopters if necessary to bypass public roads if necessary.

  12. Having coordinated with Crystal during my time at the Taj Mahal Mumbai, I can assure you that this will sell well. They have a whole bunch of loyal clients. This will probably end up as a combination of RTW on airplane only, as well as a tie in with the cruise line. The seating makes sense as cruise pax tend to travel as couples at a minimum. Cruises are also quite social by nature, hence the open seating might help.

  13. This is the kind of thing that should cause us to vote for Hillary, so rich people can be shamed for indulging in such bourgeois evils, while Hillary lavishly spends government money on her private comfort and hand-outs to her constituency so they will continue to vote for her.

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