Crystal Cruises reborn: TD speaks with Tony Archbold on A&K Travel Group’s acquisition and relaunch
Contributors are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the contributor directly
After rough seas, Crystal Cruises was born again, offering a perfect opportunity to re-enter the cruise market with its new family.
Travel Daily (TD): With A&K’s history and unrivalled reputation in the travel industry, what does the future hold for Crystal Cruises, now a family member?
Tony Archbold (TA): Being a part of A&K Travel Group is an enormous benefit for Crystal. We will be working together to curate shore excursions that will be unmatched, as well as pre-and post-cruise, land-based opportunities.
TD: With the marriage of two iconic brands, what has A&K already achieved?
TA: As you mentioned, A&K Travel Group has added an iconic brand to its already highly-rated portfolio of travel entities. Crystal guests will see the immediate impact of the partnership with the curated shore excursions being created by the A&K team. However, we believe the focus is more long-term than immediate. Over the coming years, the trade and our guests will see more synergies appear between all the brands of the A&K Travel Group. We are fortunate that all our bands operate in the same market segment, and that gives us a real focus and, as a result, real strength in a very competitive market with very high guest expectations.
TD: What key message and new opportunities can you share with travel agents?
TA: Travel advisors are an absolutely key ingredient to the success of our business. We rely on the relationships our trade partners have with our guests to plan memorable cruises. We recently announced global collaborations with Signature Travel Network and Virtuoso® and are always open to working with all local consortia, agency networks and individual agencies who wish to support us.
TD: Can you share some key responsibilities of your new role and what you have achieved so far?
TA: I am excited to join the Crystal brand and bring my 40 years of travel experience to this brand. My goal is to grow overall brand awareness and sales for Crystal throughout the APAC region. My immediate focus is setting up an effective and efficient distribution system across the region through the agency network, utilising the incredible network of travel professionals that operate in our market segment.
TD: What do you aim to achieve with Crystal Cruises in the next five years?
TA: Our first achievement will be relaunching a brand in under a year, and we are very excited about that. Over the next five years, we will continue to deliver unique service to our guests both at sea and on land. We will achieve this by offering Exceptional Service, Exceptional Dining, Exceptional Suites and Exceptional Experiences.
What the next five years will actually look like is hard to predict, but we will continue to evolve by listening to our guests and travel partners and offer the first-class service that made the previous company award-winning for nearly 30 years.
TD: Are there new itineraries to talk about?
TA: We just announced that our 2024 World Cruise is officially open to book, and guests are very excited about this popular voyage. We will be announcing our 2025 itineraries in the coming months.
TD. With such an established brand in the Northern American market, what new markets are emerging?
TA: The UK and EMEA are becoming very important regions for the Crystal brand. Of course, there is strong interest in Australia, and always has been, and across Asia, where the attraction to outstanding service and experience of the type Crystal delivers is growing very rapidly.
TD: Will we see more Crystal Ships in the future?
TA: Right now, our current focus is getting ready for Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony to make their long-awaited return to sea.
Comments are closed.