Photos: Inside Crystal Cruises' luxury Boeing 777 private jet

By David Flynn, September 22 2016
Photos: Inside Crystal Cruises' luxury Boeing 777 private jet

When a luxury cruise line decides to launch its own airline, you know it won't be business as usual – or even businessclass as usual, for that matter.

Instead, Crystal Cruises aims to replicate the luxury cruise ship experience at 30,000 feet on board two private Boeing jets designed to fly the super-rich around the world in first class style.

First in the Crystal AirCruises fleet is a long-range Boeing 777-200LR jet, which would usually carry upwards of 300 passengers but has been modified to fly just 84 well-heeled guests attended by butlers and concierge staff.

The interior of this posh private jet has been reshaped to feature a variety of spaces, from 84 'Executive Class' seats (which of course convert into fully-flat beds)...

... to an open, airy lounge for cocktails and conversations...

... where these three-person divans must be the ultimate 'window seat'.

There are also four dining tables, each with seating for six guests...

... who'll dine on 'Michelin Star-inspired cuisine' prepared by the onboard executive chef and enjoy what Crystal claims to be "the world’s largest in-flight wine cellar."

Creature comforts include Bose noise-cancelling headphones and Apple iPads hooked up to free inflight Internet. Travellers can also listen into a live feed of the cockpit-to-ground radio channel

If the cabin looks even more spacious than you'd expect, that's because Crystal have removed the central overhead luggage lockers in the passenger compartment...

... and all luggage lockers throughout the rest of the Boeing 777's guest areas.

High flyers might raise their eyebrows at Crystal's choice of a 2-2-2 seating arrangement, but the company expects most of its customers will be couples, families or groups of friends, so this is a more 'social' seating arrangement when people are traveling together.

The Crystal AirCruises Boeing 777 will be followed by a Boeing 787, which will also be even more intimate with just 52 guests.

Both jets will begin flying in late 2017 on 14-, 21- and 28-day itineraries, which are expected to begin around US$50,000 per person and top US$100,000 per person for the longer journeys.

The all-inclusive tours will see the luxe jets touching down in around ten destinations across different continents, including several coveted destinations to which major airlines either don't fly or don't offer a non-stop service.

There's a sizeable market for those extravagant around-the-world flights, especially for the super-wealthy, who instead of spending time floating across the oceans can now fly high above them and reach destinations without a seaport in sight.

"Some of our clients have their own jets, but they come to us for the experience” explains Crystal Cruises CEO Edie Rodriguez. 

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

Would it be practical to have forward facing seating for couples and friends travelling together in the middle block, but reverse herringbone seats by the side? That would be a good idea for some airlines...

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