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"Bon Voyage" awards are Crystal clear

Crystal Cruises win Bon Voyage Awards.
Crystal Cruises win Bon Voyage Awards.Crystal Cruises.

There are probably no tougher cruise critics than the professional travel writers who evaluate the ships they sail. Now, the very first “Bon Voyage Awards” have been chosen by some of those writers, and the big winner is Crystal Cruise Lines.

Top travel writers met for two days in New York under the auspices of Bon Voyage Magazine to make their choices, evaluating things like cabins, food, entertainment and destinations.

The two ships of Crystal Cruise Lines won three first-place awards from the panel. Their wins in the “Gold” category include “best service, best food and best luxury line.” “Silver” awards went to the Crystal Symphony as “best refurbished ship.” And the line won a “Bronze” for “best luxury cabins.”

“It’s wonderful to see those who know cruising best recognize the keystones of the Crystal experience: space, quality, service, and choices” said Crystal President Edie Rodriguez, adding, “Luxury travelers can not only rely on our consistency of product, but know that the enhancements we do make, such as $120 million in extreme ship makeovers in recent years.”

Crystal Cruises, which is consistently voted #1 in the luxury cruise category, is offering new, extended land programs on its Fall, 2014 tineraries through American and Canadian coastal sailings.

New options allow guests on the Crystal Serenity to add two and three-night packages, either before or after a September or October cruise. Those packages include a two night tour of Toronto and Niagara Falls, or a three night tour of Quebec City and Montreal by train. The train travel is in Business Class and the overnights include stays at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal and the historic Auberge Saint-Antoine Hotel in Quebec City.

The land programs range from $1,365 to $2,850 per person, and include accommodations, meals, gratuities and economy air fare between Canadian cities.

The Crystal cruises themselves include seven and 10-day trips from Boston or New York to Quebec, and seven-day Quebec City round trips. Fares are as low as $2,830 per person for the seven-day trips.

Earlier this year, 80,000 readers of Conde Nast Traveler responded to the magazine’s “Readers Choice Survey” and rated Crystal Cruises the top choice on the magazine’s “Gold List” of cruise lines. Similarly, readers of Travel+Leisure rated the Crystal Serenity #1 in the “large ships” category (a distinction Crystal has had for over two decades).

The Crystal Serenity is the ship making the East Coast and Canada sailings, and it has just had a $17 million dollar facelift. ###