The Louis Cristal is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Louis Cristal.
Sail The MediterraneanThe Louis Cristal sails to destinations in Turkey and the islands of Greece typically on four, five and eight-day cruises. Its yacht-like design gives it an intimate atmosphere. Popular itineraries include the four-day, three-night Istanbul & Izmir cruise, the five-day, four-night Jewels of Aegean trip and the eight-day, seven-night Splendours of Greece & Turkey journey.
Passenger ShipThe Louis Cristal is a midsize ship at 531 feet long and 84 feet wide. It can carry about 1,200 passengers on its nine decks. With a disco, casino and numerous bars, the Louis Cristal appeals to active couples and others interested in mingling with fun-loving passengers from all over the world.
Special FeaturesThe Louis Cristal features the Metropolitan Show Lounge, the Stars Lounge & Disco, the Monte Carlo Casino and two conference rooms. Passengers also have access to duty-free shops, a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center, beauty salon and spa. The teakwood Promenade deck is a classic touch that calls to mind the "golden era" of passenger liners. The swimming pool is equipped with a retractable glass roof, allowing guests to enjoy the ship's open spaces regardless of the weather. And unlike on many cruise ships, there is no "formal night," so tuxedos and evening gowns are not a necessity.
AccommodationsThe Louis Cristal boasts 480 spacious staterooms. The ship offers a variety of cabin categories, including standard inside and outside, premium inside and outside and a variety of suites. All staterooms are equipped with a shower, telephone, hair dryer and TV.
CostFares vary, depending on cabin selection and date of travel. On the Louis Cristal, passengers can take a four-day cruise to Istanbul for $479 in a standard inside cabin. Other fares for this itinerary include $679 for a premium outside and $1,059 for the Imperial Suite.
ExcursionsOne Louis Cristal passenger recommended the excursion to Istanbul, saying "do not miss the Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque, Tokapi Palace, Bazaar, and Spice Market." This passenger added, "The tour to Ephesus from Kusadasi was the best excursion on the trip. Ephesus has the best Roman ruins I have ever seen and even those not as interested in sites like this will be impressed."
Dining ExperiencePassengers on the Louis Cristal can choose from the casual Traviata buffet or the more elegant La Scala and Caruso restaurants. Breakfast and lunch offer open seating, but dinners have set seating times (the maitre d’ will choose your table mates). Expect mostly continental, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, but passengers also may opt for spa or vegetarian dishes. Louis Cruises claims to be one of the few cruise lines that prepares all of their food fresh. You can sample 20 different breads and 35 danishes while on the Cristal.
Maiden VoyageThe Louis Cristal was originally constructed as the Saga for the Finnish company Viking Line and made its maiden voyage in 1980. The ship changed owners several times before it was acquired by Louis Cruises in 2007.
In The NewsThe vessel was built for the Viking Line and named the Saga, then renamed the Sally Albatross in 1986. The Sally Albatross was destroyed by a fire in January 1990 and then completely rebuilt. The ship was acquired by Louis Cruises in 2007 and renamed the Cristal.
A sneak peek onboard the Louis Cristal.
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