Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Fri August 12 2016

Crystal Cruises Reveals Stylish New Website

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Crystal Cruises | Jason Leppert | August 12, 2016

Crystal Cruises Reveals Stylish New Website

 Screenshot courtesy of Crystal Cruises 

Crystal Cruises may have just announced that it has abandoned plans to relaunch the historic SS United States ocean liner, but that hasn’t stopped the luxury line from relaunching its website.

We recently rated Silversea Cruises as presenting the best luxury cruise line website overall, beating out Crystal’s former version because it was honestly a bit dated and narrow-focused, lacking the ability to scale to the abundant portfolio that Crystal is currently growing into.

 READ MORE: Rating the Best Cruise Line Websites Per Lifestyle 

Now, the site has changed dramatically, opening on a cool parallax photo zoom effect showcasing a luxury lifestyle image in full width. Navigation is far bolder than before, and each segment of the company is now prominently featured.

Once the zoom effect settles down, the site becomes mostly static with a slider that can be rotated through with side arrows. Featured therein are current specials and detailed breakdowns of the company’s ocean cruises, yacht product, river cruises, air line and future residences. A more extensive site map is accessible from below.

“It is imperative that travelers glean a true sense of what is in store for them on a Crystal vacation when they visit our website. Like the extraordinary luxury experiences offered with our rapidly growing fleet, the new Crystal website reflects a standard of excellence and inspiring possibilities,” said Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Crystal. “With its responsive infrastructure and stylish design, our new site offers guests a comprehensive portal to Crystal’s collection of luxury travel experiences that they can navigate with ease.”

The new website design and framework was developed in collaboration with VML, a Kansas City, MO-based global marketing agency. As a graphic designer with a web development background myself, I truly appreciate the new approach that is both legible and refined. Save for some navigation issues on large monitors and browser scaling issues that periodically cause the Crystal logo to appear lost, incorrectly rendered in black on a dark background or white on a light background, the site is mostly flawless, and its shortcomings can be easily fixed over time.

 READ MORE: MSC Cruises Launches Re-Designed Website 

From a function standpoint, Crystal touts its Interactive Cruise Guidebook, Dynamic Cruise Calendars and Innovative Compare Feature and with good reason. The guide invites visitors to experience the broad portfolio and rewards them with bold slideshows and a pleasantly offset layout of descriptions as one scrolls down. Even deck plans and stateroom and suite details, which can be hard to find and understand on other sites, are easy to discern here.

Plus, the calendar simply outlines voyages in a clean grid below year tabs and a few easy to understand filters.

Most uniquely is the ability to select three sailings from the list and compare them to each other in more detail side by side for clear planning.

Site-wide, text is nicely larger than average, and photos are bigger too.

Some links still lead to the former website design that is interestingly still available in its entirety here: Otherwise, the new one is somewhat a work in progress but well on its way to perfection.

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