Luxury Marketing Council logo

The Luxury Marketing Council

ROHL Honored for Long-Time Commitment to World Vision Storehouse Program

ROHL_Crystal Vision Award_2015

ROHL Honored for Long-Time Commitment to World Vision Storehouse Program

Crystal Vision Award presented to ROHL during Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS)

Irvine, CA – January 20, 2015 – In recognition of its outstanding commitment to helping families stricken by poverty throughout the United States, international aid organization, World Vision has awarded ROHL its annual Crystal Vision Award. The award was presented at the 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 20, 2015. ROHL is a longtime supporter of World Vision Storehouse, having donated kitchen and bath faucets and fixtures for distribution to those in need since 2011.

“We are honored to receive the Crystal Vision Award from Storehouse of World Vision. Our partnership with the organization is a core part of our corporate stewardship and social responsibility,” said Lou Rohl, CEO and Managing Partner, ROHL. “As a family owned business, knowing our products are helping families struggling with poverty in the United States to rebuild their homes, and their lives, is gratifying.”

“It is through our corporate supporters, like ROHL, who help to make the Storehouse program such a vital resource to millions of people,” said Efraín Pérez, Jr., Manager Corporate Engagement, World Vision. “Their commitment to improve people’s quality of life and transform houses into homes is unrivaled. We could not be prouder to partner with ROHL to bring critically needed supplies to the thousands of families World Vision serves.”

The Storehouse of World Vision is a network of six warehouses across the United States which receives corporate donations of goods which are made available to local non-profit organizations to aid more than 2.2 million people in low-income communities.

About ROHL

ROHL LLC offers high-end, luxury faucets, sinks and fixtures for America’s finest homes, resorts and hospitality projects. Headquartered in Irvine, California, ROHL has helped thoughtful homeowners and designers create personal expressions of authentic product for over 30 years. Anchored in traditional family values, trust, integrity and innovation, the ROHL leadership possesses a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit that extends through the organization. ROHL’s strength comes from a synergy of family and friendship in partnership with suppliers and customers. From Traditional to Transitional to Modern, the ROHL line includes a wide range of top-quality faucets, fixtures, shower components and accessories. Sourced from Western Europe, New Zealand and North America, each is crafted to ROHL’s rigid  specifications and is uniquely tailored for each residential or commercial project.

For more

information on ROHL, please visit www.rohlhome.com.

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world’s poor – regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews.

###

New ROHL Faucet Wins Best of KBIS Award

bok-pressroom-image

New ROHL Faucet Wins Best of KBIS Award

Satin Gold Finish Dazzles at Kitchen & Bath Industry Show

 Irvine, CA – February 17, 2015 – For the third time in four years, ROHL has been honored by the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) with a Best of KBIS Award. The new ROHL Michael Berman Graceline™ C-Spout Lavatory Faucet was awarded the Best of KBIS – Bath Silver Award during the 2015 show held on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Presented annually, the Best of KBIS Awards recognize the newest and most innovative kitchen and bath products. The Graceline™ Faucet was selected as one of five award winners from an extensive list of more than 100 product entries. Products were judged by a panel of industry professionals on excellence in design, functionality, quality/durability, flexibility and aesthetics/style.

“We are thrilled to have another ROHL product honored with a Best of KBIS Award and were extremely happy with the show response to the Satin Gold Finish, which was designed exclusively for the Graceline Series™,” explained Lou Rohl, CEO and Managing Partner for ROHL. “To have a group of esteemed designers think as highly of the product as we do is a great honor.”

The Graceline™ Faucet is the newest addition to the Michael Berman American Moderne Collection. Its design reflects Berman’s appreciation for streamlined design, and features sleek lines and industrial details. Its name is inspired by the luxury ocean liners of the 1920s and 1930s, once considered the epitome of transatlantic travel. Featuring a long, graceful arch, the Graceline is complemented by lever or dial shaped handles reminiscent of ship cleats. Thumb depressions on the handles and “knurled” banded escutcheons add a hint of glamour. New for 2015 are two exclusive finishes, Satin Gold and French Brass.

Previous ROHL Best of KBIS Award winners include the ROHL Shaws Waterside Single Bowl Fireclay Apron Front Sink (Best of KBIS Kitchen, 2013) and the ROHL Luxury Copper Stainless Sink (Best of KBIS Kitchen, 2012).

About ROHL

ROHL LLC offers high-end, luxury faucets, sinks and fixtures for America’s finest homes, resorts and hospitality projects. Headquartered in Irvine, California, ROHL has helped thoughtful homeowners and designers create personal expressions of authentic product for over 30 years. Anchored in traditional family values, trust, integrity and innovation, the ROHL leadership possesses a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit that extends through the organization. ROHL’s strength comes from a synergy of family and friendship in partnership with suppliers and customers. From Traditional to Transitional to Modern, the ROHL line includes a wide range of top-quality faucets, fixtures, shower components and accessories. Sourced from Great Britain, Western Europe, North America and New Zealand, each is crafted to ROHL’s rigid specifications and is uniquely tailored for each residential or commercial project. For more information, please visit www.rohlhome.com.

Crystal River Cruises To Launch In 2017

CRYSTAL RIVER CRUISES TO LAUNCH IN MARCH 2017 WITH ‘RIVER YACHT CLASS’ OF VESSELS AND GUESTS’ EXPERIENCE TOP OF MIND

Crystal Charts New Course through River Cruising Sector

LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 10, 2015 – On the heels of last month’s stunning announcement, including Crystal River Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line unveiled today more detailed plans for its collection of two Crystal river yacht vessels, which will be launched in Europe starting in late March 2017. The new series of vessels will boast a yacht-like design featuring larger accommodations and space-to-guest ratio than any other river cruise ship, and include Crystal’s signature all-inclusive six-star service, plus a fresh approach to the traditional river itineraries and experiences.

“We continue to listen to what our guests and the luxury traveler want, and river cruises are what they’ve been telling us they want for some time – it’s a natural extension of the exceptional ocean cruise Crystal has offered for the past 25 years,” says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “But more importantly, they want to experience river cruises on a luxury Crystal vessel, and their desires will be fulfilled on our luxury Crystal river yachts.”

The 70-suite luxury river yachts, which will be built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft, will surpass current and planned river boats or ships, and be the first in the industry to feature exceptional amenities and itinerary highlights including:

·       250 square-foot guest suites with walk-in wardrobes, American king size beds and bathrooms with double vanities

·       Two 500 square-foot Penthouse Suites with added comforts and conveniences

·       Spacious public areas, including Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof and a well-appointed fitness center and spa

Itineraries, fares and bookings for Crystal River Cruises will be available beginning December 1, 2015.

Taking advantage of its large suites to avoid multiple packing and unpacking with pre and post hotel stays as it is common with other river operators, Crystal’s new river vessels will deploy itineraries that maximize time in port for meaningful shore-side excursions and experiences.  This will afford Crystal guests virtually front-row access to some of Europe’s most charming cities and always guarantee the award-winning Crystal service and dining experiences without the hassle and uncertainties of local hotel services and standards. Crystal’s itineraries will also intentionally deviate from traditional river cruise routes to avoid congestion of other vessels in port.

Crystal will dedicate a portion of each cruise to sailing along some of the most picturesque rivers in central Europe – including destinations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria – during daytime hours, allowing travelers to relish the extraordinary scenery. This timing also affords guests the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife in select destinations with port overnights, which will often present inclusive culinary experiences ashore at Michelin-starred restaurants and local eateries, and exclusive evening events and entertainment.

“The beauty of river cruising is not only that travelers enjoy close-up access to more fascinating inland locales, but also that the rivers themselves are coveted destinations that shouldn’t be overlooked,” says Rodriguez. “Our guests will have the opportunity to revel in the unique environment that sets river cruising apart from other travel experiences.”

During days spent in port, Crystal River Cruises will offer guests a bevy of the immersive Crystal Adventures as well as launch its newest shore-side program called Active Exploration Adventures. Tailored for guests wanting a high-intensity shore-side activity, Crystal is offering a complimentary active excursion for guests to explore the splendid European landscapes while staying fit on their vacation.  Travelers may also choose to create their own active adventures using the many bicycles (electric or manual), segaways and other active gear available on the ship for independent exploration. A luxury yacht tender will also be available for private yachting experiences that take guests to even more secluded areas within the destinations.

Itineraries, fares and bookings for Crystal River Cruises will be available on December 1, 2015 by going online to www.crystalcruises.com; contacting a travel agent; or calling 888-799-4625.

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’sReader Choice Awards for 21 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso in 2014. In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (March 2017), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018)– and Crystal Luxury Air (fall 2017).

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Join the thousands who follow theCrystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram to engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

Options Abound Ashore For Crystal Esprit Guests

OPTIONS ABOUND ASHORE FOR CRYSTAL ESPRIT GUESTS

Crystal Yacht Cruises Sets Bold Lineup of Adventures for New Yacht,  Focuses on Rugged Experiences, Unique Perspectives and Inclusive Exploration

LOS ANGELES, August 17, 2015 – Crystal Yacht Cruises, the most recent intimate travel experience from the world’s most awarded cruise line, is charting new waters beginning with the maiden voyage of Crystal Esprit this winter. As Crystal’s latest venture embarks on December 23, 2015, discerning luxury travelers can dive into the destinations – and the waters between them – with dozens of thrilling Crystal Adventures ashore, some of which are offered complimentary.  The yacht’s maiden voyage offers an inclusive post- and pre- cruise New Year’s Eve Extravaganza in Dubai, complete with three- or four-night accommodations at the extraordinary Dubai Taj Hotel and spectacular fireworks display.

The extravagantly appointed yacht will be outfitted for adventure, and is set to call in ports never before visited by Crystal’s acclaimed ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, which affords great opportunity for the line’s savvy globetrotting guests to gain new travel perspectives while enjoying the same standard of luxury service for which Crystal is lauded. This includes adventures on the beaches, mountains, waters and skies of each locale, expertly designed with yacht travelers in mind.

“Yacht travelers expect all of the fine nuances that make a Crystal vacation extraordinary, but with a more intimate, personalized feel. The Crystal Adventures offered with Crystal Esprit’s voyages will satisfy – and surpass – this expectation, with most options available only with Crystal Yacht Cruises,” says Crystal President & CEO, Edie Rodriguez.

On itineraries throughout the Indian Ocean/Seychelles, Mediterranean/Adriatic Coast, Holy Land and Middle East/Persian Gulf, Crystal Esprit will feature shore-side options to suit virtually any interest, with an emphasis on doing more. Among the options are:

Deep-sea fishing off the coast of Desroches, Seychelles, for the chance to make an exotic catch of Barracuda, Wahoo, Dogtooth and Yellowfin tuna and Giant and Bluefin Trevally;

One-tank scuba dive in St. Anne Island, Seychelles, geared toward certified divers, who can immerse themselves in the underwater world of shipwrecks, giant rock formations and spectacular sea life;

Rafting down the Krupa and Zrmanja Rivers in Zadar, Croatia, two of the most beautiful waterways in Europe, then picnicking in Muskovac;

Quad adventures on the rugged trails of Cyprus, taking adventurers to secluded spots most visitors don’t even know exist, with views of waterfalls and swimming at the Baths of Adonis; and

Trek to Delphi at Mount Parnassus in Itea, Greece, the imposing and sacred site once thought to be the center of the earth.

Every Crystal Esprit itinerary will also offer at least one complimentary excursion in every port, including hiking and rafting the Acheron River in Parga, Greece; ziplining through the dense forest in Ephelia (from Mahé, Seychelles); and exploring the medieval city of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia (from Piran).  “In-transit” excursions allow guests combining itineraries to fully maximize their time in embarkation/disembarkation ports between voyages.

To celebrate the inauguration of Crystal Esprit, Crystal will be offering two inclusive land programs for guest who would like to extend their vacation and even ring in the New Year with Crystal. These programs include:

Seychelles’ Inclusive Dubai Program, a 2-night, pre-cruise experience inclusive with every Seychelles voyage, giving guests the opportunity to explore the wonders of Dubai, from haute couture shopping malls and traditional gold souks to desert safaris, world-class golf and complimentary entrance to the Wild Wadi Water Park.

New Year’s Eve Dubai Extravaganza, 3 or 4- night program offered to guests who sail on one of the first two Crystal Esprit sailings, includes an uninterrupted view of the spectacular Burj Khalifa New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, where the world’s tallest building lights up in a dazzling presentation of light and pyrotechnics. Offered 3-nights post-cruise on the yacht’s December 23, 2015 maiden voyage, and 4-nights pre-cruise on the inaugural 2016 voyage.

Complete itineraries and fares for December 2015 through the beginning of 2018 are now available on Crystal’s website.  The routes are available for booking exclusively for Crystal Society members – Crystal’s repeat guest program – now through September 1, when books open to all travelers. The Inclusive Dubai Land Programs feature luxury hotel accommodations, all transfers from/to hotel and yacht at airports in both Dubai and Victoria, all taxes and porterage, and breakfast daily.

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 21 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso in 2014. In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (March 2017), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018)– and Crystal Luxury Air (fall 2017).

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Join the thousands who follow theCrystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram to engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

Crystal Cruises Opens Bookings To All Luxury Travelers

CRYSTAL YACHT CRUISES OPENS BOOKINGS TO ALL LUXURY TRAVELERS

Crystal Esprit’s Warm-Water Itineraries available for booking September 1

 LOS ANGELES, August 25, 2015 – Starting next month, travelers can book their luxury yachting vacation with Crystal Yacht Cruises, the most recent innovation from the world’s most awarded cruise line. As Crystal Esprit charts new waters with its maiden voyage this winter, Crystal Cruises is unveiling the complete itineraries and fares for 2016 through the beginning of 2018.  The routes were first made available for booking exclusively for Crystal Society members – Crystal’s repeat guest program – and will be open to all travelers September 1.

The new routes mark Crystal’s first-ever offering of immersive itineraries focused in warm waters and reaching remote and coveted locales not easily reached by larger cruise ships. The extravagantly appointed yacht – outfitted for adventure, both, on board and ashore – is set to call in ports never before visited by Crystal’s acclaimed ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.

On seven-day itineraries that reposition seasonally, Crystal Esprit will take guests to stunning locales including the Seychelles, Adriatic Coast, Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, immersing guests in the destinations.  The yacht’s first guests will sail December 23, 2015 on a route round-trip from Mahé/Victoria, Seychelles, with visits to neighboring islands. The yacht’s maiden voyage offers an inclusive post- and pre- cruise New Year’s Eve Extravaganza in Dubai, complete with three- or four-night accommodations at the extraordinary Dubai Taj Hotel and spectacular fireworks display

In 2016 through the beginning of 2018, travelers can visit:

·       Indian Ocean (January-March) – Sailing round-trip from Mahé/Victoria, Seychelles, with optional two- and four-night inclusive Dubai Land Package;

·       Cosmopolitan Emirates (December) – Sailing round-trip from Dubai, calling on such ports as Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; and Doha, Qatar;

·       Holy Land (March/April/November) – Sailing from Limassol, Cyprus and Aqaba, Jordan, calling in Haifa, Eilat and Ashdod, Israel;

·       Mediterranean (AprilNovember) – Sailing various routes from Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Athens, Greece, calling in charming Croatian spots along the Dalmatian Coast and picturesque Greek Isles.

“One of the most compelling and thrilling new elements that Crystal Esprit offers our guests is itineraries filled with destinations they’ve not been able to visit on a large cruise ship before,” says Crystal President & CEO Edie Rodriguez.  “The Crystal yachting experience will take our travelers to locales with the same spectacular beauty and culture, but a more intimate atmosphere.”

Most of Crystal Esprit’s seven-day itineraries have been specifically developed and deployed to allow travelers to combine two voyages into longer 14-day vacations.

The vessel is an extravagantly appointed yacht, delivered to Crystal Cruises by Genting Hong Kong (GHK), and extensively redesigned to reflect the stylish elegance for which Crystal is renowned.  The 62-guest, 3,300-tonnage yacht will offer intimate, exclusive, and immersive experiences with a boutique ambiance. The all-suite yacht will feature posh, high-end finishes and modern technology, and is outfitted with some decidedly extreme features, like a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender for special boating adventures.  Additionally, at their guests’ fingertips are water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, and snorkel equipment.

Boasting Crystal’s acclaimed all-inclusive amenities, entertainment, fine dining and premium beverages, fares for Crystal Esprit voyages begin at $3,920 per person.  For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’sReader Choice Awards for 21 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for two-consecutive years (2014 & 2015). In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (March 2017), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018)– and Crystal Luxury Air (fall 2017).

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Join the thousands who follow the Crystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram to engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

###

 

Crystal Cruises To Expand Travel In Ocean, River, Yacht and….Air

CRYSTAL CRUISES TO EXPAND LUXURY TRAVEL IN OCEAN, RIVER, YACHT AND……AIR

Luxury Line Announces Unprecedented Plans to Become First and Only Hospitality Brand to Offer Luxurious Explorations and Adventures for Ocean, Expedition, River, Yacht and Air

LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2015 – Exactly 25 years after Crystal Cruises set its course as a leader in luxury cruising with the launch of the first of three ships, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line is charting a new, much more vast, route.  Aboard the line’s annual President’s Cruise on Crystal Serenity and Chairman’s Cruise on Crystal Symphony respectively, Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez and Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay announced today Crystal’s plans for the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality.  Over the next three years, Crystal Cruises will introduce new ships – effectively establishing three brand new classes of cruising – as well as its own Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

In their special address to guests, Rodriguez and Tan Sri Lim made clear of new parent company, Genting Hong Kong’s investment in maintaining Crystal’s award-winning reputation and writing a new chapter in the continuing story of Crystal Cruises. The Chairman stated, “Our intent is to make Crystal Cruises the core of what will become the world’s premier luxury hospitality and lifestyle brand portfolio, not only for the immediate future but for years to come.”

In her announcement on Crystal Serenity, Rodriguez shared her enthusiasm about the expansion of Crystal Cruises, saying, “We continue to think bigger, aiming to create unparalleled luxury experiences and adventures for our loyal and new guests, who – like Crystal – continue to seek broader horizons and new perspectives on the world.” She added, “We are ecstatic to continue pioneering new areas of luxury travel. Crystal’s newly expanded fleet will truly be travelers’ passport to virtually the entire world.”

The stunningly ambitious timeline of new Crystal products begins at the end of 2015.

Crystal Yacht Cruises – December 23, 2015

Late this year, Crystal Esprit will embark on its maiden voyage as the first expansion of the Crystal Cruises fleet.  The vessel is an extravagantly appointed yacht, delivered to Crystal Cruises by Genting Hong Kong (GHK), and extensively redesigned to reflect the stylish elegance for which Crystal is renowned.  The 62-guest, 3,300-tonnage yacht will offer intimate, exclusive, and immersive experiences with a boutique ambiance. The all-suite yacht will feature posh, high-end finishes and modern technology, and is outfitted with some decidedlyextreme features, like a two-passenger submarine, four 10-passenger zodiacs for special excursions and a 12-passenger Wider 32-foot super yacht tender for special boating adventures.  Additionally, at their guests’ fingertips are water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, scuba, and snorkel equipment

Set for delivery in November 2015, Crystal Esprit marks the debut of the new all-inclusive Crystal Yacht Cruises program, which will sail regional, warm-water itineraries of seven days and offer thrilling experiences on water and ashore.  The first voyage sails December 23, 2015, exploring the Seychelles Islands, followed by an inclusive, post-cruise New Year’s Eve celebration at the Taj Dubai Hotel. Effective immediately for Crystal Society members (the line’s repeat guest loyalty program), 2015 – through early 2018 Crystal Yacht Cruises itineraries are exclusively available for booking through August 31, 2015.

For 2016 and 2017, and early 2018, Crystal Esprit routes for the Seychelles Islands, Dubai and Adriatic Coast include:

  • Seychelles Islands – Mahé, Victoria; St. Anne Island, La Passe, la Digue; Baie Ste. Anne, Praslin; Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island; Anse Saint Jose, Curieuse Island; Cousin Island; Aride; Big Sister Island; and Desroches Island)
  • Dubai  – Khasab and Muscat, Oman; Doha, Qatar; Sir Bani Yas Island and Abu Dhabi, UAB)
  • Venice, Italy/Dubrovnik, Croatia – Rovinj, Sibenik, Trogir, Vis, Hvar, and Korcula, Croatia
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia/Venice, Italy – Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Zadar, and Opatija, Croatia; and Piran, Slovenia
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia/ Athens, Greece – Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Parga, Itea, Hydra, and Navplion, Greece)

All-inclusive “Book Now” yacht fares start at just $2,690 per person for a four-day, roundtrip Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles itinerary in 2017.

Crystal River Cruises – 2017

The spring of 2017 brings more growth with Crystal River Cruises. Featuring expertly curated itineraries, Crystal River Cruises will offer the hallmarks of the all-inclusive Crystal experience – six-star service, world-class dining, and enriching shore-side adventures.  Spacious suites with exquisitely designed interiors and elegant public rooms will punctuate Crystal’s entry into worldwide river cruising.

Crystal Luxury Air – 2017

Also in 2017, Crystal’s brand of Six-Star luxury will soar to new heights with the launch of Crystal Luxury Air, becoming the first in the luxury travel industry to offer extravagant around-the-world trips on the world’s most advanced twin-aisle Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  The plush aircraft, which typically seats 300, will fly 60 guests in fully reclining business class seats to coveted destinations to which major airlines do not offer nonstop service.  Each approximately 28-day itinerary will visit 10-12 remote and/or sought-after locales, with accommodations at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts; cuisine prepared by celebrity chefs inspired by the destination; and world-class cultural entertainment.

Ocean Vessels: “Crystal Exclusive Class” – Late 2018

Certainly not resting on any laurels, Crystal returns its focus to the seas, with three new “Crystal Exclusive Class,” cruise ships with the first expected for delivery in late 2018.  Genting Hong Kong has signed a letter of intent with Lloyd Werft in Germany to build the polar ice class vessels. Lloyd Werft is widely recognized in the shipping industry for its excellent reputation and success with world-class new builds, building and lengthening six Norwegian Cruise Line vessels, including the Pride of America, the only ocean cruise ship flying the American Flag, sailing year round in Hawaii. 

“Our vision and revolutionary plans for Crystal’s ocean vessels requires us to partner with a premium shipyard that has the expertise and resources to deliver the ‘Crystal Exclusive Class’,” said Tan Sri Lim. “Lloyd Werft is synonymous with successful world-class new builds and luxury mega yachts, including Luna, the second largest expedition private yacht in the world, measuring at 337 feet long.”

With the introduction of these new vessels, Crystal will be the first-ever cruise line to deliver expedition-capable ships with all the signature features and amenities of a luxury ship or private yacht.  The all-suite, all balcony ship will accommodate 1,000 guests, similar to the capacity on Crystal Symphony (922) and Crystal Serenity (1,070), and weigh more than 100,000 gross tons.

“With an impressive 100 tons of space per guest, the average space ratio for luxury cruise ships being 60 tons per person, our new ships’ guest-to-space rations will be vast in comparison to past, current and under-construction luxury ships, reaching all corners of the world safely, smoothly and in the utmost style and comfort,” said Rodriguez.

Additionally, for the first time ever, guests will have the opportunity to call a Crystal ship “home,” with innovative Crystal Residences. Situated on the top deck of the new ships will be 48 unique homes, boasting their own private restaurant, reception and facilities, and much higher ceilings (9 feet) than residences on any other cruise ships or yachts; and equal to most land apartments. Residences will start at 600 square feet and go to more than 4,000 square feet of interior living area, which will be the largest on the high seas.

Other revolutionary features being introduced on Crystal’s new vessels are: a whopping 400 square feet minimum for the guestroom suites – nearly doubling the size on other luxury vessels; increased ceiling heights by one f00t to 8 feet in all suites and decks; raising the bar on personal attention and service with 1,000 crew members on the ships to provide an unheard of one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio; an abundance of mouthwatering options centered on the art and expertise of Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs; and intrepid yacht-like amenities including submarines, helicopters and zodiacs.

The plans fulfill Rodriguez’s growing vision for the company since taking the helm in 2013, while also solidifying Crystal’s unrivaled reputation for innovating new facets of luxury travel.

“It has been a personal mission of mine since joining Crystal to see this incredible company reach new potential – and thus, new luxury travelers – as we continue to deliver unparalleled guest experiences and superior standards of excellence.”

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 21 years; voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20-consecutive years; the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso; and both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were rated as two of the “Top 5 mid-size ships” by the 2015 Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships.

###

A Cure for HIV BY 2020?

A cure for HIV by 2020? amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, believes it’s possible and has put itself on the clock.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research Strives to Give the Epidemic an Epic Ending

We are on the threshold of an historic opportunity in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A decade ago, nobody spoke seriously about curing HIV. Today, thanks to recent scientific breakthroughs, we have a clear sense of the main roadblocks that stand in our way.

The challenge has shifted from one of discovery to one of technology. It is no longer a question of whether we will cure this disease, but how.

The first case of a cure—“The Berlin Patient”—changed the game. It gave us proof that a cure was possible. This and other recent advances have generated a surge of momentum in the scientific community and growing optimism about the prospects for a cure.

This momentum, combined with the availability of new and emerging technologies and amfAR’s institutional strength, has led us to believe that the time for action is now.

amfAR has launched a bold new research initiative aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure for HIV by 2020.  The Countdown to a Cure has begun.

The Countdown: At A Glance

Goal

Develop the scientific basis of a cure for HIV by 2020

Opportunity

Today, researchers have a clear sense of the scientific roadblocks that stand in the way of a cure. The challenge has shifted from one of discovery to one of technology. It is no longer a question of whether we will cure this disease, but how.

Challenge

So-called viral reservoirs—pockets of HIV secreted in the DNA of infected cells—are the primary obstacle to a cure.  The challenge for scientists is to pinpoint and measure these reservoirs, determine how they are formed and sustained, and figure out how to eradicate them.

Method

We’re changing the way science is done. Instead of following a conventional “investigator-initiated” approach, we’re using a research roadmap to identify high-priority areas of investigation, then designing relevant studies and finding the best scientists to carry them out.

Investment Strategy

In an unprecedented expansion of amfAR’s grant-making, we will invest $100 million in research directed at finding a cure. The centerpiece of the strategy will be the establishment of the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research with a $20 million grant.

Oversight

Research supported by the Countdown will be conducted under the guidance of a Cure Council—a group of distinguished scientists that includes two Nobel Prize winners.

Partners

We will not accomplish our goal without the steadfast support of our friends and partners. We are deeply grateful to our corporate partners for standing shoulder to shoulder with us. And we invite you to join them, and us, in writing the final chapter on HIV/AIDS.

 

 

 

burning-man

The Billionaires at Burning Man

(Bloomberg Businessweek) — For his 50th birthday, Jim Tananbaum, chief executive officer of Foresite Capital, threw himself an extravagant party at Burning Man, the annual sybaritic arts festival and all-hours rave that attracts 60,000- plus to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada over the week before Labor Day. Tananbaum’s bash went so well, he decided to host an even more elaborate one the following year. In 2014 he’d invite up to 120 people to join him at a camp that would make the Burning Man experience feel something like staying at a pop-up W Hotel. To fund his grand venture, he’d charge $16,500 per head.

Tananbaum, a contemporary art collector who resembles the actor Bob Saget, grew up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and graduated from Yale and Harvard, where he earned both an M.D. and an MBA. After years of starting, selling, and investing in health-care companies, he founded Foresite in 2011. A private venture capital firm with $650 million under management, San Francisco-based Foresite specializes in the health-care and pharmaceutical industries.

Busy building his portfolios, Tananbaum only made it to Burning Man in 2009, the festival’s 24th year, but instantly fell under its spell. While his peers in San Francisco’s high finance circles took up kitesurfing or winemaking, he devoted his spare time to preparations for the next burn. “Jim put a tremendous effort into trying to create something very special for the Burning Man community,” says his friend Matt Nordgren, a former quarterback at the University of Texas, who went on to star in the Bravo reality show Most Eligible Dallas.

For 2014, Tananbaum wanted a camp that was aesthetically novel, ecologically conscious, and exceedingly comfortable. In the spring he and his team sent out a detailed invitation, enticing potential guests with an early vision of the camp, named Caravancicle. Anyone concerned about living in a hot, unforgiving wilderness could rest assured. There would be no roughing it at Caravancicle. Accommodations would consist of a series of cubical tents with carbon fiber skeletons. Each cube would have 9-foot ceilings, comfortable bedding, and air conditioning. The surrounding camp, enclosed by high walls, would be safe and private. Amenities would include a central lounge housed in a geodesic dome, private showers and toilets, solar panels, wireless Internet, and a 24-hour bar. Guests could count on a “full-service” staff, who would among other things help create “handcrafted, artisanal popsicles” to offer passers- by. To help blend in with the Burning Man regulars, who tend to parade around the commons in wild, racy outfits (if anything at all), the camp would include an entire shipping container full of costumes.

Each year as the festival nears, there’s a fresh round of speculation that the event has finally jumped the shark, or become overrun by Silicon Valley tech bros. Tananbaum and Ari Derfel, a Berkeley restaurateur he hired to co-create his 2014 camp, didn’t see it that way. (Neither Tananbaum nor Derfel commented on the record for this article.) The two admired the vaguely utopian, anticommercial culture Burning Man has cultivated over the years.

In Black Rock City, as Burning Man’s annual improvised metropolis is called, there are no advertisements and no wandering vendors selling glow sticks or overpriced beer. (Coffee, from a central cafe, and ice are the only commodities for sale.) The community ethos is loosely governed by “The 10 Principles of Burning Man,” set down in 2004 by co-founder Larry Harvey. These include radical self-reliance (because there’s no water for miles), radical self-expression (get your freak on, people will love you for it), and a “gift economy” (everyone ought to bring something to the party). Over the years, revelers have formed camps—some themed, some just friends and friends of friends in a cul-de-sac, effectively creating microhoods within the sprawl of RVs, tents, domes, and other temporary buildings erected on-site.

With preparations for Caravancicle well under way, the creators of Burning Man were going through their own reorganization. As the event outgrew its origins in San Francisco’s bohemian street theater scene, it had become an LLC, doing upwards of $20 million in annual ticket sales. (In 2015 the majority of individual Burners will pay $390 for a ticket.) Last year, to better manage growth, the six founders of Burning Man transferred their private ownership of the event to the Burning Man Project, a nonprofit, and expanded its governing board. Tananbaum was offered a place on it. He was voted in as the board’s 18th member in April 2014, joining a mix of new members that includes Chip Conley, a celebrity hotelier turned Airbnb executive; Jennifer Raiser, founder of a luxury senior- care company; and Matt Goldberg, a former Dow Jones executive now with QVC. The mission of the new organization is to propagate the Burning Man culture throughout the world, in part by launching a series of smaller, regional festivals. In theory, the beefed-up board will use its far-reaching professional connections to help accelerate the global spread. “It’s not a thoughtless amassing of rich folks,” says Harvey of the expanded board. “But if you want to change the world, you’d better get some people who have real muscular power.”

For Tananbaum, his improbable journey from the precincts of the East Coast Establishment to the inner circle of one of San Francisco’s great countercultural institutions appeared complete. As it turned out, the honeymoon was short-lived.     On Sept. 11, Beth Lillie, a 25-year-old former dog walker in Los Angeles, posted an essay on Facebook, detailing her experience working as an employee—or “a sherpa,” her word—at Caravancicle. It had been more than a week since everybody at Burning Man, including Tananbaum’s guests, had sobered up and returned to their everyday lives, but the experience was still fresh in Lillie’s mind. Her grievances were raw, her portrait damning, and her tell-all account immediately touched off a backlash against Tananbaum that mirrors the San Francisco culture wars of recent years, in which symbols of the area’s surging tech wealth have become lightning rods for anxieties over class and privilege. Overnight, Tananbaum had become the Google Bus of Burning Man.

At the outset of her account, Lillie noted that her goal was not to damage anyone’s reputation (she used made-up names), but rather to provide a behind-the-scenes exposé of the “boring closed off” camps catering to high rollers that were increasingly taking root along a stretch of road that had become known as Burning Man’s “Billionaires’ Row.” According to her post and a subsequent telephone interview, Lillie says she first heard about the job through a friend in Los Angeles. She thought landing a paying gig at Burning Man would help fund her annual pilgrimage to the festival, which she’s attended every summer since she was 18. After meeting with Derfel, Lillie was excited that the camp’s organizers hoped that Caravancicle would help bring about a personal transformation among some of its wealthy, powerful guests. Lillie liked the idea of using Burning Man as a crucible to re-educate the 1 Percent. She signed on to work as a bartender and server. Her pay would be a flat rate of $180 per day.

Lillie says that when she arrived at Burning Man on the eve of the festivities, she found a camp in disarray. Camp Caravancicle had subcontracted much of the construction work to the leaders of a neighboring encampment, and everything was running behind schedule. Tensions between the two tribes were high. The staff had been told ahead of time that Leonardo DiCaprio would be staying at the camp. The expected presence of a Hollywood celebrity heightened the pressure.

Originally, the plan had been for employees to greet guests as they arrived and to acclimate the uninitiated to the unique environment of Burning Man. But with the staff scrambling to put the finishing touches on the accommodations, social engagement largely fell by the wayside. So, too, did the popsicle stand, which was never built. Many of the wealthy guests arrived on private planes, tired and ready to be pampered, only to find a harried, semi-professional staff struggling to meet their expectations.

Instead of a spirit of inclusiveness and harmony, Lillie says she found herself in an environment dedicated foremost to protecting the VIP status of its wealthy inhabitants. Paying guests were outfitted with wristbands like patrons in an exclusive nightclub. Lillie says that while bartending she was given orders to restrict the free cocktails to paying guests. Staff members held a “secret meeting,” Lillie claims, in which employees broke down in tears complaining, among other things, that a few of the male campers were trying to grope them while they worked. The only employees who appeared to be enjoying themselves, Lillie wrote, were the attractive models, a posse dubbed the “mistresses of merriment,” who had traveled from L.A. ostensibly to flirt with and help entertain the male guests. During the telephone interview, Lillie concedes that she never saw any harassment of workers take place. But she says the introduction of paid laborers like her into the libertine atmosphere of Burning Man created an awkward dynamic. “It was like a bunch of old, married men expecting a freaky sex party at Burning Man. … The girls were all kind of looked at as though we were going to be a part of that.”

Lillie says that rather than re-educating the 1 Percent, the camp was only reinforcing the class divisions of the real world. Roughly three days after arriving, Lillie left Caravancicle and spent the rest of Burning Man crashing with friends. “It was such a disaster,” she says.     Camp Caravancicle was not the first of its kind, and over the last few years many fervent Burners have come to believe such accommodations are covertly commercial, unfairly gobble up many of the event’s limited number of tickets, and violate various Burning Man principles, such as participation and radical self- reliance. This, in part, is why the response to Lillie’s post was so swift and fierce. Within days a new group popped up on Facebook, calling itself the Sherpa Liberation Front, dedicated to retaining the “anti-corporate, anti-consumerist integrity” of Burning Man through “good-hearted guerrilla theatre.” Photos allegedly capturing the mistresses of merriment cavorting at Caravancicle circulated. An anonymous blog called Burners.me, which chronicles all things Burning Man, lambasted Tananbaum’s involvement in “Sherpa-gate” and applied pressure to the Burning Man Project to take action. When Lillie held an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, various commenters suggested pulling group pranks on the plug-and-play camps at next year’s Burning Man. One idea was to wander into such zones dressed as maids and butlers. A petition on Change.org called for Burning Man’s founders to put an end to the scourge of “commodification camps” and for Tananbaum to resign from the board. “The dude got special placement, unlimited tickets from a secret sale, early arrival, late departure, and some of the wealthiest people on the planet paid him a f—ton of money to package our event for their pleasure,” read one typical comment on the EPlaya forum, where the anger raged. “See you in the dust, Jimbo. Can’t wait to meet you.”

Tex Allen, a performance artist in the Bay Area who’s worn a clown nose in public every day for the past four years, says this episode highlights growing discontent with camps like Caravancicle. “It was already brewing, but Beth [Lillie] broke it wide open,” he says. The original Burning Man board of six, he adds, “got caught” turning a blind eye to Billionaires’ Row. Allen says that adherence to the 10 Principles is one of the things that separates Burning Man from for-profit, commercial summer festivals such as the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). “If you want to party, book a VIP camp at Coachella or EDC,” says Allen. “Once you’ve gotten that out of your system, and maybe you’ve had a realization that you need to contribute to this community, then come back.”

In December, with the controversy boiling online, Michael Mikel, a Burning Man co-founder, wrote a post on Facebook (since deleted) stating that he had conducted a “personal investigation” into Caravancicle. Mikel concluded that the camp had failed in part because of Tananbaum’s poor choice of contractors and his decision to have a large public bar that didn’t stock enough booze to keep up with demand. “While he has been quite capable of amassing a fortune in the world of venture capital, it does call into question if he is ready and able to help navigate the Burning Man ship,” Mikel wrote. “Then again, there is nothing like failure to add to one’s experience.”

Mikel also fired back at Burners.me, revealing in public for the first time that the anonymous “troll” who publishes the site is tech entrepreneur Steve Outtrim. Mikel went on to claim that Outtrim owned “several expensive homes” across multiple continents and each year flew to Burning Man in his own plane. The guy stirring up class outrage, in other words, was himself a card-carrying member of the 1 Percent.

Outtrim responded. “Yes I have been successful in tech, took a few companies public,” he wrote. “So what? I don’t own a plane and have never flown to Burning Man in one. … Here’s a photo of my RV, which I have driven to Burning Man myself since I bought it for cheap on eBay in 2011.” In an interview, Outtrim points out that for years there have been wealthy people at Burning Man. In the past it wasn’t in people’s faces. “What’s really been an issue with the Caravancicle camp,” Outtrim says, “is the involvement of someone from the Burning Man Project’s board of directors.”

Historically, he adds, Burning Man was “a great leveler”—nobody in Black Rock City cared who you were. The prevalence of costumes allowed the rich and famous to mingle with the masses. “For a lot of captains of industry and the celebrities, it was a chance for them to go and be a normal person at the party like anybody else,” says Outtrim. “But bringing in servants is where it’s become a bit of a problem. It’s pushing buttons related to class war in San Francisco.”     For now, Tananbaum remains on the Burning Man board, less because he’s stubbornly hanging on than because they want him there. He’s not an interloper; he’s a strategic hire. It’s also a reminder of what happens when a local, indie brand tries to go global. In a lengthy essay on the organization’s website in December, Harvey, the festival’s co-founder, acknowledged that in recent years there had been a rise in the number of ostentatious camps that “swaddled their members in a kind of cocoon that bears a strong resemblance to a gated community.” Such camps may be distasteful, he went on, but pose little threat to the overall Burning Man experience and mission. “The curdling gaze of celebrities or the intimidating presence of the wealthy cannot possibly inhibit the remaining 99 percent of our citizens from participating,” he wrote. “What I think these camps are really guilty of is being gauche. This is not so much about morals, it is more about manners, and we’re convinced bad manners can be mended.” A few weeks later, in a phone interview from San Francisco, Harvey says he sees the controversy over Caravancicle as a great opportunity for true believers to re- examine the 10 Principles. “It would be a shame to waste a good crisis,” he says. While he never stepped foot in Caravancicle, Harvey had met Tananbaum before he joined the board and was impressed by his idealism. In retrospect, Harvey says, it might have made sense to more actively engage with new board members like Tananbaum to discuss the Burning Man values they were expected to uphold. 
On Dec. 17, Tananbaum broke his silence, penning a letter of apology to “anyone who felt disrespected by our camp” while also criticizing Lillie’s “SherpaGirl” tell-all, which he called “a disappointing account of her few hours in our camp.” He proceeded to answer his critics by going point by point through the 10 Principles and defending his camp’s compliance with each, especially “radical inclusion.” He reminded everyone that “people from all walks of life” are welcome, including, in theory, masters of the universe.

For his part, Harvey, who personally invited Grover Norquist last year, continues to see the arrival of the ultrawealthy as a good thing for Burning Man. “I want to convince people that it isn’t as if the 1 Percent represents an evil bacillus that like Ebola will sweep through our city,” he says. “That’s not possible. Much of the anger is because of a feeling of impotency. The whole issue of the 1 Percent has been a matter of public discourse for some time now, and nothing has changed. People are frustrated. … My mission is to reform the 1 Percent.”

To contact the author on this story: Felix Gillette at fgillette@bloomberg.net

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/the-billionaires-at-burning-man/ar-AA910Bw

 

rich-kids-of-instagram

The Millennial Juggernaut: Biggest Buyers of Luxury/Newest Home Owners Panel Discussion

As the media continues to focus on millennials who have struggled to get a toehold on their financial independence during the economic downturn, millions of other millennials have amassed sizeable fortunes while still in their twenties.

Millennials make up nearly a quarter of all U.S. millionaires, or about 5 million individuals, according to a survey conducted by the Shullman Research Center. With a purchasing power of $1.68 trillion, they are poised to soon become a transformational force as buyers of luxury products and services; and, importantly, home owners.

Don’t expect millennials to define luxury the way their parents did. They are ‘the new disruptors’ forcing retailers to re-evaluate their marketing and product development strategies and create customized, innovative products and experiences.Continue reading