Crystal Cruises Is Officially Relaunching This Summer — and Bringing Back the Only Nobu Restaurants at Sea

Crystal Cruises relaunched last month under Abercrombie & Kent travel group. Today, the cruise line announced it will once again partner with chef Nobu Matsuhisa to bring Umi Uma restaurant back to the high seas.

Interior of Symphony Umi Uma on board the Crystal Cruises Serenity and Symphony ships

Courtesy of Crystal Cruises

In February, Crystal Cruises relaunched under Abercrombie & Kent travel group with a new name: Crystal — Exceptional at Sea. Two of the cruise line’s remodeled ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, will sail this year, with the former launching in July and the latter in September. After the company’s tumultuous bankruptcy in January 2022, the cruise line’s return to the stage (or, well, sea) is being closely followed by loyal cruisers eager to see what the new and improved Crystal has in store.

So, what's in store? The only Nobu restaurants on the high seas, for starters. A spokesperson for Crystal Cruises exclusively confirmed to Travel + Leisure that the line will once again partner with chef Nobu Matsuhisa for next-level onboard dining. It remains the only cruise line with a Nobu partnership. 

Nobu Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisha

Courtesy of Crystal Cruises

Umi Uma by Nobu Matsuhisa Restaurant and Sushi Bar, which will reopen with both ships, was a fixture of Crystal's luxe dining program before the bankruptcy and sale. Jack Anderson, president of Crystal, couldn't be more excited to bring it back.

“Umi Uma was a beloved specialty restaurant among Crystal guests, and we are so happy to be welcoming it and chef Nobu back on board our two ships as we look to relaunch later this summer,” Anderson tells T+L, emphasizing that partnerships like this “help set us apart from other brands.” 

Umi Uma will still serve, as Matsuhisa shared in a statement, “innovative fusion cuisine, blending traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients.” Guests can still enjoy Nobu favorites, like the miso-marinated black cod and fresh sushi and sashimi. Arguably the best news of all is that guests on board Serenity and Symphony will get one complimentary meal (per person, per cruise, on sailings 11 days or shorter) as part of Crystal’s all-inclusive offerings.

Interior of Symphony Umi Uma on board the Crystal Cruises Serenity and Symphony ships

Courtesy of Crystal Cruises

The first two ships in Crystal’s refurbished fleet already have sailings planned for the rest of the year, visiting destinations on the Mediterranean Sea and in Northern Europe; the Middle East; Asia; Australia; and along a route transiting the Panama Canal. The most notable improvements across both ships include making suites and guest rooms larger and reimagining the spas and gyms (with paddle tennis and the sport du jour, pickleball). While other amenities and onboard entertainment plans are still being worked out, Crystal is committed to offering incredible service and dining — which, of course, the decision to bring back the only Nobu Matsuhisa restaurants at sea only reinforces.

For more information and to book your cruise on the Crystal — Exceptional at Sea ships, visit On Crystal Serenity’s inaugural sailing, a 12-night voyage from Marseille, France, to Lisbon departing on July 31, cruises start at $6,900 per person, based on double occupancy for an ocean-view guest room. On Crystal Symphony’s inaugural seven-night cruise from Athens to Istanbul, departing Sept. 1, prices per person for a similar cabin start at $3,500 per person.

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