Crystal River Cruises announced its 2021 Europe deployment as it emphatically denied a trade publication report that its five river ships could be for sale.

The article quoted an email sent out by an unidentified ship broker that said the five Crystal river ships can “be developed for sale” and that “the owners are very serious sellers.”


Walter Littlejohn, senior vice president and managing director of Crystal River Cruises, said in a written statement that “we emphatically deny the accuracy of an email sent to our competitors by a Florida ship broker, with whom we have no contractual relationship and to whom our legal team has issued an immediate cease-and-desist letter.”

In fact, business is booming, Littlejohn said. “Crystal River Cruises launched to great acclaim in 2016 and in each successive year has posted record occupancy, and widely expanding yields, culminating with the five-ship fleet sailing at over 97 percent occupancy in 2019. Our forward year, globally sourced bookings are up well in excess of 50 percent, selling at our absolute highest pricing ever, with a 28 percent capacity increase as for 2022 we have opened Crystal Mozart to all source markets rather than just Asia as planned pre-pandemic.”

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The statement said Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK) this week completed a financial restructuring agreement with its global creditors and that it, “like all other responsible enterprises, will continue to engage in fundraising exercises to address liquidity needs as it navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We would like to assure our valued guests, travel advisors and team members that Crystal is steadfastly focused on pivoting away from the travails of the pandemic as we prepare to gradually resume service this year on August 29 with Crystal Ravel on the Danube and August 30 with Crystal Debussy on the Rhine, both of which are very heavily booked,” Littlejohn said. “This resumption follows the restart of our ocean business with the upcoming July 3 sailing of Crystal Serenity from Nassau, Bahamas, and the July 17 maiden voyage of the brand-new expedition ship Crystal Endeavor, just christened in Germany last weekend, from Reykjavik, Iceland. Soon the company will announce a revised restart of the Crystal Symphony with voyages beginning late summer.”

In fact, Littlejohn said, the Christmas Market voyages are sold out.

Crystal River Cruises’ deployment for 2021 features 35 voyages ranging from seven to 11 nights on the Rhine, Danube and Moselle rivers.

Crystal Ravel and Crystal Debussy will focus on the line’s most popular seven-night Rhine and Danube itineraries, as well as voyages through the Mosel Wine Region.

Every 2021 river voyage has at least two overnight stays, with many voyages offering three overnights, giving guests time to immerse themselves in the ports’ history or venture to nearby towns.

The plans to resume river cruising follow “recent positive news from the European Union allowing entry for vaccinated passengers with all countries on Crystal River Cruises’ itineraries now open for river cruising.”

Crystal is doing a gradual return of service by consolidating sailings from Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler on similar voyages onboard their identical sister ships.

Crystal’s river vessels are all-balcony, all-suite vessels with every category of accommodation positioned above the water line. All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows, and walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms are featured in most categories.

All of Crystal’s river ships feature private butler service in every room category, king-sized beds, Caudalie amenities, robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs.

They have farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries. Guests are transported on tours in luxury motorcoaches equipped with complimentary water and Wi-Fi.

Fares for 2021 river voyages start at $3,499 per person, and “Book Now Savings” are up to $2,800 per suite on select voyages through Sept. 1, 2021.

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