Crystal has confirmed a three-month delay for the launch of its maiden expedition ship due to the temporary closure of the MV Werften shipyard. As foreshadowed by LATTE last month, the pause in operation at the German shipyard due to the coronavirus was expected to result in the delayed handover of the luxury ship.
“Due to uncertainty regarding when production will resume, Crystal has been compelled to delay the introduction of the ship – previously planned for this coming August – and cancel all scheduled itineraries through 31 October 2020,” the cruise line said in a statement.
Crystal Endeavor‘s maiden voyage was planned for 10 August from Tokyo, Japan. The first cruise was timed to coincide with the culmination of the 2020 Beijing Olympics (ending 9 August) which have now been postponed by 12 months.
The inaugural cruise will now be the 14-night ‘Tasmania & Fjords of New Zealand’ sailing on 14 November.
Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber commented on the forced delay: “We know that, like us, our guests have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore anew with Crystal aboard this groundbreaking ship, and we deeply regret that this change has become necessary and has disrupted our guests’ travel plans.
“While this unprecedented global health crisis inhibits our journeys for now, we are looking ahead with great optimism to introducing Crystal Endeavor to the world on 14 November and welcoming travellers to their next great adventure,” Wolber added.
Impacted guests and travel advisors are being contacted by the company. Guests who have deposited a booking on an affected voyage can seek a future cruise payment credit equal to 100% of monies paid and an extra US$1,500 per person future cruise credit on an ocean, river, yacht or expedition to 31 December 2022; or seek a full refund and provided a US$500 future cruise credit.
Guests who had paid in full on an affected voyage can see a future cruise payment credit to the value of the cruise fare paid and an additional US$6,000 in Future Cruise Credits, along with a refund of port charges, taxes and fees paid, as well as any third party services such as air and hotel packages booked through Crystal. Or, they can obtain a full refund of the cruise fare, port charges, taxes, and fees paid, as well as any third party services booked through Crystal. In addition to the refund, guests who select this option will also receive a goodwill gesture of $500 per person Future Cruise Credit.
Guests who are unable to redeem their future cruise payment credits by 31 December 2022 may request a refund of the original cruise fare paid.
Last week, Crystal announced the closure of its Australian office due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis.