Crystal is planning to recommence European river cruising from late August 2021, with all four Rhine-Class ships.
According to the cruise line’s website, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel will both return to operation on 29 August, cruising to Budapest. Crystal Debussy and Crystal Bach will both set sail on 30 August between Basel- Amsterdam and Amsterdam-Basel respectively.
A collection of Christmas Market festivals are listed from late November, until the last of the 2021 departures, a 10-night Danube Holiday Magic itinerary from Vilshofen to Vienna, sets off aboard Crystal Mahler on 23 December.
After a scheduled three-month Northern winter pause, cruises will restart again from 26 March 2022, including departures aboard the wide-body Crystal Mozart.
Walter Littlejohn, Senior VP and Managing Director of Crystal River Cruises, said plans are “well underway” for the luxury cruise company to restart its operation after a voluntary pause in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“We are cautiously optimistic about the recent news from the European Union allowing entry for vaccinated travellers,” Littlejohn said.
“The European Union’s recently approved protocol allowing leisure travel by vaccinated travellers was a necessary and welcome step toward the resumption of unfettered European river cruising. It is important to note the adoption of these protocols by the individual EU member states that impact our multi-country itineraries is a critical next step, as the member states ultimately control the borders,” he said.
“We are readying the fleet as well as our devoted crew members in advance of resuming service to refresh their skills, ensuring the six-star standards for which our award-winning river ships are known,” Littlejohn added.
New health and safety protocols are being developed. The Crystal Clean+ measures include mandatory vaccination for guests and crew; COVID-19 testing at embarkation; suites set aside for isolation, if needed; HEPA filters; and more.
Last month, Crystal released Crystal Clean+ 5.0 Health and Safety Protocols, which now make it no longer necessary for guests to have a pre-departure PCR test.