Transcend Cruises to launch operations next month

B2B charter river cruise operator brings forward debut with former Crystal river ship

Start-up global charter-only river cruising company, Transcend Cruises, has brought forward its debut, with a launch date now expected in August 2023.

While the B2B cruise operator awaits the delivery of its first new-build ship to arrive, Transcend Cruises has fast-tracked its actual launch due to “exceptional response” to its concept.

Transcend has contracted one of the former Crystal Cruises’ Rhine Class ships from new owner Riverside Luxury Cruises, branded as Advance by Transcend, ahead of the launch of its purpose-built vessels.

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“The debut of Advance by Transcend allows the company to bring elements of their groundbreaking service, customisation and client-support concept to market immediately and meet the strong demand for a charter-only river cruise product,” the new cruise brand said.

The ship will be named Transcend Advance and operate on the Rhine and Moselle this year, with wider deployments through December 2024 for custom group itineraries.

“We are pleased to advance our customer’s needs by previewing key components of Transcend Cruises with the Advance for the latter half of the 2023 season and all of 2024,” Matthew Shollar, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Transcend said recently.

“This opportunity means we are able to utilise a well-regarded, innovative luxury vessel, and operate it with Transcend’s uniquely flexible charter-focused, custom-designed programming and tailored food and beverage programs. Retail river cruise demand is at an all-time high, the charter customer has fewer options, and we are happy to deliver a new solution,” Shollar said.

“Our newbuild process that began during the middle of a pandemic and amidst global economic uncertainty has taken longer than we would like. The ability to host Advance by Transcend on a former Crystal vessel allows us to introduce the Transcend formula and service concept now and meet immediate charterer needs, while we finalise our own purpose-built river ship platform.”

Advance Suite bedroom

Jen Halboth, CEO of Riverside Luxury Cruises, Americas confirmed it was never the brand’s intention to sail all five of the Crystal river ships it acquired in 2024. Halboth said the partnership with Transcend enables the new operator to “lend out” its hardware, paired with an onboard experience developed and operated by Transcend.

Meanwhile, the entry of the first of Transcend Cruises’ newbuilds has now been pushed back to the 2025 cruise season. Advance by Transcend is accepting charter requests for the second half of 2023, and 2024 seasons.


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