Crystal Cruises has issued an emphatic denial that its entire fleet of five river ships is up for sale. Instead, it insists it will resume sailing on the Rhine and Danube this year.
US travel trade publication, Travel Weekly*, reported earlier this week that a Florida-based ship broker had emailed Crystal’s competitors inviting offers for its five river ships.
However, Crystal River Cruises MD Walter Littlejohn told Travel Gossip: “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.
“We are deeply disappointed Travel Weekly failed to employ the highest ethical standards in researching and writing this story in its rush to print, and since then has published another article that also contains significant falsehoods about Crystal.”
In a statement, he added: “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% occupancy in 2019.
“Our forward year, globally-sourced bookings are up well in excess of 50%, selling at our absolute highest pricing ever, with a 28% capacity increase as for 2022 we have opened Crystal Mozart to all source markets rather than just Asia as planned pre-pandemic.
“This week, Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK), successfully completed a financial restructuring agreement with its global creditors and following on from that, the company, 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.
“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.
“All of us are excited about focusing on what matters, doing business with the highest integrity and delivering unrivalled and exceptional vacations to delighted luxury travelers from across the globe in partnership with guests and travel advisors whose loyalty has remained steadfast with Crystal through these unprecedented times.”
*The US publication Travel Weekly is no longer associated with the UK publication of the same name.