Crystal Cruises’ river ship, the Crystal Ravel, has set sail in Europe on Aug. 29, signaling the resumption of European river cruise operations. Her sister ship Crystal Debussy is set to join the Ravel in cruising on Aug. 30.
According to a press release, the 106-passenger Crystal Ravel sailed from Vilshofen, Germany on a seven-night Danube itinerary featuring calls in Germany, Austria and Hungary, shipboard overnights in Vienna and Budapest, and cruising of the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley. In Vilshofen, the officers and crew welcomed guests back to the Crystal Ravel after a nearly 18-month pause in operations.
On Aug. 30, sister ship Crystal Debussy is set to cruise from Basel on a seven-night Rhine itinerary with calls in Switzerland, France, Germany and Netherlands and overnight calls in Koblenz and Amsterdam.
“After months of planning and preparation we are excited to welcome our guests back on board to experience the attentive service and personalized care of our devoted staff on cruises to the best-loved destinations of Europe’s scenic rivers and waterways,” said Walter Littlejohn, Crystal River Cruises’ senior vice president and managing director.
“We know our guests are also incredibly eager to return to the luxurious accommodations, Michelin-level cuisine and unrivaled social spaces aboard our ships as well as the enriching discoveries that await ashore … The effortless luxury and relaxation of river cruising seem perfectly designed for the moment in which we find ourselves, allowing our guests to escape to a world of natural beauty along Europe’s rivers, highlighted by great art, architecture and history, and with unique opportunities for cultural immersion to create cherished memories of a lifetime,” he added.
Crystal said that the ships’ staff have been prepping the vessels, refreshing their training, and implementing new Crystal Clean+ procedures that address the unique challenges of COVID-19 with stringent health protocols in place to provide guests a safe and enjoyable experience. Crystal River Cruises requires all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated as part of Crystal Clean+, which due to the mandatory vaccination requirement, allows guests to explore ashore independently.