Crystal will restart river cruises from the end of August, with resumption plans “well underway”, according to boss Walter Littlejohn.
The luxury line is aiming to return from 29 August and said further details of its programme would be announced once its autumn and winter deployment had been decided upon.
In a statement on Friday (28 May), Littlejohn, Crystal River Cruises’ senior vice-president and managing director, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about recent news around the EU allowing entry for vaccinated travellers.
He said the EU’s policy was a “welcome step toward the resumption of unfettered European river cruising”, adding it was “critical” each EU state accepted the approach towards vaccinated visitors.
“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,” said Littlejohn.
“We have worked tirelessly in developing new health and safety protocols that address the unique challenges of Covid-19 with the greatest care for both our guests and our crew. Our stringent 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.”
He thanked guests and travel partners “for their understanding during this transitionary time” and said he and his team looked forward to welcoming customers back onboard its ships on the Danube and Rhine later in the year.