Today luxury river cruise line Crystal River Cruises marked the resumption of European river cruise operations and its return to Europe’s rivers as Crystal Ravel sailed from Vilshofen 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 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.
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.
The line’s spacious all-suite river ships allow for ample social distancing, accommodating just half as many guests as similarly sized vessels and offering a la carte restaurants, open-seating dining and an abundance of tables for two.