Crystal River Cruises said Thursday that it "emphatically" denied the accuracy of an email sent by a Florida ship broker to European river lines saying that Crystal's river cruise ships could be "developed for sale" and denied it had a contractual relationship with the broker.

Crystal said its legal team had issued a cease and desist letter to the broker.

The email from the broker, which had been reported by Travel Weekly, said that the ships' owners were "very serious sellers."

In the July 1 statement to media distancing itself from the ship broker, Crystal also alleged that Travel Weekly "failed to employ the highest ethical standards" by rushing to publish the story and criticized a subsequent Insight for containing "falsehoods."

Travel Weekly editor in chief Arnie Weissmann denied the breach in ethics and noted that more than three days elapsed between the time questions were sent to Crystal and the company issued a statement denying an association with the broker.

The Insight was updated with a statement from Crystal refuting reporting of rumors that the line had been having difficulty filling their river ships during a boon time for riverboat cruising, and information about Crystal's denial of a relationship with the broker was added.

In the statement disavowing the broker's assertions, Crystal River Cruises managing director Walter Littlejohn also said that the river fleet's forward-year bookings were up over 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 has planned pre-pandemic."

He also said that parent company Genting Hong Kong had successfully completed a financial restructuring agreement with global creditors. Genting last August had suspended payments to creditors on almost $3.4 billion, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Crystal had come under fire from advisors and customers late last year for its slowness in making refunds for canceled cruises; as of March it said it had repaid about 80% of of fares owed for canceled 2020 cruises.

This report was updated with a statement from Travel Weekly.

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