Crystal opts not to deploy river yachts in France

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A rendering of Crystal's Rhine-class river ships.
A rendering of Crystal's Rhine-class river ships.

Crystal River Cruises will redesign two new yachts that were initially intended to sail on France’s inland waterways. Instead, Crystal will deploy the Debussy and the Ravel on the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers in 2018.

In total, Crystal will have four new ships in the region plus the refurbished Crystal Mozart, which entered service on July 13.

“Based on guest feedback lauding the itineraries planned in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Amsterdam and Holland, the company has elected to delay its entrance into the French river cruise market, choosing instead to prioritize its offerings in the German/Austrian region in order to meet travelers’ demand for those experiences,” Crystal said in a statement.

The Debussy and Ravel were slated to debut on the Seine, Rhone and Dordogne rivers in summer 2017, but the redesign will delay their launch until April and May 2018.

The ships will be enlarged from a planned 360 feet to approximately 443 feet, the largest size allowed on the Danube, Main and Rhine. At their new size, the yachts will feature a swimming pool with a sliding glass roof, multiple restaurants and 106 suites, including an increased number of larger cabins up to 759 square feet.

The ships will join the Bach and the Mahler — scheduled to debut June 18 and August 29, 2017, respectively—in Crystal’s Rhine-class series of ships.

“Unlike an oceangoing ship that can accommodate a change in itinerary with short notice, a river ship operates within more confined parameters and is unable to reroute easily,” said Crystal CEO Edie Rodriguez. “We are listening carefully to what travelers are telling us and have concluded that the best way to anticipate, meet and surpass their expectations is by making this move earlier than later.”

Crystal is offering guests already booked on the Debussy and Ravel voyages on other Crystal vessels as well as onboard credits and future credits.

Debussy passengers may choose from a Crystal Mozart voyage and $750 shipboard credit per person, plus $500 future cruise credit per person; a Crystal Bach voyage and $500 future cruise credit per person; a seven-night Crystal Esprit voyage in 2017, plus $750 per person shipboard credit and $500 per person future cruise credit; a veranda room for a 2017 Crystal Symphony European voyage (up to 14 days) and $500 per person future cruise credit; or $1,000 per person future cruise credit to apply toward any other 2017 Crystal experience (booked at prevailing rates).

Ravel passengers can select from a Crystal Mozart voyage and $500 per person future cruise credit; a seven-night 2017 Crystal Esprit voyage with $750 per person shipboard credit and $500 per person future cruise credit; a veranda room for a 2017 Crystal Symphony European cruise (up to 10 days) and $500 per person future cruise credit; or $1,000 per person future cruise credit to apply toward any other 2017 Crystal experience (booked at prevailing rates).

Future cruise credits are valid for 18 months and must go toward a second Crystal experience as an alternate to the Debussy or Ravel.

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