Cruise companies show little interest in Crystal's river ships

The Crystal Bach at its christening in 2017.
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There currently doesn't appear to be much interest in acquiring Crystal Cruises' river ships among the river lines in Europe.

Crystal ceased operations earlier this year, and its five river ships are not sailing this summer. Brokers are reportedly trying to find buyers.

Avalon Waterways said Crystal's ships wouldn't be a fit for its fleet.

"Avalon Waterways offers guests an entire fleet of Suite Ships," said Avalon president Pamela Hoffee. "[They are] a very specific design that travelers choose over and over again, thanks to two full decks of Panorama Suites with the industry's only open-air balconies with beds facing the views. Given this -- and our commitment to exclusively offering guests Suite Ships -- we do not have plans to purchase Crystal's ships." 

Amadeus River Cruises executive vice president Marcus Leskovar said buying and renovating the Crystal ships would be a prohibitively expensive endeavor.

"The Crystal vessels are different as they have a lot of large suites, reducing the amount of possible passengers, which makes it potentially more difficult in filling the vessels with high-yield guests," said Leskovar. "Retrofitting these ships is probably not feasible based on the purported asking price."

The asking price will drop if there is no interest, Leskovar added.

"At a certain price point there will be a buyer (or buyers) that will take the vessels and either retrofit or refurbish them, or integrate them in an existing fleet/product," he said.

Riviera River Cruises and Uniworld each declined to comment on the Crystal ships.

Travel Weekly also reached out to AmaWaterways, Scenic and Viking to ask if there was interest in buying one of the Crystal river ships but did not receive responses.

Scenic would be very unlikely to buy ships, however, as the company does its shipbuilding in-house. Viking has the patented design of its Longships and AmaWaterways custom-designs its vessels, so they would appear to be unlikely buyers, too.

Four of Crystal Cruises' former river ships -- the Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel -- are currently docked in Amsterdam, according to CruiseMapper. Those ships were built in 2017 and 2018.

The Crystal Mozart is docked in Austria. That ship was built in 1987. The former Peter Deilmann ship was gutted to its steel framework and rebuilt in 2016 as Crystal's first river ship.

Crystal's former ocean ships were recently sold.

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