March 16, 2020
(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Crystal Cruises has suspended sailings across its ocean and river fleets as concern mounts about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic spreading around the world.
The details of these voluntary suspensions are as follows:
- Crystal River Cruises Departures: Voyages between March 26-April 11 are canceled.
- Crystal Esprit: April 10, 19 and 26 voyages canceled.
- Crystal Serenity: Will resume sailings as of May 3.
- Crystal Symphony: Returns to service May 24.
Crystal notes that passengers booked on affected voyages will be contacted by Crystal, either directly or through travel advisors if applicable, with cancellation and compensation details.
Additionally, Crystal has restructured its cancellation policies to provide more flexibility to cruisers.
These include the ability to cancel up to seven days before departure, with the option to receive a 100 percent future cruise credit equal to the value of the voyage that can be redeemed for any ocean, river, yacht or expedition journey departing through the end of 2022.
The line has also instituted new reduced deposits on all 2020 voyages, including:
- $100 per person for cruises of up to 13 nights;
- $200 per person for cruises of 14 to 21 nights;
- $500 per person for cruises of 22 nights or longer.
For Australians, the new reduced deposits on all 2020 voyages are:
- AU$150 per person for cruises of up to 13 nights;
- AU$285 per person for cruises of 14 to 21 nights;
- AU$715 per person for cruises of 22 nights or longer;
- AU$715 per person for all new river, yacht and expedition sailings.
These new measures are in place for all 2020 voyages across the Crystal river, ocean, yacht and expedition fleet.
"The Crystal Family, along with the entire travel community, continues to navigate this unprecedented and rapidly evolving global health situation, which has caused uncertainty and unease for travelers around the world," Crystal CEO Tom Wolber said on the line's website. "Our utmost priority continues to be the safety of our guests and crew and, as such, we are closely monitoring recommendations from global health authorities and developments from relevant government authorities including the Administration’s recent announcement of a 30-day air restriction prohibiting many foreign visitors, who have been in Europe over the last two weeks, from entering the U.S."
Passengers on affected cruises are being offered a 100 percent refund of their cruise fares, port charges, taxes and fees paid, and any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal. Or, they may choose to accect a future cruise credit, worth 125 percent of their paid cruise fare, valid on the brands ocean, river, yacht or expedition vessels. The credit must be used by December 31, 2022, but those unable to use it in that time can request a refund of the original crusie fare paid.
Crystal will automatically apply the future cruise credit, but passengers electing a refund shoudl email firstname.lastname@example.org before the start of their original embarkation date.
According to a statement on the Crystal Cruises website: "We will be communicating these changes to our booked guests and their travel advisors directly. On behalf of everyone at Crystal, we thank our guests for their understanding and patience as we navigate this ever-changing situation, and we look forward to welcoming them on a future voyage."
More information on this story will be added here as it becomes available.