March 20, 2017
(3:30 p.m. EDT) -- Crystal River Cruises has delayed the 2017 launch dates for its two new vessels, Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler.
Crystal Bach was originally slated to set sail on June 18, 2017, and Crystal Mahler's launch date was August 29, 2017. The inaugural sailing for Crystal Bach has now been moved back to August 13, 2017. Crystal Mahler will begin its sailing on September 30, 2017.
Overall, six sailings on the ships have been impacted, with four on Crystal Bach and two on Mahler canceled.
In a statement from Crystal Cruises Chairman, CEO and President Edie Rodriguez, the line said, "While we are eager to welcome guests aboard these unique vessels, the focus must remain on ensuring seamless delivery in the celebrated six-star level of luxury service for which Crystal is known. For this reason, we have determined that more time is needed to prepare the vessels for our guests and therefore we have made the difficult decision to re-schedule the debut of Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler. Our commitment to taking any measure necessary to ensure an unparalleled luxury travel experience remains constant, and we feel that the adjustments to the launch timeline are in the best interest of our guests, as well as our travel partners."
As compensation, passengers booked on the impacted sailings received a full refund including airfare cancellation fees, a free future cruise and $1,500 credit if they rebooked their free cruise on a river vessel, the line told Cruise Critic.
Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler are the first built-from-scratch river ships for Crystal River Cruises and are set to sail on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. The company launched on the Danube River with Crystal Mozart; that ship was a refurbishment of an existing vessel. The line has two more river ships slated for 2018, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel. Those ships were originally going to launch in 2017 as well, but the company moved them back after deciding to deploy them on the Rhine and Danube instead of the Seine.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor