Crystal River Cruises ‘optimistic’ as it plots late August restart

The boss of Crystal River Cruises says he is “cautiously optimistic” about resuming operations following the announcement that the European Union will allow fully vaccinated passengers to enter this summer.

Crystal plans to resume European river cruises on August 29.

In a letter to travel agents, Walter Littlejohn, the line’s senior vice president and managing director, said the decision taken earlier this month to permit immunised travellers to enter the EU was “necessary”.

He called for individual EU member states to now adopt the decision as it affected the line’s cross-border European itineraries, adding it was “a critical next step”.

Vaccinated travellers will be able to enter if they have received the recommended numbers of doses of a vaccine approved by European regulators.

More: Crystal Cruises will require passengers to be vaccinated

Abta working with destinations on vaccine certificate plans

Littlejohn said: “The European Union’s recently approved protocol allowing leisure travel by vaccinated travellers was a necessary and welcome step towards the resumption of unfettered European river cruising.

“It is important to note the adoption of these protocols by the individual EU member states that impact our multi-country itineraries is a critical next step, as the member states ultimately control the borders.”

The line is currently confirming ship deployment for later this year and would release details “when completed”, Littlejohn added.

“We are readying the fleet as well as our devoted crew members in advance of resuming service,” he said.

He also thanked agents for their “understanding during this transitionary time in travel”.

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