Crystal River Cruises abandons French sail plans in favour of the Danube, Main and Rhine

CRYSTAL River Cruises has abandoned plans to sail France's Dordogne, Rhone and Seine rivers in its planned river yachts Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel.

Crystal river cruise shipCRYSTAL RIVER CRUISES

Two new Crystal River Cruise ships are being redeveloped for European river destinations

Instead the two ships are being redesigned and enlarged so they can sail the rivers Danube, Main and Rhine. 

The decision comes because of demand from the luxury river cruise company's customers for more itineraries in Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Crystal river yachts are being built over the next two years and the company - a sister brand to the successful ocean-based Crystal Cruises - says it is simply delaying its entrance to the French river cruise market. 

The two whips are being redesigned as Rhine-class river yachts, suitable for sailing on the rivers in northern and eastern Europe.

Crystal's CEO and president, Edie Rodriguez said: "Unlike an ocean-going 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. 

"We are listening carefully to what travellers are telling us and have concluded that the best way to anticipate, meet and surpass their expectations is by making this move earlier rather than later." 

THE DANUBE RIVERGETTY

The beautiful Danube river snaking through German countryside

THE RHINELAND GERMANYGETTY

The 'Debussy' and 'Ravel' are being redesigned so they can sail on the Rhine river

Passengers who have already booked 2017 cruises on Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel have been offered alternative itineraries on the company's new Crystal Mozart, recently launched on the River Danube, with generous onboard credit plus credit for future bookings. 

We are listening carefully to what travellers are telling us

Edie Rodriguez, CEO

Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel will be enlarged from 110 metres to 135 metres, the maximum size allowed on the Rhine, Main and Danube.

And the company said the redesign will give it more options and onboard amenities - such as a swimming pool with a sliding glass roof and more of the ship's larger suites.

Round-trips from Austria's capital Vienna, featuring the medieval old town of Bratislava in Slovakia and Hungary's fascinating capital Budapest, will be the mainstay of Crystal River Cruises' itineraries. 

Jewels of the The Rhine cruises from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Antwerp in Belgium and through Germany and Switzerland down to Frankfurt will also be on offer. 

FRANKFURT FROM THE MAIN RIVERGETTY

A view of Frankfurt from the Main river

The 106-passenger Rhine-class river yacht Crystal Bach will be launched on June 18 2017 with identical sister ship Crystal Mahler in service from August 29, 2017.

Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel are expected to launch in April 2018 and May 2018 respectively. 

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