Crystal announced today the expansion of its Crystal Clean+ safety and health protocols to the sister ships of Crystal River Cruises, recently named the World’s Best River Cruise Line by the readers of Travel + Leisure. The Crystal River Cruises’ initial set of Crystal Clean+ protocols, considered the 2.0 version of Crystal’s already stringent health and safety policies, were developed with the latest data from health experts to meet the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, and will be continually evaluated and adjusted as new information becomes available. Crystal is committed to being in full compliance with all local regulations set by the European cities and states the ships visit. The protocols comprise enhanced cleaning procedures; social distancing and facial covering requirements; health monitoring for guests and crew members; new streamlined embarkation procedures; shoreside partner collaborations and more.
“We are looking forward with great anticipation to welcoming our guests back aboard and are working to ensure their wellness and peace of mind when that day comes,” said Walter Littlejohn, senior vice president and managing director of Crystal River Cruises. “Crystal Clean+ is an extension of the exceptional standards to which Crystal has always adhered, augmented with the best scientific data and expert guidance currently available.”
The Crystal Clean+ protocols for the Crystal River Cruises’ fleet includes but is not limited to:
Pre-Boarding & Embarkation
Additional precautionary steps taken in the weeks, days and hours prior to boarding will help streamline and safeguard the embarkation process for all guests and crew.
- Guests will check in online and complete a health questionnaire
- Guests will receive an assigned arrival time to minimize congestion
- Guests will undergo temperature checks before boarding the ship
- Guests will complete a second health questionnaire prior to boarding the ship
- Guests who show signs of illness may be denied boarding
Capacity Control & Social Distancing
Crystal ships are designed to offer nearly double the space per guest of similar-sized ships. New protocols will expand this social spaciousness even further.
- Reduced capacity in in all social spaces
- Social distancing outside of one’s travel party will be required
In guest suites and highly frequented shared spaces, Crystal Clean+ procedures will include augmented cleaning and other measures.
- Prior to guest arrival, staterooms and suites will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with medical-grade disinfectants
- Products used are included on the EPA List-N and approved for use against COVID-19, norovirus and other infectious diseases
- on embarkation day
- Guest corridors will be disinfected regularly
- Timely housekeeping for suite turnover; bedsheets and linens professionally cleaned and disinfected at high temperatures
- Onboard social spaces will be disinfected with increased frequency
- Touchpoints such as handrails, elevator buttons, table-tops, door handles etc., will be disinfected with increased frequency during peak hours
- All recreational equipment will be disinfected frequently
Responsive Mask Policy
Crystal’s mask policy will remain nimble. The company will constantly be reassessing mask policies in light of evolving best practices recommended by epidemiologists as well as compliance with the policies of local governments.
- Crystal will provide masks to its guests and crew
- Masks will be required in venues and instances where proper distancing is not possible
- Crystal will comply with all destination health authorities, which may require masks ashore
Food & Beverage
The Crystal dining experience will be carefully presented to eliminate person-to-person contact while maintaining the delicious and elegant experiences guests enjoy.
- Open Seating Dining will continue with social distancing considerations
- Guest seating will ensure ample spacing
- Contact-free dining service will be implemented in all onboard venues
- Self-service options will be eliminated
- In-room dining choices will be available 24/7
- Stringent procurement guidelines will be enforced
Shoreside Partners & Excursions
Crystal is working closely with all shoreside partners and tour operators to ensure that Crystal Clean+ protocols extend to guests’ experience ashore.
- Tour coaches, which are exclusive to Crystal River Cruises’ guests only, will be disinfected to meet Crystal Clean+ standards
- Excursion group sizes will be reduced to allow for proper social distancing
- Crystal will monitor port regulations and adjust requirements and schedules as needed to maintain guests’ health and well-being
- Crystal recommends that guests who choose to book tours independently consider that these operators may fall short of disinfection standards Crystal requires of their partners
- Nearly all Crystal River Cruises Destination Discoveries are inclusive, arranged by Crystal’s team in coordination with shoreside partners vetted and proven to adhere to Crystal standards
- Crystal will only visit safe, open ports of call; this may cause changes to the itinerary, which will be communicated to guests
Shoreside Medical Resources
Crystal Cruises River ships are always close to shore and therefore are treated like land-side hotels. The company will facilitate care for guests with local hospitals and doctors and will follow all local healthcare guidelines and practices.
Crew member Standards & Practices
Crystal Clean+ will ensure that crew members remain healthy and at their best to deliver the very best experiences for guests.
- Crew to be tested for COVID-19 prior to boarding
- Crew will undergo frequent temperature checks and regular health monitoring
- Crew will wear face shields, masks and other necessary PPE when interacting with guests
- Crew are prohibited from personal contact with guests such as handshaking and hugging
- Crew transfer between ships will be minimized
Air Filtration & Ventilation
Crystal ships are designed with a 100% fresh air supply to all suites and public spaces. There is no air recirculation built into the design.
- Crystal River ships will feature HEPA filters, which remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens
- All air filters and cooling coils are frequently thoroughly checked and maintained to ensure the highest standard of air quality possible
Crystal Clean+ will be implemented aboard Crystal’s River ships when they return to cruising the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers in 2021, as Crystal has paused operations of its fleet through the end of 2020.
Crystal’s new-build river vessels are Europe’s most spacious river ships, accommodating just 106 guests with an intentional focus on maximizing personal and public spaces throughout their 135-meter hulls (a size typically designed to accommodate twice the number of guests). The ships comprise Europe’s newest river cruise fleet and are the industry’s first and only all-balcony, all-suite, butler-serviced vessels in Europe, with every category of accommodation positioned above the water line. All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows™ and walk-in closets and dual vanity bathrooms are featured in most categories.
The safety of guests and crew members is Crystal’s number one priority and the fleet will resume service only when the company’s expert team and global health and government authorities indicate that it is safe to do so.