LATE NEWS -- Serenity Sailing Now Free

Decision prompted by concerns that construction delays will mar maiden voyage

The Crystal Serenity is expected to sail on its maiden voyage July 7, as scheduled, although construction delays have prompted Crystal Cruises to offer the voyage free to its inaugural passengers.

A statement from the luxury cruise line said the decision was made because final construction work took longer than ex-pected, leaving too little time to train the hotel staff and to do all the finishing work to Crystal’s standards.

Guests who sail will be able to apply their fares to another cruise, while those who cancel will receive a full refund. Agent commissions will be paid in full, based on the original fare, regardless of whether the clients choose to sail or to cancel.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Mimi Weisband of Crystal. She said most of the guests are choosing to sail and already have booked their next cruise.

The maiden voyage is a 14-day roundtrip from London, with stops in Germany, Denmark, Scotland and Ireland.