(PRESS RELEASE)_Fort Lauderdale, March 28, 2023 - Transcend Cruises, a global charter-only river cruise company that launched last year at Seatrade in Miami, has announced that it will begin operations earlier than expected, with charters commencing in August 2023. Due to exceptional response to its concept, Transcend will utilize an existing ship that it has contracted from Riverside Luxury Cruises as a charter-only vessel, branded as Advance by Transcend, prior to delivery of its newbuilds. The debut of Advance by Transcend allows the company to bring elements of their groundbreaking service, customization and client-support concept to market immediately and meet the strong current demand for a charter-only river cruise product. A 135-meter, 110-guest former Crystal Rhine Class vessel will be renamed Transcend Advance, and will operate on the Rhine and Moselle in 2023, with wider deployments through December 2024 on customized group itineraries.
“We are pleased to advance our customer’s needs by previewing key components of Transcend Cruises with the Advance for the latter half of the 2023 season and all of 2024. This opportunity means we are able to utilize a well-regarded, innovative luxury vessel, and operate it with Transcend’s uniquely flexible charter-focused, custom-designed programming and tailored food and beverage programs. Retail river cruise demand is at all all-time high, the charter customer has fewer options, and we are happy to deliver a new solution,” said Transcend’s founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Matthew Shollar. “Our newbuild process that began during the middle of a pandemic and amidst global economic uncertainty has taken longer than we would like. The ability to host Advance by Transcend on a former Crystal vessel allows us to introduce the Transcend formula and service concept now and meet immediate charterer needs, while we finalize our own purpose-built river ship platform.”
“Ships have a soul. They are meant to sail. It was not a part of the Riverside Luxury Cruise strategy to sail all five ships within our fleet in 2024," said Jen Halboth, CEO of Riverside Luxury Cruises, Americas. "This partnership allows us to lend out our hardware, while the entire experience on board will be developed and operated by Transcend.”
Transcend recasts proven, popular European river cruises to exclusively serve private groups rather than sales to individual retail passengers. Instead of stationary venues, Transcend moves to the location the client chooses. Group events and charters are Transcend’s only focus, partnering with charter customers to provide an unmatched and currently unavailable level of service to their passengers. Transcend’s intent is to expand river cruising beyond its current profile by introducing the experience of river-based events t
“Rather than competing with our colleagues at the existing river lines, Transcend extends the market and introduces new guests to the glories of the European rivers,” said Kimberly Daley, Transcend’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Our concept lifts all boats and will provide benefits to the retail operators who are the current players.”
Transcend continues to move forward with designing and building a purpose-built fleet of luxury river cruise ships dedicated to the group market including corporate meeting and incentive planners, tour operators, affinity/alumni groups, private family groups, lifestyle brands, third-party agencies, and other companies marketing trips under their own brands. The first newbuild Transcend ship will set sail for the 2025 season. Advance by Transcend is currently accepting charter requests subject to availability for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Information is available via the company’s website at www.transcend.cruises/advance.
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