One of our partners, Crystal Cruises, has been one of the top names in luxury cruising since its inception, claiming more “World’s Best” awards than any other travel and leisure provider in history. Crystal Cruises has decided to expand its offerings and bring the same standards to the river cruises market, and if the company’s most recent announcement is any indicator, they have already surpassed their own expectations.
Crystal Cruises first announced in July that the company would expand into river cruising. At the time, the company announced it would begin offering river cruises in the Spring of 2017, on two different ships. Since then, demand has been so strong that the cruise line decided to go even bigger with the river cruise launch:
- Crystal has doubled the number of ships they commissioned, for four brand-new river yachts;
- Crystal has also completed the purchase of the MS Mozart vessel, the largest river cruise vessel in Europe, bringing Crystal’s total river cruising fleet to five;
- The timeline has been moved up for the river cruise line’s first voyage. After an extensive time in the dry dock to allow for the complete Crystal luxury experience to be installed on board, the Mozart will be renamed the “Crystal Mozart” and launch on July 13, 2016, embarking on the Danube river.
With the announcement, Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez said, “In response to travelers and travel agents’ enthusiasm for Crystal River Cruises, and through Crystal’s innovation, we are upping the ante once again, bringing “true luxury” to the river cruise sector with the largest guest suites and public spaces, the highest crew-to-guest-ratio and Crystal’s award-winning service. Once the transformation of Crystal Mozart is completed, it will truly be the crown jewel of the European rivers.”
Crystal Mozart is a larger ship designed to fit into the wider sections of the Danube River, between Passau, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary. The ship is twice as wide as a standard industry river cruise ship, and can hold up to 160 guests, with a number of unique features onboard made possible due to the vessel’s width and size.
Two of the ships Crystal has newly commissioned from German shipyard Lloyd Werft are designed to travel along the Rhine, Main, and Danube. These ships can hold 110 guests apiece, and will be christened “Crystal Bach” and “Crystal Mahler.” The other two commissioned vessels will hold 84 guests; one will cruise along the Seine, and the other will travel along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. These vessels will be named “Crystal Ravel” and “Crystal Debussy.” (All five vessels in Crystal’s river cruising fleet are named after famous composers from the lands where they sail.)
Crystal River Cruises is only the beginning. Crystal is planning a much larger brand expansion that will also bring their high standard of travel to Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal Exclusive Class ocean vessels, and Crystal Luxury Air. If any of those future options interests you, or you are interested in booking one of the first voyages on Crystal’s river cruise line, or even if you just want to know more, visit AffordableTours.com or call us at 1-800-708-9007. We’ll be more than happy to put our years of travel expertise to work finding you the cruise package that’s right for you.