LOS ANGELES - In true Crystal fashion, the world's most awarded luxury cruise line is delivering more of what its guests want, and will launch Crystal River Cruises with five luxury river yachts – three more than previously announced – with the first ultra-luxury river vessel starting in 2016, a full year earlier than planned.
President and CEO Edie Rodriguez announced today four newly built Crystal river yachts – twice the originally planned deployment – have been ordered for delivery in 2017 from the German shipyard Lloyd Werft. Additionally, due to travelers and agents strong demand for an earlier Crystal river experience, Crystal has also completed the purchase of the German built MS Mozart, the largest river cruise vessel in Europe. Following an extensive dry dock to create the elegant Crystal experience on board, the newly designed vessel will be renamed "Crystal Mozart" and embark on the Danube River on July 13, 2016.
"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," said Rodriguez. "Once the transformation of Crystal Mozart is completed, it will truly be the crown jewel of the European rivers."
Crystal Mozart is designed to fit into the wider locks of the Danube River from Passau in Germany to Budapest in Hungary, and holds the record of being the largest river cruise vessel on European rivers, measuring 75.1 feet wide (22.9 meters), which is double the width of an average industry river boat. The 160-guest capacity Crystal Mozart has window suites of 203 square feet, deluxe suites of 215 square feet, a penthouse suite of 322 square feet and two, two-bedroom Crystal Suites of 860 square feet, the largest suite on any river vessels. Due to its impressive width and size, the vessel's unique features will remain, such as the public area that spans a single level and exclusive yacht-like amenities including multiple dining rooms, a wraparound promenade, a luxurious spa and fitness center, an indoor pool, beauty salon, and library.
The four new all-suite luxury river yachts will debut in June and August 2017, boasting suites of 220 square feet, deluxe suites of 250 square feet, a penthouse suite of 500 square feet and a two-bedroom Crystal Suite of 750 square feet, and all boasting plush amenities. The suites will all feature king size beds (an industry first), walk-in wardrobes and bathrooms with double vanities. Similar to Crystal Mozart's concept, the luxury river yacht's public areas and dining venues are all on one level for convenient access. The new vessels will feature a Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof, a library, fitness center, spa, and sporting equipment such as electric assisted bicycles, kayaks, and jet skis. Designed with the maximum size to fit into the locks of rivers and under bridges, two of the Crystal River Yachts will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers with 110 guests. As for the other two, each with an 84-guest capacity, one will be cruising the Seine River and the other the Garonne and Dordogne rivers as well as navigating through the Gironde Estuary.
Crystal Mozart is named after the famous Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and cruises on the Danube River, which passes Austria along with Germany, Slovakia, Hungry and Serbia. Following the same principle, the two new builds cruising on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers will be named "Crystal Bach" after the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and "Crystal Mahler" after the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. The two new builds cruising on the Seine River and Garonne River will be named "Crystal Ravel" after the French composer Joseph Maurice Ravel and "Crystal Debussy" after the French composer Claude Debussy.
Crystal will dedicate a portion of each cruise to sailing along some of the most picturesque rivers in central Europe – including destinations such as Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and France – during daytime hours, allowing travelers to relish the extraordinary scenery. This timing also affords guests the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife in select destinations with port overnights, which will often present inclusive culinary experiences ashore at Michelin-starred restaurants and renowned local eateries, and exclusive evening events and cultural entertainment. During days spent in port, Crystal River Cruises will offer guests a bevy of the immersive Crystal Adventures as well as launch its newest shore-side program called Active Exploration Adventures. Tailored for guests wanting a high-intensity shore-side activity, Crystal is offering a complimentary active excursion for guests to explore the splendid European landscapes while staying fit on their vacation. In addition, the Crystal Adventures experience will be enhanced by the introduction of a fleet of luxury motor coaches, offering business-class style seating, complimentary Wi-Fi and with the most knowledgeable local guides onshore.
The announcement comes just months after Crystal Cruises unveiled its intention to embark on the most significant brand expansion in the luxury travel and hospitality history with the addition of Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal Exclusive Class ocean vessels and Crystal Luxury Air.
Photo caption: Crystal Mozart Rendering.