Last updated: 03:35 PM ET, Tue August 09 2016

Delivering On A Promise

Crystal Mozart makes good on a pledge to create a luxury river cruise experience

Vacation Agent | Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Claudette Covey

Delivering On A Promise

PHOTO: The Crystal Mozart. {/IMAGECAPTION]

When Crystal Cruises announced its plans to enter the river cruise market last year, it made a pretty heady promise – that it would deliver a river cruise vessel with all the luxury trademarks that have come to define Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

Crystal has indeed made good on that promise with the debut of the all-suite Crystal Mozart in Vienna last month. Built in 1987, the 3,341-ton Crystal Mozart once sailed as the MS Mozart in the Peter Deilmann fleet and was dubbed the “Queen of Europe’s Rivers.” The vessel, which received a stem-to-stern overhaul before it entered service, is larger and twice as wide as any riverboat plying European waterways.

Crystal has put that extra space to good use. In addition to four dining venues – an unprecedented number for a riverboat – Crystal Mozart is also equipped with a full wrap-around promenade deck; a large spa and fitness center with an indoor pool and separate steam and sauna rooms for men and women; two luxury Wider tenders (picture a yacht-speedboat hybrid) for customized excursions; the breathtaking Palm Court and adjoining Cove lounge; and a rooftop deck with cushy furnishings, a pop-up bar area and retractable movie screen.

Fanciest and Most Common Accommodations: All 77 suites come with Crystal butler service and are equipped with king-sized beds, walk-in closets, ETRO bath amenities, Nespresso machines, stocked minibars, digital iPad directories and 40-inch flat-screen TVs and interactive television system with free movies and music libraries. The marble bathrooms are technological marvels. In addition to televisions embedded into the mirrors above the sinks, and glass-enclosed showers with overhead and hand-held shower heads, the bathrooms also feature heated towel racks and TOTO Washlet systems, which are electronic bidets of sorts with heated toilet seats that open and close automatically.

The most luxurious accommodations are two 883-square-foot suites with French balconies, a master bedroom and a second connecting bedroom. In addition to showers, the bathroom boasts large tubs and double vanities. The living room has a seating area with armchairs and sofa, a dining room table with four chairs, and a LED non-heat fireplace, above which is a large wall-mounted recessed television. The suite also houses a half-bath.

READ MORE: Four Reasons Crystal Cruises Is Unlike Any Other Cruise Company 

The most common accommodations are 41 suites measuring 219 square feet with picture windows, desks, coffee tables and two-seat sofas.

The remaining complement of accommodations include twelve 330-square-foot penthouse suites with French balconies, twenty-one 219-squarefoot suites with French balconies and one 204-square-foot suite with French balcony.

What’s Included: Gratuities for housekeeping, bar, dining staff and butlers; all meals; soft drinks and champagne, fine wine and spirits; 24-hour room service; WiFi; one or more excursions in each port; daily fitness classes; and roundtrip airport transfers.

Favorite Excursion: Guests sailing on itineraries out of Vienna are privy to a complimentary Crystal Signature Event at the city’s Belvedere Palace, whose museum houses a formidable collection of paintings by renowned Austrian artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. The event includes a champagne reception, private access to the museum and a concert showcasing the works of Mozart and Strauss. Guests can also take advantage of complimentary dining experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants in select ports.

What’s for Dinner? Crystal Mozart’s culinary offerings are – beyond a doubt – on par with what guests will find aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. The vessel’s open-seating main dining room, Waterside, serves up inventive farm-to-table cuisine, with meals paired with an exquisite selection of wines. The restaurant is also the venue for breakfast and lunch buffets.

Other dining venues include the Bistro coffee bar and café; The Vintage Room for winemakers’ dinners; and Blue, a casual aft dining venue. There’s also the self-service Pantry for grab-and-go snacks and beverages.

Who Goes on This Ship? Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez says it best: “We are attracting a younger demographic, a global demographic – and in general this is not your grandparents’ river experience.” She notes that the inaugural cruise comprised an equal number of the line’s past guests and those who were new to both Crystal and river cruising.

Key Selling Points: Although Crystal River Cruises is an ultra-luxury product, it nonetheless offers an exceptional value in terms of the experience, and the features and amenities it offers travelers. You can create a very compelling argument to your savvier customers about how much the inclusions (all-suite accommodations, free drinks, complimentary Michelin dinner excursions and butler service, to name a few) would cost on another river cruise or a land vacation.

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Cruise line: Crystal River Cruises

Ship: Crystal Mozart

Size: 154 guests, 3,341 gross registered tons

Entered Service: Originally built in 1987 and sailed in the Peter Deilmann fleet as the MS Mozart. Entered service as Crystal Mozart in summer 2016.

Itinerary: Crystal Mozart is sailing on a series of 10- and 11-day Danube River sailings roundtrip from Vienna through Nov. 22. On Nov. 22, Dec. 2 and Dec. 12, it will operate 10-day “Christmas Markets Along the Danube” cruises roundtrip from Vienna. On Dec. 22, the vessel will embark on a 13-day “Christmas & New Year’s Eve” voyage, also roundtrip from Vienna.

Price: Fares for “Christmas Market” sailings start at $3,090 per person and $4,465 per person for the “Christmas & New Year’s Eve” itinerary. Ten- and 11-day itineraries through November 22 start at $3,280 per person. 


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Vacation Agent Magazine

A version of this article appears in print in the August 2016 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.


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