PHOTO: Crystal has announced that it will purchase the MS Mozart, pictured, the largest riverboat in Europe. (Photo via Wikipedia)
Crystal Cruises continues its unprecedented expansion with an additional order and purchase for its forthcoming Crystal River Cruises brand. The line has doubled its new river yacht order and purchased an existing riverboat for the line’s early launch in 2016, one year ahead of schedule.
Crystal will now build four luxury riverboats, compared to two originally, at the Lloyd Werft shipyard that the line’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong, has recently acquired. Plus, after popular demand for one of its previously announced itineraries, the line has bought the German-built MS Mozart, the largest riverboat in Europe.
“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 Crystal’s President and CEO, Edie Rodriguez.
First up will be the launch of the existing riverboat, renamed Crystal Mozart, after an extensive dry-dock redesign of the 160-guest vessel to elevate it to the line's luxury standards on July 13, 2016. Designed to fit into the wider locks of the Danube River – from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary – at double the width of average riverboats, the Mozart will feature many dining rooms, a wraparound promenade, library, spa and fitness center, salon and indoor pool. Private accommodations will include window suites of 203 square feet, deluxe suites of 215 square feet, a penthouse suite of 322 square feet and two double-bedroom Crystal Suites of 860 square feet, the largest suites on any riverboat.
Rodriguez added, “Once the transformation of Crystal Mozart is completed, it will truly be the crown jewel of the European rivers.”
As for the newbuilds, the four all-suite river yachts – two with a 110-guest capacity and the other two with an 84-guest capacity – will launch in June and August of 2017. Onboard highlights include a Palm Court with a dance floor and glass-domed roof, as well as a library, fitness center, spa and available equipment like electric-assisted bikes, kayaks and even jet skis. Private accommodations encompass suites of 220 square feet, deluxe suites of 250 square feet, a penthouse suite of 500 square feet and a double-bedroom Crystal Suite of 750 square feet.
Following the Crystal Mozart naming motif, the two 110-guest river yachts, sailing on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, will be called Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler. Similarly, the 84-guest yachts will be named the Crystal Ravel and Crystal Debussy, one sailing along the Seine River and the other along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and Gironde Estuary.
Exploring ports in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and France by day, and in some cases night, will be a new fleet of luxury motor coaches with business-class style seats and included Wi-Fi, often embarking on inclusive culinary experiences and exclusive evening events. Crystal Adventures will be offered as well as new complimentary Active Exploration Adventures for guests desiring more kinetic fitness experiences ashore.
All of this is of course in addition to the massive expansion plans for new Crystal Cruises ocean ships, a Crystal Yacht Cruises vessel and Crystal Luxury Air planes. Crystal River Cruises itinerary details and bookings will open on Nov. 30, 2015 for Cyber Monday.