It was only a few months ago that we at Cruise Franchise reported on the new ownership and subsequent planned expansion of the Crystal Cruises brand. The ultra-luxury cruise brand currently operates two ocean cruise ships, both of which have been elegantly designed and offer spacious staterooms complete with butlers that will adhere to every want and need. Each cruise experience is enriched with port talks from lecturers and fantastic themed restaurants. The Silk Road and Sushi Bar restaurant is overseen by world-renowned Japanese restauranteur, Nobu Matsuhisa.
The planned expansion will see the introduction of new yacht cruises, polar cruises and two brand new ocean cruise ships. In addition to this, Crystal Cruises also planned to launch a river cruise line in 2017, with two vessels operating itineraries along some of Europe’s finest rivers. An announcement made today, however, will see the launch brought forward and the introduction of additional vessels.
When Crystal Cruises first announced their exciting plans for expansion back in July this year, it came as huge surprise to travel agents and cruisers. There is a significant demand for river cruising, with luxury lines such as AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways and Viking River Cruises offering some of the finest experiences on the rivers of the world. Unquestionably, there was always going to be a demand for Crystal River Cruises, given the respectable status of the brand.
With only two river cruise ships scheduled to launch in 2017, it came as no surprise that itineraries sold out very quickly. Following the demand, Crystal Cruises has today publicly announced an additional two river cruise vessels have been ordered for delivery in 2017, bringing the total number of river cruise vessels up to four.
Crystal Cruises has also purchased the German-built vessel, MS Mozart, the largest river cruise vessel in Europe, from Dertour. This 160 passenger capacity ship will undergo an extensive revamp in dry dock prior to launch, which has been brought forward to July 13, 2016. She will sail along the Danube under the name Crystal Mozart and offer passengers luxury amenities such as multiple dining rooms, a wrap-around promenade, spa and fitness centre, indoor pool, beauty salon and library.
Each of the four new Crystal River Cruise vessels, scheduled to join Crystal Mozart in 2017, will offer all-suite accommodation to guests, with accommodation options starting at 220 square feet. Features will include everything found on Crystal Mozart, with the addition of sports equipment such as electric-assisted bicycles, kayaks and jet skis carried on board.
Two of the vessels will have a maximum capacity for 110 passengers, whilst the other two will have capacity for 84. Each will be named after a European composer, with Crystal Bach being named after German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and Crystal Mahler named after Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. These vessels will sail along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers; whilst Crystal Ravel, named French composer Joseph Maurice Ravel, and Crystal Debussy, after French composer Claude Debussy, will complete itineraries along the Seine, Dordogne and Garonne rivers.
Upon docking in each port, Crystal River Cruises will offer a range of exciting shore tours, as well as free active excursions which will form part of a programme called Active Exploration Adventures. This optional scheme will offer guests the opportunity maintain fitness goals whilst seeing some of Europe’s most popular sights. Itineraries will even feature daytime sailings, providing guests with exciting opportunities to sample Michelin-star dishes during port overnight calls.
President and CEO of Crystal Cruises, Edie Rodriguez, stated her excitement. “In response to travellers’ 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.”
Further details of itineraries, fares and bookings will be available from November 30th, 2015.
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