On the heels of last month's stunning announcement, including Crystal River Cruises, the world's most awarded luxury cruise line unveiled today more detailed plans for its collection of two Crystal river yacht vessels, which will be launched in Europe starting in late March 2017. The new series of vessels will boast a yacht-like design featuring larger accommodations and space-to-guest ratio than any other river cruise ship, and include Crystal's signature all-inclusive six-star service, plus a fresh approach to the traditional river itineraries and experiences.
"We continue to listen to what our guests and the luxury traveler want, and river cruises are what they've been telling us they want for some time – it's a natural extension of the exceptional ocean cruise Crystal has offered for the past 25 years," says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. "But more importantly, they want to experience river cruises on a luxury Crystal vessel, and their desires will be fulfilled on our luxury Crystal river yachts."
The 70-suite luxury river yachts, which will be built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft, will surpass current and planned river boats or ships, and be the first in the industry to feature exceptional amenities and itinerary highlights including:
250 square-foot guest suites with walk-in wardrobes, American king size beds and bathrooms with double vanities
Two 500 square-foot Penthouse Suites with added comforts and conveniences
Spacious public areas, including Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof and a well-appointed fitness center and spa
Itineraries, fares and bookings for Crystal River Cruises will be available beginning December 1, 2015.
Taking advantage of its large suites to avoid multiple packing and unpacking with pre and post hotel stays as it is common with other river operators, Crystal's new river vessels will deploy itineraries that maximize time in port for meaningful shore-side excursions and experiences. This will afford Crystal guests virtually front-row access to some of Europe's most charming cities and always guarantee the award-winning Crystal service and dining experiences without the hassle and uncertainties of local hotel services and standards. Crystal's itineraries will also intentionally deviate from traditional river cruise routes to avoid congestion of other vessels in port.
Crystal will dedicate a portion of each cruise to sailing along some of the most picturesque rivers in central Europe – including destinations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria – 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 local eateries, and exclusive evening events and entertainment.
"The beauty of river cruising is not only that travelers enjoy close-up access to more fascinating inland locales, but also that the rivers themselves are coveted destinations that shouldn't be overlooked," says Rodriguez. "Our guests will have the opportunity to revel in the unique environment that sets river cruising apart from other travel experiences."
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. Travelers may also choose to create their own active adventures using the many bicycles (electric or manual), Segways and other active gear available on the ship for independent exploration. A luxury yacht tender will also be available for private yachting experiences that take guests to even more secluded areas within the destinations.