Crystal River Cruises’ two new river yachts are to feature 70 suites and a higher space-to-guest ratio than any other river cruise ship when they launch in Europe in late March 2017.
Boasting a yacht-like design, the two vessels will be built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft and will be the first in the industry to feature 250 sqft guest suites with walk-in wardrobes, American king size beds and bathrooms with double vanities. They will also offer two 500 sqft Penthouse Suites and spacious public areas including Palm Court with a dance floor and glass-domed roof, and a fitness centre and spa.
“We continue to listen to what our guests and the luxury traveller want, and river cruises are what they’ve been telling us they want for some time, so it’s a natural extension of the exceptional ocean cruises Crystal has offered for the past 25 years,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal president and CEO. “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.”
Crystal’s new river vessels will sail to destinations in France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. According to the line, the itineraries will ‘intentionally deviate’ from traditional river cruise routes to avoid congestion in ports.
While in port, guests will be able to participate in various immersive Crystal Adventures and the new Active Exploration Adventures shoreside programme, which will offer high-intensity shoreside activities. Crystal will also provide electric and manual bicycles, Segways and other equipment so guests can explore the destinations independently. A luxury yacht tender will also be available for private yachting experiences.
In addition, guests will be able to overnight in select ports to enjoy dining at Michelin-starred restaurants and local restaurants, and attend exclusive evening events organised by Crystal.
“The beauty of river cruising is not only that travellers enjoy close-up access to more fascinating inland locales, but also that the rivers themselves are coveted destinations that shouldn’t be overlooked,” said Rodriguez. “Our guests will have the opportunity to revel in the unique environment that sets river cruising apart from other travel experiences.”
Crystal revealed it would branch into the river cruise industry, and the air travel market, in July 2015. Itineraries, fares and bookings for Crystal River Cruises will be available beginning 1 December 2015.