Godmother Mariann Peller
Mariann Peller, philanthropist and creator of the 'Virtuosos' classical music talent show, did the honors at Wednesday evening's festivities where tenor Steffan Mullan performed along with artists from Peller's Young Virtuosos Foundation.
'To be named the godmother of a ship that celebrates the classical musical heritage of this country and the lands that surround her is an honor that speaks to my heart,' Peller said.
Performers from Young Virtuosos included clarinetist Ali Dániel Lugosi, double bassist Tamás Kökény, violinist Amira Abouzahra, violinist Mariam Abuzahra and Budapest Festival Orchestra harpist Ágnes Polonyi.
Five river vessels in two years
In July 2016, Crystal launched its first river vessel, Crystal Mozart, and four Rhine-class new builds followed, culminating with Crystal Ravel.
'Today is a proud day for the entire Crystal family. In just over two years, we introduced five ships, which is a tremendous accomplishment of growth for this expansion of the Crystal brand,' president and CEO Thomas Wolber said. 'But what makes us most proud is that with each new ship and new experience, Crystal’s commitment to superb quality and exceptional luxury and service has remained unwavering.'
People are the heart of the experience
Beyond the fleet, 'the heart of the Crystal river experience is the people,' said Walter Littlejohn, VP and managing director, Crystal River Cruises, adding that the crew is 'unmatched in their warm, genuine service and attention to detail.'
The ceremony took place during Crystal Ravel's overnight stay in Budapest on its weeklong 'Danube Serenade' voyage, allowing passengers to participate in the festivities. The event was streamed live on Crystal's Facebook page.
Cruises between Vienna and Basel
Crystal Ravel is currently sailing itineraries of six to 14 days between Vienna and Basel and in 2019 will be the only river vessel to operate seven-night Danube cruises round-trip from Vienna to ports in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.