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Crystal expands to 5 river vessels, plans early launch

Edie Rodriguez - stepped-up plans are in response to travelers and travel agents’ enthusiasm for Crystal River Cruises
Crystal River Cruises has ordered four newbuilds—twice the number initially announced—from Lloyd Werft, and has acquired a notable vessel to begin operations in 2016, a year earlier than planned.

Crystal purchased the German-built Mozart, Europe's largest river cruise vessel. Following an extensive drydock upgrade, the newly designed and renamed Crystal Mozart will begin Danube River sailings on July 13 next year.

Crystal president and ceo Edie Rodriguez said the plans are in response to travelers and travel agents’ enthusiasm for Crystal River Cruises. She promised 'the largest guest suites and public spaces, the highest crew-to-guest-ratio and Crystal’s award-winning service.'

Crystal Mozart fits into the wider locks of the Danube from Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary. It measures 75.1 feet/22.9 meters wide, double the width of a typical riverboat. The 160-passenger vessel has window suites of 203 square feet, deluxe suites of 215 square feet, a penthouse suite of 322 square feet and a pair of two-bedroom Crystal Suites that are each a whopping 860 square feet.

Features include a public area that spans a single level and amenities such as multiple dining rooms, a wrap-around promenade, a luxurious spa and fitness center, an indoor pool, a beauty salon and library.

The four new newbuilds are scheduled to debut in June and August 2017. They'll offer suites of 220 square feet, deluxe suites of 250 square feet, a penthouse suite of 500 square feet and a two-bedroom Crystal Suite of 750 square feet, all with plush amenities.

The suites will feature king-size beds, walk-in wardrobes and bathrooms with double vanities. Similar to Crystal Mozart’s concept, the public areas and dining venues are all on one level. The new vessels will feature a Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof, a library, fitness center, spa and sports equipment such as electric-assisted bicycles, kayaks and jet skis.

At the maximum size to fit into the locks of rivers and under bridges, two of the Crystal river yachts will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube with 110 passengers. The other two will each have capacity for 84 passengers. One will cruise the Seine River and the other the Garonne and Dordogne rivers as well as navigating the Gironde Estuary.

Crystal Mozart is named after the Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and sails along the Danube, which passes through Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia.

The two newbuilds for the Rhine, Main and Danube will be named Crystal Bach after the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and Crystal Mahler after the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. The newbuilds for the Seine and Garonne will be called Crystal Ravel after the French composer Joseph Maurice Ravel and Crystal Debussy after the French composer Claude Debussy.

The vessels are planned to sail during daytime hours to make the most of the river scenery and afford the opportunity for overnights in select destinations. These often will present inclusive culinary experiences ashore at Michelin-starred restaurants and renowned local eateries, and exclusive evening events and cultural entertainment.

During days in port, immersive Crystal Adventures are planned, using a fleet of new luxury motor coaches with business-class-style seating and free Wi-Fi. Plus, the line will offer new Active Exploration Adventures for travelers seeking a high-intensity experience.