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Longer stays, port overnights distinguish Crystal's river itineraries

Crystal will field four newly built vessels and the redesigned Crystal Mozart
Crystal Cruises detailed the itineraries for its five new luxury river yachts, with voyages from 2016 through 2018 just opened for booking. Many of the routes feature overnight stays in ports like Paris, Honfleur, Rouen, Bordeaux, Basel, Passau, Linz, Vienna and Amsterdam—to name a few.

Crystal president and ceo Edie Rodriguez promised 'innovative vessel designs, unmatched guest service and fascinating itineraries' that focus on longer and overnight stays and daytime cruising, in addition to sailing less traveled routes to avoid port congestion.

The recently acquired and to be redesigned Crystal Mozart will sail in July 2016, and the four newly built vessels, Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel, will embark in June and August 2017.

Crystal Mozart's maiden Danube River cruise will sail July 13. The vessel will operate two itineraries of 10 and 11 nights plus a special 10- to 13-night Christmas and New Year’s Eve voyage.

'Danube’s Capital & Wachau Valley' will take travelers through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Austria’s Wachau Valley and visit Dürnstein, Melk, Linz and Vienna, Austria; Passau, Germany; and Bratislava, Slovakia. 'Countries of Eastern Danube' includes Vienna; Esztergorm, Kalocsa, Budapest and Mohács, Hungary; Vukovar, Croatia; the Iron Gate; Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia; and Bratislava.

'Christmas Markets Along the Danube' charts Austria, Germany and Slovakia for the traditional marketplaces and town squares, from Munich’s Christkindlmarkt to the Viennese Christmas Market at City Hall and Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace.

Crystal Debussy will debut on the Seine River June 4, 2017. The vessel will sail five-, seven- and 10-night voyages from Paris with multiple overnights. The ship’s smaller size—84-passenger capacity—will allow it to berth near the Eiffel Tower.

The 'Best of Paris, Seine River & Normandy' itinerary highlights the villages and valleys that inspired Impressionists like Monet and Van Gogh. A double overnight puts travelers within walking distance of Honfleur and positions them near the surrounding area's attractions including the beaches of Normandy and Deauville.

'Paris & The Arts' will provide in-depth immersion into masterpieces housed in the Musée d’Orsay, d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Louvre before venturing to Rouen in the heart of Normandy then returning to Paris. 'Pre-Christmas Shopping in Paris' enables travelers to immerse themselves in the Marché de Noël outdoor bazaar and see street performances along the Rue du Gros Horloge in Rouen.

Crystal Bach will sail its maiden voyage June 18, 2017. The vessel’s 14-night itinerary includes overnights in cities like Amsterdam; Basel, Switzerland; and Ruedesheim, Germany, along the Rhine and Moselle rivers. 'Classic Rhine' adds overnights at Antwerp, Belgium; Nijmegen, Cologne, Cochem, Koblenz, Mainz, Speyer, Kehl and Breisach, Germany, and allows for additional stays in Frankfurt. 

The 110-passenger Crystal Bach's 10-night 'Christmas Markets along the Rhine' itinerary includes two of Switzerland’s loveliest markets— Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz in Basel—plus historic abbeys and cathedrals. The vessel will overnight in Cologne, home to one of Europe's largest Christmas markets.

Crystal Ravel, which will sail the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and the Gironde Estuary, makes its maiden voyage Aug. 8, 2017. The 84-passenger vessel will visit France's best known wine region and explore the UNESCO-designated city of Bordeaux.

The seven-night 'Bordeaux, the Wine Region & Beyond' spends two nights in Bordeaux before cruising to Cadillac (overnight), Pauillac (overnight), Blaye and Libourne (overnight), France, then back to Bordeaux (overnight). The extra nights in Bordeaux give time to visit Arachon in southwestern France for the city’s oysters, white wine and the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s tallest sand dune.

Crystal Mahler, to ply the Rhine, Main and Danube, will begin sailing  Aug. 29, 2017. Its 16-night 'Grand Europe' itinerary is the longest offered by the Crystal river fleet and stretches two nights longer than most other lines sailing the same route. The 110-passenger vessel will transit the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and visit the Netherlands and villages in Germany, with overnights in Budapest, Vienna, Passau and Amsterdam.

Each ship's inaugural voyage will be exclusively available for booking by Crystal Society members (repeat customers) through Dec. 15. Other dates are open for sale now.