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In Focus: River Cruising

Crystal unveils two new routes in 2022 river program

Crystal Mahler on the Moselle.jpg
Crystal Mahler is pictured on the Moselle. Crystal River Cruises operates four identical all-balcony-suite vessels
Bookings opened for Crystal River Cruises’ 2022 program featuring a new ‘Treasures of Southeast Europe’ itinerary with maiden calls at Vidin, Bulgaria, and Giurgiu, Romania.

A new ‘Joyous Danube Celebration’ holiday voyage round-trip from Vienna highlights Christmas markets.

At least two in-port overnights per cruise

Every cruise offers at least two overnight stays in port, some as many as four.

Sailings of seven to 10 nights will operate on the all-balcony-suite Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel.

Crystal said careful thought was given to the best ways to experience Holland’s famous tulips; to capitalize on cooler July weather along Dutch and Belgian waterways, when the crowds are calmer; the decennial Floriade International Horticultural Expo outside of Amsterdam; and the rich Jewish and culinary cultures in select destinations.

Demand ‘compelled us to announce 2022 itineraries far ahead of the rest of the market, offering our guests nearly three full years of voyages available for booking,’ said Walter Littlejohn, vice president and managing director of Crystal River Cruises.

More seven-night routes

With more seven-night itineraries than ever — including round-trip options from convenient air travel hubs Vienna and Amsterdam — many sailings are combinable. Two May itineraries aboard Crystal Ravel, ‘Treasures of Southeast Europe’ and ‘Delightful Danube,’ can be combined for a 14-night voyage between Vilshofen and Giurgiu. Crystal Bach’s July and August ‘Dutch & Belgian Waterways’ and either ‘Legendary Rhine’ (westbound) or ‘Romantic Rhine’ (eastbound) can create five-country, 14-night voyages between Amsterdam and Basel.

Pre- and post-cruise land tours are available in Prague and Zurich.

Wine & Food Festival

Both Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler feature Wine & Food Festival theme cruises (both ships’ Oct. 8, 15 and 22 departures), including cooking demonstrations with local guest chefs on board and immersive experiences ashore.

Crystal Ravel will present Jewish Heritage voyages in June, July and October, highlighting pivotal sites and figures that have shaped the Jewish culture in locales along the Danube, with an expanded selection of focused shoreside experiences in addition to what is offered on all Crystal river voyages.

For special seasonal experiences, Crystal Bach will sail ‘Tulips & Windmills’ voyages to the Netherlands and Belgium, showcasing the famed fields cloaked in millions of blooms. During the winter holidays from late November through December, all four Crystal vessels will visit the Christmas markets of Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. 

‘Treasures of Southeast Europe’

This new seven-night cruise between Giurgiu and Budapest offers overnights in Budapest; Vidin, Bulgaria (westbound only); and Novi Sad, Serbia (eastbound only); with calls at Mohacs, Hungary; Vukovar, Croatia; Belgrade, Serbia; and scenic cruising through the Iron Gates.

‘Joyous Danube Celebration’

Round-trip Vienna, this new nine-night holiday voyage has overnights in Vienna and Budapest and calls at Bratislava, Slovakia; Krems, Melk and Linz, Austria and scenic cruising through the Wachau Valley.

The 2022 cruises are priced starting at $3,999 per person, with two-for-one cruise fares and Book Now Savings through March 4, 2020, ensuring the best fares for those who book early.