Crystal Cruises is undergoing a sea of changes since its acquisition by Hong Kong Genting Group a few months ago. Last month the Los Angeles, California-based operator of two luxury liners the Symphony and Serenity, broke the news it was expanding its world to river cruises, an airplane, a yacht and more ships. And on the heels of that announcement, the company today, Aug. 10, unveiled that the official date for the company’s river yachts cruises is slated for late March 2017 in Europe. “We continue to listen to what our guests and the luxury traveler want, and river cruises are what they’ve been telling us they want for some time – it’s a natural extension of the exceptional ocean cruise Crystal has offered for the past 25 years,” says Crystal president and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “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.”
The luxurious yachts, which are being built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft, are expected to redefine river cruising just like Crystal reimagined luxury voyages when it debuted over two decades ago with the now-defunct Harmony. Each ‘boat’ will house suites spanning 250 square-feet with walk-in wardrobes, American king size beds and bathrooms with double vanities. Just like the Symphony and Serenity there will be penthouse suites for the very discerning which will measure 500 square-feet. There will also be the signature Palm Court as well as a spa and fitness facility.
Even though the launch is two years away, Crystal is opening booking for its river cruises on Dec. 1, 2015. The itineraries will take in those picturesque rivers of central Europe sailing through France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. While it sounds like these ships might be a cut or two above your usual river boats daytime diversions are pretty much the same, slipping past scenery and getting off to explore the areas. The cruise line will also be offering the opportunity to hit the nightlife of ports with later departures. “The beauty of river cruising is not only that travelers enjoy close-up access to more fascinating inland locales, but also that the rivers themselves are coveted destinations that shouldn’t be overlooked,” says Rodriguez. “Our guests will have the opportunity to revel in the unique environment that sets river cruising apart from other travel experiences.”
Crystal is offering its normal selection of the immersive Crystal Adventures along with the launch of a new shore-side program called Active Exploration Adventures that will be targeted for guests wanting a high-intensity shore-side activity. It is also offering a complimentary active excursion for its passengers who want to explore the splendid European landscapes while staying fit on their vacation. There will be bicycles both electric and manual and other devices offered along with private yachts to rent.