While all of the river cruise companies claim luxury and 5-star services, none can compete with the newest entry into the River Cruise market, Crystal River Cruises!
Crystal Cruises has been the most heralded cruise Line for some 22 years in Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure and decided a little over a year ago to take the 6-star services to Europe’s Rivers with a fleet of newbuilds… The first ship was a rebuild from a hull built in 1989, the largest river ship ever built, the TS Mozart. After taking the vessel down to bare metal and completely rebuilding it at an untold cost with all couture interior decoration, Crystal rechristened this elegant vessel in July of 2016. Crystal Mozart is 395 feet long, 74 feet wide, carries only 154 passengers in an all-suite configuration with an extensive crew of 92 to pamper its guests. To put it in perspective, other luxury competitors have less than 50 crew members to care for roughly the same or more guests…
I am including a link to my extensive photographs of this gorgeous vessel and my 10-night December 2016 Christmas Markets Cruise sailing roundtrip from Vienna but here are some of the facts that make this vessel extra special…
The Crystal Mozart is all-inclusive onboard and includes luxury accommodations that range in size from 216-884 square feet, all have butler service, 24 hour room service (unheard of on other vessels), includes gratuities, all gourmet meals, premium beverages, and an extensive list of daily sightseeing excursions!
The best features are her onboard service and carefully selected genteel crew who hail mostly from Central and eastern Europe. The are about the best I have encountered at sea or on any other river experience. The dining options are taken in three venues (vs. 1 or maybe two on other ships) and offer open seating (also unheard of on other vessels). The food is farm to table and as close to Michelin as one can get. Crystal River Cruises also includes an array of excellent shore excursions and offers guest the chance to book a Michelin Star dining experience in places like Vienna or Budapest, also included in the price. My favorite event was the private evening visit to Belvedere Palace in Vienna wherein the guests were treated to small curated art tours of the extensive Klimt paintings while sipping the adored Adele Champagne and then ending with a classical Austrian concert in the Marble Hall along with ballet and Opera performances-This is a real WOW!!!
Crystal Mozart will be joined by a fleet of newly built all-suite 80 passenger vessels starting in 2017 that will cruise Europe’s rivers. For now, the Mozart id the Belle-of-the Ball and offers an exceptional cruise experience
Experienced travelers will love this pampering experience on the most stylish of vessels and exceptional crew who will pamper your every need!
Link to My pictures: https://cruisecenter.smugmug.com/Crystal-Mozart-by-Tom-Baker/i-qhFN7PJ