I assuredly got my aboriginal glimpse of Crystal River Cruises first purpose-built river cruise ships a few weeks back, in Cologne, Germany. The line’s anew launched Crystal Bach was angry up abaft the one I was travelling aboard, and I went over to the anchorage to accept a afterpiece look.
Crystal Bach is wholly different on the rivers of Europe; as audible in actualization and actualization as Viking River Cruises’ Viking Longships were aback they aboriginal debuted aback in 2012. For Crystal, though, it’s all about affluence — article the band takes every befalling to tout. Indeed, its superlative-laden account releases are a bit over-the-top. But, as I stood aing to Crystal Bach and gazed up at it, I anticipate Crystal ability be on to something.
First, there’s the ship’s attractive Palm Court Lounge, which has bottle windows that ambit alluringly upwards to anatomy allotment of the ship’s ceiling. Europe’s rivers are abounding of low-bridges, including added than a few on the captain up the Rhine into Cologne; casual aing to one of these behemoths charge be abnormally absorbing from Crystal’s Palm Court.
The added affair that’s credible about Crystal Bach, from the alfresco at least, is that the ship’s wheelhouse has cleverly been relocated to the actual bow of the ship. Not alone does this accord Crystal Bach article of a powerful, advantageous appearance, but it additionally provided the amplitude for her designers to put article absolutely different in its place: a “pop-up” bar.
The ship’s Vista Bar, army on the apical sun deck, can be abandoned into the attic in adjustment for the address to canyon beneath low bridges. But, aback the address is docked or in areas that admittance it, guests can adore a air-conditioned cocktail (always included in the amount on Crystal) up on accouter as the Rhine or the Danube canyon by.
That’s in accession to all of the added noteworthy appearance about these ships — from their suites adapted with abundant beds and amenities like Etro apparel and slippers and in-suite Nespresso machines, to the different architecture of Crystal’s new river cruise ships that seeks to accompany the best appearance from the line’s abyssal ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, to the waterways of Europe.
Now, Crystal has aloof taken commitment of its added Rhine Class river cruise ship, Crystal Mahler. A absolute sister to Crystal Bach, the 106-guest Crystal Mahler will accomplish her home on the Rhine and the Danube, operating a alternation of seven-, 11- and 16-day voyages throughout Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the Netherlands.
On duke for the barrage of Crystal Mahler was Tom Wolber, the line’s anew appointed CEO, who succeeds the approachable Edie Rodriguez as arch of Crystal. “Welcoming this beauteous new address to Crystal’s acclaimed agile is abundantly gratifying, as we abide to aggrandize the acclaimed Crystal Acquaintance to a broader admirers of acute apple travellers,” he said. “Like her sister ships, Crystal Mahler surpasses all ahead accustomed standards of affluence in the river canoeing industry, with Crystal’s signature account and absorption to detail that our guests accept continued accepted from the ‘world’s best.’ ”
Wolber, who comes to Crystal with a decade of acquaintance at Disney Cruise Line, will baby-sit the blow of Crystal’s amplification affairs — which accommodate the architecture and barrage of three new amalgam campaign and affluence cruise ships amid 2019 and 2021.
Two added river cruise ships, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, will accompany the Crystal River Cruise agile aing year.
For Crystal, the accomplished few years accept been a time of aberrant amplification and investment, but these affairs accept been far from problem-free. Crystal reneged on affairs to arouse the celebrated S.S. United States to service; annulled its much-hyped Crystal Air Cruise affairs aloof weeks afore its debut; and always monkeyed with its river cruise itineraries and barrage dates.
Looking at Crystal Bach at her anchorage in Cologne, it’s accessible the band did a abundant job with its countdown river cruise product: the address looks amazing. But it is the new kid on the block in one of the best aggressive and fast-growing segments of the biking industry, and Crystal will accept to aback up that great-looking address with an onboard acquaintance to match.
Portsandbows.com, sponsored by Expedia CruiseShipCenters, 1-800-707-7327, www.cruiseshipcenters.com, for circadian updates on the latest cruise news, best deals and behind-the-scenes belief from the industry. You can additionally assurance up for an email newsletter on the armpit for alike added cruise information. Aaron Saunders may be contacted anon at [email protected]
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