Today luxury river cruise line Crystal River Cruises marked the resumption of European river cruise operations and its return to Europe’s rivers as Crystal Ravel sailed from Vilshofen on a seven-night Danube itinerary featuring calls in Germany, Austria and Hungary, shipboard overnights in Vienna and Budapest, and cruising of the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley. In Vilshofen, the officers and crew welcomed guests back to Crystal Ravel after a nearly 18-month pause in operations.
On Aug. 30, sister ship Crystal Debussy is set to cruise from Basel on a seven-night Rhine itinerary with calls in Switzerland, France, Germany and Netherlands and overnight calls in Koblenz and Amsterdam.
“After months of planning and preparation we are excited to welcome our guests back on board to experience the attentive service and personalized care of our devoted staff on cruises to the best-loved destinations of Europe’s scenic rivers and waterways,” said Walter Littlejohn, Crystal River Cruises’ senior vice president and managing director.
The ships’ staff have been prepping the vessels, refreshing their training, and implementing new Crystal Clean+ procedures that address the unique challenges of COVID-19 with stringent health protocols in place to provide guests a safe and enjoyable experience. Crystal River Cruises requires all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated as part of Crystal Clean+, which due to the mandatory vaccination requirement, allows guests to explore ashore independently.
The line’s spacious all-suite river ships allow for ample social distancing, accommodating just half as many guests as similarly sized vessels and offering a la carte restaurants, open-seating dining and an abundance of tables for two.
During 2021, Crystal River Cruises will offer 32 voyages ranging from seven to 11 nights exploring the historic cities, cultural treasures and UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Rhine, Danube and Moselle rivers with a focus on the line’s most popular and destination-rich seven-night Rhine and Danube itineraries, as well as voyages showcasing the fairytale beauty of the Mosel Wine Region. Every 2021 river voyage is also highlighted by at least two overnight stays, with many voyages offering three overnights, allowing guests to further immerse themselves in the ports’ charm and history, or venture to nearby towns for broader experiences.
Crystal River Cruises’ 2021 deployment reflects a gradual return of service and the consolidation of sailings from Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler to similar voyages on their identical sister ships, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel. There is still time and availability to book on select voyages, including limited availability on 2021 Holiday voyages. Crystal Ravel is set to ring in the New Year in Vienna during an extended three-night call, while Crystal Debussy will celebrate New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam with a two-night call to enjoy all the festivities and enrichment the city has to offer.
Cruising the Rhine River Gorge
On Crystal River Cruises’ itineraries, timeless medieval towns mix beautifully with modern hubs of culture and commerce. Guests can explore Melk’s Benedictine Abbey, Vienna’s famed Ringstrasse, and the windmills of Amsterdam, and cruise through the magnificent landscapes of the Rhine River Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On every voyage, Crystal’s Destination Discoveries features inclusive and optional curated experiences ashore, as well as Signature Events and extended journeys designed to enhance the journey for guests with selections that cater to a variety of interests, including a complimentary Signature Event at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna for select 2021 Crystal Ravel sailings.
Crystal’s award-winning Rhine-Class river ships are the industry’s first and only all-balcony, all-suite, all-butler vessels in Europe, with every category of accommodation positioned above the water line. All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows and walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms are featured in most categories.
All of Crystal’s river ships feature private butler service in every room category, king-size beds, Caudalie amenities, robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs. Additional enticing features include farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court for entertainment, enrichment presentations and sweeping views of the countryside. Crystal’s attention to detail extends to guests transported on adventures in luxury motor coaches equipped with complimentary water and Wi-Fi for added convenience and comfort.
— from Cruiseable news services