Construction work has commenced on Crystal River Cruises’ first new-build vessel, which the company is billing as the world’s most luxurious river cruiser.
A steel-cutting ceremony was held in Germany this week to mark the official start of construction of the new vessel. The company has ordered four luxury “river yachts”, which will be named Crystal Debussy, Crystal Ravel, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Bach.
These will embark on the voyages along the rivers of Europe in summer 2017, offering some of the largest rooms and most opulent amenities in the river cruise market.
The ceremony was attended by Edie Rodriguez, president & CEO of Crystal Cruises, Lim Kok Thay, chairman & CEO of Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong, and Rüdiger Pallentin, managing director of the Lloyd Werft Shipyard, which has also been acquired by Genting.
“This seemingly simple act was an absolute thrill, as it represents a very important milestone in the growth of the Crystal brand,” said Ms Rodriguez. “It was my honour to stand with the leaders of our wonderful parent company and the acclaimed Lloyd Werft Shipyard, and to enjoy the support of the local community leaders, as we continue the process of ushering in the new era of Crystal with Crystal River Cruises.”
According to Crystal, the new all-suite river cruisers “will surpass current and planned river boats or ships”, in terms of their amenities.
Accommodation will range from the 23m² suites to the 46m² penthouses, and all come fitted with walk-in wardrobes, king-size beds and bathrooms. Public areas will include the Palm Court lounge area with its glass-domed roof and dance floor, plus a fitness centre, spa, several bars and restaurants, a wine “cellar”, large observation deck and yoga area.
Crystal River Cruises will officially launch this summer when the Crystal Mozart embarks on its first cruise along the Danube in July. Crystal Debussy, Crystal Ravel, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Bach will then join the fleet on 2017, adding new itineraries along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers in Central Europe, as well as the Seine, Garonne and Dordogne rivers in France.