Crystal River Cruises has held a keel-laying ceremony for its first two new-build ‘Rhine Class’ vessels, Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler.
Scheduled to launch in summer 2017, the two new vessels are set to become among the most luxurious river cruisers operating in the world. Both will measure 135 metres in length and will be able to accommodate 110 passengers in 55 suites.
The ceremony has held at the MV Werften shipyard in Germany, which was recently acquired by Crystal Cruises’ parent company, Genting Hong Kong, to drive the company’s ambitious expansion plans.
“This keel-laying marks an important milestone for us. These river yachts are not only the first brand new vessels under the Crystal River Cruises brand, but also the first constructed in our very own shipyard,” said Genting’s chairman, KT Lim.
All suites on the new Rhine Class vessels will feature panoramic balcony windows, walk-in closets, wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs and Nespresso machines. Public areas will include the Palm Court lounge area with glass-domed roof and dance floor, plus a fitness centre, spa, several bars and restaurants, a wine “cellar” and large observation deck.
Since acquiring Crystal in May 2015, Genting has revealed plans for a series of new ventures, including Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises and Crystal Luxury Air, as well as the expansion of the ocean-going Crystal Cruises fleet.
By 2019, the company plans to have built six new river vessels, a luxury polar-class mega-yacht and three polar-class ocean ships, all of which will be constructed at its own shipyard. Genting will also use the new facility to build cruise ships for its other Asian brands, Star Cruises and Dream Cruises.
Crystal River Cruises’ first river vessel, Crystal Mozart, launched in Austria last month.