National Gallery, Budapest. A forthcoming highlight for the opulent new Crystal River Cruises. from 2017.

Nascent Crystal River Cruises will be hitting a quintet of high notes between 2016 and 2017, with the introduction of a new, musically styled fleet that intended to raise the bar on luxury European river cruises.

First out of the band box is the recently purchased MS Mozart, long regarded as one of the finest deluxe river boats anywhere. She will be restyled as the Crystal Mozart.

Described as a ‘river yacht’, the 160 guest vessel will benefit from a very comprehensive refurbishment before she enters service in July, 2016. The vessel will sail on a pair of alternating, ten and eleven night itineraries along the Danube, showcasing landmark river highlights such as Durnstein, Melk, and the World Heritage listed Wachau Valley, together with Belgrade, Budapest, and the Iron Gates.

Crystal Mozart will also make a special Christmas Markets cruise that will carry guests through the amazing winter hinterland of Austria, Germany and Slovakia.

Second note will be struck by the first of four new, purpose built near sister vessels. The 84 guest Crystal Debussy will showcase a series of five, seven and ten night sailings on the River Seine from Paris. Her first sailing is slated for June 4th, 2017. There will be an emphasis on Parisian art and culture during these voyages, and visits to such legendary, show stopping Normandy favourites as Honfleur and Rouen, with it’s historic links to Joan of Arc.

Just two weeks later another vessel, the Crystal Bach, will inaugurate a series of sailings along the Rhine, from Amsterdam to Basel. Central to these voyages will be a number of overnight stays in banner ports along the route. These voyages can be taken as a fourteen night adventure. The 110 guest yacht will also offer what promises to be a magically indulgent Christmas Markets cruise along the Rhine in December.

Fourth out of the orchestra pit, the Crystal Ravel will carry just eighty four guests on a series of adventures along the Rhone and Garonne rivers, beginning with an inaugural sailing on August 9th, 2017. These voyages will showcase the lush, stunning vineyards, wineries and chateaux of the Gironde and Loire Valleys, and also offer several overnight stays in the fabled city of Bordeaux.

The last note for now will be struck by the Crystal Mahler, with a capacity for 110 guests. Beginning with a maiden cruise on August 29th, 2017, the vessel will sail a series of deep, stunning and extensive sixteen night progressions. These ‘Grand Europe’ itineraries will sail the length of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, with a series of overnight calls en route including Amsterdam, Budapest, Passau and Vienna.

The stated aim of the company is to bring the same, legendary standards of cuisine, service and inclusiveness to river cruising as it showcases on its brace of hugely lauded ocean cruise ships. To that end, they will be truly all inclusive products that include free Wi-Fi, flights and overseas transfers, use of on board bikes, most alcoholic and soft drinks; a range of complimentary excursions in each port of call, together with all port taxes and on board gratuities.

These cruises are available to book now, with a lead in fare for a ten night, round trip Vienna cruise on Crystal Mozart coming in from £2,670 for a river suite, fully inclusive as outlined above.

As always, stay tuned for updates.

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