CRYSTAL RIVER CRUISES ANNOUNCES 2016-17 ITINERARIES

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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.

STUNNING RIVERSIDE SIGHTS-MAGICAL SCENERY ALONG THE NILE, RHINE, SEINE, DOURO AND SAINT LAWRENCE

Felucca on the Nile, Aswan, Egypt

Felucca on the Nile, Aswan, Egypt

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, on the Saint Lawrence seaway

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, on the Saint Lawrence seaway

Chateaux line the valleys of the Seine

Chateaux line the valleys of the Seine

The unique 'wedding of the waters' at Tapajo, Brazil

The unique ‘wedding of the waters’ at Tapajo, Brazil

Local life along the winding Amazon

Local life along the winding Amazon

Porto's hilltop location is absolutely stunning.

Porto’s hilltop location is absolutely stunning.

Santa Maria Do Borbo, typical ancient Portuguese architecture.

Santa Maria Do Borbo, typical ancient Portuguese architecture.

The Tower of London on the Thames

The Tower of London on the Thames

The approach to Karnak is epic

The approach to Karnak is epic

The Nile is eternal

The Nile is eternal

Close up of one of those amazing, ageless statues

Close up of one of those amazing, ageless statues

Cologne's world famous icon; the monolithic, twin spired Dom cathdral

Cologne’s world famous icon; the monolithic, twin spired Dom cathdral

One of the amazing confections that lines the old Graslei harbour

One of the amazing confections that lines the old Graslei harbour

Canal side scenes like this one typify Ghent's old world appeal

Canal side scenes like this one typify Ghent’s old world appeal

This is Arnhem's pretty little cinema, set on the town square

This is Arnhem’s pretty little cinema, set on the town square

The reconstructed 'Bridge Too Far' is an exact replica

The reconstructed ‘Bridge Too Far’ is an exact replica

Not sure which surprised me more- beaches or sunbathing horses!

Not sure which surprised me more- beaches or sunbathing horses!

Hoorn waterfront

Hoorn waterfront

Row upon row of serried plane trees

Row upon row of serried plane trees

Amazing vistas stretch in all directions on the Nile

Amazing vistas stretch in all directions on the Nile

Sunset on the Nile at Kom Ombo

Sunset on the Nile at Kom Ombo

Sunsets were tender, mellow feasts

Sunsets were tender, mellow feasts

Another shot from further out

Another shot from further out

SAILING THE NEDER RIJN

Leaving Rotterdam's outskirts

Leaving Rotterdam’s outskirts

Heavy industry on the Neder Rijn

Heavy industry on the Neder Rijn

Close up, this has a stark, brutal beauty

Close up, this has a stark, brutal beauty

Ferries criss crossed our route

Ferries criss crossed our route

Banks of plane trees lined the river

Banks of plane trees lined the river

Looking down from mu cabin balcony

Looking down from mu cabin balcony

These power plants were random and impressive

These power plants were random sights

The cathedrals of the 21st century

The cathedrals of the 21st century

All the panoply of the gods of industry

All the panoply of the gods of industry

Giving way to sudden swathes of green

Giving way to sudden swathes of green

Small, tidy villages ranged along the river

Small, tidy villages ranged along the river

Sunsets were tender, mellow affairs

Sunsets were tender, mellow affairs

Evenings served up some amazing vistas

Evenings served up some amazing vistas

Mirror images of evening fall

Mirror images of evening fall

We ghosted under a series of bridges

We ghosted under a series of bridges

Spring evenings had a special magic

Spring evenings had a special magic

Fields and roads, forests and ravines

Fields and roads, forests and ravines

Row upon row of serried plane trees

Row upon row of serried plane trees

Winding bends revealed new vistas

Winding bends revealed new vistas

Bridges of all shapes and sizes

Bridges of all shapes and sizes

And quirky little river boats

And quirky little river boats

And river towns like famous Arnhem....

And river towns like famous Arnhem….

A-ROSA FLORA PICTURE GALLERY PART III

Promenade corridor on the A-Rosa Flora

Promenade corridor on the A-Rosa Flora

Restaurant level on the A-Rosa Flora

Restaurant level on the A-Rosa Flora

Only the best is good enough on here

Only the best is good enough on here

Outdoor terrace, facing forward

Outdoor terrace, facing forward

Eclectic divider for the main dining area

Eclectic divider for the main dining area

Gangway down in an en route pit stop

Gangway down in an en route pit stop

The main bar in the panorama lounge

The main bar in the panorama lounge

A typically diverse array of cheeses on board

A typically diverse array of cheeses on board

Food  was always amazing

Food was always amazing

The variety and quality was stunning

The variety and quality was stunning

All the bread was fresh baked daily

All the bread was fresh baked daily

Quality took place over quantity all the time

Quality took place over quantity all the time

Even the Cappucino was beautifully presented

Even the Cappucino was beautifully presented

My boudoir, cabin 320 on the upper deck

My boudoir, cabin 320 on the upper deck

Upper deck as we sailed the Rhine

Upper deck as we sailed the Rhine

The A-Rosa flag flying on board

The A-Rosa flag flying on board

ROTTERDAM AND IT’S HARBOUR- A PICTURE ESSAY

The Sunday morning Rotterdam skyline

The Sunday morning Rotterdam skyline

City centre bridge vista

City centre bridge vista

Rotterdam still has some old buildings

Rotterdam still has some old buildings

The canals make for a pleasant stroll

The canals make for a pleasant stroll

A very eclectic skyline

A very eclectic skyline

Rotterdam is a hugely under rated city

Rotterdam is a hugely under rated city

The city is almost joined to the sea

The city is almost joined to the sea

Holland and flowers. But of course...

Holland and flowers. But of course…

Old bridges recall those in Paris

Old bridges recall those in Paris

Lightship in the old port of Rotterdam

Lightship in the old port of Rotterdam

Old local coaster in Rotterdam's old port

Old local coaster in Rotterdam’s old port

Cutting edge, funky new buildings

Cutting edge, funky new buildings

Rotterdam's famous Euromast

Rotterdam’s famous Euromast

Sailing past the outskirts of Rotterdam

Sailing past the outskirts of Rotterdam

More of the quirky, modern stuff

More of the quirky, modern stuff

Heading back past the old city centre

Heading back past the old city centre

Old style paddle steamer on the Rhine

Old style paddle steamer on the Rhine

Old and new in perfect harmony

Old and new in perfect harmony

A last, sideways glance at Rotterdam

A last, sideways glance at Rotterdam

A-ROSA FLORA PICTURE GALLERY II

The restaurant

The restaurant

Pool from aft

Pool from aft

A-Rosa Flora pool deck

A-Rosa Flora pool deck

Forward panorama lounge

Forward panorama lounge

Alongside at Hoorn

Alongside at Hoorn

Bow of the A-Rosa Flora

Bow of the A-Rosa Flora

A-Rosa Flora at Hoorn

A-Rosa Flora at Hoorn

Kissy shot

Kissy shot

Full length starboard side shot

Full length starboard side shot

Outdoor forward terrace

Outdoor forward terrace

Upper deck love seat!

Upper deck love seat!

Outdoor lunch buffet goodies

Outdoor lunch buffet goodies

Beautifully presented fare

Beautifully presented fare

Corridor to my cabin

Corridor to my cabin

The restaurant

The restaurant

Another restaurant view

Another restaurant view

Corridor to reception

Corridor to reception

More culinary goodies

More culinary goodies

Excellent German cuisine

Excellent German cuisine

Yum-tastic stuff it was, too

Yum-tastic stuff it was, too

Mirror image, shot from my room

Mirror image, shot from my room

Twilight on A-Rosa Flora

Twilight on A-Rosa Flora

HOORN PHOTO GALLERY

Hoorn waterfront

Hoorn waterfront

Hoorn from the river

Hoorn from the river

The waterfront tower, close up

The waterfront tower, close up

Old steamer on the waterfront

Old steamer on the waterfront

Yachts and gables. Typical Holland

Yachts and gables. Typical Holland

Rooftops of old Hoorn

Rooftops of old Hoorn

Hoorn town centre

Hoorn town centre

Hoorn statuary

Hoorn statuary

Dutch coaster on the bay

Dutch coaster on the bay

Amazing water sculpture

Amazing water sculpture

Beautiful waterfront vistas

Beautiful waterfront vistas

Sunset over Hoorn hafen

Sunset over Hoorn hafen

Springtime twilight

Springtime twilight

Hoorn at dusk is spellbinding

Hoorn at dusk is spellbinding

Early evening in town

Early evening in town

ROLLING DOWN THE RHINE IN STYLE; THE A-ROSA FLORA PICTURE GALLERY

A rose is still a rose

A rose is still a rose

A-Rosa Flora pool

A-Rosa Flora pool

Want tea? You got it

Want tea? You got it

Bar selctions

Bar selections

Indoor spa, A-Rosa Flora

Indoor spa, A-Rosa Flora

Through the spa window....

Through the spa window….

It's a luxurious spa for a river boat

It’s a luxurious spa for a river boat

Even the foot basins are fab

Even the foot basins are fab

Exercise bikes for healthy types

Exercise bikes for healthy types

Looking out over the bow

Looking out over the bow

Inside, chilling out with some Reisling

Inside, chilling out with some Reisling

View from the promenade

View from the promenade

Corner unit of my cabin aboard A-Rosa Flora

Corner unit of my cabin aboard A-Rosa Flora

Bed and corner unit

Bed and corner unit

View from my balcony as we head for home

View from my balcony as we head for home

The bar/lounge, looking forward

The bar/lounge, looking forward

Food for thought. Magnificent food, too

Food for thought. Magnificent food, too

Balcony sunset. On the Rhine? Yep.

Balcony sunset. On the Rhine? Yep.

PANORAMIC RHINE- SAILING THE GREAT RIVER

 

Looking over the Rhine from on board in the town of Arnhem

Looking over the Rhine from on board in the town of Arnhem

Waterfront promenade at Arnhem, seen from on board A-Rosa Flora

Waterfront promenade at Arnhem, seen from on board A-Rosa Flora

Sailing under the 'Bridge Too Far', Arnhem, en route to Cologne

Sailing under the ‘Bridge Too Far’, Arnhem, en route to Cologne

Horses enjoying one of the beaches along the edge of the Rhine

Horses enjoying one of the beaches along the edge of the Rhine

Not sure which surprised me more- beaches or sunbathing horses!

Not sure which surprised me more- beaches or sunbathing horses!

Small ferries like this one cross the width of the Rhine night and day

Small ferries like this one cross the width of the Rhine night and day

Inside comfort allows matchless views of outdoor splendour

Inside comfort allows matchless views of outdoor splendour

The A-Rosa Flora was a luxurious and elegant way to travel

The A-Rosa Flora was a luxurious and elegant way to travel

Spa towns and seaside resorts paraded past our sun loungers

Spa towns and seaside resorts paraded past our sun loungers

A series of vaulting bridges loomed overhead during our transit

A series of vaulting bridges loomed overhead during our transit

Ancient church spires clustered around by a slew of little hamlets

Ancient church spires clustered around by a slew of little hamlets

Believe it or not, this apparent monstrosity is actually a fun fair

Believe it or not, this apparent monstrosity is actually a fun fair

The river produced one spellbinding sight after another

The river produced one spellbinding sight after another

This looks like some kind of olde worlde hotel or spa resort

This looks like some kind of olde worlde hotel or spa resort

Sunsets on the Rhine had an amazing, mellow tenderness

Sunsets on the Rhine had an amazing, mellow tenderness

Skies transformed each night into amazing, fiery vistas

Skies transformed each night into amazing, fiery vistas

Petro chemical plants and heavy industry had its own, brutal beauty

Petro chemical plants and heavy industry had its own, brutal beauty

Plane trees standing black against the early springtime sunset

Plane trees standing black against the early springtime sunset

ARNHEM PHOTO GALLERY; THE CITY AND ‘THE’ BRIDGE

The gates of old Arnhem town

The gates of old Arnhem town, rebuilt after the fighting in 1944

Arnhem Cathedral was restored after the Second World War

Arnhem Cathedral was restored after the Second World War

Modern Arnhem sculpture on the struggle of the ordinary man

Modern Arnhem sculpture on the struggle of the ordinary man

Cobbled streets and tall, gabled houses are typically Dutch

Cobbled streets and tall, gabled houses are typically Dutch

Another view of the street scene in contemporary Arnhem today

Another view of the street scene in contemporary Arnhem today

This is Arnhem's pretty little cinema, set on the town square

This is Arnhem’s pretty little cinema, set on the town square

Cafe life in Arnhem centres around the main squares

Cafe life in Arnhem centres around the main squares

Arnhem is far more than just the site of a famous battle

Arnhem is far more than just the site of a famous battle

This is the river front promenade that overlooks the Rhine

This is the river front promenade that overlooks the Rhine

A cafe with a view. Umbrella shaded vistas of the mighty Rhine

A cafe with a view. Umbrella shaded vistas of the mighty Rhine

The lovely little river side promenade leads into the old town proper

The lovely little river side promenade leads into the old town proper

Really? I'll let you be the judge of that. Cafe table, Arnhem style

Really? I’ll let you be the judge of that. Cafe table, Arnhem style

Dutch table side delights. A lovely location for a warm summer night

Dutch table side delights. A lovely location for a warm summer night

25 pounder British filed gun, open air museum, Arnhem

25 pounder British filed gun, open air museum, Arnhem

Panorama of Arnhem after the battle and bombing in 1944

Panorama of Arnhem after the battle and bombing in 1944

Business end shot of the same British field gun, Arnhem museum

Business end shot of the same British field gun, Arnhem museum

The reconstructed 'Bridge Too Far' is an exact replica

The reconstructed ‘Bridge Too Far’ is an exact replica of the original

Looking down the Rhine from on top of Arnhem Bridge

Looking down the Rhine from on top of Arnhem Bridge

View of the bridge from the 'German; side. Identical to 1944

View of the bridge from the ‘German’ side. Identical to 1944

Gun post from which Frost's men fought off German attacks

Gun post from which Frost’s men fought off German attacks

Shot of the underside of the bridge. over to the far bank of the Rhine

Shot of the underside of the bridge. over to the far bank of the Rhine