Crystal River Cruises has announced the full 2023 deployment of its fleet, featuring 190 voyages exploring the majestic Danube, Rhine, and Moselle rivers along with the waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium. The 2023 season offers new, shorter five-night escapes as well as longer 14- to 17-night combination voyages that pair classic itineraries for immersive journeys. The line’s popular seven-night cruises return offering travelers 150 cruise options including the best-loved Danube and Rhine itineraries, as well as sailings featuring springtime among the tulips, and the treasures of Southeast Europe. A collection of 10-night journeys of the Rhine and Moselle river valleys, cruises to Europe’s festive Christmas markets, and special holiday sailings featuring New Year’s Eve celebrations in Vienna, Budapest and Amsterdam, round out a wealth of choices to experience Europe’s number-one river cruise line. Reservations open May 18, 2021.
Crystal River Cruises comprises four all-suite, all-butler, all-balcony Rhine Class ships – Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel, as well as the Crystal Mozart. Voyages range from five-to-17 nights, visiting some of the most picturesque and captivating locales throughout Germany, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Switzerland, as well as southeastern Europe destinations in Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.
“The destinations along these rivers have fascinated travelers for centuries and continue to enchant visitors – some seemingly frozen in timeless charm and others strikingly contemporary and innovative, but all distinctly full of character, intriguing history and wonderful traditions,” said Walter Littlejohn, senior vice president and managing director of Crystal River Cruises. “Every year, we strive to create itineraries that blend both the destinations our guests love most, as well as new highlights and experiences. The 2023 deployment aboard our five beautiful river ships is designed to offer choices that will appeal to luxury travelers of all ages and interests delivered with the personalized service, culinary experiences, spacious all-suite accommodations and attention to detail only found with Crystal.”
“We are seeing tremendous demand for our 2022 deployment as the pent-up desire for global travel increases and we have announced 2023 now to give luxury travelers even more options to plan their future vacations,” Littlejohn added.
New in 2023 are five-night sailings that can be paired with optional pre- or post-cruise land programs to offer ideal ship-to-shore options. “Danube Discovery” aboard Crystal Ravel, cruises through the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley from Vienna to Vilshofen, featuring a maiden call to explore the charms of Grein. “Playgrounds of the Netherlands & Belgium” aboard Crystal Mahler departs roundtrip from Amsterdam to explore the port cites and waterways of the Netherlands, from the contemporary buildings and museums of Rotterdam to the historic architectural jewels of Ghent and Antwerp.
For travelers interested in unique extended voyages Crystal River Cruises has combined itineraries to create immersive journeys. The 14-night “Pearls of the Danube” voyage aboard Crystal Ravel pairs the Wachau Valley and the iconic landmarks of Vienna and Budapest, with historic sights and natural wonders cruising through Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, including a daylight transit through the dramatic landscapes of the Iron Gates Gorge. The 15-night “Vineyards, Castles & Masterpieces” sailing from Basel to Amsterdam aboard Crystal Mahler matches the charming waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium with the iconic architecture of Germany, including daylight cruising through the Middle Rhine Valley. “Grand Rhine & Moselle,” a 17-night sojourn aboard Crystal Mahler, combines an exploration of the quaint waterways of the Netherlands with the endlessly charming villages of the Mosel Valley Wine Region. The voyage will feature the iconic cities of Amsterdam, Cologne and Strasbourg and the castles of these two European rivers.
Popular seven- & 10-night sailings
Returning to the lineup of voyages are the popular seven-night “Delightful Danube” itineraries between Vilshofen and Budapest, offering guests the option to expand their Crystal vacation with three-night pre- or post-cruise programs to Prague. An overnight call in Vienna features an exclusive Crystal Signature evening event of art and music at the Belvedere Palace, showcasing the famed art collections of this stunning baroque landmark and its magnificent gardens overlooking the city.
For the first time ever, the popular seven-night “Danube Serenade” itinerary between Vienna and Budapest will sail aboard Crystal Mozart, the most spacious ship on Europe’s rivers. Guests will enjoy overnights in Vienna and Budapest, and explore the rich history of Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia, from magnificent Buda Castle to one of Austria’s oldest wine estates in Krems.
Guests have a full season of departures to choose from for the seven-night “Legendary Rhine and Romantic Rhine” itineraries aboard three ships with voyages between Basel and Amsterdam. Daylight cruising through the picturesque Rhine Gorge, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, reveals fairytale castles and quaint villages amidst forested hillsides, sweeping terraced vineyards, and the towering edifice of Lorelei Rock. Guests aboard these voyages can explore the cobbled lanes and charming quarters of Zurich’s Altstadt with an optional two-night pre- or post-cruise land program.
The 10-night “Splendors of the Rhine & Moselle” voyages first introduced for Crystal’s 2022 season will take guests through the Rhine Gorge past famed Lorelei Rock and through the breathtaking Mosel Wine Region, where the winding river seems to reveal a Roman castle around nearly every bend. Visits to the region’s most historically beautiful ports include overnights in Strasbourg and Mannheim (for Heidelberg), a late-night stay in Bernkastel, the charming cities of Koblenz and Cologne, and the Roman and Medieval sights of Trier, Germany’s oldest city and a trove of architectural wonders.
“Tulips and Windmills” is a seven-night springtime exploration of the inland waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium bookended by overnight stays in Amsterdam. Guest will experience the rich history of the region along with its natural springtime beauty and blooming Dutch tulips as the Keukenhof Gardens, the most famous and largest flower park in the world, comes alive. Pastoral landscapes and 18th-century windmills set a storybook scene in Kinderdijk, Netherlands, while the city center of Hoorn belies the treasures and history of the Dutch Golden Age.
Christmas Markets & Holiday Sailings
Crystal River Cruises 2023 itineraries include new Christmas market season options, with the seven-night “Dutch & Belgian Christmas Markets” aboard Crystal Bach calling in stunning Dordrecht, known as the “Venice of Holland” and host to the largest Christmas market in the Netherlands; and the 10-night “Christmas Splendors of the Rhine & Moselle” on Crystal Mahler visiting the sparkling markets and seasonal sites most beloved by the locals. “Christmastime on the Rhine,” a seven-night itinerary between Basel and Amsterdam aboard Crystal Bach and Crystal Debussy, combines the beauty of the Middle Rhine valley with visits to Germany’s traditional Christmas markets.
Crystal Ravel’s seven-night “Delightful Danube Christmas” sailings feature overnights in Budapest and Vienna and cruising along the lovely Wachau Valley, while Crystal Mozart’s 10-night “Danube Christmas Markets” voyage is bookended by overnights in Vienna, cruises the Wachau Valley, and calls in some of the loveliest cities and liveliest Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and Slovakia.
Guests aboard Crystal Ravel’s 10-night “Spectacular Danube Holiday” will ring in the new year in Vienna during a special three-night stay that also includes an overnight in Budapest, calls in Germany and Slovakia, and an exploration of the Wachau Valley. In Austria, guests can visit the magnificent Benedictine monastery of Melk Abbey and tour Mariendom Cathedral, Austria’s largest neo-gothic church in Linz.
Guests will celebrate New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam during a double overnight call on “Holiday’s on the Rhine,” a 10-night voyage aboard Crystal Debussy from Basel to Amsterdam. This romantic journey of ancient fortresses and medieval castles along the Middle Rhine Valley seems lifted from a fairy tale. Overnights in Strasbourg, France, and Mannheim, Germany, reveal UNESCO treasures and baroque palaces, while the German towns of Koblenz, Cochem, Trier, Bernkastel, and Cologne, teem with history, charm and remarkable architecture.
The 11-night “Mozart Grand Holiday Cruise” aboard Crystal Mozart celebrates New Year’s Eve and Day with a double overnight in Budapest and features three days to enjoy the magic of Vienna. Guests can explore the gem of Passau at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers, bursting with treasures from a 13-century fortress to the baroque masterpiece of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Every turn in the river brings new wonders and historic sites to behold.
In addition to optional pre- and post-hotel stays in Amsterdam, Basel, Budapest and Vienna, Crystal River Cruises offers exceptional overland journeys to Prague (from Vilshoven), Zurich (from Basel), Reims (from Trier) and Bucharest (from Giurgiu) allowing guests extended explorations of these history-rich cities featuring five-star hotels in every city.
The roster of Crystal River Cruises’ 2023 itineraries include:
Crystal Bach and Crystal Debussy (April through November), Crystal Mahler (June, August and November), 7 nights, Basel to Amsterdam
Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France; Mannheim, Rüdesheim, Koblenz (overnight), Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight).
Crystal Bach (April through November), Crystal Debussy (March through November), Crystal Mahler (June, August, October and November), 7 nights, Amsterdam to Basel
Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight); Cologne, Koblenz (overnight), Rüdesheim and Mannheim, Germany; sailing the Middle Rhine Valley and Lorelei; Strasbourg, France; Basel, Switzerland.
Tulips & Windmills
Crystal Bach (April), Crystal Mahler (March and April), 7 nights, Amsterdam Roundtrip
Beginning and ending with overnights in Amsterdam, Netherlands; calling in Hoorn, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Antwerp, Ghent, Belgium; Middelburg, Netherlands.
Splendors of the Rhine & Moselle (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Mahler (April and May, July through October, plus November and December Christmas Market Cruises), 10 nights between Amsterdam and Basel
Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France (overnight on Southbound); Mannheim (overnight on Northbound), Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Cochem, Trier, Bernkastel (overnight on Northbound), Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight).
Rhine & Moselle Summer Escapes (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Mahler (June), 5 nights between Amsterdam and Trier
Trier (overnight on Northbound), Bernkastel, Cochem, Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight on Southbound).
Danube Serenade (Eastbound and Westbound)
Crystal Mozart (March through November), 7 nights between Vienna and Budapest
Vienna (overnight), Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Krems, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary (overnight).
Treasures of Southeast Europe (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Ravel (May), 7 nights between Giurgiu and Budapest
Giurgiu, Romania (overnight); Vidin, Bulgaria (overnight on Southbound); Iron Gates cruising; Belgrade and Novi Sad (overnight on Southbound), Serbia; Vukovar, Croatia; Mohacs and Budapest, Hungary (overnight on Southbound).
Delightful Danube (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Ravel (March through November), 7 nights between Budapest and Vilshofen
Budapest, Hungary (overnight); Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna (overnight), Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Austria; sailing the Wachau Valley; Passau and Vilshofen, Germany. Southbound does not call in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Danube Discovery (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Ravel (April and May), 5 nights between Vienna and Vilshofen
Vienna (overnight), Melk, Grein (maiden call), Linz (overnight on Southbound), Austria; Passau and Vilshofen, Germany.
New Dutch & Belgian Christmas Markets
Crystal Bach (December 10), 7 nights, Amsterdam Roundtrip
Amsterdam and Dordrecht, Netherlands; Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Belgium; Rotterdam, Netherlands.
New Christmas Splendors of the Rhine & Moselle (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Mahler (November 27, December 7, December 17) 10 nights between Amsterdam and Basel
Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France (overnight on Southbound); Mannheim (overnight on Northbound), Rüdesheim, Lorelei cruising on Southbound, Koblenz, Cochem, Trier, Bernkastel (overnight on Northbound), Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight).
Danube Christmas Dreams
Crystal Mozart (November 25), 7 nights, Budapest to Vienna
Budapest, Hungary (overnight); Bratislava, Slovakia; Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Krems, Vienna (overnight), Austria.
Danube Christmas Markets
Crystal Mozart (December 2, December 12), 10 nights, Vienna Roundtrip
Beginning and ending with overnights in Vienna, calling in Melk, Linz, Austria (overnight); Passau (overnight), Vilshofen, Germany; Krems, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia.
Delightful Danube Christmas (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Ravel (November 25, December 2, December 9, December 16), 7 nights between Budapest and Vilshofen
Budapest, Hungary (overnight); Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna (overnight), Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Austria; Passau and Vilshofen, Germany. Southbound does not call in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Christmas Time on the Rhine (Northbound and Southbound)
Crystal Bach (November 26, December 3), Crystal Debussy (November 25, December 2, December 9, December 16), 7 nights between Basel and Amsterdam
Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France; Mannheim, Rüdesheim, Koblenz (overnight), Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight).
Holidays on the Rhine
Crystal Debussy (December 23), 10 nights, Basel to Amsterdam
Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France (overnight); Mannheim (overnight), Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Cochem, Trier, Bernkastel, Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands (two overnights including New Year’s Eve).
When reservations for Crystal River Cruises’ 2023 voyages open May 18, 2021, travelers will benefit from two-for-one cruise fares from $2,799 per guest and up to $2,000 Book Now Savings per guest, ensuring the best fares available for those who plan ahead and book early.
Together, the Crystal River Cruises fleet comprises the most spacious and luxurious ships sailing Europe’s rivers with generously sized guest suites, expansive social spaces, open-air Vista Decks and the highest crew to guest ratio at 1 to 1.55. Crystal Mozart sets the standard for space and is the only river ship to feature a wrap-around Promenade Deck, the largest onboard spa, two onboard fitness centers, four restaurants and four lounges.
Crystal’s four Rhine Class ships accommodate just 106 guests with an intentional focus on maximizing personal and public spaces throughout their 135-meter (443 feet) hulls (a size typically designed to accommodate twice the number of guests). The ships are the industry’s first and only all-balcony, all-suite, butler-serviced vessels in Europe, with every category of accommodation positioned above the waterline. All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows and walk-in closets and dual vanity bathrooms are featured in most categories.
All Crystal’s River ships feature private butler service in every room category, king-sized beds, Caudalie amenities, robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs. Additional enticing features include Michelin-inspired cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés, Blue (on Crystal Mozart) and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court for entertainment, enrichment presentations and sweeping views of the riverside scenery. Crystal’s attention to detail reaches ashore, as guests are transported on the days’ adventures in luxury motor coaches equipped with complimentary water and Wi-Fi for added convenience and comfort.