Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises is relatively new to the river cruise scene. In today’s post, we spotlight this luxury brand. In this previous post, we briefly mentioned them.

What makes Crystal River different?

What differentiates Crystal River Cruises from other luxury river cruise?

  • Larger cabins and less people per ship (all cabins have king sized beds and most have walk in closets)
  • 24 hours butler service in all cabins
  • All cabins have balconies – there’s no fixed windows or portholes
  • Inclusions include: Wines, beers and drinks, gratuities and transfers
  • 24 hour room service
  • The highest crew to passenger ratio
  • Signature events – each cruise has an included exclusive musical event
  • Crystal’s buses have less seats and more amenities than others (like WiFi)
  • All state of the art ships
  • Open and flexible meal seating – come and go as you like

What are their itineraries?

Currently Crystal has 5 ships, all newly built or refurbished. They go on the Rhine, Danube, the Tulip cruise around Amsterdam, and the Moselle Rivers. Sorry but they are not in France yet.

Four ships max out at 106 guests while one (the Mozart) has 154 guests on board, but is twice as wide as the others. Itineraries include Christmas markets and durations range from 5 to 25 days, though most are 7 to 10 days in length.

Crystal River Cruise
The Signature event took place in a Budapest museum over looking the Danube

How does Crystal River compare to others?

Crystal likes to position themselves in a separate Luxury class, while relegating AmaWaterways, Scenic, Tauck and Uniworld as “premium”. What makes Crystal a luxury brand? We believe it’s because they are the only brand to come from the luxury ocean cruise mentality. They emphasize space aboard the ship and personalized service. The food is never pre -cooked – it is cooked one order at a time. The design of the ships is smart and beautiful. And Crystal is all inclusive.

Crystal tends to be more expensive as well because of the many luxuries included. Having said that, sometimes they have very competitive pricing.

Some of the great food available on Crystal River Cruises

Is Crystal River Cruise worth the price?

Oversized Bathroom

Interestingly, river cruises in Europe, tend to be all about the destinations, rather than the ship. On our trip along the Danube on the Crystal Ravel, we loved the cabin, the ship and the service. But for most of the time, you’re out exploring everything Europe has to offer.

Because Crystal includes so many things, it’s not surprising to pay more. And if you value space, customized food preparation, and truly luxurious surroundings, you’ll be very happy with Crystal River Cruise.

Susan Wolfson
My goal is to Make Your Next Vacation Your Best Vacation!®

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