If there were any doubts about Crystal Cruises’ entry into the river cruise market, those were erased earlier this week as Crystal CEO Edie Rodriguez announced the company would build two additional luxury river cruise ships, bringing the luxury line’s European river fleet to seven ships by 2019.
The two as-yet-unnamed vessels were announced earlier this week following the steel cutting for Crystal’s first purpose-built river cruise ship. Crystal Debussy, Crystal Ravel, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Bach are all expected to enter service between June and August of 2017, with the two additional river cruise ships to follow after, with launches in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
“The new Exclusive Class ships, yachts and river yachts planned for the coming years provide travelers with an exhilarating glimpse into the future of luxury travel of all kinds, from rugged expedition adventures to indulgently relaxing river cruises,” said Rodriguez. “In the agreement with Lloyd Werft for the building of these astounding new vessels, we are again reinforcing Crystal’s position as the leader in luxury travel and hospitality, as we continue to cater to virtually every wish of the discerning modern traveler.”
The new river cruise ships will be constructed by the Lloyd Werft Group, a conglomeration of four shipyards owned by Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong.
Rodriguez stated that the increase in river cruise ships from the previously-announced four ship order was due in part to high demand – both from past Crystal guests and newcomers to the line. Each ship will hold just 84 guests and feature influences drawn from the world of ocean cruising, like larger suites and reconfigured public areas that seek to offer guests more relaxation and scenic cruising opportunities.
Like the rest of Crystal’s oceangoing fleet, its new river cruise ships will offer the same all-inclusive luxury amenities that past guests have grown to appreciate. To that end, ships will offer walk-in closets, king-sized beds and larger-than-average spa facilities. Rodriguez also said the company intends to purchase its own fleet of coaches for bus touring excursions.
These two new river cruise vessels are just one prong in Crystal’s massive expansion plans that include new oceangoing expedition ships and a fleet of private aircraft that range from intimate Bombardier Business Jets to full-blown, wide-body Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliners.