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Newest Luxury River Cruise Line Purchases Rest of Fleet

When Riverside Luxury Cruises launched late last year, it purchased one of the former Crystal Cruises ships, Crystal Mozart. This week it was announced the newest luxury river cruise line has purchased the rest of Crystal Cruises fleet. 

The Riverside Luxury Cruises fleet now consists of Crystal Mozart, MS Bach, MS Ravel, MS Mahler, and MS Debussy. The ships have been renamed Riverside Mozart, Riverside Ravel, Riverside Mahler and Riverside Debussy respectively. 

Jennifer Halboth, CEO of Riverside’s Americas operations, says the company intends to build on where Crystal Cruises left off and will start sailing three of the acquired ships in the spring. 

“We’re really setting out to be exceptional, to be that choice for luxury travelers,” says Halboth, adding that Riverside aims “to be the reason that luxury travelers try river cruising for the first time.”

Three of the ships—Riverside Mozart, Riverside Debussy, and Riverside Ravel—will begin sailing in April. Itineraries will be 3- to 14-night sailings on the Danube, Rhine, and Saône Rivers respectively. The remaining  ships—Riverside Bach and Riverside Mahler—will begin sailing in 2024 once the company creates the best itineraries for them. 

Crystal Cruises had these ships built with the intention of being THE luxury river cruise line in Europe and the fleet is known for their spacious all-suite cabins with walk-in closets and king size beds. Other than some cosmetic repairs, very few physical changes are being made to the fleet. 

The most significant change between the two cruise lines will be the price. For the inaugural season, prices will be about 45 percent less than Crystal’s last published rates. Three day sailings start around $1000 per person while seven day inclusive voyages are around $5000 per person. Inclusive packages include meals, drinks, and certain excursions in every port.  

Halboth believes excursions are the area that will need the most work but says it is going to be “pretty top-notch out of the gate.” The plan is to offer a range of excursions like hot air balloon rides over Budapest, and helicopter tours of Linz, Austria, to guided bike rides, and cooking classes. 

It will be exciting to see where Riverside Luxury Cruises takes us this cruising season.