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Crystal Cruise's Worldwide Voyages Dedicated to Authentic Dining Experiences

Crystal Cruise's Worldwide Voyages Dedicated to Authentic Dining Experiences

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Crystal's Wine & Food Festival voyages feature world-renowned chefs to add to the already culturally immersed experience.

Some of the world's best restaurants are aboard Crystal Cruises.

What’s the secret to finding the best restaurant in town no matter where in the world you travel? Just make sure you travel aboard the award-winning ships of Crystal Cruises. Celebrating it 25th Anniversary of luxury world travel in 2015, Crystal has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history. The line's commitment to culinary excellence is bar none, as evidenced by its partnership with culinary master Nobuyaki "Nobu" Matsuhisa. Signature restaurants Silk Road and The Sushi Bar aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are the only place to savor Nobu's legendary cuisine on the high seas.

Dedicated to authentic experiences and rare encounters in travel, Crystal's worldwide voyages take guests on epicurean journeys that are both edifying and delicious. Elaborate, selection-filled dining options range from modern food science to traditional classics from the ship's international ports of call. Crystal recently unveiled a new menu of high tech offerings alongside its traditional classics. The new innovations utilize molecular gastronomy to create inspired new dishes such as scallop and tuna tartar with citrus foam and white miso soup poured over olive oil "caviar" balls that burst with flavor

Crystal's all-inclusive vacations which include complimentary gratuities for all dining, bar, housekeeping and Penthouse butler staff also extend to feature complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship as well as open bar service in all of the lounges. Impressive wine cellar selections are served complimentary at every meal and certified wine, cheese and cocktail "mixologists" are always on hand to recommend choices tailored to match each guest's palate.

For travelers looking to further immerse themselves in global culinary experiences, Crystal's Wine & Food Festival voyages feature world-renowned chefs, wine and craft beer experts who share their knowledge and talents at special meals, tastings, cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes in the ships' state-of-the-art galleys. Aboard these special voyages the epicurean decadent delights continue ashore with excursions to vineyards, local fresh markets and local culinary hot spots.

But there's good reason to think the best restaurants in town are right aboard Crystal’s own ships, from the live open kitchen of the newly designed Lido Cafe to the globally-inspired menu at Tastes bar and restaurant featuring family style dishes from Alsatian Tarte to California street tacos. A world of delicious discoveries await....see you at sea!

Visit or call 888-863-6610 to book your cruise aboard the World’s Best cruise line.

Sailing Into Profits: How to Grow Cruise Revenue

As cruise selling agents sail into the second half of 2018, the horizon is clear for robust cruise sales. But the cruise seascape always brings swells and bigger waves too. Being proactive in your sales game and knowing what opportunities to tap are critical for retailers. Here are key trends and events to watch through the end of 2018 and beyond.

Tap Into Solo Travel Opportunities: One in four adults will take some type of solo trip this year, industry research shows. The reasons vary widely. Solo travelers may simply love to travel and check off spots on their bucket list. Others are traveling solo due to the recent loss of a spouse or partner. Other solo travelers may be among a group of girlfriends or guys planning a getaway, yet they each want their own cabin. Or, solo cabins are often needed when a family member (grandma, grandpa or even a younger adult) travels with a large family group and desires a single cabin.

Agents should plan client chats and tap into these circumstances within promotional materials, newsletters, marketing e-mails or social media posts. Revealing its assessment of cruise trends for 2018, Cruise Planners (CP) says that “traveling solo doesn’t have to mean traveling alone as cruise lines make it easier and more comforting for those looking to explore the world with like-minded travelers.” On the ocean side, CP cites such cruise lines as Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Holland America Line that offer single cabins on certain ships.

For example, the new Norwegian Bliss plus five other Norwegian ships have a complete Studio Complex and Lounge this area, accessible only by key-card, includes individual solo interior cabins of up to 100 square feet each has a private bathroom, large porthole (with interior views or, on Bliss, a virtual one), flat-screen TV and other stateroom perks. Best of all, at the exclusive lounge, solo travelers can relax, enjoy drinks, order room service, watch a big-screen TV and meet their solo “neighbors.”

Combine Two Voyages for Revenue Growth: Some cruise lines now offer both ocean and river products. A growing trend is a “combination” of those to create a longer, more diverse vacation. In 2019, Viking Cruises will launch a new “Ocean & River Voyages” product. Departing May 26 and June 2, 2019, Viking’s new 23-day “Grand European & Viking Fjords” combination itinerary couples the river line’s 15-day “Grand European Tour” voyage along the Rhine and Danube Rivers (between Budapest and Amsterdam on a 190-passenger Longship) with a week-long “Viking Shores and Fjords” ocean itinerary between Amsterdam and Bergen on the 930-passenger Viking Sun.

Keeping client expectations and product personalities in mind, agents themselves might create a list of potential ocean-river cruise match-ups for clients to consider. Perhaps throw in an onboard credit, free transfers, or a specialty restaurant perk if clients book the combination of voyages. Another option? Suggest one cruise for the family, one immediately after for a more relaxing couple’s getaway. So, Boomer or mature grandparents might travel with their adult children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren to Barcelona for a contemporary, fun-filled experience, but then head off when that voyage is over to a European river cruise with a pampering, wine-themed focus.

Looking further ahead, Crystal Cruises’ new collection of “Grand Journeys” are expanded sailings that combine 2020 Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity itineraries, allowing guests to curate voyages ranging from 14 to 57 days.

Help Millennials Head to Sea: The 2018 Cruise Travel Report prepared for Cruise Lines International Association, based on a JD Power survey, cited cruising as the top vacation choice in every age range. One highlight? Overall, 94 percent of Millennials said they’re likely to book a cruise for their next vacation — and they’re interested in contemporary affordable brands, but also premium brands, and even to some extent, luxury products. One reason? Millennials are the first generation to have routinely taken a cruise with their parents, so tap into that emotional connection. Also show how high-tech and yet “engaged” and customized the cruise experience has become. And stress the increased focus on active adventures and “authentic” experiences ashore.

Carnival Corporation in a blog posting noted that Millennials cruise because it’s highly appealing that accommodations, meals, activities and entertainment are included in the cruise fare. Shorter cruises appeal for affordability, while longer cruises provide an effortless way to see the world — traveling to Cuba, Europe, South Pacific and beyond. Millennials also like the convenience of local homeports for travel to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera or Alaska without the cost and hassle of international flights.

Cruise ships offer an endless array of choices. Improved Internet access makes it easier for Millennials to post real-time photos and videos and to stream TV shows, movies and music. And like all generations, Millennials love the “no continual packing and unpacking” perk of a cruise. Plus, Millennials value hands-on activities. One example might be raising the sails on an authentic sailing ship, such as Star Clippers’ new five-masted, fully-rigged Flying Clipper, which is scheduled to debut this coming winter.

Tap into Expedition: Expedition cruising is a hot ticket. In Alaska, for example, even luxury lines such as Seabourn and Windstar Cruises have created an expeditionary approach by carrying Zodiacs and expedition teams. Many new expedition vessels are launching too, many with a luxury bent. They include the brand new 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse the 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor, arriving in 2020 and Ponant’s 184-passenger Le Laperouse, which just launched. It will also launch Le Champlain this fall, and two more sister vessels in 2019.

Also launching in 2019 are the highly anticipated, 100-passenger Celebrity Flora, a new Galapagos expedition vessel Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 230-passenger Hanseatic Nature (for German speakers) and Hanseatic Inspiration (for English and German speakers) and other expedition ships as well.

Promote the Power of Wellness/Fitness: Guests are increasingly drawn to a cruise vacation for new wellness and fitness options —both at sea and on shore excursions. Most lines have added new options. Among the latest? Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch have introduced 20 new fitness classes and fitness / wellness seminar experiences for guests at sea six class categories are based on different core needs and exercise groups: Sweat, Conditioning, Longevity, Mindfulness, Nutrition and Acupuncture.

For example, “Sweat: Tabata Impact,” a fast and furious, Japanese-style integrated interval work-out, combines cardio and training techniques, including core-strength training exercises. “Nutrition: Detox 101: Weight Loss and More,” delves into the most effective detoxifying foods, and how they promote weight loss and overall well-being.

Entice Workaholics to Cruise: The State of American Vacation 2018 research, prepared by “Project: Time Off” shows that Americans took 17.2 days of vacation last year, up a bit from 2016 and the highest level since 2010. But while 84 percent of consumers say it’s important to use time off for travel, they typically use less than half for that. Reasons given include cost, children and pets. Cruising certainly can help with the first two reasons.

Agents can stress it offers “value” with such inclusions as accommodations, dining and entertainment, plus promotional value-adds like onboard credits or specialty dining. Supervised children’s clubs, usually at no cost, are a big plus for parents who can then still enjoy “just for us” time as a couple.

The biggest barrier to consumer travel is “work.” Consumers fear taking a vacation will make them appear less dedicated or, worse yet, replaceable. Some believe their workload is too heavy or that no one else can do their job. One solution is for agents to tackle the work-life balance issue head-on. Show how a family can have a fabulous “bonding” cruise vacation — even if one adult still needs to keep in touch work-wise via phone or Internet or if one spouse needs to work during the day from the stateroom.

The rest of the family can still enjoy pool play, kids’ clubs, activities ashore, spa treatments, waterparks, virtual-reality activities or other fun activities. But then the entire family, including the working spouse, can still share a special dinner together, a family event or a show. And plans can be made for special outings on a holiday or weekend day, or during an off-work period, given time zone differences. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s an option for some workaholic clients.

Keep Your Eyes on a New Partnership: Watch what happens with regulatory approvals as the year progresses. If all goes as planned, by later this year, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise company, will complete a $1 billion investment deal announced in June — taking a 67 percent stake in privately held Silversea Cruises, operating both ultra-luxury and expeditions products. Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea’s executive chairman, says RCL’s financial / operational strengths will allow his family-founded line “to grow at an unprecedented pace and will allow us to capture the burgeoning demand for ultra-luxury and expedition cruising.” In turn, Silversea’s nine vessels will also quickly expand RCL’s brand portfolio. “It will allow us to become brand leaders in every segment,” says Richard Fain, RCL’s chairman and CEO, noting that previously “ultra-luxury and expedition cruises were gaps in our product portfolio.”

RCL currently owns and operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. While Fain says there may be some “overlap” between Azamara, a luxury boutique brand, and ultra-luxury Silversea, he doesn’t see issues because he believes both have loyal customer bases and offer different products. Still agents tell us they hope that RCL doesn’t tinker with either the Azamara or Silversea brands.

One steadying factor is that this isn’t a pure buy-out. Silversea will remain an independent company although RCL will become its majority shareholder. It will be interesting to watch the synergies, including greater sales reach for Silversea.


From the top-floor Starlight Room of San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel to the swanky bars and lounges of Crystal ships, the Cable Car cocktail has traveled the world, delighting all who sip from its sugar-rimmed glass. Master mixologist Tony About-Ganim originally created this San Francisco twist on the classic Sidecar in 1996 as the signature cocktail for the Starlight Room, its name a geographic nod to the City by the Bay. Later, when Abou-Ganim worked alongside Crystal’s expert mixologists and barkeepers to help create the innovative cocktails and menus aboard Crystal ships, our version of the Cable Car emerged as a favorite.

Among those who look forward to sipping this popular cocktail is Ensemble Travel’s Susan Gannon, who has been sailing virtually with us through [email protected] programming, and requested this featured cocktail specifically. Guest mixologist and “Cocktail Guru” Jonathan Pogash – featured on select Wine & Food Festival sailings – returns today to grant Susan’s request with a demo from his home kitchen. Watch the video for techniques, gather the ingredients from the recipe below, and toast to Thirsty Thursday and many happy hours ahead aboard Crystal ships.

1 3/4 oz. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1/4 oz. Orange Curacao Liqueur
1 3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Sour**
Pour into a mixing cup with ice and shake
Apply a cinnamon sugar rim to a martini glass and serve straight up

To make fresh lemon sour:

**Make simple syrup by combining 1 cup each of sugar and boiling water. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in 1.5 cups each fresh lemon juice. Allow it to cool before bottling. Store it in the refrigerator.

Crystal Serenity sails to San Francisco on spring and summer itineraries in 2022. Enjoy the Cable Car cocktail on the sailing of your choice, with reduced deposits and waived admin fees on all Crystal voyages in 2021, 2022 and 2023 when booked by June 30, 2020 through Crystal’s Easy Book program.

Jonathan Pogash, “The Cocktail Guru™,” is one of the premiere cocktail consultants and bartenders for restaurants and spirit companies. His signature cocktails can be seen and enjoyed in many of North America’s most upscale cocktail lounges and restaurants. With nearly 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Jonathan shares his insights with influential publications from around the world, and contributes his unique talents to morning television shows and national radio. Jonathan has appeared on such programs as NBC’s “Weekend Today in New York” and “Fox & Friends”.

Crystal’s [email protected]: A Virtual Cruise Experience program brings several elements of the renowned Crystal Experience directly to guests, wherever in the world they are.

Best Premium Foodie Cruises

Fine dining, spacious staterooms, more inclusive fares - what could be better? While mainstream cruises may be the best value option on the cruise market and luxury cruises may be the cream of the crop when it comes to all-inclusive fares, the best premium cruises combine the best parts of both. Premium cruise lines typically offer smaller, more intimate cruise ships that focus on providing high-quality service, entertainment, enrichment, and yes, dining. While they do come with a heftier price tag, these cruise lines also include plenty of extras. Some may include a meal in a specialty or a la carte restaurant some may include an excursion on port days.

Of course, while bottled water may be included on many premium cruise lines, foodies and oenophiles should be advised that, like mainstream lines, investing in beverage packages in preparation for their premium cruise is a good idea.

Here are our top two picks for the best premium foodie cruise lines on the market and the accompanying best cruise ship restaurants.

2. Windstar Cruises

Windstar's masted ships are reminiscent of days gone by but the food is modern | Author: Roderick Eime via Flickr

Windstar’s masted ships cut a romantic silhouette, and lend a feeling of timelessness and adventure to every cruise. The sensuous experience of sailing on the teak-deck ships extends to the excitement of the cruise line’s excellent market tours. Windstar makes a point to offer at least one chef-led market tour on every sailing, during which cruisers can explore the locavore life, sample new flavors, and watch vendors’ eyes widen at the massive orders. Windstar’s dedication to providing locally-sourced cuisine onboard also means that the cruise line stimulates local economies and prepares the ingredients you helped pick into mouthwatering dishes. The best part? These tours are totally free.

Where to eat onboard: Splurge on an unforgettable date night for you and your sweetheart at Candles, Windstar’s open-air restaurant that specializes in impeccable wine pairings. Of course, we simply assume that’s in addition to the superb deck barbecue provided by Windstar on every sailing.

1. Oceania Cruises

Oceania Marina offers the best premium foodie cruises | Author: Lunev Andrey via Pixabay

Those in the know won’t be surprised by Oceania’s solid #1 ranking - after all, the cruise line has built quite a reputation for having the best cuisine at sea. Partnering with French chef Jacques Pépin is a great start, and offering cruise fares that include all meals at sea only sweetens the deal. Oceania Marina is undoubtedly one of the best cruise ships for food available, not least of all because of the open seating, anytime dining availability. From the numerous specialty restaurants onboard to Oceania’s partnership with Bon Appetit Magazine, foodie cruisers will soon find themselves spoiled by the food included in the cruise, cooking classes offered on the ship, and spacious suites where 24-hour complimentary room service comes standard.

Where to eat onboard: You’d be hard-pressed to find a sub-par eatery on an Oceania cruise, but one must-try spot is Jacques, the eponymous French specialty restaurant. It’s not often that you’ll find French fare this fabulous included in the price of your cruise, so make the most of it.

Silversea Cruises

As a sophisticated Italian company, it's no surprise that delicious dining is an integral part of the Silversea Cruises experience. Thanks to their partnership with the prestigious Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux, wherever you dine on a Silversea cruise you will find a diverse options of world class food and next-level service.

Established in the 1950’s, Relais & Châteaux is an association of 550 plus restaurants, chefs, innkeepers and more from all over the world dedicated to promoting the richness and diversity of luxury cuisine. Through this partnership, Silversea Cruises maintains one of the highest standards in food quality, freshness and creativity both on land and on sea.

Authentic recipes and the freshest ingredients come together with flair and passion at La Terrazza — a flavorful expression of Silversea’s distinctive Italian heritage.

Delicious meals created with thought and panache, detailed and thoughtful service, discerningly elaborated menus with perfectly balanced wine choices and a relaxed atmosphere with erudite friends – dining aboard any Silversea ship is the ultimate experience for people who only want superlatives.

Your Onboard Experiences


Crystal’s restaurants offer an upscale and sophisticated menu serving some of the best dining on the seas.

  • Waterside is the main dining room. No reservations accepted. Serves handmade pastas and a mix of classic favorites and progressive modern dishes
  • Marketplace offers casual upscale buffet style dining for breakfast and lunch.
  • Silk Kitchen & Bar offers a variety of authentic delicacies such as dumplings, savory crêpes for breakfast,
    and favorites such as dim sum, noodles and soups for lunch. A dinner menu features tantalizing family-style sharing plates sure to impress any food aficionado. Open seating for breakfast and lunch for dinner it is a specialty restaurant and dinner reservations are recommended.
  • Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse for dinner and includes a selection of tapas, salads, and seafood brochettes

​Room service is always available at no charge.


There are two specialty restaurants which guests can enjoy once each – Prego and Silk Road or The Sushi Bar during each cruise. Additional visits are a $30 upcharge/person.

  • Prego – Outstanding Italian, steaks and fish.
  • Silk Road or The Sushi Bar by Nobu- Japanese-Peruvian cuisine

Penthouse and above guests are entitled to unlimited complimentary specialty restaurant reservations based on availability, and can order in-room service from Prego or Silk Road.


Complimentary beverages including fine wines, champagne, premium spirits and all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees.


In part because of its larger size, Crystal offers some of the best entertainment in the luxury cruise category. The Galaxy Lounge features production shows with a hydraulic-rising state and headline entertainers. The Hollywood Theatre shows new releases and classic films in Dobly sound. The Crystal Cove, Starlite and Stardust club hosts “spot shows” performed by the Crystal cast.

​Crystal is known for it broad enrichment programs. Onboard activities include:

  • Crystal Vision Enrichment Program – World-renowned experts hold lectures on world affairs, destinations an cultures, history, art and entertainment.
  • Creative Learning Institute – Education classes on art, golf, dancing, bridge and more. Selections can include a Digital Film-making course, instructors from Berlitz and Yamaha, professionals in wellness and classes with Odyssey Art at Sea.
  • Dedicated Bridge lounge
  • Computer [email protected] – Professional instruction in 30 different areas from digital photofinishing to mastering the iPad, plus a concierge who assists with devices such as smartphones, tables and eReaders.
  • Odyssey Art at Sea Classes – guest learn about watercolor, sculpture, knitting and more.


The Crystal Life Spa focuses on wellness following the principles of Feng Shui, the ancient practice of balance and harmony, their award-winning spa embodies a tranquil environment, easily allowing you to slip away from the stresses of daily life.

In serene treatment rooms, rejuvenating services such as Aroma Stone Therapy, Japanese Silk Booster Facial and Well-Being Massage are dispensed with expert care.

Separate facilities for men and women include state-of-the-art sauna and changing areas featuring showers with multiple head and side body jets, fiber optic lighting, and a selection of special rain and mist functions.

A private, canopied relaxation area on the Spa’s aft deck invites relaxation before or after a treatment.

In addition to an extensive selection of specialty massages and acupuncture, Medi-Spa cosmetic treatments offer state-of-the-art, noninvasive procedures for those seeking to reduce signs of aging and improve the condition of their skin.

Boutique luxury salon services f eature Deborah Lippmann nail polish products, custom-designed manicure/pedicure areas feature sunken foot bowls, well suited to the “Sole Delight Foot Ritual” with warmed aromatherapy oils and massage prior to a full pedicure.

State-of-the-art Fitness Center offers high-tech equipment includes Technogym® machines for both strength and cardio training treadmills with flat-screen TVs, cross trainers, recumbent and upright Life Cycles, steppers and more, as well as a range of free weights.


Primarily North American couples 60 years and up with a mix of about 15% from around the world. Guest are very affluent and take pride in showing it in how they dress, and expect others to dress appropriately. More younger guests from 40 and up on shorter cruises. With it’s major refurbishment of the ships in 2017 and 2018, Crystal is trying to appeal to a younger demographic.


Crystal leans toward a more formal dress than most of its competitors, and enforces its dress code. If you enjoy a more informal and relaxed dress code, Crystal might not be your best choice. If you enjoy formality and getting dressed up, and showing off your fine evening wear in an elegant atmosphere, Crystal would be perfect for you. Times are changing. During the Black Tie Optional evening(s), more guests are opting not to wear formal attired during these evenings. For men, a sports coat (without a tie) is becoming more common.

Throughout the day, guests wear a mix of active resort wear. Waterside dining room attire is casual during the day however, swimsuits, swimsuit cover–ups/robes, baseball hats and denim cutoff shorts are not appropriate. If you choose to change your attire following the evening dinner and other festivities, please maintain a minimum style of dress in keeping with the Crystal Casual dress code. After 6:00 pm, casual daytime attire is not appropriate. Shorts and baseball caps are not permitted for men or women. Guests have two elegant options for preferred evening attire: Crystal Casual and Black Tie Optional. Please refer to the dress codes described in detail below. If you choose to change your attire following the evening dinner and other festivities, please maintain a minimum style of dress in keeping with the dress code described in Crystal Casual.

Crystal Casual Attire
Women’s Crystal Casual includes:
• Blouse
• Sweater
• Dress slacks
• Skirt
• Dress
Winter Suggestion: Warm wraps or evening coats, as well as gloves and scarves for fall and winter months

Men’s Crystal Casual includes:
• Open-collar shirt
• Collared polo shirt
• Button-down shirt
• Dress shirt (no tie required)
• Dress pants/Smart trousers
• Sport coat (optional)
Winter Suggestion: Overcoat, scarves, gloves and hats for fall and winter months

Black Tie Optional Attire
A Black Tie Optional evening offers a celebratory opportunity to dress more formally on a special evening(s). For men, this includes a dark suit with tie, or tuxedo for women, this includes a formal cocktail dress, evening gown or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings, we request at least a jacket to be worn by men and a dress, skirt or dress slacks and blouse or sweater to be worn by women. Jeans may not be worn in any dining venues or lounges, including the Casino, on Black Tie Optional evenings. (Note: more guests are opting not to wear formal attired during these evenings. For men, a sports coat (without a tie) is becoming more common.)

On most voyages, guests can expect the following:
• 7-days (or less) cruises: Crystal Casual only, no Black Tie Optional evenings
• 8– to 10–day cruises: Up to one Black Tie Optional evening
• 11– to 13–day cruises: Two Black Tie Optional evenings
• World Cruises, Holiday voyages and Crossings may be scheduled differently
Please be advised that one night of your itinerary (7 days or longer) will be a designated Crystal White Extravaganza, a signature dance party event with the Crystal showband featuring vocalist, violinist and their Latin dance performers. Dress Code is Crystal Casual (suggested white attire).
For your convenience, the recommended dress code for each evening of your cruise is listed in the daily itinerary section of the Priority Check–in & Planning Center (PCPC) accessible at


Complimentary Wi-Fi/Internet access is provided in your suite and throughout the ship, signal permitting. During the 2017 – 2018 refurbishment, high speed accelerators were added to increase Internet speeds.

Ahoy there! All aboard the Crystal Mozart!

For those seeking to escape the constant demands of life in the fast lane and yearning for that elusive tranquil space, a voyage onboard the Crystal Mozart is just the ticket.

Recipient of the Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers Choice Award for ‘World’s Best Cruise Ship’ for 24 years and winner of the ‘ World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line’ by Travel and Leisure readers for 20 years, Crystal Cruises provides the highest levels of comfort and service and a luxurious cruise experience in every sense.

Launched in July 2016, the Crystal Mozart offers a choice of suites ranging from 82 to 20.3 square meters and penthouses from 61.6 to 30.6 square meters, and with a total passenger figure of 158 and a crew of 92, the passenger to crew ratio is an impressive 1.67, which remains the highest in river cruising. The vessel’s length of 120.44 meters and width of 22.85 meters ensures that she is the largest river cruise ship in Europe.

My mother and I embarked on the elegant and sleek lined Crystal Mozart for the round-trip 10 night ‘Treasures of the Danube’ voyage, sailing from Vienna . We were thrilled with the prospect of cruising the enchanting Danube Wachau Valley, and visiting Durnstein, Melk, Linz, Passau, Bratislava, and Budapest.

Check-in procedures were swift and efficient we were escorted to our stylish suite and delighted to discover a welcome bottle of chilled sparkling wine awaiting our arrival. All suites feature a Nespresso coffee machine and a well-stocked mini-refrigerator, 24-hour room service with options available from the excellent Waterside Restaurant, a 40-inch flat-screen interactive television with complimentary movies on demand and an extensive music library with plenty of soothing tunes to encourage relaxation. Every suite also features an Apple iPad device, which serves as a digital directory for each passenger’s needs including pillow menus, a first-rate butler, concierge, and room service, in addition to weather forecasts and destination information.

Following our afternoon tipple, we made our way to the chic Crystal Cove lounge and whilst sipping on piping hot tea and indulging in a few tasty snacks we got to know some of our fellow passengers and our conversations soon centered on dining options and excursions.

Recipient of the 2017 Cruise Critic UK Editor’s Pick Award for Best Dining, Crystal Cruises is recognized throughout the industry for its culinary expertise. The Crystal Mozart offers guests open seating in a choice of dining venues from the casual Waterside Restaurant, which presents locally sourced ingredients highlighted in continental and regionally inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The succulent slow-roasted lamb shank served with shallots, thyme-balsamic flavored gravy, garlic mashed potato, and olive oil roasted vegetables accompanied by a glass of Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo, Angelo Gaja Langhe 2013 was simply divine.

For an elegant and more intimate dining experience, the Vintage Room seats up to 12 diners for optional luncheons and dinners featuring vintage wines and champagnes paired with extravagant menus and I was fortunate to sample the 36 hours slow-roasted beef short ribs served with black truffle, Macallan , celeriac, onions, and potato confit and the Chateau Latour Pauillac, Bordeaux 2000 enhanced the flavors perfectly.

Blue, a chic café, serves upscale bistro fare for lunch and includes global comfort food and shareable plates and the Bistro Mozart offers coffees, delicious pastries, and charcuterie by day and wines and tapas during the evening. And, in the unlikely event that a beverage and snack are needed, particularly during the wee hours, the Pantry, which is a self-service venue, offers specialty coffees, teas, wines, and non-alcoholic beverages.

After dining, we headed for the Crystal Cove Piano Bar and we were enchanted by the performance of the talented soprano Ioana Mitu, accompanied by Francesco Carlo Leone expertly tinkling the ivories of a magnificent Bosendorfer piano . The party was still in full swing when we returned to our stateroom, slipped on our fluffy bathrobes and comfy slippers and retired. Our ultra-comfortable beds, swathed in crisp, white Egyptian linens and plump pillows, guaranteed a deep slumber and the gentle movement of the shifting waters of the Danube created a soothing sense of well being.

Up with the larks and following a brisk walk around the promenade deck we headed for the rejuvenating yoga class, then a dip in the gorgeous indoor pool, and for a spot of pampering I headed for the onboard spa for a well earned deep tissue muscle massage and a spell in the steam room. I then made my way to the library to select a good book and to make plans for the coming days.

Passengers are welcome to explore each port unescorted or select one of the onboard eBikes or choose from a wide variety of excursions, many of which provide the opportunity to get an up-close and personal destination experience with tours led by local experts and artisans. Other excursions include gastronomic adventures with hands-on cooking and the chance to sample signature dishes and specialties related to each port. Cultural tours include popular museums and architectural sites and there are exhilarating adventures for the very active. All excursions are limited to a total of 15 guests, which ensures that a more personal experience is attainable. There is also the option to design a personal itinerary with the assistance of the onboard concierge service.

We spent our mornings exploring the sights on land, relaxing afternoons on the promenade deck, sipping on cocktails whilst constantly admiring uninterrupted views of the intoxicating scenery and tranquil snoozes on the comfy loungers on the sun deck. To keep fit and work off those calories, after succumbing to the tempting dessert menus, there is an onboard fitness center equipped with modern machines, cardio equipment, and free weights.

Our Treasures of the Danube voyage was an exceptional river cruise experience and one of the many highlights was the tribute to Dame Julie Andrews, a Godmother to Crystal Cruises , which was presented in the Palm Court, the ship’s main entertainment venue. The focus was on her unforgettable contribution to the Austrian – American film The Sound of Music and the passengers were easily encouraged to take part in a hearty sing-along.

Another highlight was the fascinating lecture on the life and work of Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , who, in 1781 visited, and later settled in Vienna. The prolific and highly influential composer, who was proficient on the violin and piano at the age of 5, created more than six hundred works, including outstanding examples of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music.

On our last evening aboard, passengers gathered in the Waterside Restaurant for another sumptuous dinner and glasses were held high as a toast was proposed to the genius of Mozart and also to the Crystal Mozart, surely the most dazzling treasure of the Danube.

Balancing act

Operating a restaurant at sea is very different to opening one on land. Royal Caribbean alone, for example, has 25 ships, which are constantly moving from port to port, spanning more than 250 destinations in 64 countries. The logistics of supplying the line&rsquos ships with every ingredient a celebrity chef wants to see on their menu, therefore, requires a very specific level of attention to detail for quality, consistency and scheduling.

It&rsquos a similar story on Norwegian Cruise Line. &ldquoCelebrity chefs don&rsquot like to make compromises, and deviations from food specifications are not negotiable,&rdquo notes Muhlberger. &ldquoSo it can sometimes be a challenge to source speciality food products with short seasons for our large organisation.&rdquo

The answer? Communication, communication, communication, say our cruise leaders.

&ldquoAn ongoing two-way conversation is key to integrating, planning, getting things done and tackling any challenge together,&rdquo Suley says, adding that an established supply chain network entirely dedicated to the food and beverage side of the business doesn&rsquot hurt either.

Supply, however, is just one facet of the cruise line and celebrity chef partnership. From creating the concepts to choosing the tableware, both parties must be involved every step of the way. At Royal Caribbean, this starts with working together to create entirely new restaurant concepts and menus, although these will always include some of the chef&rsquos signature dishes.

&ldquoIt all involves our teams at the Miami headquarters, plus creative sessions, ship visits, tastings and restaurant design &ndash even down to the most specific of details, like the tableware and linens,&rdquo says Suley. &ldquoWe&rsquoll also develop materials, including operating procedures, to host immersive orientations and training with our crew members on board.&rdquo

Training is equally important at Norwegian Cruise Line, as Muhlberger says: &ldquoOur partners spend time with our development team during the menuengineering process, and from there they bring a training team to the ship(s) for the implementation.&rdquo Later, there are generally two annual cruises where the partners continue training and meet with guests, or host celebrity-chef dinners on board.

Step across the threshold of any Crystal ship and enter a world of indulgent luxury, where an unmatched standard of all-inclusive services and amenities ensures your every want and wish has already been considered. From exquisite cuisine and an endless pour of the finest wines and spirits to dynamic entertainment, personal enrichment and an array of options for fitness or solitude, everything you can imagine is already included.


  • Fine wines, champagnes, premium spirits and specialty coffees
  • Michelin-inspired cuisine and 24-hour in-suite dining
  • Specialty dining, including Umi Uma by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (Ocean & Crystal Endeavor)
  • Entertainment and enrichment
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi/Internet access
  • Pre-paid gratuities
  • Complimentary Crystal Adventures (Yacht Expedition)
  • Complimentary Crystal Collection of curated destination experiences (River)
  • Complimentary “You Care. We Care.” Voluntourism (Ocean)


Among the greatest joys of travel by ship are the friendships made on journeys of discovery to lands far and wide. From the moment you step aboard a Crystal ship — by Ocean, River or Yacht Expedition — you become a member of our Crystal Family at sea, the Crystal Society. We are thrilled to welcome you to our world of all-inclusive luxury and look forward to rewarding your loyalty with these privileged benefits.


  • Exclusive Crystal Society member-only savings on every voyage
  • A hosted onboard cocktail party on every voyage (levels three and above)
  • Complimentary upgrades, shipboard spending credits and free cruises (Penthouse guests and above)
  • Exclusive milestone recognition dinners, Crystal Society presentations and invitations to private parties (varies by level)
  • Custom-designed Crystal Society recognition pins
  • Annual Crystal Society sailings with dedicated special events and onboard parties every year
  • Digital subscription to Crystal’s Passport magazine

25 Years of Continued Excellence

At Crystal, it is our passion to bring you life-enhancing experiences through the wonder of travel. Across the world's great oceans, along the grand rivers of Europe and into iconic yachting harbors and remote destinations by expedition, we are dedicated to creating the best vacation for each guest. Come travel with us to discover why the Crystal Experience has received more World's Best and Readers' Choice awards than any other cruise line in history. and make award-winning memories of your own.

Crystal RIVER cruise itineraries

In July 2015, Genting announced its expansion plan with building new ships for its river cruise line (brand). The new boats feature larger staterooms and a bigger space-to-guest ratio in comparison to other riverboats. Their itineraries are planned to maximize port times for quality tour experiences ashore.

Crystal's new river brand started operations in 2016 and exclusively on European waterways. The company&rsquos product is well known worldwide for its exceptional quality and fully all-inclusive deals. Itineraries are on the rivers Rhine, Main, Danube, Moselle, and intentionally deviate from traditional routes to avoid congestion in call ports. The list of destinations (visited countries along the itinerary) includes Germany, Switzerland, Holland, France, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary. On Grand European itineraries (between Baltic Sea and Black Sea) are additionally included river ports of call in the Balkan countries Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania.

Crystal River Cruises operates a fleet of all 5 (for now) "river yachts" - Crystal Bach (2017), Crystal Debussy (2018), Crystal Mahler (2017), Crystal Ravel (2018) and Crystal Mozart (2016, fka MS Mozart / 1987-built). All riverboats navigate on rivers in Europe only. The new river cruisetour itineraries are:

  • Crystal Mozart (maiden voyage July 13, 2016) - Danube itineraries (10 or 11 nights) visited Wachau Valley (Vienna, Passau, Bratislava) or Eastern Danube (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade).
  • Crystal Debussy (maiden voyage June 4, 2017) - offers 5-, 7- and 10-day Seine River itineraries with multiple overnights in Paris. Visited port city destinations included Honfleur, Normandy beaches, Deauville, Rouen.
  • Crystal Bach (maiden voyage June 18, 2017) - the 14-day inaugural cruise (on Rhine and Moselle rivers) visited Amsterdam, Basel, Antwerp,
  • Crystal Ravel (maiden voyage August 8, 2017) - cruises on Garonne (also Gironde Estuary) and Dordogne Rivers in France on 7-day itineraries with 2-days (overnight stay) in Bordeaux and visiting Pauillac, Blaye, Libourne.
  • Crystal Mahler (maiden voyage August 29, 2017) - cruises on Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. The Inaugural Cruise (16-day "Grand Europe") included overnights in Budapest, Vienna, Passau, Amsterdam.

All riverboats also offer themed Christmas and New Year's Eve voyages. "Crystal River Getaways" itineraries include:

  • (Crystal Bach) 7-day "Romantic Rhine" between Amsterdam and Mainz, 7-day "Rhine Serenade" between Mainz and Frankfurt, plus 3 previously announced Getaways to Belgium and Holland, highlighting region's springtime tulips (high-season) in April-May.
  • (Crystal Mahler) 7-day "Delightful Danube" between Regensburg and Budapest, 9-day "European Escape" between Amsterdam and Regensburg
  • (Crystal Ravel) 8-day "European Treasures" between Nuremberg and Basel, 6-day Danube Getaway, between Vienna and Nuremberg.

2022 Itineraries

River cruise prices on 2020 itineraries start at USD 2550 per person (double-occupancy cabin rates). In January 2020, Crystal announced its collection of 2022 itineraries. The 4 riverboats (Bach, Debussy, Mahler, Ravel) operate 7- to 10-night itineraries through Holland and Belgium. Itineraries 2022 include:

  • 7-night &ldquoTulips and Windmills&rdquo (April-May) and &ldquoDutch and Belgian Waterways&rdquo (July and August) cruises, both beginning and ending with overnight stays in Amsterdam. Ports of call include Kinderdijk, Hoorn, Rotterdam, Middleburg, Ghent, and Antwerp.
  • 7-night &ldquoLegendary Rhine&rdquo cruise from Basel to Amsterdam with calls in Cologne, Rudesheim, Mannheim, and Strasbourg.
  • 7-night &ldquoRomantic Rhine&rdquo from Amsterdam to Basel with overnights in Koblenz and Amsterdam, and calls in Cologne, Rudesheim, Mannheim, and Strasbourg.
  • 9-night &ldquoRevel on the Rhine&rdquo holiday cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam with stops in Cologne, Rudesheim, Mannheim, Koblenz, and Arnhem.
  • 7-night &ldquoTreasures of Southeast Europe&rdquo from Giurgiu to Budapest or the reverse with overnights in Budapest, Vidin (westbound only), and Novi Sada (eastbound only), and stops in Mohacs, Vukovar, and Belgrade.
  • 7-night &ldquoDanube Dreams and Discoveries&rdquo cruise roundtrip from Vienna with overnights in Vienna and Budapest, and calls in Esztergom, Bratislava, Krems, Melk, Linz, including sailing through the Wachau Valley.
  • 7-night &ldquoDelightful Danube&rdquo from Vilshofen to Budapest featuring overnights in Vienna and Budapest, and calls in Dürnstein, Melk, Linz, Bratislava, Passau, and Wachau Valley sailing.
  • 9-night &ldquoJoyous Danube Celebration&rdquo cruise roundtrip from Vienna. It features overnights in Budapest and Vienna, calls in Bratislava, Krems, Melk, and Linz, and Wachau Valley sailing.

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All river passenger shipping line companies and their fleets are listed there.

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Crystal Symphony starts cruises roundtrip from Antigua in August 2021

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Crystal Cruises introduces new Bahamas Escapes from Nassau and Bimini

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River cruise ship Crystal Mozart returns to service in 2022

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Popular cruise lines

Royal Caribbean

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Norwegian Cruise Line

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Watch the video: Top 5 Cruise Lines For Food. Cruise Tips (May 2022).