Kicking off Crystal Cruises' new Crystal River Cruises division, the 154-passenger Crystal Mozart is the largest and most deluxe river cruise ship plying European waters. Twice the width of the standard river vessel, its itineraries are limited to the Danube River between Passau, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary, where the locks are large enough to accommodate its 395-by-75-foot hull. Built in 1987 and dubbed “The Queen of European Rivers,” and previously owned by Peter Deilmann Cruises, it was completely gutted to the steel framework in early 2016. During the refit, it was given a mechanical overhaul and redesigned from stem to stern with all new, lavish public areas and spacious accommodations.
What We Love
Contemporary Style: During the ship’s conversion, all doors and windows were replaced, and skylights were cut into the top deck, infusing the beautifully decorated public spaces on the Crystal Deck with sunlight.
Top Deck Features: No river cruise ship offers anything like Crystal Mozart’s Vista Deck, which showcases a garden with teak benches and a full-service “Pop Up Bar” with a large LED screen that broadcasts sporting events and movies. There are also shaded areas with lounge-style seating and vast open decks with cushioned loungers, in addition to a full wraparound promenade directly below on Crystal Deck.
Spa and Gym: Unlike most river ships, this one has a full gym with cardio and weight machines and a spa with a swim-against-the-current pool, a hot tub, and separate men’s and women’s saunas.
Electronic Bikes: While many river cruises have loaner bicycles, Crystal Mozart has 30 electronic bikes available for self-guided and group excursions.
Best Known For
Multiple Dining Venues: In addition to 24-hour room service, you'll find no fewer than five dining venues, from the open- seating Waterside (with breakfast and lunch buffets and lavish full-service dinners) to Blue (which serves casual global cuisine), the Bistro (a cafe with ice cream and snacks), Vintage (a for-a-fee wine-pairing dinner), and the Pantry (a 24-hour self-service snack bar with wine).
The Crystal Touch: Fine detailing — from the impeccably trained staff to the bathrooms with automatically flushing toilets and mirrors with TV screens in the cabins — makes it clear from the moment you step on board this is no ordinary river cruise ship.
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Who It's Best For
Affluent, Well-Traveled Cruisers: Budget-conscious travelers need not apply. This is a top-notch cruise experience that commands high per diems.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You Might Not Fit In: With Crystal’s high-repeat guest factor, newcomers to the Crystal fold may initially feel like “outsiders.”
Peter Knego is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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Crystal Mozart at a Glance
- Line: Crystal River Cruises
- Number of Passengers: 154
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 1987
- Refurbish Date: 2016