CRYSTAL MOZART Christened

Crystal River Cruises division launches with the christening of Europe’s largest and most luxurious river cruise ship, the CRYSTAL MOZART.

Crystal Cruises

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2016 unless otherwise noted.

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The CRYSTAL MOZART’s crew looks on as the bottle breaks.

In a gala pierside ceremony held Monday at Vienna’s Millennium Tower Dock, Crystal Cruises CRYSTAL MOZART was christened by Elisabeth Gurtler, the managing director of Vienna’s renowned Hotel Sachler and the city’s famed Spanish Riding School.

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CRYSTAL MOZART’s Godmother Elisabeth Gurtler (left) and Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez at the ship’s naming.

Before the celebrated Godmother sent a magnum of Szigeti Sonderedition Adele Blanc de Blancs 2011 into the ship’s bow, Crystal Cruises’ CEO and President Edie Rodriguez welcomed 175 guests into a specially built pavilion alongside the ship where a traditional Viennese brass orchestra played.

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CRYSTAL MOZART arrived in Vienna after a five night shakedown cruise on July 10.

The 394-by 75-foot, 154-guest CRYSTAL MOZART has just completed a stem-to-stern, multi-million euro refurbishment that basically entailed stripping the ship to the bare steel, installing new HVAC and wiring systems and rebuilding all interior spaces. The one-of-a-kind ship, nicknamed “The Queen of Europe’s Rivers”, was built in 1987 as the MOZART for DDSG (First Danube Steamboat Shipping Company) before being sold to Peter Deilmann Cruises in 1993. In 2010, after the collapse of Deilmann’s river cruise division, she operated for Dertours as the DERTOUR MOZART until 2015 when purchased for Crystal’s new Crystal River Cruises.

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MV CRYSTAL MOZART Palm Court Lounge, facing starboard.

Twice the width of most European river cruise ships with a beam of 75 feet, the MOZART’s itineraries are limited to the Danube River between Passau, Germany and Budapest, Hungary, where the lock systems can accommodate her. The additional width has made the ship ideal for Crystal’s ultra luxe specifications, with ample space for several dining venues, the Palm Court Lounge (which is large enough to accommodate all guests at once), a piano bar, library, smoking room and the Crystal Life Spa with a swim-against-the-current pool, Jacuzzi, relaxation area, separate men’s and women’s saunas, a full service beauty salon and a gym with a stretching area.

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CRYSTAL MOZART Roof Garden, facing forward from port.

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The special Wider tenders can reach a speed of 50 KMPH.

Additional features that are firsts for European river cruising include a full wrap around promenade, a rooftop garden with teak bench seating, a “pop up bar” and large LED screen that can be lowered into the deck below and a pair of deluxe Italian-built Wider tenders that can be hired for up to 12 guests on private VIP Champagne Expeditions to places most river ships cannot access.

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MV CRYSTAL MOZART Crystal Suite living room.

The CRYSTAL MOZART also boasts the largest suites of any river cruise ship, including a pair of 883-square-foot two bedroom Crystal Suites, 330-square-foot Penthouse Suites, 215-square-foot Balcony Suites and 205-square-foot Window Suites. All have butler service, king-sized beds, French balconies (except for Window Suites), marble-tiled bathrooms with TOTO toilets that open and flush automatically, mirrors with built-in television screens and much more.

Stay tuned for a full Trek/Decked report…

“The Queen Of Europe’s Rivers” embarks on  a ten night maiden cruise from Vienna to Melk, Duernstein, Linz, Passau, Bratislava and Budapest today, July 13, 2016. For the 2016/17 season this itinerary will be alternated with 11-night cruises that call at Vukovar, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Mohacs, Calosca at Bratislava.

With special thanks:  Paul Garcia, Edie Rodriguez, Gene Sloan

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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