LOS ANGELES, CA – When Crystal Mozart, the first vessel in Crystal River Cruises’ fleet, embarks on her maiden voyage along the Danube River this July, guests aboard will be treated to dozens of inclusive experiences ashore that highlight the stunning European locales on the route. The lineup of shore-side offerings for the “Queen of European river ships’” 2016 voyages, is available online at crystalcruises.com for viewing and will open for pre-reservation through Crystal’s Priority Check-in & Planning Center starting May 3.
Crystal Mozart’s itineraries – exploring the European capitals along the Danube and the Wachau Valley, Christmas Markets along the Danube (beginning in late November) and a special singular holiday itinerary spanning Christmas and New Year’s – will offer distinct experiences designed to showcase the most popular highlights in each destination. For the first time on a Crystal voyage, most excursions will be offered complimentary. A handful of more over-the-top Crystal Adventures will be available for booking on each cruise for an additional cost; private services and excursions can also be pre-arranged.
“While many of the charming ports along Crystal Mozart’s routes are easy to explore on foot or access at one’s leisure, travelers visiting for the first time will benefit from the detailed and expertly guided excursions crafted by our team,” says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s president and CEO. “It is our pleasure to offer Crystal Complimentary Adventures with our river voyages as part of the ‘All Inclusive’ Crystal Experience, as we know how greatly these shore-side adventures enhance our guests’ understanding and perception of the destinations.”
At least one complimentary excursion will be offered in every port, often focusing on the “don’t miss” sites in each locale. Additionally, as choices are a cornerstone of the Crystal credo, an alternate complimentary excursion will be available in many ports for travelers who are seeking a different perspective. In select ports, a morning and afternoon option will be offered, ensuring that late rising guests do not miss out on the insightful tours.
Included in the selection of Crystal Complimentary Adventures are excursions that Crystal is the first river cruise line to offer, such as a full-day venture to Munich, highlighting Germany’s third-largest city’s Olympic grounds, BMW factory, and illustrious sites of the Friedensengel and National Theatre. Another Crystal exclusive tour takes guests to Vienna’s Belvedere Palace for a signature evening concert event and VIP access to the artists’ masterpieces in the museum. Among the dozens of other inclusive opportunities to explore the gems along the Danube are:
• A tour through the Parliament and Great Market Hall, or exploration of the Dohány Synagogue and Jewish District in Budapest, Hungary
• Full-day ventures to either Salzburg, including visits to the city’s most iconic sites, or to the lovely Salzkammergut Lake District, both from Linz, Austria
• A glimpse into the culinary treasures of Vienna, offering tastings and pairings with local beers and wines, as well as an immersion into the pastry cafés, which are known as the heart of the city
• A trip to 13th century Červený Kameň Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia, for a guided exploration of the captivating interior including beautiful Sala Terrena, plus tasting wines from the region and a falconry demonstration.
For guests seeking a high-intensity shore-side activity, Crystal is introducing its newest shore-side program called “Active Exploration Adventures,” tailored to allow guests to explore the splendid European landscapes while staying fit on their vacation. These complimentary excursions, under the assistance of a Crystal fitness instructor, range from a 1,700-foot hike to the top of Pöstlingberg for a birds-eye view of Linz, to 16-mile bike ride through the Wachau Valley, and two-mile treks through the vineyards of Vienna.
The late November/December and holiday voyages feature particularly extraordinary excursions to some of the most famous and quintessential Christmas markets in Austria, Germany and Slovakia, as well as special concerts and services in the region’s magnificent cathedrals.
In addition, the Crystal Adventures will be enhanced by the introduction of four brand new luxury motor coaches, which will follow the ships along each itinerary, and feature plush-seating accommodations for 42 guests, knowledgeable local guides, complimentary Wi-Fi and beverages including an espresso machine. The Crystal motor coaches will also provide transportation service to and from the airport on embarkation and debarkation days.