First Look: Crystal’s New Crystal Bach


We’re getting our first look at the first purpose-built river cruise ship for Crystal Cruisesnewly-launched river cruise division – and from first indications, Crystal Bach looks to be as revolutionary as Viking River Cruises’ Viking Longships were when they first debuted in 2012.

The crew of Crystal Bach at her christening. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

“As the first ‘Rhine Class’ river yacht, Crystal Bach will introduce a new standard of luxury in river cruising on many fronts, including the culinary concept and innovative experiences found on board,” says Edie Rodriguez, CEO and president of Crystal. “While we are always pursuing new and distinctive experiences on each of our luxury vessels, our overall dedication to unsurpassed quality and abundant choices remains constant.”

(From Left) Josef Lumetsberger, General Manager Operations, Crystal River Cruises; Crystal Bach Godmother Anna-Maria Kaufmann; Crystal CEO and President Edie Rodriguez; Captain Thijs van der Lee, Master of Crystal Bach at the Christening of Crystal Bach. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

Aside from the vessel’s unique exterior profile, which is characterized by an angular bow and a low-slung wheelhouse inset into it, Crystal Bach’s signature onboard space is the breathtaking Palm Court.

The spacious, airy Palm Court is one of the most innovative spaces aboard Crystal Bach. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

Featuring panoramic windows that wrap around to form part of the ceiling, Crystal Bach’s Palm Court is an entirely unique innovation on the waterways of Europe. There’s nothing else afloat like this space, which is sure to become the line’s signature contribution to the river cruise industry.

If you’ve sailed on one of Crystal’s ocean cruises before, you’ll feel right at home in this elegant space, with soft colors, crisp design, and high-quality appointments.

The Palm Court would feel right at home on one of Crystal’s oceangoing luxury ships. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

Another unique first aboard Crystal Bach is the introduction of a Pop-Up Bar on the ship’s Sun Deck. In the same way that more traditional wheelhouses can be raised and lowered hydraulically to allow the ship to pass under low bridges, this retractable space acts as a social meeting place and full-service watering hole when it is deployed. When the ship needs to transit areas with low bridges, the Pop-Up Bar simply retracts into the decking to create an obstruction-free surface.

Fancy a sun deck drink? Pop on up to the super-cool Pop Up Bar on the ship’s Sun Deck. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

Crystal has also taken great strides to make its first purpose-built river cruise ships feel more like its existing fleet. Done in nautically-inspired shades of blue with hints of gold, the Waterside Dining Room would be right at home on one of Crystal’s oceangoing luxury ships. Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that the rivers of Europe are never out of sight, and Crystal has committed to using locally-inspired and sourced, farm-to-table menus wherever possible.

The Waterside Dining Room boasts soothing, rich nautical hues. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

On the accommodations front, Crystal Bach is an all-suite, all balcony ship – a first in the world of European river cruising. Each suite will offer butler service, along with plush king-sized beds facing Crystal’s Panoramic Balcony-Windows. Suites are also equipped with walk-in closets, dual-vanity bathrooms in most categories, ETRO robes and slippers, wall-mounted flatscreen high-definition televisions, and in-suite Nespresso machines.

When it comes to accommodations, the all-suite Crystal Bach spares no expense. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

The Two Bedroom Crystal Suite is one of the largest suites on the rivers of Europe. A living room features its own Panoramic Balcony-Window along with an ambient LED fireplace topped with a flat-panel television and dining space for four, along with a custom sofa and arm chairs. These rooms feature a separate entry vestibule and a guest powder room, both of which are rarities in the river cruise world.

Marble-clad bathrooms are spacious, with most offering dual vanities. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

For her inaugural season, Crystal Bach will operate 10 and 14-day itineraries that will run between Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Basel. She will visit some of the most popular ports of call along the Moselle and Rhine Rivers, with stops scheduled in Cologne, Koblenz, Breisach, and Antwerp.

Sister-ship Crystal Mahler will join Crystal Bach before the end of the year. Two additional ships, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, will enter into service for Crystal River Cruises next year.

Bookings are now open for all vessels.

Onboard Crystal Bach, cool off with a dip in the ship’s very own swimming pool. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

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