Crystal River Cruises are an award-winning luxury cruise line offering experiences in Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. The line is noted for its personal concierge services provided by Priceline Cruises, and couples exotic destinations with plush accommodations.

If you're looking for a luxury cruise in beautiful faraway lands, read on for a review of world-leading cruise experiences available for you and your family to enjoy.




Crystal River Cruises

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Well-curated travel experiences
  • Luxurious accommodations
  • 24/7 butler service on-ship

CONS

  • Limited Number of Locations Visited
  • Relatively Costly


Crystal River Cruises

What Are Crystal River Cruises?

Since the foundation of Crystal River Cruises, the company has aspired towards establishing the standard of excellence in luxury travel throughout the world. Clients are presented with an ever-expanding assortment of products from which to choose, including experiences by ocean, river, yacht, and air.

Crystal River Cruises presents the client with "regal wonders" that are "clearly different," with the line only traversing amazing rivers of the world, namely the Danube, Rhine, and Main, as well as the Moselle. Crystal River Cruise offers over 225 curated destination experiences to clients both on the ship and ashore. Options include both inclusive and optional, including complimentary "Signature Events" and pre- and post-cruise hotel and land programs.

The experiences on board and on land throughout the cruise ship experience are comprised of culinary marvels in addition to carefully curated events that showcase the natural wonders of the locations visited throughout the journey. Over the course of the 27 plus years, the company has been in operation, the ships have been continually redesigned to maintain the highest level of both elegance and innovativeness.

Outside of the larger cruise ships, Crystal Cruises also has Europe's only all-suite, butler-serviced river yachts. The luxurious river yachts offered by Crystal River Cruises are the top of the line in Europe, offering an exceptional quality of service that can be personalized to suit the desires of the client.


Featured Sailings

The featured sailings of the Crystal River Cruise line are the key products you have to consider when booking a trip. The 7 night Danube Serenade Southbound departs from Vienna, Austria, with suites from $3,200. The Danube Serenade Northbound departs from Budapest, Hungary, with suites ranging from $3,495 and up. These options are all atop newly minted ships added to the Crystal River Cruise line.

Crystal River Cruise offers a variety of cruises largely in Europe. The Legendary Rhine is a 7-night journey that departs from Basel, Switzerland with suites beginning at $3,200. The Danube Christmas Markets is a 10-night cruise that begins in Vienna Austria, runs in November and December, with suites beginning at $3,945. The Southbound Christmas Markets departs from Amsterdam, Netherlands, with suites beginning at $4,210. Additional ships of various themes throughout the year depart from Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.


Product Specs

The Crystal River Cruise line has a wide variety of products from which to choose, marketed through the various experiential cruises that may be purchased. The company proudly states on its website "By sea, river, land, and air, Crystal has redefined the way the world views luxury travel." Consumers seem to agree, with Travel Leisure voters ranking Crystal River Cruises the best large cruise ship line in the world 20 times in the company's 27 years.

For the customer, some of the most important features consumers are concerned about are the benefits and rewards you can gain from the offer. When you purchase a Crystal River Cruise, the immediate perks and offers are significant. Beverages are complimentary, and there are free pre-paid gratuities, as lower-tier bonuses.

The most significant offers for booking a Crystal River Cruise now can save you a great deal of money. For a limited time only, there is a 2-for-1 all-inclusive cruise fare offer, in addition to up to $400 to spend on board, and up to $2,000 in savings per suite that is booked.


Price

The cost of the various cruise experiences offered by Crystal River Cruises is generally in the vicinity of $3,000-4,000 for the 7-night experiences. The cost of the various experiences offered is largely offset by the substantial benefits and rewards that are offered by the company, as will be considered more in-depth below in the section comparing Crystal Cruises to other competitors.


Crystal River Cruises

Price

Destinations:

Additional Perks & Features:


​How it Compares

We picked a couple of similar ​cruises available on the market to see how they compare, focusing upon the price of the cruises, and the uniqueness of their experiences, including both local adventure options and culinary options.

​Cruise Competitors

​Destination Rating

Additional Perks & Features Rating

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Viking River Cruises

Tauck River Cruises


Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

The Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection sails the Danube, the Rhine, the Ganges, and other rivers, presenting an all-inclusive luxurious experience for the clients, including wine tasting in Austria's Wachau Valley or visits to the beaches of D-Day in Normandy. The line offers a broad variety of activities for the guests to enjoy as they visit a variety of locations throughout some of the world's largest rivers.

The slogan of the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is "You deserve the best". Whether onboard or onshore the company offers a wide variety of experiences for the discerning consumer, including bicycles, premium spirits, and wines, as well as onboard fitness classes like yoga.

Price

Destinations:

Additional Perks & Features:

PROS

  • A broad range of destinations
  • Industry-leading luxury onboard, and off-board

CONS

  • A lack of price transparency


​Viking Cruises

Viking River Cruises touts itself as the best river cruise line in the world. The company was founded in 1997 with just 4 ships and has since grown to be the leading river cruise line on the planet with an expansive fleet that sails the world with destination-focused itineraries. The company also entered the ocean cruise market in 2015 and has since become the leader in small ship ocean cruising.

Price

Destinations:

Additional Perks & Features:

PROS

  • ​Ocean and River Options
  • ​Efficient travel optimizes time at destinations

CONS

  • ​Can be costly



Tauck River Cruises

Tauck River Cruises offers experiences in Europe for their clients. The company encourages clients to "make an informed decision about the kind of experience that interests you most." The company was recently voted the world's top operators in river cruise travel by Travel Leisure magazine.

Price

Destinations:

Additional Perks & Features:

PROS

  • Client-oriented experiences
  • All-inclusive

CONS

  • Limited to Europe
  • Pricing not transparent


Conclusion

Crystal River Cruises is one of the world's leading river cruise lines and offers a wide variety of experiences to the discerning consumer. The fleet of ships is modern and in tune with the current styles, such as the provision of a stateroom within each suite. The opportunity to dine in one's room with the availability of a 24/7 butler is an added feature that places the line at the top of the pack.

What determines the attractiveness of a cruise line to the prospective consumer is the combination of price and experience, in addition to the amenities offered. Some demographics of consumers are less concerned with price and more concerned with experience. This is the type of consumer that Crystal River Cruises caters. The level of luxury in each experience is substantial, with the inclusive and optional plans allowing for greater freedom.


Overall Rating 

While Crystal River Cruises is a high-end luxurious cruise line with unique experiences, there are also many competitors in the sphere with similar offerings. The substantial discounts and promotional efforts presented by Crystal River Cruises does help the company stand apart as 2-for-1 tickets and $400 to spend onboard are highly generous incentive bonuses.

What matters most in your decision to book a cruise line is what you hope to see and experience on the trip, the duration, and your intended budget. Of the many companies reviewed by the River Cruising Guide, Crystal River Cruise lines stand out, although one must assess the options to ensure they align with your goals before making a final decision.

The many destinations of the world can be visited through a great many companies, with the amenities on board, and the activities off-board, providing the best measurements to determine whether a cruise package fits with your ideal travel plans.

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

Great

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