Crys­tal Bach

Euro­pean river cruis­ing is throw­ing Off ITS DOWDY IM­AGE ONCE AND FOR ALL THANKS TO CRYS­TAL CRUISES’ NEW-BUILD RIVER SHIPS, WHERE SUE BRYANT DIS­COV­ERS A TRUE BOUTIQUEho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cruise Passenger - - CONTENTS -

Sue Bryant en­joys a true bou­tique-ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence on Crys­tal Cruises’ new Euro­pean river ship.

Up­mar­ket cruise lines of­ten say their big­gest ri­vals are not one an­other, but lux­ury ho­tels ashore. You could cer­tainly ar­gue that lines such as Sil­versea, Re­gent, Se­abourn and Crys­tal have cre­ated ocean-go­ing ships that are com­pa­ra­ble to some of the world’s most gor­geous ho­tels.

The sit­u­a­tion on Europe’s rivers, though, has not quite kept pace. While there are with­out doubt some stun­ning river cruis­ers out there, it’s de­bat­able whether any of them can of­fer a true bou­tique-ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence – the kind of hol­i­day that gives you high­end ser­vice, ex­quis­ite de­sign and the free­dom to dine and ex­plore in the way you want.

Un­til now. Crys­tal made waves on the Danube in 2016 wHEN It AC­quIrED AND rE­LAuNCHED Its first rIvEr ship, Crys­tal Mozart, to great ac­claim. In 2017, the line has gone one step fur­ther, launch­ing two iden­ti­cal new-build ships, Crys­tal Bach and Crys­tal Mahler, which take river cruis­ing to a whole new level.

Crys­tal Bach is, quite sim­ply, stun­ning. Like all Euro­pean river cruis­ers, its di­men­sions are DE­tEr­MINED By tHE LOCKs AND BrIDGEs It HAs tO fit through. Step up the gang­way, though, and you’ll fiND A wHOLE NEw wOrLD.

For a start, there are only two decks with ac­com­mo­da­tion, so ev­ery cabin has a panoramic win­dow that slides down to cre­ate an in­door bal­cony ef­fect. There are only three grades –15 smaller Pe­tite Suites, two mas­sive Crys­tal Suites and 35 River Suite Deluxe rooms.

I stayed in one of the lat­ter and was blown away by its beauty. Heavy sil­ver drapes and a whole wall of glass. Cream and grey tones, with a beau­ti­ful, emerald-green vel­vet arm­chair and a black glasstopped van­ity. Even the light switches are chic,

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