WISMAR, Germany – Crystal River Cruises, the world’s only luxury river cruise line, took an important step toward expanding its growing fleet today, as the keel was laid for the company’s first two new build vessels, Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler. During a ceremony at MV WERFTEN shipyard in Wismar, Germany, building of the “Rhine Class” luxury river yachts officially commenced. In summer 2017, the two ultra-luxury vessels are set to embark on their maiden voyages along Europe’s mightiest rivers: the Rhine, Main and Danube.
In the presence of Tan Sri Lim, Chairman of Crystal parent company Genting Hong Kong; Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s CEO and president; and Erwin Sellering, Prime Minister of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, plus numerous distinguished guests, the first sections of the six-star ships were ceremoniously lowered into position on keel blocks.
“This keel laying marks an important milestone for us. These river yachts are not only the first brand new vessels under the Crystal River Cruises brand, but also the first constructed in our very own shipyard,” said Genting Chairman Tan Sri Lim.
Genting Hong Kong completed the acquisition of the Lloyd Werft ship building yards earlier this year in anticipation of Crystal’s extraordinary brand and fleet expansion, which, by 2019, will see six new build luxury river yachts, the world’s first purpose-built polar class megayacht and the first of three Exclusive Class™ polar class ocean ships constructed at the yard.
Rodriguez echoed the Chairman’s sentiments, saying, “This phase of the expansion of Crystal River Cruises is in the hands of the expert shipbuilders and designers at MV WERFTEN. We are thrilled to take this step toward offering our travel-savvy guests another option in which to explore the world in the utmost luxury.”
Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler will measure approximately 135 meters in length and 11 meters in breadth, accommodating 110 guests in Crystal’s signature, all-suite luxury.
“We are proud to have these beautiful ships produced in our city, under our flag,” Erwin Sellering, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern stated. “Crystal’s reputation for excellence and discerning standards are shared by the professionals at MV WERFTEN, and the partnership will doubtlessly produce an unparalleled product for global travelers.”
The luxury river yachts will offer Crystal guests luxurious amenities that surpass the comforts of home, including Crystal’s acclaimed butler service for every suite, plush king-sized beds that face toward the Panoramic Balcony-Windows, walk-in closets, dual vanity in the bathrooms, ETRO robes and slippers, wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs, and Nespresso machines. Additional enticing features include Crystal’s highly-acclaimed cuisine in multiple eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; Cove Bar and Palm Court.
The order book of MV WERFTEN includes a total of ten vessels in the next five years, among them the so called “Wismar-Max class”, the world’s biggest cruise liner regarding passenger capacity. The 201,000 GT cruise ships of the “Global Class” series will be more than 340 meters long and 45 meters wide. The production will start end of 2017 and the delivery to the shipping company Star Cruises is planned for 2020.
“We are happy and proud to start now. It is our great pleasure to build these ships and push ahead our building program. We have grand plans, are headed in the right direction and will strengthen our staff and skills further in the fields of planning, design, procurement and project management,” Jarmo Laakso, the Managing Director of MV WERFTEN said.