Riverside acquires another four Crystal ships

Sister-ships Bach, Ravel, Mahler and Debussy join start-up's fleet

Crystal Mahler will be now known as Riverside Mahler

Riverside Luxury Cruises, the German start-up river cruise operator that acquired the 160-passenger Crystal Mozart last year – rebranding it as Riverside Mozart – has secured ownership of Crystal River Cruises’ four other remaining vessels.

The acquisition of the 110-passenger Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler, 106-passenger Crystal Debussy and 84-passenger Crystal Ravel dramatically bolsters the scale of Riverside Luxury Cruises’ positioning at the top end of river cruising.

The four sister ships, hailed as the most luxurious ships on the rivers and still all relatively young (delivered in 2017 and 2018), will sail on the Rhine, Rhône, and Saône in 2023, rebranded as Riverside Bach, Riverside Ravel, Riverside Mahler and Riverside Debussy. Riverside Mozart begins sailing in April on the Danube.

MS Mahler in her former life as Crystal Mahler

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Riverside Ravel will include sailings on both the Rhône and Saône, providing guests a chance to indulge in all that Southern France has to offer sailing from Burgundy to Provence. Riverside Debussy will ply the waters of the Rhine and pass sheer cliffs, castles and cities from Amsterdam to Switzerland.

Itineraries for Riverside Bach and Riverside Mahler are slated for 2024 and will open for bookings later this year.

“We are thrilled by the expansion of our fleet to include these storied vessels,” said Gregor Gerlach, Founder of Riverside Luxury Cruises.

“This acquisition allows us to expand our itinerary offerings, showcasing a level of space, personalised service and elegance not found with any other river cruise line,” Gerlach said.

Crystal River Cruises - Crystal Bach | Waterside
Waterside Restaurant aboard Crystal Bach

On shore and on board, wellness experiences will be curated to encourage guests to enjoy the river and surrounding countryside with all their senses. From a culinary perspective, Riverside aims to provide the best cuisine and wine cellar on the water and will place an emphasis on the freshness and quality of all ingredients on board. Each ship will have a crew of trained sommeliers and bartenders will have access to special regional and global wines as well as some of the best spirits available, with a wine cellar that is unparalleled even among the best restaurants on land.

Riverside Luxury Cruises says it will offer aggressive pricing and competitive commissions (21% on all 2023 sailings) for travel advisors.

Jennifer Halboth, Chief Engagement Officer for Riverside Luxury Cruises, based in the US, told LATTE the fledgling operator was still in the process of establishing the businesses in the US, UK and Europe, but at present has no immediate plan for the Australian market.

“Of course [we] want to expand but baby steps at the moment.”

“In time, yes, we absolutely need to be available to your market,” Halboth said following the fleet growth.

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