Arrivals & Departures Crystal smooths the waters with shorter European voyages

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Week-long itineraries for those short on time or who like to combine their holiday with an ocean cruise or land tour are the centrepiece of Crystal River Cruises’ recently released 2019 program.

The luxury cruise line has increased its seven-day options aboard its fleet of five ships sailing the Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Main rivers.

Karen Christensen, Crystal’s Australia senior vice-president and managing director, says that while the shorter options appeal to the European, UK and American markets that aren’t blessed with the four weeks of leave Australians enjoy, it's a trend Australians can also get on board with.

“While we expect Crystal’s longer river sailings will continue to be favoured by Australian travellers, the new seven-day itineraries will be an ideal add-on to complement an ocean cruise or land-based European holiday,” she says.

New offerings for 2019 include the seven-day Wonders of the Danube from Linz to Budapest (and vice versa) aboard either Crystal Mahler or Crystal Ravel. Bookended with overnight stays in Budapest and Linz, this voyage also offers two full days in Vienna, plus visits to Krems and Melk, Austria and Bratislava in Slovakia.

The seven-day Danube Dreams and Discoveries sails round trip from Vienna aboard Crystal Ravel or Crystal Mozart and includes Hungary’s Esztergom and Budapest for an overnight stay, as well as Bratislava, Melk, Spitz and Krems.

Showcasing the sights and sounds of the traditional holiday festivities is the new Magnificent Christmas Markets, a seven-day sail from Passau to Budapest and vice versa.

A new longer option is the 11-day Grand Danube Celebration from Budapest to Nuremberg aboard Crystal Mahler. The singular Christmas holiday voyage features a double overnight stay in Budapest, with Christmas Day spent sailing the Danube River. New Year’s Eve will see Regensburg, Germany, with other destinations including Bratislava, Vienna (overnight), Krems, Melk, Linz and Passau and ending with an overnight stop in Nuremberg.

Prices start at $US2980 ($3782) per person twin share for Crystal Mozart’s seven-day cruise round trip from Vienna departing on November 9, 2019.

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