Crystal River Cruises welcomed its fifth ship and the newest member of the fleet, Crystal Ravel, during a christening ceremony in Budapest, Hungary. The occasion was celebrated with Crystal’s President and CEO Tom Wolber; the ship’s godmother, Hungarian philanthropist and creator of the classical music talent show, Virtuosos, Mariann Peller; and Crystal River Cruises’ Vice President and Managing Director Walter Littlejohn.
“Today is a proud day for the entire Crystal family. In just over two years, we introduced five ships, which is a tremendous accomplishment of growth for this expansion of the Crystal brand,” Wolber said. “But what makes us most proud is that with each new ship and new experience, Crystal’s commitment to superb quality and exceptional luxury and service has remained unwavering.”
“Beyond these exquisite ships – which are earning the acclaim of luxury travelers from around the world – the heart of the Crystal River Experience is the people,” Littlejohn said. “Crystal’s crew is simply unmatched in their warm, genuine service and attention to detail. Our guests are savvy travelers who truly value that personal connection and frequently share the sentiment that sailing with Crystal is like coming home to their onboard family.”
“To be named the godmother of a ship that celebrates the classical musical heritage of this country and the lands that surround her – is an honor that speaks to my heart,” Peller said. “Beyond the connection to the musical masters of this region, Crystal River ships represent the stunning grace, elegance, and beauty of the rivers that flow here. I am honored to become part of the Crystal Family, as this company embodies a dedication to excellence.”
Tenor Steffan Mullan performed during the ceremony, while Young Virtuosos artists performed aboard the ship following the traditional blessing, including clarinetist Ali Dániel Lugosi, double bassist Tamás Kökény, violinists Amira Abouzahra and Mariam Abuzahra, and Budapest Festival Orchestra harpist Ágnes Polonyi.
The ceremony took place during the ship’s overnight stay in Budapest on its weeklong “Danube Serenade” voyage, allowing guests aboard the sailing to participate in the festivities, while Crystal crew members also looked on from the decks of the ship. Travelers from around the world joined the celebration via the Facebook Live broadcast on Crystal’s Facebook page.
Crystal Ravel is currently sailing itineraries of six to 14 days between Vienna and Basel; and in 2019 she will be the only river ship to sail seven-night Danube cruises round-trip from Vienna to ports in Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.