This Brand-new River Cruise Line Is Coming to Europe in April — Here's Where They're Sailing

Riverside Luxury Cruises will launch with three ships this year, and two more in 2024.

The Riverside Mozart sailing on the Danube River in Hungary

Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises

It's time to add a luxury river cruise to your 2023 travel plans.

In Nov. 2022, boutique hospitality company Riverside Collection announced the launch of a new river cruise line, Riverside Luxury Cruises, following its acquisition of river ship Crystal Mozart from the recently shuttered Crystal Cruises. But that was just the first step.

Today, Riverside Luxury Cruises announced the acquisition of Crystal's full fleet of river ships, adding the newly renamed MS Bach, MS Ravel, MS Mahler, and MS Debussy to its upcoming offerings.

Interior of a cabin living room on board the Riverside Mozart

Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises

"As purveyors of luxury for many years, we recognized that a true luxury product was missing on the rivers, especially after Crystal River Cruises exited the market," Gregor Gerlach, CEO of Riverside Collection and co-founder of Riverside Luxury Cruises, told Travel + Leisure exclusively. "This, alongside the demand we were seeing among our luxury clientele, inspired us to enter the river cruise market."

The ships are largely ready to go, only undergoing minor updates. On MS Mozart, for example, the team is simply upgrading cosmetic details and adding a new dining concept on the sun deck. 

"As a whole, the Crystal River fleet was only in operation for a few years prior to the pandemic and its thoughtful and timeless designs have kept them in great condition," Gerlach said. "This is exemplified by the MS Mozart, which continues to be viewed as the most luxurious ship on the rivers."

The deck and deck bar on board the Riverside Mozart

Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises

Interior of the salon on board the Riverside Mozart

Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises

Curating an all-encompassing luxury experience will be the main focus of Riverside Luxury Cruises, whose ships will have the largest average suite size across European river cruises. There will be a guest-to-staff ratio of 2:1, with a butler servicing each suite. 

As for excursions, Riverside aims to go far above and beyond the traditional walking tour offerings. "Whether that means a balloon ride over Budapest or a helicopter journey in Linz, we will aim to offer a variety of opportunities that range in activity level," Gerlach said.

On board each ship, wellness amenities will include a spa, an indoor pool, and a salon, but it's the forthcoming culinary program from Riverside Luxury Cruises that will truly stand out. "Riverside offers a commitment to culinary excellence, which includes budgeting more than double what other luxury operators [have] for the procurement of the most high-quality, fresh, and local ingredients [for] multiple dining venues and 24-hour room service," Gerlach added.

Interior of a cabin bedroom on board the Riverside Mozart

Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises

MS Mozart will sail the Danube, starting in April 2023, on three- to nine-night itineraries. MS Ravel and MS Debussy will make their inaugural voyages in May 2023; MS Ravel will cruise the Danube, Rhône, and Saône rivers, and MS Debussy will sail the Danube and Rhine rivers. Itineraries for the MS Bach and MS Mahler will be announced later this year, with departure commencing in 2024.

"As we look to the future, we see the demand for river cruising amongst luxury travelers continuing to rise and believe that Riverside will be their line of choice," Gerlach concluded.

A three-night cruise on MS Mozart starts at $1,712 per suite, and you can book your trip here.

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