Lauren Barfield (centre) with executives from Crystal, MV werften and Genting Hing Kong (Image: Crystal River Cruises)
American volleyball champion Lauren Barfield christened Crystal River Cruises’ Crystal Mahler during the vessel’s official handover ceremony at MV Werften’s yard in Germany on 20 September.
Crystal’s second Rhine Class river ship was received by the line’s newly appointed president and CEO Tom Wolber. Barfield, who currently plays for German team SSC Palmberg Schwerin (sponsored by MV Werften), then gave a traditional German blessing and then broke a bottle of champagne over Crystal Mahler to bring good luck.
Crystal executives, local dignitaries and guests from Crystal parent company, Genting Hong Kong, also attended the ceremony.
“Welcoming this stunning new ship to Crystal’s celebrated fleet is incredibly gratifying, as we continue to expand the celebrated Crystal Experience to a broader audience of discerning world travellers,” said Wolber. “Like her sister ships, Crystal Mahler surpasses all previously established standards of luxury in the river cruising industry, with Crystal’s signature service and attention to detail that our guests have long expected from the ‘World’s Best.’”
Crystal Mahler is the second of Crystal’s Rhine Class ships to be built and delivered by MV Werften – her sister ship Crystal Bach was christened and started service in August. Two more sister ships, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, will join the fleet in 2018.
“A new milestone has been reached with the handing over of Crystal Mahler to Crystal River Cruises as half of the Rhine Class river cruise ships have now been delivered,” said Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV Werften.
Crystal Mahler will sail 7, 11 and 16-day voyages along the Rhine and Danube Rivers, calling at destinations in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Netherlands and Hungary. Like her four sisters, the vessel will have 106 suites with French balconies, a dedicated butler service, ETRO robes and slippers, personal iPads, flat-screen HD TVs with streaming movies, complimentary wi-fi and Nespresso machines.
Other onboard amenities include a spa treatment room and separate fitness centre, multiple open-seating venues offering Crystal’s farm-to-table cuisine, including the Waterside Restaurant, Bistro café, Vintage Room and the Palm Court.
“The enthusiastic response to Crystal’s first Rhine Class ship, Crystal Bach, has been tremendous,” said Wolber. “The innovative design of these ships and industry-leading features and amenities are truly impressive, and the world’s most selective travellers are taking notice.”