Crystal River Cruises Named Number One River Cruise Line In Travel

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises has once again won top honours in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. Crystal River Cruises has been earning the acclaim of the world’s most discerning travellers since the line first launched in 2016 and, in fact, was named #1 River Cruise Line in its first year of service by Travel & Leisure readers.

Crystal’s ocean-going brands – Crystal Cruises and Crystal Yacht Cruises – were both placed in the Top Two of their respective categories, underscoring the consistent standard of luxury and excellence found across Crystal’s varied experiences.  

Crystal River Cruises’ score of 97.14 includes #1 scores for guest suites, food, service, itineraries/destinations and value. All three Crystal brand experiences placed number one in the culinary category, highlighting the superlative, globally inspired culinary experience for which Crystal has long been known. Crystal Cruises placed number one in the service, romance and nightlife categories, while Crystal Yacht Cruises placed #1 for romance. 

Every element of the Crystal Experience is designed to exceed our guests’ expectations of a luxury holiday, and it is always extremely gratifying to know that this philosophy continues to resonate with travellers 30 years after we first set sail.

Tom Wolber, Crystal’s president and CEO

Crystal River Cruises first embarked on the rivers of Europe in 2016, winning top industry awards within its first year thanks to its superior standard of luxury that had not been previously offered in the river cruise industry. The company christened four new-build sister ships – Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel – in 2017 and 2018, offering travellers more opportunities to enjoy the renowned Crystal Experience on varied itineraries along the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers. 

The readership of Travel + Leisure represents some of the world’s savviest, most selective travellers who know the best when they experience it. To earn such prestigious praise is an honour.

Tom Wolber, Crystal’s president and CEO

Crystal’s new-build river vessels are Europe’s most spacious river ships, accommodating just 106 guests with an intentional focus on maximising personal and public spaces throughout their 135-meter hulls (a size typically designed to accommodate twice the number of guests). The ships comprise Europe’s youngest river cruise fleet and are the industry’s first and only all-suite, butler-serviced vessels in Europe, with every category of accommodation positioned above the water line.  All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows™ and walk-in closets and dual vanity bathrooms are featured in most categories. 

Crystal Bach Cabin
Crystal Bach Cabin

All of Crystal’s river ships feature private butler service in every room category, king-sized beds, Caudalie amenities, robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs. Additional enticing features include farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court for entertainment, enrichment presentations and sweeping views of the countryside. Crystal’s attention to detail reaches ashore, as guests are transported on the days’ adventures in luxury motor coaches equipped with complimentary water and Wi-Fi for added convenience and comfort. 

While its fleet is paused, the Crystal team is developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and ensure that guests’ holidays continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Details of these new measures and initiatives will be announced soon. 

Additionally, the inherent design of Crystal ships maximises personal and public space, offering plenty of options for those who choose to keep a healthy distance during their voyage. All Crystal ships across the fleet including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition offer nearly double the space per person than ships of a similar size, which is among the highest space ratios in the industry and their social spaciousness will be further augmented through the new measures the company will be implementing. 

Further, Crystal Endeavor and Crystal’s River ships are all-suite and all-balcony with most staterooms on its two Ocean ships featuring private verandas for fresh airflow. The safety of guests and crew members is Crystal’s number one priority and the fleet will resume service only when the company’s expert team and global health and government authorities indicate that it is safe to do so. 

For more information and reservations call Crystal River Cruises on 020 7399 7604 or visit

Ben Hewitt
I am a keen video producer and photographer. Before starting Cruise with Ben and David I worked for the BBC and Discovery Channel.