Crystal Cruises announced today an industry first for river cruising – four months before the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line’s first river yacht sets sail. The expert destination specialists for Crystal River Cruises have curated an ultra-exclusive event for the line’s discerning guests, which will be offered complimentarily with every 2016 and 2017 itinerary aboard Crystal Mozart. Set at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, one of Europe’s most stunning baroque landmarks and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the evening will afford Crystal guests unparalleled private access to the highlights of the Palace’s astounding collections of art, including the greatest collection of Austrian art by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, with guidance from the Palace’s specialists.
“As has been our signature for over two decades, we will continue to offer our guests extraordinary experiences aboard Crystal River Cruises that only Crystal can deliver,” says Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “The Belvedere Palace is one of Europe’s most iconic and stunning landmarks, and we are thrilled to present the treasures of this site to our guests in such an exclusive manner.”
On three varied itineraries along the Danube River, exploring the Bavarian Wachau Valley, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, Belgrade and other European gems, the signature evening event will take participants to the rooms of several of the masters displayed throughout the Palace, culminating with the highlight of the collection, Gustav Klimt’s golden painting, The Kiss. Following ample time to study the masterpieces, guests will then gather in the Marble Hall for a command concert of Viennese compositions by Johan Strauss (father & son) and, appropriately, Mozart.
Spanning two stories, the Marble Hall is considered the most magnificent room in the Palace, boasting a fresco painted by Carlo Inncenzo Carlone in 1721 and acting as the site where the Austrian State Treaty was signed in 1955, reestablishing Austria as a sovereign state following World War II. The Palace itself has hosted countless events that have shaped history since it was built as a representative palace next to the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy in the1700’s, the height of the Baroque movement.
Following nearly three hours of classical art and music in the iconic halls of the Palace, guests will return to Crystal Mozart via Vienna’s famed Ringstrasse, the circular road in the heart of Vienna, which itself is a coveted sight, home to such magnificent buildings as the Vienna State Opera House, the Austrian Parliament Building and the Academy of Fine Arts.
The spectacular evening event will be available for booking in April, when the complete selection of Crystal Mozart’s shore-side adventures is unveiled. However, Crystal has ensured that the special excursion can accommodate all 160 of Crystal Mozart’s guests, so pre-booking is not essential. Crystal Mozart’s 10, 11 and 13 day itineraries round-trip from Vienna are now available for booking, with the maiden voyage embarking 13 July, 2016.