Sailing from Austria
Setting sail from Vienna
Formerly the centre of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is as grand a European capital as you can imagine, jam packed full of thrusting, bombastic buildings that stand as a reminder of Austria's glorious imperial heyday. Architectural highlights include the Spanish Riding School, the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg, the sprawling former residence of the Habsburg royals. Vienna is also a city rich in cultural capital, and still reverberates to the sound of the great composers who lived and worked here, including Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt.
Schloss Schonbrunn, the Habsburgs' summer palace, with great gardens too. Just a few of the huge number of rooms are open – the Imperial Tour takes you into 26.
The riverside village of Melk is best known for its spectacular abbey, a Baroque masterpiece that dominates the landscape. A Benedictine abbey was first established here in 1089, and the 18th century reconstruction that you can see today is still a working monastery.
One of the prettiest towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley, little Dürnstein charms visitors with its handsome 16th century architecture. Richard the Lionheart was once imprisoned in the castle that sits on the hillside above the town, and the region is also famous for its wine.
The pretty Bavarian town of Passau, situated close to Germany’s border with Austria, enjoys a unique setting at the confluence of three rivers: the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube. The narrow cobbled streets of the handsome old town, the Altstadt, are quite delightful.
Originally founded by the Celts and later an important Roman settlement, Regensburg is one of Bavaria’s lesser known gems. Situated on the northernmost bend of the Danube, it’s a friendly and laid back city, with an exceptionally well preserved medieval centre.
Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second city, first pops up in the history books in 1050 as a stronghold of the Franks, and later became the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Nowadays the city is a tourist magnet thanks to the beautifully restored old town, Christmas markets and excellent beer.
Bamberg’s eye-catching, UNESCO-listed old town is one of the most beautiful in all of Germany. The city was briefly capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and the city centre is still dominated by the 13th century cathedral. There are also plenty of breweries, and you shouldn’t leave without trying Bamberg’s famous smoked beer.
The handsome town of Würzburg, situated on the river Main between Nuremberg and Frankfurt, was ruled for centuries by a succession of powerful prince-bishops. Although much of the city was destroyed during the Second World War, the majestic 18th century Residenz palace stands as a testament to the wealth of the bishopric.
The quaint little Bavarian town of Miltenberg sits on the Main river to the southeast of Frankfurt, with a beautiful old town that survived the Second World War unscathed. Timber-framed buildings lean at jaunty angles overhead, not least in the ‘Black Quarter’, where the streets are so narrow that the sunlight barely reaches ground level.
Koblenz was founded by the Romans, who valued the city’s strategically important location where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. Rebuilt from the rubble of the Second World War, modern Koblenz has a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, and serves as a gateway to the Romantic Rhine.
Hugging the river Rhine to the south of Frankfurt, the pleasant little town of Speyer has a long and distinguished history. This was one of the Holy Roman Empire’s most important cities, as evidenced by the beautiful Romanesque cathedral, and is also home to a delightful Christmas market during the winter months.
Arriving in Basel
Basel lies where Switzerland, France and Germany meet, a sophisticated and multicultural city with a picturesque setting astride the river Rhine. The medieval Old Town is exceptionally well preserved, best appreciated from the summit of the hilltop cathedral, which offers incredible views across the city. Basel boasts a wealth of museums and galleries, and plays host to events including the renowned Art Basel contemporary art fair, held during the summer, and Fasnacht, Switzerland's most famous winter carnival.
The food here is great, with so many different influences. Try salmon ‘nach Basler Art’ (in a white wine marinade with fried onions), and wash it down with the local Riesling.
Your home from home
The intimate Crystal Mahler and Crystal Bach launch in 2017, with sister ships Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel to follow in 2018. Each has a welcoming range of lounges and facilities, whilst staterooms are spacious and beautifully decorated.
What we love
The Crystal River Yacht difference is all in the pace of life - slowed down itineraries, plenty of overnights in port, and leisurely hours on board to make the most of the captivating scenery. Add to that the highest crew to passenger ratio on any European river cruise vessel, with crew trained to Crystal's usual high standards, and you have a winner.
|Crew||85 Crystal-trained European Staff|
|Style||A relaxed pace with specially curated shore excursions, and Crystal's usual high standards on board.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Basel
The Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois (three kings) is one of Europe’s oldest city hotels.
See more of Austria
If you’ve got time, go to magical Salzburg too, you will love it.