Mozart, Bach, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel. Masters, all, each boasting an enduring legacy of musical influence that still echoes around the world. The ships of Crystal River Cruises don’t simply bear the names of these greats. On captivating routes along Europe’s mighty waterways, these stunning vessels carry with them the elegance and grace that is synonymous with the region, and their namesake composers. The destinations featured on Crystal River itineraries pay tribute to the masters and their musical contemporaries with landmarks, statues, and of course, performances of the symphonies and concertos that shaped European culture centuries ago. We are delighted to invite you to some of these performances, with a twist that is decidedly Crystal, as the brand new 2018 Crystal Collection of shore-side experiences is unveiled.
A special highlight of every Crystal River voyage is a complimentary live musical experience that captures the true essence and cultural character of the region. These intimately orchestrated “Signature Events” combine privileged access to a landmark venue — palaces, theatres, even monasteries — with an enthralling command performance by classical musicians acclaimed for their unique repertoire and world-class skills, exclusively for Crystal guests.
As you travel through musical meccas in Austria, Germany and Hungary, the enchanting Signature Events that await you on your journeys include:
Art & Music at the Belvedere Palace (Vienna, Austria)
Opera singers, ballet dancers and a celebrated Viennese orchestra converge in the halls of this baroque landmark for a classical concert and evening spent mingling with some of the world’s great artworks. The Belvedere Palace was built in the early 1800’s as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy – a perfect perch for a royal, with its expansive view of Vienna and the palace’s spectacular gardens below. The Belvedere now houses paintings by Kokoschka, Schiele and Klimt (including the inimitable The Kiss).
Lively String Ensemble Concert in Kloster UND (Krems, Austria)
This restored 17th-century Capuchin monastery is overflowing with throwback elegance from its heyday – dramatic arches, rich wood ceilings, and finely wrought metal and glass details. It’s the perfect juxtaposition for the evening’s performance by violin master Barbara Helfgott and her Rondo Vienna ensemble, who excel at adding their own entertaining twists to the world’s most beloved music from all periods. From traditional Viennese waltzes to Gershwin, Porter and even Joplin, your evening will be filled with heavenly strains fit for the venue.
The Sparkling Madlenianum Opera & Theatre (Belgrade, Serbia)
Your sparkling evening takes you to Zemun town, a historical part of greater Belgrade and home to Madlenianum Opera & Theatre. The only privately-owned opera and theatre company in south-eastern Europe welcomes Crystal guests exclusively into its meticulously designed amphitheater. Enter the grand foyer, where you’ll enjoy sparkling wine beneath the space’s signature chandelier, glittering overhead with more than 1,000 crystal pieces. You’ll then be treated to an enchanting performance by Serbian musicians skilled in classical and contemporary works, and perfectly echoed in the hall’s acoustics.
‘Princesses of Violin’ at Budapest History Museum (Budapest, Hungary)
The Budapest History Museum is located in the southern wing of the UNESCO-listed Buda Castle, which has held prominence along the Danube River since 1265. Baroque grandeur and breathtaking sights are literally everywhere you turn in this one-of-a-kind venue, with its glass-domed roof and sprawling Danube views. You’ll be treated to the distinctive and globally acclaimed string stylings of violin trio, Princesses of Violin, whose talents span centuries of music, from the classics born in this region to contemporary hits.
Jazzy ‘Spring String Quartet’ at Saint Florian Monastery (Linz, Austria)
The high-energy style of this famed jazz-rock-classical crossover quartet may not be what the Augustinian monks who used to live at Saint Florian had in mind for their hallowed halls, but the performance is definitely in line with Linz’s longstanding flair for cultural inventiveness. Enjoy this exclusive evening in the historical monastery, as Spring String Quartet turns traditionally sedate violin music upside down.
Classical Concert, Castles & Chateuax (Rüdesheim and Koblenz, Germany)
While the actual venue may vary depending on the date of your sailing, the evening performance in store for this Signature Event is invariably astounding. Featuring the innovative talents of La Finesse String Quartet, masterfully modern interpretations of classical works will fill grand halls of select preeminent venues.
In Rüdesheim, you’ll spend an evening within Germany’s Rheingau, a Wine Enthusiast “Best Wine Destinations 2017” region. Whether at Schloss Vollrads, built on ancient Roman foundations; 1200-year-old Schloss Johannisberg, considered the world’s earliest Riesling producer; or Kloster Eberbach, with its medieval structures built by Cistercian monks – you’ll be carried back to the quiet beauty and classical notes of another time.
In Koblenz, rolling hillside vineyards set the stage for La Finesse, with venues including the high-roofed Schloss Kaisersaal ballroom of the Electoral Palace (affording remarkable acoustic sound), or in the landmark cast-iron and glass foundry building at Sayner Hütte.
Join Crystal River Cruises for exclusive Signature Events, as we present unforgettable tributes to the musical masters that have inspired the world for centuries, in storied locales that will continue to inspire your wanderlust.