CruiseHere's what cruisers can expect setting sail with the newly launched Riverside Luxury Cruises onboard Riverside Mozart.

New startup Riverside Luxury Cruises acquires former Crystal Mozart

The former Crystal Mozart sails again in spring 2023 as Riverside Mozart.
The former Crystal Mozart sails again in spring 2023 as Riverside Mozart.

When Crystal Cruises folded during the pandemic, its five riverboats ceased all operations. Sister ships Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel have yet to secure new buyers, but the double-wide Crystal Mozart, originally built in 1987 and redesigned for Crystal in 2016, will set sail again under the newly formed Riverside Luxury Cruises.

The ship will be branded simply as Riverside Mozart by spring 2023.

Editor’s Note: After its original folding, Crystal Cruises was acquired by luxury operator Abercrombie & Kent, which will operate the brand with its Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony vessels.

Riverside Luxury Cruises: Family-owned and operated

As part of the new Riverside Collection, Mozart will expand on the company’s existing Seaside Collection — a conglomerate of 11 owned and operated boutique properties found in Europe and the Maldives.

"When the opportunity arose to take over the Mozart, we didn't hesitate," said Gregor Gerlach, co-founder of Riverside Collection (along with his sister Anouchka). "With only 100 to 150 guests onboard the Riverside Mozart, we can address guests more individually and provide a much more bespoke experience than on larger ocean vessels.”

The family operation plans to take its decades-long experience operating shoreside resorts specifically in the Canary Islands, Germany and Valencia, as well as the Maldives, and apply it to inland waterways with standout cuisine, service, excursions and wellness offerings.

Adding to the familial hospitality are leadership appointments, many coming from the former Crystal Cruises, including captain Bela Burjan; hotel manager Sonja Gruber; chef de cuisine Johannes Bar; and Ulrike Nehls as director of land operations. Jennifer Halboth will serve as CEO of Riverside Collection, Americas, and Michelle Rodriguez Suarez will be the brand’s director of East Coast and key account sales.

What to expect when sailing onboard Riverside Mozart

Service-wise, Riverside will tout an exceptional crew-to-guest ratio and personal service, including from its butlers, who will be available to every suite. Butlers will be on hand to provide everything from reservations and tours to special requests and unique experiences.

Riverside Mozart's deck bar.
Riverside Mozart's deck bar.

As for Mozart itself, the sophisticated riverboat will maintain its current luxurious hardware design and overall layout while recommitting to excellence in software. A total of 81 cabins will range in size between 219 and 883 square feet. Among its public features will be massage and facial treatment rooms, Finnish saunas, steam rooms, a swimming pool and a whirlpool.

What’s more, regional fine dining will once more be at the core of the ship’s ethos as Riverside strives to offer the very best cuisine and wines onboard, emphasizing ingredient freshness and quality. Trained sommeliers and bartenders will showcase local and global vintages, as well as spirits. Bistro, Blue and Waterside restaurants will lead the four dining venues onboard Mozart, while Vintage Room will be home to a special tasting menu paired with fine wines.

Mozart will sail on Danube River itineraries, highlighting distinct excursions and “money can’t buy moments,” according to Riverside.

Sales opportunities for travel agents

Clients will have the flexibility and choice of a fully inclusive or a-la-carte experience onboard. The Riverside Collection and Riverside Mozart are already available to book. The company promises competitive commissions and special introductory fam rates for travel advisors. For more information and reservations, advisors can contact

Source: TravelAge West

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