Sunday, 23 June 2013

Cruising on the Danube with the Crystal Ship

The Kristallschiff (Crystal Ship) at Passau
I have been in Europe for two months so have been far away from 'Cruising the Pacific'. But I have been on some interesting cruises and some interesting ships so I will tell you about those in this blog over the next few weeks.
  We were in Passau, a river cruise port on the Danube, and saw this ship that intrigued us. The Kristallschiff ( Crystal Ship) is part of the river cruise fleet of ships of Wurm & Kock that do short scenic cruises out of Passau. But the ship was not your typical river cruise ship; this one was special.
  It was designed in partnership with Swarovski crystals.
  There are crystals on the staircase, on the walls, and hanging in great glittering ropes from the ceiling. There are even displays of crystals in the toilets! And there's a statue of Isa, the mermaid of the Danube, with large crystals embedded in her tail.
The two level dining room of the Crystal Ship
I had wondered before boarding if it might be rather tacky. But it is all decorated tastefully, with beautifully upholstered furniture in soft shades, and a spacious interior layout.

à la carte dining in the Gallery of the Crystal Ship

The Crystal Ship has 388 interior seats, 208 on the deck where you enter and another 180 on the mezzanine gallery. Upstairs on the roof-top deck there is seating for another 350 people.
  On the day we took the morning two hour cruise it was very hot and, after spending some time on the top deck in the full sun, I went indoors and sat at a dining table in the Gallery. Of course, I just had to look at the menu. The range of ice cream sundaes looked delectable, and yes, I had one. In fact it was so big I couldn't eat it all. I left it to my husband to scrape the bowl clean!
  Next time I'll tell you about where and when the Crystal Ship went. If you've always wanted to do a European river cruise, but haven't had the time or the money, this short scenic trip on the Danube River will give you a taste of what a full cruise would be like.

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