MV Werften lays river cruise ship keels

AUGUST 23, 2016 — Luxury river cruise line Crystal River Cruises has taken an important step toward expanding its growing fleet with the laying of the keels for its first two newbuild vessels, Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler.

The cruise line is owned by Genting Hong Kong and the keel laying ceremony was staged at the Wismar, Germany, shipyard of Genting Hong Kong's shipbuilding subsidiary MV Werften.

A ceremony at MV Werften's, Wismar, Germany shipyard marked the official start of construction of the Rhine Class luxury river yachts.

The two ultra-luxury vessels are set to embark on their maiden voyages along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers next summer.

The first sections of the six-star ships were ceremoniously lowered into position on keel blocks in the presence of Tan Sri Lim, Chairman of Genting Hong Kong; Edie Rodriguez, Crystal's CEO and president; and Erwin Sellering, Prime Minister of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and many distinguished guests.

"This keel laying marks an important milestone for us. These river yachts are not only the first brand new vessels under the Crystal River Cruises brand, but also the first constructed in our very own shipyard," said Chairman Tan Sri Lim.

Genting Hong Kong completed the acquisition of the MV Weften shipbuilding yards earlier this year in anticipation of Crystal's extraordinary brand and fleet expansion, which, by 2019, will see six new build luxury river yachts, the world's first purpose-built polar class megayacht and the first of three Exclusive Class polar class ocean ships constructed at the shipyards.

"This phase of the expansion of Crystal River Cruises is in the hands of the expert shipbuilders and designers at MV Werften," said Mr. Rodriguez. "We are thrilled to take this step toward offering our travel-savvy guests another option in which to explore the world in the utmost luxury."

Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler will measure approximately 135 meters in length and 11 meters in breadth, accommodating 110 guests in Crystal's signature, all-suite luxury.

"We are proud to have these beautiful ships produced in our city, under our flag," said Erwin Sellering, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. "Crystal's reputation for excellence and discerning standards are shared by the professionals at MV Werften, and the partnership will doubtlessly produce an unparalleled product for global travelers."

The luxury river yachts will offer Crystal guests luxurious amenities that include butler service for every suite, king-sized beds that face toward the panoramic balcony-windows, walk-in closets, dual vanity in the bathrooms, Etro robes and slippers, wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs, and Nespresso machines.

The order book of MV Werften includes a total of ten vessels in the next five years, among them the Wismar-Max class, the world's largest cruise liner in terms of passenger capacity. The 201,000 gt cruise ships of the series will be more than 340 meters long and 45 meters wide. Production will start end of 2017 and the delivery to Genting Hong Kong's Star Cruises is planned for 2020.

"We are happy and proud to start now. It is our great pleasure to build these ships and push ahead our building program. We have grand plans, are headed in the right direction and will strengthen our staff and skills further in the fields of planning, design, procurement and project management," said Jarmo Laakso, the Managing Director of MV Werften.

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