(4:27 p.m. EST) -- Crystal River Cruises took the first step constructing its two new luxury river vessels for 2018, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel.
The traditional steel cutting took place Monday at MV Werften shipyard in Wismar, Germany. The executive chairman of Crystal parent company Genting Group, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, was on hand for the event, along with other dignitaries.
All cabins on both identical 106-passenger ships will be balcony suites with king-size beds, walk-in closets, and wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. Other features of the vessels, slated to debut on the Rhine River, include multiple restaurants and a swimming pool.
"Today is another crowning achievement in the growth of the Crystal brand, as we take another step closer in further delivering the growing demand for a true luxury experience on Europe's rivers," said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal's Chairman, CEO and President.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor