(4:45 p.m. EDT) -- Crystal River Cruises christened its second new river cruise ship for 2017, Crystal Mahler, at a handover ceremony at a German shipyard.
Crystal's new president and CEO, Tom Wolber, attended the ceremony at MV Werften. The 106-passenger ship, the second in the line's built-to-order "Rhine class," is an identical twin to Crystal Bach, which launched last month.
American volleyball star Lauren Barfield, who plays for the reigning German champions SSC Palmberg Schwerin (sponsored by the shipyard), served as the godmother. The ship was christened with a traditional German blessing and breaking of a Champagne bottle.
Crystal Mahler will sail primarily on the Danube, although the itinerary for its maiden September 30 voyage was changed earlier this month to the Rhine River. Like its counterparts, it has many luxury features, including king-sized beds, butler service, high-tech features, specialty restaurants and an onboard spa and fitness center.
Other ships in the Crystal River fleet include Crystal Mozart, a refurbished ship that launched last year, and Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, which will debut 2018. "A new milestone has been reached with the handing over of Crystal Mahler to Crystal River Cruises as half of the Rhine Class river cruisers have now been delivered," MV Werften CEO Jarmo Laakso noted during the handover.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor