IT in flux: a high-tech guest experience on a Danube cruise

Even when the Crystal Mozart casts off, it still stays well connected. A mobile solution from Lufthansa Industry Solutions has equipped Crystal River Cruises’ first river cruise ship with a first-class IT infrastructure.

The customer

Crystal Cruises, with its headquarters in Los Angeles, specializes in high-end luxury travel by cruise ship, yacht and jet. Alongside ocean journeys, this cruise line now offers river cruises through Europe as well with the Crystal River Cruises experience. Crystal Mozart is the first of a total of five ships in the new fleet and has been traveling the Danube since its maiden voyage in the summer of 2016. Founded in 1988, today Crystal Cruises is a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong Limited, a specialist tourism company that operates globally. Crystal Cruises wins customers over with its extraordinary level of elegance, convenience and design. A first-class guest experience is its top priority.

The challenge

The global market for cruises is growing continuously. It reached a new record in 2015 with revenues of USD 39.6 billion. There is further growth potential for shipping companies in a number of areas including internationalization. Europe is the most popular region after North America. More than one quarter of the annual 22.2 million cruise ship passengers are Europeans. It is against this backdrop that Crystal River Cruises is currently expanding in the field of river cruises in Europe, among others. The cruise line is simultaneously pushing its brand strategy to set the pace of growth with new, exclusive high-end comforts.

With the most modern digital on-board entertainment and smart cabin control solutions, Crystal River Cruises plans to make its new fleet the most technologically advanced river cruise ships on the market. It is intended to set new standards in luxury within the travel sector and simultaneously increase the appeal of cruises for a younger target group. For this project, Crystal River Cruises needed a specialist who – in spite of strict timing – was capable of installing a network and application structure at the highest level of quality and entertainment.

The solution

During a general overhaul, Lufthansa Industry Solutions equipped Crystal Mozart with an IT solution that was developed especially for the cruise industry and hospitality sector. The solution combines Wi-Fi as well as monitoring and control functions for lighting, door locks and air conditioning (room automation), and security systems (CCTV) in a single network structure. CCTV is mandatory on cruise ships to ensure safety during voyages. Lufthansa Industry Solutions also provides guests with access to images from the cameras in their cabins so that they can see where the ship is at all times.

In addition to new services for guests such as this one, the solution also ensures a fail-safe, high-performance network for a wide range of additional systems and applications on board. The centralized IT infrastructure solution also makes it possible to integrate, monitor and manage systems from third-party providers at any time, increasing efficiency and saving money. In its role as a consultant, Lufthansa Industry Solutions was involved in planning the new IT infrastructure of the Crystal Mozart from the very start so as to allow it to analyze needs and options and contribute new ideas early in the game.

The customer benefit

The powerful IT infrastructure is in line with Crystal River Cruise’s luxury marketing strategy. The IT solution by Lufthansa Industry Solutions benefits the operational performance of on-board services and the marketing activities of Crystal River Cruises equally. The high profile of this flagship project supports Crystal Cruises in its efforts to establish its line of river cruises through Crystal Mozart and spark interest in travel on its fleet of ships, which is still in development.

Integrated IT solutions are the key to providing our travel customers with an exclusive experience that keeps getting better. Within a short timeframe, Lufthansa Industry Solutions has customized a system for us that not only provides the guest with an innovative experience but will also remain adaptable in future.

John Polimenakos
Vice President of IT, Crystal Cruises