Peter Deilmann River Cruises is to extend its season to offer Christmas and New Year cruises for the first time in winter 2009.
Previously the German-owned river cruise company has not operated during winter, stopping its season in early November and re-starting itineraries in March.
The company’s new 2009 brochure includes winter cruises over Christmas and includes New Year 2010. Winter saver fares start at £445 per person for three nights cruise-only on its ship Heidelberg on November 3, 2009.
Managing director Stuart Perl said the extension of the season on the Rhine and Danube will allow it to capitalise on the Christmas markets’ sector. “Christmas markets offer us a fantastic opportunity to deliver a five-star luxury product into this popular and expanding area,” he said.
As well as extending the season, the river cruise operator is also offering inclusive cruises aimed at first-timers and inclusive combination cruises aimed at more experienced cruisers. These fares include train travel from London to the European departure port, transfers, a tour manager and complimentary tour excursion per day.
A further change for 2009 is that all cruise-only fares will now include one tour experience per person of their choice in each port of call. Prices have increased “slightly” to accommodate this change, according to a spokeswoman. Fares start at £1,049 per person based on a seven-night cruise on the Dresden ship on the Rhine in March 2009.
Meanwhile, agents who are dynamically packaging a river cruise can now book flights, trains, transfers and hotels with the cruiseline for 5% commission.
Also in the brochure are large new European maps showing each of the rivers and ports of call, detailed itineraries and touring experiences.