Peter Deilmann Cruises has signed a distribution agreement to sell through Thomas Cook for the first time.

The news followed a concerted effort by the five-star river cruise operator to sell through more travel agents.

It is already working with the Leading Cruise Agents association, made up of independent travel agents from different consortia, and signed a deal with Travel Counsellors in the last year.

Managing director Stuart Perl said: “This offers us a fantastic opportunity to increase sales by taking our product to a new and wider audience.”

He added: “Despite the economic downturn, 2009 is shaping up to be a great year for the company with bookings already ahead of this time last year.”

The cruiseline recently announced the launch of Christmas market cruises for winter 2009 on the Danube and Rhine rivers.

Peter Deilmann hosted a fam trip from Passau to Vienna as it outlined the deal with Thomas Cook. Agents shared their opinions and photos with Travel Weekly…