Cruise & Maritime Voyages is to sell in Germany after taking over a Munich-based tour operation.

The deal enables the UK cruise company access to four river cruise vessels operating on the main rivers of Europe.

CMV will also assume immediate responsibility for the charter, operation and marketing of the 600-passenger ocean-going ship Astor including its summer 2014 programme of sailings from Kiel, Bremerhaven and Hamburg targeting 7,000 passengers.

The take-over of the tour operation of TransOcean Kreuzfahrten to give entry into the expanding German market came in an agreement with Munich based Premicon AG.

It incorporates the charter of a European river cruise fleet – the 176-passenger Belvedere, 150-passenger Bellefleur, 180-passenger Bellejour and the 80-passenger Sans Souci – which operate on the rivers Rhine, Main, Danube, Mosel, Neckar, Elbe, Oder, Havel, Rhône and Saône.

The vessels will continue to be marketed under the established TransOcean brand as German-speaking river cruises with the existing distribution channels remaining unchanged. Selected future sailings will be designated for international support.

CMV’s combined ocean fleet passenger carryings are now projected to exceed 70,000 passengers, almost double the numbers in 2010.

The company is part of the Global Maritime Group and also operates two other ocean vessels, the 800-passenger Marco Polo and the 700-passenger Discovery plus the 160-passenger river vessel, Vienna I under the Signature river cruise brand. It was already promoting Astor sailings in Australia with departures this winter from Fremantle.

CMV chairman and CEO Christian Verhounig said: “CMV’s entry into the German market is another important step in the expansion and strategic development of the group’s presence in the wider international market.”

Commercial director Chris Coates added: “We are confident that with the professional expertise, vast experience and IT capability at our disposal we can emulate the successful strategies introduced in the UK and Australia and expand our presence in Germany, Europe’s second largest cruise market”.

Alexander Nothegger, CEO of Premicon AG, said: “Premicon and CMV have many synergies and this important new alliance with CMV will enable Premicon to drop their dual ownership/investment and operating roles to focus on the former and primary core business which will hopefully bring a more value to their customers.”