Established cruise executive and highly-regarded international financier Albert Peter today announced the formation of Jewel River Cruise Line, a new company that aims to revolutionize the world of river cruising.  The new venture will feature independent brands with a singular mission to provide the highest quality river cruise experience within distinct market segments that include: Jewel River Cruises, introducing a new boutique-luxury level of river cruising; Emerald River Journeys, a premium line; and, the contemporary Princess River Journeys.

Jewel River Cruise Line debuts in 2008 with six ships – including the industry’s first all-suite luxury river cruise ship – and plans to grow with the addition of two brand new all-suite luxury ships in 2009 and 2010.

“The river cruise market is experiencing a tremendous boom and we are creating a new collection of river cruise brands with the goal of being the dominant player in the industry,” says Chairman and CEO Peter.  “We see the potential of river cruising as being so much more than a means of transportation from one beautiful port to another, but rather, a truly experiential way to explore some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.”

With deep roots in both luxury and river cruise travel, the founders and executive management team of Jewel River Cruise Line represent a level of expertise unmatched in river cruising.  Peter, former CEO of Silversea Cruises, partnered with river cruise veteran Ulrich F. Baur and Swiss financier Eberhard Henter-Besting to form the Company.

Peter appointed luxury cruise professional Jacques Wulffaert, a former senior executive at Celebrity Cruises and ResidenSea, as President, COO and Member of the Board. Together they are assembling a team of industry professionals with several key executives and management already in place in the company’s offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Wollerau, Switzerland; and Oberwesel, Germany.

For 2008 the five ships within the premium and contemporary brands will be based in central Europe and are already fully chartered to European tour operators.
Introducing a New Level of Boutique-Luxury River Cruise

Jewel River Cruises debuts as the industry’s first boutique-luxury river cruise line with the April 5, 2008 maiden voyage of the ms Jewel Imperial Blue along the River Seine.

The ship will enter the Hoogedoorn Shipyard near Rotterdam, Holland, in early 2008 to undergo a complete refit, transforming its existing hull into a luxurious floating hotel at a cost of $3.5 million.  Designed by noted maritime architect Mertens of Munich, Germany, the yacht-like vessel will emerge from the conversion with a style that marries its classic lines and design heritage with all the flourishes of boutique luxury.

As the only all-suite river cruise ship, the Jewel Imperial Blue will accommodate 90 guests in 45 suites with an impressive 2:1 guest-to-crew ratio. Measuring 237 square feet, the suites are the largest of any river cruise ship and rival those found on both large and small ship luxury ocean liners. Two Owners Suites will each be an expansive 473 square feet.

Distinguishing characteristics of Jewel River Cruises will include a superior dining experience, intriguing and engaging shore experiences providing an exceptional level of exclusivity and access, a dedicated wellness spa, unrivaled hospitality and service, and co-branding with internationally-renowned luxury partners offering unique opportunities for guests.

“Today’s seasoned traveler is seeking more in-depth, authentic exploration,” says Peter. “Jewel River Cruises will offer a sophisticated onboard ambience combined with authentic discovery ashore that reflects our guests’ own lifestyle – privileged access, exclusive events, customized service. After all, true luxury is exclusivity and access to unique things.”

Jewel River Cruises’ launch in spring 2008 will be followed by a fleet expansion with two new builds planned for 2009 and 2010.  The line will explore the world’s most fascinating waterways with future plans to include other destinations in Europe and farther a field.

Jewel River Cruises’ Ft. Lauderdale office will begin accepting reservations in January 2008.  Detailed itinerary and fare information will be announced next month.