Peter Deilmann Cruises has announced that it is now accepting bookings for its 2009 schedule of European river cruises with full details and pricing currently available on the company’s web site, www.deilmann-cruises.com . The hardcopy and downloadable versions of the 2009 Deluxe “Great Rivers of Europe” brochure will be available in late September. Information on the company’s 9- to 17-day all-inclusive cruise tour vacations -- 11 different offerings with more than 200 departures, combining cruises with shore excursions, hotel stays and sightseeing -- will soon be available online as well. Price increases in 2009 were held to 5% on all cruise-only departures. A fuel surcharge of $10 per night per passenger will be collected in 2009; 2008 sailings do not have a fuel surcharge.
Peter Deilmann Cruises, known for its eight luxury river ships – four- and five-star vessels that are small floating hotels with exceptional passenger-to-crew ratios of 2.5 to 1, is offering 255 deluxe European river sailings between March 22 and November 8, 2009 -- sailing the classic rivers of Europe on 7- to 14-night cruises with the vast majority running seven nights. The cruises intimately explore the main arteries and byways of these rivers and provide memorable visits to countryside villages and sophisticated cities.
The Danube River is the focus of weekly cruises of two five-star Deilmann ships -- the Mozart and Casanova -- that sail round-trip from Passau in southeastern Germany, just two hours from Munich. One-week cruises of these two vessels call at Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and picturesque wine villages and small towns in Austria and Hungary, including Melk, Esztergom and Dürnstein. 10- and 11-night cruises between Passau and Romania’s Tulcea are offered in June and July. One-week cruises are $1,610 to $5,120 per person, double.
The Elbe, Havel and Moldau Rivers as well as the historic cities of Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Potsdam are on the cruise itineraries of the five-star Katharina von Bora and the Frederic Chopin on weekly sailings between Potsdam, just outside of Berlin, and Prague, while the five-star Dresden makes it way along the Elbe River between Dresden and Hamburg. All three deluxe ships take in the smaller towns of Wittenberg, Meissen and Bad Schandau, offering a full spectrum of sightseeing opportunities -- Fortress Königstein, the birthplace of Martin Luther’s Reformation, Meissen’s world famous porcelain and Saechische Schwiez National Park are examples. Seven-night cruises are $1,625 to $3,895.
The five-star Cézanne and four-star Princesse de Provence, both popular with Americans, sail along France's most appealing rivers: the Seine, roundtrip from Paris and between Paris and Rouen, and the Rhône and Saône, roundtrip from Lyon and between Lyon and Arles. The 148-passenger Princesse de Provence sails the Rhône and Saône, putting in at Arles, full of exceptionally well preserved Roman ruins; Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy; Vienne, whose Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is home to many beautiful 11th- and 12th-century murals; and Mâcon, birthplace of the romance poet Alphonse de Lamartine. Fares range from $1,545 to $2,430.
The 100-passenger Cézanne, completely renovated in 2006, travels the romantic Seine. Highlights include Giverny, best known for Monet's house and gardens; Les Andelys, set beneath Château Gaillard, the most famous castle on the Seine; Rouen, the half-timbered city where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake; and picturesque Honfleur. Prices are $1,700 to $3,500.
Among the 110-passenger Heidelberg’s itineraries are seven-night cruises roundtrip from the capital city of Amsterdam to large and small Dutch cities – Rotterdam, Dordrecht and Middleberg and the historic Flemish cities of Ghent, Antwerp and Volendam in Belgium. Amsterdam to Mainz (Frankfurt) sailings combine the Rhine and Moselle Rivers calling at the modern port city of Rotterdam, historic and art-filled Cologne with its grand cathedral, Koblenz at the confluence of the two rivers, and the Rhine wine town of Rüdesheim. Seven-night classic Rhine itineraries, between Amsterdam and the centuries-old Swiss city of Basel, offer ports in four countries -- Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. Other offerings aboard the Heidelberg include four-night sailings between Düsseldorf and Basel, a six-night cruise from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam and seven-night itineraries between Amsterdam and Trier, Trier and Basel, Basel and Cologne, and Cologne and Trier. Fares range from $1,615 to $2,965.
The Deilmann ships provide relaxing travel through the heart of Europe on a deluxe European floating hotel without the bother of packing and unpacking. The river cruises are designed for both the first-time and frequent vacationer who likes traveling in comfort with attentive service and fine dining. Dining on board is single seating on all the vessels and the cuisine is continental. Mid-afternoon tea and coffee is served every day both on deck and in the lounge and there is a late evening buffet. The friendly, multi-lingual staffs are there to cater to passengers’ every wish. A non-smoking policy applies to the interiors of all Peter Deilmann River vessels.
Peter Deilmann Cruises has been offering award-winning European river cruise vacations since 1983. In addition to its line up of cruise tours, Deilmann also has special interest cruises catering to music, golf, equestrian, wine, gardens, cycling, hiking and wellness/spa. Details can be found on line at www.deilmann-cruises.com - click on “Themes.”
The company also operates the five-star MS Deutschland, an ocean-going vessel launched in 1998 that sails on cruises all over the world. The luxurious ship accommodates 513 passengers in grand European style with three restaurants and a promenade deck. Reservations are being taken for 2009/10 and a new 63-page brochure is available online and in hardcopy.