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Phoenix Reisen Adding Tonnage and Itineraries

MS Anna Katharina

“Every year, we introduce new products,” said Michael Schulze, director of cruise at Phoenix Reisen. “This year, we have already introduced three new river vessels, the 190-passenger Adora for the Danube; the rebuilt 122-passenger Viola, custom-designed for disabled passengers; and the 180-passenger Anna Katharina on the Rhine and Moselle.”

The Viola is chartered from Rijfers Nautical Management and the Anna Katharina from Scylla, according to the 2020 European River Cruise Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

“Next year, we will introduce two newbuilds, the 190-passenger Andrea (owned by Rijfers) and the 180-passenger Annika (owned by Scylla), and the rebuilt Aleksandra, which will sail in Russia.”

Attractions include itineraries and destinations as well as the modern and comfortable vessels themselves with top-rated food and hotel services, according to Schulze, in addition to what he called fair prices. River cruises in India, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Brazil and other exotic destinations are typically packaged with roundtrip air and hotel stays. Cruises on the Nile can be combined with land stays as well as hotel and beach resort extensions.

The 2020 edition of Phoenix Reisen’s Fluss and Küsten programs will include cruises from Cologne visiting UNESCO world heritage sites in the upper and middle Rhine valley and vineyards in the Moselle valley.

A 14-day sailing on the Nile will include Cairo and Giza via Luxor and Aswan.

A 10-day Rhone and Saone cruise is offered in Southern France.

Schulze said that most of the vessels are on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers and in Holland and Belgium, but there are also a few on the Nile. Most are operated on long-term charter agreements.

In 2018, Phoenix Reisen carried more than 100,000 passengers on its river cruises and expects a bit more for 2019.

“We started in 1993 with one river cruiser on the Rhine, followed by the Danube,” Schulze explained. “Since then we have grown steadily year by year. The number of vessels have typically ranged between 32 and 40. It has been a bit up and down, impacted by political situations and tourist incidents, like in Egypt, for example. However, the past two years have seen Egypt rebound with solid bookings both in hotels and on the Nile.”

In Russia, passengers can sail from Moscow to St. Petersburg, starting on the Volga, and continue through Lake Ladoga and Onega.

Portugal cruises feature nine- and 11-day trips from Porto and Lisbon.

Longer Danube cruises from 14 to 16 days go from Passau to the Black Sea.

Other programs are offered on the Amazon, in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

“The key to success is good weather and enough water in the rivers,” Schulze joked.

“Seriously,” he added, “it is about having long-term partners for ship and hotel management, great crew and onboard officers, and itineraries that allow our passengers enough time to explore ashore.”

About the 2020 European Cruise River Market Report 

The new European Cruise Market Report provides a comprehensive look at the river cruise business with capacity metrics by river and brand, company profiles and much more. 100+ pages of insights. Learn more. 

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