While river cruising juggernauts like AmaWaterways, Uniworld and Viking River Cruises continue to lead the pack in 2013, Seatrade Insider is reporting that one of river cruising’s early pioneers is about to make a comeback in 2013.
German-based Peter Deilmann Reederei was once one of the foremost river cruise lines, marketing its product to both German and English-speaking guests. The company had offered cruises along Europe’s waterways since 1983, but began shuttering its river cruise operations in 2008. At the time the company was disbanded, Peter Deilmann offered voyages aboard a fleet of nine elegant river cruise vessels and had won numerous awards in publications like Conde Nast for innovative itineraries and international flavor.
Beginning this year, Peter Deilmann has partnered with Frankfurt-based Dertour, which will market the line’s initial voyages along the Danube aboard the Mozart, a 396-foot long ship constructed in 1987 and refurbished in 2010. It can accommodate a total capacity of 203 guests.
Initially, 10 departure dates aboard the Mozart will be offered, sailing between Budapest, Hungary and Passau, Germany.
At first glance, the Mozart may look decidedly like the river cruisers of long ago, but don’t count her out: She features some uncommon features like an indoor, forward-facing swimming pool and elegantly refurbished accommodations and public areas.
Although it’s unlikely that this new partnership between Peter Deilmann and Dertour will steal any passengers away from the likes of Viking River Cruises or Avalon Waterways (Deilmann expects its initial audience to consist largely of repeat guests who already sail aboard the line’s oceangoing MS Deutschland). Clearly, however, Deilmann’s re-emergence into the marketplace underscores just how well the river cruise industry is doing.