Former Silversea Exec Launches River Cruise Line

Albert Peter, ex-CEO of Silversea Cruises, has formed Jewel River Cruise Line, a company composed of three separate brands that Peter hopes will revolutionize the river cruise business. The line will debut in 2008 with a fleet of six, including one all-suite luxury ship. Plans already are set to add two more 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," said Peter, the line's chairman and CEO.

Similar to ocean cruising, which has ships in price categories from "contemporary" to luxury, Jewel will have three distinct river cruising brands. Jewel River Cruises will operate at a boutique-luxury level; Emerald River Journeys will be the premium brand; and Princess River Journeys will serve the contemporary market. Peter assembled a veteran cast to launch the new venture, including President and COO Jacques Wulffaert, formerly a senior executive at Celebrity Cruises and ResidenSea.

In 2008, the five premium and contemporary ships will ply the rivers of Central Europe, while the luxury ship, Jewel Imperial Blue, will sail the River Seine beginning April 5, after undergoing a $3.5 million refit. The ship will accommodate 90 guests in 45 suites, which will include two 473-square-foot owner's suites. The line also promises a "superior dining experience."

"Jewel River Cruises will offer a sophisticated onboard ambiance combined with authentic discovery ashore that reflects our guests' lifestyle," said Peter. Reservations will be accepted as of January 2008, with detailed itinerary and fare information announced next month. (DE)

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