Swan Hellenic, a British cruise line known for its small-ship cruises, is pushing more heavily into the European river cruise market with five departures slated for 2013, up from three in 2012.
For the Danube and Rhone river cruises, Swan Hellenic is chartering A-Rosa vessels. A-Rosa is a German river cruise company with 11 vessels in its fleet. That includes the 174-passenger A-Rosa Luna and A-Rosa Stella on the Rhone, both built in 2005. A-Rosa also has four 242-passenger vessels on the Danube (A-Rosa Bella, A-Rosa Donna, A-Rosa Mia and A-Rosa Riva), built between 2001 and 2004, and an additional 186-passenger ship on the Danube, A-Rosa Silva, that launched this year.
Swan Hellenic, which is owned by British company All Leisure Holidays, predominantly serves the U.K. market but is growing its North America presence.
Swan Hellenic exited the river cruise market in 2003 but began offering river cruises again in 2009.
For 2013, Swan Hellenic will have two departures on its eight-day Cruising the Danube sailing through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary (departures on May 11 or Sept. 21, 2013); and three departures for an eight-day Cruising the Rhone sailing from Lyon to Chalon-sur-Saone in France (departures on June 22, Sept. 7 or Sept. 14, 2013). There will be a Swan Hellenic cruise director and deputy cruise director onboard for all departures.
The brand prides itself on its guest lecturer program, and speakers for the 2013 river cruise program will include Ian Beckett of the U.S. Army War College, who specializes in military history, and Alexei Leporc, curator of Western European art at the Hermitage.