The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

THE pri­vately owned, Ham­burg-based com­pany is syn­ony­mous with lux­ury. Ships: Its only Euro­pean river yacht is River Cloud II, which car­ries 88 pas­sen­gers and has a crew of 35. Ac­tiv­i­ties: You could safely say that guests are not into sweat. Shuf­fle­board is played on the sun deck, where there is a gi­ant chess­board, and bi­cy­cles are avail­able for riverside rides. Unique fea­ture: The com­pany is fa­mous for its ac­qui­si­tion of Sea Cloud, which was built as a pri­vate yacht in Ger­many for the rich Amer­i­can Mar­jorie Mer­ri­weather Post in 1931. This aura of priv­i­lege is man­tained on board River Cloud II. At­trac­tions for Aus­tralians: A wel­come bot­tle of cham­pagne and se­lected wine and beer with lunch and din­ner. Com­pli­men­tary juices, soft drinks, cof­fee and tea throughout the ship and fresh fruit bas­kets that are re­plen­ished daily. Sam­ple 2013 cruise: The June 22 eight-day sail­ing from Am­s­ter­dam to Nurem­burg cel­e­brates the 200th an­niver­sary of the birth of Richard Wag­ner. Wag­ne­r­ian ex­pert Peter Davids will pro­vide an in­sight into the com­poser’s life and work throughout the voy­age. There will be an ex­cur­sion to Bayreuth, where Wag­ner lived from 1872 un­til his death in 1883. From $US2575 ($2530) a per­son twin-share. More: sea­

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