Phoenix Reisen

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Review of Phoenix Reisen

CruiseMapper provides all current Phoenix Reisen Cruises ships schedule, itineraries information (itinerary changes, news) and cruise prices comparison. Phoenix Reisen is a travel agency based in Bonn Germany, which also operates a fleet of cruise vessels under charter (ocean-going ships and riverboats). The itineraries offered by Phoenix Reisen are designed for Germans and are not very popular outside the German-speaking market.

Company history

The cruise company Phoenix Reisen GmbH ( was established by Johannes Zurnieden in November 1973. Zurnieden (23-years-old at the time) is still involved as managing director in the company's business today. The new company's first tours began in 1974 to popular travel destinations like Budapest, Prague, Istanbul.

Phoenix Reisen Cruises logo - CruiseMapper

In 1988 the company entered the ship cruise business under its own brand by the 20-year charter agreement on the Soviet Union cruise ship SS Maxim Gorkiy (owned by Black Sea Shipping Company based in Odessa Ukraine). Instead of being repainted in the colors of Phoenix Reisen, the ship kept sailing in BLASCO livery and the Soviet Union symbol (hammer and chisel) at its funnel. After two decades of service, Maxim Gorkiy left Phoenix Reisen fleet at the end of November 2008 and was later scrapped.

In 1993, a second vessel joined the Phoenix Reisen fleet. SS Albatros was chartered from V-Ships and Phoenix Reisen applied to the new vessel their house colors. Albatros received a turquoise funnel with a flying albatross as a logo, as well as a turquoise-colored band on the hull. In 1993, the company expanded its passenger shipping business by introducing European river cruisetours under the brand "Phoenix Reisen Flusskreuzfahrten" and via time-chartering riverboats owned by other companies.

The purchase of Artemis (renamed Artania) from P&O Cruises was a further step forward for the Phoenix Reisen fleet of fully-owned vessels. What began with Maxim Gorky became a success story continuing to this day. The company's most popular summer destinations are Baltic Sea and North Sea. During winter, the ocean-going ships cruise to ports in Africa, Antarctica or on Around The World voyages.

In its history, Phoenix Reisen has kept the charm of a family travel brand. The fleetwide non-smoking policy is Zurnieden's personal imprint on the company. The bonus is distributed to all employees every month since April 2006. All non-smoking staff, those who have never smoked or have given up smoking receive in addition to their salary EUR 200 monthly salary bonus. As result, the company's Bonn-based staff consists almost entirely of non-smokers.

An interesting fact is that in 2013, Johannes Zurnieden offered a travel voucher for EUR 5000 to the first person to hand over an issue of the first Phoenix Reisen cruise brochure (printed in 1974) as it was lost from the company's archives. The reward was widely advertised and received huge media coverage in Germany. Anyone presenting additional copies was rewarded with travel vouchers for EUR 100.

In July 2018, Phoenix Reisen purchased from Holland America the liner MS Prinsendam, starting operations for the company on July 1, 2019 (under the new name "MS Amera") and officially christened in Bremerhaven on August 16. In 2019 was also acquired the Red Cross Ship "MS Henry Dunant". The former hospital ship started operations for Phoenix Reisen in June 2019 under the name MS Viola.

The ocean-going ships of Phoenix Reisen are currently managed by BSM Cruise Services (part of Schulte Group).

Phoenix Reisen new riverboats - CruiseMapper

The current Phoenix Reisen river fleet is chartered and includes the following newbuild boats - Alisa (2023), Antonia (2021), Andrea (2020), Annika (2020), Annabelle (2020), Anna Katharina (2019), Adora (2019), Alena (2018), Asara (2017), Anesha (2015), Amelia (2012), Ariana (2012), Alina (2011).

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, Phoenix Reisen suspended its entire fleet's passenger shipping operations (riverboats and ocean liners) by canceling all voyages between March 15, 2020, and July 2021.

Operations were planned to resume in 2020 September (river cruises) and October (ocean cruises) - ships Amera (Oct 15/Mediterranean), Amadea (Oct 20/Caribbean), Artania (Oct 28/Mediterranean).

Eventually, the company's entire program was canceled through 2021, with currently scheduled first departure dates/by ship July 10 (Artania from Bremerhaven to Norway), August 3 (Amera from Bremerhaven to Denmark-Germany), August 6 (Amadea from Bremerhaven to Norway). Deutschland restarts in 2022 (on April 22).

All Phoenix Reisen River Cruises (Europe, Asia, Egypt) were canceled through June 2021. All affected bookings received 110% refunds transferred as FCC (future cruise credit) with rebooking.

Itinerary of Phoenix Reisen

The current Phoenix Reisen ocean fleet includes the liners:

MS Deutschland (1998) is chartered during the summer months only. The ship offers roundtrips from Bremerhaven Germany to ports in Norway (Norwegian Fjords, North Cape, Svalbard Archipelago, Spitsbergen Island), Scandinavia, and Russia (St Petersburg), UK, Iceland, and Greenland.

MS Albatros (1973) was under the charter and in the fleet for 16 years (between 2004-2020). In early-October 2020, Phoenix Reisen announced that ends its charter agreement for MS Albatros. As the vessel was sold, it left the Phoenix Reisen fleet and changed ownership - from TSS Albatros GmbH (Germany) to Pickalbatros Hotels & Resorts Egypt (part of PickAlbatros Group). The new shipowner (Pickalbatros) is headquartered in Nasr City (one of Cairo's districts) and owns and operates two leisure complexes (large aqua parks) plus several resorts and hotels on the Red Sea (in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, and Marsa Alam). Pickalbatros now owns and operates the cruise liner as a hotel ship.

Phoenix Reisen river cruise ships

In 1993, the company expanded its passenger shipping operations by adding cruise tours on European river routes.

Phoenix Reisen river cruise ships - CruiseMapper

The current Phoenix Reisen river fleet includes the following newbuilds - Alisa (2023), Antonia (2021), Andrea (2020), Annika (2020), Annabelle (2020), Anna Katharina (2019), Adora (2019), Alena (2018), Asara (2017), Anesha (2015), Amelia (2012), Ariana (2012), Alina (2011).

Phoenix Reisen new riverboats - CruiseMapper

In 2019 was purchased the former hospital ship MS Viola (1995-built and previously named "MS Henry Dunant"). The riverboat is homeported in Bonn Germany and operates itineraries on Rhine and Maas rivers.

The company operates the chartered riverboats in Asia RV Charaidew 2, RV Lan Diep, RV Paukan 2007, RV Rajmahal, Century Sky (China). Chartered riverboats in Europe include MS Aurelia, Amadeus Diamond, Swiss Gloria, MS Magellan, MS Princess, MS Calypso, Rhein Prinzessin, MS Switzerland, MS Mecklenburg, MS Saxonia.

Chartered riverboats in Russia include Alexander Borodin, Dnieper Princess, Sergei Rachmaninov.

Phoenix Reisen related cruise news