27 years ago, Classic Voyages CEO, Peter Podesta, was part of the introduction of the Voyages Jules Verne holiday product into Australia. At that time it was under the name of Great Journeys of the World and indeed that’s what they were. These were travel arrangements, the like of which no one had ever thought of in the Australian marketplace.
Voyages Jules Verne was founded in 1978 on the basis of one simple idea - to operate a train from London to Peking (Beijing) and thence to Hong Kong. In doing so the market to China was opened up at a time, remarkably, when the 'bamboo curtain' was still officially in place.
Further innovative train journeys were to follow and many travel firsts were also achieved including inaugural flights to previously inaccessible areas and the opening of remote border crossing points.
In 1982 Serenissima Travel was acquired and added a complementary list of cultural itineraries to the overall portfolio as well as introducing clients to themed travel such as walking, music & opera and cruising.
World events from 1989 to 1991, most notably the Tian an Men incident in China and the first Gulf War, further shaped the future of the Company as even more diversification was necessary. Far from bemoaning the travel recession at the time, this resulted in an expansion of the company's portfolio while still retaining the core group travel ethos.
Voyages Jules Verne was acquired by Kuoni Travel in 1998 but still retains its independent and innovative approach to a comprehensive list of destinations and themes while gleaning all the benefits of Kuoni's financial security and expertise.
Today the range of product encompasses longhaul and shorthaul, weekends and expeditions, the conventional and the unexpected, a variety of themes and special interests - all underpinned by quality and value for money.
Lüftner Cruises 2013 Amadeus Class Luxury European River Cruises
Rhine-Moselle-Danube-Rhône/Saône Rivers-Dutch & Belgian Waterways
Cruises from the North Sea to the Black Sea and an more!!
Classic Voyages are one of the most experienced river cruise representative companies in Australia, headed by Peter Podesta and the representatives for Lüftner Cruises, the operator of 10 deluxe river ships on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Rhône/Saône rivers. Sail through some of Europe’s most scenic and historic vistas in the class leading ships such as Amadeus Brilliant, Amadeus Elegant, Amadeus Diamond, Amadeus Princess, Amadeus Royal, and Amadeus Symphony. 2013 will see the introduction of the latest Amadeus ship, the very deluxe Amadeus Silver. Longer, with Suites featuring walk on balconies and Mozart and Strauss Deck cabins featuring newly designed French balconies Amadeus Silver will set a new benchmark for river cruising in Europe
Lüftner Cruises are operated with passion and dedication to offering only the very best of product to clients is well documented and although new to Australia in 2010 have been innovating river cruising since 1995. Classic Voyages are extremely proud to be a partner with what we believe is the finest fleet of river ships on the most beautiful and scenic rivers in Europe. Magnificent cabins and suites with floor to ceiling French windows, spacious and elegantly appointed lounges and restaurants await the Australian clients. All cabins are outside with all the facilities that you would expect from a deluxe cruise company. Cruises and cruise/tours are mainly on the Rhine River, Moselle River, Main River and Danube Canal and of course their home river, the beautiful Danube. The company not only offers deluxe cruise only arrangements but a selection of cruise/tours that allow visits to other European cities such as Prague and Berlin. The extremely popular 15 day ‘Across Europe’ cruises between Amsterdam & Budapest is our standout cruise. There is also a wonderful 15 day round trip Black Sea cruise itinerary from Vienna in July and August. Spend a week on the Dutch and Belgian Canals during Tulip time in April, experience the cultural heart of Austria and Hungary on the Music and Opera cruises and if you are thinking of winter in Europe there are cruise in November and December for Advent and the Christmas markets as well as Xmas and New Year cruises on both the Danube and Rhine Rivers.
After an extremely successful 2012 season, in which all of the 14 night Across Europe between Amsterdam and Budapest have been completely sold out, we strongly recommend that you book now for 2013 as preferred cabin space will be difficult to obtain if left to later in the year.
In 2012 Amadeus Cruises introduced 7 night voyages on the Rhône/Saône Rivers ex Lyon with round trip cruises visiting Arles, Avignon, Chalon sur Saône & Macon on the newly renovated Amadeus Symphony. New cabins on Mozart deck now feature French balconies. In 2013 there will also be one way cruises each way between Lyon and Arles
The original deluxe coach touring in California since 1924: Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, Hearst Castle, Yosemite Park
California Parlor Car Tours operate deluxe coach tours between San Francisco and Los Angeles since 1929, as well as 1 to 3 day tours to Yosemite. Transfers, accommodation and tour packages available in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Classic Voyages handles marketing and sales support for California Parlor Car Tours but agent and clients must contact the company direct for reservations and payments.