River cruises

Nicko Cruises sold to Portuguese firm

Insolvent German river cruises operator Nicko Cruises has been sold to a Portuguese firm and will stay afloat under an experienced new managing director.

The Stuttgart-based company has been sold for an undisclosed sum as of November 1 to a newly-founded German subsidiary of Mystic Invest, a Portuguese cruise and tour operating group which owns the Douro Azul river cruise company.

Nicko Cruises, which declared insolvency in May but kept operating for the current summer season, had cooperated for many years with the Portuguese company which specialises in cruises on the River Douro.

“With Mystic Invest we have found the ideal company,” said insolvency administrator Michael Pluta. “The Portuguese are growing strongly and know the market perfectly.” The new owner plans to retain most of the German company’s employees and Nicko Cruises will retain its existing name.

Nicko Cruises’ trips for the rest of the summer will operate as scheduled and the 2016 programme will be announced in August, enabling bookings from September onwards.

The new head of the German company will be Guido Laukamp, a river cruises expert who managed Viking Cruises in Germany for ten years before a brief period at tour operator ETI, which specialises in Egypt holidays.