APT has announced the launch its sparkling new river ships – the ultra-luxury APT Solara and APT Ostara with interiors by award-winning Melbourne design team Hecker Guthrie – for its 2025 Rhine, Main and Danube cruises.
The local line says the new river ships draw inspiration from Europe’s waterways, blending European elegance with unpretentious Australian ease to create a European experience through Australian eyes.
The launch comes in the wake of APT Travel Group announcing last year that it had ended its partnership with AmaWaterways whose European cruises it had been selling in the Australian market for 18 years.
The partnership had been in existence since 2005, with Australian Pacific Holdings (owner of APT) also owning a significant stake in AmaWaterways.
APT Travel Group CEO, David Cox, said he is excited to introduce the new vessels for Europe which have a capacity of 154 guests and 60 crew.
“With two brand-new river ships in the Europe program for 2025, this is another momentous milestone in APT’s near 100-year history. The APT Solara and APT Ostara will redefine luxury river cruising, thoughtfully designed with the Australian guest in mind.”
The line says its own new luxury river ships set a new standard in sustainability, ensuring greater emphasis on saving fuel, energy optimisation and waste reduction.
Each ship will feature six world-class, all-inclusive dining options including the main restaurant, a wine cellar, conservatory, casual dining option, an exclusive aft restaurant, rooftop dining, plus the option of in-suite dining. On the sun deck, guests will also find a heated pool, alfresco dining and a lounge area.
“One of the particularly lovely things in this design is there are lots of places to go to,” said Paul Hecker of Hecker Guthrie.
“Guests don’t just have to head to the ‘main lounge’. We are creating many opportunities for guests to find their space, be it reading nooks or spaces where you can observe the action and engage as and when you choose. We want guests to have as many options as possible.”
Passengers will be offered a choice of three well-appointed designer suites that include Twin Window Suites, Balcony Suites and Owner’s Suites.
The popular 15-day Magnificent Europe is just one of the many itineraries to showcase the new fleet in 2025. Prices start at $8995 per person, twin share. Book by 30 April 2024 for an Earlybird offer of included flights plus an early payment discount of $1000 per couple.
The offers add to APT Travel Group launching MS Estrela which will embark on her maiden voyage on the Douro River in Portugal in June this year. MS Estrela will host 114 guests in suites that include balconies with slide-down windows that open up to the scenery.
New Northern Europe options
In 2025, APT also ventures into Northern Europe with three new Small Ship Expedition Cruising itineraries aboard Seabourn Venture. It offers a dedicated 24-person expedition team for a maximum of 254 guests accommodated in all-veranda, all ocean-front suites.
“Traversing a unique region, the brand-new itineraries will uncover diverse wilderness and landscapes. There is so much to explore in this beautiful part of the world and we can’t wait to share this with our guests,” said APT’s David Cox.
The 14-day Arctic Explorer Small Ship Expedition Cruise Reykjavik Return explores the coastlines of Iceland and Greenland. Prices start at $18,395 per person, twin share. Book by 30 April 2024 for an earlybird saving of up to $3000 per couple.