The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

BILL McGeary founded the Aus­tralian fam­i­ly­owned APT in 1927 when he put a bus body on to a truck to trans­port com­muters dur­ing a ca­ble­tram strike in Mel­bourne. Ships: Through co-own­er­ship of AmaWater­ways, APT has 10 Euro­pean river ships, with the 164-pas­sen­ger AmaPrima and the 108-pas­sen­ger AmaVida en­ter­ing ser­vice next year. AmaPrima will have APT’s sig­na­ture twin bal­conies — a French-style bal­cony and an out­side bal­cony. Ac­tiv­i­ties: Each ship has a walk­ing track, a gi­ant chess­board and ei­ther a whirlpool or heated pool. Bi­cy­cles are avail­able for riverside rides and sev­eral ships have a putting green. Unique fea­ture: The only river cruise op­er­a­tor in Europe in­ducted into La Chaine des Ro­tis­seurs. At­trac­tions for Aus­tralians: In 2013, Plat­inum cruises de­signed es­pe­cially for Aus­tralians and New Zealan­ders will of­fer cham­pagne break­fasts, and wine and beer with lunch and din­ner. Also in­cluded are gra­tu­ities, port charges and sight­see­ing tours. Sam­ple 2013 cruise: The 15-day Mag­nif­i­cent Europe trip be­tween Bu­dapest and Am­s­ter­dam, tak­ing in Hun­gary, Slo­vakia, the Czech Repub­lic, Aus­tria, Ger­many and The Nether­lands, is APT’s hall­mark cruise, with mul­ti­ple de­par­tures in 2013. From $6445 a per­son twin-share. More: ap­tour­ing.com.au.

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