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.