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Friday, 21 May 2010

APT launches seventh Europe river ship

MS Amabella
When ms Amabella began her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Budapest on May 9, she became the seventh vessel in Australian company APT’s Europe river cruising fleet.

While APT introduced European river cruising to the Australian market in 1999, ms Amabella presents a new ship design, the first of its kind. It has cabins with twin balconies (earlier ships have one), the largest suites on the rivers, swimming pool, fireside library and an intimate chef’s table restaurant seating only 24 people, complete with private chef.

ms Amaverde, which is scheduled to enter service next year, has the same, innovative design.

The Australian family-owned APT in conjunction with Amawaterways operates cruises between Amsterdam and Budapest on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers with some packages including extensions to Paris, Prague, Edinburgh and London. There are special extensions this year for golf enthusiasts. Packages range from 15 days to 24 days.

APT and Amawaterways have made an investment of $180m in the construction of the eight river ships. The fleet is: Amadagio (launched 2006), Amalegro (2007), Amacello (2008), Amadante (2008), Amalyra (2009), Amadolce (2009), Amabella (2010) and Amaverde (2011).

APT General Manager Marketing, Debra Fox said at the ms Amabella blessing cruise in Volendam that European river cruising had captured the imagination of the Australian traveller.

“Exposure to Europe’s fabulous history, cultures and scenery, unpacking just the once, cruising in absolute comfort and with everything included in the price, has proved very appealing to the discerning traveller market in Australia and New Zealand,” she said.

APT will operate 50 departures of its main 15-day Magnificent Europe cruise this year (and 64 departures in 2011). While most have been sold out, there are some Category D and E cabins still available. Bookings are strong too for 2011, generated by general demand and by earlybird deals.

Contact: call 1300 229 804, visit www.aptouring.com.au or see a travel agent.

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