APT to debut ‘the most luxurious ships on the rivers’ in 2025

APT Solara and APT Ostara - Ultra-luxury ships
APT Solara and APT Ostara - Ultra-luxury ships

The Australian, family-owned travel company has unveiled two new ultra-luxury ships as it ventures into the luxury river cruising space

APT has unveiled its next generation luxury river cruising fleet additions, the APT Solara and APT Ostara, set to launch in 2025. Crafted by the renowned Melbourne-based Hecker Guthrie design team, these ships promise unprecedented luxury on Europe’s waterways.

The announcement, made at a high-profile event in Sydney on May 9th 2024, highlighted the ships’ novel features, including the world-first, state-of-the-art Grüner Bar & Dining. The venue has a unique hydraulic system that can ascend to the sun deck, offering guests 360 views unmatched in river cruising.

“The whole venue lifts, becomes level with, and actually opens onto the sun deck. Imagine when you have docked in Budapest, and that becomes the back venue. You can sit there at sunset and have one of your various specialty cocktails. No one else in the world has put a whole dining venue on hydraulics. Guest will enjoy 360-degree views … the envy of every other river cruise,” said David Cox, CEO of APT Travel Group.

Each vessel will accommodate 154 guests, with one crew member for every 2.5 guests – a staff-to-guest ratio that APT boasts is amongst the best on European rivers. The interior design merges Australian simplicity with European elegance, offering guests a range of five-star dining experiences across six distinct venues developed by FellowHospitality.

  • The Grüner Bar & Dining showcases a signature seasonal cocktail list, local wines, drink-friendly European snacks, and ingredients from each specific region you’re exploring.
  • Bistro Saison – European neighbourhood atmosphere offering classic fare from local regions with modern flair.
  • The Owner’s Cellar – an intimate wine cellar hosting just 16 guests with exclusive set menus perfectly matched with incredible wines only available in the private cellar.
  • Annie’s Table – centred around familiar favourites executed with precision and dished up in a shareable setting.
  • The Salon – a relaxed social space offering breakfast and lunch.
  • Daystar Deck – Flame-grilled meats, seafood, vegetables, and cocktails served in the fresh air as the serene landscapes of Europe float by.

APT also showcased its partnerships with ultra-luxury ocean cruise line Seabourn and the innovative Murray River Paddlesteamers at the event. These collaborations will extend APT’s luxury cruising experience into ocean and river journeys across and beyond Australia.

The upcoming MS Estrela, launching in late summer 2024 on Portugal’s Douro River, and the Mekong Serenity, which began sailing in Southeast Asia in 2023, are also part of APT’s expanding portfolio, promising bespoke experiences and intimate settings.

APT underscored its commitment to sustainability with the new ships featuring enhanced fuel efficiency and waste reduction measures in line with APT’s goal to offer luxury travel mindful of environmental impacts.

As APT continues to innovate in the luxury cruising sector, these developments mark a significant milestone in offering sophisticated, sustainable, and highly personalised travel experiences in some of the world’s most scenic destinations.

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