APT has called river cruise growth “mind boggling”, as the tour operator conducts the christening voyage for MS AmaReina in Europe.
MS AmaReina brings APT's total European river cruise fleet to 13, with more to follow next year.
“This is my 50th year in the travel industry and I've never experienced anything that has grown like this,” APT owner Geoff McGeary said.
“I clearly lay claim to the fact that I introduced it in Australia and New Zealand.”
McGeary said that guests are in love with river cruising and APT now incorporates river cruise components, whether it's two nights in the Yangtze or three weeks in Europe.
“I'm amazed at the growth and acceptance by the marketplace of this type of experience and it's great to see it.”
By 2016, APT will operate 30 river cruise ships worldwide, APT chief executive Chris Hall revealed.
“We want to consolidate on where we are at the moment,” he said.
There are 41 VIP trade partners from Australia and New Zealand on board the christening voyage, and APT stressed the trade is crucial to its business.
“Our business cannot survive without the trade, and one of our consistent elements is working with our trade partners,” Hall said.
The six-day cruise famil has travelled from Vienna, Austria to Regensburg, Germany and will culminate in a christening ceremony today.