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Australians are back to explore the world

Internationally, Cox says Europe and Canada remain the two biggest destinations by volume for APT customers travelling overseas by far.

He says the popularity of river cruising in Europe continues to soar post-pandemic. It’s also a sector APT pioneered for Australian travellers and the company is strong on remaining a leader in the segment.

“People love our river ships because they get onboard and it’s all taken care of – they don’t have to think about or want for anything.”

“We try to make it so that it’s a floating hotel, a home away from home where they feel safe and have everything taken care of. Conversely, if they want some freedom to go do their own thing, they can,” Cox says.

Tailor-made experiences

APT’s point of difference is they really tailor their experiences around what Australians want because: “we are an Australian-owned family company and when we create experiences and new products, we’re doing it in a way that we know Australians, with their nuances, will enjoy”.

A case in point is the recently launched Mekong Serenity river cruise ship in Vietnam which was built by APT with a local Vietnamese partner with Australians in mind.

The Mekong Serenity was designed with Australian travellers in mind, bringing the luxurious European river ship experience to Asia.

Building on the success of APT’s ships in Europe, the Mekong Serenity was designed to reflect the same comforts found on a European river ship so Australian travellers could enjoy Asia in the same luxurious, hassle-free way they enjoy Europe.

For Cox, building the Mekong Serenity was a totally hands-on experience ranging from him climbing all over it when it was a wrought iron hull in the shipyard, to debating the size of the cabins to even moving furniture around before launch.

From design to fit out to the final day it glided into the water, Cox and the APT team were there to ensure the ship would meet the demand and specific desires of the Australian traveller.

This commitment to the Australian traveller has driven the company’s success for close to a century as it has grown with the nation’s own wanderlust.

Cox says the company is always innovating and exploring new ways to create exceptional holiday experiences for local travellers all over the world.

During COVID for example, the APT team consciously set about preparing new experiences for when the country came out of the pandemic.

“We’re a business constantly preparing for the long game (a 100-year business) and utilised the downtime to prepare for when the demand returned. We invested in new ships such as the Mekong Serenity in Asia and the MS Estrela on the Douro River in Portugal and have also commenced investing in new APT ships for our cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest,” Cox says.

“Closer to home, we invested in our luxury camps in the Kimberley as well, because we knew there would be lots of pent-up desire to travel and we wanted to be well-placed to handle that demand.”

“Put simply – we have innovated, invested and moved with the changing desires of our customers for generations – a family-owned business constantly investing in the future of travel.”

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