Three new vessels join Travelmarvel’s Contemporary-Class fleet in 2020 and 2021. The Travelmarvel Polaris will set sail on her maiden voyage in April 2020, followed by two sister ships, the Vega and the Capella in April 2021, according to the 2020 European River Cruise Market Report by Cruise Industry News.
The Travelmarvel brand is a subsidiary of APT (Australia Pacific Touring). APT launched its five-star European riverboat offerings in 2005, 85 years after it first started overland tours in Australia. The company owes its existence to a rail strike that crippled transportation to and from Melbourne. Enterprising mechanic Bill McGeary converted a truck to a motor coach and started ferrying commuters.
Seizing on Australian’s increasing appetite for domestic tourism, McGeary started offering holiday travel through Queensland and Central Australia.
APT, run by Bill’s son, Geoff McGeary, now offers luxury and premium river cruising across Europe, North and South America, and in parts of Asia.
APT passengers are predominately from Australia and New Zealand, with some UK citizens as well. The line describes its customers as seeking luxury, comfort, and consistency, but not regimentation. The line boasts 98 percent passenger satisfaction each year, leading to nearly 50 percent repeat passengers.
APT is a co-owner of Ama Waterways. They charter Ama ships for luxury, five-star European cruising. APT sails 21 ships in Europe including the Valentina in Russia. These premium cruises are almost all inclusive, with tips, meals, a variety of shore excursions, and nearly all drinks onboard included – save some specialty items.
Travelmarvel was founded in the 1980s and then sold to World Travel Headquarters, and then to APT Travel Group in 1996. Travelmarvel has limited included shore excursions – although more are available for purchase – and the open bar is limited to soft drinks and beer.
The APT logo is featured in Travelmarvel branding and there is a strong emphasis on the APT relationship in all Travelmarvel product brochures as a way of reassuring guests they are getting the resources, expertise, and experience of APT.
Travelmarvel customers are predominately 55 to 70 years old, retired or semi-retired, married, and financially stable. They seek an affordable yet quality holiday experience and travel for the social aspect as they enjoy spending time with others.
Travelmarvel operates its program on 10 riverboats, three of which are company branded: the Travelmarvel Sapphire, Travelmarvel Jewel, and the Travelmarvel Diamond. The Jewel and Diamond underwent what the line called a “soft refurbishment” in 2018, renovating cabins, lounges, the restaurant, and reception.
Three new vessels join the fleet as the Contemporary-Class ships. The Travelmarvel Polaris will set sail on her maiden voyage in April 2020, followed by two sister ships, the Vega and the Capella in April 2021.
About the 2020 European Cruise River Market Report
The new European Cruise Market Report provides a comprehensive look at the river cruise business with capacity metrics by river and brand, company profiles and much more. 100+ pages of insights. Learn more.