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APT River Cruises vs Scenic River Cruises

Compare the travel styles, pricing, destinations and popularity of APT River Cruises and Scenic River Cruises.

The Low Down

APT River Cruises Initially providing coach touring around Australia and NZ to the local market, APT have grown exponentially over the last decade to now offer trips around the world, and are well known for their European river cruises. Over the last few years APT have introduced small ship expeditions that cruise the waters through Asia, Europe, Canada and off the coast of Kimberley. Catering primarily for the retired market, their trips aren't cheap, but in APT's case - you get what you pay for.

Look out for their great Fly Free offers, and Earlybird Savings. The team here at Global Journeys have travelled multiple times by coach, cruise & river with APT, and we definitely recommend them as a quality, consistent, reliable Operator, and our past client reviews back that up.
Scenic River Cruises Scenic's 5 star luxury river cruises are well known and popular in Australia (not so much in NZ). Scenic were the first to introduce balconies on their Scenic Space-Ships, which many clients love, but this comes at a cost to interior cabin space. Like many of the other premium river cruise Operators, look out for their great Fly Free offers, and Earlybird Savings. All inclusive, with Freechoice activities that allow you to choose what you want to do in each port, Scenic also offer a range of luxury additions (like your own Butler) depending on the cabin type select.


No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
13 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
10 Ships
Known For
Aussie Specialist
Ship Styles River Cruises
No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
14 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
14 Ships
Known For
Luxury Cruising
Ship Styles River Cruises

In Their Own Words We asked the travel companies themselves why you should travel with them

APT River Cruises
Life-enriching, relaxing and unique – an APT river cruise is the ultimate holiday experience. Discover unforgettable destinations as you travel in total comfort and style. From Europe to Africa and the mighty Mekong River, APT has a diverse range of river cruises, and you’ll wake up most mornings in a new location, ready to explore fresh and exciting sights. Timeless luxury, exclusive experiences, life enriching moments and true personalisation. APT offers all-inclusive holidays so everything is taken care of. We invite you to join us; you won’t be disappointed.
Scenic River Cruises
With Scenic, it’s more than a 5-star river cruise...it’s a seamless journey from start to finish that places you, our guest, at the heart of everything we do. It’s taking you to extraordinary regions and immersing you in meaningful and enriching experiences. It’s exquisite cuisine, indulgent wellness, and a world-class team who will anticipate your every need. You'll find the difference is in the details with Scenic: the innovative ship design, expertly trained crew, immersive journey, and an unrivalled focus on health and safety protocols.

Recent Reviews

Winter APT Europe river trip   0 , Qld, Australia, Mar 2024
From the time we arrived in Amsterdam , the APT Group looked after us like VIPs, our flight was delayed ,however APT team stayed back an hour to transfer us to the APT luxury ship, we where lucky enough to have a cabin upgrade on the ship, this was provided and appreciated and was good. We made new friends and many fond memories from the trip and would ...read more recommend APT. As Diamond Members we will again book with Global Journeys and travel with APT group on our next holiday.
Bucket list trip ticked off! Luxury river cruise met all expectations.     0 , NSW, Australia, Mar 2024
We had a perfect trip on APT luxury river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest then on to Prague. From the flight with Singapore airlines, the luxurious accommodation on board the AmaVenita, the delicious food at every meal, the caring service and staff, the meticulous transfers, the amazing signature tours and knowledgeable guides…. And much more, made ...read more this memorable and most enjoyable holiday. Thanks to Global for coordinating our trip as well. Look forward to planning the next one!
15 Day Magnificent Europe river cruise   1 , VIC, Australia, Nov 2023
Would definitely book again through Global Journeys. The river cruise was good but not quite what we thought it would be. Most day trips were only 2 - 3 hours in length. Fellow passengers were enjoyable company and the entertainment, Tori & Dave, were excellent. Maybe we are too young to be going on river cruises!!
Magnificent Europe   2 , NSW, Australia, Oct 2023
The cruise itself was excellent, but wish that we had been informed that it was the rainy season. At least 3 day tours were spoiled by constant rain. The fellow travellers were great company, mostly from Australia, like us. The cabins were a little small. Had we known that you could upsize, we would have done so, but we were not told beforehand. The ...read more food was excellent, staff excellent and cruise director excellent.

The main drawback was the lengthy flight home. We left Wednesday 8th November 11 am, endured 3 lengthy unpleasant flights with Singapore Airlines to arrive in Sydney 10th November 10 am. We had upgraded to Premium economy, but there was very little difference between this and Economy. The Singapore staff were unpleasant and at times very rude. The plane was old and in need of repair/upgrade. The seats were uncomfortable and worn. There was water leakage from above on occasion. The food was not good quality. On the middle trip home of 13 hours, Joy fell asleep and missed 2 meals. When she awoke and asked for a cup of tea, having not drunk anything in 10 hours, she was told NO!!!!!!!!! When Joy later got up to go to toilet, she was told to sit down, even though 2 other people were lined up at toilet. On 2 of the flights we were in the same seats, which were opposite a large double cupboard, which was constantly being opened and slammed shut by the staff as they shuffled paraphernalia backwards and forwards with constant noise and disturbance. We would never travel with Singapore Airlines again.

APT tour was excellent. Overall rating on Tour was excellent. Overall rating on flights was TERRIBLE.
Wonderful time     1 , NSW, Australia, Oct 2023
The APT river cruise was fantastic. Went in Autumn and the scenery was incredible with lots of beautiful colours. The staff on the ship were great. Would recommend it.
APT Europe River Cruise Promised So Much     0 , VIC, Australia, Oct 2023
We completed this same itinerary seven years ago with Viking at the same time period in mid October. There were obvious differences between the operators. Viking cruisers were predominantly from the USA whereas this cruise was mostly from Australia and to a lesser degree the UK. The Scandinavian design of Vikings ship was much preferred to that of both ...read more of the APT ships. This cruise was impacted by low water which we were aware could be a problem. As a result we were placed on a Travelmarvel ship after a two hour bus ride from our starting port of Budapest.

Unfortunately for many guests the planned activities for Budapest did not happen. APT did arrange for guests to travel by coach to have a lunch cruise the next day (6 hours of road travel) The staff on Travelmarvel tried very hard but it was obvious more training is needed. The food and wine advertised in APT’s brochures emphasises fine wine and food. The wine was far from fine and food was bland. Viking also excelled in this area. Passengers had no other wine option made available to guests. One house white and one house red and a sparkling. When off ship we purchased wine. APT’s advertising promotes that passengers will not need to spend any more dollars once you are aboard. Viking’s offering in this area was far superior!

We did approach a senior staff member about these issues and were told we should expect better when we changed ships. APT had ample time to upgrade wine and food menus prior to commencing the cruise .
The wine offerings continued to fall short on quality though you could purchase from a short list of wine around the 30euro mark.
Staff on the Amastella were more proficient and the cabin were meticulously cleaned. Viking was also rated highly in this aspect.
The off ship excursions were very good on both cruises. We have traveled on 3 Viking river cruises and have experienced high quality cruises. We cannot say this about our most recent APT experience.
Luxurious all-inclusive river cruise.   1 , Auckland, New Zealand, Nov 2023
From the moment we embarked on our scenic river adventure, it was evident that Scenic was committed to providing a level of luxury and enrichment that surpassed our expectations. The highlight of our trip was the private concert at Richitenstein Palace - the intimate performance In the opulent Palace setting was a prestigious event and was the epitome ...read more of the Scenic experience.

What stood out to us was the genuine commitment of the Scenic team to go above and beyond for their guests. Cathy, our cruise director was the most cheerful person I’ve ever met. She was full of positive energy which made us feel energized too. The bar staff, all of them were working hard. Ali and Luka were constantly offering drinks to guests. The restaurant staff, the housekeeping staff, the hotel manager, all of them were committed and made a very good team between themselves.

One of the standout features of the Scenic River Cruise was the comprehensive all-inclusive package, from meal to excursion, all day drink onboard to gratuity, everything was included and this made our vacation worry-free experience. In conclusion, we really enjoyed our river cruise. We are grateful for the memories created and can't wait to embark on another adventure with Scenic in the future. We booked our cruise through Georgie of Global Journeys. The booking process went on seamlessly and Georgie is a wonderful agent to deal with.
Great Cruise     3 , QLD, Australia, Aug 2023
This was our first river cruise with Scenic and we found it enjoyable but a bit crowded. The food and service are amazing and the tours were great. Scenic's attention to detail is outstanding. The cruise director was absolutely awesome and went out of his way to make everything run like clockwork. We have done 2 Scenic Eclipse trips prior to this and ...read more found this trip to be not as good though.

The cabins are VERY small and the public spaces are limited and crowded. Dinner is at a set time and the usual stampede occurs to get there. We thought we would make more use of the sunroof area but did not as it was either pulled down to get under low bridges or the weather was not good. As we had to be disembarked due to weather we got to experience two different boats and were surprised to find the service levels not as good on the 2nd boat. If you can, get on the Scenic Crystal not the Scenic Ruby. Overall still a great experience though.
Gabriel Gate made the cruise extra special!   1 , ACT, Australia, Jun 2023
Tastes of Southern France river cruise was excellent, and the presence of Gabriel Gate as host made a huge difference. He not only entertained us but educated us about French culture, food and wine. We enjoyed all the daily tours and appreciated the fact that they were all short bus trips or walking distance from the boat. Staff were all lovely, ...read more efficient and friendly. Our cruise director Andreaa was super organized and efficient. She was very aware of the limitations of the older guests and described tours in detail so people were well informed of walking conditions, toilets availability, weather. Highly recommended.
Luxury cruise on the Duoro   0 , Auckland, New Zealand, Jun 2023
We would definitely cruise with Scenic again - this cruise went beyond our expectations of luxury and service - the quality of the food and wine was amazing. We had the 11 day cruise and were pleased to have chosen this, could not imagine spending any less time to be able to discover all the sights and experiences of the Duoro River Valley. Global Journeys ...read more handled our bookings well and we were pleased with their helpful service in sorting our touring details.
The Best Scenic River Cruise We Have Done   3 , SA, Australia, Jun 2023
If you only ever do one European river cruise, this is the one. Our ship, Scenic Opal, was in very good condition, both inside and outside. The cabin was very comfortable and clean and in excellent condition. The Scenic Crew were exceptional and could not be faulted. Nothing was a problem for them. The Tour Director was also exceptional, extremely organised ...read more and provided useful information with good humour throughout the cruise.

The food was very good but serves are on the small side. They did however make the point a few times that if you wanted more, just ask. Either way you won't leave this cruise hungry. The drinks were free flowing both in the dining room and the lounge. The cruise itinerary is very good with lots of options when it comes to tours or the opportunity to do your own thing in many parts as we did because we had been to most of the towns / cities before.

There was about 144 passengers on board and the nationality mix was about 80 Australians and the rest were mainly Canadians and British with a handful of Americans and New Zealanders. This was our fourth Scenic Cruise and the nationality mix has been different on each cruise.

Our cruise started in early June and the weather was quite good, ranging from around 22 C with some showers at the beginning to 28 C and sunny at the end. The river water levels were OK and we had no problems but there was speculation that later cruises may encounter lower levels which could impact their cruise. Our advise for cabin choice is to get as far forward as you can so you can to avoid engine noise and vibration. It's also a long walk to the back of the ship if you just want to pop back to your cabin for something. Our Cabin 208 was very quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and highly recommend it.
Jewels of Europe River Cruise     0 , SA, Australia, Jun 2023
Booking through Georgie at Global Journeys made our holiday seamless. Georgie was available to answer any of our questions in a timely and professional manner. Scenic were a great company to travel with. Accommodation on board the ship was really good. Staff and food were amazing. Other passengers were lovely. There were a number of excursions to choose ...read more from to suit most needs. The only negative we have is that there was information overload. Would highly recommend a river cruise. 15 days was perfect length for us. Well done Georgie and Scenic.

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