Home > Compare Tour Operators > APT vs Viking River Cruises

APT vs Viking River Cruises

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

The Low Down

APT 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.
Viking River Cruises Cruising down the rivers of Europe you are sure to pass a Viking Longship on your travels. Viking boasts the most extensive fleet of river cruises vessels in Europe, and while their core market is the US, there are many clients from Australia that choose to cruise with them each year. In 2017 Viking launched their range of mid-sized ocean cruises - with just 930 guests this gives their ships greater maneuverability, allowing them to dock where the mega-liners cannot. Viking do not offer NZD pricing, so if you're a Kiwi wanting jump onboard then you'll need to pay in AUD or USD.


No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
14 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
4.5 - 5 Stars
No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
11 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
64 Ships
Known For
Scandinavian Design
Ship Styles River Cruises
Regions Explored AsiaEuropeMississippiNile

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

APT is an Australian family-owned company whose essence began in Melbourne in the 1920s. More than 90 years on, APT offers life-enriching trips to every continent, and through the company’s vast industry experience, innovative investments, meticulous planning and unquestionable passion it has earned a place among the world’s most well-regarded travel companies.

From boutique river cruising to small-group 4WD adventures; traditional coach touring with a decadent twist to private air cruising; epic rail journeys to small-ship expeditions; classic ocean cruising to safaris of discovery by both land and air – there’s little APT is unwilling to consider in pursuit of creating the finest holiday experience for its valued guests.

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.
Viking River Cruises
A Viking river cruise is the discerning traveller’s dream. Whether you choose to visit Russia, Egypt, Asia or central Europe, our itineraries are designed to immerse you in the history and culture of each destination. With us, you could be exploring a local food market with our head chef one day and experiencing an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of a world-famous museum the next.

Our state-of-the-art ships take you right into the heart of each destination, and you won’t find any kids or ‘nickel and diming’ on board. In fact, our fares include everything you need - from meals, beverages and Wi-Fi to a culturally enriching shore excursion at every port of call. This unique combination of features has become affectionately known as ‘the Viking difference’.

Viking has 70 award-winning river ships sailing all over the world, and we can’t wait to welcome you on board to discover the Viking difference for yourself.

Recent Reviews

Kimberley Gampling with APT   0 , WA, Australia, Jul 2022
Apart from the initial issue with pick up from hotels which impacted most on our trip, the trip surpassed all our expectations and this was largely due to great APT tour guide Nick who made the trip a memorable one. The camping arrangement were excellent together with the evening dinning. I would highly recommend the trip to the Kimberley’s with AP ...read moreT.
Kimberley wilderness adventures and top end cruise by APT   0 , NSW, Australia, Jul 2022
We feel very privilege to be able to get on the cruise after 2 years of restrictions and COVID 19 lockdowns. it was a wonderful adventure which has been carefully planned by a group of scientists employed by Ponant , we had a meeting in the evening to review what we saw during our expeditions by zodiac during the day and the following day programs, ...read more very rare experience of the country. the scenery of ancient rock formation and old history and rock arts of first nation, the fresh warm air and pristine water make this trip a very memorable one. We enjoyed the 5-7 course meals (French cuisine) every day for 11 days!
Kimberley Complete   0 , QLD, Australia, Jun 2022
The Kimberley's, what a vast and wonderful part of our country. Don't miss the Bungle Bungles and all the springs in the area. The worst part of the holiday was the APT camps and the meals, and homesteads, the evening meals were cold.
Fabulous Kimberley cruise   0 , NSW, Australia, Jun 2022
We thoroughly enjoyed our Kimberley cruise. The crew were lovely, and efficient, and the expedition team were great… very knowledgeable and helpful. The cabin was spacious and comfortable. The food was great.. with lots of variety, but also not huge portion sizes ( which I appreciated ). We did have a few COVID cases on board… but the Captain was very ...read more good with keeping us informed on what was happening. A great and comfortable way to see the Kimberley coast.
Central to South Explorer with Kangaroo Island - Ultimate Iconic Australian Tour!!   0 , QLD, Australia, Jun 2022
This tour by APT provided some of those 'Outstanding' life experiences. The booking process and care via Tracey and Global Journeys proved to be an invaluable start.

As a first-time traveller to the outback, who knew the drive from the airport to town of Yulara would see us pass 'the Rock'! On arrival we met our driver/guide Kym who shared his love ...read more of this wonderful country. He proved to be a congenial host and knowledgeable resource with very capable hands behind the wheel in such isolated areas.

For a journey that included Uluru in its glory at both dawn and dusk to Coober Pedy and back to the Flinstone's era; William Creek where we met Trevor Wright who developed a thriving community; the fascinating and hospitable Birdsville Hotel with nearby Diamantina River; a flight over a full Lake Eyre teeming with birdlife; time through Wilpena Pound and their efforts to cultivate local flora and fauna; then via Claire Valley to Adelaide and time at Kangaroo Island - meeting the locals, especially the sea lions in their home environment.

An unexpected highlight was a visit to Parachilna (north of Adelaide) and the Prairie Hotel (a real gem with fabulous luncheon cuisine and hospitality). Obviously travelling in such remote areas everything can't be perfect and the Maree Hotel fitted the bill - not just basic, make sure you take your own soap. Something most impressive was for the number of travellers that pass this way, there was no litter - making the journey extra special. Highly recommend!!
A Wonderful Holiday   0 , NSW, Australia, Jun 2022
The highlight of the holiday for us was the included plane flight to Birdsville were we had lunch then on the return trip fly over Lake Eyre. Seeing all the water come down the rivers then filling the flood planes is incredible. Then seeing the contrast of the dessert either side is amazing. Much better way to visit Birdsville than driving the Birdsville ...read more Track. We saw a wonderful sunrise and sunset at Marree. Our 4WD bus was comfortable and gave us a good view as we travelled on our journey.

Our additional flight over Wilpena Pound was incredible and a vast contrast to the first flight. Glad we did it. The tourist industry is still recovering from COVID and there were a few little glitches along the way but these were fixed very quickly. Everyone along the way were happy to see us and help us out. Thanks Georgie for organising this trip for us. We have already booked another trip with Global Journeys and APT.
Great experience   3 , QLD, Australia, May 2022
We absolutely loved our Viking river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. The tours offered met our needs, the staff were lovely and the food delicious. I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise.
River Cruise in Russia   7 , QLD, Australia, Sep 2019
We have completed many coach tours and independent travel in Europe and the United States. Viking's Waterways of the Tsars was our first River Cruise - so it was a new country as well as a new travel style! There were 192 passengers on our trip, the majority from US and many seasoned cruisers! We had selected the "cheaper" window style cabin rather ...read more that a verandah cabin - it was quite spacious, provided plenty of storage and accommodated adequate river views when underway. We spent most of our on board time in scenic common areas. There were often 3-5 boats berthed alongside each other at river ports and it was often necessary to traverse several of these to access our boat, Akun.

September was "cool to cold" with beautiful Autumn coloured leaves in gardens and forests; skies were a little grey and the tourist season was drawing to a close... I would hate to be a visitor at its peak! We enjoyed having the same comfortable bed and the superb quality meals (small buffet or table service for Breakfast and Lunch; a la carte for dinner with choices from Local Specialties (this was a great way to sample traditional Russian foods) or Classic menu items. We immersed ourselves in the varied programs provided by Viking - there are no casinos or "stage shows" on board... and we did not miss them! The organisation was very efficient and professional; the staff were warm, friendly and helpful.

We travelled in the Moscow to St Petersburg direction and in retrospect I think this was the preferable direction - we had booked two extra nights, through Viking, in hotels both in Moscow and St Petersburg. It was great to have those extra nights especially in St Petersburg where the accommodation was very central and allowed lots of opportunities to explore independently. We weren't as confident and adventurous at the start of the trip! I hadn't expected the Viking river berths in both cities (3 nights at each) to be situated in such outer locations. Fortunately, the company offers many Included Tours in the program. We also selected several Optional tours. On a "free day" we travelled independently from the Moscow river berth to view Victory Park (the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 Museum). We would recommend this if you have an interest in these tragic years of Russian History - the Viking program, as the name of the tour would indicate tends to focus more on the Tsarist history. We have visited many European cities and St Petersburg would now have to be our favourite city.

Be warned that the application for a Russian Visa is a time consuming exercise and can be costly. After obtaining the required "Invitation Letter" from Viking we were able to complete and submit our Visa application to the Russian Consulate online. Our passports were returned to us 20 days later. Our Viking booking included flights with Emirates as well as transfers to and from the airport, a stress free exercise.
Fantastic river cruise!   1 , NSW , Australia, Sep 2019
Viking never disappoints! This was a really interesting journey with excellent included excursions. It was a nice mix of people on the ship from different parts of the world. The food of course was of very high quality and the staff were lovely. Would highly recommend this river cruise.
Did not meet expectations.   1 , VIC, Australia, Sep 2019
I will be contacting Viking directly to voice my concerns as this trip did not meet expectations. The ship repair for change of generator at the start of our journey in Lyon was a concern which dampened our enthusiasm. The quality of wine offered in the the Silver Spirit package was considerably below expectations and some of the better champagnes were ...read more out of stock mid trip. The included excursions were padded out and not to the standard experienced on our previous cruise. Very disappointing. Please feel free to forward this to Viking - it would be appreciated.
Viking river cruise   2 , QLD, Australia, Aug 2019
Many thanks to Juliet (who has since left!) and Jodie for organising our holiday. All dealings with Global Journeys were excellent and I have recommended your services to many others. Whilst we enjoyed our river cruise with Viking, and it was reasonably priced, it wasn’t quite what we expected. Firstly, it wasn’t as relaxing as we thought it would be, ...read more as the included tours left around 8.30am most mornings, which meant getting ready and having breakfast quite early in order to board the coach on time.

Secondly, the walking tours were painfully slow so quite frustrating for those of us who are quite fit, even though they broke the groups into “classic” and “leisurely”. The city stays at both ends of the cruise were okay, but it did mean long days travelling in the coach to get to the destinations i.e. from Paris to the ship via Luxembourg then from the ship to Prague. The included tours were pleasant (apart from the snail pace!) but the optionals were rather overpriced in my opinion so we didn’t do any.

The ship itself was quite nice. Not luxurious, but tastefully decorated and our water level cabin was adequate for our needs. We had envisaged we wouldn’t be spending much time in there and we didn’t. We were travelling with my brother and his wife and we were the only Australians on board with predominantly Americans which we found a bit loud and demanding! One man actually apologised to us for his “fellow countrymen’s behaviour”.

The tour director was lovely with a wonderful sense of humour and the service onboard was excellent. The meals and included drinks were great although the portion sizes were way too big. We did write on our review sheet that perhaps they should offer a smaller sizing for those of us who don’t usually eat that much as it seemed a waste not to eat it so we did at the start, but towards the end just couldn’t as our waistlines were expanding too much! If we were to do another river cruise we would probably look at going with a company with more Australians, New Zealanders & Brits as the clientele...
Russian Surprise   0 , SA , Australia, Aug 2019
The booking procedure was seamless from selecting our holiday to the receipt of our travel documents. The airfares were organised by Viking Cruises as part of the package we chose. The major problem being the inability to pick our own seats on the plane.

The Waterways to the Tsars tour was well thought out and provided an extensive look into the ...read more past and present life of the Russian people. The local guides provided well thought out information, although we became a little tired of the Romanovs by the end of the cruise.

The on board staff were exemplary going about their tasks with a smile on their faces and were always helpful. A tremendous little touch was the gift of chocolates and a personal note from our cabin steward on the last day. The meals were OK and the ability to eat local food was a good touch. The only downside as far as the cruise was concerned was, free soft drink and alcohol was limited to meal times only and the local red wine was almost undrinkable. I was too tight to buy wine from the wine list.

The major downside happened on our way home. The plane from Moscow was an hour late leaving and we missed our connecting flight from Frankfurt to Singapore even though the plane was still in the terminal and the ground staff knew we were coming. This lead to extremely basic accommodation and meals and resulted in us having to halve our stay in Singapore and was a significant reason for our jetlag when we came home. All in all it was a good experience that could have been great if the air component had been better. I have grave doubts if I would ever fly with Lufthansa again.

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