We have travelled extensively each year by air, on land and with many ocean cruises but this was the first river cruise for us. Last year on a tour to Scandinavia almost the entire bus had done an APT European river cruise and were full of praise and this in part motivated us to experience it ourselves.
The transfers at each end of the trip were efficient and seamless. The ship and the crew were first rate and the service unparalleled. We give a special commendation for the cruise director Emma Leslie for both friendliness and she demonstrated the greatest attention to detail with backup plans when because of the river height, when they needed a Plan B. She also gave an excellent on-board commentary while travelling through the castle reaches of the Rhine Valley.
We are active tourists but we appreciated that the company provided more gentle excursions for those who are not up for rigorous activity. The food was of a high standard served by friendly and courteous waiting staff, but with the greatest respect lacked the WOW factor of say a Seabourn cruise which is approximately in the same price range.
It’s hard to compete with Budapest, the wonderful 800-year-old Franconian Bavarian villages, and the elegance of Vienna. The itinerary with the peak experiences at the Lichtenstein private Palace concert in Vienna and the dinner recital at Schloss Burg Namedy were memorable. The latter with a live Princess soldering-on, reminded us of the Alan Bennett play "People" about another lady dedicated to the upkeep of a stately old home in the country.
Fellow travellers were mainly Australian and we still not cannot get our head around why gentlemen in their 70s with legs way past their prime and looking like the legs of a queen chair, insist on wearing shorts even when the temperature was hovering around 15 Celsius. It quite put us off our Martinis which were perfect once we had taught Stan the barman how to make a 007 Bond Vesper Martini.
Look forward to travelling with the company again.