APT Travelmarvel cruise director Roland Noordermeer explains what makes the Travelmarvel Contemporary-class ships different from the competition and stresses the importance of getting travel agents on board.
How does it feel to be back sailing after so long away?
After 872 days in dock, it’s been very exciting to get back onto the rivers and to welcome our APT and Travelmarvel guests on board.
I truly mean it when I say that my colleagues and I do our jobs because we are passionate about travel and about making our guests’ holiday dreams come true. I’m thrilled that we are sailing again and we’re better than ever.
What makes the new Contemporary-class ships – Vega, Polaris, and Capella – unique among the competition?
It’s been a great pleasure to be working aboard the first of our three new Travelmarvel Contemporary-class river ships to launch, Vega.
We were eagerly awaiting this moment throughout last year and I can assure you that she is a real gem.
Vega and her sister vessels are modern, spacious and elegant, and filled with cutting-edge technology for maximum guest comfort.
Their unique selling point, as you might expect from an Australian-owned company, is that the new ships pair amazing facilities with a relaxed and laid-back vibe.
The ships also have a clever 2½ deck design, which gives access to the sun deck and its rooftop bar and barbeque throughout the cruise.
How do these ships differ from others in the Travelmarvel fleet?
They have an exciting new concept which the fleet hasn’t seen before – the addition of our more casual dining and social area, McGeary’s Bar.
When you enter McGeary’s, named after Geoff McGeary, the founder and owner of APT, guests will immediately feel relaxed and at home in this traditional pub.
Another new addition for our coffee loving guests is that we have an on-board barista, who will deliver the perfect morning caffeine injection ahead of an exciting day’s sightseeing.
What can guests expect – not only on board, but also in terms of shore excursions?
In a new move for our maiden season, guests can either choose to sail a full 15-day cruise from the Netherlands to Hungary, or take one of our two new, shorter split cruises, the eight-day Reflections of the Rhine & Main from Amsterdam to Nuremberg, or the nine-day Delightful Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest.
My personal highlights of our cruises are our home hosted visits in the municipality of Miltenberg, where our guests get to join the family for coffee and cake and learn first-hand about the traditional way of life in the region.
New ships always bring excitement – but does it feel extra special given what has happened in recent times?
Being the first cruise director to sail on a Travelmarvel Contemporary ship is something I’m so excited about.
For us, and all our colleagues across the industry, we are so glad to welcome guests back with open arms.
Moving forward, how will the Travelmarvel brand grow?
Travelmarvel is currently one of the industry’s best kept secrets – combining excellent value for money, great commissions for the trade, flexible inclusions and plenty of free time for guests’ independent exploration, and the APT gold standard of service at every touchpoint.
As we grow, we’re on a mission to spread the word more broadly, and to help agents make the most of the fantastic sales opportunity that Travelmarvel offers them.
I would strongly recommend that travel agents join us on on board for at least a week so that they can understand how the Travelmarvel experience sells itself.
With our Book Three, Sail free incentive running until 31 August 2022, agents can even secure their place aboard for free.
Travelmarvel has also launched a small ship cruising programme in Croatia. With these new yachts, Lady Eleganza and Princess Eleganza, the experience is so authentic, and dropping anchor can be done almost anywhere.
In Asia, we will protect our position as the number one cruise operator in the region by volume with a new ship, RV Apsara. That the vessel previously sailed under the APT banner speaks to how luxurious this new standard for Travelmarvel on the Mekong is.