HomeFam TripsHighlights from the Inaugural Irish APT Travel Marvel FAM Trip

Highlights from the Inaugural Irish APT Travel Marvel FAM Trip

APT Travel Marvel launched in the Irish market in September 2022 and shortly after, Jack Goddard was named as Trade Sales Manager for Ireland. ITTN’s Carrie Day was lucky to be one of the first in the Irish industry to sample what APT Travel Marvel is offering… and she’s converted!

The very first Irish APT Travel Marvel FAM trip got off to an early start on Sunday 27th November when the group flew from Dublin to Frankfurt, to join a section of the 7-day Reflections of the Rhine & Main sailing, which itself is part of the 15-day European Gems itinerary.

Dominic and Bernie Burke (Travel Centres), Austin Carroll (Platinum Travel), Zita Forde (Click & Go) and Niamh Breen (Fahy Travel) joined us on the quick 3-day, 2-night FAM trip onboard the beautiful Travel Marvel Polaris ship – starting in Wurzburg and finishing in Rudesheim.

The standard of service was evident as soon as we first set foot on the brand new 4* premium river cruise, with staff welcoming everyone to the cruise with a friendly hello and big smiles. The brand new Travel Marvel Polaris is one of the newest river cruise ships in Europe – in fact, she is one of three identical ships, with the other two also named after the brightest constellations in the northern hemisphere – Vega and Capella. This proved to be very useful during the summer when river water levels were so low, river cruise ships couldn’t pass through parts of the Rhine and Danube. APT Travel Marvel had the good fortune to ask their guests to pack their suitcases ahead of their shore excursion and while they were enjoying the local attractions, the crew worked quickly to transfer their luggage to the waiting, identical ship further down the river, and guests were able to continue their river cruise without disruption – and even had the exact same cabin number when they re-joined the river cruise!

The Polaris, Vega and Capella each have 91 cabins, with a maximum capacity of 182 guests and 34 crew from 14 different countries. In case you need help with the maths, that’s a passenger-to-crew ratio of 5:1 and this level of service is one of Travel Marvel’s key selling points – as well as amazing value for money!

The contemporary yet cosy design onboard the ship has attracted a slightly younger demographic with guests in their 50’s+ booking for late 2022 and 2023 sailings. Continuing with the astronomy theme, the True North Lounge & Bar is available for casual dining options including pastry breakfasts and buffet lunches while the Constellations Restaurant offers 4-course dining options for both lunch and dinner, and this is also where guests can enjoy both hot and continental breakfasts. McGeary’s Pub is located at the rear of the ship and offers light lunches such as paninis, soup and pies to satisfy the Australian, UK and now Irish guests’ pallets! McGeary’s Pub has been named after APT’s Australian-born founder who unsurprisingly has Irish ancestry and the pub is decorated accordingly with a warm, relaxed feel.

Each ship offers 3 cabin types – a Porthole Window cabin, a French Balcony cabin and four Owners Suites. Our group were lucky enough to stay in the fabulous French Balcony cabins which boast a floor-to-ceiling, sliding electric window which opens halfway giving the feeling of being outside but without losing space inside the cabin. The spacious 17 square metre cabins have a seating area for two guests, as well as an abundance of storage with deep drawers, a large wardrobe and lots of space under the bed for luggage storage. The bathroom is equipped with a hair drier and a powerful shower – perfect for warming up after a visit to some local Christmas Markets! Last but not least – my favourite part of the whole ship… the bed. Considering I struggle to sleep anywhere that is not my own bed, I slept like a baby both nights! The enormous bed was one of the comfiest I’ve ever slept in, and the amazingly fluffy pillows made for a great night’s sleep, and the perfect way to unwind after an evening’s activity, be it karaoke, a quiz, bingo or the likes.

With Summer 2023 prices starting from only €1,945pp, this is the perfect way for customers to explore small towns and cities they otherwise may not have visited, as well as some larger cities such as Amsterdam, Cologne and Nuremberg. Included in the price are transfers to/from the airport, all tips and port charges, daily (yet optional) shore excursions, twenty meals throughout the 8-day sailing not to mention complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks during meal times – with very generous measures. Bar prices outside of meal times are also very reasonable at only €5.50 for a glass of wine, €3.40 for a Pilsner and less than €7 for a cocktail!

APT Travel Marvel also offers sailings on the Duoro River in Portugal and 4 and 5* luxury yachts which sail along the Adriatic Coast and Dalmatian Islands.

For more information: APT Travel Marvel

ITTN Travel Directory here: https://thetraveldirectory.ittn.ie/

Emer Roche
Emer Roche
Emer has over 10 years experience working for Irish magazines, supplements, websites and creative agencies. She’s written features for U Magazine, Image Magazine and theheyday.ie, across a range of subjects such as women’s interest, travel, culture, news and interviews. She also has a portfolio of commercial writing for creative agencies, such as RTE.ie and Originate Creative. Emer is a Dublin native with part of her heart in Ardmore, County Waterford. She lives in Dublin 7 with her husband, two kids, dog and cat.

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