Monday 3 December 2012

APT cruises into luxury small ship expeditions

New brochure: APT Luxury Small Ship Expedition Cruises 2013-14

APT cruises into luxury small ship expeditions

APT has released its first small ship expedition cruising brochure following the June investment in the Noble Caledonia and its specialists ships Caledonia Sky and Island Sky.

The May 2012-refurbished 110-passenger/74-crew Caledonia Sky is the main ship featured in the brochure -- APT Luxury Small Ship Expedition Cruises 2013-14 –  specifically for the Australian and New Zealand market for cruises covering the regions of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia's Kimberley coast, and Japan while the Island Sky offers a circumnavigation of Cuba.

APT General Manager Marketing, Debra Fox said APT was providing the best of two worlds in this program: APT's hallmark high standards of travelling style, comfort, service and all-inclusive pricing that has evolved from 85 years experience; and adventurous and life-enriching encounters with some of the world's most isolated and inaccessible regions.

"This combination will top the bragging rights," she said. "It pushes the boundaries of conventional travel."

Of the ship, Ms Fox said "it feels like a private yacht or a fine Country Club", it is equipped with an International fine dining restaurant, lounges and sun decks, offers five different cabin styles, each suite is at least 216 square feet which is almost twice the size of suites on standard big ships, all cabins have WiFi and flat screen TV, and an elevator services all decks.

It visits smaller ports where big ships cannot stop because of their need of greater facilities and infrastructure.  As a result APT will bypass the mass tourism circuit and is able to take advantage of ad hoc opportunities.

On the service side, all passengers can undertake excursions at the same time because it has 10 onboard Zodiacs and expeditions are led by experts (marine biologists, historians, geologists, anthropologists, explorers or botanists etc).

Prices include cruising, all meals, onboard lectures, tipping, gratuities, shore excursions (Freedom on of Choice Sightseeing Inclusions) and house wines, beers and soft drinks with all lunches and dinners.

Each departure is a one-off which APT says makes the APT expedition program the most specialised on the seas.

Fly free deals and discounts ranging from $250 to $1050 per person are offered for early bookings, expiry dates for which are between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013.

Lead-in cruise is the 14-day South East Asia Explorer (from $9995 per person, twin share, departing September 25, 2013) which cruises from Darwin to Singapore, following a route similar to "The Journey of the Krait", one of the most successful covert operations in Australian military history.

The 19-day Beyond the Dragon's Lair (from $13,959, departing February 13, 2014) starts in Jakarta and finishes in Port Moresby.

An 11-day Kimberley Coast cruise (from $7995, departing September 5, 2013) has 13 and 15-day options which include Darwin and/or Broome, while the 28-dayGrand Kimberley (from $17,395, departing August 19, 2013) includes an 11-day coast cruise and 17-day 4WD land tour with Kimberley Wilderness Adventures.

The 16-day Japanese Spring Gardens (from $11,995, departing April 17, 2014) is a cruise organised by APT's sister company Botanica. It starts in Kyoto, cruises the southern waters of Japan, sails to South Korea and then cruises along the west coast of Japan.

Also in the brochure are the 15-day Spirit of the Spanish Main (from $10,295, departing January 25, 2014) which starts in Nassau and cruises through The Bahamas, around Cuba to Mexico and Belize, and the 27-day Cuba and Mayan Adventure (from $17,795, departing January 22, 2014) which offers a city stay in Miami, the cruise and a ten day land tour of Belize and Guatemala.

These Cuba cruises are on Island Sky, which is almost identical to Caledonia Sky.

To complement the extensive sightseeing already included, APT provides a collection of handpicked Signature Experiences for a genuine immersion in each destination. Widely diverse, these activities are featured at no extra cost. One expedition offers the chance to roam the wilds of Rinca Island to see the fascinating Komodo dragons. Another adventure takes travellers to meet local Papuan tribesmen on an authentic village experience.

In personalising the expedition experience, APT also offers a range of different Freedom of Choice Sightseeing Inclusions – from rounds of golf and cooking classes, to military history tours and a Papuan Sepik River experience.

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