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What happened on Travelmarvel Vega’s maiden voyage? David Cox, APT Travel Group CEO shares the goss

David Cox, APT Travel Group CEO, recently hopped aboard the brand-new River Ship, Travelmarvel Vega, for the first cruise of the year and has given Karryon the lowdown on the shippin' good news.

David Cox, APT Travel Group CEO, recently hopped aboard the brand-new River Ship, Travelmarvel Vega, for the first cruise of the year and has given Karryon the lowdown on the shippin’ good news.

David Cox has recently returned from his visit to check out Travelmarvel’s newest ship in Europe and we’ve managed to get the inside scoop on what he found out and experienced during his #ArrivalRevival adventure.

WARNING: you will probably want to book a trip to Europe shortly after reading this.

What was it like travelling to Europe for the first time in over two years?

Travelmarvel Vega
Travelmarvel Vega received a warm welcome on her maiden voyage

Leaving Australia was remarkably easy COVID tests are no longer necessary to fly out of Australia or enter Hungary. 

Upon arriving in Europe travel was just as breezy, with minimal queues – we were out of the airport and on the road to in no time.

Traffic is notably light in Hungary – due in part to it being the start of the season, but also likely due to some incorrect perception that travel in Europe is difficult. The result means visitors can travel across the city with relative ease… not that a slower pace would bother a tourist when there are such incredible views of Budapest to enjoy!

It must have been exciting stepping on board, tell us about your first impressions

Travelmarvel Vega
Spacious suites and cabins throughout the Vega

Arriving at our brand-new contemporary river ship, the Travelmarvel Vega – the excitement was palpable.

After many years in development and building we were finally able to get on board and experience it for real.

Guests were incredibly excited to board the new vessel and explore the features too.

The conscientiously designed suites offer all the mod cons with a few little extras thrown in. You can rest assured the curtains all close perfectly so no early morning light will wake you, and the self-shutting draws mean you can’t hear noise from the next cabin.

And for the Australian travellers specifically we have ensured that large suitcases fit under the bed comfortably.

The spacious public areas include multiple restaurants and lounge areas and the Sky Deck Bar understandably became a firm-favourite very quickly.

McGeary’s Bar, a feature that was always close to our hearts in development also proved to be a hit with the passengers. 

What was the vibe like getting out and about?

Travelmarvel Vega
Out and about – David Cox, CEO with Commercial Director, Alex Agathocleous, and UK Managing Director, Paul Melinis wheely enjoying Budapest

From Budapest to Puszta, Mohács to Vukovar, the sentiment was always the same – Europe is open!

The passengers on board were particularly proud to be early adopters of the return to international travel, and felt they were reaping the rewards of taking flight first.

Apart from showing our vaccination certificates upon boarding, once the ship left the port, COVID felt very far away.

Did you get a taste of home away from home at all?

Travelmarvel Vega
McGeary’s Bar – a quick favourite 

The Travelmarvel onboard chefs do an incredible job of exceeding expectations when it comes to dining – incorporating local cuisine and delicacies into the restaurants lunch and evening menu; but sometimes after a day of excursions, nothing beats a pint and a Parma!

Thanks to the McGeary Bar, guest won’t feel far from home. The décor is reminiscent of an Irish style pub, with a classic bar and a menu offering typical pub fare.

There is also entertainment on most evenings, so you and like-minded passengers have an opportunity to chat about the day’s events over a well-earned beverage. 

Any final thoughts? Is Europe the place to be, once more?

Budapest Unsplash
Budapest, Hungary

As Australia heads steadily into winter, it was great to be back in Europe for the start of spring, especially when we were able to travel in such style. 

Overall, the new Travelmarvel Vega was highly impressive and The Best of Balkans cruise really did deliver on its name.

I left the tour confident that Europe is open and poised to welcome back all our guests. It is as magical and exciting a place to visit as ever. It’s good to be back!

Guests can also experience the brand new Travelmarvel ships on the most-popular European Gems tour. With the added incentive of a current great deals on 2022 departures – starting at just $4,995 for 15 days!

There has never been a better time to book your clients to Europe with Travelmarvel.

FoFor more information head to travelmarvel.com.au or speak to your awesome ATG BDM.