4 luxury cruise tours to do in 2023

cruise ship docked at passau in germany

Zoe Macfarlane

Posted January 20, 2023

If boarding a luxury, leisurely cruise – the kind where your every need is catered for – is one of your travel aspirations this year, you’ll be thrilled to hear that cruising is back, big time in 2023.

Popular for its effortlessness and top-notch pampering, luxury cruising is so much more than a convenient way to see the world. It’s about thoughtfully created itineraries, meaningful explorations at every port, and quality, attentive service onboard. In short, it’s the type of travel you deserve, and RACV Members save more when travelling with APT Luxury Travel.

An unrivalled travel experience

Luxury cruising offers an unforgettable way to see the world in one of the most stress-free ways possible. Besides the obvious perks of seeing multiple destinations yet only unpacking once, you’ll also enjoy a choice of activities, immersive days and nights, and the opportunity to meet like-minded people from around the world. Consider a luxury cruise like VIP access to the best of the world.

This is especially true when you book a cruise tour with APT; their all-inclusive small group cruise tours take care of everything in a personalised way, including a choice of onshore explorations. APT also host Signature Experiences, inviting you to exclusive and unique events en route that self-guided touring simply does not afford. 

Here are four of the best APT cruises to inspire your 2023 travel plans across Europe, Alaska, Asia and the Top End.


cruise ship at amareina durnstein

A luxury cruise tour is like VIP access to the best of world. Image: Supplied

Magnificent Europe

As one of Europe's leading river cruises operators, Magnificent Europe was an easy choice to feature in our favourites. This 15-day journey sails you from Amsterdam to Budapest (or vice versa) stopping at quaint German towns and vibrant Vienna en route. 

Aboard an award-winning APT Concerto River Ship, you’ll enjoy a range of Signature Experiences on your Magnificent Europe cruise. This includes exploration and a cocktail party at Namedy Castle, as well as a private orchestra experience at Vienna’s City Palace. This is accompanied by Freedom of Choices activities like a gondola ride in Rudesheim, a guided walk through Schwarzach Valley in Nuremberg, or a trip to the Sound of Music sites in Salzburg. It’s an impressive 15-day foray into this enchanting region of Europe.

namedy castle in andernach burg, germany

Princess Heide von Hohenzollern graciously welcomes APT guests into her home, Namedy Castle. Image: Supplied

Rockies Odyssey & Alaska Cruise

If you appreciate both cruise and rail experiences, you’ll love APT’s Rockies Odyssey and Alaska Cruise tour. This 22-day travel extravaganza embarks with a coach tour from Victoria, British Columbia, followed by a gorgeous rail journey across the Canadian Rockies and an Alaskan cruise through the Inside Passage. “Journey of a lifetime” springs to mind when we view this itinerary!

Start your journey with two nights in Victoria, before travelling to Whistler by coach and ferry - or, if you like, via floatplane! With your Freedom of Choice inclusion, you can explore your way: perhaps with a snowcat adventure or mountain jeep safari? Continue through the stunning Coast Mountains until you reach pristine Jasper National Park, Athabasca Glacier and Lake Louise, where you'll experience two nights at the fairy-tale-like setting of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, alongside a Signature Experience to meet a Mountie. Finally, spend a day in iconic Banff, where you can choose between exciting experiences like heli-flightseeing, a float trip along Bow River, or learning to be a Canadian ice hockey player.

The next day, you'll board the GoldLeaf Rocky Mountaineer’s carriage for a luxury rail experience through some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery, ending in Vancouver. When you board your cruise to Alaska, the trip gets no less mesmerising. In a Holland America Verandah Stateroom, relax and enjoy the scenery of Alaska's Inside Passage, a coastal route that weaves its way around islands and through fjords. Highlights include Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, and the gold rush heritage town of Skagway.


person standing in Jasper, Canada

Jasper is one of the most beautiful parts of Canada. Image: Supplied

Spiritual Cambodia and the Mekong

With every detail taken care of, your job on this 11-day exploration from Cambodia to Vietnam is to simply relax and experience the wonders along one of the world’s best rivers. Travelling on the Spiritual Cambodia and the Mekong tour, experience a meaningful journey aboard APT’s brand new luxury boat, Mekong Serenity. Custom-designed to access parts of the Mekong that larger ships cannot reach, Mekong Serenity elevates any journey from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City.

Cruise highlights include sunrise over Angkor Wat, a tuk-tuk ride around the sleepy island of Koh Pen, and the Signature Experience of a Buddhist blessing ceremony. Extra activities aboard the Mekong Serenity, like fruit carving, a dragon dance and presentations by local guides, ensure this is a fun-filled, cultural introduction to this colourful pocket of Southeast Asia. 


siem reap angkor wat cambodia

Angkor Wat is a major drawcard in Cambodia. Image: Supplied

Essence of the Kimberley with Top End Cruising

If further exploration of our own backyard is on your 2023 wish list, take note: APT’s Essence of the Kimberley with Top End Cruising is a magical 21 days of beauty, adventure, and enriching cultural experiences across 25 destinations. 

Starting in Darwin, you’ll board your 5-star Le Soléal small ship for a journey to intriguing sights in the Northern Territory and into the Kimberley region, docking in Broome. Whether it’s seeing 20,000-year-old Indigenous rock art, enjoying a Signature Experience to the Montgomery Reef, or witnessing the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls, you'll be hard-pressed to choose a cruise highlight. 

From Broome, you’ll head into the Kimberley, a region chock-full of landmarks of outstanding natural beauty and experiences found nowhere else in the world. On this APT luxury cruise tour, you’ll witness the incredible striped dome rocks of the Bungle Bungle Ranges, including two nights at APT’s exclusive Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge. A hike to jaw-dropping Emma Gorge and a soak in the Zebedee Springs thermal pools, both set within the iconic El Questro Wilderness Park, are among other tour favourites.


kimberley coast

Witness true natural beauty on the Kimberley. Image: Supplied

RACV Members save on amazing travel experiences with APT.
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