Tipping On Viking River Cruises In Europe
If you choose to prepay gratuities, the gratuity rate for European river cruises is $18 per day, per person.
If you choose to pay on board, tips are charged at 15 euros per day per person to your shipboard account.
Depending on the exchange rate at the time of your cruise and whether your credit card charges foreign transaction fees, it might be less expensive to choose the onboard tipping option. By not prepaying your gratuities, you can modify your tips amount to reflect the actual onboard service you experienced. If you prepay your gratuities, you dont have this option.
Any additional tipping is up to you. Feel free to do so if you want to tip drivers, guides, the Viking employee who picked you up at the airport, or others that made your cruise memorable. Although tips for guides and coach drivers are at your discretion, they are expected. Consider leaving a tip of 2 euros per person for each day to the guide and 1 euro to the driver.
What Is Included In The Price Of A Viking River Cruise
Viking river cruises operate on an all-inclusive model, so almost everything is included in the cost of your cruise. Your cruise package includes a shore excursion in every port of call, Wi-Fi internet, lectures, performances, round-the-clock free non-alcoholic drinks, all port taxes and fees, and ground taxes when purchasing a Viking air package. Youll also receive complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks during lunch and dinner.
What Is A Single Supplement
Solo passengers often have to pay single supplements, meaning that they must dole out what a couple would pay for the same stateroom. When looking at cruise fares, you may notice fares are priced per person. To give an example, if you were looking at a stateroom priced at $3,400 per person, you would end up paying $6,800 as a couple. What you may not take into account though is that as a solo traveler you may also be looking at paying $6,800. Thats because cruise companies price staterooms based on double occupancy.
While this may seem unfair to solo travelers, which it may be, it makes sense from the standpoint of the cruise companies. Why sell out staterooms half-priced to one person, when two people would pay the per person fare? Thats why solo travelers often look at paying a 200 percent single supplement, or twice the per person fare. In doing that, the cruise companies dont lose money.
High single supplements should not discourage solo travelers, though. Oftentimes companies waive or reduce these fees. Some cruise lines even have solo cabins. Well get to some tips on how to avoid single supplements in a minute but first lets talk a little bit about what its like to cruise alone.
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Compare Apples To Apples
Take a good look at the square footage of your cabin and remember that all river cruise boats are the same length and the same width. The locks and bridges that need to be navigated determine the size of the ship. So, if a river cruise ship allows 128 passengers and another holds 190 passengers, guess which will have more spacious cabins? Pay attention to cabin size and pricing. Why spend more for a tiny cabin?
Which Cruise Lines Have No Single Supplements
Many of the above cruise lines also offer no single supplements on their sailings, meaning you don’t have to pay a premium price to travel alone. Whilst river cruise lines dont tend to have single cabins, double cabins are always available for single occupancy, with some cruise lines offering no single supplements for solo travellers. One of the best ways to get a great deal as a single traveller is to book a river cruise without a single supplement. The standard single supplement can be anything up to 100% of the cruise fare, so looking out for river cruises where the single supplement is waived or reduced can be a great way to make a saving.
Some river cruises have get-togethers for single travellers such as welcome dinners and cocktail parties where people can get together and make new friends. Tables in the on-board restaurants are shared, so youll always have someone to chat to over dinner should you want to.
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Day : Wrzburg And Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber
I cant tell you enough that if you have a chance to go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber do it. For me, Würzburg is more of a drive-around city, with a guided tour of the baroque 40-room palace, Würzburg Residence built between 1720 and 1744, Marienberg Fortress and a drive across the Old Bridge, built in 1120.
Würzburg is a fascinating city, surrounded by wineries and some terrific cafés and dozens of old churches. More times than not, though, I opt for a day in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and its half-timbered houses.
Rothenburg is probably the most well-preserved medieval town in Germany, located on Germanys historic Romantic Road. Amid half-timbered houses, youll find tiny shops and even hotels. But the best thing to do there is to walk the 1.5 mile city wall that circles Rothenburg since the middle ages.
You have to walk up and down several sets of uneven cobblestone steps, as the wall connects five medieval gates dating from the 13th to 16th centuries. Stop and take a look inside the guard houses, too. Get to the town center at top of the hour to see the adorable clock show.
Back onboard Viking Skadi in time for Cocktail Hour. No one ever missed it. Then after dinner, we all found a seat in the lounge for an hour-long glass-blowing demonstration. Good-night.
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Single Travelers On Viking River Cruises
I’m looking at a Viking River Cruise, but don’t want to be the only single traveler amidst all couples. Also, what’s the age range, typically, on these trips?
50 and up except in July and Aug when you might travel with some kids and their parents. Does that age range fit you? While you can have fun meeting other folks onboard, a river cruise is much like a hotel where you can be on the go as much or as little as you’d like. You’ll be docked many evenings too so that you can sample the local nightlife.
Are you interested in the singles with single supplement waived program that another line offers? What’s nice about selecting one of those departures is that other single travelers will gravitate to those dates.
I see you picture a bike. If you like the idea of getting a free rental bike from your river ship you can do that too just not on Viking which is probably the least deluxe of the US companies. Other questions???
Edited: 11 years ago
Thanks very informative. I’m an experienced solo traveler who likes the idea of being on the water and seeing a number of port cities. I’m not looking for a singles scene, but I also don’t want to be the only solo on a boat full of couples. Luxury is fun, but not required . Age, as they say, is just a number I may fit in a category but not think as if I do. You seem to know a bit about these trips any recommendations?
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Traveling Solo On A Cruise How To Keep From Paying The Dreaded Single Supplement
The emails subject line caught my attention: No single supplement on your cruise fare.
Single supplements are the bane of the solo traveler. But some cruise lines favor them because they make up for revenue theyre not getting from that second person.
If a rate shows as “$500 per person, double occupancy, it means you will most likely pay $1,000 if youre traveling alone.
I tend to think of this second person Im paying for as my shadow friend. The good news is that I never hear Fabricated Fred or Silent Susan complain the bad news is that they double the cost of my cruise.
Fortunately, there are ways around having to pay for make-believe companions. Here are some:
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How Do You Pay The Gratuities
You have two choices when paying your gratuities. First, you can prepay your gratuities to Viking River Cruises or your cruise agent before sailing. Second, if you choose not to prepay your tips, they will be automatically added to your onboard ship account.
You do not need to bring cash for tips, as tips are automatically charged to the card tied to your onboard account.
Royal Caribbean App Walkthrough And Tips
The Royal Caribbean app is an integral part of a cruise experience. Most passengers onboard will find themselves using the app multiple times a day to reserve shows, see what dining venues are open, check their account balance, and much more.The Royal Caribbean app is free to download and is available on both Android and iOS devices. To download the app, simply head to the App Store or Google Play
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Consider Opting For A French Balcony For More Space
I have been on river cruises where I had a regular balcony and on cruises where we had a French balcony. When you consider the square footage of a cabin, that number includes the space on the outdoor balcony, a space that is generally not available to you as living space. Whereas, with a French balcony, the sliding glass panel opens to give you fresh air and a great view without reducing living space. I now prefer the French balconies!
Flying Solo In Florence And Beyond
When I was newly widowed, I challenged myself to go on a trip. As the time approached, I almost talked myself out of it at the last minute, even though Id have lost the money.
But I went and it was a wonderful self-discovery. I learned that I enjoyed making trips on my own. I already knew I liked to travel. My husband and I traveled extensively over the years. In 1969, we took the kids, who were still small, to Europe for four months. We took many trips when married, but my husband would never have taken a group tour. I think he was afraid hed have to make small talk with people he didnt know. Im not great at small talk either, but I like people, and Ive enjoyed every trip with Grand Circle.
Though Id been to Italy, I wanted to go back because I love the people, the architecture, and especially the art. I have a Masters Degree in painting, and taught drawing and painting for many years before I retired. And Im involved in the local art world in Portland, Oregon. So Italy is naturally of interest to me.
On my Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast trip, there were five single travelers and we bonded immediately. In our free time, we explored together. We went into a lot of churches and the art was wonderful. Having a little group of five meant our outings felt manageable and fun. We even kept in touch after the trip.
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Day : Bamberg One Of My Favorite Towns On The Main
Today were two port visits Bamberg in the morning and Hassfurt in the afternoon but there were two options. Guests could leave Viking Skadi in Bamberg at 1:30 PM for the afternoon or stay aboard and cruise to Hassfurt. Since Id already been to Hassfurt, and the river ship was only there for an hour, Bamberg was my choice.
After lunch, those going to Bamberg boarded the bus for the short ride into town. Once there, you could join the walking tour or strike out on your own.
Whats so special about Bamberg? For one thing, it was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and like Italy, built on seven hills, each with a church on top. In 1993, the entire city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Back on the bus and on to meet Viking Skadi in Hassfurt. We met the river ship at 6:00 PM, enough time to rest for 45 minutes until the Daily Briefing and dinner procession. Tonights entertainment was provided by the onboard keyboard player. Again, we were all pretty tired and by 10:30 PM, the carpet was rolled up.
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The Pros To Cruising Solo
I’m a bit of an introvert to begin with, so I actually enjoyed having a cabin all to myself to retreat to for a relaxing cup of tea after dinner, or in between excursions to edit some photos or just watch the news. The state rooms on Viking’s ships are more than large enough for one person to spread out in, and after a few weeks of changing hotels every 1 or 2 days, I was SUPER excited to unpack and hang all my clothes up in a closet!
Being on my own also made getting to know people on my cruise extremely easy. When you are both the youngest person on the ship AND traveling alone, you tend to draw a lot of curious inquiries. Meaning I met a ton of fascinating travelers and had some great conversations especially over meals. Since Viking doesn’t do assigned seating for anything, I often joined different people at each meal.
I wasn’t sure if it would feel awkward to be alone on a luxury cruise like this, but it actually wasn’t awkward at all. In a group of 190 people, you’re bound to find at least a few that you’ll click with, if not more.
And, because I didn’t have to take into account another person’s interests or preferences, I had complete control over my time. I could sign up for the tours I wanted, listen to the lectures that sounded interesting to me , take naps in the afternoon if I felt like it, and even wander off on my own for a few hours like I did in St. Petersburg.
Is Viking River Cruises In Financial Trouble
The coronavirus pandemic has had a financial impact across the cruise sector to varying degrees. In general, cruises were canceled, and when they resumed, cruise lines found it more challenging to fill their ships with passengers.
Viking river cruises were one of the cruise lines that were better financially positioned than most and proactively offered cash refunds or travel vouchers. They are still operating and looking forward to putting the covid-19 pandemic behind them.
If you are worried about a cruise lines financial condition, make sure to purchase a travel insurance policy that will refund you in case a particular line goes bankrupt. Relying on a credit card chargeback instead of travel insurance is risky, particularly since theres a time limit for making claims. If you book cruises far in advance, you wont be able to charge back the cruise if the cruise line goes bankrupt.
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Day 1: Cologne: Chocolate French Fries With Curry Sauce The Cathedral And More
Colognes a fun and funny place. So much history, fabulous food, great beer and a lot of odd museums. Not to mention the famous Cologne Cathedral, nearly untouched by the Allies in World War II.
I set out on my usual walking tour, happy to take a couple of new friends from the ship with me. First place I head to is the Cathedral. Be sure to go downstairs to the creepy basement to see the crypts. Then a walk through downtown and maybe into the city a little bit deeper.
Depending on the season that you go, you could run right into Christmas Markets. But this was spring and everyone was outside, eating or drinking or strolling the two-mile long waterfront promenade.
Viking Skadi docked fairly far down along the promenade, so Viking had buses to drive guests into downtown. For me, a longer walk meant I could justify a stop at the Schokoladen Museum for a slice of chocolate cake followed by a quick stop at the outdoor kiosk next door for french fries and curry sauce.
These were soooo good! A trip to Cologne isnt complete unless I stop at the kiosk near the Chocolate Museum for these hot, crunch, slightly spicy potatoes.
If all this food and walking during the day wasnt enough, Viking offered a nighttime optional Beer Culture walking and drinking tour! And yes, I went along, not so much for the beer, but to walk with a group and see the city at night. A good time was had by all and we were back on board Viking Skadi by 11:00PM.
Traveling Solo In Eastern Europe
Ive done quite a bit of solo travel over the years, because I often like to be fully independent when Im in another country. I enjoy branching out on my own, and making quick decisions that arent as easy to make when youre on a trip with others. I enjoy that type of autonomy.
There are other times, though, when I would like to be taken care of when I travel solo. And Grand Circle does that very well.
I embarked on Grand Circles Eastern Europe to the Black Sea trip, and found it to be a very comfortable and enjoyable cruise. We had three days in Budapest at the beginning of the trip, which allowed plenty of time for explorationsomething I greatly appreciated. I particularly enjoyed soaking in the wonderful hot thermal baths of Szecheny, Rudas, and Gellert, taking the funicular, and discovering the Buda side of the city. One of my favorite parts of the trip was attending the opening of a ballet at the main Opera House in the city. I did that on my own, and I liked that the itinerary afforded us the chance to discover things like that independently.
There are many things I enjoy about travelingexploring on my own, having new experiences, and interacting with the locals among thembut perhaps the most important part for me is fun! I certainly had a lot of that on my Eastern Europe to the Black Sea trip with Grand Circle.
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