What Are Activities Managers On Cruises
The first river cruise I took was with Emerald Waterways. All Emerald Waterways cruises have an activities manager on board in addition to a cruise director and other cruise staff.
Our activities manager was an amazing man was Drazen, we quickly became friends with him and he even took us out for a drink ! Drazen was in charge of things like aqua aerobics, gameshows, guided walks, and hikes.
We joined Drazen almost every day for an afternoon walk or hike. One afternoon we hiked up a mountain and when we got to the top Drazen pulled 5 bottles of water out of his bag and offered them to the guests!
I found it hard to believe that he had carried the extra bottles to the top, we each carried one up and that was hard enough.
This is just one example of how friendly and helpful the crew is on river cruises. Another example was on the Saga river cruise which I took, our cruise director Charlie made a point of telling guests when they should turn on and turn off airplane modes on their phones to avoid charges.
For The Independent Traveler Who Hates Group Tours: Le Boat
If youre ready to be the captain of your own adventure, Le Boat is the way to go. Its the biggest self-driving boating operator in Europe and North America. You can choose your own canal escapade with 17 destinations and nine countries, do your own cooking and even bring your dog if you like. The company provides itinerary suggestions, but what you do is completely up to you.
The Horizon Cruisers are the newest boats specifically for parties ranging from two to 12 people. There are more features on this line, including a large forward stateroom and the roomy “fundeck” which is the largest top-deck area of any boat of its size on Europes inland waterways.
All of Le Boats lines are navigation-friendly with bow and stern thrusters to help you park and navigate locks and canals. No previous boating experience or special license is required to drive in most locations, except for certain regions of Germany. You will get a boat-handling lesson before embarking.
Price: Fares for Le Boat’s popular Canal du Midi tour in France start at $1,099 for a seven-day boat rental in the last week of March, but the price climbs the further into summer you go. Your rental includes a fully equipped galley kitchen and all towels and bed linens. You pay for fuel and whatever extras you want, such as barbecue rentals, groceries, WiFi and boat damage insurance.
The Truth About Solo Cruise Cabins
For solo travelers, the traditionally coupled-up cruise world has long meant navigating unfriendly waters, largely due to the dreaded “single supplement.” This pesky — and pricy — fee could easily double the cost of a cruise vacation for a single cruise traveler looking to sail in a room priced for two.
Happily, the tides have turned: More and more cruise lines are coming out with priced-for-one solo cruise cabins on both new and reconfigured ships. These are meant to afford single travelers savings at sea . So what exactly do you get when you sign up for a solo cruise?
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American Queen Steamboat Company
One of the most iconic rivers in the United States is undoubtedly the Mississippi, and this 8 Night Mark Twain’s Mississippi cruise from the American Queen Steamboat Company is an awesome way to explore this stunning river like never before. With rooms available for around $300 per night and plenty of different room types to choose from, this is a fully flexible cruise that can work with different budgets and desires.
This cruise lets you climb aboard the wonderful American Queen. Unlike any other cruise ship on Earth, the American Queen was designed to look just like the old Mississippi riverboats, offering a really authentic Mississippi River cruise experience. The ship has been lovingly crafted and decorated with Victorian-era influences and authentic furnishings. It even features its own saloon, where live music is played regularly, and also offers multiple dining options and plenty of other features.
Food Costs And Choices
As with all cruises, river voyages typically include most of your meals as part of the total costs. Meals tend to be served at one sitting, with open seating. Every table has a view.
Unlike many ocean-going trips, some river cruise lines often include beer, wine or soft drinks with dinner at no added charge. These offers vary, sometimes widely, by line.
Breakfasts and lunches are often served buffet-style, although a chef will prepare cooked-to-order omelets or sandwiches at one end of the buffet table.
Fixed food costs are a bonus for budget travelers since these expenses often are unpredictable on many trips. Train travelers usually eat in the cities they visit and sample local cuisine. On river cruises, you will miss out on this essential part of learning a new city’s ways.
Cruise lines might serve goulash in Budapest and apple strudel in Vienna. But if you are intent on sampling these local specialties at local restaurants in port, you’ll need to put forth extra money and effort.
If lavish shipboard entertainment is your chief priority, river cruises probably won’t satisfy.
Unlike ocean-going cruise lines that stage Vegas-style shows and provide floating casinos, the river cruise entertainment is limited to far more basic offerings.
You can visit the galley for a look at how more than 400 meals a day are prepared in a relatively small space.
You might see a folk dancing exhibition one night, or watch the crew become the cast in a talent night presentation.
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Amazon River Cruise Prices
The Amazon, winding through Peru and Brazil, is the most expensive river in the world to cruise, in large measure due to the cost of getting there. The big takeaway for this river? When pricing the , it’s essential to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Lindblad and Avalon both charter small vessels that were built to navigate remote areas of the Amazon in Peru. These tours, especially in Lindblad’s case, will spend days on the river itself.
Some oceangoing passenger lines, including Regent Seven Seas and Oceania, offer itineraries in Brazil that are two weeks or longer and take in far more destinations than an Amazon-centric tour offered by lines like Aqua Expeditions or Avalon, but the latter offers a more immersive, “on-the-ground” style of travel.
The actual Amazon sailing experience itself is scant, with the region explored instead by way of shore excursions. Per-person, per-night fares are competitive, with Amazon River cruise fares starting as low as $416 — but don’t expect a European-style river cruise with days spend lazily drifting down the river.
Amazon cruises take place all year long, and there isn’t a lot of play in pricing when it comes to departures. The best way to snag savings: Look for Wave promotions at the start of a new year for both international airfares and cruise fares.
River Cruises Offer Pros And Cons For Budget Travel
River cruises offer pros and cons that are well worth considering. For travelers who want to see the world’s great cities without investing stress, these trips have proven to be an excellent choice. Think about it: you’ll only unpack once, you’ll need not push through crowded train stations, and you’ll have a lot more freedom of movement than any tour bus affords.
River cruises — especially in Europe — have become incredibly popular in recent years. Industry experts estimate that river cruise bookings have increased about 50 percent in the past 10 years. The Cruise Lines International Association, Inc. calculated that its members offered 170 river cruise vessels. and although the building boom is slowing a bit over recent years, it is not unusual for 15-20 new ships to enter service in a given year.
Most of the travelers who favor river cruises are baby boomers in their retirement years. This is a market reality to which river cruise lines strongly respond. Senior travelers tend to like smaller ships, detailed assistance with even the smallest arrangements, and several tiers of involvement. Flashy entertainment is sometimes far down on the list of priorities.
Traditional river cruises do not cater to children or young families. In fact, some lines do not allow kids. The itineraries don’t appeal so much to families as they do to history buffs and those who appreciate cultural and geographic diversity.
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For The Experienced Traveler: Viking River Cruises
Viking succeeds by not attempting to make every cruise appeal to every customer. This river cruises target demographic is experienced travelers, ages 50+, who are interested in history, art and culture. Founder Torstein Hagen often calls Viking the thinking mans cruise and considers it an alternative to mainstream cruises. Onboard, you wont find casinos, waterslides or formal nights instead, there are serene, Scandinavian-inspired spaces, quiet libraries and cultural performances.
Price: The eight-day Romantic Danube cruise starts at $2,499 for 2019 sailings, but the price drops as low as $1,999 for 2020. The fare includes an outside stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals and beverages and all port charges and government taxes.
Taking A Cruise: Recommendations And Resources
Book a Cruise:Have a specific cruise you want to book or just need some help and inspiration? Get a cruise quote through us: Cruise Quote Form.Not Sure What to Book?Learn everything you need to know to find and book the perfect cruise in my How to Cruise For Less cruise course.Dont Forget Your Travel Insurance:You could be stranded abroad, lose your entire cruise fare, or be hit with MASSIVE medical bills if you dont have cruise travel insurance. I use comparison websites to compare quotes: Compare Quotes Here.Our full list of travel recommendations can be found here.
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River Cruises With Rail Travel
River cruising with rail travel is an increasingly popular choice with customers who either enjoy train travel or are fed up with using airports. Europe has an extensive rail network and as most river cruises start and end in large cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, then we are able to offer our customers who want to use rail our full European range of river cruises. So how much does river cruising with rail cost? Again, dependent on routes used, a rail journey can cost from around £100-300. It usually costs a similar price to air travel in Europe, but can only be accurately priced up to 3 months before travel. This is due to rail prices only being available 3 months before, unlike air which can be up to 11 months before travel. Using specialised rail such as the Orient Express is also possible with Budapest or Venice river cruises in Europe, though cost per passenger is usually around £1500 -£3000 extra. Our best value, not best discount river cruising message As discount messages are confusing and are manufactured by pushy sales people, we advise not to look at the headline saving but look more closely at what you are getting for your money. You would do this for any major purchase in your life.
What Kind Of Cruises Do American Discount Travel Offer
The travel specialists at American Discount Cruises & Travel are able to provide their customers with a variety of travel options, from the “Fun Ships” of Carnival and Freestyle Cruisingof NCL to the exotic voyages and luxurious ships offered by Celebrity Cruises on to Seabourn Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises.
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Are Solo Cruise Cabins A Good Deal
Rates for solo cabins aren’t fixed and can fluctuate widely based on season, destination, customer demand and other variables. As this is the case with any cruise room, comparing single cruise room prices to standard cabin prices can be tricky and is best done on a case-by-case basis.
A good rule of thumb is that you can generally expect solo cruise cabins to start out priced higher than the per-person rate for a double-occupancy stateroom, but lower than the rate for a single person booking a double-occupancy stateroom, when factoring in the single supplement. Cruise lines offering solo cabins quote fares averaging about 125 to 160 percent more, when compared to the per-passenger rates in shared double-occupancy room.
Solo cruise cabins are intended to be a better deal than the single supplement rates for singles booking double-occupancy cabins, which typically average 125 to 200 percent. For example, when we checked, Norwegian listed a sample solo cabin fare in a studio stateroom for a July sailing at $1,099 — a deal compared to the cost of booking a double-occupancy room with a single supplement at $1,898.
However, as solo cruise cabin inventory is quite limited and coveted solo cabins quickly book up on ships, it’s not unheard of that the more widely available standard double-occupancy cabins offer more affordable fares — even with the added single supplement. Word to the wise: Book early to get your hands on the best solo cruise cabin rates.
Laundry Services Or Facilities Additional Value
Its can be convenient to have laundry service available or access to a washer and dryer while youre traveling. This is especially true if youll be traveling for several days. Several of the cruise lines provide washers and dryers to use free of charge. Most charge a fee for laundry services, which can add up.
How much can you save if laundry services are included in your fare or if you have access to a washer and dryer? Well, if you had 4 items washed per day at $4 per item, you could save up to an average of $112 per person for a 7-day cruise. Thats a pretty nice savings for the convenience it provides.
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Nile River Cruise Prices
Nile River cruise prices aren’t cheap on average, they’re $500 per person, per night. But they offer up a good mix of itineraries — three-, four- and six-night river cruises with as many as six nights in Cairo. Some of the lines also sail on Lake Nasser. Peak demand is between October and early January, with the shoulder season spanning from mid-January through early April. The low — and hottest — season is between May and the end of September. The variance in pricing between high and low seasons can be as much as 25 percent, though prices have been at historic lows as many lines look to entice travelers back to the Nile.
The good news: The price of airfare to Egypt tends to stay pretty stable, even when purchased last minute. Otherwise, plan to travel in low season or at the end of the shoulder. What to watch out for: Many of the tours include domestic flights, which are an extra cost. Egypt also requires a visa, which can be obtained at the Cairo airport upon arrival for $25. Flights from the U.S. to Egypt aren’t as frequent or as convenient as flights to Europe, but theycan be cheaper. Round trip fares start at around $700 from the Midwest and East Coast and $900 from the West Coast.
River Cruises Dont Charge For Basic Excursions
On almost all river cruises youll find that at least some excursions are included. On many river cruise lines, daily excursions are included.
The included excursions are usually a combination of a walking tour with bus elements and theyre often run by local guides.
In addition to the included excursions, there are usually excursions that guests are able to pay extra for should they want to take part in a certain activity.
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Sometimes You Have To Stop
Traffic isn’t the only impediment on a river locks also slow boats down and bring them to a complete stop. Not all rivers have locks, which generally keep waters at an even level, but many do, including the Mississippi, Ohio and Columbia Rivers.
Inclusive Experiences Means Less Time Planning And More Time Relaxing
Last but certainly not least: USA River Cruises takes the guesswork out of planning a trip in the first place. Youll no longer have to fret over the cost of every little perk because the perks are part of the all-inclusive experience aboard a USA River Cruise. No need to tally up the numbers when you order beer, a glass of wine, room service, soda, cappuccinos, or decide to take a shore excursion.
The world is waiting for you. Imagine your most wonderful journey. Then contact USA River Cruises to make it come true.
Ever thought about a VIP-style, front row seat to breathtaking waterfalls, rolling vineyards, and stunning mountain peaks? Try one of our Columbia River Cruises.
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Do Any River Cruise Ships Have Single Cabins
Yes. A handful of river cruise lines do cater to solo travelers with single cabins. Look to Vantage and AmaWaterways in Europe, and American Queen Steamboat Company in the United States. While Viking’s Longships don’t have rooms for solos, some of their older ships do.
A lack of single-person cabins doesn’t mean that river cruises eschew solo travelers. Far from it. The camaraderie of river cruising means that passengers are often seated at group tables for meals, which makes it easy to meet people. Vantage and Grand Circle offer a roommate matching program. And it’s fairly common to find discounts and specials waiving the single supplement.