River Cruising ~ What’s included?

Sticker-shock is often the reaction to a European river cruise price quote. That is, until it’s made clear all that is included in the price. But, while most river cruise lines tout their inclusiveness, there are differences that should be considered to determine the best value for you.

Here is a breakdown of inclusions for the most popular river cruise lines:

AmaWaterways

AmaCello in Melk Austria
AmaCello in Melk Austria

According to Ama, “Your inclusive vacation provides incredible, value from the champagne breakfast and free-flowing hand-selected European wines with lunch and dinner to a fleet of bicycles, free Internet access, included sightseeing excursions and live cultural entertainment onboard.”
The port charges, gratuities, and bar tab are extra. A variety of shore excursions are included in the price and a selection of excursions are offered at an additional cost.

A-Rosa Cruises
A-Rosa Cruises bills itself as “Truly All-Inclusive” with complimentary beverages including wine, beer, and spirits all day long, pre-paid onboard gratuities, complimentary shore tours, complimentary use of bicycles, complimentary transfers, prepaid port taxes and fees, and free WiFi. Note that gratuities for the guides and drivers on shore excursions are not included. In 2015, transfers will not be included and there will be a shore excursion allowance included in the cost. Once the allowance is reached, there will be an additional charge.

Avalon Waterways
Avalon Vista
Avalon’s slogan is “INCLUDED…is the name of the game.” Expect “Special touches, like regional wines and beer at every onboard dinner selected by a professional sommelier-included. Each à la carte meal includes a variety of options for each course. Plus, enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and juices with breakfast, soft drinks with lunch. Complimentary Wi-Fi access-included. The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides-included. VIP entrance into the must-see sites-included. Unique Local Favoritessm designed to bring your destination to life-included. We even provide Nordic walking sticks for active guests looking for an extra spring in their step. Port charges and gratuities are not included in the price.
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Scenic Cruises Christens New River Ship Crystal in Germany

And she is stunning! My husband and I were among other travel agents and media onboard to preview Scenic Cruises® sixth “Space-Ship,” the Scenic Crystal, sailing from Amsterdam to Rüdesheim, Germany where she was christened on April 25, 2012. Glen Moroney, founder and managing director, was on hand for the christening event.

Scenic Crystal's Inaugural Sailing
Scenic Crystal "Space Ship"

Our cabin on the Danube deck featured a “Sun Lounge,” unique to Scenic Cruises. It’s a weatherproof, step-out balcony enclosed with a floor-to-ceiling glass patio door, where the upper portion can be lowered with the touch of a button to create an open-air balcony. You’ll never miss a Kodak moment as you glide past the many castles on the Rhine and Moselle.

Moselle River Castle
Shot taken from our "Sun Lounge" balcony.

Continue reading Scenic Cruises Christens New River Ship Crystal in Germany

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