How do you handle laundry on your river cruise? One strategy is to pack so that you don’t have to do laundry. We have several posts featuring our best packing tips on both River Cruise Advisor and sister site Avid Cruiser. Sometimes, however, there’s just no getting around it. You’ll need to do laundry on your river cruise, particularly if you’re on a longer river cruise or an extended stay in Europe.
You could do laundry in your stateroom sink, using travel-sized packets of detergent. One key here is to travel with fast-drying clothing, which is what I try to do. An all-inclusive river cruise may provide free laundry service. Several companies also provide access to washers and dryers free of charge and even include the soap. Most river cruise companies offer laundry and pressing services for a fee if it’s not part of an all-inclusive package.
What about pressing your own clothes? Passengers are not allowed to bring their own irons onboard because they are fire hazards in the staterooms. However, on some cruise ships, you can press your own clothes in a laundry area where irons and ironing boards are available for use by guests. Although, irons are not allowed to brought onboard, guests are usually allowed to bring a portable travel steamer.
Laundry Services or Facilities: Companies That Offer These Onboard
- AmaWaterways has laundry services available onboard for a fee. Price lists are available in each stateroom.
- Wash and press services are available on all ships for American Cruise Lines. There is a fee for this service.
- Laundry Facility Included in Fare: On the Queen of the Mississippi, there are wash and dryer units are available. Soap is provided and the machines are free to use. The washers and dryers are designed for light loads. None of the other ships in the American Cruise Lines’ fleet offer this amenity.
American Queen Steamboat Company
- Laundry Facility Included in Fare: There are several washers and dryers located around the ship for light loads. They are free to use and soap is also provided for guests.
- Laundry Service Included for suites: Laundry & ironing service is included in the Junior and Balcony suites only.
- Laundry and pressing services are available on Avalon Waterways for a fee. The price list is located in each stateroom.
- Laundry services may be arranged through your Suite Attendant or your Butler. Laundry charges will be billed to your shipboard account. Complimentary self-service Guest Laundry, including washing machines, detergent, fabric softener, dryers, irons and ironing boards are provided on Deck 1 on Crystal Bach, Crystal Mahler, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel.
- Emerald Cruises offers onboard laundry services and charges a fee per piece of laundry. For handwashed garments, there is a clothesline in the shower.
- Laundry Service Included in Fare: For passengers who book an Owner’s Suite or a Grand Balcony Suite, free laundry service it provided. With an Owner’s Suite, you’ll receive laundry service for 4 complimentary items. And for the Grand Circle Suite, you’re allowed 2 complimentary items of laundry per day.
- Grand Circle offers a paid laundry service on all of its vessels.
- Laundry Service Included in Fare: Laundry service is provided as part of the Private Butler Service offered by Scenic Cruises. As of this writing, the service is a one-time courtesy with a two-pound limit.
- Tauck offers a paid laundry service on all of its ships. See prices here.
- Laundry Facility Included in Fare: Washers and dryers are available on most ships and are free to use.
- Laundry Service Included in Fare: Riverview Staterooms and Suites receive free laundry service. Other stateroom categories must pay a fee for this service. Also River Heritage guests receive free, one-time laundry service.
Vantage Deluxe World Travel
- Laundry services for a per item fee.
- Members of Vantage’s Presidents Club (achieved after three Vantage Vacations trips – not necessarily river cruises) also receive a €20 laundry credit.
- Paid laundry services are available on all Viking River Cruises’ ships. The fees for European river cruises range in price from $1 per item to $6 per item. In Asia these services range from $2 per item to $5 per item; however, the list of what can be laundered or pressed is more limited on river cruises in Asia.
Laundry Services or Facilities: Companies That Do Not Offer These Onboard
- There are no laundry services or facilities offered onboard any of CroisiEurope’s ships. In some destinations, laundry can be sent out for cleaning fee while the boat is docked. There is a fee for this service.
Laundry Services or Facilities – Additional Value
It’s can be convenient to have laundry service available or access to a washer and dryer while you’re traveling. This is especially true if you’ll 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. That’s a pretty nice savings for the convenience it provides.
See other all-inclusive river cruise articles in this series:
Elsa Nystrom says
On all our cruises with Uniworld, we have never paid anything for laundry service. On our first cruise, I washed and dried items in the guest laundry. When we became River Heritage members after our first cruise, we got one free laundry service per week, no limit of items. When Air France temporarily lost our check bag, Uniworld insisted on washing my husband’s clothes practically every day until the bag showed up. Ignoring my advice, he hadn’t packed a change or two in his carry on. Last summer, the laundry lady seemed disappointed if we didn’t have anything that needed washing.
She was very sweet.
Sarah Phillips says
Free washers and dryers with soap and softener were available on the American Cruise Line’s American Pride on Columbia River as well as America on the Mississippi River. Traveled both over the last 14 months.
G S Goede says
Thanks for this info re American Pride laundry. This type of info is hard to find, and even the Customer Service reps get it wrong.
Tom Kelly says
Vantage Deluxe also offers laundry services for a per item fee. Members of their Presidents Club (after 3 Vantage Vacations trips…not necessarily river cruises) also receive a 20 euro laundry credit. Yet another Vantage advantage!
Ralph Grizzle says
Tom, you should be our Vantage reporter. Thanks for this info. I’m adding it above.