I can’t imagine ever river cruising in Europe again without a local eSIM. An eSIM is a digital SIM card that allows you to connect to local cellular networks. Add an eSIM from a regional carrier to your phone or tablet and you’ll experience blazingly fast data, and lots of it, for reasonable rates.
As I cruise the Moselle on Crystal Debussy this week, I have an eSIM in both my iPhone and iPad. Both are operating on the local German carrier, Hallo! Mobil. In my iPhone I have a 10GB package for which I paid $22; I put 3GB on my iPad for $10. Both are valid for 30 days. If I run out of data on either device, I can easily purchase a “top up,” ranging from 1GB to 10GB.
My T-Mobile plan gives me unlimited international data, but it’s slow, too slow for posting photos on social media sites and on our websites. Nearly all river cruisers have free WiFi, but that too, while functional, can also be slow. I could buy international data passes from T-Mobile, but a one-day pass goes for $5. For $35, I could get 5GB to use in 10 days, and $50 gives me 15GB to use within 30 days.
Just before the global pandemic began to shut things down, I discovered Airalo, which launched in 2019. The company claims to be the world’s first eSIM store, providing access to 190+ eSIMs globally. To get started, I simply clicked on https://www.airalo.com/, purchased my eSIM and clicked an “install” button. The process was simple and straightforward.
Our sites have no affiliation with Airalo. Nor do we receive commissions. We just think it’s a good service for travelers who need more internet than what their phone providers offer. If you’d like a $3 credit, however, you can use the code RALPH620. I’ll get $3 in credit too, so it’s a win-win but by no means should you feel obligated to use the code.