Comparisons: Useful Resources For Comparing River Cruise Companies, Rivers, Ships, Staterooms, Pricing & More
The most frequent question we’re asked here on River Cruise Advisor relates to differentiation. How is one river cruise company different from another? What’s the difference in the Rhine and the Danube? What the differences in the staterooms on various ships? What does a river cruise cost? We address these questions with comparisons.
2018 Price Comparisons For River Cruises In Europe
Click the links in the "rivers" column to view the pricing comparisons for each river.
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|Click Between Amsterdam & Budapest Typically 14 days or longer and Includes the Rhine, Main, Main-Danube Canal & the Danube.|
|Click Bordeaux, Garonne & Dordogne rivers Ranges from four days to 12 days typically roundtrip Bordeaux.|
|Click Danube Christmas Markets Typically a weeklong between late November and end of December.|
|Click Danube River Typically weeklong cruises between Germany and Hungary, although cruises also run from Romania to Hungary or Austria.|
|Click Douro River Typically weeklong cruises roundtrip Porto with excursions to Salamanca, Spain.|
|Click Rhine River Typically weeklong cruises between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam.|
|Click Rhone & Saone rivers Typically weeklong cruises between Lyon and Arles.|
|Click Seine River Typically weeklong cruises from Paris, roundtrip, with visits to the Normandy landing beaches.|
Compare River Cruise Companies
Attributes Of The Top River Cruise Companies
|Beer/Wine Lunch & Dinner?|
|Drinks Included 24/7?|
|Two Room Suites|
|Own & Operate|
|Port Charges Included|
While we've tried to be as accurate as possible, sometimes the answer required more than a simple yes or no. For example, while all river cruise companies in our table offer complimentary shore excursions in ports of call, some charge for "optional" excursions. Also, airport transfers are Included when air tickets are purchased with the river cruise company, but may not be included otherwise. We've indicated companies that always include airport transfers, even for guests who have made independent air arrangements.
We welcome reader comments at the bottom of this post for those who can add to a better understanding of the differences between the major players.
AmaWaterways **: Beer, wine and soft drinks included with lunch and dinner; sparkling wine with breakfast. Complimentary shore excursions included in every port, along with complimentary Special Interest Tours. AmaWaterways features twin balconies, both a French and an outside balcony, in many staterooms. In addition to the main dining room, AmaWaterways features The Chef's Table restaurant, with its excellent multi-course, wine-paired dinners, at no additional charge. Light lunches and breakfast are served in the lounge, along with full lunches and breakfast served in the main dining room. Nice touches like gluten-free snacks, fruits, Gemstone detox water, 24/7 coffee stations and more. Airport transfers are included when purchasing air through AmaWaterways. Pre-paid gratuities are offered.
Avalon Waterways **: Beer and wine included with lunch and dinner; sparkling wine with breakfast. Coffee, tea and non-alcoholic beverages complimentary 24/7. In addition to the main dining room, Avalon offers small group (30 people) reservations to Panorama Bistro (light menu paired with wine). When weather permits, grilled lunches are available on the Sky Deck. Meals can also served in the Club Lounge and Panorama Lounge. Some optional tours require a fee. Airport transfers included when purchasing air from Avalon. Avalon's beds face wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Stocked in-room mini-bar incurs charges for each item selected.
CroisiEurope **: Extra charge only for high-end champagnes and wines. Wi-Fi internet access with complimentary use of Samsung tablet. Complimentary shore excursions included in every port.
Crystal River Cruises **: All of Crystal's new-builds will feature Panoramic Balcony Windows. Crystal Mozart features balconies in about half of its staterooms.
Emerald Waterways **: Complimentary shore excursions in every port. Wine, beer & soda complimentary for lunch and dinner. All staterooms restocked daily with bottled water. Owner’s Suites comes with complimentary stocked mini-bars. Room service included for suites only. Laundry concierge available for a fee; complimentary for suites.
Riviera^: Mini-bars are included on all ships except the ms Charles Dickens and the ms William Shakespeare. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner for $129 a week, $159 a week in 2019. Bikes are on board some ships.
Scenic **: Inclusions are for all guests, regardless of ship or suite.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection **: Uniworld charges for at least one optional excursion, the Vienna Evening Concert at 75 euros. Free laundry service in higher-end suites across its fleet. Additionally, most Uniworld ships have complimentary self-service laundry facilities for passengers to use; only River Royale, River Baroness, Douro Spirit, and River Victoria lack this feature in the European-based fleet. Room Service and Butler Service on Uniworld is at the suite level only.
Viking River Cruises ** A complimentary shore excursion is included in every port; there are also additional optional shore excursions available on every itinerary. Beer, wine and soft drinks included with lunch and dinner. Specialty coffee & teas available anytime. Optional Silver Spirit beverage packages are available for extra fee & makes drinks all-inclusive. Room service is included for certain category suites, along with a whole range of amenities. Airport transfers included when booking air (or receiving free air) with Europe. Some promotions offered prepaid gratuities or shipboard credits.
- Price Comparisons: A Look At Pricing Differentials For European River Cruises
- How River Cruising Compares To Luxury Ocean Cruising
- River Cruise Reviews, Viking River Cruises, Uniworld River Cruises
- Compare River Cruise Lines: Which Company Fits Where?
- Comparing the Viking Longships
- River Cruises For Budget Travelers
Compare River Cruise Companies On Specific Rivers
- What’s the Best Choice for a Seine River Cruise?
- What’s the Best Choice for a River Cruise in Bordeaux?
- What’s the Best Choice for a Saône River Cruise?
- What’s the Best Choice for a Elbe River Cruise?
- What’s the Best Choice for a Main River Cruise?
- What’s the Best Choice For A Rhône River Cruise?
- What’s the Best Choice For A Rhine River Cruise?
- Comparing Stateroom Sizes On River Cruisers
- Staterooms: River Cruisers vs. Cruise Ships
- Rhône & Saône River Stateroom Size Comparisons
- Rhine, Main & Danube River Stateroom Size Comparisons
- AmaWaterways: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- Avalon Waterways: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- Scenic: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- Tauck: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- Uniworld: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- Viking River Cruises: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- A-ROSA: What Are Its Smallest, Largest and Most Common Stateroom Sizes?
- Choosing Your Stateroom
- The Best Ships for Balcony Lovers
- Back By Popular Demand: What’s Included On River Cruises?
- All-Inclusive River Cruises: How Are They Defined?
- What’s Included In All-Inclusive River Cruises?
- Is Air Included in My River Cruise?
- All-Inclusive River Cruises: How Much Do You Save?
- River Cruises: What Luxury Means