Getting The Most For Your Money, Plus Four Trends Impacting River Cruising | Travel Research Online


Getting The Most For Your Money, Plus Four Trends Impacting River Cruising

For most of us, a river cruise represents a significant investment. First, there’s the investment of planning your vacation and carving out time to do it. If you’re retired or if you have a flexible work schedule, finding a time to river cruise probably isn’t an issue. You still need to plan, though. Planning is likely why you’re here researching on our site, River Cruise Advisor.

Second, there’s the investment of getting to your river cruise destination, and perhaps getting there a few days before your river cruise begins so that you can shake off the jet lag and acquaint yourself with the destination. You’ll spend for getting to the airport, the flight, the transfer to the dock where your ship departs or your hotel. If you’re arriving a few days early, you’ll need to budget for dining out and sightseeing. And if you’re flying in comfort, you’ll need to shuck out extra money for seat upgrades. Before you even get to Europe, you’ve spent a fair amount of money.

Then there is the river cruise itself. There are many, many choices among cruise companies, ships and rivers. Once you decide on a company and river, you’ll still need to figure out what level stateroom you want. Do you want a balcony stateroom? That’ll cost you more. For tips, see Five Tips For Choosing Your Stateroom, Do You Need A Balcony?

We thought it would be useful to take a quick glance at how pricing compares for 2023. The chart below is by no means comprehensive. We simply looked at the cost of cruising the Rhine with five cruise companies in September 2023. What the chart tells us is that you can expect to spend more than $450 per person per day for September 2023 river cruises on the Rhine. Are there ways to save? Perhaps. We’ll get to that in just a moment.

Comparative Pricing

We took a look at 2023 pricing for 7-night/8-day cruises on the Rhine during September 2023 for five cruise companies. All prices are based on double-occupancy, except for Riviera. Riviera’s prices reflect single-occupancy.

River cruise companies typically publish special offers or make available incentives such as including air travel at a reduced cost. And while we may come off sound biased, we find that the best tool in your arsenal is Our Recommendations.

Our goal is to help you get on the best river cruise for your budget and interests. At no cost to you, we’ll help you figure out the process so that you can book on your own or we can connect you with a travel consultant who will assist.

One such travel consultant is Emma Cakmak, owner of A Passport To Travel. Emma partners with us to help travelers who need a professional to sort out their travel plans. Like us, Emma’s services are at no cost to you. She receives commissions from the river cruise companies and shares those commissions with us.

We always try to be totally transparent about the way we work. Working in this way allows us to be unbiased. In fact, we recommend that you use your own travel consultant if you have one. You will often get equal or better rates from a travel consultant, plus possible perks that you may not receive by going direct to the cruise line. And travel consultants do all the heavy lifting, research and they are there should things not go as planned. They can go to bat for you with the cruise companies.

We spoke with Emma recently to ask what trends she was seeing in river cruising.

1. Still Availability For This Year. For those who are eager to put the pandemic behind them and get out on a river cruise, there’s good news. Emma tells us that there’s still good availability for 2022, “except for the Christmas Markets” from late November to around the third week in December.

2. You May Be Able To Snag A Deal. For a variety of reasons, many ships are not sailing full. “I find it surprising after many people pushed their trips from 2020 to 2021 then 2022, I have been hearing that some of the ships are not even half full,” Emma says. “Some clients are returning from their trips and saying there were only 50 people on board their cruise, or they heard of a last minute group cancellation of 75+ people etc.”

3. Travelers Want No Headaches. Headlines of air travel chaos have put off some, “not the hardy ‘I need to get out of here no matter what’ people,” Emma says, “but the ones that are saving up and want a good experience, are the ones who are thinking twice about putting down the money. In 2021, people would jump through hoops with Covid testing and filling out their pre-trip travel documentation forms just to get away. Now, simplicity is the name of the game.”

4. People Are Spending More For Luxury Accommodations. For 2023, clients are looking to book higher room categories. Suites are selling out further in advance than ever before, Emma says. “Potential clients will choose a date or a sailing just for the availability of a certain room category – even if that means pushing their trip out another six months or a year,” she says. :The suites are booking up as soon as they are released. If you want a particular room category, you need to be ready to jump on it once the next years’ dates and pricing are released. I already have clients on waitlist for a suite for a September 2023 cruise.”

This article was originally published at River Cruise Advisor.

An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at

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