Looking at Cruise line websites: Balcony
Avalon 9 days $3638 Per Day $404.
AMA 7 Days $3948 Per Day $564.
Viking 8 Days $3949 Per Day$493.
Also would like to use a good TA but don't know any for River Cruise.
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We have not cruised with Viking as nothing about the line or their vessels appeals to DH and I. We have toured several and find them to be cold and generic. Historically, they do not handle high/low water issues as well as some other lines, due to their design.Ah, beauty, as always, is in the eye of the beholder.
Some of the difference is in their marketing material. AMA refers to a 7 day cruise (7 nights) while Viking refers to an 8 day cruise (still 7 nights), so basically the same. The Avalon you refer to is most likely a 7 day cruise and 2 days on land. We have traveled on both Avalon and Viking and enjoyed them both. Have not been on AMA so can't speak to that. We have generally found the prices on AMA to be significantly higher, so not worth it to us.
I looked at itineraries again to be sure to count number of nights. Avalon is interesting, it shows 'Disembarkation' on Day 8 in Budapest but says 'Cruise ends with Breakfast Day 9' - so must stay on board last night in Budapest. I guess the numbers are closer than I first thought.Look closely at the day-by-day details. At the top, it will tell you how many nights you are on the ship. Also, look to the right and see if there is a "cruise only" option. If there is, click on that to get a true apples to apples comparison. I'm not sure which Avalon you are looking at, but most which are longer that 7 nights have hotel nights included.
Avalon 8 Night $3738 Per Day $467.
AMA 7 Night $3948 Per Day $564.
Viking 7 Night $3899 Per Day $557.
Two more questions please:
1. are Windows cabins in the bowels of the ship - the photos show an nice balcony view while cruising, but how much cruising is at night and wouldn't you be on deck during the day?
2. August prices are several hundred dollars less than Sept - Aug 26 or 31 should be as good as first week Sept, right ?