Can you cruise the Danube for less than $2500pp in high season?


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#1
Chicago Suburbs
900 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Can anyone recommend a lower-cost river cruise line for the Danube? The prices I have been given from Viking and Avalon range from $5000-7000 per cabin for a seven-night itinerary. And yes, I am aware of other promos like free air, group discounts, etc.

I am on a committee planning a reunion cruise and I'd like to have some more affordable options to present to the group. We will have 30 or so in our group so even if the line markets to non-US citizens, I think we would be comfortable.
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#2
FL
14,466 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
dupe removed.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#3
FL
14,466 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
A good, experienced, river cruise TA would best be able to advise and handle this for you.
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143 cruises since 1964, 16 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaStella, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#4
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,726 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
A group booking thru a TA or the cruise line itself could possibly discount the price.

Roz
#5
Chicago Suburbs
900 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I thought there would be a wealth of experienced and helpful cruisers right here who have sailed for less. Perhaps money is no object for posters on this forum.

Getting a discount on a group sailing would be a bonus on top of an already lower price, if such a thing exists.
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Noordam Alaska: Seward to Vancouver August 2018
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Grandeur of the Seas 12 day Southern Caribbean Christmas and New Years 2017
Regal Princess 11 day Southern Caribbean Christmas 2016
Liberty of the Seas Western Caribbean Christmas 2015
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Navigator of the Seas Eastern Mediterranean July 2012
Amsterdam 14 day Alaskan Explorer Jun 2011
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Crown Princess 12 day British Isles Jun 2010
Emerald Princess 10 day Eastern Caribbean Spring Break 2009
Splendour of the Seas Greek Isles Oct 2008
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Mercury Eastern Caribbean Spring Break 2001
Home Lines Atlantic Eastern Caribbean Feb 1987
#6
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,123 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
I agree with Roz that a good travel agent is important. With a group of 30, you might get some good deals. I know that several lines will give a free cruise if you get 10 cruisers in group. Someone has posted recently that he has a reunion trip with Viking and he's got all but two cabins--so a group of over 180! So for a big group, you probably won't find a lot of experience on the board, but TAs and the cruise lines should be willing to talk. Most should have a person or persons who deal exclusively with groups.
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#7
Nashville, Tennessee USA
1,123 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
5-day Vienna-Budapest-Vienna on Croisieurope.<$1,200

http://www.croisieuroperivercruises....thout-transfer
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FuelScience

2018: The Douro: Portugal's River of Gold & Spain w/Madeira extension, Vantage Douro Serenity (April)
2017: Burgundy & Provence, Avalon Poetry II
2016: Canals, Vineyards, and Paris, Avalon Affinity II
2015: Switzerland & the Heart of the Rhine & Moselle, Vantage River Navigator
2014: Tulips & Windmills, Viking Atla
2013: Romantic Danube, Viking MS Vienna (leased)
2012: Cities of Light, Viking Sky
#8
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,726 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by mary_228
I thought there would be a wealth of experienced and helpful cruisers right here who have sailed for less. Perhaps money is no object for posters on this forum.

Getting a discount on a group sailing would be a bonus on top of an already lower price, if such a thing exists.
Really? Just because someone doesn't get a deluge of immediate answers doesn't mean we're all independently wealthy.

To the OP, take a look at Gate 1 if you're looking for something at a lower price point.

Roz
#9
Rhine, Germany
2,661 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Patience, patience, please OP.

Fuel Science, I was going to suggest CroisiEurope, but cannot access prices from my "based in Germany" computer.

I also throw Arosa river cruises into the conversation.

How about an operator that charters ships, Road scholar has been mentioned, they use CroisiEurope ships.

Riviera Travel is just coming onto the North American market. I have had a look at Danube cruises including flight from Heathrow on their website (in pounds sterling of course, but sounds favorable). You could phone them up: https://www.rivieratravel.co.uk/book...-cruise/Step-1

I cannot see a river cruise mentioned in your profile. If you have not been on one I expect you to be a little surprised at the price range. River cruises just cannot compete with ocean cruise prices.

But as you can see we are happy to help with info.

notamermaid
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#10
Rochester, NY
239 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
What rivers are you looking at cruising, and when? Are you looking for a 1 or 2 week cruise? The price you listed seems high to me.
Croisieurope and Vantage often have lower prices, and you might be able to get an additional discount.
#11
Rochester, NY
239 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Oops, I just reread your post and saw that you are interested in cruising the Danube. The prices you quote are actually pretty reasonable for river cruises. Sometimes cruise lines will have sales to fill cabins, and you can save $2000 or more per cabin. As others have stated, I think your best bet is to go through a travel agency that has experience with multiple river cruise lines. An experienced agent may not only find the best price but also facilitate the process with a large group.
#12
Chicago Suburbs
900 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Thanks all for the replies. I found a website (River Cruise Advisor) that helped me sort out some of the price differences. There I noted Croisi Europe, Riviera and A-Rosa as some have mentioned. I will have to see whether my group would be good with cruising on a line that does not cater to Americans.

I am eager to take a river cruise, but must be sensitive to the budgets of the others in the group. It has been proposed to charter a bus for a tour, which I would dread, so I am doing my best to come up with more economical alternatives.
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Noordam Alaska: Seward to Vancouver August 2018
Maasdam Canada/New England June 2018
Grandeur of the Seas 12 day Southern Caribbean Christmas and New Years 2017
Regal Princess 11 day Southern Caribbean Christmas 2016
Liberty of the Seas Western Caribbean Christmas 2015
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean Jan 2015
Infinity 14 day Valparaiso-Buenos Aires Christmas and New Years 2013
Navigator of the Seas Eastern Mediterranean July 2012
Amsterdam 14 day Alaskan Explorer Jun 2011
Serenade of the Seas Southern Caribbean Spring Break 2011
Crown Princess 12 day British Isles Jun 2010
Emerald Princess 10 day Eastern Caribbean Spring Break 2009
Splendour of the Seas Greek Isles Oct 2008
Caribbean Princess Western Caribbean Oct 2007
Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera Spring Break 2006
Serenade of the Seas Southern Caribbean Thanksgiving 2003
Brilliance of the Seas 10 day Circle the Caribbean Spring Break 2003
Sea Princess 10 day Mexican Riviera Spring Break 2002
Mercury Eastern Caribbean Spring Break 2001
Home Lines Atlantic Eastern Caribbean Feb 1987
#14
United States
527 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Very carefully look at what is included in the price. Airports transfers to and from the ship, tips and adult beverages. Some lines appear cheaper but in fact are comparable to or cheaper than companies that at first glance seem more expensive. Look at Emerald.


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#15
New York
9,390 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Think about the 'dis-economies of [small] scale.' River ships hold less than 200 passengers. There is no way the cost per person/day can be as low as mass-market ocean ships -- and if you find one that seems to be so, you have to ask how is it possible? Do they include everything you expect? [Most river cruises include shore excursions -- are you going to be the unpaid TA who plans those for your group?] Is the quality of what they do include acceptable? [Some lines have a fixed menu at dinner, or just a buffet.] etc. Also think about daily life in river cruising: almost all port days -- when is your group going to have time together? An ocean cruise would solve a lot of these problems.
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#16
UK
92 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
As ever our host makes and excellent point. A river ship does not have a selection of bars or spaces which your group could gather in, nor could you guarantee to eat together or even be on the same excursion group. The more expensive the more that is included. Our last trip was on a luxury line but the only money were needed to spend was for one lunch and a few 50 cent coins for the public bathrooms.
#17
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,726 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
The Uniworld cruise I recently returned from had a group of 33 people from Brazil. Uniworld did reserve a section of the DR for them, and they had their own Portuguese-speaking tour guide. They would assemble as a group in the Lounge, and did tend to dominate it. The piano player had trouble singing over them.

Roz
#18
Rochester, NY
239 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by Roz
The Uniworld cruise I recently returned from had a group of 33 people from Brazil. Uniworld did reserve a section of the DR for them, and they had their own Portuguese-speaking tour guide. They would assemble as a group in the Lounge, and did tend to dominate it. The piano player had trouble singing over them.

Roz
Our first river cruise on Avalon had a somewhat smaller group, about 25 people who also had their own tour guide. They did tend to dominate the lounge, which was annoying as they congregated around the bar and talked loudly when the CD was giving the port talk prior to dinner. Several times the CD had to ask them to be quiet so people could hear her. They also had reserved a section of the DR; we quickly learned to sit far away from them because they became quite loud as the dinner progressed.
#19
2,045 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by mary_228
I am eager to take a river cruise, but must be sensitive to the budgets of the others in the group. It has been proposed to charter a bus for a tour, which I would dread, so I am doing my best to come up with more economical alternatives.
It is a laudable objective, but I think you are going to struggle to close the gap between a bus tour and a river cruise...

I suspect you'll end up in a position where the cost will still be too high for those with lower budgets while the ship and amenities will be further down market than those with higher budgets will prefer.

Good luck though and do let us know how your research progresses for the benefit of others in the future with similar needs.
#20
United States
527 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by KathyK13
Our first river cruise on Avalon had a somewhat smaller group, about 25 people who also had their own tour guide. They did tend to dominate the lounge, which was annoying as they congregated around the bar and talked loudly when the CD was giving the port talk prior to dinner. Several times the CD had to ask them to be quiet so people could hear her. They also had reserved a section of the DR; we quickly learned to sit far away from them because they became quite loud as the dinner progressed.


On our 2015 Scenic cruise there was a group of over 40 Acadians. Although they spoke French, they also spoke English. They were friendly and added to the multi national ambiance of the ship. Having a large group onboard isn't always a bad thing.


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