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Viking vs. Ama Danube fall 2020

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We are planning our first river cruise for next year and have settled on the Danube between Budapest and Germany. We have sort of settled on either Ama or Viking. I read the comparison article https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2496 but have come away more confused than before.

 

Right up front the article says that they are similarly priced, but we find a huge price difference for the same week and class of room. For instance, for the week of 10/9 a French balcony on Ama is $9634 but on Viking is only $6998. So I guess my question is what has changed? It almost seems like Ama is now priced much closer to Crystal and Uniworld, so I am thinking that they have dramatically increased their prices. Is there enough of a difference between these two lines to justify this difference in cost?

 

Also, the article says that Viking does not require final payment until 90 days before sailing, whereas it is actually 30 days after booking or something else similar.

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The most recent cruise articles articles have a URL ending in the 4,000s – so this article [2496] is now quite dated.

 

Yes, Viking is generally cheaper and yes they are now enforcing the very early payment deadline.  Why the price difference?  Two objective reasons I know of:  (1) according to Berlitz, AMA spends more on food and wine that any other river cruise line [except maybe Crystal, which was too new when the latest edition was edited]; (2) Viking ships have a capacity of 190 paying customers, while AMA has only 156-164.  Viking's price is 73% of AMA's in your example.  AMA's ships hold 82-86% as many passengers; their cabins are generally larger, and there is more public space [recent post mentioned that Viking can only accommodate all passengers in the lounge by bringing in folding chairs – AMA's lounges hold all pax in comfy seating].  Put the two together and the cost should be higher.  Only you can decide if the better quality food and wine, and more room per passenger, is worth the difference.

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Isn't AMA more inclusive than Viking, similar to Uniworld?

 

Roz

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2 minutes ago, Roz said:

Isn't AMA more inclusive than Viking, similar to Uniworld?

 

Roz

 

AMA doesn't include gratuities or 24/7 liquor.  They do include wine and beer with meals and a complimentary happy hour before dinner – which would be all the alcohol I would need.  They also offer a wider choice of excursions than Viking – lots of little things that [IMO] add up a lot.

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Just now, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

AMA doesn't include gratuities or 24/7 liquor.  They do include wine and beer with meals and a complimentary happy hour before dinner – which would be all the alcohol I would need.  They also offer a wider choice of excursions than Viking – lots of little things that [IMO] add up a lot.

 

Thanks for the info.  I didn't realize AMA doesn't include gratuities or 24/7 liquor, but like you, what do offer in the way of included alcohol would be more than enough for me.

 

Roz

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I just returned from an AMA cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam.  I’ve never been on Viking but looking at their website, there is nothing missing on what they include in their cruises that AMA includes.

 

As Jazzbeau pointed out, AMA does provide a variety of excursions that Viking my not; I really couldn’t say and I’ll bow to him on that one.

Edited by d9704011
Excursions

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We have used both lines and enjoyed them equally, they are different but the same..... More activities on board Viking but more excursion choices and bikes on AMA.  You cant go wrong with either.

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One other consideration to keep in mind: Unlike ocean cruising, there tend to be more variables with river levels. At certain times of year, water levels can be unusually high or low, which can affect how the boats can move (or not) on the rivers. So it's a good idea to read reviews of the two lines to see how they each handle water issues, and more specifically, how they treat passengers when issues arise.

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Can someone explain having to pay for the entire cruise within 30 days of booking. I know i will buy trip insurance but i thought only airlines required full payment right away

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25 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

Can someone explain having to pay for the entire cruise within 30 days of booking. I know i will buy trip insurance but i thought only airlines required full payment right away

 

Viking doesn't require this in other countries, but they seem to be selling enough cabins in the US with this payment plan that they 'can.'

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41 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

Can someone explain having to pay for the entire cruise within 30 days of booking. I know i will buy trip insurance but i thought only airlines required full payment right away

 

That is a turnoff for me. 

 

Roz 

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