Travel shows six strategies to trim your cruising prices and how to discover the right river cruise deal for you, including employing a travel agent to book your ticket during wave season and reserving it during the shoulder season.


Beautiful River

There is a significant gap between the on-board experiences provided by various river cruise lines and the excursions that are offered ashore by these lines. It is not necessary for you to spend an exorbitant amount of money in order to discover a ship that meets your requirements in terms of having a crowd-free deck, excellent cuisine, and engaging excursions. Finding the greatest river cruise prices and going at the lowest periods might lead to a memorable and enjoyable vacation that is also within one’s financial means. Before you plan your next river cruise vacation, make sure you read this guide because it has all of the information you require. The most recent findings from our impartial customer survey shed light on the top river cruise brands. Find out which river cruise lines won the praise of past clients and which ones should be avoided at all costs.

1. Make sure you book your river cruise in advance.

The majority of river cruise businesses that we contacted informed us that the greatest rates on their trips may be booked in advance. You might expect them to say this, and while you should always compare prices to ensure that an early bird offer is actually a deal, the fares we looked at did appear to be lower when purchased in advance. However, you should always compare prices to ensure that an early bird deal is really a deal.

We found an eight-day itinerary on the Rhine and Main with APT River Cruises for $1,798 per person in July of 2018, and we only needed to reserve it six weeks in advance of our trip. When we looked into the future to the same date in 2019, we discovered that we could get the same cabin and itinerary for £1,589 per person, representing a savings of over £200 per person. If you are willing to explore the waterways of the world with any river cruise operator, then you may keep your fingers crossed that your openness will land you a good deal at the eleventh hour.

On the other hand, in contrast to airline tickets, last-minute discounts on river ships are extremely uncommon, if not impossible to find. A spokesman for Riviera Travel provided the following explanation: “We never decrease our prices, therefore there are no last-minute offers available. Instead, we advise reserving early to secure your choice of preferred cabin or suite.” River ships have far smaller capacities, transporting between 80 and 250 guests as opposed to ocean liners, which can feel like floating cities with thousands of cabin possibilities to choose from. Therefore, if you have your heart set on a specific cabin type, you should probably book early so that you can secure that cabin type.

Nevertheless, if there are any unknowns on the horizon, such as ill health that might prevent a holiday from taking place, then taking advantage of early bird discounts, which can be released up to 15 months in advance of travel, is a risky approach to take. These discounts can be released up to 15 months in advance of travel. Before making any reservations, it is important to do some research on the cancellation rules.

2. During the wave season, purchase your Tickets


tickets for travelling 

Between the months of January and March of each year, the cruise industry makes available a variety of promotional special offers, including free upgrades, savings for solitary travellers, and BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals. If you do your homework well and are willing to be somewhat flexible with the dates, you may be able to discover a good offer for the upcoming year. You can search the website of your favourite company to see if they are taking part in wave season. Some websites, like as, Travelzoo, and, compile these seasonal offers for their users.

3. Use a travel agent

The task of searching the internet for the best offer on a river cruise can be made easier by working with a travel agent, regardless of whether you are travelling alone or with a large group. When compared to booking directly with a cruise line, using an agent can frequently result in a more favourable price offer. On the website of the company, for instance, we discovered that the Danube Delight cruise offered by Riviera Travel costs only $1,995 per person for a stay in an Emerald Stateroom located on the Riviera Deck during the month of September 2019 and travels from Budapest to Munich. However, if we called, we could take the same trip for only $1,925 per person. If you bring in the professionals, they will also be able to compare schedules across other brands and readily uncover discounts on room upgrades. This is another advantage of using their services. Find out more by looking at our rankings of the top and bottom travel agencies in the industry.

4. Plan your vacations outside of peak times.

Off-season travel is the best option for those looking to save money and avoid the throngs of people that visit popular tourist destinations during the high season. This is true whether you want to chase the sunshine of autumn, find cities enchanting in the spring, or simply want to avoid the summer crowds at popular tourist attractions. If you choose the more sedate months of April or October for your cruise, you’ll be able to get more value out of your on-board experience and schedule. A number of companies have verified that pricing for fares are reduced during the months that see the fewest passengers.

5. Save on drinks


Save on drinks


The ease of travelling cashless on-board and the sense of security gained from knowing that whatever libation you feel like imbibing on any given day will already have been paid for are two compelling reasons to consider purchasing an all-inclusive beverages package. It is possible that a package is suitable for you, depending on how frequently you drink. However, in our experience, the majority of passengers report that they had difficulty getting a fair value for the money when purchasing this add-on.

Take Riviera Travel, for example; it provides consumers with a seven-night drinking package starting at £99 per person for departures in 2018, and £109 per person for departures in 2019. If guests choose this package, they will have the option of having beer, soft drinks, or wine with lunch and dinner, and they will have £14.14 to spend per person, per day. To make the package worthwhile on a 2018 European cruise, you would need to consume four glasses of wine, each of which costs £2.50, and Two glasses of sparkling mineral water, Each of which costs $2. In addition, every other passenger in your party would be required to purchase a beverages add-on package as well.

If you don’t think you’ll consume enough to justify the price of the package, it might be wiser for you to pay as you go rather than buy it all at once. It is also important to keep in mind that the ship you are travelling on might not carry your preferred brands of alcoholic beverages, but that the majority of cruise lines let passengers bring their own alcoholic beverages on board (to be enjoyed in your cabin rather than at mealtimes).

6. Give some thought to the excursions you have planned.

The vast majority of river cruise lines offer one complimentary excursion at each port of call; however, they may be generic bus tours of the city that are not catered to your particular passions and interests. Whether the quality of your excursion or its cost is more important is a matter of personal preference; however, one way to save money could be to choose a budget river cruise line that only includes a small number of excursions and then use a third-party company such as to create a bespoke itinerary for your port excursions. This would allow you to save money.

However, the amount of money we saved by booking our river cruise through a river cruise line rather than a third-party tour company was negligible, indicating that the cruise firm’s own add-ons can be relatively affordably priced in some circumstances. It is also important to note that the ship’s spa treatments are typically more affordable when the ship is in port, so this is something that you may want to take into consideration when planning your itinerary.