Los Angeles Times
The perks of a river excursion
My weeklong trip aboard Viking Cruises’ longboat Var traveled from Budapest to Nuremberg, Germany. Several other cruise lines also travel this route.
Prices start about $200 a day per person. (My cruise penciled out at $213.68 per day.)
You’ll pay more for a river cruise than for many ocean cruises, which sometimes can cost as little as $50 a day, because perks such as excursions and liquor are often included in the cost of a river cruise.
Besides the popular weeklong trips, there are 10- to 24day voyages, traveling longer segments of the river and spending more time in ports.
Among the riverboat lines traveling the Danube are AMAWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Crystal Cruises, Scenic Cruises, Tauck River Cruises and Uniworld.
The cruises vary in several ways. AMAWaterways, for instance, has partnered with Back-Roads Touring to offer bike tours on some cruises, enabling passengers to choose to ride along a riverside bike path during the day.
Some lines, such as Crystal and Tauck, focus on higher-end clientele, marketing perks such as butler service. Viking, with more ships on the water, offers the largest variety of itineraries.