River cruises are a great way to explore Europe at a sweet, slow pace — but for some the price tag can be daunting. To make sure you get the most out of your trip, we've found three great offers on summer river cruise vacations that add value for all types of travelers, including solo cruisers and families.
1. Travel solo on a barge — minus the single supplement fee.
Most cruise lines base the fare on double occupancy, meaning if you travel solo you’ll pay a hefty “single supplement” fee. But good news: European Waterways, a line of small barges that travel through French rivers and beyond, has waved its single supplement fee for the rest of 2017 — and the savings are over $1,000. For example: Say you book a cabin on eight-passenger Anjodi through the South of France, with a stateroom starting at $4,690. You’d normally have to pay an extra $1,700 as a solo traveler — not the case for the rest of the season. Plus, these ships have a major draw for singles: the size creates an intimate atmosphere, so it’s easier to meet other travelers.
2. Take the kids to Europe for free this summer.
Budget-friendly French cruise line CroisiEurope is one of the few that welcomes children on board, and they've now announced that kids under 16 can sail free on select sailings through August. Take your pick from a 6-day Douro Valley cruise through Portugal and Spain starting at $1,421 per person; an 8-day cruise through Andalusia starting at $1,805 per person; or a 6-day cruise through Venice starting at $1,429 per person.
The offer makes it easy for families of varying sizes since the discount applies to either a family of four (two parents with two children ages five and older) in a second cabin next door, or to one child in the same cabin. And, if you’re a single parent traveling with a child up to 16, the single supplement fee is waived. There’s some added value to sailing with this line, too, since all meals, beverages, and unlimited drinks are included in the fare, and there will be entertainment for the kids, including supervised water games and a closing show performance.
3. Get 2-for-1 fare on a Viking River Cruise through June.
We love a good BOGO deal. Now through the end of June, you can book a 2018 sailing with Viking River Cruises and waive the charge for the second guest in your room. The deal applies to select sailings in Europe and Russia, and also includes complimentary or discounted airfare. Let’s say you book an 8-day cruise along the Danube River for May 2018. Your price for a standard cabin would be $4,538 per person but this deal brings your price down to $2,269 per person. If a price tag in the thousands sounds expensive, just remember the fare on Viking always includes complimentary alcohol during meals, wifi, and all excursions.