Wine-tasting among vineyards, classical concerts in centuries-old palaces, slope-top castles spotted from afar: a Europe river cruise can make all of these things a reality. With Avalon Waterways, you can experience all of that, plus expertly guided excursions, impeccable service, and luxe amenities such as open-air whirlpools, bicycles and Fitbit rentals, and panoramic windows to soak in the views. The best part? It doesn’t take a lifetime to make your once-in-lifetime cruise a reality. It’s more affordable and accessible than you would think. Whether you choose the Rhine, the Danube, or the Moselle and Main, here are six ways to save on your adventure.
1. Act fast on a current promotion.
With so much already included in the fare — sightseeing tours, wine with dinner — Avalon Waterways’ cruises already offer good value. But a guaranteed way of saving even more is taking advantage of one of the line’s deals and discounts. Right now, you can get $1,000 off select river cruises per couple, plus airfare that costs only $299 per person. Take your pick among the itineraries and departure dates, and book by February 19 for travel through the end of 2019.
2. Focus on the seasons and book when prices drop.
Timing is everything when it comes to booking a cruise. The season for river cruising in Europe runs from April through October (the month of December also offers some Christmas market-themed voyages). The beginning and end of this stretch of time, aka the “shoulder” seasons, tend to offer some of the most wallet-friendly fares, though every month offers its advantages, whether it be gloriously pleasant weather or uncrowded access to sights. To double up on savings, keep track of prices within these value periods, and book your cruise when the fare lowers.
3. Always check the limited-time deals page.
Some of the best deals come and go quickly. Check Avalon Waterways’ limited-time deals page frequently to browse the latest offerings. This is a particularly good way to capture your dream cruise if you already have an idea of what you want — and can book at moment’s notice — or otherwise when you have some flexibility when it comes to destinations and travel dates.
4. Book early — the best cabins go quickly.
The Avalon Waterways fleet takes accommodation to the next level. These Suite Ships® each feature a sprawling Panorama Suite with the widest opening windows in river cruising that create an Open-Air Balcony. This suite also has an inviting bed that faces the ever-changing scenery. If you have a specific deck preference, or crave a sumptuous stay in one of the top-category suites, be sure to book quickly. The earlier you confirm your booking, the more choice you’ll have. The most coveted staterooms get claimed in a heartbeat.
5. Know your destinations and what they cost.
Though all of your meals are covered when you sail with Avalon Waterways, you’ll still want to save and make smart sightseeing choices when you’re on land, whether you choose to enjoy a meal off the ship or bring home souvenirs for your loved ones. Start your research by browsing the Know Before You Go guides. After embarkation, download the AvalonGo app, which offers a curated collection of recommendations for what to see and do while you’re in port. You can preview destinations before your shore excursions or explore them on your own in your leisure time. There’s even an offline map feature so you can navigate your way around and get back to the ship without having to scramble for a Wi-fi connection.
6. Get on the mailing list so you're always in the know
Staying informed can help you score a deal, and insiders are always first to get the scoop. Sign up for Avalon’s mailing list so you too can stay abreast of the news and offers.