Europe’s 2019 river cruise season has kicked off this month with lots of bullish talk, a series of new ships – and some very special bargain fares.
No-one knows whether it is a hangover from last year’s historically low water levels or the continuing chaos over Brexit, but the season hasn’t been filling up quite as quickly as previous years.
Perhaps it is a little bit of everything.
But its good news for river cruisers who have yet to book their sailing for this year.
Book quickly to secure itinerary and flight discounts on sailings that had been expected to sell out long ago.
You can even be sailing on one of the new seven river vessels from Viking and three from AmaWaterways.
Here are the best deals that river cruise lines are running:
Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises has been doing well, but it is offering European river cruises from only $3,995 per person for selected July to September 2019 departures.
You could be saving up to $8,000 per couple when you sail the 15-day ‘2019 Grand European Tour’ itinerary. This itinerary departs from July to September and also has free flights to Europe on selected sailings.
Offers are also to be had on the line’s 2019 ‘Rhine Getaway’, ‘Romantic Danube’, ‘Portugal’s River of Gold’ and ‘Lyon & Provence’.
Book by 30 April and quote CO19 at the time of booking to enjoy these offers.
AmaWaterways with APT
Book select 2019 Europe sailings with the line by May 31 and receive free roundtrip economy airfare.
The offer applies to 30 sailings from their ‘Magnificent Europe’, ‘Enchanting Rhine’, ‘Treasures of the Main & Rhine’, ‘Captivating Rhine’, ‘Blue Danube Discovery’, ‘Legendary Danube’, ‘Romantic Danube’ and ‘Taste of Bordeaux’ itineraries.
Majority of the sailings are 7-nights except ‘Magnificent Europe’ which sails for 14-nights.
You can even enjoy this deal on new vessels like AmaMagna when she sails the 7-night ‘Romantic Danube’ and AmaMora when she sails the 7-night ‘Captivating Rhine’.
Fares start from US$2,999 (AU$4,199).
Remember to mention promo code FLYFREE at the time of booking.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Uniworld is running two offers for their 2019 season. The first is savings of up to $2,200 per person and the second is free economy flights on select 2019 European voyages. The offers are not combinable.
The first deal is offered on four European itineraries, the 16-day ‘European Jewels’, 13-day ‘Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River’ and also on their new itineraries like 15-day ‘Alluring Amsterdam & Vienna’ and 10-day ‘Magnificent Moselle & Rhine’.
The line is also offering savings of $1,500 per person on 12 itineraries around Europe, ranging from eight to 11-days.
This includes two new itineraries ‘Authentic Danube’ and ‘Authentic Danube & Prague’ which visits Nuremberg.
The line has also included itineraries that are enhanced for 2019 like the ‘Brilliant Bordeaux’ and ‘Remarkable Rhine & Historic Holland’.
The free economy flights are offered on seven European itineraries and also includes the option of upgrading to Business Class for just $4,299
The line is offering savings of up to $4,600 per couple on four of their European itineraries.
Departing from Amsterdam is the ‘Magnificent Europe’ and ‘Romantic Rhine’ itineraries. The biggest savings is to be had on the 15-day ‘Magnificent Europe’ sailing out of the four.
The ‘Burgundy & Provence’ itinerary departing from Paris and ‘The Legendary Danube’ itinerary departing from Prague is also included.
Scenic’s 2019 Europe river cruise offers include flights from $295 (including taxes) on selected cruises of 11 days or longer.
You’ll also be able to fly Business Class from $4,495 per person on selected departures.
The line is also offering a complimentary two-night stopover in Singapore when combining a cruise of 11 days or longer with an escorted land journey of 9 days of more, two city stays or a second cruise of equal or longer duration.
The line is running a couple of flight offers for select 2019 European itineraries when you book by 30 April.
This ranges from free economy flights, up to $800 air credit per couple, as well as Business Class flights to Europe from $3,995 (including taxes) and for $995 when you fly Lufthansa Business Class.
The free economy flights are available on 10 itineraries, air credits on eight itineraries.
The Business Class flight offers are to be had on six sailings and the Lufthansa Business Class can be found on four sailings on ‘Rhine Treasures with Swiss Peaks’.