River Cruising On An Ocean Cruise Budget: Possible?


We have been covering a lot of ground with river cruises lately, and for good reason. River cruises, namely Viking River Cruises fit very nicely into our narrative that closely relates travel to experiencing the world and in turn gaining a new perspective on one’s self.  We report about the places we visit along the waterways of Europe, getting there, packing, and more.  Readers say river cruising sounds just great too and like included beverages, internet, new longships with relevant decor, organized tours to fabulous places at every port and more. “But they cost so much,” is a typical reader comment.  They love the idea, are absolutely sold that they should do it, but hesitate because of price.   Specifically, prospective river cruise travelers are ok with the cruise price itself but balk at the idea of international air pricing and the perceived hassles that go along with it.

I hear that.

I think I can sell you on the notion that it is possible to experience a Viking River Cruise in mid-range accommodations for what one might spend on the upper end stateroom of most major ocean cruise lines.  Total price.   To those who never ever would possibly consider suite on a big ship, this illustration will have less luster.  Still, the exercise is worth following. Mainly because it goes through a lot of the thought processes that any savvy traveler would touch base with going from an idea to a confirmed booking.

The first step is to be totally sold that a river cruise is a good match for you, personally. I picked up a catchphrase from Viking that nails the experience.  They say that their passengers are “culturally curious,” and they are.  They may have sailed on ocean vessels before, on a variety of lines.  They might be ‘I’m tired of big ships’ people who want something different for one reason or another.  We’ll get deep into who is a good candidate for a river cruise next.

Whoever they are, those who choose a Viking River Cruise will see and experience places like those we have in the photo gallery accompanying this post.  These are just photos taken by me (far from a professional photographer) on Viking’s Grand European Tour, a 15-day voyage from Budapest to Amsterdam, last summer.

This is the first of several parts that explores River Cruising On An Ocean Cruise Budget.  If you like what you see in this photo gallery, part two should be of particular interest; further defining who would like a river cruise.