I’ve noticed many last-minute deals on river cruise fares, which I outline below. I’ve also noticed a lot of deals on airfares. For example, when I traveled from Asheville, North Carolina to Budapest in May, our flights for the trip were close to $1,700 each, but looking ahead, a flight to Budapest for a river cruise in November could cost you as little as $875, possibly less depending on your gateway city (from Charlotte, the lowest roundtrip economy fare was under $700). Last-minute deals on river cruises combined with low air-fare is a winning combination and one that you may want to take advantage of. Here’s who’s offering what between now and the end of the year.
Celebration of Classical Music: The Danube – 6-days from Budapest to Vienna
As I previously mentioned, flights to Budapest are more affordable than they were at the beginning of the year – so now is the perfect time for a Danube cruise. You’ll spend two days in Budapest, where you’ll also visit the Budapest Opera House for a recital. Then AmaSonata will head onto Slovakia then up the Danube to dock in Linz, where you can take an excursion to Salzburg for a visit to Mozart’s Birth House and residence. My favorite part of the Salzburg excursion is visiting the gardens where the Sound of Music was filmed. This itinerary has all of the traditional excursions offered on Ama’s Danube itineraries with a musical twist, such as a composers’ walking tour in Vienna, where Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert all lived. Ama is currently offering 20 percent savings on its November 2023 departures
Dates: November 4, November 11
Price: From $2,720
Countries visited: Austria, Hungary, Slovakia
Burgundy & Provence with 2 Nights in Paris for Wine – 10-days from Paris to Arles
I dream of the day that I will fly into Marseilles for a Rhone river cruise again. This cruise is a little bit more exciting than a traditional Rhone river cruise because you get to fly into Paris and stay at the Hotel du Collectionneur, which is a beautiful five-star hotel just a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe. From Paris, you’ll take a high-speed train to Dijon, where you’ll board Avalon Poetry II. I have such special memories from my time on this ship. My favorite part of the Rhone itineraries is the stop in Lyon. And on this itinerary, the ship will stay overnight so you can have two days in Lyon. There are options for sightseeing tours and culinary tours, but Lyon is also a city that you can easily explore on your own. There are a lot of great shopping and food options. Another highlight of the tour is a stop in Viviers, which is just a picture perfect town from its tree-lined streets to its hilly cobblestone streets. Avalon is currently offering savings of up to $750 per person, as well as a waived single supplement and free-airfare from select cities.
Dates: October 29, November 12
Price: From $4,397
Countries visited: France
4 Rivers: The Moselle, Sarre, Romantic Rhine, and Neckar Valleys – 7-days roundtrip Strasbourg
CroisiEurope is running insane deals on some of its October river cruises – like a $1,397 per person fare on its 4 Rivers itinerary that sails roundtrip Strasbourg. The Moselle is absolutely beautiful during the fall, as the leaves begin to change and the weather becomes tolerable for mid-day jaunts around town. This voyage calls on Luxembourg, Saarburg, Trier, Cochem, Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Mannheim, and Heidelberg. Rüdesheim is one of my favorite ports of call. I love sitting in the streets with a Rudesheimer Kaffee and I’ve become extremely fond of taking the gondolas up the hillsides and looking down on the river below. This is a beautiful itinerary, and one perfectly suited for the fall.
Dates: October 4, October 7, October 19
Price: From $1,394
Countries visited: Germany, Luxembourg
Captivating Danube Capitals – 4-days from Budapest to Vienna
Riverside Mozart is one of the most luxurious ships on the Danube, and Riverside is currently offering some pretty competitive pricing on its itineraries. What really caught my eye, though, were the company’s shorter itineraries. Maybe this is still me dreaming, but I would love to spend four days on Riverside Mozart and then spend a few extra nights in Vienna with friends. Vienna is an easy city to navigate by subway, and most hotels I saw on Google near the center of the city run about $100/night. Riverside’s all-inclusive pricing model includes many excursion choices in each port, like bike rides, beer tasting, museum visits, and more.
Dates: October 29, November 12, November 26
Price: From $815
Countries visited: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria
Interested in more info?