Which river cruise company should you choose ?
Many times, it just comes down to a personal choice or a recommended choice from a friend/family or cruise agent.
Sometimes it may come down to which cruise might be available at the time you are looking as many of the itineraries book up so far in advance, your 2nd or 3rd choice might be the one you end up on.
Of the top river cruise companies that I sell, will explain how many of them arrive at their pricing. Let’s use the one day rental of a limousine as an example – if there are just two of you, the cost will be quite high. However if you invited four friends to share the ride, the cost for each person would go down. If you invited eight friends, the cost drops again. Now let’s look at the river cruise lines.
To compare fairly, I’ve used the same size ship for each company which is 445 ft long and 38 ft wide (which is the maximum allowed in order to get through the locks on the Rhine river in Europe) I will start with ships that carry the most passengers and work upwards.
Viking River Cruises* – carries 190 passengers
Emerald Waterways^ – carries 182 passengers
Scenic River Cruises^^ – carries 169 passengers
Avalon Waterways# – carries 166 passengers
Uniworld Boutique% – carries 158 passengers
Ama Waterways” – carries 158 passengers
Tauck River Cruises+ – carries 130 passengers
So you can see on the same size of ship, Tauck River Cruises carries 60 less passengers than Viking so of course because there are not as many to share the cost, the Tauck one will have a higher price. Their are other factors that can increase the price too which is shown in the older comparison form below.
Tauck, Uniworld & Scenic have more inclusions (such as gratuities, airport transfers, all alcohol drinks, more excursions) but this changes yearly so make sure you find out what is included in the pricing for the cruise you are looking at.
This was the comparison sheet done many years ago (will try to update soon) of AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Emerald Waterways, Scenic Cruises, Tauck River Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and Viking River Cruises, you can see the snapshot below and if you would like to view it on your own computer as a pdf for better viewing, click on the sentence below
Whichever one you choose, it will be a great river cruise and you’re going to love it !
Ship Name Year Built
* Viking Longship Hervor (2020)
^ Emerald Destiny (2017)
^^ Scenic Amber (2016)
# Avalon Envision (2019)
% Uniworld SS Catherine (2014)
” AmaLea (2018)
+ Tauck Grace (2016)