It can be so frustrating when you're trying to plan your dream vacation, only to discover that you can't find any information online because places want you to call or schedule an appointment for details.
We want to do everything we can to help make vacation planning fun and easy—right down to doing everything for you if you want—so we've pulled together this river cruise price comparison guide to help you find the best fit for your budget, or at least help you get an idea of how much you need to save up for your trip of a lifetime.
Since comparing every little detail cruise-line-by-cruise-line would keep you here all day, we've kept everything focused on the big picture and we've broken the pricing down by destination instead:
European River Cruises
- Average Price: $200-$500 per person per night
- Budget-Friendly Option: Tours on the Rhine or Danube rivers
- Luxury Option: French river tours
- Duration: 7-21 nights
- Most Popular Travel Times: Mid-May through September
- Least Popular Travel Times: Late March, July-August, and October-December
- Our Pro Tip: If you're new to river cruising, start in Europe. The flights and cruises are the most affordable, and there is a wide variety of itineraries designed to fit any wants, needs, and travel style.
U.S. River Cruises
- Average Price: $400-$500 per person per night
- Budget-Friendly Option: Tours with the American Queen Steamboat Company
- Luxury Option: Lindblad Expedition's tours of the Columbia and Snake rivers
- Most Popular Travel Times: June-September on the East Coast
- Least Popular Travel Times: Late March, July-August, and October-December (10% price decrease)
- Our Pro Tip: American cruises are usually more expensive than European river cruises and may include less, but you don't have the additional cost of international flights, passports, visas, etc. Take this into consideration when comparing river cruise vacations.
Asian River Cruises
- Average Price: $300-$420 per person per night
- Budget-Friendly Option: Tours on the Yangtze or Mekong rivers
- Luxury Option: Tours on the Irrawaddy in Myanmar
- Duration: 10+ nights
- Most Popular Travel Times: June-August
- Our Pro Tip: Visas are required to enter certain Asian countries and start at $60 per person. Be sure to do your research and/or work with your travel agent to be sure you have any and all needed documentation.
Amazon River Cruises
- Average Price: $500-$710 per person per night
- Budget-Friendly Option: Avalon cruise lines
- Luxury Option: Lindblad cruise lines
- Duration: 9-10 nights
- Seasonality: None, cruises are offered year-round
- Our Pro Tip: Because these cruises happen year-round with no seasonality, prices remain consistent throughout the year. If you're looking for a deal, check for promotions offered by the cruise line at the beginning of the year.
Nile River Cruises
- Average Price: $500 per person per night
- Duration: 3-6 nights
- Most Popular Travel Times: October-January, Mid-January-April
- Least Popular Travel Times: May-September
- Our Pro Tip: While most cruise lines offer incentives for booking months in advance, it's actually cheaper to book Nile River cruises and associated travel last minute. Work with your travel consultant to find last-minute promotions that can help you save big!
Our Final Pro Tip?
In addition to price, also pay close attention to the value of a river cruise. These cruises often include more in their daily fares than a traditional ocean cruise, and the itineraries are carefully planned to be more fulfilling for the cruise-goers. If you'd like to learn more about river cruising, check out our other articles here:
- What to Expect on a River Cruise
- Understanding the Different River Cruise Boats
- Why YOU Will Fall in Love with River Cruising
- How to Make the Most of a River Cruise
Want more river cruising tips? We can help with that! Just schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (864) 979-0610 and we'll share our expert insight and answer all your lingering questions.
Still trying to figure out if river cruising is for you? If you're looking for some guidance, just click the banner below to download our guide to discovering your cruise style!