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It’s an early bird bonanza, with many river cruise companies offering very attractive deals,  including free flights and bargain business class for itineraries next year.

There are some great deals for 2019, and many lines will have new or refurbished ships available.

With a growing number of cruisers heading for the rivers of Europe (and Asia!), many of whom are booking further and further ahead, competition is fierce.

New this year are the number of lines now offering ocean-river and river-train combinations. Russia, the Nile and India are also growing in popularity.

Our table at the foot of this story carries a line-by-line comparison of what’s on offer for Europe’s most popular route – Amsterdam to Basel.

So who’s doing what?

APT is offering free economy flights and business class tickets at $3995pp if you book any cruise of at least 14 nights on all departures for next year. APT is also offering other Superdeals including companion fly free, air credits and no solo supplements on select itineraries.

All bookings must be done before 30 November.

“Embark on APT’s flagship 15-day Magnificent Europe river cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest, starting at the special price of $6995pp twin share…..Book before 30 November to take advantage of Fly Free and Fly Business class for $3995 pp superdeal,’’ APT said.

APT will have celebrity chef Luke Nguyen on board the 11-day Grand Bordeaux itinerary on MS AmaDolce next year.

“In 2019,you can eat and drink your way through France with Luke. He will escort APT guests on a unique gastronomic holiday, offering an authentic look at Paris and the Bordeaux region through his eyes.”

Prices start from $8995 pp twin share including companion fly free superdeal.

Evergreen Cruises & Tours is offering free flights if you book a 15-day European river cruise to travel next year before the end of June.

The line is also offering a cabin upgrade at the cost of $200 pp, a $200 pp onboard credit, up to $200 pp for one-night’s accommodation before or after your cruise.

Solo travellers who book a stateroom for a 2019 Europe or France river cruise will have their single supplement waived. All bookings must be completed by 30 June.

Avalon Waterways are targeting solo cruisers. They have waived the single supplement across our 2019 Europe river cruises – with savings of up to $9,753 on offer (based on the ‘From the Black Sea to the North Sea’) departing 30 July 2019. Offer ends June 5, 2018.

Couples can also book for 2019 and save up to $2,500 per couple if booked before June 5.

Viking River Cruises is offering free economy flights on its 15-day Grand European cruise on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers in November next year. Prices starts from $5995pp which include return economy flights.

Bookings must be done by 31 July. Viking is also offering free return flights for cruises of 13 days or more to Europe and Russia under its Winter Wanderlust sale. Bookings must be finalised before 31 July. For itineraries of 12 days or less, guests can fly at $995pp. Valid until 31 July.

Uniworld has also launched its free economy flights to Europe for all 2019 European voyages departing before 15 November.

Guests are able to upgrade to premium economy at $1299pp or business class from $3999pp. Bookings must be made before 30 June.

 

What’s on offer:  Amsterdam to Basel 2019

LineCruise nameDays/nightsPrice (from, based on 2 people)Price per night per personDrinksExcursionsFlightsWiFi
APTRhine Treasures8 days4795599YesYesYesYes
Avalon WaterwaysRomantic Rhine8 days2399300YesYesNoYes
CroisiEuropeThe treasures of the celebrated Rhine River9 daysNot released yetNot released yetYesNoNoYes
Crystal CruisesSplendours of the Rhine10 days8630863YesYesNoYes
Emerald WaterwaysJewels of the Rhine8 days3850481YesYesYesYes
Grand Circle Cruise LineRomance of the Rhine and Mosel15 days3580239YesYesNoYes
Riviera CruisesRhine Cruise to Switzerland8 days2099262NoYesNoNo
ScenicRhine Highlights8 days4295537YesYesYesYes
Tauck River CruisesThe Romantic Rhine8 days5860733YesYesNoYes