Which River Cruise Lines Are Truly All-Inclusive?
Although most river cruise lines promote themselves as ‘all-inclusive’ - the meaning of all-inclusive tends to vary by operator – by that, I mean some river cruise lines are in fact more inclusive than others! How? Some river cruise operators include wine, beer and soft drinks only with lunch and dinner while others include unlimited drinks, served at your discretion throughout the cruise!
Most inclusive river cruise operators.
Focusing on those cruise lines who offer complimentary drinks, at the guests' discretion, throughout the cruise... here are the most inclusive operators:
Uniworld are one of the only ‘truly’ all-inclusive river cruise operators. They offer unlimited complimentary beverages onboard, including an extensive selection of distinctive wines, craft and regional beers, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, mineral water, speciality coffee and tea. But it doesn't stop at drinks... Uniworld are the pinnacle of all-inclusive river cruising; Included in your cruise fare is, in-suite butler service, all gratuities, on board dining, exclusive excursions, on board lectures & entertainment, shipwide Wi-Fi and more.
Scenic describe themselves as ‘Ulta-All-Inclusive’. From the moment you step onboard you’ll be spoilt for choice, from your first coffee to the last relaxing nightcap from your mini-bar! Whilst onboard, all cocktails, spirits, beer, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee are complimentary at any time! But with Scenic, the luxury experience doesn't stop at the bar, everything else is included; fine dining, all shore excursions, all port charges, even a butler for every guest and more!
APT have two styles of cruising; 'Luxury River Cruises' and 'Premium River Cruises'. The most inclusive of the two is their Luxury River Cruises. On an APT Luxury river cruise, all onboard beverages are served at the guests’ discretion throughout the day, every day! Including international house wines, local beers, spirits and soft drinks. But perhaps one of the best parts of an APT Luxury river cruise is their complimentary VIP home-to-airport transfers - how better to start and finish your holiday than a private chauffeur transfer. And as you'd expect, all of your food, shore excursions, port charges and Wi-Fi is included in your cruise fare.
Crystal River Cruises has truly transformed the European river experience - from the extraordinary attention to detail, to the outstanding service that is provided throughout. They are renowned for offering the largest luxury suites and the highest staff-to-guest ratio of all European river cruises which enables each guest to feel at home the moment they step on board. You can expect 24-hour European butler service in every room category; Michelin-inspired dining; an extensive selection of inclusive ashore experiences; select wines, champagnes, spirits and coffees; pre-paid gratuities and more.
Complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner.
Below are a list of those cruise lines who offer complimentary drinks with lunch an/or dinner:
Award winning for the ‘best river cruise fleet in Europe’ you can’t go wrong on an AmaWaterways river cruise! Although drinks are not unlimited throughout the cruise - wine, beer and soft drinks are free flowing throughout lunch and dinner every day! And of course, there are tea and coffee facilities available at all times. Any drinks that you purchase throughout your cruise will be added to your onboard account and charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise. Like most river cruise operators, AmaWaterways include all of your meals, daily shore excursions, port charges, Wi-Fi and more in your cruise fare.
APT provide excellent value for money and although drinks are not free-flowing throughout the cruise, regional wines, local beers and soft drinks are complimentary with lunch and dinner on board! Any drinks that you purchase throughout your cruise will be added to your onboard account and charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise. And as you'd expect, all of your meals, daily shore excursions, port charges and more is included in your cruise fare.
Avalon Waterways express that ‘just about everything is included’ … and It’s true, Avalon Waterways take care of just about everything, they even include a private door-to-door chauffeur service to and from the airport (conditions apply), daily shore excursions, all of your meals and more! But be aware, drinks are not unlimited – Avalon Waterways serve complimentary drinks with every on board dinner, including regional wines, beers and soft drinks. There are also tea and coffee making facilities on board for guests to help themselves throughout the cruise. All other drinks served throughout the day will be charged to your onboard account, which will be charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise.
Emerald Waterways provide exceptional value by including almost everything in the price of your river cruise; all meals, daily shore excursions, all port charges & more. In terms of drinks... Emerald Waterways offer complimentary tea and coffee at all times throughout the cruise and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with every lunch and dinner. Any drinks that you purchase throughout your cruise will be added to your onboard account, which will be charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise.
No-fly cruises include all accommodation and transport, as well as a selection of meals and excursions. All river cruises are aboard elegant 3- to 5-star superior ships that have been specially designed to capture the spectacular scenery that they pass: from the splendour of Scotland's Caledonian Canal to the scenic route down the glorious Danube. With Great Rail Journeys you can enjoy free-flowing wines and selected drinks with lunch & dinner, plus a cocktail reception on embarkation. There are also tea & coffee facilities in each cabin.
When you’re travelling with Saga River Cruises, you’ll sail to Europe’s most delightful destinations with the knowledgeable, attentive guidance of a dedicated on-board Saga representative. From the moment you arrive aboard, you’ll be made to feel special. A warm and welcoming drinks reception lets you get to know your fellow travel companions before you’re shown to your comfortable accommodation, where your luggage will be waiting for you. Come the evening, you’ll be enjoying a delicious dinner as your ship quietly sets off to your first port of call. You can expect to enjoy a Saga cocktail party & captain's dinner, selected wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, plus all-inclusive drinks on select sailings.
Think of their ships as floating hotels that will transport you from world-famous cities to under-the-radar-towns – sometimes stopping in more than one destination in a day. Each ship flaunts modern interiors, plus multiple restaurants and lounges for wining and dining. You won’t find any inside cabins, so waterfront views are guaranteed. All TUI River Cruises are full board plus - so you can enjoy tea, coffee and juices with breakfast plus wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. You also have the option to upgrade your river cruise to all inclusive for a price.
Perhaps the most known river cruise operator, Viking River Cruises provide great value for money; including all of your meals, daily shore excursions, all port charges & more in your cruise fare! They may not offer free-flowing drinks all day, but Viking River Cruises include complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Plus you can help yourself to the tea and coffee making facilities 24 hours a day. Any drinks that you purchase throughout your cruise will be added to your onboard account and charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise.
Which is the best river cruise line? Find out what we think here!
Are you a solo traveller? Read our guide to the best river cruise lines for single travellers.
Come Back Soon. Jess Nuttall - RiverCruising.co.uk