Danube River Cruise Pricing Charts 2020

Danube River Cruise Prices 2020 is the fourth of a series of price and "what's included?"comparison charts and articles featuring eight European River Cruises offered by 10 world class river cruise lines. Each post in the series will feature two separate charts, one for summer peak and one for the autumn season.

Danube 2020 pricing
Comparison charts serve as a guide and attempt to answer: What is the price for an entry-level and upgrade cabin; what's included Danube River cruise 2020; what Danube river cruise incentives are there for 2020? 

The goal is to provide a True Per Diem for each cruise. The charts answer the questions: What is a Danube river cruise going to cost me and how does the cruise I am looking at compare to Danube river cruises offered by other companies?

Why Cruise The Danube?

The charts in this post focus on seven-nights/eight-days on the legendary Danube. The Danube is my number one choice for people new to river cruising. Why? For starters, the Danube is Europe's second longest river, touching the banks of ten countries and four capitals, coursing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, to name a few. Stops along the way include historic capitals as well as marquee cities such as Nuremberg, Passau, Linz, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava as well as Bucharest and Belgrade on some itineraries. I've cruised the Danube more than a dozen times and I love it every time that I go because I see something different on each cruise.

The Danube begins in the shaded glory of Germany's Black Forest near the Swiss border, where the Breg and Brigach headstreams converge and stretch all the way to the Black Sea. It flows east to west from Germany to Ukraine, but "the Upper Danube" is technically the eastern side—from Germany to Hungary—and proves to be the most popular with cruise companies. This is the tour for you if you really want to experience a collection of Europe's greatest hits such as visiting the Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or biking Austria's Wachau Valley between Melk and Durnstein. Attend evening events in Viennese palaces, lit in their full glory, to witness a waltz or concert, or a stroll from Buda to Pest undoubtedly confirm poets' romantic notions of European charm and grace.

Night cruise through Budapest. © 2016 Ralph Grizzle

Most seven to ten-night itineraries allow sufficient time to explore the major cities along the river. The most common route extends between Passau, Germany and Budapest, Hungary. Prague is often listed as a starting or ending point of a cruise; however, Prague is not located on the Danube River. It's about 140 miles north of Passau and about 190 northeast of Nuremberg, with guests bussed to and from the ship.

Some vessels operate roundtrip from Passau, Germany, the "City of Three Rivers," where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube rivers converge. The city of Passau is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful Patrician houses, and St. Stephen's Cathedral, which is a masterpiece of baroque architecture. For the most part, the Upper Danube spans more than a mile wide, meandering through fertile plateaus dotted with fairy-tale fortresses, with the only narrow, canyon-like gorges being Hungary's Visegrád north of Budapest and the Iron Gates on the Lower Danube.

Danube cruises also include sailings between Vienna or Budapest to Nuremberg, which requires transiting the section of the Main-Danube Canal over the Franconian Alps. This passage is known as Europe's Continental Divide. This canal or "Divide" was the vision of Charlemagne, and took 1,200 years to come to fruition—reaching completion in 2002. The Divide is a series of 16 locks spreading over a distance of more than 100 miles, methodically lifting river cruisers nearly 1,400 feet above sea level. The Divide is represented by a concrete monument on the banks of the river. Be sure not to miss this spectacle.

Understanding The Pricing Charts

River Cruise Advisor published price comparison charts for European River cruises in 2019. The price comparison charts for European River Cruising 2020 are updates with a few additions. We have added embarkation and disembarkation ports, the square footage of upgrade cabins and per diems for the upgraded staterooms, much of this at our readers’ requests.

This year, we researched autumn for shoulder season 2020, whereas we used spring for the 2019 charts. The information in the article for 2020 pricing also includes solo and mobility limited cabin details (if the cruise line websites made that information readily accessible.)

The prices in the charts are based on double occupancy. The upgrade costs for a cabin with a balcony are per person. The value of the incentive is broken down per day, per person. True per diem will include the savings of incentives/discounts offered at the time of research as well as the imputed value of items that are not included.

Prices and details reflect information available at the time of research. Cruise lines offer varying incentives with differing time limits or deadlines, and it is best to check with a travel agent or the cruise company’s website. The incentives that are included in the charts were current at the time they were compiled and may no longer apply or there may be a new special offer.

Summer Peak Season and Autumn Shoulder Season Charts with Notable Observations

Some noteworthy observations were made when researching these Danube cruises for the charts, which were completed on June 30, 2019. Be sure to double check with your travel agent or the cruise companies’ websites for the most up-to-date offers.

Nearly all river cruise operators include soft drinks, beer and wine with lunch and dinner, complimentary WiFi and shore excursions. Unless otherwise mentioned, you can assume all of these are included. Not all river cruise companies include gratuities and port charges. We highlight those that do charge for either of these items.


Last year the chart focused on the Amawaterways 2019 Romantic Danube itinerary for spring and summer. This years chart we focus on a different itinerary, the Legendary Danube between Nuremberg and Budapest, available only in April and October of 2020.

For April 2020, a balcony upgrade aboard AmaSonata to category C, measuring 170 square feet, adds $999 per person. AmaWaterways’ ships AmaSonata and AmaViola have further upgrades to larger suites ranging from 210 square feet to 300 square feet with twin balconies. Twin balconies feature both French balconies  and outside balconies.

The incentive indicated on the chart is a Free Air fare promo for this cruise. We chose the economy fare between Charlotte, North Carolina and Prague at $1,600 per person. Please check Amawaterways website for updated savings promotions.

Gratuities and port charges not included.


The Danube cruise selected for the Summer and Autumn 2020 charts is the Danube Dreams Westbound, which embarks in Budapest and disembarks in Deggendorf, Germany. The Single supplement is waived for the June 9, 2020 cruise and the October 8, 2020 cruise. Avalon also offers a savings of $1,000 per couple, $500 per person, for Summer and Autumn Danube Dreams Westbound sailings.

At the time of research all other June Danube Dreams cruises were sold out already. The upgrade price aboard Avalon View to the larger 200-square-foot panorama suite is $1,149 per person.

Guests can purchase pre-paid gratuities at $128 per person. Port charges not included.

Avalon includes excursions offered at 3 levels

  1. Classic – Local experts guide guests through the history and heritage of local destinations where they will learn the legends and lore, and view spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
  2. Discovery – Avalon offers interactive activities to spark guest's interests – from cooking classes, to painting workshops, immersing in culture experiences of the region.
  3. Active – Energetic excursions are provided to keep guests in motion and on the go – from a guided jogging tours to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

There are additional excursions that guests can purchase.

My day as an artist in Amsterdam, thanks to Avalon Waterways’ Discovery excursions.


Free wifi in bar and lounge. Drinks are included except for premium selection. Port fees and excursions are also included. This Danube cruise is called "Budapest, Pearl of the Danube and the Iron Gates Pass."

Port charges included.


All cabins on Crystal's Ravel ships have panorama balcony windows. For the peak season, June 19, 2020 Delightful Danube cruise, Crystal lists a brochure fare for an entry level cabin as $11,398 per person, but special offers include a 2-for-1 fare of $5,699 per person and an additional $500 per person for booking “now.” The upgrade pricing reflected in the chart is for upgrading to a larger Deluxe suite of 253 square feet for an additional $1,300 per person at the special offer prices. The deluxe suite at 237 square feet was fully booked for this summer cruise.

For the November 2020 Delightful Danube cruise the upgrade price to a Deluxe 237-square-foot suite is only $650 per person extra, which is half of the summer peak upgrade price for 253 square foot cabin.

Walking, hiking and biking excursions are included in the fare. Crystal also offers private half day excursions in a car or van as well, which range in price from 900 euros to 1,000 euros.

On the November date Delightful Danube cruise that we selected, there is no biking excursion, but hiking and guided tours are included. There are full-day and half-day private excursions by van or car that cost extra.

Butler service is included with all suites.

Port charges not included.

Emerald Waterways

For the June 2020 Danube Explorer cruise, Emerald is offering a promotion on airfare from $395 for booking an Emerald Stateroom on the Riviera Deck (categories D, E, F) aboard Emerald Sky. Or, choose instant savings of $1,000 per couple.

The entry level suite E for this June 8, 2020 Danube Explorer cruise is fully booked, so the chart reflects pricing for the next level suite D. These suites feature windows.

In addition, Emerald is also offering free flights to Europe from the U.S. when reserving Panorama Balcony Suites (category C or above). Or, choose instant savings of $2,400 per couple.

Entry level balcony upgrade suite C was fully booked for this June 8 cruise, so chart reflects an upgrade for suite B. Emerald Sky suite B has a panorama balcony, which is in essence an indoor balcony.

Free air offers are valid until August 30, 2019.

August is Emerald's latest Danube Explorer cruise in 2020. We chose Danube Delights in October 2020 for the Autumn shoulder season chart. On this Danube Delights Cruise Emerald also has an entry level stateroom special offer for flights from $395. For this Autumn cruise, the entry level balcony C suite was fully booked so chart reflects pricing for balcony B suite, with the free air offer.

On both these Emerald cruises guided walking tours and biking shore excursions are included. Emerald Active offers wellness and fitness classes such as yoga, which are also included. There are additional excursion packages which can be purchased, see website for details.

Gratuities and port charges included.


For the shoulder season Autumn Blue Danube Cruise aboard the Robert Burns on October 12, 2020, a cabin for single traveler on Emerald deck is $2,419, no single supplement fee.

The upgrade rate is for panorama picture window, which is similar to inside balcony.

For Riviera's June 2020 Blue Danube cruise listed in the chart, there is no single supplement waiver.

Beverages are not included, but drink packages are available for a fee.

Port charges included.


The Danube River cruises with Scenic are all inclusive. On all Scenic cruises there is butler service and laundry included as is everything else. Scenic strives to be the most inclusive of all river cruise companies.

The peak summer itinerary selected for this chart is Gems of the Danube, sailing from Budapest to Nuremberg aboard Scenic Jade. The Lower Danube Explorer itinerary from Budapest to Belgrade aboard Scenic Pearl is available in Autumn Shoulder season and not available in summer peak.

Scenic offers Free Economy air for peak and shoulder cruises, $1,300 for autumn economy air and $1,600 for summer. The offer expires September 14, 2019, but could, of course, be extended.


The June 10, 2020 Eastbound Danube Reflection cruise by Tauck was selected for the summer peak season chart. This cruise from Munich to Vienna is aboard the HMS Joy. The Autumn shoulder season Danube Reflection cruise on October 14, 2020 aboard HMS Savor sails West-bound from Vienna to Munich.

Like Scenic, Tauck is all inclusive.

Solo Travelers enjoy special savings on all departures – no single supplement in Category 1; and on select departures in select cabins, savings of $1,000 per cabin.


Uniworld's Jewish Heritage Program on the 2020 Authentic Danube cruise in summer and autumn sails from Vienna to Nuremberg. The Authentic Danube cruise is one of a kind on the rivers and allows you to experience Central Europe’s enduring Jewish legacy with visits to museums, memorials, synagogues and more.

Uniworld was offering a 5 percent discount on all Suite category staterooms and 10 percent savings on all other stateroom categories. Unfortunately, the deadline was June 30, 2019 and payment was due in full at time of booking to be eligible for this offer. However, we recommend monitoring Uniworld's website for other offers.

Port charges are $190 per person.

On Uniworld cruises, laundry, gratuities and beverages are included.


Viking frequently has cruise promotions on its website. Viking had a special promotion on 2020 river cruises, which expired June 30,2019, The Explorer's Sale. This sale offered a 2-FOR-1 DEPOSIT, valued at a savings of $600 per person plus AIR from $599 per person for an October cruise, reflected in the chart as $1,500 per person savings.

For October 24, 2020 Viking's Romantic Danube cruise, the entry level balcony upgrade D was already sold out. That would have cost $400 per person, so the upgrade price on the chart reflects an upgrade to a balcony level C for an extra $500 per person.

For the peak July 17, 2020 Romantic Danube cruise, the balcony upgrade D is $800 more per person than entry level with no balcony. There are some cabins available at this rate. The Shoulder Autumn season seems like a good time to upgrade to a balcony. Airfare savings for Autumn is also an additional savings of $200 per person. Note that the square footage of the entry-level cabin is 150 square feet, and balcony cabins are smaller at 135 square feet.

Viking’s fares include port charges.

Danube River Cruise Pricing Chart Peak Season 2020

ShipAmaSonataImpressionVivaldiRavelSkyRobert burnsJadeJoyRiver PrincessTor
Sailing DateApril 24, 2020*June 9, 2020June 26, 2020June 19, 2020June 8, 2020June 29, 2020June 15, 2020June 10, 2020June 21, 2020July 17, 2020
ItineraryLegendary DanubeDanube Dreams WB*Budapest, Pearls of Danube...Delightful DanubeDanube ExplorerBlue DanubeGems of the DanubeDanube Reflection EB*Authentic DanubeRomantic Danube
Embark-DisembarkNuremberg-BudapestBudapest-DeggendorfBudapest- BudapestBudapest-RegensburgPassau-BudapestBudapest-BudapestBudapest to NurembergMunich-ViennaVienna-NurembergBudapest-Nuremberg
Cabin CategoryCategory ECategory D,EMain DeckPetit SuiteStateroom D*Emerald deckStandard suite ECategory 1, EmeraldClassicStandard F
Square Footage160172160188162183160150151150
Room With A View?WindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowPicture window
Per diem$471$507$409$1,628$485$396$628$713$514$471
Port Charges$27$26Included$25IncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded$27.00Included
Gratuities (on ship)$18$18$18.00IncludedIncluded$18IncludedIncludedIncluded$18.00
Gratuities (on shore)$2.50$2.50$2.50Includedincluded$2.50IncludedIncludedIncluded$2.50
Shore ExcursionsIncludedincludedIncludedIncluded*IncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedincluded
Current IncentiveN/A$500N/A$6199*$1,200n/a$1,600n/a$360$1,400
Value of Incentive$0$71$0$886$171$0$229n/a$51$200
True Per Diem$522$485$430$767$313$442$399$716$490$295
Per Diem/Square Foot$3.26$2.82$2.69$4.08$1.93$2.42$2.49$4.77$3.24$1.97
Balcony Upgrade$999$1,149$329$1,300$900$610$1,050$400$1,200$800
Balcony Per Diem$664$649$477$953$442$529$549$773$661$409
Upgrade Square Footage170200N/A253180183205150151135
Upgrade Square Foot Per Diem$3.91$3.25$2.98$3.77$2.46$2.89$2.68$5.15$4.38$3.03
updated 6/27/2019
Notes about our methodology

* Nights - A 7-night river cruise spans 8 days, but one of those days is the disembarkation day. For that reason, the "per diems" are calculated based on the number of "nights" on board. The result is a fairer assessment than calculating the cost per "day."

* Per Diem - The rate divided by the number of nights on board, indicated per person but based on double occupancy. Solo travelers will, in most cases, pay single supplements.

* Gratuities (on ship) - Some companies include gratuities for crew, others leave it to their guests to take care of gratuities.

* Gratuities (on shore) - Just as with crew gratuities, some companies take care of on-shore gratuities for guides and drivers; other companies leave it to their guests.

* Beverages - Nearly all river cruise companies offer complimentary soft drinks, speciality coffees, beer and wine during lunch and dinner. In between mealtimes, though, you'll pay for most beverages when traveling with AmaWaterways and Viking. Beverages are included on CroisiEurope, Scenic, and Uniworld. AmaWaterways introduced a "Sip & Sail" Happy Hour in 2018, which includes complimentary cocktails before dinner.

* Optional Shore Excursions - All river cruise companies include complimentary excursions in most, if not all, ports of call. However, some companies offer optional shore excursions for a fee.

* Current Incentive (per person) - Riviera does not offer booking incentives. The rest offer a range of incentives, ranging from early-booking savings to two-for-ones and reduced or free air. The incentives are always changing so be sure to check with your travel seller or the cruise company about current offers.

* Value of Incentive (per day/pp) - We've divided the amount of the incentive by the number of nights to arrive at a per-diem value.

* Balcony Upgrade - Nearly all of the entry-level staterooms feature fixed windows.

Danube River Cruise Pricing Chart Shoulder Season 2020

ShipViolaViewVivaldiMozartStarRobert BurnsPearlSavorRiver PrincessEgil
Sailing DateNovember 9, 2020October 8, 2020October 2, 2020November 9, 2020October 18, 2020October 12, 2020October 14, 2020October 14, 2020October 25, 2020October 24, 2020
ItineraryLegendary DanubeDanube Dreams WB*Budapest, Pearl of the Danube...Delightful DanubeDanube DelightsBlue DanubeLower Danube ExplorerDanube Reflection WBAuthentic DanubeRomantic Danube
Embark-DisembarkNuremberg-BudapestBudapest-DeggendorfBudapest-BudapestRegensburg-BudapestBudapest- NurembergBudapestBudapest- BelgradeVienna- MunichVienna-NurembergNuremberg-Budapest
Cabin CategoryCategory ECategory D,EMain DeckPetit SuiteStateroom EEmerald deckStandard suite ECategory 1ClassicStandard F
Square Footage160172160188162183160150151150
Room With A View?WindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowWindowPicture window
Per diem$471$536$409$1,141$428$346$642$570$443$428
Port Charges27.00$10Included$25IncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded$27.00Included
Gratuities (on ship)$18$18.00$18.00IncludedIncluded$18IncludedIncludedIncluded$18
Gratuities (on shore)$2.50$2.50$2.50Includedincluded$2.50IncludedIncludedIncluded$2.50
Shore ExcursionsIncludedIncludedIncludedincluded*Included*IncludedIncludedIncludedIncludedincluded
Current Incentive$1,000$500N/A$4,999$1,200n/a$1,399n/a$310$1,500
Value of Incentive$143$71$0$714$171$0$200n/a$44$214
True Per Diem$379$509$430$452$260$392$442$573$425$238
Per Diem/Square Foot$2.37$2.96$2.69$2.40$1.60$2.14$2.76$3.82$2.82$1.59
Balcony Upgrade$699$1,149$329$650$1,100$610$1,050$400$1,200$500
Balcony Per Diem$479$673$477$545$417$479$592$630$597$309
Square Footage Upgrade155200N/A237180183205150151135
Per Diem/Upgrade Square Foot$3.09$3.37$2.98$2.30$2.37$2.62$3$4.20$3.95$2.28
updated 6/27/2019

The post Danube River Cruise Pricing Charts 2020 appeared first on River Cruise Advisor.

Article ID: ART4396

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