Cruisin’ through inclusion confusion

WHEN choosing a river cruise, it’s important to understand what the term “all-inclusive” really means. travelBulletin takes a look at some of the cruise lines sailing the Amsterdam to Budapest route in an effort to find out what it means for their passengers.

DINING

APT

APT’s 15-day Magnificent Europe offers passengers three meals per day, including all snacks. A special Captain’s welcome drinks and gala dinner also features, with complimentary beverages served throughout the day and night.

EVERGREEN

Guests won’t go hungry on Evergreen’s 15-day Splendours of Europe sailing. The cruise line offers all meals with its packages, with additional casual dining available on the Terrace when the ship is not cruising, however wine, beer and soft drink is only offered with lunch and dinner. Passengers can also enjoy a Captain’s dinner and farewell dinner.

SCENIC

Three meals per day are included in Scenic’s Jewels of Europe 15-day cruise, with a welcome cocktail party and Captain’s dinner on offer for all guests. A selection of all-day beverages is served to guests, with the exception of top shelf whiskies.

UNIWORLD

All meals are included for passengers on board Uniworld’s 16-day European Jewels cruise, with 24-hour room service available for those wishing to indulge in their suites. The line offers “unlimited beverages” on board, including a large range of spirits, while Captain’s welcome and farewell receptions are also on offer.

VIKING

Viking’s 15-day Grand European Tour offers guests three onboard meals per day, with beer, wine and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner only. An upgraded beverage package is available to purchase which provides unlimited access to all drinks, including cocktails.

 

EXCURSIONS

APT

The cruise line offers “Freedom of Choice” inclusions for guests who wish to choose from a tailored group of experiences. All excursion transfers to and from the ship are included in the fare, along with personal headsets and bikes, onboard commentary and the APT Concierge app showcasing local maps.

EVERGREEN

Evergreen takes its passengers on at least one included shore excursion per day, with a local guide hosting the visits to some of Europe’s popular spots. For those looking for some “extra sightseeing”, the cruise line also offers a range of pre-booked tours exclusive to its passengers.

SCENIC

All shore excursions are included on Scenic voyages, with guests able to choose from a range of 27 different options based on interests and mobility levels. Those that are part of the Scenic Enrich program can also choose from optional extras that go “behind the scenes” of three different activities.

UNIWORLD

Uniworld offers 30 different included shore excursions on this itinerary. Guests can choose from the guided and active “Let’s Go” options, which include bikes and Nordic walking sticks; “Village Day”, where passengers can get up close and personal with their destinations; “Do as the locals do”, which offers an insider look at a selection of cities, and “Featured Excursions” unique to each destination.

VIKING

The line has a total of 11 included shore excursions on the Grand European Tour itinerary, with guests able to choose from an extensive list of options. Headsets are also offered. A separate list of optional shore excursions is available for an additional cost, and must be booked prior to travel.

 

ACCOMMODATION

APT

APT package prices are based on Twin Window Suites, with upgrade options available. Room service, complimentary laundry and butler services are available in select cabin categories, and all suites include minibars that can be restocked on request for no additional fee.

EVERGREEN

Suites on board Evergreen’s vessels “offer more space per person than most other river cruise ships”, with all staterooms including a flat screen TV with infotainment system, and personally controlled air conditioning. Complimentary bottled water is also available, along with a minibar.

SCENIC

Scenic offers a range of different accommodation levels on board its ships. High definition TVs feature in all room levels, along with individual climate control, pillow menu and a re-stocked mini bar. A nightly turndown service also features, as well as a personal butler and complimentary laundry concierge option.

UNIWORLD

Five cabin levels feature on Uniworld’s European cruises, with Suite guests enjoying their own butler. Marble bathrooms, heated mirrors, flat-screen TV and a stocked mini bar are also included.

VIKING

Guests travelling with Viking can choose from a range of Standard staterooms, French balconies, Verandahs, Verandah Suites and Explorer Suites. Room highlights include complimentary on demand movies, heated bathroom floor and specialty tea, coffee and bottled water.

EXPERIENCES

APT

APT guests can relax knowing their arrival and departure airport transfers are included in their voyage cost, along with all onboard and on shore gratuities. The cruise line also offers a range of deals throughout the year that includes flights. Each ship offers a range of themed entertainment, along with trivia, quizzes and games. Local artists are also often invited on board to perform. Guests can also take part in a range of activities such as language lessons, wine tastings, and lectures. Onboard wi-fi is offered throughout the ship.

EVERGREEN

All airport transfers are included for Evergreen guests along with gratuities, and a range of flight deals are available at the passengers’ request. A selection of nightly performances are offered each evening, along with onboard shows, demonstrations and educational lectures. Wi-fi is included in all rooms and public spaces on the ship.

SCENIC

Passengers booking with Scenic can take advantage of regular sales, with which often include flights on cruises of 11-days or longer and all airport transfers. Once on board, all gratuities are also included. Entertainment offerings includes music performances, dance classes and folk shows, as well as special themed options such as a Disco night or German lectures. Guests can also take advantage of Scenic’s range of wellness offerings, including daily yoga, Tibetan Rites, and Sun Salutations. The new Salt Therapy Lounge on board a selection of ships can also be accessed.

UNIWORLD

With included airport transfers and all gratuities included, there is more time to enjoy the cruise line’s experiences. From a wide selection of wellness offerings to a range of locally sourced entertainment, passengers on board Uniworld’s cruises are spoiled for choice. Wi-fi is also available ship-wide.

VIKING

Transport options are covered when cruising with Viking, including flights and transfers. Gratuities and ship-wide wi-fi are also taken care of. Onboard, guests will be entertained by a series of lectures and performances, as well as the chance to take a cooking, dance or history class. Guests can also choose to extend their journey with the cruise line’s pre- or post-cruise extension packages for an additional fee.

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