5 Value-for-Money River Cruises to Take

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Think of river cruises and the words “expensive” and “luxury travel” probably come to mind. While there are luxe cruises, affordable cruises also do exist and with some research and planning, it’s possible to snag a good deal.

We highlight 5 such value-for-money river cruises that won’t break the bank.

1. Discover the charms of Portugal

A cruise ship arrives at Porto by the river Douro. Image source: joyfull/Shutterstock

Long an underrated European destination, cruise operators are warming up to the charms of this Iberian country. CroisiEurope Cruises offers a 6-day cruise that takes you through some of the most beautiful Portuguese cities, such as Porto, Braga, Guimarães and Vila Réal, as well as the majestic Douro Valley.

Why it’s value for money:

All meals and drinks including water, juices, beer and wine are provided onboard. You can join guided excursions to the heritage-rich cities of Porto and Lamego, and admire the gardens of the Casa de Mateus. These are included in the package and are recommended if you fancy stretching your legs. While in Vila Nova de Gaïa, you’ll have the opportunity to taste local wines. Finally, end your Portuguese adventure with a gala dinner on the last night accompanied by live traditional folk entertainment.

Related: 5 Tips to Save Money While Travelling in Europe

2. Experience the splendour of the Danube

The view of Budapest on the banks of Danube. Image source: In Green/Shutterstock

Cruises are a convenient way to visit several destinations in a single itinerary and the Passau-Budapest-Passau cruise is no exception. This 8-day cruise from Nicko Cruises takes you along the iconic Danube River as it winds its way through Passau in Germany and Hungary’s bustling capital Budapest, to historic Bratislava and enchanting Vienna.

Why it’s value for money:

Start your day with a generous breakfast buffet which includes coffee, tea and juices. The indulgence continues at lunch and dinner, where you can choose from several multi-course menus. And depending on the day’s itinerary, coffee, cake or a midnight snack is served. There is also a welcome and farewell reception hosted by the captain. In addition, enjoy the excellent Sennheiser Audio system during the excursions, and the luggage service during embarking and disembarking.

Related: 10 Cool Hacks To Make Your Budget Airline Experience More Enjoyable

3. Admire tulips and windmills in North Holland

The breathtaking Keukenhof tulip park in the Netherlands. Image source: MarinaDa/Shutterstock

Love tulips? You’re in luck. Be mesmerised by a sea of colourful tulips on the 8-day tulip cruise offered by Nicko Cruises. Let the stunning scenery of flowers and windmills unfold before your eyes on a day trip to the famed Keukenhof Garden in Amsterdam.

Why it’s value for money:

Exploring cities while floating down a river is a great way to tour North Holland. You not only save time but enjoy a good balance of lively city life and scenic landscapes. All three meals are provided onboard, there are experienced tour guides on the excursions and all port and passenger fees are included.

Related: Everyone Knows Amsterdam But It’ll Be a Mistake Missing These Things to Do in Rotterdam

4. Uncover the riches of the Mekong Delta

A young woman rides a boat on the Mekong River in Vietnam. Image source: Bucha Natallia/Shutterstock

Go on a tranquil cruise on the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam, two of Asia’s most evocative countries. This 7-day cruise from AmaWaterways begins in Siem Reap and calls at Phnom Penh, the Vietnamese village of Tan Chau and the town of Sa Dec, before ending in Ho Chi Minh City.

Why it’s value for money:

Meals comprise regionally-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Apart from the complimentary local beer, wine and spirits, you get to enjoy unlimited wine during lunch and dinner. Airport transfer from Siem Reap airport is provided. You also have an option of gentle, regular, active and late-riser tours, which means you can relax at your own pace. There are also fitness facilities onboard, a sun deck with pool and daily cultural performances.

Related: 5 Beautiful Southeast Asian Destinations You Didn’t Know Existed

5. Sail down the Rhine in style

Colorful houses along a canal in Colmar, France. Image source: Gaspar Janos/Shutterstock

The Rhine is probably one of the most well-known rivers in Europe, beginning in the Swiss Alps and winding through to Amsterdam. Discover the Rhine region with this 6-day cruise from Regina River Cruises that includes stops in the Alsatian town of Colmar, the old German city of Speyer and the wine-producing town of Rüdesheim.

Why it’s value for money:

All meals are provided, including daily breakfast buffet, lunch, afternoon tea and coffee, 4-course daily dinner and midnight snack. A decadent 5-course gala dinner awaits you on the last night. There is also a daily music programme in the bar courtesy of the ship’s musician, as well as luggage service.

Save more on your travel expenses with the right credit card

Yes, there are a number of credit cards available in Singapore that allows you to save more on your travel expenses. Most travel credit cards offer reward points on your regular spends that can be converted to frequent flyer programme miles. You can use these air miles for discounted or even free flight tickets, discounts on hotel bookings, etc.

They also offer brilliant privileges like complimentary travel insurance and free lounge accesses among other lifestyle and shopping perks and benefits.

And if you’re unsure about which credit card to choose, check out our blog Best Credit Cards for Travel Benefits 2019 for some helpful insights.

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