Fred's Friday Thought: What's Included In A River Cruise? (Video)

Aloha adventurers and welcome to another Friday Thought here on Fred.\ Holidays TV. If there’s one section of the cruise industry that has received substantial growth in the last few years, it has to be River cruising. More ships, routes and itineraries are added every year and it is now possible to traverse some of the world’s most famous waterways on six different continents.

You may well be familiar with the fact that a river cruise offers a more inclusive package than a traditional ocean trip, but what exactly does this include? Well, here are a few things that might be part of the price you pay before you sail.


When you embark on a river cruise, you can rest assured that all of your meals on board are covered. Some ships may only have one dining venue whereas others will offer a choice of restaurants, but all will provide meals that are included in the price. These could be buffet options, which are common at breakfast, or they could be elaborate four-course dinners. Most operators will also include one or two gala events during the time you are onboard.


Depending on which operator you choose, the level of inclusiveness for your drinks on board will vary. Some cruise lines, such as Scenic Tours and Uniworld, will provide complimentary wines, beers, soft drinks, teas and coffees all day, whereas others, like Viking River Cruises and AmaWaterways, will only supply alcohol with lunch and dinner. Either way, though, much of what you drink on board will be included.

Shore Excursions

Compared to ocean cruises, there may not be as many options when it comes to shore excursions, but there is usually at least one tour that is included in the price. More than often, this is a walking tour of the destination, to help you see the main sights before you head off to the next port of call. Operators such as AmaWaterways and Uniworld will even also give you the opportunity to borrow a bike and explore on your own.


In this day and age, we all want to be connected wherever we are and that includes whilst we are on holiday. River cruise lines are aware of this and so many include Wi-Fi access in their prices. AmaWaterways, Avalon, Emerald Waterways, Viking River Cruises, Scenic Tours, CroisiEurope and Uniworld all have complimentary ship-wide Wi-Fi on all of their vessels in Europe. However, when travelling further afield, along the Mekong or Irrawaddy rivers, for example, an internet café may be provided instead.


Gratuities are possibly the most frustrating part of any cruise; largely because no one really knows how much you’re supposed to give, when you are supposed to give it and who you are supposed to be tipping. Lines like Avalon, Emerald Waterways and Uniworld have pre-empted this and included the gratuities in your cruise price. This means they won’t be added at the end of your cruise, leaving you with a substantial bill to pay, and you don’t have to worry about following the confused etiquette that is part and parcel of tipping.

Well, that’s all we have time for this week. I hope this video has given you more of an idea as to what is included in your average river cruise and if you would like to know more, or you wish to book, you can always head over to Thanks for watching and we’ll see you again next time for another Friday Thought from Fred.\. Goodbye.

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