Q – There is lots to absorb here and we’re reading everything you’ve provided for us twice over. But we’re doing it in the context of not wanting to have to re-mortgage just to see if we really like river cruising enough to repeat the experience. Based on the information you’ve provided, it seems that we are going to be looking at either Viking River or Uniworld for this trip, hopefully sailing in France and visiting Normandy. Our reading tells us that Uniworld is more inclusive, likely has more gourmet food, and, perhaps, a more sophisticated crowd. But we’re not seeing any hard cost comparisons on your site and we’re wondering if you could give us a summary of the cost of these two lines on a daily basis?
A – Fair question and we will do our best to include more pricing information when we are asked. It gets a bit confusing because we are rarely comparing bananas to bananas, but your point is well taken.
If you have read our stuff, most of it or all of it, you know that we would never recommend choosing any travel product based on price. That is the fastest route to disappointment. We always suggest delaying your trip or doing one nice one instead of two mediocre experiences for a lifetime memory. But we don;t want you blaming us for a second mortgage so this is what you can take to the bank:
Any pricing comparison of per day (per diem) costs would not take into consideration which services are inclusive and which are not. It would not take into consideration whether or not drinks and gratuities are included or the training and size of the staff, So just looking at the per diems will give you a general sense of cost but unless you hired this year’s graduating class at MIT to drill down for analysis, there are going to be numerous variables. The biggest variable on Viking is the fact that it is likely you will end up purchasing shore excursions as the one shore excursion included in each port is usually the very worst option. Viking is not an inclusive product – Uniworld is.
Comparing a Danube sailing in 2019 in similar mid-level veranda staterooms, Uniworld’s per diem, depending on date is in the range of $522 Per Person Per Day. Viking is closer to $336 Per Person Per Day. We offer our clients per diem price comparisons for all of the major lines and your travel consultant will do the same. You will also want to discuss what is NOT included in your fare as, you might be shocked to know, the ads really don;t point that out. Speak directly to a river boat headset and you will not get anything but “fake product news”. Dear with a professionals since you will be paying for it anyway.