Flights through the cruise line?


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River Cruising
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#1
Sunny AZ
24,591 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We are just beginning to research River Cruising as a possibility in the next year or so. We have booked flights through Air2Sea for our last 3 Transatlantic Ocean cruises at great prices in the past (example :PHX to AMS for $315 pp this coming August). Do the river cruise lines have a similar plan for great savings over booking yourself? If so, can you fly into or out of an alternate city so you can do pre or post cruise somewhere else on your own? Thanks!

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Ginny






My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Alaska with My Hubby - Booked! May 2019
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors -Booked! October 2019!
Japan/Asia
Italy & Greek Islands
European River Cruise
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!

Baltics with London pre-cruise

Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Spain/Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of the Seas 10/17 (Italy/Spain/Transatlantic)

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#2
389 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
We are just beginning to research River Cruising as a possibility in the next year or so. We have booked flights through Air2Sea for our last 3 Transatlantic Ocean cruises at great prices in the past (example :PHX to AMS for $315 pp this coming August). Do the river cruise lines have a similar plan for great savings over booking yourself? If so, can you fly into or out of an alternate city so you can do pre or post cruise somewhere else on your own? Thanks!

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Not sure how it will compare with your much cheaper US fare prices, but when we booked with Avalon, my TA told them we may be interested in booking flights through them. I checked online until I saw good pricing, then my Ta checked her resources, and then she called Avalon. They had the best deal, and no deviation fee, or extra charges. I was able to book my seats right away. Several lines will have deals for free air, or discounted air, but I think you also have to book your cruise at the same time to get that. Viking usually has deals for free or discounted air, but I have heard you really have to check your own pricing to make sure it's not hidden their cruise pricing. You may also have to pay deviation fees, and other charges if you want specific airlines or airports.

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#3
143 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
We're getting ready for our 2nd Viking river cruise, and we booked air through them for both. For $50 each, we were able to choose our flights. We booked this year's trip with "free air" but upgraded to premium economy, so it's difficult to say how much we saved, but we're satisfied (the cruise fares didn't seem higher with "free air" than not). As Daisi says, you need to check prices before making a decision.

Let me add that we're booked on Air France, which has been having quite a bit of trouble with strikes this year and has cancelled the transatlantic flights several times since we booked. That alone makes us glad we booked through Viking, because we know they're monitoring the situation as well and we're confident they will make sure we get there and back, if any of our flights are cancelled at the last minute due to strikes.
#4
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,898 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
I booked flights thru Uniworld for both of my river cruises, and will be doing the same for my cruise this fall. I wasn't able to come close to Uniworld's fares on my own. I don't live in a major city like NYC, LA, or Chicago, so that may enter into it.

Roz
#5
Sunny AZ
24,591 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Thank you all for the information on flights. One of the things that makes Europe affordable for us is the low airfare available through the cruise lines. Nice to know it also applies to the river cruises.

On our last cruise (a Transatlantic from Barcelona) we flew to Florence, Italy for a few days and then from Florence to Barcelona. We were able to do this all through Choice Air using our cruise reservation number for a very low price compared to doing it on our own. If we were to do the Amsterdam to Basel River Cruise for example, would we be able to fly Paris or London a week before the cruise instead of to Amsterdam (w are spending a week in Amsterdam this August)? We would also want to visit Lucerne after the cruise for a few days, probably on our own instead of through the cruise line. We prefer to stay in a VRBO rental than a hotel anyway.
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Ginny






My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Alaska with My Hubby - Booked! May 2019
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors -Booked! October 2019!
Japan/Asia
Italy & Greek Islands
European River Cruise
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!

Baltics with London pre-cruise

Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Spain/Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of the Seas 10/17 (Italy/Spain/Transatlantic)

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come Join The Fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#6
143 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
Thank you all for the information on flights. One of the things that makes Europe affordable for us is the low airfare available through the cruise lines. Nice to know it also applies to the river cruises.



On our last cruise (a Transatlantic from Barcelona) we flew to Florence, Italy for a few days and then from Florence to Barcelona. We were able to do this all through Choice Air using our cruise reservation number for a very low price compared to doing it on our own. If we were to do the Amsterdam to Basel River Cruise for example, would we be able to fly Paris or London a week before the cruise instead of to Amsterdam (w are spending a week in Amsterdam this August)? We would also want to visit Lucerne after the cruise for a few days, probably on our own instead of through the cruise line. We prefer to stay in a VRBO rental than a hotel anyway.


I know that Viking Air allows passengers to deviate as you describe but I honestly can’t remember whether there’s an extra cost for that.


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Norwegian Cruise Lines Eastern Caribbean June 1983
Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean November 1998
Viking Romantic Danube Nuremberg - Budapest July 2012
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Western Caribbean April 2018
Viking Rhine Getaway Amsterdam - Basel July 2018
Viking Paris & the Heart of Normandy April 2020 (booked)
#7
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,898 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Uniworld has allowed me to fly on non-embarkation and debarkation days without an extra charge. What I gave up were the free transfers and having someone greet me at the airport.

Roz
#8
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
We are just dipping our toes in this area but have booked with Scenic for next year under a free air promotion. I talked to their air department before booking and was told it was too early to book yet and to call back in September/October for next August. I was told they will give me a quote and if we don’t like it we can take the free air promotion off and get a $2000 Canadian credit on our booking. We can also pay extra to book premium economy or business but the free air was for economy fares between major gatewaysin US or Canada in the east and in our case Paris.
#9
Boston MA
7,762 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by CarolynFH
I know that Viking Air allows passengers to deviate as you describe but I honestly can’t remember whether there’s an extra cost for that.


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Yes, there is an extra cost for it ($100pp plus any change in the fare charged by the airline and you lose the included transfers).
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
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The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





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RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#10
Boston MA
7,762 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by 1of4
We are just dipping our toes in this area but have booked with Scenic for next year under a free air promotion. I talked to their air department before booking and was told it was too early to book yet and to call back in September/October for next August. I was told they will give me a quote and if we don’t like it we can take the free air promotion off and get a $2000 Canadian credit on our booking. We can also pay extra to book premium economy or business but the free air was for economy fares between major gatewaysin US or Canada in the east and in our case Paris.
That's right. The airlines themselves don't open up for booking until something like 10-11 months in advance. When you are booking, you have to figure when to book based on your return flight not your departing flight.

Using one of the on-line websites that books flights, you can get an idea of what things will cost if you book on your own, so you can decide. Also, I don't know if Scenic includes transfers in their airfare package, but if they do, you will probably lose them as well if you book on your own. That is something to include in your calculations.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#11
Ontario
3,456 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Peregrina651

<snip>…Also, I don't know if Scenic includes transfers in their airfare package, but if they do, you will probably lose them as well if you book on your own. That is something to include in your calculations.
They do and we would. Definitely something to factor in the costs in Paris!
#12
california
1,807 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by Peregrina651
Yes, there is an extra cost for it ($100pp plus any change in the fare charged by the airline and you lose the included transfers).
Good memory, l forgot that I lost the transfers as well. Small loss as it cost me a cab fare In Budapest and a short train trip in Amsterdam.
#13
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,898 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
I just off the phone with my TA. She's booking my flights thru Uniworld, and just quoted me $661 for Nashville to Basel and then Amsterdam to Nashville on the return. No way could I get those fares on my own. The flights are on United and Lufthansa.

Roz
#14
Sunny AZ
24,591 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by Roz
I just off the phone with my TA. She's booking my flights thru Uniworld, and just quoted me $661 for Nashville to Basel and then Amsterdam to Nashville on the return. No way could I get those fares on my own. The flights are on United and Lufthansa.

Roz
Yes! Those are the kind of fares that we are getting through Air2Sea on our ocean cruises.
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Ginny






My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Alaska with My Hubby - Booked! May 2019
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors -Booked! October 2019!
Japan/Asia
Italy & Greek Islands
European River Cruise
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!

Baltics with London pre-cruise

Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Spain/Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of the Seas 10/17 (Italy/Spain/Transatlantic)

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come Join The Fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#15
Central Ohio
3,679 Posts
Joined May 2002
Earlier this month we returned from a Viking river cruise with air booked through Viking. We had done our research ahead of time and knew exactly what we wanted. We paid an extra $50 each to pick our desired flights although our travel agent had to argue with the Viking agent who believed that one hour was enough time to change planes in Amsterdam (it's not; we wanted to be safe with a longer layover, even though it meant sitting around the airport for a while).

We were amazed at how many of our fellow cruisers did not know that they could have controlled their own flights. At our Prague hotel, we met someone who had missed a tight connection and wasted the first day of her trip. On the last night of the cruise, we talked to many people who had to be off the ship at 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. to get to the airport. They all thought that they did not have any say in their flight arrangements.
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#16
Sunny AZ
24,591 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by 2theship
Earlier this month we returned from a Viking river cruise with air booked through Viking. We had done our research ahead of time and knew exactly what we wanted. We paid an extra $50 each to pick our desired flights although our travel agent had to argue with the Viking agent who believed that one hour was enough time to change planes in Amsterdam (it's not; we wanted to be safe with a longer layover, even though it meant sitting around the airport for a while).

We were amazed at how many of our fellow cruisers did not know that they could have controlled their own flights. At our Prague hotel, we met someone who had missed a tight connection and wasted the first day of her trip. On the last night of the cruise, we talked to many people who had to be off the ship at 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. to get to the airport. They all thought that they did not have any say in their flight arrangements.
That is good to know and something we will definitely take advantage of.
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Ginny






My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Alaska with My Hubby - Booked! May 2019
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors -Booked! October 2019!
Japan/Asia
Italy & Greek Islands
European River Cruise
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!

Baltics with London pre-cruise

Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Spain/Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of the Seas 10/17 (Italy/Spain/Transatlantic)

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come Join The Fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#17
Rhode Island
362 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Another option if you have the time - combine a river cruise with a TA. We have done this several times and taken advantage of good one way airfare thru ChoiceAir.


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#18
Sunny AZ
24,591 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by marymcgol
Another option if you have the time - combine a river cruise with a TA. We have done this several times and taken advantage of good one way airfare thru ChoiceAir.


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Yes, that is a great option. We are doing our third TA this fall and we love those rates! However, for the river cruise that we are interested in we would not have the time.

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Ginny






My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Alaska with My Hubby - Booked! May 2019
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors -Booked! October 2019!
Japan/Asia
Italy & Greek Islands
European River Cruise
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!

Baltics with London pre-cruise

Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Spain/Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of the Seas 10/17 (Italy/Spain/Transatlantic)

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come Join The Fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"