Q – Hi! My mom (75), daughter (14 by next summer) and I are planning to travel to Europe next summer. We are hoping to make a river cruise part of our European tour. I have been trying to research and sort through many tips and reviews and the limitations with 3 traveling together. I am ready for some help! My mom and I have been to Europe several times, but never on a river cruise. We want it to be nice of course, but do not need super fancy, thus hoping too to save some money. I have been looking at the Rhone river since it is an area that we have not been, and we have contacts along the Rhine to visit later on our trip. Croisi does not seem to score very high, but seems like it might offer something that will work for us? We were specifically looking at The Carmague and The Gateway to Provence (7 days – package without transfer). Also, we are not interested in being transported back to our original destination. Can we save money on any of the tour companies by not !River Cruise Uniworld B RiverCountess

A – Hmmm – we think there are two or three questions here. Let us try to offer you some specifics:

01 – Crosi is a well-known European budget line that we would not represent. A better option might be Emerald Waterways which is the low-cost affiliate of Australian-owned Scenic, one of our highest-rated river boat lines. But if you would like our advice it would be to sail on a line like Avalon or Uniworld or, of course Viking. You will have a better overall experience. We’d rather see you in the least expensive cabin on the best line than a nice mid-range cabin on a line that appeals primarily to budget travelers. You are most likely looking at cost differences in the hundreds rather than thousands of dollars. Remember to use our per diem cost formula.

02 – The Gateway to Provence itinerary is a personal favorite of ours. We think you are on the right river path.

03 – If you disembark your cruise before it reaches its final port, you will need to have your travel consultant prepare special paperwork to secure the line’s permission (it should be granted) But don;t expect any refund for unused days. There is no way your unused cabin can be re-sold.

Really hope this is helpful.