Budapest is one of Europe's most popular setting off points for river cruising.

The big river cruise lines are now well underway with promotional programs for their 2017 pre-release European river cruise seasons and with these come some of the best offers of the booking season. These pre-release offers from APT, Scenic and Avalon Waterways offer savings of up to $7,130 per couple! We have churned through the detail and put together the below summary of the best offers from each company.

The Avalon Visionary Suite Ship is one of many eligible for Fly Free deals.

Avalon Waterways

For the first time, Avalon Waterways has centred its preview offer around flying free to Europe, joining a practice offered by its rivals for some time. The sole offer is wide ranging as it covers every European river cruise departure between January 1st and June 15th 2017.

2017 Fly Free to Europe

THE DEAL: Avalon’s launch offer this year is free Economy class airfare to Europe if you book a 2017 river cruise departing between January 1st 2017 and June 15th 2017.

THE CATCH: A non-refundable $1,000 deposit must be paid within 7 days of booking and the reservation paid in full prior to April 5th 2016!

THE X-FACTOR: There’s a wide choice of airlines covering every major city in Australia – including the sometimes forgotten cities like Cairns and Darwin!

WHEN THE DEAL ENDS: All bookings must be made and paid in full by April 5th 2016.

HOW TO BOOK: Visit Avalon’s Website or visit your local travel agent.

Fly Free to Europe to join the AmaBella - one of many APT ships there.

APT

This year, APT has wheeled out no less than five different offers, however which one you may be eligible for varies depending on your desired voyage and what dates you plan to travel. We have selected what we feel are the two best incentives they are currently offering.

Offer 1: Fly Business Class from $3,995 per person.

THE DEAL: APT is offering this deal to passengers who book selected categories on the following voyages:

  • 22-day Magnificent Europe Prague to Paris itinerary
  • 21-day Rhine, Rhone & Moselle Paris to Barcelona
  • 35-day Britain & Ireland In Depth with Magnificent Europe

THE CATCH: A non-refundable $1,000 deposit must be paid within 7 days of booking and a second non-refundable deposit of $2,000 is due by October 31st 2016. The final payment is due 100 days prior to departure.

THE X-FACTOR: APT uses Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways as their preferred carriers to Europe. Both airlines allow passengers to fly into one European destination and out of another – giving passengers greater flexibility in their wider travel plans.

WHEN THE DEAL ENDS: All bookings must be in by May 15th 2016 unless sold out prior.

HOW TO BOOK: Visit APT’s website or visit your local travel agent.

Offer 2: Pay No Single Supplement

THE DEAL: APT is removing the single supplement (a surcharge levied on passengers occupying a twin share cabin on a sole occupancy basis) for passengers travelling on the company’s flagship 15-day ‘Magnificent Europe’ or 22-day ‘Best of France’ departures in the months of March, April, October, November or December 2017. On all other departures, APT has a number of other special offers for singles.

THE CATCH: Once again, a non-refundable $1,000 deposit must be paid within 7 days of booking and a second non-refundable payment of $2,000 is due by October 31st 2016. The deadline for the final payment is 100 days prior to departure. In addition, the No Single Supplement is only on the cruise portion of the itinerary – city stays and land extensions still attract a supplement charge for applicable passengers.

THE X-FACTOR: Solo travellers normally struggle to attract decent deals on any cruise, let alone river sailings, but this one is an amazing deal even if it is for the shoulder season (a period in between the peak high travel season and the low off-season).

WHEN THE DEAL ENDS: All bookings must be made by February 29th 2016 unless sold out prior, so move quick on this one!

HOW TO BOOK: Visit APT’s website or visit your local travel agent.

The gorgeous landscapes of Europe are accessible on a Scenic river cruise

SCENIC

Scenic has taken a safe option in offering passengers the chance to get their hands on some of 2016’s most competitive prices for another year. This is often popular for guests who already know which itinerary they would like to do without waiting for the full complement of 2017 products to be released.

2017 at 2016 Prices

THE DEAL: As with pretty much anything, price rises are all but a guarantee and cruising is no exception. Scenic is inviting passengers to take advantage of 2016’s lower prices before the full launch of the 2017 brochure, complete with its adjusted pricing. Getting in early can result in savings of thousands of dollars on selected tours.

THE CATCH: A non-refundable $1,000 deposit must be paid within 7 days of booking and exact itineraries won’t be published until the release of the full Scenic European brochure in the coming months.

THE X-FACTOR: Scenic’s 2016 pricing was some of the most competitive in the market, so to have another chance to receive those prices is a rare treat.

WHEN THE DEAL ENDS: Guaranteed Best Prices for 2017 offers are strictly limited and are available until sold out or withdrawn.

HOW TO BOOK: Visit Scenic’s website or visit your local travel agent.

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