Budget

Best Cruise Deals Around the World

by Brook Wilkinson

Central Europe

Conde Nast Traveler

AmaWaterways
Ships: Amacello, Amadante, and Amalyra
Best for: Culture vultures and landlubbers
Why it's a good value: River cruises allow for more time on land—and a lot less money spent on hotel rooms
Length: 12 nights
Departures: August through November 2009
Number of Passengers: 148
Cost: From $3,000

Imagine a cruise with no waits for tenders to take you ashore, a five-minute walk from your cabin to old-world capitals, and market-fresh produce at every meal. That's what you'll find on this Danube River cruise. Three factors make AmaWaterways's ships better than the river-cruise competition: elevators, French balconies on most cabins, and complimentary bicycles for independent exploring. You'll start your trip with two nights in a Budapest hotel, then board the ship for cocktails as the city lights fade into the distance. You can go souvenir shopping in Bratislava, known for its glasswork and folk art; attend a concert in Vienna; and wander the ancient Bavarian city of Regensburg (pictured), with its wonderfully preserved medieval architecture and Roman ruins. The cruise fare includes shore excursions, regional wines with dinner, and onboard performances by local groups. At the end of the Danube journey, guests are transferred to a Prague hotel for two more days of sightseeing (800-626-0126; amawaterways.com).

Value Cruises: Central Europe

NEXT: Western Mediterranean

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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