The Riviera Travel Blog

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Why You Should Book a Holiday With a Reliable Tour Operator

  • Avoid surcharges
  • Book with confidence with a trusted tour operator
  • See all that is included in the price of your holiday

When you’re considering a river cruise – or any holiday – it’s easy to be swayed by a low headline price. However, dig a bit deeper into what’s actually included (or not included) and what seems to be a too good to be true deal often turns out to be exactly that – too good to be true!

At Riviera Travel we strongly believe in fair and honest pricing, with everything you need for a fantastic holiday included in the upfront cost. There are no hidden costs or surcharges – guaranteed. Nor do we artificially inflate our prices just so that we can offer seemingly impressive discounts at other times. The price you see is the price you pay, no matter when you book – so you don’t need to worry about constantly checking for deals or that you paid more than someone else paid for exactly the same trip.

To help you in your river cruise holiday search, we’ve compiled a list of hidden costs that could bump up the final total considerably. Read on and discover what to watch out for, and why you don’t need to worry when you book with Riviera Travel.

Guided Tours, Trips and Admissions

On our river cruises, we design the itineraries to ensure that you miss nothing of importance along the way. All those ‘must see’ sights and experiences are included, with tours conducted by expert local guides who really know the destination. Whether it’s exploring the waterways of Amsterdam in a classic glass-topped canal cruiser or a tour and tasting at a Burgundy wine cellar, we ensure that we include the experiences that represent the very essence of a place.

Unfortunately, not all operators take this inclusive approach, expecting you to book and pay for tours separately, quickly adding hundreds to the cost of your holiday. We have a large collection of European river cruises for you to browse at your leisure. 

Activities and Entertainment

Similarly, we’re always looking at ways to enrich your river cruise experience further, and this often means including various activities and entertainment options in the cost. For example, our Journey on the Mekong river cruise includes an evening performance of traditional music and even the option to take a half day Cambodian cooking class.

This means that, when it comes to keeping yourself entertained on holiday, a Riviera Travel river cruise doesn’t have to cost a penny extra. This is in contrast to operators who offer a long list of additional-charge activities to choose from – that often aren’t very competitively priced. Or leave you to make your own arrangements, which can be time-consuming, confusing and an inconvenience. With Riviera Travel you can be sure of excellent value for money and a hassle-free holiday full of carefully chosen itinerary highlights.

Taxis and Transfers

One common issue with river cruises and tour holidays that include a hotel stay is that the hotels are poorly located, perhaps on the outskirts of the city centre or away from the key sights and attractions. This may mean having to spend money on taxis, as well as reducing the overall quality of your holiday with accommodation that’s less than ideal and more time spent getting around. The main reason that tour operators do this is simply that these hotels are cheaper. Choose Riviera Travel and you can rest assured that we’ve selected our hotels for their combination of excellent facilities and comfort, and a convenient, central location. We also include escorted transfers, making getting around on holiday an easy pleasure.

Local Departures and Connections

The cost of flights can vary from airport to airport, so one trick that some operators employ to catch your attention with a very low lead price is to shout about the holiday with the cheapest flights or transport options. It’s only when you look into the details further that you’ll find a surcharge added, depending on which airport you prefer.

At Riviera Travel we fly from a wide choice of airports, including smaller local airports like Leeds Bradford, East Midlands and Bristol, allowing you to select the most convenient. We clearly show the price for each airport and departure date, so you know exactly how much more, or less, each option will cost.

On some holidays we also offer travel by Eurostar, which includes handy connections from local train stations.

Convenient Flight Times and Dates

Low lead prices can also represent the most inconvenient middle of the night flights – with a surcharge swiftly added if you’d prefer to travel at a more reasonable time of day. Our passion for quality means that we make sure our flight times are as convenient as they can be, on every single holiday that we offer. We’re honest about the varying costs to travel at different times of year too, so you can make an informed choice that balances when you ideally wish to travel and your budget.

Single Supplements

The single supplement is a real bugbear for solo travellers, and can quickly bump up the cost of any break – sometimes by as much as 100%! At Riviera Travel we value our solo holidaymakers, so much so that for 2017 we launched a new programme of dedicated solo escorted tours, designed especially for them and with no single supplements to pay. The only increase in cost that may apply is a charge levied by the hotel for single occupancy of a double room, which we include in our up-front price to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises. We have a Solo Traveller collection for you to browse at your leisure. 

Taxes, Fuel and Currency Surcharges

These ‘secret’ surcharges are one of the biggest price-inflating annoyances when booking a holiday, as you don’t actually get anything extra for your money. We don’t believe in adding fuel, tax or currency surcharges on to the quoted price of your holiday, no matter how much they might fluctuate between the time of booking and the date you travel. We even offer a ‘no surcharge guarantee’ so you can relax in the knowledge that, whatever happens after you book, the cost of your river cruise won’t increase.


It might sound strange that discounting can actually be a hidden holiday cost to look out for. However, some tour operators will inflate their initial prices to then tempt customers with early or late booking ‘discounts’. We know that this isn’t something that our loyal customers want – after all, seeing the holiday that you’ve booked in good faith suddenly available for less can put a dampener on the entire trip. We value our relationships with our customers, so we stick to fair and honest pricing that doesn’t change. Quite simply, we’d rather offer the best possible prices for excellent quality river cruises, all year round.

We’re proud of our no hidden costs ethos at Riviera Travel, and we hope that it makes booking a river cruise holiday simpler and less stressful for our customers. Remember – the price you see is always the price you pay at Riviera Travel!

We hope this has given you the information you were hoping for. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, or see our FAQs for further details.

4 Responses
  • Riviera Travel
    January 29, 2018

    Hi Margaret

    I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t find the availability you were looking for. The number of sole occupancy cabins (that don’t carry a supplement) allocated to each departure varies depending on the ship, itinerary and date, though it is usually between 4 and 9 cabins per departure. As these are the lowest cost cabins they do tend to get snapped up rather quickly. I would reccommend calling our Reservations Department and asking to be added to the waitlist for the departure of your choice.

    It is also worth noting that departures for 2019 will go on sale around March/April time this year, so that would be the prime time to book a sole occupancy cabin without a supplement if you would consider travelling in 2019.

    We have also just launched a few departures for exclusive sole occupancy cruises. There are no single supplements across the entire ship! Take a look here:

    Kind regards, the Riviera Travel Team

  • Margaret Ralph
    January 12, 2018

    How many single cabins per river boat, are allocated to single travelers which don’t attract a supplement. My friend and I tried to book 2 single cabins on 4 different dates, but there was no availability.

  • Riviera Travel
    August 16, 2017

    Hi Derrick,

    There is running tap water (safe to drink) in each cabin bathroom plus complimentary bottled water in the cabins.

    Kind regards,

    The Riviera Travel Team

  • Derrick Butterworth
    August 16, 2017

    His there running drinking water or bottled drinking water provided on board