Uniworld River Cruises has just the cure for the winter blues: Through February 28, the boutique river cruise line is offering free airfare to guests who book select cruises between May and November 2019. The deal is valid on six different European itineraries, including a trip down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel; a 13-day cruise through the Douro Valley in Portugal and Spain; a tour of northern Italy that sails from Milan to Venice; and new for this year, a 15-day cruise along the Danube, Maine, and Rhine rivers.
River cruises are one of the more relaxing ways to experience Europe, and the boutique nature of Uniworld’s cruises make you feel in touch with the local culture. Similar to how boutique hotels emphasize destination-specific elements, Uniworld customizes its ships for the rivers they sail and taps local artisans for onboard decor and amenities. Each itinerary is packed with plenty of day trip options; for example, the “Jewels of Spain, Portugal, and the Douro River” itinerary lets guests choose between a hike through Portugal’s first archeological park, Foz Côa, or a more leisurely tour of Castelo Rodrigo, a medieval castle and village. The “Gems of Northern Italy” cruise, meanwhile, is ripe with culinary excursions, including lunch at a wine estate near Verona and a pasta-making class in Bologna.
How to book:There’s some fine print to the deal, but if you’ve been thinking about taking a cruising vacation down a European river, it’s worth jumping on this one. To book, head to this offer page on Uniworld’s website and view the itineraries, date combinations, and departing airports that are eligible for free economy airfare. Uniworld will handle all the flight reservations for you (airline surcharges and taxes are already included), but if free airfare doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry—the company is offering 30 percent off on the same itineraries for those who want to handle their own flight costs.