Originally Posted by mpeirce
It's tricky comparing cruises because there are so many different levels of service available.
Just for example, if you compare Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises they are roughly the same price for roughly similar trips (obviously season matters, as does room, destinations, etc. but generally this is true).
Absolutely true. Viking ocean cruises are a bit higher than the ocean cruises I've been on. My comments about price are about the ocean cruises I've taken vs the one river cruise I've taken.
I did an analysis that tried to level the playing field by accounting for drinks with dinner, shore excursions, and 'free' airfare (all included on Viking, but not on the ocean cruises I've been on). The analysis was sensitive to my guesses for the value of the things I had to back-out of the price: shore excursions, drinks, airfare.
On the surface, not accounting for anything but airfare, the Viking daily rate was about twice the price of my recent ocean cruise experience. If I priced drinks and shore excursions at normal (high) on-board retail, the per-day price came out to be more on par with an ocean cruise; the Viking nightly came out to around $250/day vs $175/day for a recent balcony Princess cruise in Central America, so I'd say 40% or 50% more for Viking river cruise would be a fair guess. The difference would be greater if one didn't take advantage of free drinks, or opted-out of the many shore excursions on the Viking.