To compliment their thousands of regular cruises by sea, Costco also offers an impressive selection of river cruises thanks to their partnership with Viking River Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. Costco river cruises are primarily in Europe, but rivers in other parts of the world can also be navigated on a cruise vacation booked via Costco. Below is a guide to Costco river cruises, which outlines some of the options available and explains the best way to go about booking a river cruise through Costco Travel.
Regardless of what time of year you are hoping to take a river cruise, the vast majority will be offered between various cities in Europe. The Danube and the Rhine are frequently traveled, and on your cruise you’ll likely pass through at least one of the major European port cities (e.g., Amsterdam) and/or a city with a prominent river that runs through it (e.g., Budapest). Given that so much of Europe was built around major rivers, a river cruise is a particularly efficient and pleasant way to see many of the gems of Europe in a relatively short period of time. The same can actually be said of a river cruise in any part of the world, as cities and indeed entire civilizations tended to be built next to water sources like rivers, and of course river cruises are designed to exploit exactly this fact. If you want to see St. Petersburg, Moscow, and a great deal of what lies between, few options are as appealing as a river cruise. If you want to see a broad swath of China in less than two weeks, a river cruise from Shanghai to Beijing is one of your only options. Costco offers all of these cruises and many more. If there is a major river that can be navigated via cruise ship (vessels for river cruises tend to be smaller, for the record), they will be so navigated, and you can book a ticket aboard most of these ships via Costco Travel.
Because there are so many river cruises available through Costco, finding the appropriate one can be a bit daunting. Thus, we recommend that you first visit the Costco Travel page for river cruises, which lists a number of “featured deals.” These deals are not only worth checking out because of the savings they afford, but also because they are excellent, popular itineraries that might be just what you are looking for. And if not, they might at least give you some idea of what is available, supplying you guidance as you sift through the listings for dozens of river cruises.
In order to find these listings, you will use the search tool on the Costco Travel website. There is no way to search for all the river cruises (and only the river cruises) from the beginning, but after you perform a standard search by selecting the month in which you want to leave (this is the one required criterion), you can filter the results. Costco only works with two river cruise companies – Viking and Uniworld – and you can filter your results so that only cruises from these two companies are shown, which gives you the total list of river cruises offered by Costco in a given month. This still leaves a lot of results to be searched through, but if you have some idea of where you want to take a river cruise, you can filter your results further – you can select, for example, the region of the world you want to travel to, or the port you want to depart from. Alternatively, if you happen to know that you want to sail with Viking over Uniworld or vice versa, you can select this cruise line from the beginning, along with any other desired criteria, before any filtering needs to take place. So, you don’t need to do an all-inclusive search and then start narrowing down the results. You can narrow from the beginning if you know what you are searching for.
River cruises are definitely worth checking out if you are interested in seeing a lot of a country in a short amount of time while traveling comfortably. And if you are a Costco member, you can often get an excellent deal on the cruise, either through a river cruise “featured deal” or through one of the “included extras” (like shipboard credit) that come with booking through Costco Travel. For more general information, check out our guide and overview of Costco cruises.