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Tipping on Ships: An Australian Culture Clash
Cruise Line Tipping Policies: River and Barge Lines
Emerald Radiance (Photo: Emerald Waterways)

Cruise Line Tipping Policies: River and Barge Lines

Cruise Line Tipping Policies: River and Barge Lines
Emerald Radiance (Photo: Emerald Waterways)
Jeannine Williamson
Contributor
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The tipping policies for the barge and river cruise lines are as follows:

Amadeus River Cruises

The company, trading as Amadeus River Cruises in Europe, recommends tipping 5 to 7 euro per person, per day. These gratuities are split among the crew members. You can pay by cash or by credit card at the end of your cruise. However, if you visit the beauty salon or get a massage and want to tip the provider, bring cash -- in euros. You won't be able to charge a spa tip to your onboard account.

AmaWaterways

Tips on AmaWaterways are merely suggested. The recommended amount is 12 euros per person, per day, for the crew, and 3 euros per person, per day, for the cruise director on Europe sailings. For cruises in Vietnam and Cambodia, the recommendation is $2 per person, per day, for crew and $10 per person, per day, for the cruise director. On four-night Africa cruises, the suggested tip is $65 to $80 per cabin. Additional tips of $1 to $3 are suggested for various tour guides. Gratuities can be paid by credit card or in cash.

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Additional gratuities are not automatically added to bar or salon bills, so tipping is at the discretion of each passenger.

American Cruise Lines

Gratuities are included, and passengers are not expected to tip onboard.

American Queen Steamboat Company

A service charge of $17.50 per passenger, per day is automatically added to the onboard account. A 15 percent service charge is added to all bar bills.

APT

The line is all-inclusive and gratuities are included in the fare. Additional tipping is not expected and there are no additional charges.

Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways leaves gratuities to the discretion of the passengers; it suggests 3 euros per person, per day for the cruise director and 12 euros per person, per day, for the crew, which is distributed equally to all crew members. Passengers can prepay gratuities or pay individuals with cash while onboard.

Tipping is not required at onboard bars or in the salon, but passengers can offer a separate gratuity for above-average service. It is recommended that cruisers tip local guides a euro or two.

CroisiEurope

The line does not include tipping in the fare but operates an optional tipping policy, which is left entirely at the discretion of individual passengers. For guidance, the line suggests 5 to 10 euros per day. Passengers who wish to tip can use the gratuity box left on the reception desk at the end of the cruise.

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal is an all-inclusive line, and all tips are included in the fare.

Emerald Waterways

Gratuities are included in the fare, and additional tipping is not expected.

European Waterways

Gratuities are not included in the fare, and the suggested amount is 5 percent of the fare paid. All tips should be given to the captain for distribution to the crew (including tour guides, hostesses and chefs). Gratuities can only be paid in cash (euros or dollars).

French Country Waterways

French Country Waterways recommends that passengers tip approximately 5 to 10 percent of their cruise fare in cash or traveler's checks (dollars or euros). Credit cards are not accepted onboard. Passengers can make prior arrangements with the U.S. office to prepay gratuities, but this is not encouraged, as the company wants passengers to experience the trip before tipping.

Grand Circle

Gratuities are not included. The recommended amount is $10 to $12 per passenger, per day.

Scenic

Scenic is an all-inclusive line, and gratuities are included in your fare for onboard staff and tour guides. Additional tipping is not expected and there are no extra charges.

Tauck

Tips are not expected, as Tauck's tour prices include gratuities for ship staff (and hotel staff, if there's a land stay), local guides, drivers, Tauck directors and the cruise director. If you'd like to give a little extra to individual crew members you can do so in cash. There are no extra charges.

Uniworld Cruises

Uniworld is an all-inclusive line and gratuities are included in the fare, with the exception of Russia cruises. For Russia cruises, the line recommends $12 per passenger, per day to be shared among ship staff and crew; $8 to $10 per passenger, per day for the cruise manager; $3 per passenger, per day for the local host or hostess on land portions of the trip; $2 per passenger, per half day for tour guides ($3 for full day tours); and $1 per passenger, per day for drivers. Gratuities for ship staff are handed out at the end of the cruise and must be paid in cash in Russian rubles or U.S. dollars.

As usual, you are free to tip individuals additionally if you see fit, but it is not necessary, and there are no extra charges.

U by Uniworld

In keeping with its parent company Uniworld, the line includes all gratuities in the fare.

Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Vantage does not includes tips in the fare. The recommended amount for the crew is 10 euros per passenger, per day, which can be added to the onboard account or paid in cash at the end of the cruise. The company recommends 5 to 8 euros per day for the program director, which should be paid in cash.

Victoria Cruises

Victoria Cruises, which sails the Yangtze, has instituted a small service fee to be charged daily to each passenger's onboard account. These gratuities are split between all crew members. The cruise line encourages passengers to check what the current daily service charge is at the time of their booking.

Cruise directors and river guides do not share in the general gratuity, so passengers are encouraged to tip them directly as they see fit.

Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises recommends varied gratuities depending on your cruise region. Additional tipping is at each passenger's discretion.

In Europe, the suggestion is 12 euros per person, per day for the crew; 2 euros per person, per day for the program director; 2 euros per person, per day for local city guides; and 1 euro per person, per day for coach drivers.

In Russia, the Ukraine, China and Southeast Asia, the suggestion is $15 per person, per day for the crew; $10 per person, per day for the tour escort; $2 per person, per day for local city guides; and $1 per person, per day for coach drivers.

Additionally, on Mekong cruises there is the option of making a voluntary contribution in a lump sum for local service providers at the beginning of the cruise with a recommendation of $50, which will be distributed among the local guides and drivers.

In Egypt, the recommended gratuity is $12 per person, per day for the crew, and $12 per person, per day for the program director. For the crew tips, you may tip in cash or charge the gratuity to your credit card. Program directors do not share in the onboard staff gratuities, and they should be tipped in cash.

Updated October 10, 2019

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