|St Petersburg, Russia|
So I got to work, looking at the offerings of all the usual suspects in the river cruising field--AMA Waterways, Avalon, Viking River Cruises, Uniworld. Three out of four of all the cruises I found were completely sold out, and of those with space left, only the deluxe (read: exorbitant) cabins were available.
Knowledge bank item #1: Most people book river cruises six months in advance, and September is one of the most popular months for this activity. Waiting too long for that month or the summer months and you may be out of luck. However, the rest of the fall seems more lightly booked so waiting may yield a discount. In surfing through the river cruise sites, I found a lot of great offers for October and November.
After checking all the alternatives we realized that only one Viking cruise was doable for Mom. But because she'd have to book a deluxe cabin, the cost when totalled up was going to come to nearly $9000. Back to the internet!
I'll let you know, in late-September, how the cruise went!