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Basic Info Needed for Europe River Cruises

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Hello

For reference, my husband is keen on trying a Viking River Cruise. I am not, for many reasons. We are experienced independent travelers (15+ trips to Europe) and love it. We mostly rent apartments and cars and/or use public transit. We love to loosely plan and be flexible if we want to stay longer in one place.

I've been on two cruises, one Carnival (ugh....), one Costa, both Carribbean. I didn't enjoy the pace. Husband has never been on a cruise. I'm trying to get him to see that while these cruises go to great places, I'm not sure we'd love it. Especially when there's some problems with rivers and low water.

I've read brochures and online, forums, reviews. I still would like to know some specifics:

-- what time do most tours start?
-- what time must we be back on the ship (or bus, apparently- seems like they do this to take you to meet ship which has already gone on to next port)
-- how much motion in a ship this size?
-- noise levels? Both ship and passengers.

Any other info about your experiences on river cruises would be appreciated.

Thank you!

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