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Land v Waterways touring

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Trying to decide which way to see Europe including Scotland and preferably Ireland also. The query is how much do you see on the river cruises v the organised tours on land, some of which do include a small waterways itinerary...would be interested to know which tours people got to see the most of each country visited and what the actual pace was? How much time is spent getting to a place v how much valuable time is spent there. We are willing to join a few tours together accepting that we may only get a snapshot of each place but needing that snapshot to be worthy of the time getting to it. A must is to see the Military Tattoo so August is the desired travel time or late July to catch it as well. Understanding that river cruising in a different experience, but for the $ value it is by far the most expensive way to see Europe...we are in our early 50's and never been to Europe before, we have done Asia as independent travellers and don't wish to do that again. Any advice is most welcome. Thanks

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