European River Cruise

Oct 13th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Original Poster
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European River Cruise

We would like to take a river cruise next June from Amsterdam to Budapest. With so many companies in this field, would someone please tell us their experience with this trip and who they would recommend and why.
jenky is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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I would not recommend Vantage or Grand Circle. They have some serious 'ethics' problems, and many dissatisfied customers. Maybe Peter Deiliman...we are looking into that line.
clarasong is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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I have never been but would also love to do this river cruise. On some travel channel they showed Viking River Cruises. It seemed very nice and well organized. I would try them if it were myself.
diann24 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Grand Circle Tours also has a large coterie of very satisfied customers. Count me along them.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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I just returned from a Gate 1 river cruise, Budapest to Prague. No complaints whatsoever, surpassed our expectations.
LynnieD is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 11:07 PM
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We are taking a Vantage cruise on the Danube in a few weeks........If someone has taken this, I would appreciate any comments especially re. their "optional" side trips. Not sure if I should plan free time on my own or join their package excursions....Any other tips would be helpful...
halcyon is offline  
Oct 30th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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We use only Tauck World Destinations because we feel we always receive more for our money and could not do the same tours, for the same price, on our own. We have done two Tauck river cruises. The Amsterdam-Budapest was just unforgettable!!! Absolutely divine in every way. The next Sept. we did Bucharest-Budapest and it was really interesting, starting with the former Communist, but still a long time in recovering, countries. Romania and Bulgaria have a long way to go, but it was wonderful to see them now and Croatia/Serbia were also beautiful, all countries with loads of history. I would highly recommend river cruises and Tauck.
desertduds is offline  
Oct 31st, 2007, 07:31 PM
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We took the Viking River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam and loved it so much that we took the reverse trip the next year (the itinerary is slightly different).

We took a Vantage river cruise from Bucharest to Vienna in the spring of 2006 and will NEVER travel with them again. I called them about the flooding in Eastern Europe and they insisted that the trip was going as scheduled. Well, of course, they lied and we spent a whole week on a bus because the river was completely closed to traffic.

When we finally got aboard, in Belgrade, we were docked next to a Viking ship that had cancelled their trip because the river was shut down. They didn't try to hoodwink their passengers! We went on the Vantage cruise because friends had booked it and talked us into going with them.

The Viking ships and their staff are excellent. The cabins are very nice, excellent service and food as well. All the walking tours were very good and there were only two or three optional, extra price, excursions on the entire 14 day trip.

If you have time, stay in Budapest a few extra days. It is a magnificent city. Very walkable, great architecture, lots of photo ops, good shopping and great food. After Paris, Budapest is my favorite European city.
Cameron is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 09:08 AM
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While I have looked at various river cruises, I find it hard to justify the cost. River cruising seems very high compared to the big ship open water cruises -- especially after you add the higher airfare costs for European flights. I'm sure they are wonderful and maybe one day I'll find a "deal" that will make it seem worthwhile.
bettyk is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 02:57 PM
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I have a friend who is Hungarian and visits Budgapest when she can as she has family there. The cost if leaving from Hungary is far less than we are charged here so she claims. I don't know if it is true but that is what she tells me. I agree it seems a lot of money.
diann24 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 03:03 PM
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We had a wonderful cruise with Peter Deilmann last fall from Rouen to Paris and are planning their Prague to Berlin cruise in the spring. We've also done a Grand Circle Cruise.. but far prefer Deilmann. (The GCT cruise itself was excellent... but eveything else in dealing with the company was a nightmare.) The river cruises are expensive but we've reached the age where we need a little support along the way - If you're younger they might be too slow paced for you.
Grandma is offline  
Nov 4th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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The GCT river cruises aren't all that expensive and, at least for me, provide excellent value--especially given the quality of the service and food.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 10th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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LynnieD referred to a Gate 1 river cruise. I will second that suggestion. We were on a Gate 1 Regensburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary cruise May 2007 and really enjoyed it. And the best part was that the price was the best of any we have ever seen.
We were on the MS Bolero, although I think they use different boats.
Marycang is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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Uniworld has nice can either book them direct or through Trafalgar...They include Wine with dinner and an excursion as every port. They are more expensive then a cruise on the open sea, but you can't really see Europe properly from the Sea
LissaJ is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 05:35 AM
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I just got off a Uniworld cruise Paris/Normandy and it was amazing. The staff goes above and beyond, the boat was gorgeous (River Baroness) and you feel like family after a few days. The shore tours daily and done with knowledge and humor and I would go on another cruise with them in a heartbeat. The food was incredible and every meal was impressive and tasty.
Wednesday is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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My husband and I took the Vantage Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in October 2006 and had a wonderful trip. The crew was very friendly and went out of their way to assist you. Everytime we docked, the local guides that provided the walking tours were excellent. We were all provided with headsets and a receiver to use during our walking tours. They were great. We didn't have to "circle" around our guide (like so many other groups we saw) to be able to hear. You could wander a bit (in fact one time I used a restroom and still listen to the guide). The food was fine...I think breakfasts were the best meal. We didn't take any of the optional tours. After our walking tour we chose to stay in the town, not going back to the ship for lunch, found a local resturant and explored on our own. We didn't want to "waste" time going back and forth to the ship. We made some great friends on the trip. The whole trip was a great experience.

Bamamoose is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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This is for Grandma about Viking's Berlin to Prague. The trip is really great if you don't mind a 105 sq.ft. cabin with beds that are a sofa and in the wall during the day. There is no elevator, but a chair lift. The crew, staff and food very good, but oh my those cabins.

Some may feel that the river cruises are very expensive. They usually include all the shore excursions, unlike the ocean cruises. There is also always beautiful scenery to watch as you cruise. There are no casinos, not much in the way of entertainment--local groups brought on board are usually very good. There are fewer passengers--an opportunity to really get to know your fellow passengers. We have taken 5 cruises with Uniworld and one with Viking. They are so relaxing. Pat
momc is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Thanks, momc, for the info. However, we are booked on Peter Deilmann. Cabin is about 200 sq ft. A lot smaller than our accomodations on their Seine cruise... but I think the Elbe requires smaller boats. We've had cabins like you describe on GCT and a Yangtze cruise... but I didn't find them too onerous. (Sp?)
Anyhow, now that we're such old geezers we appreciate the Deilmann style. GCT is a better buy, but... (the cabins) ...and the dining room seating was a free for all every meal. No assigned seatings and we all wanted those window seats - On Deilmann seating is assigned.
Its seems there's something for everybody floating on those rivers! (I've also heard nice things about Tauck,)
Grandma is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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So glad you are not on Viking for the Elbe---only because of the cabins.

We saw the Deilmann boats--they look very nice and comfortable. Are you on the Dresden or the Katherine vonBora. There is another one, can't remember the name. The cities are fascinating and the cruising relaxing. The water level was low when we were there, but we kept going. We are real fans of Uniworld, but thry didn't have this wonderful itinerary. Enjoy your trip. Pat
momc is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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I have friends who are taking the Viking trip....don't think I'll warn them - Think we are on the Katerina.
Grandma is offline  

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