European River Cruises

Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 06:09 PM
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European River Cruises

Seasoned travelers looking into river cruises in europe ,thinking about late summer or fall ?
As part of the river cruise,we want to get to Hungary. Is there a better time of year to do river cruises? Which cruise lines do river cruises.Need your input.
mattpamg is offline  
Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 06:58 PM
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Hi mattpamg!

I'm not sure if you've taken a River Cruise before, but either way you're in for a treat!

I personally enjoy Europe in the spring or fall, (not that I wouldn't go in the summer if that's when I could go) The last few years the weather has been crazy, so there is no hard fast rule, but it's been pretty hot in July and August, and August is the peak vacation time for Europeans.

There quite a few River Cruise Lines that come to mind that would offer Budapest, Hungary as one of their ports of call. Each Cruise Line has slightly different amenities much the same way that different car brands do, so without knowing more about you and your travel preferences I wouldn't venture to recommend one over another!

The 3 that I have the most experience with are Avalon Waterway, Amawaterways and Uniworld. There is also A&K, Tauck among others.

Avalon has 11 (yes, eleven) itineraries that offer Budapest! They start with as few as 4 or 5 nights all the way to the 23 day North Sea-Black Sea Cruise!

I hope this helps a bit!
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 02:44 AM
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Viking is another good one...

positive personal experience with Tack tours Globus

deals up to 40% off

Happy Hunting best to post over on cruisecritic...

Rivers do get high they bus you around which sucks

sometimes so choose low rain months... also many seniors

not party ships if this bothers make a different plan.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 02:47 AM
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A cautionary tale...

Dear Ombudsman:

Last summer, my mother, children, and I embarked on an $8,000 Danube sailing with Viking River Cruises. The line's brochure promised "no worry about the hassles of traveling by bus," the ability to "walk right off the ship" into the center of town, and a full refund to any dissatisfied customer.

Central Europe had had so much rain that the water levels on the Danube were unusually high, prohibiting sailing under bridges. We arrived in Budapest, the departure port, and were informed that our ship, the Viking Pride, was stuck in Nuremberg (the disembarkation port) so we would be sailing on the smaller Viking Primadonna. To make matters worse, some of our luggage never made it out of the airport. I promptly voiced my dissatisfaction to the cruise director.

We were bused to the ship, an hour and a half outside Budapest, where we spent the night. The following day, we were bused into Budapest for a 90-minute city tour and then back to the ship. The Primadonna did eventually cruise—to Bratislava (which was not on the original itinerary), where we docked in an industrial area far from the city center. The cruise director informed us that the next day we would be bused to Vienna for a short tour. At this point we were so disappointed with Viking that we told the cruise director that we would be leaving the following day and expected a 100 percent refund.

Once home, I wrote to Viking, demanding a full refund. The cruise line responded with vouchers good for 25 percent off a future sailing. That is not enough. Don't you agree that Viking should back its words with action and give us a refund?

—David Cross, Austin, Texas

Sounds like the Danube blues. Viking River Cruises' service pledge states: "Should you be dissatisfied with our service upon first check-in (hotel or on board ship) . . . please notify us within 24 hours of the start of your cruise tour. We then have 24 hours to correct the situation. In the unlikely event that a solution is not possible, you may depart as soon as is feasible and 100 percent of your cruise price will be refunded."

Since Cross appeared to have met those requirements, we wrote to Viking on his behalf. A reply came a few weeks later, and in it the cruise line contested some of the charges. The Viking Primadonna is actually comparable in size to the Viking Pride, certainly no smaller. As for the ship's inability to sail, this was due to water levels that were only a few inches, not several feet, too high—a situation that could have resolved itself right up to the day of sailing. Lastly, the mishandling of the luggage was the fault of the airline, not the cruise line. Viking asserted that all of Cross's complaints were immediately responded to, so his case did not meet the criteria of the refund guarantee. Ombudsman felt that Cross still had a valid complaint, and so we persisted. Viking ultimately reevaluated the case and agreed, deciding to offer Cross and his family a full refund of $8,000. Ombudsman applauds the cruise line for its about-face.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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Our TA has put together a nice River Cruise site at which you can compare some of the lines; see Last September we went on a Prague-Budapest cruise on AMA. It was quite good, quite different from an ocean cruise. Regarding time of year, we were somewhat surprised by the cool and rainy weather (particularly at the end in Budapest) that we experienced, though my understanding is that both were not necessarily typical of the season.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 03:02 PM
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