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Has anyone done a river cruise down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest? Likes / Dislikes

Has anyone done a river cruise down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest? Likes / Dislikes

Old Mar 30th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Has anyone done a river cruise down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest? Likes / Dislikes

We are thinking of taking a cruise trip down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest. I'm afraid being on the boat for two weeks could drive me nuts. Any feed back on your experience would be greatful. Thanks.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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We've looked into such trips, and it doesn't seem that you get much time in any one place to do more than take a snapshot in front of the local cathedral or palace or some such.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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The previous response reflects my attitude, but if you must travel from Amsterdam to another destination then the river cruises are a wonderful mode of transport. Years ago our choice was a 12 hour train ride from Basel to Amsterdam or a 3 day river cruise. No contest.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 12:51 PM
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I took a trip from Basel to Amsterdam (11 days). It was incredibly relaxing. We saw a lot of places, some of which I would go back to again. It was like a degaustation menu. I got a feel for places I probably never would have gone to (Rudesheim, Coblense, Koln, Antwerp, Ghent) and went to places I would love to go back to (Heidleberg, Strausberg, Brugges). We never had to pack and unpack and pack and unpack.

It was interesting getting to know some of the other travelers, and eating meals with different people on the boat each night (I'm not a cruise person). It was fun getting to know some of the boat's crew and staff.

On the downside, it was frustrating not being able to explore more fully some of the places that I really liked (but I can always go back) and not being able to enjoy meals in some of te ports (we always ate on the boat).

I'm glad I did it. The views along the Rhine were beautiful. The locks were really interesting. There have been stressful days since then when I have absolutely craved those long afternoons with a glass of wine and my journal, watching the Rhine pass by.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Hmm. How does one travel the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest?
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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From what I've read, there's the Main-Danube Canal (Main-Donau-Kanal) that links the two river systems. The canal runs 171 km from Bamberg to Kelheim, and opened in 1992 after 70 years of construction...
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Ah, so a lot of the trip is on the Danube! Got it figured.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Three years ago we did a Grand Circle cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna. It was my husband's choice... I was luke warm... but I absolutely enjoyed it. 'Twas a great way to sample parts of Germany.. and we visited the abbey at Melk(one of my husband's goals) and discovered a lovely hotel in Durnstein we might like to go back to. There are several cruise lines other than GC that offer these trips.. they all seem similar. Small vessels..about 140 passengers.... pretty good food... nice guides and enough time to check out the charming little towns like Passau, Wertheim, etc.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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We just returned Sunday from Viking River Cruise Amsterdam to Budapest. It was wonderful. The staff, food, accomodatins etc. could not be beat. We felt that there was enough time in the cities but if you wanted more you could skip the guided tour and go on your own.
Our only complaint was the tardiness of some of the passengers. The cruise manager did not address the situation so it increased as the days went by. After I spoke with him he insinuated that he would fix the situlation but still did nothing. It was the only problem of the entire trip but was annoying. Try to get a cabin on the even numbered side of the ship as that is where the best views are. Be sure to take a hat and sun screen for the top deck. It truly was one of my favorite trips. If you want more info. just contact me at [email protected]
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Old May 11th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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I have done the Viking River cruise twice from Amsterdam to Budapest and your most recent correspondent notes, it is excellent value for money. The best part of the cruise is undoubtedly the Danube part from the area around Nurnberg south. Above that you have the not so attractive sights of the Ruhr River valley and a visit to Franfurt which I could frankly have done without, and the Main/Danube canal which was interesting but then induced a degree of boredom unless you are a civil engineer and fascinated by the workings of locks. Disregard people who haven't actually taken this tour and say that the daytours are too short. They are not. They are excellent length and you do in fact get lots of time to spend in the usually smaller places you are visiting. You also have the possiblity of wandering off on your own -- something I did the second time around because there were places within the small towns and villages I wanted to return to -- so long of course as you remember your departure time.

The countryside is most spectacular after Nurnberg and you will love places such as Melk, Klem, Durnstein, Bratislava etc.

A word of advice. Book a couple of extra days at one or the other end of the tour to relax and enjoy yourself. I would highly recommend anywhere from 3 to 5 extra days in Budapest and take tours from there throughout the Hungarian countryside. The main reason I went back on a second tour was to see more of Hungary at the end. Do it now before the high costs of everything through the rest of the EU slip into Hungary and the other Baltic and other states that joined the EU in May. Three years ago when I last did this trip Hungary was still an incredible bargain for any tourist.

Lanny
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Old May 11th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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Just to confirm the geography, you go on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal from Amsterdam, then UP the Rhine to Mainz, up the River Main to the Canal which joins the Danube at Kelheim, then DOWN the Danube to Budapest.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 07:43 AM
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The day tours are too short for many people. They are too long for others. It depends on what type of tourist you are--the checklist type, or let's learn something type; the love a crowd type, or let's head out on our own type; the comfortable with a set schedule type, or the hey, let's try that road over there type. One isn't better than the other, it's just a matter of personalities.

My father was a checklist/on our own/schedule type--I remember a trip to Italy decades ago in which we covered Venice (Grand Canal-check, Rialto Bridge-check, P. San Marco-check,), Florence (David-check, Duomo-check), and Pisa (Tower-check) in one long day. He was happy as a clam, the rest of us were just exhausted and frustrated.

So, you know your personality best--Mrs. Fly and I would go nuts on any kind of cruise that gave just a few hours in a place like Bamberg--we'd probably miss the boat half the time. But millions of people enjoy cruises of all sorts every year, and go back again year after year.
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