river cruises

Jul 29th, 2010, 12:47 PM
Original Poster
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river cruises

We are planning a European river cruise for next summer. We are a group of friends between 40 to 60 years old. I would appreciate any recommendations or suggestions. We haven't decided on a location or cruise line. All are up for consideration at this point depending on scenery, costs, etc. Thanks!

cainil is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Which country or countries are you interested in visiting?
YOu will find river cruises in Russia, Holland,Hungary, France,Germany,and many others.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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Have you considered hiring a longboat and chuntering around Englands canals? If you are picturing yourself sipping gin slings watching the sunset this suggestion is not for you.
Fashionista is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 02:11 PM
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Send a message to Viking River cruises, and you will be on their mailing list for years.
rncheryl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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We have taken a river cruise from Lyon (France) down the Rhone River, and on the Duro upriver from Porto to the Spanish border. In both instances, we enjoyed the trip. For the most part, we did "our own thing" off the river, except for a couple of tours offered by the boats to places that would have been too far on our own. (Ardeche on the Rhone, the Malthus estate on the Duoro.

You have to realize that river cruises are not "cruises" in the ocean-going sense. Cabins are usually much smaller, there is little, if any, scheduled entertainment, pools and other such amenities are small or non-existent. There are fewer passengers, which in most instances is a plus, but can also be aminus if most are only from one country whose language you don't speak or part of a parochial group.

A popular cruise is on the Rhein from Amsterdam to the Main river, on the Main to the Rhein-Main Danibe canal and then on the Danube to Vienna and Budapest. If I were to take that cruise, I probably would skip the Amsterdam, Rhein and Main tpart, but would stop on my own for a couple of days prior to the cruise in one of the towns along the Rhein between Koblenz and Bingen, and take a day trip on the river from there. The real pretty part of the Rhein is actually only about 40 or so miles long. There is another pretty section of the Main between Frankfurt and Nuernberg, but otherwise, you cover a lot of industrial country. From Passau (Danube) to Budapest, the trip is very interesting.

Another Rhein trip goes along the Rhein to the Swiss border. Again, south of Bingen, the river goes through some of the industrial heartland of Germany.

Now mind you, these are strictly personal impressions from someone who is thoroughly familiar with Germany and Austria. For someone who does these trips for the first, some of the things I shun may be of interest. I'm sure you will hear all kinds of opinions.

Finally, if you want to take a cruise with mostly English speaking people, pick one opf those cruise lines (viking, UNIWORLD); otherwise, shop around for a line that is more cosmopolitan in terms of passengers.
treplow is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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it really depends on what kind of scenery you would like to see. If you enjoy landscapes I would recommend you going on a Douro river cruise. If you enjoy big cities than probably one on the central part of Europe.

I’m biased towards the Douro because it’s a truly beautiful region and it’s great when seen from the stream of the river. If you would like more info about it I’ll be more than glad to help.
BrunoRibeiro is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 06:05 AM
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We have done two GCT trips - from Budapest to Prague (well that last bit to Prague was averland) and then a French one that started in Paris and ended in Nice - the actual river part was from I think Macon to Arles. Both were great. What the earler poster noted is true about a different kind of cruise than on a huge ocean ship but that was fine with us. Most river cruises and for sure GCT have more on-shore activites included in the base price - you don't have to pay extra for most excursions. I suggest thinking about what part of Europe you want to explore and find a cruise offered in that region - sorry Italy will not be a choice!
suec1 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 07:30 AM
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Hi. We've taken 2 river cruises with Grand Circle and 1 with Uniworld, all were great. It's nice only unpacking one time and always returning to the same cabin. GCT is a little more barebones cabin wise but a fine company that provides a good value for the money spent. However, we enjoyed the luxury of Uniworld on our latest river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, a little higher priced, much more luxious cabins, good food and very nice tours. These observations are my opinion only and I say that as to not 'open up a can of worms'.

Have you taken a look at www.cruisecritic.com
you can go onto their website, go into Boards in the upper left corner of their home page then scroll down to Special Interest Cruising and click into the heading Canal & River Cruising, there's lots of info from actual travelers. If you find a particular river cruise line you're interested in you can also use this website and look at ship reviews. Besides, it's fun reading if your trying to decide if this is for you.

Good luck, hope you find the type of river cruise you're looking for.
Suspaul is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 07:33 AM
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sorry about the typo:

if your trying to decide if this is for you, should have been if you're!

don't want the typo police after me.
Suspaul is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Thanks all! These are some wonderful suggestions and thoughts. We are most interested in the countryside scenery. We've all done the larger cities many times before.
cainil is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Also look at www.vacationstogo.com for some options with good prices.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Take a small barge trip through Burgundy. Then if that isn't enough and you have more time take a river cruise on the Rhine.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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I agree with Gretchen. If you want countryside scenery do a barge trip not a cruise. The cruise ships concentrate on large cities with scenery an afterthought.

And most cruisers are later 50s and up. 40ish might be bored as not much entertainment on board. Then again maybe that's what you are looking for?
pauljagman is offline  
Jul 30th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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If you do a river cruise, these discounters offer 10% off. Check the price on Uniworld or viking and then check the discounters. We leave on a tour in 10 days. Received our paperwork two weeks ago with a check for the discount. Richard www.afordabletours.com and www.cheapertravel.com P.S. We used Pavlus
iris1745 is online now  
Jul 31st, 2010, 08:07 AM
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The nice thing about the small barge is that you have such elegant surroundings to relax in very casually. The tours of the wineries and towns are truly excellent. We were by "ourselves" on a barge for 22. There were a couple of groups of 4 and then some other duos. Everyone "mixed up" at mealtimes. The chef was terrific, and if you wanted something not provided (Johnny Walker gold) it was there the next day. One group on ours had just come from a river cruise, and then was going to Provence for a week in a house. They were celebrating a retirement--in style.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 09:54 AM
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A friend of ours did a barge cruise and the accomadations were extremely small. They did like the cruise as it was senic. We did one river cruise and the cabin was 120 sq ft and that was small, but with a large window. We also liked our cruise as it was very senic. Many river cruises today have cabins 150 sq ft and larger. So, usually, you are only in the cabin to sleep. I'm only suggesting, know the sq feet if you don't want to be squeezed in a small space. Richard
iris1745 is online now  
Jul 31st, 2010, 02:48 PM
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Oh, our quarters were minute. two beds and a shoe horn shower. I don't go to spend my day in my cabin or hotel room. The deck area and the lounge/dining room were charming and beautiful with wonderful old wood work.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Gretchen; I certainly agree with you and I'm sure everything was lovely. But some of these people are middle age and they may want more than a 'shoe horn'. Only suggesting so people know what they are encountering. If that's their choice, that's fine. Richard
iris1745 is online now  
Jul 31st, 2010, 04:04 PM
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We recently completed a Rhine River Cruise and the cabin was a 'spacious' 172 sq ft. Small bath, queen bed, desk/chair and two bed side tables. Most of our time was spent on shore, in the lounge, restaurant or sun deck. You don't do a cruise to spend your time in a cabin. 138 passangers total plub crew. My DW loved the accomodations when we were in the cabin!

I've heard barge cruises are very intimate and expensive.
pauljagman is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 09:42 AM
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As I wrote before, if you enjoy the countryside scenery a cruise on the Douro will be the ideal place for you to go. I would recommend September as a great time of the year to enjoy the Douro as it's the harvest season.
BrunoRibeiro is offline  
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