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Sominex Sep 11th, 2010 09:15 AM

River Cruises
Has anyone taken a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest and if so would you recommend it ... also which River Cruise Company would you recommend?

sssteve Sep 11th, 2010 09:23 AM

We've been on 2 Viking cruises, one from Amsterdam to Basel, rather than Budapest. I believe the one you are looking at follows the same route part of the way. During that cruise, the Rhine water level was so low, we spent most of the time on buses. The other cruise (more successful) was Paris - Normandy - Paris. You can read all about both cruises on my web pages. Here are the URL's:

Despite the problems on the first cruise, we can reccommend Viking River cruises and would go with them again.

Sominex Sep 11th, 2010 11:24 AM

So if I was to book this river cruise would you suggest we do it in the Spring when the water levels maybe higher?

I would really be disappointed if most of our 15 day cruise was spent on a bus!

sssteve Sep 11th, 2010 11:33 AM

It depends on the river and the weather. The Rhine has historically had problems, whereas the Seine has no such problems. In fact, if anything, the Seine has problems of flooding.

I'm not an expert at river levels, but if you look into my list of posts, you will find one which I posted right after the Rhine cruise. In response to my complaint, someone who claimed to work for Viking gave a long dissertation on the vagaries of river level forecasting. I suggest you check it out.

rosieg Sep 11th, 2010 01:06 PM

We are booked on AMA Budapest to Amsterdam September 2011.From all the accounts on Cruise Critic this seems to be a great trip. I have also read about the trouble with water levels but it seems that the river boat lines take great pains to see that the passengers are comfortably transported past the water levels of concern then contiue on with the cruise. Look forward to hearing from others who have done the trip.

Sominex Sep 12th, 2010 03:28 PM

For those who have done a river cruise, when you booked and paid for your cruise, did it include all shore excursions or are they extra?

pauljagman Sep 12th, 2010 04:00 PM

sominex - usually they have a short city walking tour in the morning that would be included and optional tours in the afternoon that you pay extra. I believe some of the more expensive cruise lines are all inclusive. Some on our cruise did everything on their own. They said they got a better experience. You'll get a list of the optional tours the first night of your cruise to sign up for. Have fun!

Sominex Sep 12th, 2010 04:57 PM

Thanks all for your responses...very helpful!

Sominex Sep 13th, 2010 11:35 AM

Another question...does it matter whether you're on the port or starboard side? I assume the outside cabins are below deck?

sssteve Sep 13th, 2010 11:51 AM

Sominex - take some sominex and stop worrying.

On most river ships, there are only outside cabins, and it really doesn't matter which side you are on.

Do avoid the cabins below the water line.
(just kidding! I don't think there are any - at least there weren't any on the 2 ships we sailed on.)

Sominex Sep 13th, 2010 12:37 PM

lol thanks...not worrying but if I book a long time ahead I want to know where to reserve my cabin...we're booked on a Baltic cruise next May and was going to book the river cruise in the Fall of 2012 but I think I'll book the Spring of 2012 instead. Not sure if it'll be Amsterdam to Budapest or the reverse.

sssteve Sep 13th, 2010 01:10 PM

As I said, starboard or port really doesn't matter. However. on every ship, some decks are better than others. The early you reserve, the more choice you will have. Usually, the sales agent will tell you which decks or areas are better.

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