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Whatís a European river cruise really like?

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Apr 25th, 2018, 09:00 AM
  #1
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Whatís a European river cruise really like?

Iím planning a trip to Europe next summer and have been looking into a Rhine river cruise. Can anybody tell me what to expect...how much time is spent in each location, is there enough time to explore on my own, etc. How about preferences in which cruise line to choose or avoid. Any suggestions or comments describing the trip beyond what Iíd find on the carriers website would be great. Would anyone avoid a river cruise all together? Thanks for your help.
jasper02 is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2018, 09:10 AM
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Thre are tons of different offers. All depends on the cruise you book.
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Apr 25th, 2018, 09:13 AM
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If this is for the trip with your 20 year old niece, you should know that the average age is even higher than bus tours.
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Apr 25th, 2018, 09:52 AM
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Do I presume you have done ocean cruises before? River cruises seem to attract those in their 70s and the cost reflects that. The activities are also geared to that age group.
How the itineraries are constructed depend on the operators. Like ocean cruises, there are high end, mid range, and budget operators with additional add-on fees not included in their base prices. You can easily google search which companies operate in which tier. The chronic complaint is what happens if the river is not passable, both due to low (late summer problem) and high water (spring and fall problems) rendering bridges not passable below. People fume about cheap bus tours substituting high price river cruises. If you read the fine prints, they are allowed to do this. Higher tier companies might more likely to cancel the trip for refund rather than substituting mediocre lang bus trips. It all depends on the operators and the segments rendered non-passable.
Here is an example of what happened with high water on the Rhine: https://www.rivercruiseadvisor.com/2...river-cruises/
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Apr 25th, 2018, 10:49 AM
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We did two - in our 50's - one was a Danube and the other one in France going from Beunne to Arles. We have also done ocean cruises - they are quite different, the river cruises are much more sedate. Both times we were on Grand Circle Tours, which I think is pretty much the low end product. But we really enjoyed both of them - on river cruises there is usually a full day in the port / city - there will be an organized tour usually in the morning (included in the fare) and then the optionals in the afternoons or evenings for additional $$$. I'm very glad we did them, we will probably not do another - I think the prices are pretty steep and you could do a land trip or ocean cruise for less money. We mostly did the Danube to see my HU's homeland, we did like it so tried another one in France. That ship was quite small, the food disappointing but we saw some towns in France that we probably not get to on a land trip. Fortunately we had no problems with high or low water. A Rhine cruise starting or ending in Amsterdam would be a nice first choice.

You can get more info on Cruise Critic altho there is less info there about river cruises than all the ocean options.
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