Cruises - Anyone have some info on good values on Europen river cruises
Jan 10, 12, 3:15 pm
A group of us are planning a European river cruise sometime in Sept or Oct 2012. We've never done this before and were hoping some of you all could give us some pointers on the whole thing from how to get the best prices , which lines are the best , how long should we look to go, and which areas of Europe offer the best cruising. Our first thoughts are to go from Amsterdam to Budapest( or vice versa) on a 14-16 day trip.
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any and all input.
Jan 10, 12, 3:56 pm
Another place for research is on CruiseCritic.com. I know there is a river cruising forum over there. I am thinking about a river cruise as well. Want to be sure there is not a lot of bus/train shuttling.
Jan 10, 12, 4:06 pm
No one can guarantee you won't have a lot of "bus/train" travel. Reading the forums for River Cruising on Cruise Critic, I've noticed a lot of complaints about "ruined" river cruises, as the rivers are so low the past few months, many people have spent over half their cruise on buses.
Jan 12, 12, 1:02 pm
viking has a web site....google for others....vantage offers packages incl air....
most seem to be ~ $300 pp per day.....
there are small barge trips that people have liked w/ 10 pax or so....
Jan 12, 12, 1:07 pm
also, the lower prices go 1st.....
Jan 12, 12, 3:47 pm
It's a great way to travel. I also recommend cruise critic. Along with other companies mentioned here, check into Grand Circle Travel - gct.com
When comparing costs, be sure to include costs of airfare and also the cost of "optional excursions" on one line that are included in the fare on another.
There are no guarentees about not having to use buses when the river runs low, or for that matter too high.
Jan 12, 12, 8:40 pm
You need to be flexible. The ships clear the bridges by inches and clear the river bottoms by inches. So if the water is too high they can't get under the bridges, if it's too lot they can't float.
So the trip may not end being what you thought it was going to be.
September and October is harvest time for the wine regions (or close to it based on the weather) so if you are into wine consider that.
Out of my Element
Jan 17, 12, 12:20 pm
Grand Circle = ****
Vantage = *****
Viking = ******
For awhile last year I worked for one of those companies, and the efforts made to differentiate are pretty funny.
If you are booking through someone else, find out if they own the boat. You may be booking a luxury trip and find out when you get onboard that the company booked 50% of the staterooms (or 30% or whatever), and that it's not really a luxury cruise, just that you're getting a bunch of nice things added on.