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Have cruised numerous times all over the world Never did a river cruise and looking for ideas on best cruises and cruise lines Thanks for the help appreciated

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Kerry,

 

Best thing to do is start here:

Host Jazzbeau has some other topics posted at the top that you may find useful.

 

Roz

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52 minutes ago, Roz said:

Kerry,

 

Best thing to do is start here:

Host Jazzbeau has some other topics posted at the top that you may find useful.

 

Roz

I would add: decide which river you would like to cruise. There are many river options and many cruise companies. Once you decide where you would like to visit, it is time to look for a cruise line that offers your ports of call.

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Try to reduce your ideas........Then start. Which area, do you want pre and post, what time of year, all kinds of first decisions....Have only done Crystal and Viking, so I am partial to them. I still look at others before we choose. You will find alot of good advice here...Good luck and Enjoy!!

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I took a Viking  Romantic Danube Christmas Market River Cruise early December 2018.  It was a trip of a lifetime!  I’ve been on several ocean cruises and this was completely different;  more like a floating 5star all inclusive hotel. The smaller size made it a more personal experience and we were able to get to know people from mostly English speaking countries.  Honestly, my aunt treated me to this trip- I could never have afforded it myself, and I was a bit apprehensive at spending a week with “rich folks” but all the passengers were just regular people!  Definitely with more life experiences but never in a flashy way. It was a casual atmosphere. The crew were mostly from Europe, including Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, but also from the Phillipines. We got to know them well;  they shared an insiders view of the countries we visited.  It was really special!  And it’s amazing at how the crew knew just how we liked our meals and favorite drinks. They were amazing!  I was also a little hesitant about going to Europe in December, usually vacationing in the Caribbean, but it was totally worth it!  The cities just glistened with all the holiday decorations- magical!  Our tour guides were knowledgeable and personable. My favorite spot was Budapest. They have several Christmas markets and were easy to get to from the hotel. One word of advise:  The Christmas markets are in the Pest side of down, and they’re easy to get to by walking down the steep hill, crossing over the Chain Bridge, and right into town. Getting back to the hotel was different. Unless you’re an athlete, I wouldn’t attempt climbing back uphill.  And don’t take a cab- the cabbie took us for a “ride”!  Next t time we went we walked back over the Chain Bridge and took the lift up the hill. Just st cost about  $4. Well worth it!  We stayed at the Hilton Castle in the Buda section for a 3 day pre-cruise and it was outstanding!  Vienna was a beautiful city and Krems, Passau and Regensberg were all special in their own way. The only thing I didn’t care for so much was ending in Nuremberg. While we went to some historical locations, and will be forever remembered, the trip ended on a profound emotional downer.  Might have been better to end the trip at a different location.  I hope this wasn’t more info than you wanted, but I wanted to give you a feel of how a river cruise was different than a traditional ocean cruise. Safe travels😊

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Posted (edited)

River Cruising differs from ocean cruising because the excursions are built into the cost. This is where you need to read the details of what type of excursions are included in each port. Also the square footage of the cabin not including balcony is important since most river cruise cabins are smaller than ocean liners. 

Edited by Got2Cruise

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49 minutes ago, Abiding said:

I took a Viking  Romantic Danube Christmas Market River Cruise early December 2018.  It was a trip of a lifetime!  I’ve been on several ocean cruises and this was completely different;  more like a floating 5star all inclusive hotel. The smaller size made it a more personal experience and we were able to get to know people from mostly English speaking countries.  Honestly, my aunt treated me to this trip- I could never have afforded it myself, and I was a bit apprehensive at spending a week with “rich folks” but all the passengers were just regular people!  Definitely with more life experiences but never in a flashy way. It was a casual atmosphere. The crew were mostly from Europe, including Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, but also from the Phillipines. We got to know them well;  they shared an insiders view of the countries we visited.  It was really special!  And it’s amazing at how the crew knew just how we liked our meals and favorite drinks. They were amazing!  I was also a little hesitant about going to Europe in December, usually vacationing in the Caribbean, but it was totally worth it!  The cities just glistened with all the holiday decorations- magical!  Our tour guides were knowledgeable and personable. My favorite spot was Budapest. They have several Christmas markets and were easy to get to from the hotel. One word of advise:  The Christmas markets are in the Pest side of down, and they’re easy to get to by walking down the steep hill, crossing over the Chain Bridge, and right into town. Getting back to the hotel was different. Unless you’re an athlete, I wouldn’t attempt climbing back uphill.  And don’t take a cab- the cabbie took us for a “ride”!  Next t time we went we walked back over the Chain Bridge and took the lift up the hill. Just st cost about  $4. Well worth it!  We stayed at the Hilton Castle in the Buda section for a 3 day pre-cruise and it was outstanding!  Vienna was a beautiful city and Krems, Passau and Regensberg were all special in their own way. The only thing I didn’t care for so much was ending in Nuremberg. While we went to some historical locations, and will be forever remembered, the trip ended on a profound emotional downer.  Might have been better to end the trip at a different location.  I hope this wasn’t more info than you wanted, but I wanted to give you a feel of how a river cruise was different than a traditional ocean cruise. Safe travels😊

Thank you very helpful 

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Forgot to mention that one of the differences between ocean and river cruises is that  they don’t have any spa amenities, or even a swimming pool (at least on.the  Viking longships.). When I ocean cruise, that’s my favorite part of the trip, so  it might be something to consider. 

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57 minutes ago, Abiding said:

Forgot to mention that one of the differences between ocean and river cruises is that  they don’t have any spa amenities, or even a swimming pool (at least on.the  Viking longships.). When I ocean cruise, that’s my favorite part of the trip, so  it might be something to consider. 

 

No river ship has facilities in these areas to match ocean ships, but Viking remains an outlier by not having them at all – a choice by the Viking chairman.  If these are important to you, look at other river cruise company offerings and you will find them.

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9 hours ago, Abiding said:

Forgot to mention that one of the differences between ocean and river cruises is that  they don’t have any spa amenities, or even a swimming pool (at least on.the  Viking longships.). When I ocean cruise, that’s my favorite part of the trip, so  it might be something to consider. 

My Crystal Mozart cruise had a pool and also spa services (not sure what you mean by amenities).

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10 hours ago, Abiding said:

Forgot to mention that one of the differences between ocean and river cruises is that  they don’t have any spa amenities, or even a swimming pool (at least on.the  Viking longships.). When I ocean cruise, that’s my favorite part of the trip, so  it might be something to consider. 

AMA & Emerald both have small swimming pools [Emerald converts to a cinema at night] and both have massage available.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Abiding said:

Forgot to mention that one of the differences between ocean and river cruises is that  they don’t have any spa amenities, or even a swimming pool (at least on.the  Viking longships.). When I ocean cruise, that’s my favorite part of the trip, so  it might be something to consider. 

There are amenities on many lines (spa, pool) but nothing commensurate with the large ocean ships.

Tours are included with river cruises - not so with ocean cruises.

River cruising is different from ocean cruising - I prefer river to ocean as I cruise for the itinerary (not the ship or associated amenities), enjoy the small size and individualized attention, find the meals of a much higher quality (especially dinner). That said, we have also enjoyed all of our ocean cruises.

Edited by dogs4fun

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Does anyone know why ending the trip in Nuremberg was a "downer?"

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For me, I found  that while immensely informative, and not to take anything away from the importance and profoundness of the city, most of the historic sites visited on the Viking tours were were centered on the horrors of WWII.  First we went on a tour of the cave which the Nazis used to hide the precious artwork  so they wouldn’t be destroyed by bombing (depicted in the George Clooney movie “Monument Men”).   It’s hard to absorb the amount of destruction; different than reading about it in a textbook. Then we did the bus portion of the included tour, where the guide pointed out and commented on the significance of the various sites. We went on our own to the Christmas markets. I’m glad I went there, but it’s hard to leave there and go to our comfortable homes...  

 

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Can anyone tell me (and I know it will vary) how long are river cruise in each port.? How late is all aboard usually? Just trying to get ballpark like early evening or late night. Or is it similar to ocean cruise where or could be pretty much anytime. Sorry to hack the thread, but thought this might be a place to get an answer and that it might be of interest to others who are looking for info about river cruises. Tried searching and reading a some threads and I couldn’t find an answer.  When river lines list itineraries they don’t include port times like ocean cruises.  Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

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When I went on my cruise, we started in Prague as a pretrip. It was a great city to visit. Then we were bussed to Nuremberg to board the Avalon Illumination. I enjoyed Nuremberg but it had a totally different vibe from Prague. Our trip ended in Budapest, and it felt like a very high note. I can see how ended in Nuremberg might feel a bit of a let down. Can you do the post cruise to Prague? It was on my bucket list.

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2 hours ago, imescaping said:

Can anyone tell me (and I know it will vary) how long are river cruise in each port.? How late is all aboard usually? Just trying to get ballpark like early evening or late night. Or is it similar to ocean cruise where or could be pretty much anytime. Sorry to hack the thread, but thought this might be a place to get an answer and that it might be of interest to others who are looking for info about river cruises. Tried searching and reading a some threads and I couldn’t find an answer.  When river lines list itineraries they don’t include port times like ocean cruises.  Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

The reason you cannot find an answer for "all aboard usually" is that this does not exist as a concept with river cruising. Most cruising is done at night, but you can do overnight docking in large cities - Vienna is a typical example - or a longer evening to wait for people to return from a concert, for example. Very often sailing away from a port is dinner time and you could consider it a rule of thumb but it will vary with every itinerary. It can also change at short notice. Port times when the ship does not sail a scenic stretch are usually early morning till early evening. Again this will vary in hours, especially if they want to do more kilometres than they can cover during the night. Then you might be dropped off somewhere to meet the coach and then the coach takes you to another port where your ship will be waiting after the excursion. Most companies do not publish the port times, but in Germany it is more common than in the English-speaking world. Arosa has decided to stick to publishing times on their international website so you can look theirs up on www.arosa-cruises.com

 

Hope this helps.

 

notamermaid

 

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4 hours ago, imescaping said:

Can anyone tell me (and I know it will vary) how long are river cruise in each port.? How late is all aboard usually?

 

It not something I've concerned myself with beforehand. On Viking you get a daily schedule placed on your bed when they make up the room  during dinner with expected arrival times at he next day's ports , and time the boat will depart.

 

It's with that we know how long we'll have to explore a town. But, there are so many included and optional tours of the various locations there seems little free time. Some evenings people will walk into the town we're moored in to have a meal or a drink. We just take it as it comes.

 

Viking doesn't have pools or cinemas but we've never found our day other than packed full of things to do and see and in the vening ther's usually some entertainment in he lounge.

 

There aren't any 'sea days' like on ocean cruises, there are always sights close by left and right and towns to stop at.

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5 hours ago, imescaping said:

Can anyone tell me (and I know it will vary) how long are river cruise in each port.? How late is all aboard usually? Just trying to get ballpark like early evening or late night. Or is it similar to ocean cruise where or could be pretty much anytime. Sorry to hack the thread, but thought this might be a place to get an answer and that it might be of interest to others who are looking for info about river cruises. Tried searching and reading a some threads and I couldn’t find an answer.  When river lines list itineraries they don’t include port times like ocean cruises.  Any information would be greatly appreciated. 

This is frustrating and definitely was on my first cruise with Amawaterways as in some ports, we were not there that late.

 

Crystal did show times in port which was really helpful and we did several overnights so we could be in port late.

 

When I am researching my next river cruise and I also notice some lines don't post times. I read that lines don't put exact times in because of the timing of the locks but one really doesn't know if it will be 4 or 10 hours.

 

Not sure what to recommend except to try to find out. Maybe post a new thread with itineraries you are looking at and hopefully someone can post if they have been on that itinerary.

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5 hours ago, MagnoliaNC said:

When I went on my cruise, we started in Prague as a pretrip. It was a great city to visit. Then we were bussed to Nuremberg to board the Avalon Illumination. I enjoyed Nuremberg but it had a totally different vibe from Prague. Our trip ended in Budapest, and it felt like a very high note. I can see how ended in Nuremberg might feel a bit of a let down. Can you do the post cruise to Prague? It was on my bucket list.

That’s a great idea!  Or start in Nuremberg and end in Budapest. For me, Nuremberg wasn’t so much a let down, but more profoundly sad and upsetting.

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Don't get me wrong, but, is there a North American line that does not offer a Nuremberg WWII tour? I mean, one could leave them out. I admit Nuremberg is the perfect place for that stuff. But on my bucket list for Nuremberg is the old rebuilt town centre and the railway museum.

 

notamermaid

 

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54 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Don't get me wrong, but, is there a North American line that does not offer a Nuremberg WWII tour? I mean, one could leave them out. I admit Nuremberg is the perfect place for that stuff. But on my bucket list for Nuremberg is the old rebuilt town centre and the railway museum.

 

notamermaid

 

 

I'm not sure, but I think there is one Viking itinerary that offers a choice in Nuremburg, either a tour of the medieval town center, or the WWII tour that goes to the courthouse and zeppelin field.

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Avalon worked well for me in Nuremburg. I believe there were 3 choices for the included tours and two of them were not WWII related. Choice A was the  Nazi rallies & trials tour; B was the Nurnberg city center visit; and choice C was to Roth Village. It was a short time that day since we would be sailing at lunch and overnight to Regensburg. I chose the option B which was a 30 guided tour by coach and then time to wander in the city. I kept a journal and noted that those who had taken the WWII option were very somber when they returned and I was glad I chose the town.

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Scenic offered a choice in Nuremburg. We chose the one that had a quick bus tour of the WW II highlights, then a walking tour of the castle, and lunch and free time in the city square - including some amazing sausages. 

 

Regarding the uncertain sailing times: The key to enjoying a river cruise is to be able to "go with the flow". The river does what it will, the locks do what they will. Having one to two day's notice is about all you can count on, except for the ports that you stay in for more than one day (e.g. Vienna).

 

Sterling

 

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