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castle701

Do folks ever book their own private excursions

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We are a group of 12 traveling on the new AMAMagna - we are all newbies. Can you still do your own privately booked excursions instead of the river boat excursions. While we know they are included we are thinking of doing a two for our group alone and paying for them. I also understand that there are specialty excursions with a surcharge that AMA does too - do you have to wait until you are onboard to book those. There is no actual time schedule so we really don't know when we arrive and depart and if we are overnight in any locations.Thanks for any assistance.

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It is very difficult to set up private excursions on any river cruise, because the docking times are controlled by the local harbor masters and subject to river/lock conditions.  Also the itineraries are sometimes set up so that the ship sails from one port to the next while everyone is off on an excursion.  You have to 'unlearn' everything to know from ocean cruises on the rivers.  

 

Take advantage of those ship excursions that you have already paid for – they are actually very good, and not crowded; the 'Quietvox' devices mean people don't have to cluster closely around the guide (great for photographers!) – and AMA keeps the groups fairly small.  

 

AMA generally has very few extra-cost excursions [there were none on the Rhine and Rhône cruises we took], only things like an evening concert in Vienna.  Each day there will be a choice of several excursions, always with slow walker groups and more strenuous options – and often some special excursions with limited numbers [e.g. on the Rhône a few of us went out after dinner and 'helped' make baguettes at a boulangerie – no extra charge and we each came back with a warm baguette with our initials on it!  Full disclosure: by the time I got back to the ship, I only had 1/2 of a baguette :classic_biggrin:].

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4 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Take advantage of those ship excursions that you have already paid for – they are actually very good, and not crowded; the 'Quietvox' devices mean people don't have to cluster closely around the guide (great for photographers!) – and AMA keeps the groups fairly small.  

 

Those devices are indeed great. One word of warning for those new to them: because you don’t need to stand near the guides to hear them, it’s easy to be looking another way (e.g., because you were taking photos), and not realize that the guide and the rest of the group have moved on. 

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Yes, the buddy system comes in very handy when out on tours, and it's a great way to meet your fellow travelers.   With the smaller groups, we found everyone was watching to make sure we didn't loose anyone.

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Posted (edited)

Certain itineraries make it easier to book a private tour. It you will be in the city the entire day without the ship moving. For example Budapest or Vienna on the Danube. 

Edited by Got2Cruise

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Certainly free to do as you wish in regards to excursions.

As has been said the difficulty maybe if you are thinking of pre booking arrangements. Given the potential uncertainty of ports and times of arrival/departure.

We do pre/post independent arrangements to enable us to our own thing and at our own pace.

We have joined tours/excursions organised by the cruise line but sometimes elect to do things ourselves, especially if we have been there before. Time in ports can be limited but it is possible to do.

 

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11 hours ago, castle701 said:

We are a group of 12 traveling on the new AMAMagna - we are all newbies. Can you still do your own privately booked excursions instead of the river boat excursions. While we know they are included we are thinking of doing a two for our group alone and paying for them. I also understand that there are specialty excursions with a surcharge that AMA does too - do you have to wait until you are onboard to book those. There is no actual time schedule so we really don't know when we arrive and depart and if we are overnight in any locations.Thanks for any assistance.

 

You're free to come and go as you please, but be aware you're responsible for getting back on the ship.  There are times when it may move and the passengers have catch up with it.  Since you're newbies, I would recommend you go with the included tours, but that's me.  Plus you've already paid for them.

 

Roz

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It is possible to book a private excursion on a river cruise.  If there is something that you want to see without the "group" from the ship, consider booking your own.  Last year our group of four were on the Budapest-Amsterdam Viking River cruise that stopped in Nuremberg.    We want to see the courtrooms where they held the War Crimes Trials and visit the museum in the building.  Vikings tour was a drive by in a 40 passenger bus.  We made arrangements with a private tour guide.

 

We had a personalized tour in a seven passenger mini-van with an experienced English speaking guide.  Our boat was two hours late arriving in Nuremberg, but we were in contact with our guide by cell phone.  It was an excellent day.  We ate an excellent quick lunch at a small restaurant.   I would not worry about missing the boat, since the boat may only be moving 20 miles.  It is not like an ocean cruise where if you miss the boat, your next stop may be 100's of miles away in a different country.   If there is something you want to see without the hassle of the bus, think about a private tour.

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57 minutes ago, WisRiver said:

I would not worry about missing the boat, since the boat may only be moving 20 miles.

 

The biggest issue is figuring out where the boat is after it moves.

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Wow - thank you!

We are on Ama - Vilshofen to Bedapest 9/8/2019. Specifically asking about our Sept 10 day in Linz as some of us would like a 6 hour tour - not getting back so late. There are two morning tours offered by AMA which leads me to believe we will be there early enough to do something on our own with a private company. Does anyone know what time the full day Salzburg tour gets back on this itinerary? It seems that the 1/2 day Salzburg tour gets back at 7pm which is the issue with some of the folks we are going with. Thank you for all your imput as ALL OF US have never been on a River Cruise before and since I am the one who coordinated this with our friends, I'm trying to gather as much info I can.

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We cruised Danube in August 2016 and paid for a private tour, Tours By Locals, to take us to Berchtesgaden, which included a brief tour through Salzberg. Local guide knew everybody so was able to get us through crowds and through lines without a hitch. I guess we ate at his friends restaurant since there was an open table for the 4 of us. Who knows, who cares? He filled us in on the construction of the EAGLES NEST pointing out things that were being passed by from other tour groups. He had contacted Scenic beforehand to find out where the boat would be at the end of the day. We made it back as the gang plank was being raised due to road construction

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