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casarosa

First river cruise

5 posts in this topic

Hi, my wife and I would like to go on a river cruise for the first time, possibly in June 2016.  Although we have been on quite a few ocean cruises with P&O, Cunard, Fred Olsen and Royal Caribbean we have not tried a river cruise.  We would like to try a river cruise as although my wife loves the ocean cruises she does suffer badly from sea sickness and we think a river cruise would be more stable.  We did wonder about a cruise along the Danube taking in Vienna and Budapest or possibly the Douro Valley in Portugal but are open to suggestions.

 

We would appreciate any comments for a first river cruise.  We have looked at many companies and are deterred somewhat with the cost but can see excursions, drinks etc are usually included.  However as we are not big drinkers it would not worry us if drinks were not included.

 

 

sammy sun likes this

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We have done two: Amsterdam to Vienna and Moscow to St Petersburg. Both were intrinsically excellent. The former suffered from the rivers/canal being short of water, so half the cruise was on coaches as the boat could not get back to Amsterdam. Apparently the converse has been known to happen, in that too much water means the boat cannot get under some of the bridges! The Russian cruise suffered from being organised by a French travel company on a Stalin's proletariat boat which was totally lacking in amenities and entertainment. It did have the virtue of being much cheaper than the major river cruise companies (Viking etc).

 

As you say, Casarosa, the visits are included, but there is no choice. On the Rhine cruise only one was offered at each port of call, and very often it involved a coach ride to the site of interest. During the visit the boat had moved on to the next stop, where the coach deposited us at the end of the visit. We found it wasn't possible to stay on board and not take the visit. The Russian cruise was different, in that all the visits were actually to the ports of call.

 

Both cruises provided excellent food. A word of warning, though. Book a cabin on as high a deck as you can afford. The boats travel through the night and the rivers/canals are littered with locks. Going through them is extremely noisy, and the lower the deck, the greater the engine noise. These are very small boats compared with the ocean cruise ships so everyone is nearer the engines than on the latter.

 

Having said all that, we thoroughly enjoyed  our two cruises and would not be averse to going on one again if my wife's health did not militate against.

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Thank you for the reply.  I don't think we fancy the Russian cruise but wondered which company you used for the Rhine cruise. 

 

Kind regards, Neil

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Hi casrosa, although I have never done a river cruise myself, I know many people that have. Viking River Cruises seem to be everywhere at the moment, investing heavily in advertising but I've heard very good things about them. Their ships look lovely and the itineraries are always appealing when I read through, which I do a lot as it's something I would like to try one day.

 

Ama Waterways and APT are also supposed to be popular. I know friends that have travelled with Ama and had nothing but good things to say and I also read quite a few good reviews for APT not too long ago. I also saw APT featured in Bolsover's magazine a while back which was an interesting read. 

 

I'm sure others on here would be able to give you better insight than me though.

 

As for the destinations, the two itineraries you're looking at sound great. I'm a big fan of Portugal so the Douro would also be on my list.

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Hi casarosa have you considered Viking, APT or AmaWaterways? I've not done a river cruise myself, but they are the cruise lines I would consider if I was ever to book a river cruise. I've heard quite a few positive things about river cruises with APT and AmaWaterways from the people I've spoken to, not sure if I've spoken to anyone who has done a river cruise with Viking but the ship and itineraries they offer look fab. I've also dug out two old blog posts from Bolsover that they did on river cruising a while ago, both are great reads and may be helpful to you. 

http://www.bolsovercruiseclub.com/blog/2015/04/28/36714-tales-from-a-river-cruise-convert-part-one/

http://www.bolsovercruiseclub.com/blog/2015/04/30/36740-tales-from-a-river-cruise-convert-part-two/

 

You'll have to let us know how you get along and which river cruise line you decide to cruise with. 

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