Wednesday, 30 May 2012

European Rivers - Which One to Cruise?

River Cruises in Europe
This page from the Avalon Waterways brochure gives a great view of Europe's rivers. Which one would you choose to cruise? Or would you plan for a combination of cruises for a longer holiday that spans Europe?

  • The Rhine River - across Holland and Germany and down to Switzerland
  • The Main River - through central Germany
  • The Danube River - through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary
  • The Moselle River - through Germany, Luxembourg and France
  • The Seine River - through Normandy in France from Paris to the English Channel
  • The Rhone River - through Burgundy and Provence in southern France
  • The Elbe River - through Germany and the Czech Republic
There are so many river cruises to choose from ranging from 5 to 15 days. Some offer add-on days in major cities such as Prague, Paris and Budapest.
  And when would you go? In summertime when the weather should be pleasant but there would be lots of tourists around? Or would you go in winter on a romantic, but freezing cold, Christmas cruise to visit the traditional Christmas markets in the riverside towns and villages?
  I want to go on them all!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Thinking of a River Cruise in Europe?

Research a River Cruise in Europe
My daughter and son-in-law are moving to Germany to live so the thought of visiting them next year sent me scurrying to my stack of brochures about European river cruises.
  Viking, Amadeus, APT and Avalon Waterways seem to be the main cruise lines in the area. In fact, the future of river cruising looks so bright that this year Avalon have two new 'suite' ships and Viking are launching six new ships, with another four to debut in 2014.
  The prices for European river cruises seem to be quite a bit more expensive than ocean cruises. But you have to think what is included in the cost:
  • all gourmet meals (wine and beer and soft drinks included in on-board dinners and lunches)
  • accommodation in large staterooms (with floor-to-ceiling windows on upper and middle decks)
  • all gratuities
  • all guided shore excursions daily with local guides
  • transportation, entry fees and reservations on tours
  • personal audio headsets for tours
  • port charges
  • lectures about local areas visited
  • wi-fi connections
  • excellent crew:passenger ratios ensures excellent service
Now to work out which cruise we might go on!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Celebrating your Birthday on a Cruise

The Birthday Boy
My husband was really looking forward to his birthday this year. He would be celebrating it while we were on the cruise. I had put the date in the 'cruise personaliser' part of the online registration, so then it was a case of wait and see what the day would bring.
  Well, it brought a cluster of balloons outside the stateroom and a big 'Happy Birthday' poster stuck on the cabin door. Of course I had to take a photo!
  At dinner that night, some of the waiters gathered round the table and sang a rousing 'happy birthday' to him. He also got a delicious chocolate cake and a birthday card.
  However I didn't get to see all that. I was in the ship's infirmary hooked up to an intravenous drip! But he did save some of the birthday cake for me. I had it for breakfast the next day! It was delicious.