We are in the planning stages of taking the Tulip Tour on the ms Europe the end of April. Any thoughts? What can we expect for the weather? Do they keep you active enough or is there a need for additional shore excursions to see/do more? Any information is appreciated. Thanks!
Any information on transferring from/to the airport to the Viking dock is also appreciated. Best way to go? (taxi, tram, etc) Cost? How about changing USD to the Euro? Credit cards... use them or not? Have read that many places in the Netherlands just don't accept them. Looking for any help. We have booked the cruise and our air so could really use some further assistance from those who've been there, done that! Thanks!
Roz- You have good questions - which date are you traveling- I am a travel agent and am checking out the viking spirit on 24 April. The trip will be the Holland trip. Another travel agent will be going with me. Have your questions already been answered by others before me. I may have some help, but have not taken this line or destination before. This is why we try it for ourselves and then market the product to our clients with first hand experience.
Craig - We are departing April 28. Are you going on the recently offered fam? I've been searching the internet for answers to my questions. Plus a couple of questions to Viking direct. I know that a taxi from Schiphol to the pier is about $35US and the train is about $5US. To adventure or not to adventure? And just which one would be the 'better' adventure?! I would greatly appreciate any sharing you care to offer as we also acquaint ourselves with this trip offering.
Just a note to let everyone know how much we enjoyed this cruise! We're ready to do it again! The only downside to the week abroad and aboard was the weather which Viking certainly couldn't control! The Keukenhof Gardens were fabulous and a must see! The Floriade was a bit of a disappointment but probably more due to the rain than anything else. Didn't get too far into it until it began to pour! Seeing all the windmills was a thrill. The buildings were intriguing. These are old canal towns on this tour and my camera was constanting capturing the views! The staff on board was most accommodating. Be prepared to pay over 50 euros to get from the ship to the airport. We took the train on the way to the ship for less that 3 euros each! Interesting experience! HOWEVER - the only truly down side to all of it was that we were told that ALL we had to do was go out the back door of Centraal Station and the ship is right there. NOT SO! We took a hike in the pouring rain and still couldn't get to/find our ship! I recommend all book transfers with Viking. Definitely would be a time/cost saver! Our ship was located about a 14 euros ride away from the train station and even then we were delivered to the wrong part of the new Passenger Terminal - which many taxi drivers know nothing about! That being said, the cruise portion of the trip was wonderful. Be prepared for small dinner portions however.
We hope to go on the Rhine Viking tour in the future. Please feel free to email or ask any questions.
We're going on the Rhine River cruise August 9th Amsterdam to Vienna and I was just reading your account of getting to the boat. Do you know if it is possible to book transfers from the airport to the boat with Viking even if you arrange your own air? Given your experiences, would you recommend a taxi all the way?
We would appreciate any info you could provide.
How did you end up getting from the airport to the boat in Amsterdam? We have arranged our own air for our AMS-VIE cruise on Aug 9th, but need to know the best way to get to the boat. We would appreciate any info or tips you could provide.
I'm in the travel business, too (airline reservations) and have many of the same questions you and Roz had. Did you go on your trip? If so, do you have any tips for novice river cruisers? We are doing the Rhine River cruise AMS-VIE next week and although we have done several big ship cruises, this is our first river cruise. We would appreciate any info you might pass on.
Yes, Susan...you may book transfers from Viking for transportation between airport and pier. It usually runs $70 round trip per person (that is, from airport to pier at beginning and from pier to airport at end of cruise). Just call the 800 number, give the reservation clerk your booking number, and ask to add transfers to your billing. If you used a travel agent (rather than booking directly with Viking), call him/her instead.
ShirleySusan K wrote:
> We're going on the Rhine River cruise August 9th Amsterdam to
> Vienna and I was just reading your account of getting to the
> boat. Do you know if it is possible to book transfers from the
> airport to the boat with Viking even if you arrange your own
> air? Given your experiences, would you recommend a taxi all
> the way?
> We would appreciate any info you could provide.
Yes, you can purchase round-trip transfers for airport to ship and ship to airport from Viking. It usually runs $70 per person. If you booked your cruise through a travel agent, call him/her with a request for transfers. If you booked directly with Viking, call their 800 number and give the reservation clerk your booking number and request for adding on transfers.
You are in for a wonderful cruise experience! I have collected information about the ports you will visit, together with information such as packing tips. I usually keep a journal of our cruises, but I haven't had enough time to work on our Grand European journal--but completing it is my #1 New Year's resolution!
Here are a few snippets...more to follow:
The cruise was fabulous! The ship is lovely, and the crew is very caring--all they want is for you to have a good time! The port talks were very well prepared and documented. You will not believe the way Viking integrates the cruises with the tours! The logistics are mindboggling. And the passengers were great--no whiners in the whole group!
There were so many highlights...The abbeys and cathedrals and palaces are magnificent! Bring plenty of film! There were also a number of "Jewish interest" sights, such as the synagogue in Budapest, Nuremburg's.Palace of Justice where the Nuremburg trials were held; two museums in Vienna, the old Jewish cemetary in the tiny town of Miltenburg; the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam...And then there were lots of just plain fun outings...the Music Museum in Rudesheim, the Gypsy dinner in Budapest, the glassblower (we're talking Venetian glass quality and craftsmanship, not what you see at carnivals and bazaars!), the organ concert on the world's largest pipe organ in Passau--over 17,000 pipes; the opera house in Budapest, the ballet/concert in Vienna, the red-light district in Amsterdam (don't miss it!)... All in all, 14 days of spectacular. By the way, I'm very glad that we took a private tour in Budapest; there is no way to cover the highlights in a 3-hour city tour!
The breakfasts and lunches on the ship were fabulous buffets, supplemented by menu items as well. At dinner, the choices were more limited and often included local favorites, such as bratwurst in Germany and goulash soup in Budapest. The soups were all wonderful! Grilled steak and roasted chicken were available each evening for those who did not want the menu items.
Yes, yes, yes...I will prepare a journal. Things have been so hectic that I'm way behind. But I will get to it!