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 River Cruisers - Meet Here

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The Sophisticated Cat
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PostSubject: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeTue Aug 26, 2008 11:39 am

Since the banner is up and an opt-in list has been started, I'm assuming that the group river cruise is going to happen, so, I'll be the first to get the discussion going.

I'd love something such as start in Amsterdam and end up in Germany or Switzerland but, I'm open to all ideas. This is something I always wanted to do but, never got around to it yet. Kind of hoping we do get a charter so we can have input on where we go, see, etc.

Who else is interested?
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 08, 2008 2:16 am

Hi, Sophisticated Cat
I LOVE river boat cruises. They certainly are a great way to see the country sides and cities along the river. I did a River cruise in Southern France for 7 nights ...traveling through the beautiful country side and seeing the historical places and lavendar blooming on the hillside was breathtaking. Also I did Budapest to Amsterdam and again the vineyards on the hillside, castles on the river banks, flowers in the window boxes in the cities along the way was a site to behold. Of course there is so much history there. I will be going in December for a 7 night CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND river trip from Trier (Germany's oldest town) to Amsterdam. I hear the Christmas Markets will be nice to see. I'm so excited to think Cruise Freek Forums thinks they may charter a river boat for their group. Sometime I want to try the Russian River boat trip between Moscow and St Petersburg. Oh, so many places to go and so little time .. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 08, 2008 11:59 am

I have clients going on the Paris and Normandy itinerary of UniWorld on October 5th. I'll be sure to get a complete report from them when they get back, and when I'm back from my own Princess cruise on October 12th.
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The Sophisticated Cat
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 08, 2008 12:02 pm

Any hint where the Cruise Freeks group will go? Personally, I'm hoping for Germany/Austria/Switzerland but, that isn't to say I'd object to anywhere, I think this will be a very different experience and, I'm looking forward to trying River Cruises.

In your opinions, which are the best River Cruise Lines and why? I'm a complete novice when it comes to this type of vacation.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 08, 2008 5:02 pm

Good Morning, Sophisticated Cat

No hint yet as to where the Cruise Freeks group will go.

I do enjoy looking at a map of Europe and seeing all the many different waterways that the European river boats travel. I agree traveling on the Rhine river through Germany, Austria and Switzerland would be a good choice of trips! We could spend extra nights in Paris or Lucerne!

Right now I cannot say I have a favorite Riverboat Cruiseline. I've experienced both Uniworld and Viking River cruise lines in Europe. Really the difference I saw wasn't to much on these two in Europe. Viking may have seemed to have been a step up on their food presentation and service. The Viking boat I was on was pretty new so that may have influenced my feelings a little.

Both had great inclusive tour/excursions that had English speaking guides who did their jobs very well by presenting the history and stories of the areas. Certainly being on these tours gave information I would have missed out on had I been traveling on my own. I will be sailing on Amadeaus in December so I will give you a heads up on that comparison as well.

Have you done a lot of other European travel and seen the boats on the rivers when you were there?
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Boca Brats
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeWed Sep 10, 2008 5:21 pm

I'm interested but, would like to know pricing, naturally, before saying a gun-ho yes. I'm sure it will offer a more personalized experience and, what better way to see interior Europe? I think it's a great idea, now I just have wait and see if it's affordable!
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeWed Sep 10, 2008 8:24 pm

Hi, Boca Brats
I'll look up some samples and give an idea and I'm sure you know they will not be at all exact for a couple years from now. I'll just give examples of something they are doing this year or next. Give me some time and I'll come back to you with that. Definately a river boat is "the best" for touring. Unlike a cruise where you are out on the ocean not necessarily close in to land for the view these are unbelieveable vistas of grapes growing on the hillsides and castles...just like the picture books! BUT the best are the daily tours of the area included in the price. Have patience with me to get some quotes Boca.... Maybe later tomorrow. I'm SOOO glad you are interested as you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference experience. Much more activity off the boat then on and while you are doing the river cruising on the top deck in the fresh air .mmmmm good. WELL I don't even know where we are going yet! oh well. Talk later.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeThu Sep 11, 2008 4:22 am

Hi, Boca Brats
Sorry for taking so long. I wanted to get back before you get tired of waiting.

Knowing there are different lengths of River Boat Cruises to different regions a range of pricing was found from $254 to $585 per day. I know that is quite a range but one may be a suite on a very small river boat and the other is the minimum category with window on a longer cruise. Most were averaging under $400 per day. Keep in mind that this is excursions/tours and usually transfers included. I wasn't sure where people would be flying from and to so I didn't figure any air cost in this.

It must be emphasised very strongly not to take this pricing literally and that this is just to give a broad range of an idea so you can plan. You know each cruise varies and each destination may be different pricing. I think I'm being unfair to you by giving these price ranges now because I don't want to ruin any expectations you might have when the actual cost comes out.

When CruiseFreek board members hear a charter price quoted all the board members interested will need to jump in immediately and deposit. Charters will not happen the last minute.

I'm sure the price will be very competitive and WOW.... cheers what fun to go with the Cruise Freek friends on a river boat just for them!

I hope this helped!

Please anyone that has been on a river boat you are invited to share your experience and cost with us. Those that haven't I'd love to read your comments as well.
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The Sophisticated Cat
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 15, 2008 1:47 pm

I think this idea has much potential and, I can't imagine people not being more interested in it. Basically it's a floating hotel and I'm sure it will be both fascinating and fun. Perhaps by next year, people will be inclined to start thinking a head a bit more.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 15, 2008 4:31 pm

Well this is certainly something that is peaking my interest. I'm not concerned about cost, my concern is the "boredom" factor. Without nightly shows or a casino, what does one do on a river cruise during the evenings?
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D D'Angelo
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 15, 2008 5:07 pm

I've been away from this board for a while and this is one of the cruises that also caught my attention. I'm also concerned about the boredom factor. I'd like to know

How much time is spend traveling during the day? Are the ships in port most of the day and travel by night? If so, that might make this an easier sell. Also what type of entertainment is board, if any and, how is the food? I would hope a touch better than the mainstream cruise lines since they are smaller vessels and not under taking mass catering on such a grand scale.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 15, 2008 7:53 pm

Hi, all,
The river boats that I've been on had a one man band/keyboard/singer in the dance lounge and had a casino room with one or two small tables. There were local artists that came on board as well with their local entertainments. My favorite thing when sailing late afternoon and evening was to be on the top deck watching the scenery... vineyards, castles, flowers on the hillside.... any way very pleasant to the eye! Plus at dark it was romantic looking at the night lights, moon and stars...mmmm. The boats did cruise at night and we had pretty intensive touring when we docked in the day. There was a SMALL exercise room on the boats we were on...very small and the top deck had a running track on it as well. I wouldn't worry about boredom BECAUSE there will be all the Cruise Freeks on board, dont you agree?
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Dr Donna
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 15, 2008 7:56 pm

Friendly Cruises wrote:
Hi, all,
The river boats that I've been on had a one man band/keyboard/singer in the dance lounge and had a casino room with one or two small tables. There were local artists that came on board as well with their local entertainments. My favorite thing when sailing late afternoon and evening was to be on the top deck watching the scenery... vineyards, castles, flowers on the hillside.... any way very pleasant to the eye! Plus at dark it was romantic looking at the night lights, moon and stars...mmmm. The boats did cruise at night and we had pretty intensive touring when we docked in the day. There was a SMALL exercise room on the boats we were on...very small and the top deck had a running track on it as well. I wouldn't worry about boredom BECAUSE there will be all the Cruise Freeks on board, dont you agree?

Sounds like some strong arguments to me. I'm also one who's afraid that it might be boring but, in those terms, you do make sound much more appealing. How do the shore tours work? For example, is it full day with lunch and by the time you get back on board, you're just happy to relax and enjoy some down time? If that's the case, I would go from interested to very interested almost instantly.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 15, 2008 8:21 pm

I would say the reason people are skeptic about taking a river boat is exactly what you are concerned about... . Once people go they are pleasantly surprised that they do not have time to get bored. You are not alone, Dr Donna.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeFri Sep 19, 2008 4:44 pm

Don't forget there are river boat cruises not only in Europe but many other areas as well such as China, Russia and Egypt.... oh my so many choices!
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Murray S
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeFri Sep 19, 2008 6:47 pm

I would also be game to try River Cruising, it sounds like a nice way to see interior Europe at a slower, more personalized pace.
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeFri Sep 19, 2008 8:14 pm

Good, Murray S,

We are getting some folks together that say they are interested. It won't be long and Tina will say go for the charter! Or at least set up the group! Do you have a place that you would favor?

By the way I love your picture! lol! YOU ARE CUTE
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Murray S
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 29, 2008 2:26 pm

lol! Why thank you, I'm sure it's the hair growing out of the ears that does it for you!
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Sep 29, 2008 5:41 pm

I must laugh, Murray S.... After I wrote the last one I was going to write that it was the hair growing out of the ears that highlighted your good looks. If we ever do get on this river boat cruise together I'm bringing the "nose hair" clippers with me... it may work on the ears.BUT I wouldn't like to change that look..... roflmao
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2008 10:00 am

Have a route or dates been selected yet? I saw a PBS program with Burt Wolf on a River Cruise and it's changed my opinion, it looks great and I'm willing to try it now!
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2008 11:53 am

AlwaysReadyToCruise wrote:
Have a route or dates been selected yet? I saw a PBS program with Burt Wolf on a River Cruise and it's changed my opinion, it looks great and I'm willing to try it now!
ne

Hi, Always Ready to Cruise.
Yes, we are getting closer to pricing and deciding but we were hoping for some more input from the board members as to desire of destination. Russia, China, France, or Central Europe have been discussed. We are checking on the terms of a charter versus a group on an already established sailing. Some comments have been to do the longer cruise as long as we are over there. An example of this is taking a two week trip from Budapest to Amsterdam versus a one week partial trip. What is your opinion after watching the Burt Wolf show? Do you have a destination or length of trip that would tempt you to go? We have three cruiselines as well that are being approached for pricing for the Cruise Freek sailing. Watch this link for comments and decisions ...I expect within the month the decision will be made. I would like to see it sooner rather then later. What is your thoughts on dates as well? We will get this decision going! :flying:
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Murray S
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2008 12:11 pm

I'm totally open for dates but as far as itinerary, I'd love something that would include Germany & Austria. And, in my opinion, the longer, the better - 14 days or so Wink
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The Sophisticated Cat
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2008 12:17 pm

I'm also open for dates and I have an idea/suggestion...

How would everyone feel about making this a "theme" river cruise? Like Wine and Food of the regions we visit? Perhaps tie in the shore tours with this theme and have speakers on board along with wine tastings etc?
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Murray S
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2008 1:24 pm

Wonderful idea Sophisticated Cat! I would love a Wine and Food tour! I think that theme would be a sell out! For example, can you imagine cruising France and Germany? You have my stomach rumbling just at the thought!
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PostSubject: Re: River Cruisers - Meet Here   River Cruisers - Meet Here Icon_minitimeMon Oct 06, 2008 1:31 pm

Well, nice to see activity on here finally! I will also second the idea of a Food and Wine theme, excellent suggestion! Couldn't think of a better theme! Here's an itinerary I would personally like to take: http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/us/cruises/GET/09AMSBUD14/VLE/itinerary.aspx

Or something similar...

As far as dates - I'd say mid to late July - late September
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