Viking Cities of Light Help

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#41
Maryland
5 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Originally posted by wispackrat
As far as the tours in Paris - Yes, there is an overview tour on a bus on the morning after your arrival. We toured around and only got off the bus at Notre Dame and at the Eiffel Tower. It was Sunday, so there was no tour as such inside Norte Dame as Mass was going on, but we were able to walk around and admire the beautiful cathedral. Then there was a bit of free time, then back to the bus for the rest of the city tour and a 10 minute photo stop a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower but with a great view. Then we went back to the hotel and I am not certain, but we got there somewhere around noon, so the rest of the day is yours.
There are actually quite a few optional tours in Paris:
THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES - this optional tour was given from 2:00-6:00 after the city tour and cost 149 euros per person. We did not take this tour, but those who did said Versailles was quite impressive and ornate and on that weekend day it was very crowded as well as very warm since Paris was experiencing a heatwave.
MONTMARTE HILL - Given from 2:15-5:45, this optional tour costs 49 euros. I did this tour later on in our stay, as we did the Paris extension, but I am sure it is the same. We took a bus to the base of the hill and after walking up the hill a few blocks, we took a finicular to the steps of Sacre-Coeur which we explored. The view of Paris from the top of the hill was incredible as it is the second highest point in the area. Then our guide toured us around the bohemian area where artists and writers frequented cafes and lived. We stopped for a treat of pastry and a drink, before going back down the hill and the bus and more touring of the city. This was a very nice tour and our guide was excellent, but it was not one of my favorites just because there were more interesting tours earlier on in the trip.
PARIS CABARET WITH DINNER - Transfer to the Paradis Latin in the Latin Quarter where you have front row reserved seats. After a Chateaubriand dinner, there is a very complete revue with acrobats,masked dancers, ballets and the can- can. The cost is 219 euros per person and the time is from 7:30-11:30. We did not do this tour, so I have no idea how it was.
These are the tours available for those who did not take the post cruise extension. There were five optional tours given for those who did stay longer.
This is so helpful, thank you! Any other tours along the river that were particularly great?
#42
Michigan
1,165 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by wispackrat
In regard to OBC - be aware that this credit can only be used onboard and not in the originating city for optional excursions. We began our trip in Prague, so (not being onboard yet) we could not use OBC for the optional Prague by Night tour, but paid for it on the shore excursion website. Once on board the Alsvin, however, we could use the OBC for any shore excursion thereafter, even those in Paris.
Viking is very explicit about how OBC can be used: optional excursions made while on the ship, drinks apart from those included with lunch or dinner, laundry and purchases from the very limited gift nook.
Gratuities cannot be paid with OBC.
We are concerned because some of the excursions are already sold out so there is no chance for us to purchase them onboard. Oh well, what can we do! Not much at this point. We leave shortly for the Prague to Paris trip and are very excited. Can you please tell me how long the ride is from Prague to the ship and also how long it is from the ship to Paris. I have heard it is quite a drive but no one has been able to tell me how long. Thanks!
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#43
San Francisco Bay Area
8,092 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by wispackrat
In regard to OBC - be aware that this credit can only be used onboard and not in the originating city for optional excursions. We began our trip in Prague, so (not being onboard yet) we could not use OBC for the optional Prague by Night tour, but paid for it on the shore excursion website. Once on board the Alsvin, however, we could use the OBC for any shore excursion thereafter, even those in Paris.
Viking is very explicit about how OBC can be used: optional excursions made while on the ship, drinks apart from those included with lunch or dinner, laundry and purchases from the very limited gift nook.
Gratuities cannot be paid with OBC.
Thank you – very helpful.
Re: tours in Paris. We arrive in Paris late and do not have a tour on arrival:

Disembark in Trier this morning,then travel to Luxembourg where, at the American Cemetery, you can pay homage tothe thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the World War II Battle of the Bulge. See the city of Luxembourg on a guided tour, then stop for lunch before continuing on to Paris. When you arrive in Paris, the romantic capital of France, check in to the Le Méridien Étoile (or similar) for a 2-night stay.Your evening is free to explore and dine on your own.

We have an AM tour next morning to Louvre.
#45
Racine, WI
21 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Rosieo - Do not be concerned about the optional excursions being all filled up. Since you are leaving on your cruise in a short time, Viking has probably closed the excursion applications that can be done online. They do that about 10 days before. Once you arrive at your starting point in Prague, you probably will be able to book the optional excursion, Prague By Night, if you want. However, if you have OBC and want to use it for the optional excursions, you must wait until you board the Alsvin to use it. We found a signup sheet for the excursions in our room. Take the sheet to the desk and you will be signed up

In regard to the bus rides to and from the ship. What can I say. They are bus rides but on rather comfortable buses. The ride from Prague is divided a bit; the first part to Nurnberg is about four hours, but they do stop at a huge rest stop halfway there. The bus driver is required to make a stop and passengers can use the facilities (please note that there is a bathroom on the bus, tiny but useful) and shop for whatever. Once in Nurnberg, we were brought to the city center where we were free to wander, enjoy the market, and to have lunch for about an hour and a half. Then there is a bus tour (just what we wanted, more bus, but at least there are distractions). We did disembark at Hitler's parade grounds for a presentation by our guide. Then it was back to the bus for an hour trip to Bamberg and the Alsvin.
The ride from Trier to Paris - I am not entirely sure about the length of this trip. We did stop partway to visit the impressive American cemetery in Luxembourg. It was just outside the capital where we took a walking tour with a guide which was interesting. We then reboarded the bus for our trip to the Meridien Etoile. This trip seemed shorter, but it was several hours.
#46
Racine, WI
21 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
As far as tours that I would particularly recommend. In Wurzburg there was a choice between the included tour of the Bishop's Residenz with a walking tour of Wurzburg and an optional tour of Rothenberg ob der Tauber ending with the tour of the Bishop's Residenz but no Wurzburg. We opted for the optional tour and it was our favorite. There was a bus ride on the Romantic Road to the fairy tale town of Rothemberg ob der Tauber. We had a walking tour of the town, then free time with some suggestions for activities and then an included lunch at a lovely restaurant. On the way back, we visited the Bishop's Residenz before returning to the ship. From what I heard, the included tour of Wurzburg was also very good. The choice is yours.
The included tour of Heidelberg was excellent also. The castle, though mostly in ruins, is lovely and the tour of the town was very interesting. We had been to Heidelberg on a previous cruise and enjoyed it, but this time lunch with college students in an old hotel was included and added a lot to the experience.
We also enjoyed the Gutenberg Museum and demonstration in the included Mainz tour and we took a cable car ride in Rudesheim which afforded wonderful views of the area. We did this on our own as there was no official tour in Rudesheim and we were there quite a while.
#47
Michigan
1,165 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
wispackrat thank you for all the information. I am getting really excited, only a short time before we leave. I appreciate your information!
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#48
Racine, WI
21 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
I hope you have a wonderful cruise! The one piece of advice I might give you is to do the things that you enjoy, not necessarily the things that you think that you should do. Prague, and especially Paris, have so much to offer and if you try to do everything, you will exhaust yourself. In looking back, I think that we enjoyed the river cruise the most. It was so relaxing and refreshing. After a morning or afternoon having a tour of a new place, it was like coming back home to return to the calmness of the ship. The crew of the Alsvin and especially the Program Director, Bojan Bozic, were above anything that we could have wished for. Enjoy your cruise!
#50
Missouri
47 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by wispackrat
As far as tours that I would particularly recommend. In Wurzburg there was a choice between the included tour of the Bishop's Residenz with a walking tour of Wurzburg and an optional tour of Rothenberg ob der Tauber ending with the tour of the Bishop's Residenz but no Wurzburg. We opted for the optional tour and it was our favorite. There was a bus ride on the Romantic Road to the fairy tale town of Rothemberg ob der Tauber. We had a walking tour of the town, then free time with some suggestions for activities and then an included lunch at a lovely restaurant. On the way back, we visited the Bishop's Residenz before returning to the ship. From what I heard, the included tour of Wurzburg was also very good. The choice is yours.

The included tour of Heidelberg was excellent also. The castle, though mostly in ruins, is lovely and the tour of the town was very interesting. We had been to Heidelberg on a previous cruise and enjoyed it, but this time lunch with college students in an old hotel was included and added a lot to the experience.

We also enjoyed the Gutenberg Museum and demonstration in the included Mainz tour and we took a cable car ride in Rudesheim which afforded wonderful views of the area. We did this on our own as there was no official tour in Rudesheim and we were there quite a while.


I have questions about the Heidelberg day. We went on the Rhine Getaway so toured the castle. Were you given any options on that day other than the included excursion? Wondering if the ship moved during the day or if someone can go into town from the ship to do things on their own. My sister is recovering from knee surgery so we may want to skip the castle since we have seen it to give her knee a rest. Any insight you can give would be appreciated. Also I would love it if you could post the daily sheet that shows the schedule for that day.

Looking forward to any information you can post.

Penny