Rhine vs. Danube river cruise?

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#1
NYC
3 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Can anyone give advice as to which cruise may be better, a 7day Rhine or a Danube cruise? Any particular companies/ships to recommend? Best time of the year to cruise? Thanks!
#2
Sydney, Australia
1,318 Posts
Joined May 2007
Hi, your question may be a bit too vague.

Rhine/Danube? Depends what your interests are- castles? scenery?

Time of year depends on the area. The north is vastly different to the south. I like out of peak season. Some people like the Christmas cruises (even though it's snowing).

There are lots of threads about different cruise companies. They all have their fans. Some prefer one, others prefer another.
As I said, it really depends what you want from a cruise.

Maybe do a little research, look at where tours start, finish, what they visit etc and then post some more specific questions.

Personally I think you can't go wrong with most of the cruises. Just pick one that appeals to you and the beginning and ending places that suit so you can spend more time there. BTW Prague is AMAZING if you can start/finish in Nuremburg.
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#3
Hershey, PA
34 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
You can't go wrong with either one. I've done both of them and absolutely loved them! Each had it's own plusses (no minuses for either) - it just depends on which part of the country you're most interested in seeing.

We did the Rhine River cruise on the Viking Helvetia in November 2010. The weather was a little chilly but not too bad. Since it wasn't peak season, there wasn't many other tourists around so we basically had the tour sites to ourselves, which was nice.

We did the Danube River cruise on the Viking Prestige in July 2011. I was worried that it would be too hot, but it was delightful - warm but not hot. However, some sites (such as Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna) were crowded with other tourists.

Good luck and happy sails!
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Viking Helvetia - Rhine Getaway - November 2010
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#4
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
My vote is for the whole 9 yards! In 2010 we took a cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam called "Castles along the Rhine and Danube" with Vantage and loved it! The Danube part with Budapest and Vienna was fantastic. Stopping in Regenesburg and having bratwurst from a kitchen that was from the 1300's was an experience also. Visiting St. Jacob's in Rotherberg and seeing the carved altar was very moving.The experience of the Main Danube canal and the buildings along the way was great. For the Rhine part, I bought a book about the castles along the Rhine that was very informative and helped identify the castles.
To read the story and see the pictures of our cruise, please go to our website.
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It serves no purpose to list all the cruises I have been on chronologically. Many of the lines or ships do not exist any more, or have been renamed. I have sailed on NCL,Bermuda Star, Regency, Royal, Silverseas, Mississippi Queen, Vantage, Marco Polo, Scottish Highlander, Princess, Victoria, Hebridean Princess, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Oceania, Cunard, Rembrandt, and Lev Tolstoy.
#5
White Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,611 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We, too, have been researching to plan our first river cruise, deciding between the Rhine and Danube. We wish we did know what parts of the country we want to see, but have little knowledge of the regions. We are looking to travel during the summer of 2013. We will have from 7-12 days. We enjoy great scenery, wine, those "lesser known" attractions, variety, and seeing other cultures; a few museums and churches, but do not want those to be the focal point of the trip. We will probably go with a mid-priced cruise line.
All suggestions welcome. Please provide some specifics on what you liked about your itinerary.
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Past Cruises:
Celebrity Silhouette - TA
Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas - Arctic Circle
Disney Fantasy - Souhern Caribbean
AMAPrima - Danube, Prague to Budapest
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - Southern Carib.
Carnival Imagination - Western Carib.
Carnival Valor - Southern Carib.
Norwegian Sun - Baltics, Copenhagen, St Petersburg
Royal Caribbean Brilliance - Mediterranean, Spain Italy
Celebrity Millenium - Alaska
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
Royal Caribbean Nordic Prince - Bermuda
#6
Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
13,994 Posts
Joined May 2001
Originally posted by sayaguru
...The north is vastly different to the south. I like out of peak season. ... BTW Prague is AMAZING if you can start/finish in Nuremburg.
I too am researching our first river cruise for 2013. In what way is the north vastly different than the south, and are you talking about the Danube, or the Rhine versus the Danube?

Some lines that start in Passau or Vilshofen on the Danube also have pre-cruise trips to Prague, not just ones starting in Nuremberg.

I'm interested in the difference between the upper and lower parts of the Danube. Some said that the trips that go down into Bulgaria would not be as good, since the logistics at that end might be iffy.
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#7
Wirral, England
1,467 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We have chosen Bucharest to Budapest for our first River cruise, so we go through Bulgaria and we fly out to Bucharest which is in Romania.

We are yet to travel, but we have researched both start and finish bases and the Hilton hotels in both Bucharest and Budapest that Viking book us into as part of the integral itinerary. There seems to be little difference between Bucharest and Budapest from the guide books/web reviews - athough Budapest seems to have been less affected architecturally by the communist era and the conflicts. Both Hotels have very good reviews on TripAdvisor.

Viking have booked our flights on KLM from/to Manchester and we change in Amsterdam for both flights. If you are looking to fly from North America, things may be different and I do not know about Visa requirements for Americans.

Have a good holiday whatever you choose.
#8
1,046 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Steve...great website thanks for sharing. Wow! You really get around...and that's coming from a travel agent! :-) Very nice.
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Pete
River Cruise Guru


#9
Upstate of South Carolina, US
2,203 Posts
Joined May 2003
We are also trying to decide which to choose. We are going end of March/April 2013. Wondering if it will be too overcast on the Rhine??
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#11
Lexington, Kentucky
179 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
We took the Christmas market tour down the Rhine in Dec., 2010 through Gate One Travel. We loved it and are talking about doing it again. We are taking a 14 day Budapest to Prague trip with a 7 day river cruise in the middle of the trip, down the Danube next month. I have been pleased with Gate One. My sister and her husband are going with us. They use Gate One a lot. Last year they went to Serbia, Romania and somewhere else and was involved in a bus wreck on one of their tours
. They weren't hurt, but were inconvenienced. Gate One reimbursed their trip.
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#12
Upstate of South Carolina, US
2,203 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by DroopyCruiser
We took the Christmas market tour down the Rhine in Dec., 2010 through Gate One Travel. We loved it and are talking about doing it again. We are taking a 14 day Budapest to Prague trip with a 7 day river cruise in the middle of the trip, down the Danube next month. I have been pleased with Gate One. My sister and her husband are going with us. They use Gate One a lot. Last year they went to Serbia, Romania and somewhere else and was involved in a bus wreck on one of their tours
. They weren't hurt, but were inconvenienced. Gate One reimbursed their trip.
come back to the boards and let us know how the cruise went
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#13
Texas
90 Posts
Joined May 2009
We are also trying to decide which route to take. Viking is the only river cruise I've heard of. I want to see castles, scenery, quaint little Bavarian towns, Prague, Vienna. I don't even know which rivers they are on I'm so new at this. Hubby mentioned river cruise last night, so I don't know when we can go. I don't even know how far in advance you have to book. Seeing that only 150 people are on each ship I guess you have to book years in advance. There's a route that starts in Paris that looks good, but there are several 12-15 day cruises that look great. I just need to look up all those cities I've never heard of! Someone on another thread mentioned Durnstein was cool, so I'm looking that up. If I'm going to bother flying 10 miserable hours to get there I want to make sure I go to the right cities!
#14
Texas
90 Posts
Joined May 2009
We are also trying to decide which route to take. Viking is the only river cruise I've heard of. I want to see castles, scenery, quaint little Bavarian towns, Prague, Vienna. I don't even know which rivers they are on I'm so new at this. Hubby mentioned river cruise last night, so I don't know when we can go. I don't even know how far in advance you have to book. Seeing that only 150 people are on each ship I guess you have to book years in advance. There's a route that starts in Paris that looks good, but there are several 12-15 day cruises that look great. I just need to look up all those cities I've never heard of! Someone on another thread mentioned Durnstein was cool, so I'm looking that up. If I'm going to bother flying 10 miserable hours to get there I want to make sure I go to the right cities!
#15
Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
13,994 Posts
Joined May 2001
Me too, I'm looking at all the routes. Cruise lines include: AMA Waterways, Uniworld, Tauck, Avalon, Scenic Tours. Different prices, different types of cabins and amenities, different inclusions.

I'm looking at the Danube. But the Rhine I'm sure is lovely too.

Prague isn't actually on any river routes--it's added to cruises as a extra city before or after the cruise.

I'm looking at 2013, I think that's plenty of time, because there are lots of ships competing now. I'm also looking mostly at river trips that are only about 8 days. Since this will be our first time, I don't want to get stuck doing something I may not like. We'll add time in cities before and after the cruise. Most likely route right now is Nuremberg to Budapest on AMA.
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#16
Texas
90 Posts
Joined May 2009
Great posts, I'm learning so much! 8 days isn't enough for me so I'm going to start looking at 10-14 day cruises. Glad to learn that Viking isn't the only river cruise out there.
#17
1,046 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
There are many river cruise choices out there. Booking a year ahead is a good idea as most of the new ships filled up quick for 2012. You can still find empty cabins though on cruises. You can use a travel agent or river cruise specialist to assist you.
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Pete
River Cruise Guru


#18
Zeta II Riticuli
716 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I'm so glad I found this post, like others we are considering a river cruise in 2013, early April to be more exact.

With my very little research done so far, the Rhine cruise from Viking, on the Helvetica seems to fit the bill. The price point fits snd we like the idea of castles.

Am I really missing anything by crossing Uniworld, etc off the list?
Is it worth the extra fare?

My main concerns at this early stage are:
  • River levels being too low
  • Food selection. My wife does not keep strict kosher, but will not eat any pork, I have heard that the meals tend to be pork heavy.

Keep the posts coming, we are nowhere close to deciding which line / river to take

Thanks
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#19
GTA, Ontario, Canada
32,561 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Fla Mike
My main concerns at this early stage are:
  • River levels being too low
  • Food selection. My wife does not keep strict kosher, but will not eat any pork, I have heard that the meals tend to be pork heavy.

Keep the posts coming, we are nowhere close to deciding which line / river to take

Thanks
April you may find the rivers are high same problem as being low the ships may not fir under the bridges
Look in the brochures or contact the cruise line some will cater to Kosher diets others do not
#20
Ontario, Canada
2,728 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Fla Mike -

Most lines will have 3 main course choices - 1 meat, 1 fish and 1 vegetarian. But there is usually an alternate choice (steak, or chicken...). Of course - that just speaks to the choice of food - not the preparation.

There are a number of itineraries that cover the castles on the Rhine. If you are happy with Viking (price, dates, itinerary) - then go ahead and book. I am sure that you would enjoy the trip. But my advice is --> don't look back - or second guess your choice.

But - if you think that there is something "else" you might be interested in (different stop, different cruising time, costs) then I would suggest looking at Uniworld, AMA and Avalon - as all travel the Rhine.

Fran