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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2013, 01:05 AM
sadiemay sadiemay is offline
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Default Black Forest Tour and other optional Tours

We are first time river cruisers on Avalon Artistry II 6/2/13 from Basel to Amsterdam. I am wondering if anyone can comment on the optional Black Forest tour offered? Is it worth the extra cost in your opinion? Any other optional tours on this itinerary that you liked and would recommend? We don't know a lot about this area and would love to hear some other opinions. Also, is it necessary to prebook for fear of the tour selling out? I have kind of gotten the feeling that it is not necessary on a river cruise. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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CaroleSS CaroleSS is offline
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Hey SadieMay - and fellow NCer!

We'll be on the Artistry next year and are in the same dilema. We're looking at the optional excursions and trying to decide which ones to take. Our choices are Strasbourg or the Black Forest.

I don't think you'll need to commit now. You can wait almost to the last minute to decide.....or at least that's the way it was on our previous small ship adventure. There are only 128 people on the boat, so I'm sure they are quite flexible!
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  #3  
Old April 4th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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I don't know what your Black Forest tour includes. We did one with Avalon and essentially it was a bus ride to a clock shop. We've done other Black Forest tours that were incredibly delightful. The Avalon included tour was a waste of time.

Strasbourg is a very beautiful old city with a magnificent Dom. I think it's a don't miss city and would do that instead of a Black Forest tour if the tour is only a bus ride and visit to a coo-coo clock shop. Search the web for Strasbourg and you will see how wonderful it is.

Have fun no matter where you tour!
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Old April 4th, 2013, 03:00 PM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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We lived in Germany for four years and did both Strasbourg and the Black Forrest. Strasbourg, France is one of my favorite cities. I would tend to go with that choice, but I don't know what your Black Forrest tour includes?
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Old April 4th, 2013, 03:09 PM
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The black forest tour was included in our trip and nothing more then a bus ride. Strasbourg is not to be missed.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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This from the website as to our choices for the day:
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, here, on your included WALKING TOUR, you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. A choice of optional excursions is available this afternoon; a trip into the Alsace wine region in France may strike your fancy, or on the other side of the river in Germany, the Black Forest beckons.

It looks like the tour of Strausburg is included for the morning and in the afternooon we can 1) stay in Strausburg, 2) go on a trip to Alsace (wine tasting maybe), or 3) go to the Balck Forset - for which there is this description:

Excursion to the Black Forest
The Black Forest region ('Schwarzwald') is essentially known for three distinctive features: its highlands, scenery and woods, the typical Black Forest Cake ('Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte') whose success is based on tasty cherry schnapps and the traditional cuckoo-clock. The name Black Forest was quite accurate in earlier times, when the forest was impenetrable. When the wood trade began to falter clock-making stepped in and has been a successful industry for the Black Forest ever since the 17th century. Listen to your local expert's stories and fairy tale, as the region is blessed with a particularly rich mythological landscape. Visit the open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof at Gutach and see how life was lived centuries ago, in this area.


If we did go to the Black Forset, it would be to look for cuckoo-clocks. Doesn't look like we'd do that according to the description.

BUT our trip is quite a ways off, so their optional excursions may change between now and then!
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Old April 4th, 2013, 04:16 PM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleSS View Post
This from the website as to our choices for the day:
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, here, on your included WALKING TOUR, you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. A choice of optional excursions is available this afternoon; a trip into the Alsace wine region in France may strike your fancy, or on the other side of the river in Germany, the Black Forest beckons.

It looks like the tour of Strausburg is included for the morning and in the afternooon we can 1) stay in Strausburg, 2) go on a trip to Alsace (wine tasting maybe), or 3) go to the Balck Forset - for which there is this description:

Excursion to the Black Forest
The Black Forest region ('Schwarzwald') is essentially known for three distinctive features: its highlands, scenery and woods, the typical Black Forest Cake ('Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte') whose success is based on tasty cherry schnapps and the traditional cuckoo-clock. The name Black Forest was quite accurate in earlier times, when the forest was impenetrable. When the wood trade began to falter clock-making stepped in and has been a successful industry for the Black Forest ever since the 17th century. Listen to your local expert's stories and fairy tale, as the region is blessed with a particularly rich mythological landscape. Visit the open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof at Gutach and see how life was lived centuries ago, in this area.


If we did go to the Black Forset, it would be to look for cuckoo-clocks. Doesn't look like we'd do that according to the description.

BUT our trip is quite a ways off, so their optional excursions may change between now and then!
The heart of the Black Forest is around Triberg and you are not going there. Baden Baden is another interesting city, but you don't go there either.

I would go with Strasbourg. For the afternoon, stay in Strasbourg or do the wine tasting.
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  #8  
Old April 4th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Thank you!!!!
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  #9  
Old April 4th, 2013, 06:37 PM
sadiemay sadiemay is offline
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Thank you for all the replys! The info has been very helpful and I think we will forego the Black Forest in favor of the wine tasting.
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  #10  
Old April 4th, 2013, 06:43 PM
sadiemay sadiemay is offline
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CaroleSS, thank you for that complete description. We had not seen that on the web site. I think we will have to go back to the site and search it more thoroughly.
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  #11  
Old April 4th, 2013, 07:58 PM
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I do not wish to dissuade anyone for going to the Black Forset, but isn't that what this forum is for....do discuss the pros and cons of "stuff" so we can all make the most of our cruises?

We have NOT been on our cruise, but I'm unable to find any reviews of the Avalon excursions. The only one that I've found is on CCs sister site
http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserRe...rttemberg.html

I've looked for reviews of the Alsace tour, but have come up short. I'm hoping that this forum will grow as time progresses with reviews and suggestions.

(Note to self: remember to come back and post details and suggestions when we get home! )

Last edited by CaroleSS; April 4th, 2013 at 07:59 PM.
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  #12  
Old April 9th, 2013, 11:09 AM
Sittib11 Sittib11 is offline
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Default Weather in November..Rhine Getaway w Viking?

We are wondering how cold should we prepare for, or just bring layering clothes, and be comfortable?









QUOTE=CaroleSS;37854727]This from the website as to our choices for the day:
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, here, on your included WALKING TOUR, you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. A choice of optional excursions is available this afternoon; a trip into the Alsace wine region in France may strike your fancy, or on the other side of the river in Germany, the Black Forest beckons.

It looks like the tour of Strausburg is included for the morning and in the afternooon we can 1) stay in Strausburg, 2) go on a trip to Alsace (wine tasting maybe), or 3) go to the Balck Forset - for which there is this description:

Excursion to the Black Forest
The Black Forest region ('Schwarzwald') is essentially known for three distinctive features: its highlands, scenery and woods, the typical Black Forest Cake ('Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte') whose success is based on tasty cherry schnapps and the traditional cuckoo-clock. The name Black Forest was quite accurate in earlier times, when the forest was impenetrable. When the wood trade began to falter clock-making stepped in and has been a successful industry for the Black Forest ever since the 17th century. Listen to your local expert's stories and fairy tale, as the region is blessed with a particularly rich mythological landscape. Visit the open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof at Gutach and see how life was lived centuries ago, in this area.


If we did go to the Black Forset, it would be to look for cuckoo-clocks. Doesn't look like we'd do that according to the description.

BUT our trip is quite a ways off, so their optional excursions may change between now and then![/quote]
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  #13  
Old April 10th, 2013, 01:57 AM
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peterdkiwi peterdkiwi is offline
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We are on the July 14th sailing and will be doing the Wine Tasting tour instead of the Balck Forest tour, have read numerious reports on both tours on this and other sites and 70 to 80% say the Wine tour is better, we also enjoy wine.
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  #14  
Old April 10th, 2013, 08:22 AM
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peterdkiwi ~ what cruise line are you traveling on? We'll be on Viking (Rhine Getaway) and DH is VERY interested in wine. The on-line itinerary for Breisach mentiones the Black Forest tour and also an optional tour to Colmar - is that the wine tour????

Thanks much for any info!!
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  #15  
Old April 10th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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CaroleSS CaroleSS is offline
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I guess ya'll have convinced me.....wine it is!

BUT don't forget about us.....please let us know how it was when you return!!
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  #16  
Old April 10th, 2013, 09:42 AM
tvmovielover tvmovielover is offline
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Default Between Strasbourg & Black Forest-only 1 choice!

And that choice is Strasbourg for all the reasons mentioned above. We also went on Viking which has a slightly different itinerary so that the included Black Forest tour is at a different stop from Strasbourg. We went on the Black Forest tour for something to do until the optional Colmar tour in the pm (if your ship offers Colmar, it is worth the time though not as an alternative to Strasbourg).

Black Forest tour was a long bus ride to a cuckoo clock, Black Forest cake touristy stop (cake did not look good), BUT there was also a beautiful nature trail next to a waterfall that you could do while others were shopping and eating. We were there in the fall and the ride through that part of the Black Forest was pretty so if such a thing is included and there is time to kill, it might be ok but I would never pay for such a tour.
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  #17  
Old April 10th, 2013, 09:08 PM
hcross888 hcross888 is offline
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We did this cruise and decided to go to the Alsace winery. I loved the ride through the French countryside and the winery was pretty neat. I thought the side trip was worth the extra money.
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  #18  
Old April 11th, 2013, 12:18 AM
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Fotopeg
We are on Avalon July 14th from Basel
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  #19  
Old April 11th, 2013, 08:18 AM
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peterdkiwi ~ Thanks much! I'm hoping Viking also offers this trip - but we'll be in Breisach on a Sunday so don't kmow if that will change things.

Basel ~ we'll be there 2 days pre-cruise - anything you can report back will be much appreciated!!! (Have been to Amsterdam 3 times for cruises - great city!!)
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  #20  
Old April 11th, 2013, 08:35 AM
Sittib11 Sittib11 is offline
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Going on Rhine GetWay with Viking Jarl on Nov 1, doing pre cruise stay in Basel, wondering about weather and cold temps, just layer up, gloves hat, Etc?
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