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  #1  
Old March 24th, 2014, 05:19 PM
warmsands warmsands is online now
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Default New to river cruising - when do you reserve optional tours?

This will be our first river cruise. We will be traveling on the Viking Skadi Aug 23, 2014 from Amsterdam to Budapest. I have read through some of the posts and some people mention optional tours offered through Viking. Are you able to reserve these optional tours in advance online or do you sign up for them after you board the cruise ship? I'm hoping a veteran river cruiser can explain how to do this. Also - what are the best optional tours for the Ams to Bud itinerary? Thanks!
Kristine
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  #2  
Old March 24th, 2014, 05:39 PM
jiminyC_fan jiminyC_fan is offline
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You reserve on the ship. I believe we did it on the first day. I did lots and lots of research about our cruise and pretty much knew what was offered so that we could make an informative fast decision.

Last edited by jiminyC_fan; March 24th, 2014 at 05:40 PM.
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  #3  
Old March 24th, 2014, 05:45 PM
pbnjrockette pbnjrockette is offline
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Although not with Viking....we always wait and reserve our optionals when we are on board. Have never had one "sell-out" but sometimes they do change . Can read about them in the literature sent or online at their website so we usually have a good idea of what we definitely want to do. There are not usually "conflicting" optionals (as on a Cruise ship) so the only decision is "to do/ or not"!!!
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  #4  
Old March 24th, 2014, 09:50 PM
rjscott rjscott is offline
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There will be specific information about the optional tours for your itinerary in your travel documents. You can then sign up for any you are interested in once onboard, or, if you desire addt'l info, talk to the Program Director to help decide. The Program Director will advise passengers what the cutoff time is for each optional signup. It is possible that a tour may be canceled is there is not enough interest.
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  #5  
Old March 24th, 2014, 10:37 PM
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FotoPeg FotoPeg is offline
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warmsands ~ usually during the first evening of Viking cruises there'll be a meeting int he lounge and the optional tours will be explained and then you can sign-up for any you'd like to take. The cost will added to your on-board bill.

It's wise, however, to follow jiminyC_fan's suggestion and so some research first to know when you board just what optionals you're interested in taking. This also gves you an opportunity to ask questions on CC about tours.

You mentioned you're sailing Amsterdam to Budapest - if that's the European Sojourn then I think this is the link for your booklet:
http://wpc.475d.edgecastcdn.net/0047...014/2014_Europ

Viking is now beginning to list the digital version of the itinerary booklet on their web site. It's usually mailed to passengers about 2 to 3 weeks before the trip. But many of us appreciate having a more detailed description of both included tour and optional ones earlier to do our research and make decisions. The itineraries are found in the "Your Trip" section, and then "Already Booked" and then "Itinerary and Departure Information" and then just open the booklet for your trip - or actually any trip to see more itinerary details!

And if you really want to take a certail optional tour - book ASAP once you're on board! We've never had a problem but usually Viking requires a minimum of 20 to 25 passengers. And we've seen optionals canceled due to lack of interest.

Have a GREAT first cruise!!!!!!
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Old March 25th, 2014, 08:53 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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We usually book most of the optional tours on Vantage. However, most of the tours are included in the trip price. Vantage China only had four optional tours for the 20 days and they were rather inexpensive. We did them all and enjoyed them all.
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  #7  
Old March 25th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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H2Otstr H2Otstr is offline
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I will be traveling with Vantage in May (1st trip with them) and they are the only cruise line that I have taken that has asked for the optionals to be book, and paid for, before the trip.

I have traveled with Viking, Uniworld, Grand Circle, AMA and Gate one. All optionals for those companies were booked the first or second day of the cruise.
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  #8  
Old March 25th, 2014, 10:21 PM
warmsands warmsands is online now
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Thank you so much for your replies. It was so helpful! I'll do my research and then book optionals onboard.
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  #9  
Old March 26th, 2014, 06:34 AM
pbnjrockette pbnjrockette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H2Otstr View Post
I will be traveling with Vantage in May (1st trip with them) and they are the only cruise line that I have taken that has asked for the optionals to be book, and paid for, before the trip.

I have traveled with Viking, Uniworld, Grand Circle, AMA and Gate one. All optionals for those companies were booked the first or second day of the cruise.
Vantage always sends an email or letter about the optionals. Althought they are "asking" ...these tours are always available when we have gotten on the tour and booked them. No need to pre-book or pre-pay.
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  #10  
Old March 26th, 2014, 03:08 PM
pthardy pthardy is offline
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Default Free Time before or after including tours

We are doing a Gems of the Danube cruise with ScenicTours, this will be our first river cruise. Can anyone tell me how much, if any, time you have to look around on your own after or before taking the included tours.

Thanks.
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  #11  
Old March 27th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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Hydrokitty Hydrokitty is offline
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H2Otstr: Be cautious booking optionals with Vantage pre-trip because they can increase the cost of your trip insurance and they should not. If you do book ahead, and your ins. goes up, tell them to remove the charge and they will. Since that happened to us, the only thing I'll book ahead of time are performance type things, like the ballet in Russia, (and even that was available on the ship) otherwise I find I've never had trouble booking on board. Usually the TM will hold a meeting to explain all of the optional tours on the first or second day and you will have an opportunity to sign up for them at the same price.
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  #12  
Old March 28th, 2014, 11:19 PM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pthardy View Post
We are doing a Gems of the Danube cruise with ScenicTours, this will be our first river cruise. Can anyone tell me how much, if any, time you have to look around on your own after or before taking the included tours.

Thanks.
pthardy - It depends on the stop. Some stops (ie: Vienna) include extra time, and a shuttle service into the town centre.

We did this last September, but ran into some challenges with the lock strike, so our itinerary was altered a bit.

Are you doing the entire package (ie: over to Prague) or just Nuremberg to Budapest?

Fran
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  #13  
Old March 31st, 2014, 08:27 AM
tipsygirl tipsygirl is offline
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For those traveling on AMA cruises, AMA has begun a new practice of prebooking optional tours once final payments have been made. Check their website for information. We took the Prague to Budapest trip in March 2013 and this was not the case at that time. On that cruise all tours, including optional ones, had no charge and were booked onboard. We were the only 2 people on a lovely optional culinary tour of Vienna, with a bus and our private driver and tour guide. We are taking a wine focused Rhine cruise on AMA in November and received some preliminary info on the new prebooking practice.
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  #14  
Old March 31st, 2014, 11:12 AM
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Got2Cruise Got2Cruise is offline
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Avalon has had the option to book tours. Look under my Avalon excursions.
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