best itinery for walking ports

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#1
Ottawa, On, Canada
1,374 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I want to do a river cuise for me 50th B'day but I have no interest in bus excursions.

I spoke with some people who did a river cruise and they said that they had to take a bus for all the excursions. they also said that is was not really possible to explore the ports on your own because the ship would move while you were in port and the bus would take you to the new port.

What is the best itinerary for being able to do excursions that don't require buses and for being able to walk off the ship and explore on your own.

Thanks
Lois
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MSC Splendida Med, B2B Dec 2016
NCL Breakaway Feb 2016 14 day
NCL Epic May 2015 Med, Bday cruise
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Canrival Paradise Feb 2004
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#2
San Tan Valley, AZ
581 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
The Amsterdam to Budapest itinerary only has a couple stops where a bus is needed. These are Nuremburg, Bamberg and Vienna. If the trip you choose goes to Strasbourg, Heidelberg or Rothenberg, they are also by bus.
#3
North Carolina
5,529 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
You should be able to check the detailed daily itinerary on the cruise website to see if the ship is moving while you're at a port.

We're taking a Christmas market river cruise, Nuremberg to Basel, and (at least on paper) the ship does not move while we're in port.

I think one or two of the days have bus trips (Rudesheim from Frankfurt is one that is sticking in my mind) but that is still an optional tour - guess you could go to Frankfurt if you want.
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#4
florida
3,649 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
only bus was from Paris to port.Some went on own before and took train(an option)but parked in city centers in most of towns and could walk,take a taxi,etc.on own.No need to take any bus tours if you don t want to.It s always up to you,no matter which port.
Agree, look at area that interests you,see the daily itinerary,use a TA that specializes in river cruises for more help.
We often tak e the incl.tour to get to town center(if needed)then tell guide and go off on own,can take taxi back or walk to ship.Many options.
#5
FL
14,168 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
I can think of a number of ports where we were taken by bus to the city center: Bamberg, Vienna, Nuremberg, Wurzburg.

Yes, sometimes the boat stops in one place to let you off for sightseeing and then moves to the next stop on the itinerary where you meet the boat. You must read the detailed itineraries to figure this out. It is not a big deal IMO and IME but if this is important to you, read the specific details.

Sometimes the boats also change docking positions in the same port but the CD will advise you prior to debarkation.
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142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.
Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018




Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016



#6
Ottawa, On, Canada
1,374 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Thanks for the info.

Has anyone done the Douro river?

Lois
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Previous Cruises
MSC Splendida Med, B2B Dec 2016
NCL Breakaway Feb 2016 14 day
NCL Epic May 2015 Med, Bday cruise
NCL Pearl Feb 2015 Eastern Carib
NCL Sky Feb 2015 Bahamas
NCL Star April 2013 from NOLA
MSC Magnifica Aug 2012 Baltics/Russia
NCL Dawn 10 day Feb-Mar 2012
NCL Jewel Oct 2011
NCL Pearl Feb 2011
MSC Fantasia Dec 2010 New Years Med cruise
RC Legend of the Seas May 2010 Asia
NCL Jewel Nov 2009 sisters cruise
Celebrity Summit April 2009 TA
MSC Orchestra Mar 2008 Med cruise
Carnival Victory B2B Jan 2007
Land trip to Italy March 2006
NCL Sea Feb 2005
Celebrity Horizon Nov 2004
Canrival Paradise Feb 2004
Carnival Paradise March 2003 with DD
#7
Moraga CA
45 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Electro: I did the Douro River cruise a few years ago with Uniworld - a beautiful part of the world and I would highly recommend this cruise. However, that trip depended heavily on bus tours therefore not a good one for the person who started the thread.
#8
Ontario, Canada
2,729 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
If you do not want bus tours, then I suggest you stay away from Eastern Europe (Bucharest to Budapest) as almost all excursions rely on bus transportation.

Fran
#9
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We just got back from Elbe and I have to admit almost all ports are very good for walking and exploring on your own. Viking now offers an option to choose an included tour and those could be walking only. We did such tours in Dresden, Litomerice, Meissen...
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AT SEA: 16 cruises
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2013 -- Viking Spirit 'Paris & the Heart of Normandy'
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#10
263 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Just returned from Viking's Rhine Getaway. The trip to the Black Forest required a bus ride, and once we arrived, there wasn't too much to see. The ride was really the main attraction. Only a beautiful snowfall made that trip worthwhile. The bus took us into Strasbourg, but once we got to the old city, it was very easy to walk around. We were also delivered by bus into Heidleberg, but the town itself if very walkable. The bus ride to the castle was helpful since the castle sits up high and could be a tough walk I think. Rudesheim did not require bus transportation. You are not locked into a tour just because you take the bus into town. Just let your guide know you are going your own way so they won't be looking for you.
#11
Northern California
828 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I am also not a fan of large bus tours but I don't mind the convenience of using a bus for transport to a city center. We often book private tours or hire drivers when traveling but most tours are already included with some of the River Cruise companies. Suggest you closely examine the itinerary and select just a few ports where you make your own arrangements to avoid traveling in a large group.
#13
Chicago
372 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
If you go to the Viking site, use the tab called something like "my cruise". They list all the cruises and then a detailed itinerary (both directions). It includes the approximate cost of optional tours as well as the difficulty level of the included tours.