Daydreaming about combinng Rhine River Cruise with CIE Bus Tour from London.

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#1
Harleysville, PA USA
974 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
We are traveling with CIE Tours to Ireland this September. There are some places in Ireland that we will miss seeing this trip. So..... I was thinking that for 2016 we could do a British Isles/Northern Ireland Bus tour with CIE and then a River Cruise "while we are over there" lol! London is a starting point for some tours.

I am completely ignorant about River Cruises, (so far)except I know that I want to do a Rhine River cruise because of the Castles.

Is this a feasible idea, or am I crazy, logistically? We could use the Chunnel? Is there a different River Cruise that would be better suited for this idea?

THANKS!
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irisheileen@hotmailDOTcom
#3
New York
7,113 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
This isn't crazy at all. The Rhine River cruises start at Amsterdam, which should be an easy connection from London. You'll end up in Basel and can continue on to Lucerne and then fly home from Zurich.

To get started researching river cruises, check the sticky at the top of this forum.
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I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

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#4
New Jersey, the Philly end
6,477 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Alternatively, GCT has a Rhein Mosel itinerary starting in Antwerp ending in Basel. Eurostar does London to Brussels which is an easy connection to Antwerp.
#5
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We're doing something similar starting in August this year. We've booked a Tauck land tour of England, Scotland and Wales that finishes in London taking the Chunnel to Paris and then joining a Tauck river cruise of the Rhone that ends in Monte Carlo. Because it takes us what seems a lifetime to fly from Australia to Europe we decided to do all we could on this holiday. With a little planning it is very possible to do both without a long layover between adventures.
#6
Rhine, Germany
1,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hello irisheileen,

as the others have said: not a crazy idea. The Eurostar is a comfortable high speed connection through the channel tunnel with many options for onward travel. Have you had a look at the website? If you decide on a connection in Brussels, I recommend staying in that town for a few hours (you can break up the journey with the right ticket). Interesting place with great architecture.

Some European companies start cruises in Cologne as well. For Brussels to Cologne there is also a high speed link available.

And if you cannot do a complete week long cruise, there is also the possibillity of taking trains to Koblenz and doing a day trip along the Middle Rhine, i.e. the stretch of river with the many castles.

Have fun planning.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#7
Long Island, NY
6,143 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Avalon River Cruises is owned by Globus which offers hundreds of different guided tours throughout Europe. They also offer Monograms which is independent travel but there is a representative in the hotel to help with logistics. Check out their itineraries
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Got2Cruise
Planning the cruise is half the fun.
#8
Harleysville, PA USA
974 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thanks to all of you! I appreciate your input and suggestions.

And if you cannot do a complete week long cruise, there is also the possibillity of taking trains to Koblenz and doing a day trip along the Middle Rhine, i.e. the stretch of river with the many castles.

I especially like this idea! So what would the step by step logistics be?

I can book a "direct" train from London to Koblenz? All Eurostar?
Have a hotel booked there for ______days? Hotel suggestions?
Book a local company for a day Rhine River Castle tour? Tour Company suggestions?
Fly home to USA from______? (nearest airport)

Thanks!
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irisheileen@hotmailDOTcom
#9
Rhine, Germany
1,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hello irisheileen,

so here goes:

book a train ticket from London to Koblenz. Train ticket can be bought online up to three months in advance. Have look at British Rail and Deutsche Bahn websites. Trains are: Eurostar London - Brussels, then Thalys or other fast service Brussels to Cologne, then fast fast service or local train Cologne to Koblenz. With good connections it takes between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 hours. Hotel in Koblenz or nearby, perhaps look at tripadvisor for ideas or book possibly with booking.com or another, or directly with a hotel. In effect you would only need to stay one night, but two would be less stressful for flying back home.

Ship day trip from Koblenz to Rüdesheim, that is the scenic stretch with the castles, with a local company, either Köln-Düsseldorfer (often called just KD) or Hölzenbein or Loreley-Linie Weinand. Please note that the local companies do not operate on all days and do not operate in winter (with few exceptions like New Years Eve). Return trip is a full day, you can go just one way and return by train. This needs careful planning.

For flying home the nearest airport is Cologne/Bonn (connected to Koblenz via a different train route), not sure about direct flights available. Frankfurt Main airport is also not too far away from Rüdesheim. Train connection is doable.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#10
Harleysville, PA USA
974 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thanks so much! As usual, CCers always come through. I am going to dabble a bit with this idea for 2016. Plenty of time to research-it's just nice to get a heads up on where to begin. (embarrassed to say I have to brush up on my geography!)

Is this route the preferred direction that a poster suggested? N-S or S-N? If only doing one River trip and return via train which my DH would love.
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irisheileen@hotmailDOTcom
#11
New York
7,113 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by irisheileen
Is this route the preferred direction that a poster suggested? N-S or S-N? If only doing one River trip and return via train which my DH would love.
notamermaid may have better information, but I will jump in to say that I have heard this advice about going S-N from Basel to Amsterdam; I believe the reasoning is that if you are traveling with the current you will have more time in port. That's not necessarily a good thing for the Rhine Castles section -- you want the boat to move slowly enough that you can soak in the beautiful scenery! In any case, we went the "wrong" way from Amsterdam to Basel and still had a great time -- especially with the Rhine Castles.
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Email me: HostJazzbeau@CruiseCritic.com

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Backroads Italian Lakes Walking Tour 5-2017
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
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AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
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Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016
Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016
Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016
AmaDagio Provence 9-2015 – three pages (keep clicking on "Older Posts")
Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015
Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015
Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino 9-2014
Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014
Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014
AmaCello Rhine 8-2013
Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013
Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#12
Rhine, Germany
1,559 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Hello Host Jazzbeau,

actually, I do not know more. Depending on the sun deck on the small ship you can take photos from many angles. The direction might not matter in this case. That might be a question to ask the river boat company.

If I go by instinct I would say North - South is better as it takes longer to go upstream. More time for scenic viewing.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#14
S.E. MA
897 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by CPT Trips
Alternatively, GCT has a Rhein Mosel itinerary starting in Antwerp ending in Basel. Eurostar does London to Brussels which is an easy connection to Antwerp.
That GCT trip starts in Amsterdam, not Antwerp.

And, IrishEileeen, I think you have a great idea! I'm doing something similar this year...flying to Norway for 2 weeks, then to Amsterdam from Bergen, for a Rhine/Mosel cruise. Have fun planning your trip!
#15
England
604 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Through the tunnel, go standard premier, very relaxing, to Paris, take a cruise Paris to Honfluer several companies do this trip and from 8 to 11 days is a good introduction to river cruising. Warning you will then be hooked, there is something approaching decadent about cruising gently through beautiful countryside with new friends and a drink of your choice waited on hand and foot, can't be beat. Or travel on to cruise the other European fantastic rivers, we just don't have anything to compare.
#16
New York
7,113 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Canal archive
Through the tunnel, go standard premier, very relaxing, to Paris, take a cruise Paris to Honfluer several companies do this trip and from 8 to 11 days is a good introduction to river cruising. Warning you will then be hooked, there is something approaching decadent about cruising gently through beautiful countryside with new friends and a drink of your choice waited on hand and foot, can't be beat. Or travel on to cruise the other European fantastic rivers, we just don't have anything to compare.
Honfleur is one of the most difficult ports to get into, so check Cruise Critic for advice on selection of cruise line. [Hint: smaller boats are better]
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Email me: HostJazzbeau@CruiseCritic.com

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Backroads Italian Lakes Walking Tour 5-2017
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Equinox Caribbean B2B 1-2019

Completed [click on links for reviews]:
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016
Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016
Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016
AmaDagio Provence 9-2015 – three pages (keep clicking on "Older Posts")
Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015
Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015
Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino 9-2014
Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014
Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014
AmaCello Rhine 8-2013
Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013
Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#17
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Canal archive
Through the tunnel, go standard premier, very relaxing, to Paris, take a cruise Paris to Honfluer several companies do this trip and from 8 to 11 days is a good introduction to river cruising. Warning you will then be hooked, there is something approaching decadent about cruising gently through beautiful countryside with new friends and a drink of your choice waited on hand and foot, can't be beat. Or travel on to cruise the other European fantastic rivers, we just don't have anything to compare.
Great advice. That's almost as we planned it for our 40th Anniversary trip in August. We're touring England Scotland and Wales then jumping on the train (standard premier) to Paris then heading off for a cruise on the Rhone. We were fortunate that the two adventures had only a couple of days between them. With a little bit of research and planning this trip was possible. To say we're champing at the bit to be on our way is an understatement.
#18
New Jersey, the Philly end
6,477 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by CPT Trips
Alternatively, GCT has a Rhein Mosel itinerary starting in Antwerp ending in Basel. Eurostar does London to Brussels which is an easy connection to Antwerp.
Originally posted by Barrheadlass
That GCT trip starts in Amsterdam, not Antwerp.

And, IrishEileeen, I think you have a great idea! I'm doing something similar this year...flying to Norway for 2 weeks, then to Amsterdam from Bergen, for a Rhine/Mosel cruise. Have fun planning your trip!
Nope, sorry. GCT's "Romance of the Rhein and Mosel" goes between Antwerp and Basel. Perhaps you are thinking of "Great Rivers..." between Amsterdam and Vienna? That one does not go on the Mosel, well for anything other that docking if it still stops in Koblenz. We just did the former in Mar/Apr and have pictures of Antwerp to prove it.

Itinerary can be found at http://www.gct.com/trips/river-cruis...ruises:sab2015
#19
Beverly, ma, us
325 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Moat cruise lines, including Viking, only cruise between Paris and Rouen. Others, including Grand Circle go all the way to Honfleur, including Rouen. Grand Circle actually docks for 3 days, using this as a base for the invasion beaches. For a blog/trip report on the GCT trip click HERE.