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After lurking on this board for what seems like forever I thought it was about time I joined! Thank you all for the absolute wealth of information you have provided in the past.
Our original plan was to book a cruise for 2016 when the brochures came out early next year but we are now able to do an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise next year if we act soon. We are looking at APT or Scenic (most probably APT due to their inclusions and partially due to Scenic's response to last year's floods). We want to book an "E" cabin and take advantage of "free" airfares (including taxes). We're looking at travelling from Amsterdam to Budapest rather than the reverse. Scenic only have E Cabins left on the September 28th and 30th sailings otherwise there are D cabins on May 6th, 11th, 13th sailings for about $300AUD more p/person. APT's only E cabins are on the sailing for 8th May and 28th August (dearer than Scenic in brochure but I can probably price match with my TA to get it down so it's similar to Scenic pricing as I know another company that discount APT tours).
I am an avid researcher but, for some reason, I'm finding it hard to choose between these two APT dates. The May sailing would be around $200 AUD cheaper p/person which is not a major concern. Ascension Day falls in May on the day we would be in Bamberg but APT appears to offer a Medieval Tour or Beer Tour that day so I doubt it would have a major effect. The other plus for May would be the chance to see Keukenhof (though the tulips may not be at their best depending on what sort of spring it is. A negative would be water levels in May potentially but I don't think it matters what time of year you go, there's always a risk whether high or low levels. I'm not sure whether the August sailing would be a busier time (? last of the summer crowds) or whether the autumn (fall) colours would be showing at that time.
Any thoughts on the two APT dates and reasons for your choice? Thank you.
Just an update - an APT sailing departing 25th September 2015 in an E cabin has returned to their website after disappearing 3 days ago (I presume the guests were unable to travel then or have changed their minds). I am presuming that late September onwards would be around the time that the autumn landscapes start to appear. So it would be more a choice between May and late September for us in light of this new info. Spring vs Autumn. Any thoughts? Thank you for your time.
We took our trip that started 6 September 2011 and the weather at that time was just great. We had an occasional overcast day early but after we passed Cologne the weather was great with sunny warm days and pleasant evening temperatures. At the time we thought we had picked the almost perfect time for our cruise. I'm sure whichever month you choose that you'll have a wonderful holiday.
Thanks Ozjohnno, I appreciate your thoughts. I must admit I'm liking the idea of an autumn (fall) sailing as I've only ever travelled to Europe before in May or June.
I think late September is a great time to be in Europe, especially if you have only experienced it in Spring before. You will literally see Summer turn into Autumn as you sail along. Temperatures are usually pleasant.
The only public holiday to "get in your way" that I know of is Reunification Day in Germany on 3rd October. But check this again on websites, please.
You start your travels before the vine harvest season starts but might experience the first wine festival or two.
If you are not so keen on wine: the beergardens are still open weater-permitting.
Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
notamermaid I love the picture you have painted regarding that time of year! I can really see it in my mind. Yes I did notice that Public Holiday and will keep a check on it. I have been to my TA this morning and booked for the 25th September sailing and am just awaiting confirmation. Thanks again and also thank you to Ozjohnno. I really appreciate the input from you both.
I have just contacted my TA and he has confirmed we have a booking held for September 25th 2015. As there are hardly any cabins in our class left for 2015 we feel very lucky indeed As per my usual practice, there will be a lot more research into the places visited between now and then