Basel to airport questions

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#1
666 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Hi, we are thinking about taking our first river cruise and are looking at Viking - Amsterdam to Basel. A few questions...
  • I've gotten the impression from browsing threads that (unlike on an ocean cruise) it is possible to get off the ship early to make an early morning flight out. Is this true?
  • If the cruise ends at Basel, is the BSL airport the one I look at for flights?
  • when would we have to leave the ship to make an 8 a.m. flight?
Thanks!
#2
Coastal NC
3,258 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Jarie
Hi, we are thinking about taking our first river cruise and are looking at Viking - Amsterdam to Basel. A few questions...
  • I've gotten the impression from browsing threads that (unlike on an ocean cruise) it is possible to get off the ship early to make an early morning flight out. Is this true?
  • If the cruise ends at Basel, is the BSL airport the one I look at for flights?
  • when would we have to leave the ship to make an 8 a.m. flight?
Thanks!

Yes, the ship docks in Basel the day before. We were off the boat by 5 am for a 7:30 flight home. There were close to 60 of us that went at that time. There was a group that departed before us, too. The airport is about a 20 minute drive and you need to check in 2 hours ahead, so you would probably leave around 5:30 am.
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Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#3
666 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by H2Otstr
Yes, the ship docks in Basel the day before. We were off the boat by 5 am for a 7:30 flight home. There were close to 60 of us that went at that time. There was a group that departed before us, too. The airport is about a 20 minute drive and you need to check in 2 hours ahead, so you would probably leave around 5:30 am.
Thank you very much for the info! When you say there was a group, I'm wondering if they went to the airport in a cruise associated transfer rather than cab. What would you recommend? I'm getting the idea that river cruise debarkation is much less complicated than on an ocean going vessel.
#4
Coastal NC
3,258 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Jarie
Thank you very much for the info! When you say there was a group, I'm wondering if they went to the airport in a cruise associated transfer rather than cab. What would you recommend? I'm getting the idea that river cruise debarkation is much less complicated than on an ocean going vessel.
Viking took us by bus if we took the Viking air package. If air was done independantly then a taxi was taken. Viking made those arrangements when needed, too.

The debarkation process is very well planned and orchestrated by the river cruise lines.
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Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#5
666 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by H2Otstr
Viking took us by bus if we took the Viking air package. If air was done independantly then a taxi was taken. Viking made those arrangements when needed, too.

The debarkation process is very well planned and orchestrated by the river cruise lines.
Thanks again. It seems very manageable.
#6
Ks
113 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
If you haven't booked it yet, I would recommend taking the trip from Basel to Amsterdam instead if possible. If you take it that direction, the first half of the trip is very busy and the last couple of days are much more laid back, at least it was when we took it with Viking earlier this year. Just when you were starting to get tired, you ended up with a leisurely day cruising the Rhine looking at castles. It is a great cruise either way I am sure, but I just appreciated the last part being slower paced.
#7
666 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by ninaks
If you haven't booked it yet, I would recommend taking the trip from Basel to Amsterdam instead if possible. If you take it that direction, the first half of the trip is very busy and the last couple of days are much more laid back, at least it was when we took it with Viking earlier this year. Just when you were starting to get tired, you ended up with a leisurely day cruising the Rhine looking at castles. It is a great cruise either way I am sure, but I just appreciated the last part being slower paced.
Thanks. That's something I wouldn't have been able to appreciate from just looking at the itinerary.
#9
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by ninaks
If you haven't booked it yet, I would recommend taking the trip from Basel to Amsterdam instead if possible.
IMHO I'd do it from Amsterdam to Basel. Black Forest is one of the best shore trips and it will be Day 2 when you are still exhausted after the flight. If you do Amsterdam to Basel Day 2 is Kinderdijk which is really a waste of time. Nothing interesting.
#10
Anderson, IN
1,689 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I am interested to know why there is nothing to see at Kinderdjik. I thought there were many windmills. Are there any tulip fields around. We will be there early April. Thanks.
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#11
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by M&T
I am interested to know why there is nothing to see at Kinderdjik. I thought there were many windmills. Are there any tulip fields around. We will be there early April. Thanks.
Not sure about tulip fields since I was there in January. And yes there are many windmills ( 2-3 are always open) which you'll be able to see inside. We also watched a short movie about how the canal system was built/designed. So basically in 1 hour you'll see everything and that's about it.
This place is in the middle of nowhere: nothing to see aroung and nowhere to go.
#12
Coastal NC
3,258 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Personally, I like Kinderdijk; have been there three times. The second time we were there we had a small boat ride on the canal. The third time we did not have an organized tour. We just walked off the boat, crossed the street and entered. I very much enjoyed just walking around (after visiting the one open windmill) and taking photos. There is a very nice gift shop just before the entrance, too.
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Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#13
Anderson, IN
1,689 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I think we will really like it. We were there many years ago and had planned to take a boat to Kinderdjik. Since the Viking itinerary goes there, we feel that it frees up a day in Amsterdam after the trip to do other things. We are big photography nuts. Thanks.
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#14
Coastal NC
3,258 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
It
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Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#15
Anderson, IN
1,689 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Thanks. We lost our pictures of Kinderdjik from our first trip.
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#16
Queens, NY
2,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Thank you for your comments about the Rhine River cruise!! We're taking this cruise in December (Viking) from Basel to Amsterdam. I was especially happy to hear about Kinderdjik since I thought it'd be a "dud" in December! H2Otstr ~ your photo is great and gives me hope that maybe the crusie won't be just Christmas Markets!!!

I'd appreciate any other comments, suggestions, advice!!

As to the original question about transportation - we took our first River cruise this past October and, in some ways, there's no comparison between river & ocean cruising - disembarking is one of them! About 2 days before the cruise end, they asked all passengers who weren't taking Viking transportation to pleae talk with the Cruise Director about their plans for leaving the ship. We were spending 2 nights in our final port so I figured we'd be on our own to get to the hotel. Our CD was fabulous and I casually sat down to explain our plans. He was very nice abd asked if I wanted him to arrange for a cab - WOW! you'd never hear that on an ocean ship!! Sure I said, thinking we'd be thrown off the ship at the crack of dawn! Then he asked what time we'd like to leave - I hesitated and he suggested 9:30am!!! double WOW!!! Sure enough, they asked that we have our luggage in the hallway about 30 minutes before departure (heavenly - not the night before!) So that morning we had breakfast, finished packing and waited until he called us that our cab was there. Our luggage was waiting outside - the captain was part of the crew transporting luggage!!! Before we got into the cab he even told us how much the fare should be!!! It was the most "human" departure we've ever had and usually we don't have big problems on ocean ship!!!

Part of the situation is that River Cruises are SO much smaller - we had 144 passangers on board - its much easier to give attention to everyone!!

Jarie - enjoy your cruise - what ship will you be sailing on??? We'll be on the Rinda.
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Peg
Viking Forseti 10-4-2014 Bordeaux
Viking Rinda 12-7-2013 Christmas Markets
Viking Neptune 10-21-12 Rhone River
Celebrity Constellation 9-7-2011 Amsterdam-Istanbul
Celebrity Constellation 7-3-2010 Baltic
RCCL Voyager of the Seas 2-14-2010 Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 6-16-2008 Mediterranean
SS Rembrant 7-20-2000 St. Lawrence
M/V Atlantic 8-28-1988 Bermuda
#17
Anderson, IN
1,689 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
FOTOPEG: could you give some approximate arrival and departure times in port? Thanks.
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#18
Queens, NY
2,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Times varied greatly - although they were in the general area of the original itinerary. For example we sailed into Lyon very late in the evening - about 11pm or so - fabulous views with the lights on in the city! We were scheduled to stay overnight and indeed we did sailing at 12noon the following day. We were always given plenty of notice regarding sailing times.

We were very fortunate - I was in contact through CC with a women sailing about 3 weeks after us and that trip had all sorts of problems with the water level of the river - they were being bussed to tours since the ship couldn't leave Avignon since the river was too high. Their cruise ended in Lyon (not Chalon) again due to high water. She said, however, that the ship did its best to accomodate all the passengers.
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Peg
Viking Forseti 10-4-2014 Bordeaux
Viking Rinda 12-7-2013 Christmas Markets
Viking Neptune 10-21-12 Rhone River
Celebrity Constellation 9-7-2011 Amsterdam-Istanbul
Celebrity Constellation 7-3-2010 Baltic
RCCL Voyager of the Seas 2-14-2010 Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 6-16-2008 Mediterranean
SS Rembrant 7-20-2000 St. Lawrence
M/V Atlantic 8-28-1988 Bermuda
#19
Carlsbad, CA
25 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Just thought I'd add my two cents to this string. We're on the Rinda from Amsterdam to Basel. Leaving 6/15/13. This is after spending over a week in Ireland. From the Basel dock, I will be going to the airport to pick up a car and drive through northern Italy to Venice. Car rentals with international one-way drop off are very expensive, but we're doing it anyway! I'll report on my experiences on the Rhine. We were on the Danube with Viking in 2011. Looking forward to traveling on a brand new ship this time.