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Everything Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe" - Budapest to Bucharest


Peregrina651
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  • 3 weeks later...
Would really love to hear back from you. If your guide is good, I think I'll cancel the Viking pre-excursion and do it on our own (with your guide). Are you flying into Bucharest? When you say your guide is going to pick you up at an airport hotel, do you mean a Bucharest airport hotel? Are you going a night early and crashing near the airport and then he picks you up in the morning? Viking wants a whopping $800 per person for the Transylvanian extension which I'm guessing you got for less or at least matched, but will end up with a much better tour.

 

Our departure time is quickly approaching. We fly to Bucharest next Wednesday.

I will definitely let you know how our private tour & guide are when we return. We're staying at the AngeloAirport Hotel which includes a shuttle from the airport upon arrival and our guide will pick us up there the next morning at 9:00am. Then he will drop us off at the Viking hotel 4 days later. Our 3 night tour is about 450euro (there's 4 of us might be more for just 2?) and includes tour, hotel, breakfast and one dinner. I'll report back about the tour company and how the 2 hotels were that he booked us at ;)

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Our departure time is quickly approaching. We fly to Bucharest next Wednesday.

I will definitely let you know how our private tour & guide are when we return. We're staying at the AngeloAirport Hotel which includes a shuttle from the airport upon arrival and our guide will pick us up there the next morning at 9:00am. Then he will drop us off at the Viking hotel 4 days later. Our 3 night tour is about 450euro (there's 4 of us might be more for just 2?) and includes tour, hotel, breakfast and one dinner. I'll report back about the tour company and how the 2 hotels were that he booked us at ;)

 

I am looking at doing this cruise in the near future. could you email me your guide/tour info?

 

cgvelocci at gmail dot com

 

would appreciate finding out how you liked the tour

 

Thanks

 

Carol

Edited by CJcruzer
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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, it was a very interesting trip, for sure! Water level was low...missed Rouse cause we had to be bused an extra 2hrs to next dock...then no boats allowed in Budapest so we were bused from the last port. Le Meridian changed hands to Marriott the day before so hotel was not in the best of shape. Weather was a "very unusual" average of 97 degrees everyday. Viking was good but just not our favorite itinerary. The scheduling in Bucharest (city tour) needs improvement!!!!

 

Transylvania was wonderful...so glad we did it on our own. The tour company I used was Transylvania Discovery Tours. Owner and guide is Bogdon Ghenoiu. We had a van and a driver. Did a three night tour but felt a bit rushed (not much free time) so I would suggest 4 nights. If you want to cover a lot of distance in a day and don't mind quite a bit of time each day in the vehicle then 3 is fine. First night was a Guest House in Sibiel (interesting :eek:) next two were in a very nice little hotel in the center of Brasov (just no lift). Loved Brasov...unbelievable low prices on everything...needed a bit more time to explore and shop. We had to do Peles Castle and Bran Castle on the same day due to scheduling...might of made a difference??? For more info you can e-mail me at kmronvacation at gmail dot com.

 

Hope this helps.......

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Thanks so much firefall! I have just sent off an e-mail to him requesting prices and info on accommodations for the 4-day tour (Magic Romania).

 

How many were in your group? Would you mind sharing the per person cost? So far, it's just my DH and me, unless I happen to strike it lucky and get someone on CruiseCritic to join us, but so far haven't made contact with anyone on the Roll Call who's booked for our departure date. Sounds like your accommodations were somewhat less than luxurious?

 

So sorry to hear about all the snafu problems you encountered on your trip! We're scheduled for next May, so no doubt the water levels will be too high and there will be flooding. Any impact to you from the recent migration influx sweeping through Hungary, particularly in Budapest?

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I hesitate to quote a price in fairness to Bogdon. I reserved with him about a year ago so I will leave it to him to give you his price as of today. He is VERY reasonable. The Guest House was just a very different accommodation than what we are used to. We were kinda surprised at first but it turned out to be a nice change to be able to visit a local home and experience life in that part of the world. The owners are lovely people and friends of Bogdon.

 

Impacted...wow!! We were in Budapest with train tickets to Salzburg for Friday. With the Keleti station closed and all trains cancelled we had to regroup fast. Within 2 hrs we had flights re-arranged and flew home instead. Sitting here when we should be Salzburg and Munich :( Oh well...a new trip to plan.

 

This one was definitely one of the most challenging trips we've done yet :D

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Totally understand about the pricing. I'm just a bit worried it may be beyond our budget since there's only the 2 of us. How many folks were in your group?

 

Sorry to hear you had to cut your trip short due to the train problems! What a mess! I'm hoping that by next Spring, things will have sorted themselves out. News reports though are saying they expect the numbers of refugees to lessen when it starts to get cold, but then pick up again in the spring. So we'll no doubt have issues. Our plans are to go to Prague first pre-cruise, then take the train from Prague to Budapest to catch the riverboat. Now we're thinking about renting a car and driving instead. DH's task today is to see how horrendous the rental car will cost. Maybe flying from Prague to Budapest will be the final answer, but we had hoped to see some of the countryside.

 

One more question - for the Transylvania part of your journey, what were the electrical plugs like? Two round prongs or something else? Thanks for your input!

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Yes, two pronged plugs. And be prepared to get different types of money along the way. Use ATM machines at banks...much better rates. Bogdon will show you.

 

Oh and BTW...the AngeloAirport Hotel was perfect for the one night stay upon arrival in Bucharest.

 

We did the Viking pre-cruise Prague to Budapest a few years ago. The ride was 8hrs and not terribly scenic. Why not plan on the train but have a plan-B?

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We did the Viking pre-cruise Prague to Budapest a few years ago. The ride was 8hrs and not terribly scenic. Why not plan on the train but have a plan-B?

 

On the other hand, with a car, you could stop and check out Bratislava. We drove by it on the bus ride with Viking. I can help but think that a stop in Bratislava for lunch would have been much nicer than the service plaza where we were taken for lunch.

 

Trivia: Did you know that the two closest capitals in Europe are Vienna and Bratislava?

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On the other hand, with a car, you could stop and check out Bratislava. We drove by it on the bus ride with Viking. I can help but think that a stop in Bratislava for lunch would have been much nicer than the service plaza where we were taken for lunch.

 

Trivia: Did you know that the two closest capitals in Europe are Vienna and Bratislava?

 

Oh...I so agree!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Oh...I so agree!

We are taking the Viking Vili Budapest-Bucharest 15 Apr 2016. Anyone else on that boat?

 

We plan to fly into Prague 3 days early. I have done research on rental car and train from PRG to BUD. The driving distance is 525km = 320 miles. The train is 8 hours and cost about $84pp. We are planning to take the train from PRG to BUD, stopping in Bratislava overnight, which is about 1/2 way. That will break up the trip into about 4 hour segments and give us a chance to see another city on the way.

 

Postcruise we are doing 3 days with Adventure Transylvania. Good ratings on Trip Advisor.

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  • 2 months later...
Does anyone know if we need Visas for this cruise?

 

No. Current passports are sufficient. Be prepared for many river stops for the authorities to board and review passports against the guest and crew lists. We took this trip in April and our ship was stopped a couple of times for review. At one point during the night, we had to turn around and go back to finalize some paperwork. Didn't affect the cruise, didn't affect the passengers.

 

Normally when onboarding, you show your passport but then have them returned. On this trip, they were kept at the desk. At one point, Immigration officials demanded that all passengers come tot he lobby and present themselves in person, then have the passport stamped.

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No. Current passports are sufficient. Be prepared for many river stops for the authorities to board and review passports against the guest and crew lists. We took this trip in April and our ship was stopped a couple of times for review. At one point during the night, we had to turn around and go back to finalize some paperwork. Didn't affect the cruise, didn't affect the passengers.

 

Normally when onboarding, you show your passport but then have them returned. On this trip, they were kept at the desk. At one point, Immigration officials demanded that all passengers come tot he lobby and present themselves in person, then have the passport stamped.

 

We had same problem with Vantage Voyage to the Black Sea. Only other time we had to actually relinquish our passports was on Greek Island cruise. Apparently we were very lucky on Black Sea trip...our only "passport face check" happened during lunch and we all had to go to the reception desk, pick up our passports and stand in line for passport control to check each one of us with our photo. TM told us last cruise had face check at 3 a.m.!!! When I got home my passport was stamped for all the countries we visited.

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GMT - :D hilarious!

 

Interesting about the face checks - we were on the Viking Oceans 59-day maiden cruise from Istanbul to Stockholm, including St Petersburg. The only time we had that in-person immigration face check was when we entered Great Britain (specifically London). No rhyme nor reason... :confused:

 

Thanks everyone - I can check that one off my to-do list.

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