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Has anyone passed up the included tour and gone on the all day Ringstrasse tour? Worth the $$ or go on the included tour and figure out the afternoon on our own?

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We just got off our Viking Cruise yesterday... While in Vienna we switched from the included tour (via bus and walking) to the "up close" tour which was also included (no extra charge) which used the subway and also walking. This may have not been included in the pre-cruise literature - but was a new addition. It has more walking then the bus tour. The up close tour was very good, our guide was very knowledgeable and I think we saw all we needed to see inside the Ringstrasse. Towards the end of the tour we just told the guide that we wanted to stay on our own rather than go back with them to the ship via subway (the ships dock in Vienna a ways from central area.) Then we went to Schonbrunn Palace on our own, via subway. We just walked the grounds and gardens and did not pay the admission fee to the palace (very large and beautiful gardens) - then we took the subway back down town and then again to the ship. It was a good way to spend the day.

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I don't remember if it was included on the sheet of excursions they provided us the first day on the ship, it may have been. However, it was definitely included in the daily program they give you the night before each stop. I got the sense that Viking works with the local guides during the cruise and adding possible excursions.

 

Personally, I would not pass up on any of the free (included) excursions. They were very good, and in most cases you could just tell the guide if you wanted to go off on your own at any time. Exceptions are the larger included excursions such as Gottweig Abby, they actually moved the ship during the excursion so you re-board in a different town than where you left the ship.

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Just curious if anyone has seen/taken the included Viking "up close" tour with the subway leg since the June timeframe?  The included tours for an early December 2019 Romantic Danube don't include this tour.  We are getting close to a year out so the planning itch is kicking in.  Thank you!

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13 hours ago, ILVet65 said:

Just curious if anyone has seen/taken the included Viking "up close" tour with the subway leg since the June timeframe?  The included tours for an early December 2019 Romantic Danube don't include this tour.  We are getting close to a year out so the planning itch is kicking in.  Thank you!

We recently returned from our Danube cruise. In order to maximize our time in Vienna, we totally ditched the included tours and did VIenna on our own. The evening that we docked, we had a wonderful dinner at Figlmuller (reservations are a must). It is located just a block from St. Stephen's and has, arguably, the best schnitzel in Austria. https://figlmueller.at/en/

The next morning, we arrived at Schonbrunn at opening time well before the hordes of tourists arrived and, after Schonbrunn, we took the metro over to Opera (Karntner ring) and visited Hofburg Palace & the Imperial Treasury (purchased the SISI ticket). Also visited St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Capuchin church, Peterskirche & several other sights along the way. Saw so much more than the ship's offerings during our very long day in the city.

It is very easy to get around Vienna on your own utilizing the metro, tram & good old fashioned feet.

Also, if you download Rick Steves Audio Europe to your smartphone, he offers free tours of St. Stephen's & the Ringstrasse.  https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe

 

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