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Is it worth visiting Berlin?

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Can anybody help - new to asking questions!! visiting Germany on Baltic cruise on 21st July 18 with celebrity cruises. Berlin is a long way from port - is it worth making the trip?:confused::confused:

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Welcome to Cruise Critic. I am not going to pretend to know the answer to your question as I have never been there....but, I think a few more details are needed. What time does the ship pull into port? How long is the ship in port? What time do you have to be back on the ship? How far is Berlin from the port? Is it a "ship" excursion or one that you would do on your own?

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Welcome to Cruise Critic.

We did a ship's excursion to Berlin many years ago and loved it. We were gone all day. Yes it was a long day but well worth it since we didn't know whether or not we would ever be able to go back there.

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An oft-asked question.

It makes for a long & expensive day, and only scratches the surface of a city worth four or five days.

 

If you reckon you'll have a future opportunity to go there & do the city justice, give it a miss this time & have a relaxing day closer to the port, somewhere like Rostock.

But if you may never again have an opportunity, go for it. It'll be well worthwhile.

 

Same applies to a number of places distant from a port-of-call.

Paris or London, for instance

 

JB :)

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Completely agree with JB. Berlin is, imho, a destination city best visited over several days. However, if this may be your only chance to visit, I say "go for it".

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We did it and have not made it back so it was worth it . We did get a better deal booking Berlin and SBP with a private tour company.

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If you are from the U.S. it is less likely you will make it back ,and if you are a big cruise person even less likely you would do another Baltic. B.T.Y Baltic is a great cruise.

Edited by dolittle
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We did a Baltic Cruise last year and did a ship's tour to Berlin. It was a long day, almost 14 hrs. The drive into Berlin was over 3 hrs due to traffic, but a little quicker on the return.

 

We spent lots of time on the bus, but it was definitely worth the experience, as we may never have an opportunity to return.

 

Due to the distance from the port and traffic congestion, I would not use a private tour company for this trip, as the possibility of being delayed or missing points of interest is fairly high.

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We did a Baltic Cruise last year and did a ship's tour to Berlin. It was a long day, almost 14 hrs. The drive into Berlin was over 3 hrs due to traffic, but a little quicker on the return.

 

We spent lots of time on the bus, but it was definitely worth the experience, as we may never have an opportunity to return.

 

Due to the distance from the port and traffic congestion, I would not use a private tour company for this trip, as the possibility of being delayed or missing points of interest is fairly high.

 

I disagree. The frequently touted private tour companies (Alla Tours, Best Guides, TJ, Spb) have never missed getting their clients back to the ship in time for sailing. These companies have been in business for many years - if they missed just once, their reputations would be destroyed. BTW - they guarantee to get you back to your ship in time or pay the associated costs of flying you to your next port of call. When we booked our Baltic cruise, I used Alla Tours for our Berlin trip from Warnemunde in 2011 - no issues whatsoever and the tour was much more affordable than the cruise ship tour (discounts are also offered if you book multiple ports).

I have been to Berlin several times but I usually arrive via air. It is a great city with tons to see and do!

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We did a Baltic Cruise last year and did a ship's tour to Berlin. It was a long day, almost 14 hrs. The drive into Berlin was over 3 hrs due to traffic, but a little quicker on the return.

 

We spent lots of time on the bus, but it was definitely worth the experience, as we may never have an opportunity to return.

 

Due to the distance from the port and traffic congestion, I would not use a private tour company for this trip, as the possibility of being delayed or missing points of interest is fairly high.

 

^^ This ^^

 

We did this in 2015, not knowing if we would ever get back to Berlin. Totally worth it!

 

It was a long bus ride, but we had an excellent guide who gave us lots of good info about our surroundings. We had one stop for a quick snack and/or restroom visit (one euro) …

 

We were very delayed returning to the ship, due to multiple accidents on the highways. We had to take detours & shortcuts that didn't do much better. I seem to recall that there was at least one small private tour group who were left behind.

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thank you all for your great replies - still unsure what to do, but air on the side of will visit Berlin for a longer stay in the future as it does seem a long way from the port to Berlin. cheers

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I disagree. The frequently touted private tour companies (Alla Tours, Best Guides, TJ, Spb) have never missed getting their clients back to the ship in time for sailing. These companies have been in business for many years - if they missed just once, their reputations would be destroyed. BTW - they guarantee to get you back to your ship in time or pay the associated costs of flying you to your next port of call. When we booked our Baltic cruise, I used Alla Tours for our Berlin trip from Warnemunde in 2011 - no issues whatsoever and the tour was much more affordable than the cruise ship tour (discounts are also offered if you book multiple ports).

I have been to Berlin several times but I usually arrive via air. It is a great city with tons to see and do!

 

Getting multiple opinions is a great benefit of these Boards. For us, it is mostly to do with risk tolerance and personal preference. We used Alla in SP & Tallinn, so knew of their guarantee. However, for this particular tour we happily paid more for a ship tour, considering it cheap insurance.

 

Yes, in the remote chance you miss the ship, Alla will pay to get you to the next port, but we prefer having the ship wait. The Baltic has a series of very busy days, so we were not interested in the hassles of potentially having to fly to the next port.

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If you are interested in Berlin, and it's doable from your port, of course it's worth it. If you're simply going because.....then probably not worth the trip. It really depends on what interests YOU!

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No question that there is a long transportation issue from the port to the city and return. We did a city tour using a ship's excursion and rode on the German train system. By itself, that was an interesting experience. The countryside was interesting to view and we were offered amenities on-board the train that made the journey comfortable, i.e. a cold box dinner returning to Rostok.

 

The city tour is a whirlwind one, but if one has done some research as to what such a tour ought to allow you to see/appreciate, the tour met my expectations. Unlikely that I will ever return to Berlin and I am thankful that I finally was able to visit such a historic city.

 

The only negative to the tour was the masses of people and construction seen. The medieval charm of most of the European cities that I visited is gone on a Baltic cruise--at least for the ports that we visited. Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland are exceptions to my comment.

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As a military brat, I was in Berlin before the wall. There was a clash between border patrol at Checkpoint Charlie when our Embassy bus should not have been stopped going into East Berlin.

 

To go back and see today’s representation of Checkpoint Charlie was a step back in time. It was so small - in reality - to my memory.

 

I would do it again just to see what I missed the second time around. So much history to absorb.

Judy

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Highly recommend you go. We took the train and then walked around ourselves 2 years ago. Had time to see many of the famous land marks and visit a couple museums. Advantage of the train is that there are no rest stops as there are bathrooms on board, you can stand and walk a little and was able to nap on way back. It was a long day, but the memories and experience of seeing Berlin made it very worthwhile. You will not regret it.

You are shuttled by bus from the train station to the center of the city. When you take the shuttle back, the locatIon is next to an incredible Rausch chocolate shop. This alone makes the long train ride worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

 

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Don't miss the opportunity to get a taste of Berlin. In 2017, there was a Princess cruise tour offered - their big selling point was making sure they got you back on time (this turned out to be important).

 

 

Princess: chartered train departing just a block from the pier. Guest were assigned to lettered groups, who were ushered on to the train cars quickly. They went directly to the city, and were dispersed into busses to see city highlights and a few more remote -- I think one camp, for example.

 

 

We opted to do-it-ourselves, sort of. I booked train tickets online, so we walked another block to the public station and got aboard quickly. We had to change trains once on the way. DH had business contacts in the city, who sent one of their college kids to meet us at the train. We strolled around the city, getting a running narrative of history and sites, seeing the holocaust memorial, wall and Brandenburg gate.

 

 

We made it back to the station in plenty of time, and boarded our train with no problems. BUT, half-way back, the train stopped at a station and an announcement was made (in GERMAN, no translation). People groaned and pulled out their phones.

 

 

We were looking around, like 'Huh?' and asked loudly if someone could translate. A grumpy guy with a dog said there was a broken down train on the track ahead, and it would be a couple of hours until it was cleared. A COUPLE OF HOURS!?!

 

 

DH and I jumped out to the platform, looking around for anything in English. No luck. Chinese student dashed off and came back with the stern female German station-master. Helga, she had to be. Anyway, she only spoke German, so we had to cajole the guy with the dog to translate.

 

 

Meantime, DH and I remember that the chartered train was scheduled to leave the city later, since they didn't make any stops... and they were still behind us. Hooray!!!

 

 

We convinced the dog-guy to get the station-lady to contact that driver... and he agreed to stop at our station.

 

 

DH and I went back thru our train, upper and lower decks, to gather up all the cruise pax who were just sitting there, waiting to be told what to do. Ended up with 40-50 people, including an elderly Asian couple who held on to my sleeve while we herded everyone thru the tunnel under the tracks to the other platform.

 

 

Those Princess charter pax sure were surprised when we woke them from their naps as we charged on to their 'private' train and took all the empty seats!

 

 

Three days after the cruise, in Heathrow airport, we ran across that little couple. They bought us ice cream as a thank you for 'saving them'.

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No question that there is a long transportation issue from the port to the city and return. We did a city tour using a ship's excursion and rode on the German train system. By itself, that was an interesting experience. The countryside was interesting to view and we were offered amenities on-board the train that made the journey comfortable, i.e. a cold box dinner returning to Rostok.

 

We did the same on our "Capitols of Europe" cruise quite a few years ago. Berlin was interesting, especially the Berlin Wall since that was a historical event for someone of our age. The only complaint I had was they seemed to be driving us around in circles on the tour bus.

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Many good points have already been made. I'll just add that the Baltic cruise is a very packed itinerary with lots of worthwhile ports and long days. Even though I was relatively young, I was traveling with my 13 year old son and figured that after 3 days sightseeing in Copenhagen nonstop pre-cruise, full days in Stockholm, Helsinki, and Gdansk, and 2 long days in St Petersburg, another long day might be just too much. Plus, I knew I'd never be able to see the things I really wanted to see in Berlin in such a short time.

 

In retrospect it was a wise decision. We were both happy to have a more laid-back day in Warnemunde and leave Berlin for a later land-trip.

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An oft-asked question.

It makes for a long & expensive day, and only scratches the surface of a city worth four or five days.

 

If you reckon you'll have a future opportunity to go there & do the city justice, give it a miss this time & have a relaxing day closer to the port, somewhere like Rostock.

But if you may never again have an opportunity, go for it. It'll be well worthwhile.

 

Same applies to a number of places distant from a port-of-call.

Paris or London, for instance

 

JB :)

 

The man makes sense. Important sites distant from cruise ports are better saved for land travel . Not just Berlin, Paris and London; but Rome, and Florence - as well are just frustrating tastes when sampled for a few hours. There are almost always interesting , out of the way, places nearer cruise ports than the obvious “big” sites.

 

The wise cruiser sees Lucca in place of Florence, Salisbury or Stonehenge in place of London, etc.

 

Do your homework - and don’t limit your travel to cruising : rail is the way to hit major European cities - as is driving, if you have the time, inclination, and intelligent thirst for small intervening places.

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We knew we would probably never get to Berlin on a land tour, so bit the bullet and did the Princess tour which included a visit to a firmer concentration camp. While expensive, it was a long tour and covered a great many things, also a “German” lunch.

We did the ship’s tour because of distance and security go getting back to ship on time. Good thinking as there were major delays on the autobahn and a delay with some of the trains. We were back on time but one of the other Princess tours was three hours late. Captain organised a new sail out time and all good.

Did we see Berlin in detail? No, but we saw the major sights including the very moving Holocaust memorial, we had time to walk through this. Had our photos taken at Checkpoint Charlie, and with one foot either side of the wall. Train ride was interesting, but I like to look at scenery.

Only you can decide if it is worth it for you. It was for me.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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We knew we would probably never get to Berlin on a land tour, so bit the bullet and did the Princess tour which included a visit to a firmer concentration camp. While expensive, it was a long tour and covered a great many things, also a “German” lunch.

We did the ship’s tour because of distance and security go getting back to ship on time. Good thinking as there were major delays on the autobahn and a delay with some of the trains. We were back on time but one of the other Princess tours was three hours late. Captain organised a new sail out time and all good.

Did we see Berlin in detail? No, but we saw the major sights including the very moving Holocaust memorial, we had time to walk through this. Had our photos taken at Checkpoint Charlie, and with one foot either side of the wall. Train ride was interesting, but I like to look at scenery.

Only you can decide if it is worth it for you. It was for me.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Your experiences mine on such a tour when I sailed on the Eurodam. I agree. The tour was worth it for me.

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I personally do not feel that the ratio of travel time to touring time makes it worth it. According to Google, the train trip from Warnemunde to Berlin takes about 3 hours each way. In US equivalents, it would be the equivalent of docking in NYC and taking the train to Washington to see the city of Washington in what is left of your day and males as much sense. Where does your cruise start or end. If you really want to do Berlin, arrive before the cruise or stay after the cruise and fly to Berlin for a couple of days.

 

DON

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I personally do not feel that the ratio of travel time to touring time makes it worth it. According to Google, the train trip from Warnemunde to Berlin takes about 3 hours each way. In US equivalents, it would be the equivalent of docking in NYC and taking the train to Washington to see the city of Washington in what is left of your day and males as much sense. Where does your cruise start or end. If you really want to do Berlin, arrive before the cruise or stay after the cruise and fly to Berlin for a couple of days.

 

 

 

DON

 

 

 

Good advice. We arrived a couple of days early and enjoyed Berlin. Saw what interested us at our pace. We then flew to Copenhagen for our cruise. We just didn’t feel traveling 3 hours each way was for us. Whatever you decide enjoy. A Baltic cruise is wonderful.

 

 

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Don’t miss Berlin, even if it’s just one long day! We did the BLtic cruise and used Spb for all our tours. They were wonderful and always got us back to the ship in plenty of time. We listened to complaints of those who took the ship excursions- much more money, guides not as well spoken or knowledgeable, and not as much seen. You don’t even pay SPB tours til after completion of your your tours! Now we are looking to use SPB for our Med cruise next year. Try to get a cruise that spends 2 or 3 days in St. Petersburg, you won’t regret it🛳🛳🛳

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