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I just googled this, looks like you can use € but the exchange rate won’t be favorable. If possible, use your credit card for purchases or withdraw a small amount of Albanian Lek. I guess if I were there for only a few hours and only interested in buying something like water etc I’d just use €’s but anything else...your choice.

 

 

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I just googled this, looks like you can use € but the exchange rate won’t be favorable. If possible, use your credit card for purchases or withdraw a small amount of Albanian Lek. I guess if I were there for only a few hours and only interested in buying something like water etc I’d just use €’s but anything else...your choice.

 

 

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Thanks! If we do an excursion credit card would be my choice. Possibly lunch/drinks. I will go with CC and if not Euros.

 

 

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I do not know of any river cruise line that goes to Albania.

 

 

 

 

 

Which ship / cruise line are you sailing on?

 

 

 

 

 

Are you sure you got the right forum?

 

 

 

Sorry GMT, I thought this was in the Holland America forum!

 

 

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This is the HAL Forum. [emoji16]

 

 

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Well now it is, now that the moderators have moved it to the correct forum but it was originally posted in the River Cruising forum. That's why the confusion.

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We were in Sarande a couple of yearrs ago with HAL.

The shops and restaurants take euros ok.

Sarande reminded me of 1970's Czechoslovakia. We purchased a photo frame in a small store and agreed a price of €20. For that we got a picture frame, 4 cups of coffee, several slices of cake and shown photos of the entire family. Better than any tour. ;p

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Well now it is, now that the moderators have moved it to the correct forum but it was originally posted in the River Cruising forum. That's why the confusion.

 

Thanks;). That explains a lot :D

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Just an fyi. We are on the Koningsdam next July and HAL just changed itinerary eliminating Sarande and adding Kusadasi ,Turkey. No idea if it will stay that way but we will see.

 

That is an interesting development. The way relations are with the Turkish government, you might not know if you get to Kusadasi until you are docked :). But its a terrific port. The Turks is Kusadasi are some of the biggest losers with the current situation. Kusadasi used to get about 1000 cruise ship calls per year plus many land tours. Now, the bottom has fallen out of their cruise business which is really hurting the local merchants and tour companies.

 

Hank

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With the Turkish Lire in the tank, I would guess that private (non-HAL) tours will be going up in price. We stopped at Sarande, Albania last October, on the Westerdam, when Turkey was on the no-go list. It is a nice port for walking. We ended up in a bar at the north end of the town, on the sea, and had a pizza and lots of their local beer. They were very happy with Euros, and the check came with the Lek and Euros prices.

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We had a port stop in Sarande back in 2016. While the port and some areas accepted Euros, we were on a HAL excursion that took us up to the village of Himara. While the shopkeepers did hesitantly accept Euros, they could only give change back in Albanian lek. On the upside, when I told them to just keep the change, the wonderful little woman tending the shop gave me my change in the equivalent of Albania cookies. :)

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With the Turkish Lire in the tank, I would guess that private (non-HAL) tours will be going up in price.

 

How do you figure that? I would think it will be the other way around.

 

A tour that costs 300 Turkish lira would cost you about $50 US today, after the lira has "tanked" (although it has gone back up in the last couple of days).

 

Three years ago, a 300 Turkish lira tour would've cost you about $106 US....

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Just an fyi. We are on the Koningsdam next July and HAL just changed itinerary eliminating Sarande and adding Kusadasi ,Turkey. No idea if it will stay that way but we will see.

 

 

 

That is a positive change IMO

 

 

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We traveled extensively in Albania about 10 years ago and did use Leks from an ATM withdrawal. But Euros were accepted in tourist services, such as the restaurants and cafes you will likely visit from your ship.

 

Big recommendation: Visit the antiquity site at Butrint. Extraordinary.

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We visited Sarande in June on the Oosterdam. We had a fabulous time on the HAL tour to Butrint. The site is an amazing UNESCO world heritage, the site of a Greek colony, Roman city and a Bishopric. It was wonderful to see such a heritage

without crowds and everything being behind glass or ropes. The guide was excellent, groups relatively small and a surprise refreshment break at the end with plentiful local wine and local treats. So glad we did this tour and hope Holland America do not forget how accomodating the Albanians were when they had to find new ports.

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That is a positive change IMO

 

 

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Funny I see it the opposite way ... At least in Sarande you can walk around without constantly being harassed. Kusadasi however is one of only two ports where I’ve been eager to get back on the ship !

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Funny I see it the opposite way ... At least in Sarande you can walk around without constantly being harassed. Kusadasi however is one of only two ports where I’ve been eager to get back on the ship !

 

I think the main reason for visiting both of these ports is not for the towns but for the wonderful sites that are just outside of town....

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I think the main reason for visiting both of these ports is not for the towns but for the wonderful sites that are just outside of town....

 

Exactly:). Ephesus is incredible (outside of Kusadasi )

 

I am so glad we got there when we did.

 

I saw little of the town. We were busy enjoying architectural delights.

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