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Kiel shuttle to Hamburg


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Has anyone taken the "Hamburg on your own" excursion offered while docked in Kiel? Am aware that this is just a shuttle service to Hamburg and that the ride is 90 minutes each way. Just wanted to know how much time you actually have in Hamburg to do "our own thing".

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Took this excursion last August. We wanted to see Miniatur Wunderland (world’s largest model railroad). Worked out great. Yes, it was about 1.5 hours each way, with about 4.5 hours on our own. We had plenty of time to see what we planned. They dropped us in the center of town and told us the meeting place for later. Bus arrived on time and back we went to the ship. The good news is, the ship win’t leave without you if you are on the bus. 

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18 hours ago, CruiseShelly said:

Took this excursion last August. We wanted to see Miniatur Wunderland (world’s largest model railroad). Worked out great. Yes, it was about 1.5 hours each way, with about 4.5 hours on our own. We had plenty of time to see what we planned. They dropped us in the center of town and told us the meeting place for later. Bus arrived on time and back we went to the ship. The good news is, the ship win’t leave without you if you are on the bus. 

Thanks for the information - we want to see Miniatur Wunderland too! Did you walk from the drop off point to the exhibit? Had thought about catching the train but having 4.5 hours there and knowing the ship will wait for us is making my decision easy.

What other ports did you visit and what did you do in each port? We are visiting Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Flam(will do train independently), Copenhagen, Warnemunde(doing independent tour with Friends of Dave), Tallinn, St. Petersburg(will do independent tour), Helsinki, Stockholm, Kiel & Arhus.

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Make sure you go the the Miniatur Wonderland website and secure your tickets in advance. They are timed entries and no guarantee you can get in without prepurchasing a ticket. Shoot for 10:30-11:00. Yes, we walked from dropoff point. About 15 minutes walk each way. I had tour person conform when we got off bus that we had our bearings correct before starting out. 

Copenhagen was our starting point so we had two days there, saw a lot as a result.

Tallinn we did a Rick Steve’s walk I had printed out.

St. Petersburg we did a two day with the HAL excursions. Was fabulous and frankly we felt worth it. Among other things we saw Peterhof, Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, Church of the Spilled Blood.

Helsinki we took the HO HO bus around. It was Sunday and raining.

Stockholm we too HAL tour because they offered one with the three things I wanted DH to see: City Hall, Wasa, Palace.

 Warnemunde we took the local train over and then rode the Molibahn steam train. 

Kiel we did Miniatur Wunderland. 

 

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Thanks again CruiseShelly for the information, was going to ask what entry time we should book. I have lots of time to start planning our visits, just hope the weather is kind to us. Again many thanks.

Edited by ikesyd
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On 6/13/2019 at 5:43 PM, ikesyd said:

Thanks again CruiseShelly for the information, was going to ask what entry time we should book. I have lots of time to start planning our visits, just hope the weather is kind to us. Again many thanks.

We had 11:30 entry ticket, but were there early. Line was nonexistent so young ticket man let us in about 10:30. We couldn’t get 10:30 when we tried online, so do not wait to get your tickets or you may be shut out.

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  • 7 months later...
On 6/15/2019 at 9:58 AM, CruiseShelly said:

We had 11:30 entry ticket, but were there early. Line was nonexistent so young ticket man let us in about 10:30. We couldn’t get 10:30 when we tried online, so do not wait to get your tickets or you may be shut out.

Hadn't checked the website for Minatur wunderworld for a while as there were plenty of tickets. Just checked today and can only select 10.00-11.00 or 11.30 onwards - oops left it a bit late for the 10.30!!! Thinking of selecting the 11.30 -12.00 and hope that we may be able to enter earlier as you were able to - think this is a good idea or should we book the 10.00 -11.00?

Do you remember what time you had to be back at meeting point for return to ship? Holland's website says it is a 7 hour excursion and departure is 8am, so taking into account the trip is 90 minutes each way should arrive in Hamburg around 9.30 and depart maybe at 1.30pm?

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I believe we had an 11:30 entrance, but we arrived early, hopeful. It was 10:30ish, I believe. There was no line at the entry spot. I approached the boy checking tickets and gave him my woeful "I know we are early, but if there was any chance to go in early we would so appreciate it as we  are off a cruise ship and only have until 2:30 before we must leave and get back to bus (15 minute quick walk)." He waved us through, but I would not depend on that.

 

It is very large layout for sure, and more time would have been justified, but we took what we could get -- the 11:00 ticket and dealt with it. The times are approximate getting into Hamburg because they cannot predict the traffic, but we took that chance we'd make the 11:00.. The Hamburg On Your Own allowed to do this safely and not miss the ship. Gong back in the afternoon, our bus was held up due to an accident and slow traffic on the expressway and the ship had to wait for our bus. 

 

I think they keep the 10:00, 10:30 entries open for school trips. There were none available for us either and I tend to book things very far in advance. Go with the 11:30 entrance and get there early, even if you have t wait. Just make sure you can find your way back to the bus pickup location in the center of town and don't be late. The bus will leave you behind. 

 

It is a fabulous layout. The detail is extraordinary. Worth the admission price, and probably the best thing in the city to see!.  Let me know how it works out for you.

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On 6/13/2019 at 4:27 PM, ikesyd said:

We are visiting Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Flam(will do train independently), Copenhagen, Warnemunde(doing independent tour with Friends of Dave), Tallinn, St. Petersburg(will do independent tour), Helsinki, Stockholm, Kiel & Arhus.

 

If you don't do a HAL excursion in St Petersburg do you need to get a Visa to explore on your own?

Edited by I like vacation
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We did the Hamburg shuttle and it worked fine for us. My wife is into minis big time and we did the behind the scenes tour with just six of us. Great to see things up close and how things work. We walked to and from. For St P we did not tour with HAL but private tour guide who provided visa but all that may have changed since we went in 2017.

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38 minutes ago, I like vacation said:

 

If you don't do a HAL excursion in St Petersburg do you need to get a Visa to explore on your own?

Not 100% sure but I think if you want to explore on your own you will need to apply for visas. We have booked a private guide for our 2 days and they arrange a visa for us.

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3 hours ago, CruiseShelly said:

I believe we had an 11:30 entrance, but we arrived early, hopeful. It was 10:30ish, I believe. There was no line at the entry spot. I approached the boy checking tickets and gave him my woeful "I know we are early, but if there was any chance to go in early we would so appreciate it as we  are off a cruise ship and only have until 2:30 before we must leave and get back to bus (15 minute quick walk)." He waved us through, but I would not depend on that.

 

It is very large layout for sure, and more time would have been justified, but we took what we could get -- the 11:00 ticket and dealt with it. The times are approximate getting into Hamburg because they cannot predict the traffic, but we took that chance we'd make the 11:00.. The Hamburg On Your Own allowed to do this safely and not miss the ship. Gong back in the afternoon, our bus was held up due to an accident and slow traffic on the expressway and the ship had to wait for our bus. 

 

I think they keep the 10:00, 10:30 entries open for school trips. There were none available for us either and I tend to book things very far in advance. Go with the 11:30 entrance and get there early, even if you have t wait. Just make sure you can find your way back to the bus pickup location in the center of town and don't be late. The bus will leave you behind. 

 

It is a fabulous layout. The detail is extraordinary. Worth the admission price, and probably the best thing in the city to see!.  Let me know how it works out for you.

Just double checked and I must have been looking at the wrong date as we can purchase the 10-11 time slot!!! Will make sure we walk quickly back to the bus!!!

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10 hours ago, I like vacation said:

 

If you don't do a HAL excursion in St Petersburg do you need to get a Visa to explore on your own?

To leave the ship in St. Petersburg you need a visa.
If taking a HAL tour, you will be under a group visa obtained by the ship. If you take a private tour with an agency such as Red October, Best Guides, Alla, etc., they obtain the visa for you. 

If you want to explore on your own in the true sense of the phrase, you need to obtain your own visa. But then what do you do? It's one heck of a long hike to anywhere, even getting to mass transportation is a long way. And you would have to speak Russian, since English is not widely spoken. 

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2 hours ago, RuthC said:

If you want to explore on your own in the true sense of the phrase, you need to obtain your own visa. But then what do you do? 

 

Thanks for the info about private tours.  We will have to look at them for our group of 4.  I don't think we really wanted strike out on our own and secure our own visas.

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