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Docking Locations for European River Cruises Center City?

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Is there one particular River Cruise line that substantially has more locations to dock in the center of the cities so that you don' t have to bus or taxi from their docking location and instead can just walk off the ship directly into the center of the town? I understand that the cruise lines do not have control of this aspect, but am curious if anyone has used one cruise line where this has happened a majority of the time? Thanks for your kind knowledge.  I also understand that a couple of the cruise lines have on their website docking locations subject to port authority changes and assignments.  Cheers

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It depends on the itinerary and the time of year. We’ve had very good luck with Avalon on the Seine and the Rhine and Ama on the Danube. Which itinerary are you considering?  Some ports it is not possible to dock directly in town so a short bus ride is necessary. 

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2 minutes ago, Got2Cruise said:

It depends on the itinerary and the time of year. We’ve had very good luck with Avalon on the Seine and the Rhine and Ama on the Danube. Which itinerary are you considering?  Some ports it is not possible to dock directly in town so a short bus ride is necessary. 

 

Vienna is one such port.

 

Roz

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I'm trying to remember where we couldn't easily walk directly into the city/town center. As mentioned already, Vienna is one, but it is convenient to a metro stop so there are alternatives to the cruise line shuttle.

Trier is another that required a shuttle provided by the cruise line when we visited. 

Stops at Strassbourg aren't walkable. The dock we used are very convenient to a tram line into the center. We were provided with transit passes and used them for our guided tours as well as being able to use them on our own. I understand that other docks are much less convenient.

Our docks in Basel and Nuremberg also required a shuttle. Other dock locations in Basel may be more convenient; I don't think that's the case with Nuruemberg.

A number of our stops on cruises on the lower Danube, think former Soviet Bloc, downriver of Belgrad required somewhat lengthy bus rides. To really tour Belgrad also requires a bus even though the docks are close to the city center.

My experience is that big cities require transportation to really see the city even  if the dock location is walkable to many sites. Paris and Amsterdam come to mind in this regard.

 

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Bamberg involves a bus ride. Most Vienna docks are accessible by U-Bahn, but not all. If you are on a longship, Paris is a long bus ride. Some terminating cities are nowhere near (ie hours away from) the river you are sailing on (Bucharest, Prague, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris if you are sailing the Moselle or the Rhône, etc). I have walked the 101+ steps from the Belgrade docks to downtown (uptown?), but most people don’t. 

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Bamberg dock is on the canal, so is Nuremberg.

 

In Paris ships up to 125m length dock near the city centre, all 135m ships dock outside. NOW,  about this: according to Peregrina51 on another thread, some longships now dock closer to town. Leaves me puzzled for the time being.

 

Vienna is downtown or in the village of Nussdorf - a longish tram ride away. It depends on the company.

 

The best port on the Rhine is Koblenz I would say. Regardless of company you always dock within 300m of the old town.

 

The Elbe has not been mentioned yet. But for that river I have no details other than that Viking cruises will necessitate a coach ride from Berlin to get you to your ship and they do not sail into Prague. Again they use a coach to reach that city.

 

notamermaid

 

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It has been some years since I sailed the Elbe with Viking (the itinerary has changed somewhat). While bus tours were provided to outlying areas in Meissen and Dresden, downtown was a close walk. Torgau was walking only. Wittenberg had a shuttle bus. Bad Schandau was for buses to Saxon Switzerland. 

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We've only done the Rhine with Avalon, and only 2 towns required transport. Strasbourg was a canal cruise in, bus back to the boat, and Heidelberg was a bus ride as it's not on the Rhine.  I am looking at the Blue Danube Discovery cruise, and it looks like there is really only Vienna that requires a bus, the Nuremburg tour does, but you can stay in Roth for the tour there.  We are planning on going to Cesky Krumlov, so will miss Passau,  and I'm not sure how that port will be handled.

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On Scenic's Jewels of Europe last fall, most stops were close enough to walk, depending on how far you're willing to walk. For some stops we were docked right in town, but others required a further walk. In Bamberg, I think we docked about a mile and a half away from the old town. As others have mentioned, Vienna docks are not by the city center; for us, we were about two miles away from the city center, so shuttle buses were most commonly used (though I walked it a couple of times). Nuremberg was the most difficult; as notamermaid says, the dock is on the canal, but the canal itself is nowhere close to tourist sites. Our dock was 3-4 miles from both the old town and the Nazi Documentation Center, which most people wouldn't want to walk. I think Scenic normally docks in the city center for Cologne, but due to low water, we were instead bused from a ways away as the ship continued to sail. Amsterdam, Rudesheim, Wurzburg, Regensburg, Melk, and Budapest were all docked in the city center. (I don't know about Passau and Durnstein, since water conditions caused us to miss those stops.)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, notamermaid said:

In Paris ships up to 125m length dock near the city centre, all 135m ships dock outside. NOW,  about this: according to Peregrina51 on another thread, some longships now dock closer to town. Leaves me puzzled for the time being.

 

 

 

No puzzle. Viking has built three 125m ships so that they can dock at Port de Grenelle, starting in 2020. For more information, https://www.vikingrivercruises.com/ships/seine/index.html

 

Edited by Peregrina651

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

No puzzle. Viking has built three 125m ships so that they can dock at Port de Grenelle, starting in 2020. For more information, https://www.vikingrivercruises.com/ships/seine/index.html

 

Thank you for the info, that certainly explains it.

 

Apologies for getting your name slightly wrong in my previous post.

 

notamermaid

 

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Apologies for getting your name slightly wrong in my previous post.

 

Did you really? I didn't even notice that digits were missing. Don't ever hire me to proofread. 😀

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Posted (edited)

Budapest, mooring in centre of city as of 5 June 2019 and two previous river cruises that started or ended there. Twice almost under the Chain Bridge, once between Elizabeth and Liberty bridges. Easy walk to Parliament, shops, restaurants and (uphill) to Fisherman's Bastion. (Location may change as a result of the recent fatal collision)

 

Bordeaux.

 

Vienna - although as others have pointed out, mooring in the midst of a city may still involve travel to get to the part of the city you want to go to. Each of three time moored in Vienna was only a few minutes walk from Metro station

Edited by pontac

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On 6/17/2019 at 10:25 AM, Daisi said:

We've only done the Rhine with Avalon, and only 2 towns required transport. Strasbourg was a canal cruise in, bus back to the boat, and Heidelberg was a bus ride as it's not on the Rhine.  I am looking at the Blue Danube Discovery cruise, and it looks like there is really only Vienna that requires a bus, the Nuremburg tour does, but you can stay in Roth for the tour there.  We are planning on going to Cesky Krumlov, so will miss Passau,  and I'm not sure how that port will be handled.

 

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Was planning on using Avalon.  Want to either start or end at Basel in order to do a week tour of Switzerland separately.  Still trying to decide how many days to be on River researching which parts of the river typically have problems such as the recent shutdown of wrecked locks.   Thinking currently that best bet to avoid low water and wrecked locks potential problems (don't want to deal with either) would be to take the 8 day one that starts closest to Basel assuming there is minimal locks involved. Have to do more research to find out.  Thanks for your good knowledge regarding Avalon.  Cheers

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3 minutes ago, w3mark61 said:

Was planning on using Avalon.  Want to either start or end at Basel in order to do a week tour of Switzerland separately.  Still trying to decide how many days to be on River researching which parts of the river typically have problems such as the recent shutdown of wrecked locks.   Thinking currently that best bet to avoid low water and wrecked locks potential problems (don't want to deal with either) would be to take the 8 day one that starts closest to Basel assuming there is minimal locks involved. Have to do more research to find out.  Thanks for your good knowledge regarding Avalon.  Cheers

How are you going to plan in advance to avoid low water or wrecked locks. It’s impossible to predict. The wrecked locks is rare. The low water is impossible to predict. It could be high water too. The odds are that it won’t happen but there is always a chance. 

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Posted (edited)

To tell the truth, the only time we noticed going through the locks was when we were eating...most sailing is done at night, so unless you have a Captain that rubs the edge, you won't know you have been through one.  We never felt any bumps etc (mind you, we were out touring morning & afternoon, packing in as much as we could, so could have been over tired) the whole time.

 

We loved Avalon, we weren't really sure what to expect, but it was a perfect fit for us.  The Captain & Hotel Manager were there everyday sending us off on tours, and welcoming us back, the Cruise Director we had was really good, and all the staff were wonderful.  

 

We went with the attitude that this was going to be a great adventure...if there was water problems, we knew Avalon would have something sorted and if we ended up on a bus, then we would still be seeing some beautiful country.  I think the only time the bus trips took the same route was when we went to the Black Forest, and that was only because the other road was under construction, so it was easier to go the same way.  Even when we took the Alsace trip out of Strasbourg, they took a different route through the town so we got to see more.

Edited by Daisi

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Research to date shows least amount of low or high water problems in the spring.  Most amount  of troubles in the late summer and winter. Locks you are absolutely correct but Viking appears to be striking them much more often now that the line size has increased.  Number of locks and placement means I would prefer to travel where the least amount can be traversed to limit exposure to those chances no one can predict.  Cheers. 

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