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France or Germany in July /Aug. Questions.


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Considering doing a river cruise, most likely Paris to Normandy, or possibly another one on the Rhine in late July or early August. I do understand river levels are anyone’s guess. From our only river cruise, which was in late May 3 years ago, I know that we enjoyed being on the top deck and watching the scenery a whole lot. I’m fearful that temperatures in July and Aug. are likely to be too hot & humid to enjoy doing hanging out on an open deck. Hi lived in Florida for many years when I was younger and live in a place that can get quite hot in the summer and is often pretty humid. I also know that it doesn’t make sightseeing or even just sitting in the sun without much of a breeze very uncomfortable.I can look at average temperatures in France and Germany, of course, but I would love to hear some realistic experiences from those of you who have done such river cruises late in the summer. I also realize no one can say for sure what the weather will be like I had of time. Hoping some of you will share your experiences. Thanks for any info!

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Of course, it can become warm in Germany and in northwest of France in July/August. But if you have survived Florida heat, you will do fine. Not that bad here. Also, consider that you will automatically have a breeze, while the ship is moving. So it might be worth to look for an itinerary with lots of daytime cruising.

 

Try to avoid excursions with long bus rides/many stops. Expect the buses to be airconditioned, but they are usually not allowed to have the engine running, while waiting and thus can heat up.

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Actually, in some ways a bus tour works well for us as my dh is a bit mobility impaired, but I get your point. Sitting in.a sitting bus would not be fun. Rode one from Toledo, Spain to Madrid once on a stop and go commuter bus one late afternoon in early June. Talk about uncomfortably hot and sweaty! 
 

Didn’t consider the breeze when the boat is moving. Good thought..  If there were similar river cruises in FL, I would not do one at that time of year. Being where I can jump into water at a pool or beach is fine, but sitting outside in mid day is not in July or Aug.!

 

Thanks for your input!

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@mlbcruiser, as you know from your previous trip (unless it was on the Douro), most cruising is done at night, the ship is in port during the day.  What I would be more concerned about is the heat while out on the tours of the cities...stone streets, stone buildings... and hot sun.  I would say concrete jungle, but not quite right.  

 

 

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weather is generally warm, but not " hot" for the most part.  The ship and busses are air conditioned.  You should bring some rain gear as it can rain, although that doesn't make it cold and damp The ship does move at night except for one day that includes the Rhine castles

 

You should know that while the ship and busses are well laid out, getting on and off the ship can be a challenge on occasion  and are certainly different than a ocean vessel.  Pax loading ramps can be at strong angles depending on dock location.  You may have to traverse another ship with another set of ramps to get to the dock - generally known as rafting  - when space is tight in port 

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We've taken most of our river cruises in late July, early August to coincide with our less busy times on the farm.  During our 2013 cruise on the Seine, we experienced a few hot days as well as some chilly, rainy weather.  On our last night docked in Paris, we enjoyed having drinks on the top deck bundled in Uniworld provided blankets...it was that chilly! Looking back at one of our Rhine cruises, temperatures varied from 60 degrees F. to 78 degrees F. I always pack for warm weather, but take a couple of sweaters for layering and always bring along a raincoat, just in case its needed!

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If your cabin is on the sunny side of the ship when docked, it may get very warm when you are out during the day enjoying the sights. We found that housekeeping tended to open the drapes after they made up the cabin. You may want to let the attendant know your preference if you experience this.

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If you're leaning toward a Normandy river cruise you'll be in Paris & then northern France where the weather can sometimes mimic the weather in England.  We've been to Paris in July several times & have worn everything from short sleeves to sweaters & jackets.  As for Normandy we've been to the DDay beaches in gorgeous warm sun & pouring down sideways icy rain.  I wouldn't worry too much about  humidity in this region.  As PP's have stated your ship (whatever line you book with) will be air conditioned.  Enjoy planning!

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Thanks so much for the experienced replies! Sounds like the weather where I live and that it can pretty much be anything. Yes we Are familiar with the ramps and the ships tied up next to each other requiring going through them to get onto land when docked. As I mentioned, we did a Rhine river cruise and it seems except at the end when we were docked overnight in Amsterdam, I don’t believe we stayed in one port from morning until evening even once. So there was always a bit of river cruising during the day. However it doesn’t look like it’s that far from Paris to Normandy, so may be much more time is spent docked. Decisions decisions!

 

Since France has just reopened , And Germany has just created an online vaccination passport that will be in use for many countries in that part of the world, it will be interesting to see what ends up happening in the near future with regard to ease of entry for Americans even fully vaccinated, Covid, and tourism.


No doubt I will wait too long to book and then the airfares will be too expensive and frequent flyer seat openings will be gone! 🙄 So still mulling it over and that may end up causing us to be out of luck.

 

Thanks for all of the helpful replies! I appreciate the info.

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@mlbcruiser, not sure which line you are going through, but if you are using a TA for booking, have them inquire about the lines air costs.  They can compare pricing for their costs against the lines, and you may get a better deal through the cruise line than your TA can do.  I've found that with Avalon, and others have been saying the same thing

 

The France cruises will be our next one (we'll combine the two into one), but we have to get on the Danube first....hope you are able to go, and have a great time.

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Thanks! We had been considering the Danube for this summer much earlier in the year. Again, the stops are in a few countries. Not sure how tough it would be to get in! Each of them at this point. want to deal with as few problems with red tape as possible. Also There is a question of what would be open where. We have frequent flyer miles that I prefer to use. I noticed there were more stops to get to Budapest or home from Budapest which I wasn’t thrilled about. I’ve looked at a couple of lines and they were offering discounted air. But if you don’t take the air,  you get a sizable discount off of the cruise. So if we can use the frequent-flier miles I would rather do that. Not as many stops to get to Germany or France either.  Thanks again! 
Information welcome.

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One thing to note is that (at least in normal years) France pretty well shuts down during August. Everyone is on vacation, and many places are closed. It won't affect the cruise particularly, but it could affect you if you planned on doing an extension.

Edited by gnome12
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