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TA for a River Cruise?


Travel R
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2 hours ago, Travel R said:

 

Sometimes the history of how different works of art have come to settle in different location is just as fascinating as the art itself.  For instance, it was Van Gogh's sister-in-law that was instrumental in his posthumous fame due to how she marketed him and to where she sold the paintings.  The US National Gallery of Art contains 20-somthing Master artworks that were purchased from the Hermitage (when the Russian govt needed money) - and those works of art were confiscated or purchased much earlier from throughout Europe. There are many, many other similar stories.

 

It is interesting that the Kroller-Muller has more paintings than the Van Gogh Museum (I did not know that - thank you), although for other masters, the Rijksmuseum a short walk away.

 

I personally enjoy the abstract artists. My favorite being Picasso - and seeing the Guernica in person was one of my major highlight when visiting Madrid. Although Barcelona is the more visited city (the Gaudi architecture is amazing), Madrid is a great city to visit and includes the Golden Triangle of art museums (where you will also find Van Gogh in at least one).

 

Yes, art history is fascinating.  Not to disparage the Kröller Müller museum but they do have the largest private collection of Van Goghs but the Van Gogh has at least twice as many and is the largest collection.

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

Would love to see the Madrid museums. Been to Barcelona and did an art project on Gaudi complete with standing in front of the Sacrada Familia talking over the car traffic. My teacher was pleased with my efforts :classic_smile:. Montserrat monastery was amazing. But that would be for an ocean cruise.

 

Staying on the Peninsula, Portugal and the Douro must be great. One thing that is unattractive is the heat. Again, it may be a bit much in August. Others can tell you about that. They say most of the big sites are away from the river and in the hills, part from the coastal towns, so - me inviting others to comment - I would say consider this in your decision-making process.

 

What makes the Rhine and Danube so attractive as rivers in Europe is that on both rivers you have two or more languages (depending on itinerary) and even if you only travel from Passau to Vienna you have two distinct types of German with cultural differences. I would say they are also easy places to manage as regards weather and culture and topography. A good combination.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Thanks again for your insight.

 

If we go to Europe, it's going to be during late August due to our travelling partner's schedules (obviously very close friends).  As mentioned, we have been in different parts of Europe during the summer - it has been hot, but bearable on our vacations.

 

However, my DW was in London a few weeks ago, and she found it unbearable for the first time, even for the short one-block walk from her hotel to the office (as have colleagues in the UK I speak to - I never realized that most do not have air conditioners).

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If most people on river cruises are like this lot, I think I am going to enjoy it (no matter which river we chose or on whatever line we decide to sail).

 

This thread has veered back and forth from cruising, to history, to art.  Besides getting some fantastic and useful information from some very knowledgeable individuals for our forthcoming river cruise, it has been an enjoyable discussion thus far. 

 

I think I am beginning to look forward to the conversation as much as the destinations!

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Van Gogh was Dutch although he spent a lot of his life in France so no surprise that they hold the largest collection.

One of  our neighbours has air con it costs a small fortune to run and evidently to repair, it’s just broken. Your right air con is not usual here but most hotels do have it.
It’s now 36c and not expected to cool down until Monday evidently it’s still rising.

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13 hours ago, notamermaid said:

For me the ultimate (apart from the Monuments Men of WWII) story is the thriller around the Bayeux Tapestry. On a Seine itinerary all I would want to see is the castle of Richard the Lionheart and the Tapestry. No Paris, no bunkers... although I could be persuaded to a brief visit to the Musee d' Orsay to revisit the Impressionists.

 

notamermaid

 

We have done the Seine twice...  the first time we went to the beaches in Normandy.  We were able (due to "extra" arrangements organized by our wonderful CD) to spend extra time at Juno Beach - and then visit the Canadian cemetery at Benys sur Mer.  My dad apparently landed at Juno - but not with the 1st wave.  He never told me - but talked about it one day with my DH.  A sobering visit.

 

The 2nd time we went, my DH went back to the beaches - but I took the trip to see the Bayeux Tapestry.  There are no words....  Simply stunning. Our group then visited a Calvados distillery - so was able to reflect on the day with some fresh apple tart and a small glass of Calvados.  On this trip, we also got to visit Chateau Gaillard - the castle of Richard the Lionheart.  It was a bit of a steep climb (even though the CD said it was a gentle walk...) - and well worth the visit.

 

Ahhhh...  such great memories!!

 

Fran

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13 hours ago, notamermaid said:

For me the ultimate (apart from the Monuments Men of WWII) story is the thriller around the Bayeux Tapestry.

 

notamermaid

 

Since you bring up the Monuments Men, I was really glad we were able to visit the Historische Kunstbunker in Nuremberg. We stayed on in town for a couple of days after our last cruise ended there (we had been to Prague before - so wanted some extra time in Nuremberg instead of continuing on with the group) and were happy that we did.  A fascinating bit of history.

 

Frna  

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6 hours ago, franski said:

Since you bring up the Monuments Men, I was really glad we were able to visit the Historische Kunstbunker in Nuremberg.

Thanks. Must have a look at that. I have read the book on the Monuments Men. What a story.

 

notamermaid

 

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19 hours ago, Canal archive said:

One of  our neighbours has air con it costs a small fortune to run and evidently to repair, it’s just broken. Your right air con is not usual here but most hotels do have it.
It’s now 36c and not expected to cool down until Monday evidently it’s still rising.

 

The heat finally broke for us in my area of the US (NY/NJ).  It was 71 degrees (21/22 C) when I went out to walk the dog this morning.  It was like I was back in Alaska.

 

Stay cool!

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7 hours ago, franski said:

We have done the Seine twice...  the first time we went to the beaches in Normandy.  We were able (due to "extra" arrangements organized by our wonderful CD) to spend extra time at Juno Beach - and then visit the Canadian cemetery at Benys sur Mer.  My dad apparently landed at Juno - but not with the 1st wave.  He never told me - but talked about it one day with my DH.  A sobering visit.

 

The 2nd time we went, my DH went back to the beaches - but I took the trip to see the Bayeux Tapestry.  There are no words....  Simply stunning. Our group then visited a Calvados distillery - so was able to reflect on the day with some fresh apple tart and a small glass of Calvados.  On this trip, we also got to visit Chateau Gaillard - the castle of Richard the Lionheart.  It was a bit of a steep climb (even though the CD said it was a gentle walk...) - and well worth the visit.

 

Ahhhh...  such great memories!!

 

Fran

 

Thanks for sharing. Sound like amazing visits.

 

[When I hear of Richard the Lionheart, my thoughts turn towards Arthurian lore.]

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7 hours ago, franski said:

Since you bring up the Monuments Men, I was really glad we were able to visit the Historische Kunstbunker in Nuremberg. We stayed on in town for a couple of days after our last cruise ended there (we had been to Prague before - so wanted some extra time in Nuremberg instead of continuing on with the group) and were happy that we did.  A fascinating bit of history.

 

Frna  

Nuremberg has played its part several times in history beginning in the Middle Ages.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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4 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Would love to see the tapestry but have done the extensive D Day tours with Scenic. My dad was serving on board HMS Nelson she hit a mine he had also served on her sister ship HMS Rodney.

 

Hit a mine and went onto serving on another ship.  The greatest generation!

 

My grandfather saw action in Italy and a great grandfather served in the Pacific theater.   My dad luckily served between wars.  When the Bay of Pigs incident began his platoon was sent to an undisclosed location - at full alert and in full gear for a few days. [Missed my chance to cruise there when it was open to US cruise ships.9-

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Thanks. Must have a look at that. I have read the book on the Monuments Men. What a story.

 

notamermaid

 

 

For those that only saw the movie, it was loosely based on the book, and only scratches the surface of the whole story.  I know this is not a book club, but I would strongly recommend the book (not a very long book and it was a pretty quick read) .

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12 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

When you go to Château Galliard with Scenic, your guide is actually Richard the Lionheart himself!  Great tour!

Very cool!

 

Love living museums.

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So that’s where he’s got to, I suspect after the ransom was paid to release him from the castle at Durnstein where his troubadour Blondel found him. Fascinating history. For a English King he spent very little time in England.

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1 hour ago, Canal archive said:

So that’s where he’s got to, I suspect after the ransom was paid to release him from the castle at Durnstein where his troubadour Blondel found him. Fascinating history. For a English King he spent very little time in England.

He must still be paying off the ransom, because the next day he was dressed as Rollo the Viking for a tour of medieval Rouen!

 

Scenic really has the best shore excursions!

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19 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

Scenic really has the best shore excursions!

 

One of the data points I am trying to capture are how each of the lines (American-Marketed) offer their excursion, how they are reviewed, and what tours are included (how many tours are included in base fare, what is not, does it matter on the cabin, and avg. price of additional non-complimentary tours). I have just begun the research (I'll get deeper into it this weekend when I have the time), but this gathering this specific information is not as straightforward as it should be.

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Start by checking the various companies websites.  Scenic is all inclusive. Check what is included in the total cost for example gratuities and all excursions plus alcohol. Look at the bits at the top of these threads you’ll find lots of info there.

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Zero in on one itinerary, then go to each cruise line you are considering and download the detailed itinerary/excursion information.  You will find that most lines stop at mostly similar ports, but some are different.  You will also note that many lines offer only basic walking tours (and maybe only one choice) but some offer a range with really interesting choices.  [What's harder to find out is the size of the groups on different lines.  My experience is that Viking lollipops are always followed by very large groups.]

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What an interesting thread.  I have just read from the beginning because we have just booked a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking for the end of October.  We are seasoned Ocean cruisers, with 30+ cruises touching six continents but the only river cruise was on the Yangtze several years ago as part of a China trip. This was with a Chinese company so I doubt if it was typical.  They offered wine with dinner, a choice of Great Wall white or Great Wall red, both equally undrinkable!

We have also travelled extensively in Europe because we have close family in UK and Germany, so I felt quite confident booking the cruise directly with Viking.  We will be in Europe several days pre cruise, so this should avoid the problems with airline delays which seem inevitable right now.

I am following the posts on water levels with interest and hoping that the next two months will bring plenty of rain to the areas.

Sheila

 

 

Edited by smtcan
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3 hours ago, Travel R said:

 

One of the data points I am trying to capture are how each of the lines (American-Marketed) offer their excursion, how they are reviewed, and what tours are included (how many tours are included in base fare, what is not, does it matter on the cabin, and avg. price of additional non-complimentary tours).....

@Travel RHaving sailed with AMA, Scenic and Uniworld when it comes to excursions, in my opinion Scenic wins by a WIDE margin. 

Paul

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1 hour ago, Wings55 said:

@Travel RHaving sailed with AMA, Scenic and Uniworld when it comes to excursions, in my opinion Scenic wins by a WIDE margin. 

Paul

Just interested in what you base this on.  Variety or quality of excursions?  Low tour group numbers?  Better tour guides?  I've only cruised with Avalon, so haven't experienced excursions on any of these lines.  Just curious

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46 minutes ago, KathyK13 said:

Just interested in what you base this on.  Variety or quality of excursions?  Low tour group numbers?  Better tour guides?  I've only cruised with Avalon, so haven't experienced excursions on any of these lines.  Just curious

I would say Yes to all the above, based on my May 2022 Seine cruise on Scenic.

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