Scenic river cruise Europe

RooFlyer

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God help me, I'm turning into a regular cruiser!!

Now looking at doing a Scenic cruise on Moselle/Rhine rivers next year. The boat and itinerary looks very good, and price is OK too. I'm looking for comments on how they are as an organisation to deal with, and any 'tips and tricks' for their river cruise boats - good/bad decks service standards ....

I've seen a post by @OATEK re weather problems and one from a few years back from @mrs.dr.ron . Anyone used them, specifically in Europe, perhaps in the past year?

I'm not on Cruise Critic, and frankly don't want to have to wade through that, so all thoughts from the AFF community welcome.
 

MEL_Traveller

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i read quite a bit on these during covid! Apparently the cabins to avoid are the ones with the small window high up close to the ceiling… the cabin itself is mostly below the waterline, with just the window above it.

Gary Bembridge does really good videos on youtube of all sorts of cruises, including river cruises. IIRC his #1 advice for the latter was to avoid the ‘below water’ cabins at all cost… no matter how good the deal (and he cruises anything and everything, even inside cabins… except for these ones!)

Well worth having a look at a few of his videos on the subject. He’s not associated with any company and finds all his travel himself.
 

tgh

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Following… River cruising looks very attractive but I opine that it has suffered enormous growth and commensurate loss of "magic".
I see the river travel pics as a bit like the ads for alaskan train travel… showing a very false perspective.
To that end I have occasionally fantasised about waters less travelled as there are a lot of waterways in Europe.
I would be looking at smaller ships, less commercial ports and hopefully less rafting .
Imagine your expensive window or balcony cabin every night hard up against or the bar the galley or ….of the ship tied alongside
 

OATEK

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God help me, I'm turning into a regular cruiser!!

Now looking at doing a Scenic cruise on Moselle/Rhine rivers next year. The boat and itinerary looks very good, and price is OK too. I'm looking for comments on how they are as an organisation to deal with, and any 'tips and tricks' for their river cruise boats - good/bad decks service standards ....

I've seen a post by @OATEK re weather problems and one from a few years back from @mrs.dr.ron . Anyone used them, specifically in Europe, perhaps in the past year?

I'm not on Cruise Critic, and frankly don't want to have to wade through that, so all thoughts from the AFF community welcome.
The rivers seem to have decent flows at the moment, although summer is yet to ramp up. We knew people a couple of years back who found their boat could not finish the cruise because of low water levels, but this is probably not an issue every year, just something to monitor. Mind you Mrsoatek has come down against following our friends on the rivers, and is firmly targeting the Med and some more Northern Cruising over the next year or two (I am just the facilitator 😎).
 

MEL_Traveller

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Following… River cruising looks very attractive but I opine that it has suffered enormous growth and commensurate loss of "magic".
I see the river travel pics as a bit like the ads for alaskan train travel… showing a very false perspective.
To that end I have occasionally fantasised about waters less travelled as there are a lot of waterways in Europe.
I would be looking at smaller ships, less commercial ports and hopefully less rafting .
Imagine your expensive window or balcony cabin every night hard up against or the bar the galley or ….of the ship tied alongside

Indeed! Gary Bembridge talks about all the pros and cons of river cruising, including multiple ships berthed side by side, and the issues that can cause… as well as fluctuating water flows and sometimes having to change ships mid cruise because water levels are too low at certain points (you go from your boat to the boat going the other way, using a bus for the section of low water).

However, I think he still said that with the right ship the cruise is (can be) lots of fun, especially with all the land activities.

I just remembered the Travel Guides show did an episode on a river cruise. It looked great!
 

VPS

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My TA will not book anyone on Scenic after the debacle a few years ago when the river levels were low. He said they handled it really badly but seeing as they lost a court case when someone tried to sue they may have changed a bit.

I gather Viking bought out another company which meant they have the best locations when you get somewhere. Some of the cruise companies dock quite a way from the town. I went to one info session from APT and it seemed you spent most of your time cruising or on a bus going somewhere whereas I would think the attraction was that you could do your own thing when you arrived in a location. I think the only river cruise I'm interested in at the moment is a Christmas market one but I may change my mind
 

MEL_Traveller

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My TA will not book anyone on Scenic after the debacle a few years ago when the river levels were low. He said they handled it really badly but seeing as they lost a court case when someone tried to sue they may have changed a bit.

I gather Viking bought out another company which meant they have the best locations when you get somewhere. Some of the cruise companies dock quite a way from the town. I went to one info session from APT and it seemed you spent most of your time cruising or on a bus going somewhere whereas I would think the attraction was that you could do your own thing when you arrived in a location. I think the only river cruise I'm interested in at the moment is a Christmas market one but I may change my mind

I think it’s a mix… you can do your own thing, but they seem to have lots of really cool activities planned for the ships that you couldn’t ordinarily do as a regular tourist… like concerts in the small churches and things… all organised for the tour company. I suspect however it might not just be your ship, but yours + all the other docking at that town for the night!
 

OATEK

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I think it’s a mix… you can do your own thing, but they seem to have lots of really cool activities planned for the ships that you couldn’t ordinarily do as a regular tourist… like concerts in the small churches and things… all organised for the tour company. I suspect however it might not just be your ship, but yours + all the other docking at that town for the night!
Yes, those music nights can be huge! We attended one in Vienna which was excellent, but of the several hundred guests only about a dozen (including the two of us) were not on a river cruise.
 

kookaburra75

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I haven't done the river cruises, but I have a few friends who went on Scenic, from Amsterdam to Budapest, and spoke highly of the trip, organising etc. It seems to be less hectic that the Rhine and Rhone cruises, where I've seen the cruise boats parked four across at the docks. They all stayed on the higher decks. MrsK and I checked it out, and would go with the Royal Panorama Suites, which are at the back for the boat and wrap around for a better view.
 

Pushka

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God help me, I'm turning into a regular cruiser!!

Now looking at doing a Scenic cruise on Moselle/Rhine rivers next year. The boat and itinerary looks very good, and price is OK too. I'm looking for comments on how they are as an organisation to deal with, and any 'tips and tricks' for their river cruise boats - good/bad decks service standards ....

I've seen a post by @OATEK re weather problems and one from a few years back from @mrs.dr.ron . Anyone used them, specifically in Europe, perhaps in the past year?

I'm not on Cruise Critic, and frankly don't want to have to wade through that, so all thoughts from the AFF community welcome.
Viking seems to own all the prize berths on the Rivers. Eg Amsterdam their berths are all around the main bridge and by the House of Parliament. They have fleets of branded buses everywhere. We are doing a Grand European Cruise for the Christmas markets in 2023. Scenic, as others have stated, had significant issues a few years ago. Both high waters and low waters can be an issue but total luck of the draw.
 

lovetravellingoz

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Thanks both - I meant to also ask for alternatives.

Well in that case:

See:

They offer a wide variety of options including self-guided, guided rides, staying on river boats/barges or on land from moderate to premium.

We used Rad + Reisen to cycle along the Danube from Passau in Germany (just) to Vienna.

We chose the self-guided option and stayed on land at B&B's/Hotels along the way (chosen due their location near the bicycle path. We did it some years ago, but the current option below is fairly close to what we did:

We enjoyed it greatly. But we do love outdoor based travel and holidays.

The scenery was very good along that section of the Danube. And as one is on a bicycle, one can also divert to take in other sites that appeal to ones interest and tastes.

For example as were passing near the Mauthasen Concentration Camp, and it was Anzac Day, we chose to visit it. While the visit was sobering and horrific I think everyone should visit such a site at least once in their life. Mauthausen concentration camp - Wikipedia

 

RB

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Thanks both - I meant to also ask for alternatives.
I guess another alternative is a (largely) land based trip around the Rhine/Mosel area. We don't see a challenge in having to pack a single bag a couple of times and find the payback of being able to stay in more spacious surrounds to be very worthwhile. In the Moselle/Rhine area we have stayed at Cochem and St Goar. The rail options are excellent, there are frequent day ferries, many easy hikes and plenty of dining choices. Looking back at my 2011 and 2013 trip reports reminds me of the great holidays we had there
 

mrs.dr.ron

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Sorry @RooFlyer the only river cruise we did was in Burma, and it was Belmond. We did have a Scenic ocean cruise booked but pulled the plug on it, and cancelled.
 

RooFlyer

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I guess another alternative is a (largely) land based trip around the Rhine/Mosel area. We don't see a challenge in having to pack a single bag a couple of times and find the payback of being able to stay in more spacious surrounds to be very worthwhile. In the Moselle/Rhine area we have stayed at Cochem and St Goar. The rail options are excellent, there are frequent day ferries, many easy hikes and plenty of dining choices. Looking back at my 2011 and 2013 trip reports reminds me of the great holidays we had there

Hmmmm ... I am attracted by the lessening of the thinking & booking part by taking a multi-day cruise, not to mention the ability to sit on the deck and swill some good Rieslings day in day out from time to time. :)

But given the several issues noted here, and the fact that I usually have to pay a single supplement on cruises 🤬 maybe I can apply all the cost of the cruise to a much higher standard of touring & hotels than I usually do 😀, thereby smoothing the "stress".

Plus I'm due to drive down the Rhine from Strasbourg to Montpellier to visit some rellies in the French Alps; that would fit on to one end.

@RB , I wonder if Magan has a cheap driver in Germany? 🤣
 

RB

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Hmmmm ... I am attracted by the lessening of the thinking & booking part by taking a multi-day cruise, not to mention the ability to sit on the deck and swill some good Rieslings day in day out from time to time. :)

But given the several issues noted here, and the fact that I usually have to pay a single supplement on cruises 🤬 maybe I can apply all the cost of the cruise to a much higher standard of touring & hotels than I usually do 😀, thereby smoothing the "stress".

Plus I'm due to drive down the Rhine from Strasbourg to Montpellier to visit some rellies in the French Alps; that would fit on to one end.

@RB , I wonder if Magan has a cheap driver in Germany? 🤣

Day trip from St Goar-
1652936454560.png

1652936526299.png

Private Balcony at Cochem
1652936671538.png

We are going back to India 2023-Magan is doing up itinerary for us
 

ausfox

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Well in that case:

See:

They offer a wide variety of options including self-guided, guided rides, staying on river boats/barges or on land from moderate to premium.

We used Rad + Reisen to cycle along the Danube from Passau in Germany (just) to Vienna.

We chose the self-guided option and stayed on land at B&B's/Hotels along the way (chosen due their location near the bicycle path. We did it some years ago, but the current option below is fairly close to what we did:

We enjoyed it greatly. But we do love outdoor based travel and holidays.

The scenery was very good along that section of the Danube. And as one is on a bicycle, one can also divert to take in other sites that appeal to ones interest and tastes.

For example as were passing near the Mauthasen Concentration Camp, and it was Anzac Day, we chose to visit it. While the visit was sobering and horrific I think everyone should visit such a site at least once in their life. Mauthausen concentration camp - Wikipedia

We also used Radreisen to cycle from Passat to Vienna. Fantastic organisation throughout and excellent quality bikes as well as accomodation. Achievable by reasonably fit mature types. This was a great 8 day ride.
 

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