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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: klickitat jim on June 13, 2015, 08:42:26 pm

Title: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 13, 2015, 08:42:26 pm
I'm daydreaming of a trip. Has anyong done a Viking River Cruise? What im looking for is sight seeing with lots of classic beer readily available. Viking seems to talk a lot about wine with little mention of beer. I sure like the idea of just stepping off the boat, seeing what I need to see and sampling some beer, then get back on the boat. Next stop...

If you have experience with Belgium/Germany beer trips, and could only go once and could only go for 7-10 days, what would you suggest? Keep in mind that sights are probably just as important as the beer, breweries aren't necessary though one or two would be awesome, and I'd pick history over shopping any day.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 14, 2015, 07:34:49 am
I have seen the ships when I was in Reingensburg. I am cheep. I was traveling by car thou. They look quite fancy.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 14, 2015, 07:48:24 am
Ya they are about $250 per day per person not counting airfare. Pipe dream
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 14, 2015, 10:07:15 am
You could hit Koeln, Duesseldrof, Bamberg, and Regensberg on one of those. It doesn't look appealing to me.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: Stevie on June 14, 2015, 11:14:03 am
From a quality standpoint, I understand that viking is one of the top cruise options. I believe they have one of the highest crew:guest ratios.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 14, 2015, 02:15:53 pm
I think a Viking river cruise for two of us, with airfare, and maybe a couple t shirts would be a $10k week. That's not happening.

How about the beertrips.com guy? Have any of you gone with him? Seems speedy too but at least he hauls you to breweries every day.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 15, 2015, 06:52:19 am
Skip Germany. They don't have Belgian beer there.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 15, 2015, 07:02:20 am
How about the beertrips.com guy?
$2895 for 10 days in Belgium without the flight, that's a lot of money. Just hop on a plane and come to Belgium. OK, this requires some more preparation, but you'll see enough interesting stuff. Plus, for chrissake, Belgium is not Antarctica. You do not need to be a penguin to survive and enjoy.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 15, 2015, 09:06:21 am
I lived in japan for 2 years, off base, owned a car and everything. Spoke no Japanese. Got along just fine. So you're most likely right that I wouldn't die without a tour guide.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 15, 2015, 09:54:21 am
How well does that Eurail system work? Looks like two adults traveling together could do Germany Luxembourg Belgium france and Ireland for about $900
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: Stevie on June 15, 2015, 11:35:57 am
How well does that Eurail system work? Looks like two adults traveling together could do Germany Luxembourg Belgium france and Ireland for about $900
Rail in Europe is great, but it does come with its cons. Primarily time compared to a bargain airline.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 15, 2015, 12:53:17 pm
How well does that Eurail system work? Looks like two adults traveling together could do Germany Luxembourg Belgium france and Ireland for about $900
Rail in Europe is great, but it does come with its cons. Primarily time compared to a bargain airline.
True, but you can see the country from the train, right? Probably the best would be a rental car and hire a designated driver. I guess they call those taxis.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 15, 2015, 11:47:51 pm
How well does that Eurail system work? Looks like two adults traveling together could do Germany Luxembourg Belgium france and Ireland for about $900
Rail in Europe is great, but it does come with its cons. Primarily time compared to a bargain airline.
The trains take you to the downtown station, where you want to be.

The discount airlines fly in and out of the farthest out airport with cheapest fees. Then you spend time and money getting downtown. The cheap airlines use Hahn airport for Frankfurt, Hahn is in the middle of no where with no public transportation.

That is why trains are still used in Europe for shorter travel, say Koeln to Munich. One would need to research the options.

Edit - to be clear I would fly from Rome to London.

The trains are great for shorter travel.

I would just target Belgium and Germany (maybe Czech Rep.) for a trip. Brussels to Koeln and Duesseldorf, then down to Munich (mostly high speed), Munich to Nuremburg (high speed), Nuremberg to Bamberg.

Edit 2 - we have bought German rail passes for travel in Germany only. Not so expensive.

Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 16, 2015, 05:03:06 am
How well does that Eurail system work? Looks like two adults traveling together could do Germany Luxembourg Belgium france and Ireland for about $900

You could try this formula: http://www.eurail.com/eurail-passes/select-pass -  4 adjacent countries (where Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg is one country).

Not sure how Ireland would fit in. In general I'd say it's not the best of countries to visit using public transportation...
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 16, 2015, 08:12:45 am
Its a few years out so lots of time to study up.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: yso191 on June 16, 2015, 06:52:08 pm
The real advantage to the river cruise though is that one unpacks once.  Your motel (and restaurant if you don't want to eat ashore) goes with you.  I am very attracted to doing a cruise on the Danube.  Lots of wonderful places to see and things to do.  No it is probably not the best *beer* tour venue but still very attractive to me.  It is on my bucket list.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 16, 2015, 07:14:25 pm
The real advantage to the river cruise though is that one unpacks once.  Your motel (and restaurant if you don't want to eat ashore) goes with you.  I am very attracted to doing a cruise on the Danube.  Lots of wonderful places to see and things to do.  No it is probably not the best *beer* tour venue but still very attractive to me.  It is on my bucket list.
One can get on the Rhein around Koeln, go through the Altmuehltal that connects the Main to the Danube, and proceed down to Budapast or farther.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on June 16, 2015, 11:23:39 pm
Talked to a guy whose been, and his response was that tge Viking river cruises are ambient age ~80. So id feel young again, sounds like.

On second glance it looks like some of the traveling is done at night. Personally id enjoy drinking a beer on deck and watching Germany go by. But cant see much at night.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: homoeccentricus on June 17, 2015, 03:19:48 am
Viking river cruises are ambient age ~80.

Then come to Belgium. We have legal euthanasia here. You won't suffer so much.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: yso191 on June 18, 2015, 12:42:20 am
Talked to a guy whose been, and his response was that tge Viking river cruises are ambient age ~80.

Yike.  Nothing like partying in a geriatric ward.  I hope to be 80 some day, but right now we are on totally different wave-lengths.  This little tidbit of info may end up scratching it from my bucket list.

We were in Europe 5 or 6 years ago.  I definitely want to go back.  We rented a car with a GPS and had no trouble at all getting around.  That was in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Germany.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: narcout on July 03, 2015, 12:12:20 pm
My preference is backpacking and staying in hostels.  I went to Amsterdam and Antwerp over what was basically a long weekend back in 2006 (maybe 3 days in each city).  I probably spent less than $75 a day not including airfare. 

The hostel in Antwerp had a bar on the first floor.  We met some awesome locals there who took us out to some of their favorite spots.  It was a blast.

If hostels aren't your thing, you can often rent people's apartments for a few days if you're in a decent sized  city.  My wife and I did it in Barcelona a few years ago.  It was less than half the price of staying in a hotel, and we had our own kitchen (another good way to save money) and patio.
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: curtism1234 on July 03, 2015, 02:26:51 pm
As far as age goes, yeah, a lot of cruises are 70 and up. You can time it with Holidays and get a few more passengers who still work...
Title: Re: River Cruising
Post by: klickitat jim on July 04, 2015, 01:05:52 am
Hmmm, maybe I'll fit right in by the time I can afford to go