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gnome12

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    Toronto, Canada
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    cycling, theatre, number puzzles, architecture

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  1. I'm a bit surprised that so many river cruise ships are waiting. I would have expected that most companies would have tried to do ship swaps, which wouldn't have the ships sitting there waiting.
  2. I don't think that either Prague or Budapest is easier for flights. A lot of people seem to like the sail into Budapest.
  3. What is important to know about the ship is whether there is an outdoor space below the sundeck. When I sailed Vienna to Basel on the River Countess in 2011, we had a small deck on the third level that fit most of the people (a bit of a squish) but allowed us to be outdoors with a view to both sides during this stretch. I remember being told not to stand up when we were coming up to a bridge; they were really low; I felt I could have touched the underside.
  4. I would be really surprised if they didn't get in very early in the morning, because most of the (North American) people flying out of Basel (which I don't really recommend) would have early flights to make same day European connections. You can take a train from Basel directly to Zurich airport in about 1 1/2 hours. (Times can be faster if you connect at Zurich HBF, but the connections seem to be quite tight.) On the direct trains, a 5:37 would get you to the airport at 7:04, and a 6:37 at 8:04. Another suggestion, Frankfurt. The train takes longer, but there is a 7:13 train arriving at Frankfurt airport at 10:06, with a 1:30 Lufthansa non-stop to Vancouver. All of these trains leave from Basel SBB, and take you right into the airport. You might want to check with Scenic as to how early you can book.
  5. Actually, if you google “Outlander tours” a whole bunch come up.
  6. There are different types of tours. I am going to be doing an Outlander walking tour in Edinburgh. Basically it puts the story into the actual historic places. There are also 1-day and multi day tours that take you out of town; they seem to concentrate more on filming locations, althoughI’m sure they cover some of the history.
  7. Just note there is more than one “central” station in Brussels, you want Bruxelles-Midi.
  8. I did this in the other direction in 2010. After travelling by train from Frankfurt airport, kicked onto buses in Cologne to Brussels Midi (the Icelandic volcano was messing up travel), I took the train to Antwerp, and got a cab to take me to the ship. I use a mid-size suitcase, but my carryon is always a backpack, which leaves me a free hand.
  9. I used Malarone but many people didn’t. I don’t think I used repellent much either. We really didn’t see a lot of mosquitoes.
  10. The 6 AMA European ships (excluding the Douro) carry 144 (3 of them), 156, 161 and 162 guests.
  11. They do have a forum here, although much of it will probably be about their river cruises. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/796-american-cruise-lines/
  12. I did this trip in 2017 in the opposite direction. There was a desk set up at the hotel in Hanoi where you could pick up your package on arrival day. If someone was there when you were, you would meet them. Otherwise, we met the next morning (I think) in the lobby of the hotel. Feel free to make whatever plans you want for that day; I doubt they will have anything scheduled. As to touring in HCMC, we only found out about it about a day before we disembarked; I had already made independent plans for what had seemed to be a completely free day.
  13. I will state that traffic in Montreal is awful; everything is under construction.
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