Viking Rhine Excursions: What Not To Miss?


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#1
New England
549 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I have booked my included excursions and am waiting for the other excursions to go “live”. We are sailing from Amsterdam to Basel on Viking Summer 2018.

I was wondering if anyone had any input on what are the not to miss excursions by Viking or other options. In addition the cost?

Is there something better? A private tour company or just walk off the boat to specific destination?

I thought I read somewhere that you can book a excursion online (pay for it) and when you get to the boat you can cancel it. Then re-book with your on board credit. Is this true?

Strasbourg, France

-Strasbourg Highlights - 4 hours/Included
-Alsatian Wine Tasting ( for us skip)
-Taste the best of Alsace (for us skip )
-Mercedes-Benz Factory (for us skip )



Heidelberg, Germany
-Panoramic Heidelberg Included - 6 hour/Included



Koblenz, Germany
-Marksburg Castle - 3 hours/included
-Moselle Wine Tasting (for us skip )
-Ehrenbreitstein Fortress 3 hours cost $?
-Dine in Rüdesheim am Rhein - (debating on this one, book on ship and use credit ?)
-Wine Tasting & Dinner at Eberbach Monastery (for us skip )



Cologne, Germany
-Cologne Walking Tour 2 hour/included
-Brühl UNESCO Palaces 3 hours/ cost (maybe? Book on ship)
-Top of Cologne (for us skip )
- Cologne’s Beer Culture & Dinner (for us skip )

Black Forest, Germany

- Looking into a private tour for Black Forest
- 2:00 – 5:45PM: Optional Excursion – Colmar City Tour ( I definitely would like to do this and would book before we leave. Anyone know the cost?
#2
FL
806 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Colmar tour is currently $49


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#3
Rhine, Germany
2,514 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Just a couple of thoughts.

I think you might enjoy the Brühl excursion to the palaces if you like that sort of architecture. I do not think any other stop on your cruise offers a similar experience.

On Ehrenbreitstein fortress I do not know what Viking includes, perhaps a commentary and shuttle, but you can do this on your own if you take the cable car there and back. I recommend it for the views. Here is some info (needs updating): https://www.seilbahn-koblenz.de/homepage.html

In Rüdesheim I recommend the wine tasting and dinner at Eberbach monastery. You might not drink wine but I am sure the hosts will be accommodating to your wishes. The buildings are very interesting and the scenery lovely. A bit more sophisticated than Rüdesheim but for entertainment "the olde worlde kind" Rüdesheim is good. Kloster Eberbach: http://kloster-eberbach.de/en/monastery

Have fun planning.

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#4
North Dakota
137 Posts
Joined Sep 2014
Originally posted by notamermaid
Just a couple of thoughts.

On Ehrenbreitstein fortress I do not know what Viking includes, perhaps a commentary and shuttle, but you can do this on your own if you take the cable car there and back. I recommend it for the views

notamermaid
On past cruises, you could not do this on your own because the ship moves to Marksburg castle to pick up guests from the included excursion. We left the ship at appx 9:00 and were picked around noon below the castle by the ship. It's been awhile but I think the ship left at 9:30 from Koblenz.
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#5
San Diego
216 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
I highly recommend the Brühl UNESCO Palaces. It was one of the highlights on our Grand European tour.
The Rococo architecture is incredible and the grand staircase is more impressive that the one at the Wurzburg Bishop's Residenze.
You also visit the falcon hunting "lodge" where they really roughed it.
The staircase there is covered in Delft tile.



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#7
New England
549 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
So on a whim I took a look at my Viking Journey. Turns out the excursion are up (way earlier than I thought). Can you get a refund if you change your mind? How do you find out the time as I am looking into a private tour. I don't want to miss Colmar 69
#8
San Diego
216 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by Cruiseoholic000
So on a whim I took a look at my Viking Journey. Turns out the excursion are up (way earlier than I thought). Can you get a refund if you change your mind? How do you find out the time as I am looking into a private tour. I don't want to miss Colmar 69
If you prepay for excursion through Viking Journey it is not refundable. In general you can book when you are aboard the ship but some popular tours do fill up.

You will not be given specific times until the night before at the daily briefing. Due to a number of factors it is impossible to give precise times on river cruises. For example you may depart/arrive earlier or later based on river traffic. You travel through many locks and will queue up. If you miss your allotted time, you go to the back of the line. I've also been on board when we departed early because there was an opening in the lock traffic.

The best guesstimate for times are already posted. The tour will have a duration and will state if it is in the morning, afternoon, or all day.
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#9
Rhode Island
10 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
On our cruise this past September I believe the only excursion that sold out before the trip was the Rudeshiem dinner. The only optional tour we did was Colmar, and would recommend it - a delightful town.
#11
FL
806 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
We took the Colmar village tour which was very enjoyable. Friends took the historic tour in Colmar and loved it. The dinner in Rudesheim was a fun night, good and plentiful food , entertainment also.



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#12
3,854 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Cruiseoholic000
I have booked my included excursions and am waiting for the other excursions to go “live”. We are sailing from Amsterdam to Basel on Viking Summer 2018.



I was wondering if anyone had any input on what are the not to miss excursions by Viking or other options. In addition the cost?



Is there something better? A private tour company or just walk off the boat to specific destination?



I thought I read somewhere that you can book a excursion online (pay for it) and when you get to the boat you can cancel it. Then re-book with your on board credit. Is this true?



Strasbourg, France



-Strasbourg Highlights - 4 hours/Included

-Alsatian Wine Tasting ( for us skip)

-Taste the best of Alsace (for us skip )

-Mercedes-Benz Factory (for us skip )







Heidelberg, Germany

-Panoramic Heidelberg Included - 6 hour/Included







Koblenz, Germany

-Marksburg Castle - 3 hours/included

-Moselle Wine Tasting (for us skip )

-Ehrenbreitstein Fortress 3 hours cost $?

-Dine in Rüdesheim am Rhein - (debating on this one, book on ship and use credit ?)

-Wine Tasting & Dinner at Eberbach Monastery (for us skip )







Cologne, Germany

-Cologne Walking Tour 2 hour/included

-Brühl UNESCO Palaces 3 hours/ cost (maybe? Book on ship)

-Top of Cologne (for us skip )

- Cologne’s Beer Culture & Dinner (for us skip )



Black Forest, Germany



- Looking into a private tour for Black Forest

- 2:00 – 5:45PM: Optional Excursion – Colmar City Tour ( I definitely would like to do this and would book before we leave. Anyone know the cost?


We did this cruise at the end of August last year.

The included Strasbourg tour was very nice - beautiful city.
We did the Mercedes tour as well. DH enjoyed it. I wasn’t bored . If you’re a car buff, a Mercedes fan or just interested in the assembly line process, it was interesting. I was amazed at how clean everything was and how many women were working on the line. If you go, note that you can’t take ANYTHING in with you - not even a small purse. You have to leave your things on the bus or use one of their lockers.

Heidelberg was gorgeous. It was one of my favorite stops. I wished we had more time there.

We did Marksburg Castle - it’s worth the climb and traversing the rough stone entrance. The buses can’t park or turn around at the top so you have to walk up the last loop of the road. If you are not in the first tour group, you get a bit of a rest

On our cruise you had to choose Marksburg or Ehrenbreitstein. You couldn’t do both because the ship moved on from Koblenz and we were picked up closer to Marksburg at Braubach. People who did the fortress were bused to to Braubach. We are doing the Grand European Tour next fall and it includes a stop at Koblenz. We hope to do Ehrenbreitstein then. I looked through all of my trip paperwork and I can’t find the price - sorry.

We had lots of time in Cologne after the included walking tour. Unfortunately we were not docked close to the city center. It’s the luck of the draw. There was a shuttle bus that went back and forth.

We went to the Roman-Germanic museum which was very interesting. After that we went to Früh - brewer of the famous Kölsch beer for lunch and some beer, of course.

We were there late because many people did the beer and dinner optional excursion. They all said it was great fun.

We will be in Cologne again on our cruise next fall. We will skip the included tour. I might do the Top of Cologne (this was not offered on our cruise because we were there on Sunday). We will definitely go back to Früh and possibly do the beer and dinner tour.

We enjoyed the Black Forest tour. I didn’t find the bus ride overly long or boring but we had a great tour guide who kept us entertained. The huge clock is cool and we got to see it in action. We did the hike along the waterfall and it was lovely but steep . I had a piece of Black Forest cake. I just had to do it. It was yummy!

We did the Colmar village tour in the morning with the same guide. I absolutely loved it. It’s quaint and just lovely. I would recommend it highly. They brought us back to the ship with time for lunch before we set out for the Black Forest.

Our experience with these 2 stops is why it’s nearly impossible to plan tours on your own. When I first booked the tours on the MyViking site, the Black Forest tour and the Colmar village tour were at the same time, so I booked the WWII one so we would at least see a little of the town.

A few weeks later I get an email saying that my schedule had a conflict. I went into the site and the times had been changed and now the WWII tour was at the same time as the Black Forest trip. This was the only time I had difficulty dealing with Viking. I called to straighten this out and change the WWII tour to the village tour - which was now no longer a conflict with the Black Forest trip.

The guy I spoke with was kind of rude and he scolded me for picking 2 things in the same time slot - which I didn’t do and the system won’t allow. He would not accept my assertion that Viking changed the time. He did grudgingly cancel the WWII tour but he told me I had to add the village tour myself.

I hung up and wrote to the tellus email they always post here and they were fantastic. Contacted me right away, apologized and took care of the change for me.

Anyway after all that, when we got to Breisach where both of these tours leave from, they announced that the times of all the tours had changed once again because another Viking ship had arrived at the same time we did - a change in their schedule. We still got to do both tours but in the reverse order. So you never know.

I think I covered everything. If you have any other questions, just ask and have a wonderful time on your cruise!


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#13
New England
549 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
My Viking journey says Colmar is going to be in the afternoon. Do they change the tours from morning to afternoon often? I can't wait to see Colmar as it lookeds like a great stop but just found out I had ancestors from the area.



Originally posted by Cyber Kat
We did this cruise at the end of August last year.

The included Strasbourg tour was very nice - beautiful city.
We did the Mercedes tour as well. DH enjoyed it. I wasn’t bored . If you’re a car buff, a Mercedes fan or just interested in the assembly line process, it was interesting. I was amazed at how clean everything was and how many women were working on the line. If you go, note that you can’t take ANYTHING in with you - not even a small purse. You have to leave your things on the bus or use one of their lockers.

Heidelberg was gorgeous. It was one of my favorite stops. I wished we had more time there.

We did Marksburg Castle - it’s worth the climb and traversing the rough stone entrance. The buses can’t park or turn around at the top so you have to walk up the last loop of the road. If you are not in the first tour group, you get a bit of a rest

On our cruise you had to choose Marksburg or Ehrenbreitstein. You couldn’t do both because the ship moved on from Koblenz and we were picked up closer to Marksburg at Braubach. People who did the fortress were bused to to Braubach. We are doing the Grand European Tour next fall and it includes a stop at Koblenz. We hope to do Ehrenbreitstein then. I looked through all of my trip paperwork and I can’t find the price - sorry.

We had lots of time in Cologne after the included walking tour. Unfortunately we were not docked close to the city center. It’s the luck of the draw. There was a shuttle bus that went back and forth.

We went to the Roman-Germanic museum which was very interesting. After that we went to Früh - brewer of the famous Kölsch beer for lunch and some beer, of course.

We were there late because many people did the beer and dinner optional excursion. They all said it was great fun.

We will be in Cologne again on our cruise next fall. We will skip the included tour. I might do the Top of Cologne (this was not offered on our cruise because we were there on Sunday). We will definitely go back to Früh and possibly do the beer and dinner tour.

We enjoyed the Black Forest tour. I didn’t find the bus ride overly long or boring but we had a great tour guide who kept us entertained. The huge clock is cool and we got to see it in action. We did the hike along the waterfall and it was lovely but steep . I had a piece of Black Forest cake. I just had to do it. It was yummy!

We did the Colmar village tour in the morning with the same guide. I absolutely loved it. It’s quaint and just lovely. I would recommend it highly. They brought us back to the ship with time for lunch before we set out for the Black Forest.

Our experience with these 2 stops is why it’s nearly impossible to plan tours on your own. When I first booked the tours on the MyViking site, the Black Forest tour and the Colmar village tour were at the same time, so I booked the WWII one so we would at least see a little of the town.

A few weeks later I get an email saying that my schedule had a conflict. I went into the site and the times had been changed and now the WWII tour was at the same time as the Black Forest trip. This was the only time I had difficulty dealing with Viking. I called to straighten this out and change the WWII tour to the village tour - which was now no longer a conflict with the Black Forest trip.

The guy I spoke with was kind of rude and he scolded me for picking 2 things in the same time slot - which I didn’t do and the system won’t allow. He would not accept my assertion that Viking changed the time. He did grudgingly cancel the WWII tour but he told me I had to add the village tour myself.

I hung up and wrote to the tellus email they always post here and they were fantastic. Contacted me right away, apologized and took care of the change for me.

Anyway after all that, when we got to Breisach where both of these tours leave from, they announced that the times of all the tours had changed once again because another Viking ship had arrived at the same time we did - a change in their schedule. We still got to do both tours but in the reverse order. So you never know.

I think I covered everything. If you have any other questions, just ask and have a wonderful time on your cruise!


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#14
New England
549 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
If the Rudeshiem dinner is sold out do you think it is possible to do something similar on our own? Walk off the ship shop and find a place to eat? Is this a safe area? Anyone know the docking area so I can take a look on google maps?


Originally posted by Rhody Lynn
On our cruise this past September I believe the only excursion that sold out before the trip was the Rudeshiem dinner. The only optional tour we did was Colmar, and would recommend it - a delightful town.
#16
FL
806 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Cruiseoholic000
Another question.... How long after the tour of free time are you given in Colmar?


On the optional medieval Colmar we had at least an hour if not longer of free time Had time to wander, shop, and enjoy a beverage


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#17
Rhine, Germany
2,514 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Originally posted by Cruiseoholic000
If the Rudeshiem dinner is sold out do you think it is possible to do something similar on our own? Walk off the ship shop and find a place to eat? Is this a safe area? Anyone know the docking area so I can take a look on google maps?
This is the map of Rüdesheim: https://www.ruedesheim.de/fileadmin/..._2015_Plan.pdf The docking areas of the large ships are numbers 7 to 1 I believe. You can relatively safely walk along the bank, you are bound not to be the only one, it is not far into town and there are plenty of restaurants.

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#18
New England
549 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Notamermaid thank so much for the map! I am thinking yes to skip the excursion andgo to town on our own in Rudesheim. Does anyone know what time the boat gets in and leaves? I am thinking maybe a cable car ride to Niederwalddenkmal (car closes at 1900?), shopping ( Drosselgasse) and dinner.
#19
New Hampshire
834 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by ArubaGal
On the optional medieval Colmar we had at least an hour if not longer of free time Had time to wander, shop, and enjoy a beverage


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Agree. Something over an hour.
We had plenty of time to tour the beautiful Little Venice section, tour inside the Cathedral and head back to the meeting point restaurant for a toilet break and a drink had we desired.
Highly recommend this tour.
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#20
Midwest, USA
1,204 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
@cruiseoholic000,

On our June Rhine Getaway A->B, the Rudesheim stop was from 5:30 PM to midnight.


As you have heard, Rudesheim is quite safe and has many, many restaurants. We were getting tired of German food by then, and had a very good Italian meal in Rudesheim. You will find plenty of choices.
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