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Firepath

Land/Cruise combo Europe

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I have seen some TAs to/from Europe and wondering if anyone here has flown to Europe for a land tour, then cruised back to USA or vice versa? Any input on how to arrange this or the positives and negatives? Is either direction better or more practical?

Edited by Firepath

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A full service travel agent could help you with this.  The big advantage to me would be eliminating one of the transatlantic flights.  I hate them.

Edited by Roz

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Not in Europe, but in Asia. We combined a land tour and a cruise with 2 different companies. Another time, we did our own thing between the two because of the different end and starting dates. 

Viking Ocean and Viking River offer packages with 2 cruises, one ocean, one river.

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We have really enjoyed a busy land vacation, locations determined by where we board the ship.  With the help of research on the internet you can make the hotel, tour and transportation reservations if you want to travel on your own.  Alternately you could contact and TA and arrange a land tour with a company as well as your cruise.

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You don't need a TA if you are willing to research. Decide which season, check out transatlantic options and decide which area you want to focus on and take a cheap flight and go there. 

there is a brand new board under special interest that discusses this topic. Many cruise critics do this all the time.

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We are taking a transatlantic cruise to Europe this spring and disembark in Rome.  My husband hates the 10 hour flights and what an alternative this is!    We are staying another nine days - 5 on the Amalfi coast and 4 in Rome.  It's time consuming, but if you don't mind spending hours on the internet researching you can make your own travel arrangements.  I use trip advisor a lot.   I check hotel ratings (make sure you sort by traveler rankings), read through the travel forums for each city I plan on travelling through and look at the "top things to do" in each area.    When it comes to transportation, I generally just google something like "how to get from Rome to Sorrento" and have always found detailed and easy to understand instructions from a variety of resources.  It's not hard - but it is very time consuming.    

 

There is a brand new category that cruise critic just established under specialty cruising that should answer your other questions relating to transatlantic crusing.

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Quite a number of people do this, judging by reports I've read here. It's not difficult to arrange, just understanding that most Europe-bound Trans-Atlantics are in the Spring and most western-bound are in the Fall, due to cruising seasons. A lot of people will take the TA to Europe (which has a number of sea days and relatively few ports usually) then may even stay aboard for the following cruise.  Or the opposite case -- they board for the next-to-last cruise of the European cruising season and then take the TA back.

 

A number of folks have expressed a preference for the west-bound trips due to the fact that you are gaining an extra hour most nights as the time zones change. (The opposite is true, obviously for the east-bound trips). Also, if you've been intensively touring, you may enjoying the relaxing cruise back home even more. That wouldn't be enough to deter me from an east-bound trip, however....

 

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This is not uncommon, but generally on re-positioning cruises.  Be aware that the re-positioning TAs occur seasonally (eastbound in the Spring and westbound in the Fall); only the QM2 regularly makes the transatlantic crossing from either Hamburg or Southampton to NYC.. .

 

Research where you want to go in Europe, and then look at TA that complements your land tour.  People travel by land in Europe all the time, even Americans. I love to rent a car and just drive around. 

 

I prefer westbound travel because you gain 1 hour daily, rather than lose 1 hour.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1363542-transatlantic-east-or-west/

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2 hours ago, CruisingAlong4Now said:

 

 

I prefer westbound travel because you gain 1 hour daily, rather than lose 1 hour.  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1363542-transatlantic-east-or-west/

I keep the data in perspective as far as gaining or losing time. Those lost five or six hours are only a small fraction of the 336 hours on a 2 week cruise. I'd rather have my body clock adjusted for European travel on an east bound TA.

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On the topic of saving the extra airfare, since retiring we several times have done independent land tours in Europe before catching a cruise that is departing from one of the nearby ports.  That way, we only have one roundtrip airfare and get in a Mediterranean cruise as a bonus to our land tours. For example, this year we are spending 2 weeks traveling independently in Italy before ending up in Venice for an Adriatic cruise.

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We do a fair amount of independent travel in Europe.  We prefer Sept/Oct.   We came back once on a TA.  Wonderful weather..there were times when it was too hot to sit on our balcony.   Our preference is not to do a TA again.  After three days we were ready to jump ship.  The cruise was wonderful, the sea was calm, the weather was fabulous.  We simply do not like more than two sea days at a time and we found out the hard way!

 

 We have also come back part way.  On one trip we did a last minute  Rome-Barcelona booking part of a cruise that was on it's way to FLL.   The attractions for us were the ports,the ship,  the price, and the excellent one way air home, price and routing, that we obtained through the cruise line.

Edited by iancal

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I'm doing 3 weeks in Europe before an 11 day cruise.

Not sure why you need a TA at all.

Between YouTube, google, here, and other sites... not sure what a TA would provide that you can't do yourself.

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We are looking to do a Scotland/Ireland tour (not on our own this time as this would be our first trip to Europe).

Probably looking at April or May and it looks like that's when most of the TAs are. Otherwise the westbounds seem to be very late in the year. Other than summer, is there a "best" time to visit that area?

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We cruised US to Europe, did land touring on our own, joined a land based tour, did more land touring on our own then cruised Europe to US in 2015.   Planning to do the same this this summer.  The main thing that has helped me keep things organized is I keep a word document with each day listed and pertinent info about that day.  Such as Day 19, disembark cruise ship, train Amsterdam to Berlin, hotels Berlin with info for each step.  That way I know I haven’t missed anything.  I also take a wall calendar with me that has info written on each day about what we are doing.  Otherwise it is easy to miss something or plan 2 things for the same date.  

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21 hours ago, Firepath said:

We are looking to do a Scotland/Ireland tour (not on our own this time as this would be our first trip to Europe).

Probably looking at April or May and it looks like that's when most of the TAs are. Otherwise the westbounds seem to be very late in the year. Other than summer, is there a "best" time to visit that area?

 

Scotland tends to have some of its best weather in August and September, and the days are reasonably long. I think the fall foliage is beautiful in September. Spring isn't bad either, particularly early to mid-May -- the weather is fresh and there are fewer tourists than the summer months.

 

May is also fantastic in Ireland -- very lush and green, with lots of wildflowers.

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