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Does anyone know what hotels Avalon uses for it's post nights in Lucerne?  Also, when you sign on for post nights does that usually include tours and meals or are you on your own for these kind of things?  Have not river cruised before, so I am not sure how the post nights work.

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Lucerne is easy to get to on your own (by train) and easy to navigate on your own. We did Lucerne pre-cruise on our own and had no problems. It lists the hotels they use on their website, if you look at the particular cruise you're interested in. It looks like tours are extra.

 

Robin

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If you are doing the included post night with Avalon, they should transfer you there.  My S-i-L and her husband took the extension with Avalon, I believe there was a basic tour (it should be listed in the write up for the trip), and free time to do their own thing.  

 

We are doing both the pre & post for the Danube - Budapest & Prague.  They include rooms, breakfasts, transfers, and tours of each city.  Other than that, we can book extra tours or be on our own.

 

On our Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel), we did our own pre-cruise in Amsterdam, but had to find our own way to the boat.  Not bad, an easy taxi ride booked by the hotel we stayed at.

Edited by Daisi
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If you haven't already signed on for the post trip, I agree with Robin.  Lucerne is easy to do on your own.  You can take the train from Basel.  We stayed at the Renaissance Lucerne Hotel.  It is about 3 blocks from the train station.  You can walk anywhere you want to go in Lucerne.  We did take an excursion to Mount Pilatus that involved a boat trip across the lake, then a cog train to the top of Mt Pilatus.  You can walk to the boat dock also. Lucerne is beautiful, so I wouldn't miss it.  You can take a train back to Zurich if your flight is leaving from there.  The train station is in the bottom floor of the airport terminal.

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We pretty much did was @texasstar did---taxi from ship to Basel SBB station, 1 hr train to Lucerne.  We stayed at Hotel des Alpes, probably a 5 minute walk across the river from the station.  Stayed there 2 nights, walked all over the place, and took the train to Zurich airport--1 hour train ride again.  In Basel we sent bags ahead to Zurich airport station, so we wouldn't have to lug unnecessary luggage around.  Also, Zurich flughaven station is in the lower level of the air terminal.

 

If you are in Lucerne on a Saturday morning, along both sides of the river they have the most incredible farmer's market we've ever seen.   Fruits, veggies, flowers, meats, cheeses, breads and pastries!

 

Great place for a casual meal is the Rathaus Brewerie (sp?).  Either indoor or outdoor dining.  The fresh unpasteurized beer was out of this world.  Lots of meals with sausages, rosti, wife had spaetzle which she loved.  Kind of like German comfort food?

 

OH--and we did it for less than half of what Viking wanted for a 3 day/2 night extension.

Edited by sharkster77
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Great info, sounds like DIY is the way to go in Lucerne and definitely sounds like Lucerne is going to be beautiful. Is it easy to manage lage siutcases on the train ?

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6 hours ago, cleobella said:

Great info, sounds like DIY is the way to go in Lucerne and definitely sounds like Lucerne is going to be beautiful. Is it easy to manage lage siutcases on the train ?

That was why the suggestion to send your luggage from Basel to Zurich directly. You carry only what you need for the few days in Lucerne with you on the train.

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2 hours ago, gnome12 said:

That was why the suggestion to send your luggage from Basel to Zurich directly. You carry only what you need for the few days in Lucerne with you on the train.

A wise suggestion.  We took the "milk run" train back from Basel to Amsterdam after our cruise.  We travelled with 2 (European sized) carry on bags, and 2 back packs, so had no trouble.  We saw 4 girls get on who had large suitcases, and they left them at the front of the train where you board.  No problem while we were moving, but they did hold everyone up when we had to get off, as it took several minutes for them to maneuver them off. Some people were not to pleased as they had trains sitting in the station that they were trying to catch.

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Sending bags ahead on Swiss rail was incredibly easy.  In Basel you go downstairs to the baggage counter and fill out the paperwork and pay.  When we got to Zurich Flughaven station, below the air terminal, even faster retrieving those bags we had no need for in Lucerne.  Went to Lucerne for 3 days/2 nights with a single carry on suitcase.  Sent a large bag and another carry on ahead to the airport.  You can look up the costs on the SBB website---it was reasonable, given the incredible convenience it afforded us.

 

Our last on the river, we organized our bags so that we only carried to Lucerne what we needed.

 

On the train, there is either a rack overhead, or there is a space between seat backs where a small suitcase may be slipped in.

Edited by sharkster77
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On 1/13/2021 at 10:50 PM, sharkster77 said:

We pretty much did was @texasstar did---taxi from ship to Basel SBB station, 1 hr train to Lucerne.  We stayed at Hotel des Alpes, probably a 5 minute walk across the river from the station.  Stayed there 2 nights, walked all over the place, and took the train to Zurich airport--1 hour train ride again.  In Basel we sent bags ahead to Zurich airport station, so we wouldn't have to lug unnecessary luggage around.  Also, Zurich flughaven station is in the lower level of the air terminal.

 

If you are in Lucerne on a Saturday morning, along both sides of the river they have the most incredible farmer's market we've ever seen.   Fruits, veggies, flowers, meats, cheeses, breads and pastries!

 

Great place for a casual meal is the Rathaus Brewerie (sp?).  Either indoor or outdoor dining.  The fresh unpasteurized beer was out of this world.  Lots of meals with sausages, rosti, wife had spaetzle which she loved.  Kind of like German comfort food?

 

OH--and we did it for less than half of what Viking wanted for a 3 day/2 night extension.

Wow, lots of great info here.  We went for 2 nights on our own before a cruise, so agree it's much cheaper, and easy to get to.

 

Sending luggage ahead?  Never thought of that.  Just a note, when you do get on the train, your now smaller luggage should fit between the seats, when the train have the back to back seating arrangements.  My shoulders are getting a bit old for the upper rack.

 

Also good news on farmers market if we are ever there on a Saturday, thanks.  Markets are always a good stop.

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, cleobella said:

Thank you all.  Shipping the luggage looks easy and affordable, much better then carting heavy bags around!

Check on how long they will hold your luggage.  I believe there is a minimum of 2 days (which worked out perfectly for us, as we stayed in Lucerne for 2 nights).  There may be a maximum # of days, but that shouldn't affect someone staying a few nights after a river cruise.  But please check, just to be sure! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We'll be doing similar but not certain if we have enough days at end. Any suggestions are welcome..(we'll spend 2.5 days pre-cruise in Amsterdam).  Sail the Rhine for 8 days ending in Basel. Then....

 

Wednesday Basel - cruise ends, tour Basel then train to Lucerne

Thursday Lucerne - would like to take a day tour to Alps or something of that nature (sorry for my ignorance of region). Is going to Jungfraujoch or Titlis a possibility?

Friday- train to Zurich, would have afternoon/evening to tour

Saturday or Sunday- flight to home

 

This is our rough draft and trying to determine if doable.  Should we plan to stay overnight in Basel to allow more time there? If we train to Lucerne on Thursday morning, would it still be possible to take a day or half day trip to mtn peak? Spend the Thursday night in Lucerne then train to Zurich midday Friday?

 

We have gathered travel books and will be reviewing. Only looking for suggestions and I realize our interest plays into it. We definitely want to get to the mtn peak. At this point, beyond that anything goes if we can work into our time away. TIA. Enjoy.  

 

 

Edited by cruisinlawn
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6 hours ago, cruisinlawn said:

We'll be doing similar but not certain if we have enough days at end. Any suggestions are welcome..(we'll spend 2.5 days pre-cruise in Amsterdam).  Sail the Rhine for 8 days ending in Basel. Then....

 

Wednesday Basel - cruise ends, tour Basel then train to Lucerne

Thursday Lucerne - would like to take a day tour to Alps or something of that nature (sorry for my ignorance of region). Is going to Jungfraujoch or Titlis a possibility?

Friday- train to Zurich, would have afternoon/evening to tour

Saturday or Sunday- flight to home

 

This is our rough draft and trying to determine if doable.  Should we plan to stay overnight in Basel to allow more time there? If we train to Lucerne on Thursday morning, would it still be possible to take a day or half day trip to mtn peak? Spend the Thursday night in Lucerne then train to Zurich midday Friday?

 

We have gathered travel books and will be reviewing. Only looking for suggestions and I realize our interest plays into it. We definitely want to get to the mtn peak. At this point, beyond that anything goes if we can work into our time away. TIA. Enjoy.  

 

 

We're doing something similar at the end of our Rhine river cruise in November 2022. When we disembark in Basel, we'll take the train to Lucerne. We'll have the rest of the day to explore old town and enjoy Lucerne's quaintness. The next morning we'll take a train to Bern and walk around old town for a few hours. Then take another train to Lauterbrunnen and stay a few hours, also visiting Wengen while we're there. Then we'll take the train back to Lucerne. The following morning we'll take the train to Zurich and have the rest of the day to explore old town and the river area. Then the next day we'll take a train to the Zurich airport to fly home. The time in each place may seem short but I'm fine with that. We keep moving and see all we can see while in places, which results in us maximizing our time to the fullest during the three nights post cruise. Our air or hotels are not booked yet, but that's the plan we'll work around when we're finally able to book. 

Edited by NCMtnBoys
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The closest "alp" to Lucerne is Mt. Pilatus, it looms over the town.  Many people do Pilatus as a day trip from Lucerne.  They have a office/store in town that sells various ticket packages, dispense info, etc.  And I'm sure their website has lots of info as well.

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We have done Pilatus and Titlis, as well as Jungfraujoch. They are quite different in character.

 

Pilatus seemed more temperate during summer (at least there wasn't any snow on top, when we were there in the month of September). Titlis is a 10,000 foot mountain with year-round snow, cold weather, and blustery winds. We were there in the month of May and it was in the 30s. (F, not C).

 

Pilatus is easily reached from Lucerne city, as sharkster77 mentions. You can get trips there from the train station in town. We did it differently, as a drive-by, from outside of town. We parked and took the cable car both ways. Many do it as a lake trip and also use the cog railway. It's definitely worth a visit. Here is a picture from the summit. You have a beautiful view of the lake, city, and countryside. There is a little "cave" to wander through. And a big viewing platform at the summit.

 

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Titlis has a very different atmosphere. It's 30-45 minutes drive from Lucerne. There are three consecutive cable cars that you have to take in sequence to get to the top. You start down in a green valley with a glacial river flowing through, and you end up in the middle of winter! When we did it in 2015 it cost about 90CHF each. But it's an amazing place. There is a suspension bridge across a glacial chasm at 10,000 feet, that will take your breath away in more ways than one.

 

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Jungfraujoch is a fair amount further than either of the other two, from Lucerne (about 1h30). You have to drive to Lauterbrunnen and then take a train to the top. We were there on a crummy weather day so we didn't see too much, and it was frigid outside! But on a nice day you can supposedly have a phenomenal view. The viewing area is a little over 11,000 feet.

 

There are also some cool exhibits under the summit - ice caverns, mountaineering artifacts, and a cafeteria where we had some nice snacks before taking the train down.

 

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From Lucerne, this will eat up a good part of the day. Lauterbrunnen is worth a day in itself as well. It's gorgeous.

 

Good luck deciding!

 

 

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Can’t let a Lucerne thread exist without an enthusiastic recommendation of the Rosengart Museum. They feature Picasso (180 works) and Paul Klee (125 works), but also offer Cezanne, Monet, Matisse and Miro.

The Rosengart’s were art brokers who were personal friends of Picasso, so the collection also contains many candid photos of Picasso visiting their home. Fortunately the family decided not to sell their collection, but rather put it on display for the public to enjoy.

The museum is housed in an old bank building and only takes a few hours to visit. Conveniently located in downtown Lucerne.

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@CILCIANRQTS, greetings from MA, just "below" you up there in NH!

 

Good reminder---we had the Rosengart on our radar had we encountered rainy weather, but were blessed with 2.5 days of gorgeous weather, after having a very fun river cruise that had rain in some form for at least a few minutes every day.

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