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Excursion booking starts next week for my Northern Europe cruise in 2022. I'm not sure what excursions to do in several ports.

 

1. We dock in St. Malo, France. If you've been, do you recommend tour of St. Malo or tour of Mont St. Michel?

2. Belgium: Options include Bruges and Brussels. Bruges seems most interesting to me but there's no guided tour, they just drop you for the day. So should I do Bruges or Brussels?

3. Rotterdam - is Rotterdam an interesting city? I was in Amsterdam in 1981 but haven't been since so was thinking of going somewhere different. There's also an interesting sounding tour for the Windmills in Kinderdijk. Thoughts?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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2. Bruges - Don't worry about being dropped off.  Take a canal cruise, have some waffles and chocolate, and enjoy the architecture.

 

3.  Amsterdam probably looks a lot like it did in 1981.  Again, a canal cruise and the Anne Frank house (tickets in advance).

 

 

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1. - I've not been to either, but read "All the Light You Can Not See," which is set in St. Malo.  It's a wonderful book, and a good read regardless, but would highly recommend it if you decide to go to St. Malo.  It's made St. Malo a "must see" for my next trip to the area.

 

3. - windmills are windmills. I'd probably poke around Amsterdam, do the Anne Frank house - you can get tickets for entrance and a short docent lecture around 30-60 days prior.  Definitely worth it to get more historical context.  And I'd do a food tour.  Lot's of tasty foods in Amsterdam.

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Bruges is easy to do DIY.  Have done it twice.  A good guide book will give ideas of what to see.  Google for some more information.  Not sure but Rick Steves probably has a walking tour you can download.  

 

<<<Karen>>>

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St Malo or MSM.

My thoughts in your thread under France ports.

 

Bruges or Brussels.

No contest.

 

Brussels is a big faceless modern city - of course there's a tour bus, the city's few sights are miles apart.  It's also more than 90 minutes from your ship, all on boring freeway.

 

Bruges is just 20 minutes from your ship. Compact & historic cobbled centre - a bus tour would be pointless, big buses aren't allowed in the centre and it's all very walkable.

Can I guess the "tour" is called something like "Bruges On Your Own"? It's just transportation from & back to the ship. Because of that city centre ban, the ship's buses (and competing local bus operators) drop you at the bus stops on Bargeplein & you walk over the "Little Red Bridge". Marktplatz, right in the centre is a 20 minute walk - if you don't fancy the walk, there's a little local bus which operates from Bargeplein to the centre (used to cost 1 euro.)

Bruges is known as "the Venice of the North" because of its canals and a canal trip is well-worthwhile. All the canal tours and the boats and the prices are the same but they operate from different places along the route & take you back to the same place so it makes no odds which you choose - ergo choose one with a short line.

 

Rotterdam.

A city that has never appealed to me.

Especially since you've been to Amsterdam, I think Rotterdam will disappoint you.

The windmills at Kinderdijk  sound a bit different, and only a short drive from Rotterdam - though whether there's enough for a full day ????? 

Or Amsterdam again - it's only 40 minutes by frequent direct train.

 

JB 🙂

 

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