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Fly/River Cruises

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    Fly/River Cruises

    I am surprised that many European River cruises are package with flights, with no other options.
    • Flying is no longer a pleasant experience with all of the security measures.

    • Apart from fear some people have medical reasons not to fly.

    • Europe has an excellent train system with the Eurostar providing access.

    • Alternatively for those living a long way from London, Europe can easily be reached by Ferry and coach/rail.


    See: The Man in Seat Sixty-One - the train travel guide...

    A choice of transportation should at least be offered by the river cruise lines.
    Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 9th July 2014, 11:22 AM.
    See my cruise blog: HERE

    #2
    It is strange, but most package holidays to Europe are only available with flights. Great Rail Journeys is the only tour operator I know of that offers train journeys to get there. There's an assumption that everyone wants to fly. For long-haul holidays, you can often buy the tour without flights. I suspect that included flights are a way to make more profit, but it's more difficult to do that with long-haul travellers as they tend to be more savvy. Cunard has also stopped offering one-way sailings between Southampton and New York or Hamburg without flights in the other direction.
    Last edited by Curious, London; 9th July 2014, 11:12 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Curious, London View Post
      It is strange, but most package holidays to Europe are only available with flights.
      Exactly!

      Apparently the very environmental Dutch think flying to the UK is foolish given the many train, coach and ferry options!
      See my cruise blog: HERE

      Comment


        #4
        The Dutch are used to the idea you can take a train to another country. We've had Eurostar for twenty years, but the British haven't got their heads round the idea you could take another train after you get to Paris or Brussels. People haven't heard of Seat 61 and don't know how to do it. Travel agents regard dealing with continental rail as far too much work. I suspect tour operators also regard it as too much trouble, compared to meeting people off a direct flight. People either got the flight or they've lost the holiday. You don't have people turning up an hour or two later because they missed a connection.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Malcolm, Essex View Post
          Exactly!

          Apparently the very environmental Dutch think flying to the UK is foolish given the many train, coach and ferry options!
          If I was Dutch I would use the train too but I live in the northern half of an island off the continent.

          I used the German rail network last month and most unimpressed I was - RB has little to worry about. Tickets were VERY expensive.

          I met some Scandinavia inter-railers and they flew from Gothenberg to Berlin and then started the rail journey from there. Funny I had a similar approach.

          According to your rail guru it is approx. 10 hrs (va Brussels) London-Berlin. To that add Glasgow-London with a possible overnight stop.

          Or EJ Gla-Berlin in 3 hours.

          Just let me think about that. I have not compared pricing because I know which route is the cheapest.

          Annie

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by annie, Glasgow View Post
            According to your rail guru it is approx. 10 hrs (va Brussels) London-Berlin. To that add Glasgow-London with a possible overnight stop.
            I do agree!

            I actually did London to Berlin a few years ago by train (Eurostar to Paris, Overnight sleeper train to Berlin). It obviously took longer than flying, cost more and was not very comfortable. However this is not always the case.

            Amsterdam or Cologne are easier by train, if you have easier access to the Eurostar than you do Annie.

            Originally posted by Curious, London View Post
            Travel agents regard dealing with continental rail as far too much work.
            The BIG problem with rail travel is that you can only book your journeys from three months in advance. However I can book an Easyjet flight a year in advance. In addition train jouries tend to cost more than flying and normally take longer.

            However, having taken hundreds of flights and spent hours in airports and security queues, some train journeys can be a breath of fresh air. Others are not.
            Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 9th July 2014, 12:20 PM.
            See my cruise blog: HERE

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Malcolm, Essex View Post
              I do agree!

              I actually did London to Berlin a few years ago by train (Eurostar to Paris, Overnight sleeper train to Berlin). It obviously took longer than flying, cost more and was not very comfortable. However this is not always the case.

              Amsterdam or Cologne are easier by train, if you have easier access to the Eurostar than you do Annie.



              The BIG problem with rail travel is that you can only book your journeys from three months in advance. However I can book an Easyjet flight a year in advance. In addition train jouries tend to cost more than flying and normally take longer.

              However, having taken hundreds of flights and spent hours in airports and security queues, some train journeys can be a breath of fresh air. Others are not.
              Malcolm - we agree.

              I was a frequent flyer with BA Gla- LHR. Now RB has my business - no brainer as they say.

              You should see Glasgow Central very early in the morning, it pays companies to send their staff 1st class with free food and wifi. They can work at their seats and be in London 4.5 hours- win/win.

              Annie

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Malcolm
                I've just booked with a new venture that's mentioned on Seat 61 called Loco2.
                Ease of use and simplifies the process although SNCF are also very good.
                You can set up a reminder for the 90 day booking horizon which helps.
                You need to be aware that Eurostar horizon is 120 days so if you need an early train best not to leave it until onward booking is available as trains fill up rapidly at certain times of the year.
                We're off to Barcelona later this year and all journeys have now been booked.
                Without the trains we wouldn't be going...my partner doesn't fly.
                My best advice is learn to travel as light as you can, remember you have to carry your own cases.
                Regards
                Garfield

                Comment


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