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Last November we returned from our third river cruise. Our first was in 2007 on the Mississippi Queen, from Memphis to New Orleans. Then we decided to try Europe, and did a Amersterdam round trip through the Netherlands, during tulip season. We enjoyed that so much that in 2010 we went back to Europe and cruised the Rhine and Mosel, from Basel to Antwerp.
This last November, we cruised the Seine, from Paris to the Normandy Beaches and back. What a delightful trip, with a wonderful tour of Van Gogh's town, and his grave site. We even passed by Monet's home. And of course, the Normandy Beaches were a sight to see, and included a stop at the American Cemetary.
In March we are off once again, this time traveling from Chalon France down to Marsailles. We are really looking forward to seeing some of the vineyards and tasting some of their wines!!
Most river cruises are about 7-8 days long, although there are longer ones, and typcially leave on a Sunday returning on Sunday. That means you can fly out on Saturday, come back Sunday night and only use five days vacation if you are still working.
Cost, between $4800-$5500 per couple including roundtrip air in the cheaper cabins. There is normally a 1-2 hour walking tour provided at each port, and a couple of optional bus tours to sites away from the area that are extra.
River cruisng is very casual, no dress up required. In fact, after the first night it is not unusual to see folks wearing nice jeans, shirts/sweaters for men, and blouse for the ladies. Most lines are now providing free wine with dinner, and typically it is poured very freely.
Again, Cruisecritic.com river cruising forum can provide a weath of information about river cruising, and I highly recommend you check them out. If you have specific questions about river cruising, I will gladly try to answer them.
Bill, Group Manager