APT European River Cruise Review
Day 1, 19 March: Thai Airways – Sydney to Bangkok.
We flew on a 747 aircraft in Economy class. The flight was quite full, the seat was comfortable, staff were friendly and helpful and my vegetarian meals were good. I was disappointed with the entertainment system, there was a limited selection of movies and very limited selection of TV series, none of which I was interested in.
We arrived in Bangkok at 1523 and our next flight to Frankfurt departed at 2340. Most of us had prebooked 6 hours accommodation at The Louise Tavern Dayrooms. It took us around an hour to find the hotel. It is located at the opposite end of the airport to where our gate happened to be and there was limited signage advising where we needed to go, it may be a good idea if using these rooms to download an airport map in advance.
Once we did locate the hotel we checked into our rooms. The rooms are pretty basic, however, it was great to be able to have a shower and stretch out and have a nap. The room had a TV and included free wifi, the deal also included a two course meal and soft drink.
Thai Airways – Bangkok to Frankfurt
We met up with the whole group at the departure gate and boarded an A380 for our flight to Frankfurt. Once again this was a very full flight. Food and service was good and I did not even notice that the flight had taken off. Landing was also very smooth.
Train – Frankfurt to Nuremburg
We collected our luggage, made our way through customs and headed for the Airport train station. The station was easy to find and seemed very clean and organised.
We did not have set seats on the train, so after much confusion about where we were allowed to sit we finally found some seats and had a very smooth journey to Nuremburg.
We were collected from the Nuremburg train station and driven to a restaurant for lunch. After lunch we were driven to the Roth port where we boarded the ship. We left the ship for a Nuremburg City tour, which was very interesting and our tour guide was very friendly and had a great knowledge of the history or Nuremburg. Upon return we had time to change before attending the Captain’s table dinner. This was a special four course dinner with matching wine. After dinner we attended the evening’s entertainment and had a chance to mingle with other guests.
Day 2 – Bamburg – 20 March
After breakfast we headed off in our buses to the centre of Bamburg for a Medieval walking tour. Once again our tour leader was entertaining and very knowledgeable and after a very chilly walking tour we headed to a local bar to sample the famous Bamberg Smoked Beer. We had some free time at this point, however it was Sunday so the streets were deserted and none of the shops were open. It was also very cold, so we chose to stay at the bar and warm up. We returned to the ship for lunch and cruised on the Main-Danube Canal.
Day 3 – Wurzburg – 21 March
On day 3 we had a choice of tours, I chose to visit the Medieval Rothenberg. We travelled 1 hour by coach, our tour guide entertained us along the way. Upon arrival in Rothenberg we completed a short tour and then had free time for the remainder of the tour. This was great as I got to go off and do some sightseeing and shopping. Rothenberg was wonderful and I would like to return for an overnight visit. On our way back to the ship we had the opportunity to sample local beer and wine on the coach.
Day 4 – Miltenberg – 22 March
This morning we had a glass blowing demonstration on the ship, the passengers found this very entertaining. Upon arrival in Miltenberg we were taken in groups on a town walking tour. After this we had some free time to walk around or shop.
Day 5 – Rudesheim – 23 March
By this stage I had bronchitis and was sent off to the doctors with another passenger who was also sick. We were happy that the cruise director managed to get us in to see the local doctor. I spent the remainder of the day in bed, so missed the touring and the dinner at Princess von Hohensollern’s castle. I was very happy with the Butler service on board, I was served dinner in bed by my butler.
Day 6 – Bonn – 24 March
Today I chose the Bonn City Walking Tour, the tour was interesting and we had a little free time, not really enough time to do anything. I would have liked more free time in Bonn as it was a lovely city and it would have been good to have a better look around.
Day 7 – Amsterdam – 25 March
Today we arrived into Amsterdam and I chose the Anne Frank Museum tour. This was my favourite tour of the trip. Luckily we had skip the line tickets as there was a line up for this tour which went for streets. The tour was self-guided and due to the crowds it did take an hour to get through the house. Despite the crowds I still found this tour very touching and am now eager to read the book again.
After the tour we asked our guide if we could make our own way back to the boat and had some time to shop and look around. That evening, after dinner we had a look around the red light district.
Day 8 –10 – Amsterdam – Frankfurt – 26 – 28 March
Today we were asked to have our luggage outside out cabin doors by 0900. We had some more free time in Amsterdam before returning to the boat to meet up with the group. I arrived back early and was happy that I was still able to sit in the lounge/bar area and have some lunch even though we had already disembarked.
We made our way to the Amsterdam train station for our 1235 train back to Frankfurt Airport. Our trip back to Frankfurt Airport took about 5 hours and included one change of trains. The trip ran smoothly and the train was clean and modern.
We had a short walk from the Airport train station to our terminal. Frankfurt Airport is clean and easy to get around. We passed through customs easily and had a short wait for our flight to Bangkok.
Thai Airways – Frankfurt to Bangkok
Once again we flew on a 747 in Economy. Our flight was full but ran smoothly. Unfortunately I was not able to sleep at all on this flight, but did get to watch a number of movies.
We arrived into Bangkok Airport at 1335 and our next flight did not depart until 1920. Once again I booked a six hour block in The Louise Tavern Dayrooms. Luckily we knew how to get to the hotel this time and I was very happy to have a shower, lay down and have time to myself.
Thai Airways – Bangkok to Sydney
We flew on a 747 in Economy. Our flight was full and I was not able to sleep at all again!
We arrived into Sydney at 0820 on 28 March, very tired and jetlagged. Our next flight to Adelaide was with Virgin and we were happy that we were able to collect our luggage, clear customs and check in for our Virgin flight all in the same terminal. A bus then took us to the Virgin terminal. We were happy with this service, it was all very streamlined.
We had 3 hours at the Sydney Airport before departing for Adelaide. We arrived back in Adelaide 1420. We had exit row seats so were able to spread out a little and relax.