4th time is the charm!

If we complete this we’ll be all caught up! :D



  • Alan - I hope the weather in your pictures holds for the entirety of your trip.

    PS - Are you sure you're in Europe, I didn't see a single cathedral or castle in your pictures. :D

  • So happy you are there Alan, have a wonderful trip.

  • On our recent trip in Basel the boat was docked on the opposite side of the river and two bridges North of your hotel. It was a short walk from the Dreilandereck. (Spike monument.)

  • Alan - Finally some pictures of churches. Now if you throw in a castle picture I’ll know you’re in Europe. Lastly post some pictures of things you buy and your trip will be complete. 😀

  • Great stuff, Alan. Thank you. The images are just perfect. Two weeks and we'll be there as well. As I've said before, can't wait! Have fun. And enjoy the full moon while you are there. Should be spectacular on the Rhine.

  • edited December 2022

    Some quick notes before today’s photos. Admin details- no US outlets and no USB ports at Les Trois Rois. The concierge has adapters for loan w/deposit. Mini-bar with a few snacks and beverages was included along with breakfast. Morning breakfast buffet modest. We met one of our TD’s - an old friend we had as our TD back in 2014 for Ultimate Alps and who we kept in contact with over the years. Reinforcement- many, many trams and bicycles in Basel- can be a real hazard to pedestrians who are not paying attention!!! Almost no masks anywhere. No ATM at the hotel, but there are six or so in the lobby of the bank across the street. The hotel provides passes for free tram/bus transportation during your stay.

    Did some walking around the altstadt area to the old city gate of Basel this morning. We checked out of the hotel but are back waiting for transport to the Inspire which is about 15 min. away.

    Day 1
    9 - 11 am and again at 1:45 - 2:45. Meet Tauck Director to receive luggage tags, assistance and to answer questions.
    10:30. Have luggage to be transferred to boat ready inside room
    12:00. Settle your hotel bill and check out.
    2:45. Meet in lobby for 3:00 pm transfer to boat. (Additional schedule in cabins)

  • And now for the eye candy. Yes, Sam, weather-wise, another ‘terrible’ day in Basel :D:D

    A stroll through the altstadt:

    Don’t forget! Watch out for the trams!!!

  • Nice pictures as always. Did you find the park with the Tinquely kinetic sculptures? There's also a museum of his work.

  • Alan- thank you so much for the travelogue and beautiful photos! It is wonderful to be able to enjoy this trip along with you!

  • edited September 18

    We moved aboard Inspire this afternoon- 3 buses for 118 people. It had been sold out so maybe a few late cancellations.

    More admin stuff-

    First, remember, this is for ms Inspire (and likely her 3 sister ships- ms Joy, ms Grace and ms Savor), for Dec 2022, and a cat 3 cabin (though likely applicable to other cabin classes.


    Side of bed furthest from door on wall just above nightstand: one Euro 220v/50 Hz receptacle with two round holes (taken by clock radio) and one standard, grounded, 110v US receptacle.

    Wifi as been almost unusable since we got aboard this afternoon. (update, a few days later wifi was good.)

    Curtian controls: in Cat 3 Cabin

    Side of bed closest to door: one Euro 220v/50 Hz receptacle with two round holes with 5V USB-A port at 2 o’clock position.

    Shelf by door: one Euro 220v/50 Hz receptacle with two round holes (taken up by Whisper charger) and one standard, grounded, 110v US receptacle.

    Credenza at foot of bed: one Euro 220v/50 Hz receptacle with two round holes and one standard, grounded, 110v US receptacle.

    On each (L & R) side, of the interior of the mirrored sink cabinet: two each, Euro 220v/50 Hz receptacle with two round holes. (Four Euro outlets total)

    Also, on the shelf above the mini-fridge: a small Krups nesspresso machine and, in the drawer below, a small box with a selection of cups.

  • AlanS - Don't expect much in the way of usable WiFi for your trip abord the Inspire. We were on the Inspire in October for our Rhine trip and we never got much usable WiFi. When we did get a good signal it would often disconnect numerous times when trying to do something. Other than WiFi we were pretty happy with the ship.

  • Shipboard WiFi on the river cruises is never great. If you can get/send text only emails and do a little internet surfing you're doing good. Graphics files are iffy. One of the problems is everyone gets back to the ship at the same time and many jump on their devices at once. After dinner or early morning tends to work better.

  • How disappointing ☹️ It is 3 am here and we are still in Basel but I still can’t upload photos (at least from the bathroom 😲 )

  • edited December 2022

    On our Rhine trip we mostly relied on restaurants and bars for wifi. The ship’s system is weak. We were on the Grace. I think I found the best coverage in Arthur’s and on the ‘roof’.

  • Some of the busses have wifi as well. We used them to send photos to the Grands on the last Christmas trip. And thanks for the timing tips, Alan. Helps with planning for us in a couple of weeks. Enjoy Lucerne!

  • Nice pictures Alan, I've also had problems in the cruise ships with WiFi. Have a wonderful time.

  • edited December 2022

    Day 2

    Today we traveled by bus to Lucerne & Mt. Pilatus. lt was overcast with occasional mist/fine rain. We initially took smaller 4-person gondolas then transferred to a larger one for the final segment. It supposedly took 40+ min.(It seemed like 30 min. or less to me) to get to the top of the 7000’ mountain. About 500’-1000’ before reaching the top we broke through the overcast to bright sun, blue sky and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains (but we could not see the ground, town, or the lake.) There was no wind, and though cold, it wasn’t bad. We headed back down individually at around noon, then headed for the old section of Lucerne for a guided walk, followed by time to eat lunch and explore on our own. We were each given money for lunch and to buy ornaments to decorate the tree tomorrow evening. There are two markets in Lucerne- a tiny one and a slightly larger, food-only one. The rendezvous point was right in front of a chocolate shop that had fantastic, almost-decadent hot chocolate. The bus ride back to the ship took longer, about 1 hr 30 min., because while we were gone it got underway. We caught up with it around 5:30 in the middle of nowhere in Kems, France. Once we were aboard the ship immediately got underway for Strasbourg.

  • edited December 2022

    Alan - Did you take the gondola up and down? If so, you missed out on something fun, the cable car/funicular down the other side of the mountain is actually entertaining.

  • Gondola up & down- no choice.

  • I would have expected a planned-in-advance hike :)

  • edited December 2022

    Day 3 Strasbourg.

    Wifi is temporarily working, sort-of. The markets were better and more numerous than Basel and Lucerne (which really didn’t have much of one). Like Basel, there were as many food stalls as there were merchandise stalls. Strasbourg is very walkable as well. Certain parts of the city were designated for pedestrians only. There were tons of decorations and XMAS lighting, and several squares with markets. In the morning we’re had a walking tour. Afterwards, you could stay in town until 2:00, 4:00 or stay for the last bus at 6:00. We returned to the boat for lunch, went back into town from 4:00 to 6:00 to see everything illuminated. The downtown area is very walkable, but the big negative was the amount of waking required to get from the bus drop off to town or from the meet point to bus pick-up point. According to my Fitbit my wife and I logged 8 miles!!. One reason was we walked to and thru an area called “Petite France” which was at the far side of the inner city.

  • Alan I loved Strasbourg when I went on the Rhine River Christmas Market tour back in 2010, It's amazing that a lot of the pictures you posted are just like the ones I took 12 years ago, however did one of the streets had the Baccarat candelabras?

  • I was in Strasburg many years ago, it is a beautiful city. Thanks for the pictures Alan

  • Strasbourg was my favorite stop on the Rhine Christmas Markets Cruise in 2019. I opted to stay late in the city and took a boat ride around it. (I admit that I had not known that Strasbourg was an island.)

  • edited December 2022

    December 10 edited December 10
    Alan...who are your tour directors?

    CD: Jeremy Shifferley
    TD: Heidi Lamprecht
    TD: Andrea Nagy
    TD: Pavol Hospodar*
    *Got sick and was replaced for the last two days.

  • Alan - nice pictures. I really like the "Laterne" one with all the decorations by the windows.

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