Dec. 7th S/B..Anyone else going?

This forum hasn't seen much activity lately so I will jump in. My wife and I will be joining the Dec. 7th South Bound ship on the Christmas Markets tour. We are from Los Angeles, currently living in Japan. We did the Christmas markets by land two years ago, and decided to try the cruise this time. We travel mainly to Bavaria, so this will be a bit different for us. I haven't decided whether or not my Bayerische Tracht will be appropriate for the cruise, as I don't want to stand out any more than we already will (smile). Anyone else on the board scheduled for this trip?

I received the warning email about low water and such. Do these trips usually manage, or do the river cruises turn into bus tours on a regular basis? I know there were problems a couple of years ago, but haven't heard that cancellations are common. Just thinking out loud.

William & Kay Unland

Wow, 87 views and nobody wants to join the party? Don't be shy, someone else must be going as this cruise is shown as sold out.


  • I read you post several weeks ago. I will be leaving the boat as you are arriving. Guess we might pass in the airport. This will be my first Tauck trip although two of my traveling friends have taken Tauck tours before. I'm excited about the trip looking forward to all the beautiful little towns. I'm a veteran large ship cruiser and always been a part of some very lively Cruise Critic groups posting lots before our trips, planning excursions and getting to know one another. I guess this is not so much of a small group activity. Here's hoping you have a wonderful trip.
  • Greetings, and thank you.. Seems I may be the only person on the cruise judging by the lack of response to this thread (smile). I have always traveled by car in the past, but alas age catches up, and am trying the cruise route this time. Parking can be extremely challenging and expensive in Germany, and most small hotels don't have elevators which means climbing the stairs with luggage, so cruising seemed to be a way to see the markets again without the hassle.

    I wish you an uneventful and enjoyable voyage as well.

    Bill Unland
  • Hi Bill, took a look at this forum a couple of months ago and it was dead, so I have just not bothered looking until today. My wife and I will be joining you on board for this cruise. Quite looking forward to it as we are really bigger ship cruisers over the years, well at least bigger than this one. We will arrive into Basel on the Wednesday before we cruise and then on the back end spend a further four days in Cologne before heading home to Florida. This will be a first as far as a Christmas Markets in Europe is concerned and if it is only half as good as I have read, then this will be a success. Cheers...

    Joe and Pat Daly
  • William and Kay,

    A friend and I will be on the cruise with you. She will be traveling from the DC area and I am coming from Naples FL. I traveled to Austria 10 years ago to the Christmas Markets and found them totally magical. Roberta has never been to the markets. We are both looking forward to the cruise.

    Looking forward to meeting you,
    Kay Mitchel
  • Hi William & Kay,

    I have 3 more joining you on the cruise, my wife, step-daughter and I are getting excited about the trip. We are from Portland, OR and this is our first river cruise, everything I have heard so far makes me believe this will be a spectacular experience. We look forward to meeting on board!

    Doug Holman
  • To my fellow S/B travelers I offer a cordial greeting, and am happy to see that I will NOT be alone on the journey (smile).

    We will be easy to spot amongst the crowd, as I am 6'2 with a handlebar moustache, and the wife is 5'.....

    We visited Christmas markets around Bavaria two years ago, and if those on our itinerary are similar then all should be pleased. As a California boy though I was surprised at how cold it gets in Germany in December, particularly after dark. It was -15C at night and around 3C during the day. Now if you are from Minn. that isn't anything to be concerned about, but if a desert dweller like me it was shockingly cold. And the stone streets get very icy and slippery, again, something that I was not accustomed to.

    I am looking forward to the cruise, as I found it a bit too difficult to lug luggage through the snow and ice during our last trip. My only real concern is food on the ship. There have been a few negative reviews about food quality. I have never done a trip on Tauck and have no experience. Although I am not expecting too much, I hope this aspect doesn't detract. Last year I stayed at a "castle" hotel on the Rhine, and they served high quality, but tasteless bland food to their mostly American guests. I am guessing this was done to try to accommodate all. Not at all regional or even German for that matter. Does anyone have any experience with Tauck regarding food?

    In any case we too hope to meet all, and to have an enjoyable experience during the cruise.

    Bill and Kay Unland.
  • I haven't been on this cruise but did take a Tauck small ship cruise from Istanbul to Athens and the food was fantastic. I have also been on four Tauck tours and have never complained about the food. Even the African Safari, which is not a culinary tour, had excellent food. I don't think you'll have an issue, but maybe you are a world class connoisseur. I know and like excellent food, but we all have different tastes.
  • The food on the Tauck river boats is excellent. I was on the Inspire this last August. I thought they did a stunning job. The chefs are generally European and the style of food is in the best European traditions. The "dishes of the day" did reflect the location. However, I have to say that the buffets offered for breakfast and lunch (in addition to the a la carte dishes) did tend to cater to the "American" palate in the bland and huge stakes, but they were easy enough to ignore in favour of local cuisine. I'm sure it is a difficult task to please everyone and amazing though it was, I did hear some guest complaints about the food! Of course, not everyone on a Tauck river boat is American. Some tourists are not adventurous diners and only want to eat what they do at home. Other travellers enjoy the journey, which is kind of why we do it!

    In summary, if you are a foodie you should be in European heaven. If you just want familiar food, you can find that, too.



  • We're a group of 5 on the Koln to Basel Christmas cruise. 4 of us are Tauck 'affectionados' and, each year, have a Tauck experience - think it speaks for itself how we feel! We have completed most of the European riverboat itineraries but this will be the first Christmas trip. We have never had a problem with any aspect of Tauck tours from quality of food, drink, service, comfort and the exceptional standard of the Tour Directors. We always recommend Tauck to our friends and have made many new ones during our travels. Look forward to making many more this December. Wrap up warm!

    John, Evelyn, Tony, Ellen and Joanne
  • Thanks to all who responded. Happy to hear that the food is good. I'm old and food is all that is

    Bill Unland

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