Europe Travel

The Best Europe Cities to Visit Before and After Your Europe River Cruise

The Best Europe Cities to Visit Before and After Your Europe River Cruise

The Best Europe Cities to Visit Before and After Your Europe River Cruise

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

I write all the time about Europe river cruising and its value.  One aspect that is often very confusing for many, is how best to extend their trip and visit some of Europe’s great cities.  This blog covers the key extension cities on the Rhine and Upper Danube.

Almost all major cruise lines offer extensions and they can be a great value in simplifying your trip planning but are they always the best choice for you? 

I know you would like a definitive answer but my response is it depends on several factors.  To me these factors are 1) what is included? (to include the quality of the tours and guides), 2) transportation to the desired place, 3) security and ease of mind (how well do you handle unfamiliar places) and 4) cost—is the price worth what is included in the cruise line’s package? 

I should also mention that each cruise lines has different offerings, so it really is impossible in this short blog to adequately cover exactly what they offer.  To help remedy this, my approach will be to tell you about the key cities, perhaps some pitfalls to really see the sights on your own, and then you can use the 4 factors I provide you to see if it is a good value for you.

We will start north to south in Europe. So, let me defend my thoughts—use the cruise line packages, do it yourself or better yet let us plan it for you.

Sights in Normandy--Pictures from 2 D Day Anniversary Trips

Sights in Normandy--Pictures from 2 D Day Anniversary Trips

Sights in Normandy—Pictures from 2 D Day Anniversary Trips

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

75 years ago today, the Allies invaded France in the Normandy region to start the defeat of Germany.  We have been lucky to led 2 Anniversary Trips (the 70th and 75th) to Normandy.

I could tell about the massive effort to assemble and train the invading force, the detailed planning and super human effort of the soldiers involved, but perhaps we should see the results of their sweat, blood, sacrifice of these soldiers by looking at Normandy in two Anniversary Celebrations from some of our pictures.  Normandy is free today and they have never forgot the cost to make them free.

The soldier’s deeds on that day allowed Normandy to be reborn.  In Europe, the best concentration of museums, memorials and preserved sites from WW II are in Normandy.  When you add in the re-enactors and equipment displays, it is almost overwhelming how good this festival celebration is—I can’t tell how much I recommend a trip here. 

The other part of this is a question we are often asked--why go back a second time or more on a trip or river cruise in Europe?—I think our pictures will show you how easy it is to really miss an important aspect of a site or experience and why we keep returning to learn and see more.

So, let’s take a journey through our pictures of 5 years past and this year’s celebration to see a festival that no one will forget!

Utah Beach on 5 June 2019

Utah Beach on 5 June 2019

Utah Beach on 5 June 2019

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

During our recent D Day trip for the 75th Anniversary of D Day, where we led 33 wonderful folks on a week-long trip (35 total counting Anne & I), we got to visit Utah Beach on a very busy day on 5 June 2019.

So, I thought I’d tell you about Utah Beach in the Normandy Invasion and let you see some of our pictures of this hallowed ground as it looks today.

End of the Great War--A Flanders Fields Tour

End of the Great War--A Flanders Fields Tour

End of the Great War—A Flanders Fields Tour

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

On 27 December 2018, along with 2 traveling companions. I went on a fascinating Flanders Fields Tour.  We were guided by Johan Serpierters, who will guide our 2019 75th Anniversary of D Day Tour.  To say he did an outstanding job is an understatement—incredibly knowledgeable, he is not overbearing with facts—he has the rare talent of making the history of the war come to life.

Most of us really do not know much about the war in terms of battles fought over a 100 years ago, so, let’s learn some about what caused the war, who were the key participants, and (the real reason for this blog) a little more about the northern part of the Western Front, which is nicknamed Flanders Fields, after the famous poem from that era.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

In December, 2018, we got the chance to visit Zurich, Switzerland.  It was the first visit for both Anne and I. We really enjoyed our 2 days in this Alpine City.

So, I thought I would tell you a little about Zurich and what you might consider doing there if you decide to visit this wonderful Swiss city.

A Great Europe Festival

A Great Europe Festival

On 6 June 2019, we will be in Ste. Mere Eglise, leading some wonderful folks to witness a great festival as part of our 75th Anniversary of D Day tour.

This village played a key role in the D Day invasion for the airborne forces.  Due to its location, it was important that Ste. Mere Eglise was taken from the German occupiers.

So, let’s learn about the airborne operations of the D Day invasion and a little about Ste. Mere Eglise.

5 Great Castles in Scotland

5 Great Castles in Scotland

I have always found castles interesting.  Many times in our history, landowners had to protect their turf from invaders and they built castles to defend and impress.  A castle is both a residence and a fort, and they have evolved as weapons and lifestyles changed.

Let’s take a trip together in the misty land of Scotland and see some cool castles and their gardens.

Our Travel Video Website Page

Our Travel Video Website Page

Our Travel Video Website Page

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

A unique feature of the content on our website is the Travel Video Page.Most travel agencies post video made by others or shoot small snippets of a tour or ocean liner or rivership.We have taken a different approach—each video is a collection of our pictures put together in a video slide show.