Plan a longer journey in Europe as The Paquins have during their incredible river cruise experiences

Gary Paquin and his wife Marie are loyal guests who have truly made the most of their river cruise journeys. Meticulous planners, they have scoured our river cruise itineraries with their outstanding travel advisor Cindy, matching up embarkation and disembarkation ports on river cruises, so they can sail three river cruises in a row – and extend their vacations with our optional land packages before and after their sailings on top of that! So, why would anyone want to do this?

River Cruising Style

Our philosophy: once in Europe, maximize the time. Our first AmaWaterways river cruise was the 14-night Magnificent Europe, where we experienced 68 locks, 20 cities, 22 excursions, 5 countries and 5 rivers. When folks ask us which cruise they should do, we always recommend this one as their first. But when we disembarked in Amsterdam and our ship was sailing on to Basel, we realized we would much rather have explored Basel as part of our journey and maximized our time in Europe. That’s why we now do three sailings in one.

Repeat Ports of Call

We have experienced a few overlaps in some of the towns visited on our combination cruises, so we just pick a different AmaWaterways excursion. For example, during our first visit to Vienna, Austria, we took advantage of the walking tour and cathedral visit. On the second visit, we took the optional evening excursion to the Mozart and Strauss Concert at the Konzerthaus. What a beautiful performance, and AmaWaterways had arranged for exclusive front area seating, which made it much more dynamic and rewarding.

Variety is the Spice of Life

AmaWaterways offers plenty of variety in onboard entertainment, with some exceptional performers and guest speakers. On our Paris & Normandy river cruise, the night before we were going to the Normandy Beaches, a guest speaker talked about the events leading up to World War II. It added tremendous historical insight and enriched our experience. Also, on this river cruise, there was an outstanding performer who did the life of Édith Piaf, the famous French singer known for “La Vie en Rose.”

Gary and Marie’s Top Tips for New Combination Cruisers

  1. Try to incorporate “pre-” and “post-” river cruise land packages before and after your river cruise to make your experience as inclusive as possible. We have enjoyed exploring more of Lisbon, Portugal; Prague, Czech Republic; both Barcelona and Madrid, Spain; and Lucerne, Switzerland. The beautiful Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid was centrally located, which made for convenient excursions on our own to the Prado Museum and so much more. Our most unforgettable event there was the optional flamenco show and dinner at Corral de la Moreira – what an emotional experience that was!

  2. If you plan on taking a lot of photos, make sure you have enough memory for your camera. I had my own stroke of panic with this, although the Cruise Manager will have a good recommendation of where you can find memory cards in port.

  3. Apply for the Global Entry Program through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It’s a bonus because you can bypass all the lines. You just put your passport in a terminal, it takes your fingerprints and photo ID and you’re done. Plus, sign up for TSA Pre-Check so you don’t have to take your shoes and belt off at the airport.

Unpack once and stay awhile when combining two or more itineraries into one incredible river journey with our Combination River Cruise offer.

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