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Author: gchi

Joined: 11/1/2010
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2010

June 15, 2012

 I am going on Great Rivers of Europe from Vienna to Amsterdam with pre-trip in Vienna starting late July.   Should I order the following tickets on-line right now or wait until I get there?

  • Vienna Mozart Orchestra
  • Schoenbrunn Palace 
  • Hufburg
  • Van Gogh Museum

Looking for your input.

Gayle

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

June 16, 2012

We took the Great Rivers  Cruise in May 2010 with the Vienna  pretrip.  Most of the pretrip members wanted to go to the Schonbrunn Palace, and we asked our program director if he could arrange tickets. Lutz ordered the tickets for the next day, took us by subway to Schonbrunn and picked up the tickets. We reimbused him for the cost. He then took us into the palace, saw that we got into the proper line,and received the headsets with the English narration. Lutz then left us to enjoy the tour and the rest of our day as we wished. We visited the Hofburg Palace on our own. I believe we bought the tickets in the gift shop. There were no long lines. One tour  covers the Porcelein & Silver collection, the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments. There is another tour of the Secular & Ecclesiastical Treasuries which we took a different day. We went to the optional tour musical performance at the Kursalon. On our river cruise you could visit the Van Gogh museum or the Rijksmuseum as an optional tour, but I believe they no longer offer that. Last year on the Holland & Begium cruise, some people had purchased tickets on-line and others got them that day ( I don't know if they called ahead or not. I think the program director helped them.) I hope this helps. The Great Rivers is a wonderful trip, and Vienna is not to be missed. Enjoy!

Author: gchi

Joined: 11/1/2010
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2010

June 25, 2012

Thank you so much for your quick advice.  We assume our  tour director will contact us in late June to provide more detail information.  Otherwise,  We will purchase ticket for Van Gogh Museum and Vienna Mozart Orchestra tickets on line in early July.   

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

July 01, 2012

 One thing you should consider when ordering tickets for events outside of the trip itinerary is  "Will you have sufficient time to see what you want to see?"  If your trip does not allow for sufficient time, you may be disappointed.  A second thing you should consider is:  "How will you get to where you have to go from where your tour will be?"  Most cities have good public transportation, and if you're not afraid to use it, will be a quick and inexpensive way for you to get there.  Of course, you can always opt for the more expensive taxis if you're not that proficient in using public transportation.  A final thing you should consider is, "Will you have to wait on line if you don't book in advance, or will you not be able to get in at all?  When we visited the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam on our trip to see the tulips last year, the lines were humongous if you didn't have a ticket in advance.  When we went to the Anne Frank Haus, if you didn't have a ticket in advance, you didn't get in, as they give you a ticket for a specific date and time.  We were the only ones on our trip to see the Anne Frank Haus because of this.  The lines were simply too long for the rest of our group to wait on, as there were other trip activities they would have to miss.

Your program director may be able to purchase tickets for a group, if there are no constraints, but we would suggest that you depend on that.  We suggest you check the web sites for all the venues you want to see to see what the requirements are, and ask others who have been to those venues what the circumstances of wait time is and then make your decision.  Remember that if others of your group don't want to do what you're doing, your PD might not purchase group tickets, but he/she may make a call for you.  Our advice is to make certain you get what you want and do it yourself.  The alternative is that you may not see what you want to see.

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

July 01, 2012

We also visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam last year when we took Begium & Holland cruise.  We did not have advance tickets, but were able to purchase them at the museum after a short wait.  The key is to arrive early ,if you do not have advance tickets. The museum opens at 9:00 AM. We left the ship after breakfast (about 8:10) and walked to the museum (about a 20 minute pleasant walk). We were in line about 8:30AM. The line was relatively short at this time, and they started letting people in before 9:00. We had our tickets purchased by 9:00 and waited in a holding area for about 10 minutes, as they only allow a certain number of people in the museum at one time. It takes about an hour to see everything, as you move from the bottom to the upper floors and exit via the gift shop & cafe. When we left the museum around 10:30 the line was very long and wound around the Westerkerk. You would probably need advanced timed tickets, unless you plan to arrive early. We skipped the included canal tour, as we had done that on the Great Rivers cruise.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

July 01, 2012

 We took the same trip last year that dgvrey mentions, and our itinerary did not permit us to leave the ship in order to wait on line in the morning, and then see the Anne Frank Haus afterwards unless we wished to miss something that Grand Circle was taking us to.  We checked the itinerary and well in advance, and noticed that the optimum time for us to see the Anne Frank Haus and the van Gogh museum was immediately after the boat ride on the canal, as it left us with a half day.  There was no time for us to leave the ship early to purchase these tickets unless we elected not to participate in the activities the tour was providing.  We suggest that you check your itinerary very carefully to make certain that you will have both the time to purchase tickets when you get there and not have to wait on line, as well as not missing any planned activities.

Even still, we had advaced tickets to both the Anne Frank Haus and the van Gogh Museum, and the half day we had available to see both was somewhat rushed.  If we didn't have those advance tickets we' still be waiting on line for one or both.  We wished we had more time.  And we also think that the walk time of 20 minutes to the Anne Franck Haus from where the cruise boat docked is a bit optimistic.  We made it in 20 minutes from where the canal boat tour boat docked, which was nearly a 1/4 mile closer to the Anne Frank haus, and that was at a fairly rapid pace, because we had a time of entry on our tickets.  And yes, the line at that time for tickets was quite large.   

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