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Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

August 08, 2013

Would appreciate any tips on what clothing to take.  We like to wear jeans for walking tours wearing walking/running shoes.  Since we live in the South (still have warm clothes from the North though), any suggestions would be appreciated.

We intend definitely to pack our wonderful tan rain jackets with hoods we have from GCT.  They came in handy in a rainy but wonderful trip to Russia.

Did it snow when you were there?  I hear it is likely to be rainy and maybe  light snow which could pose a problem with our shoes not being waterproof and slip proof with snow.  We made out okay this summer with our rainy rivercruise ... Great Rivers of Europe...which was rainy in Vienna but got better on way to Brugge.  Great trip!  Was our second time for it.

 

We have taken the regular Seine River cruise but in the summer.

All clothing/footwear suggestions will be appreciated.

 

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 127
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2001

August 08, 2013

 I have taken this cruise twice and let me say ..... it gets cold.  I have a very warm jacket (below the hip length), and I also make sure to carry warm gloves and a knit hat.  I did encounter snow flurries, but nothing serious.  I wore athletic type shoes and was fine .... they prevented slipping on rough sidewalks.  Jeans should be fine ..... I prefer knitted slacks, Lands End Starfish type to be specific.  I brought both cotton/poly long sleeved blouses and heavy duty knit tops; they were fine for just knocking around the ship and fine under the jacket.  I usually bring one pullover sweater to coordinate with the blouses.  Many people never "dress" for dinner, but I bring a few "Traveller's Knits" .... Chico's brand ..... for special meals.  Really, you can wear anything you like ..... comfort is the most important element.  BTW, I'm from Southern California, so I'm not used to cold weather.  

I hope you enjoy this trip as much as I have!

Author: lyn

Joined: 3/14/2010
Posts: 36
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

August 08, 2013

The Christmas Mkt. cruises are wonderful.  We did the markets on the Danube the 2nd week of December in 2005 and YES it was cold.  Be sure to take layers.  Fleece vests, turtle neck tops, sweatshirts and sweaters.  I wore my cuddle dud long underwear as well.  Gloves, scarf and knit hat are a must.  I wore a mid thigh length winter coat with a hood and I had to flip on the hood several times.  I also wore fleece lined lace up ankle high boots.  Wool socks are also very warm.  Better to have the warm clothing and not need it than to need it and not have it.  We had no real snow to speak of, but did have wind and cold temps.  You will be outside a lot and you will want to be comfortable.  When on the ship I wore slacks, turtle necks and colorful fleece type vests.  It is nice and toasty on the ship, other than the lounge areas which can be chilly.  This is a trip that we would like to do again.  You are making a wise choice.  Happy travels...

Author: mary jayne halli...

Joined: 9/25/2010
Posts: 57
GCT Trips Taken: 27
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1989

August 09, 2013

My daughter and I have taken the Christmas markets on the Danube once (lots of snow), the Christmas markets on the Rhine 3 times, twice with snow, once without..  Since we are from snow country, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we preferred the snow, makes it look much more festive, however either way have lots of clothing for COOOLD and we always taken foot and hand warmers which can be purchased at any sports shop and then we tossed them in our bed at night for the rest of the days heat.  Absolutely wonderful trips,l with or without snow.  But be prepared for COLD, after all, it is winter, here or there.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 09, 2013

Have you ever tried silk underwear?  I can't wear wool next to my skin and cotton doesn't really have the same warmth, so I wear silk undershirts in the winter.  You can also get long silk under drawers.  There's no bulk, and they are very comfortable.  Check out the Wintersilks catalog.

Author: mary jayne halli...

Joined: 9/25/2010
Posts: 57
GCT Trips Taken: 27
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1989

August 09, 2013

I would not go without my cuddle duds

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

August 09, 2013

Let me thank Sealion lady, Lyn, Halpint and Pauline for the great responses.

Since, as I mentioned, we have been living in the South for about the last 25 years and are no longer used to cold weather.  I had heard about silk longjohns and also being allergic to wool, took advice re: Wintersilks Catalog and requested same.

I am concerned after reading 7 reviews about the longjohns, that several women complained about the same thing...the waists being too small for the sizes. 

Pauline, if it was you who has used this product, did you find this waist-size problem being too tiny.  Also, is it just the one Company who sells these?  They are on sale for women right now for about $21.00 and first-timers receive 20% discount.

The only experience I had with silk was a shirt and pants and the seams opened up.

I think we will need to wear something under our jeans for warmth so any more comments will be appreciated.

I have no idea what we will wear on our feet if it snows.  We only have the usual walking/running shoes and hesitate to spend money on boots because we rarely go to cold climates.  Years ago, you could buy plastic boots to fit over shoes but even those didn't fit right over running/walking type shoes.

Thanks for your continued help from our GCT travelers.

Jayge

 

P.S. Halfpint...what are Cuddle duds?

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 09, 2013

Jayge, I stopped wearing the longjohns because I found that the ones that fit my waist were too long.  I'm only five feet tall.  But I do find the undershirts very handy.  As I said, I can't wear wool next to my skin; it itches.  And the great thing about silk is that it doesn't get you heated up when the temperature rises.

I'd be more concerned about your footwear.  If there's snow or ice, you might need something with traction.  I remember those plastic overshoes, but I haven't seen them in many years.

Author: noseycat

Joined: 5/18/2012
Posts: 52
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 09, 2013

For waterproof foot covers: try L.L. Bean for something called "NEOS" - New England Overshoe Company.  Maybe other sources, too.  Rubberized (?), with zipper, drawstring, and Velcro strap.  Light-weight, fold up flat, stick 'em in your luggage.  Work great - we've taken ours on OAT and other trips for rain, mud, snow, whatever.  Work well over sneakers and hikers.  I use a rigid leg brace and the NEOS even handle that.  Plus Bean has a moneyback guarantee (little commercial plug - but they outfit us well for all our trips!!).

Author: mary jayne halli...

Joined: 9/25/2010
Posts: 57
GCT Trips Taken: 27
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1989

August 10, 2013

Hi.  Cuddle Duds are a brand of semi classy long underwear which I wear about 6 months a year here in Upper Michigan.  There are silky ones, cotton, light fleece, all very comfortable, tops and bottoms, variable color and so comfortable.  In small, medium and large.  The better stores carry the cuddle dud name, then there are the store brands which are just about the same, from Target, etc.  so look for cuddle duds.  Enjoy!!!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 10, 2013

Thanks for the tip, halfpint.  I am never warm enough in the winter, and I don't know why I stay in New England.  I'll give them a try in a few months.

Pauline

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 540
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

August 10, 2013

I like silk undershirts, haven't tried the pants though because of length problems. I took my daughter to Paris in winter one year and she wore tights under her jeans when it was very cold. I had lined wool pants so was okay.

I wore Monroe waterproof ankle boots and was fine with those in the light Paris snow.

The description of the LL Bean overshoes brought back memories of wearing rubber overshoes with buckles when I was in grade school and had to trudge through the snow in a Massachusetts winter.

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 148
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2005

August 10, 2013

For your snow-worthy boots, you might try an outlet mall.  Sometimes they have things that are for other climates than the one you are in.

And I agree with the people who love Cuddle Duds!  I wear them whenever we go camping, or on colder trips ( such as The Wilderness Beyond) and sometimes here in California in January and February. They come in all sizes, do not have small waists in proportion to the hips, and sometimes you can find a shorter length. I have seen them at Kohl's, and sometimes they are at Marshall's, TJMaxx, Tuesday Morning, etc. They are mostly sold seasonally, so the coming months are definitely the time to buy them. 

I would not go to Europe in the winter without long underwear of some kind.  Whether it's silk, Cuddle Duds, Land's End, L.L. Bean, from Sierra Trading Post, etc. isn't important; the important thing is, like the Boy Scouts, to be prepared!

 

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 176
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

August 11, 2013

Everyone was spot on!  We took this Christmas cruise Dec. 2-19, 2010.  The morning we boarded the Bizet we had a snowstorm! Pics are wonderful. They were still bus-ing travelers from the airport while we were docked!  (We came in early from the Paris Pretrip.)

Please consider your shoes carefully. I live in the deep South but we came from Massachusetts. I am an LLBean girl! After many years of cross country skiing, all I had left after moving were my fleece ski pants and my Goretex hiking boots.  Thank heaven.  The soles are at least an inch thick. They have been all over the world.The snow melts quickly but slush and water remain along with some icing if you are out and about after sundown. Balance is everything.   I bought some turtlenecks from Wintersilks and along with an old cashmere sweater from my husband, that was enough to wear under my 3/4 coat.   Remember, if you feet hurt/are wet, you will be cold all over.  You will do lots of walking on this trip and dry, comfortable feet will get you where you are going. Everything else you can layer layer layer!

We enjoyed this trip so much we just came home in June from the Brittany to Paris Seine cruise.  Enjoy!

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 11, 2013

On the cuddle duds.  I'm less than 5 ft, so even petite cuddle pants are too long.  I just take them up above the edge (lacey ones too) about 2-3 inches (makes about 4-6 inches and do a machine stifch.  If I want, I cut some of the bulk off, but haven't done my last ones.  You will definitely need them.  For that time of year, I would definitely have a fleece jacket (I got an LL Bean years ago).  It didn't have a hood, so I made one in same colors.  But they do have hooded fleece jackets.  I also carry my london-fog type rain coat, it's hip length with a hood.  for sweaters, I carry maybe 2 acrylic sweaters, because they wash and dry very easily, compared to anything made with cotton  Then you can carry less sweaters.  I spray all my outerwear including purses with Camp Spray, found in camping section of sports stores (not Sports Authority), or even supermarkets.  It's stronger than Scotchgard.  Doesn't fade clothes or shoes.

Shoes.  I carry two pair sport shoes to walk, and have done so in much rainy, wet, snowy weather.  I spray with a camp spray before I leave home; I start sprayig about 2 months out, three sprays, let them dry. The chemical smell goes away before the trip. That really helps keep them dry.  On our first GCT river cruise, we took the pre-trip in Amsterdam in late February, and it was freezing cold; we walked every day we weren't touring into the town, even though the train station was just a few minutes from the hotel.  It rained, snowed, sleet, and great sunshine in a matter of a few hours, then again later on--at least three times like that in one morning.  We were out in it the whole time, didn't stop for coffee or anything. 

So, layering with cuddle duds top and bottoms, jeans, or winter knit pants, long sleeve jerseys including turtlenecks or turtle neck "dickies", two sweaters in acrylic, heavier socks (look for the ones that keep feet dry and dry fast when washed.  I found a long scarf is good for wrapping around the neck, and of course the gloves, hats.  I waterproof all of these as well.  Have a great trip.

Author: jeswlloyd

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 31
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2009

August 11, 2013

Our first river cruise was to Russia in October.  Being from Texas, I didn’t have a lot clothes for really cold weather clothes, but I thought I could piece together enough without purchasing something I would never wear in Texas.  Big mistake!  It was so miserably cold.  We did not let us stop us from participating in all the tours and going out on our own.  I did buy hat and gloves in Russia even though I had taken some.  Thankfully, the Russia river cruise was so fantastic that we still came back enthusiastic about the experience.

The next time I had an opportunity to travel in cold weather was on a Christmas cruise and I prepared.  I bought Sorrell boots (warm and great for walking on cobblestones), silk longjohns, and a hooded down coat.  I found fleece gloves that have half fingers with a mitten cover – great for taking pictures without removing your whole glove.  I find fleece tops warm and not too heavy.  Even though I only use some of these items when I am traveling, the benefit is that I am warm and toasty on trips without skipping any outing because of weather and I never hesitate to agree to travel in late fall and winter to colder climes. I hope to be wearing this stuff on trips 20 years from now!

You are going to love a Christmas cruise.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

August 26, 2013

I want to thank Noseycat for the tip about NEOS overshoes.  We ordered two pairs online of the Villager model from Amazon and they are just what we might need for the Christmas on the Seine River.  They will be used mostly for travel trips as we live in the South.

Now to look into silk longies to keep legs warm under jeans.  I did get the catalog but seems to be pricey.  Will look into local discount clothing stores. 

Also into Cuddlewear (spelling?)

You are all so helpful.  Thanks again.

Jayge

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 540
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

August 27, 2013

For the silk underwear check the web sites of REI and Backcountry. I think I got my shirts from REI but have bought North Face jackets from Backcountry and have had good luck with both vendors. . You might be able to find silk underwear on sale now.

Someone else mentioned Sierra Trading Post. I've bought from them too.

Please let us know how the neos work out.

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