Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

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brigcampbell
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Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#1 Post by brigcampbell » October 21st, 2018, 8:36 am

I've never been on a river cruise but I have always wanted too. It's on the list when we're older and less mobile. I'm not a cruise ship guy but have done one. Now I can complain. [wow.gif]

The last couple of trips to Europe we've seen a tremendous increase in the number of people in the "off season" which is normally much less busy. We were in Florence last year and couldn't get into the Domo because two cruise ships had booked all the tickets for 3 days. The place was PACKED in April...

Then we were in Cinque Terre in October of this year, love the place, for our second visit. We were here 7 years ago at the same time. Wow, easily twice as many people visiting the little villages on the seaside and there's no way they're all staying in the towns, they were on tours but from where? When we left we headed south and saw two cruise ships parked in La Spieza. Ahh... They day trip to Cinque, Lucca, and Pisa on the train. Super easy.

In Budapest I saw a nice Viking river cruise boat and went down to look it over. Very nice. Then we took the trolley along the river and saw 3 Viking and 2 Uniworld ships docked. Oh my, and the buses. There were 20 high end Viking buses running contantly around town or lined up near the ship.

Then we're in Prague and I thought it was August. I couldn't believe how crowded it was on the weekend between euros which only takes them an hour flight and huge tours of American, Korean, and Chinese. It was amazing.

I even saw a Viking Cruise tour bus in Prague, WTF? LOL

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#2 Post by George Hejna » October 21st, 2018, 8:50 am

Economy is strong more people traveling. Cruises are an easy way to do this.

Most ports have searchable calendars so you can see how many ships and how many people are in port on a given day. Always worth a look when making plans where there is going to be a high concentration of tourists.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#3 Post by todd waldmann » October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am

One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#4 Post by George Hejna » October 21st, 2018, 10:49 am

Really liked Dubrovnik. I wouldn't skip it but maybe see if you can find a day where Cruise ship traffic is low.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#5 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 21st, 2018, 11:41 am

The local merchants hate them, I'm told, especially in smaller ports like Orkney. The tourists from the cruise ships come ashore for their excursions, but in general spend almost nothing in local businesses. So the tourists who might keep local shops and restaurants thriving are pushed out by patrons who contribute nothing. It's tough.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#6 Post by brigcampbell » October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm

todd waldmann wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am
One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#7 Post by Dan Hammer » October 21st, 2018, 6:57 pm

brigcampbell wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm
todd waldmann wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am
One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.
Yes, but the pesky tourists return to their ships at night. We spent 4 days in Dubrovnik. It's a very beautiful place.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#8 Post by Nola Palomar » October 21st, 2018, 7:17 pm

Juan wanted to do a River Cruise...
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#9 Post by Ron Erickson » October 21st, 2018, 7:42 pm

The Rhine is still a bucket list item, as was the Cinque Terre. Sounds like one might be now unworthy.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#10 Post by Richard T r i m p i » October 22nd, 2018, 8:55 am

Brig, Florence can be pretty darned nice in April. Went there in February and the crowds were minimal. No problem with tourist sites or museums. And the Arno is navigable? [wink.gif]

Interesting NY Times piece on "over-tourism in Europe"

“At the end, this story is just a numbers problem,” Mr. Tourtellot said. He noted that in 1960, when the jet age began, around 25 million international trips were taken. Last year, the number was 1.3 billion. As for the cities that are the major destinations? They are “the same size they were back in 1959, and they’ll probably stay that way,”

I just visited Barcelona in September. Two large cruise ships in the harbor. The old city was over-run with several thousand Americans. The Rambla almost resembled Bourbon Street. The Boqueria was mobbed. By dinner, I guess they were all back on the boats because restaurant reservations weren't that hard to come by.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#11 Post by Ian Sutton » October 22nd, 2018, 12:26 pm

You might not be able to view this in the US, but on the offchance, it's a small article about the cruise ships and mass tourism's effect on Venice
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p ... aim-venice
Most striking was the film comparison of tourist volumes now vs. times gone by.

Wider than this...

I love planning holidays. It generates anticipation and even excitement, plus it makes the place seem more familiar and less imposing than without such planning. That planning isn't a tightly scheduled itinerary, quite the opposite. It's more like a crib sheet so I have ideas at every turn, so we can either follow our noses to somewhere we stumble across that looks interesting, or head towards other nearby alternatives.

That feels like the opposite to those that enjoy cruises (or the coach tour alternatives). Turn up for the departure, then on arrival take a choice amongst the pre-planned / organised options. Rinse and repeat. I can see that appeal, of seeing lots of different (and famous) places, but without having to give anything any great thought. In the same way I can see the appeal of just turning up at a beach resort and switching off completely. It's simple. Neither approach holds any interest to me, but I do see why they are popular.

I'm rather torn. If those same tourists split away from the big tourist destinations, and visited the places I like, then they'd start feeling more like the disneyland that the big tourist sites have become. I'm torn because a part of me is happy to 'sacrifice' Rome, Venice, Florence and even the likes of San Gimignano, Verona and Cinque Terre to mass tourism. I love Italian culture (with its many failings accepted as a part of the whole) and this is best experienced away from the menus in 5 languages offering spaghetti bolognese. Maybe that is wrong of me to consign such places to the rubbish bin that mass tourism inflicts. I do feel some guilt in thinking them as a necessary evil to protect what I love.

Coming back to the cruise ships, what is absolutely unacceptable, is the effect of their huge bulk in causing wake-related erosion to the city. They are destroying what they are bringing people to see. It is ludicrous they have been allowed so close for so long.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#12 Post by Michael Martin » October 22nd, 2018, 12:43 pm

Stay away from the travel brochure destinations. If its on the cover of a big travel consolidator's catalog, you probably can find someplace as nice or better with less crowds.

For every Cinque Terre, there is a Ravello.
For every Venice, there is an Isle Sur la Sorgue

We just got back from two weeks in Provence. Aside from Avignon, a docking port on the Rhone, we saw no river boats and the trip was wonderful without crowds.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#13 Post by mattcitrang » October 22nd, 2018, 1:53 pm

Stopped vacationing in Key West for this reason. Place became a daytime zoo. Many locals loved it for the business traffic it brought.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#14 Post by Richard T r i m p i » October 23rd, 2018, 6:07 am

I visited retired friends on Key West this past Winter. First time there. 2 Cruise Ships landed. My friends are fairly insulated, living on the opposite side of the island. The west side was insanity. 30 minute line to take a photo at the southernmost point buoy?

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#15 Post by M.Kaplan » October 23rd, 2018, 2:44 pm

After 9 summers visiting Santorini, we will likely move on next year because the daily influx of cruise passengers during summer has grown so much as to make the island intolerable. The infrastructure is crumbling from overuse. Roads are jammed with tour busses and idiots on 4 wheelers. The government recognizes the problem, but the merchants are pushing back at proposals to limit cruise ship traffic.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/e ... -1.3641166
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#16 Post by Howard Cooper » October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am

It is interesting to me how most of you think you are not tourists contributing to an overcrowding problem. I guess your sh*t does not smell.
Howard

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#17 Post by Michael Martin » October 26th, 2018, 5:31 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am
It is interesting to me how most of you think you are not tourists contributing to an overcrowding problem. I guess your sh*t does not smell.
I think folks are talking about bulk deliveries. Cruises, bus lines, river boats with that mass of baggy khaki pants and fanny pack wearing hoard with big hats stumbles on shore in search of gelato.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#18 Post by Howard Cooper » October 26th, 2018, 5:37 am

Michael Martin wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:31 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am
It is interesting to me how most of you think you are not tourists contributing to an overcrowding problem. I guess your sh*t does not smell.
I think folks are talking about bulk deliveries. Cruises, bus lines, river boats with that mass of baggy khaki pants and fanny pack wearing hoard with big hats stumbles on shore in search of gelato.
What a horrible post. Can you next give us your stereotypes of Blacks and Hispanics.

You make my point - somehow you think that you are above and better than these people. You are just another tourist that make the place more crowded and that wears tacky clothing, etc. I guess you have never purchased gelato anywhere? I guess you somehow believe that if people did not travel by cruise ship, they would stop traveling. If there were no cruise ships, you would be complaining about how hard it is to find a hotel or a restaurant reservation in these place because these people have money and would be traveling in a different way.

You may not realize it, but your sh*t stinks also, although you obviously think you are hot sh*t.
Howard

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#19 Post by Michael Martin » October 26th, 2018, 5:49 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:37 am
Michael Martin wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:31 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am
It is interesting to me how most of you think you are not tourists contributing to an overcrowding problem. I guess your sh*t does not smell.
I think folks are talking about bulk deliveries. Cruises, bus lines, river boats with that mass of baggy khaki pants and fanny pack wearing hoard with big hats stumbles on shore in search of gelato.
What a horrible post. Can you next give us your stereotypes of Blacks and Hispanics.

You make my point - somehow you think that you are above and better than these people. You are just another tourist that make the place more crowded and that wears tacky clothing, etc. I guess you have never purchased gelato anywhere? I guess you somehow believe that if people did not travel by cruise ship, they would stop traveling. If there were no cruise ships, you would be complaining about how hard it is to find a hotel or a restaurant reservation in these place because these people have money and would be traveling in a different way.

You may not realize it, but your sh*t stinks also, although you obviously think you are hot sh*t.
Don’t let the stock market get you down Howie.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#20 Post by Howard Cooper » October 26th, 2018, 6:15 am

Michael Martin wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:49 am
Don’t let the stock market get you down Howie.
Could you possibly be any more self absorbed?
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#21 Post by Richard T r i m p i » October 26th, 2018, 6:57 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am
I guess your sh*t does not smell.
Howard, my sh*t is as smelly as anyone's. I prefer to manage my sh*t in a sanitary manner and relatively privately. When people deposit 7000+ sh*ts in a limited area, over the same few hours with inadequate infrastructure....that's when things can become unpleasant.

If we're talking about a large mass event (i.e.: a football stadium) that's one thing. Downtown Key West or Old City Barcelona were not designed for an additional dump of 7000+ tourists on top of a normally busy day of peak season tourism. The same is especially true of tropical islands where cruise ships might be providing important income but the impacts on the environment (often over-burdened by human development to begin with) can be devastating. The magnitude of a tourist influx makes a difference....the smell of an individual's sh*t, not so much.

Disney is beautifully designed to handle 10s of thousands of tourists simultaneously. Key West and Barcelona could become more Disney-fied, but that would kind of spoil the reason to go...wouldn't it?

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#22 Post by Michael Martin » October 26th, 2018, 7:35 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 6:15 am
Michael Martin wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:49 am
Don’t let the stock market get you down Howie.
Could you possibly be any more self absorbed?
You come on here this morning literally slinging sh*t. I try to lighten the mood and you attack.
Don't worry Eddie Bauer now sells slim fit khaki travel pants. Just don't buy the convertible zip off kind. That's a dead giveaway you're a tourist.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#23 Post by brigcampbell » October 26th, 2018, 9:14 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am
It is interesting to me how most of you think you are not tourists contributing to an overcrowding problem. I guess your sh*t does not smell.
It's interesting how you missed the point of the post and made a personal attack in what has been the most civil forum on WB. People here in Travel are polite and generous.

Let's all have a better day than it started.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#24 Post by Howard Cooper » October 26th, 2018, 10:04 am

brigcampbell wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 9:14 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 5:18 am
It is interesting to me how most of you think you are not tourists contributing to an overcrowding problem. I guess your sh*t does not smell.
It's interesting how you missed the point of the post and made a personal attack in what has been the most civil forum on WB. People here in Travel are polite and generous.

Let's all have a better day than it started.
The point of the thread is that you and others believe you are superior to those who go on cruises. At no point was this thread polite and generous. I found it highly insulting from the first post.

And, a lot of places are complaining about the exact opposite - that not enough people are leaving the cruise ships when they get to port. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/f ... story.html
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#25 Post by Ian Sutton » October 26th, 2018, 10:37 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 10:04 am

The point of the thread is that you and others believe you are superior to those who go on cruises. At no point was this thread polite and generous. I found it highly insulting from the first post.
Hi Howard
I've re-read the posts and no-one, not a single person, has expressed superiority over those who go on cruises. They've talked about the effect of mass tourism, and the specifics of the mega-cruise liners, particularly in the strain they put on infrastructure.

I've engaged in similar discussions on a travel forum, and also on the hot topic of AirBnB, where customers and non-customers alike discussed the social impact of apartments being lost to locals and the problems this caused to people remaining in the apartment blocks. Just like here, no-one said people shouldn't do it, nor berated anyone for doing so. No-one took offence and all took the opportunity to reflect on their 'imprint'.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#26 Post by M.Kaplan » October 26th, 2018, 1:35 pm

Environmentalists say toxic emissions from cruise ships pose health risk on Santorini
https://neoskosmos.com/en/122025/enviro ... santorini/

‘I wouldn’t go to Santorini – it’s a threat to your health’: Greek island under fire over cruise ship emissions
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news ... ic-health/

Santorini Implements Further Passenger Limits
https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/crui ... imits.html

These articles have nothing to do with the alleged superiority of non-cruise travelers. They are about the impact of too many massive cruise ships and their passengers on the infrastructure and eco-systems of Santorini, which I've witnessed first hand over the past 10 years.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#27 Post by Mark Y » October 26th, 2018, 2:24 pm

Dan Hammer wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 6:57 pm
brigcampbell wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm
todd waldmann wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am
One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.
Yes, but the pesky tourists return to their ships at night. We spent 4 days in Dubrovnik. It's a very beautiful place.
Agree with this. Stayed a few days there, it's absolutely beautiful in the morning and evenings. skipping it would be a mistake.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#28 Post by George Hejna » October 26th, 2018, 3:57 pm

I am a fan of cruises. Particularly Silversea. They have a definite advantage if done correctly. That being said I am also a big fan of staying in one place. Grand Cayman is one of my favorite places and they are seriously discussing a cruise pier (it is tendered now) that would destroy a whole bunch of coral reef.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#29 Post by Ian Sutton » October 27th, 2018, 4:42 am

Hi George
No reason why you couldn't combine the two (and maybe that's a regular approach for you already?), e.g. starting with a cruise where the finish point (or somewhere nearby) is somewhere you really want to stay and explore, so you grab 4-5 days there before heading home.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#30 Post by George Hejna » October 27th, 2018, 6:49 am

Have done that many times. Did it this summer - spent a few days in Stockholm and then took a Silversea cruise to St Petersburg.
Doing it again next summer spending 4 days in the Cote d'Azur and then catching a Silversea cruise in Monaco to head to some of the islands in the Med. Where I have never been. Ending up in Rome for a couple of nights (have been before). We like to use the cruise to explore new places where we may want to go back and stay for awhile.
We also do not do any of the cruise tourist tours. We normally just head off on our own explore a bit, have a nice lunch and relax. If I do take a tour like in St Petersburg, I will book private to avoid crowds as much as possible. It works really well for us.
I have also rented many houses/villas in Europe. Enjoy staying put for a while and living like a local. :)

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#31 Post by Everett Bandman » October 27th, 2018, 3:11 pm

George, On our Seabourn Cruise of the Baltic, we booked a two day tour of St. Petersburg with Red October a few years ago and it was fabulous. One of the guides was a Art History Professor at the University and not only did he get us into some special rooms at the Hermitage and explain the significance of the art, but was a fountain of information about all the churches, museums, and historical sites in the city. Highly recommended.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#32 Post by George Hejna » October 27th, 2018, 3:44 pm

In St Petersburg we had a great private tour guide for 3 full days. Honestly it was a bit much but she was amazing. We walked past every line. I think the regular line for the Hermitage was probably 1/2 mile long..... She took me to a real Russian watch store far, far from the tourist areas. Helped me with all my dinner reservations as some places English was not readily spoken. We also had an amazing driver that I swear was former KGB. Quite the experience but now that I have done it don't think I would go back. Still a great city and I highly recommend it. Having the ship in port for 3 days to use like a hotel was really great.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#33 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 29th, 2018, 8:29 am

I think Howard has a point about the implicit complaint here, but one can simultaneously recognize a problem while acknowledging that one is part of the problem. If you don't think you are part of the global warming problem, you are deluding yourself, but that doesn't mean that you are disqualified from lamenting the current state of affairs.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#34 Post by Marshall Gelb » December 5th, 2018, 8:23 am

brigcampbell wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm
todd waldmann wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am
One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.
Brig: We were in Dubrovnik in October and we were on a cruise ship, albeit a relatively small one. I personally, cannot even contemplate being on one of those mega-ships. Yes, the old town is a bit crowded, but a lot of it is due to the "Game of Thrones" crowd as well as cruise folks. Luckily, we were the only ship in town that day. I found the city amazing and we walked the entire medieval wall surrounding the city in complete peace. In addition, we ate some of the finest seafood I have ever tasted in a beautiful, and virtually empty restaurant called "Proto." All the while the mediocre, tourist restaurants were absolutely packed. Granted, Proto was a bit more expensive, but the difference in quality and service far surpassed the price differential. We found a similar situation in the shops. There were tons of people in the normal touristy shops and yet the shops featuring beautiful Croatian crafts were very uncrowded and quite reasonable. In addition, the farmers' market in the middle of the old town was wonderful, featuring the absolute best dried figs I have ever tasted. Overall, and I don't mean to sound too snobby, you can certainly enjoy Dubrovnik (and other ports as well), despite the presence of cruise ships. One caveat, I must mention, is that since we are retired, we try our best to travel in the "off season."

http://www.esculaprestaurants.com/fish- ... dubrovnik/


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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#35 Post by brigcampbell » December 5th, 2018, 8:26 am

Marshall Gelb wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:23 am
brigcampbell wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm
todd waldmann wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am
One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.
Brig: We were in Dubrovnik in October and we were on a cruise ship, albeit a relatively small one. I personally, cannot even contemplate being on one of those mega-ships. Yes, the old town is a bit crowded, but a lot of it is due to the "Game of Thrones" crowd as well as cruise folks. Luckily, we were the only ship in town that day. I found the city amazing and we walked the entire medieval wall surrounding the city in complete peace. In addition, we ate some of the finest seafood I have ever tasted in a beautiful, and virtually empty restaurant called "Proto." All the while the mediocre, tourist restaurants were absolutely packed. Granted, Proto was a bit more expensive, but the difference in quality and service far surpassed the price differential. We found a similar situation in the shops. There were tons of people in the normal touristy shops and yet the shops featuring beautiful Croatian crafts were very uncrowded and quite reasonable. In addition, the farmers' market in the middle of the old town was wonderful, featuring the absolute best dried figs I have ever tasted. Overall, and I don't mean to sound too snobby, you can certainly enjoy Dubrovnik (and other ports as well), despite the presence of cruise ships. One caveat, I must mention, is that since we are retired, we try our best to travel in the "off season."

Cheers!
Marshall [cheers.gif]
We're going there next year. [cheers.gif]

I'm thinking of flying into Venice and driving through Solvania and along the coast. Everyone says the place is an amazing part of the world.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#36 Post by Marshall Gelb » December 5th, 2018, 8:28 am

brigcampbell wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:26 am
Marshall Gelb wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:23 am
brigcampbell wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm


While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.
Brig: We were in Dubrovnik in October and we were on a cruise ship, albeit a relatively small one. I personally, cannot even contemplate being on one of those mega-ships. Yes, the old town is a bit crowded, but a lot of it is due to the "Game of Thrones" crowd as well as cruise folks. Luckily, we were the only ship in town that day. I found the city amazing and we walked the entire medieval wall surrounding the city in complete peace. In addition, we ate some of the finest seafood I have ever tasted in a beautiful, and virtually empty restaurant called "Proto." All the while the mediocre, tourist restaurants were absolutely packed. Granted, Proto was a bit more expensive, but the difference in quality and service far surpassed the price differential. We found a similar situation in the shops. There were tons of people in the normal touristy shops and yet the shops featuring beautiful Croatian crafts were very uncrowded and quite reasonable. In addition, the farmers' market in the middle of the old town was wonderful, featuring the absolute best dried figs I have ever tasted. Overall, and I don't mean to sound too snobby, you can certainly enjoy Dubrovnik (and other ports as well), despite the presence of cruise ships. One caveat, I must mention, is that since we are retired, we try our best to travel in the "off season."

Cheers!
Marshall [cheers.gif]
We're going there next year. [cheers.gif]

I'm thinking of flying into Venice and driving through Solvania and along the coast. Everyone says the place is an amazing part of the world.
Just got back from Venice as well.....Let's talk at Falltacular.

Cheers!
Marshall grouphug
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#37 Post by Barry L i p t o n » December 5th, 2018, 10:36 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
October 23rd, 2018, 2:44 pm
After 9 summers visiting Santorini, we will likely move on next year because the daily influx of cruise passengers during summer has grown so much as to make the island intolerable. The infrastructure is crumbling from overuse. Roads are jammed with tour busses and idiots on 4 wheelers. The government recognizes the problem, but the merchants are pushing back at proposals to limit cruise ship traffic.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/e ... -1.3641166
Uh oh. I normally think the strategy is to go to remoter parts of the island while they are in town, but if it's so bad that you are moving on, then I doubt whether I could find a coping strategy.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#38 Post by Bruce Rudman » December 25th, 2018, 9:33 am

Brig,
In September we went on our first river cruise - Uniworld from Avignon to Lyon, with three additional nights in Beaune. So good that we booked another from Basel through Germany to Amsterdam this July. Only 158 passengers on board so it is much more like a small luxury hotel than a huge mega ship. The ports we were in welcomed us. The food was great and the service was as close to 5 star as possible, with a couple of flaws to be expected over eight days. I would never take a mega ship cruise but I really enjoyed seeing multiple cities without unpacking each day.
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#39 Post by Ian Sutton » December 25th, 2018, 4:53 pm

Hi Bruce
That sounds like it addresses many of the criticisms of the massive sea-going cruise liners, plus I daresay the quays on the river were more appealing than most sea ports & closer to the town/village/city centres.

I do like my own space and my own schedule, plus embedding myself more in a local culture, so even something like this would still not appeal to me. However it's fair to stress the 'without unpacking everyday' to which you could add 'without checking in/out every day' and other wasted time if trying to achieve the same by bus/rail/flights.

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Ian
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#40 Post by Bruce Rudman » December 26th, 2018, 5:53 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
December 25th, 2018, 4:53 pm
However it's fair to stress the 'without unpacking everyday' to which you could add 'without checking in/out every day' and other wasted time if trying to achieve the same by bus/rail/flights.

Regards
Ian
Very good point Ian - not to mention scheduling around check-in times. The river cruises also are mostly American/Canadian tourists so English is not an issue, and at least I can say Uniworld is all-inclusive including shore excursions and tipping. There are usually multiple choices of shore excursions or you can do your own thing with bikes they provide. Now, if their ports don't work for what you want to see then it is not for you. I think it gives a good overview of the region and with an add-on at the beginning or end, is a great way to see a lot in less than two weeks,
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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#41 Post by Eric Ifune » December 27th, 2018, 10:31 am

Once spent 10 days on a leased sailboat with 11 other people. Sailed around several Greek Islands. We had a captain and so didn't know how to sail very much, only when and how to pull a rope. One of the most relaxing holidays I've spent. No itinerary, just went where and when we wanted.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#42 Post by M.Kaplan » December 31st, 2018, 4:12 pm

Image
---Mark

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#43 Post by Richard Albert » February 26th, 2019, 6:48 pm

Venice and cruise ships make for ugly scenes, the city is being loved to death.
Hit the Peggy Gugenhiem Museum for a change to modern art, right on the Grand Canal for a few hours respite. She bought major works during times of upheaval in Europe, excellent collection.
Day trip on the Lagoon to Burano, Murano-hit the glass museum there-fascinating.
As Mark put it early AMs and evenings are fine in port cities. We were welcomed as tourists, as some other visitors have supplanted us as the Ugly American tourists. The locals made that obvious with some subtle comments and some not so subtle acts.
ITB

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#44 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 28th, 2019, 6:02 am

Decent piece in the Washington Post about overbooked tourist destinations (Nov. 2019) and alternatives. Many are over-touristed to begin with...and the problem is compounded when there's a massive surge created by a mega-cruise ship, or two.

It turns out that my wife is booking us for the Galapagos in 2020. It's a National Geographic cruise and eco-focused. 96 passenger capacity. Largest ship I'll have cruised on since the age of 7. We used to do liveaboard dive boats...which probably don't qualify at 20 - 25 passengers. Despite the effort to reduce our travel impact, the Galapagos Islands are one of those overrun destinations with an unsustainable level of tourism. We'll discover firsthand how much our sh!t stinks.

RT

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#45 Post by brigcampbell » February 28th, 2019, 11:26 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
February 28th, 2019, 6:02 am
Decent piece in the Washington Post about overbooked tourist destinations (Nov. 2019) and alternatives. Many are over-touristed to begin with...and the problem is compounded when there's a massive surge created by a mega-cruise ship, or two.

It turns out that my wife is booking us for the Galapagos in 2020. It's a National Geographic cruise and eco-focused. 96 passenger capacity. Largest ship I'll have cruised on since the age of 7. We used to do liveaboard dive boats...which probably don't qualify at 20 - 25 passengers. Despite the effort to reduce our travel impact, the Galapagos Islands are one of those overrun destinations with an unsustainable level of tourism. We'll discover firsthand how much our sh!t stinks.

RT
where do you get the "overun destinations with an unsustainable level of tourism" comment from? I believe that's highly inaccurate but would certainly entertain some data points.

https://www.galapagos.org

When visiting the Galapagos Islands, a National Park and World Heritage Site, all visitors are expected to act responsibly and to treat the environment with respect. Below are 14 rules of the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) that all visitors are expected to abide by while in the Islands: Visitors to any protected areas within the Galapagos National Park must be accompanied by a naturalist guide authorized by the GNPD.
  • Travel only with tour operators and/or boats authorized to work in the protected areas of Galapagos.
  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife, and for your safety.
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you.
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems.
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the GNPD.
  • Camping is only allowed in a few authorized areas in the Islands. Request authorization to camp at the Galapagos National Park’s offices at least 48 hours in advance.
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported.
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment.
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat.
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park, as fires poses a serious risk to the flora and fauna of Galapagos.
  • Fishing is only permitted on recreational tour boats authorized by the GNPD.
  • Motorized aquatic sports, mini-subs, and aerial tourism activities are not permitted in the Galapagos National Park or Marine Reserve.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#46 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 28th, 2019, 1:57 pm

Happy to provide more info:

The Galpagos were designated as the first UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. In 2007, the UN put the Galapagos Islands on the list of world heritage sites endangered by environmental threats or overuse. It was voted off in 2010, but a number of conservationsists remain concerned. One of the main reasons for the list was that over the previous 15 prior years, the number of days cruise passengers spent on the Galapagos increased by 150 percent, which caused immigration growth, and subsequently increased inter-island traffic, leading to the introduction of invasive species.

The Galapagos Conservancy indicated that despite being delisted, concerns remain that the: "growing human presence in Galápagos, both through tourism and residents, has put biodiversity at risk. Introduction of disease, alien and invasive plants and animals are all factors which must be addressed immediately and aggressively. I believe the decision (to de-list) is premature and I hope it does not signal a relaxation of vigilant management and conservation efforts."

Nevetheless, despite improvements, visitors increased by 39 percent from 2007 to 2016, with land-based tours jumping 90 percent during that time. Ship-based tourism decreased by 11 percent over that same time period.

In February of 2018, the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association sent a letter to Ecuador’s tourism minister, Enrique Ponce de Leon, asking for increased regulations on land tourism. My understanding is that there's been no progress.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/trav ... urism.html

Are the Galapagos becoming like Santorini or Venice? Absolutely not, but the ecosystem is remarkably fragile. And the pressure is on.

RT

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#47 Post by Marshall Gelb » March 1st, 2019, 2:31 pm

Richard: We took the National Geographic cruise in October/November of 2015. It was simply amazing and the people from Nat/Geo are extremely concerned with the environment. I believe that they have replaced the ship we were on with a newer version but absolutely no ship is allowed in the Galapagos with a capacity above 100. Each stop was unique, well monitored, and well thought out and on some stops we were completely alone. The rules that Brig posted are strictly adhered to and all the passengers on our ship were extremely respectful. The Galapagos is incredibly unique, and no doubt increasing in popularity, but I don't think it can be fairly compared to other areas visited by mega cruise ships. Hopefully, you will enjoy the experience but please don't go with this quote " It turns out that my wife is booking us for the Galapagos in 2020. It's a National Geographic cruise and eco-focused. 96 passenger capacity. Largest ship I'll have cruised on since the age of 7. We used to do liveaboard dive boats...which probably don't qualify at 20 - 25 passengers. Despite the effort to reduce our travel impact, the Galapagos Islands are one of those overrun destinations with an unsustainable level of tourism. We'll discover firsthand how much our sh!t stinks." as your expectation. It will be hard to enjoy yourself under those preconceived notions.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#48 Post by Richard T r i m p i » March 1st, 2019, 9:35 pm

Sounds like you had a great time Marshall. Thanks for the feedback. She's not kidnapping me! National Geographic Has a reputation for doing things right.. as you've confirmed. Despite my cruise ship trepidation, I have no doubt that we will make the best of it!

RT

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#49 Post by Carlton McCrindle » March 2nd, 2019, 4:49 pm

Marshall Gelb wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:23 am
brigcampbell wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 12:44 pm
todd waldmann wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 9:35 am
One of several reasons we are likely going to skip Dubrovnik on a trip to the Balkans next summer.
While in Prague, drinking a beer overlooking the city from a monastery, we met a couple from Pittsburgh that had just left Dubrovnik where they spent two weeks. Said they didn't leave the apartment when the cruise ships were in port. Crushing.
Brig: We were in Dubrovnik in October and we were on a cruise ship, albeit a relatively small one. I personally, cannot even contemplate being on one of those mega-ships. Yes, the old town is a bit crowded, but a lot of it is due to the "Game of Thrones" crowd as well as cruise folks. Luckily, we were the only ship in town that day. I found the city amazing and we walked the entire medieval wall surrounding the city in complete peace. In addition, we ate some of the finest seafood I have ever tasted in a beautiful, and virtually empty restaurant called "Proto." All the while the mediocre, tourist restaurants were absolutely packed. Granted, Proto was a bit more expensive, but the difference in quality and service far surpassed the price differential. We found a similar situation in the shops. There were tons of people in the normal touristy shops and yet the shops featuring beautiful Croatian crafts were very uncrowded and quite reasonable. In addition, the farmers' market in the middle of the old town was wonderful, featuring the absolute best dried figs I have ever tasted. Overall, and I don't mean to sound too snobby, you can certainly enjoy Dubrovnik (and other ports as well), despite the presence of cruise ships. One caveat, I must mention, is that since we are retired, we try our best to travel in the "off season."

http://www.esculaprestaurants.com/fish- ... dubrovnik/


Cheers!
Marshall [cheers.gif]
We did Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian coast on a small ship with Grand Circle offseason and loved it. Cooler temperatures but no crowds or large ships (most gift shops closed) which was a desired trade off for us. Will do it again in the in the future.
We have done the Douro with Viking and enjoyed it. Did the Elbe, Prague to Berlin, with Viking and had a wonderful time.

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Re: Invasion of cruise ships and riverboats

#50 Post by Michael O'Brien » March 2nd, 2019, 5:37 pm

We cruise. We love to cruise. Some ports are getting overrun with tourists and some are addressing the problem. It is their problem to address. Many ports are gateways to inland cities. Many cruise ships overnight in some ports providing an opportunity for tourists to visit inland cities and sites. We have ended two cruises in Buenos Aires. On one, we stayed a month in country to tour. On the other, we stayed two weeks and were met by relatives. Like others here, we also vacation sans cruising. We have begun cruises in ports after having spent several days or weeks in country. But for us, cruising gives us the opportunity to see many places we want to see but that we would never consider spending many days there. Petra, Jordan and Yangon, Myanmar come to mind. There are many others. They have all been unforgettable experiences but for us, not a candidate for a long-term stay.

We sail this December for 24 days from Rome to Miami. Yes, one or two of the ports are overrun with tourists but the ports are open and collecting sizeable fees for cruise ships to land. Port fees for cruise ships are considerably more for than fees for freighters. Those fees help to maintain the ports and feed the governments' coffers. And next year, we sail for 93 days (49 cities, 14 countries) from Auckland to Vancouver. Imagine the places we will visit and the things we will see. Try to figure out how to do that any other way. And we only unpack and pack once.
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