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GERMANY / FRANCE

Adventures Afloat: Where France and Germany Meet: Alsace, the Rhine and Paris

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Road Scholar
Program #19358RJ

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14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Lanny from Avon, IN Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 06/26/15 - 07/11/15
Part 1 This was a fantastic trip offering a unique view of an area that has had so much influence on our history and culture here in America. Traveling the Rhine was like traveling the Autobahn of the Middle Ages. It was the life line of commerce and culture of its day. This becomes apparent when seemingly every bend in the river reveals a new castle, village or city to explore. The rich history of the area was laid out for us beautifully by our Guides and Lecturers. Peter Furtado was exceptional. He connected the dots of European history into a mosaic of the peoples and events of these gorgeous regions of France and Germany. So much for the overview. Now for the nuts and bolts of the tour. One issue we had was transferring from the airport to the train station in Paris. It is not as intuitive as you may think. Look for the Air France office on the LOWEST LEVEL of the train station. They can help you find your train but they are not all that easy to find. Note: Apparently there is only one restroom in the train station and it is in the rear of a store front that looks like a restaurant or lounge area and it costs 70 cents. Some complained of the size of the hotel rooms. I am a big guy, and yes they are small by US standards but in Europe real estate is not cheap and if you want a bigger room you have to pay for it. Ours were always clean and staff was eager to please. Continued in part 2

Barbara from Avon, IN Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 06/26/15 - 07/11/15
Another great trip for us from RS! I agree with Jackie-- the program was varied and well organized. Our guide Karin was just tremendous-- she handled the few problems with tact and speedily resolved them, and was a font of knowledge about the areas we toured. Peter, our instructor, was also tremendous-- he presented historical material in perspectives that were new to me, and tied events and places in new ways. Fascinating! We enjoyed the riverboat despite a few issues with the physical environment (such as iffy wifi and air conditioning that didn't seem able to keep up with the incredible heat wave -- it was 104 one day!) but the food and wine/beer were excellent. The activity rating was a bit light-- we walked 8 miles one day in Paris. The visit to the Meuse-Argonne WWI American cemetery was a highlight for us-- a family member's grave is there and we had great help in finding it. We learned some WWI history and wished we could have spent more time at the battlefield. Perhaps another trip? For sure we'll use RS the next time we travel internationally!

Jackie from Downers Grove, IL Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 06/26/15 - 07/11/15
This was another fantastically varied and well organized program. Sights chosen were well worth the visit, and the riverboat experience another delight despite a few mixups. Local guides were informed and delightful to meet. Perhaps the menus were a bit heavy but all the walking helped. One real negative was the AF transfer to train in Paris.

Andrea from Belmont, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/26/15 - 07/11/15
This was a really great trip and experience for us Road Scholar Rookies. We'll definitely look at taking another trip in the not to distant future!

David from Olympia, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/07/14 - 06/20/14
Agree with all the posts on the June 2014 tour. All the walking and stair climbing tended to help balance out the hardy meals. The local lecturers and guides did an excellent job. The RS accompanying guides were outstanding. We often found their informal commentary and tidbits along the both informative and insightful.

John from Monroe Township, NJ Number of programs attended: 17
Date attended: 06/07/14 - 06/20/14
Overall, this was a good trip. The lecturer, James M'Kenzie-Hall was an excellent resource; Karin Kork, group leader,was attentive to details and kept things right on schedule. The food was attractively presented, but on the heavy side--light on vegetables or salads. The river boat accommodations were ok--just ok; as for the hotel room in Paris, be prepared to live out of your suitcase (there are no drawers). Overall, the trip delivered on what was promised educationally. We also enjoyed very much the opportunity to experience the rivers of Germany and the sights along the banks. We signed on to this trip because we thought it would tie in well with a WW I centenary Road Scholar trip in the fall of 2014. It did.

Gerard from Mill Valley, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/07/14 - 06/20/14
I also agree that the activity level of this program is more than "Active" as described in the program. There is a great deal of walking and climbing stairs that may be difficult for many "elder tourists" to manage. In particular, I found the river boat to be a bit cramped, especially the dining area and the cabins with a tiny shower. However, the food was generally excellent and there was a nice open bar on board. However, it seemed that the river boat personnel were primarily involved with the large majority of French tour groups on board. Unfortunately, there was very little if any effort made to foster interaction between our small, English speaking group and the large majority of only French speaking passengers. Furthermore, the crew member who was translating the French announcements into English was often not clearly heard or understood. The overall river route was more complicated than that described for the tour. We actually sailed on four different rivers. Actually, I would have preferred that the boat sail further on the Rhine river to at least Cologne and then back up the Moselle river before leaving for Paris on the bus. Some of the small towns that were visited on the rivers were not that different and I believe could have been passed over. The lecturers on the tour were excellent - especially James M'Kenzie-Hall. For me, his talks, hand-outs and reading lists were some of the most valuable parts of the whole tour. In addition, the tour leader, Karin Kok, was outstanding in her efforts to make sure everyone was well informed and able to appreciate all aspects of the program. Overall, I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is interested in learning about the long and somewhat contentious relationship that has existed between France and Germany from antiquity up to the present day.

Joan from San Diego, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 06/07/14 - 06/20/14
I agree with Don about the Activity Level. Way more than Active. However, the program was great and the tour leader fantastic.

Donald from Wilmington, NC Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 06/07/14 - 06/20/14
This program should be listed as physically challenging....more than active. More than 2 miles a day walking and lots of stairs. Transfer to the train at the Paris airport was inadequately described in the program materials.


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"Tour group at EU Parliament, Strasbourg, June 2014" Uploaded By: Gerard
"Tour group at EU Parliament, Strasbourg, June 2014" Uploaded By: Gerard

"Astronomical Clock - Strasbourg Cathedral" Uploaded By: Road Scholar Brattleboro

"Strasbourg Cathedral" Uploaded By: Road Scholar Brattleboro

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
33 meals: 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
15 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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