When you choose a cruise line for a vacation, you do your research and find one that will be ideal. A river cruise? Great! A floating hotel in which to relax for however long the trip is.
You do not expect to spend so much time riding in buses, staying in hotels, or paying for non-included meals. But there we were, doing exactly that.
The original plan was for the St. Petersburg to Moscow river cruise. Joyce had been to Russia before, and it all seemed ideal, until Putin had other ideas about Ukraine. The cruise line (no, I won’t be mentioning them by name) cancelled the cruise but gave us vouchers for 110%. We had talked about Greece back in 2020 (Covid cancelled that one), but then I saw one word that suggested otherwise.
Every 10 years, the town presents a Passion Play, as they have since 1630. They originally pledged to do it every 10 years if the Black Plague left them untouched. It did, and so they did.
And they were supposed to peform it in 2020 but Covid struck (a bit ironically, I guess, since they avoided another plague but not this one?) so it was delayed until 2022.
The cruise was described as “Oberammergau, The Alps and the Rhine; Munich to Amsterdam.” Fly into Munich, travel to Oberammergau for the passion play, then on to Basel, Switzerland for the ship, and sail up the Rhine to Amsterdam for the flight home. In the meantime: experience wonderful scenes along a beautiful river.
We landed in Munich, and stayed at a local hotel. The next day we traveled to Oberammergau to see the passion play. (My brief review: Yes, of course everyone says it’s a once in a lifetime event, because they don’t want to say anything negative, like “It’s too long!” [more later] but at 5 hours it’s loooong…) We stayed that night in another hotel. Then it was on to Innsbruck for 2 nights in a hotel. And these were not great hotels. By the end of this we could not wait to get to the ship!
In the meantime, however, we were on buses. Lots of riding. With a cruise director who was a poor communicator and who confused us with every announcement. That was painful. We were happy to get rid of her and get on the ship!
[Next time: The ship….]