Crystal Bach Rhine River Cruise – Day 2 – April 1, 2019 – Strasbourg, France (9am-10pm)

Docking Location: Strasbourg Pier 11, Rue de la Minotarie

We passed through many many locks on the first day, some through the night, but it didn’t bother our sleep, though we could feel the difference in movement and faintly hear the engine.

As soon as I woke up and opened the curtain, a very disappointing sight appeared…we docked with our side against the dock and our view was completely blocked by the concrete. Next time we have to book a deck 3 room to minimize such views!!

Just one deck higher would offer a much more pleasant view

Crystal Bach docked at Strasbourg, France, with industrial cargo docks surrounding us

Other than the not very desirable docking location, Strasbourg was probably my favourite day of the entire cruise, with so much to see in one day.

At 9:30 am, we departed for the 4.5 hour complimentary tour: Panoramic Tour of Strasbourg & Canal Boat Cruise. Make sure you sit on the left Of the bus as there was so much more to see on that side going from the dock to the city centre. We passed through the bridge linking the trams between France & Germany, Russian Orthodox Church, Council of Europe, Jewish Synagogue and many more sights. Along the way, we saw many storks in their nests on pruned sycamore trees.

Storks in their nests on almost every tree we passed by

The coach dropped us off at Republic Square(Place de la Republic) and we had to walk for about 15 minutes to the Cathedral.

Big open Republic Square

Crystal provided shuttles from dock to city centre at 10 am, 12 noon, 2:30 pm & 4:30 pm.

Strasbourg Cathedral, our meeting place

This was where we went on the 1-hour canal boat cruise at 10:30 am.

canal boat cruise
Vauban Bridge – Where the canal boat turned around

There were so many beautiful sights (e.g., locks, canals, swing bridge, Petite France, etc.) we passed by that we decided to go back to town so we could explore more.

During the 1-hour free time, we got on the Petite Train from the Cathedral Square, then went back to ship for lunch using the Crystal Shuttle that departs at 1 pm from Republic Square. The Petite Train was 7 Euros each and the whole journey was 40 minutes. The narration was great and it gave us some directions of where we should go in the afternoon.

Petite trains that run every half hour
Passed by the Vauban Dam where our canal boat turned around
14th century stone towers at Ponts Couverts

Followed the Crystal rep to walk to the shuttle waiting at Republic Square. Lunch on board.

Crystal Bach Rhine River Cruise – Day 1 – March 31, 2019 – London, England to Basel, Switzerland

We used our free voucher to stay at Marriott Courtyard at London Gatwick before flying to Basel. Being a Marriott Platinum elite member, we got free upgrade to a spacious junior suite with food credits to have buffet breakfast at the hotel. We had to move the clock forward that weekend so we lost 1 hour sleep.

Junior suite on the 3rd floor directly above hotel entrance

Although it was an easy 15-minute walk to the South Terminal where we could take the shuttle train to the North Terminal, we chose to pay £3 each for the Airport Transfer bus to take us all the way to the North Terminal where our flight departed. The bus ran every 20 minutes directly from the hotel & we just paid on the bus.

15-minute bus ride to the North Terminal, then walked 5 minutes from bus stop to the terminal

Super easy check-in with Easy Jet. Their online check-in opened 30 days before departure date so make sure you check-in as soon as you can as they tend to overbook. We paid for 1st row seat with speedy boarding & 1 piece of check-in baggage for £78 per person. At the gate, they announced that whoever could leave 1 day later would get €500 compensation with a 1-night hotel stay. Too bad we were in a rush to get to the cruise port so we couldn’t get the deal!!

The flight was on time & we got to Basel at 2:40 pm.