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Think I've made my itinerary for London, cruise, Berlin, Iceland trip

Thought I'd share, for no real reason other than I'm excited! Done lots of research here and have formulated this plan for next summer. This will be the longest trip I have ever taken (yes, I know for many of you two weeks is "just getting started," haha, but work and finances prohibit more).

Day 1 - fly ATL to BOS. Do couple touristy Boston things. Sleep at BOS airport hotel.
Day 2 - fly BOS - LHR. Testing out the day flight this time as opposed to overnight. Land 8pm. Sleep near airport.
Day 3 - Windsor Castle. Sleep near airport.
Day 4 - Move to hotel in Kensington. St. Paul's. British Museum.
Day 5 - Harry Potter Studio Tour. Sleep Kensington.
Day 6 - Imperial War Museum. Show in West End (poss. Aladdin or Lion King. Yes, have kids with me.) Sleep Kensington.
Day 7 - Train to Southampton. Board Cunard QM2 for 2-day re-positioning cruise. Sleep boat.
Day 8 - Cruise. Sleep boat.
Day 9 - Debark Hamburg. Train to Berlin. Take Trabi Safari tour. See Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. Sleep Alexanderplatz.
Day 10 - Berlin Wall Memorial. Tour of Underground Berlin (either Cold War Bunker or Dark Worlds WWII tour). Sleep Alexanderplatz.
Day 11 - DDR Museum. KaDeWe. Sleep Alexanderplatz.
Day 12 - Fly Berlin to Reykjavik. Blue Lagoon. Seltun Hot Springs. Sleep Reykjavik.
Day 13 - Drive Golden Circle Route. Sleep Reykjavik.
Day 14 - Drive South Coast Route. Sleep Reykjavik.
Day 15 - Fly REY to ATL.

Posted by
4291 posts

I don't know Iceland but most of your itinerary looks OK, not too overstuffed. The only thing is on Day 9, where I don't know how much time it will take to get from the docks at Hamburg to the Hamburg railway station and then from the Berlin station to the hotel after the train journey.

Posted by
1056 posts

Day 3 - Windsor Castle and then sleep near the airport - why not go to the hotel in Kensington you have stated for Day 4? It seems the airport is out of your way.
This looks like a fabulous trip!

Posted by
326 posts

@JudyB - do you think it will be out of my way? In looking at the map of the London metro area, it looks as though Windsor is to the left of Heathrow and central London is to the right, so it seems that Heathrow is quite close to Windsor? I have been to London before, but we flew into Gatwick that time so I'm not familiar with that airport (yet). Also, another reason for switching hotels is we plan on using hotel points for the whole trip. We have enough points for 2 nights Hilton and 3 nights Best Western in London, but not enough for 4-5 nights in any one hotel. There's a couple of great Hiltons near the airport so that was our logic.

Posted by
326 posts

@Philip, thanks for your input. I can't find the info on what time we disembark in Hamburg, but every cruise I've ever been on usually kicks you off the ship by 9am, so I think that's a safe assumption. I believe it's a 15-minute U-Bahn ride from the Hamburg pier to the Hamburg Hbf station. It's then a 2.5-hour train ride to Berlin. It's then a 20-minute S-Bahn ride from Berlin Central to Alexanderplatz. So, best case scenario, we get to the hotel around 12:10pm. Adding in the "little things that happen," probably around 1pm or so. I figure we'll be safe booking a 4pm-ish Trabi Safari and either doing the Gate/Reichstag before or afterward, depending on time and mood. Although, since the Reichstag is a timed entry, I probably should do it later in the day, too, so maybe just Gate/Unter der Linden walk before the Trabi tour.

I haven't done Iceland either, but those are the things that Rick recommends doing in 3 days, and my interests usually line up with his pretty well. The only thing I diverge with him on is hotels. :) I shamelessly like my Marriotts and Hiltons, haha!

Posted by
7325 posts

In looking at the map of the London metro area, it looks as though Windsor is to the left of Heathrow and central London is to the right, so it seems that Heathrow is quite close to Windsor?

Yes, but. Windsor is easier to get to from central London than from a hotel outside Heathrow. And it saves you a hotel change.
There is a local bus from Heathrow to Windsor. However the hotels "at" Heathrow are (with a few exceptions), outside the airport, and have very little transport except hotel buses to the airport terminals. You would probably need a taxi to and from Windsor.
They also have no restaurants or anything else within walking distance. You are stuck in the hotel for the evening. OK if you need to be near the airport, otherwise avoid.

It is an easy 30 minute train ride from central London (Paddington station) to Windsor, and you have central London around you.

Posted by
2330 posts

Check out the Pergamum Museum in Berlin, it is wonderful.

Are you going to ride in a Trabi. They are crappy cars, don't go over about 60 MPH and pollute the air as much as 100 modern cars.

The Golden Circle is a great tour.

Posted by
2220 posts

I spent four wonderful days in Iceland, did the Golden Circle Route. Just loved Iceland and can't wait to get back. Please report back on Blue Lagoon, I've read a lot of conflicting opinions and I was actually surprised RS recommended it. It's expensive and it's man made, but the photos sure look enticing.

Posted by
1458 posts

We loved the Hilton near Edgeware Road Metro station-very close to the station and Marks and Spencer across the street. The one near Euston Station is probably cheaper and is walking distance from British Museum. My husband is a big fan of the Trafalgar but you have to catch a sale.

The Museum of London may be a better choice for children than the Imperial War Museum. Will they be as interested in WWII as you appear to be? If you like ancient stuff, the Pergamon altar in Berlin is amazing.

Posted by
323 posts

Came here to recommend the Museum of London with children but someone beat me to it. Depending on the ages and interests of your children I might have some other ideas. Short cruise on the Thames, perhaps from the Tower to Westminster? Speaking of which, my children wouldn't find the British Museum or St. Paul's very interesting but loved a day spent exploring the Tower of London. I haven't done the Imperial War Museum but loved the RAF Museum in Colindale.

Matilda for your musical?

If you have time in Berlin (after the Pergamon): Computerspielemuseum? It's a computer games museum. Again, depends on the ages and interests of your children. Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin? Alas it's very easy to spend a week in Berlin.

Please do post a trip report in the Trip Reports section afterwards and let us know what worked and what didn't.

Posted by
10818 posts

Hi,

In regards to Day #9...no problem assuming you disembark shortly before scheduled or punctually if that is at Landungsbrücken.

The S-Bahn station, "Landungsbrücken" is across the street where it is one stop to Hamburg Hbf, only a few minutes. Landungsbrücken is also the station for the HI hostel and the famous Bismarck statue, both just up the hill as you exit the station.

From Hamburg Hbf take the first ICE train direct to Berlin Hbf. The duration is such that one can do a day trip to either place from the other.

Posted by
326 posts

@geovagriffith, I thought the Pergamon Altar was off display for a few years due to the building being renovated?

@julesm, I agree that the Blue Lagoon looks intriguing, although man-made. I do like the spa and my kids thought it looked fun to float around in (plus kids are free, so even though expensive, it's actually a better deal to go with 2 adults, 2 kids). I'll definitely report back!

@cala, thanks for the Hilton heads-up. I will look into those. I may try to rethink London - I was going to do 2 Hilton and 3 Best Western nights there, and 3 Hilton nights in Berlin, but maybe I'll shoot for all 5 nights in London in Hilton and try to get Best Western in Berlin.

@Marty, thanks for the suggestions! My husband and I have already done the Tower and Thames cruise, so we didn't want to repeat that. We've also seen Matilda (love it!). While I try to think of my kids' interests when traveling, I also think of my own, haha. I do think they'll like St. Paul's if for no other reason than climbing the dome. They liked St. Peter's and the Sagrada Familia. We are only going to British Museum mainly to check out Rosetta Stone. We may add Museum of London if time; it does look very interesting! Regarding the computers and technology museums in Berlin, I'm sure my kids would love them...BUT I'm not sure my husband and I would, haha. I'm always yelling at them to get off devices anyway, haha. Plus my kids, esp. my son, have a big WWII and Cold War interest, so I think they will definitely be into those attractions. I know some kids may be bored by history but mine love it and we encourage them in that. (They love watching Rick Steves' shows too!)

@Fred, thanks for the confirmation that the public transportation from the Hamburg port to Berlin isn't difficult. Yay!

Posted by
10818 posts

Hi,

You're welcome.

Pertaining to the "big WW2 interest" I would heartily suggest assuming it can be squeezed in, take the Tube out to Tube station: Colindale" to see the RAF Museum, lots of WW2 planes, US, German, British, and others, including a disassembled, close up of the Jumo engines that powered the jet fighter, the ME-262, which I'm sure your son is familiar with, placed right next to the plane itself.

From the Tube station it's ca a 10 min or so walk to the RAF Museum. If you do see the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London, (Lambeth North) and the German History Museum on Unter den Linden in Berlin (DHM), both museums display the 88 mm FLAK gun, ...very obvious, can't miss it. .