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Advice.. Contiki's European Magic, or Kumuka's Winter Rhapsody?

6 Aug 2009 Princess Hyacinthia asked

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Hi all,

I am new to these forums, so please pardon my ignorance here.. I'm not even sure if i've posted this in the right section.

I've been going through a process of trying to decide between Kumuka and Contiki when it comes to the following tours:

1. Contiki's European Magic; and
2. Kumuka's Winter Rhapsody.

Both are in a similar price range, but i don't know anyone who has been on either of these tours, and had the brilliant idea of checking Contiki's forums to get some insight from people who've actually been on either of these tours/ know abit about these two touring groups.

Am looking to travel around Jan - Feb 2010. The major difference between the two tours is that Kumuka's focuses more on Eastern Europe, while Contiki's stope in Central Europe, and spends extra time in Paris. Further to this.. can people let me know what they thought of Paris? Have never been, but have heard some mixed reviews on the city.

I like both tours (really want to see Venice, which is only offered in the Euro Magic tour!).. I guess a little advice/ insight here would help.

Thanks in advance!!
  • 14 Sep 2009 Steph said

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    Hi,
    I don’t know if you have decided on which tour, but I will give you my opinion as I went on Contiki’s Euro Magic last year.
    If you really want to go to Venice and the other tour company doesn’t go there, then I would go with Contiki. I loved Venice, it is one of my favorite cities. And you get a full day there to explore. I suggest going in St. Marks, going to the top of the Capinale, wondering around/getting lost, and finding a great cafe to have lunch and some wine. Oh and eating plenty of gellato.
    I also really loved Paris, but the only way for you to find out if you will or won’t is to visit Paris yourself. One of my best friends hates Paris. I suppose it just depends on the person and the experience.
    The Euro Magic tour is very fast paced, just something you should know. I would reccomend a longer tour if you could take the time off. I would have liked an extra day in Amsterdam, a day in Austria, and an extra day in Switzerland. However, if you can’t take the time, then go for it, drop all expectations, and have fun. It was a great time.
    In my opinion do all of the optional excursions. I did all of them and had an amazing time. The cruise the first night in Amsterdam is fun, you get to see a lot of the city, the tour guide is entertaining, and it is a great way to get to know people on tour. Also, I liked the optional dinner in Venice. I had read in my research that it wasn’t that great, but I enjoyed it. Maybe go with low expectations, ha, ha! I reccomend going to the beer garden and/or hofbrahous in Munich, I went to both and both were great fun.
    I can’t think of anything else, but if you have any questions let me know.
    Have a great time!

  • 14 Sep 2009 Princess Hyacinthia said

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    Hi Steph & Anniv,

    I appreciate your input, looks like you had a great time on the Euro Magic tour. A friend of mine just got back from it as well (just discovered she was on the Euro Magic), and she had a fantastic time too. Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Since posting though, I have made a decision & am looking foward to my wintery tour. Thanks again Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 9 Jun 2010 Explorer1118380 said

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    We are going on the Kumuka Winter Rhapsody in December!! Looks like fun!! Nice thing about it, is it’s not just drive drive drive. Contiki has it’s pros…but also cons. Just too much driving!!

  • 9 Jun 2010 James K said

    James K

    I’m not a travel expert or anything but I believe more driving is a result of having to travel further which in turn means you get to see more things?? Thats just how I see it…

  • 10 Jun 2010 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    From what i’ve heard about Kumuka they tend to be a little more flexible with time, though i’m not sure how much flexibility there is with a shorter tour since shorter tours seem to be more intense.

    Also, Kumuka tends to attract a slightly older crowd, so if you’re an 18 year old looking to party hard every night, then Kumuka probably isn’t the right fit.

    No one I know who has been to Paris didn’t like it, most love it.

  • 12 Jun 2010 Jen_au said

    Jen_au

    I don’t get how Kamuka could have more time in places?? aren’t they still traveling the same distance? Obviously between London and Paris the eurostar would cut he travel time, but everywhere else would be the same? or is it that they don’t have as much planned group activities so there is more time to expore alone??

  • 12 Jun 2010 James K said

    James K

    I am doing the european explorer with contiki – 33 days and the majority of stops are at all major cities and for 2 nights. I don’t fell this is rushed at all.

  • 15 Jun 2010 James K said

    James K

    For the information of Contiki moderators, I think this praha dude is a rep of Kumuka.

  • 15 Jun 2010 Princess Hyacinthia said

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    Having gone on a tour with Kumuka, I must say I was quite pleased with the overall vibe. As eveyone here has been saying, it’s up to the traveller. Everyone is different and gets something different out of the ‘tour’ experience. I am actually considering a Contiki tour early next year

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