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Lou United States of ...
If you have the opportunity to book this excursion do it. Granted there is a lot of travel to and from London but Brugge is an enchanting place to visit at Christmas. Strolling through the cobblestone streets really puts you in the holiday spirit
Great tour to get to Brugge easily with some commentary along the way
Sharon United States of ...
Very nice trip! Just wish the buses could have been parked closer to the market.
Brugge was beautiful Christmas Market crowded, as expected, but the offerings at the market were less than inspiring--very commercial and nothing original. Found better things in the shops. The low rating is due to the terrible tour guide, who treated us like a 3 grade school teacher who was tired of dealing with children and only wanted to retire: we received scoldings, tales of pickpockets and bad people who were likely to prey on us, and grave warnings of needing to stay close by her until the we reached the meeting spot and that we would be left behind if we were even one minute late to the bus. That being said, just prior to getting off the bus, she warned us she was a fast walker and we had better keep up! The entire tour group had not even left the bus before she took off at practically a sprint for the 20 minute walk to the center of town! It was impossible for 90 of the group to keep up, so in the end we gave up. But at least we had the map she had given us--except, as we were to discover, the map was inaccurate and did not include the place the bus was parked. We got lost in the fog on the way back to the bus, having allowed 90 minutes to return. We attempted to call the tour operator to let the tour guide know we were lost, but the number we were given was not in service. My husband finally reached them via their website, but the tour guide never called us back, as they said she would. We finally found a policeman, who told us the map was wrong and that the bus parking was not even on the map--the lot that was indicated did not allow buses! We finally got to the bus with 4 minutes to spare did I mention it was about 28 degrees Fahrenheit?, only to find we were all locked out of the bus, because the bus driver was not there. He showed up about 20 minutes later, apparently also lost. Perhaps he tried using the map too. This could have been a wonderful experience. We saw other tour groups that were well run and not the chaotic and terrifying experience it ended up being.
Worst day tour I've taken in any nation. Tour guides from both buses argued for a good 20 minutes past scheduled departure at one of the stops. Toilet on coach inoperable. Missed the ferry from Dover to Calais so trapped on bus longer until later ferry to Dunkirk. Bus 1 made it there ahead of us and departed later. Brugge bus stop is a good 20 minute brisk walk from the market each way. Raced to the market where most goods were commercially made with very few unique to the region options. Unable to climb tower due to length of line and needed to meet guide at edge of market for escort back to bus drop 2 hours after arrival at market. Great chocolate shops in town and the church was interesting but not enough time for a canal trip or walk to the windmills. Full day of travel with little to show for it. Boarded bus at 6:15 AM and told as we approached London that the driver was about to time out for the day so they hoped to get us to Victoria station 30 minutes from our hotel rather than our pick up spot but if he hit his max time prior they would have to dump us at the nearest bus stop. Anderson Tours apparently views our group as having time in Bruges as 2 1/2 hours based on when the bus hit the outskirts of town or something and not based on the time available for sightseeing. Drivers/guides delayed departure at each pick up point along the way and refuse to believe they are responsible for the missed ferry. Truly the worst. Avoid Anderson Tours and buyer beware that Viator clearly doesn't guarantee or stand behind the quality of tours sold on their site. Literally every person on the tour felt they had wasted the day.
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