Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Heading for Zurich

Avalon Waterways
The Rhine & Moselle Northbound

Pre-Cruise Travel 
Chicago - NY - Zurich

The requirement for the cruise was to be in Zurich, Switzerland by 3 PM on Monday, July 13th for transfer to the ship.   There were pre-cruise hotel stays and excursions also offered by Avalon Waterways.   
As usual, we prefer to arrive in our disembarkation city at least a day early, especially in the case of trans-Atlantic departures.  We opted for one night  hotel stay and the optional Excursion to Mt. Pilatus with transfer to ship.   The flights were booked independently using miles.  

Connecting Through New York
When using frequent flier mileage for your flights, there are limitations in the flights you can select, especially if you want to minimize the number of miles consumed.   In our case, we opted for connecting flights through New York.   This added a twist, since the connections included changing planes AND airports.

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Our flight from Chicago departed Saturday, July 11th at 10:10 AM and arrived in New York (LGA) shortly after 1 PM.   We claimed our luggage and headed for the NYCAirporter counter to purchase transfer tickets to New York's JFK airport.   

TIP: The cost is $13 per person for this approximately 30 minute ride.   You need to allow plenty of connection time for this transfer because New York traffic can be 
unpredictable, and check-in time at JFK will take quite some time as well.

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The LGA to JFK transfer leaves the American Airlines baggage claim area every 30 minutes.  We were able to catch the 1:30 PM shuttle which arrived around 2 PM.    We proceeded to TSA security check-in, which had very long lines and took awhile to complete.

After passing security, we noticed the sculpture pictured above which was quite appropriate: "From New York to the World".  Our next stop was the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge for some snacks before our 4:45 PM flight to Zurich which arrived at 7:55 AM local time.

We had an on-time departure for Zurich, Switzerland.  In our next posts we'll talk about our pre-cruise adventures and then continue with more information about this fabulous river cruise.

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