Our cruise was the first voyage of the season, so the areas that we visited were not as crowded as they would have been during "season" which really kicked off the week after ours. Our "Rhine Getaway" cruise was the most relaxing, enjoyable time my sister and I can remember. From the minute we got through customs in Amsterdam, until we were safely inside the airport in Basel to head home, their was someone from the Helvetia waiting to take care of us.
The captain and crew were extraordinary. They treated each of us as if we were the only priority they had. Our captain was even out scrubbing the ship and getting it ready for the next group of voyagers the day we left. Everything really was included, except for tipping. The food was fresh and gourmet, with many choices at each meal. The ship is just the perfect size for getting around and actually meeting most of our fellow passengers. The excursions were staffed with local guides who were very knowledgeable and passionate about their cities and histories. I can't wait to be able to take another cruise on a Viking Ship. My sister and I both agree that we don't think we would ever want to cruise on an ocean-liner. We enjoyed the intimacy of the Viking River Cruise.