A tour of the Rhine River and its cities, countryside, and castles by the Viking Cruises is more than that: it is an excursion into four countries! From windmills of Kinderdijk, Netherlands, the wonderful cathedrals of Cologne and Strasborug, to the quant college town of Heidelberg, the magnificent statue of Frederick I at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine in Koblenz, to the beautiful little "old" town of Breisach, and the unforgettable castles of the central portion of the Rhine, the sightseeing is out-of-this-world.
The ship, Viking Helvetica, was totally up to the task of providing an excellent conveyance to this "world". The crew was suburb in their seeing to the passengers needs and providing cuisine beyond ones initial expectation, they were there to provide services and yet in a manner that was not intrusive. The stops and tours along the way were accompanied by very knowledgeable guides, usually from the local scene. They were not only able to provide interesting and informative facts but did so in a humorous manner. The guides and tours certainly contributed to the enjoyment of each area as well as keeping us informed as to its history and importance.
One bit of advice; don't try the lower cabins (Standard) as the rooms are very noisy and lots of vibration from the motors and water rushing by when ship is "cruising". Cabins were very appropriate and clean. Attendants were very courteous and a where of your needs. Other caution is the use of international phone data plans from some US companies. The normal plans, international, don't cover use of cell phones on board ship- they state that we are cruising and not covered. Check first (or two times) before signing up on a plan. Also, be aware of the gratuity policy of your ship/cruise line. The amount expected per day is approximately $12 per person. The "offering" is expected at the end of cruise and really is well worth the amount. The crew does their services above any reasonable expectation.