We, along with 188 other passengers anticipated our Viking River Cruise on the Idun departing Nuremberg on June 1. The cruise turned into a very expensive and deceptive bus trip through Europe. Unfortunately, the passengers had not done full due diligence prior to arriving to realize that the Danube river was ALREADY closed to river traffic and the ship would NOT be able to depart the canal it was on. The crew professed no prior knowledge of this and each day we had to see what the contingency plan was for the next day. The ship actually departed the canal dock in Nuremberg and sailed a short distance to Redensberg where we then proceeded to bus to either planned destinations or destinations such as Munich that VRC offered to keep everyone busy.
The horrible part was the lack of information by the crew to the passengers and a continued message of optimism that the water levels would lower and we would sail. This was impossible as they did not even crest until after our 'cruise' had ended.
VRC acted irresponsibly in transferring all guest by motor coach ( over 7 hours ) to Bratislava, Slovakia to the Viking Njord which was holed up in a totally flooded commercial shipping slip where passengers had to access the trip through a flooded parking lot walking on railroad ties and on a corrugated tin utility access cover that covered the electrical controls for the gantry crane that ran beside the ships. At 50 we were probably the youngest on the trip and there were many with disabilities that had to either stay on the ship or chance the path. VRC dropped one passengers suitcase in the water and did not even inform them.
They used the Njord as a 'hotel' for us for two nights and bussed us back and forth to Vienna from Bratislava instead of DOING THE RIGHT THING and putting people in a hotel in Vienna instead of saving money this way and wasting even more of our time on busses.
Everyone was empathetic to the situation the crew was in HOWEVER, the cruise that was scheduled to sail the next day from ours gave the passengers the option to go home / full refund or take the 'bus cruise'. VRC should have or fully knew the situation and pushed to get us through the system and out the back door.
VRC offered passengers a 75% cruise credit (time expired in 2015) to people that saved years for this trip and/or will never do another river cruise again. A few communications with VRC in California resulted in a reinforcing letter that they feel they did everything to accommodate and compensate according and that they will not move from this position.
BEWARE OF VIKING RIVER CRUISES. Competitive cruise lines did the right thing and cancelled cruises and/or offered refunds and compensation where VRC weight the options of the impact on its business and made a fiscal decision, not a customer focused decision.
Boat was good. Crew was good. Food was good. If the water was fine, it would have been good however a corporation is judged by how it reacts when things to WRONG and there are hundreds of very disappointed and upset passengers that feel that we were tossed along like hot potatoes, outright lied to and misled by the crew ( even to the point that the transfer to Bratislava was with the 'hope' that we would sail to Budapest form there ( THEY KNEW THE RIVER WAS CLOSED AND RISING ) but did not communicate that to the passengers.
The cost of doing the right thing would have been much less than the loss of business they will encounter from this. Even a partial refund in cash vs a time expired credit would have been the right thing.
Peed off in the North