Our cruise left Amsterdam on May 29 headed for our final destination of Budapest on June 12. However, after 3 days of cruising our ship, the Viking Sky, was sent to Frankfurt, an unscheduled stop, because the rivers and locks had been closed due to heavy rains and the associated flooding. Viking decided to start busing us to the cities and towns scheduled on the river cruise without asking any of the passengers if that is what they desired. When asked if we could discontinue the cruise in Frankfurt and fly home, Viking responded we certainly could but it would be at our expense and that if we decided to leave, they would not refund any of our money. In effect, Viking held the passengers of the Viking Sky hostage. Most of us figured out that Viking planned to get us to Budapest come hell or high water because this was our disembarkation city and where most of us would fly to our home destination or other planned site. In fact, Viking did get us to Budapest on June 11, 2013. Viking got there by bus. First, they bused us to several cities from Frankfurt and simply used the Viking Sky as a "floating hotel". They next bused us farther into Germany to another Viking ship which was also used a floating hotel. This location was not close to any major cities. Again we were bused to several cities from this location; most of these bus trips were 3 to 4 hours each way, thus we spent most of our time on the bus. Finally, Viking bused us to Vienna, about a 6 hour bus ride, where we spent the night in a hotel. We had to chase our luggage and the luggage service at the hotel was terrible. We had part of a day in Vienna and then got on the buses for another 5 to 6 hour trip to Budapest where we chased our luggage onto another floating Viking ship hotel. We had a day in Budapest and then departed for home or other destinations.
Viking has offered and provided a 75 percent voucher, calculated based on what we paid for the failed cruise, to be used by the end of June 2014 on a Viking cruise of our choice. Most Viking Sky passengers I have had contact with believe that this in not an acceptable offer. We believe Viking should refund over 50 percent of the cruise cost as well as provide the voucher. We base this in part on what Viking has done for cruises cancelled after June 12, 2013. Passengers on these cruise received full refunds as well as the 75 percent voucher. This does not seem equitable and is not line with what other major cruise lines have done for similar situations.
Viking was never honest with the passengers of the Viking Sky; they knew a lot more than they shared with us in their nightly briefings about plans for the next day. In short, most of us don't trust Viking and never will; we certainly will not tell our friends to take a Viking cruise