Because Viking River Cruise proudly advertises being the recipient of Cruise Critic "2013 Editors' Pick" we are sending this review of our experience of a Viking River Cruise taken June 30 to July 15, 2014:
We were passengers on the Viking Aegir from 6/30 to 7/15 2014 (Grand European Tour) (but orginally scheduled to be on the Viking Embla). On day 3 of a 15 day trip, our boat stopped dead in river. A tug boat towed us a few miles away to an unplanned port town in Germany. We sat dead stopped in the water for 3 days. After some undisclosed repairs, we slowly limped forward for 5 days. Then the boat was dry docked for repairs in the unplanned stop of Linz, Germany. Our boat did not catch up to its schedule till the afternoon before we disembarked in Budapest, Hungry. We traveled by bus 1 1/2 to 3 hours each way to every port city stop after day 3. We sat in traffic jams. We sat on buses waiting for bus drivers to take "mandatory" breaks. Buses arrived late. Bus drivers got lost trying to find the Aegir for us to return to the boat each evening. We were often on buses with non-English speaking bus drivers and no Viking Representative to communicate with us or the bus driver. Every port stop involved a shorted itinerary and most days no leisure time after a long bus ride over the German autobahn and Austrian highways to get there. We missed one whole day entirely of site seeing. On average, we were off the boat for 11 hours per day traveling by bus to port cities. During the cruise, we were assured by a Viking representative from Hamburg, Germany that we would be generously reimbursed for the broken boat issues and this reimbursement would NOT be in the form of a discount for a future cruise with Viking. Upon our return, we received an email from Viking Senior Manager, Customer Relations, describing our ordeal as simply "itinerary changes" and that as a result of these "itinerary changes", Viking would compensate us with a 35% discount voucher on a future paid Viking cruise. Not one single word was mentioned about the broke down boat, the boat being taken out of the water and placed in dry dock for repairs or 3 days of stalled movement for boat "repairs".
Our advice is to use extreme caution when booking a river cruise in Europe with Viking River Cruises. We will very likely never do so again.