This was our first river cruise and it was an excellent experience. We went from Amsterdam to Budapest. It is called the Grand European Tour. The Viking Atla is a very new boat and is streamlined and modern in its design.
I think what set this tour apart from say an Ocean tour was the fact that so much of the included excursions were cultural and intellectual in nature. There was always something new to learn and the quality of the tours very high. There was also lots of options regarding spending time at leisure.We did luck out with regards to the sometimes capricious nature of rivers - sometimes they are too low etc. Conditions for us were perfect.
The ship ran like clockwork with all tours precisely on time and well-organized. Our program director Caspar, would brief us the night before which helped with planning. Many of the destinations small and charming.
I was surprised by all the local musicians that came aboard. There was also a glass blower that More
was very entertaining, The quality of the meals was very high. An added touch were cookies, donuts and latte machines available throughout the day and evening.
Most remarkable for us was the quality of service by the housekeeping and restaurant staff. They were courteous, friendly and amazingly efficient. We celebrated our 30th Anniversary aboard ship and staff really made it special.
We came away from this tour feeling like we had been treated as special guests. We took the more expensive route of allowing Viking to arrange the air. The connections and flights were not always ideal but the seamless transfers from hotel to airport more than made up for that. One employee even offered to stand in line for me to hold my place at the VAT desk at the airport because she could see I was getting tired. Truly amazing service from start to finish. Less
This was a nice quiet room. We did have a problem with a smell coming from the plumbing but the hotel manager remedied that very quickly. In fact, several people worked on the problem right away. The room is very efficiently set up with luggage stored under the bed and quite a bit of storage for its size. Having said that at 135 square feet, it is small. This smallness is offset by a floor to ceiling window which was airy and fun to look out. Although it is called a French balcony there isn't a balcony but just a railing to lean out on. It was on the second floor so you did not feel closed in.