Sail Date: May 2014
Traveling from the USA, we chose to extend our cruise on the front end in Amsterdam. Viking was there to greet us and get us to our hotel. The Viking rep at the hotel talked to us about the Walking Tour of Amsterdam and told us about other ... Read More
Traveling from the USA, we chose to extend our cruise on the front end in Amsterdam. Viking was there to greet us and get us to our hotel. The Viking rep at the hotel talked to us about the Walking Tour of Amsterdam and told us about other sights to see, even walking us to a canal boat tour. Our Walking Tour included a couple who had just come off the same river cruise from the opposite direction, so we learned even more about the fun we were about to have. We were taken to the Viking Tor and escorted to our cabin, which was very comfortable. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We enjoyed the briefings and the daily plan of the day to keep us up to date on where we needed to be and when. We took full advantage of the excursions, both included and extra, and thoroughly enjoyed each one. We got to know the whole crew with whom we interacted, from the Captain to the servers, and got to know some of them very well. We met a variety of interesting, friendly people from all over the world and still keep in touch. The Viking attention to detail on logistics was impressive from beginning to end. One anecdote: at the airport in Basel, waiting for our flight back to Amsterdam, we met a couple who also came to Amsterdam two days early, but on their own. The husband developed a serious eye problem, so they notified Viking, who ushered him to a doctor, who performed laser surgery that day, and transported the couple back to their hotel and later to the Tor so they could enjoy the cruise, despite the fact that Viking had no legal responsibility to do any of the above. Pretty impressive, in my opinion. We've already signed up for the Barcelona to Venice Mediterranean Cruise. You do it right! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
I call this review A Tale of Two Cruises because there was everything that happened on the boat and everything that happened off the boat. For that reason, this review is in 4 parts, three referencing off the boat issues and one ... Read More
I call this review A Tale of Two Cruises because there was everything that happened on the boat and everything that happened off the boat. For that reason, this review is in 4 parts, three referencing off the boat issues and one referencing on the boat issues: 1. Pre-cruise. We booked this cruise 18 months in advance. First mistake: We called Viking and asked them their opinion regarding itineraries. Viking is in the business of selling cruises. They don’t care which one you take. You need to get a travel agent. Contrary to the impression you get from their brochures, Viking is not a travel agent. I was totally unaware that you could book a Viking tour through an agent and that it wouldn’t cost you more money to do this. In fact, it could save you both money and aggravation (and no, I am not a travel agent). We decided to book a week-long Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel for the end of July. The boat is a newer one called the Tor. About a month in advance of the cruise, I suggested to my husband that we look at the itinerary because it included free time in the ports. Two suggestions learned from this: a. Book tickets for the Anne Frank house a month in advance. Tickets sell out quickly after that. The wait in line without tickets can be as much as 4 hours. b. Be careful, most important attractions in Cologne are closed on Monday. (Viking won’t tell you this even though they know this.)These include 2 major art museums and the chocolate factory, both of which Viking suggests you visit but does not mention that they are closed on Mondays, the day the cruise goes there if you start the cruise in Amsterdam. There is also the NS Documentation Center, documenting Germany’s role in WWII and the Holocaust. Apparently each large city in Germany has an NS Documentation Center but this is supposed to be the best one in Germany. It is closed on Mondays. This all would have been quite disappointing but it was compounded by the fact that the walking tour was done so poorly that it was a total waste of time. I complained to Viking about not warning us regarding the Monday situation. Viking offered us an alternative and a free trip to Pilatus. The Pilatus tickets were supposed to be waiting for us in Lucerne. They were not. And, the taxi that was supposed to meet us in Cologne to take us to other sites we wanted to see, never arrived. We ended up just catching a taxi by ourselves. After seeing the cathedral, we took the tour of the Farina House. I found it to be quite entertaining. 2. The boat. We had a French balcony room (208). The only bad thing I have to say about the boat is that the décor was bland. And that is the only bad thing I have to say. The boat and the crew were great! The room and the entire boat was clean and bright and very well designed for max efficiency. The bathroom and shower were of ample size with plenty of hooks and shelves. The shower was delightful with bath products from L’Occitane. There is also a drawstring for hanging light washables. I don’t think there is a bad room on the ship but our room was good because it was only a few doors down from the lobby and central to everything. The boat is quiet because, well, us older people don’t make a lot of noise. It is also a quieter running ship. The only thing I would change is to get a room where the bed is facing the direction the ship was going in. In our room the bed was on the opposite wall so we were kind of cruising backward. No big deal really. The food was very good. They have healthy options at every meal. You can have a lite breakfast on the lounge/terrace level or a regular buffet breakfast in the dining room. There is a chef to make custom omelets. There are waiters to help you everywhere. Lunch is served both in the dining room and on the lounge/terrace. Dinner is served in the dining room. Tables seat 6 or 8 so you are seated with other couples. This was a very nice experience. Apparently Viking advertises in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK because it is marketing to an English speaking audience. On our cruise about half the travelers were British and they were a hoot. There were a sprinkling of Australians and Canadians and about 25% were fellow Americans from all over the US (although quite a few were from Texas). Everyone was very well traveled although for most this was their first cruise with Viking. In your stateroom, there is a ‘quiet vox’ audio system. You wear this for your walking tours. This is a great advance in tour tech. You can hear the guide from as much as a block away even with background noise. My favorite things onboard were the coffee machines on the lounge level. They make every imaginable kind of coffee drink and great hot chocolate. I also enjoyed meals on the terrace. 3. Off the boat. This is something everyone is going to have a different opinion about. My husband and I booked this cruise because of the castles on the Rhine and we wanted to see the Alps. I really could have skipped almost everything else but I did want to experience a river cruise. My favorite ‘off the boat’ things about this cruise were the Black Forest trip (although I wish it could have been a whole day), the Windmills and the Marksburg Castle. We had two good tour guides in different ports, Valerie in Strasbourg and Jack in Colmar (although I do believe that Jack was also there on the Black Forest tour as well). Both balance their knowledge and sense of humor well. Very disappointing was not being able to take the tour of the Castle in Heidelberg. The guide made it all seem so boring. There is an earlier castle tour on the itinerary, the Marksburg castle in Koblenz. This tour is so good it makes you want more and it’s disappointing that this is the only castle tour. Best meal off the boat? In Strasbourg right around the block from the cathedral there was a small bistro called Bistrot & Chocolat. After a very tasty lunch, we bought a chocolate bar for dessert and it was the best chocolate! 4. The add-on trips. We elected to add Amsterdam as a pre-cruise trip and Basel as a post-cruise trip. Viking advertised certain hotels in each of these ports but even though we were booking 18 months in advance, we were told those hotels were full and that we had to stay at other hotels neither of which were rated as highly on Trip Advisor. In Amsterdam, we stayed at the Movenpick. It is not a bad hotel. It's a little out of the way. Being in Amsterdam, the thing to do is to stay in a hotel on one of the canals. But, that is not convenient for Viking so…. In Lucerne, we stayed at the Ameron Flora. It’s like a Holiday Inn. Except we paid Hilton prices. The one good thing about the Flora is its location. It is very close to the Information Center which was great for us. It is also close to the train station and the pier where you get the ferries to Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi. I think that you can get a train to Mt.Titlis at the station although we did not elect to go there. Viking offers a trip to Mt. Titlis. It is the highest of the three peaks and there is a revolving cable car that takes you up there. It all just seemed too scary to me. I am a little afraid of heights. The Flora is also just a few steps away from Lucerne’s famous covered bridge and old town. So, the air conditioning barely works in this hotel and the breakfast buffet is pretty bad but you have to weigh that with the location. But, you may want to book your stay on either end through a travel agent and not though Viking because I can think you will get a better hotel rate but I don’t know how the transfers work if you book your own hotel. Lastly, before we went, we tried to find information about the sites to see in Lucerne. I wanted to see the Alps. Finding this information seemed unduly complicated and Viking was of no help. We went to the Swiss tourism office in NYC, asked people on Trip Advisor and then, when we got to Lucerne, went to the Information office right around the block from the train station (next door to the Burger King). We bought a 2 day Tell Pass. It’s about 170 francs per person but it’s worth it. The people at the Information office in Lucerne were VERY helpful. We arrived in Lucerne, skipped the walking tour and with the Tell Pass took the ferry to Mt. Rigi (Vitznau). It’s about an hour ride. Then, you get on the Cog Railway (with the Tell Pass) and go to the top of the mountain. You can have lunch up there. You then take the cable car down to the other side of the mountain to Weggis (with the Tell Pass) where you catch the ferry (with the Tell Pass) back to Lucerne. The whole thing took about 5 hours. When we got back to Lucerne, we went back to the information office to ask if there was anywhere else we could take the train for the evening. They suggested Sarnen. We took the train there (it’s about a half hour ride from Lucerne). This town has a small river you can walk along leading to a large lake and there is a small restaurant on the lake where you can eat hot dogs or hamburgers (or the meal d’jour) out back on the deck. It is all locals, no tourists (except us) here. The next day in Lucerne, we walked across the covered bridge, explored the old town, then took the ferry to Alpnachstad (with the Tell Pass) to Mt. Pilatus, took the funicular (they call it a cog rail but it seemed more like a funicular to me) all the way up the mountain in the craziest ride ever. We had lunch up there. Because it started to rain we did not stay up as long as planned. We took the Cable cars (there are two – you need to transfer from the large cable car to the smaller ones to get to Kriens. The cable car operator will tell you how to do this) back down the mountain to Kriens and took the bus back (with the Tell Pass) to Lucerne. That did not take long either. So, with the rest of the afternoon we took a train to Interlaken. Note: They are apparently doing work on the cable cars at Pilatus and the system will be closed temporarily starting in September. Check online or with your travel agent about this. Interlaken: it’s a two hour train ride each way and you won’t be bored for a second. Don’t forget your camera. This is the Switzerland you read about in storybooks. You can spend a whole day in Interlaken. Mt. Jungfrau is there. However, after seeing Pilatus and Rigi, I was not interested in seeing any other mountains although the train to Interlaken takes you over another mountain that is far less scary. We took a bus ride (4 francs each) through the town and walked back to the train along the river that connects the two lakes. We could have had dinner in Interlaken but just had some pastries and chose to wait until we returned to Lucerne to have dinner. Note: Upgrading to first class on both the boat and train. There are at least 3 styles of ferries. Two of them have better viewing on the upper deck, front of the boat in first class and it is worthwhile upgrading. The third type of ferry does not have seating in the upper deck front of the boat and it probably is not worthwhile upgrading. The catch? You don’t know until the boat arrives. You can upgrade on the boat, but I think you will need cash (Swiss francs) to do this. I don’t think they accept credit cards on the boat. Upgrading to first class on the train can also be done and we thought it was well worth the $50 that it costs. Again, if you do this on the train, you will need cash. If you want to do this with a credit card, you need to do this on the lower level of the train station. They have an office there that takes care of this. Interestingly, only rarely did guides on tours help interpret signs. I would have liked to have learned more of the languages that I was exposed to. The only optional tour we took was to Colmar. It was ok, not great. The other thing, and I know this sounds really touristy, is that when there were bus tours, the guides never warned you about when sites were coming up so I continually missed all the photo opportunities. I have never experienced that before. It seemed like all they were interested in was getting to the destination. Usually guides like to warn you when something photo worthy is coming up. The only guide that did this was the guide that took us from Basal to Lucerne.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our first trip to Europe and flew in from Newark. Learned a couple things that have nothing to do with the cruise - Don't take Lufthansa 1 leg and then Air Canada (lol). Also when a airline agent asks where you are going - - ... Read More
This was our first trip to Europe and flew in from Newark. Learned a couple things that have nothing to do with the cruise - Don't take Lufthansa 1 leg and then Air Canada (lol). Also when a airline agent asks where you are going - - tell them your FINAL destination. Viking is an interesting company. You make your reservation and need to pay pretty darn quickly - or you will lose your reservation - if someone books and pays prior to you doing so (paying in full). So we paid for this at least 18 months prior to our trip. We stayed at Hotel Estherea in Amsterdam and loved it! The Viking Tor was very light and airy. Our room 200 was directly off the lobby. I was a bit worried about the location at first - but soon realized that it was quiet and very convenient to everything -- especially the front desk & the dining room. I never felt like there wasn't enough room for everyone. Tours included were organized very well. Buses, guides who really loved their subjects and knew everything about their subjects. I enjoyed them all. We did go on the optional Alsace Wine Tasting. I enjoyed it but once was enough. The evenings are quiet. There was a music trivia one evening and on 2 evenings there were people that came in and sang local songs. I enjoyed all of those. We also had a musician play and sing after dinner - he will not win any prizes but he was happy and tried his best. I brought cards and we played Hearts. Dining on the Tor was very good. I enjoyed all dinners - some dishes were not to my personal taste - or I felt that they could have been tweaked slightly to be more enjoyable - but on the whole - very good. My favorite was the Beef tenderloin & short rib dinner. I thought that the German buffet (and galley tour) was more than I wanted to tackle after a busy touring day in Germany. But the food was good. Waiters, room attendant and front desk people - along with the Program Director were all very friendly and I wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again. The Captain was very amusing and gave tours of the helm and answered lots of questions from the guys mostly. Free wine and beer at lunch and dinner (I could get used to that!) Free Wi-Fi on the ship also. I would cruise Viking again as soon as I save enough money!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We traveled with 3 other couples, one from Texas, one from Florida and my husband & I and the other couple from Kansas. We had never taken a river cruise before and were very happy with how it went. The staff was very friendly, ... Read More
We traveled with 3 other couples, one from Texas, one from Florida and my husband & I and the other couple from Kansas. We had never taken a river cruise before and were very happy with how it went. The staff was very friendly, courteous, helpful and professional. The Rhine River was beautiful with such gorgeous scenery along the way and smooth traveling. The towns/cities where the ship stopped were all close to port and we had some wonderful guides on the excursions. The food was wonderful and the included wine and beer were a plus(since they are not usually included with dinner on the ocean cruises). The entertainment was good and we especially enjoyed the music trivia contest, that our group won! The rooms were small but well thought out as to the needs of passengers. We were very lucky the weather was so beautiful, we only had rain one day. We did an extension to Montreux, Switzerland. It was marvelous. Our tour guide took very good care of us (we were in a party of 8) and gave us great tips to maximize use of our time there. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and plan to take another river cruise in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Out Viking Tor cruise along the Rhine, from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland, was filled with beautiful sights (and sites), wonderful food, and terrific people. From the windmills of Kinderdijk and cafes of Cologne to the ... Read More
Out Viking Tor cruise along the Rhine, from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland, was filled with beautiful sights (and sites), wonderful food, and terrific people. From the windmills of Kinderdijk and cafes of Cologne to the castles of Heidelburg, the beautiful streets of Strasbourg, this trip had something for everyone. Learning how to construct a Black Forest cake or simply catching the glorious view floating up the middle Rhine presented only two aspects of the trip. On board, the crew and staff were thoughtful, helpful, and fun to be around. The food was delicious and not like the overpowering piles found on those huge vessels. The intimacy of the Viking ship makde for a friendly, accessible atmosphere. Having gone as part of the Pied Piper group enhanced the atmosphere in which we could get to know our fellow travelers well enough to create some lifetime friendships. I highly recommend this cruise (and the Seine River cruise) to anyone. If you are queasy about being on the rough sea, there's no need. The rivers are smooth and steady. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
Our recent Viking Rhine River cruise was absolutely the best vacation my husband and I have ever experienced. Three days exploring Amsterdam, a weeklong adventure gliding through 4 countries, and a couple of nights getting back our land ... Read More
Our recent Viking Rhine River cruise was absolutely the best vacation my husband and I have ever experienced. Three days exploring Amsterdam, a weeklong adventure gliding through 4 countries, and a couple of nights getting back our land legs while savoring the beauty of Lucerne - it was truly a dream come true! The Viking crew organized every day in a way that allowed each guest to enjoy a perfect blend of culture, relaxation, and fun. You could take an informative guided tour at every port or just opt to read or chat with old and new friends on the ship instead. We found that the optional tours were well worth the additional fees charged and are really glad we took advantage of them. The ship was gorgeous, the meals were outstanding, and having free wine/beer available with lunches and dinners was a nice bonus. My husband and I loved this vacation so much that we are already making plans to cruise the Danube with Viking (including extra days in Budapest and Prague, of course)! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
After many discussions and reviewing many different destinations, my wife and I decided on the Viking Rhine Get-A-Way from Amsterdam to Basel Switzerland. We traveled alone, just the two of us. During the trip we met several people from ... Read More
After many discussions and reviewing many different destinations, my wife and I decided on the Viking Rhine Get-A-Way from Amsterdam to Basel Switzerland. We traveled alone, just the two of us. During the trip we met several people from all aver the world and made many new friends. Thinking about our journey on the Rhine with Viking, there is not a single negative thing. It was absolutely the best vacation I've ever been on, and very much looking forward to booking my next Viking River Cruise. There is no better way to visit several different destinations without packing and unpacking, as you move along the river through different countries. The accommodation's were very nice, the food was fabulous, the staff was friendly and went above and beyond to ensure that your every need was being met. The guided tours were amazing and the English speaking guides shared the history of the different sites you visited. Again, I can't say enough good about our trip. If you want to have a vacation that makes for lasting memories, makes you forget about all the daily things everyone is faced with, book a Viking River Cruise. You won't be sorry! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My friends and I traveled on the Viking Tor this past June from Basel north to Amsterdam. Everything was beyond amazing. The flight was well-handled by Beth, our travel agent, who booked us an extra day in Lucerne, truly the city of my ... Read More
My friends and I traveled on the Viking Tor this past June from Basel north to Amsterdam. Everything was beyond amazing. The flight was well-handled by Beth, our travel agent, who booked us an extra day in Lucerne, truly the city of my dreams! The accommodations in the hotel were good but the extras (esp. breakfast) was NOT up to the standards of the remainder of the trip. That's the last negative you'll here from us! Suzanne Hartkop, the Viking representative in Lucerne, was simply AMAZING (!), beyond all expectations. She took a personal interest in each of us, offering guidance, suggestions, information with facility and consummate ability. Viking can use Suzanne as the template by which other representatives can be measured. Once we boarded the Viking Tor, the six of us (we traveled with close friends, the Eisenbergs and the Rubinsteins) entered a world Viking can be truly proud of. All staff were helpful, courteous, amenable -- at all times. The dining room staff were wonderful and the food fantastic. Although we did not have assigned seating (thank goodness)and moved around the first couple of days, we met with your waitress Judit, and remained at her table throughout the remainder of the cruise. She was fantastic and made each meal enjoyable in so many ways. Special thanks to the executive chef Mark Anthony Saldua whose kitchen always produced foods to match any restaurant anywhere. This was truly a great cruise and we look forward to returning for another Viking River cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was the perfect holiday for our party of 6. Everything went realy well from the flight to Amsterdam from Birmingham to the return flights, Basel to Amsterdam and then again on to Birmingham. We travelled by coach for the short ... Read More
This was the perfect holiday for our party of 6. Everything went realy well from the flight to Amsterdam from Birmingham to the return flights, Basel to Amsterdam and then again on to Birmingham. We travelled by coach for the short journey to the the boat where we were able to check in, our luggage already on board and brought to our staterooms. The afternoon was free to explore Amsterdam before we rejoined the boat for dinner and set sail. The food and service was second to none during the whole trip. The crew were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. We had several stops and sightseeing trips during the journey, all very well organised and not too strenuous considering the age group of the majority of passengers. Passengers were also able to go off on their own if it was their preference. River cruising is the ideal way to see large parts of different destinations, the boats are not too big and impersonal and it was easy to make new friends. We are certainly going to do more river cruising in the future1 Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
A note - we actually began this cruise in Basel, Switzerland and ended in Amsterdam - the options menu did not have Basel listed. We are not new travelers to Europe, but are new to river cruising. This was a trip we looked forward to for ... Read More
A note - we actually began this cruise in Basel, Switzerland and ended in Amsterdam - the options menu did not have Basel listed. We are not new travelers to Europe, but are new to river cruising. This was a trip we looked forward to for more than a year. My husband and I and another couple arrived on a flight into Zurich and were met by a pleasant Viking rep, then transferred to Lucerne for our ore cruise extension. Rooms were not yet ready so the hotel stored our luggage and we went off on the planned walking tour. It was very informative and ended in old town. We found an outdoor cafe for lunch, walked a bit, then returned to the hotel hoping the rooms would be ready. They were not. After an all night flight by 3 pm people hit the proverbial wall, and thankfully the Viking rep intervened, but we were not pleased with the hotel's attitude. If you plan a pre cruise (or post cruise) extension, do yourselves a favor and upgrade your rooms. We didn't think of this until we were on the cruise, but i contacted our travel agent and she upgraded our rooms for the Amsterdam post cruise extension, which made us much happier. Otherwise, the hotel was not at all special. Viking is highly organized so embarkation is effortless. You walk on the ship, identify yourself, receive your key cards and are whisked off to your cabins. We stayed in a veranda suite (304) and it was wonderful. Compared to big cruise ships everything is smaller on a river cruise ship, but the suites are lovely, well appointed (l'Occitane bath products), fresh flowers, fruit and champagne, and extremely attentive service. Verandas are small but a lovely place to perch and admire the scenery. We were among the younger members of the passengers at 48, but fellow travelers were interesting, friendly, and as happy to be on board as we were. Staff is very eager to please and bend over backwards to get to know you and your favorite beverage, etc... Not one ever seemed to be in a bad mood. They made the trip even more fun with their suggestions and stories. Mornings begin with a fantastic breakfast buffet - if you leave hungry it's not their fault. Morning excursions are highly organized and interesting. Guides were all, without exception, fun, interesting, and humorous. Comfy walking shoes are a must - and walking is a must if for no other reason than to burn off the calories you're bound to consume. We didn't opt for the extra excursions because we four enjoyed exploring the towns on our own each afternoon. Returning to the ship, we freshened up, joined new friends in the lounge for cocktails, listened to the talk about the next day, and then headed to the dining room for one great dinner after the other. Each cruise features a themed night - on our Rhine Getaway it was called 'Taste of Germany,' which included not only a wonderful meal but also a chance to tour the kitchen and meet the crew who works so hard to create their tasty dishes. Folksy entertainment was a bit kitschy but we loved it. Our friends were celebrating their wedding anniversary and a beautiful cake was brought to them. Several birthdays were also celebrated on board - great fun. We did purchase the beverage package, even though wine and soft drinks are free at meal times. If you prefer specific brands or wines it truly is worth it. Viking goes to great effort to bring on board local entertainment and on our cruise, even a glass blower who amazed us with his skill. The cruise staff offer fun games in the lounge at night, too - you'd be amazed how much fun a game of scattergories can get - and how hysterical. Another note on the attentiveness of staff: the day we cruised through the area with the castles was a bit chilly, so out came blankets for anyone needing or wanting one, then hot chocolate with incredible whipped cream. The bar is open all day long as well as two coffee stations with pastries on the morning and cookies in the afternoon. I refuse to admit to the amount of weight I managed to put on, but hope to have it off soon! Debarkation is also extremely efficient. Staff who brought your drinks may well be hauling your suitcases - everyone pitches in. Guests settle their bills the night before debarkation which was easy, then we stepped off the ship and were whisked away to our post cruise extension. We are fans of sea cruising, but now also fans of river cruising. Unpacking just one time (not counting the extensions) is a wonderful way to see Europe, and river scenery is truly spectacular. Looking forward to sailing with Viking again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
We met the Viking rep at the airport and caught a very smoky bus to the ship. The ship was very nice and our rooms were ready pretty quick. After unpacking, we went on a walking tour of the city that Viking provided. This was our first ... Read More
We met the Viking rep at the airport and caught a very smoky bus to the ship. The ship was very nice and our rooms were ready pretty quick. After unpacking, we went on a walking tour of the city that Viking provided. This was our first experience with Viking and overall we were very pleased. Day 2, we sailed to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We toured windmills. Returned aboard for lunch and an afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor. Cruised through the night. The windmill tour was very nice. Cloudy morning gave way to a sunny afternoon. Temperature was about 70. We have great waiters on our ship, Allen LaCapp, from the Philippines. Very funny and entertaining. Other wait staff that were really great were Expidito and Vanya. Day 3 - Cologne. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continued along the Rhine this morning; arrived in Cologne and disembarked for a walking tour. Strolled through Old Town past St. Martin’s Church, and spent some time inside Cologne’s Dom, We arrived a little late in Cologne, due to slow sailing time due to the Rheine river being low. We walked a total of 3.4 miles today, that included our Viking walking tour plus walking on our own. We had a great lunch at Peters Brauhaus. We had brat and potatoes and apple strudel plus Peters beer. We paid 25€ Euros. Nice weather, partly cloudy most of the day. High was around 68 degrees. Day 4 - Koblenz & Rüdesheim. Proceeded along the Rhine, disembarked to tour 700-year-old Marksburg Castle. Lunch aboard and enjoyed the scenic passage, where castles overlooked the river from their hilltop locations. Arrived in Rüdesheim in the late afternoon. Spent free time in the pedestrian-only Drosselgasse. We also walked around on our own. Had a great dinner at Wirsthaus Hannelore in the Drosselgasse district in Rudesheim. Beautiful sunny cool weather this afternoon. We walked 3.7 miles this afternoon. Day 5 - Heidelberg & Speyer. We cruised through the morning enjoying brunch and the passing scenery. Arrived in Mannheim and disembarked for a journey to Heidelberg. Visited the beautiful sandstone ruins of imposing Heidelberg Castle, and took in the scenery of the Neckar River Valley and the city's many red rooftops from its hilltop location. Continued with a walking tour through the Old Town to Heidelberg's renowned gates. We rejoined our ship in Speyer in the afternoon. Day 6 - Strasbourg. We docked this morning in Kehl, Germany and disembarked for a guided tour of Strasbourg, France, across the Rhine river. We saw the European Parliament and toured the interior of the city's famed cathedral. The six of us took the optional Alsatian wine tour. Went to a couple of little villages plus a wine cellar. We sampled 4 different wines. Paid €49 Euros per person. It really wasn't worth it. Day 7 - Breisach. After cruising through the night we arrived during breakfast in Breisach, gateway to the Black Forest. Very scenic town. Had lunch on board and then we went on the included Black Forest excursion. It was a scenic excursion through the area’s renowned mountain landscape, rolling meadows and dense forests. Once there, we visited a local workshop where cuckoo clocks are made. The scenery was very beautiful. Weather was beautiful today, sunny and mild. Day 8 - Arrived in Basel. After breakfast, we disembarked. We extended our stay in Basel by one day. We stayed at the Swissotel Le Plaza de Basel. I joined the Swissotel Circle (free) which will give us free internet in the room. $149 plus taxes came out to $156 Francs and that is about $175 U.S. dollars. Our rooms were ready as soon as we got to the hotel, our cab ride was 40€ Euros ($55 us) for all 6 of us, the Viking ship arranged the cab for us. The hotel was very nice. After checking in, we walked about 5 miles to and around the old town area. After napping at the hotel, we all headed back to the old town area, this time via the tram (light rail system). We had free passes from the hotel. We had dinner at a nice little Italian place called Barfi. Great food. Weather was mostly cloudy and cool. Read Less
Viking Tor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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