4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We had never tried river cruising before, and it seemed to have some possibilities, so we gave it a shot. At first, with such a small boat (relative to our Previous 38 ocean cruises) it seemed small. But that was exactly the point for ... Read More
We had never tried river cruising before, and it seemed to have some possibilities, so we gave it a shot. At first, with such a small boat (relative to our Previous 38 ocean cruises) it seemed small. But that was exactly the point for Viking. You get to MEET and dine and take excursions with the same people and get to know them, and vice versa. We have forged some friendships with people from all over. As a result of the "coziness" these ships offer we will be going salmon fishing in Alaska this summer with fellow ship mates. But back to the cruise: the meals were a notch up from other cruises we have taken. Everything was done to perfection. The daily excursions are (mostly) included. And we had evening entertainment that was up close and personal. It's not everyday that you get to witness a virtuoso violinist from one of Europes most prestigious Philhormonic orchestras play a 350 year old fiddle. She didn't need any backups. And on another night we were treated to an Oom Pas Pas German group. Overall, the Viking Mani, her wonderful crew from Captain Helmut to George our cruise director, the meals, excursions and unequalled show of cruise customers' interests were why we have already signed up for another Viking River Cruise. I give Viking a double thumbs up, a standing ovation, and a hearty BRAVO.! Job well done Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Hild and capt johann were awesome. would repeat again. cruise program director emma was awesome. staff was great. food was great. Viking did a magnificent job on the river cruise. 5 stars or more. My "rub" was with the ... Read More
Hild and capt johann were awesome. would repeat again. cruise program director emma was awesome. staff was great. food was great. Viking did a magnificent job on the river cruise. 5 stars or more. My "rub" was with the hotels before and after the cruise. in zurich, the renaissance was located away from the city center and we were forced to wait in the lobby for three hours after we arrived before we could enter our room. so, a 12 hour flight experience to get to zurich and a 3 hour wait in a hotel lobby. come on viking!!! Our hotel in paris, the pullman, was past its prime. yes it is next to the eiffel tower, but the room was more 2 star than anything else. Note to viking; the passengers filled out the cruise survey without any feedback on the last two days in parish after disembarking. there is a gap there and if viking really wants feedback then figure out this gap. We are big viking fans and have already booked our next cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Arrival in Basel was a bit convoluted, something that could have been avoided if Vantage had told us in advance to exit our baggage claim into Switzerland. This caused some delay as some travelers were wandering about seeking transport to ... Read More
Arrival in Basel was a bit convoluted, something that could have been avoided if Vantage had told us in advance to exit our baggage claim into Switzerland. This caused some delay as some travelers were wandering about seeking transport to the ship. It was one of the few weak spots in the trip. We were welcomed to the ship with lunch while cabin preparation was being completed. Food service was excellent and provided by an engaging young staff. Meals were varied and attempted to meet local fare. We did not have a meal I did not like and especially came to love the daily soup options. The ship was the nicest of the ships we have been exposed to in seven Vantage cruises. It is fairly new and it showed. Our cabin was larger than previous ships although clothes storage was a bit of a challenge. Our cabin attendant was excellent and friendly. Laundary service was particulary efficient. One small negative was the absence of a piano player onboard. In his place was a jukebox and some local entertainers, nice but more limited. The daily tours were interesting and I learned a great deal, for me an important standard for a cruise. I now wonder how I have missed the excellent German wines for so long. Both the Moselle River and Luxembourg were new to us and we were move at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and loved the Moselle Valley. Our dock spots were often away from our destinations but that s partly due to the size of some places visited. I can’t this of a tour I did not enjoy. This was a vey good trip, Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Friends highly recommended this Rhine river cruise. Their take was exactly everything they expressed and more. So much to see & do! The castles & cathedrals were amazing. Each tour was full of interesting facts and beautiful ... Read More
Friends highly recommended this Rhine river cruise. Their take was exactly everything they expressed and more. So much to see & do! The castles & cathedrals were amazing. Each tour was full of interesting facts and beautiful squares with so much history. . Our only disappointment was the Lucerne 2 day extension. The weather was not cooperative for our journey to the Alps. Our tour guide made the remaining part of our tour very enjoyable & full of interesting facts. Our cheese making was full of many laughs. Our group made this experience one of the most memorable. The fondue finale was exactly what was needed to close a rough start to the day! The staff & crew were very gracious & eager to please. Our chef was amazing, especially the tour of the galley. So little space to prepare such amazing dishes. Rooms were very comfortable. Our cabin boy took such good care of us. Replenished our water continuously plus made us feel special. Met so many wonderful people which we have kept in touch with since our voyage. First class operation. For our first European adventure we were overly pleased. Planning another in the future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this cruise because it was recommended by my travel agent at Gordon Tours Israel. It was a really pleasant experience. Our cabin was cozy but comfortable and the ships crew were very friendly and helpful. The itinerary was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was recommended by my travel agent at Gordon Tours Israel. It was a really pleasant experience. Our cabin was cozy but comfortable and the ships crew were very friendly and helpful. The itinerary was fascinating. I'd never been in Germany, or Switzerland and it was a fascinating experience. I enjoy history and I liked exploring all the cities on foot. It was also fun sampling the local culture. The boat and its crew were very conscientious and genuinely friendly. Rudy the cruise manager was charismatic and helpful. The staff on the ship made every effort to make us feel at home. They also kept our cabin spotless. The food on the cruise was tasty and plentiful. As for the entertainment. there was an evening activity every night of the cruise. Looking forward to my next cruise with Gate 1. Thank you very much for the pleasant experiencfe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Went on Avalon cruise a few years ago and the river was “closed”. We were very disappointed. We were not sure we wanted to try this again. Avalon kindly refunded part of our trip cost. We wanted to try again and give Avalon ... Read More
Went on Avalon cruise a few years ago and the river was “closed”. We were very disappointed. We were not sure we wanted to try this again. Avalon kindly refunded part of our trip cost. We wanted to try again and give Avalon another chance. So glad we did. We started in Basel and ended the cruise in Amsterdam. Boarding was very prompt and staff could not have been more helpful. Our room was spacious. Food was DELICIOUS. My husband had a birthday while on the cruise and he had a birthday cake with candles presented to him after dinner. Cruise director was very helpful and a lot of fun. We are grateful we met several couples from other countries during our week and had the best time comparing country habits and happenings. The only complaint I would have is the early starts every day. We are not late sleepers but a week of getting up early and eating breakfast before 8:30 am got a little tiring. Have been looking at taking a France trip in the future. Thank you Avalon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
although it primarily seems to handle group tours, it was one of our best cruises we have been on. We were the only English only speaking couple on board, but all crew were multilingual, one of the best we have encountered in cruising; ... Read More
although it primarily seems to handle group tours, it was one of our best cruises we have been on. We were the only English only speaking couple on board, but all crew were multilingual, one of the best we have encountered in cruising; all the other guests were from Europe (with exception of the Russian-American group who conversed in Russian the whole time) but that posed no problems - met some great people. excursions were great and well conducted. Food - ah 4-6 course lunch and dinners, all presented comparable to 5 star restaurants. Cabins were good size, even the shower was adequate. Cant say enough good things about this ship and crew and overall experience. The ship does not dock with the major lines in all ports and does seem to get some out-of-the-way places as in Basel. The Rhine was fantastic.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Covered a part of Europe we hadn't seen. Cruise director introduced a "leisurely walk"for our daily included exclusions which was much appreciated by us oldsters with back and knee problems. Our guide would give frequent rest ... Read More
Covered a part of Europe we hadn't seen. Cruise director introduced a "leisurely walk"for our daily included exclusions which was much appreciated by us oldsters with back and knee problems. Our guide would give frequent rest breaks, walk slowly, and in Strasbourg we were placed in taxis for part of the journey. Outstanding! Especially enjoyed meeting other people at meal times. Our server remembered out names from day 1 and was always cheeful. We had an electrical malfunction which was the fault of no one in particular. Unfortunately it wiped out all power to toilets which for about 6 hours was very inconvenient. The repairs weren't started until we docked at the next stop where an electrician came on board. I was surprised that the ship's engineers didn't handle the replacement of the burned out part while still moving upstream. The on-board entertainment was pretty good; the music was fine, the lectures were just OK.. When we didn't like the show we simply went to the cabin and watched TV or read a book. Read Less
46 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have taken 2 previous land cruises with Gate 1 and found them to be fantastic. We came upon a special for a River Rhine cruise that was a great price in late spring. In all the Cruise was quite good. This was our first cruise of ... Read More
We have taken 2 previous land cruises with Gate 1 and found them to be fantastic. We came upon a special for a River Rhine cruise that was a great price in late spring. In all the Cruise was quite good. This was our first cruise of any kind so we did not know what to expect. Gate 1 leases this ship which is 10 years old but one would never think that. Everything was modern and very clean. There was a buffet breakfast with omelet station and lunch buffet with a hot sandwich and pasta option each day, Dinner was 4 or 5 course gourmet every night with wine or beer included. with the exception of two lunches, we had all of our meals on the ship. No complaints about the food were heard, all was very good. The cabin was cozy but not cramped and very clean. We did not hear any noise from the outside nor from neighboring cabins. Shore excursions were hit or miss. I thought some of them were somewhat rushed. The local guide gave a short walk with a smattering of information about the area and then left us for free time. There were three optional tours - Colmar, France with wine tasting, Heidelberg, and Marksman Castle. These were all on the expensive side and really not a good value. We were really rushed thru Heidelberg. At times it seemed as thou the ship's sailing schedule took precedence over excursion time. Evenings featured music in the lounge each night. The weather last week was perfect so we spent a lot of time on the ship's top deck. Beer and wine prices in the lounge were reasonable but mixed drinks were pricey. I have seen comments concerning Gate 1 as lower tier mass market. With sailing right next to Viking ships and following identical excursions I'm not sure that is a fair assessment. I don't know what Gate 1 is missing compared to Viking concerning the price of the cruise. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise as we had already travelled with Scenic from Nurnberg to Budapest and from Budapest to the Black Sea, so this trip completed our journey from the North Sea to the Black Sea. The ship was immaculately kept and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had already travelled with Scenic from Nurnberg to Budapest and from Budapest to the Black Sea, so this trip completed our journey from the North Sea to the Black Sea. The ship was immaculately kept and spotlessly clean, although not the newest ship in the Scenic fleet. Cruising with Scenic is utterly relaxing, because you know that everything they promise will be delivered. The staff are truly outstanding - they seem to have a knack for recruiting genuinely kind and pleasant people who work incredibly hard and deliver a very high level of service. The food was excellent - not a disappointing plate on the whole voyage. Buffet breakfast and lunch, silver service dinner with a vast number of choices. There's also a range of favourite fishes on the menu ( steaks, salmon, fish) in case you can't find anything you fancy. Every customer is invited once to Portofinos - an Italian restaurant with a six course menu and matched wines. Passengers on the upper deck also get La Rive, which is a French themed restaurant, although some preferred to stay in the main restaurant. Drinks are all included, including Champagne with breakfast if your tastes run that way... The included excursions are well run, informative and quirky, and there are also other enrichment items, like an opera concert in a castle. Interestingly, a fellow passenger ( okay, cruise nerd) had done a detailed breakdown of Scenics prices with other lines, and worked out that although Scenics brochure prices are a bit higher, by the time you work out what all the included benefits would have cost if you had paid for them separately on another line, Scenic was the best value for money. Plus as previously mentioned, you have the deep calm that comes from knowing that everything will run super-smoothly. Fellow passengers were a mix of Brits, Australians and New Zealanders and Canadians, (and a single group of Americans from Texas, who took lavish advantage of the included drinks, and were consequently loudly and obnoxiously drunk every night, and grumpily hung over every morning). Minor niggles? We got the impression that the food, although excellent, had had its budget cut slightly from previous cruises, which meant one of two fewer choices at lunch. The mooring at Basel on the first day was next to a large working scrapyard, so sitting on the balcony enjoying the holiday-starts-here gin and tonic was periodically interrupted by the massive crash of shredded car bodies being dropped into skips. Similarly, the mooring in Amsterdam was miles from the centre. However cruise lines presumably have to take whatever the harbourmaster allocates on the day. Individual laurels to Alex, hyper-efficient and charming Cruise Director from Germany, and Emilia ( Roumania) and Marek (Poland), both charming, helpful,funny and incredibly hard working bar staff. I can't think of any reason to ever go with a different river cruise line. Mekong next!... Read Less

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