128 Basel River Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date October 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
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 another ... 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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 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 ... 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
Sail Date June 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
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
Sail Date May 2017
First (and last) river cruise for us. Emerald Sky is a great ship, and a great way to see several destinations with no hassle. Our cabin 311 was well decorated with good space and it was kept immaculately clean by our super cabin attendant ... Read More
First (and last) river cruise for us. Emerald Sky is a great ship, and a great way to see several destinations with no hassle. Our cabin 311 was well decorated with good space and it was kept immaculately clean by our super cabin attendant Malik. All of the crew were terrific and very helpful. The entertainment wasn't to our taste but we enjoyed what we did join in with. The excursions were well organised and very good, the local guides excellent. The food was good but that's where we found our problem, we really didn't like having to all eat at 7pm which meant a race to get to a table, we hated having our food served like a canteen and the noise level in the dining room was just awful with people shouting across tables. Whilst we realise the crew have to multi-task and move from drinks duty to waiter service etc but this did not make for an enjoyable evening meal as we felt the dinner was rushed and certainly not the relaxed looking photo in the brochure! Thank you Emerald for the holiday, your staff are a credit to you but sadly we won't do another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I wanted to cruise the Rhine and visit places we had never been to before. The emerald sky is a beautiful ship with wonderful staff. We were delighted to have been upgraded to an owners suite which was an amazing ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to cruise the Rhine and visit places we had never been to before. The emerald sky is a beautiful ship with wonderful staff. We were delighted to have been upgraded to an owners suite which was an amazing surprise. I couldn't stop smiling. Rooms were beautiful and clean with everything and more that you needed for a comfortable stay. I have Crohn's disease so have some complex dietary needs. The resturaunt manager Adrian was amazing and helped me every day to choose what I wanted to eat and he liaised with the chef to ensure my meals and snacks were 'Crohn's friendly' so to speak. My only slight complaint is that all bar one of the excursions were early morning, not very relaxing when you have to set alarms to get up at 7 to be ready to go off out. Also most tours were quite rushed. For instance , we visited the beautiful Black Forest museum. We were told we only had time to visit two of the buildings and had maybe 20 mins free time before we had to go to a cake demonstration and then back to the bus to go back to the ship. There was no opportunity to revisit in our own time as it was so far from the port and the ship was sailing in the afternoon. We enjoyed the arranged visits to Koblenz and cologne and then had free time also to explore on our own so this was great. Our last stop was Amsterdam, again an early start, bus from port to city center, short city tour then canal boat tour which were good. We were then promised free time at museum square but because of delays with traffic etc we only had 20 mins before we had to leave to go back to the ship. I would have loved to visit the museums and have a walk around. There were shuttle buses provided in the afternoon for anyone wanting to go into Amsterdam on their own but I wasn't confident enough to do this. I would have liked someone with us who knew the city. I understand that the cruise had a timetable to stick to, that the ship had a lot of locks and ports to navigate and this may have influenced the timing and duration of shore excursions. On the whole though I really enjoyed my holiday. No complaints whatsoever about the ship, staff, service, cleanliness. Just a shame we felt rushed on our shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
For a trip of a lifetime it was far beyond anything we could have expected. The boat...amazing. No sway, very luxurious. The roooms were bigger than we thought they would be. And we had a room next to our friends so sitting out on our ... Read More
For a trip of a lifetime it was far beyond anything we could have expected. The boat...amazing. No sway, very luxurious. The roooms were bigger than we thought they would be. And we had a room next to our friends so sitting out on our veranda at nite was great. The food, WOW. I've eaten at alot of high end restaurants and the food on the ship was the best I've ever had, every night surprisingly it got better, even though I thought the food was the best I've ever tasted that nite. Thanks Chef Bobby. The staff was incredible. We mostly had Adrian and Krista look after us and they spoiled us rotten, we didn't want to leave the ship. the excursions were out of this world, I had black forest cake in the black forest WOOO! Just the history you experience makes you feel like your in a great dream that you don't want to end. We started out with four people in our group and by the end we had 17 people with us for dinner each nite. Great bunch of people. Gigi the lounge pianist was incredible. We interacted with him every nite and he took requests and even learned a song for someone in our group. We love you Gigi. He had as must fun as we did. We talked to just about everyone on the ship asking them where they were from and about their lives. Incredible bunch of people. I think they liked us too because one nite the Chef and the Captain came out and partied and danced with us in the lounge to the amazement of the servers haha. It was like one big happy bunch of friends, our gang and the crew. We booked our flight through Viking so we had everything taken care of from the time we landed until the time we left. We didn't have to worry about anything they had it all under control. What a load off that is. We got the silver package which lets you choose spirits, wine and beer off a high end list of alcohols. They give you wine or beer with lunch and dinner but you get a separate upscale menu for drinks if you have the silver package. That made our trip as well, because it let you try some of the finer alcohol with the food you were eating, and Krista was very knowledgeable about pairings and would recommend us to try this or that with certain foods. It ups the quality of your meals 10 fold and you have the added bonus of not having to sing for anything. Once we said we had the silver package Krista said she would take care of what ever we needed. And she did. Ivan the bartender was also amazing. We wanted to have mamosas on our balcony while cruising the Rhine at night and Ivan put a bottle of champagne, a bottle of orange juice and 4 glasses for us and our friends and walked it to our room for us. The excursions were so organized and timed our perfectly with one exception at one castle. there wasn't enough time to shop afterwards so it was really rushed. Everyone made them aware of that and all the future trips should have more time. All the other excursions were relaxed and their lollipop system for hearing the guide worked really well. The bus drivers were amazing drivers, and very professional. Top notch from start to end. Even though it's an expensive trip both my wife and I felt like we got our moneys worth and more. My wife said I have to end before I write a book lol. the best ship (Hlin) the best food the best crew the best excursions = the best trip ever Thank you Viking Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We booked a pre-extension excursion in Lake Luzern prior to our Rhine River trip. The Palace Hotel was beautiful. We had a view of the Lake from our room. Transfers from Airport/Hotel/Ship were so easy! Please allow Viking staff to do ... Read More
We booked a pre-extension excursion in Lake Luzern prior to our Rhine River trip. The Palace Hotel was beautiful. We had a view of the Lake from our room. Transfers from Airport/Hotel/Ship were so easy! Please allow Viking staff to do this.....you will be well cared for. Embarkation was easy and smooth. Cabin was well appointed with everything you need. I LOVE the heated bathroom floors...so nice! The housekeeping staff work SO hard and do a great job. All the ships' service staff are amazing....thank you Hemët!!! Chef Peter cut herbs from the Decktop Roof Herb Garden for our meals everyday. Everything is so fresh and tasty. Wine selections were subperb. Special guest performers at night were unbelievable. Don't miss these lounge activities in the evening following dinner. They really add to the cruise experience. All included excursions are above and beyond what you would expect. Beautiful Viking Buses transport you to locations of interest and there is plenty of time to view all the special sights. You never feel rushed. Local guides are so knowledgeable. If you get a chance, please take the Colmar WWII excursion with JOSEPH! He makes you feel like you were there. We had Dinner in Rudësheim at a wonderful restaurant with a great German Band. Food was excellent and the entertainment was so much fun. While all the excursions are great, this is where Viking goes over and beyond.....our traveling friends' father was deeply involved in capturing the Bridge at Remagen during the war. We cruised by the remains of the bridge at 5:00am and the Mani Captain put a spotlight on the Bridge as we sailed by in the dark so we could "toast" to Benny and Bernie, the two Army soldiers who held the bridge for the 1st Army! How wonderful is that? Program Director, George, makes traveling fun and easy. We don't know how he is able to watch over all the excursions, keep track of the buses and make sure we enjoy EVERY day onboard......but he does. Our final day is always hectic for travelers, but not so with the staff. Transfers to the airport are so well organized and they make sure you get to where you need to be. I left my phone onboard Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose the Rhine River cruise to celebrate our 25 th anniversary after spending the previous 2 months in Italy. 4 days prior to departure I received an email stating the ship had a broken propellor and that we would be bused to Breisach ... Read More
We chose the Rhine River cruise to celebrate our 25 th anniversary after spending the previous 2 months in Italy. 4 days prior to departure I received an email stating the ship had a broken propellor and that we would be bused to Breisach the day 2 port in Germany and not from our departure port of Basel, Switzerland. We were told to report to the Basel airport to meet the buses. Thus we missed the Basel tour and cruising upriver into Germany which is what we paid for and not a bus ride. Despite it being a Viking problem this matter was never brought up again and no compensation not even a free drink was offered as an apology. The following morning breakfast was a buffet fiasco with the wait line out the door. I felt as if I was on a Canaveral cruise. To make matters worse the wait staff really didnt smile except for perhaps one or two. On our 3 rd night when we returned to our suite 316 I checked the bedsheets and to my shock I could see blood stains and urine on the mattress cover showing through my sheet! I went to reception and the person there told me housekeeping was asleep. My response was " I'm not"! She came to our suite and she was appalled by what she saw! She did wake up the housekeeping manager but they didnt have clean linen! They put blankets as a mattress pad. The following morning the room cleaning girl apologized saying she didnt see it , but you had to be blind not to see the numerous blood and urine stains on both sides of the mattress pad. They gave us the drink package as an apology but we dont really drink. The remainder of the cruise was just ok. Too much time on buses, not enough in the towns . The food on the cruise was ok (6 on a scale of 1 to 10 ) not great so we started eating upstairs in the Aquavit Terrace as our waiter Sandor was friendly and fantastic in comparison to the wait staff in the dining room that really didnt smile! One evening I asked Tony the head of Dining for one of the dishes from upstairs and he told me to get it myself! I will say that Arturo our concierge was great. He was always willing to help and service with a smile. He indeed was a pleasure to interact with. The day we were to depart the ship the steward that came to get our bags was drinking a cup of coffee that he spilled on our luggage! Totally unprofessional! I'm so disappointed with Viking! Best thing on the cruise were the new friendships we made ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This is our first River Cruise. After flying from London, we sailed from Basel to Amsterdam in October/November 2016. The weather has been brilliant. Sunshine and no rain until the last day; it was certainly far better than expected. ... Read More
This is our first River Cruise. After flying from London, we sailed from Basel to Amsterdam in October/November 2016. The weather has been brilliant. Sunshine and no rain until the last day; it was certainly far better than expected. Kara is delightfully designed in blond wood and soft blues and greys for the fabrics and curtains. The public areas are quite spacious although Kara wasn't full up with only 140 passengers aboard so there was plenty of room for all. The organisation from pick up from the airport to our flight home could hardly be faulted. All the included tours were excellent. led by knowledgeable, interesting guides. There was a mix of night time and daylight cruising and the trip through the Rhine Gorge was certainly scenic and attractive with a good commentary by Boris our Programme Director all the way. The stateroom, a deluxe balcony, was small but more than adequate and the bathroom has a heated floor and lovely thick towels, pleasant, if not luxury, toiletries. The shower is efficient with simple to use controls. The toiletries are replenished frequently. The electric sockets are plentiful. There is water in the fridge, glasses and an ice bucket. An ice machine is down the hallway. There was just one disappointment, but it is quite an important factor. The Food. Breakfast and the lunch buffet were very good, but the evening dinner was not. Some starters, but not all were quite nice, but the main courses were really not up to scratch. I have read in these reviews that the food was above excellent. Were we unlucky? Is it really a matter of personal taste. I am not sure it is. Many others we spoke to were as critical as we were. The meals were unimaginative, and sometimes plain stodgy (specially a cannelloni that was inedible). The steak was always good, but I cannot eat that every night. To sum up, a river cruise is not the relaxing sailing along, watching the world go by, that you might expect. We were disappointed that we did not negotiate any locks during the day time. There is quite a lot of noise when the ship is manoeuvring. For the city tours you need considerable stamina and good footwear! On the whole we enjoyed our cruise, but would be very reluctant to return to Viking because of our experience with the evening dinner. By the way, we are going on our first Viking Ocean cruise in January so I will be reporting on that food too!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A river cruise is something we've always wanted to do, so agreed to join my husband's two sisters on the Rhine R. from Basel to Amsterdam. We both booked a veranda room and the included air option for a substantial price (as ... Read More
A river cruise is something we've always wanted to do, so agreed to join my husband's two sisters on the Rhine R. from Basel to Amsterdam. We both booked a veranda room and the included air option for a substantial price (as compared to the many ocean cruises we've taken). We decided to fly in 2 days early to Zurich to do more sightseeing in Switzerland. Viking managed to add on fees for change of airports: one for Switzerland and another for the US. We made our own hotel reservations in Zurich which saved quite a few hundred dollars. They told us no transfers were available from Zurich to Basel so we arranged those on our own also. Come to find out, on sailing day they did provide transfers from Zurich to Basel for folks who flew into Zurich. (We heard this form Canadian passengers who said a bus brought them from Zurich to Basel with only 4 passengers aboard!) But I digress. While the ship was lovely and our cabins very comfortable and the staff always helpful and friendly---this was our only ever Viking cruise. Our main complaint was the constant "rafting" of boats at nearly every port. Our balconies were useless at that point. We had no views, no light or sunshine and no privacy. We had to pull our draperies as the adjacent ship balcony was less than one foot away! The extra money spent for a balcony was a total waste. We do have to commend the cabin attendants and the dining room waiters, especially. They were first class and took such good care of us. Remembered our names from the first day forward with smiles on their faces. The meals were disappointing for lack of variety and for the constant use of gravies and sauces on almost everything. Plus, most dishes at lunch and dinner were prepared with excessive salt. There were some tasty options and always a nice selection of salad greens and fixings. Every beef entree at dinner was almost too tough to chew. Stick with the fish. We enjoyed all the included tours although some moved at a snail's pace with a lot of time just standing around. We took two optional tours: Medieval Colmar Village and the Mosel Vineyards Tour . Both were well done and worth the investment. We missed having more free time in the cities for exploring and shopping. Also missed having even a basic room service available to bring a morning cup of coffee to us. There is no coffee maker in the room and to get your first cup you have to get dressed, comb your hair and walk a good distance to the one coffee service on deck 3. Guess we're spoiled as every hotel room has a kettle/coffee maker. And every ocean cruise ship has room service. A minor point---but for the money Viking extracts----?? So, we have good memories of the cities and places visited. But not so good memories of the Vidar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was a bucket list fulfilled. The ship was great. Rooms not huge but we spent so little time in them it didn't matter. The good thing about the ship was that it can sail in low and high water where a larger ship may not be able ... Read More
This was a bucket list fulfilled. The ship was great. Rooms not huge but we spent so little time in them it didn't matter. The good thing about the ship was that it can sail in low and high water where a larger ship may not be able to. Food was fabulous! Service was excellent! Entertainment and activities were excellent. The piano player was really good! The shore excursions were good and had very knowledgeable tour guides. We had massages and that was a great experience too. The person in charge of all activities was very helpful and made sure we had all the information we needed to choose the best option for us. They also took care of our food allergy needs. If an opportunity came up I would not hesitate to go again. It was a wonderful trip and Uniworld made it perfect for us. We had a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Uniworld had consistently excellent reviews for the Castles on the Rhine trip and our experience lived up to all the expectations. We spent a few days in Basel and Lake Luzerne prior to embarkation and it was a very easy city to explore on ... Read More
Uniworld had consistently excellent reviews for the Castles on the Rhine trip and our experience lived up to all the expectations. We spent a few days in Basel and Lake Luzerne prior to embarkation and it was a very easy city to explore on our own. When we boarded the SS Antoinette, we were impressed with the professionalism and friendliness evoked by all the staff. Our suite was lovely and having a butler who was charming was a very nice added benefit. The dining options were excellent as was every aspect of the service on board. We enjoyed all the excursions with the exception of the Black Forest. We would have preferred to have stayed in Strasbourg to explore that city more. Colmar and Speyer were very lovely cities and the tour guides were well informed. Of course, after departing from Rudesheim, sailing down the Rhine and seeing all the Castles was a highlight. The fact that we had fantastic weather made the trip even better. Disembarkation in Amsterdam went smoothly but unfortunately the weather deteriorated at that point. We toured Amsterdam on our own for two days and found that city somewhat chaotic but the museums were worth it. We definitely plan to take another river cruise in the future - just have to decide which one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife and I sailed on the Scenic Opal on the river Rhine from Sep. 17th to the 26th from Basel (Switzerland) to Amsterdam (Netherlands) We have never had such a wonderful time, although we were on the Danube 4 years ago with Scenic. ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Scenic Opal on the river Rhine from Sep. 17th to the 26th from Basel (Switzerland) to Amsterdam (Netherlands) We have never had such a wonderful time, although we were on the Danube 4 years ago with Scenic. We were in one of the Royal Balcony cabins which was spacious and comfortable. The Butler and the cabin attendant saw to all our needs which included our Wedding anniversary and my birthday. Dining was excellent, breakfast was a buffet (very extensive) and lunch and dinner were a la carte (waiter served). Port and shore excursions were interesting and informative all made exciting by the Tour Director. Travelling to the Ship from the Zurich airport (luxury coach) and returning to the Amsterdam airport (limousine) was handled by Scenic. Luggage transportation was all handled well as our cases were in the cabin before we got there. If you are going on a river cruise look no further than Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
As expected, this cruise exceeded our expectations! The service was impeccable. Arrived in Basel Switzerland for an early embarkation which was seamless and so inviting. The ship was in pristine condition as we think it was new. We had a ... Read More
As expected, this cruise exceeded our expectations! The service was impeccable. Arrived in Basel Switzerland for an early embarkation which was seamless and so inviting. The ship was in pristine condition as we think it was new. We had a veranda suite that was absolutely perfect with a balcony. Much room to separate at times when you wanted to take a nap but in separate rooms. You can easily close off bedroom from living area and relax. the dining as well was exceptional with amazing service. This is our 2nd river cruise with Viking and must say this was as perfect as the first. We did not choose as much entertainment in the evening as we were very tired and went to bed early, however when we did it was very nice and fun. We met the most amazing people on this trip and now even will travel with them during the year for fun weekends. We did many optional excursions including two that we found above exceptional..... In cologne, the beer culture tour took us into town to try many beers and have a traditional dinner that was great. In Strasbourg, we did the optional tour taste of Alsace and foodie tour. We gathered and tasted food from many family owned shops and then it was all prepared for us at the end in a wine cellar as lunch. Outstanding and our tour guide was "our friend" , we didn't feel like tourists, we were her family. There was a younger couple on the cruise in mid 20's but really seemed to enjoy themselves the entire trip. We are the upper 50's crowd and this was right up our alley. Again, this is our 2nd river cruise and already booked the viking ocean cruise in December from Athens to Venice. Will definitely do another river cruise with Viking. It is a 5 star river boat. My only comment that wouldn't be a 5 star rating and this is a huge stretch to even complain about is that the coffee onboard is mediocre. I'm a coffee snob so take it for what is worth. However I didn't go on the cruise for coffee so it doesn't affect my rating. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife and I just returned from our very first river cruise on the Tranquility II. We sailed northbound on the Rhine, from Basel to Amsterdam. We were by ourselves but met many interesting people from the UK, Australia, Canada, and of ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our very first river cruise on the Tranquility II. We sailed northbound on the Rhine, from Basel to Amsterdam. We were by ourselves but met many interesting people from the UK, Australia, Canada, and of course, most were from the US. The meals were course after course of appetizing, creative and country-oriented flavors. There were four entrees that were always available. Breakfasts included made-to-order eggs and omelettes, lunches were also buffet style and offered a huge array of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and breads. Dinners were multiple courses with plenty of options. Happy hour was a great time and Stefano, our cruise director, was there to give us information about the next day. On board newsletter was great. The wait staff were efficient and friendly, quick to refill our wines, beer and sodas, and eager to get something special for us if we wanted. Avalon is known for their excellent service and we were not disappointed. All the crew on the ship were friendly and eager to help. I did not feel they were overburdened as on the larger cruise ships. They worked hard and did multiple jobs, but the ratio of staff to passengers was much better than on large cruise ships. They also got along well with each other - the crew entertainment night, which I normally do not attend, was an absolute riot! I really appreciated the attention to detail across the board, including activities and excursions and the ability to pre-pay gratuities. Stayed an extra night in Amsterdam and all the transfers and connections were seamless. My wife and I would absolutely go on another Avalon cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Uniworld was recommended by some very discriminating friends with high expectations of their vacation experiences, who had nothing but great things to say. Every aspect of the cruise was wonderful. From the moment we were picked up, the ... Read More
Uniworld was recommended by some very discriminating friends with high expectations of their vacation experiences, who had nothing but great things to say. Every aspect of the cruise was wonderful. From the moment we were picked up, the entire experience was smooth and easy. Everyone that works on the ship, from cabin attendants to dining room staff to front desk, provided excellent service. They truly seemed focused on helping us get the most out of our trip. It is apparent that Uniworld has very high standards and excellent training to assure all Associates meet those standards. The only real surprise to me what that when docked in port, river ships are often stacked up and docked to each other. So you may have to walk through another ship to get to your own, or passengers from other ships may walk through yours. Another result is that you may have a ship nearly against your cabin window. So if you want natural light when in port you may have to go on deck, but once you know what to expect it's no problem. When sailing you can open your window and enjoy the view, but we found we were rarely in our cabin except to sleep. We extended our stay in Amsterdam which was a lot of fun. There were tours in the mornings only, which gave us lots of time to explore on our own too. We can't wait until our next Uniworld cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The cruise was to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary, and the Emerald Sky had all the facilities we were looking for when making our decision which company to book with. These included good food, excellent service from crew and ... Read More
The cruise was to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary, and the Emerald Sky had all the facilities we were looking for when making our decision which company to book with. These included good food, excellent service from crew and staff, comfortable cabin, with interesting port and shore excursions. A big PLUS was the small swimming pool that we used to relax in on our return from the excellent trips provided as part of the package. The cruise through the Rhine Gorge was well presented by the Cruise Director. The attention to detail and cleanliness throughout the ship was excellent. Emerald Sky was cared for and well maintained and the crew and staff were proud of their ship. The variety and quality of the food and wine was also excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for the crew and staff. Being friendly, helpful and happy, all enjoying what they were doing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a wonderful time the ship was superb and all the staff were fantastic. The food was very good, we tasted things we didn't even knew about before. The culinary experience was as delightful as the cultural experience. All the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time the ship was superb and all the staff were fantastic. The food was very good, we tasted things we didn't even knew about before. The culinary experience was as delightful as the cultural experience. All the tours were interesting and informative and there was nearly always time to explore more on your own if you wished or just have a coffee and watch the world go by. The swimming pool was amazing and a great place to have a bit of exercise while watching beautiful scenery pass by. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and it was a surprise to see 3 familiar faces from the Danube cruise last year, they all recognised us before we realised who they were. Wonderful customer service. The entertainment in the evenings was very enjoyable, there was always live music that you could dance to until late, as well as singers and the hilarious Staff Show. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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