3 Basel Viking River Viking Gefjon Cruise Reviews

We have done many Caribbean cruises, but this was our first (hopefully more to come) river cruise. We had a bit of trouble finding the ship in Basel, but once there the care was awesome (even in the pouring rain). The team was waiting ... Read More
We have done many Caribbean cruises, but this was our first (hopefully more to come) river cruise. We had a bit of trouble finding the ship in Basel, but once there the care was awesome (even in the pouring rain). The team was waiting with umbrellas in hand, to get you on the ship and make sure your luggage stayed as dry as possible. It set the tone for how the crew (and Viking) treated their guests. The ship was well appointed, the rooms very clean to start and very well maintained throughout our stay. There are nice touches - cookies, coffee and tea throughout the day - like we really needed them. We managed to stay connected to the internet throughout the trip which allowed us to talk with our family via Skype every day. The staff was incredibly nice, very accommodating and personable. Not always an easy combination. We ran into the Restaurant Manager while walking through Koblenz and he was so quick to ask if we needed directions or help, even though he was clearly on his own time. The second time was our room steward who we ran into in Cologne and she too wanted to make sure we were OK and didn't need any help. When we were disembarking in Amsterdam we had time for sightseeing, so they held our bags and arranged transportation at the end of the day. There is something to be said for 190 passengers versus 5,000. The excursions and cultural events were very nice and made a big difference in getting the most out of our cruise. The trip didn't go without any hiccups, but where there was a bit of a problem (late bus in Heidelberg due to traffic) the staff did everything they could to make it better. The tours of major cities (Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne were extremely well done and the local guides were able to share detailed information. We really enjoyed the Cheese Farm in Kinderdijk and managed to take away some incredible cheese. The scenery enroute to the farm was through really beautiful countryside. Very flat, but really nice and quite the change from scenery early in the trip. The amazing thing to me was that even though we knew nobody on the ship at the start, we ended up with a group of 6-8 of us that always ended up together. We really did not have anything in common, but became friends over the 8 days. On that last evening we were talking about our reunion cruise. Who knows if it will happen, but that was a good start. I have talked to a number of friends who have done Viking cruises and they too made friends with a group of people while on the ship. Must be something in the wine and beer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were on the 2nd Gefjon cruise from Basel to Paris; due to heavy rains river level of Rhine was high. We left Basil earlier than planned to clear a bridge, then were bussed back to Basel to keep our itinerary. We then sailed overnight ... Read More
We were on the 2nd Gefjon cruise from Basel to Paris; due to heavy rains river level of Rhine was high. We left Basil earlier than planned to clear a bridge, then were bussed back to Basel to keep our itinerary. We then sailed overnight to Strasbourg across from Kehl. We were then bussed to Strasbourg for a planned tour. This was the last move we made on Gefjon. While we don't blame Viking for the condition of the river, we do blame them for poor decision process and extremely muddled communication. The ship staff, chefs, housekeeping, waiters, concierge were superb, trying to keep the passengers happy. However, management decisions,those on board as well as from HQ did not appear to be well coordinated and constantly in flux. The net effect was they bussed us to and from Gefjon to most of our destinations until they had to put us up in a hotel in Mainz. We did not know with certainty until that morning that we would have to disembark. We were then bussed to Trier for an abbreviated version of the itinerary, then bussed to Paris where we finally got to relax. We were on a bus tour of Italy last year which was why we chose a river cruise, to avoid busses, at least so we thought. This was our first Viking cruise and may be the last. By the way, the ship captain was 27 years old. While age is not the only indicator of competence, I have wondered if this situation would have benefitted from a more seasoned captain. Lastly nothing from Viking about any compensation for our abbreviated cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were on the second trip of the Viking Gefjon, and also had room 205. Our trip was totally different than Ralphster. Due to high water, the ship was stuck at Kehl/Strasbourg for 5 nights. Each day, we would gather at 7 pm to hear what ... Read More
We were on the second trip of the Viking Gefjon, and also had room 205. Our trip was totally different than Ralphster. Due to high water, the ship was stuck at Kehl/Strasbourg for 5 nights. Each day, we would gather at 7 pm to hear what was going to happen the next day. Some days it was close to what the itinerary promised. Most of the time it wasn't. Each day there was a 20 minute walk to get on a bus to go somewhere with a church and a market square. No other options. There were problems with the bus tours, as buses were late, got lost, and had tour guides who couldn't work headsets. We even had a bus driver who was texting while driving on the Autobahn. The last night, we got our hopes up, as we were told the ship would be leaving at 10 pm and we would at least get to cruise one time. 10 pm came and went and the ship didn't move. The next day, we were bused to the middle Rhein where we had an hour and a half boatride. The worst part of the ride was that 2 other Viking Longships passed us - taking the cruise vacation we were supposed to have. I'm not blaming the ship's crew. But they were very new and inexperienced, and did not know how to calm people down, much less try to lighten a very disappointing vacation. Dinner service took over 2 hours each night, not that we had anything else to do. Being handed warm mineral water as we left the ship each day didn't improve peoples moods. We observed another ship who was in the same predicament as we were, docked a little down from us. Their crew was outside greeting them whenever they returned from a bus trip. The sad part is, I could have really enjoyed this trip. We took it to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and we were eagerly looking forward to a nice vacation. We enjoyed ( for the most part) the open seating and getting to know other passengers. The room was nice, even though only one person could cross the foot of the bed at a time. I appreciated the night light in the bathroom. The much talked about heated bathroom floor didn't work. The movie selection was adequate, but not long enough. The balcony would have been lovely if the ship moved at all. I understand that flooding occurs often on the rivers that these ships travel. By now, management should have devised alternatives for their guests that didn't involve continually waiting to see what the next day would bring. If the ship had been proactive, it could have gone much further downstream when the flooding started and thus not gotten stuck at a point of no movement. Alternate tours and options should have been provided. On board entertainment could have been upgraded from accordion players. More than one free drink would have helped. When we returned, there was a 25% credit towards a future cruise emailed to us, as if 75% of the trip went well and 25% didn't. I don't know if I am going to use it. I'm not recommending this cruiseline. I think the company has grown too fast and not given enough thought to the problems that will occur. They have concentrated on expansion and not on customer relations. Even the customer service rep I talked to sounded tired of it all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking Gefjon Ratings
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