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Sail Date: December 2018
We cruised from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. We decided to go in December so that we could experience the many Christmas markets along the Rhine River. They were amazing. The cruise was better than I ever imagined! The food was ... Read More
We cruised from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. We decided to go in December so that we could experience the many Christmas markets along the Rhine River. They were amazing. The cruise was better than I ever imagined! The food was better than gourmet. I get horribly motion sick, but did not have any issues on this boat. The boat was clean, the staff were ever professional and our cruise director, Sebastian, always went above and beyond. He was funny, too! The tour guides were all local to the port we were in. They were really knowledgable and great story tellers. Our best tour guide was on the Colmar World War II memorial tour. The included excursions were great and we chose to go on several optional tours. I am already planning my next Viking River Cruise. I would highly recommend going on this cruise. Even if you have limited mobility, they had tour groups that were for people who needed a slower pace. They made sure that everybody on the cruise had an enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was the second German December Christmas Markets cruise on Viking with a girlfriend. We had a great time again! We were on the Rhine River and were lucky enough to be able to stick to our itinerary since it had started to rain ... Read More
This was the second German December Christmas Markets cruise on Viking with a girlfriend. We had a great time again! We were on the Rhine River and were lucky enough to be able to stick to our itinerary since it had started to rain enough so that we didn't have to change ships mid cruise. The food on the Alruna was some of the best I have ever had on any ship! The cabins were clean and spacious enough for us and all of our treasures we bought at the Christmas markets. The staff was superlative! Everyone was extremely professional and friendly and knowledgeable of the area. We had a great time and look forward to another Viking trip. We loved the itinerary which started in Switzerland and ended in Amsterdam. Each town had a Christmas market and they were each different due to the locale. Strasbourg was the best! Overall excellent experience! Read Less
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Sail Date: December 2018
This trip was with 8 of our closest friends and THAT made it very special to us. We generally travel alone, but this time we took along friends. We all spent 2 extra days in our arrival city, Basel, Switzerland. Most of us took a side trip ... Read More
This trip was with 8 of our closest friends and THAT made it very special to us. We generally travel alone, but this time we took along friends. We all spent 2 extra days in our arrival city, Basel, Switzerland. Most of us took a side trip to the Swiss Alps which were covered in snow and the sights were fantastic. I highly recommend you ask your Viking rep about this trip to Lucerne if you have the time.Our embarkation and debarkation went very well. No complaints about that part and they took care of all the luggage from the hotel to the ship, and since most of us also extended for 2 more days at our ending city - Amsterdam - all our luggage was taken from the ship to that hotel as well. Very nice. The ship is very nice. Smaller than the regular cruise liners, but that makes it special. I believe there were only about 190 folks on our ship. We got the balcony cabin even though it was December, but that extra room was nice. Some of the did not get this room type and said their room was much smaller. As for the dining, fantastic. The food is very good and lots of it. Breakfast was either buffet or order from the menu. Dinners were multi-course and always several options to choose from. Wine or soda if you didn't drink wine was always included with all meals. Many of the lunches we were out on an excursion or in town enjoying the local cuisine and visiting the Christmas Market. My only complaint about the dining was that they didn't do reservations. There were two large groups on the ship, but only one table setup that would hold 10 folks. There was some "territory" issues the first couple days, but in the end, our group did get the larger table. I can't say that I was a fan of the entertainment on board the ship in the evenings. Usually it was a gentleman playing piano and singing. We did not usually stay to listen to him. Dinners were late - started at 7PM, and with our larger group lasted a while, so usually we just went back to our cabin after dinner. I can say that the included excursions for each port city were very nice. They were mostly walking tours so if you have difficulty walking, some of them may have been a little hard to do. What I really liked was that they were all early in the morning and were usually done by the time the markets opened, so we had plenty of time to walk through them. This gave my husband the opportunity to hear the history and me the time to spend in the markets, nice! We did do a couple extra excursions at an extra cost and they were also very nice. The service on board was also very good. The room stewards had the rooms cleaned up most days before you got back from breakfast and turned down by the time you were done with dinner. The waiters were exceptional and stayed with one area, so by the time the cruise was done, we all knew each other quite well. Our weather was not the best - very rainy. However, due to this rain, our cruise was the first one this year that was able to sail all the way up the Rhine River and NOT have to switch boats as we thought we might have at the start of the trip. THAT was VERY nice!! Of course after we made it through the lower part of the river, would have been nice to have a couple sunny days. We made out though. The only bad thing about the rain was the day we were at Kinderdijk. This was were the windmills were, but it was raining so bad and very windy that most of our group opt'd not to venture out and those that did came back early. Only one couple in our group was brave enough to stay the whole time and they were completely soaked by the time they returned to the ship. Would I go again? I would defiantly do a Viking cruise again if I were to take another river cruise. We have done the Danube (different cruise vendor) and now the Rhine, so if I decide to do another area that Viking cruises to, definitely. The break on the airfare was nice too. Most of us upgraded to Economy Plus which helped with the long flight from the states to Switzerland. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We absolutely loved our Viking Cruise. This was our first river cruise and and we were told many times that river cruising is different than ocean cruising. It is indeed but it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. We cruised the Rhine ... Read More
We absolutely loved our Viking Cruise. This was our first river cruise and and we were told many times that river cruising is different than ocean cruising. It is indeed but it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. We cruised the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam. We were so impressed with every city we visited and the excursions that were included with the cruise, were quality tours that were lead by interesting tour guides. And Christmas time was such a wonderful time to explore Europe with all the Christmas markets. It was magical. Viking’s attention to detail in every facet of our cruise was impressive, from heated bathroom floors, to water provided on our tours and treats awaiting us as we got back to the boat. We also chose to extend our travel on both sides of the cruise through Viking. Once again, we were not disappointed. We stayed in beautiful hotels in Lucerne Switzerland and Amsterdam. And Viking took care of getting us to where we needed to go every time. I did not have to think about anything - they handled it all. Viking has made a life long customer of me! I can’t wait to book my next Viking Cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We have never been on a river cruise or Germany before.We were concerned about the low waters in the Rhine but they managed the detours in a very acceptable fashion. Highlights: Meeting people from all over and interacting with them. ... Read More
We have never been on a river cruise or Germany before.We were concerned about the low waters in the Rhine but they managed the detours in a very acceptable fashion. Highlights: Meeting people from all over and interacting with them. Made friends with a couple from Australia whom we hope to visit some day. Lutz the cruise director was outstanding. He managed a crowd of well traveled customers flawlessly. Evelyn the hotel manager could not have been better. Enthusiastic, bubbly and always there to help. Food was excellent. Hate to say that I gained 8 pounds! .We have been on many ocean cruises but without question this is the best cruise we ever sailed on. The included excursions were well planned and informative. Don't hesitate if you want a river cruise. Viking knows how to do them. Although we had to bus around low water the transfer to a sister ship was not a major issue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the ... Read More
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the only time we received future information was if we called to ask a question. A few days before our departure, I had read on the internet that Viking was having issues with low water levels, so I called "customer service" and that information was disclosed to me, AT THE TIME. After sharing my displeasure with the lack of communication received, all the documents suddenly appeared on the internet for printing. Up until this time, we had only received the blue Viking bag with the itinerary and luggage tags. We had already decided we were going to have a good time regardless!! Our cruise started out on the Idi, but we were transferred to our scheduled ship, Kvasir the 4th day. This move was smooth and was made by Viking personnel while we were on a tour. They also gave us an additional tour and our time on the bus was broken up and not very intrusive into our schedule. No complaints here! The food was average and the dining service was good. I felt like the personnel was not as happy as they could be.....don't know what was going on there; for the most part, they were friendly and cordial. The Hosts/Hostesses and guides were knowledgeable, and very helpful. I know there were some people complaining, but we were determined it would be a fun experience, and it was a vacation I will always remenber with fond memories. We had scheduled the pre-extension in Lucerne, and the Hotel was a 5 Star....absolutely beautiful and was conveniently located. The post-extension was Amsterdam, with the hotel rated 4 Star, but was more like a 2 star. The bathroom was disgusting.....the hotel wasn't located close to anything!! We heard comments from others in our group with similar experiences. Both of the hotels provided wonderful buffet breakfasts. We enjoyed each and every port, and the tours weres excellent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Five days in advance, we checked with Viking because we heard that water levels were low, and we were told that "Everything is fine." That was totally untrue; the ship had been docked in one place for the previous two weeks! We ... Read More
Five days in advance, we checked with Viking because we heard that water levels were low, and we were told that "Everything is fine." That was totally untrue; the ship had been docked in one place for the previous two weeks! We had to be transported by bus, and spent 13 hours on buses in the final two days alone. Did not see everything that was featured. Viking did not offer alternatives that other lines did. After the cruise, Viking sent a voucher for 25% of the cruise-only fare, but that amounted to only 13% of the total we paid to Viking, including air fares and post-cruise extensions, and the voucher must be used within one year. We have have taken many other cruises and had heard good things about Viking, but Viking waited until we were on site before they were honest about the problems. The ship and crew were all right but Viking "threw" the cruise director "under the bus" and she had to deal with all the unhappy passengers and all the complaints. The post-cruise hotel in Paris was very poorly run, overcrowded and not up to our expectations. On ship, the walking/jogging track is inches above the expensive 3rd-deck cabins; the track was supposed to be closed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. but that was not enforced and we were awakened at 6 a.m. every morning but one, even though we told the cruise director, reception desk and hotel manager. Shore excursions ranged from excellent to awful. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Overall the cruise was very disappointing. Due to the low water in the Rhine, the ship was not able to dock at any of the ports on the itinerary. We were bused to all the cites which took away from the convenience of getting on and off ... Read More
Overall the cruise was very disappointing. Due to the low water in the Rhine, the ship was not able to dock at any of the ports on the itinerary. We were bused to all the cites which took away from the convenience of getting on and off the ship during the day. We did a ship swap on the 3rd day and spent 8 hours on a bus getting to towns and the next ship. For 4 days the ship was docked at a commercial area near Cologne, Germany along with many other ships. The ships were all joined side by side together – at one point we were 4th in a group of 6. When we opened our cabin curtains all we saw was the side of another ship, or the inside of someone else’s cabin. Could not use the balcony! I know that Viking is trying to do their best with the low water situation, but in my opinion the best would be to cancel the trips until the water levels are back up. Its not right to pay for a cruise, but receive a bus tour. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We had never seen this part of Europe and wanted to see it. We were met at the airport in Zurich by the Viking representative and had a nice drive to Lucerne, where we stayed for 3 days prior to embarking in Basel. Lucerne was ... Read More
We had never seen this part of Europe and wanted to see it. We were met at the airport in Zurich by the Viking representative and had a nice drive to Lucerne, where we stayed for 3 days prior to embarking in Basel. Lucerne was delightful, we stayed at the Hotel Schweizerhof, a deluxe hotel by the lake and by the chapel bridge. Viking guides there were excellent, Jacqueline showed us Lucerne and kept us up to date on Viking, and she was excellent. Her tour of Lucerne did a marvelous job of covering the most notable features, and she was very informative about Switzerland. The next day we took a trip up the Stanserhorn, which was spectacular (we had good weather). You got incredible views of the countryside and Switzerland, and our guide, Jim was very knowledgeable about the area and gave us a lot of interesting background on Switzerland. Some walking is involved but it was moderate, and the trails were excellent. At the end of this, Jim took us to the ship in Basel and gave us an extremely interesting and informative account of how Switzerland handles many government functions, such as health car. Between Jim and Jacqueline I felt we got a superb tour of Lucerne and the area, and acquired a lot of current information about Switzerland. The rest of the cruise went well. Due to low water on the Rhine, we had to get off at Breisach take a bus to Heidelberg, where we had a nice tour and then we got on the Ksavir at Koblenz (they used a sister ship, the Idi from Basel to Breisach). This was accomplished smoothly and the next day we saw the part of the Rhine we missed on a shallow draft sightseeing boat. While this was a nuisance, since the Rhine was at the lowest level ever recorded, Viking's problems were understandable. The rest of the tour went well, the guides were excellent, the areas visited were interesting and enjoyable (Cologne cathedral was especially notable) and I would definitely give the cruise high ratings. But, as I said at the start, the beginning excursion in Switzerland was what really set it apart. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned ... Read More
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned that the low water happens occasionally and unfortunately we hit peak time. If we had know of this possible occurrence we would have postponed our trip to another season. We received a notice just the day before we left that this might be the case, but what were we to do with such late notice. We had to changed ships (pack everything up bright an early), were bused for hours, walked what seems for miles, missed 3 or our desired excursions and other smaller things, such as the head set that didn't work, etc Yes, we saw some beautiful cities, and did enjoy the excisions we did make, but other it was not the trip we had planned on. I did express my concerns with Viking and they listened politely and gave us a $250 voucher (kinda a laugh really), but unfortunately that money was spent and gone now. So check before you leave, make sure it is not at low water, and then it should be fine. Read Less
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