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2,291 Budapest to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Several of our friends had booked the tour and it was an area of the world we would not otherwise see. River cruising appeals to us as there are fewer passengers and you normally arrive in the town - no tendering, etc. wine and ... Read More
Several of our friends had booked the tour and it was an area of the world we would not otherwise see. River cruising appeals to us as there are fewer passengers and you normally arrive in the town - no tendering, etc. wine and beer are included with all meals and the staff was generous with refilling glasses. Meals had a nice variety and I was never disappointed in the quality. Most of our excursion guides were easy to understand and very knowledgeable. As in any cruise some were better than others but I would give them all a good rating. Having bikes on board for use in ports is a bonus for us. It is a relaxing holiday that combines visiting new places, good food and time to sit back while cruising down the river. Good weather on this cruise made it just that much better! Every crew member from the captain and tour director to our cabin steward and waiters were friendly and approachable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Travelled previously with riviera and been impressed with their reliability and service. Ship was spotless loved our cabin on Diamond deck which had a fully retracting sliding window so you can watch the scenery glide past from the ... Read More
Travelled previously with riviera and been impressed with their reliability and service. Ship was spotless loved our cabin on Diamond deck which had a fully retracting sliding window so you can watch the scenery glide past from the comfort of your own cabin. Plenty of storage space, cases fitted under the bed, there was a kettle for making tea, a Nespresso machine and a small fridge and safe. The bathroom was modern and well fitted out. There is a lift for all floors other than the Sun Deck. This had a small splash pool and putting green and masses of seating. Staff were excellent and friendly, all seemed to do at leats two jobs. The food really good, there is a bistro open lunchtimes and bookable (but free) for evenings. Main dining room buffet breakfast & lunch served in the evening. The tours were informative and well managed.Used a "voice box" on all the tours which is really helpful. Entertainment was on a par with other river cruises, a couple of local folkloric groups, quizzes, a crew show and a pianist . Ports were interesting we sailed from Budapest down through the Danube Delta to the Black Sea & back. Lots of old Soviet bloc countries with really interesting histories. It was fascinating to hear our guides varying views on the same events in relatively recent history. The value for money with riviera is much better than on many of their competitors and food etc is on a par, and the cabin layout to our preference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have always wanted to try a river cruise because I have always travelled on ocean cruises. I liked the smaller amount of people, the ports were exquisite, you could see land on both sides of the ship always, no rocking of the boat, ... Read More
I have always wanted to try a river cruise because I have always travelled on ocean cruises. I liked the smaller amount of people, the ports were exquisite, you could see land on both sides of the ship always, no rocking of the boat, the excursions were good except for one where we could not understand our guide. The cons were there was not a lot of choice as far as food, the rooms are small with some issues of smelling the drain in the shower. There was also issues with the woman’s bathroom on one of the floors. Another common thing is changing ships because the water level being low. Talking to the crew this happens almost every time and in that case you are shuttled to the next ship or to your next excursion but that usually is hours away. I’m glad I did it but will think hard about doing it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A friend recommended AmaWaterways and we are so glad we went on a river boat cruise with this company! The crew was amazing and always willing to help no matter what we needed. Christian was the best Cruise Manager. He went above and ... Read More
A friend recommended AmaWaterways and we are so glad we went on a river boat cruise with this company! The crew was amazing and always willing to help no matter what we needed. Christian was the best Cruise Manager. He went above and beyond whenever anyone had a special request. It was great having a small group of people. We were able to meet some really wonderful people on the boat. The food was really good as well, a lot of variety. Much better than a cruise line that we’ve been on before. The only thing they didn’t have was salsa. The wait staff was very professional and service was quick. Our cabin was spacious and very well maintained throughout the trip. The shore excursions were pretty good, but a couple of the guides were not as good as the rest. We wish we could have had more free time for shopping. Sometimes the excursions were a bit rushed and we didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked. All-in-all, we would definitely recommend AmaWaterways and will probably go on another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had heard some positive reports about Viking - Had never done a river cruise before (although we have done several ocean cruises) We were excited to cruise the beautiful Danube and see the country - However, we spent very ... Read More
We had heard some positive reports about Viking - Had never done a river cruise before (although we have done several ocean cruises) We were excited to cruise the beautiful Danube and see the country - However, we spent very little time on the river - spent 3 days on canals, more than a day total on locks, and docked in only 2 cities - which required us to take bus rides (on their schedule - some up to 90 min to 2 hours) to get to the port cities we wanted to see. The worst part was having to change boats half way through the trip - a plan to which we were not notified until we were on the cruise. Worst of all - when we got on the second ship, we found belongings of the previous cabin occupants in the bed! Gross! After making us pack up and change ships, we weren't even put in cabins with clean sheets!! TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE - as well as disgusting and unsanitary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular ... Read More
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular mention of Ryan and Ladice. The entertainment manager Ryan worked tirelessly and had to over come low water problems. One of the great pleasures it to meet new friends and the river boats with their very comfortable lounge is excellent for doing so. The shore excursions are interesting. The guide did an excellent talk in the Court of Justice in Nurembourg. And the guide at Regensbourg wae entertaining and amusing. She could be an actress. There was a problem with low water in the river and we were forced to change ships. But all at Viking did their utmost to limit this inconvenience. Whilst the Hilton at Budapest was comfortable we would have preferred a hotel on the waterfront near the chain bridge where we stayed previously We plan to take another Viking River Cruise in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose it because we wanted to see the towns and cities on this particular Danube cruise. We had never done any kind of cruise before, and didn't really know what to expect. We found the cabin comfortable and spacious and the staff ... Read More
We chose it because we wanted to see the towns and cities on this particular Danube cruise. We had never done any kind of cruise before, and didn't really know what to expect. We found the cabin comfortable and spacious and the staff were excellent. The food was much better and more varied than we had imagined it would be, and the choice of wines were very good. The only downside was that the low levels of the Danube meant that halfway through our cruise, we had to pack up and be bussed upstream from the Emerald Sky to the Emerald Dawn, but it was handled with the minimum of fuss and we didn't miss a day's sightseeing. The Dawn was a more recent boat, and the cabins in the Sky not quite so well designed, but at least we were able to continue our cruise by transferring. The highlight of our trip was visiting Vienna and attending a concert there in the evening. The music was wonderful. It lead us to wonder why the same music (Strauss, Mozart etc) was never played on the boat itself while cruising down the Danube! Our only real complaint would be that in the evening, the music was often too modern and too loud and there was nowhere else to go to sit and talk to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Avalon for our first river cruise because of the itinerary, the amenities offered during the cruise and the cabin layout. The ship was spacious and our cabin was very comfortable. I especially enjoyed the french balcony that ... Read More
We chose Avalon for our first river cruise because of the itinerary, the amenities offered during the cruise and the cabin layout. The ship was spacious and our cabin was very comfortable. I especially enjoyed the french balcony that allowed us to breath the fresh air and see the river sites clearly. We particularly enjoyed the breakfast and lunch buffets and afternoon tea was a treat. Our wait staff were wonderful! We laughed so much during our meals! We were so happy to find two other like-minded couples to share our experience, so our expectation of getting to know people from other countries was definitely met! We also appreciated our cruise director who was wonderful at guiding us and responsive during stressful times. Evening entertainment was mixed, some of the evenings were more enjoyable than others, which is to be expected. The ports and shore excursions met our expectations of learning a bit more about the different countries and their regions. All in all, an enjoyable experience that we will recommend to others and repeat! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was not our first river cruise in Europe. We looked a cruise that hit the places we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to go. There were several options to choose from. We then looked for a smaller boat with fewer passengers and ... Read More
This was not our first river cruise in Europe. We looked a cruise that hit the places we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to go. There were several options to choose from. We then looked for a smaller boat with fewer passengers and larger staterooms. Avalon fit the bill. The front and and back end of the tour included stays in 4 star hotels in Budapest and Bucharest, The hotels were located near a number of tourist sites we had a chance to visit. The organized tours were great with extremely knowledgeable guides with good language skills. Each day had options for passengers to choose from. On board bikes were available for passenger use. My wife need a doctor's attention and the ship arranged for one to visit her and then ran a crew member out to purchase the prescriptions. The charge for the 30 minute visit and drugs totalled 80 Euros. Avalon was less formal at meas than on other river boats we had cruised on and we liked that. All in all we will book them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the previous communist countries.or cruise included a tour everyday that were very informative and interesting. The guides spoke excellent English. Our cabin was the lowest you could buy ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the previous communist countries.or cruise included a tour everyday that were very informative and interesting. The guides spoke excellent English. Our cabin was the lowest you could buy and it was very nice with a decent bathroom. We loved the dining experience. Breakfast and lunch were buffet with good choices of entree. Dinner was served off a menu, we had excellent service at all meals. Great wine was provided to compliment your food choices. Entertainment was a keyboard and singer which was fine. The ports were good and explanatory of the countries. This is not a trip for children but perfect for history lovers and foodies.I would go on another river cruise to a different area.our cruise offered bikes you could take for a spin. We also had a small whirlpool which was heated and we enjoyed a few times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Had never been to Eastern Europe. So much information on the after effects of WW11 And the break up of Checoslovakia. My only disappointment was that there were not enough hand sanitizers on the boat and someone came on with a ... Read More
Had never been to Eastern Europe. So much information on the after effects of WW11 And the break up of Checoslovakia. My only disappointment was that there were not enough hand sanitizers on the boat and someone came on with a cold and by the third day, many people were coughing and sneezing. I caught a cold and was miserable for three days and missed a whole day of touring in Belgrade. We were all using our own hand sanitizers, but there should have been more stationed at the top of every staircase because of people using the handrails. Otherwise, the tours, food and ship were wonderful. The French balcony cabin was way too small for two people. 135 sq ft. Could not both be in there at the same time, unless you were sleeping. I would recommend this cruise, but get a larger cabin, which of course, is going to cost more money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have done several river cruises up and down the Danube with different providers and APT was by far the least luxurious. A pleasant experience but not the luxury cruise we were expecting for the price charged and from our prior ... Read More
We have done several river cruises up and down the Danube with different providers and APT was by far the least luxurious. A pleasant experience but not the luxury cruise we were expecting for the price charged and from our prior experience. AmaBella is badly in need of refurbishment, some of the upholstery in the lounge is dirty and the dining room and lounge are dingy, with poorly placed seating. The “silver butler” we were expecting wasn’t actually a person, in order to get the silver butler service we had to call reception and they then sent the housekeeper to see what we wanted. We got the impression we were being annoying when we used the service so stopped. Many times the drink mixers were flat because the bar uses large plastic bottles of fizzy drinks rather than having a proper soda mixer and once opened they went flat fast, and don’t expect to have an Aperol Spritz on board, the whole of Europe might be drinking them but not on the AmaBella. There is only one coffee machine for the whole ship and it serves mediocre coffee. There was often a queue. Whilst our cabin was large and the double balconies excellent, the TV in the cabin was the smallest I have seen since in accommodation for years, you could barely see it from the bed and there were no on-demand movies. Bathroom toiletries, shampoo etc were only replaced once the empty container was put in the bin – I have never come across this before and it felt very penny pinching, if the body wash was in the shower you had to retrieve it to use at the basin. The bed was very small and hard and there was a lot of rattling and shaking when sailing at night. Take ear plugs. Tours are scheduled to suit the ship not the passengers. We found that often we were dropped off at one port and then bussed to the tour and onwards to the next port. This meant that there were too many long coach trips, for example when visiting Bucharest we were put ashore and taken on a 4 hour coach ride to the city while the ship continued to sail. The return ride to pick up the ship was only an hour because it was then at the closest port. The guests who were disembarking and being taken to the Bucharest airport or onwards also had to endure the 4 hour coach ride. This was completely unnecessary and made for a tedious and unpleasant day. On this same tour lunch was provided at a tourist restaurant and the food was absolutely dreadful, a most disgusting budget meal and not the fare we were paying a substantial amount of money for. One tour was advertised a “wine tour” but failed to mention the ¾ hour we would spend in a museum and the 20 minutes we would spend in a church before one session of wine tasting. When crossing the border at Mohacs the entire ship was woken at 6am for a passport check where we were forced to queue up in a long line in our pyjamas. I’m sorry but this is not luxury, and it did not happen with the other carrier we used on the same route. On arrival back in Budapest at the end of the tour we were told that the AmaBella would not be cruising up and down the Danube through the city to show us the city lights, but instead we were to be taken on a tourist boat along with the guests from the Ama ship parked alongside us (a much nicer, newer ship incidentally). So 2 shiploads of guests were crammed onto a tacky tourist boat with little outside viewing, a very inferior tour indeed. The best thing about the cruise was the staff who were exceptional. The food ranged from fabulous to dreadful but was on the whole pretty good. So to sum up I think APT are relying on repeat custom from prior APT guests (with an average age of “very old”) who do not realise that there are far better river cruising options available. If APT want to compete they need to lift their game significantly and stop the penny pinching, when people pay for luxury they expect to receive luxury. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Scenic's reputation for outstanding service and excellent land tours was what attracted us to Scenic and they did not disappoint. the embarkation disembarkation went efficiently and super easy - no waiting around. We were warmly ... Read More
Scenic's reputation for outstanding service and excellent land tours was what attracted us to Scenic and they did not disappoint. the embarkation disembarkation went efficiently and super easy - no waiting around. We were warmly welcomed with drinks and our accommodations immediately upon embarking. The pre and post cruise were top-notch with transportation being efficient and very professional. The ship was beautifully appointed with the common areas being super comfy and the cabins being perfectly sized. we loved the various activities and offerings while on board and the service was always right at our finger tips. Shore excursions were outstanding with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites being available for tour. we loved the variety of tours offered which made the trip even more interesting and valuable. Our suite was perfect with a large sitting area and a full bathroom with tub and shower. All products provided were top names, there were warm towels always freshly replaced upon returning to our room. We enjoyed the balcony/porch where we sat for snacks and enjoyed seeing the river from that vantage point. The food and wine were exceptional - kudos to the chef as we had an enormous variety of menus and wine. There was nightly entertainment which we thoroughly enjoyed after a full day. The music and dancing were great fun to cap the day off with. We so enjoyed cruising with Scenic that we just booked our next river cruise with Scenic on the Mekong river through Vietnam and Cambodia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was highly recommended by several friends who had done many scenic and other cruises. Obviously scenic came out on top and this was the cruise we chose - with absolutely no regrets. The fact that we had to change ships because ... Read More
This cruise was highly recommended by several friends who had done many scenic and other cruises. Obviously scenic came out on top and this was the cruise we chose - with absolutely no regrets. The fact that we had to change ships because of low water levels only added to the adventure. The next down side was the comparison of ships. The Jasper was every bit as luxurious as anticipated, but the Jade was older, a little more tired and our wardrobes not as friendly! ( in need of some maintenance!) but overall it was the people on board who made it. The crew on the Jasper spoilt us to the extent that the crew on the Jade needed a day or so to catch up - and they did. Our cruise director Szylvia was an exceptional bonus and an absolute gem. She made our trip the 5 star success it was. The organisation, communication and management of such a large group of people in a situation which was sometimes stressful was amazing. Most of us got sick (colds) and changing boats etc was all managed with smooth seamless efficiency. Szylvia made our trip. Thank you. The food was great and everything supplied in abundance. We are already planning our next cruise. Thank you again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Friends had been on this cruise & highly recommended it. Our whole experience was terrific. Our cabin was really comfortable, well-appointed & well serviced. We had lots of great options for shore excursions, most of which were ... Read More
Friends had been on this cruise & highly recommended it. Our whole experience was terrific. Our cabin was really comfortable, well-appointed & well serviced. We had lots of great options for shore excursions, most of which were both entertaining & educational, with many “Ah-hah” moments. All but one of our guides were well informed & entertaining. All through the cruise we had a terrific food & drinks service, with very good entertainment. We had to change ships due to low water levels, but our Cruise Director managed this beautifully. We had all the information we needed to make the transfer easily, with no fuss at all. Absolutely everything was taken care of for us, & any questions were either predicted or answered quickly. We had exceptional service from all the ship’s Staff, especially our wonderful Cruise Director. Throughout the cruise we had good access to WiFi for staying on touch with home as well as learning more about what we were seeing. The whole experience was terrific, & we’ve made some great new friends. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After searching for cruises we chose this Scenic European river cruise and also speaking with family and friends and we were not disappointed The service and food were.great and our tour director Sylvia was helpful organised and ... Read More
After searching for cruises we chose this Scenic European river cruise and also speaking with family and friends and we were not disappointed The service and food were.great and our tour director Sylvia was helpful organised and informative even calling us taxi’s when she was very busy We both would like to especially thank Sylvia for her help in details for daily activities We would like to suggest that there are face masks available as there was a virus going around and it may have helped stop the spread of infection We would definitely go on another river cruise to a different destination because we found the variety of activities , choices and food were so adaptable to our needs. There was a good range of age groups of passengers The scenic enrich experiences were truely delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed them as well as the excursions we attended We also liked that everything was included as it made the holiday easy although it was too easy to eat and drink what every your heart desired now need to diet when we are home Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is the end of the Embla saga - on arrival at the Embla in Budapest on 11 September 2019 we were confronted by a vessel with an odd large boxed item next to the bridge. Wondering why it was there and how it would survive low bridges ... Read More
This is the end of the Embla saga - on arrival at the Embla in Budapest on 11 September 2019 we were confronted by a vessel with an odd large boxed item next to the bridge. Wondering why it was there and how it would survive low bridges unless it could be lowered and raised like the captain’s bridge, we went to our cabin where we found the 06 September 2019 letter – not good timing on Viking's part as we were already on board. Once we got to Linz, we had to disembark to end up at a golf resort - Bad Griesbach - for two nights.Note that we had already received a “low water on the Danube” excuse notification from 29 August 2019. From the golf resort I went on the two hour plus Viking bus ride to Regensburg . After the city tour I wandered back towards the bus park that is adjacent to a canal – I had wondered earlier how vessels made their way through Regensburg and now I was to find out as a cruise vessel, same size and (likely) same 1.7 m draught as Viking vessels, stopped to allow guests off to walk into the city – much nicer than a 2 hour bus ride there and back. So was the 29 August notice a smoke screen for the Embla’s generator replacement? And, if the generator replacement was known and urgent, for whose convenience did Embla sail in the first place? How would Viking have dealt with a situation had the vessel broken down 50 miles from the nearest large town? Clearly, passenger comfort and safety is not as high on Viking's priority list as one once imagined. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was an excellent cruise with superb accommodation, food and helpful and attentive crew. Our Panoramic suite was well fitted out. We could find no fault. Our butler provided extremely good service, nothing was too much trouble. Our ... Read More
This was an excellent cruise with superb accommodation, food and helpful and attentive crew. Our Panoramic suite was well fitted out. We could find no fault. Our butler provided extremely good service, nothing was too much trouble. Our fridge was kept well stocked but was little used as drinks were available at all times in the bar. The house manager, George(not the correct spelling), was excellent and most helpful. Every Scenic cruise is totally inclusive. Scenic provide a good choice of excursions at the various stops all well organised and enjoyable. There is very little in the way of entertainment you get on ocean going liners but that suits us. Due to low water levels Jasper could not complete the trip but the brilliant Sylvia, the cruise director, organised a smooth transfer of all guests via coach to the Jade further along the river and our trip continued and we missed nothing. This was most impressive. Well done Scenic! We have already booked our next trip with this company. One fault occurred before we set off when the transport provided to take us to the airport failed to turn up at 2am. After a long call to the providers more was promised but did not arrive. At 3.30am we had just left in our car when a taxi arrived. Not a good start and we have informed Scenic of the problem. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We recently cruised the Danube River on the Viking Hermod riverboat. This was our second river cruise with Viking, having cruised on the Rhine River in June of 2018. Overall, while we greatly enjoyed the trip, we both felt that some ... Read More
We recently cruised the Danube River on the Viking Hermod riverboat. This was our second river cruise with Viking, having cruised on the Rhine River in June of 2018. Overall, while we greatly enjoyed the trip, we both felt that some aspects of the trip were below the level of what we experienced last year. We booked this cruise a few months before the sailing and the only cabins remaining were standard rooms on the main deck with a (non-opening) picture window. Last year, we had a French balcony with a sliding door, which we could open. We had no complaints about this year's room. After spending a week in the standard cabin, I do not feel that the extra cost for one of the other types of rooms is worth it. On several days, we were docked alongside another Viking (and one Ama) ship, so a balcony would have been of no use. We did notice slightly more vibration and noise on this level of the ship while it was moving, but not enough to disturb us. As far as where we think the cruise did not live up to last year's, we did not think that the quality (and choices offered) of the dinners were overall as good as last year.  Most were good, but a few missed the mark.  Additionally, the number of passengers that were on each of the included tours seemed to be higher than what we had on last year's cruise. It may be that Viking is utilizing fewer guides for the same number of passengers. To be fair, all of the guides that we had, with one exception, were excellent. One other complaint was that our room not ready on the first day until 4:00 pm, despite arriving in Budapest at 9:00 am after traveling all night. Since Viking arranged the flights, they knew what time we would be arriving on the ship. I would have expected that the rooms for early arriving passengers would be the first ones ready. On thing that has not changed is the excellent service offered by the Viking staff. Our cabin was cleaned twice per day and was sparking clean when Katarina finished with it. We ate most of our dinners on the Aquavit Terrace and had great service from Andrea and Robert. These two also served as the primary bartenders and were excellent. We enjoyed all of the ports on the itinerary, especially Budapest and Vienna. We took advantage of all of the included tours, plus two optional ones - the Hungarian Horsemen in Budapest and the Mozart and Strauss Concert in Vienna. One comment on the average age of the passengers. We are 66 and 62 years old and consider ourselves very active. I would guess that the average age on this year's trip was significantly higher than last year's cruise. Perhaps it is due to traveling in September vs. our prior trip in June. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Envision is a new ship very nice. Cabin with confortable beds good bathroom great storage and huge TV. Wifi excellent all time. Cabin staff perfect work. Food was variated and always very good in all meals. Staff in bars and dinning room ... Read More
Envision is a new ship very nice. Cabin with confortable beds good bathroom great storage and huge TV. Wifi excellent all time. Cabin staff perfect work. Food was variated and always very good in all meals. Staff in bars and dinning room very nice and quick to serve. Cruise director Maria was really helpful and always present. Captain show up very often kind and with good sense humor. Seems always happy. The cities and places visited along Danube well chosen and all with interesting sites to visit. Very interesting presentation about river locks connecting Danube to Rhine about one hour a professor who came on board. Very interesting at end bought the book he had written about this matter. Did already cruise on Rhine river from Basel to Amsterdam with another company also very good but I really recommend Avalon Envision. Hope soon travel again with them. PS entertainment too much American music in Europe cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We knew we wanted to do a Danube/Rhine cruise and after trying to figure out the ratings of cruise lines and also trying to compare pricing, we contacted our travel agent and she did the legwork for us and recommended Scenic. Our cruise ... Read More
We knew we wanted to do a Danube/Rhine cruise and after trying to figure out the ratings of cruise lines and also trying to compare pricing, we contacted our travel agent and she did the legwork for us and recommended Scenic. Our cruise was from Budapest to Amsterdam (14 days) and we also opted for the extension in Prague and a couple extra days in Amsterdam. We were extremely pleased with the hotels we stayed in and the luxurious accommodations we had on board. We loved our cabin which was smartly and sleekly designed and had plenty of storage space. The private balcony, where we could lower the window, was also a plus when we wanted some alone time. Scenic's mobile app worked very well as it alerted us to upcoming Points of Interest and also provided our local guides with different channels to ensure everyone in our small groups could hear what the guide was saying. All Scenic personnel, including local guides, were friendly, informative, and helpful. We liked having a choice of between 3 and 4 daily land tours which were geared to various interests and physical ability. It was great to also have free time to explore on our own! One of the biggest selling points for us was that the trip was all-inclusive so we didn't have to think about airfare, tips, transfers, excursion costs etc. In the evening we often had local entertainers on board which added to the fun. Without hesitation I would highly recommend a Scenic Luxury River Cruise based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica ... Read More
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica where we couldn’t get off the ship because of fights in the streets and the dirty Cozumel in Mexico. This cruise on the Viking Var was exceptional. There were 180 people on board and everyone was looked after as though they were family. It is to be noted that 90% of the travellers were from the USA and the average age had to be 65 with thankfully NO CHILDREN. We started our trip by flying from Heathrow to Budapest with BA. On arrival there was a Viking rep at the airport available for help if anyone needed it. We arrived in Budapest and several reps were available to ensure the right passengers got to the right ship. We had a 45 minute delay in getting to the ship because the transfer coach did not arrive on time with the excuse of a traffic jam. The driver should have checked on Waze or Google and left plenty of time to get to the airport. We arrived at the ship at 14:30 and fortunately the restaurant was still serving food. Our suit cases were delivered to our cabins. Our cabin number 325 was quite small but cleverly designed to make the most of the available space. We had twin beds with enough cupboard space to hang and put away our clothes including hiding our suit cases under our beds. The shower was large with a non slip mat and 2 different shower heads. Soap, shampoo etc were all there and were replaced when used. We had been warned that the electrical sockets were not UK 3 pin and took with us converters. It was great that there were several USB connection points for recharging our iphones and iPads. We paid a bit extra and had a nice balcony with a table and 2 chairs to sit on and watch the scenery go by, but this was seldom used because we met up with both our 4 friends we travelled with and new friends who we made on board and met on deck or in the comfortable lounges. I am not certain wether we would book a cabin with a balcony on our next trip as a Juliet balcony, where you have patio doors but no balcony to sit on, would probably suffice. Regarding food, drinks and restaurant timings. Timings were set to fit in with all the off ship tours and for each meal you could either have a snack or 3 course meal. Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks were served foc only during meal times. At all other times, they were charged to your cabin unless you had purchased a drinks package. There is however a coffee/tea station open 24 hours. Every evening there were 3 super menus: A 3 course local fare menu dependant on the country and city we were docked at; a menu with a selection of different daily themed plates and; a menu with a choice of food which was available every day. vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivarians and especially Americans who typically are unwilling to  try any unusual food they don’t recognise will have no problem finding something that would suit them. On arriving at the boat we asked the restaurant manager, the wonderful Alexandra, if they could provide lactose free milk and for my wife, gluten free food. No problem at all, I know that one day when they ran out of the milk Alexandra actually left the ship to go to a store to buy some herself!!! Every day Alexandra would show the dinner menu to my wife and went through what she could provide gluten free. She was a miracle worker and my wife received the perfect selection of food every day and with no nasty side effects. The serving staff in the restaurant were unbelievably helpful and service was never delayed. We tried to keep to the same area in the restaurant so that we had the same servers. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they had the wonderful Alan, Yuri and Ryan looking after them. By the second day, they knew that the 6 of us in our group didn’t drink wine and made sure we were provided with a selection of suitable soft drinks and very occasional bier or shandy. We booked our holiday to  include the cost of tips, but we were looked after so well that we still tipped them at the end of the trip. We took the free tours as offered as part of the cruise as well as a couple of additional cost ones which we wanted. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and looked after all participants making sure no one got lost or were left behind. Only one of the guides was below par, but that was in comparison to the others which was a shame. Tours commenced early in the morning so we tended to go to bed early, waking up at 6am or 630am to ensure we managed to get breakfast before setting off. Every day bottles of water were handed out to those taking part in the tours. The tours were arranged depending on people’s abilities and ensured that the less physical persons were not left out or placed on a tour they could not cope with. The headphone system to listen to the guides was first class and we never had a problem of hearing or understanding what they were saying or we were seeing. This Danube cruise started in Budapest then sailed north to Vienna, Krems  Passau, Regensberg finishing at Nuremberg. We then booked an extension of a 3 night stay in Prague. Transfer to Prague was a 3.5 hour coach ride. The ship’s Maitre D for the whole of the cruise was George. He was brilliant and provided film shows and pre tour information to help everyone get ready for the excursions with timings and advice. We often saw him about the towns during the excursions to ensure we were all ok. In the evening he even sang with the onboard professional resident entertainer Sylvia who sang and played a piano/ keyboard both in the evening and during the day. We had been looked after so well on the ship that we were, in comparison, unhappy with the reception by the reps and the position of the Hilton Hotel in the New Town. We arrived at approximately midday after the long drive and there was no food or drinks waiting for us. We were advised that we would not be provided with a room until 3pm and not one room was released till they were all ready. This was unacceptable and should have been made available as soon as each was ready. During this delay, we were taken outside the hotel and the rep pointed out the station and where shops and restaurants would be and just given maps and told where we could go nearby to obtain a meal. This was not acceptable and not in the manner of being looked after we had become accustomed to. We decided to have lunch in the hotel in one of the restaurants but were told that even though there were several empty tables they refused to put 2 tables together so that the 6 of us could sit together. The Viking reps should have expected some of us to want to eat in the hotel after a long transfer from the ship and made arrangements for the restaurant to have space available. So everyone (we were all in groups, having made friends on the ship) left the hotel to find a restaurant that would sit us together. This Hilton hotel, whilst new and attractive inside with its atrium is positioned between 20 minutes and a half an hour walk to the interesting part of the city. This area in the New Town is also dirty and there were men who either follow you around offering to exchange your currency or stand around the ATM exchange machines where you don’t feel safe to be alone. Never trust them as someone was sold what they thought was the legal currency but in fact we’re worthless. This was never the case in the old town where tourists and students were in abundance and we felt extremely safe. As a Hilton diamond HHonors member I expected my bedroom to be upgraded but this was refused as I didn’t book the hotel direct but through Viking. I didn’t see the relevance to this as one way or another they were still paid via me and I will be complaining to Hilton directly. The hotel itself is very large and very modern and our bedroom overlooked the interior of the hotel and atrium. There was a problem with the bedroom that we were taken to as whilst it was twin bedded as booked it only had a shower in the bath which my wife could not have physically climbed into. I told the Viking rep that the room was not as booked and was told they could do nothing and I had to go to reception. They did not offer to intercede. When asked to be moved, reception was not at all helpful and eventually gave us a king bedded room with a shower, saying that (in this enormous hotel) there were no twin bedded rooms with a shower available. I certainly felt that their response would have been different if I booked with Hilton rather than through Viking. Breakfast was included and there was an excellent choice of food from the breakfast buffet. We took bread rolls, meats, cheese and salads  every morning so that we had sandwiches for lunch. The next day we were taken on a coach and short walking tour of Prague and the following day we went on an additional cost tour of Jewish Prague. This guide was knowledgeable and really excellent ensuring we visited and entered every important site. On the last day we were rudely woken up at 07:30 by the maid who continued to bang on the door till we opened it. Check out time was 10am so we were really angry about this and complained to reception who was very rude saying that they had every right, especially as we had to wait till 3 pm to get a room when we arrived. At the end of our stay, transfer to Prague airport was arranged by Viking from the hotel and having left our suit cases at their dedicated desk in the lower lobby. We didn’t see our suit cases again till we arrived back home in London. This desk was manned the whole day for advice and help on what to do, how to use public transport, and where to go in Prague but was not helpful in the same way as on the ship. Don't forget to take sweaters, cardigans and shawls with you as the air conditioning on the ship is very cold. At the end of the cruise and before disembarking in Nuremberg we were offered coupons costing £100 Pounds Sterling, payable in Euros (everything on the ship was based in Euro’s) and for each £100, a coupon of £200 was given. Unfortunately only a maximum of 2 can be purchased. We enjoyed the cruise, the staff, the food, the tours and their organisation so very much that we will be booking with Viking again in 2021, that is unless our children purloin the coupons. It should be noted that whilst we were warned that the discounted coupons were only available before we left the ship, we have in fact received emails still offering them a week after returning home. Sent from Graham's iPad Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Scenic based on a recommendation from someone who had reviewed all cruise lines. This was above and beyond any of our expectations. Crew was professional but fun to be around and there was great demographics for all passengers. ... Read More
We chose Scenic based on a recommendation from someone who had reviewed all cruise lines. This was above and beyond any of our expectations. Crew was professional but fun to be around and there was great demographics for all passengers. The excursions that were available provided something for everyone and there was enough flexibility to allow for last minute changes. And there was opportunities for self-guided touring if you chose to have a day that was not so structured.. Meals were good and tailored to represent the country we sailed through. portions were adequate. Also nice to have choices of venues and times for meals. daily updates ensured that you knew what was going on everyday. On-line application allowed you to be in touch with points of interest both on the river and withing the towns visited along the route. Some of these features could have been better explained early in the cruise, however to ensure maximum enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We heard about this cruise from our travel agent when we asked about Danube cruises. The trip far exceeded our expectations in every way. The crew was friendly, helpful, skilled and talented. The food was served beautifully. The choices ... Read More
We heard about this cruise from our travel agent when we asked about Danube cruises. The trip far exceeded our expectations in every way. The crew was friendly, helpful, skilled and talented. The food was served beautifully. The choices were always plentiful and I appreciated the size of portions- enough but not too much. Coffee of all kinds, tea and pastries are always available. The excursions were led by locals who knew their business. I do a lot of reading and research before traveling and the tours were great. Be aware that the staterooms are small but they contain lots of storage- plenty for two people. Also be careful to ask about the activity level of the tour- they usually offer two levels with the leisurely one having fewer steps and hills. Our cruise had a lady with a walker ( in her 80s) who did everything at the leisurely level. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I wanted to try Scenic because I wanted an all inclusive vacation where I did not have to worry about anything. We had first class food and service all the way. The crew and passengers were friendly. The excursions were well done with ... Read More
I wanted to try Scenic because I wanted an all inclusive vacation where I did not have to worry about anything. We had first class food and service all the way. The crew and passengers were friendly. The excursions were well done with no detail left unturned. I liked the electric bike option and we used them several times. I had a medical problem while docked in a small German town. Every effort was made to make my situation easier, and we were back on the ship within a short amount of time. The tour director was funny but very detailed oriented. The cabin was very comfortable and decorated nicely. Bedding was luxurious and the bed was extremely comfortable. The pace of the cruise was just right. My only downside was when the cruise was done, I didn’t want to leave. I could have traveled another two weeks with them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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