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2,320 Budapest to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Overview This was a first time river cruise for us and were attracted to it by the presence of Martin Bell and John Simpson relating their experiences of reporting for the BBC on the unrest and war events that have covered the Balkan ... Read More
Overview This was a first time river cruise for us and were attracted to it by the presence of Martin Bell and John Simpson relating their experiences of reporting for the BBC on the unrest and war events that have covered the Balkan region through the last 25/30 years. We travelled from Budapest to Bucharest through five countries and as a consequence of their presentations had significant added value to all of the shore excursions which were varied, interesting and very relevant. It thus provided us with a more in depth understanding of the history of this region and considerably enhanced our enjoyment of the cruise. The Ship We felt that the Ship, which is just over a year old, was spacious well appointed and offered excellent facilities for a 7-10 day cruise. The staff on board were always cheerful and helpful. Above all, they were excellent in the service they provided. Pre/Post Cruise We did not have a pre-cruise stay in Budapest but had a two day stop in Bucharest which was included in the overall cruise package. We had the benefit of two guided tours of Bucharest which gave us a good insight into the City and what it offers, and will probably think about a longer City break at some time. Food The food on board was plentiful, varied and freshly prepared each day. There was no excuse for being hungry with ample choices for breakfast, four courses for lunch and dinner, with afternoon tea and late night snacks for those that really got peckish. We took advantage of the opportunity to tour the kitchen with the head chef who explained the daily routines for ensuring that the excellent quality was maintained. Excursions These were well thought out and relevant to the theme of the cruise. The value of the excursions was considerably enhanced by the quality of the tour guides. On all our tours we had well informed, knowledgeable tour guides who had great personalities, a sense of humour, spoke clearly in English and were keen to ensure we got the most out of the visit. Service First class by all staff. Going again Have already booked another cruise with Emerald. Any Negatives We have a need for specialist diets and in this respect we had the menus on a daily basis marked up with all allergens. These were a bit confusing and we found the best course of action was to discuss with the Head Waiter at lunch and dinner, who was more than helpful in providing clarifications and ensuring that appropriate alternatives were provided. This did not always translate to shore excursions and in some cases the options were very basic and limited. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Suggested by my travel agent. Then I read many reviews and felt confident it would be a great river cruise. No disappointment at all. The ship was the SS Maria Theresa, very opulent and beautiful decorated. The food was ... Read More
Suggested by my travel agent. Then I read many reviews and felt confident it would be a great river cruise. No disappointment at all. The ship was the SS Maria Theresa, very opulent and beautiful decorated. The food was delicious and abundant. The service was impeccable. Wonderful, friendly and hard-working staff always there to greet you and help you. Every night the cruise manager, sometimes with the Captain would inform us of the next day's activities, pointing out the highlights of each port. Every night the wine sommelier would explain the best wines of the region. The excursions were well organized. At one point, due to low water our Vienna port was ahead of schedule, so we had a private concert just for the Uniworld passengers at no extra charge and even gifted every stateroom with an CD of the evening! Entertainment every night with music. Cafe open 24-hrs, as well as reception desk. Always someone there greeting you!!! Looking forward to our next Uniworld cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were attracted to this cruise because of its content. We were not overly keen on just sight seeing. We wanted more and we certainly got more. Fellow passengers were clearly of a similar mind and it was very pleasant to visit fascinating ... Read More
We were attracted to this cruise because of its content. We were not overly keen on just sight seeing. We wanted more and we certainly got more. Fellow passengers were clearly of a similar mind and it was very pleasant to visit fascinating places with intelligent and interesting people. We did have a grumble about the nature of some of the visits. They were very well organised and Jana our Cruise Director scores twelve out of ten for her calm and good humoured way that she dealt with various crises. However, we were all crammed onto coaches and then herded around in a large group of forty people to places that could not accommodate all that number at once. In truth, the shore excursions were variable, ranging from pretty good to simply awful and at one stage, we became so fed up with the guide that we simply left the group and made our own way to the hotel in Bucharest. Detailed feedback has been given to Emerald about this. Our cruise was narrated by the television war correspondents who actually covered the tragic events in the places that we visited. Martin Bell was on board for the entire journey and we are really grateful to him for his fascinating analysis and insights, his graphic descriptions of what it was actually like to be there in the midst of battle and for his wry and very clever observations as well as his generosity of spirit. Two other correspondents also spoke but their involvement was far less. One of our ports of call was Vukovar in Croatia, which was besieged and eventually taken by the Serbs in 1996. Martin Bell related the tragic sequence of events and my wife and I took a walk around the town and up to the water tower which is now like a Swiss cheese with all the artillery scars. Many other buildings still bear bullet and shell marks and even the metal handrails on the paths leading around the town are riddled with bullet holes. All very sobering and the worse thing is that the Serbs and Croats, despite sharing the same language, remain totally segregated. I came away with the feeling that the Serbo Croat war is not yet over. The ship itself is very modern and very efficiently uses the limited space available on board. They make extensive use of mirrors to give the impression of spaciousness and this can be a bit disorienting until you get used to it. We are not expert on River cruise ships but at various times during our voyage, several other ships moored alongside us and from what I could see, the competitor ships were practically identical in size and construction. We did not go aboard them so cannot compare decor. So, what gives Emerald the edge? Certainly the service on board and the food was excellent. Breakfasts and lunches were buffets and were generally well mannered. Dinner was a more formal affair with waiter service although the dress code remained casual which we liked. A minor grumble, however was the acoustic in the dining area. At dinner time, the ambient noise became so loud that you could not converse across the table. Amenities aboard were pretty okay. Six laps of the top deck makes a mile and many fellow passengers also availed themselves of this facility. There were ample seating areas up top as well but in late October, it was rather too cold to enjoy the fresh air for too long. There was a small pool area at the stern of the ship which cleverly converts to a cinema at night. There was also a beautician on board but that would be a lost cause for me! My wife used the gym equipment which didn't seem to be that popular with fellow travelers. There was tea and coffee available through the day and this became very welcomed on our day where we did not go ashore. So, there is is. Certainly Emerald pride themselves upon providing a good up market service and in most cases they achieve it. Would I go again? The answer is very probably yes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Where to begin... The ship is beautiful, the staff is friendly and efficient (I've never seen people work so hard, and always with a smile), the food was gourmet - fresh, delicious, cultural selections, the sailing was smooth and ... Read More
Where to begin... The ship is beautiful, the staff is friendly and efficient (I've never seen people work so hard, and always with a smile), the food was gourmet - fresh, delicious, cultural selections, the sailing was smooth and scenic, the tours were well planned and informative (wonderful tour guides), and we wanted for NOTHING! Although I was worried that I would be anxious about the time away from home (tacked a few days on before/after) and that I'd be bored after 14 days, that was not the case. Each day was different, each port offered something else, and the longer we were all together the friendlier the group became. Loved that there were only 130 passengers - felt like home. All non-suite cabins are the same size, and I found ours more than comfortable. There is plenty of storage, and it was very convenient that our suitcases fit beneath our bed, so once we unpacked that was it for the cruise. We were in the lowest area of the ship, and I enjoyed being more or less at water level. We didn't spend much time in the room anyway, absent sleeping on the ultra-comfy beds, so I was fine with not having paid extra for a full-window view. There was a convenient laundry area (complimentary), a library/game area, and the common areas of bar/dining/lobby. In addition to the visits ashore at each beautiful port, there was also onboard entertainment - regional demonstrations and even an oompah band while cruising through Germany. An optional excursion in Vienna (paid for with ship credit) was to a concert in a beautiful monastery - I was overwhelmed with emotion at making that memory. While I had some concern that I wouldn't have the right wardrobe for a "boutique" excursion, I needn't have worried. Even the formal nights were nice-casual, so no need to have brought "fancy" stuff. I would absolutely choose Uniworld again, and my bucket list dream would be to have my adult children along for the next adventure. Beyond memorable, and I have about 1700+ photos to provide me with a remembrance of this awesome time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We found this to be the nicest cruise line that we have been on. The service was wonderful, great food, open bar, excursions included, gratuities included and we found the ship to be in excellent condition on all levels. Our cabin was ... Read More
We found this to be the nicest cruise line that we have been on. The service was wonderful, great food, open bar, excursions included, gratuities included and we found the ship to be in excellent condition on all levels. Our cabin was quite roomy and the bathroom was very nice. The staff could not have been more friendly or helpful. We chose to arrive in Budapest two days prior to the cruise and found that to be a great idea. We got used to the time change and were able to do some exploring on our own. The embarkation went so quickly and smoothly that it was over before I knew it. The ports and excursions were well thought out and Uniworlds guides were very good. The on board entertainment was much better than we had expected bringing in some local talent from villages along the way. We will recommend Uniworld to our friends. David & Maureen Mardesich Long Beach, CA Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We cruised the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam, a great itinerary. Our second cruise with Viking, we were not disappointed. Everything was excellent....food, service, shore excursions, staff.....could not fault it. ... Read More
We cruised the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam, a great itinerary. Our second cruise with Viking, we were not disappointed. Everything was excellent....food, service, shore excursions, staff.....could not fault it. Would have no hesitation cruising with this company again.....they do do it well! Great ports, although our two days in Vienna were continuous rain, which put a dampener on things (excuse the pun). In 14 days, not one meal on the meal was repeated the menu and there was a fabulous selection of wines from all around the world. The weather at this time of year was a little cool, and wet in some ports. On one occasion, the temperature was 0-8 celcius for the day. Rug up!! We did have the threat of having to change ships due to low water, but luckily for us, we did not have to. Every other ship we spoke to had to change. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Europe in all it's glory. Being from German and Yugoslavian decent, we wanted to see the history of our heritage. We were not disappointed. We started off in Budapest and had a guided tour ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Europe in all it's glory. Being from German and Yugoslavian decent, we wanted to see the history of our heritage. We were not disappointed. We started off in Budapest and had a guided tour of the city. The guide was very informative. Every city we sailed to was over and above our expectations and each guide was very knowledgeable wherever we went for our excursions. Embarkation and disembarkation at all the ports were very easy to do. The ship had all the amenities that were needed by the passengers. Dining was great. The buffet breakfasts and lunches were very good and dinner was always different. There was an ample choice of things to eat. At lunch there was always something different to eat when we were at port in accordance with the area where we were. The Scenic Amber was the ship we sailed on and Richard our cruise director was great. Services on board were second to none. Entertainment on board was different every night. We had a Bavarian band on board playing traditional Bavarian music. We had dancing lessons of the Viennese Waltz. Sand artist another night. A violinist playing some classical pieces and also a string quartet doing the same another night. There was disco dancing one other night and trivia too, to win prizes. Never a dull moment on board every night. Would we do another river cruise in the future? IN A HEARTBEAT!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This cruise was chosen because we had never been to the Danube river and in particular, Budapest. We also took advantage of the Viking airfare offer, and all our connections went smoothly. Transportation to and from the airports was ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because we had never been to the Danube river and in particular, Budapest. We also took advantage of the Viking airfare offer, and all our connections went smoothly. Transportation to and from the airports was excellent. The crew was very friendly, and went out of their way to please us. Based on our experience, we are set to take the Rhine river cruise with Viking this spring. The food on our trip was excellent, and there was a very good variety of things to choose from. The different restaurants made it easy to find just what we wanted. Our shore excursions were well planned, and allowed us to see many sights in the various local areas we visited. The on-board entertainment was very good, and catered to many tastes. Cruising on our ship was vey peaceful, and traveling by night left our days open for sightseeing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was a retirement celebration for me. We chose to see places in Europe that we had not been to before. I am a music educator so being able to be in Vienna on my birthday was extra special. We took in the extra concert in Vienna the ... Read More
This was a retirement celebration for me. We chose to see places in Europe that we had not been to before. I am a music educator so being able to be in Vienna on my birthday was extra special. We took in the extra concert in Vienna the night we were there; it was very well done. We liked being able to sit with many different people as we ate our meals on board. We met many interesting folks from all over the States. My sister traveled with my husband and I. She was excited to see places she had not been to before either. She is a very good amateur photographer and will be putting a book together of her photos. The food and service aboard the ship were great. The staff was friendly and helpful when we asked any questions. I felt as though this trip whetted my appetite to do more of this kind of travel. We'll see how that goes in years to come. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Initially the deal of 2 for was the main reason. Price was good. Itinerary was good. On arrival the reception was faultless and booking in went so well without a hitch, shown to stateroom efficiently. Stateroom was small but it ... Read More
Initially the deal of 2 for was the main reason. Price was good. Itinerary was good. On arrival the reception was faultless and booking in went so well without a hitch, shown to stateroom efficiently. Stateroom was small but it was a river cruise, couldn't be widened. .The staff throughout the whole cruise were magnificent and couldn't have been more helpful.. The meals were tops and if still hungry could have had extra, had wine at meals. All the included tours were topical for the areas we were in. Included was the silver package so better wines and drinks were included and some very nice wines were tasted. More on staff at meals , they got to know your preference and were ready to assist at all times. Loved the whole experience and definitely would travel with Viking again. Unfortunately the weather was overcast most of the time but was not cold and air conditioning in the ship was good so could walk around inside in shirt and go outside for short time with shirt but not a long time. Locks were amazing for the first dozen but after that you ignored them or they were at night and all you saw was a brick wall beside your room. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was an excellent way to explore the Danube region. Great historic sites and scenery, but after a while there is a sameness to the cathedrals and castles and it is almost too much to absorb at one time. Cobblestones are ... Read More
This was an excellent way to explore the Danube region. Great historic sites and scenery, but after a while there is a sameness to the cathedrals and castles and it is almost too much to absorb at one time. Cobblestones are "quaint" but they play havoc with lower back and legs. Our floating home was very comfortable and the crew were friendly and helpful. Food was well presented and provided an authentic taste of the region. Viking is a leader in the industry and they have mastered the logistics of managing their guests so that everything runs as smoothly as a Swiss clock. Shore excursions are well planned and comprehensive. Not too much time spent in gift shops either! We did not travel until mid October. In retrospect, we should have gone earlier as the weather was bleak for most of the trip -- the kind of bone-chilling damp that leaves you wanting something warm as soon as you return to base. Traveling earlier in the year (September) would have improved odds of more favorable conditions. Also, this weather did not make it easy to get good photographs along the way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
First river cruise and first cruise in Europe. Wanted longer than normal cruises and an 18 days Amsterdam to Budapest was perfect. We went end of August and weather was perfect. We should have arrived in Amsterdam a couple days early as ... Read More
First river cruise and first cruise in Europe. Wanted longer than normal cruises and an 18 days Amsterdam to Budapest was perfect. We went end of August and weather was perfect. We should have arrived in Amsterdam a couple days early as it took 2 days to recoup from jet lag. The free included tour at each port was outstanding - just enough organised guided tour so you could spend rest of stop on what you wanted to explore in more detail. Liked the informative lectures and the cuisine and wines that changed with the region you were sailing in. Bavarian Night was so much fun with the crew in southern German attire. The restaurant was decorated in red and white Bavarian decorations too. Even had a roasted pig and shots of Schnapps. Wife enjoyed the varying unending wine at dinner, Bitburger beer (the ship's draft beer) is now my favorite. Vine yards along the river were like out of a story book with frequent castles and grand houses. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The entire trip was fabulous. We had a balcony suite with large bath, power adjustable beds, wonderful bedding and power window for opening/closing the balcony. You have a butler, stocked mini bar and snacks which were replaced daily. ... Read More
The entire trip was fabulous. We had a balcony suite with large bath, power adjustable beds, wonderful bedding and power window for opening/closing the balcony. You have a butler, stocked mini bar and snacks which were replaced daily. Meals where buffet for lunch and breakfast however, an ala carte menu was available for those whom preferred. The ship had 169 guests all of whom could be accommodated at one time in the dining room and lounge. We had daily tours which options almost always available. Group tours included concerts, Octoberfest, Sound of music and dining at the castle. All excursions, top brand alcohol, wines and meals were included in the price. We spent nothing on board. We met several lovely people and made life long friendships. Unique features include electric bikes available for use in port and hand held GPS units with provide maps and detailed information on more than 800 tourist sites. This allows you to self tour and get a full description of the sites you are seeing. Although this was an expensive river cruise, this was a once in a lifetime experience which we would strongly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Always wanted to do a River Cruise to visit several cities in Europe. The 14 Day Viking Cruise seemed perfect and could not have had a better experience. The Cruise director was great providing a lot of local history and the rest of the ... Read More
Always wanted to do a River Cruise to visit several cities in Europe. The 14 Day Viking Cruise seemed perfect and could not have had a better experience. The Cruise director was great providing a lot of local history and the rest of the crew was very helpful. the daily tours offered a great opportunity to experience the local culture in both small villages and large cities. The included tours were a great value and the special tours provided a great opportunity to see more historical sites. All the guides were first rate, especially the Nuremberg WW II tour guide. Our stateroom was comfortable with plenty of room for storage but wespent most of our time on the upper decks or on tours. We started the tour in Prague with motor coach transfer to Budapest. Airport transfers for arrival and departure were smooth with no problems. Highly recommend Viking River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is a trip for the curious. Do you like to try new food sensations? Do you enjoy learning? Do you like to mix with fellow travelers and ship's staff? Do you enjoy history both recent and distant? If not try something else. ... Read More
This is a trip for the curious. Do you like to try new food sensations? Do you enjoy learning? Do you like to mix with fellow travelers and ship's staff? Do you enjoy history both recent and distant? If not try something else. The weather may change as will the sights you will see, the wine you will drink and the people you will meet. Isn't that what travel is all about - new experiences on all levels.? The staff on this ship could not have been better. They tried with all their being to make us older folk happy. They work long, long hours for our benefit and pleasure. They gave us the impression they really liked us which is tough when you have to treat a new group every ten days or so. The program directors are very well chosen, knowledgeable, gregarious and great "cat" herders. We had live music every night in the lounge - requests welcome. One night we were entertained by the entire staff (including the captain) with song, jokes and silly skits which all passengers seemed to love. The wait staff were attentive, cordial and even flirtatious if they had figured out you were single and so inclined. Nothing overt though just enough to boost one's ego - we are talking fantasy here which every good trip should include. Food was great. How do they manage in such a small space to produce excellent quality meals for over 100 people each day three times a day? From my perspective nothing could have been better except an extra pillow a bit harder than the ones provided. I woke up each day with joy that I was fortunate enough to experience all the wonders that I was about to encounter. I felt like a child (I'm 75) being taken care of by very, very young and caring grandparents - another fantasy for the older set. Kudos Grand Circle. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We enjoyed an amazing river cruise through Europe from Budapest to Amsterdam with days in Prague before and Amsterdam at the end. So much history and scenery to see! Cabins were a bit small but it was a river cruise. Bathrooms were very ... Read More
We enjoyed an amazing river cruise through Europe from Budapest to Amsterdam with days in Prague before and Amsterdam at the end. So much history and scenery to see! Cabins were a bit small but it was a river cruise. Bathrooms were very well designed to maximize space. The food and service were outstanding. Liked that the food and wine were based on local cuisine. The German theme night was very good. The included tours were wonderful with the right amount of time and information to go back and explore more on our own. Although the river water level was low in places, we did not have to change boats. Viking used buses in a few places to get us to there before the boat giving us more time in port. They did an exceptional job of maximizing an itinerary that included larger towns and smaller villages to give us an interesting view of Europe. Would definitely cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
There were a total of 16 people in our group and they all enjoyed this experience. The majority of the group went in early to get extra time to experience Budapest and what it has to offer. The embarkation went very smoothly and the ... Read More
There were a total of 16 people in our group and they all enjoyed this experience. The majority of the group went in early to get extra time to experience Budapest and what it has to offer. The embarkation went very smoothly and the disembarkation went as smoothly in Amsterdam. A well oiled machine. The ship is well appointed and very comfortable. The cabins were of the standard expected and were very comfortable. Dining, entertainment and activities were first class, again a well oiled machine. There are not enough superlatives to describe the crew and the service we received. When you can get all 16 people to rave about this it tells you something is working. Ports and shore excursions were well organized and professionally run. The majority of the guides were first class or better and they added that much more to our experience. I am in the process of organizing at least 1 of not 2 more cruises in the next couple of years. Without a doubt we received more than our money's worth on this excursion. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Recommendation of travel agents and friends who had traveled with Viking previously. This company knows how to do things well. Everything was just an outstanding experience. Staff on the ship was top notch. Food was great. Excursions, ... Read More
Recommendation of travel agents and friends who had traveled with Viking previously. This company knows how to do things well. Everything was just an outstanding experience. Staff on the ship was top notch. Food was great. Excursions, both the included ones and the optional ones were terrific. Everything was extremely well organized and we loved how the staff took care of everything from the moment of embarkation to disembarkation and even for the three days that we extended in our final destination, Amsterdam. We would definitely recommend getting a cabin with a veranda which, although small, was a treat. It was so nice to be able to sit or stand and see the riverside views and take photographs. We especially like the optional excursions to Salzburg, Austria and Rothenberg, Germany. Highly recommend those two excursions. We are already thinking about the next Viking Cruise we would like to do. Thinking about the one that covers the part of the Danube that we didn't travel, from Budapest to Bucharest, or the Viking Homelands ocean cruise. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND VIKING CRUISES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was fantastic, exceeding our expectations. We explored the city of Budapest a day before and boarded the next day. The ship is beautiful. It was great meeting the staff, they were so friendly. Our cabin was perfect. Two ... Read More
The cruise was fantastic, exceeding our expectations. We explored the city of Budapest a day before and boarded the next day. The ship is beautiful. It was great meeting the staff, they were so friendly. Our cabin was perfect. Two relaxing chairs sat in the panoramic window. Our cabin crew was such a hard worker, our room was perfectly cleaned every day. The dining staff were very friendly, the food fantastic, for breakfast lunch and dinner. Beer and the best regional wines served everyday. The tours were so enjoyable. The guides very knowledgeable and with the receiver system so easy to hear them. The tours we included at every stop and we took advantage of all. You can purchase extra tours, but sine this was our first time in these countries we stuck with the included tours only. The cruise director Sheryl was terrific and so personable she was lovely. We met the captain and his crew and they were so friendly. The country's we visited were amazing, so much history. We highly recommend Emerald Cruise Lines Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We really enjoyed the cruise but it was as one passenger said an 'endurance test'. Mainly because there were no full day breaks on the river. We did 14 days and found it exhausting getting up every day early to be out for a ... Read More
We really enjoyed the cruise but it was as one passenger said an 'endurance test'. Mainly because there were no full day breaks on the river. We did 14 days and found it exhausting getting up every day early to be out for a visit somewhere by 09.00. Also going through 68 locks many at night did disturb our sleep. This is no way a fault of the cruise just a fact of life in order to get where we needed to be. The food was as expected excellent, staff most attentive and general service faultless. Have to comment about our Captain. He was the most 'hands on' Captain we have ever come across. He had no airs about him, was charming. He would collect the boarding cards and was there when we all left. He obviously had a very happy staff team and that must come from his style of leadership. The hotel manager was equally a 'hands on' member of staff, and charming. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
After a very enjoyable two week cruise through France on Viking ships, we decided to go for the Grand Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We added a short extension in Amsterdam. Although we were not disappointed with the cruise, there ... Read More
After a very enjoyable two week cruise through France on Viking ships, we decided to go for the Grand Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We added a short extension in Amsterdam. Although we were not disappointed with the cruise, there are a few things Viking should do to improve offered shore excursions. Local guides were available in almost every instance and were generally good. We did have a couple of guides who were not up to standard. When we mentioned this to the ship's staff, we were only told that others had made the same complaint. Not a very encouraging answer. Be wary of making trips away from the port cities. Too often the excursions were cut short because of slow progress through locks, or the time spent on a bus ride. These excursions are very pricey and the amount of time spent at the site did not seem to make for a good value. Be sure to take advantage of the extensions that are offered for free on the included tours. The extra time was well spent! Perhaps the best thing to think about if contemplating this cruise is to take it in sections. Spend more time in the embarkation or disembarkation cities, or both, and forego the lengthier cruise. It is probably worth the added expense to travel either in later spring or earlier fall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We tell everyone that we've had three great experiences on Viking River Cruises in Europe. We traveled on the Viking Vili for the Grand European Cruise in October 2016. (Our previous trips were on sister ships for the Rhine River ... Read More
We tell everyone that we've had three great experiences on Viking River Cruises in Europe. We traveled on the Viking Vili for the Grand European Cruise in October 2016. (Our previous trips were on sister ships for the Rhine River Cruise and the one now called Lyon & Provence. Viking does everything right, with full attention to the guest experience. Viking continues to tweak itineraries based on customer feedback, as evidenced by the slight variations in cruise offerings every year. We enjoy the stylish interior of the Viking long ships, in both public and private spaces. The ship's crew is a model of international cooperation. The food is extraordinary - delicious offerings for three meals every day and sometimes even special treats like strudel making (& tasting) and Viennese coffee to complement the local cuisine. they are even prepared to meet special dietary requirements (I'm gluten free). We especially appreciate the daily briefing each evening just before dinner, at which we learn about tomorrow's destination and itinerary. There are also enrichment programs such as a demonstration of glass blowing or chamber music. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We choose this cruise after having many friends recommend a river cruise through Europe. We planned this trip for a number of years with college roommates, one of whom who had never traveled through Europe. The idea of unpacking only once ... Read More
We choose this cruise after having many friends recommend a river cruise through Europe. We planned this trip for a number of years with college roommates, one of whom who had never traveled through Europe. The idea of unpacking only once during a long trip was especially appealing to me and my husband. We were very impressed by the friendliness of the staff and crew, especially our cruise director Terry Turnbull. One day, Executive Chef Roderick Serrano even prepared a special pork belly adobo for our table of six, after our maitre-d overheard us speaking about it to guest from Albuquerque, New Mexico. What a special treat! I submitted the photo of the adobo to the Honolulu Star Advertiser that ran the story and a recipe that I replicated. We enjoyed all meals, all evening programs, all tours and the very comfortable Viking accommodations. Learning about the European cities was fascinating and walking the same streets and seeing the beautiful buildings of historical lore was enchanting. My friends from Hawaii admit, shopping for Christmas ornaments was exciting. As a culinary teacher, I enjoyed sampling all foods. I purchased spices, mustards, chocolates and cookies to stuff into my luggage for the long trip home to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Destinations, timing, price, dates that fit with other travel plans all were factors in our decision to select this sailing and itinerary. My previous cruises - even on small ships - offered places to get a snack at any time, whereas ... Read More
Destinations, timing, price, dates that fit with other travel plans all were factors in our decision to select this sailing and itinerary. My previous cruises - even on small ships - offered places to get a snack at any time, whereas this one only had muffins and cookies in the lounge at the back of the boat. That is, however, a minor issue when the food that was offered was so well-prepared, regionally appropriate, and elegantly presented. We spent a great deal of time on shore excursions, which were well thought out and priced. Excursion pacing was fine, and the quality of the local guides was almost flawless. I would have loved more time in Vienna, but I understand the logistical challenges that would create. The boat's staff were very friendly and accommodating. Within 24 hours the dining staff knew us personally, and our housekeeper was perfectly attentive. I was a bit dismayed to see how many other similar boats were on the river, and in places where we were tied up alongside another river cruiser, (three abreast in Vienna) there was no way to leave the picture window open for the scenery. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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