69 Budapest Viking River Viking Atla Cruise Reviews

Viking does a great job marketing and we were sold a “first class experience” when booking one of two explorer suites. These suites are right above the engines in the back of the boat. Low water on the Danube exasperated the loudness ... Read More
Viking does a great job marketing and we were sold a “first class experience” when booking one of two explorer suites. These suites are right above the engines in the back of the boat. Low water on the Danube exasperated the loudness if the suite and the vibrations made our teeth chatter. We had to be moved to another room on the cruise. Horrific experience and very poor customer experience. Viking also has no automation for passenger boarding and leaving ship. Traditional ocean liners have an automated system where you put in your card upon entering and exiting the ship. Viking does this work paper cards that you are given (and have to wait in line for) each time you enter or exit the ship. Ridiculous and so old school! They cruise officers were always looking for people at each port. I would also never add anything port extensions on with Viking. Very poor hotels, especially the Corenthia in Prague Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just finished Viking Romantic Danube cruise. First time this Viking ship sailed, without interruption, from Nuremberg to Budapest. Only, maybe, the second week that any Viking ship made the cruise end-to-end without a ship swap. The ... Read More
Just finished Viking Romantic Danube cruise. First time this Viking ship sailed, without interruption, from Nuremberg to Budapest. Only, maybe, the second week that any Viking ship made the cruise end-to-end without a ship swap. The low water levels on both the Rhine and Danube will likely continue into 2019 season (begins in March). The cruise, when uninterrupted like ours, was great. Crew was great, very good customer service. Ship was in great shape. However, crew members did say it has been a very tough season - with all the ship swaps and motor coach substitutions, most of the "cruises" were filled with very disgruntled customers. This cruise and crew would entice me to take another Viking cruise. However, I plan to do even more due diligence before the next cruise. Viking management appears to be passing the buck to the crews, not informing cruisers of the "real situation" on the rivers, leaving the crews to inform the cruisers - who proceed to shoot the messenger. I'd be very leery of a future river cruise, given Viking's terms and conditions, which pretty much state that one you've paid, they can change anything. Bus you the whole way, etc. The silver beverage package should be closely evaluated - we considered, being that I like my high end spirits. Glad we chose to go "by the glass", because our ship was either out of stock, or very low, on many of the best spirits. Having to settle for a lesser beverage didn't sting quite so much, because I hadn't pre-paid. Also, the Viking air travel arrangement simply sucked. Very long layovers, early boarding calls, etc. All for Viking's convenience, with no concern for the customer. Next time, I do my own flight selections. Not getting up at 2 am again, just so Viking can save a bus trip. Or getting home 20 hrs later, just because the Viking scheduler bot saved $2 on the long layover. I'll pay more for better service, but Viking never offered. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had never taken a river cruise before. However after this trip we hope to do many more! We went on both the pre and post cruise extensions. Both Budapest and Prague were wonderful. The architecture was magnificent. The hotels were well ... Read More
We had never taken a river cruise before. However after this trip we hope to do many more! We went on both the pre and post cruise extensions. Both Budapest and Prague were wonderful. The architecture was magnificent. The hotels were well appointed and close to everything. The on shore excursions were well organized. We learnt a lot of very interesting history and had very informative guides. We had to change ships mid way and things went extremely smoothly. In fact if I had left a toothbrush in one bathroom I bet it would be in the exact same place on the next ship! The meals were very good with a lot of variety and something for everyone's taste. The staterooms were well appointed with a place for all your items. The crew were very friendly, very helpful and always willing to make sure you were happy. I highly recommend Viking! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Where we were going, have done Viking before and liked it. We did explore Budapest a bit before departure. The ship is spacious and very friendly staff. We had to switch boats and the staff recommended who we should look up after ... Read More
Where we were going, have done Viking before and liked it. We did explore Budapest a bit before departure. The ship is spacious and very friendly staff. We had to switch boats and the staff recommended who we should look up after switching. Shore excursions are fantastic. Informative and fun with very friendly tour guides. I would and will definitely go again. Once back on the boat there was time to relax a bit before cocktails, dinner and evening entertainment. When changing boats, the transition was as smooth as it could possibly have been. The food on board was all very good. There were plenty of options so everyone could have just what the wanted. We did purchase the silver drink package and it was definitely worth the money. I woill plan another Viking riverboat cruise and ocean cruise in the future. Thank you for making it such a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I have to preface this review by saying that I have cruised every brand: from the super cheap to Seabourn and have been on 20+ cruises all over the world - usually crusing with the top-end: Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal, etc. We sailed ... Read More
I have to preface this review by saying that I have cruised every brand: from the super cheap to Seabourn and have been on 20+ cruises all over the world - usually crusing with the top-end: Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal, etc. We sailed on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg and had to change ships due to low water levels like a few others had mentioned. There were many things that made me irritated about this cruise. I will delineate them: 1. The Viking Company: Viking knew we had to change ships but did not notify the guests until days before our sailing - just like one of the other reviews mentioned just recently. I was told by the crew on the ship that this had been going on for months! Really, Viking?! We are in a world where we can forecast rain well in advance (this affects the water levels, right?!), and they are in the River business and clearly can predict water levels and could have notified guests well in advance so that we could cancel and reschedule. Stop the games and fraudulent activity by not letting customers know in advance that they have to change ships in the middle of the cruise! And as an experienced cruiser, I don’t like having to pack and unpack and leave bags out in the middle of the night in the middle of my cruise! I especially didn’t appreciate the long bus ride to the next port instead of seeing part of the Danube by ship! The Tour Director said in one of his cruise briefings: “Be happy that you were not on the other bus going the other way, as they had to spend 3 1/2 hours on a bus!” Yes, spending 3 hours total (not 3 1/2) on a bus did make us happier... more about our Cruise Director later. 2. The staff: Most of them were very UNaccommodating! I was traveling with a group, and we all shared the same consensus about the horrific level of service independent of one another. You think I was asking for a million dollars when I asked a few staff members over the course of the cruise a few basic things that I neeeded. The attitude was just plain disgusting. My comment to Viking: If your staff members hate their jobs, get rid of them. There were so many who clearly hated working on the ship and were forgetting that they were hired to provide great service to their guests - novel concept for a “high-end” ship. The staff needs and overhaul! Basically, I never asked for anything again after a couple of days since I didn’t want to “inconvenience” your staff. The suite: Now seriously, what does it take to clean the balcony and the furniture on it? There were so many spider webs and spiders that I did not want to spend any time on the balcony! I paid a premium for the balcony but deemed it “unusable.” Inside the stateroom, there were bug splatters on the ceilings and walls where people have taken insect control in their own hands - it was just simply gross! Viking: Just clean your staterooms from the ground up - literally! How much effort does this take? The food: I’ve had better and more creative meals at Denny’s. I understand that feeding 180+ passengers is a lot of work and expensive, so stop trying to “save money by going “cheap” and fast with your meals. My poor husband’s ribeye steak was gray (yes, as it was “old”) and 1/2 inch thick. I get it: If you want to feed two people one ribeye steak, then cut it in half - lengthwise! What a great way to save money and fool your guest that they are getting a real ribeye! Most of the dinners were “edible,” but heaven forbid if you asked for anything outside of each passengers’ quota for an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Don’t get me started on this one: I lost weight on this cruise (not by choice) - yes, that’s a first! The Cruise Director (Anthony): He was very funny when he was entertaining the guests but, one-on-one, he was not so accommodating. Again, the bad attitude - and appeared to be annoyed if you asked him anything. I saw enough of his interactions with other passengers (and me) to come up with this suggestion. It is clear that I will never sail with Viking again. Don’t waste your money or valuable vacation time. What a huge disappointment! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I have been to several countries since 1992, but never to Hungary, Austria and Germany. The cruise was wonderful traveling along the Danube River. It was wonderful not having to always leave the ship to see so many interesting sights. ... Read More
I have been to several countries since 1992, but never to Hungary, Austria and Germany. The cruise was wonderful traveling along the Danube River. It was wonderful not having to always leave the ship to see so many interesting sights. We had an outside balcony so we could sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. We really liked the optional tours we took by bus. I had a bi-lateral knee operation two years ago and the walking tour was excellent, as I was in the leisure strollers group and I used my cane. The guides were so well versed and ready to answer any questions we had. The food was excellent and we had many dining choices such as buffet, sit down dinners and snacks and we got to choose from standard choices like hamburgs and sandwiches and ethnic foods, like Hungarian Goulash. I taught a Foods class and attended the Culinary Institute in Hyde park, N.Y., so i know what a good chef we had. I love classical music and the concert by the residence Orchestra at a castle in Vienna was wonderful. I also taught History at one time and the trip to the courtroom where the Nazis were on trial was spell binding. The guide was such an excellent speaker and during the hour we were there, the guide was spell binding. The service was excellent and if we wanted anything, such as more sauce for a meat, it arrived immediately after it was requested. I certainly would go again. I haven't been to Sweden and my Paternal Grand-Mother was born in Stockholm, so Id like go go there. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wanted to try a river cruise as I don't want to sail the ocean. It looked like so much fun. I wanted to see Europe from the water. In most of the commercials we would see the huge building in Budapest with the red roofs. I ... Read More
I wanted to try a river cruise as I don't want to sail the ocean. It looked like so much fun. I wanted to see Europe from the water. In most of the commercials we would see the huge building in Budapest with the red roofs. I wanted to go there and see that. We saw it from a bus ride through Buda and Pest. We slept on a boat docked on the Danube near the Chain bridge. It was beautiful and magical. The next morning we took a bus tour around Budapest and then took a 3+ hour bus ride to Vienna. This would be wonderful trip turned out to be a huge disappointment. We met lots of new people who all felt like we did. This is not what we were sold, not what we expected or what we paid for. The water level was low on the Danube but it had been all summer. Viking didn't let us know until days before we were to embark that levels were low. They did not give us the option to cancel our trip. We were on 3 ships in 7 days and traveled half the river by bus and the other half at night with the exception of one afternoon and one late evening. We upgraded to a Veranda room so we could enjoy the river from there but that was a waste of money. What a major disappointment. It wasn't relaxing. We couldn't unpack and kick back. We were on the go all the time. We had to get up early and put our bags in the hallway to be ready for the next ship change.. Not much of a vacation. The food was ok. The ships were clean. We saw some beautiful and interesting sites. The staff did their best to make the trip pleasant. They seemed understaffed on the last ship and not as attentive however. We'd get our disappointing news in the evening about what the next day would bring. I cannot recommend Viking. They have not tried to make this right. They offered 25% off a future cruise....to be taken within a year. That does nothing for the unsatisfactory trip we just had. Viking is the only winner in that scenario. We wasted a lot of money and don't want to see others do the same thing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the featured sites along the way. The Atla was pristine in cleanliness and comfort with excellent service. We enjoyed meeting new people and finding a group of friends for the voyage. The excursions were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the featured sites along the way. The Atla was pristine in cleanliness and comfort with excellent service. We enjoyed meeting new people and finding a group of friends for the voyage. The excursions were fantastic--especially enjoyed the Privileged Access tour at the Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle as well as the Apricot Dumpling demonstration at the monastery along the Danube. Don't miss the oldest sausage fast-food ship in Passau--it was good eating at a place that has been serving food for hundreds of years. Budapest was breathtaking as we cruised in one morning; and even more wonderful when the ship sailed after dark so we could see the illuminated skyline of this beautiful city. Our tour director was most amazing as were all the staff on board. We only went to the lounge for entertainment two nights but our acquaintances raved over the pianist and the theme entertaining. Food was healthy, delicious and plentiful. Loved the salad station with a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Several nights had special regional tasting menus which were superb--in addition regular menu choices were always available. We loved it so much that we have booked the Budapest to Bucharest Passages to Easter tn Europe next year. I loved our wionderful Veranda Suite. Another plus was the ship's library stocked with new books and games for our free time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because it was the right length and covered all of the highlights we wanted. I was expecting a lot and was absolutely not disappointed. Amazing service and from the cruise director, to maids, to bartender to guides ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the right length and covered all of the highlights we wanted. I was expecting a lot and was absolutely not disappointed. Amazing service and from the cruise director, to maids, to bartender to guides they were all incredibly friendly and helpful. We ate great, stayed in a comfortable cabin and loved the amenities. The excursions we very well thought out. Guides were all energetic and entertaining. Learned so much about Europe. Busses were always comfortable. Our only item we would have enjoyed would have been more free time. Seems like always on such a tight schedule and if we got behind the free time was sacrificed. Our bartender was amazing. He was always friendly and helpful. Taught me the glory of some new drinks. I liked that once he got to no me, I never had to give him my card and drink pass again., wuitefrankly made me feel special. I thought Viking worked very hard to find entertainment that was fun yet appropriate for our age group.. The piano player was wonderful. To me, my best days was the two afternoons we traveled through some of the most beautiful parts of the river. We sat on top in a lounge chair, had a drink or two, read and took lots of pictures. Lastly I liked the daily get together, where we had a drink and our cruise director gave us a briefing on the next day’s activity. Another opportunity to visit and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We planned a girls trip which was a first time for a river cruise for each of us. Lovely itinerary, vessel, cuisine and a fantastic staff and service!! We selected a perfect time of year for weather. Not too hot and no rain! Great ... Read More
We planned a girls trip which was a first time for a river cruise for each of us. Lovely itinerary, vessel, cuisine and a fantastic staff and service!! We selected a perfect time of year for weather. Not too hot and no rain! Great value too. I liked the excursions offered, both complimentary and upgraded ones. The food offerings, both from the menu and buffet was abundant and nicely presented. I wish there was food you could order late in the evening. Sometimes you get hungry and there’s no options. I would also like to see savory snacks at the coffee station along with sweets. I would have like to have played more games in the evening earlier in the cruise. We didnt do this until the end. It was so much fun and helped making quick friends amongst the other guests. I did not use the Viking Air travel offered. We used FF miles FC travel. The only downside to this is that you still need to make your own transportation arrangements once you arrive in the embarkation port to get you to the vessel or hotel. I will definitely go on another Viking River Cruise again in the near future! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Wanted to try a river cruise based on TV advertisements. This was my first river cruise and probably my last river cruise because of the cabin space. I enjoyed all the excursions which were very educational despite even though it was a ... Read More
Wanted to try a river cruise based on TV advertisements. This was my first river cruise and probably my last river cruise because of the cabin space. I enjoyed all the excursions which were very educational despite even though it was a holiday so some places were not available to tour, the meals was great, and staff was friendly and went above and beyond to make it an enjoyable experience and I met lots of people but was disappointed in the size of the cabins and lack of an opportunity to exercise. Because of the small size and limited spaced to move about the cabin my sciatic pain flared up and I got no relief even with the walking excursions because of the cobblestone streets and slow pace of the tours. I tried 3 times to go on deck to walk but the crew was always cleaning it early in the mornings. My next cruises will be on a larger ocean cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I sailed on the Viking Romantic Danube cruise April/May 2018. We did the pre-cruise excursion in Budapest and the post-cruise excursion in Prague. It was mostly good, but with a few issues. Here are the pros and cons: Pros: ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Viking Romantic Danube cruise April/May 2018. We did the pre-cruise excursion in Budapest and the post-cruise excursion in Prague. It was mostly good, but with a few issues. Here are the pros and cons: Pros: 1. Friendly and attentive staff. 2. Cabins were small but very well appointed. Storage space was more than adequate. 3. Food was uniformly good. I would not call it gourmet food, but always good quality and plentiful. 4. Cleanliness. I believe the captain mentioned that Atla was built in 2013. After five years, she still looks great and the crew kept the ship spotless. 5. Marco, our activities director, was excellent. We appreciated his sense of humor and he always kept us informed. Also, unlike with other ships, he seemed to be everywhere and also gave the impression he really enjoyed his job and passengers. 6. Enjoyed the ports. Budapest and Prague were favorites but we enjoyed all the stops. Especially enjoyed the abbey tours in Krems and Regensburg. 7. Service and logistics. Viking did a really good job of herding the cats (passengers) and kept things running smoothly and on-time. Reception desk service was usually prompt and efficient. 8, Post-cruise hotel (Art Nouveau) in Prague was truly excellent. Great location, beautiful rooms, fantastic breakfasts and friendly and professional staff. And now the cons: 1. Internet service. Having experienced the problems with expensive online access on ocean cruises, we were drawn to Viking’s promise of free Wi-fi service. However, access was extremely limited, slow, and not available for long perids of time. We could not send a single photo home while on the ship – had to wait to find decent Wi-fi in the ports. My advice to travelers who need reliable online access is to skip this ship and/or itinerary. 2. Tours. We liked the fact that there was a free tour included every day and some of them were great (e.g. the Budapest and Passau walking tours). However, the quality of the guides varied quite a bit in knowledge, enthusiasm and English speaking skills. 3. Crowding. One of the reasons we chose Viking was to have a calmer and less-crowded experience than with the large ships. Yet with a full ship of 190 passengers, there were times it was difficult to find a seat in the lounge or on the sun deck. This was not as big of a problem as with ocean ships but still a bit irritating. 4. Entertainment. The piano player (Peter?) was good and his Tom Jones concert was superb, but the variety and quality of the entertainment was just okay. We certainly didn’t expect as much as what you get on an ocean cruise but I believe Viking can do a bit better. 5. Fitness. There is no fitness facility onboard, other than a small walking/jogging track on the upper deck. This was not a major issue for us due to all the walking we did while on tours, but could be an issue for others. 6. Pre-excursion hotel (Sofitel) in Budapest was disappointing. The room was small and the staff not particularly friendly. They seemed bewildered that an American traveler would require an adapter to use 110v current. My mistake for not bringing this but instead of loaning us the adapter (as they did at our Prague hotel), the gentleman at the business services office tried to sell one (which he wrongly claimed was a converter) for 22 Euros, about three times the cost of such an item on Amazon.com. Overall, we would rate the Viking experience as good, but not great. It met our expectations in most areas, but didn’t truly “wow” us. We are certainly open to cruising with Viking again, but they really need to fix the internet access issue. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We lived in Germany several years ago and had traveled to many places, but we had not traveled to Eastern European locations. Budapest was wonderful, so pretty, all lit up at night. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel until we ... Read More
We lived in Germany several years ago and had traveled to many places, but we had not traveled to Eastern European locations. Budapest was wonderful, so pretty, all lit up at night. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel until we boarded our Ship on Sunday. Viking had an overall tour of the city and we also had free time to explore. Right here I have to say that Viking does a great job with advertising. But when the rubber meets the road, you are being herded into buses on all your little side trips with 44 other people. That part of the trip got old very quickly for me and was just a reminder of the sardine-can airline trip over to Budapest that we endured. I don't know what I was expecting, but I guess I was thinking we'd be all going in different directions in small vans and that it would be a bit more personal. The food and the staff were both excellent. The service and the room were wonderful. Even the internet connections were pretty good. No complaints. A small Ship allows people more opportunities to get to know each other and that part of it we loved. We met some great folks. Viking has staff all over Europe and you get met at your airport, you get delivered to your hotel...wonderful. They take care of all of it for you. The Budapest to Bucharest tour was "more evocative" as Rick Steves would say. We weren't seeing the Vatican or the Parthenon. We were exploring the mood of former communist countries and how they were doing. A lot of our sites were relatively unknown to us. All were interesting and well prepared. In Croatia we even got to visit with locals and see how they live and what they have done with their lives and their homes since all the wars. Budapest's beautiful buildings and chain bridge were lovely. Bucharest's Parliament was beautiful and to learn of the brutal Ceausescu regime under communism was interesting. Viking brought lecturers on board the ship and also folk dancers. So nice. So, in summary, I loved the trip. My only objection was the sardine-can daily tours. I just wish there was a nicer way to get folks around for these tours. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a great itinerary at a good time of year. I was told there is an elevator on the boat because I cannot walk stairs. There is indeed an elevator but it does not go to the top deck which was how many ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a great itinerary at a good time of year. I was told there is an elevator on the boat because I cannot walk stairs. There is indeed an elevator but it does not go to the top deck which was how many times one had to go to to get off the ship, consequently I was not able to go on any of the included tours. To be fair in my revue, the boat itself was lovely, the food very good and the staff could not be better. They even put a chair for me in the shower. My wife who was able to go on the included tours told me they were very good and comprehensive. We spent two nights in Budapest which is a lovely city with a very interesting history. We were put up at a very fine hotel and a tour of Budapest was included but again on the tour no seat was held for me on the bus so I was not able to go. I think the staff was not totally aware of how to deal with the handicapped. I took a private tour thru the hotel which I enjoyed very much. In conclusion this is a great trip and a very fine cruise line so long as you are in good shape Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first river cruise and we loved it. The boarding process was easy as could be. We enjoyed the food a great deal. Other guests were extremely friendly and we found new friends to dine with over the course of the cruise. There ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we loved it. The boarding process was easy as could be. We enjoyed the food a great deal. Other guests were extremely friendly and we found new friends to dine with over the course of the cruise. There were many choices at each mail and the service staff were beyond excellent in their friendliness and attentiveness. If one is vegetarian or vegan, this could be a relatively boring trip in terms of meals as the range of options seemed quite small. It may be larger if one identified to the chef as vegan as I suspect they would make some efforts to create something special, but I do not know that for a face. Each day offered an included excursion. These were usually a couple of hours and gave us a sense of the place we were visiting and then plenty of time to explore the city on our own. The excursions were usually walking tours and we divided into small groups, making it much easier to navigate. Our guides typically were folks native to the area and were all quite good. The headsets Viking uses made it easy to hear, even if we were not directly looking at our guide. The staff at the front desk were excellent except when it came to having them serve as a concierge. We asked for help with dinner prior to a concert in Vienna. But, the choices they came up with did not work at all, based on what we requested. We just finally just asked for help in making a reservation at a place we selected from a Rick Steves guidebook. Viking apparently used to have a specialized concierge on these boats but ended up merging those functions with the front desk services. I think this was a big mistake and I predict they will reverse this soon as it did not work on our ship. There were evening programs to help prepare us for the next day or to help us understand the lock system, etc. We enjoyed those. There was little in the way of other entertainment except at one banquet. There was no gym on board, though we walked a LOT every day so did not feel a need to exercise on the ship too. There was a walking path on the top but we only used it once. The boat moved VERY smoothly through the water. We often were surprised to notice we had left the dock or had actually docked. Even going through locks was incredibly smooth, despite having only a few feet of clearance at either end of the boat to fit into the locks. All in all, we would highly recommend a Viking river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose this voyage to celebrate my sisters 65th birthday. First time to Budapest and loved the city. All arrangements to the hotel and ship were great. Long ships are small compact but lacking nothing. We chose a simple cabin as our ... Read More
Chose this voyage to celebrate my sisters 65th birthday. First time to Budapest and loved the city. All arrangements to the hotel and ship were great. Long ships are small compact but lacking nothing. We chose a simple cabin as our trip was port intensive and was not planning on spending much time in the room. Dining was great menu more limited than cruise ships but adequate and the quality was great. Entertainment was good for what was offered but again this is not the ship if that is what you are seeking. Service on the entire ship was top notch could not have been more friendly and helpful. Ports were great as were the included and optional tours of which we purchased three. My only thoughts were to maybe offer some trips that include less ports and more time in them. Would definitely take another Viking River Cruise and looking at one next in France. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We looked at 3-4 cruise lines before selecting Viking, a big part of the decision being value for the price. Except for the weather, which we certainly can't hold Viking responsible, everything was great - the accommodations, the ... Read More
We looked at 3-4 cruise lines before selecting Viking, a big part of the decision being value for the price. Except for the weather, which we certainly can't hold Viking responsible, everything was great - the accommodations, the food, the service, the tours .... Viking thinks of everything. My wife and I are fussy eaters, but there wasn't a single meal where we weren't able to find something to satisfy us. My wife suffers from motion sickness, which is why we've never been on an ocean cruise, but figured we'd gamble on a river cruise. In order to even know the ship was moving, you had to be out on deck. No vibration, no engine noise! To give you an idea as to how much we liked it, in the literature prior to sailing, Viking recommended a tip for the program director and crew, and I thought it was a little high. But when we were checking out on the last day, I took the recommendation and added another 20%. I don't recommend this for families, as the clientele definitely leaned toward senior citizens, the average age probably mid 60s. All the tour guides were knowledgeable and personable. Not sure if I would pay the extra for a veranda, because we rarely set foot on it, at least a little because of the weather. Plus, if you're in your cabin, you're probably sleeping. Our dilemma now is deciding which Viking cruise to take next. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
For our first cruise together, My Lady and I booked the Romantic Danube Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg (August 20-27, 2017) on the Viking longboat, Atla. I paid $10,398 for the Veranda Suite and was assigned to Veranda Suite 316. ... Read More
For our first cruise together, My Lady and I booked the Romantic Danube Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg (August 20-27, 2017) on the Viking longboat, Atla. I paid $10,398 for the Veranda Suite and was assigned to Veranda Suite 316. THE GOOD - The ship, itself, is aesthetically well designed and appeared just as presented in the Viking advertisements and virtual ship tours. The food ranged from average-to-excellent. The preponderance of the food, however, ranged from very-good to excellent. Some dishes were superb. The wait staff handled the on-rushing passengers very well. They were courteous and attentive, almost always. The tours at each port were always well organized, even when somewhat boring. Kudos to the Program Director! Our maid was excellent in keeping our room clean and with the fresh towels that we requested. She was always pleasant and eager to make our stay more enjoyable. The passengers on board were friendly and we met many interesting people who will provide us with long lasting memories. The cruise along the Danube with its 26 locks provided interesting and entertaining landscape. THE BAD began our 2nd day on board (Monday, August 21) when our toilet wouldn’t flush. We reported it to the reception desk, received an apology and someone (an ‘engineer’) used a vacuum with hallway access to the toilet plumbing to resolve the symptom. The next day, Tuesday, was a repeat performance. The toilet would not flush. There was a call to the front desk with a verbal apology. As was done previously, an ‘engineer’ was sent to resolve the symptom. The next day, Wednesday, was another repeat performance. The toilet would not flush followed by a call the to front desk with an apology and an engineer was sent to resolve the symptom. On Thursday morning, I talked with the lady at the front desk and expressed my dissatisfaction with Viking’s poor performance to resolving my toilet plumbing issue. I received an apology, but as I found out later, nothing else was done. Thursday evening, our toilet would not flush. I made the call to the front desk and received an apology. An engineer vacuumed out the line from the hallway. Friday evening was ‘the straw’ the broke our backs. It was 10:30 pm, feces was floating in our toilet which, and for the fifth consecutive day, would not flush. My Lady and I walked downstairs to the front desk. I requested the name of the person in Viking Headquarters who should be contacted about non-performance of our contract. No one would pay the money we paid and have to have maintenance flush our toilet every day. It was only after requesting a Viking Headquarters name that serious concern appeared and a memo was noted for manager. As had become customary, an engineer was sent to resolve the symptom. It seemed clear that our problem was not of sufficient importance to immediately get the Hotel Manager. The next morning, we returned to the front desk and asked for the manager. The Manager stated that his staff had not notified him of the problem. I told him that I was interested in customer performance and did not want to address his organization’s processes. While I was talking with the Hotel Manager, the engineer who had been sent on at least 3 occasions to resolve our toilet symptom appeared. The Hotel Manager talked with the engineer in my presence. During that conversation, the engineer told the manager on two occasions that there was nothing wrong with the toilet. Then, he told the Manager that the suite had a bad pump. I discussed with the Manager his conversation with the engineer. I pointed out that I heard the engineer say that there was no problem before admitting that there was a bad pump. The Manager told me that the engineer (gave two different versions because he) had difficulty with the language. I also told the Manager that that there was no sense of urgency to resolve our problem, but that I hoped he would not let the next passengers use Suite 316 knowing that there is a toilet problem. The Hotel Manager said that I needed to look at my Viking literature and find the number for Customer Relations. He, in-turn, would file a report with Viking Headquarters. Later, I spoke with the Hotel Manager informing him of what my understanding of his Atla policy. I told him that I did not want him to be blindsided by my report to Viking Headquarters. He agreed with the following: “The policy of Hotel Management of the Atla is to offer a verbal apology for any and all non-performance, including malfunctioning toilets. Any financial adjustments or other compensation associated with non-performance is handled by Viking Headquarters.” THE UGLY occurred in the early afternoon of Saturday, August 26. The engineer who had spoken with the Hotel Manager used his key and entered our suite without knocking. My Lady was sitting in the living room, alone, in her negligee. When he entered he announce that he had changed the toilet pump and then he entered the bedroom and flushed the toilet. This behavior is just plain DISRESPECTFULL! When I reported the behavior to the front desk, the immediate response was ‘He shouldn’t have done that!” Then came the customary apology. I expressed my strong disappointment with Viking for not only lacking a sense of urgency about my toilet issue, but with the disrespect shown by entering our suite without knocking. After I heard the “I’m sorry you feel that way,” I asked, “How would you feel?”. There was no response. THE AFTERMATH. With all of the Viking literature about how great it is, My Lady and I had planned to purchase the Viking Ocean Cruise from Venice to Athens. After our experience with Viking River Cruise on the Atla, My Lady wants nothing to do with Viking. She pointed out that there were 190 passengers on board, a complete sellout. We were the only Blacks (African Americans) on board. Her statement to me was … “I think we were treated this way because we’re Black.” VIKING HEADQUARTERS RESPONSE: I found a phone number that lead me to Viking Customer Relations and contacted the organization on September 3, 2017. The representative informed me that the Atla Hotel Manager had sent a note of customer dissatisfaction but there were no details. I told her that I wouldn’t expect the Manager to report anything that would reflect negatively on him or his organization. After a brief discussion of the events, I offered to send the Customer Relations representative a draft report of my Viking Riverboat cruise experience before I published it on various travel review sites. My offer was accepted and we discussed the report on September 11. I was told that Viking takes this kind of customer feedback seriously and that our negative experience will be used to better train its employees in an effort to avoid future customers having “The Bad” and “The Ugly” experiences that we had. Viking offered a confidential compensation, but to take advantage of it would require purchasing another Viking Cruise. I told the Viking Customer Relations representative that while I appreciated Viking’s offer, at this time, My Lady has no interest in Viking. Some comments about Viking Travel. I planned our flight from Kennedy (JFK) airport in New York for the Romantic Danube Cruise departing from Budapest. Viking Travel could not guarantee seats together if it arranged our flights. Adjoining seats as well as maximum leg room is a requirement for our international travel. Traveller comments posted on the web indicated confusion with taxis and other ground transportation in finding docked Viking longboats. For convenience, I procured Viking airport transfers between the airports and the ship. I was charged $60 per person per transfer. That totaled $240 for the two of us. The Viking representative told me that when we arrived in Budapest, a Viking agent would see us at baggage claim when we came to pickup our luggage and would carry our baggage to a Viking vehicle to be transported to the ship. Also, in Nuremberg, our baggage would be taken to the (Air France) check-in counter. Neither service occurred. In Budapest we had to carry our baggage to the Viking vehicle. In Nuremberg, while on-ship, I asked the Program Director if our luggage would be carried to check-in. She told me that when the bus driver places our luggage on the ground, we were on our own. Subsequently, we had to carry our baggage from bus to ticket counter inside of terminal. My understanding from listening to passengers obtaining information at the Atla front desk, is that taxi fares would have totaled less than $100 for all airport transfers. We were disappointed that Viking sales mislead us; I would have purchased the transfers without the false representation. (Viking Customer Relations informed me that we received the service that is Viking’s policy to provide.) Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had sailed with Viking River Cruises in Russia, and we knew to expect luxurious accommodations, great food and excellent tour offerings. The Danube tour didn't disappoint. The service was superb -- personable, attentive, helpful. ... Read More
We had sailed with Viking River Cruises in Russia, and we knew to expect luxurious accommodations, great food and excellent tour offerings. The Danube tour didn't disappoint. The service was superb -- personable, attentive, helpful. The extensions were particularly fine. Our pre-tour extension in Ljubliana was fantastic. The guide was extremely knowledgeable (an art PhD) and attentive to every detail of our stay. The tour of Lake Bleb was a real standout. The Prague tour was good but not as remarkable. Because of the number of participants, the service was very impersonal and at times disorganized. The city itself made up for it. You should definitely take the two-hour city tour offered by the hotel. Riding in vintage open-topped cars, you can ride throughout the city, including places off-limits to other vehicles. We were very fortunate to be upgraded to an Explorer Suite, and they're worth the price. The room, with balconies on two sides, are a true luxury -- spacious, well-appointed, well-stocked with fruit and drinks. They're also very private and quiet, and a wonderful way to watch the countryside. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I had long wanted to sail the Danube and selected Viking based on literature we reviewed. As we had never been on a river or ocean cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than the comfort of traveling through various countries which ... Read More
I had long wanted to sail the Danube and selected Viking based on literature we reviewed. As we had never been on a river or ocean cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than the comfort of traveling through various countries which we could tour at each port without the hassle of packing/unpacking as you travel city to city and change hotels. As such, we found the ship quickly became our home and our stateroom lacked nothing more we could want. The bed, pillows, and linens were extremely comfortable, the room layout was efficient, and housekeeping was impeccable. Dining on the ship was exciting and a pleasure due to the variety and presentation of each and every meal, whether it was in the formal dining room or casual dining by the terrace. The dining staff were, without exception, professional, friendly, attentive and quickly learned our personal eating preferences. Amazing service! The tours at every port city were extensive and informative, and the shore excursions were fun and gave us a good perspective of the culture and history. Most impressive was the organization and coordination to manage people leaving the ship on either a tour, excursion, or on-your-own time and to get everyone back on the ship on a time schedule. Incredible! The activities and presentations on the ship were numerous to round out each day, but the evening piano music in the lounge was a personal favorite! Overall, I must say the staff on the ship made the experience exceptional. Every day, greetings were given with a smile, enthusiasm, and a bit of conversation. We felt special. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose the Romantic Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg because we had never sailed on the Danube and we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. We chose to stay two nights prior in Budapest arranged by Viking at the beautiful and ... Read More
We chose the Romantic Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg because we had never sailed on the Danube and we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. We chose to stay two nights prior in Budapest arranged by Viking at the beautiful and outstanding location Intercontinental Hotel. While my husband took several walking tours, I sat watching all kinds of people strolling the promenade right in front of hotel and along the river - brides, bachelor party participants in kilts, young families, etc. Budapest is a vibrant city with good restaurants and outstanding landmark buildings. On board (our fifth Viking cruise but first on a long ship) we were treated by an excellent staff - to name a few - Georgia in the bar, our hotel director, Ryan in the dining room, and most importantly our cruise director Mario. He was always smiling and very helpful and an expert in arranging the shore excursions and the very informative talks on board. All in all, a very enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The cruise was everything it was advertised to be. From the room to the food to the crew, everything was excellent. I have a minor food issue and they were more than willing, in fact insistent on making sure that I knew prior to the meals, ... Read More
The cruise was everything it was advertised to be. From the room to the food to the crew, everything was excellent. I have a minor food issue and they were more than willing, in fact insistent on making sure that I knew prior to the meals, what I could and could not choose to eat. I never went hungry. The food choices were outstanding. The room was wonderful and was kept very clean. We had to change ships mid-cruise due to the water level, but the switch felt nearly seamless. The shore excursions were excellent. The local guides were well versed in their local history and were for the most part very easy to understand. The crew on board were wonderful. The only downside to the whole experience was the air travel to and from. It was arranged by the Viking Air group and I felt we could have used more layover time for transfers from one flight to another. I was traveling with my father, who does not walk fast and tires easily. I had called ahead for wheelchair assistance at all gates. Had it not been for this assistance, we would not have made any of our connections. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
After receiving a brochure in the mail, we decided we would love to sail the Danube. We had heard so many wonderful things about Budapest and Prague and decided to do extensions in both cities pre/post cruise. From the moment we arrived ... Read More
After receiving a brochure in the mail, we decided we would love to sail the Danube. We had heard so many wonderful things about Budapest and Prague and decided to do extensions in both cities pre/post cruise. From the moment we arrived in Budapest, Viking had a presence, providing information about the city, restaurants, excursions and the upcoming cruise. We had three wonderful days in Budapest - I cannot wait to visit again! The people, the food, the sights are all amazing in that city! We boarded the ship mid-day on day 3 and were greeted by an ingratiating and fun-loving crew! They made the trip so memorable with their service and their antics. We have several pictures in our vacation book of the crew that served us nonstop! I have never been treated with such grace and compassion. I can only think that Viking does a superb job in selecting and cultivating the best people - they must be very happy with their employer because they serve them well! Our first night on the ship, the captain took us for a night ride up and down the Budapest waterfront. All of the buildings were lit spectacularly and the lights reflecting in the water was breathtaking - a very memorable start to an unforgettable cruise. We stopped in Vienna and enjoyed several excursions in the city. Hard to rate one over the other because they were all wonderful but the Ring excursion was something not to be missed! These are the events I hold most memorable: the little sausage shop on the banks of the Danube in Regensberg - I cannot find anything better anywhere!; the bike ride out of Krems into the local countryside; the Danube narrows and the Abbey; the castle at Nuremberg and the WWII tour; and Prague - what a wonderful city to explore and dine in - the people are so welcoming - don't miss St Charles Bridge and the castle! What I would do differently - I would spend more time exploring the little villages and less time on formal excursions; I would make sure to see all of the stops (we went to Salzburg on a day trip - wonderul trip! - but we missed seeing anything in Passau because of that excursion and I hear it was a gem - so sorry to have missed it; Viking took care of our luggage throughout the trip - all arrangements made to get us to/from the airports and a Viking local made sure that we were able to navigate the airport for the trip home including the VAT desk. The exceeded my expectations for this vacation! We have booked a cruise up the Rhine in 2019 - I cannot wait to travel with Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Viking Atla. Budapest to Nueremburg. Embark 4.30.17. Well designed contemporary river cruiser. Very clean and well appointed public spaces. Superior crew service from ships captain to bsu drivers. Professional and courteous without over ... Read More
Viking Atla. Budapest to Nueremburg. Embark 4.30.17. Well designed contemporary river cruiser. Very clean and well appointed public spaces. Superior crew service from ships captain to bsu drivers. Professional and courteous without over stepping boundries. Matri 'd and primary waiter were exceptional. Seems to be a "clean" boat re virus control. Very well prepared entrees and buffet. Reasonable selection. Restaurant team aware of and accomodating to dietary limitations. Much of this is a matter of taste and experience. We were well pleased. Shore excursions as expected are thumbnail sketches. Guides seem well vetted by Viking. We chose a private guide for Prague prior to departure. Comparable in expense to Viking group rates. Good decision. Well organized excursions. Viking transfer to Prague was seamless with typical fine service. Viking desk within the hotel provided essential concierge services. Very helpful on day of transfer to airport with VAT process. This at 4:30 AM. I have traveled to the Contenient 40 / 50 times for business, 4/5 times recreation. Have avoided cruises. This was my/our best overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
From start to finish, our cruise was excellent. This was our first river cruise, and we can't wait to do another. The food was not excellent, but certainly very good, although the fish dishes I tried were not the best. However, the ... Read More
From start to finish, our cruise was excellent. This was our first river cruise, and we can't wait to do another. The food was not excellent, but certainly very good, although the fish dishes I tried were not the best. However, the atmosphere and the great wait staff plus choices and choices, plus free wine made it very fine. The land tours were very good and we really appreciated the sound system. I have very poor hearing , and I had notrouble understanding the guides -- who were all personable, entertaining and knowledgeable. The only sour note was our flight home. We didn't get our selected seats and since we were unable to access a printer to print our boarding passes, we had norecourse. (Would be helpful if printing was available. We did ask.) We have heartily recommended Viking to many friends and will continue to do so. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Viking Atla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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