7 Budapest Viking River Viking Lofn Cruise Reviews

Simply stated, this cruise was fabulous. We lived 3 years and Europe and are experienced European travelers, and this may have been one of the best trips ever! We began with misgivings. An email several days before stated that we ... Read More
Simply stated, this cruise was fabulous. We lived 3 years and Europe and are experienced European travelers, and this may have been one of the best trips ever! We began with misgivings. An email several days before stated that we might have to change ships mid-cruise due to low water on the Danube, and that the cruise might begin in Komarom, HU, with a bus into Budapest for a tour. Both turned out to be true, and both were handled exceptionally smoothly by the staff, and were no discomfort or inconvenience to the guests. We began the cruise on the Vidar, from Komarom to Passau, and finished with the Lofn, from Nuremberg to Amsterdam. We took our first Viking cruise last year; "Portraits of Southern France," and obviously liked it enough to book the "Grand European," from which we just returned. We can hardly think of anything, we didn't like a great deal, and really, possibly a couple of things were merely acceptable, and not exceptional. The ship is superbly designed. The staff was gracious, friendly, professional and efficient. The food was wonderful, unique, and beautifully served. The places we visited, and there were many, were interesting and with time to see them quite well. The local guides were incredible; many were academic art historians, professors, etc., and had exceptional knowledge of the places and what was interesting to see and do. Perhaps best of all were the cultural activities, on board and off. Wonderful concerts. Professionally delivered lectures by professors and the cruise staff. A delightful presentation by the ship's engineer. Wine and food presentations. Mieke B., our program director, presented a number of very polished lectures, and was superbly organized, efficient, and above all, made the cruise a great deal of fun! On the last day we asked her, as an Amsterdam resident, for a restaurant recommendation, van Baerle, which was warm, lovely food and drink, and casually elegant. My wife says, and I agree, that we would go on a trip with her as PD again, anywhere, anytime! I would recommend this cruise to anyone, without any hesitation whatever. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We enjoyed our cruise on the Viking Longships---two actually because of low water problems in the river systems during our October sailing. We were suppose to start and finish on the Lofn but actually only finished on it. However, Viking ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise on the Viking Longships---two actually because of low water problems in the river systems during our October sailing. We were suppose to start and finish on the Lofn but actually only finished on it. However, Viking handled the required ship change as smoothly as anyone could have dreamed. Except for having to pack and unpack a little more than desired and to have had a few more long bus rides I don't think we had any ill effects. In addition Viking gave us a free excursion because of the difficulties. The food and drink onboard were of high quality and the free wine service was generous and prompt. Our Cruise Director went with us from ship to ship so that we had some type of continuity throughout. Both crews were fantastic and I can't remember any complaints worth mentioning. This was our first river cruise and my wife and I both liked it. We had previously visited some of the towns and cities along the way but enjoyed all and found the excursions to all be worthwhile. We signed up for only a few of the 'extra fee' excursions as we thought the free ones were excellent. I would have liked more tome onboard just cruising along the river but I think that's the nature of river cruising , at least in Europe where one has to cope with so many locks and daytime stops. Entertainment on board was minimal but fine with some cultural insights thrown in through lectures od local entertainers. All in all, I liked (as did my wife) our first river cruise and I was especially pleased with the entire Viking treatment. Indeed, I might have rated this higher than 4 stars but have so little past river cruising experience that I felt like I should hold back a little. However, Viking impressed me so much that we are planning an ocean cruise with them for 2017 (by that time we will have been on 18 ocean cruises and I'll have the experience to more accurately rank them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our 14 night cruise on two Viking Longships, the Vidar and the Lofn, was really nice. Despite the very low river levels that required us to first board a ship, the Vidar, that we hadn't booked and doing that 40 miles or more from ... Read More
Our 14 night cruise on two Viking Longships, the Vidar and the Lofn, was really nice. Despite the very low river levels that required us to first board a ship, the Vidar, that we hadn't booked and doing that 40 miles or more from Budapest and then having to be bussed half way through the cruise to pick up our originally scheduled ship, the Lofn, we still had a great time. Viking handled the required ship transfer without a hitch. We did have to repack and then unpack again (not fun) and one didn't see a whole lot in the bus rides but the ships were identical and both spanking brand new. Both crews were great and our Tour Guide and her assistant changed ships with us so that there was some sense of continuity. In addition Viking gave us a free paid tour (a value of ~$138). The food was very good and the wine pouring was frequent and generous at lunch and dinner. While the entertainment was not spectacular I don't think many people take these cruises for elaborate nightly entertainment. The piano music before and after dinner was very pleasant and after spending many days ashore touring I would fall asleep during any longer shows. Another thing that surprised me was that there were many free tours so that we only invested in a few extra cost trips. All in all, a great trip and I would readily cruise again with Viking. Indeed being a frequent ocean cruiser (17 and counting) I'm looking forward to taking one of Viking's ocean cruises (perhaps to the Baltic) within the next couple years. If they do them half as well as they do river cruising I think it could be special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My mother in law chose this cruise, to take the whole family. We were concerned at first because of her age (mid 80s), but the crew took excellent care of us and especially of her. There were many ways the crew assisted her or made ... Read More
My mother in law chose this cruise, to take the whole family. We were concerned at first because of her age (mid 80s), but the crew took excellent care of us and especially of her. There were many ways the crew assisted her or made accommodation so that she could participate in outings. I personally enjoyed the many choices available at each stop, and also the choice to simply sit on deck and enjoy scenery. The crew were exemplary. I have done nothing but sing your praises since arriving home, and I hope to do it again very soon. The trick is to pace yourself at the same time that you push yourself: choose what interests you! On the same day, I had a "Mozart" experience in Vienna that was a peak life experience and my brother-in-law had a peak life experience watching the Lipizzaner stallions. Our family was amused that we were both excited and thrilled with our "bucket list" days which were so completely different from each other. In another town, our peak of the day was to have a coffee and pastry at a sidewalk cafe and simply people watch. Each day brings different possibilities, so pay attention and follow your feeling of the moment. Bring a couple of pairs of good walking shoes, and enjoy the many different ports of call, each with some treasure waiting for you to partake. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second trip with Viking River Cruises. They were as great the second time as the first. The ships and crew are wonderful. Everyone speaks English and they are very friendly. We especially appreciate the daily shore ... Read More
This was our second trip with Viking River Cruises. They were as great the second time as the first. The ships and crew are wonderful. Everyone speaks English and they are very friendly. We especially appreciate the daily shore excursions and the local guides. Each guest has a set of headphones with which to hear the guide. You do not have to follow in a tight little bunch to hear the information. The excursions included in the basic cost of the trip are very good and give a good overview of the city/town being visited. The ground transportation is outstanding - brand new big busses. It is so nice to take a river cruise, you see many sights along the way and your hotel, breakfast/lunch/dinner table travels with you. Every meal is outstanding, including complimentary beer or wine. This ships are all similar and every cabin is setup for a king bed or two twins. The ships are well laid out and getting to dinner is an easy set of stairs. They do have elevators if necessary. This cruise was the Grand European. We departed the most beautiful city in Europe - Budapest and disembarked in Amsterdam. In between we visited beautiful cities in Austria, Slovakia and Germany. We saw vineyards, cathedrals and castles. It is a marvelous trip and Viking River Cruises makes it all wonderful to see, learn and enjoy. We are already planning and arranging our next trip with Viking River Cruises to Russia. We highly recommend Viking to anyone. I noticed that other reviews mentioned low water problems and having to change ships mid-trip. We also experienced this problem and Viking solved it effortlessly. We were not the least bit inconvenienced by this problem - in fact they gave us a complimentary shore excursion. ONLY Viking, with their many ships traveling both ways - north and south, could pull off this solution to the low water problem so effortlessly for the guests. (I know the crew put in a great deal of effort- thank you.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We spent several days in beautiful Prague, Czech Republic, prior to boarding our river cruise in Budapest, Hungary and then spent the next 15 days with the Viking Lofn crew and guests. What a spectacular time we had. The boat was new, ... Read More
We spent several days in beautiful Prague, Czech Republic, prior to boarding our river cruise in Budapest, Hungary and then spent the next 15 days with the Viking Lofn crew and guests. What a spectacular time we had. The boat was new, comfortable, easy to navigate and a great home away from home. We've visited southern Europe several times in the past, and this cruise introduced us to The Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. We will definitely return and feel very grounded now with the geography. We were so impressed with how many people spoke fluent English and were self conscious about our lack of foreign language skill. The river cities we visited were all wonderful, the shore guides were all excellent and our crew was spectacular. This is our second Viking cruise (the first was in China) and we are already booked for our next cruise in 2017. Can't wait to go. We enjoyed the people we traveled with and enjoyed our dining experience. The food was very good overall, with lots of variety and unusual menu selections to try. There were always basic items on the menu, but we never tried them as we enjoyed the European cuisine on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Sailed on the Viking Lofn out of Budapest on July 13, 2015. Wonderful new ship, friendly crew, knowledgeable tour guides and great techy earphones to hear guides. No need to miss anything if you aren't directly behind the guide. ... Read More
Sailed on the Viking Lofn out of Budapest on July 13, 2015. Wonderful new ship, friendly crew, knowledgeable tour guides and great techy earphones to hear guides. No need to miss anything if you aren't directly behind the guide. Viking personnel where waiting at the airport to pick us up and we went directly to the ship for a lovely bunch. We mostly ate in the dinning room and met new fellow travelers every day. Two concerns I have: this is not a cruise for newlyweds - and I felt bad for the couple on our ship - unless you like traveling with your parents/grandparent/great-grandparents. This is also not the cruise for folks needing walkers - yes, there were 3 or 4! They did their best to get in/out of some of the bus trips, but forget trying to push a walker on cobblestones! These dear people waited too long for this trip or choose the wrong venue. Loved the local entertainment on featured nights - glass blower, folk dancing/singing, classical music with comedy, a well as guest singing participation and dancing (are we really still doing YMCA?!). Had to disembark half way through do to low water and change to our sister ship the Vidar to complete the cruise to Amsterdam. No problem, didn't miss anything, handled well, 3 hour bus trip wasn't a burden. Great trip and we highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
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