6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Backgound: My wife (57) and I (60) travelled the Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary (Bucharest-Budapest) on the Viking Modi in April. While seasoned ocean cruise travelers, this was our first river cruise and inaugural trip with Viking. ... Read More
Backgound: My wife (57) and I (60) travelled the Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary (Bucharest-Budapest) on the Viking Modi in April. While seasoned ocean cruise travelers, this was our first river cruise and inaugural trip with Viking. Eastern Europe appealed to us as neither had been to the five countries of the itinerary. We were both in the military stationed in Germany during the late 80s and were prohibited to take vacations behind the Iron Curtain. So this was an opportunity to see some of the old vestiges of communism and how these new democratic countries were integrating into the rest of Europe. Notes: Day 1 Bucharest Romania: Viking arranged flight from Tampa to Bucharest was on Lufthansa with a connection in Frankfurt. We were met at Bucharest airport by a Viking rep with bottled water and towelette. There was somewhat of a duffle bag drag in Bucharest Airport due to configuration of airport and where the bus could park. The check in at Sheraton Bucharest at 1800 was smooth and room was on quiet side of hotel. There was a lack of dinner recommendations by Viking rep but we found a nice crepe restaurant close by that was open on Sunday night. Many guests just ate in the hotel restaurant or the Pizza Hut next door. Day 2 Bucharest/Giurgu Romania: Nice breakfast buffet in hotel. Luggage out by 0730, had stateroom tags on bags as they were delivered to our room on the Modi in Giurgu. At 0900 boarded buses for city tour, visit to the Parliament Palace and the Village Museum. Highlight was the Parliament Palace (second to the Pentagon as the largest admin building in the world and a lot nicer inside than the 5 sided one). Parliament tour was by government guide and was outstanding as we had access to the main rooms and halls of the Palace, no restrictions on video or photos. Village Museum represented historic houses/churches from the three regions of Romania. The tour was interesting but light rain put a damper on this outdoor activity. Local ladies had a table with painted eggs for sale that were a popular buy for our tour group. After the Village tour we went to a local restaurant (Pescarus), for the included 4 course lunch (cabbage Salad, vegetable soup, beef stew over potatoes, apple strudel). Good hearty food on a rainy day. After lunch we drove 90 mins to Giurgu and boarded the Modi. Check in was smooth and the luggage was awaiting in the stateroom. Welcome briefing, safety drill and port talk was that evening. After dinner we sailed across the river to Russe, Bulgaria Day 3 Russe Bulgaria: Russe was our tour departure point to Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo. Great tour guide covered a lot of Bulgarian history/culture during our 90 minute bus ride. Stopped at a hotel for tea and restroom break. Tour of Arbanasi included an ottoman style house, church and shop to sample local liqueurs. Included 4 course lunch in at the Izvora (cucumber/tomato/goat cheese salad, vegetable soup, chicken clay pot dish, desert). Highly recommend the desert (yogurt with honey and walnuts). After lunch we drove to Veliko Tarnovo. Were given free time to either shop in town or walk the Tsarevets Fortress grounds. We chose the fortress and walked to the top of the hill and into the Patriarchal Church. Dating to the 12th century, this strategic fortress is one of two highly fortified hills that protected Bulgarian rulers living on the site in the tsar’s palace. Today it provides great views of the town and countryside. Upon departure from Veliko Tarnovo we drove to Svistov where the Modi had moved up river to meet us. That evening we sailed to Vidin. Day 4 Vidin Bulgaria: Vidin was our departure point for Belogradchik Rocks and Fortress. After bus tour of Vidin it was a 90 minute drive to Belogradchik which included a hotel stop for coffee and cookies. Fortress included rock formations that you could climb through a series of stairs. Luckily it was a sunny dry day as rocks have moss covering and would have been difficult footing if wet. We had one hour on site and it was one hour back to ship. After lunch on the ship we walked down to the Baba Vida Fortress in Vidin. Back on the ship there was a sponsored afternoon talk with two girl high school students and a show by children's dance group. Departure at 1800. Day 5 Cruise through Iron Gate: Set clocks back one hour. Went through one lock during night and one during day. Very windy going into the gorge between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. Passed the Viking Alta heading downriver. Went by the stone monument to Dacian King Decebalus and the monastery. Took a tour of the wheelhouse, loved all the electronics. Afternoon tea in the lounge with Apple Strudel making session. Lounge talk about other Viking cruises with $200 for $100 credit offer on future cruises. Day 6 Belgrade Serbia: Arrived at 0600 in Belgrade and tour start 0830. Had to have passports when off boat. 4 hour tour included: city tour, crypt visit to St. Sava church, one hour in pedestrian zone (Knez Mihailova) for shopping and walking tour of Kalemegdan Fortress. After lunch onboard, walked up to pedestrian zone in afternoon for more shopping. Late afternoon was a fascinating guest lecture on Serbia-history and today. Dinner was Balkan food either served or buffet. Serbian folklore band and dancing after dinner was great. 2300 left Belgrade for Vukovar. Day 7 Vukovar Croatia: Morning cruising, walked on sun deck. Croatian Tamburica Band played before lunch and was great. After lunch and docking there was a bus tour of Vukovar. Signs of the 1990s conflict where evident as the town was the epicenter of the Serb/Croatian war. Toured the fortress in Osijek which is now used for academic and commercial purposes. Visited church and heard young lady sing. In small groups we visited houses in Imish. We visited a house where the lady had a cake making business, weren't we lucky. After a great conversation with our host we headed back to the ship. Day 8 Kalocsa and Puszta Hungary: Early morning passport check on board as we entered Hungary at Mohacs. Morning cruising included a movie on the European Union. 1230 docked in Kalocsa. 1330 Tour of town included a visit to the Assumption Cathedral in Holy Trinity Square for a organ recital. After we drove 20 minutes into the country side to Puszta where the Hungarian cowboys (csikos) put on a show of horsemanship. Make sure you visit the animal stables to see the horses. They also have a breed of pig (Mangalica) that has curly wool like sheep and sheep (Racka) that have antelope style spiral horns. That night we had a final farewell talk as we sailed to Budapest. Day 9 Budapest: Luggage outside stateroom by 0830 as it will be delivered directly to the hotel. Close out ship accounts. Vacate stateroom by 0830 and await 0930 tour of Budapest. Tour of city with stop on Buda side at Fisherman's Bastion and tour of Matthias Church. After is a visit to the Central Market and free time for shopping and to have lunch on own. 1530 check-in to hotel which was the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel in Pest. This is my only true criticism of the trip. As much as Viking got right, I can't believe they picked this hotel. When we originally got our itinerary they listed the Hilton on Buda side as our hotel which got rave reviews. We then got an email saying they changed our hotel to the Radisson. The issue with the Radisson is that it has been under renovation for the last 5 months and this had to be known to Viking when they made the switch of hotels. Many of us were on the second floor of the Radisson with jackhammering occurring on the floor below. The vibration would rattle your teeth. We were in one of the renovated rooms which the cable went out the first night and the shower pressure would decrease as you made the water hotter. So obviously some bugs to work out in the rooms that have already been renovated. Went out for a city walk late afternoon to get out of hotel. Walked to the Parliament, along the Danube, over the Chain Bridge and back and through Liberty Square. Nice evening. Day 10 Budapest: Breakfast in makeshift ball room as café under construction. Got out of hotel early before renovation worked started. Bought 24 hour transportation pass and rode tram and bus up to Buda Hill. Had Fisherman's Bastion free of crowds, took great pictures. Went to Harry Houdini's Museum as he was originally from Budapest. Took bus down to Pest side and start of Deák Ferenc utra and Vaci utra which are the pedestrian shopping streets. Revisited the Central Market for some souvenirs. Took the Metro back to a stop close to the hotel. Day 11 Trip Home: Baggage placed outside of hotel room at 0945 for trip to airport at 1030. Bus to airport was uneventful. Budapest is a modern airport with a nice food court. Lufthansa flight was Budapest-Munich-Newark. Then United to Tampa. Arrived home after midnight and was glad to find my bed. Cruise tips: - Stick with the included tours since you paid for them; unless of course there is a culinary or wine tour that you must do. We found all the included tours went to great locations with very knowledgeable guides that spoke good English. Utilization of the QuietVox system allows space to spread out the tour group. We recommend tipping the bus drivers/local guides if you enjoyed the tour. - Local currency. Each of the five countries visited retains its own currency even if they are members of the European Union. We did not ATM withdrawal or exchange for any Levs, Kuna or Forints. We found all the tourist shops/restaurants either took credit cards, euros and in some cases dollars. We tipped the local guides in Euros. - We found the food on the cruise to be of higher quality than experienced on Princess or Holland America cruises of the past. There was always a three course selection of local cuisine available for dinner and we would recommend you consider this first. Service was outstanding as there was never a long wait time to be served or in between courses. Most of our meals were taken in the dining room. We had one dinner and two lunches on the Aquavit Terrace. This was attributed to the outside seating was only open one afternoon due to the weather and inside seating is rather limited. - Your passports are secured by guest services upon arrival on the ship and you receive them back at the end of the cruise. The only time we were required to have them was getting off the ship in Belgrade Serbia for the day. There is also a passport photo check with immigration officials on board when you cross into Hungary as you are entering the Shengren Area of the EU. - This is an enrichment cruise and the on-board entertainment is reflective of that. We found the local musical groups/dance tropes to be very talented. The lecture by the university professor in Belgrade was not to be missed. As well the reflections of "growing up behind the Iron Curtain" by the cruise director Nikolay and hotel manger Frank were entertaining and informative. Nice father and daughter duo that provided nightly music. - Viking is very cognizant of the age demographic of its guests and this is reflective in the opportunities for utilization of restrooms on the tours. While most restrooms on the cruise tours are free, the restrooms in Budapest are not. Both at the Matthias Church/Fisherman's Bastion site and the Central Market Place there is a 1 Euro charge to use the restroom. Therefore, best to have some change available to use the loo. Overall is was a fantastic cruise and hopefully you will get a chance to experience it too. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on 70+ ocean cruises and decided to try a river cruise due to the ports of call and the positive reports we had from friends on their Viking experience. Maybe we didn't do enough homework, but this trip was a total ... Read More
We have been on 70+ ocean cruises and decided to try a river cruise due to the ports of call and the positive reports we had from friends on their Viking experience. Maybe we didn't do enough homework, but this trip was a total disappointment. We booked the Explorer Suite for the Passages to Eastern Europe cruise (It was a special occasion). We also booked our business class air with Viking. Viking did an excellent job communicating before and during the trip. We were impressed with their detail and excellent information. -Transfers: We had private transfers because we were in the Explorer Suite. They were timely and professional. -Budapest Hotel: There were many people checking in at the same time at the Bucharest Intercontinental. It was quite disorganized. We waited in line for a long time and were finally assigned a room. It was in a bad location and even though we offered to pay an upgrade for a "river view" room, we were told there were none available. The hotel was very nice, in a great location, and the breakfast was the best of any during the entire trip. It was a great beginning and then we boarded to boat. -Suite: The Explorer Suite was disappointing in that it was so noisy (it sits above the engines) we couldn't leave the windows open and there was terrible vibration whenever the boat was moving. The amenities were nice including having laundry done within a day and very neatly folded and returned. While room service for breakfast was included, there really is no place to eat except to lean over the little table. We knew the rooms are not comparable to ocean liners, but we thought that 445 square feet would make for a comfortable experience. The suite is long and narrow and not very easy to maneuver.... though I know it is quite large in comparison to the regular cabins on Viking Long Ships. -Food: I don't know if it was because of where we were sailing or the chef, but the food was poor to satisfactory. There was nothing good --not even the local specials. We found the dining room service to be just OK-- nothing special-- nor did they attempt to be accommodating. The bar tenders were great! Excursions: Our bad... we did not expect to have such long bus trips. Several days included being on the bus from 8:30 am until 7:00 pm. The busses were cramped and not comfortable. The local guides were excellent; the Viking guides were not. Most cities were too far away to go and explore on your own. We should have done better research. We included the post-cruise extension to Transylvania. We spent almost the entire 3 days on a bus, arriving late in the evening to the hotels. Enrichment: The local performers and lecturers were mediocre at best. Fellow Passengers: Maybe this was unusual, but this boat was filled with the most unfriendly people we have experienced. There was little laughter or conversation. People were pushy getting to be first on the bus each day (they wanted a special seat and there was no seat rotation) and people rushed into the dining room to save their favorite table and pushed and shoved. Rarely did anyone even say hello as you passed in the corridor or greet you with a hello or good morning. Very strange. Poor attention to illness: On day 2 of the cruise many people became ill with a flu/cold virus. People were coughing everywhere and you could see how sick they were. We got the crud on day 3. I was running a fever and literally spent 3 days in bed. Viking did NOTHING to accommodate the ill passengers, even though there were at least 50+ sick passengers. We knew there was no medical center on this little boat, but there wasn't even any cough syrup or cough drops to purchase. One passenger was at the front desk asking for assistance and the answer was, we can arrange to have a taxi take you into the town, but it will be at your own expense. Couldn't they even go to a pharmacy and pick up some cough medicine when the boat and busses were like being in a sanitarium for TB patients? Shame on the Viking crew. Hotel in Bucharest: The Raddison Blu was a nice "convention type" hotel. Some will read this review and assume that because we became ill, our trip was spoiled and we were therefore disappointed. I assure you this was not the case. It was not the illness that spoiled the trip, it was the Viking experience. We acknowledge that perhaps we are not meant to take river cruises and perhaps a different itinerary, other than Eastern Europe would be different. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I keep meaning to post a review of our Grand European Tour on the Viking Modi and the Viking Skirnir - we had a ship swap - but I've only just gotten around to doing it. Unlike so many reviewers, we had a splendid cruise - simply ... Read More
I keep meaning to post a review of our Grand European Tour on the Viking Modi and the Viking Skirnir - we had a ship swap - but I've only just gotten around to doing it. Unlike so many reviewers, we had a splendid cruise - simply fabulous - despite the water level issues, bus rides and the ship swap (we only had one). I'd been reading about the drought situation and the water levels since they started around June 2018, so I had an idea of what to expect. Seems like a lot of people don't know that Viking posts updates on their website, since so many were surprised about the situation. I kept checking frequently, so again I knew what to expect. This was our second Viking river cruise, and we knew Viking would do their best - and in our opinion they did,. I was glad that we were able to board the Modi in Budapest. There was some question at the time whether we could sail from that port. We did have to leave that night, instead of the next day, but we were treated to the spectacular nighttime sail with all the lights. We had to bus back to Budapest if you wanted to do the tour. It wasn't a bad ride and the buses are comfortable. Our guide was great. The bonus from this was extra time in Vienna, which was lovely. I got to ride the World's Largest Ferris Wheel - something I might not have had time for. We were able to sail all the way to Passau, then had to do Regensburg by bus. I was going to skip it and just stay with the ship - which was an option, but everyone in the group of people we had become friendly with were going, so we went. In the rain. And had a wonderful day, despite it. We had to pack up that night, but they had let us know this was a distinct possibility when we boarded. Anthony, our Program Director - who is an absolute GEM - also told us that was what likely would happen. I'd brought packing cubes. Only unpacked half our clothes into packing cubes in the drawers. I zipped them up, plopped them in the suitcases and was set to go. The bus ride to Nuremburg was so much more pleasant than I'd anticipated. The Modi crew was able to move the ship in the morning so we could be closer to the buses (it was raining) and a little closer to Nuremberg. On the bus we had water and cookies, crossword and suduku puzzles if you wanted. The guide pointed things of interest out, but didn't talk the whole way so people napped. I was too busy looking out the window. And we were riding on the Autobahn! We stopped once at a rest stop. There was a shop where you could get a snack, a beer, a magazine or a cup of coffee. Before we knew it we were pulling up alongside the Skirnir in time for lunch! The rest of our cruise went as planned and we had a great time. It was cold and windy in the Rhine Gorge, so the crew brought up blankets, hot chocolate and coffee with some warming ingredients like Bailey's and Amaretto! The crew of both ships were fabulous, though we liked the Modi crew a bit better. Oddly enough I spoke with someone who started on the Skirnir and switched to our ship in the same swap. She liked the Skirnir crew better. Anthony our Program Director was simply marvelous! He was funny, going constantly with a smile on his face like the Enegizer Bunny. He's a keeper, Viking! Unlike other recent reviewers, we liked the food a lot. We thought most dishes were quite good and often went with the local specialties. Again the Modi gets a few more points than the Skirnir, but perhaps it's just a comparison thing. The food was just as good and tasty as it was on our Rhine cruise in 2016. We really enjoyed the local talent and the trivia games in the lounge after dinner. We're not big show people, so the local entertainment was just fine, and actually very entertaining. I noticed references to the rafting of ships in port. We had a Veranda room and had no problem with it. When you are in port, you are mostly off the ship anyway. The only docking area that bothered me was the one in Cologne. I don't know where we were, but we rode slowly through some high walled canals to get there and then we had to climb a steep embankment to get to where the buses were. On our Rhine cruise we were out by the Zoo Bridge and this was even further away. I'd hoped to see Cologne lit up at night. We would absolutely do this cruise again, despite the hitches. Travel is an adventure and that's the way we look at it. We really, genuinely had a wonderful, fantastic trip from start to finish. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I had never been to Europe and this gave me a variety of countries without hopping different hotels.. The accommodations, the cruise director, the Captain and crew all made it memorable. The sight seeing excursions couldn’t have been ... Read More
I had never been to Europe and this gave me a variety of countries without hopping different hotels.. The accommodations, the cruise director, the Captain and crew all made it memorable. The sight seeing excursions couldn’t have been better. The food was good, entertainment in the lounge was very enjoyable. Weather was unusually warm but very accommodating for our excursions. Budapest was one of my favorite places. The amazing architecture of all the different places just continued to be totally awe inspiring. To think we could dine in a place that was built in 800 ad was mind boggling. It was probably the absolute best trip for the money. Highly recommend it for any one who is considering a river cruise. I cannot say enough good about the Viking cruise line. They took exceptionally good care of us in the light of the worst conditions they had encountered on these waters. The drought conditions made parts of the Rhine and Danube unpassable and they handled it with professionalism and poise. Thank you Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We researched cruises for a year and decided on Viking for our foray into cruising,we wanted a smaller ship experience. We started our trip with the pre cruise option of Prague. Viking set up our flight and accommodations and it was ... Read More
We researched cruises for a year and decided on Viking for our foray into cruising,we wanted a smaller ship experience. We started our trip with the pre cruise option of Prague. Viking set up our flight and accommodations and it was flawless! The city tour of Prague was in depth and fun. We were bussed to Budapest and our guide onboard gave us a commentary on the way. We were met on the ship with a pastry and smiles. Our bags were in our room after the welcome reception. Our room was a French balcony, very spacious and efficient for storage. The food onboard was fabulous, the local cuisine was represented in the dinners. We had the silver spirit package and it gave us the opportunity to try the upgraded wine with lunch & dinner. All the included tours were great because the guides were from the local area. The optional tours were well worth the money and gave us a unique look into the culture of the community we were visiting. Even though the rivers were low and we had to change ships Viking made it as easy as possible. We will be going on a Seine cruise summer 20! We would definitely recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Severe drought in Europe and they made it so perfect... absolutely fabulous crews! The food was spectacular always, all three meals everyday... don’t know how they do it so well. The cruise director Anthony was out of this world, I ... Read More
Severe drought in Europe and they made it so perfect... absolutely fabulous crews! The food was spectacular always, all three meals everyday... don’t know how they do it so well. The cruise director Anthony was out of this world, I don’t think he ever slept... his team had everything perfect everyday! The excursions were great, even people in wheelchairs were taken care of. One of my favorite things was the evening cruise around Budapest when all the buildings were lit up... gorgeous! I was able to sit on the top deck and have a cigar in the smoking area which was just fabulous. I usually like having a cigar bar on a cruise ship but having an outdoor area on the top deck of the river was just perfect. Cruising along the Danube river looking at churches and castles they had speakers all around the top deck and they were giving us an audio history lesson, just made it perfect. I would highly recommend this cruise, spend the money to be on the middle or top deck of the three..well worth it! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose to go on the cruise to celebrate our Priest 10 year Ordination. We had a wonderful time. We felt pampered and looked after. Our Cruise Director Anthony was Wonderful from start to to finish. When we had to change to ... Read More
We choose to go on the cruise to celebrate our Priest 10 year Ordination. We had a wonderful time. We felt pampered and looked after. Our Cruise Director Anthony was Wonderful from start to to finish. When we had to change to the Skinir he gave us every detail Then we had to leave the boat he was with us every step of the way even to our leaving the hotel and loading our bags in the van for our trip to the airport. Our wait staff was Amazing and they remembered the names of our whole party of 8 from the first night. When we changed boat the Skinir staff was equally Great. The Entertainment was was Outstanding. We had a Great time each evening. The staff was always there to answer any questions we had. All 8 of us had an amazing time celebrating Fr Kirk. We have booked an Ocean Cruise for June. The Homeland. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We watched the TV commercials and dreamed of going on a Viking River Cruise. We were able to finally afford a dream vacation and so booked directly through Viking. The agent there "Bella" was very helpful with all our many ... Read More
We watched the TV commercials and dreamed of going on a Viking River Cruise. We were able to finally afford a dream vacation and so booked directly through Viking. The agent there "Bella" was very helpful with all our many questions. There were some discounts offered for payment in advance which we did and chose all our day tours well in advance too. The Ports and Shore excursions were precisely timed and we had no problems whatsoever. The tour guides and bus drivers were very professional and we were amazed at the wealth of knowledge they shared. We really liked the idea of no children, casino's or pool. We were able to relax and enjoy as much or little of the history and culture of each place we visited. The dinning facilities both indoor and outdoor were great. The meals were prepared and presented as if we were royalty! The accommodations were beautiful. The rooms and whole ship are done up in very light colours so you don't feel closed in at all. Our room with a small balcony was comfortable, clean and very modern. The staff always went above and beyond any expectation. They were full of information, friendly and really couldn't do enough for us. The professional entertainers were a matter of taste. We aren't really into the lounge scene so spent some evenings in our room where there were a variety of movies available at no extra cost. There is also a well stocked library on board. Game night was fun with participation voluntary if in the mood. There was also an outdoor walking track available. We really can't say enough about our experience other than it was fantastic from beginning to end. We would absolutely go on a Viking River Cruise again and look forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband surprised me with the cruise for our 30th anniversary. From the time they met us at the Budapest airport until we left the boat in Amsterdam we were impressed with the way they took care of us. Our cruise was from ... Read More
My husband surprised me with the cruise for our 30th anniversary. From the time they met us at the Budapest airport until we left the boat in Amsterdam we were impressed with the way they took care of us. Our cruise was from Budapest to Amsterdam. We added several excursions including day trips to Salzburg and Munich. We enjoyed everything! The staff are amazing, the boat is lovely, food is great, scenery is spectacular, tours are well planned and the local guides are very good! They bring a special dessert to all celebrations - since our anniversary was the first night they had ours waiting in our stateroom which we appreciated. The bartenders, Christian and Vladi were great - they wanted to talk to you and make your journey the best it could be. The waitstaff was personable and attentive. The cruise director, Marie and hotel manager, Klaus were always available and even went on the 16 mile bike ride with us and brought champagne to celebrate making it to the end safely! What more do you want? And why haven’t you booked it yet?? I’d go on one of their cruises anytime and anywhere. Yes, there do tend to be more senior citizens on these cruises but that’s a matter of disposable income and free time. We are in our early 50’s and never felt out of place. These are not the party cruises of the Caribbean so don’t go expecting a party and constant food. This is about learning more about Europe and seeing history. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was a good mix of history and multi-cultural experiences. Accommodations on the Modi were excellent. Dining was wonderful every day, every meal. Menu options were tailored to each area we visited and other choices were equally ... Read More
This was a good mix of history and multi-cultural experiences. Accommodations on the Modi were excellent. Dining was wonderful every day, every meal. Menu options were tailored to each area we visited and other choices were equally tasty and well presented. Staff was super nice and very professional. Fellow travelers made for interesting conversations and some have become friends. Tours were really well guided and quite interesting. Would take another Viking Cruise. Viking staff met us at the Budapest airport and we felt in good hands from the first 5 minutes. We had 2 nights in Budapest ahead of embarking - great hotel, right on the Danube, near just about everything. Great location and service. The ship ran into heavy traffic or fast current along certain segments. The tour director and staff scrambled to reschedule buses and tours 3 times - our experience was great each time like normal schedule. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Began our trip with a 3 day extension in Prague. A very beautiful city well worth the time. All provided transfers were excellent. We chose the trip to see parts of Europe we had not previously visited. The included guided tours ... Read More
Began our trip with a 3 day extension in Prague. A very beautiful city well worth the time. All provided transfers were excellent. We chose the trip to see parts of Europe we had not previously visited. The included guided tours were very good, and the local guides very informative. Directions for the shore excursions were very clear and easy. Onboard dining could not have been better. The menus were varied and based on the local port of call. We really liked the decor and style of our cabin. It was was very comfortable and quiet. The service staff, again, could not have been better. The night time entertainment had something for everyone. Music and dancing, group activities, and informative talks on local history. The longship was a perfect size for us. Enough room to walk around, yet small enough to meet and get to know the other passengers. Will definitely take other cruises in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Excellent cruise. The food was exceptional in terms of choice, venue and quality. The buffet night was not organized enough and entailed at long wait. The staff was very friendly and helpful. When the ship had engine problems the ... Read More
Excellent cruise. The food was exceptional in terms of choice, venue and quality. The buffet night was not organized enough and entailed at long wait. The staff was very friendly and helpful. When the ship had engine problems the response of the crew was excellent in scheduling alternative sightseeing, meals, etc. The cash allowance was a nice gesture. We made the trip with two other couples and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The pre and post cruise stays in Prague and Amsterdam were in nice hotels and the sightseeing was well organized. They were definitely worth the extra money. The only detail that needs work is the bus from Prague to Budapest. The train would be a much more enjoyable experience. We enjoyed the entire experience and we will be trying the Viking ocean cruise in the Baltic next year. Hopefully the quality will be the same in a larger scale. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
It was to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. I loved the fact we were met at the airport by someone. I would trust Viking to take care of me in any city or country. The staff were professional. The ship was clean. The food was ... Read More
It was to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. I loved the fact we were met at the airport by someone. I would trust Viking to take care of me in any city or country. The staff were professional. The ship was clean. The food was excellent. It was interesting to taste the wines of the region as we sailed through. I met some very interesting passengers. Many of the port excursions are included in the price of the cruise, however we paid for some extra excursions which were well worth the price. On this cruise, I would definitely recommend the excursion to the top of the cathedral in Cologne and the World War II excursion at Nuremberg. All the tour guides spoke excellent English and were well versed in their subject matter. In the future, I would extend my trip at either end if the option was available. I can't wait to go on a future cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
From the moment we entered the ship & saw the beautiful interior with such clean lines & fresh colors, we were then escorted to our suite by an excellent staff always willing to serve. We unpacked our things finding plenty of ... Read More
From the moment we entered the ship & saw the beautiful interior with such clean lines & fresh colors, we were then escorted to our suite by an excellent staff always willing to serve. We unpacked our things finding plenty of space in the well-organized rooms with state-of-the-art features. During our cruise, we always had fantastic meals where we found superior quality and while quantity was availabile, it didn't overwhelm us like some other cruises. We took advantage of the daily on-shore experiences and found the guides to be very knowledgeable and fun. We chose the Viking Grand European Tour because we had heard Viking was by far, the best cruise line and secondly, friends had told us the Budapest to Amsterdam route was extremely beautiful traveling four countries and three major rivers. I think we went thru 68 locks as we sailed from the Rhine to the Main onto the Danube. Seeing castles and windmills both from the water and upclose via tours was truly magical. We can't wait to take another Viking Cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We always talked about going to Europe when we retired and felt that a river cruise could give us that opportunity. We stayed for an extra 2 days in Budapest prior to our cruise along with an extra 2 days in Amsterdam at the end of the ... Read More
We always talked about going to Europe when we retired and felt that a river cruise could give us that opportunity. We stayed for an extra 2 days in Budapest prior to our cruise along with an extra 2 days in Amsterdam at the end of the cruise. These extra days gave us more opportunity to explore these 2 cities. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and only took a matter of minutes. Our cabin provided ample room for the time that we actually spent in it. The dining was excellent and we really appreciated it that we were not assigned seating. This gave us the ability to seat at different tables and visit with numerous people. Most of our waiters were excellent. The excursions were fantastic and we have ample time to explore the different cities on our own. We tried to take as many extra excursions as we could. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Friends had done the same cruise and highly recommended it... they were right! Budapest is a wonderful city to start a cruise and Amsterdam was a great destination. We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 weeks aboard "Modi". We enjoyed such ... Read More
Friends had done the same cruise and highly recommended it... they were right! Budapest is a wonderful city to start a cruise and Amsterdam was a great destination. We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 weeks aboard "Modi". We enjoyed such beautiful scenery, interesting towns and cities and found that river cruising is a really "civilized" way to travel. We were so impressed by the crew and serving staff. They were very well trained and very professional. Our friends told us the food was going to be good and it certainly was, in fact it was excellent. The on shore excursions were well planned and informative. The onboard musical entertainment was very good and the "information talks" were very well done. Our cruise exceeded our expectations and we found that Viking is very good value. As our friends did, we'll be recommending Viking to anyone we know that expresses an interest in European river cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise to travel the Danube and Rhine rivers without packing and unpacking. Everything worked out well and we saw the many wonderful sights and learned the history of the medieval world. We thought we would step off the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel the Danube and Rhine rivers without packing and unpacking. Everything worked out well and we saw the many wonderful sights and learned the history of the medieval world. We thought we would step off the ship into the many medieval towns along this route, but found that we weren't always docked by the towns on the itinerary and were bused in to the town. That wasn't a problem, but not what we expected. The itinerary didn't list times in the ports so we were disappointed that some days were much shorter then we expected. For instance, the itinerary listed two days in Vienna, but we didn't arrive until the evening on the 1st day so we really only had one day. There were times where we were dropped off for an excursion before we arrived in town while the ship went along the river without us. I was a little uncomfortable not knowing exactly where the ship would be docked in case we wanted to find our way back to the ship on our own. We didn't experience any problems with this as we booked excursions through Viking and were kept very busy. All that said, we had a wonderful trip. The lectures were informative and the excursions were always what we had hoped for with great guides and good meals when included. We felt that we had learned a lot and had a great introduction to the palaces, churches and castles along the Danube, Main and Rhine. The staff on the ship were always warm and friendly and ready to answer any questions that we might have. The meals were good with a couple of meals exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first river cruise (we have had several sea cruises, not with Viking). We had two reasons to try a river cruise. First, several friends recommended river cruises very highly. Second, my wife does not enjoy sea days, and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise (we have had several sea cruises, not with Viking). We had two reasons to try a river cruise. First, several friends recommended river cruises very highly. Second, my wife does not enjoy sea days, and there are no sea days on a river cruise. We specifically chose Viking because (1) friends recommended it, (2) because of the large number of ships Viking seems more flexible in handling emergent waterway conditions, and (3) a comparison with other lines convinced me that Viking was well priced. We had a deluxe stateroom (water level) and it was very nice. Through folks we met on the cruise we did visit other types of rooms. While a veranda room would have been great, we found our less expensive room to be quite nice and met all our needs. The beds are great, by the way. We looked forward to dining and being able to share time and a meal with new friends met on the boat. The food was always quite nice and the service staff was quite capable and responsive. One bit of advice - try both sides of the dining room. The service was much better on the port side than it was on the starboard side. Embarkation and debarkation were quite efficient and first-rate. We did a pre-stay extension in Budapest and a post-stay in Amsterdam. I highly recommend both. Both hotels were well located for visiting many attractions just by walking or a short tram ride. I probably should write-up our Budapest and Amsterdam visits as there are a lot of good things I could say about those cities. Would we do it again? Well, we did by $100 discount vouchers for our next trip . . . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Our ship was clean and comfortable. The entire crew from the Captain to dining room wait staff were all extremely helpful and friendly. It was obvious they truly enjoyed their jobs. The breakfasts, lunches and dinners were all ... Read More
Our ship was clean and comfortable. The entire crew from the Captain to dining room wait staff were all extremely helpful and friendly. It was obvious they truly enjoyed their jobs. The breakfasts, lunches and dinners were all outstanding. Our wait staff was so on top of things that often they arrived at the table with our "usual favorite drink" before we even asked. The onboard presentations about areas we were going to visit next were very informative and added a lot to your next day's excursion. All our excursions were lead by local guides that very knowledgeable and excited to show us their home towns. We took the optional excursion to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which was one of my favorite stops on our cruise. Our Program Director was wonderful. Very knowledgeable and informative during her nightly presentations. Would recommend this cruise to everyone. Would go again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Our journey began in the charming city of Budapest. We thoroughly enjoyed being in the old city in the evening when the lights turned it into a magical scene. This was just the start of a beautiful trip. We had been warmly welcomed ... Read More
Our journey began in the charming city of Budapest. We thoroughly enjoyed being in the old city in the evening when the lights turned it into a magical scene. This was just the start of a beautiful trip. We had been warmly welcomed at the airport by the Viking staff. The same courtesy was extended on our entire voyage by all of Viking's people whether it was in the restaurants or elsewhere on the Modi. All of our questions were answered in a gracious manner. These people helped to make our tour a very pleasant experience. The charm of the European cities on The Grand European Tour made history come alive for us. We enjoyed visiting the well preserved palaces and churches that are characteristic of this area. Strolling through the cobblestone cities and sampling the pastries was fun. There were times when we sat on our balcony or went to the sun deck to view the beautiful scenery we were passing. The actual trip along the rivers was more enchanting than the advertisements we had seen on television that had served to entice us into taking our first river cruise. On board the ship we were entertained by both Viking musicians and those from local areas who came to share their music with us. We liked the apple strudel cooking activity. Our favorite was listening to and watching the glass blower create his art. Our visit to Amsterdam was an extended one. Here we found that Viking's service provided us with the transportation we needed to reach our hotel and days later to travel to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
This was an area of Europe that we wanted to see. We stayed in Budapest on our own 5 days prior to the cruise and in Amsterdam on our own 5 days after the cruise which we would highly recommend. The cruise lines add on before or after the ... Read More
This was an area of Europe that we wanted to see. We stayed in Budapest on our own 5 days prior to the cruise and in Amsterdam on our own 5 days after the cruise which we would highly recommend. The cruise lines add on before or after the cruise was quite pricey and one could find as nice of accommodations at a lower price if one was willing to do a little work on their own or with their travel agent. We thought the ships docked right in the towns we stopped and one could walk off of the ship and into the town on your own. This happened in a few cities but many stops were in a industrial area of the city or quite a distance from the city and we had to be bused to the city and were bound by the return bus schedule not allowing for the free time we had hoped for. Local entertainment and speakers were very good and enjoyable. The staff was always cheerful and friendly and a pleasure to be with. The food was okay but not the quality we were expecting on a highly rated cruise line. Beer and wine during lunch and dinner was a nice feature. The included excursions were well planned out and the local guides were a nice bonus. Many of the optional tours were long and gave no time for one to relax and enjoy the cruise port. Overall a fun trip and the entire trip was enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
* Very impressed with personal journey booklet, all details if we were needed, which were perfect because our flight were delayed. * Our cabin was always very clean and the cruise service were polite. * I am impressed with cruise ... Read More
* Very impressed with personal journey booklet, all details if we were needed, which were perfect because our flight were delayed. * Our cabin was always very clean and the cruise service were polite. * I am impressed with cruise director information daily, our cruise director always working above our expectation. * Included tours and optional tours are great. Transfers were excellent. * I did not drink wine or soft drink except for water, which is fine with me. However, we did not like dinner food, main courses, most of the time. Breakfasts were great. * We could not invite any family members and friends because they did not like the idea of paying for full price a year in advance, or when booking. * We like the idea of switching to different groups, which given cruisers a chance to get to know people from different countries. Sometimes it might turn out that people are from you home town/ state. * We are physically active, unfortunately walking desk was closed due to the weather. However, we enjoy the music and dancing at night instead for our physically work out. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We wanted to see the rivers and cities on the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Everything was first class. We liked our cabin, #320. The ship is beautifully appointed in all public areas, as well as in our cabin. The service was always ... Read More
We wanted to see the rivers and cities on the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers. Everything was first class. We liked our cabin, #320. The ship is beautifully appointed in all public areas, as well as in our cabin. The service was always cheerful, friendly, and quick. All the meals were delicious and had many different items available. The meals emphasized local specialties such as goulash near Budapest and local style sausages in Germany. Local musicians came on board in several ports to play local music. The cruise director, Lubo, was awesome. He was always present making sure that all guests got where they needed to go and got back to the boat on time. Both the included and the extra cost shore excursions were very interesting and the local guides were very well informed. Highlights for us were the tour of the Jewish cemetery in Wertheim, where we learned so much about the Nazi era in Germany; the tour of the upper levels of Cologne Cathedral with its stunning views and fascinating history; and the tour of Koekenhof Garden near Amsterdam with its 7 million blooming bulbs. We met many interesting people on the boat and always had pleasant companions at meals. We were met at the airport upon arrival and were provided with transport to the airport for departure. I can't say enough good things about the whole experience and hope to travel with Viking again soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our first European river cruise, though we had already enjoyed a river cruise in China and an ocean cruise in the Mediterranean, both with Viking, both excellent. The level of service on board was outstanding, even given that we ... Read More
This was our first European river cruise, though we had already enjoyed a river cruise in China and an ocean cruise in the Mediterranean, both with Viking, both excellent. The level of service on board was outstanding, even given that we had the Explorer's suite. The spacious accommodations were truly luxurious, and we particularly appreciated the perks that were included (fresh flowers, bottomless minibar, laundry service, 24-hour room service, Silver Spirits package, etc.). Food was excellent as usual, with a wide range of entrees at dinner and plenty of choice at buffet breakfasts and lunch. Table service was friendly and efficient. On board entertainment was varied and interesting; we had a hands-on lesson in strudel-making, a glass-blowing demonstration, numerous talks on local history and geography, and a German Night with local musicians and local food. The resident musicians were a talented singer/guitarist and an accomplished pianist, each with an impressively wide repertoire. Shore excursions were well-chosen and well-organized, with personable and knowledgeable local guides, while leaving enough free time to explore the various ports of call on one's own. Overall the cruise was a very enjoyable, interesting and rewarding experience. We are booked on a Viking ocean cruise to the West Indies in December. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our first river cruise and the Grand European on Viking Modi exceeded our expectations. Ship and crew were top rate and took care of all our needs. Our luggage was lost and they located it and had it delivered to our cabin. Just an example ... Read More
Our first river cruise and the Grand European on Viking Modi exceeded our expectations. Ship and crew were top rate and took care of all our needs. Our luggage was lost and they located it and had it delivered to our cabin. Just an example of the great service. The cruise stops and tours were excellent with very knowledgeable guides. Our Cruise Director Lubo made everything run seamlessly. It was a whirlwind tour of the cities and countries due to the itinerary, but it gave us a great overview and some free time in each city. Budapest was the highlight and an unexpected surprise. Meeting the other people on the ship was the best part of the cruise and we have many new friends from all over the world. Food was good and plentiful. They also kept the wine flowing at lunch and dinner. I can't recommend this cruise and Viking highly enough! Read Less
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