48 Budapest to Europe - River Cruise Viking River Viking Prestige Cruise Reviews

We always wanted to cruise the Danube and this cruise didn’t disappoint! Perfect from start to finish! Sailing was perfect in October, sunny and warm the whole time-of course that is not always guaranteed. All the stops were fun and ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Danube and this cruise didn’t disappoint! Perfect from start to finish! Sailing was perfect in October, sunny and warm the whole time-of course that is not always guaranteed. All the stops were fun and informative. The food and staff were excellent, and the scenery was exceptional. The excursion’s were all top-notch. They provided awesome guides and really delved into the history of the region and the various historical events that led the the country to were it is now. The food on board was awesome. They tried to bring regional cuisine into each menu so that you could truly experience the particular food of each location, and since we were visiting five different countries, this was no small task! The evening entertainment was also regionally inspired, trying to bring a bit of the local culture on board each night. Can’t wait for our next cruise which is already booked for next October! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Viking Prestige Cruise Review (Danube Waltz) August/September 2018 I have always wanted to go to Budapest and consider it one of the great cities besides Paris, London and major cities in Italy. Hence, we researched a river cruise ... Read More
Viking Prestige Cruise Review (Danube Waltz) August/September 2018 I have always wanted to go to Budapest and consider it one of the great cities besides Paris, London and major cities in Italy. Hence, we researched a river cruise that began or ended in Budapest and chose Viking. We did the Viking River Cruise with the cruise itself beginning on August 26 with 1 ½ days in Budapest and finishing on September 2 in Passau. It was FABULOUS and our first Viking cruise ever. (I’d been quite concerned beforehand.) Cruise Director Suzy was superb! Viking employees are incredible with the level of detail and care that they give to passengers. We actually arrived in Budapest on August 24 and did a 1 ½ day private cruise (arranged through Cruise Critic boards) and shared with several other Viking couples. We really enjoyed getting to know them even though they were on a different Viking ship and knew each other previously. In hindsight, Budapest is such a fascinating city that we wished we had arrived 3-4 days before the start of the cruise rather than just 2 days (plus the 1 ½ days) of the “cruise” in Budapest. We’d considered cancelling because we were told we would be in a hotel on the first night in Budapest due to low water level (and our ship was 1 ½ hours by coach away). However, they put us up in the New York Palace hotel which was a WONDERFUL experience. Viking’s service and caring for each person is absolutely amazing. One can shop around for possibly glitzier ships but only Viking provides this kind of caring service I’ve been told and saw for ourselves. We heard that other cruise lines did last minute cancellations which would make me always recommend Viking since they would accommodate guests or I’d envision cancel in advance rather than leaving guests stranded due to water levels. This hotel was built in 1894 and the ground floor had been a meeting place café for the artists and authors who met there at the café. It was nationalized during the Communist era and became a Boscolo era later. In 2006 it was totally renovated as a luxury hotel with gold leaf, marble, columns etc all restored. We felt so fortunate that our private guide took us to the Café for lunch (Hungarian Orchestra was playing) and that was before we were told that Viking was lodging us there the first night of our cruise and providing breakfast there the next morning before our included tour of Budapest. [The locals pronounce it Budapesh saying they are not an insect! The “S” at the end of Budapest is the odd looking slanted B which is prounounced “sh” in their language.) Some helpful tips: Viking Air: Pay the $50 pp and buy Viking Air Plus. (Allows you to choose your airline and flights. It is SO worth it.) Viking Air # is 877-523 0580. If they have a contract with that airline for one way travel, you can even go with one carrier and return on another if better times. Can pay $100 deviation fee and return when you wish to and also from the airport you wish to fly home from if you prefer to travel on your own before/after the cruise. When upgrading, I always check desired flights seat plans first to confirm there are seat upgrades available. (Make sure the flight is less than Viking limit of $1295 for this cruise or Viking will have you pay the diff). Air Plus will check if flight cost is ok & then will immed book for you. Also make sure you request EARLY TICKETING and you will have your eticket number confirmed within 48 hrs (we actually had within the day). You need to be eticketed before you can go on airline site & upgrade (for example to Economy Plus). It’s worth a small amount out of pocket for more legroom (or a much larger upgrade amount if you can afford business class). We did Premium Economy. (Can go on seat garu.com and put in the plane and click seating chart to check out comments on your seat location. Then also go to an airline’s seating chart to verify that seat.) Can download Mobile Passport app on your phone and fill it out (photo of your passport, take photo of yourself, what airline you just arrived in US from etc) and go through customs quickly on your return home if you do not have a Global Entry card. (Some airports don’t have Mobile Passport lines but many do upon arrival back to the US). Quicker than waiting in a super long line after being tired flying from Europe. MORE TIPS: Call Viking and request robes if you want them in your cabin. Can get Extra pillows/blankets if preferred too. If arriving beforehand independently, get a hotel in the vicinity of the Chain Bridge. We did this and enjoyed being in the center of things with walkability to the Bridge. However, check Trip Advisor or put the name of the hotel in google followed by the word Reviews to see previous guests’ reviews on the hotel. You don’t need a transfer from the airport, just follow taxi signs & go to the Fo Taxi kiosk after customs. They speak English & give you a receipt to take to taxi rank. This receipt has name/address of hotel & taxi is metered. Whenever we needed a taxi, we asked the hotel or bellman to ask in advance what it would cost for us particularly if that taxi they called was not metered. (Fo Taxi was metered). This worked well for us so we were not taken advantage of! IF no private guide, get tickets for the Parliament Tour . Take care you book an English tour. Site pretty straight forward https://www.jegymester.hu/eng/Production/480000/Parliament-visit Be sure to see St Stephen’s Basilica and try to get into Matthias Church interior (often closed Sat afternoon & Sunday am). Since Bull’s Blood wine is the best red wine in Hungary, we bought 2 bottles at a store near our first hotel and brought it on the Viking ship. (Viking does not charge a corkage fee and allows guest to bring liquor onto the ship.) Bring clear plastic shower cap from hotel if going to a hot springs spa in Budapest. BRING ABOUT $300-400 EUROS IF YOU ARE FLYING FIRST INTO BUDAPEST. (You can add the Viking tips to your credit card at the end of the cruise but they do not have an ATM or a gym on the ship.) You will only be able to get HUNGARIAN FORINTS (HF) from Budapest ATM machines. (Check with your credit card company IN ADVANCE to be sure that they do not charge currency translation fees. Our credit cards do not charge these fees. Hence, when I charged, I always said LOCAL currency (not dollar or Euro). Bank ATMs typically charge about 3% to withdraw money plus whatever the foreign bank’s ATM fee is ($5-10 probably). Again, check with your bank. We were quite surprised to learn that in Budapest the money changers charged much less than the bank’s ATM which usually isn’t the case in the EU. Most locals pronounce their money as almost “for rent” such as 30 forents. I downloaded an easy currency app onto my iPhone and could put in 30 HF and it would show me dollars. (Look up the value of the HF to $1, $10, $20 etc before leaving so you’ll have a quick idea.) We took out about $150 in HF since I planned to stop at a few little shops in the Grand Market and didn’t want to use credit cards there. (I doubt if only on the Viking Tour you would need more than $75 HF if that since probably using credit cards.) PACKING: It would be fairly easy to pack light for this cruise. There is no gym or formal nights. Dinners are nice casual. You could wear the same nice slacks (or 2) every night and bring 2-3 tops to mix it up with. A comfortable pair of pants (such as light weight jeans) for touring is helpful. Shoes, sandals or even nice sneakers were worn even at night. Bring a few layers in case cold vs hot. I brought several sleeveless shells and sometimes wore one over the other and a long sleeved top over those with a warm (folds into itself) quilted jacket over it when the temperature got damp and around 60. These clothes were worn in the day with less layering when warm. I’d definitely pack a warm sweater and jacket since it can be breezy/damp. For a small fee, your cabin stewart will also take your laundry and bring it back folded in a box that looks like a present. This service is worth it compared to a heavy bag. With cobblestones everywhere, be sure to have super comfortable shoes/sandals/sneakers and maybe bring some bandaids in case needed. Although there is no real shop on the ship, there are stores everywhere to pick up items you’ve forgotten or need more of. Two pairs of shoes and inexpensive flipflops if planning on going to the Budapest baths should be very sufficient. You might also want to bring a hat or visor for sun protection plus sunglasses. Viking did have some large umbrellas (enough for one per couple). You might want to pack a small travel umbrella in case. We only needed it a few times but I was happy to have it and not bother with a raincoat. The ship does have regular US outlets for items as well as EU outlets. (About 2 of each in the room plus bathrooms). I was fortunately advised not to use the one in the bathroom since not as reliable. More Packing Tips (in case helpful): 1. It might be helpful to Roll clothing (even underwear to save space). (I use super light weight cubes to stay organized and not weight down my bag.) Even have one bag that says Day 1 so can leave suitcase intact and quick change in restroom before heading out for afternoon (before checking in.) Have a note inside them: tops, pants, sweater/jacket, underwear, 2. Take a photo of your passport, identification card, and itinerary as well as any imp travel documents. Also photograph your Travel Insurance Policy so you have it ready in case. 3. It is important to call your credit or debit card company before you leave to ensure that you have your card authorized for your foreign destination. This prevents them from suspecting suspicious activity. 4. Travel Insurance. Life is unpredictable so travel insurance is a wise purchase. If getting “cancel for any reason” AND you have a pre-existing medical condition, just to be safe get a letter from your doctor when you buy it that you are “medically cleared/safe to travel” at the time you are booking this trip. Take a photo of it so you’ll have it on your smartphone too. BUDAPEST REVIEW: We arrived 2 ½ days earlier and loved exploring Budapest. Then, went to the Viking Hermod which was a ship remaining in Budapest due to the low water levels. (Our ship was in Slovakia). Day 1 of Cruise We received an email several days prior to the cruise that due to low water levels, we would be staying at a hotel during our first night in Budapest. Because of the low water situation, we were told upon registering with Viking in Budapest (at the Viking Hermod) that we were being accommodated at the New York Palace, a fantastic hotel adjoined to the New York café. We’d considered going to the Gallert Spa on the Buda side which is a large indoor spa with multiple pools and a park. Was recommended to bring a shower cap. Instead since drizzling we met friends and took a cab to the bottom of the historic Castle Funicular Railway, which is a 2-minute ride to the top of Buda where the Castle is. (Walking across the Chain Bridge to the Funicular would have been about 10 minutes but sprinkling on and off and friends also had just arrived from the long plane ride from U.S.) The 18th-century castle is a large 200-room palace badly damaged in World War II before most restored. The Hungarian National Gallery is in the main wing (mainly art) and a Budapest History museum occupies 4 floors in the south wing. We toured the Budapest History Museum and took photos of the area outside and of the Pest side and Danube which Buda overlooks. (Instead of the equivalent of 6 Euros for the 2-minute ride on the Funucular, we could have paid the same amount and gotten in one of the open air taxis which drives around making stops at each important part of Buda.) We’d spent the 2 days prior to the cruise touring the Jewish Quarter, the synagogue, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Shoes on the Danube and other very memorable sites in Budapest. Day 2 of Cruise After a wonderful buffet breakfast at our hotel, Viking took us to on an included panoramic overview tour of Budapest. The tour pointed out the main sites of Budapest (getting out a few times on the Pest side) and then we went to the Buda side. We got out at the Castle and also at Fisherman’s Bastion (pointed towers and turrets) built in the 19th century as a watchtower with stunning views of the Danube and the Pest side including the Parliament building. In the south courtyard is a bronze equestrian statue of St. Stephen, the first King of Hungary. NOTE: Having the extra days in advance to truly see things first hand and walk and see details made a huge difference in our getting to know and love Budapest. The Viking tour was great but there’s a big difference between 3.5 hours and 3 days getting to know a city. Even without sharing a private guide, the Hop On, Hop Off Bus and free walking tours would be quite easy and informative if someone wished to tour Budapest independently. Viking treated us to lunch at Spoon Restaurant, which is a boat restaurant on the Danube by the Chain Bridge since our ship was not in Budapest. In the later part of the afternoon Viking drove us (due to low water situation) 1.5 hours to Komarom, Hungary. We were greeted upon arrival at the Viking Prestige ship with sparkling wine and went to rooms to unpack. After our evening meal, local entertainment was brought in to dance/sing for 2 hours. The pianist who played/sang during happy hour and after the entertainment was also excellent. (You could also dance which we did later in the cruise and others followed). Day 3 of Viking Tour Awoke with ship in Bratislava, Slovakia. [Actually as a super light sleeper, I woke up at 3:15am when the ship’s engines started even though I wasn’t in the back of the ship and took a while to get back to sleep with the noise.] At 9am we had the mandatory routine muster drill where we were told to report holding our life jackets. 90% of the guests said they never heard the ship during the night! It depends on how light a sleeper you are. Likewise with water noise from toilets/pipes on the bottom floor. However, most of noise would just be between 7am-11pm due to showering or toilet flushing. We did the Panoramic Bratislava tour which was an excellent overview of this charming capital. Our guide gave us much history growing up in this area. Slovakia borders Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the Ukraine which is why it called the “country at the Heart of Europe”. In the 16th Century Slovakia became a part of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The reforms of Maria Theresa (1740-1780) and her son, Joseph II (1780-1790) formed the basis of a tax and transportation system, army and schools. Because of these Hapsburgs, serfdom was abolished. In 1763 Maria Theresa established a college for training mining, foundry and forestry specialists. It fell to Communism in WWII until 1989. Day 4 of the Viking Cruise Took the Vienna overview tour walking to the nearby waiting motor coach. It is easy to hear the guides since we have our own device which you put in a holder to charge at night—comes w a volume button. Note: Strabe at the end of a word on a building means street. (The funny “B” towards the end of xxxxstraBe mean “s” and pronounced “sh”). You will see a # to the left of the name of the street such as “1”. That means District 1 (which is the most upscale district). A small blue square on the building under the street name if there is the building number. The tour started with a little background. She recommended that we watch a movie called “the Third Man” which is a documentary re post war Vienna. Strauss wrote the Danube Waltz. She pointed out his apartment leading up to St. Stephen’s in the city center. Vienna is smallest of Austria’s provinces but the largest in population. There is a height limit. Can’t build higher than the older buildings. Same people who built the Suez Canal came down here to build a dam. The Vienna Parliament building has the Pallas Athene statue (goddess of wisdom) in front of it. Built from 1874 to 1883 in Greek-Roman style used for the Austrian National Federal Council. Saw the Imperial Gate which Napoleon destroyed but was rebuilt. Guide discussed that the Belvedere palace was built in the early eighteenth century to be used as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736) and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day and famous painters there and in another Belvedere Palace. Guide walked us around the outside of the Imperial Palace (Hofburg Palace) and mentioned that it houses 3 museums including the Sisi Museum. (Sisy was a nickname for Queen Elizabeth of Austria who was a favorite of the people). She said towards the left end the President sometimes uses for an office and you’ll see a flag raised if he is there. Wien is the German name for Austria. The Holy Roman Empire ended with Napoleon in 1806 when the last Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (from 1804, Emperor Francis I of Austria) abdicated, following a military defeat by the French under Napoleon at Austerlitz when it became the Austrian Empire. Walking around Vienna she pointed out the black plague statute with the father/son/holy spirit on the top of it in gold. (Saw in Passau also). Said tap water is excellent since it comes from a natural spring. In cafes a glass of tap water is always served along with your coffee. St. Stephen’s church became a cathedral. Pointed columns. 343 steps to climb the staircase for a view or can pay for elevator located on the other side (north side) of the steeple. The hired local Viking guides were all FABULOUS. This one was acceptable but the only weaker one in our entire trip. (The others were all easy to understand and fun to listen to particularly when they told us their personal history growing up in the area.) We were instructed when we wished to return to the ship that we were at the Stephansplatz center of Vienna shopping area. (Looks like 5th Avenue w upscale stores!) There is a metro stop marked Stephnspltz right there. Buy a ticket ($3 one way or $6 round trip-worked with a visa card too). Said to take the RED U1 line towards “L” end (stands for Leopaldau). Then we had an easy 10-min walk to the ship or could take a taxi to the ship. Personally after the tour, having lunch with friends and examining the Stephansplatz area, I asked a retail clerk where the “normal” shopping areas are. They sent us on a 10-min subway ride taking the U3 Orange Line heading towards Ottokring direction to Neubaupasse (which was the 3rd station from getting on at Stephansplatz). On the return trip we took the Orange line U3 [ending says Simmering] and got off in 3 stops at Stephansplatz and then changed to the Red Line U1 headed towards “L” (Leopaldau) so back to the ship. This shopping area was a beautiful tree lined street with more normal priced stores on each side. The port talk re the next day was at 5pm. Dinner was at 6pm (rather than the normal 7pm) due to many people going to the Mozart concert that evening. Upon returning to the ship at 10:15pm, a goulash soup was served for people who might still be hungry. The concert music by the Vienna Residence Orchestra was excellent. There were 10 extremely accomplished musicians and they do a concert every evening. They also inject humor and have two talented dancers and vocalists so the concert was never boring. We truly enjoyed it but were a bit surprised by its lack of formality. It is in one of the two concert halls in Vienna. The hall though looks like a beautiful drawing room with gold leaf seating about 200 people or so with chairs on the floor. It is not the huge velvet opera house/palace setting that we were expecting. Hence, nice slacks and a collared shirt are fine to wear. Although most guests did the Mozart concert, some guests did the Huerigen wine tasting and others relaxed in the ship. The Huerigen outing takes guests by bus outside of Vienna to the wine growing section. The tavern presents a plate of sausage, cheese & other nibbles to go with the wine. The event is not a regular wine tasting experience. Rather since Heurigen means “this year”, it is new wines that are not aged yet for guests to sample. The wine pouring is generous. Some guests were disappointed since not what they expected but others enjoyed it since there was a duo of musicians who entertained guests and moved around so the volume did not prevent conversation. Day 5 of Viking Tour Krems/Gottweig Abbey: 900-year-old Abbey where Benedictine monks work and worship on a hilltop overlooking the gorgeous Wachau Valley. Morning tour of the Abbey. Much of the Benedictine Abbey stands on top of Gottweig mountain, on the eastern edge of the Wachau Valley. Although built in the 11th century, it was nearly entirely ruined by fire in 1580. In 1718 the monastery burned down but was reconstructed. Some original structures remain including pieces of the Chapel from 1072. In 2001 UNESCO dubbed it a World Heritage site. About 40 monks live there now. Wine has been produced there since 1083. At 1:30pm the ship sailed from Krems for Linz. Seats on the top open deck went VERY quickly during/after lunch as well as the front open breakfast area on the 2nd level of the ship since everyone wanted to view the gorgeous Wachau Valley as we cruised through it. Our fantastic Viking cruise director, Suzy, also narrated as we cruised though terraced vineyards, forested slopes, charming towns and by castle ruins. It was really interested to watch the ship in a lock. (Would have been great if the process had been narrated since everyone was outside or at windows watching and explaining to the others.) At 4pm guests could join the chef in the lounge to learn how to make a pear strudel (and then eat it.) At 6pm the port talk also presented different Viking cruises and countries and explained that you could pay $100 and get $200 in Viking certificates toward a future river or ocean cruise that would never expire. (A couple could buy $100 each so two $100 certificates paying $200 and get $400 towards a future Viking river or Ocean cruise if they chose to buy it. Certificates had to be purchased while still on the cruise). Relatives have done the Viking Ocean Cruises and said they are just as caring and great as the River Cruises. Tours are also included in the Viking Ocean Cruises unlike many ocean cruiselines. Day 6 of Viking Tour Did Cesky Krumlov Linz, Austria. Fortunately our shipped docked so we could walk right off into Linz. Athough a walking tour was offered, almost everyone on the ship did the FANTASTIC Cesky Krumlov tour. This was a definite highlight of the cruise. There is a museum in Linz with all tech interactive displays that one could take a full day to explore per our guide. It is a very modern industrial city with a university there (exp science) and a concert house. The town has 13-14,000 inhabitants. There are 16th Century buildings in town. One can do 4 UNESCO sites in one day because of the location of Linz. The Czech Republic is famous for wine. Behemia is from the word “hope”. In 1212 a Czech king was given a document by pope that the Czech crown could be inherited. Then became part of the Austrian Hungary Republic. Wanted to be independent so Czechs persecuted. Better conditions because of Maria Theresa—education, etc. Still use Czech language—Slavic language but kids also forced to learn Russian until 1989. During WWII Supported by Hitler. They wanted revenge but not with war. Munich Agreement: Part of Czech was given to Germany without a fight but no Czech input into it. Czech people were forced to leave their houses, animals etc in that area. No reason to attack the Castles but dark town. Hitler killed people, many of the women and children were sent to concentration camps. Many didn’t survive. Nazis assassinated most of the Czech men. Czechs so happy to see the Russians and Americans free them from Nazis but Russians did not leave (forced Communism). Cechs when first meet might seem cold since hard to trust people due to their dark period. 1940s, 1950s etc people persecuted. See the Dark Blue World (it’s in English also or with English subtitles) about this period in Czech history. Later many joined the Communist party since they thought they could change it. Still symbols around today. Many people immigrated and left the country in 1968 (rumors) before the borders closed with fences, dogs etc. Told they were being protected from Capitalists in the West. Shot if try to leave. Some people (including our guide’s parents) moved close to the border since they would get financial support if they lived there. Soldiers were everywhere. The King of Shalamer is a book worth reading re this period. He takes all of the money from the people who want to immigrate and “helps” them. They drown in nearby Peat fields on border. He was a member of the guard but did actually help some people. Communists captured him before he escaped and he wrote a book. Czechs will take more than they need since they are always concerned re the worst happening. Vile 1990s since President believed everyone was good and pardoned not only political prisoners but also evil people who repeated their evil acts. Tons of prostitutes sat on side of road half naked even. Everyone was forced to learn Russian only (Russian Czech) until 1989 when the Soviets left. CESKY KRUMLOV tour: It says 8.5 hours but is easy since 1.5 hours going (with great explanations and history talk by Lucy, our fantastic local Czech tour guide about her life and the area. We also had a quick bathroom stop half way and about 1 hour 20 min returning. Besides driving and doing our guided walking tour, we had free time to go to lunch and walk around during the day. It did not seem like a long day at all which was a concern of mine initially. Cesky Krumlov (southern Bohemia) is definitely a highlight of the tour. We departed for the tour at 8:30am and were back around 4pm. We were told to bring our passports just in case the bus was stopped and they were requested (which can occasionally happen since entering Czech, a different country). It did not for us. (The Viking cruise also offers a leisurely walking tour—slower pace—for almost all versions of all tours if passengers prefer this.) Summary: Lots of atmosphere, cobblestones everywhere, free time for lunch on your own, Czech Republic uses Czech crown but accepts Euros and credit cards. (Some smaller shops do not accept credit cards). Our Czech guide spoke perfect English and gave a wonderful history of the area, an overview of all and a small bit of what it was like growing up there and an excellent tour as we walked around the exterior of the castle and the grounds. We ate at Papa’s on their wonderful patio overlooking the river and watched the kayakers go by with one group falling in the water under our luncheon patio. In our free time, we went to the history museum in the castle (interesting and spent about 45 minutes or so) and also went into some of the shops. Day 7 of Viking Tour Passau (Crossed border into Germany from Austria) Fortunately the low water situation was resolved, and we were able to cruise into Passau. We were also able to walk directly off the ship without a bus into this beautiful medieval city to meet our guide. Our guide was a local retired mechanical engineer. (Overcast with a few light showers towards the end.) Heavy cobblestones were everywhere so happy we wear sneakers again. We did the included tour. After the included tour, you can take a shuttle up to the Oberhaus in the afternoon. There is a restaurant there w great views, mixed reviews but great for coffee & strudel. Passau is a beautiful city to tour as well as the absolutely stunningly beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. If you can stand in the center of cathedral when you walk inside, it is a fantastic place to take a few quick photos. The high point stressed to us was the organ music. (The organ was built in 1928 and has 17,974 organ pipes, 233 stops and 4 carillons making it the largest organ in the world.) All 5 parts of the organ can be played from the main keyboard, one at a time or all together. However, even though the organ sounded great, two songs would be enough rather than the entire repertoire (unless you are a true music lover or have never heard a good organ in a cathedral previously). We did not know the music. There is a charming small chapel too in the right hand side just as you enter St. Stephen’s Cathedral where you can say a few prayers. The baroque Cathedral is on the highest point of the Old Town. Nearly destroyed by fire in 1662 that swept through the town, it was rebuilt. Passau is known as the City of Three Rivers: Inn River, The Danube and the Ilz rivers. It was an important medieval center for the salt trade known as “white gold’ which came from deep in the mountains in wooden barges. (Vienna was a small village in the Middle Ages). Transported from the Alpine salt mines to Passau where it was processed. When fires damaged the city in the 17th century, it was rebuilt with the baroque character that survives today. Passau was considered more important and the capital during the Middle Ages before Vienna and today has 50,000 inhabitants and is an economic, cultural and communications center of southeastern Bavaria. The middle of the Inn Bridge is the only place in town where you can see the whole panorama of the Old Town. (The Inn River is a tributary of the Danube which runs to the Black Sea), Also different is that it is normal to enter a church from the West and the altar is on the East 80% of the time in the world unless the location does not permit it. Passau has seen 2 Crusades. In 1898 they built 16 power stations because they needed electricity to rebuild after Hitler. Interesting Story: Hitler lived there when young. (House pointed out to us). He and another boy were playing together and went into the powerful river. Hitler almost drowned but the other boy (who became a priest) pulled him out by the arm and saved him. Later the Family Hitler moved from Passau to Linz where he grew up. His father beat him daily and was quite mean. (Loving mother). Hitler wanted to study art but got rejected from schools in Vienna. He hated Vienna. Our guide’s family left Germany when he was 6 months old since it was known that Communists raped and killed. Fortunately his family made it to the West before the wall. Note a photo of Passau with the 3 rivers. You can see the 3 green (copper) onion ring domes on top at the end of the Inn River. Can see the huge castle on the other shore with a separate part of it at the tip of this peninsular. (3 rivers run into one = Danube). There was a huge flood in Passau in 2018 (can see the high water marks on buildings). People can’t get insurance in a flood plain so the government gave them 80% of the cost to rebuilt or repair the damages. [As we cruised the Wachau Valley earlier, they pointed out that the walls on the side were built in 2013 after the flooding from the Danube.] There were 3 air raids in Passau. (Not much in Passau since less industry was located there and air raids were strategic during the war.) In the first one Gen Patton sent his first troops here. Passau surrendered immediately on May 2, 1945. After WWII Germany had to learn democracy vs dictatorship. The dark side is that they have open borders. They “can and want to help but not rescue the whole world.” Stated George Marshall was a wise man after WWII. He said to give Germany money to rebuild their industries. After WWI, the German people were angry and it ended with Hitler in control. Thus after WWII, to prevent that kind of resentment again, Marshall gave the money to rebuild but expected Germany to repay in various ways. The ship transported passengers to the Munich airport at various times if flying home directly. We were staying for 2 nights in Munich and had to arrange our own transportation. There was a mixup with our prearranged transportation and the Viking assistants on the ship were wonderful calling them and correcting the mixup so we had transportation to our hotel in Munich. (Had we known, the Viking cruise director was taking names during the cruise of others who needed transportation so they could arrange to go together but we had indicated that ours was prearranged.) Day 8 of Cruise Passau to Munich Most passengers took Viking transportation at various times to the Munich airport. (Some with early flights had to get up in the wee hours so I would advise avoiding early morning return flights since Passau is 2 hours away from Munich). We chose to stay overnight for 2 nights in Munich. It was enjoyable but in hindsight, we wish we had chosen Prague which is where most passengers not returning immediately home went. We arranged private transportation online prior to the cruise from Passau to Munich since our hotel was conveniently located near the central square Marienplatz. Viking only transports passengers to the departure airport (in our case Munich). Hence, if not traveling directly home, we were told we had to arrange our own transportation. I tried emailing the Viking concierge in advance and was told they did not arrange private transportation if staying overnight. However, during the cruise, I learned that the Viking assistants on the Prestige and our wonderful cruise director Suzy, was keeping a list of people traveling to similar places independently such as Passau to Munich or Passau to Prague and informing them so they could choose to find more economical transportation arrangements by traveling together if they so choose to do so. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have been on two other Viking river cruises over the last nine months so I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. The service by the crew was excellent - it appears to be their trademark - all are well trained in excellent ... Read More
I have been on two other Viking river cruises over the last nine months so I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. The service by the crew was excellent - it appears to be their trademark - all are well trained in excellent customer relations. The boat was a bit dated but was maintained well with a few exceptions. Meals were good - not outstanding but still very good for the most part. The wienerschnitzel was not prepared well - had the same experience on my last trip. The daily shore excursions were well managed and executed. Buses were very good and clean. The tour guides for each of the excursions were well trained and for the most part spoke good English. The downside was the number of hours/days that we were docked up against another ship or up again a wall. Once or twice may have been expected but the number of days the view as blocked was a bit disconcerting - frustrating. Last if you are late in booking a cruise you will not be able to participate in the pre and post travel excursions. I was told that it should not be a problem once I got on the boat to be able to participate in them. I was told to the contrary. It appears the pre and post excursion arm of the company did not work effectively with the resources on the boat. Also check carefully on the air carrier for your trip to Europe. I was put on Air Canada -Rouge - I will never travel with them again.The disappointments are too long to list -it started by cruise off on a very poor footing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was recommended by friends and they offered free air There was a slight sewage smell when entering the ship The greating was terrific all employees are the best I have seen I am tall 6 foot 8 inches and could not stand straight ... Read More
It was recommended by friends and they offered free air There was a slight sewage smell when entering the ship The greating was terrific all employees are the best I have seen I am tall 6 foot 8 inches and could not stand straight in the hallways or shower, wish i would have known this i did tell them when i booked The first meal was a sinew and grizzle filled rib eye, bad start but we also had some of the best meals ever I noticed if you do not order what is recommended of the choices you are taking a chance I rate the food 8 out of 10 The included tours are all well planned and interesting The city's are beautiful and safe The optional pay extra tours are good but definitely over priced The on board entertainment was very good Also any issue that we let them know about was made right When the ceilings could not be raised i got an incredible bottle of wine Also the othet guests on the ship were interesting and very sociable I had a good time and my wife had a great time Steve S Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Having never before being on a riverboat cruise, we didn't know what to expect. That ended the moment we entered the boat. From the very beginning, the service was outstanding. We were led to our room, which was very comfortable. ... Read More
Having never before being on a riverboat cruise, we didn't know what to expect. That ended the moment we entered the boat. From the very beginning, the service was outstanding. We were led to our room, which was very comfortable. The food was very good. Often they would build the menu around the location where we were docked. We had the option of ordering off the menu or the buffet. The included excursions were fabulous. The gave you enough information and then allowed you to go out and explore on your own in the afternoon. We really liked the size of the group on the boat. There were only about 200 people with 48 staff which allowed for the service to be outstanding throughout the entire trip. Just a wonderful all around experience. A great way to see eastern Europe. We will definitely do this again on another one of their river boat adventures. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The idea of being ported right in the city and being able to walk and wander through the city was what we wanted. We were surprised at how well organized and superior the included excursions were. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. The idea of being ported right in the city and being able to walk and wander through the city was what we wanted. We were surprised at how well organized and superior the included excursions were. The staff was very accommodating. Everything was well organized. It was one of the best trips we have been on. Having Viking arrange the flights, transfers, and excursions made this stress free. We booked a pre and post cruise stay in Budapest and Prague. Both hotels were in excellent location. The Viking representatives were very helpful which made the trip even better. All the shore excursions were lead by knowledgeable local guides. The dining was acceptable. Being able to sit with new friends can be challenging. Luckily, most passengers are very welcoming and friendly. We enjoyed the themed dinners. Having the talk/meeting prior to the next days excursion, reassured us that we were choosing the right excursion. I would definite recommend a River cruise for those who like to walk and learn about history. We were so impressed that we booked another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was the second cruise on this ship, The Prestige. I chose to do this one again to see things I missed on the first cruise and because the crew are the very Best in my opinion. The staff went above and beyond taking care of everyone ... Read More
This was the second cruise on this ship, The Prestige. I chose to do this one again to see things I missed on the first cruise and because the crew are the very Best in my opinion. The staff went above and beyond taking care of everyone on board. I had a Single Cabin which is Great. The cabin had a couch which was turned into a twin bed at night. It wasn't like being on a sofa bed. There were no bars in the back, etc., just a nice twin bed. This was nice because during the day you had a couch to sit on and it made the cabin appear larger. The entertainment was Fabulous.....the piano player always did an excellent job and he played a variety of music. I really can't speak highly enough about this crew!! I would highly recommend this trip to anyone looking to take a River Cruise and I believe no one can improve on the standards of a Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
heard good things about Viking. We had excellent weather and our tour guides were superb. This was our first cruise, and Viking exceeded our expectations. I upgraded the beverage package and the single malt scotch selections were ... Read More
heard good things about Viking. We had excellent weather and our tour guides were superb. This was our first cruise, and Viking exceeded our expectations. I upgraded the beverage package and the single malt scotch selections were great. food service was excellent as was all staff. Danielle, our cruise director, was exceptional as was Zolten, our hotel manager. we particularly enjoyed our tour of the kitchen with the executive chef. We plan to take another cruise in 2018, and would enjoy taking one with Danielle and Zolten again. The guided tours were enjoyable and educational, as well as entertaining. We particularly liked Passau, Cesky Krumlov and Bratislava. Durnstein was a special treat. While the Viking Prestoge is one of the us oder ships, we found it to be just the right size, as we had some 150 people on board, and we do not like large crowds. I think the perfect weather we had made the trip thoroughly enjoyable. We were glad we booked the extended stay in Budapest, and the Corinthian hotel was a great choice. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this itinerary for the cities visited and we wanted to travel in September. This was a perfect trip - the crew, the weather, all the cities we visited (Danielle was the best cruise director!) the food, the staff; there was nothing ... Read More
We chose this itinerary for the cities visited and we wanted to travel in September. This was a perfect trip - the crew, the weather, all the cities we visited (Danielle was the best cruise director!) the food, the staff; there was nothing to fault and the cruise exceeded our expectations! Leaving Budapest was magical with the music, lights, wine - a perfect evening and so romantic. This is one of those momemnts you never forget! We also loved touring Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. A beautiful city and loved having the time to explore the castle and enjoy the people. All our guides were excellent and we felt like we learned so much as we toured areas/cities/buildings and cathedrals. The evenings were filled with good conversations, excellent food and entertainment. We loved the nightly briefings and looked forward to the next days adventures. Our cabin was clean and comfortable and we were surprised at our WiFi service as we were always able to check emails and send pictures. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise largely due to the wonderful and numerous ads which depicted cruising past the House of Parliament on Viking. We were not disappointed at all. The ship was staffed by friendly and knowledgeable people, up to and ... Read More
We chose this cruise largely due to the wonderful and numerous ads which depicted cruising past the House of Parliament on Viking. We were not disappointed at all. The ship was staffed by friendly and knowledgeable people, up to and including the Captain of the ship. We were met as promised at the Budapest airport and the the trip was smooth all the way until we arrived home in North Carolina. The cabin was in excellent condition. Dining was also excellent for every meal and the service was simply outstanding. All the port and shore excursions were handled well by the staff and we enjoyed ALL of the excursions. My wife and I were constantly pleased at the helpful behaviour of each and every member of the crew, including the Tour Director. There was no "downside" of this splendid trip. It was our first Viking cruise but will not be the last. Even now we are planning a Viking river cruise for the Spring of 2017. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our party of 6 adults did a Viking River Cruise on the Danube in September. There was an unexpected lock closure on the river which caused an interruption in our scheduled itinerary. Of course, Viking was not responsible for the lock ... Read More
Our party of 6 adults did a Viking River Cruise on the Danube in September. There was an unexpected lock closure on the river which caused an interruption in our scheduled itinerary. Of course, Viking was not responsible for the lock closure; but, the choices they made in response to the closure resulted in providing a much more marginal vacation experience than it could have been. Viking could (should) have transferred us by motor coach to Vienna and put us up in a hotel for a night or two. This would have allowed us to spend time in one of the "highlight" places on our itinerary -- a place with many things to see and do. Instead, we spent two days in small towns none of us had ever heard of and with minimal activities of interest. We had just 4 hours in Vienna, while some of our "trip-highlight" activities were cancelled entirely. A great deal of time was spent on motor coaches and tours were very crowded. We were docked alongside other ships in several locations -- sometimes 4-deep. This prevented the opening of stateroom curtains as the view would be into the stateroom of the adjacent ship. We actually saw very little of the river, between the closed curtains and night-time sailing. The final disappointment was Viking's customer service response. Their sole attempt at appeasement was to offer us 15%-20% off of a future Viking cruise, to be used within one year. Really? We will not be sailing with Viking again. If you are considering it, I suggest you have a high-tolerance for changing plans that could result in a very different trip (perhaps inferior) from the one you anticipate. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were informed our first night of embarkation that a lock was damaged on the river, which meant our original trip and itinerary may be slightly altered. Much time was spent on the border of Hungary and Slovakia, not moving by ship at ... Read More
We were informed our first night of embarkation that a lock was damaged on the river, which meant our original trip and itinerary may be slightly altered. Much time was spent on the border of Hungary and Slovakia, not moving by ship at all. After missing most of Vienna, including the Mozart concert, missing a highlight of the trip, Cesky Krumlov , after being bused hours to destinations, including places the staff on board had not even heard of, being docked next to other ships, destroying our third floor French balcony view and solitude, we quickly realized Viking was not giving us the experience we had hoped and paid for. Upon our return , we were offered a 15% to 20% voucher for future trips on Viking. We have since received multiple e mails , mass flyers, and magazines advertising for Viking, including discounted trips. Mass marketing seems to be what they do best. Viking needs to focus on their customers and dealing with unexpected situations that can still make it a good experience, including proper reimbursement. What an expensive and disheartening lesson. Why would we choose to go on a Viking river cruise again? Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our first river cruise, selected for the itinerary, length, and stops. We loved Budapest and all the cities on the cruise itinerary. We were blessed by superb weather. The meals served aboard ship were generally superb, and the ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, selected for the itinerary, length, and stops. We loved Budapest and all the cities on the cruise itinerary. We were blessed by superb weather. The meals served aboard ship were generally superb, and the portions were generous. With beer and wine available at both lunch and dinner, there was no need for purchasing any additional drink packages. The crew was very welcoming and responsive to any request. Our French Balcony stateroom was comfortable, if just a tad small, but it was just fine for us. The offerings for daily activities will keep your days pretty full, and one lesson we learned was to allow some "down time" to just relax aboard ship. Vienna is an awful lot for one day, and you yearn to return to spend longer. Definitely take the excursion to Cesky Krumlov, it is an absolutely charming town with great little restaurants. Information that the crew provides in advance of the various stops is very helpful. Onboard entertainment was intimate due to the small venue, but extremely entertaining - we had some truly great operatic vocalists! We spent several days in Budapest before the cruise started, and in Prague after the cruise was over, on our own itinerary/dime (as opposed to using the Viking pre- and post-trips - our view is that you get a better deal that way. To sum up, we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and recommend it fully and energetically. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We've always wanted to do a river cruise and after researching several cruise lines I decided on Viking. Love your ads on TV and we were not disappointed in anything. We wanted to see the Eastern European countries. The entire ... Read More
We've always wanted to do a river cruise and after researching several cruise lines I decided on Viking. Love your ads on TV and we were not disappointed in anything. We wanted to see the Eastern European countries. The entire crew on the Prestige were outstanding, courteous and attentive to all our needs and questions. One of the dinner staff was exceptional, George, I did not get his last name. He served our wine and remembered from the very first night what we had and liked. We were traveling with two other couples. He is a very valuable member of the Viking organization and should be duly recognized by management. He will go far in your company. All meals & snacks were delicious. All the included tours and optional tours we took went like clockwork and your guides were very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. We loved everything about the cruise and will highly recommend Viking to all our friends. When we disembarked in Passau, Germany we took Viking motor coach for 3 day 4 night stay in Prague, Czech Republic. This was also a wonderful trip and I highly recommend going to Prague. We stayed at the Prague Marriott located within a block or two of "the old city center". Again, all the included & optional tours we took were outstanding. Viking River Cruises are a gem and now we know why they are number 1 in the industry. Thank you for a cruise of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before. We had never been to any of the countries on the Budapest to Passau Danube River Cruise. It was a fabulous experience. The crew, staff, captain, managers, and program director did a ... Read More
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before. We had never been to any of the countries on the Budapest to Passau Danube River Cruise. It was a fabulous experience. The crew, staff, captain, managers, and program director did a wonderful job. It was elegant but in a simplified comfortable way. People were kind and friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. The food was terrific and Eric our chef was amazing. All the wait staff were hard working, kind, courteous and professional. I fell in love with all of them and felt like they were family. Our stateroom was always immaculate and very comfortable. The included trips in each port were so informative and lovely. Each guide did a professional job. Everything was well coordinated and organized. It was secure and relaxing. After a hectic year, I was hoping for a vacation where I was completely taken care of and this trip fulfilled that wish. Thank you, Viking, for a trip of a life time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The ads looked enticing and it turned out that the cruise was all it was advertised to be. My mom and I were looking for a destination that neither of us had been to but were also intrigued with the river cruise experience. We've ... Read More
The ads looked enticing and it turned out that the cruise was all it was advertised to be. My mom and I were looking for a destination that neither of us had been to but were also intrigued with the river cruise experience. We've both been on big ships before but never a river cruise. We enjoyed the quaint atmosphere and flexibility that was offered. The cabin was immaculate and comfortable. The service was also beyond our expectations. Everyone from maid service on up was friendly and respectful. Our table servers couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. Actually, that goes for all the employees. They attended to us like they love their jobs and enjoy giving us their best! Our itinerary was an easy pace and not crammed full of extra busyness. All the guides were knowledgeable and friendly too. I've never seen such great bus drivers! Awesome adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Appreciated highly personal service and courtesy from hotel director, Maitre-D and all the staff including maid service and receptionists. The square footage of the suite being 340 sq. ft was a perfect area to include the various ... Read More
Appreciated highly personal service and courtesy from hotel director, Maitre-D and all the staff including maid service and receptionists. The square footage of the suite being 340 sq. ft was a perfect area to include the various facilities. I am disappointed that the Prestige ship has been discontinued and the current fleet does not offer a 340 sq. ft option but instead just 275 sq. ft or above 400 sq. ft which leads to too much space/cost. The post-cruise extension at Prague should be 1-2 days longer since there is much to be seen and done in that city. I was surprised to note that I was billed for a bottle of beer in the few minutes I was sitting and waiting near the Bar for the Captain's Dinner event. It would be a lot classier to offer free beer and wine selection for that event. All in all, it was an excellent, relaxing and entertaining experience! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Had heard about Viking from friends, but this was our first on-board experience. What a treat it was! Couldn't have been a smoother transition from plane to ship and back to plane. The tour director met us at the incoming airport ... Read More
Had heard about Viking from friends, but this was our first on-board experience. What a treat it was! Couldn't have been a smoother transition from plane to ship and back to plane. The tour director met us at the incoming airport as we boarded the bus. The captain and crew were easily available and accessible. The captain frequently was the first one to greet us as we arrived back at the ship after our shore excursions. The food was excellent and was locally adjusted as our trip progressed. The servers were fun - we really got to know them quite well and they took excellent care of us. The entertainment was awesome (fun!) and the excursions were terrific. The piano player was local. The English speaking tour guides were top notch. I have not been on a lot of trips with guides, but I can't imagine a better overall experience. We have already planned our next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Had no idea what to expect and it was wonderful from the get-go. We traveled with two other couples and loved everything about it! One couple was experienced in traveling and kept everything going smoothly for all of us. This was a ... Read More
Had no idea what to expect and it was wonderful from the get-go. We traveled with two other couples and loved everything about it! One couple was experienced in traveling and kept everything going smoothly for all of us. This was a very nice, roomy ship and it moved so smoothly you never even knew you were moving unless you looked out the window. The foods were fantastic...we ate many of our meals in the big dining room and from the buffet. When we ordered from the menu, we were never disappointed in the foods, their presentation or the service. This was such a friendly and fun wait staff - just a pleasure to be there. Without exception, everyone of the on board personnel smiled and spoke and/or joked whenever we met up with them. Everything was so well planned and orchestrated it just seemed to go like clockwork. I would have liked a small hard surface portion of the flooring in the lounge for dancing...dancing on carpet just doesn't work. The shore excursions were wonderful, although they could have been longer...though I do realize a schedule had to be kept. It was kind of like getting a "sampler" of each country's best and the Straus concert was tops! This was a most fun and relaxing week, absolutely enchanting. Given the opportunity to go again, I would do it in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The cruise was fantastic! It began in Budapest Hungary and ended in Passau Germany. There were many stops along the way, allowing exploration with a group or individually. The ship was very comfortable and the food couldn't have ... Read More
The cruise was fantastic! It began in Budapest Hungary and ended in Passau Germany. There were many stops along the way, allowing exploration with a group or individually. The ship was very comfortable and the food couldn't have been better. The crew were all wonderful and took customer service to the highest level I have experienced! The tour guides were all great and very well educated about the areas they covered. The excursions were very enjoyable, allowing us to meet local people and experience local culture. It was nice to be able to have a tour of the ship's navigation center and learn a little about the operation of the ship and navigation on the Danube, including the river locks. There was a nice library aboard ship with books about the areas we were visiting, and wonderful views of the surrounding countryside while we cruised. While the ship was underway, there was not the slightest hint of rocking, or any feeling of actually being on water -- it was that smooth! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We arrived 2 days early in Budapest and greatly enjoyed the city, our hotel, and the Szchecheny baths. Budapest is a clean, safe city and easy to get around using public transportation. Our ship was clean, with friendly, well-trained ... Read More
We arrived 2 days early in Budapest and greatly enjoyed the city, our hotel, and the Szchecheny baths. Budapest is a clean, safe city and easy to get around using public transportation. Our ship was clean, with friendly, well-trained staff, great food, and good excursions. The cabin was comfortable, if a little chilly (we were at water level). My husband's birthday was recognized and celebrated at dinner with a cake. Tour groups were well organized, with dedicated buses and radio headsets for each small group/guide. The guides were very knowledgeable. Some were more interesting than others, telling stories about everyday life in their city/country and sharing historical tidbits. My husband got a little weary of churches and castles, so a little more variety would have been welcomed. We would have enjoyed spending more time in Vienna - such a lovely city! Basically, you get what you pay for, and we paid well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Love everything about Viking River Cruises. This was our third fantastic trip and we will do more. In fact, because of service, food, tours and personnel, actually trying a Viking Ocean Cruise next year, can't wait! Food was ... Read More
Love everything about Viking River Cruises. This was our third fantastic trip and we will do more. In fact, because of service, food, tours and personnel, actually trying a Viking Ocean Cruise next year, can't wait! Food was medium-sized portions of greatness, especially breakfast and dinner. Wine included at lunch and dinner which is awesome and plenty of education for all before and after trips. And the caliber of people who take Viking are a compatible in terms of age and intellectual curiosity. We meet at least one couple on each trip that we stay in touch with. Intend to sail all the high seas and rivers with Viking! The tours they pick are great, included and you don't have to do a thing but show up to their lovely buses and wait to be transported to local culture, there is also plenty of free time to walk around on your own. All in all, a beautiful experience!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Fantastic Cruise, The Boat was very clean and the food was great!! The entertainment was very enjoyable. We especially enjoyed the Wine with Lunch and Dinner! The Tours that were included were suburb! Every day the taste of the local ... Read More
Fantastic Cruise, The Boat was very clean and the food was great!! The entertainment was very enjoyable. We especially enjoyed the Wine with Lunch and Dinner! The Tours that were included were suburb! Every day the taste of the local area!The Cabin was very clean with a nice TV with American Movies and Sitcoms changing daily.This trip is not recommended with children as the clientele was average age of 50+/-. We started in Budapest for several days and continues to Bratislava, SK an nice small town continuing to Vienna we were privileged to have the coldest day for that day in Vienna History! The tour was outstanding, we took a walking tour we walked from the boat to the subway which we took to the ring area. We had lunch at Salm Brau, the Wiener Schnitzel was perfect and reasonable price. We continued onto Melk, AT then to Durnstein, AT and onto Linz, AT for the final day we ended in Passau, DE. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because my husband and I along with 6 other friends never visited Eastern Europe. We were very happy with each port, except that we wished we could stay longer at some of the large cities, such as Budapest and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband and I along with 6 other friends never visited Eastern Europe. We were very happy with each port, except that we wished we could stay longer at some of the large cities, such as Budapest and Vienna. I fell in love with the architecture of the buildings, the friendliness of the people and the elegant treatment by the staff on the boat. I enjoyed meeting the staff and having discussions with them about the cruise and the cities we were stopping at. The wait staff was very friendly, anticipated our needs after the first day, and were always ready to get us whatever we needed even, for some, a second dessert. They were very knowledgeable of the menu and did not hesitate to describe, in detail, the choices on the menu, even when asked more than once by our table. A very nice touch, was the bottle of water given to us when we exited the boat at port and when returning, a cold towel to cool our face, or a native drink from the area, and I can't forget the sampling of foods native to the area we just visited. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Great value, interesting itinerary, helpful staff, nice room. We will definitely go on Viking again. Their older ships are better than the new long boats because the rooms are a little bigger. The food is excellent and liked open dining. ... Read More
Great value, interesting itinerary, helpful staff, nice room. We will definitely go on Viking again. Their older ships are better than the new long boats because the rooms are a little bigger. The food is excellent and liked open dining. The escorted tours are very good. We booked several optional tours that were also good. I booked through AAA and they were helpful. The only drawback was the Viking Air. It was messed up from the start. If I had not stayed on top of it, the trip would have been totally messed up. I was on hold numerous times while trying to get a flight that didn't stop in 3 places. Once they had us leaving at the same time from a different airport going to two different places. While Viking Air is a definite bargain it is a major pain and if you don't watch it carefully you will be very disappointed!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Viking Prestige Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 3.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 3.7

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