2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first Viking cruise, but NOT our first river cruise (we did Avalon on the Rhine in 2013). In my opinion, Viking compares very poorly to Avalon for a variety of reasons: the cabins on the Tor are smaller, the staff was far ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise, but NOT our first river cruise (we did Avalon on the Rhine in 2013). In my opinion, Viking compares very poorly to Avalon for a variety of reasons: the cabins on the Tor are smaller, the staff was far less friendly (other than one waiter and Sorin the Program Director, he was funny!), the food was mediocre at best, very limited variety especially with lunch. Tours seemed disorganized. Information was lacking, especially with limited overhead announcements. The sundeck was closed down for a majority of the time. The same wines were offered every day, other than when they FINALLY gave us something different on the last day. We also were among those that had to be bussed to another port as the Tor could not sail through at Passau. So we were disappointed that we had to re-pack everything, bus to the next port, unpack again, etc. We didn't really lose any tour time, but the 2nd ship the Viking Var was FAR worse than the Tor. Staff on the Var were really not friendly at all. We were told there was Wifi access in every cabin, yet our cabin 212 had NO wifi on the Var, forcing me to have to go down to the lobby and use that, and that even was slow. The first night on the Var we were fed the very SAME meal we had the night before on the Tor. Our group of 4 couples were very disappointed with Viking. While I will "never say never", I have no desire to sail Viking ever again until less maybe if it was totally free (unlikely). Avalon is FAR better with food, staff, and organization! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Our cruise along the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg was wonderful! The ship was beautiful and well staffed. All the excursions were interesting, with very talented and knowledgeable guides. The buses for the outings were very ... Read More
Our cruise along the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg was wonderful! The ship was beautiful and well staffed. All the excursions were interesting, with very talented and knowledgeable guides. The buses for the outings were very comfortable. And the food onboard the ship was excellent! However, it was disappointing that we had to do a ship swap after the third day of sailing because of low water levels on the river. That, of course, was not the fault of Viking. They, in fact, were quite prepared for this situation. The swap was done relatively painlessly and we boarded a 'sister' ship that was identical to the one we had left. We missed our original crew, however, who were so friendly and caring. Our cruise director and concierge switched ships with us and that was a blessing! They were WONDERFUL!! They certainly earned their salaries and carried out their duties with humor and friendliness. All of our transports worked smoothly. Disembarkation was very well organized. We were very pleased with the entire trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
First river cruise and it was a pleasant experience. Much more intimate, and vastly different, from ocean cruising. Viking Tor was one of the new generation river boats with all of the newest innovations and upgrades. We chose the Veranda ... Read More
First river cruise and it was a pleasant experience. Much more intimate, and vastly different, from ocean cruising. Viking Tor was one of the new generation river boats with all of the newest innovations and upgrades. We chose the Veranda Suite which includes the balcony, but honestly, almost all of the staterooms we saw (larger/smaller) had mostly the same amenities. There is more than enough room under the beds to accommodate even the larger suitcases. While there are U.S. style outlets in the cabins, it is advisable to bring the European adapters, which will allow you extra access for charging/using other devices like cameras, smartphones, electric razors, etc. These adapters also come in handy if you do any of the pre- or post-extensions on land. Service and hospitality were wonderful. There was evening entertainment in the lounge area in the form of a pianist (wonderful) on our cruise. Don't expect casino/theater style entertainment on a river boat from Viking - leave that for ocean cruising. The real entertainment is on deck, day or night, while the river boat is making its way up/down the river (Danube in our case). Depending on your itinerary, there are shore trips to witness plays, concerts or other events. The Viking staff and service on our river cruise were excellent. We had absolutely no problems with our sleeping accommodations and housekeeping during the entire trip. We also did not experience the reported occasions when the river was too high to navigate under the bridges, of which there are many. Going through the river locks is quite an experience. To summarize, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Our only regret was that we didn't spend some extra time in Budapest - a wonderful city. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
For all the times I've seen the Viking River Cruise commercial on Downton Abbey, nothing prepared me for this remarkable journey. The Viking Tor sparkles from stem to stern. The light-filled ship is a pleasure from the exceptional ... Read More
For all the times I've seen the Viking River Cruise commercial on Downton Abbey, nothing prepared me for this remarkable journey. The Viking Tor sparkles from stem to stern. The light-filled ship is a pleasure from the exceptional crew to the wonderful passengers--all life long learners who wouldn't be caught dead on a mass market cruise. No casino, no art sales no constant announcements-- just the pure pleasure of traveling with like-minded individuals sharing this remarkable trip. I must admit to being a professional travel writer and so I do set a high bar. But Viking delivers in every dimension. The small passenger complement of just 188 guests gives great opportunities to mix and mingle. Especially appreciated were the open seating in the Dining Room which allowed passengers to circulate and make new friends and acquaintances instead of being assigned seating. And what a group we were-- a sports celebrity of great renown, the Chairman Emeritus of a Rental car company, the Ass't Attorney General of a southern state were among the many interesting passengers. The included shore excursions were exceptional, the local guides clearly selected for their knowledge of each port. And oh what ports! Budapest, Vienna and the lesser known Melk, Passau and Regensburg all provided great opportunities for exploring first in groups and then on one's own. Back aboard ship, the staff cannot do enough for you. And the inclusion of wine and beer at every meal--even breakfast (Champagne for Mimosas anyone?) is a welcome addition. But that really is the most remarkable thing about Viking River Cruises--you are not nickeled and dimed to death as you are on mass-market cruises. The entire week set me back just 133 Euros in added charges! Finally the cabins are a joy, a marvel of Scandinavian design that makes every square inch count. If you can, spring for a balcony--stepping outside anytime you want is a marvelous addition to your trip. I would have to say after cruising several times a year, I am so completely won over by Viking that I've booked Viking Ocean's Viking Star for a Mediterranean cruise this October. Bravo Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I took the Budapest to Nuremberg trip on the Viking Tor May 1, 2015. Beautiful, modern ship and a crew that will do anything to make the traveler happy. We stayed in one of the suites at the stern of the ship. It is certainly ... Read More
My wife and I took the Budapest to Nuremberg trip on the Viking Tor May 1, 2015. Beautiful, modern ship and a crew that will do anything to make the traveler happy. We stayed in one of the suites at the stern of the ship. It is certainly a luxurious accommodation. The only concern was the vibration at times from the engines that were running at 90% power to sail against the Danube current. We had to take the coffee pot out of the coffee machine to eliminate the vibration noise. There are two glass doors separating the bedroom from the rest of the cabin, and they had to be kept open or they vibrated noisily. Otherwise, very comfortable room with terrific views from two sides of the suite and a great sitting balcony on the stern. We loved the food, and typically selected from the left side of the menu, which provides regional dishes. We were concerned that with the great food, wine, and sinful deserts, we would gain weight on the trip. However, we both lost a couple of pounds, which I attribute to moderate portion sizes and a lot of walking on the excursions. Budapest is an interesting city, but the visit was too short. We would recommend spending a couple of days there before the sailing to get a better view of the city. In Vienna, we went on the optional tour of Schonbrunn Palace, and it was well worth the effort. We visited the beautiful churches of Benedictine abbey at Melk, and the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Passau, both awesome experiences. Because of recent rains and high water on the river, we were only able to get to Vilshofen, Germany, and docked there for the remainder of the trip. There was a bridge up river that the ship could not clear. We were bused about 90 minutes to Regensburg and enjoyed St. Peter's cathedral and a well preserved medieval city. The final full day was a 3 hour bus trip to Nuremberg, which we skipped. Instead, we explored Vilshofen with many others who also skipped the long bus ride and got a nice taste of a German town. The high water issue is one of the risks of river boat cruises. They can be interrupted by high water, low water, or lock strikes. Probably the best part of the trip was getting to know new people from around the US and other english speaking countries and making great friends. Unfortunately, we were booked on a 6:30 AM flight out of Nuremberg on departure date, so we had to leave on the transfer bus at 1 AM because we were so far from Nuremberg. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I am going to be much more critical than is warranted because I want to point out the limited downfalls of Viking. Overall, we would rate this trip an 8-9 out of 10 so we liked it and would do another. I think it important to research what ... Read More
I am going to be much more critical than is warranted because I want to point out the limited downfalls of Viking. Overall, we would rate this trip an 8-9 out of 10 so we liked it and would do another. I think it important to research what type of cruise you want to do. Viking does a much focused type of cruise with a very set schedule. It’s kind of like going on vacation where the first day, you just relax and say "I am on vacation" and don't fight it. Viking can be very very set in their ways and for the most part, they do all they can to make this a good experience. However, if you want something out of the ordinary, like upgrade your room, schedule a airport transfer or if you want to tip with anything other than Euro or US$, then they are not flexible and it can be irritating. They could work on that a bit. Our cruise was a Christmas Market Cruise and we did everything and more than we had hoped to. We booked our own airfare only because we did not know better. Viking works best if you use all of their services and if you confine your trip to what they offer. If you book airfare with them or extended stay, then they will make sure they meet you at the airport and take you back. One caution however is that you must remember that there is no such thing as a $199 air fare that they tout once in a while. It is simply that Viking is subsidizing part of that cost so they do not discount their room, which they very very very seldom do. When you book your air fare through Viking make sure you look at the flight times and layovers. That $199 airfare will most likely get you stuck in an airport for a few hours or a longer flight home so just check the details. We ended our trip in Passau, Germany so for 95% of the group, the trip was over and they needed to go to Munich airport for their flight back home. While I suspect not normal, one couple had to get up at 2 am to catch their bus. Let me explain. The drive to Munich is 2 hours so they allow 3. They schedule pickup 1/2 hr prior to that and then you need to be at the airport to 2-3 hrs ahead of time. If you have a 7 am flight, booked for you by Viking (can you say $199 air fare?), then you get the idea. On our trip, we booked our own airfares and were able to screw up our own schedule by allowing a 4 hr layover in Amsterdam so you need to get involved. You have to remember that you are in the middle of the night when you get to your first layover so my advice is to pick a flight to minimize layovers and look closely at departure times and where the airport is. Doing this will greatly improve your experience. The other somewhat irritating issue is tipping. Viking being an American/Swiss company asks you to partially subsidize their costs and tip at the end of the trip. Its the American way. It was interesting watching the Tour Director and others encourage tipping in Europe where there is no tipping. This is completely up to you but they do lay on the guilt trip for you. Something I felt amusing is that they will only accept tips in euro or US$. If you are to tip, a great way to get rid of the misc currency, from Hungary for example which is not euro, is to leave that as part of the tip. NOPE, we only accept euro and US$. I never had anyone tell me before when I was giving money away that they wanted it only in certain form. Viking could work on this. Now the good part. There are only 170 or so people so this is not a 3,000 person Princess Cruise so you need to rethink this. With only 170, they can plan pretty well. I liked the single dining experience. We had time for Happy Hour and usually a brief talk about what was going on the next day in the Lounge and then you had 1/2 hr or so to make your way to the dining room. I would rate the food overall 7 out of 10 which I think is pretty good. If you are a picky eater, look closely at the menu and you will find a César salad always available with Salmon or chicken on it or some other dish so look and ask. We purchased the unlimited bar which probably was not worth it $150 euro or $200US each but it did boost the level of the trip. We ordered a bottle of wine off the separate list each evening and had a few cocktails before or after the meal. It was nice not putting yourself in a position of wondering how much it was. On the other hand, if you can eliminate worrying about the cost, then I think you could drink as much as you want for less than the $200 per person. A bottle of wine was about $30. A typical day started with a pretty good breakfast that started at 6 and went to 9AM. You can get a European breakfast of cold cuts and cheese of a Texas breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, sausage etc. You get the idea. Following breakfast 6 days out of 7 is the tour of the day that is usually included in your booking fee. They do have a couple of side trips like an opera (that only 50% thought was good enough to warrant going). Most tours have a guide who wears a microphone and broadcasts a monologue as they walk. Each room and person is provided a devise to listen (make sure you charge it every night) This works very well. The walks are not that difficult and normally Viking, after the first day, formulates a special tour group for those that do not want to or cannot keep up and they do it gracefully. Given that this was the Christmas Market Trip, we usually had a tour of town and then back to the boat which was almost always close to the market or you could easily walk. Trying to figure out where to spend your time was never a problem. It was a bit cold so we always looked forward to getting back about 4 for happy hour and talk to other guests about their experience. Always about 5 or 6 the tour director would come in and have a presentation about the next day’s trip (always something you want to do) Following was open seating dinner but within a couple of days you started to know people and which ones to sit with and which ones to avoid if you know what I mean. .Not very often did we need to avoid anyone but we did form a little group that sat together each evening so the conversation was not ever strained. Especially with two of the ladies that loved to shop. At one point, one of the ladies had to buy luggage in town just to bring back to the ship what she bought. Let me summarize my suggestions for booking with Viking. If you can do all of the booking with them, do it however make sure you look at the times and discuss when you need to be off the boat. Consider arriving a day or two ahead to get used to the time change. If you arrange your own air travel or decide to extend your trip without Viking I highly suggest you make your own arrangements. We wanted to go to Munich to meet some friends and booked a Transfer from the ship to the airport. Viking wanted $150 euro each for this but we bought it. We only had one day in Munich so we wanted and early transfer and were told by Viking a number of times that their guests are first and they will take us when they have time. We canceled with a $30 fee each and rented a car for $100 euro and had a wonderful drive. Viking takes care of its own and after that you are better working it out yourself. Bottom line we would and will take another Viking Cruise but will not leave the travel details to them as it should be. You need to watch out for yourself   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
We arrived in Budapest at about 9:00pm on a flight from Zurich. We had confirmed with Viking our time and method of arrival. Viking told us where to get a taxi, the approximate cost, and very specifically identified the location of the ... Read More
We arrived in Budapest at about 9:00pm on a flight from Zurich. We had confirmed with Viking our time and method of arrival. Viking told us where to get a taxi, the approximate cost, and very specifically identified the location of the ship. We reconfirmed all of this by phone before leaving. As you probably guessed, after dismissing the taxi, we discovered the ship was not where it was supposed to be. We wondered around in the dark of the Budapest docks until a very nice English speaking young man helped us find the ship and carry our bags to it. Once on the ship he had another surprise: no food. For those who have cruised before and expect having access to food basically any time, be aware that Viking serves a communal dinner from 6 pm to 9 pm meaning if you want a seat at dinner you must be there at 7 and you must leave at 9 when the kitchen closes. During the same period you can choose one of five never-changing choices at the bar (club sandwich, baked potato, etc.) There is no room service. It was possible to leave the ship to dine ashore, but only at a few destinations as the ship is mostly under way at dinner time. The TV ads and the online videos tout the sun deck where passengers may stroll and where the chief grows herbs and were there is a solar array for the hybrid engines. We saw several Viking ships along the route but never saw a solar panel and the few herbs that were there were strictly for show. More importantly, the sun deck closes for 4 days during the cruise because the ship barely clears the bridges even with the sun deck closed and disassembled. Not being able to go outside together with the ship being under way most of the time and the regimented communal eating schedule give the experience a very claustrophobic feel. We made the mistake of booking the most expensive stern suite, called the explorer suite or something. Do not make this mistake. The engine noise and vibration make sleeping difficult even with ear plugs. And the crew's off duty station is just above and being mostly eastern European the smoke a lot and the smoke fills the expensive Explorer suites. We wished we had rented a car and explored on our own. Read Less
Viking Tor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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