72 Budapest Viking River Viking Var Cruise Reviews

This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular ... Read More
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular mention of Ryan and Ladice. The entertainment manager Ryan worked tirelessly and had to over come low water problems. One of the great pleasures it to meet new friends and the river boats with their very comfortable lounge is excellent for doing so. The shore excursions are interesting. The guide did an excellent talk in the Court of Justice in Nurembourg. And the guide at Regensbourg wae entertaining and amusing. She could be an actress. There was a problem with low water in the river and we were forced to change ships. But all at Viking did their utmost to limit this inconvenience. Whilst the Hilton at Budapest was comfortable we would have preferred a hotel on the waterfront near the chain bridge where we stayed previously We plan to take another Viking River Cruise in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica ... Read More
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica where we couldn’t get off the ship because of fights in the streets and the dirty Cozumel in Mexico. This cruise on the Viking Var was exceptional. There were 180 people on board and everyone was looked after as though they were family. It is to be noted that 90% of the travellers were from the USA and the average age had to be 65 with thankfully NO CHILDREN. We started our trip by flying from Heathrow to Budapest with BA. On arrival there was a Viking rep at the airport available for help if anyone needed it. We arrived in Budapest and several reps were available to ensure the right passengers got to the right ship. We had a 45 minute delay in getting to the ship because the transfer coach did not arrive on time with the excuse of a traffic jam. The driver should have checked on Waze or Google and left plenty of time to get to the airport. We arrived at the ship at 14:30 and fortunately the restaurant was still serving food. Our suit cases were delivered to our cabins. Our cabin number 325 was quite small but cleverly designed to make the most of the available space. We had twin beds with enough cupboard space to hang and put away our clothes including hiding our suit cases under our beds. The shower was large with a non slip mat and 2 different shower heads. Soap, shampoo etc were all there and were replaced when used. We had been warned that the electrical sockets were not UK 3 pin and took with us converters. It was great that there were several USB connection points for recharging our iphones and iPads. We paid a bit extra and had a nice balcony with a table and 2 chairs to sit on and watch the scenery go by, but this was seldom used because we met up with both our 4 friends we travelled with and new friends who we made on board and met on deck or in the comfortable lounges. I am not certain wether we would book a cabin with a balcony on our next trip as a Juliet balcony, where you have patio doors but no balcony to sit on, would probably suffice. Regarding food, drinks and restaurant timings. Timings were set to fit in with all the off ship tours and for each meal you could either have a snack or 3 course meal. Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks were served foc only during meal times. At all other times, they were charged to your cabin unless you had purchased a drinks package. There is however a coffee/tea station open 24 hours. Every evening there were 3 super menus: A 3 course local fare menu dependant on the country and city we were docked at; a menu with a selection of different daily themed plates and; a menu with a choice of food which was available every day. vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivarians and especially Americans who typically are unwilling to  try any unusual food they don’t recognise will have no problem finding something that would suit them. On arriving at the boat we asked the restaurant manager, the wonderful Alexandra, if they could provide lactose free milk and for my wife, gluten free food. No problem at all, I know that one day when they ran out of the milk Alexandra actually left the ship to go to a store to buy some herself!!! Every day Alexandra would show the dinner menu to my wife and went through what she could provide gluten free. She was a miracle worker and my wife received the perfect selection of food every day and with no nasty side effects. The serving staff in the restaurant were unbelievably helpful and service was never delayed. We tried to keep to the same area in the restaurant so that we had the same servers. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they had the wonderful Alan, Yuri and Ryan looking after them. By the second day, they knew that the 6 of us in our group didn’t drink wine and made sure we were provided with a selection of suitable soft drinks and very occasional bier or shandy. We booked our holiday to  include the cost of tips, but we were looked after so well that we still tipped them at the end of the trip. We took the free tours as offered as part of the cruise as well as a couple of additional cost ones which we wanted. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and looked after all participants making sure no one got lost or were left behind. Only one of the guides was below par, but that was in comparison to the others which was a shame. Tours commenced early in the morning so we tended to go to bed early, waking up at 6am or 630am to ensure we managed to get breakfast before setting off. Every day bottles of water were handed out to those taking part in the tours. The tours were arranged depending on people’s abilities and ensured that the less physical persons were not left out or placed on a tour they could not cope with. The headphone system to listen to the guides was first class and we never had a problem of hearing or understanding what they were saying or we were seeing. This Danube cruise started in Budapest then sailed north to Vienna, Krems  Passau, Regensberg finishing at Nuremberg. We then booked an extension of a 3 night stay in Prague. Transfer to Prague was a 3.5 hour coach ride. The ship’s Maitre D for the whole of the cruise was George. He was brilliant and provided film shows and pre tour information to help everyone get ready for the excursions with timings and advice. We often saw him about the towns during the excursions to ensure we were all ok. In the evening he even sang with the onboard professional resident entertainer Sylvia who sang and played a piano/ keyboard both in the evening and during the day. We had been looked after so well on the ship that we were, in comparison, unhappy with the reception by the reps and the position of the Hilton Hotel in the New Town. We arrived at approximately midday after the long drive and there was no food or drinks waiting for us. We were advised that we would not be provided with a room until 3pm and not one room was released till they were all ready. This was unacceptable and should have been made available as soon as each was ready. During this delay, we were taken outside the hotel and the rep pointed out the station and where shops and restaurants would be and just given maps and told where we could go nearby to obtain a meal. This was not acceptable and not in the manner of being looked after we had become accustomed to. We decided to have lunch in the hotel in one of the restaurants but were told that even though there were several empty tables they refused to put 2 tables together so that the 6 of us could sit together. The Viking reps should have expected some of us to want to eat in the hotel after a long transfer from the ship and made arrangements for the restaurant to have space available. So everyone (we were all in groups, having made friends on the ship) left the hotel to find a restaurant that would sit us together. This Hilton hotel, whilst new and attractive inside with its atrium is positioned between 20 minutes and a half an hour walk to the interesting part of the city. This area in the New Town is also dirty and there were men who either follow you around offering to exchange your currency or stand around the ATM exchange machines where you don’t feel safe to be alone. Never trust them as someone was sold what they thought was the legal currency but in fact we’re worthless. This was never the case in the old town where tourists and students were in abundance and we felt extremely safe. As a Hilton diamond HHonors member I expected my bedroom to be upgraded but this was refused as I didn’t book the hotel direct but through Viking. I didn’t see the relevance to this as one way or another they were still paid via me and I will be complaining to Hilton directly. The hotel itself is very large and very modern and our bedroom overlooked the interior of the hotel and atrium. There was a problem with the bedroom that we were taken to as whilst it was twin bedded as booked it only had a shower in the bath which my wife could not have physically climbed into. I told the Viking rep that the room was not as booked and was told they could do nothing and I had to go to reception. They did not offer to intercede. When asked to be moved, reception was not at all helpful and eventually gave us a king bedded room with a shower, saying that (in this enormous hotel) there were no twin bedded rooms with a shower available. I certainly felt that their response would have been different if I booked with Hilton rather than through Viking. Breakfast was included and there was an excellent choice of food from the breakfast buffet. We took bread rolls, meats, cheese and salads  every morning so that we had sandwiches for lunch. The next day we were taken on a coach and short walking tour of Prague and the following day we went on an additional cost tour of Jewish Prague. This guide was knowledgeable and really excellent ensuring we visited and entered every important site. On the last day we were rudely woken up at 07:30 by the maid who continued to bang on the door till we opened it. Check out time was 10am so we were really angry about this and complained to reception who was very rude saying that they had every right, especially as we had to wait till 3 pm to get a room when we arrived. At the end of our stay, transfer to Prague airport was arranged by Viking from the hotel and having left our suit cases at their dedicated desk in the lower lobby. We didn’t see our suit cases again till we arrived back home in London. This desk was manned the whole day for advice and help on what to do, how to use public transport, and where to go in Prague but was not helpful in the same way as on the ship. Don't forget to take sweaters, cardigans and shawls with you as the air conditioning on the ship is very cold. At the end of the cruise and before disembarking in Nuremberg we were offered coupons costing £100 Pounds Sterling, payable in Euros (everything on the ship was based in Euro’s) and for each £100, a coupon of £200 was given. Unfortunately only a maximum of 2 can be purchased. We enjoyed the cruise, the staff, the food, the tours and their organisation so very much that we will be booking with Viking again in 2021, that is unless our children purloin the coupons. It should be noted that whilst we were warned that the discounted coupons were only available before we left the ship, we have in fact received emails still offering them a week after returning home. Sent from Graham's iPad Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had been planning for our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Var for over a year. Eight of us were traveling together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have never spent this much money on a vacation ($12,000) before and we ... Read More
We had been planning for our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Var for over a year. Eight of us were traveling together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have never spent this much money on a vacation ($12,000) before and we were so excited to cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg. The first four days of our trip was a dream. The crew on the Var was fabulous and we could not have been happier. On the 4th day, rumors started circulating around the ship that we were going to have to change ships. We understood from our contract with Viking that river levels or other issues could cause a change in itinerary, but how Viking handled the change is completely unacceptable. Viking has known a lock on the Danube between Regensburg and Nuremburg was broken since a Viking ship broke it on June 5th. We did not sail until June 28th, Viking knew about this itinerary change and did not notify its customers. We were told the night before a ship change that we had to have all our things packed and outside our cabin doors by 8:15 am to be transferred to a new ship. Here’s where it got worse: 1) We were bussed (1.5 hours) to Passau, Germany for that day’s tour and then bussed for 4 hours to Roth, Germany where our new ship, the Viking Tor, was docked in a dirty industrial canal. 2) When we boarded our new ship after four hours on a bus, not a single crew member apologized, a drink wasn’t offered…nothing. 3) At that night’s port talk, we were told that if we wanted to go to Regensburg, we would have to be bussed 1.5 hours each way for a two-hour city tour. We declined to take that tour and found our own way to the Roth train station and made our way to Nuremburg on our own and at our own expense. We were only 30 minutes from Nuremberg and the Viking crew would not help us arrange something different than what they had planned. 4) We then sat in Roth, in a dirty industrial canal for two days. 5) We sailed to another industrial canal in Nuremburg and disembarked the next day. Upon arriving home, I contacted Viking Customer Service to provide feedback and to ask for compensation for spending a third of our “Romantic Danube” cruise on dirty canals. I was told by the Agent for Viking that Viking Executives were reviewing compensation for all of the passengers. He told me that after I received that communication if I was not happy, I should call him back. About two hours later, I received an email from Viking offering us each a $250 voucher for another cruise. That is roughly 4% of the cost of our trip when we spent almost a third of our trip either on a bus or a dirty canal. What an insult from Viking. All of Viking’s advertising touts their world class service…that’s all true when everything is going fine, but when issues arise, Viking takes no responsibility or accountability with their customers. When I called the Agent back, he confirmed that $250 was the offer and that it was “more than generous”. He also explained to me how itinerary changes are made by Viking and that the experience I explained to him was not what had happened. He offered me $500 each for an ocean cruise, “but, that is the best I can do and we are at an impasse.” He was nice in our first call and very rude in our second. Here’s the truth: 1) Viking knew about the lock before we boarded our ship. They chose not to disclose it. Other river cruise companies did and one cruise line even put their passengers up in a 5 star hotel rather than make them spend days on a dirty canal. 2) Viking gave us 10 hours’ notice of the change. No one ever apologized. If they would have offered everyone a free drink in the bar that night after a 4 hour bus ride, that would have gone a long way. 3) We spent one-third of our vacation in a dirty canal and Viking could care less. I will never take a Viking cruise again, I will never recommend Viking, I will proactively tell my friends and family to never take a Viking cruise and I will use all social media and cruise review sites I can to tell my story. What a truly disappointing experience. Viking is dishonest and does not care about its customers…plain and simple. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had done the Rhine and couldn't wait to go again. I can't believe this is even the same cruise line. The crew was very standoff-ish. But, we made nice friends and the first few days were decent. Then, at Gottwieg Abby, we ... Read More
We had done the Rhine and couldn't wait to go again. I can't believe this is even the same cruise line. The crew was very standoff-ish. But, we made nice friends and the first few days were decent. Then, at Gottwieg Abby, we were informed that due to a broken lock, we would have to do a boat swap with Tor that night. We'd pack, they would transfer our luggage to another boat while we were touring, we'd return to the new boat and be on our way. What happened is that they stuck us on a 6-hour bus ride and delivered us to Tor - parked in an industrial waste site, complete with rumbling dump trucks and trash. There we stayed for 3 days! We found out it had already been there for 3 days prior! Most of our tours were canceled for two days. If we wanted to do anything we had to be up at 5:30 AM and on a bus for a 2-3 hour bus ride to a faraway city....where we would get to spend a whole hour touring! We finally mutinied and told them we were staying till 4 and they had better come and get us. They did...but at 5:45! Yet, we met other Viking passengers who had boat-swapped with little disruption. We understood the lock issue... until they tied us up for 3 days! No explanation. Calls to Viking upon return home were met with the rudest, nastiest treatment imaginable. "What do you want, lady?" I paid $10,000 for half a cruise. I would expect decent compensation. Nope, they acted as if we should have been grateful that they said, 'sorry.' Our Rhine had lectures and classes...this one had nothing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The cruise was great, the food was really good, the tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. It was easily the best vacation my wife and I were ever on. We enjoyed the smaller setting with only 178 guests on our cruise. The crew was ... Read More
The cruise was great, the food was really good, the tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. It was easily the best vacation my wife and I were ever on. We enjoyed the smaller setting with only 178 guests on our cruise. The crew was fantastic. We enjoyed getting to know other passengers. The food was much better that the other cruises we have been on. It was a nice experience to go to sleep in one city and wake in another. The highlights for us were Budapest and Vienna. The only negative was our flight on Lufthansa was the only negative. 30 people's luggage were left in Frankfurt. Our flight coming in was 45 minutes late but it was 45 minutes late leaving so I don't think that was the issue. Leaving, we had to stand in the rain in the low thirties as we waited to board from the tarmac. I would recommend avoiding Lufthansa and Frankfurt if all possible. We're ready to take another cruise minus Lufthansa! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Always wanted to see Christmas markets in Germany/Austria. Saw an email three months prior to the trip with pricing offer that seemed too good to pass up. Have done several ocean cruises in Europe - this was our first river cruise. We ... Read More
Always wanted to see Christmas markets in Germany/Austria. Saw an email three months prior to the trip with pricing offer that seemed too good to pass up. Have done several ocean cruises in Europe - this was our first river cruise. We really enjoyed the slower pace, the ease of walking right to the center of town from our ship (unlike ocean ships where you sometimes must get transportation from the port to the city center). The ship's decor was elegant and simple. Service was excellent, very friendly crew. The food was very good, with regional menu offerings. There is no fitness area on the ship, but we walked our legs off nearly every day so we didn't miss it. The entertainment on river cruises can't compare to the big production shows you see on ocean ships, but the singing groups they brought on in a couple of the ports did a nice job. It was the first time in five months that the ship had been able to complete the entire journey, due to low water levels all summer. Thankful that we only had to unpack one time and were able to stay on the same ship for the entire journey without having to be bused between ports. The port towns/cities were all very charming and interesting - Christmas decorations and markets were very beautiful. The tours that Viking includes in the cruise price were very well done. Could not tell the difference between the included tours and the couple of tours that we paid extra for. We will definitely cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Just what we were looking for. We needed to get out of town during that time and this provided a no fuss way to do it. During the trip we had no worries or concerns about transfers, baggage, meals or entertainment. The necessities were ... Read More
Just what we were looking for. We needed to get out of town during that time and this provided a no fuss way to do it. During the trip we had no worries or concerns about transfers, baggage, meals or entertainment. The necessities were taken care of seamlessly and the added value was extraordinary. The ship was spacious and clean, I never felt crowded or 'herded' as I have on other trips. I do not know how they kept our cabin so clean and ship-shape as we seldom saw a chambermaid unless one was needed, but the room and facilities were always spotless. As far as the other help went (waiters, bartenders, etc.) they were also extraordinary. I even have a joke that I tell my friends, when I asked a staff member if he ever said 'no' his answer was of course 'no'. Everyone went out of their way to provide for our needs. The food was excellent and of course the staff would never say 'no' to a special food request. We even came back from ashore late one afternoon, freezing cold and way too late for lunch but of course they still served us, as I said they never say no. All the food was just great but we looked forward to every dinner as they was always something very special on the menu. Every stop was a new adventure. Not only were the guides local, knowledgeable, proud of their town but were lots of fun. Not a bad guide for the whole trip and we had many. There was so much to do everyday that we had to make time to relax and get some rest although when we did we felt like we were missing something and we didn't want to miss a thing. I don't know what else to add except I hope to get chance for another Viking adventure Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before ... Read More
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before our travel who made us aware of the nightmares they were experiencing. Nightmares as defined by numerous bus trips and lack of cruising time and being on board of a stagnant boat for accommodation purposes only. As we heard of these nightmares we contacted our travel agent and asked to cancel the cruise due to the low river levels. Our agent talked directly with Viking to understand the situation. We were then assured there would be only one bus ride for a three-hour duration from the Passau region to Vienna. The fact of the matter is the first bus ride was five hours, followed by a second bus ride into Budapest that took another 4 ½ hours. Combined with the numerous bus rides comes the task of packing and unpacking two more times than planned, which is a huge inconvenience. Once we reached Budapest we boarded an older boat that did not leave the dock – not much of a river cruise. While I understand Viking cannot control mother nature, you can control communications with honesty and integrity. It is quite apparent the revenue derived from your efforts is more important than customer satisfaction. My complaint is simple; we made our intentions clear; if there was any chance of additional bus rides and or lack of cruising time on the river we wanted to execute our insurance policy and obtain a full refund. That request is well documented with email communications more than two weeks prior to travel. We are now demanding a full refund for the cruise portion of the trip. We are not looking for a discount for future travel. Viking and Travel Leaders has lost our trust. As the previous President of my own company I would want to know about and work with dissatisfied customers. Which is the reason I’m writing a high-level executive and asking for more than a discount on a future Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance ... Read More
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance with Viking’s Tripmate, you will pay more. You will only get a voucher for that cancellation, and with that voucher amount you will have to start over (including your air travel and the costs involved with speaking to the air agent for upgrading your travel), for insurance, and for whatever other costs are involved for your trip. If you cancel your Danube River cruise because the water levels will turn the trip into a bus trip. (Not exactly the vacation you envisioned.) And you decide that you will try to reschedule in the Spring since there would be a better chance for higher water levels, the cost will be at least $1000 to $1500 more. So, try for the fall next year. The cost will be at least $500 more—per person. On top of that you will have to buy new insurance if you want that trip covered. You have only 12-15 months after cancelling to reschedule so you don’t want to blow the opportunity. Viking insurance only allows for rescheduling; the company does not give refunds. Solution: Buy insurance outside of Viking for refunds. Keep in mind that your contract of carriage indicates that the Provider may change your itinerary. What Viking does is to give you assurances up to the last minute that your itinerary stays the same or close to it even though they know it will not. This does not give you adequate time to reconsider. And it especially does not give you adequate time when you have already left for the trip. How do we know, it happened to us. After five phone calls to Viking wherein we were assured that everything would be fine (oh, maybe one bus trip and one ship swap), we opted to go ahead and take the trip. Instead of the “only unpack once” concept, we packed and repacked for 7 or 8 days because we were on a boat, a bus, in a hotel, a bus, etc. We did not get an upgraded hotel room or an upgraded bus seat for the upgraded cabin for which we paid; we got only the same sort of bus trip and hotel everyone else got. So, Viking gave us a voucher, not a refund. Now we have a voucher for future travel on Viking. Do we really want to chance it again? There are those who were on the same trip who are delighted. I am guessing they believed everything Viking told them and think they are getting the deal of a lifetime. Our argument with Viking is not that the water levels were low. The argument lies with the lack of transparency and intentional vague and obscure manner of communication. About a year ago, we sailed on Viking to Cuba (one of their first soirees there). We booked it because we would dock in Havana, go to Belize and Cozumel. None of that happened. We docked in Cienfuegos. That was it, and we were bussed to Havana. I thought that this was Viking’s naiveté with Ocean cruising. Now I know it is the M.O. For this river cruise The Romantic Danube, yes, the water level on the Danube was the cause of the river cruise changes. Viking knew in early summer what was coming. In fact numerous passengers from other vessels told us the same story—this had been going on for a month. Viking prepared to fend off cancellations and complaints. What Viking should have offered was as follows: 1. Viking should alert passengers far earlier than one week prior when many may have already left the country. 2. Cash back for cancellations. 3. Cash reductions for those opting to go on a bus tour, or cash back for those opting to leave the tour. 4. Hotel upgrades for persons who had suites or Veranda cabins. 5. Dining at finer restaurants instead of roadside McDonalds or places of Vikings’ choosing wherein everyone got the same meal. Viking Customer Service admitted knowing of a problem and told us “we work with people.” We are still awaiting a resolution which, for us, would be a cash back solution. So far Viking is not “working with us.” Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation ... Read More
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation was handled by Viking —delays in shuttling between destinations, multiple accommodation changes, excursions cancelled and lack of transparency/misleading communications by Viking before/during the trip— is unacceptable. This is my fifth cruise; first cruise on Viking. The cruise was an all around disappointing experience and not what I would expect from a luxury cruise line. Given the inability to cruise due to water levels on the Danube, Viking should have informed guests prior to the trip —AND provided an honest representation during the trip (this is the 4th month of fraught conditions). Instead, Viking withheld information until the night before (daily update meetings before dinner to inform guests of next day changes to schedule) and in certain cases were dishonest in communications. Viking river boats are not designed to handle situations such as low water levels as there are no activities for guests that may choose to remain on the boat. Food is fair and service is poor in relation to cost: no room service; special ordered food at breakfast that came out as prepared for buffet; noted this was a cruise to celebrate a birthday during cruise- no acknowledgement; Viking cancelled pre-scheduled excursions without communicating the change directly; needed something printed and front desk unable to deliver to room, etc. As others have stated, balaconies are a waste of $ as the majority of time we were docked and stacked with other boats with immediate views into other rooms. Not only did we not use the balconies, we kept our drapes drawn for privacy. The Viking river cruise was such a bad experience that we disembarked two days early, took the train to the final destination, and checked into a hotel. Viking staff made no offer to assist in coordinating this change nor would assist with luggage transfer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We loved the ports of call and activities on this cruise! The staff could not possibly have been more friendly or service oriented, although this was more so on our first boat (we had to change boats due to low water levels). The food ... Read More
We loved the ports of call and activities on this cruise! The staff could not possibly have been more friendly or service oriented, although this was more so on our first boat (we had to change boats due to low water levels). The food was outstanding, and we greatly enjoyed all our tour guides. Thee was a problem with the AC control in our room one evening, and the response from the young lady at the desk was the sole time that we were disappointed in the service, as she was not really helpful at all. The one suggestion we would offer is to minimize the time spent on a bus as much as possible, although we understand that was necessary in some cases to get to the chosen tour. Viking truly tries to take excellent care of their guests from the time we arrive until when we depart. It was a wonderful vacation, and we plan to take another Viking cruise sometime soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had our first river cruise in 2017, a Viking Rhine cruise, and were so impressed with the way Viking looks after you from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave. We returned this year for their Romantic Danube cruise. We were ... Read More
We had our first river cruise in 2017, a Viking Rhine cruise, and were so impressed with the way Viking looks after you from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave. We returned this year for their Romantic Danube cruise. We were a little apprehensive as last year we were on the Viking Hild, which at that time was only about 3 weeks old. So we were not sure whether the Viking Var would compare favorably, being a little older. Glad to report that this longboat was just as perfect. We opted for the pre-cruise 2 nights in Budapest and are so glad we did. We were unlucky enough to get the only wet day of our trip, but despite this, our tour guide managed to make our 5 hour walking tour - a Taste of Budapest - so much fun and very interesting. Without her, there we would not have seen much of Budapest at all, in fact the rain would have probably driven us back into the hotel. She had tickets already for the Parliament tour, and when we got there the lines were almost out the door for people trying to get tickets (it being a rainy day), so we most likely could not have done this on our own. She showed us parts of Budapest we would not have found, including a restaurant with its own museum downstairs. On board, the Viking crew were excellent, with our Program Director, George being a real star. This position is vital to everyone having a good time, and George did exactly that, with a great sense of humor and endless energy. The onboard meals could not be faulted, and we enjoyed the white cloth, and waiter service with plenty of choices. We also appreciate the self service station, where you can make a variety of drinks 24 hours a day, including cappuccinos, hot chocolate, flat or sparkling water, and a variety of teas, even chamomile. The continuous supply of bottled water in the cabins is another great convenience, and being handed a bottle of drinking water each every time we left the boat for an excursion. Really there is nothing that Viking has not thought of to make the vacation really special. The evening port talks, to give you information for the following day's excursion, were really helpful, as were the printed sheets placed in our cabins during dinner each evening. All the excursions were very enjoyable, with Regensburg being our favorite, as our guide there kept us walking and talking, and not wasting time standing around too much. But all the places were visited were excellent. Needless to say, we have already booked for 2019, for their Rhone river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The reason we selected Viking was because of the reputation of everything being included and not having to worry about being nickeled and dimed every time you turn around. I had researched all of the other river ships and no one could ... Read More
The reason we selected Viking was because of the reputation of everything being included and not having to worry about being nickeled and dimed every time you turn around. I had researched all of the other river ships and no one could measure up to the service that Viking gives. The person that motivated me to book the cruise was Shane Bagely located in Corp. headquarters, Woodland Hills CA. No pressure, knowledge of everything we wanted and a sincere interest in this being the first river cruise he wanted this to be best experience he could arrange for us. Everyone that greeted us on board generally treated us with warmth, professionalism, and attention to detail. The sweet we had was superb. The extra sitting room and balcony made a huge difference. The staff from the moment you came on board greeted you with enthusiasm. The ship, rooms and general areas were spotless. The dinning, under the guidance of Marcus, a 31 year old Executive Chef from Germany, served a 5 star meal every night that was representative of the port we were in. The Program Director was very entertaining, knowledgeable and ran the ship activities perfectly . The Capt. was very accessible as was the Hotel Manager, and Maitre d' The free morning tours were very informative and the guides extremely entertaining and knowledgeable. . By the end of the cruise we had met everyone on the ship and made many new friends that we still keep in touch with. A side note: I did not know that we would be going through 26 locks. Who need the Panama canal. I was just about to doze off on the first night of sailing. About 10:30 or so. All of a sudden there was a bump of the boat that shook the bed enough for me to jump out of bed. (I live in Los Angeles and earthquake came to mind) Looked out the window and alI could see was a wall of the first lock. Had to laugh at myself. Would we do this again? We have already booked the Rhine cruise for 2019 with our friends we meet on this cruise. Don't miss this cruise!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first experience with a river cruise and we are already booked for another this summer. We enjoyed the guides, the meals and meeting new friends. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and especially valued the day we spent simply ... Read More
This was our first experience with a river cruise and we are already booked for another this summer. We enjoyed the guides, the meals and meeting new friends. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and especially valued the day we spent simply cruising the Danube gorges. We found Nuremberg to be a fascinating historical stop. We also found Regensburg to be a historic gem. Budapest was a trip favorite from the nighttime cruise to the walking tour - a city we want to spend a week in sometime in the future. We liked being able to split our time between the early morning time on the prow before a second fuller breakfast in the dining room. I loved the on-ship library to augment the choices we had brought with us. We took advantage of the Viking flexibility and flew in early to travel around Austria, Germany and Slovakia before we boarded in Budapest. The range of food items was great, with the emphasis on diversity and local options. The crew was simply fantastic - enthusiastic, engaging and eager to serve. Our cruise director George was a bundle of energy and a font of witty jibes and "groaners." Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I had never been to Europe & had always wanted to go. A friend and I saw a 2 for 1 add for the Danube Cruise. We called Viking & booked; I was surprised at how easy it was. Our booking agent kept in contact with us for the entire 8 ... Read More
I had never been to Europe & had always wanted to go. A friend and I saw a 2 for 1 add for the Danube Cruise. We called Viking & booked; I was surprised at how easy it was. Our booking agent kept in contact with us for the entire 8 months to keep us up to date with everything. What was most impressive was how attentive the staff was from the very beginning (picking us up at the airport) to the very end, taking us back to the airport after an additional 3 day stay in Budapest (also all arranged by our agent). Our party of four turned into a party of 14, which also helped lift our spirits. Once on board, I was taken to my cabin; it was beautiful. We had a Veranda room with a balcony which I sat on every morning as I drank my tea. Sometimes it's just the little things that stand out...like a heated floor in the bathroom! It was so much more than just adequate, it was comfortable and well appointed. Room service was available, as well as laundry service. I didn't know what to expect as far as dining was concerned, but I would soon discover that it was amazing. Regional selections were available each day as we traveled from Passau, Germany, through Austria, Slovakia to our final destination of Budapest, Hungary. They also had a menu with standard items that were always available. I highly recommend the private dining which each passenger will have the opportunity to book; I think the room will seat approximately 20-24 people.. This a five course meal cooked in front of you by the chef. It was wonderful, don't miss it! Each stop had a variety of excursions, including at least 1 free option per port. I thoroughly enjoyed the walking tours, it gave you such a sense of history as you walked through each city. Did I mention with the Viking Longboats that you can literally walk off the boat & be in your port city in just a few steps? This was a welcome change from the larger ocean cruises where you sometimes have to get on a bus just to get out of a port. Each tour guide was able to give really interesting facts & details about the city we were touring, sometimes including some personal family history too. Another wonderful detail about each port was that it was almost always a night departure, which allows one to explore the city on their own, if they choose, and then wake up in a new city. Our final entry into Budapest was spectacular. Our captain timed it so we would arrive at night & see both sides of the river lit up in glorious bright colors; I can honestly say that this is one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen. I must say a few words about the staff on board. They are remarkable. They will cater to your every wish and they somehow end up feeling like old friends before the cruise is over. The beauty of these Viking Longboats is that they only hold about 200 passengers. It is very easy for them to become familiar with each passenger. They never ceased to surprise me with their care & exemplary service. This was a dream vacation and it is the amazing service from the Viking Var that made it possible. Don't miss out on an opportunity to experience the Cruising Life on a Viking Longboat. I just booked my next one on the Rhine! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The cruise was the Romantic Danube with an extension in Prague. Viking representatives took care of everything from the moment we got through customs in Budapest. The towns and cities visited were great. The optional tour in Vienna for the ... Read More
The cruise was the Romantic Danube with an extension in Prague. Viking representatives took care of everything from the moment we got through customs in Budapest. The towns and cities visited were great. The optional tour in Vienna for the Mozart concert was terrific and not to be missed. The ship was spotless. The crew members were polite and always helpful. Food was excellent and the dining room staff were very attentive. If the food you ordered was not quite to your liking, the staff were right there to get you something else. The included and optional tours were very informative. Our cruise director, Boris, was terrific. The Prague hotel was right in Old Town and well positioned for touring the Old Town area. One thing my wife and I couldn’t believe was that the Viking representative who accompanied us from the Prague hotel to the Prague airport stayed with us at the airport until were got up to the airline check-in counter. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our first Viking cruise. The travel opportunity to visit key cities and countries impacted by WW2 along with the TV ads and research we did on Viking influenced our decision. The historic opportunity was enhanced by key tours ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise. The travel opportunity to visit key cities and countries impacted by WW2 along with the TV ads and research we did on Viking influenced our decision. The historic opportunity was enhanced by key tours and excursions in the ports of call. The ship gave us the opportunity to experience beautiful scenery and meet "locals" that were friendly and accommodating. Castles dating back 1000+ years were a real experience. Due to the ratio of crew to passengers we were able to develop relationships that were meaningful and lasting. We have sailed on Ocean cruises many times. Going forward we will take more Viking cruises and are already planning our next trip. We had a unique opportunity after the trip that was facilitated by Viking. The pillows on our bed were perfect. Upon returning I called Viking Customer Service to find out where they purchased them. While on the phone the representative provided me with a web link in Germany. I then corresponded directly with the company and we now have 4 pillows in route to our home in the US. We have never experienced this service on other cruises. Viking is now the way we will go. It was an opportunity we are glad we did not miss! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had previously taken a Viking river cruise and enjoyed it. We had heard so many good things about Viking and wanted to visit the places on this trip. It was perfect and thoroughly enjoyable! The entertainment was fabulous and the staff ... Read More
We had previously taken a Viking river cruise and enjoyed it. We had heard so many good things about Viking and wanted to visit the places on this trip. It was perfect and thoroughly enjoyable! The entertainment was fabulous and the staff was attentive and always friendly. We had such a good time. We didn't book very many optional excursions because the included excursions were so good. We also wanted to have free time to do exploring on our own or to just enjoy the ship while in port. We were especially impressed with Czesky Krumlov and it was an included trip and took the entire day. It is a special place and had so much to see and do. Don't miss it! We added a stay in Prague at the end of our trip and were highly impressed with the city. We could have stayed longer and seen more. It is an impressive city. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I have had no interest in a typical ocean cruise experience. Shopping and gambling aren't my thing, which is what interested me in a Viking River Cruise. The activities and itineraries offered were exactly what I was looking for. ... Read More
I have had no interest in a typical ocean cruise experience. Shopping and gambling aren't my thing, which is what interested me in a Viking River Cruise. The activities and itineraries offered were exactly what I was looking for. Viking River Cruises have designed their itineraries to highlight the various regions and cultures, while providing an excellent opportunity to gain a more thorough appreciation for the countries, regions, cities we visited, and cultures we learned more about. The architecture and cultural experience were what I was looking for. The world class cuisine was an added benefit. The ships tour director was very knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. The on-board entertainment was excellent. Our shore excursions were led by people from the respective areas we visited. They were very informative guides, with a very clear passion for their cities. Our cabin came with sufficient space for the two of us to store all of our belongings. Our cabin was functionally designed and while not large, provided the necessary living and sleeping space for two people. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Wonderful, conscientious and attentive staff. Comfortable, well appointed stateroom. Excellent tour guides. Amazing food. Terrific fellow travelers. I have only superlatives for the Romantic Danube river cruise I took. As a solo traveler, ... Read More
Wonderful, conscientious and attentive staff. Comfortable, well appointed stateroom. Excellent tour guides. Amazing food. Terrific fellow travelers. I have only superlatives for the Romantic Danube river cruise I took. As a solo traveler, I found myself easily included in all the activities, never without good conversation with friendly people. I found each daily tour extremely well presented by knowledgeable, personable and well spoken guides who gave rich, historical background to the site, town or city we were visiting. I loved walking the cobblestoned streets and visiting gardens, historic buildings, churches, monasteries, markets and an opera house I'd only read about before. I enjoyed having enough free time to go off on my own to a museum, to have coffee and the local pastries at the cafes, and to spend time in the elegant shopping areas of the beautiful old cities and towns. I even enjoyed finding my way via the local public transportation systems! The food aboard ship was delicious and plentiful, well presented and always fresh. I was most delighted by the dinners having some choices that reflected the cuisine of the area we were visiting. The chef and his staff were quite amazing. The ship's entertainment was fun. It capped off most evenings with a final touch of pleasant satisfaction. It was a wonderful trip and I look forward to going on another Viking river cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to share the experience with family members who were able to travel at the time the cruise was scheduled. It also was after October 1 and the rates were lower then. The ship was delightful and very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to share the experience with family members who were able to travel at the time the cruise was scheduled. It also was after October 1 and the rates were lower then. The ship was delightful and very comfortable. The excursions were first rate and the guides very knowledgeable. The food was just outstanding and all cruise staff members were cordial and very helpful. Sasha, the Cruise Director did a great job. We learned a lot about Danube River history. The help on arrival in Budapest and departure for home from Prague was great. We were greeted at and transported from Budapest Airport and a Viking Representative literally took us by the hand to navigate the Prague Airport boarding processes. The musical presentation in Vienna was a highlight for us. If we river cruise again, we will definitely schedule with Viking. Thanks for a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My wife and I booked this cruise because we thought sailing the Danube would be a beautiful and fun experience -- and it was. The ship was superbly maintained and always immaculate. Our cabin was amply sized and comfortable; the dining ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise because we thought sailing the Danube would be a beautiful and fun experience -- and it was. The ship was superbly maintained and always immaculate. Our cabin was amply sized and comfortable; the dining and service on board the ship were first rate; the shore excursions were fun; and the cruise director had boundless energy and gave extremely informative and well researched lectures before several dinners. Our most interesting experience was the WWII tour of Nuremberg. Standing where Hitler delivered his loathsome speeches to hundreds of thousands of his Nazi followers and then visiting Courtroom 600, the site of the Nuremberg trials where some of his most rabid henchmen finally were brought to justice, was simply chilling and deeply moving. Our two day pre-cruise stay in Budapest also was very enjoyable -- we had breathtaking views of Pest from our hotel window and our visit to the Dohany Street Synagogue and the nearby memorial to Raoul Wallenberg were other highlights of our trip. We will definitely book another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
New adventures for all of us. From DC, Philly and London, we gathered two days before the cruise at a well-located and comfortable hotel on the Pest side of Budapest. We took advantage of two separate guided walking tours to learn the ... Read More
New adventures for all of us. From DC, Philly and London, we gathered two days before the cruise at a well-located and comfortable hotel on the Pest side of Budapest. We took advantage of two separate guided walking tours to learn the history and explore this beautiful and vibrant Hungarian city. Traditional restaurants featuring local fare were plentiful, and we enjoyed two very full days prior to beginning the cruise. We even did a one- hour Segway tour. It was fun but difficult on the Pest side because of the crowds, easier to navigate on the Buda side at the lower elevations by the river. The Var was conveniently located and transferring from our hotel to the ship couldn't have been easier. We quickly learned all the offerings and nuances of our ship. The food was wonderful throughout, and the chef and staff never disappointed with a variety of delicious cuisine. The highlight at the beginning was a beautiful nighttime Danube cruise where we were able to experience the beauty of Budapest from the river under the lights. The rest of the ports and excursions were equally as exciting from romantic Vienna, scenic cruising through the Wachau valley, charming Passau and Regensburg, traversing the many interesting locks, and bustling Nuremberg. Following our wonderful cruise, we spent three exciting days in Prague which included an outstanding city guided tour and a fascinating day spent at Terezin, used as an internment camp during WWII. We all agreed that it was a fantastic trip and we look forward to doing something similar on one of the many opportunities in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Viking Var Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.1
Family 1.0 3.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

Find a Viking Var Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click