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21 Europe - River Cruise Holiday Cruise Reviews

The 2014 Christmas Markets cruise was a wonderful experience! Captain Smidt, Cruise Manager Bart and Hotel Director Carla, the crew, the guides and guest lecturers made this a truly special experience for my husband and me. Onboard meals ... Read More
The 2014 Christmas Markets cruise was a wonderful experience! Captain Smidt, Cruise Manager Bart and Hotel Director Carla, the crew, the guides and guest lecturers made this a truly special experience for my husband and me. Onboard meals were invariably excellent, featuring local specialties and wines as well as classic favorites. The on-board lectures were informative as well as entertaining. We enjoyed the classical duo in Bratislava, the performance by "Franz Josef" and "Sisi" in Vienna, and the Hungarian dancers in Budapest. Walking tours were in small groups, which made it easier for us to interact with the guides. Particularly enlightening for me were the lectures on Judaism & the Holocaust and life under Commmunism. My parents survived Nazi and Soviet invasions of their country, but (like so many of their generation) refused to speak of those times except to say it was too painful. It was difficult to listen to these lectures - but critically important to learn and remember so that history isn't repeated. On a lighter note, two special dinners stand out in my memory. Christmas dinner at a landmark restaurat in Linz, Austria (the Klosterhof?) was lovely. The grand dining room was beautifully decorated for the occasion and our schnitzel was fine. Service could be a bit slow (some of us were still waiting for our drink orders while others were enjoying their dinners) and another main-course option would have been appreciated, but overall it was fine. This appeared to be one of the few restaurants open on Christmas day, so I'm sure they were fully booked. We stopped at a small cafe afterwards for coffee and an extra (chocolate of course) dessert. I discovered small cafes, charcuteries and patisseries on my first visit to Europe many years ago - wish we had more of them at home! New Year's Eve was truly a night to remember. Our dinner at Budapest's Ethnographic Museum (catered by Gundel Etterem) was fantastic! I first learned of Gundel from restaurateur Georg Lang's "Cuisine of Hungary," imo an excellent introduction to traditional Hungarian cuisine with a generous dollop of history for good measure. So I expected something really special - and got it. The museum's great hall was decked out for a multi-course dinner with festively decorated tables and romantic (mainly classical) music played by a string quartet; hors d'oeuvres and cocktails were served in an upstairs gallery. Our dinner was excellent, from the goose liver appetizer through the perfectly-cooked veal tenderloin to the delicious dessert, all accompanied by Hungarian wines. The river cruise which followed showed us Budapest at its most charming and romantic. We sandwiched this cruise between a week in Germany (visiting several Christmas markets ranging from the oldest to the largest), and a few extra days afterwards in Budapest. This was our first visit to Budapest; hopefully not the last. Imo, Budapest has the beauty of Paris (with more individualized architecture) plus the charm of Vienna (with spectacular views from the Danube). Definitely worth exploring. All in all, a wonderful Christmas experience. This wasn't our first Uniworld cruise, and it won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We departed Frankfurt on Nov. 25 and sailed on the Viking Kara, disembarking in Nuremburg. The Kara was one of the newest longships and did not disappoint. This was our 5th Viking Cruise and it seems that Viking just keeps getting better. ... Read More
We departed Frankfurt on Nov. 25 and sailed on the Viking Kara, disembarking in Nuremburg. The Kara was one of the newest longships and did not disappoint. This was our 5th Viking Cruise and it seems that Viking just keeps getting better. Our Captain, Johann Bons, was engaging and very personable as well as professional. He went out of his way to make all passengers feel welcome. I had asked him when we would be passing Karlstadt and he gave me an approximate time, and he blew the horn for us so we knew when we were passing it. He was great. All of the staff were great, nothing too much for them. The Executive Chef, Florian was always around asking about the food, the soups and the meals were very, very good. Always enough to eat. The ports were Frankfurt, Wertheim, Wurzburg, Bamburg and Nuremburg. We did not go on the Heidelberg excursion ( I had gotten sick) it was a 2 hour bus ride. Instead we sailed on the ship with a few other passengers, it was a wonderful day cruising with lovely fall like scenery. The Christmas Markets were just opened. So we had gluhwein at every stop. Nuremburg was very crowded. We had our only optional tour in Nuremburg on WWII sites. The guide was very knowledgable and it was worth the extra $39 Euro. We did go into the courtroom where the Nuremburg trials were held, that was really something. We so enjoyed this cruise and will be on another in 2015. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My husband and I did the Danube "Christmas Markets" cruise starting December 21 in Budapest ending in Nuremberg Dec. 28. This is our second cruise with Viking. (Our first was last October with their China Yangteze cruise of about ... Read More
My husband and I did the Danube "Christmas Markets" cruise starting December 21 in Budapest ending in Nuremberg Dec. 28. This is our second cruise with Viking. (Our first was last October with their China Yangteze cruise of about 15 days. Loved it!) The Viking Idun is only a year old and has capacity of 190 guests. There were 180 on this trip, which is a good turnout given it is over Christmas. The room was very satisfactory. We had a Stateroom on Level 3. The food was great and the menu changed daily. The excursions at the port cities were well done by local guides. We had been to some of the cities on the itinerary before, but found Regensburg and Nuremberg to be especially great. Cobblestone streets galore. The pace was very relaxing. Most of the guests were active older people in their late 40's to a few in 80's! The meals are open seating and due to the number, just one seating! Never a problem getting a table with interesting people. I talked to many guests of all ages and they agreed this was a terrific trip and will recommend it to others. This is a small boat so if you want a swim pool, spa, exercise machines, etc. find another cruise line. Our checked luggage never showed up until we returned home, but our concierge, Daniel, was trying his darned to find them and get them to us as we moved upstream to Nuremberg. The ship did laundry for us free as all we had was what we wore on the plane and a change of shirt and underwear in our carry on. Please note that the Christmas markets open at Advent and close early on the 24th. They don't take down the city lights until later however, so you can see the wonderful decorations even if the stores are closed. We will be looking at another trip with Viking in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The Amawaterways staff was outstanding. The ship was great. We were on the top floor with a Juliet balcony. I thought that the tours were wonderful as were the local guides. The food outstanding(except we've had better bread on big ... Read More
The Amawaterways staff was outstanding. The ship was great. We were on the top floor with a Juliet balcony. I thought that the tours were wonderful as were the local guides. The food outstanding(except we've had better bread on big cruise ships). Free wine, beer and soft drinks with meals a plus. The cruise line was very classy in our opinion, giving us Christmas presents and bon voyage presents at the end of the cruise. The entertainment at night was very enjoyable. We loved the free wifi and internet in each cabin. We did think though that it was too cold to travel in Europe then. We only saw Christmas markets 1 day in Prague. Christmas day everything was closed and we had to scrounge to find somewhere for lunch before we got on the ship. We had too much time to kill in Wurzburg waiting to reboard the ship. It was too cold to walk around. I would DEFINITELY recommend this cruise line to everyone....just not in the winter. Our cruise director, Sebastien Leroy was also wonderful. It was outstanding working out in the gym, watching the castles along the river...but the gym should have an elliptical as well as bikes and treadmill Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We just returned home from our most excellent river cruise. There is something to be said about a new ship - Magni being only in service for 3 month was beautiful, clean and decorated for the Holidays. We found the staff to be absolutely ... Read More
We just returned home from our most excellent river cruise. There is something to be said about a new ship - Magni being only in service for 3 month was beautiful, clean and decorated for the Holidays. We found the staff to be absolutely wonderful. Everyone on the ship made us feel welcome. This was to be our Thanksgiving Cruise, however as it turned out it was also a Christmas Market Cruise - all the Christmas Markets were open or just opening... We were very lucky as far as the weather goes - it was cold but sunny most of the trip - not a drop of rain was to be seen the entire time - we heard that the people on the previous cruise were not so lucky, as it rained every day. The trip started out with a greeting from the staff and a glass of champagne and the news that we had been upgraded to the 3rd deck, can you say room with a Balcony? Amazing - the room was small but beautifully laid out. We had sufficient storage for all our clothes and the suitcases fit under the bed. Bathroom was tiny but big enough for our use. No clingy shower curtains here, but a glass door separating the toilet from the shower. Food on the ship was also amazing. Breakfast was a buffet (or you could order), Lunch was also a buffet served both in the dining room and in the Sun Room. Beer and wine was served for Lunch and Dinner. I am not a beer drinker but had several glasses at lunch time and it was excellent, in my opinion. Dinner consisted of three courses - the main course always included a vegetarian meal (which was great for me). Wine was flowing freely..... Tours consisted mainly of bus and walking tours, and almost each tour included a Christmas Market with the wonderful smells of Christmas filling the air and the hot wine (gluewein) calling my name. Tours were well organized and attended well. Each evening we had a meeting to go over the next days events and some talk or entertainment from the different countries we visited. A shout out to our wonderful and amazing Cruise Director who went above and beyond organizing everything. The passengers on this cruise were a delightful, well traveled group and we enjoyed meeting and dinning with many of them. We got lucky at the Captains Farewell dinner and were invited to dine with the Captain and the Hotel Director. It goes without saying that the behavior of the staff reflects on how the Captain and Hotel Director treat them and this was one very happy group of employees. Places we visited: Passau - a very cute town that was still recovering from high flood waters Salzburg - a wonderful city with lots of history and the ride to the city which took about 1 1/2 hours was beautiful. Landscape covered in snow covered mountains. would not have missed this for the world. Melk - amazing tour through Melk Abby and of course don't forget to try the Apricot Liquor that the town is famous for.... Vienna - what can one say about this city? A must see for history and music buffs. There were several Xmas markets open but if you are there on a Saturday, beware - shopping is almost impossible with all the people at the markets it's hard to see anything - still an experience you have to try. Bratislava- Slovakia is a fairly new country and is still building itself up - it's charming to walk through a town that has not yet reached the 21st century.... Budapest- Wow, so much to see and do in this gem of a town. Highly recommended for all you History Buffs out there. I hope this makes each and every one of you reading this review want to go on this amazing journey just ones in your life time. As for my husband and I - we shall try and go again....soon... If anyone has any questions please contact me at ghorton@zod.com Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We began our tour with two nights in Prague in the Czech Republic. We had a walking tour on the first day. We asked Balosch, our cruise director, for a dining suggestion for a restaurant for dinner and he gave us an excellent one that ... Read More
We began our tour with two nights in Prague in the Czech Republic. We had a walking tour on the first day. We asked Balosch, our cruise director, for a dining suggestion for a restaurant for dinner and he gave us an excellent one that featured wonderful Czech food. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague as part of the cruise package. It was comfortable, the breakfast was excellent, and it was centrally located. We then drove to Nuremberg where we boarded the ship. Using Nuremberg as a port was a bit of a challenge since it's not really suited to as many ships as it handles. There is only a rough single lane road and it is used by all of the cruise buses. Sometimes a bus that is entering must back up quite a way to allow another ship to leave. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The staff was very welcoming and tried to accommodate all requests. We found the beds to be quite hard and many other passengers felt the same way. We asked for a foam topper to make the beds more comfortable. Our cabin steward changed out the room in no time. We found the cabins to be small. They were supposed to be 170 square feet, but when my husband marked them off they were quite a bit smaller. Since it was winter, we had quite a few bulky clothes. There were not enough hangers to accommodate our clothes and the storage was inadequate. A few hooks on the wall for coats would have freed up some closet space. Breakfast was quite good and you had the choice of ordering from the menu or going to the buffet. Because of the tight space, it was a bit of a crush to go through the buffet, but once we got the timing right, it was fine. Lunch was also either from the menu or a buffet. Dinner was adequate, but nothing really was outstanding. Considering the price of the ticket we did expect a little higher quality in the food. The wine was free flowing, however, and always was local vintages. Erlebnis, the specialty restaurant, was a real treat. It accommodates 24 people and is a chef's table experience. The chef greets you and explains the courses that are available. You can actually see him work while you are dining. We were able to dine here twice and each time was a treat for the eyes and the mouth. Several times local entertainers were brought on board. They were always excellent. Many times we were greeted at the ship after a day of shopping and sightseeing with a lovely glass of mulled wine. Really hit the spot after being thoroughly chilled by the cold weather. Several times, other ships were tied up to our ships so we had to exit our ship by walking through the other ships. From our cabin we were also able to see the cabins of the other ship. From what we could see of the cabins and public areas of the other ships, the Amabella ship was comparable. The stops on our trip (Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau/Salzburg, Melk/Vienna, and Budapest) were all excellent. Most of the time you could walk off the ship and into the town. The ship always provided maps and personnel to answer any questions as you left the ship. The walking tours were excellent and you are provided with audio devices so that you could hear everything the tour director was saying. Our cruise director gave a commentary on the one day that we spent just cruising. Since everyone has a sliding glass door, it was very enjoyable to sit by the window sipping mulled wine and seeing the world go by. All in all, it was a terrific trip and the problems we encountered were minor in nature and easily addressed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I have been on many cruises, but never a river cruise. When I saw an add for Viking's 2-for-1 special I knew it was a perfect opportunity. As far value for the money goes, this cruise couldn't be beat. We saw Switzerland, ... Read More
I have been on many cruises, but never a river cruise. When I saw an add for Viking's 2-for-1 special I knew it was a perfect opportunity. As far value for the money goes, this cruise couldn't be beat. We saw Switzerland, Germany, and France for a fraction of the cost. Every morning we woke up in a new port and got ready for an 8 am tour. While most people like to sleep in on vacation, it was definitely worth getting up. The tours were led by local guides and they were wonderful. They all spoke English very well and provided us with all sorts of detailed information about every town and village we happened to be in. The tours were a huge part of why this cruise was so wonderful. As far as the ship goes it was very nice. The cabins were larger than those on the ocean ships, and very comfortable. Breakfast was always buffet style in the dining room, but they also had a small menu that you could order waffles or omelets from. For lunch we were provided with 2 options, a buffet in the lounge, or table service in the dining room. Dinner was served everyday at 7 in the dining room and the menu always had a local dish so we could try foods from the region we visited during the day. The only bad thing I can say about this trip is that there was some sort of virus traveling around the ship and the staff neglected to tell us. We had 8 people in our group and 5 of us came down with this norwalk-like virus. I became so ill that I was unable to get ashore in Cologne, which should have been the best Christmas Markets on our trip. I also overheard other passengers commenting on being in local emergency rooms because they had become ill. It would have been nice for someone on the ship to mention that something was going around so we could take extra precautions, or for the staff to have been out disinfecting every surface like they do when viruses are detected on the larger cruise ships. If not for this illness this cruise would have been a 10 out of 10, but despite this setback I would still recommend Viking because of the great value. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We enjoyed a one week Christmas Market cruise on the River Beatrice, going from Passau to Budapest December 2, 2012 Ship: The ship is well designed and very nicely appointed. The public areas are beautifully decorated and comfortable. ... Read More
We enjoyed a one week Christmas Market cruise on the River Beatrice, going from Passau to Budapest December 2, 2012 Ship: The ship is well designed and very nicely appointed. The public areas are beautifully decorated and comfortable. The dinning room could use more small tables, as most are tables for 8 and you almost have to shout to talk to someone across the table. The overall noise in the dinning room is louder than the River Countess or River Duchess. Staterooms: This is where the ship really excels. We had a suite and it was superb. The room was large, and well designed. There was an abundance of closet space. The decorating was top notch. The bed and chairs were both very comfortable. The bathroom was of a nice size and well designed. Shower was larger than any river cruise boat, though the water pressure was terrible (more latter). Staff: We experience inconsistent service. The Captain (Tom Buining) and the Hotel Manager (Mario Mirao) were outstanding. They were both always present and very approachable. The Cruise Manager (Markus Schindelegger) was one of the best we have experienced. He was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The service in the dinning room was somewhat disappointing. Once the main course is served, the waiter rarely checked back to see if everything was satisfactory. On the nights the Captain dined in the room, we never would see our waiter between the main course and ordering desert. Our waiter (and others) would spend all their time at the Captains table. The overall service in the dinning room was not as good as on the River Duchess or River Countess. The worst overall service was on the last night and several guests commented that that was not a way to leave a good impression. The consensus at our table is that they need more wait staff. The other disappointment in the staff was the "Butler" service for the suites. I put the term in quotes, as I would not use that term to describe was service (or lack thereof) we received. When we first arrived on the boat, the "butler" took us to our room. His information about the room amenities was very limited and he only brought in one of our suitcases, leaving the other in the hall for me to retrieve. Except for when we first arrived on the boat, we only saw out butler in passing in the hallway, in the specialty dinning room (were he serves dinner) or serving the Captain's table in the main dinning room. We have had butlers on other ships and have found them very responsive and they seamed to anticipate our needs; but this was not the case here. We were never asked by our butler how things were going or if we needed anything. I don't feel we should have to run him down to obtain assistance (and even when we did, he did not do anything). Our assistant butler was very personable and always gave outstanding service in the dinning area, but we rarely saw him otherwise. When we experienced an issue with the lack of water pressure in our shower, I first contacted the front desk to report it. After a day of no action, I contacted our butler and asked him to have it addressed. After yet another day of no resolution, and no communication from either the front desk or our butler, I contacted the Hotel Manager directly. The situation was rectified in about an hour. He also checked back with us the next day to ensure it was working properly. The response from the front desk and the butler is not the service I would expect on a Uniworld ship, especially in a suite. Food: This is where the ship slipped a bit from our other River Cruises. The main issue was the menu choices. In general the food quality was good to very good. Unfortunately, the steaks were never cooked correctly (we asked for medium well and the steaks were medium rare at best), and we could not get our waiter's attention to exchange them until everyone at the table had finished dinner and he returned to see what we wanted for desert. The chef is trying to be too fancy and needs to have a menu that appeals to a wider number of persons. On one night, the choices were duck or fish. Half of the table did not like either choice. (I heard this complaint from several others on the cruise) Lunch was usually the best food. The soups were excellent, as were the vegetables. There was always a nice selection of main courses to choose from. There is a specialty restaurant at the rear of the ship that seats about 24 persons. They served 3 specialty dinners (fixed menu) in the room that you could sign up for and one for suite guests. The food and service in the special dinning room was excellent both nights we tried it. All lunches and dinners included a limited choice of free beer and wine which were usually very good. In short: Raves: Wonderful ship design with great furnishings, outstanding cabin, Captain, Hotel Manager and Cruise Director, Lunches, Itinerary, Daily Laundry service in suites Disappointments: Dinner Menu selections, "Butler" Service, Overall dinner food service in main dining room, allowing children to run in the hallways Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
When we joined the impressive River Duchess at Nuremburg on 22nd December 2012 all were in festive mood and the reception given by staff as you enter the ship enhances the mood of all travel weary passengers. You are immediately immersed ... Read More
When we joined the impressive River Duchess at Nuremburg on 22nd December 2012 all were in festive mood and the reception given by staff as you enter the ship enhances the mood of all travel weary passengers. You are immediately immersed in the high but unobtrusive Uniworld standards of facilities and service -- a standard that was maintained throughout the whole cruise. As this was a period of celebration we had a suite, this was spacious, fittings impressive, beds plush and very comfortable. There was ample storage space for the many clothes we had brought having regard to the festive celebrations that lay ahead including the New Years Eve Ball in Vienna. The ship has a degree of opulence, is kept spotlessly clean and there was always a member of staff on hand to cater for any wish. From the first meal to the last the food was of the highest quality and it was evident that fresh ingredients were being used and being expertly prepared by the army of chefs onboard led by Milos. The well trained, polite and disciplined waiters, marshaled by the more than competent Maitre D, Roberto, ensured an unforgettable dining experience. The complimentary wines and beer throughout all meal times was a bonus, quality wines as well! The cruise started with 2 days in Nuremburg which is enough to savour the party atmosphere around the Xmas Market, (the largest in Germany) and to sample the quality shops that abound. In addition, for the culture vultures, there is much to see and the Uniworld tours provide a well informed, well organised and well paced and effortless way to sample the historical sites. One not to be missed are the famous courts where the Nuremburg trials took place after the Second World War. When we set sail along the Danube from Nuremburg late on 23rd December, following the Captains Welcome Dinner, all were in great spirits and anticipation of even greater times to come. The anticipated highlight was clearly going to be the New Years Eve Ball at the Daun Kinsky Palace in the heart of Vienna. This was to be followed by attendance at the famous New Years Day Concert also in Vienna. Little did we know or suspect that Mother Nature was conspiring to make the attendance at these events as problematic as possible - a conspiracy that Uniworld faced head on and defeated with efficiency and expediency over the next few days. Arriving in Regensberg on 24th we were aware that the river level was rising and we were kept fully informed of possible issues by the able and energetic cruise manager, Tamas Kocsis. Xmas Eve and Day were spent as planned in Regensberg and all was going exceptionally well. Midnight Mass on Xmas Eve and a Mass on Xmas Day morning at the Cathedral attracted a large number of passengers- a 10 minute walk from the ship. On Xmas Day we were informed in a professional and tactful manner that due to the river level, the River Duchess, and indeed all the other cruise ships docked at Regensberg, were not able to pass under a nearby bridge and that we would have to remain in port for at least another day and hoping that the water levels may subside. There were 6 other cruise ships in port and all were suffering the same fate. News arrived on the Duchess that other cruise ships were curtailing their cruises and passengers were given early flights home. The ball and concert planned over New Year in Vienna were becoming a far off dream. It was with great relief, and indeed surprise to many, that Uniworld were to continue their "cruise" to Vienna. There was clear determination from the crew and no doubt from the hierarchy and the behind the scene workers at Uniworld HQ that the cruise would continue in some form and importantly that the celebrations in Vienna would take place. The water levels did not subside over the next two days yet ample buses were on hand to take passengers to the scheduled ports of call and most of the planned tours. This of course meant more travelling in buses but all tours were honoured. The vast majority of passengers were greatly impressed by the total commitment of all staff to make the problems have as little effect as possible. It was regrettable that there was a very small number of passengers who seemed hell bent on complaining at every opportunity but after a day, when all had time to reflect on the situation and course of action taken by Uniworld, all (except 1 passenger) had great admiration for the high quality of the alternative arrangement that had been made. On the 29th December all passengers were taken by bus into Vienna and had 1 day in the fabulous (and most expensive) 5 star hotel in the centre of Vienna, the Inter Continental - if it was good enough for President Bush then it was good enough for me!. Cash was provided for the evening meal- this gave the opportunity to savour the local restaurants. We teamed up with fellow passengers and had a great Viennese evening. Uniworld had called out numerous staff from all over Europe and they brought the ship, River Beatrice, out of winter storage, berthed her at Vienna and restocked and prepared her for us to continue our cruise. We boarded her on the 30th. The River Beatrice is fabulous and passengers thought her of a higher standard than the Duchess. Due to her larger size than the Duchess most passengers were ungraded to cabins of higher standards. Most of the staff were brought from the Duchess to the Beatrice but other staff that had been recalled to duty stayed with us and we continued our cruise. The New Years Eve Concert at a palace in Vienna was something special and despite the quality of the food, wine and service not being of a Uniworld standard the ceremony of the occasion made it a memorable experience and one to recount and share with friends and family for many years to come. Back to the ship for midnight and then on the top deck to celebrate the New Year by sharing the massive firework displays that occur all around Vienna and its suburbs-a memorable evening and the perfect way to see in the New Year of 2013. The New Years Day concert at 11am was a glitzy and extravagant affair and it was a privilege to actually attend one of these occasions after seeing them every New Years day on the TV. Setting sail for Budapest in the afternoon most passengers relaxed and recovering from the New Years activities and celebrations. 2 days in Budapest brought an end to a cruise of the highest of quality, one packed with incident and handled in the most professional of manner by Uniworld. The action taken by Uniworld in relation to the high water problem clearly enhanced their already "top of the tree" status, the financial costs of the dramatic changes made to the itinerary must have been frightening and it was gratifying, in the economical climate, to see that passengers expectations and the Uniworld reputation was of far greater importance than the financial cost involved. It is difficult to comprehend the extent of the efforts and expense that the preparing, restocking, and bringing new staff to the Beatrice would have cost. Some of the staff said they have been at home for less than 1 hour at the start of their 2 month break when they were informed to return- they came from all over Europe and all still with a great smile and not one complained to us- just the contrary, they were pleased to maintain the passenger reputation of Uniworld.. The "new" captain had to leave on the day of his daughter's birthday just to accommodate us. Uniworld could have taken the far easier option and cancelled the trip. The booking conditions clearly allow this- this course of action was taken by all other cruise operators with ships at Regensberg. In addition, and quite unnecessarily they also gave each passenger a $500 credit towards a future cruise!! Would we go again? Well, 2 days after arriving back we have already re booked for December 2013! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My cruise was the Danube Waltz, December 1-8, 2012. We flew into Munich and Viking met us at baggage and quickly directed us to a waiting motor coach. After a beautiful drive, 1.5 hour, we arrived at our amazing ship in Passau Germany. ... Read More
My cruise was the Danube Waltz, December 1-8, 2012. We flew into Munich and Viking met us at baggage and quickly directed us to a waiting motor coach. After a beautiful drive, 1.5 hour, we arrived at our amazing ship in Passau Germany. Wow! The ship was in the center of this sweet cobbled village and check in was casual. We never had to lift our bags again after we were greeted by Viking. There was plenty of hot beverages and lunch to be had and we couldn't access our rooms until afternoon so we went wandering around. Passau is a beautiful and friendly small town. The Christmas market is in the center by the famous church that is on the tour. If you travel at Christmas, get a Gluhwein, which is hot mulled wine. It comes in a mug but when you return it, you get a return deposit. Same with plates and silverware when you eat a dish of food at the market. Anyway, when we were able to get into our room, around 3 pm, we settled in and unpacked for the week. Our room was on the bottom level (steerage, ha ha) and the water level view was awesome. The amenities are so modern. The electrical outlets are in 110 as well as 220(French plugs). So if you only need to charge a couple of things, ie. phone and camera, don't worry about buying adapters, just use the provided 110 outlets. The beds were small but comfy. I was travelling with a friend so we had twin beds. The room is small but so well appointed you have everything you need. Even a fridge in case you buy something in town. The shower is so strong and the products are high quality! A couple of points on the downside, the bathroom is completely glass. I know they did it to make the room feel spacious but it's awful. There is a switch right inside the door to frost the glass. In the middle of the night one person can't use the bathroom with the light on because it REALLY lights up the room. Also, when you're in the shower it's a full on shadow peep show! We just tried to leave the room and give each other privacy as much as possible. I don't see the point in the design.Oh well,just turn on all the room lights when someone wants to shower so it can be less like a stage show. And the lights in the room are extremely harsh (obviously not designed by a woman:) Other than those two things, great rooms! After the first walking tour I realized I am not a walking tour person. They are very very slow and entirely too much information is imparted for my taste. Other people enjoyed it so you may too. I just felt tethered and was unable to wander into stores and the guide just talked and talked in my ear. Great headsets though! To highlight each town in my opinion: Passau. Simon gave a great gingerbread demonstration and his restaurant/ shop is around the corner. The molasses recipe is so great. All his products travelled well and were so well received as gifts, delicious!! I cannot speak to Linz because we arrived early in the morning and left for Salzburg. We we arrived back at the ship, I never went into town. Salzburg was a town of fashion forward shopping, delicious food and sweets. The people were so lovely and the town is surrounded by the Austrian Alps. The motor coach there is spectacular and the city is even better. It's quite pedestrian friendly. I skipped the tour and met my group at the bus. Melk was just a morning tour of the Abby and a stroll through an enchanting village back to the ship. If you're able, don't miss the stroll. The ship doesn't leave til after lunch so there are plenty of spots in town to eat. Durnstein I noticed is off the tour for 2013 and 2014 in the catalog. Alot of people complained because we were there for 6 hours and nothing was really open. Those who didn't do the optional wine tasting class stayed on the ship. The village is nothing but small wine producers so they close up tight after October. Since we were there in December it was very quiet. But so lovely! I see the Krem is on the tour now but if you are fortunate enough to go to Durnstein, please go to Weingut Bohmer. Herr Bohmer is a young man who, with his wife and family, produce delicious varietals. He has a 6 table joint in town where you can get a chilled glass of his Gruner Vetliner and a feast of salamis, cheeses, pickles and breads. As friendly as it was inexpensive:} Vienna, wow! The town is built away from the river. You load into motor coaches and they tour you around the Ringstrasse before letting you out at the Albertina Museum. Then they go on a walking tour (I did not). Because Vienna is so vast and not pedestrian to the river, Viking did a great job of running busses back and forth for shopping and so anyone who wanted to lunch on the ship could go back later. I had a wonderful Apple Strudel at the Hofburg Cafe. Bratislava was my absolute favorite town. I had all morning since I did not take the looooong slooow walking tour. I like to shop so I had Bata Shoes on my hit list. If you enjoy wine, Trunk wineshop is friendly and affordable. There are grapes in this region you will never drink again until you come back. Alibernet for one. Get a bottle for the ship and a couple to take home in your suitcase. No customs issues just pack well and declare it. Don't miss shopping in the all pedestrian village in the center of Bratislava. This is a long review:} And Budapest. If you are looking to spend quality time, here's the highlights. Ancient baths. Shopping the Vaci Utca, which ends at Great Market Hall. Buy ChocoMe bars and bring lots and lots home. And walk down to the Shoe Memorial. It's very powerful. The lights at night rival nothing I've seen and I have been to Paris! This town is on my must return list. One day will not do! On the ship: Viking time is slow time. You will not blink and find this trip over quickly. You will be treated like a VIP traveller the entire time with no exceptions. Excellent service, everything well presented and as promised. The food was a little banquette but I'm just not willing to complain. There were so many options and everything tasted really good. Viking produces their own wine and it is delicious! No joke. It's fully included at lunch and dinner. And later in the lounge when you are paying, you get a big fat generous pour with a carafe next to it for about 4.50. I bought my share of wine, had my laundry done, bought lip balm from the lobby shop. and sent postcards and my incidentals were 40 Euro. I cant say enough (obviously) about how much I loved this cruise. The cities, the accommodations, lovely travellers, and a state of the art, modern floating hotel. I saved for a year to make this trip and I could see where every penny went! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My husband and I have been on 3 previous European River cruises: The Seine on Viking, The Rhine on Uniworld, and the Danube on AMA. The cruises on Uniworld and AMA were both Christmas market cruises as this one on the Visionary was.The ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 3 previous European River cruises: The Seine on Viking, The Rhine on Uniworld, and the Danube on AMA. The cruises on Uniworld and AMA were both Christmas market cruises as this one on the Visionary was.The only thing they all had in common was that they went to Christmas markets. Both AMA and Uniworld had Christmas activities scheduled on the ship with AMA going all out to keep up the Christmas atmosphere. Other than some tasteful decorations, the Visionary had no Christmas activities. Not even a cooking demonstration on how to make some Christmas yummy! There was one lecture on the formation of the EU. Sadly the water was high and we barely cruised and it was at night. The busing and the night in the hotel in Frankfurt were handled very smoothly, but it was a disappointment not to see the small towns along the Main. The ship was beautiful and our cabin gorgeous. The food and wine were good. If we had never been on other Christmas cruises maybe we would have been satisfied. As it was we were very disappointed with the lack of Christmas on the ship. The towns along the Main were all charming decked out for Christmas. Our guide, Victoria, was such fun that even the bus ride had everyone having fun! (Maybe the happy hour on the bus helped keep us happy!) Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
After 3 nights on board we had to disembark the Odin and continue our itinerary as a 'land' cruise. The Danube was too high because of early melting snows. (Let's hear it for climate change.) There were several other ships ... Read More
After 3 nights on board we had to disembark the Odin and continue our itinerary as a 'land' cruise. The Danube was too high because of early melting snows. (Let's hear it for climate change.) There were several other ships that experienced the same fate. Nevertheless, Viking managed to find nice buses, 4-5 star hotels, and relatively good places for 135 people to eat all at once. The only exception was our final night in Budapest. The group was divided between 2 hotels. We went to all the planned places, we just didn't have as much time because of traveling by bus during the day, rather than at night while we slept comfortably in our cabins. We visited Nuremburg and Regensburg Germany, the Melk Abby in Melk Austria on the way to Vienna. In Vienna the Schonbrunn Palace is a must see. This year the Christmas Market at the Palace became a New Years Market and we had our best shopping here. We ended in Budapest Hungary. We did not have as much time as I was hoping for in Budapest. Just another reason to do the cruise from Budapest to Bucharest. Only one excursion had to be cancelled. The worse part of it all was the people who gripped endlessly about our fate, as if Viking could control the weather. (I'm guessing the complainers are also climate science deniers!) One man was observed asking who was going to pay for his coffee at one of our 'rest' stops. Yes, really! Through it all, our Viking hosts, Jochgum Schuijt (Joe), Svenja David and Victoria Brack did everything they could to meet everyone's needs, whether large or small. These 3 people deserve a raise!! The girls were observed shlepping bags right along with the boys. It should be remembered that this trip was during the week of Christmas and these people were with us and not at home with their families. Viking provided the concert in Vienna to everyone at no charge. (This was an elective excursion.) After we returned home we received a generous voucher to be used on a future cruise. Yep, we've already schedule the Cities of Light cruise in Oct of 2013. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The "Elegant Elbe" cruise, Prague to Berlin, on the Viking Fontane was our eighth river cruise with Viking. It was without doubt the best so far largely due to the expertise of Program Director, Christian Goßmann who was ... Read More
The "Elegant Elbe" cruise, Prague to Berlin, on the Viking Fontane was our eighth river cruise with Viking. It was without doubt the best so far largely due to the expertise of Program Director, Christian Goßmann who was outstanding. From the warm greeting as he boarded our tour bus on our arrival in Decin to the final farewell in Magdeburg, he was superb; going out of his way to ensure the cruise was not only a great learning experience but also a unique journey through the former GDR. The holiday started with a night in the Hilton. As we'd stayed in Prague before we opted out of the Sunday morning excursion to explore on our own. In the afternoon we left for Decin; low water levels prevented the Fontane from travelling to Melnik, the usual embarkation point. The Fontane is one of the smallest vessels in Viking's fleet. It has a very shallow draft, 80cm, and is propelled by water jets rather than propellers so is suited to the shallow Elbe River. We were told in the safety briefing if the ship should start to sink just make your way up to the sun deck and at the worst you might get your feet wet! Our cabin was light and spacious, 200 sq ft, with a comfortable hotel-style bed, a French balcony with sliding glass doors and with more than adequate storage. The food was excellent, beautifully prepared and presented under the guidance of chef, Christiaan Schmidt. The impressive choice included both regional specialities and traditional favourites. Christiaan took great delight in explaining how menus were put together and how the food was sourced. The skill of Christiaan and his team became all the more remarkable when we visited the galley and saw the limited amount of space they had to cater for 100+ passengers. The service from all members of staff was exemplary. Every crew member was friendly, helpful and eager to please. On board entertainment included: a first rate classical music concert by the Dresden Allegria Ensemble; a Czech folklore musical performance; a light hearted music quiz; a "Question and Answer" session with senior crew members; a German class; a 'flower' painting and poetry competition; lace making; wine tasting; cookery demonstration; wheel house and galley visits; two round table discussions the "Velvet Revolution" and "Living through the Reunification" Christian gave four very informative lectures: "The 2002 Flood" appropriately given whilst we were berthed in Decin due to low water levels! "Martin Luther" which prepared us for our visit to Lutherstadt Wittenberg. "German History" adeptly condensed into one hour. Finally "Reunification". Christian included personal recollections of the Reunification and the 2002 Flood. All the talks were confidently presented, informative, interesting, entertaining and well illustrated. We were able to explore ports of call at leisure or on fascinating guided tours. All the guides were brilliant, each eager to share their intimate and specialised knowledge. The VOX system allows you to wander around to take photos whilst not missing what the guide is saying. There was free bottled water on every trip, and on our return a welcome back of an iced drink, fruit shoots or ice cream plus cooling towels. The ports of call included: Litomerice a pretty Czech town where we also visited a small brewery. Decin where we were moored for the first 2 nights. A morning stroll took us past the castle and round to the town centre. Saxon Switzerland, a beautiful area of sandstone hills 'Elbsandslteingebirge' carved out over the centuries into narrow gorges, bizarre rock columns and table mountains by the Elbe and its tributaries. A scenic coach trip up to the Bastei high up in the hills afforded breath taking panoramic views of the Elbe winding its way through Saxony. Dresden is a perfect blend of Baroque architecture and high tech infrastructure. The highlights of this trip were the 'Green Vault', the treasure chamber of Augustus the Strong, the Zwinger Palace, the Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirke. Dresden's stunning waterfront is complemented by numerous paddle steamers. Meissen with the gothic Albrechstburg Castle and cathedral perched on a hill is home to the porcelain Museum where various stages of the manufacture of the famous hand made porcelain can be seen also some 3000 priceless exhibits from the Meissen collection. Torgau; an evening stroll took us by the Hartenfels Castle, the Market Square and the riverside monument commemorating the historic 1945 meeting between Russian and American troops. Lutherstadt Wittenberg a charming town made famous by Martin Luther who nailed his 95 theses to the Castle Church door precipitating the Reformation. The Marketplatz is the focal point with its magnificent 16th century town hall (rathaus) and statues of Luther and Melanchthon. Dessau famous for the Bauhaus and Wörlitz Park with its castle and English style gardens. Having visited the castle in 2007 we opted for the 'Gondola' trip, which was brilliant. Magdeburg and disembarkation. We travelled to Potsdam to visit the New Chambers built by Prussian King Frederick the Great in the 18th century. Finally we drove on to the Berlin Hilton. Unfortunately a late afternoon arrival left too little time to explore Berlin for many of our fellow passengers who had early flights the following morning. On our first Cruise on the Elbe in 2007 the itinerary included 2 nights in both Prague and Berlin which was far better. The Elegant Elbe cruise is a memorable journey through time and culture as the boat slips gently past lush green riverside meadows speckled with wild flowers; wooded hills and vineyards; fairy tale castles, river banks studded with picture postcard villages allowing tantalising glimpses of what lies ashore. There is considerably less traffic on the Elbe compared to the Rhine and Danube and only 4 locks, all between Litomerice and Melnik. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
My overall rating for Viking is a 95 out of 100 but with no other river cruise to compare it too. That being said we were fairly worried about the water levels on the Danube prior to out departure of this trip. We departed from Orlando ... Read More
My overall rating for Viking is a 95 out of 100 but with no other river cruise to compare it too. That being said we were fairly worried about the water levels on the Danube prior to out departure of this trip. We departed from Orlando on Dec 16Th with air booked through Viking Air. Although we took the scenic route from OIA to Detroit to Amsterdam to Budapest. All went well and all of our connections went as planed. We arrived in Budapest airport and were greeted by Viking Prestige staff after retrieving our luggage and were loaded on buses to the ship. We were greeted on the ship with an abbreviated buffet lunch and were allowed to our room (123) one hour prior then stated @ 2:00 PM. Our room was new and modern as compared with any ocean cruise that we had taken. We were on the bottom deck (the cheep seats) but the only difference was the size of the window compared with any other rooms with the exception of the suites. Food was generally very good with the exception of a couple of meals that we didn't prefer and we ordered the optional ( standard) steak which was a very good option. Salad dressings were watered down and could use improving but the baked goods and breads were very good. The crew was very good and service was for the most part exceptional. Our cabin steward was great and we did not have to ask for anything in the entire 11 days on the ship. The cruise director was fantastic and very entertaining. All cruise activities were well organized although limited as compared to ocean cruising. The tours that were included were very good and the tour guides that were used were very informative and professional. We had a couple of guides that I would say were exceptional. The one optional tour we took was the Mozart Strauss Concert and I did not think it was a good value for the money! We thought it was to take place at a "Theater" with real acoustics etc. but it was not. Others that I talked to were disappointed with this tour as well! The weather on the cruise was as expected during the winter months and the Christmas markets were very nice but we are not big shoppers. The food and wine at the markets were the highlight for me.Of course during Christmas day and eve, the markets and shops were either closed or closed early. We met many wonderful people on the ship and found this type of cruising very intimate and a great way to meet new friends. Water levels were very low prior to leaving on our trip and towards the end of our trip our ship was having difficulty getting under some bridges do to high water levels( go Figure)! Obviously water levels change very quickly on the Danube. We also went through many "Locks" which was very interesting and different! Our return trip home was from Nuremberg Germany to Paris to Atlanta to Orlando. Although very long we had no problems and all our connections went smoothly and with no loss of luggage. This was a very good trip and I would highly recommend river cruising and I would highly recommend Viking. Happy Sailing, Frank & Lynn Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This cruise from Nurnberg to Budapest was threatened to not take to water due to the low water levels on the Danube in the late fall of 2011. Fortunately rains fell the week before we were to cruise, though Viking cruise line's ... Read More
This cruise from Nurnberg to Budapest was threatened to not take to water due to the low water levels on the Danube in the late fall of 2011. Fortunately rains fell the week before we were to cruise, though Viking cruise line's carefully worded information seemed to threaten that whether one cruised or not was the chance one takes upon booking??? That should have been due warning about the integrity of the Line, but it took more bumps to really recognize the lack of quality on this line. The food was poor. Despite the assertion that local foods and recipes would be featured we found it impossible to get a soft-boiled egg at breakfast, the cheese selection was very poor, no brotchen, no schwarzbrot, and the coffee was weak (more Norwegian-American) than European or Starbuck's. Generally however, breakfast was the best meal. Dinner was 4 courses. The salad was always a joke. The entree was only acceptable if one ordered the standard menu of steak/chicken/salmon and baked potato, but how local is that? The soup was never piping hot, and I believe it may have been the cause of sickness on the ship. Many cruisers were sick on this boat. Staff were sick too. I have never been so violently sick for so many successive hours. Generally I am a very healthy person. I think the kitchen and cook need to be replaced. The serving staff varied from competent to surly. The house wine was drinkable, free, and flowed with dinner. The outings at each port were accompanied by knowledgeable guides. I was unable to make every outing due to sickness and am generalizing here. The hotel staff were attentive and had to do extra cleanup due to sickness to be sure. If you know Europe at all, you are better off on your own along the Danube. You can eat better and stay better for less than half the price and a little internet research will guide your historical/architectural quests quite sufficiently. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our fourth river cruise and third on Avalon (fourth if you consider last year was a back to back). We were looking forward to celebrating Christmas and New Years in Europe as well as experiencing Avalon's newest ship. ... Read More
This was our fourth river cruise and third on Avalon (fourth if you consider last year was a back to back). We were looking forward to celebrating Christmas and New Years in Europe as well as experiencing Avalon's newest ship. Ultimately, the highlights were experiencing the wonderful city of Prague, making new friends and enjoying the view of the fireworks in Vienna from the Sun Deck. We did the pre tour in Prague and loved the city. The hotel was The Hilton, a nice convention hotel located a 20 minute from the center. We did not do the included tour and instead hired a personal guide who was wonderful. I would be happy to provide contact info if anyone is interested. Rooms at the hotel were large and modern and the staff very helpful. Breakfast was included and more than adequate. The bus ride to Nuremberg was uneventful and we arrived at the ship at five. The Panorama is a lovely ship. The design of the staterooms really maximizes space and views and the new beds are memory foam and very comfy. The new bathrooms are also lovely and we enjoyed the upgraded amenities. They have installed a very good in room entertainment system, and we enjoyed being able to listen to music or watch a late night movie in the cabin. Our cruise director, Jon Lupe, was the best we have had yet on Avalon and was both efficient and gracious. We saw some familiar faces aboard including Dan, the Hotel Manager, Johny in the dining room, Radu behind the bar and Peter, the dining room manager. Where the cruises really disappointed was the food. There was a noticeable cheapening in the quality and variety of food offered on this cruise compared to one year ago when we were very pleased with the food and wine served. Gone from the menu were rack of lamb, roast duck and the wonderful and flavorful fish dishes and soups. Instead we were served mostly bland and very small portions, much of which went uneaten. We were not the only unhappy customers when it came to the food served but everyone has different tastes and food is always subjective Wine was also cut off at the entrée, which was new from previous cruises. We were not sure if this was server related or a new policy. This was also a departure from previous cruises, as was the overall decrease in variety and quality of wine offered. I am also a big fan of cheese after dinner and looked forward to some of the excellent cheeses served previously. Both quantity and quality were noticeably less than in the past. We were aboard for New Years eve and the entertainment was quite a let down. Instead of music for dancing, the CD presented an hour long audience participation story telling. A group of us wandered across to the Vantage boat docked next door and watched as their guests enjoyed a live six piece dance bank and a table full of hot snacks. Vienna came to the rescue and many of us headed topside and enjoyed the truly spectacular fireworks display that lasted for forty five minutes. Another high point was Vasco, the houses musician, who grabbed a guitar and was joined by Dan one night for a rousing set of music. They were joined by two guests, one a pianist and the other a harmonica player and we all enjoyed a truly terrific impromptu jam session that was the best entertainment of the cruise. We all commented that we wished they had saved that for NYE. All in all, we found the ship beautiful with great appointments but were let down by the overall experience of the Panorama and hope it was just a random off cruise and not representative of fleet wide changes. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
For our first European Cruise we decided to go on Viking River Cruises on the new Viking Prestige. We had already spent several days in Munich and the surrounding area visiting Daqchau, Newschwanstein Castle, etc before boarding the ... Read More
For our first European Cruise we decided to go on Viking River Cruises on the new Viking Prestige. We had already spent several days in Munich and the surrounding area visiting Daqchau, Newschwanstein Castle, etc before boarding the cruise in Nuremburg. The ship was smaller than expected but was wonderful. Once onboard it had everything we needed and then some. Nuremberg was an amazing city. The history and the culture was incredible. The Christmas Market is one of the oldest in the world and it was outstanding. The food and the crafts were spectacular. The tour of the city was very educational. Next stop was Regensburg. There is way way to describe how AMAZING this city was. The food, the people, the architecture, it was AWESOME. Would recommend spending as much time here as possible. The next day was Passau. We toured the city and visited a bakery where they have been making gingerbread for 4 generations and we got to sample it and see a demonstration. We then visited the Christms Market and again the food and people were incredible. The next day was into Austria with our first stop in Melk. The Abbey was most of the magnificent palces I had ever seen. The history and architecture were incredible. We then got a short time in the city and then we cruised through the majestic Wachau Valley. it was very cool and windy that day but the scenery was great. Next we stopped in Vienna. Vienna was old, grand and majestic just as I expected it to be. Yet, on another hand it was very similar to any major city like NYC in some ways. The coffee houses were great and the food was amazing. Again the Christmas Market gave you a real local feel for the city. Our guide in Vienna was the only guide that we didn't really care for. She was very scattered and did not keep focused very well, so we left the tour and went on our own. Our last stop was in Budapest Hungary and by far, it was our favorite city. There is no way to describe how amazing this city is. The people were amazing, the history, architecture and the Christmas Market was wonderful. Could have spent another 3 days there. The ship itself was new and very well done. It was not as large and fancy as the ocean cruises but you spend most of your time in the city and are only on-board to eat and sleep. The food was very good. Most passengers were older than myself and my husband so sometimes we wanted a larger portion but we then asked for seconds and most times it was not an issue. We had a cabin with a french balcony so you could open the sliding doors which was nice. However, a good portion of the time the river smells so we did not keep the doors open very often. The staff was incredibly helpful and accommodating. Gabor was our bartender and he was the BEST. I know I have used amazing, incredible and wonderful several times but that is truly how we felt about our trip. Please contact me if you have any other questions or are considering a trip like this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My family booked this cruise to see the Christmas markets a year ago and were so excited to go. We received a email the night we flew to Nuremberg and arrived on the Prestige that because of low water in the Danube we would be bused to the ... Read More
My family booked this cruise to see the Christmas markets a year ago and were so excited to go. We received a email the night we flew to Nuremberg and arrived on the Prestige that because of low water in the Danube we would be bused to the different destinations and different ship and then hotel. We sort of thought this would be a good adventure and instead had the worse experience of any cruise line I have ever been on. You would have thought that Viking would have uped their game knowing this was not what people payed for but they totally dropped the ball and instead from my first experience to my last I felt they knew it was not going to be good so they just did not care . Starting: upon arrival and throughout the cruise the public toilets had receptacles over flowing with paper towels etc...yuck. You had to hunt down housekeeping to get shampoo etc...it was never replaced as used. Going to the front desk with a question I was informed any problems were to be addressed by writing customer service when we returned......really This was the worst food service bar none. Upon arriving at lunch that was billed from 11:30 till 1 pm there were only clean places scattered thought out the dirty setting and we requested to eat together...this was a major accomplishment to get them to set 6 clean places together. The food was cold , left over and picked over and when we asked if there was anything hot we were told we should have come earlier. I do not understand at meals why they set the whole table and then leave dirty places as people leave and you have to hunt for clean tables and clean place settings even during breakfast. Upon busing us to the different cities we would have to eat at a local restaurant of their choice with one option> vegetarian or meat. My daughter being a vegetarian was told they had to serve everyone else before they could serve her. We waited 30 minutes for her food to arrive while we waited and ours was cold and congealed...unacceptable. The whole dining experience was so substandard it is hard to describe the issues. Buses were either too cold or too hot and if anyone mentioned a temperature change they were told there was nothing they could do. In contacting Viking they told all they would give a credit toward a future cruise. I would never step on a Viking ship again and highly recommend to all my friends, family and anyone I can not to book on this cruise line. We have been on over 10 cruises and I have never written such a bad review..most are wonderful and we have had some great experiences. I feel Viking missed the boat here. Too many issues to waste your money on. Complete lack of care by customer service Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We were warmly welcomed in Nuremberg and taken to the beautiful Prestige ship. Our room was just lovely and there was a tray of Christmas cookies and candies. The ship was very nicely appointed and the staff was friendly. It started out ... Read More
We were warmly welcomed in Nuremberg and taken to the beautiful Prestige ship. Our room was just lovely and there was a tray of Christmas cookies and candies. The ship was very nicely appointed and the staff was friendly. It started out real well but we soon learned that the Danube was very low and that we would travel to certain point then have to get off that ship and get on the Legend to continue. Apparently there was a part of the Danube that was impassible. Then, from Vienna we had to travel by bus to Budapest cutting short our time there. We did make all the Christmas markets that were promised. To make up for the inconvenience, we were treated to a beautiful musical show in Vienna that would normally cost around $80 and also we were put up in a 5 star hotel in Budapest for one night. Then, when we got home, we got vouchers to spend on future cruises. This did not discourage us from booking another cruise and we are going from Moscow to St. Petersburg this July. The Christmas Markets are fabulous!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We sailed on the Viking Sky in early December 2010 from Budapest, Hungary to Passau, Germany. We visited Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany in one week, all with the ease and comfort of waking up in a new city/country and having the ... Read More
We sailed on the Viking Sky in early December 2010 from Budapest, Hungary to Passau, Germany. We visited Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany in one week, all with the ease and comfort of waking up in a new city/country and having the hard work done for us. No pulling baggage into the tiny European elevators and lugging baggage to trains, planes or taxis. The Sky includes travel excursions as part of your purchase price. It is a small ship so you really get to know your fellow passengers and crew. We are still in touch with friends from this cruise and we are all wanting to get together for another cruise on Viking or visiting at our homes. We went a few weeks before Christmas and though it was cold and snowy it was also enchanting. We visited Christmas Markets all along the Danube and they were spectacular. Please feel free to visit my blog and view my photos from the cities we visited. http://americanhomestead.blogspot.com Just look in the archives for early December of 2010. Looking forward to traveling on Viking again... Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We love the Christmas atmosphere of eastern Europe but having been to Prague, Krakow & Budapest a number of times we were looking for a change, so after a bit of investigation opted for Vikings 'Romantic Danube' cruise in ... Read More
We love the Christmas atmosphere of eastern Europe but having been to Prague, Krakow & Budapest a number of times we were looking for a change, so after a bit of investigation opted for Vikings 'Romantic Danube' cruise in December 2010. We were a bit apprehensive about our flight transfer they had arranged at Munich airport on the way out as we only had 45 minutes, but we should not have worried as everything went perfectly smoothly and we even had time for a complimentary coffee as we switched terminals. ere met at Budapest Airport by the assistant cruise director and taken to the ship by minibus, easy check in and settled in to our very nice cabin. As we were very familiar with Budapest we did our own thing the first day. We found the 'Open Seating' at meals very good as you could meet lots of your fellow passengers and found you would seek out people with similar interests to have dinner and made some wonderful friends from other country's who we have since had 'meet up's' with in various country's since. Meals were great with local specialitys on the menu most days with the option of Steak or Roast Chicken or fish for the less adventurist. Beer & wine was free for lunch & dinner, with your glass never being allowed to get less than half full, unlike some cruise line where having Paid for a drinks package found wine waiters wore a 'Cloak of Invisibility'. We visited some wonderful City's & Towns where we always had a walking tour with a local guide with a radio headset so no having to crowd round to here there commentary. Where the ship was moored outwith walking distance from where you were visiting and you had free time to self explore a free shuttle bus was laid on so you could come and go back to the ship at your own pace. Going through the Main Canal lock system during the night as we slept was an amazing feet with not one passenger ever being woken up, for which the crew must be congratulated. Overall a fantastic cruise, but it was on the morning of departure back home that Viking really exceeded themselves. Most of Europe's airports were either closed or suffering severe disruption because of snow storms. Where airports were closed Viking had arranged hotel accommodation or a Free Gratis return journey till a suitable airport was found open. When we arrived at Munich airport we found people who were traveling with other company's who had been sleeping on camp beds in the airport for 4 days having been 'Dumped' and told to make there own arrangement's with their insurance company. Not so with Viking, everything arrange for a very comfortable extension to your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010

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