Sail Date: May 2018
First time on a river cruise and overall a good experience. Some areas need improvement, but overall we would do this again. This week long plus trip along the Danube - Budapest to Prague had been in the planning stages for more than a ... Read More
First time on a river cruise and overall a good experience. Some areas need improvement, but overall we would do this again. This week long plus trip along the Danube - Budapest to Prague had been in the planning stages for more than a year. Expectations were very high and so in some sense aspects of this trip did not meet expectations given the reputation and reviews I had seen. Flight into Budapest was smooth and I understand that Viking has no control over delays in departures and arrivals, but after a long flight over we finally arrived in Budapest for the add on extension at the beginning of the trip. Smooth arrival process and met folks on the bus to the hotel that had the same outlook as we did for this cruise. The help desk at the Hotel Corinthia ( a very grand and old European Hotel) were available and willing to do what was necessary to make sure we were off to a good start. English was not an issue. After a couple of days in Budapest we were off to the boat. Boat was effectively new (2 years old I think) and what we expected. Rooms were clean, well maintained during the week and overall I had no issues with the facilities. When we were in dock, there generally was a sewer smell that detracted from the experience. Excursions were well planned and for the most part solid guide leaders - some better than others as you would expect. One particular German woman - a very strong German woman leading a tour in a small town at times admonished our group for talking and it felt like I was back in Catholic grade school - God forbid you speak out of turn, get out of line or do anything that disrupted her presentation. She continually laughed at her own jokes when no one else was laughing. On another excursion in Bratislava the guide we had was excellent - not overloading us with historical and cultural facts and able to interject some personal stories that made in more personal and less rehearsed. Overall the food was good. Some meals excellent - others good. Breakfast was your normal buffet, lunch highlighted certain lunches types and one always had the ability to order off a standard menu that was available each day. I ordered off the daily menu and for most lunches was disappointed. One one day when Reuben sandwiches were offered, I ordered and I am still looking for the corned beef - it appeared that the sandwich was a lot of bread, swiss cheese, sauce and slice of corned beef. Dinners were generally good - although potions on some meals were small and in those cases I had to order a second meal. One night that we had Sea Bass, the portion of fish that I had was consumed in 3 bites. Ordering a second meal was never a problem and the wait staff was always excellent. The Osso Bucco the last night was excellent and worthy of 5 stars. The one major complaint I had was with the internet service. We had been warned by Viking that the service was spotty, depending on location and satellite transmission strength. I was able to get far better internet service on my phone using my home Verizon provider than what the boat provided. My issue here is that when everything is 4 and 5 star quality why put a product out there that is at best 1 star. Either remove the internet from the boat or spend the money to upgrade the system as a 1 star internet detracts from an overall 4 and 5 star cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We celebrated our 50th anniversary with the Danube River Cruise. We left from Budapest and after a long night/day of traveling, it was nice to get to the boat and relax in the lounge. fWe couldn't have asked for better weather - ... Read More
We celebrated our 50th anniversary with the Danube River Cruise. We left from Budapest and after a long night/day of traveling, it was nice to get to the boat and relax in the lounge. fWe couldn't have asked for better weather - everything was perfect. The crew on the Vilhjalm was excellent; they went out of their way to make sure you had everything you needed. Our stateroom was always clean - towels and supplies restocked every day. Everyone - the captain, the chef, the concierge, the program director, the bartenders and waiters, the musician were wonderful! Our waiter knew our names after the second day - great customer service! We took advantage of most of the optional shore excursions and all the included excursions (that didn't conflict with anything else). The local guides were amazing - it was very nice that they were all (at least) bilingual. It was a nice touch to have the chef and his helpers at the door upon returning from an excursion, with some little treat. We definitely are planning another tour with Viking, but it is hard to choose which one next! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose the Danube river cruise because Prague, Vienna and Budapest were on my life-list of places to visit. Air reservations, pre (Prague) and post (Budapest) cruise extensions all booked using Viking. We had a few challenges with ... Read More
We chose the Danube river cruise because Prague, Vienna and Budapest were on my life-list of places to visit. Air reservations, pre (Prague) and post (Budapest) cruise extensions all booked using Viking. We had a few challenges with flights before departure, but Viking made everything "right." Viking also rebooked our flights home (stress-free for us) when Air France went on strike. We appreciated Viking's service....2 examples - a desk in each hotel with Viking staff to answer questions, make recommendations, etc... and Viking staff accompanied us to the Budapest airport staying until we got to security checkpoint. The ship, Vilhjalm, was modern and clean. The cabin is small, but adequate. We did not have a balcony, and had no regrets with our choice. The food was very good, plenty of choices on the menu, a buffet at each meal and daily regional specialties. Loved the espresso machine and daily cookies. We also appreciated that shore excursions in each port were included in the cruise price; and there were also additional (extra expense) excursions to choose from. We went to the entertainment event almost every night...fun and/or educational. We have done several ocean cruises, and husband and I both agree we prefer river cruising. There is an intimacy since the number of guests is smaller and no motion sickness from "rough waters." We did not have a chance to review the post-cruise excursion called "Taste of Budapest" since reviews were collected before ship debarkation. We HIGHLY recommend this excursion, it was a fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We expected a great experience with Viking after taking 4 river cruises with them, and our 5th cruise did not disappoint. We arrived in Munich for our pre-cruise excursion to Munich and Salzburg. Viking personnel were waiting for us and ... Read More
We expected a great experience with Viking after taking 4 river cruises with them, and our 5th cruise did not disappoint. We arrived in Munich for our pre-cruise excursion to Munich and Salzburg. Viking personnel were waiting for us and transported us to our hotel, Hilton Munich Park. The hotel was nice and the location next to the English Garden was wonderful, and we managed a quick visit to the Chinese Tower beer garden on our first afternoon. The second day was a tour to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof, two palaces of King Ludwig. Neuschwanstein was incredible, gorgeous setting and views, but very, very crowded. Linderhof was smaller, more spectacular inside, and not so busy. The third day was a tour of Munich, including BMW World and the Marienplatz. Our guide was good, but the tour felt a little rushed so we could get to the Marienplatz in time to see the glockenspiel. In the afternoon we traveled from Munich to Salzburg. Salzburg was absolutely beautiful. The hotel, Radisson Blu Altstadt, was right in the heart of the old town with lots of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance. The next morning we had a walking tour of Salzburg, very interesting and informative. The afternoon was free time. The final morning of the pre-cruise excursion we went on a Sound of Music tour to the Austrian lake country, which was spectacular, beautiful lakes and mountains, gorgeous scenery. We stopped in a cute lakeside village for lunch and then to Mondsee to the church where the wedding scene from the movie was filmed. Then, finally to the Viking Vilhjalm, docked in Passau. Our cruise was wonderful. Our stateroom, 307, was exactly the same room we had on past cruises, and met all of our expectations. We loved our veranda and used it often. Luckily we were not "rafted" very often (at least not on our side of the ship) - once in Passau and once in Vienna where we were in the middle of 3 Viking ships! Otherwise we always had a view either of the river (Linz), or the docks (Krems, Bratislava, Budapest). Our cabin steward, Tanya, took great care of the room and brought us a top sheet for additional sleeping comfort. Food on the ship was very good. Every night had a set of "regional specialities" - 3 courses of appetizer, main course, and dessert. There were other choices as well and we could mix and match as we desired from 3 or 4 choices for each course every night. One night was Taste of Austria, with a plate of mixed meats and vegetables local to the area, and with musicians playing during dinner. We also enjoyed the Explorer Lounge. We had the Silver Spirits package and liked being able to choose a premium wine each night with dinner, and there were some excellent selections. Service overall was outstanding - we never had to ask twice for anything we needed, and sometimes our needs were anticipated before we even asked. Excursions were all excellent. We had some cold, rainy weather in Passau but found the city tour interesting. One of our favorites was the trip to Cesky Krumlov - we took the "gentle" walkers excursion and there were only 4 of us, like a private tour. We also enjoyed having a few hours of free time to enjoy this town. City tours in Vienna and Bratislava were very good. We did the optional excursion to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, very interesting, but very crowded on a beautiful hot Sunday afternoon in Vienna. We were in Budapest on May 1, a huge holiday, and our city tour was impacted by the downtown Pest area being closed for a car show and car races, so we didn't get to see all of the city. The bonus was that afternoon there was an air show with planes flying down the Danube right past our ship, so we spent time on the sun deck watching the show. Our absolute favorite excursion was the optional Wachau Valley wine tasting. Erhard Morwald supplies the house wines to Viking and he welcomed us to his winery. Erhard and our tour guide Trinka were a fine-tuned comedy team and the wine tasting was interesting but also very much fun. The tasting pours were generous and Erhard was constantly offering more if you wanted it. A great afternoon. It's hard to choose a favorite cruise, but this one is near the top. We enjoyed all of it, scenery, excursions, life on board. Viking succeeded again at making us happy, and we will definitely be return customers! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The river cruise that Viking put together could not have been better. Even the weather was perfect. Clear skies and temperatures in the 70’s. From the time we were greeted at the airport until our departure, it was perfect. The wait ... Read More
The river cruise that Viking put together could not have been better. Even the weather was perfect. Clear skies and temperatures in the 70’s. From the time we were greeted at the airport until our departure, it was perfect. The wait staff, receptionist, cabin maintenance, food servers and bartenders were always kind and courteous. The food served was delicious and always based upon where we located. Dinner in the Aquavit lounge is a must do. The cabin is small but enough room to store your clothes, shower and sleep. What else do you need. The ship is beautiful, and well maintained. Also we had no feeling of moving on the water, just quiet, smooth and wonderful. Would I go again? In a heartbeat, we are already planning to go in 2020. The shore excursions were great and very informative. The guides used were local and very courteous. Having the headset was great, I didn’t miss a word. My first trip to Europe could not have been better, Thank You Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I chose this cruise to celebrate my wife's 90th Birthday IN STYLE. The 2 for 1 price with air included and an included shore excursion in each port plus a free booze pkg. sealed the deal! As first time Viking longboat river ... Read More
I chose this cruise to celebrate my wife's 90th Birthday IN STYLE. The 2 for 1 price with air included and an included shore excursion in each port plus a free booze pkg. sealed the deal! As first time Viking longboat river cruisers we really did not know what to expect. We have cruised the Med. the Caribbean, Alaska, Eastern & Western Europe on the BIG cruise liners and wanted a more restful and peaceful experience. We got that with Viking. We had done land tours of Europe, The British Isles, Australia & New Zealand so we were familiar with the city tour concept and like it. As elder travelers, early to bed suited us fine, and we did not feel obligated to do any after hours activities. We had been to Vienna on a previous tour of Europe and were thrilled to see her in all her BEAUTY again. We were at the Gottweig Abbey on Sunday and my wife was able to attend Mass there which was an unexpected and welcomed surprise. The Cesky Krumlov Walking tour was the Treasure described in the brochure PLUS. Great side trip into the Czech Republic. The absence of children provided a much more relaxing atmosphere than I had thought. If and when we again have the ability to join Viking, WE WILL!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
It was our first Viking experience and definitely won’t be our last. We will never sail another line. Viking has every little detail down to a science. Everything normally goes off without a hitch. However, we had one little hitch ... Read More
It was our first Viking experience and definitely won’t be our last. We will never sail another line. Viking has every little detail down to a science. Everything normally goes off without a hitch. However, we had one little hitch with two excursions on the same day. Viking said they could make both happen but we would be rushed. My wife and I decided to do just one and we were nicely compensated for the hitch. Viking went out of their way to please us and we were indeed pleased. The staff were very well trained and attended to all our needs and were very courteous. The guides for our excursions were very informative and spoke English extremely well. We could understand every word easily. A couple we met on cruise said they found that to be the same on other Viking Cruises. Even the maid spoke English and were very nice. My wife and I are already trying to plan next cruise even though it’s only been a month and a half since we stepped off our first Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The price and timing of this cruise was good for us. We were happy to get two reservations for the price of one getting free air fare to and from Europe. We enjoyed perfect weather in all the ports and felt the free excursions were of ... Read More
The price and timing of this cruise was good for us. We were happy to get two reservations for the price of one getting free air fare to and from Europe. We enjoyed perfect weather in all the ports and felt the free excursions were of just the right length for us since we're seniors with some walking problems but were able to navigate all the excursions without difficulty. We can now say we definitely prefer river cruises to ocean cruises. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but the smaller size of this ship and the much smaller number of people aboard made it easy to make friends. We really liked visiting a new port every day and doing most of the travel by night. The one exception was entering into Budapest by night and being able to experience that exquisite city of lights at night - a real highlight of the trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because it visited five countries. The experiences in each country was unique and very educational. The tour guides gave personal stories, many about coming to freedom from Communism. Over and over again, I realized ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited five countries. The experiences in each country was unique and very educational. The tour guides gave personal stories, many about coming to freedom from Communism. Over and over again, I realized how blessed we are to live in a free country. The ship's crew were always very attentive. Small perks were given that we didn't expect which made the cruise more enjoyable. Upon returning from one of Passau's tours, the crew offered hot cider when we boarded ship. This was very welcome because the day was very cold and raining. We liked the open seating for dining. We met many new people and enjoyed their stories. The onboard entertainment was lively and fun. It was hard to pace myself during meals because everything was delicious, and I wanted to experience the local food based on the port we were in. Ports and shore excursions were very educational and fun. We liked having a lot of time in port so we could explore on our own after the excursion if we wanted to. This is quite a contrast to the previous ocean cruise we took. We have another cruise booked for this year and another booked for 2019. Can't wait to see more new countries, experience the culture and the warmth of the people. We definitely want to try a Viking Ocean cruise as well. Having 150 (river) to 930 (ocean) people on board is much more pleasant than fighting 5,000. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We had the pre-cruise in Budapest and had 3 days to wonder on our own. Great fun . My husband is retired Navy so he is used to being on the water and I hold on to the edge in the bath tub but the ship was wonderful. Very memorable. ... Read More
We had the pre-cruise in Budapest and had 3 days to wonder on our own. Great fun . My husband is retired Navy so he is used to being on the water and I hold on to the edge in the bath tub but the ship was wonderful. Very memorable. This was to celebrate our 50th anniversary. 10 days we will never forget. The food was so good, got to sample food from the areas we were sailing through. We really enjoyed the trip without having to deal with little kids. (had enough of them on the plane getting there) Would love to go again. The crew was so helpful and friendly. and the entertainment on board was very nice. The tours in each port were wonderful. If you need a tour for handicap or if you cant keep up with the main tour they provided us with a private tour that we could take at a slower pace. Very knowledgeable tour guides, Read Less
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