5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have just returned from the Viking Danube Waltz River cruise from Passau to Budapest with a pre cruise extension in Prague. We were very disappointed. We are not new to touring having done 6 cruises and 11 land tours so feel we can ... Read More
We have just returned from the Viking Danube Waltz River cruise from Passau to Budapest with a pre cruise extension in Prague. We were very disappointed. We are not new to touring having done 6 cruises and 11 land tours so feel we can compare travel products fairly well. Viking river cruising did not compare well. We had only 2 half days of daytime cruising the whole time mso what was the point? We had paid for a full balcony and most of the time we were double or tripple moored so we couldn't use it. To make matters worse we were parked in Vienna due to low water and bussed to Bratislava and Budapest from Vienna. Whilst I understand low water was the issue Viking should have stayed with the itinerary using the bus and taken us on from Bratislava to Budapest on the same day as would have occurred on the cruise. Instead they bussed us from Vienna to Bratislava and back to Vienna, then the next day Vienna to Budapest. Why was this an issue? Because we missed out seeing Budest properly and had to endue a long trip in a very ordinary comfort tour bus and only have a half day in Budapest instead of the 2 nights, one full day as per itinerary. The tour we were given was only of Pest and we had to view Buda from further down on the otherside of the river. Whilst we could see the castle from afar whatever was also up on the hill was not viewable. All optional tours had to be cancelled. In Budapest one bus group stayed at the Sofitel hotel right at the Chain bridge so they could see the famous river lights at night as we would have on the boat. However we were put in a hotel far from the river, despite the fact we had paid a lot more than many, for a full verandah stateroom on the top deck. At the Budapest airport we met people from another river cruise company who told us they had been bussed into Budapest as per itinerary for 2 nights and HAD BEEN COMPENSATED for the unconvince of the low water/ bus transfers etc. The other River cruise company had also advised them much earlier about the low water and given the option of full refund if they didn't want to go. We were given nothing but excuses. Viking kept pretending they were waiting to see what would happen re river height all the way to Vienna when they knew we were not going further. Finally we had transfers booked but no one came for us from the airport in Prague. Afer a super anxious hour a Viking rep turned up for someone else and told us they didn't have our time of arrival. They had our phone number and email plus we had rung them 3 times previously so why couldn't they have been proactive and found out. At the Prague hotel we were given twin beds despite requesting a king and one of the twin beds had a broken leg. In Budapest we got another twin bed of course, at least it wasn't broken. On a plus the stateroom on the boat was nice and was kept immaculate by the great stewardess. The waiters and bar people were brilliant. Not so a person on the front desk who was abrupt and unhelpful. The food was quite good especially the good breakfast range and quality. Overall couldn't recommend Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second Viking river cruise. There were so many wonderful things about it. Unfortunately, two things interferes with my being able to give it a better rating. Just like on our previous voyage, we paid extra for a veranda ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. There were so many wonderful things about it. Unfortunately, two things interferes with my being able to give it a better rating. Just like on our previous voyage, we paid extra for a veranda room. We enjoy having time outdoors with just the two of us. During at least four of the days of our cruise we were double or triple docked, which means another ship was adjoined to our boat. We could not only see directly into the room of the adjoining ship, but they could see into ours making the veranda unusable. It blotted out the light as well and turned our room into a dark cave. We had to pull the drapes for privacy. I feel that we should have been given a disclosure by Viking telling us this would happen. I also think they could adjust schedules so there weren’t so many ships in port at the same time so this didn’t need to happen. It ruined and put a negative spin on the whole trip. This never happened when we did a Viking cruise on the Rhine. Also, the food on this cruise was not as good as the one on the Rhine. However, the cruise was lovely and the staff was excellent. I emailed Viking five days ago and have yet to get a response. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Our friends had gone on same Danube cruise the previous spring and we couldn’t join at that time. Wanted to catch up so we could be together next cruise. Plus I was tired of being green! As in envious... Most stress was leaving ... Read More
Our friends had gone on same Danube cruise the previous spring and we couldn’t join at that time. Wanted to catch up so we could be together next cruise. Plus I was tired of being green! As in envious... Most stress was leaving for airport to receive text that our flight had been cancelled. And then calling Viking to learn they were unaware. Rebooked at airport thru different country to land at different time and still able to find the well marked Viking representative and board luxury bus for two hour trip to boat. Local guides were fantastic for the most part. Food and staff excellent. Commitment to history and education outstanding. Longboat was well designed and very comfortable inside and out. Wish we could have had longer time in each city, but no complaints about Viking in that respect. It’s just that each city is deeply layered and rich with history, always leaving you wanting more. Have already booked a Viking cruise for next April. Talked so much about it, we have gathered 16 couples to join our group of friends! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We'd never done a river cruise (lots of ocean cruises) and my spouse and I both saw this in the Viking brochure and said 'let's do it." The service was simply outstanding, from being greeted at the dock and checking in to checking ... Read More
We'd never done a river cruise (lots of ocean cruises) and my spouse and I both saw this in the Viking brochure and said 'let's do it." The service was simply outstanding, from being greeted at the dock and checking in to checking out and leaving a week later. Staff was incredibly helpful and the city guides were incredibly knowledgeable. Even the weather cooperated for our trip. Coming into Budapest at night is brilliant. Seeing the city lighted up is one of the memories we will treasure. The only downside was the meals. While the presentation was ;lovely, the food just wasn't that good. No brioche deserves to be treated the way it was for the french toast - soggy and tasteless. The osso buco was tough and much too fatty. Sticking with salmon at dinner proved to be the best option. The dining room seemed to be understaffed. Getting a refill on coffee or water took a long time. The staff that was there was excellent, however. Gabor, the cruise director who presented the city information the evening before visiting a city was excellent, and he did a wonderful job handling all the other duties he had as well. The entertainment was great. Lazslo (from Hungary) did a superb job of playing the piano and singing. He was outgoing and friendly and just a delight. The ship itself is great. I enjoyed the clean lines and the attention to even the small details, right down to the dimpled knobs on the sliding door latches. The always-available coffee was very welcome too. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
Always wanted to sail the Danube and visit old European cities not available to us during the cold war days. Big history buff so this was perfect for us, Loved the itenary and the added trip to the Czech republic. Loved the service and by ... Read More
Always wanted to sail the Danube and visit old European cities not available to us during the cold war days. Big history buff so this was perfect for us, Loved the itenary and the added trip to the Czech republic. Loved the service and by the second day the whole crew knew us by name. Stayed pre-cruise at a five star hotel that was excellent and the staff there was also great. Side tours also were excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and well executed. We would definiely go again but first we would like to take river cruises in other parts of Europe and we are going to try Viking ocean cruises as well.Dining was very good and the food was excellent. The chef came out and talked to us about a reciepe we were interested in. Our waiters were also excellent and very and knew the menu that was presented and made excellent recommendations Read Less
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