86 Viking River Viking Vilhjalm Cruise Reviews

Have done three Globus Bus Vacations and wanted to try something new and different. Our troubles started at Logan Airport when we could not check in. Viking had booked us on KLM and it should have been Delta. We lost our oringinal seats ... Read More
Have done three Globus Bus Vacations and wanted to try something new and different. Our troubles started at Logan Airport when we could not check in. Viking had booked us on KLM and it should have been Delta. We lost our oringinal seats and finally got booked in. Loved Delta! Got to Amsterdam Airport and walked to the farthest luggage pick up area and could not find a Viking Rep. Finally a man felt sorry for us and said Viking usually met at the "meeting place". Off we go and walked half way across airport to the "meeting place". Again no Viking Rep. After twenty minutes I called the ship's phone number. Having never called a European phone number +49 did not work for me. It should have started with 0049. Sinking feeling in strange airport waiting for 45 minutes. Started walking around and finally found three Viking Reps walking together looking for us. They said we should have been at gate 19 where we first started. Back on track...bus ride to ship. Crew was great and we went to our stateroom. Small but doable...lower level. Window is eye level with the water and my wife could not look out at all without standing on the bed. That night when we left port at midnight the engine noise and water noise kept me awake most of the night. I thought seriously about canceling our trip. After that everything went fine until we got to Wurzburg. High water levels stopped the boat in it's tracks for a number of days. We were then bussed everyday to our venues for four days til the boat caught up to us. Half hour ride, then one hour ride next, then two hour ride the following day and finally a three hour ride to and from the next town. Some tours were canceled or rescheduled. Did not get much cruising and relaxing time on the boat. Felt like I was back on a Globus bus tour for a lot more money. Viking offered us a $1599 credit towards a future trip but it has to be used in the next year before 3/20/2020. No thanks...do not want two trips one one year. No more river cruises and have booked our next trip with Globus to Portugal and Spain in the fall. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise covered the traditional Christmas markets in Europe. This was not only a fantastic way to spend the holidays with family, but was a great introduction to a region of Europe I had not been to. We were afforded the ... Read More
This cruise covered the traditional Christmas markets in Europe. This was not only a fantastic way to spend the holidays with family, but was a great introduction to a region of Europe I had not been to. We were afforded the opportunity to visit more sites and cities than I previously thought. The crew were outstanding. If you seek the ultimate in comfort and luxury, Viking is the cruise line to employ. Their staff are amazing! I have to say, that a flight was delayed from Heathrow airport for my sister and her husband, they subsequent missed the shuttle from Munich to the ship's docking point in Passau. John the night manager from Viking made it so my sister and her husband were able to get to the ship! He was ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING !!! I would book another cruise with Viking just to work with John again. The attention to detail on every aspect of this ship and the crew were beyond words. Everyone was so helpful and friendly. The ship had a variety of activities. I did wish there was a small gym on the ship as the food was so amazing that I gained several pounds, but there is a walking path on the top deck and I was able to keep track of the distance I walked, and with the surrounding view, the top deck walking was incredible. This was the first cruise I have ever taken and I will continue to be a Viking customer as I continue to travel through Europe. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise to return to some of the places of my youth and to share them with my wife. I had spent a summer in the area and this cruise included all but Praha. We had a wonderful time especially in Vienna. It was great to see the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to return to some of the places of my youth and to share them with my wife. I had spent a summer in the area and this cruise included all but Praha. We had a wonderful time especially in Vienna. It was great to see the Grand city once again and share some highlights with my wife. We were very pleased with how well Viking managed the logistics of the entire experience and we intend to use them again. The onshore excursions were well planned and the guides were knowledgable and personable. We enjoyed them all very much, the time was adequate and not overly taxing. The options were flexible and well chosen for each ability level. Each also provided more than a glimpse of the culture and traditions of the people and places we visited. Free time was also provided on each of the excursions and this allowed shopping and dinning which was enjoyed greatly. All in all, a very grand experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets. I did find the cabin small. Dining was delicious and the staff are wonderful. Very attentive. All excursions are handled with every detail considered and taken care of. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets. I did find the cabin small. Dining was delicious and the staff are wonderful. Very attentive. All excursions are handled with every detail considered and taken care of. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. We were always greeted when leaving and returning to the ship. There was always water bottles available to take, and sometimes we were greeted with a treat! Everyday was filled with an excursion, whether it be by bus or walking tour. Tours were small groups and each group had its own guide. All guides were local and very knowledgeable. . My first experience on a river cruise. Would definitely sail with Viking again! Our only complaint is with the air schedule for return flights. A later return flight would have allowed us to enjoy the final night/farewell with the staff and other guests. Having to awake at 2:30 am did not allow us the time to join in. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I have always wanted to take a river cruise with Viking. Their commercials are enticing and we thought we would have a wonderful trip. We agreed with Viking’s CEO, Torstein Hagen, that travel was broadening and time was ... Read More
My wife and I have always wanted to take a river cruise with Viking. Their commercials are enticing and we thought we would have a wonderful trip. We agreed with Viking’s CEO, Torstein Hagen, that travel was broadening and time was short. This cruise was expensive and we saved a long time to take it. Unfortunately, reality did not meet expectations. We we were forced to take long bus rides to destinations that we could not sail to because of the low river levels (Bratislava and Budapest). The bus rides were tedious and exhausting and because we used buses, which took time away from the excursions, one of the optional trips we booked was canceled. In addition, my wife got very sick and was unable to enjoy the rest of the cruise because of the long rides. If we wanted to ride buses we would have booked a guided tour. They did send two emails, one three months and another one two days in advance of the cruise, but the lead time was too short to cancel without full penalty. It does mention in the Terms and Conditions that “Itineraries are subject to change and may need to be altered or canceled specifically because of water levels or wind or other factors.” but some kind of compensation should have been offered. Other river cruise companies did offer partial refunds. A company with Viking’s reputation should have been more caring toward their customers. Because of this we will never book another Viking Cruise, river or ocean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were fortunate the Danube water levels rose enough that we could sail most of the trip. Excellent crew in dining, housekeeping and cruise director kept us informed throughout cruise. Breakfast was best meal for our group of six. ... Read More
We were fortunate the Danube water levels rose enough that we could sail most of the trip. Excellent crew in dining, housekeeping and cruise director kept us informed throughout cruise. Breakfast was best meal for our group of six. Excellent made to order omelette or fried eggs, numerous warm dishes, cheese, cold meats, best oatmeal with assortment of toppings, wonderful pastries and homemade jams. When we cruised through Wachau Valley, delightful afternoon tea spread on Aquavit with mulled wine, hot cocoa, assortment of teas and coffee. Included excursions were all very good and tour guides excellent in Cesky Krumlov, Prague, Kutna Hora, Vienna. Passau also delightful. We also purchased Schonbrunn Palace evening excursion and Mozart concert in Vienna. Wonderful and recommend. What could have been improved? Our Viking Air flight arrived too late in Budapest to do much on first evening. Morning Budapest tour was rushed and the afternoon excursions cancelled because we had to be bused 3 hours Vienna. We missed the Great Market in Budapest. Since Viking not able to sail out of Budapest, recommend Viking book an evening river cruise for passengers on the smaller river boats that do night cruises. I think we would have rather seen Melk or Dürnstein rather than Bratislava for itinerary. Our Prague post cruise extension also excellent. Palace Hotel was a bit dated but in very good central location. Overall, we had memorable trip on a well kept ship with great crew and staff. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We did this cruise with the pre-extension in Munich and Salzburg. The pre-extension was fantastic and definitely a must if you are a Sound of Music fan. We had the best Program Director (Fred). This was our second Christmas Market ... Read More
We did this cruise with the pre-extension in Munich and Salzburg. The pre-extension was fantastic and definitely a must if you are a Sound of Music fan. We had the best Program Director (Fred). This was our second Christmas Market cruise, and we were not disappointed. The food was delicious, staff was wonderful and the ports of call were fantastic. Because of low river levels, we thought we were going to spend one additional night in Venice and be bused to Budapest. Fortunately for us, we were the first ship to sail into Budapest in over 12 weeks. Going into Budapest at night and seeing the Parliament Building lite up is beyond words. That evening, Viking helped me secure tickets to do a tour of the inside of the Parliament Building. What a wonderful tour. I highly recommend everybody tour the Parliament Building since Viking does not offer this as an excursion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because we had never experienced a river cruise nor had we seen some of the places offered on this itinerary. I had heard nothing but wonderful things about Viking so I was truly looking forward to a ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because we had never experienced a river cruise nor had we seen some of the places offered on this itinerary. I had heard nothing but wonderful things about Viking so I was truly looking forward to a wonderful trip. I was not disappointed. The ship was clean and offered everything we needed, but in a very small cabin. I've been on ocean cruises so I was expecting a little more space but river boats aren't as large as ocean ships so it stands to reason the space is more cramped. But the dining areas were lovely and the food was great. As for entertainment, we had a wonderful singer/piano player who really got everyone in a party mood! Staff aboard the ship were very helpful and friendly. The ports and excursions were wonderful. There was only one that I wouldn't do again and that was the night tour of Prague. Perhaps I was just too tired from our very long walk all around Prague during the day. And that brings up the subject of walking. I was warned there would be a lot of it and my sources were not wrong! My Fitbit recorded an AVERAGE of 5 miles a day. I'm not used to that so I was challenged but made it through and saw fabulous locations along with getting good exercise. I suppose my only complaint would be the air transportation portion of the trip and there's really no particular place to put the blame. It was frustrating to not be able to get seat assignments ahead of time on all flights. My return home was an absolutely grueling schedule of flights and I was more exhausted than I've ever been when I got home. I would go again but I'll get myself in better physical condition before the trip!:) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were so excited to visit Munich & Salzburg prior to boarding our ship in Passau... what a way to begin our trip.. our Tour Director, Fred Wellenhofer, was amazing and gave us the most informative experience in Munich & ... Read More
We were so excited to visit Munich & Salzburg prior to boarding our ship in Passau... what a way to begin our trip.. our Tour Director, Fred Wellenhofer, was amazing and gave us the most informative experience in Munich & Salzburg... visiting Salzburg has always been a dream of mine and it was perfect! The cruise was amazing ... the cities we visited during our shore excursions were beautiful and our local guides brought them to life for us and the stories they shared were both informative and memorable. There were so many optional tours per port visit that there was something for everyone. The staff aboard The Viking Vilhjalm were both friendly and very accommodating and we enjoyed the outstanding service provided by all... The ship was beautiful, the food was fantastic and we have memories to last a lifetime...we are planning our next cruise ... Well done Viking ... we will cruise with you again Read Less
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
Sail Date August 2018
We've heard from our friends about their great experience with Viking River Cruises. And so we went last Aug. 15-22, 2018 with 2 other couples. We were very impressed with the staff - very organized, friendly & courteous. ... Read More
We've heard from our friends about their great experience with Viking River Cruises. And so we went last Aug. 15-22, 2018 with 2 other couples. We were very impressed with the staff - very organized, friendly & courteous. Everybody was so nice. The ship is nice. The cabin was very clean. Just a little bit tight to move around. We enjoyed the good food & the wines. It was nice that they prepared local dishes of the cities we traveled to. The service was impeccable. I thought I was going to miss the big entertainment & activities of the ocean cruise; I did not. We were happy listening & dancing to the music of the piano player in the lounge area. And chat with the other guests. We enjoyed all the shore excursions we did. We had good tour guides. Saw a lot & learned a lot. Overall, our first river cruise experience was amazing!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had never been on the Danube before, and had an interest in several of the ports. The pre-extension in Munich and Salzburg, with the Sound of Music tour played a large part, as well as my niece and her ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been on the Danube before, and had an interest in several of the ports. The pre-extension in Munich and Salzburg, with the Sound of Music tour played a large part, as well as my niece and her family, who live in Vienna. Aside from a couple of beer gardens that we found on our own, the Munich tour was forgettable. The trip to Austria and our guide Fred were superb. Fred really made Salzburg come alive. Salzburg has become one of our favorite cities. We really enjoyed our tours in Passau, Cesky Krumlov, and Bratislava. Also the tour to Earhart’s winery. Coming into Budapest at 11:00 pm and seeing the parliament building was beautiful. Our cabin was obviously small, but well designed, with plenty of storage. Our cabin steward was the best of all the staff we encountered. Service and dining were again excellent, but perhaps a notch below that of our Rhine cruise. The on board entertainment was professional, and entertaining. There are so many places to go and things to see, but we would do this cruise again someday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful experience that my niece had on this same cruise last year. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Our room was superb and the young lady that took care of the room was very friendly ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful experience that my niece had on this same cruise last year. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Our room was superb and the young lady that took care of the room was very friendly and did a wonderful job. The ship was very modern and spotless and our room was only a short walk to the dining areas. The food was excellent and the service was too. It was very enjoyable to sit on the veranda and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the scenery go by. Our shore trips were very well planned and the guides were excellent. We took the added trip to Prague and the hotel we stayed in was first class in every respect. The tour of Prague and the tour of Kutna Hora and the “Bone Church” were all very well done and very interesting. We both highly recommend Viking River Cruises and will be going on trips with Viking in the future. Read Less
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 July 2018
We choose this cruise so that we could travel with my sister and her husband. The service was excellent, starting with the guides meeting us as we arrived at Budapest's airport. They were ready with the bus to take us to our ship ... Read More
We choose this cruise so that we could travel with my sister and her husband. The service was excellent, starting with the guides meeting us as we arrived at Budapest's airport. They were ready with the bus to take us to our ship without any delay. The service continued when we checked in, with the desk service quickly handling our reservation and delivering our luggage to the to our cabin very smoothly. We were then able to freshen up and go to lunch on board. The food for all our meals was simply fantastic. We especially enjoyed the special menus of the local cuisine from each of the cities/ countries we visited that we had for the evening dinners. The ease of getting on and off the boat was a plus compared to ocean sailings. The sailing was very smooth even when passing through the locks. And the scenery was magnificent. We were very pleased with practically everything on the trip and plan to do another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We'd always fantasized about what it would be like to actually go on a Viking Cruise after seeing the wonderful ads on PBS. Could it really be that picturesque? Would the meals really be that good? Would the shore excursions really ... Read More
We'd always fantasized about what it would be like to actually go on a Viking Cruise after seeing the wonderful ads on PBS. Could it really be that picturesque? Would the meals really be that good? Would the shore excursions really be as idyllic as it looked in the ads? Yes. The cruise was lovely (we had great weather, too). The crew could not have been more accommodating and more interested in our experience. My wife wanted a softer bed. Yeah, sure - we're on a boat dear - that's unlikely to happen. The people who took care of our room were able to provide additional cushion on her side of the bed - (how did they know which side she slept on?) These people are magicians. My wife and I must both eat a gluten free diet. In many cases, restaurants would say - well, you can have a salad then. Not on a Viking cruise. We had gourmet meals, specially selected for us in a private consultations every morning. On at least one night our dining companions wanted to know what we were eating - it looked so good to them! If you are wondering if the price will be worth the experience - don't hesitate. These people know what they are doing and they execute - flawlessly. We will take another cruise with Viking - the hard part is deciding which one to choose. Thank you to everyone at Viking! 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 for ... 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
I've seen the advertisements on TV for many years. I've been cruising pretty regularly since 2010 and just became more and more intrigued. So I did some research and it confirmed Viking was one of these best companies. Everything ... Read More
I've seen the advertisements on TV for many years. I've been cruising pretty regularly since 2010 and just became more and more intrigued. So I did some research and it confirmed Viking was one of these best companies. Everything was so simple and easy. From booking it to transportation to getting on and off the ship, all easy. The ship was amazing. Definitely much, much smaller than the larger cruise ships I'm used too, but none of the crowds. The staff was superb. Food was great and the excursions were awesome! I mean you pull over to parks to downtown areas, etc...and everything is right there! And you learn SO much from the tour guides!!!! Wow, my wife and I were blown away. We'd do it again in a heartbeat and in fact, we are, because we are looking at doing a another Viking cruise within the next two years, possibly to Italy this time. On this last cruise, we did the Danube and we went to Munich and Passau, Germany, Linz and Melk, scenic cruise thru Wachau Valley, Durnstein, Krems, and Vienna Austria, and Budapest, Hungary. The worst part of the trip? Staying on the airplanes for so long, but seating was comfortable and Lufthansa's food is EXCELLENT! The tour groups are generally small so you can ask personal questions of the guides. Where comfortable shoes because you WILL do a lot of walking. And generally, if it's hot, when you come back, you'll want to change clothes so think about your clothing or getting them laundered on the ship. My wife and I are African American and we were the only ones on the cruise ship. We had zero issues with any staff, other travlers, or at any places we visited. I only share thata because I've had other friends ask me. Everyone is helpful and friendly. Here was our travel schedule: TUE JUN 05, 2018 Depart Denver, CO (DEN) - Economy WED JUN 06, 2018 Arrive Munich, Germany (MUC) WED JUN 06, 2018 Transfer from Munich, Germany (MUC) to VIKING VILHJALM WED JUN 06, 2018 Embark In Passau on Viking Vilhjalm Standard - 118 THU JUN 07, 2018 Passau, Germany FRI JUN 08, 2018 Linz, Austria SAT JUN 09, 2018 Melk, Austria SAT JUN 09, 2018 Scenic Cruising: Wachau Valley SAT JUN 09, 2018 Durnstein, Austria SAT JUN 09, 2018 Krems, Austria SUN JUN 10, 2018 Vienna, Austria MON JUN 11, 2018 Bratislava, Slovak Republic MON JUN 11, 2018 Scenic Cruising: Danube Bend TUE JUN 12, 2018 Budapest, Hungary WED JUN 13, 2018 Disembark In Budapest WED JUN 13, 2018 Transfer from VIKING VILHJALM to Budapest, Hungary (BUD) WED JUN 13, 2018 Depart Budapest, Hungary (BUD) WED JUN 13, 2018 Arrive Denver, CO (DEN) Hope this helps! 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 ... 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
Sail Date June 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
This was our tenth cruise but first river cruise. This was far better than any cruise yet. It was so nice to have most services included in the costs. (excursions, air fare, drinks, wifi, water....) The ship was very new and it looked ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise but first river cruise. This was far better than any cruise yet. It was so nice to have most services included in the costs. (excursions, air fare, drinks, wifi, water....) The ship was very new and it looked like it. The staff was very helpful. The food was excellent! Just a wonderful trip. We started in Budapest. We had a few nights in a Hotel and then a couple of days on the shop (in Port). So we saw a lot of the city. We could have easily spent a few more days there. The embarkation from Budapest was spectacular. The ship cruised up and down the Danube through the city several times. By the last time the sun had set and the town was completely lit up. It was beautiful. One of the best embarkations we're experienced. We've always dined with the same people for our entire cruise. We thought we would not like eating with different folks every night, but were surprised at how much we enjoyed the change. 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 May 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
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