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Sail Date: July 2012
Twelve days to go from Paris to Prague--the two "Cities of Light". Viking River Cruises provided an outstanding vacation at a very reasonable price. Everything was well planned and presented. The trip started with a city tour of Paris ... Read More
Twelve days to go from Paris to Prague--the two "Cities of Light". Viking River Cruises provided an outstanding vacation at a very reasonable price. Everything was well planned and presented. The trip started with a city tour of Paris and ended with a tour of Prague. The hotels at both ends of the trip were excellent. The various guides that were employed in the city tours and on the excursions were very knowledgeable and amiable. Accommodations on the ship were comfortable and well appointed. When rain clouds gathered Viking even offered umbrellas. This was a simple, and yet a very considerate act. Beer and wine were complimentary at meals and were free flowing. The food was excellent and varied. Service was impecible. The days were full. While we took advantage of extra excursions, in hindsight they were perhaps a bit too much. The regular excursions were sufficient in both their diversity and intensity. Viking staff were always around to ensure the stragglers weren't left behind. The Viking Sky had a complimentary sauna and jacuzzi that we utilized frequently. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2012
Viking's Paris to Prague begins with a short visit to Paris and ends with a short visit to Prague. But, the river part of the vacation actually runs from Troyes to Nuremburg. Excellent, friendly, courteous staff oversee all aspects of the ... Read More
Viking's Paris to Prague begins with a short visit to Paris and ends with a short visit to Prague. But, the river part of the vacation actually runs from Troyes to Nuremburg. Excellent, friendly, courteous staff oversee all aspects of the trip. Most excursions are covered and there is always a staff member to run "drag" to make sure stragglers don't get too far behind. This is a very active vacation and cruisers should come ready to walk and walk and walk on uneven ground as well as up and down hill. The staff gave people plenty of time at the sites, so shoppers should be happy. Excellent food is available at all meals. Includes beer and wine with meals. Although there is an opportunity to upgrade to a wine and beer package this really isn't necessary unless one is either an alcoholic or a wine connoseur (or both). Accommodations were very comfortable and sufficient in size. There is open seating in the dining room with only one sitting. The small size of the ship made it very easy to mix with the other passengers and to actually get to know them, unlike what you would find on an oceanliner. We have cruised a lot--over 30 cruises--and can think of nothing about which we can complain. This was our first European river cruise. It will not be our last. Hotel accommodations in both Paris and Prague were superb both in quality and location. Excursions were a mix of historic sites, cultural sites, and general tours. One suggestion is that you shouldn't feel that you have to do all of the excursions or the extra excursions. Many stayed on the ship to rest for the next port. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We cruised the Mosel and Rhine rivers in Germany for our anniversary in July with Viking and were not disappointed in any way. Once we boarded our "home" for the next 8 days in Trier, Germany, we found a crew that was most accommodating ... Read More
We cruised the Mosel and Rhine rivers in Germany for our anniversary in July with Viking and were not disappointed in any way. Once we boarded our "home" for the next 8 days in Trier, Germany, we found a crew that was most accommodating in every way. From helping with our luggage to being sure that we had all of our needs taken care of. The food was superb, the crew and staff were wonderful and they made our trip pleasant in every way. They made us feel as though we were the only passengers on board. The excursions and tours to each port that we visited were attended to in the most professional way by the Viking team and the guides were extremely knowledgeable and pleasant! We recommend Viking to all of our friends and family, as they truly exemplify what service is supposed to be. The only call out was that the room was dated, but clean and this was overcome by the accommodating Viking team. Also, you really do not spend much time in the room, as there is so much to see along the rivers as you cruise and enjoy the top deck and the wonderful views. The ports that we visited were Trier & Bernkastel, Cochem & Koblenz, Rudesheim, Miltenberg & Heidelberg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg. We also recommend all of the extra excursions, such as the wine tastings, castle tours, restaurants and village tours. These were well done, informative and most enjoyable! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We just returned from a great Viking "Cities of Light" river cruise on the Viking Sky. We have done ocean cruising before, but this was our first river cruise. If you're thinking about a river cruise, remember that it's different in ... Read More
We just returned from a great Viking "Cities of Light" river cruise on the Viking Sky. We have done ocean cruising before, but this was our first river cruise. If you're thinking about a river cruise, remember that it's different in several aspects: 1) It's small-scale. Less than 200 passengers. One restaurant and one seating for meals. No climbing walls, swimming pools, etc. The facilities on the ship are first class, but they're limited compared to a megaship. 2) You'll be cruising with an older crowd. On our cruise there were perhaps two couples under 50 and 3 or 4 teenagers cruising with their grandparents. You will be with seasoned travelers. Everyone we met had cruised before, and most had toured Europe. However, it was the first river cruise for most. 3) Activities are generally limited to tours and socializing. A typical day would be cruising half the day and visiting a town or city for the other half. Town visits typically consisted of a two hour tour with a local guide and a couple of hours of free time to explore on one's own. There were shipboard activities--lectures, cooking demonstrations, local bands, etc., but no non-stop activities. There are probably other differences, but those are ones that stand out. Now on to the review. Overall: We really liked this cruise. We felt that Viking really "took care of business." Service was great, and there were no surprises. Anything that Viking could control was well handled. Food was great, and portion sizes were ample, but not huge. Wine and beer flowed freely at lunch and dinner. Although cruisers were older, most were active and had no issues on excursions. We enjoyed being with our mature peers (we're 63 and 60 respectively) who were generally friendly and interesting. We are already planning our next Viking cruise (Amsterdam to Budapest??). The Viking Sky: The Sky is an older ship, but has been very well maintained. It's one of the few Viking ships with a small swimming pool, but it was too cool in early June to use it. Our 151 sq. ft. stateroom was plenty big, and we enjoyed looking out or window (no balconies on the Sky) and watching Germany pass by. The only real indication of the ships age was the 13" television--the newer longships have large flat screen televisions. We didn't use it much, but it was nice to check the news with CNN, MSNBC, or the BBC occasionally. There were 3 outlets on the room. One was taken for charging the Quietvox audio devices used on all the city tours. WiFi worked very well, given the fact that it's not going to be available in locks, under low bridges, etc. I was surprised the good speed and responsiveness in general. Each passenger gets an ID and password, and a few laptops are available for checkout. The public areas were well-appointed. The lounge served as a primary place for people to hang out on rainy days or days when the upper sun deck was closed due to low bridges (on the Trier to Nuremberg tour, the upper deck was closed from the time we entered the Main until we reached Nuremberg). The bar was generally open, and the onboard musician seemed to be there almost all the time. The restaurant is on the lower deck, so when you're eating, your feet are just about at water level as you look out onto the river. The Staff: The dedicated staff is one of Viking's strengths. Our cruise director, Monique, is a veteran of the Paris to Prague route, and she did a great job of keeping everyone happy. She had the personality, knowledge, and organizational skills to make the trip a seamless experience for travelers. Wait staff and cabin stewards were all efficient and friendly and dedicated to making everyone comfortable and happy. Pre and Post Cruise: The "City of Lights" starts and ends in either Paris or Prague. If you don't do extensions, you should fly into the city where you want to spend the most time. You'll spend two nights in both cities, but since flights from the US typically arrive in the morning you'll have an extra half day to spend in your arrival city. Getting from Paris to Trier or Prague to Nuremberg requires a 4 hour bus ride (with a 30 minute break along the road). Half day tours of Paris and Prague are mainly bus drives around the cities with stops at Notre Dame in Paris and the castle/cathedral in Prague. The Prague tour ends in the old city, with the option of busing back to the hotel. Hotels are not located in the city centers. The Le Meridien Etoile in Paris is near the Arch d'Triomphe (2.6 miles from the Louvre), and the Prague Hilton is about 1.5 miles from the main square. Airport transfers were handled efficiently with no surprises. Our flight from Dallas to Prague arrived about 3 hours late, but Viking had kept track and had a driver waiting for us. Returning from Prague, one Viking rep saw us off at the hotel and another guided us to our check-in at the airport. Viking arranged for taxis for those leaving the tour at Nuremberg. Sadly, we met a couple on our first morning on the ship who were returning to the US immediately due to a death in the family. They were very complimentary of Viking's handling of the situation. A cab arrived shortly after breakfast to transport them to the Frankfurt airport. Those who don't like large cities can opt for the Vineyards and Vistas cruise which skips the pre- and post-cruise experiences in Paris and Prague. It starts/ends in Trier/Nuremberg. Cruise Itinerary: We chose this cruise because of the route. One gets to see the vineyards of the Moselle and explore the small wine towns. On the Middle Rhine one is rarely out of sight of a castle for more than 5 minutes. Rothenburg (optional) and Heidelberg are great old cities to visit. For some of the excursions, you will be dropped off before the ship reaches the town or castle and bused to the site and picked up at some point past the tour site. It's always an option to skip the tour and juts cruise with the boat. All tours included an optional "leisurely" tour avoiding steep climbs and proceeding at a slower pace. We really liked this itinerary. Highlights for us were Trier, Heidelberg, and Wurzburg (we skipped the Rothenberg excursion). All of the tours were led by local guides, and the Quietvox devices were great. One could wander away from the group to take pictures or see something while still hearing all the commentary. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We are at about age 50 but extremely active, and some days wore us out. The excursions were extremely interesting and most had good guides with excellent grasps of history. We also took the optional excursions, some being great, others not ... Read More
We are at about age 50 but extremely active, and some days wore us out. The excursions were extremely interesting and most had good guides with excellent grasps of history. We also took the optional excursions, some being great, others not so great. We learned so much about Europe, more than I ever did in school. Yes, there were dead times, but when you work 50 hours a week, a few hours of down-time are appreciated. We spent hours on the sun deck, watching beautiful vineyards and ancient cities going by as we got some sun. If the one-man band drove us crazy in the lounge, we'd either go up top or to our room, but this wasn't often. When the ship was docked for the night, you weren't locked-in, you could hit the town and party with locals. Our best meals were in some of the restaurants in the towns. If you are looking for a party ship, go to the Caribbean. Yes, most guests were over 55, but there were teens with their parents and grandparents as well. We were hardly the youngest aboard. The excursions required brisk walking for long periods, but for those less-able, there were slower groups with less walking. The people at our dinner table ranged from pompous rich people all the way to the chicken farmer we met (he and his wife were our favorites). The crew was almost annoyingly accommodating. They tried their hardest to make everything right and did a great job. The breakfast buffet got a little old but overall it was okay. Dinners were fabulous, bar service was good. Cabins are tiny, but don't stay there- go out and enjoy your day. You can survive without your computer and Facebook for a few days, you just have to remember how you had fun before the computer ran your life. Overall we were very impressed and will recommend Viking to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Our family consists of parents and two teenagers. We signed up for a cruise going from Nuremberg to Trier. My first complaint is that the Viking booking agent (we went directly to the company) did not tell me the cruise was 99% senior ... Read More
Our family consists of parents and two teenagers. We signed up for a cruise going from Nuremberg to Trier. My first complaint is that the Viking booking agent (we went directly to the company) did not tell me the cruise was 99% senior citizens. My tour guides in other cities told me of this before we even stepped foot on the cruise. They were 100% correct. This cruise was painful from the moment we stepped on the boat (Viking Sky). The first day was an excursion in Bamberg that lasted from 9:00 to 11:45. Basically, your day is over by noon. There is nothing to do on the ship, other than stare out the window. The activities are more suited for a senior citizen home than a cruise ship. We had active days in Berlin, Munich and Nuremberg, before the cruise. One week on the boat could not match up to one day in Berlin. The internet woks rarely and is very slow. I anticipated the activities, food, and entertainment of a Caribbean cruise (but with a European twist). Not even close. The rooms were much smaller than other cruise ships I have visited. The food was average to poor. The pace of the cruise was more suited to 70 year olds, than people in their 40s or teens. The older guests seemed to be loving the trip. The crew felt bad for us and were very helpful. They tried their best to give us a good experience. Hats off to the crew for a wonderful job. My complaint is with the booking agent who sold us a cruise that was not appropriate for our group. If you are retired, this would be great. On a positive note, the cities we visited were wonderful. But, that had nothing to do with the cruise. We could have seen them without a cruise. As for the daily excursions, the guides were terrible. Some were not coherent and knew next to nothing about the venues. Because the group was all seniors, the guides would stop and make you sit for 15 minutes at a time while they spoke. My experience is that most guides walk and talk. At one point, we simply left the group and explored on our own. We had a great guide on the "extra pay" excursion to Rothenberg. Beyond that, the guides were merely babysitters. The crew was great, the venues were great and I don't regret giving it a try. For us, however, it was a huge waste of money and not the best use of our vacation time. Even one of the workers, who worked on ocean cruise ships, said this is a much easier job for him since there is so little activity on the boat. That says it all. I am a Top Contributor on TripAdvisor (also Profguy), but thought this was more appropriate for CruiseCritic. I wish CruiseCritic and TripAdvisor allowed cross registration. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
We usually do "our own thing" when it comes to travel. We have never taken a tour in our lives. Everything was perfect on this tour, the scenery, the food, the boat, but the most outstanding was the crew on Viking Sky. Their behavior ... Read More
We usually do "our own thing" when it comes to travel. We have never taken a tour in our lives. Everything was perfect on this tour, the scenery, the food, the boat, but the most outstanding was the crew on Viking Sky. Their behavior was one of ownership. Each employee conducted themselves like they were the owner of the company. The crew did absolutely everything to accommodate. An example of this was when we were returning from sight seeing and the weather was really rainy and cold and the crew awaited our return with hot glasses of lemon tea. Outstanding! Another example was when the crew were on the dock and made an awning out of umbrellas for us because of the rain. As I said, the crew was "over-the-top" fantastic. The food was super and the itinerary was wonderful, the towns spectacular and I slept like a baby on that boat. I can hardly wait to take another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
We did the Paris to Prague itinerary. Was wonderful but very busy. Morning tours start at 8:30; dinners finished around 9 pm most days. But you do a lot and see a lot. It being medieval Europe and all, expect hills, cobblestones, and ... Read More
We did the Paris to Prague itinerary. Was wonderful but very busy. Morning tours start at 8:30; dinners finished around 9 pm most days. But you do a lot and see a lot. It being medieval Europe and all, expect hills, cobblestones, and uneven pavements. The breakfasts and lunches were great. The special German lunch on the sun deck was great and fun. The dinners were less than they could be, but the wine was very nice. Lovely ports of call, and Paris and Prague are both so beautiful. Guides were all excellent. Great trip. Only complaint was the smoking all over the outside of the ship - could not get away from it. Wish is was restricted to a smaller part of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Having returned from the April 19-May 2, 2012 Passages to Eastern Europe (Budapest to Bucharest), we recommend it. Weather was good and the cruise scenic and the Primadonna a very comfortable and attractive boat (soon going out of ... Read More
Having returned from the April 19-May 2, 2012 Passages to Eastern Europe (Budapest to Bucharest), we recommend it. Weather was good and the cruise scenic and the Primadonna a very comfortable and attractive boat (soon going out of service). This was our third time in Budapest and so we took advantage of the morning tour for orientation and then sought out two art museums. Overall, the walking was moderately challenging, but never overwhelming. (We hate cobblestone with a passion.) Local guides were good. And we enjoyed the "quiet boxes" to hear the tour guides (although they need to be reminded to talk clearly into their devices to be heard well). About one-quarter of the passengers , we among them, took the Transylvania post-cruise extension. That gave us a ride through Wallachia into Transylvania with its Germanic background. There was a modern castle and a medieval castle along the way. We toured Brasnov in the morning and returned to Bucharest. Not enough people showed interest in the full-day bus ride from Bucharest to and from Constanta. That would have meant seven hours on a bus in ordinary traffic for about a three-hour visit to nothing spectacular just to say we looked at the Black Sea. That would have cost approximately $100 per person. However, May 1st happened to be Labor Day in Romania (as in much of Europe. Museums and attractions were generally closed, but stores and restaurants were open because it was a touristic kind of day. Every Romanian who does not get the day off travels somewhere, thousands of them to shore sites. Traffic was impacted as it was on the 30th, and we could not imagine 165 miles of shore traffic the next day just to say we saw the Black Sea. We collectively engaged a guide for a two-hour walking tour of Bucharest on May 1st for 10 euros apiece. She was very knowledgeable and communicated well. We had the cabin 208, nearest the exit, reception lobby, and opening onto the skylit atrium. And we were never discomforted by activity or noise. We were amused to find that the reflective windows made our cabin (which everyone walked past) virtually invisible from outside by day. When there was less light outside, however, the cabin became visible. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We found our Viking Rhine Getaway River Cruise on the Viking Sky to be great fun, well-organized, good food, clean rooms & boat, and a very efficient & friendly staff. Check in/out took less than 5 min, with about the same amount of time ... Read More
We found our Viking Rhine Getaway River Cruise on the Viking Sky to be great fun, well-organized, good food, clean rooms & boat, and a very efficient & friendly staff. Check in/out took less than 5 min, with about the same amount of time for us to receive our luggage in our room or meet our luggage on the dock at the end. Their included tours were very informative, well-organized, and lasted just the right amount of time, giving us time to sightsee or shop on our own. We never felt pressured to sign up for optional outings, or in tipping. Everything about the boat seemed geared towards our comfort or thoughtfulness -- like offering us free bottles of water to take when we left the boat. Umbrellas were in a stand if you did not have one. Snacks on our return, and in the lounge. Things like that. I do not recommend signing up for the beverage packet. My husband and I ran a tab, and enjoyed several drinks daily from the bar. At the end of the cruise, our tab was less than half the price of the beverage packet. We also found the room category was not important. We were only in the room to sleep or change clothes. Even though we were in a lower cabin, we did not hear any engine noise, feel vibrations, or smell any fumes. The whole boat is amazingly quiet and motion free. Sometimes the only way we could tell if we were moving was to look out a window. We were worried about what type of clothes to take, and found dress is pretty much office casual -- slacks, sweaters, skirts. At the captains dinner women wore simple dress/skirt, or slacks with a nicer sweater. Men wore mostly khakis or jeans. There were no suits, no formal wear. We bought their photo CD at the end of our trip, and found the photos to be excellent - scenery with shots of passengers on the tours / boat. They were about the same photos I took, only better. They used a much higher quality of camera, and the CD let me copy, foward, etc. At around 14 E it was a good bargain with over 200 photos of our trip. We liked our first cruise with Viking so much, that on our return we immediately booked one for March 2013 (Paris/Normandy) and Nov 2013 (Danube Waltz). We will be booking the China trip for 2014. I can honestly say we had some reservations on taking a river cruise. We had taken a Caribbean cruise and hated it, and that will be solely a matter of preference & likes, as to which type of cruise is preferred by any 1 person. A river cruise is a much smaller boat, the meals and food choices are simpler and more limited, nor is there the activities / options. But on the river cruise, there was always scenery to view, quick check on/off, no long lines for anything, a much smaller boat & group, the daily tours are included in the price, docking close enough to walk or get around on our own, or just relaxing and enjoying the scenery from the deck of the boat, in a comfortable chair and drink in hand. There was no loud music blaring or children, instead we enjoyed conversations with interesting adults mostly ranging in ages from 40 - 60's - a few younger, a few older. It was the most stress-free and enjoyable vacation we have taken. We thoroughly recommend it. Katie & Keith Email me with any questions..katie.millinger@yahoo.com Read Less
Viking Sky (River) Ratings
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