90 Viking River Viking Odin Cruise Reviews

From the moment I boarded the Viking Odin, my home for the inaugural cruise, I knew I was in for a special treat. From the friendly and courteous staff, some of whom I had grown quite attached to by the end of my cruise; to the amenities ... Read More
From the moment I boarded the Viking Odin, my home for the inaugural cruise, I knew I was in for a special treat. From the friendly and courteous staff, some of whom I had grown quite attached to by the end of my cruise; to the amenities on board and in the cabins; to the unforgettable excursions; and yes, the glorious food--the scrumptious, delicious, gourmet food we delighted in each night. Plus, there many magical moments on board from sailing through locks and under bridges to cruising the rivers past idyllic landscapes, fascinating architecture and enchanting villages. I am still reeling from the entire experience and urge all who seek a leisurely and convenient way to see the sites of Europe, to see out Viking River Cruises for an unforgettable vacation that will create memories to last a lifetime! Our first port-of-call was Volendam where upon arrival, we embarked on a journey through Edam--home of that most scrumptious cheese; Marken--a quaint seaside village on the shores of the Ijsselmeer and then back to Volendam for a stroll through narrow streets lined with quaint and uniquely Dutch architecture. The next week, we awoke to the enchanting site of windmills barely visible in the misty horizon--Kinderdijk--where we learned about the miller's heritage and the workings of the windmills. We even climbed to the top of one of them. After lunch, we sailed to Rotterdam for a tour of the Hague to see the Queen's palace grounds and office, the Peace Palace and the Mauritshuis Musuem--home to "Girl with Pearl Earring" among other famous works of art. Not only does Viking River Cruises operate world-class ships with exceptional guest service, they provide enriching and cultural experiences for all who sail from the accommodations and spectacular ships to the epicurean delights and immersive guided tours through the various ports of call. Above all that, I think what I enjoyed the most is the intimate setting on board these river-going vessels. To sum it all up, this will not be the last time I experience Viking River Cruises--they have a new fan for life!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Our Viking Danube Waltz cruise started April 7 in Budapest. This was only the second week of cruising on the brand new Viking Odin. Ports of call included Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Linz (where we got off for a day trip to ... Read More
Our Viking Danube Waltz cruise started April 7 in Budapest. This was only the second week of cruising on the brand new Viking Odin. Ports of call included Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Linz (where we got off for a day trip to Salzburg,) Durnstein, Melk, and Passau, plus we did the three-day Prague post-cruise excursion. We thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary! This was our first trip to Central/Eastern Europe. We found the each of our stops to be very interesting and educational. Included with the Viking cruise was a guided tour of most of the ports where we stopped (in Durnstein we were on our own.) Each of the tours was quite good, but we appreciated some of the tour guides more than others. One of the things we most enjoyed was the beauty of the churches we visited in most every stop. The abbey in Melk was phenomenal, but the cathedral in Passau was also beautiful. Prague was also extremely interesting, especially Prague Castle. We were in Prague at Easter, and the Easter market was fun. The ship experience was very good. After about the second day, we felt we knew most of the ship's staff from our daily interaction. Everyone worked hard to please the guests. Our activities director was great! We found the food to be quite good and looked forward to the meals. We met many of the passengers and enjoyed the time we spent with them on the ship and the tours/excursions. Since the ship was new, everything was in excellent condition. We were concerned about the possibility of cold weather with an April 7 departure, but the weather was quite good. We had only a little rain, and in general, the early April temperatures were quite nice; cool, but nice. The one downside to us was the fact that most of our cruising was done at night so that we would be at the next port the following morning. We cruised during the day only one day, when we visited Durnstein and Melk. We found it really enjoyable to cruise past the many small towns on that daytime cruise, and it turns out that the weather was probably the best day we had while on the ship, allowing us to watch the scenery from the top of the ship, while we had German foot and free beer! We will definitely do the European river cruises again. In fact, we've already booked our next one for 2013! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
This is absolutely the best way to be introduced to a part of the world that is new to you. The brand new Viking Odin had clearly benefited from Viking's years of experience in its design and amenities. But it wasn't just the ... Read More
This is absolutely the best way to be introduced to a part of the world that is new to you. The brand new Viking Odin had clearly benefited from Viking's years of experience in its design and amenities. But it wasn't just the boat's beautiful interior or our roomy cabin's thoughtful design that made the trip so comfortable. It was the crew that made it made it special, worry-free and fun. I cannot imagine how Viking is able to recruit such pleasant and hard working crew members. Our room was perfectly cleaned while we were at breakfast every morning and straightened up every evening while we dined. I have not experienced such service and attention to every detail at any resort or hotel I've visited. The meals were uniformly excellent, with dishes offered each evening that were characteristic of the region. The chef came out most evenings and sincerely wanted to know what we had liked and what else we might like to see on the menu. The wines served were quite good and I don't think the attentive waiters ever let a glass become empty during dinner. I admit that I can't compare Viking to other river cruise lines and I may never be able to since I'm unlikely to commit my money and vacation time to a competing company in the hope that their ship might be as nice and their service as good as Viking's. We thought that we would be on our own for the two extra days we spent in Budapest, but even there Viking delivered our bags to our hotel room and had a concierge on duty every day to give us suggestions, make dinner reservations, buy concert tickets. Even the trip's one minor glitch turned out to be a blessing. On our last night before reaching Budapest there was a brief engine failure that caused the boat to drift into a bridge abutment. The damage was minor, but it caused us to dock at Esztergom that morning which gave us an unexpected chance to visit this royal city of the medieval Magyar kings. The view of the Danube from high up on the castle walls is worth the climb and the history exhibits are fascinating. Viking should make it a regular stop on the trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We started our trip in Prague where we met our cruise director, Joe. He gave us great tips for our time in Prague. What a great city Prague is! In our 3 days there we used the underground, the bus and the tram service. Really easy to get ... Read More
We started our trip in Prague where we met our cruise director, Joe. He gave us great tips for our time in Prague. What a great city Prague is! In our 3 days there we used the underground, the bus and the tram service. Really easy to get around and the local folks were more than happy to assist us with directions. Our hotel accommodations in Prague were first rate. We especially enjoyed the tour of the Lobkowicz Collections at the Lobkowicz Palace. A special treat was actually meeting William Lobkowicz and listening to him explain the family history. Once we were on board the Viking Odin, Joe met with us every day to tell us about the next day's schedule of events. The local guides at each port were exceptional. We especially liked the new listening devices that enabled all of us to clearly hear what our guide was describing. The Odin crew, the staterooms, meals - everything really exceeded our expectations. Even though there was a slight malfunction with the hydraulics for the wheel house, every effort was made to ensure that our cruise continue on schedule. Vienna was memorable and the concert by the Vienna Residence Orchestra that we attended was incredible. Another of my personal favorites was visiting the Melk Abbey. The organ concert in Passau was also great. We were a group of 10. Each one of us was totally thrilled with the entire experience and plan on taking another Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
On this third cruise with Viking, the Four Sisters (ages 77-86) spent 8 days on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg. This was perhaps a less strenuous cruise than those we have taken on the Rhine and Elbe Rivers. However, ... Read More
On this third cruise with Viking, the Four Sisters (ages 77-86) spent 8 days on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg. This was perhaps a less strenuous cruise than those we have taken on the Rhine and Elbe Rivers. However, Budapest is an enchanting fairyland; Vienna, amazing and walkable; Nuremberg, chilling history, with interesting old cities in between. There are long stretches of river through the Wachau Valley with beautiful hills and interesting buildings during the cruise. The stops along the way are well planned and guided. The tour to the Danube Bend, and the ride downriver experience, is especially interesting; the visit to the Abbey less so. We did the optional castle tour but a short day in Vienna is not long enough. The cruise director and concierge were most accommodating in all requests; i.e., a cab to the organ recital because it was too far and too hilly to walk from the bus. The ship board itinerary is well planned; the food is amazing (be certain to sign up for the galley tour and be further amazed at the small space and the large output of 3 meals plus per day). Each day the cruise provided educational and special entertainments. We took advantage of all of these plus the on-shore included tours and two optional tours offered: the castle in Vienna and the World War 11 History Tour which every passenger should take. It was chilling, mentally and visually numbing providing a deeper understanding of the horrors of this war. We plan our own itineraries placing a river cruise in the middle. Budapest and Vienna are too interesting and lovely to spend only a brief time. Therefore, we spent several days beforehand in Budapest, and flew back to Vienna for a couple of days following the cruise. We also spent days in NYC and Istanbul prior to Budapest and in Prague following our return to Vienna. If one wishes to see more than what is available on a river cruise itinerary, I suggest that other cities become book ends. The cruise is an absolutely delightful way to relax and recharge. Where next????? Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Being frequent cruisers on ocean vessels(over 15) this was our first River Cruise. We arrived a few days early in Nuremberg because my wife is from Bayreuth and her sister picked us up so we could spend a few days in her hometown. Since ... Read More
Being frequent cruisers on ocean vessels(over 15) this was our first River Cruise. We arrived a few days early in Nuremberg because my wife is from Bayreuth and her sister picked us up so we could spend a few days in her hometown. Since this was my first trip to my wife's birthplace I received the personal tour of all the historical and beautiful sights! The opera house, the former military base which my wife's father served, the historical downtown and of course the "new mall". My wife's family owned a shoe store for many years and even though it is not in the family anymore, it is still a shoe store downtown! After spending time with her sister and friends we were back to Nuremberg to meet up with my parents for our embarkation aboard the Viking Odin. What a beautiful ship! Everyone was extremely friendly and the atmosphere was very relaxing and pleasant. Of course many passengers were tired and sleeping in public areas because they had just arrived from the overseas flight. There was a wonderful buffet while the rooms were finished being prepared. Once the rooms were ready, we were so happy to be able to get our things into our room and get settled! We had a balcony room and it was very nice. If you have traveled on a nice ocean liner it was similar and of course small but plenty of storage space and counter space for all of our stuff and my wife's makeup. Included in the cruise fee is WiFi internet which was wonderful. We hate being nickeled and dimed on most of the ocean liners. The speed was good and every night we uploaded our pictures so when we got home all our pictures were already online! Also to be able to check email, etc in the evenings was great. Every port has included excursions. In each room is a "whisperer" which is a radio receiver listening device so you can hear your tour guide without having to be on top and close to him/her. This is a wonderful extra so you can be up to 50 or so feet away. After each excursion you put it back on its charger in your room so you use the same one each time. Viking really has fantastic guides who know the history of each port! We have had many excursions all over the world and Viking really tries to get the best! All of ours were really good. Of course some better than others but all were good and not one we had was below "above average"! In Nuremberg we saw the old castle, Nazi rally grounds and much more. All the streets downtown are named after Israeli prime ministers which really seems appropriate due to the history of the city. Once we were back to the ship we were off to the next port. One of the coolest things being on a river vs the ocean is how smooth the ride is and how close you are to the sights on land. To see castles, vineyards and go right through cities is really wonderful! Also the number of river locks we went through was amazing. I thought we may go through 1 or 2 but we had to have gone through 25 or so during our entire cruise. It is an amazing experience to go through a lock(up or down) if you never have. The ship is literally inches on each side. Also in order for the Viking Odin to go under many bridges the Captains Bridge is able to retract. It goes so far down the Captain cannot even see the river through the windows! Another really special feature you can take advantage of is the tour of the bridge which I highly recommend, especially if you have never seen how a ship is commanded and operates. Highly advanced electronics including radar, depth indicators, etc are all part of a Captain's electronics! The next port we stopped at was Regensburg, Germany. This quant town is a great place to take pictures and shop! They have some of the best German Mustard in all of Germany so you have to pick some up! There is a shop on the right, before you walk across the bridge which has the best prices on Mustard! Also there is a wonderful restaurant right at the dock which serve delicious brats. A little known fact is each German city/town has its own type of bratwurst and its own type of mustard. Some will be large brats, others smaller. Some mustards will be sweeter than others but I can tell you ALL are delicious! My favorite was in Bayreuth, my wife's hometown! All the food on the Odin is fantastic! The service is top notch and deserts are to die for! Most tables are for 6, some for 4 but really none for 2. We generally like to dine alone however we were with my parents so we sat at a table for 6. We met a very nice couple from the U.S. who we tried to sit with for each meal. They were great dinner companions and we had very nice conversation. The next port was Passau, Germany. This is where the Danube, Inn and Ilz come together and the city is sometimes known as the city of 3 rivers. The picturesque city lies in Germany’s far southeast corner near the Austrian border. Settled since prehistory and a former hub of the salt trade, it became the Roman village of Batavis, then later the Holy Roman Empire’s largest diocese and a sword-making center. Saint Stephan’s Cathedral, home of the world’s second-largest cathedral organ, is one of Passau’s favorite attractions. Our tour included beautiful churches in the main square of the city including St. Stephen's Cathedral (Dom St. Stephan). Be sure to have a good camera because you will want to take many pictures inside this church. The ceilings are beautifully painted artwork! Of course the food in all the cities is really great! The next stop is Melk, Austria, a city of only 5,000! This city and tour will take you on a brief walk through the woods (a nice trail, don't worry) to "The Melk Abbey" which is the world's most famous monastic sites sits on a high on a cliff. Again, be sure to take a good camera! The library rises two floors and also has a Troger ceiling, along with around 80,000 volumes of priceless works. The highlight of the abbey, though, is certainly the Stiftskirche (Abbey Church). The church has an astonishing number of windows and is richly embellished with marble and frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr with help from Troger. The spiral staircase is a treasure which you will want to take many pictures of! There is a terrace which have fine views of the river and Napoleon probably used as a lookout when he used Melk as his headquarters for his campaign against Austria. On the way back to the ship there was a small food stand in the forest. My wife and I got a bratwurst there which again was fantastic! Once everyone saw us enjoying it they all wanted something as well and got in line to order. My wife and I have always loved the little food stands and are not afraid to try things and have all over the world! More about one of our favorite things at our last stop, read on! That night on the ship we had local entertainment. A bit tight in the lounge, all that was forgot when they performed. For a small ship we did not expect the type of entertainment like on large ocean liners however we were impressed with the quality of this(and other) entertainment provided. To have true locals performing was really special for us to see! The next port was Vienna (Wein), Austria. The downtown was incredibly beautiful with another St. Stephan’s Cathedral which had some of the most beautiful colored glass windows we have ever seen. The colors in the church change as the sun changes positions(or should I say earth changes positions) which change the entire look inside the church. Hopefully when you visit you will have some sunshine because it is one of the most unusual and beautiful color reflections we have ever witnessed! Also be sure to try some of the street potatoes which are really unique and delicious! There are many bakery's and if you have never had Austian (or German) pastries, you will have to try them. They are SO MUCH better than anything here in the U.S. They are no overly sweet, just right and the bread is something indescribable! We had a great tour of Vienna and that evening we did purchase an additional excursion of a "Night at the Oprah" This was another fantastic excursion, well worth the extra cost. We went to the Vienna school of Music where we were entertained by 2 (man and women) classical dancers, a 12 piece orchestra and a pair of Oprah performers who were really good. Even for someone like me who is not well schooled in classical music or opera, this was something I would have hated to miss! The last port of call was one of the nicest, most beautiful cities we have ever been to. We have seen beautiful places like St. Petersburg and the Pyramids which of course are amazing however Budapest is right up there at the top. In fact on all the Viking TV ads the Parliament Building and Chain Bridge are shown. In day and especially at night these sights and historical places are absolutely beautiful. Luckily we were there for one of the first days of which the Christmas market was open so we were able to see the local foods and small shops. Something well worth planning a trip during this time period! Our excursion was a city wide tour which took us to such historical places such as panoramic tour of the Pest side of the city. Journey along Andrássy Avenue and see the 19th- and 20th-century mansions, National Opera House, Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Stop in Heroes’ Square to learn more about Hungarian history, then cross the Danube to Buda’s Castle District. Walk up the hill to Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church. All of these have such wonderful views. The tragic history of Budapest(actually one side of river is Buda, the other side is Pest) is heartbreaking. From the Nazis to the Soviet occupation, these people have suffered tremendously. One thing you MUST TRY is the pastry roll. You will see people walking around eating something that is hard to determine what it is. It is rolled up held with a pastry type bakers paper. It is called a KürtÅ‘skalács but don't worry about that, just try one. Most are baked over a flame and the best are the cinnamon although they do come in other flavors. You will want one of these each time you see them being made! Worth going back to Budapest just for this alone. All in all this trip was the best cruise we have ever been on. From Viking Cruise Line, our ship, our ports, the food, excursions, everything was great. The transportation back to the airport was on a first class bus and in closing all I can say is We Cant Wait for our Next Viking Cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was my first river cruise. I have done many Ocean liners, but i was blown away with this experience. First of all, the staff aboard the Odin was top notch! Never have i met a nicer more attentive staff in all of my sailings. They ... Read More
This was my first river cruise. I have done many Ocean liners, but i was blown away with this experience. First of all, the staff aboard the Odin was top notch! Never have i met a nicer more attentive staff in all of my sailings. They were just so damn nice, and always with a smile on there face. The room was smaller than what I was used to, but it was all about the destination more than the room, but it served its purpose very well. The food selection was great! The chef out did himself every night. Breakfast was wonderful as well. I never ate lunch on board, since I was always off on an adventure during the day, and did not want to waste one moment of the over all experience. The weather was chilly, but not freezing, and I planned for the cooler weather. The cruise was also at the beginning of the Christmas market season , which is a site to behold in itself as well. I just loved loved loved everything about it. I heard some fellow guest complain a little about trivial things, but chalk it up to just spilt milk. I do regret not doing the Budapest extension. There was so much more I wanted to see, but had to catch my flight back home. Not listed in the drop down list are a few stops along the way. First stop was Nuremberg. Wonderful pastries! I could not get enough of them. The next day we found our selves in Regensburg. We did a wonderful walking tour of this old town. Rich with history. The worlds oldest sausage stand can be found here, and it is a must do. The tiny sausages with kraut, are offset with the sweet mustard on a hard rye roll. It was wonderful. We also purchased a black forest Coo-Coo clock and had it shipped home. Once again, more wonderful pastries. The following day, we stopped in Passe, and did yet another walking tour of the town, with its rich history. Then off on our own to do a little shopping . The days just did not seem long enough to capture all that we wanted to do. The following morning we arrived in Melk to tour the abbey. Rich in history and a little over the top> Most of the shops were closed since we were at the end of the season here. Our cruise date was right after thanksgiving and right at the beginning of Advent and the Christmas markets. Not till we hit Vienna were they open. We were not impressed with the market in Vienna. IT looked like everything was imported from China in the first market we ventured into. We did however find another market by St Petersburg Cathedral with more authentic goods, and Vienna had redeemed itself. Riding the subways were our preferred choice. The automated ticket machines offer English for purchasing tickets. We splurged and got the all day pass. Jumping form the red to green line and the purple.I advise that you have a good sense of direction though. We ventured out one evening to have drinks, and found that to be extremely expensive. We had 4 drinks with tip came up to about 65 euro ($75.00)yikes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
After 3 nights on board we had to disembark the Odin and continue our itinerary as a 'land' cruise. The Danube was too high because of early melting snows. (Let's hear it for climate change.) There were several other ships ... Read More
After 3 nights on board we had to disembark the Odin and continue our itinerary as a 'land' cruise. The Danube was too high because of early melting snows. (Let's hear it for climate change.) There were several other ships that experienced the same fate. Nevertheless, Viking managed to find nice buses, 4-5 star hotels, and relatively good places for 135 people to eat all at once. The only exception was our final night in Budapest. The group was divided between 2 hotels. We went to all the planned places, we just didn't have as much time because of traveling by bus during the day, rather than at night while we slept comfortably in our cabins. We visited Nuremburg and Regensburg Germany, the Melk Abby in Melk Austria on the way to Vienna. In Vienna the Schonbrunn Palace is a must see. This year the Christmas Market at the Palace became a New Years Market and we had our best shopping here. We ended in Budapest Hungary. We did not have as much time as I was hoping for in Budapest. Just another reason to do the cruise from Budapest to Bucharest. Only one excursion had to be cancelled. The worse part of it all was the people who gripped endlessly about our fate, as if Viking could control the weather. (I'm guessing the complainers are also climate science deniers!) One man was observed asking who was going to pay for his coffee at one of our 'rest' stops. Yes, really! Through it all, our Viking hosts, Jochgum Schuijt (Joe), Svenja David and Victoria Brack did everything they could to meet everyone's needs, whether large or small. These 3 people deserve a raise!! The girls were observed shlepping bags right along with the boys. It should be remembered that this trip was during the week of Christmas and these people were with us and not at home with their families. Viking provided the concert in Vienna to everyone at no charge. (This was an elective excursion.) After we returned home we received a generous voucher to be used on a future cruise. Yep, we've already schedule the Cities of Light cruise in Oct of 2013. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Background Information -- this was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises with the kids. This time, it was just my husband and I. I have to say, I may never do another ocean cruise. I loved the river cruise so much more! ... Read More
Background Information -- this was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises with the kids. This time, it was just my husband and I. I have to say, I may never do another ocean cruise. I loved the river cruise so much more! Between the intimate size of the ship, the excellent shore excursions and the up close exposure to local culture and history, this was by far the best cruise we ever took. We chose the Windmills and Tulips tour because Holland was on my husband's bucket list. Not mine. This turned out to be a good thing, as I did not have unrealistic expectations for this trip. But the trip far exceeded my expectations. We saw lots of windmills, but no tulips on the fields. Holland was experiencing its coldest winter in 60 years! Fortunately, my husband and I brought warm clothes and long underwear. Travel To Port of Embarkation -- We flew from Richmond through Dulles to Amsterdam. We chose to pay the extra $50 to be able to choose our flights and I'm glad we did. Another guest we met on the cruise had flown from Florida to Amsterdam via Detroit. The woman from Viking with whom I worked couldn't have been nicer and reviewed several options with me before I chose our flights. Our flights were on time and we arrived in Amsterdam at 7 a.m. The Viking reps were at the airport waiting for us. They were waiting on behalf of several groups, so we waited about ½ hour before boarding our bus. Luckily for us, the ship had not just returned from a cruise, so we were able to go to our rooms right away (8:30 in the morning!). We took a short rest and then went to explore Amsterdam. Stateroom -- We chose cabin 206, which was on the same floor as the reception and the dining room. The location was so convenient. And even though we were just a few steps away from this main area, our cabin was never noisy. 206 is a "French balcony", which means it had a large sliding door that could be opened, but no balcony. I didn't really miss the balcony because of the cold weather. The size of the stateroom was comparable to an ocean liner. Small but efficient. The bed was extremely comfortable. The closet was plenty big for us. We tend to pack light, so we had just enough room in the drawers. The true balcony staterooms get an extra dresser. The bathroom was small, as expected, but the shower was larger than the one we had on our last Royal Caribbean cruise. Even so, I don't know how overweight people could fit into it. Ship Info -- the ship was gorgeous. Christened in 2012, this was only its second year on the water. If there were any bugs, they had been worked out. The dining room was just large enough for everyone at dinner. This was not a problem at breakfast or lunch as most people wander in for these meals, but everyone eats at the same time for dinner. Even so, service was efficient. There was just not a lot of room between tables. There was also a lounge right above the dining room, so it was the same size. They served lunch there, which I did not like because there were only four tables to eat at. The idea is to eat outside, but with 30 degree temps during the day, no one was doing that. The lounge was the place where the nightly briefings and entertainment was held. I loved the lounge and turned into a real bar fly during this cruise, mainly because there was not a lot to do at night, and I could not go to bed at 9 p.m. Dining -- the food was very good. My husband is a retired chef, so food is very important to us. Perhaps because of the average age of the passengers (65+), the food was not always well seasoned. But there was a lot of variety at breakfast and the menu was inventive. The executive chef came out every night to check on us. I loved that. Activities --not much on the ship. There was a small library and free WIFI. Most of the passengers seemed to read as their main activity. That's ok, because the purpose of this cruise is to experience the amazing sights in Holland and Belgium, not play bingo or poker. On the top deck there was a huge chess set and shuffleboard, but it was way too cold to do anything outside. Children's Clubs --none. This is definitely not a cruise for children. There was only one teenager on the cruise with her mother, and she seemed to have a good time. Service --was wonderful. The program director, Stein, did everything pretty much on his own. He did all the briefings, went on the excursions, handled questions from the guests, and introduced the entertainment. He did it all with charm. I don't know how he stayed sane fielding calls from some folks who were picky about everything and anything. We did not find anything to criticize. The concierge, Viktoria, was delightful. The wait staff was efficient and friendly. Because the ship was so small, we got to know everyone well by the end of the cruise. The service was so good it was the first time that I wanted to tip everyone extra. The bartenders, Nico, Johnny and Seta, were terrific. Everyone was so cheerful. They felt like family by the end. Entertainment -- At night there was some sort of entertainment, which ranged from the sublime (the Shanty Chorus) to the silly (wooden shoe making demonstration.) Mostly I sat at the bar with my new friends and laughed. Port & Shore Excursions -- most of the excursions are included. These consist of walking tours, a canal boat ride, trips to a palace and a cathedral. There were also a couple of optional cruises, which cost about 50 Euros per person. We took the optional tulip tour and Armhein battlefield tour. If you like culture and history, this is a great cruise. In Amsterdam, we took the included walking tour and canal boat ride. There was also an optional tour to a diamond factory, which we skipped. We also skipped the included excursion to the Keukenhof Gardens on the last day because we preferred to walk around Amsterdam. It is a great city--crowded and full of bikes, but a lot of fun. It was relatively clean and we felt safe everywhere we went. Most of the people in the shops spoke English. Everyone was friendly. Note that several of the museums were closed for renovations. In fact, it seemed that everywhere we went, something was closed for renovation. When buildings are 1,000 years old, this is to be expected. One thing I should warn you about Amsterdam. They are extremely tolerant about sex. Many of the souvenir shops sell X-rated items. My "favorite" was the salt and pepper shakers shaped like a certain male body part. Also, the postcards, which are exhibited in plain view, were at times explicit. I'm not a prude, but I winced at a few of them. We wanted to tour the Anne Frank house, but the lines were long. I tried to buy tickets online, but had waited until just a day or two before the cruise, so the online tickets were gone. I recommend getting tickets online and getting them far ahead of time. Hoorn--we took a guided tour of this delightful fishing village. We learned about how the Dutch have reclaimed much of their land from the sea. The best part of this town was the visit to a local home. We broke into groups of four and six and spent an hour with a local family in their home. This is the first year Viking has done this, and judging from the remarks from the other passengers, it was a big success. I thought it might be awkward going into a stranger's house, but the family we met with was so friendly that we soon felt at home. Armhein--we took the included excursion to the Paleis Het Loo, which was the winter "hunting lodge" for King William and Queen Mary. As a graduate of their namesake school, I was particularly interested in this. This was also the first real palace I had ever seen. It was restored beautifully. There was also an exhibit of the former Queen Wilhelmina's clothes (she was a sturdy woman) and the various household items she used during her rein. There was also an exhibit of portraits done of Queen Beatrice by Holland citizens. Awesome. In the afternoon we took the optional battlefield tour for the failed Operation Market Place battle during WWII. We visited several places during this tour, including the bridge that the Allies failed to protect, the Airborne Museum, and the cemetery. Our guide was a native of Armhein and shared some personal experiences from the war. If you like WWII history, you must do this tour. Speaking of guides, they were wonderful. Each was a native of the town we visited. Each provided personal views and insights. Most of them were very funny. All of them were informative and entertaining. These excursions were one of the highlights of the cruise. Kinderdijk--this was a short stop in a very small town, where we got to see the inside of a working windmill. This, like many of the excursions, was much better than I expected. Antwerp-- Belgium. Another walking tour with an excellent guide and a trip to a cathedral--my first cathedral outside the U.S. It also housed several Ruben paintings. This city, like Amsterdam, had beautiful architecture. Plus, being in Belgium, there were plenty of shops selling chocolate and lace. In the afternoon we walked around and walked the tunnel that ran under the river to the other side of the city. To get down to the tunnel we rode a wooden escalator. Pretty neat. Brugge and Ghent. We did both cities in one day, and we could have used a day for each city. The walking tour in Brugge required a lot of walking. Stein warned the older passengers that it might be too much walking for some of them. Plus, all the cities have cobblestones so the walking is uneven. Be prepared for this if you are not steady on your feet. Both cities were delightful but as I said, I wish we could have spent an entire day in each one. On the way back, we stopped at Rotterdam, but we did not get there until dinner. They offered a walking tour at 9 p.m., but with temps below freezing, we opted to stay indoors. We left Rotterdam at 11 so we never got to see the city. DeltaWorks -- back to Holland on Day 8. Today we learned more about how the Dutch keep the sea at bay. Engineers would love this excursion. I did too. We also visited a museum commemorating a huge flood in 1953 that resulted in the building of the dam and lock system that we visited. The museum was highly interactive. Here, our guide, who was a child during the flood, told us a personal story that sent chills! Disembarkation -- this went very smoothly. Stein posted a list of disembarkation times for each cabin number and gave us color coded luggage tags. Unlike the ocean cruises I have been on, we did not have to put our bags outside our stateroom the night before. Instead, we had to put them there only ½ hour before our assigned time. We were whisked off to the airport where we boarded our plane for home. Summary--we were very impressed with our first Viking River cruise. Although the average age of the passengers was older than us (I'm 53 and my husband is 62) and less energetic than us, the trip was wonderful. I highly recommend a river cruise and Viking. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Unprecedented flooding disrupted our Danube cruise on the Viking Odin and turned it into a bus tour. The flooding was an "Act of God" and affected all river traffic. Eventually, the German authorities closed the river to traffic ... Read More
Unprecedented flooding disrupted our Danube cruise on the Viking Odin and turned it into a bus tour. The flooding was an "Act of God" and affected all river traffic. Eventually, the German authorities closed the river to traffic and ended any speculation that we might sail (for even a part of the trip). The Viking response was outstanding. The first night, they put us up in a first-class hotel in Budapest. Dinner and breakfast were included. After a city tour and lunch, we were transported by bus to Krems, Austria, where we boarded the Viking Freya, which was tied up in an industrial area (not very scenic). Nevertheless, the accommodations and hospitality on the boat were excellent. We toured by bus each day, as our cruise director, Stein, put a tour program together on the fly. After 3 nights on the Freya and tours in Vienna and Melk (with optional activities provided at no cost - more to follow), we were transferred to the Viking Odin at Regensburg for 3 additional nights. The Odin was moored in an attractive location within walking distance of the city center. We saw most of the highlights we expected to find on this cruise (other than the scenic cruising), and Viking made up for this shortcoming by adding optional tours and activities for no additional charge, for example: Tour of Regensburg Castle, winery tour in Krems, concert in Vienna. In addition (while we probably didn't need it), Viking provided an open bar for two nights on the ship and (a surprise!) forgave all the bar bills when we checked out. Finally, we just received a credit from Viking for 75% of the cost of our cruise (to be applied to a future Viking cruise within one year). I don't know how they could have treated us any better - under the circumstances. Thanks Viking! BTW, aside from a few rain showers, the weather was excellent - sunny and mild. I feel bad for the group that preceded us a week earlier when constant rain produced the flooding. One last note: If you spend the money to take the "Romantic Danube" cruise, spend a little more to take the 3-day extension in Prague. It was wonderful - and the full-time Viking people at the hotel were very helpful with tour information, dining reservations, etc.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We had the misfortune of choosing to go on a European river cruise during the year of the 500 Year Flood! The waters of the Danube were extremely high so, unfortunately, we were unable to actually cruise up the river. We stayed on the ... Read More
We had the misfortune of choosing to go on a European river cruise during the year of the 500 Year Flood! The waters of the Danube were extremely high so, unfortunately, we were unable to actually cruise up the river. We stayed on the Viking Odin and the Viking Freya and were bussed to our shore excursions. We were one day behind on boarding a boat so Viking Cruises arranged accommodations for all guests to stay in Budapest at a beautiful hotel. We had a great dinner with entertainment and in the morning we started the day with an exquisite breakfast. We bus-toured around Budapest and then took a bus to the Viking Freya. The Freya is a beautiful boat with all amenities. The beds were comfortable, the entertainment was good, the food was great and so was the wine and beer. And the bathroom....you have to see it to believe it!!! When our stay on the Freya had ended we were bussed to the Viking Odin. The Odin is the same as the Freya; however, the bathroom wasn't quite as cool. We again enjoyed great food and wine and wonderful entertainment. The staff on both boats were congenial and helpful. Whenever we embarked after an excursion, we were greeted with a lovely shot of a delightful tasting drink. We were dealt lemons on this vacation due to the flood, but we chose to make lemonade. We had a great time, we met wonderful people, and I am in awe how Viking staff worked diligently to make our vacation a memorable one.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
My neighbor and I had planned this trip for about two years and were not quite sure we would actually be able to go because of the severe flooding that occurred about a month before we were scheduled to leave. We began our 15-day Grand ... Read More
My neighbor and I had planned this trip for about two years and were not quite sure we would actually be able to go because of the severe flooding that occurred about a month before we were scheduled to leave. We began our 15-day Grand European Tour with a 2-night pre-cruise stay at the Hilton in Budapest. Viking had done all the travel arrangements from air travel to transfers, and they did a superb job! We were met at the airport in Budapest by a Viking representative who quickly secured a private taxi to take us to the Hilton Hotel in Budapest. Our driver was quite knowledgeable and gave us a wonderful history of the area as we drove to the hotel. The Hilton Hotel is in the ideal location of Budapest in the old city. Our room overlooked the river and the Fisherman's Bastion. A Viking desk was situated in the lobby of the hotel, and we were given excellent recommendations for sightseeing and dining by the two very accommodating Viking representatives. Budapest is an amazing city, quite beautiful and tourist friendly, and everyone we came in contact with spoke English. Just one caveat--we mailed post cards from the post office in Buda. The clerk took over $30 for postage and said she would apply the stamps. However, none of the post cards has arrived to date. As we left on the Odin from Budapest that first night, we were provided with an extraordinary view of the Castle district and bridge lit up in all its glory. Our cabin was located on the main level in the middle of the ship, and we had a balcony. I would recommend it as we spent many pleasant afternoons there enjoying the solitude. Since the bathrooms in the cabins do not provide the level of privacy that one has at home (glass doors), you can retire to the balcony while your companion uses the bathroom. The public lounging areas of the ship were quite comfortable whether you wanted sun or shade. Many people enjoyed the sun deck on top of the ship. Unfortunately, low bridges caused it to be closed about half of the time we were traveling. The tours or excursions were provided by guides native to the areas where we were traveling and were quite good for the most part. Our only complaint was our tour guide in Cologne who put everyone to sleep with his lack of expression. The Program Director on this trip was Lucia (she was filling in for the regular director who was on vacation). Many on the ship called her St. Lucia as she was extraordinary in her ability to make sure everyone was accounted for and doing well. If there was a problem, she was there in an instant to handle the issue. Viking could not pay her enough for all she did to make everyone comfortable! I think the food on board was quite good. Thomas, our chef, was there to greet us as we walked into dinner each evening. He provided all the passengers with a tour of his kitchen, a tour of one of the markets where he buys his food, and even did a cooking demonstration of waffle making with a sample for all at the end. While we did have lunch at a few restaurants in two of the cities we visited, Thomas' food was far superior!! By the way, he is quite a team player. We saw him taking luggage off the ship and sorting it (as did Lucia) as we prepared to depart for the airport. While we were in Nuremberg, we were informed of the Lock Workers Strike and the fact that we would not be able to travel that night as planned. This caused the group to be bused to Bamberg the following day. Since we had missed a full day of travel, our visit to Kinderdijk was cancelled and our visit to Cologne was cut short. I guess this is precious little to complain about since we had perfect weather the whole time and many who had trips scheduled in June ended up traveling mainly on buses due to the floods. My only complaint was not being able to much of Amsterdam. However, there was a large group heading back to the airport at 7 a.m., so our bus driver took a little extra time to give us a very short tour of the city as he drove to the airport. If you can afford it, I would recommend both the pre-and post packages for Amsterdam and Budapest! All in all, this was a spectacular trip, with incredible scenery. We also met some wonderful people on board and shared some laughs and fun with them at dinner each evening. I've read many complaints about Viking failing to respond in a satisfactory manner regarding cruise disruptions. However, the crews on the ships are deserving of much praise in the way they go above and beyond to provide a good experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
My friend and I planned and anticipated our trip on the Viking Odin for more than a year. We even booked an extra two days at the beginning in Budapest and stayed the Hilton in the Castle District. The Hotel was magnificent and the young ... Read More
My friend and I planned and anticipated our trip on the Viking Odin for more than a year. We even booked an extra two days at the beginning in Budapest and stayed the Hilton in the Castle District. The Hotel was magnificent and the young people working for Viking, who were situated in the lobby, were extremely helpful. They recommended a museum "Hospital in the Rocks" which was fascinating. In addition, I asked for goulash and violins, and we were sent to a marvelous restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. Breakfasts were included and were delicious. Our view was like the Viking commercial...there was the Hungarian Parliament right out our window. We boarded the Odin on July 3. Our room was excellent; more comfortable than I had imagined. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Tours were planned for each port. Being a teacher I sometimes felt as if I was on a daily field trip. We passed in our cabin keys and were assigned a group. With our "quiet boxes" around our necks we followed our guides through the ports on city tours. Early in our trip there were problems with the power. Lights were on auxiliary power, and the toilets did not flush. Wish we were immediately told of this. The problem was fixed, but occurred again. Technicians were brought in to be sure all was repaired. Minor glitches did occur again but did not impact the comfort of the passengers for the most part, but sometimes the air conditioning did not work well in the dining room. Our program director Lucia and concierge Victoria were terrific. Lucia was everywhere making sure all of us were enjoying our excursions. Lucia not only took care of our daily travels, but she also took care of all the medical situations. I looked forward to her daily talks about the next day's events and her "Wonderful good morning" to start the day. The lock workers strike kept us in Regensburg for an extra day, and prevented us from cruising to Nuremburg. We were bused there but really didn't have the leisure time promised to tour the city. I would have loved to have been able to visit with some friends who live there, but I was unable to because we had to get to the bus to return to the ship. Luckily we were able to get through the locks and cruised the next day. Another glitch was that we were a day late at Wertheim and arrived on Sunday and most of the shops were not open. The lock strike also caused us to be a day late in Cologne. The unfortunate situation there was that the ship docked in abandoned industrial area. In order to get to the buses, we had to walk across uneven potholed area. One of the passengers fell and hurt himself. Thankfully he was able to continue the tour. Our group had to wait for the bus for 15 minutes under a noisy bridge. Some seedy characters were sitting on the wall nearby. One decided to relieve himself as we walked by. I wondered why our captain did not dock our ship in tandem with the other longship on the opposite side of the river. We went to the Chocolate Museum, and as we walked with our purchases back to the Cathedral area, we "longing" looked at the Viking Longship docked next to it. We could see our ship on the other side of the river. The captain did a wonderful job safely sailing us along the rivers, but the scheduling of buses and excursions was done by the Program Director Lucia and Victoria with the help of their staff. Housekeeping kept our rooms clean and comfortable. Chef Thomas and his staff fed us well. The waitstaff was excellent. I loved the afternoon cookies! Meeting new people and sitting on the Aquivit Terrace or on top were wonderful. I don't know the last time that I felt so relaxed. I especially enjoyed cruising the Rhine, standing on the top deck and looking around each bend for another castle. Although I didn't see a windmill, the trip was wonderful, and I look forward to another as soon as possible. Next summer, the south of France? Maybe.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We have made scores of ocean cruises into the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, but the Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam, July 3, - July 17 2013, was the best of all. My son, his wife, my wife and I boarded Viking ODIN after a ... Read More
We have made scores of ocean cruises into the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, but the Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam, July 3, - July 17 2013, was the best of all. My son, his wife, my wife and I boarded Viking ODIN after a wonderful Viking-arranged two-day land package in Budapest. We found Viking ODIN far above our expectations. ODIN is a super clean ship, with fantastic food, and a top-of-the-line captain and crew. Our cruise went smooth until we encountered a diesel generator failure. Viking Basel base, and Captain Geza Peter Toth, brought aboard technicians who solved the problem. The passengers suffered only minuscule inconveniences. Based on the captains assurances, we were still on schedule. But, it was not to be. The lockkeepers strike kept ODIN tied up at Regensburg  actually not a bad place to stay an extra day. It was here where the combined efforts of Captain Tot and Viking Basel base showed their mettle. As a former member of the military, I know that logistic problems are always the most difficult ones to solve, and Viking ODIN solved them with extraordinary vigor. Out of thin air Captain Geza Peter Toth had arranged bus tours to Nuremberg. In the meantime, with the lockkeepers' strike solved, ODIN left Regensburg, bypassed Nuremberg, and had scheduled an improvised passenger pickup at an undisclosed location along the Danube-Main Canal. Two busses loaded with ODIN passengers drove on Germanys back roads, and dirt roads, to the location for the pickup. Assisted by the hotel crew that had accompanied the bus tour, passengers scrambled up a grassy dam and came to a bulkheaded section of the canal. ODIN was nowhere in sight, but the hotel crew assured the passengers that ODIN would arrive any moment. Passengers joked about having to go to the bathroom, and about hitchhiking a ride on some barge. Everyone was in high spirits. A short time on the dike, we noticed a white spot far down the canal; it was ODIN. Cheers arose as ODIN came alongside the bulkheaded site. The gangplank was lowered, and the hotel crew stood alongside serving refreshments and offering cold towels. What could have been a dreadful moment became an enjoyable adventure. The rest of the trip was without excitement, but the adventure on the dam, in a place without a name, became an admirable incident showing the great Viking ODIN organization and its logistic competence. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
No matter how calm an ocean is I get seasick because there always is a swell - a river cruise is perfect. My husband and I and our 2 sons (adults - not young children) were on the cruise (we always take them so they can be tour guides and ... Read More
No matter how calm an ocean is I get seasick because there always is a swell - a river cruise is perfect. My husband and I and our 2 sons (adults - not young children) were on the cruise (we always take them so they can be tour guides and we tag along) Our suite was very comfortable and the room staff were terrific. I have food allergies and the Maître d' gave me a menu every morning of the meals for me to choose from and ensured that my choices were free of the allergens (sometimes being specially made) and served them to me personally as well as serving our sons who are vegetarian. Excursions were very good for the most part with most having 2 or 3 choices for difficulty of walking. Buses from the ship to the start of the excursion were sometimes parked in very difficult places entailing long treks to and from the buses to the start/finish of the excursion -- but you can't have old European towns and cities and big streets. I liked the use of local guides because they were so enthusiastic and informative. The ship's cruise director was phenomenal. I would take the same cruise just because of her; however, we are getting old and decrepit and have a lot more world to see so need to find another cruise. The biggest downside were the 50-plus locks that we had to go through which put the schedule way off at times. Prague was a gorgeous city as is Paris - It would have been nice if we could have actually embarked and disembarked in those cities - the cruise was in fact a cruise of Germany. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My wife has been on an ocean cruise before and been after me to try cruising. I was never very interested in spending time at sea in a floating hotel; I'd much rather be exploring the ports. So when I came across some info on river ... Read More
My wife has been on an ocean cruise before and been after me to try cruising. I was never very interested in spending time at sea in a floating hotel; I'd much rather be exploring the ports. So when I came across some info on river cruises which indicated more of a focus on the destination rather than the trip, I decided to try it out. I wasn't disappointed. I had Viking arrange transportation between New York and Budapest (and return from Munich) and all was handled well. Travel info arrived well in advance and I was able to upgrade seating with no problem. Airport transfers were handled very efficiently by Viking. We arrived in Budapest Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, it was too late to visit the Central Market Hall (closes early on Saturday). In fact, this was one of my few disappointments with the cruise, since the market is not open on Sunday, so we weren't able to visit. Had I realized this when booking, I might have done the cruise in the reverse order. Embarking was straightforward and efficient, and we were quickly settled into a very good cabin. Space was quite adequate, with plenty of room to store all we needed and more. Bathroom was nice with a good shower (plenty of pressure and hot water). Heated floors are a nice touch, and my wife loved the provided toiletries (in fact, we bought some on board form the ship store and she is looking online for others). Safe and small refrigerator provided in the cabin were nice. A large bottle of water was provided as well, and replenished whenever used. The provided TV content is limited. 9 channels, of which 2 are bow and lounge cameras (both very useful), 3 were cable news channels. Of the remaining, two channels (a US sports and and a NatGeo channel) never had any programing the time we were on board. In addition, the ships active map feature never worked right (stuck in one location), and the itinerary weather function stopped working after the second or third day. The WiFi on board was spotty (had to stand near the door in the stateroom to receive, better in the lounge), but was very slow when it did work, even in port. Other than these minor technical issues, the ship was in excellent shape and very nice. In our early 50's, my wife and I were definitely near the lower end of the age bracket for this cruise. There were a few in their 30's and 40's, most in the late 50's -70's, with a few in the 80's. The crew reported that there appears to be more younger people, as the average had been in the 70's. As a result, the musical selections for the on board pianist/musician was pretty dated. He was talented and hard working, but dated. If Viking wants to draw more younger patrons, they ned to think about adjusting entertainment accordingly. As far as dress code goes, I followed the suggestion in the literature to "dress up" a little for the Captain's welcome dinner and wore a jacket. Few others did. The range of dress varied a lot, from jeans to jackets and tie. Having to do it again, I wouldn't likely bring anything more than a button down shirt. Again, I think with a younger crowd it will start to tend that way, which is quite fine with me. Weather was pretty good for early April. The first few days were short sleeve weather (upper 60's to low 70'sF), allowing time topside or in the aquavit lounge. A little cooler (50's) with rain off and on for 2 days. The crew was exceptional, never failing to meet anyone's request when asked, and always maintaining a very positive attitude. They seemed to be having a good time, so either they were or were very good actors!. Any minor request we (or others I saw) made was quickly and efficiently addressed. Food was good, better than I anticipated. Choice of 3 appetizers, entrees and desserts each diner. Generally found something I would like, but if not, the standard steak, chicken or ceaser salad was also available. Chef also provided an amuse bouche before appetizers, which was nice. Crew was very efficient at feeding all 190 people simultaneously for dinner. Dinner service took about 100-120 minutes total. Only issue was that all those people in the dining room, the noise level was high, making it difficult at times to converse. Not sure what could be done about that. Breakfast was open seating over about a 2 hour period, and could also be taken in the aquavit lounge (reduced menu), where it was nice to eat exposed to the elements. bar service was very good. We didn't pay for the extended beverage plan, as we knew we wouldn't drink that much to make it worth while. Beer,soft drinks and wine were provided at lunch and dinner. It was a minor annoyance to pay for soft drinks outside of meals (for example during cocktail time). Coffee, tea and hot chocolate were always available (usually with cookies or pastries) and was well appreciated. Adding soft drinks to this would make it perfect. Since it appeared they used bottled soft drinks instead of fountains, I think it makes that impractical. Tours in general were handled well. Announcements were made 15 minutes prior to departure, and I think all excursions left on time (within a couple of minutes), which I really appreciate. Buses were very new, comfortable, and well maintained. All of our drivers were excellent and very adept at manuevering in very tight quarters. We found out later that the buses are in general exclusively contracted to Viking, which ensures high quality. Headset units provided for the tours worked very well (of course many of us had to help some of the more technically challenged to get to the right channel and turn up the volume!). Umbrellas were provided on rainy days, and bottled water for the trip; a nice touch. Upon return to the ship, they often had a cold drink or a snack waiting as you crossed the brow, which was, again, much appreciated. My only comment on the excursions was that they were usually too short. With a departure of between 8-9 and returning to the ship for lunch, it limited the amount of time at the destinations. Also, I think that was in part to limit the time for those who couldn't keep up. Offering an optional extended tour for those more active that left early and didn't need to return to the ship for lunch could allow for much more time in town, with more walking rather than bus time. Again, with a younger crowd I suspect this could become popular. I won't go into the relative positives and negatives of all of the ports, but each had there own positives and were worth visiting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was our first river cruise, celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, and occurring during wife's birthday. Crew provided a birthday cake to celebrate the occasion, and finding my wife was on a glutein free diet made her special ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, and occurring during wife's birthday. Crew provided a birthday cake to celebrate the occasion, and finding my wife was on a glutein free diet made her special breads that were glutein free. The service aboard ship was excellent, so good in fact that the Paris Hotel we stayed in at the end(a Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel), felt like a comedown, although we can't complain about its service, just that the ship's crew was so much better. Our bartender interested me on our first night in your liquor package, and then every time I arrived at the bar he had my drink ready. We also enjoyed some excellent wine selections with this package, and I would suggest you publicize it more. We can's afford to take a cruise each year, but are looking forward to 2 years hence when we will most likely be booking another with you. By the way, your Med cruises look very inviting.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This is a review of the Viking River Cruise that my wife and I recently enjoyed. I hope to provide some insight and tips for those who may be interested in doing a river cruise, doing one with Viking, or repeating the itinerary that we did ... Read More
This is a review of the Viking River Cruise that my wife and I recently enjoyed. I hope to provide some insight and tips for those who may be interested in doing a river cruise, doing one with Viking, or repeating the itinerary that we did (Paris to Prague, the 12-day Cities of Light trip). Overall the trip was excellent, accompanied with pleasing lagniappe (surprises), except for a sloppy screw-up with the bus transportation for the excursion in Prague. My wife and I have done a few ocean cruises with Disney, Paul Gauguin, and Holland America Line (HAL). We have read about river cruises and like the concept of a leisurely boat trip through rivers and canals. We had a thoroughly enjoyable experience on one of our HAL cruises when we transited the Kiel Canal in northern Germany. My wife’s only stipulation was that the ship has to be new or recently refurbished. Viking Cruise Lines was a match, because river cruising is apparently a booming business, and Viking launched 12 new longships in 2012 and 2013. Here is what appealed to us before the trip: the itinerary (Paris, the German rivers, Prague), the small number of passengers, inclusion of a “land package” (tours in Paris, Luxembourg, and Prague), actual balconies for most of the cabins (with chairs and a table for relaxing outside), and the included optional excursions. We sailed on the Viking Odin. The ship was almost full (about 190 passengers). There were several groups of families and friends. The age range was 40’s to 70’s (with an average age of about 60), mostly Caucasian, and mostly from the United States (including Hawaii). The crew was European. Two surprises were the Program Director and the Concierge. The Program Director accompanied us from Paris through Prague, and was the “face” of Viking Cruise Lines. He was friendly, always smiling, always helpful, and knowledgeable—a true asset to Viking. There was also a Concierge on board the Odin, who was available to help with booking visits, concerts, etc., in any of the cities on the cruise and in Prague. We used her services to book a wonderful organ and violin concert in St. Giles Church on our first night in Prague. She also sold future cruise vouchers on the ship (something apparently new for Viking; some bugs need to be worked out for the redemption process)—pay $100 and get $200 towards a future cruise, per person, per booking. There were no children on the trip. I think the history of the places on the trip would appeal to an interested teenager. Younger children would probably be bored. Except for a talented musician/piano player, there was no other regular nightly entertainment. There were a few nights with special entertainment. When we were in Heidelberg, we had a glass blowing demonstration onboard (the guy could be a comedian as well). Another night we had a classical violinist from one of the towns perform along with the ship’s musician. The weather turned out much better than expected for the last half of May—hardly any rain, sunny skies, and warm temperatures (70s and 80s). I packed for cooler weather and bought a Viking short sleeve shirt and a “Moselle River” themed t-shirt in one town for the warmer weather. Six days of the 12-day trip were on land (2 days in Paris; 1 day on a bus trip from Paris to Luxembourg to the ship, which was docked in Trier, Germany; 1 day on a bus trip from Bamberg to Nüremberg to Prague; and 2 days in Prague—one of which was the travel day to return home). The other days were on the Odin, with optional city tours at various towns along the way. The local tour guides were generally very good. They were knowledgeable and often humorous. They were willing to help you with pronouncing the local language. I think the locals appreciate it when you make an effort to speak a few words in their language. (The Program Director did teach some basic German and Czech phrases onboard the Odin.) We traveled on the Moselle, the Rhine, and the Main Rivers. There was no current on the Moselle River or on the Main River—because of an extensive system of locks. The ship would enter the lock, and then be lowered (or raised) 30-60 feet, before continuing the trip on the river. I was pleasantly surprised that locks were used on these rivers. Many passengers would watch the process from the front of the ship (Aquavit Terrace), the Sun Deck, or from their cabins. The downside to the lock system is that the ship’s schedule can be adversely affected. The Captain cannot predict which barges and ships might be on the river and enter a lock before the Odin; you have to wait about 30 minutes for each ship to enter and clear a lock. Due to the unpredictability, we arrived late in Rüdesheim and had an abbreviated optional excursion (wine tasting). The Captain even missed the Captain’s Cocktail Party and Captain’s Dinner when we departed from Würzburg, so that he could make sure we arrived at our next destination in a timely manner. In some spots on the rivers, there was not much overhead clearance for the bridges we crossed under. Railings on the upper deck would be removed, lounge chairs stowed, overhead awnings lowered, and the wheelhouse (from which the Captain and staff controlled the movement of the ship) would lower—sometimes completely to the deck below. The Sun Deck (upper deck) would be closed to passengers for safety reasons, until the ship passed safely under the bridge. The information on Viking’s website was helpful and accurate. The dress code was casual, but you could dress up if you wanted. Most did not. I liked that Viking provided name badges and lanyards for each passenger. That helped me meet and greet other passengers. A suggestion to Viking: make the first name much larger so that it is easier to read at a distance. My wife and I were sent a personalized travel booklet on our cruise several weeks before departure. My only complaints were the “generic” dates in the itinerary section and the information on power plug adapters. The dates were listed in the format Day 1, Day 2, etc. It’s up to you to figure out the exact calendar date for each location (to check weather forecasts, to make alternative visit plans, etc.) The paragraph in the booklet on travel adapters was useless; it didn’t tell you what kind of power plugs to bring. Even a call to the travel agent who called Viking didn’t provide the info I needed initially (strangely, Viking won’t talk to you if you book with a travel agent; you have to use your travel agent to get answers to questions). For Paris (and Prague), you need a Type C or Type F plug adapter. On the Odin, there were standard US plugs and well as European plugs (use Type C or F plug adapter). Paris was a nice starting point. My wife and I decided to arrive early and visit the Normandy area (just before the 70th anniversary of D-Day). It was easy to get from the airport to downtown Paris. Our plane arrived at Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle Airport. We took the airport shuttle train, CDGVAL, to the 2nd stop, Terminal 3/Roissypole; then we took a RER (Blue) train—one of the direct trains (four times an hour)—to the Gare du Nord station in downtown Paris, for 9.75 Euros each. From there we could connect to the Paris metro and other train lines. We later traveled on our own to the hotel for the start of the cruise. The hotel in Paris was nice: Le Méridien Etoile. It is located away from central Paris, but convenient to reach by metro or the RER train. The hotel is located across from a shopping center; on the lower level is an upscale store, Galeries Gourmandes, which sells groceries, wines, chocolates, etc. Hotel check-in with the Viking travel desk was quick and efficient. After 2 nights in Paris, we departed by bus (motorcoach) to travel across France for a visit to the city of Luxembourg. It was an early day. For my bus group, luggage had to be left outside your hotel room by 7:15 am, with departure by 8:15 am. The buses were double deckers, and most people sat on the upper level. There were 4 buses for the passengers. The buses stopped at a rest stop near Reims, France. You had the chance to buy some champagne (Reims is in the heart of the Champagne region), get a snack, or use the restroom (the buses had a small bathroom as well). One couple missed the departure time in Paris and took a taxi to meet up with the group at the rest stop. During the tour in Luxembourg, we encountered more lagniappe from Viking—Quietvox listening devices. Each passenger was given a unit with an earpiece. The guide would select a channel number, inform your group, and then talk into a microphone to give you commentary about the historic sites. You didn’t have to be around the tour guide; you could clearly hear what the guide was saying from up to several hundred yards away. This is a boon for photographers like myself who sometimes linger to take pictures. There were charging stations for the Quietvox in each cabin on the Odin. At the end of the day, the buses took us to the Odin, which was docked in Trier, Germany. The next day on our land tour of Trier, we encountered another pleasant surprise—Viking provided 4 Viking Cruise buses that transported us to meet local tour guides and return us to the ship after the city or castle tour. The buses stayed with us the entire time we were in Germany. After dropping us off at the Odin (which had moved down the river while we were on the tour), the buses would head to the next port to meet up with us. The buses were single level, clean, comfortable, provisioned with free water, and contained a small bathroom. You could leave stuff on the bus during the tour if you wanted. Just be aware that the overhead storage space is small; you could store backpacks, etc. on the floor under the seat in front of you. When we left the Odin in Bamberg, the Viking buses took us to Prague. We had different (local) buses for our land tour in Prague (sadly, there was a fee for bottled water on this part of the trip). Viking offered optional tours at all ports; these were free of charge. Typically, there was also a “leisure tour” option for slower walkers; this option tried to minimize the number of steps that were climbed. Suggestion for Viking: publish the number of steps for each tour to allow passengers to make an assessment of their ability to handle the climbing. Be prepared to pay 0.50 Euros to use public toilets in Germany. I don’t recall the fee for toilets in Prague, but it was a nominal amount also. An alternative is to buy coffee or a drink at a café, and then use their toilet. When we ate lunch in Heidelberg after a city tour, students from the local university sat at each table and talked with us. The student at my table was a first year physics student from Spain. It was a real pleasure to be able to talk with her. Another lagniappe was a “treat” when returning from a city or castle tour and going back aboard the Odin. The Hotel Manager greeted you and provided a cold drink, some “gummi bear” candy, an ice cream bar, etc. There were 4 optional excursions for a fee: two wine tastings, a trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and a tour of Lobkowicz Palace in Prague. It was difficult finding out from (my travel agent finding out from) Viking which tours I had to book before leaving home. On ocean cruises, you typically have to sign up in advance (while at home), to secure a spot on such an excursion. In the end, we only had to sign up for the Lobkowicz Palace tour in advance; the others we could sign up for on the ship (and we could have waited and signed up for the Palace Tour as well). Be aware that Viking does not issue a voucher for this prepaid tour; our tour sign-up was just noted in the personalized travel booklet sent to us prior to travel. We skipped the wine tasting in Bernkastel-Kues, because it only offered sweet wines. We did the other wine tasting in Rüdesheim at the Georg Breuer Vinothek, but the experience was so-so. (We had a free, blind wine tasting the day before on the Odin, and enjoyed that experience just as much.) Our visit was shorter than planned, because the ship arrived late. Viking did graciously refund a portion of the cost of the wine tasting excursion, because of the time constraint—another example of Viking’s good customer service. We did take the tour to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a medieval walled city; this was one of the primary reasons I selected this cruise itinerary; we liked the tour. We also enjoyed the tour of the Lobkowicz Palace. We got to eat in a private room in the palace and then listen to a classical concert by 3 performers. Info on these optional tours was available online and in a brochure in your cabin onboard the Odin (or ask the helpful Concierge). Our cabin (315) on the ship, a Category A Verandah room, was well designed and sufficiently spacious. The queen size bed was comfortable. There were plenty of drawers, a closet, a safe, a refrigerator, and a chair. The refrigerator even has a cut-away portion on the top shelf, so that you can chill a bottle standing up (another nice extra, compliments of Viking). My only criticism of the room is that there is a lack of places to hang up items to air out; there were only 2 hooks on the back of the door and a string line in the shower. The TV allowed you to see a GPS map of the location of the ship on the rivers. There was a good selection of music and movies on the TV. Unfortunately, the slideshow of photos did not work on the TV; you could only see the photos taken by ship staff (most often by the Program Director) on the TV screens in the ship lounge. Suitcases easily fit under the bed. The shower door could be closed (unlike some of the European hotel rooms that had a half glass partition). I liked the L’Occitane toiletry products in the bathroom. Be aware that the bathroom sink is designed so that if you wash your hands, some water splatters onto the counter, which runs off the counter onto the bathroom floor below. Your cabin was quickly and efficiently serviced by Housekeeping at least twice a day. Wine and beer were provided free at lunch and dinner, and there was sparkling wine for breakfast. You could get as much as you wanted. Except for one night, though, it was the same every day. You could order a bottle of wine from a wine list if desired. I think you could also buy wine ashore and drink it with a meal. Another option was to purchase the Silver Spirits Premium Beverage Package. Then you could get unlimited premium wines, beers, espresso drinks, juices, mineral water, and cocktails for the entire cruise. However, this was an expensive option: 150 Euros per person. My wife and I declined that package. We figured we could enjoy the free “house” wine and order a cocktail or two for several evenings and spend much less than 150 Euros. We did enjoy the “house” wine; the white wine and red wine were tasty and went well with the food. I would have preferred that Viking switch to new “house” wine halfway through the cruise, to add some variety. We ended up buying and enjoying some local wines in the outdoor cafes during our free time on the land excursions and near the piers where the ship was docked in the evenings. The shipboard cocktails were inexpensive (about 5.50-6.50 Euros) and well made. The Executive Chef was very personable, held cooking demonstrations, and mingled with guests at dinner and during some of the Daily Briefings in the lounge. He has an extensive herb garden on the Sun Deck and other places on the ship. One night the dinner theme was “Taste of Germany”; we got to visit the kitchen (galley) and be served local German favorites. The food was good at breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the ship. There was a lot of variety. I loved the ship-made strawberry and mango jams at breakfast. At all meals, you could order off a menu, in addition to selecting items from the buffet in the restaurant. You could show up late, after the start time listed in the daily program, and still get an entire meal. In the Aquavit Lounge, a buffet was served; at lunchtime, you could also get food from the grill. The server poured the “house” wine and beer, and served soft drinks and other beverages at lunch and dinner. You could ask for extra portions at any time. As lagniappe, the Maître d' would bring around special treats in the main restaurant at dinnertime. After your final night on the ship (in Bamberg), be ready for an early morning. For my bus group, I had to place luggage outside my cabin by 7:00 am and disembark by 8:15 am for the bus trip to Nüremberg and then to Prague. There is a rest stop on the way to Prague. The hotel in Prague was also nice: Hilton Prague. It is also removed from the city center, but near a tram stop. It is a 20-25 minute walk to the Old Town area. Hotel check-in with the Viking travel desk was quick and efficient. Although some restaurants in Prague would accept Euros, some places do not (including public toilets). So you need to plan to convert some Euros to Czech korunas. Except for one place that our tour guide recommended, avoid exchanging money in Old Town (you don’t get as good a rate as at other places). In Prague, you can pay in Euros instead of Czech korunas at major restaurants and tourist shops. However, I determined after I returned home that you pay a 10-20% premium to use Euros, depending on the restaurant (call it a convenience fee for the restaurant accepting Euros.) It’s better to convert some Euros to korunas at the hotel before you go out, or at a bank, and then pay in korunas. If you’re staying for several days, use an ATM. Viking offered a city tour in Prague in addition to the optional excursion to the Lobkowicz Palace. There were 2 small buses for the Viking Odin groups that did the combined city tour and Palace tour. Unfortunately, Viking mismanaged the transportation. When the bus that I was on dropped my group off for the Palace tour, we were told (as we were accustomed to) that we could leave stuff on the bus. We learned later that the people on the other bus were told differently—to take their stuff with them. After our Palace tour was over, different Viking representatives picked us up and took us to the buses. We were initially told that those going to the Hilton Prague should get on the 2nd bus (my original bus); it clearly didn’t have enough room for all the people who came on the first bus and the second bus in the morning. Then people from the original 1st bus sat down on stuff that people from my (2nd) bus had left on the seats. The people from my bus lost their seats and had to go on the other (1st) bus. That bus left, but then had to come back, because we had people standing in the aisle on our 2nd bus, and our packed bus couldn’t leave with people standing up. For as long as Viking Cruises has been doing tours in Prague, I was disappointed at the sloppy way the bus transportation was handled. (And some of my new friends were those who lost their seats and had their stuff sat upon.) We departed for the Prague Airport after our 2-night stay at the Hilton. We arranged with the Hilton to get a taxi to the airport. It was a very early morning for us, but it took less than 30 minutes to get to the airport. We arrived by 4:20 am for our 6:00 am flight, and were among the first to check in. We had printed out boarding passes the day before at the Business Center at the Hilton Prague. Originally we had signed up for the Prague extension with Viking. Then we reassessed the trip when we looked at pros and cons. According to the description online, and as verified by our travel agent, there were no tours or meals offered by Viking during the extension. The only meal provided was breakfast, which came with the hotel room at the Hilton. You could ask the concierge at the Hilton Prague about sightseeing tips, with no Viking involvement. I also found out that I could book a room at the same Hilton and thus extend my stay for much less than the cost that Viking was charging. Because my wife and I were comfortable taking a cab from the Hilton to the Prague Airport for our return trip (cheaper than the cost of the Viking transfer), there was really no benefit to booking a Prague extension with Viking. So we cancelled it. (We decided to do a pre-trip extension in France on our own instead.) My biggest regret on the cruise is that I was too busy taking advantage of the land excursions and other shipboard activities. I really enjoyed the scenic cruising in the Bamberg area, looking at the vineyards and castles along the river. I wish I had spent more time enjoying the cruising. But I suppose that is what repeat cruises are for. I had to rest at home after returning from this vacation. It was a thoroughly enjoyable vacation—highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Our first time cruise with Viking on the Longboat Odin was absolutely spectacular and we so enjoyed the cruise that we hated to disembark the ship. Our cruise began with two nights in Paris, seven nights on the ship and one night in ... Read More
Our first time cruise with Viking on the Longboat Odin was absolutely spectacular and we so enjoyed the cruise that we hated to disembark the ship. Our cruise began with two nights in Paris, seven nights on the ship and one night in Prague. We wish the cruise had been 10-12 nights because we loved the ship so very much. The decor was so tasteful and soothing. The rooms, while small as always on river cruises, were so beautifully and efficiently arranged that we had plenty of space. The room was divine and the service was unparalleled. The entire operation, including excursions, etc. was so smoothly operated and we loved the intimacy of the 180 passenger trip. We cannot wait for another Viking cruise, although we are trying Tauck as well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Our tour started in Prague and ended in Paris. I must say that the ship was clean and accommodations were satisfactory. The staff worked hard to make our journey a pleasurable one and succeeded beyond our expectations. The chef on board ... Read More
Our tour started in Prague and ended in Paris. I must say that the ship was clean and accommodations were satisfactory. The staff worked hard to make our journey a pleasurable one and succeeded beyond our expectations. The chef on board created meals that reflected the regional cuisine consistent with the location of the ship as it traveled through Germany and France. One rather disconcerting part of our journey was going through the various locks, about 30 of them during the earlier part of our voyage. the ship would stop and gradually disappear into these giant vaults only to be raised again to the proper level of the river at that particular location. It was interesting to see at first but rapidly became something of a nuisance. However it was necessary in order to navigate the rivers and well worth the inconvenience considering the magnificent scenery that we were privileged to see. Traveling the rivers was a peaceful experience. The ship never betrayed the fact that we were moving along at what seemed at times to be in the opposite direction of the flow of river. There was little in terms of entertainment which was expected given the size of the ship. Most guests huddled around the bar or sat on the many deck chairs provided by the crew while viewing scenery and enjoying the summer breeze. The excursions provided as options during the cruise were well planned and executed. One of our traveling companions had an ankle injury and elected to take some of the leisurely tours which were offered instead of the standard tours, some of which included lots of steps and inclines. Those alternative tours proved invaluable for some of the guests. In summation, it was a wonderful experience well worth the cost. I was so pleased that I have booked another Viking River Cruise through the South Of France. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our first cruise with Viking and we took the City of Lights cruise on one of the longships. It was incredible from the minute you arrived. The staff (especially the program director) were very attentive and you wanted for nothing. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Viking and we took the City of Lights cruise on one of the longships. It was incredible from the minute you arrived. The staff (especially the program director) were very attentive and you wanted for nothing. What's not to love about being in Paris, all through Germany and Prague. The hotels we stayed in on both ends (as this was a tour with 2 nights in Paris and 2 nights in Prague with city tours included there) were gorgeous and on your own you can easily get around town. The food on board the ship as well as the cities we visited was all amazing. The ships chef really outdid himself and I would give each nights dinner a 5 star rating. One good thing is the tours kept you so busy and there was so much walking, we didn't gain a pound on the entire trip which shocked me. Be prepared with good walking shoes as most of the areas visited had cobblestone streets and not easily manipulated without sturdy comfortable shoes. The entertainment on board was limited since it was such a small ship, however quite good and honestly, we didn't see much as the tours wore you out so going to bed early is what we did most nights. Going through 36 locks on the Rivers, Mosel, Rhine and Main were very cool. Make sure to get a room with a balcony so you can enjoy the experience of the locks first hand. Each city tour was more than I every expected and we thoroughly enjoyed our free time to wonder the towns. Our room was quite spacious but to be honest, we didn't spend much time in it. The shower could be a bit larger, but what do you expect on a ship. Do yourself a favor and if you choose this tour, be sure to extend the Paris portion by 2 days. We got an apartment for a few days to experience Paris on our own. So worth it!!! We have already booked an ocean cruise with Viking in the Baltic Sea for 2016 and looking forward to that. Viking will be our number one vacation from now on. If you want to be treated like Royalty…..choose Viking!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We just returned from a wonderful Viking Cruise line vacation. We have cruised before to Alaska. The hotel in Paris was perfect and very accommodating to Americans. We spent 2 days in Paris and loved it. Viking set up a bus tour of ... Read More
We just returned from a wonderful Viking Cruise line vacation. We have cruised before to Alaska. The hotel in Paris was perfect and very accommodating to Americans. We spent 2 days in Paris and loved it. Viking set up a bus tour of important parts of the city and then allowed for free time. The hotel staff offered possibilities of restaurants to visit as well as how to get around the city. My tip for Paris is to plan well in advance to purchase tickets on the internet to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower before you get there. The tour for the Eiffel tower was sold out when we got there. You can purchase tickets at the hotel’s concierge desk for many of the other attractions in Paris, which will save you waiting in line when you get to your destination. We took a bus ride to Trier, Germany, which was beautiful and informative. Viking provides a tour guide for every aspect of your trip. In Trier, we boarded the long ship. Everything was organized and thought out. Our room was wonderful. Viking really spends time planning and it is evident from the time you board the long ship until the end of the trip. The on board activities were very nice and if you do not feel like attending the meetings/entertainment you can listen/view it on your TV in your room, which is very convenient for the nightly meetings regarding the next day’s activities. The service and all of the staff are top notch in every category. We were treated in such a friendly manner that we felt like we had known many of the staff on the long ship for years. The food was great. I am a picky eater and there was always something somewhere for me to eat. I suggest purchasing the Silver Spirits package if you can because it was worth it for my husband and me. The shore excursions were great. I felt like Viking really spends a lot of time picking their tour guides and training them. We participated in every excursion. They were all very, very organized. I felt like I did not miss anything because of the tour guides attention to detail. The only negative is the lack of a powerful hair dryer in Paris, on the long boat, and in Prague. If you have very long hair that needs to be styled, bring your own hair dryer. This sounds crazy but it was my only problem on this cruise tour. Prague was a fabulous city. Again the hotel staff went out of their way to direct us to great restaurants and attractions. Viking also has dedicated desks/tables set up in the hotels to specifically help if needed. This vacation was everything and more than I expected. Viking is organized and very ready to make your vacation special. I believe their commercials are reality. When sitting on the sun deck it is overwhelming how beautiful the German countryside is.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We absolutely loved everything about our trip. The boat and the staff were absolutely wonderful and exceptional. Most of all, we (my husband & I) thought the itinerary was just perfect. Our cabin was so wonderful - from the balcony ... Read More
We absolutely loved everything about our trip. The boat and the staff were absolutely wonderful and exceptional. Most of all, we (my husband & I) thought the itinerary was just perfect. Our cabin was so wonderful - from the balcony & it's fantastic views to the bed to the amount of space we had to the bathroom - everything was great! The crew was exceptional and a whole lot of fun! Our cruise director, Rhadim, was absolutely the greatest - he just made the whole trip perfect. I can not say enough good things about him. I don't know if any other cruise will be quite the same without him! I want to include ALL of the rest of the crew as well, they were not just friendly, but they were SOOOO helpful and SOOOO fun and it was like they became our friends as well! I miss them all a lot! The food was great and we loved all the "little extras" like water bottles whenever we got off for land excursions, use of the Viking umbrellas, always a little treat as we arrived back on the boat, the 24 hour coffee bar a few steps from our room & always stocked with pastries or cookies!!, and lots of different "themed" meals. The dining room is the center of the boat & we met so many great other guests there. The meals were beautiful with plenty of different options - I'm getting hungry just thinking about all the wonderful meals we had - including breakfast, lunch, dinner & all the wonderful local wines & beers that were served & included! The only "pit fall" we had at all in the whole trip was when we arrived in Paris. Our flight was delayed & there was absolutely no one to meet us & we tried to follow the instructions on how to contact someone from Viking but could not get a hold of anyone. We have traveled on other cruise lines out of Europe and they have a representative waiting at the airport all day long. We were strangers in a foreign country & we had paid extra for the transfer to our hotel, which we were never reimbursed for, and we had to completely fend for ourselves. That is the only disappointing thing that happened on the whole trip. Our hotel in Paris was great & a very good location. The land excursions were wonderful, informative & interesting. I wasn't that impressed the day that the college students came and ate lunch with us. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that they were a very good mix of people from the local area - they all seemed to be from different countries other than Germany where we were!!! Maybe local high school students would be a better idea? Our bus driver was really, really great - friendly & helpful & most importantly, very trustworthy. I would definitely love to travel with Viking again, they seem to have some wonderful itineraries. But it was very expensive & we will have to save up again for awhile! Thanks for everything - it was a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Our trip did not start out very well.....Flight delays gave us only 12 hours in Prague, which we made the best of. Then our luggage did not arrive. The Concierge and Di Ana spent 4 days tracking our luggage and working very hard to get it ... Read More
Our trip did not start out very well.....Flight delays gave us only 12 hours in Prague, which we made the best of. Then our luggage did not arrive. The Concierge and Di Ana spent 4 days tracking our luggage and working very hard to get it to us 5 days after departing Prague. The ships crew was very accommodating, providing laundry service. We purchased some shirts and at least had a change of wardrobe. The Cruise itself was fabulous. We enjoyed every stop, especially the guides, who were very knowledgable and understandable. The restaurant staff was great. The food was good and plentiful. The on board activities were very entertaining. The hotel accommodations were first class. The only disappointment was the sun deck being closed most of the time, but it was understandable. The cabin was very comfortable and clean. All in all I would rate the cruise on a scale of 10 a 9. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My family discovered the ultimate vacation in 2013- a Viking cruise on the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. It was fantastic from beginning to end! We just couldn't stop thinking about the great experience, so we booked another ... Read More
My family discovered the ultimate vacation in 2013- a Viking cruise on the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. It was fantastic from beginning to end! We just couldn't stop thinking about the great experience, so we booked another Viking cruise the following year, in 2014- this time from Paris to Prague, aboard the ship, Odin. The staff and crew were welcoming and the atmosphere was always relaxed and fun. The daily excursions were fabulous and interesting and included local guides. There was plenty of free time to enjoy the destinations. And we enjoyed everything on the ship- most of all- the food. We took thousands of pictures! We had an extended stay in Paris prior to the cruise and Viking took care of everything. Both of our cruises with Viking have been fabulous; I would call them both vacations of a lifetime. We are pleased with the quality of the Viking cruises and the planning that Viking has done to provide us with great destinations, great rooms, great food, and great fun! Life doesn't get any better than being on one of these cruises. And it won't take us long to get back to Europe next year for a third Viking cruise. They are absolutely the best! Counting the days, Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Viking Odin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.5
Dining 3.5 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.5 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 3.6

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