129 Viking River Viking Odin Cruise Reviews

My husband and I had been on previous cruises with Viking and had wonderful experiences and fond memories, so we were confident that it would be enjoyable on this one. Our cabin and steward were excellent and the food served was delicious! ... Read More
My husband and I had been on previous cruises with Viking and had wonderful experiences and fond memories, so we were confident that it would be enjoyable on this one. Our cabin and steward were excellent and the food served was delicious! The excursions were impressive! I was awestruck when we visited the cemetery in Luxumberg and realized the many brave men who sacrificed their life during World War II. The many sights we visited in Germany were enjoyable even though we had visited a few of them on a prior Viking River Cruise in Germany. Viking had all the fine details planned for everyone's enjoyment during our voyage. Everything went like clockwork thanks to the expertise of the Viking crew! They recommended restaurants to visit on our free time and the hotel stays were excellent! Any question we had they were available to answer it. They were very people oriented! We also looked forward to ending up in Paris for a few days for additional sightseeing. Unfortunately, my younger sister died unexpectedly when we arrived in Paris, and necessitated our return home. Viking personnel were so very, very helpful and kind to me and were fantastic arranging my early return home! I will be forever greatful for all their help and concern for me in my time of grief and sorrow. They worked with my husband to arrange everything for our flight home which was a Godsend. They took such good care of us!! I highly recommend them to take the best of care of their passengers. I would give them an A+ for the whole experience. Even though our cruise ended on an extremely sad note, I have fond memories of the trip, all thanks to Viking! They are truly the very best!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
After 37 ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. I worried I would not be able to enjoy a vessel without all the amusements of the larger cruise ships, but that worry never entered my thoughts once onboard. This trip "City ... Read More
After 37 ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. I worried I would not be able to enjoy a vessel without all the amusements of the larger cruise ships, but that worry never entered my thoughts once onboard. This trip "City of Lights" started with 2 days in Prague, 7 days on the Viking Odin and ended with 2 days in Paris. We extended Prague by one extra day and we were very glad to be rested when the tours began. We added three more days to Paris which sounded like a lot when we booked, but regrettably we could have used more time. Five days for the first Paris visit is just not enough. The towns we visited throughout Germany were well chosen and full of history. We saw and experienced the real Germany and I for one cannot wait to explore more of this beautiful country. The staff of the Viking Odin was so delightful. The captain, the Hotel Manager, the Program Director and even the Chef made every effort to make you feel like part of their family and not just a paying guest on their vessel. The food was excellent and each meal was accompanied by the wine of the region we were visiting. Many choices and I cannot imagine anyone ever leaving the table hungry or unsatisfied. All tours were well thought out and very well organized. Buses are very clean all drivers were very personable. This trip was more than I hoped for and we can't wait for another experience with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was by far our favorite cruising experience. We had only done ocean cruises prior to this. Viking staff were knowledgeable and organized. The hotels they selected were top notch. We also enjoyed the guided tours which was a ... Read More
This was by far our favorite cruising experience. We had only done ocean cruises prior to this. Viking staff were knowledgeable and organized. The hotels they selected were top notch. We also enjoyed the guided tours which was a pleasant surprise. Our room was very roomy and the bathroom was so much bigger than we expected. Loved the smaller venue with only 180 passengers. The food and service was excellent and we liked the menus which were designed to feature local cuisine. It was so relaxing and the European countryside was mind boggling. Would definitely go on another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I started our Rhine River Cruise in Paris. A Viking representative was there to direct us to our bus. We had a visual journey to our hotel. The hotel was great as well as the staff. Again, a Viking representative was in the ... Read More
My wife and I started our Rhine River Cruise in Paris. A Viking representative was there to direct us to our bus. We had a visual journey to our hotel. The hotel was great as well as the staff. Again, a Viking representative was in the lobby to help with sightseeing or anything else. Really first class. We traveled by bus to Trier and the Viking Odin. A most beautiful sight. Sleek, Clean, moored to a small dock with the city of Trier behind it. I knew we had made the right travel decision. The cabins are clean and I mean clean. Every day when we left Lubka would be there already cleaning. She also made sure each room had a personal touch. Towels wrapped like dogs. Butterfly's. Amazing she found time to do that but that's the Viking way. I know that now. You become family. The food was excellent. I felt like I was on a Food Channel show. And the presentation was just as good. The Chef took great pride in his work and it showed. The nightly Pre-Excursion lectures were wonderful and set you up for a most memorable day. I can't say enough good things about every excursion we went on. Each guide was knowledgeable and courteous and made every day fun and informative. After a day of Castle Climbing it was always good to come back to the boat, clean up and have DaDa make me a drink at the bar. Dinner and then maybe a little music in the lounge. Then it was time to go to a clean shower in our clean cabin and fall asleep with dreams of what tomorrow would bring. Thanks to all the staff of The Viking Odin! And tell Lubka and DaDa hello. It's been a year or so and I still remember their names. But then again, that's Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
The hotel in Paris was very good, not great. It was very close to the Champs Elysees so touring around before the start of the planned tour was very easy and good. The Tour in Paris, like the other cities, was excellent. Using tour ... Read More
The hotel in Paris was very good, not great. It was very close to the Champs Elysees so touring around before the start of the planned tour was very easy and good. The Tour in Paris, like the other cities, was excellent. Using tour guides from the places you are visiting is great. You get good information from locals, not what is printed by somebody for another talking head to repeat. The use of head sets and a dedicated wireless channel was a great idea. You don't get 'duelling tour guides' yelling over each other or not being able to hear what is being said. There was enough free time in most ports to be able to walk around on your own to experience the local area. This was of particular interest to us as we are both Geocachers and were interested in finding geocaches where we stopped. The ship was fantastic with excellent service, crew, and food. The crew members are approachable and willing to chat. We had an excellent talk with one of the officers during an evening cruise. I recommend this cruise to all my friends. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We stared our trip with a pre-stay in Lucerne organized by Viking Cruises. The pick up at the airport in Zurich gave us the opportunity to see sights on our way to Lucerne. The Schweizerhof Hotel was fabulous. Location was right on the ... Read More
We stared our trip with a pre-stay in Lucerne organized by Viking Cruises. The pick up at the airport in Zurich gave us the opportunity to see sights on our way to Lucerne. The Schweizerhof Hotel was fabulous. Location was right on the Lake. From there you could stand next to palm trees and see the snow covered Alps. Lucerne was a wonderful city, and with the Viking guided tour we got a good feel for the city and explored a lot on our own. Since all was booked through Viking, they then transported us to the ship in Basel. This was our third Viking cruise so we knew to expect really good guides at each of the stops. We were not disappointed. They timed our walks through the cities so we would have special experiences in each port. I am more impressed each time I cruise with Viking with the quality of their shore excursions. I walk slowly and always sign up for their leisurely group. It is so nice to have that option. We ended in Trier, then a bus to see Luxemburg, and on to Paris for two nights in Le Meridien Etoile. Great area for interesting restaurants, and a nice walk to the Arc de Triumph The ship was a Viking Longship. I really loved waking up and going to the lounge to have a couple of cups of Latte while my husband woke up. With the machine I could make it as weak as I like it - half water and half latte. I loved watching the Rhine and the castles as we cruised from the Lounge. This time when we booked all of the full balcony rooms were already taken so we booked a French Balcony. We decided that we do not like a French Balcony, and the full balcony is definitely worth the extra cost. Viking staff is always so helpful and really want to make the trip a special experience for you. The food has a nice regional touch, but with some choices for those that want more traditional food. I love the way the whole ship is invited each evening to learn the plans for tomorrow's activities, followed by the chef telling you what his dinner recommendations are. We normally spent so much time enjoying dinner, talking with the new folks we met at dinner, and the complementary wine with dinner that we just went to bed, and missed the evening entertainment. We have learned that booking the air, pre-stay, and cruise with Viking means you are fully taken care of. They pick you up at the airport, take you to the hotel, then ship, then back to airport. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This is the first Viking cruise for my wife and I. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. The cruise was excellent, service, food, cabin, etc... all excellent. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. All the tours were ... Read More
This is the first Viking cruise for my wife and I. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. The cruise was excellent, service, food, cabin, etc... all excellent. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. All the tours were well organized and very interesting. We liked it so much that we are scheduled to go to China and Hong Kong in Oct of 2016 and considering the Med cruise in 2017. My wife enjoyed the gourmet meals the most. She owned and operated a restaurant for almost 20 years so she knows good cooking and food presentation. Service in the dinning room was excellent. The wait staff was excellent, they went the extra mile to accommodate our every need. Since the ship was small, entertainment was average; live piano. I had a slight disagreement with the piano player in that 'as time goes by' was not a classic song. Any film buff will tell you that this song is an all time classic. Highly recommended Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my first trip to Europe. I had high expectations for the Viking River Cruise experience and I was not disappointed. The service, from the staff, was excellent. Everyone was super efficient and organized. I felt pampered because ... Read More
This was my first trip to Europe. I had high expectations for the Viking River Cruise experience and I was not disappointed. The service, from the staff, was excellent. Everyone was super efficient and organized. I felt pampered because the staff was very attentive and accommodating. The environment was intimate and encouraged the passengers to interact with each other. The ship was small enough to allow everyone to become acquainted and large enough not to feel crowded. The cuisine was outstanding and plentiful. The tours were fun and very educational. I was awed by the spectacular architecture of the historical buildings that were built centuries ago and were still standing and, in some cases, still functional. I loved touring the old castles, of which I had only seen pictures, and I marveled at the lifestyle of the people who lived during that era. The only negative comment I have, about the cruise, is the weather. It was cold and rainy in both France and Germany. April in Paris did not have the mild spring weather I am accustomed to in the U.S. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend taking a Viking River Cruise vacation and I am looking forward to my next Viking adventure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My daughter & I just got back from the Cities of Light cruise. We added two nights in Prague & then cruised the Main, Rhine, & Moselle & eventually ended up in Paris. It was a wonderful trip & worth every penny. The ... Read More
My daughter & I just got back from the Cities of Light cruise. We added two nights in Prague & then cruised the Main, Rhine, & Moselle & eventually ended up in Paris. It was a wonderful trip & worth every penny. The ship is immaculate & all the staff people are exceptional -- friendly, helpful, & gracious. The food was outstanding. Viking organized everything, including luggage, transfers, guided tours, & several on-board activities. Diana, our program director, was 100% on top of everything. We will definitely consider Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The following is my review of my recent “Romantic Danube/Christmas Markets” river cruise on the Viking Odin. A little background; I am 53, DH is 57 and while we have 20+ cruises under our belt, this was only our second river cruise ... Read More
The following is my review of my recent “Romantic Danube/Christmas Markets” river cruise on the Viking Odin. A little background; I am 53, DH is 57 and while we have 20+ cruises under our belt, this was only our second river cruise (The first was on the American Queen-Mississippi River), and our first European river cruise, and our second time to Europe. I like to think of myself as a “Glass Half Full” kind of person, but I must admit I was beginning to worry that this trip would not come anywhere near my expectations after reading several reviews that were full of doom & gloom with all that could go wrong; River levels too high or too low making a river cruise into a bus trip, strikes by the lock workers on the rivers, strikes by the Lufthansa pilots, broken locks, bad weather, etc. It just seemed that with a river cruise more could, and often did, go wrong. I am happy to report that my fears were unfounded. I won’t bore you with our flight details, sufficient to say that 7-hours from Philadelphia to Frankfurt, a 5-hour layover in Frankfurt, and another 1.5 hour flight to Budapest made for a rather long day plus. After arriving at the Budapest airport we gather out luggage, were waived through passport control, and we met by at least eight representatives of Viking to ensure we got on the right bus for our transfer to our boat. Apparently there were four Viking cruises starting in Budapest that day; two were doing Romantic Danube, and two others were doing the Danube Waltz itinerary. A very cheerful man gathered his weary flock of travelers, and got us settled on the bus, where they passed out bottles of water, and away we went. Embarkation-Fastest ever! Once we go to Budapest, and to where the boats dock along the Danube we were met by a chaotic scene of multiple tours buses of all kinds that were discharging or picking up passengers. However, it was all quickly sorted out, and soon we were on our way to boarding. We were met by a smiling Viking employee who handed us a warm, moist wash cloth that we could use to wipe our face and hands of the stain of travel, got in line to receive our key card (Took 3 minutes tops), then we were handed off to another employee that escorted us to our cabin. Within another 5-minutes our luggage had been delivered. Cabin-We had booked a window (Known as an aquarium class) cabin, and found it quite comfortable. The layout was efficient, and plenty of storage for hanging clothes such as coats, shelves for folded items, and 4 drawers for underwear and socks. The bathroom was tiny, but I loved the heated floor, and the fact we had a glass shower door, rather than a curtain. There were shelves here too for all of our toiletries. Every day our cabin was serviced twice a day by our marvelous room steward. The only drawback was I found the two pillows per person to be too thin for my liking, but we asked for, and quickly got an additional pillow each. There was a flat screen TV, and a selection of movies, and all the episodes of Downton Abbey available on demand. There was also a limited selection of TV stations available (Mostly news), and music too. Dining-There is one main dining room that is used for all meals. Normally breakfast was served between 7am-9am, but the hours were slightly adjusted depending on what time we were docking for the day’s tour. I think once it opened as early as 6:30, and on the morning we arrived in Nuremberg they served breakfast as late as 10am. Lunch was normally served between 12-2pm, and dinner most nights was at 7pm, but one evening they didn’t start serving until 7:30 (Night of the Captain’s Dinner). I thought the food was excellent. There were usually 2/3 starters to choose from as well as a soup and three entrees to choose from as well. For dessert there was a featured dessert, as well as several ice cream flavors to choose from. All seating was open so you may sit where and with whom you choose. Most of the tables seated 4 or 6. There were a few 8 tops. I didn’t notice any tables for two. There was a more casual alternative for those that wished on the Upper Deck called the Aquavit Terrace. A Continental Breakfast was served in the mornings, available about half an hour earlier then when the dining room would open, and at night you could get a lighter meal. Items served included; Cheeseburger, Chef Salad, Caesar Salad with Steak or Chicken, Chicken Quesadilla, and a Jacket Potato (Think loaded baked potato with bacon wrapped around it). We ate there two nights; the first night on board when we were so tired we only wanted a quick bite and be off to bed, and the last night when nothing on the menu appealed to me. Entertainment-They had something scheduled every night, starting around 9pm. We missed most of the entertainment as we normally turn into pumpkins around 9, but one night was a Christmas Sing-a-Long, another night was Hungarian Folk dancers. Ports: We had 6 ports on this itinerary; Budapest, Hungary, Vienna, Austria, Melk Abbey, Austria, Passau, Germany, Regensburg, Germany, and Nuremberg, Germany. Budapest-We arrived in Budapest around 4:00 in the afternoon on Saturday. After dropping off our luggage in our cabin we decided to go the Christmas Market on our own. The Program Director gave us easy to follow directions (Within walking distance) and we quickly found the market. However, being a Saturday afternoon/evening it was very crowded. By crowded I mean could not move forwards or backwards at one point. That proved to be too much for me, and we made our way to the Danube River, where we admired the Buda side of the river illuminated beautifully. We found a street vendor selling hot spiced wine who accepted euros, drank our wine and admired the view. We tried to find a boat ride that would have taken us up and down the Danube so we could see the Pest side of the river as well, but the only one we could locate was a dinner cruise for 40 euro each that took 2-hours. I wish Viking had taken the opportunity to give their guests a little scenic cruising that first night. The next morning we were up early for the bus portion of our included tour that drove past various points of interest including a cathedral, the opera house, several parks, the zoo, spas, and Hero’s Square. While our guide was very good, and was very knowledgeable about Hungarian history, it seemed that everything she pointed out was on the left side of the bus. Naturally, we were sitting on the right. Things improved when we go to the Buda side of the river, the Castle District, where we had the walking portion of the tour. After our guide was done we had about an hour of free time to explore the area, which included some shopping, and great views of the Pest side of the Danube. Then it was off by bus to meet the boat. Vienna-Vienna was our longest day. We arrived around 7am, and our bus tour left at 8 or 8:30. We started with a bus drive on the Ringstrauss and saw many impressive buildings, and then it was time for the walking tour. We had signed up for the leisure paced tour after being assured we would see everything everyone else did, and we would have plenty of free time. Our tour guide was excellent, and she did point out a number of interesting sites. We did go past the Famous Spanish Riding School, but it being Monday, the horses were having their day of rest so we saw no more than a horse or two poking its head out a stable door. What was disappointing to me was we ended up with only 35-minutes of free time, while other groups had at least an hour. I had wanted to go to Café Central, and managed to get to it in our free time allotted, but there was no time to actually have a cup of coffee. All too soon it was back on the bus to go to back to the boat for lunch. After lunch they had two shuttles for those that wished to go to the Christmas Market. One left at 2:00, the other at 2:30. There was also an optional tour to Schonbrunn Palace that had a cost of approximately 40 euro. We opted for the 2:00 shuttle to the Christmas Market. When we arrived at the Christmas Market we were told there were two return shuttles; one at 3:45, the other at 4:45. I had thought we would stay until the 4:45 shuttle, but we ended up returning on the 3:45 shuttle as we found the Christmas Market in Vienna disappointing. While large, most of the stalls were filled with mass produced items. I don’t think I was the only one disappointed as it appeared everyone was trying to get back on the 3:45 shuttle. There were two sittings that night for dinner; one at 6pm for those that had chosen to go to the optional Mozart/Strauss concert that evening (Cost was 63 euro pp) and another at 7:30. As we were going to the concert, as was about half the boat we ate at 6:00. The concert was excellent and appeared to be enjoyed by all. When we got back around 10:15 they were serving a light supper in the lounge of Hungarian Goulash Soup (Excellent). Scenic Cruising through the Wachau Valley & Melk Abbey-Day four found us sailing through the Wachau Valley, which I found to be as beautiful as advertised. Have your camera ready, especially around 8 in the morning as that’s when we passed Krems on the right, which is postcard pretty. It was one charming storybook town, church and castle after another. In the afternoon we docked at Melk Abbey. For those that were feeling fit, you could walk up, for the rest of us there were buses. One group left at 1:00, and the other group left at 1:30. Melk Abbey was very impressive, and once again we had an excellent guide. The Basilica of the abbey is jaw-dropping beautiful, and even my husband, who normally doesn’t get that excited about churches, was impressed. Passau, Germany-Passau is a charming, very walkable town, with narrow, twisting cobblestone streets. Unfortunately for the town they do have an issue with flooding. We had yet another great guide. There were a couple of options for the end of the walking tour. You could choose to end at a bakery for a demonstration in gingerbread baking, or end at St. Stephen’s Cathedral for an organ concert (The organ at St. Stephen’s is the largest in Europe). Because I love torturing my husband we went to the organ concert. There was no additional charge for the concert, which lasted about half an hour. The inside of St. Stephen’s is very impressive. After the concert we went to the Christmas Market which was just outside the Cathedral. This was a nice market, which a nice selection of booths, and great food. My husband enjoyed a bratwurst kabob, while I loved my steak sandwich slathered with sour cream and topped with raw onion. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Yum! The boat was leaving right after lunch, but for those that wished, you could stay in town and take a bus at 5 that would bring you back to the boat up river. We opted to stay in town, exploring and shopping. We found a charming store, where my DH finally got his longed for cuckoo clock. Regensburg, Germany-Here we had another walking tour. However, I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as the one the day before in Passau. Part of the problem was the town was over flowing with tourist from river cruises. Not just Viking, but other lines as well, and unlike in Passau where the tour guides would take different routes to avoid congestion, it seemed like every guide wanted to go to the same place at the same time. We also didn’t have a very good guide. He walked very fast, and kept leaving members of our group far behind. I kept running up to him, to no avail. He seemed to think it was the group’s responsibility to keep up to his pace, rather than for him to adjust to the group’s pace. He also used some crude language that I found off-putting. We finally gave up on him, and with another couple bailed on the tour when we came upon the Christmas Market in town. After perusing the stalls, and drinking a glass of a hot, eggnog punch (I was getting tired of gluhwein) that was delicious we went into St. Peter’s Cathedral, an impressive Gothic Cathedral, before making our way back to the boat. That afternoon we took the optional tour to the Thurn & Taxis palace in Regansburg. The palace was very beautiful , and once again we were blessed with an knowledgeable tour guide. After the tour we then went to the Christmas Market on the palace grounds, and this was my very favorite market as there were a number of vendors with beautiful hand-crafted items. Nuremberg, Germany-Our final stop. We didn’t get to Nuremberg until a little after noon on Friday. There were two tours to choose from, one that focused on the WWII history, and one that didn’t. We picked the one that didn’t, but still got quite a bit of WWII history before we went to the “Old” part of the city (Nuremberg was nearly destroyed in WWII and what appears to be medieval buildings are actually rebuilt since the late 1940’s). There you could continue with a walking tour, or go straight to the Christmas Market. About half of the bus went on the walking tour, while the rest of us opted to go straight to the Market. This was another great market as I felt it had something for everyone. There were stalls with hand crafted items, and stall with less expensive mass produced items, and enough food choices for any palate. It’s very large and in the 2+ hours we were there I don’t think we saw everything. So, to sum it all up. I loved this trip. I thought the food, service, accommodations, and tours offered by Viking were top-notched, and would sail with them again in a heartbeat. I also loved the Christmas Markets, the towns we visited, and the people we met.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This has been a dream of ours for years and before I booked I talked to a classmate who had been on several Viking Cruises. On her rave reviews we booked a "pre 50th wedding anniversary cruise" that started in Prague and ended in ... Read More
This has been a dream of ours for years and before I booked I talked to a classmate who had been on several Viking Cruises. On her rave reviews we booked a "pre 50th wedding anniversary cruise" that started in Prague and ended in Paris. Viking took great care of us! No worries, no hassle! They picked us up at the airport and from then on we were in their capable hands. The hotels were nice, close to town so we could walk and explore. The tours were fun and interesting, the guides were very knowledgeable . We never would have seen so much on our own. The ship was fantastic! We loved sitting on the deck watching the amazing landscape of castles and vineyards and especially enjoyed going through the river locks. The program director was energetic, friendly, and super organized. Each night there was an opportunity for live music and a fun activity; we really liked the glassblower! The food was fantastic and there was always a nice variety and excellent service. One night I asked the head chef about some mustard that we had tried on German night; he said it could be purchased in the grocery store at the town we were stopping at in a day or two. A few minutes later he came to our table with a jar of the yummy brown mustard! So nice! Another day he took some of us into town and we went to a sausage tasting narrated by our chef! At every turn and opportunity Viking staff met or exceeded our expectations. The intimacy of the ship meant you got to know one another quite well after a few days and we made some new friends!This trip of a lifetime was more than we ever hoped it would be! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The highlights: Everything while aboard the Odin. It could not have been any better. Excellent officers and staff, excellent food, excellent accommodations with roomy shower, and sliding glass French door. Beautiful scenery. The tour ... Read More
The highlights: Everything while aboard the Odin. It could not have been any better. Excellent officers and staff, excellent food, excellent accommodations with roomy shower, and sliding glass French door. Beautiful scenery. The tour director was outstanding. Good entertainment. Rated five star, A+ The low lights: The long airline flights in uncomfortable, narrow close together seats, whether on Delta Air France or KLM. We were surprised that even though it was called a city of lights vacation, there was no evening tour included in either Paris or Prague. In between: Some excursions were outstanding and interesting with local guides. Others were rushed. As an example, in Prague, we toured the Palace and walked on cobblestones for nearly four hours, with a fifteen minute break. The earphone system was a plus on all of the tours. Since we were in a part of the world where the history spans centuries, it was difficult to keep up with the narratives at times since they were about Norman times at one minute and the World War II in the next. The hotel in Paris, le Meridian was adequate, and although our room was ok, many people had comments about broken tiles, carpet problems etc. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Wow! We really loved our trip from the pre-trip in Prague; River Cruise from Bamberg, Germany to Trier; Luxumborg; and post-trip in Paris! Viking's attention to detail, and friendly, efficient staff, made us feel at ease in foreign ... Read More
Wow! We really loved our trip from the pre-trip in Prague; River Cruise from Bamberg, Germany to Trier; Luxumborg; and post-trip in Paris! Viking's attention to detail, and friendly, efficient staff, made us feel at ease in foreign countries. We never felt alone and knew that if we needed anything, Viking staff would be there to help us! From our Captain, Cruise Director, Chef, Concierge, waitresses and waiters, and cabin steward et al - Thank you for a wonderful cruise! Our Concierge on the Odin was amazing! She was able to link us up with another couple, who already had reservations for dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. As a result, long after we left the ship, we were able to fulfill our plans to have dinner and show with our newly found friends! Accomodations for the entire trip was top of the line, and comfortable, allowing us to soak in all the sites and sounds of each location with ease! Lastly, the quality of guides and ability to use the "quiet box", made each tour a delight. We were able to hear all the comments and as a result, learned a great deal. Our champagn toast on top of the Eiffle Tower topped it off! Thanks Viking for making our 50th Anniversary all that we wanted it to be:)   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first experience on a Viking Long ship . It was truly a great experience and the upgrades over the regular ships is great. I sure that in no time all the ships with be long ships. The meals and the service has really improved ... Read More
This was our first experience on a Viking Long ship . It was truly a great experience and the upgrades over the regular ships is great. I sure that in no time all the ships with be long ships. The meals and the service has really improved or our previous cruise 6 years ago on Viking. I wished we had paid more attention to the bus rides that we were gong to have as it can as a surprise to us and that maybe partly because we did not get our tour information three weeks in advance as it should be. The shore excursions were all very good but a couple of them could of had more detail in the places we visited. For example we did not get to see enough of Nurnberg as it s such and important place in history. I suppose that this these trips are to tweek your interest and cause to want to return and see more. We appreciated the addition of the head sets for touring they were a real plus. The cabins were nice size with a larger TV than before and the fact that you could use 110 or 220 power was a great plus. We will no doubt be back Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I received so many helpful hints from others prior to my cruise that I thought I’d share some highlights from my experience. I’m in my early 60s, an active, experienced traveler in good physical shape. I did this cruise with my sister, ... Read More
I received so many helpful hints from others prior to my cruise that I thought I’d share some highlights from my experience. I’m in my early 60s, an active, experienced traveler in good physical shape. I did this cruise with my sister, who has walking difficulties – she walks with a cane, can go steps, but walks slowly and can’t walk far without resting. So, some of this review will be from the perspective of someone with walking difficulties. Overall, we had a fabulous time and would happily sail with Viking again. However, there are a few small things that Viking could do to make it easier for people with limited walking abilities. Viking does offer a leisure/slow group for city tours and there were several others walking with canes that joined us for these. I did lots of research before the trip to make it as easy as possible and enjoyable for my sister – who had never been to Paris, Germany, or Prague before. I’ve been to Paris and Prague several times and to most of the places in Germany once, so I had a sense of what would be doable for us. For Paris, I relied heavily on Rick Steves’ guide. We had booked Vikings precruise tour of Paris, but ended up arriving a day earlier than expected due to a pilot’s strike by Air France. I had booked our airfare via Delta and received an email about 6 days before departure. I called Delta and easily moved the flight up a day. Some who had Viking book didn’t find out until the day before departure. Viking had us staying at Le Meridien and I booked another night myself. Tip: I booked a room for about $ 350 per night. The Viking precruise tour package ended up being about $ 500 per night. I would have booked it all on my own, but didn’t want the hassle of changing hotels if Viking made a last minute change. I didn’t get breakfast included in the $350 room rate and didn’t want to pay the 20+ euros for breakfast, so went across the street to Starbucks (in the shopping mall) for coffee and pastries. Breakfast was included in the Viking rate – it was good but not 20+ euros good. The shopping mall also has a fabulous gourmet grocery store. Several evenings, my sister was too tired to go out to dinner. I got takeout from the store and we enjoyed that in our room. Found some small items for gifts and bought some wine to take on the cruise. Transportation Tip: If you don’t have a Viking Transfer from the airport, the Air France bus stops directly across from the hotel. I bought our tickets in advance online – the transfer was very easy and I didn’t have to stress watching the taxi meter rise while stuck in morning rush hour traffic. The hotel isn’t in an area I’d choose to stay in, but transportation connections were convenient. Monday, 15 September Our flight came in about 5:30 AM so we arrived at the hotel well before checkin time. I didn’t expect that we could check in – and we couldn’t. Checked our baggage with the porter. I went to the metro station to buy a carnet of metro/bus tickets (a carnet is 10 tickets – cheaper than buying them individually). We walked up to the Avenue de la Grande Armee to catch Bus # 73 to Arc de Triomphe where we caught the Open Air Hop On/Off Bus. Thought this would be a good easy thing to do on our first day and would give my sister a feel for the layout of Paris. I bought my tickets in advance. We had a beautiful warm, sunny day, so enjoyed riding on the top. I wouldn’t recommend this as the fastest way to get around. We were often stopped for fairly long periods of time as people bought their tickets while boarding. We got off to visit Notre Dame here, so skipped this part of the Viking Tour – later in the week. Tuesday, 16 September My sister was very tired so I went out on my own – after my breakfast run to Starbucks. Returned and we had lunch at Le Sud, just up the street from the hotel. Took bus # 73 again to Musee D’Orsay. Let me start here by saying how access-friendly Paris and Parisians are. If you are handicapped, admission to museums for you and your companion is free. Wheelchairs are also free (just need to leave an ID). I knew that walking around museums, especially the Louvre, would be difficult for my sister, the wheelchairs made it possible. The staffs of the museums went out of their way to show us to the elevators – not always easy to find. Wednesday, 17 September We’re officially on Viking tour now and enjoyed the hotel buffet breakfast. Each day, the host/hostess seated us at a table close to the buffet so we didn't have to walk far. We took the Metro to the Louvre – fairly easy walk from station directly into the Louvre’s underground shopping center. I didn’t plan on use Metro much as there are steps and often quite a bit of walking if you’re in a station with connections. (People readily gave up their seats for my sister). Again, the museum staff were very helpful – we were even directed to go in front of the velvet rope at the Mona Lisa, so my that my sister had a great view. Dinner this evening was at the Eiffel Tower. Tip: If you want to go up the tower for a tour or a meal, be sure to book in advance or face waiting in a very long line. To avoid this, I thought about booking lunch. In June, lunch reservations were already sold out for our dates in September, so we splurged on dinner. Expensive (about $ 110 each), but food was great and the view was fantastic. We took a cab both ways. Thursday, 18 September Another morning on my own. In the afternoon, we went to Giverny with Paris Tours. It’s easy to get there on your own, but Paris Tours picks you up at your hotel. We were dropped off at the back, close to the lily ponds – there are steps. We did that first before walking up to the house and gardens. There were benches to sit on to rest. The bus picked us up near the house, so walking was minimized. Note: I really wanted to go to Versailles as I hadn’t been there in more than 20 years, but was concerned that my sister wouldn’t be able to keep up with a tour and if we did it on our own, it would involve lots of walking. And, recent reviews on TripAdvisor complained about the crowds. Also, I knew that Wurzburg would give us a baroque palace experience. Friday, 19 September Decided to take Viking’s morning tour of Paris (I wish they had 1 or 2 busses do this the first day of the precruise tour – kind of too late after you’ve been tin Paris for a day or two). The first part of the route took us through a part of Paris that we didn’t cover on the Open Air Tour. We got off near Notre Dame. I don’t recall if there was a slow group organized, but we wouldn’t have been able to keep up to get to Notre Dame. Decided to skip the rest of the tour and took bus # 63 to Pere Lachaise cemetery to see Jim Morrison’s (The Doors) grave. Used Rick Steves’ directions. I’d been before, but my sister wanted to go and it’s not a far walk from the bus stop and there are benches in the cemetery to rest. We took the same # 63 bus back and got off to visit the Rodin Museum – my sister’s choice. The gardens were lovely with roses and sculptures, but the house was not very accessible – just stairs. My sister was worn out by then – taking a bus would have meant a transfer and the taxi stand was quite a walk away. A woman in the gift shop offered to call us a cab – well worth it. Saturday, 20 September Left Paris about 8:00 for Luxembourg City. We were assigned to a bus with other “leisure travelers”. Here’s a little thing that Viking could do to help – have the bus with the leisure group parked closest to the hotel, ship, etc. While walking a few bus lengths isn’t a big thing for most, if you can’t walk far, it does make a difference – many times, our bus was the furthest one away. Had one stop along the way (bus drivers are mandated to stop for a break). Long lines at the restroom as all busses stopped at the same place. Nice shop to buy champagne, snacks, etc. Arrived Luxembourg City around lunch. With Saturday crowds and some kind of festival going on, it was hard to see and keep up with the guide on the walk to the center. She wasn’t very clear on when/where to meet for the city tour and some people missed it – we only had about 30 mins for lunch before the start of the city tour. We opted for a nice lunch instead. We went to The Chocolate House, recommended by Rough Guide, and across from the Grand Ducal Palace. Beautiful view, great food, and yummy desserts and bought some chocolate spoons to go (you dip these in hot milk for a hot chocolate drink). Stopped by the American Cemetery. Hard to keep up with our guide, but we heard what he said via the Quiet Boxes – what a great invention! Finally arrived in Trier to board the Viking Odin. Fast easy boarding process – if you’ve only cruised on ocean liners, you’ll be amazed at how fast checkin and getting your luggage can be! I booked our tour in December and the only cabin left was on the lower level. There is no elevator down. One flight of steps was ok for my sister. Being on a higher deck would have been easier. There is an elevator from Deck 2 (Dining Room) to Deck 3 (Lounge), with just steps up to the sun deck. If I cruise again with her, I’d go for a higher deck to minimize steps; with someone else, I’d be perfectly happy on the lower deck. We didn’t spend much time in our cabin and I’d rather splurge on something else. Had pre dinner brief by our program director, Titiana (I hope I spelled her name right). She’s an enthusiastic, ball of energy and did a wonderful job, as did the entire crew. Sunday 21 September Had a quick bus tour of the outskirts of Trier to see several Roman sites and then started our walking tour. We went with the leisure group. Had several opportunities to sit down but it was still quite a long walk. Couldn’t go into the basilica (primo Roman site) as it’s now used as a church and there was a service. We had time at the end of the tour to sit and have some hot chocolate. If you were on the fast tour, there might have been time to visit the museum by Porta Nigra. Note, my husband and I usually prefer to travel on our own and we’ve visited Trier before. This is one place where I’d have been very frustrated by the tour – we love Roman archaeological sites and I would have missed a lot if the Viking tour had been my only experience, but that’s one of the disadvantages of taking an organized tour. We had a late afternoon stop at Bernkastel. Did some window shopping. Monday, 22 September Docked in Cochem to visit Reichsburg Castle. Minivans took us up to the Castle and then back down the hill for a walking tour of the town. I asked if we could go up in the first van so that we’d have plenty of time to walk in the town (without slowing anyone else down). The Castle was doable for my sister and we enjoyed the tour. We left the walking tour early to slowly make our way down. We had a leisurely afternoon – watched a movie in our cabin before docking in Koblenz. Tuesday, 23 September I visited Marksburg Castle while my sister relaxed on the ship while it cruised to Brauback– you never have to get off for port visits if you don’t want to. Titania made it very clear that this tour would be difficult for those with mobility issues and she was right. The walk up to the castle isn’t too bad, but once inside the gate, there are places where it’s rocky, steep, and uneven. The afternoon was spent cruising the Rhine and viewing the castles. We had lunch on the Aquavit Terrace and stayed there most of the afternoon enjoying the view. The crew brought lap blankets as it was cool and cloudy to start. There are plexiglass panels at the bow, so we were fairly well protected from the wind. Titania broadcast which castles were coming up so we knew what to look for. Rick Steves also covers this area well. Docked in Rudesheim about 5. It was a long walk into town from where the ship docked. Another tip for Viking – in Rudesheim and a few other places, the ship docked quite far from the center of town. Some of these towns had little tourist trains/trolleys. It would have been nice if Viking could have arranged for these to meet the ship – or offered to call a cab. We’d have gladly paid extra for the convenience. Tip for Christmas decoration shoppers – our first Kathe Wohlfahrt shop was in Rudesheim. There are also stores in Heildelburg and Rothenburg. One of our tour guides offered brochures for a 10% discount. Had a special German dinner on board along with a tour of the galley. Wednesday, 24 September Disembarked in Aschaffenburg and took a bus to Heidelberg Castle. Quite a steep walk to the entrance from where the bus parked. The leisure tour did stop at several scenic places to sit so it worked out ok. Bus took us to the outskirts of the Old Town and we walked to Zum Ritter for lunch (included) – a fairly long walk. We had a very good beef dish but you could order a vegetarian option in advance. A student from the University was seated at each table, but we were too far away to converse with him. Restrooms were upstairs, but Titiana showed us a hidden elevator. After lunch we were on our own and did some window shopping. We were to meet at Zum Ritter for the walk back to the bus. Unfortunately, there is no place to sit on the square – except for restaurants where you had to order something. We ordered coffee, just to have a place to sit and wait. Bus took us back to ship which had sailed to Miltenberg. Thursday, 25 September We had signed up for the Rothenburg tour – I had been there more than 20 years before and would have liked to revisit, but it would have meant a full day of touring which was too much for my sister. Don’t miss if you haven’t been. We had seen some medieval towns, but hadn’t seen a baroque palace and didn’t want to be too tired to enjoy Wurzburg Palace. The bus dropped us off near the entrance. There is a magnificent staircase, but the guide told us where to find the elevator to join the tour at the top. We left the tour after the Palace portion, foregoing the city tour to take more time to enjoy the gardens. We made our way through town on our own, crossed the old bridge (and saw our ship going through the lock) to catch our bus which took us on a short ride to the ship. Our afternoon was free and I walked back to the city. Except for the Palace, it’s not a very touristy town and you’ll find shops and department stores geared towards the locals, not tourists. Captain’s dinner tonight and most people dressed up a bit more – as others have posted, whatever you wear during the day is perfectly acceptable for dinner. A group of men had T-shirts imprinted with a tuxedo – a nice touch. Friday, 26 September A leisurely morning with a disembarkation briefing followed by a lecture on the European Union. Arrived Bamberg after lunch. Took the leisure tour through the city and had lots of time after to enjoy a local beer and do more shopping. Bus back to the ship, our final dinner and I paid our bill after dinner. Unlike ocean cruising, there were few extras to pay for. We added our tips and I had a few slacks laundered – that was it. We had no bar bill. We found that wine or beer at lunch and dinner was plenty for us. We bought 2 bottles of wine in Paris and only drank ½ of one! A note about services on the ship. We didn’t use the services of the concierge, but she provided information about tours and concerts in Prague and would gladly book for any of those interested. We talked with several people who used her to book trips to Cesky Krumlov or a car/driver to take them to other places outside of Prague. Saturday, 27 September. Bags out by 7 and we were to be out of cabins by 8. After breakfast, we went back to our cabin – about 7:30, only to find that beds had been stripped and all towels were gone – a bit tacky, but we still left an extra tip for the cabin steward as she had been great all week. We also had to leave our quiet boxes – not sure why. The busses took us to Nuremberg. We didn’t have quiet boxes and couldn’t hear our guide most of the time. We went to the Zeppelin parade ground, the castle and then back to the Old Town. I liked Nuremberg more than I thought and will revisit if I'm in the area so that I can see more of it. We had lunch at a café on the square – we tried to pay by credit card and the waitress told us that the restaurants on the square don’t take credit cards, so be sure to have cash. The clock on the Church of Our Lady on the square has a mechanical show at noon – wish our tour guide would have told us that – maybe she did, but we couldn’t hear. We caught the end of the show. Bus to Prague for stay at the Prague Hilton. Like Le Meridien in Paris, I wouldn’t choose to stay in this location. But, the hotel is really nice. There are ATMs and currency exchange machines in the lobby so it’s easy to get Czech currency. I’m a Hilton Gold member and the Executive Lounge is probably the best I’ve encountered. My sister was too tired to go out, so we ended up eating “dinner” here every evening (a shame to miss out on real Czech cuisine, but we did have great lunches!). Tip: I had wanted to go to Pivovarsky Klub Microbrewery, 272 Krizikova –about 2 blocks beyond the Floenc Metro. My husband and I dined at their sister restaurant several years ago and enjoyed it. Be sure to try Becherovka, an herbal liquer made in Karlovy Vary. I also love Czech bread dumplings - often offered with goulash - the sauce on the dumplings is delicious. The hotel is not far from the Florenc metro/bus stop, but for us it was a long walk. There is a small shopping mall across the street with a grocery store and pharmacy (walk through here to get to metro). Sunday, 28 September We got new quiet boxes for the tour - yeah! Took the leisure tour to Prague Castle. Disappointed that we couldn’t visit St. Vitus Cathedral (Sunday services again) but we did hear the bells pealing which was almost as good. Saw the end of the changing of the guard ceremony. We had plans to meet family at 12. The bus was going nearby our meeting point and the driver kindly let us off. The fast tour had planned on stopping at the Charles Bridge and the group would walk over this to the Old Town. The slow group would have missed the Charles Bridge part. Monday, 29 September This was the end of the Viking Tour, but we extended one day in Prague and another 5 days in the Czech Republic. We took a taxi to the Mucha Museum (I love Art Nouveau). We walked from there to Obecni Dum (Municipal House) to see another Art Nouveau exhibit and had lunch in their beautiful café. Would have loved to have come back for a concert – it’s a really beautiful building. Walked to Old Town Square to see the Astronomical Clock and then shopped at Erpet Bohemian Crystal – across from the clock. Tip: Someone who used to work at the US Embassy Prague recommended this shop as a reputable place, especially if you want to ship your purchases. We bought some garnet jewelry here, but if I had wanted to make a large purchase, I’d do it here. We probably should have asked the store clerk to call a cab for us, but we walked to the Mustak Metro station and took it to Florenc (near the hotel). There is an elevator at Florenc but we had to wait a long time for it. Someone with a bicycle got on and there was no place for us so we had to wait for the next one (bikes aren’t supposed to be allowed). We had a drink at Hilton's rooftop lounge for a nice view of the city. Tuesday, 30 September – Friday, 3 October We had breakfast in the Executive Lounge – same food as the lobby buffet, but not as crowded. We had arranged for a Hilton car to take us to the airport (800 kc) and the car dropped us off at the car rental place as requested. We drove to the palace at Horovice (my great grandfather was a guard there) and stayed at nearby Chateau Zibrou – very interesting if you’re in the area and want a castle hotel stay and an interesting tour. I didn’t know it when I booked but Mucha spent several years here and there is a nice exhibit of his work. Next to Cesky Krumlov for 2 nights. Then to Putim, a small town outside of Pisek where we visited more relatives. I only mention this if there are any fans of the book “The Good Soldier Svejk”. Parts of the book take place here and a movie of the book was filmed here. There is now a statue of Svejk here as well. Saturday, 4 October Drove back to airport to return car and stayed at Airport Marriott. Since we had a very early morning flight, it seemed easiest to stay here. Very reasonable priced – about $ 85. And there are walkways to both terminals. We enjoyed a good dinner and our final Czech beer here. I hope that some of you find this review useful. I'm happy to try to answer any questions. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
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
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
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
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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