117 Viking River Viking Skadi Cruise Reviews

We have been on a Viking River Cruise before. The experience then was excellent. We have reviewed other firms advertisements but have seen nothing that has convinced us to switch away from Viking. This cruise, Tulips and Windmills, was ... Read More
We have been on a Viking River Cruise before. The experience then was excellent. We have reviewed other firms advertisements but have seen nothing that has convinced us to switch away from Viking. This cruise, Tulips and Windmills, was the first cruise of the season this year for this itinerary. Unfortunately this year, this was a week too early for the tulip fields to be in bloom and the weather had just turned to spring. This is just luck of the draw. The shore excursions, both included and optional were all excellent. Staff on-board the ship were professional, competent and most helpful and friendly throughout. The food was consistently delicious and varied from day to day so as never getting boring. With the selections available, there was always several choices that I enjoyed if the main dish was something that I did not want. The house wines and beers were very good. Was nice to sample local beers that were not available at home. The well known local beers were also available. Being on the first run of the season, the embarkation direct from the airport onto the ship well before noon after the overnight flight was most welcome and appreciated. Later in the season, one can't often get into ones rooms for a snooze until the afternoon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We were not keen on going on an ocean cruise and decided we would try a river cruise and choose to go on a Viking Danube Waltz river cruise. We choose December as prices were very reasonable then and we loved the idea of seeing all the ... Read More
We were not keen on going on an ocean cruise and decided we would try a river cruise and choose to go on a Viking Danube Waltz river cruise. We choose December as prices were very reasonable then and we loved the idea of seeing all the Christmas markets in the various towns/cities we were due to visit. We had also booked the pre cruise trip to Budapest and we were glad we did this as Budapest is such a lovely city and it was great to have a bit more time to enjoy this wonderful city. From embarking on to our longship, Viking Skadi, we got the impression that we were going to have a great time and Viking didn't fail us. We just had a standard stateroom and there was ample space and facilities for us as we spent most of the time out of our stateroom. As long as we had a comfortable bed, ample storage facilities and good shower we are happy with this. The stateroom attendants kept the rooms spotless and ensured all the toiletries and tea/coffee were replenished daily. All staff on Viking Skadi were brilliant and their main agenda is to ensure all the clients have a great trip; nothing was too much trouble for any of them. Our Programme Director ensured we were all briefed daily regarding the trips taking place the next day and if there were optional trips you may wish to book. We did book the optional opera trip in Vienna and thoroughly enjoyed this and would definitely recommend this. There were various programmes organised in the ship either in the afternoon or evening which were also very good and you could choose if you wished to attend or not. You are given a GPS system for all the excursions which meant you could be a distance away from the group and guide and could still hear the guide's narrative which was really good as you didn't feel you had to get in a group huddle all the time. Guides were all very knowledgeable with excellent English. The food on the ship was first class and beer, wine and soft drinks were flowing at lunch and dinner if you wished to partake. You could choose A La Carte for lunch and dinner or the slightly more informal dining near the bar area. We usually had lunch in the bar area as we preferred something light and choose to have A La Carte in the Dining Room for dinner. This was a 3 course meal and there was always something from the regional specialties to choose or if you preferred there is always steak, chicken or salmon to choose. The food really was delicious and the Chef would come round the tables beforehand to introduce a regional specialty and afterwards to ask if everyone enjoyed their meal. Dining is free choice which means you could sit wherever you wished which meant we got to eat meals with a variety of different fellow travellers which made meal time very interesting and meant you got to know more of your fellow travellers. We met some really lovely people on the cruise. Being December this meant that all the places we visited had their Christmas decorations up which added to the atmosphere. Melk looked particularly picturesque with the Main Street lined with little Christmas trees decorated with lights. This was our first Viking cruise and we were so impressed that we have already booked a Rhine cruise and the St Petersburg to Moscow cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Everything about cruise was first rate. Were met at airport by several staff so no concerns about where to go, luggage, etc. Food was fantastic and dinner wines were much better than expected. Wait staff were very friendly and helpful; ... Read More
Everything about cruise was first rate. Were met at airport by several staff so no concerns about where to go, luggage, etc. Food was fantastic and dinner wines were much better than expected. Wait staff were very friendly and helpful; attendant without being "bothersome". The staff on board the Skadi were excellent and good-natured. I felt that they actually cared about us. Dance floor was small but we were often only couple dancing. Piano player was excellent. Met very many friendly people cruising; was my favorite cruise ever. Tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Would not have enjoyed our first trip to Europe as much without their knowledge and tips. There was so much to do but never felt rushed; could always go off on own if didn't want to go on tour. Flight to Europe on Lufthansa was very good; flight back on an American carrier was not as good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my first river cruise and my wife and I couldn't have picked a better introductory cruise. This was also my wife's first trip to Europe. The itinerary for the Danube Waltz trip contained the right amount of excursions ... Read More
This was my first river cruise and my wife and I couldn't have picked a better introductory cruise. This was also my wife's first trip to Europe. The itinerary for the Danube Waltz trip contained the right amount of excursions to learn about the different countries and cultures, as well as, giving us time to stroll through the numerous Christmas Markets. The weather was also a big factor into the overall awesome experience. The activities both onboard the Viking Skadi and on shore kept us busy every day. Our Program Director, Valentin Gheorghe, put together a great agenda for the guests. His attention to detail and willingness to talk to any guest with a problem or for local advice was truly commendable. His suggestion on where to get Hungarian goulash was first rate. Thank you again, Valentin. The food onboard was outstanding. Executive Chef, Jan Blanar, and his crew created delicious courses for all meals. The Taste of Austria was over-the-top excellent. Maitre d', Daniel, was very professional and his staff did a fantastic job throughout the cruise. Being able to sample local cuisines (meals and wines) and having local entertainment come onboard was truly an amazing experience. Our housekeeping was also excellent. Viking's representatives were very helpful once we landed in Budapest until we departed Munich. No unexpected issues or anxiety to worry about. First class service to ease you into your upcoming cruise and to get you on your way home. Not knowing what to expect, we were extremely happy with our cruise and plan to book more trips in the future. These will include Viking's Ocean Cruises. We have been speaking our praises of Viking to all of our friends who are interested in river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I made this cruise with a long time friend who loves to travel, loves Christmas, and loves to shop, like me! Our transfer to the longship went off without a hitch. Our ship was the Skadi. What a wonderful crew! They knew our name, ... Read More
I made this cruise with a long time friend who loves to travel, loves Christmas, and loves to shop, like me! Our transfer to the longship went off without a hitch. Our ship was the Skadi. What a wonderful crew! They knew our name, attended to our needs promptly and with a smile. The ship was terrific and we loved our cabin which was Stateroom 305 on Veranda (A) The port and shore excursions were terrific. Loved the listening packs. So helpful! The guides were locals who really knew about the area and gave interesting tidbits which made it even more interesting and gave us a real connection with the city/town. We loved having the time on our own and instructions were always clear as to how to get back to our ship or the pick-up bus. The time schedule was easy for us and we had time to do everything we wanted with out stress or hurry. We thoroughly enjoyed all the entertainment evenings as well. Sharon and I met some wonderful people that we enjoyed hanging out with. Our transfer from ship to airport was easy tho it left so early that it was still too dark and we would have loved to have enjoyed the views on our way to Munich. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!!! It was a memory of a lifetime with a dear friend. Best river cruise I ever made! (Out of 3, & one of those was a Christmas Cruise as well) Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was cruising for the totally gutless traveler. If you are totally new of overseas travel it might be good otherwise, no. EVERYTHING is totally scripted you are on a bus tour most days while your ship is "sailing through the ... Read More
This was cruising for the totally gutless traveler. If you are totally new of overseas travel it might be good otherwise, no. EVERYTHING is totally scripted you are on a bus tour most days while your ship is "sailing through the heart of Europe!" The planned activity level is really limited. If you have mobility issues, you might like it as they really cater to travelers with limited mobility. Didn't think the food was all that great. Most people wore jeans most of ht time I put on a dress for dinner the first night... and felt totally overdressed. I will say though that the staff were excellent. We ended up having to pack up and transfer to a different ship at the end of the first week due to low water. That had apparently been going on for months; however, we didn't find out we were not even on the ship we were originally scheduled on... until they sent an email the day before sailing. NEVER AGAIN! Don't get sucked in by there advertising! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are deeply disappointed in Viking. This was our first cruise with Viking and definitely our last. The cruise was not at all what we expected. We never felt the luxury they promote in their brochures and TV ads. Instead we paid a ... Read More
We are deeply disappointed in Viking. This was our first cruise with Viking and definitely our last. The cruise was not at all what we expected. We never felt the luxury they promote in their brochures and TV ads. Instead we paid a premium price of over $14,000 for two people and in exchange received substandard service and an exhausting and frustrating trip. We have traveled worldwide independently and were looking forward to being pampered in the lap of luxury with all our needs taken care of, no packing and up packing from city to city and upscale companion travelers. Instead we were herded through cities like cattle, kept to an aggressive time table if we wanted to see anything in port, forced to pack and unpack mid trip in order to change boats and accompanied by passengers who were for the most part unsophisticated retirees most of whom had saved up for this once in a life time trip for many years. Most of the cruising was done at night when you cannot see the beautiful idyllic settings advertised by Viking. We were often docked at unpleasant industrial sites. Luckily we were on a high floor and had our balcony level with asphalt. Those below us looked out on to a cement wall. No reason to sit out on the expensive balcony we splurged on. Instead of apologizing the staff made jokes about the view being modern art. In the daytime instead of being at the old city center, we were often far from the sites, due to so many other Viking boats in dock and were bused or walked long distances to the attractions often up many flights of stairs. Free time in ports was in most cases 1 hour, meaning you see very little and no time to shop. In many ports, the ships were stacked, boats next to each other next to the shoreline so you are literally looking into another person's cabin. No view from your room and sometimes none from the public spaces. The stateroom is uncomfortably small and cramped not to mention the unpleasant decor. The public spaces are beautifully designed but the staterooms were ignored, decorating with a prison cell gray color, tiny sinks and white bland tile. No softness anywhere. Stiff chair, horrid bed, backless stool at the desk, everything hard edged which forces you to leave your expensive room as frequently as possible. The art work throughout the boat is very acceptable but in the state room all we got was a stylized Viking framed logo to look at. Our bathroom on the first ship smelled of mildew but that was nothing compared to the many docks where the river smelled foul. I will spare you the details of the unpleasant toilet flush function on the Skadi ship. More importantly, Viking is not forthcoming with information when it concerns important issues. The ship administrators do not communicate enough with passengers. Their business model seems to be that passengers need not know anything until it is absolutely necessary and that Viking is never wrong, they do not apologize or admit to any wrong doing. Viking had experienced low river levels all summer, yet there was never a notice sent to us before we left regarding a change of boat or having to take buses. If we had received a notice we would have packed accordingly and been mentally prepared. Instead they told us one the day before, first that we were on a different ship and second that we needed to be bused to another ship mid cruise requiring us to pack and repack our bags. The change of ship required me to contact several local tour guides we had arranged on our own and notify them of the ship change, really annoying as the internet connections were so awful; my husband wasted hours trying to hook up a workable Internet. Viking attempted to make it up to us by having the crew on the deck with handmade signs saying welcome aboard, a free welcome drink and a free optional tour. None of this even began to make up for losing a quite morning sailing up the river, which is what was planned or spending an evening packing and an afternoon unpacking. We were put on a bus on a highway for over three hours with nothing of interest to see and a stop at a horrid gas station for a restroom break. Even though my bags were labeled and put out on time for the mid cruise ship change, Viking managed to lose one. When I reported it to three Viking employees, program director, hotel manager and desk manager, none apologized. Instead I was asked condescendingly if I really put it out, did I look in my closet, and then accused of not putting the proper luggage tag on my bag. In other words it was my fault, not Viking’s. Fortunately, as I didn’t trust them from the start, I took a picture of all my bags in the hall that morning, clearly showing all of my bags with the correct luggage tags. Only after seeing the photo did anyone attempt to locate the missing bag, which they ultimately did find. There were mechanical problems with the first boat. My husband and another passenger are engineers and noticed this almost from the time we boarded. Yet no communications about it. When someone asked the crew for an explanation for all the loud hammering and banging, they were told they weren’t allowed to say. For one day trip there were several busses and several Viking representatives. Instead of putting a Viking employee on each bus they choose to sit all together on one bus. Our bus was left unaccompanied with a German speaking driver and no one among the passengers who could communicate with him. Had there been an emergency I don’t know what we would have done. As it was, the driver delivered us to the wrong place forcing us to walk a very long distance and left on our own to find our ship, this after an already long day of walking. When we arrived at our ship, the bus with the Viking staff arrived right next to the ship. When I asked why we were dropped off so far away, when there was an obvious parking place closer, the Viking employee just shrugged his shoulders, said he didn’t know and walked away. No apology, no concern, not his problem, although he was the employee responsible for the day tour and the drivers. The vibrations of the ship, the noise of going through the locks and the ship bumping into the sides of the lock keeps you awake at night, not to mention the most uncomfortable bed I have ever slept in, which felt like a cement block. Ideally suited to the prison grey décor. I would estimate 80% of the passengers on our ship were sick mid-way through the cruise. Several needed to go to the local emergency room for breathing problems. The ship was so cold, even though we were sailing in Sept/Oct with outside temperatures in the 60’s, I asked the staff to turn down the AC in the lounge several times and they said they were unable to do it. The AC in the cabins can only be turned off when the balcony doors are open. Given that we were often stacked against another boat or the noise from the ship or the port was too loud or the smell too awful, we were forced to sleep in AC with no way to turn off the fan which is pointed directly to the head of the bed. We both developed very nasty head colds. The ship has no basic medications or hot water bottles or heating pads for passengers and so we were forced to spend valuable time in port searching for pharmacies to purchase OTC cold and sore throat medications, having to translate ingredients and find pharmacist who spoke English. The tipping suggestions in the cruise brochure recommended we leave over $400 per couple. We refused to tip that much. It was obvious that Viking pays lower salaries and gets away with it by promising the staff that high tip recommendations would be strongly suggested. We tipped individuals on staff that had provided service above and beyond the call of duty. We hated the constant staff interference at meals. We always felt rushed, the staff couldn’t wait to clear the table and get on with their other duties especially at lunch. They interrupted conversations and never asked the women for their orders first, just went around the table at their own convenience. When I waived one waitress away with my hand as she was constantly interrupting me during a conversation, offering wine, when I had already refused it, she made a rude gesture with her hand mimicking my brushing her aside. At several meals I asked for a drink multiple times, and waited more than 15 minutes for it to be served and on one occasion received the wrong drink. I asked a waiter for a menu three times the third time loudly thinking he might be deaf, and he shouted at me for raising my voice. While we had no complaints about the food the options were often limited especially if you wanted a light meal in the lounge. We ate mostly in the main dining room, however there are no tables for two and so you are forced to eat all meals with other passengers. Sometimes we just wanted to be alone and we felt we had nothing in common with the other passengers, many of them in large groups of friends or family, who sang drinking songs during diner. Dinner is scheduled from 7 to 9 but that does not mean you can walk in any time and be served. If you are not in the dining room at one minute before seven the only seats available are in the center of the room, not by a window. You really can only eat in the main dining room starting at 7 and ending at 9. This was too regimented for us. We thought, reading the schedule, we might be able to drop in any time between 7 and 9, not so. The after dinner entertainment was poor, local community theater groups and the lectures which were juvenile. On several nights they played games like I imagine they do in retirement communities. Several times the itinerary differed from the actual event. The captain’s dinner was listed for the Thursday evening but occurred on Wed three full days before the cruise ended. A glass blowing studio tour was promised in one port, something I was looking forward to but never materialized. When I mentioned it to the program director he spoke to me as if like I was an idiot and told me the studio was outside of town. Yet it was on the printed itinerary. He obviously had no knowledge of this, yet he was the program director. When we toured the kitchen we discovered that there were no dishwashers, that dishes were washed by hand. It was clear then why cups arrived at a freshly laid table with old lipstick stains on them and why so many of us were sick. Reading some of the other reviews I consider ourselves lucky. One ship had GI disorders among the passengers, another had half of their trip cancelled and a third missed Budapest all together, which we felt was a highlight. We were on new boats throughout and I understand the old ones are dreadful. Members of the Viking staff and local tour guides often commented on how quickly Viking is growing. Obviously they are experiencing growing pains. And if they are sitting fat and happy with all of their boats sold out then they are unlikely to pay careful attention to service and passenger complaints. No need to encourage passengers to be repeat customers when their waiting lists are already so long. I wrote this same review on the feedback form Viking provides passengers at the end of the cruise. I indicated that a senior customer service representative could phone me to discuss my concerns. I am writing this a week after we disembarked and no call yet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We booked our riverboat cruise one year before our departure date in order to get the dates we wanted. When we arrived at our home airport (Halifax) we were told that Viking had booked us on two flights on the Germany to Prague leg of ... Read More
We booked our riverboat cruise one year before our departure date in order to get the dates we wanted. When we arrived at our home airport (Halifax) we were told that Viking had booked us on two flights on the Germany to Prague leg of trip (we had booked 3 days in Prague through Viking, prior to our 'tour')... one from Munich airport and one from Frankfurt airport (we had a ticket for Munich) after one hour of dealing with airport staff that couldn't figure out what was happening, I phoned the 1-800 after hours number and they eventually saw Viking mistake and made the correction so that we would be sure to catch the correct flight to Prague. We just made it to our plane. After being on the go for 34 hours, we eventually made it to Prague and hit the sack. It took several days to get over the flights and lack of sleep. We did enjoy Prague, but the stay is a blur. We were bused to Budapest on the third day to catch our boat and do a tour of Budapest the next day. It was an amazing city and could have stayed longer. The cities we visited along our trip were amazing, so much history, so much to see in many, but we could have done without some cities in order to have stayed longer in others, in particular, Vienna. The boat was just that, a boat... the cruise should not be called 'cruise' as it was somewhat like a bus 'tour'. It was a little less than expected for the $14,000 we paid for the 'cruise' part of the trip, but we did enjoy it anyway. The food was excellent most evenings, some evenings it left something to be desired. The staff were polite and welcoming, but rushed us most of the time, other times we were left waiting for a long time for our meal, and then rushed us to finish. I have no idea why. The few nights they had entertainment it was good, a little boring one night (mostly opera/classical). Most nights it was a pianist playing in the background. Our room was small, as expected, and very noisy when going through the locks, mainly the nights when going through the River Main, there was no insulation in exterior wall to keep out noise, awake many times through the night. By the time we got to Western Germany on the last leg of our trip we were tired of church and castle tours. Would have liked to have a better variety as far as what there is to see in these beautiful cities. The cities we enjoyed the most were the cities we stayed in the longest... they were Prague 2 1/2 days (not part of Riverboat Tour), Budapest - overnight, Amsterdam 2 days (on our own). We did have to switch ships due to low water levels in one area, this was not a surprise as we had been told in information mailed to us that this was sometimes a possibility when doing Riverboat Cruises. It became very confusing for passengers around this time though, because rumours were rampant, but no honest information was coming from the staff as to what would be happening, even if they just said they wouldn't know anything for sure until the last minute. With regard to knowing what was happening itinary-wise (extra paying tours) one had to attend the briefing in the lounge every evening around 6'ish or read the itinary paper from the day before.. sometimes this was missed by us and we were left in the dark regarding the extra tours. When we did find out, there was no room left - apparently, it's not easy to get a bus to take a few more passengers on a tour, with the exception of Vienna, where they needed every passenger to attend, so therefore, there was no cut off point for submitting your name. I cannot classify this excursion as a 'cruise', it was definitely a 'riverboat tour' along the same vein as a bus tour, but not quite as tiring, still hectic. I do not regret taking the tour as I did get to see the beauty and history of Mid-Europe first hand, from Czeck Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Holland. The 'boat', service, cabin, food and tours were suitable, just not worth the $14,000 plus Cdn. for tour and airfare that we paid for the 14 days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our Grand European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in Sep 2015 was truly wonderful and one of the most enjoyable trips we have taken. My wife and I have traveled many places around the world. This was a our second Viking cruise and ... Read More
Our Grand European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in Sep 2015 was truly wonderful and one of the most enjoyable trips we have taken. My wife and I have traveled many places around the world. This was a our second Viking cruise and found it to be just as wonderful as the first. Viking really knows how to do it right. Two of our friends are separately taking similar Viking cruises based on our recommendation. Our cabin had just enough space to be comfortable and it was well maintained. The Viking staff was very accommodating and met all of our needs. The dining experience on the ship was excellent and they often prepared dishes that were representative of the local area which we greatly enjoyed. Due to low water conditions it was necessary to transfer ships via bus mid-cruise from the Skadi to the Bragi. This wasn't much fun but the Skadi and Bragi crews did everything necessary to accommodate the guests including a free excursion to Rothenburg. The Skadi and Bragi staffs were excellent in every respect. We couldn't be happier. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Reading of low water problems before departure, an email from Viking while in Prague indicating a different embarkation point (Komarom, 60 mile west of Budapest), did not bode well. Some pre-cruise Prague passengers did receive the email ... Read More
Reading of low water problems before departure, an email from Viking while in Prague indicating a different embarkation point (Komarom, 60 mile west of Budapest), did not bode well. Some pre-cruise Prague passengers did receive the email and others did not. In any event, on the bus transfer to Budapest, 24 hrs later, we were informed that the Skadi did in fact make it to the departure point and the cruise was back on plan!! The departure at night from Budapest was magical with the parliament, castle and bridges lighting the way. The water levels had risen we were told and it was looking good that we would get to Amsterdam without having to change ships. However, that proved to be wishful thinking and at the end of the first week before arriving in Passau, we learned a ship change would be necessary. I have to say the ship transfer was well organized, even down to having the same suite number on a sister ship - no doubt they are well practiced in transferring boats. We were bused to Regensburg (some 1.5 hrs) for the day tour, then back again for that night. The next day we were bused about 3 hrs to Nuremburg for the day tours, then taken to the next ship, the Bragi. Other than having to pack bags, missing some of the river scenery and the extended busing, there was minimal disruption thanks to the Program Director Valantine, and Concierge Desi. If you are contemplating any European river cruise, I'd suggest investigation of any possible low or high water problems, recent climatic history along that route and your cruise line's policy on credits or refunds in those circumstances. On the other aspects of the cruise, the breakfasts and lunches on both ships were excellent, however the dinners, well some were really good and others very average!! The staff for the most part on both ships were very good. Nothing seemed to much trouble for the Skadi staff, whereas the Bragi restaurant mgmt invoked their policy of prohibiting restaurant dinner meals being taken/served in the Aquavit Terrace. Long story but in summary the management did not handle that situation very well for our party, where it wasn't an issue on the Skadi. The day tours were mostly good, but more variety/alternatives could have been available. Several times the included lunches were way too long and cut into the limited time in that town. Also for over 1/3rd of the cruise, the top deck was closed due to minimal bridge clearances, so the only exercise/fitness option (walking circuit) was unavailable, although a lot of walking happens anyway with the various town/stopovers, cobblestones not withstanding. Some other suggestions, if you are planning a pre-cruise extension in Prague, plan to arrive a few days earlier than the time assigned by Viking. For example, an extra 3 days/2 nights (we stayed in the Prague Marriott Old Town) allowed more time for sightseeing. The Viking walking tour allowed no time to spend at ANY particular point (e.g. Jewish quarter) other than noting it as you walked by! Also the Viking hotel for our pre-cruise extension, (Corinthia) is not conveniently close to the main attractions requiring bus or taxi transport. The Viking bus transfer between Prague and Budapest could also be improved. The lunch stop at a Marche truck stop was a not good. Mediocre food and confusing toilet refund vouchers (yes, you have to pay for many rest room facilities in Europe). A shorter toilet stop elsewhere and a box lunch would have allowed an earlier arrival and more time in Budapest. So much to see and so little time!! Vienna also, one day was way too little time in that beautiful city - 2 days are needed at least. It was fortunate that our cruise was minimally impacted by the low water issues compared to those on the Elbe river where boats didn't move at all and buses were substituted. Some other cruise ships shadowing us (APT for example) did make it thru the low water area and were not required to change ships. We have a friend travelling with Scenic later this month. Her schedule cruise Budapest/Amsterdam has been cancelled and rebooked on the Amsterdam/Budapest alternative. She was offered a full refund, but it remains to be seem whether it becomes a boat or bus cruise (combination). All in all, an enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Viking staff took care of us from start to finish. Booking was like visiting with a friend, and he answered all our questions (many before we asked them). Viking met us in the airport in Budapest, and stayed with us until we had our ... Read More
The Viking staff took care of us from start to finish. Booking was like visiting with a friend, and he answered all our questions (many before we asked them). Viking met us in the airport in Budapest, and stayed with us until we had our boarding pass in hand in Amsterdam. Our Program Director, Gary, seemed to know absolutely everything about everything we saw, did, and passed. His easy humor and vast knowledge about the towns, history and scenery was unbelievable. When a guest fell while on an excursion and needed medical attention, the tour guide called an ambulance and Gary. Gary got there before the ambulance. Desi was fabulous and she and Gary work beautifully together. Because of low water, we had to switch ships at the halfway point. While inconvenient, it was unavoidable and Viking made it painless. We set our luggage out, went on our excursion, and were delivered to another ship. Out luggage was in our new room when we got there. The ship was identical to the Skadi and the staff, again, excellent. They do what they do well. We have recommended this trip to many of our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Just back from a Grand European Tour our fourth cruise with Viking. Our first was in 2004 (France) and most recent 2010 (Christmas markets). They have come a very long way. The Skadi (one of their "longships") was magnificent. ... Read More
Just back from a Grand European Tour our fourth cruise with Viking. Our first was in 2004 (France) and most recent 2010 (Christmas markets). They have come a very long way. The Skadi (one of their "longships") was magnificent. The crew was outstanding--friendly, helpful and eager to please. Dan--the program manager--did a great job in making changes on the fly to accommodate passengers on tours. The chef was outstanding. Explained the menu each evening and frequently offered special treats. Food was wonderful with lots of local specials. Good itinerary with some excellent tours. Especially enjoyed the beer culture/brauhouse crawl in Cologne. But---some negatives. Viking is a victim of its own success and as a result of so many ships competed for dock space we spent a lot of time moored to another ship. That meant we could not enjoy our veranda and had to keep the curtains closed. Made the dining room gloomy. Some suggestions--one, Viking needs to upgrade its loyalty program to better reward its repeat customers. A brief cocktail party and a couple of free shot glasses doesn't do it. Two, their prices for laundry are outrageous!! They should provide a w/d for use. Its tough to pack for 15+ days and paying $7 for washing a pair of pants is not a good alternative. Three, they could use a magnifying mirror in the bath. Nevertheless, a great trip that we're pleased to recommend to prospective travelers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This being our 42st cruise and 5th riverboat voyage, we are very fortunate to have many experiences from with which to compare our latest cruise on Viking's Grand European Tour. On the very positive side, we met several wonder ... Read More
This being our 42st cruise and 5th riverboat voyage, we are very fortunate to have many experiences from with which to compare our latest cruise on Viking's Grand European Tour. On the very positive side, we met several wonder couples, enjoyed diverse ports, and were appreciative of the exceptional service and demeanor of the staff. However, there were many misrepresentations of what was advertised and what was actually delivered, particularly by what is touted to be an upscale line. Instead of arriving early in the morning at each destination, for half the trip, the ship did not dock until noon or later in the afternoon. Therefore, there was only time for the arranged ship tour and virtually no free time to explore on our own, as had been the normal procedure on past riverboat lines. Next, the top outside deck was closed for more than half the cruise, so there was no place to exercise or enjoy the outside; there was no option of an exercise room on the ship. No explanation was given for either situation mentioned. So, with basically nothing planned on board, we were literally held captive, with only a lounge available as a common area, as we awaited late arrival in the majority of the ports. With the Skadi being a new ship built in 2013, we expected our room to be small, yet comfortable, based on the 150 sq ft. designation given on the website. In actuality, we literally had a maximum o 18 inches to maneuver around the bed (about 50 sq. ft. of usable space) , and no chair or table. Therefore, we could not resort to use of our room during the endless ship time, since the only place to sit was actually on the bed in claustrophobic quarters. While the front desk responded quickly to our reports of mold smell in our room 122, no source was found, so we lived with that and a sewer smell the entire cruise. Having taken four other river cruises at a fraction of the cost of this voyage, all of which providing much better quality and experiences , I found the circumstances unforgivable. Hopefully this will prevent others from a costly mistake. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first River Cruise and it exceeded our expectations all round. From the moment we were picked up in Budapest and taken to the ship the service was first rate. We loved being so close to the action in all the Ports. A short ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and it exceeded our expectations all round. From the moment we were picked up in Budapest and taken to the ship the service was first rate. We loved being so close to the action in all the Ports. A short walk with the guides in the morning then left to explore on our own. Any questions about local history or directions to hidden attractions were cheerfully given by the well trained guides. The cabin made good use of the space and was very well appointed. One must bare in mind that River Ships are smaller by necessity and thus the cabins must reflect this but the design is so well thought out that we did not notice. We loved the freedom to come and go from the ship with ease. No security or bag scanning and seldom a line up. We could pop back for lunch then back into town. The food was great and the Chef's pre meal overview was a pleasure. If you want endless buffet style dinning stay with ocean cruises. We felt the dining options of either the terrace (lighter fare) or the full table service of the main dining room was more than adequate. Had a great time and would definitely cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Everything about our cruise was superb. The wait staff made the cruise so much fun and the evening activities were enjoyable. I can't say enough about the food. So good and the verity of choices were excellent. We loved the ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was superb. The wait staff made the cruise so much fun and the evening activities were enjoyable. I can't say enough about the food. So good and the verity of choices were excellent. We loved the piano player. He learned my favorite song and played it almost every time we entered the lounge. The shore excursions had the right pace for walking and the tour guides were easy to listen too. The bus drivers were safe and friendly. They got to group to the proper location on time. We got to sample local wine and liquors on the ship. We won a prize in one of the games that were played on board. I would recommend this for any and all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I highly recommend this cruise. We enjoyed the many tours (and the organization of groups according to their fitness level) and the valuable information provided by the tour guides. We had plenty of time to wander about by ... Read More
My wife and I highly recommend this cruise. We enjoyed the many tours (and the organization of groups according to their fitness level) and the valuable information provided by the tour guides. We had plenty of time to wander about by ourselves and at all times buses were on time to take us back to the boat. We also can't say enough about the humorous tour director (Valentine), courteous staff and excellent cuisine. The morning news schedules and afternoon meetings were most helpful in preparing us for the day's schedule. Our lower cabin was clean and comfortable. The smaller boat lends itself to a more intimate experience. The scenery the whole way is absolutely beautiful and we were impressed that the boat arrived as scheduled each day. Only thing we would recommend is greater laundry facilities and a place where we could iron clothes. Your prices are way to expensive. The pre-cruise itinerary sent was extremely helpful!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our first river cruise was on the Mississippi River -- the Mississippi Queen paddle wheel. Our Viking Grand European Tour was the first European River trip we've been on, and I hope there will be more in our future. We flew into ... Read More
Our first river cruise was on the Mississippi River -- the Mississippi Queen paddle wheel. Our Viking Grand European Tour was the first European River trip we've been on, and I hope there will be more in our future. We flew into Amsterdam 3 days before sail date and used the time to see and do wonderful things in that city and in Brussels where we went by train for a day and night. We stayed at a wonderful hotel, Bilderberg Gardens, a couple of miles away from the city center. Our ship, the Skadi, was wonderful and all staff were attentive and friendly. They work very hard to make everything look effortless. Our waiters and maitre' felt it was important to learn our names and greeted us by name thereafter. Our concierge went out of his way to make special accommodations for a rickshaw tour of Cologne when walking the city was too difficult for my sister. The tour director Valentin, was charming and knowledgeable. Having a choice between eating in the dining room or up on the Aquavit Terrace was great. Speakers, a glassblowing exhibition, theatre performance-- all were wonderful. Favorite tours are Nuremberg rally grounds and the famous trials room in the Justice building. Another was the Mozart evening in Vienna. After leaving our last port, Budapest, we extended our European tour independently for 3 days each in London and Paris. I'm not in a financial position to do another Viking River cruise in the foreseeable future, but I wish I could do the Baltic capitals one sometime. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We wanted to sail on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. The trip started in Amsterdam, and the tulips were in full bloom. We decided when making reservations to spend two extra days in this wonderful city and area. The Renaissance Marriott ... Read More
We wanted to sail on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. The trip started in Amsterdam, and the tulips were in full bloom. We decided when making reservations to spend two extra days in this wonderful city and area. The Renaissance Marriott hotel was very good. Once on the Skadi we marveled at the beauty of the ship. The staff was consistently attentive. Food and drink excellent. Some evenings had local entertainment. Views were excellent along the rivers. The locks carrying the ship up and down were quite interesting. We loved the local culture and towns on the agenda. Always the tour guides were informative and often funny stories were told about people and places. We could wander freely. Free time was ample. Our Veranda Suite was definitely the way to go. Spacious and we loved the balcony. Finally, sadly, we came to Budapest at the end of our travels. We loved this city as much as Amsterdam but for different reasons. Budapest showed all the history of the 20th century, and we found the citizens to be mindful of their often tortured history but proud also. We could have spent more time here also. One thing is certain, you will enjoy a Viking cruise very much. And now we will be embarking soon in France going from Paris to Normandy. Again the history will be anticipated. This will be our second river cruise, and we anticipate the same standard of excellence. Thank you excellent Viking staff, organization, and itinerary planners. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
It was perfect. Some say "it is better to be lucky than good" -- in our case, that is so true. We arrived at the very height of tulip season and the flowers were at their peak for the entire 10 days of our cruise. The staff of ... Read More
It was perfect. Some say "it is better to be lucky than good" -- in our case, that is so true. We arrived at the very height of tulip season and the flowers were at their peak for the entire 10 days of our cruise. The staff of the Viking Skadi was one of the best! They were friendly & accomodating and couldn't have been any better at making our first cruise one to remember forever. Our fellow cruisers said that the Skadi had the best crew they have ever cruised with and many of them were on their 7th or 8th cruise. A great example was when we were asked what "our song" was and although he had never heard it -- our entertainment director, found it and learned it. On our last night, while my husband & I were dancing, he played it without being prompted -- he had taken the time to get to know us personally! Viking you get it! and you get it right! We are booked on another Viking cruise in the near future, this time with friends who have never been on a river cruise. We can't wait!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Viking Skadi Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.8
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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