Sail Date: April 2016
It completed our cruising on the Danube, and provided an opportunity to visit Eastern European countries that had been behind the "iron curtain" in its day. We appreciated the glimpses into the different life-styles in each ... Read More
It completed our cruising on the Danube, and provided an opportunity to visit Eastern European countries that had been behind the "iron curtain" in its day. We appreciated the glimpses into the different life-styles in each country. The best part of the cruise was our fellow passengers. Almost all were open to greeting one another and extending friendships. The crew was of course, fantastic. A wonderful example of crew humor was my husband remarking to a crew member that if he had a long straw he could more easily reach the wine bottle only to have the crew member return minutes later with a long straw made by connecting a number of shorter straws! The tours provided an opportunity to see for ourselves the progress being made in each country. We were appreciative of each country and all but overwhelmed by Budapest's clean streets, buildings, buses, streetcars and structures. It was terrific. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
It was a beautiful cruise from Bucharest to Budapest on the Danube River. The ship was beautiful and the cabins and common areas were so well done. We really spent a lot of time in the lounge area during the day and for lunch -- did not ... Read More
It was a beautiful cruise from Bucharest to Budapest on the Danube River. The ship was beautiful and the cabins and common areas were so well done. We really spent a lot of time in the lounge area during the day and for lunch -- did not go to the dining room for lunch at all...just breakfast and dinner. We only had one sea day -- Iron Gate -- the rest of the time we had offshore excursions and the cities we visited were great -- great guides also!! There were 13 of us travelling together -- and they made special arrangements for us in the dining room to be able to sit together...many anniversaries and birthdays in our group!! They decorated doors to our cabins and in the cabin -- decorations around the mirror...so thoughtful!! We were on the side of the ship that had a balcony and we enjoyed the time we could sit out there and enjoy the view. We really had great weather and that made all of our shore trips so much better -- took a jacket -- but hardly wore it!!! What a great crew and fun entertainment at night with local dancers and singers -- many of them young people!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Viking River Cruise Eastern Europe was a great trip, beautiful countries and people. So many beautiful churches, castles and beautiful buildings. We started in the old world city of Bucharest for two days and explored the Palace of ... Read More
Viking River Cruise Eastern Europe was a great trip, beautiful countries and people. So many beautiful churches, castles and beautiful buildings. We started in the old world city of Bucharest for two days and explored the Palace of Parliaments and the pristine countryside. On to the Viking Alta, a beautiful longboat the was much better that we expected, the staff were wonderful and our Veranda Suite was very upscale. The trip up the Danube was a very enjoying experience as we took advantage of all of the shore excursions and really enjoyed each and every port. The archaticture was very unique in each location and each city provides us with beautiful churches to visit. The tour guides were all outstanding and gave us a good understanding of the history and current conditions in each location. This was our first river cruise and upon our return home we have begun planning for our next Viking River Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
This was a great experience on The Viking Alta. Great crew and wonderful accommodations with many interesting visits along the Danube River. This is for sure to "old world Europe" do in part to the influence of communist ... Read More
This was a great experience on The Viking Alta. Great crew and wonderful accommodations with many interesting visits along the Danube River. This is for sure to "old world Europe" do in part to the influence of communist occupation but all the strength go the people. We meet so many wonderful people along the way from the various tour guides, to the village people we meet along the way to all the passenger and crew we meet during our trip. The Alta was a beautiful and comfortable ship and our suite was very tastefully presented, and quite spacious. The entertainment was just right and the crew did a wonderful job keeping us busy. The ports were vey interesting and the tours were outstanding and very educational. The on board dining experience was very good and there was always a good selection at each meal. We would highly recommend Viking and the Eastern European Cruise to all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
We had a great time on our Romantic Danube river cruise. The staff were uniformly awesome and anxious to please. We especially liked having a tour included in each port of call. Our tours were, for the most part, extremely well done. I ... Read More
We had a great time on our Romantic Danube river cruise. The staff were uniformly awesome and anxious to please. We especially liked having a tour included in each port of call. Our tours were, for the most part, extremely well done. I especially enjoyed my optional World War II tour in Nuremberg. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and the tour itself was very interesting. My wife took the included tour in Nuremberg and enjoyed it too. In Budapest our tour guide had been born and raised in the United States, before moving back to her homeland of Hungary. We enjoyed getting her input on and comparison of life in the two countries. Mealtime was always a highlight with great food and excellent service from the staff. Being from the Northwestern part of the United States, where old is maybe a hundred and thirty years, we loved being in Europe where old is "really" old. We would recommend this cruise to anyone with a desire to explore Europe up close and personal. The on-board experience was wonderful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
Five stars is an understatement. I'd give our trip a ten rating if it were possible. We were thoroughly impressed with the Viking experience. From our well appointed stateroom aboard the Atla to the friendly and courteous crew ... Read More
Five stars is an understatement. I'd give our trip a ten rating if it were possible. We were thoroughly impressed with the Viking experience. From our well appointed stateroom aboard the Atla to the friendly and courteous crew members, thoughtful attention to many details, knowledgeable local guides and interesting tours, excellent food, great entertainment, meeting some wonderful new friends with many common interests, and so much more...we couldn't have been more pleased. The level of organization and planning was truly outstanding, which made our trip relaxing from beginning to end. Everything was taken care of for us. We merely had to show up at the airport for our flight. This was our first river cruise, and it will certainly not be our last one. We are already thinking of traveling with Viking again next year. I would definitely recommend a Viking Cruise to anyone who is thinking of their next special vacation. Thank you so much for making our trip so wonderful! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets along the Danube. The Romantic Danube itinerary offered just that and gave us what we thought would be the best ports. We were particularly impressed with Budapest, Melk, Vienna and Nuremberg. We wish ... Read More
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets along the Danube. The Romantic Danube itinerary offered just that and gave us what we thought would be the best ports. We were particularly impressed with Budapest, Melk, Vienna and Nuremberg. We wish that we had been able to spend more time in Budapest but the air routing that Viking used had us arrive late on the day of sailing (with a five hour layover in Frankfurt!). If doing it again we would recommend extending the Budapest portion of the trip. We did extend the Nuremberg portion by three days and it was well worth it. the ship (Jarl) was lovely and the design was well thought out. We had a French Balcony cabin and definitely enjoyed the view and being able to open the door. We did not find the small size of the cabin to be a real problem. Every meal on board was a pleasure. If visiting Christmas Markets you would be wise to have a minimal breakfast in order to make the most of the local foods available in the markets. We lusted for the goose and duck dishes in Budapest's Christmas Market but we still had breakfast to digest. Budapest is on our list to revisit in the future. The Viking crew/staff really impressed us and seemed to be nice, hard-working people. We had been following for months the problems being caused for the cruise lines by the low water levels and were pleased that the cruise itinerary was fully navigable again for our trip. We had been originally scheduled to cruise on Atla but Viking found Atla and Jarl both to be out of synch on their mirror image cruises so they just went with switching the virtually identical sister ships for the few remain weeks of their fall/winter cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We were more than pleased with our Romantic Danube Christmas Markets cruise. Viking managed to exceed our expectations in every way. We were happy with our cabin, a french balcony, which was small but comfortable and usable. The dining ... Read More
We were more than pleased with our Romantic Danube Christmas Markets cruise. Viking managed to exceed our expectations in every way. We were happy with our cabin, a french balcony, which was small but comfortable and usable. The dining on board offered variety and was well prepared. Dining service was first rate and all of the attendants were personable and efficient. The tour director, Mario, was well versed and more than competent. All tours went off on schedule and we found all of the guides to be knowledgeable and charming. We found each stop on our trip to be interesting and with it's own way to make a permanent impression. With the Christmas Markets we would make one recommendation - "Go on an empty stomach". You will find many treats to tempt you and (especially in Budapest) if you are still full from breakfast you will have to pass some up. We used Vikings air arrangements and found them to be quite satisfactory. Most of our flights were on Lufthansa and you can select your own seats for a fee once you have your flight confirmations. We extended our stay in Nuremberg on our own and found the city to be quite charming and hospitable. the Old City (Mitte) is quite compact and walkable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Recommendation from friends made us choose this cruise on Viking. The cruise was wonderful. Weather cold but the experience was warm and welcoming. The Christmas Markets and the holiday festivities were enchanting. The accomadations on ... Read More
Recommendation from friends made us choose this cruise on Viking. The cruise was wonderful. Weather cold but the experience was warm and welcoming. The Christmas Markets and the holiday festivities were enchanting. The accomadations on the boat were more than adequate, the staff wonderful, food delicious and ship activities and excursions wonderful. We extended our trip on both ends and Viking was accommodating making trip wonderful. Transport from airport to ship was easy. The ports of call were awesome and each one seemed to be better than the last. The staff presentations and entertainment was excellent. We really enjoyed the information given on each city visited and the local culture. Cruise is a great way to get a taste of each place visited, but not enough time to do in depth touring. Food was outstanding and staff very attentive and helpful. No request or need went unmet. There were many choices, all delicious. We loved the smaller size of the ship and getting to know crew and other passengers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats ... Read More
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats (Atla & Jarl) were enjoyable; both cabin rooms were comfortable; both staff were friendly and helpful; food was a bit on the salty side on Atla though; tour guides were excellent and provided detailed history of many of the cities; loved the headsets which allowed you to hear the guide even if you wanted to 'wander' a bit; relaxed and casual dining atmosphere. Onboard 'entertainment' did not interest us too much, but we were comfortable with retiring to our cabin to watch TV. It was a 'pain' to keep packing and unpacking between the hotels and two boats, but Viking personnel kept everything running very smoothly. This was our first river cruise and we would like to try in again, perhaps during another time of the year when the water levels are more consistent and when we can access the upper decks more. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Before we even left they changed our ship (Atla) because of low water. You would think that they would have told us this was an on going problem for months and maybe more problems with the low water along the way. After repacking and a 4 ... Read More
Before we even left they changed our ship (Atla) because of low water. You would think that they would have told us this was an on going problem for months and maybe more problems with the low water along the way. After repacking and a 4 hr. bus ride we got to the Jarl. Sure enough 2 days later they had to charter a private vessel to do the route our ship couldn't. I would have cancelled this trip had I known all these interruptions were going to take place. They tried to make it right but I really felt deceived. The shore excursions were ok, some of the guides and Viking staff never did a head count after a bathroom or shopping break. The food was mediocre and no choices for complimentary wine at lunch or dinner. It was red, white or beer. You can also forget about a table for two, there aren't any. Each evening the cruise director would have a briefing which seemed like an eternity and would cover the next day shore excursions. This was totally unnecessary because the hand book they supplied covered everything. On both ships we had an odor of urine in our cabin, cleaning didn't help and it was more of a maintenance problem than cleaning. After cruising with Croisieurope, Celebrity, and Regent, Viking doesn't come close. I would never cruise with Viking again and certainly would not recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
The cruise was better than I expected. I will say that due to the water levels of the Danube we had to change ships half way thru. The entire cruise crew handled it well. The only trouble I experienced was having to pack up again. But ... Read More
The cruise was better than I expected. I will say that due to the water levels of the Danube we had to change ships half way thru. The entire cruise crew handled it well. The only trouble I experienced was having to pack up again. But again, that is a minimal expense. It was also nice because we got to go to Munich instead of Passau. The tour director was up front, approachable, funny, nice, and enjoyable. His name was Terry and I thought he did a fabulous job on getting everyone organized, informed and entertained while on our cruise. The food during the cruise was decadent... diet? who is on a diet during vacation? We ended up sitting with the same people the entire duration of the cruise and it was nice to have that familiarity. I also liked that they had blankets out on the decks for people to bundle up to watch the scenery. I loved the night tour in Budapest as well. Everything was just incredible! The room we had was small, but it didn't really matter as we weren't in the room very often. I was bummed about the change in the performance in Vienna, but still enjoyed the orchestra performance. I wish there could have been more Music/Mozart optional tour for Vienna... so much history in that city. Really enjoyed everything. Great bonding time with my mom. We are already booked and set to go on another Viking Cruise (in August to an ocean liner). I will say that my mom did have issues on her flights back. Her flight was cancelled and she wished that somehow Viking could have made her aware and helped so she wouldn't have gotten stuck.... she ended up experiencing a 24+ hour travel day. YUCK! Thanks for everything! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Full Disclosure: We were on both the Viking Atla (which was supposed to be our ship originally) and the Viking Jarl due to a ship swap mid-cruise. I may leave reviews for both ships. We flew Lufthansa through Viking Air (we did the ... Read More
Full Disclosure: We were on both the Viking Atla (which was supposed to be our ship originally) and the Viking Jarl due to a ship swap mid-cruise. I may leave reviews for both ships. We flew Lufthansa through Viking Air (we did the custom air so that we could choose our flights). The flights were smooth and efficient, as were the transfers from the airport to hotel and vice-versa. We did a 2-night pre-cruise extension in Nuremberg and a 2-night post-cruise extension in Budapest. Although we booked these via Viking, we went off on our own instead of participating in the included city tours. We stayed at the Le Meridien Grand Hotel in Nuremberg and the Hilton Budapest (Buda Hill) in Budapest. We had rooms with fantastic views at both hotels (especially in Budapest, where the view of Fisherman's Bastion, the Parliament Building, and the Danube was breathtaking). Our view at the Grand Hotel was that of the old city. The Le Meridien Grand Hotel was fantastic - the service was superb. The included breakfast was the most sumptuous that we had on the trip. I would return for the bread and jam (all homemade) alone. The hotel also had some special perks for Viking guests, among them, welcome gifts, snacks, and a crafted coffee drink (like cappuccino/espresso) or tea per day. The hotel was right across the street from the Nuremberg train station – which was perfect for us. We took the high-speed ICE train the next day into Munich and met our private guide for an excursion to Berchtesgaden/Salzburg. This was a fantastic introduction to our trip and gave us an interesting perspective on German culture. Since we arranged this trip on our own, I won’t go into detail here, but we greatly recommend it. The next day, we were supposed to transfer to our ship after breakfast – but since we planned another excursion on our own, we sent our bags ahead of us. The Viking Host was very helpful and gave us directions to the Nuremberg Harbour, where the Jarl was docked. This proved essential when we returned from our private excursion (to Dachau – very powerful). The first part of our river voyage was on the Viking Jarl (identical to the Atla save for artwork). We embarked later than most guests, so we missed the original orientation and dinner. We arrived around 8 p.m. and were met by the Maitre D’ (Jelko) who introduced himself and made sure that we were taken care of. We ate that night in the Aquavit Lounge (which we mostly had to ourselves). The staff of the ships are the stars of Viking Cruises – as much as and sometimes more so than the sights and the rivers themselves. Everyone on the both the Atal and the Jarl went out of their way to ensure that we were happy. All requests were fulfilled promptly, and often anticipated. Our wait staff pampered us. It was very hard to leave the staff of the Jarl mid-stream. The staff of the Atla did their best to pick up where the Jarl’s staff left off. They, too tried to please us in every way – we had less time to get to know them, but they, too, were exceptional. Our Program Director (Terry) and our Concierge (Kremena) were the only staff members to come over with us to the Atla. They both deserve high accolades. We needed to swap ships on Day 5 (Thursday, Oct. 29) of our cruise due to the low water between Regensburg and Passau. Both ship crews handled the swap efficiently. We did have a 3.5 hour (including a half hour rest stop) bus trip from Regensburg to Kelheim – but it allowed me to catch up on some much needed sleep. We also got to experience an autobahn rest stop that puts the US versions to shame. The restaurant at the stop was quite extensive! To compensate us for the ship swap, we were offered multiple options (full or half day in Passau with lunch, full day in Munich with lunch), plus comped premium beverages, comped musical excursion in Vienna. We completed the scenic sail of the Wachau Valley between Kelheim and Melk on a small day excursion boat (with lunch included). After the sail, we finally boarded the Atla. We were welcomed onboard with hot punch, music, and welcome signs. Our bags were in our cabins, AND our extra pillows, robes, and slipper preferences were pre-arranged without our request. One of the most fun excursions we did was a trip to the farmer’s market in Vienna with the chef. I don’t know if this is offered on every cruise. Our small group had a private wine and cheese tasting in the market. Just fabulous! We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary onboard the Atla at the farewell dinner on Sat. night. Viking sent a delicious cake to our table – the Maitre D from the Jarl had sent word of our anniversary over to the Atla and surprised us! After the cruise, we stayed in Budapest for 2 days. We recommend visiting one of the many thermal baths. Our Viking Host helped us arrange for a private tour of the Jewish Quarter, which was quite illuminating and worthwhile. My only wish (aside from wanting higher water levels so that we could cruise without a ship swap) was for more leisure time in Vienna. It was a wonderful vacation and I would gladly cruise with Viking again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My main issue with this cruise was that I had called prior to the cruise and specifically asked about the issue regarding water levels in the Danube. I was told that there was no problem with our trip at that time AND that, if there were, ... Read More
My main issue with this cruise was that I had called prior to the cruise and specifically asked about the issue regarding water levels in the Danube. I was told that there was no problem with our trip at that time AND that, if there were, we would be notified prior to leaving. This DID NOT HAPPEN. After we boarded the ship, we were told that there MIGHT be an issue on day 3. Well, come to find out that the issue had been happening all summer and, with no rain in the forecast, would continue to happen throughout. I started writing emails ( the wi fi was slower than dial up on the ship) on day 3 of the cruise. None of my emails were answered. I had to wait until I got home to call customer service. The person did apologize and offered me minimal compensation toward a future cruise. I will NEVER cruise with VIKING again unless I go free. This is analogous to the VOLKSWAGON issue to me. I was intentionally mislead and spend half of my vacation on buses. A river cruise with no river is not a river cruise at all. The correct course of action for VIKING, in my opinion, would have been to notify guests in advance via email that there were drought conditions in Europe and that there was a possibility that the trip might be altered. That way, people could have made an informed choice rather than being left feeling tricked. The ship was lovely although the staterooms and bathrooms were microscopic. AND expensive... This was supposed to be 5 star. I travel frequently and this trip was a major dissappointment. The shore excursions were variable. One excursion was included each day and when 180 people from our Viking ship along with another 400 from sister ships descended on a small medieval town it was a cross between a grade school field trip and attack of the geriatric body snatchers. Food was uniformly excellent. Staff worked very very hard but it was difficult to overcome the issues generated by the company. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I sailed on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest last September. While we had travelled a lot, and been on many "ocean going" cruises, this was our first river cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed it! We sailed on the ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest last September. While we had travelled a lot, and been on many "ocean going" cruises, this was our first river cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed it! We sailed on the Viking Alta. The ship was functional - narrow and with a shallow draft. The ship was attractively appointed and very clean. There were many suites but we chose to stay in a "standard" room and save our money for other things. Our room was what we expected, clean and pleasant. There was TV and WiFi (We did not watch much TV but we did use the Wifi and it was free which was a big plus!). The showers were also a bit larger than on ocean going vessels and, while we are not large people, the large shower was a pleasant surprise! There was a large dining room and on the deck above it, a large lounge. The lounge was the main congregation place for the guests. The "roof" of the ship was also open and it was a good place to sit and enjoy the Autumn sun. There was a small "porch" in the bow and it quickly became our favorite place on the ship. I recently heard the travel writers Arthur and Pauline Frommer respond to a question asking which cruise line has the best food. After rating several ocean going cruise lines, Pauline added: "...but my father thinks the best food of all is on river cruises!" I would agree - at least based on our Viking experience! The food was excellent and plentiful! I especially enjoyed the fact that at several places, Viking offered the food of the local culture. Of course, it was delicious! While writing about food, I need to add a few words about wine and beer. House wine and beer are complimentary at lunch and dinner. I thought that was a big plus. The quality of the beer was excellent and the wine was good. It was a pleasant change being able to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner without turning over my ship's card! As I recall, one tour each day was included and then Viking offered optional tours. We went on each of the "included" tours and several of the optional tours and each was excellent! For my wife and me, what makes a trip special or disappointing are the people we meet. As this relates to Viking, it means the ship's crew. We have come to expect polite, friendly crewmembers on a cruise ship but we found this especially so on the Alta. I think it was because there were fewer passengers and fewer crew members on the ship. We saw a lot of them and they saw a lot of us. For my wife and me, the crew and the service we received from them were exceptional! And as a parting comment...my wife and I are both retired and we both had stressful jobs, working with customers. The measure of a customer oriented person or organizations is how he/she/it deals with adversity (as an account exec, for me that meant how to tell customers that their project would be delayed, it would cost more than expected, there was a technical complication, etc.). Last Summer was dry in Europe and the water level on the Danube was low. Viking was not sure if Alta would be able to pass at some of the especially low points in the river. Viking and the on-board tour director (and his supporting staff) handled this amazingly well! First of all, they were open and forthcoming with information. When there was updated information, the tour director gathered the passengers in the lounge and thoroughly and patiently briefed them. His briefings were thorough and he openly answered all questions. We knew that he and the ship's crew and Viking were dealing with conditions outside of their control but were doing their best to find solutions that were best for the passengers. This was when it was clear to me that Viking was a superior organization! We enjoyed our cruise and have booked another with Viking for later this year. If you sail with Viking, I hope your experience is as good as ours! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We wanted to find a way to see more of Europe and a river cruise such as this is a great way to do it. We added an upfront visit to Prague to our cruise itinerary. Viking cruise line is well run and organized. Very passenger friendly. ... Read More
We wanted to find a way to see more of Europe and a river cruise such as this is a great way to do it. We added an upfront visit to Prague to our cruise itinerary. Viking cruise line is well run and organized. Very passenger friendly. We were impacted by river levels which meant the first two stops on the cruise were handled by bus versus cruising in. This is, of course, due to mother nature not the cruise line which adapted to the situation. So on any river cruise there is a risk of water levels impacting the cruise schedule. This can occur if water levels are too high in say March or April or too low in September or October. We found the ship and our cabin clean and comfortable. These ships accommodate about 200 passengers so the entertainment and acitivities are not as extensive as one would find on a large ocean cruise ships. So no stage shows etc. However they do put together a number of good activities including cultural shows on board as well as presentations and shows reflecting the local culture. If you are interested in picking up information about the local cuture and history this is for you. We were satisfied by the dining experience. Good selection including but not limited to local cuisine. Wine, beer and soft drinks included at meatls. The excusions are the strongest features of the cruise. One per stop is included and they are well done. There are additional excursions which can be arranged at an additional cost. We look forward to exploring more of Europe in this way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Friends took one and recommended it.we celebrated our 50th and had never taken a cruise.everything was exceptional except for the fact that the water level had dropped and we had to be bussed to and from the boat and the next location for ... Read More
Friends took one and recommended it.we celebrated our 50th and had never taken a cruise.everything was exceptional except for the fact that the water level had dropped and we had to be bussed to and from the boat and the next location for the last three days so we spent hours on the bus and were unable to enjoy the cruise down the danube for the last three days. if we had been told in advance that there was a probability or even a possibility then we probably would have rebooked for a different time. the trip was expensive and we were looking forward to the cruise down the danube and the various sites along the way.other than that glitch everything else was great. I think Viking did what they could to make the trip enjoyable under the circumstances. The accommodations were excellent as was the room service. The meals were great. The person in charge of activities, Mario,was there all the time and kept us informed and was great. The food was exceptional.i had a dietary restriction and the maitre d checked with me daily about the menu and was attentive. I never missed a meal and enjoyed every one. All of the shore excursions were done in small groups with headsets that made it easy to follow the guide. The guides that we had were exceptional. On our last night in nurenburg after a lengthy bus ride we were rewarded with a concert at the hotel by opera singers.finally, as we arrived at the nurenburg airport there was a Viking agent at the bus to guide us.i forgot to mention that on arrival at Budapest there were Viking agents to get us on the bus to our hotel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first trip on Viking and it exceeded my expectations. We did the cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest and I'd recommend taking the trip in that direction as it builds up from charming small cities in Germany and Austria to ... Read More
This was our first trip on Viking and it exceeded my expectations. We did the cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest and I'd recommend taking the trip in that direction as it builds up from charming small cities in Germany and Austria to the "Imperial" capitals of Vienna and Budapest. The ship was comfortable and lovely, in a minimalist way. No casino, no theater, no shops or auxiliary restaurants like you find on large ocean cruises. Instead, it was cozy, relaxed, intimate. With just 180 passengers, we got to recognize those on our trip and enjoy their company. The atmosphere overall was relaxed and casual. Unpretentious. Dining together was a great chance to get to meet interesting people. The excursions were small groups. Guides for the included excursions were excellent. The headsets provided made it possible to always hear what the guide was saying even as you had the freedom to wander from the group and look at whatever caught your eye. On board entertainment was not extensive but added to the cultural experiences. A highlight was Viking's Opera Night in Vienna. Not the state opera house, but very enjoyable and accessible. Viking has its own theater, orchestra and opera company presenting The Marriage of Figaro. Cast members travel with you by bus from the dock to the theater, explaining the opera's storyline and answering questions about life in Vienna and their art. That introduction combined with the subtitles made it easy to enjoy the opera performance. Bravo to Viking for creating such a memorable experience! Program Director, Mario, made you feel as if nothing was more important than creating a great cruise for every passenger. The service was top notch from cabin stewards to dining. The ship was always immaculate. The wait staff welcoming and eager to please. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was well organized. Can't wait to travel with Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our very first trip on Viking, and our very first trip to Europe, and we wouldn't have changed a thing. From the time we landed in Nuremberg, to 8 days later when we were taken back to the airport, we were treated like ... Read More
This was our very first trip on Viking, and our very first trip to Europe, and we wouldn't have changed a thing. From the time we landed in Nuremberg, to 8 days later when we were taken back to the airport, we were treated like royalty. *The staff was absolutely wonderful and attentive to all of our needs. Our Program Director, Terry, was beyond terrific. He made us feel comfortable and at home from the very first day. He remembered our names when we passed him on the boat, and always took the time to talk to us and answer our questions. The same can be said about our Concierge, Cristina. What a joy to work with. *We took advantage of all of the shore excursions, and enjoyed all of them. The daily schedule was planned out very nicely. It gave us plenty of time to explore the city on our own, or take part on an added excursion. *The only cruising that we have ever done was ocean cruising. Let me tell you, river cruising is nothing like it. I absolutely loved having a smaller amount of guests on the cruise. Everything felt more intimate and personal. *Everyone we met on the cruise was absolutely delightful. We are looking forward to keeping in touch with our new cruise partners in the years to come, and who knows...we might end up cruiing again in the future. *One last note---When we were dropped off at the airport for our return trip back home, I was pleasantly surprised to be met by Viking Cruise Staff members, who helped us through the airline check in process. Way to go Viking---you have thought of everything!!! At first, I said I wouldn't change a thing--but if...I mean, when, we cruise again, we will be flying in a few days earlier to take advantage of a pre cruise add on. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
I am originally from Trinidad and Tobago and my wife is from Palo Alto, California. We live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This was our first trip with Viking and most of the cities/places we visited is on my bucket list. We did the ... Read More
I am originally from Trinidad and Tobago and my wife is from Palo Alto, California. We live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This was our first trip with Viking and most of the cities/places we visited is on my bucket list. We did the pre-cruise in Prague and continued on from Nuremberg through Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna,to Budapest. Traveling through so many beautiful towns and sights on the way along with the visiting all these cities was breathtaking and very informative. Living and partying with the other travelers on the ship was one we would never forget. We have made so many friends from various places and we have kept in touch with many of them.The friendly and efficient staff along with the informal atmosphere will always be remembered. Port and shore excursions were very well organized and informative. We'd like to do a river cruise again with Viking but another destination. Viking did a wonderful job of booking my Flight Itinerary to and from Europe with a stopover in England. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
After four days in Prague and four in Goettingen we experienced a superbly planned and executed seven-day romantic cruise up and then down the Danube to Budepest. The service was excellent and cheerful, the food very good, wine excellent; ... Read More
After four days in Prague and four in Goettingen we experienced a superbly planned and executed seven-day romantic cruise up and then down the Danube to Budepest. The service was excellent and cheerful, the food very good, wine excellent; the cruising and scenery were a relaxing and beautiful experience; the cities and tours were interesting and well executed; the tour guide was tops: managing complicated excursions, giving briefings and explanations, leading/managing entertainment, always helpful- all with wit and good humor. We really got our money's worth. As older but fit travelers, we did get a bit tired near the end; this was due to the accumulated effect of the (moderate) mental and physical effort required to negotiate the the cities visited, even with arranged transport and Viking personnel assisting. All in all, a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
The Viking river cruise that we took in June 2015 was the Romantic Danube. We were treated like royalty from the start from being picked up from airport in Budapest until we flew out of Prague on our extended stay off the cruise from ... Read More
The Viking river cruise that we took in June 2015 was the Romantic Danube. We were treated like royalty from the start from being picked up from airport in Budapest until we flew out of Prague on our extended stay off the cruise from Nuremburg. The staff was excellent from every aspect of the cruise. The food far exceeded my expectations and was better than any five star restaurant. Our cruise director was very helpful at each port with directions on things we could do on our own. My wife and I are definitely going to be regular Viking cruise couples. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We are recently home from a Viking River Cruise on the Danube. We had a thoroughly delightful experience and would have no hesitation in taking another trip with Viking or recommending it to friends. Reading other reviews of similar or ... Read More
We are recently home from a Viking River Cruise on the Danube. We had a thoroughly delightful experience and would have no hesitation in taking another trip with Viking or recommending it to friends. Reading other reviews of similar or identical cruises, it is clear that mother nature plays a large role in ones satisfaction with the cruise experience (no surprise there) and that ones previous travel experience, budget and expectations impact ones overall satisfaction as well (no surprise there, either). We are in our early 60’s, well travelled professionals and had no particular preconceived notions of what cruising in Europe would be like. We have taken one (very different) cruise to the Galapagos, which was delightful and educational but by no means luxury. Prior to this trip, which I organized at the last minute, I told my husband that the only decision he was going to have to make every day was “red or white” (meaning red or white wine with dinner). As a couple accustomed to having to pack and unpack, make multiple hotel and dinner reservations, deal with huge crowds to procure tickets to museums and historic sites and, worst of all, deal with the issues of European driving habits and car rentals, river cruising was a delightful alternative and exceedingly relaxing, invigorating in fact, which I cannot say of any of our family trips to Europe. One drawback of guided tours, obviously, is that one travels at the pace and following the schedule determined by a group leader, who has to cater to the demands of the slowest and least educated in the group. For instance, we would have enjoyed far more time in Vienna, a city we have visited before, but we understood this prior to the trip. The upside, of course, is that we bypassed lines wherever we went and saw a large selection of cities and towns in a relatively short period of time. We were given a thorough itinerary and detailed explanation of each planned stop, tour and optional tour prior to the trip, so we could read up on each if we wished. We were pleasantly surprised at the price of the package (2-for-1), which included airfare and all transfers. Soup to nuts, it was about $10,000 for two. We were flown to Amsterdam and transferred by KLM to Budapest, where a Viking representative met and escorted us, along with about 30 other passengers, by luxury bus to our ship. Luggage was handled from airport to the stateroom by porters. At our boat we were greeted by the cheerful and professional staff of Swiss Hotel School trained men and women and escorted to our stateroom, a comfortable, starboard side cabin with veranda. The cabin was made up with a comfortable, roomy double bed, which could have been split into two single beds. The bath and cabin were immaculately clean, fresh and modern Scandinavian in design, outfitted with a safe for valuables, refrigerator, closet, drawers, a hairdryer and high-quality toiletries. The cabin was outfitted with both European and American electrical outlets and the air conditioning worked like a charm. Lighting was excellent. The stewardess, a polite young Philippine woman, immediately knew my name, kept our cabin clean almost to a fault and was available for my questions whenever I had them. We always had fresh drinking water and ice during the day and chocolates on our pillows at night. The boat was modern, roomy and offered plenty of alternatives in lounging, eating and relaxing. We spent some time on our veranda but most of our time on the top deck when relaxing. When travelling under a bridge or entering a lock, we occasionally were asked to leave the top deck or simply to stay seated in our lounge chairs. It was not an issue at all, contrary to what another traveler mentioned, but that may have been due to the water level in June. Meals were more than plentiful, well cooked and each menu offered multiple choices. We did not choose to take the large, hot noonday meal in the main dining room, but ate in the front deck café area, where a lighter, more typically American menu was offered on a daily basis. (This was true at dinnertime, as well, but we never took advantage of it). Speaking as an experienced home chef who entertains on a regular basis, the food was good, if not exceptional, and there was always a healthy variety offered, plenty of fresh bread, local cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, plus a 24-hour self-serve coffee and tea station with sweets. No one went to bed hungry, even a young woman we met on a very restrictive diet. Good, if not exceptional, quality wines and beer from each region we visited were offered at both lunch and dinner. Some passengers chose to purchase their own wines on land and have them served (very agreeably) by the sommelier at dinner. Although the wine and beer were gratis, we never saw anyone drunk. The passengers were a mild-mannered, polite and quiet group as a whole, save for a few Australians and Scots. The group was made up largely of Americans (US and Canadian), with a few native Asians, Brits and Australians. Everyone made an effort to socialize with one another. Tours were offered on a daily basis, with some additional optional tours available, most of which we took. Some of the more elderly guests stayed on board for some of the more energetic tours, which tended to be on cobblestoned streets requiring good balance and mobility. Nothing was too physically demanding. Guides tended to be young, lively, highly educated (graduate students in history, I believe), all fluent in English. We were impressed with the extraordinary depth of their knowledge of European history. In Nuremburg, for instance, our tour guide said it had taken her a year to read the entire transcript from the trials but that she had read them. She also, remarkably, had a grandmother who had been the only member of her family to survive a concentration camp, but had gone on to marry a German pilot and was, to her family and friends, a symbol of reconciliation. The German guides were, I would say, exceptional in their sensitivity to ethnic and international issues, although being young people the issues were not as fresh as they would have been to the older generation, including some of the passengers. Speaking as someone who was well educated in history and the history of art and architecture, I learned a great deal from the guides and feel, for instance, that I have a much better understanding of the causes of the 30 Years War from my tour of Prague. I think one can judge an organization better by how they handle problems than by how they handle the norm and I believe the staff was outstanding in that respect. The management of the boat handled everything in a thoroughly professional and cheerful way. Everyone pitched in when needed. One evening we had no air conditioning in the dining room, but it was fixed quickly and without fuss by the next day in the next port. On days when we had hot weather, the entire crew was waiting for us with bottles of cold water and wet washcloths to cool ourselves as we returned to the boat. All the tour buses were large, comfortable Mercedes Benz luxury buses with good air conditioning and a WC. At one point, a fan belt on our bus broke on the way to Prague, but another bus was there to pick us up within 20 minutes. We chose to take the extended tour to Prague, with about 20% of the passengers from the cruise. While we are glad we chose to do so, we were less than comfortable with the hotel, one of two Hiltons in the city, in a less than ideal neighborhood, which seemed not to have been renovated since before the fall of the Iron Curtain. Some others of the passengers stayed in the Inter Continental, which while equally outdated, was in a much safer neighborhood. The most elegant hotels in town are converted luxury, turn-of-the-century palaces without air conditioning (the Aria or the Pachtuv Palace) in the old town, which was crowded beyond belief with tourists. Without finding transportation from the boat dock in Germany to Prague, we could not have travelled to Prague easily on our own, so I concluded that it was worth the price. We met one couple whose travel agent arranged for them to have private transportation from the boat to Prague, but that was not within my capability to arrange in May. I will add one final note on packing for a cruise of this sort: Speaking as a woman who tends to be the queen of wretched excess when it comes to packing, two of my friends talked me into bringing only one carry-on bag and a tote bag (appropriate for day trips) for the 10 day cruise. They had taken a similar cruise last summer to Russia and had lost their bags in a transfer at Heathrow, never seeing a single item of clothing again until after they returned home. Although the airline gave them an allowance to purchase some clothing in Copenhagen, they warned me about the possible consequences of not flying direct to our destination and explained their new system of travel, being light, layered, washable clothing only. On their advice, I took Viking’s word for it that the toiletries and hairdryer were supplied in the stateroom (they were, as they were in the Hilton in Prague) and packed only easily washable pants and tops. I brought one crushable dress, which I wore to the concert we attended in Vienna. My husband, obviously, could not pack in exactly the same spare manner. We sent my husband’s clothing out to the laundry and it was back the next morning, impeccably washed and ironed. The dress code was extremely casual. Sturdy walking sneakers for tours over cobblestoned streets and flip flops, or their equivalent, for relaxing on the boat are a must. A bar of Ivory Soap served as our laundry soap. I will be eternally grateful for the advice of my friends in this respect and pass this advice on to you. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
In many reviews, people tend to focus on the negative - the squeaky wheel gets greased. In this review I will also point out some negatives. However, overall I am very glad to have taken this cruise on the Danube (Viking Atla from Budapest ... Read More
In many reviews, people tend to focus on the negative - the squeaky wheel gets greased. In this review I will also point out some negatives. However, overall I am very glad to have taken this cruise on the Danube (Viking Atla from Budapest to Nuremberg, May 31 to June 7, 2015). It was a great time to go. The weather was excellent, warm and sunny most days. • The ship is very comfortable and pleasantly decorated. Lots of outdoor space for watching the sights go by as we cruised, with seating in many places. A walking track on the upper deck as well as a shuffleboard court and putting green (neither of which I saw anybody use, though). Coffee, tea, water, seltzer available 24/7. • The staff was great, very attentive and welcoming. That makes the experience much more valuable. Program director Mario, concierge Cristina, front desk staff, maître de, executive chef, wait staff all are customer oriented. It greatly enhanced the week. • The cruise includes port excursions, and offers optional (extra money) ones as well. Some included excursions began with a bus tour, followed by a walking tour. I would have preferred less bus and more walking. Although driving by a landmark does affordable one the opportunity to see it, I think it’s a much fuller experience to actually get out and look around. I would prefer seeing fewer sites, but in more depth. • The optional excursions do offer this opportunity. However, I was disappointed that one I wanted, a tour of the Doheny Street Synagogue in Budapest, was not offered on my cruise (although it was listed in the print literature I received from Viking). Neither was the scheduled stop in Roth for people who wanted additional time to visit Nuremberg. We did take the optional World War II tour in Nuremberg, which was excellent. • The length of time at each port is limited. In some case this is fine (for example, in the town of Melk, Austria, where there is one sight to see). But in larger cities (Budapest, Vienna) it is not enough. • The air conditioning in the dining room malfunctioned and it took Viking too long to fix – 2 days. Of course this can happen anywhere anytime, but the key is be prepared to fix it quickly. • The Internet was slow – but Viking is very up front about this, clearly explaining this may happen. It was also down for over 12 hours on two separate days. • The on board lectures were interesting. History of Germany, history of canals and locks (the cruise passes through 27 locks) were both very informative. • The last full day there was no access to the sun deck (necessary due to numerous low bridges.) this severely limits outdoor space. • Viking provided transfers from and to airport. At the end of the cruise I was pleasantly surprised to be met by a Viking representative at the airport on our way home; I had expected just to be dropped off. This was a nice ending touch. In retrospect, we should have gone to Budapest, where the cruise began, a couple of days early to truly experience the city. I would suggest people extend the cruise either before or after (or both) to spend more time in the city. Read Less
Viking Atla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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