120 Viking River Viking Baldur Cruise Reviews

This was a bucket list item for my husband and me. It did not disappoint whatsoever! Everything about this trip from the accommodations to the food to the sightseeing was excellent. The staff were attentive and always accommodating. It ... Read More
This was a bucket list item for my husband and me. It did not disappoint whatsoever! Everything about this trip from the accommodations to the food to the sightseeing was excellent. The staff were attentive and always accommodating. It was so nice to unpack once and stay in the same room for 2 weeks. The ship was attractive and comfortable, and we liked the small intimate size (around 200 passengers) versus a large ship with 2000 passengers. Onboard entertainment was fun and guest entertainment in various ports was interesting. There was an included excursion in every port and the staff were awesome as far as organizing transportation to and from the tour site, giving us water and umbrellas and greeting us upon our return with a refreshment as we boarded. We stayed extra time in Amsterdam before the cruise as well as time in Budapest after. We arranged our own pre and post accommodations which worked out well and was very worthwhile. I really cannot think of anything negative to say about this trip. We will definitely go on another Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary with a different cruise. Had been on several Ocean Cruises and heard only wonderful things about River Cruises. We planned the trip with friends who were also celebrating their Anniversaries. ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary with a different cruise. Had been on several Ocean Cruises and heard only wonderful things about River Cruises. We planned the trip with friends who were also celebrating their Anniversaries. Trish was a delight to book with, was able to answer all of our questions prior to booking. State rooms are small, but very functional. Food was excellent and so was entertainment on board. We took included tours and they were all great. Really appreciated the tour talks, as they were very informative about the city we were docking next, not about where the shopping was, which was most appreciated. Staff were wonderful, from the Customer Service, to the Room Stewards and the Restaurant Staff. The inclusions of wine, beer and soft beverages at lunch and dinner; water when we would leave on a tour and umbrellas if it was raining, certainly helped to minimize additional costs on board. Loved the small ship experience can't wait to take another. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are ... Read More
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are largely church/history oriented, if you're into that sort of thing. Would have preferred more intimate excursions (for free) instead of 50-60 people ushered around already popular destinations. If you are a history buff, and like lectures, etc. This is for you. The passengers are largely 60+, and highly educated. A few wheelchairs also, although Europe is tough for them with all the cobblestones and hills. I really prefer Gate 1 for this sort of thing. More free time, less expensive, and a smaller group. You're not tempted into gluttony as much. Food was good, but not as good as some of the finer meals I've enjoyed in major cities. If there were more shore excursions catering to intimate experiences, that would be better-like seeing a cobbler make shoes. Since the cruise is so pricey, these should be included without an extra charge. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first river cruise, and we've already booked another one for 2018. The ship was immaculately clean; the service was impeccable; the crew was brilliant at reading their guests--very friendly when engaged, yet providing ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we've already booked another one for 2018. The ship was immaculately clean; the service was impeccable; the crew was brilliant at reading their guests--very friendly when engaged, yet providing unobtrusive and personalized service when we were involved in conversation/activities with other guests. It was wonderful to unpack once and have the "hotel" travel with us, enabling us to visit many cities without the hassle of hauling our bags, arranging transportation, settling in to new accommodations or getting our bearings each day. Having shore excursions planned in advance of the trip put us at our leisure, especially because it was all arranged for us and all we needed to do was disembark at the appointed time! The Activities Director gave a "port talk" every evening before dinner, and there was also a "daily news" left in our cabins each evening--both outlining the onboard activities and tours for the next day. Each of these allowed us to take our cruise one day at a time without having to keep track of multi-day schedules. There were just under 200 guests on our ship, which was just the right number to get to know fellow travelers. The dining room was mostly furnished with oval tables for 6--just the right size for everyone to be engaged in the conversation, and if someone was a bit shy around strangers, they would easily be included in this intimate setting. The food was excellent, as was expected, but the variety provided at every meal, including the option of a lighter meal served on deck, was an added treat. Getting to know other guests during shared meals made it easy to continue conversations on the tours. With up to four choices of excursions each day, it was likely you would already know some of the people in your tour group. We went on all of the included tours with few exceptions, and they were each excellent. Each guest had a small, remote listening device and earbuds which enabled us to hear the tour guide no matter where we were within the group. It was possible to wander a good distance from the group (photo shots) and still hear the guide. Our only disappointment on the whole trip were two of our all day, optional excursions, and, unfortunately, these were the most expensive of the trip! The day trip to Salzburg was a very long bus ride for a hurried walking tour through the historic district and what was a nice lunch with actors performing songs from The Sound of Music. That's it. Very expensive. Another optional day tour included Waltzing Vienna (not a pleasant experience) and a difficult tour of the Shonbrunn Palace because it was SO crowded--I was envious of other tourists who were maneuvering through the crowds at their own pace following personal audio tours. The Modern Aristocracy day tour was worth the price. I very much enjoyed the Art/Bunker Tour in Nuremberg while my husband said the same of his Nuremberg Trial Tour. Most of the tour guides were engaging and delightfully entertaining. There was an opportunity to rate each guide, and I'm sorry I didn't do this on a daily basis to ensure the truly excellent guides would continue to be engaged by Viking. By the end of the cruise, I remembered the guide, but without the guide's name or matching it with the city, my review was worthless. The onboard activities were well planned. During the cruise of the castle district, the activities director provided intermittent commentary on the top deck which added interest to this relaxing afternoon of cruising with cocktails. The glassblower was both informative and entertaining. There was music and dancing and other fun in the lounge every evening after dinner. On demand movies in the cabin provided entertainment for quiet, down time. I think these cruises are most enjoyable for a couple/two people. We met two groups of 2 couples who were traveling together. They didn't interact much with the other guests, and when we joined one of these groups for dinner, it was obvious they'd known each other for so long that they had no new conversation. I couldn't help wondering if they would have had more fun if they'd been traveling alone. We also met sisters from North Carolina and sisters from Australia who clearly were having a great time, and I know I would enjoy one of these cruises with my sister, as well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise because it was advertised as the Grand Tour of Europe. It went to places I had never visited, but had only read about. It included many places I had read about regarding the history of World War II. The on-shore ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was advertised as the Grand Tour of Europe. It went to places I had never visited, but had only read about. It included many places I had read about regarding the history of World War II. The on-shore tours were absolutely fantastic. All were conducted by local people very familiar with the area and its history. The buses were large and very comfortable. There was a wide variiety of on-shore trips to choose from, some to ancient historic sites, some to World War II battle sites, others to modern cities. The Program Director was very attentive to the passengers and their needs. Everything was extremely well organized. The food was great, with dining areas well suited to meeting and talking with other passengers. The enrichment talks and demonstrations were all outstanding, renging from demonstrations by an expert glass blower to a detailed lecture on the hostory of Vienna given by a local university professor. It met and exceeded all expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Traveling with the past and present viking river cruise , we have a very good experience with cabin cleanliness and all meal good food .the staff are attentive,helful and friendly. I felt the viking cruise is the best river cruise on ... Read More
Traveling with the past and present viking river cruise , we have a very good experience with cabin cleanliness and all meal good food .the staff are attentive,helful and friendly. I felt the viking cruise is the best river cruise on their category.it serve my small and efficient cruise ship dream. The included guided tour are excellent unmatched with others.All our new friends are also very happy with the cruise we select for them and wish to return with us for our next trip. it was a very relaxing time for all of us.We also enjoin the option tour with very interesting and knowledgeble guide.Viking seem to be able to select all the tour that satisfy most of their customer well. The tour duration are also perfect not too short or too long. We are all well informed about all the events. The tour director is excellent and capable to switch things around when needed. we are very happy with the trip and plan to join other tour soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted to experience Europe and with starting in Amsterdam then finishing in Budapest, Viking River Cruises seem the best way to enjoy the trip at our age. The itinerary with all the included tours gave us exactly what we wanted. I ... Read More
We wanted to experience Europe and with starting in Amsterdam then finishing in Budapest, Viking River Cruises seem the best way to enjoy the trip at our age. The itinerary with all the included tours gave us exactly what we wanted. I enjoyed the castles, the small towns, the history from whatever you want to believe to the present, the tour guides selected by Viking were knowledgeable, entertaining, and gave a good presentation of their local city/town. We did not eat off the Baldur as the meals were superior, plus well prepared, dining staff pleasant with your every request fulfilled with competence and humor. Viking River Cruise has to be complimented on their staff hiring, the personnel was pleasant, efficient, thus resulting in a memorable wonderful experience. The weather co-operated as we enjoyed beautifully days with only one day of light showers. Going under those low bridges, the up then down of the locks, all interesting for first-time river cruisers, then the seemingly endless vineyards, all made the cruise exceptional. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We've always talked about doing something like this. We've been on other non Viking cruises, We're now spoiled. I don't want to be with 4,500 of my closest friends. The river cruise was a wake up call, starting with an ... Read More
We've always talked about doing something like this. We've been on other non Viking cruises, We're now spoiled. I don't want to be with 4,500 of my closest friends. The river cruise was a wake up call, starting with an impeccable clean ship, the entire crew spoke English and attentive to your every need. Just 170 passengers on board so after two weeks together we have many new lasting friends, you traveled with them on excursions, ate with them, drank with them and laughed with them. Just and incredible journey that will be remember until Viking can top it again. Only one possible suggestion to Viking and speaking as a male, we travel in a country (Germany)that are the mechanical engineering master of the world. Lets see aircraft and automobile museums, automobile factories. That was the only think I missed. But it was a beautiful trip I would repeat again if I could get all the same people together again Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It was our first cruise and it was wonderful. The ship amenities, the crew and the hospitality people couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. They even helped me find flowers ashore for my wife for Mothers' Day. The only ... Read More
It was our first cruise and it was wonderful. The ship amenities, the crew and the hospitality people couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. They even helped me find flowers ashore for my wife for Mothers' Day. The only fly in the ointment was that there were two elderly spinster sisters in our adjoining cabin, and both had what the other passengers eventually called "kennel cough", a constant hacking cough. The eldest seldom left the cabin, but her sister did, ate all of her meals in the dining room, went on shoreside tours and mingled with the other passengers. The cold or flu or whatever it was swept through the passengers and it bacame pervasive. My wife caught it, got very ill, and had to have her meals brought to her by me in our cabin for three days. One thing to remember is that when you switch continents you are exposed to a new set of germs that you probably have no built-up immunity to. It is wise to bring an emergency supply of things like DayQuil and NiQuil, Benedryl for possible allergies, etc. My wife is Celiac and can't eat any wheat. Our Maitre'd Slavomir was very solicitous of her welfare, and found us at breakfast each day with a copy of the day's menu, which he then went over with her in detail, in many cases pointing out that the Chef could make substitutions or do special preparations for her. He made our cruise on Viking much more pleasurable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My wife (and I was included!!) received this cruise as a retirement gift after serving her employer for 22 years. Neither of us had ever been to Europe, nor had we been on any cruise of any kind. The boss of her company personally ... Read More
My wife (and I was included!!) received this cruise as a retirement gift after serving her employer for 22 years. Neither of us had ever been to Europe, nor had we been on any cruise of any kind. The boss of her company personally selected this cruise, because he and his wife had a wonderful experience on a similar Viking European cruise. So, he selected the date, point of embarkation, the Grand European Tour, room 216, etc., and HE HIT THE BULL'S EYE!! The only thing we did was select the excursions and add two extra nights on to our Amsterdam conclusion. The owner of my wife's business could not have known that Rob Wheatley would be Viking Baldur's program director for this specific cruise, but Rob turned out to be the icing on the cake. Actually, ALL 50 staff were perfect (knowledgeable, customer-service-first, tireless, striving for perfection, etc.). One example: The timing on the river is dynamic, so, in one instance, we docked at a town the crew had never experienced. Rob and staff made an adventure out of it, and pulled it off beautifully. They were experts at dealing with the unexpected (rain, water levels, timing on the river, making sure excursions worked in sync with the ship, etc.) VERY IMPORTANT: Since we had not made our travel arrangements, we probed at least 100 of our fellow 150 passengers about their vast travel experiences around the world, including land trips, ocean cruises and riverboat cruises. We felt so blessed to talk to our nearly unanimous shipmates that this was their best experience ever! They were impressed all around, and many also strongly recommended adding a couple of days on to the start and finish of each cruise. We were glad we added two nights on to Amsterdam, so we had the time to take the pre-arranged Viking walking tour, and other Viking advisors available in our hotel. In hindsight, we should have also added a day or two on at the beginning (Budapest), in order to help us adjust to our jet lag at the start, so we could have fully enjoyed our first day. Beyond raving about the cruise staff, our fellow travelers complimented the smooth and modern vessel, the endless food, the entertainment and educational programs (even about the operation of the ship and the river locks, how the galley handled the massive food preparations), and the extensive offerings on the culture and history of each region or town), the excursions and dozens of tour guides, and their constantly being impressed with the staff's constant grasp on every detail of the two-week adventure. This was a life changing experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Having experienced ocean cruising in North America, my wife and I wanted a unique cruise experience and chose a European river cruise. After much research, Viking appeared to be the best option for us as we wanted a luxury cruise ... Read More
Having experienced ocean cruising in North America, my wife and I wanted a unique cruise experience and chose a European river cruise. After much research, Viking appeared to be the best option for us as we wanted a luxury cruise experience spanning our stateroom, meals, excursions, and customer service. In short, Viking met and in some areas even exceeded our expectations. Since we had visited Amsterdam several times previously, we chose the Budapest to Amsterdam itinerary which allowed us to embark on the ship and visit Budapest while docked. The proximity of the dock and the city is easy walking distance and allowed us to freely leave and return to the ship as we pleased. This was true for many of the ports we visited on this itinerary and made the experience even better given the flexibility provided. My wife and I went on all included excursions and decided to use our free time before or after each excursion to visit other sites or just enjoy the city we were in. My of our shipmates chose the optional excursions and most spoke highly of them. The Baldur long ship we were on was very well maintained and looked as though it has just been commissioned a few months prior. This includes the staterooms which are comfortably appointed, lounge and dinning areas, and upper deck. During our cruise, we had approx. 185 people onboard and rarely felt encumbered in hallways or dinning areas. Our itinerary (Budapest to Amsterdam), provided so many beautiful sites as we cruised up the Danube and Rhine rivers. It seemed that every day, we saw several historic towns and nearby castles. Many of the castles were located high atop hillsides, so if your camera supports a telephoto lens, I would recommend bringing one on the trip. I used a 200-400 mm lens and found it to be very helpful when attempting close-up shots. The food served during all meals was both delicious and of high quality. Dinning in the restaurant provided the broadest range of foods to eat, however, the Aquavit restaurant at the front of the ship offers an open air experience that is hard to beat during good weather. My wife and I enjoyed many evening meals at the bow of the boat eating shrimp and steak while enjoying our favorite drink as we cruised smoothly up river into a beautiful sunset. For all of the research we did, my wife and I didn't consider the average passenger age might be onboard the ship. While this is never an issue on a large ocean cruise it might be for some on a smaller cruise ship with only 190 people onboard. So, for those interested, the average age on our ship was around 65 years of age, which could vary based on itinerary and time of the year. While my were younger in age (about 15 years), we found our shipmates to be engaging and enjoying life on a daily basis. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Overall this cruise held up to high Viking standards. Staff and crew were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. More regional food in the dining room would have been better for us. Food was tasty and prepared well. Bartenders and waiters ... Read More
Overall this cruise held up to high Viking standards. Staff and crew were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. More regional food in the dining room would have been better for us. Food was tasty and prepared well. Bartenders and waiters were excellent and funny. Very entertaining. Ports and day excursions were well planned out and very informative.The longboat itself was very sleek and modern, but made one feel at home at all times. Embarkation in Budapest went smoothly and on the last day in Amsterdam we were allowed to remain on board until our late transfer took place. We opted to remain in Amsterdam, because in reality, one does not see or visit Amsterdam on this tour. Two more tour days aboard ship in the city would be great. I would definitely encourage any travelers to sail with Viking. They are always consistent and well organized. Airline packages are also a nice incentive to travel Viking. Many gateway cities are greatly reduced or free. We will again sail Viking in the future and highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our daughter had taken a shorter Viking cruise six month earlier and came back with rave reviews, so we decided to try one ourselves. We were not disappointed. We had both traveled extensively in Europe, but the luxury of only having to ... Read More
Our daughter had taken a shorter Viking cruise six month earlier and came back with rave reviews, so we decided to try one ourselves. We were not disappointed. We had both traveled extensively in Europe, but the luxury of only having to unpack once was one of the many benefits of traveling with Viking. Our only "complaint" was with the people at the hotel who were handling the before-cruise offering. We just happened to be staying at the same hotel and inquired about the possibility of "hitching a ride" to the ship with the others. No deal. It seems that the only "transfers" with Viking would be if they picked us up at the airport ... not from an in town hotel, even if it was the same hotel from which they would be transporting the other guests. On board, the meals were great and the drink offerings were good. However, for as much time as we spent on the Rhine and the Main rivers with all their wonderful Reisling vineyards, we were expecting more local wines to be offered with our meals; instead, most of the included wine offerings came from Austria's Wachau Valley. The lectures, on board entertainment and glass blowing demonstration were most enjoyable and the scenery will be enjoyed agin with all the wonderful photos we were able to take. Recommendations for debarkation include finding out at what times the Viking sponsored departures or add-on tours are planning to leave the ship and planning your departure around them. We made the mistake of planning our departure at the same time and our luggage was the LAST to make it off the boat even though we had a driver waiting just for us. Overall, the experience was great ... but the little issues were just irritating and avoidable had we known better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wanted to see the Netherlands and see what surprises were their that Viking was going to take on during our trip. Accommodations were excellent, the food was delicious and the wines and beers were tasty. We met a few friends from the USA ... Read More
Wanted to see the Netherlands and see what surprises were their that Viking was going to take on during our trip. Accommodations were excellent, the food was delicious and the wines and beers were tasty. We met a few friends from the USA and we had a great time sitting around talking and enjoying our drinks without being rushed. All ports and transportation to inland spots was first class and safe. Had a great time seeing Beautiful Flowers and people of the Netherlands. The historic area of Arnhem was very interesting and the bridges and stories related to us by guides a these places were Historical. Kinderdijk was fantastic to visit and walk around with many kinds of beautiful flowers blooming in Peak season. Ghent as very nice to visit and sample some of the foods and beers of the area, City of Amsterdam was great with all of the history from Anne Frank to Red light district and the water control of the canals and dams in the area. Loved this tour. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this trip because I'd always wanted to see the tulips in bloom in Holland. Viking was specifically chosen because of their Explorer Suites. At the back of the ship with full length windows in back and on side, a separate ... Read More
We chose this trip because I'd always wanted to see the tulips in bloom in Holland. Viking was specifically chosen because of their Explorer Suites. At the back of the ship with full length windows in back and on side, a separate bedroom area, outside deck and lovely amenities, they're the perfect place to relax and watch scenery. Some unexpected perks with the suite were a beautiful flower arrangement, silver drink package, laundry service, immediate room availability at time of embarkation and butler service. All staff were exceptionally accommodating and friendly, food was delicious and most excursions and lectures top notch. We enjoyed the itinerary and have already booked for a Danube Cruise next year. I've done a lot of ocean cruising, but had only been on a river trip on the Nile. I like 5 star accommodations and Viking didn't disappoint. I booked first class air, requested non-stop and arrangements were flawless. Perfect! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise in order to see the tulips in the Netherlands and to see Bruge, Belgium. We were pleasantly surprised that the cruise included many additional high spots, and we learned much more than we had anticipated. ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise in order to see the tulips in the Netherlands and to see Bruge, Belgium. We were pleasantly surprised that the cruise included many additional high spots, and we learned much more than we had anticipated. The tulip gardens were overwhelming, but we also greatly enjoyed the home visit in Hoorn and the explanation of the massive system constructed to protect the Netherlands from future flooding. We expect great food and service on Viking cruises, and this crew did not disappoint. The dining room staff were all friendly and efficient. I had worried about the crew being trained enough for this early-in-the-season cruise, but I could tell from the first day that there was nothing to worry about. I complimented the dining room manager, as this staff was as good as any of the other Viking ships we've been on. All of the departments on this ship performed very well, and we have already signed up for Viking cruise #8. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second Viking river cruise and it was a great trip. The ship was spotless, and the crew amazingly friendly and helpful. Viking truly does a great job of selecting, and training all cell members. Outrage stateroom was kept ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise and it was a great trip. The ship was spotless, and the crew amazingly friendly and helpful. Viking truly does a great job of selecting, and training all cell members. Outrage stateroom was kept impeccable, and was very comfortable. Had a Veranda A! Plenty of room, lots of closet/drawer/shelf space for our clothes. And we don't pack lightly. Plenty of outlets, and counter space in the stateroom. The heated bath floors extend into the shower, and the Freyja bath products were very nice. A light scent that is good for men and women. I love that Viking provides a mini fridge in the room. I like my soda in the morning and could take one back to the room each night. The lounge was always comfortable, and meals were delicious. The trips was great. The towns of Hoorn and Brugges were my personal favorites. In Arnhem we did the optional tour to the outdoor museum, which was great. Not many people went on this tour, but to me it was a must do. Kinderdijk was really neat, the windmills were so neat!! Keukenhof was much more interesting than I thought, and the flowers were amazing. I would highly re ommend this ship and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The incentives to book the cruise at this time was really the clincher for us - the price, while high, was attractive and the included airfare seemed enticing. We had never been on a river cruise before and this seemed like a good way to ... Read More
The incentives to book the cruise at this time was really the clincher for us - the price, while high, was attractive and the included airfare seemed enticing. We had never been on a river cruise before and this seemed like a good way to visit numerous stops with great ease, comfort and worry-free. Plus, being a regular viewer of programs on public television where Viking does a lot of advertising - we were curious and interested. Reservations and Booking Process - very easy and problem free. Pre-trip extension - we opted for a two-day extension in Amsterdam. Here is where you will encounter a problem if you book airfare through Viking. You would need to book and extensions through them as well since they are arranging your arrival - this also means that you will not likely get the best-priced property and will spend a good deal more than if you did yourself. My advice - do not fall for the "included airfare" promotion. Arrange your own airfare and your own pre- or post-cruise extension at a property of your choosing. Traveling in the Netherlands is soooo easy whether by taxi, public transportation or renting your own car - don't think you can't do it - you can! If we could do it all over again, we'd arrange our own flights and our own pre- and post-trip extensions. Arrival & Transfer - Another reason why NOT to use Viking to make your flight arrangements. We arrived and waited for an hour for another arrival - this jeopardized our pre-trip reservation to the Anne Frank House - Viking didn't seem to care. Their people at the airport were unconcerned and only doing their job. Not a good first impression of Viking. Cabin - we had a room with a shallow balcony - probably not a smart choice for this time of year. The weather was chilly enough that we rarely utilized the balcony. If weather had been better, the balcony will be a wonderful choice - a place where you can have some privacy and extra space. The cabin was excellent and in very good condition. There was one very bothersome problem - the television. Viking has a great concept in offering viewing selection, but our TV (and the ship's system) constantly was freezing up - it would literally take you days to watch one program (if you had that much patience) because it would stop in the middle for no reason and take you back to the main menu. this annoyed me greatly. Food - surprisingly the food wasn't noticeably better than your average run-of-the-mill ocean cruise (i.e., Princess, NCL) except there was much less of it. You're fed breakfast, lunch and dinner but nothing to be had in between and no room service. Shore Excursions - another attractive aspect of Viking for newbies like us were the included shore excursions. Well, don't be fooled. If you have any sense of exploration or physical abilities you can walk and see more than you will on the included shore excursions. The optional excursions (and not free) were above average. We did the Arnhem WW2 excursion, the cheese-tasting, tulip farm and windmill optional excursions. All except the WW2 excursion were worthwhile. The Arnhem WW2 excursion was so brief and with roads under repair the guide and bus driver spent way too much time trying to find their way on the detours. We had rented a car and visited Eindhoven and Nijmegen on our own before the cruise started - I should've done Arnhem on our own as well - the little time spent at the Airborne Museum was a disappointment. Recommend you do this one on your own! Conclusion - we just aren't cut out to be river cruisers. We won't be taking another one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Our first river cruise on the Viking Baldur as we like Europe and the idea of seeing many beautiful places/countries appealed to us. We also like that it's less crowded on the riverboats and you only unpack once. The ship was ... Read More
Our first river cruise on the Viking Baldur as we like Europe and the idea of seeing many beautiful places/countries appealed to us. We also like that it's less crowded on the riverboats and you only unpack once. The ship was wonderful and even though the cabin is small there is very good use of the space. The food was incredible (lots of variety) and our servers; crew and cleaning staff were top notch; very friendly and helpful. Room was always spotless on our return. Lots of onboard entertainment and the shore excursions were fun; informative and a great way to get a feel for the places. We had an extension in Amsterdam but even then we could have used more time. Very unique city. The Ann Frank house was a must see for us. Incidently the church beside this house is where Rembrandt is buried. We could have used another day in Budapest as well. I did find it tiresome visiting a church in every port but that's Europe. Our only negative comments deal with the extension we took to Prague. We were bused there (9 hours) and really felt that we should have been given the option to fly or take a train to Prague. It would have saved us a day and the trip was long/boring and the two stops we made were at extremely busy eateries where we barely had time to do anything. Very enjoyable trip overall that we took to celebrate our 40th anniversary and not sorry we went but likely won't go again. We found it rather expensive and we like to schedule our own specific activities. If you do decide to go would highly recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I wrote about my trip on the Viking Magni for part of my river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. For the second half of the trip we were transferred to the Viking Baldur, our originally scheduled ship. The transfer was apparently due to ... Read More
I wrote about my trip on the Viking Magni for part of my river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. For the second half of the trip we were transferred to the Viking Baldur, our originally scheduled ship. The transfer was apparently due to low water levels after a dry summer. My experience on the Baldur was different. The hotel manager on the Magni was definitely more hands on and more personable and as a result the ship had a more welcoming feel. On the Magni, there were some special touches and the staff was more personable and more attentive (except the chef and maids who were wonderful on both ships). On the Magni, we were often greeted with a treat as we returned from excursions and an appertif as we entered the dining room. Also, on the Magni, when returning to the ship and before meals we were offered a spray of hand disinfectant by the manager as we entered the dining room. The Magni manager made more of an effort to get to know his guests by name and he was often in evidence around the ship. The ship had a welcoming feel. The pianist on the Baldur had a better repertoire of music, much more relevant to the audience he played for. Many people danced! We enjoyed the post dinner activities in the lounge; trivia, etc. The glass worker who visited the Baldur (visits all ships?) was excellent and entertaining. I bought several items. However he had a very, very severe body odor problem and the smell filled the lounge. I am sensitive to odors and I could barely stay in the lounge. On each ship, our maid was terrific. She was personable and friendly. The room was straightened and/or cleaned 2 to 3 or even 4 times a day! Basically every time we left the cabin, it had been straightened when we returned. If we took a nap, the bed had been remade when we returned. If we then came back and showered before dinner, the room had been straightened again when we returned later. We left an individual, very big tip for the maid! The lounge staff was not as attentive on the Baldur as it was on the Magni. They often did not approach us in the lounge to ask for an order or a re-order. They were not as friendly as on the Magni. We felt a personal connection with those on the Magni! The Baldur staff was overall more business-like. The dining staff was also not as attentive. One staff member was even defensive and seemed upset when asked for service. He was very loud and silly when making announcements. To be fair, he meant to be funny and many guests enjoyed him. wThe trip manager for both our ships, Kaitlyn, was good but often sounded as though she were talking to a classroom of high school or younger students. As on the Magni, the chef was very personable. Both chefs were exceptionally accommodating to my friend who accompanied us and cannot have gluten or yeast, even going off the boat daily to get special products and making special treats for her! Both chefs visited the dining room nightly to check in with guests. The ships were virtually identical and we were assigned the same cabin on each. In our Baldur cabin, the AC had to be repaired, the closet door slid closed continuously while we tried to use it. It had to be propped open. The light in the closet stayed on when it was closed. The toilet seat's "slow close" was broken. Not a big deal really, unless you're used to the one on the previous ship and end up waking up your spouse in the middle of the night when the lid slams shut! As on the Magni, most of the food was average. Many thought it was great but I think people tended to be charitable so as not to offend the chefs and staff. On both ships, the shore excursions were mostly good to great and the guides were mostly good to very good. One guide, however, refused to slow her pace when requested to do so twice and at least one couple had to leave the tour she led. Another very young guide did not seem well-informed. The meal of sausage and sauerkraut and mashed potatoes was terrible (both ships) on an optional all-day excursion in Amsterdam; sausage was truly tasteless and dry with an odd texture. Sauerkraut was mushy and sweet, not sour at all. Mashed potatoes tasted like they came out of a box. Beer was good. The Mozart-Strauss concert excursion in Vienna was wonderful (both ships have this excursion). On both ships the shore excursion meals were not really appetizing to me with the exception of the "Sound of Music" dinner and concert. Good food, great entertainment. We enjoyed all of the ports, especially Amsterdam and Kinderdijke, Miltenberg, Rothenburg, Bamberg, Krems, Regensburg, Passau and Vienna. Budapest was the port I had looked forward to the most but the shore excursion was lacking. Hungary is still very like a Soviet Block country. I would've liked to have learned more. We did some touring on our own on the post trip extension there. The Terror Museum was amazingly impactful and eye-opening. The Fisherman's Bastion was cool but the restaurant staff there was rude, slow and inattentive. We were cold and continuously asked to have the door closed, but the staff kept leaving it open on purpose. The church by the hotel was very beautiful and we were able to climb to the second level and tour the towers. I enjoyed the shopping. The Hilton Hotel room for the extension was big and comfortable. The view was fabulous. The staff was often aloof except for the concierge and the lounge staff, although the lounge service was slow. The hotel dining room staff cordial. The Speiz restaurant across the street was very good. The museums and churches I especially enjo yed, in addition to the Terror Museum in Budapest, were the Van Gogh Museum and The Rijks in Amsterdam, The Belvedere(Klimt) and the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna, the Dom Cathedral in Regensburg and in Passau, the Natural History Museum in Vienna. Overall, I'd say the Magni manager was more hands on and as a result the ship and staff were better. The ship announcements were way too loud in the cabin. There were many more enjoyable towns, sights, museums than I can list here! Overall, I'd highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I figured I may only get this one chance to see Europe so I chose the Grand European river cruise! I totally enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on board ship. The scenery along the rivers was most beautiful. The excursions kept us moving every ... Read More
I figured I may only get this one chance to see Europe so I chose the Grand European river cruise! I totally enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on board ship. The scenery along the rivers was most beautiful. The excursions kept us moving every day--enjoying the many cities and towns along the way! The meals on board were extraordinary! Often including local fare. The staff was magnificent. They were warm and friendly and ever so helpful. THe first few days were a little overwhelming. THe excursions were wonderful, but I felt like I had no chance to really relax and enjoy the city or town we were in--you know, like sit in a cafe and enjoy a cafe latte and people watch. After a few days things settled down and got better. I loved the guides, they were knowledgable and informative. Totally love not having to pack up and move luggage every few days. The cruise is the way to go! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
For my 65th we wanted a grand trip, so we chose the 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with an extension to Prague. The Viking Cruise was quite good but ultimately somewhat disappointing. The main issue was due to a problem ... Read More
For my 65th we wanted a grand trip, so we chose the 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with an extension to Prague. The Viking Cruise was quite good but ultimately somewhat disappointing. The main issue was due to a problem with the locks. We ended up spending more time on buses, driving to places in South Germany and then sailing past those places the second time than was planned. Particularly disappointing, we lost one of our two scheduled days in Vienna -- which was the whole reason I had selected this particular itinerary. That said, Viking did a great job of responding to something that was not in their control. We literally swapped ships. And the cruise director Caitlin was amazing and completely professional in how she handled everything. She made lemonade out of lemons and salvaged what could have been a really disastrous situation. True grace under pressure there. In hindsight, we should have done the one week cruise from Regensburg to Budapest and added on time in Vienna and Budapest as well as Prague. The Prague extension was wonderful and they did a great job on that part of the trip (other than the lunch at the truck stop in Brno, which left a lot to be desired.). One day is just not adequate for a great city like Vienna, Budapest or Prague. And one day was all we had in Vienna and Budapest due to the lock problems. Having cruised a good bit on small ships (mainly Star Clippers, who do a great job and really suit me better), I found the Viking ships comfortable and relaxing. The crew were excellent and attentive. The days were a little bit over structured for us, however. We would have liked more time to explore. And there was a lot of schlepping us back to the boat for meals by bus. Again, some of this was due to the lock problems. My only other real beef was the people booking the air did a terrible job in that they booked us to arrive at 8:30 a.m in the morning in Amsterdam, but we could not get into our hotel room until 3:00 p.m. I went ballistic as I had discussed this issue specifically with the booking agent and they assured me that early check-in would not be a problem. Viking flubbed the dub on that one big time, and I never felt like the company really responded on that, other than a token voucher offer. So it is a good trip. But if I had it do again, one week plus extensions in the major cities is better than fourteen days straight. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Though we had been on a previous cruise from Prague to Nuremberg and South to Budapest, we chose to see Budapest again, (didn't have a chance the last time) and to go North up through Vienna again, other quaint German towns and to ... Read More
Though we had been on a previous cruise from Prague to Nuremberg and South to Budapest, we chose to see Budapest again, (didn't have a chance the last time) and to go North up through Vienna again, other quaint German towns and to depart from Amsterdam. Weather and overall trip was exceptional!! Only 2 out of 15 days with some rain and overcast plus when we left for home from Amsterdam. Unable to explore Amsterdam since we went from our ship directly to the airport. Should have extended a couple of days and definitely should have booked the extension for Budapest. Thought we would get at least a windshield tour of Amsterdam but it was raining and the flight was relatively early so things worked out well. Maybe another time. Food, wine and treatment on board was as always exceptional!! Steward for our stateroom was very helpful and efficient as were all of the waiters and waitresses and the Program Director and her Assistant! We recommend Viking to anyone who wants to listen, in all seriousness, when we talk about travel. First time we stayed in Stateroom E. Prefer the French Balcony. Met a very nice couple from Richmond, VA and we do want to catch up with them again. Did travel the last two times with friends we encouraged to join us so we went as 2 couples each time. Also referred a couple and they took the new Ocean Liner. Word of mouth does work. Pick up at the Budapest Airport was a little awkward since we had to wait for another flight to come in with other Viking passengers on board. After waiting an hour or more they didn't show so we ended up going to the Baldur with out them. Regardless, the trip was great and yes, we would go again. We enjoyed Southern France already. Maybe Portugal and Spain next time or the Ocean Liner. Thank you Viking and a special thank you to your Baldur team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We decided to take this trip after our original trip on the Viking Star had to be postponed. A great decision looking back at it. Expected an excellent trip and Viking did not disappoint. The trip started in Amsterdam and embarkation was ... Read More
We decided to take this trip after our original trip on the Viking Star had to be postponed. A great decision looking back at it. Expected an excellent trip and Viking did not disappoint. The trip started in Amsterdam and embarkation was smooth as silk. Friendly staff from the very beginning and during the entire trip. Our cabin was very comfortable and offered us a great look at everything if we wanted on our trip. The dining on board was exceptional with a different offering for dinner at every region we visited. Marik Snelly, our Program director, is a jewel, offering great insights during our journey. Vannessa, our Concierge, was very helpful to our needs throughout the trip. Excursions at each stop were fabulous. Exceeded our expectations in every way. A great way to visit Europe without a doubt. Kudos to Viking!! I would recommend this Company for anyone who wants to river cruise in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
we loved the fact that everything was done for us....loved the meals on the ship, the tours were great and meeting only a few people not like on the ocean cruise was fantastic. lots of down time if you wanted it but lots of exciting things ... Read More
we loved the fact that everything was done for us....loved the meals on the ship, the tours were great and meeting only a few people not like on the ocean cruise was fantastic. lots of down time if you wanted it but lots of exciting things to see and do if you wanted to and created for everyone ......we had ages 7 years to 83 years i believe and all in-between and that was awesome! our Cabin was small but very accommodating, the scenery was lovely and we had very few complaints. Our only one down side was the four airports we went thru going over and also coming back (from Edmonton, to Montreal, to Paris and then Amsterdam and coming home again from Budapest, Paris, Amsterdam and Edmonton .........and our suitcases were held up in Montreal due to weather but was delivered two days later so we did miss part of our Sightseeing Tour of Amsterdam that day due to filling out forms and trying to track down our suitcases and as i only had one pair of shoes i had a very hard time as my feet are not the best these days so slowed us up the first day or so. Everyone was very good about finding out where our case had got to though! We would love to do another river cruise but probably won't as it was pricey for us but glad we did it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Viking Baldur Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.9
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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