Sail Date: August 2018
Celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, we selected our 2nd Viking River Cruise for the Grand European Cruise. Started off on the wrong foot as we had selected a pre-excursion visit to Prague but missed flight to JFK due to weather. ... Read More
Celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, we selected our 2nd Viking River Cruise for the Grand European Cruise. Started off on the wrong foot as we had selected a pre-excursion visit to Prague but missed flight to JFK due to weather. Arrived a day late, but Viking rep was right on sight to meet us and provide transportation to Prague Hotel. Local rep provided us with "make-up" tours and we had a great time in the Czech Republic. Then bussed to Budapest to pick up River Cruise ship. Great welcome on board and meet many new friends. Water levels in all rivers were very low and we ended up having to land portage 2 times to shift to 3 different long ships. A major logistic problem for Viking and the cruise director to transfer 185 people and their baggage to new Viking ships on the other side of low water. Several other river cruise lines were having to cancel their schedules and ship passengers home as they didn't have additional ships available. Viking has a substantial fleet and they were able to provide passage all the way to final destination even with problems presented by low water levels and we didn't miss any of our optional shore excursions. Cabin service was outstanding and the dining staff on all 3 Long Ships was first class. Excursions were one of the reasons we choose Viking and they were the best. We had a very memorable anniversary, one we will never forget, made even more so by the adversity that this River Cruise faced and overcame. As a footnote to this experience, after returning home, Viking notified us that in order to compensate us for the inconvenience experienced during this Cruise, they were going to apply a 50% credit of the price of this cruise to our next booking! Will we be traveling with them again? Absolutely, it is just a question of which Cruise to book!! . Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Marek Snelly our cruise director assured this trip was memorable wonderful river scenery, great cities. Any issues due to weather were handled professionally and expediently. As example the river was too low to make the full trip but ... Read More
Marek Snelly our cruise director assured this trip was memorable wonderful river scenery, great cities. Any issues due to weather were handled professionally and expediently. As example the river was too low to make the full trip but Viking maintains ships making the Itenary in both directions so we simply packed our bags and Viking moved them to the same room on essentially an identical ship. Marek moved with us which really made the transistion easy.The rest of the crew stayed on their ship. Our plane did arrive late and past the time Viking was providing transportation. We were not quite prepared how to handle this but were able to find a taxi which Viking reimbursed. Since Viking provided the Air it would have been nice if they had been aware of our situation and have been welcomed with an email or some other message telling us specifically how to proceed. Included daily excursions made for a good introduction to each city, and the suplimental excursions were all fairly reasonably priced and well managed. Of course it would have been great to spend more time in each city, but we covered a lot of ground, saw many sites, and visited many places on the 14day trip from Budapest to Amsterdam. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
We wanted to visit Belgium and cities in Germany , Austria and Hungary. We did not want to be packing and unpacking continously. We had a very good experience with this company in Russia Viking personnel is corteous, attentive and eager ... Read More
We wanted to visit Belgium and cities in Germany , Austria and Hungary. We did not want to be packing and unpacking continously. We had a very good experience with this company in Russia Viking personnel is corteous, attentive and eager to 'please , This applies to cruise directors, concierges and room attendants and waiters and waitresses. The scenery was fantastic, the cities that were visited fantastic and the included tours made the best to show the highlughts of each destination . As usual cultural and historic feedback for the different places was provided as well as an opportunities to connect with local artisans. To improve, will be the night entertainment, although everyone was ready for bed at 11PM. Food was excellent and special requests were fulfilled with a smile. Wine is included with lunch or dinner. The Malbec that was chosen by the company should be changed. Reallu awful. The whites were good. Of course they let you bring wine that you buy in the visited cities so you may bring in good wine and local wines. Still since their policy is to provide the wine , they have to come up with betfer quality at least similar to what they served us while in the russian rivers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I traveled with a friend who had been on a Viking River Cruise last year. The service from the friendly crew was excellent . The chef went out of his way to make every meal the best. The program director Marek Snelly went out of his ... Read More
I traveled with a friend who had been on a Viking River Cruise last year. The service from the friendly crew was excellent . The chef went out of his way to make every meal the best. The program director Marek Snelly went out of his way to keep us informed and entertained along with the concierge. The reception desk very helpful. The captain kept the ship smooth sailing thru the locks and docking with out you feeling anything. The cabin staff kept us very happy. The ports and excursions were very informative and fun to be there. The flooding of the river kept us from cruising along the whole river which i was really disappointed with. We transferred ships because we could not fit under the bridges and the transfer was amazingly smooth i was amazed., Although, I was really disappointed we did miss a lot of the cruise time. An amazing trip just missed seeing the castles and the river cruise where the ship could no go because of the rising rapid waters. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
The cabins are very nice and roomy. There is little on board entertainment because of room. The service was excellent and the food was very good. We liked having the shore excursions included in the price. There are extra excursions if ... Read More
The cabins are very nice and roomy. There is little on board entertainment because of room. The service was excellent and the food was very good. We liked having the shore excursions included in the price. There are extra excursions if you want more. This seemed to be an older group. No children. I would definitely do another river cruise.in fact we have booked another Viking cruise to finish out the Danube in May. We will be going from Budapest, Hungry to Bucharest, Romania. This time we have upgraded to a French Balcony. My husband had some health issues on the trip which made us have to go to the hospital in Germany. We were a very disappointed that they sent us on our own in a place where we did not speak the language and the cab drivers didn't speak English. We were nervous about getting back to the ship before it sailed that afternoon. All worked out but we would have felt more at ease if someone could have accompanied us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose the Tulips and Windmills cruise because, um, we wanted to see tulips and windmills. That, and we wanted to go on a river cruise, and Viking looked like the best choice ... and it was! The ship and crew were remarkable. ... Read More
We chose the Tulips and Windmills cruise because, um, we wanted to see tulips and windmills. That, and we wanted to go on a river cruise, and Viking looked like the best choice ... and it was! The ship and crew were remarkable. Excursion sites, guides and organization exceeded our expectations. The home hosted visit in Amsterdam was an unexpected pleasure, mostly because I'm very reserved and shy, and I thought the visit may feel awkward. It was the opposite, the couple who invited our group of 6 into their home put me at ease immediately. In addition, we made friends with 6-8 other people right away and enjoyed each others company throughout the cruise. It was as if we were already friends, we just hadn't met each other until the cruise. I'm pretty sure we'll continue keep in touch with some of them in the future.. The crew also exceeded our expectations. Mereck, the Program Director, has the perfect personality for the position. He kept things lively and is quite an entertainer. He put on a very funny, dramatic Van Gough "lecture". Corny as it sounds, it's almost like the guests were his friends, we just happened to be on the Viking Baldur river cruise. He sincerely seemed to want everyone to have a good time. The crew also went above and beyond when my husband got sick partway through the cruise. They responded immediately with minor medical assistance, and several crewmembers checked with him during the next few days while I was out on excursions with a couple of my new found friends. (I'm shameless ... I went and had fun while my poor husband was stayed behind and in bed on the ship.) The food and service, the lounge and service, and the beer and wine included with meals was all good. One tidbit ... we went early in the season to save a few bucks. The tulips were a little scarce, so I wish we would've spent the extra money to go at the height of the season ... or at least a little closer to it. Viking pre-cruise services still have a lot of work to do to improve the quality of their work though. If it weren't for that, I would've given an "Excellent" 5 star rating. The worst of the pre-cruise experiences was when I ordered fruit and candy to be delivered to our room at the start of our cruise. It was to be accompanied by a delivery card with a special sentimental message saying it was from me. First, the ordering process was hideous. There was no mention of confirmation so, a few days after placing my order, I took it upon myself to confirm. Good thing I did too because guest services claimed they didn't receive it. They also said it was to late to place the order, and they didn't take orders by phone anyway. They only took orders by fax. Then they contradicted themselves and told me to fill out the form online. Only this is, the form wasn't set-up to be completed online. It could only be handwritten and faxed! (How antiquated!) They finally agreed to take the order by phone. The next day, I called to confirm and was told they didn't have my order again! After 2-3 hours of calls to confirm and haggling on the phone they finally took the order, and I finally got satisfactory confirmation. Surprisingly, the fruit and candy was in our room when we arrived, BUT THERE WAS NO CARD SAYING WHO IT WAS FROM! No delivery card, no message. My husband assumed it was something Viking did for all guests. It really took the enjoyment out of it when I had to explain that it was from me, and explain the sentiment that was supposed to be on the delivery card. There was also a great deal of conflicting info about what flight changes we could've made without incurring extra fees and costs. We would've made a departure scheduling change had we known there wouldn't be fees or costs. I had several conversations with several representatives about this and other changes we were considering, and got different information each time. Sometimes the representatives said there would be fees and costs, sometimes they said there wouldn't be. The last conversation I had with a representative was that I could've made all of the changes I wanted to without any fees or additional costs. By then, it was too late to make any of the changes. Lastly, it's not a complaint per se, but the lower category staterooms are small, really small. (Having said that, I think it's they are same size and the French balcony rooms, but they only have a window instead of sliding doors.) The window is nice to have, but it's not "chest high" as indicated in some of the promo literature. It was above my eye level, and I'm 5'6". Luckily, we understood this in advance and were okay with it. Overall, I recommend Viking and the Tulips & Windmills cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We had cruised on the Viking Bragi in 2013 for 15 days - Budapest to Amsterdam. It was wonderful so we booked a shorter cruise on part of the same river. We really prefer river cruising. We flew into Brussels and spent three days in ... Read More
We had cruised on the Viking Bragi in 2013 for 15 days - Budapest to Amsterdam. It was wonderful so we booked a shorter cruise on part of the same river. We really prefer river cruising. We flew into Brussels and spent three days in Brugge. The Viking representative from the airport was very nice and informative. He let me sit up front so he could point out the area where my grandmother grew up. The guide in Brugge was exceptional too. We truly love sitting on the top deck watching the scenery or relaxing on our veranda. We don't typically stay up late so we did not see the entertainment. The ship was beautiful and very clean. We upgraded to a suite this time it was soooo worth the extra money. Many of our new friends came by to check out our cabin. The service was awesome on board ship. We only experienced one disappointing instance with the cruise director when he would not allow my husband and I to ride one of the excursion buses into town. We were unable to walk , what turned out to be about a mile, into the town for the walking tour. There was a bus going to the castle that went right through the town and he would not let us ride it. He said he would call us a taxi at our expense. It wasn't about the money...it was about customer service. We chose to stay on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We choose the Grand European Tour which was a voyage lasting 14 days and departing on August 24, 2014, from Viking River Cruises for that it offered the best itinerary to visit 5 countries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers (Netherlands, ... Read More
We choose the Grand European Tour which was a voyage lasting 14 days and departing on August 24, 2014, from Viking River Cruises for that it offered the best itinerary to visit 5 countries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary), for the extensions to Amsterdam and to Prague and for the small size of Baldur ship (190 passengers). We enjoyed very much our cruise : the ports of call were well selected, the shore excursions were well organized, the ship was new (2013) and had top notch facilities and services, the staff was friendly and helpful and the cabin was a good size, modern and comfortable. The transfer with Viking was fast from hotel to the ship so we boarded at 14:15 and after showing our passports at the reception, we were directed to our Balcony Room (# 331). The luggage came fastly after the arrival in our room. The stateroom was exactly as expected : a very comfortable bed, a large window door giving on the balcony with a table and 2 chairs. It is compact but convenient and we had enough room to store all our things. The bathroom was small but efficient with good smelling Occitane toiletries. The shower stall with glass windows was the best and largest shower we had in a cruise. We visited Kinderdijk, Cologne, Koblenz, Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Rothenburg (which was an optional tour), Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passsau, Melk, Krems (for an optional wine tour), Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. We strongly suggest Viking cruises to change the itinerary in the future: 2 days are required in Vienna instead of Melk where we saw only the Abbaye. In fact, Vienna is a very beautiful and large city that we were rushed to visit (city tour in the morning, Schonbrunn Palace in the afternoon and Music Concert in the evening). Moreover, upon return of our afternoon tour, our ship was not docked and we had to wait 45 minutes because the captain decided to wait another Viking ship. We missed time for preparation and had dinner very fast before our concert. We felt having not be respected as customers and considered this event as a lack of coordination. Food in the restaurants was remarkable. The menu at the main dining room varied each evening and was wonderful. Many options for the appetizers, soups and salads, main entrees (beef filet, New York steak, salmon, tuna, duck, lamb, pasta, chicken, salads, vegetarian plates…) and desserts were available. We went two nights at the Aquavit Terrace but the menu was limited to 6 choices : burger, salads, pasta. The breakfast served at the restaurant was excellent : omelette, scrambled, fried or benedict eggs, french toast, pancakes, regular coffee, fresh orange juice, a large selection of bread and pastries, cereals, oatmeal, a good variety of fruits (pineapple, orange, watermelon, etc.), yogurt, cold meats, cheese, etc. Now the bad things : the wine service was very poor. We were served every lunch or dinner the same red and white wine coming from the vintage Morwald owned by Viking. This house wine was a very basic table wine even if served generously. However, we visited Morwald Winery on the optional tour and tasted other excellent wines that should be added to the wine service on the ship. The other thing we hated was to eat every evening at a table of 6 people and at the exact same time 7:00 o’clock, as well for breakfast and lunch. Therefore, we had no intimacy and no flexibility for meals during the cruise like other ocean cruises. The service was excellent everywhere on the ship. Every member of personnel said hello and was smiling. In the restaurants, the service was very attentive, friendly and efficient. The room was cleaned twice a day. The check out was well planned and we disembarked at 8:15 AM and we were transferred to Prague by bus for a journey of 8 hours. Overall, it was a fabulous cruise, with remarkable service, gourmet food and attractive destinations. We recommend Viking Cruises for a river cruise but you must like being all the time with many people especially during meals.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
We enjoyed the cruise immensely. We have had about 6 previous ocean cruises on big ships and couldn't believe how much more comfortable the smaller ride was. There were quite a few times that we wished we could have had more time in ... Read More
We enjoyed the cruise immensely. We have had about 6 previous ocean cruises on big ships and couldn't believe how much more comfortable the smaller ride was. There were quite a few times that we wished we could have had more time in port, i.e. overnight, etc., but recognize that would either extend the cruise or cut out some of the days in other ports. Everything about the cabin was good, the meals were good and once we found how we wanted to relax on board, that was good. We were disappointed at the lack of time available to sit up on top and enjoy cruising during the days from up there. Also could have used some public addressing of things as we went by to let us know where we were and what we were passing....know that others would probably preferred the silence, but not us! Read Less
Viking Baldur Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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