2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
When we booked we didn't know that we would be on the maiden voyage, so a shiny new ship awaited us. Although a few kinks it was a fabulous 2 weeks. I'd move in forever. I'm sure by now the service at dinner has improved as ... Read More
When we booked we didn't know that we would be on the maiden voyage, so a shiny new ship awaited us. Although a few kinks it was a fabulous 2 weeks. I'd move in forever. I'm sure by now the service at dinner has improved as nobody had worked together prior to our sailing. The food at all meals was quite good. Far superior to ocean cruises we have previously taken. All staff from bar to reception to room steward were exceptional. Hotel manager, as he's called, referred us to a small off the beaten track restaurant for dinner one night in his home city, then made us dinner reservations and arranged a taxi. Private balcony. REAL BALCONY to view castle after vineyard after castle. Oh my! And, incidentally, great included tours as well. But I could have just stayed on board and been just as happy. Loved every minute. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
Travelled with Uniworld on the French rivers Saone and Rhone 18 months ago - first river cruise, countless ocean cruises, mostly small ships - and loved every minute. However, when offered two for one and free airfare on the Viking Grand ... Read More
Travelled with Uniworld on the French rivers Saone and Rhone 18 months ago - first river cruise, countless ocean cruises, mostly small ships - and loved every minute. However, when offered two for one and free airfare on the Viking Grand European from Amsterdam to Budapest, we couldn't say no. So we went with some trepidation, both because we suspected no other line could match Uniworld, but also due to the risk of late October weather and ports we didn't find quite as interesting as Burgundy and Provence. I won’t bore with details, just the primary minuses and plusses, minuses first because they were few: • Too much busing to suit me, not Viking’s fault, just a function of the itinerary. One of the things I loved about the Uniworld/Provence trip was the ship was docked in the center of the towns at all ports, so it we could walk on and off the ship as we pleased. This time, only half of the ports allowed such freedom; the rest required a shuttle or subway ride which makes taking a break in the middle of the day difficult. • Having passed through two major wine producing regions, I would have really enjoyed a couple of wine pairing dinners as done by Uniworld, a real highlight of that cruise. Viking has a relationship with its own vineyard which produced the reds and whites included at meals, both very nice, but I think this is a missed opportunity. • Even for a river cruiser, the cabin was tiny. I would have loved just one small chair tucked in a corner somewhere. • No robes. • No map of our progress readily available. • Beverage service was slow (maybe fewer staff than needed), although this improved as the days went on. OK, I stand by my minuses but admit they are nitpicky especially considering the positives: • The Baldur is only two months old and gleamed. • The staff were incredibly eager to please from the captain all the way to housekeeping. They constantly had ready smiles and were always asking how they could help. The cruise director, Luk, was funny, knowledgeable, helpful and entertaining, worth the price of the cruise alone, but unfortunately ours was his last voyage. • The food was really, really good, even excellent some nights, and I am a tough critic. It constantly amazed me how Karl-Heinz and his staff could produce such high quality cuisine for 180 people all sitting down at the same time, night after night. Never once was the meat overcooked or dried out. I had chicken one night, which I rarely order, just to test them, and it was juicy and flavorful, just right. They also covered all the bases as far as variety is concerned: lamb, duck, steak, pork, chicken, a number of different seafoods, etc, etc, all cooked with interesting sauces and sides. Karl-Heinz even took those interested on a tour and tasting in the Viennese open air market and offered a tour of his spotless galley. The Uniworld food was wonderful (we were in France, after all) but Viking managed to match them. • Most of all, the Viking service was outstanding. We usually do our own pre-cruise, get-over-the-jet-lag three days, but for a number of reasons, opted to try the Viking version in Amsterdam. It was a pleasure to be met at the airport and led by the hand to the hotel and a nap. Even better was having our own private transfer to the Budapest airport (no lumping all the morning and all the afternoon flight folks into two big groups for Viking; we arrived at the airport exactly 2 hours before our flight and were therefore able to enjoy ourselves on board ship for a few more hours rather than more time hanging around the airport). And, at the airport, there was a Viking rep waiting to direct us the appropriate line and get us through as quickly as possible. He even walked us to security. This mirrored the staff on board. Can’t say enough about their organization and eagerness to please as well as their expertise. Many of the ports were wonderful, but they are the same for any line, and I suspect the local guides are the same as well. We do not chose a trip based on the entertainment, but the passenger talent show and a couple of silly game nights were fun. We also enjoyed watching a couple of movies in the cabin although it would have been fun to have a few that were itinerary based. I could say a lot more and will be happy to answer any questions, especially while the trip is fresh in my mind. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with the Viking Baldur.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
Background: Experienced cruisers (40+, many lines), married, Mid 60's. First time River Cruise General: As a first river cruise, I will try to report things unique to river cruises rather than compare to other lines or cruises. By ... Read More
Background: Experienced cruisers (40+, many lines), married, Mid 60's. First time River Cruise General: As a first river cruise, I will try to report things unique to river cruises rather than compare to other lines or cruises. By far the best part of this cruise is the ports and scenery which has little to with Viking, I strongly recommend the 14 day Grand European Cruise over a 7 day itinerary. I is a better deal and you really need a few days to get into the culture/history and river experience. Tours: These are all included on Viking and are excellent. Go to the onboard discussions each afternoon on the next stop. The personal headset equipment included are excellent, and are used on all tours.. The tours are probably the highlight of the trip and help explain the cost. Tourist crowds at all stops must be overwhelming during peak summer times. Ship: It was brand new and very nice. Rivers really limit the ship size and space, but they make the most of it Dress: Ignore anything they print or you read. Everyone is down dressed the whole time, including the captains party and dinner. Pack accordingly. Ladies, thank you for dressing up a little. Food: Kitchens have to be small on these river boats which limits preparations. The food budget is good so the products are good, but not exceptional. Chef/cook was adequate, but do not expect the preparations you find on high end lines. Lunch gets a little boring after a while. The clientele age group means there are many diabetics on board, but the make no effort to accommodate this with sugar free or no sugar added desserts to speak of, and when they claims they have one it is high in fruit fructose. Put your request in when you register. BEVERAGES: The wine that comes with lunch and dinner is some home brew of Viking. The red was drinkable. They will open your bottle at no cost at meals, so if you like wine, that is the way to go. The liquor package does not upgrade your wines much and you would have to drink all day to come out ahead cost wise with the package. The two beers available at meals is drinkable, but not anticipate a tasting experience. I would say the this area was the an overwhelming disappointment and not as advertised. Staterooms: Very nicely done, but very small. Standard size room has no seating room at all. Balcony cabins of either type are about one oot wider which allows for one small chair next to the bed. Full balcony cabins gives you about 2 feet of width for 2 narrow chairs which would be nice in warm weather. No cabins are large enough you will want to spend time there unless you take one of the major suites in back, but you need to be Bill Gates or want people to think you are. Entertainment: One or two nice evening shows brought on from shore. The facility for entertainment will not come close to holding all passengers and is very poor for entertainment purposes. Otherwise, there was a piano singer who was very average, but the entertainment is the itinerary.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
Just home from our Rhine Cruise on Viking Baldur. First vacation that I cannot find one negative thing to say. The longships are absolutely beautiful, our Explorer Suite was fantastic, with every amenity possible. We left our patio doors ... Read More
Just home from our Rhine Cruise on Viking Baldur. First vacation that I cannot find one negative thing to say. The longships are absolutely beautiful, our Explorer Suite was fantastic, with every amenity possible. We left our patio doors open each night, the weather was unseasonably warm, plus afforded us great views when we were going thru the locks. We sat on our back balcony every night before bed. No engine noise just the gentle sound of the water. We were extremely pleased with all the meals. Contrary to other reviews we found the menu offered numerous choices for every pallet and portion sizes more than adequate. The Grilled New York Steak and Caesar Salad should not be missed. Our compliments to the Chef and his staff for a job well done, especially the Captains Farewell Dinner. The bar and restaurant staff are friendly, accommodating and efficient. The Spirits Package is certainly well worth the cost, and the Wine List provided numerous regional varieties. Housekeeping maintains a spotless ship. We loved the turn down service, special treats and cute towel sculptures. Towels were changed out twice daily and the bathrooms cleaned as well. We prefer to do our own exploring as the tours are not our thing. Ships dock close to most towns so we had nice walks everyday. The small towns were the best, with quaint buildings and streets, cafes and pubs. Excellent shopping venues for high end clothing and shoes. "Christmas Markets" were fine for people watching and local culinary specialties, but that was it. Not into trinkets. The hotel manager, Claudia Gonzales, was constantly about and interacting with her guests. She obviously loves her job and her staff, and it shows. Thank You Viking for a Magnificent Holiday. 10 out of 10 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our first Viking cruise on one of their new ships going south on the Rhine River for the for the 2013 Christmas markets. We were two couples traveling together as we have for many years. I will first start off with the negatives: ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise on one of their new ships going south on the Rhine River for the for the 2013 Christmas markets. We were two couples traveling together as we have for many years. I will first start off with the negatives: When we first boarded the ship our stomachs did flip-flops from the overwhelmingly bad smell coming from somewhere along the side. The smell seemed to come and go throughout the next few days. I was told they were having a sewerage problem. No kidding! During the ensuing days I would estimate that perhaps half of the passengers got sick as did members of the crew. On one evening, two thirds of the dinner meals were served. Three of the four of us got sick. On the last day of the cruise we got a one page disclaimer letter from Viking but have received no further contact from them. The French balcony rooms we booked were easily the smallest accommodations I'd ever seen. Evening entertainment consists, for the most part of a singer/pianist. Keep in mind that the shore excursions involve a guided tour after which you have an hour or so to explore a given city. Transportation to and from the city may be miles away and the last available Viking bus is at 4-5 PM. You have time for dinner but thereafter there is nothing to do. Between our two couples we have perhaps 30 ocean cruises under our belts and we've never had a problem with illness or the like. Before I forget, let me mention the throngs of people that attend the Christmas markets, something I simply did not anticipate. 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
Sail Date: May 2014
"Baldur was the god of light and joy". This ship was aptly named. My sister and I felt full of joy as we cruised along the rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam. We were so comfortable and so well looked after by Niko, Igor, Korana, ... Read More
"Baldur was the god of light and joy". This ship was aptly named. My sister and I felt full of joy as we cruised along the rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam. We were so comfortable and so well looked after by Niko, Igor, Korana, Victoria, chef Alexander, and all the rest of the crew including Roberta, Roy, Johnny, Edwin, that we felt special and spoilt. The shore excursions were well planned and we were able to do as much or as little as we wanted. We were disappointed with the Kinderdijk tour and would rather have had a tour of Amsterdam. All onboard entertainment was great and there were some wonderful special entertainers at times (e.g. the glassblower, the opera singers and the gypsy musicians). The food was excellent and abundant and dining on the Acquavit Terrace was wonderful. This was a first river cruise experience, in a word, it was "magical" Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
This was our first Viking River cruise and we were so impressed with absolutely everything. Our Veranda A room was so comfortable and we loved the views as we cruised the rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam. The staff was outstanding! We ... Read More
This was our first Viking River cruise and we were so impressed with absolutely everything. Our Veranda A room was so comfortable and we loved the views as we cruised the rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam. The staff was outstanding! We never wanted for anything! The tours and all of the local tour guides were wonderful. The daily pace was just perfect. The meals on the ship were delicious and we enjoyed our times off the ship when we visited several local restaurants (usually recommended by our tour guides). We were very pleased with the audio devices we had for our tours which meant we all could hear what the guide was saying without all being on top of each other. All of the UNESCO sites were amazing on this trip - loved all that we saw and learned. The entire staff of the Baldur were so wonderful. Our stateroom was always just perfect and we loved getting to know our young room steward Jeffsy. She took great care of us the entire voyage. The end of our cruise came two days early when I received word that my sister had suffered a major heart attack and was in critical condition in Louisville, KY. Our cruise director, Korana and concierge Victoria immediately went to work on getting my husband and I off the ship and onto a flight from Frankfurt back to the states. It was the middle of the night back in the U.S. where my travel agent was and so we were unable to get in touch with her. Korana and the Viking crew were so caring and made all of our arrangements for us and we did get back home the very next day. We had not used Viking to make our travel arrangements but that did not make any difference when it came to helping us get back to the states. I can never say enough about all of the Viking personnel and hope we can soon take another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
My friend and I cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking Baldur. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The crew was fantastic, the food was amazing, the ship was only 9 months old and state of the art. We had a Veranda Stateroom and ... Read More
My friend and I cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking Baldur. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The crew was fantastic, the food was amazing, the ship was only 9 months old and state of the art. We had a Veranda Stateroom and it was a well designed cabin with loads of storage. The tours were well organized and the tour guides were all very knowledgeable. Amenities on the ship were great, 24 hour coffee/tea stations (2 of them), a library, computers and free WiFi access throughout the ship. We were thoroughly spoilt, pampered and entertained. Nothing was too much trouble, a very happy place to spend 2 weeks watching Europe glide by. Highly recommend Viking, and in particular, the Baldur, for a fabulous cruise. This is a relaxing way to travel!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was "the" family vacation of a lifetime - My wife and I took both daughters/husbands/significant others for a sojourn from Amsterdam to Budapest. Wonderful 2 weeks filled with relaxation, scenery, Viking hospitality, ... Read More
This was "the" family vacation of a lifetime - My wife and I took both daughters/husbands/significant others for a sojourn from Amsterdam to Budapest. Wonderful 2 weeks filled with relaxation, scenery, Viking hospitality, history, food and beer. This was our first time on the Longships and they proved to be a delight in every regard. Cabin space roomier than older Viking ships. Common areas delightfully open and airy. All in all a superbly designed boat. Half way on the trip, while along the Main/Danube canal, we were informed of a low water situation that precluded passage through and that we needed to trade ships with one on the other side of the problem. We were asked to pack, place our bags outside in the AM and then proceeded to take our daily tour. When we returned we switched from the Magdi to the Baldur - same stateroom, same program director, but different staff. And while we were sad to lose the friendships we made with the staff on the Magdi, the Baldur staff was just as delightful and just as proficient. The change was painless and the cruise continued without further changes. I find the Viking formula to be delightful. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We just got back from our Grand European Tour from August 10 - 24 starting in Budapest. I think it was a good decision to begin in Budapest because we had almost 2 complete days to enjoy the city. We arrived at 10AM and were in our cabin ... Read More
We just got back from our Grand European Tour from August 10 - 24 starting in Budapest. I think it was a good decision to begin in Budapest because we had almost 2 complete days to enjoy the city. We arrived at 10AM and were in our cabin at noon. At the end of the cruise we might have been too exhausted to appreciate this beautiful city, am only sorry we didn't arrive a couple of days early. The weather was quite warm, almost 90F, but after Budapest the temperature dropped considerably and it was chilly with little sun and rain in several places. I think the itinerary was excellent and each city or town was different and had its special charm. The places I enjoyed the most were Budapest, Vienna, Regensburg and Bamburg. The only places that disappointed were Wurzburg and Cologne. probably because I expected more. Viking does an excellent job of balancing the itinerary so that there are early starts on tours interspersed with later starts on others. The tour guides were very knowledgeable, informative, and personable. However, after a few tours it is hard not to confuse one place with another and maintain interest. I am a history lover and a former educator, but I did find myself getting "toured out." That was my problem, definitely not Viking's. The service provided was outstanding in all respects. Kudos to the entire staff who work hard to accommodate you. Jazmina in the restaurant and Johnny on the Aquavit Terrace were wonderful, as well as our stewardess, Michaela. The stateroom was tiny, but well laid out so with a little organization two people can manage to fit. Unfortunately, my husband fell ill and missed several days of the cruise and I was tempted to take a blanket and sleep in the lounge. Being on the lowest deck was fine, especially since in several ports there are ships stacked next to each other and there is no view. The food was hit or miss. Breakfast was very good, Norwegian smoked salmon daily with bagels and yummy pastries were part of the offerings. We rarely had lunch, and dinner good be quite good but also quite lacking. The chef tries to make very sophisticated dishes that at times did not work. The only incident that was annoying was at the end of the cruise. We had a 10:10 AM departure from Amsterdam and we had been scheduled to depart the ship at 6AM. Viking refused to change anyone's departure time so with another couple we asked for a mini van to go to the airport. Constantin, the concierge, said it would cost 45 euros for the four of us (not for each couple). I had him repeat this several times to make sure there was no confusion, but when we got to the airport after dropping off the other couple at KLM we proceeded to United, where when paying the driver he wanted $70 euros. We refused to pay the difference and since the transfer had been arranged by Viking and this was the taxi company they always use we told the cabby to complain to the Baldur. We did report this to the Viking representative at the airport and also called the company yesterday to tell them about it. Now why did I say "not my cup of tea"? This was our first river cruise and have only done two ocean cruises to Alaska and to the Mediterranean years ago on what was Renaissance and is now Oceania. We have always traveled to Europe independently organizing the itineraries on our own and having done the river cruise we realize that group travel is not for us, it is too regimented as far as meals, tours, etc. Planning a European trip requires a lot of exhaustive research, but that is definitely our preference. Having said that, I would definitely recommend Viking and this itinerary to anyone who wants to do a river cruise and leave the planning to others. Last, but not least, we were fortunately in that there were no problems with water levels or lock break downs which seems to be a fairly common occurrence. This was causing me a lot of stress before the trip worrying about whether our cruise would turn into a bus tour, another reason why I would not repeat this experience. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
From our first day on our river cruise, we had a great time! Food was delicious! Service by the crew was superb! Ports-of-call were fantastic, even though it rained at most of them...off and on and not steadily. Ha! Most of the tour guides ... Read More
From our first day on our river cruise, we had a great time! Food was delicious! Service by the crew was superb! Ports-of-call were fantastic, even though it rained at most of them...off and on and not steadily. Ha! Most of the tour guides knew their stuff and the hikes weren't that bad, considering I had just had a hip replacement in November, 2014 and would be having my other one done the end of April, 2015. The number of locks was a little overbearing, but what are you to do, going from where we boarded to where we ended in Amsterdam? The trip from Frankfurt, Germany to Amsterdam had far fewer locks and the weather was definitely great, although in Amsterdam, the weather was exceptional, so we roasted out at the gardens--which were beautiful. I got my castle pictures and loved every minute of seeing them again; and, hiking up to the large one on the hill was just wonderful! Even though it rain slightly, walking all around in that beautiful castle, without a guide, and only with two or three others who I met, as the highlight for me--Wertheim, I believe it was called. I would highly recommend having more time in that port, so a tour could be arranged up there, which could include the restaurant, also, when it was open. It was so close to the river and wouldn't require bus's, like a couple of the sites did. Cabin was delightful for a riverboat, although we were on a lower deck this time around. Ha! The disembarkation went smoothly and we so much appreciated the Viking crew that went with us...or met us at the airport, so we wouldn't have problems. Much appreciated! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Our 30thieth anniversary needed to be something special and the advertisements for Viking Cruises looked as if a river cruise would fit the bill. Booking was easy and talking with Walter and making the arrangements was an indication that ... Read More
Our 30thieth anniversary needed to be something special and the advertisements for Viking Cruises looked as if a river cruise would fit the bill. Booking was easy and talking with Walter and making the arrangements was an indication that this trip would be well planned and flawless. It was. We started with 2 days in Bruges before boarding the Baldur in Amsterdam. Everything was taken care of from our arrival at the airport in Brussells to checking into our hotel. The tours were interesting and informative and we didn't think things could get better. When we boarded the longboat in Amsterdam our expectations were exceeded. The stateroom was roomy and comfortable and the lounge and other public rooms were beautiful and inviting. The food was incredible and the wine was so good I was glad it kept flowing at dinner. Our tours at the stops along the Rhine were conducted by tour guides who knew their history as well as exciting stories to tell at each turn. We enjoyed the company of many different people on board at meals and evening activities. The saddest part was realizing that the trip was ending. Everyone on board had done their utmost to make us comfortable and feel pampered and the staffs attention to detail was evident. It was a trip well worth the money and the perfect memory for our 30 years together! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first cruise and we had no previous experiece to use as a criterion for this one. We chose Viking instead of one of its competitors because of its reputation as the most expensive cruise line, and the best. The ship was a ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had no previous experiece to use as a criterion for this one. We chose Viking instead of one of its competitors because of its reputation as the most expensive cruise line, and the best. The ship was a real surprise for several reasons. Our stateroom was one of the aft cabins and we had misgivings about the engine noise before we ever did any cruising. Those new engines were virtually silent and we never heard them or felt them. The ship itself was very easy to get around and conveniently designed for its passengers, but the best part of our experience was the ship's crew. They were superb in every area. They were always pleasant and warm from the lowest member of the crew we encountered to the Captain himself. It was interesting to see how engaged he was in the sailing process and we saw him frequently out an among the passengers and crew. Of particular note was Jens, our Hotel Manager. He was fabulous. Always available to both the crew and passengers, always smiling, alway responsive to everybody. If I owned a cruise line I would immediately make him the commodore because he was perfect in every way. Above all else, the food services were remarkably good and equal to the best hotels we have ever stayed anywhere in the world. The food was delicious, beautifully presented at every meal, fresh and delicious, generously served and plated perfectly. The waiters, waitresses and bar personnel were friendly, efficient, and very well-trained, without exception. We never received an inferior meal or service that was less than perfect. We have told everyone we know that "A Viking cruise is the only way to go," and all of our future cruising will be with Viking's superb fleet and excellent crews. Thanks to all of you. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first Viking River Cruise and we depending strongly on reviews to choose our trip. In the course of our week long cruise we found that most of the other passengers had taken a previous river cruise with Viking. We found that ... Read More
This was our first Viking River Cruise and we depending strongly on reviews to choose our trip. In the course of our week long cruise we found that most of the other passengers had taken a previous river cruise with Viking. We found that we'd have to agree with their confidence. The first point to mention is that most of the Viking Long Ships are very new. The ship we sailed on, the Viking Baldur, was about a year and half old. The accommodations are functional and nice, if not overly large. There is a lot of attention to comfort and small touches to making time in the room pleasant. Don't expect to spend a lot of time in the room. The food was plentiful and nicely done. The service staff was so good that it added to the enjoyment of our meals and I cannot say enough in praising all of the staff in helping to make our trip better. We arranged a private side trip that deviated from the cruise schedule and the concierge did a very good job in helping us plan the side trip. The activities were very good with only a couple of minor suggestions for improvement. We were on the Legends of the Rhine cruise. The second day featured a trip to a World War II museum in Overloon, The Netherlands. If you are a war buff you might find it enjoyable, but I think the general reaction was that there was probably a better way to spend the time. The other minor suggestion is that on an excursion to Remagen, which was new on the tour, we arrived in time to visit a historic church, but the tour guide made that the end of the tour in that city. That meant the church had closed. It would have been easy to begin at the church since the bus was parked a block away. The tour guides were knowledgeable and there was often free time to explore on our own. I might have enjoyed extra time in some of the cities we visited, particularly Cochem and Heidelberg, but the tour company cannot anticipate differences in what all their customers will find most interesting. It should be noted that we began in Amsterdam and finished our cruise in Frankfurt. People making the cruise the following week did the trip in reverse, beginning in Frankfurt. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
our second cruise with Viking Cruises. Easily as good as the first a year before in a similar area. The staff are excellent, attentive but not in any way obsequious. We had fabulous excursions, restful times on board with fabulous ... Read More
our second cruise with Viking Cruises. Easily as good as the first a year before in a similar area. The staff are excellent, attentive but not in any way obsequious. We had fabulous excursions, restful times on board with fabulous views. What more can one say. Try it for yourselves. Appropriate activities about the areas we were in, clog dancing, local music, or a talk about the trip or from some one local about a specific subject. The ship well furnished, cabins are spacious and well equipped. Food was good, portions ideal given the regularity of meals. Nice to able to get decent coffee and tea between meals and home baked biscuits. Cabin staff were helpful, and very friendly - nothing was too much trouble. Thanks to all, we will be back, some saving up to be done first. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Our 8 Day Viking river cruise started in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We had taken a transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette to get to Amsterdam, and as luck would have it, the Silhouette berthed in the place that our river cruise ... Read More
Our 8 Day Viking river cruise started in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We had taken a transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette to get to Amsterdam, and as luck would have it, the Silhouette berthed in the place that our river cruise ship, the Viking Baldur, normally docked. This necessitated that the Baldur temporarily dock at a remote pier in Amsterdam until the Silhouette departed. We had been told we could walk to our Viking ship, but due to this situation had to take a taxi to find where the Baldur had berthed. Our taxi driver was excellent, and after asking a few river cruise ship crews, quickly got us to the Baldur. Due to the early hour, around 9 AM, the Baldur was still in the process of off-loading previous passengers, but nonetheless we were greeted at the pier by Caitlyn, our Cruise Director. She gave us a warm welcome and directed to leave our luggage and have a seat/coffee in the lounge and relax until our cabin was ready. Since the Baldur was parked in a rather remote location, Viking had arranged a free shuttle bus to transport passengers hourly between the ship and the center of Amsterdam. Two of these shuttle trips included a short city tour, and after getting in our cabin and having a bite to eat, we decided to take the 1:30 city tour. We had a wonderful guide who gave us a short, but interesting tour of the central part of Amsterdam. It started to rain during the tour and we were eager to get back to the comfort of the Baldur. The Baldur is one of Viking’s newer “Longships”. It has 95 outside staterooms including: river view, French balcony, veranda, veranda suite, and Explorer Suite cabins. The Baldur has three decks and our cabin was on the middle deck. We had booked a French balcony cabin that had a sliding glass door that opened to the river, but no veranda. We feel this is the best value, as you really have little time to spend in your cabin. This is good because the cabin only measured 135 sq/ft compared to our 194 sq/ft Silhouette cabin. We had to quickly get our luggage under the bed in able to move around the cabin. The bathroom was small, but efficient, and I was even able to get my 6’ 3” body into the small shower that had excellent water pressure. All in all, we made due. After stowing our luggage, we made our way to the Lounge for our 6:15 Welcome Briefing from Caitlyn and the Hotel Manager Jens Wehrenberg. The talk was brief and we were quickly invited to move downstairs to the Restaurant for dinner. The restaurant was very modern, but comfortable and we were welcomed by the Chef and wait staff. We quickly befriended two Filipino waiters (Ryan & Darwin) who took care of our every need throughout the cruise. We had been told during the Welcome briefing that there was a large group from Canada on board, and they had special seating at the front of the restaurant. While we always knew they were there, they rarely got too noisy. The meals were excellent with a different menu every day. Breakfasts and lunches were a combination of menu/buffet items and dinners included local/regional specialties such as white asparagus which was in season for our cruise. For breakfast and lunch you could also eat off a buffet set up in the Aquavit Terrace/Lounge area. White and red wines as well as beer was complimentary and plentiful. I prefer a rose wine, and found that was also available. You can also bring your own wine on board and drink it at meals with no corkage fee. The ship provides a piano player/singer who entertained us in the lounge during lunch, happy hour, and after dinner unless there was a special event scheduled. He played a wide variety of enjoyable music and really added to the ambiance of the cruise. We were exhausted after a busy day and after a quick visit to the lounge retired to our stateroom for a comfortable night’s rest. Morning came too quickly, and after a great breakfast (7:00 – 9:30), we had an 8:30 Safety briefing including our life vests on the upper outer deck. After the safety briefing we joined the complimentary Amsterdam bus and canal boat tour. This was an excellent and thorough tour of Amsterdam. We returned to the ship for lunch and later took a local tram into town to tour the Anne Frank House. We had purchased tickets online 6 weeks earlier and were able to get right in, or we would have had to wait in line for up to two-three hours. After the tour we had a beer at a local place and headed back to the ship for dinner. At 7:00 PM our Captain, Rainer Lembck, had a welcome toast followed by a Port Talk about the following day’s events and schedules. After dinner, Viking provided a Dutch Folklore show in the Lounge. The Baldur left Amsterdam at 10:45 PM. The following days were filled with visits to places such as Nijmegen and the National War and Resistance Museum, Cologne and its magnificent Cathedral, Cochem and the imposing Reichsburg Castle, Marksburg and it’s 700 year old fortress, picturesque Rudesheim where we ate dinner in a local restaurant with live music and dancing, and historic Heidelberg with it’s university atmosphere and imposing hilltop castle. Each day also included daily port briefings by Caitlyn, as well as special evening events in the Lounge. I think our favorite day was Friday when we spent the afternoon cruising the Upper Middle Rhine Valley viewing magnificent castles and vineyards and a continuing narrative by Caitlyn of what we were seeing. The weather was perfect for sitting on the Sun Deck and enjoying the 360 degree views. We also enjoyed several lunches in the Aquavit Terrace which is a semi-enclosed terrace at the front of the ship. On nice days they open up the terrace doors and even use the ship barbeque. The ship and its facilities were very comfortable. The small size compared to ocean cruise ships made it very easy to meet a great number of the other passengers. Other features we liked included the free internet, complimentary wine and beer, and the very well done included tours. We had heard that river cruises were for older cruisers, but we would dispute this because of the early schedules and the fact that quite a few of the tours required quite strenuous walks and stair climbs in castles. We wished there had been more nice flat churches to tour. A review would not be complete without mentioning the service. We felt the service and crew were excellent. It seemed as if after the first day, the crew knew everyone and our favorite food and drinks. Every member of the crew has multiple duties, and everyone helps including the Hotel Director and Food Director. One day the entire crew was waiting for our return from a tour with cheers and welcome signs. This made us feel very special. Most of the crew works months without a day off, and still greet you every morning with a smile. The Cruise Director was also excellent. Every event was on time and well executed. As I mentioned a bit earlier, the small size of the ship makes it easy to meet most members of the crew. Overall our river cruise was excellent. Our 7 night 8 day cruise cost us $3110 p/p. This is about six times more expensive than our Transatlantic cruises which include a larger veranda cabin, but does not include free beverages and tours. If you can afford a river cruise, or want to see some of the beautiful cities and scenery included in a specific river cruise, you should do it; but if you are looking for value cruising with above average food and service, you probably want to stick with ocean cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Our cruise on the Viking Baldur is the best. Service is friendly and phenomenal. They anticipate any needs that you might want or need. Examples: on a warm day on the sun deck, a server came up with glasses of water; on a cooler and ... Read More
Our cruise on the Viking Baldur is the best. Service is friendly and phenomenal. They anticipate any needs that you might want or need. Examples: on a warm day on the sun deck, a server came up with glasses of water; on a cooler and breezy day while sailing a beautiful section of the Rhine, the hotel director brought up blankets and the maitre d' brought up to the sun deck while we enjoying the spectacular views. The housekeeping and the housekeepers are often the unsung heroes. The ship is immaculate! When arriving aboard and being tired and exhausted from our flight from hell, we were greeted with warm washcloths that so welcome. When leaving the ship for shore excursions, you are handed bottles of water and when you return are welcomed back with a beverage. The dining room service is excellent. The included shore excursions are very and they also offer a variety of interesting optional excursions. The Viking daily is on your bed at turn down service, so that you can plan your day. I highly recommend the Baldur. We boarded in Frankfurt and end in amsterdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We had a great time celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and marking two things off our buckets lists - visiting Germany and taking a cruise! We appreciated that all the arrangements and costs are included. We added the pre-cruise ... Read More
We had a great time celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and marking two things off our buckets lists - visiting Germany and taking a cruise! We appreciated that all the arrangements and costs are included. We added the pre-cruise option and spent time exploring Nuremberg. The hotel there was a wonderful older building full of charm. We walked through the city, ate at a bistro and found a city wide market was held that weekend. The accommodations on board were wonderful, the service outstanding, the atmosphere could not have been better. The room had ample area for us to relax if we wanted to stay on board. We enjoyed the cultural events on board, as well as the organized tours on shore. It was exciting to try the food from the region, the meals were always relaxed and almost a family type atmosphere easily allowing you to meet new friends, but the meals were far from ordinary. We were treated as if we were the focus of a team set to meet our every need. We plan to take another cruise with Viking as soon as possible. We had the unique experience of hearing the cathedral bell "Fat Peter" ring when we arrived in port on a religious holiday. Each port had something unique to see and learn about, especially the WW@ memorial. I especially loved seeing the tulip fields and touring the Keukenhof gardens - what majestic beauty! while my husband checked out the cigar shops in Amsterdam. One of the stewards even found him a unique cigar from the area. So many one of a kind experiences that we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Although we had a rocky start to our trip because of missed airline connections and consequently delayed luggage, we loved the accommodations at the Hotel Movenpick in Amsterdam. We had been to Amsterdam previously, and we were very happy ... Read More
Although we had a rocky start to our trip because of missed airline connections and consequently delayed luggage, we loved the accommodations at the Hotel Movenpick in Amsterdam. We had been to Amsterdam previously, and we were very happy to have the extra couple of days before the cruise. We walked to the dock and checked in on the Viking Baldur. We are veteran Viking cruisers, and we found our cabin to be as lovely as ever. Comfortable beds, nice amenities, the veranda - all excellent. The food was spectacular; the service outstanding. Our cruise director was knowledgeable, entertaining and quite competent. We ran into some lock delays on the rivers, and the Viking crew did not miss a beat in arranging alternate plans for our shore excursions. We particularly loved visiting ports we wouldn't normally have traveled to if we were on a land tour. The time in Nuremberg was extraordinarily haunting in re-visiting Nazi history. The optional activities were varied and wonderful. We have always enjoyed our Viking cruises in many parts of the world. We recommend them highly. The value is terrific. You can't go wrong! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Our first cruise ever and it was beyond all expectations. We pre stayed two days in Budapest at the Hilton over looking the Danube and had a relaxing time to get our clocks straightened out before the actual cruise. Boarded the Baldur and ... Read More
Our first cruise ever and it was beyond all expectations. We pre stayed two days in Budapest at the Hilton over looking the Danube and had a relaxing time to get our clocks straightened out before the actual cruise. Boarded the Baldur and the adventure began. The service and shore excursions were all excellent with lots of free time to explore on your own. The food on board was 5 star from breakfasts to wonderful dinners. Most nights there was entertainment in the lounge as we sailed along. The shore excursions were very good with local guides being very informative. So much to see. Getting on and off the boat was so easy with Viking taking care of our luggage both times both to and from the airport. In all the trip was a five star plus and would highly recommend this trip to any body who would like to see a lot of Europe in a most relaxing way. Thank you Viking. Looking forward to another voyage with you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Everything was first class. From the arrival at the boat and 4 men in red shirts met our taxi and just took over the unloading of our many bags. Their comment was "this is your vacation". So special. It only got better from ... Read More
Everything was first class. From the arrival at the boat and 4 men in red shirts met our taxi and just took over the unloading of our many bags. Their comment was "this is your vacation". So special. It only got better from there. Hotel manager was lovely and our concierge was amazing, Radi. Nothing was too much trouble ever. Our lady who cleaned our room was fantastic and quick. You never knew she was there. A Miracle of housekeeping. The food was superior and varied. We actually had the chef teach us about making strudel from scratch. Also a tour of the galley. Which for me was a real treat! When you see the ads on the tv it really happens just like the ad. A dream come true. We had a veranda stateroom and enjoyed the ongoing view immensely. Right down to the locals fishing on the banks of the rivers. Special dietary needs were met with a professionalism and grace at all times. The Stewards in the dining room were exceptional. There was one fella who seemed to be the cheerleader for them all. One time the ship was late to pick us up at a destination and the crew was on the balcony facing the shore as they pulled up with a sign made of letters that said "Welcome Home". Now that was special they were even doing a little dance. Just one note of how special they all made us feel. I had a medical issue and nothing was too much trouble. Radi the concierge actually came with us to the emergency at the hospital. We felt secure at all times. It is very nice when on day two the staff at the desk know which stateroom you are in. The extra attention to detail when we were coming and going from the boat on tours was much appreciated. Actually we can't say enough good things about the Viking Baldur. We will visit Viking Cruises agin in the near future!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I recently travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam with my Mum on the Viking Baldur. What a fabulous trip! Everything about the ship was wonderful, from our cabin (though on the small side), to the lounge and bar, the main dining room, the ... Read More
I recently travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam with my Mum on the Viking Baldur. What a fabulous trip! Everything about the ship was wonderful, from our cabin (though on the small side), to the lounge and bar, the main dining room, the sundeck and the Aquavit Terrace. The crew were just amazing, with the most attentive service and always with a smile, nothing was ever too much trouble. The shore excursions and tour guides were well organised and always of interest and we were fortunate to have mostly fantastic weather. Free Wi Fi was a bonus and mostly worked very well. The onboard entertainment and information talks were great, with something for everyone from a glass blowing demonstration, apple strudel making demonstration, dancers, singers, a trivia night, Viennese coffee culture, the European Union and more. When there was no specific entertainment we were always entertained by our pianist, Laslow (I think that's how you spell his name). And he played during lunch and cocktail hour every day as well. The meals were just awesome! Full buffet breakfast of 5 star hotel quality, lunch in the dining room or out on the terrace and 4 course dinner in the dining room. Snacks and tea/coffee available all day. Our cruise included the Silver Service drinks package which meant unlimited drinks from the bar of whatever we wanted. I would absolutely recommend Viking based on our experience and would cruise with them again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Viking Baldur Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.6
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 3.0 4.6
Rates 4.0 N/A

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