5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I’ll start by saying that my husband and I did not enjoy our cruise with Viking, this review is really meant to inform and enlighten the traveler before they decide to book a river cruise particularly with Viking. We choose Viking ... Read More
I’ll start by saying that my husband and I did not enjoy our cruise with Viking, this review is really meant to inform and enlighten the traveler before they decide to book a river cruise particularly with Viking. We choose Viking because friends had been on their ocean cruise and found it very enjoyable. We typically cruise Celebrity, which provides a level of luxury we enjoy. We booked everything through Viking and here are the areas we found acceptable: - air fare and transfers Here are the areas lacking: - hotels selected for pre and post stays, Both hotels were off the beaten path so to actually immerse yourself in Lucerne and Amsterdam, you needed to travel by public transportation to really see the towns you were in. Hotel selection was poor. - ship was ok. But the Explorer suite, which is their best room is over the engine and the noise and the vibration/shaking at night was unbearable!!! The room was poorly laid out and not worth the price. The Celebrity suite on any Celebrity ship is half the price and twice as nice. Get the cheapest room you can because none of the higher rooms with balconies is worth it. The Rhine river is only scenic for about 1/2 day on the 8 day trip, the rest is cargo, factories and weeds. - The dining schedule is ridiculous. Breakfast is from 6-9, then lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 7 pm. The problem with this is that if you plan to take your meals on the ship (and because you paid an arm and leg for the trip, you should), you are limited on what you can do off the ship. If you take an excursion in the morning and come back after the 12:30 lunch, then you have to wait until the next meal at dinner. That’s it! No place on the ship to grab a quick bite if you come back at 2 pm. Or let’s say you eat a late lunch in town and you’re not hungry at 7 pm...if you miss that meal, then you have to wait until morning breakfast. All of this might be acceptable if the food was good, but it’s not. It’s average and reminded me of cafeteria food. Odd since they’re cooking for only 200 passengers so I expected it to be much better than on the Ocean trips. Additionally, very little accommodation for people with diabetes. - The entertain was as people stated which is minimal. That’s ok, because your touring each day so the evening needs to be relaxing. I expected to be able to catch a movie in my room or browse social media or just search the internet, check e-mail, etc... Little to no selection of movies provided and the other channels said “coming soon”. Internet access was poor, weather moving of stationary. Again, that seemed odd since there are fewer passengers than ocean ships. I can stream on ocean ships with 3000 people, but on this couldn’t open CNN!!! - Service was ok. The staff tried to be helpful, but I sometimes felt there was a language barrier. - The ports were ok, lots of Germany. We wanted to see Switzerland and Amsterdam that’s mainly why we selected this trip. I think River cruises are interesting to people that connect to the country - like ancestors from the small towns. I know this is long but I hope it helps someone. I would never take another river cruise and I would never go on Viking again. I think they’re extremely expensive for what they offered. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because it travelled to countries we thought we'd enjoy viewing along the Danube/ Main/ Rhine Rivers, and we were not disappointed to say the least. We thoroughly enjoyed the city tours and found them quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it travelled to countries we thought we'd enjoy viewing along the Danube/ Main/ Rhine Rivers, and we were not disappointed to say the least. We thoroughly enjoyed the city tours and found them quite worthwhile. All the extra excursions were excellent, except for one of the castle tours which we felt was not as good. As well, when not on an extra excursion, it was great to walk into the towns and do our own thing, or simply stay on the ship and relax. The ship and crew were overly accommodating and welcoming. They took every opportunity to help, entertain, direct, or simply chit chat with us, always trying to satisfy all of our wants and needs. The food was amazing! You could order a la carte, or buffet for lunches and breakfasts. Dinners always had a variety of great choices that were often regional specialties made it difficult to decide. Coffee and tea available anytime as well. At night, there was always something going on.... entertainment, presentations about the regions, or just enjoying a drink with dance and music. The trip was an experience everyone should have the opportunity to take. We felt like royalty... highly recommended! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
All services on the Baldur were clearly outstanding and beyond first class in my opinion. Shore excursions were extremely well organized and always on time. Barry, the cruise director was outstanding. Transfers from the airport to the ... Read More
All services on the Baldur were clearly outstanding and beyond first class in my opinion. Shore excursions were extremely well organized and always on time. Barry, the cruise director was outstanding. Transfers from the airport to the ship and from the ship back to the airport were flawlessly executed. The servers on the ship deserve special commendation and I only wish I could remember their names. The female bartender and part time server was particularly outstanding and mixed my New Orleans' Hurricanes to perfection after learning the recipe from a laptop. The Baldur was expertly guided through about 60 locks by highly qualified pilots and along the entire river journey without any problems. As a result of my great experience on the Baldur, I have booked the Viking Pharaohs and Pyramids tour on the Nile River for March 2019. I hope to experience the same great service, food, and shore excursions in Egypt as provided by the Viking Baldur in Europe. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Our Program Director, David, was absolutely marvelous. He made the trip so personal and so special. Everyone loved him, especially his British accent. I would love to cruise with him again. All staff members - waiters, bartenders, ... Read More
Our Program Director, David, was absolutely marvelous. He made the trip so personal and so special. Everyone loved him, especially his British accent. I would love to cruise with him again. All staff members - waiters, bartenders, hotel manager, housekeeping, etc. were 5-star. They provided personal, friendly, timely service. Each night the food was absolutely delicious and we loved all the varieties of wine available. Reviewing the posted dinner menu was something to look forward to every morning. Chef Marius was funny and entertaining. And all the soups were superb. We actually asked to meet the soup Chef because his selections were so tasty. We included soup with dinner each night. The excursions were entertaining and well organized. The tour guides were wonderful and provided a wealth of information. We especially loved the Nuremberg, Lippizzaner and wine excursions. This was the cruise of a lifetime and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Everything about the Tulips and Windmills Cruise was great, beginning with the Pulitzer Amsterdam Hotel, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank Museum and several other museums we visited before the cruise. The ship and our cabin and private ... Read More
Everything about the Tulips and Windmills Cruise was great, beginning with the Pulitzer Amsterdam Hotel, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank Museum and several other museums we visited before the cruise. The ship and our cabin and private deck were spacious and lovely. The service provided by the crew and tour guides was excellent. All meals on the ship and at ports of call were delicious. The entertainment on the ship was great. I can't say enough about all the ports and shore excursions. They were so unique and interesting, we saw so many wonderful things. The Delft Porcelain Ware tour was really interesting watching some of the workers paint on the porcelain and see how all the process was completed. They really made lovely pieces and you could purchase some in the gift shop which I did! The Hoorn walking tour was interesting seeing all the old buildings. I could not walk all the way to the home-hosted visit but my daughter went and enjoyed the visit. I enjoyed sitting on a bench in front of the old church and watched the people go by. It was a lovely morning and I was able to take my time getting back to the ship. The tulips farm was really interesting, seeing how the tulips were harvested, taken to the processing barn and seeing the big automated machine that took the tulips through several operations and ending up fastened in small bunches ready to be shipped and sold. The old windmills were really beautiful. We went to Flanders Fields and one of the ladies from our ship was able to find the grave site of her uncle. This was a very beautiful and moving place to visit. We also visited a Castle, toured it and had a delicious lunch there. The Keukenhof Gardens were beautiful and there were beautiful tulip fields close to the Gardens. We also went to Paris after the cruise and saw Paris by night, did some touring on our own, and went to the Paris Cabaret and saw a wonderful show and has a delicious dinner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was my first Viking Cruise and it exceeded my expectations. This was the Windmills and Tulips tour that included stops in The Netherlands and Belgium. The tours were fun and informative. The ship was wonderful. I loved the intimate ... Read More
This was my first Viking Cruise and it exceeded my expectations. This was the Windmills and Tulips tour that included stops in The Netherlands and Belgium. The tours were fun and informative. The ship was wonderful. I loved the intimate feeling of less than 200 passengers...met just about everyone before the trip was finished. Are far too much wonderful food. The staff were helpful, attentive and downright fun!! The opportunities to see the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh museum, Rembrandt House, Flanders Field were once in a lifetime. I also enjoyed the chance to tour a working windmill (although I had to overcome the urge to find a lance and have a Don Quixote moment). And there there were the Tulip gardens. Beautiful! One of my favorite parts of the trip was in Hoorn when we were able to visit a persons home, have coffee and homemade Dutch apple pie and enjoy a great conversation about life in The Netherlands. Then of course The was that awesome moment of enjoying Belgium chocolates and Belgium ales...in BELGIUM!!! Can’t wait for my next trip!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife has always wanted to see the Keukenhof Gardens so we selected this cruise. We had never been on a cruise before so we didn't know what to expect but we had a wonderful time. I would do it again -- and, in fact we are planning ... Read More
My wife has always wanted to see the Keukenhof Gardens so we selected this cruise. We had never been on a cruise before so we didn't know what to expect but we had a wonderful time. I would do it again -- and, in fact we are planning a Russia cruise on Viking next year. The Baldur is great. We had a mid size cabin with a little balcony, I recommend that since it gives you a bit more room to move around. However, you don't spend that much time in your cabin since there is always something going on. Cabin service was excellent, our steward was wonderful and always made sure that we had what we needed when we needed it. This was true of everyone on board -- very accommodating. The food is awesome and certainly lived up to expectations. I liked the lighter lunch buffets that were available in the lounge area. We took most of out lunches there. The shore excursions were fun and informative, guides were truly top notch. We had several excellent guides but the guy who took us to the Hague and The Mauritshuis was spectacular. All the guides were good but the depth of art knowledge this guy had was amazing. A lot of these guides take their work seriously -- they do it for a living and Viking nailed down some really good ones which made all the difference. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Viking River Cruises provided a wonderful itinerary for Tulips and Windmills in April 2018. The trip lived up to all of our expectations and then some. Every day was a wonderful adventure. All the ship amenities were wonderful. Our cabin ... Read More
Viking River Cruises provided a wonderful itinerary for Tulips and Windmills in April 2018. The trip lived up to all of our expectations and then some. Every day was a wonderful adventure. All the ship amenities were wonderful. Our cabin was spacious enough and very comfortable. The meals were outstanding, and the chef went out of his way to accommodate dietary needs of shipboard guests. The ship staff were all lovely people, and they went out of their way to accommodate us. The staff made us feel like they really cared about our well being and took care to provide us with assistance when it was needed. Our trip occurred during the first week of April, and we saw lots of tulips despite cool and rainy weather. We traveled in comfort everywhere on the ship and off on land excursions. The Netherlands and Belgium are two very beautiful countries, and we toured the nicest places in both. The local residents were very gracious, and the sites we visited were wonderful. One of the residents graciously opened his seaside home and invited us in for tea and apple pie. During the visit he shared information with us about his life in that region. We especially enjoyed the scenic Canal rides in Amsterdam, the Airborne Cemetery and Museum in Arnhem, the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, and the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. Lunch in Haarlem was a lot of fun. This trip was part of a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Thanks to Viking River Cruises and their wonderful staff, we had a trip of a lifetime. We are now looking forward to our next trip with Viking River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The Netherlands is my favorite destination when I travel. When I saw the "Tulips and Windmills" cruise, I knew I had to sign up. Amsterdam is so beautiful in many ways. The Dutch are delightful and very friendly. Amsterdam ... Read More
The Netherlands is my favorite destination when I travel. When I saw the "Tulips and Windmills" cruise, I knew I had to sign up. Amsterdam is so beautiful in many ways. The Dutch are delightful and very friendly. Amsterdam has soooo much to see. I've been to Amsterdam at least 7 or more times and I can still find things to do and see. This trip not only spends 3 days in Amsterdam but also some lovely towns I had not been to. So I found myself wanting to go so much, I went by myself. This was the first time I ventured out on my own with Viking. Having sailed with Viking on four previous trips, I knew I could do this! I made my reservation and began planning for the trip. My only fear was "who would I eat dinner with??" Funny how things turn out. The minute I boarded the ship, I met a single woman traveling with a friend. We started talking, hit it off, and Voila! I had some people to eat dinner with and ended up spending time on many of the excursions. Along the way I met a couple from Charleston, South Carolina and all of us became instant friends. In fact, the couple (Suzanne and Andy) and I have already planned and reserved 2 more Viking trips. Needless to say, the trip was fabulous. The food was delightful. I always get the Silver Spirit Package and the drinks are delicious. I ate breakfast in the Aquavit Lounge every morning since it is quiet there and offers a great selection of bread, rolls, meats, yogurt, musli etc. I never felt alone on the trip, not once! Will I do it again with Viking ? You betcha! 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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