Sail Date: October 2017
We had talked to many people about taking a Rhine River cruise and all the positives comment we got were for the Viking Cruise Line. We were not disappointed. The ship is small and it made getting to know the passengers very easy. The ... Read More
We had talked to many people about taking a Rhine River cruise and all the positives comment we got were for the Viking Cruise Line. We were not disappointed. The ship is small and it made getting to know the passengers very easy. The dinner seating was open and we took advantage of that to meet as many people that we could. The meals were all very good with a good selection of wines and beers to go with the meals. The entertainment was of a cozy dinner theater nature. We enjoyed it very much. We mostly went on the free excursions and enjoyed them very much. Excellent walking tours. We especially enjoyed Budapest at the end of our trip. We stayed at a very nice hotel in he castle district. We were able to do a lot of walking in the castle area. Another favorite stop was in Vienna. We attended a very nice concert enjoying Viennese music. All together a wonderful trip. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (18+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our third cruise with Viking; previous cruises were to China and Egypt. The 15-day Grand European Tour started with ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (18+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our third cruise with Viking; previous cruises were to China and Egypt. The 15-day Grand European Tour started with the Prague Extension in the Czech Republic on October 4, 2017. Our flight from Florida was arranged by Viking and flew through Frankfort, then to Prague. No problems. The Viking representative was waiting for us at the airport in Prague. The Prague Extension was great, the Palace Hotel was in the old part of town and an easy walk to everything of interest. The included tour was nice, the Lobkowicz Palace tour was very interesting and the Kutna Hora trip (including lunch) was fantastic. We also attended the Folklore dinner. Prague was worth the time and money. We were then bused to Budapest, Hungary to start the River Cruise. The bus trip was around 6 hours or so, in a very nice modern bus. We stopped a few times for restroom breaks and lunch (on us). Boarding the ship was very easy; they were waiting for us. Our room was towards the middle the ship on deck 2, room 209. This was a good location because we were near public rest rooms, the front desk and the stairways to the upper floors and lounge. Most points of interest are on 2 (dining room), 3 (lounge) or the sun deck (the roof). Deck 1 has some passenger rooms and all crew rooms. The ship was a few years old and was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. The chef would provide a little discussion of the dinner menu every night and appeared to be excited about the food and his staff. Breakfast was available in the dining room and also on deck 3 in the lounge in a reduced menu. It was similar for lunch. Beer and wine were provided during dinner and lunch. Coffee and cookies were available in two locations 24/7. Food was almost always available someplace. The ship provided complimentary water prior to every tour. The Program Director, Kane, provided information about tours and timing and basically everything you need to know on a timely basis. He even provided entertainment in the evenings when local entertainers were not on board. The ship had two entertainers on board who performed in the lounge several times during the day and in the evenings. They were very professional and excellent musicians. We generally just took the included tours, although we did pay to add the Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary, the Mozart & Strauss Concert in Vienna, Austria and the Rothenburg ob der Tauber tour in Wurzburg, Germany. These are three don't miss tours. The visited Ports of Call follow. Budapest, Hungary – The included tour, run by a local guide was a nice way to learn about the history of the area. It required some walking over cobblestones and dodging around traffic but generally was not an issue. We had some free time after the tour for walking around to shop (or get a beer), if interested. The additional thermal baths were a blast. It's what the locals do. Vienna, Austria – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around. The Mozart & Strauss Concert is a must see ... get a seat up front. It's a small group of musicians but they have a full sound. Melk, Austria – The included tour was primarily the Melk Abbey. It's up on a hill over looking the river and is outstanding. Passau, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around but also included an organ concert … impressive. Regensburg, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around. Nuremberg, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around. The discussions about the 2nd World War are interesting. Bamberg, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around. The city is noted for it's smoke-favored beer … try it at the brewery. You can buy it at a window and take it out to the street to drink it. Don't forget to redeem the little plastic token for your glass deposit. Wurzburg, Germany – We didn't take the included tour in Wurzburg, but paid to visit Rothenburg, one of the optional tours. Rothenburg is a walled in, medieval city. While the tour was similar to the Budapest walk around, the free time was great. We walked around the wall circling the city and visited a few of the shops. A very interesting place to visit … one of the highlights of the trip. The included lunch was very good, German food and drinks. The tour include a short visit to Wurzburg. Wertheim, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around. This city featured a glassblowing shop with beautiful items to purchase. One of the owners provided a demonstration the night before on the ship. The presentation on the ship was a little wordy but the glass work was first class. Koblenz, Germany – The included tour was to the Marksburg Castle. The Program Director warned of the difficulty of this castle but it was worth it. The castle is on a hilltop that required taking many steps up to the castle and then walking on very uneven walkways. But, this is a real castle where people lived with few conveniences. It is worth the walk/climb up and down. Cologne, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Budapest walk around except it is centered around the largest cathedral in Northern Europe. We had a great lunch at the Famous Papa Joe's on the square prior to walking across the bridge and enjoying the view … nice day. Kinderdijk, Netherlands – The included tour was a short walk to a windmill (in the rain)…. a real windmill that you can walk into and up to the living area. This was interesting. At the end of the cruise, we added the additional days in Amsterdam. We toured both the Van Gogh (on our own) and Rijksmuseums (included in the Golden Age tour). It was worth the extra time and money. The weather turned bad but we had our ski jackets with us. Additional information was available about the Jewish population in several cities … this is optional and free; take it, it is very informative and interesting. Overall, the cruise was wonderful. You will see too many locks (67), vineyards, palaces, churches and castles; but you will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. You will also walk …. a lot. Viking really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the trip. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We took this trip to celebrate retirement. It was a wonderful choice. We were concerned when we booked the cruise that we might be at the end of the season and the weather might not be very good. The weather turned out to be almost ... Read More
We took this trip to celebrate retirement. It was a wonderful choice. We were concerned when we booked the cruise that we might be at the end of the season and the weather might not be very good. The weather turned out to be almost perfect. We absolutely loved the size of the ship. With this being our first river cruise we did not know what to expect. The common areas were very adequate and never seemed too crowded. It was easy to get to know other passengers. In fact, we made quite a few friends while on board. We ate most of our meals in the dining room and the food was very good. It was nice to have wine and sodas included during lunch and the evening meals. Most of the dinning room staff were awesome. We had some favorites and it was usually easy to sit in their areas. With this being the Grand European Tour we visited many wonderful cities and sites. The included tours were all very educational and interesting. We didn't do many of the extra tours as we felt the included tours were enough. We did add the Salzburg and the concert in Vienna both were well worth the extra expense. I'm sure we would have enjoyed other additional tours, but honestly we were very happy with our choices. The scenery all along the cruise is outstanding. In one area we were told we might get whiplash from looking from one side to the other due to all the castles and churches. It was not much of an exaggeration. I should add Viking did a great job with our flights. They met us at the airport when we arrived in Budapest and escorted us up to the very end of the trip. Our only concerns were related to safety. It seems when were first boarded the ship as well as whenever we were in ports anyone could have boarded the ship. Our first thought was a thief, but there was also the concern for someone who might have a terroristic agenda. I highly recommend this cruise and the Viking cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first major vacation after 37 years marriage. We did the Grand European because we felt we got the best bang for our buck. The ship was beautiful. The food was awesome. The cruise director was a wealth of knowledge and lot of ... Read More
This was our first major vacation after 37 years marriage. We did the Grand European because we felt we got the best bang for our buck. The ship was beautiful. The food was awesome. The cruise director was a wealth of knowledge and lot of fun. The staff was on top of every detail from embarkation thru daily excursions to disembarkation. All things explained very well. The excursions were fun and educational. Did I mention that the food was awesome? Tasting the different wines that were served was fun. I became somewhat of a wine snob. Your fellow travelers are great also. Some of the nicest people we have ever met. Many have traveled many times before and thought that Viking does an outstanding job. Would I do it again? We are going thru the brochures to plan our next trip. So yes - in a heartbeat we would do another awesome Viking river cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the The Grand European Tour with Viking because we liked the itinerary and heard some very favorable reviews about the Viking River Cruise Line in general. Our flights worked out well (except for a few seat & schedule ... Read More
We chose the The Grand European Tour with Viking because we liked the itinerary and heard some very favorable reviews about the Viking River Cruise Line in general. Our flights worked out well (except for a few seat & schedule changes), and the pre cruise 2 night stay at the Movenpic Hotel in Amsterdam was fine. We had a standard stateroom #115 which was small but well appointed and our stateroom attendant was excellent. A lot of our friends in our group ( 16 all together ) had either veranda or balcony staterooms and the only complaint we heard was about the size and some occasional noise. The ship itself seemed okay, perhaps a little tired, and the staff was generally helpful. The cruise director (Kane) who kept everybody informed of the daily activities, was very good and quite entertaining. The dining experience on the BRAGI was AWFUL. Breakfast & lunch were okay, but dinner was really disappointing. The quality of the food was poor, very often tasteless, sometimes unedible, and the service was no better. Dinner was at 7:00 p.m., and we usually received our main course around 9:00 p.m. very often being served cold, and the orders were frequently served incorrectly. And to make matters worse, the servers we had in the dining room seemed rather indifferent. On other cruises, if you didn't finish your dinner (which was most of the time on the BRAGI) the servers would always ask: was something wrong with your dinner ? is there something else we can get you ? But, not on the BRAGI, they would take your full plates away and very often say nothing. In fact dinner was so mediocre that some of us would consume extra bread and ice cream to make up for what you couldn't eat at dinner. And if you enjoy coffee or tea, do not sail with the BRAGI, one coffee / tea station was always broken and the other usually in a state of disrepair. The itinerary was very good ( although we did have some delays and missed one stop due to high river heights on the Danube ) and we did enjoy all of the ports. As far as the tours arranged through Viking, some were very good, and sometimes if the tour was rather dull we would break away from the group and explore on our own. What made any of the tours either enjoyable or painful, was the personality & communication skills of the tour guide. Anyway, I guess we had high expectations with Viking River Cruises and besides the interesting ports, the overall experience with the Viking BRAGI was just average and in many cases disappointing. To sum it up, we were with a group of 16 seasoned travelers and not one of them would consider trying a River Cruise with Viking ever again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
I don't like to cruise, but my husband talked me into a river cruise and am I glad he did! We were welcomed onto the Bragi early after spending a few days in Budapest. It was mentioned at our first meeting in the lounge that after 2 ... Read More
I don't like to cruise, but my husband talked me into a river cruise and am I glad he did! We were welcomed onto the Bragi early after spending a few days in Budapest. It was mentioned at our first meeting in the lounge that after 2 weeks, we would all feel like family and our cruise director, Kane, wasn't wrong. We met some fabulous people on the cruise, and I know we will remain friends for a long time. The staff were especially accommodating and professional, always remembering our preferences. We really enjoyed all of our meals, and, this is a small thing, our whole table was served at the same time. We enjoyed all of the very informative excursions. Some of the optional excursions were a bit pricey. Cruise director Kane was quite the entertainer and created a lot of fun. Just a shout out to some of the great staff, Barbora, Nikola, Stanislov, Ivon, Sasha, Kane, and Stefan, our Captain. A memorable trip, and would definitely cruise with Viking again!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Enjoyed our river cruise trip with Viking Bragi from Budapest to Amsterdam having already cruised with them in China. The only complaint I have, and it is a big one ! Is that the sundeck is closed for half of the trip!! Didn't know ... Read More
Enjoyed our river cruise trip with Viking Bragi from Budapest to Amsterdam having already cruised with them in China. The only complaint I have, and it is a big one ! Is that the sundeck is closed for half of the trip!! Didn't know the reason why until I returned to the UK and found out that there had been a major crash on another Viking ship the previous year. Two crew died at night when the wheelhouse struck a bridge ! So now as a safety measure the sundeck is closed down throughout the canal part of the trip, which to be quite honest did ruin the holiday. So yes my wife and I enjoyed all the places we visited with Viking, but not be able to exercise on the sundeck, or take a stroll, or just relax in a sun lounger ruined what was an enjoyable trip. The food overall was really good, and our cabin level 2 with balcony was cosy with a really comfy bed. The service was very good, and the cruise director Kane was outstanding, we even got him to sing one late evening when most folk had retired to bed. There were two resident singers, a husband and wife team called Sundown who were okay, he played the piano and also sang. There was free wine with your meals, or spirits, and unlimited tea or coffee throughout the trip from a machine on level 3, which was okay but not Starbucks ! The excursions were very informative, and most of the guides were very knowledgeable. We have been back now a few weeks so cannot always remember all that we did, but we had a really good time, and met some interesting people , and made some good friends with 2 couples from the USA. We have already booked a cruise with them for next July with the Celebrity Reflection. We did look at a Viking ocean cruise to the same area, the Greek islands and Italy, but the cost so much more. Overall our trip was fabulous as the pros outweighed the cons, and for that reason I would rate this holiday 8/10 Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
It seemed an excellent bargain for the price. It was. Viking took care of everything, made sure we were met at airports, train stations, bus stations, etc. The ship and crew were great - friendly and highly competent. Excellent food. ... Read More
It seemed an excellent bargain for the price. It was. Viking took care of everything, made sure we were met at airports, train stations, bus stations, etc. The ship and crew were great - friendly and highly competent. Excellent food. Chef shopped daily in markets at our stops - a nice touch. The free off-ship excursions were very good, using English speaking, knowledgeable local guides. We loved the ship and our cabin with a French Balcony = A window that slid open so we could stand in the breeze. The Wifi could have been better, but I understand the difficulty of a moving boat, locks, bridges, etc. We loved the little complementary amenities, like coffee, tea, and cookies, 24x7. Sitting on the upper deck is a real treat. Comfortable chairs, shade plus exercise areas (modest track, shuffleboard . . .) Viking has a very proficient organization. Ran like clockwork. A wonderful adventure. Thanks Viking. You really know your business. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Everything on this cruise and the air travel set up by Viking was way above our expectations. I'm 79 and this two week vacation was the best vacation I have ever had. We have been on 12 ocean cruises and this river cruise was by ... Read More
Everything on this cruise and the air travel set up by Viking was way above our expectations. I'm 79 and this two week vacation was the best vacation I have ever had. We have been on 12 ocean cruises and this river cruise was by far the best. Everything, the food, the hospitality, the excursions, the room, the ports of call were outstanding. 100% better than all the adds I seen about Viking. OUTSTANDING! There just arn't enough more words to state how happy and pleased we are with this cruise. Well being that you want more words, let me add that we met fabulous new friends, enjoyed the 24/7 coffee, tea bar with lots of cookies. the evening piano and singing couply were outstanding and very friendly. The Maitre D' and chef went way beyond expectations to meet my wife's diabetes diet with a menu every day with the sugar free foods available. Great service all around. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We traveled for Budapest to Amsterdam First the Good: Service was great, the crew was great, the food was great and we enjoyed the Aquavit option, particularly when the weather was hot - the cabin was always clean - the tour guides were ... Read More
We traveled for Budapest to Amsterdam First the Good: Service was great, the crew was great, the food was great and we enjoyed the Aquavit option, particularly when the weather was hot - the cabin was always clean - the tour guides were great - a real mix of eclectic guides. The quizs were great fun. The schedule was good and luckily we did not encounter the river level issues that had affected earlier sailings. The included tours were generally pretty good and well organized - in general, the overall level of organization, running to schedule, etc., was excellent - the public areas absorb the 190 passengers surpirsingly well Of the included tours: We enjoyed Vienna, Melk Abbey and Wertheim in particular. The Passau Organ Concert was a bit disappointing - the church itself was fabulous, but the music played was to my knowledge of music quite obscure - something more widely known would have been appreciated, since my guess is that over 90% of those in attendance were tourists. The Nuremberg tour was "OK" - the 45 minute plus washroom break at the castle (due to limited facilities) dampened this tour for sure and meant that the gingerbread specialty store was closed by the time we arrived in the square. Of the Optional tours: The Rothenberg ob der Tauber tour was well worth while - the Mozart and Strauss Concert was excellent, the Dutch cheese making was very good and the Cologne Beer Night was good The not so Good (personally): We stayed in a French Balcony cabin - they are so small, you have to leave them to change your mind! - for those whom size matters, I suggest a survey across the river cruise lines to check out cabin sizes before you book - saying that you don't spend much time in your cabin is only partially true. The "roof" deck, much touted by Viking in its advertising, is closed for more than half the trip - while this is understandable re the need to pass under bridges, I think that advance info about its availability is lacking - particularly since the roof deck is the only "fitness facility" on the boat - some other lines have fitness facilities There are no bike tours offered (at least on the Budapest to Amsterdam direction) either at any of the city/town stops or along the 2000 plus KM of river and canals we passed along - some other cruise lines even have bikes on board - my overall resulting impression is that Viking is for the "not so active" crowd - something to be considered when choosing which river cruise line - for example, the Wertheim to Miltenberg stretch is reported to be a pleasant bike ride of three hours including a stop, while the boat takes five hours - well suited to an organized/available option, but not on offer. (Note that the front desk will help you to try and arrange things, but having more readily available options/contacts, even if not organized tours would help.) The included wines were largely limited to a single choice in Red and White each meal - understandable re stocking and the limited size of the boats, but the initial local wine was not great! The downright Ugly: Viking Air - this has to be my worst experience ever - personally I would never recommend included air fares with Viking - there were two options - 1) you can let them assign you flights and tell you that's your schedule, or 2) you can pay $US50 per person extra - yes $50 per person extra for the privilege of actually talking to them - everyone I talked to had taken 1) above (and didn't know about 2) and had lousy flight schedules - for example, all those coming back to Vancouver from Amsterdam had stopovers in Toronto - a longer routing with a stop over to boot - we grudgingly paid the $50 each to find out that we had to pay a further $100 per person per "deviation" and that the "free" fare "allotment" was $1495 per person - any routing/fare combo above $1495 would cost us the difference - we wanted to go into Budapest two days early on our own - I could see on Expedia lots of options with good schedules less than the $1495, but had to pay the $100 per person for the "deviation" of arriving early - the only plus was that we were able to get them to fess up with a non-stop flight home - my guess is that probably as a "profit center", Viking Air makes internal money by assigning cheap terrible schedules to those that don't ask and making those that do ask pay in effect an extra $150 each for something reasonable (while still within the 1495!) - and on top of it I suspect they get travel arranger $$ back from the airlines - it was all quite unseemly to me - next time I would ask for pricing without "free" air and do a comparison The price of the optional tours if booked on the boat are much more expensive than if pre-booked - the size of the onboard price "uplift" was outrageous to my mind The ship's Szechenyi Baths tour is way overpriced - do it on your own Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Some of our friends recommended. This was our first trip with Viking, Bragi. Our first day, we missed the flight to Budapest from Paris due to delay and flight transfer and we ended up staying overnight at the airport and also missed ... Read More
Some of our friends recommended. This was our first trip with Viking, Bragi. Our first day, we missed the flight to Budapest from Paris due to delay and flight transfer and we ended up staying overnight at the airport and also missed our first tour in Budapest. This was very disappointing. We were able to catch the boat next afternoon. Once we were on board, our trip was very enjoyable. Service we had received on board was exceeded our expectations. Entertainment and activities were awesome. We enjoyed every night during cocktail hour meeting new friends. Shore excursions were well-prepared and informative. Dinner menus were quite impressive together with variety of wines. The program director was outstanding and made our trip more enjoyable. Nightly he explained the following day's shore trips or optional trips very entertaining way. He was simply marvelous. Since we missed the tour in Budapest, we will have to return....with Viking! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
First of all, we are seasoned travelers. We have taken over 20 trips to Europe. We are retired tour guides who have run many students on trips to Europe. This was, by far, the worst food we have ever had anywhere. We went on what we ... Read More
First of all, we are seasoned travelers. We have taken over 20 trips to Europe. We are retired tour guides who have run many students on trips to Europe. This was, by far, the worst food we have ever had anywhere. We went on what we thought was a trip of a lifetime. As it turned out, we had to get on the Skaddi and transfer to the Bragi mid cruise due to water levels in the Maine River. This has been happening for the past several years, and is in the fine print. However, we did not know that we would be on an uncomfortable bus without air conditioning for 8 hours. And then the next day, we did it again, this time with A/C, because we could not reach our port. The food on the off-the ship-days was a set meal at a restaurant that was supposed to be traditional food It was breakfast sausage and sauerkraut, beer and ice cream (there were no choices). We had the beer and ice cream. The food on the Skaddi was excellent, however, when we transferred to the Bragi, it was almost inedible. On most nights, we did not like the choices, or the beef was tough, but there was always chicken and mashed potatoes that was on the optional menu. There was always a fish choice, but it was always grey colored. There was almost always a sausage dish, which was cut up and mixed with mayonaise and served as a salad as leftovers the next day for lunch, disguised as something else. We wondered if we had a substitute chef. Yes, we saw some gorgeous places, and there was unlimited been and wine at dinner, but we could not get past the terrible quality of the food. We expected to have food equivalent of a fine restaurant, when in fact, if a restaurant served food of this quality, it would go out of business. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We were drawn to look into the idea of a cruise from the PBS television ads. Cruise director was wonderful. We were forced to deal with the problem of low water mid-cruise and had to change from the Viking Skadi to the Viking Bragi. ... Read More
We were drawn to look into the idea of a cruise from the PBS television ads. Cruise director was wonderful. We were forced to deal with the problem of low water mid-cruise and had to change from the Viking Skadi to the Viking Bragi. The cruise director from the Bragi began with us on the Skadi from Amsterdam so there was continuity throughout. All the details were handled extremely well with little discomfort to the passengers. I felt some of the on board entertainment was weak, especially the Danube/Vienna music trio, but entertaining, none-the-less. The classical music performance in Vienna was very good and entertaining. The History/culture lectures on board were very good and helpful. Tour excursion guides were very good, for the most part. All in all it was a wonderful experience for my wife and me celebrating 30 years of marriage and several other special events in our lives. Thanks for the memories! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
The price was right given the level of cruise and service we were seeking. I did a LOT of research, both internet shopping and talking to friends who have river-cruised with Viking) and Viking was our choice. Virtually everything we needed ... Read More
The price was right given the level of cruise and service we were seeking. I did a LOT of research, both internet shopping and talking to friends who have river-cruised with Viking) and Viking was our choice. Virtually everything we needed and wanted was included in the price of the cruise. That fact made the cruise a lot more pleasant as there is no joy in being "nickle-dimed" to death to use a local idiom. The level of personal service aboard the Bragi was first-rate and virtually every crew member we came into contact with was attentive, helpful and eager to please. Particularly enjoyed the meal service personnel who knew our wishes by the second or third day on the ship. While the food choices were not exceptional nor particularly gourmet, the menu was adequate and the food for the most part very good. The choice of regional cuisine offered for dinner and sometimes at lunch, was a nice touch. It would have been nice to occasionally see pickled herring as a breakfast offering. However, this is not a deal breaker; It is rather, my personal preference. Cruise director (unfortunately I cannot remember his name as I am rather bad at remembering names) was just exceptional in every way. Shore excursions were quite good and the enrichment lectures and activities were also well chosen. I missed the opportunity to work-out in a fitness room, but understand the constraints of what you can and cannot build into a ship of finite size. Overall, very enjoyable cruise and I would recommend Viking to anyone who asked. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was a special two week celebration cruise for us for which we paid as a couple over £12,000. There was a mix of English speaking 'guests', as we were called. Although I'd particularly asked for a cruise with a ... Read More
This was a special two week celebration cruise for us for which we paid as a couple over £12,000. There was a mix of English speaking 'guests', as we were called. Although I'd particularly asked for a cruise with a majority of British clients, of the 186 'guests' most were American. There were a few British and an Australian couple and a New Zealand couple. The food was good and plentiful and in the main reflected the cuisine of the areas we travelled through, ie The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, so it was strange to have some American favourites such as clam chowder! The staff were very friendly, helpful and good. The organised tours were managed very well in the main with some excellent guides and some not so knowledgeable. We loved the medieval German villages, particularly Rothenburg, Bamburg and the dynamic Regensburg. However, although our suite was lovely with a balcony, it was often impossible to use or enjoy it. When we were docked in Cologne for the day and for the 2 days in Vienna and two days in Budapest it was unusable as we were sandwiched between two other Viking Boats. This also meant that because there was no daylight into either rooms of the suite, we had to have the electric lights on continuously and, therefore, we then had to have our curtains closed completely during daylight hours to give us privacy as obviously the boat parked directly alongside could view straight into our rooms. Having experienced being moored beside another boat in Cologne all day, when we arrived in Vienna for two days and were straight away sandwiched between two boats, I asked for how long this was going to be the case. I was told this would be for the entire time we were in Vienna. I was not happy and suggested this was a economy for Viking which was not what we had paid for. I was told it was not an economy as Viking owned two other moorings at Vienna but had rented them out!!! Obviously Viking benefitted from this but we did not. Also noticed when we were parked between other boats in this way, particularly in the public areas, that there was a smell of sewage, which was not pleasant. To add to this the sun deck was closed for 5 days during the first week of the cruise. I understand that this is because of the low bridges. However for those guests without balconies there was very limited if any outside space in which to enjoy the early part of the cruise, during which there was mostly cruising and very few stops at ports. I also noted, as did other guests, that the necessary closure of the sun deck was not reflected in Viking's brochures or other documents. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
We recently cruised from Bucharest to Amsterdam on the Viking Longships Bragi and Lif. However, as all Longships are more or less identical my comments apply equally to any vessel in Viking’s Longship fleet. First the good news: ... Read More
We recently cruised from Bucharest to Amsterdam on the Viking Longships Bragi and Lif. However, as all Longships are more or less identical my comments apply equally to any vessel in Viking’s Longship fleet. First the good news: Viking has very good, very modern, very comfortable ships. Perfectly designed for river cruising, these ships provide excellent accommodation, superb food, and very attentive and helpful staff. Viking deserves its reputation as an up-market, high-quality, river cruise company. Cheap they are not but you certainly get what you pay for. Experienced ocean cruisers will soon notice the benefits of sailing on ships that only carry about 190 passengers. Small is indeed beautiful. You quickly get to know your fellow voyagers and the crew quickly get to know you, your needs, and your preferences. Being small, all the crew, front of house, behind the scenes, engineering staff, the deck crew, and the bridge crew are actively involved in attending to the passengers. The captain is not a remote figure as on ocean cruises but an approachable manager who takes a hands-on responsibility for everybody’s welfare. Now for the bad news: If you, or any member of your party, have significant mobility problems then Viking is not the cruise line for you. If you are a wheelchair user then 50% of the ship is inaccessible to you. You won’t be able to get to the all-important Sun Deck and you won’t be able to take advantage of the more moderately- priced accommodation on the Main Deck. Even if you are not a wheelchair user, if you have any level of mobility impairment, then you will find that just getting to the ship’s mooring locations can be difficult. All too often there are steps and stairs involved and often the approaches are over very rough ground. Mobility impaired passengers won’t only have problems getting to and from a Viking Longship berthing site; they will also find it hard to actually get on board These ships’ own gangway arrangements can also be very unfriendly to passengers with any degree of physical incapacity. The worst case of ship/shore access we encountered was when the Bragi moored up in Wurzburg, Germany. Passengers going ashore from the Main Deck faced an obstacle course that would not have disgraced a TV game show. First, they had to climb one flight of stairs before ascending a further two decks in an elevator. Next they had to climb a second flight of stairs and traverse Bragi’s Sun Deck. An adjacent ship then had to be accessed over a narrow gangplank. That ship’s open upper deck then had to be crossed. There were no handrails. Finally, passengers had to descend two decks via one long single flight of outside stairs. Those stairs were so steep that one disabled passenger was reduced to clambering down backwards on her hands and knees. Dignified it was not. To be fair, the ship’s crew members do their very best to help but of course that’s at the expense of your independence. It is clear that the crew’s excellent good intentions and their genuine willingness to assist disabled passengers is not backed up by any in-depth awareness training. For example a Cruise Director, who tells passengers that there are “just a few stairs and it’s quicker this way”, when actually there are several steep flights to negotiate is just not aware of the needs of some of his customers. Then there are the unthinking people who organise the shore trips. They rank the shore excursions according to three levels of access difficulty. These three ranks are ‘easy’, ‘moderate’, and ‘demanding’. Mobility-impaired passengers would probably call them ‘easy-ish’, ‘hard’, and ‘bloody impossible’. It is also obvious that nobody from Viking has assessed any of their excursion sites with regard to disabled accessibility. Take Viking’s Melk Abbey trip in Austria as one typical example. Viking grades this excursion as being ‘moderately difficult’. Clearly this suggests that accessing Melk Abbey would at least be problematic, if not actually impossible, for disabled passengers. At first glance, given the long and difficult stairways that govern access to, and progress around, Melk monastery, then Viking’s assessment seems to be justified. However, what nobody at Viking seems to know is that the monks are more ahead of the game than they are. Melk Abbey’s monks have already thought about making their premises accessible to all their visitors and they have installed lifts. If we could find this out then why couldn’t Viking? I could give lots more examples of how Viking is indifferent to the needs of its mobility impaired passengers but all I would be doing is repeating the obvious, (well, obvious to everybody else but clearly not so to Viking). Put simply, disabled passengers, no matter what their levels of incapacity, will have a tough time on a Viking Longship cruise, both on-board and ashore. Wheelchair users won’t find it tough; they will find it almost impossible. I am amazed at Viking’s complacency in this matter. Surely, in 2017, considering the needs of the disabled is something that everybody does automatically. This is the age of equality. Throughout Europe, and in lots of other countries too, ensuring full access for the disabled is standard. It’s a given. Very often it’s a legal requirement. So, how does Viking get away with its cavalier attitude? Furthermore, give the likely and on-going assisted-access needs of many of Viking’s aged and aging customer demographic, surely it is in Viking’s own interests to think this issue through. After all, disabled people have money to spend too and they will spend it where their needs are best met. Yes, there are practical difficulties in retro-fitting Viking’s river ships. Yes, there is always the problem of keeping the air-draughts of river ships low enough to pass under bridges. However, these are issues that any competent engineer could easily handle. If Viking’s design teams really don’t know how to sort this sort of thing out, (which I would find it very hard to believe), then all they have to do is to ask me – I’ll soon show them! In the meantime, I urge every disability advocacy organisation in the UK, in Europe, in the US, and in the civilised world to get onto Viking’s case and give them no peace until they actually do something about offering all their passengers a fair deal. Come on Viking, wake up, it’s the 21st Century! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Countries Destinations ports of call reputation Rivers sailed Small Size Dream cruise for me Outstanding service in all areas on board. The food and wine selections were great and widely varied--staff was very ... Read More
Countries Destinations ports of call reputation Rivers sailed Small Size Dream cruise for me Outstanding service in all areas on board. The food and wine selections were great and widely varied--staff was very attentive to needs. Cruise director very knowledgeable and accommodating to any problem. Some ports of call had difficult on and off walkways--but manageable to most people. I did see several instances where assistance was needed to mobility impaired passengers and staff was readily at hand. The cruise director also was able to make sure everyone knew if the destination would be a hard climb or difficult walking conditions and advised everyone in briefings. I learned considerably more in every briefing--certainly did not want to miss any of those. This is not a ENTERTAINMNT cruise--but it is a great learning experience--second to none--about each place of call.. All of the local guides were so knowledgeable about each place and the regaled us with great stories of legend, lore, and history. It was worth every cent and more--I met some really great people with similar interests and had a grand time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Excursions very informative, well planned and guided by good local people with great enthusiasm. We never had concerns about where to meet or the like. We were well informed of times to meet and where to be for each outing. Lovely dining ... Read More
Excursions very informative, well planned and guided by good local people with great enthusiasm. We never had concerns about where to meet or the like. We were well informed of times to meet and where to be for each outing. Lovely dining experiences off ship if the excursion covered a meal time. On board, all our needs and wants were met by a fantastic staff/crew. Program director, Zane, was fabulous ! What fun he made every interaction, and he quickly came to know each passenger and what was needed or too difficult to do on outings. The informative sessions in the lounge before dinner prepared us well for the next day's excursions. The dining was a pleasure every meal. With six to a table, we sat with almost everyone on the cruise at some point. That made for so much friendly interaction the whole cruise. Food was beyond excellent, as was the serving staff. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
It fit our needs and prices. It was well rated and one our friends sailed on last year - they raved about it. o Our Cabin was always clean and well maintained. We never wanted for anything. When I got the motion sickness on an ... Read More
It fit our needs and prices. It was well rated and one our friends sailed on last year - they raved about it. o Our Cabin was always clean and well maintained. We never wanted for anything. When I got the motion sickness on an excursion, I was never left alone and was well cared for. Even as we looked for medication and clothing on a national holiday we were guided and cared for. As we walked across Strausberg, our guide was conscious of my pace (I couldn't get in a car at all) and let me set the pace. Thus we saw things the others probably didn't! Our guides! Amazing! Only the guy at the windmills was a little off beat. Yet everybody was a master storyteller and historian. AMAZING! We got the local folk history as well as the true history in ways that are still sticking with me. The guides were also personable and easy to befriend - so cool. We actually went to a pub with one to experience the smoked beer. A couple of the lectures were not exactly good - rather boring at times. Food and dining was incredible and I am surprised I didn't gain weight. The chef was excellent and quite entertaining. The special meals were incredible and so much fun. My opinion of the nightly singers was only so so. Kane was entertaining, knowledgable, and there for us as was the rest of the crew. Not sure a river cruise like this is for children as they would get bore I thinkn. Would I go again? YES! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Always wanted to take this cruise. The ship Bragi was spotlessly clean. The service was simply outstanding by all the crew members and the food (all 3 meals per day) was high quality gourmet. There were multiple choices on the menu for ... Read More
Always wanted to take this cruise. The ship Bragi was spotlessly clean. The service was simply outstanding by all the crew members and the food (all 3 meals per day) was high quality gourmet. There were multiple choices on the menu for each meal. Hard to believe Viking delivers such high quality food 3x/day for 15 days... much better than the restaurants we dined at in several villages/towns/cities we visited during the cruise. Also, a variety of European beers and wines were served with lunch and dinner and there was champaign available at breakfast... all complimentary. Included excursions were well organized. One of the nice parts of the excursions was the daily walking tours conducted by professionals. Every travel detail was planned for by Viking from flight schedules, seating, airport departures, transfers... every detail !! Viking knows its customer audience exceedingly well and delivers. I already have recommend this trip and Viking to about a dozen people. Now reviewing other river trips offered by Viking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to meet people from different parts of the world. The itinerary suited us as we stayed beforehand in Amsterdam and after in Budapest under our own arrangements. We used the flight value to upgrade and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to meet people from different parts of the world. The itinerary suited us as we stayed beforehand in Amsterdam and after in Budapest under our own arrangements. We used the flight value to upgrade and we enjoyed really good connections. Our cabin was a french balcony, yes it was small but we were hardly in there. The ship is so large to have plenty of comfortable lounge room seating without being crowded. The food was excellent quality and plenty of variety, we enjoyed a drinks package so we had a choice of wines. The main bar manager knew us so well after a few days, we hardly had to ask for drinks.The waiting staff were brilliant food getting to know you and your likes.The front office staff were also excellent, nothing was too much trouble. The on shore excursions were well planned and excellent local guides, they had various groups according to ability too so no one missed out and walked comfortably. we enjoyed on board music and lectures too so all tastes were covered. The entertainment was really good and Maryann our tour director was amazing. Her evening briefings became almost compulsory as no one wanted to miss out on the fun and her jokes. She even sang a whole night for us, great fun. The quizzes were hilarious too. Viking went out of their way to ensure you had a good time and well looked after. A couple whose luggage did not arrive enjoyed free laundry service for almost 10 days. Another time, a whole laundry bill was deleted after a chewing gum stuck on trousers! We would travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our second Viking River Cruise. Service was up to Viking's high standards. Meals were good. Entertainment/Tour Director Mary Anne was fantastic and a real character. The tours at each port were usually very good with ... Read More
This was our second Viking River Cruise. Service was up to Viking's high standards. Meals were good. Entertainment/Tour Director Mary Anne was fantastic and a real character. The tours at each port were usually very good with knowledgeable guides and interesting sites. Kinderdijk, Melk Abbey, Bamberg, Vienna, Marksburg castle, and the Budapest night cruise up and down the river were highlights. Each small town had its own ambience and feel. Tour radios worked better this time as bugs had been worked out compared to our last cruise when they were new. Cruise was more on the relaxing side as this 15 day cruise had a lot of water to cover, i.e. more cruising than a shorter trip. Ship typically went up river while we were bused to tour sites and back to ship. We did not have any river problems with water levels or lock problems and there were about 70 of them! Ship was in excellent condition. Only ship issue we had was upper deck was closed most of the time due to all of the low bridges. Entertainment (lounge singers) was average in my opinion. Embarkation had a small issue as dock was changed in Amsterdam. We walked to the dock Viking said we would use prior to leaving home and it had been moved from dock closest to train station (10 minute walk) to one farthest away (30 minutes). Train stop was nearby but we were unaware of that. This was not Viking's fault. I recommend staying in Amsterdam 2-3 days before or after your cruise. Viking does only a short bus tour and more time is needed for this interesting city. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
My closest friend and his wife signed up for the cruise and recommended it to us as they had sailed on two previous Viking river cruises and enjoyed them very much. I especially liked the fact that, if I had to return to my cabin, it was ... Read More
My closest friend and his wife signed up for the cruise and recommended it to us as they had sailed on two previous Viking river cruises and enjoyed them very much. I especially liked the fact that, if I had to return to my cabin, it was always no more than a minute away instead of 10-15 minutes. The smaller ship size and number of passengers made for a more personal, intimate traveling experience. What impressed me the most (and, from the talk heard in the dining room and on the excursions, it would seem, all of the rest of the passengers) was the tremendous effort, energy, and--above all--enthusiasm that the cruise "Activities Coordinator" (I am not sure of his exact title) demonstrated day after day in carrying out the duties of his position. While I cannot recall his full name at present, I do recall that he was of British extraction and that his first name was Kean (Kane? Caine?). While my wife and I and the other three couples we traveled with on this cruise all enjoyed the excursions, meals, entertainment, and service experienced on this Viking tour, we all agreed that, more than any other single factor, the "Activities Coordinator" or "Cruise Director" was the most important factor in making the "Tulips and Windmills" cruise a memorable one,indeed. He was worth his weight in gold! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Tulips were on the bucket list at the Kueckenhof. The crew was very professional, the excursions were well organized and the food with one exception was first class. One meal was a disaster withe pork schnitzel so overlooked that ... Read More
Tulips were on the bucket list at the Kueckenhof. The crew was very professional, the excursions were well organized and the food with one exception was first class. One meal was a disaster withe pork schnitzel so overlooked that nobody finished the meal. We were only able to book the bottom state room because of late booking but it was very acceptable because we spent very little time in the room other sleeping there. The weather was very windy, is Holland always windy? The guides were with one exception were first class, the organosing of each trip was very good with little hassle or waiting. The accomadation was very acceptable with laundry service available when we wanted it. I did find it over run with Americans there seemed to be very little other nations represented. As a couple traveling but ourselves we found several groups of people preferred to keep their own company. We made no new friends on. The trip, despite being both extroverts because from my experience Americansprefer to keep themselves to the,selves. This was the only drawback. Maybe Viking should take that into account for non American travelers Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first viking river cruise, but we hope it not to be our last! What a wonderful trip, my husband is a bilateral amputee, so the size of the ship and ease of the tours was just perfect for us. On a regular cruise ship it would ... Read More
This was our first viking river cruise, but we hope it not to be our last! What a wonderful trip, my husband is a bilateral amputee, so the size of the ship and ease of the tours was just perfect for us. On a regular cruise ship it would take 30 to 60 minutes to get off the ship from our stateroom, (at least for us), but it took us 10 minutes to get from out stateroom and on the tour bus that was parked right outside the ships' dock. We loved having included tours as well as optional tours. The staff was so wonderful, and food was fabulous. We were in the minority of first time cruisers, which we certainly could understand after the trip was over. We are also looking into an ocean cruise to explore as well. Keep up the great job Viking! You've got a repeat customer in us! Read Less
Viking Bragi 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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