Sail Date: May 2018
We heard Viking was the best from others, they did not disappoint. It has been years since we were in Europe the transition from airport to ship in Amsterdam was flawless. Once on board we were very pleased with our accommodations, ... Read More
We heard Viking was the best from others, they did not disappoint. It has been years since we were in Europe the transition from airport to ship in Amsterdam was flawless. Once on board we were very pleased with our accommodations, stateroom was just what we envisioned. The crew was fantastic, especially the servers and the Program Director. Not knowing what exactly to expect we only took part in the included tours, they gave us pleanty of time to explore on our own. We really liked the schedules allowing us time to explore the ports on our own. we fount the food to wonderful, nice choices from contentnal breakfast, full breakfast bar, lunches on the deck were an added pleasure. Dinners were well done, the options (local fare and specialitydishes) were well done, made us remember the times we were statiioned ini Germany. All in all, it was the best vacation we have ever had. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We absolutely loved this trip! The service was excellent and the cabin with our private balcony was perfect for early morning riverside views. We truly enjoyed our extra nights in Amsterdam and highly recommend extended stay at the ... Read More
We absolutely loved this trip! The service was excellent and the cabin with our private balcony was perfect for early morning riverside views. We truly enjoyed our extra nights in Amsterdam and highly recommend extended stay at the beginning of the cruise to help overcome jet lag. Amsterdam is a great walkable city...just watch out for the bikes! We enjoyed all of our excursions and the guides provided so much history and insight. We particularly enjoyed the smaller riverside towns and the Franconian Countryside tour more than the bigger cities like Vienna. The speakers they brought onboard were educational and funny. We had just enough choices for meals and dining variety. The Program Director was fantastic! She seemed to be everywhere making sure we all had a great time. We met some great people we will keep in touch with in the future too. Overall a great experience! We would take another river cruise based on this successful one! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We traveled with a group of 12 friends and planned it a year in advance. We had a lower cabin that only had a window across the top. We spent little time in the room, so it was fine. The food was great, offering local selections as ... Read More
We traveled with a group of 12 friends and planned it a year in advance. We had a lower cabin that only had a window across the top. We spent little time in the room, so it was fine. The food was great, offering local selections as well as tne usual chicken, steak, etc. I usually ate the Local choice and was never disappointed. Deserts were always great. Our cruise director was Chantal and she was fantastic, always waiting to meet your needs. Ports of call were all good as well as a river narration as we traveled down the Rhine and Danubes. Local walking tours had great local guides. Sometimes there wasn't much shopping time, but that was okay because some cities you had plenty of free time. It was our first river cruise and the 14 days seemed a bit long. It was a great way to see cities close up so now we know where we might like to go back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This VRC was my first river cruise, and I’ve already booked my next one! The staff, from the moment I boarded was all about customer service. The calm neutral decor, the variety of food options-all done to perfection, the free wine with ... Read More
This VRC was my first river cruise, and I’ve already booked my next one! The staff, from the moment I boarded was all about customer service. The calm neutral decor, the variety of food options-all done to perfection, the free wine with lunch and dinner reminded me that, I’m on vacation. It was easy and fun to meet new people in such a casually elegant setting, while seeing gorgeous scenery and experiencing new cultures and historic sites. VRC was the vacation that wasn’t stressful, the hotel and restaurant came with! Local guides varied in skill and expertise, and perhaps this is where Viking needs to focus some attention on. My group also waited a very long time in a security line, so there was little time left to actually see the site. The onboard entertainment was a “house” duo,(excellent), and local talent brought on board. I sought out a company with a relative small number of people on the ships, with one main dining room and one main bar, plus outdoor space available on purpose. I was not disappointed and as already mentioned, two weeks after my return from Danube Waltz, I booked Waterways of the Tsars this October. Looking forward to the pampering again- how lucky I am. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We have special dietary needs and the chef and servers were magnificent, creating a separate menu for lunch and dinner every day! Very tasty - some dishes even better than the standard offerings. The Aquavit Terrace is a huge success! ... Read More
We have special dietary needs and the chef and servers were magnificent, creating a separate menu for lunch and dinner every day! Very tasty - some dishes even better than the standard offerings. The Aquavit Terrace is a huge success! The whole crew were happy, helpful, and quick to respond to every inquiry or request. Our stateroom was returned to perfection each time we got back from an excursion. The ship was spotless, and everything worked as advertised. We highly recommend the Veranda Staterooms: our first morning cruising on the Danube was a magical moment, perched comfortably in our chairs on our sunny veranda, warm coffee in hand as we watched many different birds on the river. The self-service coffee/tea machine was a very pleasant surprise. The shore excursions were exciting and informative, especially the full day to Cesky Krumlov and the half day tour to the Abbey of Gottweig The before dinner previews of the next day's itinerary were fun, often hilarious, and more than welcome. This crew must be the best of any river cruise anywhere, but we will have a comparison in June, 2019 when we cruise with Viking on the Rhine River! Kudos to Viking Bragi and to Viking Cruise Line! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We could not find a thing wrong with our cruise. Excursions were well organised and guides infomative. The cruise staff were friendly and always helpful. The room was always clean and linen continually changed. We made new friends and ... Read More
We could not find a thing wrong with our cruise. Excursions were well organised and guides infomative. The cruise staff were friendly and always helpful. The room was always clean and linen continually changed. We made new friends and wonderful memories. We had a few extra activities on shore which were great fun. The Vienna Strauss concert was particularly good. We also did a winery tour which was very enjoyable. People cruising with us were easy to get along with and so friends were plentiful during the cruise. The food was also great. A different main menu each night with lots of choice from breakfast to dinner. We would recommend this cruise along the Rhine and Danube rivers to everyone. Make sure you have plenty of space on your camera or phone for photos. We also found that travelling early in the season meant less crowds and more space in the shops!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We had such an incredible experience with Viking on our previous river cruise (from St. Petersburg to Moscow) that we felt that the only way to see so much of Europe would be on board a Viking ship again. We were NOT disappointed! From ... Read More
We had such an incredible experience with Viking on our previous river cruise (from St. Petersburg to Moscow) that we felt that the only way to see so much of Europe would be on board a Viking ship again. We were NOT disappointed! From the moment we stepped off the airplane we began to relax because we were met by Viking staff who began taking care of everything. Viking always provides such a wealth of information pertaining to our journey and each specific stop the ship makes. They do what I used to do for our family, so it feels very good to have someone do it for us now:) Even in the face of the strike at the locks, which put us behind in our schedule, Viking did a stellar job still getting us to where we needed to be and demonstrating such flexibility in their programs. We continue to be impressed by such professionalism! The food was ALWAYS five star. Having more intimate dining options, at no extra charge, even on such a small boat, was a bonus. We loved the fact that wine and beer are served at no extra charge at meal times... and not just any wine or beer, they have many local selections. We had one of the "cheap" cabins, but even they have a window to look out! The maid service was always done impeccably. We found that we spent more time, depending on the weather, either outside at a comfortable table and chairs or in the lounge with lovely comfortable furniture. They did a great job of arranging the furniture so that we felt that we could still have privacy, even though there were many other people there. We had live entertainment every night. It was lovely and relaxing. Viking also had a glass blower brought on board and also some specialty cooking demonstrations. Dinner was even entertaining at times when they were celebrating a particular region's food. Viking does an outstanding job in all aspects! The freedom and time we had in each city was great. If the boat was not docked within easy walking distance, then Viking provided excellent transportation to and from the city. Viking may look like it is more expensive than other cruises, but because everything is paid up front, rather than nickel and diming you on board, we think it is a GREAT value for the money. We enjoyed ourselves so much on this cruise that we are already booked for another this year! Can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We went on this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. It was more than we had anticipated. We have no complaints except for the weight we gained. We did the pre trip to Prague.We were greeted at the air port and taken to our hotel ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. It was more than we had anticipated. We have no complaints except for the weight we gained. We did the pre trip to Prague.We were greeted at the air port and taken to our hotel by very helpful Viking personnel. Our hotel , The Palace Art Nouveau, was excellent for service and location. It was very well cared for. The breakfast buffet could not have been better. We had an all day bus trip to Budapest. It was very interesting for us to travel and see the countries of Czech, Slovakia, and Hungary. We were bused almost to the door of the ship,taken to our rooms and fed. The ship and all of our experiences on it were more than we expected. We have done many cruises. The Viking experience was the best ever. We hope to do many more of their cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This is a terrific way to see some of the highlights of Europe that are often missed with bus and other land-based trips. It was wonderful to get to know the crew as well as our shipmates. The stops were excellent, as was the format for ... Read More
This is a terrific way to see some of the highlights of Europe that are often missed with bus and other land-based trips. It was wonderful to get to know the crew as well as our shipmates. The stops were excellent, as was the format for visiting each town. My wife and I liked the brief orientation tour with the remainder of the day "at leisure." We have taken many ocean cruises in the past and were impressed with the quality of the Viking river cruise. The food was excellent, and we did take advantage of the free beverages that accompanied the meals. Very nice. I also celebrated my 65th birthday on the trip, and the crew made it very memorable. Would I travel Viking River Cruises again? Absolutely! We had a terrific time and at a very good price. We took advantage of the two-for-one deal as well as complimentary airline flights. We chose an inexpensive room as well but had a royal adventure despite the smallish rooms. But who really worried about the small rooms and not-so-great window views? We spent next to no time in our room other than sleeping. I have been to Europe at least 14 times, and this is was among the most memorable trip. Our 23-day "Grand European" honeymoon trip was the only thing that topped it! We plan on taking a Viking River Cruise to China during 2020. Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
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
Viking Bragi Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 N/A

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