132 Viking River Viking Jarl Cruise Reviews

I went with my parents for Christmas vacation. I will list the pros and cons. Pros: -The ship is well heated -The rooms and showers are clean -They will bend over backwards to accommodate you -Some of the excursions are ... Read More
I went with my parents for Christmas vacation. I will list the pros and cons. Pros: -The ship is well heated -The rooms and showers are clean -They will bend over backwards to accommodate you -Some of the excursions are decent -The staff is cordial and well-vetted -The excursions are planned so that you don't have to do much thinking or organizing -It is handicap accessible with an elevator Cons: -You must eat during their pre-set meal times. -Sometimes dinner isn't until 7 or 730 and my family and I were hungry prior to dinner time -There are no snacks available outside of meal times -The food is mediocre at best -Most of the cruising is done at night, so you don't get to see much of the river -If you book to sail Nov-Apr, please expect many of your excursions to be cancelled. They contract with local guides who don't do tours during the winter, but they will make you think you have a lot of fun things planned until you start getting cancellation emails -Don't bother going to the top deck if it's cold - everything is shut down Neither pros nor cons: -The activity director will announce excursions 15 minutes prior (over the loud speaker, which can wake you up if you are asleep) -They tidy your room twice a day. I personally don't want someone bothering me or in my room 2x a day, but some people might. -You don't feel the boat move much All said and done, I'm glad we did this for the experience but we've agreed we won't go again. We like more flexibility in accessing food, and we can organize a trip like this cheaper on our own with more shore time and exploration. A lot of time is spent cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our friends invited us to join them on this cruise. Cruises are not exactly our style. The cruise ship was well laid out, clean and did not seem to be over crowded. Our favorite part of the cruise was sitting on the upper deck ... Read More
Our friends invited us to join them on this cruise. Cruises are not exactly our style. The cruise ship was well laid out, clean and did not seem to be over crowded. Our favorite part of the cruise was sitting on the upper deck watching the countryside go by. Since we did most of our traveling at night, the day time cruising was not as frequent as we would have liked. The crew and in particular the program director did an amazing job of keeping the events and shore excursions on schedule even though there were a couple delays on the river and in the canals. The shore excursions were what we expected, a bus ride and a group tour around the tourist attraction. It was generally crowed and somewhat rushed. There was usually enough time to go out exploring on our own which was really great. If you like beer, this tour is fantastic as there are many smaller breweries to visit. The food on board was excellent, each meal was arranged around the culture or city that the ship was at. Trying the different cuisines was an experience in itself. We purchased the premium liquor package which was worth it, you get a better selection of wines and top shelf liquor. The only bad part of the trip was the air travel, we got booked on American Airlines and had trouble at just about every section. Luckily we planned on getting to Prague early, we got the three day extension, and planned an extra day for travel going home. We needed it due to all the delays. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Originally intended to do Budapest to Amsterdam but had to cancel. A year later we looked into Budapest to Nuremburg with add on to Prague. Loved everything about the whole trip. Impressed with the guides on the included excursions. ... Read More
Originally intended to do Budapest to Amsterdam but had to cancel. A year later we looked into Budapest to Nuremburg with add on to Prague. Loved everything about the whole trip. Impressed with the guides on the included excursions. All of them extremely knowledgeable and interesting. You could tell they enjoy their jobs. Danube River can encounter water level issues that can affect sailing, the crew kept everyone abreast with what was happening and efficiently arranged buses, meeting places to accommodate whatever was necessary. Luckily, on our excursion we were able to stay on the boat each evening. Just had changes in how we met up with the boat on certain days. Food was great, entertainment was fun. Like the number of people on the boat. Nice size group to enjoy dinner and entertainment. No waiting. Just thoroughly enjoyable. Budapest and Prague were my favorite cities. We did opt for a couple of additional excursions. We did the Vienna Boys choir and Prague at night optional excursions. I would recommend both. The architecture throughout Europe is amazing. One of our favorite things to do was to ask the guide on our excursions where do the locals eat. We were given some excellent suggestions and would go off and find these places. The food was great and it gave you a little more flavor of what the town was like. I would love to do a river cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
From the moment your arrive at the airport the Viking Staff is there to greet you and your only concern is to relax and enjoy yourself. Food was delicious. Service was impeccable. The Cabin was immaculate. The excursions were were ... Read More
From the moment your arrive at the airport the Viking Staff is there to greet you and your only concern is to relax and enjoy yourself. Food was delicious. Service was impeccable. The Cabin was immaculate. The excursions were were organized and well done. We really enjoyed the wine and dinner experience which was tailored to go with the Region we were in. We loved meeting new people and the open seating allowed us to do that. Cappachino and fresh baked cookies were a treat each day. We enjoyed the entertainment each night. We will definitely be booking another Viking cruise in the near future. Viking cannot do enough to make your vacation special. This was our first River Cruise and the memories we made will forever remain in our minds and our hearts. One last thing. We took the Romantic Danube. I think the scenery was beautiful but I would not get another veranda as you can enjoy all of it on the top level of the boat or simply stay in the lounge area and watch it all go by Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because many people we know had highly recommended Viking. We absolutely loved everything about our trip! The accommodations, staff, food, excursions and tour guides were all well above our expectations. We began our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because many people we know had highly recommended Viking. We absolutely loved everything about our trip! The accommodations, staff, food, excursions and tour guides were all well above our expectations. We began our trip down the Danube in Budapest and ended in Nurumberg. The excursions that were included in our cruise package were outstanding! We not only saw beautiful and interesting locations, but also learned many things from the great tour guides we had. Another perk was that We were treated to a selection of regional food in each area that We visited, prepared each evening on our ship. We are planning to take a Viking River cruise on the Rhine in the future. The relaxed atmosphere and smaller ship is much more appealing to my husband and me than a large cruise ship.All in all I can find nothing negative to say about our experience with Viking and look forward to our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have been talking about a Viking River Cruise for 10+ years. We finally had the opportunity. My husband really wanted to see Prague and Budapest so that made our cruise decision easy. Our Prague pre trip was fantastic. We were happy ... Read More
We have been talking about a Viking River Cruise for 10+ years. We finally had the opportunity. My husband really wanted to see Prague and Budapest so that made our cruise decision easy. Our Prague pre trip was fantastic. We were happy we spent the extra money and spent extra time. One regret: we thought we would be tired by end of cruise so did not extend for the Budapest post trip; we were sorry. The other guests on the ship were so friendly and we enjoyed their conversation/company immensely. They were all so interesting. I am awful at keeping in touch, but we think of our ship friends quite frequently as we reminisce about a fun moment. We did so much laughing. Every staff member was also friendly, professional and so hard working. We were hugging them when our trip came to an end. They took care of every detail so that you could just relax and enjoy. The ship had approximately 184 guests. You never felt cramped or like it was too crowded. A quiet spot was always easily found. Or you could sit with the many new friends you made up on the deck. I woke up each morning looking forward to the food we would enjoy that day. The chef, and his staff made soups and other dishes I still think about. The excursions didn't disappoint. Some were better than others but that is to be expected. Overall, they were organized and the tour guide was knowledgeable about their area and history. I don't know what else to say; take a Viking River Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Working with Viking in planning our cruise was flawless as well as working with them on excursions, taxis and requests on board. Our cabin was small (no balcony) but we really didn't spend a lot of time in our room. It is extremely ... Read More
Working with Viking in planning our cruise was flawless as well as working with them on excursions, taxis and requests on board. Our cabin was small (no balcony) but we really didn't spend a lot of time in our room. It is extremely well laid out. Embarkation and disembarkation was easier than checking in and out of a hotel. Everyone on board is friendly, welcoming and know you by name right away. The ship is stylish clean and well laid out. Dining was good but I was expecting it to be a little more gourmet or at least have those options. We spent a lot of time around the bar since the weather was horrible and we couldn't enjoy the outside of the boat which I'm sure would have been fun. Bar tenders were fabulous and would remember what you liked to drink but were willing to make you anything you wanted. We meet some wonderful people in those hours of sitting around the bar. Entertainment consisted mainly of piano players or guitar players but they were very talented and enjoyable. We enjoyed the shore excursions (even in the rain). We did have a couple of excursions that we made on our own and not apart of the boat. I would take another river cruise and although you cannot control the weather I would take it during warmer times of the year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted a memorable time with my mother-in-law and step father-in-law and I wanted to see Prague. We knew from previous cruises that Viking would not disappoint. Traveling with seniors and myself having ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a memorable time with my mother-in-law and step father-in-law and I wanted to see Prague. We knew from previous cruises that Viking would not disappoint. Traveling with seniors and myself having dietary issues we felt this would be the best option and we were so right. The staff took extra care to make sure our needs were met and I never had to worry about food. Viking has spoiled me. We were able to join a slower walking tour for most excursions in order to accommodate my mother-in-law and I really don't think we missed anything from the conversations with others. The informational talks about the next port were always at a convenient time and place and we took advantage of those. Beer and wine are included with lunch and dinner, but the drink package is extremely reasonable compared to other cruise lines and the upgraded wines were fun to try as we know and enjoy wines. The regular wines were also very good. The shore excursions included were very good and included a free bottle of water. I heard great things about the optional tours but we felt the included ones were a great overview and more than met our expectations. We did the pre-cruise in Prague and I cannot recommend this enough. It's a beautiful city and I hope to go back. The Viking representative showed us how to use the public transportation and gave us the confidence to use it there and in other ports. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking. All three experiences were A-1, Top Shelf, Some additiona busing on one,but we still had a fabulous time. The staff on our most recent cruise was particularly enjoyable. Mario the cruise director was ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking. All three experiences were A-1, Top Shelf, Some additiona busing on one,but we still had a fabulous time. The staff on our most recent cruise was particularly enjoyable. Mario the cruise director was knowledgeable and always ready to assist and answer any questions. The two game nights were especially entertaining. The wait staff in the dining room, were beyond delightful. Carman, one of the dining room captains, along with Chip, were a delight to be with, and they took the extra time to assure we had everything we needed. The staff in the lounge, led by head bartender Armando, and his trusty, knowledgeable duo of Robert and Matej, made sure whatever drink we desired was prepared, and prepared properly. The Chef and his staff always had a great menu planned, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. My all time favorite, from a cruise in 2012, is the oatmeal. don't know how, but I've never tasted anything quite like it. In closing, Viking River Cruises, delivers a quality product.if you haven't been on one of their cruises, you should, you won't be diappointed. I'll be booking my next cruise later next year and can't wait to see the next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We started out on the Viking Jarl. The staff was excellent and if our whole cruise had stayed on the Jarl we would have had our dream vacation in spite of the low water levels. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director, wait staff, ... Read More
We started out on the Viking Jarl. The staff was excellent and if our whole cruise had stayed on the Jarl we would have had our dream vacation in spite of the low water levels. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director, wait staff, bartender, room steward and all other staff we came in contact with was excellent. But the moment we changed onto the Atla the staff was rude, had an attitude, food service was bad bad (Banana pudding was a small, hard muffin with hint of banana, not a creamy, delicious pudding), food was ok but not like the great food we had on the Jarl. All in all the whole experience on the Atla was terrible. We were made to feel like an inconvenience and they could hardly wait until the next day when they could pass us off to the Bragia. When we transferred on Saturday to the Bragia it started out fine. We were greeted well. But the wait staff was clearly lacking. The Aquavit Terrace had the food for breakfast laid out but the entire time we were eating we never saw any wait staff to help us. The final night was the breaking point. We had experienced a bad tour with a guide we could not understand, it was cold and we were tired. When we arrived for dinner we were advised that the regional Hungarian menu was ALL we could order from!! The staff was extremely rude when we requested other choices. Finally the matre de allowed my husband who cant have spicy food to have a plain hamburger and french fries. It was like they couldn't get rid of us fast enough. The next morning we were staying at a hotel in Budapest we had arranged. Although our bags had been out by 7:15 as told, when we got ready to leave at 8:30 they were not upstairs. We had to ask for them to be brought us and a taxi called. We previously had been told by friends what a great cruise line Viking was. This trip was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Wow! Where to start... after arriving in Europe we received an email from Viking stating it was ‘possible’ there could be an issue due to low water levels. This email was sent AFTER we were on our flight, which Viking arranged for us. ... Read More
Wow! Where to start... after arriving in Europe we received an email from Viking stating it was ‘possible’ there could be an issue due to low water levels. This email was sent AFTER we were on our flight, which Viking arranged for us. On our ride to our departure point, Nuremberg, Germany, our driver told us about a horror story one of his recent passengers shared about their Viking River Cruise. That’s when we started researching on Cruise Critic. What an eye opening read that was. These issues have been going on for over two months! We read horror stories about multiple ship swaps, long bus rides, missed ports, hotel stays, etc... it was enough to make us change our mind about cruising the “Romantic Danube” with Viking. Multiple reviews also mentioned that Viking sent them the same email, but only AFTER they were in Europe. This is clearly part of their MO of dishonest and manipulative behavior. After reading Viking’s so called “Satisfaction Guarantee”, we decided to invoke our rights and cancel our cruise immediately upon arrival at the ship. We spent hours with the Viking Jarl hotel manager and on the phone with Natasha Harris in Viking’s customer service office while our driver waited outside with our baggage. When we told Natasha in customer service that we wanted a refund, which is clearly stated as our right in their service guarantee, she told us we could leave the ship if we wanted, but she could not guarantee a refund. She said our claim would go in front of a review board AFTER we returned to the United States. We weren’t going to walk off the ship after paying thousands of dollars without any guarantee of a refund! That’s their whole plan. Who would pay for a trip and walk away without taking it without a refund? We were told once we set sail that (shockingly) we would have to stop the ship at a random port and take an hour and a half bus ride to and from Passau, Germany. Then we found out we would have a FOUR HOUR bus ride the following day, past Passau, and to another random port to SWITCH ships. Meanwhile, we are missing our first day in Vienna, the highlight of our trip! Today, our first night onboard the new ship, they tell us they will also be bussing us back and forth to Budapest, an hour and a half each way, 2 days in a row. This is NOT what we signed up for. This is not what we PAID for. From past reviews, we knew there would be major issues before we set foot on the first ship. That’s why we tried to get a refund from the beginning. Viking knew there would be issues well in advance and they CHOSE to keep that information from us. Their dishonesty upsets me as much as anything else. They keep their passengers in the dark until the last minute and then act surprised that there are issues. They are dishonest and manipulative. Just say NO to Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We’ve all seen them - the inspirational Viking Cruise Lines advertisements - mature couples drinking wine on deck with wind blowing gently on their smiling faces amidst beautiful castles going by as they cruise luxuriously down the ... Read More
We’ve all seen them - the inspirational Viking Cruise Lines advertisements - mature couples drinking wine on deck with wind blowing gently on their smiling faces amidst beautiful castles going by as they cruise luxuriously down the exotic river. Enchanting villages where, said couples, are watching and bantering with the village folk while teaching them the secret techniques of their trade. Enrichment lectures onboard and destination performances at port so you can experience the culture live and in color. Irresistible, right? So irresistible, in fact, that we called Viking directly and after talking at length with the “Travel Consultant” about the “Romantic Danube” River Cruise and all that it included, we signed up with eager anticipation. My husband and I just completed our Viking “Romantic Danube” River cruise and found the reality to be altogether different. It was actually more of a BUS TRIP where we “cruised” down nondescript highways with occasional stops in places not on the itinerary (to make up for the places we didn’t go to that were on the itinerary) to catch a glimpse of our ship docked at some rundown, industrial site that is nowhere near our destination. My personal favorite was the gravel pit with the huge crane where we literally had to walk under the dangling cab to board our ship. This, of course, was one of those stops somewhere between cities we were supposed to visit but had to take a bus to get to. Rumor has it, from a reliable source who works for Viking, that these sites are actually chosen to avoid paying expensive docking fees in ports of call. But I digress… Unfortunately, our trip did not reflect what was advertised in the commercials, brochures or travel document verbiage. In fact, there was but a vestige of what the itinerary and brochure promised. Yes, the river level was down; and Yes, the itinerary needed to be altered; and Yes, there were buses to be organized and utilized, but the overarching problem with this trip for us was that Viking’s approach to all of this is to NOT FULLY DISCLOSE the information they had. This resulted in constant last minute changes, passenger confusion, misinformation, frustration and an overall feeling that we were having “the wool pulled over our eyes”, which then lead to multiple rumors about how Viking was greedily and knowingly taking advantage of its passengers. To top off this already difficult environment, the Program Director and his staff were arrogant, condescending, aloof and downright rude. When I asked, out of curiosity, why Viking ships were docked in port at Passau and moving down the river, yet we had a very long bus ride bus to get to Passau AND back that afternoon AND another 4.5 hour bus ride the next day to meet a ship to swap with, I was met with a very curt response from one of the managers, followed by the Program Director literally yelling at me and making extremely sarcastic and belittling comments to me within hearing distance of other passengers. Honestly, I was incredulous. This was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and UNPROFESSIONAL behavior. He did later apologize and said how stressed out he was, but that is just not what I expect when we’re paying THOUSANDS of dollars to take this trip. By Day 3 of the cruise, passengers were already talking openly about how upset they were about all of these changes were being handled; the lack of communication, the seeming chaos and poor decisions that were being made. These were not just people whom had not been on a Viking cruise before, this included people who had taken multiple cruises with Viking and were never going to step foot on another Viking ship after this one was done. By the time the trip was completed, that’s all we heard people talking about - how unethical, irresponsible, unconscionable and negligent Viking was to KNOWINGLY take our money and not fully disclose what the true impact on our trip might be. Based on the reviews we read prior to taking the trip, this water level issue had been going on for 4 months! We even called Viking 5 days prior to departure to ask if our trip was going to be impacted and if we could cancel if it was. They, of course, responded with NO, you can’t cancel, NO, they didn’t anticipate a problem as it had just rained and No, No, No, etc. It’s their favorite word, come to find out! And, if nondisclosure was not enough of an insult, we also encountered vast changes on what they did disclose. When we first booked our trip, we were told that we could upgrade for free if a balcony room became available. We called numerous times to see if there was a cancellation. Once onboard, we asked immediately for an upgrade. NO, it was not free (that word again!) and when first given an upgrade price of $400 (they told us this 3 separate times), when we went to pay just minutes after they quoted us, they charged us $480! Again, NO, we never said $400…our word against theirs. They didn’t even say, “We’re sorry for the misunderstanding” or any kind of courteous response, just NO! Rather than continue to recount our many disappointing moments, let me state factually the itinerary we experienced: Nuremburg - On Day 2, we were told that the boat apparently “needed” to start off down the Danube while we were on our tours and we had to be BUSSED to catch up with it - an additional 45 minutes on top of what the bussing time to and from Nuremburg was supposed to be Regensburg - the only port that we could access by the boat and no busses * Straubing - Not on the itinerary. A remote docking site to access Passau and other ports by BUS. From Passau to the boat: 3 hours roundtrip, shortening our time in port. For passengers, like my husband, who didn’t want to sit on a bus for 3 hours, he was faced with either sitting on the boat with no activities or easy access to the town of Straubing. * Ybbs - Not on the itinerary. The day after Passau, we were bussed 4.5 hours to this place to be boarded onto a new ship. No tours - we did cruise down the Wachau Valley starting at 4, which was beautiful, but this was supposed to be earlier in the day and we could have had a tour of Krems that day. Vienna - a disaster. We had just our morning tour and needed to get back on the boat because the water level was getting lower. Vienna was supposed to be a 2 day experience. Additional tours were cancelled and off we sailed by 2:00 that same day to head for our next port. Another aside: Viking advertises a side excursion to Salzburg for the day. What they DON’T tell you, is that it requires a 6.5 - 7 hour bus trip roundtrip! * Bratislava - Not on the itinerary. We stopped here for the night with no onshore tours or activities or even information about the port. * Komarom - Not on the itinerary. This was the closest we could come to Budapest. A 1.5 hour bus trip away. No town in site, just another very unattractive outpost. We had a city tour of Budapest in the morning followed by a lunch, but we were told we needed to get back to the boat as they were trying to figure out bussing for the optional tours and getting people to a hotel that had flights before 8am the next morning. DEPARTURE: The sad part of leaving was the fact that only a handful of people were put up in a hotel in Budapest to be closer to the airport. The rest of us had to bus back to the boat and wake up very early to catch yet another bus for another 2.5 hour ride into the airport. One of our acquaintances had to get up at 3am to be on the bus by 4:15am. WHY didn’t Viking put us all up in the hotel as a convenience and kind gesture? For us, our Viking Air arranged flight to Munich was cancelled. As we were standing in line waiting to see if we could even get out that day, another Viking ship had all of their people that were on that flight rebooked and were escorted to the gate they were rebooked to. We asked for help as well, but apparently it’s all ships for themselves! This was the worst group travel experience we have ever experienced. The Viking Brand does not deserve to have the reputation it does. Marketing can buy impressions, but then you have to live up to it. Viking, most certainly, did not do that. And for myself and my husband and many others onboard this trip…“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently ... Read More
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently had these issues for at least 6 prior weeks. Ship swap is a repackage for an 8am pickup then unpack after a 3 hour bus ride. Additionally, our 1.5 day stay in Vienna became .5 days. Our 1.5 day in Budapest (docked in the city) became a 1 hour city tour from a remote dock due to low water. it seemed we had to meet their needs and not ours. In 3 cities, excursions were either cancelled or minimally available. Cultural on board entertainment was a 1 hour session by musicians in Nuremburg and 3 slide shows. I kept thinking "Viking has to know they are providing far less than they advertised, what special event or alternative are they planning for us"? It never came. Instead upon our return home we received a letter offering us a credit of about $1,000 against a future cruise. Wow, what a deal. We spend another $7,500 on them and they reduce our fare by $1,000! How important do they think they are? I understand that low water levels created many of these issues, but they chose this route and possible consequences. Should they not bear some of the losses by extending other benefits to people who got less than advertised? It appears their bottom line was their most important consideration. As info, I checked with other river cruisers we met in cities we visited.Avalon went to Budapest, no issues. Tauck flipped in Nuremburg to a vessel that also went straight thru. Go figure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We just returned from a "Romantic Danube" cruise. It was a total misrepresentation by Viking Cruises. The Danube water level is at the lowest it has been since 1933. Therefore the ships cannot sail. Instead we were bused from ... Read More
We just returned from a "Romantic Danube" cruise. It was a total misrepresentation by Viking Cruises. The Danube water level is at the lowest it has been since 1933. Therefore the ships cannot sail. Instead we were bused from city to city spending less than 1/4 of the week on the Danube sailing. The description touted the beautiful scenery onboard the ship while sailing. Never saw it. Some of our excursions were cancelled (oh, we will refund your money for cancelled excursion). The most disturbing part was that Viking knew about this for 1-2 months and did not notify us thereby not giving an option to change our cruise. They sent an email the day after we landed in Europe alerting us to the possibility that we may have to take buses at various places on the Danube due to the low water level. Couldn't change the cruise at that point. We contacted Viking upon return and their response was a slight discount on our next cruise. That is worthless as we will never take another cruise with Viking. Viking is unethical and dishonest - their decision to delay notifying their customers is despicable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise was the worst holiday we have ever experienced. My husband is a survivor of abdominal cancer and we have a special needs daughter living with us. This was to be our trip of a lifetime. We only have 2-3 weeks per year to enjoy ... Read More
This cruise was the worst holiday we have ever experienced. My husband is a survivor of abdominal cancer and we have a special needs daughter living with us. This was to be our trip of a lifetime. We only have 2-3 weeks per year to enjoy an adult holiday together. The Cruise was a plethora of negative events, a TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT. WATER LEVELS WERE LOW. Viking told us after we arrived in Europe, too late to change plans. Viking solution, take a bus to Passau, Vienna, Budapest. Cancel optional excursions, sleep on 3 different ships (not sail, SLEEP). Locals in Europe told us Viking has been doing this for 6 weeks, don't tell the passengers, pretend this just happened. Email from Viking "...as a precautionary measure, we may need to adjust our sailing speeds, which could result in slight delays. We may also need to dock in alternate locations in areas where our regular docking spots are adversely affected by the conditions". Service was substandard, on the third ship we even cleaned our own table, they are casual staff called in by Viking last minute. (Staff told us this). When we asked for dessert, they told us to wait until everybody has finished eating because "the cook is still making it". By the way, don't book a veranda, they park 2 and 3 ships beside each other. You walk into the next ship to get onto the dock. Plus make sure you always keep your curtains closed, or the passengers on the next ship can see directly into your cabin. Unfortunately, sometimes you will see too much. Viking only informs you about any issues the night before, too late to adjust your itinerary. Cabins are small, you cannot bypass one another at the end of the bed and when watching TV there is no room on either side of the bed to place a chair. Because we always had to keep the curtains closed, it really made the room seem very small. We paid $16,000 for the Viking Cruise plus $3000 for our daughters care at home. Their final offer $5000 credit towards another cruise. WE can't afford another cruise. WE were mislead and feel cheated. Do your own homework. Check everything out before you go because when you get there you might only be getting a poor quality bus ride like us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were so disappointed in the response from Viking to the problems of the low water levels on the Danube. As others have said we had to change ships twice and spent two 1/2 days on buses, excursions were cancelled, we lived out of our ... Read More
We were so disappointed in the response from Viking to the problems of the low water levels on the Danube. As others have said we had to change ships twice and spent two 1/2 days on buses, excursions were cancelled, we lived out of our suitcase due to changing ships so much. Our balcony was unusable several days due to being parked next to other stranded ships or being parked near a swamp area. We understand that the water levels were out of Vikings control but notifying us two days before departure when they knew for over a month and then offerering no actual financial compensation (25% off your next cruise!) was unexceptable. Then three calls to customer service with no one with authority responding . We may have tried Viking again but the poor customer service has definitely been a deal breaker! I would pick a different cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband & I choose this cruise because of the 2-for-1 price including airfare! We felt very catered to for the whole trip! The veranda suite was comfortable and posh. A bottle of sparking wine upon our arrival and, fresh fruit and ... Read More
My husband & I choose this cruise because of the 2-for-1 price including airfare! We felt very catered to for the whole trip! The veranda suite was comfortable and posh. A bottle of sparking wine upon our arrival and, fresh fruit and beverages stocked everyday! We only participated in a couple of the evening festivities in the lounge. Instead enjoyed cozying up in our stateroom with movies that we thoroughly enjoyed. We spent 4 days on the Jarl. Then because of drought conditions the Danube had low spots. We were bused to the Alta further on down river. Then spent 2 more days cruising until the next low spot! Had to be bused into Budapest. But Viking handled EVERYTHING! Extra night at the hotel, transferring our luggage, etc. The staff on both ships were fantastic! Mario was our program director and was excellent at his job which was made complex due to the dought! We took advantage of the included tours at each port of call. They were great! And not to be missed! Great tour guides and you had a radio with an earphone for the tours. This was good so you didn't need to be right up near the leader and could stand back and take in the sites. We ate primarily on the Aquavit Deck to enjoy the views and fresh air. Every night I had the regional special and was NOT disappointed! Breakfasts and some dinners we ate in the lower dining room and were delighted by the friendly servers. It was sad to leave. Think next time a longer cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to cruise on a river in Europe. People told us that Viking was the best, and they were right! The entire ship was always very clean and neat. The staff was very accommodating. I have a food allergy and they worked with me to ... Read More
We wanted to cruise on a river in Europe. People told us that Viking was the best, and they were right! The entire ship was always very clean and neat. The staff was very accommodating. I have a food allergy and they worked with me to make sure my meals were prepared according to my needs. The tour guides were extremely informative and friendly. We really liked our experiences ashore. Meals on board were great with lots of variety especially the local selections. The relaxed and informal atmosphere on board allowed us to make numerous acquaintances and friendships. The entire experience seemed very well organized and geared toward making things easier for senior citizens, as well as those with handicaps. We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary on the ship and the staff graciously helped us make the event memorable with cake, champagne, and song. The music program and special events in the evenings were very enjoyable. We got the impression that Viking partnered with local historic and scenic organizations to help make the tours especially enjoyable and fruitful. At the end of the tour, we elected to add on the trip to Prague. This was very well organized and seamless. We LOVED Prague. Upon return, we found our friends quite curious in our experiences. We hope to take another Viking cruise on a different river in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Itinerary was perfect. The staff outstanding and food wonderful. We were especially pleased with the extra personal attention the staff provided. Also the walking tours provided a nice option with a slower pace for those with mobility ... Read More
Itinerary was perfect. The staff outstanding and food wonderful. We were especially pleased with the extra personal attention the staff provided. Also the walking tours provided a nice option with a slower pace for those with mobility problems. The private tour of the bridge by the captain was delightful! The ventilation systems in our suite were outstanding, allowing us extreme comfort no matter what the weather conditions were. The boarding and disembarkment procedures were very well planned and efficient. We always had an extra hand with luggage whenever we needed it. We found the on board library to have a nice collection of options for reading during quiet times. The cruise director was outstanding and provided extensive background on each port we were to visit. The table waiters were extremely attentive to any requests and often remembered our preferences if we were seated in their areas again. Overall an outstanding experience!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We picked this cruise to do an early summer short European cruise. We had looked for a while but all suites were fully booked. Then I found this date with a suite with possible upgrade to the Explorer suite, the best cabin. Two weeks ... Read More
We picked this cruise to do an early summer short European cruise. We had looked for a while but all suites were fully booked. Then I found this date with a suite with possible upgrade to the Explorer suite, the best cabin. Two weeks before the trip we were confirmed for the upgrade. When we arrived we were very pleased with the suite. What we didn’t realize that being at the back of the boat with an upriver trip we were going to be subject to a large amount of engine noise. Apparently there was an engine problem. But at night we were subject to 93-98 decibels of engine noise despite the best the captain could do. So the service was great, the program was great and the food awesome. The itinerary of shore excursions was also very good. We thoroughly enjoyed everything - except being in our cabin when the ship was underway. We slept poorly due to the noise and thus were tired during the day and had difficulty enjoying the excursions. From this experience I would have to warn anyone away from spending the money to have the top suite. Maybe going downstream there is less engine noise. I would do the trip again but not in that cabin. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Viking Cruises came highly recommended to me by my friends in several different groups, so it was easy to select the Danube River cruise with my companion. The recommendation was warranted! Two things impressed me right off, Viking's ... Read More
Viking Cruises came highly recommended to me by my friends in several different groups, so it was easy to select the Danube River cruise with my companion. The recommendation was warranted! Two things impressed me right off, Viking's attention to detail right down to the small stuff (like good design of cabins, things many guests might not even notice) and Viking's corporate culture, always welcoming and accommodating. It was great to have staff address me by name by the second or third day. Impressive! I especially appreciated the open table seating at meals, as it was a great opportunity to meet new guests every time we sat down for meals. And a little humble humor here, no other guest was "stuck" with me for a whole week! Viking River Cruises are a great way to travel with little worry about arrangements. From arrival greeting (at the airport and longboat), to shore excursions at each port, to not having to pack and unpack along the way, to Viking staff confirming my return air travel and providing easy transfer to my departing airport. On this trip, my favorite port was Passau, Germany. Just the right size bowl of porridge, not too big and not too small, to explore more in depth. An opportunity to self tour for a little deeper cultural immersion should one make the effort as I choose to do when I travel. I also enjoyed my extension in Prague, Czech Republic. Yes, I took the panoramic tour to familiarize myself, though my greatest pleasure was going off-line by myself, away from the crowds, the shops and the more touristy spots to engage with citizens of the Czech Republic on a deeper level. Amazing what you can discover this way! I'll not hesitate to recommend Viking River Cruises to all my friends whenever cruising comes up in conversation. Thanks, Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
the Ship was surprising in the layout, design and function; and the staff hands above those on the big cruise ships. The people make all the difference. The majority of the excursions where better then we had expected and several last ... Read More
the Ship was surprising in the layout, design and function; and the staff hands above those on the big cruise ships. The people make all the difference. The majority of the excursions where better then we had expected and several last minute opportunities turned out to be the HIGHLIGHT of all of them. The palace tour was way too hot and crowded in Vienna, and we skipped the Abby tour entirely because we simply were too tired to get off the boat. Traveling through the locks was amazing even for someone like me that works in maintenance facilities of a large power station. Their staff is beyond professional, they have dedication almost to a fault. the entertainment OFF ship and brought on board the ship (2 separate times) was likewise excellent, the family horse farm in Bavaria for the Biergarten were delightful - hell everyone on was. The pianist that provided the daily and evening entertainment was enjoyable but they could use a different schedule for each night; hearing the same tunes in the exact same order got to be somewhat laughable. The food was simply fantastic, and the service spot on. the only down side was the packaged air travel arrangements - they have no flexibility and they notify you far to late for you o make any effective changes. I use Delta almost exclusively for the air miles, yet they put me on swiss air, while our friends were put on Delta - when asked about changing even the seats we were simply told to take it up with the airline - which at the 6 week mark was sold out solid and we were basically told too bad. with those 2 exceptions - it was possibly the best vacation we have had.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Absolutely Amazing once again!!! This was my second river cruise and second time on the Viking Jarl. The ENTIRE crew on the Jarl are what helped make this another trip of a lifetime. Their commitment to customer service is outstanding. ... Read More
Absolutely Amazing once again!!! This was my second river cruise and second time on the Viking Jarl. The ENTIRE crew on the Jarl are what helped make this another trip of a lifetime. Their commitment to customer service is outstanding. Everything from the embarkment, dining, onboard activities, lounge, rooms, service and excursions were top notch. I had a couple days in a hotel in Budapest prior to embarkment and a day in a hotel in Bucharest after disembarkment. Everything was handled beautifully regarding airport pickup and transfers and the hotels were lovely. I highly recommend this amazing itinerary to those who want to see what the rest of Eastern Europe is like further down the Danube. FIVE COUNTRIES - Beautiful landscapes and amazing people. For those who are looking for castles and grandeur won't see the typical European display but there are so many other wonderful sights and sounds to see. The Iron Gate is breathtaking!! Lots of handcrafts, folk, and history will delight you on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I wanted to see the countries that used to be behind the Iron Curtain. The history was fascinating and the plight of the people was really sad. I learned so much. I loved returning to the comfort of our ship each day. The dining on board ... Read More
I wanted to see the countries that used to be behind the Iron Curtain. The history was fascinating and the plight of the people was really sad. I learned so much. I loved returning to the comfort of our ship each day. The dining on board was a highlight as was the conversation with other passengers. Finishing our cruise in Budapest was also a highlight. Our hotel was giro and the views at night were spectacular. Buds and Pest are beautiful cities. We had been here before but this was a special Tagore us. We extended our trip by adding a few days in Prague and we were so happy we did. What a spectacular city and the history was fancy. Our day trips there had knowledgeable guides, spectacular sites, and educational opportunities. Old town was a great place to shop and soak in the Stu. A highlight was a visit to the Mucha Museym. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our third river cruise with Viking. This was the one that best fit our schedule this year and we had not been to Eastern Europe before. The crew was top notch as always. Seemed to care for us even better than our last trip. Small ... Read More
This was our third river cruise with Viking. This was the one that best fit our schedule this year and we had not been to Eastern Europe before. The crew was top notch as always. Seemed to care for us even better than our last trip. Small bloody Mary’s and mimosas while on deck passing through natural beauty. Light appetizers in the lounge during happy hour. Wine and beer with lunch and dinner are welcome. Love the fact that it is a small ship and immerses you in the culture of the places you visit. Also like the fact that excursions are included at each stop. Optional tours are available at some stops. We did take the optional tour of Belfast which included a visit to a winery. We enjoyed the visits through the different countries and especially seeing how the different countries are in different stages of emerging from communism. It was also interesting to see the contrast in cleanliness as we traveled from Romania to Hungary. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Viking Jarl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 5.0

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