Sail Date: November 2017
We chose Viking because we had already travelled with Viking on the Rhine Getaway cruise and knew the high standards of service, wonderful food, personal attention and the beautiful excursions with well thought out highlights of each port. ... Read More
We chose Viking because we had already travelled with Viking on the Rhine Getaway cruise and knew the high standards of service, wonderful food, personal attention and the beautiful excursions with well thought out highlights of each port. Viking always gives that little bit more that makes them FIVE STARS when it comes to value and quality! The itinerary was fabulous especially the concert in Vienna! The Christmas markets were amazing and Budapest was just breathtakingly magical. We highly recommend the Romantic Danube Cruise. The memories that we have of this time will always be some of the best of our travel experiences. Our cabin was always clean, the service superior and the staff always accommodating and helpful. As mentioned before FIVE STARS! We would definitely recommend this cruise to our friends and family. Viking is very organized, superior in customer service , they go out of their way to make sure your cruise experience is the best that it can be. Just wonderful! Viking is top notch! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
A European river cruise has always been on our" bucket list". When the opportunity to book it with friends arose, we did not hesitate. From start to finish, everything went ultra smoothly. The ship, the cabin and the remarkable ... Read More
A European river cruise has always been on our" bucket list". When the opportunity to book it with friends arose, we did not hesitate. From start to finish, everything went ultra smoothly. The ship, the cabin and the remarkable crew, the incredible food and service were exemplary. The ports and the excursions were a truly unique experience-so up close, informative and personal. I would not hesitate to "jump on board" again. We felt as though we were truly "royalty"! I have never experienced a group of people who were there to wait on us but yet felt as if they became friends, taking care of our every whim and need. I have recommended, to anyone who will listen to me, that they definitely experience this most wonderful adventure for themselves. If something could be done to make the weather perfect every day, it would indeed make the voyage even more positively wonderful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The cruise was advertised as the Romantic Danube. It was neither. First, we were anticipating enjoying the Danube River. Only one day was devoted to cruising the Danube. All other days were spent in port, because the cruising was done ... Read More
The cruise was advertised as the Romantic Danube. It was neither. First, we were anticipating enjoying the Danube River. Only one day was devoted to cruising the Danube. All other days were spent in port, because the cruising was done at night while it was both dark and/or we were sleeping. We didn't see much of the Blue Danube. We had booked the rear stateroom at a higher price so we could have a 180 degree view or the river and its shorelines. What we got was a 180 degree view of ports, which after several hours becomes rather boring. Some days we sat aboard the ship for five hours with nothing to do. Second, romance includes at least intimate dinners with one's spouse. The tour advertised open seating for dining. The picture we had was choosing to be by ourselves. Well, first, there were no two person tables. The smallest number was sic persons. The dining room seated 180, the number of people on the cruise. No separate seating when every seat is occupied. (By the way, I have a solution to this, in case Viking is interested.) Finally, there were few programs during the evening hours. A disappointment. They could do better. On the positive side, the personnel were awesome and we loved our stateroom. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise for places we visited. We have never been on this part of the world and for us it was spectacular. The cabin was as expected but comfortable. The food was superb. The crew is what made it for us. We could not be ... Read More
We chose this cruise for places we visited. We have never been on this part of the world and for us it was spectacular. The cabin was as expected but comfortable. The food was superb. The crew is what made it for us. We could not be happier with all the people who worked on the boat. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The shore excursions, for the most part were informative and enjoyable. However, the tour of Vienna was very disappointing, and the bus tours were not good at all. We wanted to take in as much as possible in the ports we visited. For the most part we were able to do that except for Vienna. After a major disappointing foot tour, we were limited to how much time we had to enjoy the city. Having said all that, we would take the same cruise again. We are looking forward to our next cruise. We and our friends are planning going on a cruise to Holland and Switzerland. Viking of course. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We liked the itinerary. Starting in Nuremberg and ending in Budapest allowed us to have a good experience on the Danube and visit several towns. Viking is very well run. The staff was excellent; the ship was clean and efficient; the ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. Starting in Nuremberg and ending in Budapest allowed us to have a good experience on the Danube and visit several towns. Viking is very well run. The staff was excellent; the ship was clean and efficient; the food was good; and the tours were well organized. I would have rated the cruise "Excellent" but for a couple of small items. First, unlike some other cruise ships, Viking or at least the Jarl did not have bikes available. There were days when we would have enjoyed biking along the river or from one town to another. Second, we thought the food was well prepared and good, but it did not bowl us over. Good not excellent. We are not complaining; for a ship of 200 people, the staff did a fine job and the food was consistently good. Its just that we were rarely "wowed" by the food. There was some "sameness" to the breakfast and lunches on board and I would preferred a couple of nights with a little extra special touch to the dinner. Partly, we may have been affected by the weather. It was a tad chilly and some days it rained, so that limited our ability to use the upper deck or other outside areas. Even with the dampness, we enjoyed the cruise. I want to repeat that we thought the staff was excellent. Everyone was friendly and wanted to be helpful. They displayed a great deal of training and good management. And the ship was very clean, showing again excellent management of the ship and its staff. The cruise was a well-oiled operation. We would consider taking another Viking cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. The room was adequately sized and appointed. It was the Viking Jarl. The dining was excellent as I stated above. Roger and Jahz were fabulous. The were very attentive and knew what we needed before we did. They made the trip. Also, Neli kept our room clean and neat. We visited Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau, Germany. At each port we took the walking tour and learned the history of each city. We also too the Nuremberg Jewish tour and learned of the trials of the Nazi war criminals. In Passau we visited a horse farm and a lovely beer festival. We look forward to our next trip and it will be on Viking as they have the best overall package we have found between the ships, personnel, cities visited and service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We noticed the Viking long boats on prior trips to Hungary and Germany and thought it may be an easy way to journey without continual packing and unpacking. It certainly was much more than that. From the pre-cruise stay in Budapest and ... Read More
We noticed the Viking long boats on prior trips to Hungary and Germany and thought it may be an easy way to journey without continual packing and unpacking. It certainly was much more than that. From the pre-cruise stay in Budapest and post cruise days in Prague, Viking made our journey easy and enjoyable. Airport transfers were welcoming and efficient. The Jarl staff was always attentive and gave us worthwhile suggestions along the way. Dining was superb with wonderful choices and serving portions. The house wines suited the meal offerings and were adequately poured. Our waiters Jezz and Roger quickly learned our preferences and anticipated our needs. The stateroom attendant, Donia(?) was efficient and more than helpful with some special needs. He appeared and vanished as if by magic. The local guides on our excursions spoke fabulous English and were informed on the sites we visited. Most offered their own insights on their lives growing up in Europe and in Communist Europe now democratic relating the difficulties of both eras and the transition period. There are numerous locks on the cruise. We suggest watching the entire process of the lock journey with such a long boat. One afternoon, we watched as the Jarl entered the lock and then waited as a sister ship came along side without a bump. The space between is a foot or two. Just amazing to witness. See Europe the easy way! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We Choose viking due to the power of adverts !! It was our 40 wedding anniversary so it was a special trip for us. And it certainly fulfilled my expectations and more. From the moment we were met at the airport everything was beautifully ... Read More
We Choose viking due to the power of adverts !! It was our 40 wedding anniversary so it was a special trip for us. And it certainly fulfilled my expectations and more. From the moment we were met at the airport everything was beautifully organised .We started in amazing ,beautiful Budepest and travelled through to our final destination of Nuremberg.Every stop we we were greeted by very professional guides who were all very knowledgeable but also had lots of amusing anecdotes to entertain us.Food on board was very good quality, good selection to suit all .The staff were all brilliant,so friendly and very accommodating ,we haven't forgotten Connie and Jayson ,lovely couple .The cabins were small but very comfortable ,we only need a comfy bed and clean bathroom ,and it was spotless ,thank you .We really hope very much to do another trip with you next year ,we've been told that Viking is the very best ,and we really have to agree .Thank you to all the wonderful staff who made us feel so special . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
I was searching for a memorable way to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday, and a cruise on the Romantic Danube fit the bill. We started by arriving in Budapest two days before check in date. We loved Budapest and it became one of ... Read More
I was searching for a memorable way to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday, and a cruise on the Romantic Danube fit the bill. We started by arriving in Budapest two days before check in date. We loved Budapest and it became one of our favorite European cities. The buildings were amazing and the people were very friendly and helpful. The cruise itself far exceeded our expectations. The Viking Jarl is a beautiful ship, our stateroom was very nice, and the staff was great. The food was delicious and the ports of call and shore excursions were all exceptional. The only glitch in our first river cruise came complements of Mother Nature. The water level was too low for the ship to sail to Nuremberg, so most of the passengers were bussed to the city and then back to the ship in Regensburg. About eight of us who had early flights the next morning remained in Nuremberg where we were placed in a hotel. We were given vouchers for dinner that evening in the hotel, and the next morning we were all given box lunches and transportation to the airport for our flights. My wife and I have made several ocean cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We hope to do more river cruising, and we look forward to doing it with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Trying to get 16 people to book a European vacation is like herding kittens...almost impossible but we did and it was incredible. Because the dates coincided with our 40th wedding anniversary, we decided to make the trip extra special by ... Read More
Trying to get 16 people to book a European vacation is like herding kittens...almost impossible but we did and it was incredible. Because the dates coincided with our 40th wedding anniversary, we decided to make the trip extra special by renewing our wedding vows. I wasn't able to confirm our desire to do this prior to our sail but was told to contact the hotel manager when we were on board. Joerg Grosmann went out of his was to make this occasion very special for us. They had never had this type of request and both the Captain and Mr. Grosmann participated in the ceremony. Our Maitre D', Dragan Radojcic, had the chef prepare a small wedding cake, champagne for our group, snacks and a bar were set up. They even had a beautiful wedding bouquet for me. We did not expect the details they went to and were so honored by the entire staff's thoughtfulness. Even our room attendant scattered rose petals and had a special towel arrangement. We had the best wait staff every meal and the food was exceptional. The excursions were well thought out and provided so many beautiful and historical places to visit. You can see pictures on various web sites but once you are there in person, it takes on an entirely different perspective. Every stop was enjoyable and experiencing the lock system is something you don't want to miss. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was one of our "trip of a lifetime" dream vacations. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery and castles along the Danube. We also wanted to enjoy guided tours through the old cities that are featured on the Nuremberg to ... Read More
This was one of our "trip of a lifetime" dream vacations. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery and castles along the Danube. We also wanted to enjoy guided tours through the old cities that are featured on the Nuremberg to Budapest cruise. The local guides on the guided tours were very interesting and knowledgeable. We enjoyed learning about the history of each city that we visited. When travelling through the Wachau Valley, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny morning for this section of the cruise and we were able to enjoy the view from the open top deck on the ship. The on-board entertainment was great - there was a good variety of entertainment and we had lots of fun. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. The dining room staff always made sure we were given personal attention. I would highly recommend the Nuremberg to Budapest cruise on the Viking Jarl. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Needed to get away, paired with a major price discount and a desire to Visit Budapest again, plus an opportunity to visit Prague. This was my 4th river cruise, my first on Viking. The ship was great, the service okay, but the ... Read More
Needed to get away, paired with a major price discount and a desire to Visit Budapest again, plus an opportunity to visit Prague. This was my 4th river cruise, my first on Viking. The ship was great, the service okay, but the entertainment was horrible. The sole act, a pianist, was rescued only by a passenger who had professional singing experience. The included shore excursions were the standard walking or wine tasting variety and mostly okay. The nicer excursions, however, were quite expensive and included some that were free on an identical Vantage cruise. I'm used to river cruises being more all-inclusive and felt that Viking was working very hard to squeeze every possible nickel out of the passengers. The wine was good but did not flow as freely as on any of my other river cruises. As a retiree who goes on many cruises, I will probably go on Viking again but will be very careful to manage the total cost. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
My wife and I have made many trips to Europe. Previously when we travelled, we prepared our own itinerary, made our own arrangements, carried our own luggage, etc. A few years ago, we decided to spoil our selves and took two land (bus) ... Read More
My wife and I have made many trips to Europe. Previously when we travelled, we prepared our own itinerary, made our own arrangements, carried our own luggage, etc. A few years ago, we decided to spoil our selves and took two land (bus) tours, which made things easier, but we still had to pack each night to be able to move to the next hotel on the following day. Further, we spent the good part of the day travelling from place to place. This year we decided to try a river boat cruise, and heard great things about Viking. We were not disappointed. In fact, everything about our experience exceeded our expectations. The included airfare was a bargain. The ground transportation provided on our tour of Slovenia, from Slovenia to Budapest (to start the cruise), and from Nuremberg to Prague at the end of the cruise was all first rate (note there were only 2 hotel to hotel transfers, which on a 3 week adventure is entirely tolerable). The river boat experience was incredible. It was like taking our first class hotel with us on our travels. My wife and I have food allergies that were accommodated without a problem. The food variety and preparation was excellent. All of the personnel were pleasant, helpful, and efficient. Tours and shore excursions were informative - highlighting the important with enough detail to make it interesting - even exciting, and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. We are looking forward to make another tours with Viking in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We went on this particular cruise because the dates worked with everyone's schedule. We traveled with our two adult children and their spouses. Theses dates for the Danube trip were the only ones that worked for all of us. It was a ... Read More
We went on this particular cruise because the dates worked with everyone's schedule. We traveled with our two adult children and their spouses. Theses dates for the Danube trip were the only ones that worked for all of us. It was a fun family trip. We enjoyed the entire ship Jarl. The public space is wonderful. The deck is so nice to sit and watch the spectacular scenery go by. The ship and staff were fabulous as always. We were especially impressed with our dining staff. Because we were a group of six and wanted to sit together for each meal, we choose the same table in the dining room. Jahzz, Jayson, and Connie were the wait staff and the three of them made our trip even more special! They were outstanding in their service and are awesome people!! We really connected with them and they made meals very entertaining for us. The ports and shore excursions were awesome too. It is so great to see other cities and cultures. We loved each city for what there was to offer. We would definitely go on another Viking River Cruises. We've been on the Viking ships Idi and Heimdahl in the past. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
First time to these countries, free airfare was offered, and the timing fit within our calendar. Like the convenience of booking everything with Viking, so everything is taken care of. Some of the excursions were a bit slow for us. I am ... Read More
First time to these countries, free airfare was offered, and the timing fit within our calendar. Like the convenience of booking everything with Viking, so everything is taken care of. Some of the excursions were a bit slow for us. I am not one who wants to see a new country/city from a motor coach. I'm not that old yet. When we have more time for vacations, we will definitely consider extending our trip. More time in Budapest was definitely needed, too much of the tour was via motor coach. Food and service are outstanding. The crew bends over backwards to make your vacation an unforgettable experience. The beer and wine provided at meals is a wonderful touch, and one we greatly appreciate. We have already booked our next Viking Vacation. Trying an ocean cruise this time, and are traveling with friends this time. Look forward to checking out Asia. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my first cruise. My daughter and I started on the Viking ATLA in Nurnberg, Germany on June 18 2018. The cruise took us to Nurnberg, Danube Canal, Reggensburg, Salzburg. Everything was lovely on this ship. We had to change ships ... Read More
This was my first cruise. My daughter and I started on the Viking ATLA in Nurnberg, Germany on June 18 2018. The cruise took us to Nurnberg, Danube Canal, Reggensburg, Salzburg. Everything was lovely on this ship. We had to change ships because of the low river level. The whole process was amazing and I was so impressed with how everything was handled. The cruise director Maya is a machine...TOP NOTCH. I was fortunate to finish out my cruise on the JARL. The crew made the remaining of our cruise awesome. We rejoined them in Linz and we were all greeted with lovely cocktails and hors devours. The dining staff Robert and his twin Robert took such good care of my daughter and I and beautiful Szilvia who worked in the dining room and the lounge. These three were THE BEST!!! The food was delicious, the cities we visited were beautiful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was not what we expected from the advertising. Very structured. Often the included excursions were basically narrated bus rides (we were on buses so much that my husband and I came up with the condition "bus butt.") ... Read More
This cruise was not what we expected from the advertising. Very structured. Often the included excursions were basically narrated bus rides (we were on buses so much that my husband and I came up with the condition "bus butt.") that simply drove by famous sites giving a glimpse from afar (example: golden Strauss statue used in ads-- it was pointed out to us from about 500 yards away as we drove down a main street of Vienna.) We chose to stay on the boat in Nuremberg rather than sit on a bus. A highlight of each excursion was being dropped by the most prominent local church. We were very disappointed at the "free time," which was often an hour or less. The best experience we had was a Mozart/Strauss concert in Vienna, which we had to purchase as an add-on, and since we reserved it before the trip because we were warned it might sell out (scare tactic!),they would not allow us to use the $400 or so we had on our account (we had already paid every cent for the cruise and air) and had to charge it to our credit card. I felt that was very tacky. We knew there was a possibility of water levels making it necessary to pack up and switch boats--which happened on our trip--but a Viking official told us it was very common. The food was the worst cruise food I have ever had--it was very salty at times, and the steak both my husband and I had one night was poor quality--tough and full of gristle. Only cookies were available outside of mealtimes. The wines served at both lunch and dinner, however, were very good. Dining staff couldn't have been better...superb.The tour guides ranged from excellent to so-so...it was the luck of the draw. All seemed to hate the communists but one seemed to have a soft spot for Hitler. I can't say enough good things about the staff on both boats--excellent! About the sulfur--you can't avoid it. If you're sensitive to it, you're probably going to be sick (happened to my husband). Getting from the airport to the boat and back was very efficient...Viking does an excellent job in this area. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Our VRC was absolutely wonderful. The pre-trip to Prague was fabulous, and we wish we would have also added Budapest post trip. The tours were fantastic, and loved Prague by night! All of the Viking employees were professional, ... Read More
Our VRC was absolutely wonderful. The pre-trip to Prague was fabulous, and we wish we would have also added Budapest post trip. The tours were fantastic, and loved Prague by night! All of the Viking employees were professional, friendly, and accomplished. Our ship Jarl, Captain, and crew were first rate. We really loved the crew, Cruise Director Suzy, and activities. Embarkation was so easy, and the ship was beautiful and clean. Services provided on the boat were fast and efficient, and frankly, they practically provided it before we even had to ask! Our State Room attendant Erica was awesome and kept our quarters spotless. Dining was fabulous and we really enjoyed the local meals that were served. Our servers Victor Yap, and Sarah Bitonio Yap were fantastic! Our wine sommelier, Dragon, gave us great suggestions for wine with our meals! We celebrated our wedding anniversary on the cruise and the crew brought us a cake at dinner! The Bar Staff, especially Valentine, were so welcoming, remembered our names, and proved excellent service. We really enjoyed learning about our destinations and the activities on the boat were fun and entertaining. Loved it when we were cruising down the Danube and our Cruise Director Suzy was narrating the scenery and giving us history to go with it! We took advantage of the sun deck and walked the track to try and keep the pounds off! Port and Shore excursions were great. We didn't attend all, but loved the city tours and especially loved the Bavarian Beer Fest we attended on June 14th. It was fascinating going through the 24 or so Locks and commend our Captain on flawless execution! We loved Krems and Gottweig Abbey along with all of the other locations (Nuremberg, Passau), and especially loved Budapest. As I stated before, I wish we had added the post tour of Budapest. There just wasn't enough time there! We will certainly consider another Viking Journey...I am looking at Portugal/Spain, or maybe the Rhein! It was absolutely the trip of a lifetime, and now you have ruined us for life with the wonderful Viking experience! It will be hard to top this wonderful adventure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have never been on a river cruise. Loved the scenery, smooth sailing and even the locks. My daughter went with me and we had an absolute great time!!! Were with a small group and made friends immediately. I thought the tours were very ... Read More
I have never been on a river cruise. Loved the scenery, smooth sailing and even the locks. My daughter went with me and we had an absolute great time!!! Were with a small group and made friends immediately. I thought the tours were very informative and learned a great deal of history. Only wish we could have had more free time in many of the cities. Optional Munich tour was small and our guide was very knowledgeable. Vienna was wonderful and so was the Gottleibe Abbey. Also went to Salzburg (optional) beautiful. Not nearly enough time to explore on our own. Long bus ride and not enough time. Stayed in Budapest 2 extra days and explored on our own. Enjoyed but is not someplace I would return .Service was EXCELLENT both in dining room and cabin steward. Everyone was extremely friendly and ready to help. By the end of the trip (sad) we were toured out. Lots of good info and history was provided. Didn't want to leave our boat. Can't wait to go on another cruise with Viking!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
We went with Viking because we enjoyed a previous cruise so much. It met all expectations plus. This must be how the one per centers live! Looking forward to another Viking cruise in 2018. Embarkation/disembarkation was very smooth and ... Read More
We went with Viking because we enjoyed a previous cruise so much. It met all expectations plus. This must be how the one per centers live! Looking forward to another Viking cruise in 2018. Embarkation/disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. We did a land tour the first half of our cruise, Berlin to Nuremberg. The sights and history were outstanding. I have been to most of those places before, yet Viking showed me many new things. The tour guides throughout the trip were first class...they knew their stuff. Finally, the meals and service was outstanding. I could not have asked for more. We had a variety of dishes to choose from and as much as you wanted. If it wasn't on the menu, ask? They might have it! Our evening meal turned into a lively discussion with fellow guests. This was one of the highlights of the trip. We were so impressed, we came home and immediately signed-on another Viking Cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because we had been on an ocean cruise and wanted to try something smaller, low key, more personalized with a renowned cruise line, which Viking is! We chose this specific cruise because of the itinerary and the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on an ocean cruise and wanted to try something smaller, low key, more personalized with a renowned cruise line, which Viking is! We chose this specific cruise because of the itinerary and the locations we would be visiting. We met the nicest people on board and ended up spending the majority of our time with 4 different couples each from a different state. We all just clicked and it was a first time river cruise for all of us. On a larger ocean cruise with other cruise lines, there would be 4,000 people and more with not much chance of being able to get to know people like we did on this small cruise. The staff was outstanding!!! They all worked so hard to make our trip unforgettable! The waiters was fantastic! We usually sat at the same table for meals and we really got to know the waiters. We had some dietary restrictions and they were extremely accommodating, even coming to me each day to give me the menu and ask what I would like and they would make it gluten free!! They were so funny, charming and always remembered all of our names!! The shore excursions were perfect. We learned so much about the history of where we were. We loved sitting on the top deck locking out over the beautiful green countryside and hills, with all of the beautiful quaint homes, big churches and castles as we rode down the river. Another great experience were the many lock we went through! That was our first time experiencing those and it was fascinating to see how they worked. We highly recommend a river cruise with Viking! It was one of our top vacations ever! Looking forward to doing it again sometime in the near future! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise with two other couples who we had done a :"Portraits of Southern France" Viking Cruise with two years ago. We were interested in the ports and had had a great Viking experience two years ago. First off - ... Read More
We chose this cruise with two other couples who we had done a :"Portraits of Southern France" Viking Cruise with two years ago. We were interested in the ports and had had a great Viking experience two years ago. First off - the on-board crew could not have been more service oriented. From the Captain who was always welcoming and friendly to every waitstaff and housekeeper - they were great!! The food was generally good - some great meals - two mediocre. The ship was clean. However we were disappointed in several aspects of our trip: -We needed to pack and change ships midway through the cruise because of a water level problem the previous week. This altered our itinerary so we could accommodate the transfers. -In Vienna and Budapest - Viking docks ships 3 deep side by side. It makes it tough to enjoy one's balcony when copied up agains someone else's balcony on a different ship. - We took a $200 per person optional excursion To Salzburg. Don't do it! Two hours on a bus, a rest stop at Mc Donald's, a 45 minute rushed city tour, a little free time, mystery meat for lunch (about 80 minutes) and 45 minutes more free time. The "tour" should have been more extensive - castle, cathedral etc. Absolutely the worst excursion I have taken on any cruise ship at any time! -The included Vienna City tour was also precursors in nature. Also, all of the guides recommended spending an extra few hours in town rather than lunching on the ship (great idea) so everyone was forced to either cab it back, walk back or use public transportation. Viking should have provided buses to bring us back later in the afternoon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I must preface this review with the fact that this was my first river cruise. I have taken several ocean cruises, and therefore; my review will be somewhat biased because of the comparisons. My husband and I decided to take this type of ... Read More
I must preface this review with the fact that this was my first river cruise. I have taken several ocean cruises, and therefore; my review will be somewhat biased because of the comparisons. My husband and I decided to take this type of cruise because we had heard many good things about cruising on a small ship on the river. It seemed that it would be a unique experience and an intimate way to explore Europe. We were required to pay in full almost a year prior to our sailing date. After many months, information from the Viking office began to be received via e-mail. We were traveling with two other couples. We all wanted to extend our trip in Prague and continued to wait for information to arrive regarding booking that extension. By the time anything was published, the Prague extension was completely booked and our only option was Berlin. We were the only six people to extend in Berlin. We made several phone calls to Viking regarding excursions and were assured that a Viking representative would be at our disposal during our extra days once we arrived. That was not true. On the last day of our extension a representative finally appeared, totally unprepared. He had no transportation arranged for us to get to our destination so walked for hours in the rain and cold before we arrived at the destination. He bought our entrance tickets, told us how to catch a public bus back to the hotel (which was incorrect), and said good-bye. We paid a good amount of money for this extension and were disappointed at the disorganization on Viking's end of things. Our hotel was nice and had an amazing breakfast, but our money was not well spent. The actual Viking guide came in on the day that all the other Viking guests arrived. The icing on the cake was later on the ship while talking with other passengers, we discovered that those who booked full balcony cabins were offered the extensions when they initially booked the cruise. The six of us had only booked French balcony cabins. It makes a difference. When the confirmation information finally began arriving regarding our travel arrangements, the two other couples were ticketed immediately and were able to upgrade their airline seats. We tried to upgrade ours as well and were told that our tickets had not been issued so Delta could not upgrade our seats. I called Viking and inquired why our tickets had not been issued, especially since we had paid for them months in advance. All we got was that they had a wide window in which to issue the tickets and we could have a "early" issue if we wanted to pay a fee and risk huge monetary penalties if there were any changes to the tickets at all. I asked for an e-mail to be sent notifying us when the tickets were issued so we could pursue our upgraded seats for a 10 hour flight. "They said they would not do that. After weeks of continual checking the tickets were finally issued and the better upgrades were already sold. After reviewing our air itinerary, I had concerns about the short amount of time for transfer in Amsterdam. I voiced my concerns to Delta and they said it was not enough time for the transfer. When I voiced my concerns to Viking, they assured me 90 minutes was plenty of time. It was not! There was no one in Amsterdam to explain the process of going through immigration, the lines were unbelievable, my fitbit told me that it was one mile from our arrival gate to our departure gate, they only reason we made the connection at all, was an immigration employee finally came and took the passengers with short connections out of the line and to the immigration check point and then we ran the rest of the way. It was a nightmare. Going to our destination we were allowed two carry on bags and one checked bag. Coming back was a different story KLM (the connecting flight from Budapest to Amsterdam would not allow two carry on bags. We were not told it would be different coming back than going over. We were forced to check our carry-ons and, of course, there was breakage of special purchases. I was impress4ed with Delta Airlines. They were nice, attentive, had a good selection of entertainment, and we did not go hungry. We enjoyed all of the included excursions during our trip. Viking had purchased new listening devices for the passengers and that was a nightmare. The technology was not good and the guides were not well trained with the new devices. Many of them did not work and it took a day or so to get replacements. We paid $200 per person for a special excursion to Salzburg, Vienna, which I was very much looking forward to. As it turned out, my listening device did not work, there were no replacements, and the guides solution was to stay close to her during our tour. She was very soft-spoken, we were outside with all the traffic and people noises and I heard nothing. When I returned to the ship I told the cruise director I has very unhappy after having paid a lot of money for that tour and hearing none of the information because their device failed. I asked for some kind of compensation and was given a cheap box of candy. Something else that I learned during this cruise is that they are very weather driven. One of the selling points of river cruising is being on the upper deck to see the beauty of the scenery as you sail by. If it's raining and cold, that is not a viable option. If the water is too high, the boats cannot sail and have had to cancel tours completely. We were lucky and managed to make the sailing. If you cannot be out to see the scenery, there is nothing to do on these boats. They had a few "special" talks, one piano player, a small dance floor, and, if you are a drinker, plenty of booze that you pay for. I spent my "spare" time watching reruns of Downton Abby. If you take the included excursions, don't expect to do much shopping. There just isn't enough time allowed. In fact, although they build in free time in each excursion, if you want to get something to eat and hope to explore on your own, good luck. On our particular cruise, the most shopping time we got was our last day in Budapest. We had to be up and off the ship by 3:30 am the next morning to go the airport for our return trip. The on-board restaurant staff and cabin staff were wonderful. They were friendly, accommodating, and worked very hard. The dinner meals were very good. Breakfast and lunch was mediocre. However, the Viking corporate offices and their policies were extremely disappointing and I will never do business with them again. Read Less
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 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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