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: December 2017
I chose this river cruise so we could experience the Christmas Markets. The markets were individually different, colorful and enjoyable. I certainly had a nice variety of crafts to see and foods to taste in each market. I also learned the ... Read More
I chose this river cruise so we could experience the Christmas Markets. The markets were individually different, colorful and enjoyable. I certainly had a nice variety of crafts to see and foods to taste in each market. I also learned the best shopping was found in small shops surrounding the markets. I was disappointed with the lack of interesting and fresh seafood dishes on board the Jarl. One night the seafood choice was tilapia which we found very disappointing and a fish we would commonly only use in tacos, not a main course. We did enjoy trying local dishes daily and appreciated having nuts available. The only exercise available was a small walking track that was frequently unavailable due to its use as storage for walkways.. There were no hand weights or table games like ping pong. The included tours were worthwhile. If we had not been visiting the markets, I would have insisted on a more in-depth experience in several places including Vienna. There was a visit to Gottweib Castle/monastery where wine was made. The visit was aleast two hours, if not more, too long. We would have appreciated being taken to the cute little town to wander around. I enjoyed the trip and would not hesitate to take this trip again, in a different season, since I have now experienced the markets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Almost everything was the best. The MAJOR deficit was the bed and bedding. The bed mattress was the absolutely hardest I have ever had on any ship and the bedding was the worst! They provide a "comforter" that does not tuck into ... Read More
Almost everything was the best. The MAJOR deficit was the bed and bedding. The bed mattress was the absolutely hardest I have ever had on any ship and the bedding was the worst! They provide a "comforter" that does not tuck into the bed but sits on top of you! I, finally, got a blanket that we could tuck in and then the bedding worked. I have a hip socket and a pinched neck nerve that progressively got worse as each night passed. I will NEVER go on this type of ship in the future. Crew was exceptional other than the concierge, who was a matter of fact man who did not engage with anyone that I saw. Gave information and was simply there to do a job. Chef and food was exceptional, portions were small and wonderful. The Chef many times engaged with patrons and was fun. Special request that were not too crazy were accommodated. Cruise Director was great and funny. She kept patrons laughing and informed. In the past, we always had someone in each city come on board for entertainment, but Viking has done away with that for some reason. 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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Of all the excursions, Gottweig Abby was my favorite. It wasn't overrun with tourists and the views, people and nectarine products were amazing. It was so interesting to hear the history and see the beauty of this place. Although ... Read More
Of all the excursions, Gottweig Abby was my favorite. It wasn't overrun with tourists and the views, people and nectarine products were amazing. It was so interesting to hear the history and see the beauty of this place. Although we didn't spend as much time in port as I thought we would, the time cruising in the evening was usually very pretty and we had one afternoon with some great photo ops from the boat. One of the best things we did was break off from the tour group in Regensburg and Passau. We decided to do that after having no time to explore on our own in Vienna and IMHO the tour wasn't that interesting. The service was generally good, as well as the food. I don't drink which is unusual I know, but the lounge staff stopped asking me what I wanted to drink about 2 days in when I didn't order anything alcoholic :-/ I have to say our room steward made up for that by being amazing! She was friendly and gave us great service and great tips about going on shore ... it was like having our own concierge! We handed her a huge tip just for her we would not have like the trip half as much without her. While I would not make this particular trip again, I am considering a river cruise in France since so many of the other passengers recommended the cruise that goes to Normandy. TIP: If you want to explore Budapest you HAVE to get the extension. Otherwise you get a bus tour with 2 very quick stops. And the Budapest currency, the florint, is not needed. Everyone excepts Euros and almost everyone accepts US dollars. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I chose Viking for the service, and that part was certainly not a disappointment. You are treated like royalty, and I like being a princess even if it is just for seven days. The service is even better than on Holland ocean cruises that I ... Read More
I chose Viking for the service, and that part was certainly not a disappointment. You are treated like royalty, and I like being a princess even if it is just for seven days. The service is even better than on Holland ocean cruises that I have taken, and that's saying something. The wine flows and if you are not careful, your glass is never empty, which can make next morning's tour a challenge. The food is like first class airline food. It's good, but nothing to rave about. The desserts and breads, in particular, seem to have been refrigerated. Clearly, there is no baking on board. But the view is lovely and, as I said before, the service is amazing. A hint: No matter who books your airline, allow at least two hours to change planes if you go through Charles DE Gaulle. (And I hear that Heathrow and the airport in Amsterdam are the same.) Added security slows down movement from one terminal to another SIGNIFICANTLY. People are flipping out as the lines are so long and move so slowly. An hour and 20 min just to get through the passport check line is typical. And the distance between gates and terminals is huge at CDG. (Think run down a terminal, stand in line for over an hour, run through another terminal, get on an elevator, get on a bus, run down another terminal. That's typical. If you cannot run, allow four hours or request a wheelchair.) The booking agents assure you that you will be fine with 90 min between gates. NO SO. Save yourself the anxiety and insist on more time to make the change at any major airport in Europe. Security is a good thing. Lying to people about how long it take is not good. Otherwise, the trip was marvelous. BTW: Do this trip from Nuremburg to Budapest. In Nuremberg, the ship is docked in an industrial area in Erlanger. Your view there is a crane and a concrete plant. Would be a bummer of a way to end a cruise. In Budapest, your last view is an evening cruise on the Danube as all the historic buildings in Budapest are lit up like Christmas. It is a glorious sight. That's the final memory you want. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First ever river cruise and so pleased we chose Viking. Airport transfers very smooth. Service was excellent, it was like a luxury hotel. All the staff were extremely pleasant, efficient and happy in their work - makes a holiday so ... Read More
First ever river cruise and so pleased we chose Viking. Airport transfers very smooth. Service was excellent, it was like a luxury hotel. All the staff were extremely pleasant, efficient and happy in their work - makes a holiday so much better. Shore excursions were arranged efficiently, local guides being very good and nearly always had time ashore to do our own thing. Programme Director, Lee, was extremely helpful and ensured we were all in the right place at the right time, explaining everything to us the night before. Food was outstanding, some of the best I have experienced. Staterooms immaculate, very comfortable bed and restocked with bottled water and toiletries every day. On board entertainment was varied and good. Only one criticism - we couldn't use the sun deck when sailing for the last 2.5 days owing to low bridges, such a shame when the sun was out. Romantic Danube highly recommended! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
We had heard wonderful things about Viking. My Aunt wanted to do a river cruise to finish out her bucket list for her 96th birthday so we researched and chose Viking. A family group jumped at the chance to join her for this trip. We ... Read More
We had heard wonderful things about Viking. My Aunt wanted to do a river cruise to finish out her bucket list for her 96th birthday so we researched and chose Viking. A family group jumped at the chance to join her for this trip. We chose the Romantic Danube. Had to drive from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to take advantage of their fare offerings, which were actually very reasonable. We were on Air France (really Delta) and were able to upgrade to comfort plus for $198 round trip. We thought it worth the price. The embarkation was seamless - we were picked up from the airport in a very timely manner, loaded up on a very comfortable big tour bus and taken to the ship where check-in was a breeze. The service of all staff members was impeccable from the room maid Anita, to the bartenders and the dining room wait staff. Special thanks to Sarah and Victor who treated us like family. We mostly went on the included shore excursions which were very interesting with well trained guides. Evening entertainment was provided by the staff and while it was simple we did have fun. The ship layout encourages meeting and socializing with other guests, but you are not forced to if that's not your thing. All six of us pretty much agreed that the only stop we weren't crazy about was our last stop of Nuremberg. Budapest, Vienna, Krems, Passau and Regensburg were all delightful. Unfortunately, the only negative came when it was time to go to the Nuremberg airport. We were dropped off with all our luggage several blocks away from where we were to check in. The guide said she would bring baggage carts for us but after waiting quite a while we dragged our bags as best we could and found her inside chatting with guests. The airport was quite difficult to negotiate - which is not the fault of Viking, but it might be best for them to find a different final city as their final destination. When you have people in their 60s to 90s and a bunch of heavy luggage, it leaves a bad taste to not be able to get any assistance. If I could I would give it about a 4.5 but this doesn't allow that option. We would definitely use Viking again, on a different trip like the Rhine or Elbe or Douro. I would not recommend this cruise for children at all, and think many younger folks - twentysomethings - might find it lacking in social opportunities. The main age group seemed to be late 40's to early 70's with a scattering at either end of that spectrum. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our tenth river cruise, our seventh with Viking. We chose this cruise as we had not sailed east of Budapest previously. We visited new countries and learned about life behind the Iron Curtain. As usual the service was great ... Read More
This was our tenth river cruise, our seventh with Viking. We chose this cruise as we had not sailed east of Budapest previously. We visited new countries and learned about life behind the Iron Curtain. As usual the service was great onboard the longship. Our cabin was a veranda stateroom. We took advantage of the veranda to watch the lights of Budapest as we set sail long after dark. These views were among the cruise highlights. Another highlight was the home visit in Croatia where we learned of her hardships during the fighting with Serbia. We visited many beautiful orthodox churches. This trip incorporated more "country life" than others that concentrated more on the bigger cities. We visited small villages as well as an equestrian center. Our only problems came at the hotel in Bucharest for our final night. Eventually things got squared away but the service did not match that onboard the Viking Jarl. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Service on board was great. Crew was wonderful. They really seemed to care about you and that you had a good time. Warm and genuine. Food was first class. They didn't skimp on anything. Wine flowed freely at all times. Everything on ... Read More
Service on board was great. Crew was wonderful. They really seemed to care about you and that you had a good time. Warm and genuine. Food was first class. They didn't skimp on anything. Wine flowed freely at all times. Everything on the ship was wonderful and loved it! Shore excursions were interesting and didn't feel the need to pay for extra excursions. Cabin was very comfortable and more spacious than expected. Would like to see more recreation facilities on board. Small gym or workout space. Our complaints are with Viking when you're not on the ship. Viking Air service is horrible. Impossible to talk to them. Really fell down on that part. Read the marketing stuff carefully - not exactly untrue, but doesn't give the full details either. And Viking needs to quit the stupid practice of publishing their rates as double and then saying 2 for 1. It's dumb and insulting. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Everything went smoothly and as planned despite the lower water level. They handled the ship swap brilliantly. The cruise director was great and always on top of everything. The ships are beautiful, good service, good food and wine ... Read More
Everything went smoothly and as planned despite the lower water level. They handled the ship swap brilliantly. The cruise director was great and always on top of everything. The ships are beautiful, good service, good food and wine and the local guides were delightful. I enjoyed going through the locks on the Romantic Danube itinerary and each port of call had several options to different interests. I can't praise Viking enough for the wonderful experience. If I were to do anything different would be to go earlier in the fall so that I could enjoy more time at the outdoor areas of the ship. But I did spent time at the lounge with it's beautiful and comfortable furnishings, enjoying a cup of coffee and letting the marvelous scenery passing by. The city tours were great and a pleasure to have the audio boxes so we could all hear the guide even at some distance. 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

Find a Viking Jarl Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise