2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The 7-Day Romantic Danube Viking River Cruise was not so romantic and definitely not stress-free. DO NOT BOOK this Cruise itinerary between August and December as low river water levels hinder ships from sailing and reaching scheduled ... Read More
The 7-Day Romantic Danube Viking River Cruise was not so romantic and definitely not stress-free. DO NOT BOOK this Cruise itinerary between August and December as low river water levels hinder ships from sailing and reaching scheduled ports of call. Less than a week prior to our trip departure we received a notice from Viking advising us of the potential of low river levels and that there might be a risk of having to be bused to a port of call. We decided to make the best of the trip as we were super excited about cruising with Viking and our pre-cruise visit to Prague. After all, a company like Viking that touts luxury, is super pricey and is all about “exploring the world in comfort” wouldn’t disappoint, right? Well – this thought process proved to be naively unrealistic… Prague was fantastic as is the Viking staff. However, the cruise, unfortunately, was a complete disappointment to such an extent that the staff on our last night on the ship acknowledged the less than ideal experience. They advised that Viking Customer Service would be in touch to extend compensation. Over 75% of our sailing itinerary was not met and the “scenic cruising” experience promised never happened. We were relocated on to 3 different longships over the 7 day cruise and on the penultimate day the 5-hour bus ride from Vienna to Budapest, with a rest stop at a very dirty gas station, left us further deflated and with no real time to explore Budapest and with a 3am airport transfer. By the way – Regensburg, 1 of the 2 scheduled ports we did make it to was closed as everything is closed on Sundays in Germany. What we found out during our cruise and subsequently is that Viking had not completed a full Romantic Danube cruise itinerary and had been busing passengers since August from ship to ship (we sailed Nov 16-23 -Thanksgiving week). I would say that not disclosing this information is rather unethical and misleading, not to mention, highly disappointing to customers who saved and worked very hard to afford a trip like this. I contacted Viking customer service as Viking knowingly failed to fulfill and provide the experience and product sold to us. From our perspective, we feel completely misled. They took a calculated risk when they decided to not rebook or cancel this trip having months of these type of itinerary interruptions. To say that the customer service representative (Larry) I spoke with was patronizing and ultimately insulting, is an understatement. He proceeded to offer a percentage off a future cruise with Viking or a $250 cash refund per person for my husband and I - under the circumstances, I found the two options offered to be an intentional insult and brush off considering what we paid Viking for this trip. When I asked to speak with a supervisor, he placed me on hold for quite some time and when he came back on the line he explained that a supervisor would call me back but no sooner than 48-72 hours – it has bee well over 5 days since that call and we have not heard from anyone at Viking. I must say that we are very surprised and disappointed with Viking’s disposition under the circumstances. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise as a way to see Germany, Austria and Budapest without having to unpack and change hotels. Due to the water level, we had two ship swaps so we were on a total of three ships in 7 days. There was a great difference ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a way to see Germany, Austria and Budapest without having to unpack and change hotels. Due to the water level, we had two ship swaps so we were on a total of three ships in 7 days. There was a great difference between the crew on the three ships. The crew of the Hermod (which we spent our last night) was outstanding. The crew on the Var, which we spent our first few nights was what I expected. The crew on the Tor however was surly and unhappy. We had a waiter who was actually argumentative. I understand that the river level is not in the hands of Viking, however we had a bus driver that actually got lost while driving from Straubing to Krems causing us to be on the bus 45 minutes extra. (45 minutes may not seem like much time, but when your "cruise" is turned into a "bus tour" that extra 45 minutes is way too much) We had to choose between the scenic cruising in the Wachu Valley and the Abbey tour. Those that chose the scenic cruising were treated to a view of darkness as by the time the buses made it to the ship, it was dark as they sailed through the Valley. We chose the abbey tour. The abbey was beautiful and the sunset we were treated to was awesome. We would not have seen this if we were on our original schedule. When we returned to our ship after the abbey tour, it was very dark at the pier. Our tour guide instructed us to "just go around this building, down the steps to the path by the water and turn right at the path, and you will see your ship. This was NOT the case. She did NOT guide the group to the ship as she was too busy getting her tips. As we got to the steps, the path was chained off and no Viking Ship in sight. I had to run back and catch the tour guide so that she would find the ship for us. She was about to leave the group stranded on the pier. There were enrichment activities that are advertised, however we did not get to experience them because of the shortened time cruising. We were given a $500.00 future cruise credit for our "inconvenience". Not sure I would EVER cruise with Viking again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from a viking river cruise on Nov 9 2018. It was a huge disappointment from start to finish. Yes, we knew about the low water levels. But what we didn't expect was the poor way Viking handled the situation. We had 3 ... Read More
We just returned from a viking river cruise on Nov 9 2018. It was a huge disappointment from start to finish. Yes, we knew about the low water levels. But what we didn't expect was the poor way Viking handled the situation. We had 3 different ships on this trip. yes 3, which means we had to pack and unpack for each ship. We lost almost the whole day in Budapes t because of a lengthy bus ride. In fact, we spent more time on a bus than on the boat during the day. We never saw the Wachau Valley,it was totally dark and impossible to see anything by the time we actually left. We were misinformed, lied to, and kept in the dark about what was going on with the itinerary. The tour guides did not tell us accurate information about events in the towns we did get to go to. The food was OK . We were on a Holland America cruise in May and the food was much better. This washer first River Cruise.We have been on 8 other ocean cruises. This was by far the worst cruise experience that we have ever encountered. I would look at other lines and not make Viking your first choice. I did read other reviews like this before I left and thought to myself, really how bad can it be? Well I am here to tell you it was that bad. We felt cheated and taken advantage of by Viking Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into the Danube Motor Coach Bus Tour. Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known ... Read More
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into the Danube Motor Coach Bus Tour. Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, we were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg (an industrial port with cargo "scenery"), Regensburg and Vienna. We never experienced the beautiful river sites of the Wachau Valley, the Danube bend, or actually much of the Danube River at all. In 8 days of our river cruise, we actually cruised approximately 7 daylight hours and most of that was going through locks on the Danube Canal. However, we did experience a boat hotel/restaurant experience on three different ships--the Tor, the Vilhjalm and the Idun--having to unpack and repack our luggage several times and in time for very early bus departures to our next city. A few of the "highlights" of our bus tour included: Very little leisure time to explore Passau, Vienna or Budapest. A lunch of overdone pot roast and tater tots at a Melk hotel restaurant. We became experts in European bus companies and rest stops. A bus driver who didn’t know what exit to take to Roth and had to turn around and go back several miles to find our ship. Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. While waiting in the bus pickup area in Passau, my sister was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. She and her husband spent the evening in the emergency room in Straubing. We were supposed to be docked in Passau. The supposed sight of a bomb near the location of our designated ship in Budapest, The Viking Var. Only problem was, the bomb was removed in July, our cruise was in October! The staff of the Viking IDUN in Budapest was very distressed and over whelmed by a daily turnover of guests. I can understand their frustration at having to disembark and embark an entire shipload of guests every day. It’s no wonder that they didn’t seem very excited to see us! The staff said they have been docked in Budapest for over five months. Our tour director, George, was pretty good in the beginning of the cruise but even his good humor was wearing thin by the end of the cruise. He was the Viking representative on our cruise and he was forced to smile and try to convince us that everything was fine and the low water levels were extremely rare. Again, Viking has known for many months about the low river levels and chose not to notify their customers/passengers in a timely, honest manner. After some online research and talking with other Viking passengers, we have also learned that Viking consistently performs misleading advertising and unethical business practices. At this point AAA Travel and Viking River Cruise company have lost my trust to adequately and responsibly represent their travel products. P.S. It is now two weeks after I notified Viking River Cruise of my disappointing motor coach tour of the Danube River. Other than a generic response, nothing! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Because of a drought, water in the Danube was low and the ship was unable to sail to some of the places we were to visit. So, we were bused to those towns and then bused back to the ship. We did manage to sail from Nuremburg to Regensburg, ... Read More
Because of a drought, water in the Danube was low and the ship was unable to sail to some of the places we were to visit. So, we were bused to those towns and then bused back to the ship. We did manage to sail from Nuremburg to Regensburg, but then had to switch ships to one further down the river. That took an entire day. We had four beautiful hours sailing the Wachau Valley, but that was it! In the evening I thought we'd at least be able to view the river from our room, but NO because we were parked between two other boats. Before we left for our trip I'd heard that other cruise lines were giving their passengers the opportunity to cancel with a full refund. When I called Viking to check on our sailing they said everything was fine...no worries. Many of our extra excursions were cancelled. No apology from Viking, but they did give us a 25% voucher off our next sailing---FAT CHANCE! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Our first river cruise and it was certainly our LAST with Viking. Our trip started off on the wrong foot with awful flight arrangements by Viking on Air Canada. Our original flight was cancelled and it took over 3 hours and 2 re-bookings ... Read More
Our first river cruise and it was certainly our LAST with Viking. Our trip started off on the wrong foot with awful flight arrangements by Viking on Air Canada. Our original flight was cancelled and it took over 3 hours and 2 re-bookings to make new flight arrangements (first rebooking did not have enough time catching a connecting flight). Next, Viking staff was not at the airport to transfer us to the boat even though we provided the 800# and emailed the ship of our new flight arrangements. The trip turned into a river/bus trip due to Danube water levels. We had a ship swap - Viking Tor hands down a better experience than Viking Var. Var staff not as friendly and did not have enough staff. Food on both boats was average. Our flight arrangements home was another terrible experience again with Air Canada (Rouge). Overall we had a nice time and enjoyed our trip as we were with good friends and made the most of it. But the Viking customer experience was poor and we did not feel valued as customers. We will take our future business elsewhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I, along with friends, took a Viking Cruise on the Danube departing September 25th, 2015 from Nuremburg, Germany. It was planned to arrive in Budapest on October 1st. It did not. Our Viking Cruise was a total ... Read More
My wife and I, along with friends, took a Viking Cruise on the Danube departing September 25th, 2015 from Nuremburg, Germany. It was planned to arrive in Budapest on October 1st. It did not. Our Viking Cruise was a total disappointment, with a significant under delivery in overall customer experience due to: 1) the excessive use of bus transportation with “claimed” low waters in the Danube, 2) Viking’s lack of communication on this issue prior to our trip commencement and during its duration 3) a requirement to change ships (Viking Var/Tor) for the second half of the cruise, and 4) no completion of the trip in Budapest where we were promised an evening cruise to view this magnificent city by night. Viking well in advance of our departure knew of the low water levels. No option of canceling our trip was given. Here are the details. 1. We did not have a full and fulfilling River cruise, using bus transportation for the bulk of the trip to access towns and cities, including Passau, Melk and Budapest. Our cruise became the most expensive BUS trip we have ever experienced. The extent of our bus transportation reduced our time to experience these major cites to well below the quality that Viking committed to. One bus trip exceeded 4 hours. We even missed the first evening in Vienna and much more that was promised. 2. The extent of our river cruising on the Danube was approximately 90 minutes completing the Wachau Valley, disappointingly at the end of the day, in dark lighting. This was hardly the time to see this wonderful scenery, take great photos, and see the promised beauty of the rest of this leg of the river. This part of the cruise was promised to start at lunchtime. It did not. 3. Our trip was not completed. We did not finish our voyage with a promised evening River Cruise on the Danube in Budapest. Luckily, we had extended our trip, and purchased an evening cruise in Budapest with a local operator and experienced this magnificent city from the river, but incurred the additional cost. Viking could have figured out a way to deliver this end piece of the journey. We, as has many of our cruise colleagues have, informed Viking of our negative experiences with their Danube Viking Cruise, asking for refunds and credits. We have communicated via email to VP Customer Relations, Jason Pashko, Head of North America, and Torstein Hagen, CEO of Viking. We have heard no replies after requesting for personal phone calls to better describe our experience. We have been left with Customer Relations Case Managers who have offered us a 25% credit on a future trip. Consistent with Viking’s “divide and conquer” approach to customer complaints, they refuse requests for taking the issue to senior management, and have offered credits ranging from 20% to 35% on a future Viking Cruise for our cruise colleagues. This is ridiculous. Why would an organization the size of Viking offer differing compensation levels across customers on the same cruise, all experiencing the same shortfall in experience? How DISAPPOINTING!!!!!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I have traveled on several river cruises. The other three were pleasant. This one on the Danube was miserable. The staff were evasive and untruthful. The concierge was not to be found at all during the day, we found out that she was ... Read More
I have traveled on several river cruises. The other three were pleasant. This one on the Danube was miserable. The staff were evasive and untruthful. The concierge was not to be found at all during the day, we found out that she was conducting tours on land. Because of low water levels we had very little cruising. We had to change ships. Many days we were transported by bus. At one point six buses pulled up to one restroom facility where we had to pay to use the toilet. Unexcusable! When we were bused, our meals had two choices: meat or vegetarian. When I requested iced tea I was told I would have to pay extra. Is this Viking? I could have booked a bus tour for a third of the price. Laundry was paid for washing and pressing. Clothes came back damp and unironed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
We arrived in Budapest at about 9:00pm on a flight from Zurich. We had confirmed with Viking our time and method of arrival. Viking told us where to get a taxi, the approximate cost, and very specifically identified the location of the ... Read More
We arrived in Budapest at about 9:00pm on a flight from Zurich. We had confirmed with Viking our time and method of arrival. Viking told us where to get a taxi, the approximate cost, and very specifically identified the location of the ship. We reconfirmed all of this by phone before leaving. As you probably guessed, after dismissing the taxi, we discovered the ship was not where it was supposed to be. We wondered around in the dark of the Budapest docks until a very nice English speaking young man helped us find the ship and carry our bags to it. Once on the ship he had another surprise: no food. For those who have cruised before and expect having access to food basically any time, be aware that Viking serves a communal dinner from 6 pm to 9 pm meaning if you want a seat at dinner you must be there at 7 and you must leave at 9 when the kitchen closes. During the same period you can choose one of five never-changing choices at the bar (club sandwich, baked potato, etc.) There is no room service. It was possible to leave the ship to dine ashore, but only at a few destinations as the ship is mostly under way at dinner time. The TV ads and the online videos tout the sun deck where passengers may stroll and where the chief grows herbs and were there is a solar array for the hybrid engines. We saw several Viking ships along the route but never saw a solar panel and the few herbs that were there were strictly for show. More importantly, the sun deck closes for 4 days during the cruise because the ship barely clears the bridges even with the sun deck closed and disassembled. Not being able to go outside together with the ship being under way most of the time and the regimented communal eating schedule give the experience a very claustrophobic feel. We made the mistake of booking the most expensive stern suite, called the explorer suite or something. Do not make this mistake. The engine noise and vibration make sleeping difficult even with ear plugs. And the crew's off duty station is just above and being mostly eastern European the smoke a lot and the smoke fills the expensive Explorer suites. We wished we had rented a car and explored on our own. Read Less
Viking Tor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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