2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We'd been wanting to do a river cruise in Europe and as a travel agent I relied on expert advice from other agents plus clients I had been sending. Everyone recommended Viking over other brands. It was high time we went. I organized a ... Read More
We'd been wanting to do a river cruise in Europe and as a travel agent I relied on expert advice from other agents plus clients I had been sending. Everyone recommended Viking over other brands. It was high time we went. I organized a group and 26 of us from the Pacific Northwest and cruised the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg. The embarkation was simply walk-on and show them your passport then to your room just down the hall. We entering our well-appointed, compact french balcony were we'd spend seven nights. The first Budapest night we cruised the city at night and it was fabulous. Overnighting there was easy with a tour the next day. I wished for more time in Budapest. The ship was so easy to get around and we appreciated the light Scandinavian decor. The staff was excellent and George, the cruise director, was amongst the best. He was everywhere doing everything. It looked exhausting. The food was outstanding and we appreciated the flavors, combination of items, using fresh herbs from the top deck garden and the portions were not overwhelming like on other cruise lines. The desserts actually tasted as good as they looked which isn't always the case. Having complimentary local wines and beers is a plus. Of course, the included excursions in each port is a real plus and each guide except one in Vienna was exceptional. This trip was a 10 and I can't wait to book the next one. We purchased a few extra excursions that were reasonably priced and worth every penny. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We sailed from Budapest to Passau, Germany. We have done many ocean cruises, but this was only our second river cruise, and our first with Viking. We chose the smallest stateroom, assuming we wouldn't be there very much. It turned ... Read More
We sailed from Budapest to Passau, Germany. We have done many ocean cruises, but this was only our second river cruise, and our first with Viking. We chose the smallest stateroom, assuming we wouldn't be there very much. It turned out that, for some reason, the room was very, very noisy. We lost one night of sleep, the first night, due to the noise. When we complained (at about midnight, when we tried to go to sleep) we were told that it would be looked into the next day, and that another room had the same problem. In my opinion, it should have been looked into right away, as we did lose a night of sleep. However, the next day the hotel managers (Rita and Oliver) spent a good deal of time looking into it, and ended up moving us (as well as the others with the same problem) to another room. No compensation for the lost night of sleep, other than a room upgrade since they couldn't fix the problem. In general, for any future Viking cruise, I will chose a room with a veranda, just for the little bit of extra room (it was too chilly to use the veranda on this cruise). Still, the Standard room, while it has just porthole windows, would have been OK (except for the noise, which we don't believe is the case in all standard staterooms). The next category room has no veranda, is the same size, but has a full floor-to-ceiling window. The room with a veranda has an actual veranda that you can sit on, plus a bit extra space in the room. All rooms are nicely appointed, clean and comfortable. In our new room, the wifi didn't work. In the old room, and other rooms that we were aware of, the wifi did work. We asked about it, and they said nothing could be done. Well, it was wifi or sleep, and I preferred to be able to sleep. Wifi was a little spotty, but given that we were sailing on a river, that's understandable. The onboard entertainment was wonderful and great fun. George, the activities manager, was wonderful.Be sure to read your daily brochure to make sure you know of all the demonstrations and activities, there's lots to do. The standard tours were also good and great fun. It was always easy to take the standard tour, and then spend more time in the location and get ourselves back to the ship (usually by walking). The ports were fine, not in bad areas. The Vienna port was the hardest to get to on one's own, it required a subway ride and a bit of a walk. The optional concert in Vienna (at extra cost) was a highlight. The food was excellent. The maître d' knew that I'm vegetarian, and checked with me every day to make sure the listed vegetarian choices were good for me. When I wasn't that thrilled with the listed choice (it was a lot of the same), he had the chef make something special just for me! After a couple of days, I just told him to "surprise me", and he always presented me with something great. Outstanding service from the maître d! He was also extremely friendly and helpful in many ways (found our luggage for us on the last day when we couldn't find it!). The waiters in the breakfast room could have been better at bringing around coffee, other than that the service from the waiters was fine to excellent. Some waiters were more fun and willing to go the extra mile than others. Housekeeping (cleaning the cabins) was excellent. Embarking was fine, the port in Budapest was easy to find and in a nice location. Disembarking in Passau, was kind of ugly. We had to move from the dock we stayed at during the day we had in Passau. That port was fine, and easily reached by walking. We had to move to some port near (not in) Passau, overnight, to disembark the next day. That port was in an industrial area, remote, really ugly, and I doubt near any public transportation. We had hired a local driver for further travels beyond Passau, and he had trouble finding it! I'm glad we got on at Budapest and not Passau. We will definitely cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our third year going on Viking Cruise during the holidays, once again this did not disappoint. We had booked a Veranda Suite for us and French Balcony for our adult children. Pre Cruise: We choose the extension in Cologne ... Read More
This was our third year going on Viking Cruise during the holidays, once again this did not disappoint. We had booked a Veranda Suite for us and French Balcony for our adult children. Pre Cruise: We choose the extension in Cologne which was at the Hilton. It was an outstanding stay, great location and nice hotel. Easy walk to all the XMAS markets. We met the ship after a bus ride from Cologne to Frankfort with an excellent transfer. Rooms were excellent, we really enjoyed the Veranda Suite which afforded us a place to meet as a family. Viking now had breakfast room service which we loved. Our room had a tough time connecting to the internet while the french balcony had easy access. I need to say that in Berlin there was the attack on the Xmas Markets, We feel Viking addressed our concerns. Wurzburg had a great tour of the Wurzburg residence and gardens . Enjoyed very much. The residence was closed to the general public but Viking had access. Heidelberg was not new to us but enjoyed seeing the markets in full swing So many towns and castles, the cruise did take interested people to midnight mass in Werthiem. And Viking made 'many adjustments in the schedule due to the Xmas holiday. I did notice there was more time spent on a bus then our previous cruises. I think it is the nature of being on the Main River. The guides and bus drivers were all excellent. Limited Entertainment, but this is a river cruise. Some people reported they had an excellent triva game each night but we did not go to it. Xmas dinner had crab and lobster which was an excellent meal. Over all the dining experience was good, we have learned to scope out the best waiters and stay in that area. We had a post stay in Prague which I did not enjoy as much a Cologne since the city was too crowded and the Hilton was not upto Hilton standards. Overall great time. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My daughter and I just returned from a wonderful week visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany on the Viking Long ship, Var. After a little blip in air travel plans with Air Canada connections delayed to Toronto, we enjoyed what I would ... Read More
My daughter and I just returned from a wonderful week visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany on the Viking Long ship, Var. After a little blip in air travel plans with Air Canada connections delayed to Toronto, we enjoyed what I would say was a perfect experience. A call to the Viking hotline when we realized we were going to miss our transatlantic connection in Canada, resulted in a very quick response and rebooking to United to include a cab ride from Washington National to Dulles International. The rest of the flight was uneventful and we were happy to see the friendly Viking Cruise representative who met us in Nuremburg and encouraged us to relax after our long flight and to let Viking take care of everything from this point forward. She was right, Viking is extremely organized, we were able to settle in and not worry about another thing for the entire week. The Var is a beautiful ship, accommodating 180 passengers. We had a stateroom with balcony that felt roomy. The bathroom included heated floors and a strong shower (important to me). The complimentary shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash were of good quality so it’s not necessary to bring your own. A blow dryer was provided as well. Dress on the boat is relatively casual, even at night. I probably over packed. It’s winter in Germany so comfortable walking boots are essential for the cobblestone sidewalks as well as a warm coat, hat and gloves. Bring Euros for the markets and for tipping the guides, other larger stores and restaurants will accept credit cards. Each day we were in a different port that included a morning tour and then free time to explore the town and markets. We always had time to eat a good breakfast on the ship, either the standard American buffet with made to order eggs or a more European breakfast on the Aquavit deck that my daughter and I enjoyed. Most days we had lunch at the markets, sampling the different wursts and local treats. Every market provided a warm drink for about 3 Euros with a 3 Euro deposit if you wanted to keep the commemorative mug that was unique to each town and fun to collect. Stops included: Nuremburg-the largest market and famous for their wurst on a fresh roll and local mustard (to die for). The Christmas crafts were amazing! We bought little wooden ornaments. We were told that vendors are required to let buyers know if the items are not made in Germany so customers can feel confident that they are buying locally made products. The morning tour included a bus ride through the town with stops at the Nazi rally points and the Nuremburg castle. That night on the ship and every night we had a coordination meeting with our program director, Dan, who laid out the next day plans, introduced the ship officers and answered questions. I have to say that I have been on many large cruise ships but the more manageable ship size of river cruising is refreshing. It was nice to get to know the staff and other passengers more intimately. Dan was the most involved program director that I have ever seen. He accompanied us on all excursions, working hard to insure that everyone’s needs were completely fulfilled. Although the ship offers a full bar, most evenings we were offered complimentary champange, cordials or schnapps. Dinners were elegantly presented and tasty with an eye towards healthy eating. Portions were on the small size but adequate. I was looking forward to experiencing more regional cooking. Meals offered were somewhat traditional and included such things as Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand, Sea Bass and Scallops. Vegetarian choices were always an option. There was one German night that satisfied my need for German food and to improve the mood, we were serenaded by local musicians. Every night wine and beer was offered. We kept hearing about the local vineyards so I was surprised that the wine choices were from other countries, mostly Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc. Highlights from other ports included: Bamburg- charming medieval town. It is the home of smoked beer and a wonderful hot apple cider called “Apple Pie” which came highly recommended from our young tour guide. In Wurzburg we toured the elaborate palace in the morning and then were bused to the perfectly preserved town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Viking provided lunch at a traditional gasthaus called Glocke that included potato soup, bratwurst, mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut with apple strudel for dessert. It was so nice to come in from the cold to enjoy such a regional meal and what a pleasant surprise from Viking. Other points of interest in Rothenburg include the schnapps distillery, complete with tasting room. The tour guide suggested the raspberry and pear, although there were many flavors to sample. The original and largest Kathe Wohlfahrt store is located in this town as well as a large Steiff toy store. In the market we enjoyed hot chocolate with amaretto and another commemorative mug, yummm! Wertheim is a small town that has a small town community feel. The Christmas market includes a little renaissance fair complete with sword fights and medieval characters. Wertheim is known for glassblowing. Earlier in the day, Viking invited one of the more famous artisans to provide demonstrations on the ship. This day we spent more time cruising and were able to enjoy the scenery and to experience, during daylight, a few of the 31 locks negotiated during the cruise, which usually occurred during evening hours. The next morning we docked in Frankfurt and traveled to Heidelberg where we again visited the castle and took a walking tour of the town. Lunch was on our own so we had another opportunity to sample local cuisine and enjoy another Christmas Market. We returned late that evening expecting to pack and prepare for the next days departure, when one of our shipmates reported that the Frankfurt Christmas Market was in walking distance to the ship. They felt it was one of the best markets with a great vibe. Unfortunately, it was about this time that we were hearing reports of the Berlin terrorist attack and decided to stay on the ship. I would suggest saving some time and energy for the Frankfurt market for future travelers, sounds like we missed a good one. All in all, I can’t thank Viking enough for making this week enjoyable and stress free. It was such a treat to have had quality time with my daughter. For everyone considering a river cruise and waiting to hear what it’s like, I say go for it! Christmas is a magical time in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
What my husband and I loved the most was the atmosphere. It was sophisticated but at the same time, comfortable and welcoming. No kids onboard! Don't get me wrong, we love kids, we just don't want to travel with them! Actually, I ... Read More
What my husband and I loved the most was the atmosphere. It was sophisticated but at the same time, comfortable and welcoming. No kids onboard! Don't get me wrong, we love kids, we just don't want to travel with them! Actually, I don't see kids being a good fit for this type of cruise. This is an adult cruise where people can enjoy simple things in life like, the scenery, the views, good food, good wine, good conversations. Food was elaborated and delicious, well sized portions too. At night, after dinner, we gathered at the bar to listen to nice piano music and to dance. The crew was very polite and friendly, always caring for each person on board. Tours were well planned and well paced. Proper equipment was provided when visiting the different touristic sites. We were given enough time to visit all markets on our own. This was our first Viking river cruise and for sure, it was the first of many more to come. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
We have always wanted to go and experience the the German Christmas markets during the holidays. Many of our friends had told us Viking cruises were amazing, so we selected this Christmas Market cruise and it totally exceeded our ... Read More
We have always wanted to go and experience the the German Christmas markets during the holidays. Many of our friends had told us Viking cruises were amazing, so we selected this Christmas Market cruise and it totally exceeded our expectations. From the size of the cabin, the room amenities and the heated floor in the bathroom, to the fantastic staff who took care of us we couldn't have been treated any better. All our meals were absolutely wonderful with lots of choices and the wait staff had great recommendations when we couldn't decide and they made sure our wine glasses were always full! The Christmas markets were great fun and we loved walking through the towns and market stalls. Exploring each city/town to find the best local place to eat for lunch was always a daily goal and we succeeded. I'm sure we missed some other great places. We'll just have to go again. We are already booked for our next river cruise, this time to Normandy. Can't wait! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We had 4 couples travel together we a pre cruise in Prague. This was my 5th Viking cruise and knew what to expect. From the pickup at the Prague airport to the drop off at the Frankfurt airport, everything went smooth and no issues. The ... Read More
We had 4 couples travel together we a pre cruise in Prague. This was my 5th Viking cruise and knew what to expect. From the pickup at the Prague airport to the drop off at the Frankfurt airport, everything went smooth and no issues. The Prague Hilton where Viking had us stay is in the outskirts of Old Town but we didn't mind because we enjoyed walking around Prague every day. We opted for the Terazin day trip which was well worth the extra money, the guide was very knowledgeable and we had lunch in an exceptional Czech micro brewery. We were bused from Prague to Nuremberg and made it with time to unpack, have a drink and enjoy dinner. The following morning we had a bus trip around Nuremberg, saw the Zeppelin field, courthouse and the Castle on the hill. There was plenty of time for lunch, Christmas Market shopping and get a bus back to the ship in the afternoon. Once again we had a very knowledgeable guide, I think Viking had outstanding ones on this trip, at each stop they were funny, knowledgeable and communicated well. The next day was Bamburg, a short bus ride to town, a very witty and funny guide, who was a student took us around, the boat sailed at 1:15 PM so it gave us some time to shop around and sample the smokey dark beer that only Bamburg offers. I wish we had another hour or two here. The next day was filled with plenty of activities, first stop was Wurzburg Residenz, a walking tour with another great guide, then a bus trip to Rothenburg, a brief tour then 3 hours to spend exploring this picturesque town, a bus trip back to the ship, then a Taste of Germany buffet with local beer and wine. This dinner is outstanding and we all enjoyed it. The next day we cruised all morning, had a glass blowing demonstration, and arrived in Wertheim at 2:00 PM.The glass blower is very interesting, tells good stories and it is not to be missed.There is a small train that picks you up and drives you into the small town, we opted out of the train and guide, walked in ourselves, and hiked up to the castle on the hill.This is not to be missed, it is 2 euros to get in and you are on your own, plenty to explore up there. After our climb , we had beers in town and walked back to the ship. We cruise most of the night and were supposed to arrive in Frankfurt at 10 AM, there was heavy traffic on the river. At 11:00 AM we departed the boat and were bused to Heidelberg, you could have stayed on and gone to Frankfurt. This was my 3rd time to Heidelberg so when we arrived at the castle, we walked down the steps to downtown, did some shopping and had lunch too We were bused back to the boat in Frankfurt, had dinner on the ship and walked 3 blocks to the Christmas Market and explored Frankfurt. Our luggage had to be out the next day at 5 AM, with 6:15 AM bus ride to the airport. Viking stepped it up with the guides in each town, all were outstanding, spoke well and had great personalities. The wine selection was different each night, all were very good, and the food was very good to excellent. Out of 8 of us, 2 with dietary restrictions, we did not complain once or have a bad meal. The Maitre De on the boat came around to our 2 travelers at breakfast every morning, went over the lunch and dinner selection and made sure they were able to get what they wanted, both were gluten free and one was dairy free. There was a piano player-singer every day named Sylvia, she had a beautiful voice and played the piano very well. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We sailed from Budapest to Nurenberg for an eight day Romantic Danube river cruise. At no fault to Viking, we had a last minute flight change due to the Lufthansa pilot strike so we arrived to the ship a few hours later than expected. ... Read More
We sailed from Budapest to Nurenberg for an eight day Romantic Danube river cruise. At no fault to Viking, we had a last minute flight change due to the Lufthansa pilot strike so we arrived to the ship a few hours later than expected. We enjoyed all aspects of our trip. The food and associated service was excellent. There are many food choices at lunch and dinner and there is always good vegetarian meals available. There is always coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water available during off meal hours as a help yourself machine is just outside the lounge along with great pastries. The included city tours were very good, and Viking describes the amount of walking for those less able. There are some city tours that offer a less rigorous option for those than need that. Each evening the cruise director will explain the time schedule for the following day, plus there is a printed schedule with some history about the port destination in your room. Know that this is very different than an Caribbean cruise ship, it's quieter, more personalized service, less waiting for entry and exit on the ship and for food and drink. To some it could be boring as you watch the land sail by but we found it very relaxing once we adjusted to this experience. The locks were interesting to go through and this is usually the only time you lose the wifi. My only disappointment was in Budapest where we did not have enough time to see the great city but just know like any cruise any destination is enough to give you a sample of the city so you can decide if you would return and Budapest is one great city. For the first time river cruise people, here are some suggestions. Wear a watch, Viking tours are prompt. Meeting at nine is exactly that. If you are five minutes late the bus or tour group usually is gone. Make a copy of your passport in case the real one gets lost. Pack a change of clothes and toothbrush in your carry on. It's a long flight to Europe. Pack an outfit or two in your cabin mates suitcase( and visa versa) in case any luggage gets lost, it could make it to the ship with a delay. If you can afford it, upgrade your flights seat to the larger leg room seats for better comfort. Look into the travel cube by sharper image, can find in the luggage section at TJ maxx or on Amazon. Great way to organize your clothes, and easy pack and unpack in case your ship gets changed due to low/high water. Bring a deck of cards, book, knitting if you enjoy that type of entertainment as you sail down the river. It's very relaxing but some people may need additional stimulation to avoid boredom. Viking provides hairdryer, soap, shampoo, conditioner. ( umbrellas also) No need to pack these items. Have some items of clothing for layering, a vest, windbreaker to allow being flexible based on the weather. The ship was warm but Germany was chilly for the Christmas markets. Do a few additional tours, I found the last few days when we had free time after the free city tour , I was shopped out and should have spent more educational time. Viking does a nice job coordinating the trips. For the city tour day, bring the charged whisper boxes ( headsets in chargers in your room). Each day you will sync it with the tour guide and walk along with your headset so you can hear the tour guide. Exchange money at the airport so you have tip money. You don't have much free time each day, why spend it in a bank. Some banks are not open on the weekend. Before you go, Tell your credit card company you are going out of country. Consider spending a day or two in advance so you can see the city of origin or departure. Viking can arrange it. Have fun, meet new friends and enjoy the new places. Plus please consider tipping those that routinely served you, this is usually done in person on the last evening at sea at dinner. We tipped our room steward and two of our dinner waiters the equivalent of $30 ( in euros) for their service. It makes a big difference to these people's lives. The routine tips can be added to your cabin charge at the end of your stay also. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
My mom and I went on the Romantic Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg, Germany. I won this trip at work and we chose this sailing because the Christmas Markets start to open at this time and the weather wouldn't be as cold. ... Read More
My mom and I went on the Romantic Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg, Germany. I won this trip at work and we chose this sailing because the Christmas Markets start to open at this time and the weather wouldn't be as cold. We were blessed with wonderful weather on the week over Thanksgiving. We had a French Balcony on the second level which was great and kept us water level which we loved since we could lay in bed with the balcony door open and watch all the sights go by. Embarkation was smooth and the staff was wonderful and professional. Disembarkation was smooth as well, everything is explained and they arranged a cab for us to the airport as well. The food was fabulous, tours and extra excursions were great and the crew fabulous. We cannot wait for our next trip!! It is worth the money with food, tours and service you get. The Christmas Markets were great by the way!! They were not available yet at every stop but they could get a little repetitive anyway. If you can spend a few days in Budapest I would high;y recommend that as well. We stayed at the Sofitel Budapest which put us in walking distance to the ship boarding dock. : ) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
The cruise was great, service was wonderful and so was the food. This was my second Viking cruise and the staff couldn't have been nicer and more helpful. Everything went smoothly from the time we were picked up from the airport ... Read More
The cruise was great, service was wonderful and so was the food. This was my second Viking cruise and the staff couldn't have been nicer and more helpful. Everything went smoothly from the time we were picked up from the airport until the day we left. There was an excellent choice of foods at all times and our waiter was great. I loved our daily excursions and that for some of them, they considered the people who couldn't walk as fast and put them in their own group. All of the guides were knowledgeable and personable. The only disappointment we felt was with the Salzburg excursion. It spoke of the Sound of Music but we never stopped to see the mountains, we drove past them so fast and ended up mainly in the shopping area. Other than that, all of the other excursions were great as well as the cruise. Hopefully we will be scheduling another one in the near future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We did the Romantic Danube from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary from 10/28 to 11/4/2016 (our first river cruise). The pre-trip in Prague, Czech Republic and post-trip in Budapest were well worth the money, especially the choice of ... Read More
We did the Romantic Danube from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary from 10/28 to 11/4/2016 (our first river cruise). The pre-trip in Prague, Czech Republic and post-trip in Budapest were well worth the money, especially the choice of hotels which were outstanding! The transfer from and to international airports were efficient and trouble free. The age group on this sailing was 30 to 80+. The younger group engaged the older ones after dinner in the lounge. There was a constant mix of getting to know each other. Best of all, was the staff on the Var from the captain to the cleaning staff - Outstanding!!. George, the Program Director and a very talented singer, went above and beyond to make sure everyone was taken care of. Stan, the concierge was always available with any questions; taking care of everyone needs with a lovely smile! The serving staff were most pleasant, especially Peter and Cazmir (spelling?).The tour guides and bus drivers were all excellent. The dining experience from breakfast to dinner, light snacks, etc. was A+!! The ship was more than we expected! All the latest comforts, even heated bathroom floors! The bus ride from Prague to the port in Germany was outstanding at this time of the year. So appreciated the fall colors and beautiful country side. Luckily, the Danube was high enough throughout the cruise, without out any offloading to another port, but if we had not, I am sure it would have been an experience to remember pleasantly due the staff on this ship - the VAR!! The included tours, plus the optional Wachu Valley to the Abbey tour were outstanding as was the Vienna Mozart concert tour! After such a fun, perfect cruise, afraid to take another river cruise as it will be hard set to live up to experience we had on the Var. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise for the places and the price. We really enjoyed this trip so much that we were delighted and eager to return. Delicious food, amazing staff, A1 service, really recommend. The tour of the Danube river is simply ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the places and the price. We really enjoyed this trip so much that we were delighted and eager to return. Delicious food, amazing staff, A1 service, really recommend. The tour of the Danube river is simply wonderful, the freshness of the air indescribable, each place with a different history, small towns with a fantastic architecture full of culture and progress. From the moment of our arrival to Nuremberg we were met by a Viking employee with incredible kindness, from there we forgot our luggage, they even took care of leaving them in our cabin. Everything we were offered in the catalog we had and more. Our extended days in Hungary was a sensational, a hotel with an eye-catching view, all very friendly Viking employees who said goodbye when all the luggage was checked in at the airport and we were ready to board. I can only say thank you Viking for the excellent trip we had and see you in a new destination. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
This would have been a five-star rating had we not had to switch ships. The possibility of such a switch needs to be brought to the forefront of discussions when booking with Viking. It appears to be quite common certain times of year, ... Read More
This would have been a five-star rating had we not had to switch ships. The possibility of such a switch needs to be brought to the forefront of discussions when booking with Viking. It appears to be quite common certain times of year, which should be cleary addressed. My wife has M.S. and this switch was difficult for hew, flying in the face of our choosing this mode of transportation (so we could unpack ONCE and have the conveniences and lack of hassle this offers). Especially for someone who is ill. Transparency is always the best policy. Too, we booked an offshore musical evening in Vienna for our 25th Anniversary that day. It was not what we expected. We thought we were to see an actual, local concert of some quality. Imagine, you're in Vienna! Instead, we were treated to a few singers on a small stage, more akin to Carnival Cruise Line production of off-season workers from your local theme park. Ouch! Really, otherwise, the trip was exceptional. But these issues really ave us considering whether we will travel on another. Being in communications, I know you want honest feedback to improve services. Sincerely, Keith Hoerner Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We had taken the Normandy cruise and wanted to go on another one. The Danube cruise offered several places we wanted to visit. The staff, food, accommodations, and tours were wonderful. I don't think there was one thing I would ... Read More
We had taken the Normandy cruise and wanted to go on another one. The Danube cruise offered several places we wanted to visit. The staff, food, accommodations, and tours were wonderful. I don't think there was one thing I would change. The shore excursions were interesting and not at all strenuous for us. We had plenty of time to explore on our own. Shopping in most places was blah, but that was expected. The food on the boat was excellent. We had a variety of dishes for each meal. We liked having the option of a less formal meal in another part of the boat (can't think of the name). The Bavarian dinner was lots of fun and delicious. Our servers were very generous with wine and beer. Visiting with the servers and other staff was interesting. The Salzburg excursion was lovely. We enjoyed seeing this charming town and the scenery on the way was beautiful. Having a balcony allowed us to relax, read and watch he world go by in our own private area. It was heavenly! We are already signed up to go on the Rhone cruise next Sept. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We looked at various river cruise options and providers and found Viking to have one of the highest ratings for overall cruise experience. The was our first cruise, of any type, and our first trip to Europe. From start to finish Viking ... Read More
We looked at various river cruise options and providers and found Viking to have one of the highest ratings for overall cruise experience. The was our first cruise, of any type, and our first trip to Europe. From start to finish Viking took care of everything from airline reservations, airport transfers, letting us know what to expect once we arrived at our Ship and our daily activities, Viking went above and beyond our expectations. Our cabin was available when we arrived, the Viking crew was always friendly and helpful. Every question we had was answered with a smile and an offer of any assistance we needed. The staff in the Main Dining room were excellent. Our wine glasses were never empty and the food was AMAZING. The daily tours were very informative and we enjoyed the local guides and their insight to the beautiful cities we visited. We will recommend Viking without hesitation and look forward to our next Viking Adventure! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Boss had sailed this trip and loved it. From the very moment we landed at Budapest, the Viking team took outstanding care and attention to detail. They were careful to give personalized care to every passenger. I never felt confused about ... Read More
Boss had sailed this trip and loved it. From the very moment we landed at Budapest, the Viking team took outstanding care and attention to detail. They were careful to give personalized care to every passenger. I never felt confused about what was happening or where I needed to be at what time. ALL staff from the activity leader, the room attendant, everyone was friendly and helpful. I was totally spoiled. The food was phenomenal, the room was very roomy and clean. Details of the room with the storage, view, beauty and toiletries were outstanding. I loved the tours and excursions. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. The entertainment on the ship was very enjoyable. I particularly liked the demonstration to make apple strudel and I made it for our bible study this week. It was a great hit. I also liked the night of the music trivia contest. So much fun, we plan to cruise again with Viking in 2018. I liked being on a river with so much scenery even during down times. The dining staff was particularly excellent Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I had been interested in a river cruse for some time as it seemed more intimate with an opportunity to see more destinations of interest. Friends of ours signed up so we decided to make the leap and go. We were very pleased with ... Read More
I had been interested in a river cruse for some time as it seemed more intimate with an opportunity to see more destinations of interest. Friends of ours signed up so we decided to make the leap and go. We were very pleased with every aspect of the cruse and it lived up to it's billing. One thing the company can't control is the weather and we had spectacular weather the whole time which put it over the top. Starting with making air arrangements departing from Erlangen Viking was helpful and I always there. Once you arrive at your destination airport and make contact with your Viking representative until you get to the ticket counter for your departure you don't have to take care of anything. The food was first class and you always had choices. If you wanted something special all you had to do was ask and the staff would do what they could to take care of it. The excursions were in general very well planned and entertaining as well as educational. There is some history which you have to have to understand what you visiting and why it was important. The guides were very knowledgeable however they didn't try to impress only to explain and point out points and things of interest. One thing that was evident with most of our guides was they were happy to show off their towns/cities and seemed to really appreciate have us there. All in all a great rip and I want to look into the next level which would be the cruse on the Mediterranean with Viking however the size of the river cruse is hard to beat. Nice people and great service. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Chose Viking based on repeated commercials and reviews showing Viking as a first class cruise line. Chose the Danube cruise based on dates and interest in finishing in Germany. Viking was great, from the initial call, the booking ... Read More
Chose Viking based on repeated commercials and reviews showing Viking as a first class cruise line. Chose the Danube cruise based on dates and interest in finishing in Germany. Viking was great, from the initial call, the booking process, great customer service. The boat was very clean, well appointed,crew spoke english and was very friendly. Food was good (not excellent) but plentiful and well presented. If you like cocktails and better wines the Silver Package is the way to go- well worth the extra charge. Tours were good (some better than others, usually based on the individual guide) and very effecient on time. Couple mishaps on a Salzburg tour left those that paid for it, disgruntled- but overall very nicely done. Less than 170 passengers allows you to socialize with almost everyone on board. We met some people that we'll stay in touch with and some that we just enjoyed chatting with. No one was a "jerk". We'll definitely do another one! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Ship was great, though wi-fi in stateroom was poor. Food was excellent. Most shore excursions were good. Felt ripped off by day trip to Salzburg: Paid extra, then due to river traffic delays (locks), we arrived to port an hour late, ... Read More
Ship was great, though wi-fi in stateroom was poor. Food was excellent. Most shore excursions were good. Felt ripped off by day trip to Salzburg: Paid extra, then due to river traffic delays (locks), we arrived to port an hour late, then hit traffic due to highway construction. We detoured through a city which took even longer. Then we stopped at a roadside oasis for a bio break even though there was a toilet on the coach. Got to Salzburg and the local guides couldn't get the headsets to work so we had to strain to hear through the rushed tour. Lunch was then late, and then it was a coach ride back to the ship. Whilst we assured that "something would be done," we've heard nothing. Friend we met on board said they got £300 in vouchers. Tours in Budapest were great. Evening concert in Vienna was excellent. End point in Nürnberg was well out of town. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We decided this Viking Cruise would be an excellent venue for celebrating 50 years of marriage. We also added a 2-day pre-extension in Budapest to the beginning of our cruise. From the moment we landed in Hungary, Viking staff assisted ... Read More
We decided this Viking Cruise would be an excellent venue for celebrating 50 years of marriage. We also added a 2-day pre-extension in Budapest to the beginning of our cruise. From the moment we landed in Hungary, Viking staff assisted and guided our travels deftly. During our stay at the Budapest Hilton, Viking staff informed us of daily excursions and were helpful in making dinner reservations in the area. Once aboard the Viking Var, the crew and staff from the Captain to the Cabin Steward were eager to communicate how we could optimize our time in each port. The meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) were superb in every venue on the ship. We were astonished that by the second day of our trip wait staff and servers not only knew us by name; but also recollected our cocktail of choice! Every one throughout the dining experience was attentive to every person at our tables, and very willing to offer details about the local dishes. By the final days of our experience, they could also advise which we would find enjoyable and those we probably would not care to sample. Our Program Director, Dan Berlogea has to be one of the Viking organization's best assets. He was entertaining, informative, helpful and above all a warm and welcoming person. Whatever daily excursion one took, one thing was for certain - Dan would be on the bus at the venue at some point during the day. On the one occasion when one of our ships guests was "left behind" Dan and the staff collected the guest and his wife and had them back aboard well before we departed for the next port. There was no problem he couldn't solve or find a solution for. His daily information meetings definitely set the tone for an adventure that would be well beyond and above our expectations. One of the highlights of our cruise was returning to our cabin at the end of the evening to find a pair of swans with a bottle of Champagne and two glasses along with a congratulatory note from the Viking Var. Our accommodations were delightful. Our cabin was always well made up and comfortable. My husband and I were so pleased with our choice to memorialize our 50 years together on a Viking River Cruise. We have recommended Viking over and over to friends, family and associates since our fabulous sailing on the Romantic Blue Danube. All we can say is "thank you" for two weeks of unforgettable memories. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We took this Viking Var Romantic Danube River Cruise for my husband's birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary, from Nuremberg (well actually Erlangen) to Budapest. Having seen the beautiful Viking commercials on television for ... Read More
We took this Viking Var Romantic Danube River Cruise for my husband's birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary, from Nuremberg (well actually Erlangen) to Budapest. Having seen the beautiful Viking commercials on television for years, we were enticed. It was our first ever cruise and we wanted an 8 day river cruise due to the fact that we are both easily sea sick. However, the ads do NOT show the whole picture and the experience was also spoiled by no air conditioning for 3 days on our side of the boat, because they could not get the right part. No A/c in August meant 2 sleepless nights, as they could not provide us with a fan. One night we left the balcony door open for cool air but ended up with a cabin ceiling covered in black gnats! We went to the front desk as we did not know what to do with them and they brought a vacuum to suck them up expertly-obviously they had done this before! Our Romantic Danube cruise actually starts out on the Main Am Danube canal which is not very attractive (although interesting when you go through the 27 locks) -certainly not the vine-covered hills we were expecting to be looking at as we sat on our balcony. The first day we were tied up at an industrial dock opposite a recycling plant-see pics at Erlangen-half an hour from the pretty city of Nuremberg. We had paid extra for the balcony room, but did not use it that day as we did not want to sit looking at a corrugated iron fence for a whole day. It soon became apparent that the balcony was a waste of money as we could not use it 4/7days due to being tied up next to another boat which were exactly aligned so you could see into each other boat's cabins and no doubt touch hands on the balcony-hardly private and certainly not Romantic! The cabin was cosy but well appointed, with plenty of storage so that we could get our things put away. The bathroom was very compact, but again had good storage and sufficed for us, though we are not sure how large or tall men got into the shower! Although it was described in the brochures that wifi was available-it really was only available when docked and pretty sketchy at other times, although we did find one corner of the lounge (beneath the captain's bridge!) with better reception. Other indoor areas of the ship were attractive, which was fortunate as we were unable to sit on the sun deck for most of the trip due to the high water and the inability to get under bridges, unless they laid everything flat, which took the crew 3-4 hours to do apparently. Again something not really described in the brochure. Meals on board were indeed fine dining, but as big time foodies, we could not really classify the dinners as gourmet. For example, they never asked you how you liked your meat and at the first dinner they overcooked everyone's steak and fish. Moments of excellence however were the pastry chef's creations for tea and dinner and the breakfast and lunch buffets, with interesting salads, fresh fruit, and freshly prepared egg dishes or sandwiches and soups. The first day buffet lunch was a particularly nice welcome. Service was generally good and we quickly learned who were the best servers and most friendly. There were a few who were obviously in training (reaching across your plate when you were still eating etc) Meeting new people at dinner was one of the best aspects of the trip. We had thought at first, it would rather be like middle-school, trying to find someone to sit with in the dining room, but we found nearly every passenger to be open and friendly and we could easily find a topic to discuss. The tours were generally well run and interesting and we only had one guide (on a rainy day in Vienna) that was tiresome and confusing with his spiel about the Hapsburg dynasty (even for a history major like myself). Everyone else seemed to balance out the history and interesting facts about the area and country. The expensive optional tours, we chose: Cruising the Danube Narrows, Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna and the Apricot Dumpling making at the Gottweig Abbey, were excellent. However, we felt the organization of the first days' tours were poor: we would have liked to have taken the optional tour of the Nuremberg WWII history but it was at the same time ( Saturday morning) as the included City tour, because we had to sail in the afternoon to get to the next dock. However, if, as we reported, we had spent the first day tied up in Nuremberg and started the whole cruise there, instead of Erlangen opposite the recycling plant, we could have Saturday afternoon to do the optional tour. We could have then sailed in the evening and night. We know this fact as we met a couple from California on the Sunday who had missed the first 2 days due to their plane from LA being cancelled and they had to try and get to the boat at Nuremburg , but the boat was not there and they had to be bussed on again to Regensburg-and they might have been able to join the boat on Saturday evening in Nuremberg. It should also be noted most of the tours left at 8-830 which did not invite a leisurely morning. In addition, since the boat was not docked in center of city (except for Budapest), it meant a bus ride of at least 30 minutes to get to the attraction. Due to the high water one day we were bussed 1 1/2 hours to the city of Regensburg- and then another 1/1/2 hours to rejoin the boat which finally was able to make its way down to the correct dock after sailing all day. My husband was so frustrated to have yet another long bus ride-he actually picked the option of staying on the boat, but of course missed his already- paid for tour. In fact, the commercial’s voice over "Spend more time being there and less time getting there...." kept going around in our heads through out the cruise! Entertainment on the boat in the evening was low key, but enjoyable with talks about the EU, the Canal, and coffee houses of Vienna, music and trivia quizzes and delightful musical entertainment from an opera group and Bavarian band, as well as the resident Sonya, singer and piano player. Tatiana, our program director kept the up beat spirit going through out the trip. Our last night in Budapest was probably the epitome of the commercial, when the captain took us for a "romantic" cruise around the illuminated sights of the city, narrated by Tatiana. The views were spectacular and we were glad that we ended with Budapest, rather than taking the cruise in the opposite direction, otherwise we would have felt we had gone from the "sublime to the ridiculous." We have travelled to Europe for over 25 years, due to having family still there, so have experienced many aspects of traveling abroad and while this cruise was enjoyable, it was certainly not the once-in-a lifetime trip that was advertised in their commercial and that we had long awaited. We feel that Viking should elaborate more on the exact details of the trip and the inconveniences of being tied up, alongside other boats, in industrial areas requiring a bus trip to the attraction. When we contacted Viking customer service on our return, they only would give us a future credit of a $1000 off another trip for the lack of air-conditioning for 3 days-so really not compensation for the most expensive trip we have ever taken. We are not sure we will repeat it for my decade birthday next year…..We wish we had read some of these reviews on this site beforehand. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
I was disappointing on the port in Nuremberg is located in this industrial part that has no appealing, it was not a nice way to start our adventure. the staff was wonderful I was promised a nice big window even if we were on the ... Read More
I was disappointing on the port in Nuremberg is located in this industrial part that has no appealing, it was not a nice way to start our adventure. the staff was wonderful I was promised a nice big window even if we were on the lowest floor., we had a small window. the food and drinks were amazing. the enrichment activities were so expensive and not worth the money we paid for. the concert was so hot and no the same as the video the museum was so expensive and when we could paid ourselves 20 to get in. Munich was worth it, the trip and excursion was really nice. The restaurant service was wonderful, I celebrated my birthday and our 25th anniversary and they sang to us it was wonderful Overall I will recommend this trip. the flight getting there were fine, the back it was a mess Delta had us waiting in Paris for hours. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
We had never been in this part of the world and this was the right time to see the sights, as well as spend some quality time with other members of our family. We were not disappointed in the slightest! We enjoyed the diversity of each ... Read More
We had never been in this part of the world and this was the right time to see the sights, as well as spend some quality time with other members of our family. We were not disappointed in the slightest! We enjoyed the diversity of each country. It was such a treat to meet the guides at each of the port cities, who not only lived in those cities, but were very well-versed in the history and traditions of their native lands. The enjoyable experience was then extended into the dining room, where we were greeted by friendly faces, who honestly seemed to enjoy making sure we, as their guests, were having a good time and would not go away hungry. The wine and the beer were quite fitting for the part of Europe in which we were traveling. It was a wonderful and we are looking forward to planning another trip in the near future! Read Less
Viking Var Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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