5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Picked this cruise for the itinerary. 3 day pre cruise in Prague was great but I could have booked the Hilton for less than half the price on my own . The included hotel breakfast was excellent. The Viking experience was way below my ... Read More
Picked this cruise for the itinerary. 3 day pre cruise in Prague was great but I could have booked the Hilton for less than half the price on my own . The included hotel breakfast was excellent. The Viking experience was way below my expectations and very expensive. I am a vet cruiser, mostly on RCCL and Celebrity, first time on Viking. Our itinerary for the first 3 days was changed to accommodate ship maintenance for which no details were provided until after the fact "technical issue". The ship spent an entire day in dry dock and Viking claimed there would be no impact. The reality is that the 1st 3 days of the cruise was diminished to a bus tour rather than scenic river cruising to accelerate our travel to reach dry dock in order to "meet our appointment schedule". Most of our travel after excursions was by bus. I could have booked a bus tour for a lot less money. We never made it to Passua. The small cabin size was shocking, not enough storage for my wife and myself. Needed to live out of a suitcase under the bed. The food was marginal at best, as an example there was one evening where we were only offered 3 entrees. The food on Celebrity is significantly better. Given no scenery the first 3 days, not a whole lot to do. For our troubles they offered drinks one evening in the lounge but given we had the drink package that was a big zero for me. The additional excursions were nice but very expensive. Would very likely not repeat with Viking. Very nice itinerary, mediocre accommodations, marginal food and very expensive. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I choose a Viking cruise because of the wonderful experiences my friends and clients have had sailing with Viking. My experience was a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! Friday 22April, 3P we boarded Viking Var in Budapest. Embarkation went ... Read More
I choose a Viking cruise because of the wonderful experiences my friends and clients have had sailing with Viking. My experience was a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT! Friday 22April, 3P we boarded Viking Var in Budapest. Embarkation went smoothly. Disappointment started when we found out the Var would leave Budapest at 9A the next day, Saturday. Other Viking ships docked with the Var were scheduled to departed 6P Saturday. Why did the Var have to departed at 9A? We had the choice of going on the included Budapest City Tour bus tour at 830A and then being BUSSED upriver 1 1/2hrs to meet the ship OR missing the city by staying onboard seeing the "iconic" Parliament Building as we departed Budapest. (The Parliament Building is featured in many of Viking Cruises ads.) As it turned out, that was one of the only times we had the opportunity to experience viewing the Danube's beautiful scenery. Sunday 23 April, Vienna. The morning included Vienna City tour very rushed, not enough free time to experience a "famed Viennese cafe" and have the famous sachertorte. Afternoon optional Schoenbrunn Palace, again hurry, hurry, no time to see the magnificent gardens. Evening optional Mozart & Strauss Musical Evening was excellent! Monday 24 April, Krems, Austria. The included Benedictine Abbey Tour was excellent! Tuesday 25April, we were to arrive in Passau, Germany, on the ship. (Guide books say be sure to be on deck to experience sailing into "City of Three Rivers".) Instead because of lock closures before Passau, we docked down river and had to be bused a 1hr to Passau. The plan was to be bused back to the ship but luckily the ship was able to meet us. The Included Passau Walking Tour was very good. No Organ Concert. The cruise documents say organ concerts not held Nov. to April, should say THROUGH April as on St.Stephen's Cathedral website. Tuesday was our last day cruising the Danube. Do to continuing lock issues our ship had to dock in Deggendorf, Germany about 80km before Regensburg. Wednesday, 27April, we were bused 1hr. to Regensburg and 1hr. back to ship. Afternoon optional Weltenburg Abbey & the Danube Narrows tour was excellent. Thursday, 28April., we had to be packed up and on buses by 830A. for the 2hrs. drive to Nuremberg, Germany. If the tour guide or Viking staff traveling on the bus with us used the time to give us information about the countries, the people, anything interesting about where we were traveling, the bus time would not have been such a waste. Thursday night Viking put us in the 5star Le Meridien Grand Hotel, Nuremberg, very nice hotel in convenient location. Our included Nuremberg City tour was good. My overall opinion of the included city tours is average. The excellent city guides but the time allowed was to rushed. Would I go again? Probably not. I was cruising to celebrate my 70th birthday. To bad I'll remember what a disappointing experience I had. Everyone asks and is amazed at my answer. Many of the people onboard that had been on other Viking cruises said if this was their first Viking they would say never again. But their other cruises were excellent. What happened? elpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My husband and I just returned from a "cruise" from Nuremberg to Budapest on the Viking Var which began September 18, 2015. We were very disappointed as there was very little cruising done due to low water levels on the Danube. ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a "cruise" from Nuremberg to Budapest on the Viking Var which began September 18, 2015. We were very disappointed as there was very little cruising done due to low water levels on the Danube. Instead, after docking in Regensberg, we were bussed from the ship to Passau and back permitting only a very short visit in Passau. Then the following day we were bussed to Melk and put on a very crowded local tour ship to visit the Danube Narrows. It was standing room only on the ship's deck. We were allowed only a 30 minute tour in Melk before being bussed to Linz where the ship Tor was docked for repairs. We embarked on Tor and sailed to Vienna. We were then loaded onto another bus for a day trip to Prague. Since we were scheduled for a post-trip in Prague, we asked Viking to arrange for us to remain in Prague rather than being bussed back to the ship and then bussed back to Prague the next day. They would not accommodate us. We had very little time in the cities we were scheduled to visit, not to mention the discomfort of long and cramped bus travel. For the short time we were actually on the ship, we enjoyed the food, cabin, and service. However, this just provided an even starker contrast with the unpleasant conditions experienced during the major part of the trip. We were very unhappy with Viking's customer service. We had contacted them before the cruise because we had heard of problems due to low water levels on the Danube. We had planned to postpone our trip if conditions were unstable. They assured us that there were no problems and agreed to notify us in advance if any deviations from the itinerary were expected. We later found out that passengers were being bussed to ports at the same time that Viking was assuring us there were no problems. We understand that unexpected events may occur while cruising, with a need to make adjustments. But Viking was well aware that not only were cruise disruptions possible, they were very likely to occur. Viking provided information to us at the last possible moment throughout the trip, claiming that every deviation in the itinerary was a complete surprise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Two days in and at 8:30 pm we were told to pack our bags and be ready at 8 am for a 4.5 hour bus ride to the next port and unpack and start all over again. A lot of vacation time wasted. When the program director was asked the conditions ... Read More
Two days in and at 8:30 pm we were told to pack our bags and be ready at 8 am for a 4.5 hour bus ride to the next port and unpack and start all over again. A lot of vacation time wasted. When the program director was asked the conditions he acted like a true politician and dodged the answer. We almost witnessed mutiny on the bounty as many wanted to throw him overboard. While on board we checked other reviews and found the low river conditions had existed for about 10 weeks in a row. Same thing happened when approaching Budapest, had to take a bus 1.5 hours to get there. Many people opted not to take another 1.5 hour ride back to boat and then another 1.5 ride back first thing in the morning to disembark. We are all adults and appreciate being told in advance of the expected circumstances. Meals were OK, nothing to write home about. Breakfast staff was rude at times and very unaccommodating if you were 5 minutes late after breakfast closed. Bar staff was outstanding and comical, a welcome relief. Entertainment was a piano player who played elevator music. Only one night was lively. Optional tours were spent more on a bus than time on the tour. You could be on the bus for 1 hour then have 1.5 hour on your own then back on the bus for the 1 hour trip back. The two most anticipated views from the river cruise were never realized, Passau and Budapest. Will never use Viking again. Spent over 16 hours on bus. Maybe they should rename it the "River-Bus" tour! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We recently returned from a river cruise on Viking. The ship was fine, wait staff fine, food fine, not exceptional. The cruise was a mess, according to Viking it was due to low water levels on the river. I discussed this with our travel ... Read More
We recently returned from a river cruise on Viking. The ship was fine, wait staff fine, food fine, not exceptional. The cruise was a mess, according to Viking it was due to low water levels on the river. I discussed this with our travel agent and Viking prior to our sail date and we were assured no interruption whatsoever in our itinerary. Wrong. We had to change ships, we had to take a bus for hours to reach destinations since the ship could not sail, we were unable to enjoy our balcony view due to another ship docked right next to us blocking our view (we could touch their ship that is how close they were). I would not recommend Viking, I have a friend who sailed on another line the same week we did and had no river issues. Smooth sailing all the way for them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
Our river cruise was more of a bus tour than a cruise. We had to change ships halfway through resulting in a 4-hour bus trip. We were only docked at one port where we could actually walk to the town and explore at our own pace. Viking knew ... Read More
Our river cruise was more of a bus tour than a cruise. We had to change ships halfway through resulting in a 4-hour bus trip. We were only docked at one port where we could actually walk to the town and explore at our own pace. Viking knew about the problem with low water levels in the river before the cruise but did not tell us and give us an opportunity to reschedule. Even though the cities were nice and interesting, it was difficult to have an enjoyable experience when you are hot and exhausted from being herded into buses back and forth. Instead of an afternoon of cruising the beautiful Wachau Valley in Austria, we saw it only for one hour at dusk. I would not recommend Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Nuremberg to Budapest. After reading reviews from others that started on Var and ended up on Tor there is not a lot I can add, but I'll try. The ship change, the bus rides, the lost luggage, and only 3 nights of crusing. And thats ... Read More
Nuremberg to Budapest. After reading reviews from others that started on Var and ended up on Tor there is not a lot I can add, but I'll try. The ship change, the bus rides, the lost luggage, and only 3 nights of crusing. And thats counting the high speed trip from Melk to where we stopped to pickup our luggage at 2300 before heading to Vienna. Thats from 0800 until 2300 with no way to freshen up or change clothes. We missed Passau thanks to a 4.5 hr bus ride, chose insted to enjoy a second day in Regensburg. I was looking forward to taking photos of castles along the Danube from Passau to Krems, but it was late afternoon and soon to dark for good photos. The crew on Var were friendly and much nicer than the crew on Tor. The cruise director on Var & Tor, Tatianna.(I'm sure It's misspelled) And guide Melos, are the best, and the only reason we diden't leave the ship in Regensburg, rent a car, and drive to Budapest. I am sure the Capitan knew, as well as Viking Corp. that the river was to shallow, and Regensburg would be as far as we could go (before) we left Nuremberg. That makes me mad . My wife and I saved for a year to take that cruise, and I think $8000 was far more than it was worth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This cruise was problematic in: - Lack of food to buy onboard between meals Room was strictly average in care and staff upkeep -Food was mediocre although it looked good, but poor quality -Staff was mediocre in politeness and ... Read More
This cruise was problematic in: - Lack of food to buy onboard between meals Room was strictly average in care and staff upkeep -Food was mediocre although it looked good, but poor quality -Staff was mediocre in politeness and helpfulness; unaccomodating -Half of the tour guides were above average, the rest mediocre and below average - Scarcity of onboard activities - Program director and her immediate staff were helpful and agreeable Comments by some staff members: When our shower flooded: "That happens sometimes on these ships". No apologies? nothing When I requested more food: "We don't have anymore- was thrown away" Ridiculous- no civility or manners. Much dismissiveness on our requests- who trained these people? - It might help if their English skills were better also. We paid a considerable amount of money for this trip- I can't believe how poor it was. -We have been on cruises to the Mediterranean, Alaska, and the Caribbean. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
In Summary 1. In our opinion, Viking Cruises is more a marketing company than a holiday provider. Marketing is what they do best, full of promises, fabulous photos and presentations to make you believe you'll be travelling with ... Read More
In Summary 1. In our opinion, Viking Cruises is more a marketing company than a holiday provider. Marketing is what they do best, full of promises, fabulous photos and presentations to make you believe you'll be travelling with the best cruise line in the World. Comparing Viking's handling of our complaint with the volume of their marketing material sent simultaneously by email and post, Viking's priority is marketing. 2. Our cruise was ruined by loud mechanical noises which kept us (and many others) awake every night. Viking staff did absolutely nothing about it, other than to make us feel like fussy, inexperienced passengers. Instead of putting things right, Viking staff tried to cover it up. 3. The boat was new and clean, but many of the brochure promises weren't met, including WiFi available throughout the boat and in our cabin. 4. Apart from a bigger cabin, you get nothing extra for paying more for an expensive cabin (i.e. meals, excursions, etc. are the same for all). 5. Meals were mediocre and certainly not the treat one looks forward to on a cruise. 6. Excursions are good and well-rehearsed, with generally good guides. 7. Many crew were friendly, helpful and attentive, but a significant number were surly and somewhat unhelpful. 8. The impressive Viking "Service Guarantee" is virtually worthless and once we'd made a complaint, Viking made it clear that they weren't interested in retaining us as valued customers, but just wanted to get us out of the way as quickly as possible. We had our cruise in April 2015, so you may wonder why this review is so delayed. It took us several months to agree compensation with Viking for our ruined holiday, without being gagged by their non-disclosure agreement (more about that below). Before the cruise, our main concerns were on-board cleanliness and the weather. The Viking Var was very clean, although before entering the restaurant, we were not required to use the hand sanitisers provided. As for the weather, apart from the day travelling to Passau, we had fabulous sunny weather throughout the cruise. So what went wrong? We were kept awake every night by loud mechanical noises in the boat, which affected virtually all passengers. Despite reporting the noise problem every day to Viking staff, not only did they do nothing about it, but tried to suppress passenger complaints and make us believe that we were fussy passengers who didn't realise that such noises are just part of cruising! By the end of the cruise we were completely exhausted from lack of sleep, unable to enjoy the excursions, or anything else. When we got home, it took us several days to recover, so we made a formal complaint. We were greatly reassured by Viking's "Service Guarantee" (which promises 100% refund if a complaint can't be resolved within 24 hours), until we tried to use it. To qualify, you must have left the cruise prematurely and made your own way home at your own expense! Clearly, not many passengers would choose this - imagine a group of pensioners disembarking onto the banks of the Danube with all their luggage. For us the journey home was about 1,000 miles, but much further for passengers from outside Europe. The Viking "Service Guarantee" is fatuous and provides no credible protection. Initially Viking offered us a 25% discount off another cruise! In other words, their idea of compensation was to sell us another holiday, from which they would profit. Only when we threatened Court action did we eventually reach a cash settlement. Then after reaching an agreement, Viking said we would only receive the money if we signed their "acceptance letter", which they said was for our benefit. Their "acceptance letter" is nothing more than a gagging order: "In consideration of the above refund referred to the above beginning as of the date of this Settlement Agreement 10th June 2015, neither this Agreement nor its subject matter shall be discussed with anyone other than the parties to the Agreement or their attorneys, except as otherwise required by law. We/I also agree to take all steps reasonably necessary to protect the confidentiality of this Settlement Agreement and to prevent the Settlement Agreement from falling into the public domain or public forums or into the possession of unauthorised persons or persons who do not work for Viking. We/I agree that, if asked about the status of any claims by or disputes between the parties to this Settlement Agreement, We/I shall not communicate the terms of the settlement except to state that this matter has been amicably resolved as this agreement is subject to a confidentiality clause" In other words, we would have to remain silent about the matter for ever, except to be able to say that it had been resolved amicably! This seemed so onerous that we immediately rejected their offer, as they had changed the terms of our settlement after we had agreed it. After further prolonged negotiations, we eventually received a full cash refund for the cruise, plus the cost of a supplementary excursion, without having to sign their disgraceful "acceptance letter". The Cruise Itself: We were in a cheaper, lower deck cabin (or "state room" as Viking annoyingly called it). Those in the more expensive cabins received exactly the same excursions, meals, etc., some having paid several times what we did. The cruise itself wasn't bad, greatly helped by the lovely weather, but it wasn't fantastic either, so paying considerably more wouldn't have made it any better. Passengers in the upper decks heard the same noises that we did (except perhaps not quite as loud). The success of your cruise depends to quite a large extent on the quality of the Cruise Program Director, who in our case was George. While not terrible, he wasn't much good either, spending quite a lot of his time sucking-up to the more affluent passengers (presumably those who might give a bigger tip) and telling us uncomfortably personal "funny" anecdotes during passenger briefings. The boat itself was new and clean and there was adequate lounge space. If you want to sit on your own for a quiet read, you may end up having to sit in one of the areas by the stairs, which is OK, but not ideal and hardly luxurious. Viking say there's free Wi-fi on board, which you can get all round the boat and in your cabin. We found there was no Wi-fi when sailing. Even when moored, the Wi-fi was very slow and limited to certain public lounge areas and we certainly couldn't get any signal in our cabin - maybe that's something the more expensive cabins had. On a cruise we don't expect a fast broadband connection, but we'd prefer that Viking didn't promise what it doesn't fulfil. Excursions were generally good and well rehearsed. We found the Quietvox units, provided to all passengers, very helpful. Guide quality was variable, but usually good. Buses were new, clean, reliable and punctual with careful drivers. Meals were nothing to write home about. Holiday breakfast is something I look forward to, but here it was usually a bit rushed as we all had to get away for excursion departure. Instead of lovely fresh coffee, it was served pre-prepared in vacuum flasks, to enable staff to serve us quickly. The breads were always delicious and fresh, but otherwise the buffet, while OK, was nothing special. Lunch was mediocre, served either on the Aquavit Terrace and in the restaurant. The Aquavit Terrace lunch depended on good weather and was more-or-less a barbecue, or salad and limited choice. The restaurant lunch wasn't much better. Dinner was supposed to be the meal of the day, but was generally average, with some quite odd courses and small portions. There were some "standby" courses that remained the same every day (e.g. steak, salmon, etc.), but on a cruise one hopes for better than that. In the restaurant there were no tables for two. Sharing with others is fine, but sometimes it's nice just to sit as a couple. As a cruise progresses, cliques develop, who "own" their group table. We were told a number of times how the kitchen staff performed miracles in a very confined space, which is probably true. However, it should be remembered that the Viking Var was built for Viking to their design, so Viking chose to make the kitchen area small, to allow for more cabins for paying passengers. Some crew/staff were fantastic, while others were quite surly and unhelpful. We had read how the crew's contracts of employment had recently been changed to their disadvantage, so that may explain why some weren't particularly enthusiastic. Would we try Viking again? DEFINITELY NOT! 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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