4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we could have made. It is at the top of one of the worst vacations we have ever taken. And to add to our disappointment, the $500 cruise voucher that has been offered, it is just an insult. We reached out to Viking but of course we never heard back! We understand “Acts of God” (river being low) however the lack of communication from Viking was unprofessional and deceptive. Sending an email the week before the trip is not communication especially because Viking knew all summer about the river problems and they knew the amount of rain needed for the proper water levels had not occurred and would not improve before our scheduled departure date. We would have expected your company to: 1) Cancel the trip; 2) offer a full refund; 3) inform guest that their money would be transferred to a future river or ocean cruise; or 4) make the fully aware of what they were getting into if we chose to take the trip. None of these things were offered. So, instead Viking decided to have a cruise of almost 200 disgruntled customers, who will now spread the word about their experience. Below are some of the issues / problems we experience with this trip that we feel warrants compensation from Viking, that is not the insulting $500 that was offered. Air Service – Very disappointed with this service. Had we know about all of the hidden costs, we would have made my own travel arrangements. Which would have allowed us more time and saved us money. Don’t use! 3 total ships (VAR, TOR and Hemods) Viking Var – (Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. Front desk not so much, when ask directly about the boat change, etc. that had been mentioned in the Port Talk, which we missed because of our late arrival. We were provided with incorrect information, which was rude. Optional Tour Nuremberg– the guide was informative and provided good information Optional Tour Regensburg– the guide for the walking tour was very informative and provided very good information Optional Tour Passau – we did not see Passau. We paid for Salzburg Highlights. The bus driver “the Pope” was very funny and made the unbearable long bus ride a tad bit better. The guide for the walking tour was also good. BAD Optional Tour Nuremberg – the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. UGLY Optional Tour Nuremberg – Not enough free time to shop or explore the city. Rushing back to ship to leave did not make any sense. Optional Tour Regensburg – Spending an entire day in a city that is completed closed was an utter waste of time. We could have spent more time in Nuremberg. Optional Tour Passau / Salzburg – The Salzburg Highlight tour was not worth the money spent. And if we had been informed that the 3 hour total bus ride was now a 6 hour bus ride, we may have opted out. We were not informed of the change until we had already boarded the bus and were on our way. The bus ride to and from was pure “hell” that was too long to be a bus for a 3.5 hour excursion. A total shame! There were no lights to guide guest back to the ship once the bus dropped us off from the Salzburg tour. It was extremely dark and very hazardous. Guest had to use their cell phones to find their way back. Luckily no one was hurt. Room Steward – In effort to clean our rooms before we could even leave the ship, the steward threw away my body buff that I use for bathing– not happy. Room Steward – The day of the bus ride, we went to breakfast and left our personal items on the bed. When we return to the room all of our items had been moved from the bed and the room had been cleaned. This is totally unacceptable! Our personally items should not have been touched under any circumstances and they could have waited another 20 minutes to clean the room. Viking Tor (Vienna and Krems) GOOD Optional Tour Vienna – the walking tour was excellent. It was refreshing after sitting on the bus the day before. The guide did a great job and we had plenty of free time to explore. One of the only highlights of the trip. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place – the guide was very informative. Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD After the long bus ride we decided not to go on the Gottweig Abbey optional tour. We stayed on the ship to take pictures of the Wachau Valley. However because of the lateness of the hour and the lock, were not able to get many pictures. It was very annoying that the commentary continued about what we were “not” seeing because it was dark out and could not make out anything. Yet another disappointment. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place –The tour seemed very rush and for the amount of money we spent, we should have been able to see both parts of the palace not just the one section. We felt cheated. It would have been cheaper and easier to do it on our own. UGLY The 3 hour bus ride was horrific, especially after the 6 hour bus ride the day before. It was totally unacceptable. The stateroom bathroom was horrible. The shower had not been cleaned properly, had hair on the walls and the floor that was not ours. The bathroom toilet was not flushing when we arrived. An officer came to the room and checked and it would not flush for him either. About 5 to 10 minutes after he left the toilet starting flushing and then a “rude” engineer came to the room stating that it was working. However the water pressure was very low and it took several attempts to get the toilet to flush. The bathroom also smelled like urine. It was extremely offensive. We reported the issue to the desk, however they decided to give us a lesson on how to flush the toilet and did not address the horrific bathroom smells. It was not good. Viking Hermod (Budapest) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD Optional Tour Budapest– the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. The guide was not as good as the others and she kept pointing out highlights way before we got to them and people were missing them. There was not enough time to explore the beautiful city. UGLY Another 3 plus hour bus ride – just a nightmare. The bathroom stop, where we had to pay was ridiculous. This should have been covered by Viking. Fortunately, we still had some Euros in order to pay for the bathroom. We are extremely disappointed in the quality and value of service that was received from Viking. There was absolutely no value for the money spent. Viking failed us and the other guest. We could never recommend Viking Cruises to any our blog readers. We also have already told our family and friends not to Cruise with Viking! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance ... Read More
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance with Viking’s Tripmate, you will pay more. You will only get a voucher for that cancellation, and with that voucher amount you will have to start over (including your air travel and the costs involved with speaking to the air agent for upgrading your travel), for insurance, and for whatever other costs are involved for your trip. If you cancel your Danube River cruise because the water levels will turn the trip into a bus trip. (Not exactly the vacation you envisioned.) And you decide that you will try to reschedule in the Spring since there would be a better chance for higher water levels, the cost will be at least $1000 to $1500 more. So, try for the fall next year. The cost will be at least $500 more—per person. On top of that you will have to buy new insurance if you want that trip covered. You have only 12-15 months after cancelling to reschedule so you don’t want to blow the opportunity. Viking insurance only allows for rescheduling; the company does not give refunds. Solution: Buy insurance outside of Viking for refunds. Keep in mind that your contract of carriage indicates that the Provider may change your itinerary. What Viking does is to give you assurances up to the last minute that your itinerary stays the same or close to it even though they know it will not. This does not give you adequate time to reconsider. And it especially does not give you adequate time when you have already left for the trip. How do we know, it happened to us. After five phone calls to Viking wherein we were assured that everything would be fine (oh, maybe one bus trip and one ship swap), we opted to go ahead and take the trip. Instead of the “only unpack once” concept, we packed and repacked for 7 or 8 days because we were on a boat, a bus, in a hotel, a bus, etc. We did not get an upgraded hotel room or an upgraded bus seat for the upgraded cabin for which we paid; we got only the same sort of bus trip and hotel everyone else got. So, Viking gave us a voucher, not a refund. Now we have a voucher for future travel on Viking. Do we really want to chance it again? There are those who were on the same trip who are delighted. I am guessing they believed everything Viking told them and think they are getting the deal of a lifetime. Our argument with Viking is not that the water levels were low. The argument lies with the lack of transparency and intentional vague and obscure manner of communication. About a year ago, we sailed on Viking to Cuba (one of their first soirees there). We booked it because we would dock in Havana, go to Belize and Cozumel. None of that happened. We docked in Cienfuegos. That was it, and we were bussed to Havana. I thought that this was Viking’s naiveté with Ocean cruising. Now I know it is the M.O. For this river cruise The Romantic Danube, yes, the water level on the Danube was the cause of the river cruise changes. Viking knew in early summer what was coming. In fact numerous passengers from other vessels told us the same story—this had been going on for a month. Viking prepared to fend off cancellations and complaints. What Viking should have offered was as follows: 1. Viking should alert passengers far earlier than one week prior when many may have already left the country. 2. Cash back for cancellations. 3. Cash reductions for those opting to go on a bus tour, or cash back for those opting to leave the tour. 4. Hotel upgrades for persons who had suites or Veranda cabins. 5. Dining at finer restaurants instead of roadside McDonalds or places of Vikings’ choosing wherein everyone got the same meal. Viking Customer Service admitted knowing of a problem and told us “we work with people.” We are still awaiting a resolution which, for us, would be a cash back solution. So far Viking is not “working with us.” Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018 with a three-day extension in Prague, starting on October 9. In short, our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a "Stressful Danube Bus ... Read More
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018 with a three-day extension in Prague, starting on October 9. In short, our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a "Stressful Danube Bus Tour". Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, we were bussed to all our ports, except for Nuremberg (an industrial port with cargo "scenery"), Regensburg and Passau (another industrial port actually located in Sausburg). We never experienced the beautiful river sites of the Wachau Valley, the Danube bend, or Budapest's extraordinary architecture. However, we did experience a boat hotel/restaurant experience on three different ships (not the Var as originally scheduled)--the Tor, the Wilhelm 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: - Absolutely no leisure time to explore Vienna or Budapest - A lunch of overdone pot roast and tator tots at a Melk hotel restaurant - Becoming experts in European bus companies and rest stops (After all, Viking does market itself as a "thinking person's" cruise company, and we certainly did learn a lot about bus travel!) - Two cabin bathrooms that smelled of urine, one broken toilet seat, one clogged shower drain, three very dirty balconies - Cancelled optional excursions in Budapest - Balcony sites that included cargo, foul smelling water, other ships cabins (Many ships docked in tandem so that you can see into others cabins) - A bus driver who almost got us all killed by challenging two tractor trailers to a skirmish (Viking does advertise an "exciting trip"!) - Unorganized disembarkation -- oh, I mean bus departures -- due to unprepared staff; in fact, we almost missed our flights home due to miscommunication between the ship and the bus driver - An Austrian bus tour guide who could not speak or understand English (Well, I guess Viking does advertise a truly “in-country” experience) - A Tour Director who constantly touted the excellent service and scenery which should translate into gratuities for the staff. He was certainly laser focused on getting his tip! - A farewell captain's speech that summarized why we should buy from Viking again (Can you say ‘tone deaf?) Ahhh, but the most memorable highlight of all was the Tour Director lecturing us on why we should be happy with our circumstances, because "after all, you could be a victim of hurricane Michael." (I kid you not!) 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. Basically, they lie to their customers in return for profits. Viking has offered us a 25% discount on our next cruise, but what about our current cruise? We did NOT get what Viking promised. Viking, why not start demonstrating some integrity and provide a minimum 50% discount on the "cruise" we just took? We're about to retire and thought we would be travelling numerous times with Viking. But based on the way they have mishandled this cruise, we will book with their competitors like Crystal, AMA or Avalon. In short, #MYVIKINGSTORY: NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" ... Read More
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a very uncomfortable Danube Bus Tour". Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, Although we realize that Viking is not in control of the weather, Viking was well aware that the Romantic Danube River cruise could not navigate the river on over half the trip. We were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg, Regensburg and Vienna. We spent approximately 7 daylight hours cruising during our 8 day river cruise. The rest of the time was spent changing cruise ships ( 3 times we had to pack our bags and put them outside our door for early morning pickup) This was not a river cruise it was a bus tour. The river cruise was advertised as a romantic once in a life time adventure highlighting the scenic Wachau Valley We never saw the spectacular views of the Wachau Valley as we were traveling through the country side by bus for eight hours We became well acquainted with the European bus companies and rest stops. One bus driver did not know the exit to take to Roth, Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. The same thing happened in Budapest. The guide said to leave the audio device on the bus and he would shout out the highlights. Then George showed up with a new device for our guide, but we no longer had our device as we left them on the bus and it was gone. On Monday October 15 while waiting on a pedestrian walkway for the “bus” pickup area in Passau, I was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. Not having enough time to be treated in Passau we returned to the ship, hoping for some medical help there. The ship had nothing but a band aid for the cut above my eye. As we arrived back at the ship the Captain was standing at the receptions desk and I asked for assistance. Apparently he did not understand what I needed because he called someone else to help me. The only help they could do for me was call a cab. My husband and I spent three hours that evening in the emergency room in Straubing. The staff on the ship did not know that it would cost us 100 euros to be treated. The receptionist at the desk would not treat us without the money even though I had insurance coverage. We did not have that much with us. My husband had to find an ATM at 6 o’clock in the dark, in a city he knew nothing about. We spent over 3 hours at the emergency as I required 2 stiches above my eye. I would have expected a little more support from the staff on the ship. The accommodations on the 3 ships we were on were adequate. The food left us somewhat disappointed. Nothing was what I would call spectacular. The staff on the Viking Tor was really great and tried to make the best of a bad situation. On Thursday October 18 we were again transferred from the Viking Wihlelm to Budapest by bus. Budapest was a bust. We arrived in time for lunch on the Viking IDUM, then loaded in a bus for the tour of Budapest. The tour guide was none stop talking about the city. Almost like he didn’t have enough time to say what he wanted to say. Then when we departed the bus the Quietvox did not work. So the tour guide told us to leave ours on the bus and he would talk loudly on the walking tour. So we left the QuiteVox on the bus. Then George showed up, gave the tour guide a new Quietvox and we continued. Only those who had their Quietvox’s were able to hear. We left ours on the We got back to the bus with no time left to go to the marketplace, which I was looking forward to, as we should have had all afternoon to take in. That didn’t happen. On Friday October 19, we were told to have our luggage outside our door at 6:30am. Which we did. Went to breakfast which was served cold. It appeared the staff had put the food out for the earlier departures and did not heat for the later breakfast arrivals. After we went back to our rooms at 7:30 our luggage was still outside our doors. Finally at 8am we were again on a bus to go to the airport in Budapest (expected transportation). We sat on the bus loaded and ready to go, but the bus driver was not sure he had everyone as he did not have a list of passengers nor was there a Viking representative there to help him. One of the passengers gave him the list that we had received the night before. If it were not for our group of family and friends, this cruise/bus tour would have been unbearable. We feel Viking misled us over and over with their daily updates on how bad the low water level was, when in fact Viking knew this situation persisted months before our cruise. This is very unprofessional on Vikings part. They should have been honest with their customers and given us the option to postpone or cancel the cruise. Instead they had our money and they were not going to give it up, instead Viking thought a bus tour was adequate for a very the price we paid for an expensive river cruise. AAA and Viking did not represent their customers, they are in the business to sell cruises so buyer beware. Remember future travelers, AAA and Viking represent themselves not you. I will not recommend AAA or Viking to anyone that will be traveling. Also, remember we are in the age group that will be traveling. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation ... Read More
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation was handled by Viking —delays in shuttling between destinations, multiple accommodation changes, excursions cancelled and lack of transparency/misleading communications by Viking before/during the trip— is unacceptable. This is my fifth cruise; first cruise on Viking. The cruise was an all around disappointing experience and not what I would expect from a luxury cruise line. Given the inability to cruise due to water levels on the Danube, Viking should have informed guests prior to the trip —AND provided an honest representation during the trip (this is the 4th month of fraught conditions). Instead, Viking withheld information until the night before (daily update meetings before dinner to inform guests of next day changes to schedule) and in certain cases were dishonest in communications. Viking river boats are not designed to handle situations such as low water levels as there are no activities for guests that may choose to remain on the boat. Food is fair and service is poor in relation to cost: no room service; special ordered food at breakfast that came out as prepared for buffet; noted this was a cruise to celebrate a birthday during cruise- no acknowledgement; Viking cancelled pre-scheduled excursions without communicating the change directly; needed something printed and front desk unable to deliver to room, etc. As others have stated, balaconies are a waste of $ as the majority of time we were docked and stacked with other boats with immediate views into other rooms. Not only did we not use the balconies, we kept our drapes drawn for privacy. The Viking river cruise was such a bad experience that we disembarked two days early, took the train to the final destination, and checked into a hotel. Viking staff made no offer to assist in coordinating this change nor would assist with luggage transfer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
My family decided to do a special river cruise on the Viking Var sailing the Romantic Danube on August 17th. Like several others already noted, our experience was the worst we have ever experienced. I will not go into any farther detail ... Read More
My family decided to do a special river cruise on the Viking Var sailing the Romantic Danube on August 17th. Like several others already noted, our experience was the worst we have ever experienced. I will not go into any farther detail on doing very little sailing but a lot of bus rides since you can read others comments. My focus will be on how Viking did an extremely POOR job preparing and communicating to the circumstances of the low water issue. - receiving an email a couple of days prior to departure is ridiculous. They knew exactly the issue for over a month and should have given their CUSTOMERS a warning so they could decide any action they might like to take. VIKING decided their P&L more important. - The boats are not secure. ANYONE could walk on and off the boat. The only time there was ever security at the entrance of the boat was in Budapest. A gentleman/security sat outside on a bench. I actually went running and when I was returning to the boat my son FaceTimed me. The security guy was on the bench asleep. I actually turned my phone so my son could see him and get a good laugh at the level of security the boat has. VIKING open your eyes before something unfortunate happens and then you react. - Food was below average especially if you experienced an ocean cruise from other companies. I would say the service was average BUT lets be realistic. We were seeing different cruise employees since we were on 3 different boats. I'm sure it would be better if on same boat and you were building relationships and tipping for the trip was going to them. - My suite with oversized balcony could not be used due to spiders EVERYWHERE. Had to go to top verses use the view I paid for. - Communication was terrible. Kept saying they weren't sure of what we were doing at the end of the week. CUSTOMERS want to know, and VIKING simply didn't want to rock the boat. - I felt sorry for Director of the boat. You spend a lot of time on the boat not moving and she had to communicate all the bad news. WHERE"S THE CAPTAIN??? BOAT IS Not moving and she needs your support. Support your staff! - 25% is an absolute slap in the face AND IS ONLY ON THE CRUISING PART. Let's see: I spend over $18,000 and the initial offer is under $3,000 CREDIT on another cruise. WOW, I had such a terrible time let's do it again and at a rate that you make a lot of money on me again. Great deal - NOT!! My family reserved EVERY SUITE THEY HAD AVAILABLE. I talked with VIKING Customer Relations and made them aware that I was interested in giving them a chance to redeem themselves, that I would even stay in a suite but really thought they should step up to the plate more after I trusted them with an $18,000 investment. They did come up a little. Even 25% off my total Viking bill would have felt a lot better, but there is one simple reality to their offer: THEIR DECISION IS BASED OFF A P&L and not what is fair to their CUSTOMER. I even asked a Customer Service person if they were me would they be happy with what I was being offered, and all you get is silence, and then restating the offer. Without saying it, her answer was obviously NO. THAT SHOULD TELL VIKING SOMETHING. I believe VIKING must be fantastic when everything goes as planned. The reviews consistently say that. When things do not go as planned, they are far than at their best. - WARNING - WARNING - Do not sail VIKING's ROMANTIC Danube route in July or August!! I did not realize this is an ongoing seasonal issue. Go a different route our at a different time. - Want a POSITIVE: I noted issue with security, but loading and unloading is VERY SIMPLE. Congratulations for that. Also transportation to airport was done well. I will also say the customer service rep did a good job especially taking the beating she is taking over and over again. Unfortunately she is the messenger for VIKING and taking a pounding for them not taking care of CUSTOMERS. We had 5 suites and 2 other rooms for this cruise, and I believe I am the only one even considering giving VIKING another chance simply because the overall reviews are good. My wife is not on board with doing another cruise with VIKING, so not sure it will ever happen. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Recommendations Supposed to go in the Var to Budapest. River was low so went on the Tor for one night transferred to the Var. We did cruise the Wachau Valley and then transferred to another Long boat at Vienna. Bus rides for most of the ... Read More
Recommendations Supposed to go in the Var to Budapest. River was low so went on the Tor for one night transferred to the Var. We did cruise the Wachau Valley and then transferred to another Long boat at Vienna. Bus rides for most of the supposed Danube trip ie. Regensberg to Passau and back. Regensberg to Vienna, Vienna to Budapest. Left the boat at 3:30 am to go to the airport. Dumped at the airport with no guidance to catch a 6:30 am plane to Brussels and then to Chicago. I left out that I had a IU infection and called a Dr. in Vienna. Did Viking follow up, NO! We have been on 28 cruises and enjoyed all but one. We were notified 8 hours in advance that the river was low and we might have unpack and go to another boat. We had booked a room in Kansas City and it was too late to change anything. We were informed in Budapest that the long boat had been stuck for 3 weeks and was serving as a one night hotel. It is obvious that Viking was only interested in the money and had no concerns about passenger rights. We were offered a cruise voucher for 25% off future cruises which infuriates me. I might mention that we did not pick a 3:30 trip to the airport for a 6:30 flight which means getting up a 2:00am. See the World in comfort, yeah right! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Um no, no thanks. Never again. I signed up for a Viking River Cruise "Christmas in Germany" cruise in April 2017 for my mother's 50th birthday on assurances we would see "tons of Christmas markets" in Germany ... Read More
Um no, no thanks. Never again. I signed up for a Viking River Cruise "Christmas in Germany" cruise in April 2017 for my mother's 50th birthday on assurances we would see "tons of Christmas markets" in Germany - which was the ENTIRE point of the trip to Europe during Thanksgiving. Otherwise we'd have stayed home, it's cold, it rains, it's miserable but the Christmas markets are legendary and something my mother has always wanted to see. So for her birthday, I paid for this cruise. I booked the most expensive room - one of two Explorer Suites on the third level at the aft of the boat. Our ship was set to depart Nuremberg on 25 November with everyone embarking on 24 November for a 7-day cruise culminating with a final stop in Cologne. The brochure had the Nuremberg Christmas Market on it - one of the most famous in Germany. It spoke of all the Christmas merriment and smells of mulled cider and Christmas sights we'd see during our cruise. During our first nightly port meeting - our cruise director, George, informed us that the markets in Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Wurtzberg were all not yet open and were set to open the following week (after we'd all gone home). This meant of all the sights we'd see and places we'd stop - we would see only two markets over seven days - Koblenz and Cologne. Instantly pissed off. Now, during our cruise it rained and rained and rained. It was also freezing. So all our walking tours were miserable. And no markets. Also, because of all the rain, the water level was so high that our boat only barely moved once and we had to be bused long distances early in the morning from the boat. Hours on buses. Dinners in town at cheap places because we'd get back so late. This happened for about three days before we were eventually forced to disembark three days early (two nights left) and stay in a cheap hotel 40 minutes outside Cologne. Essentially, I did not get to stay in expensive suite I paid for for two nights, I didn't see the Christmas Markets I paid for (as they were not open yet no one checked the calendar), I did not get the food I paid for for several days (breakfast, lunch and dinner two days in the hotel) and then when we ate in town due to the 3.5 hour one way bus rides we ate at places that ONLY served beef and brat and cabbage - for two additional days lunch and then dinner not to mention the fully stocked fridge and snacks in our room that are complimentary which we did not have at the cheap hotel. I eat very healthy and expected the various menu options on the boat (fish, veggies, etc.) Viking is not cheap and I expected to get my money's worth. I did not. Not even close. Viking tried to make some things up to us - booking a stop in Miltenberg to shop (still no market) - and booking a cheaper option (fried chicken and soggy veggies for lunch) on a day boat to tour the Scenic Rhine - but it was too little too late for me as we'd spent HOURS on buses. You could also skip Wurzburg and the beautiful Wurzburg residence and go back to Bamberg for the Christmas market again another day - my mom wanted to see the historically rebuilt residence. Also, you could pay even more money (I'd already paid $10,000 for this cruise) to go on an extra excursion to Heidelberg and see their Christmas town (I don't think their market was open but they have an all-year store-type thing) which I chose not to do because, again, I'd already spent $10,000. Apparently you get bused a lot anyway during these - sometimes 2+ hours each way to these places. I thought the boats pulled into the towns. No. When I returned I demanded a partial refund - Viking initially offered me a standard $1100 in a future voucher. I said no. They then offered $3300 for a future cruise that I had to book in the next 12 months before it expired and wanted me to sign a non-disclosure. Are you kidding?! For a VOUCHER. They don't sell cruises that are cheap - so in order to see any compensation for this farce of a cruise I'd have to pay them MORE money. At this point - I never want to cruise with them again. Let alone give them thousands more. That is bad business and not a way to compensate customers for mistakes. Their customer service is awful and I have been put off by the entire experience. I expected better. They told me that they were only "offering" four Christmas markets during this cruise. News to me and everyone else I spoke to on the cruise, most of who flew on Thanksgiving night specifically for the Germany Christmas markets and were devastated not to get to see them and had verified with booking agents and customer service they would see ALL of them in every town we visited. Instead, we saw where they were being set up and would be open the following week for the next cruise. I mentioned that the most famous of the trip, Nuremberg, was on the first page of the cruise booklet and the agent, Rayna, who I spoke to, informed that the photo was simply for marketing purposes and we were never going to see that one, despite embarking and spending two days in Nuremberg. That is shameful. Well, of the four they "offered" - I got to see two of them. Even had they all been open, the schedules were so packed with bus rides, lunches, and walking tours of the cities, at best we had a hurried 30-60 minutes to walk the town by ourselves anyway. So the Christmas markets were never the main attraction - they were simply an afterthought. Extremely disappointing to my mother and I who planned the entire trip ONLY on the markets since she has wanted to see them her entire life. Otherwise, I could easily have visited Europe during warmer and less rainy and windy months when I could've enjoyed it. From Googling the company at this point I see this part of Germany has issues often with low or high water and clients being removed from boats and swapping to others. What a pain. Also, many complaints against Viking for cruises with issues where they refuse to try to make it right. I for one, plan never to use this company again and I would strongly encourage no one else to either. Viking continues to hold onto the flooding as my main concern in any interaction we've had - when really - it's more about misleading me about the Christmas markets and the calendar. I'd never have booked had I known I was only ever going to see 4 Christmas markets to begin with - they let everyone think the theme of the cruise was that and book according. Acts of God are one thing - but messing up Christmas market schedules and misleading customers then claiming they got to do "most of what was promised" (a direct quote from a snarky customer service agent who told me I had no recourse and they would not be discussing with me further) is simply not OK. Most of the individuals I saw on the cruise were elderly - extremely so - and probably take the vouchers for future cruises - don't complain - and don't go posting reviews all over the internet. I'm 33 years old and and I LOVE to travel and I travel 5x or more annually on luxury trips. I had hoped this experience would foster some loyalty for me with Viking and offer another way to travel for me and my friends and family. I had high expectations for them. I even had high expectations they would make this right when I got home and so far I have been nothing but massively disappointed. Bottom line - Viking River Cruises misrepresented what this cruise was about and is now refusing to offer compensation aside from vouchers (which will cost me more money to use and I am not accepting that) for my missed Christmas markets, two nights of missed accommodations and missed food services on a restricted diet. **Update 29 December 2017: I just spoke to the very polite and apologetic Viking agent who has been trying to contact me about this issue - I was now offered either 50% off a future cruise - or $500 in cash but both will require an NDA be signed. I'm not signing an NDA for a voucher Viking River Cruises. You owe me a cash refund and much more than $500. You misled every single passenger into thinking they were going to see all those Christmas markets and you are trying to cover the mistake up. There were a ton of elderly people on that cruise and most of them traveled on Thanksgiving day to be there. You should be ashamed. My mother and I spoke to dozens of people who were all furious and upset as they had only done this particular cruise for the markets. Now I'm being told Viking was only ever "offering" four. News to me. Even still, I only saw two. Do better. I appreciate the apology - but asking me to spend more money with you after a mistake this big - is nothing but bad business. **Update 30 December 2017: BUYER BEWARE - Viking River Cruises has shady social media, PR and customer service tactics involving having employees leave 5-star reviews and having multiple reviews left to push down bad ones. I have refused to sign an NDA as they will not refund my money - today they disabled their reviews on their Facebook site which seems a response to this review I posted on 27 December 2017 about a recent Christmas in Germany Cruise I took where they mis-represented the scheduled events - they can't delete it however - so the link below shows the original review - I've also posted it on my own FB page, on Yelp, here and made it public for all internet searches so it can be found. Bc it had so many comments and likes it was still at the top of the "Most Helpful Column" and they couldn't have that.... Original review link for Viking River Cruises on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alison.mccombs/posts/10104486688307539:0 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We just returned from a Viking cruise down the Danube, from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was a disaster. Here are highlights: • The embarkation point was changed from Erlangen to Nuremberg (40 min drive) and no one told us! • Two of ... Read More
We just returned from a Viking cruise down the Danube, from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was a disaster. Here are highlights: • The embarkation point was changed from Erlangen to Nuremberg (40 min drive) and no one told us! • Two of the five cities we were supposed to see by boat were traveled to instead by bus. • One of the reasons given was that the river was impassable between Regensburg and Passau, yet when we arrived by bus in Passau we found another Viking boat that had just sailed from Regensburg! • This is part of a pattern of consistent misinformation and lies. Almost everything we were told turned out not to be true. • These changes led to additional changes in our cruise schedule so that we had extremely little cruise time (on only two days out of seven) during daylight hours. • We paid extra money to get a stateroom with a balcony, yet well more than 50% of the time that we were docked in port there was another boat docked next to us that blocked our balcony. That, plus very limited cruise time during waking hours, made the balcony virtually useless. • The schedule changes also dramatically cut our time in Vienna and Budapest. For example, we were supposed to awake in Budapest, yet we didn’t arrive until 11:30 am (and the last 90 min was a third bus ride), missing half of our one day in this destination. • We had to change boats! One of the values of a cruise is to stay put for the duration. Instead, we had a >4 hr bus ride between Regensburg and Melk. (We started on the Var and switched to the Tor. The staff on the latter was much better.) • And the day of that bus ride, our luggage didn’t arrive in Melk until 10:30 pm! • The schedule changes triggered earlier tour times, several days as early as 8:15 am. That’s awfully early if you don’t get your luggage until 10:30 pm the night before. • Viking brags about wireless internet on board. This was essentially non-functional. It was out more than half the time and, when it was “on”, it wasn’t fast enough to make it operable. (The staff complained to us about this as well, so it’s clearly a chronic problem.) • Several staff members on the boats were shockingly rude—particularly on the Var. • Bottom line: If you want to take a river cruise, do not go with Viking. Read Less
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before ... Read More
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before our travel who made us aware of the nightmares they were experiencing. Nightmares as defined by numerous bus trips and lack of cruising time and being on board of a stagnant boat for accommodation purposes only. As we heard of these nightmares we contacted our travel agent and asked to cancel the cruise due to the low river levels. Our agent talked directly with Viking to understand the situation. We were then assured there would be only one bus ride for a three-hour duration from the Passau region to Vienna. The fact of the matter is the first bus ride was five hours, followed by a second bus ride into Budapest that took another 4 ½ hours. Combined with the numerous bus rides comes the task of packing and unpacking two more times than planned, which is a huge inconvenience. Once we reached Budapest we boarded an older boat that did not leave the dock – not much of a river cruise. While I understand Viking cannot control mother nature, you can control communications with honesty and integrity. It is quite apparent the revenue derived from your efforts is more important than customer satisfaction. My complaint is simple; we made our intentions clear; if there was any chance of additional bus rides and or lack of cruising time on the river we wanted to execute our insurance policy and obtain a full refund. That request is well documented with email communications more than two weeks prior to travel. We are now demanding a full refund for the cruise portion of the trip. We are not looking for a discount for future travel. Viking and Travel Leaders has lost our trust. As the previous President of my own company I would want to know about and work with dissatisfied customers. Which is the reason I’m writing a high-level executive and asking for more than a discount on a future Viking cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
In many ways I hate to give such a critical review because the boat itself, the food and the accommodations were all exceptional, The staff were unbelievable. the the program director, George was wonderful. We marveled at the consistent ... Read More
In many ways I hate to give such a critical review because the boat itself, the food and the accommodations were all exceptional, The staff were unbelievable. the the program director, George was wonderful. We marveled at the consistent high level of service they delivered. While the land tours were uneven, they were mostly good and helped you to get a flavor for the region. Night lecture by a Bavarian scholar was excellent. However, due to high demand for river cruises on the Danube the boats are often required to tie up 3 deep while in dock. The venting systems for the boats pool between the boats and creates an unbelievable stench that permeated throughout the boat. It was impossible to be on the upper decks if you wanted to breathe. The common areas in the center of the boat made us gag on several occasions. The smell was not so bad in the rooms but because we had another boat tied along side, our balcony abutted the other ship. Not only was the view obstructed but it necessitated keeping the drapes and darkening shades drawen or you had to either look at a show you didn't want or you gave a show you didn't intend. Not acceptable.. 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

Find a Viking Var Cruise

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