106 Viking River Viking Alsvin Cruise Reviews

We took the Paris to the Swiss Alps cruise in reverse from December 11-22, 2019 starting in Zurich. Viking has partnered with Marriott Hotels for accommodation pre- and post-cruise. The Hotel Renaissance is in the Technopark of low-rise ... Read More
We took the Paris to the Swiss Alps cruise in reverse from December 11-22, 2019 starting in Zurich. Viking has partnered with Marriott Hotels for accommodation pre- and post-cruise. The Hotel Renaissance is in the Technopark of low-rise buildings, but Tram #4 (blue) one block over runs to the old town. A day pass costs 8 Euro per person. Viking offered an orientation walk of the hotel area at 5:30 PM which is fine in summer but in December darkness comes early and lighting is poor. Some passengers purchased the day-long Highlights of the Swiss Alps optional excursion at $400, but it turned back due to heavy snow in the Alps. Instead of giving passengers a refund, Viking tried to offer an on-board ship credit. There is little to buy and how much can you drink? Just refund the money. Its basic public relations. After a bus ride to Basel and a convoluted walking tour around town pointedly trying to avoid the Christmas Market, we boarded Viking Alsvin at the St Johann Dock by walking down a long set of concrete stairs to the gangway. Note there is a lot of walking on this cruise so get yourself into condition before arriving. Alsvin is one of the newer additions to the Viking fleet all of which follow the same design template. That said, engine noise was louder than on the other six Viking river ships on which we have sailed and Alsvin would ‘shudder’ occasionally while underway. Our cabin 332 was filled with a king bed so we had to walk sideways around it. The bathroom was tiny but had all the necessities plus a heated floor. Twice the toilet wouldn’t flush but a maintenance guy cam promptly to fix it. Channel 9 on the TV is the bow cam for a view of where we were going should it be too to stand cold outside. Food service in the restaurant was okay but it took longer to get meals out of the galley and there were fewer serving staff on the floor than on previous Viking cruises. The first morning there was nobody at the omelette station and a slab of smoked salmon had not been sliced. Staff showed up later. Near the end of the cruise in Trier, they ran out of Coke and peanut butter and had to scramble to get some locally. Between Basel and Strasbourg, Viking Alsvin bumped into side walls of some locks and the jerky movement could be felt on board. No explanation from Captain Adam Buczkowski why this kept happening. Before Trier, the ship hit the wall of a lock with a loud ‘bang’ and enough force to jolt the ship and rattle glasses in the restaurant. Again, no explanation. I have never had this happen on any of my previous six Viking river cruises nor on any cruises with Avalon or Uniworld. Stops at Speyer and Mainz filled in sites I had wanted to see but while the Gutenberg Museum was closed on Monday, it was open to Viking passengers. Problem weas, their gift shop was not open. They could have made a tidy profit even after paying a salary and utilities but, so be it. Viewing the protected manuscripts is difficult in a crowd of people so go online to the Museum’s website where some exhibits are displayed. With the exception of transiting the Wachau Valley, there was very little commentary about the passing scenery on this cruise. Not even a separate TV channel with info. We cruised under an immense bridge then we drove on it to Luxembourg, but it was never identified by Viking staff. I found it is called the Hochmoselbrücke, literally the High Moselle Bridge, but it would be handy if Viking could identify local landmarks for passengers. Also, daily Port Talk briefings by Program Director Bojan Bozic lacked any details about walking from the ship to buses, for example, the multiple series of steps at Kehl for the Strasbourg tour and an alternative incline pathway. Finding our guides for excursions was often chaotic especially with other boats in port. Perhaps because this was the holiday season and some guides were not ‘regulars’ English language skills were challenging. When leaving Alsvin for excursions we had to pick up and return a guide number/letter card plus a little piece of paper stating our name, cabin and excursion so a manual tally could be made to determine if everyone was back on board. Why, for heaven’s sake, could we not tap our cabin card on exit and re-entry as is done on other ships? Technology works, Viking people. Also, Viking needs to acknowledge that on a cruise during the pre-Christmas season many passengers come to visit the little Christmas Markets along the Rhine and Moselle. Yet there was barely any Christmas music, classical or commercial, played on board. When I asked Reception why not, the woman behind the counter said, “it is not on our playlist”. I recommended the playlist be revised. The next day, I heard “Here Comes Santa Claus”. Once! Water was high in the Moselle and Viking’s large ship could not pass under some bridges even with its retractable wheelhouse fully lowered. Other smaller boats could make it. So, we double docked alongside Viking Eir and spent an extra day in Koblenz waiting for water levels to drop. A two-days-in-one combination bus tour of Cochem and Trier was set up. At 8:15 AM some Alsvin passengers boarded buses in Koblenz to Cohem and Trier completely bypassing Bernkastel located between these two towns. There was no commentary on the bus about the passing Moselle Valley. We arrived in Cochem for a flash tour of downtown and the reconstructed Reichsburg Castle. We were told, “you will have a little time in the square on your own.” No, we did not. Rush back on the bus for the hour plus ride to Trier. Certainly, no time to find a store selling the mustard which Bojan said was an authentic Cochem souvenir. Also lacking was a drive around Trier to see the Roman Amphitheatre and Roman Baths. We got off at the old town and marched directly to a restaurant near the Cathedral where we were scheduled to blow two hours at a three-course, sit-down lunch. I left, got a map and did my own tour. Come on. Most of us have sufficient reserves to get by on a snack of water and a granola bar when time is tight. And there is lots of food at the Christmas Market. We left at dusk and drove back to the ship in the dark. The next day we did sail up the Moselle to Bernkastel where we docked for a few hours before sailing to Trier for disembarkation. At 8:30 AM four buses took all Viking Alsvin passengers from Trier to Paris. This being the last cruise of the season, most crew left too and Alsvin would be taken to Cologne for off-season maintenance. While you can tip individuals for exceptional service, Viking Cruises reduces their wage costs by automatically billing 15 Euro per person per day in gratuities to be settled before disembarkation and divvyed up among crew doing the work for which they were hired. That’s about $200 per cabin per cruise. A nice chunk of change. This practice artificially lowers the advertised price of Viking cruises because other cruise lines take an honest approach and include basic onboard tips in their listed prices. Caveat Emptor. But before Paris there was a stop at the American Cemetery and Memorial at Haram and a walking excursion around old Luxembourg City then the long bus ride to our Paris hotel. On the bus, tour director Bojan finally decided to provide some not useful commentary by telling us about things off the motorway which we could not see such as Reims Cathedral (hidden by roadside berms and hi-voltage transmission towers), champagne vineyards (somewhere off in the distance, maybe), and Euro Disney (out of sight on the right) as we finally approached Paris. At 4:00 PM he got a call from the Marriott Opera Hotel asking where we were. After nine plus hours enroute, we finally arrived at 6:00 PM. The location of this hotel on Boulevard Haussmann is great within walking distance of many attractions. This Paris to the Swiss Alps Viking river cruise was not up to the quality of previous ones. I prefer river cruises to ocean cruises because distances are shorter, docks are close to sites and shore scenery is interesting. However, in 2017 we tried an ocean cruise from Barcelona to Rome on Viking Star with Captain Rune Lokling. The ship and amenities were excellent but along the way our cautious Captain Lokling decided he could not dock at Marseille, a natural harbor since medieval times, so no excursions. Instead he went further east to Toulon, home port of the French Navy Mediterranean fleet. We sailed in under sunny skies with calm water. I took photos. Then the white pilot boat departed, and we sailed out again. No excursions. Two hours later our captain finally announced bad weather prevented docking. No Way! So, we bobbed around at sea for a day with nothing to do. Next, the tender returning from St. Tropez hit the hull with enough force to break a window and toilets on board Viking Star did not flush for two hours one afternoon. I complained to Viking customer service in California. They denied any problems, but Viking Star now has a different captain. Maybe Viking Alsvin should too. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our "Cities of Light" Viking River Cruise from Paris to Prague was the most wonderful vacation experience my wife, our two best friends, and I have ever had. The accommodations aboard ship (Veranda A stateroom) were excellent, ... Read More
Our "Cities of Light" Viking River Cruise from Paris to Prague was the most wonderful vacation experience my wife, our two best friends, and I have ever had. The accommodations aboard ship (Veranda A stateroom) were excellent, and the food onboard the ship was consistently superb. The very best part of our onboard experience, however, were the fantastic crew members we interacted with every day, particularly in the dining room. By the end of the week, we considered Joseph, Masami, and Ron in the Dining Room to be genuine friends. In addition, each and every on-shore excursion was an outstanding experience. Each was hosted by a local tour guide who was knowledgeable, articulate, warm, and friendly. These guides made the history of each location come alive. Every part of our trip was first-class, including the personal reception we received from a Viking representative upon arriving at the Paris airport. All four of us in our group are wine lovers, so the Silver Spirits package was well worth the extra cost. We have already signed up to go on another Viking cruise this Spring, based upon the wonderful experience we had last Fall. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We just got back from the Cities of Light cruisetour (August 7-18th, Prague to Paris on the Alsvin) and had a great time! This was our second Viking river cruise having gone on the Danube Waltz last summer (Budapest to Prague on the ... Read More
We just got back from the Cities of Light cruisetour (August 7-18th, Prague to Paris on the Alsvin) and had a great time! This was our second Viking river cruise having gone on the Danube Waltz last summer (Budapest to Prague on the Legend) which we also really enjoyed. I was worried that August would be unbearably hot and crowded. However, we found the crowds quite manageable and the weather was very nice: low 70s and sunny/clear most days; there was only one day when it rained steadily throughout the day. We had no problems with low or high water levels on this cruise. Viking is not the most luxurious or all-inclusive (or expensive) river cruise line but, for the price we paid which included air, we have been very happy with what Viking offers. Our vacation unfortunately got off to a rocky start. We used Viking Air and, through no fault of Viking’s, the first leg of our Delta flight to Prague was cancelled because of weather. We were re-routed all over the place and ended up on three connecting flights. Instead of arriving in Prague at 11 AM, we arrived closer to 6 PM that day. I had called Viking en route to let them know of the delay, and a very nice Viking representative was waiting for us at the airport when we finally arrived (the one bright spot to an otherwise miserable, exhausting flight). To top it off, my checked bag with a two-week supply of clothes, shoes and toiletries did not make it to Prague. The concierge at the Prague Hilton hotel was basically useless in helping me track down my bag. However, the minute the Alsvin Program Director, Bjorn, became aware of my situation, he took over and contacted the airlines; my bag was delivered soon after directly to the ship. Bjorn even arranged to have my one change of clothing laundered (at no charge) until my suitcase arrived. Thank you, Bjorn! The two hotels we stayed at, the Hilton Prague and the Le Meridien Etoile in Paris, were fairly good but I would probably choose to stay somewhere else if returning to Prague or Paris. At the Hilton Prague, the air conditioning didn’t work in our traveling companions’ room and was never fixed despite repeated attempts to inform the front desk. At both hotels, I was disappointed in the quality of service offered by the concierges and front desk. One the other hand, they are centrally located, the rooms/bathrooms were attractive, clean and spacious, and the breakfasts were very good. The Alsvin is a beautiful ship with a modern, clean, Nordic décor. It’s kept sparkling clean and is in great condition for its age. The staff with very few exceptions were outstanding, very friendly and attentive – we were treated like royalty on this cruise! As already mentioned, Bjorn, our Program Director, was remarkably knowledgeable, helpful and attentive… and very funny too! Last year on the Legend, we had a French Balcony cabin. Although it was nice to open the sliding door at night (if not rafted next to another ship), we spent very little time in our cabin during the day since most of our time was spent dining, touring, and lounging in the public spaces. On this cruise, we booked the least expensive “aquarium” class cabin, saving about $1000-2000 compared to a balcony cabin, and were happy with our choice. Our cabin was very small but comfortable and efficiently laid out. Our cabin steward was excellent and kept everything very neat and clean. Meals are served in the main dining room and in the Aquavit Terrace which opens to a lovely, outside deck with expansive views. We really enjoyed the Aquavit and had about a third of our meals there. I would say the food on our cruise ranged from very good to excellent. Food quality can vary across ships depending on the Executive Chef and kitchen. Our Chef, Thomas, prepared some excellent regional dishes (mostly German) and we tended to order those most nights. For example, on the German buffet night, everything was delicious and perfectly prepared. The soups on this cruise were especially good, a highlight of the cuisine I thought. My husband had the ‘anytime’ steak one night and he said it was excellent. There was only one night when I wished I had ordered something else: I tried a lamb dish on the menu one night and was a little disappointed. The dining service was usually very good to excellent although not quite as outstanding as on the Danube Waltz Legend cruise we took last summer. On one or two nights depending on where we sat, the service seemed to drag on a bit, and we had to ask our server to refill our wine glasses (something we NEVER had to do on the Legend!). The included excursions and guides ranged from very good to excellent, and were very enjoyable. I think Viking does this very well! You visit many of the ‘berg’ towns on this cruise (Nuremburg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Rothenburg, Heidelberg) which are very picturesque and charming – think of those quintessential German half-timber houses and thatched roofs. We went on only one optional excursion, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, for $99 per person. Rothenburg is a walled medieval village with a fascinating history and some interesting shops and museums. However, we were disappointed that we had little free time to explore – only an hour after the fairly long bus ride, guided tour and a somewhat mediocre lunch at a local restaurant that took too long. In retrospect, we should have skipped the lunch to allow more free time to explore on our own. On most river cruises, the evening entertainment after dinner is often fairly dull and boring. On our Danube Legend cruise last summer, there was an uninspiring piano player and the lounge was usually empty after dinner. On this cruise, however, the entertainment seemed much more lively. There was a husband and wife keyboardist/singer team on board who were quite talented and seemed to encourage people to dance. Bjorn organized a couple of ‘quiz and game nights’ which people seemed to enjoy. On a couple of nights, there were onboard performances from local classical and jazz musicians who were quite good. I was surprised to find the lounge full of people many nights after dinner, “partying” until the late in the evening. There are a few downsides to be aware of when booking this particular itinerary (not a criticism of Viking, just the nature of the itinerary on this cruise). First, in order to pass under the MANY low bridges along the Main river, the sun deck remains closed for 3 of the 6 days on this cruise, from Bamberg until reaching Mainz on the Rhine river. It takes a long time for the staff to open and close the sun deck, so it may be standard for most cruise lines to close the sun deck while sailing on the Main river. However, it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience for us because the Aquavit Terrace on the third deck was available and has lovely outdoor seating to enjoy the views. Second, for those adverse to bus trips, this may not be the cruise for you. There are several long bus trips on this itinerary: the bus from Prague to Nuremberg takes over three hours and Luxembourg-to-Paris takes over 4 hours. There are also fairly lengthy bus rides (45 minutes to over an hour) to reach the Heidelberg and Trier excursions. Heidelberg is located over an hour’s drive from the river; for Trier, you depart the ship at Wintrich and are bused to Trier for the excursion, while the ship continues sailing on to Trier. The coaches, however, are very comfortable with guides that provide interesting information about the region. Finally, I would have liked to have had more time to experience sailing along the beautiful Moselle river. Although we had a full morning of sailing through the Rhine castle region (which is spectacular!!), our time on the Moselle was limited and we had to choose between going on the Trier excursion or staying on the ship while it sailed the Moselle to Trier. None of this detracted from the fabulous time we had on this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
From the start: 1. Corinthian Hotel, Prague - quite a distance from city center, old bed with springs coming though, price for 2-night extension through Viking was $399 per person, price per room through hotel was $100 per night, rude ... Read More
From the start: 1. Corinthian Hotel, Prague - quite a distance from city center, old bed with springs coming though, price for 2-night extension through Viking was $399 per person, price per room through hotel was $100 per night, rude employees, kept requesting toilet paper but ultimately had to take from public WC in lobby. 2. Ship - Booked a balcony room and when our luggage was brought to the room the attendant told us to make sure we didn't open the doors to the balcony because it would let in all the spiders. On two occasions, the ship did not dock were it was supposed to dock and on one occasion we were tied up to another Viking ship whereby our balcony was connected to a french balcony on the other ship which blocked all sunlight during daylight hours. All night, heard voices and the ships rubbing together. Additionally, the river had 44 locks (which was never divulged in any cruise docs) whereby the entire view was a concrete wall which the ship constantly bumped. The sun deck was closed for almost the entirety of the cruise. Food was terrible. One night there was a semi-coiled wire with a sharp edge in the onion soup. 3. Excursions - included excursions required extreme, long walking distances and are not suitable for people with ANY mobility issues. Some tour guides were rude, especially a guide in Cochem that yelled at a traveler that she was too slow and he would not let her continue on the castle tour and town tour. He embarrassed this person so much she was literally in tears. 4. Transport from ship to Paris - Required sitting on a cramped bus for 10 hours. Made a stop in Luxembourg, but again not at the scheduled stop, creating a very long walk to town. The bus would not allow anyone to stay on, so a passenger was forced to sit on a bench at the bus stop for more than 2 1/2 hours because she was unable to walk the more than a mile distance into town. Bus driver further caused complications when he unnecessarily parked as far away as possible from rest stops, etc. Total lack of consideration. 5. Paris - beautiful city, but the hotel Viking uses is lacking. Our view from our room was the loading dock for the hotel. Viking's lack of respect for passengers was shocking. They are not upfront in their advertising. They are overpriced, overrated and insensitive. Viking may be the most advertised river cruise company, but it is certainly not the best. Also note, there really isn't any entertainment or activities on board, so if you have any mobility issues that preclude you from walking more than a mile or two, your trip will be a very boring experience. I would never sail Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Norwegian. The cabins were nice and our cruise director, Jerome, was hilarious and great at what he does. The itinerary was good and if you get the chance to go to Prague, don't miss out. Absolutely fantastic. I took my wife and two teenage sons on the trip and I would say that the first strike against a Viking cruise is the focus on an older age group. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and we were very near the youngest people on the ship and most of the ship board activities and excursions were geared around an older age group. In fact, I heard but never asked, that Viking is not allowing people under 18 to cruise on their ships after this season. Not sure but I do believe they are going to steer the middle age group with families away from their product if they don't address this. I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of 40 unless they are traveling with a group of friends. We enjoyed all the people we met on the ship but there were not many people our age and only one other family with kids near our teenagers age. A second strike against Viking was never having enough time in each port to do things on your own. It seemed that we were always late to pull into a port and when there was free time allotted, it was usually only 30-60 mins at most. EVERY person we spoke to on the ship was disappointed in the lack of time to actually spend shopping and exploring. Each excursion included a lunch but European restaurants are not in a hurry to feed you and we would spend 1.5-2 hours at a meal which took all the free time away. I would strongly encourage them to offer a lunch box option for people who go on excursions and don't want to sit all afternoon for a meal. The worst example was Rothenberg. I was so excited to revisit this town that I remembered going to as a young boy growing up. We were late leaving the ship again, hit traffic, had a 1.5 hour lunch and were left with 45 mins to explore the city. We quit eating with the group and broke free on our own. We also played second fiddle to multiple other Viking cruises that pulled into port on the same day. For example, on our trip to Marksburg Castle, we actually left on time, got to the castle and the first of our groups to tour went into the castle. Then another Viking boat with a 50-60 people arrived late and they moved them ahead of us. This caused the remaining people in our group to have to wait outside in the 90 degree heat for about an hour until the other Viking tour group went through. Then came our final stop in Bamburg where other Viking ships ported before us and we were sent to a shipping yard outside of the city to tie up for the night. Had a beautiful view of metal shipping containers with something rotten in them that smelled awful. We couldn't get off the ship to explore Bamburg at night and didn't want to be on deck because of the smell and view. Not everything was bad but it was not what we were told to expect which was why I gave it a 3* rating. Excursions that we did..... 1) Panoramic Paris- great overview by bus. Problem was Paris traffic which makes a bus tour strenuous and we were supposed to have 1-1.5 hours on our own at Notre Dame (which reopened to view but not go inside) and St. Chappell. We actually had only 25 mins so we didn't explore 2) Luxembourg and American Cemetery- Amazing experience and the walking tour of the town was nice 3) Trier city tour- part bus and part walking and very nice with time to explore which was great. 4) Bernkastle-krus wine tour- great wine tasting but very little time left to explore the town which would have been amazing. 5) Koblenz Marksberg Castle- fantastic castle but being stuck as mentioned above in the heat because another Viking ship got to the castle late was frustrating for everyone. 6) Heidelberg- neat town but we finally realized that if we want to explore the town, we would have to quit eating the provided lunches so we left the group and toured it ourselves and had a blast. Heard the lunch was good but restaurant was not air conditioned well and very hot. 7) Rothenberg- as mentioned, was really looking forward to this and was very disappointed in the amount of time spent in the city. The boat was an hour late arriving to port so that removed all the time we could have had to see it. The trip to Wurzberg Castle was perfect but very few people on the Rothenberg itinerary went to the Castle and missed it. I thought it was great and would strongly encourage people to go. 8) Versailles- amazing castle but it is VERY crowded. Not Vikings fault but really difficult to enjoy when each room is packed with 80-100 people. Would have liked time to spend in the gardens but only had 30 mins sooooo...... 9) Cochem- castle was beautiful and had a bit more time to explore the city which was nice. 10) Nuremberg- bus tour as well as walking tour of city which was nice and we were given a bit of time on our own to explore. 11) Prague- this was truly the highlight of the trip. The hotel was spectacular ( Hilton Prague). The old city is spectacular and the tour to the Palace and downtown was worth the trip. If you get a chance, there is a fantastic 1930's style bar in old ruins under the city called the "Black Angel Bar" which was a real find and worth a stop in. We did the silver package and think it was worth the purchase but remember that house wines and beer are included with lunch and dinner. Top shelf wines are not and liquor is not included so many people choose not to get it and remember that all people in a cabin must be on the package. We stayed in a Veranda room but no balcony. The windows are full length and slide open for a nice view. Rooms were larger than most cruise ships with nice full showers and heated floors. Musical entertainment was a nice married couple that sounded great but all of the music was based around an older crowd as mentioned above. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary looked very interesting, and we got to start in Paris and end in Prague. We traveled with another couple. We're all between 50-60 years old and are very active. My husband and I traveled ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary looked very interesting, and we got to start in Paris and end in Prague. We traveled with another couple. We're all between 50-60 years old and are very active. My husband and I traveled with Avalon a few years ago for the Romantic Rhine cruise and based on that experience, we told our friends we would almost never be on the ship because we would be docked right outside the towns we were visiting and anticipated spending a lot of time checking out the sites. Well, I don't know if it's Viking or just this itinerary, but we spent very little time in any charming cities. Viking relied very heavily on bus transportation. Also, two nights, we docked at charming little towns, but we arrived after 6:00 p.m., and nothing was open unless you just wanted to eat and drink. One of our stops was supposed to be Koblenz, but we never stepped foot in Koblenz. We docked a few miles away in Winningen. Also, at our last stop, Bamberg, we were at an industrial dock several miles outside of the city, with nothing within walking distance. I have to believe Viking either has too many ships and not enough docks, or they are selling their dock space to other cruise lines and docking at cheaper locations. The good: Transfers to and from the airport were flawless. The scenery while cruising was beautiful. The food was delicious, and the service and staff were great. The tours were well-organized with excellent guides. The bad: Too much time on the ship sailing. There just isn't enough to do on board for that much sailing, plus the upper deck is closed the entire time on the Main due to low bridges, so shuffleboard and putt-putt aren't even available. The stops were very rushed, and we never had any time in the towns to explore. Finally the docking locations were terrible, resulting in too much reliance on bus transportation. Below is a synopsis of our stops: Our trip started in Paris, and the transfer from the airport was flawless. We stayed at the La Meridian Etoile. I've read other reviews that didn't like the hotel, but we all thought it was fine. It was a 10 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The provided city tour was very good. The guide was excellent. Traffic was pretty bad, so we didn't have much time at any stops. The last stop was the Eiffel Tower, so we left the group and walked back to the hotel (about a 30 minute walk). We also did an evening boat tour we booked through the concierge and really enjoyed that. On our way to Trier, we stopped at Luxembourg. The city tour was very nice, but we had trouble hearing our guide. It's a beautiful city. We also stopped at the American Cemetery and Memorial, which was excellent. Being retired military, we were grateful to be able to tour it. Embarkation in Trier was very smooth. The ship was clean, and our room, although very small, was comfortable. We had a stateroom with the French balcony. The bathroom was very nice. Even though it was hot, I enjoyed the heated floor and the anti-fog mirrors. The city tour of Trier was excellent, and we had a little time to roam on our own prior to sailing. Our next stop was Bernkastel-Kues. We arrived a little late, so everything was closed by the time we left the ship to walk around. It is a beautiful little town, but there really wasn't anything to do, so we just walked around and took some pictures. Next was Cochem. The walking tour of the town and the tour of the Reichsburg Castle was excellent. We maybe had an hour to tour around on our own, but all-in-all, this was a very nice stop. Our next stop was supposed to be Koblenz, but we ended up docking at Winningen instead around 6:00 p.m. Again, this was a quaint, pretty little town, but there was nothing to do after 6:00 p.m. except eat or drink. We walked around a bit just to get a little exercise. The next morning we caught a bus to Marksburg Castle. Our ship actually arrived on time, but another Viking ship's tour arrived late, so they went ahead of us, so we waited around outside in 90 degree heat for over an hour. When Viking's tour groups are interfering with each other, I do believe this is another indicator that Viking has overextended themselves. The tour itself was excellent, and I really enjoyed seeing the collection of armor and the torture chamber. We took a long bus drive to get to our next stop, Heidelberg. The city tour was very interesting, and we enjoyed eating lunch with one of the University students, but we tried to cut that a little short, so we could have at least a little time to shop and look around. After about 1/2 hour of free time, we toured the Castle. Our tour guide, Charles, was quite interesting and an excellent guide. Amazingly, we actually docked in Wurzburg and didn't have to take a long bus ride to get anywhere. The Bishop's Residenz was amazing....do not miss it! Some people on our tour said they thought it was more beautiful than Versailles. It was worth seeing in spite of the extreme heat. The tour of the town was excellent as well, but again, we only had less than an hour to look around before having to return to the ship. For Bamberg, we docked at a grain elevator and took a bus into town. The town was beautiful, and the tour guide was excellent. After very little free time, we took a bus back to the ship, docked by a rock quarry outside of town. On our bus ride to Prague, we stopped at Nuremberg. This was part bus tour and part walking tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. We had just enough free time to eat lunch and buy a ginger cookie before boarding the bus for Prague. Our arrival at the Hilton in Prague was flawless. Viking has definitely figured out how to handle large groups arriving all at once. The hotel was excellent and within walking distance of downtown. The walking tour the next day was also excellent. The city is beautiful. The architecture is amazing! We did the optional Lobkowicz Palace tour, and we all really enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We always wanted to take a river cruise with friends and the Paris to Prague trip satisfied all our desires with stops that we wanted. We had been on several ocean cruises, but this cruise, this ship, and the Viking crew, greatly surpassed ... Read More
We always wanted to take a river cruise with friends and the Paris to Prague trip satisfied all our desires with stops that we wanted. We had been on several ocean cruises, but this cruise, this ship, and the Viking crew, greatly surpassed all others. Why? First, everything was included. No cost for any shore excursions. Second, the cabin was better and roomier without an additional expense. Third, the smaller ship was more convenient and made getting on and off much easier. Fourth, the dining was fantastic and included beer and wine with every meal. Fifth, the crew was fantastic, especially Bojan, the cruise director, and the tour guides, all local, were exceptional. What we didn't have, like elaborate on board entertainment and cameras in our faces every time we moved and extra expense for shore excursions, we didn't miss at all. We liked Viking service so much that we have booked a Viking Ocean Cruise for 2020. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This has been on our bucket list and didn't disappoint! The staff was very attentive and professional. Smiles everywhere! We didn't have to lift a finger. Our dining room stewards couldn't have done a better job. ... Read More
This has been on our bucket list and didn't disappoint! The staff was very attentive and professional. Smiles everywhere! We didn't have to lift a finger. Our dining room stewards couldn't have done a better job. It's a thrill to anywhere on board and be attended to so well. Breakfast- cranberry juice is waiting along with your favorite baked good. At the bar, your favorite drink arrives by the time you find your seat. We're taking another Viking cruise this year and are concerned... will they do as well as our first cruise. The standard on this cruiseline is very high! Couple the onboarding experience with the cities, towns and sites we saw and you have a memory that won't be erased. If you're looking for a more intimate travel experience, the Viking River Cruises fit the bill. Much more personal than the big ocean liners. You really can't miss! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our second time booking with Viking and we knew that every detail would be taken care of. The service was superior, the food was excellent and all excursions included were very well organized along with very informing guides. The ... Read More
This was our second time booking with Viking and we knew that every detail would be taken care of. The service was superior, the food was excellent and all excursions included were very well organized along with very informing guides. The small cruise made it easy to mingle with other guests, the smaller ship made it easy to get around. The hotels chosen for us in both Prague and Paris were centrally located which made it very easy to explore on our own The negatives....most ports required transportation to the cities on our itinerary, sometimes taking up to two hours. Therefore following our tour we had very little time to explore before we got back on a bus again. The entertainment at night was OK, but we really missed the Broadway productions found on the larger ships. Seating was at a minimum sometimes especially on the forward deck and lounge area in the evening. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of cold weather and rain, we stayed with the ship and did not go on walks in those towns. We disembarked in Basil and did a city bus tour. Places we have visted before have all, for better or worse, changed. Our last stop was Zurich before the extension. For the better part of the river cruise, I developed a cough. Passengers were very concerned and offered cough drops and we very caring. I asked our tour director, Boris, when we arrived at our hotel in Zurich, about where I could find a doctor. He didn't know and offered no assistance to answer my question. By then my condition was much worse. It was Raphael at our hotel who guided us to a pharmacy where physicians were great. After exrays and a blood test, my diagnosis was Pneumonia. The physician there warned that we were not to go on the extended trip and we did not. Viking found us a flight with Air Canada to Toronto and then to Philadelphia. It is the people who make your trip. It's not the sights, or the entertainment, but we have found that it is always people. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Previous cruises with Viking We had to transfer ship to ship due to low water levels (not Vikings fault). The food was not very good and the food choices were limited. The guide on a particular excursion walked very fast and did not pay ... Read More
Previous cruises with Viking We had to transfer ship to ship due to low water levels (not Vikings fault). The food was not very good and the food choices were limited. The guide on a particular excursion walked very fast and did not pay attention to the elderly people who had a very difficult time keeping up. Several of us approached him about slowing down and he continued at his pace TOO FAST!!! We returned from an excursion to the ship and were delivered to an unlit muddy parking area in the middle of nowhere. No one from Viking attempted to help us navigate up a levee bank, also unlit, including an elderly lady that had to use a walker! The ship had not arrived, so we were forced to stand on top of the levee in a very cold wind! This cruise was not up to Vikings standards! We had been on other cruises with Viking without the issues we experienced on this cruise! TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Viking's reputation for excellence is well deserved; they know what they are doing. We looked for a cruise that included Prague and the Rhine River. I can't get enough of river cruising with villages that have been here for ... Read More
Viking's reputation for excellence is well deserved; they know what they are doing. We looked for a cruise that included Prague and the Rhine River. I can't get enough of river cruising with villages that have been here for centuries, castles, cathedrals, hillside vineyards, and living the life of luxury for a week! This cruise had it all. Dining is always excellent with Viking. The servers are so accommodating and watch for ways to add that special touch to each meal, like having my hot water for my tea waiting for my arrival at breakfast. Cabin steward knew our names from the get-go and remembered special requests. Top notch! Tour director (Boullion) was genuinely ready to help us in any way possible. He truly cared about making our experience the very best. He worked tirelessly in Paris making sure everyone had a ride to the airport in a timely manner. At the Paris airport, we never would have known where to go without our Viking rep who was ever so helpful. We've been on two Viking cruises and plan to take our third next summer! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Viking made the whole process easy and seamless from our arrival in Prague to our departure from Paris. The cruise director was friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, entertaining--both fun and funny! The on-board service was outstanding ... Read More
Viking made the whole process easy and seamless from our arrival in Prague to our departure from Paris. The cruise director was friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, entertaining--both fun and funny! The on-board service was outstanding throughout the ship. The reception desk staff went above and beyond to repair an item of my husband's that had been damaged in transit. And the dining room staff were very attentive and greeted us by name by the second day on-board. I enjoyed the itinerary which traversed 3 rivers through Germany as we went from Prague to Paris. The Middle Rhine is so scenic to cruise, with 35 castles dotting both sides of that stretch of the river. The view from the top deck was perfect, along with informative commentary and warm blankets to snuggle in against the chilly morning air! The included excursions were excellent, especially Bamburg, Cochem, and the not-to-be-missed Bishop's Residenz in Wurzburg. With one exception, the tour guides were fantastic (she was good, but a bit dry). Although the bus trip into Paris was long, the stop in Luxembourg City was a bonus, especially the American Cemetery, which is beautiful, historical, and very moving. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We wanted a cruise that included Prague. This cruise started there, ended in Paris (always a pleasure), and gave us the chance to see many parts of southern Germany we had not seen before. The ship cabins were delights of efficiency and ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that included Prague. This cruise started there, ended in Paris (always a pleasure), and gave us the chance to see many parts of southern Germany we had not seen before. The ship cabins were delights of efficiency and practicality, and in our opinion were in many ways better than the very nice hotels we used at each end of the actual cruise (the heated bathroom floors were a real surprise and a major plus,). In truth we spent little time in out cabin, however, with all the tours and activities to choose from! We took as many off-ship excursions as possible, and virtually all had excellent local guides and priority access. Food was very well prepared and presented, and plentiful, at the breakfast buffet, the lunch buffet, and the dinner (which included a couple of “theme” meals). Both Shore and Onboard staff was uniformly pleasant and efficient and worked hard to meet the needs/demands of the cruisers. The very small ship nature of a river cruise meant that we were able to make many new friends even in a week’s cruise. Finally, the staff did a great job not only with the embarkation/disembarkation, but also with the many excursion departures/returns. We would highly recommend a Viking River Cruise (although out next cruise will be a Viking Ocean Cruise!). Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The Viking Tour company handles everything for the travelers. They provide air service and pay for coach class. When you land, there is a representative to pick you up and take you to a hotel or the boat. They look after your luggage and ... Read More
The Viking Tour company handles everything for the travelers. They provide air service and pay for coach class. When you land, there is a representative to pick you up and take you to a hotel or the boat. They look after your luggage and the check-in process. They will explain all activities and schedules. You are free to take advantage of this or go off on your own, as long as you get back to the boat on time (they won't wait). Land tours use very comfortable buses with good legroom, large windows and storage for luggage and bags. There is plenty of cold bottled water and even an airplane style bathroom. A local tour guide will lead you through all the interesting sights of the off-boat excursions. Everyone is given an audio receiver to hear live narrative from the guide. They know a tremendous amount of detail and history about the places you visit. They give very entertaining descriptions of local history and culture. The head tour director for the Alsvin, Marianne, our Viking spokesperson for the entire trip, was exceptional. She presented all activities, answered questions, entertained the travelers and was a nurturing parent to all. We miss her already. On board: Viking River Tours use modern, high-tech longboats. They accommodate 180 passengers and about 50 crew. They are low and narrow to fit under bridges and tight waterways. On board is a main dining room and two smaller dining areas, one inside at the bow and one in the open. All are roomy and comfortable. There is a library, bar, lounge, information center and gift shop. The top (sun) deck has a putting green, shuffleboard, herb garden and walking track. It has lounge chairs, both under cover and in the open. Meals are fine restaurant quality. For breakfast or lunch, you can choose from the buffet, order from a menu or both. Dinner menu choices include local cuisine or a chef special. Usually there are two or three different selections from each and you can mix and match. Then there are three or four dessert selections. With lunch and dinner is a selection of complimentary house wines, beers, coffee or soft drinks and of course, water. Bar drinks are extra, unless you purchase the "Silver Service" package. Nobody loses weight on this cruise. But with all the hiking, we didn't gain either. The staff and crew are exceptionally friendly and diligent. They will ask your name and room number (for special drinks and tours) once, then remember it for the rest of the cruise. At dinner be prepared to be entertained and served by the wait staff who are really interested in you and what you like to eat and drink. There's no rush, but you don't have to wait long for service either. Between meals, they will make sure you are comfortable, whether in the lounge or on the sun deck. After a land tour they welcome you back on board with drinks and a snack. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We cannot say enough great stuff about Viking. We were worried about going to Europe for the first time. We were afraid of not knowing the languages or how to get around, etc.. Well, going through Viking was a dream come true. They ... Read More
We cannot say enough great stuff about Viking. We were worried about going to Europe for the first time. We were afraid of not knowing the languages or how to get around, etc.. Well, going through Viking was a dream come true. They met us at the airport and took care of us all the way, even waiting for us to check our bags at the airport to go home. The ship was small enough that we got to know all of the staff and they got to know us. It was so nice to pass them in the corridors and have them say, good morning John & Linda. With only 150 passengers on board, we were able to pal up with many of them during meals or tours. We made many new friends, including the staff. Bujorn (pronounced bullion) was our tour director and he made our trip so much fun. Every evening, before our scrumptious dinners, he briefed us of the following days activities. The chef would even brief us on the food selections and the wine steward would give us his nightly wine selections to compliment the meal according to your selection. Alcoholic drinks were included with lunch and dinner each day (which was an appreciated savings). Each port had multiple ability tours available. I thought it was great that they had tours for limited mobility as well as tours for normal ability people. They also supply you with a quietvox (hearing device) that you kept for the entire trip, for you to wear at each shore excursion. That was WONDERFUL. Everyone could adjust the volume, so you didn't have to try to stay at the front of the tour to hear the guide. My husband is hard of hearing, so he was really happy to be able to adjust his volume. It also made it so nice, because there were multiple tours going on at the same time at almost each venue, so there was no straining to hear our guide. Seating for meals were open, so you could sit wherever you wanted, but we made friends with David and March (our servers) and tried to get to their table every evening. The food was excellent.... A local cuisine option was available at every meal, which was a fun way to try new food. You could eat on deck or in the dining room each meal. There was no mandatory dress up meal, which we really appreciated, so we didn't have to use up valuable packing space for formal attire. Every evening, Bujorn had an activity planned for our enjoyment. Each day just flew by !!! We thought that this trip would be our one trip to Europe, but we are already planning another Viking trip with some of the new friends we made on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The Cities of Light itinerary is different from other Viking cruises. We stayed in a hotel in Paris along with our fellow cruisers for two nights, before taking a bus through Luxembourg to Trier where we embarked our ship. All the ... Read More
The Cities of Light itinerary is different from other Viking cruises. We stayed in a hotel in Paris along with our fellow cruisers for two nights, before taking a bus through Luxembourg to Trier where we embarked our ship. All the traveling was very smoothly orchestrated. Viking had a private car take us from the airport to the hotel. The hotel was situated a stone's throw away from the Eiffel Tower and served a great breakfast in the morning. While the bus ride to the ship was long, our cruise director was very entertaining, and it was nice to be able to walk around Luxembourg City for a few hours. The Viking Alsvin was a beautiful ship, well maintained, and it was a great home-away-from-home. We splurged for the veranda stateroom so we could have a balcony to sit out on. However, we had some rather loud, chatty neighbors that ruined the peacefulness of sailing down the river and really, the best views were on the top deck. Otherwise, our room was very comfortable, quiet, with plenty of storage. Viking's food is top notch. My husband and I both have dietary restrictions and the Maitre'd sought us out every morning to make arrangements for lunch and dinner. Our meals were always delicious. And the waitstaff are just the nicest people around! They really work hard to make sure you enjoy yourself! Variety of entertainment was lacking. Mostly there's piano music every night, but that's about it. We enjoyed the movie selections on our cabin's television and that was good enough for us. What we like most about cruising, though, is seeing the ports and this cruise had some fabulous stops! Bernkastel, Cochem, and Nuremberg were absolutely amazing! Viking's included tours taught us a bit about the history and culture of each town and were very enjoyable. My only real complaint is that because the itinerary is so packed and the ship needs to clear a number of lochs, the amount of time we had at each port was more limited than other Viking river cruises. We had an excellent time and would certainly go on another Viking river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I write hard reviews comparing to similar journeys so please pay attention only to the detail and not to the star ratings. In my view there has to be a significant difference to rate above or below average for comparisons among the 6 river ... Read More
I write hard reviews comparing to similar journeys so please pay attention only to the detail and not to the star ratings. In my view there has to be a significant difference to rate above or below average for comparisons among the 6 river cruises I have done. With that said I highly recommend most river cruises for the experience compared to most ocean sailings. With Viking the staff is outstanding 90% of the time and above average. The food was great and similar to other river cruises. The only negative was that the basic breakfast items like potatoes and veggies were often brought out cold and dumped in trays. I even stood there one day as they were brought out of the kitchen and they were still too cold to eat. Of course all the other items were near perfect as expected. The itinerary was weak in some regards on this cruise They packaged some days so that desirable stops were bundled as extra fare. Thus you couldn't just get Reginsburg without paying for it and spending a whole day doing other stuff of less import The on-board entertainment was weak and below average compared to other river cruises. The beginning and end points were big cities (Paris and Prague) and one can only sample these within the cruise itinerary so plan on adding extra nights on your own.The negative part of the itinerary was the long bus trips at the beginning and end of the cruise. If I were to do this again I would simply send my luggage on the bus and take a train between these points on my own. That way I could arrive at the end stop for the day rested rather than cramped from the seats on the bus. The final negative was a complete failure of the ship's air conditioning on the last night and with the hot weather we had to sleep with the balcony doors open just to breath. No accommodation was offered for this Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Viking has come a long way since we started river cruising. The new river boats are sleek and comfortable. Food is good but not wow! Gourmet dinning is really just a `love boat:" fantasy on most cruises. and has disappeared along ... Read More
Viking has come a long way since we started river cruising. The new river boats are sleek and comfortable. Food is good but not wow! Gourmet dinning is really just a `love boat:" fantasy on most cruises. and has disappeared along with the Midnight Buffet. The food is good and plentiful but we have down graded our expectations a long time ago. What is striking is how efficient Viking is at coordinating your cruise, flights, and tours. Very smooth. I would rank them now up there with AMA and Uniworld. Despite the low water levels, they managed to complete the cruise as planned.. My only disappointment was the short stay in Paris on the Prague to Paris cruise. The crew was very good and the restaurant staff very attentive. On board entertainment was fun consisting of glass blowers, opera singers, and lectures which were well done. Alcohol prices were very reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose the cruise because of the cities we were visiting and the brochure which spoke to some education regarding the history. The service was wonderful. Food was good but definitely not exceptional . I like the concept of have ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the cities we were visiting and the brochure which spoke to some education regarding the history. The service was wonderful. Food was good but definitely not exceptional . I like the concept of have beverages available during the dinner and lunch. The lounge was very comfortable and the front deck, when the sun came out ,was fantastic. It was a bit cool during the first half of the cruise so the top deck was not available. That and the locks prevented the top deck from being open. For the most part, the ship was lovely and very well attended to. Due to the brochures prior to the trip I expected more discussion regarding the city and the surrounds to be visited next, prior to the each excursion. There were announcements each evening prior to dinner, however the dialog was very difficult to comprehend/understand due to linguistics etc.With the only information to come was from the tour guides and the crowds of the excursion it became impossible to keep together and hear clearly what the guide was saying. The connection upon arriving at the airport was great and very organized. However the announcements prior to the first excursion were unclear and consequently we missed the first one we paid for and got on the wrong shuttle bus. For the staff standing on the stairs in lobby of the hotel and shouting out "instructions for the next event it was impossible to comprehend instructions with large groups of people and poor organization in that instance. The departure in Paris was quite different - it was a real nightmare with not nearly enough help at the airport. Our flight was canceled so we were hustled to another flight, but left with little an to no assistance. We were delivered to a little room for assistance but had no idea why and little knowledge of how to get to our plain. As it was we almost missed our flight causing a great deal of stress in an unfamiliar airport and staff who kept telling us we had to wait in line for a wheel chair which we did not need. The staff had no idea why we were left in a room with one service person (who spoke little Eng) and waiting for help. Viking really missed the mark on this issue as it was way to close to being a disaster for my us as well as another couple who were in the same predicament. Often the excursions were not given enough information regarding the difficulty walking etc. Quite often we got half way into a tour and found out we would not be capable to completing (i.e the Castle and Trier) We got up to the castle and then were told that the climb would be far too difficult for my spouse, so we could do nothing but sit and wait for all to complete the tour. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted to try a River Cruise. We don’t especially like the big Ocean cruises with 2000-3000 people. Those always feel like a ‘Cattle-call’ when embarking and debarking. Our River Cruise was not like that all all. The rooms were ... Read More
We wanted to try a River Cruise. We don’t especially like the big Ocean cruises with 2000-3000 people. Those always feel like a ‘Cattle-call’ when embarking and debarking. Our River Cruise was not like that all all. The rooms were great! The staff was exceptional. We appreciated the included excursions. We loved the little towns we were able to visit. The food was really good with plenty of options. There was not an abundance of evening activities but we didn’t miss those at all. The ones they had were excellent, very interesting informative and entertaining. The one surprise was that it wasn’t as relaxing as we had expected. Next time I would probably schedule fewer option excursions. Our cruise started with 2 days in Prague. We had added the extension. I am so glad we did! We LOVED Prague. We ended with 2 days in Paris and we extended that as well. Paris was also great! We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We decided to sail with Viking on the Cities of Light cruise on the recommendation of friends we had talked to about Viking. The only caution I may have is to say that this is not a cruise for children. We had never travelled in Europe ... Read More
We decided to sail with Viking on the Cities of Light cruise on the recommendation of friends we had talked to about Viking. The only caution I may have is to say that this is not a cruise for children. We had never travelled in Europe before, but we were comfortable the entire time. We selected a veranda suite which was fantastic! Enjoyed sitting on the veranda in the evening watching all the sites along the river. The ports of call we visited were very interesting and enjoyable, and the tours were fantastic with great guides. I could never say enough in praise of the ship staff, we could not ask for better, they were so attentive!! Our tour director was nothing short of super! Food and drink on board was always varied and very well prepared, delicious!! All in all, Viking does a great job of taking care of their customers, and offer a fantastic experience. We enjoyed the time so much, we are going again on the Grand European tour in 2020, can't wait!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choose this river cruise because we had heard so much about Viking and wanted to see for ourselves. We loved all the stops and the staff were excellent in helping us every step of the way. The ship was beautiful and our room ... Read More
We choose this river cruise because we had heard so much about Viking and wanted to see for ourselves. We loved all the stops and the staff were excellent in helping us every step of the way. The ship was beautiful and our room exceeded our expectations with much more storage space than anticipated. The food was wonderful and I enjoyed the Chef telling us details about what the next meal would bring. Entertainment was very entertaining from the nightly piano player to the exceptional performances from people in the region we were traveling through. I must express how happy we were that the longboat had an elevator. My traveling companion sure needed it as steps are not easy for him. We were so please with Viking we have booked a mediterranean cruise for this coming July, 2019. Barcelona to Venice on the Viking Star. Can't wait for our next big adventure with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
When my husband and I planned our retirement, we promised each other cruises to the lands of our heritage - his, Scandinavia-German, mine Hungarian-German. We took care of the Scandinavia part 2 years ago, so this was my turn- and Viking ... Read More
When my husband and I planned our retirement, we promised each other cruises to the lands of our heritage - his, Scandinavia-German, mine Hungarian-German. We took care of the Scandinavia part 2 years ago, so this was my turn- and Viking Alsvin was the perfect choice! We chose late spring so the gardens would be in bloom; we chose to begin in Nuremburg and end in Budapest so we could extend our tour several days in the cities of my grandparents, Buda and Pest. We chose Viking on the recommendation of family and friends who love river cruising and say, over and over, that Viking is the best. We definitely agree! From the moment we were picked up at the airport to the moment we reluctantly disembarked in Budapest, our experience was wonderful. Our favorite gathering place with our new on-board friends was the AquaVit Terrace, where the lunch buffet was always fresh and delicious and the view delightful, cruising smoothly on the river, riding the locks or even just waiting our turn to enter. The upper sun deck is the best place for 360° views, at a table or stretched out on a lounge chair. with something cold and delicious at hand, But the ship is designed for outstanding viewing no matter where you are on board - even getting cappuccino and fresh pastries or cookies from the 24/7 coffee bar! Every meal on board, including the breakfast buffet, was delicious, with lots of international choices. The nightly regional dinners were wonderfully prepared and beautifully presented, but the best meal of all was the after-concert "snack" Chef Thomas prepared in Vienna: a gulyas soup that tasted just like the gulyas my grandmother made! Chef also surprised us with freshly made raspberry gelato cones, scooped and handed out as we returned to Alsvin after an especially warm walking tour - Yum! Although we are usually independent explorers, we opted to take all the included tours. They were conducted by local guides and terrifically informative if, at times, a little strenuous. We always had the option of extending our free time after the tours, which we did in several ports, but we will probably go back to our usual "independent" ways on our next cruise because of our tendency to mosey and linger.... There are two optional tours we highly recommend, however: the concert in Vienna and the horse farm outside Budapest! The concert, held in a private concert hall of a beautiful palace, was outstanding, as was driving through Vienna at night. The farm tour not only gave an historical view of Hungarian (think "Hun") horsemanship, but a delightful drive away from the city into the countryside. We had been told that we should book a night cruise in Budapest with one of the small companies that provide these trips, as it was a sight not to be missed. But we had a wonderful surprise: Viking Alsvin cruised up and down the Danube in spectacularly lit Budapest while we viewed it all from the sun deck - and got wonderful pictures and videos too - in the company of all our new friends! As on most cruises, the staff was a wonderful international conglomeration - and all the service was warm, friendly and impeccable. Our Program Director, Tessa, was a walking encyclopedia and could answer any question or solve any problem put to her, all with great enthusiasm and warmth. She was our "tour guide" topside as we floated (or so it seemed) down the river, pointing out interesting sites without intruding on our relaxed reveries. All in all, our trip is one never to be forgotten and far exceeded our expectations. Thank you Viking and all the crew and staff of Alsvin! If we never get to cruise again, we can truly say we've had the best! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We loved everything about our Viking cruise Paris to Prague ! Viking has an Amazing staff. They Viking staff are superb!! They were Professional, courteous, and friendly !! They appeared to Anticipate our every need and desire!! Our ... Read More
We loved everything about our Viking cruise Paris to Prague ! Viking has an Amazing staff. They Viking staff are superb!! They were Professional, courteous, and friendly !! They appeared to Anticipate our every need and desire!! Our accommodations were lovely. The cabin was comfortable, spacious and well appointed. The cabin service was excellent. We were delighted with the dining room service and quality of the meals. The wait staff went out of their wa to satisfy our needs. Just terrific! The food preparation and the presentation was beyond our expectations. The excursions were interesting and varied. Viking accommodated all activity levels. The evening entertainment was lovely! Great music! Great lectures! The lounge provided a warm, friendly and intimate atmosphere. We travel often and we feel that Viking cruises give us great value!! Clearly attention was paid to the details! We loved our trip!! Thank you Viking for a great time!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Viking Alsvin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.0 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 5.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.5
Rates N/A N/A

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