Sail Date: April 2014
So quick, easy and casual getting on and off, great tours and wine and beer included, Fantastic staff, especially our program Director, Henrietta. With only about 175 Passengers and Viking being very well organized with all the details ... Read More
So quick, easy and casual getting on and off, great tours and wine and beer included, Fantastic staff, especially our program Director, Henrietta. With only about 175 Passengers and Viking being very well organized with all the details everything went very smoothly even with a slight change of plans due to high water. We got to see Munich and have a fabulous German lunch at Ratskeller on Viking. On board all Meals were very good as well with plenty of choices whether you wanted sit down service or buffet. The beer and wine flowed freely at both lunch and dinner. There was always a predinner itinerary rundown in the lounge which worked out well as a meeting place for a visit over cocktails as well. The two help yourself coffee stations were always very clean and nicely stocked with yummy cookies Muffins or pastries. The machines could make about 8 different kinds of really good coffees. We were on the maiden voyage and there were a couple of problems with the tv and noisy vibrating noise but they seemed to do their best to get it sorted ASAP offered the use of a lower cabin and brought us a bottle of bubbly as an apology. The passengers were all American and Canadian and at 57 yrs old I was on the younger end of the age spectrum ( only a handful younger at most) but although an older crowd, for the most part a fairly fit group overall. This grand European river cruise on the Viking Eistla exceeded our expectations... We can't hardly wait to experience our Viking Ocean cruise in 2016....I only wish 2015 was available! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
My wife and I just returned from Viking's Grand European Tour on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. We are 100% satisfied with everything about this trip. The ship, Eistla, was brand new and on its maiden voyage. Viking handled all ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from Viking's Grand European Tour on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. We are 100% satisfied with everything about this trip. The ship, Eistla, was brand new and on its maiden voyage. Viking handled all aspects of the cruise including round trip air fare from Cleveland. At every point of the trip from the airport in Amsterdam to the air port in Budapest, Viking provided qualified representatives to escort and assist us. The service aboard the ship was superb in all categories. Our program director was outstanding. The free daily excursions were well managed and always interesting. We took only one optional excursion in Nuremburg and were very pleased with the content and the guide. Food also was superb. Abundant breakfast made to order or from the buffet, lunch and dinner in the dining room was always excellent. Lunch and dinner is open seating which provides the opportunity to meet many new people. Daily schedule enabled us to be back on the ship every day for lunch as well as breakfast and dinner so you did not have to seek out local places to eat. Each day there were scheduled presentations on subjects of interest and at night there was some type of entertainment, none of which was disappointing. Two cautions about river cruising. First, there is a lot of walking on the free excursions but the excursions are rated as to level of difficulty. Second, river water level can be a problem. We had one day where the ship could not proceed because of low water lever; this was on a section of the Danube. On that day, Viking arranged an excursion to Munich which was probalby better than the originally scheduled stop for the day. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
My Husband and I recently went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise for 15 days in May, 2014 and were blown away with how well everything was organized and how pleasant all the staff were. It was such a Beautiful cruise and we were ... Read More
My Husband and I recently went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise for 15 days in May, 2014 and were blown away with how well everything was organized and how pleasant all the staff were. It was such a Beautiful cruise and we were fortunate to have perfect weather the whole time. The food was exceptional and the waiters and waitresses outdid themselves to make us feel comfortable and help us enjoy ourselves. We really can't say enough about how pampered we were and how very relaxed this type of cruise is. Our cabin was mid-ship and had a balcony which gave us a bit more room inside the cabin as well. It was very nice and very clean. We were always given a fresh bottle of water everyday in the room along with toiletries in the bathrooms. As with every ship, the rooms are very compact but the space is well used. We were quite happy with our accommodations. We had never been to Europe before and were somewhat nervous about language barriers but there was never a problem especially with the way all the tours were handled. The tour guides, bus drivers, store keepers and restaurant owners were all very gracious and helpful. Even the ship (Eistla) was Brand New! We would not hesitate to suggest this trip to any of our friends or family. Thank You for making our Dream Vacation exactly that.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My son and I cruised with Viking on the new Eistla longboat in December. We embarked at Nuremburg, Germany. From the time we boarded until we disembarked we were overwhelmed by the professional and courteous service of Viking. The cities ... Read More
My son and I cruised with Viking on the new Eistla longboat in December. We embarked at Nuremburg, Germany. From the time we boarded until we disembarked we were overwhelmed by the professional and courteous service of Viking. The cities of Nuremburg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Wauchau Valley, Vienna and Budapest were impressive and made more enjoyable by the very knowledgeable guides in the tours. The dining was superb along with the very attentive wait staff. Evenings were informative and enjoyable thanks to Carl the cruise director. We haven't stopped talking about the trip since we've been home. Already thinking about our next trip with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
All inclusive cruising. The food was amazing, the Hungarian wine was delicious, the service was amazing. The waiters did an awesome job and some of them were quite entertaining and we felt like friends by time our cruise was over. The ... Read More
All inclusive cruising. The food was amazing, the Hungarian wine was delicious, the service was amazing. The waiters did an awesome job and some of them were quite entertaining and we felt like friends by time our cruise was over. The housekeeping staff did an excellent job of keeping our room clean. The entertainment was good, although we never saw all of it. The room for the entertainment could have been a little bit bigger to accommodate more guests. The shore excursions were good. It didn't take us too long before we decided to go out on our own to tour the cities. Some of the guided tours were quite slow (to accommodate those seniors who could not walk very fast), there was a lot of historical information which we soon found as information overload. Some of the tours we did enjoy. Our favourite times were exploring on our own, or with another couple, the old castles and other natural historic sites. We are not shoppers so we avoided that as much as possible. The ship was well laid out and appointed in lovely neutral tones, no complaints. All the staff were kind and extremely hard working and dedicated. We had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend this type of luxury cruising to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We took the Viking Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam and had a wonderful time. We put together a group of 7 cabins of friends so we always had someone we knew to talk with and do port excursions with, but the other guests on ... Read More
We took the Viking Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam and had a wonderful time. We put together a group of 7 cabins of friends so we always had someone we knew to talk with and do port excursions with, but the other guests on board were also very friendly and nice so we met new friends too. The ship size was perfect and the service superb! Embarkation was a snap and our cabin was very nice, we had a french balcony, but some of our group chose the rooms below with the half window and said they were nice and large and quiet. We are signed up for another Viking cruise next year, going from Munich and ending back in Budapest. We loved Budapest and wanted to see it again and spend more time there. Others from our group have signed up for other Viking cruises this year and next, so this cruise was a hit with everyone! The weather was a bit cool in early April, but the prices were also better at that time, and there were fewer tourist crowds to deal with. As far as shore excursions go, Bratislava was very interesting and our guide was witty and very knowledgeable. Our cruise next year goes back there and I hope it has not changed too much! Melk Abby was amazing, a must see, and the town of Cologne was lovely, people out for strolls and on blankets enjoying the spring sunshine. We recommend going into Budapest a day or 2 early to enjoy both sides of the river and poke around the markets nearby, lots to see and do within walking distance. The Marriott hotel on the river is excellent for pre cruise stays. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
13 of us took the Grand European from Budapest to Amsterdam on March 29, 2015. The cruise was wonderful. The Eistla fabublous. If you are lucky enough to have Florian as your chef you will eat well! We were cruising on Easter ... Read More
13 of us took the Grand European from Budapest to Amsterdam on March 29, 2015. The cruise was wonderful. The Eistla fabublous. If you are lucky enough to have Florian as your chef you will eat well! We were cruising on Easter Sunday. About 15-20 guest had inquired about arrival in Nuremberg in time for church services. David and Krista made arrangements for an unscheduled stop and a coach to take us into town. David walked us to the church. I was in a Catholic church with a German priest. I am Presbyterian, so really did not know what was going on, but was thrilled to be there. That Viking would go our of their way to see that the few of us that wanted to be in church on Easter Sunday, got to be there was wonderful. Their genuine caring also came thru when a fellow passenger fell in Wurzburg and had to be hospitalized. Their care for him and his wife was wonderful. I can't wait to take another Viking Cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We had only been on one cruise prior to this one and, frankly, were not greatly impressed. Too much sailing and not enough shore time were our conclusions. Everything we needed (coffee, drinks, snacks etc) cost extra and the shore ... Read More
We had only been on one cruise prior to this one and, frankly, were not greatly impressed. Too much sailing and not enough shore time were our conclusions. Everything we needed (coffee, drinks, snacks etc) cost extra and the shore excursions were extremely expensive. So we were most impressed with the Viking experience, with 24 hour coffee, beer and wine with meals, and the included tours which all gave us excellent experience of the local towns and cities. The additional tours were excellent value. Service on board was terrific; the Progam Manager was everywhere and available and helpful. All the staff fell over themselves to provide service above and beyond our expectations. Food was wonderful (we both gained 4 kg) and varied, and beautifully presented and served. Administration of our account, and the disembarkation process, were seamless. We left our Viking luggage tags on our suitcases, and on our next trip, a Viking rep. saw them in the airport and asked if he could help us! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We had never been on a cruise before, partly because of sea-sickness fears and partly not wanting to be "couped up" with a lot of other people. River cruising addressed both of these by providing a smaller boat which ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise before, partly because of sea-sickness fears and partly not wanting to be "couped up" with a lot of other people. River cruising addressed both of these by providing a smaller boat which wouldn't suffer from stormy seas! We were still apprehensive though, but, in the event we found the boat to be superb, the fellow passengers similar in style to us, the crew friendly and efficient, and the organisation marvellous! The ship was beautifully fitted in modern style, and nearly new! The service was superb, staff could not have been better, they were always ready to help and to make sure that you were happy. The trips were excellent. There was limited entertainment - which suited us, and the briefings on daily outings etc were amusing and interesting. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I just loved the ship's restaurant staff. Such fun and so very happy to please us. The bar staff was equally lovely. I found out the hard way that they don't appreciate your bringing food from your excursions onto the boat and ... Read More
I just loved the ship's restaurant staff. Such fun and so very happy to please us. The bar staff was equally lovely. I found out the hard way that they don't appreciate your bringing food from your excursions onto the boat and eating them in the lounge. In your stateroom is fine. But they are more than willing to open a bottle of purchased wine in the lounge. Not sure what the difference is but lesson learned! Our excursions were very educational and geared nicely for all levels of ability and mobility. If you chose not to go ashore that was just fine. We ate several meals in the dining room and the food was great. The portions were reasonable and if you wanted something a bit different they were more than happy to accommodate you. We also ate several dinners on the Aquavit Terrace and that was equally nice. If it is too cool to have the doors open you have but to ask. GREAT service! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Had never done a river cruise before so wasn't sure if it would enjoyable, though as an enthusiastic traveller I figured we'd be doing enough that what happened on board wouldn't matter. To my astonishment had a fantastic ... Read More
Had never done a river cruise before so wasn't sure if it would enjoyable, though as an enthusiastic traveller I figured we'd be doing enough that what happened on board wouldn't matter. To my astonishment had a fantastic time on board, enjoyed the company of other travelers, outstanding food (cooked up by chef Florian) and the professionalism of the crew (Valerie et al.) The cabin was comfortable, and my wife and I enjoyed sitting not he balcony as we skimmed the Rhine. The cabin attendant did a stellar job keeping everything clean and tidy. The only weak point for me on board was the Wi-Fi which was abysmal. Most of the shore excursions were interesting but some of the logistics in getting to where we were going made our time brief at some of the destinations. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Our European tour was of the Rhine River. The boat was very comfortable, the food was excellent, the staff was accommodating. All the basics were quite well done. We were disappointed that a bus tour of Amsterdam was substituted for ... Read More
Our European tour was of the Rhine River. The boat was very comfortable, the food was excellent, the staff was accommodating. All the basics were quite well done. We were disappointed that a bus tour of Amsterdam was substituted for the promised canal tour. We were also disappointed that the promised location in downtown was not available and that we were moored in an outlying industrial area where it was difficult to walk around the City. The river tour was interesting but it was mostly up to us to recognize where we were and what we were seeing. On a previous river trip with another company there was an historian available to comment and interpret. All in all it was a good trip but not what we had expected from the advertisements. As a comment, it would be helpful if suggested that people on a "redeye" flight plan to spend a night in a hotel prior to starting this tour. We were exhausted and not able to profit much from day one. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Had a great time. Congenial shipmates, excellent food, very friendly, efficient staff. We had lovely experience sailing from Frankfurt on the Main to the Rhine, up the Rhine to Rudesheim, then down the Rhine to Koblenz, then up and down ... Read More
Had a great time. Congenial shipmates, excellent food, very friendly, efficient staff. We had lovely experience sailing from Frankfurt on the Main to the Rhine, up the Rhine to Rudesheim, then down the Rhine to Koblenz, then up and down the Moselle and back to the Rhine to Cologne and on to Amsterdam where we disembarked. Our cabin was kept spotless as were all the ship spaces. Yes, the cabin was small, but was very well appointed. Our tour guides were very knowledgable and entertaining. Couldn't have asked for a better crew! Docking was done so well that we rarely felt any bumps. Would highly recommend to everyone! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
I traveled with 3 of my sisters, my husband and brother in law. We have cruised with the best Cruise Ships and have most likely 100 cruises between all of us and we ALL LOVED the River Cruise on the Eistla. It was a first for all of ... Read More
I traveled with 3 of my sisters, my husband and brother in law. We have cruised with the best Cruise Ships and have most likely 100 cruises between all of us and we ALL LOVED the River Cruise on the Eistla. It was a first for all of us. The service, the food, the scenery. We loved it so much and talked about the advantage of the smaller ships compare to the masses of the big ships that all 6 of us booked again for August 2016 to cruise from Munich to Budapest. One of my sisters and her husband lives in Germany and they joined us in Frankfurt and we flew together to Amsterdam. The cabins where a little small but we spend very little time in them and so it was fine. We all had a fantastic time and enjoyed all the excursions also. Looking forward to our next one. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first river cruise. Viking was very professional from the reservations to the end of the trip. We cruised down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. The Eistla was only 2 yrs old and it was very crisp and clean. We were able ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. Viking was very professional from the reservations to the end of the trip. We cruised down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. The Eistla was only 2 yrs old and it was very crisp and clean. We were able to make a lot of new friends and talk to all of the staff including the Captain! We had a choice of taking meals in the dining room or Aquavit terrace (more informal). The selection on the menu was excellent. The wait staff was a little overworked and tried really hard to please. They probably should hire a few more in the dining room. The program director was superb, personable, and helpful. We were always on time and every disembarking procedure was explained very well. We hardly knew that the ship was moving-it was that smooth. This is not a tour for onboard exciting activities as most passengers are middle aged and want a relaxing, quiet experience-which it was. The trip down the Rhine was a cultural experience and children would not appreciate this tour. The passengers could elect to do shore excursions (some guided, some self guided) or remain onboard. Gratuities were suggested and a little steep. Gratuities should really be part of the price and passengers can give for recognized extra service. We are planning our next Viking cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This cruise, from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, was a mixture of strengths and disappointments. Though we are experienced sea cruisers this was our first river cruise, and we were interested to see how the two compared and if we had a ... Read More
This cruise, from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, was a mixture of strengths and disappointments. Though we are experienced sea cruisers this was our first river cruise, and we were interested to see how the two compared and if we had a preference for one over the other. First the strengths, our ship, ‘Viking Eistla’, was beautiful, with a smooth, quiet, comfortable ride, and we were absolutely delighted with our cabin. Viewing space on the upper deck was plentiful, and at no time did we feel restrained in our viewing of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. We had chosen a balcony cabin, and we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink there on a couple of occasions. New river cruisers might want to consider just how much time they will spend on a balcony, as of course, you only see one side of the river. Also, when the ship is tied up alongside another ship, then opportunities for balcony-sitting are necessarily curtailed. The restaurant food was generally of a high standard, though not consistently so. All staff that we encountered were very friendly and helpful, and in particular our cabin stewardess (from Dubrovnik) was quite superb at looking after our cabin. Excursions are included in the price of the cruise, and though we did not participate in all of these, preferring at times to explore on our own, they were well organised and the guides were excellent. We particularly enjoyed the organised tour to the Peace Museum and Bridge at Remagen. Now the negatives, and there quite a few. Firstly, if possible do not let Viking make your flight arrangements. They seem to be focused on obtaining the cheapest possible route regardless of what this might mean to the guests. Despite direct flights from our home airport, we were routed via Amsterdam and required to change flights there. Essentially, this more than doubled the journey time for us. When we arrived at Frankfurt, we struggled to find the Viking rep, who it transpired was running around like a headless chicken looking for ‘lost’ passengers (not us). There appeared to be no strategy in place to deal with this situation. The additional airport delay meant that we arrived at our ship at 18.20 - so much for day one of our cruise! Some of our dining companions had joined the ship shortly after 10.00 that same day. Essentially, then, we lost a day and also the opportunity to “settle in, relax, and spend some time exploring the city”, as described on Viking’s website. I have since learned that travel arrangements have been problematic for other Viking cruisers on other rivers, but I was unaware of this at the time of booking. Secondly, while the restaurant staff were always friendly and helpful, there did seem to some training issues requiring attention. We learned to delay ordering our main course until we were nearing completion of our starter, as on the first occasion our main course arrived just after we’d begun our buffet starter. When we pointed this out, our server explained that they, “were very fast”! The illustrations of dining on the Viking web gallery suggest small tables in a quiet dining room. The reality is that at dinner the dinning room is full, somewhat cramped, and with tables of eight. The picture of the Aquavit Terrace with its handful of diners is a complete mis-representation of the real situation which, on our cruise, was both cramped and crowded at lunchtime. Thirdly, I recognise that what passengers are looking for from their cruise will vary depending upon individual taste. My wife and I had hoped for a balance of day-time cruising particularly on the Rhine, together with the opportunity to visit various ports-of-call. While we did have the opportunity to visit several interesting ports, we did feel that excessive amounts of time were spent in some ports, e.g., • Koblenz - 25 hours • Cologne - 24 hours • Nijmegen - 24 hours This seemed to be due to the fact that we were sailing with the current, and according to the ship’s tannoy, “were making excellent time.” However, this had the knock-on effect that much of our actual cruising time was done during the night, and so the balance of daylight cruising time and port time was particularly disappointing. As a consequence we saw considerably less of the Rhine than we had anticipated. Perhaps cruising up-river might alleviate this particular issue. Berthing : Viking’s information refers to city-centre berthing and this proved to be the case at the majority of halts. However, in Cologne we were berthed approximately 2 miles from the city centre – this despite vacant Viking berths in the centre. Although shuttle buses were provided during the afternoon, these are much less convenient than being able to stroll off the ship at any time. The buses did not run in the evening, despite the ship being berthed until midnight. Berthing was, again therefore, not as described in the information provided by Viking. Internet Service : Viking’s website describes “free ship-wide wireless internet service”, but our experience was that this quite simply was not the case. At no point were we able to access the wireless internet in our stateroom, and even in the centre of the ship reception was sporadic. Once again, the information provided by Viking was less than accurate. It would be quite unfair to suggest that we did not enjoy our cruise, when we really did. The Rhine is a fascinating river, scenically pleasant, with great ports and a wide range of river traffic to add further interest. However, these cruises are fairly expensive and, while I fully acknowledge the many positive Viking reviews, I feel that there were just too many disappointments on this particular cruise. If you are considering booking, do ‘read between the lines’ and enquire beyond the obvious. I did write to Viking upon our return, but the Senior Customer Services Executive who responded choose to misinterpret some of my points, and completely ignore others. He did, however, send two £100 vouchers towards a future cruise with Viking. As if! These were returned to him, and we were sent a final, still patronising, cheque for £350. In conclusion, we decided that we prefer sea cruising. We were, however, very impressed with the Rhine and I suspect we will cruise on that river at some future time - but certainly not with Viking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This company offers little to poor value for the high prices that it charges. The cabins are so small that you can't even pass each other in the cabin. They have crowded in about 100 cabins while AMA and Tauck have a much smaller ... Read More
This company offers little to poor value for the high prices that it charges. The cabins are so small that you can't even pass each other in the cabin. They have crowded in about 100 cabins while AMA and Tauck have a much smaller room count. Instead they offer more conveniences such as spa, salon, work out room, pool, bicycles at port, QUALITY entertainment, etc. You get NONE of these with Viking so that they can make more profit at your expense. There was an outbreak of Norovirus and when we got on, many members of the crew were already sick from the previous cruise. Instead, they mingled with the guests and it spread like wildfire. Instead of bringing a doctor onboard at each port (they had empty cabins and a suite available) they did nothing but take many to the hospital at each port for them to pay a high price to the hospital there. Many were in their rooms with vomiting and diarrhea for 4-5 days with a violent cough. There were only 3 hand sanitizers on the entire ship and none at the Lounge Area and Buffet eating area. In fact, instead of stopping the buffet breakfast in the morning and all buffets so that the infected people would not spread the illness with their violent coughing on the food, they did nothing. No announcements, no requests to use sanitizers, no requests to stay in your room if you were sick, etc. So many things could have been done. This is the poorest run company I have ever sailed with and I have been on over 20 cruises. BUYER BEWARE. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
We joined the Viking Eistla in Budapest. First impressions were that this was a smart, well-designed and well-appointed ship and this proved to be so over the next 14 days. The vessel is comfortable and quiet, with good lighting and ... Read More
We joined the Viking Eistla in Budapest. First impressions were that this was a smart, well-designed and well-appointed ship and this proved to be so over the next 14 days. The vessel is comfortable and quiet, with good lighting and temperature control. Public areas are pleasant and airy, and the lounge had plenty of space except for the rare occasion (eg disembarkation information) when everybody tried to be there at once. An attractive feature was being able to choose to eat either in the main restaurant or in the Aquavit Terrace. The restaurant provided a wide range of food for all meals whereas the Aquavit offered a lighter buffet selection and was less formal. We enjoyed the Aquavit for continental breakfasts and light lunches. Excursions were very good on the whole. The locations were always splendid and the local guides excellent 9 times out of 10. I also greatly appreciated the punctuality of the arrangements - the ship moored and the tours set off at the predicted times. Free Wi-Fi was also appreciated and was generally available except when docked under large metal bridges etc. (which also affected TV reception). Connection speeds were reasonable. We obviously did not expect entertainment to be on a par with what large ocean cruise ships can provide, but the resident pianist and occasional other live music was good. The standard of housekeeping and cleanliness throughout the vessel was excellent. Finally, and most importantly, the service was outstanding - quite the best we have experienced in about 10 cruises. Everyone from the superb Hotel Director Jadranka down was friendly, helpful and efficient. This played a major part in ensuring that the trip exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
The 14 night Grand European cruise was our fourth VRC, and first over seven nights. We are familiar with the longship design and layout and thus reserved our usual "aquatic" class room. We still see no value in a upgraded room ... Read More
The 14 night Grand European cruise was our fourth VRC, and first over seven nights. We are familiar with the longship design and layout and thus reserved our usual "aquatic" class room. We still see no value in a upgraded room for these river cruises. The cabins are all virtually the same size (save for the suites) and balcony/room time is usually limited to napping or sleeping. The party is on deck or in the lounge - and these cruises are essentially one big house party. Consist was a bit older than last year's Bordeaux romp and less interested in the wines. The wine list therefore was lacking with the only reds available (aside from the house pours) being a Hungarian "Bull's Blood" blend, a German red (nuff said), a CA B-grade cabby, and a Valpolicella (best in class here). Also available (sometimes) were a right bank Bordeaux blend and a Barolo. I say sometimes because stock was limited. Wine lovers would be wise to shop early and often in port to take advantage if the no corkage policy aboard. Whites were similarly limited with no white burgundies or sancerres. Still we opted for the Silver package and made do with generous pours of Veuve Cliquot and the occasional post-dinner Cognac (Hennessy XO). The bar staff was superb: Kris behind the bar and Emilian were among the finest gentlemen we ever experienced. Big kudos as well for Aryan (Maitre 'd) for his excellent service with the wines. Dining was consistently good if not special. The chef was frequently seen and a gallery tour was offered. Dishes included a braised beef dish, osso bucca, veal (three different specialties with veal), chicken, and lamb shanks. A rib-eye steak was always available. Entree choices were the meat course, a daily seafood dish, and a pasta entree. I found the soups to be very good and not salty. All meals are available in the DR or in the lounge/terrace (less formal with less choices, but very popular). Breakfast is terrific! Coffee is plentiful but inconsistent with strength. A machine is always available for cappuccino outside the lounge (with cookies!). Order better expresso from the bar. Dining room service was uneven at first, but we settled into excellent service from the amazing Vanya with her million-watt smile, steady Mate, and lovely Judit. Rusty also seemed to get good reviews from fellow passengers. I would avoid the front left side of the DR on entry - just saying. The cabin was maintained with polish and promptness from Barbara. Front house staff was superb: Nina (Concierge), the aforementioned Aryan (Maitre 'd), the sweet and efficient Hotel Manager (name escapes me), and the Master of Ceremonies - the Program Director, David from the UK (and his evil twin Fritz) were all top-flight professionals. The ship was piloted by a well-drilled team led by a very young but hard-working Captain whom could frequently be seen working side-by-side with his staff painting, cleaning, etc. Viking is a growing (50% market share of River cruising) company - they also now own the familiar KD cruises along the Rhine. I think recent reviews in the general forums are completely unfair to paint this organization as unresponsive to customer service. Our fourth cruise with Viking reinforced our first impression as a five-star experience from Viking. Rumor has it that Viking is considering a Mississippi excursion, which we highly welcome. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
We booked our flight and cruise with Viking planning a river cruise starting in Budapest aboard the Bestla Ship.ending in Amsterdam. Alitia Airlines lost our luggage for 7 days. However the crew on Bestla ship was wonderful and ... Read More
We booked our flight and cruise with Viking planning a river cruise starting in Budapest aboard the Bestla Ship.ending in Amsterdam. Alitia Airlines lost our luggage for 7 days. However the crew on Bestla ship was wonderful and laundered our clothes and repeatedly tried to locate our luggage. After 7 days, we were told that the river was low and we must take a 3 hour bus drive to the twin ship Eistla. Upon boarding Eistla, I noticed the ship did not smell fresh. Entering our room there was a button on the floor, thought the vacuum missed it. Next morning was an early morning excursion, but our bathroom smelled . Thought all would be well later. Upon returning to room, smell was a disaster and the was a bubbling sound of foul gas coming from drain area of bathroom. Reported this and Captain for managing ship came. Asked immediately to be moved to another room. Was frightened for our health. She told me they had no other room. I was frantic. For the day we had no place to clean up or rest etc. At 9:30 p.m., we decided we need to check out the room. It smelled heavily of disinfectant. The same towels and bath mat were in the bathroom. There was disinfectant odor for three days. My husband had a sore throat on the last day of travel from ship. Had the ship management kept plumbing in order this would never had happened. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We chose this cruise because of the ease of travel, the choice destinations along route, and the reputation of the cruise line. We travel with another couple and simply could not have had a better experience. From booking to return home ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ease of travel, the choice destinations along route, and the reputation of the cruise line. We travel with another couple and simply could not have had a better experience. From booking to return home we were wonderfully cared for, even special medical supplies were given great care. The schedule was not strenuous and could be easily adapted by passengers seeking either a more relaxed or more intense experience. Daily briefings were very informative and given with humour and regard for the audience. Menus were outstanding and all food was beyond expectation. The upfront fees when booking truly cover all costs except end of cruise gratuities and one or two extra excursions that are over and above the daily options that are already included. There is no need to purchase any drink package as much is included. All onboard staff and very friendly and competent in their service. Local tour guides are generally exceptional, except may one that would only rank 'good'. Viking cares for you with weather adaptations which make for an even more comfortable and healthy experience. We will definitely travel Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Had never done a river cruise and wanted to experience one. Spent two nights in Prague prior to the cruise which went from Budapest to Amsterdam. Prague was a very interesting city. Particular highlights were the Charles Bridge and ... Read More
Had never done a river cruise and wanted to experience one. Spent two nights in Prague prior to the cruise which went from Budapest to Amsterdam. Prague was a very interesting city. Particular highlights were the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock 2 nights in Budapest followed and eating out at a local restaurant, dining on goulash was an experience not to be missed. Attended an equestrian show about an hours drive out of Budapest. Fantastic horsemanship. Leaving Budapest at night on the first stage of our cruise was quite magical with the city lit up. Our cabin was very spacious and while there was a bit of a walk to the dining room and bar, was very close to the main deck with its games and outdoor seating. Bratislava was very interesting and very hot, surprisingly and the Astronomical clock was a feature. Amazing the number of Segways in the streets and main square. Had local delicacies for lunch and spent time at a British pub. Transport back to boat was reliable and regular. On to Vienna and amazing buildings. Attended opera recital. Magnificent. Had lunch at small café and again sampled the local favourite Sacha Torte. A number of German cities followed as we moved into the Rhine. Regensburg was one of the best with great history. Food was great with Bratwurst sausage and rolls a must. Cologne was also a highlight, especially the Cathedral and the night time Pub Crawl on a Friday night with a local guide. Drinking habits of the locals were interesting. All bars had a great food service as a part of them. Interesting that you could not get a beer without a place mat and there was only one brand at each of the bars as they were all micro breweries. On to Holland and the world heritage site at Kinderjik, before heading on to Amsterdam Canal cruise was the final act before flying back to New Zealand via Dubai. Major feature of the cruise itself was the fact that there were only 187 people on board, so over the 16 days we managed to meet most of them. Formed a great relations hip with 2 Canadian couples, an Australian couple and an American couple and are still communicating with them 6 months later. Many great memories and even the issue of having to change boats mid trip was handled in a masterly fashion by the two crews involved. Would recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to get a look at central Europe. There was a variety of activities at each port of call and plenty of entertainment on board at night. Great value for money and exemplary service. Most enjoyable experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This 14 day Viking River cruise was our first. We had taken 15 ocean cruises prior to this experience. As we encountered low water we did have to change vessels after week 1. The cruise line kept us informed, transferred us to a sister ... Read More
This 14 day Viking River cruise was our first. We had taken 15 ocean cruises prior to this experience. As we encountered low water we did have to change vessels after week 1. The cruise line kept us informed, transferred us to a sister ship where we had the exact room. We saw some extra countryside and enjoyed the restaurant Viking provided for us. The shore excursions were wonderful. The crew were all friendly and efficient. Our cruise director David and conceierge Nina were exceptional. The meals were very good and provided the opportunity to meet at least a dozen couples who were sharing the journey. We were impressed with how Viking takes passenger safety seriously. Regarding shore excursions, we were impressed with the consistent quality of the local guides and the options available regarding ones physical ability. Viking staff were easily found at our arrival to Amsterdam and Budapest. Disembarkation was much easier than ocean cruises. Onboard entertainment that we enjoyed most was from local musicians contracted by Viking. We thoroughly enjoyed our 14 day river cruise and look forward to taking another. A final note. We admire Viking for encouraging the use of local food and beverage sources. They have worked hard to build relationships with the communities they visit and that has a positive impact in Viking passengers Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Saw advertisements about Vicking River Cruises and thought it would be a wonderful experience. Selected the Grand European Cruise because of the many cities it stopped at. It was much better than I had hoped for. The tours and tour ... Read More
Saw advertisements about Vicking River Cruises and thought it would be a wonderful experience. Selected the Grand European Cruise because of the many cities it stopped at. It was much better than I had hoped for. The tours and tour guides were great. All of the tour guides were very knowledgeable about the history of the city that we were visiting. My wife had never traveled to Europe. She was amazed at the beauty of the counties and cities that we traveled thru. The food on the ship was excellent with a wide variety of items to choose from at each meal. The staff on the ship was fantastic and extremely helpful in fulfilling any request we made of them. We made many new friends on the cruise. It was an experience of a lifetime. We arrived in Budapest and was met at the airport by a Viking representative who saw that we and our luggage were escorted to the bus for the trip to the ship. From this point forward a Viking representative was always available to see that our every need and desire was handled in a very courteous and professional manner. Many nights before and after dinner we would go to the lounge to listen to the live music and enjoy the various entertainers that we brought on board. We ended our cruise in Amsterdam. When we arrived at the airport we again were met by a Viking representative who helped with boarding passes and making sure we were safely on our way home. Our two week cruise went by very quickly. We are planning our next cruise. Read Less
Viking Eistla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 N/A

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