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44 Viking Eistla Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it is the 'castles' tour on the Rhine River. Also we had not been to Amsterdam and wanted to spend a couple of days there. We picked Viking because we had heard such good things about it. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is the 'castles' tour on the Rhine River. Also we had not been to Amsterdam and wanted to spend a couple of days there. We picked Viking because we had heard such good things about it. We were not disappointed. A Viking rep met us at the airport, took us to our hotel, was on site while we were there. They took us to the ship, and after the cruise took us to the airport in Basil, Switzerland and went inside and made sure our flights were on time and that we knew where to go. We had picked which excursions we wanted to go on. Every time the busses were on time, and everything flowed smoothly. The accommodations were great, the food was fabulous and the staff superb. We wanted for nothing. The only entertainment at night was a piano bar. That was ok because dinner was at 7 pm and by the time we ate and had drinks we sat and talked to others. We had been out walking all day so it didn't matter. This is a great trip for adults, but not for children. It would also be a fantastic trip for someone who had never been to Europe and is leery of foreign airports, logistics of getting around and foreign languages. Everyone on the ship spoke English. I would do it again in a heart beat! We have been in Europe several times and this was by far our most relaxing trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
As our first river cruise we chose the company that impressed us most. This was from reviews here on Cruise Review to their marketing videos and phone conversations with reservation staff. To support our rating, today I have just ... Read More
As our first river cruise we chose the company that impressed us most. This was from reviews here on Cruise Review to their marketing videos and phone conversations with reservation staff. To support our rating, today I have just booked with Viking for another river cruise in 2017. It was a pleasure to sail on a 2015 build ship that looked as if it had just been launched and outfitted. Clean as a new pin, bright and airy with plenty space for it 190 passengers. As can be seen here from other reviews Viking staff are excellent in manner and appearance. The included food and drink in quantity, variety and quality was better than we expected. On board entertainment was excellent and informative, a good mix. Because of the too high Rhine some excursions were marred by longer than normal bus travel, e.g. 3 hour round trip with only 30min stop at destination. Our last night on board was cancelled and we had to disembark to a nice Basel hotel and next day bussed to Lucerne for our planned two day visit. The Viking staff off-ship and at the hotels were very helpful and friendly. All excursions had radio earpiece receivers so there was no need to keep close to the tour guide. Viking gave us 10% compensation (towards a future cruise) for our trouble with the high water. They also enticed all to return by offering a buy a £100 or £200 "certificate" and they would make it up to £200 or £400. We took the latter which with the compensation helped make our decision to return with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Viking longship Mani had an accident with a barge earlier before and was still being repaired, so we were unable to embark on it for our cruise. No worries. The Mani crew took over the Estila and we sailed on her instead. We ... Read More
The Viking longship Mani had an accident with a barge earlier before and was still being repaired, so we were unable to embark on it for our cruise. No worries. The Mani crew took over the Estila and we sailed on her instead. We had been aboard the Estila the year before with the cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. So my review is about the crew of the Mani doing what I call a superb job on a different ship. The services provided were all professionally handled. Never once did we have any sort of problems. Even with the high water the Captain always found a place to disembark with buses waiting to take us where we needed to go. Cabins were always well cleaned and most welcomed after a long day in the cities. The room service crew was very professional and well trained. We loved the option of having the Aquavit lounge to eat our meals. being served the same food as below. George was the program director . And did the most excellent job of everything from getting us to our excursions to scheduling our roundabouts with the high water excursions Our cruise included a pre trip from Bruges Belgium Alex took care of everything on that end . Our post trip in Lucerne was fantastic and allowed us to unwind before the trip home . Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We were celebrating a family event and wanted to experience something new. We wanted to visit multiple countries and explore new experiences. We've never cruised before so we chose the river as it's a smaller boat and not too ... Read More
We were celebrating a family event and wanted to experience something new. We wanted to visit multiple countries and explore new experiences. We've never cruised before so we chose the river as it's a smaller boat and not too intimidating. This cruise met all requirements as we visited 5 countries and toured multiple Christmas markets. We had a great time enjoying the local foods and customs. We typically plan and book our vacations on our own, so also having the itinerary pre-built made the trip relaxing. From the time we booked with Viking the communication and materials provided made everything quite simple and easy. They handled all our transfers flawlessly and check in was very simple. We had two cabins as we travelled with our teenage and adult children. The one advice on cabins is to book in the middle of the ship to avoid the engine noise. From the moment we stepped onto the ship, we were made to feel comfortable. The crew was outstanding, personable, accommodating, helpful to every detail. They truly are the stars of the cruise. The cabins were clean and new and the amenities just fine. The food was exceptional (always a bit much). It's amazing what they do on quality and quantity with such a small kitchen! Local foods were featured at all stops. The one advice for Viking is to provide local wines vs just the house brand. Tours were simple and overview driven. To go deeper, you have to plan ahead and book your own tour guide, but that said, it was just right. Being so close to city centers we finished the tours and headed back out to do what we wanted. We also decided to stay on an additional 3 days in Prague and that was worth it. What a great city and booking through Viking they handled all transfers and provided hotel staff to handle requests like dinner reservations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We had previously cruised with Viking in April 2015 - that being the Tulips and Windmills cruise. The entire experience was so wonderful and such a joy that we decided on a Viking Christmas cruise. We love the ambiance of the River craft ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Viking in April 2015 - that being the Tulips and Windmills cruise. The entire experience was so wonderful and such a joy that we decided on a Viking Christmas cruise. We love the ambiance of the River craft and the personalized service that all guests receive (we did and assume all others did as well). The ships themselves are kept very neat and clean and the cabins also. While the cabins are a bit small, I can see that the public rooms benefit from the additional space. Nobody spends much time in their cabins other than to sleep and shower. The dining room offers a great variety of dishes and are beautifully presented by an always friendly wait staff. Again, the personalized service adds to the experience of everyone being made to feel special. The on board activities were a fun way to wind down after a day on shore seeing the wonderful sights and having a great experience. The piano in the lounge is always a nice touch as it adds to everyone's relaxation. The games (per se) in the lounge are fun and a good way to get conversations started. Service was outstanding as I mentioned previously. The food, the cabin amenities and the crew did an excellent job of making the experience so special. The ports and shore excursions were for the most part interesting and well thought out. The additional excursions were a job as well and were a delight. Would we cruise again with Viking? Indeed we would and while we know there are other river cruise lines, Viking has twice exceeded our expectations. Thanks for enriching our lives. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This cruise was great. Had a nice mixture of cities, sites and culture. Went the time of year when each country had their Christmas Markets which were fun to walk around (but tended to have the majority of the same items). It was nice ... Read More
This cruise was great. Had a nice mixture of cities, sites and culture. Went the time of year when each country had their Christmas Markets which were fun to walk around (but tended to have the majority of the same items). It was nice that each port had a tour included. I was calling this the "anti-cruise" because no one was pushing drinks (which were very reasonably priced), you didn't have to race to get to a show, no gift shop to really speak of, and there was really no clock watching. I did more physical activity by walking on the tours (we clocked 6,7,8 miles a day with our pedometers) than we would have on a cruise ship. Each stop had a tour guide that you were assigned to. Some were better than others but overall you learned a lot. Be prepared to tip the guides after when they are done. You actually had the pleasure of sitting in the large lounge and meeting and talking with other passengers. Food was overall very good. There are choices at each meal. You can order lunch off a menu and/or go to the buffet. Great breakfast with a chef making omelets if you wanted. No "midnight buffet" but there were cookies available each day by the 24-hour self-serve beverage stations. We were on the Eistla which was very nice and one of Viking's newest. Had a French Balcony which compared to a cruise ship was small but nicely appointed. Plenty of storage, great shower and I loved the heated bathroom floors. The weather precluded us from enjoying the outside deck, but it is a very nice feature. Staff was wonderful. We booked our air through the cruise line and it worked out great with our flights and transfers to and from the boat. We would definitely take another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We took two weeks prior to our embarkation to visit Germany, Italy & the Czech Republic & then spend a day in Passau. We chose this particular cruise for the Christmas markets & getting into the spirit of Christmas in ... Read More
We took two weeks prior to our embarkation to visit Germany, Italy & the Czech Republic & then spend a day in Passau. We chose this particular cruise for the Christmas markets & getting into the spirit of Christmas in Europe. We knew the weather would not necessarily be in our favor but the crew made sure we were comfy greeting us with hot, wet towels to freshen up with when we boarded, to furnishing us with needed umbrellas or a hot wine when we returned from a cold weather excursion. I have sailed many ocean cruises and by far, this was the best cruise ever, I felt like we were treated like royalty. The ship, the food, the staff, the shore excursions & how efficient they were handled. One thing impressed me was when we were on an excursion there was always a visible staff person around. I loved that the shore excursions were graded for tolerance and EVERYONE of our tour guides were fantastic as were the hearing devices that we used so we could hear the narrative without being at the head of the group. The friendliness of the staff supersedes any that I have ever encountered, from the cabin stewards to the chef to the captain to the fantastic waiters, awesome!!!! Our cabin was very comfortable & well equipped. A floor to ceiling window for viewing was so very enjoyable. I loved the "Block Party" that we had outside of our cabins & the champagne that was served. The whole cruise made one feel like it was a "family affair" being a lesser number of total guests & having meals with many different people all made for a warm & interesting cruise. Viking was with us right to the departure at the airport. Thank you for a wonderful memory & the desire to do another Viking River Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My husband and I went on the Rhine River cruise in November 2014 and had a magnificent time. We enjoyed the cruise and Christmas markets so much that we took the Danube cruise in 2015. We had a very pleasurable time on this cruise too. The ... Read More
My husband and I went on the Rhine River cruise in November 2014 and had a magnificent time. We enjoyed the cruise and Christmas markets so much that we took the Danube cruise in 2015. We had a very pleasurable time on this cruise too. The staff was excellent and very knowledgeable. The food was also delicious! The itinerary kept us busy all week. We especially enjoyed Vienna, including the evening Mozart and Strauss concert. We enjoyed the Christmas markets on this trip as well. Entering Budapest at night was definitely a high point of the trip. The lights on both sides of the river make entering the city magical. The Abbey in Melk was beautiful and very interesting to see. We also enjoyed just relaxing at the bar and meeting and making new friends with the other people on the cruise We look forward to taking future river cruises with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had heard about this cruise from relatives. It was a wonderful cruise for the great service and delicious meals as well as the Christmas markets in each port. In addition the shore excursions were well-planned and informative. We ... Read More
We had heard about this cruise from relatives. It was a wonderful cruise for the great service and delicious meals as well as the Christmas markets in each port. In addition the shore excursions were well-planned and informative. We were very busy from morning till night. These cruises are designed for individuals who want to learn more about the culture and history of the region. The staff onboard and the tour guides have great information to share but also are very attentive to the needs of each guest. Best of all, everything is included. We met some wonderful people and are still in contact with a couple whom we met, almost a year after our cruise ended. The ship is comfortable and the cabins are modern and convenient. Linens in the bath and on the bed were luxurious. We were glad we chose a cabin with a small veranda because we enjoyed sitting outside when we had the opportunity. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Wanted to cruise the Danube, see Budapest and Vienna. This cruise exceeded my expectations. The cities were beautiful. The guided tours were fantastic. Best of all, the ship, crew, meals and total experience were exquisite. Viking has ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Danube, see Budapest and Vienna. This cruise exceeded my expectations. The cities were beautiful. The guided tours were fantastic. Best of all, the ship, crew, meals and total experience were exquisite. Viking has perfected the river cruise experience. Every detail, from arrival to departure, was well planned and executed. The only recommendation I would have is that the flights that were booked through Viking were not as well planned or efficient as the rest of the trip. I would suggest that more effort be placed on securing the best possible flights with the shortest possible layovers. Once we arrived in Budapest the experience truly began. We were amazed at the preparation of the staff, the excellence of the tour guides, and the attention to detail. The cabin was comfortable, clean, and very pleasant. We reserved a room with a balcony (veranda) and in retrospect would probably not pay for that upgrade again. We travelled in late November and the weather was cold (it snowed in two of our stops) and, therefore, we did not use the balcony. In warmer weather I'm sure it would have been better used. We loved our cruise director (named David I think) who was extremely knowledgeable, personable and witty. He truly made the on-board experience a lot of fun. We loved the ability to visit with the chef and tour the kitchen. We also took great advantage of the beer and wine that was available at meals - a great benefit! We can't wait to do another Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My boyfriend and I learned more about Viking River Cruises from PBS (while watching Masterpiece, of course!) and were immediately interested in the the fact that we could go to Europe and unpack once and still see multiple cities. Being ... Read More
My boyfriend and I learned more about Viking River Cruises from PBS (while watching Masterpiece, of course!) and were immediately interested in the the fact that we could go to Europe and unpack once and still see multiple cities. Being that we are only in our early to mid-30s we were hesitant to book the cruise, thinking that it would be a bunch of old ladies in shalls and men in top-hats on the cruise. We booked the Danube Waltz European Holiday cruise and were excited at the prospect of seeing Europe for the holidays. We decided to sail over the Thanksgiving holiday and started our journey by extending it pre-trip in Budapest, Hungary. Upon landing in Budapest, we were greeted by the friendly faces of Viking's staff at the airport which helped us with our luggage and waited with us until our car came to whisk us away to our hotel. For the extra two days, we stayed at the magnificent Gresham Palace, Four Season Budapest. The hotel and its staff were amazing, so hospitable and accommodating. Our large and well-appointed room was on the fifth floor (the top floor of the hotel) and our private balcony overlooked the beautiful Chain Bridge, which connects Buda and Pest. The Viking guide, which was already waiting for us in the lobby of the Four Season, kindly waited for us while we checked in and made our way down from our room. She thoroughly went over the layout of Budapest as a city with a map, letting us know how public transportation worked, where popular sights to see were at, etc. At our request, she gave us a mini-tour of the surrounding neighborhood of our hotel and after dropping us back at our hotel, left us to explore the city by ourselves for the next two day. (Although she offered to meet with us each day and show us around her lovely city, as two men in their 30s, we opted to explore on our own.) What an amazing city Budapest is! It is very tourist friendly city (the American dollar is strong and the population is English-speaking) and very walkable. The day we were set to join our fellow shipmates aboard our Viking vessel, the same Viking guide which greeted us at our hotel on the first day, arrived with a van and driver to pick us up and drive us the 200 feet to the ship. We thought this was hilarious, since we could have walked it, but Viking doesn't let you down (all transfers are included...haha!). Upon our arrival on ship, we were warmly greeted by Viking's staff and being that we were younger than their traditional clientele, surprised them. Over the next 8 days we visited the lovely cities in our Danube Waltz itinerary. At each stop, the local Viking tour guides made each visit very special. Each city visit started with a 60-90 minute walking tour, led by very knowledgeable guides. Then we were allowed to explore and enjoy the wonderful cities on our own. I would suggest that prospective Viking travelers look into the additional shore activities, most of which are well-worth the money. The staff aboard the ship was attentive and always had smiles on their faces. The spacious cabins were cleaned daily and the turndown every night was a nice touch. Additionally, there was TONS of storage in each room. There were plenty of places to store your busy suitcases (at least in room 319 there was). While the food is very good and the Viking kitchen staff does a good job to change up the dining menus, I would suggest you attempt to eat as much as you can locally when on shore. This is all part of the experience and you are missing out if you decide not to. Once we finally reached our last port in Passau, Germany, it was hard to say goodbye to Europe and the Viking ship. You really do forget about days and current time when aboard the ship. On our departure date, we were driven 2 hours from Passau to Munich to board our flight back to the states. Our last interaction before we left Europe was a Viking guide who helped us with our luggage at the Munich airport and led us to the counter to check in. This was the best vacation I have ever taken. While this is not an inexpensive trip (this is not a trip for high school kids or spring breakers looking to get hammered), the value is in the ease, comfort and care of the Viking ships and the wonderful staff. We had an amazing trip and look forward to doing another one in the near future. Oh, and we didn't see any men in top hat on the cruise... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Our first experience on a river cruise, after 18 ocean cruises, was everything we hoped it would be. The Eistla was well appointed and very comfortable and the size made it easy to meet and interact with most of the other guests. Because ... Read More
Our first experience on a river cruise, after 18 ocean cruises, was everything we hoped it would be. The Eistla was well appointed and very comfortable and the size made it easy to meet and interact with most of the other guests. Because Europe had experienced a very dry summer, the rivers were too low to navigate in several places necessitating our need to change ships twice. The moves were nearly seamless and we didn't miss one advertised tour or scenic cruising and Viking compensated us fairly for the inconvenience. Our Program Director, David and Concierge, Nina stayed with us for the entire journey and worked tirelessly to keep us informed and entertained. The included tours were well organized and gave us a great overview of the cities and towns we were visiting and the mix of organized tours and free time gave us time to explore further on our own. The three ships we sailed on, the Eistla, the Vili and the Mirmir were all well cared for and all three staffs seemed genuinely happy to have us onboard. The senior crew greeted us each evening as we entered the dining room for a very pleasant dining experience with good food and plenty of complimentary wine and beer. I can't say enough good about the professionalism of Viking and the way they treat their guests. We enjoyed our Grand European Tour so much that we have booked another Viking River cruise for 2016. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Just returned from our Grand European Tour. What a wonderful two weeks. Met a lot of fun and interesting people, both on and off the ship. Our program director, David Parker, and concierge, Nina Van Loon where unbelievable and worked ... Read More
Just returned from our Grand European Tour. What a wonderful two weeks. Met a lot of fun and interesting people, both on and off the ship. Our program director, David Parker, and concierge, Nina Van Loon where unbelievable and worked tirelessly to ensure everyone had a wonderful time. I must report that there were issues with the water levels due to a drought in the area, which has created water levels not seen in 250 years. We did have to transfer ships twice. However, the crew and the line made this as painless as possible and made sure we saw everything on the itinerary. Even though it was a slight inconvenience it was really a non-issue. This was our first Viking river cruise and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Thanks to Viking and our great ship team for a fantastic trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The cruise began in Amsterdam and ended in Budapest. We ended up on three different ships due to low water levels, but Viking handled it exceptionally well. Due to the number of ships in the Viking fleet, the issues were minimal. ... Read More
The cruise began in Amsterdam and ended in Budapest. We ended up on three different ships due to low water levels, but Viking handled it exceptionally well. Due to the number of ships in the Viking fleet, the issues were minimal. I'm not sure if that would be true of the competition. While we were on an excursion, our luggage was moved to a sister ship and placed in the same cabin number on each ship. When the excursion was finished we were taken to the new ship which was almost identical. The cruise director David, and the concierge Nina, were extremely helpful and professional. The crew was friendly and ready to help in any way. The meals were very good in the main restaurant, and if you wanted something quick, you could eat in the Aquavite Terrace. The cabins are small, but modern and efficiently laid out with a king sized bed. The descriptions of the history of the places that we sailed through by David and local experts were interesting and informative. They really added to the enjoyment of the cruise. My wife and I traveled with another couple, and we all enjoyed the cruise so much that we purchased vouchers for a future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I wanted a cruise of at least 2 weeks and a mixture of large cities and smaller towns. The churches, abbey, palaces and windmill interested me. The cost seemed reasonable. I had previously visited Vienna and Budapest and looked forward ... Read More
I wanted a cruise of at least 2 weeks and a mixture of large cities and smaller towns. The churches, abbey, palaces and windmill interested me. The cost seemed reasonable. I had previously visited Vienna and Budapest and looked forward to going back. The scenery was overwhelming; just sitting on the boat looking out the windows was worthwhile. The meals were fantastic, often with foods I had never sampled. Breakfast and lunch featured buffets, but there were also menu items which could be ordered. I enjoyed the unlimited wine at lunch and dinner. Often there were evening concerts or lectures. Classical music, opera, pop music, and folk music were offered. The staff went out of their way to provide excellent service. The Program Director was ever present to explain upcoming journeys and schedules and then accompanied us on all these trips. The waitstaff were marvelous. Melk Abbey was a highlight I often think about along with the many palaces. The various sites in Nurenberg were haunting and worth the cost. I loved all the sites in Bamberg and Passau. 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
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 March 2015
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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