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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
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We sailed on a 14-day Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. We used an air package from Viking and the flights as well as transfer were good. Unfortunately due to low water levels in the rivers, parts of the cruise turned ... Read More
We sailed on a 14-day Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. We used an air package from Viking and the flights as well as transfer were good. Unfortunately due to low water levels in the rivers, parts of the cruise turned into expensive bus tours. We were on the Eistla from Amsterdam to Nuremburg where we were transferred to the Bestla which was docked in Passau. The Nuremburg day was a long bus day where we had a tour of Nuremburg, then a group lunch and finally about a 3 hour hour bus ride from Nuremburg to Passau. So, for those who wanted to see Regensburg the next day, it involved about an 1-1/2 hour bus ride back along the stretch of river we could not sail and of course, another 1-1/2 to get back to the Bestla. The portion of the river we did not get to cruise had some of the biggest locks and viaducts. Then, when we got to Vienna we found that we would not be able to sail to Budapest, so we would not get to experience what we thought would be one of the highlights of the cruise - sailing into Budapest at night. Instead, the bus tour continued. Those who wanted to see Bratislava had a 1-1/2 bus ride to the city and another 1-1/2 ride back to Vienna. The Budapest day was a 10-hour bus marathon with a 4-hour bus ride to Vienna, a 2-hour lunch, a 2-hour bus "tour" of Budapest where we did not get to go into anything and then about a 1-1/2 hour bus ride to the Viking Ve which was docked "near" Budapest, if you consider 100 kilometers away as being near. The final morning was a 2-hour bus ride to the Budapest airport because of where we we docked. A big problem was a lack of communications during the cruise and Viking's seeming lack of concern for passenger enjoyment and convenience. In commercials and print ads Viking presents itself as being upscale, but that was not the case. The captain's welcome aboard dinner was pretty funny as the surf and turf consisted of a nice piece of tenderloin and one medium shrimp - must have been a bad day for shrimping. In general the food and service was about what you would expect on any mainstream cruise line - nothing special and the lunches were pretty bleak. The room was small but functional. Snacks between meals were lacking - there was a coffee machine and cookies and maybe some fruit during the day, but if you were hungry between lunch and dinner, there was not much to munch on. The shining star of the cruise was the concierge, Tamara. If you wanted a straight answer about anything or needed assistance, she was always eager to help. We could understand that there was nothing Viking could do about water levels, but their customer service was not upscale as commercials would have you believe. When considering a river cruise, our advice would be caveat emptor. 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
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: September 2016
While we booked our cruise on the Viking Mani, we had a last minute change in the ship (to the Viking Eistla) because the Mani had to undergo some repairs. We did have the crew from the Mani, who had completely moved themselves from their ... Read More
While we booked our cruise on the Viking Mani, we had a last minute change in the ship (to the Viking Eistla) because the Mani had to undergo some repairs. We did have the crew from the Mani, who had completely moved themselves from their home ship over to the Eistla before all of the guests embarked. They went above and beyond to make sure everything was comfortable for the guests. We had to report a leak in our cabin from the air conditioning, and it was repaired immediately. This was our 3rd Viking River Cruise in Europe. We booked both the pre-cruise and post-cruise extensions, embarking the ship in Amsterdam and extending our trip in Lucerne. While the location of the hotel in Amsterdam was convenient to most of the sights, we thought the room size and accommodations could be better. The hotel in Lucerne was wonderful. The meals, service, and excursions were very good, and lived up to what we have come to expect of Viking. Our favorite excursion was one of the optional tours, the WW II Tour of the Colmar Pocket, and we considered this one of the highlights of our vacation. The weather was great, and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the Rhine River. We would certainly recommend this cruise to others. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We had about 20+ friends ( which included my sister and I) who traveled with on the Danube Waltz New Year's Eve trip this past Holiday. The trip did not begin great for some of us as flight arrangements made by Viking caused ... Read More
We had about 20+ friends ( which included my sister and I) who traveled with on the Danube Waltz New Year's Eve trip this past Holiday. The trip did not begin great for some of us as flight arrangements made by Viking caused long delays, missed direct flight to Munich from Philadelphia and a very long delay on Amsterdam. We missed the tour of Passau which was the first excursion. We barely arrived in time for dinner aboard ship the first night. Once we arrived on ship, the trip was fantastic. While the Chef and staff were terrific and very attentive, the meals were not as great as my Cities of Lights experience. The menu was not as varied as the Paris to Prague trip. Too many repeat items on this last trip. Also, the stock for the bar was not as plentiful as there were several liquors that were not available (along with mixes) the last 2 days. Nonetheless, I love traveling with Viking. I am very complimentary of Viking when speaking with other friends and family members. My sister traveled with me on the Danube Waltz trip and she is sold on Viking, We look forward to traveling with you in 2017. 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: 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 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: December 2015
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: November 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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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