8 Viking River Viking Gullveig Cruise Reviews

Background Information: This was my 68 cruise cruising on 13 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, Viking, MSC, and Celebrity. This was my first cruise ... Read More
Background Information: This was my 68 cruise cruising on 13 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, Viking, MSC, and Celebrity. This was my first cruise on Viking. I am 48 years old. We cruised on Viking Gullveig doing the Romantic Danube Itinerary the beginning of November starting in Nurnberg, Germany and ending in Budapest, Hungary for 7 nights. Air: We booked our air through Viking and paid the extra money to pick our seats. I was glad we did because after we booked our cruise, we moved so we needed to change our airport and Viking allowed us to without penalty because it was before final payment. Hotel Info: We decided to fly to Europe early and spend 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic. Viking put us up in Corinthia Hotel Prague. If I was to go back again, I would pick their other hotel option that was located in old downtown (even though it was more money) because this area was amazing and I loved walking around. Viking offered free shuttle service to and from downtown from the hotel. Prague: We did the Panoramic Prague tour that was complimentary with Viking and purchased the Privileged Access: Lobkowicz Palace tour. The Palace Tour was similar to touring a museum; however, it also included an amazing private classical concert for our group and a nice lunch in the Palace. Ship Info: The average age on Viking Gullveig was around 70 years old. The ship was extremely clean and the staff was friendly. Our cabin was a French Balcony. Our cabin location was at the very back of the ship, and I found it to be loud when we went through the locks (around 26 locks). I was impressed to find out that our bathroom floors were heated. Viking is a “well-oiled machine” especially when it comes to their excursions. Their tours show you the best of the best with excellent tour guides, and I love how they give you headsets so you can hear the guide. The guests on the cruise were very friendly and about 98% of them were from the US. I found there was less food variety in their dining room vs. a larger cruise line (probably because there are a lot less people). The one thing I really missed not having was a fitness center. You do not need to go through metal detectors when you walk on the ship (like other cruise lines); it is just like walking in and out of a hotel. Tours: I did all the included Viking tours and purchased two other optional tours. We did the Mozart & Strauss Concert in Vienna and the Schonbrunn Palace. I HIGHLY recommend both of those tours. My favorite tour was the Schonbrunn Palace Dress Code: The dress was casual (slacks or jeans). There were no formal nights. Most people dressed business causal during the dinners. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I had read an article by Wendy Perrin about this cruise. She took her family to the Christmas markets and i thought I'd love to take my wife on this trip. As everyone has heard by now, there was a pretty severe drought in Europe this ... Read More
I had read an article by Wendy Perrin about this cruise. She took her family to the Christmas markets and i thought I'd love to take my wife on this trip. As everyone has heard by now, there was a pretty severe drought in Europe this year. We knew there was a possibility that our cruise was not going to go as initially planned. Our cruise went from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany. The first leg of the cruise was canceled due to low water levels. Of course this was through no fault of Viking Cruise Lines, all cruise lines had the same issue. We were provided with accommodations and transportation to the next port. We enjoyed our bus trip and the scenery. Our stateroom was very clean and our steward was fantastic (we miss him). The day we got in our room, I called the front desk and asked to have my dress shirts pressed. They picked them up and had them back within 3 hours, outstanding service! The staff on board was fantastic, from the waiters to the people on the front desk. Our program director was energetic, funny and made sure we were all well entertained. We are going to try Viking again. The cruise wasn't perfect, but we understand that the weather was not their fault. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our cruise was scheduled to start at Nurenburg but the river levels were so low that boat only got as far upstream from Budapest as Passau, Germany. The boat was docked at a freight yard and bus trips were scheduled to the three cities on ... Read More
Our cruise was scheduled to start at Nurenburg but the river levels were so low that boat only got as far upstream from Budapest as Passau, Germany. The boat was docked at a freight yard and bus trips were scheduled to the three cities on the upper river. So there was actually very little "river cruising" for the first three days. So book your trip in the Spring instead of Summer when after levels are higher. That said, the week was wonderful with historic city tours, castles, and sightseeing. The staff were very nice and it seems that all the passengers on our boat were English speakers. The meals were excellent including both local dishes and standard fare. The actual river cruising later in the week was scenic. We often sat up on the top deck under an awning to watch the little houses, churches, and vineyards drift by. There was very little free time as the daily schedules were full of activities. There was not much night life I guess because the Social Security crowd tends to retire early after dinner. I never did find the casino or the rock climbing wall on the boat. Nice trip! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall, I had a very nice experience on the Viking Gullveig for the Romantic Danube cruise in November 2017. There were some really wonderful parts of the cruise and some areas that need improvement. At the outset, the booking ... Read More
Overall, I had a very nice experience on the Viking Gullveig for the Romantic Danube cruise in November 2017. There were some really wonderful parts of the cruise and some areas that need improvement. At the outset, the booking process was pretty straight forward. We worked directly with Viking to book our room. The representative was very knowledgeable and responsive to questions. Arranging our flights, however, was much more complicated. We chose to do a stopover in Nuremburg before flying on to London and then home to the U.S. It took many, many phone calls, too many e-mails to count, and countless hours on the phone with Viking's air representatives to arrange the flights. The problem was that Viking had limited contract seats available during the time of our travel (and, apparently, at all times). This made the flight booking process frustrating. In addition, we later learned (and only because I constantly watched my reservations on Delta's website) that our connections changed, leaving an inadequate connection time (30 minutes). No one from Viking called to inform us. I had to spend hours on the phone directly with Delta completely re-booking the itinerary. We booked an Explorer Suite room, which was supposed to include complimentary private transfers to the ship. However, since we arrived the afternoon before the cruise departed, we were told after booking that the private transfers would not apply. Upon our arrival at the airport, we were surprised to see Viking representatives at the airport picking up other guests. This was disappointing. Upon our arrival at the ship (again, which we had to arrange ourselves), we were immediately greeted by the ship's General Manager and escorted to our room. He gave us an overview of the amenities in the room and assisted us with getting our luggage situated. He was very welcoming and we appreciated his assistance. On embarkation date, a light lunch is provided in the Aquavit Lounge. There are pastry stands located outside the lounge, offering pastries, cookies, coffee, and tea 24/7. Unless you are in an Explorer Suite, these are the only beverage options offered 24/7. We found the refrigerator in the Explorer Suite was always stocked with beverages and housekeeping would replenish it with items we requested. The dining facilities on board are cozy and inviting. The tables seat 6-8 guests in an "open seating" format. Reservations or holds are not accepted for any table. We always found interesting guests to dine with. However, there would often be a line waiting to get into the dining room for people to get tables in preferred areas or in the section of a particular staff member. The food was really wonderful. The Chef did an excellent job providing a wide-variety of options. And even more impressive was the fact that he coordinated so many meals of high quality out of an extremely small kitchen. During the galley tour on the last night, I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the space and the chef staff's ability to utilize the space so effectively. Hats off to the Chef and staff! The service was really great. Within a day, most of the staff knew either my name or room number. They were welcoming and accommodating. They assisted with most any request in a timely fashion. Housekeeping staff were very attentive as well. The room was always clean and comfortable. The comfort of the room, though, was greatly diminished by the noise generated by the engine room. Both Explorer Suites are located at the aft of the ship, directly above the engine room. Anytime the ship is moving, there is a significant amount of noise and vibration in the room, to the extent that glasses and objects on the tables will rattle. It was so bad one night we actually called the front desk and engineering came to check the room. We were told it was the standard noise for that room. For the price of these suites, the noise level was really unacceptable. We spoke with other passengers on the same floor in different rooms and learned that it was isolated to the two Explorer Suites. The cruise includes a number of complimentary tours and a variety of optional tours. We found most of the included tours to be really exceptional. In particular, Viktoria in Budpest is exceptional. Her knowledge of her hometown and ability to convey the information in an interesting, witty, informative manner was superb. The tour guides in Passau were also wonderful. We found the tours in Vienna and Nuremburg to be a bit lacking. Both tours were mainly via coach, leaving little opportunity to go in and really see things or explore. The view was from the window of a coach bus. The tour guides on these excursions were also less enthusiastic than others. Be ready for early mornings on this itinerary! Most tours start around 8:30 a.m., with the latest around 9:15 a.m. The tour on the last day in Nuremburg is in the afternoon, but only because the ship gets to port late. The cities visited on this itinerary are fantastic and highly recommended. They are each beautiful and unique. I would cruise this itinerary again and again and see something different every time. The most beautiful stretch of the cruise is from Krems to Passau. The countryside is gorgeous and the cruise director provides commentary about the sights as you cruise. Get to the Aquavit Terrace and/or Lounge early to get a prime seat by the riverside windows! You won't be disappointed! The amount of time in each port greatly varies. Do not plan on being in each city for a full day and do not make any outside plans until you know exactly what the ship's schedule will be. For example, we expected to spend two full days in Budapest--the day we embarked the ship and the following day. However, in reality, the ship is only in Budapest for about 24 hours. Guests arrive around noon and the ship sails before noon the next day. The Budapest tour begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes around noon. However, the ship sails as soon as the tour begins. Guests are then bused by coach to the ship's location, about an hour outside of Budapest. This was very disappointing, as there were many things on our list to visit in Budapest (and other cities) that we could not, given this unexpected itinerary change (which you don't find out until you're on board). Budapest is one example; this happens often. You will also spend a lot of time on a coach bus during the river cruise. The day before disembarking is a bit chaotic. The staff are all working hard to get ready to flip the ship, as guests for the next cruise start arriving as soon as you disembark. It is stressed repeatedly that guests must be out of their rooms at the scheduled times. You can sense the vibe of the ship change on this day. If you have laundry requests, they must be given to housekeeping at least 24 hours prior to disembarking (this is not written anywhere). Lastly, we were surprised to learn the day before disembarking that we must be out of the room by 9 a.m. and our luggage must be outside our room for pickup by 8:00 a.m. Prior to booking, and again before our trip, we were told by Viking Representatives that check-out was Noon. We made connecting travel plans based upon those representations, only to be told the day before disembarking that we must be out of the room by 9 a.m. Guests must also settle accounts by 8:30 a.m. that day, even if they stay on the ship past that time. This must be done in person; they do not maintain payment information from booking. Lastly, I must add that this cruise and itinerary will be difficult for anyone with a disability or injury. My mother had an unfortunate injury and sprained her ankle while on our trip, thus this last bit of information. If you have an accident and sustain an injury, the ship does have a wheelchair and cane available to use onboard. The rooms are not designed for wheelchair use, though. They're simply not large enough, not even the explorer suite. A wheelchair has to be folded up to go into the rooms. The tours are difficult for anyone in a wheelchair or with a significant disability. There is a lot of walking involved on cobblestone streets. The least I walked one day was around 4 miles, the most 6.5-7 miles. Most of the cities are very hilly. On days that you must take a coach back to the ship, the coach is often parked a long distance away. In short, it can be very physically demanding if you want to take advantage of what is included in the package you purchased. Also, as we unfortunately experienced, the optionally purchased medical insurance was impossible to utilize. The amount of paperwork the insurance company required was voluminous and the doctors my mother saw refused to complete it, even when requested directly by the insurance company. In addition, we were not accompanied to the hospital by a Viking representative fluent in German (we were in Vienna at the time), as the brochures state would happen. Lastly, the ship will not reserve any dining tables or seats towards the front of coaches for people with a disability or injury. Everything is first come, first serve. I also expected (but did not receive) a follow-up from Viking...even by e-mail...after the trip. While I would take this cruise again, I would go armed with more information about how the cruise works, the length of time in each port, and what happens in the event a trip to the hospital is needed. I would also not book an Explorer Suite, but would choose a Veranda Suite on the upper floor. The space in the Veranda Suites is comparable. The bathrooms are the same size and the layout is much better. The only things missing in the Veranda Suites are the wraparound balconies....and, the noise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was the first time we tried Viking, as we had two other river cruises on Uniworld. The Danube was wonderful, the ship modern, clean and great staff. I will say, however, the food on Uniworld was a step above Viking. Other than ... Read More
This was the first time we tried Viking, as we had two other river cruises on Uniworld. The Danube was wonderful, the ship modern, clean and great staff. I will say, however, the food on Uniworld was a step above Viking. Other than that, the ports were great, tour guides terrific especially in Passau and Nurnberg. Chilling tour of Courthouse where Nazi's were tried and Zepplin field. We did an extension to Prague and Viking handled that just perfectly. Munich tour was wonderful, small group, great lunch and tour of city. I do suggest that you DO NOT book shore excursions beforehand, as there is always room. Our tour to Salzberg was quite delayed so we cancelled and good thing we did, those who went said it was too long of a bus ride and not much time to explore. Viking was gracious enough to refund our $398. for that tour, so we were completely satisfied. Deborah was great, can't say enough good about the staff! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The brochures basically made us decide on Viking. Simple, easy booking, good communication before and during the trip. We stayed 2 days in Budapest before sailing it was good to explore on our own and have a chance to get over jet lag. ... Read More
The brochures basically made us decide on Viking. Simple, easy booking, good communication before and during the trip. We stayed 2 days in Budapest before sailing it was good to explore on our own and have a chance to get over jet lag. Check in on board was fast and simple. The food was varied and in general very good with many choices, seemed that people's preferences and special needs were efficiently met. The excursions/tours were enjoyable and lead by enthusiastic and knowledgeable locals. Sometimes there was not enough time to shop and explore on our own. Maybe there could be some tours specifically for travelers that have problems with stairs, walking long distances as some had problems keeping up with the group. We missed one tour because the PA system was turned off in our cabin. The on board talks were interesting and fun gave us incite to the countries and cities we were to visit. The on board program director Deborah was so patient and helpful to everyone, a real asset to Viking. We especially enjoyed the small tours, the chefs visit to the market and kitchen tours - yes we are foodies! The cabin was always clean and well designed to be efficient, we appreciated the flowers, water and fruit. In general it was a very enjoyable trip with lots of great sights and experiences along the way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had never been on a River Cruise and friends recommended Viking. We really didn't know what to expect on this excursion but liked being able to see many of the sites in Europe without having to pack and unpack everyday. Let ... Read More
We had never been on a River Cruise and friends recommended Viking. We really didn't know what to expect on this excursion but liked being able to see many of the sites in Europe without having to pack and unpack everyday. Let me say at the start that our ship was top notch and the service was fantastic. My health requires that I eat gluten free and the maitre d met me at the breakfast table each morning with the days menu. He went over with me what was gluten free and what they could make special gluten free for me. I was very happy that I got special gluten free breads and other items that normally I can't get at restaurants. The servers soon remembered me and had gluten free items ready for me when I sat down. The food was very good and I love the fact that wine is included with your lunch and dinner. Your glass was always kept full. All I can say is the food was great! River cruising is nice because there are far fewer passengers than on ocean going ships. This makes getting on and off a breeze as well as finding the great off shore excursions planned We had a room with a balcony and I must say it was smaller than I anticipated, smaller than on ocean going ships. The room was nicely appointed and every inch was made use of. I liked the fact that there were plenty of ways to plug in our many electrical devices. I will say that the free internet was a big disappointment. It was free but so slow it wasn't worth using. I did get email to send by trying between 3 and 5am. Besides the internet my only other disappointment was the entertainment or lack there of. About all there was is someone playing a piano with music I didn't care for and once a glass blower. Nothing even remotely like you find on larger ships. One last point is that I love there not being a shopping mall on board or casino where they are always trying to find a way to make more money. Much more relaxed and you don't have to dress up. I highly recommend this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
A group of us have just returned home from our Rhine River cruise on the Viking Gullveig. Overall, the cruise was very nice; we visited some beautiful locations. Having cruised the Danube last year with Viking, I was expecting another ... Read More
A group of us have just returned home from our Rhine River cruise on the Viking Gullveig. Overall, the cruise was very nice; we visited some beautiful locations. Having cruised the Danube last year with Viking, I was expecting another magical cruise, that is, until I was faced with the "fatal design flaw" in the new longships that Viking introduced. Last year we stayed in a very nice room with a French Balcony and it was great; that was pre-longship. There was room enough on the Viking Legend for a table and two chairs in front of the French balcony so we could enjoy our cabin. That cabin measured 170 square feet. Viking decided that the new longships would have verandas (balconies) on some of their rooms. To make those verandas, they shifted the main aisle between the cabins and took away 35 square feet from the French balcony cabins; that's a loss of more than 20% of the available space in the cabin, making the French balcony cabins so tight that two normal sized people have a difficult time maneuvering in the cabin. There is less than one foot of space between the side of the bed and the French sliding doors. To look out the French balcony, you must either sit on the bed or lean over the railing outside your door. This extreme reduction in space did not result in a reduction in price for the French balcony cabins. I call this a fatal design flaw because it cannot be easily changed without tearing the entire interior of the ship apart. What was Viking thinking? French balcony cabins are now 135 square feet and the cheaper lower deck cabins are 170 square feet; some one screwed up and it will not be easily fixed. Enough on the fatal design flaw. The crew was absolutely wonderful The excursions were well planned and the tour guides were excellent; everything I expected on a Viking cruise. The food was good, though the menu sometimes didn't meet my tastes, but the fallback of a New York strip steak is always nice. The ship was always kept very clean and the common areas were very nice. As for the ports, I wish we had more time in Amsterdam. We arrived mid-morning and had a welcome lunch on bard (much appreciated). We took a canal cruise that was very interesting. Couldn't get into Anne Frank's House; lines were very long. If you want to visit Anne Frank's, go on-line a month in advance and book the combined Canal Cruise with Anne Frank's House. Tickets sell out very fast. The second day we visited a windmill site in the morning; it was very interesting. That visit lasted about two hours and then we cruised for what seemed like an eternity to Cologne, arriving the following morning. The cathedral in Cologne was enormous, but lacked character that we have seen in other European cathedrals. If you visit the Chocolate Factory, skip the tour and go directly to the on-site store. The self-guided tour is not worth 9 Euros; spend those Euros on candy in the store. Heidelberg, Strausbourg and other stops were equally enjoyable. We ended our cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and took a two day excursion to Lucerne, which was beautiful. The optional excursion to Mt. Titlus was amazing. All in all, a very nice cruise. I preferred the Danube with its larger cites, especially Budapest, but the Rhine cruise was very nice. Sadly, with Viking adding so many longships with "shoe box" sized French balcony cabins, we may have to explore other cruise lines for our future river cruises in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Viking Gullveig Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.5
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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