163 Viking River Viking Hlin Cruise Reviews

On April 7, 2015 we were a family of 8 from Hawaii that boarded the HLIN in Amsterdam for a Rhine River Cruise ending in Basel. I want to say the experience for all of us was OUTSTANDING, the boat was incredible, clean, well organized, ... Read More
On April 7, 2015 we were a family of 8 from Hawaii that boarded the HLIN in Amsterdam for a Rhine River Cruise ending in Basel. I want to say the experience for all of us was OUTSTANDING, the boat was incredible, clean, well organized, and having been in the hotel industry most of my life, I'm 73, must say the staff was absolutely outstanding!! They were professional, helpful, friendly, sincerely looked out for us and connected with us from the moment we came on board. The food was excellent and the Chef from the Philippines prepared us a special meal which was outstanding! One young lady who was our server for breakfast, lunch and dinner, was Cherielyn, she took care of the 8 of us each meal, each day for the whole trip and works in the main dining room and her warmness, personality and professionalism was an added bonus to our having a wonderful trip. The staff and management of the HLIN Boat was so well organized, always ready to help, and always had a sincere smile on their faces. The tours, the boat, the food, the staff, from the Captain to the deck hands were incredible!! I couldn't and can't think of anything that Viking could have done to make our trip better, it was perfect!! This was our first river cruise and from all of us, it will not be our last with Viking River Cruises.” Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
The river cruise was the start of our honeymoon and we felt unsure what to expect as we had never done a cruise before. Well all I can say it was exceptional and outstanding. The service was excellent as was the food and wine. We ... Read More
The river cruise was the start of our honeymoon and we felt unsure what to expect as we had never done a cruise before. Well all I can say it was exceptional and outstanding. The service was excellent as was the food and wine. We couldn't fault other than they need to have some toothpicks which I know is picky!! We were trying to fill out the sheet with comments on how they could improve the cruise and the toothpicks was the only thing we could come up with. The tours were excellent as was the guide. I did do an extra tour to the winery - it was okay but not as good as the included tours we did. In the end we could not fault Viking and considering we were on our honeymoon at no time did we feel over crowded with 197 other guests. Would thoroughly recommend Viking so much so we have just booked another cruise for next year at the Captains recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We are sitting in Paris now after disembarking the viking hiln in Basel…after the first couple of outstanding days on the ship, some hiccups developed that disappointed us a little. The food quality went down noticeably during the ... Read More
We are sitting in Paris now after disembarking the viking hiln in Basel…after the first couple of outstanding days on the ship, some hiccups developed that disappointed us a little. The food quality went down noticeably during the cruise, which surprised us. On one castle tour, our ENTIRE group was left behind at the ship…. and the confused staff person (her first tour) walked us around for over an hour "looking" for the bus. OK, mistakes happen and we don't judge a whole cruise by one episode….but for the on-board hotel manager to repeatedly blame the "stupid bus driver" for leaving without us….yes, the bus driver drove away in an empty bus… is wrong. An absolute lack of leadership and accountability on the part of a senior staff member disturbed many of us much more so than the screw up. The most anticipated tour for us was the Black Forest tour…we were disappointed by a poor tour guide and what amounted to one stop at a cuckoo clock store. For those of you that have been on large cruise ships and been "escorted" to a "ship friendly" store, you know what i mean….Our original intent was to buy a clock on this cruise... but that changed once we got there, mostly based on prices…we had done a lot of research prior to the trip for cuckoo clocks so we know enough about quality and cost…we figure we will order on-line from the Black Forest and save money. Basically we had an hour and half bus ride through a magnificent area being distracted by an inaudible guide. Then an hour wandering through one store, then an return ride back to the ship. The other tours were good to very good and the staff continued to be outstanding . They worked very hard, always smiling and helpful. The viking owned busses are excellent and plenty of room. Our aquarium room was wonderful. We enjoyed it much more than any ocean cruise ship rooms. The accent lighting in the room, REAL shower glass doors, a toilet seat with that magic thing that doesn't let the seat slam down (really cool) all were great. We surely wouldnt spend the extra money for a balcony, particularly in cooler weather. Will we take a 3rd cruise with viking?…yes, even with the hiccups, we bought 2 future cruise certificates. With the exception of the hotel manager,the staff really made the cruise…..We enjoy river cruising….no art auctions, no long lines at the buffet, no "buy this", or massage that …etc etc. we are not the "Hi, what is your name and where are you from ?" type and we were able to find spots to be by ourselves… although no tables for 2 exist in the dining room, that was not a problem for us…we met some wonderful people during the week and tried to avoid only a few others. You probably know the type…self absorbed and omni knowledgeable about every topic…and NEVER take a breath….. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My husband & I have gone on a dozen ocena cruises and decided to try a smaller river cruise because of the itinerary. We originally were supposed to be on the Njord but about a week before sailing received an e-mail indicating the ... Read More
My husband & I have gone on a dozen ocena cruises and decided to try a smaller river cruise because of the itinerary. We originally were supposed to be on the Njord but about a week before sailing received an e-mail indicating the change to the Hlin. Not sure why but who is going to turn down sailing on an almost brand new ship? The itinerary, tours, staff, and ship were exactly what we expected and what had been described not only by Viking but other cruise reviews. So in that sense our expectations were met. One could say that they were exceeded but Viking's marketing put the bar so high exceeding would be difficult at best. The one area I was disappointed in was in the food. I will be the 1st to admit I am a picky eater and have definate dislikes. The breakfasts were great. Lunches hit and miss as were the dinners. I'm not sure if the chef was too new and not used to dealing with American palates or what but when I am not the only looking over the menu and wondering aloud...what is this, and can I get it plain... I have to wonder. The waiters and maitre'd tried to the point of being too accomodating to find, make or create, something for me. Even had the chef out trying to accomodate me. They wouldn't take no for an answer and just let it drop. This was more annoying to me than just ordering the same steak or chicken that were on their standard menu. They even did the steak perfectly rare! We did have a minor tradegy on our trip. One of the elderly couples had an accident in which the gentleman required extensive surgery. His wife continued on in the trip and the staff, crew and other cruisers tried to make her trip as enjoyable as possible. I believe Viking was extremly helpful in helping her with this situation and keeping her apprised of what was going on with him.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was a special trip for us as we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and a birthday too. I've wanted to go on a river cruise for a long time. We've never been on a large ocean cruise, as the large size didn't ... Read More
This was a special trip for us as we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and a birthday too. I've wanted to go on a river cruise for a long time. We've never been on a large ocean cruise, as the large size didn't appeal to me. For our anniversary we were considering Italy or Greece but during my research an ad for Viking Cruise popped up the price was fantastic especially the airfare part. Since everything is included we decided to book. The booking process was very easy and the agent was very responsive. Hotel information (if any) - we didn't book any pre or post cruise hotels but heard from others that they really enjoyed the pre cruise trip. Ship information - the ship was nice, small, welcoming. The main lounge area both in and out were set up for socializing and the size of the ship made this very easy. Activities - loved the activities a German cooking class, Past/Present Germany lecture, Info session on the locking system used on rivers, etc. Service - exceptional about sums it up. Port & shore excursions - Local tour guides make it...the details on license plates, renting of small garden plots, etc. plus the history was fantastic. The tours were the right length and gave enough time to explore a little on your own. Travel to embarkation Port - we booked everything through Viking and weren't disappointed - flights, transfers etc. were perfect and pick up and drop off without a hitch. Cabin - and accommodations were clean and well appointed. Amazing how they use the space so well. The shower was very cool. Tip - you can cloud and un-cloud the glass for the shower. Dining - fantastic as a celiac the chef and waiters were super and I was problem free the entire time. Even had gluten-free croissants what a treat. My husband loved the food. Children's clubs - N/A age group was in the late 40's and up. Entertainment - local and on ship talent, 50/60's music night, opera singing, trivia - fun, fun Summary - value for the money, great and relaxing vacation - highly recommend.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Two couples met in Munich for a few day visit then we were off to Nuremberg on Nov. 1 for a one week cruise on the Danube. We have done six ocean cruises; our friend's first voyage. Viking and crew do it right. The ship with 190 ... Read More
Two couples met in Munich for a few day visit then we were off to Nuremberg on Nov. 1 for a one week cruise on the Danube. We have done six ocean cruises; our friend's first voyage. Viking and crew do it right. The ship with 190 guests and 50 crew provide seemless service. As much attention as you prefer or solitude as desried. We selected Nov 1 due to assorted work conflicts but experienced warmer and dryer weather than planned according to Michael the ship's chief of entertainment and excursions.. The Hotel Manager quickly check us in and escorted us to our suite. When asked - at 4 PM local time on a Saturday - how long it takes to have a dress shirt laundered - Michael replied we would have the shirts back before dinner that evening. The river experience is unique as one wakes up at a new port most mornings. The excursions are simple - one tour fits all most mornings. It works. The optional excursions add variety for the energetic traveler. The oppprtunity ot walk htrough the town with a local guide than spend independent time worked for us. One area I would suggest expanding is the wine selection. I had inquired before the cruise on hte types of wine offered wiht meals. It is an Austrian wine bottled for Viking & served throughout the cruise. A greated selection and country of origin - especially a week or longer cruise - would be worth a review by Viking. We'll be back most likely for a longer cruise in warmer months.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We just recently returned from our week long Romantic Danube River Cruise. We were a party of four traveling on Viking for the first time. We felt like the crew gave over 100% in making sure all patrons were well taken care of at meals, ... Read More
We just recently returned from our week long Romantic Danube River Cruise. We were a party of four traveling on Viking for the first time. We felt like the crew gave over 100% in making sure all patrons were well taken care of at meals, going and coming from our land excursions and our time on the ship. The pace of the trip was relaxing. In addition to the many excursions planned, the schedule allowed for time to just sit on the desk and enjoy the beautiful countryside. We made lots of new friends from several countries. I would gladly sign up for another Viking River Cruise as I really enjoyed seeing the countries from a more intimate perspective. The ride was very smooth and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Disappointed in the lack of time for sightseeing – average 4 hours at each location (except Vienna), too much time sailing with not enough physical activity on board, far too sedate. Only two decks available for public use and ... Read More
Disappointed in the lack of time for sightseeing – average 4 hours at each location (except Vienna), too much time sailing with not enough physical activity on board, far too sedate. Only two decks available for public use and frustratingly, the sun deck was actually closed off for 3 days whilst we sailed under several low bridges. This left just the (good size) Lounge but fairly small area of the Aquavit Terrace (along with the restaurant at meal times), which was very restricting. Good entertainment was provided; the library / internet areas were very small and connections were poor. Food was good and crew were friendly and helpful – mostly. Occasionally waiting service in the restaurant was a bit haphazard; they didn’t seem to work as a team. Programme Director, Violeta, was excellent and worked hard to ensure all went well. We had a standard stateroom on the lower (main) deck – very small but compact with two rectangular windows located about 5 foot up from the floor and only a foot from the waterline, so not much of a view. A balcony may have been better but costs a lot more money for the privilege; as the scenery wasn’t spectacular, it wouldn’t have been worth it. The stops we did have were good – interesting places with cobbled streets but watch out for Bikes! Sadly torrential rain spoilt the Vienna tour, which was a shame; it was a pity the Guide didn’t have a Plan B for adverse weather and kept us outside all the time whilst explaining the history of the area – we were absolutely soaked. The Classical Concert in the evening was brilliant and most enjoyable. The timing of our departure was somewhat annoying, having to leave the boat at 7am, despite the fact our flight home wasn’t until 1pm. The journey from Nuremberg to Munich airport took well under two hours so we had to sit around the (rather small) airport for quite some time. This trip is ideal for those not so mobile but if you want to be more active, then this is not for you; we won’t be choosing another river cruise for this reason. Overall it was a very expensive trip, and, in our opinion, not worth the money.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My husband and I are veteran ocean cruisers ages 52 and 49 and were unsure we would like a river cruise--and now we are absolutely sold on river cruising!! We sailed on the maiden voyage of Viking Hlin July 2nd out of Amsterdam for the ... Read More
My husband and I are veteran ocean cruisers ages 52 and 49 and were unsure we would like a river cruise--and now we are absolutely sold on river cruising!! We sailed on the maiden voyage of Viking Hlin July 2nd out of Amsterdam for the Grand European Tour in a aquarium level room 120. We were initially a little nervous due to earlier reported low waters on the Danube--however, by the time we got to the Danube around July 11--there had been enough rain and we had no problems. There were only some minor issues that were out of Viking control that resulted in our cruise being off-track for pulling up at each location-so that we had to be bussed to a few of the excursions (around 1-1.5 hours). I know some of the people complained and were not happy--but I tend to think that I'm on vacation, in a beautiful location and Viking did everything they could to ensure we made every excursion --so why be so upset??? One thing that has really sold us on river cruising is that you almost always have beautiful scenery around you and not just the deep blue sea. It is also very peaceful sailing down the river. We passed through 68 locks and that was so interesting and unusual to us. The staff was amazing! We had Dewi Klop as our program director and Zsolt as our concierge and both were great!! The rest of the staff always had smiles and greetings and were always willing to offer help. We booked room 120 because that and the top suite were all that were left-and I felt that our window room was just fine-we were not in the room much anyways. On ocean cruises we always get a balcony or suite and I was concerned I would miss out-but it turned out fine. The room is small but the amenities were nice and the room nicely appointed. There was enough storage for all of our stuff and the suitcases fit under the bed. I did check out the French balcony room and the room was a little smaller depth wise than ours-good to know for future-probably wouldn't book it. We had friends in a suite and that was nice-but for the price they paid not worth the EXTRA $12,000. Food was good to excellent every day. I'm pretty sure no one went hungry:). Portions were perfect and I did like that we didn't feel stuffed after our meals which is different than the ocean cruises we've been on-keeps the extra pounds off. Not that you can't order more if you were still hungry or really liked something. I do wish that river cruises would have a small gym available and a Jacuzzi or something for the top deck other than shuffle board and mini golf. Excursions were fine-not really our style. They were mainly walking tours so we actually didn't take most of them and did our own thing. In Vienna and Budapest we did Segway tours and they were excellent! In Nuremberg we did do the WWII history tour which was interesting being on Zeppelin field and the Nuremberg trials courtroom-but the hubby felt the museum was something he could see on the history channel. There were no artifacts to see-just hand held listening devices to go with photos. The towns were so quaint and lovely-it was nice walking around and taking in all the beauty. Would we sail a river cruise again? A huge absolutely!! I just need to find the right itinerary!!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We were the first group to sail on the Hlin from Amsterdam to Budapest. There were issues from day one when the boat was delayed due to construction on one of the bridges. Instead of docking in our first port of call, we were bused there ... Read More
We were the first group to sail on the Hlin from Amsterdam to Budapest. There were issues from day one when the boat was delayed due to construction on one of the bridges. Instead of docking in our first port of call, we were bused there and back. The major problem started on the second day. While entering a lock, our ship stopped and we were told there was a problem with the lock. The ship backed out of the lock and stayed off shore where we stayed for many hours. Again we were told there was a problem with the lock, but we could see other ships going through the lock with no issues. It turned out there was a major problem with the Hlin's software, and they could not continue the cruise, but the staff continued to tell us the problem was a problem with the lock. This delay turned a river cruise into a bus tours often with the bus rides up to 2 hours one way, with returns to our floating hotel while we were docked in ugly industrial parks. The delays also cut into our free time in the destinations, and it seems the tour guides were told to hurry through the tours. Many time we had to ask the guides to slow down both their presentation and the pace. Additionally, as we made our way through the lock, the top deck had to be closed for at least 5 days, depriving everyone of the only opportunity to get any exercise as the top deck had the walking path, mini gold and shuffle board, and of course, the best views. Had I known that, I probably would not have booked this tour. We finally caught up about 2/3 through the tour and the rest of the trip was wonderful. It was terrific to dock in a city and be able to explore it and then return to the ship. We were told that these types of delays are very common with river cruises, low or high water, issue with locks can impact a schedule. However, our delay was due to an issue with the Viking ship, yet it was never acknowledged and no compensation was offered. I felt cheated and the cruise did not deliver what had been promised, in fact when referring to the evaluation,it was commented: "pls remember we are the conductors of the tour not the composers" On the positive side, the rooms were very clean and comfortable, the staff and service exceptional. The food was good, although dinner service was slow and there were some odd things in the food (corn on Cesar salad, cinnamon on corn cobs, fennel seeds in fajitas) Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We were the first group to sail on the Hlin from Amsterdam to Budapest. There were issues from day one when the boat was delayed due to construction on one of the bridges. Instead of docking in our first port of call, we were bused there ... Read More
We were the first group to sail on the Hlin from Amsterdam to Budapest. There were issues from day one when the boat was delayed due to construction on one of the bridges. Instead of docking in our first port of call, we were bused there and back. The major problem started on the second day. While entering a lock, our ship stopped and we were told there was a problem with the lock. The ship backed out of the lock and stayed off shore where we stayed for many hours. Again we were told there was a problem with the lock, but we could see other ships going through the lock with no issues. It turned out there was a major problem with the Hlin's software, and they could not continue the cruise, but the staff continued to tell us the problem was a problem with the lock. This delay turned a river cruise into a bus tours often with the bus rides up to 2 hours one way, with returns to our floating hotel while we were docked in ugly industrial parks. The delays also cut into our free time in the destinations, and it seems the tour guides were told to hurry through the tours. Many time we had to ask the guides to slow down both their presentation and the pace. Additionally, as we made our way through the lock, the top deck had to be closed for at least 5 days, depriving everyone of the only opportunity to get any exercise as the top deck had the walking path, mini gold and shuffle board, and of course, the best views. Had I known that, I probably would not have booked this tour. We finally caught up about 2/3 through the tour and the rest of the trip was wonderful. It was terrific to dock in a city and be able to explore it and then return to the ship. We were told that these types of delays are very common with river cruises, low or high water, issue with locks can impact a schedule. However, our delay was due to an issue with the Viking ship, yet it was never acknowledged and no compensation was offered. I felt cheated and the cruise did not deliver what had been promised, in fact when referring to the evaluation,it was commented: "pls remember we are the conductors of the tour not the composers" On the positive side, the rooms were very clean and comfortable, the staff and service exceptional. The food was good, although dinner service was slow and there were some odd things in the food (corn on Cesar salad, cinnamon on corn cobs, fennel seeds in fajitas) Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Viking Hlin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 N/A

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