163 Viking River Viking Hlin Cruise Reviews

This was my second Viking Cruise. I chose Viking again because the first cruise was so great. But in the three years between the cruises, Viking services deteriorated to the extent that I will never take a Viking cruise again. While the ... Read More
This was my second Viking Cruise. I chose Viking again because the first cruise was so great. But in the three years between the cruises, Viking services deteriorated to the extent that I will never take a Viking cruise again. While the staff was friendly and nice, the service and food were mediocre. I never met my room steward. I could have handled the fact that the Rhine River was so low we had to leave our ship mid-cruise and board another ship (can't control weather) but we weren't even offered a travel voucher for our trouble. Every other person on every other line that I met who traveled when the Rhine conditions were not great received a travel voucher for future travel even if they weren't inconvenienced as we were. We were compensated with some free wine one night. Whoopee! The first time I traveled with Viking, the wine was free all the time! And I don't limit my critique to the cruise. Every time I contacted Viking ahead of time for more information or advice, I was given the same response, which was "I don't know." My theory is that Viking has chosen money over service. I would chose the opposite. Additionally, my husband couldn't travel with me and we had to use our travel insurance for reimbursement for his part of the trip. I got back less than the cost of the travel insurance, Very different from when my friend sought reimbursement for their Viking River Cruise and got the whole thing back - but that was four years ago. Viking has changed. They aren't worth it any longer. Try another cruise line. If Viking continues in this vein, they won't be around much longer anyway! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Where to start? I have good and bad experiences on my Rhine Getaway. Even before stating I asked my sales consultant about the water levels and was told that a ship swap was a distant possibility. And if I chose to cancel or rebook I ... Read More
Where to start? I have good and bad experiences on my Rhine Getaway. Even before stating I asked my sales consultant about the water levels and was told that a ship swap was a distant possibility. And if I chose to cancel or rebook I would lose the total amount. SO I proceeded to "enjoy" my Rhine river getaway. First let me say that we did indeed swap ships. This gave us a unique perspective to compare two ships and staff. The first ship the KARA was beautiful and the front desk, waiters, and bartenders, were beautiful in spirit and accommodating our every request. We purchased the silver drink package (150 per person) and I can report to you that it was a bargain, as there are eaters and drinkers and we are definitely drinkers. SO if you enjoy drinks you must purchase this package. OK so we are on the KARA, for two days and then we are told that we will do a ship sway. So here we go packing everything again. And we need to be bussed to the next ship. As a result we had to leave the people with whom we became friends, (the ships staff), and boarded a bus for a long trip to our reduced excursion. I cried when we left that friendly staff. They even got a cab to deliver our lost luggage and deliver it to the next port of call. And did our laundry for free while the bags were lost. AND even members of the crew offered their personal clothing until ours arrived. The KARA crew was EXCELLENT. God how I will miss them. OK so reduced time at our next excursion, back on a bus and then we boarded the HLIN. BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!!! I expected the bartenders and staff to be "same but different". Now I am an outgoing and friendly guy but almost IMMEDIATELY I found the attitude VERY DIFFERENT and cold. This was not just my opinion, but ALL of the fellow passengers with whom I came into conversation with. If it were just me, I could write it off BUT is was unanimous! Even the guests in the SUITE at the rear of the ship (the executive presidential suite), the largest in the ship, with whom we became friends, said that the bartender was downright RUDE. They had planned to go on another Viking cruise and were making plans told me that they will go one Tauk or Crystal instead. They told me that that trip was around 25K and they planned to "vote with their wallets". And eschew any future Viking cruises. As I said before we were one of the lucky ones who went on the Rhine. Our captain told us the Elbe and Danube were now completely closed to river traffic of large ships. One a positive note I spent MANY hours in the wheelhouse with out captain, Adam, who as an engineer appreciates all the technical details of captaining a longboat. Radar, FLIR, river navigation systems, sonar, and all the logistics were explained to me. As we became closer he showed me pictures of his beautiful Polish wife and handsome son. For me this was the best part of the cruise. The captain on the HLIN made this ship OK for me but the rest forget it. We made friends with a guest who was a professional chef and he had "words" with the HLIN chef about things I dont know about like the temperature of a "sear". I tried the "stew" which consisted of boiled cubes of some kind of meat, cubed potatoes and carrots in a broth. NOT stew in my definition. Almost the same meals every day. Now I am very easy to please BUT if you are looking for above average meals, you wont find it here. I did the poached salmon almost every night. My wife had a "ribeye, which she could not eat. Our table guests looked at the food presented and many had the ceaser salad instead which was actually pretty good. So would I do it again you are asking. Are you sitting down? IF and this is a big IF Viking makes it worth my while I may consider them again. But after reading the other reviews and what Viking did after they returned home, I think not. Now I know that Viking can not control the water levels, but that is not the issue. The insincerity and holding back of information is what I have an issue with. They got our money and it seems that it was all they wanted. It was MUCH worse for the Danube travelers. All in alI guess I was pretty lucky in the end. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This ship's crew was excellent. The program Director Daniel could not have done more in his explanation of the tours and activities aboard the ship. He is an asset to Viking. He was not alone Armon the Hotel manager seemed to greet ... Read More
This ship's crew was excellent. The program Director Daniel could not have done more in his explanation of the tours and activities aboard the ship. He is an asset to Viking. He was not alone Armon the Hotel manager seemed to greet all the guests. You felt like family, We even had a breakfast and a dinner with him. The Bartenders Ivan and Krista greeted you every evening they were amazing they knew each guest well remembered what everyone wanted to drink. The places we visited were fantastic from the Windmills in Holland to the vineyards in Germany. There is no doubt in my mind I would vacation with Viking again. I thought this trip would be boring. We met the nicest people I hope to keep in touch with. Hopefully the crew members are trained like Daniel, Arman & Krista & Ivan. also the captain. Thanks to all of you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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 spent 3 extra days in Amsterdam and 2 in Basal, Switzerland. The shore excursions were enjoyable and educational. The evening entertainment of a piano bar and singing was delightful. The daily tours were entertaining, ... Read More
We spent 3 extra days in Amsterdam and 2 in Basal, Switzerland. The shore excursions were enjoyable and educational. The evening entertainment of a piano bar and singing was delightful. The daily tours were entertaining, informative and the guides provided were very knowledgeable. We enjoyed that there was only one seating for the meals. There was a wonderful buffet breakfast. Casual lunches served in the dining room or the outside front deck. The late afternoon cocktail hour gave guest time to relax prior to dinner. Because of the relaxed atmosphere aboard the river cruise we were able to make friends with many other couples and form lasting relationships. ALL the Viking cruise employees were friendly, caring, helpful, and were their to serve you. We enjoyed our first Viking River Cruise so much that we have booked another cruise vacation for this September 2017. We are doing (The Romantic Danube) with 3 days extra excursions in Budapest and Prague. We have our friends joining us on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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
We took the Viking Delling cruise on the Danube (Nuremberg to Budapest) in July, 2014 and loved every minute. We were so impressed we decided to take the Rhine cruise last month. Where the food on the Delling was always excellent and ... Read More
We took the Viking Delling cruise on the Danube (Nuremberg to Budapest) in July, 2014 and loved every minute. We were so impressed we decided to take the Rhine cruise last month. Where the food on the Delling was always excellent and regional dishes were featured, the meals on the Hlin were disappointingly repetitious, with generally over-cooked meat. It was especially bad on Friday, when the "special German dishes" of weiner schnitzel and sauerbraten were both so over-cooked and tough, they were just plain awful. On another evening , ahi tuna was cooked till it was uniformly gray. Entertainment on the Delling was, as we remember, very enjoyable, with a good deal of diversity. The piano player on the Hlin, while (I'm sure) a fine musician, may have modeled his performance on Bill Murray's "Nick the Lounge Singer" bit on SNL. Flourishes abounded, making every tune sound like every other. We did not "hang out" to listen to him. The shore excursions were fairly enjoyable, particularly the tours of Amsterdam, the Kinderdijk Windmill, Marksburg Castle, Cologne, Strasbourg and Colmar. However, the Heidelberg Castle tour was a total waste of time, our guide was not good, and the town is merely one very long street of nothing-noteworthy shops, in which we had no interest. The excursion to the Black Forest, while picturesque, was mostly geared to trying to encourage us tourists to buy cuckoo clocks. The demonstration on making them was so crowded, we couldn't see or hear. Finally, I think it would have been nice to be given some information about Basel, rather than being just left on our own, since the Tinguely Museum was closed on Monday when we tried to go. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We have been on at least 6 Vikings and loved them and this one we hadn't taken yet and wanted to see it. We are sorry we did. It was a disappointment. The trip was okay as was the food. The weather was bad. We did enjoy Basel ... Read More
We have been on at least 6 Vikings and loved them and this one we hadn't taken yet and wanted to see it. We are sorry we did. It was a disappointment. The trip was okay as was the food. The weather was bad. We did enjoy Basel a lot. Would love to go back there sometime. We liked Strasboug, France, Black Forest and Cologne, Germany. The ship entertainment was weak to non-existent. We found the focus on board was to sell drinks. We don't drink alcohol and found we were outsiders on own trip. Too much focus on drinking and not enough for people like us. The Airport connections were terrible. We were dumped off at 5 am at Amsterdam and abandoned , when the British flight desk didn't open till 6:30 am. All were rude. No place to sit. Awful! The walk to the gate was way too far away...miles. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose the Rhine River cruise to celebrate our 25 th anniversary after spending the previous 2 months in Italy. 4 days prior to departure I received an email stating the ship had a broken propellor and that we would be bused to Breisach ... Read More
We chose the Rhine River cruise to celebrate our 25 th anniversary after spending the previous 2 months in Italy. 4 days prior to departure I received an email stating the ship had a broken propellor and that we would be bused to Breisach the day 2 port in Germany and not from our departure port of Basel, Switzerland. We were told to report to the Basel airport to meet the buses. Thus we missed the Basel tour and cruising upriver into Germany which is what we paid for and not a bus ride. Despite it being a Viking problem this matter was never brought up again and no compensation not even a free drink was offered as an apology. The following morning breakfast was a buffet fiasco with the wait line out the door. I felt as if I was on a Canaveral cruise. To make matters worse the wait staff really didnt smile except for perhaps one or two. On our 3 rd night when we returned to our suite 316 I checked the bedsheets and to my shock I could see blood stains and urine on the mattress cover showing through my sheet! I went to reception and the person there told me housekeeping was asleep. My response was " I'm not"! She came to our suite and she was appalled by what she saw! She did wake up the housekeeping manager but they didnt have clean linen! They put blankets as a mattress pad. The following morning the room cleaning girl apologized saying she didnt see it , but you had to be blind not to see the numerous blood and urine stains on both sides of the mattress pad. They gave us the drink package as an apology but we dont really drink. The remainder of the cruise was just ok. Too much time on buses, not enough in the towns . The food on the cruise was ok (6 on a scale of 1 to 10 ) not great so we started eating upstairs in the Aquavit Terrace as our waiter Sandor was friendly and fantastic in comparison to the wait staff in the dining room that really didnt smile! One evening I asked Tony the head of Dining for one of the dishes from upstairs and he told me to get it myself! I will say that Arturo our concierge was great. He was always willing to help and service with a smile. He indeed was a pleasure to interact with. The day we were to depart the ship the steward that came to get our bags was drinking a cup of coffee that he spilled on our luggage! Totally unprofessional! I'm so disappointed with Viking! Best thing on the cruise were the new friendships we made ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have sailed with Viking previously (Christmas Markets of the Danube) 3 years ago, and in fact, on the same ship. The ship hasn't changed, but the crew, and attitudes, has. This trip we opted for deck one (cabin 110) and the ... Read More
We have sailed with Viking previously (Christmas Markets of the Danube) 3 years ago, and in fact, on the same ship. The ship hasn't changed, but the crew, and attitudes, has. This trip we opted for deck one (cabin 110) and the cabins are just fine....typical for a river cruise ship, with the usual space constraints. The crew was very good (Arturo, the Concierge) said we would remember him...a true statement. The rest of the crew and staff went out of their way to assist my wife when she had to return to the ship due to medical reasons. (The ship was to drop us off, immediately sail on, and remeet later.) All of that was good. One problem was the itinerary...it just did not take full advantage of the Rhine River. Our stop in Kobletz is a prime example. We docked at the base of the cable car to the castle, just a few meters from the statue area at the conflux of the Rhine and Mozelle Rivers. Absolutely no time was allocated to be able to go into the town, or to explore the monuments. The group going on the included castle tour grabbed their bus and took off. Those remaining going to the alternate (extra cost) castle headed to the cable cars, hand went up on their tour. The ship, in the meantime, headed up river, to dock near where the first group would end up. After the second group finished their castle tour, we all boarded buses and went to where the ship was waiting. Food was not as good this trip, and there were some nights the "always available" menu was needed. Entertainment was very good, as brought aboard. However, why, in Germany, was there no "oom-pa-pa" band? Will we sail again with Viking? Yes. They do care, but they need to do some refresher courses. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The ship and crew and staff were amazing. The excursions were very well organized and guides were exceptionally knowledgable...however I was disappointed with the fact that 5 countries were advertised but we only spent 3 hours touring ... Read More
The ship and crew and staff were amazing. The excursions were very well organized and guides were exceptionally knowledgable...however I was disappointed with the fact that 5 countries were advertised but we only spent 3 hours touring France and saw Switzerland for about 15 minutes in the middle of the night driving to the airport ...also I envisioned myself relaxing on the verandah looking at the scenery as we sailed along but it only made sense that we mainly sailed at night while we were sleeping so we could disembark and tour during the day...also I would advise against booking additional excursions on line...there was always an opportunity to book on the ship and there was availability for the tours...that way you could also judge how busy you wanted to be during the day...my companion and I booked optional excursions every day they were available and it was tiring by the last day of touring...we skipped out on our last paid excursion and just toured the town on our own and thoroughly enjoyed the slower pace and getting a feel of the town and the people... Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Traveled from Basil to Amsterdam, via Rhine. Unfortunately, the river was to shallow to pass and we were moved to another Viking ship on the other side of low section. The transfer was done very efficiently however it did interrupt some of ... Read More
Traveled from Basil to Amsterdam, via Rhine. Unfortunately, the river was to shallow to pass and we were moved to another Viking ship on the other side of low section. The transfer was done very efficiently however it did interrupt some of the sightseeing. Accommodations and onboard service and facilities was very good, however the vacuum waste system over our stateroom, aboard ship, was noisy. Our travel director was extremely friendly and helpful, as were the local guides. Regarding ships, we started on the Hlin and were transferred to the Kara. We preferred the Hlin staff over the Kara. Excursions were often slow due to the elderly (we are in our 60's and many could not match pace) so one must be patient and understanding. One elderly gentleman complained as I removed my jacket while traveling on a coach to an excursion, another made negative comments regarding drinking a beer, while sailing past various Castles in Germany one late morning, then once they realized the Beer was free, then it was okay and they ordered for themselves... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Unfortunately, what should have been a great Rhine cruise was marred for over half the passengers on the Viking Hlin. Within two days of boarding the ship over 60 out of 188 passengers came down with gastroenteritis. The ship staff took ... Read More
Unfortunately, what should have been a great Rhine cruise was marred for over half the passengers on the Viking Hlin. Within two days of boarding the ship over 60 out of 188 passengers came down with gastroenteritis. The ship staff took virtually no measures to control the virus so it tore through the rest of the passengers in short order. Sick people were loaded onto tour buses with healthy ones, self-service buffets continued, and there was no systematic disinfection of handrails or shared furniture. To add insult to injury they didn't bother to obtain rehydration solution or antidiarrheal medication, even though they knew dozens of passengers were sick and local shops closed on the weekend. Handling of special diets was adequate, but not up to the high standards they claimed when I booked my ticket. Despite my telling them about my gluten-free/egg-free diet six weeks in advance, breakfast was a sad affair. There wasn't a single bread or cereal aboard I could eat; even the hash browns were made with eggs. I was completely left out of the two afternoon teas because the only gluten-free option was egg custard. If you don't have a special diet or mind a round of gastroenteritis with no medicine for relief, the rest of the cruise is to be recommended. Shore excursions are to carefully chosen sites, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The tour guides are somewhat variable in quality, but most are very good. I was only disappointed by one guide, who was intent on telling a particular story and glossed over what we were looking at. There are both included and optional tours, plus short walks into port cities lead by the conceirge. Be sure to consider the optional tours which go to interesting places and provide good value. Viking provides a transmitter/earpiece system so it's easy to hear all the narration. When the ship is cruising, there are slide shows in the afternoon, appealing spreads of local pastries, and music in the evening. The cabins are well appointed and the information on their website is spot-on. L'Occitane toiletries are a nice touch. The lounge is big and comfortable with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of seating. There is a rooftop sundeck as well, with plenty of lounge chairs and the option of sitting in the sun or the shade. Dining room tables seat either six or ten guests and lounge seating is in conversation groups. This is a good arrangement if you like to mingle and talk to other people on the ship. Mealtimes are fairly regimented if you want to enjoy the main menu; breakfast is the only meal with a fair amount of flexibility. Dinner was often later than I would have liked. We were typically seated at 7pm and not served until maybe 7:45. The late dinners combined with 8:30 am excursions meant I ended up a bit sleep-deprived. Because of the relatively small size of the ship there were typically only 3-4 selections for lunch and dinner, plus a menu of fixed options. The food was fresh and well-prepared. Wine is served with lunch and dinner. They serve the same complementary wine with all the meals the whole week. If you want something different there are some really nice wines for purchase on the wine list. Be aware with the Rhine cruises that the ones originating in Amsterdam are going upriver. That means more time on the water and less on shore excursions. Choose your direction by whether you like sitting on the sundeck and watching the river go by, or having more time to wander the local cities. There isn't a right or wrong answer; the cruises are just different. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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
Overall grade: B- It was a rocky start. Two months before the start of the river cruise, we received in the mail a personalized brochure from Viking, giving us a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule, excursions, ship information, etc. ... Read More
Overall grade: B- It was a rocky start. Two months before the start of the river cruise, we received in the mail a personalized brochure from Viking, giving us a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule, excursions, ship information, etc. It noted that at the start of the cruise in Basel, the ship could be departing from any of three different locations. Seeing as how there still were two months before the cruise, this wasn’t a huge concern. About two weeks before we were scheduled to leave, Viking sent us our cruise documents in a digital format. We printed everything, and again the departure information in Basel was the same. I assumed that eventually, Viking would let us know where to find the ship. Bad assumption on my part. For those cruise customers who are part of Viking’s pre-cruise extension, this is of no concern because you get on a bus at the hotel and it takes you to the ship. However, for those who make their own travel arrangements, you’re on your own. I suspect this probably isn’t a major problem in most cities where ships dock at the same area, but in this case, where there were three choices, it can be an arduous way to start a vacation. Luckily for my wife and I, there was a Viking desk in the hotel we stayed at the night before the start of the cruise and a Viking rep gave us the departure location. Others didn’t have it so easy. At dinner on our first night aboard, we met a couple who simply hailed a cab and told the driver to go to each of the locations, figuring they’d hit the right one eventually. So I wasn’t even on board yet and I was ready to give Viking an F. All in all, things went smoothly. Excursions: Pretty good, though we had one hiccup on one day when the ship had to go in for repairs after hitting another vessel in a lock two days earlier and sustaining a 4-foot gash in front. Cruisers had two options: stay on the ship while it went for repairs, or take a two-hour tour and then spend four hours on your own until the ship returned. Viking gave everyone a $25 onboard credit for the inconvenience. Excursions ran on time and were well planned with plenty of buses and organized procedures. Food: It’s not as good as the chef would have you believe. He spoke to passengers one night early in the week and said that evening’s special, a filet with a Roquefort sauce, was “amazing.” It was, IMHO, quite average. He used the same word, “amazing,” one day to describe the potato soup. In Cologne, we had the chance to have lunch in town; we tried the potato soup at a pub and THAT was fabulous – a gazillion times better than what we had onboard. For dinner on the final evening, the chef recommended a brisket entrée; that turned out to be a horrible choice; mine was undercooked by two hours and not even close to being done correctly. At the end of the week, there wasn’t anything we had that made us think, “Wish we had a chance to have that again.” Food grade: C- Overall service: Mostly good. Room attendants refreshed the room quickly. Service in the lounge was inconsistent. The bartender was outstanding; I gave him my room number once on the first day and that was the last time he asked for it. I have no idea how he did that with nearly 190 customers. Table service in the lounge was spotty. Sometimes there were more servers than customers; at other times, you had to go to the bar to get a drink because there were no servers. Dining room servers were pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Viking as a cruise company once again provided a terrific cruise ship and staff. This was our second Viking river cruise and everything about this company and its employees is top shelf. But I didn’t like the itinerary on this cruise ... Read More
Viking as a cruise company once again provided a terrific cruise ship and staff. This was our second Viking river cruise and everything about this company and its employees is top shelf. But I didn’t like the itinerary on this cruise as well as our initial cruise, which was southern France. This cruise up the Rhine was just not as interesting and the cities were not as picturesque. You can’t go wrong picking Viking as your river cruise company. But make sure you’ll enjoy the stops on your cruise before you book it. The southern France cruise ended up docked in a new city every morning with easy access right off the boat directly into the new city. The Rhine cruise in contrast often involved cruising during the day and docking in places where a bus trip was necessary to get to the city center. Again the cities visited were just not as interesting and there was too much down time cruising during the day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Viking had an itinerary that enabled us to see tulips in bloom and visit great ports. Viking provides good value for the money. The food was excellent and the chef was top notch and very accommodating. The ports of call were all very ... Read More
Viking had an itinerary that enabled us to see tulips in bloom and visit great ports. Viking provides good value for the money. The food was excellent and the chef was top notch and very accommodating. The ports of call were all very interesting and provided us with great memories. Amsterdam was a great city to visit enriched with culture and amazing scenery. The ship was very nice but the rooms were very small and often uncomfortable. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who is claustrophobic. We have been on other river cruises where we found the ships to be more elegant and rooms ampler. We like traveling on Viking but would research other companies to compare cost versus value. When comparing buy one get one for free you need to check what is included and compare the total costs (including excursions, trips, transportation, etc.) to determine your best value. Viking does a generally good job but you do get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Only reason giving it a 4 star is the accomodations: Bed was somewhat uncomfortable, some outside noise like a pump would go on, (cabin 101), which was annoying, and the TV movies would just go off during part of the showing. Still, we ... Read More
Only reason giving it a 4 star is the accomodations: Bed was somewhat uncomfortable, some outside noise like a pump would go on, (cabin 101), which was annoying, and the TV movies would just go off during part of the showing. Still, we accepted these minor problems and really enjoyed the trip. Staff was top notch, food very good- especially the breads and pastry. Wines and beer that were part of the lunch and dinner meals were fine. Daily tours that were part of the cruise package were very good with the guides excellent, (didn't go on 2 of the days- just walked into the town we were docked at to explore. This was the Rhine River cruise and some of the package tours require moderate walking and being sure footed, (i.e. Marksburg castle), so you need to be ambulatory, We had a first deck cabin, (at waterline with closed "strip" window, no balcony, and this was fine as there was always plenty of room in the lounge to watch the shoreline sights. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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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