81 Viking River Viking Lif Cruise Reviews

Me and my wife we just come back from “passage to Europe” on Viking LIF. We’ve been in many cruises on the big ships, two of them with Viking Sky and Star, but our recent experience exceeded any expectations. Viking Lif is a ... Read More
Me and my wife we just come back from “passage to Europe” on Viking LIF. We’ve been in many cruises on the big ships, two of them with Viking Sky and Star, but our recent experience exceeded any expectations. Viking Lif is a beautiful ship, our cabin was smaller than on the ocean but extremely comfortable and we always had the feeling of a big family due to the small size of the ship (only 190 passengers on board). Was like being on a floating home. The food was very good and the service in the restaurant was exceptional (we loved Harold and Bogdan). The only thing that we missed from the big ship was the buffet which on Viking Star was amazing. Our cabin was smaller that what you get on a big ship was impeccable clean and we loved the heated floor in the bathroom. The housekeeper Anna was a very friendly girl from Romania and she was brilliant keeping our cabin sparkling every day, extremely helpful and with a nice big smile. We wanted to take her home with us. On Viking Lif we didn’t find a concierge as we were promised when we booked the cruise, but the receptionist Ankita was always ready to assist us when we needed more information about the places that we visited. The cruise visiting Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Budapest was an excellent opportunity to learn about the ex-communist block and discover new traditions and lifestyles. Is a cruise that I strongly recommend if you want to leave your comfort zone of a boring cruise. Of course we were extremely lucky to have the best cruise director EVER! We cruised before with Princess, Holland America, Viking, Cunard and regent but we never had the chance to have somebody like the cruise director on Viking Lif. Leonard was born in Romania, is a doctor but at the same time a movie star in Romania. We were shocked to see that in Bucharest everybody was stopping him asking for autographs and photos. His was a walking encyclopaedia having a huge amount of information about every places that we visited and answering every questions. What we loved was that he know how to mix the right amount of information with a fine sense of humour, making never boring any conversation. His presentations about Communist Romania was heart-breaking and inspiring, while his talk about Dracula was informative and funny at the same time. Everybody on board loved him and Leonard was working 25 hours daily being anytime everywhere. Charming and elegant, smart and funny he is a huge asset for Viking making our cruise informative educative but everything with a lot of fun. We celebrate Halloween on board and was one of the best party ever: everybody was wearing a mask, a “scary disco party” was taking place in the lounge and the two witches acting as hosts (the cruise director and the pianist|) were great. The entire experience on Viking Lif was memorable and, persuaded by the charming hotel manager Jary to book for the next year another cruise on Viking Lif, this time from Amsterdam to Budapest. Finger crossed that we will have Leonard again as a Cruise Director. Thank you Viking you are THE BEST! Thank your Viking LIF you are exceptional! Thank you Leonard your are phenomenal! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We've been looking at the brochures that came to the house for years and my husband finally said, "let's do it". We made our own air arrangements because we wanted to go business class and the business class airfare ... Read More
We've been looking at the brochures that came to the house for years and my husband finally said, "let's do it". We made our own air arrangements because we wanted to go business class and the business class airfare through Viking was too high. We arrived in Amsterdam a couple of days early and explored on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary and our accommodations. Having the balconies to sit on when sailing along the river and traveling through the 68 locks was wonderful. The highlight of the 15 day cruise was the quality of the guides. We received all the information we wanted and more. The extra programs (glassblowers, lectures and music) were terrific and added greatly to the entire experience. Though we were on the go everyday, it felt like an effortless trip. Everything was taken care of. The service onboard was efficient and friendly. Loved the daily soup selection. The food trended to the local cuisine. Our one regret was that we didn't stay in Budapest longer, but left the day of disembarking. The 128 day cruise in the Southern Hemisphere is on our bucket list, but that will have to wait for retirement. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Although I have cruised many times, they have all been on large cruise ships. I can't rave enough about the service on the Viking Lif, and I would believe all Viking ships. The Cruise Director, service staff, back office staff were ... Read More
Although I have cruised many times, they have all been on large cruise ships. I can't rave enough about the service on the Viking Lif, and I would believe all Viking ships. The Cruise Director, service staff, back office staff were all excellent. By the second day, everyone knew me by my first name. The tours were very appropriate for our ports of call, and the tour guides were great. The state rooms were small, but I knew that going in. They were still more than adequate. Most of the passengers were older in age than you would find on large cruise ship, which is understandable considering the difference in cost. This also meant that there were no kids, which would have really been a pain on a small ship. But, in no way was the age of most of the passengers a detriment to having fun. Most were very active. I would definitely do this cruise again, and am actively planning another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Other family members had already signed up for the cruise. We joined them. We had heard very good reviews about Viking River cruises and were not disappointed. We would go on another given the opportunity. The embarkation and ... Read More
Other family members had already signed up for the cruise. We joined them. We had heard very good reviews about Viking River cruises and were not disappointed. We would go on another given the opportunity. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The food choices were plentiful, a wide range of choices and always some vegetarian and regional choices. The crew was over the top GREAT! When we go again, we want the same crew. It was wonderful to have the walking track on the top deck for the days of cruising. You could walk from Passau all the way through the Wachau Valley, lovely. We were very pleased to be able to watch some of the evening lounge special events on the TV in our room. With having such a full day sometimes, it was nice to relax in our stateroom and not miss the entertainment on board. The on board cameras also provided fine views from the bow. Nice to check out the weather before venturing out of doors. Thank-you for such a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise was scheduled as our first cruise in retirement and was selected to visit the homelands of earlier generations of my family in the old Austro-Hungarian empire. The path of this cruise hit all the locations we wanted to visit ... Read More
This cruise was scheduled as our first cruise in retirement and was selected to visit the homelands of earlier generations of my family in the old Austro-Hungarian empire. The path of this cruise hit all the locations we wanted to visit AND MORE places we didn't know we wanted to visit. The intimate nature of a river cruise was perfect for our journey of discovery - we could enjoy the excursions without being overwhelmed by 'schedule compliance.' We enjoyed the walking tours in each destination to gain an overview that enabled personal treks back to places of specific interest. My personal highlight of the trip was a private car tour to a monument of family interest near Wurzburg. We were able to visit a 32 meter column erected in 1828 as a 10 year anniversary monument to the 1818 Bavarian Democratic Constitution. That celebration has specific meaning to our family as one of my ancestors was a member of the festival 'court' who received a gold cross engraved with an image of the column. That cross has been passed down mother-to-daughter ever since, with my daughter being the current custodian. The service aboard ship was consistently top-notch. The crew worked to satisfy any request - and I do not recall ANY request not satisfied. The food was a joy - everything was prepared and served to please. The portion sizes were just right, especially given the more-than-ample opportunities for snacks around the clock. The selections were super with tough choices between better and more better on every menu. The mix of local dishes with 'old reliables' truly made each meal an eagerly anticipated event. I could have been happy staying aboard the entire cruise... The excursions were remarkable (which they would have to be to entice one to go ashore, at all). It's hard to pick out any one over the others, but the evening concert in Vienna deserves special mention. I very much wanted to hear some of the classical music I enjoy being played in the room for which it had been composed. The bus tour of the lighted Viennese buildings after the concert was a wonderful, magical finish to a very special evening. I don't know how this trip might have been improved - maybe a bit more time in Amsterdam - but it's hard to imagine a more meaningful or enjoyable experience. When I try to envision another cruise to 'top' this one I come up empty - this was the 'Ultimate!' Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Last month I spend 3 weeks on board of Viking ships sailing across Europe. No mistake, I said “Viking ships” because due to the water issues on the Danube I needed to change ships in Budapest. The first part of my trip was on Viking ... Read More
Last month I spend 3 weeks on board of Viking ships sailing across Europe. No mistake, I said “Viking ships” because due to the water issues on the Danube I needed to change ships in Budapest. The first part of my trip was on Viking Agir and the last 2 weeks on Viking Lif. I didn’t have any problems with changing ships but what I don’t understand is how Viking manage to offer two different experiences on two, in theory, identical ships? The boarding on Agir was a little bit chaotic with passengers arriving at the same time and waiting in the lounge until somebody from the reception was shouting, like in Central Station, the name of the lucky one who can get the room key. On Viking LIF everything was different: a sense of calm and control, with a lot of smiles and with the Hotel Manager and Cruise Director chatting with the passengers when we were waiting (not very long) for check-in. The girls from Agir reception were trying hard to smile and give useful information and always advise me to ask the Cruise director. On Lif the story was completely different: Anicka and Iout knew almost everything and when they didn’t have the answer, with a joke, were ask the Cruise director to help. The service in Agir restaurant was very basic and most of the time rushed; I don’t want to blame the waiters but was easy to realise that they were overworked and under the constant pressure of the Hotel manager who was always walking like an SS officer with no smiles for passengers or staff. On Lif everybody, anytime of the day had a genuine big smile and they looked that they love their job and being on board. On the second ship you have the feeling that they were a big family with everybody, from Captain Ane to my room steward (Marko) sharing jokes and being professional in a very friendly manner. Big differences between ships from top to bottom; on Agir the captain didn’t speak one word in English his presentation about navigation being another boring show off of the Hotel Manager while on Lif was an excellent double act with Cpt Ane and Cruise Director Leonard putting together an excellent infotainment night. Iana, Hotel Manager on Lif was very friendly and always ready to help not only the passengers but staff too, finding time to chat with everybody. The other Hotel Manager, Claus, was acting like a little dictator with both staff and passengers…not a pleasant face to see when on board! The only element of consistency was the Cruise Director, or Program Director as is called on Viking, Leonard. He was always funny, very informative and knowledgeable, showing a genuine care for all on board and finding time after very long days to chat both with passengers and his colleagues. I was so happy that he was with us for all 3 weeks and he’s the one who made me booking another Viking cruise. Maybe Viking can think very seriously about bringing consistency on board of their ships; after 3 weeks I will score 4 stars Viking Lif 2 stars Viking Agir And 5+stars Leonard. However, as a sign of respect and appreciation for Viking LIF the scores are for my 2 weeks experience on Lif between Budapest to Amsterdam Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My husband and I had never been to Europe. We talked with friends, who had friends that had traveled with Viking before and highly recommended the company for our tour. We really enjoyed the personal attention that the crew gave us ... Read More
My husband and I had never been to Europe. We talked with friends, who had friends that had traveled with Viking before and highly recommended the company for our tour. We really enjoyed the personal attention that the crew gave us during our trip on the Viking Lif and our transition to the other ship, the Viking Aegir. We had to switch ships half way through the cruise because the water level was too shallow in the canal area between Nuremberg and Regensberg. It was really nice to see the crew standing outside our ship to see us off to the next ship. Also, it was great that they allowed our tour director, Dan go with us to the next ship. He was great!!! When we got to the next ship, after our tour of Nuremberg, it was wonderful to see our new crew with welcome signs and umbrellas to bring us on board the Viking Aegir. Great customer service on both ships!!!!! The whole trip was beautiful and the tour guides, for the most part were very good and informative. We did experience a couple that were trying to rush people along too much; however, we realized that they only had so much time to give us a tour. In Cologne, the guide should have taken us to another building to tour since we were unable to visit inside the cathederal because of a cardinal funeral. A stop at the doughnut shop there would have been great. She took us by the shop, but it would have been nice to sampled one of the jelly doughnuts. The doughnuts looked great!!!!! Although we enjoyed something about each one of the towns that we visited, a highlight was getting to tour the Marksburg Castle in Braubach, Germany..... great tour and our guide Mark was wonderful. We loved the windmills of Kinderdjike....wished we could have had more time there to shop and look around. I was expecting Vienna to be the most beautiful place to see; however, I believe Budapest was by far the most beautiful, especially at night. We really enjoyed the beautiful churches that we got to visit....such beautiful steeples!!!!! I could go on and on about the many beautiful places that we visited; however, I would have to write a book. To sum it up, it was a great trip and an experience that my husband and I will always cherish and remember. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I love history. I felt this gave us a good overview for our first time in Europe. We started with three days in Amsterdam. I would recommend going from Amsterdam to Budapest rather than the opposite direction. This trip started a ... Read More
I love history. I felt this gave us a good overview for our first time in Europe. We started with three days in Amsterdam. I would recommend going from Amsterdam to Budapest rather than the opposite direction. This trip started a little slow with the windmills and industrial areas in the Netherlands and then builds and builds until the grand finale in the night cruise through Budapest. We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton. It was ideally located near Amsterdam Central, the Red Light District, the harbour, and the departure dock for the river cruise. We walked to Anne Frank's House, the museums, the flower market, and every other major tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Departure day we walked from our hotel to the ship. We were able to leave our luggage onboard and head back into Amsterdam for another visit. We got back early and our cabin was soon ready for us. Overall the cabin was small but fine for the cruise as we didn't spend much time in it anyway. Why pay for a big suite when you aren't in it except to sleep and change. I would definitely recommend a French balcony suite though as it was wonderful sitting in the evening with the balcony open, listening to the water gurgle by the side of the ship. The cruise starts rather slow as the first day is at the windmills and then the second is cruising through an industrial area. Cologne was our first major stop. We were a little disappointed when we weren't able to embark in the city centre. A catholic cardinal had passed away and the downtown area was blocked off for the funeral. While we weren't able to go in the cathedral the pageant of the funeral was quite a site as hundreds of flag bearers wound their way to the church. The next few stops were beautiful but at most we had to embark at alternative areas and get bussed into the cities for various reasons. This was also a little annoying and we were beginning to wonder if the advertising for the trip was a little misleading. A big bonus though, was a stop in Bonn. As we were unable to spend the entire time in Cologne, we had an early stop in Bonn and were able to walk right into the market and historical area where a small festival was going on. It was beautiful. After a few days we finally got back on track and the rest of the trip we were delighted with each embarkation location. We walked off the boat and into the cities. Tours were varied and good value. We loved Marksburg Castle. On a couple of occasions we decided to strike out on our own. We had researched the areas ahead of time and were able to walk at our own rate. Dining was wonderful. We had plenty of excellent selections and the desserts were delicious. The first week my wife and I moved from table to table in order to meet new people. By the second week we had made some good friends and sat with them for most of the remaining meals. Entertainment is rather limited but that was okay as we usually were so exhausted at the end of each day that we retired early to our cabin to rest up for the next day. The glass blower demonstration was the highlight of the entertainment and the artisan was very funny and interesting. All the staff on the ship were excellent. They were very friendly and helpful. This was our first time in Europe and our first river cruise. We would highly recommend Viking River Cruises and hope to go on many more in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious ... Read More
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious balcony where we could sit and enjoy the passing scenery, well worth the extra money. The trips into port were always fun and informative with local tour guides. The only thing we lacked were bicycles but next time we will rent them in port. We were very impressed with the boarding process, after couple of failures with other cruise lines. Just when we stepped out of our cab was the first moment when we meet our charming Cruise Director Leonard. That smile, his energy and his impressive manners were always with us for the next 14 days. Depending on when you board, head to your cabin if it's ready (your suitcase won't be far behind, thanks to the crew's efficiency) or make yourself comfortable in the lounge, where you can suss out fellow passengers and have a light lunch. No fuss, no hassle, no stress. Only Leonard smile dropping some useful information regarding our first afternoon and evening in Budapest. Simple fantastic! To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. The housekeeping crew on board are exceptional, every detail in our stateroom was attended to, and the speed and efficiency that these crew work at is an immense achievement all co ordinated by the super competent Victoria The meals on board were quite good, nothing exceptional but the service balance the lack of “wow” for every lunch and dinner. The staff were incredible and Bogdan, the restaurant manager was simply amazing as I have quite complicated dietary restrictions and it was handled in such a quiet and efficient way. We had a lot of choices to eat a meal , on the Aquavit Terrace, in front or in the main restaurant , and plenty to eat . Excellent meal prepared according to our day destination or you can order what is on the menu......Beer and Wine was also excellent.... The crew were so professional and never once had their hand out for a tip, they did their job, because they love their job !!! There's no separation of cruise "class" distinction. We were all treated as elite members with everyone receiving great service by the entire staff on board lead by one of the best Hotel Directors I ever meet: Jerry. He was always ready to sort any types of problems on board, sometimes over the top, but always charming and helpful. Love him! One day arriving back after a long day of sightseeing, we were greeted with a luscious chocolate at the door! We appreciated the flexibility of attending the evening activities or just relaxing in our room. Service is wonderful. The staff obviously takes great.pride in learning about their guests. The very quickly learn or preference, red wine/ white wine, coffee/ tea. They have an.amazing ability to know your name after the first day. Last but not least our Cruise Director. Leonard was exactly the opposite of some of our previous experiences with Silver Sea and Regent( see our review about the arrogance and lack of customer care of some of the Cruise Directors) Nothing was too much from Leonard, being everywhere at any time with the same smile and professionalism. He is one the greatest pro's I have ever seen! He knew the itinerary like his own pocket having a story or a unusual fact for every places we visited. His daily lecture were like a Discovery channel shows: informative, interesting and funny. And taking in the account the number of passengers and excursion every day he was SO organised managing everything with no failure. And every evening, no matter how busy the day was, Leonard was in the lounge for a chat, for a dance or an exciting presentation. One night he organised a ABBA and ‘80s Party where HE was an excellent DJ! What a treat…people dancing everywhere and some of the crew joining too. Leonard was simply amazing, a great asset for Viking! Above all, the crew was amazing! Whether the room stewards, the wait staff, the bartenders or the officers, everyone was cordial and friendly beyond belief. They also transitioned seamlessly between tasks on the ship which was evidenced by their ability to move our luggage when departing like a well-oiled machine. Everyone from the Captain to the kitchen help worked shoulder to shoulder. To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. Already booked another 2 cruises with Viking! Can we have Leonard as a cruise director, please????!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Cruise director and ALL staff were excellent. My first trip to Europe and what a great way to see a part of 4 countries. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a Veranda Suite an it was perfect every day. We chose Easy and Moderate ... Read More
Cruise director and ALL staff were excellent. My first trip to Europe and what a great way to see a part of 4 countries. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a Veranda Suite an it was perfect every day. We chose Easy and Moderate excursions and left the Demanding ones for the more adventurous and younger passengers. There is something for everyone. Dining was always on point and superb. I drank enough wine to float a battleship because they were always refilling my glass. We went from Budapest to Amsterdam with the additional days before and after the cruise. Met so any nice people and even a few from Louisiana and we happened to know some of the same people even though we did not live near each other. When they busted out the LSU attire, we knew we had to strike up a conversation with them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
“Passage to Eastern Europe” was our 3rd cruise with Viking, after France and Rhine and with no doubts was the BEST one! The itinerary gave us the chance to explore a part of Europe with a fantastic rich history and enjoy some ... Read More
“Passage to Eastern Europe” was our 3rd cruise with Viking, after France and Rhine and with no doubts was the BEST one! The itinerary gave us the chance to explore a part of Europe with a fantastic rich history and enjoy some breath-taking landscapes during well organized tours with excellent and informative guides. Viking LIF is elegant and stylish like the other Viking long ships but what made special this trip was the excellent crew. Our cabin stewardess Anna manage for 7 days to keep our cabin sparkling and made us feel like home. Maybe the amenities or the available space in the cabin are not at the level of other companies (Viking is cutting corners since our last trip) but Anna kept everything under control being a charming presence and incredible efficient. From the very first day we realised that Viking is trying to save money in the restaurant too. The food didn’t have the same standards and the quality was clearly under what Viking offered in our last trip. But at the end of the day the excellent service in the restaurant with the professionalism of Bogdan and the grace of Elena made every meal special. We missed the presence of the concierge on board but fortunately the team from the reception manage to help us in organised some extras during our trip. Ankika was great always smiling and happy to help. Above all the biggest asset of Viking LIF was our Program Director Leonard. We travel a lot, both ocean and river cruises but we never had the chance to meet somebody so special like Leonard. His extraordinary, almost encyclopaedic, knowledge of history, traditions, legends, geography made every daily meeting and lecture a unique opportunity to learn about this part of the world. Leonard had a great sense of humour and the mixture between personal experience, anecdotes and facts gain every evening a full house for his daily presentations (maybe, as a suggestion, the presentation should be broadcast in the cabins too as was never enough space in the lounge when Leonard was talking). After 7 days we didn’t manage the find how Leonard was able to be everywhere in every moment to help, chat, explain or joke! And was not only our opinion but Leonard made this trip GREAT for everyone on board. He can work in any other cruise lines around the world and will be a pleasure to meet him again. Watch out Viking don’t lose him if you want us back! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my second Viking cruise and will not be my last. They provide amazing service and do attempt to make everyone's adventure special. They have an organized process of building their ships and providing service which I ... Read More
This was my second Viking cruise and will not be my last. They provide amazing service and do attempt to make everyone's adventure special. They have an organized process of building their ships and providing service which I appreciate as it is extremely well run and organized. The staff is helpful and friendly. They shared with us how the replication of their ships enables them to keep the cruise running in the event the water levels of the river are too low. We disembarked in Budapest, but they did explain how some travelers later in the summer might have to change ships because there are sections of the Danube where the boats cannot pass. However, other than the passengers having to pack and unpack a few extra times, their cruise is not cancelled. The airlines lost my luggage in Atlanta on the flight over and they worked with the airlines to get it delivered to me at a port of call, 3 days after embarkation. They also cleaned my clothes at no charge to ensure I had clothes to wear those first few days as well as to clean the clothes the airline almost ruined by leaving my luggage in a downpour in Atlanta. I appreciated how they organized our bus groups as our ship had several large groups traveling together. The people in the groups were nice, but they were not into socializing with any of the individual travelers, like myself and my friend. We had a lovely time meeting people on our bus rides to our destinations and then enjoying dinner or lunch with them during the day. I love the river cruise experience as it really is getting into ports within a country that you might otherwise never see. Bucharest to Budapest has had a tough rebuilding period since the wars and taking us into those countries and meeting the people who are rebuilding their homeland was inspirational and made me be much more appreciative of our privileged life in the USA. I enjoyed their food selection as it was always fresh and they have menus which follow the culture of where you are traveling. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our 5th river cruise with Viking. Having done China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia this was not as adventurous. Several friends recommended it. Overall the cruise was very nice, relaxing and we covered a lot of territory. All ports ... Read More
This was our 5th river cruise with Viking. Having done China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia this was not as adventurous. Several friends recommended it. Overall the cruise was very nice, relaxing and we covered a lot of territory. All ports of call were very interesting. All the staff we delt with were helpful, knowledgeable and curtious. I liked that the captain was available to talk to throughout the cruise. I was very disappointed in the trip we took to Salsburg. Long drive, expensive and to rushed when we got there. The quiet box did not work making it impossible to hear what the guide was saying. We were so close to the Do-Rae-Me steps but weren't given the time for pictures there. Very disappointed as my parents took me to the Sound of Music for my 13th birthday when it premiered. Being very athletic, I was surprised when the upper deck was closed for several day. I understand why but it made me antsy to get off the ship and go walk. I wish there were bikes to use in the ports given all the bike trails along the river. I would love a day long excursion riding from one port meeting up with the ship in the next port. The food was great and the portion sizes were just right so that I did not come away feeling stuffed. Have you considered having a guest entertainment night so guests could show off their talents? The nights where there was outside entertainers were great. This is not to say the piano player wasn't good, just mundane after a few nights. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were looking for a cruise that was a little longer so that we could make the most of the travel time that it takes to get to Europe. Arriving 2 days early in Budapest gave us time to acclimate to the time change and travel fatigue and ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that was a little longer so that we could make the most of the travel time that it takes to get to Europe. Arriving 2 days early in Budapest gave us time to acclimate to the time change and travel fatigue and we like to enjoy the cities at the beginning and end of our cruise. We also extended in Amsterdam, because there wasn't any scheduled time there. We have traveled on Viking before on both a river cruise and an ocean cruise. This was, however, the first time we had been on a long ship on a river cruise and the improvement and upgrades made with the long ship are wonderful. More space for dinner, bigger lounges and just an overall excellent use of space to make the cruise delightful. We were prepared for the fact that the rooms are a little small if you don't have a suite, but for us the trip is not about being in the room, but being out and about the ship or going on excursions. The excursions are wonderful. We went on a lot of the included excursions, but we hand picked some additional ones that were appropriately priced. We especially enjoyed our Mozart/Strauss Concert in Vienna and the WWII tour in Nuremberg. We enjoyed the dining experience, but the trip is more important to me. Leonard was a wonderful cruise director and the staff and service were unbelievable. They would do anything for you and do it with a smile. Sometimes I wondered how many times I was greeted each day as they never missed a change to say hello. Overall this river cruise was excellent and we will assuredly return to Viking for more trips to "see the world." Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose the Bucharest-Budapest cruise, with a Prague extension in order to experience some areas we had not visited (Bulgaria and Serbia) and to return to one of our favorite cities -- Budapest. This was our 13th cruise, but first on a ... Read More
We chose the Bucharest-Budapest cruise, with a Prague extension in order to experience some areas we had not visited (Bulgaria and Serbia) and to return to one of our favorite cities -- Budapest. This was our 13th cruise, but first on a Viking river cruise, and we were not disappointed. The overall attention to detail was exceptional -- efficient, friendly service; outstanding tours; and great food. One of the most enjoyable days was a relaxing journey through the "Iron Gate" gorge portion of the Danube cruise -- beautiful. In conjunction with the Prague extension, we really enjoyed an optional day excursion to the picturesque town of Kutna Hora -- highlighted by one of the best meals of the entire trip. We enjoyed the small ship ambiance and the company of some very interesting fellow travelers. The experience was so enjoyable that we look forward to taking Viking's Elbe River trip in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Having limited previous exposure to mainland Europe, this cruise provided the opportunity to broaden my sense of the cultures extant in that part of the world. My travel companion and I actually started the trip with a 3-day pre-cruise ... Read More
Having limited previous exposure to mainland Europe, this cruise provided the opportunity to broaden my sense of the cultures extant in that part of the world. My travel companion and I actually started the trip with a 3-day pre-cruise visit to Prague before embarking on the Viking Lif in Budapest. As was to become the standard for the entire river cruise, Viking representatives accommodated our every need from initial arrival to our final departure. Every port-of-call was as described in their advertisements and catalogs. Special credit must be given to the on-board tour director who presented in-depth information about the countries, cities, and towns in which we were to stopover the next day or two. Further in that respect, the shore excursion tour guides were extremely well informed about the historic and current nuances that were of interest to visitors. As for the cruise itself from Budapest to Amsterdam, one could not ask for a more informative, serene, and aesthetic venture catered by an extraordinarily competent and caring crew. On the basis of this experience, my travel companion and I are in the midst of arranging a second Viking river cruise from Paris to Zurich early next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was to celebrate retirement and a milestone birthday. We also added the Prague and Amsterdam extensions. Since we selected an Explorer Suite, business class air was included. From check in at O'Hare with KLM, to ... Read More
This was to celebrate retirement and a milestone birthday. We also added the Prague and Amsterdam extensions. Since we selected an Explorer Suite, business class air was included. From check in at O'Hare with KLM, to arrival in Prague, it was pure luxury. We were met in Prague by a Viking representative who handled our luggage and transported us to the hotel. We were at the Hilton old town; close to everything and walkable to most sites. Anything not walkable we used public transportation. We found some good restaurants and historical sites on our own. There was a Viking representative at the hotel daily, very helpful and informative. I did hear complaints from some of our fellow travelers about confusion and lac of communication. This was due to behavior on their part, not the Viking Rep. Our Prague city tour was very interesting and well done with a luxury bus to transport us. We also opted for an optional food and walking tour which was great, but an indication of too many opportunities to overeat. Transportation from Prague to Budapest was by luxury coach with an informative guide. Once onboard, WOW! Our suite was gorgeous and very clean with ample storage, welcoming champagne and excellent service by our cabin steward with replenishment of snacks and beverages The dining was excellent; regional dishes and wine and beer with outstanding table service. Every evening there were also basic choices available like salmon, steak, chicken breast and Caesar salad. Our ship director, Leonard was a delight. Every evening there was a great pre-dinner briefing. Excellent entertainment every evening; either a lecturer or local musicians or dancers. The on-board pianist was extremely talented. All the included tours were interesting and the guides were articulate and well informed. My least favorite were the guides in Kinderdijk and Amsterdam; they both seemed to be going through the motions a little. We did some optional tours in Vienna and Cologne. I have nothing but praise for Viking. We have our second cruise scheduled for October 2017, and an ocean cruise May 2018. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because Viking is well respected, trustworthy, and we were interested in educational opportunities included in the overall price. The locations included in this cruise were fantastic. It is not one for those who have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Viking is well respected, trustworthy, and we were interested in educational opportunities included in the overall price. The locations included in this cruise were fantastic. It is not one for those who have trouble walking as many of the cities and villages were hilly. Of note, we sat on buses for quite some time on several days as well. The region is beautiful and has a significant amount of history not often covered in basic courses offered in the States. The ship itself was spotless, comfortable, and lacking no conceivable comfort. The staff were knowledgeable, eager to help and very hospitable. Dining was enjoyable - and seemingly constant. Being on the younger end of the group, many asked whether we were bored. Our response was unequivocally no. It was impossible to be bored as there were additional options each day beyond the included excursions. The only thing I felt I lacked at any time was sleep, but we can do that at home! It was as amazing as the ads appear and we would recommend it to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The Bucharest - Budapest Cruise is the best way to see this part of the world. Independent travel by auto (our usual mode) would be difficult. Shore excursions were thoughtfully planned and well executed. We had some excellent local ... Read More
The Bucharest - Budapest Cruise is the best way to see this part of the world. Independent travel by auto (our usual mode) would be difficult. Shore excursions were thoughtfully planned and well executed. We had some excellent local guides. On board entertainment, activities and orientations were just right. The cruise/activities director was personable, informative, and knew how to "read the room." Hotels at either end were outstanding. We especially liked the Budapest Hilton, its location and integration into an historic structure. Service on board was flawless, food excellent, with many choices and service options. Just being on the Danube, and passing through the scenic Iron Gates on a beautiful day, was a highlight for us. We would recommend cruising this part of the Danube in this direction. Starting where the effects of communism are more evident and moving upstream and toward the west reveals the differences in the politics and culture, and ends one in a more positive place. In any case, Balkan history is sad and complicated. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We checked out our options and alternatives. Viking River Cruises had the best options, the best offers and the best reviews. They were all well deserved! Starting in Amsterdam, we had opportunities to visit the city and surrounding ... Read More
We checked out our options and alternatives. Viking River Cruises had the best options, the best offers and the best reviews. They were all well deserved! Starting in Amsterdam, we had opportunities to visit the city and surrounding countryside. Then the cruise began. The river views were outstanding and the many side trips highlighted and filled in our desire to see and know more about each city and community. The cruise staff met our every need and the places and people we got to see and meet were a delight. We shopped as much as we wanted and have the items to help us remember this great trip. "Entertainment" both on and off ship was great providing just the right amount of change of pace when it was needed and wanted. The one hiccup in and on the river (not a Viking issue) was easily overcome by Viking and its staff. Few other "lines" have the resources to overcome issues seamlessly. Our evaluation before our trip payed off and was reflected in a most amazing and wonderful trip, education and vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Everything on a Viking river cruise is welcoming, comfortable, civilized, and fun. The staff is amazing. I wanted to take them all home with me. On a Vikng cruise you feel special. Still, the atmosphere is relaxed. The fact that there ... Read More
Everything on a Viking river cruise is welcoming, comfortable, civilized, and fun. The staff is amazing. I wanted to take them all home with me. On a Vikng cruise you feel special. Still, the atmosphere is relaxed. The fact that there are under 200 passengers onboard, no kids, swimming pools, casinos or shows makes this a different kind of cruise. If you go for all of those things, it may not be for you. For me personally, it was perfect. I also love the Scandinavian decor, the practicality of the way the staterooms are laid out, and the lovely deck from where to relax while watching the scenery go by. And at each stop there's a guided tour of that destination included. It seemed everyone from the captain to the cleaning crew was intent on making our experience an unforgettable one - and they succeeded. I warmly and enthusiastically recommend Viking's river crushes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
After taking 24 ocean cruises, I was a bit worried about sailing on a small river boat. However, it was a wonderful experience. The passengers were not pretentious and it was great to get to know them. We made some deep friendships. ... Read More
After taking 24 ocean cruises, I was a bit worried about sailing on a small river boat. However, it was a wonderful experience. The passengers were not pretentious and it was great to get to know them. We made some deep friendships. The crew was fantastic and every detail of the trip was impeccable. The chef was very visible and it was a delight to get to know him. The food was excellent and the dining room staff made each meal entertaining. The program director and her staff took great care of us both on and off the ship. The shore excursions were great and the program director gave wonderful commentary as we sailed past castles and other sites. The captain and his crew were very personable. We felt so safe that we agreed we would trust Viking with cruises along the Nile River and in other parts of the world where we would not be comfortable being on our own. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Went with some friends. Destinations were great. Prague plus Grand European Cruise. Went to many places at each destination. Could not have figured on a better vacation. Ship was excellent. Cabins were fine. Cruise director was personal, ... Read More
Went with some friends. Destinations were great. Prague plus Grand European Cruise. Went to many places at each destination. Could not have figured on a better vacation. Ship was excellent. Cabins were fine. Cruise director was personal, very informed and shared that information with all. She paid attention to our individual requests and followed up on them. The food was excellent. Portions were just right. Not huge like other cruises, but enough to keep us satisfied and happy. We had a food allergy and the Maitre'D came out to breakfast with us every day and planned special meals for us. This was not expected, and left up with a wonderful feeling about the cruise and Viking in general. Included excursions turned out to be pretty good, and very informative. Some of the local busses that were used, could have had cleaner windows. We would not think twice about vacationing with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first river cruise. We were able to get a last minute deal with Viking River Cruises. Discounted prices for air and cabin. The French balcony cabin was clean and had adequate space. The food was very good. The excursions that ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We were able to get a last minute deal with Viking River Cruises. Discounted prices for air and cabin. The French balcony cabin was clean and had adequate space. The food was very good. The excursions that were included in the cruise fare were very informative. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. The extra excursions offered at some of the ports were an added bonus. We went on a wine tour in Croatia. We visited a local wine cellar and had three wine tasting with cheese and bread. This was a very enjoyable cruise. All of the staff were very friendly and the food servers remembered our dinner/wine preferences. We have been ocean cruises that were very good, but the river cruise is less hectic, less lines and a few thousand less people sailing with you. I would recommend Viking cruises to anyone looking for a little culture and a lot of relaxation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We arrived in Amsterdam two days early as we wanted to send time with our previous exchange student and her parents who live in Amsterdam. We enjoyed touring around Amsterdam by bus, by foot and by canal boat. We were met at the airport ... Read More
We arrived in Amsterdam two days early as we wanted to send time with our previous exchange student and her parents who live in Amsterdam. We enjoyed touring around Amsterdam by bus, by foot and by canal boat. We were met at the airport by Viking staff who directed us to our coach and then to the Movenpick Hotel. On our embarkation day we were picked up promptly at our hotel and delivered to our ship via a Viking bus. Our ship was beautiful and so was our cabin. We were met with a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us in our room. Our staff was fantastic. Our was cleaned everyday and checked at least twice a day to make sure we had all the supplies we need. Also the bed was turned down for us every evening. The servers in the dining rooms were very polite and we never wanted for attention. The most important thing was that my wine glass was always full. (LOL) I specifically enjoyed our tour director Casper. He was outstanding in both his knowledge of places we passed while cruising or stopped at, and his care for the passengers. We were always greeted in the most friendly manner. I also enjoyed getting to know our ship captain Alex, Tina our concierge and George our food and beverage manager. Awesome staff. The ports that we stopped at and the tours we took were superior. We met our second exchange student in Cologne and enjoyed lunch with her. She drove over from Frankfurt to meet us. Afterward we took a special Viking tour of the Cologne Cathedral upstairs with an impressive view of the city at 100 meters (340 feet) high. It allows you to see the architecture of the building up close. But all the ports were beautiful and we enjoyed walking or riding around to see each city. We had entertainment of some sort every evening. One night early in the cruise we had a dance mixer. It was a lot of fun and we got to know a great number of people in a short period of time. In Passau Germany we met our final exchange student family from Austria. We invited them to attend an organ concert at St. Stevens Cathedral. The organ here has 18,000 pipes and 233 registers. WOW!!! Afterward we drove out of the city about 5 miles and had lunch at their beautiful Bavarian house. We can't say enough good things about our river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. The Viking employees treated us very well, our local tour guides were knowledgeable and most interesting and our fellow guests were very friendly and fun to cruise with. Would we do it again.....well I can tell you we are already signed up for a sea cruise of the Baltic and Northern Europe for 2017. Good luck with your Viking travels! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Viking Lif Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 3.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 N/A

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