120 Viking River Viking Lif Cruise Reviews

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 is part three of a three ship cruise that was supposed to be all on one boat from Bucharest to Amsterdam. Yet one more pack and unpack event in order to change boats again. The GOOD: once again, housekeeping deserves five stars ... Read More
This is part three of a three ship cruise that was supposed to be all on one boat from Bucharest to Amsterdam. Yet one more pack and unpack event in order to change boats again. The GOOD: once again, housekeeping deserves five stars and is the only department that performed admirably. The Program Director was also very good and also deserves five stars. The BAD:. The food was just okay. I equate it to the food in a restaurant of a three star hotel. It was good, but not nearly what I expected. The chef told me that he had to prepare the menus dictated by the corporate office. The restaurant staff was terrible. At one dinner, all the tables surrounding us had finished their main course and were being served desert, and we were just then receiving our salad and appetizers. At breakfast one morning, my wife ordered French Toast, and the waiter brought pancakes. My wife informed him that she didn't order pancakes, at which point the waiter started to argue with her. The passenger sitting next to my wife backed her up and the waiter stomped off in anger. This sort of behavior from a waiter is unacceptable in any restaurant in the world, especially on a boat advertised as a 'Luxury Cruise'. Once again, Avalon is far and away a better cruise line. Bigger cabins, far better food, much better restaurant staff, and a lot fewer people on the boat. 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
This cruise was terrific. It was my second Viking, although my first was China which is a joint Chinese govt and Viking endeavor. We really lucked out on the weather. We were upgraded to a verandah suite which was really fantastic. All ... Read More
This cruise was terrific. It was my second Viking, although my first was China which is a joint Chinese govt and Viking endeavor. We really lucked out on the weather. We were upgraded to a verandah suite which was really fantastic. All service was very friendly although a bit challenging at times. The Aquavit Terrace could really be improved for use at dinner. After a full day we did not always want to go through a two-hour long dinner with others at our table. Aquavit offered one meal choice which was rotated every 6 days. The same appetizer and salad was served throughout the whole cruise. No dessert is offered there. We did not like the appetizer at all, the salad was just OK and 3 of the meal choices were not to our liking. Room service is not offered. A couple days we bought things during the day to bring back to have a snack in our room. Lunch at Aquavit was fantastic! Breakfast (continental only) was very sparse but at least you could get a coffee and fruit.The little alcove outside the lounge offered coffee and rolls in the morning and the same cookies (that were not great) every single day. A savory snack choice would be nice. We found several of the bar and restaurant staff to be quite rude and a few also lacked understanding of basic service. The excursions and the entertainment was good. The front desk and housekeeping staff was very good! The China cruise had a small work out space, the Lif had nothing. 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
I chose this cruise because it was different from the ocean ones. But, there are a few things I did not enjoy like the closing of the upper deck for 6 or 7 days. I also did not like dining at 7p.m. There was also the lack of evening ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was different from the ocean ones. But, there are a few things I did not enjoy like the closing of the upper deck for 6 or 7 days. I also did not like dining at 7p.m. There was also the lack of evening entertainement. On the other hand, the embarcation and desembarcation procedures were well oiled. The excursions were interesting and took me to places I wanted to see. The ship was exceptionnally clean and our cabin, though a bit small was satisfactory. As far as dining is concerned, the food was excellent and I especially enjoyed the more than excellent service from our waiters (Vladimir and Harold). The cruise director was well informed and always ready to be of service. He was a fountain of information from beginning to end. When there was a break in one of the locks that made us miss one of our excursions, the cruse director and the captain took measures to compensate the delay and to reschedule the missed excursion. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We just come back from a 2-week cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam on Viking LIF. We do like ocean cruises (being already with Regent, Princess and Cunard) but it was the 6th river cruise (2 with Viking, 2 with Vantage and 1 with ... Read More
We just come back from a 2-week cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam on Viking LIF. We do like ocean cruises (being already with Regent, Princess and Cunard) but it was the 6th river cruise (2 with Viking, 2 with Vantage and 1 with Scenic). Viking continues to be a pleasant surprise with daily included excursions and a lot of new paid tours which made our weeks extremely interesting even if we travelled on the Danube and Rhine before. Our cabin was extremely clean and sparkling thanks to our excellent cabin stewardess Marina but to be honest Viking can invest some money in trying to update the accommodation and bring what other cruise lines have already: better TV channels and internet connection, more modern facilities in the room and on board. I didn’t understand why in the lounge those two huge TV screens were always black and why this time the funny photos of our cruise were missing. We loved the idea of buying photos during our cruises but this time Viking didn’t give us the chance. On top of that we missed the presence of a Concierge on-board especially when the receptionist wasn’t able always to help us. We were lucky to have on-board a Dutch Hotel Manager who assist us with our requests in Amsterdam but, his charisma and willingness to help couldn’t replace the Concierge from our previous cruises with Viking. The food was nothing special. The Chef and his team was working hard in the kitchen (great taste and presentation of every meal), the waiters in the restaurant (especially Bogdan and George) were trying to make every lunch and dinner memorable but, wasn’t hard to see that Viking started to cut corners. The quality of the food was not the same as before and the presence of a cheaper mediocrity couldn’t be covered by fancy names of the dishes. As always Viking had a team of excellent guides, most of them local who transform each excursion in a chance to discover history, myths, architecture and traditions. We love all the tours even if some of them they were a little bit overpriced and with a little bit of research you can discover most of the cities visited by yourself. After all our ocean and river cruises we don’t have any doubts to say that we were blessed with the best Cruise Director EVER! Leonard was a library of knowledge mixing every information with a useful tip and an excellent and refined sense of humour. Normally we avoid when cruising on board lectures or presentation but his daily chat about our next port of call was a “live performance” from Discovery or History TV channels: informative, full of useful information and tips, easy and funny to watch. His personality and presence on board was a blessing for everyone; Leonard was everywhere, smiling and organising, taking care and chatting, making a joke or giving extra information about an excursion or an event…24h daily for two weeks. Sometimes we were wondering when he was sleeping. Viking is great for a river cruise but I am afraid that they started to go to main stream missing some important points of luxury cursing what made Viking famous. Fortunately, the crew on board VIKING LIF was great and Jery, Bogdan, Marina, Capitan Ante, Ivan and especially Leonard made this trip FAR ABOVE EXPECTATIONS. Thank you all! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise to see new countries & sights. Unfortunately the weather was rainy & very chilly on most of the excursions which could have been shortened by half & still covered the same sights & information. Some ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see new countries & sights. Unfortunately the weather was rainy & very chilly on most of the excursions which could have been shortened by half & still covered the same sights & information. Some do the excursions were so physically demanding & we saw so many of the same types of sights that the information all ran together. We tho't the pitches could have been condensed & the time & effort to conquer some very difficult terrains would be remembered if shortened. Our cabin was lovely always with good service. The ship design is great, & the cuisine abundantly offers something for every taste. The restaurant & bar service couldn't have been better! Pedro, the fabulous musician, was the best part of the cruise! What a talented gentleman he is!! Embarkation was very smooth, but disembarkation was hectic & not so organized. Summary: If I had it to do again, I'd spend more time ont he boat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 6th Viking River Cruise (our 8th river cruise). Overall, this was another very good trip. Everything went smoothly; all the flights, connections, transfers, etc (all done through Viking). Since this was the first cruise of ... Read More
This was our 6th Viking River Cruise (our 8th river cruise). Overall, this was another very good trip. Everything went smoothly; all the flights, connections, transfers, etc (all done through Viking). Since this was the first cruise of the season, the crew was refreshed and the ship sparkled. Unfortunately, we only spent 7 nights (6 days) on the ship, and I guess I didn't pay attention to that when I booked the cruise. It passed too quickly and we all would have preferred a couple more days on the ship. The pre-cruise time in Budapest and then post-cruise excursion in Bucharest were great. Romania was the big surprise of the trip! Bucharest is so European!! This was such an interesting itinerary. All the stops were formerly Communist countries. It was so interesting to learn how they've changed since the late 1980s/early 1990s. Budapest and Bucharest were very modern and had an "European feel;" Serbia and Bulgaria much less so. Other reviewers have complained that there was nothing to see at some of the ports. That isn't true; we "saw" what life is like in some of these places and the effects of a struggling economy. The tour guides were very honest in their assessments about the impact of the end of Communist rule and each country's efforts towards promoting free markets and democracy. They admitted that some people were still nostalgic for Communism! Since this was our 6th cruise, we're pretty familiar with the Viking offering. So, perhaps the novelty has worn off, but there was just "something" about this trip that didn't measure up to previous Viking sailings. This time, passengers, both North American and European, showed up on excursions and to dinner in shorts, sweats, and flip flops. Some were dressed more appropriately for a trip to the beach than to visit a church or historic site! And almost no one dressed for the farewell dinner (by "dressed," I mean a button down shirt for men and a nice blouse and slacks for women). I was astonished by how many people were sloppily attired even for the farewell dinner! My husband and I don't like to dress - and we shy away from formal dinners on the ocean cruises - but even we make a little special effort for the farewell dinner on Viking. Viking doesn't publish in advance the arrival or departure times for each port, making it impossible to arrange private tours in lieu of the included Viking excursion. The included excursions were all good, and all the guides knowledgeable, but there was a little bit of a "herd mentality" getting 40+ people on and off each of the tour buses at each stop. Potential Viking customers who don't like this aspect of group travel should take notice. For both the pre-cruise time in Budapest, and the post-cuise time in Bucharest, we did avail ourselves of smaller tours. In Budapest, we did a "free tour" (most cities now have them) and it was excellent. In Bucharest, we did the Viking post-cruise excursion which included an overnight trip to Transylvania. It was good, but not great, and other passengers who did a private tour instead seemed to have a better experience. In Bucharest, we also did a paid Tours by Locals, and our guide Alina was fantastic! (www.wheninbucharest.com). The food was delicious!! Service was friendly and impeccable. We will be taking our first Viking Ocean cruise in October, so it will be interesting to see how the Viking "model" translates to an ocean cruise setting. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
Over all it did not exceed our expectations. The weather that we had was exceptional, it would have been more enjoyable if access to the upper deck was not restricted. The cabin was small by any standard. The shower would not fit the ... Read More
Over all it did not exceed our expectations. The weather that we had was exceptional, it would have been more enjoyable if access to the upper deck was not restricted. The cabin was small by any standard. The shower would not fit the standard oversized American. Internet access in the cabin was very poor, had to go to the lounge for a signal. TV service was poor minimal programing, no local stations at all. The provided tours and guides were good. The optional tours seemed to always conflict with the standard tour. They needed to offer additional tours in the evening when the boat was not leaving until the wee hours. The food was average but the service was good water and wine glasses were topped off regularly. The last day in Amsterdam consisted of getting off the boat and being driven to the airport All in all it was a good trip Read Less
Sail Date August 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
We had heard so much about this cruise and it lived up to our expectations! Beautiful medieval cities, the gorgeous cathedrals, the palaces, so lovely amidst the beautiful river settings. The staff was wonderful as per usual, (we had ... Read More
We had heard so much about this cruise and it lived up to our expectations! Beautiful medieval cities, the gorgeous cathedrals, the palaces, so lovely amidst the beautiful river settings. The staff was wonderful as per usual, (we had sailed on a river cruise to France), but the staff this time seemed very tired and a bit overworked. They were rather impersonal but did their jobs. The food was delicious but when German cuisine was not to our liking there was always a lovely rib eye available! Viking aims to please and it was evident in the Waite staff, we had two favorites who took such good care of us we wanted to bring them home with us! The excursions were well done with knowledgable tour guides. The only thing I think Viking could improve on is on-board entertainment. They had a wonderful piano player but don't expect much more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had taken a wonderful Volga river cruise three years ago. So we were excited to take another river cruise. We chose Budapest to Amsterdam. It did not begin to compare to our first cruise. Staff and food was awesome. Tours were ... Read More
We had taken a wonderful Volga river cruise three years ago. So we were excited to take another river cruise. We chose Budapest to Amsterdam. It did not begin to compare to our first cruise. Staff and food was awesome. Tours were repetitive. We saw the same things at each stop. The Mozart and Strauss concert was terrific but the hall where it was held did not seem worthy of the entertainment. Would have liked to stay longer in several of the towns to experience and Shop in a European city. There were toooooo many locks and down time. Top deck was off limits a lot, so was nothing to do. Boring. Would have liked to have access to bicycles or be within walking distance with time to explore the cities.. Basically I think the cruise tried to cover tooooo many river miles at the expense of actually exploring European towns. 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
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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