82 Viking River Viking Lif Cruise Reviews

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
Up the Danube from Bucharest to Budapest covered lots of territory I had never visited. The cruise and pre/post cruise tours and hotels exceeded my expectations. I am really impressed with Viking and probably will look for other cruises. ... Read More
Up the Danube from Bucharest to Budapest covered lots of territory I had never visited. The cruise and pre/post cruise tours and hotels exceeded my expectations. I am really impressed with Viking and probably will look for other cruises. The staff is very friendly and helpful. On the ship you get what you expect. Larger cabins cost more but are worth it. The smaller ones might be a good value but on river boats are small. Dining was a real pleasure both in the main room and the terrace. The special meals (Hungarian) were lots of fun. Entertainment is more low key as the ports are the real attraction. There were talks and occasional local singing or dancing groups but this is not the ocean cruise experience. The included tours in each port were very good with great local guides and interesting itineraries. We only added one extra cost tour but that was a good value. This is an older crowd (very few children and no children's program) but lively. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
For our 20th wedding anniversary, we wanted to explore Eastern Europe with ease and this Viking Cruise exceeded our expectations. Everything was wonderful and we learned so much about the countries, people and history of each place we ... Read More
For our 20th wedding anniversary, we wanted to explore Eastern Europe with ease and this Viking Cruise exceeded our expectations. Everything was wonderful and we learned so much about the countries, people and history of each place we visited. We also got to know and understand the culture (food, entertainment, lifestyle) of the countries we visited. The service was 1st rate; we didn't have to think about anything, as they handled it all for us and were so pleasant. Embarking and disembarking was so smooth and easy. The shore excursions were quite the mix of activities and explored the various aspects of each country and culture. The entertainment was fun and lively. Our cabin was spacious, comfortable and had everything we needed. The food was awesome and there was such a variety. The waiters in the restaurant and lounge were so kind and generous. The ship was the perfect size with just the right amount of people... we got to know most everyone, but could also find a quite spot to take a nap or read. We would go again and plan on taking other Viking Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
One of the items on my bucket list was cruising down the Rhine River in Germany. After researching cruise lines, dates and ports, we chose Viking for our first river cruise. We were not disappointed in our choice. The walking tours in ... Read More
One of the items on my bucket list was cruising down the Rhine River in Germany. After researching cruise lines, dates and ports, we chose Viking for our first river cruise. We were not disappointed in our choice. The walking tours in each city were fabulous. The local tour guides provided tremendous amounts of information on the history and culture of the city. The food was excellent, as were our wait staff and room steward. All the staff we cam in contact with were very pleasant. We did the pre-cruise in Amsterdam and the post-cruise in Prague. The hotels in both cities were very nice. We really enjoyed all the additional excursions we took, except the last one to the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague. I guess we were expecting something more on the order of the other palaces we saw earlier. All in all, the trip was fabulous. I always seem to gain weight on my ocean cruises, but this cruise with all the walking was no weight gain. I will definitely consider going on future Viking River Cruises and will look into Viking Ocean Cruises, as well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We were in Amsterdam 2 days before the cruise and got to know the city. We were brought to the ship and everything went smoothly. Our cabin was very nicely appointed and everything fit nicely. The crew was excellent, always helpful and ... Read More
We were in Amsterdam 2 days before the cruise and got to know the city. We were brought to the ship and everything went smoothly. Our cabin was very nicely appointed and everything fit nicely. The crew was excellent, always helpful and friendly. The meals were very well prepared and presented. We enjoyed the shore excursions but the weather was not helpful, but we still had a great time. There were a few activities but we did not participant in most of them so I can't address this. The ones we participated in were great. We enjoyed the glass-blowing and the strudel making. We had a great piano player. The concierge was great and helped us with details when we got to Vienna. We spent our last three days in Prague and enjoyed the city. YES, we would do this again and looking through the brochures for a next adventure with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We went on this cruise with 2 other couples and planned it over a year in advance. So we had lot's of time to research. Viking did an amazing job from start to finish, from the airline arrangements, airport greeting & ... Read More
We went on this cruise with 2 other couples and planned it over a year in advance. So we had lot's of time to research. Viking did an amazing job from start to finish, from the airline arrangements, airport greeting & transfers, welcome greeting, onboard updates from our Cruise Director Casper, bus transfer arrangements along the river so we did not have to change ships due to the high water levels, hotel to airport transfer in Budapest, Viking representative at Budapest to help us get to the front of a very long check in line and made sure we got from the check in to the security line. We did a 1.5 hour Viking guided tour in Amsterdam then spent about another 4 hours do a canal tour and self walking tour in the same area. The ship is very smooth, you never feel any motion despite the amount of river traffic that gives off waves. We went during high water season so we were unable to use the top deck for about half the trip, as they had to lay everything (canopy's, rails, lounge chairs, etc.) down to get under all the bridges. The hallways are a bit narrow, so you need to yield at times. Dining was fantastic, everything you could ask for and more. Always something new, many regioal specialties paired with wines or beers from the region. Our dining staff Ruel, Bogdan, Ves and Kata just did an outstanding job of looking after our every need as well as providing some welcome entertainment. We chose to sit at the same table throughout the cruise and really got to know the staff. The shore excursions were well co-ordinated, the tour guides spoke fluent English and were just the right duration. Lot's of walking everyday. We did not take any of the extra excursions and were quite satisfied with what we got with the cruise. As it gave us ample time to do some exploring on our own. Every Viking representative we had contact with went above and beyond to make our trip enjoyable. From the booking, the greeters, Captain, Chefs, Concierge, Cruise Director, dining, housekeeping, bus drivers, the works! We would go again and Viking it would be! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam some years ago with Uniworld. We wanted to someday do the entire North Sea to Black Sea river and canal cruise. We read about Viking and heard about Viking from other cruisers. We have cruised ... Read More
We cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam some years ago with Uniworld. We wanted to someday do the entire North Sea to Black Sea river and canal cruise. We read about Viking and heard about Viking from other cruisers. We have cruised with at least six other cruise lines. We found the customer service given by the crew of the Lif to be exceptional from our cabin steward to our servers in the dining room. We especially liked the one price all inclusive style of Viking so we were not constantly being "nickeled and dimed." We liked knowing our captain and our chef. We took a an informal walking tour of a market with our chef. In Croatia we visited a family in their home for pastry and coffee and a discussion of their everyday lives. Our hotel stay in Bucharest Romania was very special even if it was just one night. The man who met us at the airport in Amsterdam was a great company representative as were the young women at our hotel and at the airport who facilitated our return home. The onboard country lectures were exceptionally informative. We learned much about where we were visiting even though we had visited before. The low spot was the poor service by Alitalia air crew and those on the ground. It was such a contrast to that provided everywhere by Viking. There was nothing ordinary about our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
we thought this would be an excellent way to see four countries in a fifteen day span. viking did an excellent job of taking good care of their passengers. the food and drink were wonderful and the service by the staff topnotch. we would ... Read More
we thought this would be an excellent way to see four countries in a fifteen day span. viking did an excellent job of taking good care of their passengers. the food and drink were wonderful and the service by the staff topnotch. we would highly recommend viking to everyone considering a european river cruise. the included excursions were both beautiful and educational. tour groups were led through the various historical landmarks and were able to answer every question that was asked. viking's low cost airfare and transfers are the way to go. representatives picked us up at the airport and dropped us off at the appropriate airline counter. it was very comforting to know that the company had our backs while we were cruising. our pre-trip accomodations were also fantastic. my wife and i were traveling with two other couples, nut we still enjoyed meeting many other interesting people over our fifteen day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our second Viking river cruise. We like the small ships, the casual atmosphere, and the excellent on-board staff. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Each stop a tour is included in the cruise price, and the tour guides ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. We like the small ships, the casual atmosphere, and the excellent on-board staff. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Each stop a tour is included in the cruise price, and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. The headsets make the tours much more enjoyable. The program director was fun and very well-organized. When high river levels forced us to alter our docking one day, busses were arranged, lunch in town was provided, and the ship picked us up in town later in the day. Another day traffic on the river was stopped, and we had to change our docking site. Again the busses found us for our tours and everything went smoothly. Very minor inconveniences for us, but probably major work for the staff. The food on-board is tasty and interesting. Beer, wine and soft drinks are complimentary with lunch and dinner (a big savings!) This cruise was loaded with castles and churches and beautiful scenery along the rivers. We chose a 3 night pre-cruise Prague stay, which was fabulous! We look forward to another Viking river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Wanted to try a cruise now that we are retired. Loved it, staff was wonderful. The cabin steward, Vladamir, kept everything in great shape, and in the dining room, Katarina was terrific. Of course, the Program Director, Leonard was great ... Read More
Wanted to try a cruise now that we are retired. Loved it, staff was wonderful. The cabin steward, Vladamir, kept everything in great shape, and in the dining room, Katarina was terrific. Of course, the Program Director, Leonard was great and very entertaining. Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely well One complaint, we signed up for two extra days in Amsterdam. The hotel, Moevenpick, was super, The two days turned out to be one day in Amsterdam and one day of travel, with an airport pick-up at 0430, and all day travel. By the way, Heathrow is not nice place to travel through. Their version of TSA is even less friendly than in the US. Shore excursions were generally very good, although I did get a little tired of cobblestones. Probably could have done without the Hungarian Horsemen and the Dutch Cheese Maker (cheese was interesting and we bought some, but cows were cows - not interesting) but chalk it off to experience. Would we go again, yes. I believe we have signed up for British Islands Explorer in 2018, with a stop-over in Iceland Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Always heard great things about river cruising and after many ocean cruises we decided to experience it for ourselves. We chose Viking because it offered the Grand European itinerary and we enjoy Europe's cultural diversity and ... Read More
Always heard great things about river cruising and after many ocean cruises we decided to experience it for ourselves. We chose Viking because it offered the Grand European itinerary and we enjoy Europe's cultural diversity and scenery. The Viking Lif experience was absolutely much more than we could've imagined. The longship is beautiful and tastefully decorated and equipped. I loved the big French balcony views and the heated bathroom/ shower floors. The included tours were very well done by local guides and best of all were the audio vox which enabled everyone in the group to hear clearly without having to be w/in arms' length of each other. We could take our individual time to explore the things being spoken about and still find our guide who had continued. The food was very good and fresh including herbs grown and picked from the top deck garden. We were able to take in the beautiful scenery sitting comfortably on the open top deck and hear the points of interest over the loud speaker. Our cruise director, Leonard, was superb... personable and informative. As a matter of fact, all of the Lif crew/ staff was very friendly and helpful. The onboard entertainment which comprised of local artists was very very good. We highly recommend choosing Viking for river cruising. We loved it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had an excellent experience on the Viking Lif! The ship was comfortable and well appointed. We enjoyed the tours and the beautiful scenery. The crew was warm, hospitable, humorous, and informative. We hated to say goodbye to them! ... Read More
We had an excellent experience on the Viking Lif! The ship was comfortable and well appointed. We enjoyed the tours and the beautiful scenery. The crew was warm, hospitable, humorous, and informative. We hated to say goodbye to them! The food was very good. We discovered that we enjoyed the informal meals on the Aquavit Terrace and we even forged some friendships with those who most often gathered there. But it also allowed us a certain amount of privacy and couple time. We enjoyed the optional excursions, but the tour would have been just as wonderful without them. The local tour guides were very informative and enjoyable and spoke great English. The Cabin was well appointed. The bathroom is a bit small, but I assume that is to be expected on a cruise ship. And the view was phenomenal! The countryside is beautiful. Towns picturesque. And my engineer husband enjoyed the locks! I highly recommend this tour. And we look forward to another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first river cruise experience after many, many ocean cruises, We loved the laid-back pace aboard our ship and enjoyed seeing so many wonderful sights and old cities along our journey to Budapest. We found the food to be ... Read More
This was our first river cruise experience after many, many ocean cruises, We loved the laid-back pace aboard our ship and enjoyed seeing so many wonderful sights and old cities along our journey to Budapest. We found the food to be very good and enjoyed the availability of both wine and beer for lunch and dinner meals. Since the maximum passenger capacity is only 188 people, we never felt crowded on the ship. Although the complimentary wifi aboard the ship was a bit slow at times, it was nice to have that capability so that we could stay in contact with family members and gather news updates from our country. We brought our own computer, but there were two computers available in one of the public areas that guests could use as well. We also enjoyed the daily excursions that were included in the price of this cruise. Each passenger received a "quiet box" that allowed us to clearly hear our tour guide as we were being escorted on the excursion. I highly recommend this experience to anyone who is considering taking this kind of a trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
What an awesome experience. It was even better than we expected. Our first river cruise was first class in every way. I shot over six hours of HD video on the trip and edited it down to a two and a half hour DVD which we have shared with ... Read More
What an awesome experience. It was even better than we expected. Our first river cruise was first class in every way. I shot over six hours of HD video on the trip and edited it down to a two and a half hour DVD which we have shared with friends and family. At the towns and cities on the rivers we had bus and/or walking tours. The tour guides were very knowledgeable, and informed us about the history and culture about each local. I was glad that each stop offered an "easy" group for those of us with walking limitations. The staff on our river boat "Lif", was so friendly that many of them knew us by name. I even had a 45-minute personal chat with the captain. The Viking organization took care of us from check-in to landing at our hometown airport. We were cared for in every way for the entire trip. This cruise was so much more than the historic and scenic river-scape. It does make a difference which cruise company you choose. We can not recommend the Viking Grand European River Tour enough. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The Grand European Cruise was wonderful. We had a great time, and everyone on The Viking Lif was great. The trip was wonderful, and the places we saw were amazing. The Viking Lif staff were the best we have ever seen and been a part of. ... Read More
The Grand European Cruise was wonderful. We had a great time, and everyone on The Viking Lif was great. The trip was wonderful, and the places we saw were amazing. The Viking Lif staff were the best we have ever seen and been a part of. Thank you for a great trip. The ports of call excursions were great. The Daily Briefings were very helpful. The entertainment was exceptional. The demonstrations were amazing and enjoyable. We would recommend this trip to anyone. We really appreciated how helpful Viking was in picking us up at the Amsterdam Airport to making sure we were on the correct plane at the Budapest Airport. We thank you so much for this, because this can be very frustrating. We will be doing two ocea cruises with Ving within the next year and are looking forward to each cruise. We have recommended Viking to several people, and we hope they will be as happy with Viking as we are. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were first time river cruise travelers. Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of adventure travel. Everyone so gracious. Tour guides' knowledge about port cities was very beneficial and informative. They had excursions well planned out. ... Read More
We were first time river cruise travelers. Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of adventure travel. Everyone so gracious. Tour guides' knowledge about port cities was very beneficial and informative. They had excursions well planned out. City architecture was absolutely fantastic. Something that we will always remember. So glad the ship offered us a 'thumb drive' to purchase as a momentum of our trip. Meals were excellent. Wonderful variety of foods available. Chefs did an wonderful job in preparing meals. Also interesting to have some 'local' flavor. Loved the ship and how it was laid out. Having wi-fi for guest usage also good. It was nice to have different entertainment during the cruise. Especially liked it when the Dutch accordion players provided entertainment. Them mixing with the guests was really enjoyable. Couldn't ask for better service. Ship staff was always available and happy to provide any service that was needed. Will definitely refer river cruising to friends and do hope to be able to travel with Viking in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
"Paris and Heart of Normandy" was our second Viking cruise in France. Our daughter had visited Normandy and the D-Day beaches and told us it is a must visit destination. We were not disappointed with Normandy or Paris. This was ... Read More
"Paris and Heart of Normandy" was our second Viking cruise in France. Our daughter had visited Normandy and the D-Day beaches and told us it is a must visit destination. We were not disappointed with Normandy or Paris. This was our sixth cruise with Viking, so we knew what to expect. The ship, Viking Lif, and its crew were wonderful -- as we expected. Very helpful and friendly. It is very nice to have your hotel travel along with you as you explore new cities and countryside. This is a key advantage of river cruising. Another key advantage is freedom from concern over where to eat. For sure I like eating in European cafes and restaurants. But I do find it mildly stressful to have to pick one from the many choices available. Eating on the ship is easy and the food and service are first rate. And already paid for. One thing Viking is very good at is improvising whenever local conditions cause problems for the intended itinerary. On this trip, a lock master went on strike, so the ship had to dock downstream from Paris. Viking quickly put together a tour of St. Germaine where the ship had to stay overnight, and this turned out to be a highlight of the cruise. We saw where Louis XIV was born. Again in Rouen, another strike and another improvisation to get passengers from the ship to the Normandy beaches. Problems arise on European rivers. (Low water, lock closings and port master directed change in docking location being the main issues.) Viking is flexible and well equipped to handle these problems. We enjoyed an extra two days in Paris at the end of the cruise. The Viking hostess was very helpful with tips and directions. Don't miss Musee D'Orsay. Also, for an interesting place with seldom a line, visit the Conciergerie. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
After having an incredible experience aboard the Viking Longship Idun on the "Romantic Danube" cruise, we ached to return to Budapest and explore the Danube further. The cruise "Passage to Eastern Europe" aboard the ... Read More
After having an incredible experience aboard the Viking Longship Idun on the "Romantic Danube" cruise, we ached to return to Budapest and explore the Danube further. The cruise "Passage to Eastern Europe" aboard the Viking Longship Lif was a perfect introduction to lands beyond our imagination. The itinerary was a reverse one where we started in Bucharest and ended in Budapest. As the cruise director noted to the passengers upon our first evening aboard the Lif... "This cruise is for explorers, not your typical tourists". Her expertise and insight gave us valuable information with which we were better engaged to experience the wonderful sights and ports of call! Our arrival in Bucharest was without complaint or concern. The Viking staff greeted us and promptly delivered us to our lovely hotel which was perfectly situated and allowed us to get out and explore on our own after an overnight airplane trip. The next morning we were escorted to our ship n Gir Giu (so?) on the Danube. At each port we toured the historic sights and landmarks with very knowledgeable and pleasant guides. I must say that every guide that we have had has far exceeded our expectations in their depth of knowledge and insight into the immediate locale! At one point (Bosnia) we were introduced to a local family, in their home where we shared coffee, schnapps and cake and were able to talk directly. That was such an exceptional and intimate experience we will always treasure! We have booked our next Viking adventure aboard the Viking Longship Skadi, on the "European Grand Tour" cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We chose this river cruise because of the itinerary which went from Amsterdam to Bucharest on the Rhine, Main and Danube. The experience was the best. The entire staff was awesome, always helpful and we all, cruisers and staff, became ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because of the itinerary which went from Amsterdam to Bucharest on the Rhine, Main and Danube. The experience was the best. The entire staff was awesome, always helpful and we all, cruisers and staff, became one big happy family - complete with tears when we disembarked at the end! We were one of the first, if not the first, ship to sail all the way through on the Danube. Low water caused others to have to move to other ships. Our captain was so knowledgeable. The food was consistently good. There were a couple of evenings that featured local cuisine complete with staff dressed in costumes to compliment the menu. The best part about river cruising is that everything is included in the cost of your trip - no paying extra for water, drinks, etc., etc. Every day we had about 2 litres of fresh water in our room. The excursions were mostly all included in the price or you could choose other tours for a reasonable fee. The tour guides are local so are knowledgeable about the area or site you are touring. The on-ship entertainment was always excellent and with local flavor where we were situated. The lounge piano entertainer was excellent and made that a nice place to wind down at the end of the day before turning in. The Lif was a very comfortable home away from home. This was a trip of a lifetime and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our second Viking cruise (first one was to Egypt two years ago), so we were aware of their standards of "care/service". They continued to impress on this Viking Grand European Cruise. We took advantage of the transfer ... Read More
This was our second Viking cruise (first one was to Egypt two years ago), so we were aware of their standards of "care/service". They continued to impress on this Viking Grand European Cruise. We took advantage of the transfer process at the airport in Schipol (we were met on time and transported efficiently) and of an additional 2 days in Amsterdam, staying at the Renaissance Hotel. It was in a great location and the Viking staff were always available to assist in maximizing our experience in Amsterdam. The Cruise itself met all expectations (and more). The "long ship" experience is great, with beautiful on-board surroundings. We tended to have breakfast and dinner in the Main Dining Room, and lunch on the Acquivit terrace.The meals were varied, with attention to vegetarian choices, and appropriate in size. The "regional" menu choices were great. The wine flowed! The Chef was always available and we gave many compliments, particularly to his soups. The "coffee station" with baking was a hit! The shore excursions were really excellent, with use of local guides whose pride in their countries was evident. There was only one guide that did not meet Viking standards and we shared that with the Concierge (very helpful). What we really appreciated was the 'variation' in some of the excursions (e.g. walking tour in Budapest, church architecture). Also there was time for freelance visits to other sites in each city. We did not access the optional tours, but as this was a re-visit to Europe we did not have particular interest in these options. They appeared good, and there was no "hard-sell" like we experience on larger cruise ships. The most critical issue for the cruise was the low water levels, and again Viking delivered! Our captain constantly monitored water levels, and through timing facilitated our trip flawlessly. We did not have to change boats, even though other Viking cruises did. We would recommend this particular trip to anyone wanting to have a solid glimpse of Europe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Excellent itinerary. Great accomodations. Hard working and pleasant staff and crew. Very good meals. Educational walking tours and on-board entertainment. The fellow passengers were pleasant and interesting.....many were world ... Read More
Excellent itinerary. Great accomodations. Hard working and pleasant staff and crew. Very good meals. Educational walking tours and on-board entertainment. The fellow passengers were pleasant and interesting.....many were world travelers. We participated in all the walking tours, and two additional excursions. The ship was clean, tastefully decorated, and smooth sailing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Viking Grand European Cruise was crafted perfectly. The tours were in the morning after breakfast with ample time to freelance sightsee on your own after lunch. The vibe on the ship was totally relaxed. The total amount of passengers was ... Read More
Viking Grand European Cruise was crafted perfectly. The tours were in the morning after breakfast with ample time to freelance sightsee on your own after lunch. The vibe on the ship was totally relaxed. The total amount of passengers was under 200, which allowed for a great intimate atmosphere. Open seating at dinner meant we met new people ever night. The food was nicely prepared each evening and the service was outstanding in all departments. We will defintely be doing this again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Loved every bit of the cruise, and hopfully will be able to put another cruise together for 2016. Services onboard were great. The variety of entertainment was very "local" and fun to watch. Shore excursions were just long ... Read More
Loved every bit of the cruise, and hopfully will be able to put another cruise together for 2016. Services onboard were great. The variety of entertainment was very "local" and fun to watch. Shore excursions were just long enough. We booked our flights thru viking and we could not be happier with the follow trough from start to finish. I didn't expect the help from the viking staff when we got to the airport when the trip was over. Our cabin was on the lower floor, and was a little smaller than some of the other rooms, but there was more good about the room than there was bad. We had more privacy than some of the rooms that had balconies. Food lended itself to the local dishes and was a good treat. I can't say enough about the excellent presentation of the food dishes each meal. I have heard that there are fancier and more upscale river cruises available, but for my money I don't think that there is any better river cruise line than Viking River Cruises. Thanks for the memories! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We have been in n many ocean cruises, and this was our first river cruise. Based on this experience, we are "hooked" on river cruises. We took the Grand European tour - Budapest to Amsterdam. We loved the small number of ... Read More
We have been in n many ocean cruises, and this was our first river cruise. Based on this experience, we are "hooked" on river cruises. We took the Grand European tour - Budapest to Amsterdam. We loved the small number of passengers, personalized service by all staff, shore excursions.and fellow passengers. We are retired, and most passengers were 50 or older, well traveled, and interesting. I have problems walking very long distances and standing for long periods of time. My husband, on the other hand is very athletic and active. There were tour groups that fit both our needs. There is a leisure group that is slower and avoids multiple steps and more strenuous terrain. Tour guides were excellent and knowledgeable . If you don't like group tours, the concierge is very knowledgeable about alternatives - hop on hop off buses, etc. I enjoy exploring on my own and met a fellow passenger who liked the same things. Like all cruises, we would like more time in certain cities -Vienna, Cologne. Unlike ocean cruises, there is no casino, fitness center, evening shows - we did not miss. Every evening there is a review of tours and things to do in port-recommend attending these. Also available on in room TV. Evening/afternoon entertainment was based on local culture, information. I do recommend some of additional shore excursions - price is reasonable compared to ocean cruises. We loved the Vienna music and trip to Rothenberg. Husband loved Beerhaus tour in Cologne. Food was excellent and there is personalized service for special dietary needs. We used frequent flyer miles for airfare, but did purchase transfers. Well worth cost. We booked through Viking -but will use travel agency next time -Most who used travel agencies had extra perks. We did not book pre or post cruise tours. Heard great reviews for Prague and Bdapest. We are planning our next river cruise -hope you join us! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
For two weeks in October we cruised with Viking from Amsterdam to Budapest, going through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, on the great rivers of Europe, the Rhine, the Main and the Danube. The ship was the Viking Lif, one ... Read More
For two weeks in October we cruised with Viking from Amsterdam to Budapest, going through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, on the great rivers of Europe, the Rhine, the Main and the Danube. The ship was the Viking Lif, one of their new “long boats” almost 500 feet long, 38 feet wide and carrying 192 passengers (we had 187), plus crew. The food on the Lif was exceptionally good, with many choices, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although we sometimes ate ashore for our own enjoyment, we were never disappointed when we ate on the boat. And at mealtimes the wine flowed freely from Erhard Mŏrwald’s vineyard in the Wachau Valley of Austria. Every evening we received the Viking Daily with the schedule for the next day, times for meals, times for tours, docking hours, notes on the next port of call, suggestions for sightseeing and other interesting tidbits. There was some form of entertainment every evening and sometimes a lecture or demonstration in the morning or afternoon depending on docking schedules. One of the most interesting was a glass blowing demonstration by a glass blower from Wertheim, Germany who spends a few months each year with Chihuly in the United States. A tour of each stop was included in the cruise itinerary and there were several optional tours offered. The tour guides were excellent English speakers and we invariably learned something we hadn’t known before, even in ports like Vienna where we had been previously. In towns like Miltenberg, Germany, a delightful village of old half-timbered houses and Germany’s oldest Inn, with a castle perched above and cobbled streets below, the amount of time allowed for the tour and for free wandering was just right. In the big cities like Amsterdam, Cologne, Wurzburg, Vienna, and Budapest there was enough time to absorb the atmosphere and the differences between each. The smaller towns, like Miltenberg, Bamberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk and Krems, each had its own character and history. The effects of the destruction of World War II were visible only in that new buildings filled spaces between old, well-preserved architectures. It was unusual to find a town like Miltenberg that completely escaped destruction. The construction of the Main-Danube Canal, which allows through river traffic to begin at the Atlantic Ocean, down the Rhine, across the Main and through the Canal to the Danube, up and over the “continental divide” of Europe where the rivers on one side flow to the North Sea and the Atlantic, and those on the other flow to the Black Sea, was completed in 1992. The canal runs from Bamberg via Nuremberg to Kelheim, a total of 106 miles with 16 locks, three of which are 80 feet deep and lift a boat to an altitude of 1332 feet above sea level, the highest in the world a water craft can go at this time. Traveling this route confronts one with a lot of Baroque architecture, of which the Monastery of Melk is a grand example as is St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau where we enjoyed an organ concert played on Europe’s largest pipe organ. Actually here are five organs that can be played from one consul. The Bach rocked the church, but the more modern piece composed by a former organist of the Cathedral really made the Baroque rafters ring. Another great example of the Baroque was the Residenz of the Prince-Bishop of Wűrtzburg with its grand ceiling fresco painted by Tiepolo in 1750. Besides Baroque there was also a lot of Gothic (the Cathedral at Cologne, the Marksburg Castle), a lot of Roman ruins (excavation partly encouraged by WWII destruction – the Romish-Germanisches Museum in Cologne is magnificent), and Medieval and Romanesque architecture (the city and cathedral of Bamberg and the town of Regensburg which claims to have been founded in 179 A.D., as well as the village of Miltenberg). The history and culture of Europe from the Romans to the Nazis were a vivid presence. The boat docked in Bratislava, Slovakia and we were able to see the effects of the long reign of Communism on that small country. Graffiti is a problem. Even our guide, who clearly loved her city, complained that there was no way to control the growing plague of graffiti covered monuments. The symbol of Slovakia, the massive square castle on the hill above the town, is realty only a façade, since the country cannot afford to restore and reconstruct the interior. Coming onto Budapest at night was one of the most astonishing events of the cruise. The whole city was lit up, the bridges, the churches, the Parliament, the castle, all were draped in shimmering lights. It was a fairy land and the boat sailed down the Danube through the city, then turned around and sailed back to the Chain Bridge where we docked. All who were on deck were offered a glass of Tokay to celebrate our triumphant and spectacular entry into our final port of call. The service from all the crew members was outstanding, whether they came from Ukraine, Serbia, Philippines, Bulgaria or elsewhere. They were invariably cheerful, helpful and happy to serve. I asked one of the receptionists if Viking gave them any kind of training and she claimed not, that it was strictly on the job training, which certainly speaks well of our Hotel Manager, Alexander Kuba. The program director, Colin Watson, was always on hand, friendly, helpful, and incredibly well-organized. The few glitches that occurred, such as the boat not arriving exactly on schedule to meet the busses, were handled with the pleasure of the passengers always uppermost in their consideration. For example, at the place where the Captain was negotiating the low water in the Danube, most of the passengers were ashore, visiting Regensburg and then were bussed to Deggensdorf to meet the boat. But the boat was an hour late, so the passengers were given carte blanche to go into town and do whatever they chose. It being dinner time, we headed to the first biergarten we found, ordered wine and dinner, sharing a veal Carpaccio with arugula appetizer and a wild mushroom and cream sauced dumpling that was so delicious it became the most memorable meal of the trip. Our tab was forty-two Euros and, with the receipt turned in, we later received the exact amount in cash back from the ship. When we reached Budapest we had traveled a total of approximately 1120 miles through 68 locks with twelve ports of call -- actually thirteen because of the unscheduled pick-up at Deggensdorf. Viking is clearly doing many things right. The effect may be a bit formulaic, but if the formula works, one knows what to count on. They are investing in new ocean going boats, they have their own busses at many of the stops, they handle the change-overs of passengers with minimal difficulties or confusions. The ports of call are interesting and varied and the cruising is as pleasant as possible. The fact that they encourage one to bring wine or beer aboard for one’s own dinner, even though it is provided on the ship helps the local economies and probably earns them great rewards from local officials. There is plenty of time for shopping, solo sightseeing and relaxed cruising. Our only complaint after two weeks aboard was that the Wi-Fi was sketchy and hard to achieve – perhaps they need larger antennas. But that was a small caveat, considering the elegant management of almost 200 people for two weeks.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
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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