Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river and 2 ocean cruises) and made us realised once again why we like cruising so much with them. Was the ideal way to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Grand European Tour on Viking LIF was the ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river and 2 ocean cruises) and made us realised once again why we like cruising so much with them. Was the ideal way to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Grand European Tour on Viking LIF was the perfect option. Based on our previous experience with Viking we saw how they started to cut corners especially with the quality of the food. But Chef Michael was a magician and every breakfast, lunch and dinner were kind of gastronomic events. And the service in the restaurant was simply sublime: Christian our server was very attentive, taking care of my wife medical requests, suggesting all the time the best from the menu and smiling every moment when serving our meals. What I would love to see on our next cruise is that Viking ban shorts and t-shirt during the dinner. It is a cruise ship not a fast food restaurant! I always thought that the lounge is a little bit small, especially when all the events (presentation, demonstration or shows) were very good and attracted a lot of people. On Lif one of the TV screen didn’t work and the sound was terrible sometimes which made quite hard to follow all the interesting information presented during the evening. The musicians were not our cup of tea, repeating every night the same songs and in a very amateurish style but all the other artists invited by the cruise director on board were excellent. A special mention to the bartender Ivan; we loved his knowledge and cynical sense of humour. Capitan Ana was the best we ever had. A gentle giant always talking with the passengers and keen to answer to all type of questions. His nautical presentation was a real treat, a fantastic double act with the cruise director. We never saw a captain so close to the passengers on board ever! The reception was another strong point of Viking Lif. Suzanna and Peter were knowledgeable, polite and efficient despite the fact that sometimes the place was very busy. We were impressed with the fact that if they didn’t have an answer the were asking the cruise director and come back to us in no time! A staff manning the reception night time was a little bit out of his league, forgetting couple of times our wakeup calls (we missed the wall on the Main) and spending to much time listening to his music than solving passengers issues. What a asset the Hotel Director Ionuts was for our trip! Very polite with excellent manners and extremely professional, Ionuts had always a genuine smile, being almost everywhere and leading the entire staff in a very efficient manner. He knows how to balance his skills with his age (he was 20 something). And my wife loved his hair! Viking excursions are always amazing but, this time was more than that. The guides were very informative without going over the top with historical information, mixing always personal stories with facts. Our top favourites: Rothenburg, War tour in Nuremberg, Jewish excursion in Wertheim and the cooking class in Regensburg. I save the best for last! If Lif is the crown of Viking, our cruise director Leo was the Hope Diamond. What a personality, what a passion and what a pleasure to have him. Leo was working non stop for 2 weeks at least 20 hours a day: coordinating and supervising the excursion in the morning, helping the reception during the busy lunch, answering questions in the afternoon, giving excellent briefings before dinner and organising parties or giving presentations in the evening. Somebody was joking about the possibility of having at least 3 clones of Leo on-board because he was everywhere when needed, always smiling and ready to help 24 hours a day for 2 weeks. His presentation during the sailing days were amazing: history, culture, legends everything mixed with an excellent narrative style, a war voice and a fantastic sense of humour. Leo had an answer for almost any questions, knowing all the cities as his own pocket and, at least for us, his recommendations were 100% perfect. He was a real one man show with a fantastic personality, a genuine care for the others (passengers and staff) and an encyclopaedic amount of knowledge. What can I say, and I heard other passengers saying the same, without Leo the trip will be very good but not excellent. It will be a privilege to have him as a cruise director on our next Viking cruise! Viking rules the river’s waves, Lif rules Viking and Leo ruled the excellence in our cruise in Europe. What an amazing experience. Thank you all! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After a not very pleasant experience last year on the Rhine with Viking we decided to take this time Lif on a cruise between Bucharest to Budapest. What a massive difference! Everything was far above all expectations. The food was ... Read More
After a not very pleasant experience last year on the Rhine with Viking we decided to take this time Lif on a cruise between Bucharest to Budapest. What a massive difference! Everything was far above all expectations. The food was amazing, and we had the chance to visit Chef’s Michael kitchen were all our lovely meals were prepared daily. The cabin steward Raduh was the most friendly and efficient we ever meet on cruise ships. In the restaurant our server Martina was always smiling with excellent manners and coping perfectly with my husband’s complicated diet. We spend a lot of time in the bar chatting with chief barman Christian for Bulgaria; his stories was as great as his cocktails! Johnny and Susan were extremely attentive, with a lot of knowledge about the cities we visited and always having a suggestion for our free time. Being so approachable they manage to balance the arrogance and “I know all” attitude of the hotel manager Joseph, a personality a little bit to big for his shoes. The excursions were fantastic opportunities to discover a new world and the new stop in Iron Gate was a pleasant surprise from Viking. Sometimes the guides in Bulgaria and Romania were a little bit annoying talking too much, like reading a script but to one in Belgrade were fantastic! The only failure of this trip was a lecture about Serbian war incredible balanced and the lecturer manage to upset everybody, blaming Western Countries. for the horrible war from 1990. I save the best for last: our Cruise Director Leonard. He really made our trip: extended knowledge, dedication, sense of humour, a talent to mix historic facts with legends and traditions and a 24 hours genuine smile and passion made him the best cruise director we’ve meet in more than 12 cruises we took. The stories when sailing the Iron Gate were at the level of Discovery Chanel documentaries, his lecture about European Union and Dracula perfect mix between facts and sense of humour and the evening with memories from Ceauseschu time was overwhelming. No wonder why he got tears and standing ovations for more than 10 minutes. What a great personality. We are thinking very seriously to repeat our cruise on the Rhine but only is Lenard will be on board. Viking Cruises – you are a great way to travel and that’s 95% because of the crew and people like Leonard. tell us when Leonhard is again on board and we will be there! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
After more than 10 cruises with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean me and my husband we decided to try something different. “Cruising the Eastern Europe” on board Viking LIF was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise at ... Read More
After more than 10 cruises with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean me and my husband we decided to try something different. “Cruising the Eastern Europe” on board Viking LIF was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise at the same time. What can I say about the entire experience? I already booked another 2 cruises with Viking. Everything was above exceptional: the service, the ship, the excursions and the staff on board. The staff on board Viking Lif was exceptional. Martina and Bart in the restaurant and lounge were perfect, always smiling and with great manners. Our room attendant Maya was a very nice girl with a lovely positive attitude and our cabin was always impeccable. We fall in love with the reception staff (Suzy and Johnny) always helpful and smiling and Capitan Anna was incredible: charming and always available to answer to any questions. Joseph the Hotel Director was one of the best we ever meet, solving any problems or requests we hand, nothing was too much for him. But the most impressive was our Cruise Director Leonard. His encyclopaedical knowledge, sense of humour and dedication made this trip unforgettable. Leonard was everywhere and sometimes we thought that he had 3 or 4 clones on board to be always smiling and ready to assist from 5AM to 1PM, every day. I wish I could record his commentary during the Iron Gate sea day when the amount of historical, geographical and social information mixed with a lot of legends and local traditions plus a fantastic sense of humour reminded me of a National Geographic documentary. He really made this trip unforgettable for us! Can’t wait for our next cruise with Viking Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We picked this cruise from an advertisement. We didn't really check anything out before hand but it was for our 50th wedding anniversary so off we went. This was the most relaxing vacation we have ever been on. Viking looks after ... Read More
We picked this cruise from an advertisement. We didn't really check anything out before hand but it was for our 50th wedding anniversary so off we went. This was the most relaxing vacation we have ever been on. Viking looks after everything from the moment we deplaned in Amsterdam to check in in Budapest!! Always with you, but never in your way. We boarded Lif after a couple of fun days in Amsterdam. This is one of the newer Viking ships..a beauty. We had a lower level cabin, it worked for us, we just sleep there. Well appointed, smallish, but everything we needed. The dining was absolutely amazing...variety, chef performed miracles!! and the service the best you can get.. There was an included shore excursion everyday...sometimes walking off the ship and sometimes taking a shuttle on one of Viking's amazing tour buses. There were no children on board...really nothing for them to do... We WILL be back. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We had already done one river cruise and enjoyed it so much discussion we decided on the Grand European Tour. It had many of the things we were interested in. Although we arrive late in the afternoon and were tired from the long trip we ... Read More
We had already done one river cruise and enjoyed it so much discussion we decided on the Grand European Tour. It had many of the things we were interested in. Although we arrive late in the afternoon and were tired from the long trip we did enjoy the harbour tour in Budapest for the lights of the city. Arrival and embarkation was smooth even though some confusion arose because of the low water levels and a last minute change of departure ships. The ship and cabin were compact but efficient and immaculately clean. Dining and other on board services were 5 star as usual. We took maximum advantage of the port excisions. After all we were there to experience culture, history, architecture and of course the people, oh and can't forget about the wine and beer. We will definitely be river cruising again and definitely with Viking but we will research other of their cruises as we want to experience new things. Our only caution is to watch the time of year you choose, for us the July/August time frame was a little warm for us Northern Canadian boys. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this particular cruise itinerary in order to see a part of Europe not previously visited. Viking Cruises impressed us in every aspect of our voyage: attentive and personalized service; delicious meals, beautifully presented, and ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise itinerary in order to see a part of Europe not previously visited. Viking Cruises impressed us in every aspect of our voyage: attentive and personalized service; delicious meals, beautifully presented, and impeccably served; fascinating tours with local guides; concerts, horse shows, wine tastings, every planned adventure meticulously coordinated - and an unplanned adventure the same. Our cabin was immaculate when we arrived, and maintained that way on a daily basis, as were all the ship's spaces. From the beautifully set dining room to the comfortable lounge and the casual forward deck, the walking circle and the upper deck, and the library and the stairs from level , all areas showed the constant maintenance of a conscientious crew. The library held volumes related to the cities and country on the ships itinerary; the latest books of fiction and non-fiction, a joy for this passenger. The spacious lounge, with its windows overlooking both water and land, became a favored spot for a cup of tea and a cookie, and to savor meeting other travelers from around the globe. Personally, a favorite experience of mine was the novelty of moving through the locks on the rivers; absolutely fascinating. Our first river cruise with Viking surpassed our expectations, and, yes, we are scheduled to do another river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
My sister and I decided we would like to go on a trip to parts of Europe where we had never been. We are past our prime, so wanted something that we could enjoy but wouldn't spend a lot of wasted time getting used to the on board ... Read More
My sister and I decided we would like to go on a trip to parts of Europe where we had never been. We are past our prime, so wanted something that we could enjoy but wouldn't spend a lot of wasted time getting used to the on board amenities. Our ship and the crew were incredible, anticipating our every need. PD Leonard looked after all of us and all excursions we took were easy for all. Our Cabin was kept fresh and clean by Anna- and with a beautiful smile. Always anticipating our needs. Dining in the restaurant was a complete pleasure- the staff must be hand picked because they cater to each diner. Michael, our chef, kudos to you. Loved your chocolate treats our last night. Our once in a lifetime trip is now the precursor to our back to back trip across France. Yes, it was that good!. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first river cruise, but won’t be our last! We were attracted by the ports of call, the reasonable price of the cruise, the great room, the food and included shore excursions and the high reviews for Viking Cruises. From ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, but won’t be our last! We were attracted by the ports of call, the reasonable price of the cruise, the great room, the food and included shore excursions and the high reviews for Viking Cruises. From day 1 we were watched over and pampered. Our Program Manager, Leonard, was amazing. He took great care in assuring we got the most out of our cruising experience. Ou Viking ship, the Lif, and our room were immaculate. The food was amazing, always fresh and scrumptious. It was not just tasty, but presented beautifully with lots of choices. The included beer & wine added to our enjoyment. The included shore excursion were great and the guides who went with us were knowledgeable and paced us well. We met some fun fellow cruisers and ate with several couples many times. We hope to take another Viking cruise in the future, probably in Scandinavia. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Needed a quick get away and Viking had the destination I was looking for. I wish massage service was available. The crew was wonderful, friendly and helpful. Meals were excellent and beverages were good. Excursions were good for the ... Read More
Needed a quick get away and Viking had the destination I was looking for. I wish massage service was available. The crew was wonderful, friendly and helpful. Meals were excellent and beverages were good. Excursions were good for the cruise portion. Cabin was fine. Entertainment was interesting. Overall, the cruise portion met my expectations. We had a memorable time and met some nice and interesting folks. I highly recommend Viking to friends and family. As I have indicated things took the down turn at the end once we left the cruise. The local tour guides were not diligent. Our accommodation upon arrival was a disaster. Breakfast at the hotel was below average and that goes for service as well. I think Viking cruise has the cruise portion down pack to perfection, from staffing, meals and service; it's the land portion that needs a lot of work as Viking is only in partnership with the local hotels. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We booked our vacation about 4 months before the cruise. Because of the popularity we only had a couple of opinions left at the time we wanted to vacation. The timing ended up working out great for us. We got a wonderful veranda on a ... Read More
We booked our vacation about 4 months before the cruise. Because of the popularity we only had a couple of opinions left at the time we wanted to vacation. The timing ended up working out great for us. We got a wonderful veranda on a great deck and a itinerary we could have only dreamed about. It had been years (13+) since we had been on a vacation. We were quite nervous about the planning but Viking was there for us and answered all our questions. After seeking their help for the perfect cruise we were totally prepared to have a relaxing time. As you have to expect on a 2 week cruise in 4 new countries, there were things I did not anticipate or plan for. The very knowledgeable, friendly crew members made us feel comfortable and, at times, go above and beyond our expectations. Just one example is on our first full day we overslept after a day and night of flying. I was so disappointed because we missed the excursion into Budapest that morning. After asking about other options for our morning we were directed to some wonderful spots near our dock. We had a great time just the two of us. They also planned for us to have a private tour of the city by a local that worked for Viking. We spent 3 hours with her going to see some of the most beautiful sites ever. She described our tour in a very meaningful and personal way. She gave us a very special start to our cruise. It was absolutely wonderful and very much appreciated for the Viking staff to help arrange this for us. It would be impossible to adequately describe the dozens of unexpected, thoughtful experiences we had on this beautiful ship and touring the cities and towns. The staff and crew of the Lif became our extended family during our two weeks with them. We now have to make the tough decision of which Viking cruise to go on next! Since this was our first Viking experience and was so perfect on the Lif, we can’t wait to see what Viking can do to top the “Best Vacation Ever.” Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This is my second Viking European river cruise. Enjoyed the first one so much I took another one. This time going west on a different ship. While we stopped in some of the same cities, Tour Guides covered different areas, I took optional ... Read More
This is my second Viking European river cruise. Enjoyed the first one so much I took another one. This time going west on a different ship. While we stopped in some of the same cities, Tour Guides covered different areas, I took optional tours not offered on the first cruise. I selected early spring, mid April to May for the generally cooler weather, absence of summer tourist crowds, and the chance to see the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam. A beautiful garden sight I had just missed on my first river cruise. Windmills at Kinderdijk are my favorite stop. Awesome in their beauty, going up inside them, feeling the power of the windmill turning in the wind. European Sojourn travels from Bucharest to Amsterdam, cruising the scenic Danube and Rhine rivers, stopping at major cities along the way for sight seeing, historical learning, and free time for shopping and dining. I always select the before and after trip extensions at the end cities. Viking lets you select the optional tours online well in advance of your cruise starting. Do not delay as some tours sell out quickly. Viking meets you at the airport, takes you to your hotel. Your baggage is delivered to your room. Hotels are very good, breakfast always included. When the cruise is over, Viking takes you to the airport with plenty of time to check in, do security, get to the departure gate. Long ship life is easy and enjoyable, choice of menu items for each meal, a specialty Italian restaurant area at night on the Aquavit Terrace, other light menu items during breakfast & lunch. Beer and wine is included with each lunch and dinner meal at no cost. Specialty coffee machines and a selection of teas is available 24/7 with cookie and rolls. So enjoyable to sit on the deck, enjoy coffee or a drink as the beautiful scenery scrolls by. Included and optional tours at each port, Viking takes care of everything. Buses and tour guides give you a most enjoyable excursion as you walk the streets, enjoy the sights. A slower paced group is available at each stop for those who need a little more time. While Viking provides free WIFI, it is not designed to stream videos and quickly upload/download large picture images. Quality depends on how many people are online, is best when the ship is docked in port, spotty when between cities, inside going up/down river locks. Same for the international TV stations. Long ship crew members are exceptional. Always helpful, can't do enough for you. Once you get to know them it's like family. Cruise Director meets with passengers each evening before dinner to go over the next day's port calls and tours. At some stops local residents come on board to share their culture of dance and music, specialty skills and products. I will be taking more Viking cruises in the coming years. A Viking ocean cruise is next on my list. You cannot go wrong selecting Viking for your next river or ocean cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After 4 ocean cruises with Princess and HAL this was our first river cruise and we couldn’t wait to leave the ship to share here our AMAZING memories. Viking was perfect offering us an unforgettable journey from Budapest to Bucharest. ... Read More
After 4 ocean cruises with Princess and HAL this was our first river cruise and we couldn’t wait to leave the ship to share here our AMAZING memories. Viking was perfect offering us an unforgettable journey from Budapest to Bucharest. The food, despite the fact that was sometime quite bland, was excellent presented and the service was five stars. Christian our waiter was perfect remembering our names and our favourite drinks every evening. What a great idea Viking has with open seating, in this way we have the chance to meet almost all our travel companions. The reception did an excellent job every time when we need them, and Elena and Ana were great and always smiling. Everything was FAR ABOVE EXPECTATIONS. With one exception – our Cruise Director who was 5 level above all this exceptional moments. We never had the chance in our previous cruises to meet somebody so knowledgeable, funny, informative, professional and friendly like Leonard. Every meeting in the evening, every presentation in the lounge, or answer to our questions were chances for us to learn history, culture, architecture and tradition from THE BEST. His stories when the boat was sailing in Iron gate were simply fascinating. Maybe Viking will do something about the sound in the room: we weren’t able to listen to the great presentation of Leonard and we had to go on the sundeck were was cold and windy. But Leonard made it worth it!!! He was so hard working and professional in everything was doing: keeping his smile and sense of humour solving any issues when was a problem with the buses in Bulgaria (not enough seats or something like that), buying sweets for the rest of the crew in Belgrade (no surprise that the other crew love him as much as the rest of the passengers) and spending time with those with slow mobility. If will be possible we would love to have Leonard as a Tour Director in all our Viking Cruises…we already booked another two. Viking and Viking LIF were great and I will recommend it to everybody who want to travel and be spoiled at the same time. Thank you Viking, well done Viking LIF, we love you Leonard. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We have traveled to over 65 countries, bit never to Eastern Europe. It was a wonderful experience, especially the shore excursions included in the price. Viking gave us so many cultural experiences in each country which helped make the ... Read More
We have traveled to over 65 countries, bit never to Eastern Europe. It was a wonderful experience, especially the shore excursions included in the price. Viking gave us so many cultural experiences in each country which helped make the trip special. This wa the first time on a river cruise on a small ship and it was wonderful to meet almost all of the almost 200 passengers. Each meal time we sat with someone different and met so many wonderful people from different countries and US states. Our cruise director was the best we have ever had on about 15 cruises we have taken. At each shore excursion he was with us. In each country we had the opportunity to have food typical to that country if we desired. The meals were all wonderful, The lectures and entertainment in the lounge were first class and we learned so much about things we were experiencing. In each country we were treated to dancers, singers, music, from citizens dressed in native dress. The ship and the cabins were very clean and well maintained. We also extended our cruise both before and after the cruise. We are so happy we did. It was a wonderful experience with great hotels and excursions. We love to travel, and will definitely consider Viking on a future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first river cruise on Viking and we absolutely loved it. The staff was incredibly attentive. They took an interest in getting to know us and answer all our questions. The food was delicious. It was never too over sauced or ... Read More
This was our first river cruise on Viking and we absolutely loved it. The staff was incredibly attentive. They took an interest in getting to know us and answer all our questions. The food was delicious. It was never too over sauced or spiced and was just the right portions. We took advantage of the drink package and enjoyed some wonderful wines. I loved the variety of the food that was offered particularly at breakfast. Everything you could want and more. The tours were insightful and I can't believe how much we learned each day. The public spaces were beautiful. I never felt that there were so many people on the ship that it was crowded. The amenities and the tours were all exceptional. We've been on much larger cruise ships where you felt like one of thousands. This was much more personal and comfortable. I can't wait to book another trip with Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We’ve been travelling with Viking many times and we always prefer a nice relaxing river cruise instead of an ocean one on a big noisy crowdy ship. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest manage to change our “top 10 best cruises” ... Read More
We’ve been travelling with Viking many times and we always prefer a nice relaxing river cruise instead of an ocean one on a big noisy crowdy ship. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest manage to change our “top 10 best cruises” taking the first place for so many reason. Viking LIF despite being an “old ship” (according to Viking Cruises timeline) was clean and sparkling and the housekeeping team was working hard in and out our cabin to achieve this. Our room stewardess was a sweet girl from Romania – marina – and she was doing everything possible to give us a non-stop “being home” feeling. We didn’t like the new menu in the restaurant (too complicated and no flavour) nor the new French style dinner on the terrace (the booking system was pointless, and the food didn’t have any connection with the French cuisine). Fortunately, our waiters Bart and George were superb with excellent manners and high standards. Absolutely in love with them. We missed the presence of the concierge on board despite all the efforts of the Hotel manager – a charming Dutch man and his team at the reception. Anckitza was so accommodating and always smiling. The biggest surprise on this trip was the Program Director. All our previous Viking Program Directors were good and very good, but Leonard push the expectations for our next Viking experience very high. Leonard was literally working 24h/day, 7 days/week: in the morning organising the excursion and supervising the guides (actually he knew all the city like his own pocket and sometimes better than the guides), in the afternoon planning and hosting different events on board (his presentation about Dracula and European Union were a perfect mix of academic information and fun) and finally in the evening putting together unforgettable performances, game shows and parties. Everything in a relaxed manner, always with a charming genuine smile but never forgot to be super-professional. What a gem. One day during the excursion one of the elderly ladies in our bus had a medical problem. Leonard stopped the bus in the middle of nowhere, assist the lady and her husband (later we found the Leo – as everybody was calling him on board – is a licensed physician and a famous Romanian movie star), organised an ambulance but at the same time manage to reschedule the excursion for the rest of us only with a small delay but without missing a thing from the program. It was what I call PERFECTION. Now a question for all of you who travelled before with Viking. We want to book a trip from Budapest to Amsterdam with Viking but we want to be sure that Leonard will be our Program Director. Does anybody know if you can request him to be on board with us? Thank you in advance for your advice. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest was an amazing experience. Thank you Viking Lif for this extraordinary trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Time of year was right for us and we had never been to that part of Europe. Everything was "first class!" Viking really know how to get it done from start to finish. From greeting us at the Bucharest airport to seeing us off ... Read More
Time of year was right for us and we had never been to that part of Europe. Everything was "first class!" Viking really know how to get it done from start to finish. From greeting us at the Bucharest airport to seeing us off in Budapest the staff of Viking did everything right. If you want a fun adventure while being pampered this is the way to go. The service was great, the food was very good, the tours were spot on, the guides who traveled each day with us very knowledgeable which made the trip worth every penny. If you have never done a Viking River Cruise you must give it a try. We were "first timers" for any type of cruise and this was the best Only 180 travelers on a very spacious vessel. Of the 180, 155 had been on other river cruises with Viking and all of the ones we meet said they have never had a bad trip while using Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was the first time we ever went on any type of cruise. We decided to try Viking because everyone we spoke with who had used one of their cruises raved about their experiences. Well, all those folks were correct. Viking exceeded our ... Read More
This was the first time we ever went on any type of cruise. We decided to try Viking because everyone we spoke with who had used one of their cruises raved about their experiences. Well, all those folks were correct. Viking exceeded our expectations in every regard. The service was excellent from the time we landed in Bucharest until we caught our plane home from Budapest. We were really impressed with how well the staff was trained and how well they tended to our every need. The cabin was great and our steward, Marina, was outstanding. The ship was the perfect size and traveled quietly up the Danube. We had a great day in snowy Bucharest and then arrived at our ship for a smooth embarkation. The entertainment was great. Our Program Director, Leonard, was excellent. He made our on board experiences enjoyable. He, alone, was more than enough reason to go on one of Vikings trips. There were 180 on board and it seemed like only 40 because of how ell Leonard had everything organized. Hats off to Viking and everyone who made our first experience so very enjoyable, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We just come back from a cruise in eastern Europe on Viking LIF. We’ve been cruising many times before mainly on Cunard, Regent, Silver Sea and Viking (3 times on the ocean) but this was our very first river cruise. It was an awesome ... Read More
We just come back from a cruise in eastern Europe on Viking LIF. We’ve been cruising many times before mainly on Cunard, Regent, Silver Sea and Viking (3 times on the ocean) but this was our very first river cruise. It was an awesome experience from all point of view: the size and the ambiance of the ship, the excellent service, great tours and fantastic time on board. Our room attendant, Anna was very friendly and while we didn't ask for much, I believe she would be more than willing to accommodate our needs. The food on board was good but we believe that Viking needs to provide more quality ingredients to be sure that the food experience on board rich the standards of the rest of the services provided on Viking LIF. The staff was always pleasant, and we fell in love with our waitress Alina. Ivan in the bar had a great sense of humour and we love his wine and cocktails recommendations. But the cherry on the cake was the cruise director Leonard. In all our previous cruises we were luck to have nice good cruise directors. But this time Leonard beat all the records: his passion, expertise, knowledge and amazing sparkling personality brought this river cruise to a hard to beat level. His lecture were a pleasure to attend with a perfect mixture of information, knowledge and entertainment getting standing ovations every night (especially his talks about the life in communist Romania and the myths of vampires) Leonard was working almost 24 hours a day: we saw him at 5.00am getting ready the excursion, running up and down during the day with the guides and entertaining passengers in the lounge until midnight or maybe late. What a great asset for Viking! For sure we will be back on another river cruise but must be Viking, must be the ship LIF and of course must be Leonard as a cruise director. Thank you all for an amazing trip between Budapest and Bucharest! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little ... Read More
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little bit different, but we loved every moment between Budapest and Amsterdam. Viking Lif is a lovely ship, not very big (we were 190 passengers on board), giving you the feeling that you are in an intimate environment with a subtle added touch of luxury. The stateroom was not very big, but comfortable with decent amenities. Our room stewardess Anna was above any expectations, friendly and helpful and always happy to have a nice chat with us. She managed to keep our room sparkling every without being intrusive and her smile was the best way to start our days. My only real gripe is the food which was a little bit disappointing with not a lot of variety and sometimes tasteless or nearly tasteless dishes, something like semi prepared food from a tin. But the service was impeccable, both in the restaurant and the bar with Harold and Saska making every meal special. We purchased on board the “all-inclusive drinking package” which was great with plenty of choice. The only think that was not included was the smile of the staff in the bar; maybe they were tired, but we didn’t see them smiling once. The Reception team were trying their best to be helpful but, most of the time they didn’t have time or information to answer to our questions, especially the young guy working during the night, who always “made up” answers which were far from what we needed. Ionut and Anita were great and at least were trying to help us as much as possible. Maybe, as a suggestion for Viking, the presence of a Concierge or Passenger Service Agent will be a great idea! We met the Captain once during an evening presentation in the lounge. Despite his impressive, scary look he was a very interesting character and his “double act” show with the cruise director was great. The Hotel Manager Jerry was very efficient despite the fact that he was sometimes quite abrupt with both passengers and his own crew. But he was always around the ship to check that everything was perfect…and it was! But, with no doubts, the biggest asset of the ship was our Cruise Director Leonard. We're blown away with his energy, creativity, impressive knowledge, superb manners, an incredible sense of humour. He is a true professional and has the charisma of a Jay Leno, or a Johnny Carson. Managing every aspect of our excursions and events on board he was always around when somebody had a question or need any kind of support. His lecture and presentations were simply amazing and we watch him both in the lounge or on television learning so much about Mozart and Main Canal, Dutch cheese and Sound of Music. Everybody on board loved him and that’s include the crew; I saw Leonard in Wurtzburg buying roses for all the room stewardesses and sweets for the staff in the restaurant. I think he is FLAT OUT the BEST in the business! His fun-loving and happy personality comes across within his work and it is clear why he is so popular and well regarded by everybody. If anyone has the pleasure of being on a cruise with him, be prepared for the best and informative cruise ever! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
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 3.1
Family 1.0 3.1
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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