101 Viking River Viking Vili Cruise Reviews

This review is to voice our concerns about what I believe to be unethical and dishonest tactics of Viking River Cruise sales. We recently booked a Grand European river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. This was a last-minute booking. We ... Read More
This review is to voice our concerns about what I believe to be unethical and dishonest tactics of Viking River Cruise sales. We recently booked a Grand European river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. This was a last-minute booking. We booked our cruise only a few weeks before the cruise sailing date. The sales agent sold us this trip as listed in the brochure. It wasn’t until right before the trip that we found out about the problems with the river levels and that we would be transferring ships and spending hours on busses. We even called the sales agent that sold us the trip and ask about the river levels and were told not to worry, just a little rain and the river levels would be ok. I do not blame Viking for the weather and if we would have been booked out for some time, I would have just thought our bad luck. But after we got to Amsterdam, we found out that the river conditions and boat transfers had been taking place before the date we booked our cruise. I believe Viking should have been straight forward and advised us of this river condition before we booked. The thing that drew us to this cruise was that we would not be packing, and unpacking and we would not be spending hours on buses. Also, two of the cities we were most interested in seeing were Vienna and Budapest, time spent at both cities was severely curtailed due to boat movement, remote docking locations and long bus rides. All total we had to transfer boats 3 times. Again, I am not blaming Viking on the weather or the river levels, but they knew of these conditions at the time we booked our cruise, and nothing was said. We would have not booked this trip if we knew of the river conditions, but maybe that’s why Viking was not honest with us. I will say that most of the Viking crew were very pleasant and helpful and did a great job. We enjoyed them very much although our Crews Director stretched the truth about how much time we would be on a bus, the bus ride was always longer then he said. One final comment, we filled out our commit sheets on the boat and voiced our disappointment and I also sent an e-mail to Viking and got no response from either. Oh well, Viking got their money and we got a disappointing vacation that was supposed to be our dream vacation. I do not think I could ever recommend Viking to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
In our opinion Viking pulled a bait and switch as they knew well in advance that they were not going to be able to deliver the experience touted in their advertising. This was affirmed by my conversations with crew members on all 4 ships ... Read More
In our opinion Viking pulled a bait and switch as they knew well in advance that they were not going to be able to deliver the experience touted in their advertising. This was affirmed by my conversations with crew members on all 4 ships and by the local tour guides. All admitted that it had been over 2 months since Viking had been able to provide what was advertised. The Program Director also admitted to me that Viking should have given guests a better idea of the changes planned for the cruise prior to sailing and given guests the option to reschedule or cancel. He agreed that Viking knew more than one ship change was going to be extremely likely-well we ended up on 4 different ships for sleeping and 5 if you include the 2-3 hour daytime cruise on 10/23/18. That means packing and unpacking 6 extra times in addition to having to get up very early and have our bags outside our door very early on 3 days. I do not do well on busses due to getting car sick and the extensive bussing we had to take left me either nauseated and with a migraine (on days I did not take any medication for car sickness) or fatigued and wrung out (as a side effect of the anti-nausea medication I took on other days). I would definitely have cancelled if I had known how much bussing was involved (3.5 hours Budapest to Vienna on 10/14, 1.5 hours each way for a total of 3 hours to Regensburg on 10/18, 3.5 hours to Nuremberg 10/19, 1.5 hours to a smaller boat for a couple hours cruising then 2.5 hours drive to Cologne for a total of 4 hours on 10/23). That meant that 4 of the 14 days were I felt crappy due to bussing. I will recap the trip in our eyes: 10/12: Arrived in Budapest and boarded the Idun. The ship seemed "tired and worn". Informed no cruising to Vienna. They made it seem like this was a last minute change but the crew confirmed the ship had been there for weeks. 10/13: Budapest sightseeing 10/14: Up at crack of dawn to ride bus 3.5 hours to Vienna (sucked as stated above) and boarded boat #2, the Vili. Walked around Vienna sightseeing. 10/15: Sight seeing Vienna day 2 interrupted by ship leaving port early at 6:30pm instead of 11:30pm. Our evening plans were ruined. I got a panic text from my uncle at 5:50pm just as we were being served at the Sacher Hotel informing us the ship's plan had changed and we needed to be on board before 6:30pm. We threw money on the table (37 euro) to cover the bill and made a mad dash across the city back to the boat arriving at 6:29pm. My uncle informed the Program Director that we were high-tailing it back to the ship but they failed to inform us or him that they were making a back up plan in case we did not make it in time. So we were totally panicked. When we did arrive (just in the nick of time) the Hotel Manager and Program Director had the gall to actually yell at US because we were upset. They did not see a problem because "we had a back-up plan if you did not make the ship". They did not understand why we would be upset. They failed to communicate said back-up plan to us or my uncle for him to communicate it to me via text. You cannot imagine how anxious we were trying to race back to the ship. They also made no attempt to contact us when they made the decision to leave early-leaving that chore to my uncle. We missed out on our evening plans in Vienna, were out 37 euro for the Sacher tortes/Viennese coffee we never got to enjoy and were totally panicked on our way back to port. No apology has been made or effort to offer us compensation for the money we paid for food we never got to enjoy in Vienna or the panic caused by Viking that day. Program Director and Hotel Manager stated to us it would be addressed and that they were emailing Viking corporate on our behalf but when I tried to follow up on this I was given very vague assurances (which I did not believe) that it would be taken care of after the cruise. I asked to be CC'd on the email and have not received any. I know 37 euro is not a large sum but it is the principle of the thing. 10/16: Pleasant cruise of the Wachau Valley to Melk. Sight seeing at the Melk Abbey. Nighttime cruising to Passau. 10/17: Woke up to a beautiful view (sarcasm here) of cranes, industrial tanks, bull dozers and dumpsters in Passau. Notified no cruising to Regensburg and that we would be staying in this industrial port until 10/19. Sightseeing in Passau. 10/18: Bussed to Regensburg, sight seeing in Regensburg (excellent tour guide). No ability to explore on our own as planned due to need for bussing back and forth. The lunch arranged was salty and substandard in quality. Bus ride back to the industrial port. 10/19: Forced to be up early to vacate the boat and board bus for 3.5 hour ride to Nuremberg. 1/2 day of sight seeing in Nuremberg with no ability to or time to explore on our own as planned due to bussing. Substandard lunch. Boarded boat #3 the Gefjon. 10/20: Sight seeing in Bamberg in morning followed by a pleasant cruise in the afternoon/overnight to Wurzberg through locks. 10/21: Woke up with pretty view of Wurzberg. Sightseeing on our own in the morning with a guided walking tour in the afternoon (very good guide). 10/22: Sightseeing in Wertheim (excellent guide), glass blower talk on ship in afternoon, cruising on Main River in afternoon. 10/23: Up to pack for the 4th boat change. 1.5 hour bus ride to a smaller boat for a 2-3 hour cruise and a substandard lunch. Excellent tour of Marksburg Castle. 2.5 hour bus ride to Cologne (nausea and migraine). Boarded boat #4, the Mimir in yet another industrial zone ("lovely" industrial piping, power plant and tank views) 4+ miles from town. Needed to change from an 8 person table to an adjoining 10 person table (to accommodate all those in our party who had returned for dinner that night at one table) while the waiter was in the process of taking our orders. He was visibly "pissy" and rude about the change. 10/24: Cologne guided tour was OK. Needed to walk 4+ miles from industrial dock to town to explore on our own in the afternoon/evening. Viking did provide a shuttle service but only between 2:30 and 5:30 pm even though the boat was at the dock until 10:00pm. 10/25: Cruising Waal River, very good tour of Kinderdijk windmills. 10/26: Disembarkation in Amsterdam was smooth. When each bus ride was announced they underestimated the time spent on each bus by anywhere from 30-60 minutes. General comments on service, food: Idun: average service in dining room, average quality of food, very poor dessert quality (cakes very dry/overcooked), good cabin service. Vili: excellent service in dining room and cabins, very polite staff everywhere, food quality was fair to mediocre at best, desserts remained poor Gefjon: dining room service was substandard: many mistakes in orders, bread would be served but had to ask for butter, hot water for tea but no tea bag or sugar brought so had to ask, quality of food was better than on the Vili but not by much Mimir: Maitre D was very attentive but serving staff was downright rude and surly, order mix-ups continued and the bread butter tea issues were the same, quality of food was mediocre but the desserts did improve Bar service on the Aquavit terrace was spotty on all ships Few vegetables were on the menus/came with meals. Some in our party routinely asked for extra vegetables and the waiters were visibly put out by these requests. Only 2 meals the entire trip were what we would consider really good quality: the chateaubriand and the duck. Lastly (I know this is very long winded), we never got to explore several of the ports independently as we had planned and Koblenz was skipped entirely in all the bussing and ship changes. If I wanted a bus trip of Europe I would have booked a bus trip (never going to happen). We did enjoy our traveling companions and other passengers on board. Viking has offered 50% of what we paid for this cruise as a credit toward a future cruise, but that is off full price. Nobody pays full price and the standard actual price paid is 2 for 1 so they are not really offering anything to compensate us for this bait and switch trip. In fact they would make 25% more on a subsequent cruise fair with the "deal" they are offering. We paid over $9000 for the 2 for 1 so the full price was over $18,000. They are offering $4500 off so that would result in us paying $13,500 for a future cruise which is a ridiculous offer. As an alternative they offered $250 cash each if we signed a nondisclosure agreement. I have emailed 2 separate Viking representatives (Stephanie Maldonado and Larry Rice) and called one representative Larry Rice and left messages twice but have not heard anything back from them since the email offering the above. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Food was superb. Crew was very congenial, helpful, and accommodating.Ports of call were as good as they could have been. Local tour guides were passionate about their work/leadership. On board educational services were excellent. Crew ... Read More
Food was superb. Crew was very congenial, helpful, and accommodating.Ports of call were as good as they could have been. Local tour guides were passionate about their work/leadership. On board educational services were excellent. Crew personnel went out of their way to be hospitable and friendly. Tour director, Marek, was so wonderful we wanted to take him home with us!! The issues with low water were handled superbly. I didn't;t see them as an inconvenience and I feel that Viking was more than fair in refunding 50% of the cruise cost towards a future cruise. More businesses should be so generous!!! We also felt that two weeks was a good length for a vacation. It often takes at least a week just to unwind and get into 'vacation mode.' WOUld have opted for more time in Amsterdam after discovering how much there was to see and do. Have to go back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose the 14 Night cruise for its length, first of all. And also for the countries it would traverse. We opted for additional time at both ends of the cruise: Amsterdam and Prague, and were very glad we did. We'd never been in ... Read More
We chose the 14 Night cruise for its length, first of all. And also for the countries it would traverse. We opted for additional time at both ends of the cruise: Amsterdam and Prague, and were very glad we did. We'd never been in either city - or any of the others along the way, for that matter. Each experience was wonderful. The local guides were extremely informative and delightful. We decided that our 50th Anniversary cruise ought to be a blow-out, so we booked a suite. Again, we chose well and were delighted with all the amenities that were included. The service was outstanding, from all departments. We enjoyed getting to know some of the crew, learning where they were from and who they are. Meals were delicious. We were particularly pleased that the menus were divided into more traditional American fare AND local foods. I ordered only local foods so I could explore new tastes and was never once disappointed! There were more entertainment opportunities and activities than we could participate in. For active folks, there was never a dull moment - and for those who prefer a more relaxed pace, it was easy just to opt out. We loved the live music provided by Tina and John, a very talented couple. Gary, our activities director, was a wealth of information, very funny and very efficient. He did his best to see that everyone was well cared for. I have finally discovered that there can be such a thing as too many shore excursions. This was new for me... perhaps a function of age? Naaaaah, couldn't be true! I found the excursions to be well organized, enjoyable and very informative. Couldn't have asked for anything more. Even the problem of the draught-induced low water levels were handled impeccably. We were able to trade with an identical ship. We started out on Mimir and traded to Vili, which had been unable to get to Amsterdam for the start of our cruise. The shift was easy and efficiently handled. Couldn't have been done any better. Would have preferred not to have to trade ships, but there was simply no other option, given the water levels! The down-side of this was that we had become fond of our crew and had to leave them halfway through the cruise. The other crew was excellent too. We didn't enjoy have to raft with up to two other ships. We frequently had no view from our stateroom and didn't feel comfortable using our balcony. My husband was disappointed that our ship only once tied up within walking distance of a town - Passau. He loved being able to leave the ship whenever he chose and not have to take a bus on a schedule. More of that would have been greatly appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other. We decided on a river cruise and always wanted to do a Viking River Cruise. With all the was included and nothing for us to do but show up at the airport, Viking was top notch ... Read More
It was our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other. We decided on a river cruise and always wanted to do a Viking River Cruise. With all the was included and nothing for us to do but show up at the airport, Viking was top notch all the way. We NEVER worried about anything as they took care of everything for us. From the second we arrive, we felt like family from the beginning. Every day seemed to be better than the last until we finally had to say good-bye. The final evening in Budapest was one of the best spectacle we had ever seen with the city lit up along the river. Every tour and guide were top notch and the buses were clean and owned by viking themselves. The cabin was perfect and the Villi/Mimir was hands down the best ship we saw along the river. If we ever get the chance again, we will be doing another Viking River Cruise! Worth every cent! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Viking does a great job of running the vessel and accommodating the needs and interests of is passengers. Pre- and post-cruise hotel stays are booked in very nice upscale properties. Throughout the city stays, cruise, and shore excursions, ... Read More
Viking does a great job of running the vessel and accommodating the needs and interests of is passengers. Pre- and post-cruise hotel stays are booked in very nice upscale properties. Throughout the city stays, cruise, and shore excursions, Viking is there to help. Not surprisingly, even a company such as Viking cannot ensure that things off the ship will run smoothly. Some shore excursions - due to the time of year and popularity - were at destinations that were so crowded that they were not enjoyable. And although Viking did an excellent job of meeting us upon arrival in Amsterdam and taking us to the hotel, airport assistance failed miserably at Budapest. The agent was not there to meet us, and chaotic conditions in the check-in area made the experience miserable. Admittedly, this is not under Viking's control, but the absence of an agent left us without guidance on how to best proceed. We had a balcony cabin which was nice. But in several ports Viking moored two or three vessels alongside each other at the pier, so our view was often into a cabin on an adjacent vessel. These cruises are focused on the scenery and the shore experience. Do not expect much in terms of onboard entertainment or activities. If you want peace and quiet, this is the place to be, with the quiet enhanced by the absence of children. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My husband and I chose Viking for our first European river cruise after having done about 10 Ocean Cruises on various lines (Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & Oceania). We heard wonderful things and had high expectations. ... Read More
My husband and I chose Viking for our first European river cruise after having done about 10 Ocean Cruises on various lines (Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity & Oceania). We heard wonderful things and had high expectations. Overall it was a wonderful trip but we felt that there were some things travelers should know about. Viking is spoken of very highly here in the U.S. where we live. We booked a category AA Veranda Suite so that we would have a sitting area separate from the bedroom. We were not assigned a cabin upfront and while travelling to Amsterdam received a call from our travel agent that we were upgraded to one of the Explorer suites. We were elated. When we arrived, there was NO ONE around the ship at our small docking area. We actually held the taxi in case the driver made a mistake! We boarded the ship and found the Grand reception area. Again, there was NO ONE around. Finally, a crew member came out from behind a door, asked our names and confirmed our cabin and said welcome aboard. That was it! There were no security checks like on large ocean cruises. We were then escorted to our cabin. Our Explorer suite was lovely with a separate living room with two floor to ceiling sliding doors leading to a wrap around balcony that enhanced our cruise experience. HOWEVER...we did have two issues with this suite. We want future travelers to know that river ships travel primarily at night and the Explorer suites are at the back of the ship DIRECTLY ABOVE the engines. The vibration was something you can get used to but they appear to have two settings, full throttle and idle. Our second issue was that our mattress was horrible. It was very firm yet incredibly lumpy and uncomfortable! We told our steward and she exchanged our "topper" for another lumpy one. We started our cruise on a different ship (the Viking Mimir) due to low water levels and switched to our ship (the Vili) in Nuremberg. We had the same issues on the Vili. We felt the food on board could have been better. Breakfast was always excellent with a wonderful buffet suitable for Americans and Europeans with a cook to order egg station. We always had lunch at the Aquavit terrace to enjoy AL Fresco dining. The choices were more limited but there was always a salad, some side dishes and a meat option and of course, desserts. Dinner in the dining room was nice but the service a little slow. The dining menu is heavy towards regional cuisine and spending so much time in Germany and having local dishes during our shore excursions, I chose to opt for something off the "regular menu" side which always consisted of a steak, chicken and salmon choice. The salmon was very fishy, the steak was of poor quality and tough and the chicken bland. For staple menu items, they were disappointing. My husband did like the regional cuisine. As wine drinkers, one thing that allured us to Viking is that they include it during lunch and dinner. We felt the quality of the included wine was quite poor. The varietals would change each day and we always tried this to see if it would be acceptable. On occasion, we drank the free option but because we also had the silver spirits beverage package, we often chose something different. However, it always took a long time for the servers to get a different choice and they did not have any California Chardonnays or Cabernet's on board. This is somewhat understandable since we were in Europe but as highly popular wines in the US and the cruise line catering to Americans, we were disappointed. We also asked for Sambuca after dinner in the bar and they did not have it on board. We felt the options were very limited. All the passengers would meet in the lounge before dinner for our "next day Port update". Service in this area was adequate but we often times had to flag down a server or get up and go to the bar to get a drink. The Included shore excursions were always wonderful. The wireless hearing devices are great. They allow you to hear your guide without having to stay right next to them to hear what they say. Many were walking tours in the cities which would end with a little free time to explore on your own. For the tours that required bus transportation, the quality and cleanliness of these were exceptional. We enjoyed all our excursions and found that this is one area that Viking excelled in. One thing to note for any new river cruise travelers is that there is an extensive lock system on these European rivers. We traveled through about 60 locks during our two week journey. During the first half, from Amsterdam to Nuremberg, there were Five days where the upper deck was COMPLETELY closed in order to allow the ship to pass below many bridges. This meant that the walking track was unavailable. The river ships are very small and there was little to do during these five days while on board other than sit in the lounge and admire the views (which is, of course, why you do the river cruises but I wanted to mention this for anyone expecting activities/entertainment). We feel fortunate to have been given the Explorer suite and enjoyed the extra space. The visits to all of the European ports were wonderful. It was an amazing trip. Despite the low quality food and beverage choices, the bad mattress and lack luster service we enjoyed the cruise very much. However, if we have the option to do it again, we will try a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose Viking for our first cruise, and now we are spoiled. It was a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Our Cruise Director, Gary, was most enjoyable. Entertainment on board was enjoyable especially the glass blowing ... Read More
We chose Viking for our first cruise, and now we are spoiled. It was a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Our Cruise Director, Gary, was most enjoyable. Entertainment on board was enjoyable especially the glass blowing demonstration. The apple strudel demonstration was a gastronomic sensation. The river was impassable at one point which caused all of us to be moved from the Viking Mimir which picked us up in Amsterdam and took us to the impasse. We disembarked and went on a scheduled day excursion and the bus returned us to the Viking Vili with our luggage. We continued on the Vili all the way to Budapest. The extensions at both ends of our river cruise were top notch accommodations. Please Note: I spent over 27 years in the US Army, and my last seven serving as a Sergeant Major. I have been trained to look for and spot items out of place or needing attention. I could not - repeat could not - find one thing to criticize, improve, or correct on our Viking Grand European River Cruise. Our ship swap was an example of military precision. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Cruise director Gary was very nice, but a bit sarcastic at times, which I was fine with, but my have put off others. He was an asset, in any event. Nightly entertainment was in need of improvement. Those brought in for special nights were ... Read More
Cruise director Gary was very nice, but a bit sarcastic at times, which I was fine with, but my have put off others. He was an asset, in any event. Nightly entertainment was in need of improvement. Those brought in for special nights were good, but the "lounge players" could have been better. We were on the Villi and then changed to the Meli, because of low water. Both lounges singers were marginal at best, although the male counterparts who played piano and other instruments were better. The female singers need to go back for vocal training. Many tour guides were very variable in quality. Some good, some marginal, several poor, but I can not be specific because did not keep a record. Few were excellent. I was very annoyed Viking would not let us use the onboard promotional for dollars off future cruises toward previous booked cruises. (buy 100 get 100 free up to $800) We have a Barcelona to Copenhagen cruise that we booked several months prior to the river cruise sailing, but were not permitted to use that incentive toward the actual cost of the next cruise, because we had already booked. I would suggest they amend that so your patrons who booked within the past 6 months can still have that advantage. I understand it is offered as an incentive for new bookings, but to get your cabin of choice, bookings need to be at least 18 months in advance and therefore I do not feel we should be "penalized" due to advanced planning. I will likely take at least one more river cruise, although I think they need to expand Cruise destination options. I keep getting emails about taking cruises with the same ports I have already been which shows no attention to detail recording individual passenger. I would definitely continue the wine and beer offerings at lunch and dinner, as that is part of what sets Viking apart from their competition, amongst other things. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to experience the Danube and ports by water. The river and ports were beyond belief...charming, historic, packed with great restaurants, shops and very interesting churches, and cathedrals to visit. The crew on board made us feel ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Danube and ports by water. The river and ports were beyond belief...charming, historic, packed with great restaurants, shops and very interesting churches, and cathedrals to visit. The crew on board made us feel very special. Everyone did an outstanding job. We especially appreciate all of the tour guides in each port. They are well educated and know everything about their respective area of expertise. Our room was well appointed. We especially like having a separate bedroom and bathroom and balcony. The group meetings were great and the information that was dispersed was very useful. It helped to prepare us for the next days excursion. All of the meals were very tasty. There were plenty of choices to accommodate any palate. The service was timely. We would definitely recommend Viking Cruises to our friends and family. We are looking forward to our Viking Ocean Cruise on the Aegean Sea in the future! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose it due to it being a smaller cruise ship and seemed to be adult oriented. It surpassed my expectations. Food was great, service was top notch and the right amount of excursions with the tour. Will be doing it again. We did the two ... Read More
We chose it due to it being a smaller cruise ship and seemed to be adult oriented. It surpassed my expectations. Food was great, service was top notch and the right amount of excursions with the tour. Will be doing it again. We did the two day pre-excursion in Amsterdam. It was a fantastic City. All cities and areas visited were a great experience. Didn't enjoy Budapest. However that was at the end of the trip and it seemed like the ltast attractive place we visited, but it was still good. Favorite was Vienna. Such a wonderful place. We attended a Mozart concert there and are some Mozart chocolate. Merek our cruise director was excellent. Took very good care of us while on excursions. The whole staff was excellent, they even remember you names. It was a pretty cool feeling having them address you by name. Will be doing it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Numerous friends and family highly recommended Viking to us. We were not disappointed. Starting with our experience with the consultants who assisted in booking the cruise through our experience after the cruise, we consistently had a ... Read More
Numerous friends and family highly recommended Viking to us. We were not disappointed. Starting with our experience with the consultants who assisted in booking the cruise through our experience after the cruise, we consistently had a wonderful experience. The level of customer service is outstanding in all aspects - booking, departure,aboard ship, excursions, and departure to return home. We found this to carry over to the 2 days we spent in Amsterdam prior to the cruise. The attention to detail and personal preference is unmatched. We very much valued the support and guidance received from Viking staff both at the hotel in Amsterdam and during the time onboard ship. They readily offered suggestions and alternative excursion suggestions based on our preferences and mobility limitations. No detail was too small or trivial. We met some really wonderful people and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know folks which is facilitated by the limited number of travelers. The quality of food, variety of entrees and service by the servers made mealtime truly enjoyable. if a passenger requested a special entrée, for example, that was not on that meal's menu, most often that request was granted. Many of the servers made an effort to learn our name and would address us as such whenever we saw them. We really enjoyed the chef's nightly briefing prior to dinner to advise what was on the night's menu and how it complimented the particular location of the ship on that day. We also really enjoyed the opportunity to tour the kitchen and hear the chef's presentation how so many wonderful meals were prepared in such a small space by only a handful of staff. Overall this was one of the best vacations we've ever experienced. We are already planning our next cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was a 50th wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. We were so pampered! The staff was always courteous, friendly an catered to our every whim. The program director was so entertaining as well as being knowledgeable. He had ... Read More
This cruise was a 50th wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. We were so pampered! The staff was always courteous, friendly an catered to our every whim. The program director was so entertaining as well as being knowledgeable. He had everything very well organized. He had a great sense of humor. It was always good to see the captains as well. The wheelhouse tour was a special treat. The stops—ports of call— were many and gave a variety of experiences. The guides were quite knowledgeable about the cultural aspects, as well as entertaining—every single one we had. On the two week cruise, we met most of our fellow passengers—quite a congenial group for the most part. We met two couples whose company we particularly enjoyed. The one thing I would change would be to figure out how to increase the “free time” at the ports. We did have a little anxiety about missing the boat once or twice! Overall a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
From the moment we approached the Vili, the customer service was fantastic. It started as we were personally greeted by the cruise director as we got out of the taxi and didn't stop until we had been escorted to the airport and ... Read More
From the moment we approached the Vili, the customer service was fantastic. It started as we were personally greeted by the cruise director as we got out of the taxi and didn't stop until we had been escorted to the airport and checked our bags at 4:00 in the morning in Prague for our return home. Food was great and plentiful. Every staff member, from the smiling housekeeper who greeted us everytime we saw her to the wait staff who was very attentive and learned our names and preferences very quickly, made us feel special. The cruise director was amazing both as an entertainer and organizing everything. The hotel director was surprisingly talented as a singer as well. Not only was the staff great, but we made great friends with other guests on board. The shore excursions provided a great overview of the cities and villages along the way. I only wished we had more time on our own in each place. Our favorite excursion was probably Terazin, the Jewish Ghetto. It was both educational and heartbreaking. Definitely will cruise again with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had a great time and so different from all other cruises. The only thing in the dinning room was when they had meatloaf at lunch. It was not just me but some others that ordered it were in total surprise as it was not anything that ... Read More
We had a great time and so different from all other cruises. The only thing in the dinning room was when they had meatloaf at lunch. It was not just me but some others that ordered it were in total surprise as it was not anything that looked like meatloaf in the states. It should have said loaf of meat. With all the wonderful meals that they served this was minor. All the staff were great and very helpful. The rooms were very nice and clean. Plenty of 120 outlets. Enjoyed the optional tours that we booked. In some ports just wished that we could walk off the ship to the town. Our Cruise Director Gary was funny and informative. At night we had a singer and keyboard player and enjoyed the dancing. We met some wonderful and interesting guests. The end of the cruise we did a 2 night extension in Amsterdam. Viking booked us at the Okura Hotel which was beautiful but so far from the center of what you would want to see. We did not enjoy the walking tour there as it was not really a lot to see. You were really limited as to what you could do if you did not take a cab into town. Just wanted to give a shout out to the engineer on our ship as he was a big help to fix the zipper on one of our suitcases. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
From the first couple of Viking commercials I saw on public television it became my dream to take a river cruise. To my delight, it exceeded my expectations. From the booking of the trip through its conclusion at the departure airport, ... Read More
From the first couple of Viking commercials I saw on public television it became my dream to take a river cruise. To my delight, it exceeded my expectations. From the booking of the trip through its conclusion at the departure airport, everything about it was superb. We booked a pre-cruise extension in Prague - highly recommended - Viking had a presence at our hotel and provided tours and transportation to and from Old Town throughout our stay there. We were taken to Passau on a very comfortable motor coach. Boarding was a snap on the small, elegant ship. Our veranda stateroom was very well-equipped and space utilization was outstanding. As just one example, the bathroom was more functional than most hotels despite its relatively small size. Our steward provided excellent service and the room was maintained in excellent condition at all times. We dined at the buffet-style restaurant and lounge for breakfast and lunch, often eating outside on the deck. The food and service were always excellent. We had dinner nightly in the main dining room and always ordered the chef's selections - he prepared regional dishes reflective of where we were at the time. The food and wine pairings were superb. The Moonlight Duo provided an eclectic blend of music in the lounge that was at perfect volume and of high quality. In addition, special programs, including a night of opera, were offered there. We took several optional shore excursions in addition to the ones included and all were exceptional and educational. In Vienna, for example we took tours from 8:30 am until 11:00 pm. The last tour was to an excellent performance by the Vienna Residence Orchestra at Palais Auersperg - it was perfection, itself. Realizing many of us had missed the evening meal, the chef had prepared an excellent goulash soup served on the lounge deck. Our tour director, Terry, was great! He was exceptionally helpful and patient and had a wonderful sense of humor. His evening presentations on the next day's activities in the lounge were a highlight of each day. I cannot say enough good about this trip. Everything about it was meticulously managed and, helped by the small number of guests, it became obvious that accommodations were made based on what most people were doing and when. We met many people from many places and will have lasting memories. As I told one of my traveling companions on a trip to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Viking has ruined me for anything else :-). We have already booked a Viking cruise for 2019, this time on one of their small ocean ships for a voyage along the Mediterranean shores. We are very much looking forward to it and to future river cruises. . Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Danube River cruise with Viking- I recently took a Viking river cruise, the Danube Waltz with other adult family members. The weather was perfect so we enjoyed the sun deck on the ship and our outdoor time in respective ports. A cruise ... Read More
Danube River cruise with Viking- I recently took a Viking river cruise, the Danube Waltz with other adult family members. The weather was perfect so we enjoyed the sun deck on the ship and our outdoor time in respective ports. A cruise can be a great way to explore a new area without having to arrange for your own tours or transportation. However, there are a couple of things to be mindful of: River boats are often docked together in port so often your views are completely blocked by another boat and the fumes from the idling boats are noxious. River boats are tiny- our small stateroom would not have fit anyone over about 5 ft 9 or anyone overweight The lower staterooms have some funky smells at times and can feel cave-like when docked in a port Riverboats have no Dr. onboard- passengers must go into port for any medical attention The Viking included tours are very general and buses are packed. Little time to visit places like museums, etc. with this type of travel. AirFrance held a strike on our day of departure, we were packed into another airline and missed 6 hours in Prague. The Viking selected hotel had no bureaus for unpacking, you will live out of a suitcase and could have a very old room or bathroom (ours was circa 1986). The needs of the elderly or immobile are not adequately meet with Viking River cruises. No access to sundeck via elevator or a lift. No room service for folks who can't make it to the one meal time seating. The tour operators were clueless about the meaning of "incapable" of walking and immobile guests had to make own arrangements to return to the ship if they could not walk back. The lack of understanding for easy access was also evident with hotel concierge in Prague. She put us at a restaurant that required walking over a bridge and down some stairs. My guest fell. She also fell during one of the Viking excursions and fractured a bone. Buyer beware before booking a river cruise- allowing others to make arrangements does not always lead to the best travel experience. I trust my own skill in arranging the best accommodations and excursions rather than relying on a corporate formula for what they have negotiated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We cruised the Danube for our 30th Wedding Anniversary in April, 2018. We are an active couple in our low 50's and have traveled independently for many years. Viking's Danube Waltz 8 day River Cruise was a great alternative to ... Read More
We cruised the Danube for our 30th Wedding Anniversary in April, 2018. We are an active couple in our low 50's and have traveled independently for many years. Viking's Danube Waltz 8 day River Cruise was a great alternative to ocean cruises (no seasickness). We found Viking to be the right level of "luxury" for us -- comfortable without a lot of frills we don't need or desire. It seemed to attract a group of individuals who were much like us-- laidback, not super-fancy, earthy people who enjoy the cruising experience with delicious, filling meals with a few drinks but were not on a cruise to eat and drink their way through the week. The format with a choice of daily guided group excursions was perfect for us. We typically chose the more active, walking option with an introduction to the location we would visit. The wireless headset technology used for the guided tours was exceptional and allowed us to clearly hear the guide without huddling in tight groups. The introductions helped us get acquainted with the layout, culture, and things to see or do at each destination and then we had free time to explore each destination on our own. We enjoyed the delicious regional dinners with local themes, meeting different guests each night (different cultures, backgrounds, experiences, ages), and the evening activities and/or entertainment. We were impressed and delighted with the simplicity, flexibility and ease of travel. The travel arrangements, embarkation and disembarkation were all smooth and the service was impeccable. The crew was highly competent, engaging, attentive to all guests, and talented! After a 2 day early arrival and exploration of Budapest on our own, we moved into our small but well-appointed, beautiful French Balcony cabin and appreciated going to a new destination each day without having to pack/unpack our things. While cruising the river we enjoyed learning about the lock system on the river. The views and fresh air from our cabin's sliding glass door were incredible, and we enjoyed the breathtaking 360 degree scenery and taking a few laps around the walking track on the upper deck in perfect Spring time weather. We enjoyed all destinations, but especially enjoyed the excursion to the fairytale-like city of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. This was a relaxing, educational, cultural, romantic, and fun experience that combined guided, group activities with on-your-own adventures at a great value. We can't wait to book our next Viking Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This is the first river cruise for me and my husband. The crew made the embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and very easy. the ship and the cabin are very clean and accessible. dining was excellent especially the service and the ... Read More
This is the first river cruise for me and my husband. The crew made the embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and very easy. the ship and the cabin are very clean and accessible. dining was excellent especially the service and the food, the ports and shore excursions are very well-planned, informative and enjoyable with very smart well-versed local guide who are competent and very helpful. entertainment in the ship are good. we would love to go again and we are already booked for the Rhine river cruise next year. In this cruise, we were able to meet new friends because the atmosphere in the ship is very open and conducive to meeting new people and friends. In our excursions, we were given enough time to take pictures, buy souvenirs and explore the local area and taste the local delicacies. Our cabin was cleaned everyday and our needs were taken care of by the housekeepers. The dining crew were very accommodating to our requests and needs during dining. All in all, it was a very enjoyable, satisfying experience for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I am Canadian and my cousin is American. We have met up at various places on the globe, as a way of seeing each other, as well as enjoying an adventure together. We chose to cruise on the Danube, as neither one of us had ever been on a ... Read More
I am Canadian and my cousin is American. We have met up at various places on the globe, as a way of seeing each other, as well as enjoying an adventure together. We chose to cruise on the Danube, as neither one of us had ever been on a river cruise and we hadn’t visited several of the cities that the cruise stopped at. As far as which cruise line to chose goes, that was an easy decision as we had heard wonderful things about Viking. After our cruise was over, I read that Viking was chosen as the Number #1, river cruise line, by Conde Nast. I have only wonderful things to say about Viking, so I can easily see, why it would be an award winner. Our room was comfortable, the meals were excellent!! If I had to list my favourite thing of my experience, I would have a difficult time to chose just one thing. I loved how organized each stop was and how it took less than a minute to get off the boat - there was no 20 minute line up to get off, which is common on ocean cruises. I also loved how I knew which bus to get on as soon as I stepped ashore. I loved how each port had a free city tour. I loved that all the day tours were graded for diffulty, as mobility was an issue for my cousin. To add to my point of disembarkation being easy at each port, I want to add that going to all of the meals, lectures and entertainment venues were equally easy. There were no line ups, there was no waiting, it was all very relaxed and civilized. I could go on and on. I would highly, highly recommend a river cruise with Viking for anyone. Go and have to time if your life!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise was so so fabulous in every way. The itenerary was the most wonderful cities and the accommodations were 100% first rate. The cruise staff on the Villi are excellent, From the cruise director Gary to Martin to Marta , they ... Read More
This cruise was so so fabulous in every way. The itenerary was the most wonderful cities and the accommodations were 100% first rate. The cruise staff on the Villi are excellent, From the cruise director Gary to Martin to Marta , they were so friendly and treated us like guest and even family at times. The food and excursions were the very best. We are preserved on another Viking cruise next year- France’s Finest and we can’t wait! The towns of Smsterdam, Vienna, Budapest and Prague are all favorites. We did both pre and post cruise excursions and the accommodations and special treatment from Viking staff made this soo so special. The ship was amazing. We had a comfortable French Balcony stateroom and enjoyed all of the common areas of the ship. We met great people and will cherish the experience for a lifetime. It is easy to see how Viking is rated number one in River Cruising- excellent! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have done many ocean cruises and did short (1 day) cruises on the Rhine River, and had thought for some time about trying a river cruise. When we finally got around to talking about it and doing it, we decided on the Grand European. ... Read More
We have done many ocean cruises and did short (1 day) cruises on the Rhine River, and had thought for some time about trying a river cruise. When we finally got around to talking about it and doing it, we decided on the Grand European. Once we have flown from the US, we wanted to stay as long as possible. It turned out we were on the first trip of the season. The shopkeepers in all the towns were happy to see us coming. Because it was early in the year, we had NO crowds in any of the towns. Even the bus drivers mentioned how nice it was with no traffic. We also had weather across the board: rain, sleet, snow and warm sunshine. Nothing dampened our spirits, and most on board enjoyed experiencing four seasons in a day or two! This is a long, but quick review. I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry! Oh, speaking of laundry, if you want to bring less clothes, we both used the laundry service on the ship. It was beautifully and quickly done! We aren’t really shoppers, but managed to find gifts for our kids and grandkids and were happy our suitcases were not too packed. If you have any specific questions about the cruise or the ship, please ask! You are all in for a treat on your trip. I get motion sickness very easily and wear patches on ocean cruises. On this ship, I can easily say 96 percent of the time you didn't even know you were on a ship. The ride was very smooth! You did know a few times when we were going in a lock as the sides would hit a bit, but the locks were fascinating! Prague We booked the pre-stay in Prague. We had been before and loved the city. We were met at the airport in a timely manner by the Viking representative, and we never thought of another detail for three weeks! Everything was handled for us, and what a pleasure. We stayed at a lovely hotel, the Art Nouveau Palace Hotel. The hotel was just a few short blocks from Old Town. There were Viking representatives at the hotel if we needed anything. The breakfast room was lovely and the breakfast had everything you could possibly want. It was a large buffet and had great food and service. We went on the included tour of Prague and enjoyed it, although it was a very long walk. We walked for hours but saw a lot! The next day was free and we went to the Jewish Quarter and back to Old Town and the Charles Bridge. Early the next morning after breakfast we met in the lobby and were taken by coach to Budapest, with a few short stops and a lunch stop. SHIP: When we arrived in Budapest, we were taken directly to the Vili, and checked in within minutes. Once we had our keys we went to our room to unpack. There was a safe in the room, large flat screen tv, desk and refrigerator. We were given fresh bottled water daily in our room. We met our room steward, Gabriella, who was sweet and offered to help in any way and wanted to make sure we were comfortable. Gabriella turned out to be an angel who did our room the minute we left each morning and freshened it again each evening when we were gone. Sometime that evening there was a welcome reception in the lounge and then dinner. I could go on and on about the staff on the Vili, from the unseen staff who quickly docked us to the terrific Tour Director (Gary) and everyone in between, but you are in for a special treat to experience this yourself. We commented several times, with many others echoing our thoughts, that we felt like VIPs. Honestly I don’t know how they do it, but the staff was wonderful at every turn and seemed genuinely happy to assist us. I will just say right now that the meals were terrific. There was plenty of variety, even for 15 days on the ship. Every night featured a regional menu, with food from the area we were traveling in. Hungarian, German and Danish food, which was very fun to try. The included wines and beer each afternoon and evening were usually very good. Some with the Silver Beverage package even drank the free wines at dinner as they were very good. My husband is a beer drinker, and there were 10-12 bottled beers offered, and one nice German draft beer. Champagne was supplied every morning for mimosas. Probably the only thing better than the food and variety was the service. We could not have asked for better service. We happened to sit in a section the first night, and the staff seemed to immediately develop a rapport with us. We ended up staying in the same section most meals, knowing we would get exceptional, cheery, fast and friendly service. The servers even remembered our drinks of choice and offered it immediately when we sat down. It was really incredible to watch how hard all the staff on the Vili worked. There was some entertainment on board, and all seemed to be well received. Honestly, most were usually beat by the end of the day after seeing all the towns and doing the tours. My favorites were the Taste of Germany night and the guitar concert. There was a duo who provided great music every night in the lounge. There were two classical music concerts and a glassblower who came on board. The Tour Director gave several informative talks, and there were drink sampling, cheese sampling and a few other fun things. The included tours were all terrific (except Amsterdam) and rivaled many we have paid a lot of money for. It was very easy to understand some incredible guides! It seemed the guides were handpicked for their great English, humor and history knowledge. The cruise was a great balance of go, go going and seeing and doing, and some nice down time. We took advantage of our down time and rested (our legs!) and enjoyed all the other tours. There were lots of opportunities to add excursions or on your own jaunts, or time to relax if you needed too. BUDAPEST: The evening we embarked, the Tour Director and Captain of the ship announced he knew many of us were tired from long travel days, but they were going to take us on an evening cruise to see the lights of Budapest. They stressed we would not be disappointed if we could stay up, and they were so right. The lights of the Parliament and other location sin Budapest were stunning. It is something you will never forget if you get the chance to see it! The next morning, we were taken on a great included city tour of Budapest, seeing the major sights. You always have the option to opt out of the included tour if you wish to get out on your own, but we enjoyed every tour, with the exception of the one in Amsterdam that was just so-so! The rest of the day in Budapest was on our own. We went to the great market and to the shoe monument on the river. The market was right by the ship and was interesting. The top floor was souvenirs and lots of Hungarian crafts and items, and the street level was all food. Great place to pick up paprika! The lower level was an Aldi supermarket, where some people stocked up on items for their refrigerator and rooms. We left Budapest that evening in the middle of a huge snow storm! We again got to see the Parliament and other lit monuments as we sailed again, and it seemed more magical in the heavy snow! VIENNA: Upon arrival in Vienna there was a light covering of snow. It was cold but we had plenty of very warm clothes. We again had a great included city tour, mostly by bus with nice stops for photos. In each stop Viking has great city/town maps on the reception desk. In addition, on the back of the daily newsletter Viking highlights the sights, stores and places to eat that are good. We went to a few of each of the stores and cafes/restaurants and were not disappointed in the recommendations. After lunch we had free time. We went to the “Behind the Scenes of the Lipizzaner Stallions” tour. We were told in advance it was the horses day off (Monday) and there was no show that day. The behind the scenes tour turned out to be very interesting. The horses have some great digs in the heart of the city, and the history and stories we heard while touring the Spanish Riding School exceeded our expectations! After the tour we were taken to a nice café for cake and coffee, and the snow started again! After dinner there was a very large group of people who had signed up for the optional Strauss and Mozart concert, which we did also. We honestly hadn’t signed up, but had spoken to so many people who had, that we thought everyone must know something we didn’t, so we joined in. The concert was in a beautiful hall, a bit crowded, but Viking had prime seats reserved and we were in the first 5 rows. The concert was entertaining and very good. Again, we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the whole show, and we are really just old rock and rollers! MELK: The next morning, we cruised the Wachau Valley (on the Danube) and the Tour Director had a running commentary on the sights. It was interesting, beautiful and relaxing. Later that afternoon, we arrived in Melk and were bussed to the Melk Abbey. I thought it strange we were really just making a stop to see an abbey. But please, take my word for it, YOU CANNOT MISS THE MELK ABBEY! I don’t want to tell you how spectacular it is, you need to see with your own eyes. Really an incredible place. Very little walking on this tour, except around the Abbey. The buses picked us up and took us right to the Abbey. We had a bit of free time after the Abbey to walk through town and back to the ship if you wished. PASSAU: Again, a great included tour. Passau was easily walkable (as easy as cobblestones with some ice on them can be!), and it was a great tour. Normally there is an organ concert offered in the beautiful cathedral, but as we were there in the off season there was no concert. After the tour we were given time to explore the city on our own and walk back to the ship on our own. We did not do an optional tour, but the people who did the Bavarian Cruise & Baroque Tur Scharding tour spoke very highly of it. Those that went to Salzburg also enjoyed their day and saw a lot of the city in a short time! REGENSBURG This town turned out to be a little unknown (to us) jewel! This was a1 ½ hour walking tour that showed us all the important historical sights. The tour ended at the Stone Bridge and the Old Sausage Kitchen. While we all joked that no one needed any more food, Regensburg is famous for their sausage, so in we went. The sausages are small (breakfast sausage size), and in true American fashion you can get them to go on a pretzel bun for just 3 Euros. The sausage was good, but I especially loved their sweet mustard! The rest of the day we were able to walk around this nice town, and easily walk back to the ship when we were done. NUREMBERG The morning was for free time, and they drove us into Nuremberg (ten minutes away). We were left at the main town square and explored the market and other sights on our own, with recommendations from the local guide. In the big cities we went to, the included tours were great on just showing us the important, beautiful historical sights. The bigger cities on this itinerary had nice, historic town squares. We were especially lucky to run into three Easter Markets, including the largest, in Nuremberg. The markets are not as large as the Christmas markets, but were fun to explore. I’d love to do a Christmas market tour! This included tour was also very good. It was a four-hour tour, mostly on the bus. It was recommended we try the gingerbread in Nuremberg. It was delicious and interestingly enough, made without ginger! BAMBERG Bamberg was a fun little town. The beauty of this little town was striking. We were given a great 4 hour walking tour. Most of the walk was easy, with steep steps at the end leading up to the cathedral. The views from the cathedral were stunning and worth the short hike up the stairs. After the tour we met many from the Vili at the oldest pub to sample the smoke beer. We met some locals who joined the large tour group and it was quite fun. I wasn’t a fan of the smoked beer, but glad I tried it. My husband is a beer person and enjoyed it. We had a few hours to explore Bamberg on our own which was nice. WARZBURG The day we docked in Warzburg we took the optional tour to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We had both been to Rothenburg before, but it remains our favorite place in Germany! The bus trip was about 45 minutes each way. Once we arrived in Rothenburg, we were given an included tour through the town, then taken to lunch. After lunch we had several hours on our own to explore. My husband and I again walked the walls of the city for spectacular views. This trip was on a Sunday, and many on the tour were disappointed the cute, small shops were all closed. Restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries were open. There is a lot to see in this tiny town so we did not miss shopping at all! If you do get there on a shopping day and like Christmas at all, be SURE to visit the Kaethe Wohlfart Christmas museum and beautiful store. She has 4 stores in Rothenburg, but the main Christmas store is behind and opposite the town hall. The museum was 2 or 3 euro to get in, but not to be missed if you are a Christmas fan like I am! After our free time in town, we were taken back to Bamberg to do the included tour of the Bishop’s Residence. An incredible building and again, not to be missed. It was a short, one-hour tour with easy walking. We were then given time to walk back to the ship and explore Bamberg on our own or return to the ship. If you can’t decide whether to do an optional tour, you do see everything in Bamberg from the tour even if you go to Rothenburg, which was a plus for me. I hate to miss anything! I can’t recommend Rothenberg enough! WERTHEIM: Wertheim is a very small town. The tour director joked you could see it all in 15 minutes, and they were close. They managed to fit it into a 1 hour tour and we saw some incredible sights and loved this little storybook town. Easy walking. After the tour we had time to walk around town on our own or have another (free, included) tour of the Jewish history on the town. Those who did the Jewish part of the tour said it was a lot of hilly walking but very interesting. Cute town! KOBLENZ The day we were to be in Koblenz we work up in the middle of a large city. I thought it was strange, and turned on the tv to the Ship Tracker, and noticed we were in Frankfurt. I assumed we were stopping for a quick stop. Around 9 am, the Tour Director came on the loudspeaker and announced that there was a one day lock strike, and we could not continue up the river. He said there would be a briefing in the lounge at 9:30. By 9:30 a.m., the crew had lined up all sorts of tours! You could take an included walking/bus tour of Frankfurt, or take the bus (included) trip to the Marksburg Castle that afternoon. The ship took us by bus as we were unable to get to Koblenz by ship. We chose the castle, as we had both been to Frankfurt. You had the morning free to walk around the main square of the old town in Frankfurt. After lunch we took a bus trip to the castle. We were warned (and warned again) about the walking and climbing on this tour. If anything, we felt the tour director UNDER estimated how bad it was. We felt like mountain goats all afternoon. It’s a very steep climb from the bus to the castle, and once inside it is lots of steps and walking on slate, more uneven than cobblestones. That being said, we loved the castle and the beautiful view. If you have it in you, do this tour, but know that it is a lot of climbing and walking. The tour itself went fairly slow, it had rained a bit so the slate was slippery. Around 11 p.m., we were able to start again down the river. If you go to the castle, or find someone who is, there is a great book for 3.90 euro that has pictures and information about all the Rhine Castles. It was fun to have, and we can now identify our photos. MIDDLE RHINE/COLOGNE: The captain adjusted our schedule so we did not cruise the picturesque Middle Rhine at night. For about 3-4 hours, the tour director gave a commentary on the incredible sights! Cute half timbered towns and many, many castles! It was a nice cruise. That afternoon we arrived in Cologne. We had a two hour walking tour of Cologne, and enjoyed the whole thing. We ended up by the river, and you could easily walk to the ship. The ship was parked right next to the Chocolate Museum and the pub/shopping area. That evening we took the optional tour of the pubs, the Beer Culture Dinner. What fun that was. Again, we can highly recommend. If you are going and have met friends, as the tour director to put you in the same group. By this time we had a group of people we met and had fun with, so we had a great group. We had dinner at a restaurant with unlimited beer, followed by three or four other pubs, again with unlimited beer. We had a great guide who gave us lots of history and even more laughs. KINDERDIJK What a great stop this was! The ship parked directly across from the windmills. Maybe it was because it was warm and sunny, or because we got to go inside a windmill and learn lots of history and fun facts, but this was one of our favorite days. We too k the two hour included tour, very easy walking. There are 19 windmills in this area. Really something to see! Those that took the windmill/cheese tour also enjoyed it, sampled lots of cheese and bought more. AMSTERDAM The next morning we arrived in Cologne. We have been briefed in writing and in updates about the disembarkation. From what we saw it went so very smoothly. I’m not sure it has ever been that easy for us. We were assigned a time to have our luggage out and what time we would be picked up. We had a nice breakfast, said goodbye to a few people and sadly ended our cruise. We did, however, have the Amsterdam post stay booked. We were in the beautiful Pulitzer Hotel, right on the Princess Canal. This hotel was a series of canal houses built together and was gorgeous. Most were put at the Movenpick down on the water. I believe the Pulitzer was an upgrade, but we enjoyed every second here. After we arrived, we had an included two hour walking tour. For whatever reason, this was not a great tour. We were a block away from the Anne Frank house, which we didn’t know until we discovered it ourselves. The guide took us through a shopping district, and at least a mile of walking through a residential district. Didn’t see much until the end when we arrived at Dam Square. In the end we felt fortunate we only had one bad tour out of all the tours we took! The rest of the day and next day were free. We took our own tour to the Kuekenhof Gardens. Wow is all I can say. We saw tulips and flowers for many, many miles. It was a lot of casual, easy walking, but beautiful surprises were around every corner. If you are in Amsterdam when it is open, we can’t recommend these gardens enough. My husband was a great sport about tiptoeing through the tulips, so the next day we went to the Heineken Experience, a Disneyland for beer lovers. They offer a fun, short tour with lots of beer. We had to buy advance tickets because it was a very busy Easter weekend, but got in easily. After the beer, we took a canal cruise which was relaxing and interesting. Later that afternoon we had pre-purchased tickets to the Anne Frank House. Many, many on our cruise had wanted to go, but waited too late to get their tickets. You must buy tickets in advance online. I believe you can do it 60 days in advance. We got in very easily at our assigned time. Museum and house is well done, if not quite somber. The next morning, we were picked up by Viking arranged transportation and returned to the airport in Amsterdam. This was the first time in many trips we just had Viking make all our arrangements, and we were not sorry. Everything went very smoothly and with little, or no effort from us! We are now anxious to book another Viking river cruise. It was just spectacular and fun from start to finish. We are fairly easy-going travelers with a lot of experience but have to say this was the best trip we have ever taken. While I know you cannot keep everyone happy, I don’t think I heard a complaint in the over two weeks we were on the ship. Amazing! We give Viking River Cruises our highest recommendation, and we have several favorite cruise lines. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We found the commercials on T.V. to be very appealing and liked the idea of a river cruise. We investigated a few other companies that offered river cruises but liked the offer made by Viking. From the moment we set foot on the boat we ... Read More
We found the commercials on T.V. to be very appealing and liked the idea of a river cruise. We investigated a few other companies that offered river cruises but liked the offer made by Viking. From the moment we set foot on the boat we received superb attention and treatment. What stood out for us was the trouble that Martin went to arrange for our boat to get to Vienna earlier than scheduled and arrange for us to make an unscheduled stop where there was a cab waiting for another couple and ourselves so that we could make our concerts in Vienna. Joey the Program Manager was delightful and all the passengers just adored him for his warmth and sense of humour. The tours were exceptionally well organized, the on-board entertainment was wonderful and the food was superb. There were always great choices and we know how the staff went out of their way to accommodate people with dietary needs - even going as far as liquidizing meals for a passenger who could not eat solid foods. The wait staff were really excellent - they learned our names and were always there to greet us with big smiles on their faces. The cherry on the top was the fabulous people we met on-board, and we made some wonderful friends. We cannot wait to board another Viking boat for another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I lived in Germany for 20 yrs. and was unable to tour these countries ! The cruise was very relaxing and not to much rushing around. The food was excellent and service great.the tours were also very interesting . I'm a little ... Read More
I lived in Germany for 20 yrs. and was unable to tour these countries ! The cruise was very relaxing and not to much rushing around. The food was excellent and service great.the tours were also very interesting . I'm a little handicapped ,and my cabin was on the floor below reception and no elevator ! But everyone was helpful with the walker being taken up and down the stairs ,but it made me dependent on others ! My greatest joy was visiting all the Christmas markets in each country ! They are quite different from those in Augsburg and Nuernburg Germany ! The walking tours were not to bad ,my walker made it but I sure could have used some shock absorbers in the handles, my shoulders got a workout ! The beds quite comfortable ,slept well, no motion sickness! All in all a very good time on my first cruise up the rivers of Europe . I flew from Dallas/Ft.Worth Texas to Budapest ,Hungrey . There was someone there to meet us and take us to see some sights before going to the ship. Didn't hVe to worry about our luggage ! We did an extended tour to Prague, and they were there to pick us up for the bus ride . The hotel was the Cornthia and the room was excellent ! They provided transportation from hotel to center town every day we were there and excellent food. Had lots of time to shop,site see and eat ! They took us to the airport for departure back to the USA. Nothing to declare at customs ! Family waiting at airport. V.J.Marcum. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Spent 3 days in Prague and got to know the city; shuttle busses allowed independent exploration; took the provided 41/2 mile walking tour and although she moved fast she did try to accommodate my difficulty walking fast and up/down stairs. ... Read More
Spent 3 days in Prague and got to know the city; shuttle busses allowed independent exploration; took the provided 41/2 mile walking tour and although she moved fast she did try to accommodate my difficulty walking fast and up/down stairs. Wanted to explore the countries we visited. Great ports and activities, but tour guides for the "slow walkers" had no mercy and most of them just moved way too fast and did not accommodate difficulty with stairs. Once we were left so far behind that we ended up training another group back to the bus. Unfortunately our leader never noticed we were missing. Having toured on 2 other river cruise lines, I was vey disappointed in the lack of accommodation compared to tour guides on the other lines. Comfortable cabin, with great service, good evening entertainment, good festive dining, great beverage selection; wonderful service on board; Great port selection and toured wonderful sites, just moving too quickly for my comfort and abilities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Viking Vili Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2

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