9 Viking River Viking Vili Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
This was our first river cruise and was chosen to visit countries and cities we had not visited before. The Vili longboat was excellent but beware of booking suites with balconies or French windows! There are over 60 Viking longboats ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and was chosen to visit countries and cities we had not visited before. The Vili longboat was excellent but beware of booking suites with balconies or French windows! There are over 60 Viking longboats cruising and often when they berth they tie up alongside an identical boat. This means that when you open the curtains in your cabin in the morning you are looking into an identical cabin window about a metre away! Our cabin on the lower deck was excellent Also be aware that there are over 60 locks on the Rhine/Main/Danube between Amserdam and Budapest and also many low bridges - this means that the sundeck is closed for 5 days in the middle of the cruise! Since the boat is 135m long and 11.45m wide and the locks are only 12m wide expect some bumping and noise during the night when passing through locks! The included tours in general were very good, well organized with mainly good guides. One other point of contention was the question of gratuities. Although gratuities are optional, if you follow the guidance given by Viking you should expect to spend about £400 on tips! I believe that gratuities should be included in the cost of the cruise and not used to boost the salaries of the staff!! The included tours were very good, well organized, with comfortable buses, good guides and good communication devices. Ships mooring berths were in general very convenient. Finally, we felt that 15 days visiting cities and small towns, most of which had cobble streets a castle/palace, a cathedral, old painted buildings and made the best sausages in the world was a bit too much - 10 days would be enough! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Although this was not our first river cruise it was the first time we went with a Viking river cruise. Overall we would highly recommend Viking based the the quality of the entire experience and the great price. We the chose this Grande ... Read More
Although this was not our first river cruise it was the first time we went with a Viking river cruise. Overall we would highly recommend Viking based the the quality of the entire experience and the great price. We the chose this Grande European trip because of all the countries we could see, the beautiful cities and the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. We were not disappointed. Firstly booking our trip directly through Viking went very well with a most helpful Viking representative. Viking did an outstanding job of providing a precruise package for our family. We did a pre cruise stay in Amsterdam and post cruise stay in Prague which we would highly recommend if you have that opportunity. We were met by a very friendly and most helpful Viking representative when we arrived at the Amsterdam airport. The transfer to our hotel went very well. The Viking hotel host was most helpful answering any inquiries. The transfer from our hotel to the ship and embarkation was well organized. The ship crew and our host Sam were exceptional throughout the entire trip. Our cabin was very good and the cleaning staff were friendly and did an outstanding job. Meals throughout the day and evening were very good. We had an opportunity to meet with the captain and visit the bridge which was very informative. The shore excursions were excellent and well organized. The excursion hosts were terrific; very knowledgeable and friendly. Leaving the ship was difficult because of the excellent job done by Viking and the many new friends met. The post cruise trip to Prague went very well and the stay there was wonderful. We would definitely go on another Viking river cruise based on experiences with them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was great and the first three days in Amsterdam and the last three in Prague Were the highlights of the trip. The Hotels were great and all of this was arranged by Viking and it was done well. We were on a new boat and ... Read More
The cruise was great and the first three days in Amsterdam and the last three in Prague Were the highlights of the trip. The Hotels were great and all of this was arranged by Viking and it was done well. We were on a new boat and everything was in perfect shape. The food was excellent and the waiters were outstanding. We had Lubo as the Excursion director on our boat and he is an asset to the company, very knowledgeable and a wonderful person. The only drawback of the trip for us was we found the 14 day too long. The entertainment was going out each day on the tours which after the first week we found it a bit of overload, one week would have been perfect. Would we do it again, absolutely but only one week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed the Grand European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam from August 20-September 4, 2015. It was very well-paced, the days were well planned without being crammed, and there were a few days on which we didn't ... Read More
I thoroughly enjoyed the Grand European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam from August 20-September 4, 2015. It was very well-paced, the days were well planned without being crammed, and there were a few days on which we didn't have to be up early and could relax a little. The places we visited were great - very picturesque, interesting towns and historic sites. I would have liked another day in Vienna and the surrounding area, maybe instead of Koblenz. I also understand Bratislava is being eliminated from this tour next year, which is very disappointing - my party all loved that city! I hope it's being incorporated into another cruise. The tours were all very good, the highlights for me being Nuremberg and the concert in Vienna. We had very good guides throughout with very fluent English-speaking skills, so they were easy to understand. Although I liked Kinderdijk very much, I was disappointed we didn't have time in Amsterdam. Also, in a few stops, we had too little leisure time for exploring and shopping on our own. The on-board entertainment and lectures were all excellent, and I especially liked the pianist and violinist from Cologne who performed, and the opera singers from Munich and Nuremberg. The lecture on the Netherlands dike system was also very interesting and informative. One thing I particularly liked about Viking was that there was a representative at the airport at the end of our tour, not just at the beginning, who helped with our luggage and directed us to the proper airline desks for check-in. We weren't just dropped off and left to find our own way around the airport. Nice touch! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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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