2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets and this seemed an efficient way to do this. It was our first ever river cruise, and we were lucky to be able to sail the entire way given this year's chronic low water issues. Most of the ... Read More
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets and this seemed an efficient way to do this. It was our first ever river cruise, and we were lucky to be able to sail the entire way given this year's chronic low water issues. Most of the staff were outstanding; very warm and helpful except perhaps for the tour director Lee, who seemed a bit prickly and distant at times. The weather was VERY cold, and this may not have given us a true picture of what river cruising is like, as the outdoor areas of the ship were unusable, and several of the excursions were bitterly cold, including the one I had most looked forward to, to Cesky Krumlov. I have been an independent traveler for most of my life. I don't like tours, and some of the excursions were a bit too programmed for my taste (though the guides were all excellent). Not sure if I will try another river cruise at this point. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After 35 cruises, this was the most disappointing ever, mostly a bus trip and Viking cruises are not cheap! We have been on a Viking Ocean cruise and loved it and decided to give their river cruises a try. Viking emailed us just before ... Read More
After 35 cruises, this was the most disappointing ever, mostly a bus trip and Viking cruises are not cheap! We have been on a Viking Ocean cruise and loved it and decided to give their river cruises a try. Viking emailed us just before the cruise about the Danube river problems and we would now spend the1st night on a boat docked in Budapest, then pack up and take a bus 150 miles, thus losing half of the river cruise. They did offer a discount for the situation, but not for this cruise. We have to book a future cruise to get any compensation. We had a French balcony cabin, floor to ceiling sliding glass, how great that should have been for a view. Only for the first 4 days we did not move and had another Viking boat tied up next to us so we looked right at another ship's cabin. I could open the glass door and touch the other ship's cabin rail.....what a view! Even if the boat did not move we at least should have been able to enjoy looking at the river. Finally one day the boat moved for around 3 hours so we had a day time cruise to enjoy the shoreline. The next few nights we only moved during the pitch black night, no view. So out of our "7 day cruise" we had only 3 hours of day light cruising to see the river. Bummer. Sure not like the TV ads you see. The last few days we were at a dock with a view of the bank, still unable to enjoy a river view from our cabin. The dining was OK, but we expected more. Only a choice of the same 4 entrees that did not change, or 2 entrees of the day. Real hassel was there was not a single table for two in the dining room. Only tables for 6 or 8. Sometime after a busy day you just feel like eating dinner and calling it a day, or maybe you and your wife would like a nice dinner alone. Can't happen here. It is nice to eat with strangers sometimes, but not every meal all week long. An hour plus of chitt chat is hard every meal. The Viking Ocean cruise we took did have tables for 2 in the dining room. The boat it's self was wonderful. Cabin great. Captin on down, all the staff could not have been better. The cruise director, Sonya, was the hardest working person maybe in the world. She had such up in the air matters to deal with on this cruise, (all the buses all the time) but did a wonderful job. The shore tour guides were all very good and interesting. We do plan to take future Viking Ocean cruises, but not Viking River cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Danube Waltz - the cities we were going to with the rich history in each was the leading factor. Seeing the comfort of being on the ship and cruising down the river was total enticing. Unfortunately, we arrived when the river was ... Read More
Danube Waltz - the cities we were going to with the rich history in each was the leading factor. Seeing the comfort of being on the ship and cruising down the river was total enticing. Unfortunately, we arrived when the river was historically low and did not get to spend the afternoon in Budapest. We got a panoramic bus ride then bused all the way to Vienna by passing Bratislava. We were bused back for a panoramic bus ride tour of the city and no free time again. Had to get back on ship. Next day awoke in Krems and had to move with the water going down more. We moved to Melk and were bused back to the Gotweig Abby. Lots of busing for the first 4 days! The Viking staff and program director bent over backwards trying to please everyone. Lesson learned - Viking should cancel when mother nature is in control. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The cruise exceeded expectations despite the problems associated with the river's low levels. The locations visited and the excursions all were excellent. The guides were knowledgable and usually from the area so included stories ... Read More
The cruise exceeded expectations despite the problems associated with the river's low levels. The locations visited and the excursions all were excellent. The guides were knowledgable and usually from the area so included stories about the location and their life in the villages. The crew and particularly the cruise director worked hard to make this a fantastic trip and succeeded. Their friendly and helpful attitudes made the trip even that more fun. The room was always quickly serviced and the people working in the dining area made each meal an enjoyable experience. One excellent facet of the river cruise was the small number of both crew members and fellow travelers allowed one to get to know everyone more easily. The live music provided was very good and the extra entertainment was excellent. The three young women providing both classical and popular music were particularly enjoyable. Overall, an excellent and memorable experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to maximize our tour while traveling to Europe. The Grand European made sense. Pre trip two days in Budapest. Enjoyed the extra time exploring both sides of the city. The low water meant bus trip from Budapest to Vienna. This did ... Read More
Wanted to maximize our tour while traveling to Europe. The Grand European made sense. Pre trip two days in Budapest. Enjoyed the extra time exploring both sides of the city. The low water meant bus trip from Budapest to Vienna. This did not go over well. Had to move to a different hotel. Pack the bags extra time. Then 3 hour bus trip before getting on the Viking VE. The crew did everything possible to make us fell welcome. The crew on the VE was exceptional. Then we got under way but 5 days later we had to again be bused because of low water. Change ships was not good. Had to pack all the bags and bus to next ship. Also had to be bused to shore excursions which added a lot of bus time. The new crew did very well but my opinion they did not match the Viking VE crew. Rest of the trip went well. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Heard about Viking.....checked out alternatives.....determined that Viking had best to offer for us....of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that we are Norwegian Americans! Our flight got us to Amsterdam quite early.....airport ... Read More
Heard about Viking.....checked out alternatives.....determined that Viking had best to offer for us....of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that we are Norwegian Americans! Our flight got us to Amsterdam quite early.....airport representatives did not have us on any list....nonetheless, the representative that was there had us transported by vehicle to our boat - too early to access room, as departing cruisers had not left yet (for the most part). We had access to the lounge and the dining room for breakfast - got to engage with departing cruisers, and got pointers on highlights of the trip.... We were NOT disappointed, even though we had to switch boats at the 7th or 8th day. The switch was seamless, and almost not noticeable (except for having to pack and unpack midcruise). The staff of the Viking Gefjon was simply superb - most notably Lubo the tour director. His leadership and seeming omnipresence throughout the cruise was noteworthy and greatly facilitated the transition midcruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Changed ships and spent 4 days in hotels..was a 15 day cruise I paid for. First ship, the was food ok., but there was someone elses blood all over my comforter and they dumped the sewage into the river..smelled and looked gross!! And it ... Read More
Changed ships and spent 4 days in hotels..was a 15 day cruise I paid for. First ship, the was food ok., but there was someone elses blood all over my comforter and they dumped the sewage into the river..smelled and looked gross!! And it is illegal. Food on Ve was not good. Service on one side of ship was terrible. Not a luxury cruise at all! Paid Viking over $20,000. SO NOT WORTH IT!! The most expensive, but most boring cruise of the 15 cruises I've taken! Have had much better at half the price!! Staff lies to us about and company waits til last minute to mention water levels are low. 2 game nights, other than that, entertainment consisted of a guy playing piano and a girl singing. VERY BORING! NOT ENOUGH ACTIVITIES ON BOARD! Excursions were ok, but all were walking tours of 3-8 hrs. Very exhausting. And so much for unpacking only one time! By the end of this nightmare, I will have unpacked a total of 4 times. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
A traveling companion found that Viking was offering a 2 for one deal plus air fare so signed up for it. We sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest with many fun interesting along the way. We were to sail on the Viking Ve but due to river ... Read More
A traveling companion found that Viking was offering a 2 for one deal plus air fare so signed up for it. We sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest with many fun interesting along the way. We were to sail on the Viking Ve but due to river conditions, shallow water, we started on the Viking Gefjon and had to change to the Ve about half way. The crew on both ships made the swap very easy and painless and both crews were very accommodating. This was our first river cruise and first with Viking we found everything on board to be top notch and shore excursions were fun and interesting. Our cruise director, Sam was absolutely fantastic not sure when he slept as he was always seemed to be out and about while we were underway and was always available while coordinating shore excursions. Would we sail with Viking again? Oh Yea! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We really liked the attention to details. Viking seem to anticipate potential glitches and addresses them before you realized them. Even when the ship was delayed in a lock, the shore excursion that was meeting up with the ship down river ... Read More
We really liked the attention to details. Viking seem to anticipate potential glitches and addresses them before you realized them. Even when the ship was delayed in a lock, the shore excursion that was meeting up with the ship down river found that we were delayed and the Program director, not to panic, took the shore group to a pub to wait our arrival -- when the world gives you lemons . . . It was wonderful to experience new places, foods, cultures both on board and on shore excursions. We added a few optional excursions that were of special interest to us however, the included ones were more than exceptional. I would recommend bringing clothes with expandable waistbands as the food is top notch, it was plentiful. If anyone goes hungry, it is their own choice! The food service staff paid attention to every detail -- even noticed that my soft boiled eggs weren't soft and immediately reordered them. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
GETTING ON AND OFF THE VESSEL VERY SMOOTH AND EFFICIENT, SHIP WAS VERY CLEAN IN ALL AREAS The crew was the best i have ever experienced on any of my 20+ cruises we have taken. The food the first week was not up to my standards. ... Read More
GETTING ON AND OFF THE VESSEL VERY SMOOTH AND EFFICIENT, SHIP WAS VERY CLEAN IN ALL AREAS The crew was the best i have ever experienced on any of my 20+ cruises we have taken. The food the first week was not up to my standards. Breakfast was great lunch when we had it was passable dinner the first week was not up to my standards the steaks had no flavor and cold. The soups were weak and loose tasting and the fish did not tasted like they were frozen before cooking. The wines served were excellent. The included tours were very good and informative the only complaint was waiting for the bus after the personal time on shore there was no seating at the meeting place for the buses and after a long day of walking standing for an additional half hour is very trying on the legs and back. The cruise director was probably the best in the business in my opinion he was always nearby to answer any question you had. THE ENTERTAINMENT WAS WHAT I EXPECTED ON A VENUE OF THIS SIZE We enjoyed our time at the lounge and danced until closing every night. FINALLY MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT WAS THE FLIGHT WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES We had no choice of seats and were seated apart from each other until i complained to the desk. Then we got seats going to amsterdam that did not recline and were in the middle on the plane with very little leg room. Sitting next to me was a 300+pound woman that snored all the way there and had an odor that was wrenching. The trip home was horrible as well tight seating screens your could not see for movie watching and seats that also were in the back and reclined a little.. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise because it was going to Budapest, which I consider the most beautiful city in the world. Although I had heard that cruise food was wonderful I was unprepared for how delicious it was and how accommodating the staff ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was going to Budapest, which I consider the most beautiful city in the world. Although I had heard that cruise food was wonderful I was unprepared for how delicious it was and how accommodating the staff were in seeing that we had anything we needed. The service was fabulous and the people were so cheerful and learned our names, cabins and what we liked best to eat. There was entertainment all the time and it was so interesting that I only read 10 pages of the 3 books I had brought with me! I was not prepared to enjoy the other passengers so very much and to spend so much time in conversation. They called my daughter and me the Dynamic Duo and we were very popular. We danced with the bartenders. Our tour guide, Sam, was very thoughtful and helped explain about difficult tours. I had broken my back the month before the ship left and was in some pain. We often took the "easy" tour but didn't feel like we missed anything. For the most part the included shore excursions were just right and very interesting. It was disappointing to have only one day in Budapest but the nighttime cruise was a huge highlight. Although this was expensive, it was worth it. Loved it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
River Cruise VS Ocean Cruise, We are home and this adventure has ended but there is one last thing I want to do. Several have asked which we prefer, an Ocean Cruise or a River Cruise so I have decided to do a comparison. First of all ... Read More
River Cruise VS Ocean Cruise, We are home and this adventure has ended but there is one last thing I want to do. Several have asked which we prefer, an Ocean Cruise or a River Cruise so I have decided to do a comparison. First of all I will compare a Viking River cruise with a Princess Ocean cruise since those are the only ones I have ever done. To make certain I am comparing apples with apples I am comparing a Princess cruise in a B Balcony with a Viking veranda cruise. First of all I went on line and got the cost information for a 7 day Princess and an 8 day Viking. Then I divided accordingly and arrived at the per day cost for each. The Viking Cruise would have cost about $769.00 Canadian dollars per day per person and the Princess cruise would have cost about $279.00 Canadian dollars per day per person. These figures are based on 2 people in each cabin with no sales or promotions.. The adventure begins with a wonderful booklet personalized with all of your information. It includes flight plans and booked excursion and everything you need to know about your cruise. It also contained a lovely leather luggage tag which we will use for years to come. That was a very nice extra special touch. One hundred eighty passengers versus three thousand or more means you see a lot more familiar faces each day, The room on Princess is larger as is the balcony. There is a lot more storage space in a Princess cabin and it is laid out much better. Our Viking room had the desk right next to the patio door so the person working at the desk had to get up if the other wanted access to either the balcony or their bed. The Viking ship has much nicer bathrooms. The shower is almost twice as big and the floor is heated which is an amazing feature. The included toiletries on the Viking ship are of higher quality and they continue to provide individual products. Princess has switched to having the pumps on the shower wall which is not as nice by far. The meals on both ships were wonderful but there were more meal selections with Princess. Princess has specialty dining venues and several other areas where you could dine such as a pizza parlour and a hamburger and hot dog eatery and the 24 hour international Café. A fruit bowl is available with Princess and the only thing available in between meals with Viking is cookies. Room service is not available with Viking and there is 24 hour room service with Princess. There is only one seating for meals with Viking where as Princess has 2 seatings which gives guests a better choice of times. Personally I found that 7:15 or 7:00 was too late. I like to have assigned seating. In that way you get to really make new friends. But if your table mates change every day you never get to really know anyone. The couple who travel alone get left out when it comes to deciding where to sit, assigned dining solves that problem. The dress code for Viking was very casual with no formal nights. Whether or not that is a plus or a minus depends on your personal preference. Personally I like to dress up once in a while. Embarkation and disembarkation is much smoother and much faster with Viking. That is to be expected. Getting 180 people on board has to run smoother that getting 3600 people on board. The same is true of getting them off of the ship. I really appreciated the daily news letter supplied by Viking. Princess has nothing like it and I miss knowing what is happening in Canada and the world while I am travelling. Neither line has TV reception or channel choice that is good. The choices are terrible. I enjoy the production show after dinner. Princess does a superb job of providing entertainment on their cruises. Between big shows and comedians and magicians and musicians they really do provide memorable evenings..Viking had the same 2 people every night in the lounge. There were special guests 2 or 3 times and that is all. There are several lounges and bars on the Princess Ships providing lots of music and entertainment well into the evening. The enrichment lectures on sea days are something I look forward to and this is basically lacking with Viking, partly because there are no sea days, just sailing afternoons or evenings.. There is little or no shopping on a Viking Ship where as there are several shops on the Princess ships. That can be a plus or a minus depending on your point of view. They play BINGO on Princess ships and they have casinos on Princess ships . That also can be a plus or a minus depending on the passenger. The same is true of Art Auctions. The art lecture can be very entertaining however. There are no pools or hot tubs or SPAS on the Viking ships and there are always several on Princess ships. Princess gives everyone a lovely recycle bag with their logo. You do not have to tender with Viking, and you do have to tender sometimes with Princess and that is a major MINUS with Ocean cruises. However docking along side of each other and having to pass through other ships to get to shore in no picnic either. Your balcony is useless if you are butted next to another ship. If you are on the side which is next to the other ship you do not have a view of the city you are in. This is a major minus for Viking River cruises. Viking includes an excursion for each port and that is a big plus. Princess does not offer included shore excursions. You must pay extra for such things.+ For these excursions you are provided with what is called a quiet Voice. It is basically private ear phones. You wear it around your neck and install an ear bud. Even if you are several feet from your guide you can here the commentary. I just loved my quiet voice. Viking supplies a bottle of water to each passenger as they leave the ship to go on an excursion. Plus they put fresh bottles of water in your room each evening. On Princess you must pay for your water if you do not want to refill your bottle. This saves on plastic pollution but it was nice to get a new bottle when you headed out for the day. Princess has the Princess Patter and Viking has the Viking Daily. Both provide the information you need for the next day’s activities. The patter is more extensive but they have a lot more to cover. For me the major item was lack of laundry facilities. Viking has none but Princess has a self serve laundry on every deck. Being able to run an iron over something that may have gotten wrinkled in your suitcase is a big PLUS for me. I think the biggest plus was UNLIMITED free internet. Because I blog it is important to do things quickly to save minutes. But with Viking it did not matter if it too 15 minutes to download one picture. When ever we were dock in city centers the uploading was very fast but speed did not matter as much when it is unlimited. I love the chocolates on my pillow at night and Viking does not provide that. Viking really wears their cruise director our where as Princess has a cruise director’s staff. Because there are fewer passengers, one staff member can be worked where as it would just not be viable with 36 hundred guests With Princess a passenger may bring one bottle of wine to drink in their room. Viking allows you to bring any amount of wine to the table at no corkage fee. If you enjoy wine or beer with your meals at no extra cost then Viking wins the prize. These items are included with the cost of a Viking cruise. So in conclusion which one to take depends on a person’s personal preferences. The river cruises cost a great deal more and that would not be good value for us. We are not drinkers and we would never spent hundreds every day on excursions, water and alcohol. We would choose 2&1/2 ocean cruises over 1 river cruise. BUT we are happy to have sailed with Viking, we had a fabulous time!!! A river cruise is something we can take off of our bucket list. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We loved our veranda cabin. Everything from the heated bathroom floors to the lovely decks was first-class. The crew was outstanding and could not have been friendlier or more committed to making this the best cruise of our lives. The ... Read More
We loved our veranda cabin. Everything from the heated bathroom floors to the lovely decks was first-class. The crew was outstanding and could not have been friendlier or more committed to making this the best cruise of our lives. The dining experience was heavenly - both the regional specialties and the standard menu. Our shore excursions were always well-planned and expertly done. We could not have been happier with our experience. We flew to Amsterdam and participated in the Pre-Cruise package. We loved the city and feel it's wise as some people had plane trouble and were late catching the cruise. The extra few days in Amsterdam gave us some leeway. We've already signed up for Viking's "Paris to Paris" cruise and the "Mediterranean Odyssey". One of the other things we really liked was only having to unpack once. This is one of the main reasons we will continue doing river and ocean cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Staff very friendly. Food a bit different then expected. The cuisine was local, but not quite what we expected. The everyday side of the menu was very poor. The servers were very friendly, and the wine flowed consistently ... The ... Read More
Staff very friendly. Food a bit different then expected. The cuisine was local, but not quite what we expected. The everyday side of the menu was very poor. The servers were very friendly, and the wine flowed consistently ... The tours were great. Enjoyed the “free” tours offered by Viking. The tour guides were very professiional and their love of their communities showed. We spent 2 nights pre cruise in Amsterdam. An amazing city. We really liked the Viking hosts at the hotel thatngqve us info on things to do and see. They gave us bus instructions, where to eat, what to do. The music on board was ok. Just too bad it was th3 same whole cruise. I was disappointed when we side tied at night with a nice river view, to wake up with. Boat tied up to us and the only view was their cabin. Towards the end of our journey, the top deck has to be put down so we could get under a9me bridges. I understand that..but something beoke and they could not put up the shades, so the last 3 days we could not use the upper deck. Very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We had never been on a cruise and were not interested in a crowded cruise ship and thousands of people. The Longship was wonderful. We got to know almost everyone and all the crew during the 2 weeks. There was never a time when we felt ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise and were not interested in a crowded cruise ship and thousands of people. The Longship was wonderful. We got to know almost everyone and all the crew during the 2 weeks. There was never a time when we felt crowded or unable to have our privacy. The open dinner seating allowed us to get to know many people and also have repeated dinners with favorites among the guests. The food was plentiful and consistently good. The staff could not have been friendlier or more accommodating. The tours were interesting and allowed us access to areas and sites that we otherwise would have missed but our favorite times were just wandering the towns and cities and getting to interact with the locals and discover hidden treasures. Our room was a pleasant and comfortable place to rest and recharge but we seldom spent much time in it as there were just too many things to see and do. The travel transfers before and after the cruise were flawless. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband always wanted to do a European river cruise... I always thought we couldn't afford it. We received a 2 for 1 offer with free airfare (Danube River) and jumped on it! I can't say enough good things about Viking. The ... Read More
My husband always wanted to do a European river cruise... I always thought we couldn't afford it. We received a 2 for 1 offer with free airfare (Danube River) and jumped on it! I can't say enough good things about Viking. The ship was impeccable, the staff was super friendly and helpful, the excursions were wonderful and the tour guides were top notch! We loved that the ship held a small number of passengers...by the end of our voyage, we had gotten to know several of them. The cabin (veranda stateroom) was plenty big enough and very comfortable (being able to stow your empty suitcases under the bed was a big plus!). The food was good; I especially liked that the portions weren't gigantic (seconds or thirds is always an option). The entertainment was good, although some variety would have been nice. We've already booked our Rhone River cruise for next June! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Fantastic cruise! Everything was perfect, treated like royalty the entire time. Would change nothing, in fact scheduled another Viking River cruise as soon as we return. All Viking hosts were professional and all crew functions exceeded ... Read More
Fantastic cruise! Everything was perfect, treated like royalty the entire time. Would change nothing, in fact scheduled another Viking River cruise as soon as we return. All Viking hosts were professional and all crew functions exceeded expectations throughout the entire cruise. Food choices, presentation and table service were five star in my book. The homemade cookies available throughout the day were great an I got to really looking forward to them. The cabin and cabin service were exceptional and surpassed any previous cruise we had been on or any hotel we had ever stayed. I could not say enough good things about our cabin steward, just exceptional service. The entire ship crew were willing and ready to answer any questions and explain just what they were doing at any time. Shore excursions were well coordinated and all tours guides were extremely knowledgeable. The command staff and activities crew keep us updated at all times. The bottled water and lemon scented moist towels handed out upon return from shore excursions were an excellent touch. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted to take a river cruise and decided that a Christmas trip to visit the Christmas marts would be nice. While I'm not a cold weather person, I wanted the full European Christmas flavor, so decided that it would be worth it to ... Read More
We wanted to take a river cruise and decided that a Christmas trip to visit the Christmas marts would be nice. While I'm not a cold weather person, I wanted the full European Christmas flavor, so decided that it would be worth it to bundle up on a daily basis. Though I did indeed bundle up, it was well worth it. It snowed in Passau and Linz, giving it wonderful flavor without being unbearable. It was cold outside everyday (was real glad that I did bring all the cold weather clothes - particularly underclothes - that I did), but it was bearable and made the ship that much more comforting. Coming back to hot chocolate and a warm atmosphere was great. The room was always comfortable and sleeping under the down comforters was sublime. That warm European Christmas feeling was wonderful. No malls and shopping centers with people just intent on getting all their shopping done. People were out and enjoying themselves, shopping, but also gathering at the eat/drink spots at all the Christmas marts. Stopping in a Viennese cafe for an incredible pastry was luscious. I did all my Christmas shopping there (leave room in your suitcase if you want to do the same) and was so glad that I did. The staff and all our guides were great. On-board ship, they couldn't do enough for everyone - without being overbearing. Our guides were nice, knowledgeable, and made every excursion special. The food was wonderful and you always had great choices. We sat without different passengers almost every meal, making it possible to meet many people with having the time to sit and enjoy their company. We were actually of just a few on the ship for whom this was a first trip - many had taken at least one other and many had taken many trips. I can fully understand why and we will definitely be taking a cruise again. It's the way to do it when time is a little bit limited but you want to see many places at an enjoyable pace. It's a lot of walking, I'll give you that, but it's up to the individual as to how much they want to do. You never feel pushed to do anything - it's all for your enjoyment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
A river cruise is a relaxed way to see many cities in Europe. Having your hotel move with you is an amazing thing! We did have to change ships mid way through however this was a fairly painless procedure as all we had to do was pack. My ... Read More
A river cruise is a relaxed way to see many cities in Europe. Having your hotel move with you is an amazing thing! We did have to change ships mid way through however this was a fairly painless procedure as all we had to do was pack. My only complaint is that the crew on our first ship was not quite as good as on the Ve, perhaps because we became attached to them quite quickly in our journey. The other complaint is the bed- not comfortable for this level of ship. Loved all the ports. Had great tours/tour guides. The cruise director also let us know about optional tours that included more walking- which we loved! The food was very good. The coffee was so so. I would bring my own small coffee maker next time but I am picky with coffee. Seems that Europeans also do not use cream in their coffee.. I loved being able to sit anywhere to eat. We made some good friends onboard and have planned another Viking trip together for 2019. The absolute best part of Viking is the customer service. Anytime I called I received the best service that I can recall with any company! We used Viking air and were disappointed with a stop in Dulles from Newark (made no sense) and it was changed for us. Next time I would definitely pick my own flights however this was a bit confusing to me having used a different travel agent. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We flew into Amsterdam 4 days before the cruise and explored on our own. We loved Amsterdam, and will be visiting again next year (another Viking river cruise). Our cruise actually began on the Viking Gefjon (really wonderful ... Read More
We flew into Amsterdam 4 days before the cruise and explored on our own. We loved Amsterdam, and will be visiting again next year (another Viking river cruise). Our cruise actually began on the Viking Gefjon (really wonderful staff/experience), and then we changed mid-trip to the Viking Ve (housekeeping not quite what we're used to on Viking, and had some issues with the dining room manager). Those issues on the Ve are the only reason this review was not an excellent. We loved the cruise itinerary and the excursions. A highlight was having a glass-blowing demonstration on the ship! We also took advantage of the wheelhouse tour, which was quite interesting. The staff also threw a Bavarian-type party one night: great food and entertainment, and the staff dressed in local garb; a fun time was had by all! At present, we have 4 more trips scheduled with Viking (river and ocean), and we're looking forward to all of them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
First, I have to preface that I rely on others reviews so I am going to try to be as honest as possible. Embarkation: Very smooth. Met at Amsterdam airport by Viking reps and moved to a bus that took us to our ship. Cabin wasn't ... Read More
First, I have to preface that I rely on others reviews so I am going to try to be as honest as possible. Embarkation: Very smooth. Met at Amsterdam airport by Viking reps and moved to a bus that took us to our ship. Cabin wasn't ready when we arrived (admittedly it was 10 a.m.) but they said to wait in the lounge. We headed to Aquavit for a snack and less than 20 minutes later someone was approaching us with room keys (how did they know who we were?). Dropped off our bags and headed out to tour Amsterdam (Viking offers a brief walking tour but we chose to book a "free" walking tour instead). Ship: Fabulous. Exactly as it looks on Viking's website. We were booked on the Gefjon but because of low water levels it couldn't get through so we were moved at the last minute to the Ve. Sister ships so really no difference in look and style of ship and location of cabins. We couldn't have been happier. Cabin: We were on deck 1 (why spend more $$ when you are only in the room to sleep and shower). It was perfect. Actually a little cave-like and felt snug. Cabin was small but had everything we needed and enough room for clothes, luggage storage, etc. for 15 day cruise. Cabin was clean and no problems or issues. Our room steward, Ioan, was fantastic. Dining: Food was fantastic - main dining room had a meat, seafood and vegetarian option every night along with several appetizers and the main staples of salmon, chicken and steak. Great desserts and free-flowing wine and beer too. Lunch was always a great experience too. Aquavit was a little less formal but not as many options (for dinner, same appetizers at all times and rotating entree as well as salmon, chicken and steak) but very casual and very intimate. Breakfast always had more than you wanted and the eggs were farm fresh (and very tasty). Service: Everyone on the Viking Ve staff were spectacular. Inna the Hotel Manager was sophisticated and very professional at all times. Svenja at the front desk was probably the most friendliest face, always smiling, trying to do her best at anticipating your needs and always there - just a pleasure to speak with and be around. Sam, the program director, was very upbeat and personable (as he should be) and did a terrific job at organizing and making sure everyone was where they needed to be at the right time. Everyone in the dining rooms, bars, room stewards, etc. were always smiling and truly seemed to like what they were doing, no matter how trivial the task. Nuno the chef was always a pleasure to speak with (sorry we didn't get some restaurant recommendations like we said we were going to) and his menus and food (especially soups) were delicious. Some other staff that deserve mention are Edvard, Mirella, Glen and Tamas. Outstanding service overall. Excursions: A guided walking tour was included in each city. No complaints here. All of our guides were informative and knowledgeable. As someone who is used to booking their own tours, etc. and doing all the research, it was a relief to have Viking do it for you. We were able to tour a city with a guide and then walk through on our own taking our time to absorb and get to know the culture. Overall: I would not hesitate to recommend or take another Viking river cruise. While 15 days was long, we wished we had more time to explore. The weather could have been more accommodating (cloudy and rainy a lot of the time), we met some great people and had some spectacular experiences. We loved our Viking cruise. Entertainment: Blah! Disembarkation: This was the only flaw in the entire trip. We had to leave at 3:30 a.m. for a 6:00 a.m flight. When I asked about printing boarding passes I was told "don't worry we handle that for you." They even hold a disembarkation talk several nights prior. However, if you are used to checking in for your flights yourself then I urge you to do so. Viking's "we'll handle that for you" was disastrous. We arrived at the airport and the Viking rep would walk up to you, ask you for your passport, and then walk away with it. Our rep, a female, would then go over to the self check-in kiosk and scan your passport. The problem - someone actually walked away with your passport in a foreign country. I had a problem with that and followed her. I got the passports and boarding passes back but our seats were in row 11 and 28 - we weren't together on our 3 hour flight to Paris from Budapest. We were able to resolve this when we checked our bags but if we had checked-in later we might not have been able to change seats. Also when we checked-in at the Budapest AirFrance counter we were told that we couldn't bring our "carry on" on the plane due to the number of passengers. For us it wasn't an issue because we had a small suitcase and a lock. Our friends however were told the same and had to check a soft sided overnight bag. This was unfair because others were clearly taking their "carry on" plus backpack on the plane. Fortunately all bags made it to our destination but if I had known this in advance I would have checked in on-line (like I always do) 24 hours in advance, gotten our seat assignments (in advance) and everything would have went much more smoothly. Why Viking says that they "hand" you the boarding passes for your flight I will never know (maybe the staff on the ships really don't know the process). In this respect don't trust them but rather check-in yourself. The only stressful part of our Viking vacation was disembarkation especially because they ask that your bags be outside your room and then you "claim" them before boarding the bus for the airport. One of our bags was missing because apparently someone else "claimed" the bag. Viking staff are supposed to check bags and names before loading them on the bus but in our case they did not. My advice is to move your bags yourself if possible. My advice: Spend a few extra days in the beginning and end if you have the opportunity. Make sure you take time to sit outside (even in the cold weather like we had) to enjoy the scenery and the beauty of the rivers. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I worked with a wonderful representative via phone. I explained my daughter had never gone to Europe and I wanted to give her a wonderful experience. Viking delivered. It started with the pre extension in Prague. We were met at the airport ... Read More
I worked with a wonderful representative via phone. I explained my daughter had never gone to Europe and I wanted to give her a wonderful experience. Viking delivered. It started with the pre extension in Prague. We were met at the airport and taken to our hotel where we were met with a very enthusiastic representative who cared for us the 3 days were there. The included tours were excellent. Our transfers to Budapest and the ship were smooth. Our cruise director, captain and officers were kind, informative and ready to share their experiences with us. All of the included tours were outstanding. We did take several optional tours which were just as wonderful. We selected the cabin in the base of the ship and did not regret it at all. We had the last cabin on the lower deck. The room was clean and neat and kept that way by our staff. We never wanted for anything. When they saw we were drinking more water, they included another bottle for us. I had thought we would have more noise but we did not. The only noise we had was during a period when the water level was very low and we were throwing up rocks. That lasted only a short time. Sleep was great. The beds were very comfortable. The cabin was not small at all. Even if it had been we were not in our cabin much. We were either on shore or in the front lounge enjoying the music and small shows provided. I have to say it is hard to say what was the best. Everything was wonderful but the very best part was the dining. The dining aboard was out of this world. The crew remembered our names and our preferences throughout the cruise. My daughter fell in love with all the wonderful soups we had and the French toast breakfast. The food was incredible and abundant. We were never hungry and the selections of wines provided were perfect with each meal. The only down about the entire trip was our transfer in Amsterdam. We were to stay for the extension. We arrived by bus and were met by two young ladies from Viking. They sent us on a walking tour with guides while the rooms were made ready. When we returned they were no were to be found. Check in was a bit confusing. The Viking staff the next day was back in line with what we expected. Very helpful and always available. In the end I received much more that I ever expected and am working on our next adventure. Thank you Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Our choice for this Viking River cruise was based on several factors: 1. an easier / hassle free way to travel through Europe. 2. This Grand European Tour offered so many grand cities to explore, as well as several charming little ... Read More
Our choice for this Viking River cruise was based on several factors: 1. an easier / hassle free way to travel through Europe. 2. This Grand European Tour offered so many grand cities to explore, as well as several charming little villages. 3. All the fabulous amenities of the ship and the services provided excelled beyond expectation. The excursions were wonderful and the guides were some of the best I have encountered in all my travels. Everything about the Viking ship can't be beat, but the best part is the warm, caring staff on board the ship. The crew always seemed to anticipate our needs and delivered without hesitation. There was the potential for logistics problems due to lower water on the Danube River, but Viking handled the adjustments so smoothly we barely even noticed. If you are thinking about taking a river cruise, especially a Grand European Tour, I highly recommend Viking River Cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We had heard wonderful things about Viking and after several ocean cruises with other shipping lines decided it was time to try a river cruise. The ports and shore excursions looked wonderful, and they were. I can't say enough about ... Read More
We had heard wonderful things about Viking and after several ocean cruises with other shipping lines decided it was time to try a river cruise. The ports and shore excursions looked wonderful, and they were. I can't say enough about the service and crew, they were terrific and made our trip extremely enjoyable. The only negative is you really aren't able to use your Veranda when in port because of the way Viking and other boats dock. I mentioned this problem to Viking upon our return and was given a credit. The cabin was functional and kept very clean. The rooms are a little smaller than on an ocean cruise but we were kept so busy we were rarely in our room. There is a great deal of storage space. The bathroom was fine. We enjoyed all the meals on board and took advantage of eating dinner several times up top of the Aquavit Lounge, the food was delicious and the view incredible. Amazing sunsets and had the lounge almost entirely to ourselves. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have done three other river cruises on Vantage Travel and loved them. We would have booked this on Vantage again, but we had an issue with being given the air discount so booked with Viking and actually saved a little money. We had ... Read More
We have done three other river cruises on Vantage Travel and loved them. We would have booked this on Vantage again, but we had an issue with being given the air discount so booked with Viking and actually saved a little money. We had Vantage to compare with and thought Vantage was above the high rating of Viking. Viking did not do the little things that Vantage does. First of all on Vantage you get a 10% discount for paying early, Viking a lowly 3%. We did the extension in Budapest, as we had been there twice before and missed some things to do. Vantage has a welcome dinner and meeting with the travelers and on post extensions does a farewell dinner. Viking did none of this, but had a program manager, but not sure why. We were informed that we were suppose to be on the Gefjon, but due to low water we were shifted to the Ve. Both were the newest ships in their fleet. We went to the ship early on our own and had trouble finding our ship, as there were a number of Viking ships at the dock area. There were no signs or personnel to direct you. The ship was very nice, slightly above Vantage, but thought the rooms were smaller, as they add the veranda in the square footage. Having heated bathroom floors was a nice touch. Dinner at times was good, but other times a disappointment. I perhaps had the worst dinner on this cruise than on any river cruise. The Chef for whatever reason, decided to present Chicken A' La King one night. It was not creamy and still had pieces of the chicken cartilage in the meal. This level of cruising never should have had this occur. The Chef would come up every night to recommend items for dinner. Seem he would have been better served to stay and prepare out meals. They seem to have less dinner selections than did Vantage, breakfast also lacked, no cheese offered at lunch. Dinner salads were always leaf lettuce, which I don't care for. I love soups and a good soup and small salad at lunch serves me fine. Soups were fairly good, but not unique at times. Vantage provides a list of the passengers with home towns and name tags that helps in socializing, Viking did none of this. They also supplied no information about the 60 or so locks we went through. Vantage provided this and a map. You had to buy a map on Viking for 7 Euros. Viking did not reserve seats on the bus for handicap and no chairlift to the top deck as does Vantage. At times you had to walk quite a distance to the coaches, seems they could have had a golf cart in these situations to aid the handicap, as I was. Coaches usually were owned by Viking and very nice. Charged 10% to convert money to Euros and had no US. money on board. Not the case with Vantage. Vantage impressed me by providing Euros to passengers not on tour to buy lunch as lunch was no being served on board, not the case with Viking. Vantage gives you cultural experiences sometimes having lunch in locals homes or with college students. Viking did none of this. The highlight to the cruise was the cruise director. We had many problems and he worked his tail off to correct them and satisfy passengers. Instead of just a piano player in the lounge we had two lounge singers, who we enjoyed. Not much entertainment, but the cruise director did games at night that were fun. We were suppose to change ships halfway through the cruise but did not have to, to every ones pleasure. We saw the Gefjon go by in one of the canals. We paid for many of the excursions, as we had been to most of these ports before. Many of them did not allow you to take pictures, so what is the sense to that? You cannot save your memories. We went to see the Lipizzaner Stallions and could not take any pictures, but was not told this when booking. They were suppose to have a slow group for handicap, but the tour guides seem to take off and never look back or slow down. The ship was a little better than Vantage, but no workout facility as does Vantage. We did not think the staff understood English very well and had a few problems with that. Many on the cruise raved about it and said it was the best cruise they had ever done, but they had nothing to compare it to, as we did. We had to have a luggage out at 4:30 a.m., which we did not know why and was inconvenient. Never had to do this before. We are going on a Viking Ocean Cruise in November and hope we like it. We have done over 25 ocean cruises, so we have much to compare it to. Read Less
Viking Ve Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.5

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