1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Recommended by a friend, and we loved every moment of this adventure. This was our retirement gift to each other. Everything was more than we imagined. Outstanding service. Our luggage was lost by the airlines and the Viking Cruise ... Read More
Recommended by a friend, and we loved every moment of this adventure. This was our retirement gift to each other. Everything was more than we imagined. Outstanding service. Our luggage was lost by the airlines and the Viking Cruise representatives assured us they would locate and have it brought to the ship. And they did! Also our flight was delayed and we had to be rerouted, the Viking Cruise team assisted us and took care of everything. Amazing. Cabin had plenty of room, comfortable beds, hot and lots of pressure in the showers, great music or movies to view on the TV. The internet was sketchy, but they shared that it would be. We met some fascinating people and now have new friends coast to coast. The shore excursions were organized,educational, and we loved each and every one of them. Viewing castles while cruising down the Rhine and sipping wine....priceless! The dining and beverage experience was outstanding. Highly recommend paying the extra for the Silver Beverage Package, well worth every penny. We did the extra three nights in Como and explored Lake Como. Yes, do this! The ferry ride to Bellagio, Funicular ride to the top of the mountain, loved it all. And we too stayed three nights after the cruise ended and explored Amsterdam. Highly recommended. I'm still dreaming about this adventure and cannot wait to plan the next one! Thank you Viking Cruise team for the exceptional service. A+ Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our second Viking river cruise. And it was just as spectacular as our first river cruise. Everything is extremely well planned and executed from embarkation to your room to all activities on and off board ship. I have had ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. And it was just as spectacular as our first river cruise. Everything is extremely well planned and executed from embarkation to your room to all activities on and off board ship. I have had questions in the past about the age of the people taking the Viking River Cruises. And I have found them to be very active and very middle-aged from 50 to 60 s. Ports and Shore excursions very well done and a huge plus to the cruise experience. I would go on a Viking river cruise again although next time we will probably do a viking Ocean Cruise. The staff on the Lofn was outstanding and service friendliness and assistance in meeting all of our needs. The dining experience was outstanding. We never had a meal that was anything but excellent. The lounge and and service by the cruise staff was also excellent. I would only suggest that there be a variety in the bar snacks that are provided. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first Viking River Cruise and we loved it! Definitely want to do another one. The size of the ship, the wonderful staff, waiters, etc were all just great. Was good to eat in the same dining room for every meal - and to ... Read More
This was our first Viking River Cruise and we loved it! Definitely want to do another one. The size of the ship, the wonderful staff, waiters, etc were all just great. Was good to eat in the same dining room for every meal - and to meet the staff and the other people on the cruise! We've cruised on Carnival and Princess - and this was so much more fun! Just cozy and comfortable! Viking took care of absolutely everything imaginable! Loved the itineraries and especially appreciated the bottles of water as we left the ship on our excursions! The cruise director (Gavin - I believe was his name) was a pure delight!! The cabins and the bathrooms were a wonderful size. Really appreciated the glass shower stall. We booked several excursions for each day - and that was a good way to see more of each country visited, but staying on the ship would have been delightful too! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We had a non-stop flight from Portland, Oregon.Viking met us at the airport in Amsterdam and took us by coach to the Lofn. At the end of the cruise In Basel Viking took us by coach to the airport and walked us to where we check in for ... Read More
We had a non-stop flight from Portland, Oregon.Viking met us at the airport in Amsterdam and took us by coach to the Lofn. At the end of the cruise In Basel Viking took us by coach to the airport and walked us to where we check in for departure. They were there throughout the journey. This is a lot smaller ship than the big sea ships so more contact with the crew. The crew was great from the Captain on down. The cabin was roomy enough with the 2 beds. No balcony which was fine, the window was at water level. Just right to view the swans. There was always a choice at dinner time between local food or American. It was fun to try something different. The tours were set up with local people that knew their area well. It was wonderful to have a shore excursion included in every stop at no extra charge. They also had different excursions you could pay to join. The "Leisure Group" was great for people with walking challenges. We avoided stairs and walked slower, but still saw all the sites. I am 67yrs and my husband is 71 yrs. He has two new hips and he was able to enjoy all the excursions we went on. If the walking is not smooth, they let us know in advance so we could decide to try or not. The ship looked bran new. It was in excellent condition. Always very clean and comfortable. Everything about the trip was beyond our expectations. We will definitely travel with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Did the Rhine River over Thanksgiving. Loved the longer itinerary allowing for extra days in arrival and departure ports. Crew/ship were great- clean - helpful-- friendly. Enjoyed the extra cost excursion to Grindewald and Klein ... Read More
Did the Rhine River over Thanksgiving. Loved the longer itinerary allowing for extra days in arrival and departure ports. Crew/ship were great- clean - helpful-- friendly. Enjoyed the extra cost excursion to Grindewald and Klein Schdig? The Swiss Alps are spectacular! Some of the ports had their Christmas Markets already up and running - we caught on late to enjoy a mug of Gluwine at each market and save the fun mugs.... next time we will plan better! Excursions were great in every port. We piad extra for the Swiss Alpine tour - worth every penny! The Colmar WWII tour was also a favorite - interesting and lots of France countryside to see. Room was fine - has everything you need. Beds comfy. Crew was excellent. Food was good - varied - loved the German Food night. Captain did a talk and questions/answers- seemed very approachable. Weather could be damp - always umbrellas available. It was nice to come back to the ship and be greeted with a warm towel, warm drink, or cookie. Bus drivers were nice, and the tour guides had great senses of humor. Made for great tours. Will be back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I had always wanted to take a Viking cruise for my 60th birthday. It not only met, but exceeded my expectations. The cabin was comfortable and our cabin steward was amazing. Each day with the excursions our cruise director, Dominique ... Read More
I had always wanted to take a Viking cruise for my 60th birthday. It not only met, but exceeded my expectations. The cabin was comfortable and our cabin steward was amazing. Each day with the excursions our cruise director, Dominique would remind us to bring our voice boxes and the crew handed out bottled water. Each included excursion was interesting and showed us whatever port we were in. Paid for 2 extra excursions; a dinner out and Colmar, France. Well worth it. The bartenders were very attentive and remembered that I like champagne. When I would,walk into the bar, he would poor me a glass. Nice touch. The food was delicious. Each morning the breakfast buffet provided everything you could want. One morning they served fresh, hot donuts. YUM! The farewell German dinner was fun and the waitstaff was wonderful. There was a young waiter named Patrick who was very charming and fun. Will definitely take another. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
A friend is a travel agent and she recommended the Viking. Because we are all over 60 with friends traveling together this cruise fits our needs. The ambiance is very important and the excursions as well. The Vikings provided all what we ... Read More
A friend is a travel agent and she recommended the Viking. Because we are all over 60 with friends traveling together this cruise fits our needs. The ambiance is very important and the excursions as well. The Vikings provided all what we were looking for. Except for the cabin that we feel a bit too small especially the bathroom/toilet. We enjoyed the excursions and the point of interests. Our guide was very courteous and knowledgeable. The cruise director always made sure we are in the group when we go out on tour and when we go back to the ship. The food is fabulous, the entertainment is very nice. We love it when we were sailing and we can seethe castles and the beautiful houses on the hills. The Captain has a sense of humor and we took pictures with him on the last night of the cruise. Overall our 7 days cruise with the loft is super fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Very comfortable ship, great shore excursions, excellent staff and wonderful food. Viking is simply outstanding! This was our first river cruise and we chose Viking because of its reputation. We were not disappointed. Having only about ... Read More
Very comfortable ship, great shore excursions, excellent staff and wonderful food. Viking is simply outstanding! This was our first river cruise and we chose Viking because of its reputation. We were not disappointed. Having only about 185 passengers on board made getting acquainted easy. Unlike our ocean cruises, it was not "eat all day long". Instead the three meals served were wholesome, tasty, and served in proportions that were just right. The dining options were plentiful, There was a shore excursion at each port included in the cruise price and they were, with only one exception, very interesting and well managed. Having Viking arrange our flights made getting to and from the ship to the airport a breeze. Every evening there was a program describing in detail what the next day was to bring which made planning and decisions very easy. The crew was remarkable both for their knowledge and kindness. We would recommend Viking without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This was for my honeymoon, and was my first cruise, so I didn't know what to expect. Here's what I got: The ship was absolutely gorgeous! Well-appointed, always spotlessly clean, and nicer than a lot of land-based hotels ... Read More
This was for my honeymoon, and was my first cruise, so I didn't know what to expect. Here's what I got: The ship was absolutely gorgeous! Well-appointed, always spotlessly clean, and nicer than a lot of land-based hotels I've stayed in. Our cabin was super-comfy and quiet for when we wanted time to ourselves. The food was surprisingly great, both in the restaurant and on the Aquavit Terrace, and the service in both was top-notch! Activities on board and shore excursions were super fun! I still remember the name of my trivia team from one of the activities. Daniela was a masterful Activities Director, always entertaining and personable, and ready to answer any questions that anybody had. The service was amazing. From the housekeeping staff to the bartenders and the waiters, it really felt like I'd known these people my whole life, and I wish I could have taken them home with me. If you ever get Dalibor as a bartender on your cruise, you won't be disappointed! We will definitely be going on another Viking cruise after we decide where to go! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This was my first time visiting Europe, we went on a girls trip with my sister, aunt, and mom and really enjoyed our time! The crew and employee's ran our trip and excursion like a well well oiled machine. Everything was extremely ... Read More
This was my first time visiting Europe, we went on a girls trip with my sister, aunt, and mom and really enjoyed our time! The crew and employee's ran our trip and excursion like a well well oiled machine. Everything was extremely organized and very well done from pickup at the airport to arrival at each destination everything was on time and quite quick. Friendly tour guides at each stop who were very knowledgeable about the area. We really enjoyed being able to enjoy the countryside onboard the ship and not have to find accommodations along the way. Food was excellent, wait staff was incredible. Any requests made were met with above average execution. My sister and I were by far the youngest guests on the cruise but we had a great time with the staff members but that was defiantly a unique experience. These trips may not be for the most adventurous of travelers or those with children but was a relaxing way to see a lot in a relatively small amount of time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I had heard good reports about Viking and I wanted to take a small ship for my first cruise. I didn't want a 3,000 to 5,000 passenger ship. I also wanted to see Europe and the Rhine. The service was excellent and extremely friendly. ... Read More
I had heard good reports about Viking and I wanted to take a small ship for my first cruise. I didn't want a 3,000 to 5,000 passenger ship. I also wanted to see Europe and the Rhine. The service was excellent and extremely friendly. I enjoyed the silver spirits extra to pick my wine of any on the list. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. The food was excellent and service was great. The house keeping staff was excellent and went out of there way. We are planning to make a Viking Ocan tip to Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea! We are also interested in other Viking River cruises. I would say that my expectations were very well met and then some. I would recommend Viking River Cruises to any of my friends and will take some more. The ship was very smooth and it never felt like you were moving. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first cruise and we could not have been more impressed. Everything Viking did was 1st Class. We loved the crew, food and excursions. The 3 wonderful meals a day were plenty but if you needed a snack, there was always cookies ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we could not have been more impressed. Everything Viking did was 1st Class. We loved the crew, food and excursions. The 3 wonderful meals a day were plenty but if you needed a snack, there was always cookies or muffins along with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. After dinner, there was some type entertainment every night. We were impressed with how the staff was able to remember our names and room number. The cruise director did a remarkable job coordinating the daily tours and the entertainment every night. The captain was always available to answer any questions and help you if needed. All of the tour guides they gave us were nice, funny and informative. When needed, Viking had some nice modern busses to take us on our excursions. We purchased discount vouchers to use on our next Viking cruise. We can't wait to go back again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first cruise and I was really surprised. I anticipated that it would be very nice but there simply wasn't anything that could be improved. The staff, meals, excursions were all excellent. It's a carefree way to get ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I was really surprised. I anticipated that it would be very nice but there simply wasn't anything that could be improved. The staff, meals, excursions were all excellent. It's a carefree way to get to see lots of places and be pampered all along the way. Everything was so professionally done. We really enjoyed it. The ship was very clean and well kept. The cabins are small but just what you would expect, plus having the balcony was wonderful. Being on a ship travelling through locks was a new experience for us; really interesting! The river cruise is a vacation where you can have something to do almost all the time, or you can opt out of a few things and take it easy and enjoy the ship. We went on all the excursions and were glad we did. If/when we visit Germany again, we know the places we'd like to explore further. I took so many photos of castles! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Our accommodations were incredibly comfortable and the ship, along with its crew, made the whole experience a week-long welcome. Each meal was a new experience and the service was both gracious and friendly. Our travels in Europe had ... Read More
Our accommodations were incredibly comfortable and the ship, along with its crew, made the whole experience a week-long welcome. Each meal was a new experience and the service was both gracious and friendly. Our travels in Europe had never taken us to the ports that we visited, so every shore excursion was a first. We have taken cruises before, but always on large, ocean going ships with hundreds to thousands of passengers. This was our first river cruise and we were pleasantly surprised to find fewer than 200 passengers. Viking's smaller capacity makes the entire experience a lot more personal and individual. Every port embarkation and disembarkation went off exactly as scheduled, with plenty of time ashore to visit the high points of the larger cities or take a long wander through the smaller towns and villages. The big decision now is whether we take another Viking river cruise or try one of the Viking ocean cruises. Either way, we will definitely be back. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first River Cruise. We were not disappointed. We picked Viking because of the reviews that we had read. We were extremely satisfied with the ship, and the crew could not have been nicer. All the meals were great and the ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise. We were not disappointed. We picked Viking because of the reviews that we had read. We were extremely satisfied with the ship, and the crew could not have been nicer. All the meals were great and the wine offerings were excellent. The wait staff was very attentive with our favorites being Benz and Ivo. A big thrill was being able to enter the Wheelhouse and watch while Captain maneuvered the ship. Unfortunately, the Captain would not let me steer. [I wonder why?]. Arrival and departure was very smooth because of good planning by Viking. As soon as we were identified at the airport, Viking personnel guided us to their waiting buses and they took care of our luggage which reappeared later in our room. The pre-arranged tours were mostly good, with excellent tour guides using radio transmitting devises to each participants personal headset. This worked great. We were a little disappointed with the tour to the Black Forest which we thought was a little commercialized and the Cologne walking tour which only allowed 15 minutes to visit the interior of the Cologne Cathedral. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Viking cruise, have enjoyed a marvelous week cruising the Garonne River near Bordeaux the previous year. We had high expectations based on the Bordeaux experience, and we were not disappointed. Accommodations and ... Read More
This was our second Viking cruise, have enjoyed a marvelous week cruising the Garonne River near Bordeaux the previous year. We had high expectations based on the Bordeaux experience, and we were not disappointed. Accommodations and service were again outstanding, food was excellent. We had great weather, and the Rhine Gorge morning cruise was something we will always remember. The staff were wonderful and many were able to call us by name after the first couple of days. The only downside was the musical entertainment. We had been spoiled on the Bourdeaux cruise, and the person on this cruise was not up to the same quality at all. The other thing we missed were the large, fresh croissants each morning. Yeah, this is a small thing. We took several optional excursions, including the full day in the Alps with cog railway, and a winery visit in Mosel. These were quite nice. We are looking forward to our third Viking cruise next month in Portugal. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
my wife and i have taken ocean crises over the past 20 years but never a river cruise. we were a little skeptical about some of the reviews but believe me except for the transfer from Frankfurt to Amsterdam we could not have been treated ... Read More
my wife and i have taken ocean crises over the past 20 years but never a river cruise. we were a little skeptical about some of the reviews but believe me except for the transfer from Frankfurt to Amsterdam we could not have been treated better. our stay at the Amsterdam Apollo hotel was very nice. There was some construction going on but it did not interfere at all with our stay. We stayed the pre cruise for 2 days in Amsterdam which actually turned out to be 2 and 1/2 days because the first day of the cruise was in Amsterdam. Once on board i thought the room would be too small but it was actually big enough. we had 2 large suitcases and 2 smaller suitcases which fit under the bed with no problem. The service was exceptional. The hotel manager Thorsten was terrific. our waiter Benz was always ready to serve us. i was impressed because we were a party of 10 but after the first day he remembered all of our names and what we liked to drink. The food was very good and we always had a good choice from the menu. The excursions were very good and our excursion person was very informative and funny. I will definitely be going on another river cruise with viking and will definitely refer them to all. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Viking does a quality river cruise. The room accommodations, daily communications, service and food were excellent. At no time did we ever not know the when, where and what's of our cruise. Our shore excursion guides were very ... Read More
Viking does a quality river cruise. The room accommodations, daily communications, service and food were excellent. At no time did we ever not know the when, where and what's of our cruise. Our shore excursion guides were very professional offering wonderful background info and courteous service. My wife and I are in our late 60's, but we were able to endure the walking tours without much walking discomfort. I think one of the most favorable things other than the beautiful scenic surroundings we took in was the personal service offered by the staff. By the second day many of the staff knew us by name and really gave us a warm welcome. Our evening dinners with the guests on the ship were delightful, and still communicate with one couple. We are now considering a Viking Ocean cruise from Barcelona to Rome in 2020 since they offer a smaller cruise liner than the mega ships. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
My last real chance to do this due to age and health - and I picked a winner! The crew on this trip was outstanding. They all memorized my name within the first day. Made me feel welcome at every turn. The excursions were outstanding. ... Read More
My last real chance to do this due to age and health - and I picked a winner! The crew on this trip was outstanding. They all memorized my name within the first day. Made me feel welcome at every turn. The excursions were outstanding. One of the reasons was that each of us was provided a personal receiver so we could hear the tour guide withount crowding up to the front. Didn't feel hurried or stressed to hear his her descriptions. All of the guides lived in the areas visited on each stop, including the bus drivers (where required). They were all very knowledgeable and courteous. I liked the ability to go to top deck to get unobstructed 360 views of the shorelines. Marvelkous food and plenty of it!! I would have very much appreciated a price break for me because I had to travel alone (wife totally incapable of traveling). This meant I had to pay for two persons (for the stateroom). Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We spent two extra days in Amsterdam prior to the cruise. We arranged these on our own, saving a little money. We then did the eight day cruise up the Rhine to Basel, Switzerland. The whole family enjoyed this trip. Great accommodations, ... Read More
We spent two extra days in Amsterdam prior to the cruise. We arranged these on our own, saving a little money. We then did the eight day cruise up the Rhine to Basel, Switzerland. The whole family enjoyed this trip. Great accommodations, good food, fantastic service. Logistics were excellent. My only complaint was the short time available on some of the excursions. We could have easily spent more time in Strasbourg, Heidelberg, and the Black Forest. (Speaking of the Black Forest, show us a little more than a quick stop at a tourist trip to buy souvenirs. We know there are plenty of quaint villages in those hills.) Finally, we did the two-day extension in Lucerne, Switzerland. Initially, it appeared a bit expensive, but the accommodations were grand and the location outstanding. Overall, an excellent value for the price paid. We already have another Viking cruise booked for next summer. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to do something special and neither my husband or I had ever been on a cruise. When this opportunity came up, we decided to jump on it! We are not getting any younger and it was time to be pampered! And pampered we were from ... Read More
We wanted to do something special and neither my husband or I had ever been on a cruise. When this opportunity came up, we decided to jump on it! We are not getting any younger and it was time to be pampered! And pampered we were from the minute we boarded the Lofn. Our cabin was perfect and we really enjoyed the veranda. Meals were fabulous. We enjoyed meeting people from all over. We thorouly enjoyed the included excursions. It allowed us plenty of time to also explore on our own. Our activities director, Emily, was fantastic and made each day enjoyable. The staff on board was so attentive to our needs. The highlight of this cruise was the scenic trip down the middle Rhine where we could enjoy all the castles and vineyards from the top deck of our ship. We would encourage anyone who is thinking about a Viking cruise to just do it. You will not regret your decision! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We had been thinking of a river cruise for a couple of years and after 3 groups of friends raved about Viking we pulled the trigger on a downstream Rhine Getaway from Basel to Amsterdam. We booked the 2 extra days in Switzerland as I am ... Read More
We had been thinking of a river cruise for a couple of years and after 3 groups of friends raved about Viking we pulled the trigger on a downstream Rhine Getaway from Basel to Amsterdam. We booked the 2 extra days in Switzerland as I am convinced you need the extra time to get your body (and mind) over the time change. Those who flew in directly to the boat all had that hollow eyed and totally fried look. The trip over was fine and we were met by Viking at the baggage claim at the Euro Airport in Basel and taken right to the hotel. We stayed in the Swissotel hotel in Messeplatz right next to the convention center and took advantage of the free transit card (for all trams and buses) to go ALL over Basel. They also had a "Basel Card" promotion for the month of Jun that offered free to half price admissions to museums, etc. There are 25 museums in Basel as well as lots of good food and tour type things to do. We really liked the Roman ruins at Augusta Ruarica in Augst a short bus ride out of town. We'd like to go back to Basel and spent a week just there. The local Viking rep, Georg, was awesome for showing us how to get around and tips on where to go. We had only been on one other cruise years ago, Carnival from Norfolk to Bermuda, and the small boat (185 passengers, 43 crew) was SO much nicer than that floating megahotel ! Open seating for meals let us make friends quickly and we were on a first name basis with the bartenders, wait staff, and stewards by the second day. We got the premium beverage package as a promotion and used it extensively for upgraded drinks. They didn't seem to mind if we ordered multiple bottles of the premium wines on our package for the entire dinner table. The Lofn is 2 years old and very modern and clean. We really liked the Aquavit Terrace which is an indoor/outdoor café at the bow and had breakfast there everyday watching the scenery go by. It was also nice to have that option for meals if you didn't want the full blown dinners every night. The only architecture issue is the "quarterdeck" reception area is kind of small when a large crowd of people is gathering to check out or return on a shore excursion. The boat is just the "bus" to get you from point to point as the excursions and tours are the point of the journey; but is it a very nice "bus". And as to buses, all the excursion buses are new comfortable motor coaches. We took advantage of a mix of the included and optional excursions and almost all were exceptional (more on those that weren't later). First stop was Breisach in Alsace. We spent the morning on a self directed walking tour of the old town. Of course every town has a medieval cathedral and lots of history and this was fun. We went on the WWII history tour to the Colmar Pocket. Being retired military and still a DOD contractor I found this fascinating. The little museum in Turckheim is one of the best I have ever seen (and I support many). The chance to see the US memorial at Sligosheim and stand at the very spot where Audie Murphy won the Congressional Medal of Honor was very cool. Second stop was Strasbourg and we opted for the optional Taste of Alsace tour. This is a walking tour of the old city but you also stop at the farmer's market, boutique cheese shop, bakery, and a boutique wine shop where you have a lunch with all the stuff you bought. This was our favorite excursion. Valery our guide was really fun and entertaining. We finished with a visit to a restaurant to make our own FlammeKueche (a kind of thin crust pizza with roll our own toppings) and a visit to the cathedral and shopping area. We got maybe an hour of free time to wander as it was an all day tour. The only tour issue occurred in Strabourg as they were hosting Helmut Kohl's funeral and memorial service. Many roads were closed and the optional Alsatian wine tasting had to be canceled as the buses couldn't get to the winery. We also had to leave the dock early as they were closing part of the Rhine as part of the funeral. LOTS of security on the streets but it didn't effect our tour . We docked the next morning in Mannheim to catch a bus for a day tour to Heidelberg. This was a bus tour and about a 1.5 hr visit to the Heidelberg Castle followed by an hour or so of free time in the town. Not long enough at all to explore this city but our guide, Andreas, grew up in town and went to school there so we got lots of history with the touristy castle tour (highlight was the world's largest wine barrel - okay I guess, but I wanted to see more....). We did find a neat Christmas shop in town and got some ornaments (collecting ornaments is our thing for souvenirs). We met the boat at Gernsheim for the trip on to Rudesheim. Rudesheim was kind of a bust for us. The boat arrived at 5:00 PM on a Sunday and we had signed up for the "Dine in Rudeshiem" dinner at 6:30. Everything but the food sellers closed early on Sunday. A cheeky tram ride (think Busch Gardens tram) to a local restaurant for a dinner of the same German food that was served on the boat the next night. How much fun you had depended on where you sat in the restaurant. Our group ended up at an outlying table and they forgot to serve half our table. So the food was cold, the meat tough, and we missed most of the fun in the center of the outdoor restaurant. We would rather have had more time to explore on our own and found food on our own. The German dinner on the boat was better. But, conversely some said that dinner was their favorite excursion - to each his own. The cruise down the Middle Rhine from Rudesheim to Koblenz was AWESOME. 16 castles and the weather was perfect (see pictures). This day is the reason you do the Rhine cruise. We did the bus/walking tour to the 700 year old Marksburg castle, the only one not conquered over the years since it is WAY up high. The special German dinner onboard was the second best all trip (to the farewell last night dinner). Left Koblenz in the middle of the night to spend Jul 4th in Cologne. This was a busy day with a city walking tour in the AM with the biggest cathedral in Germany the highlight, a trip to the Bruhl palaces UNESCO site in the PM, and a Cologne beer culture dinner and pub crawl at night. I didn't think I was going to like the trip to the summer palace and falconry hunting lodge of Clemens Augustus, Prince Elector and Archbishop of Cologne. He was part of the Wittenburg family of Bavaria and was elected to the offices (an archbishop and he wasn't a priest - money talks!) But it was an unbelievable look at wealth. The German gov't used to use the place for state receptions when the capital was at Bonn. Cologne is the home of Kolsch beer and on the night tour you start with a dinner and beer and then go to a number of brauhaus (think microbrewery in the US) to sample the different flavors of Kolsch. Marci is not a beer drinker and even she enjoyed this night (of course we were with good friends we met along the way). Our guide, Marcos, was the same for both Cologne tours so that made it special. We got back to the boat just in time for the 11:45 PM departure for the Netherlands. This part of the trip was a long (13 hr) cruise to a stop to see 18th century windmills at Kinderdijk outside Rotterdam. We made a quick stop at Gorinchem to disembark the folks who were going on the optional Dutch cheese making tour. They joined us later at Kinderdijk after a LONG detour for a closed roadway. They got a really long unplanned bus ride. This part of the Netherlands is very industrial and the Rhine here is one boat yard after another with rusted out hulks and nothing else much to see. It reminded me of a trip down the Elizabeth river in Norfolk, VA. It was interesting though to talk to the capt on "open wheel house" time. This part of the Rhine is full of work boats and barges and looked like rush hour on I-64. The windmill tour was very informative and we learned a lot. There are people living in these windmills and they are functional even today. The boat arrived in Amsterdam in the middle of the night after we all enjoyed a fantastic farewell dinner and last evening with our new found friends. The disembarkation went off without a hitch. The crew had it all figured out as to how to separate bags and people depending on your flight times or if you were spending extra time in Amsterdam. We had a final breakfast in the restaurant, departed the boat at 8:30 and arrived at Schipol in plenty of time for a 1:00 PM flight. Interestingly, as we were disembarking there were people already arriving for the return trip cruise. Because we were usually on a shore tour we didn't see much of the onboard "enrichment experience". We did catch the end of a glassblowing demo one night and bought some neat Christmas pieces. They did have some local musicians on board for Germany night and Boris, who is the house piano player. Think a Billy Joel "piano man" kind of guy who was friendly if not up to the caliber of Billy Joel. One nice touch was the breakdown of the tours. Usually there were 5 groups, A,B,C.D, and "F troop". I think they did it alphabetically so we usually ended up in D group with the same friends. F troop was for those with a little less mobility and who needed a little more time, and those folks really seemed to appreciate it. A word on the trip home. We had paid $100 each and took a day to travel to the Customs and Border Patrol office at Dulles airport for a 5 minute "interview" to get Global Entry status for "expedited" entry back into the USA. In typical CBP and TSA fashion it was anything but. After showing our passports and answering security questions no less than 6 times at Schipol, Global Entry did get us around the l-o-n-g passport line in Atlanta, only to be first in line with all those people who caught up to us to wait 45 minutes in the int'l baggage carousel to shlep our bags 50 yds to the domestic carousel (NO customs in sight, why did WE have to do this and not Delta) and then stand in line again for the full TSA security screening all over again ! No pre-check line. So what good is Global Entry? All in all, about a 9.5 out of 10. Now, we want to do the Danube cruise to visit all the Christmas markets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We went on this cruise because it was a good way to see Europe without having to plan out the whole trip. The ship was great! All of the crew was AMAZING. The food was really good too! Our family ate on the boat for almost every meal. ... Read More
We went on this cruise because it was a good way to see Europe without having to plan out the whole trip. The ship was great! All of the crew was AMAZING. The food was really good too! Our family ate on the boat for almost every meal. There were always so many options to pick from and the waiters really took the time to get to know you. We also met most of our friends during meal times. EVERYONE that we talked to on the boat was so nice. We made so many new friends who we are planning on visiting in the future. The excursions were fantastic. It was helpful that we had a guided tour at each location because it helped us know where we were and where we needed to meet to get back on the boat. I would recommend Viking to anyone because it was effortless to plan. The whole trip was planned out for you and all you had to do was show up. It was perfect for a family or couple or individual who has never been to Europe before. I think our whole family would go on another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
So I had actually never been on a cruise prior to this cruise on the Viking Lofn. In fact, I was a little wary about cruises as I've heard stories about the big cruises down in the Caribbean...and the stories weren't good. But ... Read More
So I had actually never been on a cruise prior to this cruise on the Viking Lofn. In fact, I was a little wary about cruises as I've heard stories about the big cruises down in the Caribbean...and the stories weren't good. But I went in with an open mind, and I can absolutely say that I was blown away! From the bartender's remembering our drink preferences to the maitre d' remembering our room number to the waitstaff at meals remembering our dining preferences...I couldn't believe it! The rooms are small, but they were actually larger than I expected based on what I've heard about cruises. Plus, the videos on the Viking website showing the rooms and the ship are excellent. I feel like I already knew the layout of the ship before we ever arrived! The food. I can't even begin to describe how amazing the food was on board! I work in the food industry, and I understand the difficulty of producing amazing food. But Chef Oliver consistently impressed us! We would absolutely go back on another cruise on the Viking Lofn...in fact, I would pack up and leave this very minute if I could! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We had always taken ocean cruises and a friend told us about the Rhine River cruise. We enjoyed it so much more because the ship was smaller, it had less people and was more relaxed. We enjoyed each of the shore excursions because each ... Read More
We had always taken ocean cruises and a friend told us about the Rhine River cruise. We enjoyed it so much more because the ship was smaller, it had less people and was more relaxed. We enjoyed each of the shore excursions because each one helped us see the important things in each city. Also the staff helped to make everything enjoyable. They were all very helpful in many ways, especially the waiters in the dining room. We decided to stay in Lucerne for a couple days before our cruise which was truly a wonderful experience. What a beautiful town! The excursions there were great. We also stayed in Amsterdam after the cruise. It is a beautiful city and we enjoyed visiting the Van Gogh and Rijks museums. We had been warned about the pickpockets which caused us to be wary of our surroundings and all the bike riders made it difficult to walk around. We are looking forward to our next Viking cruise. Read Less
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