Sail Date: May 2017
My husband and I chose Viking because of their excellent reputation and cruise destinations. It was also important to us that at least one shore excursion a day was included in the price of the cruise. The service is top notch and very ... Read More
My husband and I chose Viking because of their excellent reputation and cruise destinations. It was also important to us that at least one shore excursion a day was included in the price of the cruise. The service is top notch and very friendly. Everything is well organized and efficient. We were in an A cabin that had all the amenities we needed. It was very small, but we spent little time in the room except to sleep. On our next Viking cruise, we will not book morning and afternoon excursions. We were so tired that we never once were able to stay up for the after dinner entertainment. The shore excursions were all excellent experiences, with only one exception. ( A wine tasting tour that was mostly watching a video) The guides were always so passionate and informative. This was so refreshing and charming. Make sure you have very comfortable shoes and expect lots of walking. The food was always good and plentiful, but in no way gourmet. Sorry foodies. It is nice that beer and wine is included with meals, but I was disappointed in the Malbec red wine that was served. It was very harsh and not to my taste, and was the only red wine that was offered without additional cost. I would highly recommend Viking to my friends and family. We are looking forward to our next trip in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We had previously cruised the Danube with Viking and wanted to have another river cruise vacation. We were not disappointed! We booked a two day extension in Lucerne, Switzerland and set sail later in the week from Basel. Lucerne was ... Read More
We had previously cruised the Danube with Viking and wanted to have another river cruise vacation. We were not disappointed! We booked a two day extension in Lucerne, Switzerland and set sail later in the week from Basel. Lucerne was beautiful and our Viking host was welcoming and gave us a great walking tour of Old Town. We met happy, friendly fellow travelers on the ship and enjoyed the attentive service of the ship's staff. The cabin was comfortable and the food was excellent with more than one dining option for breakfast and lunch. Even though this was a "small" ship, there were many places to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, the view, a conversation, or a book. The excursions in each port were well-planned and guided by knowledgeable local citizens. It was definitely a memorable experience! We've already booked a Viking Ocean Cruise to see the Panama Canal and expect that the Viking ocean cruise will be just as wonderful as the Viking river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We decided to take the Rhine River Cruise since we had been stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in the mid-seventies when our two daughters were young and thought it would be good for the whole family to visit again many of the places ... Read More
We decided to take the Rhine River Cruise since we had been stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in the mid-seventies when our two daughters were young and thought it would be good for the whole family to visit again many of the places we had seen 40 years ago. Since we had never taken a river cruise but had heard from several friends that it was the way to go, we decided to take the plunge. We started with two extra days in Lake Lucerne and ended with two extra days in Amsterdam. While the days on the front and end of the cruise were nice, it was the time aboard the Lofn that made the trip. From the time we boarded in Basel until we disembarked in Amsterdam, we were treated with remarkable professionalism, thoughtfulness, courtesy and genuine hospitality. From the Captain to the chambermaid, my family was made to feel like the staff was really pleased to have us on board. No matter where we sat for our meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner), the serving staff could not have done more to make our meals enjoyable. There was not a dish or local treat that we did not enjoy. The chef and his staff created delicious meals that not only pleased the palate but beckon my family members to return for seconds. I was surprised that I only gained seven pounds on this trip. The shore excursions to local special places to visit at each stop were well organized, timely in their departure and return to ship, and led by knowledgeable guides who enlightened us on history and local culture. The room accommodations, while not very large, was well designed, well lighted, and provided adequate space for showering, dressing, with a very comfortable bed. This was a cruise that our family will be chatting about for years to come. There was one hiccup on this trip. My daughter, Tabitha, and son-in-law, Sean, traveled back to Massachusetts on a separate flight while my wife and daughter, Michele, flew back to Virginia. Unfortunately, when Tabitha and Sean arrived at the airport in Amsterdam at 4am on the day of departure, they were told that while Tabitha had a ticket, Sean was nowhere in the system. As you can imagine, this was a very stressful couple of hours. Fortunately, Sean was able to buy a ticket which enable him to fly home with Tabitha. Between our AAA representative, Deborah Lily (a true professional), and my phone call to Aura Calderon, Viking Customer Services representative, we were able to receive full repayment for the ticket home and each member of our family received a voucher for $400 for future travel with Viking. A very satisfactory ending to a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because my sister and son had not been in Germany or The Netherlands before and my Mom and I wanted to go back. We needed an option that did not involve alot of traveling and getting in and out of a bus (up and down ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my sister and son had not been in Germany or The Netherlands before and my Mom and I wanted to go back. We needed an option that did not involve alot of traveling and getting in and out of a bus (up and down motion). My mom has a walker. We also did not want the typical cruise where you are at sea several days and do not see significant land. We wanted to visit cities, etc. We picked a river cruise, and Viking is the 1# river cruiser! We really like the smaller size. We did not want a casino, a lot of dance contests, etc. We had been on 3 Holland America, and really loved them, but we were tired of that. We wanted a small ship. We also did not want too strenuous (we did an expedition ship from Iceland to Greenland, it was great, but my mom could not always land in Greenland. This cruise forfilled our expectations, so now we are going to Russia on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
EveryThing was fabulous. The ship was beautifully decorated, provided a lovely environment for our meals and entertainment. Our cabin was perfect although a french balcony not a suite, there was more than adequate room for the both of ... Read More
EveryThing was fabulous. The ship was beautifully decorated, provided a lovely environment for our meals and entertainment. Our cabin was perfect although a french balcony not a suite, there was more than adequate room for the both of us. Dresser and closet were roomy and provided us the ability to put our suitcases under the bed. Dining was excellent, not a meal I didn't enjoy, many choices as every meal, don't miss the mango jam, or the eggs benedict, lunches were very good. And dinner every night offered a lovely variety of dishes. There was of course a huge variety and choice of desserts every night. Service by everyone was fabulous and efficient. We would leave for breakfast before our shore excursion and be back in 30 minutes or less and our cabin was clean, neat and if you leave a pair of socks on the floor you may find them folded neatly and lying on top of your shoes. The ports and shore excursions provided information and education about the towns we were in, with history of the country. Also embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest and most efficient of any I have experienced, nicely coordinated. The only negative, the smoking area by the walking path, resulted in us not being able to use the sun deck because of the smoking always going on there. This should be a non smoking trip. We are going on the Danube cruise next year, I only hope there is not smoking on the sun deck on that ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Everything exceeded our expectations, from arrival to departure! Our escort from the airport to the ship was easy, the transportation was comfortable and enjoyable. When we arrived, our room was ready and we were able to get settled right ... Read More
Everything exceeded our expectations, from arrival to departure! Our escort from the airport to the ship was easy, the transportation was comfortable and enjoyable. When we arrived, our room was ready and we were able to get settled right away. We were very please with the excursions, especially the optional excursion to the cheese farm. We were able to sit down with the owners in their own dining room and taste three different cheeses they had made over the past year! The included excursions were all excellent - the castles were all breathtaking! We tipped each of the excursion guides - they were excellent, informative, professional, and one was extra fun! The food was delicious, the regional wines were fabulous, and the service was top notch. The entertainment was very good and there were some impromptu performances that added to the fun! We're looking forward to our next Viking River Cruise in a few weeks! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Hard to describe the attentiveness if the crew. The Lofn was simply wonderful. It was our second Christmas Market cruise, 2015 on the Danube, 2016 on the Rhine. The Shiip was spotless, Rene, the chef and 'big Rene', the cruise ... Read More
Hard to describe the attentiveness if the crew. The Lofn was simply wonderful. It was our second Christmas Market cruise, 2015 on the Danube, 2016 on the Rhine. The Shiip was spotless, Rene, the chef and 'big Rene', the cruise director were both knowledgeable and made the ten days fly by. Food was much better than in 2015....cabin was kept spotless by Robert. Svetlana, the concierge, was very helpful with her suggestions. I have some mobility issues and she found a solution to every problem I had. Rene the cruise director also had a wonderful sense of humor and went out of his way to make the cruise enjoyable for all....especially the entertainment that came on board, much better than in 2015....ditto the demos by the kitchen staff, much better. I simply loved the Lofn and her crew and did not want the cruise to end. Only one suggestion..Viking, would have loved to buy a Charm/ Viking pendent that was sterling silver...maybe they could be ordered?? Will definitely be cruising with Viking again...river, ocean, doesn't matter....excellent experience! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Wow! When I researched river cruises, I thought Viking must be planting positive reviews, but now I know, they're the real deal. We are economy travelers on our first river cruise. We enjoyed 6 ocean cruises, until RC's low ... Read More
Wow! When I researched river cruises, I thought Viking must be planting positive reviews, but now I know, they're the real deal. We are economy travelers on our first river cruise. We enjoyed 6 ocean cruises, until RC's low standards turned us off to giant Hotel 6 ships. (Smaller is always better). River cruises are always on sale 2-4-1 and we bit - and it tasted Delicious! Super clean, Outstanding service (budget $15 pp/day because the staff earns & deserves their tips), Fine dining, Nice guests, Well Planned itineraries, Great value - All Superlatives earned by Viking. Relax & Learn. The shore excursions were Super; the guides Excellent*. Forget the salty seas and go down to the rivers. We will be back and Viking will be our choice. Now the "but"s: the drinks are way overpriced in the bar (but the pianist was superb), stick with the included wine & beer at meals and avoid pricey cocktails & wine upgrades (or buy their drink package if you're a heavy drinker). While the included land excursions were Great, our paid optional tours were busts. On shore 'German Dinner' was bad food, poor service & forced fun (maybe the on board dining spoiled us - we were told the 'Rude'esheim dinner was just authentic ly bad). I could only score 2 beers from the absent waitresses. Forget the 'train' (it's a tractor pulling carriages) and walk to the same restaurant for better food & service (that happened). Also, the Moselle Wine Tour was Painfully Bad (*maybe a better guide would have saved it). We loved the 2 small tastes of great Reisling wine (yup, that was it - with a bowl of old pretzels) but I could have given a better tour. I heard second-hand that Mercedes factory tour was also a waste of time. Yet the included tours were all very good. Tips: cheap staterooms are great, no need for a big window on one side, use the ship. Shop the deals (we saved with VTG). Don't skip the wheelhouse tour. Try to eat less than I did (try). Thanks, Gavin, Joy, Jane & Elvir - Love you all! Woody Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise because it offered the chance to visit several countries we wanted to, view a multitude of castles, and do so with the benefit of experienced guides and organizers rather than trying to wing it on our own. ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because it offered the chance to visit several countries we wanted to, view a multitude of castles, and do so with the benefit of experienced guides and organizers rather than trying to wing it on our own. Absolutely the only thing that did not go perfectly smoothly was the initial flight to Europe, which was delayed due to weather and caused us to miss our connecting flight. Fortunately they were able to get us on the next flight and less than two hours were lost. From the moment we claimed our bags at the airport in Switzerland, our only real worry was whether or not our souvenirs would all fit in our bags for the return trip. -Ship: The ship itself was beautiful, spacious, well-maintained, and comfortable. The other Viking ships we passed on the river appeared to be up to the same high standard, while some of the other cruise lines did not. By the end of the trip I will admit to having felt a bit of prideful disdain for the ships of other cruise lines. -Cabin: Our cabin was perfect for the occasion. Comfortable enough to move around in, plenty of space for our belongings and luggage. The heated floors in the bathroom were especially appreciated. A larger cabin or suite would be nice if we intended to spend a large amount of time in our cabin, but space comes at a premium on a ship and we decided that would be a waste given the large number of excursions we had planned. It all worked out, as we essentially only used our cabin for sleeping and showers. -Dining: The food was consistently excellent, with a daily variety of local dishes and wine, and a selection of alternative dishes that remain available throughout the entire cruise. At no point was I anything less than impressed by excellent meals provided on the ship. -Entertainment and Activities: Although my wife and I did not attend many of the on-ship activities due to having a full schedule of shore excursions, we found the ones we did attend to be informative and entertaining. -Service: Everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome and like family. When I wanted to purchase a jacket and my size was not on the ship, our concierge got in contact with every other Viking boat on the river and within a day or two the jacket was hanging from our cabin door when we returned from an excursion. No request was not accommodated in some way. -Ports and Shore excursions: The tour guides were universally excellent, with a strong grasp of English and an intimate knowledge of the local area's history and present situation. Many of the excursions included food and drink, and while not all of these were of the same quality as the food on the ship, none were disappointing. I could take this same cruise again and probably still come home wanting to go back for another. My wife and I were so pleased and impressed with Viking that our only question is which of their cruises to plan for next. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Viking's 2 night longer cruise along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel is the way to go. The crew of the Lofn was the best. Cruise director Rene was entertaining and informative, Anna Maria at the front desk ever helpful, concierge ... Read More
Viking's 2 night longer cruise along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel is the way to go. The crew of the Lofn was the best. Cruise director Rene was entertaining and informative, Anna Maria at the front desk ever helpful, concierge Svetlana excellent... Port selection was excellent. The extra time in Amsterdam allowed us to visit the Van Gogh & Rijksmuseum in addition to Viking's included canal and walking tours. Especially enjoyed the tours of Kinderdijkt windmills, Marksburg Castle and best of all the picturesque medieval village of Colmar. Cruised the gorgeous Rhine river castle district all afternoon with hilarious and informative commentary by cruise director Rene. Heidelberg Castle, Cologne and Strasbourg were entertaining. Only our optional Alsatian winery tour was below par and the ending tour through commercial/industrial Basel was nothing special. When docked in Breisach with an afternoon open I took the river cruise opportunity to leave the boat and hike the city to the top of the hill and back to the docks. Enjoyable, as was an impromptu concierge guided afternoon walk off the ship through the attractive riverside town of Speyer. An unexpected pleasure. Meals were excellent with German Night buffet with entertainment tops. Love it when local cuisine is featured. We always had a light (heh!) buffet lunch on the sunny Aquavit terrace but in a shady spot as a change of pace from the fine restaurant. Entertainment on river cruises often disappoints but we had a beyond excellent cello and piano concert one evening that was a trip highlight. The two enrichment lectures I attended were fun & informative. Viking's transportation and support for our post Lucerne extension was excellent and always helpful including assistance at the airport for departure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was a family trip - my two brothers and their wives also came with me and my husband. We decided on this trip largely because the Rhine river, the various ports of call, and the timing was something all six of us could agree upon. ... Read More
This was a family trip - my two brothers and their wives also came with me and my husband. We decided on this trip largely because the Rhine river, the various ports of call, and the timing was something all six of us could agree upon. Took a 10-day cruise with the first day being a free day in Amsterdam and the last a day in Basal. We found this to be a great way for all of us to get together. We could chat and enjoy ourselves, while we left all the arrangements to the professionals. From the moment we booked the cruise, we received close attention from the company. They were very helpful in giving pre-trip information about how/what to pack, language issues, money matters (currencies and credit card use), value added taxes, and what to expect in terms of any additional on-board charges. As soon as we stepped off the plane in Amsterdam on Oct 3rd, right until we went to the airport in Basal to return home on Oct 13, every aspect of the trip was well-coordinated, right on time and efficient. All the included shore excursions were excellent! The guides were far more knowledgeable and informative than we ever could have dreamed. They were personable and forthcoming with answers. We could have never gotten such good over-views of the cities, history and traditions had we traveled on our own and tried to get by with travel books. And yet, even with the included shore excursions, we were still allowed time to explore the ports on our own. It was a nice combination of guided tours and free time for personal exploration. The daily newsletters which arrived in our cabin every afternoon were very helpful and informative for planning our free time the next day. The service was friendly,responsive and efficient. The food was terrific - that is the only way I can describe it! (As a side note, one of our party had suddenly developed an extreme allergy to beef, lamb and pork. She could not pre-arrange for special meals before the ship sailed because she had only learned the cause of her reactions a few days before the date. The restaurant manager and chef went to great pains to consult her every day to make sure there were meals available for her to eat safely. Their attention was very, very impressive!) As a final note, the Program/Tour Director was the funniest and most entertaining person alive. He was able to make the time spent aboard ship a time we looked forward to every evening. We (the six of us) still quote him - "Ciao, for now." We truly enjoyed every minute on the cruise and were more than satisfied with the value, service and accommodations. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Our previous experience with Viking makes us return customers. We travel with another couple and they feel the same. The food is consistently superior. The staff are friendly and efficient. The tour guides are knowledgable and have a good ... Read More
Our previous experience with Viking makes us return customers. We travel with another couple and they feel the same. The food is consistently superior. The staff are friendly and efficient. The tour guides are knowledgable and have a good sense of humour. We had a request a little outside of the norm it was handled in the same fashion. The selection of sites and optional tours is always great. We enjoy having the inclusive nature of Vikings pricing. It is good to have no financial surprises, everything is included. We have now convinced another couple to join us on the next cruise. We set off with total confidence that our holiday will be completely relaxing. Viking keeps us busy without rushing. They are always on time and have the right amount of activity for a diverse group of people. There are enough options for independent sightseeing as well as group touring. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Because is river navigation, it give the opportunity to view the beauty of the country side of the different countries that we pass trough,also is small group of passenger which made more friendly and private journal . the embarkation and ... Read More
Because is river navigation, it give the opportunity to view the beauty of the country side of the different countries that we pass trough,also is small group of passenger which made more friendly and private journal . the embarkation and desembarkantion are very well organized. The included tours are very well designed to give a good experience and knowledge to the the passenger about the history of each place, the guides have excellent knowledge and are capable to keep out of political issues when situation arise from passenger curiosity . The optional tour looks very interesting but are at the expensive side . In regard the crews , they are very attentive with every one ,they show concern for your well been specially if you have any issues with food such as allergies or if you are vegetation or just does not like some food Definitely we will take others trip with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We were really looking forward to this, our second Viking cruise (Basel to North Sea / Rhine Getaway). It didn't meet our hopes in almost any way. Get up early, walking tour of a town or city for 2-3 hours, back to the ship for ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this, our second Viking cruise (Basel to North Sea / Rhine Getaway). It didn't meet our hopes in almost any way. Get up early, walking tour of a town or city for 2-3 hours, back to the ship for lunch, then sit around all afternoon or pay for an extra excursion. Not exactly 'all included' , not even close. If you took all of the extra cost afternoon tours, you would spend about $800 per person more than the initial cost. Disappointing food, also. Hard to see how 'spring rolls' or 'sauteed chinese egg noodles' fit into a menu in Germany. But, there was very little 'german' themed food. Another disappointment overall, and a major Viking failure. Viking could have, and should have, done a much better job with this presumably popular cruise. No need to rush around in the morning if there is no included activity in the afternoon. Since this is a cruise, why was most all of the 'cruising' at night when guests were asleep. Only 2 days of daytime cruising. Overall, we felt rushed throughout for no good reason. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
This was my 3rd Viking River cruise and I have a few more I intend to enjoy as time permits. Viking takes care of you from the minute you step onto the airplane at your home airport (if you use Viking Air) through to when you step on the ... Read More
This was my 3rd Viking River cruise and I have a few more I intend to enjoy as time permits. Viking takes care of you from the minute you step onto the airplane at your home airport (if you use Viking Air) through to when you step on the airplane at your return airport. In between, you are educated daily about tomorrow's adventures (tours) which are included int he price including skilled professional bus drivers and local tour guides, often educated and interesting locals rather than tired droning traditional guides. The food and the service onboard is excellent and often the company is as well, because you will be traveling with like minded guests interested in more than palm trees (not that there is anything wrong with palm trees!) I have invited 3 travel companions to join me on Viking Cruises and all are interested in repeating the experience. In a couple months I will be enjoying my first Viking Ocean cruise, if they do rivers this well, the ocean is going to be grand. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because we heard nothing but good about it!! And, man were they right! Everything about the journey was spectacular!! We had the very best food and drink. Everyone was so accommodating! There are a few servers ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we heard nothing but good about it!! And, man were they right! Everything about the journey was spectacular!! We had the very best food and drink. Everyone was so accommodating! There are a few servers we'll NEVER forget!! We had the kindest, most caring crew. right down to the housekeepers! And, we had the most enjoyable adventures we could experience! There is so much to see and do along the way. If you weren't interested in a planned excursion, the staff would arrange for whatever activity did interest you!! And, the different cultures along the way just enhanced the experience! The sights and views were unbelievable! Better yet, the details about the country side were shared by knowledgable staff! The ship was clean and easy to get around. Best of all, we made lifetime friends with other guests! And, we're doing it again next fall!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
A river cruise has been on our "bucket list" and so has Switzerland. This cruise, with the option to extend our stay in Lucerne, seemed to cover them both! We had a lovely time. Truly enjoyed the land portion in Switzerland at ... Read More
A river cruise has been on our "bucket list" and so has Switzerland. This cruise, with the option to extend our stay in Lucerne, seemed to cover them both! We had a lovely time. Truly enjoyed the land portion in Switzerland at the end. Did not have one complaint. My husband has even told people about the food and the nice size portions - and he HATES to eat! The staff was wonderful. Program Director Rene was one of the highlights. Every detail was attended to. And yet...we decided we prefer ocean cruising over river cruising. Not sure why. However, because we were so impressed with Viking, we are pursuing taking an ocean cruise with them next year. All of the guides on the tours were delightful and knowledgeable. Loved the medieval cities. Nice transportation when off the Lofn. Great weather! Glad we ended our trip in Switzerland. We truly did not have a complaint. It was a great experience. Go Viking!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
The Viking Lofn staff and crew were simply amazing, very friendly and outgoing. They made sure that this vacation was incredible. The only hitch in the vacation came directly from Viking, and that was the flight arrangements. Flying ... Read More
The Viking Lofn staff and crew were simply amazing, very friendly and outgoing. They made sure that this vacation was incredible. The only hitch in the vacation came directly from Viking, and that was the flight arrangements. Flying from Los Angeles into Paris, and only having a 1-1/2 hour layover does not give enough time for any mishaps in the schedule. We missed our connecting flight to Amsterdam by 10 minutes, since we had left Los Angeles 45 minutes late. We eventually made it to Amsterdam and stayed at the Movenpick Hotel right at the port. I had ordered the IAmsterdam cards for everyone in our party, which allows bus/trains etc. Well worth the price since we arrived 3 days before the cruise. We fell in love with Amsterdam. Would definitely go back there. When we boarded the Lofn we had a Veranda B cabin. The cabin is beautifully laid out,plenty of storage. We enjoyed the balcony, sitting out and watching the swans, and scenery. Some of the locks we went thru we saw from our balcony, quite an experience. Our room steward learned out habits quickly and made sure that we always had fresh water and an ice bucket filled with ice. Cabin was spotless! The shore excursions were fun and informative. We did do a lot of walking, though there was a leisure group, for those who had trouble with stairs, and hills. Most of what they saw were the same things but just easier access. The personal communication systems work great. Was able to hear the tour guides clearly, could even wander a little and be able to still hear them. Food was wonderful, if we wanted only appetizers they brought them, can't decide between two things, no problem. Wine and beer were good. We didn't get the silver package, if you like mixed drinks it might be worth the price. Most everyone on board was over 55. The ship is really not set up for children. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose the Rhine Getaway largely because of the moderate summer temperatures in northern Europe in July/August. This was our first river cruise. We had no ideas what to expect. My biggest concern was that there would be little ... Read More
We chose the Rhine Getaway largely because of the moderate summer temperatures in northern Europe in July/August. This was our first river cruise. We had no ideas what to expect. My biggest concern was that there would be little independent time and little activity. My concerns were quickly dispelled. We did the Amsterdam pre-extension, which I highly recommend because Amsterdam is an WONDERFUL city, and we were able to adjust to the time change. The hotel, the Radisson Blu, was well-located and quite nice. The included walking tour was fine. Our independent travel was better, walking, enjoying the incredible architecture, navigating public transportation, visiting wonderful museums, and dining in very good restaurants along the canals. The included canal boat tour on day 2 of our cruise was ok...something a tourist must do. The cruise itself was quite good, usually cruising during the night, a morning stop and walking tour in an historic city/town. We were often bussed to the towns, but this was fine as the Viking-owned busses are quite nice and the road trip was interesting. There were usually optional afternoon and/or evening tours. I was really impressed though that for the rest of the day, Viking offered shuttle service to and from the towns we had visited, so we could explore independently if we wanted. We only did one optional tour--to the medieval village of Colmar in France. Our tour guide was excellent and this was a lovely little French town that was untouched by the war (unlike, say, Cologne). Our only disappointment was the Black Forest tour. Frankly what we saw of the Black Forest was not that exciting and the destination was a touristy shopping place that sold a lot of cuckoo clocks. Staff on the cruise was outstanding, even compared to our positive big cruise ship experiences. The Program Director, Renee, was SO organized and entertaining. A good piano/singer was with us in the evenings for the entire trip, and a few local entertainers were also brought on board. In the process of dining, visiting the lounge, and daily trips, we met many friendly people and shared travel experiences. The ship is very well appointed, sunny and open, light contemporary decor. Food was generally very good. We purchased the wine package, which we would not repeat. The regular wines were fine and the package was way to heavily loaded with German wines for our taste. We did a 2-day extension in Lucerne, a truly beautiful city. I regret that we did not do the optional train into the Alps, but just walking the city and cruising on Lake Lucerne were very good. My only complaint about Viking had to do with travel and left hand not communicating with right hand. We booked through Viking Air because of the low cost and because it included escorted transfer from the airport to our hotel. Although there are several direct flights from Detroit to Amsterdam, we were booked initially with a 1-hour layover in Dulles, just barely enough time to make our connecting flight to Amsterdam if nothing went wrong. What were they thinking! It took 3 phone calls and a lot of stress before Viking Air agreed to change our flight, which in the end had a reasonable connection in Newark. Upon arrival in Amsterdam, we found that Viking Air had not informed the Viking transfer company (all of these services seem to be subcontracted) that we would be arriving 3 hours later, so there was no one to pick us up when we arrived. There were several red-shirted Viking reps there however who did arrange a pickup for us, but in our fatigued state, the delay was really frustrating. Also in a call to Viking before our trip, we were assured that we could check in to our hotel upon early morning arrival. The hotel made it very clear that they had been fully booked the night before and no one could check in until 1 pm. Again, bad communication and a lot of frustrated Viking travelers arriving at the hotel. I do have to add that our transfer from our Lucerne hotel to the Zurich airport was quite nice. My husband and I were chauffeured in a Mercedes, and the driver gave us a nice tour of Zurich on the way. So, we are looking at a possible Viking Danube trip for 2017. If we book it, we will: 1) monitor the Viking air reservation situation very closely and 2) do more research on independent travel possibilities along our itinerary, now that we know that those opportunities will be there. Oh yes, and bring your home medicine cabinet (aspirin, antidiarrheals, etc.) as there is no medical care on these ships. I had to spend time in Amsterdam searching for drug stores when there were much better things to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
My husband and I sailed with 4 other family members. We explored various options for several months before selecting Viking - which ultimately became a unanimous decision. Throughout the planning process, our questions were always ... Read More
My husband and I sailed with 4 other family members. We explored various options for several months before selecting Viking - which ultimately became a unanimous decision. Throughout the planning process, our questions were always addressed and answered professionally and with much enthusiasm. Once our trip began, we immediately knew that the welcoming and caring staff on the Lofn was committed to anticipating our every need, and they did so with genuine warmth and infectious smiles. Our rooms were beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean. The entertainment in the lounge was most enjoyable, and the Cruise Director's daily messages about upcoming events, activities, and destinations were always informative and helpful. The meals were outstanding- with every attention to detail, quality, appearance, options, and amazing taste! The tours offered and available at each destination were well-planned and beautifully executed. In summary, from beginning to conclusion, our Viking experience was absolutely first-class, and we would encourage anyone considering a river cruise to go Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
This was my second river cruise on Viking. In 2015 I did the Paris to Normandy trip on the Rinda. The Lofn was equally well appointed and the and the staff as wonderfully attentive. The itinerary of Basel to the North Sea provided many ... Read More
This was my second river cruise on Viking. In 2015 I did the Paris to Normandy trip on the Rinda. The Lofn was equally well appointed and the and the staff as wonderfully attentive. The itinerary of Basel to the North Sea provided many interesting stops and local guides both well informed and personable. The onboard lectures were very well done by local talent. The food was excellent with a good variety of choices. The staff met with one member of our party with gluten and lactose issues and prepared personal meals to accommodate her needs. The one area I think needs improving is the system of rafting with other river boats at docking. The boats are mere inches apart and if you have a veranda it is unusable. This happened to us for the better part of two days. Everyone in our party of seven thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. We will be planning another for next summer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was the first trip to Europe together for my wife and I. It was also our first river cruise. The entire trip was wonderful, more than we had hoped for. Viking handled our flights and transfers which all went without incident. Our ... Read More
This was the first trip to Europe together for my wife and I. It was also our first river cruise. The entire trip was wonderful, more than we had hoped for. Viking handled our flights and transfers which all went without incident. Our trip was the cruise from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam down the Rhine. We were very jet lagged after three flights to get to Basel, but the Viking staff took care of us. Our bags were taken at the airport and materialized outside our cabin later in the day. We knew the Viking company was different when we approached the bus and saw it was crisp white with the Viking logo and painted with scenes from various places covered by their cruises and part of a fleet of buses maintained for Viking operations in the region. The buses were key to our port excursions. The timing of ship departures, arrivals, tour times and buses was precise and trouble free. We had chosen Viking for our first cruise for several reasons, 1) the choice of cruises was large and varied enough to satisfy our needs and at a fair price, 2) the design of the new longboat was clean, modern and what I was comfortable with, 3) the included shore excursions were good enough but there were add-on excursions to choose from that filled out the day. We were pleased with the quality of food and wines offered but I did get tired of the crowd in the main restaurant. Which is why I chose to eat many meals in the Aquavit lounge with that wonderful open, bright and airy view. The ship's staff was very helpful, knew what we wanted when we sat down and made the trip special. We took every opportunity to explore our cities, first through the tour and then independently when time permitted. In the major cities of Strasbourg, Cologne and Amsterdam the ship's tour director arranged for buses to be available at central locations and at enough time slots to accommodate coming and going from the ship without the need to call for a taxi. The highlight of our tours was a trip from Basel through Switzerland to the nearby central Alps, complete with a cog train trip up to Kleine Scheidegg for a remarkable view of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau covered with snow shining in the rare sunshine. The weather this spring in Europe had been very rainy. We were fortunate that the Rhine River water level did not rise much further than we experienced as I saw one ship was unable to go upriver to Basel requiring the passengers to pack up and go by bus. Viking got us and our tour busses out on time rain or not. We were fortunate that the rain stopped in time for us to wander about the city without our very large red Viking umbrellas. Each tour was choreographed by the tour director to keep group sizes manageable. A special leisure group was set up for the folks on the ship who had mobility problems. Leaving the ship required a departure card and a tour group card. All we had to do was look for the bus with our number and follow our tour guide. The tour guides were top notch; we were provided with details of the cities and cathedrals and also interesting tidbits about everyday life. Every person was provided a radio and set of ear buds to listen to the tour guide so it was possible to drag behind the group a bit to take photos and yet still hear every word. We were very thankful for the several occasions when the ship would cruise during the day. That meant no early rise and we could dawdle over breakfast. The middle Rhine cruise was one of those occasions and thoroughly cured my desire to see castles. Every turn in the river, every hill seemed to have a castle. Our tour director kept up an informative talk during this part of the cruise pointing out each castle as we came upon it. Drinks were served on the top deck for those of us braving the winds and occasional rains during this castle show. Just remarkable how smoothly the Viking ship sailed through the chop with no sense of motion. We could hardly tell when the ship departed at night or when it made landing early the next day. There were occasional bumps during lock maneuvers. We enjoyed our view from the full size sliding window in our cabin. Except for those occasions when we had to dock with another Viking ship alongside. Then all you saw was another persons cabin inches away. Thankfully those piggyback arrangements were varied between port and starboard so we were not always impacted. I realized that paying extra for a full veranda would not have been useful and that the above deck accommodations of the ship were very comfortable and never crowded or blocked by another ship. Our French balcony cabin was well suited to our needs. I had expected it to feel cramped, but it was not. There was plenty of closet space and dresser space to completely unpack our bags, stow them under the bed and not touch them until departure. Even the bathroom felt uncrowded thanks to the glass doors of the shower folding inward thus opening up space. Wifi was a bit low in the cabin but available in all the lounge areas. There was always a live piano player in the lounge for entertainment and additional local talent was brought onboard during the nights when the ship was staying later in port. We heard both classical and folk music from groups who were exceedingly good. The concierge service was nice to have. I was able to arrange for some changes in one of our tours and to check on our final departure arrangements. The flights out of Amsterdam were all early so the ship provided breakfast starting at 0430. Bags only had to be set out for pickup 1 hour prior to departure. Each departing group was announced clearly so there was no confusion. We found the entire trip to be carefree, without the normal worries associated with making our own arrangements for trips, tours, etc. This experience of a Viking River cruise was exactly what we were looking for. I recommend it to all our friends and I will be planning another along a different river sometime in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our 1st River Cruise. We have been on multiple large ship cruises. I was extremely impressed how up close & personal the river cruise was in comparison to the others. We loved the fact that a tour was included in each ... Read More
This was our 1st River Cruise. We have been on multiple large ship cruises. I was extremely impressed how up close & personal the river cruise was in comparison to the others. We loved the fact that a tour was included in each of our ports. I'm sure we saw & learned things about each port that we never would have, if we had to pay for every single tour we went on. Each of our tour guides were very passionate about their cities & relayed so many important facts to us. The name of our cruise director was Gavin & he made himself extremely accessible to all the travelers answering numerous questions about each port, including where to buy the best chocolate at the best prices. We did have a briefing about each port before dinner each night, but we always have our own personal questions to ask & he was always willing to listen. We will do it again, but right now we both work, so we have to work it into our schedules. It gives us something to look forward to. Thank you to Viking for making this such a wonderful vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
Exploring another part of Europe. Historical cities, great castle views. Excellent cuisine to sample. Wonderful experience.. Our 4th Viking River Cruise...and our best. Our extended stay in Amersterdam was well worth the added ... Read More
Exploring another part of Europe. Historical cities, great castle views. Excellent cuisine to sample. Wonderful experience.. Our 4th Viking River Cruise...and our best. Our extended stay in Amersterdam was well worth the added expense. Our 4th cruise and our best.Yet. we enjoy meeting new people..we have kept in contact with those we met. Service is wonderful. The staff obviously takes great.pride in learning about their guests. The very quickly learn or preference, red wine/ white wine, coffee/ tea. They have an.amazing ability to know your name after the first day. Off ship cultural tours are great fun, and very educational. I app that there are levels of exertion for the tours...allowing those who wish to do less or go at a slower rate than others while not slowing anyone else down. We are trying out the Viking Ocean cruise in January...going from Barcelona to Rome in January. .looking forward to it! Read Less
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