Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with a trip that was big and exotic! We travelled to Hawaii for our 35th anniversary and needed something bigger and better. We had been to Europe previously twice before but not since ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with a trip that was big and exotic! We travelled to Hawaii for our 35th anniversary and needed something bigger and better. We had been to Europe previously twice before but not since 1980 and then 1989. We loved Europe!! Then we saw an advertisement on our local TV station. GRAND EUROPEAN CRUSIE ON VIKING! We contacted the travel agent advertising this trip. Francis from Travel with Us Inc. did all the leg work. From the time we boarded the plane to Europe to the time we landed back home in Edmonton we had a great experience. There were a couple of hiccups with the low water levels in a couple of areas but Viking handled everything with great professionalism. Viking never left us guessing of what to expect. it felt like these hiccups were just part of the experience. The ship was very clean, the cabin was always cleaned promptly, the food was excellent with tons of food choices, the entertainment was cultural and fun, the staff were always courteous and helpful, the tours were handled like well greased machines, the ships tour director was very knowledgeable and just a perfect personality for a job well done. Five star all the way Viking!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The two week, Grand European River Cruise appealed to us much more than a weeklong cruise. We believed it would allow us to “settle in” without immediately counting how many days we had left. And “settle in” we did. We began in ... Read More
The two week, Grand European River Cruise appealed to us much more than a weeklong cruise. We believed it would allow us to “settle in” without immediately counting how many days we had left. And “settle in” we did. We began in Amsterdam after a four day jet jag adjustment in Amsterdam. Embarkation was efficient and welcoming, and the wine tasting on the Aquavit Terrace was a grand introduction. We were immediately impressed with our stateroom, and the overall condition and appearance of the Viking Longboat. Exceeding both were the professionalism and warmth of the ship’s staff. The variety of food and beverage selections ensured there was something for everyone. Service was outstanding, as was the quality of the meals, from breakfast through dinner. Shore excursions offered were varied and appropriate. Guides were uniformly outstanding, from personality and communication skills to their professional knowledge. It was hard to depart in Budapest. We wanted the cruise to never end. We came with very high expectations, and they were exceeded in all respects. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We always sail with Viking because they are so excellent at looking after you in every way. The food was wonderful, accommodations were impeccable, and the service was excellent. The places we visited were astounding, so full of history ... Read More
We always sail with Viking because they are so excellent at looking after you in every way. The food was wonderful, accommodations were impeccable, and the service was excellent. The places we visited were astounding, so full of history and stories and visually stunning. Buses were very comfortable, well organized and even though the Danube water was low and we ended up on buses a lot from the ports to the city centers, we got a unique opportunity to see more of the countryside and small villages. The guides were exceptionally well informed, friendly and very accommodating. We've made so many friends on these cruises with Viking and still keep in touch with most of them. I always look forward to traveling down these beautiful European rivers and relaxing on the top deck to see castles, mountains, and local people going about their daily lives. I'm always very interested in how people live, where they live and how happy everyone seems to be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my 7th Viking Cruise... and sailed again with Viking because we have ALWAYS had the finest serviced and experience on every ship and Cruise we've been on with Viking. Ships are magnificent... clean and comfortable. Crew and ... Read More
This was my 7th Viking Cruise... and sailed again with Viking because we have ALWAYS had the finest serviced and experience on every ship and Cruise we've been on with Viking. Ships are magnificent... clean and comfortable. Crew and staff are always first rate... always there to help, service is beyond reproach, in fact laudatory .... "service with a smile" ... the breakfast chef even knew my name on the second day and remembered my mundane breakfast order before I arrived at his station!!!! On tours, optional or otherwise, we never felt "lost" or felt the effort ( or $$ ) wasn't worth it ! Again, another great trip with Viking. A plus and a major reason for choosing Viking is that there are no casinos on board, nor ferris wheels, or sandboxes for juveniles ( though you will find a putting green ! ). The Viking experience is pleasurably a 55+ community on the water ... and please keep it that way!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Seduced by masterful advertising we decided on a Viking cruise of the Danube. As a result of posted concerns about river levels, I waited until virtually the last minute before booking. Ten days before our intended cruise on September 4 I ... Read More
Seduced by masterful advertising we decided on a Viking cruise of the Danube. As a result of posted concerns about river levels, I waited until virtually the last minute before booking. Ten days before our intended cruise on September 4 I called Viking and asked if there were any problems with river levels. I was assured that there were not. Just to be sure, I asked our travel agent to confirm this with Viking before we committed. Our agent also received assurances from Viking that there were no problems. Only after receiving these assurances did we book our cruise. Four days later we received an e-mail from Viking advising that due to "unusually dry" weather there were historic low water levels on the Danube. As a result we might have to take buses between ports. This was the situation we had sought to avoid by waiting to the last minute before booking and by checking with Viking before committing. Upon receipt of the e-mail warning from Viking, we immediately called our agent and asked to postpone our cruise until the following Spring when there would be less chance of low river levels. Our agent called Viking only to be informed that we had signed a contract and that we were therefore bound to take the cruise scheduled for less than a week later. We did not ask for a cancellation of our contract, merely that we be allowed to reschedule our cruise. Viking refused to allow us to reschedule. We did in fact have to bus and to change ships during our cruise. In fact the staff on both Viking ships we were on informed us that, due to low water levels, ship transfers and busing between ports had been required all Summer on the Danube. Clearly the customer service people at Viking ought to have known this. To be fair, the onboard staff handled the required ship transfer very well and the general level of service onboard the two Viking ships we were on was very good. However, we felt deceived by the reservation staff of Viking and by its bullying that we had to take the September 4 cruise or lose the total amount we had paid, which was over $20,000. I don't know if this is a common occurrence or was somehow connected to the low river levels but on at least 4 occasions we were rafted to another Viking ship which resulted in our veranda being unusable as were were mere inches away from another stateroom. In fact we had to keep our curtains closed so as to have privacy from the stateroom on the other Viking ships. Having paid extra for a veranda, it was very frustrating not to be able to use it. Instead of tying up at idyllic villages and watching river traffic floating past us, when we were not rafted up to other ships and therefore able to see out our veranda window, we were on several occasions tied up at industrial areas looking at lorries, cement mixers and other unappealing sights. This is not what we expected from Viking's advertising of its river cruises. In addition to the foregoing annoyances, when we arrived in Amsterdam Viking would not allow us to board the half empty bus leaving for the airport advising us that, as we had booked a "deviatiion" return airfare, we were not eligible for the bus ride to the airport. This despite the fact we had paid extra for the deviation; we had to go to the airport to pick up our rental car as we were staying in Europe for an extra ten days; the bus put on by Viking was going to the airport anyway and was half empty. This was a minor annoyance admittedly but having paid over $20,000 for a misrepresented cruise I naively still expected better from Viking. Would I take another Viking cruise? Perhaps, after the sour taste from this one has evaporated. The onboard staff were excellent, the meals were very good. The house wines were generally good. All this suggests we should give Viking another try. However, the on board scenic commentary and entertainment, such as it was, was very average. Before booking another cruise with Viking I would undertake more thorough due diligence and I would definitely not rely on representations made by the customer service and reservations staff with Viking. It is my impression from our experience and from reading other posts on this site that Viking's modus operandi is to sign up as many customers as possible and then hold them to their contracts despite problems with water levels and Viking not being able to offer the cruise as advertised. Viking's apparent policy of offering a 25% discount to disgruntled customers who raise a fuss seems less than generous when that discount only applies to a portion of the total fare and must be used within one year. How many people are financially able and are prepared to take two expensive cruises within a one year period? I expect very few people are able to take Viking up on this offer and therefore Viking comes out a winner achieving a considerable profit on the original cruise and only a slightly less profit from the few passengers who take the marginally discounted cruise the following year. I urge anyone considering Viking, or another river cruise line for that matter, to undertake thorough due diligence before booking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Never been to Europe and never been on a river cruise. Been on several ocean cruises and really liked the “smallness” and tranquility offered by the river cruise. Selected this river cruise because of its itinerary. We were more ... Read More
Never been to Europe and never been on a river cruise. Been on several ocean cruises and really liked the “smallness” and tranquility offered by the river cruise. Selected this river cruise because of its itinerary. We were more than pleased with the quality our rooms and quality/variety of our meals. Because there were less than 200 people on board, we got to several people over our two weeks plus we got to know many of the staff. Excellent choice of tours to take at each city and the guides were all very, very good. All the tours were well-organized and the transportation to all the tours was comfortable and organized well. The evening get togethers in the loungewete both fun and informative.Breakfast choices were excellent as were the lunch choices. I also really enjoyed sitting on my veranda in the evenings when we were cruising because it was so peaceful. Service was awesome and I will do another Viking river cruise in the future!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I saved and planned for a couple of years to take a 14 day romantic river cruise through Europe, our dream vacation. It turned out to be the worst trip we have ever taken. To summarize; 36.45 hours on a bus, 14.25 hours of ... Read More
My wife and I saved and planned for a couple of years to take a 14 day romantic river cruise through Europe, our dream vacation. It turned out to be the worst trip we have ever taken. To summarize; 36.45 hours on a bus, 14.25 hours of free time to explore the towns visited, 10 hours of daylight cruise, includes 3 hours of Rhine valley cruise during 2 hr lunch on lower level of rented tourist day boat, changed boats after bus transfer, upper deck closed most of trip, unpack/pack 3 times, optional tours a great disappointment. Viking knew about river issues for weeks, yet no communication, rescheduling or cancelation allowed We did not board the boat until the 4th day, after docking at a gravel pit. Due to hotel stay for 1st two nights, all the busing and lunches serving 200 people at once in local restaurants, not on the boat, as advertised, we did not get full use of the "Silver Drink Package". We had to change boats 1/2 way through the trip, thus another long bus ride and lost time cruising. Most cruising at night. Ships were docked 3 deep thus we had to walk through other ship lobbies or across their upper deck and could not use our balcony as the next boat was 6 inches away. We passed through 69 locks BUYER BE AWARE, 2 weeks later, still no call from Customer Service as promised. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I were recommended this cruise by friends. Things did not flow quite as well as it had been planned as no rain meant very low water levels. So low in fact that at one point of the Rhine we could have walked across the ... Read More
My husband and I were recommended this cruise by friends. Things did not flow quite as well as it had been planned as no rain meant very low water levels. So low in fact that at one point of the Rhine we could have walked across the river! Despite this our trip got off to a fun start in Amsterdam - originally the port to board our ship we ended up staying at the Hilton for an extra two nights before bus travel to Cologne and a quirky quarry where we boarded the Gefjon. Explanations and support was offered all the way to keep us informed of river levels and changes that might/did occur. I am an experienced traveller and also involved at times moving large groups of people on excursions and across countries - Well done to our Cruise Director and his amazing team. As a travel coordinator on the other side of the world I know how hard this is. There are always people that gripe about changes etc I feel very strongly that we got the best trip available. Our cabin was clean and well serviced ( twice a day). The food was always of a high standard with plenty of options available. We did not purchase the drink package and had no worries about any additional alcohol we purchased. The trips we went on were interesting and well explained in the brochure we had previously selected from. We did have to change one of our daily trips but this was dealt to quick and efficiently by the desk staff. We also required a health professional at one point and this was arranged for us as well. The Cruise Director for our trip ( Kane) was fantastic, an entertainer and organiser you should be proud of. Thank you again Viking for the fun and adventure, the wonderful new friends we met, the places we explored and the service we received. We ventured from the furtherest part of the world to sail with you and despite the hiccups would definitely do so again. We returned home with fun filled stories and have already passed on to others that they need to travel with you. Our next cruise is already booked!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had done the same cruise from the other direction, viz. Budapest to Amsterdam in October 2012, and enjoyed it so much we encouraged friends to go and we accompanied them. Unfortunately because of the the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had done the same cruise from the other direction, viz. Budapest to Amsterdam in October 2012, and enjoyed it so much we encouraged friends to go and we accompanied them. Unfortunately because of the the hot weather and lack of rainfall the Rhine and Danube were impassable in several spots. This required meeting the ship just past Cologne instead of at Amsterdam. The Viking staff were truly excellent in explaining the reasons for the problem, keeping passengers informed and arranging very pleasant alternate accommodation in Amsterdam. None of the scheduled visits/tours were missed but they did require bus rides to the various destinations. In mid-cruise we had to transfer to an identical ship again because of low water. Part of the pleasure of cruising for us is not having to unpack and repack suitcases every few days. This pleasure we had to forego, but it wasn't a serious problem. We were very pleased to receive an apology and a credit equal to 50% of the cost of the cruise toward a future cruise with Viking. Apart from the problems caused by Mother Nature to which cruises of all kinds are subject, this cruise met our expectations, which were high. We have already booked a future ocean cruise with Viking as a result. Our experiences with the staff and life on board were uniformly excellent. We particularly enjoy the fact that there are almost no extra costs unlike almost all other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
From the moment you board the ship you will be treated to an amazing experience. The staff was exceptional...from the room steward to the wonderful restaurant staff. Every day is a treat as a tour quide will accompany you on a great ... Read More
From the moment you board the ship you will be treated to an amazing experience. The staff was exceptional...from the room steward to the wonderful restaurant staff. Every day is a treat as a tour quide will accompany you on a great excursion. The afternoons included interesting lectures given by artisans, the ship captain, professors from universities and a few days of cruising the beautiful rivers dotted with picturesque riverbanks. The program director, Wez, worked tirelessly to ensure that all on board had a wonderful experience...in spite of two seamless ship swaps due to low water levels on the Danube. I would also like to commend Mae and Normandy for their exemplary service among the restaurant waitstaff of the Viking Gefjon...and also server Edison on the Viking Ve. The meals were delicious...from the best breakfast menu to all of the regional selections that are offered daily. Be sure and stop at the coffee and cookie station located by the library. Would definitely recommend the Viking River Cruises to be added to your bucket list! Read Less
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