1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We joined the ship Viking Gefjon in Budapest after being shuttled from the airport. The embarking was efficient with no fuss, Staff well organised, lunch prepared immediately upon arrival. The staff could not have been more helpful, ... Read More
We joined the ship Viking Gefjon in Budapest after being shuttled from the airport. The embarking was efficient with no fuss, Staff well organised, lunch prepared immediately upon arrival. The staff could not have been more helpful, always acted in a Professional manner. Shore excursions well organised with an Audio system that made it easy to hear the Guide's commentaries. Cabin was bright and airy. All meals enjoyable and plenty. Nice to choose where and with whom one wanted. Disembarkation efficiently carried out. Shuttled to our Hotel very central in Amsterdam. Final day shuttled to the airport, on time no delay. All very enjoyable. We purchased the Viking memory stick of our trip from Budapest to Amsterdam, but after receiving two , both only up to Passau Still would like one up to Amsterdam which is missing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We have done many Caribbean cruises, but this was our first (hopefully more to come) river cruise. We had a bit of trouble finding the ship in Basel, but once there the care was awesome (even in the pouring rain). The team was waiting ... Read More
We have done many Caribbean cruises, but this was our first (hopefully more to come) river cruise. We had a bit of trouble finding the ship in Basel, but once there the care was awesome (even in the pouring rain). The team was waiting with umbrellas in hand, to get you on the ship and make sure your luggage stayed as dry as possible. It set the tone for how the crew (and Viking) treated their guests. The ship was well appointed, the rooms very clean to start and very well maintained throughout our stay. There are nice touches - cookies, coffee and tea throughout the day - like we really needed them. We managed to stay connected to the internet throughout the trip which allowed us to talk with our family via Skype every day. The staff was incredibly nice, very accommodating and personable. Not always an easy combination. We ran into the Restaurant Manager while walking through Koblenz and he was so quick to ask if we needed directions or help, even though he was clearly on his own time. The second time was our room steward who we ran into in Cologne and she too wanted to make sure we were OK and didn't need any help. When we were disembarking in Amsterdam we had time for sightseeing, so they held our bags and arranged transportation at the end of the day. There is something to be said for 190 passengers versus 5,000. The excursions and cultural events were very nice and made a big difference in getting the most out of our cruise. The trip didn't go without any hiccups, but where there was a bit of a problem (late bus in Heidelberg due to traffic) the staff did everything they could to make it better. The tours of major cities (Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne were extremely well done and the local guides were able to share detailed information. We really enjoyed the Cheese Farm in Kinderdijk and managed to take away some incredible cheese. The scenery enroute to the farm was through really beautiful countryside. Very flat, but really nice and quite the change from scenery early in the trip. The amazing thing to me was that even though we knew nobody on the ship at the start, we ended up with a group of 6-8 of us that always ended up together. We really did not have anything in common, but became friends over the 8 days. On that last evening we were talking about our reunion cruise. Who knows if it will happen, but that was a good start. I have talked to a number of friends who have done Viking cruises and they too made friends with a group of people while on the ship. Must be something in the wine and beer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have done several ocean cruises on RC, Princess and Seaborne, but this was our first river cruise. Overall the experience was positive and probably most of our future cruises will be river cruises, mainly to get the advantages of ... Read More
We have done several ocean cruises on RC, Princess and Seaborne, but this was our first river cruise. Overall the experience was positive and probably most of our future cruises will be river cruises, mainly to get the advantages of smaller ships and smaller ports. Our trip was the "Rhine Rhapsody" which started in Paris, with an optional extra night stay at the Hotel du Collectionneur near the Arc de Triomphe. Overall the hotel was very good, but the food at the restaurant was too expensive to even try and the included breakfast presentations were consistently cold. The hotel offered both wired and wireless Internet, so bring an Ethernet cord to avoid the unsecured wireless connection. Speeds via Ethernet were adequate with the free level of service. Only 220 volt power, so you do need adapters/converters. I would highly recommend the extra night if you have never been to Paris, if for no other reason your included transfer will more likely be a private van rather than a bus. The Viking buses were all first rate, but not having to wait for other passengers to arrive was nice. But in any case, there is a lot to do in Paris, so spending an extra night was well worth the relatively nominal extra cost relative to the price of the entire trip. In Paris we did a lot of walking, but did take the included guided bus tour (recommended). We didn't have any bad food at the outside restaurants, but did have trouble finding a place to eat our last night. Many of the restaurants closed at 7:00 that night, but that might have been due to the next day being a holiday (anniversary of VE Day). The transfer to the ship did not go so smoothly, and was without a doubt the biggest disappointment. There were to be three stops--the first being a rest for the driver at what was essentially a truck stop. The second was for lunch at Luxembourg, with a city tour thereafter--two hours total. The third was to be the American Cemetery near the site of the Battle of the Bulge. Despite being on time if not early, immediately prior to leaving Luxembourg they informed us that we would be embarking the ship at a different site, and that therefore we could not see the American Cemetery. The Viking Rep on the bus did an excellent job, and was probably the best of the Viking tour guides the entire trip, but they did not give her the reason for the change (high water). Most disappointing though was that they didn't make this decision earlier so that we could have spent less time in Luxembourg. The tour of the city was not that interesting--one hour of free time in the city would have been adequate. Once to the boat the differences between an ocean cruise and river cruise became apparent. Checking in when so smoothly I don't even remember how they handed us our room cards, but there were no lines and our baggage arrived promptly. I give more information about the room below, but no complaints there. It did have both 110 and 220 volt outlets, but no Ethernet connection (somewhat surprising given the size of the ship). The ship's wireless connection was free but encrypted, and sometimes slow. The ship's size has some advantages (e.g. usually only one set of stairs to climb and your own bathroom is nearly as close as any public restroom) and disadvantages (no exercise equipment, special salons, special dining, etc.). It also though means little or no entertainment--just a person playing piano in the lounge and two accordion players during the German dinner. Breakfast was largely a buffet situation, although you could order things like Eggs Benedict from a waiter. Lunch and dinner included complementary wine, which was always satisfactory and helped keep our ship tab to under $50.00! Overall I would say the food was superior to other cruises, and some if it very good. Food service was probably just slightly inferior to all of our cruises except the Hawaii ocean cruise which was poor. There were however three or four waiters who really stood out and gave excellent service. This might be due to the fact that most our other cruises were not open dining. The German Night dinner was buffet only and therefore extremely disappointing to me (as was the music of the two accordion players). German night was definitely the low point of the cruise for me. On a positive note there was no formal night, although I did dress up a bit a couple of nights, including the one semi-formal night. Fortunately my dinner jacket went completely unused! The cruise tours were mainly included, but of varying quality, some of which was not Viking's fault. For at least one tour the guide was a local selected by the castle site, and our's happened to be very bad. Overall though, being "only" in my mid-50s I was one of the younger people on the boat and more inclined to do it on my own rather than take a tour. Counting the Paris bus tour (recommended) I only did three or four other tours, and quite frankly I wish I had done at least one less (Basel). Unfortunately Viking does little to let you know what your nearby options are if you don't want to take an included tour. At Basel the cruise director even mentioned having to walk through a large industrial area if you didn't want to do the included tour. In fact it was merely a 30 minute walk to the starting point of the walking cruise, and only less than ten minutes of that was industrial and even that was a walk along the river and much of it was very scenic showing some of the better architecture in Basel. In contrast, the bus took just as long or longer to get to the starting point and went through much more industrial areas. On board shopping is very limited, mainly to some coats and caps. They did offer a USB stick of all the pictures taken by the cruise staff, for a reasonable cost of only $18.00. Again, even with that my tab was less than $50.00 (excluding tips), so it was very nice to not have cameras shoved in your face very meal so that you could then buy a picture later. Overall I would not consider any of this a disadvantage--if anything it was all appreciated. Disembarkation was again very smooth compared to ocean cruises. We had a very early departure which required wake up calls (not automated!) The bus left on time and got us to the airport on time. My only complaint would be that I couldn't pay the tab at 9:00 a.m the day before, but when it was time to pay I only had to wait in line for one other person to complete their process. Like everything except the buffets, no long lines were involved. Overall I had a very positive experience and would recommend both Viking and the Rhine Rhapsody cruise (in the same direction--to Basel). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Great longship Fantastic very helpful staff and crew . Dining room and bar facilities are excellent. A pleasant relaxed river cruise.We are from New Zealand so had come a long way to take the cruise. The hotel in Paris all part of the ... Read More
Great longship Fantastic very helpful staff and crew . Dining room and bar facilities are excellent. A pleasant relaxed river cruise.We are from New Zealand so had come a long way to take the cruise. The hotel in Paris all part of the cruise was in a great location and walking distance to the many sites in Paris. The included coach trip around Paris covered all areas and was fantastic. We were on the third trip of the new Longship Gefjon. A very well laid out ship. Shore excursions were very well selected and a credit to Viking. This was our first trip with Viking. Have been with others cruise operators . Will most certainly do another cruise with Viking. As an operator they are very well organised and know how to look after their passengers. Would recommend this trip to all. If i had to name one thing that made the cruise so great it would be the entire staff on board. They go out of their way to make you feel welcome and enjoy the cruise. Thank you to all staff on board Viking Gefjon 5th to 15th May 2016 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
While I might have planned my surgeries at a more convenient time if given the opportunity my trip was saved by the great help I received by the staff of the Gefjion. The cruise director saved the day for me from day one. I had recently ... Read More
While I might have planned my surgeries at a more convenient time if given the opportunity my trip was saved by the great help I received by the staff of the Gefjion. The cruise director saved the day for me from day one. I had recently had my knee replaced and this was my treat for getting the work done. Since this was my first River cruise I was not prepared for how vigorous the daily trips to the castles and cathedrals would be. The first day we had an extended walk into town. Carl spotted me and knew I was in trouble. He assisted me and kept an eye out for me for the balance of the trip. I can't say enough about his help, the wait staff the room stewards et all. Great people. Great food. Just one wish. I wish there was more on TV in schedule for another cruise 9/2016. While I love Downton Abbey I hope there is more to choose from Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We were on the 2nd Gefjon cruise from Basel to Paris; due to heavy rains river level of Rhine was high. We left Basil earlier than planned to clear a bridge, then were bussed back to Basel to keep our itinerary. We then sailed overnight ... Read More
We were on the 2nd Gefjon cruise from Basel to Paris; due to heavy rains river level of Rhine was high. We left Basil earlier than planned to clear a bridge, then were bussed back to Basel to keep our itinerary. We then sailed overnight to Strasbourg across from Kehl. We were then bussed to Strasbourg for a planned tour. This was the last move we made on Gefjon. While we don't blame Viking for the condition of the river, we do blame them for poor decision process and extremely muddled communication. The ship staff, chefs, housekeeping, waiters, concierge were superb, trying to keep the passengers happy. However, management decisions,those on board as well as from HQ did not appear to be well coordinated and constantly in flux. The net effect was they bussed us to and from Gefjon to most of our destinations until they had to put us up in a hotel in Mainz. We did not know with certainty until that morning that we would have to disembark. We were then bussed to Trier for an abbreviated version of the itinerary, then bussed to Paris where we finally got to relax. We were on a bus tour of Italy last year which was why we chose a river cruise, to avoid busses, at least so we thought. This was our first Viking cruise and may be the last. By the way, the ship captain was 27 years old. While age is not the only indicator of competence, I have wondered if this situation would have benefitted from a more seasoned captain. Lastly nothing from Viking about any compensation for our abbreviated cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We were on the second trip of the Viking Gefjon, and also had room 205. Our trip was totally different than Ralphster. Due to high water, the ship was stuck at Kehl/Strasbourg for 5 nights. Each day, we would gather at 7 pm to hear what ... Read More
We were on the second trip of the Viking Gefjon, and also had room 205. Our trip was totally different than Ralphster. Due to high water, the ship was stuck at Kehl/Strasbourg for 5 nights. Each day, we would gather at 7 pm to hear what was going to happen the next day. Some days it was close to what the itinerary promised. Most of the time it wasn't. Each day there was a 20 minute walk to get on a bus to go somewhere with a church and a market square. No other options. There were problems with the bus tours, as buses were late, got lost, and had tour guides who couldn't work headsets. We even had a bus driver who was texting while driving on the Autobahn. The last night, we got our hopes up, as we were told the ship would be leaving at 10 pm and we would at least get to cruise one time. 10 pm came and went and the ship didn't move. The next day, we were bused to the middle Rhein where we had an hour and a half boatride. The worst part of the ride was that 2 other Viking Longships passed us - taking the cruise vacation we were supposed to have. I'm not blaming the ship's crew. But they were very new and inexperienced, and did not know how to calm people down, much less try to lighten a very disappointing vacation. Dinner service took over 2 hours each night, not that we had anything else to do. Being handed warm mineral water as we left the ship each day didn't improve peoples moods. We observed another ship who was in the same predicament as we were, docked a little down from us. Their crew was outside greeting them whenever they returned from a bus trip. The sad part is, I could have really enjoyed this trip. We took it to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and we were eagerly looking forward to a nice vacation. We enjoyed ( for the most part) the open seating and getting to know other passengers. The room was nice, even though only one person could cross the foot of the bed at a time. I appreciated the night light in the bathroom. The much talked about heated bathroom floor didn't work. The movie selection was adequate, but not long enough. The balcony would have been lovely if the ship moved at all. I understand that flooding occurs often on the rivers that these ships travel. By now, management should have devised alternatives for their guests that didn't involve continually waiting to see what the next day would bring. If the ship had been proactive, it could have gone much further downstream when the flooding started and thus not gotten stuck at a point of no movement. Alternate tours and options should have been provided. On board entertainment could have been upgraded from accordion players. More than one free drink would have helped. When we returned, there was a 25% credit towards a future cruise emailed to us, as if 75% of the trip went well and 25% didn't. I don't know if I am going to use it. I'm not recommending this cruiseline. I think the company has grown too fast and not given enough thought to the problems that will occur. They have concentrated on expansion and not on customer relations. Even the customer service rep I talked to sounded tired of it all. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We arrived in Paris where we spent two wonderful nights at the L''Hotel du Collectionneur, where Viking included a Paris City Tour...the city of lights! We also saw the Arc de Triomphe, Opera Garnier Palace, Louvre Museum, Notre ... Read More
We arrived in Paris where we spent two wonderful nights at the L''Hotel du Collectionneur, where Viking included a Paris City Tour...the city of lights! We also saw the Arc de Triomphe, Opera Garnier Palace, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, Paris Town Hall, Eiffel Tower, and many more fantastic sights! Every evening we walked to different local restaurants in the area and were never disappointed with the food...save room for the desserts! On the third day we left for Luxembourg, where we saw the American Cemetery where many Americans lost their lives during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. This is also where General George Patton is buried. A place where you only hear the birds singing, as all of us are in a very solemn mood as we take in row after row after row of headstones with the names of all of the fallen soldiers! We then go on to Trier where Viking has a wonderful welcoming reception before dinner aboard the Viking Gefjon's maiden voyage! The next day Trier, Germany's oldest city, awaited us for a tour of the Roman Amphitheater and the Roman Baths and the Roman City Gates called Porta Nigra, Trier Cathedral and the Church of our Lady. We then cruised on to Bernkastel later in the afternoon and walked on the cobbled streets where you can see half timbered houses, the town hall and the town gate. The next day we went to Cochem and Koblenz...we saw Reichsburg Castle which was built more than a thousand years ago! We had time afterwards to do some shopping before we cruised on to Koblenz with all of it's hills of vineyards! Koblenz became a city in the 13th century. We then cruised on to more beautiful old cities over the next 4 days including the middle Rhine and the Rudesheim area where we saw the Marksburg Castle and took an optional wine tasting tour which we thoroughly enjoyed! Everyone will enjoy seeing Heidelburg and it's castle and the walk through the old town center, the 600 year old University, which is Germany's oldest. We then headed on to Speyer where we had free time to explore on our own! The next day we had a walking tour of Strasbourg, France, with all of it's many historical sights. Our vacation was coming to an end with our last stop in Basel, Switzerland, with all of it's historic history and it's Lackerli cookies! The excursion guides are very knowledgeable and are able to answer almost all of the questions you may have. Viking has the port excursions organized very well so that you are in relatively small groups with ear pieces so that you can hear everything that the excursion guide says. These tours can be partially by bus as well as the majority of the excursion walking. Usually after every tour you will have some free time to get lunch, shop, or sight see further on your own. Before you leave the ship you can pick up a small map of where you will be going...these are usually maps of the old city centers and how to get back to the ship or who to call if you should get lost...they haven't lost anyone yet! Traveling with Viking is fantastic...they pick you up at the airport and get you to your hotel if you are staying for a couple of days before your cruise, and then pick you up at the hotel and get you to the ship for embarkation. Viking has embarkation and disembarking so organized you never even have to pick up your luggage...you do have to pack it though! The staterooms are all spotless and the beds are very comfortable with staff that are meticulous with their cleaning and replenishing of your stateroom amenties. There is plenty of storage for all of your clothes, luggage, toiletries, etc.! You will feel right at home in your stateroom for the time that Viking is taking care of you! You will enjoy all of the afternoon and evening programs and demonstrations that they offer, as well as the piano player during the day and evening! Food on board is wonderful with several selections at every meal, as well as beer and wine with every meal. Being a coffee drinker I was ecstatic that you could get coffee and tea 24 hours a day and breakfast in your room if you desired. Viking is first class all the way...they know how to take care of their cruisers! The port and shore excursions are excellent and very well organized and are all included in your price, except for a few that they may offer, but these would not be necessary to be able to experience a wonderful vacation cruise with Viking! We will be leaving for another cruise later this year and have already booked another one for next year...we love Viking River Cruises! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We were on the Viking longship Gefjon inaugural cruise and could not have been more pleased with the itinerary and level of service that we enjoyed. We have cruised ocean going vessels before but as this was our first river cruise we were ... Read More
We were on the Viking longship Gefjon inaugural cruise and could not have been more pleased with the itinerary and level of service that we enjoyed. We have cruised ocean going vessels before but as this was our first river cruise we were pleased with the more intimate experience. Docking in small towns and never being very far away from the action has its advantages. The crew members were all exceptional and eager to make our experience a memorable one. The Rhine Rhapsody cruise is a new addition for Viking and and featured the Moselle and Rhine rivers. The two rivers could not be more different with the Moselle narrower and bucolic while the Rhine had much more commercial traffic and faster moving. I would definitely recommend this cruise as well as Viking cruise lines for a river cruise. I had read some negative reviews from previous Viking travelers, but we experienced none of those Read Less
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