117 Viking River Viking Gefjon Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date May 2015
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
All in all the Viking Cruise aboard the Gefjon was a good cruise. There was one hiccup which I talk about later. The ship was conveniently located for boarding in Amsterdam at the ship terminal. We had stayed at the Movenpick next door. ... Read More
All in all the Viking Cruise aboard the Gefjon was a good cruise. There was one hiccup which I talk about later. The ship was conveniently located for boarding in Amsterdam at the ship terminal. We had stayed at the Movenpick next door. We were enthusiastically greeted by the Program Director, Sam Corbin. Sam, a very exuberant young man, was a very capable and enjoyable Program Director for the trip. His excursions were well run and he was always pleasant no matter what happened. The on-board programs were entertaining. If you like medieval history and architecture with castles and cobblestones, you would like the cruise. We do. Be prepared though for some difficult walks. When Viking says the walk is “strenuous” – believe it. Don’t play macho with a “I-can-handle-anything” attitude! The ship itself was in very good condition. Everything was kept in a shiny and spotless manner. The crew across the board was attentive, good natured and eager to please the 183 passengers. The housekeeping staff kept the cabins clean. Just remember though, instead of asking for “wash clothes” ask for “face towels”. There were two dining areas – the main dining room (open seating) and the Aquavit Terrace. Both were very capably served by staff. The Terrace was a wonderful place to have breakfast and watch the world go by. The biggest drawback to the Terrace was the dinner entrees were on a one week rotation and only the entrée changed each night – other courses always remained the same. What you had on the first Monday was what you would get the next Monday and there was only one entrée offered. Over the years we have seen all cruise lines reduce the food quantities served and an emphasis on presentation – how does it look on the plate with drizzles and colors, etc. The food was average and, frankly, tended toward the bland side. Soups had little thickness – were very watery. I think Viking has overdone the portion control. Surf and turf with one-half of a small lobster tail and small four oz. piece of meat is carrying it a little far. The “fall back” steak if you didn’t like other alternatives was a, sometimes, inedible strip steak. We know people who sent them back. While we generally enjoyed the cruise, there was one very troubling aspect. We paid for a full balcony stateroom on the second deck with the intent of enjoying the scenery while sitting on the balcony (or at least with the door open) as we glided across Europe. The Viking company policy is that staterooms and balconies are non-smoking. A designated area is provided for smokers. Unfortunately, we non-smokers, ended up with at least one smoker next door and he sat on his balcony smoking. We were forced indoors with the balcony door closed. I spoke to customer service about this about the third day of the cruise. Their reply was they would check with housekeeping. We did not receive any feedback on the issue and the smoking continued through the end of the cruise. A Viking representative contacted me after the cruise after I had made a comment on one of their surveys with a “so sorry” attitude. If you are a non-smoker and are expecting a non-smoking environment, you should be prepared for that to not be the situation and act accordingly. My mistake was probably not being aggressive enough in the follow-up. So, would we do a river cruise again? Maybe. Would we do Viking again? That’s going to require some real consideration. It was good, but if they don’t live up to their own policies well………….. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Itinerary - it took us through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Our room was conformable, maybe a little smaller than the usual hotel room, but everything we needed was there, including bath supplies. We had a room with a ... Read More
Itinerary - it took us through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Our room was conformable, maybe a little smaller than the usual hotel room, but everything we needed was there, including bath supplies. We had a room with a veranda which allowed us to sit and watch the scenery as we sailed. The room was cleaned and freshened two or three times a day. In fact the whole ship was always being cleaned and kept in pristine condition. There were only 150 passengers which made for an intimate trip. The guests were mostly polite, congenial, not "party animals" making for an enjoyable atmosphere aboard ship. The food was excellent - many selections at all meals, with snacks always available (although we didn't need any extra foods) and the staff were the best I have encountered - well trained, polite, attentive to our every needs. The walking tours of the cities we visited allowed us to discover culture and history. The tours were relaxed. We would certainly recommend Viking River Cruises and plan to travel with them again soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
because the water level was low, we had to transfer half way through the cruise to another boat located on the other side of shallow water. The transfer was excellent The tour director stayed with us on both boats and he was terrific. ... Read More
because the water level was low, we had to transfer half way through the cruise to another boat located on the other side of shallow water. The transfer was excellent The tour director stayed with us on both boats and he was terrific. The boats were essentially identical so the accommodations were the same and good. The Fall time was cold and we couldn't use our veranda because of the chilliness as well as we were locking through the lock system many times when we had down time, usually in the evening. The meals were similar and there was plenty of food and wine. Some geographic variation in the menus was appreciated, although, not as tasty as I had anticipated. The side trips were amazing, lots of walking tours and the guides were unique, informative and entertaining. The extra tours were well worth the extra money. Bus rides were in comfortable buses which were expertly driven, especially the windy, hilly and narrow roads. The staff. Both boat's staff were friendly. The staff on the first boat were well organized, efficient and I am grateful to have had their service. The staff on the second boat were disorganized, did a lot of running around, never could get the dinners out, tables cleared, coffee refilled, desserts got mixed up and a lot of visibly standing around. Housekeeping had to return to finish up something left undone. Both boat staff I repeat were friendly and seemed motivated, just not well led on the second boat: Gefjon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be ... Read More
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be comfortable. So don’t get a Balcony. All this information should be spelt out and told how many times it would happen. in the promo. Cologne was the only port we had local entertainers in the Evening. Unfortunate we missed it due to going on an evening excursion. Promo gives you the impression this happened every night. Where possible. Our Entertainment Director Kane was brilliant so he made up for the disappointment. Could not fault staff. Staff brilliant food good enough could we have a chocolate treat with coffee. tours OK I got churched out talked out and walked out in the end. I thought the quiet vox was a device so you could wander around the sights by yourself if you did not want to be hearded like sheep around the sights, I stayed with tour group in case I missed out on something amazing. And the fear of getting lost. Make sure you have plenty of 50c Euro coins for toilets. overall enjoyed my trip. We made the Journey without changing boat. We were the last boat to do this from to Passau. The band was very average but the nights where Kane had quizzes and trivia were hilarious. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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 August 2018
Hang up you clothes..fed and wine Top quality. Not worth paying extra for a cabin with balcony as most travel is done at night . Organisation was superb many thanks to our program director Kane Davies..a wonderful guy..must have worked ... Read More
Hang up you clothes..fed and wine Top quality. Not worth paying extra for a cabin with balcony as most travel is done at night . Organisation was superb many thanks to our program director Kane Davies..a wonderful guy..must have worked 24 hrs a day. Wish they had spent more time at main places. Prefer coach tours...see a lot more as you travel in the day..get used to packing your bag every day or so but you get used to it and only use clothes each day so you keep packing to a minimum. Food not as flash on coach tours and wine and beer not included but half the price for a month. Will stick with coach tours. Food available was superb...plus wine and beer...tended to stay with menu food as very nice and smaller portions. Comfort and information on the boat was excellent. A very comfortable cruisy trip and met a lot of very nice people. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was a dream come true bucket list trip that we were fortunate to be able to do with good friends. We were NOT disappointed. The ship was lovely. The staff-delightful. Program Director Wez was a delight! So helpful and fun and ... Read More
This was a dream come true bucket list trip that we were fortunate to be able to do with good friends. We were NOT disappointed. The ship was lovely. The staff-delightful. Program Director Wez was a delight! So helpful and fun and talented. Food very good (Chef Jan should have his own cooking show!!!). Special meal representing each port was great fun. Our head waiter, Normandy, was so attentive. Loved being able to have a quiet continental breakfast out on deck too. That was a great option. Ports and tours perfect. Evening special entertainment events were really enjoyable. The day tour guides were so knowledgeable! Would have liked more narration on areas we were cruising past while on board though. And were not happy with tipping being requested (and somewhat pushed by front desk staff) with special envelopes rather than included in the overall price of the cruise. Accommodations and assistance with our add-on in Amsterdam were great. So glad we did that! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We decided to take this cruise because our experience on our trip through Russia was so positive. On that cruise we were a group of 6 and here just my husband and I . It was a very different experience. The most remarkable was meeting ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise because our experience on our trip through Russia was so positive. On that cruise we were a group of 6 and here just my husband and I . It was a very different experience. The most remarkable was meeting another couple who got married the same date we did, December 14, 1968. Never before had we found that. The ship is rather comfortable but when the upper deck is closed for 5 days, it curtails the possibility of pleasant outdoors accommodations. Smokers in Europe are a problem. On board, they were very unpleasant to have around. If you went outside to enjoy the view and the weather, there always was someone ruining the air by the smell of their smoke. The shore excursions were mostly a pleasure. Most guides were excellent but not all. If we could comment about them at the end of the day, our recollection could be much more accurate. The upholstery in the gathering lounge is not real leather and I found myself stuck to the furniture anytime it was hot. All in all, we signed up for another cruise in the future so we were not unhappy:) Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The cruise was very enjoyable - staff of the ship was top notch. State rooms were clean, well designed with great attention to detail. Service was excellent. Food was good. We really enjoyed our wait staff. They were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
The cruise was very enjoyable - staff of the ship was top notch. State rooms were clean, well designed with great attention to detail. Service was excellent. Food was good. We really enjoyed our wait staff. They were friendly, helpful and all-around wonderful. Shore excursions were well organized and the local guides were, for the most part, interesting and well informed. We felt rushed at some locations such as busy museums and palaces. There was no time to stop and admire displays as the guides were rushing everyone through. The audio equipment worked well but some guides were a bit hard to understand. The biggest disappointment was no reliable WiFi on the ship. Viking should not advertise having it as it almost never worked. They really need to fix it or set the expectations correctly. The only way to get online was to find places with WiFi during port stops which wasn't always easy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We truly enjoyed our cruise but were very glad we brought along three things: a deck of cards, raincoats, and our dear friends. The ship, staff, and food is all great. The itinerary was fine. The problem we had was at just over 50 ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our cruise but were very glad we brought along three things: a deck of cards, raincoats, and our dear friends. The ship, staff, and food is all great. The itinerary was fine. The problem we had was at just over 50 years old we were the second and third youngest on the ship (a daughter who went with her parents beat us for youngest). By far. This meant that all excursions were with a more “senior” group-lots of bathroom stops and endless questions. Please, please, please Viking-have an app for each city so that not everyone has to be in groups. This is not difficult nor expensive technology! This also meant meals and entertainment was always with “seniors”. Believe me when I say by 9pm (no typo) the ship was asleep! We got to know the excellent bartenders. They could not have gone out of their way, been more professional, or more fun. Besides the tulips they were the highlight! We had ordered the beverage package (order before you leave US or it is more expensive) so the bar tenders knew us well. There was nothing they wouldn’t get us-even at dinner they brought wine “they thought we would like better and enjoy”. Terrific. Unfortunately, we were not docked in downtown Amsterdam. We were about 15 min away in at a very industrial dock. So much for the view from our veranda! However, this also was a hassle for us because we like to do things on our own (a huge shock to the crew who could not believe we would rent bikes, see the tulips, go to dinner, go to Belgium all on our own). This meant cabs or taking the shuttle bus offered. Not convenient but it is in your brochure literature- not that that makes you feel better when spending so much money on a cruise. We were there for peak tulips. They were fantastic! We know we were very lucky. We also decided since tulips have a kind of their own we would arrive in Amsterdam early with the pre cruise package at the Hilton near the museums. We also planned it so we would be there for the tulip parade (trust me when I say it is quaint and nice but the Rose Bowl has nothing to ever worry about. We were glad we went but could have missed it and not been sad. It is quite small by US standards. Think garbage trucks and delivery trucks with flowers on them. Four or five great floats and the rest ...well, let’s just say it is nothing I would plan a vacation around. We rented bikes outside Kuekenhoff and it was a breeze and lots of fun). We were VERY glad we had seen the ore our cruise. We saw them on a picture perfect day (go as early as you can as it gets very, very crowded. I think we saw a thousand buses...not kidding) and took tons of pictures. On the day we saw them with our cruise it was cloudy, rainy, and the flowers were just a tad past peak. We felt quite smart for our planning and quite sad for the people on our cruise! We used Uber to get to the gardens and I think it was 35 Euros for the four of us (don’t try getting back by Uber after the big aparade....trust me when I tell you it took hours- luckily, there was a pub ). We thought the entertainment on the ship that was local and brought on board was really, really good. Unfortunately, the nightly entertainment wasn’t the best. Sweet couple but again-sang songs for those of the crowd that were 75 plus. We played cards. A lot! Food was quite good. Interesting and varied. They tried local food and wine as much as possible. I appreciated that. My husband loved going to the battlefields (I went to the Kroller Muller and ended it) and thouhgt the local guides excellent. We loved Hoorn, learning about the levies, home stay (we brought a small gift-do as our hosts were delighted), tulip fields, biking, guy who made wooden shoes and the farm visit, music, wine, cheese, chocolate, All in all, we really liked the cruise. Our weather could have been better but it was April in the Netherlands. We have talked with others that have done Viking cruises And they all say to try again. They also say that this cruise tends to skew “older”. Even Viking says that. Yes, yes it does! The thing is-you don’t go far on these river cruises. You can drive in a short amount of time. With that in mind it is the service, views, food, etc that matter. Unfortunately for us, we really couldn’t use our Veranda (I wouldn’t bother except that we were on the same floor as everything which was great) and only went on the top deck once. I guess my only other pet Viking peave is the tipping. For the love of Goodness Viking-just pay your guides a little more and do away with tipping. It is most annoying! I’d rather my cruise be $50 more and not to have to worry about bringing Euros to tip the tour guides. Plus, it is very awkward as some people tip and others don’t. Ok one more thing....Viking likes to cruise at nigh because then their guests have longer in port. Which is true. However, when you dream of your Viking cruise after seeing thousands of tv commercials you do think you’ll have more time relaxing on the ship as it motors along. You don’t really on this cruise. And the ports are very industrial. Not the quaint town ports you dream about either. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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
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
Sail Date May 2015
I chose this cruise because I saw pictures of the castles along the route and it included stops in cities I wanted to visit (ie Vienna, Amsterdam Passau). My sister accompanied me and we chose to add extra time in Amsterdam before the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I saw pictures of the castles along the route and it included stops in cities I wanted to visit (ie Vienna, Amsterdam Passau). My sister accompanied me and we chose to add extra time in Amsterdam before the cruise. The welcome at the Amsterdam airport by Viking representatives was truly appreciated as we did not have to spend time figuring out what to do next. The walking tour and visit to the tulip garden was fantastic and we had free time to explore on our own. Once we got on board the ship and shown to our stateroom we explored the ship and relaxed with a drink before dinner. The ship was very clean and bright and our cabin, while small, was well appointed and contained everything we needed. The beds were comfortable and I loved lying on my bed by the open window and just enjoying the sounds of the river. So relaxing. We were served excellent meals by friendly and courteous wait staff. The shore excursions were well organized, interesting and the guides offered great stories about the areas we were visiting. I really can’t say I had a favourite. Due to high water levels on the river we had to abandon the ship at Regensburg and continue by bus. We were kept informed on alternate plans and the accommodation and meals they arranged were second to none. All staff on board the ship were polite, knowledgeable and fun. I loved the cruise and would love to go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I loved everything about this cruise (except the weather which was cold and rainy). Our cruise went from Budapest Hungary to Amsterdam. Castles, vineyards, beautiful scenery, churches, shopping, history, demonstrations-so much to see and ... Read More
I loved everything about this cruise (except the weather which was cold and rainy). Our cruise went from Budapest Hungary to Amsterdam. Castles, vineyards, beautiful scenery, churches, shopping, history, demonstrations-so much to see and do. Our cruise director/stand up comedian/singer was positively amazing and multi-talented. He coordinated all the activities and shore excursions so everything ran smoothly. He was very knowledgeable about the ship and the history of the places we saw along the way. He was also very entertaining, cracking jokes and keeping us in stitches. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Our Cabin Steward was really sweet and did an excellent job of keeping our room tidy. The meals were amazing, I think there was something for everyone and everything was top notch. Our room was a tiny bit cramped, but there really isn't any way around that. The ship can only be so wide to sail the rivers and get through the locks. Even though a bit small, there was ample storage and closet space. Just to manage expectations, if you are used to sailing the big ocean ships like carnival where there are pools, rides, Broadway shows, spa, casino, gym and all kinds of shops etc. This ship is tiny compared to those big ocean cruise ships and space is limited. They have internet, a small library, a tiny shop, a bar and a nightly singing duo, and occasionally demonstrations and history classes about the places we sailed by or visited. Most everyone of the guests on the cruise were retirees. If you can't live without all the bells and whistles, this is probably not the cruise for you. That being said, we sailed during the night and were in another port the next day with an included walking tour or optional excursions, shopping and sightseeing on your own. Even when we sailed during the day, there was so much beautiful scenery to see along the way, we were never bored. I gave a 3 star to the fitness and recreation catagory because they don't really have any fitness or recreational activities per se. There is a walking track on the top deck. On the other hand, I felt like the shore excursions themselves gave us plenty of walking exercise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Viking is a Premier company. The ship, staff, cuisine, side trips were all amazing. The wait staff was absolutely amazing. After only one day they were aware of your personal preferences of beverage coffee, tea, soft drink, white or ... Read More
Viking is a Premier company. The ship, staff, cuisine, side trips were all amazing. The wait staff was absolutely amazing. After only one day they were aware of your personal preferences of beverage coffee, tea, soft drink, white or red wine) My travelling companion had many dietary restrictions and our Maitre de was at our table every evening to help her making choices and adjustments that the kitchen would be able to make. The ship in general was totally clean...no dust, no stains. We participated in most of the included tours and did take 3 or 4 of the additional add on choices. I was so impressed that I have already booked a second cruise for next year. My only complaint was with the hotel in Amsterdam for our post cruise stay. Our last night we were subjected to 'neighbors' who were fighting, screaming, banging on the wall and making attempts to enter our room. This went on well into the night. I called the front desk at about 1:30 a.m. and was promised it would be addressed. It stopped briefly and then started up again and I called about 2:30 am...this time I finally did stop. Although this is certainly not any fault of Viking, it was a awful experience. I can not believe that the hotel did not in any way apologize or offer some type of compensation. As we were two senior women, it was quite a frightful experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Found our 14 Night Grand European Tour for the time of year and price that suited us. I would take another river cruise in a heart beat. Little disappointed when the walking track was closed for days on end so I just had to find another ... Read More
Found our 14 Night Grand European Tour for the time of year and price that suited us. I would take another river cruise in a heart beat. Little disappointed when the walking track was closed for days on end so I just had to find another way to get my 12,000 steps in per day. The staff on the Gefjon were awesome, loads of fun, it was just great to spend 14 days with everyone. The shore excursions where packed with loads of things to see and do, no shortage of shore excursions to chose from. The dining was excellent, great selection of food for all meal times, sometimes it was difficult to select an evening meal as they all sounded so delicious. The deserts where over the top!. Very much enjoyed the entertainment and all activities onboard the Gefjon. The embarkation and disembarkation were top notch, we were well cared for at all times Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Viking Gefjon Ratings
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