12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Anniversary We we did Budapest to Amsterdam sept 13 sailing with extensions in Prauge and Amsterdam. Long bus from Prauge to Budapest. Got on Viking Modi, embarkation was easy except after numerous times tellng them it was an anniversary ... Read More
Anniversary We we did Budapest to Amsterdam sept 13 sailing with extensions in Prauge and Amsterdam. Long bus from Prauge to Budapest. Got on Viking Modi, embarkation was easy except after numerous times tellng them it was an anniversary cruise not birthday and date correction. We immediately had to travel upstream due to low water then bus back to Budapest to tour. The crew including barstaff were excellent. After 7 days we had to repack and move to a different ship.Viking Skinir. Bar staff which happened to be our wait staff as we dined on the aquavit were rude and never called us by name. Then they almost didnt bring a cake for our anniversary but a fellow traveller went to the cruise director and advised and out they come with a BIRTHDAY CAKE and started singing Happy Birthday UGH and we spent this much money why. Tours were good except in Cologne where the Turkish Presidnet was there and protests all over and we asked if it would disrupt the pm tour to hunting lodge and palace and they assured us it wouldnt WELL got by the airport and sat in traffic. Tour guide asked if we wanted to go on and could maybe salvage the palace so we kept going then (no fault of Viking) and critical accident but we ended up driving 4 1/2 hours driving around on a bus. Corporate,the tour company, and the Cruise Director shouldve cancelled tour. I think they have traffic reports. We had a Balcony room and most of time parked in industrial area, wall, or against another boat.VERY Disappointing!!!Disembarcation in Amsterdam to the hotel and the luggage was promised by 11 am well it didnt show up until 430 and the weather got really bad that afternoon but our extra clothing had not shown up yet so another day wasted and we went to do hop on hop off tour but didnt have the right clothes. We spent how much money ( the most out of 30 cruises and it was a HUGE dissapointment) They gave a 15% discount towards another river cruise but that is an insult. They should maybe consider cancelling cruises if there is continued low water. Oh and dont hurt yourself cause there is not a bandaid on board or a doctor... Cruise was a disaster, rude staff on Skinir, bus rides for hours Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is a review of the Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam from the 1st to the 15th of October. We also did the 3 night pre tour in Prague and the post 2 night in Amsterdam.We have travelled the world extensively, but his was ... Read More
This is a review of the Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam from the 1st to the 15th of October. We also did the 3 night pre tour in Prague and the post 2 night in Amsterdam.We have travelled the world extensively, but his was our first River Cruise and I did a lot of research on the various company's before booking. We chose Viking because they touted to be the original and the best, with luxurious and fairly new long ships. We are not really cruise people, but this seemed like a relaxing holiday compared to the more adventurous hiking ones we usually do. This was a once in a lifetime cruise for my 60th Birthday and we encouraged our 2 Australian Friends to spend up and join us. I am still feeling guilty over that. The booking process from Australia was fine (although we were not made aware of the option to upgrade our hotel in Prague and subsequently ended up at the Corinthia, which was almost 5 kms out of town and away from our friends. We used Viking Air and that worked very well as we had flights with Emirates who are great and we had the option for a stopover which we took in Dubai. First dissapointment came upon arrival in Prague. The 3 night pre excursion was expensive and I assumed a 5 star hotel close to the old town would have been the Standard. How wrong I was. The Corinthia is definitely not 5 star, I would rate it 3+ and almost 5kms from town. Luckily Viking provided shuttle busses or it would have been a disaster. Our room on the 16th floor was unrenovated, dusty and had a saggy bed. There was mould on the bathroom tiles, the bed was saggy and there were no power points. We were so upset that my husband spoke to the Hotel the following morning and asked to be moved. They gave us a nice, renovated room on the 4th floor (which is what we should have had to start with, a deluxe double). Meanwhile we had received the regulatory, last minute email from Viking about the water levels and possible Itinerary changes. I had been dreading this after keeping track of other sailings and reviews. We did the optional, Prague by night tour which we considered a waste of money. We just bussed around for an hour having ministerial buildings pointed out to us, (none of which were lit up anyway). We had 2 short stops. One for a distant view over the City and the other at a Commercial Building for a view. On the included tour of Prague, we were supposed to tour the Castle, but our guide said we were too late and the lines were too long. After a 5 hour bus ride to Budapest to Embark the ship, we were told we could not sail from Budapest and would embark at the Industrial Port of Estergom, an hours bus ride away from Budapest. That was my next dissapointment. It had been a bucket list Item to see Parliament lit up at night, but that was not going to happen as the boat was not there! Embarkation was smooth and was aboard the Viking Modi, not the Skirnir, as we had already been informed of a ship swap the next week. The ship itself was luxurious, absolute 5 star. The Staterooms were beautiful with plenty of storage space. Bathroom design was fabulous. All the Staff on the Modi were outstanding, the Musicians very talented, and the food choices were fantastic. We were looked after very well and even a small Birthday cake on my special day. The Wifi is just terrible- no excuse for such a poor bandwidth. The administration and organisation was excellent ( our on board credit was ready for us and our account always accessible upon asking.) I would not bother with a verandah stateroom though. The ship is either docked in industrial ports or tied up to another ship and you have to draw the curtains for privacy. Included tour of Budapest dissapointing as rushed due to Bus time. This became the normal for each port- too much time on busses, restricting ou free time to enjoy and relax. The cruising we did do until Regensburg was lovely especially the Wacchau Valley. We had to swap ships on to the Skirnir at Regensberg- this was seamless. Just leave luggage outside the door in the Morning and it was like getting on the same boat after the day tour. The Skirnir was a little more 'tired' looking than the Modi and the staff not as friendly. We thought that would be the only disruption to the cruise until the bad news that we could not sail past the City of Mainz, 2 hours from Cologne and that we would disembark a day earlier to a Hotel in Amsterdam. The atmosphere was getting a bit tense. Our Tour Director, Terry was doing an outstanding job of trying to hold everything together under trying conditions. Because we could not sail the Middle Rhine, we were given an option of bussing to Rudesheim to board a flat bottomed day ship, so we could see the famous Castles. This was a very long day, but we were glad we did it to see the Rhine. The lunch provided at the Loreley Restaurant was truly terrible. The River levels are shockingly low and have been for a long time. Viking long ships have a draft with minimum 1.7m on them. So they were never goung to sail through. We later met some fellow Australians who sailed with Travel Marvel. They did the same cruise but their ship got all the way through to Amsterdam. From here, everything went pear shaped. Our Cologne Optional Tour was refunded as we would not be there. We Disembarked in Mainz and long bus tour to Cologne for a hurried walking tour. No scenic cruising of Waal and Merwede or Kinderdijk Windmills. Again, the hotel (Highett Regency) in Amsterdam is a 2km walk from the Old town. Not a big deal for us , but their were quite a lot of much older people on the cruise that would have had a problem. The included walking tour of Amsterdam was useless. The guide was more interested in showing us the area nearby and the signs on the letter boxes that meant 'No junk Mail'. We never went to the historical area. It was lucky we had extra days in Amsterdam to explore on our own. A few days after our cruise we recieved a welcome home letter and apology from Viking for the disrupted itinerary. They said we would receive seperately, a voucher for 50% off a further cruise. We are still waiting for that. We feel it should have been a 30% refund of what we had already done, to be fair. I doubt we would ever risk another River Cruise or recomend using Viking. There are other Company's with smaller drafts on their ships that will get through the rivers in Europe. I feel that Viking Management are not transparent enough with regards to Itinerary changes and water levels ,especially in these days when long term forecasts are able to give an accurate indication of rainfall.The rivers have been low for months. In fairness to Viking, you ships are lovely but you contingency plan for low water is not. I was exhausted after this 'relaxing' tour. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was well worth it. This was our first time doing a river boat cruise and we expected the shore excursions to be so-so. Turns out they were of extremely high calibre and the guides were absolutely outstanding. The staff were ... Read More
This cruise was well worth it. This was our first time doing a river boat cruise and we expected the shore excursions to be so-so. Turns out they were of extremely high calibre and the guides were absolutely outstanding. The staff were very friendly and always willing to help. The only reason I gave an overall rating of 4 as opposed to 5 is due to the fact that the dining seating arrangements are geared towards extroverts. All tables in the dining room seat 6 and seating is on a first come first serve basis. This means that you are always dining with other people. This is OK for the first 4-5 days but both my wife and I are introverts and after a while we were people out. The Aquavit lounge provides a bit of a relief from this as there are two tables for 2 (the others are tables for 4) but given that we were not the only introverts on the ship, these were prized and very difficult to get. That said, this was the only downside. Otherwise, the experience was exceptional. Kudos to Stephen Guy our cruise director who went out of his way to make this an even more enjoyable cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Heard great things about Viking river cruise. Viking supposedly rated the best which would justify the huge cost. This was to have been the vacation of a lifetime and a celebration of our 44th wedding anniversary. It didn't come ... Read More
Heard great things about Viking river cruise. Viking supposedly rated the best which would justify the huge cost. This was to have been the vacation of a lifetime and a celebration of our 44th wedding anniversary. It didn't come close. First, the good things: Food was excellent with a lot of variety. Ship was kept extremely clean. Modi crew was excellent - Skirnir crew was bad. Viking handled transfers to and from airport very well. Now, the not so good. Prague pre cruise 3 day extension was OK except for an 8 hour bus ride from Prague to Budapest - this wasted one whole day of the extension. Initially when I asked how we would be transferred from hotel to boat I was told a 5 to 6 hour luxurious bus ride. We were required to transfer from the Modi to the Skirnir since ships could not make it due to water levels and very little rain. Viking would not confirm or deny that we would have ship changes even though they were very aware it would be necessary. Transfer to new ship was seamless except for having to pack and unpack. We were unable to do any of our Budapest excursions and missed out on several others. Crew on Modi knew my name by second day and were always smiling. Stateroom person was terrible on Skirnir - most always our room was not serviced until late afternoon. The Modi bartenders were always interacting with passengers and had no problems with making any kind of cocktail. The Skirnir bartenders never interacted and were rude most times. One instance was when I asked for a chocolate martini - he said they didn't make them. I then asked for a shot of vodka and a shot of Baileys as a substitute. He said they didn't have a vanilla vodka - which I had not asked for. Another passenger stepped in and told him just mix what was asked for which he eventually did. This was noted by several people and several comments were made to Anthony. Also several times the bartenders rolled their eyes at passengers and spoke in their own language which appeared they were dissing the passengers. We paid quite a bit of money for this trip and the last week was not near as enjoyable as the first week. Just saying - Viking knew weeks in advance that we would need at least one ship change yet they would not tell us until the day before the shift. They did give us a 15% voucher but felt it should have been at least 25% Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Sailed with friends from Amsterdam to Budapest on VRC. This is not our first river cruise and will not be our last. The crew, service, food, drinks, etc. were excellent. Special kudo's to our Cruise Director who made everyone feel ... Read More
Sailed with friends from Amsterdam to Budapest on VRC. This is not our first river cruise and will not be our last. The crew, service, food, drinks, etc. were excellent. Special kudo's to our Cruise Director who made everyone feel special! Although the river levels did not permit 100% travel via the rivers, Viking went out of their way to ensure that all guests got to partake in their excursions. The buses that Viking used were fairly new and very comfortable. What made this cruise enjoyable for us were the times spent with friends, meeting new friends and seeing sites that we have not seen on past trips to Europe. Not to mention almost perfect weather. Two plus weeks with only one day of rain! September is a great month to visit Europe and doing a river cruise is a nice way to travel. Meals were not as lavish as a Viking Ocean Cruise, but you did not go away hungry! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Have seen TV ads and received literature on Viking cruises for several years. Decided to make our 20th Anniversary cruise a big one so took the European 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Viking made all our arrangements and we ... Read More
Have seen TV ads and received literature on Viking cruises for several years. Decided to make our 20th Anniversary cruise a big one so took the European 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Viking made all our arrangements and we couldn't have been better taken care of. We arrived early A.M. in Amsterdam and were bused to the Skirnir with a buffet lunch waiting for us as we waited for our rooms to be ready. (Because of low river levels, we started our cruise on the Skirnir - changed to the Modi later.) The staff on both ships was outstanding; our veranda cabin just what we expected; dining was over the top! This was our first cruise of any kind and we loved it! The shore excursions were very informative with excellent guides and lovely, picturesque places. Our first included tour of the Kinderdijk Windmills was a personal love because my grandfather came from South Holland. We chose 3 additional excursions - Cologne Beer Garden/Dinner which was such fun with Kolsch beer and sausage/sauerkraut, etc.; the Lipizzaner Stallions Backstage was very interesting-getting up close and almost personal with them but would really have loved to have a performance included; and the Schonbrunn Palace is everything magnificent and glittery with enormous grounds gardens that are breathtaking. The tours were graded for difficulty and they were quite true to their rating. Our Program Director, Anthony, was outstanding! He kept us informed all along the way of our next days activities and the low water issue. We did have to change ships half way through but the changeover was handled smoothly and the balance of our trip on the Modi was just as great. Viking certainly has their act together on delivering a memorable and wonderful vacation!! When we are ready to do another, we will certainly explore Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our 1st River Cruise and my wife and I had a fantastic time!! Before I continue I must say that Stephen Guy, our Cruise Director, was beyond phenomenal!!! He enhanced our cruise experience so much! When we would come back from ... Read More
This was our 1st River Cruise and my wife and I had a fantastic time!! Before I continue I must say that Stephen Guy, our Cruise Director, was beyond phenomenal!!! He enhanced our cruise experience so much! When we would come back from an excursion, and hear his friendly voice, we felt that we were back home! We booked the post extension stay in Amsterdam and so glad we did! Doing the B>A cruise you must do the extension in order to visit this charming city! We did have one ship swap in the middle of our cruise which was seamless! We did have to eliminate one of the optional excursions in Nuremberg! I have to say that we would have been upset if it was more than one ship swap! I know that Viking has no control over the river conditions! We thoroughly enjoyed the casual and open seating dining on the cruise! We met so many new friends on the cruise during breakfast, lunch and dinner! The food throughout the cruise was excellent with many local dishes served according to location! The French Balcony Room was more than adequate! There are so many varied opinions on what room guests prefer! We knew we did not want the room with the small window but we did debate between the French Balcony and the Veranda! The French Balcony was fine as we were hardly in the room except to sleep! All of the excursions were well organized and worthwhile! We booked numerous optional excursions and these were enjoyable as well! We wanted to make the most out of our European experience! Each night before dinner they would review the next days itinerary so that you knew exactly how to plan your day! Each morning you would get a 15 minute warning before your excursions departure! Stephen Guy, our Program Director, was always on top of everything and available for any questions! Each days activities were extremely well organized and planned! The entire staff was extremely friendly and went out of their way to please! This made our cruise so much more enjoyable! I would highly recommend that everyone should take a river cruise with Viking! We hope to book another Viking Cruise in the near future! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Best ever, Service was outstanding. Although the rivers were low, Viking did an outstanding job rearranging all the activities. The weather was super except it could of rained a bit more during the night. Food was great, did not have ... Read More
Best ever, Service was outstanding. Although the rivers were low, Viking did an outstanding job rearranging all the activities. The weather was super except it could of rained a bit more during the night. Food was great, did not have a bad meal. All the ports were very interesting. We walked about 3 or 4 miles a day, which was great exercise and to work some of the food off we ate. We extended in Prague which was beautiful. They really took care of us getting to hotel and airport. Every employee made this trip great, they work as a team and help each other when needed. More information about water levels when we booked the trip would be recommended. We knew nothing about the water levels until 3 weeks before we left. Viking made an offer we couldn't resist and will be taking an Ocean cruise in 2020. Great job to the entire team. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Our first cruise, river or otherwise. An excellent experience, even with the diversions caused by the water level being too low for the ship to traverse certain parts of the river. These diversions were handled professionally and as ... Read More
Our first cruise, river or otherwise. An excellent experience, even with the diversions caused by the water level being too low for the ship to traverse certain parts of the river. These diversions were handled professionally and as minimally disruptive as possible. We were bused from one ship to another identical ship, and our luggage just appeared in our stateroom on the new ship.They had staff available at the airport on arrival, and on departure, they had staff at the airport assisting in the checkin process, up to the security checkpoint. At the departure, we we considered a "group" and directed to the airline priority checkin line, even though our tickets were not of that class. Some optional tours had to be cancelled due to the low water, and we were refunded for them in the form of a real check (not future credit). Many shore excursions were offered in a variation of required exertion, so you take the easy one if you wanted, or one with a lot of walking and stairs if that is what you wanted. While some people prefer to venture out on their own, the "handholding" experience from Viking is exactly what WE were looking for. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This cruise was highly recommended. I would agree it was beyond my expectations! It was a seamless operation, well-organized, high quality in every aspect. The ship was clean and well maintained at all times. Our cabin was lovely. Every ... Read More
This cruise was highly recommended. I would agree it was beyond my expectations! It was a seamless operation, well-organized, high quality in every aspect. The ship was clean and well maintained at all times. Our cabin was lovely. Every possible need was met. The crew was attentive to everything. The entertainment and activities were fantastic. Every meal was prepared perfectly and simply delicious! There were so many choices it was incredible. I have a gluten intolerance and I never struggled at mealtimes. Our tour Director was top notch as our Director! He was very approachable, knowledgeable, friendly, funny, and attentive to each passenger. Due to low water levels we had to change ships to reach our final destination. This process was beyond our expectation as to how seamless it was for us. Kudos to the crew! They made this wonderful trip a pleasant and memorable experience. And the shore excursions just added even more positive experiences to the trip! I highly recommend a river cruise! We have already booked another cruise for next year! Read Less
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