I have been on many cruises, but never a river cruise. When I saw an add for Viking's 2-for-1 special I knew it was a perfect opportunity. As far value for the money goes, this cruise couldn't be beat. We saw Switzerland, Germany, and France for a fraction of the cost.
Every morning we woke up in a new port and got ready for an 8 am tour. While most people like to sleep in on vacation, it was definitely worth getting up. The tours were led by local guides and they were wonderful. They all spoke English very well and provided us with all sorts of detailed information about every town and village we happened to be in. The tours were a huge part of why this cruise was so wonderful.
As far as the ship goes it was very nice. The cabins were larger than those on the ocean ships, and very comfortable. Breakfast was always buffet style in the dining room, but they also had a small menu that you could order waffles or omelets from. For lunch we were provided with 2 options, a buffet in the lounge, or table service in the dining room. Dinner was served everyday at 7 in the dining room and the menu always had a local dish so we could try foods from the region we visited during the day.
The only bad thing I can say about this trip is that there was some sort of virus traveling around the ship and the staff neglected to tell us. We had 8 people in our group and 5 of us came down with this norwalk-like virus. I became so ill that I was unable to get ashore in Cologne, which should have been the best Christmas Markets on our trip. I also overheard other passengers commenting on being in local emergency rooms because they had become ill. It would have been nice for someone on the ship to mention that something was going around so we could take extra precautions, or for the staff to have been out disinfecting every surface like they do when viruses are detected on the larger cruise ships.
If not for this illness this cruise would have been a 10 out of 10, but despite this setback I would still recommend Viking because of the great value.