Viking Njord Cruise Review by Carol From California
- Sail Date: August 2014
- Destination: Europe River
A few months ago we had our first experience with Viking, in China. Although it is called a “river cruise” you are only on the river portion for 5 nights and the rest of the time you are at hotels in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. The trip also includes flights within China. We decided to try a Viking river cruise in Europe, but were a little apprehensive about it since there seem to be mixed reviews on the Europe itineraries. The China trip was fantastic by the way!
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Viking’s “Romantic Danube” cruise. We thought Viking did an outstanding job. We booked a balcony cabin. The cabins are certainly smaller than what we are used to with ocean cruising on luxury lines, but the cabin is laid out very well with lots of storage. We were able to unpack everything and slide the suitcases under the bed. The bathroom is also really tiny but space is well utilized. Our ship held 190 people but were told there were 171 people on board.
We were originally supposed to be on the Hlin, but at the last minute we were told we would be on the Njord. Although the longships are identical, the Njord was built in 2012 and the Hlin was a new ship that had only had a few sailings. Part of the reason the ships were switched is because of the broken lock from a few months ago which left ships on opposite sides of the river.
We felt that the Njord showed signs of use, which was most noticeable with the mattress and pillows. The mattress felt a bit worn and lumpy and pillows went FLAT when you laid your head on them. We also noticed that the furniture in the lounge was nicked and there were some broken lounges on the top deck. Other than that the entire experience was EXCELLENT! I am sure had we been on the Hllin (newer ship) it would not have been this way.
We had a wonderful hotel manager (Doris Neger) and program director (Stein Dyb), and all the other staff and servers were excellent. The food was so much better than we anticipated it would be. We normally cruise on Regent and have cruised on Silversea. The food was actually better than Silversea and in some ways was at least on par with Regent, or maybe even better. We did not expect that and were pleasantly surprised. One night they had an Austrian themed dinner. All the staff were dressed up in Austrian costumes. They had the main courses in the kitchen and we had to go in there to get it….it was a fun experience and they did a great job with this dinner and with local musicians. The service on the ship was excellent overall. Included wines with lunch and dinner were local wines for the most part or Viking’s label, and were all perfectly fine.
There were many activities and excursions all handled perfectly by Viking. A few nights they had local entertainment which we enjoyed….they were mostly opera singers. We booked the BMW factory tour and thought it was fantastic! They only allow 30 people on this tour (from Regensburg), so sign up early if you want to go on this tour. The included excursions were all very good and allowed us time to stay in the town to wander around on our own.
Of course there is always the chance of high water or low water on the Danube, and broken locks which are things out of Viking’s control. We are fortunate that we did not experience any of these issues.
We are booked with Viking for 2016 on the new OCEAN cruise ship they are building.
250,000+ people have entered their email