The Lofn is new this year and had made only five short cruises before we were on its first Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. We anticipated some glitches from a new vessel and crew, and we were very pleasantly surprised that there were none! Our transfer from the Amsterdam airport to the ship was well handled, our cabin was ready and our luggage came to us shortly after we arrived. Our veranda cabin was compact but comfortable, and we spent many pleasant hours on or balcony watching the river scene go by. The crew was well trained and friendly and helpful. Every evening we had a complete report on the next day's activities delivered to our cabin, and the times were respected with minimal waiting. The food was very good, if somewhat fussy. So we had an excellent vacation and cannot fault the Lofn and its crew in any respect.
The weak spot in the Viking River Cruise operation is in the shore excursions and the guides used by all the Viking ships. There is minimal preparation for the passengers before arrival, so the guides head for the least common denominator in what they say. Some seemed to be more interested in listening to themselves talk and in perfecting their memorized patter than in being useful to us. Our first urban stop was in Cologne, and we were outraged that our guide never took us inside any building, that her discussion of Cologne Cathedral was worthless, that there was no mention of the nearby Romanesque churches for which Cologne is famous, and that we had lost precious hours to her we could have used much better on our own. Things did not get better as the voyage proceeded. Two suggestions to Viking: first, distribute materials on each excursion to the passengers in advance, so they will know what the guide will be discussing; second, encourage independent shore excursions by providing specific information on how to get around the city being visited.
The king bed took up most of the cabin, but around its edges we found room for everything we needed, and were very comfortable. We appreciated the night light in the bathroom, the heated bathroom floor, and other touches that showed that the designers had paid attention to how real people actually live. The veranda is very useful on a river cruise, and we were tied up next to other ships and without the use of our veranda only a few times.