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We've been on one other river cruise (France) and loved it so much we were a little hesitant that this 14 day cruise might not be as nice. We shouldn't have worried. The ship was wonderful, the itinerary was wonderful and the entire Viking staff was amazing. Bottom line, we LOVED both the cruise line (Viking) and the itinerary (Grand European). We arrived at Budapest airport in the afternoon of boarding day and were greeted (along with a lot of other people) by representatives of various river cruise lines. After check-in, we boarded a bus and set off for the dock. It was a little "iffy" at first as the crew on the dock didn't seem to realize that there was a bus full of people arriving from the airport (and neither did the front desk staff as it took several minutes for someone to appear). After that, everything was absolutely seamless. We were shown to our cabin and then told a light lunch was being served. Of course it was the first day and everyone was exploring the ship and meeting each other, but the atmosphere was still calm and relaxed. The next day we awoke, ate breakfast and prepared for our included excursion. This was our only opportunity to explore Budapest but it gave us an overview and we were able to explore a little more, close to the boat, on our own in the afternoon. That evening, after dinner, the captain pulled away from the dock and gave us a brief cruise past the lights of Budapest. Beautiful! During the remainder of our cruise we enjoyed good weather which helped but what we really enjoyed was the itinerary itself -- absolutely wonderful. I never dreamed that a major river (the Danube) would be narrow enough to enjoy the passing countryside, almost at arm's length. The cities we visited were amazing and the included tours, for the most part were very enjoyable and gave you a good overview of the cities. The food and drinks on board were quite good and, while the serving sizes may be smaller than some are used to on cruise ships, I found it refreshing not to have to leave food on my plate because there was too much. Plus, if you wanted more, you received it! The buffets at breakfast and lunch were great and I loved the fact that you had two choices for dining. We loved, loved our bar staff and enjoyed many evenings just sitting and chatting with them. We found everyone on the Ingvi Viking staff to be warm and welcoming and we really appreciated the fact that the crew did not try to call everyone by name. Instead, they chatted and bantered with the guests, answered questions, pointed out sights and just acted more like friends. In fact, the entire atmosphere of the ship was one of relaxed friendship. You could tell that from the Captain on down, everyone looked out for each other and, if someone needed help, another crew member was right there. I have never been on a cruise, river or sea, where there was such an obvious feeling of camaraderie. If I could cruise again with the same ship, the same crew, the same itinerary and the same weather, I'd be standing on the dock, suitcase in hand right now. As it is, I now count Viking as one of my favorite, if not my favorite, cruise lines. (Of course, I've decided that I love river cruising!!)

One of the best cruises around!

Viking Ingvi Cruise Review by manydogs

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
We've been on one other river cruise (France) and loved it so much we were a little hesitant that this 14 day cruise might not be as nice. We shouldn't have worried. The ship was wonderful, the itinerary was wonderful and the entire Viking staff was amazing. Bottom line, we LOVED both the cruise line (Viking) and the itinerary (Grand European).

We arrived at Budapest airport in the afternoon of boarding day and were greeted (along with a lot of other people) by representatives of various river cruise lines. After check-in, we boarded a bus and set off for the dock. It was a little "iffy" at first as the crew on the dock didn't seem to realize that there was a bus full of people arriving from the airport (and neither did the front desk staff as it took several minutes for someone to appear). After that, everything was absolutely seamless.

We were shown to our cabin and then told a light lunch was being served. Of course it was the first day and everyone was exploring the ship and meeting each other, but the atmosphere was still calm and relaxed. The next day we awoke, ate breakfast and prepared for our included excursion. This was our only opportunity to explore Budapest but it gave us an overview and we were able to explore a little more, close to the boat, on our own in the afternoon. That evening, after dinner, the captain pulled away from the dock and gave us a brief cruise past the lights of Budapest. Beautiful!

During the remainder of our cruise we enjoyed good weather which helped but what we really enjoyed was the itinerary itself -- absolutely wonderful. I never dreamed that a major river (the Danube) would be narrow enough to enjoy the passing countryside, almost at arm's length. The cities we visited were amazing and the included tours, for the most part were very enjoyable and gave you a good overview of the cities.

The food and drinks on board were quite good and, while the serving sizes may be smaller than some are used to on cruise ships, I found it refreshing not to have to leave food on my plate because there was too much. Plus, if you wanted more, you received it! The buffets at breakfast and lunch were great and I loved the fact that you had two choices for dining. We loved, loved our bar staff and enjoyed many evenings just sitting and chatting with them.

We found everyone on the Ingvi Viking staff to be warm and welcoming and we really appreciated the fact that the crew did not try to call everyone by name. Instead, they chatted and bantered with the guests, answered questions, pointed out sights and just acted more like friends. In fact, the entire atmosphere of the ship was one of relaxed friendship. You could tell that from the Captain on down, everyone looked out for each other and, if someone needed help, another crew member was right there. I have never been on a cruise, river or sea, where there was such an obvious feeling of camaraderie.

If I could cruise again with the same ship, the same crew, the same itinerary and the same weather, I'd be standing on the dock, suitcase in hand right now. As it is, I now count Viking as one of my favorite, if not my favorite, cruise lines. (Of course, I've decided that I love river cruising!!)
manydogs’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Veranda Stateroom
Cabin B 309
Our cabin was more than adequate and we found it to be equal to many of the cabins we've found on ocean cruises lately. We had plenty of space for our clothes and having room under the bed to stow our suitcases was a real bonus. The bathroom was very nice and we really appreciated the heated floor. Plus, the fact that both doors of the shower opened gave you more room while getting ready as you could open the doors and you weren't hitting your elbows, etc. We found the balcony to be a real treat when passing by the countryside and when in some docking locations (not so much while we were in the locks .... slimy walls, yuck). Our only complaint was the selection of television stations. After a week, the programs began repeating. How hard is it to get tapes of old television shows or some decent movies!?!
Middle Deck Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    Hopped on a bus and took off for a whirlwind tour of Budapest. Our guide was very good, pointing out the various sights and giving us some insight into the history of the city. Loved the Fisherman's Bastion.

    Note: After the ship's tour, we walked around the area where the ship was docked; however, it was Sunday, we were still tired from our long flight so I'm sure we didn't appreciate the sights as much as we could have.
    View All 292 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    We took the City Tour which is always interesting. Cologne is a bustling, modern city which has a lot to offer.
    View All 109 City Tour Reviews
  • Walking Tour
    In the evening, we took the optional Beer Tour and had a ball walking through the little-known parts of town and sipping suds from several brew taverns. Plus, our dinner was certainly ample!! Our guide was charming and really made it lots of fun!
    View All 125 Walking Tour Reviews
  • Melk Abbey
    This was a charming stop and we enjoyed being able to walk around, seeing the Abbey and then walking through the woods back to the ship. Would love to see more of this little town.
    View All 166 Melk Abbey Reviews
  • Nuremberg
    The review is for the city itself as we have been here previously. We love Nuremberg; however, the short walking tour that was given was NOT good. Basically, they drop you off at the top of the hill, walk you down a bit and then leave you in the town square for nearly two hours. There was another tour from the ship for people with limited mobility and these poor people were dropped off as well and then left to their own device. Many from our group ended up helping those with limited mobility. Viking really needs to do something about this tour as the city of Nuremberg has so much to see (the wall, the cathedral, etc.) and I felt our guides were just glad to be rid of us.
    View All 497 Nuremberg Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Walking Tour
    We weren't able to attend a concert due to conflicting schedules on the church's part; however, we were able to walk to the confluence of the three rivers and enjoy the scenery.
    View All 187 Walking Tour Reviews
  • Regensburg
    A charming city that was untouched by the bombings of WWII. This is a city that I definitely want to visit again.

    Note: We also took the BMW factory tour and, while it was interesting to see the secrecy involved with this company and tour the facility to see it's robotics, I'm not sure I'd want to take this tour again. It was, frankly a bit boring.
    View All 496 Regensburg Cruise Port Reviews
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  • City Tour
    Having been to Vienna before, we just enjoyed walking with the tour guide and listening to the stories of this magical city all over again. I would highly recommend touring the Schonbrunn Palace on your own or taking a side trip to Prague, one of our favorite cities.
    View All 148 City Tour Reviews
  • Wurzburg
    Such an amazing city! We spent most of our time at the Residence Palace but that was fine with me. I was amazed at how this structure was rebuilt after WWII and what it took to save it. From what we saw, it's a city to visit again and explore a little more in depth.
    View All 187 Wurzburg Cruise Port Reviews
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