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We chose the Rhine Getaway largely because of the moderate summer temperatures in northern Europe in July/August. This was our first river cruise. We had no ideas what to expect. My biggest concern was that there would be little independent time and little activity. My concerns were quickly dispelled. We did the Amsterdam pre-extension, which I highly recommend because Amsterdam is an WONDERFUL city, and we were able to adjust to the time change. The hotel, the Radisson Blu, was well-located and quite nice. The included walking tour was fine. Our independent travel was better, walking, enjoying the incredible architecture, navigating public transportation, visiting wonderful museums, and dining in very good restaurants along the canals. The included canal boat tour on day 2 of our cruise was ok...something a tourist must do. The cruise itself was quite good, usually cruising during the night, a morning stop and walking tour in an historic city/town. We were often bussed to the towns, but this was fine as the Viking-owned busses are quite nice and the road trip was interesting. There were usually optional afternoon and/or evening tours. I was really impressed though that for the rest of the day, Viking offered shuttle service to and from the towns we had visited, so we could explore independently if we wanted. We only did one optional tour--to the medieval village of Colmar in France. Our tour guide was excellent and this was a lovely little French town that was untouched by the war (unlike, say, Cologne). Our only disappointment was the Black Forest tour. Frankly what we saw of the Black Forest was not that exciting and the destination was a touristy shopping place that sold a lot of cuckoo clocks. Staff on the cruise was outstanding, even compared to our positive big cruise ship experiences. The Program Director, Renee, was SO organized and entertaining. A good piano/singer was with us in the evenings for the entire trip, and a few local entertainers were also brought on board. In the process of dining, visiting the lounge, and daily trips, we met many friendly people and shared travel experiences. The ship is very well appointed, sunny and open, light contemporary decor. Food was generally very good. We purchased the wine package, which we would not repeat. The regular wines were fine and the package was way to heavily loaded with German wines for our taste. We did a 2-day extension in Lucerne, a truly beautiful city. I regret that we did not do the optional train into the Alps, but just walking the city and cruising on Lake Lucerne were very good. My only complaint about Viking had to do with travel and left hand not communicating with right hand. We booked through Viking Air because of the low cost and because it included escorted transfer from the airport to our hotel. Although there are several direct flights from Detroit to Amsterdam, we were booked initially with a 1-hour layover in Dulles, just barely enough time to make our connecting flight to Amsterdam if nothing went wrong. What were they thinking! It took 3 phone calls and a lot of stress before Viking Air agreed to change our flight, which in the end had a reasonable connection in Newark. Upon arrival in Amsterdam, we found that Viking Air had not informed the Viking transfer company (all of these services seem to be subcontracted) that we would be arriving 3 hours later, so there was no one to pick us up when we arrived. There were several red-shirted Viking reps there however who did arrange a pickup for us, but in our fatigued state, the delay was really frustrating. Also in a call to Viking before our trip, we were assured that we could check in to our hotel upon early morning arrival. The hotel made it very clear that they had been fully booked the night before and no one could check in until 1 pm. Again, bad communication and a lot of frustrated Viking travelers arriving at the hotel. I do have to add that our transfer from our Lucerne hotel to the Zurich airport was quite nice. My husband and I were chauffeured in a Mercedes, and the driver gave us a nice tour of Zurich on the way. So, we are looking at a possible Viking Danube trip for 2017. If we book it, we will: 1) monitor the Viking air reservation situation very closely and 2) do more research on independent travel possibilities along our itinerary, now that we know that those opportunities will be there. Oh yes, and bring your home medicine cabinet (aspirin, antidiarrheals, etc.) as there is no medical care on these ships. I had to spend time in Amsterdam searching for drug stores when there were much better things to do.

Very Good Rhine Getaway on Viking

Viking Lofn Cruise Review by jquinli

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Superior
We chose the Rhine Getaway largely because of the moderate summer temperatures in northern Europe in July/August. This was our first river cruise.

We had no ideas what to expect. My biggest concern was that there would be little independent time and little activity. My concerns were quickly dispelled.

We did the Amsterdam pre-extension, which I highly recommend because Amsterdam is an WONDERFUL city, and we were able to adjust to the time change. The hotel, the Radisson Blu, was well-located and quite nice. The included walking tour was fine. Our independent travel was better, walking, enjoying the incredible architecture, navigating public transportation, visiting wonderful museums, and dining in very good restaurants along the canals. The included canal boat tour on day 2 of our cruise was ok...something a tourist must do.

The cruise itself was quite good, usually cruising during the night, a morning stop and walking tour in an historic city/town. We were often bussed to the towns, but this was fine as the Viking-owned busses are quite nice and the road trip was interesting. There were usually optional afternoon and/or evening tours. I was really impressed though that for the rest of the day, Viking offered shuttle service to and from the towns we had visited, so we could explore independently if we wanted. We only did one optional tour--to the medieval village of Colmar in France. Our tour guide was excellent and this was a lovely little French town that was untouched by the war (unlike, say, Cologne). Our only disappointment was the Black Forest tour. Frankly what we saw of the Black Forest was not that exciting and the destination was a touristy shopping place that sold a lot of cuckoo clocks.

Staff on the cruise was outstanding, even compared to our positive big cruise ship experiences. The Program Director, Renee, was SO organized and entertaining. A good piano/singer was with us in the evenings for the entire trip, and a few local entertainers were also brought on board. In the process of dining, visiting the lounge, and daily trips, we met many friendly people and shared travel experiences.

The ship is very well appointed, sunny and open, light contemporary decor. Food was generally very good. We purchased the wine package, which we would not repeat. The regular wines were fine and the package was way to heavily loaded with German wines for our taste.

We did a 2-day extension in Lucerne, a truly beautiful city. I regret that we did not do the optional train into the Alps, but just walking the city and cruising on Lake Lucerne were very good.

My only complaint about Viking had to do with travel and left hand not communicating with right hand. We booked through Viking Air because of the low cost and because it included escorted transfer from the airport to our hotel. Although there are several direct flights from Detroit to Amsterdam, we were booked initially with a 1-hour layover in Dulles, just barely enough time to make our connecting flight to Amsterdam if nothing went wrong. What were they thinking! It took 3 phone calls and a lot of stress before Viking Air agreed to change our flight, which in the end had a reasonable connection in Newark.

Upon arrival in Amsterdam, we found that Viking Air had not informed the Viking transfer company (all of these services seem to be subcontracted) that we would be arriving 3 hours later, so there was no one to pick us up when we arrived. There were several red-shirted Viking reps there however who did arrange a pickup for us, but in our fatigued state, the delay was really frustrating.

Also in a call to Viking before our trip, we were assured that we could check in to our hotel upon early morning arrival. The hotel made it very clear that they had been fully booked the night before and no one could check in until 1 pm. Again, bad communication and a lot of frustrated Viking travelers arriving at the hotel. I do have to add that our transfer from our Lucerne hotel to the Zurich airport was quite nice. My husband and I were chauffeured in a Mercedes, and the driver gave us a nice tour of Zurich on the way.

So, we are looking at a possible Viking Danube trip for 2017. If we book it, we will: 1) monitor the Viking air reservation situation very closely and 2) do more research on independent travel possibilities along our itinerary, now that we know that those opportunities will be there. Oh yes, and bring your home medicine cabinet (aspirin, antidiarrheals, etc.) as there is no medical care on these ships. I had to spend time in Amsterdam searching for drug stores when there were much better things to do.
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Cabin Review

Veranda Superior
Cabin A
Our veranda room on the third level was comfortable and well-appointed. We did not use the veranda a lot and might go for a French balcony the next time. The bathroom is small but so well organized that there were spaces for all of our toiletries without clutter. Heated floor was very nice touch. Big suitcases fit under the bed.
Upper level of the ship has a walking circuit.
Upper Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews