1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Viking Gullveig
After thoroughly enjoying a Viking cruise on the Rhine a couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to cruise the Danube this year. The last half or so of the cruise was impacted by a river blockage resulting from a grounded barge. Low water level and excessive barge weight apparently played a part in the grounding. As a result, we were bused around the blockage the last 4 days of our trip so we could visit the scheduled towns. We changed to a new vessel the night before disembarking for flights home, resulting in additional packing and unpacking. Total bus and taxi riding time during our 12 days in Europe was almost 30 hours. Our daily schedule evolved into getting up early to eat breakfast so we could get an early start on a bus trip; drive a significant distant to the venue; take a hurried bus tour of the area; eat lunch in a large, crowded, noisy restaurant; take another hurried previously purchased optional excursion in the area; ride the bus for two hours or more (on one case 4+ hours because of construction on the autobahn) back to the ship; almost immediately go to the review session of next day’s schedule so we would know what changes had been made in the schedule; eat a delayed dinner (7:15 p.m. or later) that took 2+ hours to complete due to slow and/or limited staff; almost immediately prepare for bed; and repeat the schedule the next day. My wife and I were bone tired at the end of our ‘vacation’. Viking was not responsible to the river blockage, but how they handled the situation was poor. We had a large room with balcony but could rarely use it due to being gone most of the day (the river cruising part of the trip was not possible the last few days), and because we usually had another Viking ship moored next to us when docked, resulting in our curtains usually being closed while not moving. We were also moored at industrial area docks due to the large number of ships being jammed up by the river blockage, so there was nothing to see in the area even if we had had time to explore the area while docked. Viking had about 11 river vessels in 2011. Since that time they’ve added over 50 vessels to their fleet, with about 35 of those being added in the last 2.5 years. It’s obvious their rapid growth has impacted quality, and they seem to be having trouble adequately staffing the vessels. Venues are very crowded. And ships mooring at popular locations can be three deep. As an example, almost every night our ship was re-positioned at the same mooring to either let another ship in closer to shore or to let one out. We never knew what we would see when we opened our curtains in the morning. This is not a cheap vacation. With Viking's obvious emphasis on growing revenue and earnings, apparently at the expense of customer satisfaction, it’s definitely a case of buyer beware.

Viking Fleet Growing Too Fast?

Viking Gullveig Cruise Review by Traveler125

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
After thoroughly enjoying a Viking cruise on the Rhine a couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to cruise the Danube this year. The last half or so of the cruise was impacted by a river blockage resulting from a grounded barge. Low water level and excessive barge weight apparently played a part in the grounding. As a result, we were bused around the blockage the last 4 days of our trip so we could visit the scheduled towns. We changed to a new vessel the night before disembarking for flights home, resulting in additional packing and unpacking. Total bus and taxi riding time during our 12 days in Europe was almost 30 hours. Our daily schedule evolved into getting up early to eat breakfast so we could get an early start on a bus trip; drive a significant distant to the venue; take a hurried bus tour of the area; eat lunch in a large, crowded, noisy restaurant; take another hurried previously purchased optional excursion in the area; ride the bus for two hours or more (on one case 4+ hours because of construction on the autobahn) back to the ship; almost immediately go to the review session of next day’s schedule so we would know what changes had been made in the schedule; eat a delayed dinner (7:15 p.m. or later) that took 2+ hours to complete due to slow and/or limited staff; almost immediately prepare for bed; and repeat the schedule the next day. My wife and I were bone tired at the end of our ‘vacation’.

Viking was not responsible to the river blockage, but how they handled the situation was poor. We had a large room with balcony but could rarely use it due to being gone most of the day (the river cruising part of the trip was not possible the last few days), and because we usually had another Viking ship moored next to us when docked, resulting in our curtains usually being closed while not moving. We were also moored at industrial area docks due to the large number of ships being jammed up by the river blockage, so there was nothing to see in the area even if we had had time to explore the area while docked.

Viking had about 11 river vessels in 2011. Since that time they’ve added over 50 vessels to their fleet, with about 35 of those being added in the last 2.5 years. It’s obvious their rapid growth has impacted quality, and they seem to be having trouble adequately staffing the vessels. Venues are very crowded. And ships mooring at popular locations can be three deep. As an example, almost every night our ship was re-positioned at the same mooring to either let another ship in closer to shore or to let one out. We never knew what we would see when we opened our curtains in the morning.

This is not a cheap vacation. With Viking's obvious emphasis on growing revenue and earnings, apparently at the expense of customer satisfaction, it’s definitely a case of buyer beware.
Traveler125’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Viking Gullveig price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.