We chose the Grand European Cruise because the itinerary covered destinations we had not visited previously. We chose Viking because of our experience with them on our previous Russian river cruise and our Mediterranean cruise. We booked both the pre and post cruise stays in Amsterdam and Budapest. Transfers were smoothly handled by Viking. Viking staff were exceptionally helpful in arranging for touring of pre and post cities. We found that the combination of included and optional tours gave us an excellent overview of four countries and the important sites of 14 ports.
The Skadi was immaculate from stem to stern. Our stateroom was more than adequate. Our steward kept it spotless. The food was top-notch and the dining staff were efficient and accommodating. Entertainment was varied. Guest demonstrations and presentations were also included. Daily briefings about each port were informative and helpful for planning. The organization and execution of daily tours was well coordinated. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable about the subject matter of their tours.
Captain Tietz and his crew navigated the rivers and canal with ease. He spoke informally with passengers on several occasions in the lounge. He made every effort to insure that passengers safety and needs were his first consideration. It was pleasing to note that he would even lend a hand to assist staff members in their duties. In addition, it was quite common for him to join guests having breakfast.