River cruising is a relaxing and interesting way to travel. There is much more focus on experiencing the local environment, culture and history than on Ocean Cruises. Viking did an excellent job of organizing tours, coordinating transport and and enabling us to get the most out of our brief visits to towns and cities along the Rhine and Danube. The staff was excellent, proficient and friendly. The Program Director "Joey" was excellent and made even the inconvenient times bearable. Due to an accident blocking traffic on the Danube we had to complete our cruise by bus, which is no ones idea of a great way to travel. However, Viking went a above and beyond to ensure we were taken care of and completed our journey. Joey and Sandra, Viking Staff, stayed with on the buses and in the hotels and did everything in their power to make sure we had an enjoyable experience. Their professionalism, friendliness and enthusiasm kept us all together and made up for the disruption and inconvenience.
The food and accommodations aboard the Bragi were excellent. The ship was clean and all services were provided professionally.
A word to those considering River Cruising. There is a limited number of things to keep you entertained aboard the boat. Much of the value of the trip is in the side trips and tours of the towns and cities. If you cannot comfortably walk for at least two hours, these side trips will not be practical. For much of the trip the upper deck of the boat is closed so that if you elect to stay on the boat you will be confined to your stateroom or the small public lounge on the ship. It is not always practical to take your own side trip as the boat often drops tours off and picks them up at a different docking place.
To those who have committed to a River Cruise, please think seriously about the convenience of the local population and other passengers as you walk around in your large tour groups. Don't block traffic, don't block the entrance to businesses, be considerate of locals trying to get about their daily business. And be considerate of other passengers. Pushing to get first in line, asking long and irrelevant questions, monopolizing the guide's time and attention, asking for breaks because you're unable to keep up, all make the tour unpleasant for others.
Small, but clean.