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We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently had these issues for at least 6 prior weeks. Ship swap is a repackage for an 8am pickup then unpack after a 3 hour bus ride. Additionally, our 1.5 day stay in Vienna became .5 days. Our 1.5 day in Budapest (docked in the city) became a 1 hour city tour from a remote dock due to low water. it seemed we had to meet their needs and not ours. In 3 cities, excursions were either cancelled or minimally available. Cultural on board entertainment was a 1 hour session by musicians in Nuremburg and 3 slide shows. I kept thinking "Viking has to know they are providing far less than they advertised, what special event or alternative are they planning for us"? It never came. Instead upon our return home we received a letter offering us a credit of about $1,000 against a future cruise. Wow, what a deal. We spend another $7,500 on them and they reduce our fare by $1,000! How important do they think they are? I understand that low water levels created many of these issues, but they chose this route and possible consequences. Should they not bear some of the losses by extending other benefits to people who got less than advertised? It appears their bottom line was their most important consideration. As info, I checked with other river cruisers we met in cities we visited.Avalon went to Budapest, no issues. Tauck flipped in Nuremburg to a vessel that also went straight thru. Go figure!

NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED

Viking Jarl Cruise Review by travelerc

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: French Balcony
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently had these issues for at least 6 prior weeks. Ship swap is a repackage for an 8am pickup then unpack after a 3 hour bus ride. Additionally, our 1.5 day stay in Vienna became .5 days. Our 1.5 day in Budapest (docked in the city) became a 1 hour city tour from a remote dock due to low water. it seemed we had to meet their needs and not ours. In 3 cities, excursions were either cancelled or minimally available. Cultural on board entertainment was a 1 hour session by musicians in Nuremburg and 3 slide shows. I kept thinking "Viking has to know they are providing far less than they advertised, what special event or alternative are they planning for us"? It never came. Instead upon our return home we received a letter offering us a credit of about $1,000 against a future cruise. Wow, what a deal. We spend another $7,500 on them and they reduce our fare by $1,000! How important do they think they are? I understand that low water levels created many of these issues, but they chose this route and possible consequences. Should they not bear some of the losses by extending other benefits to people who got less than advertised? It appears their bottom line was their most important consideration. As info, I checked with other river cruisers we met in cities we visited.Avalon went to Budapest, no issues. Tauck flipped in Nuremburg to a vessel that also went straight thru. Go figure!
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Thank you, travelerc, for taking the time to share your recent Viking experience with the cruising community. We recognize that you are one of the many affected by the itinerary changes implemented in response to the historically low waters that plagued Europe this year. Though Viking makes every effort to preserve the original program, we understand that the resulting deviations may fall below some guests’ expectations. All journey adjustments are made with our passengers’ best interests in mind, and accordingly we are committed to collecting and understanding all resulting feedback so that we may grow and enhance our product for more enjoyable future experiences. Your constructive comments have been recorded for review by our Executive Team, however should you like to share more we would be happy to continue the discussion at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Thank you, and have a pleasant day.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

French Balcony
Cabin D 206
Clean and always well prepared. Not sure of the need for a grand view because when you dock alongside another vessel you stare at another room aboard another ship. When you consider this premium price versus the cost for a well appointed balcony room on a quality ocean line, you have to be somewhat disappointed, at 150 square feet their French Balcony is a small room with no sitting area, The bathroom however is nicely appointed. Your alternative is meeting in two general areas. The upper deck, when available, is a great place for rover sailing during the day. The lounge area is the only option when weather is bad. I guess that is what you have to expect from river cruising.
Middle Deck Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    we had to bus to Budapest because the vessel had to dock 1 hour from Budapest. The tour consisted of a drive around the Pest section and a stop on the Buda side at the Matthias Church. what a waste. We sat in the church for 30 minutes listening to our guide. You really did not get a taste of Budapest. Then back on to the bus. Because of water conditions, that was the only opportunity for any to see Budapest. You could staty in the city (we did) for you our wandering around, Some lost that chance because they had to leave the ship early to move to a hotel for flight connections the next day.Fortunately, we had made plans for an extended stay so we got to see Budapest properly
    View All 301 City Tour Reviews
  • Nuremberg
    We enjoyed nearly 2 days in Nuremburg. The ship shuttles were timely and easily accessed. The local tour was well conducted.
    View All 521 Nuremberg Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Nuremberg Cruise Port Review
  • Passau
    This tour takes 9.5 hours. It includes about 7 hours on a bus round trip. The balance is a 45 minute walking tour, 1.25 hours of lunch (large room with a singing group performing from the "sound of Music" and another 45 minutes or so of your own time to tour the city. Salzburg is a beautiful town, but if the Sound of Music was not fimed there, it has lille extra value.
    View All 12,771 Passau Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Passau Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    Our tour guide was attentive, interesting and knowledgable, It was a great experience. What we did not do is enjoy the planned concert later in the evening because the captain told us low water levels required him to leave the dock early. this event was to be the highlight of our cruise,
    View All 151 City Tour Reviews
  • Schonbrunn Palace
    The Schonbrunn Palace was what you could expect. Crowds streaming thru 20 or so rooms. Our guide was helpful and attentive. Overall we enoyed it.
    View All 152 Schonbrunn Palace Reviews