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Numerous friends recommended Viking River Cruises. We decided to treat ourselves to the Romanic Danube Cruise. The Viking brochure states, "It's pure pleasure to travel with such ease..to unpack just once and relax to an ever-changing canvas of breathtaking landscapes...to dock in the center of small towns and stroll right off to begin your exploration." This is what we were expecting, however, not what Viking produced. Ten days before our trip we called Viking because we were hearing there were problems with low water levels. We were told, "Your trip will be just fine." Two days before our flight is scheduled, we receive an email from Viking stating there will be a mid-cruise "ship swap" and we will be transferred by motor coach to an identical ship. Our next email from Viking arrived while we were flying to Munich/Brussels/Budapest. It informed us due to low water we will be spending the night in a hotel in Budapest instead of on Gullveig and will be transported to Vienna by motor coach(150 miles) the next day. Our dream vacation became a bus/river cruise that was exhausting. We were able to enjoy the upper deck one time sailing through the Wachau Valley. The only port that we were able to stroll right off the longship was in Regensburg. We were able to participate in most of the tours that were scheduled. However, once again motor coach rides up to 1 1/2 hours were necessary to get into the city. Most of our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable. During Manager Jurgen"s farewell speech he stated that our specific cruise was the 2nd worse Danube Cruise of the year. Even the Program Director, Debra Thomas, suggested we communicate with Viking so they would be aware of our disappointments. "Because we believe your overall cruise experience may have been affected by an unexpected situation" we were offered a 25% discount on our next cruise which expires in one year. A 25% voucher is not sufficient compensation for what we experienced. Viking knows our cruise experience was indeed affected. They also know it was not an unexpected situation. The water levels have been low since August. I wish Viking would have shared exactly what changes would occur in our cruise, and given us the choice to cancel, or reschedule our trip. We feel that Viking was dishonest and manipulative. Now that our cruise is over, Viking states in an email to me, "We regret to hear that your recent cruise was impacted by severely low water levels, and are sorry to hear of your disappointment in the necessitated changes. If you have a November, Danube cruise scheduled with Viking, and you have travel insurance cancel your trip! If you want to go on any river cruise do your research regarding the best time of year to go. Word of mouth is powerful advertisement! After all, that is why we chose Viking. I will be using my voice to let others know they should consider other cruise companies if their vacation dream is a river cruise.

Viking River Cruise that turned into an expensive bus tour!

Viking Gullveig Cruise Review by normlori

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: French Balcony
Numerous friends recommended Viking River Cruises. We decided to treat ourselves to the Romanic Danube Cruise. The Viking brochure states, "It's pure pleasure to travel with such ease..to unpack just once and relax to an ever-changing canvas of breathtaking landscapes...to dock in the center of small towns and stroll right off to begin your exploration." This is what we were expecting, however, not what Viking produced.

Ten days before our trip we called Viking because we were hearing there were problems with low water levels. We were told, "Your trip will be just fine." Two days before our flight is scheduled, we receive an email from Viking stating there will be a mid-cruise "ship swap" and we will be transferred by motor coach to an identical ship.

Our next email from Viking arrived while we were flying to Munich/Brussels/Budapest. It informed us due to low water we will be spending the night in a hotel in Budapest instead of on Gullveig and will be transported to Vienna by motor coach(150 miles) the next day.

Our dream vacation became a bus/river cruise that was exhausting. We were able to enjoy the upper deck one time sailing through the Wachau Valley. The only port that we were able to stroll right off the longship was in Regensburg.

We were able to participate in most of the tours that were scheduled. However, once again motor coach rides up to 1 1/2 hours were necessary to get into the city. Most of our tour guides were extremely knowledgeable.

During Manager Jurgen"s farewell speech he stated that our specific cruise was the 2nd worse Danube Cruise of the year. Even the Program Director, Debra Thomas, suggested we communicate with Viking so they would be aware of our disappointments.

"Because we believe your overall cruise experience may have been affected by an unexpected situation" we were offered a 25% discount on our next cruise which expires in one year. A 25% voucher is not sufficient compensation for what we experienced.

Viking knows our cruise experience was indeed affected. They also know it was not an unexpected situation. The water levels have been low since August.

I wish Viking would have shared exactly what changes would occur in our cruise, and given us the choice to cancel, or reschedule our trip. We feel that Viking was dishonest and manipulative.

Now that our cruise is over, Viking states in an email to me, "We regret to hear that your recent cruise was impacted by severely low water levels, and are sorry to hear of your disappointment in the necessitated changes.

If you have a November, Danube cruise scheduled with Viking, and you have travel insurance cancel your trip! If you want to go on any river cruise do your research regarding the best time of year to go.

Word of mouth is powerful advertisement! After all, that is why we chose Viking. I will be using my voice to let others know they should consider other cruise companies if their vacation dream is a river cruise.
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Thank you, normlori, 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 wonderful day.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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