We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into the Danube Motor Coach Bus Tour. Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, we were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg (an industrial port with cargo "scenery"), Regensburg and Vienna. We never experienced the beautiful river sites of the Wachau Valley, the Danube bend, or actually much of the Danube River at all. In 8 days of our river cruise, we actually cruised approximately 7 daylight hours and most of that was going through locks on the Danube Canal. However, we did experience a boat hotel/restaurant experience on three different ships--the Tor, the Vilhjalm and the Idun--having to unpack and repack our luggage several times and in time for very early bus departures to our next city.
A few of the "highlights" of our bus tour included: Very little leisure time to explore Passau, Vienna or Budapest. A lunch of overdone pot roast and tater tots at a Melk hotel restaurant. We became experts in European bus companies and rest stops. A bus driver who didn’t know what exit to take to Roth and had to turn around and go back several miles to find our ship. Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. While waiting in the bus pickup area in Passau, my sister was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. She and her husband spent the evening in the emergency room in Straubing. We were supposed to be docked in Passau. The supposed sight of a bomb near the location of our designated ship in Budapest, The Viking Var. Only problem was, the bomb was removed in July, our cruise was in October!
The staff of the Viking IDUN in Budapest was very distressed and over whelmed by a daily turnover of guests. I can understand their frustration at having to disembark and embark an entire shipload of guests every day. It’s no wonder that they didn’t seem very excited to see us! The staff said they have been docked in Budapest for over five months. Our tour director, George, was pretty good in the beginning of the cruise but even his good humor was wearing thin by the end of the cruise. He was the Viking representative on our cruise and he was forced to smile and try to convince us that everything was fine and the low water levels were extremely rare.
Again, Viking has known for many months about the low river levels and chose not to notify their customers/passengers in a timely, honest manner. After some online research and talking with other Viking passengers, we have also learned that Viking consistently performs misleading advertising and unethical business practices.
At this point AAA Travel and Viking River Cruise company have lost my trust to adequately and responsibly represent their travel products.
P.S. It is now two weeks after I notified Viking River Cruise of my disappointing motor coach tour of the Danube River. Other than a generic response, nothing!
Small but adequate.
Our guide's communication pack was not charged and didn't work. Coach driver missed the exit to our ship and had to turn around and go back.
One hour motor coach to Passau with one hour of free time.
Would have liked to be docked here for the day, like Viking promoted.View All 218 Walking Tour Reviews
After 8 hour motor coach trip to Krems, too frustrated for anything.
Nice. Docked in town and could walk to tourst area.
Bus ride around tourist area and then free time for a couple of hours in the afternoon.