1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Viking Gullveig
On November 10, 2018 we concluded what we consider to be the worse cruise we have ever taken This cruise did not conform to what was sold to us in the Viking advertising and agreement. This was a bus trip with overnight stays at floating hotels, minimal river views, missed excursions due to significant time wasted in bus travel, and blocked views once on board due to Viking’s standard practice of double docking. Only a few days before departure did Viking disclose that our cruise could be impacted by low Danube water levels. However, evidence obtained once on board the Egil, Gullveig, and the Bragi from Viking employees and leaders clearly indicated that Viking leadership knew of adverse river conditions going back at least to July 2018 and never shared this information with us or others. A cruise line that is ethical and committed to business integrity values would have shared such impactful information with booked travelers and offered either to reschedule, or cancel with a full refund of monies paid. Clearly based upon our experience, Viking is NOT an ethical cruise line committed to business integrity values. We do not recommend Viking for ANY cruise, anywhere based upon this experience. Cruise details… 1. Our Danube River cruise was not a cruise experience; rather it was a bus/road trip where substantial vacation time was lost getting from point to point to arrive at the next floating hotel (i.e., VIKING ship Gullveig and then Bragi). Accordingly, many of the planned and promised cruise encounters were missed, including (but not limited) failure to see the Wachau Valley Austria, failure to dock in Pasau Germany proper (although many other similar sized ships were docked there as part of their on-going journey), and failure to cruise into glorious Budapest. In lieu thereof, we were forced into bus travel to move on to meet the next ship. This was not a river cruise by any shape of the imagination. 2. As a result of a late arrival, we could not participate in the rescheduled 4 pm excursion to the Gottweig Abbey as it would now be conducted after dark; we were concerned about safety. As it turned out one of our travelers had a serious fall and was injured due to the dark/unsafe conditions surrounding the exterior of the Abbey. 3. Instead of spending seven nights on the Gullveig as booked and unpacking once, we were on three ships for seven nights with multiple unpackings, repacking’s, and two four-hour bus trips each to meet the next floating hotel. Also, instead of docking in Passau, we docked in the remote village of Staubing and had to travel to Passau by bus for more than 90 minutes with a similar return trip (again more lost vacation time – more stress). Also, more time was wasted waiting on the bus as the Gullveig was late arriving into Vienna. 4. Even with the limited time on board the ships, our French Balcony view was fully obstructed frequently due to VIKING ship double docking where all we could see was another ship flush against our balcony within 12 inches. This created a dismal feeling of being imprisoned and clearly precluded river and shore views. 5. We had clearly communicated to VIKING and again aboard ship that I had dietary restrictions, not withstanding this prior communication staff continued to provide me with normal/undesirable meals. 6. Interviews with staff and employees of all three ships clearly revealed that the river conditions that VIKING sighted as the basis for non-performance were known by VIKING senior leadership at least as far back as July 2018. 7. VIKING knew that they could not provide the cruise experience they promised yet continued to operate in gross disregard to known conditions. VIKING leadership knew that it did not have or was unlikely to secure local governmental authority to pass through needed river locks to continue the journey it had offered to its’ customers. Yet it continued in gross disregard to this prior knowledge. Also, VIKING on board ship senior leadership boasted to passengers in an open meeting that there was no need to worry about “ship swaps” as it had perfected the “famous ship swap process” over many months. Another example demonstrating significant advance prior knowledge of the operational problem, and failure to inform booked passengers early on to afford a cancellation opportunity. 8. Instead of this vacation being a pleasant stress relieving experience, it caused significant stress and was a source of constant anxiety. As noted above, there was a significant gap between what was offered/promised by VIKING and what was provided. Overall this was a bus excursion road trip at best, certainly not a river cruise. It was totally stressful, and fully lacked the relaxing experience one would expect from being on a river cruise. We do NOT recommend Viking to anyone for any cruise based upon this experience and their lack of ethics and business integrity.

Viking Danube River Cruise (Nuremburg to Budapest)- A Disaster…

Viking Gullveig Cruise Review by daxgregory

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: French Balcony
On November 10, 2018 we concluded what we consider to be the worse cruise we have ever taken This cruise did not conform to what was sold to us in the Viking advertising and agreement. This was a bus trip with overnight stays at floating hotels, minimal river views, missed excursions due to significant time wasted in bus travel, and blocked views once on board due to Viking’s standard practice of double docking.

Only a few days before departure did Viking disclose that our cruise could be impacted by low Danube water levels. However, evidence obtained once on board the Egil, Gullveig, and the Bragi from Viking employees and leaders clearly indicated that Viking leadership knew of adverse river conditions going back at least to July 2018 and never shared this information with us or others. A cruise line that is ethical and committed to business integrity values would have shared such impactful information with booked travelers and offered either to reschedule, or cancel with a full refund of monies paid. Clearly based upon our experience, Viking is NOT an ethical cruise line committed to business integrity values. We do not recommend Viking for ANY cruise, anywhere based upon this experience.

Cruise details…

1. Our Danube River cruise was not a cruise experience; rather it was a bus/road trip where substantial vacation time was lost getting from point to point to arrive at the next floating hotel (i.e., VIKING ship Gullveig and then Bragi). Accordingly, many of the planned and promised cruise encounters were missed, including (but not limited) failure to see the Wachau Valley Austria, failure to dock in Pasau Germany proper (although many other similar sized ships were docked there as part of their on-going journey), and failure to cruise into glorious Budapest. In lieu thereof, we were forced into bus travel to move on to meet the next ship. This was not a river cruise by any shape of the imagination.

2. As a result of a late arrival, we could not participate in the rescheduled 4 pm excursion to the Gottweig Abbey as it would now be conducted after dark; we were concerned about safety. As it turned out one of our travelers had a serious fall and was injured due to the dark/unsafe conditions surrounding the exterior of the Abbey.

3. Instead of spending seven nights on the Gullveig as booked and unpacking once, we were on three ships for seven nights with multiple unpackings, repacking’s, and two four-hour bus trips each to meet the next floating hotel. Also, instead of docking in Passau, we docked in the remote village of Staubing and had to travel to Passau by bus for more than 90 minutes with a similar return trip (again more lost vacation time – more stress). Also, more time was wasted waiting on the bus as the Gullveig was late arriving into Vienna.

4. Even with the limited time on board the ships, our French Balcony view was fully obstructed frequently due to VIKING ship double docking where all we could see was another ship flush against our balcony within 12 inches. This created a dismal feeling of being imprisoned and clearly precluded river and shore views.

5. We had clearly communicated to VIKING and again aboard ship that I had dietary restrictions, not withstanding this prior communication staff continued to provide me with normal/undesirable meals.

6. Interviews with staff and employees of all three ships clearly revealed that the river conditions that VIKING sighted as the basis for non-performance were known by VIKING senior leadership at least as far back as July 2018.

7. VIKING knew that they could not provide the cruise experience they promised yet continued to operate in gross disregard to known conditions. VIKING leadership knew that it did not have or was unlikely to secure local governmental authority to pass through needed river locks to continue the journey it had offered to its’ customers. Yet it continued in gross disregard to this prior knowledge. Also, VIKING on board ship senior leadership boasted to passengers in an open meeting that there was no need to worry about “ship swaps” as it had perfected the “famous ship swap process” over many months. Another example demonstrating significant advance prior knowledge of the operational problem, and failure to inform booked passengers early on to afford a cancellation opportunity.

8. Instead of this vacation being a pleasant stress relieving experience, it caused significant stress and was a source of constant anxiety.

As noted above, there was a significant gap between what was offered/promised by VIKING and what was provided. Overall this was a bus excursion road trip at best, certainly not a river cruise. It was totally stressful, and fully lacked the relaxing experience one would expect from being on a river cruise. We do NOT recommend Viking to anyone for any cruise based upon this experience and their lack of ethics and business integrity.
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Thank you, daxgregory, 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 if you haven’t reached out already. Thank you, and have a wonderful day.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
daxgregory’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Viking Gullveig price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

French Balcony
Cabin D 212
Cramped, tight and difficult to maneuver around.
Middle Deck Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews