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I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water levels on the Rhine knows, Viking is having to do ship swaps to get people up the river. They manage the swaps well since they are doing it so often. To placate the unhappy customers on these trips they offer a percentage off of a future cruise. In our case it was 25% off. I initially thought this meant 25% off the price of a future trip - not so. Was told by another traveler that the 25% off is based on what you paid for your particular trip (type of cabin, etc.). OK, so not as generous but still fair enough. Then we received an e-mail from Viking today that said we are getting what amounts to 13% off of what we paid for the trip. I called Viking and asked them to explain how they arrived at this number since I couldn't come up with it any way I sliced it. Turns out - behind the scenes Viking patched this trip together as about 50% of our cost for the land portion and 50% for the actual river portion. This wasn't on any invoicing or documentation we ever received. So their justification for the smaller future credit is based on the price of just the river portion. Suckers that we were, we bought Viking's vouchers (pay $100 and get $200 worth of credit) while onboard because we thought the 25% good will voucher would make it worthwhile. We had decided not to do another river cruise because the one we took in 2015 also involved a boat swap. Much prefer ocean cruises where we don't have to keep packing and unpacking. Now that I know we were just offered 13% I asked if we could get a credit for the two onboard purchased vouchers we bought. Nope. They are non-refundable. This feels a bit of a bait and switch to me. Tell unhappy customers you'll give them a 25% credit so they don't mutiny while on board and then let them find out after they are home what was really offered is half that. They didn't lie to us but since no one that I know of had the breakdown of the land and river portion of the trip it certainly was misleading! Just so the rest of you know what you are being offered if this happens to you.

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Viking Hild Cruise Review by Reydnn38

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water levels on the Rhine knows, Viking is having to do ship swaps to get people up the river. They manage the swaps well since they are doing it so often. To placate the unhappy customers on these trips they offer a percentage off of a future cruise. In our case it was 25% off. I initially thought this meant 25% off the price of a future trip - not so. Was told by another traveler that the 25% off is based on what you paid for your particular trip (type of cabin, etc.). OK, so not as generous but still fair enough.

Then we received an e-mail from Viking today that said we are getting what amounts to 13% off of what we paid for the trip. I called Viking and asked them to explain how they arrived at this number since I couldn't come up with it any way I sliced it. Turns out - behind the scenes Viking patched this trip together as about 50% of our cost for the land portion and 50% for the actual river portion. This wasn't on any invoicing or documentation we ever received. So their justification for the smaller future credit is based on the price of just the river portion. Suckers that we were, we bought Viking's vouchers (pay $100 and get $200 worth of credit) while onboard because we thought the 25% good will voucher would make it worthwhile. We had decided not to do another river cruise because the one we took in 2015 also involved a boat swap. Much prefer ocean cruises where we don't have to keep packing and unpacking.

Now that I know we were just offered 13% I asked if we could get a credit for the two onboard purchased vouchers we bought. Nope. They are non-refundable.

This feels a bit of a bait and switch to me. Tell unhappy customers you'll give them a 25% credit so they don't mutiny while on board and then let them find out after they are home what was really offered is half that. They didn't lie to us but since no one that I know of had the breakdown of the land and river portion of the trip it certainly was misleading! Just so the rest of you know what you are being offered if this happens to you.
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