We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to us (and we were not in the last group!). The boarding process was very smooth and our cabin steward was very nice and capable. Once on board we found out that a number of the tours we had hoped for were now listed as available so we were able to get on some we were hoping for. The first night in the dining room was terrible. It took forever to get our meal and I had to send mine back twice because the meat was so under-cooked! The second and third nights were not much better but then they got into a rhythm and it seemed okay. However for the final several nights, I think they had new staff on board and the service dropped again. Most of the menus were not very exciting and somewhat repetitive. We went to most of the shows they offered. This was the first cruise for the Viking Vocalists quartet and their first shows were just okay. They improved but I think the choreography lacked pizzazz. The special entertainment that they had come on board was lacking. The Argentine tango duo danced well but they had too much narrative to their show. The guitarist played well but had no stage presence and little to interact with the audience. The Gertrude Opera was good but, again, the narrative distracted from the performance. The final guest performance, by the aboriginal dance theater, was excellent! We enjoyed the trivia times and the musical name that tune. I didn't think the guest lecturers were very good but did hear some positives from other guests. The excursions that we did were good. I heard some complaints about the Southern Alps trip and the Kangaroos and Koalas trip, neither of which we were on. The Healesville Sanctuary trip was an add-on excursion which we took and thoroughly enjoyed! Zealandia was a good one, also. The Napier tour by Classic Car was fun.
Debarkation was simple and very easy.
The cabin was very nicely furnished. I wish it had been just slightly larger as we couldn't pass each other at the end of the bed. The cabin steward was very attentive.
A fun ride thru the countryside with some stops to see a sheep shearing demo and a visit to a gannet colony.
A nice walk through the ecosystem where our guide was very attuned to the wildlife and pointed out many birds and other creatures.
A nice trip through the city with some history of the devastation of the earthquake in 2011 and a visit to a beautiful garden. We later toured some of the Botanic Garden on our own.
During this ride, we got to see albatross, seals and more. The guides were good about spotting wildlife and pausing so we could get a look.
We were able to interact with 100+ kangaroos and got to see Tasmanian devils and Koalas. It was a lot of fun!
A nice tour of the city. We stopped at Bondi Beach and some other locations. The tour guide, Kylie, was very good!