This cruise was our first river cruise and was prompted by a special deal offered by Viking at the last minute. I noticed the difference between Viking and other ocean cruises we had been on right away. Just as I was about to say, "where do we go?" or "is this the right....?", a Viking representative arrived to guide us to luggage, transportation, the boat. And this level of service was consistent throughout the entire voyage. The Cruise Director was phenomenal and was expert at organizing the tours, providing information, teaching us culture and helping us maximize the experience of the trip. As a photographer, I came away with over 1,000 photos of places, people, architecture and culture that will last a lifetime.
The ship is extremely well run, a model of efficiency with an emphasis on customer service. The cabins are well appointed and even our smaller sized cabin came with nice amenities. The stewards were always on time, on hand, and friendly. I recommend getting to know them a little as they are from the countries you are about to visit and will provide you worthwhile insight.
I can honestly say that I did not have a bad or even mediocre meal on the entire trip. Whether on the ship or a planned outing, the food was very good, well prepared, and artfully presented. You have a wide range of choices as well but please, don't just pound down hamburgers.... try the local and regional fare offered.
Shore excursions are your window into the world an I recommend that you take advantage of them. Whether free or purchased, each tour is well thought-out and local guides impart a flavor of the area. Of course, there is variation in the quality of the tour guides but it is usually around their presentation and not their knowledge and willingness to answer questions. They really made a difference for me as a "first-timer" in Europe. Having a guide help you explore the time and space of Europe is essential in securing a wonderful experience and memories that will last a lifetime.
On-board entertainment was fun - from professional singers, a lounge band, Classical Duet, a Glass Blower, and of-course, the Cruise Director. Even the Chef got into the act. It was fun to experience. The majority of the passengers were 50 or over and we all enjoyed meeting each other, talking about home, and of course, making plans for the next excursion. In short, this cruise was perfectly tailored for people of similar interests and age. Because of Viking, we made friends with an Australian couple and are now making plans to visit Australia.
In short, I am already planning the next Viking river cruise knowing that the Company, its employees, and representatives will do their utmost to guide me to a unique experience somewhere in the world.
Release: Attached photos may be used by Viking for their exclusive, unrestricted use. Photographer retains all rights.
Small but well furnished and efficient. For me, the cabin is a retreat and not a place to linger for long. We chose this level for that very reason. The bed was extremely comfortable and there was ample room for clothes, luggage and other belongings. All of the fittings worked well, and we had no drain clogs or water failures. In short, nice accommodations for curling up at the end of a very busy day.