This was Viking cruise #5 for this couple, so we knew all the details would be covered beautifully. Covid precautions were in effect, with recent testing required before boarding, and saliva collection every morning, to be tested by the staff before excursions began. (Note: We toured Italy for 6 days before this cruise, on our own. Viking's guidelines for pre-testing were hard to apply since they were written with the assumption that guests would be flying directly from the US to the ship. When we arrived at Basel airport a Viking staffer told us to not bother with a test at the airport, but just go directly to the boat the following day, and get tested on board. We did, and onboard staff handled it seamlessly.) We generally did not take the optional excursions, but were very pleased with the ones included on the tour. Local guides are all well-informed with good English skills. Highlights were Strasbourg and Kinderdijk local tours. Daytime cruise through the Rhine gorge was beautiful as we sat on the bow. Weather in late April tended to be chilly and overcast, but we did OK as long as we wore layers. The cruise ends the morning you arrive in Amsterdam, so make sure to allow a few personal days afterward to see the sights, especially Keukenhof Garden for the tulips in April and May. The Viking extension in Amsterdam did not include visits to Anne Frank House or museums, so we opted to do our own extension. Be sure to get tickets in advance for these attractions.
We have learned to save a few dollars by taking a cabin on the "aquarium level." When we travel in fall or spring, it's usually too chilly to open veranda doors. And sightseeing is better from the lounge or the bow or the sun deck because you get a view of everything, not limited to whatever passes briefly by your window. Square footage on this level is actually bigger than cabins above.