This was our first cruise ever, and we had a blast. We had arranged an extension trip beforehand, so we flew into Zürich where a Viking driver awaited to take us to Lucerne. We spent two nights in that beautiful city (in the same hotel where Mark Twain once stayed) and were guided by our excellent guide Katarina. We were then driven on a Viking bus to Basel and boarded the Einar. We stopped at Breisach, Strasbourg, Speyer, Worms, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Cologne, and Kinderdijk before flying out of Amsterdam. We were awed by the cathedrals in Strasbourg, Speyer, and Cologne (learning the difference between Romanesque and Gothic styles), visited the site where Audie Murphy earned the Medal of Honor, watched the robotics at work in a Mercedes-Benz Factory, were happily entertained by a costumed actor-guide at the gigantic fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, explored an 18th century windmill, and learned the process of making Gouda cheese. We found the food onboard to be excellent and the wait staff extremely courteous. And we had a great time meeting our fellow passengers over meals. We enjoyed relaxing in our stateroom and watching the scenery of castles passing by. My only criticisms are that service could be slow at times (undoubtedly due to understaffing) with dinner sometimes taking up to two hours and that the side trip to the Rüdesheim restaurant with its bland food and amateurish musical offering was simply not worth the cost.