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2,086 River Cruise Reviews

This was our first 'river cruise' and we are delighted that we chose Viking River Cruises to sail along the Rhine River. From the moment we stepped aboard we were warmly greeted and well cared for by an amazing team of crew ... Read More
This was our first 'river cruise' and we are delighted that we chose Viking River Cruises to sail along the Rhine River. From the moment we stepped aboard we were warmly greeted and well cared for by an amazing team of crew members. The ship is less than 6 months old and it was a delight to be on board a clean, sleek, and well-designed boat. We had a cabin on the highest deck and while not huge, it was plenty big enough with lots of storage space for clothes and shoes, and space under the bed to store our suitcases. The big screen TV in the room was a nice bonus and the bed was very comfortable. (Pillows are on the soft side, which I loved.) Each day included some sort of tour, mostly via bus trips. These were well-organized excursions on beautiful buses. Each person is issued a wearable headset so that everyone can hear the tour guide. These proved so useful. They were easy to use and worked beautifully. And each local tour guide was truly superb. They had great knowledge of the subject and the area and they were skillful in moving the group along and answering questions. Food: there are two options for dining: the very casual upper lounge and the formal dining room. We found that the dining room offered a much better option for us with more choices. The food was excellent and one night everyone was welcomed into the small galley where all the chefs were proud to show off what they do in a small space. Breakfasts always included eggs and omelets made-to-order along with numerous meats and side dishes and breads/pastries. Lunch always included beautiful and tasty and creative side salads and a pasta dish along with several options for ordering off the menu. Dinners were creative and always offered a nice variety of options. We found it helpful to sit in the same area each night so that the server gets to know you and your preferences. We found the itinerary beautifully planned with stops at great locations, nearby towns and villages, and a good combination of bus tours and walking tours and sometimes cruising along the river by day. On the day we were to sail along the area of the Rhine studded with castles we had changeable weather - from bright sun to clouds to fog, with a very cold wind. (early September) So while the weather was disappointing, it was still a great way to travel! Our cruise director, Nick, was an unstoppable man with a great sense of humor. He made the trip extra enjoyable, as did the wait staff and bar staff. Every crew member showed us the utmost respect, performed their jobs very well, and made us feel very welcome. Our group of 4 felt there were just two things that could be improved upon: 1.) We wish there were some tables for 4 in the formal dining room. Each night there were always new people to meet, and while that is not really terrible, there were some nights that we just didn't want to have to 'meet and greet' yet another couple or two. 2.) Bus trips: we were on the younger side (late 50s) of the age group and wish that there was a bus for "fit and active" people who all moved at the same (faster) pace. Perhaps people could self-identify if they want to be in an 'active' or 'leisure' bus. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, the ship, the staff, the locations, the tour guides, the food, and the entire experience. It exceeded our expectations - and we do a lot of traveling! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I, both Americans, loved the Elegant Elbe cruise on Viking Cruises. Our fellow travelers were about 60% British and 40% American with 4 Irish thrown in with the British. From our arrival in Berlin to our departure from Krakow, ... Read More
My wife and I, both Americans, loved the Elegant Elbe cruise on Viking Cruises. Our fellow travelers were about 60% British and 40% American with 4 Irish thrown in with the British. From our arrival in Berlin to our departure from Krakow, we were totally under the wing of Viking Cruises. They took care of all needs throughout the trip. The people we sailed with were fun and interesting to talk to. We chose to eat all our meals in the dining room with different couples each time. Toward the end of the cruise however, we found we had favorites and ate during the last couple of days with them. The daily bus tours all came off without a hitch. Each time the three buses were waiting for us. Each had a local tour guide who gave us local history and pointed out local points of interest. One bonus on this cruise: the entire cruise took place behind the iron curtain. East Germany, The Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia) and we took an extension to Krakow, Poland. Our tour guides all grew out there. We were fascinated by their stories of living under communism, then suddenly becoming free. They all had a unique twist on this theme. We extended to Krakow, Poland. One problem: we were led to believe it was a 5 hour drive. It turned out to be 9 hours in a comfortable van, but nine hours on the road is grueling. There were six of us who took this extension. Visiting Auschwitz was a highlight, but very glum. We never before had seen so many tourists with somber faces. All in all we thought it was a terrific trip. Viking took care of us each step of the way. Our fellow travelers were fun and complete with interesting stories. Our guides had even more stories that kept the trip interesting. We totally recommend it to anyone looking for history and adventure. Also our ship, the Schumann is being retired after this year. Although it was comfortable, we have to believe the new ship will be even better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We recently went on a Viking river cruise from Budapest to Prague. We booked it through Viking and then had our travel agent take over our booking for a great pricing discount. We did not book the air with Viking or any of the extensions. ... Read More
We recently went on a Viking river cruise from Budapest to Prague. We booked it through Viking and then had our travel agent take over our booking for a great pricing discount. We did not book the air with Viking or any of the extensions. We used mileage for our flights. We flew to Budapest and stayed three nights pre-cruise. After the cruise we booked a driver to take us to Prague and we stayed three nights in Prague. We hired private guides in Budapest and Prague. A few months ago we had our first experience with Viking, in China. Although it is called a “river cruise” you are only on the river portion for 5 nights and the rest of the time you are at hotels in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. The trip also includes flights within China. We decided to try a Viking river cruise in Europe, but were a little apprehensive about it since there seem to be mixed reviews on the Europe itineraries. The China trip was fantastic by the way! Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Viking’s “Romantic Danube” cruise. We thought Viking did an outstanding job. We booked a balcony cabin. The cabins are certainly smaller than what we are used to with ocean cruising on luxury lines, but the cabin is laid out very well with lots of storage. We were able to unpack everything and slide the suitcases under the bed. The bathroom is also really tiny but space is well utilized. Our ship held 190 people but were told there were 171 people on board. We were originally supposed to be on the Hlin, but at the last minute we were told we would be on the Njord. Although the longships are identical, the Njord was built in 2012 and the Hlin was a new ship that had only had a few sailings. Part of the reason the ships were switched is because of the broken lock from a few months ago which left ships on opposite sides of the river. We felt that the Njord showed signs of use, which was most noticeable with the mattress and pillows. The mattress felt a bit worn and lumpy and pillows went FLAT when you laid your head on them. We also noticed that the furniture in the lounge was nicked and there were some broken lounges on the top deck. Other than that the entire experience was EXCELLENT! I am sure had we been on the Hllin (newer ship) it would not have been this way. We had a wonderful hotel manager (Doris Neger) and program director (Stein Dyb), and all the other staff and servers were excellent. The food was so much better than we anticipated it would be. We normally cruise on Regent and have cruised on Silversea. The food was actually better than Silversea and in some ways was at least on par with Regent, or maybe even better. We did not expect that and were pleasantly surprised. One night they had an Austrian themed dinner. All the staff were dressed up in Austrian costumes. They had the main courses in the kitchen and we had to go in there to get it….it was a fun experience and they did a great job with this dinner and with local musicians. The service on the ship was excellent overall. Included wines with lunch and dinner were local wines for the most part or Viking’s label, and were all perfectly fine. There were many activities and excursions all handled perfectly by Viking. A few nights they had local entertainment which we enjoyed….they were mostly opera singers. We booked the BMW factory tour and thought it was fantastic! They only allow 30 people on this tour (from Regensburg), so sign up early if you want to go on this tour. The included excursions were all very good and allowed us time to stay in the town to wander around on our own. Of course there is always the chance of high water or low water on the Danube, and broken locks which are things out of Viking’s control. We are fortunate that we did not experience any of these issues. We are booked with Viking for 2016 on the new OCEAN cruise ship they are building.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Was ABSOLUTELY impressed!! Avalon Artistry II was the best! This was our first river cruise and I can't really imagine how it could have gone any better. Getting on the boat, into our room was beyond fast. No issues, no waiting, just ... Read More
Was ABSOLUTELY impressed!! Avalon Artistry II was the best! This was our first river cruise and I can't really imagine how it could have gone any better. Getting on the boat, into our room was beyond fast. No issues, no waiting, just like that we were ready to go. Meals always served on time, servers were beyond attentive, friendly and accommodating. Always had great meal choices. Entertainment (Jerry) always had great music to listen/dance to, he was perfect. The cruise director (Jean Loup D.)went above and beyond making sure we were always on time, he was personable, helpful, great sense of humor. The ships crew treated us like gold, everything was always spic and span, and they made us feel like part of the family. Food was great, although maybe a little bland at times, but I suspect that is because of the average age of the crowd (tend to have more delicate stomachs). Our room was a perfect size and LOVED how the windows slid open to basically make our room into the balcony. Beds and pillows were perfect for us, no issues there. Bathroom great size considering the space they have in order to accommodate all your needs. Other passengers were always friendly and you almost get to know each and every one. The towns and excursions we saw and experienced - I am speechless. The history, the people, the culture, the food, the wine(!), the beer(!); we were like kids in a candy store. The only thing I would suggest is a "late late-risers" breakfast, lol. However, that is one's own fault for not being able to get ready by the end time. I guess we just got too comfortable and felt like we were at home. Disembarkation was also easy and fast. I really have absolutely nothing negative to say. This was our first river cruise so we weren't even sure what to expect. What we received out of it though was above and beyond. I cannot say enough about this ship's crew. We will be cruising again, and we are hoping to just follow the Artistry II wherever she goes!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I was on a 15 day cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. This was my first river cruise, although I have been on more than 30 ocean cruises. I had decided to try this type of cruising, even though it was more expensive. I spoke to several ... Read More
I was on a 15 day cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. This was my first river cruise, although I have been on more than 30 ocean cruises. I had decided to try this type of cruising, even though it was more expensive. I spoke to several people who had done it, and they had all been very happy with their experience. It was more costly than an ocean cruise, but included many things. I was anxious to see if it was really worth it. It turned out to be a fantastic experience. There were only 192 passengers on board, which meant that we got to know many people fairly quickly. Getting on and off the ship was very easy, no lines, began quickly. The tour guides were excellent, the places visited very interesting. I loved the intimate feeling of being onboard. The food was very, very good, and wine/beer were served always at lunch and dinner. Our cruise director was fabulous, had a doctorate in History, and kept us well informed. He paid attention to every little detail. I would highly recommend this type of cruising to anyone who is interested in a more intimate cruising experience with excellent service and accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Cruised on the Viking Sun Aug 24-31,2014 from Amsterdam to Basel, also did the added 2 nights in Lucerne, Switzerland. We were in Room 128, and while the cabin was very small it was more than sufficient. I am glad I didn't spend the ... Read More
Cruised on the Viking Sun Aug 24-31,2014 from Amsterdam to Basel, also did the added 2 nights in Lucerne, Switzerland. We were in Room 128, and while the cabin was very small it was more than sufficient. I am glad I didn't spend the extra money to be on a higher deck. We spent very little time in our cabin. From the time we got off the plane in Amsterdam until the time we were dropped off at airport in Zurich for our return flight, Viking was with us and guiding us every step of the way. Every member of the staff was fantastic. Food was excellent and beer, wine and soft drinks were included in the price. Included excursions were very well planned with guides that were very knowledgeable to give you a memorable experience in every port we stopped at. The view of the Rhine while cruising was spectacular. There is not one single complaint that I have about this experience. The ship has a capacity of 198 passengers and met some great people while on board that week. This is much different than the big ocean liners we were used to. With so few people it gave us a chance to meet and talk to many of our fellow passengers. When our cruise was over Viking provided a bus to Lucerne for the last two nights of our trip, for those who booked the extension. We were met at the Radisson Blu Hotel by a Viking representative who then provided us with a tour guide for a walking tour of Lucerne. The rest of the afternoon and the next day we were on our own to tour. But there was a Viking representative at the Hotel to help us with any of our needs or suggestions. Radisson Hotel was beautiful, a first class hotel. We took this vacation with another couple who we have traveled with many times and we all loved it. I will definitely be traveling with Viking again. They did a superb job in making our trip the vacation of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Since Viking Sky had only 2 more cruises after ours, this will serve more as a review of Viking than of the Sky. The Sky itself was fine although it lacks the bells and whistles of the new longboats. The food was fantastic, certainly ... Read More
Since Viking Sky had only 2 more cruises after ours, this will serve more as a review of Viking than of the Sky. The Sky itself was fine although it lacks the bells and whistles of the new longboats. The food was fantastic, certainly comparable to our experience with Celebrity. And the wine was definitely free flowing. We generally got a final refill at the end of dinner to take to the lounge. The tours were very well done. All of our local guides were excellent and the radio things worked well. We chose the "leisurely" group and it usually had from 6 to 12 people. None of us was disabled, just a few canes and creaky knees, and we saw almost everything the other groups did at a more leisurely pace with more chances to sit while listening to the guides. In 1 town our group did not climb to see a rose garden but instead walked on level ground and saw another beautiful bridge and surrounding area. We really enjoyed our fellow passengers and the 2 hour dinners were very enjoyable. The evening entertainment was low key but quite nice, a wonderful piano player, excellent local entertainers, fun games with lots of participation, and dancing. Not sure if it's because of the small number of passengers but the service seemed much more attentive and friendly than on a cruise ship.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
First ever river cruise with Scenic Jade from Amsterdam to Budapest and will not be my last. In fact I have already booked a week long cruise next year from Basel to Amsterdam intending to tour Switzerland prior to joining the Scenic ... Read More
First ever river cruise with Scenic Jade from Amsterdam to Budapest and will not be my last. In fact I have already booked a week long cruise next year from Basel to Amsterdam intending to tour Switzerland prior to joining the Scenic cruise but after this year's experience I have already inquired about an additional longer cruise. We joined in Amsterdam at the Hilton Double Tree hotel. Arrived at the hotel at around mid-day where Scenic tours were well signposted the Scenic representative took our luggage and we next saw it in our room on the Scenic Jade. Refreshments were available at the meeting point until we left there at 3 p.m for the Scenic Jade so we were able to explore Amsterdam until we departed for the ship. The same procedure in Budapest, luggage transferred to the Marriot Budapest and refreshment available there until 3 p.m. or until you removed your luggage if you were staying at another hotel which we were. I could go through every day but that would be far too long just to say that every day there was some excursion arranged usually two or 3 choices in addition to the ones you opt for when you do the booking. The guides are all very good and do their best throughout. After each tour there is usually some free time for you to do your own thing before getting back on the bus and returning to the ship for lunch or dinner. Some of the excursions involved lunch or dinner and when we left the ship at Dusseldorf for that excursion we were meant to rejoin the ship at Cologne for lunch but the Jade developed a fault in one engine so it was late arriving in Cologne. Full marks to Scenic they arranged we go on anther large cruise boat for lunch and cruise along the river at Cologne while we were dining. Not long after lunch our temporary boat pulled in and we rejoined the Jade. If you wanted to give the excursions a miss then you were free to lounge about all day on the Jade. You are usually greeted back on the Jade with hand towels and a welcoming drink after a day's excursion. I would also have preferred to have sailed to Bratislava rather than travel by coach as you do pass it on the way from Vienna to Budapest but I guess there is some reason for not doing that. Also the tour of Salzburg which for me is Mozart but included the Sound of Music. Perhaps other people liked that but not my cup of tea and then the free time only would have allowed a quick visit to the castle from which there is a stunning view and also no time for a tour of the Mozart museum. I should mention that if you go on the Salzburg tour try to get the Scenic guide Eva a lady who dresses in Austrian national dress. She is by far the best tour guide I have ever come across and a bundle of laughs throughout the tour. Often there are various lectures or entertainment on board. I particularly liked the one about the Rhine Main Danube river. I had bought the book they sell on board so it was a pleasant surprise that the gentleman giving the lecture was the author and he signed the book. There was also an entertaining demo on glass blowing. The entertainment at Schlossburg castle was very good with a Shakespearian Anglo German gentleman making it a memorable night. I choose the visit to Bratislava as I had already seen the Schoenberg Palace in Vienna but if you haven't seen it then that is a must see along with Melk Abbey. Vienna and Budapest the two most scenic cities in Europe well worth staying on in Budapest for a few days and getting to see more of the city. I booked a Deluxe Balcony cabin on the Rhine deck the Danube is the next one up. I found the cabin to be excellent never had any problem sleeping although I did hear others complain that they could hear the engine especially going through the locks and they were on the Danube deck. The cabin was cleaned etc twice a day and the mini bar which we hardly used was restocked. I found that I had eaten and drunk enough in the restaurant or cafe that I rarely needed to use the mini bar in the cabin. The bathroom is small but I found it was always clean with excellent towels and toiletries and the shower was roomy as far as I was concerned but then I am not overly large. I tend to agree with those who say they may as well have incorporated the balcony into the room rather than separate it. It isn't large enough for two people to use without having to push past each other if one is already sitting there. The staff throughout were fantastic, we never used the butler service as it was just as easy to use the cafes etc and choose what you wanted. Our cabin steward Agus was simply great nothing too much trouble and once when my cabin electronic door lock failed he spotted me struggling and had the maintenance man there within 10 minutes and the batteries were replaced. Dining was a bit of a mixed bag. First breakfast, excellent choices eggs cooked any way you liked and always a very good selection I don't see how you could improve on this. Fresh tea and coffee always available from the waiters who were constantly checking. Lunch was a buffet again very good selection but usually too many people at the same time so that it was difficult to know where to join the queue at the central buffet. Wine was always available but I don't think the wine available in the dining room was all that good. I generally like full bodied wines but often it was Italian wines and once a Chianti which I found undrinkable. There were better wines available but they were not the ones being offered at lunch or dinner. Dinner was more of a disappointment although with some exceptions. Here I think they tried to be too fancy with far too many courses and often you are left wondering what it is meant to be. Given that everyone arrived for dinner at the same time the staff were literally run off their feet trying to serve everyone with drinks and their food. If you wanted to skip the lunch buffet then a light lunch was available in the cafe with additional snacks and desserts along with drinks. There was also a coffee machine available 24 hours with an excellent selection of coffees and some cookies along with a range of teas. The bar staff were excellent and drinks were freely available but I did find that if my favoured prosecco was not available they would pass you off with some other sparkling wine thinking that you would not notice the difference. Portobello Italian restaurant again a very good experience but again just a bit too fancy. Just as an example the minestrone soup which is a very basic soup just like most good Italian soups but if someone hadn't told you it was a minestrone soup you would need to be told. The food was good but I think it goes over the top and Italian food which is amongst my favourites could be improved by being a bit more basic and more Italian. Dress code, most people made an effort but there were some who just wore shorts and even T shirts for dinner. The captains dinner at the beginning and end, usually most people tended to dress smart casual some with ties but open necked long sleeved shirts, casual jacket smart trousers but as I say there were others who just turned up, dressed as if they were going to MacDonalds. The ladies tended to be the smarter. I have probably missed a lot out so if you have any questions please feel free to post them and I will do my best. Did I have some minor quibbles, yes of course as I have listed above. However the overall experience was very good and as I have already stated I have booked my next cruise with Scenic. I like that everything is already paid for and I found that apart from the excursions where you might have a coffee or ice cream during your free time after the tour then everything was taken care of. Full marks to Scenic for an excellent river cruise, I am hooked. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
From the time we boarded, good baggage handling, until the time we disembarked, we loved this trip!! We knew that we were going to be late because of the airline changing our reservations, so the Hotel Manager told us that we had our ... Read More
From the time we boarded, good baggage handling, until the time we disembarked, we loved this trip!! We knew that we were going to be late because of the airline changing our reservations, so the Hotel Manager told us that we had our lunch in our room!! How wonderful, because we were really hungry. The chicken salad sandwiches were delicious, with fruit, and a home made cookie for each of us.! The ten days we were aboard, we had good weather, with no rain. The stewards, servers in the dining room, and all other personnel, were great! Marcie, the Cruise Director, was able to arrange a private tour for us when we arrived at Niagara Falls. It was our 55th anniversary, and this made us feel very special. The Captain was very personable and capable of giving us a "smooth" ride on the Lakes. We were able to get bridge tables set up for us to play each day after the tours. We had easy access off and onto the ship when in port. The food choices in the dining room were good, and the food well prepared. The lectures given each day were the BEST we have heard aboard any ship! One thing that impressed us was the "fire drill." It was taken seriously by all of the crew and passengers. Fresh cookies were available each day in the lounges, along with fruit, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. We are definitely taking a cruise on the Pearl Mist next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our fourth river cruise, three with Viking. One year we decided to go with a competetor and quickly returned to Viking. The cruise was over the top. The Forsetti was really well appointed, and every accomodation necessary was ... Read More
This was our fourth river cruise, three with Viking. One year we decided to go with a competetor and quickly returned to Viking. The cruise was over the top. The Forsetti was really well appointed, and every accomodation necessary was given to us by a very, very dedicated crew, fantastic chef, terrific hotel manager, and a captain who seemed to be present everywhere on the vessel ensuring the safety of all crew and guests. If you are the slightest bit interested in wine, this is the trip for you. The wine onboard was excellent quality and was poured freely and lunch and dinner. Our ship pianist was really terrific and entertained us with dining music during lunch and after dinner. Even got up to dance a bit. Our excursions were very interesting, well organized and executed by very professional bus drivers and guides. All in all, this was one of our best cruises.     Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first cruise with Viking. Must say, we were extremely pleased with everything! Food, entertainment, staff, room, tours, tour guides. It has always been my dream to travel to Europe and Viking made my dream come true in the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Viking. Must say, we were extremely pleased with everything! Food, entertainment, staff, room, tours, tour guides. It has always been my dream to travel to Europe and Viking made my dream come true in the biggest way. We also enjoyed meeting so many other nice people on the cruise. Made new friendships and lasting memories. Passau was beautiful, as were Melk, Linz, Salzburg, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. So much history! It is hard to say which was my favorite. Those eight days flew by way too fast. If time would have allowed, we could have stayed at least a month. The Abbey, the churches, the palaces, the countryside, and the people were beyond my dreams. I am in love with this part of Europe. This will definitely not be our last trip with Viking. Hope to have many more in the coming years. We are hoping to take an ocean cruise in 2015 depending on our schedule. We love, love Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Slight hiccup at the start when we had to embark at Bratislava rather than at Budapest and so lost out on seeing Budapest at night. However,once the cruise really got started we were so impressed. We especially loved: EVERYTHING about ... Read More
Slight hiccup at the start when we had to embark at Bratislava rather than at Budapest and so lost out on seeing Budapest at night. However,once the cruise really got started we were so impressed. We especially loved: EVERYTHING about the on-board service from the food to the cabin, from the service in the restaurant to the friendly and approachable staff. The included tours which really gave us a sense of the history of the places we visited and which were led by knowledgeable and welcoming local people The little extras like the included wine with our meals and the organ recital in Passau. We are already planning our next cruise with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We recently returned home from our 40th Anniversary adventure that included Tauck’s French Escapade from Paris to Monte Carlo. Everyone knows I’m a big Tauck fan and I found this cruise package to be up to their usual high standard but ... Read More
We recently returned home from our 40th Anniversary adventure that included Tauck’s French Escapade from Paris to Monte Carlo. Everyone knows I’m a big Tauck fan and I found this cruise package to be up to their usual high standard but I have to say the trip really fizzled at the end in Monte Carlo. More on that later. This was our first “Package Cruise” and I have to admit that I wouldn’t do anything similar in the future. If we can afford to venture out again it would be on a river cruise only deal. This adventure starts in Paris and Tauck put you up in the very opulent InterContinental Hotel le Grand where we were treated like royalty. The accommodation and meals were first class. Tauck’s three TD’s seemed to be everywhere and were always available to answer questions and point you to the right bus. Our time in Paris with all its included sightseeing was highlighted by our welcome dinner at Fouquet’s brasserie. Then it was off to Lyon via the very fast, high speed train. We travelled first class in airline type seats and Tauck even supplied us with chocolates on the journey. Then came the part we really wanted to do and that’s river cruise. Our boat the Scylla crewed Swiss Emerald has just undergone a re-fit and looked and felt brand new. The partnership between Tauck and Scylla is perfect with these vessels specifically built for Tauck. This cruise was fully booked yet with only 118 passengers aboard you’d never know. There is always room to sit and talk and this lack of crowding is one of the main reasons I prefer Tauck over other all-inclusive companies that pack 169 people into a similar area. This cruise covered both the Saone and Rhone rivers with history and grandeur at every stop. Whilst some itineraries, Tauck included, are specifically designed for either wine tasting, food tasting or history cruises this one gave us something of everything. On the Saone our first stop was at Chalon-sur-Saone and we had the first of our Tauck surprises. On our local walk through town in groups of around 20 Tauck included stops at a bakery where we were all given bags of the bakers various products to sample and at the end of the tour a stop at a local chocolate shop where we had a brief history of chocolate and then more samples than the average person could eat. By the time we got back on board the baker had joined us to show us how to make Croissant – more eating and best of all I now know how to tell the difference between a machine made one and one made by hand. That afternoon we went and sampled the wines at Chateau Chamirey and Chateau Rully. There would be an abundance of food and wine tasting still to come. There was the history of the Chateau de Cormatin, the medieval houses of Macon, the Cluny Abbey and the Haras Equestrian Centre, an outstanding lunch in the gardens of Chateau de la Barge all that before we reached Lyon on a mad Sunday. Why mad I hear you ask well there will probably be others here that can comment as well but on Sunday 31st August 2014 it seemed that every boat on the Rhone stopped at Lyon on that day. The parking area around the Basillca Notre Dame de Fourviere was packed. It seems that Viking, Avalon,AMA, Uniworld, GCT, CrosiEurope and Tauck picked this morning to hit Lyon. Travelling is fun and you never know who you’ll run into and sure enough we came across a couple from our home town of Mackay. We spent a coffee checking out each others choice of cruise line and I’m happy to say Tauck came out in front. Even though it was Sunday with all those boats docked in town you’d never know with most of the shops open for your business. The cruise down the Rhone gives you the opportunity to see Roman history almost everywhere but particularly in Vienne and Arles where the examples are magnificent. There’s the history of Avignon and the French Popes own vineyard the Chateauneuf du Pape where I tasted some of the best reds I’d drunk in all of France and even a Roman influence here as the cellars are part of the Roman system. AND then there’s Viviers the little village that time seems to have forgotten with its narrow streets and well preserved medieval houses. I’m very glad I got to see and explore Viviers even if I found I’m a lousy Petanque player. The highlight of this trip came almost at the end where you get to see a working bull and horse ranch in the Camargue. A Tauck exclusive. We were treated to an outstanding lunch and then a demonstration, a training exhibition really, of the art of bull fighting where the bull is never hurt and wins many of the competitions and thus the prize money. After the final dinner on board we left for Nice and our last stop Monte Carlo and this IMO was where the trip fizzled out. WE said farewell to our crew and were bussed to Nice where we had quite a few hours to explore this great city then it was off to Monte Carlo and the 5 star Fairmont Hotel. I quickly found that Monte Carlo is not for me. Not only is it full of very rich pretentious people of all ages it is very, very hilly and getting around on foot is very difficult. Our hotel the Fairmont was of similar ilk. It had a 400,000 Euro Ferrari on display in the lobby but it treats tour group people as if they all have leprosy. We didn’t eat with the regular clientele instead we were herded into our own room for eating. The breakfasts were deplorable with the only egg choice powdered scrambled eggs and the pastries on offer looked and tasted like leftovers. Even the Tauck farewell dinner which is usually of high class was very poor. I’m sure I’m not the only one who informed Tauck of these problems. I’m sure it would have been better to stay in Nice with a day trip to Monte Carlo. You are on a high, or at least I am, when I’m cruising on the rivers and leaving the boat is always a let down but to me leaving the boat to continue a tour was an anti-climax. I’m most likely in the minority here and my feelings should not deter anyone from considering this otherwise outstanding cruise. Tauck are truly all-inclusive from the Moet anytime you want it to having snacks delivered to your cabin. I realise others have their favourite river cruise companies but I’m afraid you’ll never convince me that you get more from your cruise than I got from mine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first cruise of any type beyond a couple of hours ever. Fearing seasickness, my husband was armed with a new medication that he never had to use. The sailing was as smooth as could be. I could not even detect when the ship ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any type beyond a couple of hours ever. Fearing seasickness, my husband was armed with a new medication that he never had to use. The sailing was as smooth as could be. I could not even detect when the ship left port except for the slight sound of the engines. We loved the fact that we could stay in the same room for 7 nights and see so many different sights. We also really liked paying for nearly everything up front, including our airfare. All Viking personnel, from the airport arrival to the airport departure 7 days later, were wonderful to us. The ship's staff worked very well together and were very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and organized. We received full information both verbally and in writing about our next day's adventures. All walking tours were graded to help us make prudent decisions that matched our mobility. The radio devices to enable us to hear our guide wherever he/she was made every tour a successful one. The food was wonderful and well prepared. Service in every part of the ship was great. The extra events on days that we were sailing kept us learning new things but not overly busy. Sitting on the top deck and watching the shoreline was a favorite activity of our party of four. We are very interested in river cruising again. We have found our comfort level among all the cruises that available, large and small. Thank you, Viking, for a wonderful experience! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
On embarkation in Nuremberg, we ere met by smiling, friendly staff. Even the stevadores who picked up our luggage (who later turned out to be our waiters) seemed to be a very happy crew. We found our cabin to be spotlessly clean and we ... Read More
On embarkation in Nuremberg, we ere met by smiling, friendly staff. Even the stevadores who picked up our luggage (who later turned out to be our waiters) seemed to be a very happy crew. We found our cabin to be spotlessly clean and we were surprised that it and the bathroom seemed so roomy. Probably a function of the design. The common areas (lounge, restaurant, observation decks) were both clean and well designed. Meals were superb, and the choice at breakfast and lunch of a fully cooked meal in the restaurant or a buffet in the lounge was nice. There are 24 hr coffee/tea/hot chocolate/cookie stations by the lounge for late night or in-between cravings. The morning guided excursions lasted about 3 hours and you usually had the choice of returning to the ship for lunch, and then an afternoon tour of your own, or staying in town for lunch on your own with an afternoon bus pickup. This was nice because the morning tours, by design, had to be a little cursory, and then after lunch you could explore what interested you most in detail. We had some minor problems with the engines which prevented us from making it all the way to the scheduled cities (Regensburg and Passau) the first two days, but Viking got us as close as possible and then had luxury coaches take us the rest of the way while the ship caught up-- they even bought us lunch at a colorful local restaurant. Starting the third day the ship was repaired and we were caught up. The staff were friendly and always smiling. We really enjoyed it and it meeting the other passengers--at 190 pax it is about as many as you want to have without feeling crowded--130 to 160 would be better. We are looking forward to an even longer cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Awesome; food by our Romanian chef unbelievably good. Take advantage of pre- and post-cruise stays in Prague and Budapest. We did Prague with Viking and Budapest on our own, and enjoyed both immensely. Everyone under 40 speaks English, a ... Read More
Awesome; food by our Romanian chef unbelievably good. Take advantage of pre- and post-cruise stays in Prague and Budapest. We did Prague with Viking and Budapest on our own, and enjoyed both immensely. Everyone under 40 speaks English, a side benefit of the Russians leaving Czech Republic and Hungary around 1990. Viking tours were educational and interesting, and guides were superb. Transfers were handled very well. The suite we had was comfortable and well designed, although we did not get much benefit from the balcony our suite had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
With more than 25 ocean cruises on many different lines completed, my wife and I decided it was time to try the river cruising experience. We were somewhat concerned about the smaller scale of the vessels, so anticipated unreasonably few ... Read More
With more than 25 ocean cruises on many different lines completed, my wife and I decided it was time to try the river cruising experience. We were somewhat concerned about the smaller scale of the vessels, so anticipated unreasonably few menu selections, fewer onboard activities, limited entertainment, boring excursions, etc. We couldn't have been more wrong! A Viking River cruise offers a top-of-the-line experience in every category - all of which are included in the price of the cruise! The smaller size of the ships allows for a much less regimented experience, with services cheerfully performed by all staff members, regardless of their primary job onboard. Trouble-free check-in, beautiful, well-appointed staterooms, included shore excursions at every port led by very knowledgeable english-speaking guides, sumptuous meals in the dinning room or on deck with included beer and wine, and enjoyable entertainment - often featuring performers from the local community. Can you tell we enjoyed it? No, we haven't given up on ocean cruising, but have already booked our next one on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I were very pleased with the cruise we took. The ship was very clean and very well kept. The crew was constantly polishing and vacuuming. The food was always very good and we were happy that the portions were smaller. We hate ... Read More
My wife and I were very pleased with the cruise we took. The ship was very clean and very well kept. The crew was constantly polishing and vacuuming. The food was always very good and we were happy that the portions were smaller. We hate it on the larger cruise ships the way food gets wasted. The shore excursions were very good and the guides were exceptional with the knowledge of the surroundings. But the thing that impressed us the most was the crew. They were all so friendly and accommodating. Gary, the tour director, was very helpful in directing us to things we should see and do. Laura, at the desk, always had a smile on her face and was very cheerful. Our cabin steward, Ivo, was very accommodating cheerful. Emeric and Martina, in the restaurant were a pleasure along with the other young lady, whose name escapes me, on the other side of the restaurant. All in all, we had a very enjoyable trip and convinced two other couples to take the cruise. They did and raved about the cruise when we got together with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The Grand European Tour lived up to its name and was grand in every respect. This was our first cruise of any type and our expectations were fully met. The cabin was modest but comfortable. We did not require anything more in a cabin ... Read More
The Grand European Tour lived up to its name and was grand in every respect. This was our first cruise of any type and our expectations were fully met. The cabin was modest but comfortable. We did not require anything more in a cabin because you spend very little time in it. The crew was excellent from the cabin stewards to the captain. The ship was clean and comfortable. The arranged excursions were wonderful and informative. The extra excursions were equally informative and affordable. I know that my wife and I saw more of Europe than we would have under any other circumstance. We interacted with local people and not only got to see, but got to understand the various cultures along the Danube and Rhine rivers. We have shared our adventures with all our friends and highly recommend traveling with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first Viking cruise and, overall, we were quite impressed. We liked the dining options and the food was always good (with several choices), so was the wine. The excursions were well planned, the guides were generally quite ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and, overall, we were quite impressed. We liked the dining options and the food was always good (with several choices), so was the wine. The excursions were well planned, the guides were generally quite good, knowledgeable and their English was easy to understand, and the buses were clean and comfortable. Only comment is that there sometimes was not sufficient time to see more of the sights, particularly in cathedrals, museums, etc. - a few times it seemed like we were a bit rushed. The one disappointment was that for a good part of the cruise, the internet was not working which prevented us from sending messages and photos to folks back home - and even once they got it working again, sometimes it was spotty as far as getting connected in the cabin. We opted for the pre-cruise extension in Montreux and that was just a great experience, especially the accommodations in the Montreux palace. Sorry you will be dropping that extension. Suggestion: for land extensions, can Viking provide, before the trip, a list of suggested restaurants with e-mail contacts if one wants to make an advance dinner reservation for a special occasion (we celebrated our 50th anniversary in Montreux), as well as recommended attractions to permit some pre-planning. Overall, we were extremely happy with the cruise and will definitely want to sail with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my first trip to Europe. Landed in Amsterdam for a 6 hour lay over for our 3 day side trip to Prague. Had a fabulous time in Prague great guided tour of the city then spend the rest of our time on our own revisiting some parts of ... Read More
This was my first trip to Europe. Landed in Amsterdam for a 6 hour lay over for our 3 day side trip to Prague. Had a fabulous time in Prague great guided tour of the city then spend the rest of our time on our own revisiting some parts of the city then explored others. . The Viking staff were a great help giving us directions to various attractions. The Viking staff on the Skadi were outstanding, the food & service were exceptional. The evening entertainment was always an event we looked forward to. Our only disappointment was the tour guide we had in Vienna, never took us to any of the great architectural wonders of such a fabulous city. Left us on our own and never returned to guide us to our bus for our return to the ship. The Skadi concierge and chef took us on a trip to an open air market to sample some of the foods and enjoy looking at the great display of local foods. I have talked to many of my friends and acquaintances about our trip that many have put the Viking tour on their bucket list. We are looking forward to planning another trip in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I took Viking's Elbe River cruise in August 2014. We were curious about river cruises, so we decided to try it for the first time. It was a marvelous experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We're still talking about ... Read More
My wife and I took Viking's Elbe River cruise in August 2014. We were curious about river cruises, so we decided to try it for the first time. It was a marvelous experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We're still talking about now, months later! The itinerary was Prague - Melnik (Terezin concentration camp) - Lovosice - Bad Schandau (Saxon Alps) - Dresden - Meissen - Torgau - Wittenberg (Martin Luther) - Dessau - Magdeburg - Potsdam - Berlin. This is the historic old Central Europe, off the beaten track from the usual tourist spots in Western Europe. Central Europe is full of historic sites and is comparatively "unspoiled" and authentic compared to the more modernized and gentrified West. It was a trip of lifetime to see these sights that we studied about in school and were unable to visit until the end of the Cold War. The River Elbe itself was a pleasure, a shallow, winding, gentle river passing through old villages and wide pasture land, scenery quite unlike what you would see on the Rhine or the Danube. We could go on and on about the sights, but suffice to say that the Elbe cruise is a unique and, for us, a consciousness-raising experience. One note about the Elbe River: it is shallow, and during certain river conditions can be too shallow for the boat to proceed, in which case the passengers are bussed to another point downstream where they can transfer to another boat in deeper waters. This sounds like a major inconvenience, and we were fortunate it didn't happen to us. It would be worthwhile to check with the cruise company about seasonal conditions before committing to a date of sail. What about the boat? We were on the Clara Schumann (so cool that they named a boat after a famous woman composer and pianist), a boat designed specially for the shallow waters. It is older and smaller, with about 110 passengers. Though it wasn't as new as the current ships, it was immaculate and functioned well in every respect. The crew was efficient and we had no complaints at all about the ship's systems. We booked late and could only get the smallest cabin, which had two separate single beds, like a college dorm room, and one large window. No problem! We adapted and were quite comfortable. The only time we were in the room much was to sleep at night anyway. The meals were all in the one main restaurant, with open seating. That was not as bad as I feared, because we eventually found people who were sympatico and we managed to sit at the same table most of the time. Everyone was relaxed and in a good mood, and the familiarity with the room and the servers made for enjoyable mealtimes. There was good variety with the food, but of course this small ship was not like the Crystal Symphony. But the kitchen did their best, and it was good enough for most. I'd say that on the whole the food was 3.5 to 4.0 on a scale of 5. We had no complaints. We learned that on any cruise you have to be flexible a bit and "bend with the wind" sometimes, rather than fight every little thing. The land tours were all very efficiently arranged, with comfortable buses and excellent tour guides who spoke excellent English. Every tour that we took (and there was always the option to stay aboard and just read a book or relax) was very interesting and well-planned. Our only regret was that there wasn't enough time to spend at certain places. We would have wanted a couple more hours at the Meissen factory. And we certainly could have stayed for more than one day in the stunning city of Dresden. But perhaps that's a problem that's inherent in any guided tour, especially one tied to a sailing schedule. It certainly made us want to come back, next time on a more leisurely land trip to certain cities. All in all, a wonderful cruise experience. We were most impressed with the entire ship's crew, from the cruise director on down. They were all approachable, genuinely friendly, and were concerned that we had the best cruise experience. The crew was one of the memorable highpoints of our cruise. One last note: Like many other cruises, the passengers were "of a certain age." My guess is that most were 65 or older, with a few notable exceptions of people in their 30's. The ship's crew accommodated everyone, and even anticipated the needs of those whose mobility was limited. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We truly enjoyed our visits to the cities of Arles, Vienne, Perouges, Nice and Monte Carlo, not necessarily in that order! We were unable to reach our final destination of Chalon sur Saone due to high water levels so our visit to Lyon was ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our visits to the cities of Arles, Vienne, Perouges, Nice and Monte Carlo, not necessarily in that order! We were unable to reach our final destination of Chalon sur Saone due to high water levels so our visit to Lyon was extended. We however did partake in a tour to Perouges which was not on the schedule...... but turned out to be an amazing town! The tour guide even sang Ave Maria for us in the church, which gave us chills! A beautiful end to our day along with the flat bread in the square. Prior to boarding in Avignon, we spent a few days in Nice, a pre-extension, and enjoyed the restaurants, the scenery's and the shopping. Arles (with Van Gogh) had so much to offer, as did Vienne (with numerous Roman ruins), Nice (Garibaldi's birth place) and Monte Carlo - a pocket of beauty and sunshine! Food and service on board was awesome as we experienced during a past Viking Cruise and the wine, need I say more. Quality dry reds! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our cruise was a mix of some very very good experiences and some very very bad ones. First the good, the ships staff and the various Viking people we interacted with were all wonderful. The food was excellent and our cabin was first rate ... Read More
Our cruise was a mix of some very very good experiences and some very very bad ones. First the good, the ships staff and the various Viking people we interacted with were all wonderful. The food was excellent and our cabin was first rate (and well cared for). The tours were also excellent and the guides were knowledgable. We liked the fact that we could participate in a tour or simply choose not to. The river views are magnificent and walking around the cities in the afternoon at our own pace was very nice. Now the very very bad. Although not Vikings fault, we could not board at the advertised embarkation, instead we needed to taxi for over an hour to the next port to the north because of high water conditions. That extra time on top of the full day of flying was difficult. We arrived just in time for dinner, however we missed the first day's orientations. On the third day both my wife and I along with dozens of other passengers became very sick with some kind of illness. This lasted three days and we as well as many other guests could not leave our cabins. The staff was very attentive to our situation and provided round the clock room service. Dispite these issues we enjoyed this trip and have already booked a second trip with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Viking representatives met us at the airport and offered help with baggage, answering questions, and provided overall information. The Hotel Movenpick staff, for the most part were courteous. The receptionist at the desk when we arrived ... Read More
Viking representatives met us at the airport and offered help with baggage, answering questions, and provided overall information. The Hotel Movenpick staff, for the most part were courteous. The receptionist at the desk when we arrived spoke curtly and seemed to recite a "rule book." The Concierge, however answered questions, gave us needed information, and assisted us with storing our luggage. The Viking representative at the hotel was outstanding. We found the ship staff to be gracious, accommodating and attentive. The staff kept the ship clean and orderly; all maintained an air of professionalism, yet maintained a warm and friendly attitude. We thoroughly enjoyed the shore excursions and found that they offered an outstanding snapshot of the history and culture of the area. One of our favorite sites was the Music museum; the chocolate factory in Colon also is on the top of the list. Our guide in Colon was bright and entertaining. He proved to be hard act to follow as we continued on the tour. Disembarkation was smooth. We appreciated the assistance Viking provided at the airport in Switzerland. I definitely recommend this company. We are planning to go on another Viking cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014

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