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2,086 River Cruise Reviews

My husband & I recently returned from our first river cruise. We chose Uniworld because we had heard such great things about the company & Paris to Normandy for an itinerary as we love Paris & we are both WWII buffs. We came in ... Read More
My husband & I recently returned from our first river cruise. We chose Uniworld because we had heard such great things about the company & Paris to Normandy for an itinerary as we love Paris & we are both WWII buffs. We came in a day early to get over the jetlag but did not stay at the hotel that Uniworld uses (we stayed at a hotel in the 1st arr. that we have previously stayed at) so had to pay for our own taxi to the ship, no big deal but the cabbie did have some trouble finding the dock:) Also, we were just on this leg of the journey, there were a lot of people on the Grand France itinerary onboard but alas, that was not us. Now, on to the River Baroness: Our first impression was that it was nice, decently appointed but some of the areas looked a lot smaller than they do in the brochure or online:) The lounge was badly in need of a redo, the chairs & couches were rather broken in to say the least & the whole area could use a new coat of paint. We always found it to be rather warm & stuffy in there as well. The restaurant was nice with large windows on both sides that gave a nice view of the river (or the riverboat we were tied up to). Our cabin was VERY small (they must have used a wide angle lens when they took photos of it) & the closet was tiny, you had to have the hangers sideways in order to close the closet doors. Also, there is no dresser in the room, just 2 small night tables. We are average/small sized people & had trouble moving about our cabin but we had a lot of laughs trying to do so. The bathroom was really tiny although the shower was large. I was always banging my knees or elbows in the bathroom but again, we had a lot of laughs over it. Our favorite area was the top deck, it was so nice & the chairs & loungers were very comfortable. It was a treat to sit up there with a glass of champagne & watch the Normandy coastline float by. We still miss that! The staff: From housekeeping to the bar staff to the waiters everyone was so friendly & helpful, always smiling & remembering your preferences, they would pour the champagne as we walked into the bar or just deliver up to the deck if we were up there (thank goodness the alcohol was all-inclusive or we would have been in real trouble:) Top notch all the way. Our cruise director Ann was ok, rather impersonal but she did give a talk before dinner each night about what would be taking place the next day. The food was very good to excellent at all meals & they also offer "Al Fresco" dining up on the sundeck, we signed up for it 2x over the cruise & enjoyed it very much. All our excursions were terrific, the local guides really know their stuff & seem very passionate about what they do. We did the walking tour of Paris (fabulous), Giverny (wow), the hike up to Chateau Gaillard (really steep climb but worth it), The Normandy beaches (so moving, so many houses there are still flying American & British flags), The walking tour of Rouen (quite nice), The extra excursion to Etratat (worth every penny, the cliffs were amazing, the trip to the cider farm (rather dull), Honfleur (such a great place) & walked in the footsteps of Van Gogh (great but don't wear good shoes, you walk thru the fields that he painted in & my cute canvas shoes got destroyed, guess I should have taken the tour title literally:) We did have one MAJOR problem on our sailing, we were supposed to set sail Sunday night but because it was Bastille Day on Monday all the locks we had to go thru on the river were closed. Therefore, we would be in Paris on Monday instead of Giverny & so on for the rest of the week. Too bad almost everything in Paris was closed for the holiday. We then lost out on our Saturday in Paris at the end. We had saved a number of things we wanted to do in Paris for this day & as such missed out on them all. Uniworld chose to inform the hundred or so passengers this on Sunday night before our welcome dinner. Talk about a bunch of surprised people!!! You can't tell us they didn't know about this major change in our schedule well before we were due to set sail. How could they not check into whether the locks would be open or not on such a major holiday as Bastille Day?? Shame on Uniworld for springing this on everyone at literally the last minute. Talk about starting off on the wrong foot. Overall, we had a very nice cruise on a good ship & we like river cruising but I think if we were to do another one we would go with Tauck (we've done 8 land tours with them & they are just perfect in every way). We cut thru a Tauck ship on disembarkation day & it was gorgeous, very high end & trendy & a lot roomier than our ship. Sorry this so long but I hope it helps someone heading out to Normandy!!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Scenic Emerald – South of France July 14th 2014 Cruise Review We arrived in Paris after a long delay in Singapore so were pretty ratty and ready for a rest. Thankfully, our luggage wasn’t lost, we passed through immigration without a ... Read More
Scenic Emerald – South of France July 14th 2014 Cruise Review We arrived in Paris after a long delay in Singapore so were pretty ratty and ready for a rest. Thankfully, our luggage wasn’t lost, we passed through immigration without a hitch and met up with our Scenic transfer driver in the arrivals hall. All good so far The Marriot Ambassador is ok for a major chain hotel. Expensive bar, ordinary breakfast buffet and small room but then I think that’s pretty standard for Europe hotels. We met our fellow cruisers on the Sunday night (the night before Bastille Day) subsequently everything was closed, even the hotel restaurant ! We were left there all wondering what we were supposed to do for dinner. Hubby and I decided the pasta we had for lunch was laying pretty heavy so decided to skip dinner and headed to bed early. The morning of the ‘cruise’ package started with everyone clambering for breakfast which apparently caught the hotel out as they ran out of juice glasses, coffee cups etc. I don’t think this was their first rodeo so was a bit surprised but we were looking forward to our cruise of a lifetime and nothing was raining on this parade ! We had been instructed to put our luggage outside our rooms the night before as this was to be transported to the ship by truck to save us all having to drag it onto the TGV. Great idea ! The transfer to the TGV was smooth and without incident and we were on our way. After a very smooth 2 or so hours we arrived at Dijon where we disembarked the TGV and were loaded onto luxury coaches. A quick lunch stop in Dijon was delicious with some local fois gras with toast. Yum. Back on the coaches and finally on to Chalon-sur-Saone where the shiny lovely Scenic Emerald awaited us. We felt like royalty boarding with all the staff on deck with their dress black uniforms on and welcoming us aboard. When inside the foyer we were allocated a hospitality crew person who escorted us to our cabin balcony suite 207. We highly recommend this suite. Just far enough away from the noise but really close to all facilities. The room was sparkling clean and bright. The bathroom ensuite was very reasonably spacey with a great selection of shampoos, soap etc. At 5.30pm we all had to assemble on the top deck for a safety discussion and instructions on how to put on life jackets etc. With all accounted for we went back down to the Emerald lounge for a well-earned champers. I cannot understate how hard the crew work on the ship. The bar boys are just phenomenal with their energy and funny antics. They really make the day bright when you see their smiling faces and they have a bit of a joke with you once they get to know you a little. They remember names and what your ‘usual’ is too ! Amazing ! Day one we visited the Patriarche Cellars for a wine tasting. The wines we tasted were ‘green’ and acidic and we were really surprised that they gave us such young undrinkable wines to taste as there was no way we were going to part with any Euros in their showroom upstairs ! pity because the cellar and underground tasting rooms were a lovely experience. Back to our home on the river and treated to a magnificent dinner. I could rave about each night’s dinner and lunch but to be honest just be assured the food is aplenty and of 5 star standard. A special night was our dinner date with some new friends we made in the ‘La Mour’ restaurant. Everyone gets to book one dinner there where the service is only to cater for about 30 people (instead of the usual whole ship in the main dining room seating about 140ish people each sitting). The LaMour restaurant is a very special experience indeed. 6 courses of absolutely deliciousness. One comment on the main dining room would be the NOISE ! I don’t know if everyone had their hearing aids turned down but god it was noisy !! I think Scenic need to consider some foam tiles on the ceiling or something because often it was so bad we couldn’t have a conversation across a table. (one of my very few complaints !). With regard to shore tours, we were predominantly interested in wine tasting as this was one of the main interests for choosing this cruise. The wine tastings varied from undrinkable to yum I’ll buy a bottle. It’s all very subjective and I would still encourage anyone interested in the local wines to do the tastings as it is still really interesting to get a different slant on wines and not just our one sided Aussie pallets. One tour that was one of the highlights of our tour was the visit to the Paul Bocuse Culinary Institute in Lyon. What a fantastic experience. If you consider yourself a bit of a ‘foodie’ then this is the trip for you. We were treated to a masterclass with one of the Executive chefs. He cooked a delicious red mullet dish that was to die for. We got the recipe and full instructions so we could make notes etc too. He was so lovely and helpful and happily signed our recipes at the end of the class. Another highlight among our tours was the villages of Luberon region Gordes and Fontaine de Vaucluse. Beautiful villages with lovely medieval cobbled streets with little shops and delicious cafes. However, the absolute highlight of the cruise for us was our visit to Avignon. This place is definitely on our must do again list ! It is perfectly preserved walled city which includes the Palais-des-Papes (palace of the Popes). We were lucky enough to be there when the annual performing arts festival was on so every street and corner had a different act ranging from soccer ball tossing acrobats to a didgeridoo playing Aussie to a whole troupe of bagpipe playing artists. Just phenomenal and a real experience. The video camera got a real workout that day! If there was one tour I would not recommend it was the ornithological park. To be honest it was quite hot and there was little shade. The birdlife wasn’t that interesting to us and we were happy to get back on the air conditioned bus. It came as part of the full day touring that everyone did so I guess we were pretty much locked in to going but given a choice I’d rather stay on the boat and sail on to the next port to meet the coaches. Kurt our cruise director was absolute gold. He was professional, friendly, funny, very careful, extremely competent and caring. He worked so hard to make sure everyone was having the best time. If we do another Scenic cruise I certainly hope he is on it ! All the crew were terrific. Our personal butler Ica and lovely housekeeping lady Simonetta were always looking after us. Nothing was too much trouble and we felt very special. Hubby had a ‘slept on the pillow chocolate’ incident ! Simonetta took it in her stride saying that he wasn’t the first person to do it and she definitely knew the difference between chocolate and any other um stuff you might find in a bed. All in all she made an embarrassing situation funny and let him off with a small wag of her finger hahaha ! The mini-bar was refreshed at least twice per day with chocolates, pringles and white wine. We loved to sit on the balcony before the daily cruise report by Kurt at about 6.30 before dinner. We loved the balcony and having that private area where we could retreat for an hour or so to gather you thoughts before we went into the next activities of eating and frivolity! The night time entertainment was mixed with the onboard pianist (who put up with our karaoke !) and a mixture of ‘Gypsy Kings’ type band, a fabulous piano acordian player and a local gypsy dancing group. All in all we were happy just to catch up with new friends for a few drinks (which were always kept topped up !) in the Emerald lounge. There is also a great area at the front of the dining room where you can sit open air for light lunches and was also great for when we were casting off and setting sail for a new port. Also great for going through the numerous lochs. That was an interesting experience too. One of the lochs was a 23 metre drop ! It was so funny on the way down they played the theme from Titanic ! When were down to the required level and the exit doors opened the theme changed to the Love Boat ! crazy musical director haha ! We would highly recommend this cruise. We found that we were of the ‘younger’ age group being in our early 50s. I would guess the average age somewhere up around mid to late 70s. Most were still pretty able but there were a few that were quite physically challenged needing walking sticks etc. However, they were all there for a fun time and we didn’t feel that the age of the clientele was any problem. Everyone mixed with most people and with no fixed seating in the dining room you could either sit with your regular new friends or seek out new ones if you moved tables. Scenic have got a great strategy for their river cruises and are to be congratulated for tailoring these holidays for the Aussie market. There were a few Canadians, a few British and a few NZ but 98% Aussies. We will definitely consider doing the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise as many on this cruise had done it before and highly recommended it also. Thankyou to Scenic and your crew for making this a cruise of a lifetime and a holiday we will remember very fondly in many years to come. Five star and all inclusive all the way !   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was the first ever cruise I had been on and it did not disappoint. From the word go (collection at the airport) we were treated like royalty. Everything was organised to perfection. Staff were welcoming and could not do enough to help ... Read More
This was the first ever cruise I had been on and it did not disappoint. From the word go (collection at the airport) we were treated like royalty. Everything was organised to perfection. Staff were welcoming and could not do enough to help us enjoy our stay - but they were also able to have a chat to us also which made it more personal and friendly. The week was pure luxury - our cabin was exceptional and everything had been thought about - plenty of storage space for all our goods plus our extra shopping! The housekeeper Andrea was delightful and when she heard we were celebrating our 25th created a beautiful atmosphere with candles(safety ones of course!!) one evening after our return from dinner. The restaurant manager also did the same on another evening with a bottle of champagne. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. Thank goodness we were on the River Countess and not one of those horrendous monster ocean cruise ships that kept passing us with thousands on board. At least we were able to meet a good mix of people and get to know them. The cruising of the River Po was relaxing and beautiful and we got to see parts of Italy most tourists would never see. The daily trips were optional and very well organised with the most friendly and informative Guides - loved it all. Thanks Martin for all the organisation - you certainly knew your customers. We were sorry to leave the boat but were then treated to a weeks visit to Florence and Rome - hotels were very good but not to the standard we had become used to on the boat but the daily trips were just as good with a couple of highlights being to a few wineries. The only negative was the 3pines restaurant - beautiful location but food was not that great and the coffee was dreadful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We just returned from two weeks on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers. The Viking Sky is an older ship and in fact is to retire from the fleet at season end. So it doesn't look as bright and shiny when tied up beside newer Viking ... Read More
We just returned from two weeks on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers. The Viking Sky is an older ship and in fact is to retire from the fleet at season end. So it doesn't look as bright and shiny when tied up beside newer Viking ships as we were a few times. Nevertheless the crew and staff and food could not have been better. Excellent planning and information on the various excursions was provided and all details were complete. The real test of service came when the last lock into Budapest broke down and we could not proceed. Viking immediately arranged transfer by bus from Bratislava into Budapest, arranged for our last night's lodging at the Marriott in Budapest, and all luggage transfers as needed between ship hotel and departing air. We were treated to a grand lunch at Gundels in Budapest, certainly a more elegant meal than we would have had aboard, and dinner at the Marriott to end the stay. Even when we left at 3 in the morning for our departing flight, a box breakfast was provided. And Viking representatives were with us the whole time until flight check in. In all, Viking performed extremely well with all transfers and accommodations in Amsterdam to begin, Budapest to end and a totally unexpected contingency. Because of its age the Sky may be available at some discount for its remaining trips and I think it would be a good buy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our first ever cruise of any type and, having always been independent travellers, we weren't sure it would suit us. However, from beginning to end we loved every minute. We started with 2 nights in Lisbon. We were picked up ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise of any type and, having always been independent travellers, we weren't sure it would suit us. However, from beginning to end we loved every minute. We started with 2 nights in Lisbon. We were picked up at the airport by a Viking rep and taken to the Tivoli Hotel. The hotel was fine. There was a bus tour of Lisbon in the morning which was good to get an overview of the city but, apart from that we were left to our own devices. We then headed towards Porto where the ship was docked. On the way we stopped off at Coimbra to visit the University and also to have lunch, during which we heard traditional fado singing. Finally we reached Porto and the ship. Instantly we felt at home. The whole crew was there to greet us. The embarkation process was completed quickly and efficiently before being shown to our cabin. The cabins are fairly small but the space is well used so not at all claustrophobic. The service onboard was outstanding. The crew were all pleasant and helpful. Officers were very visible and interacted with passengers. Meals were fantastic. We had two meals off the ship- dinner at a converted monastery and lunch at a winery- both of which were good. Entertainment onboard was limited but enjoyable. There was the opportunity to visit the galley and the bridge. I went to a Portuguese lesson , a cookery demonstration and a talk about cork (more interesting than it sounds!) My husband went to a talk on Portuguese history. On one evening a folk group entertained us. It was a hoot and greatly enhanced by the participation of the crew. We went on all the included excursions. We enjoyed them all though the pace was a bit slow. However, the guides were all knowledgeable and spoke good English. It's difficult to identify a high spot from so many but probably the best excursion was a full day to Salamanca. When we returned there was a 'surprise' BBQ on the sun deck as the sun went down. Magic! The passengers were a fairly even mix of British and American with a few Australian which worked well. Disembarkation went smoothly with the buses shuttling passengers to the airport to catch a variety of flights. I would just like to mention the standard of Viking organisation, which was outstanding from the day we booked out cruise until the day we returned home. I'm not sure if we'll do another river cruise but if we do it will certainly be with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Let me start out in the order of events during my families amazing time in Paris and northern France. I chose this vacation in celebration of my Mothers 80th birthday and to also show my appreciation to my Stepfather as well. I have been ... Read More
Let me start out in the order of events during my families amazing time in Paris and northern France. I chose this vacation in celebration of my Mothers 80th birthday and to also show my appreciation to my Stepfather as well. I have been on many Ocean cruises in the past and was always interested in what it would be like to take a river cruise. Let me tell you, i don't think i would ever go back, Avalon River cruises are amazing and top notch . We arrived in Paris four days before the cruise to get over our jet lag and take some time to explore the beautiful city. I chose a apartment in the Latin Quarter which was very nice and close to everything. On the day of the cruise we arrived at the Pullman hotel which was the pre-criuse meeting location around 10:30am. We checked our luggage with the porter there and didnt see our thing until we arrived in our staterooms later on that afternoon. Avalon offers a optional excursion to the Effel Tower which leaves from the hotel at 1pm, so we decided to go on that since i have never been up the tower and it would give us something to do since you can not board the ship until 4-5pm . The tour was a lot of fun and we got to meet some new fellow passengers. After the tour, the bus takes you directly to the ship. Arrival to the ship was so nice, you just walk on , no security scanners , or long lines , it was simple. Everyone including the cruise director(Tony Willamson), who was amazing , greated you and offered you a drink and then eventually escorted you to your state room. The entire ship was so clean and beautiful , like it was brand new and The Creativity is one of Avalons older ships , you would never know its kept up so well. The staterooms were very nice and lots of places to store your things. The bathrooms were so clean and modern, i have never seen anything like that on other cruises. The dinning room was elegant and the wait staff were friendly and very accommodating . The food was different every day for dinner and was fresh and bought in the local markets in the region. The Wine at dinner was wonderful, and your glass was never empty . Every night we would sit with different people which was fun, you actually get to know almost everyone on the ship since there is only around 130 people tops. The portions of the food were small but plenty , i was always satisfied every night . Breakfast and Lunch were great as well, more of a buffet style . Excursions: Vernon, was our first stop. you have a choice of two included guided tours , one was the Bizy Castle or Giverny, we chose Monet's gardens since i love his works and my Mother is into gardening. It was one of the high points of our trip, it was truly amazing. Rouen, was our next port. We took the morning guided tour , the cathedral was breathtaking as well as the town. We had lunch back at the ship and then took a optional tour of the town of Honfleur, it was a beautiful town located on a harbor , great place to sit at a cafe and take in the surroundings , loved it. Normandy beach Landings , was a all day tour on our second day in Rouen. It was around a hour drive to the war museum and beach area. It was so such a moving experience , i have always wanted to see this area of France. I felt so overwhelmed with emotion and proud of all those young service men and women who sacraficed there lives to protect our freedoms. Les Andelys was next. We decided to take it easy that morning and opt out of going on the guided tour of the town, instead we decided to go into town by oursellves on our own time. It was a charming little town, some really nice shops , bought a few things there. After strolling around the town i decided to run up the hill to see the castle built by Richard the lion heart , it had some wonderful views from up there. Conflans was our last stop before going into Paris, we went on the Auvers-Sur-oise , the tour was very informative about the final years of Vincent Van Gogh, the tour took us to his apartment where he lived and through the town and then to his final resting place . After we got back to the boat we were off to Paris. It was a lazy afternoon , which was nice after all the excursions we were on all week, i even relaxed in the whirl pool , very nice. That night was the Captains Farewell dinner, it was a festive night with a crew performance and five coarse dinner and baked alaskan," dellish" ;-) later we took the optional evening tour of Paris at night, it was so beautiful to see at night , especially the Eiffel tower when it strobes at 11pm. On the final day we took the optional tour of the Louvre, it was a lot to take in but we were thrilled to see most of the popular works , such as the Venus De Milo, Winged victory , and of coarse the Rock star, Mona Lisa. All in all, Avalons Creativity and staff and crew made this a vacation we will never forget. They went far and beyond to make us and everyone feel special and cared for. I rarely write reviews, but i felt i needed to for this particular event. i want people to know that this cruise was well worth the money , it was very well organized , i never had to worry about anything. We are definitely choosing Avalon again on our next adventure . Bon Voyage!!!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a ... Read More
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a river is wonderful--even when traveling during the day, the views are beautiful. Lots to do or you can choose to just relax. The Lounge was nice, comfortable and had great views if you didn't want to go outside. The Chef was fabulous. All meals, but especially dinner, were delicious. My husband and I enjoy trying new and innovative restaurants and our dinners on the Amaprima were as good as any we have had at 5 star restaurants. I liked the "gentle" tours which suited by knee problem situation.(but there were certainly "active" tours for those with more stamina). I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. I wish I were there now! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our first river cruise and it was an excellent experience. We went from Amsterdam to Budapest. It is called the Grand European Tour. The Viking Atla is a very new boat and is streamlined and modern in its design. I think what set ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and it was an excellent experience. We went from Amsterdam to Budapest. It is called the Grand European Tour. The Viking Atla is a very new boat and is streamlined and modern in its design. I think what set this tour apart from say an Ocean tour was the fact that so much of the included excursions were cultural and intellectual in nature. There was always something new to learn and the quality of the tours very high. There was also lots of options regarding spending time at leisure.We did luck out with regards to the sometimes capricious nature of rivers - sometimes they are too low etc. Conditions for us were perfect. The ship ran like clockwork with all tours precisely on time and well-organized. Our program director Caspar, would brief us the night before which helped with planning. Many of the destinations small and charming. I was surprised by all the local musicians that came aboard. There was also a glass blower that was very entertaining, The quality of the meals was very high. An added touch were cookies, donuts and latte machines available throughout the day and evening. Most remarkable for us was the quality of service by the housekeeping and restaurant staff. They were courteous, friendly and amazingly efficient. We celebrated our 30th Anniversary aboard ship and staff really made it special. We came away from this tour feeling like we had been treated as special guests. We took the more expensive route of allowing Viking to arrange the air. The connections and flights were not always ideal but the seamless transfers from hotel to airport more than made up for that. One employee even offered to stand in line for me to hold my place at the VAT desk at the airport because she could see I was getting tired. Truly amazing service from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My wife and I took the VAR from Amsterdam to Basel. The boat was very well run and the crew went out of their way to make things work. The river water level was high and some changes had to be made in the itinerary. Viking handled this ... Read More
My wife and I took the VAR from Amsterdam to Basel. The boat was very well run and the crew went out of their way to make things work. The river water level was high and some changes had to be made in the itinerary. Viking handled this change very well. I could feel the scrabbling to make the last minute changes. The excursions were well planned and well organized. I had to change local guides because the one I was assigned to wouldn't stop talking about extraneous things. No harm, I just hooked up with another group. The trip to Cologne was the best I have ever taken. The history of Cologne was fascinating, I would do it again if given the chance. The only small thing that went wrong was I put money in the safe and didn't push the button after closing it. When I came back I noticed that the safe was open. I check my wallet and saw that money was in the wallet and didn't think much about it. When I got to Basel Airport, I checked and found that my $3,600 US was suddenly $1,600 US. It was my fault, I should have counted the money when I found the safe open. Overall, very pleasant trip well worth the price. Beautiful boat with nice people running it. Great food all the way. I highly recommend the Viking Var. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We travelled on the Viking Imperial Jewels tour/river cruise at the end of July. We havecruised frequently on ocean cruises and are also independent travellers so this was a unique situation for us. Most of my angst was travelling with a ... Read More
We travelled on the Viking Imperial Jewels tour/river cruise at the end of July. We havecruised frequently on ocean cruises and are also independent travellers so this was a unique situation for us. Most of my angst was travelling with a difficult group. Viking is an outstanding company that we will travel with in the future. For those wanting to see China at a more than comfortable level this is a great trip. Eight groups of 34 make up the entire group travelling on the river. You are put into one of those groups and assigned a tour escort for the whole trip. We were blessed with a great group, mostly teachers due to the time of the year. Our tour escort, Iowa, was outstanding. He provided free and open opinions about China, including first hand information about him in Tianemenan Square in 1989. He was organized and professional. The hotels that are used are 5-6 star quality. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton. Portman in Shanghai, the Hilton in Xi'an and the Regent in Beijing. Outstanding in every way! This is NOT a shopping tour although there are chances to spend money, mostly at Viking approved places. Jade, silk embroidery, silk carpets and Xi'an souvenirs are some of the stops. You have to spend your free time going out to the markets as Viking does not encourage this. There is a tailor aboard the ship if you want a custom silk jacket made, as well as a pearl store and Chinese artist. Each day of the cruise provides for a shore excursion, included in the price. We toured the Three Gorges Dam, toured the Lesser Three Gorges by small boat and climbed the Shaobazhai Temple. There is not a lot to do on the ship so be prepared to relax and read. There is no promenade deck to walk around. We travelled in the summer so there was very, very hot and humid weather. All the daily talks were very informative. The food was very good and plentiful - the best thing is the homemade yogurt served in small jars. Delicious. The staff works extremely hard, especially Lois, the bar manager. The premium bar package at 150.00 is great value, especially if you like trying other wines and enjoy drinks other than beer and wine. House wine and beer and no extra charge however the only choice is Chardonnay. That sold me on the package. Don't expect Wifi, it doesn't exist. There are 6 computers, slow but always available. Wifi is available at Ll hotel free of charge. This is a VERY good trip and an excellent way to see China. I would highly recommend it.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my first cruise ever, and it was such a positive experience. Amawaterways has done a terrific job of combining different types of on shore experiences on this cruise. This was extremely important to me as I have resisted cruising ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever, and it was such a positive experience. Amawaterways has done a terrific job of combining different types of on shore experiences on this cruise. This was extremely important to me as I have resisted cruising up till now, not wanting to spend my entire time on a ship and needing excursions that are interesting to me. When traveling, my wife and I like to visit historical sites, as well as absorbing the culture of the country through contact with the locals - seeing how they live and enjoying (hopefully!) the local food. This cruise did an exceptional job of that, aided by the knowledgeable guides such as Mao Ponloe in Cambodia, and Khanh in Vietnam. Congratulations to Amawaterways. The staff onboard were very friendly and very efficient. The cruise manager did an exceptional job on this particular voyage. Che Thanh Thoai is a remarkable individual. His attention to detail is astonishing. He was EVERYWHERE we needed him to be, to the extent that we sometimes wondered if he had several identical brothers! He is energetic and friendly, and sympathetic to passengers needs. He goes out of his way to help and please, even when passengers are clearly in the wrong (e.g. missing departure times). He is also quite talented as a musician and vocalist! The entire staff was pleasant and provided great service, but Thoai stood out. With this experience I am now a committed cruiser, and will thoroughly endorse Amawaterways to anyone that asks. The Amalotus is a very well designed ship with minimal engine noise and vibration in the cabins. The only downside on this particular cruise through the Mekong - very spotty internet connections. The exercise area is a bit limited, but there were never any lineups for use. The A/C was not always turned on there, so it was easy to get up a sweat! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This the the first river cruise for my wife and me, although we have taken several ocean cruises. I always was curious about the Viking ad of less time getting there and more time being there. And it was so true. Our cruise started in ... Read More
This the the first river cruise for my wife and me, although we have taken several ocean cruises. I always was curious about the Viking ad of less time getting there and more time being there. And it was so true. Our cruise started in Amsterdam and ended in Budapest with pre stay in Amsterdam and then post stay in Prague (via motor coach). The sights were amazing, a real step back in history with so many gothic churches and awesome castles, the likes of which I am sure cannot be seen anywhere else. The cruise was wonderfully organized, the staff aboard could not have been more pleasant, the food was very good with quite a variety of choices over the 14 days, the tours were very well organized with quite knowledgable guides. The pre and post city extensions were well worth the time to allow more in-depth exposure to the areas and more chances to visit museums and other sites. The only real disappointment is the "blue" Danube isn't so blue (actually muddy brown, unlike the TV commercials). We were thoroughly pleased with the tour. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. The only negative is that the cabins were much smaller than advertised though still ample. The balconies were small and not private being shared with two other cabins. Nonetheless, the efficiency ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. The only negative is that the cabins were much smaller than advertised though still ample. The balconies were small and not private being shared with two other cabins. Nonetheless, the efficiency and personal touches of the cruise lines was evident in the reception, tours, social hours, evening programs, and especially the meals. I told the chef personally that we had a wonderful epicurean experience that happened to occur on a cruise. The cleaning and wait staff were personable, intelligent and hardworking attesting the thorough hiring criteria of the company. Most had college degrees or were college students and easily interacted with the passengers, most of whom were retired professionals. We were so pleased we booked another cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We had never been on Viking River Cruise previously, but the line was highly recommended by our travel agent as well as a friend who has been on a Viking river cruise previously. We cannot fault the line, staff or the tour guides. It was ... Read More
We had never been on Viking River Cruise previously, but the line was highly recommended by our travel agent as well as a friend who has been on a Viking river cruise previously. We cannot fault the line, staff or the tour guides. It was an amazing trip and very enjoyable and enlightening. The Rurik has been updated apparently, and the only challenge are the steep stairs. There is a lift (elevator) but only one at the back of the boat. We had a fantastic trip and the staff were excellent. The local tour guides were very helpful and went out of their way to ensure that questions, comments and information were addressed. The only challenge we had was at Peterof, but that was our fault. We did not listen to information where the bus would be parked. The Cruise Director, Christopher, went out of his way to help us and gave us information on St Petersburg which was invaluable. We are looking at other Viking Cruises for future trips. Hope they pick up Amazon cruises on their list.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
An awesome way to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This was our first river cruise and having cruised several times on the ocean going ships, we didn't know what to expect. We loved it-perfect in every way....the service was ... Read More
An awesome way to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This was our first river cruise and having cruised several times on the ocean going ships, we didn't know what to expect. We loved it-perfect in every way....the service was impeccable. We thoroughly enjoyed the intimacy of the ship and the ease of going on shore excursions, having meals,etc. Most excursions were included and well organized and informative. In some ports there were multiple options. Our cabin was lovely and well laid out. The sundeck had ample seating,including lots of shade. The local entertainment brought onboard was delightful and extremely talented. Transfers were timely and easy. Finally, the itinerary was wonderful with quintessential small villages and gorgeous Cities such as Vienna and Budapest. The 3 day pre cruise in Prague rounded out perfection. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my second Uniworld cruise and it was as perfect as the last. The ship was beautiful, the food was great and the staff was professional and attentive. The excursions were well planned and all of the guides were both knowledgeable ... Read More
This was my second Uniworld cruise and it was as perfect as the last. The ship was beautiful, the food was great and the staff was professional and attentive. The excursions were well planned and all of the guides were both knowledgeable and professional. After I climbed the many steep and winding stairs to the top of the castle of the Duke of Anjou in Tarascon and then down again my knee was officially wrecked. But Uniworld has a program called "gentile walking" tours and for that I was grateful. In essence they are slower and avoids steep stair cases. When some attraction has to be eliminated, due to its strenuous nature (steep stairs) another is added to complete the experience. I rather preferred it, the groups were smaller and the guides very attentive to our needs. We opted for the extension to Paris at the end of our cruise. An Uniworld agent escorted us to the train station and remained with us until we arrived and were situated at the hotel in Paris where another Uniworld rep/guide took over. Now she was amazing. One of the most adorable, conscientious, attentive person's I have ever met. Whatever you asked she tired to make it happen. In all a wonderful trip. I am already planning another Uniworld cruise for next year. I also liked that there was no "nickel and diming" everything was included even all tips, water bottles and liquor on the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We did a cruise that isn't too popular.....we did a land tour beginning in Munich, boarded the ship in Passau, sailing through Germany to Basel, Switzerland. In a word.....WOW!!! We could not have asked for a better ship, a better ... Read More
We did a cruise that isn't too popular.....we did a land tour beginning in Munich, boarded the ship in Passau, sailing through Germany to Basel, Switzerland. In a word.....WOW!!! We could not have asked for a better ship, a better crew, better tour guides or better co-passengers. Everything Avalon did was top notch! Everyone worked well together and was seamless. The crew were some of the friendliest we've had the pleasure to sail with. They quickly learned our names and preferences and after one day, we never had to ask for anything.....they just brought us whatever we wanted -almost before we knew we wanted it! Our room was spectacular. We had opted for a "balcony" room and were not disappointed.....but may not do it again. We didn't spend much time in the room, so "aquarium" class would have been fine, but since we had it, we opened the doors and watched the world go by. The bathroom was a nice size and we didn't have to squeeze ourselves into the shower! We did spend a good amount if time topside, but were limited in the beginning by low bridges. The BEST time we had was cruising the Rhine. Our cruise director, Nancy, told the most interesting stories about each castle! The food was excellent.....we aren't foodies per se, but do enjoy eating.....and eating we did! There was a nice buffet breakfast and lunch (with a cooked to order egg station at breakfast and a warm entree at lunch). There was wine and beer available in an endless cup at dinner and a very nice selection of dishes to choose from. We did a grilled lunch one day top-side and a small plate sampler for dinner one day. Both of those were good. Excursions were very nice (a tad on the expensive side, but I spent a lot for the vacation and wasn't going to chincy out once there). The local guides were knowledgeable and fun. The individual headsets were a blessing to us....1) DH doesn't hear too well and 2) it allowed me to wander a but or lag behind for a picture and not miss any commentary. They had a "gentle walkers" group for those with mobility issues, which I thought was nice. I'd heard about docking aside other ships, but we never did that. There was always a dock available and watching the crew put out the ramp was truly amazing! They could put down or pick up the ramp in about 7 minutes.....they were a well oiled team it saw the least! I would do another Avalon cruise anytime and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our first river cruise. It was 7 nights from Amsterdam to Luxembourg City on the Rhine and Moselle rivers. The staff was very friendly, helpful and hard working. One day, I even saw the maid on her hands and knees scrubbing the ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It was 7 nights from Amsterdam to Luxembourg City on the Rhine and Moselle rivers. The staff was very friendly, helpful and hard working. One day, I even saw the maid on her hands and knees scrubbing the carpet on the threshold to our room! We had a deluxe room in the middle of the ship, on what could be called the second floor. I had been concerned about the room being cramped, but it was not and the amount of storage was unbelievable. The closet was big enough for both my husband's and my hanging clothes and there was plenty of shelf space and even under-the-bed space. And the tiny bathroom had a rain shower that was better than the one we had in the Marriott! The open seating arrangement in the dining room allowed us to easily meet other couples who were traveling, and we met many fun and interesting people. Each day offered two or three different tour options in port and all of them were good. There was entertainment each evening for an hour after dinner in the lounge. The entertainers were varied, all were good and left us wanting more. Although the weather was a little dreary most of the time, the staff and local tour guides made the best of the situation by always being cheerful. We will definitely do another AmaWaterways cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We really didn’t know what to expect from this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. We have sailed on the Nile in the past, but never on a European river, so although we had some idea of what was involved, we were in the dark a little with ... Read More
We really didn’t know what to expect from this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. We have sailed on the Nile in the past, but never on a European river, so although we had some idea of what was involved, we were in the dark a little with what to expect. However, Viking did look after us very well indeed right from start to finish. One thing that does however remain the same as the Nile boats, is that you can be moored up tight against another river boat, which is standard practice. Viking have their own mooring/docking points at each port of call. The ‘Viking Daily’ which gives your itinerary for the next day’s activities is delivered during the previous evening. The Viking Gullveig is very new and the cabins are just wonderful, although really tight on space. Our cabin was No. 334 with a ‘French’ balcony. However, having said that, there is lots of storage space for luggage, clothes, etc. I’ve done a small separate cabin review that should be attached to this review here in Cruise Critic. One thing the boat doesn’t have though is a swimming pool. I don’t know why I thought it did, but perhaps I was thinking more of the Nile boats, as they do have pools on board. Life on board the Gullveig is very relaxing and there’s no ‘dressing up’ unless you really want to of course! The food on board is just excellent – we couldn’t fault a thing. The trips ashore are also very good but, like all package tours and trips, there’s never enough time in each place, however Viking seem to do their very best to give you some free time to do as you wish, which was appreciated. Everything ran like clockwork aboard the boat and we were unaware of any problems that there might have been. Entertainment is limited and perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but on some nights there is an opportunity to leave the boat to go ashore, which we took advantage of. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful right across the board – they are all obviously trained very well and they look after their passengers admirably. There was free wi-fi aboard with fairly good reception apart from up on the sun deck where I couldn’t get a signal. I’m not going to go into great detail here as I have done a travel blog with loads of photos, which pretty much covers the boat and what we done and saw on the cruise, so will give the link to that plus my Flickr album of photos that I took at the time of the Viking Gullveig. I am hoping that this will give people an insight into the cruise and the boat as there wasn’t much information out there when we were trying to do research prior to our holiday. Although you can book an extension to the cruise holiday to stay in either Basel or Amsterdam with Viking, we chose to do our own booking for Amsterdam at the end of the cruise. Of course that meant that we were responsible for our own transport to the hotel from the boat and then from the hotel to the airport, but that wasn’t a problem at all and everything ran smoothly. Viking are still happy to arrange your flights to suit what you have booked for yourself. If you arrange your extension with Viking though, then all of your transfers are included in the price of your holiday. All in all, we had a wonderful holiday and would recommend Viking very highly. Travel blog: http://vikinggullveigcruise.blogspot.co.uk/2014_07_01_archive.html Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marlscat/sets/72157645474973747/ **I had to put the port of embarkation as Amsterdam as Basel isn't mentioned in the list given. This cruise sails from Basel to Amsterdam (which is how we travelled) and also in the reverse from Amsterdam to Basel**   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Warren and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Russia in July 2014. So much so, in fact, that we put together a booklet containing historical facts, our insights, and pictures of the sites we visited for our ... Read More
Warren and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Russia in July 2014. So much so, in fact, that we put together a booklet containing historical facts, our insights, and pictures of the sites we visited for our friends and relatives. We have heard back from many of them about how they would like to take a cruise with Viking too. We were helped every step of the way, from obtaining our visas to arranging for our airline tickets. We were met by our tour guides at the airport after we had arrived in Moscow, and were assisted by them when it came time to leave. The tours were educational as well as well planned. We not only learned about the history of the places we visited, but gained an appreciation of the culture of the Russian people. The accommodations exceeded our expectations.. The staff were friendly, the rooms were clean and the beds were very comfortable. The food, however, was good enough for royalty!!! Our tour guides not only knew their stuff, they had a sense of humor. That makes touring a real pleasure. We loved our trip so much, we are already planning our next one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
As with most of our fellow passengers, this was our first visit to China. The trip comprised three land centres punctuated by a five day cruise on the Yangtze. The selected hotels in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing were all of a very high ... Read More
As with most of our fellow passengers, this was our first visit to China. The trip comprised three land centres punctuated by a five day cruise on the Yangtze. The selected hotels in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing were all of a very high quality. Our trip started in Shanghai and ended in Beijing. This to us seemed the best option as it offered the only opportunity to see the pandas. Most of those we spoke to agreed that, with the benefit of hindsight, this was indeed the preferred option as, leaving the Terracotta Army, Forbidden City and Great Wall until the end of the trip diminished any possible feeling of anti-climax. We were fortunate to have an excellent guide, Johanna, who gave us comprehensive background to life in China and an interesting perspective on the changes wrought over the past century. It must be pointed out that we believed we had struck lucky with Johanna but those in other groups were equally enthusiastic about their guides. The specialist city guides too were all of a high quality. The visits were well chosen and informative although those of us staying away from downtown Shanghai would have liked more time on the Bund rather than a cursory drive through. Enrichment activities were organised in several centres, some include, some optional. We enjoyed the evening entertainment in Shanghai and the playing of the ancient instruments in Wuhan. We skipped the circus and duck dinner in Beijing both of which received mixed reviews. We did opt for the afternoon trip to the Summer palace in Beijing and were well rewarded. The transition from land to sea was smoothly handled. Embarkation was swift and welcoming. Services on the Emerald were excellent, a nice touch being that by the end of the first evening the dining room and bar staff had learned our names. The food was uniformly fine with several options for each course in the evening and some interesting choices at lunchtimes for those who were feeling adventurous. We purchased the drinks package which for $150 per head allowed more choice of wine/beer as well as extra drinks outside of mealtimes. Those who did not do so pronounced the complimentary beer and wines perfectly acceptable. The sit as you please dining arrangement allowed us to converse with other guests with whom we would not otherwise have met. The passengers seemed to be split 50-50 in terms of Brits and Americans and we enjoyed some pleasant evenings. Having cruised with Americans in the past we were happy not to meet any who whinged about their taxes and/or tried to convince us that Obama was not an American and should never have been allowed to take his place in the White House. These were truly a different breed! Dining in the cities was usually in the 'Lazy Susan' style allowing the opportunity to sample a number of different dishes. This we enjoyed. Excursions from the boat were well chosen. These included a transfer to smaller boats to sail the Lesser Three Gorges and a visit to the spectacular Shibaozhai pagoda. Entertainment on the boat was limited but the crew put on a couple of shows to showcase their talents. In truth, there was not a lot to do by day except to sit and enjoy the scenery but several informative lectures were provided by the Cruise Director, Paul. Everyone with whom we spoke expressed surprise at the modernisation of China and the speed of progress. Many cities unknown in the west have populations of millions. The memories of vast urban developments, the rush to embrace all things western, and the hugely entertaining interpretation of traffic laws will live long. China is a rapidly changing country with a fascinating past. A visit is enormously rewarding and Viking River Cruises' Imperial Jewels trip offers a value for money introduction to China. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We recently had a wonderful holiday with AMA Waterways on their Provence and Spain itinerary. This was our second river cruise in just over a year and we are hooked! The trip started with a 3-night stay at the conveniently located Pullman ... Read More
We recently had a wonderful holiday with AMA Waterways on their Provence and Spain itinerary. This was our second river cruise in just over a year and we are hooked! The trip started with a 3-night stay at the conveniently located Pullman Montparnasse in Paris. This hotel was very busy as it catered to tour groups so the downside was line-ups and not such great service for breakfast but, apart from the very awkward to access bathtub, the room was well-appointed and we had a great view of Paris. Save on expensive taxi fares by taking the Air France shuttle bus from the airport. It only cost 16 Euros and stops at the Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse right opposite the hotel. Our charming, efficient and excellent Tour Director, Abel, met us at the hotel and stayed with us throughout our entire trip. He did a wonderful job and we were sad to say goodbye to him. We boarded the cruise in Lyon after an efficient TGV high-speed train ride from Paris (lovely train but smelly washrooms). We were impressed with the ship. It has a very welcoming feel to it and we soon made ourselves at home. The public areas were well designed and very conducive to meeting fellow cruisers. The food was delicious with plenty of variety and the service throughout the ship was exemplary. Wine and beer were included both at lunch and dinner. The in-house entertainment was a bit weak with a pianist who played "elevator music" where everything pretty well sounded the same. He was very nice and friendly but didn't play anything we could dance to. He rarely sang. Some of the guest entertainers were better. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire itinerary. We loved Lyon-such an interesting city with so much to do. The included excursions offered a wide variety of things to see with some ports offering several options. We particularly enjoyed visiting the hilltop villages of Oignt in the Beaujolais region, pretty Grignan and the picturesque Les Baux-de-Provence. We also loved just being able to wander around the towns where we were docked. We were busy all the time but it was still relaxing and we had plenty of time to explore on our own. With the odd exception, the tour guides were excellent. Our cruise finished in Arles in the South of France but we were then taken by coach to Barcelona for three nights. This was an enjoyable journey with a two-hour en route stop in the charming French town of Perpignan. In beautiful Barcelona we stayed at the lovely, modern Le Meridien Hotel located right on the bustling La Rambla-perfect location within walking distance of the Gothic District, Plaza Catalunya with its department stores, the marina area and La Boqueria market and a multitude of bars and restaurants. We loved our room with its huge walk-in rain shower and plentiful lighting including motion-sensor nightlights. Apart from the included sightseeing tour, we would recommend taking the optional tour to spectacular Montserrat with its mountain-top monastery. Again, we saved on a taxi transfer to the airport by taking the very efficient airport shuttle bus from the Plaza Catalunya. It runs every 5 minutes and only costs 5.90 Euros. On a Sunday, it only took about 20 minutes. It was within easy walking distance of our hotel. We recommend this cruise itinerary. It was well-organized, varied and allowed us to stay in two of our favourite cities and visit areas of France we had never seen.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
When you have traveled a lot you think you have experienced it all but that's not true until you take a Viking river cruise. We did the 14 day Grand European on the Jarl. From the minute we left O'Hare Airport until we returned ... Read More
When you have traveled a lot you think you have experienced it all but that's not true until you take a Viking river cruise. We did the 14 day Grand European on the Jarl. From the minute we left O'Hare Airport until we returned 15 days later we really never had to think, only experience. Viking truly thought of everything before we even knew we needed it. The cabins appear terribly small until you put everything away and there really is a place for everything. They are fine, the bed is wonderful and the showers are plenty large. The food was great for every meal with many choices and amazing soups for lunch every day. At every port the guides were there and ready for us, we never felt like they were herding cattle. The vox boxes were a real plus because you did not have to worry about being close enough to the guide to hear. It is hard to pick one place that was our favorite, I thought it was Cologne until we arrived in Budapest at night to all the lights. That experience itself made the trip worthwhile. Everyone is very casual and friendly and we made friends that we keep in touch with since our return. We are not big fans of the giant cruise ships but this is a totally different experience, you get to go sightseeing and relax all at the same time. Hopefully this is not our last Viking Cruise because we are both anxious to go again. The crew of the Jarl were truly wonderful and fun and by the end of the two weeks with only 180 passengers and 50 crew you know everyone. I especially loved the night when the introduced the entire crew, every single crew member not just the ones that interacted with passengers. The value for the money is extraordinary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our first River cruise and our first trip with Viking. It is fair to say that our expectations were met or exceeded in every aspect of the cruise. The Ingvi was virtually brand new, and the ship was well equipped, spacious and ... Read More
This was our first River cruise and our first trip with Viking. It is fair to say that our expectations were met or exceeded in every aspect of the cruise. The Ingvi was virtually brand new, and the ship was well equipped, spacious and comfortable. Our cabin was roomy and very easy to live in, with plenty of storage space. We thought the food was plentiful and of excellent quality. The information briefings each afternoon were helpful to get the most out of each stop. We boarded the ship in Basel, and we're able to walk to the ship from the train station. The disembarkation in Amsterdam was very near the train station, facilitating an easy trip to the airport. What we enjoyed most was the ability to walk to various attractions directly from the ship, without requiring additional transportation arrangements. We cannot wait to take another Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My wife and I have now taken two Viking River Cruises and without a doube enjoyed both with equal pleasure. Last year we returned from our first cruise with Viking and withing three wekks booked this year's adventure. Last year we ... Read More
My wife and I have now taken two Viking River Cruises and without a doube enjoyed both with equal pleasure. Last year we returned from our first cruise with Viking and withing three wekks booked this year's adventure. Last year we traveled the Seine from Paris to Normandy; a great adventure. This year we traveled the Danube from Budapest to Nuremburg. We had decided to travel to Budapest a couple days early just to get over the travel lag and this was a wise decision. This also gae us an opportunity to see the wonderful city of Budapest on our own. For the citizens of Budapest, you have a wonderful city; thank you! On the day of our boarding on the Viking Delling, we were immediately greeted at dockside by the attendents that took our bags aboard. The receptionist recognized us immediately as returning Viking cruisers which made us feel very welcome. We were excorted to our cabin immedistely and then journeyed to the Aquavit Terrasce for a light lunch. They serve this for all early arrivals. Just a nice touch and this gives you a chance to get acquainted with some other fellow travelers. Our accomodations were as we expected, comfortable, very clean with a veranda. Keep in mind you will not be spending much time in your cabin. Far more places to be than in your cabin that are more comfortable with a much better view of the scenery. We spent most of our time on the Aquavit Terrace, great seats, foods and drinks to go along with the view. The staff were exceptional, all seasoned staff that knew how to make a trip more comfortable and pleasurable for the guest. After a couple days, they got to know your likes and dislikes and catered to that aspect of your personality. Great group of folks. Our cruise director, Merek was an amazing individual that treated everyone as if they were the only person on board. Very entertaining, knowledgable and would turn the world for you if he could. Food stafff were great and always knew when to approach the table to make sure you had what you needed before you knew you needed something. For all those folks looking at Viking, choose your destination and book. The trips are well planned with enough activities to keep you very busy and educatedand and also enough down time to relax or venture out on your own time. We will be planning additional Viking cruises or the alternative Viking Ocean cruise. All that they talk aboput in their literature and videos does ahppen and more. There is no hype to their commercials.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014

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