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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We have had two ocean cruises on the small motor sailer Winds tar. Outstanding. We expected similar experience from the heavily advertised Viking Danube cruise. This was another low water summer, but we were lucky. We did not have to ... Read More
We have had two ocean cruises on the small motor sailer Winds tar. Outstanding. We expected similar experience from the heavily advertised Viking Danube cruise. This was another low water summer, but we were lucky. We did not have to change ships. We were unlucky in that we were docked three ships abreast turning our stateroom into a dark cave most of the time. I gather this is often the case. Our balcony was not a balcony. It was a sliding window. We had one day of no a/c. We had fumes overpowering us when our neighboring ships exhaust lined up with our intake. Passengers were ill and no one could stay in their staterooms. Another half day, no water. Throughout this, no information disseminated to the passengers who finally had a harsh confrontation with the ships steward. Tours were adequate, with a couple exceptions...biking in Wachau Valley was fabulous and could have been twice as long. Dining was in a dreary room, never outside. Food was good but menu choices repetitive. Passengers were surprisingly underdressed in the evening, many in their shorts and tees from the daytime. Don’t bother taking much in the elegant casual realm. The demographic was quite frail on the whole and the day trips labeled active were only moderate. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We were first time river cruisers. Decided to book for 35th Anniversary celebration. Booked in January for August 30th Cruise. We had a fantastic time on the Vidar! Everything ran on time, flights booked thru Viking and transfers. Bus ... Read More
We were first time river cruisers. Decided to book for 35th Anniversary celebration. Booked in January for August 30th Cruise. We had a fantastic time on the Vidar! Everything ran on time, flights booked thru Viking and transfers. Bus drivers very courteous and friendly. Crew and staff were awesome. Michael, hotel manager, Chris the program director, Executive Chef Karl were very friendly and accessible! Food was 5 Star everyday! Excursions with very knowledgeable guides who were very proud of their community! Loved the more intimate experience vs an ocean cruise we had in past! ( was not with Viking) Met several other passengers and actually met a couple who live about 20 min from us in NKY! Enjoyed talking with bar/wait staff and learning more about them. Had bonus free concert by German Armed Forces Band in Koblenz! Don’t know that I would change a thing about this cruise. Will definitely book again! Highly recommend Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Viking charged a 400% greater airfare upgrade than what was available from the airline directly. Charges to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy Air France website = $378 pp Viking = $1495 pp. We booked ... Read More
Viking charged a 400% greater airfare upgrade than what was available from the airline directly. Charges to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy Air France website = $378 pp Viking = $1495 pp. We booked our river cruise 7 months before sailing at 50% off list price plus $445 per person for international airfare (supposed to be savings). We were charged $445 pp for round trip airfare + $50 pp for "Air Plus" to allow changes to our itinerary as we wanted to spend a few extra days in France at the end of our trip. We were booked by Viking Air Department on Air France approximately 12 weeks before our trip. We immediately requested a change to Premium Economy (slightly larger economy seat - NOT business class or first class). For this we were charged AN ADDITIONAL $1495 per person which was broken out as follows: (1) Premium Economy upgrade: +$1195 round trip per person (Houston - Marseille). On Air France Website the cost to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy at the time of booking was $378.45 pp round trip including insurance for the same flights. This is $800+ pp above Air France's rate. (2) Charge to extend 3 days: +$100 per person - even though we had had already paid $50 pp to have the option to change our flights so we were surprised that we were paying again. (3) Insurance charge for upgrade: +$200 per person (At time of booking, Air France offered insurance for $95.75 per person for same flights with Premium Economy seats). We had already paid Viking $419 pp for travel insurance for cruise and original flights. Thus, Viking charged $619 pp for travel insurance! Please note that Viking does not assign airfare until approximately 90 days before the cruise. Thus, it is difficult to effectively comparison shop at the time of booking (which often is a year before the cruise). We could have booked flights with miles or larger savings had we booked ourselves directly 7 months before the cruise when we booked the cruise. We would hope that a company reliant on repeat travelers would handle upgrades in a competitive manner. Our experience has proved otherwise - upgrade at 4x the airline's quoted website fees. Additional Tours. We paid for the additional tour - Timeless Town of Perouges. We thought it was quaint, but in hindsight we could have passed on that tour and would have enjoyed spending some more time in Lyon. We had not been to Lyon before, and had the morning included bus tour / walking tour which was very informational and we really enjoyed. Lyon is a very large beautiful city. We wish we had the afternoon to go back to Lyon and explore. We paid for the additional tour - Walking Tour of Vienne. There was a Renaissance Festival going on at the time of our tour and the town was very crowded. Our tour guide was quite dull and we aborted the tour mid-way through and just walked around ourselves. We paid for the additional tour Chateaneuf-Du-Pape. We loved the tour and the wine tasting at the Perrin Family Vineyards. Highly recommend this tour. We paid for the Beaujolais & Truffles tour. We loved this tour and highly recommend. We had a wine tasting, a goat cheese making tour and lunch and truffle hunting! Very long day, but we felt like we truly got to experience the French countryside. All of our hosts were lovey and very interesting. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The water level in the Danube is low, so we expected we might have have to switch ships midway along. We called Viking a few days before our trip, and Viking claimed there was as yet no determination. Well when we arrived on the boat, ... Read More
The water level in the Danube is low, so we expected we might have have to switch ships midway along. We called Viking a few days before our trip, and Viking claimed there was as yet no determination. Well when we arrived on the boat, they had determined we would change boats, just as they had the previous 2, and just as they have already determined they will on the next 2 trips. I think they were less than candid with me. Given that we have no choice, I was prepared to tolerate the inconvenience of a ship change, but I was not at all prepared for the other inconveniences Viking visited upon us. To accomplish the ship change, we lost a whole day of our itinerary and spent 7 hours either riding on a bus, and waiting 2 hours at a restop beside the autobahn. The day before, we spent amost 3 hours bussing back and forth to Passau instead of docking there as scheduled. We bussed into Neurumburg, so 2 more hours on the bus. Because of the ship change, we missed our day in Krems, our scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley was mostly after dark, and we missed our overnight in Vienna. As compensation Viking has given all of us $20 shipboard credit for the lunch we paid for at the rest stop. We paid over $12,000 for for this cruise from hell, and according to the latest word from our cruise director, there is nothing more coming. They won’t tell you if you have an upcoming Danube cruise and you call Viking, but crew members in the know say the next 2 Danube itineraries will involve a ship change, and probably more beyond that. If you have insurance that will let you cancel without charge, I suggest you give it serious consideration. We had that insurance, but I thought how bad can a ship change be, so we came on. Well, let me tell you it can be terrible, because it is not just the ship change, but all the other itinerary modifications you will suffer. I would not endure this itinerary again next week if they invited me to come along for free. And to add insult to injury, they have given us $20 to compensate us for our trouble. This is one unhappy group of cruisers. As Viking likes to say in their ads, “exploring the world in comfort” — they just don’ t mention you might be enjoying hours and hours of their signature comfort in a motorcoach (translate bus). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I were interested in visiting Russia but were hesitant to do so without professional guidance. A friend, Jeanne Newman Glock, is very familiar with Viking and convinced us that we would not be disappointed in a Viking river ... Read More
My husband and I were interested in visiting Russia but were hesitant to do so without professional guidance. A friend, Jeanne Newman Glock, is very familiar with Viking and convinced us that we would not be disappointed in a Viking river cruise in Russia. She was absolutely correct! At her suggestion we read Catherine the Great and Nicholas and Alexandra by Massie before our departure so that St. Petersburg would be more meaningful. The tours that Viking arranged in St. Petersburg were excellent and the guides were very knowledgeable. Visiting the Hermitage, touring St. Petersburg's canals by boat, the Catherine Palace, and Peterhof Palace were highlights of our stay. There were other activities we elected not to do but the very fact that they were available speaks to the commitment Viking has to offer a variety of local things of interest. Once on the waterways there were opportunities to visit villages and world heritage sights as well as to relax in the comfort of our room or the public areas of the ship. Going through the first lock was a novel experience for many of the passengers and exclamations led to introductions and new acquaintances. Viking provided at no additional costs many other opportunities to "meet the neighbors", from a champagne get together outside of our cabins, to a toast from the captain to the guests, to a Taste of Russia lunch on the sun deck. Our last three days were in Moscow and the tours there were exceptional. Our favorited was Moscow by Night. I am sure that very few travelers have been fortunate enough to experience that incredible show of light on buildings, statues and water! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I enjoyed last years Danube cruise so much I had no hesitation to re-enlist with Viking. However, since ours was a last minute choice I WOULD HAVE TRIED ANOTHER LINE IF ONE Had been available. I received no discount for signing on to a ... Read More
I enjoyed last years Danube cruise so much I had no hesitation to re-enlist with Viking. However, since ours was a last minute choice I WOULD HAVE TRIED ANOTHER LINE IF ONE Had been available. I received no discount for signing on to a previously cancelled stateroom. We were on the bottom level, whereas last year we had a French balcony. We feel the French balcony was not worth the extra charge even if we could have gotten one. The ship , cabin, dining were comparable to last year although I felt two of the dinner meals I had were average. Last years activities were only slightly better. Service was on par with last year. I I felt Viking air might have gotten us non stop to Amsterdam from JFK ( maybe a result of a last minute reservation To say we saw 4 countries is really not true. You see nothing worth mentioning in Amsterdam and the cruise through the Netherlands was dull. Didn’t see anything of Basel Switzerland, just busfrom boat to airport. We did not travel with anyone We would not go again perhaps another river in Europe One word regarding superior seamamanship : excellent He got is through when other boats couldn’t get through Regarding an optional tour in Strasbourg Pricey 179 euros each but definitely the excursion highlight Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I enjoyed our first river cruise -- a 7 night "Rhine Getaway" cruise from Amsterdam to Basel 08/21/2018 to 08/28/2018 on the Viking Herja. We paid $5,636 including airfare. There were 188 other passengers on the ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed our first river cruise -- a 7 night "Rhine Getaway" cruise from Amsterdam to Basel 08/21/2018 to 08/28/2018 on the Viking Herja. We paid $5,636 including airfare. There were 188 other passengers on the cruise. Despite drought conditions and low water levels on the Rhine river (necessitating unplanned delays and a missed port), the Captain and crew did a wonderful job of addressing challenges and keeping us on track. We loved touring the windmills, castles and cathedrals, and the included shore excursions were fun and informative. The Captain was very skilled and experienced, and we enjoyed his wheelhouse tour. Meals were wonderful, service was excellent, and we met many new friends on board. The 24-hour coffee machines made great coffee drinks, and the snacks were plentiful. The sun deck was spacious and comfortable, although we longed for a bit more shaded area refuge. We were a bit disappointed that, due to unforeseen itinerary changes, we were unable to see all the ports and castles anticipated. For example, we were delayed for more than 6 hours by the Rhine River Traffic Control authorities in Germany until higher water levels from upstream rains reached our position, resulting in passing many castles in the middle of the night. However, our ship was one of the few that made it through the entire journey without transfer to an alternate vessel. Our only minor complaint was in the airfare routing (too many segments)… we'll likely handle that ourselves next time. Overall, a very enjoyable vacation... highly recommended. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We just returned from a "Romantic Danube" cruise. It was a total misrepresentation by Viking Cruises. The Danube water level is at the lowest it has been since 1933. Therefore the ships cannot sail. Instead we were bused from ... Read More
We just returned from a "Romantic Danube" cruise. It was a total misrepresentation by Viking Cruises. The Danube water level is at the lowest it has been since 1933. Therefore the ships cannot sail. Instead we were bused from city to city spending less than 1/4 of the week on the Danube sailing. The description touted the beautiful scenery onboard the ship while sailing. Never saw it. Some of our excursions were cancelled (oh, we will refund your money for cancelled excursion). The most disturbing part was that Viking knew about this for 1-2 months and did not notify us thereby not giving an option to change our cruise. They sent an email the day after we landed in Europe alerting us to the possibility that we may have to take buses at various places on the Danube due to the low water level. Couldn't change the cruise at that point. We contacted Viking upon return and their response was a slight discount on our next cruise. That is worthless as we will never take another cruise with Viking. Viking is unethical and dishonest - their decision to delay notifying their customers is despicable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, especially Normandy and Paris. We frequently cruise on Celebrity, Princess and Carnival but wanted to try a river cruise. It will be our last river cruise. For one thing, our room ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, especially Normandy and Paris. We frequently cruise on Celebrity, Princess and Carnival but wanted to try a river cruise. It will be our last river cruise. For one thing, our room was incredibly small, with no room to pass between the bed and the dresser area. And we are not large people. We discovered that French Veranda means no veranda. Only a sliding door. At booking, I was told it was the only room left. That was interesting because we met another couple at dinner who said they had just gotten the last remaining room a few days before sailing. Worse than the size was the very loud rattling of the light housing above the entrance area of the room when the engine was running. We have a sound machine but could not turn it up loud enough to cover the rattling sound which kept us awake if the ship was moving. We complained six or seven times to the front desk, first by phone and then in person. After getting no response, my wife recorded the rattling on her phone and took it down to the front desk. Several hours later, a service man appeared, agreed it was a bad rattle, and left. That was the extent of it. We had to live with it the rest of the cruise. To make matters worse, I had called Viking prior to our trip and simply asked if there was any discount on future cruises if we booked during the cruise like other cruise lines. The agent said there was not, but if I would book right then, I could contact him after we sailed and get a $200 pp discount as previous customer. So I signed us up for a China cruise and bought the trip insurance. Because of our bad experience, I called and cancelled the China trip, with the assurance that since we were more than 210 days out from that sailing, I would only have to pay $100 pp penalty. However, they said I will have to pay more than $1,200 penalty because I have to pay for the insurance. I did not authorize them to activate the insurance since I had more than 90 days to cancel. It appears they will now be paid twice for this room on this cruise while I, living on a fixed income, will be out more than $1,200. If I had not given in to the pressure to sign up before the cruise (I told the agent we wanted to see if we liked it before signing up for another) I would not be out more than $1,200!! I realize I can forward this amount to another Viking cruise, but considering our experience, I just want to be rid of them. The food was generally good, but limited selections and availability if you're used to large cruise liners. Excursions were mostly good and with only one exception, were included in the cost of the cruise. The program director, Mimi, was very good and a hard worker. The extent of the entertainment was very limited television in the room and a pianist in the lounge. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are very dissatisfied with the overall ‘cruise’ experience and the compensation offered by Viking to make up for the changes in our anticipated vacation - a 7 day CRUISE on the Romantic Danube River. Our group of three ... Read More
We are very dissatisfied with the overall ‘cruise’ experience and the compensation offered by Viking to make up for the changes in our anticipated vacation - a 7 day CRUISE on the Romantic Danube River. Our group of three couples was aware of the low water situation a week prior to the scheduled sailing. We contacted Customer Relations and spoke to Megan Miulli on the Monday, August 13th requesting an opportunity to cancel our trip and plan our own itinerary since we were all committed to non-refundable airfare. Customer Relations refused to allow us a full refund prior to the trip and requested that we travel to Europe, embark the ship, and then file a complaint within 24 hours if we were still dissatisfied. We were officially notified by Viking Tuesday, August 14th at 6:16 p.m. that water levels were low and that the itinerary had been changed. We again reached out to Megan and left a voice message that we were interested a refund and scheduling our own trip. We did not hear back from her before it was time for us to travel. We flew to Europe and took the train to Nuremberg. Fortunately we took an early train or we would have missed the bus to the ship. We quickly realized how disorganized, stressful and disappointing the trip was going to be. The refreshments at the Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nürnberg were second-rate and were depleted when we arrived. We received mixed instructions from the Viking representatives on hand, an apparent foreshadowing of the days ahead of us. The bus left earlier than we were earlier told, we had no time to explore Nürnberg. After a 2 hour bus ride, with no comfort stop, we arrived in Passau and embarked the Egil on August 18, 2018. Upon arrival we discovered our cabin’s view was blocked by another ship. We did however have a great view of the other ship’s guests dirty socks drying on their deck chair. Eventually the ship moved and we had a view, sadly our friends who were on the other side of the ship now had a blocked view. The night of the 18th the on board crew relayed to us the itinerary changes for the next day. They said they were unable to tell us about the rest of the cruise days because conditions downstream were volatile and changing. We were told that the excursions the next day would be leaving at 8:00 a.m. by motor coach. Unlike most of our fellow passengers we are not retirees. We are employed individuals who came on vacation to relax and get away from the stresses of our busy work lives. We anticipated relaxing evenings on board, cocktails in hand, long restful nights of sleep, awakening leisurely in port before excursions in the adjacent port. Getting up at 6:30 a.m. was not any of our ideas of a good time. None of us wanted to get on a bus first thing in the morning. We therefore skipped the excursions on the 19th and filed an official complaint, as your brochures instruct passengers to do, within the first 24 hours of embarking. Hotel Manager Davis Thomas relayed our complaint to Customer Relations via email that day. On Sunday, August 19th, Mr. Thomas relayed to us that because the water levels were out of the control of Viking Cruises, no refund of our expenses would be given. We were very disappointed and frustrated with the lack of refund or financial compensation offered. Viking’s offer of 25 percent off a future cruise was completely a slap in the face. We wanted to get off of the boat, not think about planning a return cruise! We wanted to get off and derive our own itinerary. We are very capable of doing so and it would have allowed us to have the relaxing, stress-free vacation we anticipated. While we realize that the water levels are out of control of Viking, what was in Viking's control was the forthcoming communication of information and/or the opportunity to offer financial compensation that would have helped to make us feel less trapped and less taken advantage of. It was very difficult to have our itinerary communicated to us piecemeal by the crew and we feel strongly that this was done intentionally. When we arrived in Budapest we saw a Viking ship that we were told had been stuck there for a month! So, Viking was aware of the water conditions downstream and was not forthcoming with that information. Our trip was not relaxing. We spent many hours on motor coaches. We spent only 1½ days cruising. We were deprived of hours of relaxation on board that we had looked forward to for over a year. We came home stressed, frustrated and feeling that we had been taken advantage of by Viking Cruises. Our outreach to Viking has been just as stressful as the trip. They first offered 25% off a future cruise, then 50% off a future cruise, and then finally $500 with the condition that we sign a non-disclosure statement. Obviously, those offers have been declined in favor of informing as many people as we can so that others will make more informed decisions regarding who they cruise with. Choose a company that will stand behind their Customer Service pledges. Choose a company that will be honorable. Choose a company that will not take your money and keep it regardless of the product they provide. Read Less
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