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Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Don't mean to sound negative, but didn't have the fantastic experience so many others report. Airport pickup at Budapest went well, as did the pre-cruise experience, despite poor weather. Guide for Jewish Budapest one of the ... Read More
Don't mean to sound negative, but didn't have the fantastic experience so many others report. Airport pickup at Budapest went well, as did the pre-cruise experience, despite poor weather. Guide for Jewish Budapest one of the best on entire trip. However ... Had no lunch on embarkation day as it was supposed to be provided on board. We were a bit late arriving at the dock, so nothing available until dinner that night. Many passengers in larger groups, so a bit awkward at mealtimes; not to say we didn't encounter many nice, interesting folks, just that they tended to gravitate in their groups. Staff were unfailingly nice, excursions very well presented, although one guide I found very political. Director did a terrific job advising of photo opportunities from ship, as well the lock process. Food was adequate, if not outstanding. Breakfast the best omelettes I've run across, lunch a hybrid salad bar + pasta station, along with ordering from a menu. Dinner was truly a mixed bag. Soup wasn't just broth-based, but downright oily. Fish was very good, but meat selections not so much. Dessert varied from terrific to ho-hum. Want to give the staff full credit for being zealous about catering to dietary needs - at breakfast they made a point of consulting with passengers to plan the day ahead for them. We were warned ship wifi wasn't the fastest. Unfortunately, my phone signal did not work well in the cabin, though off the ship it was fine. Laundry a bit expensive, but prompt service with good results. Held several hours on boat for last transfer to Munich Airport, cutting departure closer than I'd have liked. Not sorry we went, but just didn't get the "Wow!" factor. Read Less
Meh
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise to see parts of the world that I have not seen. The crew were fantastic, always smiling and ready to assist. They all seemed to enjoy their job and were happy to be there. That makes a difference. The ports ... Read More
I chose this cruise to see parts of the world that I have not seen. The crew were fantastic, always smiling and ready to assist. They all seemed to enjoy their job and were happy to be there. That makes a difference. The ports were incredible, the scenery splendid. Be ready for lots of walking. The tours were fantastic, the buses were clean and air conditioned. Bottles of water always available upon disembarkation of the ship to join your tour. Guides were easy to understand and were very knowledgeable. The ship was a nice size and the cabin (balcony) was adequate. There was plenty of storage so no problems there. I regret paying for a balcony. Several times we were tied up next to other boats so the balcony could not be used that much in some of the ports as you were virtually inches from the balcony of the other ship. I felt jilted. It is not worth the extra money. Just sit on the sun deck. Advance notice about the limited availability of the balcony would have been a nice courtesy. There was a terrible odor the first night and on another night. When I reported it, they said there was nothing they could, it happens when another ship is tied up against ours. Two stars for the dining experience. The quality, quantity, availability and variety were limited. Breakfast was fine. For lunch there were pasta, sandwiches or burgers, etc. Dinner was mediocre. Availability of cheese & fruits or crudites for snacking is not asking for much - I would have given 3 stars for dining but instead, the get 2 stars. Entertainment is almost non-existent but I didn't expect much to begin with. If you are not on the ship during the meal times or if you wanted a snack between meals, then you are sorely pressed to find anything to eat on board and there was nowhere to get anything to eat. I asked in the lounge if they had any appetizers but no luck. I’m glad I experienced it but next time, I will consider other options as it was not worth my money. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first river cruise and having read some very different reviews was sceptical, Viking did not disappoint!! On arrival in Munich found one of our bags to be missing. On stepping onboard the concierge department took it upon ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and having read some very different reviews was sceptical, Viking did not disappoint!! On arrival in Munich found one of our bags to be missing. On stepping onboard the concierge department took it upon themselves to resolve the issue and it arrived next day just before we were due to sail - thanks again. The ship itself may not be the most modern in fleet but all areas were kept in pristine condition. The food was first class in both the restaurant and the Aquavit Terrace. Boris, Cruise Director gave presentations each evening on the included excursions which were good and never demanding. A mention to Jay in the bar who was very attentive to all patrons and on first name terms within a couple of days - spot on for customer service! A great trip and will not be our last with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Got a cabin cancellation three weeks out, seemed like a good deal. Cabin 119 with just a small window was fine. Viking did an outstanding job, everything exceeded my expectations, this was our first river cruise and our first visit to ... Read More
Got a cabin cancellation three weeks out, seemed like a good deal. Cabin 119 with just a small window was fine. Viking did an outstanding job, everything exceeded my expectations, this was our first river cruise and our first visit to central Europe. Candi, the cruise director was extremely organized, loved the QuietVOX RF receiver/headphone system. We only did included excursions which we enjoyed., they were well run, we had enough time in each port. Buses were extremely well run when used. Ship looks like new, food was excellent, service was excellent. The only thing I can think of for Viking to improve is to lower the price! We loved small German towns, we found Basel to be very expensive, restaurants in city seem to be about twice what we are used to in rural Virginia. God willing we'll be going on more Viking cruises. Misc: for the first time we did laundry every night on the ship, rapid dry clothes dry in less than 4 hours, cotton underwear, socks and shirts take 20 hours. We used the heated bathroom floor to finish dry the socks and underwear. There was a clothes line in the shower. Loads of hot water, loads of water pressure from shower head. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample ... Read More
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample storage. The service was outstanding; we would like Marlon, our waiter, to come and live with us. He knew all of our drink preferences after the first day and, when one of our party became ill, he never failed to ask about his progress. We were very lucky: the water level and the weather were close to perfect. We spent most of the afternoon of the Middle Rhine sailing on the top deck and Viking showed great attention to details: we had maps that showed all of the 31 castles we sailed by, the program director did a commentary, we were given ice water, shade umbrellas, and ice cream (the sun was very strong that day - we all had red skin on areas where we failed to use sunblock). Most of the excursions were very good; the one exception being the Black Forest where it takes much too long on the bus to spend an hour at a very touristy visitors center (let's not talk about the rush hour traffic we hit on the way back). We would love to travel with Viking again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers ... Read More
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers being one step form a nursing home and the lame entertainment. No, all our well-traveled friends assured us. Viking is nothing like that. Hate to say it, but that's exactly what it was. Initially on board, we thought this would be our first and last river cruise. During the week, the amazing staff and service grew on us, and now we can easily envision another such adventure. The great parts were the included tours and the afternoon lectures. I was expecting super-gourmet food, and although they attempted authentic cuisine, it was a bit more plebeian than imagined. Still, quite tasty and excellent choices. The passengers were mostly American with a few scattered Brits and Canadians. I might have appreciated more diversity, but we met some very interesting people nonetheless. We mostly just took the included tours and walked around each town on our own after lunch. You can get plenty of exercise this way if you want to. After exhaustion sets in, we found it very pleasant chatting with folks in the lounge, sipping wine or tea along with delicious homemade cookies and watching the scenery pass by. A French friend recommended Les Baux and Lumieres. Thank goodness I took his advice and sprang for this optional excursion. It was the most amazing part of the trip by far. The worst part was the air route home selected by Viking, supposedly free. You get what you pay for. They scheduled us to leave the ship at 3:30 am. The car that took us to the airport broke down on the highway soon thereafter. The driver made us get out for fear of our vehicle being hit in the pitch dark. We waited in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes, climbing over the highway barrier to be safe, while the driver frantically called everyone he knew to come get us. Viking redeemed themselves by meeting us at the airport and whisking us through the first class check-in even though we were flying steerage. Three exhausting flights later, we were home. Next time, I will pay more attention to the flights and times they offer me, and pay extra to not run the gauntlet. Overall, the experience was excellent even with the aforementioned downsides. Just do it! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Having already river cruised before with viking and knowing this itinerary was exactly what we wanted we had no hesitation in booking this holiday. We opted to do the pre cruise extension in Madrid and this proved to be another good ... Read More
Having already river cruised before with viking and knowing this itinerary was exactly what we wanted we had no hesitation in booking this holiday. We opted to do the pre cruise extension in Madrid and this proved to be another good choice as we got to know our small group of 16 other travelers well and they turned out to be our core group of friends for the rest of the trip. On transferring to Lisbon this group soon expanded and by the end of the holiday we were a very happy and integrated bunch on mainly British and American travelers. If you like meeting new people and seeing new places then this is a great way to do it. After a fascinating stop in Cohimbra we arrived in Porto and got promptly onto the viking Hemming and straight into our cabins. 36hrs later we were on our way. Sad to say it was all over too soon but everyone left with wonderful memories,new friendships and hundreds of photos.Oh and a number of bottles of the various drinks we had sampled along the way,and this was quite a few,all of which were splendid. I will leave it to others perhaps to describe in more detail the actual trip. My advice to first time cruisers (repeat cruisers will be aware of any downsides to any european river cruise ) is do some research and if you don't mind the multiple docking possibilities,bus rides to sights etc and if the thought still appeals then sailing on the viking Hemming won't disappoint. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this trip since we were interested in doing the route from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was fantastic. The shore excursions chosen by the ship were amazing. And a big KUDOS to the tour guides both on the ship and privately. ... Read More
We chose this trip since we were interested in doing the route from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was fantastic. The shore excursions chosen by the ship were amazing. And a big KUDOS to the tour guides both on the ship and privately. Special mention must be made to Valeria. She is first class as a guide and lecturer on Russian history. We had two lectures given by her and it was fascinating. Valeria really took us back in History in such vivid detail that you felt you were living in that era. Her tours especially Moscow by Night was brilliant. Thanks for the chocolate Valeria! Just what the dr. ordered at 100am!! Breakfast and lunches were excellent. But please please do something about dinner. The food was not good and if we had had a buffet with salads and vegetables, that would definitely have been great. The Matre D' Jonathan, is first class together with his staff. The coffee station on the 2nd deck is great and always available 24 7. There were hardly any entertainment activities besides the ship duo who played every night. TV was terrible. What about more movies? Documentaries? One needs that on sea days. Viking is a great company to sail with. They look after you very well and here I would like to give Stephanie Hotel Manager a big Kudos for the outstanding job she is doing. Also we arrived earlier that expected on embarkation day. It was pouring with rain and front desk staff received us very warmly and immediately ushered us to our cabin . They were very kind and in all our dealings with the front desk, service was top class Douglas, Program Manager, is a gem. Always keeping you up dated on your next port, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. The room: We were in Veranda Cabin 339 toward the end of the ship, but still convenient to everything. The room was clean, and up-to-date, with everything working properly. (same with the rest of the ship). We chose to have the balcony room, but I think we would have been fine with the lower level small upper window. However, it was nice to have a view of the shore, and keep an eye on the weather. Good sound-proofing; rarely heard any outside noise. The bathroom is small, thick and thirsty towels, and good bath products. Water pressure was fine, even to wash and rinse my long hair. Hairdryer is provided. The food: Food was very good, featuring the regional favorites, which I enjoyed since almost all our meals for the 8 days would be onboard, and I wanted some French cuisine. Each night there are varying chef specialties on the right hand side of the menu. The Chateaubriand was incredible. My favorite was the Goat Cheese Souffle. I ordered two! Order them while you can, because they are not repeated. The left side of the menu has more basic items, that are repeated each night. A similar light buffet is also an option. Alcoholic Beverages: We opted not to get the Silver Spirits Beverage package, but those who did, said it's a better value than other cruise lines. We occasionally ordered a drink, since I like sparkling wines, and they were not offered in the free wine that comes with lunch and dinner. In addition, there are times the crew provides free bubbly for toasting, or a small cocktail sample as we returned from a shore excursion. There were also free mimosas on the breakfast buffet. Crowding: There is none. You don't have to rush anywhere to save a seat. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze. Not like the cattle call of an ocean liner. Just show up where you need to be and there will be room for you. We booked our excursions in advance, but I believe that on most of them, you could still sign up the day of. Onboard Entertainment. There is a low-key piano man in the lounge. Plus a few other nightly programs such as learning French phrases, learning about cheeses, and one we didn't do: a watercolor painting class. Also dancing one night. The entertainment is one area that could use some improvement, however, it was not a high priority for us. As for in-room TV, I watched a few travel videos, but didn't spend any time watching TV or movies. Hey, it took me 58 years to get to France, and I'm not going to watch movies. In our limited free time, I planned our next day and wrote down our adventures in my travel journal. Wi-fi was not great, but this was my time to disconnect. Shore Excursions: We did the following included tours: Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison (very interesting), Vernon Walking Tour (visited a Cathedral, with a little free time to shop), Monet Foundation Giverney (my absolute HIGHLIGHT of this trip--the Gardens were SPECTACULAR! with enough time to enjoy them), Normandy Beaches US. (good overview, but not much time spent at each stop). Panoramic Paris day trip (saw some highlights of the City, but yikes, only 15 minutes at the Eiffel Tower !?!). We paid extra for some upgraded tours: Rouen Farm and Countryside (toured the apple farm, watched a border collie herd sheep, sampled hard cider and Calvados apple brandy with a few light bites including a small apple tart.) La Roche Guyon (nice ride in the countryside to tour a Chateau, probably the least memorable of our excursions) and Paris by Night (hmm...City of Light? Saw many of the same buildings as the day trip, and only 10 minutes at the Eiffel Tower) Tour Guides & Devices: All of our tour guides did a good job, definitely looking out to not lose anybody in narrow streets and passageways. Helping those with mobility issues. You're provided an audio device to wear for each guided tour that you keep charged up in your room. Considering retirees are not always the sharpest in learning electronics, these were pretty easy to use, with minimal problems getting people hooked up, and we could hear well throughout each excursion. Weather: there is a reason Europe is so green and beautiful. It rains a lot. So be prepared with layers. Viking crew members hand you an umbrella as you depart for each excursion, if you want one. We knew the forecast for our trip was not great, but decided to have a great time anyway, and never really got poured on. Only had about a day and half of sunshine. Shipmates: At age 62 & 58, my husband and I were one of the youngest couples onboard. Almost all retirees, but fun, active, well-behaved pleasant people we enjoyed getting to know. Almost all of them had taken multiple Viking cruises! It's open seating, so use the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people and find out about their travels. Their are no children on Viking ships. I also noticed that not one person had any complaints about anything not working properly in their rooms or on the ship. Everyone seemed to be very happy. Crew: None stood out at huge personalities, but all were attentive and if anyone had a need, they were on it. Magali, our activities director, was working hard around the clock to make sure everyone was happy with their experience. Oftentimes, the Captain himself and other crew members greeted us as we returned each day. The Executive Chef was always present too, with food demos, explaining the specials, and even helping load luggage as we departed. Everyone seemed to be very happy. If there were any behind-the-scenes problems, we were never aware of them. What you don't have on the Rinda: No spa, no pool, no fitness center, no casino, no sales pitches. Negatives: The itinerary for Paris and Normandy lists Paris three times. The reality is that you will be nowhere near the heart of the city on the first two days. Timing was bad to have the only full day and night there on the last day of the cruise. If you really want to explore the main attractions in the heart of the city, you would need to add additional days. Tips to Viking: A photographer would be a nice addition to capture trip highlights. Although I don't need a full-service spa, a couple massage therapists with a massage chair would be awesome to work out those aches and pains. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The six day river trip on the Yangtze River was part of aa eighteen day adventure in China. From the modern high-rise and lights of Shanghai to the mountain village of Lijiang, this was an exciting and educational experience. The travel ... Read More
The six day river trip on the Yangtze River was part of aa eighteen day adventure in China. From the modern high-rise and lights of Shanghai to the mountain village of Lijiang, this was an exciting and educational experience. The travel through the Three Gorges Dam, the magnificent countryside ad bustling cities, the Panda Reserve experience, the Terra Cotta soldiers, the Forbidden City to the Great Wall made this an adventure of a lifetime. Each day will filled with interesting places to visit and experience along with the local cuisine in each location. Some of the food was very tasty and and although it was similar in content the spices made it different as we traveled from the south of China to the north ending in Beijing. Most of the beer was very mild but was refreshing. The Peking (Beijing) Duck was the best of all the meals, as we as the excellent food served on the Viking Emerald. the accommodations at the various hotels was over the top and the Wanda on the Bund in Shanghai is the nicest hotel we have ever experienced. Don't miss this trip and remember to bring your best walking shoes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having done many ocean cruises this was our first river cruise,so had no idea what to expect. The ship was great, crew brilliant, food fantastic quality and great fellow guests, it was perfect. The included trips were informative with ... Read More
Having done many ocean cruises this was our first river cruise,so had no idea what to expect. The ship was great, crew brilliant, food fantastic quality and great fellow guests, it was perfect. The included trips were informative with knowledgeable guides. The customer service was the best I have experienced from the lovely Joana in housekeeping, Tommy in the bar and Carla and Cruz in the restaurant . Nothing was too much trouble and we felt thoroughly spoiled and extremely well looked after. The management team were excellent and continually asked guests if all was well . Briefings on the up and coming ports were really helpful and good fun. The daily menu featured regional as well as a varied menu. Quality of food was 5 star and we were particularly impressed with the way special diets were catered for. We would highly recommend this trip and Viking and will be booking our next trip soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We did the Viking "Undiscovered China" version (there are two other shorter alternatives). While onboard, you are together with 250 passengers, but on land you are usually with about 25-30 and one tour guide for the entire trip ... Read More
We did the Viking "Undiscovered China" version (there are two other shorter alternatives). While onboard, you are together with 250 passengers, but on land you are usually with about 25-30 and one tour guide for the entire trip for that group (Mark--outstanding). We started in Shanghai and stayed at the Wanda Reign, a relatively new hotel right on the river (Bund). This was an over the top Art Deco fantasy with an iPad to control the drapes, lights etc., and a toilet whose lid raised up as you entered the room, plus all kinds of bidet functions. This was typical of the other hotels, St. Regis, Chengdu, Westin Lijiang Old Town, Wyndam Grand Xian and Ritz Carleton Beijing. All were 5 stars. We did a pre-extension in Shanghai with a trip to a small town outside Shanghai (Suchow) where they have a grand canal and a classical garden. Then we started the "real" 19 day part of the tour. What we at first didn't realize is that all 250 passengers were in Shanghai, but at 4 different hotels so we didn't see many of them until the ship. Same for Beijing. After Shanghai, we went to Wuhan to pick up the ship for 6 days. This included both the Three Gorges Dam (transited via locks) as well as cruising through the Three Gorges. At the end of this, the 250 people split up as some were going to Tibet, some had the shorter 12 day trip which skipped the pandas at Chengdu (which we saw) etc. In the end there were three groups of 30 or so that had our 19 day route. Lunches on land often included tours to silk factories, jade carving, terra cotta warrior figurines, etc. and were mostly Chinese "round table with lazy-susan) but were all very good and not that repetitive. Dinners alternated nights with large western/Chinese buffets at the hotels, and Chinese restaurants in the local cities. Ship dinners did the same. What some passengers didn't realize is that the ship had a major interior refurbishment between last November and the beginning of April for this year's season. All the carpets, drapes, upholstery were replaced, so earlier complaints about the condition of the ship aren't relevant anymore. Staff was wonderful. We had the Silver Spirits alcohol package on board and they knew what we liked by the second day. Highlights of course were the pandas at the Panda Reserve in Chengdu, the terra-cotta warriors in Xian, and the cruise. We learned so much from our guide Mark who took great care of our group. We've been on Viking's Grand European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, and this is of course different, but Viking took very good care of all of us throughout. We'd recommend this trip to anyone whose interested in China. One thing to consider: China is not handicapped friendly as in the US. There are lots of steps, hills and cobblestones. We had two people with canes and they got through, but it wasn't easy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Very comfortable well run ship with an excellent crew. All but four of the cabins on the Ra are suites, with a separate living room and bedroom, and a balcony. The décor is clean Scandinavian, similar to the European long ships. Dining is ... Read More
Very comfortable well run ship with an excellent crew. All but four of the cabins on the Ra are suites, with a separate living room and bedroom, and a balcony. The décor is clean Scandinavian, similar to the European long ships. Dining is at set hours. There is a good variety of foods, including Viking standards (salmon, steak, burger) and middle eastern foods. The fresh made pita bread and hummus was especially delicious. Meals are usually a combination of buffet and menu. There is no room service. There was a pianist/DJ playing pleasant lounge music each evening. There also were special performances by local entertainers. The Ra has a small swimming pool and jacuzzi. The temperature was over 100 F each day of our cruise, so not much traffic in the jacuzzi. The crew of this ship was excellent. Our room steward was most efficient. The bartenders and dining room crew were fun and engaged. A special note about the two tour directors, Ahmed and Ihan. Incredibly knowledgable and outgoing. They made this cruise so much richer. I don't think there is any place in the world that can out shine Egypt for shore excursions. The Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, Valley of Kings and Queens, Temples at Karnak, Luxor, Dendara, Kom Ombo - every one was more than we expected. Notes: Our suite had two very nice TVs, but no programming except soccer. Not even BBC. Children are not allowed on this cruise. The shore excursions require more physical exertion than you might expect if you have been on other river cruises. Sadly, many of our fellow cruisers spent most of the cruise on the ship because they couldn't manage the long walks with steps and very uneven footing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of cold weather and rain, we stayed with the ship and did not go on walks in those towns. We disembarked in Basil and did a city bus tour. Places we have visted before have all, for better or worse, changed. Our last stop was Zurich before the extension. For the better part of the river cruise, I developed a cough. Passengers were very concerned and offered cough drops and we very caring. I asked our tour director, Boris, when we arrived at our hotel in Zurich, about where I could find a doctor. He didn't know and offered no assistance to answer my question. By then my condition was much worse. It was Raphael at our hotel who guided us to a pharmacy where physicians were great. After exrays and a blood test, my diagnosis was Pneumonia. The physician there warned that we were not to go on the extended trip and we did not. Viking found us a flight with Air Canada to Toronto and then to Philadelphia. It is the people who make your trip. It's not the sights, or the entertainment, but we have found that it is always people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ... Read More
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ourselves and so had to make our own way to the hotel. The ship was lovely, very clean, smooth lines, no chintz! The other passengers were probably 50% Americans, 25% British, 25% other and quite a wide age range from people in their 30s to 70s. I would say most of the people were 50 - 75. The service was excellent, but I think over the top. After cleaning the room in the morning, is there really any need for the maid to clean it again in the evening? This is one reason it is so expensive. I have stayed in top notch hotels where they close the curtains and turn down the bed and I think that is all that is needed. Alcoholic and soft drinks are included at both lunch at dinner and not just one, they keep topping up your glasses, so people like me who don't drink are actually subsidising those that do and they certainly take advantage of it! Some people opted for the drinks package which included certain drinks all day. However, both passengers in the state room have to take it, so it wasn't worth it for us. the service throughout the ship was excellent, with a good choice of food for breakfast and a limited choice for lunch with a good salad buffet and burgers if you did not fancy what was on offer. However, I was disappointed with the evening meals. There was always a regional menu of 3 courses, plus 2 choices of international dishes for each course and if you didn't like them, there was steak, burgers or chicken. However, I found it difficult to find something I liked every night and resorted to the steak and chips on several occasions. There was a German buffet one night, but as I am not keen on lots of sausages, cooked meat and pork I was not impressed, neither was the Jewish gentleman on our table! One night Thai soup was on the menu and I ordered that as it contained co-conut milk and as I am lactose intolerant did not expect to be served a very creamy soup containing milk! Also, the greatest disappointment for me was the tiny servings for dessert. The excursions were well organised with a leisurely option for those who had limited mobility, which we took advantage of as my husband had a bad knee. Little treats awaited us on our return to the ship which was nice and we all had electronic gizmos with earpieces so we could hear the guide, which were very easy to use. The excursions are mainly walking tours in the cities, concentrating on the history, architecture and cathedrals etc. The guides were very good except the fortress at Koblenz. The guide was an actor and it was supposed to be amusing, but it was not. The evening entertainment was mainly a pianist, but one evening there was a classical concert, another glass blowing demonstration on the adjoining ship, two quizzes which were great fun as they were not the usual format and a disco night. Ivan was in charge of this and he was excellent.We had been on ocean cruises but this was our first river cruise. We loved the fact there was less than 200 people on the boat, so you got to know people very quickly and we made some good friends. It was lovely to watch the scenery as you floated by and you won't get sea sick! Not far to walk to the cabin or the restaurant. However, there is not much to do when sailing except talk, drink, read, sunbathe, sleep or walk around the walking track. If we did another cruise, I probably would not take one that included drinks as this inflates the price if you don't drink very much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to see Germany and Austria. The sights were beautiful, espcially Salzberg and Munich which cost extra, but we were rushed during the excursions with only 45 minutes of “free time”. Captain and manager were great but the front ... Read More
Wanted to see Germany and Austria. The sights were beautiful, espcially Salzberg and Munich which cost extra, but we were rushed during the excursions with only 45 minutes of “free time”. Captain and manager were great but the front desk was unhelpful. The “store” only offers Viking items, no essentials. The tickets that Viking booked had ridiculously long layovers in Frankfort and a 3:30 am departure unless you spend $50 to pick your own times (we were unaware that you could do this because the booking agent was oblivious). Also they say they take Amex but the front desk hassles you if you try to use an amex card to pay. Wireless rarely works and there are only a handful of movies to watch on the tv. If you are under 50 and not white or heterosexual, mingling may be challenging. The people are our cruise were oddly cliquish and pushy and were given special treatment. On the positive side, the boat was clean, food was excellent. Luckily, we ate upstairs, not in the crowded buffet style dining hall. Will not cruise on overpriced Viking again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had received a booklet about the Viking River Cruises from my wife's mother, who got them in the mail, because she had been on a Viking Ocean Cruise to the Nordic countries. We were looking for a River Cruise that could end up in ... Read More
We had received a booklet about the Viking River Cruises from my wife's mother, who got them in the mail, because she had been on a Viking Ocean Cruise to the Nordic countries. We were looking for a River Cruise that could end up in Amsterdam, where we have a friend that lives there. The Rhine River Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam fit our plan perfectly! The Veranda Suite that we got ( Rm. 308) was roomy and beautiful. The full balcony off of the living room was like having our own private piece of Heaven! Being greeted in the morning by groups of beautiful, white Swans was really a treat! The bathroom was surprisingly spacious, and the heated floor in the shower let us know that we were traveling in First Class accomadations! The restaurant was gorgeous, and the food was amazing...especially because of the special menus offered each evening, featuring the local cuisine of each of the places that we visited, day by day. The menu recommendations by Frank, our Hotel Manager, were outstanding! Our experiences on the land excursions were excellent also, and we took one day to explore Cologne by ourselves, opting out of the group excursion, and taking a private Rickshaw tour of the city, away from the crowded places, and getting lots of historical and cultural info from our guide, Victor. We highly recommend the Rickshaw expericence!. Our favorite night, was the special dinner excursion, Dine in Rudesheim am Rhein!! The Food, the Fun, and the People, all made it an evening to remember forever! We felt that we were treated like Royalty the entire trip...and we will certainly be doing another Viking River Cruise in the future! Thank You Viking!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Have always dreamed of seeing the ancient wonders of Egypt, but was hesitant to go until I saw that Viking offered a wonderful package that included three days in Cairo, then a cruise up the Nile from Luxor. The entire trip was ... Read More
Have always dreamed of seeing the ancient wonders of Egypt, but was hesitant to go until I saw that Viking offered a wonderful package that included three days in Cairo, then a cruise up the Nile from Luxor. The entire trip was meticulously planned and organized with a representative waiting for us, as we exited the plane, to take us to the Ritz Carlton. The Ritz is fabulous. Our room overlooked the Nile where we enjoyed watching the party boats at night. The air was unusually clear, and we could actually see the pyramids in the distance from the top floor of the hotel. We, of course, visited the pyramids, the Sphinx, and even rode a camel! Our program director, Yumna, was an expert on Egypt and careful to keep us all on schedule. Her wealth of knowledge helped bring the ancient Egyptians to life for us. Our flight to Luxor was slightly delayed so our tour of Karnak was too short, in my opinion. I would have preferred to spend more time there than to visit the library where we viewed a movie that showed the progression of their ancient civilization. From there, we boarded the Ra. The Ra is a beautiful boat, nicely intimate, but never crowded. I cannot rave enough about the staff who made us feel a valued member of their family immediately. I said to my daughter, my travel companion, that they made you feel like it was your birthday, every day. The ship is beautifully furnished with a restaurant that spoiled us terribly. Each day we visited temples, tombs, Valley of the Kings, little towns, and even Abu Simbel that is not only an amazing miracle of ancient Egypt, but again, a miracle in that they totally deconstructed it and moved it higher to prevent it from being underwater when the big Aswan Dam was built. I was hesitant to visit Egypt, but we never felt unsafe, partly due to Viking’s security, but also due to the Egyptian people who were very welcoming and appreciative of tourists returning after many lean years. The dollar is very strong in Egypt, currently, and the crowds are minimal. Great time to visit, just not in the hot summer months. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our second Viking River Cruise -- Amsterdam to Basel on the Rhine River. Our mid-April weather was perfect -- in the 70's during the day and no rain. The food was wonderful, the crew was terrific (knew our names on the first ... Read More
This is our second Viking River Cruise -- Amsterdam to Basel on the Rhine River. Our mid-April weather was perfect -- in the 70's during the day and no rain. The food was wonderful, the crew was terrific (knew our names on the first day!) and the excursions were perect The narration by our Program Director, Diana, was great while we were cruising down the Rhine looking at all the castles -- yup, just like the advertisements! We enjoyed all of the "included" excursions and chose one optional -- Medieval Colmar and it was well worth it. Colmar is a delightful cobblestoned village -- right out of fairy tale books. We chose to ride on the "little white train" to get to the main square and it was the perfect way to travel through this village. If you're deciding on an option, try this one! We were busy everyday yet had time to relax and enjoy the scenery on the upper deck. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which ... Read More
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which are completely out of Viking's control). 1. Our cruise began on the Thursday before Easter, this led to crowds and closures at various points of our trip. 2. In preparation for the 2024 Olympic games, Paris has construction projects taking place everywhere, traffic getting in and out of the heart of the city is absolutely dreadful (this from someone born and raised in Los Angeles) 3. Another factor for crowds, a European explained to me, springtime is when many school children take field trips to various locations. 4. Finally, the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral led to increased tourist traffic at other locations. The Viking staff from booking to final departure were fantastic. We did not take the extension on either side of the trip, but booked our flight to arrive in Paris in the late morning. This allowed us to get our bags on the boat and spend several hours at the Louvre, which otherwise (due to other booked excursions) we would not have been able to see. Embarkation was great, the ship staff are outstanding. Excursion highlights, we took every included excursion (except those that conflicted with paid excursions) - several stops (after leaving Paris) include houses built in the Middle Ages that are incredible to see (Vernon and Rouen). Monet's Garden is beautiful. Out of Rouen we paid for the Farm and Country Tour which was a nice view of the Normandy country side, the farm is a neat experience. The excursion to the beaches of Normandy will leave you with a sense of profound gratitude for the soldiers of the D-Day Invasion. Having studied the history, then touring the site, I still cannot fathom the courage of the men that day. Paris at night was a treat, especially seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Our cabin steward Filip was great, the room was always perfect. I've seen other reviews where people complain of the size of the cabin, it is not spacious, but sufficient. The only time we are in our cabin is basically to sleep. I cannot speak to the entertainment options in the lounge in the evening, we never attended. We try to stay in town as long, doing as much as we can, after dinner, we're ready for bed. Several people we talked to mentioned the different events were a good time. The food is always top notch and the dining staff attentive to your orders and requests. The guides at each of the locations are always outstanding, usually locals who give you some much more than a guide who read a book about where you are going. At the tour in Versailles, it was absolutely packed, (literally shoulder to shoulder, front to back with people in some rooms), almost impossible. Our guide (I forgot her name) went out of her way trying to keep us together, inform us about the artwork, history, etc, and made the most out of the trip, she was phenomenal there. We will undoubtedly taking Viking again (Portugal, Rhine at Christmas, and the Norwegian Fjords for starters). It was the crowds that took the shine off this trip for us. So if that is an issue for you, the Fall would probably be a better time to book this trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this route because we are interested in Reformation history, medieval architecture, and we had been on Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and Main. Astrild is smaller (94 guests) than other Viking longboats but has all the same amenities in ... Read More
We chose this route because we are interested in Reformation history, medieval architecture, and we had been on Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and Main. Astrild is smaller (94 guests) than other Viking longboats but has all the same amenities in suites, dining room, lounge, etc. The balcony (rooms on the right side; rooms on the left have French doors and a rail but no place to sit) is actually useful on this route because the schedule means that you are frequently cruising in day light so can relax in the deckchairs and enjoy the pastoral views. Smokers gather at the rear rooftop so chose a room mid-ship or front to avoid the smoke smells. I liked the undemanding approach to tours - you head to the bus without any loud announcements, participate in just how much you want to, and there's always a more robust option with extra walking, etc. We were delighted with several surprises like Matt cruise director, leading us on an evening stroll through Torgue after dinner one night. This historic itinerary is filled with several over night stops allowing for time off the ship on your own in the evenings. The ship is always docked in a town. Guides are very knowledgeable and often have personal/family connections to the stormy history from the wars. Evening entertainment frequently included music and dancing although there was no dance floor aboard. Food was presented well and was fine but not shockingly yummy. 2 things that were a miss for us was the lack of a somalia (true! a couple bar tenders but no one who had been trained in wines to assist guests. Secondly, a silly practice of not serving tea in a pot. They had tea pots and when pressed would get one for you but not without being ugly about the request. A little thing that had a big negative impact on a lot of Brits, Aussies and Canucks! **The post-cruise trip to Poland was fantastic. I wish I could remember the director's name. She was so good. A former teacher, she passed out maps while she shared details of what we were going to see. And gave us treats from little towns and even a vodka tasting on board! She was very organized and friendly. What a treat. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Backgound: My wife (57) and I (60) travelled the Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary (Bucharest-Budapest) on the Viking Modi in April. While seasoned ocean cruise travelers, this was our first river cruise and inaugural trip with Viking. ... Read More
Backgound: My wife (57) and I (60) travelled the Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary (Bucharest-Budapest) on the Viking Modi in April. While seasoned ocean cruise travelers, this was our first river cruise and inaugural trip with Viking. Eastern Europe appealed to us as neither had been to the five countries of the itinerary. We were both in the military stationed in Germany during the late 80s and were prohibited to take vacations behind the Iron Curtain. So this was an opportunity to see some of the old vestiges of communism and how these new democratic countries were integrating into the rest of Europe. Notes: Day 1 Bucharest Romania: Viking arranged flight from Tampa to Bucharest was on Lufthansa with a connection in Frankfurt. We were met at Bucharest airport by a Viking rep with bottled water and towelette. There was somewhat of a duffle bag drag in Bucharest Airport due to configuration of airport and where the bus could park. The check in at Sheraton Bucharest at 1800 was smooth and room was on quiet side of hotel. There was a lack of dinner recommendations by Viking rep but we found a nice crepe restaurant close by that was open on Sunday night. Many guests just ate in the hotel restaurant or the Pizza Hut next door. Day 2 Bucharest/Giurgu Romania: Nice breakfast buffet in hotel. Luggage out by 0730, had stateroom tags on bags as they were delivered to our room on the Modi in Giurgu. At 0900 boarded buses for city tour, visit to the Parliament Palace and the Village Museum. Highlight was the Parliament Palace (second to the Pentagon as the largest admin building in the world and a lot nicer inside than the 5 sided one). Parliament tour was by government guide and was outstanding as we had access to the main rooms and halls of the Palace, no restrictions on video or photos. Village Museum represented historic houses/churches from the three regions of Romania. The tour was interesting but light rain put a damper on this outdoor activity. Local ladies had a table with painted eggs for sale that were a popular buy for our tour group. After the Village tour we went to a local restaurant (Pescarus), for the included 4 course lunch (cabbage Salad, vegetable soup, beef stew over potatoes, apple strudel). Good hearty food on a rainy day. After lunch we drove 90 mins to Giurgu and boarded the Modi. Check in was smooth and the luggage was awaiting in the stateroom. Welcome briefing, safety drill and port talk was that evening. After dinner we sailed across the river to Russe, Bulgaria Day 3 Russe Bulgaria: Russe was our tour departure point to Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo. Great tour guide covered a lot of Bulgarian history/culture during our 90 minute bus ride. Stopped at a hotel for tea and restroom break. Tour of Arbanasi included an ottoman style house, church and shop to sample local liqueurs. Included 4 course lunch in at the Izvora (cucumber/tomato/goat cheese salad, vegetable soup, chicken clay pot dish, desert). Highly recommend the desert (yogurt with honey and walnuts). After lunch we drove to Veliko Tarnovo. Were given free time to either shop in town or walk the Tsarevets Fortress grounds. We chose the fortress and walked to the top of the hill and into the Patriarchal Church. Dating to the 12th century, this strategic fortress is one of two highly fortified hills that protected Bulgarian rulers living on the site in the tsar’s palace. Today it provides great views of the town and countryside. Upon departure from Veliko Tarnovo we drove to Svistov where the Modi had moved up river to meet us. That evening we sailed to Vidin. Day 4 Vidin Bulgaria: Vidin was our departure point for Belogradchik Rocks and Fortress. After bus tour of Vidin it was a 90 minute drive to Belogradchik which included a hotel stop for coffee and cookies. Fortress included rock formations that you could climb through a series of stairs. Luckily it was a sunny dry day as rocks have moss covering and would have been difficult footing if wet. We had one hour on site and it was one hour back to ship. After lunch on the ship we walked down to the Baba Vida Fortress in Vidin. Back on the ship there was a sponsored afternoon talk with two girl high school students and a show by children's dance group. Departure at 1800. Day 5 Cruise through Iron Gate: Set clocks back one hour. Went through one lock during night and one during day. Very windy going into the gorge between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. Passed the Viking Alta heading downriver. Went by the stone monument to Dacian King Decebalus and the monastery. Took a tour of the wheelhouse, loved all the electronics. Afternoon tea in the lounge with Apple Strudel making session. Lounge talk about other Viking cruises with $200 for $100 credit offer on future cruises. Day 6 Belgrade Serbia: Arrived at 0600 in Belgrade and tour start 0830. Had to have passports when off boat. 4 hour tour included: city tour, crypt visit to St. Sava church, one hour in pedestrian zone (Knez Mihailova) for shopping and walking tour of Kalemegdan Fortress. After lunch onboard, walked up to pedestrian zone in afternoon for more shopping. Late afternoon was a fascinating guest lecture on Serbia-history and today. Dinner was Balkan food either served or buffet. Serbian folklore band and dancing after dinner was great. 2300 left Belgrade for Vukovar. Day 7 Vukovar Croatia: Morning cruising, walked on sun deck. Croatian Tamburica Band played before lunch and was great. After lunch and docking there was a bus tour of Vukovar. Signs of the 1990s conflict where evident as the town was the epicenter of the Serb/Croatian war. Toured the fortress in Osijek which is now used for academic and commercial purposes. Visited church and heard young lady sing. In small groups we visited houses in Imish. We visited a house where the lady had a cake making business, weren't we lucky. After a great conversation with our host we headed back to the ship. Day 8 Kalocsa and Puszta Hungary: Early morning passport check on board as we entered Hungary at Mohacs. Morning cruising included a movie on the European Union. 1230 docked in Kalocsa. 1330 Tour of town included a visit to the Assumption Cathedral in Holy Trinity Square for a organ recital. After we drove 20 minutes into the country side to Puszta where the Hungarian cowboys (csikos) put on a show of horsemanship. Make sure you visit the animal stables to see the horses. They also have a breed of pig (Mangalica) that has curly wool like sheep and sheep (Racka) that have antelope style spiral horns. That night we had a final farewell talk as we sailed to Budapest. Day 9 Budapest: Luggage outside stateroom by 0830 as it will be delivered directly to the hotel. Close out ship accounts. Vacate stateroom by 0830 and await 0930 tour of Budapest. Tour of city with stop on Buda side at Fisherman's Bastion and tour of Matthias Church. After is a visit to the Central Market and free time for shopping and to have lunch on own. 1530 check-in to hotel which was the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel in Pest. This is my only true criticism of the trip. As much as Viking got right, I can't believe they picked this hotel. When we originally got our itinerary they listed the Hilton on Buda side as our hotel which got rave reviews. We then got an email saying they changed our hotel to the Radisson. The issue with the Radisson is that it has been under renovation for the last 5 months and this had to be known to Viking when they made the switch of hotels. Many of us were on the second floor of the Radisson with jackhammering occurring on the floor below. The vibration would rattle your teeth. We were in one of the renovated rooms which the cable went out the first night and the shower pressure would decrease as you made the water hotter. So obviously some bugs to work out in the rooms that have already been renovated. Went out for a city walk late afternoon to get out of hotel. Walked to the Parliament, along the Danube, over the Chain Bridge and back and through Liberty Square. Nice evening. Day 10 Budapest: Breakfast in makeshift ball room as café under construction. Got out of hotel early before renovation worked started. Bought 24 hour transportation pass and rode tram and bus up to Buda Hill. Had Fisherman's Bastion free of crowds, took great pictures. Went to Harry Houdini's Museum as he was originally from Budapest. Took bus down to Pest side and start of Deák Ferenc utra and Vaci utra which are the pedestrian shopping streets. Revisited the Central Market for some souvenirs. Took the Metro back to a stop close to the hotel. Day 11 Trip Home: Baggage placed outside of hotel room at 0945 for trip to airport at 1030. Bus to airport was uneventful. Budapest is a modern airport with a nice food court. Lufthansa flight was Budapest-Munich-Newark. Then United to Tampa. Arrived home after midnight and was glad to find my bed. Cruise tips: - Stick with the included tours since you paid for them; unless of course there is a culinary or wine tour that you must do. We found all the included tours went to great locations with very knowledgeable guides that spoke good English. Utilization of the QuietVox system allows space to spread out the tour group. We recommend tipping the bus drivers/local guides if you enjoyed the tour. - Local currency. Each of the five countries visited retains its own currency even if they are members of the European Union. We did not ATM withdrawal or exchange for any Levs, Kuna or Forints. We found all the tourist shops/restaurants either took credit cards, euros and in some cases dollars. We tipped the local guides in Euros. - We found the food on the cruise to be of higher quality than experienced on Princess or Holland America cruises of the past. There was always a three course selection of local cuisine available for dinner and we would recommend you consider this first. Service was outstanding as there was never a long wait time to be served or in between courses. Most of our meals were taken in the dining room. We had one dinner and two lunches on the Aquavit Terrace. This was attributed to the outside seating was only open one afternoon due to the weather and inside seating is rather limited. - Your passports are secured by guest services upon arrival on the ship and you receive them back at the end of the cruise. The only time we were required to have them was getting off the ship in Belgrade Serbia for the day. There is also a passport photo check with immigration officials on board when you cross into Hungary as you are entering the Shengren Area of the EU. - This is an enrichment cruise and the on-board entertainment is reflective of that. We found the local musical groups/dance tropes to be very talented. The lecture by the university professor in Belgrade was not to be missed. As well the reflections of "growing up behind the Iron Curtain" by the cruise director Nikolay and hotel manger Frank were entertaining and informative. Nice father and daughter duo that provided nightly music. - Viking is very cognizant of the age demographic of its guests and this is reflective in the opportunities for utilization of restrooms on the tours. While most restrooms on the cruise tours are free, the restrooms in Budapest are not. Both at the Matthias Church/Fisherman's Bastion site and the Central Market Place there is a 1 Euro charge to use the restroom. Therefore, best to have some change available to use the loo. Overall is was a fantastic cruise and hopefully you will get a chance to experience it too. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on several Viking River cruises before. Sadly-the Legend is an old, tired, leased ship and is nothing like the Viking owned ships. No aquavit lounge for starters, so no great place to sit outside. No outdoor balcony in our ... Read More
We have been on several Viking River cruises before. Sadly-the Legend is an old, tired, leased ship and is nothing like the Viking owned ships. No aquavit lounge for starters, so no great place to sit outside. No outdoor balcony in our suite-which was really expensive. There’s no service on the rooftop-which is the only outdoor seating. And then there’s the food. The dinners are just not good. I’m not a picky eater-and I haven’t finished 1 meal because they are just not tasty. Breakfast and lunch have been fine. The furniture is worn out and the main lounge is set up like an old cocktail lounge from the 70’s. Viking-shame on you for compromising your standards and proving that your growth is now changing your standards. You leased a substandard ship for your loyal passengers rather than holding off until you had a nice ship available. The cabin had none of the usual Viking electrical outlet choices, so I couldn’t plug in my curling iron! I will say the staff has been very good. The included tours have been good and we’ve had a couple of really fabulous tour guides. Viking should send some secret shoppers on their cruises to see what’s going on and to eat the food. I think the senior management would be shocked if they spent a week on the Legend. Read Less
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