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6,925 Viking River Cruise Reviews

I am reading the review written by Disappointed in April 2019 and it could have been written by us ! Such a tired old boat , it's like an old peoples home . We have been on 2 previous wonderful Viking cruises which were wonderful so ... Read More
I am reading the review written by Disappointed in April 2019 and it could have been written by us ! Such a tired old boat , it's like an old peoples home . We have been on 2 previous wonderful Viking cruises which were wonderful so decided to book this one . So disappointed we may not do another. The ship including cabins are from the dark ages and really let Viking down . To emphasise this we are docked next to a brand new Viking ship and feel like moving over. Staff as usual are wonderful and a credit to you , just the ship which ruins the trip. The food and staff in the dining room is great but the room is boring and tired Looking at other companies for our next cruise, the stafg will not be as good but it may be more comfortable. In summary the Viking Legend is the Travelodge of the Viking fleet . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the tour down the Danube. Our first river cruiswe and we were thrilled. We met wonderful people and the staff was amazing. Very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The cruise itself was so fun and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the tour down the Danube. Our first river cruiswe and we were thrilled. We met wonderful people and the staff was amazing. Very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The cruise itself was so fun and picturesque. We really enjoyed the tours and learned so much about the history and culture of the cities and tours. We started 2 days ahead in Prague and then went to Passau, Germany to start our cruise. So many places to see! The ship was clean and the cabin, although small was very organized and you had room to unpack and put your suitcase under the bed. The ports were fun and the excursions we chose were enjoyed! Panoramic tours of the cities: a wine tasting in Austria, bread making at a farm in Linz, A market tour with our chef in Vienna, A Mozart/Strauss concert in Vienna. We would have loved to stay in Brataslava to enjoy the Slovakian food but sadly we were there just a half day. Such beautiful cities and towns. We loved them all - Budapest is very interesting and beautiful.We arrived at night and saw the beautiful parliament building all lit up looking gold with a full moon shining also. Very impressive. I think people with mobility issues would find this trip a challenge. Lots of walking and cobblestone streets in these centuries old cities. The food was delicious with many choices and fare from the areas we toured, The piano player at night was great. Someone complained in a previous comment - we enjoyed him. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
From my first call regarding this cruise with Masha Givelber ( who was fantastic through the whole process ) this cruise was everything I had hoped for and more. It was my very first cruise and I can’t see taking any other cruise line. ... Read More
From my first call regarding this cruise with Masha Givelber ( who was fantastic through the whole process ) this cruise was everything I had hoped for and more. It was my very first cruise and I can’t see taking any other cruise line. The website video showing the ships public areas was spot on. The staff were beyond AMAZING and you want for nothing. Check in was extremely easy ( of course I was the last to check in since I was getting in multiple tours as possible in Amsterdam so I had no wait ) We ate every meal except one on board and the food was delicious ! Our servers Michael and Gil took wonderful care of us the entire week and Igor the Maitre D was the best ! We definitely left the ship with added pounds. I personally think you would be hard pressed to find someone better at their job than Victoria our program director. My God she always seemed to be working and with a smile on her face. Ellie and Milan ( I’m sorry I can’t remember the other young lady name ) at guest services always went above and beyond. The excursion were great with interesting and knowledgeable guides, ( I liked that we had the same coach driver along the way ) game nights where a blast, along with the German themed dinner night. We enjoyed the on ship demonstrations ( a speciality drink, French pizza and the glass blowing ) There is not one negative thing I can say about my Vikings river cruise. It was fantastic from the moment I stepped on to the ship until I disembarked. We where even able to come back to the ship after we disembarked later in the day for lunch and told if we wanted we could stay on the ship for the day ( we had stayed an extra night in Basel ) which I found to be amazing. Thanks to our captain Thomas for a very enjoyable river cruise and Kosta our hotel manager for having what I would say the best staff who are excellent at their jobs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely terrific, far above all our previous cruises with Viking. The on board meals were wonderful but I will suggest the possibility to order half portion I hate food waste. All the staff in the restaurant they were above any expectations: outstanding service, especially Pol, George, Bogdan, Andri. The food was delicious and fresh, very well prepared and the lead Chef Michael was top notch. PERFECT! Kudos to Kristian, the restaurant manager for his attention, friendly attitude and the way how he manage my quite complicated dietary requests. The reception team was excellent. Sometimes we found the Hotel Director Josip a little bit arrogant, but maybe is a cultural thing. Susana, Johnny and Bart were very professional, efficient and gracious. Their smiles were contagious true sunshine between the raindrops One little glitch about our Silver package being in force mid-way through cruise. Great services remedied the problem of our enrollment post haste and all is well. Add more hook for clothing in state rooms both River and Ocean I am disappointed how some guests dressed for dinner in the dining room: shorts, flip flops, sweatshirts And finally, our cruise Director. What can I say? Sometimes I had the feeling the we have 4 or 5 of them on board because he was everywhere: in the morning on the sundeck explaining the scenery, during the tours popping out at every corner, in the afternoon with amazing infotainment type of lectures and after dinner organizing fantastic parties and game shows. Leonard was unbelievable, he made this trip so memorable, lovely person. Energetic, wealth of knowledge. He is a great addition to Viking. He is a gem and handled challenging issues (low water levels, changing in program, difficult guests) with professionalism and a sense of humor. Looking back to our experience on Viking LIF is clear that Leonard was the best thing on the cruise so much information, friendly, helpful. These people deserve a hand. Leonard made this trip awesome All the staff was exceptional. Leonard is worth his weight in gold I really enjoy the relaxed friendly atmosphere your staff are the best I have met after 10 years travelling, I only hope I stay well enough to travel with you again. Viking staff is the key to a wonderful experience Lif has Leonard and an outstanding crew from the top down. We felt well cared for, pampered and safe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too ... Read More
Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too many for us. The first thing to be said about it is that there was very little cruising and a lot of walking and bus-riding. In retrospect, we suppose this was to be expected since the distance is only about 150 miles. During shore excursions, one sees some very nice aspects of this region in France, especially Roman ruins, wineries, a canyon, and farms. But during the few hours we were actually cruising during daylight, we weren’t passing the beautiful castles one sees in the ads, but rather a lot of factories, nuclear power plants, etc. As senior citizens, one of us having had recent knee surgery, we were pleased about the “leisure” and “easy” tour offerings. Still, there was a lot of walking. Our cruising was further limited by an accident involving another boat that closed down the river for many hours, so we were bused to Arles rather than sailing there on the Viking Delling. We also spent a lot of time in locks: the first time was technically interesting, but later times were boring. Further detracting from use of our veranda were the frequent times that we looked out onto another vessel a few feet away, tied up to ours, rather than looking out to the river. We heard that Budapest to Amsterdam cruising was much better. On the positive side, our large stateroom (with adjoining living room) was excellent as a generally docked, small hotel room. There were many modern, attractive features and the bathroom was superior. The service was generally excellent. We were brought champagne, fresh fruits, flowers, and wine. The meal service was excellent almost all the time, whether picking items up from the buffet or ordering them from the menu (the chef was German; he did superbly on French cuisine and less so on occasional German cuisine). The only exception was sub-standard orange juice; why don’t they offer fresh-squeezed? The expedition leader, Mia, was exceptional with a marvelous sense of humor; she should be offered a big raise. The waiters were generally very good, only occasionally serving items to the wrong person. Most of the tour guides were very informative and professional; the buses were Mercedes-Benz. Entertainment in the lounge was high quality, including a fine talk about the French Resistance during WW II. So the Delling as a fine hotel was distinctly superior to our other decent first Viking experience on the Yangtze River in China. We signed up for three optional excursions at extra cost. One was excellent, despite the long bus ride: Beaujolais and Truffles, which visited a winery in a castle, a truffle farm featuring a delightful dog, and a goat cheese farm. However another excursion, said to be one of the most popular offerings, was poor: on the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tour, we were left standing for a long while in an uninteresting town square while the guide was gone…and then taken to a new winery with no place to sit as we stood listening to long lectures in French that were briefly summarized by our guide in English. The included tour in Vienne failed to go near the most important ruin in the town, the huge Roman amphitheater. We walked to it on our own and found out why: The view from the base is deliberately blocked by opaque screening, which has the evident purpose of forcing you to pay to enter a small venue from which you can glimpse the amphitheater through dirty, foggy windows. One negative feature of the included excursions is a feature of France: few and terrible toilets. Often you either have to pay (at a turnstile or by buying coffee in a café) or instead use what the guides pejoratively called “Turkish toilets,” which were holes in the ground. The buses had mini-toilets in compartments that were too small for large adults. We were glad that we didn’t purchase the expensive Silver Spirits beverage package. Given all the free alcohol otherwise available (e.g. during ship-wide cocktail parties) and the wine freely available during lunches and dinners, we wouldn’t have come close to getting our money’s worth. Our stateroom had two fancy screens, but they were inadequately managed. They showed us the weather forecast in Arles when we were in Avignon, and the forecast for Avignon when we were visiting Arles. And the forecast was totally turned off for the 24 hours preceding the day it would have been most useful: the day we departed the ship. We were also unhappy about the failure of a promise on our departure: a group of about two dozen of us on a bus to the Marseille Airport were promised that we would be met by a Viking agent who would accompany us all the way to Security. We were met, but the woman left us on the sidewalk outside the terminal. Upon entering the terminal, there were no indications of what to do and she was long gone. All things considered it was a fine way to see aspects of Lyon and Provence, with luxurious comfort and meals on our usually-docked ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first river cruise but not my last! Viking is a first class operation and the HEIMDAL is the best! The crew is more than helpful not to mention funny, the food excellent and plenty, excursions were fabulous and the ... Read More
This was my first river cruise but not my last! Viking is a first class operation and the HEIMDAL is the best! The crew is more than helpful not to mention funny, the food excellent and plenty, excursions were fabulous and the excursion guides were incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and humorous. The Captain was always smiling and made himself available everyday to greet the guests. How he maneuvers that huge ship through the Locks is amazing! The friend I traveled with chose this itinerary and I wasn't sure it would be wonderful....silly me... it was FABULOUS! Each port of call was different and amazing and as I said earlier the guides were excellent... not boring as some can be. Whoever trains them does a first class job! I loved the excursions but I also loved getting back to the boat, taking a refreshing shower then sitting outside looking at the fabulous views while sipping on a cocktail and being very thankful that I was here. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall grade: B- It was a rocky start. Two months before the start of the river cruise, we received in the mail a personalized brochure from Viking, giving us a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule, excursions, ship information, etc. ... Read More
Overall grade: B- It was a rocky start. Two months before the start of the river cruise, we received in the mail a personalized brochure from Viking, giving us a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule, excursions, ship information, etc. It noted that at the start of the cruise in Basel, the ship could be departing from any of three different locations. Seeing as how there still were two months before the cruise, this wasn’t a huge concern. About two weeks before we were scheduled to leave, Viking sent us our cruise documents in a digital format. We printed everything, and again the departure information in Basel was the same. I assumed that eventually, Viking would let us know where to find the ship. Bad assumption on my part. For those cruise customers who are part of Viking’s pre-cruise extension, this is of no concern because you get on a bus at the hotel and it takes you to the ship. However, for those who make their own travel arrangements, you’re on your own. I suspect this probably isn’t a major problem in most cities where ships dock at the same area, but in this case, where there were three choices, it can be an arduous way to start a vacation. Luckily for my wife and I, there was a Viking desk in the hotel we stayed at the night before the start of the cruise and a Viking rep gave us the departure location. Others didn’t have it so easy. At dinner on our first night aboard, we met a couple who simply hailed a cab and told the driver to go to each of the locations, figuring they’d hit the right one eventually. So I wasn’t even on board yet and I was ready to give Viking an F. All in all, things went smoothly. Excursions: Pretty good, though we had one hiccup on one day when the ship had to go in for repairs after hitting another vessel in a lock two days earlier and sustaining a 4-foot gash in front. Cruisers had two options: stay on the ship while it went for repairs, or take a two-hour tour and then spend four hours on your own until the ship returned. Viking gave everyone a $25 onboard credit for the inconvenience. Excursions ran on time and were well planned with plenty of buses and organized procedures. Food: It’s not as good as the chef would have you believe. He spoke to passengers one night early in the week and said that evening’s special, a filet with a Roquefort sauce, was “amazing.” It was, IMHO, quite average. He used the same word, “amazing,” one day to describe the potato soup. In Cologne, we had the chance to have lunch in town; we tried the potato soup at a pub and THAT was fabulous – a gazillion times better than what we had onboard. For dinner on the final evening, the chef recommended a brisket entrée; that turned out to be a horrible choice; mine was undercooked by two hours and not even close to being done correctly. At the end of the week, there wasn’t anything we had that made us think, “Wish we had a chance to have that again.” Food grade: C- Overall service: Mostly good. Room attendants refreshed the room quickly. Service in the lounge was inconsistent. The bartender was outstanding; I gave him my room number once on the first day and that was the last time he asked for it. I have no idea how he did that with nearly 190 customers. Table service in the lounge was spotty. Sometimes there were more servers than customers; at other times, you had to go to the bar to get a drink because there were no servers. Dining room servers were pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular ... Read More
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular mention of Ryan and Ladice. The entertainment manager Ryan worked tirelessly and had to over come low water problems. One of the great pleasures it to meet new friends and the river boats with their very comfortable lounge is excellent for doing so. The shore excursions are interesting. The guide did an excellent talk in the Court of Justice in Nurembourg. And the guide at Regensbourg wae entertaining and amusing. She could be an actress. There was a problem with low water in the river and we were forced to change ships. But all at Viking did their utmost to limit this inconvenience. Whilst the Hilton at Budapest was comfortable we would have preferred a hotel on the waterfront near the chain bridge where we stayed previously We plan to take another Viking River Cruise in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We recently returned from our Nile River cruise on the Viking Ra, October 1. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience! We traveled with dear friends, booked the cruise almost 2 years ago while on another cruise. Our husbands were ... Read More
We recently returned from our Nile River cruise on the Viking Ra, October 1. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience! We traveled with dear friends, booked the cruise almost 2 years ago while on another cruise. Our husbands were thrilled, almost giddy with excitement at the thought of seeing the pyramids. The wives were a bit apprehensive and remained so until we arrived in Egypt. Yes, we did have armed security on the bus with us. In several locations we had police escorts in front and/or behind the bus. But really, at no time did we feel unsafe. Not even when some news outlets were exaggeratedly or falsely reporting "chaos" in Cairo the first few days we were there. We were in the location cited... No chaos! We were, however, unprepared for how extremely poor, beyond anything we had ever seen before!, Cairo and Egypt in general is. There is an enormous, enormous difference between what you see driving around and what you experience. Also, maybe because of the sand storms? it just seems so much...dirtier? I understand, I mean, how do you clean up after a sand storm? Especially since there will be another one right around the corner. But they also tend not to finish buildings, which lends an almost post-apocalyptic feel to the landscape. The Cairo hotels, the Nile Ritz Carlton pre-cruise and the Intercontinental City Star post-cruise were wonderful. Although the buffet was more extensive at the Intercontinental, I thought the food was better at the Ritz. Both rooms were beautifully appointed and very comfortable. Both had tight security. Anyway, the cruise and the ship. The program directors (PDs) and other ship staff are amazing! Our PD, Ahmed (they split you into 2 groups), was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. His love of his subject (both are Egyptologists) and joy in sharing it shone through. He made the sites we visited come alive for us and adding immensely to our enjoyment of the trip. The rest of the staff, well, it's Viking. They were a mix of local and international. I did notice a few minor things that frankly I think would not be quite up to par with Viking European river cruises or their ocean cruises, but as I said, minor and everyone is extremely eager to please. And they really did a better job than some mainstream cruise lines I've been on. Our suite, on deck 2, physically, was lovely. As pictured and described. Two rooms, living room with small sofa, chair and coffee table, and a desk and chair. Closed storage shelves that we used for more clothing storage. Mini bar and TV. One thing I particularly liked was the storage cubbies by the door. We kept our hats, sunglasses, umbrella (for shade), my purse there, ready to to out the door. Also kept the hair dryer in one as they are next to the desk and I used that plug. Bedroom was nice, but a Queen bed, not a king. Hubby and I are both... large and used to a king but it was fine. Bedside tables have 1 small drawer that was difficult to open (both of them, maybe weather related?). I would have liked more closet space because I had longer hanging tops, not tunics, but hip length and they didn't fit next to or over the safe on the short side. Hubby's shirts didn't either. 2XL run long. But we managed to share. The bathroom was very nice. The rooms are smaller than they appear in Viking's photos, but certainly comfortable.Now for the negative, and it's a biggie! We were pretty much unable to enjoy our cabin anytime we were sailing! Sleeping was difficult. Whenever we were under way, there was a STRONG fuel odor in our cabin. Some nights of woke us up coughing, and we both use CPAP machines (changing the filters as soon as we get home). I finally complained and when they came and checked to see if it actually did smell, they asked if we had opened the balcony door. No. So an engineer came. His solution was to turn the AC fan to high, thermostat down to 50, and leave the bedroom and bathroom doors open. After 10 minutes turn the thermostat back. Surprisingly, that worked. For about an hour. Our friends, one cabin back opposite side, had the same issue. For another couple, one deck down, it was so bad, they were moved into another cabin! Did I want to spend all day in my cabin while we were sailing? Well, obviously not. But some days, I might have appreciated a nap, but I could not be in there because of the smell. And it was obnoxious to be awakened, gagging, on the stench of fuel on multiple nights. The shore excursions were handled very well. My husband's favorite excursion was the trip to Giza to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx. He had dreamed of it for so long and to actually finally do it was amazing! My favorite was Nefertari's Tomb. To see those amazing carvings and paintings, in situ, still so vibrant and beautiful, so many thousands of years later, well, words fail me. Everywhere we went, we had to brave the "Valley of the Vendors" and let me tell you, they are aggressive! They will follow you to the steps of the bus! We did several of the optional excursions as well. I felt the market and dinner was a bit overpriced. We had a short walk with our TD through part of the market then were on our own. We four walked for a few minutes, then our husbands went into a tiny shop while my friend and I waited outside. The security guard came by with a few of the group, He waited until our husbands came out and basically gathered us up to go with him. So we did (if your security guard indicates you should stay with him, maybe you should listen to him, right?). Dinner was good, but not great. Both my friend and I are scared of heights, but our husbands insisted we all go on the hot air balloon ride. In fact, my daughter told me I could not come home if I didn't do it! LOL Anyway, we did. We stood behind our husbands so we could not look down, which made it OK. We both had a little concerned when our pilot took us up higher than a lot of the other balloons, but settled fairly quickly. I got my pictures and after about 15 minutes was done and ready to get off. The ride went on for 45 more minutes! We both agreed we were glad we did it, but wished it had been just that 45 minutes shorter. However, our husbands loved it. Be warned before reading on, this may come under the heading of TMI. One thing, well, 2 things, you might want to take along with you. Immodium and electrolyte packets (they make Pedialyte for adults in packets). About half the ship was affected with...intestinal symptoms, and I don't mean stomach. Pharaoh's curse? If you forget or don't bring any Immodium, ask at reception. Totally different from an ocean cruise. They have anti mal pills that they will give out 4 or 6 at time. Ask as soon as you need them! They put bottled water in the bathroom. Use it to brush your teeth! I didn't to start with and regretted it. My husband and friend had no issue. Most people were able to carry on. A couple missed shore excursions. I missed Abu Simbel! Not just that. I found the heat brutal and the first 105° day developed a blinding migraine. Barely made it back to the bus. Temps at Abu Simbel were 110°. I hated missing it but was afraid that between the symptoms I was having and heat and possibility of another migraine, I just couldn't risk it. The rest of my party went and loved it. They all tolerated the heat better, but all said Abu Simbel almost did them all in. They looked wrung out when they got back. One woman actually did get a migraine from the heat/sun. she got back to the ship, took meds and we didn't see her until the next day. If you are sensitive you heat, plan accordingly. I know there has been a lot of chat about the alcohol on board. I am not much of drinker. I had a gin & tonic at the cocktail parties. I thought it was fine. The rest of our group had wine, both red and white with lunch and dinner and seemed to enjoy it. I know they were concerned because I told them what I had read, but no one seemed to dislike it. I found the food quite good, except no pork bacon or sausage, which I enjoy when I travel because I don't eat it at home. Just as well, I suppose. Of course, due to the number of passengers, choices were limited but to be expected. I did not find it to be a problem. And there was ginger tea and chicken soup available for the more ill amongst us. Remember hat, sunglasses, sunscreen even if you don't normally wear them. I think almost everyone had a hat and one man asked me if I'd gotten my hat in Luxor. His wife said he didn't want to bring one and now wanted one! Both of our husbands bought crushable Panama style hats with a wide brim (they normally wear ball caps), and my friend wore a hat, which she never does (I always do, migraines, remember?). Maybe a cooling towel? We had them. Maybe they helped a little. Or it was psychological. On our trip, our TDs took care of the bathroom attendants. We just flashed a V sign for Viking. But they give you a limited amount, maybe a couple of squares. I took the ends of about 10 rolls, flattened, in a large ziploc. I took a snack size ziploc put one a day in to carry in my purse. The TD suggested getting some from the ship. Our last day, a group of us went to the Grand Egyptian Museum. Warning: all purses, backpacks, etc. must be left on the bus! And no pictures allowed in the conservation area. We made a pit stop before the tour. Our guide had to get paper towels (not TP!!) for us to use! In the museum! Granted it's the conservation area and the museum is not open but employees have to bring their own?! One woman commented that we all have TP, but it's in our purses on the bus. BTW, personally I do not recommend this excursion. WAY overpriced to see 3 conservation labs (NO pictures) and the (construction zone) entrance hall with the statue of Ramses II. My husband says he agrees it was way overpriced, but he does recommend it. And your feet and shoes will get filthy! Mostly just sand, dust, dirt, but sometimes you need to mind where you walk. Be aware if you have germophobic tendencies, you may want to take along your favorite wipes and save sandals for the boat. My friend alternated 2 pair of leather flats that she doesn't know can be saved. They look so worn and scuffed. They weren't brand new, but not old. I wore a pair of Rothy's (with a different insole). I actually rinsed them several times after a morning excursion and they dried by evening. Couldn't wait to wash then once I got home. SO glad I didn't wear my Tieks as usual, they'd have been destroyed. OK, now that I've written a novel if anyone still has anyone questions, please ask or PM me. Let me end with saying again that it was an amazing trip and the experience of a lifetime, something I never thought we would actually get to do! Cruising on the Nile River is fascinating. To see the date palms, all the beautiful green on the banks of the river, and the Great Sahara beyond...It's something I've read about, and quite frankly, never quite really believed I would ever see! There is a special beauty and I feel very privileged to have experienced this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our first river cruise, Passau to Budapest aboard the Hermod. Overall very pleased with the cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague, everything was well organized by Viking. The tree days gave us time to adjust to the time change before ... Read More
Our first river cruise, Passau to Budapest aboard the Hermod. Overall very pleased with the cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague, everything was well organized by Viking. The tree days gave us time to adjust to the time change before boarding the boat. The Viking included excursions in Prague and on the boat were top-notch, their fleet of buses were noteworthy for cleanliness and comfort. Our embarkation was about as simple as could be...walk on the boat, our bags where at the room within minutes. Unlike Ocean cruising I didn’t see any security, no photo ID’s, no scanners of bags, all which led to a little uneasiness. The first organized event was the welcome to the ship by our cruise director, Sonia. She was tops in her communication and organizational skills. Kept us well informed and herded us to our various excursions. The biggest disappointment with the cruise for me was the evening meal. Once the pre-brief for the next day was complete at 7:00 PM it was a mass rush to dinner. There is only one dining room, and it was a scramble for the tables, no assigned seating, no escort by the Matre D, or staff...just grab a seat. Kind of throwback to College dining facility. “Smart Casual” was largely ignored given the preponderance of jeans, jeans in my book is not smart casual. The food was tasty, the choices descent, the service good. The included tours by Viking were well done and varied, walking tours, organ concerts, excursions to sites out of town. A lot of history, was a bit tired of history by the end of the cruise for my liking but the area we cruised is history so it should be expected. A few sections of the river were very beautiful and the timing was such that they were done in the daylight. Enjoyed the Mozart concert in Vienna. Onboard entertainment was slim, only one venue. They brought some area entertainers onboard that were a nice break from the resident piano player. Overall well done for Viking. Most of the travelers were in their 60’s and 70’s, not quite as old as I feared, the walking tours were slow paced. I would do another Viking but prefer the amenities offered on an ocean cruise over the river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After 6 cruises on the big ships we decided for our anniversary to try a river cruise with Viking (we’ve done already 2 Viking cruises on the ocean). The cruise from Bucharest to Budapest sounded very interesting and we decided to try ... Read More
After 6 cruises on the big ships we decided for our anniversary to try a river cruise with Viking (we’ve done already 2 Viking cruises on the ocean). The cruise from Bucharest to Budapest sounded very interesting and we decided to try despite the fact that our friends from Atlanta got a better quote for the same cruise and the same cabin. The ship was Viking LIF and the entire experience made us to started to look more in to river cruise for our future holidays. Here are some suggestion and impression from our trip in eastern Europe Bucharest – a beautiful city where the communism left plenty of marks. We loved the food and the architecture and, as a suggestion, maybe in the future Viking will organise a stay longer than one night. Excellent hotel and very well organised transfers. Ruse – despite the fact that the journey to Arbanassii was quite long the excursion was amazing giving as the chance to learn about the history of this country (we didn’t have any idea about how old Bulgaria is). Great lunch and fantastic place to visit. Maybe the guides can be less ridged and less “primary school teacher”-like Vidin – a very poor city but the trip to the mountains was amazing. Was great that the cruise director “forced” us to go and ignore the information about difficulty of the excursion. Was worth it and you don’t miss the breath-taking views with plenty of things to do if you don’t climb the rocks. Sailing day – the landscape is fantastic, and the information offered by the cruise director made us feel like in a Discovery documentary. We loved the new excursions introduced by Viking in a local village, an areological site and a fortress. The children invited on board were amazing despite the fact that the moderator of the conversation was trying hard to take over the entire conversation. Belgrade – we would love to stay longer. What an amazing city! We strongly recommend the visit to the opera and a lunch on your own to a restaurant close to the ship with no name …just “?” (our Cruise Director was so right to recommend this place) Vukovar – the visit to a Croatian family was fantastic and a real eye-opener. Maybe Viking can do something about the “rush feeling” of that day…we would like to explore more. Kalocsa – the horse farm was an interesting and authentic experience. If you want to buy paprika do it here is far much cheaper and better quality than the one in Budapest. The small shop close to the ship has excellent prices and they all speak English. Budapest – we’ve been to Budapest before but was a pleasure to visit it again. The hotel was a nice decent one, the tours were interesting but for us, Budapest was the end of our cruise so we were sad to leave Viking LIF. The staff on Viking LIF was absolutely amazing and nothing was too much for them. Joy our room stewardess was a real “JOY” smiling, helpful and very well organised making our cabin impeccable every day. In the restaurant the manager Kristian was very helpful and friendly providing an excellent service with a lot of care and attention. Alin in the bar, great and very professional, learned in the first day our favourite G&T and we enjoyed every moment spent in the lounge. We fall in love with the reception team especially with Susanna very friendly and always ready to help. But the top of this extraordinary team was our Cruise Director Leonard. He was working around the clock, almost 24 hours daily with the same passion, enthusiasm and professionalism. Was obvious that he is in love with his job and every meeting before dinner was a mixture of practical information, facts traditions and stories put together with a unique charisma and sense of humour. After the first day, was hard to find a place for his presentation in the lounge. Every night after dinner Leonard had a surprise for the passengers: lectures (the one about Dracula was as good as a real History Channel documentary and his story about Ceausescu time was heart-breaking), games (so much fun in the music quiz) and an amazing Disco party with music and dance until early hours in the morning. With brilliant organisational skills everything planned by him went perfect even if sometimes you can see the struggle behind. Honestly if Viking will tell me that Leonard will be our next cruise director I will book a cruise even on the river behind our house! After on week on Viking LIF I understand why Viking is the best and the only option to travel in comfort. Thank you Viking, thank you Lif, thank you Leonard! See you soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean ... Read More
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean and tidy. The food was wonderful and every meal we had the opportunity to try Russian regional specialties. The service in the main dining room was always great, our favorite waiter was Mark :) Our tour guides in Moscow really made the visits to the Kremlin informative and interesting. I also enjoyed visit to Ulgich and other small towns on our cruise to St. Petersburg. Our first tour was of The Hermitage and my husband and I broke off from our group to explore other areas of the museum on our own. We visited the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and our tour guide was excellent. We took the optional tour to Peterhof and our guide was Phillip. He was very informative and we were able to tour both the palace and the gardens. I highly recommend taking a tour of Peterhof. Finally, we visited the Faberge Museum with Slava as our tour guide. He knows the history of the museum and the Imperial Eggs in-depth. I was very glade he lead our tour. Sasha from Russia who is the Cruise Coordinator is enthusiastic and kept my husband and I laughing most of the cruise. This cruise met all our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall we had an enjoyable Danube river cruise, from Passau to Budapest, with a 3 day pre cruise stop in Prague. Danube water levels were fine and we had no issues going through the locks. Food was very good and plentiful, service was top ... Read More
Overall we had an enjoyable Danube river cruise, from Passau to Budapest, with a 3 day pre cruise stop in Prague. Danube water levels were fine and we had no issues going through the locks. Food was very good and plentiful, service was top notch. Boris, the cruise director was adequate although a little on the sarcastic side. The cabin was clean and roomy enough. On board entertainment was a decent piano player. Outside singers/musicians were brought on board a couple of nights and were enjoyable. My only complaint with the musicians is that I prefer that they stick to their traditional music. On night we heard My Way and another night it was Take me home, country Roads. REALLY! I believe the best part of the Viking experience are the guides that they hire for the daily excursions. They were all wonderful, very knowledgeable and extremely passionate about their country. We took the Panoramic tours in Prague, Vienna and Budapest, the all day tour to Cesky-Krumlov (an enchanted medieval town) and the Heurigan evening in Vienna. My problem comes in at the end. Our flight home to the US was cancelled. Viking Air, which we booked our flight through, was no help whatsoever. The service desk on the ship said they emailed Viking Air and we would hear from them. They never did. The goal of Viking was to get your off the ship ASAP by telling you to go to the airport. Basically, get out of here and deal with the airline at the airport. We couldn’t get out of Budapest for 2 days so going to the airport, which we did not do, would have futile. We stayed on the ship as long as possible and rebooked a flight through the airline, then got a hotel, Budapest Marriott (which was superb) in town. Viking needs to be upfront with their clients and tell them to contact the airline about your cancelled flight. Claiming they will help you is nonsense Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube ... Read More
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube might be a better title for the trip. Changing boats was inconvenient and took time away from seeing the cities we really went to see. The local guides were good and the staff tried their best. I would never recommend the Viking Cruises to anyone. I would not go even if someone else paid. When you look ahead at what you would enjoy doing you should cross this off your list. The cities we did see were well worth visiting. I strongly recommend flying to a starting point and the using the excellent European rail system and work to schedule well placed hotels. Tourism advice from knowledgeable experienced experts will help plan a great trip to the wonderful cities of Europe without the struggle of Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first Viking cruise and it was amazing. We started our adventure with the optional Israel pre-cruise land tour. The tour guide, Jo, was amazing. We visited all the biblical sites and more. The Dead Sea Scroll Museum and the ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and it was amazing. We started our adventure with the optional Israel pre-cruise land tour. The tour guide, Jo, was amazing. We visited all the biblical sites and more. The Dead Sea Scroll Museum and the Wailing Wall did not disappoint. We stayed at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem which was elegant but dated. We had a great group of travelers which made a dream vacation even better. Then we flew to Cairo very early in the morning. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton were security was paramount and tantamount the the TSA.this hotel was the best one we stayed at. It was very modern. We had a tourist police with our tour the entire stay. The pyramids were amazing. We took the optional market place tour. I wouldn’t recommend it. We just walked down busy streets of a market where we were continually harassed to buy things. This was true of the entire trip. To exit any of the sites we saw we had to go through a market place with aggressive sellers. We referred to it as “running the gauntlet”. Take antibiotics and anti-diarrheal medicine along. Almost everyone was touched by the intestinal bug. We had to drink bottled water the entire time. The tour provided this at no cost. It was HOT. Be prepared for that. The wifi on the ship was poor. 3G. The internet at the hotels was great. The cruise ship was small but very nice. We flew to Luxor to catch the ship. We also took the Abu Simbel excursion and flew there for the day. My husband did the hot air balloon ride and said it was amazing. The food was very good but not exceptional. My tiramisu had been previously frozen and not completely thawed. The staff was top notch. They treated you like a queen or pharaoh. The temples and sites we visited were amazing. The guides were informative and friendly. They were experts in ancient Egyptology. We never felt unsafe which surprised me. Be prepared to see trash all over the place and extreme poverty. Our trip went smoothly and Viking expedited matters at the airports. We never waited for tickets as our guide had them. Be prepared for really bad bathrooms and always carry Kleenex. Our guide tipped the bathroom attendants but they still begged for more. Everyone everywhere had their hands out for money. Bring lots of dollar bills for tips. This was easi;y the best trip we ever have taken. I highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is the end of the Embla saga - on arrival at the Embla in Budapest on 11 September 2019 we were confronted by a vessel with an odd large boxed item next to the bridge. Wondering why it was there and how it would survive low bridges ... Read More
This is the end of the Embla saga - on arrival at the Embla in Budapest on 11 September 2019 we were confronted by a vessel with an odd large boxed item next to the bridge. Wondering why it was there and how it would survive low bridges unless it could be lowered and raised like the captain’s bridge, we went to our cabin where we found the 06 September 2019 letter – not good timing on Viking's part as we were already on board. Once we got to Linz, we had to disembark to end up at a golf resort - Bad Griesbach - for two nights.Note that we had already received a “low water on the Danube” excuse notification from 29 August 2019. From the golf resort I went on the two hour plus Viking bus ride to Regensburg . After the city tour I wandered back towards the bus park that is adjacent to a canal – I had wondered earlier how vessels made their way through Regensburg and now I was to find out as a cruise vessel, same size and (likely) same 1.7 m draught as Viking vessels, stopped to allow guests off to walk into the city – much nicer than a 2 hour bus ride there and back. So was the 29 August notice a smoke screen for the Embla’s generator replacement? And, if the generator replacement was known and urgent, for whose convenience did Embla sail in the first place? How would Viking have dealt with a situation had the vessel broken down 50 miles from the nearest large town? Clearly, passenger comfort and safety is not as high on Viking's priority list as one once imagined. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We recently cruised the Danube River on the Viking Hermod riverboat. This was our second river cruise with Viking, having cruised on the Rhine River in June of 2018. Overall, while we greatly enjoyed the trip, we both felt that some ... Read More
We recently cruised the Danube River on the Viking Hermod riverboat. This was our second river cruise with Viking, having cruised on the Rhine River in June of 2018. Overall, while we greatly enjoyed the trip, we both felt that some aspects of the trip were below the level of what we experienced last year. We booked this cruise a few months before the sailing and the only cabins remaining were standard rooms on the main deck with a (non-opening) picture window. Last year, we had a French balcony with a sliding door, which we could open. We had no complaints about this year's room. After spending a week in the standard cabin, I do not feel that the extra cost for one of the other types of rooms is worth it. On several days, we were docked alongside another Viking (and one Ama) ship, so a balcony would have been of no use. We did notice slightly more vibration and noise on this level of the ship while it was moving, but not enough to disturb us. As far as where we think the cruise did not live up to last year's, we did not think that the quality (and choices offered) of the dinners were overall as good as last year.  Most were good, but a few missed the mark.  Additionally, the number of passengers that were on each of the included tours seemed to be higher than what we had on last year's cruise. It may be that Viking is utilizing fewer guides for the same number of passengers. To be fair, all of the guides that we had, with one exception, were excellent. One other complaint was that our room not ready on the first day until 4:00 pm, despite arriving in Budapest at 9:00 am after traveling all night. Since Viking arranged the flights, they knew what time we would be arriving on the ship. I would have expected that the rooms for early arriving passengers would be the first ones ready. On thing that has not changed is the excellent service offered by the Viking staff. Our cabin was cleaned twice per day and was sparking clean when Katarina finished with it. We ate most of our dinners on the Aquavit Terrace and had great service from Andrea and Robert. These two also served as the primary bartenders and were excellent. We enjoyed all of the ports on the itinerary, especially Budapest and Vienna. We took advantage of all of the included tours, plus two optional ones - the Hungarian Horsemen in Budapest and the Mozart and Strauss Concert in Vienna. One comment on the average age of the passengers. We are 66 and 62 years old and consider ourselves very active. I would guess that the average age on this year's trip was significantly higher than last year's cruise. Perhaps it is due to traveling in September vs. our prior trip in June. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river cruises + 2 ocean cruises) we decided to take the 3 weeks trip from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Lif. We absolutely love the ship and we were lucky enough to don’t have any problems with the ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river cruises + 2 ocean cruises) we decided to take the 3 weeks trip from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Lif. We absolutely love the ship and we were lucky enough to don’t have any problems with the water levels. Viking is for sure the best choice if you like river cruises: the level of hospitality, attention to details, organisation and the wide range of options are only couple of reason why Viking is always our first choice. In Budapest some of the crew change, and this is the main reason why I decided to post this review. Maybe Viking should pay more attention to consistency, especially when you think about the staff on board. After 3 weeks on board Viking LIF and 2 different staff we had the feeling that we travelled with two different companies. And that was more obvious at the level of the “key players” on board. And here are couple of reasons why we had this feeling Hotel director From Amsterdam we had Johnny a young Romanian with a lot of passion and dedication for his job. Nothing was to much for him and he was always there to assist passengers and his own colleagues. Always smiling and knowledgeable Johnny was a very pleasant presence for our first two weeks on board. Unfortunately for us in Budapest his place was taken by Joseph who, maybe because he is working in this business for too long (and he didn’t miss the opportunity to remind us every time) he was pretty bored, not at all approachable and quite arrogant. We missed Johnny so much in the last week of our cruise. Capitan For the first two weeks we hand a young Capitan and I must apologise for not remembering his name. The only time when we saw him was late in the evening, in the bar when he was drinking with one of his colleagues or a younger female passenger. We never had the chance to speak with him, which surprise us a lot thinking about our previous experience with Viking. In Budapest an amazing Dutch Skipper, Anna, join the ship and the story was completely different: he was always very polite and ready to answer all our questions. His presentation about the ship with the Cruise Director was very interesting and entertaining at the same time. When we had the chance to visit the bridge for the second time it was a completely different experience than in the previous week as he made us feeling welcome and accommodating all our questions and requests. Restaurant manager Martina was our first restaurant manager and she was very sweet despite the fact that she wasn’t very efficient. She was trying hard but couple of times she confused our diets and she was getting very stressed time to time. But we loved her. In Budapest her place was taken by Christian who was obviously that had more experience than Martina. His manners were at the level of a 5* restaurant, his solving problems abilities were amazing, and he always seemed to be calm and in control. Even if the restaurant was busy he always found time for a little chat. Cruise Director This was, maybe, the biggest surprise. For the first two weeks we had as a Cruise Director Sonya, a very pleasant girl from Serbia who was trying her best to be in line with our expectations. The only issue was her big personality, her inability to listen and her quite messy organizational skills. Especially in days with a lot of excursions and tours she got very agitated, getting in a very defensive mood with everybody around. We stopped asking her question after couple of abrupt answers! Sonya seemed to know her job but she always gave us the feeling that she just wanted to tick a box and run “behind the scenes” away from passengers and questions. In Budapest Leonard took over…literally took over. His personality, his knowledge, his energy and passion and his ability to be everywhere, anytime with the same smile and willingness to help made up for the entire trip. We never meet such an approachable, kind, genuine and hard-working Cruise Director in any of our cruises, both on the river and on the ocean. We wished to have Leonard for the entire 3 weeks: he created in 7 days memories for an entire lifetime. Maybe Viking will look for the future in to how different personalities fit the job profile and try to eliminate this differences which can impact the entire experience of a cruise. For sure we will be back. But can we have Anna, Christian, Johnny and Leonard with us? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica ... Read More
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica where we couldn’t get off the ship because of fights in the streets and the dirty Cozumel in Mexico. This cruise on the Viking Var was exceptional. There were 180 people on board and everyone was looked after as though they were family. It is to be noted that 90% of the travellers were from the USA and the average age had to be 65 with thankfully NO CHILDREN. We started our trip by flying from Heathrow to Budapest with BA. On arrival there was a Viking rep at the airport available for help if anyone needed it. We arrived in Budapest and several reps were available to ensure the right passengers got to the right ship. We had a 45 minute delay in getting to the ship because the transfer coach did not arrive on time with the excuse of a traffic jam. The driver should have checked on Waze or Google and left plenty of time to get to the airport. We arrived at the ship at 14:30 and fortunately the restaurant was still serving food. Our suit cases were delivered to our cabins. Our cabin number 325 was quite small but cleverly designed to make the most of the available space. We had twin beds with enough cupboard space to hang and put away our clothes including hiding our suit cases under our beds. The shower was large with a non slip mat and 2 different shower heads. Soap, shampoo etc were all there and were replaced when used. We had been warned that the electrical sockets were not UK 3 pin and took with us converters. It was great that there were several USB connection points for recharging our iphones and iPads. We paid a bit extra and had a nice balcony with a table and 2 chairs to sit on and watch the scenery go by, but this was seldom used because we met up with both our 4 friends we travelled with and new friends who we made on board and met on deck or in the comfortable lounges. I am not certain wether we would book a cabin with a balcony on our next trip as a Juliet balcony, where you have patio doors but no balcony to sit on, would probably suffice. Regarding food, drinks and restaurant timings. Timings were set to fit in with all the off ship tours and for each meal you could either have a snack or 3 course meal. Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks were served foc only during meal times. At all other times, they were charged to your cabin unless you had purchased a drinks package. There is however a coffee/tea station open 24 hours. Every evening there were 3 super menus: A 3 course local fare menu dependant on the country and city we were docked at; a menu with a selection of different daily themed plates and; a menu with a choice of food which was available every day. vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivarians and especially Americans who typically are unwilling to  try any unusual food they don’t recognise will have no problem finding something that would suit them. On arriving at the boat we asked the restaurant manager, the wonderful Alexandra, if they could provide lactose free milk and for my wife, gluten free food. No problem at all, I know that one day when they ran out of the milk Alexandra actually left the ship to go to a store to buy some herself!!! Every day Alexandra would show the dinner menu to my wife and went through what she could provide gluten free. She was a miracle worker and my wife received the perfect selection of food every day and with no nasty side effects. The serving staff in the restaurant were unbelievably helpful and service was never delayed. We tried to keep to the same area in the restaurant so that we had the same servers. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they had the wonderful Alan, Yuri and Ryan looking after them. By the second day, they knew that the 6 of us in our group didn’t drink wine and made sure we were provided with a selection of suitable soft drinks and very occasional bier or shandy. We booked our holiday to  include the cost of tips, but we were looked after so well that we still tipped them at the end of the trip. We took the free tours as offered as part of the cruise as well as a couple of additional cost ones which we wanted. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and looked after all participants making sure no one got lost or were left behind. Only one of the guides was below par, but that was in comparison to the others which was a shame. Tours commenced early in the morning so we tended to go to bed early, waking up at 6am or 630am to ensure we managed to get breakfast before setting off. Every day bottles of water were handed out to those taking part in the tours. The tours were arranged depending on people’s abilities and ensured that the less physical persons were not left out or placed on a tour they could not cope with. The headphone system to listen to the guides was first class and we never had a problem of hearing or understanding what they were saying or we were seeing. This Danube cruise started in Budapest then sailed north to Vienna, Krems  Passau, Regensberg finishing at Nuremberg. We then booked an extension of a 3 night stay in Prague. Transfer to Prague was a 3.5 hour coach ride. The ship’s Maitre D for the whole of the cruise was George. He was brilliant and provided film shows and pre tour information to help everyone get ready for the excursions with timings and advice. We often saw him about the towns during the excursions to ensure we were all ok. In the evening he even sang with the onboard professional resident entertainer Sylvia who sang and played a piano/ keyboard both in the evening and during the day. We had been looked after so well on the ship that we were, in comparison, unhappy with the reception by the reps and the position of the Hilton Hotel in the New Town. We arrived at approximately midday after the long drive and there was no food or drinks waiting for us. We were advised that we would not be provided with a room until 3pm and not one room was released till they were all ready. This was unacceptable and should have been made available as soon as each was ready. During this delay, we were taken outside the hotel and the rep pointed out the station and where shops and restaurants would be and just given maps and told where we could go nearby to obtain a meal. This was not acceptable and not in the manner of being looked after we had become accustomed to. We decided to have lunch in the hotel in one of the restaurants but were told that even though there were several empty tables they refused to put 2 tables together so that the 6 of us could sit together. The Viking reps should have expected some of us to want to eat in the hotel after a long transfer from the ship and made arrangements for the restaurant to have space available. So everyone (we were all in groups, having made friends on the ship) left the hotel to find a restaurant that would sit us together. This Hilton hotel, whilst new and attractive inside with its atrium is positioned between 20 minutes and a half an hour walk to the interesting part of the city. This area in the New Town is also dirty and there were men who either follow you around offering to exchange your currency or stand around the ATM exchange machines where you don’t feel safe to be alone. Never trust them as someone was sold what they thought was the legal currency but in fact we’re worthless. This was never the case in the old town where tourists and students were in abundance and we felt extremely safe. As a Hilton diamond HHonors member I expected my bedroom to be upgraded but this was refused as I didn’t book the hotel direct but through Viking. I didn’t see the relevance to this as one way or another they were still paid via me and I will be complaining to Hilton directly. The hotel itself is very large and very modern and our bedroom overlooked the interior of the hotel and atrium. There was a problem with the bedroom that we were taken to as whilst it was twin bedded as booked it only had a shower in the bath which my wife could not have physically climbed into. I told the Viking rep that the room was not as booked and was told they could do nothing and I had to go to reception. They did not offer to intercede. When asked to be moved, reception was not at all helpful and eventually gave us a king bedded room with a shower, saying that (in this enormous hotel) there were no twin bedded rooms with a shower available. I certainly felt that their response would have been different if I booked with Hilton rather than through Viking. Breakfast was included and there was an excellent choice of food from the breakfast buffet. We took bread rolls, meats, cheese and salads  every morning so that we had sandwiches for lunch. The next day we were taken on a coach and short walking tour of Prague and the following day we went on an additional cost tour of Jewish Prague. This guide was knowledgeable and really excellent ensuring we visited and entered every important site. On the last day we were rudely woken up at 07:30 by the maid who continued to bang on the door till we opened it. Check out time was 10am so we were really angry about this and complained to reception who was very rude saying that they had every right, especially as we had to wait till 3 pm to get a room when we arrived. At the end of our stay, transfer to Prague airport was arranged by Viking from the hotel and having left our suit cases at their dedicated desk in the lower lobby. We didn’t see our suit cases again till we arrived back home in London. This desk was manned the whole day for advice and help on what to do, how to use public transport, and where to go in Prague but was not helpful in the same way as on the ship. Don't forget to take sweaters, cardigans and shawls with you as the air conditioning on the ship is very cold. At the end of the cruise and before disembarking in Nuremberg we were offered coupons costing £100 Pounds Sterling, payable in Euros (everything on the ship was based in Euro’s) and for each £100, a coupon of £200 was given. Unfortunately only a maximum of 2 can be purchased. We enjoyed the cruise, the staff, the food, the tours and their organisation so very much that we will be booking with Viking again in 2021, that is unless our children purloin the coupons. It should be noted that whilst we were warned that the discounted coupons were only available before we left the ship, we have in fact received emails still offering them a week after returning home. Sent from Graham's iPad Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We just finished a disappointing Russia River Cruise with Viking and we were looking forward to a newer Long Ship, the type we have been on before. Due to low water, the ship couldn't meet us in Bucharest, so we had a long bus ride ... Read More
We just finished a disappointing Russia River Cruise with Viking and we were looking forward to a newer Long Ship, the type we have been on before. Due to low water, the ship couldn't meet us in Bucharest, so we had a long bus ride to get to the ship. When we arrived, we found out that they had a generator breakdown and installed a temporary one on the top of the ship. Yes, you guessed it, almost right on top of our Stateroom 303. Besides the noise and the diesel fumes, we were never able to enjoy our Veranda. At least with the door closed the cabin we were able to sleep, unlike our experience on the Russia Cruise. Also this ship had a strong septic smell. We were disappointed that none of the ports that we docked at had towns that we could just get off the ship and explore the town on our own. We were bussed everywhere. Some people might like that but I like to tour on my own without a guide in my ear for hours on end. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We heard about this cruise from our travel agent when we asked about Danube cruises. The trip far exceeded our expectations in every way. The crew was friendly, helpful, skilled and talented. The food was served beautifully. The choices ... Read More
We heard about this cruise from our travel agent when we asked about Danube cruises. The trip far exceeded our expectations in every way. The crew was friendly, helpful, skilled and talented. The food was served beautifully. The choices were always plentiful and I appreciated the size of portions- enough but not too much. Coffee of all kinds, tea and pastries are always available. The excursions were led by locals who knew their business. I do a lot of reading and research before traveling and the tours were great. Be aware that the staterooms are small but they contain lots of storage- plenty for two people. Also be careful to ask about the activity level of the tour- they usually offer two levels with the leisurely one having fewer steps and hills. Our cruise had a lady with a walker ( in her 80s) who did everything at the leisurely level. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to see more of Russia than just Moscow and St. Petersburg, so we looked at the inland waterway between those cities. Most river cruise companies on this route stop at the same places but we chose Viking as it was the first ... Read More
We wanted to see more of Russia than just Moscow and St. Petersburg, so we looked at the inland waterway between those cities. Most river cruise companies on this route stop at the same places but we chose Viking as it was the first foreign company to develop the route and operates its own boats, giving it greater control. The cruise includes three days in both Moscow and St Petersburg. In both cities Viking docks some way (around 20 km - 12 miles) from the city centre, so if you want to explore those cities on your own be prepared to use the Metro. In Moscow this is easy as the dock is a 10 minute walk from the Metro Station but in St Petersburg you need to take a public bus to the Metro station. This is easier than it sounds as route 119 (every 5 minutes) starts close to the dock and terminates at the Metro station. Details (including map) available at Helgi reception. Tip – buy stored value cards (Troika and Podorozhnik) to save messing with small change Viking offer a number of included and additional shore excursions. We took the Catherine Palace tour in St Petersburg (as this is difficult by public transport), the Moscow up close walking tour (as this starts with a good introduction to the Metro), the Kizhi walking tour and the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery bus tour (as the dock is some way from the monastery.) Viking gave us our tickets for the St.Petersburg Ballet performance in advance and we met the group at the theatre. If you are interested in the visual arts buy tickets on line and visit The Hermitage, General Staff Building and the Pushkin on your own. The Hermitage is worth a day and the other two half a day each. The include tours spend less than four hours at the Hermitage and do not cover the other two (although the extra paid excursions do.) The ports in between provide just the experience we were looking for. The visit to the Kirillov monastery was a high point of the trip and included a school visit hosted by a final year student (doing it as a summer vacation job). Having had school visits on tours to China in the early 1980s I was slightly cynical beforehand but this visit seemed genuine and was interesting. Other points: If arriving by train from Helsinki, the fare we paid from the station to the Viking wharf was RUB 2,500 A two day combined ticket for the Hermitage and General Staff building costs $24 on line; A one day Pushkin ticket including special exhibitions was RUB 1000 Viking offer a one day excursion to Sergiev Posad near Moscow. We did this ourselves by suburban train from the Yaroslav Station (the ticket machines speak English and tell you the time of the next train. On the platform indicator look for trains to Сергиев Посад or Александровка Try and learn the Cyrillic alphabet before you go. Viking provides excellent beginners classes on the boat - worth attending. Food on board was pretty good. German chef. Menu had local as well as international dishes. Bread could have been better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a wonderful cruise with an excellent cabin on the lower deck. Plenty of space and a well stocked bathroom. All meals were delicious and well presented food and there was plenty of first class wine at each meal. The staff were all ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise with an excellent cabin on the lower deck. Plenty of space and a well stocked bathroom. All meals were delicious and well presented food and there was plenty of first class wine at each meal. The staff were all excellent and happy and appeared happy to look after us. Our cabin steward, Ivo, could not have been nicer or more efficient. a Boris, the programme manager, was excellent and very knowledgeable and worked tirelessly to make sure everything worked to plan. Ivana, the Hotel Manager, was quite outstanding and went out of her way to help passengers with any problems. She is an excellent representative of Viking Cruises. The included free excursions were very interesting and informative and we thoroughly enjoyed them all. The whole experience, from start to finish was exceptional. Having done a large number of ocean cruises we would thoroughly recommend Viking River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
While this trip also includes multiple land transfers and exploration of several cities, I'll focus on the cruise portion. Most importantly, it is deceptive call the Emerald a Viking ship because apparently they don't own it - ... Read More
While this trip also includes multiple land transfers and exploration of several cities, I'll focus on the cruise portion. Most importantly, it is deceptive call the Emerald a Viking ship because apparently they don't own it - they most certainly didn't build it. The moment you step on board you will know it is not up to Viking standards. The ship is tired and shabby, at best. While the Viking staff does everything possible to enhance your experience, the boat is not what we were looking forward to especially after some hard land travel for a week before. Immediately upon entering our stateroom we saw something brown all over one of the walls and a great deal of mold on one of the bedside lampshades...the room was so awful I just started to cry. The housekeeping staff were there right away and were incredibly gracious and brought a new lampshade and cleaned the wall, but the mood was set. The bathrooms are dark, poorly ventilated and have yucky plastic showers. The rooms are never quite dry given the high humidity along the river so your sheets and towels always feel a bit damp. There is definitely an air quality issue and I couldn't help but lie in bed and imagine the mold that is probably in the ventilation system. We did ask for an additional air unit which was cheerfully provided and that helped a bit, but I can't imagine the dampness in rooms without it - it was a comment we heard very often while onboard. All of that said, once we settled in the boat was comfortable enough. As always, the Viking staff are amazing and really do try to make up for what is lacking in the ship itself. The food was quite good and the dining service was fine. They have a number of excellent bartenders and we never had trouble finding a quiet space or room to hang out with others from our group. The Yangtze experience itself is ok. Some of the scenery through the gorges is obviously amazing, but the river is VERY polluted and for a good deal of the trip you can hear all the rubbish hitting the ship. The excursions are not the best, but I don't know that there are any better options for Viking to choose from. All in all it would have been fine if this was a lower end company, but it was not acceptable from Viking. Given that the rest of the tour includes much air travel and many hours on buses, it was everyone's goal to get to the ship and enjoy a bit of luxury...unfortunately that just wasn't our experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our 4th Viking River Cruise, and we chose this itinerary because although we had visited much of Europe, we had never been to these cities. I was quite concerned before the trip regarding the water level on the Danube due to ... Read More
This is our 4th Viking River Cruise, and we chose this itinerary because although we had visited much of Europe, we had never been to these cities. I was quite concerned before the trip regarding the water level on the Danube due to problems last year, but there were no issues. We came to Budapest a couple of days early and did some touring on our own, including a fun up close and personal Tuk Tuk tour. The embarkation went smoothly and we had a nice but small balcony cabin. All of the staff were excellent, from our waiters to our steward and we went on many of the excursions, as we recognized we are unlikely to come this way again. The food was fine and entertainment minimal other than a Mozart and Strauss concert excursion in Vienna and a folklore dinner in Prague. The captain was everywhere saying hello to all the guests which I haven't seen on a cruise before. The highlight for all of us (we were traveling with son and dil) was the Prague extension which was far more interesting than we expected. The architecture is outstanding and the tours were interesting. My dil developed a toothache, and the host in Prague at our hotel actually arranged for an emergency dental appointment near the hotel and accompanied her to see the dentist helping to translate. We were very grateful for this service. I have absolutely no criticisms of this trip. However, without the Prague extension, I would have given it 4 circles as it wasn't as exciting as prior Viking trips which I attribute to the nature of these cities rather than any faults on Viking's part. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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