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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first river cruise; wife and I, and 2 grown girls wanted to see some of Europe and thought a river cruise was a good way to do it. Booked 1 of 2 suites for ourselves and I standard balcony room for kids. I booked with Viking because ... Read More
Our first river cruise; wife and I, and 2 grown girls wanted to see some of Europe and thought a river cruise was a good way to do it. Booked 1 of 2 suites for ourselves and I standard balcony room for kids. I booked with Viking because told "the best" and seemed to have good overall reviews. Expensive. Booked the airfare with Viking travel; excellent value and flexibility (started with a few days in London). Arrived in Budapest; Viking reps met us, and took us to ship. Included with the suite was a private car; gave us a van, which was ok since we had girls with us and they then came with us instead of bus. When checking into room, was told the "hotel manager" would take us to room (part of the "suite" deal). Manager was from previous cruise and begrudgingly took us and showed us room, all the time talking about how he was supposed to be on vacation now. Not a good start. Began with some excursions in Budapest; including a food tasting. That night my wife and I became ill, we assumed from the food, and stayed in the next morning. I attempted a walking tour in Bratislava that afternoon, became ill and passed out/hitting my head. Ended up in ER, but was OK. The guide was able to contact ship and advise my wife; they put her in a taxi to Hospital. We were basically on our own from that point; understand there are no doctors on board unless they are cruising with you! Fortunately there were very nice people on board who helped us out. Made it back to ship, not much from staff other than please fill out an accident report. Ship itself was clean and pretty nice. It seemed there may have been nicer ships on the river, but Viking seemed to be on the better side. Our suite was roomy and nice, but its in the very rear of ship and is noisy when moving. Cleaning staff excellent and very nice! Food was usually good; did return a few plates, with food overdone. Everyone eats meals at same time, so I can understand would be hard to serve that much at the same time. You don'd have much privacy at meals, tables seat at least 6. There is an optional spot upstairs however very limited seating as they only have 1 server there, so first come first serve, and was a popular option. Would be nice if they allowed mover service there. Waiters very nice, however some have limited English- not a big deal however some cruisers had difficulty communicating. Excursions were OK; we noticed later that many people did self-tour which I would have preferred, as I don't need all the details the guides sometimes over explain; sometimes I feel to fill the time. They want you to book early; however they always had space and were trying to get more people on them, so don't feel pressured to advance book. Towns very picturesque! Enjoyed walking around. Upon departure, they again supposed to take us in private car to Munich airport. They tried to put us and they people in other suite on 1 large bus by ourselves, because "the bus has to go to the airport anyway, so just go on the bus." The other suite complained enough to get a private car; we at this point didn't care so went on the bus (by ourselves); our kids had already left on another bus. That was unacceptable; we paid a lot for the suite that included the car. Overall, the managing staff on the ship mediocre at best. The working staff very nice and helpful. I would not do a Viking cruise again; the value not there. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise the Duro with Viking was not cheap we had a 4 day extention with accommodation at the Tivoli hotel so we explored Lisbon .That was very good and to be recommended however the cruise itself whilst enjoyable is not worth £7000 ... Read More
This cruise the Duro with Viking was not cheap we had a 4 day extention with accommodation at the Tivoli hotel so we explored Lisbon .That was very good and to be recommended however the cruise itself whilst enjoyable is not worth £7000 for 2 people whilst the staff and organisation are brilliant we seemed to be on coaches for what seemed to be as much time as we were cruising .This was a disappointment as the scenery on the river was spectacular. Example in Porto we had an included excursion we boarded a bus and traveled less than 2 miles into the city to a mediocre church then a train station with remarkable tiles and then to the underground metro to look at mire tiles which were not spectacular. After these less than gripping tour we had free time before boarding this typified the whole cruise. We had no time to relax after our excursions as it was time for cruise updates then dinner the only decent time we had cruising was on the return journey I belive that for us this was not good value and whilst we had a good time because of the staff and our fellow passenger's I can state that there were some on this cruise who had done more than one cruise with Viking and they also be lived that this one was not good value. So Viking you really need to rethink the itinerary on this cruise and the stupid cost of the optional excursions I mean come on £140 for port tasting We will not be travelling with Viking again sorry. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My BF and I did this at the last minute because the price was right. The cruise started with 2 nights in Zurich. We were transferred to Basel on June 24 and boarded the ship. I admit my experience was influenced by the record heat wave ... Read More
My BF and I did this at the last minute because the price was right. The cruise started with 2 nights in Zurich. We were transferred to Basel on June 24 and boarded the ship. I admit my experience was influenced by the record heat wave coinciding with the cruise. However, the most disappointing aspect of the experience was the food. I expected some gourmet meals and there were none. The first section of the Rhine was boring, although the locks were interesting. The transfers were all excellent and we never had to wait to get into our rooms in Zurich or Paris. I didn’t like the location of the Paris La Meridian Hotel, as there was a lot of construction in the area. The included excursions were all good to very good, but they were outside walking tours and the temperatures were around 97 degrees. There was no air conditioning in any museums or restaurants, at least not the kind of AC we have in Texas where you are blasted by cool air whenever you go inside. I realize Viking has no control of the weather, but it seemed they could have adjusted the walking tours to occur in the early am or late evening when it was MUCH cooler. Dragging the very elderly passengers around in the afternoon heat was very risky I thought. Our guide in Speyer, Herman, was wonderful but he was in his mid 80s and I’m not sure how he made it through the day. Viking personnel did not sufficiently discuss the extreme heat, in my opinion. They NEVER mentioned there was an absence of AC in the towns and cities we visited, for example. I’ve been on well over 50 cruises and I’ve seen Ship Captains significantly adjust the cruises due to weather conditions to ensure the comfort of the passengers. I’m sure the local guides would have much preferred a morning or evening tour also. Crazy. Also, I developed breathing problems due to chronic asthma. This was not an emergency but I wanted a steroid shot so an emergency wouldn’t develop. We were in Mainz. Viking staff told me I had to go to the ER, no other option. They assured me I could pay with a credit card (wrong, cash only), they called me a taxi but the driver didn’t speak English and he dropped us off in the wrong location. It was a hospital but not the ER which we eventually learned was 3 blocks away. I huffed and puffed but made it OK. The ship apparently has NO medical support and no real information about medical care in the visited ports. I think this is irresponsible given the clientele they serve. I don’t expect medical care on board, but I do expect some support to obtain such. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Norwegian. The cabins were nice and our cruise director, Jerome, was hilarious and great at what he does. The itinerary was good and if you get the chance to go to Prague, don't miss out. Absolutely fantastic. I took my wife and two teenage sons on the trip and I would say that the first strike against a Viking cruise is the focus on an older age group. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and we were very near the youngest people on the ship and most of the ship board activities and excursions were geared around an older age group. In fact, I heard but never asked, that Viking is not allowing people under 18 to cruise on their ships after this season. Not sure but I do believe they are going to steer the middle age group with families away from their product if they don't address this. I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of 40 unless they are traveling with a group of friends. We enjoyed all the people we met on the ship but there were not many people our age and only one other family with kids near our teenagers age. A second strike against Viking was never having enough time in each port to do things on your own. It seemed that we were always late to pull into a port and when there was free time allotted, it was usually only 30-60 mins at most. EVERY person we spoke to on the ship was disappointed in the lack of time to actually spend shopping and exploring. Each excursion included a lunch but European restaurants are not in a hurry to feed you and we would spend 1.5-2 hours at a meal which took all the free time away. I would strongly encourage them to offer a lunch box option for people who go on excursions and don't want to sit all afternoon for a meal. The worst example was Rothenberg. I was so excited to revisit this town that I remembered going to as a young boy growing up. We were late leaving the ship again, hit traffic, had a 1.5 hour lunch and were left with 45 mins to explore the city. We quit eating with the group and broke free on our own. We also played second fiddle to multiple other Viking cruises that pulled into port on the same day. For example, on our trip to Marksburg Castle, we actually left on time, got to the castle and the first of our groups to tour went into the castle. Then another Viking boat with a 50-60 people arrived late and they moved them ahead of us. This caused the remaining people in our group to have to wait outside in the 90 degree heat for about an hour until the other Viking tour group went through. Then came our final stop in Bamburg where other Viking ships ported before us and we were sent to a shipping yard outside of the city to tie up for the night. Had a beautiful view of metal shipping containers with something rotten in them that smelled awful. We couldn't get off the ship to explore Bamburg at night and didn't want to be on deck because of the smell and view. Not everything was bad but it was not what we were told to expect which was why I gave it a 3* rating. Excursions that we did..... 1) Panoramic Paris- great overview by bus. Problem was Paris traffic which makes a bus tour strenuous and we were supposed to have 1-1.5 hours on our own at Notre Dame (which reopened to view but not go inside) and St. Chappell. We actually had only 25 mins so we didn't explore 2) Luxembourg and American Cemetery- Amazing experience and the walking tour of the town was nice 3) Trier city tour- part bus and part walking and very nice with time to explore which was great. 4) Bernkastle-krus wine tour- great wine tasting but very little time left to explore the town which would have been amazing. 5) Koblenz Marksberg Castle- fantastic castle but being stuck as mentioned above in the heat because another Viking ship got to the castle late was frustrating for everyone. 6) Heidelberg- neat town but we finally realized that if we want to explore the town, we would have to quit eating the provided lunches so we left the group and toured it ourselves and had a blast. Heard the lunch was good but restaurant was not air conditioned well and very hot. 7) Rothenberg- as mentioned, was really looking forward to this and was very disappointed in the amount of time spent in the city. The boat was an hour late arriving to port so that removed all the time we could have had to see it. The trip to Wurzberg Castle was perfect but very few people on the Rothenberg itinerary went to the Castle and missed it. I thought it was great and would strongly encourage people to go. 8) Versailles- amazing castle but it is VERY crowded. Not Vikings fault but really difficult to enjoy when each room is packed with 80-100 people. Would have liked time to spend in the gardens but only had 30 mins sooooo...... 9) Cochem- castle was beautiful and had a bit more time to explore the city which was nice. 10) Nuremberg- bus tour as well as walking tour of city which was nice and we were given a bit of time on our own to explore. 11) Prague- this was truly the highlight of the trip. The hotel was spectacular ( Hilton Prague). The old city is spectacular and the tour to the Palace and downtown was worth the trip. If you get a chance, there is a fantastic 1930's style bar in old ruins under the city called the "Black Angel Bar" which was a real find and worth a stop in. We did the silver package and think it was worth the purchase but remember that house wines and beer are included with lunch and dinner. Top shelf wines are not and liquor is not included so many people choose not to get it and remember that all people in a cabin must be on the package. We stayed in a Veranda room but no balcony. The windows are full length and slide open for a nice view. Rooms were larger than most cruise ships with nice full showers and heated floors. Musical entertainment was a nice married couple that sounded great but all of the music was based around an older crowd as mentioned above. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary looked very interesting, and we got to start in Paris and end in Prague. We traveled with another couple. We're all between 50-60 years old and are very active. My husband and I traveled ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary looked very interesting, and we got to start in Paris and end in Prague. We traveled with another couple. We're all between 50-60 years old and are very active. My husband and I traveled with Avalon a few years ago for the Romantic Rhine cruise and based on that experience, we told our friends we would almost never be on the ship because we would be docked right outside the towns we were visiting and anticipated spending a lot of time checking out the sites. Well, I don't know if it's Viking or just this itinerary, but we spent very little time in any charming cities. Viking relied very heavily on bus transportation. Also, two nights, we docked at charming little towns, but we arrived after 6:00 p.m., and nothing was open unless you just wanted to eat and drink. One of our stops was supposed to be Koblenz, but we never stepped foot in Koblenz. We docked a few miles away in Winningen. Also, at our last stop, Bamberg, we were at an industrial dock several miles outside of the city, with nothing within walking distance. I have to believe Viking either has too many ships and not enough docks, or they are selling their dock space to other cruise lines and docking at cheaper locations. The good: Transfers to and from the airport were flawless. The scenery while cruising was beautiful. The food was delicious, and the service and staff were great. The tours were well-organized with excellent guides. The bad: Too much time on the ship sailing. There just isn't enough to do on board for that much sailing, plus the upper deck is closed the entire time on the Main due to low bridges, so shuffleboard and putt-putt aren't even available. The stops were very rushed, and we never had any time in the towns to explore. Finally the docking locations were terrible, resulting in too much reliance on bus transportation. Below is a synopsis of our stops: Our trip started in Paris, and the transfer from the airport was flawless. We stayed at the La Meridian Etoile. I've read other reviews that didn't like the hotel, but we all thought it was fine. It was a 10 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The provided city tour was very good. The guide was excellent. Traffic was pretty bad, so we didn't have much time at any stops. The last stop was the Eiffel Tower, so we left the group and walked back to the hotel (about a 30 minute walk). We also did an evening boat tour we booked through the concierge and really enjoyed that. On our way to Trier, we stopped at Luxembourg. The city tour was very nice, but we had trouble hearing our guide. It's a beautiful city. We also stopped at the American Cemetery and Memorial, which was excellent. Being retired military, we were grateful to be able to tour it. Embarkation in Trier was very smooth. The ship was clean, and our room, although very small, was comfortable. We had a stateroom with the French balcony. The bathroom was very nice. Even though it was hot, I enjoyed the heated floor and the anti-fog mirrors. The city tour of Trier was excellent, and we had a little time to roam on our own prior to sailing. Our next stop was Bernkastel-Kues. We arrived a little late, so everything was closed by the time we left the ship to walk around. It is a beautiful little town, but there really wasn't anything to do, so we just walked around and took some pictures. Next was Cochem. The walking tour of the town and the tour of the Reichsburg Castle was excellent. We maybe had an hour to tour around on our own, but all-in-all, this was a very nice stop. Our next stop was supposed to be Koblenz, but we ended up docking at Winningen instead around 6:00 p.m. Again, this was a quaint, pretty little town, but there was nothing to do after 6:00 p.m. except eat or drink. We walked around a bit just to get a little exercise. The next morning we caught a bus to Marksburg Castle. Our ship actually arrived on time, but another Viking ship's tour arrived late, so they went ahead of us, so we waited around outside in 90 degree heat for over an hour. When Viking's tour groups are interfering with each other, I do believe this is another indicator that Viking has overextended themselves. The tour itself was excellent, and I really enjoyed seeing the collection of armor and the torture chamber. We took a long bus drive to get to our next stop, Heidelberg. The city tour was very interesting, and we enjoyed eating lunch with one of the University students, but we tried to cut that a little short, so we could have at least a little time to shop and look around. After about 1/2 hour of free time, we toured the Castle. Our tour guide, Charles, was quite interesting and an excellent guide. Amazingly, we actually docked in Wurzburg and didn't have to take a long bus ride to get anywhere. The Bishop's Residenz was amazing....do not miss it! Some people on our tour said they thought it was more beautiful than Versailles. It was worth seeing in spite of the extreme heat. The tour of the town was excellent as well, but again, we only had less than an hour to look around before having to return to the ship. For Bamberg, we docked at a grain elevator and took a bus into town. The town was beautiful, and the tour guide was excellent. After very little free time, we took a bus back to the ship, docked by a rock quarry outside of town. On our bus ride to Prague, we stopped at Nuremberg. This was part bus tour and part walking tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. We had just enough free time to eat lunch and buy a ginger cookie before boarding the bus for Prague. Our arrival at the Hilton in Prague was flawless. Viking has definitely figured out how to handle large groups arriving all at once. The hotel was excellent and within walking distance of downtown. The walking tour the next day was also excellent. The city is beautiful. The architecture is amazing! We did the optional Lobkowicz Palace tour, and we all really enjoyed it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I choose this cruise because I wanted to see Vienna but more so Budapest. We did add the Budapest extension and really loved Budapest and all we saw on our own. Viking hypes it's cruises as being the best but my past experience on ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I wanted to see Vienna but more so Budapest. We did add the Budapest extension and really loved Budapest and all we saw on our own. Viking hypes it's cruises as being the best but my past experience on another line was far superior. From the first day there were disappointments. Docked outside the city in Passau and had to use a bus to go into town. The room was very crammed. There were two wooden chairs in the room but almost impossible to sit on as there was no leg room. I suggest they take out the little table and one of the chairs. Closet was tiny for two people. Docking was a problem everywhere; we were either on the outskirts of cities or docked between two other boats with no view whatsoever. Most of the service was good but at all meals it was inconsistent; for instance we were never shown a breakfast menu during the whole week, so we assumed you had only the buffet. Having to be at lunch & dinner at a specific time only was a pain. I came in one day 10 minutes after the posted time and was told by the waitress that I was late. The food in general was mediocre, much like Viking Ocean cruises. The included tours were very good and all the local guides were interesting and spoke good English. Vienna however deserves more than a half day tour. It's a fabulous city with so much to see, Viking should consider docking for two days there. Entertainment was almost non existent on the Prestige. We had roving accordion player at dinner one night, a trio of Opera singers one evening and a guest speaker doing a slide show & talk about Austrian history who was quite funny but that was it except for the staff trying to entertain us a couple evenings. There was no gym and no games on the sun deck. As for the extension, we packed a lot in but the Hilton West End was very disappointing. No early check in, no wake up call, no bell hop at 4 AM to help with the bags, crumby towels and pillows. After we signed up for the Hilton in Buda and got this one in Pest it was sad. Read Less
3 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I choose this cruise for a Christmas Holiday. It was disappointing because the schedule was changed do to the maintenance on the locks. This could not have been avoided. However, it make for a disappointing Christmas cruise. Instead of ... Read More
I choose this cruise for a Christmas Holiday. It was disappointing because the schedule was changed do to the maintenance on the locks. This could not have been avoided. However, it make for a disappointing Christmas cruise. Instead of visiting the Bakery on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas was a big let down. For Christmas day we just cruised back and forth. There was not any big celebration on this particular day. My husband hates bus tours and this trip it seemed like that was all we did. He was not happy and expressed his dissatisfaction to me daily. I kept apologizing to him. This made my vacation stressful. He does not want to take another cruise with Viking. This was our third cruise and he loved the first two. I do have to mention the crew was outstanding. The program director could have planned a little better for Christmas day since all we did was cruise up and down. The food was great. The room was great. The staff paid attention to detail. I love Viking because they take care of you from the time you book until the time you fly home. However, I am dealing with a husband that is not a happy customer. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our 2nd Viking cruise this year. In April my family did the Paris to Normandy and it was wonderful and the crew top notch. We are on the Budapest to Nuremberg cruise right now and it’s proving to be quite the let down. Upon ... Read More
This is our 2nd Viking cruise this year. In April my family did the Paris to Normandy and it was wonderful and the crew top notch. We are on the Budapest to Nuremberg cruise right now and it’s proving to be quite the let down. Upon arrival we waited almost 2 hours at the airport to be transferred to the ship and no one came by to explain the delay. Had no time in Budapest save an hour to walk around the castle district. Never saw the parliament building like Viking advertises. But mostly the crew is a disappointment. The cruise director is gruff and not friendly or helpful. He talks a lot at briefings and goes on so long you forget what you need to know for the next day. There is a second supposed cruise director and he’s not any better. Unapproachable and not helpful. It’s common at a meal to have to go fetch your own water and yesterday no waiter ever came to ask about our lunch order. Going to be selecting a different company next time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
To start, I would like to say I feel so bad for people who booked a River Cruise, but got cheated out of their vacation due to the low water levels. I hope someday you have a trip that will more that double your expectations. Next, for ... Read More
To start, I would like to say I feel so bad for people who booked a River Cruise, but got cheated out of their vacation due to the low water levels. I hope someday you have a trip that will more that double your expectations. Next, for those who will be traveling on the Rhine soon (Basel to Amsterdam), I want to say from the start that, Yes, the Water Levels will affect you. I say that right away, because I wish someone was honest enough to tell me that from the start. Instead, I got cryptic emails from Viking. I then call them as the website suggests for updates, and they tell me I'm doing the right thing by trying to stay informed and to call as it gets closer to the day to find out about water levels. I called the day before I was going to leave and the cruise representative I spoke to had to put me on hold two times just to come back on the phone to tell me that they are still unsure if my trip would be affected by the low water levels. Now that I have gone through the Rhine River cruise, I can tell you with certainty that your cruise will be affected. Even if it rained for a week, I don't think that would be enough to help the water levels. Let me put it this way, there were parts of the river that I could walk on. On the very first night when the Cruise Director welcomed us aboard, he said "I know you are all concerned about the water levels, but we won't know if we have to swap ships until the night before". Then, the captain got up, and made his welcome speech and said, "Yes, you will be affected". At least someone was telling the truth. The Cruise Director though, still insisted we won't really know till the day before. Then sure enough, on the day before, he explained that due to the low levels we would have to "Swap Ships". A lot of people had questions of course, but the Cruise Director stopped the Q&A session after a certain point stating it was time for dinner. Myself and other passengers realize there is nothing they could do about the water levels, but we didn't appreciate being left in the dark. The Ship Swap meant we had to pack up before our tour of the day, and at the end of the day we would be 'bussed' to a new Viking ship, Tialfi, that was docked where the water levels would allow us to continue travelling to Amsterdam. The passengers from the other ship would then be bussed to our old ship. Our luggage would already be in our new ship, same rooms #'s, however, different crew, which was another disappointment, because I had gotten to know the crew members on Viking Alruna. We didn't mind packing up again, but what I did mind was skipping a port, Koblenz Germany. And even though Viking committed to making sure we got to go on all the included tours, the ship swap meant that we would not be able to go on the optional tours. I was very disappointed, because I was really looking forward to having dinner at the Eberbach Monastery. The low water levels also meant we couldn't do the "Middle Rhine Sailing" portion on our ship. We had to take a 2 1/2 bus ride to board a smaller boat that would allow us to cruise in the low water levels of the Middle Rhine. Note, the food on this non-Viking boat was "Horibleeeee" ! (A dry piece of Chicken (no sauce or anything) that was inedible with french fries - I just ate the fries). The Middle Rhine cruise itself, however, was magnificent, with memorable views of castles & fortresses. This is probably my favorite part of the whole Trip ! After cruising the Middle Rhine, we toured Marksburg castle, and then had a 3 1/2 hour bus ride to our new ship. They handed out lunch bags with a sandwich & fruit for the bus ride. Despite all the disappointment associated with the water levels, I still give Viking a 3 star, because the crew was amazing, the food was amazing, and the included tours, although short (Not enough time on your own), were really amazing. (I'll do separate reviews with tips on each of the ports). Also, Viking is very organized with the Embarkation and Disembarkation process. They will give thorough instructions and help you if you need guidance. I realize Viking and other cruise companies can not do anything about the water levels, however they can do something about treating passengers "Fairly" and with respect. I just wish they were truthful about the trip up front. I also wish the 25% credit off our next cruise "due to the disruption in our itinerary", would have been applied to the Current cruise - that would have made more sense, and have been a more sincere gesture. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
It has been a month since we returned from our November 2018 visit to Prague and Danube River Cruise. We experienced the same low water levels that so many have commented on, this was out of Vikings control and we can hardly blame them ... Read More
It has been a month since we returned from our November 2018 visit to Prague and Danube River Cruise. We experienced the same low water levels that so many have commented on, this was out of Vikings control and we can hardly blame them for it. During our week on the cruise we transferred to three different ships, spend a lot of hours on buses and got to see some interesting truck stops on the way. While not what we were hoping for - still an experience and not Vikings fault. We also consistently encountered friendly staff at the pre-cruise hotel and on board the three ships we used for this journey. We did (and do) have an issue however with how Viking communicates and handles Customer Service issues such as lost bags. First off - if you only speak English don't worry, at every city we visited we were very comfortable finding our way and TONS of folks (especially younger folks) speak English. I was a little worried and shouldn't have been. We visited Prague on a Viking pre-cruise extension, staying at a hotel for a few days prior to the bus ride to the ship. Following instructions from Viking staff, we left our luggage by the bus and then boarded the bus for our trip – we didn't see the bag again until Christmas Eve (an unexpected but pleasant surprise). Viking eventually found the bag and sent it to us - it had been left on the bus. This stuff happens, but they could have communicated status and acknowledgement to us more. We had no idea what was happening and had basically written it off (had over $700 worth of stuff inside). About the cruise - some learnings: First, in November it's chilly - as in cold. No sitting on the deck, in fact none of the deck chairs or deck activities were even available. It was wet some days too. Second (and most importantly) is that it gets dark early this time of year. Not enough daylight to do all you'd like, and worse when you "burn daylight" sitting on a bus changing ships. Third, when you are stuck indoors on the small ship or in a bus, you can't escape the folks on the trip with you - and they can't escape you. Creates a more intense social scenario. We weren't really ready for this. That said - we loved the pre-cruise extension in Prague (which is now one of my favorite cities to visit!). We will definitely do a pre-cruise extension again - and we regret not having booked a post cruise extension as well. Viking tour of the old town was good. We did the tour of Terezin as I had relatives that died in the concentration camp there and a family history of bad experiences under the Nazis. Chilling, sobering, not "enjoyable, but one of the most important experiences of the trip. Well, done, well led by Viking, and just the right amount of time. Krems (wasn't really Krems as we never got close to the place due to water levels) was mostly visiting the Abbey -in the dark due to bus ride time and the time of year. Missed the entire exterior view (a big part of the excursion). Good but not great but would do this again in the daytime Regensburg was wonderful but our experiences limited as we arrived on Sunday and everything (I mean everything) was closed. Unlike the US, it's the law in Germany. Vienna was a jewel - and given our bus time we had precious little time to spend there. We will go back, the Viking tour was good. The classical music concert was epic. One of the best aspects of any cruise we have taken. Viking city tour was also very good. Budapest was a surprisingly fun city too - we just didn't have enough time there given the change in schedules/bus travel. We got up really early just to walk around some, wish we had more time, All said, I would definitely do this cruise again, in warmer weather, when days last longer, and only if the boat actually gets to float down the river. Yes, it would cost more - but I will be paying it. Final note - our experiences with Viking were probably not their best example of service in that they had a stressful European River Cruise season - all the rivers had problems. It was at the end of the season and you could tell that the Viking folks were looking for the season to end. They did a good job given the stresses (they are people after all) but I suspect they would have liked things to be better and less stressful too. Will we go on another Viking cruise - yes - but we will do so hoping for better circumstances. We will also consider an actual bus or train tour of Europe (because that's what we got) as it would be less expensive and hotel rooms would be more comfortable! Viking was fair in their granting of cruise credit for a future cruise to compensate for the lesser experience this year. Had a good time, hoping for a better one on the next Viking cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We purposely chose the explorer suite for the comfort it offered plus the use of our deck, watching scenery along the the Rhine river valley. Both ships were as nice as our previous cruise down the Danube and the crews on the two boats ... Read More
We purposely chose the explorer suite for the comfort it offered plus the use of our deck, watching scenery along the the Rhine river valley. Both ships were as nice as our previous cruise down the Danube and the crews on the two boats were pleasant and professional. I think we were disproportionately punished though, by all the time we spent bussing from Cologne to Strasbourg without having stopped in Koblenz or Speyer. I served in the U.S.Army, stationed in Nuremberg and Frankfurt in 1970-1972. I was particularly looking forward to revisiting Heidelberg on my cruise. I knew there was more to the city than the castle. I think had we not had to bus all the way to Heidelberg from Strasbourg we might have had more time to spend in this old university town. By the time we reached Breisach am Rhein we had spent so much time on busses we passed on the Black Forest bus trip and spent the day in Breisach and enjoyed a few hours in the village and our deck. I must say the service, the crews, the accommodations were all excellent. I am inclined to question the necessity of not cancelling our trip. I’m not sure the sacrifices of lost time in the cities, time spent on the busses, and loss of utility of our cabin amenities were worth the sacrifices made by the passengers. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water ... Read More
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water levels on the Rhine knows, Viking is having to do ship swaps to get people up the river. They manage the swaps well since they are doing it so often. To placate the unhappy customers on these trips they offer a percentage off of a future cruise. In our case it was 25% off. I initially thought this meant 25% off the price of a future trip - not so. Was told by another traveler that the 25% off is based on what you paid for your particular trip (type of cabin, etc.). OK, so not as generous but still fair enough. Then we received an e-mail from Viking today that said we are getting what amounts to 13% off of what we paid for the trip. I called Viking and asked them to explain how they arrived at this number since I couldn't come up with it any way I sliced it. Turns out - behind the scenes Viking patched this trip together as about 50% of our cost for the land portion and 50% for the actual river portion. This wasn't on any invoicing or documentation we ever received. So their justification for the smaller future credit is based on the price of just the river portion. Suckers that we were, we bought Viking's vouchers (pay $100 and get $200 worth of credit) while onboard because we thought the 25% good will voucher would make it worthwhile. We had decided not to do another river cruise because the one we took in 2015 also involved a boat swap. Much prefer ocean cruises where we don't have to keep packing and unpacking. Now that I know we were just offered 13% I asked if we could get a credit for the two onboard purchased vouchers we bought. Nope. They are non-refundable. This feels a bit of a bait and switch to me. Tell unhappy customers you'll give them a 25% credit so they don't mutiny while on board and then let them find out after they are home what was really offered is half that. They didn't lie to us but since no one that I know of had the breakdown of the land and river portion of the trip it certainly was misleading! Just so the rest of you know what you are being offered if this happens to you. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before ... Read More
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before our travel who made us aware of the nightmares they were experiencing. Nightmares as defined by numerous bus trips and lack of cruising time and being on board of a stagnant boat for accommodation purposes only. As we heard of these nightmares we contacted our travel agent and asked to cancel the cruise due to the low river levels. Our agent talked directly with Viking to understand the situation. We were then assured there would be only one bus ride for a three-hour duration from the Passau region to Vienna. The fact of the matter is the first bus ride was five hours, followed by a second bus ride into Budapest that took another 4 ½ hours. Combined with the numerous bus rides comes the task of packing and unpacking two more times than planned, which is a huge inconvenience. Once we reached Budapest we boarded an older boat that did not leave the dock – not much of a river cruise. While I understand Viking cannot control mother nature, you can control communications with honesty and integrity. It is quite apparent the revenue derived from your efforts is more important than customer satisfaction. My complaint is simple; we made our intentions clear; if there was any chance of additional bus rides and or lack of cruising time on the river we wanted to execute our insurance policy and obtain a full refund. That request is well documented with email communications more than two weeks prior to travel. We are now demanding a full refund for the cruise portion of the trip. We are not looking for a discount for future travel. Viking and Travel Leaders has lost our trust. As the previous President of my own company I would want to know about and work with dissatisfied customers. Which is the reason I’m writing a high-level executive and asking for more than a discount on a future Viking cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the ... Read More
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the only time we received future information was if we called to ask a question. A few days before our departure, I had read on the internet that Viking was having issues with low water levels, so I called "customer service" and that information was disclosed to me, AT THE TIME. After sharing my displeasure with the lack of communication received, all the documents suddenly appeared on the internet for printing. Up until this time, we had only received the blue Viking bag with the itinerary and luggage tags. We had already decided we were going to have a good time regardless!! Our cruise started out on the Idi, but we were transferred to our scheduled ship, Kvasir the 4th day. This move was smooth and was made by Viking personnel while we were on a tour. They also gave us an additional tour and our time on the bus was broken up and not very intrusive into our schedule. No complaints here! The food was average and the dining service was good. I felt like the personnel was not as happy as they could be.....don't know what was going on there; for the most part, they were friendly and cordial. The Hosts/Hostesses and guides were knowledgeable, and very helpful. I know there were some people complaining, but we were determined it would be a fun experience, and it was a vacation I will always remenber with fond memories. We had scheduled the pre-extension in Lucerne, and the Hotel was a 5 Star....absolutely beautiful and was conveniently located. The post-extension was Amsterdam, with the hotel rated 4 Star, but was more like a 2 star. The bathroom was disgusting.....the hotel wasn't located close to anything!! We heard comments from others in our group with similar experiences. Both of the hotels provided wonderful buffet breakfasts. We enjoyed each and every port, and the tours weres excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Our family has spent many happy time son the Rhein, while I was growing up there, we love Germany and the castles we knew we would see. This was our 2nd Viking Cruise and we were all (4 of us) very excited to go. My parents had chosen to ... Read More
Our family has spent many happy time son the Rhein, while I was growing up there, we love Germany and the castles we knew we would see. This was our 2nd Viking Cruise and we were all (4 of us) very excited to go. My parents had chosen to include my sister and I on their travels with Viking for a 2nd time. We arrived in Amsterdam, and were picked up by Viking which was very nice and went very smooth. Boat was docked extremely close to everything, and we could walk right downtown and to the Chocolate Factory...YUM! It was truly pretty. The 2nd day we were off, and headed to Kinderdijk, my favorite stop of the entire trip, beside Basel. It was worth the bus ride. Beautiful!! Then we headed to Koln, which was a Sunday, unfortunately. Not a good day to be in Germany as a tourist, many things are closed. But the Cathedral and Museum were open. I dont remember Koblenz at all, thank goodness I've been there a ton of times. In Rudesheim we walked all around, and it truly is what one imagines, a Wine town would be like. Love it there. Strasbourg we had to take a bus to the city and had an extremely short amount of time. Several of our side trips that we paid for would have been better served staying by the boat and exploring there. The LAST stop was horrible, a tourist trap in the mountains...the glass blown owl arrived home in the USA and was PLASTIC! Basel is amazing and was also a wonderful stay over with the spectacular public transport system. We stayed in the Hotel near the Airport, we made the reservation ourselves and was totally the best way to go! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was my 1st Viking cruise but my 9th cruise overall (including 1 prior river cruise). As a retirement present, my wife & I decided to break open the piggy bank for an upscale vacation in France. Viking's commercials are very ... Read More
This was my 1st Viking cruise but my 9th cruise overall (including 1 prior river cruise). As a retirement present, my wife & I decided to break open the piggy bank for an upscale vacation in France. Viking's commercials are very enticing, but the actual experience was somewhat disappointing. Overall, we had a good time in France, but based on previous cruises I expected more. Let's start with some positives: 1. Our program director, Brenten, was excellent. He seemed to be everywhere at once, always smiling, always active. 2. Captain Stuhl was a visible presence on board & open to interacting with guests. 3. The lounge performer, Blondie (not to be confused with Debbie Harry!), was a multi-talented gentleman with a good repertoire. 4. The included tours were good for the most part. Now for the not-so-good aspects of our cruise. The cabin was small, even by cruise ship standards. The bathroom was microscopic, with such a low ceiling that my hand scraped against it every time I brushed my hair. We paid a lot extra for a "deluxe" veranda room which is exactly the same as a regular veranda except for a more central location. On a ship this small that doesn't make a big difference. And we barely used the veranda because the terrace & the sun deck were so easily accessible. One thing that surprised me was the impersonality of the service. On prior cruises I got used to being treated as an individual & greeted by name, with my personal preferences noted & remembered. On Viking this was not true. Service was perfunctory at best, with little effort to personalize it or even act pleasantly toward guests. (I make an exception for 2 servers - Laszlo & Stela - who at least smiled as they worked). It was the same for cabin stewards. On all previous cruises the steward practically became a member of the family. This time there was no effort at personal communication or interaction. Finally, the food. Nothing was awful, but nothing exceeded banquet hall quality. We were asked about allergies on the 1st day but this was never honored. Each day my wife had to struggle to find enough on the menu that wouldn't make her sick. The worst was during our trip to Normandy. We were specifically asked about dietary needs in advance, as they needed to notify the restaurant where we were stopping for lunch. At least 3 crew members verified this information with my wife, yet at the restaurant she was presented with a platter filled with the one vegetable that she said she couldn't eat. In summary, I felt I overpaid for a substandard shipboard experience. Viking should spend less on commercials & mailings, more on training staff about making guests feel like guests. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Low water on the Danube reduced the 10-day cruise to a week, with the remainder of the time in hotels in Budapest and Bucharest. "Included excursions" were often long bus rides from the Danube. Transfer from Budapest to Mohac, ... Read More
Low water on the Danube reduced the 10-day cruise to a week, with the remainder of the time in hotels in Budapest and Bucharest. "Included excursions" were often long bus rides from the Danube. Transfer from Budapest to Mohac, and from Nikopol to Bucharest were long, exhausting, and the major consequence of low water. Viking "system" greets passengers from airport arrival to departure. This aspect of the journey can be very stressful, but the Viking way makes it easy. The hotels were fine (Hilton West End in Budapest and Sheraton in Bucharest), if not necessarily located in prime tourist neighborhoods. Dining was an issue for us due to diet limitations (we can't eat lactose, and don't eat pork or shellfish); the maitre de (Gabor) did an excellent job assisting us. Only issue is the inflexibility of the dinner: 7:00 PM. There is no alternative. Program Director Stefan was superb. An important educational objective for us was to gain a better understanding of life before and after the collapse of the Iron Curtain as well as understanding the wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia. From formal briefings on board to the home visit in Croatia, we learned so much, honestly presented and with the vital historical context included. Overall, disappointing river cruise except for the educational component. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Disappointed. Exhausted. These are just two of the takeaways from my journey along the Rhine River aboard the Viking Kvasir and Viking Idi. About a week before our cruise, we were emailed that low river levels may necessitate changes to ... Read More
Disappointed. Exhausted. These are just two of the takeaways from my journey along the Rhine River aboard the Viking Kvasir and Viking Idi. About a week before our cruise, we were emailed that low river levels may necessitate changes to our itinerary. Once we were on the ship, the decision to deviate became more certain because of the low river levels. According to all of the information we received, the Rhine River valley had not received any appreciable rainfall in more than two months. The crews even told us that the passage the week before down the Rhine had been very uncertain and the boat only had about a meter of clearance between the bottom of the boat and the riverbed, meaning Viking knew that 1. no rain was coming to alleviate the situation (weather forecast) and 2. the cruise would have to be deviated. Because of this deviation, the passengers aboard the Viking Kvasir were cheated out of about a day and a half of our cruise. While I realize that the cruise line cannot control the weather, it did know what the weather had been -- no rain and that no rain was predicted that could increase the water levels. Much time was spent packing and unpacking between the two ships, the Kvasir and the Viking Idi, to which we were transferred. Plus, we spent about nine hours on buses and missed seeing many of the castles along the journey. I was so disappointed. Our time in Heidelberg was cut very short and we were unable to really visit the city. We were exhausted from the long bus rides, the early wake-ups every day for early morning excursions and the stress and uncertainty of changing cruise ships. The crews on both ships were very nice and professional. The rooms were clean. I would probably not recommend another Viking Cruise to anyone until the company decides to become transparent about the river levels and do the right thing and cancel the cruises, which are more like short river rides and long bus trips. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned ... Read More
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned that the low water happens occasionally and unfortunately we hit peak time. If we had know of this possible occurrence we would have postponed our trip to another season. We received a notice just the day before we left that this might be the case, but what were we to do with such late notice. We had to changed ships (pack everything up bright an early), were bused for hours, walked what seems for miles, missed 3 or our desired excursions and other smaller things, such as the head set that didn't work, etc Yes, we saw some beautiful cities, and did enjoy the excisions we did make, but other it was not the trip we had planned on. I did express my concerns with Viking and they listened politely and gave us a $250 voucher (kinda a laugh really), but unfortunately that money was spent and gone now. So check before you leave, make sure it is not at low water, and then it should be fine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is a review of the Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam from the 1st to the 15th of October. We also did the 3 night pre tour in Prague and the post 2 night in Amsterdam.We have travelled the world extensively, but his was ... Read More
This is a review of the Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam from the 1st to the 15th of October. We also did the 3 night pre tour in Prague and the post 2 night in Amsterdam.We have travelled the world extensively, but his was our first River Cruise and I did a lot of research on the various company's before booking. We chose Viking because they touted to be the original and the best, with luxurious and fairly new long ships. We are not really cruise people, but this seemed like a relaxing holiday compared to the more adventurous hiking ones we usually do. This was a once in a lifetime cruise for my 60th Birthday and we encouraged our 2 Australian Friends to spend up and join us. I am still feeling guilty over that. The booking process from Australia was fine (although we were not made aware of the option to upgrade our hotel in Prague and subsequently ended up at the Corinthia, which was almost 5 kms out of town and away from our friends. We used Viking Air and that worked very well as we had flights with Emirates who are great and we had the option for a stopover which we took in Dubai. First dissapointment came upon arrival in Prague. The 3 night pre excursion was expensive and I assumed a 5 star hotel close to the old town would have been the Standard. How wrong I was. The Corinthia is definitely not 5 star, I would rate it 3+ and almost 5kms from town. Luckily Viking provided shuttle busses or it would have been a disaster. Our room on the 16th floor was unrenovated, dusty and had a saggy bed. There was mould on the bathroom tiles, the bed was saggy and there were no power points. We were so upset that my husband spoke to the Hotel the following morning and asked to be moved. They gave us a nice, renovated room on the 4th floor (which is what we should have had to start with, a deluxe double). Meanwhile we had received the regulatory, last minute email from Viking about the water levels and possible Itinerary changes. I had been dreading this after keeping track of other sailings and reviews. We did the optional, Prague by night tour which we considered a waste of money. We just bussed around for an hour having ministerial buildings pointed out to us, (none of which were lit up anyway). We had 2 short stops. One for a distant view over the City and the other at a Commercial Building for a view. On the included tour of Prague, we were supposed to tour the Castle, but our guide said we were too late and the lines were too long. After a 5 hour bus ride to Budapest to Embark the ship, we were told we could not sail from Budapest and would embark at the Industrial Port of Estergom, an hours bus ride away from Budapest. That was my next dissapointment. It had been a bucket list Item to see Parliament lit up at night, but that was not going to happen as the boat was not there! Embarkation was smooth and was aboard the Viking Modi, not the Skirnir, as we had already been informed of a ship swap the next week. The ship itself was luxurious, absolute 5 star. The Staterooms were beautiful with plenty of storage space. Bathroom design was fabulous. All the Staff on the Modi were outstanding, the Musicians very talented, and the food choices were fantastic. We were looked after very well and even a small Birthday cake on my special day. The Wifi is just terrible- no excuse for such a poor bandwidth. The administration and organisation was excellent ( our on board credit was ready for us and our account always accessible upon asking.) I would not bother with a verandah stateroom though. The ship is either docked in industrial ports or tied up to another ship and you have to draw the curtains for privacy. Included tour of Budapest dissapointing as rushed due to Bus time. This became the normal for each port- too much time on busses, restricting ou free time to enjoy and relax. The cruising we did do until Regensburg was lovely especially the Wacchau Valley. We had to swap ships on to the Skirnir at Regensberg- this was seamless. Just leave luggage outside the door in the Morning and it was like getting on the same boat after the day tour. The Skirnir was a little more 'tired' looking than the Modi and the staff not as friendly. We thought that would be the only disruption to the cruise until the bad news that we could not sail past the City of Mainz, 2 hours from Cologne and that we would disembark a day earlier to a Hotel in Amsterdam. The atmosphere was getting a bit tense. Our Tour Director, Terry was doing an outstanding job of trying to hold everything together under trying conditions. Because we could not sail the Middle Rhine, we were given an option of bussing to Rudesheim to board a flat bottomed day ship, so we could see the famous Castles. This was a very long day, but we were glad we did it to see the Rhine. The lunch provided at the Loreley Restaurant was truly terrible. The River levels are shockingly low and have been for a long time. Viking long ships have a draft with minimum 1.7m on them. So they were never goung to sail through. We later met some fellow Australians who sailed with Travel Marvel. They did the same cruise but their ship got all the way through to Amsterdam. From here, everything went pear shaped. Our Cologne Optional Tour was refunded as we would not be there. We Disembarked in Mainz and long bus tour to Cologne for a hurried walking tour. No scenic cruising of Waal and Merwede or Kinderdijk Windmills. Again, the hotel (Highett Regency) in Amsterdam is a 2km walk from the Old town. Not a big deal for us , but their were quite a lot of much older people on the cruise that would have had a problem. The included walking tour of Amsterdam was useless. The guide was more interested in showing us the area nearby and the signs on the letter boxes that meant 'No junk Mail'. We never went to the historical area. It was lucky we had extra days in Amsterdam to explore on our own. A few days after our cruise we recieved a welcome home letter and apology from Viking for the disrupted itinerary. They said we would receive seperately, a voucher for 50% off a further cruise. We are still waiting for that. We feel it should have been a 30% refund of what we had already done, to be fair. I doubt we would ever risk another River Cruise or recomend using Viking. There are other Company's with smaller drafts on their ships that will get through the rivers in Europe. I feel that Viking Management are not transparent enough with regards to Itinerary changes and water levels ,especially in these days when long term forecasts are able to give an accurate indication of rainfall.The rivers have been low for months. In fairness to Viking, you ships are lovely but you contingency plan for low water is not. I was exhausted after this 'relaxing' tour. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary, and because we had such a great time on Viking's "Grand European". This was the first leg of "France's Finest" for us. While the trip was enjoyable, I ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly for the itinerary, and because we had such a great time on Viking's "Grand European". This was the first leg of "France's Finest" for us. While the trip was enjoyable, I wasn't impressed with some of the included excursions. I think I've toured enough churches, castle ruins and palaces to last the remainder of my life! There wasn't enough free time at some of the ports. Favorite stops were Giverny; Rouen; and the beaches at Normandy, but there was not nearly enough time at the D-Day Museum. I would love to return to that area at a more leisurely pace. The food on the Rolf was good, but not memorable. I found the Program Director to be overbearing, sometimes to the point of being annoying. The majority of fellow passengers were older (we are in our early 60s). Our pre-cruise extension in Paris was delightful. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Great itinerary to see China (Beijing/Great Wall; Xian/Terra Cotta Warriors; Yangtze River/3 Gorges Dam & sights) and land portion of tour with excellent guides and 5 star hotels was really outstanding. However, the Viking Ship Emerald ... Read More
Great itinerary to see China (Beijing/Great Wall; Xian/Terra Cotta Warriors; Yangtze River/3 Gorges Dam & sights) and land portion of tour with excellent guides and 5 star hotels was really outstanding. However, the Viking Ship Emerald (actually a Chinese ship with all Viking passengers) was damp and musty with below average service. Humidifiers in hallways should have given us our first clue as to serious problems with the ship. We asked for room humidifier and air filter fans and the crew provided these immediately. Dining room service was unusual for a cruise -- couples had to share menus at dinner and at lunch only one menu per table was provide for 8 people (does Viking have a strange cost cutting effort going on?) -- and wait service was impatient and wanted you to order quickly. My onboard credit was denied and I was curtly asked to prove that I had it. Luckily I had a cruise reservation form that had a Viking logo on it so they could finally give us our $250 credit. We has a suite but no one told us that laundry was free -- the Viking documentation was generic and said we had to pay. All other cruises we have taken have a paper in the room which tells of perks that come with the room. Embarkation to ship at Chongqing was a true disaster, extremely unsafe and must be fixed by Viking. From busses we had to descend many crumbling concrete stairs with no railings dragging our carry on luggage by ourselves with absolutely no help from Viking staff of 10-15 standing by watching us struggle to help each other down the wet and muddy stairs. When we complained the Viking staff said China did not allow the Viking ship staff to help us; however, someone delivered our large luggage from the airport to the ship down those same stairs. The ship is supposed to be refurbished in Dec 2018 so that may help appearance, but probably not service. I give this cruise 3 stars because the guides were terrific (ours was Joshua); tours very good (lots of steps -- not easy, but outstanding); the hotels were 5 star plus; and the itinerary outstanding. I also hope that Viking can fix the embarkation disaster (should be easy fix) and the ship is being refurbished. We hope Viking could train the crew to European standards and print a few more menus. Read Less
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