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Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
we chose the cruise as we had not been on the Elbe River. We knew that there had been problems with low water in 2018 but we thought July would be okay, but it was not. A week before the cruise we were told that we would board another ... Read More
we chose the cruise as we had not been on the Elbe River. We knew that there had been problems with low water in 2018 but we thought July would be okay, but it was not. A week before the cruise we were told that we would board another cruise boat & be bused to another one down river for the remainder of our tour. We could have cancelled the tour but decided to go with it anyway. There were about 35 passengers onboard which made for an intimate experience. I recommend to not book a cruise past May. The Elbe is a wild river with no locks to hold water so cruises are dependent on the amount of rain. Food was mostly good with sparking wine at breakfast. We will receive a 50% voucher for a future cruise to compensate us for the non cruise experience. The ship is smaller than others with only 2 levels . I spoke to a couple were not notified that the boat would not move until they arrived at the ship. Viking was sending email to my travel companion but not me. When I asked that I receive emails I was rudely informed that it was not possible! I did not see an elevator. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a 'bucket list' cruise which did not disappoint. We had sailed with Viking in China (5 stars) and this could not compare with that experience. That said, it delivered on all of its promises, with the exception of the ... Read More
This was a 'bucket list' cruise which did not disappoint. We had sailed with Viking in China (5 stars) and this could not compare with that experience. That said, it delivered on all of its promises, with the exception of the hotel accomodation before and after. The experience on the ship was excellent, made better by the seamless planning and execution of the outstanding staff on board. By the end of the week we felt as though we were friends with everybody. Mealtimes were great, with excellent food and attentive service. We gained 5 pounds each! Our room (french balcony) was small but adequate, with a great shower and heated bathroom floor! TV reception was surprisingly good, watching the BBC world news was a treat. We slept well. Coffee and biscuits were always available, and very good! The shore excursions were good, with local guides, some of whom were excellent, none were awful. Highlights were the opportunities to explore on our own - in Mainz the Chagall glass in St Stevens was amazing, and worth the walk to see it. Viking handle the details so well. Luggage was transported efficiently - amazing to see the entire crew (including the Captain!) form a human chain to unload the bags at disembarkation. The only negatives were the choice of hotels before and after. Both were in business districts and somewhat out of the way. Le Meridien in Paris was very disappointing, even though we were upgraded to an Elite room. But it was within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and convenient to a Metro station. I can only imagine that this would be a challenging trip for folks with mobility challenges. Lots of walking and stairs would advise careful consideration. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be ... Read More
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be comfortable. So don’t get a Balcony. All this information should be spelt out and told how many times it would happen. in the promo. Cologne was the only port we had local entertainers in the Evening. Unfortunate we missed it due to going on an evening excursion. Promo gives you the impression this happened every night. Where possible. Our Entertainment Director Kane was brilliant so he made up for the disappointment. Could not fault staff. Staff brilliant food good enough could we have a chocolate treat with coffee. tours OK I got churched out talked out and walked out in the end. I thought the quiet vox was a device so you could wander around the sights by yourself if you did not want to be hearded like sheep around the sights, I stayed with tour group in case I missed out on something amazing. And the fear of getting lost. Make sure you have plenty of 50c Euro coins for toilets. overall enjoyed my trip. We made the Journey without changing boat. We were the last boat to do this from to Passau. The band was very average but the nights where Kane had quizzes and trivia were hilarious. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have been to the Viking River. We are happy with the cruising along the River Danube. The cabin is small, the entertainment is OK, could be better - mainly piano playing, One time the cruise director Dawn gave a nice concert, a ... Read More
We have been to the Viking River. We are happy with the cruising along the River Danube. The cabin is small, the entertainment is OK, could be better - mainly piano playing, One time the cruise director Dawn gave a nice concert, a Sparano solo -the only best concert. Another time a team of two GERMAN musicians playing the accordion. Food is nutrition with limited choice in the menu. The ship Viking Tor is very new. Port excursion consists of a lot of walking. Viking puts out lots of optional excursions. Viking river cruise does not welcome children, probably person more than 21 cannot drink any alcoholic beverage, also there is no children's program in the ship. Viking Cruise company gives out lots of incentive for a passenger to return for another cruise in the future, like $200 onboard credit if returning within 2 years. I probably would go back. I enjoy the river cruises over the ocean cruises. The service & staff are excellent, very friendly. The ports & shore excursions are excellent & well organized. the reasons-smaller ship, more intimate atmosphere, more personal care, less line up for everything, wine & drink is included during mealtime, no formal wear ( makes it easier to pack.), we get to go ashore every day, the ship disembarks right in the city center. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I had a very nice cruise on the Viking Lofn in June, 2019. The staff were excellent, although we had to grin at the cruise director's obvious over-hype on occasion. We had one management level staff member in the dining ... Read More
My wife and I had a very nice cruise on the Viking Lofn in June, 2019. The staff were excellent, although we had to grin at the cruise director's obvious over-hype on occasion. We had one management level staff member in the dining area seem to "put down" a guest at our table when she ordered a steak rather than the suggested entre- that didn't set well with any of us who heard his statement about "Americans." (He did apologize to her the next day at dinner.) Honestly, the food was good, but not great in our opinion. We've had better. As an example, the scnitzel we had at a nice restaurant in Rudesheim au Rhine was much better than the one we had on the Lofn; twice as large, very tender, with fries and a nice salad- all for less than $12 US. The tours were very nice, but felt rushed. Occasionally we had time to spend on our own, but nof often. My Black Forest hike lasted all of 30 minutes, yet the bus ride there was 2 hours round-trip. Our tour of Marksburg castle was limited by the many other tours on-site. We rarely had more than a few minutes in a room or location, We did get a few minutes at the end of our tour to buy a Coke and sit on a bench. We don't blame Viking for this at all; there were hundreds of tourists on-site while we were there. The Bruhl tour was fine, but understand that one cannot take any photos of the beautiful interiors of the castle or hunting lodge. One must buy postcards of the interiors. I could add more to this review, but won't. We had a very nice time. Will we do it again? No, we won't. Are we glad we did it, yes. Viking did a very good job. The staff onboard, with one exception, was superb. The Rhine Getaway should have been a 10-day trip in our opinion, Thank you to Viking, the staff of the Lofn, Viking's staff in Amsterdam (where we took a wonderful 2-day pre-cruise stay at the Pulitzer Amsterdam) and all the tour guides. We would rate this cruise a solid four of five. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third Viking river cruise. The ship, staff and food met Viking's high standards. The itinerary was uninspiring and I would not recommend it. That's not Viking's fault - they can hardly recreate such awe ... Read More
This was our third Viking river cruise. The ship, staff and food met Viking's high standards. The itinerary was uninspiring and I would not recommend it. That's not Viking's fault - they can hardly recreate such awe inspiring countries as Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia. They all seemed very much the same. One low light excursion was the Viking provided excursion when the contract tour guide the Balkan war by saying, "Remember, we (Serbs) were the good guys". He brushed aside the facts about Serb committed genocide. That "rewrite of history" was disappointing. The best excursion was when we had tea and "cookies" with a Croatian family. it was a residence that was also a B&B. An authentic visit. The ship's staff were amazing. They were attentive and has a great sense of humor. The daily briefings were always interesting and informative. I am now adding more words to meet the standard for submission. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers ... Read More
It is really hard to criticize this company. It would be like kicking a puppy. They are just so eager and try so hard. Before selecting this cruise we saw some river cruise shows on the travel channel. We were put off by the passengers being one step form a nursing home and the lame entertainment. No, all our well-traveled friends assured us. Viking is nothing like that. Hate to say it, but that's exactly what it was. Initially on board, we thought this would be our first and last river cruise. During the week, the amazing staff and service grew on us, and now we can easily envision another such adventure. The great parts were the included tours and the afternoon lectures. I was expecting super-gourmet food, and although they attempted authentic cuisine, it was a bit more plebeian than imagined. Still, quite tasty and excellent choices. The passengers were mostly American with a few scattered Brits and Canadians. I might have appreciated more diversity, but we met some very interesting people nonetheless. We mostly just took the included tours and walked around each town on our own after lunch. You can get plenty of exercise this way if you want to. After exhaustion sets in, we found it very pleasant chatting with folks in the lounge, sipping wine or tea along with delicious homemade cookies and watching the scenery pass by. A French friend recommended Les Baux and Lumieres. Thank goodness I took his advice and sprang for this optional excursion. It was the most amazing part of the trip by far. The worst part was the air route home selected by Viking, supposedly free. You get what you pay for. They scheduled us to leave the ship at 3:30 am. The car that took us to the airport broke down on the highway soon thereafter. The driver made us get out for fear of our vehicle being hit in the pitch dark. We waited in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes, climbing over the highway barrier to be safe, while the driver frantically called everyone he knew to come get us. Viking redeemed themselves by meeting us at the airport and whisking us through the first class check-in even though we were flying steerage. Three exhausting flights later, we were home. Next time, I will pay more attention to the flights and times they offer me, and pay extra to not run the gauntlet. Overall, the experience was excellent even with the aforementioned downsides. Just do it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this trip since we were interested in doing the route from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was fantastic. The shore excursions chosen by the ship were amazing. And a big KUDOS to the tour guides both on the ship and privately. ... Read More
We chose this trip since we were interested in doing the route from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was fantastic. The shore excursions chosen by the ship were amazing. And a big KUDOS to the tour guides both on the ship and privately. Special mention must be made to Valeria. She is first class as a guide and lecturer on Russian history. We had two lectures given by her and it was fascinating. Valeria really took us back in History in such vivid detail that you felt you were living in that era. Her tours especially Moscow by Night was brilliant. Thanks for the chocolate Valeria! Just what the dr. ordered at 100am!! Breakfast and lunches were excellent. But please please do something about dinner. The food was not good and if we had had a buffet with salads and vegetables, that would definitely have been great. The Matre D' Jonathan, is first class together with his staff. The coffee station on the 2nd deck is great and always available 24 7. There were hardly any entertainment activities besides the ship duo who played every night. TV was terrible. What about more movies? Documentaries? One needs that on sea days. Viking is a great company to sail with. They look after you very well and here I would like to give Stephanie Hotel Manager a big Kudos for the outstanding job she is doing. Also we arrived earlier that expected on embarkation day. It was pouring with rain and front desk staff received us very warmly and immediately ushered us to our cabin . They were very kind and in all our dealings with the front desk, service was top class Douglas, Program Manager, is a gem. Always keeping you up dated on your next port, etc. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. The room: We were in Veranda Cabin 339 toward the end of the ship, but still convenient to everything. The room was clean, and up-to-date, with everything working properly. (same with the rest of the ship). We chose to have the balcony room, but I think we would have been fine with the lower level small upper window. However, it was nice to have a view of the shore, and keep an eye on the weather. Good sound-proofing; rarely heard any outside noise. The bathroom is small, thick and thirsty towels, and good bath products. Water pressure was fine, even to wash and rinse my long hair. Hairdryer is provided. The food: Food was very good, featuring the regional favorites, which I enjoyed since almost all our meals for the 8 days would be onboard, and I wanted some French cuisine. Each night there are varying chef specialties on the right hand side of the menu. The Chateaubriand was incredible. My favorite was the Goat Cheese Souffle. I ordered two! Order them while you can, because they are not repeated. The left side of the menu has more basic items, that are repeated each night. A similar light buffet is also an option. Alcoholic Beverages: We opted not to get the Silver Spirits Beverage package, but those who did, said it's a better value than other cruise lines. We occasionally ordered a drink, since I like sparkling wines, and they were not offered in the free wine that comes with lunch and dinner. In addition, there are times the crew provides free bubbly for toasting, or a small cocktail sample as we returned from a shore excursion. There were also free mimosas on the breakfast buffet. Crowding: There is none. You don't have to rush anywhere to save a seat. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze. Not like the cattle call of an ocean liner. Just show up where you need to be and there will be room for you. We booked our excursions in advance, but I believe that on most of them, you could still sign up the day of. Onboard Entertainment. There is a low-key piano man in the lounge. Plus a few other nightly programs such as learning French phrases, learning about cheeses, and one we didn't do: a watercolor painting class. Also dancing one night. The entertainment is one area that could use some improvement, however, it was not a high priority for us. As for in-room TV, I watched a few travel videos, but didn't spend any time watching TV or movies. Hey, it took me 58 years to get to France, and I'm not going to watch movies. In our limited free time, I planned our next day and wrote down our adventures in my travel journal. Wi-fi was not great, but this was my time to disconnect. Shore Excursions: We did the following included tours: Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison (very interesting), Vernon Walking Tour (visited a Cathedral, with a little free time to shop), Monet Foundation Giverney (my absolute HIGHLIGHT of this trip--the Gardens were SPECTACULAR! with enough time to enjoy them), Normandy Beaches US. (good overview, but not much time spent at each stop). Panoramic Paris day trip (saw some highlights of the City, but yikes, only 15 minutes at the Eiffel Tower !?!). We paid extra for some upgraded tours: Rouen Farm and Countryside (toured the apple farm, watched a border collie herd sheep, sampled hard cider and Calvados apple brandy with a few light bites including a small apple tart.) La Roche Guyon (nice ride in the countryside to tour a Chateau, probably the least memorable of our excursions) and Paris by Night (hmm...City of Light? Saw many of the same buildings as the day trip, and only 10 minutes at the Eiffel Tower) Tour Guides & Devices: All of our tour guides did a good job, definitely looking out to not lose anybody in narrow streets and passageways. Helping those with mobility issues. You're provided an audio device to wear for each guided tour that you keep charged up in your room. Considering retirees are not always the sharpest in learning electronics, these were pretty easy to use, with minimal problems getting people hooked up, and we could hear well throughout each excursion. Weather: there is a reason Europe is so green and beautiful. It rains a lot. So be prepared with layers. Viking crew members hand you an umbrella as you depart for each excursion, if you want one. We knew the forecast for our trip was not great, but decided to have a great time anyway, and never really got poured on. Only had about a day and half of sunshine. Shipmates: At age 62 & 58, my husband and I were one of the youngest couples onboard. Almost all retirees, but fun, active, well-behaved pleasant people we enjoyed getting to know. Almost all of them had taken multiple Viking cruises! It's open seating, so use the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people and find out about their travels. Their are no children on Viking ships. I also noticed that not one person had any complaints about anything not working properly in their rooms or on the ship. Everyone seemed to be very happy. Crew: None stood out at huge personalities, but all were attentive and if anyone had a need, they were on it. Magali, our activities director, was working hard around the clock to make sure everyone was happy with their experience. Oftentimes, the Captain himself and other crew members greeted us as we returned each day. The Executive Chef was always present too, with food demos, explaining the specials, and even helping load luggage as we departed. Everyone seemed to be very happy. If there were any behind-the-scenes problems, we were never aware of them. What you don't have on the Rinda: No spa, no pool, no fitness center, no casino, no sales pitches. Negatives: The itinerary for Paris and Normandy lists Paris three times. The reality is that you will be nowhere near the heart of the city on the first two days. Timing was bad to have the only full day and night there on the last day of the cruise. If you really want to explore the main attractions in the heart of the city, you would need to add additional days. Tips to Viking: A photographer would be a nice addition to capture trip highlights. Although I don't need a full-service spa, a couple massage therapists with a massage chair would be awesome to work out those aches and pains. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ... Read More
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ourselves and so had to make our own way to the hotel. The ship was lovely, very clean, smooth lines, no chintz! The other passengers were probably 50% Americans, 25% British, 25% other and quite a wide age range from people in their 30s to 70s. I would say most of the people were 50 - 75. The service was excellent, but I think over the top. After cleaning the room in the morning, is there really any need for the maid to clean it again in the evening? This is one reason it is so expensive. I have stayed in top notch hotels where they close the curtains and turn down the bed and I think that is all that is needed. Alcoholic and soft drinks are included at both lunch at dinner and not just one, they keep topping up your glasses, so people like me who don't drink are actually subsidising those that do and they certainly take advantage of it! Some people opted for the drinks package which included certain drinks all day. However, both passengers in the state room have to take it, so it wasn't worth it for us. the service throughout the ship was excellent, with a good choice of food for breakfast and a limited choice for lunch with a good salad buffet and burgers if you did not fancy what was on offer. However, I was disappointed with the evening meals. There was always a regional menu of 3 courses, plus 2 choices of international dishes for each course and if you didn't like them, there was steak, burgers or chicken. However, I found it difficult to find something I liked every night and resorted to the steak and chips on several occasions. There was a German buffet one night, but as I am not keen on lots of sausages, cooked meat and pork I was not impressed, neither was the Jewish gentleman on our table! One night Thai soup was on the menu and I ordered that as it contained co-conut milk and as I am lactose intolerant did not expect to be served a very creamy soup containing milk! Also, the greatest disappointment for me was the tiny servings for dessert. The excursions were well organised with a leisurely option for those who had limited mobility, which we took advantage of as my husband had a bad knee. Little treats awaited us on our return to the ship which was nice and we all had electronic gizmos with earpieces so we could hear the guide, which were very easy to use. The excursions are mainly walking tours in the cities, concentrating on the history, architecture and cathedrals etc. The guides were very good except the fortress at Koblenz. The guide was an actor and it was supposed to be amusing, but it was not. The evening entertainment was mainly a pianist, but one evening there was a classical concert, another glass blowing demonstration on the adjoining ship, two quizzes which were great fun as they were not the usual format and a disco night. Ivan was in charge of this and he was excellent.We had been on ocean cruises but this was our first river cruise. We loved the fact there was less than 200 people on the boat, so you got to know people very quickly and we made some good friends. It was lovely to watch the scenery as you floated by and you won't get sea sick! Not far to walk to the cabin or the restaurant. However, there is not much to do when sailing except talk, drink, read, sunbathe, sleep or walk around the walking track. If we did another cruise, I probably would not take one that included drinks as this inflates the price if you don't drink very much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which ... Read More
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which are completely out of Viking's control). 1. Our cruise began on the Thursday before Easter, this led to crowds and closures at various points of our trip. 2. In preparation for the 2024 Olympic games, Paris has construction projects taking place everywhere, traffic getting in and out of the heart of the city is absolutely dreadful (this from someone born and raised in Los Angeles) 3. Another factor for crowds, a European explained to me, springtime is when many school children take field trips to various locations. 4. Finally, the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral led to increased tourist traffic at other locations. The Viking staff from booking to final departure were fantastic. We did not take the extension on either side of the trip, but booked our flight to arrive in Paris in the late morning. This allowed us to get our bags on the boat and spend several hours at the Louvre, which otherwise (due to other booked excursions) we would not have been able to see. Embarkation was great, the ship staff are outstanding. Excursion highlights, we took every included excursion (except those that conflicted with paid excursions) - several stops (after leaving Paris) include houses built in the Middle Ages that are incredible to see (Vernon and Rouen). Monet's Garden is beautiful. Out of Rouen we paid for the Farm and Country Tour which was a nice view of the Normandy country side, the farm is a neat experience. The excursion to the beaches of Normandy will leave you with a sense of profound gratitude for the soldiers of the D-Day Invasion. Having studied the history, then touring the site, I still cannot fathom the courage of the men that day. Paris at night was a treat, especially seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Our cabin steward Filip was great, the room was always perfect. I've seen other reviews where people complain of the size of the cabin, it is not spacious, but sufficient. The only time we are in our cabin is basically to sleep. I cannot speak to the entertainment options in the lounge in the evening, we never attended. We try to stay in town as long, doing as much as we can, after dinner, we're ready for bed. Several people we talked to mentioned the different events were a good time. The food is always top notch and the dining staff attentive to your orders and requests. The guides at each of the locations are always outstanding, usually locals who give you some much more than a guide who read a book about where you are going. At the tour in Versailles, it was absolutely packed, (literally shoulder to shoulder, front to back with people in some rooms), almost impossible. Our guide (I forgot her name) went out of her way trying to keep us together, inform us about the artwork, history, etc, and made the most out of the trip, she was phenomenal there. We will undoubtedly taking Viking again (Portugal, Rhine at Christmas, and the Norwegian Fjords for starters). It was the crowds that took the shine off this trip for us. So if that is an issue for you, the Fall would probably be a better time to book this trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having resisted river cruising for many years, we finally capitulated (ran out of excuses for not taking one) and booked a Provence cruise on the Viking Delling. The booking and upfront experience was good. The website was easy to ... Read More
Having resisted river cruising for many years, we finally capitulated (ran out of excuses for not taking one) and booked a Provence cruise on the Viking Delling. The booking and upfront experience was good. The website was easy to navigate and the cruise materials arrived in plenty of time with luggage tags, cruise book and other information. Good first impression. Our package included free air arranged by Viking. As a first timer was not real informed on their customization program that carries an add on cost. Wish I had as that way would have had more controlled over the connecting flights. The outbound flights Viking booked carried high risk of missed connections (via IAD and FRA) and sure enough we missed the flight from FRA to LYS. No problem though as the airline rebooked us. However the real issue is that apparently Viking doesn't monitor their passenger's while in transit (which other companies we have used do and modify transfers without being contacted). Viking's materials say to contact them should we experience a delay and give numbers to call and the ship's email address. When we arrived in Lyon, we were a bit surprised to find no Viking rep and no transfer there. So we tried to call Viking (we don't have an international calling plan and both help centers at the airport were unable to call for us). Sent an email to the address given but no response there. So ended up face timing daughter back in the States who called Viking and was told we could take a taxi and be reimbursed. Had thought of that earlier but in our documents, Viking identified three potential berths for the ship. Equipped with the berthing info, we grabbed a cab and four days later (after three tries), we got our fare refunded. Not a great first impression. But apart from that: Room was good. We booked the least expensive and it was fine. The steward (Peter) did a great job keeping it tidy, replenishing towels). Easy access to the restaurant. Small shower but good water pressure and little fluctuation in temperature. TV reception was ok (only channel that consistently was not available was FOX). Food was ok. Breakfast selections was good, Liked cooked to order eggs. The french toast was a tad bit soggy for me. Oatmeal was good and they do bacon well. Lunch in the restaurant typically had a pasta selection and a daily special. Ate a lot of hot dogs and french fries. Dinner also had a daily special, an alternative and then every day available ones. The quality varied day by day so. The service though was excellent. Front Desk: indifferent at best. Being a bit cold outside, I asked at the front desk if they had blankets we could use outside the Aquafit area. Was told they were up there to which I told them I just came from there and didn't see any. I was dismissed with a 'oh well'. On my way back I did locate them hidden behind a chair. But would have been nice if they had helped me rather than wave me off. Tour Director: was good and worked hard and long hours. Included Tours: very good. Lots of walking though would not recommend this trip for anyone with mobility issues. Busses used were all top notch. Itinerary/Rhone River: would have preferred to spend more time in Avignon and less time in Lyon. Would not recommend this for first time travelers to Europe as there's not a lot of variety in the area (do Rhine or Danube). Hotel Manager: so by now you know I was not too impressed with how he handled my transfer issue (day one - I needed to complete a form but he didn't have one), day two - waited for him to give me the form, day 3 - got a form from the desk, told to come back after 5 when manager would be there, he didn't have the money (it was 'upstairs') come back tomorrow, day 4: got money.). Other staff: everyone else went out of the way to say something. Good job there. Glad we went and experienced river cruising. Will we do it again? Most likely not. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. Viking staff made all of the difference in the success of this trip. We began in Beijing. We flew on United from Tampa via Washington Dulles. IAD to PEK was a whopping 14+ hours. Customs ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for us. Viking staff made all of the difference in the success of this trip. We began in Beijing. We flew on United from Tampa via Washington Dulles. IAD to PEK was a whopping 14+ hours. Customs clearance in Beijing was fairly painless. We were met by Viking guide Peter, who would be our guide for the next two days. We were taken to the Kerry hotel, where we spend 5 nights. Lovely hotel with small but well equipped room. The hotel has an outstanding health club and indoor pool. Their restaurants are all quite good. Kerry's Kitchen serves buffet for B,L & D. Nice array of Chinese and Western fare. Kerry's Pantry was sort of a take-out restaurant with some seating. Great salads, sandwiches and desserts. Centro is a 24 hour bar and restaurant. The bar was a good hiding place....with an excellent cheeseburger, btw!! We bought the Beijing extension, which gave us a tour of the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Weather was a bit cool - 40's to 50's, but nice and sunny. We had our first lunch at a very large Chinese restaurant. It was pretty good. We had the second day free. We stayed close to the hotel, shopping in the two astonishing adjacent malls. Our actual tour then began. Our guide for the remainder of the journey was Roy. He made the trip for us. Expertly knowledgable and responded to every request and problem. We toured the Great Wall in perfect weather - 50's and piercing bright sun. Roy brought us to a location on the Wall which had almost no other people! Fabulous vantage points and lots of time to shoot photos and just marvel at this wonder of the world. The next day was Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Again perfect weather and great commentary from Roy. Next day we flew to Xi'an. Great flight on China Eastern Airlines. Comfortable seating and on-time flight. Getting through security in all of the Chinese airports is arduous....Full pat downs every time. We stayed at the Wyndham South. This was one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in. It is adjacent to a wonderful ourdoor mall with an engaging walk down to a pogoda. The Terra Cotta Warriors exceeded our expectations. Too much to try to describe here. Next, we flew to Chongqing on Hainan Airlines. It's the largest city in the world. We believed it when we rode through it. It was late in the day, so the building lights were coming on. Breathtaking! It was the first day of a holiday, so traffic was at a standstill. We finally got to the ship's boarding area at around 9pm. We had to descend a large, dangerous set of stairs which had no railing. Points off for Viking on this. We had a suite, # 508. It, along with every other aspect of the ship was just average. The ship is only 8 years old, but is quite worn. The service on the ship was excellent. The food was hit or miss. Everything needed salt, and I normally never salt my food. We had bought the Silver Spirits drink package and found that to be a waste, as we drank mostly the free-flow wine in the restaurant. The noise level in the restaurant was very high, probably due in part to the low ceiings on the ship. Very small fitness room with 2 treadmills, 2 bikes and 2 ellipticals....nothing else. The 6 day cruise was the most scenic cruise we've ever taken. Again, too much to try to describe here. Next, we flew on China Eastern to Shanghai. Exciting drive through this metropolis to the Westin Bund Center. Great hotel with good restaurants. Strange room setup, trying to be funky modern, but was rather dysfunctional. We toured the Yu Gardens and the Shanghai Museum. I'm not a museum person, but this one really appealed to me. It was very spacious and easy to get around.....and it was overwhelming! Finally we flew home on United, connecting in Chicago.....with less than two hours to clear customs and get to our connecting flight. Folks, don't let anyone do this to you. You need a minimum of 4 hours to do this. We barely made it, using the Mobile Passport app. In all, we highly recommend this trip, even though the actual ship is less than Viking's standards. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
March 31, 2019 on Viking Magni River Cruise Budapest to Passau. First suggestion, do your homework. We booked a French “Balcony” (sliding door) on 3rd Fl. Very small. Just enough room for a double bed. No chairs so reading or TV ... Read More
March 31, 2019 on Viking Magni River Cruise Budapest to Passau. First suggestion, do your homework. We booked a French “Balcony” (sliding door) on 3rd Fl. Very small. Just enough room for a double bed. No chairs so reading or TV is lying on bed. Small bathroom. Very efficient but claustrophobic. Room has fridge but only useful for bringing in shore beverages or food. Hint. Don’t upgrade the liquor package. Buy duty free or in town and save $$ as you can bring this on board and no corkage. Fridge is useless otherwise as no room service and cannot bring any bottles from bar into room (even with their best upgraded liquor package!). WiFi is free as it should be because it was terrible. With modern service I’m sure this could be improved if they wanted to but would increase expenses. Service was impeccable from everyone. As were the excursions, even those included. That is the expectation and the standard for this caliber of cruise. The entrees we had were all good but not exceptional. Superb buffet is always in addition to table menu service. Best meal was grilled sea bass served on last day. Meals are mostly served in main dining room with tables of 6-8+. Great opportunity to build friendships and share conversations with fellow travelers. Still good value and a we hope to go again but equipped with new knowledge to fine tune our experience. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I chose Viking - and, specifically, their "Imperial Jewels of China" itinerary, for our first trip to China. Overall, we are glad we did so. Though it was not without concerns and drawbacks. To be clear, the ... Read More
My wife and I chose Viking - and, specifically, their "Imperial Jewels of China" itinerary, for our first trip to China. Overall, we are glad we did so. Though it was not without concerns and drawbacks. To be clear, the experience of visiting China for more than two weeks was fabulous. We have been fortunate to travel well. This was probably our most interesting, brain-stimulating adventure. The scope of change and the pace and magnitude of development are astounding. As are the many inherent contradictions. While both my wife and I wrote extensively about our travels and observations, let me limit this to our Viking experience. Much of this review will focus on the shortcomings and concerns. But let me be clear that our experience was very positive in many, many respects. We were perhaps more adventurous than many in our group; but not adventurous enough to tackle two weeks in so foreign a place as China entirely on our own. Viking provided the opportunity and the structure for us to have this experience. A few notes on the positive side of the ledger. - Our guide, Kobe, was first-rate in so many ways. Others in our group who have been on more guided trips remarked that he was the best guide they had had - anywhere. He was knowledgeable, personable, able to relate to many unique and different people, focused on the details when he had to be, and someone whom it was always a pleasure to be around. - Viking gets very high marks for meticulous and detailed organization. There were roughly 200 people (almost all Americans, Canadians or Brits) on this journey, divided into eight groups of about 25 people each. This is no small undertaking and everything seemed to work seamlessly from our perspective. - The hotels at which we stayed in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai were all first-rate in all respects. - Through no fault of Viking, we had missed our day in Wuhan (called "the Chicago of the Orient") due to heavy fog on the Yangtze which forced all river traffic to hold in place for nearly 18 hours. Viking unexpectedly decided to make it up to everyone a day later by chartering a boat for a nighttime cruise of the Huangpu River through Shanghai. Seeing the Bund at night from the water was a real treat. Booking this for 200 people was a class move on Viking's part. I could go on with positives and compliments. But let me turn to the downsides which I hope will be more instructive for Viking. - Only six days of this 15-day trip involved the Yangtze cruise. Yet nearly all of the communications from Viking following our booking focused exclusively on the cruise. There was virtually no mention of the equally or more interesting land portion of the itinerary before and after. So much so that my wife and I checked into our Beijing hotel without really knowing where to meet or whom to contact. Viking would be advised to treat this as a unified, 15-day expedition instead of putting virtually all of the emphasis on the river piece. - We decided to fly into Beijing one day early to have 24 hours to explore on our own (as well as to sleep off a bit of jet lag). For this privilege, Viking charged us a $200 "deviation fee" ($100 per person). Yet Viking provided absolutely no services related to this "deviation". In fact, we had to book our own transport from the airport to the hotel at a price of roughly another $100. When I inquired of Viking's main office as to the rationale for the deviation charge, they really had no answer. - Of most annoyance to us and many others in our group, on four separate occasions Viking paired a buffet lunch (usually very average and nondescript) with some kind of factory showroom tour and controlled shopping opportunity. These were respectively for jade, tea, silk and terra cotta figurines. Clearly, this is a case of Viking getting reduced-cost or free lunches in return for bringing a captive audience to a showroom. From talking with others, Viking is apparently renown for this practice in many locales. That doesn't make it right or advisable or anything that I and others liked. - It would have been nice to have at least one or two unscheduled evenings and the chance to find dinner on our own. Especially in Beijing which is famous for its cuisine. On the whole, the food on this trip was decent and certainly plentiful but undistinguished. - The ship (the Emerald) was quite adequate, but past its prime and not up to Viking standards elsewhere. The dining room is ill-placed on the second level instead of up top with a view. The ceiling in the dining room is quite low which makes it very noisy and hot (with somewhat variable air conditioning). Our cabin was fine, but nothing more than that. Corridors are narrow and floors are somewhat uneven. There is really only one outside deck. A number of nooks and crannies which could make for nice sitting areas are instead given over to onboard merchants selling the usual Chinese fare at vastly inflated prices. I understand that much of this is a function of Viking being required to use Chinese ships. And that a new ship is under construction. Nonetheless... - I am familiar with the usual tipping procedure on cruises whether with Viking or other lines. But the process here was needlessly confusing. We try to be generous tippers, but the number that they added to our onboard bill was exorbitant. Also, there was an ambiguity as to whether this sum also included our guide for the full 15 days. We opted to reduce what we did for the ship's crew and to deal separately and privately with our excellent guide. - Lastly, this is a tricky one, but it needs to be said that our group (and seemingly each group) included people of widely varying physical abilities. Three of the 25 people in our group used wheelchairs or walkers. In no way am I suggesting that folks with such disabilities shouldn't be included in such trips. In fact, I admire their courage and tenacity in continuing such adventurous travel. (And I come with three joint replacements of my own.) But Viking should be more transparent with prospective guests as to the limitations this will cause for others. Why not attempt some selective grouping so that those who are more fit and adventurous can undertake and explore a bit more? That's more than enough. Again, let me make clear that the positive far outweighed the negative with respect to Viking and this trip. Despite the number of words I gave to each in this review. But there are plenty of each. Final word of advice: If you haven't been to China, go. Whether with Viking or some other group or on your own. It is a fascinating place and much of the future is taking shape there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Family Christmas cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest....what a wonderful way to experience the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. A must for any family wanting to share and create Holiday memories. The Christmas markets are an ... Read More
Family Christmas cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest....what a wonderful way to experience the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. A must for any family wanting to share and create Holiday memories. The Christmas markets are an absolute must, with handmade goods including Christmas ornaments and souvenirs, local foods, mulled wine and great beers. Add in the local history and culture of each destination and it creates unbelievable memories. River locks along the Danube are also a fun and interesting experience as you travel along the river watching the scenery. Viking does it better than anyone! Great cabin accommodations, shore excursions that are included, enjoyable and fun, fabulous service and staff, nice dining and drink options and a great way to see and experience Europe. The ships are comfortable, modern and beautiful. Very relaxed cruising, with no pretentious atmosphere. This was our second Christmas cruise with Viking and we look forward to traveling more with Viking in the future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets and this seemed an efficient way to do this. It was our first ever river cruise, and we were lucky to be able to sail the entire way given this year's chronic low water issues. Most of the ... Read More
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets and this seemed an efficient way to do this. It was our first ever river cruise, and we were lucky to be able to sail the entire way given this year's chronic low water issues. Most of the staff were outstanding; very warm and helpful except perhaps for the tour director Lee, who seemed a bit prickly and distant at times. The weather was VERY cold, and this may not have given us a true picture of what river cruising is like, as the outdoor areas of the ship were unusable, and several of the excursions were bitterly cold, including the one I had most looked forward to, to Cesky Krumlov. I have been an independent traveler for most of my life. I don't like tours, and some of the excursions were a bit too programmed for my taste (though the guides were all excellent). Not sure if I will try another river cruise at this point. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to return to some of the places of my youth and to share them with my wife. I had spent a summer in the area and this cruise included all but Praha. We had a wonderful time especially in Vienna. It was great to see the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to return to some of the places of my youth and to share them with my wife. I had spent a summer in the area and this cruise included all but Praha. We had a wonderful time especially in Vienna. It was great to see the Grand city once again and share some highlights with my wife. We were very pleased with how well Viking managed the logistics of the entire experience and we intend to use them again. The onshore excursions were well planned and the guides were knowledgable and personable. We enjoyed them all very much, the time was adequate and not overly taxing. The options were flexible and well chosen for each ability level. Each also provided more than a glimpse of the culture and traditions of the people and places we visited. Free time was also provided on each of the excursions and this allowed shopping and dinning which was enjoyed greatly. All in all, a very grand experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Just finished Viking Romantic Danube cruise. First time this Viking ship sailed, without interruption, from Nuremberg to Budapest. Only, maybe, the second week that any Viking ship made the cruise end-to-end without a ship swap. The ... Read More
Just finished Viking Romantic Danube cruise. First time this Viking ship sailed, without interruption, from Nuremberg to Budapest. Only, maybe, the second week that any Viking ship made the cruise end-to-end without a ship swap. The low water levels on both the Rhine and Danube will likely continue into 2019 season (begins in March). The cruise, when uninterrupted like ours, was great. Crew was great, very good customer service. Ship was in great shape. However, crew members did say it has been a very tough season - with all the ship swaps and motor coach substitutions, most of the "cruises" were filled with very disgruntled customers. This cruise and crew would entice me to take another Viking cruise. However, I plan to do even more due diligence before the next cruise. Viking management appears to be passing the buck to the crews, not informing cruisers of the "real situation" on the rivers, leaving the crews to inform the cruisers - who proceed to shoot the messenger. I'd be very leery of a future river cruise, given Viking's terms and conditions, which pretty much state that one you've paid, they can change anything. Bus you the whole way, etc. The silver beverage package should be closely evaluated - we considered, being that I like my high end spirits. Glad we chose to go "by the glass", because our ship was either out of stock, or very low, on many of the best spirits. Having to settle for a lesser beverage didn't sting quite so much, because I hadn't pre-paid. Also, the Viking air travel arrangement simply sucked. Very long layovers, early boarding calls, etc. All for Viking's convenience, with no concern for the customer. Next time, I do my own flight selections. Not getting up at 2 am again, just so Viking can save a bus trip. Or getting home 20 hrs later, just because the Viking scheduler bot saved $2 on the long layover. I'll pay more for better service, but Viking never offered. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Ra is wonderful - large and comfortable two-room cabins, but only 26 of them. Beautiful, typically Viking understated elegance throughout. The guides are spectacular; Viking recruits Egyptologists to serve as guides, and their ... Read More
The Ra is wonderful - large and comfortable two-room cabins, but only 26 of them. Beautiful, typically Viking understated elegance throughout. The guides are spectacular; Viking recruits Egyptologists to serve as guides, and their knowledge is encyclopedic -- you stay with one guide/teacher throughout the cruise. The clientele is a typical Viking Cruise crowd -- mostly affluent Americans aged 55-80. Be advised that this cruise is go-go-go; in the 3 Cairo days and 8 cruise days there are only two free afternoons to relax and recharge. Several very early-morning departures (4am to 6:30 am). The on-board restaurant is excellent, offering both Egyptian specialties and more familiar "Western" options at every on-board meal. The off-board meals are mixed -- all buffets of varying quality. Egypt itself is overwhelming. You stay in a bubble of splendid luxury, but outside it, urban Egypt is largely impoverished and surprisingly squalid. Egypt 30-40 years ago was a 2nd world country with 1st world ambitions. Today, except for a small elite, the cities are decaying and third-world. You do feel safe, even outside the bubble, although you will be constantly harassed by vendors selling cheap China-made trinkets. The two offered add-ons (Jerusalem before and Jordan after) are super, but if you do both add-ons and the cruise you will be exhausted most of the time. Both Israel and Jordan are lovely, clean and modern. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions ... Read More
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions were cancelled, including Versailles, due to the riots in Paris. Most attractions were closed during the organized demonstrations on the weekends in December. Highlights of this Cruise were: Touring all the sights with no Summer crowds; Normandy, Vernon, Rouen; Cruise Director Michael Brightman — hIs genuine enthusiasm for this area of France is contagious; Meeting great people! The best part was the post-excursion to The Loire Valley — a must do! We ended up having a “semi-private” tour of this wonderful area. There are no words to describe Château de Chenonceau at Christmas! Thank you Viking Rolf for your attention to detail, outstanding service, and making this an extra special trip! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I had read an article by Wendy Perrin about this cruise. She took her family to the Christmas markets and i thought I'd love to take my wife on this trip. As everyone has heard by now, there was a pretty severe drought in Europe this ... Read More
I had read an article by Wendy Perrin about this cruise. She took her family to the Christmas markets and i thought I'd love to take my wife on this trip. As everyone has heard by now, there was a pretty severe drought in Europe this year. We knew there was a possibility that our cruise was not going to go as initially planned. Our cruise went from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany. The first leg of the cruise was canceled due to low water levels. Of course this was through no fault of Viking Cruise Lines, all cruise lines had the same issue. We were provided with accommodations and transportation to the next port. We enjoyed our bus trip and the scenery. Our stateroom was very clean and our steward was fantastic (we miss him). The day we got in our room, I called the front desk and asked to have my dress shirts pressed. They picked them up and had them back within 3 hours, outstanding service! The staff on board was fantastic, from the waiters to the people on the front desk. Our program director was energetic, funny and made sure we were all well entertained. We are going to try Viking again. The cruise wasn't perfect, but we understand that the weather was not their fault. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
So I am on the Rhine Getaway as I type. Left 11/23 from Amsterdam. Mixed feelings here. Some relative to Viking, some to the cruise itinerary itself. First be aware that you WILL change ships, probably through year end, regardless of ... Read More
So I am on the Rhine Getaway as I type. Left 11/23 from Amsterdam. Mixed feelings here. Some relative to Viking, some to the cruise itinerary itself. First be aware that you WILL change ships, probably through year end, regardless of what Viking says. They have been doing it for months, and will likely do it through year end. It wasn't too disruptive, though and they arranged a Rhine day tour to see yhe castles we would have missed. More bus time than normal, however. The experience is not quite what you see in the promotional videos. Germany is heavily industrialized. They don't show scenes of industrial plants, container terminals. etc. that dominate the landscape. Docked in an industrial port last night, lined up w another ship. Not their fault, but it ain't Tuscanny! Food was pretty good, although tonight was the Taste of Germany! The only night there was no alternative menu (just when we needed one). Just not into bratwurst, sourkraut, etc. This was an exception. Salzburg was definitely the highlight. Skipped the bus tour to Heidleburg and did 2 days in Salzburg. Much prefer France. Clientele was interesting. Not sure how some guests were able to afford this cruise, but they did bring along thier finest biker t shirts.Overall a pleasant group though. We have cruised extensively and this is our first river cruise. I think next time we'll rent a villa in Tuscanny for a week. Without dining excessively as you do on a cruise it should be no more expensive. Bon voyage! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Danube Waltz - the cities we were going to with the rich history in each was the leading factor. Seeing the comfort of being on the ship and cruising down the river was total enticing. Unfortunately, we arrived when the river was ... Read More
Danube Waltz - the cities we were going to with the rich history in each was the leading factor. Seeing the comfort of being on the ship and cruising down the river was total enticing. Unfortunately, we arrived when the river was historically low and did not get to spend the afternoon in Budapest. We got a panoramic bus ride then bused all the way to Vienna by passing Bratislava. We were bused back for a panoramic bus ride tour of the city and no free time again. Had to get back on ship. Next day awoke in Krems and had to move with the water going down more. We moved to Melk and were bused back to the Gotweig Abby. Lots of busing for the first 4 days! The Viking staff and program director bent over backwards trying to please everyone. Lesson learned - Viking should cancel when mother nature is in control. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
As with most people, we wanted to visit Normandy. Viking delivered on that. As far as comparing it to an ocean cruise there is no way. They are two different things completely. The crew was great. The ship was clean, and the rooms were ... Read More
As with most people, we wanted to visit Normandy. Viking delivered on that. As far as comparing it to an ocean cruise there is no way. They are two different things completely. The crew was great. The ship was clean, and the rooms were quite large enough. I was surprised at the casualness of the whole trip. Embarkation-Just walked in sort of like a hotel. And you just walked on and off any time the ship was docked. I. Could have stepped out my balcony on to the dock. Seating is open-we dined with our friends and some others that we met on board. Food-Cooked and delivered to precision. Entertainment-none at all except a pretty good piano player. Excursions-Most were walking but one was a panoramic of Paris. We went in November The good -the leaves were all changing. By the end of the trip you see end up seeing just about everybody on board. Mostly seasoned citizens on board,mostly American-I fit into both categories The not so good-it was cold so we could not do much on the balcony or view from the top deck. Sept would probaby be better. It snowed the next week. Special note-If you plan to visit Monet's gardens,-the gardens close at the first of November an a lot of people were upset with that. Pick another month. My wish would be that the ship dock in Paris and not 15 miles away. Don't know the reason, but it would make the experience much better. We came to Paris on our own for several days and were able to attend the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. That was special. The visit to the cemetery at. Omaha beach was very moving and something everybody should do Since you asked-I actually prefer ocean cruises and am sailing to Norway to see the Northern lights on the Viking Sun. But we may take another Viking river cruise again. I felt I got my money's worth on this one. Read Less
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