36 Nuremberg Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

From the moment we were met at the Prague airport by an Avalon representative who brought us to the hotel to meet our amazing cruise director, then from the moment we boarded our ship, to when the time came to disembark for our return home ... Read More
From the moment we were met at the Prague airport by an Avalon representative who brought us to the hotel to meet our amazing cruise director, then from the moment we boarded our ship, to when the time came to disembark for our return home (again with representatives escorting us to our departure area), we experienced nothing but First Class Service - all the way - by all of the Avalon employees, tour guides and others. On the ship, the attention to the smallest of details was amazing. The crew members on board were kind and friendly, always smiling, going the extra mile to help you – whether it was answering your questions or accommodating a special request for dinner. The buffet breakfasts and lunches, and dinners from menu choices, were some of the best dining out we've ever had-- worthy of the finest restaurants anywhere-- such choices and diversity, and perfect portion sizes. Our staterooms were very comfortable, we especially found the ‘fire in the fireplace’ feature to be fun and cozy. The lounges were warm and inviting, especially after returning from walking about on some damp, chilly days. It was nice to have a choice of larger lounge with bar (and excellent cocktails including specialty ones) and entertainment, as well as a smaller quiet lounge at the end of the ship for reading or just relaxing too (with snacks and coffee 24/7). There was even a small but nicely equipped fitness room with the basics which, with the tours and all else, we didn't even need. On our tours, our guides knew their stuff and enlightened us with their many insights on their country, culture and custom-- one of the trip highlights for us. What a fantastic trip we had for our first time ever cruise! It was the most relaxing and stress-free vacation we have ever experienced, and we loved the size of the ship--big enough but quite a nice size for such a cruise. We’d choose Avalon and the Imagery II again in a flash. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise to experience the European Christmas markets. I love the charm and magic of Christmas decorations and the stores and restaurant displays did not disappoint. Pre-Cruise: We arrived in Prague for two days prior to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the European Christmas markets. I love the charm and magic of Christmas decorations and the stores and restaurant displays did not disappoint. Pre-Cruise: We arrived in Prague for two days prior to embarkation to allow us to adjust to the time change/travel fatigue. We stayed at the same hotel as others doing the full three day pre-cruise Prague package. This was helpful for the bus ride to Nuremberg, the port of embarkation. Upon check-in at the hotel I was directed to the table where the cruise director, Kata, greeted us. We did our own thing in Prague and enjoyed our time there. Shore Excursions: The scheduled excursions always include professional tour guides arranged by Amawaterways and all were all very knowledgeable. Each stateroom has two "receivers" for you to hear the tour guides speak on the tours. These receivers were of better quality than those I have used on other European tours. If your itinerary has you visiting Christmas markets on a weekend - be ready for large crowds. We chose several food/drink focused excursion options not associated with Christmas markets and were very pleased. One afternoon I took the gingerbread cookie decorating class. The cookies were baked by the staff and we were provided icing to decorate. One day we opted to stay on the ship while it changed ports, rather than taking a bus ride to a castle. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. Those who opted for the castle tour were also pleased with their selection. We found we enjoyed the smaller cities and markets the most, with Regensberg our favorite. We had snow flurries one day in Melk - which added to the charm and Christmas spirit. Food: The first night's dinner was excellent. Unfortunately, the other meals were not as special. I attribute this to trying to feed 150-160 people at the same time. If you are not interested in the main courses being offered, there is always a beef, chicken and vegetarian option to choose from. You will never go hungry. Entertainment: We are not big on on-board entertainment, but found the violin players to be really enjoyable. We had the option of adding a Chechen-themed dinner and dancing entertainment in Prague but chose not to based on personal preference and prior experiences. Currency: We had three currencies to deal with on the cruise. Prior to the trip we went to a local currency exchange and got Korunas, Euros and Forints in amounts we thought we would spend in those locations. We did have some money left over to exchange upon our return, but found it very convenient to have local currencies at hand. Packing: The on-board laundry service which was around $15 Euros for five shirts, five pairs of underwear, a couple pairs of socks and two pairs of jeans. Next time we will pack less and do laundry more. Security: The Christmas markets in large cities always had a police presence in and around the market. The more crowded the market, the more likely for theft. No one we knew had anything stolen, but one couple felt their backpack being unzipped in Budapest and were able to turn and stop the thief. Also, be aware of bike lanes and don't wander into them. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. I would recommend this cruise and the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I had previously been on another river cruise with a different company and wanted to try Avalon Waterways to compare. Avalon far exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend using them. We enjoyed the ship, our cabin, the food, ... Read More
I had previously been on another river cruise with a different company and wanted to try Avalon Waterways to compare. Avalon far exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend using them. We enjoyed the ship, our cabin, the food, amazing friendly staff (cruise director Valentin was the best, with his extensive knowledge and wicked humor, as was Melinda our cabin person who went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and at home) and the ports and shore excursions. We especially enjoyed all the Christmas markets, but Vienna was my favorite. The charm of the city was right up my alley and the symphony excursion was one to remember forever. We also thoroughly enjoyed the school excursion which, I was told, was a trial for future cruises. I would say YES to keeping this as part of your itinerary! This was my last overseas vacation and definitely one of the best experiences. Thank you, Avalon Waterways! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Ship rooms comfortable and elegent. Ships food- top notch. Crew Service-exempliary. Above and beyond, near fanatical in ensuring you want for nothing that they can provide. All you need do on a Viking Cruise is sleep, get up and ... Read More
Ship rooms comfortable and elegent. Ships food- top notch. Crew Service-exempliary. Above and beyond, near fanatical in ensuring you want for nothing that they can provide. All you need do on a Viking Cruise is sleep, get up and slog off to a tremendous breakfast selection. Then go back to your stateroom and get ready for the tours they will take you on, fully arranged of course. They fgeed you some wonderful lunch somewhere or catch you own. After touring and walking about in new places, return to the ship for a 5 star meal. The bar is always open and great beers flow. Sit in laxurious lounge to view the fabulous scenery from a riverboat. Enjoy the evening river sights and smeels with new friends, good beer and great cigars. It just doesnt get any better. Viking strives to handle any and all logistics related to travel and to make your experience enriching. They sure did. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our second time booking with Viking and we knew that every detail would be taken care of. The service was superior, the food was excellent and all excursions included were very well organized along with very informing guides. The ... Read More
This was our second time booking with Viking and we knew that every detail would be taken care of. The service was superior, the food was excellent and all excursions included were very well organized along with very informing guides. The small cruise made it easy to mingle with other guests, the smaller ship made it easy to get around. The hotels chosen for us in both Prague and Paris were centrally located which made it very easy to explore on our own The negatives....most ports required transportation to the cities on our itinerary, sometimes taking up to two hours. Therefore following our tour we had very little time to explore before we got back on a bus again. The entertainment at night was OK, but we really missed the Broadway productions found on the larger ships. Seating was at a minimum sometimes especially on the forward deck and lounge area in the evening. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The staff was excellent...all of them. Very attentive and wanting to please. Regional entertainment they brought on board was great. Loved special concert in Vienna they scheduled for us as well as a piano concert at school for deaf in ... Read More
The staff was excellent...all of them. Very attentive and wanting to please. Regional entertainment they brought on board was great. Loved special concert in Vienna they scheduled for us as well as a piano concert at school for deaf in Budapest. Cabin Steward was Dejuan . He was helpful in making suggestions and so very professional and cordial. Also all wait staff in dining rooms were great, Alexander, Stan, “Daniel Craig”, Andy, Wilber, Rada, JJ, etc. loved them all. Food was good and especially liked that evening meal, while elegant, was just right amount, not too much. Only recommendation would be that on shore excursions it would have been better if passengers were given hand held devices as a lot of our iPhones lost power by the end. Wish we could have had more time at all of the stops, especially Budapest which was a real hidden Gem. Also adding names of wines which we had on board to an app would be helpful updating n our return Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Our cruise down the Danube in December was truly a trip of a lifetime. The entire staff aboard the Avalon Illumination were amazing. We received first class treatment in a very relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The ... Read More
Our cruise down the Danube in December was truly a trip of a lifetime. The entire staff aboard the Avalon Illumination were amazing. We received first class treatment in a very relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The Christmas Markets and all the sites along the way were beautiful. The Illumination was the prettiest boat on the river and was "decked out" for the holidays. The food and wine selections at all meals were wonderful and the lounge/bar was perfect place to unwind and get together with fellow guests after dinner and various times throughout the day. Sabine, our Cruise Director, was very helpful with suggestions and detailed information about how to navigate each stop along the way when we wanted to go out and explore on our own. Avalon is a top notch company and we have recommended this cruise line to all of our friends back home. Thank you, Avalon, for making the beginning of our holiday season so merry and bright! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This cruise exceeded my expectations! The staff and crew were fabulous, especially Nick Hartog, our cruise manager. Our cabin was amazing, and our housekeeper (Vlad) kept it immaculate. Service in the dining room was attentive and kind. ... Read More
This cruise exceeded my expectations! The staff and crew were fabulous, especially Nick Hartog, our cruise manager. Our cabin was amazing, and our housekeeper (Vlad) kept it immaculate. Service in the dining room was attentive and kind. Everything went smoothly--even when river water levels were low and we had to make some adjustments to sail the Rhine River Gorge. I am not a lover of guided tours, and I often find the guides on trips like this to be a bit boorish and sometimes sexist in their remarks. We had a couple guides who disappointed, but a few who were great. I enjoy going off on my own more often--especially to the beer destinations for our beer tours. (Breweries and bars were great fun with our group!) I appreciated the healthy and vegetarian options in the dining room, but would suggest that you allow more of a cross-over here by designing healthy vegetarian. (i.e.: fewer carbs and better protein choices.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise because Diana Gabaldon was going to be featured. I’d been interested in a River Cruise but with the added bonus of my favorite author meant I had to go on this trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. It ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Diana Gabaldon was going to be featured. I’d been interested in a River Cruise but with the added bonus of my favorite author meant I had to go on this trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. It went beyond my expectations. The food was great and the staff friendly and helpful. Historically interesting sites, beautiful scenery and knowledgeable guides really added to the enjoyment. There were plenty of excursion options so while it made choosing one difficult at times, it meant there was something for everyone. The events with Diana Gabaldon were well organized and thoughtfully planned. These were particularly enjoyable for us fans. Diana herself was very gracious and approachable. Sharing a meal with her and her husband was one of the highlights. My husband especially liked the lightning over Vienna but we really can’t credit Avalon for that! Overall, the cruise gave us memories that will last our whole lives. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This cruise was the Legendary Danube Author Cruise, featuring Diana Gabaldon. Our Cruise director Robert was outstanding. Tours in Prague led by Helenna were excellent. The waiter/waitress staff were very attentive. Food variety was ... Read More
This cruise was the Legendary Danube Author Cruise, featuring Diana Gabaldon. Our Cruise director Robert was outstanding. Tours in Prague led by Helenna were excellent. The waiter/waitress staff were very attentive. Food variety was geared for each of the countries being visited. Great way to try something new to you. Access to Diana Gabaldon was very open and had set times for interaction, book signing, Q&A session. What entertainment I participated in was top notch. It was a good mix of subjects, How the lock's work and the history, Beer tasting and it's history of the regions. Musicians boarded at the lock's and debarked at the locks. I will be using Avalon in the future. I now prefer river cruising over ocean cruising. The smaller size is easy and relaxing. I never felt overwhelmed with to many people in one place at one time. Cabin size was ok with 2 twin beds. Definitely had to jocky for position. The sliding doors were great, just couldn't leave open to much due to the bugs. This was explained to us in our opening ceremonies. It was fun in the locks with other ships side by side. There was not any stop that I wasn't satisfied. Prague was a great start (3 day land) beautiful city and so much history. In Nuremberg had a guided tour of Roth and it's city center. Met the Mayor who was very excited that they were hosting the "Challenge races" same as the "Ironman triathlon". Regensburg was having it's yearly antique fair, art museum opening and the bridge opening. This was on Sunday and 95% of the shops were closed. Not a problem because of all the street vendors, beer gardens and restaurants were happy to accommodate. Linz had a great city and Cathedral tour. Passau was a great sight seeing stop a quick look and we were off to Vienna. Melk is picturesque and the Melk Abbey was amazing. So much history. Vienna is amazing. Had a city tour, then embarked on our own. Used subway system, watch out for the pick pocketers. Went to the Belvedere Museum, upper and lower. Monet, Picasso and Klimt to name a few of the outstanding art pieces there. Transit system is excellent. Ending in Budapest. Such a beautiful city. Did city tour and the walking culinary tour. Outstanding. Amazingly the passenger age group in my estimation was mid 20's to 80's. Average around 60. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My husband and I choose this cruise because of its availabilty early in the river cruising season. In April we would rather deal with the weather (which was surprisingly spectacular for this cruise) then crowds later in the season. We ... Read More
My husband and I choose this cruise because of its availabilty early in the river cruising season. In April we would rather deal with the weather (which was surprisingly spectacular for this cruise) then crowds later in the season. We had been on a AMA cruise in Portugal last year and loved it. One of the issues that arises when you take a cruise early in the season is a staff that has not worked together or is inexperienced. The cruise director on this cruise falls into thist catagory and thus impacted our experience. Often there seemed to be confusion as shore excursions were organized. Our bus left 4 people at a church and did not realize it for many miles later. Our paid excusion had more people on it then they had accounted for. Many times the cruise director was on our bus, and interacted rarely with the people around her. One shore excursion which had groups going to the same places we were on a bus with 10 people and the other bus had 25, which made no sense. On the last day of the cruise, all of the afternoon shore excursions were to return at 5:30PM, while a special music presentation in the lounge was to begin at 5:00PM. This made no sense. One pleasant surprise was that during Happy Hour there was a special cocktail each day that was complimentary in additon to wine, beer and other mixed drinks. The staff was friendly and went out of their way to please. We have cruised many times before, but never have I seen the Captain present and as this one. We did not realize that because there were 56 locks to go through between Nuremburg and Luxembourg that the sun deck would have to be down most of the time. There were also low bridges that caused this. Thus, not able to enjoy the early warm spring weather from the top. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and would chose AMA again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The ... Read More
After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The food was out of this world. The tours were fabulous and tour guides (except Regensburg) were great. And the Cruise Director Christian was wonderful. So to start - we went over early and spent a few days in Prague prior to the pre-cruise with AMA. We did a tour starting at the hotel and going up to Prague Castle. Then walked down to the Christmas Markets. The QuietVox headphone system was great in hearing the tour guide. Only complaint is that for me the earpiece was too big and hurt my ear - but otherwise great. The tour guide gave us plenty of information - but didn't overwhelm us. Then we left Prague on buses to Nuremberg. They had plenty of buses so that not everybody was sitting on top of each other. We had a guide on the bus that gave us lots of information as we traveled from Prague to Nuremberg. Once we reached Nuremberg, we were let off to enjoy some of the Christmas Market and part of the city for a couple of hours while the buses went to the ship and unloaded our luggage. We met the buses and they dropped us off at the ship where we were greated by the staff with champagne. Our luggage was in the rooms already - but we waited in the lounge until our section was called where we went to the front desk, had our picture taken and given our keys to our room. A room steward then took us to our room, explained everything and left us. We unpacked and went to the restaurant for lunch. Evening we met the staff and had a wonderful first night dinner. Meals on the ship were great. Several options and one thing that was nice was they had a list of allergies and each course showed any allergies for that meal so that you could make sure you wouldn't eat something you shouldn't. The staff remembered your allergies and made sure that they took care of you. Our wait person was Stevan and we LOVED him. Also the wine was continuous. You take one drink and he was there filling your glass back up. Same with water or other drinks you had. The room was BB201 and was spacious and comfortable. If you lifted the bed - the luggage would fit under the bed and gave you more room. Plenty of room to hang clothes and shelves to put non-hanging clothes and other things. Free Wi-Fi was nice. Tours - we really loved the tours. We only had one guide that we thought was lacking - the others were full of information and interestingly. Was surprised about how much I learned about each of these sites we visited. Loved the Christmas Markets. I think Thurn and Taxis was our favorite Christmas Market and Salzburg was our favorite city. Embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth. On ship entertainment was great. One night was decorating the Christmas Tree, one night was former members of the Regensburg Boy's Choir who sung for us for about 30-45 minutes which was great. One night the staff entertained us with Christmas Markets and we understand that was a first - but they said they had a blast and we did too. They really got everybody involved. Highlight was the Illumination Cruise in Budapest. It was COLD but breathtaking to go up on the top and see the buildings lit up. Beautiful. As mentioned - I can' say enough good about this cruise line. The staff was great and I would do this in a heart-beat again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I will begin this by saying, this trip was booked for the sole purpose of visiting the Christmas Markets. My mother had been to Germany several times, and I was anxious to see the wonderful sights she had seen while visiting the Christmas ... Read More
I will begin this by saying, this trip was booked for the sole purpose of visiting the Christmas Markets. My mother had been to Germany several times, and I was anxious to see the wonderful sights she had seen while visiting the Christmas Markets previously. We have traveled on several cruises together through the years, but always pn ocean liners. We researched the trip. We researched the destinations. We definitely did our homework. That being said, I will refer to a particular evening when our Cruise Director was going over the following day's itinerary. I heard a passenger lament that we were going to "Another Christmas Market" with a groan and eyeroll as she said it. I turned to my mother and said, "How could she be upset about that? This was advertised as a Christmas Market Cruise!" I heard many of these rumblings throughout the trip. I was somewhat offended, because I will cherish the trip, the memories and the people we met for the rest of my life. I had an awesome trip, so I found it a little hard to stomach the ones that were saying such rude things. I found the ship and crew warm and welcoming. The staff bent over backward to make us feel at home. Many of the crew members filled multiple roles. They did so with efficiency and kindness. As I said previously, we had been on several cruises. They were ocean cruises. This was the first river cruise I'd been on. I knew that the grandeur of a ocean cruise ship would not be found on a river cruise. I knew there would be no casino, no nightclub, no nightly shows. I knew there would be no midnight buffets with ice sculptures. I don't care about those things. We booked this trip to add to a lifetime of memories that my mom and I have been making together. We were not disappointed. I found the ship to provide for every necessity we had, and provide well. The ship was well kept, it was lovely and when I compared it to other ships we saw cruising the Rhine I was pleasantly pleased that our ship was amongst the nicest. Dining. I heard quite a few people complaining about the fare. I heard some rather needless and unkind things being said. So here is my assessment of the food and dining experience. I found the food to be good, plentiful and very tailored to the passenger pool. If we were to take a walking trip around the meal bar you would find: fresh cheeses, sliced meats, salad options, fruits, bread, desserts, hot and cold cereals, soups, rice, fish, sandwiches, hot veggies, meat choices, usually a pasta choice, omelettes to order at breakfast and the list goes on. If you want a lighter fare you can visit the lounge and enjoy a pancake, french toast, soup, pasta or sandwich at breakfast or lunch. At dinner the menu also plentiful. Typically there were 2 choices of appetizer, a soup, a featured item as main course and a dessert. If you did not care of the featured main course there was a choice of chicken, steak, fish or Ceasar Salad every night, as well. No, you will not find the vast array of food you'd find on an ocean cruise. That being said, if you find fault in the food on this cruise then I would say you should have booked a Cuisine Cruise instead. I found the food to be delicious, and I thought the Chef was wonderful. Entertainment and Activities were not a huge priority to us. We did not book this cruise to be entertained and party. We were on this trip to enjoy time spent with each other and any new friends we would meet, and we did meet some wonderful people. We thoroughly enjoyed the glassblower, the cookie making, the musical entertainment, the movie nights, disco night and trivia. They were wonderfully presented and fun to attend. Service. The ENTIRE staff bent over backwards to help us. If I were going to say anything on the downside, it would be that my mother and I are not alcohol drinkers. I found it a bit difficult at first to get a soft drink. The wait staff have to go to a different location to get a soft drink so it throws off their service rhythm. Which I totally understand. Dining on a smaller scale ship is like a well thought out ballet. Everything has it's place because of limited space. They are super organized and efficient. I felt I was inconveniencing them to ask for a soft drink. They are pronto with the alcohol, but soft drinks not so much. I worked it out by mid cruise, I began ordering my soft drinks two at a time so that I wouldn't have to ask for a refill later in the meal. Ironically, the majority of the ladies we sat with began doing the same so we became known as the soda drinkers. We also made sure to sit in the areas of the dining room that we knew the waiters were a bit more flexible. From the Captain on down to the room stewards, everyone was wonderful. Ports, docking and excursions. Ports were wonderful. Transportation from the ship to our destinations was quick and efficient. I enjoyed the all the places we visited. I absolutely LOVED Rothenberg, which in our package was an excursion. It was my absolute favorite. If we had thought it through more, we would have gotten an earlier flight to Nuremberg and visited the Market there before boarding the ship. We enjoyed a diverse choice of stops with the commonality of the Christmas Markets, which we loved. If I was going to find a downside, I would have to say the arrival times to the Market locations. I had anticipated this experience for so long. After researching the destinations and seeing pictures of the marketplaces at each, I had a very clear vision in my head. I was mildly disappointed that the majority of the markets we visited weren't even open when we arrived, because we arrived in the mornings. I was excited to experience the markets in the evening when they were lit up to get the full effect of Christmas time festivities. I was grateful to get to see them, but would have loved to see them all at night. I understand we were at the mercy of our port time and sail schedule, but that would be the only thing I would say was disappointing. Overall, this was the trip of a lifetime and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I would do it again and again, and I would sail with Emerald again to do it. It was a great way to "sample" some locations to possibly revisit so that I can spend more time in the places that truly stood out to me. In an nutshell: I loved the entire trip. What I didn't love was the bashing being done by some of the other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was my first river cruise. We joined a group of ladies who wanted to see the Christmas Markets. This has been on my bucket list as long as I can remember, so a good friend and I decided this is the time to go! We flew into Prague ... Read More
This was my first river cruise. We joined a group of ladies who wanted to see the Christmas Markets. This has been on my bucket list as long as I can remember, so a good friend and I decided this is the time to go! We flew into Prague for a few nights first (we had both been there before but visiting this beautiful city at this time of year was thrilling.) We enjoyed seeing the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony to set off the season and the seven markets we found. Then we took a bus down to Nuremburg on a lightly snowing day, which added to the ambiance of the holiday season. Boarding the AmaCerto was an easy and quick experience, there were some snacks set up in the public area. We met up with many people that I had met before who had joined this group. To summarize the meals and service (both room and table) for the week was wonderful. Very friendly staff and well organized when we got together to set off at the ports. Some markets were walking distance from the ship and some we needed to take a bus, all were wonderful ports! I cannot say which Christmas Markets were our favorites, as all the cities were so beautifully decorated and each one had a different feel to it. Yes, they basically sell the same things but because the set up and festivities are all individualized, we never got tired of them. Each market sells their own souveniour mug (inexpensive, and if you give it back to them after you finish the gluwein, they will give you the deposit Euros back). Besides Prague and Nuremberg, we saw markets at Regensberg, Vienna, Linz, Melk, Salzburg (special sign-up), and Budapest. We loved the evening cruise down the Danube to see the Parliament all lit up in Budapest, such a beautiful way to end the cruise. The AMA staff, tour director and guides, bus drivers were all great. We had special memories of leaving our shoes out the door one night so that a big chocolate bar was left in each upon waking in the morning, we were surprised with beautiful scarves (for ladies) wrapped in lovely boxes, festive gifts from Santa on our last night when he came on the ship, not to mention being greeted each day upon returning to the ship with a hot towel and gluwein to welcome us back. We stayed a couple of more nights in Budapest on our own before returning back to the states, a very walkable city and one I would like to return one day. All in all, this was one cruise that more than exceeded any of my high expectations. We plan on participating in the Rhine Christmas Markets in 2020...I sure hope I can wait. Loved every second! Oh, meanwhile, my husband and I are going to sail the Rhine and Moselle Fairytales cruise on the AmaPrima in a couple of weeks. I wanted him to experience this river cruise and I know it will be a great time, as well! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We'd been wanting to try river cruising and this was our first. We took a Viking ocean cruise to the Baltic last year and absolutely loved it. As expected, the service was above average, but the food was not as good as we ... Read More
We'd been wanting to try river cruising and this was our first. We took a Viking ocean cruise to the Baltic last year and absolutely loved it. As expected, the service was above average, but the food was not as good as we thought it should be. We had a veranda cabin, which we were unfortunately unable to enjoy because of the cold weather. The cabin was smaller than on an ocean vessel, but we knew it would be. The included tours were as expected and the optional tours we took to Heidelberg and Rothenburg were very enjoyable. We loved cruising the Rhine and seeing all the castles on the hills. Passengers were very friendly and many had been on multiple river cruises before. I don't know that we will river cruise again - we think we just like all the additional perks of ocean cruising, which Viking does exceptionally. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We (6 Persons) booked this cruise 8-9 months before we actually left. It was a partial Christmas market and We went to Rothenberg for 2 days before then Nuremberg for 3 days before we got on the cruise. Everything went extremely smoothly ... Read More
We (6 Persons) booked this cruise 8-9 months before we actually left. It was a partial Christmas market and We went to Rothenberg for 2 days before then Nuremberg for 3 days before we got on the cruise. Everything went extremely smoothly and the trip for the 6 of us was fun relaxing and busy. The cabins are smaller then on a cruise ship but we new what to expect and plenty of room for us. The heated floor in the bathroom is a plus in cold weather. the service was impeccable and everyone was helpful and knowledgeable. Pan (Panayot Tsvetkov) really helped us with our wines to make sure we had what we liked. With 6 women that was no small feat. The bar staff and wait staff knew what we wanted even before we did on some days. The entertainment and activities were fun and enjoyable. The food was extremely tasteful. Overall I could not find anything to criticize. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Um no, no thanks. Never again. I signed up for a Viking River Cruise "Christmas in Germany" cruise in April 2017 for my mother's 50th birthday on assurances we would see "tons of Christmas markets" in Germany ... Read More
Um no, no thanks. Never again. I signed up for a Viking River Cruise "Christmas in Germany" cruise in April 2017 for my mother's 50th birthday on assurances we would see "tons of Christmas markets" in Germany - which was the ENTIRE point of the trip to Europe during Thanksgiving. Otherwise we'd have stayed home, it's cold, it rains, it's miserable but the Christmas markets are legendary and something my mother has always wanted to see. So for her birthday, I paid for this cruise. I booked the most expensive room - one of two Explorer Suites on the third level at the aft of the boat. Our ship was set to depart Nuremberg on 25 November with everyone embarking on 24 November for a 7-day cruise culminating with a final stop in Cologne. The brochure had the Nuremberg Christmas Market on it - one of the most famous in Germany. It spoke of all the Christmas merriment and smells of mulled cider and Christmas sights we'd see during our cruise. During our first nightly port meeting - our cruise director, George, informed us that the markets in Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Wurtzberg were all not yet open and were set to open the following week (after we'd all gone home). This meant of all the sights we'd see and places we'd stop - we would see only two markets over seven days - Koblenz and Cologne. Instantly pissed off. Now, during our cruise it rained and rained and rained. It was also freezing. So all our walking tours were miserable. And no markets. Also, because of all the rain, the water level was so high that our boat only barely moved once and we had to be bused long distances early in the morning from the boat. Hours on buses. Dinners in town at cheap places because we'd get back so late. This happened for about three days before we were eventually forced to disembark three days early (two nights left) and stay in a cheap hotel 40 minutes outside Cologne. Essentially, I did not get to stay in expensive suite I paid for for two nights, I didn't see the Christmas Markets I paid for (as they were not open yet no one checked the calendar), I did not get the food I paid for for several days (breakfast, lunch and dinner two days in the hotel) and then when we ate in town due to the 3.5 hour one way bus rides we ate at places that ONLY served beef and brat and cabbage - for two additional days lunch and then dinner not to mention the fully stocked fridge and snacks in our room that are complimentary which we did not have at the cheap hotel. I eat very healthy and expected the various menu options on the boat (fish, veggies, etc.) Viking is not cheap and I expected to get my money's worth. I did not. Not even close. Viking tried to make some things up to us - booking a stop in Miltenberg to shop (still no market) - and booking a cheaper option (fried chicken and soggy veggies for lunch) on a day boat to tour the Scenic Rhine - but it was too little too late for me as we'd spent HOURS on buses. You could also skip Wurzburg and the beautiful Wurzburg residence and go back to Bamberg for the Christmas market again another day - my mom wanted to see the historically rebuilt residence. Also, you could pay even more money (I'd already paid $10,000 for this cruise) to go on an extra excursion to Heidelberg and see their Christmas town (I don't think their market was open but they have an all-year store-type thing) which I chose not to do because, again, I'd already spent $10,000. Apparently you get bused a lot anyway during these - sometimes 2+ hours each way to these places. I thought the boats pulled into the towns. No. When I returned I demanded a partial refund - Viking initially offered me a standard $1100 in a future voucher. I said no. They then offered $3300 for a future cruise that I had to book in the next 12 months before it expired and wanted me to sign a non-disclosure. Are you kidding?! For a VOUCHER. They don't sell cruises that are cheap - so in order to see any compensation for this farce of a cruise I'd have to pay them MORE money. At this point - I never want to cruise with them again. Let alone give them thousands more. That is bad business and not a way to compensate customers for mistakes. Their customer service is awful and I have been put off by the entire experience. I expected better. They told me that they were only "offering" four Christmas markets during this cruise. News to me and everyone else I spoke to on the cruise, most of who flew on Thanksgiving night specifically for the Germany Christmas markets and were devastated not to get to see them and had verified with booking agents and customer service they would see ALL of them in every town we visited. Instead, we saw where they were being set up and would be open the following week for the next cruise. I mentioned that the most famous of the trip, Nuremberg, was on the first page of the cruise booklet and the agent, Rayna, who I spoke to, informed that the photo was simply for marketing purposes and we were never going to see that one, despite embarking and spending two days in Nuremberg. That is shameful. Well, of the four they "offered" - I got to see two of them. Even had they all been open, the schedules were so packed with bus rides, lunches, and walking tours of the cities, at best we had a hurried 30-60 minutes to walk the town by ourselves anyway. So the Christmas markets were never the main attraction - they were simply an afterthought. Extremely disappointing to my mother and I who planned the entire trip ONLY on the markets since she has wanted to see them her entire life. Otherwise, I could easily have visited Europe during warmer and less rainy and windy months when I could've enjoyed it. From Googling the company at this point I see this part of Germany has issues often with low or high water and clients being removed from boats and swapping to others. What a pain. Also, many complaints against Viking for cruises with issues where they refuse to try to make it right. I for one, plan never to use this company again and I would strongly encourage no one else to either. Viking continues to hold onto the flooding as my main concern in any interaction we've had - when really - it's more about misleading me about the Christmas markets and the calendar. I'd never have booked had I known I was only ever going to see 4 Christmas markets to begin with - they let everyone think the theme of the cruise was that and book according. Acts of God are one thing - but messing up Christmas market schedules and misleading customers then claiming they got to do "most of what was promised" (a direct quote from a snarky customer service agent who told me I had no recourse and they would not be discussing with me further) is simply not OK. Most of the individuals I saw on the cruise were elderly - extremely so - and probably take the vouchers for future cruises - don't complain - and don't go posting reviews all over the internet. I'm 33 years old and and I LOVE to travel and I travel 5x or more annually on luxury trips. I had hoped this experience would foster some loyalty for me with Viking and offer another way to travel for me and my friends and family. I had high expectations for them. I even had high expectations they would make this right when I got home and so far I have been nothing but massively disappointed. Bottom line - Viking River Cruises misrepresented what this cruise was about and is now refusing to offer compensation aside from vouchers (which will cost me more money to use and I am not accepting that) for my missed Christmas markets, two nights of missed accommodations and missed food services on a restricted diet. **Update 29 December 2017: I just spoke to the very polite and apologetic Viking agent who has been trying to contact me about this issue - I was now offered either 50% off a future cruise - or $500 in cash but both will require an NDA be signed. I'm not signing an NDA for a voucher Viking River Cruises. You owe me a cash refund and much more than $500. You misled every single passenger into thinking they were going to see all those Christmas markets and you are trying to cover the mistake up. There were a ton of elderly people on that cruise and most of them traveled on Thanksgiving day to be there. You should be ashamed. My mother and I spoke to dozens of people who were all furious and upset as they had only done this particular cruise for the markets. Now I'm being told Viking was only ever "offering" four. News to me. Even still, I only saw two. Do better. I appreciate the apology - but asking me to spend more money with you after a mistake this big - is nothing but bad business. **Update 30 December 2017: BUYER BEWARE - Viking River Cruises has shady social media, PR and customer service tactics involving having employees leave 5-star reviews and having multiple reviews left to push down bad ones. I have refused to sign an NDA as they will not refund my money - today they disabled their reviews on their Facebook site which seems a response to this review I posted on 27 December 2017 about a recent Christmas in Germany Cruise I took where they mis-represented the scheduled events - they can't delete it however - so the link below shows the original review - I've also posted it on my own FB page, on Yelp, here and made it public for all internet searches so it can be found. Bc it had so many comments and likes it was still at the top of the "Most Helpful Column" and they couldn't have that.... Original review link for Viking River Cruises on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alison.mccombs/posts/10104486688307539:0 Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have been thorough Europe, but never had the opportunity to experience an ambling cruise from Prague to Budapest. Looking and the brochures, this cruise looked like a wonderful opportunity to travel uninterrupted with a 5 star line. WE ... Read More
We have been thorough Europe, but never had the opportunity to experience an ambling cruise from Prague to Budapest. Looking and the brochures, this cruise looked like a wonderful opportunity to travel uninterrupted with a 5 star line. WE WEREN'T DISAPPOINTMENT! From the moment Viking met us at the Prague airport till the moment we were personally escorted to the security line at the Budapest airport, we were immersed in Viking's special treatment of their guests. Small ship (less than 195 travelers) made it idyllic to get to know your companions and yet not feel crowded nor rushed. Staff was so friendly and went out of their way to accommodate your requests. Food was spectacular, and so were the wines served from the regions we were cruising in. The Egil was fairly new, and the cabins were comfortable and spacious. If you like small ships with excellent service and a thoughtful itinerary, this is the way to go! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We actually chose this cruise just on the basis of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed with AMAWaterways, however, we would definitely take another cruise with them based on the outstanding experience we had. We sailed from Nuremberg ... Read More
We actually chose this cruise just on the basis of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed with AMAWaterways, however, we would definitely take another cruise with them based on the outstanding experience we had. We sailed from Nuremberg to Budapest on the beautiful new ship AMAStella, visiting Christmas markets along the way. By the end, we had pretty well exhausted our interest in markets. Luckily, the shore excursions (all accompanied by knowledgeable guides) also included city tours and there were on-board activities related to Christmas as well. The food was unbelievably well done. We were so impressed with the variety and the preparation, as well as the wine service. We traveled with a one-year-old in our group, which could have been a recipe for disaster. Instead, we found we could easily take part in meals and activities, and the crew was welcoming and helpful. In fact, the entire crew was as friendly, professional and helpful as one could wish in all aspects of the trip. Embarkation and disembarkation were also expertly done. In short, we felt we hit almost a home run on our first experience cruising. Our only complaint relates to AMA's business office. When in April 2015 we booked 6 adults for December 2016, we also indicated that we would be bringing a 13-month old child. With 6 reservations on the line, they agreed to allow the infant, but wanted our acknowledgement that they had no support for an infant: no crib, high chair, stroller, car seat, dirty diaper pail, car seat or life vest. We agreed, we would provide our own. A week before the trip we were informed that we should have been charged an almost $1000 supplement for the infant, but they agreed they were a little late on that. But we were also informed that the parents of the infant would have to move from Deck 3 to Deck 1 because Deck 3 cabins had a balcony and the infant could fall overboard, so they would apply the rate reduction for Deck 1 against the supplement and waive the balance. Obviously the "balcony" issue was a pretext (who opens a balcony in December from Nuremberg to Budapest, much less what parent opens the balcony with a 13-month old infant). I talked to another parent who had a somewhat similar experience with a young child on another AMA cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
If you are considering a Viking River Cruise - just do it! My Mom and I had so much fun and I think to narrow it down it was "the experience" overall. Feel free to reach out with specific questions but here's a quick ... Read More
If you are considering a Viking River Cruise - just do it! My Mom and I had so much fun and I think to narrow it down it was "the experience" overall. Feel free to reach out with specific questions but here's a quick overview. 1. The boat is quaint and beautiful. I loved knowing or recognizing most of the passengers. The rooms are small but comfortable. I would recommend spending the extra money for a balcony or french balcony because opening your door when you want is worth the money; especially in those cool locks! 2. The food was really good. Eating w/people you recognize and spend time with was great. The caliber of people on our ship was amazing. Just nice people all around. Beer, wine and drinks are "included" during meals so you never have to worry about a bill sneaking up on you. 3. The tours are interesting, included and fun! They are short - like 3 hours and give you a taste of where you are. Then you can decide if you want something more intimate or want to just wander. I loved that! 4. EASY - Everything was so easy and practical. We did not have to worry about anything including when they took us back to the airport. They went in with us and stayed until we were checked in. A couple tips to bring: 1. I recommend bringing two suitcases and filling your smaller one in the big one over there and then having an "extra" for stuff. 2. Bring bubble wrap so that nothing breaks. 3. Bring a USB fan. The cabins have their own temperature but my Mom gets cold easily so I wished I would have brought a personal fan. 4. If it's cold - bring hand warmers. They were a game changer for us. 5. We loved the tours - but wish we would have booked things more "intimate." I highly recommend doing a "Viator's Food Tour" in a couple cities when you go. They are amazing!!! 6. Business cards for people you meet. 7. Battery packs - for your iPhone if you are out all day. We went on the Danube but any river tour with Viking is well, well worth it!! Jen Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Viking is a great value for your dollar and the locations visited are wonderful! Never worried about safety during tours. Some of our tours were repeats and learned new information and perspective than on the first tour. Was nice to ... Read More
Viking is a great value for your dollar and the locations visited are wonderful! Never worried about safety during tours. Some of our tours were repeats and learned new information and perspective than on the first tour. Was nice to return to towns that had visited before and go back to shops that we had been to before. The Christmas Markets were amazing and enjoyed each of them. We find Germany rich in history and enjoy each stop. We have made 2 trips to Budapest and really enjoy the city. Our tour guide was amazing and so knowledgeable. She was raised there. When she was an adolescent moved to the US. Now her and family are back. She could really put the history in perspective. Cabins were always clean and staff very pleasant. Easy to find the Viking staff @ the airport and smooth process to get to the boat and back to the airport at the end of the cruise. The food was outstanding and the dining room staff awesome. By end of trip we all knew each others names and were treated like family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My husband and I recently took the Viking Romantic Danube cruise on the Atla from Nuremburg to Budapest with a group of friends. The small ship was satisfactory, but it was too cold in November to use the third deck for exercise, games, ... Read More
My husband and I recently took the Viking Romantic Danube cruise on the Atla from Nuremburg to Budapest with a group of friends. The small ship was satisfactory, but it was too cold in November to use the third deck for exercise, games, or viewing. Food and staff were adequate. The included morning excursions were enjoyable with excellent local guides. For those who don’t like to shop, there was nothing else to do in the afternoon unless purchasing an optional tour. There were before-dinner lectures but little to do after dinner other than sit in the bar lounge and listen to a singing pianist, except for two game nights and one night of two opera singers with a four-piece string accompaniment, all of which were enjoyable. There were very few TV stations, and the Internet was sporadic. The disastrous part of this cruise was booking it. We started almost a year earlier with Johnny at Viking because there was a “special” price and free airfare from the East coast until January 31. As we worked with him, we learned that Orlando is not on the East coast, but Philadelphia and New York are! We upgraded the nine-hour flight from Orlando to Frankfurt to premium economy for $900 each. We extended two days in Budapest for a deviation fee of $100 each. We were charged $400 each for the two-day hotel stay. We bought the travel insurance for $519 each. The total cost of the trip was $7,800. We decided to book as this was a group vacation. I left messages for Johnny every day for a week, and he never returned my calls. Finally on January 30 I called general reservations and was given another agent to book before the “sale” ended the next day. When I realized we were being charged $800 for two nights in a Budapest hotel, I called the Viking business office and spent a day cancelling it. I instead booked the four-star K and K Opera Hotel online myself for $80 a night. When we later tried to learn the flight dates and times, we were told we had to pay an extra $164 each from Air Plus, Viking’s “exclusive custom air department,” to find out ahead of time and receive “more desirable” flights. These flights were later changed without notifying us, from the agreed-upon 8 AM flight to a 6 AM flight. We learned of the change only after calling the airline to confirm our flight. Even though the cruise itself was adequate, it’s not worth the agony of booking, the unprofessional service, or the ridiculous costs of the add ons. This was not our first European river cruise, but Viking was a very difficult company to deal with. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Wanted to see more than 1 city in Europe and this way of travel made sense. Everything we experienced was above our expectations. This was our first and won't be our last. the service and food was amazing. The shore excursions were ... Read More
Wanted to see more than 1 city in Europe and this way of travel made sense. Everything we experienced was above our expectations. This was our first and won't be our last. the service and food was amazing. The shore excursions were well planned with guides that were easy to understand and able to answer all our questions. All entertainment on the ship and on land were fantastic. The food every night was worth looking forward to. everything was well thought out and prepared perfectly. The breakfast each morning was worth starting our day with. It was freshly purchased and prepared to our order or we could go up to the buffet. The service aboard the ship was excellent and way above our expectations. We never had a want for anything and the staff in the lounge went over and above our needs. There never was a need to ask twice for anything. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our second Viking River cruise, the first being in 2014 on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. We traveled with three other couples and had a fantastic time. Viking has river cruising down to a science, and we were blessed by ... Read More
This was our second Viking River cruise, the first being in 2014 on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. We traveled with three other couples and had a fantastic time. Viking has river cruising down to a science, and we were blessed by good weather and river levels which meant a lovely cruise. My husband and I again opted for a veranda suite, which meant we had a small living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Space is tight on river cruises, so a suite is not the same as a suite on an ocean cruise. The difference though was nice and we appreciated the complimentary champagne and daily fresh fruit - and the flowers were lovely and were refreshed during our stay. A difference between our first cruise and this one was that Viking has made it possible to reserve shore excursions online now, and we took advantage of that opportunity to prebook some things. Mornings are included, but in the afternoon guests may opt to go on their own to explore a town, create a private experience, or take part in a selection of experiences. One afternoon the concierge arranged for the boys to play golf at a local course in Germany which my husband sleuthed -- they were absolutely thrilled to have been able to do that. The concierge was friendly, resourceful, and very eager to ensure that all the guests were able to do just what they wanted - we thought that was great. In fact all the staff were very friendly and approachable on the ship. George, the activities director, was a hoot and so very friendly. We enjoyed his daily briefings and the fact that he seemed to truly enjoy being on the boat with all the tourists. A word about the guests -- we are all in early 50s in our group and were among the younger guests. This is not really a suitable cruise for young people (kids and teens). There just is not enough for them to do. We loved it, but I know our kids would not have enjoyed it as much as the ocean cruises we go on as a family. Fellow passengers are all friendly and interested in the places visited. We made great friends in a lovely couple from England who are planning a visit to our corner of the world next year -- a connection which wouldn't have happened if not for this cruise! The dining room was consistently good. Presentation is beautiful and flavors are wonderful. My husband and I opted for the silver spirits package which I highly recommend if you are at all particular about wine or prefer specialty coffees. There are two coffee stations outside the lounge which make cappuccino drinks, but if you are like me and enjoy an espresso after dinner or sparkling water, not to mention better wines, then the package is a smart deal. We passed through more than 20 locks on our cruise, and they are fun. The highlight of the cruise was the evening sailing on the Danube in Budapest - the city at night is spectacular. The ports were all lovely and sailing past quaint villages and the occasional castle and vineyard is just fantastic. Viking does it right - we so enjoyed this cruise and look forward to planning another. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had sailed Viking down the Rhine River and loved the cruise from start to finish. This trip likewise was just as the previous trip. Great tours and wonderful staff. The only reason I gave it a very good treatment was because the food ... Read More
We had sailed Viking down the Rhine River and loved the cruise from start to finish. This trip likewise was just as the previous trip. Great tours and wonderful staff. The only reason I gave it a very good treatment was because the food wasn't as good as the previous ship. Once you have 5 star meals on board you want to have it in your next journey. The service was excellent and the land tours were well organized and very informative. We lived that we were docked right in the cities that we visited, for the most, and could get off and on during our stay making it easy to enjoy the atmosphere of the local favors. We lived the Viking e oriented so much that we booked our third cruise as soon as we got home. It is truly a great value for the money. Thank you Viking! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016

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