14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wow! Where to start... after arriving in Europe we received an email from Viking stating it was ‘possible’ there could be an issue due to low water levels. This email was sent AFTER we were on our flight, which Viking arranged for us. ... Read More
Wow! Where to start... after arriving in Europe we received an email from Viking stating it was ‘possible’ there could be an issue due to low water levels. This email was sent AFTER we were on our flight, which Viking arranged for us. On our ride to our departure point, Nuremberg, Germany, our driver told us about a horror story one of his recent passengers shared about their Viking River Cruise. That’s when we started researching on Cruise Critic. What an eye opening read that was. These issues have been going on for over two months! We read horror stories about multiple ship swaps, long bus rides, missed ports, hotel stays, etc... it was enough to make us change our mind about cruising the “Romantic Danube” with Viking. Multiple reviews also mentioned that Viking sent them the same email, but only AFTER they were in Europe. This is clearly part of their MO of dishonest and manipulative behavior. After reading Viking’s so called “Satisfaction Guarantee”, we decided to invoke our rights and cancel our cruise immediately upon arrival at the ship. We spent hours with the Viking Jarl hotel manager and on the phone with Natasha Harris in Viking’s customer service office while our driver waited outside with our baggage. When we told Natasha in customer service that we wanted a refund, which is clearly stated as our right in their service guarantee, she told us we could leave the ship if we wanted, but she could not guarantee a refund. She said our claim would go in front of a review board AFTER we returned to the United States. We weren’t going to walk off the ship after paying thousands of dollars without any guarantee of a refund! That’s their whole plan. Who would pay for a trip and walk away without taking it without a refund? We were told once we set sail that (shockingly) we would have to stop the ship at a random port and take an hour and a half bus ride to and from Passau, Germany. Then we found out we would have a FOUR HOUR bus ride the following day, past Passau, and to another random port to SWITCH ships. Meanwhile, we are missing our first day in Vienna, the highlight of our trip! Today, our first night onboard the new ship, they tell us they will also be bussing us back and forth to Budapest, an hour and a half each way, 2 days in a row. This is NOT what we signed up for. This is not what we PAID for. From past reviews, we knew there would be major issues before we set foot on the first ship. That’s why we tried to get a refund from the beginning. Viking knew there would be issues well in advance and they CHOSE to keep that information from us. Their dishonesty upsets me as much as anything else. They keep their passengers in the dark until the last minute and then act surprised that there are issues. They are dishonest and manipulative. Just say NO to Viking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We’ve all seen them - the inspirational Viking Cruise Lines advertisements - mature couples drinking wine on deck with wind blowing gently on their smiling faces amidst beautiful castles going by as they cruise luxuriously down the ... Read More
We’ve all seen them - the inspirational Viking Cruise Lines advertisements - mature couples drinking wine on deck with wind blowing gently on their smiling faces amidst beautiful castles going by as they cruise luxuriously down the exotic river. Enchanting villages where, said couples, are watching and bantering with the village folk while teaching them the secret techniques of their trade. Enrichment lectures onboard and destination performances at port so you can experience the culture live and in color. Irresistible, right? So irresistible, in fact, that we called Viking directly and after talking at length with the “Travel Consultant” about the “Romantic Danube” River Cruise and all that it included, we signed up with eager anticipation. My husband and I just completed our Viking “Romantic Danube” River cruise and found the reality to be altogether different. It was actually more of a BUS TRIP where we “cruised” down nondescript highways with occasional stops in places not on the itinerary (to make up for the places we didn’t go to that were on the itinerary) to catch a glimpse of our ship docked at some rundown, industrial site that is nowhere near our destination. My personal favorite was the gravel pit with the huge crane where we literally had to walk under the dangling cab to board our ship. This, of course, was one of those stops somewhere between cities we were supposed to visit but had to take a bus to get to. Rumor has it, from a reliable source who works for Viking, that these sites are actually chosen to avoid paying expensive docking fees in ports of call. But I digress… Unfortunately, our trip did not reflect what was advertised in the commercials, brochures or travel document verbiage. In fact, there was but a vestige of what the itinerary and brochure promised. Yes, the river level was down; and Yes, the itinerary needed to be altered; and Yes, there were buses to be organized and utilized, but the overarching problem with this trip for us was that Viking’s approach to all of this is to NOT FULLY DISCLOSE the information they had. This resulted in constant last minute changes, passenger confusion, misinformation, frustration and an overall feeling that we were having “the wool pulled over our eyes”, which then lead to multiple rumors about how Viking was greedily and knowingly taking advantage of its passengers. To top off this already difficult environment, the Program Director and his staff were arrogant, condescending, aloof and downright rude. When I asked, out of curiosity, why Viking ships were docked in port at Passau and moving down the river, yet we had a very long bus ride bus to get to Passau AND back that afternoon AND another 4.5 hour bus ride the next day to meet a ship to swap with, I was met with a very curt response from one of the managers, followed by the Program Director literally yelling at me and making extremely sarcastic and belittling comments to me within hearing distance of other passengers. Honestly, I was incredulous. This was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and UNPROFESSIONAL behavior. He did later apologize and said how stressed out he was, but that is just not what I expect when we’re paying THOUSANDS of dollars to take this trip. By Day 3 of the cruise, passengers were already talking openly about how upset they were about all of these changes were being handled; the lack of communication, the seeming chaos and poor decisions that were being made. These were not just people whom had not been on a Viking cruise before, this included people who had taken multiple cruises with Viking and were never going to step foot on another Viking ship after this one was done. By the time the trip was completed, that’s all we heard people talking about - how unethical, irresponsible, unconscionable and negligent Viking was to KNOWINGLY take our money and not fully disclose what the true impact on our trip might be. Based on the reviews we read prior to taking the trip, this water level issue had been going on for 4 months! We even called Viking 5 days prior to departure to ask if our trip was going to be impacted and if we could cancel if it was. They, of course, responded with NO, you can’t cancel, NO, they didn’t anticipate a problem as it had just rained and No, No, No, etc. It’s their favorite word, come to find out! And, if nondisclosure was not enough of an insult, we also encountered vast changes on what they did disclose. When we first booked our trip, we were told that we could upgrade for free if a balcony room became available. We called numerous times to see if there was a cancellation. Once onboard, we asked immediately for an upgrade. NO, it was not free (that word again!) and when first given an upgrade price of $400 (they told us this 3 separate times), when we went to pay just minutes after they quoted us, they charged us $480! Again, NO, we never said $400…our word against theirs. They didn’t even say, “We’re sorry for the misunderstanding” or any kind of courteous response, just NO! Rather than continue to recount our many disappointing moments, let me state factually the itinerary we experienced: Nuremburg - On Day 2, we were told that the boat apparently “needed” to start off down the Danube while we were on our tours and we had to be BUSSED to catch up with it - an additional 45 minutes on top of what the bussing time to and from Nuremburg was supposed to be Regensburg - the only port that we could access by the boat and no busses * Straubing - Not on the itinerary. A remote docking site to access Passau and other ports by BUS. From Passau to the boat: 3 hours roundtrip, shortening our time in port. For passengers, like my husband, who didn’t want to sit on a bus for 3 hours, he was faced with either sitting on the boat with no activities or easy access to the town of Straubing. * Ybbs - Not on the itinerary. The day after Passau, we were bussed 4.5 hours to this place to be boarded onto a new ship. No tours - we did cruise down the Wachau Valley starting at 4, which was beautiful, but this was supposed to be earlier in the day and we could have had a tour of Krems that day. Vienna - a disaster. We had just our morning tour and needed to get back on the boat because the water level was getting lower. Vienna was supposed to be a 2 day experience. Additional tours were cancelled and off we sailed by 2:00 that same day to head for our next port. Another aside: Viking advertises a side excursion to Salzburg for the day. What they DON’T tell you, is that it requires a 6.5 - 7 hour bus trip roundtrip! * Bratislava - Not on the itinerary. We stopped here for the night with no onshore tours or activities or even information about the port. * Komarom - Not on the itinerary. This was the closest we could come to Budapest. A 1.5 hour bus trip away. No town in site, just another very unattractive outpost. We had a city tour of Budapest in the morning followed by a lunch, but we were told we needed to get back to the boat as they were trying to figure out bussing for the optional tours and getting people to a hotel that had flights before 8am the next morning. DEPARTURE: The sad part of leaving was the fact that only a handful of people were put up in a hotel in Budapest to be closer to the airport. The rest of us had to bus back to the boat and wake up very early to catch yet another bus for another 2.5 hour ride into the airport. One of our acquaintances had to get up at 3am to be on the bus by 4:15am. WHY didn’t Viking put us all up in the hotel as a convenience and kind gesture? For us, our Viking Air arranged flight to Munich was cancelled. As we were standing in line waiting to see if we could even get out that day, another Viking ship had all of their people that were on that flight rebooked and were escorted to the gate they were rebooked to. We asked for help as well, but apparently it’s all ships for themselves! This was the worst group travel experience we have ever experienced. The Viking Brand does not deserve to have the reputation it does. Marketing can buy impressions, but then you have to live up to it. Viking, most certainly, did not do that. And for myself and my husband and many others onboard this trip…“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently ... Read More
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently had these issues for at least 6 prior weeks. Ship swap is a repackage for an 8am pickup then unpack after a 3 hour bus ride. Additionally, our 1.5 day stay in Vienna became .5 days. Our 1.5 day in Budapest (docked in the city) became a 1 hour city tour from a remote dock due to low water. it seemed we had to meet their needs and not ours. In 3 cities, excursions were either cancelled or minimally available. Cultural on board entertainment was a 1 hour session by musicians in Nuremburg and 3 slide shows. I kept thinking "Viking has to know they are providing far less than they advertised, what special event or alternative are they planning for us"? It never came. Instead upon our return home we received a letter offering us a credit of about $1,000 against a future cruise. Wow, what a deal. We spend another $7,500 on them and they reduce our fare by $1,000! How important do they think they are? I understand that low water levels created many of these issues, but they chose this route and possible consequences. Should they not bear some of the losses by extending other benefits to people who got less than advertised? It appears their bottom line was their most important consideration. As info, I checked with other river cruisers we met in cities we visited.Avalon went to Budapest, no issues. Tauck flipped in Nuremburg to a vessel that also went straight thru. Go figure! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was the worst holiday we have ever experienced. My husband is a survivor of abdominal cancer and we have a special needs daughter living with us. This was to be our trip of a lifetime. We only have 2-3 weeks per year to enjoy ... Read More
This cruise was the worst holiday we have ever experienced. My husband is a survivor of abdominal cancer and we have a special needs daughter living with us. This was to be our trip of a lifetime. We only have 2-3 weeks per year to enjoy an adult holiday together. The Cruise was a plethora of negative events, a TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT. WATER LEVELS WERE LOW. Viking told us after we arrived in Europe, too late to change plans. Viking solution, take a bus to Passau, Vienna, Budapest. Cancel optional excursions, sleep on 3 different ships (not sail, SLEEP). Locals in Europe told us Viking has been doing this for 6 weeks, don't tell the passengers, pretend this just happened. Email from Viking "...as a precautionary measure, we may need to adjust our sailing speeds, which could result in slight delays. We may also need to dock in alternate locations in areas where our regular docking spots are adversely affected by the conditions". Service was substandard, on the third ship we even cleaned our own table, they are casual staff called in by Viking last minute. (Staff told us this). When we asked for dessert, they told us to wait until everybody has finished eating because "the cook is still making it". By the way, don't book a veranda, they park 2 and 3 ships beside each other. You walk into the next ship to get onto the dock. Plus make sure you always keep your curtains closed, or the passengers on the next ship can see directly into your cabin. Unfortunately, sometimes you will see too much. Viking only informs you about any issues the night before, too late to adjust your itinerary. Cabins are small, you cannot bypass one another at the end of the bed and when watching TV there is no room on either side of the bed to place a chair. Because we always had to keep the curtains closed, it really made the room seem very small. We paid $16,000 for the Viking Cruise plus $3000 for our daughters care at home. Their final offer $5000 credit towards another cruise. WE can't afford another cruise. WE were mislead and feel cheated. Do your own homework. Check everything out before you go because when you get there you might only be getting a poor quality bus ride like us. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We were so disappointed in the response from Viking to the problems of the low water levels on the Danube. As others have said we had to change ships twice and spent two 1/2 days on buses, excursions were cancelled, we lived out of our ... Read More
We were so disappointed in the response from Viking to the problems of the low water levels on the Danube. As others have said we had to change ships twice and spent two 1/2 days on buses, excursions were cancelled, we lived out of our suitcase due to changing ships so much. Our balcony was unusable several days due to being parked next to other stranded ships or being parked near a swamp area. We understand that the water levels were out of Vikings control but notifying us two days before departure when they knew for over a month and then offerering no actual financial compensation (25% off your next cruise!) was unexceptable. Then three calls to customer service with no one with authority responding . We may have tried Viking again but the poor customer service has definitely been a deal breaker! I would pick a different cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband & I choose this cruise because of the 2-for-1 price including airfare! We felt very catered to for the whole trip! The veranda suite was comfortable and posh. A bottle of sparking wine upon our arrival and, fresh fruit and ... Read More
My husband & I choose this cruise because of the 2-for-1 price including airfare! We felt very catered to for the whole trip! The veranda suite was comfortable and posh. A bottle of sparking wine upon our arrival and, fresh fruit and beverages stocked everyday! We only participated in a couple of the evening festivities in the lounge. Instead enjoyed cozying up in our stateroom with movies that we thoroughly enjoyed. We spent 4 days on the Jarl. Then because of drought conditions the Danube had low spots. We were bused to the Alta further on down river. Then spent 2 more days cruising until the next low spot! Had to be bused into Budapest. But Viking handled EVERYTHING! Extra night at the hotel, transferring our luggage, etc. The staff on both ships were fantastic! Mario was our program director and was excellent at his job which was made complex due to the dought! We took advantage of the included tours at each port of call. They were great! And not to be missed! Great tour guides and you had a radio with an earphone for the tours. This was good so you didn't need to be right up near the leader and could stand back and take in the sites. We ate primarily on the Aquavit Deck to enjoy the views and fresh air. Every night I had the regional special and was NOT disappointed! Breakfasts and some dinners we ate in the lower dining room and were delighted by the friendly servers. It was sad to leave. Think next time a longer cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Itinerary was perfect. The staff outstanding and food wonderful. We were especially pleased with the extra personal attention the staff provided. Also the walking tours provided a nice option with a slower pace for those with mobility ... Read More
Itinerary was perfect. The staff outstanding and food wonderful. We were especially pleased with the extra personal attention the staff provided. Also the walking tours provided a nice option with a slower pace for those with mobility problems. The private tour of the bridge by the captain was delightful! The ventilation systems in our suite were outstanding, allowing us extreme comfort no matter what the weather conditions were. The boarding and disembarkment procedures were very well planned and efficient. We always had an extra hand with luggage whenever we needed it. We found the on board library to have a nice collection of options for reading during quiet times. The cruise director was outstanding and provided extensive background on each port we were to visit. The table waiters were extremely attentive to any requests and often remembered our preferences if we were seated in their areas again. Overall an outstanding experience!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
River cruising is much different than ocean cruises. You get to know most of the crew and see the same passengers every day. You can have lengthy conversations and learn more about others on the ship. Because you are in the heart of ... Read More
River cruising is much different than ocean cruises. You get to know most of the crew and see the same passengers every day. You can have lengthy conversations and learn more about others on the ship. Because you are in the heart of the countries, not just along the coast, you learn much more about the culture of the country. The shore excursion tours are much more personal and you are told to interact with the guides and ask the “hard questions”. We thought the food was excellent. Generally the menus met or exceeded those I had experienced on ocean cruises. No fitness equipment on these vessels but they do have a walking track on the upper deck. What we really enjoyed was the sea time, because you are always in sight of land, passing by smaller cities, castles, churches and transiting 25 Locks just from Nuremberg to Budapest, as well as passing over a water bridge. Truly amazing scenery! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Took my family on their first river cruise and visited all the Christmas markets we could. AWESOME cruise in all respects except the weather ( It was very cold ) The cruise staff was excellant especially the Cruise Director. Excellant tour ... Read More
Took my family on their first river cruise and visited all the Christmas markets we could. AWESOME cruise in all respects except the weather ( It was very cold ) The cruise staff was excellant especially the Cruise Director. Excellant tour guides that actualy knew the area. The ship was very well layed out and it took all of ten minutes to find things. The cabin we had was very well done with two seperate rooms. That was great because One could go to bed, close the door while the other watched some TV or just read. Cabin had a big bathroom off the bedroom with a great shower. Rare on a boat/ship. Fridg was restocked every day. Room steward was right there any time we needed him and had the cabin redone before we got back from breakfast. He also had the bed turned down every evening by the time we got back to the cabin. The dining room was well done with different tables, anywhere from 2 to 8 people per table. There was an excellant dining staff that immediatly knew our names and remembered what we liked for drinks or salads and things like that. They were impressive. There was always a varied menu for dinner and what you ordered was ALWAYS well prepaired and presented. If you didn’t like one of the specials, the menu always had what I call standard fare you could order. The wine list was very well done as well and I would recommend buying the prepaid drinks because the selection was better than some high end places I have been to. Some of the dining stall worked in the bar area as well as the dining room and knew what we wanted as soon as we sat down. Again, very impressive. Would I sail with Viking again??? Absolutly. In fact we are looking at both river cruies and their ship cruises. We will take another in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this river cruise so we could experience the Christmas Markets. The markets were individually different, colorful and enjoyable. I certainly had a nice variety of crafts to see and foods to taste in each market. I also learned the ... Read More
I chose this river cruise so we could experience the Christmas Markets. The markets were individually different, colorful and enjoyable. I certainly had a nice variety of crafts to see and foods to taste in each market. I also learned the best shopping was found in small shops surrounding the markets. I was disappointed with the lack of interesting and fresh seafood dishes on board the Jarl. One night the seafood choice was tilapia which we found very disappointing and a fish we would commonly only use in tacos, not a main course. We did enjoy trying local dishes daily and appreciated having nuts available. The only exercise available was a small walking track that was frequently unavailable due to its use as storage for walkways.. There were no hand weights or table games like ping pong. The included tours were worthwhile. If we had not been visiting the markets, I would have insisted on a more in-depth experience in several places including Vienna. There was a visit to Gottweib Castle/monastery where wine was made. The visit was aleast two hours, if not more, too long. We would have appreciated being taken to the cute little town to wander around. I enjoyed the trip and would not hesitate to take this trip again, in a different season, since I have now experienced the markets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
the reviews on Viking were the main reason we chose this route for our first European trip. Even though our trip to and fro were, to say the least, poor, Viking outdid themselves in every way possible. On the way to the ship we were approx ... Read More
the reviews on Viking were the main reason we chose this route for our first European trip. Even though our trip to and fro were, to say the least, poor, Viking outdid themselves in every way possible. On the way to the ship we were approx 24 hours late due to all kinds of planes, trains and cab problems. In the end, Viking backed the ship up in the river, and picked us up at a small dock in south of Nuremberg. While they were backing up the ship to pick us up, all we could think was "who does this". The rest of the trip would be answered with Viking. From the fantastic tour guides, to the food and amazing social experiences, it truly was a trip to remember. We did several optional tours, including the carriage ride through Vienna and we have amazing pictures of all of it. Viking is not a standard cruise, but you get up each day excited about where you will be, what you will see and the stories told. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
It was excellent! The food was great as was the staff. They had different themed nights based on where we were on the cruise. The wine package was well worth the $$ and the selection was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the standard tours; ... Read More
It was excellent! The food was great as was the staff. They had different themed nights based on where we were on the cruise. The wine package was well worth the $$ and the selection was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the standard tours; they were very well done. We took the extra tour to Salzburg which was good. Although it was cold during our cruise we had a great time. We were able to use the large or the small dining room depending on how we felt. It was very relaxing. The transfers were well done as well. No issues transferring from the airport to the ship and back out. One night, my mother was ill and the staff were very helpful in assisting me with getting her food and attention. The only improvement may be in the WiFi access. It was spotty at best and could certainly be improved. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
I chose this cruise after looking / shopping for a cruise for over a year. This was our first overnight river cruise but will most assuredly not be our last. The service onboard the Jarl was perfect in every way. I have never experienced ... Read More
I chose this cruise after looking / shopping for a cruise for over a year. This was our first overnight river cruise but will most assuredly not be our last. The service onboard the Jarl was perfect in every way. I have never experienced anything such as this trip/tour/cruise that was as perfect as this was. The scheduling was perfect and precisely as advertised. I have never seen any this good, certainly none better. The shore excursions in each port were well done and quite interesting. The excursion guides were not only knowledgeable but very entertaining. We were impressed with the choices of sights to see and the routes taken on the tours. Most importantly, none of them were physically taxing! The food!! The only word that comes to mind is incredible!! The choices on the menus were beyond what I had expected and the chef was remarkable in that if something you wanted was not listed for a particular day, he would prepare it for you anyway!! The only thing that could possibly match the food was the service!! The service personnel in the dining room were all simply wonderful although we eventually gravitated to our "favorite" and ensured we got here service area for every meal after about the second day of "sampling" the services of all the others. I will say that due to technical difficulties our in room TV did not work very well. But, the other experiences on the ship helped to remedy that one small negative. The crew was very apologetic over this and I am reasonably confident that it was simply a glitch that could happen on any ship and certainly not the normal experience for this ship or this cruise line. Overall, this cruise was one of the most wonderful experiences we have ever had and we are already looking forward to / planning our next one! I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a relaxing, wonderful get away!! And, needless to say, I recommend Viking!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Almost everything was the best. The MAJOR deficit was the bed and bedding. The bed mattress was the absolutely hardest I have ever had on any ship and the bedding was the worst! They provide a "comforter" that does not tuck into ... Read More
Almost everything was the best. The MAJOR deficit was the bed and bedding. The bed mattress was the absolutely hardest I have ever had on any ship and the bedding was the worst! They provide a "comforter" that does not tuck into the bed but sits on top of you! I, finally, got a blanket that we could tuck in and then the bedding worked. I have a hip socket and a pinched neck nerve that progressively got worse as each night passed. I will NEVER go on this type of ship in the future. Crew was exceptional other than the concierge, who was a matter of fact man who did not engage with anyone that I saw. Gave information and was simply there to do a job. Chef and food was exceptional, portions were small and wonderful. The Chef many times engaged with patrons and was fun. Special request that were not too crazy were accommodated. Cruise Director was great and funny. She kept patrons laughing and informed. In the past, we always had someone in each city come on board for entertainment, but Viking has done away with that for some reason. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose Viking because we had already travelled with Viking on the Rhine Getaway cruise and knew the high standards of service, wonderful food, personal attention and the beautiful excursions with well thought out highlights of each port. ... Read More
We chose Viking because we had already travelled with Viking on the Rhine Getaway cruise and knew the high standards of service, wonderful food, personal attention and the beautiful excursions with well thought out highlights of each port. Viking always gives that little bit more that makes them FIVE STARS when it comes to value and quality! The itinerary was fabulous especially the concert in Vienna! The Christmas markets were amazing and Budapest was just breathtakingly magical. We highly recommend the Romantic Danube Cruise. The memories that we have of this time will always be some of the best of our travel experiences. Our cabin was always clean, the service superior and the staff always accommodating and helpful. As mentioned before FIVE STARS! We would definitely recommend this cruise to our friends and family. Viking is very organized, superior in customer service , they go out of their way to make sure your cruise experience is the best that it can be. Just wonderful! Viking is top notch! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The cruise was advertised as the Romantic Danube. It was neither. First, we were anticipating enjoying the Danube River. Only one day was devoted to cruising the Danube. All other days were spent in port, because the cruising was done ... Read More
The cruise was advertised as the Romantic Danube. It was neither. First, we were anticipating enjoying the Danube River. Only one day was devoted to cruising the Danube. All other days were spent in port, because the cruising was done at night while it was both dark and/or we were sleeping. We didn't see much of the Blue Danube. We had booked the rear stateroom at a higher price so we could have a 180 degree view or the river and its shorelines. What we got was a 180 degree view of ports, which after several hours becomes rather boring. Some days we sat aboard the ship for five hours with nothing to do. Second, romance includes at least intimate dinners with one's spouse. The tour advertised open seating for dining. The picture we had was choosing to be by ourselves. Well, first, there were no two person tables. The smallest number was sic persons. The dining room seated 180, the number of people on the cruise. No separate seating when every seat is occupied. (By the way, I have a solution to this, in case Viking is interested.) Finally, there were few programs during the evening hours. A disappointment. They could do better. On the positive side, the personnel were awesome and we loved our stateroom. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise for places we visited. We have never been on this part of the world and for us it was spectacular. The cabin was as expected but comfortable. The food was superb. The crew is what made it for us. We could not be ... Read More
We chose this cruise for places we visited. We have never been on this part of the world and for us it was spectacular. The cabin was as expected but comfortable. The food was superb. The crew is what made it for us. We could not be happier with all the people who worked on the boat. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The shore excursions, for the most part were informative and enjoyable. However, the tour of Vienna was very disappointing, and the bus tours were not good at all. We wanted to take in as much as possible in the ports we visited. For the most part we were able to do that except for Vienna. After a major disappointing foot tour, we were limited to how much time we had to enjoy the city. Having said all that, we would take the same cruise again. We are looking forward to our next cruise. We and our friends are planning going on a cruise to Holland and Switzerland. Viking of course. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We liked the itinerary. Starting in Nuremberg and ending in Budapest allowed us to have a good experience on the Danube and visit several towns. Viking is very well run. The staff was excellent; the ship was clean and efficient; the ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. Starting in Nuremberg and ending in Budapest allowed us to have a good experience on the Danube and visit several towns. Viking is very well run. The staff was excellent; the ship was clean and efficient; the food was good; and the tours were well organized. I would have rated the cruise "Excellent" but for a couple of small items. First, unlike some other cruise ships, Viking or at least the Jarl did not have bikes available. There were days when we would have enjoyed biking along the river or from one town to another. Second, we thought the food was well prepared and good, but it did not bowl us over. Good not excellent. We are not complaining; for a ship of 200 people, the staff did a fine job and the food was consistently good. Its just that we were rarely "wowed" by the food. There was some "sameness" to the breakfast and lunches on board and I would preferred a couple of nights with a little extra special touch to the dinner. Partly, we may have been affected by the weather. It was a tad chilly and some days it rained, so that limited our ability to use the upper deck or other outside areas. Even with the dampness, we enjoyed the cruise. I want to repeat that we thought the staff was excellent. Everyone was friendly and wanted to be helpful. They displayed a great deal of training and good management. And the ship was very clean, showing again excellent management of the ship and its staff. The cruise was a well-oiled operation. We would consider taking another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Trying to get 16 people to book a European vacation is like herding kittens...almost impossible but we did and it was incredible. Because the dates coincided with our 40th wedding anniversary, we decided to make the trip extra special by ... Read More
Trying to get 16 people to book a European vacation is like herding kittens...almost impossible but we did and it was incredible. Because the dates coincided with our 40th wedding anniversary, we decided to make the trip extra special by renewing our wedding vows. I wasn't able to confirm our desire to do this prior to our sail but was told to contact the hotel manager when we were on board. Joerg Grosmann went out of his was to make this occasion very special for us. They had never had this type of request and both the Captain and Mr. Grosmann participated in the ceremony. Our Maitre D', Dragan Radojcic, had the chef prepare a small wedding cake, champagne for our group, snacks and a bar were set up. They even had a beautiful wedding bouquet for me. We did not expect the details they went to and were so honored by the entire staff's thoughtfulness. Even our room attendant scattered rose petals and had a special towel arrangement. We had the best wait staff every meal and the food was exceptional. The excursions were well thought out and provided so many beautiful and historical places to visit. You can see pictures on various web sites but once you are there in person, it takes on an entirely different perspective. Every stop was enjoyable and experiencing the lock system is something you don't want to miss. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was one of our "trip of a lifetime" dream vacations. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery and castles along the Danube. We also wanted to enjoy guided tours through the old cities that are featured on the Nuremberg to ... Read More
This was one of our "trip of a lifetime" dream vacations. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery and castles along the Danube. We also wanted to enjoy guided tours through the old cities that are featured on the Nuremberg to Budapest cruise. The local guides on the guided tours were very interesting and knowledgeable. We enjoyed learning about the history of each city that we visited. When travelling through the Wachau Valley, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny morning for this section of the cruise and we were able to enjoy the view from the open top deck on the ship. The on-board entertainment was great - there was a good variety of entertainment and we had lots of fun. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. The dining room staff always made sure we were given personal attention. I would highly recommend the Nuremberg to Budapest cruise on the Viking Jarl. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We went on this particular cruise because the dates worked with everyone's schedule. We traveled with our two adult children and their spouses. Theses dates for the Danube trip were the only ones that worked for all of us. It was a ... Read More
We went on this particular cruise because the dates worked with everyone's schedule. We traveled with our two adult children and their spouses. Theses dates for the Danube trip were the only ones that worked for all of us. It was a fun family trip. We enjoyed the entire ship Jarl. The public space is wonderful. The deck is so nice to sit and watch the spectacular scenery go by. The ship and staff were fabulous as always. We were especially impressed with our dining staff. Because we were a group of six and wanted to sit together for each meal, we choose the same table in the dining room. Jahzz, Jayson, and Connie were the wait staff and the three of them made our trip even more special! They were outstanding in their service and are awesome people!! We really connected with them and they made meals very entertaining for us. The ports and shore excursions were awesome too. It is so great to see other cities and cultures. We loved each city for what there was to offer. We would definitely go on another Viking River Cruises. We've been on the Viking ships Idi and Heimdahl in the past. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Our VRC was absolutely wonderful. The pre-trip to Prague was fabulous, and we wish we would have also added Budapest post trip. The tours were fantastic, and loved Prague by night! All of the Viking employees were professional, ... Read More
Our VRC was absolutely wonderful. The pre-trip to Prague was fabulous, and we wish we would have also added Budapest post trip. The tours were fantastic, and loved Prague by night! All of the Viking employees were professional, friendly, and accomplished. Our ship Jarl, Captain, and crew were first rate. We really loved the crew, Cruise Director Suzy, and activities. Embarkation was so easy, and the ship was beautiful and clean. Services provided on the boat were fast and efficient, and frankly, they practically provided it before we even had to ask! Our State Room attendant Erica was awesome and kept our quarters spotless. Dining was fabulous and we really enjoyed the local meals that were served. Our servers Victor Yap, and Sarah Bitonio Yap were fantastic! Our wine sommelier, Dragon, gave us great suggestions for wine with our meals! We celebrated our wedding anniversary on the cruise and the crew brought us a cake at dinner! The Bar Staff, especially Valentine, were so welcoming, remembered our names, and proved excellent service. We really enjoyed learning about our destinations and the activities on the boat were fun and entertaining. Loved it when we were cruising down the Danube and our Cruise Director Suzy was narrating the scenery and giving us history to go with it! We took advantage of the sun deck and walked the track to try and keep the pounds off! Port and Shore excursions were great. We didn't attend all, but loved the city tours and especially loved the Bavarian Beer Fest we attended on June 14th. It was fascinating going through the 24 or so Locks and commend our Captain on flawless execution! We loved Krems and Gottweig Abbey along with all of the other locations (Nuremberg, Passau), and especially loved Budapest. As I stated before, I wish we had added the post tour of Budapest. There just wasn't enough time there! We will certainly consider another Viking Journey...I am looking at Portugal/Spain, or maybe the Rhein! It was absolutely the trip of a lifetime, and now you have ruined us for life with the wonderful Viking experience! It will be hard to top this wonderful adventure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have never been on a river cruise. Loved the scenery, smooth sailing and even the locks. My daughter went with me and we had an absolute great time!!! Were with a small group and made friends immediately. I thought the tours were very ... Read More
I have never been on a river cruise. Loved the scenery, smooth sailing and even the locks. My daughter went with me and we had an absolute great time!!! Were with a small group and made friends immediately. I thought the tours were very informative and learned a great deal of history. Only wish we could have had more free time in many of the cities. Optional Munich tour was small and our guide was very knowledgeable. Vienna was wonderful and so was the Gottleibe Abbey. Also went to Salzburg (optional) beautiful. Not nearly enough time to explore on our own. Long bus ride and not enough time. Stayed in Budapest 2 extra days and explored on our own. Enjoyed but is not someplace I would return .Service was EXCELLENT both in dining room and cabin steward. Everyone was extremely friendly and ready to help. By the end of the trip (sad) we were toured out. Lots of good info and history was provided. Didn't want to leave our boat. Can't wait to go on another cruise with Viking!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
We went with Viking because we enjoyed a previous cruise so much. It met all expectations plus. This must be how the one per centers live! Looking forward to another Viking cruise in 2018. Embarkation/disembarkation was very smooth and ... Read More
We went with Viking because we enjoyed a previous cruise so much. It met all expectations plus. This must be how the one per centers live! Looking forward to another Viking cruise in 2018. Embarkation/disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. We did a land tour the first half of our cruise, Berlin to Nuremberg. The sights and history were outstanding. I have been to most of those places before, yet Viking showed me many new things. The tour guides throughout the trip were first class...they knew their stuff. Finally, the meals and service was outstanding. I could not have asked for more. We had a variety of dishes to choose from and as much as you wanted. If it wasn't on the menu, ask? They might have it! Our evening meal turned into a lively discussion with fellow guests. This was one of the highlights of the trip. We were so impressed, we came home and immediately signed-on another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Viking Jarl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

Find a Viking Jarl Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise