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Sail Date: July 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We just returned from a one week cruise on the Viking Atla. The cruise and destinations are beautiful and interesting; however I want to talk more about the ship and the staff. The ship was built in 2013 and is beginning to show its ... Read More
We just returned from a one week cruise on the Viking Atla. The cruise and destinations are beautiful and interesting; however I want to talk more about the ship and the staff. The ship was built in 2013 and is beginning to show its age; however it is meticulously maintained. We have done river cruises with other companies and we found the layout of the Viking longships to be the best we have experienced. We particularly liked the rooftop and the Aquavit Terrace as they were perfect for cruising down the river, Despite varying water levels on the Danube, the captain and his crew managed to sail from Budapest to Nurembreg with only minor schedule changes. Michael, the program director, worked with the captain and cruise staff to minimize interruptions and to keep us informed. His cruise staff kept everything in order and the shore side guides were excellent. The food was varied and of excellent quality. Our thanks to the head chef and his team. The hotel department was also excellent and our room was always clean and prepared with no interruption to ourselves. The front desk was always helpful. The entire staff was always friendly and warmly met us everywhere went. Kudos to Viking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were not told that there was a broken lock preventing us from leaving the ugly canal filled with factories in Nuremberg until the second day of the cruise. The staff was nice but made it clear that they had absolutely no power to help ... Read More
We were not told that there was a broken lock preventing us from leaving the ugly canal filled with factories in Nuremberg until the second day of the cruise. The staff was nice but made it clear that they had absolutely no power to help us. They were vague and noncommittal and made it seem as if we were crazy to be upset about being bussed for several hours to see the sites. The Viking Atla stayed parked in the dismal canal for four days. Each night we were given a vague update. At these meetings the waiters offered drinks. We assumed that Viking would pick up the tab considering the information they were imparting to us, but we were told the drinks would be charged to our room. Eventually, we were taken on a 4 1/2 hour bus trip from Nuremberg to Austria to meet our new boat, the Viking Jarl. The bus we were on was not a Viking bus. The seats were tiny, cramped and uncomfortable . The bus made a stop at McDonald’s for 45 minutes because we are told drivers are not allowed to drive for 4 hours without stopping for 4 hours. Vienna was lovely and things went smoothly there. The next mishap occurred the morning we were to arrive near Budapest. We were told that over night we spent too much time waiting to go through the locks, so we would all need to stay on the boat directly to Budapest . Although this resulted in beautiful scenery, our sightseeing in Budapest was cut down to 4 hours and all of our excursions had to be cancelled. At this point even the staff agreed this was pathetic! Viking was no help on the phone while this is happening and has not reached out at all. Their customer service is horrible!’ Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
In early June, a Viking ship ran into a lock on the Danube near Regensburg. The lock was closed for a few weeks but finally opened. We set sail from Nurnberg to Budapest on June 28. We spent the first two days of the cruise on an ... Read More
In early June, a Viking ship ran into a lock on the Danube near Regensburg. The lock was closed for a few weeks but finally opened. We set sail from Nurnberg to Budapest on June 28. We spent the first two days of the cruise on an industrial canal near Nurnberg. When it came time to set sail to Regensburg, we were told that the same lock was re-damaged and we could not sail. Whether the damaged lock was ever fixed or whether it was new damage, we were not told how severe the damage was and that it would reduce our river cruise to, mostly, a series of bus trips. On the day we set sail to Regensburg, we sailed up to the first lock and stayed there in this same canal because the ship would not go through the initial lock since a lock further along was still damaged. Instead of sailing to Regensburg, we took a bus trip 2-hours each way. Aside from the inconvenience of sitting on a bus instead of sailing a river, we ended up losing 4 hours where we could have toured Regensburg instead of riding a bus. Viking kept telling us that the lock could be fixed at any time (probably to placate us), where I believe they were mostly certain that it would not be fixed in time for our vacation. The next day, we were supposed to sail into Passau, where we had scheduled an all-day tour of Salzburg. Instead, since Passau was a 3-hour bus ride from the canal in Roth (near Nurnberg), they cancelled the Salzburg excursion and people went to Passau on a horrible bus ride that took about 5 hours to return back to Roth (on an ugly, industrial canal). Viking seemed to put a lot of emphasis on getting everyone back to the ship each day for lunch, instead of arranging us to get more time in these picturesque cities. That night, Viking announced that they had a sister ship (Viking Var) on the other side of the broken lock and they bused us for 5 hours to the other ship (and bused the other ship's inhabitants to the Viking Tor). So, we spent 5 hours on the bus to get to the other ship, thereby losing all of the day until about 2 p.m. (don't worry....they made a point of getting us lunch on the new ship). After lunch, we set sail through the Wacha Valley (not sure of the spelling). The view was exceptional and it was the ONLY time in the whole week where we actually sailed during the day. We were supposed to see Krems that day, but arrived too late so we went straight to Vienna. Another picturesque city lost! Vienna was a very beautiful city and we spent the whole day waking around the city. That night, we were supposed to leave Vienna and arrive in Budapest the next morning. The Viking Var left about 45 minutes late so we did not get to Budapest by 8:30 as promised, so they had to drop us off at some other location to take a bus to Budapest. The ship did not get to Budapest until around 12:30 p.m.. We did not arrive to the city until almost 11:30 so we lost more valuable time. All of the crew on the ship was very nice and helpful and did their best to make the most of a horrible situation. I don't think Viking told us the truth about the broken lock. We spent more daylight hours on a bus than we did sailing. Somebody also mentioned that lock closures were not that unusual, and there are other potential issues with low water levels or high water levels. You might want to think twice before booking a river cruise. My wife and I have been on over 10 ocean cruises, but this was our first river cruise. By the way, Viking has yet to offer anything to compensate its customers for having a bus tour of the Danube. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to see Germany and Austria. The sights were beautiful, espcially Salzberg and Munich which cost extra, but we were rushed during the excursions with only 45 minutes of “free time”. Captain and manager were great but the front ... Read More
Wanted to see Germany and Austria. The sights were beautiful, espcially Salzberg and Munich which cost extra, but we were rushed during the excursions with only 45 minutes of “free time”. Captain and manager were great but the front desk was unhelpful. The “store” only offers Viking items, no essentials. The tickets that Viking booked had ridiculously long layovers in Frankfort and a 3:30 am departure unless you spend $50 to pick your own times (we were unaware that you could do this because the booking agent was oblivious). Also they say they take Amex but the front desk hassles you if you try to use an amex card to pay. Wireless rarely works and there are only a handful of movies to watch on the tv. If you are under 50 and not white or heterosexual, mingling may be challenging. The people are our cruise were oddly cliquish and pushy and were given special treatment. On the positive side, the boat was clean, food was excellent. Luckily, we ate upstairs, not in the crowded buffet style dining hall. Will not cruise on overpriced Viking again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our 2nd Viking cruise this year. In April my family did the Paris to Normandy and it was wonderful and the crew top notch. We are on the Budapest to Nuremberg cruise right now and it’s proving to be quite the let down. Upon ... Read More
This is our 2nd Viking cruise this year. In April my family did the Paris to Normandy and it was wonderful and the crew top notch. We are on the Budapest to Nuremberg cruise right now and it’s proving to be quite the let down. Upon arrival we waited almost 2 hours at the airport to be transferred to the ship and no one came by to explain the delay. Had no time in Budapest save an hour to walk around the castle district. Never saw the parliament building like Viking advertises. But mostly the crew is a disappointment. The cruise director is gruff and not friendly or helpful. He talks a lot at briefings and goes on so long you forget what you need to know for the next day. There is a second supposed cruise director and he’s not any better. Unapproachable and not helpful. It’s common at a meal to have to go fetch your own water and yesterday no waiter ever came to ask about our lunch order. Going to be selecting a different company next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a family cruise, celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. There were 15 of us. A cruise was a great way to be together but not TOO together if folks needed their own space. We arrived in Budapest almost a week early ... Read More
This was a family cruise, celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. There were 15 of us. A cruise was a great way to be together but not TOO together if folks needed their own space. We arrived in Budapest almost a week early and enjoyed exploring independently. We were pleasantly surprised by our cabin which was not super-spacious, but had enough space for us to fully unpack. The bed was quite comfortable and we appreciated the well designed bathroom. Service on the cruise was top-notch and everything was extremely clean. We enjoyed spending time in the public spaces of the ship, such as the library and lounge. Food was very good. Certainly it was plentiful. Staff were extremely good at accommodating dietary restrictions. Special requests were accommodated with alacrity. We did not take advantage of the tours that were offered because we prefer exploring on our own, but family members were very pleased with both the included tours and optional excursions. The ports visited were all excellent. From Budapest, we sailed to Vienna. The only problem was that one day in Vienna is laughably insufficient. Obviously, though, it is a wonderful destination. And it is the one port where you could leave anytime after breakfast and come back after dinner (the ship would still be there). There were shorter stays in most other ports, or we needed to take a coach from the town to the place the ship had traveled to. I gather that because of all the locks on the Danube, the ship really needs to make time to hit all the destinations, so it can't just sit in port all day. We were very happy with our first Viking experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We were scared trip was going to be a bus tour not a river tour, ALMOST cancelled, but figured we would make the best of it, all the reviews were terrible but we had been on two other trips with Viking and figured what the heck!! Boy, are ... Read More
We were scared trip was going to be a bus tour not a river tour, ALMOST cancelled, but figured we would make the best of it, all the reviews were terrible but we had been on two other trips with Viking and figured what the heck!! Boy, are we ever glad to have gone, we were first ship in 6 months to make it all the way down the Danube, the Christmas markets made the trip a whole new experience and we were kinda expecting things to be sub-par, but Viking has been great on our two Grand European tours, and they did not disappoint!! Trip was fabulous!! I was not impressed with the concert in Vienna, we had gone the other two trips and it keeps getting smaller and not worth it, and that’s a shame because the first trip was a great experience, and really last year was also, but this was a joke!!! But really that’s the only thing we can find fault in our trip!! Don’t buy into to the people that can never be made happy, Viking is great!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our Viking Christmas market cruise began in Budapest at a hotel because of the low waters. Oliver was our Tour Director and he went above and beyond to keep us informed and to make sure we were all happy with our accommodations. We ended ... Read More
Our Viking Christmas market cruise began in Budapest at a hotel because of the low waters. Oliver was our Tour Director and he went above and beyond to keep us informed and to make sure we were all happy with our accommodations. We ended up being bussed to Vienna, Austria where it was day by day whether we would have to do a ship swap. Our cruise was the very first cruise in 6 months that made it down the Danube without having to change ships. Every day we were kept informed and knew what was happening in advance. Even if we ended up with some early mornings, everything was done to keep us on schedule and to make sure we got to do the tours. The entire crew worked hard to make it a pleasurable experience. All of the guides on the tours that Viking chose for us was Top Notch. Loved every minute of it and I cannot say enough good things about our Tour Director, Oliver. Plan your next river cruise with Viking and you will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I had read an article by Wendy Perrin about this cruise. She took her family to the Christmas markets and i thought I'd love to take my wife on this trip. As everyone has heard by now, there was a pretty severe drought in Europe this ... Read More
I had read an article by Wendy Perrin about this cruise. She took her family to the Christmas markets and i thought I'd love to take my wife on this trip. As everyone has heard by now, there was a pretty severe drought in Europe this year. We knew there was a possibility that our cruise was not going to go as initially planned. Our cruise went from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany. The first leg of the cruise was canceled due to low water levels. Of course this was through no fault of Viking Cruise Lines, all cruise lines had the same issue. We were provided with accommodations and transportation to the next port. We enjoyed our bus trip and the scenery. Our stateroom was very clean and our steward was fantastic (we miss him). The day we got in our room, I called the front desk and asked to have my dress shirts pressed. They picked them up and had them back within 3 hours, outstanding service! The staff on board was fantastic, from the waiters to the people on the front desk. Our program director was energetic, funny and made sure we were all well entertained. We are going to try Viking again. The cruise wasn't perfect, but we understand that the weather was not their fault. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I could go on and on about this trip and how Viking was misleading and didn’t come close to delivering what they originally promised. I am going to touch on a few of the lowlights. First with something positive, the crew was been put in ... Read More
I could go on and on about this trip and how Viking was misleading and didn’t come close to delivering what they originally promised. I am going to touch on a few of the lowlights. First with something positive, the crew was been put in a tough situation and tried to make the best of it; however, I can’t give the cruise director a pass. Having seen this happen over and over, he is a willing accomplice to this train wreck; feigning surprise at every new disaster along the way. The first sign of the impending doom were the two emails I received within days of our departure stating the river was low and we might have to take a bus between ports. Once I received the letter, I immediately called Viking and asked for a refund. They assured me this was “very unusual and not to worry.” I encouraged them to do the right thing and give me a refund, but when push came to shove they said no cancellation or refund would be allowed and that this was “in my contract.” So my family and I hoped for the best and got ready for the trip. We have been on many cruises with nearly every cruise line. I mean how bad could it be, right? I kept thinking Viking wouldn’t have all these people spend all that money only to be put us on buses; that could kill their reputation. Passau, Germany. The wheels start coming off the train. Boat never made it to Passau. Instead we docked around Straubing in the middle of nowhere. Took a 3-hour, roundtrip bus ride from the boat to Passau. When we finally arrived in Passau, our day, of course, was cut short due to the drive. The bus pulled up to the dock right at the edge of town where the ship should have been. My wife and a bunch of other passengers paid a lot extra for the Salzburg excursion. This drive was an extra 1 ½ hours, which left very little extra time to explore. You have seen the commercials. They advertise that you will be cruising leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, laughing with drink in hand as the incredible scenery passes before you. No such luck. Instead, we awoke at 8 am to pack our bags and leave them in the hall. Then boarded a bus for a 3 ½ hour trip, including an hour long stop at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere. My wife and I did manage to get a romantic stroll through the parking lot and they did give us all tokens to use the bathroom. That’s right, you read that correctly. PACKED BAGS, TRUCK STOP AND 3 ½ HOUR DRIVE. Didn’t board the new ship till after 12pm for lunch and delivery of our luggage. But, the show must go on. A few brave souls that refused to be denied, walked to another bus for another 45 minute drive to the Gottweig Abbey tour. We were now so far behind schedule it was late, completely dark and foggy. Needless to say, we could not see anything. However, the abbey really looked beautiful from the pictures I have seen. On to Budapest! Up at 6am to pack our bags and put them at the door by 7:15am. By now we know the drill. Less like a vacation and more like the military. Bus departed at 8:21am for Budapest. Another 3 ½ hour drive, including an hour long stop at a (you guessed it) TRUCK STOP. Have you ever seen four packed tour busses unload at a small truck stop? If not, you should. It is quite the treat. No, I am not making this up. We arrived at Budapest exhausted and were shuffled off to the tour, already way behind scheduled and ending again IN THE DARK. None of the promised time to “explore the city.” No night time scenic cruise of the city. There was a lot more that happened, but you get the idea. There were bed bugs, torn sheets, boats stacked 3 deep on docks, no toilet paper on busses, only one on ship lecture, etc, etc. Viking pretty much gave up. By the time we boarded the third boat and with a completely different crew, they had completely given up. Bottomline, this is an expensive, bad bus tour between boat docks where they use their stationary boats as floating hotels. I still can’t believe they are getting away with this. Viking’s staff issued talking points are to try and tell you how unusual this is, but we spoke to vendors that work with Viking (think bus drivers, tour guides, taxi drivers) along the way and they all said this has been going on with Viking for some time now. It is a known issue (that is, the low river levels). Final story, as we were leaving for the airport, the next group of passengers were boarding the boat. I overheard a crew person trying to explain to the new guests how the boat would not be leaving and they would need to board a bus in the morning for their next destination. Needless to say the passenger was upset. Wow, good job Viking! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We purchased the very over-priced Viking Romantic Danube cruise, departing from Nuremberg and "sailing" to Budapest on Nov. 18, 2018. During the weeks and months prior to our first river cruise date, members of our foursome ... Read More
We purchased the very over-priced Viking Romantic Danube cruise, departing from Nuremberg and "sailing" to Budapest on Nov. 18, 2018. During the weeks and months prior to our first river cruise date, members of our foursome contacted Viking to confirm conditions were still good for our cruise. We were told that if we hadn't received any notifications indicating otherwise, all was well. On Nov. 14, 2 days before our long flights from YYC, Viking sent notice that low water levels meant we would travel on a similar longship "with all the comfort and style" of the Atla and that " on the morning of Day 7, we will likely need to disembark the ship in Vienna and travel by motorcoach to Budapest (150 miles)". Our river cruise and upgraded flights were all paid for, so we moved forward - hopeful that we wouldn't have to trade the most beautiful and anticipated part of our river cruise - the Wachau Valley - for a tedious 4 hour bus tour. But, of course we did - and not only did we miss the Wachau Valley because we reached it in the evening, but we endured another 4 hour bus ride on the busy Autoban while being shuffled around 3 different ships! Every few nights we had to pack up our rooms and set our bags outside for transfer to our next Longship We are frequent ocean cruisers and realise river cruising is different, but neither our ships nor our "French Balcony" stateroom could be described as comfortable or stylish. Our French Balcony was an expensive security risk - usually we were docked with another longship wedged up beside us - curtains had to be kept closed and balcony door locked - it was claustrophobic in the tiny room. Since there are no exercise facilities on the Viking Longboats, I took along water-weights, hoping to work out in our room, but that was impossible, since bags had to be packed up frequently and the room was far too small to allow any movement. All optional tours in Budapest were cancelled, due to our late arrival. The highlight of our trip was the days before and after the Viking cruise that we spent on our own in Nuremberg and Budapest. Our meals were good - nowhere near what we're used to on Ocean cruises (for a far less price). The rooms were clean. The staff were hardworking and friendly (so we paid the full recommended tips). The included shore excursions were good, however we only had opportunity to go on one optional excursion and that was very expensive but good, as well. Our upgraded liquor packages were not worth it, since they had run out of most of the wines we were told would be available to us, by the time we reached our last ship and they certainly weren't serving anything up on our bus hauls! The worse is yet to come!...our follow up. Viking offered us a future cruise credit "because we believe your overall cruise experience may have been affected by an unexpected situation". In other words, purchase another Viking cruise and they would be willing to pay for a small part of it - provided you did it within a year. When I said "thanks but no thanks" I was contacted by phone by a very unprofessional Viking agent. Our call consisted of so many long, pregnant pauses that I finally had to ask why she had called. She said she didn't want to insult me but wanted to make a deal. She offered a slightly larger cruise credit. When I asked how many times she thought we had changed ships, she gave it some thought and said "Oh, on this trip - maybe 3 or 4". Obviously, she hadn't even read my written complaint, but so much for the "unexpected situation"! When I told her that our travelling companions and other guests had been offered more, she told me that we were "entitled to nothing" and that we "can't make a deal" and proceeded to hang up. I can't imagine ever doing business with Viking again. Only their greed and confidence that they wouldn't be held liable could have allowed them to sell such a cruise (known low-water conditions) to unsuspecting fools like us. They were careful to keep the on-going situation hidden from us until the last days prior to sailing, and even more careful to include all kinds of self-serving protection in the fine print regarding "the carrier's rights". Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from the Danube river cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. The cruise was very disappointing for several reasons. Besides the water level issue which I will explain later, our room on the first ship was dirty upon arrival ... Read More
We just returned from the Danube river cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. The cruise was very disappointing for several reasons. Besides the water level issue which I will explain later, our room on the first ship was dirty upon arrival and needed to be re-cleaned. There was brown marks like chocolate on the floor and the bed headboard, side tables, and chairs all had all had brown sticky marks all over them like someone had spilled hot chocolate. When I showed the crew on board the mess they brought someone in to re-clean the room. The person cleaning the room said “I guess some of you expect everything to be perfect”. I offered to clean the room myself. The water level issue is very upsetting. Every port we went the guides as well as the crew on board told us the water levels have been several feet low for over a year. This is something that Viking should have brought up when offering this river cruise, or Viking should not be selling the tickets at all knowing that there would be several issues. A week before our trip I received an email stating that if water levels do not improve we will need to take a bus from Vienna to Budapest, that is all. I called Viking to ask them what the current situation was and the person said they could not give me any info because the water could change an inch and we might be fine. This was clearly not true that the water levels only needed to change an inch. We were told by Viking crew one of the Viking cruise ships, Oden, has been stuck in Budapest for over a year due to water levels being several feet too low. This was not the only location that was affected by low water levels which we were not informed of prior to the trip. Due to water levels we needed to take a 2 hr bus ride in and out of Passau, loosing out on 4 hours we should have had in Passau. We needed to take a 3 hour bus ride to another location outside of Krems to board a different ship. There was a tour in Krems that we did not go on because the crew onboard encouraged everyone to not go on the tour but rather stay on the boat while we sail to the Vienna. They told us the we would much rather see this part of the river and there would be commentary about the area. None of this happened because by the time we got on the new boat and started sailing it was too dark to see anything. We spent one night onboard the new ship and then took a 3 hour bus ride to Budapest. Due to the time all tours were cancelled except the included tour. We missed half of a day in Budapest and got to spend 45 minuted in Buda before going to a hotel where we were to spent the night. We were told at the hotel that we would receive dinner and drinks. Several other travelers stayed and had drinks, we all had the Silver package, which we were told was included. The waiter asked for one of the rooms, we offered ours not thinking anything if it. When we checked out at 3am we got a bill for 76,328 HUF. A Viking representative told me that if we pay the bill Viking would reimburse me. Which never happened. We requested a full refund for the trip. Viking as offered us 25% then 35% off on future cruises. They offered 50% if they do not have to reimburse us for the dinner and drinks we paid for that they were supposed to. We talked to a fellow traveler from the UK and he was called by Viking and offered a full refund for the trip prior leaving due to the water levels. When we asked the crew onboard why we were not called and offered the same deal we were told that the UK and US has different laws and therefor Viking was not required to call US passengers with this offer. Deailing with Viking has been an absolute nightmare. Several guests on the cruise are in contact with one another to determine what is being offered. Viking customer service told me that they could care less that they we are having a difficult time with their customer suervice and the fact that they are making various offers. Viking is also offering some couples who posted negitive adds a 40% off if they sign an NDA. I would like to reiterate that it is very disappointing that Viking knew exactly what the water conditions were and choose to sell tickets to this cruise regardless. They knew that people would come back dissapointed and their only option is to take a voucher to buy more products form Viking. This is FRAUD. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
It has been a month since we returned from our November 2018 visit to Prague and Danube River Cruise. We experienced the same low water levels that so many have commented on, this was out of Vikings control and we can hardly blame them ... Read More
It has been a month since we returned from our November 2018 visit to Prague and Danube River Cruise. We experienced the same low water levels that so many have commented on, this was out of Vikings control and we can hardly blame them for it. During our week on the cruise we transferred to three different ships, spend a lot of hours on buses and got to see some interesting truck stops on the way. While not what we were hoping for - still an experience and not Vikings fault. We also consistently encountered friendly staff at the pre-cruise hotel and on board the three ships we used for this journey. We did (and do) have an issue however with how Viking communicates and handles Customer Service issues such as lost bags. First off - if you only speak English don't worry, at every city we visited we were very comfortable finding our way and TONS of folks (especially younger folks) speak English. I was a little worried and shouldn't have been. We visited Prague on a Viking pre-cruise extension, staying at a hotel for a few days prior to the bus ride to the ship. Following instructions from Viking staff, we left our luggage by the bus and then boarded the bus for our trip – we didn't see the bag again until Christmas Eve (an unexpected but pleasant surprise). Viking eventually found the bag and sent it to us - it had been left on the bus. This stuff happens, but they could have communicated status and acknowledgement to us more. We had no idea what was happening and had basically written it off (had over $700 worth of stuff inside). About the cruise - some learnings: First, in November it's chilly - as in cold. No sitting on the deck, in fact none of the deck chairs or deck activities were even available. It was wet some days too. Second (and most importantly) is that it gets dark early this time of year. Not enough daylight to do all you'd like, and worse when you "burn daylight" sitting on a bus changing ships. Third, when you are stuck indoors on the small ship or in a bus, you can't escape the folks on the trip with you - and they can't escape you. Creates a more intense social scenario. We weren't really ready for this. That said - we loved the pre-cruise extension in Prague (which is now one of my favorite cities to visit!). We will definitely do a pre-cruise extension again - and we regret not having booked a post cruise extension as well. Viking tour of the old town was good. We did the tour of Terezin as I had relatives that died in the concentration camp there and a family history of bad experiences under the Nazis. Chilling, sobering, not "enjoyable, but one of the most important experiences of the trip. Well, done, well led by Viking, and just the right amount of time. Krems (wasn't really Krems as we never got close to the place due to water levels) was mostly visiting the Abbey -in the dark due to bus ride time and the time of year. Missed the entire exterior view (a big part of the excursion). Good but not great but would do this again in the daytime Regensburg was wonderful but our experiences limited as we arrived on Sunday and everything (I mean everything) was closed. Unlike the US, it's the law in Germany. Vienna was a jewel - and given our bus time we had precious little time to spend there. We will go back, the Viking tour was good. The classical music concert was epic. One of the best aspects of any cruise we have taken. Viking city tour was also very good. Budapest was a surprisingly fun city too - we just didn't have enough time there given the change in schedules/bus travel. We got up really early just to walk around some, wish we had more time, All said, I would definitely do this cruise again, in warmer weather, when days last longer, and only if the boat actually gets to float down the river. Yes, it would cost more - but I will be paying it. Final note - our experiences with Viking were probably not their best example of service in that they had a stressful European River Cruise season - all the rivers had problems. It was at the end of the season and you could tell that the Viking folks were looking for the season to end. They did a good job given the stresses (they are people after all) but I suspect they would have liked things to be better and less stressful too. Will we go on another Viking cruise - yes - but we will do so hoping for better circumstances. We will also consider an actual bus or train tour of Europe (because that's what we got) as it would be less expensive and hotel rooms would be more comfortable! Viking was fair in their granting of cruise credit for a future cruise to compensate for the lesser experience this year. Had a good time, hoping for a better one on the next Viking cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Good - Prague pre-trip at Hilton (make sure your room has been recently renovated), Regensburg/Vienna/Budapest attractions, the European winter markets, excellent service on the ships, flow of wine/beer at lunch and dinner. Good food ... Read More
The Good - Prague pre-trip at Hilton (make sure your room has been recently renovated), Regensburg/Vienna/Budapest attractions, the European winter markets, excellent service on the ships, flow of wine/beer at lunch and dinner. Good food and some regional. The Bad - Viking has been busing their customers since summer due to low river levels. Corporate offices have known about this, yet continue to sell these trips and will not confirm this until 2 days before departure. The result is shortened or rescheduled shore trips, missing many cruising days on the river, and continued unpacking and packing. Per the other US reviewers, without threat they generally will not refund you anything to compensate for the loss of service, but may offer you a dollars off coupon good for another cruise within a year. We were supposed to be on the Tor, but also were bused to the Var, and finally the Bragi -- permanently moored in Pest. If you opt for the cheap Viking air, you likely will be on the most inconvenient flights. On the return trip, we we traveled for 30 hours, flying Budapest to Paris to Seattle, then back to the Midwest. They offer some flexibility for a $50 fee to some but did not offer this to us. Advice - Do not book this trip or perhaps other Viking European river cruises in 2018. If you must, don't bother to book an expensive upper level room, as you will not be opening your balcony in the wintertime (nor will you be cruising the promised Wachau valley for instance). Do not buy the Silver Beverage package, as you will be on a bus during some days and some evenings, not in the bar enjoying the view. Free drinks on the Bragi if that is your last day. Know that tipping is supposed to include the tour director (unknown on our previous ocean trips with multiple lines), although ours (Violetta) was quite excellent and hard working. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Excellent excellent. Balanced schedule with many options even our young adult daughters loved every minute. The dining was excellent especially for my husband and myself as we are both foodies and have traveled extensively. There are a ... Read More
Excellent excellent. Balanced schedule with many options even our young adult daughters loved every minute. The dining was excellent especially for my husband and myself as we are both foodies and have traveled extensively. There are a pluthera of excursions some very reasonable others less so but the options are readily understood. Prepare yourself for extensive walking and understand your personal limitations as some excursions are lengthy. If it states itself as a two mile walk then it is. I always felt safe, comfortable and looked after. I will suggest upgrading your stateroom to at least a mid level for views and space. For those who have not traveled it is a worthy use of your time and hard earned money. Do not fear if you are a bit of a traveling neophyte because Viking makes it a wonderful excursion for all. One last item, take an extension or at least a twelve day trip. It makes the long flights worthwhile. We will travel again soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The 7-Day Romantic Danube Viking River Cruise was not so romantic and definitely not stress-free. DO NOT BOOK this Cruise itinerary between August and December as low river water levels hinder ships from sailing and reaching scheduled ... Read More
The 7-Day Romantic Danube Viking River Cruise was not so romantic and definitely not stress-free. DO NOT BOOK this Cruise itinerary between August and December as low river water levels hinder ships from sailing and reaching scheduled ports of call. Less than a week prior to our trip departure we received a notice from Viking advising us of the potential of low river levels and that there might be a risk of having to be bused to a port of call. We decided to make the best of the trip as we were super excited about cruising with Viking and our pre-cruise visit to Prague. After all, a company like Viking that touts luxury, is super pricey and is all about “exploring the world in comfort” wouldn’t disappoint, right? Well – this thought process proved to be naively unrealistic… Prague was fantastic as is the Viking staff. However, the cruise, unfortunately, was a complete disappointment to such an extent that the staff on our last night on the ship acknowledged the less than ideal experience. They advised that Viking Customer Service would be in touch to extend compensation. Over 75% of our sailing itinerary was not met and the “scenic cruising” experience promised never happened. We were relocated on to 3 different longships over the 7 day cruise and on the penultimate day the 5-hour bus ride from Vienna to Budapest, with a rest stop at a very dirty gas station, left us further deflated and with no real time to explore Budapest and with a 3am airport transfer. By the way – Regensburg, 1 of the 2 scheduled ports we did make it to was closed as everything is closed on Sundays in Germany. What we found out during our cruise and subsequently is that Viking had not completed a full Romantic Danube cruise itinerary and had been busing passengers since August from ship to ship (we sailed Nov 16-23 -Thanksgiving week). I would say that not disclosing this information is rather unethical and misleading, not to mention, highly disappointing to customers who saved and worked very hard to afford a trip like this. I contacted Viking customer service as Viking knowingly failed to fulfill and provide the experience and product sold to us. From our perspective, we feel completely misled. They took a calculated risk when they decided to not rebook or cancel this trip having months of these type of itinerary interruptions. To say that the customer service representative (Larry) I spoke with was patronizing and ultimately insulting, is an understatement. He proceeded to offer a percentage off a future cruise with Viking or a $250 cash refund per person for my husband and I - under the circumstances, I found the two options offered to be an intentional insult and brush off considering what we paid Viking for this trip. When I asked to speak with a supervisor, he placed me on hold for quite some time and when he came back on the line he explained that a supervisor would call me back but no sooner than 48-72 hours – it has bee well over 5 days since that call and we have not heard from anyone at Viking. I must say that we are very surprised and disappointed with Viking’s disposition under the circumstances. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we could have made. It is at the top of one of the worst vacations we have ever taken. And to add to our disappointment, the $500 cruise voucher that has been offered, it is just an insult. We reached out to Viking but of course we never heard back! We understand “Acts of God” (river being low) however the lack of communication from Viking was unprofessional and deceptive. Sending an email the week before the trip is not communication especially because Viking knew all summer about the river problems and they knew the amount of rain needed for the proper water levels had not occurred and would not improve before our scheduled departure date. We would have expected your company to: 1) Cancel the trip; 2) offer a full refund; 3) inform guest that their money would be transferred to a future river or ocean cruise; or 4) make the fully aware of what they were getting into if we chose to take the trip. None of these things were offered. So, instead Viking decided to have a cruise of almost 200 disgruntled customers, who will now spread the word about their experience. Below are some of the issues / problems we experience with this trip that we feel warrants compensation from Viking, that is not the insulting $500 that was offered. Air Service – Very disappointed with this service. Had we know about all of the hidden costs, we would have made my own travel arrangements. Which would have allowed us more time and saved us money. Don’t use! 3 total ships (VAR, TOR and Hemods) Viking Var – (Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. Front desk not so much, when ask directly about the boat change, etc. that had been mentioned in the Port Talk, which we missed because of our late arrival. We were provided with incorrect information, which was rude. Optional Tour Nuremberg– the guide was informative and provided good information Optional Tour Regensburg– the guide for the walking tour was very informative and provided very good information Optional Tour Passau – we did not see Passau. We paid for Salzburg Highlights. The bus driver “the Pope” was very funny and made the unbearable long bus ride a tad bit better. The guide for the walking tour was also good. BAD Optional Tour Nuremberg – the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. UGLY Optional Tour Nuremberg – Not enough free time to shop or explore the city. Rushing back to ship to leave did not make any sense. Optional Tour Regensburg – Spending an entire day in a city that is completed closed was an utter waste of time. We could have spent more time in Nuremberg. Optional Tour Passau / Salzburg – The Salzburg Highlight tour was not worth the money spent. And if we had been informed that the 3 hour total bus ride was now a 6 hour bus ride, we may have opted out. We were not informed of the change until we had already boarded the bus and were on our way. The bus ride to and from was pure “hell” that was too long to be a bus for a 3.5 hour excursion. A total shame! There were no lights to guide guest back to the ship once the bus dropped us off from the Salzburg tour. It was extremely dark and very hazardous. Guest had to use their cell phones to find their way back. Luckily no one was hurt. Room Steward – In effort to clean our rooms before we could even leave the ship, the steward threw away my body buff that I use for bathing– not happy. Room Steward – The day of the bus ride, we went to breakfast and left our personal items on the bed. When we return to the room all of our items had been moved from the bed and the room had been cleaned. This is totally unacceptable! Our personally items should not have been touched under any circumstances and they could have waited another 20 minutes to clean the room. Viking Tor (Vienna and Krems) GOOD Optional Tour Vienna – the walking tour was excellent. It was refreshing after sitting on the bus the day before. The guide did a great job and we had plenty of free time to explore. One of the only highlights of the trip. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place – the guide was very informative. Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD After the long bus ride we decided not to go on the Gottweig Abbey optional tour. We stayed on the ship to take pictures of the Wachau Valley. However because of the lateness of the hour and the lock, were not able to get many pictures. It was very annoying that the commentary continued about what we were “not” seeing because it was dark out and could not make out anything. Yet another disappointment. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place –The tour seemed very rush and for the amount of money we spent, we should have been able to see both parts of the palace not just the one section. We felt cheated. It would have been cheaper and easier to do it on our own. UGLY The 3 hour bus ride was horrific, especially after the 6 hour bus ride the day before. It was totally unacceptable. The stateroom bathroom was horrible. The shower had not been cleaned properly, had hair on the walls and the floor that was not ours. The bathroom toilet was not flushing when we arrived. An officer came to the room and checked and it would not flush for him either. About 5 to 10 minutes after he left the toilet starting flushing and then a “rude” engineer came to the room stating that it was working. However the water pressure was very low and it took several attempts to get the toilet to flush. The bathroom also smelled like urine. It was extremely offensive. We reported the issue to the desk, however they decided to give us a lesson on how to flush the toilet and did not address the horrific bathroom smells. It was not good. Viking Hermod (Budapest) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD Optional Tour Budapest– the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. The guide was not as good as the others and she kept pointing out highlights way before we got to them and people were missing them. There was not enough time to explore the beautiful city. UGLY Another 3 plus hour bus ride – just a nightmare. The bathroom stop, where we had to pay was ridiculous. This should have been covered by Viking. Fortunately, we still had some Euros in order to pay for the bathroom. We are extremely disappointed in the quality and value of service that was received from Viking. There was absolutely no value for the money spent. Viking failed us and the other guest. We could never recommend Viking Cruises to any our blog readers. We also have already told our family and friends not to Cruise with Viking! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
It was marketed as the best river cruise. I expected fine dining and wonderful cruising on the Danube River. The day before departure, we received an email that the river water is low and that we may have to be moved. We were not given ... Read More
It was marketed as the best river cruise. I expected fine dining and wonderful cruising on the Danube River. The day before departure, we received an email that the river water is low and that we may have to be moved. We were not given an option to cancel or re-schedule. We started on Viking Egil, docked for two days, After short travels through locks, we had to pack and travelled by bus for four hours to our next destination where we met up with the Viking Gullveig. We missed the entire UNESCO Wachau Valley cruising sights. After two days, we had to pack again for another four hour bus tour to Viking Bragi docked in Budapest. It was truly sad to ride into beautiful Budapest by bus when we could have entered by ship. The Viking Bragi felt like a floating hotel that does not travel. The whole experience did not feel like a cruise because we were constantly unpacking and packing on an eight day cruise. We missed an excursion to the Gottweig Abbey because it was offered in the dark and there were safety issues. We did hear that someone fell and was hurt at the excursion. We did not feel that Viking was honest with the travelers. We heard that there have been issues since June/July and yet, we were not informed until the last minute when we can no longer cancel or re-schedule. The whole experience caused considerable stress and anxiety. We will no longer consider Viking for future travels and we will let our travel friends know of our terrible experience. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS OR ANY VIKING CRUISE! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
On November 10, 2018 we concluded what we consider to be the worse cruise we have ever taken This cruise did not conform to what was sold to us in the Viking advertising and agreement. This was a bus trip with overnight stays at floating ... Read More
On November 10, 2018 we concluded what we consider to be the worse cruise we have ever taken This cruise did not conform to what was sold to us in the Viking advertising and agreement. This was a bus trip with overnight stays at floating hotels, minimal river views, missed excursions due to significant time wasted in bus travel, and blocked views once on board due to Viking’s standard practice of double docking. Only a few days before departure did Viking disclose that our cruise could be impacted by low Danube water levels. However, evidence obtained once on board the Egil, Gullveig, and the Bragi from Viking employees and leaders clearly indicated that Viking leadership knew of adverse river conditions going back at least to July 2018 and never shared this information with us or others. A cruise line that is ethical and committed to business integrity values would have shared such impactful information with booked travelers and offered either to reschedule, or cancel with a full refund of monies paid. Clearly based upon our experience, Viking is NOT an ethical cruise line committed to business integrity values. We do not recommend Viking for ANY cruise, anywhere based upon this experience. Cruise details… 1. Our Danube River cruise was not a cruise experience; rather it was a bus/road trip where substantial vacation time was lost getting from point to point to arrive at the next floating hotel (i.e., VIKING ship Gullveig and then Bragi). Accordingly, many of the planned and promised cruise encounters were missed, including (but not limited) failure to see the Wachau Valley Austria, failure to dock in Pasau Germany proper (although many other similar sized ships were docked there as part of their on-going journey), and failure to cruise into glorious Budapest. In lieu thereof, we were forced into bus travel to move on to meet the next ship. This was not a river cruise by any shape of the imagination. 2. As a result of a late arrival, we could not participate in the rescheduled 4 pm excursion to the Gottweig Abbey as it would now be conducted after dark; we were concerned about safety. As it turned out one of our travelers had a serious fall and was injured due to the dark/unsafe conditions surrounding the exterior of the Abbey. 3. Instead of spending seven nights on the Gullveig as booked and unpacking once, we were on three ships for seven nights with multiple unpackings, repacking’s, and two four-hour bus trips each to meet the next floating hotel. Also, instead of docking in Passau, we docked in the remote village of Staubing and had to travel to Passau by bus for more than 90 minutes with a similar return trip (again more lost vacation time – more stress). Also, more time was wasted waiting on the bus as the Gullveig was late arriving into Vienna. 4. Even with the limited time on board the ships, our French Balcony view was fully obstructed frequently due to VIKING ship double docking where all we could see was another ship flush against our balcony within 12 inches. This created a dismal feeling of being imprisoned and clearly precluded river and shore views. 5. We had clearly communicated to VIKING and again aboard ship that I had dietary restrictions, not withstanding this prior communication staff continued to provide me with normal/undesirable meals. 6. Interviews with staff and employees of all three ships clearly revealed that the river conditions that VIKING sighted as the basis for non-performance were known by VIKING senior leadership at least as far back as July 2018. 7. VIKING knew that they could not provide the cruise experience they promised yet continued to operate in gross disregard to known conditions. VIKING leadership knew that it did not have or was unlikely to secure local governmental authority to pass through needed river locks to continue the journey it had offered to its’ customers. Yet it continued in gross disregard to this prior knowledge. Also, VIKING on board ship senior leadership boasted to passengers in an open meeting that there was no need to worry about “ship swaps” as it had perfected the “famous ship swap process” over many months. Another example demonstrating significant advance prior knowledge of the operational problem, and failure to inform booked passengers early on to afford a cancellation opportunity. 8. Instead of this vacation being a pleasant stress relieving experience, it caused significant stress and was a source of constant anxiety. As noted above, there was a significant gap between what was offered/promised by VIKING and what was provided. Overall this was a bus excursion road trip at best, certainly not a river cruise. It was totally stressful, and fully lacked the relaxing experience one would expect from being on a river cruise. We do NOT recommend Viking to anyone for any cruise based upon this experience and their lack of ethics and business integrity. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My friend and I have just returned from the Viking river cruise (Romantic Danube) and sadly to say it was not the holiday that they advertised. The firm had knowledge of the low water levels for a few months but, as we have found out, ... Read More
My friend and I have just returned from the Viking river cruise (Romantic Danube) and sadly to say it was not the holiday that they advertised. The firm had knowledge of the low water levels for a few months but, as we have found out, continue to charge full price for an experience that they could not fulfil. We were given 12 hours prior to our flight, to decide whether we cancelled with full refund or continue with our holiday plans, being offered 25% off our next booking. Had we have known the full implications of how our cruise would be affected our decision may have been very different. As such, we ended up with a “cruise” that really wasn’t a cruise and, we believe, nowhere near being value for the money paid and that the information provided in order for us to make a decision was limited if not deceitful. The offer of 25% wassimply touting for future business and not offering any recompense for the disruption and disappointment felt by the customers who ended up in 3 ships, many long bus journeys and only had 4 daylight hours of river cruising in one week! The excursions, the ships themselves and the staff we have no complaints about, they provided excellent service. Until the last day the organisation of our transfer to the airport was poor and left us with a hair raising drive through Budapest and only managing to catch the plane, with the assistance of the Viking Rep, as it was being boarded. We had no apology for the lateness of this transfer from the staff on the Viking Var when I had approached them a few times with my concerns they left me feeling as if I was making “a fuss over nothing”. A very stressful end to a disappointing holiday. We do not wish to accept the 25% offered (as we have no intention of ever travelling with them again) but have requested it as a monetary token acknowledging the disruption caused to our holiday. However we are not keeping hopes up that this will ever happen. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" ... Read More
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a very uncomfortable Danube Bus Tour". Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, Although we realize that Viking is not in control of the weather, Viking was well aware that the Romantic Danube River cruise could not navigate the river on over half the trip. We were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg, Regensburg and Vienna. We spent approximately 7 daylight hours cruising during our 8 day river cruise. The rest of the time was spent changing cruise ships ( 3 times we had to pack our bags and put them outside our door for early morning pickup) This was not a river cruise it was a bus tour. The river cruise was advertised as a romantic once in a life time adventure highlighting the scenic Wachau Valley We never saw the spectacular views of the Wachau Valley as we were traveling through the country side by bus for eight hours We became well acquainted with the European bus companies and rest stops. One bus driver did not know the exit to take to Roth, Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. The same thing happened in Budapest. The guide said to leave the audio device on the bus and he would shout out the highlights. Then George showed up with a new device for our guide, but we no longer had our device as we left them on the bus and it was gone. On Monday October 15 while waiting on a pedestrian walkway for the “bus” pickup area in Passau, I was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. Not having enough time to be treated in Passau we returned to the ship, hoping for some medical help there. The ship had nothing but a band aid for the cut above my eye. As we arrived back at the ship the Captain was standing at the receptions desk and I asked for assistance. Apparently he did not understand what I needed because he called someone else to help me. The only help they could do for me was call a cab. My husband and I spent three hours that evening in the emergency room in Straubing. The staff on the ship did not know that it would cost us 100 euros to be treated. The receptionist at the desk would not treat us without the money even though I had insurance coverage. We did not have that much with us. My husband had to find an ATM at 6 o’clock in the dark, in a city he knew nothing about. We spent over 3 hours at the emergency as I required 2 stiches above my eye. I would have expected a little more support from the staff on the ship. The accommodations on the 3 ships we were on were adequate. The food left us somewhat disappointed. Nothing was what I would call spectacular. The staff on the Viking Tor was really great and tried to make the best of a bad situation. On Thursday October 18 we were again transferred from the Viking Wihlelm to Budapest by bus. Budapest was a bust. We arrived in time for lunch on the Viking IDUM, then loaded in a bus for the tour of Budapest. The tour guide was none stop talking about the city. Almost like he didn’t have enough time to say what he wanted to say. Then when we departed the bus the Quietvox did not work. So the tour guide told us to leave ours on the bus and he would talk loudly on the walking tour. So we left the QuiteVox on the bus. Then George showed up, gave the tour guide a new Quietvox and we continued. Only those who had their Quietvox’s were able to hear. We left ours on the We got back to the bus with no time left to go to the marketplace, which I was looking forward to, as we should have had all afternoon to take in. That didn’t happen. On Friday October 19, we were told to have our luggage outside our door at 6:30am. Which we did. Went to breakfast which was served cold. It appeared the staff had put the food out for the earlier departures and did not heat for the later breakfast arrivals. After we went back to our rooms at 7:30 our luggage was still outside our doors. Finally at 8am we were again on a bus to go to the airport in Budapest (expected transportation). We sat on the bus loaded and ready to go, but the bus driver was not sure he had everyone as he did not have a list of passengers nor was there a Viking representative there to help him. One of the passengers gave him the list that we had received the night before. If it were not for our group of family and friends, this cruise/bus tour would have been unbearable. We feel Viking misled us over and over with their daily updates on how bad the low water level was, when in fact Viking knew this situation persisted months before our cruise. This is very unprofessional on Vikings part. They should have been honest with their customers and given us the option to postpone or cancel the cruise. Instead they had our money and they were not going to give it up, instead Viking thought a bus tour was adequate for a very the price we paid for an expensive river cruise. AAA and Viking did not represent their customers, they are in the business to sell cruises so buyer beware. Remember future travelers, AAA and Viking represent themselves not you. I will not recommend AAA or Viking to anyone that will be traveling. Also, remember we are in the age group that will be traveling. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into the Danube Motor Coach Bus Tour. Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known ... Read More
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into the Danube Motor Coach Bus Tour. Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, we were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg (an industrial port with cargo "scenery"), Regensburg and Vienna. We never experienced the beautiful river sites of the Wachau Valley, the Danube bend, or actually much of the Danube River at all. In 8 days of our river cruise, we actually cruised approximately 7 daylight hours and most of that was going through locks on the Danube Canal. However, we did experience a boat hotel/restaurant experience on three different ships--the Tor, the Vilhjalm and the Idun--having to unpack and repack our luggage several times and in time for very early bus departures to our next city. A few of the "highlights" of our bus tour included: Very little leisure time to explore Passau, Vienna or Budapest. A lunch of overdone pot roast and tater tots at a Melk hotel restaurant. We became experts in European bus companies and rest stops. A bus driver who didn’t know what exit to take to Roth and had to turn around and go back several miles to find our ship. Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. While waiting in the bus pickup area in Passau, my sister was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. She and her husband spent the evening in the emergency room in Straubing. We were supposed to be docked in Passau. The supposed sight of a bomb near the location of our designated ship in Budapest, The Viking Var. Only problem was, the bomb was removed in July, our cruise was in October! The staff of the Viking IDUN in Budapest was very distressed and over whelmed by a daily turnover of guests. I can understand their frustration at having to disembark and embark an entire shipload of guests every day. It’s no wonder that they didn’t seem very excited to see us! The staff said they have been docked in Budapest for over five months. Our tour director, George, was pretty good in the beginning of the cruise but even his good humor was wearing thin by the end of the cruise. He was the Viking representative on our cruise and he was forced to smile and try to convince us that everything was fine and the low water levels were extremely rare. Again, Viking has known for many months about the low river levels and chose not to notify their customers/passengers in a timely, honest manner. After some online research and talking with other Viking passengers, we have also learned that Viking consistently performs misleading advertising and unethical business practices. At this point AAA Travel and Viking River Cruise company have lost my trust to adequately and responsibly represent their travel products. P.S. It is now two weeks after I notified Viking River Cruise of my disappointing motor coach tour of the Danube River. Other than a generic response, nothing! Read Less
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
Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted a cruise that included Prague. This cruise started there, ended in Paris (always a pleasure), and gave us the chance to see many parts of southern Germany we had not seen before. The ship cabins were delights of efficiency and ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that included Prague. This cruise started there, ended in Paris (always a pleasure), and gave us the chance to see many parts of southern Germany we had not seen before. The ship cabins were delights of efficiency and practicality, and in our opinion were in many ways better than the very nice hotels we used at each end of the actual cruise (the heated bathroom floors were a real surprise and a major plus,). In truth we spent little time in out cabin, however, with all the tours and activities to choose from! We took as many off-ship excursions as possible, and virtually all had excellent local guides and priority access. Food was very well prepared and presented, and plentiful, at the breakfast buffet, the lunch buffet, and the dinner (which included a couple of “theme” meals). Both Shore and Onboard staff was uniformly pleasant and efficient and worked hard to meet the needs/demands of the cruisers. The very small ship nature of a river cruise meant that we were able to make many new friends even in a week’s cruise. Finally, the staff did a great job not only with the embarkation/disembarkation, but also with the many excursion departures/returns. We would highly recommend a Viking River Cruise (although out next cruise will be a Viking Ocean Cruise!). Read Less
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