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
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
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
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
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
4 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The water level in the Danube is low, so we expected we might have have to switch ships midway along. We called Viking a few days before our trip, and Viking claimed there was as yet no determination. Well when we arrived on the boat, ... Read More
The water level in the Danube is low, so we expected we might have have to switch ships midway along. We called Viking a few days before our trip, and Viking claimed there was as yet no determination. Well when we arrived on the boat, they had determined we would change boats, just as they had the previous 2, and just as they have already determined they will on the next 2 trips. I think they were less than candid with me. Given that we have no choice, I was prepared to tolerate the inconvenience of a ship change, but I was not at all prepared for the other inconveniences Viking visited upon us. To accomplish the ship change, we lost a whole day of our itinerary and spent 7 hours either riding on a bus, and waiting 2 hours at a restop beside the autobahn. The day before, we spent amost 3 hours bussing back and forth to Passau instead of docking there as scheduled. We bussed into Neurumburg, so 2 more hours on the bus. Because of the ship change, we missed our day in Krems, our scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley was mostly after dark, and we missed our overnight in Vienna. As compensation Viking has given all of us $20 shipboard credit for the lunch we paid for at the rest stop. We paid over $12,000 for for this cruise from hell, and according to the latest word from our cruise director, there is nothing more coming. They won’t tell you if you have an upcoming Danube cruise and you call Viking, but crew members in the know say the next 2 Danube itineraries will involve a ship change, and probably more beyond that. If you have insurance that will let you cancel without charge, I suggest you give it serious consideration. We had that insurance, but I thought how bad can a ship change be, so we came on. Well, let me tell you it can be terrible, because it is not just the ship change, but all the other itinerary modifications you will suffer. I would not endure this itinerary again next week if they invited me to come along for free. And to add insult to injury, they have given us $20 to compensate us for our trouble. This is one unhappy group of cruisers. As Viking likes to say in their ads, “exploring the world in comfort” — they just don’ t mention you might be enjoying hours and hours of their signature comfort in a motorcoach (translate bus). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Because of a drought, water in the Danube was low and the ship was unable to sail to some of the places we were to visit. So, we were bused to those towns and then bused back to the ship. We did manage to sail from Nuremburg to Regensburg, ... Read More
Because of a drought, water in the Danube was low and the ship was unable to sail to some of the places we were to visit. So, we were bused to those towns and then bused back to the ship. We did manage to sail from Nuremburg to Regensburg, but then had to switch ships to one further down the river. That took an entire day. We had four beautiful hours sailing the Wachau Valley, but that was it! In the evening I thought we'd at least be able to view the river from our room, but NO because we were parked between two other boats. Before we left for our trip I'd heard that other cruise lines were giving their passengers the opportunity to cancel with a full refund. When I called Viking to check on our sailing they said everything was fine...no worries. Many of our extra excursions were cancelled. No apology from Viking, but they did give us a 25% voucher off our next sailing---FAT CHANCE! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had heard so many wonderful things about Viking River Cruises and the beauty of the Danube as it winds through Germany, Austria and Hungary. Unfortunately, our experience did not match that of our friends ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had heard so many wonderful things about Viking River Cruises and the beauty of the Danube as it winds through Germany, Austria and Hungary. Unfortunately, our experience did not match that of our friends who had previously taken this cruise. Overall, we were very disappointed with our experience. Due to the impassable water levels of the Danube River in certain areas, we endured two significant disruptions during our 7 day cruise. The first two days were spent on the canal leading from Nuremberg to the Danube. By the time we arrived at the River it was clear that the water level was too low. On day five, we switched ships to another further up-river. This meant packing up and taking a 3 hour bus ride to the new ship. On day 6, we spent another entire morning on the bus to Budapest rather than sailing into the city. We then had a quick lunch and tour of the city. All the optional excursions were cancelled due to lack of time. We were later deposited to a 3 star hotel located outside city center where we spent the last night of our Danube River Cruise. Viking has offered a 25% voucher towards a future cruise. I believe Viking should have been more forthcoming about the low water levels and the likely disruptions to the itinerary, I do not trust Viking and will not travel with this cruise line again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I give this a 3 for neutral... This was a bucket list trip for us. We chose this trip so that we could get a taste of the cities that are advertised on this journey. There were many wonderful things we saw but most of all made great ... Read More
I give this a 3 for neutral... This was a bucket list trip for us. We chose this trip so that we could get a taste of the cities that are advertised on this journey. There were many wonderful things we saw but most of all made great friends along the way... Before embarkation, we chose the Viking Prague extension on the front end of the trip. We flew business class so upon arriving in Prague we were able to get through Customs in 10 minutes. We were greeted by a Viking representative but told we would have to wait for the other 6 couples that were going though customs. After an hour and a half of waiting, we chose to take a cab to the hotel instead. Upon arrival, around 11 am, we quickly received our room keys. The hotel is ok. For us, we are in our late 40's, the almost mile walk into the city center is not an issue for us, but the majority of the guests are well into their 60's and I could see it being prohibitive for them to easily enjoy the sites unless you take a cab. We walked back and forth and got a good bit of exercize in prior to our cruise. The excursions in Prague were ok. The walking tours will give you the highlights of the city you are visiting so you can check off the main attractions. (they bus you from the hotel into the city) We opted for the Panoramic Prague and Kutna Hora (approx 1.5 hour bus ride). After day 3 we left for our ship which was in Nuremburg and it is a 3.5 hour bus ride from Prague. This was to be expected. Our first crew on the Tor was fantastic, unfortunately we had to change boats due to low water levels, and the second crew on the Var was simply awful. Viking should spend some time training them on customer service. Life on the boat - we had a suite and it was great! Bed is not as comfortable as the advertisement but to be expected. Shower and storage were good. No complaints. The food was good - not fabulous but good - the service was excellent! The problem: We knew there was a possibility of the river levels being low - we had no idea how badly this would affect our trip. We spent the majority of the time on busses. Basically we made it down the river to about Regensburg without hickups and then it went south from there... If you think that you are going to take the boat to a port where you can walk out of the boat into town, think again. We didn't ended up in the ports that we were suppose to and had to be bussed at least 1.5 hours away to the city center. 3 - 6 hours of your day are on a bus if you just take a city excursion. If you opt for Salzburg or some of the other trips then it could be 3 hours one way. This can be very discouraging. Here is how our trip went due to the low water levels: Saturday, July 28 - NUREMBURG Docked in a remote location outside of Nuremburg. Took a bus for the World War 2 Tour Sunday - July 29 - REGENSBURG We were not able to go on the Weltenburg Abbey and Danube Narrows trip because of water levels so took the walking tour. Monday - July 30 - STRAUBING (Suppose to be in Passau) Water levels were low so we ended up in Straubing. No tours in Straubing only Passau, so we bussed 1.5 hours into Passau. 3 hours in buses. We took the walking tour and the organ concert excursion and had lunch in Passau for some local food. We missed the Salzburg Highlights tour because it required longer bus rides and we wanted to see Passau which was a highlighted stop on the cruise. Tuesday, July 31 - YBBS - Transferred from Straubing to Ybbs - 3 hour bus ride AND the boat wasn’t there, stranded for another 1.5 hours. The unfortunate part other than being stranded was the entire city was shut down so we did not have anywhere to go. Many of us had to use the restroom so we found some small bicycle museum, gave them a donation and used the restroom! Remember, the majority of the guests were over 60....Thankfully, we grabbed the small bottles of wine from our suite and found a shady tree until our boat arrived. We were suppose to be docked in Krems - which I wanted to see - but we missed it... We did not go on the Gotweig Abbey tour because we wanted to actually cruise the Wachau Valley and not be on a bus. Wednesday - August 1 - VIENNA We bussed into Vienna from the port because you couldn't walk off the boat into Vienna. We took the walking tour and the bus came back to the boat around 12:30 p.m. We didn't go to the Mozart Concert because we would have to get on another bus into the city and we would have missed the sailing from Vienna to Komaron. (which was suppose to be Budapest) Another missed excursion. Missed the Danube Bend scenic cruising. Thursday - August 2 - Komaron Coulent make it into Budapest so we docked in Komaron. We missed the Budapest Castle Hill City Hike because the bus ride was 1.5 hours long to Budapest. Friday - August 3 Transfered to Budapest - 1.5 hour bus ride Budapest Extension: The Interncontinental was GREAT! We paid for an upgrade so that we could view the river from our room and the location was perfect. Sadly, there were river boats that were right in front of the hotel which was a daily reminder of how we missed that part of our cruise. Shopping and local restaurants: There was never enough time in the city for free time to shop or enjoy local restaurants. Don't bother looking up restaurants in the port cities because you would not have time to eat there. We did the tour and then got back on the bus back to the ship - in Vienna we had 1 hour of free time. The ports we were in were in an industrial area so it was difficult to get to any sign of life so we stayed on the boat. At the end of the trip our cruise director said we would be receiving a call from Viking to rectify some of the mishaps of the trip. I am fully aware Viking could not control the water levels, however, 1) they probably should not offer this cruise during the late summer months when the probability of low water levels are high. 2) They should better communicate the locations of the ports to the city center in their promotional material. 3) Communicate how far the excursions are and the length of the bus rides prior to signing up. 4) Allow more free time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We planned to sail from Nurenburg to Budapest on 27.07.18 I chose Viking cruises as i believed that they were of superior quality and thought they would be a good experience, little did i know..... I am appalled at the lack of ... Read More
We planned to sail from Nurenburg to Budapest on 27.07.18 I chose Viking cruises as i believed that they were of superior quality and thought they would be a good experience, little did i know..... I am appalled at the lack of transparency Viking has given and continues to give its customers in respect of the water levels on the Danube that adversely affects Vikings ability to navigate the route as described in the itinery. From what I have since learnt low water levels on the Danube are not unusual at this time of year yet your company continues to offer holidays knowing that they are unable to fulfil the expectation of their customers. We received an e-mail from Viking on 25th July 2018 that stated: “This message is to let you know that the Danube River is currently experiencing unusually low water levels that may impact your itinerary. When the water levels are too low, navigation on the river is restricted, making it impossible to sail through the affected areas. While you will still embark your original ship, Viking Tor, Viking operates identical ships traveling in opposite directions along the river so that we can execute what we call a ship swap part way through your itinerary. In these instances, you will be transferred by coach from your original ship to an identical sister ship, Viking Var, stationed further along the river so that you can resume your itinerary with minimal impact. Exact details are not available at this point, but our nautical department, which monitors all the rivers we sail on, will update your Captain during your cruise if it becomes necessary to enact the mid cruise ship swap. Your Program Director will in turn inform you of any program changes we need to make as a result. We are confident that you will enjoy your journey with us whether the mid cruise swap takes place or not, but wanted to make you aware of the circumstances as soon as we ourselves learned” I question the fact that Viking “were not aware of the exact details at this point”as I understand that the river has been low for quite a while now and on perusal of the weather forecast, it wouldn’t take a genius to realise that the cruise was going to be affected massively. If we read the other reviews written about Viking TOR July 2018 you will see that Viking were already experiencing problems. I have an elderly distant relative who in her working life worked for a cruise company on What concerned me further was what was witnessed at the end of our holiday.The Viking representatives , were in my opinion being minimal with the truth with the new arrivals and again were not being transparent in that their cruise was not going to be as expected. I heard them say that they were awaiting an update and they will let the new arrivals know accordingly. This was exactly how we were treated. We were “ drip fed” the bad news throughout the holiday when staff knew full well that the cruise was not going to happen as promised.On the Passau trip the guide said that it will take 8 days of heavy rain for the rivers to regain a level to allow the boats to navigate. You only have to peruse the weather forecast to see that this is nowhere to be seen on the horizon. A resume of our holiday is as follows: I consider that the holiday started well, visiting Nurenburg and Resenburg, At this stage we knew there was a potential problem of the river levels being low and that there was a possibility of a ship swop as per email - we had no idea how badly this would affect our trip and that this was not going to be the only hitch, we spent the majority of the time on busses. Our first crew on the Tor were fantastic,however the second crew on the Var were not as attentive. The food was good - not fabulous but good – aside from the Bavarian sausage night which was awful. The bottom sheet used on our bed on Var had a large hole, I didn’t bother to inform staff as I felt quite sorry for them, it must be horrendous for them having to work under these circumstances, I think this can be seen in the lack of attentiveness we received from the staff on the second ship, they all must be very tired. Monday - July 30 - STRAUBING (Supposed to be in Passau) Water levels were low so we ended up in Straubing. No tours in Straubing only Passau, so we were bussed 1.5 hours into Passau. 3 hours in total on coaches. Tuesday, July 31 - YBBS – On the Tuesday we were transferred from Straubing to Ybbs on a 3 hour coach ride. Upon our arrival at the dock we found that the boat wasn’t there as expected but was advised by the Tour Director that the boat was just on the other side of the lock.We were left stranded for another 1.5 hours on the dock side in the blistering heat.We arrived in YBBS around 1pm so was expecting lunch at this time. My husband is diabetic and so timing meal times is crucial for him. We eventually received “lunch” at 3.30pm when we embarked onto our new boat with dinner a few hours later. The unfortunate part other than being stranded was the entire town was shut down so we did not have anywhere to go, nor could we access any food/drinks ourselves. There were no toilet facilities to be found, only the toilets on the coach which were undesirable as you can imagine in the heat. The only positive I can say about this day was the fact that we had around 2.5 hours of scenic cruising along the Wachau Valley. We were however supposed to be docked in Krems which I wanted to see but due to being on coaches for the majority of the time we were unable to dock, we just sailed right past. We missed the Gotweig Abbey Tour so that we could actually cruise the Wachau Valley. Whilst I am disappointed that we missed the Abbey as it did look stunning, the decision we made led us to experience the only 2.5 hours of “Quality cruising” of the entire cruise with commentary from the cruise director. Having been on numerous other river and Ocean cruises I knew what to expect and so feel let down that we didn’t get what we paid for A RIVER CRUISE! Wednesday - August 1 - VIENNA Due to being docked outside of the scheduled area we were again put on the coach for another 1.5 hours into Vienna. We then set sail from Vienna to Komaron. Thursday - August 2 - Komaron We were supposed to be sailing to Budapest on this day but instead was taken to Komaron, two places that couldn’t be more poles apart (see attached photos) Due to the boat not sailing we missed the Danube Bend scenic cruising highlighted aa a special moment of the cruise. We were taken into Budepest by coach, again another 1.5 hours journey each way. Friday - August 3 On the Friday we were transferred to Budapest, another 1.5 hour coach ride. This for us was the highlight of the holiday. The Inter-Continental Hotel was GREAT! We paid privately for a dinner and cruise evening so we did get to cruise around Budepest, no thanks to Viking! I think it should also be pointed out that being transferred by coach led to us having to get up early each morning. It also took away the ability to make choices for what we chose to do for example, if you are moored in a main town/city you can get on and off the boat as you wish, go back to the boat for a rest when you choose. Being placed so far away from the main areas it would be impossible to do anything independently. At the end of the trip our Cruise Director said we would be receiving a call from Viking to make reparation for our disappointment. The holiday felt more like a coach tour than a cruise, and considering the cost I would have been better off considering city breaks that would have been far better organised and a lot cheaper! I am fully aware Viking could not control the water levels, however: 1) I am of the opinion that they should not offer this cruise during the late summer months when the probability of low water levels are high and not unusual. People have travelled from all over the world to “Cruise the Romantic Danube” There is nothing remotely romantic about being herded on and off coaches. 2) Viking should better communicate and be transparent about the difficulties, the locations and distances of the ports to the city centres and be open and honest from the start as to how this would impact on our holiday. 3) I also begrudge having to spend my time penning a complaint when I should be resting as I continue to be on annual leave, I work full time and so my spare time is very precious! My husband and I are approaching retirement age and so hopefully have many more cruising holidays to look forward to in the future. Would we consider cruising with Viking again, I would say no. Would we recommend Viking? Again I would say no. Do we trust that Viking can deliver, NO. Viking, in my opinion lack any integrity. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
What a wonderful experience! From first setting foot on the ship we were treated like royalty! Everything we needed and could have possibly wanted was provided by an amazing staff with a smile and friendliness we have never experienced on ... Read More
What a wonderful experience! From first setting foot on the ship we were treated like royalty! Everything we needed and could have possibly wanted was provided by an amazing staff with a smile and friendliness we have never experienced on vacation before! The itinerary took us to places that other vacationers most likely never see—particularly through relationships with local people of the communities that helped us to understand their culture, history and lifestyle in addition to the sights. What a gift! The excursion offerings were varied and interesting—not the typical tourist destinations! We were able to see and experience everything from working monasteries to a private Bavarian horse farm! The balance of tours and personal time in each port was perfect as we could do some exploring on our own after we learned about the community. We even watched the World Cup with locals in a German pub! On board ship, the education programs each day helped us to prepare for the next port, so we better understood the areas we were seeing. The staff made you feel like you were friends (not clients), and some of our best memories are of conversations with the staff at dinner or in the lounge area. The food was amazing and really highlighted and reinforced the culinary favorites of the areas we were in. I also have food allergies, and I have never in my life been accommodated in the manner I was on this cruise! My menu was specially prepared each day and was similar to the meals offered to others, just specially prepared. I had no problems or worries! What a gift! While underway the entertainment was memorable! Because of the small number of passengers on the river cruise ships, along with the welcoming personalities of the staff and entertainers, we were able to get to know and build positive relationships with the majority of the people on the ship! It was fun dancing, singing, and sharing stories with our fellow travelers from all over the world each night! We most definitely would take another Viking River Cruise, and given the number of people on the cruise we met who had been on multiple Viking trips, it appears to be how most people feel! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We truly enjoyed our voyage. This was our first river cruise but won't be our last. The smaller size of the ship was perfect - 180-190 passengers instead of thousands on an ocean cruise. Food and service were outstanding; our ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our voyage. This was our first river cruise but won't be our last. The smaller size of the ship was perfect - 180-190 passengers instead of thousands on an ocean cruise. Food and service were outstanding; our housekeeper and her colleagues even helped us celebrate our anniversary (tho a bit early but that was fine). Every meal appealed to us. We made good use of the Silver Spirits beverage package. Enjoyed learning more about the ship, appreciated the captain's description of his job during our tour of the bridge, the kitchen tour and the program director's evening talks. Almost every off-ship event ran right on time. Most of the tour guides were excellent as was the subject matter. Some ports of call began to get redundant - how many old churches does one need to see? We met some very nice people, many fellow Americans but also quite a few Canadians, Brits, Scots etc. We will do this again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
My husband and I went on Viking River Cruise’s “Christmas in Germany” cruise this past December. This was my first river cruise, but I have been on many ocean cruises and traveled throughout Europe. We are in our early thirties, ... Read More
My husband and I went on Viking River Cruise’s “Christmas in Germany” cruise this past December. This was my first river cruise, but I have been on many ocean cruises and traveled throughout Europe. We are in our early thirties, so I was anxious about going on this cruise as I know that the passengers on these journeys are usually older, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a younger bunch on this ship, perhaps because of the holidays. There were plenty of retirees, but also couples in their thirties, forties, and fifties, some with adolescent children. We never felt uncomfortable, and since we are not big “party animals” we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment (local musicians and craftsmen) and port talks. Our cruise director Sam was wonderful and one of the best I have ever met! I expect him to join the ranks for Carnival’s famed director John Heald. We booked our air travel through Viking Air and flew Lufthansa from Atlanta to Frankfurt and United from Cologne to Munich, Munich to D.C., and D.C. to Atlanta. I was displeased at the number of stops on our return trip, but the times were acceptable as we did not have to leave the ship until 6:30 AM the morning of our departure and since we received our tickets in October (three months before departure), I was able to secure good seat assignments. The main problem I encountered on the entire trip Viking Air’s lack of support when our flight from Frankfurt to Nuremberg. Upon our arrival in Frankfurt, we discovered that our next and last flight to Nuremberg was cancelled. After speaking with the airline (Lufthansa) and being told that there were no other flights to Nuremberg that day and that the only option was to take the high-speed train with vouchers offered by the airline. This was concerning because our Viking transport bus was supposed to meet us at the Nuremberg airport upon arrival, not at the train station. I immediately called Viking at the number provided in my travel material and spoke with a man who seemed to be bothered by my call and told me that if the airline cancelled the flight, there was nothing Viking could do as the bus would be waiting at the airport and that I must find my own transportation to the ship. He did say that Viking would reimburse the taxi fare from the train station to the port. Wanting more information, I called back and spoke with a different person who had more information than him (she had been alerted that multiple flights had been cancelled that day), but she was not able to offer any additional help. We took the train, which had a station in the Frankfurt airport, to Nuremberg and flagged a taxi to take us to the port. Our situation turned out fine and we made it to the ship (three hours later than intended), but we made it in plenty of time. I was disappointed in Viking’s support during this situation as I understood that one of the advantages to booking air through Viking was to has assistance with any air and transportation issues. If we were handicapped or not well-traveled, this could have been a big problem, resulting in us not getting to the ship in time. I still recommend booking air with Viking as was a significant discount, do keep in mind that booking with them does not necessarily mean that they will be able to assist with any issues once you have started the trip. Onboard service, however, was excellent! There was always a room steward, waiter, or guest services manager available to meet any and all needs. DINING We dined in the Aquavit Terrace several nights and the waiters were very attentive. They even humored us and brought entrees from the dining room menu to us and another table! There are tables for two and four inside of the terrace and even more options outside when the weather is warm. Each night there is a different entrée on the menu, but the starters and salads were the same. I suggest that they provide the same “Always Available” dining room menu in the Aquavit Terrace for passengers who want a quiet, intimate, shorter dinner experience. The dining room service was also great and the food was good, but there was not a big variety of types of food from which to choose. Understandably, much of the menu is German-type food and one night is themed with traditional German dishes and musical performers in the dining room. CABIN Our French Balcony cabin on Deck 2 was wonderful! There is plenty of room for two people, the floor to ceiling windows (with a door that slides open – there is a rail to prevent falls since there is not a balcony) make the room feel even larger. The bathroom is completely tiled and the heated floors felt so good after a cold day. Bottled water is replaced daily, there is a self-service machine on each deck (which I prefer as opposed to having to track down a cabin steward like on ocean cruise ships), and the mini fridge is surprisingly cold. The beds are comfortable, topped with soft white duvets and plenty of pillows. ITINERARY We cruised from December 22nd to December 29th and took the “Christmas in Germany” route from Nuremberg to Cologne, stopping in Bamberg, Wertheim, Wurzburg, and Koblenz. If you choose to cruise during Christmas, be aware that most shops, restaurants, and historic sites are closed for much of Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas and the day after Christmas. I expected the closures on Christmas Eve and Christmas, but not the day after Christmas. Nevertheless, Viking was able to arrange some fun stops along the way, including docking on Christmas Eve in a small town so that passengers could attend Christmas Eve services at local churches. Because of work and school obligations, the Christmas holidays are a convenient time for many families to vacation; however, because of the extended closures in Germany, I would not recommend traveling during this time, unless one is planning to an extended trip - staying multiple days before or after Christmas, instead of just traveling through the week of Christmas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We'd been wanting to try river cruising and this was our first. We took a Viking ocean cruise to the Baltic last year and absolutely loved it. As expected, the service was above average, but the food was not as good as we ... Read More
We'd been wanting to try river cruising and this was our first. We took a Viking ocean cruise to the Baltic last year and absolutely loved it. As expected, the service was above average, but the food was not as good as we thought it should be. We had a veranda cabin, which we were unfortunately unable to enjoy because of the cold weather. The cabin was smaller than on an ocean vessel, but we knew it would be. The included tours were as expected and the optional tours we took to Heidelberg and Rothenburg were very enjoyable. We loved cruising the Rhine and seeing all the castles on the hills. Passengers were very friendly and many had been on multiple river cruises before. I don't know that we will river cruise again - we think we just like all the additional perks of ocean cruising, which Viking does exceptionally. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Viking had been recommended to us by so many people, we decided we had to try them. We arrived in Nuremberg a few days early and were so happy we did. It was a wonderful city to use as a base from which to explore several others. ... Read More
Viking had been recommended to us by so many people, we decided we had to try them. We arrived in Nuremberg a few days early and were so happy we did. It was a wonderful city to use as a base from which to explore several others. Although Viking didn't offer a pre-cruise package in Nuremberg, my husband went on-line and found a wonderful boutique hotel across from the main train station. Once we were on the cruise, we were amazed by Viking. We loved having the free tours in each port, which gave us a great tour of the city/town, but also time for shopping and exploring on our own. We had no problem with the language barrier, as so many of the Germans, Austrians and Hungarians we talked to spoke English. The food was good on-board and the complementary wines at dinner were an added bonus. There wasn't assigned meal seating, so you were able to move around each day if you wished. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
First time river cruise-- met and/or exceeded expectations. Did all the included tours and 5 additional. Tour guides were great and very knowledgeable . Service onboard was excellent. Food was also high quality Tour director Boris was ... Read More
First time river cruise-- met and/or exceeded expectations. Did all the included tours and 5 additional. Tour guides were great and very knowledgeable . Service onboard was excellent. Food was also high quality Tour director Boris was the best. Never had to worry about anything. Looking forward to another river cruise in 2018 and already booked ocean cruise on viking in Jan 2018. Stayed in Prague for 3 days prior to cruise, very well worth it, in retrospect should have stayed three additional days in Budapest. The cabin was very nice, clean and well maintained. Upgraded to a two room suite, plenty of room, approximately 400 sq ft. Bathroom floors were heated, very nice amenitiy. Overall a great experience, very relaxing, however there were always plenty of activities if you wanted to do more. Do not think the beverage add on is worth the cost. You would have to drink a lot in addition to what is provided in order to justify cost Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Viking because we heard nothing but wonderful information regarding Viking from friends & associates. Everything their brochures and website said they would do or provide was completed with a smile and a positive attitude. We ... Read More
We chose Viking because we heard nothing but wonderful information regarding Viking from friends & associates. Everything their brochures and website said they would do or provide was completed with a smile and a positive attitude. We were met at the airport on time, immediately brought to the Viking Thor, welcomed and given simple details, escorted to our room which had champagne, beer, spirits, and fresh fruit awaiting us. Throughout the cruise the staff was there to explain all the events available, serve our needs, and provide small group tours (10 people at most) for the city tours at docking ports. The food was excellent, the chef explained daily what he would prepare for us. Comfort, relaxation, and warmth by the staff could not be any better. The best part is the fact that the Viking Thor only accommodates approximately 170 passengers enabling guest to intermingle and make new friends without being overwhelmed. Also, on our cruise there were no kids which made it a quiet cruise and enabling senior guests to not worry about children running and bumping into them. We plan on doing another cruise in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We have never been on an ocean cruise because there are just too many people. I felt badly that my husband didn't get to see as much as I did when we travelled by car, so I booked a river cruise as a gift. It was intimate enough that ... Read More
We have never been on an ocean cruise because there are just too many people. I felt badly that my husband didn't get to see as much as I did when we travelled by car, so I booked a river cruise as a gift. It was intimate enough that we knew most of the folks by name by the time we were back. Meals are always open seating, which encourages mingling with new folks. Wine or beer is always available with the meals & no fancy dress is ever required. The food was fabulous, tours well organized with great guides! Our first river cruise was with a different company & Viking was an even better value for the money - all the way around! I can't say enough about the wonderful staff, both on the phone and on board the boat. they solved each & every problem with almost no effort & always to our satisfaction! Great trip & great company. We'll be back!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
The Ship and the crew were of the finest quality. The meal and the wait staff were excellent.Every thing about the trip was beyond belief.We toured the departure city before the cruise began. The tranfer from the airport to the ship was ... Read More
The Ship and the crew were of the finest quality. The meal and the wait staff were excellent.Every thing about the trip was beyond belief.We toured the departure city before the cruise began. The tranfer from the airport to the ship was flawless.The included excursion were very enlighting. All the tour guides were professional and knowledgeable. The optional excursions were just as qualified and well worth the additional monies. The optional excursions went beyond the included excurions. We just loved the Salzburg extention. We felt that we were right out of the sound of music. The extended Budapest stay was just great.Budapest was so different from other EU countries. I would do it all over again,I just could not have asked for any better experience in my life. I would rate the cruise with a ten stars out of ten stars. I just can not say any thing more about this trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our fourth viking river cruise. i thought the food was excelent and really enjoyed the ship...breakfasts were wonderful. this was our first longboat cruise and enjoyed the aquavit lounge. There was an unexpected and early ... Read More
This was our fourth viking river cruise. i thought the food was excelent and really enjoyed the ship...breakfasts were wonderful. this was our first longboat cruise and enjoyed the aquavit lounge. There was an unexpected and early heat wave that made vienna and budapest uncomfortable but what can you do. Our hotel in Budapest was wonderful and had a room with a direct view of the Parliment Bulding and found a wonderful cafe the Viking staff had recommended We arrived at the ship about 8:30 in the mornng and all the previous tour people hadn't left but we got into our room a litle after 9. We knew wheer the coffee machine and sweets were, so partook of those first while we waited I. WOULD HAVE LIKED TIME IN PASSAU(I WENT TO SALSBURG) AND MORE TIME IN Vienna. There seemed to be a lot of first timers on the ship and they were impressed. we made friends with some. Good time by all!.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted a special adventure for our 50th Anniversary. We thoroughly enjoyed the fact that everything was provided, all the details were pre-arranged and we were able to relax and enjoy. The on-shore tours and local guides were ... Read More
We wanted a special adventure for our 50th Anniversary. We thoroughly enjoyed the fact that everything was provided, all the details were pre-arranged and we were able to relax and enjoy. The on-shore tours and local guides were excellent, on-board experience was wonderful, and the cities we visited were great. The pre-trip in Prague was a wonderful introduction for our trip. We enjoyed the walking opportunities in each location and participated in each of the provided on-shore tours. We also enjoyed several of the optional excursions as well as the opportunities to have some free time to explore on our own. The history, foods, culture, architecture and people were all very great experiences. The staff on-board went above and beyond to provide for us and were present when needed, but also unobtrusive and efficient. This has provided great value for the cost of our cruise. We highly recommend this cruise and would love to have another opportunity some day. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We flew into Prague where we spent three lovely days exploring the city while staying at the Hotel Paris which was a delightful experience. From there we had a car take us to the Nuremberg port for embarkation on June 2nd. Embarkation ... Read More
We flew into Prague where we spent three lovely days exploring the city while staying at the Hotel Paris which was a delightful experience. From there we had a car take us to the Nuremberg port for embarkation on June 2nd. Embarkation went very easily and we went right to our stateroom. The cabin was tiny and I have included more details below. I was very surprised at the lack of choices available for dinner and lunch. I have sailed on the Seabourn triplets in the past which carried approximately the same number of passengers and on Seabourn there was always a variety of choices available. On the Tor, upstairs in Aquavit for lunch they usually had some kind of prepared hot sandwich like a tuna melt, a hot dish and some lettuce, not even a full salad. That's it. Upstairs for dinner you are given two choices and it is not possible get anything for the main kitchen. The quality of the food was often poor. In the main dining room the first night I was served a ribeye steak that was cold, gristly and tasted of rancid grease. I tried the steak again a few days later and this time it was warm but still pretty much inedible. Many people at our table complained about the food quality as well as slow service. One night the specialty cake was served frozen to our whole table. The German themed night was an exception and the veal, red cabbage and potato salad were all very good. Ironically when it was served at the buffet, the piece of meat was half the size of a deck of cards and they served out single tablespoons of the sides. DInnertime is at 7 only and there are no seats available if you are much later than that. There is no open seating if you wish to come at 730 or 8. There also is no maitre d or restaurant manager to escort to a table if you are a little late. People are forced to walk around the restaurant aimlessly until they spot an opening at a table. I have never seen this on another ship. Always the manager will escort to a table where there are seats available. Not on the Tor. We were very disappointed that many of the ports where we docked were not in the main part of town and we had to be bussed into town. Shuttle service was not always available. Some of the ports were located in an industrial area and we had some very unappealing sights out our windows. I will include a photo of the gigantic and very full dumpster next to the gangplank where we went on and off the ship for Passau. We did not have the experience of sailing into this small charming cities and being able to step off the ship and walk about town. We often docked quite a distance away looking at cranes and warehouses. This was NOT a Romantic Danube experience. The included shore excursions were not much. They took you on a bus into town and then you walked around for a bit with a guide. We were so tired of busses by the end that we just did our own thing. Budapest was a nice port for walking. I knew river cruising is very different from ocean cruising but I can't believe people accept and like the experience we had. I will never sail on a Viking ship again and I will do a lot of research before committing to any other river cruise on another company. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Wanted to see more than 1 city in Europe and this way of travel made sense. Everything we experienced was above our expectations. This was our first and won't be our last. the service and food was amazing. The shore excursions were ... Read More
Wanted to see more than 1 city in Europe and this way of travel made sense. Everything we experienced was above our expectations. This was our first and won't be our last. the service and food was amazing. The shore excursions were well planned with guides that were easy to understand and able to answer all our questions. All entertainment on the ship and on land were fantastic. The food every night was worth looking forward to. everything was well thought out and prepared perfectly. The breakfast each morning was worth starting our day with. It was freshly purchased and prepared to our order or we could go up to the buffet. The service aboard the ship was excellent and way above our expectations. We never had a want for anything and the staff in the lounge went over and above our needs. There never was a need to ask twice for anything. Read Less
Viking Tor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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