5 Nuremberg to Europe - All Viking River Viking Tor Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date June 2019
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
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
Sail Date July 2018
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 July 2017
My wife and I, along with friends, took a Viking Cruise on the Danube departing September 25th, 2015 from Nuremburg, Germany. It was planned to arrive in Budapest on October 1st. It did not. Our Viking Cruise was a total ... Read More
My wife and I, along with friends, took a Viking Cruise on the Danube departing September 25th, 2015 from Nuremburg, Germany. It was planned to arrive in Budapest on October 1st. It did not. Our Viking Cruise was a total disappointment, with a significant under delivery in overall customer experience due to: 1) the excessive use of bus transportation with “claimed” low waters in the Danube, 2) Viking’s lack of communication on this issue prior to our trip commencement and during its duration 3) a requirement to change ships (Viking Var/Tor) for the second half of the cruise, and 4) no completion of the trip in Budapest where we were promised an evening cruise to view this magnificent city by night. Viking well in advance of our departure knew of the low water levels. No option of canceling our trip was given. Here are the details. 1. We did not have a full and fulfilling River cruise, using bus transportation for the bulk of the trip to access towns and cities, including Passau, Melk and Budapest. Our cruise became the most expensive BUS trip we have ever experienced. The extent of our bus transportation reduced our time to experience these major cites to well below the quality that Viking committed to. One bus trip exceeded 4 hours. We even missed the first evening in Vienna and much more that was promised. 2. The extent of our river cruising on the Danube was approximately 90 minutes completing the Wachau Valley, disappointingly at the end of the day, in dark lighting. This was hardly the time to see this wonderful scenery, take great photos, and see the promised beauty of the rest of this leg of the river. This part of the cruise was promised to start at lunchtime. It did not. 3. Our trip was not completed. We did not finish our voyage with a promised evening River Cruise on the Danube in Budapest. Luckily, we had extended our trip, and purchased an evening cruise in Budapest with a local operator and experienced this magnificent city from the river, but incurred the additional cost. Viking could have figured out a way to deliver this end piece of the journey. We, as has many of our cruise colleagues have, informed Viking of our negative experiences with their Danube Viking Cruise, asking for refunds and credits. We have communicated via email to VP Customer Relations, Jason Pashko, Head of North America, and Torstein Hagen, CEO of Viking. We have heard no replies after requesting for personal phone calls to better describe our experience. We have been left with Customer Relations Case Managers who have offered us a 25% credit on a future trip. Consistent with Viking’s “divide and conquer” approach to customer complaints, they refuse requests for taking the issue to senior management, and have offered credits ranging from 20% to 35% on a future Viking Cruise for our cruise colleagues. This is ridiculous. Why would an organization the size of Viking offer differing compensation levels across customers on the same cruise, all experiencing the same shortfall in experience? How DISAPPOINTING!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Viking Tor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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