12 Passau Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets from Passau to Budapest with a 3 day pre cruise extension in Prague. The extension in Prague was outstanding, a beautiful city especially during this time. Viking offers ‘included ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets from Passau to Budapest with a 3 day pre cruise extension in Prague. The extension in Prague was outstanding, a beautiful city especially during this time. Viking offers ‘included tours’ in each stop. Some were walking tours others were bus tours so check to see which you sign up for. We used Viking Air service and were booked on Lufthansa. Incoming flight to Orlando caused us to miss connection in Frankfort...neither Viking nor Lufthansa were much of a help either rebooking or holding the Frankfort flight. Return flight had a 5 hour layover in Frankfort. Be aware when booking thru Viking. The ship itself was a bit of a disappointment. It is referred to to a ‘long ship’ which it is. The staff, while helpful, was somewhat distracted since this was the second to last cruise and most were going home within the next few weeks. The rooms are at best tiny. Storage is at a premium. Bathroom had a heated floor which was nice since we cruised in December. Bust again tiny with limited storage space. Dining was interesting. Viking does not accommodate medium sized groups for seating. We had to send a “scout” each night to stand in line before the doors opened to ensure we had a table for our party of 9. Service was attentive but slow. Wine/beer served with each meal. Menu selections were interesting, portions sufficient. Meals came out promptly and were presented well. Personally the soups were the highlight for me. Main courses nothing special. Entertainment was local and actually quite good. In my opinion, our cruise director was trying too hard to do his job. The hotel manager was great, funny and personable. My summary: compared to another river cruise I took, this was just ok. Viking gets raves but I was disappointed. Would I do another Viking? Perhaps. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This early springtime cruise was incredibly affordably priced when we booked for six couples to sail. We were treated with superb service in every way: rooms were beautifully cleaned each day, meals were delicious and some of our group ... Read More
This early springtime cruise was incredibly affordably priced when we booked for six couples to sail. We were treated with superb service in every way: rooms were beautifully cleaned each day, meals were delicious and some of our group sat together for meals while others chose other tables to meet more like-minded river cruisers, the onboard entertainments were fun for our group to join in, and the absolute care and attention given to the tours at all ports of call is what makes a Viking River Cruise the best experience possible. My husband and I especially appreciate the fact that VRC includes all drinks during meals in package price. We do not drink much, so it is fine to have one or two drinks a day for us. We have fun with friends-both old and new ones-during the evenings without extra alcohol. We have been on two VRC cruises (Rhine in 2013) and have not spent any extra money on drinks. The tour guides are always very fluent in English. They are also very familiar with the city you are visiting that day. So, when we ask for extra information or reccommendations of where a local might eat or what a local does, we know we can trust the answers. I love history and I feel each and every tour guide we've met is me in other skin! They always fill the allotted time and I know they would have that much more to share if time permitted. The Danube cruise highlights Hapsburg rule for more than a hundred years. Churches, palaces, cities: all are full of Hapsburg projects. On the Danube cruise one visits many Catholic cathedrals and learns about the interactions between the Roman Popes and the European monarchs. On the Rhine cruise there were many cathedrals which are now Protestant and the history of cities is influenced by the Reformation of the church and men like Martin Luther. This cruise was also blessed with unbelievable weather for the end of March! We sat on the upper deck in pleasant 70Fahrenheit weather with just our short sleeves. It was so calm the day we sailed along the Danube canal that we were able to play cards in the open air! Four of our couples traveling together also renewed wedding vows one day. The captain and concierge were most helpful when we shared our plan to do this when we boarded the ship in Passau. Right away, they said they knew a perfect part of the cruise to do so, and our pictures of the event have a beautiful castle in the background. Unfortunately, the photographer (one of the couples not renewing vows) had her computer stolen soon after returning to the States, so some thief stole the physical memory of that event. We do have beautiful pictures in our minds though, and we do have our spouses to share memories with each day! A VRC is also a very relaxing trip, in our opinion. Unpacking once for an entire week is wonderful. You do NOT have to bring a dozen outfits. Seasoned travelers were on both cruises: I noticed quickly on our first cruise that women wore an outfit a couple times or mixed and matched. Men wore jeans or casual slacks and shirts a few times. So don't overpack, it's just a hassle you don't want to deal with when you are traveling to the ship from the airport and back to it when your cruise is done. Again, let me urge you to PACK LIGHT! Almost everyone wore jeans on day tours and casual dress for dinner at night. Because of the small number of passengers and their decorum, one can also enjoy resting in the large lounges as well as one's stateroom. Watching the landscapes change as you sail a river is a remarkable thing! Here vineyards, there a cathedral, look a crumbling castle, oh there's a train... There's just so much to see and savor and the floor to ceiling glass walls make sightseeing so easy. Our Rhine River cruise was in late November and we visited Christmas markets in each city. Truthfully, for us that got to be a bit stale by day four. We are not shoppers (I tell family and friends they have to GO and SEE Europe for themselves, I am not bringing bits and pieces of it home as gifts in my luggage). We asked for alternative things to do and tour guides were more than happy to share other delightful ways to spend a day in a city. We've also seen a couple cities with friends who live in them and skipped the guided tours. As I am writing this review, I am saddened to know that yesterday (Dec 11, 2018) an act of terrorism occurred in Strausburg, which was a city and Christmas market we visited in 2013. How sad that our world is so broken and some souls are driven to such acts of violence. I conclude this long review by stating that I believe visiting other places and learning about local customs and enjoying them without judging them, is a lasting treasure one receives after going on a VIking RIver Cruise or generally traveling abroad. You aren't just a tourist with VRC if you take the time to talk to your tour guides and the ship's crew. Instead you know in your heart you have expanded your "family" with new friends. Even if we never see a person again, the memories live in our hearts and minds and we are forever aware of other ways of seeing life, of experiencing a day, of being human. We are dairy farmers. We travel when we find great deals. Both these VR cruises were priced right. A week of travel that includes transportation, lodging, meals, drinks, tours, and entertainments for less than $1500-1999/person is a great deal. We book the least expensive cabins: on our first cruise the booking agent tried to persuade me to upgrade. "Why?" I asked him. "It sounds like all I am going to do is sleep in my cabin because VRC has lots for me to do all day." He agreed we would be entertained all day if we wished. We were; and I see no reason to book a "better cabin" because really a bed is a bed and a shower is a shower. I watch VRC emails and mailings constantly. I am waiting to find the next great deal and see more of the world while river cruising with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Castles and Legends had been on our radar for a few years since seeing the first TV advertisement. The views, were as beautiful as the service was extraordinary. I can not think of a better way to see the wonderful and enchanting ... Read More
Castles and Legends had been on our radar for a few years since seeing the first TV advertisement. The views, were as beautiful as the service was extraordinary. I can not think of a better way to see the wonderful and enchanting countryside in this part of Europe. Everything on the ship was managed with great care and concern for our experience and the entire crew was focused on meeting our needs and exceeding our expectations. The crew managed both embarkation and disembarkation with precision and we traveled with no concern for managing our luggage and belongings. Dining was managed and served with care that matched the delicious meals and snacks. The menus reflected local cuisine yet they pull off the back yard barbecue for the 4th of July to help us all feel at home on this special holiday. Housekeeping was busy throughout the day to assure that our room was aways clean and well stocked. Guest services never missed a beat to assure all our requests were handled with great care. Hats off to Julian, Daniel, Lee and the entire crew and staff for providing a top notch experience. A special shout out to the serving crew of Ryan, Borko and Ronaldo. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise based on the diversity of countries we would experience. We began with a 3-day pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a welcoming city offering beautiful architecture, landscape and historical sites. All arrangements ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the diversity of countries we would experience. We began with a 3-day pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a welcoming city offering beautiful architecture, landscape and historical sites. All arrangements were handled by Viking and went seamlessly. We especially enjoyed the coach ride through the country side from Prague to Passau Germany, where we boarded the Viking Vilhjalm. Our excursions were easily booked through Viking and were excellent. The Terazin tour was a somber, but touching experience. Highlights of the trip for us were Chesky Kromlov, Vienna, and sailing into Budapest seeing the city in lights. The crew aboard the Vilhjalm are friendly and attentive. The tour director shared personal stories of life while under Communist regime. This cruise was very enlightening in terms of gaining information and insight into the lives and struggles of persons who endured the effects of WWII. Viking longships are the perfect size. They offer care and comfort. The cuisine is local to the country you are in and is excellent. Viking staff know and display excellent customer service. This means of travel takes away the worry of travel to a foreign country. You are free to relax and enjoy the beautiful people and surroundings while experiencing the best possible cultural journey. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our third Viking cruise (two river/one ocean) and we were not disappointed. We took the "Castles and Legends" voyage which included four days (two in Munich/two in Salzburg) prior to sailing and thoroughly enjoyed it. ... Read More
This was our third Viking cruise (two river/one ocean) and we were not disappointed. We took the "Castles and Legends" voyage which included four days (two in Munich/two in Salzburg) prior to sailing and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship itself is lovely with beautiful artwork, comfortable seating areas, and plenty of room on deck for sightseeing. Coffee and yummy cookies (or pastries in the morning) are always available for snacking. The staff is terrific and made our time on the ship so much fun. Within a couple of days many seemed like old friends. The cruise director seemed to be everywhere and made sure that we all were able to experience all the wonderful sights and sounds of the cities we visited. The tours were well planned and the various local guides were so good. Each of them knew so much about his/her city and made our visit both a learning experience and fun. The food was excellent and there were enough options for even the fussiest eater (me!) There were always local specialties included on the menu. We would definitely recommend Viking to anyone looking for a very special river (or ocean) cruise. First class treatment throughout - from the planning stage to the cruise itself. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The cruise was great. The ship was so quiet, the travel at night never woke us. We liked the size - with only 160 guests. The excursions on each city were informative and gave us history and local culture. The staff were so ... Read More
The cruise was great. The ship was so quiet, the travel at night never woke us. We liked the size - with only 160 guests. The excursions on each city were informative and gave us history and local culture. The staff were so professional and nice. Sabine and Elbe did a good job of making sure we enjoyed our excursions into each port. We were well informed for the daily activities and what we could do each day. The restaurant staff was fun and efficient. Voyin (hope I spelled your name correctly), the restaurant manager was very helpful - I have an allergy and he met me each dinner to share what I could enjoy on the menu. He was very discreet which I appreciated. Our Stewarts, Olga and Hristine took good care of us. The market in Passau was the best for what I was looking to see. Good food and of course, try the hot mulled wine!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My Wife and I just returned from Budapest, Hungary where we finished our 10 day river cruise on the River Beatrice. This was a Uniworld trip which included virtually everything, from all meals, excursions, entertainment and beer and wines. ... Read More
My Wife and I just returned from Budapest, Hungary where we finished our 10 day river cruise on the River Beatrice. This was a Uniworld trip which included virtually everything, from all meals, excursions, entertainment and beer and wines. The wines were from each area we visited and the servers kept the glasses full until we said enough. The ship was nicely furnished and well maintained as expected on a luxury cruise. The food was excellent with many, many selections for each meal. Even the foods I normally do not like (being picky) was prepared in a manner that was delicious. The table layouts were either 4 or 6 chairs to a table so you could pick a desired layout. At each port they provided a selection of activities (or tours) for each city with experienced local guides who provided personal descriptions of each area which provided very interesting topics. Samples of local foods, wines, candies, coffees etc. were provided so we could taste and sample the local tastes. A sign-up was required for each excursion so they could provide guides with small groups. We selected the tour "Do as the locals do" at each port and were never disappointed. They provided both active and easy tours for each body type and even had bicycle tours for the very active. Each evening excellent entertainment in the lounge was provided and a enjoyable description of each days activities was provided. I know this review is getting long but I could go on and on because it was so enjoyable. We all felt so pampered we did not want the cruise to end. My recommendation is "the best trip ever" so do not pass this up, Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Major problem exist with the Viking representative, she was not informed or had never taken the cruise we took. The information we had stated there was an elevator in the ship (There was not). There was no considerations for the ... Read More
Major problem exist with the Viking representative, she was not informed or had never taken the cruise we took. The information we had stated there was an elevator in the ship (There was not). There was no considerations for the Handicapped in a wheelchair anywhere during the ports and tours. The agent stated there should be no problem. In Southern Germany; while I quickly took my wife to the museum for handicapped (only a building length away), the rest of the group disappeared to the Neuschwanstein Castle which I did want to see. Rush,Rush to beat the crowds she said. In other cities it was difficult for the wheelchair passenger & the one pushing down a cobblestone street & sidewalk. The cruise was very good and ports very interesting. Tours we saw were very good. The ship, cabin, dining, & on board service personnel were all very helpful and attentive to all are needs. Shore excursions and guides should have training for assistance for available wheelchair access points. (Some Did). The onboard entertainment was very good; could have enjoyed one every night....just like the ocean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I wanted to do a Danube cruise. The staff was outstanding, it is difficult to single out any of them, but the concierge and entertainment director were certainly wonderful. Enjoyed the stops and excursions, even though the weather was ... Read More
I wanted to do a Danube cruise. The staff was outstanding, it is difficult to single out any of them, but the concierge and entertainment director were certainly wonderful. Enjoyed the stops and excursions, even though the weather was pretty rainy and cold during the entire cruise. The food, as well as the service were also great, and the visit to the kitchen was very interesting. So was the strudel making lesson! The nighttime arrival to Budapest was spectacular! In my opinion, perhaps the visit to Vienna was the least interesting part of the cruise, a few hours are not sufficient to get to know Vienna even in the most superficial way. I would recommend that the ship spend two night there, it would allow a visit to some of Vienna's great museums. Much enjoyed the visit to the market, led by the Chef of the ship. All in all this was a most enjoyable cruise, spectacular views, excellent staff and service, great food and the included alcoholic beverages are also excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We wanted to experience some of the best cities along the Danube River. However, we also wanted to spend some time in Prague before the cruise began. It was all absolutely super. The Hilton hotel was great - the restaurants were ... Read More
We wanted to experience some of the best cities along the Danube River. However, we also wanted to spend some time in Prague before the cruise began. It was all absolutely super. The Hilton hotel was great - the restaurants were excellent - the tours were the best - - the one that comes to mind was at the Lobkowitz Palace. After the bus trip from Prague to Passau, It was great to unpack once and then begin one of the best cruises anyone could ask for. The crew, the food, the tours led by locals who knew what they're talking about, the new long ship boat, the accommodations - - everything - - was of the highest caliber. We loved the many churches and abbeys. We wished that we had more time in Vienna and Budapest was fabulous. I would highly recommend Viking to anyone considering taking a river cruise anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience.. The meals were delicious and the wine flowed. We met many interesting people; saw many interesting places. We loved the pre-trip to Munich and Salzburg. It was entitled Castles and Legends and we ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience.. The meals were delicious and the wine flowed. We met many interesting people; saw many interesting places. We loved the pre-trip to Munich and Salzburg. It was entitled Castles and Legends and we saw lots of beautiful castles, our favorite being Neischwanstein. The Alps were breathtaking. Salzburg was our favorite city. We did a lot of walking there through the gardens, up to the fortress, through the old cemetery and the cathedral. The theme of the Sound of Music was entwined through each of the stops which made it fun. Cruising the Danube was a dream come true. To see Vienna, Linz, Bratislava, and Budapest was unbelievable. We especially enjoyed the horse show in Bratislava and the abbey at Melk. The Wachau valley has significance to us as we live in an area founded by the Moravians from that area. The trip was recommended to us by friends that enjoyed it and we have recommended it to our friends who travel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
When my husband and I planned this trip, we decided to add on 4 days in Paris and 2 in Lyon, France. Our adventure started out pretty rocky; the CDG airport (which I suggest you avoid at all costs) was unfriendly, unwieldy, and ... Read More
When my husband and I planned this trip, we decided to add on 4 days in Paris and 2 in Lyon, France. Our adventure started out pretty rocky; the CDG airport (which I suggest you avoid at all costs) was unfriendly, unwieldy, and unintelligible to those who speak no French, and when we got to the train station to board a train to Paris, we learned that the prepaid train tickets did not work. Had it not been for the kindness of a French traveler, we would still be at the train station in tears! We enjoyed Paris, loved Lyon, but had a very long travel day on the train from Lyon to Paris, and then a flight to Munich, where we caught the Uniworld bus (after waiting another hour for other arriving passengers who were joining us on the cruis) that took another 2 hours to get to Passau, where we embarked on the cruise. As soon as we stepped foot on the ship, we both sighed a huge sigh of relief (and I shed a few tears of joy) because we now knew that all our needs would be met. The crew that met us were incredibly hospitable, and this was the beginning of a magical journey down the Beautiful Not-so-Blue Danube. Everything was nearly perfect. The staff, the accommodations, the food, the service, the tours, the guides, the destination points for the tours, the shipboard entertainment, the free-flowing drinks and wonderful attitude of all the crew on board, the free time allowed, the additional opportunities for excursions (the Vienna concert is a must do!), and the people, all were wonderful. We made friends with many of the passengers, and even had dinner with the captain on our last night on the ship, which was a complete surprise. The only complaint I had and that which was shared by other passengers with whom we spoke, was that the bathroom in our stateroom often smelled of "sewer gas." Much like a bathroom on an airplane smells. When we mentioned this to the ship's staff, they did something, but it did not eliminate the problem, so we spent 8 nights in a room with a somewhat foul odor, which we seemed to "get used to" as long as we were in the room. Other passengers suggested putting a wet wash cloth over the drains in the sink and shower, but when we did this, they were removed by ship staff -- probably believing we had left them behind by accident. All in all, we would do another river cruise in a heart beat -- unfortunately, finances don't allow for such luxuries for us more than once every several years, but we will definitely look into another Uniworld destination in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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