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284 Prague to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

This was our first riverboat cruise. We had checked out some others cruises casually but couldn't get excited about any. We went to a presentation put on by Expedia Cruise in Courtenay, BC, regarding Scenic and the guy with the funny ... Read More
This was our first riverboat cruise. We had checked out some others cruises casually but couldn't get excited about any. We went to a presentation put on by Expedia Cruise in Courtenay, BC, regarding Scenic and the guy with the funny accent caught our excitement regarding the boat, the service onboard, and what we would see on the tour. We immediately started planning our cruise that we just got back from. I'm an old fart and my body shows it. The only part of the whole experience that was terrible had to do with the airlines and Amsterdam airport. I know you have to put up with the 9.5 hour flight from Vancouver, BC, to Amsterdam but I could hardly walk afterwards and it is actually kilometers between the international arrivals to the local carrier section. KLM nor the airport staff would assist me in getting transport over to the other side because I had not prebooked it. Coming back I prebooked assistance and that part went smoothly. Since I had already been up for approximately 30 hours, when we arrived in Prague, I immediately crashed (fell asleep on the lovely, soft bed) while me wife did the short orientation tour. My wife enjoyed Prague while I recuperated. I did go out once and enjoyed a little of the wonder of the city. I was a little concerned with everyone telling us to be careful of pickpockets! Breakfast buffet at our Marriott Hotel was excellent with lots of variety. Yumm! (I'm a foody addict) We got on the Scenic Amber in Nuremberg and I was impressed from the word go. The welcome seemed real and everyone was courteous and, for me, this is where the pleasureable adventure really began. I'm rambling a bit here so I'll try and condense the actual cruise.. I've been on big ship cruises before but not at the level of complete service as we got here. The things I especially like were: Cabin - the soft head and knee raising bed; the cozy balcony; the small fridge for cod drinks, replenished daily; Dining - exception meals with additional selections that you can order. They do cater to special food needs. For those of you that drink, there was a different red and white wine presented each day. You never had to worry about running out of wine, coffee, water. Room service always available; Onboard activities - were fun and relaxed.Richard (Otto?) was very personable and gave pertinent information on what was going on the next day or for that night. The cruise wouldn't have been as great without him. The evening lounge entertainment was fun to watch with local groups coming on board at each port; Ports and excursions - I commend the people that picked out the ports we visited, not too many and not too few. All the tour guides were not just informative but also very passionate about their city and country, nice to see and hear; Service - I have nothing to negatively say about the service. Everyone treated us with courtesy and as a person. We had our own butler who was ours 24/7 If we wanted. He actually complained to us that we weren't using him enough! I watch how staff interact with each other and all that I could see was friendly support and comradery between all levels of staff. They even all chipped in to take out the garbage! That's about all I have to say for now except that we didn't pay an additional penny for anything else except for gifts. So eat, drink as much as you want; go on the tours, see the concerts... all included! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had done another Scenic cruise (Bordeaux) and decided to book an area in Europe we hadn’t seen. We chose to travel during the Christmas market season. I have some mobility issues, so feeling safe and secure is important. The ... Read More
We had done another Scenic cruise (Bordeaux) and decided to book an area in Europe we hadn’t seen. We chose to travel during the Christmas market season. I have some mobility issues, so feeling safe and secure is important. The wonderful staff and personnel on the Amber were amazingly attentive. If I even hesitated, there was someone at my elbow for buses, gangplanks, stairs, etc. No one hovered or was overly solicitous, but they always seemed to be there when I needed them. We plan to retake this trip in the spring/summer time to be able to see the gardens. The cruise director was a hoot! He was on top of everything. The entertainment was high quality. Service was extraordinary. Our shipmates included families with adult children, siblings, gay/lesbian, and couples from Canada, Australia, USA, and UK. Most had previous cruise experience. All in all, we find river cruising to be relaxing and one of the best ways to see Europe. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to experience the magic of Christmas through the Christmas markets and this cruise did not disappoint.The entire crew was welcoming, always at our service and always looking for ways to make our trip spectacular. From the moment ... Read More
We wanted to experience the magic of Christmas through the Christmas markets and this cruise did not disappoint.The entire crew was welcoming, always at our service and always looking for ways to make our trip spectacular. From the moment we arrived until our departure, we were made to feel at home and our every need was fully met and more. The Christmas markets were delightful and while my husband did a WWII TOUR, I was able to shop the markets for lovely, original gifts. The itinerary has enough things to do for everyone... or nothing at all if you just want to relax. Food was excellent and so was the staff. They took care of all our special dietary needs so we never had to worry about what to eat. Would recommend this trip for anyone who is looking to bring back a little magic to their holidays. A Merry Christmas indeed! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Was recommended by a friend, and we were not disappointed. The staff were always welcoming and friendly and Always helpful. It was nice to come back from one of their excellent tours to be greeted with friendly faces, a nice warm cloth to ... Read More
Was recommended by a friend, and we were not disappointed. The staff were always welcoming and friendly and Always helpful. It was nice to come back from one of their excellent tours to be greeted with friendly faces, a nice warm cloth to freshen up and a hot beverage after being out in the cold. It was a real treat. The tours offered were excellent. The bussing to and from the airport, or tours, was well organized. The tour director was funny, welcoming, and knowledgeable. Each evening, when not out on tour there was wonderful entertainment with local talent. The meals were varied and delicious. The wait staff were second to none. The cabin was clean and had everything you could want. It was nice to have a hairdresser and spa services available on board. I cannot think of any detail that was overlooked. I look forward to being able to cruise with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our second experience with Tauck, the first being their Best of the Canadian Rockies tour. It was also our first river cruise. We chose this particular cruise because of the starting and ending cities, Prague and Budapest. We have ... Read More
This was our second experience with Tauck, the first being their Best of the Canadian Rockies tour. It was also our first river cruise. We chose this particular cruise because of the starting and ending cities, Prague and Budapest. We have always wanted to visit those cities. Based on our prior experience with Tauck we had high expectations. I have to say on this cruise Tauck far exceeded even those high expectations. The hotels were fantastic at both ends. The ship, MS Joy, was immaculate, the staff super friendly and helpful, and the food exceptional. The tours were spot on with friendly and knowledgeable tour guides. Our fellow travelers were all great people to travel with, and yes as someone previously noted, mostly senior citizens like ourselves. We particularly loved Prague and Budapest. We traveled in late October/ early November of this year and surprisingly the weather was great. I read a lot of the Tauck reviews on this site and while some of the criticism sounds legit much of it sounds overly critical for small things. I always look for the overall trend and not the individual reviews. We cannot say enough good things about Tauck and are already planning our next Tauck trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because it was affordable with free air and the destinations were of interest to us. We were not disappointed with anything. Our cruise director, captain, all other staff and especially our food director strived to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was affordable with free air and the destinations were of interest to us. We were not disappointed with anything. Our cruise director, captain, all other staff and especially our food director strived to meet our every need. We were treated with respect and felt very well taken care of. I had dietary requirements and our food director seemed to go out of his way to meet my every need with a cheerful and helpful attitude. No staff on this trip were unkind or unhelpful. Everyone did an excellent job in serving us. I felt pampered and fulfilling our needs were always the staffs number one goal. The water level on the Elbe just happened to rise which made our trip even more enjoyable since we didn’t need to ride a bus to each of our destinations. We will definitely consider another River Cruise and ocean cruise using our discount Viking graciously gave us because of the uncertainty of the low water level. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose because of going with VBT bike tours. We were treated well by the cruise staff and VBT leaders. Layout of cabin perfect. Beautiful room and panoramic picture window. Great location new to us. Weather surprisingly perfect. ... Read More
We choose because of going with VBT bike tours. We were treated well by the cruise staff and VBT leaders. Layout of cabin perfect. Beautiful room and panoramic picture window. Great location new to us. Weather surprisingly perfect. Coffee excellent. Appreciate free water bottles in room and on leaving ship. Spacious storage of cabin. Best layout of a cabin on a cruise we have ever had. Good food. 24 locks on the Danube and the canal were interesting. The Vienna special excursion to the music museum to see the group of seven musicians was excellent and entertaining as well as a beautiful location. The VBT trips each day were under 22 miles. Good bikes. The bike trips were rated as easy and basically were. Recommend being used to a bike before you get on. Hotel room for the pre- in Prague and the post trip in Budapest were excellent. Recommend highly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was arranged through Vermont Biking Tours VBT. The cabin were similar to Avalon, Viking, and Uniworld quality. The staff was excellent speaking English very well and very professional. However, the dining experience is much ... Read More
This cruise was arranged through Vermont Biking Tours VBT. The cabin were similar to Avalon, Viking, and Uniworld quality. The staff was excellent speaking English very well and very professional. However, the dining experience is much to be desired. Breakfast and lunch were adequate. Dinner was another matter. The dining room was noisy and it was very difficult to converse. The main course offerings were way und the offerings by Emerald’s competition. One of our party was a vegetarian. Main courses were unappetizing and probably 70 calories. Standard offerings were substantially below the competition. We have been on Viking on the Danube river before with a much better culinary experience. They appeared understaffed, with dinners taking over 2 hours to complete. The staff were working hard, so we would blame corporate Incompetence. Tours had good guides, but there seemed fewer offerings than Viking. Bicycle tours were a pleasant surprise. Excellent ship with a poor dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Elbe River cruise was originally intended to use one boat for the entire trip. But, about two weeks from embarkation we were advised by Viking that the water level of the river was too low and we may have to do some of the trip via bus ... Read More
The Elbe River cruise was originally intended to use one boat for the entire trip. But, about two weeks from embarkation we were advised by Viking that the water level of the river was too low and we may have to do some of the trip via bus and use two different boats. When we arrived at the hotel and had our first group meeting with Simon, the Cruise Director, he advised us that not only was there enough water for us to sail the entire trip on the Astrild, Viking had agreed to also allow us to use the 50% discount they had given us two week earlier to our next cruise. We arrived at the boat and was met by a crew that left very positive impressions. I have very significant dietary restrictions that if violated and I don't catch it, I would likely end up with a medical emergency. Everyone from Simon down to the Chef had been briefed on the issues. The Chef and the Head Steward were very attentive to the details, prepared meals that complied with the restrictions AND were filled with flavor ()I'm not used to that). Then the tours took on a uniqueness that I had never experienced despite all of the cruises I had done on other cruise lines. I actually learned something from the tour guides because we had time to talk in depth about some of the most poignant historical architecture, paintings and other art work, and events. Simon also arranged something highly unusual that I had not experienced before. At one of the stops in the former East Germany, one of the highly educated, experienced tour guides agreed to surprise the Astrild passengers later after dinner. Astrid (so similar to the boat!) went well beyond the norm and dressed in period costume, partnered with some musician friends, and involved the passengers in a kind of interactive play that allowed the more open-minded, creative thinkers to imagine ourselves attending a personal performance/party given by the local monarch of the period. She and her friends were completely amazing. So, yes, Viking....no...the people who are part of the Viking family do literally put their heart and soul into these trips. I was sooo lucky to have made several new friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The experience was first class.when there was an issue the team made it disappear as best the could, like low water level. The service was second to none from the time we first met the team until the end. Food was fantastic and wine ... Read More
The experience was first class.when there was an issue the team made it disappear as best the could, like low water level. The service was second to none from the time we first met the team until the end. Food was fantastic and wine options great. The crew people made the difference and we have already booked our second cruise. The rooms were very good and well thought out as for the best usage of the space. The ship facilities were all there, pool, spa, gym, etc. Nightly entertainment was great with special presentations on some occasions. All the excursion options were good and well planned out. Again, the service of sf the boat was second to none and the cruise director JJ was excellent. The excursions ere great and options very well presented each and every day. The dining options ere good and the food falntastic. Recommend this to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this River Cruise on the recommendation of our Travel Agent and because it was "all inclusive". That included EVERYTHING and all was fantastic. This ship is only 3 years old and beautiful, really nice cabin ... Read More
We chose this River Cruise on the recommendation of our Travel Agent and because it was "all inclusive". That included EVERYTHING and all was fantastic. This ship is only 3 years old and beautiful, really nice cabin arrangement (we were on the Diamond deck). We especially noticed the difference when compared to other ships on the river. Fantastic service from all personnel from top to bottom. Our butler brought coffee precisely on time each morning and immediate service for everything from ice to extra supplies for the mini fridge. Once the service people knew what we liked, the mini was "custom" stocked to our requirements. We can't say enough about the food, there were two special meals for each passenger during the voyage and they were way above anything we would do on our own. One was a full 5 course meal with a different and special wine for each course. Entertainment was great every night with our on board performer (Mark) and 4 nights there were additional local demonstrations. We also were treated to two performances just for our group during shore excursions. We are already looking into our next trip with Scenic!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Essentially took this tour with another couple who where wanting to celebrate their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Despite the fact our airplane arrived well over an hour late in Prague the very approachable Scenic representative was their to ... Read More
Essentially took this tour with another couple who where wanting to celebrate their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Despite the fact our airplane arrived well over an hour late in Prague the very approachable Scenic representative was their to greet us and take us to the local hotel. Likewise for the balance of the trip all the services from presentations by the Cruise Director, departure for excursions to opening of the restaurants were completely on time and very timely. The Chef on our cruise provided an excellent array of culinary delights both on the buffet and a la carte services. The cut on everything from slices meats to vegetables and dessert items was flawless. I inquired with the Chef who frequently made table checks about the "secrets" about a "Clear Tomato" that was being served for lunch. Chef Broccoli was most generous and provided a recipe for this exceptional soup. The effort put in by the entire staff of our trip was 110%. They worked well as a team and professional ignored the occasional unthinking and too casual guest. My only concern would be that the dining room was a slight bit noisy and congested and that for "older" folks (70 +) might find it tiring after more than a week. Likewise the rooms will be a tad small for those on the "heavier or tall" side. The Tailormade Scenic software very innovative and highly effective. I only recently have been using a smart phone but found it enhanced the trip. The system was occasionally nonfunctional when listening to the tour guides in large congested areas. However the information and pictures while sailing down the picturesque Danube River very complementary. Did find the survey questionare at the end of the tour rather long and time consuming. I thought it might take 20 minutes to complete but it had so many questions that I ran out of time and had to omit the last quarter of the survey. Cabin balcony excellent. Really liked the size, the glass, even the comfortable chairs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this as our first river cruise as it was an area that I wanted to visit - Prague, Vienna, Budapest. We chose Scenic based on good word of mouth references and the all inclusive feature. The operational aspects and service from ... Read More
We chose this as our first river cruise as it was an area that I wanted to visit - Prague, Vienna, Budapest. We chose Scenic based on good word of mouth references and the all inclusive feature. The operational aspects and service from being greeted at the airport in Prague to being dropped off at the airport in Budapest was excellent. The staff were warm, welcoming, attentive, fun - everything I could ask for. I am a picky eater so was pleased by the variety and selection of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had great meals every day. I didn’t intend to work out during the cruise but would have liked to be able to do some Pilates/stretching. There is absolutely no room in the fitness room to do this. The cruise did offer morning stretch, yoga, workout on the deck but it was at 7:00 am so didn’t fit with my schedule. Our suite was the only downside to this cruise - we booked the Royal Panorama suite. This is a 420 square foot luxury suite. We had a king size bed, couch, two comfy chairs, a lovely bathroom, with a separate water closet, lots of storage, a comfortable balcony with a large window looking out over the river at the back of the boat. It was exactly what I was looking for when booking and paying extra for this space. Unfortunately, it is not habitable while sailing. The noise and vibrations from the engine/propeller prevents sleep, hearing each other speak or even relax. There is no indication in any brochure about the noise of these cabins nor was there anything said by booking agents. Now that I have cruised, I would know to ask but I find it unethical that Scenic charges an additional $6,500 for this suite with no indication of the problems inherent in the location of this cabin. Our cruise was saved as we were able to sleep in another cabin ( sadly other guests had to leave) but our next door cabin mates had to bear with no sleep for five nights and every other unsuspecting person booking this suite will get no sleep. I have sent an email, to Scenic, I will be interested to see if they respond. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I’m so pleased I chose the Danube to introduce me to river cruising! Climate changes are affecting river levels and we were unable to cruise the section from Nuremberg to Passau, which was disappointing but Scenic did their absolute best ... Read More
I’m so pleased I chose the Danube to introduce me to river cruising! Climate changes are affecting river levels and we were unable to cruise the section from Nuremberg to Passau, which was disappointing but Scenic did their absolute best to keep us happy!! We were bused to Passau and there we docked for 3 nights. To see the tours we had scheduled we had to be bused anywhere from 2-3 hours which was tiring - decisions to skip out on tours were made so as not to get overtired. The sights were astounding and the guides knowledgeable. The audio system was inconsistent and needs to be streamlined. I especially enjoyed cruising on the Danube. The Pearl was beautifully maintained. Clean, modern. Meals were delicious. Lots of options. Well displayed. I thought perhaps there could have been an earlier seating for those who didn’t do tours - at times it was a long wait for dinner as late as 7:30 to wait for the buses to return. All staff I found professional and attentive. Vienna was astounding and I would only ask that the cruise stay an extra day there! Our cruise director was terrific! 5 star service! She explained everything well. Always available for questions. This won’t be my last river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
From the start: 1. Corinthian Hotel, Prague - quite a distance from city center, old bed with springs coming though, price for 2-night extension through Viking was $399 per person, price per room through hotel was $100 per night, rude ... Read More
From the start: 1. Corinthian Hotel, Prague - quite a distance from city center, old bed with springs coming though, price for 2-night extension through Viking was $399 per person, price per room through hotel was $100 per night, rude employees, kept requesting toilet paper but ultimately had to take from public WC in lobby. 2. Ship - Booked a balcony room and when our luggage was brought to the room the attendant told us to make sure we didn't open the doors to the balcony because it would let in all the spiders. On two occasions, the ship did not dock were it was supposed to dock and on one occasion we were tied up to another Viking ship whereby our balcony was connected to a french balcony on the other ship which blocked all sunlight during daylight hours. All night, heard voices and the ships rubbing together. Additionally, the river had 44 locks (which was never divulged in any cruise docs) whereby the entire view was a concrete wall which the ship constantly bumped. The sun deck was closed for almost the entirety of the cruise. Food was terrible. One night there was a semi-coiled wire with a sharp edge in the onion soup. 3. Excursions - included excursions required extreme, long walking distances and are not suitable for people with ANY mobility issues. Some tour guides were rude, especially a guide in Cochem that yelled at a traveler that she was too slow and he would not let her continue on the castle tour and town tour. He embarrassed this person so much she was literally in tears. 4. Transport from ship to Paris - Required sitting on a cramped bus for 10 hours. Made a stop in Luxembourg, but again not at the scheduled stop, creating a very long walk to town. The bus would not allow anyone to stay on, so a passenger was forced to sit on a bench at the bus stop for more than 2 1/2 hours because she was unable to walk the more than a mile distance into town. Bus driver further caused complications when he unnecessarily parked as far away as possible from rest stops, etc. Total lack of consideration. 5. Paris - beautiful city, but the hotel Viking uses is lacking. Our view from our room was the loading dock for the hotel. Viking's lack of respect for passengers was shocking. They are not upfront in their advertising. They are overpriced, overrated and insensitive. Viking may be the most advertised river cruise company, but it is certainly not the best. Also note, there really isn't any entertainment or activities on board, so if you have any mobility issues that preclude you from walking more than a mile or two, your trip will be a very boring experience. I would never sail Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife had always wanted to visit Prague. I thought: if we are going to do that, why not do a "river cruise" also? It was the best decision we could have ever made! I had researched cruise lines and Avalon Waterways ... Read More
My wife had always wanted to visit Prague. I thought: if we are going to do that, why not do a "river cruise" also? It was the best decision we could have ever made! I had researched cruise lines and Avalon Waterways always received top marks. Plus they had a Prague to Paris cruise. It was a "no brainer"! The stateroom was the perfect size for the two of us and the bed was fantastic; when we wanted to we could lie in bed with the curtains open watching the scenery go by. And the food onboard was top notch! The breakfast and lunch buffets were fantastic! And dinner was terrific! We were never lacking in anything. All of the crew - from the captain and cruise directory on down were extremely friendly and helpful. At each of our ports of call, again there was another fantastic excursion with a local guide that provided us with a tremendous amount of information and history. Would we do it again? Without a doubt!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I have waited to write this review, because I am really loathe to write a bad review without hearing from the service provider. There was a problem with sewage on the ship for the first 3 or 4 days and there was a penetrating and ... Read More
I have waited to write this review, because I am really loathe to write a bad review without hearing from the service provider. There was a problem with sewage on the ship for the first 3 or 4 days and there was a penetrating and sickening odour on the ship - especially in the main entrance and at the end of the dining room. One staff person acknowledged that there was an issue but our comments and questions were left unanswered. We filled in our feedback forms in some detail and have still heard nothing - not an apology and not an explanation. Our cruise was in June. There were issues with the ship. In the last few days the upper cabins suffered terrible flooding. One guest described waking up to "inches" of water on the floor. Those guests appear to have been taken care of but this, combined with the odour, suggests that the systems on the ship were not yet in ship shape. Uniworld is also very difficult to communicate with in advance of the trip. My husband and I and the couple we were travelling with payment demand notices from Uniworld for the balance of our fares, but none of us had not received invoices and we were unaware that we were overdue to make our final payment. The staff is excellent and the food was very good. The public rooms were well appointed but large and a bit noisy for a quiet drink and conversation. There was a room at the stern but the service there was infrequent and there were only dining tables and chairs. If you wanted to read the paper, there was nowhere to go but your room. The destinations were wonderful and the scenery memorable, so we consider our trip a success. I would not recommend Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our second Tauck river cruise, the first one being from Milan to Amsterdam on the Rhine and it was wonderful! This cruise however was terribly disappointing for a number of reasons. First, and this of course is no one's ... Read More
This was our second Tauck river cruise, the first one being from Milan to Amsterdam on the Rhine and it was wonderful! This cruise however was terribly disappointing for a number of reasons. First, and this of course is no one's fault, was the weather. It rained for most of the days, but that's neither here nor there. Second, the time spent on buses from the docks to the various excursions was excessive. The buses were comfortable, but if we had wanted to book a bus tour we would have done so. More importantly, it seemed we had very little time to just "hang out" in the ports and get a feel for the towns as we had on the previous cruise. In fact, due to spending four hours on the bus round trip for the excursion to Salzburg (of "Sound of Music" fame) we barely had time for a nice lunch before we needed to meet back at the bus loading area. Thirdly, unlike the previous cruise which had excursions that varied from wine-tastings to museums to rides on the tram above the Rhine, this cruise seemed to focus on history over and over again. It was the same story: oppression by the Austrian Empire, the Nazi's and the Communists with a slightly different spin depending on the country we were in. It was fascinating and compelling the first couple of times but after that, it got old. More variety in excursions and the focus of the native guides would have much appreciated. The cabin was by far the biggest nightmare, however which will be reviewed below. All in all, this cruise fell well short of our expectations and we were severely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This wasn't our first river cruise. We did the Rhine last year. Both vacations were amazing, but the Rhine wasn't as popular/crowded (fewer ships). The Danube was high due to recent rainfall and bridge clearance was an ... Read More
This wasn't our first river cruise. We did the Rhine last year. Both vacations were amazing, but the Rhine wasn't as popular/crowded (fewer ships). The Danube was high due to recent rainfall and bridge clearance was an issue. Avalon did a great job of working around difficult conditions. The quality of the shore excursions depend, in large part, on the local guides. Many of the guides were entertaining and knowledgeable but not all of them. 1. The food selection and preparation was excellent, but the dining room is noisy, particularly at dinner time. It's much easier to hear conversations from the center (bench) side of the tables. 2. We really enjoyed having time to explore Prague on our own. I think we over scheduled our time with guided tours throughout the trip. Some time to explore on your own ought to be welcomed. I think bus tours (e.g. Vienna) are worthless. A video on the TV would give you the same information and sense of the place. 3. Our guides for Prague were wonderful. Anna (classic) and Christian(Secrets of Prague) were outstanding. 4. The excursion to Terezin was outstanding. Don't miss it! 5. Our guide to Nuremberg was not wonderful (I'm being very kind). I regret wasting the time on the old city and missing the rally ground. On our last excursion of the cruise, I found evaluation/feedback forms for the guides. Be advised they exist and use them! 6. Regensburg is a delight. It wasn't bombed during WWII and it's old and beautiful... dating back to Roman times. Our guide was excellent and the city is beautiful. Enjoy! 7. We mostly missed Passau because of the high water (delays for bridge clearance issues). We had only an hour or so at Passau before we had to sail on. Most of the day was spent in Salzburg which was strikingly beautiful as was all of Austria. 8. The Melk Abbey and gardens are beautiful. Be forewarned that no photographs are allowed in the abbey. The Wachau Valley is spectacular. Bring a serious zoom (400mm) lens to photograph the vineyards, castles and churches. 9. Vienna is beautiful. The Royal Waltz Concert is not to be missed. It was amazing. However, the guided city tour is pretty weak. Too much of the tour is bussed. We did the food tour which was fun. 10. Budapest. Almost all of the city tour is bussed- covering both Buda and Pest. Only a few minutes are free for walking. It's the worst of the lot. (Traffic is heavy and the journey was slow.) The view from the castle is the best part of the city tour. We took the "Bites of Budapest" food tour in the afternoon. It was a significantly better exposure to the city. We traveled with friends and between the four of us we experienced eleven faulty receivers which meant we missed much of several tours. The guides ran out of spare receivers for walkers a few times. This was an ongoing and persistent problem with many passengers. All in all, it was a great (if not perfect) tour! I would do it again, but the rain and high water created a high density of tourists in the cities. I had the feeling the +90% of the pedestrians were riverboat tourists.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because my wife's family is from Germany and we've visited the western side already and wanted to see the Easter portion. Also we heard so much about Prague and that topped it off. Started in Prague for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my wife's family is from Germany and we've visited the western side already and wanted to see the Easter portion. Also we heard so much about Prague and that topped it off. Started in Prague for several nights and found the city as beautiful as our favorite, Paris. People so friendly! The hotel we stayed in was total luxury! We toured on our own from info gotten prior to our trip. As an art history instructor I found the Dresden, Wittenburg, etc.tours were outstanding. Berlin was disappointing as a city although the bus tour, especially noting WWII sites, was excellent. The total excursion was outstanding and everything we wished for and more. We highly recommend it to everyone who might find Eastern European history interesting. The boat was a smaller edition of the normal Viking boats but it was equal in space and luxury. We loved it. The cabin was the same excellent quality as was the service which is always outstanding! The food is like a 6 star level, if there ever was one!! I was even given a recipe for one dish that I expressed interest in and that is not a common occurrence. Everything involved with Viking seems organized down to the finest details and clearly designed to provide the traveler with the utmost experience, which they always have for us. This was our third Vikiing trip and we are already signed up for a fourth to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. I honestly can't think of any organization I would rather consider for it. One last thing which may not be significant to most individuals but both my wife and I travel with a C-pap for sleeping. Not only did Viking provide us with the distilled water necessary for use but rearranged our cabin specifically so we would have a place to put our machines. To me that is far beyond what is expected and why we would go with no other group. That is the mark of class and a top level organization. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Four of us travelled together. We spent 3 nights in Prague then boarded the Monarch Empress for 7 nights along the Danube and finished with 2 nights in Budapest. I cannot say enough good things about the Gate 1 staff who really worked to ... Read More
Four of us travelled together. We spent 3 nights in Prague then boarded the Monarch Empress for 7 nights along the Danube and finished with 2 nights in Budapest. I cannot say enough good things about the Gate 1 staff who really worked to make our experience special. Gary, our indefatigable cruise director, was always on duty, very knowledgeable and kind. He went the extra steps to make sure our needs were met. Amir, the activities director was fun and personable(and a fabulous dancer!) The front desk staff were great as well. Wish I could remember the name of the lovely woman in charge who was so kind and caring. The food was amazing. Always 3 different specials and then regular items such as salmon and chicken which were available. The maitre d was observant. While I did not tell anyone that I was a vegetarian, he observed my choices and by the 3rd night, made sure that my hot and cold appetizers were vegetarian as well. My only complaint about Martin was that he kept filling my wine glass! (Yes, I could have stopped him.) We went on most of the provided tours and were pleased with most of the local guides. We especially liked the optional tour of the concert in Vienna. There were 2 groups of entertainers brought on board. Both were of high quality. The classical concert in Budapest was exceptional. We met some very interesting and lovely other guests. All were American with an average age of 60. The Hotel Imperial inPrague was amazing ... centrally located with an easy walk to Old Town. The restaurant had one of the top chefs in Prague so you can only imagine how good the morning breakfast was. The Hilton in Budapest was very nice as well. We highly recommend Gate 1. This is our second river cruise with them and our 4th trip. We will join them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband wanted to go back to the Motherland of Hungary. We heard that Prague was a very beautiful city and we were not disappointed. With Germany and Austria in-between it was a Cruise perfect for what we were looking for. Season was ... Read More
My husband wanted to go back to the Motherland of Hungary. We heard that Prague was a very beautiful city and we were not disappointed. With Germany and Austria in-between it was a Cruise perfect for what we were looking for. Season was perfect with many of the tourists back to work and the weather cooperated whereas it was not to hot. The Staff on the ship was sensational and could not do enough to make the trip an exceptional experience. The food was perfect not overboard, but plentiful. Our room was very cozy and warm but everyone should get the full size sliding door to get the full effect of the beautiful scenery seen along the way. All shore trip excursions were well planned and organized to get the most out of the cities that were visited. Night time was for relaxing and making new friendships with a cocktail or two! The cruise was priced right. We are currently trying to plan our next Viking Trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were interested in trying a river cruise because several of our friends had enjoyed them. Our travel agent recommended Avalon--highly!! And this particular tour included a number of places we had not visited on our previous travels. ... Read More
We were interested in trying a river cruise because several of our friends had enjoyed them. Our travel agent recommended Avalon--highly!! And this particular tour included a number of places we had not visited on our previous travels. The ships we sailed on were both fantastic. They were in excellent condition. Our rooms were actually roomy. The food was superb. The crews were most accommodating, and Christina (our cruise director) did a masterful job making everything happen, despite the challenges of a medical emergency, inclement weather, and the low water levels on the Danube. The optional excursions were well worth the extra expense. All of the tour guides were knowledgeable and personable. The shipboard activities were also well done, and entertaining. We also had a grand time exploring on our own, especially in Prague. We were also very well taken care of during both our arrival in Prague and departure from Budapest, even at 3.30AM!!. Maybe the most lasting impression will be the experience of meeting and getting to know people from all over the world during our cruise. We met many people who we will remember for a very long time. Given all this, and so much more, there is no doubt that we would love to do another river cruise in the future, and if it happens, it will be on a Avalon ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first river cruise and based on our experience, certainly not the last. Despite record low river levels at both ends of our trip that required more motorcoach time, Avalon went above and beyond to make up for something that ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and based on our experience, certainly not the last. Despite record low river levels at both ends of our trip that required more motorcoach time, Avalon went above and beyond to make up for something that was out of their control. Extra excursions at no charge, partial refunds and their overall willingness to bend over backwards for their guests makes them the go to cruise line in my opinion. Our ship, the Vista, was a pleasure to cruise on. The crew was very attentive at all times. The food and service in the dining room was fantastic. Wine selections were all excellent. Stand outs for us were Lucas the maitre'd and our server Steve. These guys made every meal memorable. Our stateroom was roomy and comfortable. Always clean and well stocked. We even had laundry done and it was finished the same day. Lastly, our time on this trip was virtually flawless primarily due to the tireless work by our cruise director Ana. She was a pro from beginning to end, taking great care of all of us. And still smiled despite taking a "beating" by a few guests over the river levels. Some people just don't get it... All in all it was a marvelous experience. We can't wait to do another river cruise and it will most definitely be with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
First the Danube River Cruise with Avalon Exceeded our expectations. The crew and accommodations were first class and professional making us feel at home and welcome. The shore excursion's were not only educational but just the ... Read More
First the Danube River Cruise with Avalon Exceeded our expectations. The crew and accommodations were first class and professional making us feel at home and welcome. The shore excursion's were not only educational but just the right length so that you have plenty of free time to just explore. The guides all being local offered particular insights to the local history and culture. The dining options were numerous to accommodate everyone's particular likes and offered some unusual local choices that make experimenting someth9ing you just should do. A special thanks to the crew and management of Avalon as some adjustments had to n=be made due to the level of the Danube. They all handled and managed the unfortunate situation with great caring for their guests. We just went with the flow and really didn't miss a thing otherwise. Would definitely use Avalon again and have referred numerous friends to Avalon from our experience. Special thanks to Kaye Huyskens our cruise director. She anaged a difficult situation with the cange in plans the highest degree of professionalism Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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