21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We were disappointed with our late April, 2018, Danube cruise and would not recommend Viking to others. First "problem": we paid more for a Veranda room with an outside deck and found that Viking has SO MANY boats traveling the ... Read More
We were disappointed with our late April, 2018, Danube cruise and would not recommend Viking to others. First "problem": we paid more for a Veranda room with an outside deck and found that Viking has SO MANY boats traveling the Danube, at the same time, that it STACKS its boats when it docks, side by side, leaving us with "a view" of ANOTHER Viking boat's outside deck one foot away from OUR outside deck, at EVERY docking. Secondly, our boat "cruised" in daylight hours, where one can see the sights, only ONE DAY, along the Wachau Valley. It was "in port", docked, during other daylight times. Thirdly, all of Viking's "docking locations" are a LONG walk, along a narrow passageway, to GET TO a street and access where one can catch a cab or other transportation in order to "independently see/tour a town" on one's own time, for which Viking provide sufficient time. Finally, our "Tour Director", and a few other staff members, noticeably and continuously outwardly displayed a "very overpowering/aggressive/obtrusive so-called friendliness" in their attitudes, talks, and personalities. Informally, I think of that as their "coming on" WAY too strong, to the point of making the trip "uncomfortable". Also, Viking's excursion leaders were, generally, not very good. These negatives far outweighed the ship's cleanliness and good food/meals provided, and made it a trip I wish I had NOT paid for, and made. I would NOT make the mistake of making a Viking river boat trip in the future. We have travelled with two OTHER river boat companies in other areas of the world, and BOTH those trips were MUCH more enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Went with spouse and long term friends - everything i wanted and more. The land trips could be arduous - "The Land of Stone Steps" - ramps anyone...? But the value of the inclusive stuff is that you just get in the habit of ... Read More
Went with spouse and long term friends - everything i wanted and more. The land trips could be arduous - "The Land of Stone Steps" - ramps anyone...? But the value of the inclusive stuff is that you just get in the habit of going and enjoying. The accommodations were fine - this is not the class of a luxury cruise or dining - but very nice, well served and varied, and the off ship service was excellent - varied, friendly folks, and delightful settings. The Lower Danube was a sobering experience when you really looked into the infrastructure details - the civil engineering and utility issues they have after 40 years of communism and , tragic in many ways - a slow recovery; but a determined people. Serbia - Bosnia - et al - equally sobering, and not at all a settled matter - the powder keg of the Balkans is still smoldering. Of course, Budapest and Prague - lovely,and fascinating. We will be doing the rest of the trip - Budapest to Amsterdam - 2018. Bon Voyage Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our Viking River Cruise from Budapest to Bucharest was fantastic in every way. I had been reluctant to go on any form of cruise previously and had finally agreed to try this one. I would go on another one in a heartbeat! We chose this ... Read More
Our Viking River Cruise from Budapest to Bucharest was fantastic in every way. I had been reluctant to go on any form of cruise previously and had finally agreed to try this one. I would go on another one in a heartbeat! We chose this cruise both because my family background is Hungarian and because we would not be likely to visit the other four countries without some type of guide. We spent two extra days in Budapest before the start of the tour and so we had four days there before getting on our ship. It is a beautiful city, full of places to explore. Almost everyone speaks some amount of English and it was very easy to be a tourist there. Our embarkation experience was seamless as was every part of the trip. Our cabin was comfortable and kept stocked and clean by the incredible housekeeping staff. The food on the ship was delicious and plentiful, with many choices at each meal. The staff all worked together as a team, looking after every detail to make our experience luxurious. One example was how when we returned from a long, hot day of touring, they would be waiting for us at the end of the gangplank with cold towels and beautiful snacks. All of our tour guides were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. One of the highlights of the trip was our home visit in Croatia, during which we spent time with a young woman and her family, sampling her studel and homemade cherry brandy, and discussing life in Croatia. We are currently trying to find another Viking River Cruise to book and I'm looking forward to our next Viking experience! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
Everything was better than anticipated. If we were to cruise again it would be with Viking. Friendly crew, great food clean cabins, and a well directed tour. What else could you ask for? Everything that was scheduled came off without ... Read More
Everything was better than anticipated. If we were to cruise again it would be with Viking. Friendly crew, great food clean cabins, and a well directed tour. What else could you ask for? Everything that was scheduled came off without a hitch. The local guides were very good and informative. We enjoyed the open seating, but we gravitated to our special table because of the waiter. We did take an extension before and after. I felt this was necessary because one day inBudapest was not enough. Viking booked our hotels and it may have been less if we had our travel agent do it. The cost of the insurance was high. I did not understand that as we have been on tours before and this amount exceeded it by far. Those are the two negatives I can document, but that really had nothing to do with the wonderful time we had on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
We recently returned from a Viking cruise on the Danube. The parts of the cruise planned by Viking are well done. One guide in Budapest was awful but the rest were outstanding. The Best of Budapest optional excursion is expensive ... Read More
We recently returned from a Viking cruise on the Danube. The parts of the cruise planned by Viking are well done. One guide in Budapest was awful but the rest were outstanding. The Best of Budapest optional excursion is expensive but truly worth it. The food is good and the wine/beer at meals is included. Unless you drink A LOT you rarely have to buy anything on board. There's little time outside of meals and an hour or so in the evening. Doing laundry on board is VERY expensive. $2.00 for a pair of underwear or socks. Our luggage was lost by the airline and Viking was indifferent in their response to assisting us getting it returned. The concierge (Darko) on our ship (Viking Aegir) was useless in either retrieving our lost luggage or booking tickets for events in Budapest after the cruise. Viking cruises are wonderful IF everything goes as they've planned and you don't want anything more. We saw other ships on the river and I'm not at all sure what we received was heads above the others. The price certainly is. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience cruising first hand for the first time. We really enjoyed the whole trip. The ship's crew, including the restaurant and bar staff, were very keen to please (without being ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience cruising first hand for the first time. We really enjoyed the whole trip. The ship's crew, including the restaurant and bar staff, were very keen to please (without being overbearing) and really added many positive aspects to the cruising experience. The senior staff on the ship were very accommodating and helpful with advice on shore excursions. We chose the staterooms on the lowest deck, and were pleasantly surprised to not hear much in the way of engine noise. The stateroom was plenty big enough, and well appointed, with a comfortable bed and plenty of storage room. However, we might consider moving up a floor next time (and there WILL be a next time!) just because the view out the window is a little limited. The ship itself was beautiful; very modern, and again well appointed. Lots of interesting books in the library, plenty of room to stretch out on the deck, and, even though it is a relatively small ship, there was plenty of opportunity for privacy or socializing, depending on which you might prefer on any given day. The daily briefings and presentations were a "can't miss" attraction. Not only did Mircea keep us entertained and informed, but the company brought in local craftspeople or academics to show us things like glassblowing or German history, sociology and geography. Every shore excursion was great, entertaining and educational, and although we seemed to cover a lot of ground, we didn't feel rushed at all. I would have preferred a little more time in Vienna, Nuremberg and Cologne, but it gave me some ideas for future trips. Highlights included Budapest, downtown Vienna, Passau, Wertheim, Cologne, Nuremberg and Amsterdam, although I would hasten to add there was no place on the entire trip that we did not enjoy. However, by the time we left Wertheim, I think we were a little tired of Austro-Hungarian Empire stuff - not the history, so much, but just shocked at the level of corruption and inbreeding that occurred in the Hapsburg family. Special mention must be made of a tremendous guide that we had in Wertheim (Rudi), who was able to provide us with a first-hand experience of what it was like to be part of a family deeply connected with the SS, but not to understand until age 14 just how brutal the Nazi regime really was. He really brought the experience of our Wertheim tour to life for us. Service in the bar and restaurants was top notch and the quality of the meals was outstanding. The staff were very flexible if there were any special requests for dietary restrictions. We were happy to hook up with a really wonderful group of very experienced cruisers, who walked us through expectations and helped us a lot. These fine folks will remain lifelong friends, because we had a great deal in common. Would I go again? Absolutely! We will keep our bags packed, so we can leave at short notice! Thanks, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
It went to the countries we wanted to visit. We've never done a river cruise or large cruise of any type. We preferred small group tours. We were impressed with the way the "local" staff took a personal and caring ... Read More
It went to the countries we wanted to visit. We've never done a river cruise or large cruise of any type. We preferred small group tours. We were impressed with the way the "local" staff took a personal and caring interest in all of us. Having some seafood and GF issues, Brian made sure I knew what I could eat and he took personal responsibility to be sure my needs were met. Each day was comfortably filled with cultural experiences with a briefing the night before, often from locals who shared their personal experiences. We learned much from the locals on the ship and on land. We were amazed at how calm the boat docks and takes off. I could never tell, even while looking, when these things happened. Accommodations greatly exceeded our expectations with incredible efficiency. The bathroom with heated mirrors were efficiently designed. We traveled with another couple and we made new friends from all over the world. Fascinating, informative sharing of differences and similarities in our countries. We have just arranged our second trip! We had not planned to do it so soon...but conditions made available to us were impossible to resist! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
Friends had been on several Viking River Cruises and shared their experiences with us. They rated the Rhine/Main/Danube Cruise as top notch, so we gave it a try, We couldn't have been more pleased. The service was outstanding; Viking ... Read More
Friends had been on several Viking River Cruises and shared their experiences with us. They rated the Rhine/Main/Danube Cruise as top notch, so we gave it a try, We couldn't have been more pleased. The service was outstanding; Viking staff could provide a "how to" for excellent customer service. The dining experience was top-notch, and the choices excellent, including local food specialties as well as time-tested favorites. The local tour guides added the critical element of a depth of understanding to the shore excursions. It was necessary for us to change ships in the middle of the cruse due to lock difficulties, but the Viking staff handled it without a hiccup! We spent an extra two days in Amsterdam at the beginning of the cruise, and three days in Prague after reaching Budapest, our final destination. We utilized Viking's services in those locales as well, and were quite satisfied. We will definitely go on another Viking cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I heard good things about it. I know that the Rheine River has many natural beauties, castles, little villages, vinehards, etc. It is pictures perfect. I also knew that Viking does everything right. They are thoughtful and very ... Read More
I heard good things about it. I know that the Rheine River has many natural beauties, castles, little villages, vinehards, etc. It is pictures perfect. I also knew that Viking does everything right. They are thoughtful and very organized in all that they plan. My cruise started in Basel, Switzerland. We traveled up the Rheine with several excursions along the way. Each of the excursions were wonderful. I wish I could spend three days in all the places we stopped. My cruise ended in Amsterdam, Netherlands where I was placed in an absolutely beautiful hotel. Amsterdam has much to offer, however, I only had time to take advantage of a few things. All the meals on the boat were excellent. Thank goodness I am not a picky eater, because some of the dishes were quite foreign to the average American eater. I have only experienced Viking River Cruises, but I would highly recommend Viking to any of my friends that were interested in going on a cruise. The staff aboard the ship are very pleasant, and the tour guides for each of the land excursions spoke wonderful English and knew their stuff. The excursions were packed full of information. I wish I could remember 50% of the facts, but I'm gettting old and my brain is not the sponge it use to be. Perhaps, next time I will take a voice activated recorder or at least take written note. I cannot wait to embark on another river cruise. Maye Russia next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Best vacation ever! We wanted to see the tulips in bloom so we picked the Tulips & Windmills River Cruise. Amsterdam was impressive, so friendly, so many first class museums, so many bridges and canals to walk, so many photo ops, ... Read More
Best vacation ever! We wanted to see the tulips in bloom so we picked the Tulips & Windmills River Cruise. Amsterdam was impressive, so friendly, so many first class museums, so many bridges and canals to walk, so many photo ops, interesting food to sample, beers to choose and great easy local transportation. Our ship was small & intimate with only 160 passengers- Impeccable service, spotless comfortable rooms, great food and well planned included shore excursions. The ports were each memorable; we especially enjoyed Arhemn, Antwerp, Bruges, Horn and, of course, Keukenhof Gardens in Kinderdijk where the tulips were breathtaking. Viking's staff will do anything to make your trip fantastic including nightly entertainment that we thoroughly enjoyed for its variety. Best of all we made new friendships with couples on board and came home with once-in-a lifetime memories. Now I am trying to condense 2000 photos down to 200 favorites. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Cruise was well priced considering the accomodations, meals and tours with airfare included. The cruise was relaxing and enjoyable with great stops. The cruise was casual which fits in with our lifestyle. The staff was overall pleasant and ... Read More
Cruise was well priced considering the accomodations, meals and tours with airfare included. The cruise was relaxing and enjoyable with great stops. The cruise was casual which fits in with our lifestyle. The staff was overall pleasant and helpful. Tours accomodated all ages and physical condition. Be prepared to walk and pack good walking shoes and clothing. There was plenty of time for exploring on your own. The food was healthy and captured the essence of our location. I particularly enjoyed the selection of beer and wine with meals at no additional cost. The average age of the passengers was 50-70 which was fine for us. I would not expect younger travelers to be attracted to this type of tour. We met lots of lovely couples on the cruise who were there for the social aspect as well as the tour. I would recommend river cruises with Viking as a great way to see Europe. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Great cruise -- Viking River Cruises are great -- going on 2 other cruises next year. Service was good. Dining waiter was superior. Enjoyed the excursions. One excursion at each port -- included in the price of the cruise. ... Read More
Great cruise -- Viking River Cruises are great -- going on 2 other cruises next year. Service was good. Dining waiter was superior. Enjoyed the excursions. One excursion at each port -- included in the price of the cruise. Airport pickup went smoothly -- no problems with our luggage or meeting with our guide or bus driver. Disembarkation was helpful. Our bags did not have to be outside our cabin until 1 hour before leaving for the airport. So much nicer than the big cruise ships which have to be outside the cabin the night before. No big nightly entertainment shows, but the entertainment was pertaining to the cruise. One night a man boarded to demonstrate how wooden shoes were made, which he had made all his adult life. Viking River Cruises are more relaxed than the big cruises. Viking Aegir is a is the right size for the river cruises. Again our cruise was GREAT !!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
This was a very good experience for our first river cruise. I like Viking's business model where you pay up front and don't have to worry about paying for tours, lunch and dinner beverages, and much of the tipping. The crew was ... Read More
This was a very good experience for our first river cruise. I like Viking's business model where you pay up front and don't have to worry about paying for tours, lunch and dinner beverages, and much of the tipping. The crew was pleasant and helpful and we really admired how they handled the Danusbe's low water complications without breaking a sweat. The excursions were worthwhile but, like I'm sure many people say, I wish there had been just a bit more time to shop for souveniers, etc. By the time we returned to the ship, I was usually too tired to go out again. My problem!! I thought Viking did a nice job getting people off and back on the ship each day. The small number of people on the Aegir was most welcome and the open dining room was a nice way to get to meet new people throughout the journey. One ctriticism. The ship sold a thumb drive with pictures from our trip for $20 or euro (can't remember). The photos were not good enough nor plentiful enough to be worth that price. And how refreshing to be told that we were welcome to buy local wines and beers and bring them on board--no charge to open them for dinner. I didn't experience that on a big oceanliner! Most of the enrichment and entertainment brought on board were very interesting. The local guides were well informed and pleasant to speak with. Also enjoyed the Home Visit very much. Please consider including in the packet sent out before the trip a little nicer and more detailed map of our adventure. We will be back for more Viking pampering. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This review is about our river cruise in Russia aboard the Viking Akun. If you've ever thought about going to Russia--or even if like us, you hadn't, we want to encourage you to go now. Russia proved to be so much more and so ... Read More
This review is about our river cruise in Russia aboard the Viking Akun. If you've ever thought about going to Russia--or even if like us, you hadn't, we want to encourage you to go now. Russia proved to be so much more and so different from what we thought, and the cruise was an ideal way to see and learn about Russia. We cruised on the Viking Akun (which isn't listed as a choice here), and everything about the trip was way beyond our expectations. We decided to go when one of those Viking brochures arrived, offering us too good a deal to pass up. Knowing what we know now, we'd go even without a good deal. We spent three days in Moscow, two seeing the city by foot or bus with Viking tours and one with a private tour we had arranged with TJ Tours (more about that great company below). Moscow was an eye opener. It was beautiful, clean, safe, and so much different from what we had expected. We thought it surpassed St. Petersburg. The Russians have done a remarkable job since the fall of Communism. Everyone on the cruise was amazed by what we saw and learned and kept saying, "This is so different from what I expected!" In Moscow we attended a concert of traditional Russian folk instruments that just blew us away. The next 5 days, we cruised and visited places we’d never heard of. First, in a village called Uglich, we had a brief vocal concert (excellent voices) and visited in the homes of locals. We were divided into groups of about 14-16 to visit a local home. There the host or hostess served us typical Russian moonshine with pickles and rye bread and later served tea and cake. Each one described his/her life and showed off the garden. Wow! We had felt uncomfortable about visiting in a home, but it proved to be one the trip's highlights. Next, a small city, Yaroslavl, where we saw an example of a formal ball and heard another brief vocal concert in the formal governor’s mansion. We also visited a school and learned lots about the Russian system, part from a ninth-grader (who had been studying English since the fifth grade and had just picked up her 14 textbooks for the coming school year). Some of the students did a traditional performance and showed off their crafts. The next day, we toured the Kirillo-Bolozersky Monastery, founded in 1397 and still functioning. It happened to be a special feast day, so we got to see the priests and congregates leaving the church service in a formal procession. Another day we visited a UNESCO heritage site, Kizhi, with a collection of Russian wooden buildings. These gave us a sense of how Russians lived and what they produced centuries ago. The enormous wooden cathedral (still under reconstruction) was especially impressive. The final stop before St. Petersburg was Mandrogy, a recently developed site for Russian artisans and the best place to buy real Russian crafts and watch the craftsmen make them. (Souvenirs in the cities are much more expensive and often are made in China.) St. Petersburg was our last stop. There we also had three days, with excellent walking and bus tours. Like friends who had visited from sea-going cruise ships, we thought it was beautiful, safe, and fascinating. We spent one day by ourselves, just sightseeing and shopping. But we were even more impressed with Moscow. Viking arranged our air transportation (with Delta partners KLM, Aeroflot, Rossiya, and Air France). The flights with KLM and, especially Air France, were more pleasant than can be expected these days. The food on Air France was especially good and very plentiful. Flying Aeroflot and Rossiya was typical of flying feeder airlines. Our layovers were just long enough. The Viking representative was waiting for us when we got through baggage claim and took us directly to the Akun. The ship is sparkling clean and very attractive. It was renovated in in 2013. Our room was small but plenty roomy for the two of us. Suitcases fit under the beds, the closets held what we'd brought, etc. And there was an American style plug at the vanity so we could charge all our devices easily. The staff and tour guides were excellent. They made us feel that they cared about us and about our seeing Russia. On board were three tour guides who led a number of the tours and provided daily lectures. They were great. In most ports, there were also good local tour guides. The food was good and plentiful. Of course, there weren't as many offerings on each menu as on a ship with 3,000 passengers, but there was always enough to choose from. We enjoyed the open seating which gave us a chance to meet and eat with a variety of different passengers. One day lunch was a buffet of traditional Russian dishes, served on the open-air upper deck. At some other meals, we had Russian dishes, but never too much that was unfamiliar. Breakfast was served in the dining room, and continental breakfast was also available in the bar upstairs, which offered a wonderful view of the river. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate were available all day, with cookies and pastries available for snacks. White and red wines flowed freely at meals along with tea, coffee, and soft drinks. (I'm almost certain the coffee is instant, so serious coffee drinkers may want to bring their own coffee and French press coffee maker. Decaf. coffee was available only at meal times or in the bar. I bought a jar of instant in Moscow and was perfectly happy making it with the hot water provided for tea.) There were plenty on-board activities during the sailing times—Russian teas three afternoons, sailaways when we left several ports, evening dancing and a singing duo, a cooking demonstration, and two Russian language lessons, for example. The best part for us was the daily presentations about Russian history. Each presentation was clear and thorough. We liked them so much that we watched each one twice. (All presentations were given in the lounge area and were also carried live on in-room tv) Lots of our fellow passengers really enjoyed the optional vodka tasting event, featuring at least seven different types of vodka. Everyone seemed to enjoy sitting on their private balconies. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that the only negative about the whole trip was one optional event, a Cossack Folk Songs and Dances show. Don’t waste your time or money on it. Now about TJ Travel. We chose them for a tour of Moscow based on the positive reviews we’d seen. And like almost everything on this trip, they surpassed our expectations. They tailored our tour to our interests and even took us to a supermarket because we needed a couple items. Tatiana, the owner, was our driver and amazed us with her skill in some very confusing and congested traffic. Irene, our guide, was also superb. The first thing she showed us was worth the price of the whole day, a temporary collection of jeweled Russian icons. (BTW, we took a private tour because that’s what we’ve always done when cruising on ocean cruises; the ships’ tours always seem over priced and too crowded. The Viking tours were so good that we didn’t really need a private tour to learn about Moscow, but we are glad we chose the tour and TJ Travel.) We hope this review will encourage people to visit Russia. There are Viking tours available Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We took the European Sojourn, departing Amsterdam on August 19th, 2015. Supposed to be on the Embla, but, low water on the Danube prevented it from getting back up to Amsterdam. So, we departed on the Viking Lif from Rotterdam. Sail ... Read More
We took the European Sojourn, departing Amsterdam on August 19th, 2015. Supposed to be on the Embla, but, low water on the Danube prevented it from getting back up to Amsterdam. So, we departed on the Viking Lif from Rotterdam. Sail Amsterdam 2015 prevented us from departing from the original port. Our entire trip was not as planned, but it was because of low water on the Danube, so not Viking's fault. They dealt with the issue pretty well, but as a result we experienced three ships when we should have only been on the Embla. Without question, the Aegir was the best of the three, Lif was a very close second and the Embla was in a distant third. My comments are mainly addressed to the staff that interact with the passengers. Each ship is essentially the same with one exception. On the Lif, there are more tables in the second deck lounge in the area where they serve a buffet lunch. The Embla and Aegir have conventional seating in this area. They should all be like the Lif. As to on board entertainment, all had great evenings with folk groups, or music groups. We enjoyed them all. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I was more excited about this cruise before I went than any of the other 9 I have taken. It was highly recommended by my travel agent and all of the information I had received looked terrific. Viking's ads on TV painted a beautiful ... Read More
I was more excited about this cruise before I went than any of the other 9 I have taken. It was highly recommended by my travel agent and all of the information I had received looked terrific. Viking's ads on TV painted a beautiful picture but it was all false. They knew before we got on the ship that they had a problem with the generator. Every day we gathered for a meeting and everyday the story changed we might do this or maybe not so it was total confusion and drama for the entire trip. We spent 5 days on a hot buss without working air conditioning and 4 nights in hotels. The food was terrible it is the first time I actually lost weight on a cruise. I ask the waiter how does Viking manage to take ground meat for a hamburger and make it to tough to chew? Three nights I had the steak and they were all tough too it certainly was not prime beef which you would expect when you pay a premium price for a cruise. Very little entertainment other than the piano player. We were supposed to have unlimited wine with dinner but we didn't get that either when we were in the hotels it was a 2 glass limit and the meals in the hotels were limited to one choice if you didn't like chicken or were tired of chicken to bad. They did refund 25% and give us a voucher for 25% off a future cruise if you take it within one year. They must be smoking pot if they think anyone will get on another Viking ship within a year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I was more excited about this cruise before I went than any of the other 9 I have taken. It was highly recommended by my travel agent and all of the information I had received looked terrific. Viking's ads on TV painted a beautiful ... Read More
I was more excited about this cruise before I went than any of the other 9 I have taken. It was highly recommended by my travel agent and all of the information I had received looked terrific. Viking's ads on TV painted a beautiful picture but it was all false. They knew before we got on the ship that they had a problem with the generator. Every day we gathered for a meeting and everyday the story changed we might do this or maybe not so it was total confusion and drama for the entire trip. We spent 5 days on a hot buss without working air conditioning and 4 nights in hotels. The food was terrible it is the first time I actually lost weight on a cruise. I ask the waiter how does Viking manage to take ground meat for a hamburger and make it to tough to chew? Three nights I had the steak and they were all tough too it certainly was not prime beef which you would expect when you pay a premium price for a cruise. Very little entertainment other than the piano player. We were supposed to have unlimited wine with dinner but we didn't get that either when we were in the hotels it was a 2 glass limit and the meals in the hotels were limited to one choice if you didn't like chicken or were tired of chicken to bad. They did refund 25% and give us a voucher for 25% off a future cruise if you take it within one year. They must be smoking pot if they think anyone will get on another Viking ship within a year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
This was a wonderful trip and I would recommend it to anyone. We had wonderful food, met many nice people, saw an incredible number of places both on the land and the river, and were treated royally by the entire staff of the ship. The ... Read More
This was a wonderful trip and I would recommend it to anyone. We had wonderful food, met many nice people, saw an incredible number of places both on the land and the river, and were treated royally by the entire staff of the ship. The excursion guides for each land tour ranged from really, really good to truly excellent. They all knew the history and politics of the places they took us to and through and they were well-spoken, usually witty, and very capable of answering all questions put to them. The walking tours were well paced so that it wasn't difficult to keep up and the "quiet boxes" we were each furnished with allowed us to hear the guides, no matter how far we were from them. The staff on the ship were only too willing to provide assistance in any way they could. When my traveling companion got sick one night, they delivered her dinner to our room and kept checking on her to make sure she was all right. They furnished umbrellas on rainy days and they provided bottles of water every time we left the ship to go on an excursion. Viking did its best to educate us about every place we visited, not only providing lectures and occasional local on-board entertainment, but also delivering nightly newsletters that contained pertinent information about the places we would see. This was very helpful, given the "information overload" that inevitably occurred. I can now refer to those nightly newsletters to refresh my memory about each place we toured. I really enjoyed this trip and feel very privileged to have taken it. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
My wife and I, along with another couple, did the 14 day Grand European cruise. This was our first Viking River cruise and it will certainly NOT be our last. We had a fantastic time. Our ship, and the crew, were excellent. Sonja was our ... Read More
My wife and I, along with another couple, did the 14 day Grand European cruise. This was our first Viking River cruise and it will certainly NOT be our last. We had a fantastic time. Our ship, and the crew, were excellent. Sonja was our cruise director and she was very well organized and helpful. Our cabin was spotless and Vinnie, the manager of the cabin team, knew everyone by name. The service throughout the ship was fantastic. Our dinners, lunches and breakfasts were delicious. The wait staff was wonderful and they were entertaining as well. They really seemed to enjoy their jobs. Our shore excursions were wonderful. We are very active in our early 60's and we appreciated the fact that Viking set up the shore excursions to accommodate the passengers "activity" level. We chose the extended tours which involved more walking and a more in-depth tour by the local guide. We had enough time in each port to get a great overview of the town and then had free time to explore on our own. The only disappointment we had was with the lack of entertainment in the evening. Other than a piano player, there is not much to do after 10 pm. It wasn't too bad given that we were very busy throughout the day. However, it would have been nice if Viking could offer an exercise room and an indoor pool or sauna to relax. We had a great trip and we already booked a Viking Trip to China for 2015 and we will plan another trip with them in 2016.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
In May, 2014, we took a Danube River cruise from Budapest (a gem of a city) to Bucharest. This was by no means a typical European river cruise. There are few towns along this part of the river, and those few are not the picturesque ... Read More
In May, 2014, we took a Danube River cruise from Budapest (a gem of a city) to Bucharest. This was by no means a typical European river cruise. There are few towns along this part of the river, and those few are not the picturesque villages one associates with the Rhine and Danube in Germany and Austria. With the exception of sailing through the "Iron Gate" the scenery is also not spectacular, although beautiful in a quiet, unspoiled way. So what made this particular cruise memorable? The itinerary took us through five countries commonly known as part of the Eastern Block. In other words, they were, in varying degrees, under the control of the Soviet Union from 1945 until 1989. Until this trip, we had only a vague notion of what this implied for each country: decades of living in a police state, the attempted destruction of a rich and diverse cultural heritage, a destroyed economy, and now the efforts to recover and rejoin Western Europe. This is not the place for a history lecture, nor am I knowledgeable enough to give one. I would just like to say that these countries (Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania) are fascinating and certainly worth more attention than they receive from the typical tourist. Our daily port stops took us to places we would likely otherwise never have seen, such as Osijek, Croatia, and the rock formations at Belogradshik, Bulgaria. Another highlight was Belgrade, despite record-setting rain. We also enjoyed a demonstration of Hungarian horsemanship in Kalocsa. All tours, including those of Budapest and Bucharest, were included in the the cruise price. The Viking Aegir is known as a "longship," designed for river cruising. While not luxurious, it is comfortable and well equipped. Cabins are very small but efficiently arranged, and since this is a port-intensive cruise, little time is spent in the cabin. Public rooms are lovely. The Lounge was the gathering place, since the weather (cold and often rainy during our cruise) was not conducive to staying on the attractive sun deck. The dining room offered open seating and a choice of a buffet or table service. Food was very good, although the variety was not as great as on ocean cruise ships. Service in the dining room, lounge, and cabin was impeccable. As for entertainment aboard, it was minimal: no band or casino or shops. There was a piano player nightly in the lounge, and some passengers danced. At almost every port a local group came aboard for a traditional performance. The Serbian group was especially good. But clearly the emphasis on this cruise was the port stops, and truthfully, the days were so busy that we would not have had the energy for nighttime entertainment even if it had been offered. Our cruise director, a Romanian named Vlad (no relation to Vlad the Impaler, aka Count Dracula), was incredibly knowledgeable on every aspect of the region, and his daily briefings and lectures (always done with humor) gave us exceptional insight into the history, culture, and special challenges of these countries. The local guides on the daily excursions were outstanding, with impressive knowledge, an excellent command of English, and a sense of sometimes dark humor. To those people who have never seen the castles on the Rhine or the great cities of Western Europe, I would say: by all means, visit those places. But for those who would like a truly different and enlightening experience, a river cruise on the lower Danube is an outstanding opportunity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
Our trip was the Passage to Eastern Europe consisting of 2 nights in Budapest a 7 night cruise and 1 night in Bucharest. For those you who want a short review... this was the best cruise we have ever taken!!! The food was 5 star, as well ... Read More
Our trip was the Passage to Eastern Europe consisting of 2 nights in Budapest a 7 night cruise and 1 night in Bucharest. For those you who want a short review... this was the best cruise we have ever taken!!! The food was 5 star, as well as the service and attentiveness of the entire staff from the captain on down. For those of you, who would like more details, read on. Arrival at Budapest: Our flight from Atlanta via Paris was delayed three hours due to a mechanical problem. Once we collected our luggage, the Viking representatives were waiting for us at the arrivals area. We brought our luggage to the waiting busses and took the 40 minute ride to the Budapest Marriott. When we arrived at the hotel, I went to the luggage compartment on the bus and was told by the driver; “Sir, you luggage is no longer your concern, its mine”. In the hotel lobby, Viking had a reception area set up with our room keys and other documentation relating to the next days itinerary. Once we received our keys, we went to our room, and our luggage was there waiting for us! Make note, all the rooms overlook the Danube River. Seeing that our arrival was so late, we went to bed to recharge our batteries for the things to come. Budapest: After breakfast, we had a 4 hour tour of the city. Budapest is an old world European city filled with friendly people. After the tour we returned to the hotel and I ventured out on my own to explore the city. Within walking distance of the hotel there is Vaci Street which is closed to vehicles. Here you’ll find cafes, bars, restaurants and boutiques. Also within walking distance, on the way to St. Stephen’s Basilica, there is another pedestrian area that is filled with vendors selling souvenirs, breads, pastries and food. After eating, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the cruise the next day. Embarkation: In the afternoon, we met at the hotel to be transported to the ship. Upon arrival at the pier, we boarded the ship, surrendered our passports and received our cabin keys. We were escorted to our cabin and when we opened the door our luggage was on the bed. We were invited to a buffet lunch being served in the Aquavit lounge. There were plenty of items to choose from as well as free flowing beer, wine and soft drinks. Cabin: We were in cabin 331 which is a category A veranda cabin. These cabins are not as large as veranda cabins on ocean going vessels, but they are quite functional. There is ample closet space as well as 8 drawers and shelves in the closet. There are multiple 110v outlets throughout the cabin and a safe. The only con to the cabin is that the mattress was hard. Viking should have put pillow top mattresses in the cabins instead of the 8 inch hard mattress. However Vince, the head of housekeeping went out of his way to provide us with a solution. He had the cabin stewardess place multiple mattress toppers on the bed, and that solved the problem. Dining: This is where Viking excels. The first night I ordered the New York strip steak prepared medium. I have never been able to get a steak prepared to my liking on the first attempt on any cruise line. Viking is the exception as my steak was perfect! That evening, the Executive Chef asked me how my steak was and told me that all of Vikings meats were rated Prime. There was not a single mediocre meal during our cruise. Some of the offerings were; Beef Wellington, Crusted Grilled Salmon, Veal Osso Buco, Filet Mignon with Tiger Prawns, Blackened Halibut and Lamb Shank. All prepared expertly and seasoned to perfection. The only con to the restaurant is that there is no dress code. It is not uncommon to see people wearing jeans during dinner. One night during dinner I saw a very large woman wearing a skin tight tee shirt (not a pretty picture), a man in jeans and a plaid shirt with both a belt and suspenders and a man wearing the same tattered, rolled up jeans he wore for the past 5 days. This takes something away from the 5 star quality of the restaurant. Entertainment: During the cruise, Viking brings on locals to entertain us with folkloric music and dance. There are enrichment talks and daily briefings regarding the following day’s tours. Besides that, there is a pianist each night in the lounge. Tours: Each day starting at 8:30 or 9:00 there is a tour. It could be a city tour, visit to an equestrian center or fishing village. There is always ample free time to shop, explore on your own or nap. Your day can be as full as you want. The local guides were very passionate, knowledgeable and informative. Disembarkation: On the last day you are asked to have your luggage outside your cabin by 8:00am for pickup and transfer to the hotel. After breakfast we check out and proceed to the waiting buses for transportation to the Bucharest Hilton. The Hilton was a 40 minute ride from the pier, and again, by the time we collected our room keys and got the elevator, our bags were already in our room. That night we walked around in the city, ate in the lounge at the hotel and turned in early as we had a 3:30am wake up call for our trip to the airport. Our shuttle to the airport left the hotel at 4:30am and the fact that we were heading back to reality set in. We are already planning a trip to France on Viking in the fall of this year for our anniversary as we know Viking is now our cruise provider of choice. Closing: You may ask if it’s worth the money. In a word, YES! If you do the math you’ll see there isn’t much (if any) of a difference between a larger cruise line and Viking. Considering the cost of a conventional cruise to Europe would cost approximately $1300pp for a veranda cabin. Then add air, insurance, transfers, drinks and tours and it may cost even more than Viking. The biggest factor for us was that the Danube is a placed we’ve never been and the Aegir only held 190 passengers. Cant wait to do it again.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Overall a very pleasant cruise: The Viking long-ships are hard to beat for creature comfort and Viking knows how to take care of customers with great food, attention to detail and professional staff. This particular March cruise (our ... Read More
Overall a very pleasant cruise: The Viking long-ships are hard to beat for creature comfort and Viking knows how to take care of customers with great food, attention to detail and professional staff. This particular March cruise (our second Viking cruise for my wife and I) delivered excellent weather and reduced tourist crowds and convinced us that Europe travel in early spring is the way to go. This was the first time I did not book the air portion of travel myself, we utilized Vikings air service and the process at both ends was flawless. We will use them again. The cities/towns visited and the associated tours were a real eye-opener and changed our preconception of this part of the world. While the route traveled passed through areas that have seen relatively recent conflicts and political unrest the vibrancy of both the cities and people attest to the resiliency of the people and governments. Sadly this was not the case during our stop in Vukovar Croatia; here the ravages of the recent wars were still in evidence and was somewhat of a downer, not helped with a tour stop visit that was clearly not up to Viking standards. On balance I would recommend this cruise for a glimpse of a part of the world that most of us only read about in the newspapers during times of conflict; the positive takeaway is that the people are proud, modern and youthful and clearly dedicated to rebuilding the countries. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
The Viking Grand Europe River Cruise, Amsterdam-Budapest appealed to me because it offered an opportunity to see many countries without the hassle of packing and unpacking and arranging for transportation. The cities we visited were all ... Read More
The Viking Grand Europe River Cruise, Amsterdam-Budapest appealed to me because it offered an opportunity to see many countries without the hassle of packing and unpacking and arranging for transportation. The cities we visited were all new to me and this seemed like a good way to "sample" places that I'd like to return to in the future. That said, the itinerary was a good match for what I wanted. From booking to disembarking, this trip met or exceeding expectations. Viking delivered on all its advertised luxuries. Except for the weather, which either rained or threatend rain every day but two, I was delighted with the experience. Again, I think it is critical to do your research ahead of time so you know what a trip like this is and isn't. What it is:The long-ships are essentially a very well run hotel on the river with experienced staff. From the enthusiastic program director to the service oriented waitstaff, there is a clear message that they are working to make your trip the best. The excursion guides are locals and in addition to being well informed, they are terrific ambassadors for their cities (many of which are hoping that tourism will boost their economy). We had a room on the third deck with a balcony. Our travel companions had a suite on the same deck. Since we spent little time in the room, the space was adequate and the balcony was a nice feature. I think the French balcony would have been fine as well and a real upgrade over the small window on the first deck (not good if you like fresh air at night). The food quality seemed to improve significantly as the trip proceeded. I highly suggest spending the extra money to eat lunch in the cities when in a port if you want to meet locals and get a real sense of the local cuisine. Breakfast and dinners on board were very good with the last few night's dinners excellent. If you like lingering over dinner this is the place. Dinner starts at 7 and we were usually at our table until 9:00. The evening entertainment varied from fair to fabulous-especially the off-ship concert in Vienna. I wish there were more of these options offered especially when in larger cities such as Cologne. If you don't like arranged guides with quick visits to cathedrals and palaces and walks through medieval towns, this is NOT the trip for you. There were times I was wishing for more free time (which you could do in lieu of the guided tour), but over all it was a good balance of free and structured time. As with any cruise, you can be as social or solitary as you wish. Our fellow travelers were easy to interact with. Since we were traveling with another couple, we spent much time together while also engaging with others at meals and during the day trips. The layout of the ship makes it easy to find a quiet spot to read or relax as you cruise down the beautiful river. As a relatively fit and active couple, we were surprised to learn that our daily walks through towns (many with great hills and stairs to climb) proved adequate for our exercise needs. I was brave enough to weigh myself upon our rerun and shocked to find I had only gained pound (and I drank beer and ate dessert every day). Lastbut not least, this was a trip where you could dress as casually as you wanted. Some dressed up a bit for dinners, but you really could live in jeans everyday if you so desired. What it is NOT: It is not the kind of trip where you are going to feel you get your value worth if you stay on the ship all day. It is not a trip for those who wish to spend quality time in one or two cities (although the pre and post trip options would allow for this). It is not a trip that will satisfy if you are not willing to take a chance on the unpredictable weather, which can cause significant problems as many travelers noted during the June floods. It is also not a trip that you should consider if you aren't willing to compensate the excellent staff. Some on board our trip commented on the tipping guidelines but we thought about what we would tip if we went out to dinner every night for 15 nights and it seemed within reason. That said, they are just guidelines. We were happy to compensate all the staff for their excellent service. Overall, this was a very good trip in large part because we had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Like all trips, there was some luck involved. No floods or strikes or ship malfunctions. Other than a mild cold, all went off without a hitch. Now, if someone from the staff could just help me sort through my1000+ photos... Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Hi, We returned about two weeks ago from our cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam. A previous review pretty well said it all about the ship, although that was from Budapest, and we were on it the first week from Bucharest, so I thought ... Read More
Hi, We returned about two weeks ago from our cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam. A previous review pretty well said it all about the ship, although that was from Budapest, and we were on it the first week from Bucharest, so I thought I'd write about that part of it. We were met at the airport by Viking, and taken to the Raddison Blu Hotel. Our flight had been delayed, and we were pretty tired, so stayed in for the evening, but were taken on a bus tour of Bucharest next day. This part of the trip took in parts of Europe that had previously been under Communist rule, and we had been unable to visit because of my husband's job. It included Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia,and Hungary. It is a poorer part of Europe and doesn't have the tourist infrastructure, but that made it more authentic of what the people there live with. The locals were very friendly and our guides were very well spoken and educated. Some were a little hesitant to speak of the past, but were looking forward to a better future. It was sad to see bombed buildings from the Serb-Croatian wars, and some areas were still waiting to be cleared of mines. Roads needed repairs but there was no money as each village is responsible for roads and most of the young people have moved away to make money. Each house has a small garden for fresh veg. and a small vineyard. Plum wine is popular and each visitor is greeted with a glass. Food in local restaurants was delicious. Food on the Aegir for this part of the trip was not up to our expectations, but we had a different chef for this part of the trip. (We heard he was a replacement, and not the regular Viking Chef). When the other chef boarded in Budapest, there was a definite improvement. The servers, room staff, receptionists and concierge were all outstanding, and I don't think we've ever had such a hard working cruise director. This was a vey educational and interesting cruise, sailing on the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers with no problems with water levels. I would highly recommend doing the whole length from the Black Sea to the North Sea on the Viking Aegir. I am still sorting through my 1600 plus photos. Hope this is helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We have now sailed with Viking four times and were not disappointed, despite very hot weather throughout the trip! The entire crew was fantastic, especially Tatiana and Marcio in the lounge. They were as entertaining as they were ... Read More
We have now sailed with Viking four times and were not disappointed, despite very hot weather throughout the trip! The entire crew was fantastic, especially Tatiana and Marcio in the lounge. They were as entertaining as they were efficient. The Viking Douro is a rental from Uniworld as Viking enters the Portuguese market for the first time in 2013. We did not like the lower level dining room, which really killed the view and atmosphere during meals. In 2014 Viking will have their own two-ship fleet with their more passenger friendly design. There was a bit of a learning curve too with the meal quality compared to Viking's normally high standards. Chef Richard was saut'ing on his first trip and did a great job, but the menu was a bit limited compared to our past cruises. Surprisingly, there was very little seafood served aboard. Meals on the excursions were also a bit plain. Local restaurants were great when we could get away. We highly recommend the Cervejaria Ribadouro on the Avenida da Liberdade near the Hotel Tivoli. They offer a great selection of quality fresh meats and shellfish and are frequented by many of the locals. The Tivoli itself has a nice restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop lounge that features great views of the city. Our room featured a nice balcony. We would strongly recommend avoiding Portugal and Spain in August! It was very hot with temps reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in both Lisbon and on the river up north. We spotted several forest fires not far from the river. The ship's climate was perfect and the sun deck was cooler and very enjoyable at night. Even though local regulations prohibit river travel at night east of Porto, our captain gave us a nice night tour of Porto bridges and traveled to the mouth of the Douro near the Atlantic following our first dinner on board. A very nice trip highlight! Grab a seat on the sundeck with a glass of port, or whatever, and enjoy this show. Other river traffic was almost nonexistent east of Porto and the locks were few and not crowded throughout the journey. The truly unique aspect of this trip versus river cruising in France, Germany, Austria, and even Russia, was the unusual topography along the Douro. The river displays 'big shoulders' along its entire route. The Douro carves its way through mile after mile of beautiful ravines with sculptured, rhythmic terraces dotted by the occasional tile-roofed quinta or whitewashed cylindrical pigeon tower. The excursions included very comfortable buses (new Mercedes and Volvo) with nice climate control. Virtually every excursion travels by bus due to the fact that most worthwhile sites are miles from the Douro River. Skip the first port wine tour because the Sandeman tour is superior and you can only hear so much about port. We arrived in Lisbon a day ahead of the planned tour and took a side tour to Sintra. It's a nice 40-minute train ride from Lisbon to this quaint, charming village. We hiked up the steep path for two hours to the Pena National Palace and it was a highlight of the trip. We also enjoyed the Alfama walking tour (see my website below for a view). Salamanca, Spain, was terrific (even though the program director touted the great shopping and the market but most shops were closed due to a national holiday when we arrived Feast of the Ascension, 8/15). We had a great hike through town to the old Roman Bridge (89 AD) and thoroughly enjoyed the cafes in the shade of the Plaza Mayor. We even enjoyed the two-hour bus ride with a chance to peek at the farms and pastures of rural northwest Spain. We flew from Porto back to Lisbon to return and would change that to another European capital on the next trip. We had seen plenty of the capital and its oppressive August heat. An overnight at a Porto hotel would be another good choice; it's a very scenic and interesting town. Prices in general on board and in Portugal were well below other major European cities. A nice glass of red wine on board (included with lunch and dinner) was priced at '3.50 after hours. Many local cafes charged '1.00 for a cold 10-ounce draft beer. The Portuguese people were incredibly friendly and helpful everywhere we traveled. A man ran a half block to return a pair of sunglasses I had left sitting on a plaza bench. The entire crew was from Portugal which was a genuine plus. Each person would share their personal story about their family and help explain the unique Portuguese culture. If you wish to see a glimpse of the sights along this journey (and other Viking trips), visit my photo website at: http://www.mikerophoto.com   Read Less
Viking Aegir Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 3.5

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