9 Viking River Viking Atla Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Europe - River Cruise

I had long wanted to sail the Danube and selected Viking based on literature we reviewed. As we had never been on a river or ocean cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than the comfort of traveling through various countries which ... Read More
I had long wanted to sail the Danube and selected Viking based on literature we reviewed. As we had never been on a river or ocean cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than the comfort of traveling through various countries which we could tour at each port without the hassle of packing/unpacking as you travel city to city and change hotels. As such, we found the ship quickly became our home and our stateroom lacked nothing more we could want. The bed, pillows, and linens were extremely comfortable, the room layout was efficient, and housekeeping was impeccable. Dining on the ship was exciting and a pleasure due to the variety and presentation of each and every meal, whether it was in the formal dining room or casual dining by the terrace. The dining staff were, without exception, professional, friendly, attentive and quickly learned our personal eating preferences. Amazing service! The tours at every port city were extensive and informative, and the shore excursions were fun and gave us a good perspective of the culture and history. Most impressive was the organization and coordination to manage people leaving the ship on either a tour, excursion, or on-your-own time and to get everyone back on the ship on a time schedule. Incredible! The activities and presentations on the ship were numerous to round out each day, but the evening piano music in the lounge was a personal favorite! Overall, I must say the staff on the ship made the experience exceptional. Every day, greetings were given with a smile, enthusiasm, and a bit of conversation. We felt special. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats ... Read More
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats (Atla & Jarl) were enjoyable; both cabin rooms were comfortable; both staff were friendly and helpful; food was a bit on the salty side on Atla though; tour guides were excellent and provided detailed history of many of the cities; loved the headsets which allowed you to hear the guide even if you wanted to 'wander' a bit; relaxed and casual dining atmosphere. Onboard 'entertainment' did not interest us too much, but we were comfortable with retiring to our cabin to watch TV. It was a 'pain' to keep packing and unpacking between the hotels and two boats, but Viking personnel kept everything running very smoothly. This was our first river cruise and we would like to try in again, perhaps during another time of the year when the water levels are more consistent and when we can access the upper decks more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our very first trip on Viking, and our very first trip to Europe, and we wouldn't have changed a thing. From the time we landed in Nuremberg, to 8 days later when we were taken back to the airport, we were treated like ... Read More
This was our very first trip on Viking, and our very first trip to Europe, and we wouldn't have changed a thing. From the time we landed in Nuremberg, to 8 days later when we were taken back to the airport, we were treated like royalty. *The staff was absolutely wonderful and attentive to all of our needs. Our Program Director, Terry, was beyond terrific. He made us feel comfortable and at home from the very first day. He remembered our names when we passed him on the boat, and always took the time to talk to us and answer our questions. The same can be said about our Concierge, Cristina. What a joy to work with. *We took advantage of all of the shore excursions, and enjoyed all of them. The daily schedule was planned out very nicely. It gave us plenty of time to explore the city on our own, or take part on an added excursion. *The only cruising that we have ever done was ocean cruising. Let me tell you, river cruising is nothing like it. I absolutely loved having a smaller amount of guests on the cruise. Everything felt more intimate and personal. *Everyone we met on the cruise was absolutely delightful. We are looking forward to keeping in touch with our new cruise partners in the years to come, and who knows...we might end up cruiing again in the future. *One last note---When we were dropped off at the airport for our return trip back home, I was pleasantly surprised to be met by Viking Cruise Staff members, who helped us through the airline check in process. Way to go Viking---you have thought of everything!!! At first, I said I wouldn't change a thing--but if...I mean, when, we cruise again, we will be flying in a few days earlier to take advantage of a pre cruise add on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After four days in Prague and four in Goettingen we experienced a superbly planned and executed seven-day romantic cruise up and then down the Danube to Budepest. The service was excellent and cheerful, the food very good, wine excellent; ... Read More
After four days in Prague and four in Goettingen we experienced a superbly planned and executed seven-day romantic cruise up and then down the Danube to Budepest. The service was excellent and cheerful, the food very good, wine excellent; the cruising and scenery were a relaxing and beautiful experience; the cities and tours were interesting and well executed; the tour guide was tops: managing complicated excursions, giving briefings and explanations, leading/managing entertainment, always helpful- all with wit and good humor. We really got our money's worth. As older but fit travelers, we did get a bit tired near the end; this was due to the accumulated effect of the (moderate) mental and physical effort required to negotiate the the cities visited, even with arranged transport and Viking personnel assisting. All in all, a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The Viking river cruise that we took in June 2015 was the Romantic Danube. We were treated like royalty from the start from being picked up from airport in Budapest until we flew out of Prague on our extended stay off the cruise from ... Read More
The Viking river cruise that we took in June 2015 was the Romantic Danube. We were treated like royalty from the start from being picked up from airport in Budapest until we flew out of Prague on our extended stay off the cruise from Nuremburg. The staff was excellent from every aspect of the cruise. The food far exceeded my expectations and was better than any five star restaurant. Our cruise director was very helpful at each port with directions on things we could do on our own. My wife and I are definitely going to be regular Viking cruise couples. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
In many reviews, people tend to focus on the negative - the squeaky wheel gets greased. In this review I will also point out some negatives. However, overall I am very glad to have taken this cruise on the Danube (Viking Atla from Budapest ... Read More
In many reviews, people tend to focus on the negative - the squeaky wheel gets greased. In this review I will also point out some negatives. However, overall I am very glad to have taken this cruise on the Danube (Viking Atla from Budapest to Nuremberg, May 31 to June 7, 2015). It was a great time to go. The weather was excellent, warm and sunny most days. • The ship is very comfortable and pleasantly decorated. Lots of outdoor space for watching the sights go by as we cruised, with seating in many places. A walking track on the upper deck as well as a shuffleboard court and putting green (neither of which I saw anybody use, though). Coffee, tea, water, seltzer available 24/7. • The staff was great, very attentive and welcoming. That makes the experience much more valuable. Program director Mario, concierge Cristina, front desk staff, maître de, executive chef, wait staff all are customer oriented. It greatly enhanced the week. • The cruise includes port excursions, and offers optional (extra money) ones as well. Some included excursions began with a bus tour, followed by a walking tour. I would have preferred less bus and more walking. Although driving by a landmark does affordable one the opportunity to see it, I think it’s a much fuller experience to actually get out and look around. I would prefer seeing fewer sites, but in more depth. • The optional excursions do offer this opportunity. However, I was disappointed that one I wanted, a tour of the Doheny Street Synagogue in Budapest, was not offered on my cruise (although it was listed in the print literature I received from Viking). Neither was the scheduled stop in Roth for people who wanted additional time to visit Nuremberg. We did take the optional World War II tour in Nuremberg, which was excellent. • The length of time at each port is limited. In some case this is fine (for example, in the town of Melk, Austria, where there is one sight to see). But in larger cities (Budapest, Vienna) it is not enough. • The air conditioning in the dining room malfunctioned and it took Viking too long to fix – 2 days. Of course this can happen anywhere anytime, but the key is be prepared to fix it quickly. • The Internet was slow – but Viking is very up front about this, clearly explaining this may happen. It was also down for over 12 hours on two separate days. • The on board lectures were interesting. History of Germany, history of canals and locks (the cruise passes through 27 locks) were both very informative. • The last full day there was no access to the sun deck (necessary due to numerous low bridges.) this severely limits outdoor space. • Viking provided transfers from and to airport. At the end of the cruise I was pleasantly surprised to be met by a Viking representative at the airport on our way home; I had expected just to be dropped off. This was a nice ending touch. In retrospect, we should have gone to Budapest, where the cruise began, a couple of days early to truly experience the city. I would suggest people extend the cruise either before or after (or both) to spend more time in the city. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We just completed a 7 night cruise on the Viking Atla one of the new long ships. This was our 3rd booked river cruise with Viking. We also booked both the pre and post cruise extension. We began with 2 nights in Budapest. Our hotel did ... Read More
We just completed a 7 night cruise on the Viking Atla one of the new long ships. This was our 3rd booked river cruise with Viking. We also booked both the pre and post cruise extension. We began with 2 nights in Budapest. Our hotel did have a Viking representative to give advise but they also offered excursions for Budapest before the cruise began. We researched both Budapest and Prague, the post cruise extension so we did not go with their optional excursions. They were helpful though in providing specific information that helped us do our own thing. After 2 & 1/2 wonderful days in Budapest we made our way to the cruise ship. The transfer to the boat was not very convenient as we had to check out 2 & 1/2 hours before they would pick us up. We had several places still to see so we made our way to the ship ourselves. Viking did take our luggage though. Our cabins weren't ready when we arrived but they had a very nice buffet lunch available on the lounge. The ship did a night cruise on the Danube in Budapest. The city is all lit up at night so this was real nice. We started with a city tour of Budapest the next morning. We met up with the boat a little outside of Budapest. We ran into some bad weather the next couple of days. Lots of rain and much cooler than expected. I realize that Viking can't control the weather. I just feel they weren't exactly honest with us. Up River between Passau and Regensburg is Deggensdorf. The water was much higher than normal and there was a bridge there the boat couldn't pass under. Instead of docking the the medieval city of Regensburg we were taken by bus. We lost most of our free time. Finally we had some dry days and we were told we would be back on schedule. We still didn't make it even as far as Regensburg and the next day there was an even longer bus ride to Nuremberg. Our boat we thought would meet up with us in Nuremberg but that didn't happen. We had another bus ride back to the boat. Our trip ended a bit short of Nuremberg. We were taken to Prague and our post cruise extension was absolutely wonderful. It did include a city tour or Prague which was very nice. I believe they had to have known that we would not be able to really get back on schedule. That's the real problem I have. Due to the number of locks we went through and the other River traffic we never caught up. They kept telling us we would but never did. Maybe they didn't want to have to deal with everybody complaining. These river cruises are very expensive and it's so nice to dock right in the towns you are visiting. You can get off during your free time and see more things in the town. I could have taken a land tour for a lot less money if I wanted to spend all that time on a bus. Again I realize that the weather can't be controlled. On the ship the service was excellent and the food was wonderful. Absolutely no complaints about either. The only other thing I'd like to speak about is the entertainment on these River boat cruises. There's not a lot of variety. They do have a piano player and the cruise director was a bit of a comedian. A couple of nights they did bring on some local performers that were quite good. It would be nice to do this more nights. Overall the river cruise was a bit of a disappointment but our pre trip time in Budapest and post cruise in Prague were wonderful. If you can I highly recommend doing those. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Let's start off with the good stuff. This was a bucket list vacation..taking a Viking river cruise, proud sponsor of Downton Abbey. Friends took a Rhine cruise in 2014 and raved about every minute of the experience. We booked almost a ... Read More
Let's start off with the good stuff. This was a bucket list vacation..taking a Viking river cruise, proud sponsor of Downton Abbey. Friends took a Rhine cruise in 2014 and raved about every minute of the experience. We booked almost a year in advance (unnecessary we later realized) directly through Viking. Every call I placed before the cruise was answered by a friendly and knowledgeable agent. The suggestion to start in Budapest 2 days early was wonderful as we found the beautiful accommodations in the hillside Buda neighborhood to be superior and we had a wonderful time exploring this fascinating city on our own. Viking reps in the Hilton lobby were readily available to answer questions and arrange for whatever reservations you wished. We embarked in Budapest with Nuremberg as the destination on the romantic Danube cruise. Our accommodations were beyond our comfort expectations. Our fellow travelers were mostly American by chance and quite friendly. The service staff, Captain, and Program Director couldn't have been more pleasant, professional, or accommodating. Kudos to Viking on their training and expectations of their staff. The food was excellent with options for every taste. Liked that dining could be more formal in the dining room or cafe buffet casual for every meal. Land tour guides were above average. Evening activity o.k. After a long day, it didn't matter much. What could've been better: The Viking rep we booked with should have mentioned that with rain in the spring, the Danube can rise significantly, enough to keep the longboats from passing under some bridges. As luck would have it, ours was a rainy week. Only three days with upper deck open, docked not at the cities on the schedule, but unconventional ports in small villages semi-nearby our tour locations. This required much longer bus rides and less time for free exploration or relaxation onboard. While this changed the nature of our experience, the crew was unflappable and the guests rose to the occasion with good humor for the most part. Along with the weather, tethering identical Viking longboats together at the major ports made using a private veranda virtually useless. Bottom line: It wasn't exactly what we envisioned, but we had a great time, learned a lot about new/old cities, and met many wonderful folk--fellow travelers and the superlative crew of the Atla. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our first river cruise and it was an excellent experience. We went from Amsterdam to Budapest. It is called the Grand European Tour. The Viking Atla is a very new boat and is streamlined and modern in its design. I think what set ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and it was an excellent experience. We went from Amsterdam to Budapest. It is called the Grand European Tour. The Viking Atla is a very new boat and is streamlined and modern in its design. I think what set this tour apart from say an Ocean tour was the fact that so much of the included excursions were cultural and intellectual in nature. There was always something new to learn and the quality of the tours very high. There was also lots of options regarding spending time at leisure.We did luck out with regards to the sometimes capricious nature of rivers - sometimes they are too low etc. Conditions for us were perfect. The ship ran like clockwork with all tours precisely on time and well-organized. Our program director Caspar, would brief us the night before which helped with planning. Many of the destinations small and charming. I was surprised by all the local musicians that came aboard. There was also a glass blower that was very entertaining, The quality of the meals was very high. An added touch were cookies, donuts and latte machines available throughout the day and evening. Most remarkable for us was the quality of service by the housekeeping and restaurant staff. They were courteous, friendly and amazingly efficient. We celebrated our 30th Anniversary aboard ship and staff really made it special. We came away from this tour feeling like we had been treated as special guests. We took the more expensive route of allowing Viking to arrange the air. The connections and flights were not always ideal but the seamless transfers from hotel to airport more than made up for that. One employee even offered to stand in line for me to hold my place at the VAT desk at the airport because she could see I was getting tired. Truly amazing service from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Viking Atla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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