31 Viking River Viking Atla River Cruise Reviews

This was our 3rd cruise on Viking. As with the other 2, it was amazing. I cannot say enough positive things about the accommodations, the crew, the food, the service and everything else. Since we started taking Viking cruises in 2007 we ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on Viking. As with the other 2, it was amazing. I cannot say enough positive things about the accommodations, the crew, the food, the service and everything else. Since we started taking Viking cruises in 2007 we have had no desire to go back on the big cruise ships. With Viking, you get more personalized service and really get to know your fellow passengers and the crew. We have wanted to take the Tulips & Windmills for several years, but the timing was never right. I was so thrilled that we were finally able to do it in March. The shore tours in all the ports were wonderful. Seeing the windmills in Kiinderdyke and learning their history was very special as my heritage is part Dutch and my maiden name is Miller. The tulips at the garden in Amsterdam were beyond beautiful. There are no words to describe them. They must be seen to be appreciated. We are so hooked on Viking that we have a 4th cruise booked for later this year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Our first trip to Europe was designed to be a river cruise to help us get into the heart of Europe and away from the coastal cruise ship ports. We cruised the Rhine Getaway tour with Viking, doing the trip downstream, departing from Basel ... Read More
Our first trip to Europe was designed to be a river cruise to help us get into the heart of Europe and away from the coastal cruise ship ports. We cruised the Rhine Getaway tour with Viking, doing the trip downstream, departing from Basel and terminating in Amsterdam. We booked the 3 day pre-cruise tour and spent those days in Lucerne, Switzerland which was delightful and begs to be repeated. Our suite on the boat was cozy (some would say small) and quite comfortable and due to our early booking, was right in the middle of the boat-only a few steps to be where we wanted in any direction. The Aquavit Terrace ended up being our favorite spot for all meals. We would skip supper in the main dining room and enjoy what Viking calls 'bar snacks'. These were delightful and well-prepared items on a small menu and the weather allowed us to sit and enjoy the scenery and the beautiful weather. On our last day of cruising in the Netherlands, we were blessed with a beautiful sunset, calm waters and a warm evening that, I'm sorry to say, no one else on the boat saw or cared to investigate! The tours and excursions each day were great, the food and beverage service was outstanding, the crew was very professional and we mark this as one of our best-ever vacations! Thank you Viking River Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
The Viking Atla is a new river cruise ship, and we were with the third group to sail on it - on the "Rhine Getaway" from Amsterdam to Basel. The amenities, comfort, and design of the ship were beyond what we had imagined ... Read More
The Viking Atla is a new river cruise ship, and we were with the third group to sail on it - on the "Rhine Getaway" from Amsterdam to Basel. The amenities, comfort, and design of the ship were beyond what we had imagined possible. The crew were wonderful and the service was excellent. Groups for excursions were kept relatively small, and there were many tours/ activities to choose from. They had some excellent lectures and classes on the ship, so those who did not want to explore land-based sites had things to do on the ship. The Rhine river gorge was just as beautiful as the photos we had seen - castles around every bend! We stayed in a Veranda Suite - so had a separate "living room" with a balcony, in addition to a very nice bedroom. The cruise had seemed rather expensive initially, but we found out that you get what you pay for, and were very satisfied that it was well worth it by trip's end. We would highly recommend this ship and this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We would give this cruise mixed reviews. By far, the best aspect of the week was our tour director, Marianne. She was friendly, knowledgeable, energetic and extremely helpful in all regards. Flights/connections- Our port of entry was ... Read More
We would give this cruise mixed reviews. By far, the best aspect of the week was our tour director, Marianne. She was friendly, knowledgeable, energetic and extremely helpful in all regards. Flights/connections- Our port of entry was Amsterdam. We arrived just in time for dinner so we had limited time to do a walking tour of Amsterdam...a must if you have never been there. We had Viking arrange our flights and we would have preferred to have arrived earlier so that we would have had more time to wander around the town. I realize that is difficult for them as they are busy doing the disembarkation/arrival process. Excursions- We felt that the extra excursions were overpriced for what they offered. The Alsasc wine tour provided very small tastings of about 4 wines. The cask room was interesting. Due to the time of year (November) we did not tour the actual vineyards. We were also very disappointed with the Black Forest excursion. The scenery and church that we toured were beautiful. We thought we were then going to a quaint village where they made cuckoo clocks. Instead, we were dumped at a major tourist trap on the side of the highway. A small corner of the store had a bench where a small demonstration of cuckoo clock making was described. The clocks, while beautiful, were pricy. Our biggest disappointment with the regular excursions was that they felt rushed. In particular, we were rushed in Heidelberg. Traffic was slow due to regular traffic congestion and road construction. The castle tour was interesting...not much to see, but interesting. We then had a long trip back down to the city due to the traffic congestion. Our tour guide was quiet during the bus ride. Once we got to town, we stood out in the cold weather while she gave a prolonged art history review of Heidelberg. Very interesting but could have easily be done while on the bus. When she finished, she informed us that we needed to be back to the bus in 45 minutes. None of us had eaten lunch and we were expected to eat and tour in 45 minutes time. We also had limited time in Strasbourg. After a lengthy tour of the church, we had limited time in what I felt was one of the most beautiful cities. Food- While the food was good, we felt that the food was far superior on the river cruise that we took with another company. The offerings for breakfast were exactly the same each day. I did like that they had a fish dish for supper and they were all expertly prepared. The German lunch buffet was also excellent. Room/Cabin- As the Atla is a new ship, the rooms were more than comfortable. As stated in another review, it would have been nice to have more options on the TV. As we were cruising in mid-November, it was too chilly to be on the top deck and we probably spent more time in our cabin and would have liked more options. Follow up- We completed the evaluation on board at the end of the week. One of the boxes I checked was that I would like a Viking representative to contact me. Well, that was 2 months ago and I have not been contacted. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
NOTE: Our cruise started in Basel, Switzerland and TERMINATED in Amsterdam, Netherlands My wife and I booked this cruise, our fourth river boat cruise and first with Viking, pursuant to an offer we could not refuse. Overall, we were NOT ... Read More
NOTE: Our cruise started in Basel, Switzerland and TERMINATED in Amsterdam, Netherlands My wife and I booked this cruise, our fourth river boat cruise and first with Viking, pursuant to an offer we could not refuse. Overall, we were NOT disappointed. Since this was our fourth river boat cruise, I have a considerable basis for comparison. Based on previous experience with two other river cruise companies, I can highly recommend Viking. A river boat cruise is vastly different from an ocean cruise. River boats transport approximately 200 passengers. Ocean cruise ships now transport as many as 5 or 6,000 passengers. The entire experience is very different. River boat cruising is intimate and personal. Ocean cruising is impersonal and being part of a herd. River boats allow you to get to meet and know many or even most of your fellow passengers. This is simply not possible on most of today's monster ocean cruise ships. On the other hand, the monster cruise ships offer Broadway style entertainment of varying quality and casinos. River boats do not. The Ship and Accommodations The Viking Atla is a fairly new ship. I believe it was around 6 months old when we boarded her on December 20. The ship is clean, beautiful, and nicely laid out. It even provides an elevator for those of use who have difficulty with the stairs. The dining and "lounge" (where briefings and entertainment were provided) areas were spacious and comfortable. The upper deck offers two small putting greens and, unfortunately*, a jogging track. The staterooms were very spacious especially compared with some ships of competing river cruise companies. The bathroom was well designed with a shower large enough to allow movement. If you have ever been on an older river boat, you know what I mean! Our stateroom was equipped with a modern, LARGE, flat screen TV (see comments under entertainment). The bed was comfortable, but the pillows were MUSHY and no firm ones were available. We did have ONE significant problem with our stateroom and understand that other passengers experienced a similar issue. There was something wrong with the stateroom thermostat from the beginning of the cruise all the way through. Regardless of the temperature programmed on the device, the temperature in the room consistently dropped to 64-65 degrees F (about 18 degrees C). This is too cold for comfort; especially when you just come out of the shower. We reported this problem and the staff, both hotel and ship crew, did try to remedy the problem. The ship's engineer investigated the problem twice and reported that the thermostat's programmable ship was likely defective. He did not have a replacement onboard but he said that the issue would be addressed either in Amsterdam or when the ship was docked for the Winter. * "Unfortunately because some drunk was jogging at Midnight, directly over our heads! The Crew and Service Everyone aboard the Viking Atla were very dedicated to true customer service, although we found our cruise director to be a bit abrupt. We understand that he was not originally scheduled for this cruise. Perhaps he wanted to be with his family Christmas week and was not a happy camper. Perhaps. The crew is divided into sailing staff and hotel personnel. The Captain was VERY personable and approachable, as were all of his officers and sailors. The hotel staff, headed by Michael Schmidt, were wonderful. They were friendly and helpful, or at least tried to be helpful, regardless of the situation or time of day. The dining room staff were terrific. As a gluten free passenger, I can testify to the care and special attention given to my dietary needs. I do need to point out one individual for special mention because she seemed to be everywhere whenever we needed ANYTHING. Her name is Agnes. Technically, I believe she was assigned to bar duties, but I truly found her trying to help us wherever we were and whatever we needed! Dining One of the reasons you go on vacation is to avoid cooking for a while. Ocean cruises are (in)famous for feeding you 24/7. River boat cruises are different in this respect, too. The Atla offered two styles of dining; informal upstairs and formal in the dining room (not formal in the clothing sense). Breakfast aboard the Atla was excellent. The omelet chef was a whiz and made the omelets with very little oil. Breakfast choices were quite varied, but there was no gluten free cereal for me. Something I hope that Viking will change in the future as more and more people discover their sensitivity to gluten. Lunches were good, but not spectacular. My wife and I were spoiled by the creativity, especially in making soups, by another river boat company. Again, the crew attended to my special dietary needs (there were at least two other gluten free passengers onboard) with gluten free bread and pasta, as well as gluten free beer. Dinners were excellent, although somewhat lacking in creativity and imagination. In their defense, when you cook for large groups, you cannot make foods with sharp, spicy, or highly unusual spice palates. I eat a lot of fish and was pleased that the Atla offered a different specialty fish every evening including halibut, in addition to the salmon filet that was always available (and which they made in accordance with my lemon and caper request). Sadly, the fish was very overdone one evening. Thin filets cook very quickly and are easily overdone. One evening, lobster and filet steak were offered. River boat cruises offer all you can drink house wine or beer during meals. Ironically, if you order either outside of meal times, you are charged for the beverages. Entertainment This is the one area of this cruise that was disappointing, especially when compared with the other two river boat companies we have tried. In fact, one of the reasons we chose Viking for this cruise was our observation of a cooking demonstration on another Viking ship that we were alongside of on a different river boat company's ship! Most evenings had no entertainment other than the mediocre onboard musician. Local musicians were brought onboard at one port. They provided an excellent piano plus violin program, but I really do not recall much else other than a sort-of German language lesson from the cruise director. Other boats that we have been on offered local beer and wine explanations and tastings, history discussions, several local musicians at different ports of call. As noted earlier, we witnessed a cooking demonstration on another Viking cruise along side of us! Most cruises, ocean and river, offer a crew show that is usually extremely entertaining. The closest that the Atla came to this was a brief "joke" about mixing a drink. In the stateroom, there was a very large, modern, flat screen TV. BUT, the viewing choices were severely limited and NO programming schedules were available. Other companies provide American sitcoms and programming schedules. Viking sponsors the "Downton Abbey" series to which my wife and I are now addicted. Even the availability of this show was limited to only 6 or 7 episodes of the third season but omitted the season finale. I realize that you do not spend a lot of time in your stateroom, but why provide a nice TV if you are not going to offer something decent to watch? Ports of Call I can honestly say that I enjoyed all ports of call on this cruise. The Rhine, of course, was a major highway throughout the history of the area. The only disappointment was Cologne Germany because we were there on Christmas day and everything was closed! We were disappointed that neither the cruise nor the before trip extension included even a walking tour of Basel Switzerland, the port of embarkation. But the precruise stay in Lucerne Switzerland was wonderful. At the terminus of the cruise, Amsterdam Netherlands is NOT to be missed! Note on Transfers My wife and I took advantage of the precruise offer of an extra two nights in Lucerne Switzerland. Since we booked our hotel stay at the WONDERFUL Radisson Blu in Lucerne with Viking, Viking handled our transfers and transportation to Basel, the actual port of embarkation for the cruise. As note above, we were disappointed that no time was allotted for even a walking or driving tour of Basel. What was worse was the timing of departure from Lucerne that placed the bus in the WORST of the Friday rush hour. The last thing you want to do when on vacation is to sit in rush hour traffic! Had the bus left 2 hours earlier (around 2PM, comfortably after lunch, instead of 4PM), we could have at least had a driving tour through Basel instead of sitting in heavy traffic.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
After spending two nights in Amsterdam, as a Viking add-on, we cruised the Rhine to Basel. The Atla has just been launched earlier that year. It as a bright, spacious, friendly ship. The small size, compared to ships that carry thousands, ... Read More
After spending two nights in Amsterdam, as a Viking add-on, we cruised the Rhine to Basel. The Atla has just been launched earlier that year. It as a bright, spacious, friendly ship. The small size, compared to ships that carry thousands, was a big plus. Cabin, with a veranda, was spacious and well appointed with plenty of closet and drawer space. Toiletries and service were first rate. Weather cooperated - mid 40's in December, so veranda came in handy on sunny cruising days. Food was varied and tasty. Wine and beer flowed copiously during dinner and lunch. Dining room service was at times a bit slow, as the staff was limited in size. Cruise Director was very knowledgeable, as was the entire staff. Included excursions were interesting and informative. The Holiday markets were quite fun with some incredible lighting displays. Lots of cobblestone walking, so bring real comfy shoes/boots. Water bottles and umbrellas (when needed) handed out when disembarking on tours. Viking transfers from Airport to hotel where flawless. Staff stayed with us at Basel airport until we were all checked in. Highly recommend Viking !! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
It is apparent that Viking Cruises are meant for an average age of about 65. As 46 and 48 year olds, we found it disappointing that there were not many passengers around our age. We lost power overnight, for 12 hours and the Viking ... Read More
It is apparent that Viking Cruises are meant for an average age of about 65. As 46 and 48 year olds, we found it disappointing that there were not many passengers around our age. We lost power overnight, for 12 hours and the Viking corporate office offered us a voucher for money off a future cruise. We informed them we do not intend to take another cruise like this for perhaps 15 years, and would prefer to have our bill reduced from the cruise we just took, or to be reimbursed a few hundred dollars. This is common practice at hotels when we are inconvenienced the way we were on the Atla. We had no running water, so no showers, no flushing toilets. In addition, the emergency lighting in all cabins was on all night long. Viking corporate refused our request and once again offered only a voucher for future cruise that we don't intend to take. If you are looking for an experience like the commercials show, with lovely scenery passing by, do NOT take the Amsterdam/Antwerp/Amsterdam cruise. You will either be cruising at night, or be docked with a ship parked next to you every single day. We had sailing scenery only twice out of a 9 day trip. Totally not worth paying for the balcony we thought we'd enjoy. Wifi speed is non-existent, ironically one of the modern windmills in the middle of nowhere was having 4G installed on one of the days we visited. It takes forever to connect, and is sketchy at best. Food was fine, nothing to write home about. The crew was the best part, friendly and always doing their best. Keep in mind the ships are small. No gym and very limited opportunity for exercise. Walking tours were interesting, but we would have liked more time in many of the places. However, due to the general age of the passengers, the tours are no longer than 2 hours. These cruises are definitely targeted toward 60 and up, although some of the more active people at those ages were also unhappy about the pace. Most disappointing was Viking's unwillingness to compensate us for what was an extremely un-vacation-like night during an extremely expensive vacation. Cannot recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We had a long flight to Amsterdam, we were met in the airport by a clearly marked tour guide, which was a greatly appreciated help with customs and baggage. The transport to the ship was on a clean, climate controlled bus right to the ... Read More
We had a long flight to Amsterdam, we were met in the airport by a clearly marked tour guide, which was a greatly appreciated help with customs and baggage. The transport to the ship was on a clean, climate controlled bus right to the pier. The people of the ship greeted us warmly and immediately it was clear this was a well planned, well trained crew, that were doing everything they could to make our cruise a great one. We were shown to our cabin that was spotless and very well appointed, with a balcony, a cafe table and two chairs that we came to love sitting in to watch the beautiful sunsets as well as the cities along the river. The dining was great with a varied selection of entrees and wine served with the meal, included with the cruise price. The housekeeping staff was very professional and never interfered with our privacy. The tours in the various cities and towns from the ship were planned and even rated as to the amount of stamina required to complete. One highlight of the trip was an exclusive visit to a local family in their home which allowed us to learn a great deal about the lifestyle and life in their own words. It was a delight to have this opportunity that was completely out of the ordinary for a cruise. The cruise could not have been any better planned or carried out. The places visited were interesting, the food was superb, the crew, polite, knowledgable , and dedicated to making every aspect of our cruise memorable, and they exceeded all expectations. The entertainment on board was great and again allowed us to get to know a little more about the local culture. Overall, this was the best cruise we hav been on, hands down! Thank you Viking, we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Introduction:  Tulips and Windmills was our third Viking cruise (Cities of Light, Viking Sky, 2012 and Romantic Danube, MS Vienna, 2013). We booked about a month before the cruise on a Viking “free air” deal. Viking Atla The Atla is ... Read More
Introduction:  Tulips and Windmills was our third Viking cruise (Cities of Light, Viking Sky, 2012 and Romantic Danube, MS Vienna, 2013). We booked about a month before the cruise on a Viking “free air” deal. Viking Atla The Atla is a Viking longship, and differs little from the other longships. It is built to maximize passengers on board and their comfort. The design is modern and generally pleasing. It has no exercise rooms, salons, hot tubs, etc. As others have noted, the lounge does not have seating for everyone, so at many of the events, folding chairs were brought in to provide room for everyone. There were only two daytime sailing times. One of these was too cold for people to sit on the Sun Deck, but the other day people did use the top deck and a few played shuffleboard. Dining We’re not foodies, but we do appreciate good food, and we were not disappointed. Portions were reasonable. The food was always well prepared and presented with plenty of options. If you didn’t like the featured entrees, there was always chicken, steak, or salmon. Breakfast was good, but there wasn’t a lot of variation. There were several menu items from the kitchen as well as a nice buffet. I usually had an omelet prepared in the buffet line. As always, the servers were efficient and very friendly and outgoing. One of the waiters began calling me by name after a few days although I had only eaten in his area of the dining room a few times. Viking waiters now take orders on small iPod-like devices (I assume that they’re transmitted immediately to the kitchen). The system seemed to work well. Staff The Atla staff were welcoming, cordial and efficient. The cruise director, Caspar, was a good communicator and facilitator. Cabin, bar, and dining room staff were very friendly and capable. One waiter (Milo) began greeting me by name after a few days. Internet Lots of cruisers had tablets on the cruise. Being the nerd I am, our room contained a laptop, two iPads, and two Kindles, as well as our two iPhones. Internet access was a mixed bag. There were times when the system appeared to be overwhelmed, and was very unresponsive. There were other problems as well. The native email app on our iPads were never able to get mail (Yahoo and Gmail accounts). After loading the specific Yahoo mail and Gmail accounts, I was able to get to my email. There were other problems as well. I tried all week to sign onto my Amazon.com account to download additional e-books to my iPad or Kindle, and none of my devices was ever able to connect to the account. The Amazon home page loaded up OK, but when I clicked on “My Account,” the browsers always timed out. Travel & Transfers Since we booked with free air, we had no input on travel, but the flights were well planned. We flew Nashville to Atlanta to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Detroit to Nashville. We were met by a Viking rep as soon as we walked out of baggage claim. We sat with other Viking cruisers for about 30 minutes until all the expected travelers were there. Transfer to the ship was seamless, and we had a snack in the lounge before going to our room. On disembarkation day we left the Atla at 9:15 for our 1:10 p.m. flight. Again we were met by Viking reps who made sure that we got checked in and pointed toward our gates. Just a note to those who don’t have Global Entry. It’s great! It also qualifies you for TSA Pre-Check. It costs $100, but it’s good for five years. We skipped the lines at US passport control and walked up to the kiosks, inserted our passports, placed our hands on a scanner for fingerprint scans, answered 5 yes/no questions for customs, and we were done. On domestic flights TSA Pre-Check means keeping your shoes on, leaving the laptop in your bag, etc. and especially very short lines. Itinerary The itinerary is described on the Viking web site. It was well planned and executed. If you want to see the beautiful vistas you see on the Viking commercials, this is NOT your tour. The Netherlands is a FLAT country. Accordingly, most of the sailing is done at night. My main complaint was omission of the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. The OAM is the 6th most visited attraction in the Netherlands, but Viking only offers tours when they’re in Arnhem on Monday and their other tour option is close. We visited on our own and loved it. If you want to do museums or the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, plan well and buy tickets on line to avoid hour-long lines. Highlights for us were Brugge and Keukenhof gardens where the tulips were in full bloom. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
While it took me 47 years to get my husband to go on a cruise,we have taken 3 in the last 2 years--the first to Alaska for 7 days, this past spring break on a Disney Cruise for 4 days with our children and grandchildren, and then the 15 ... Read More
While it took me 47 years to get my husband to go on a cruise,we have taken 3 in the last 2 years--the first to Alaska for 7 days, this past spring break on a Disney Cruise for 4 days with our children and grandchildren, and then the 15 day European River cruise. All 3 of the cruises were totally different, but the River Cruise was quite spectacular. We traveled with my husband's 2 sisters and one of his brothers and their spouses. While we weren't together all of the time, we had enough quality time with each couple to classify it as a family reunion. Since the size of the boat was much smaller than your typical cruise ship, we were able to meet some wonderful people on the cruise as well. I can't say enough about the staff. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. Nothing we asked for was denied. When I couldn't get the available laptops to work for me, they gave me a laptop to keep in my room. This made me feel so much more in touch with my family and friends at home. The waiters were wonderful--Milo made sure that my wine glass was never empty. The housekeeping staff was thorough and quick. They got in and got out before you knew it. Since we had never been to Europe, this was a fantastic way to see lots of countries and never have to repack and unpack until the cruise was completed. The guides were all knowledgeable and friendly, and most spoke very good English. They enabled us to learn while having a grand time. All in all, the trip was wonderful, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. In fact, we hope to take a Viking river cruise to France in 2 years for my 70th birthday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was our first river cruise. We extended our stay 2 nights in Amsterdam at the beginning to acclimate to the time change before the cruise started and we extended our stay 3 nights in Prague following the cruise. Would highly recommend ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We extended our stay 2 nights in Amsterdam at the beginning to acclimate to the time change before the cruise started and we extended our stay 3 nights in Prague following the cruise. Would highly recommend doing both of those things. We had varied weather so would suggest that you pack for layering. Viking did not disappoint; they were there for us every step of our trip. Our tour guides in every port were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. They offered a surprise tour with the chef in Vienna that was so much fun. Sailing into Budapest after dinner was magical. The Nuremberg World War II side tour was overwhelming; would highly suggest doing that. We also did the evening concert in Vienna and would also recommend that, too. Our room on the third floor was small but there was room for everything and we did not feel crowded. This truly was the trip of a lifetime and we are so glad we opted for the long cruise with extra days before and after. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We had been planning this cruise for years...to be specific our neighbors and Don and I would sit around the pool (after 5p) with drinks and discuss how nice it would be to take a river cruise. Each time we received our Viking book the ... Read More
We had been planning this cruise for years...to be specific our neighbors and Don and I would sit around the pool (after 5p) with drinks and discuss how nice it would be to take a river cruise. Each time we received our Viking book the discussion would be renewed with vigor. Finally we decided 2014 was the year we would REALLY take the trip. So in Winter of 2012 we called Viking and got the ball rolling and by May 2013 we were reserved and on the way to having it paid for. For us gals the anticipation was overwhelming. We finally boarded our plane to Europe on May 12th 2014 and began our adventure! WE WERE NOT disappointed. Every facet of our trip was planned by Viking and we were impressed and pleased every step of the way. The ship was clean and cozy. The staff was friendly and helpful. Every day was an adventure and a learning experience. I cannot say enough about how organized our day was with absolutely no inconvenience to us. We were informed about things to do and different options available to us. Everything from taking extra tours to just sitting aboard the ship with a good book (if that is what blows your skirt up). The food was out of this world with choices to satisfy every pallet...and the free wine with lunch and diner...who can argue with that? We had local artisans come aboard ship to entertain us or share with us their talents (such as glass blowing). Our Program Director would give us lectures on the history of the lock system or the castles on the river bank. There was so much to see it is not possible to write it all down! We were very happy with our cruise experience and recommend to everyone to give it a try. Lois Hobby-Clayton Extremely Happy Viking Client   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We departed Amsterdam on June 10 for a Rhine, Main, Danube river cruise. It started off well, but when we reached Regensburg (day 9) we were told the river was low and we would not be able to leave Regensburg. On day 10, we took a bus to ... Read More
We departed Amsterdam on June 10 for a Rhine, Main, Danube river cruise. It started off well, but when we reached Regensburg (day 9) we were told the river was low and we would not be able to leave Regensburg. On day 10, we took a bus to Passau (1.5 hours). While there, it was a religious holiday, so many shops were closed, and we were not allowed to hear the organ concert. (Also, we had to take an "optional" excursion previously because the town we docked in did not have any stores open on Sunday-the optional town had open stores-as long as you paid for the bus trip to get there). Anyway, back to our now "bus" tour...we took the bus back to Regensburg, and then found out we would have to take a bus to Vienna (5 hours away). This meant we could only do a short stop in Melk, and we could no longer go to Durnstein. In Vienna, we have had to take numerous bus trips-from our hotel to a far away restaurant for dinner; from downtown to a far away restaurant for lunch, back to the hotel-with no option to go directly back downtown, etc. There has been delayed communication about what is happening next, and the only way we can get the information is if we go to the large group meals in restaurants. This does not give us the opportunity to bypass the long, time wasteful bus rides. Today, we are going to Bratislava, but again, only for a short time. There is not enough time to go to the optional excursion to someone's home, as advertised. The bus rides are long and cramped. The restaurants have been extremely slow, and only some have been good. All in all, this is not what we paid for. Apparently there were similar problems last year-with floods rather than low rivers, but you would think Viking would have figured out how to deal with less than optimal river conditions better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We had a 3 day "bus cruise" to start as the ship could not get to Budapest due to water levels. The cruise director and concierge were very good though at organising and keeping everyone abreast of the changes. Unfortunately, ... Read More
We had a 3 day "bus cruise" to start as the ship could not get to Budapest due to water levels. The cruise director and concierge were very good though at organising and keeping everyone abreast of the changes. Unfortunately, once we did board, the top deck was only open for 1 evening before being closed for most of the cruise due to bridge heights. We were not aware of this and may have chosen a different cruise if we were aware of the issues with water levels and bridge heights. Viking would not honour a $100 room credit we were supposed to receive, either for us or another couple travelling with us, even though they were given the paperwork showing we were to receive the credit. Overall the service and food were good. Apparently Australian/New Zealand/UK cruisers are offered an all inclusive package including gratuities which is not offered to US cruisers. Many of the other cruisers thought the recommended gratuity amounts were excessive. For instance, at the recommended gratuity level, the cruise director would be earning $15,000/month in gratuities alone! An advantage to the river cruises is no seasickness for those who have an issue with this and only 200 passengers per ship instead of thousands.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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
Being as this was a very special occasion for us we chose to do this River Cruise to mark it and were not disappointed. It was however for us, quite an expensive holiday that we couldn't make a habit of doing. We had seen the ... Read More
Being as this was a very special occasion for us we chose to do this River Cruise to mark it and were not disappointed. It was however for us, quite an expensive holiday that we couldn't make a habit of doing. We had seen the advertisements on PBS showing Viking cruises and they of course look ideal with blue rivers and few people (which isn't the case and you'd be naïve to think it was!) The Danube is not blue - no matter what the music implies, and Europe's is busy, particularly in the summer time and not only was the boat full (which is expected) there were lots of people taking other Viking river cruises and of course other lines too, all off on tours of one sort or another so the streets were pretty full plus regular tourists of course. The other realization for us was how your trip could be severely impacted by high water, low water and broken locks, none of which affected our trip but did others just before us and after us. That being said Viking does a phenomenal job of reorganizing when need be and the logistics of it all is mind boggling. We were supposed to arrive in one town around 1pm in the afternoon. The top deck had been flattened as the boat would not be able to fit under the bridges otherwise (this was for 5 or 6 days of the trip and standard I believe) so our tour director was aware that people were getting a little stir crazy with only the lounge and a small outside area to go to and arranged for buses to pick us up around 11am and return with us a little further down the river just over an hour later so we could get into the town for an additional amount of time. Very much appreciated - Bamburg I believe. The other thing I would say is all the information on the trip made my brain feel as if it may explode - you think you know a lot when you're in your 60's and discover there is a whole lot you don't know! The tour director, Giles, was great and knew how to handle a variety of personalities with the different situations that may arise. Another instance was when we arrived in Melk to walk up to the abbey, it started to rain really heavily on the way back. Thunder and lightening and totally unexpected. We were already on our way back to the boat but others were left at the top waiting for buses. The buses being used that day weren't part of Viking and I understand that those drivers weren't very professional in conducting business but the staff from Viking were waiting when the bus arrived to return to the ship with large umbrellas - many of these staff were on their breaks and called in to do this. Some people were upset with all this so there was champagne offered to appease. As I say, this didn't affect us but I thought Viking did the best they could. I really enjoyed the excursion in Nuremberg World War 2 historical tour but the museum really needed a lot more time that we had. Another tour we quite like was the transit tour offered in Vienna. Only 6 of us did this but I quite enjoyed being like a resident on the transit rather than a tourist on a tour bus. In the evening we did the Optional Concert - the concert itself was wonderful but the down side was they packed far too many people into the performance room on very narrow chairs so that you couldn't help but be touching the person next to you all the way down your arm and leg. Add to that the exceptional heat and you can imagine just how uncomfortable it was and took away from the enjoyment of the music. The food was good - maybe not as good as a cruise ship but then there are fewer people to cater to. We drank more than we usually would as beer and wine was including with lunch and dinner. They had different wines all the time - I'm no connoisseur but I thought the ones I had were good. All the staff were good - really liked our cabin stewardess. She appreciated the fact that we always let her know that our room was ready to be made up by putting the sign out and she would do it promptly. I gathered that other cabins didn't always let her know and would then be upset when she knocked on the door to see if they were in there. If they put out the sign they wouldn't have a problem. The land tours were broken into groups of about 30-40 with personal headphones that you recharged in your room each time you returned. Quite an efficient system and nearly all the guides were very good. We had chosen to start our trip in Budapest and added the Prague extension. This was pretty expensive - not sure I would recommend it but it did work for us. We were picked up at Prague Airport and taken to the Hilton Prague which is a beautiful hotel but a bit far from the town. It didn't bother us as after we did the included bus tour, we got the transit 24 hour pass and were able to get around that way but that might not work for everyone - the would have have to get a taxi. Then Viking took you from Prague to Budapest by bus - left around 7.50am and arrived around 3pm with a couple of gas station stops. We had a guide on the bus that shared quite a bit of information at various points. I read some people didn't like the long bus trip but quite honestly it wasn't that bad for us. We were surprised at the little security on the boat - we discovered that you always take a pass to get off the boat then hand it back when you get back on but I'm not sure this was altogether clear to everyone the first day or two. I know a couple that got off in Budapest and didn't take their card - if the boat was due to leave, no-one would have known they weren't on board. After a couple of days everyone knew the procedure but I think it probably needed to be presented a bit better. Then of course if you don't pay attention, when you get off your boat that is dockside when you leave, when you get back on it may well be the 2nd or 3rd boat out. In the early days it can be confusing. You get to know the staff fairly quickly and they get to know you to so it does resolve itself. Traveling along the river and being so close to towns was really great. For the most part you can get off and walk into town - even in Cologne were we drew the short straw and were docked a bit further out than most boats but my husband and I are good walkers so didn't find it any trouble. We ended our cruise in Amsterdam and were transferred to the Moevenpick hotel as part of the package. The check in at the hotel was less than satisfactory as they only had a couple of staff dealing with check-ins and check-outs. Being as it was 8 or 9 in the morning, they had a lot of people checking out and we stood for a long time. Also it was a bit awkward getting into town from here. The cost of the hotel was a lot more than we thought it was worth and wouldn't choose to stay here again. Overall a great memorable holiday and perhaps if we come into a bit of unexpected funds, we could do another one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The weeks before the trip we worried about the news regarding low water levels between Passau and Regensburg and kept up to date on Viking's status page about conditions and how they were addressing it. Hoping that they wouldn't ... Read More
The weeks before the trip we worried about the news regarding low water levels between Passau and Regensburg and kept up to date on Viking's status page about conditions and how they were addressing it. Hoping that they wouldn't need to, we were impressed by the way they were dealing with Mother Nature (running two boats on a northern and southern loop). Fortunately, within a week of our departure all was in good shape.From the moment we arrived in Budapest, I felt we were in good hands. From beginning to end I was impressed and are looking forward to another trip with Viking. Regarding the particulars - our stateroom was quite comfortable (a veranda suite, 1 cabin away from the library in the center of the ship) altho we found the closet space a little challenging to deal with (wasted space too). All our meals were tip-top. The whole experience -- no doubt because there were fewer than 190 passengers -- made me feel like I was in a home away from home. A few years ago we did an Alaskan cruise-tour and even tho we enjoyed it -- the ambiance on a ship with 1800 passengers is really quite different from one with less than 190. Less is clearly better. The crew was fantastic - GIles the Program Director, Luccia - the concierge, Paolo - the Hotel Manager -- to name a few. Over 15 days, we got to know them quite well. Between the daily excursions, evening entertainments, and other events held in the lounge we felt as tho we got our money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Cruise was very well organized, with daily stops, and tours. Most tours were part of the trip, with a few extras for special stops during the trip. Food and service were excellent, and the staff was just terrific. Any reasonable request ... Read More
Cruise was very well organized, with daily stops, and tours. Most tours were part of the trip, with a few extras for special stops during the trip. Food and service were excellent, and the staff was just terrific. Any reasonable request was fulfilled. The new Viking long ships were delightful, with excellent accommodations, even though our state room was just below the water line. Cruising along the Danube, Main and Rhine was just delightful. When the weather allowed or that is was safe to be on the upper deck, it was just relaxing to view the wonderful sights along the river. The beauty of this cruise is you could be as busy or relaxed as you wanted. It all depended on your ability to keep up with the scheduled activities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
While I had heard great things about the Viking River Cruise experience, I was not prepared for the level of service that we, a friend and I, experienced on board the Atla. From our greeting at the airport in Amsterdam (we opted for ... Read More
While I had heard great things about the Viking River Cruise experience, I was not prepared for the level of service that we, a friend and I, experienced on board the Atla. From our greeting at the airport in Amsterdam (we opted for airfare and transfers with the company), to the ship's staff, everyone was warm and gracious. The stand out on our cruise was our Program Director whose background well-prepared him for his job. Well versed in the history of Europe's art, music, food ways and culture, he was also on top of current issues and events in the countries, cities and villages that we visited. The local guides were always good. I was especially impressed with the quality of the guides in Germany, drawn from the "Geschichte fur Alles" (History for Everyone) Program. Mostly young men and women who were graduate students in their nation's past. Impressive! The optional excursions were worth the extra charge. I highly recommend the Mozart and Strauss Concert at the Residenz Palace in Vienna! Our midnight arrival in Budapest, however, was the highlight of the trip. Our ship was delayed at locks along the Danube, so we approached the city with all of its lights ablaze. The sight was breathtaking. Something I will never forget. I cannot say I have ever had a better cruise experience. I will certainly be sailing with Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My main issue with this cruise was that I had called prior to the cruise and specifically asked about the issue regarding water levels in the Danube. I was told that there was no problem with our trip at that time AND that, if there were, ... Read More
My main issue with this cruise was that I had called prior to the cruise and specifically asked about the issue regarding water levels in the Danube. I was told that there was no problem with our trip at that time AND that, if there were, we would be notified prior to leaving. This DID NOT HAPPEN. After we boarded the ship, we were told that there MIGHT be an issue on day 3. Well, come to find out that the issue had been happening all summer and, with no rain in the forecast, would continue to happen throughout. I started writing emails ( the wi fi was slower than dial up on the ship) on day 3 of the cruise. None of my emails were answered. I had to wait until I got home to call customer service. The person did apologize and offered me minimal compensation toward a future cruise. I will NEVER cruise with VIKING again unless I go free. This is analogous to the VOLKSWAGON issue to me. I was intentionally mislead and spend half of my vacation on buses. A river cruise with no river is not a river cruise at all. The correct course of action for VIKING, in my opinion, would have been to notify guests in advance via email that there were drought conditions in Europe and that there was a possibility that the trip might be altered. That way, people could have made an informed choice rather than being left feeling tricked. The ship was lovely although the staterooms and bathrooms were microscopic. AND expensive... This was supposed to be 5 star. I travel frequently and this trip was a major dissappointment. The shore excursions were variable. One excursion was included each day and when 180 people from our Viking ship along with another 400 from sister ships descended on a small medieval town it was a cross between a grade school field trip and attack of the geriatric body snatchers. Food was uniformly excellent. Staff worked very very hard but it was difficult to overcome the issues generated by the company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The cruise was better than I expected. I will say that due to the water levels of the Danube we had to change ships half way thru. The entire cruise crew handled it well. The only trouble I experienced was having to pack up again. But ... Read More
The cruise was better than I expected. I will say that due to the water levels of the Danube we had to change ships half way thru. The entire cruise crew handled it well. The only trouble I experienced was having to pack up again. But again, that is a minimal expense. It was also nice because we got to go to Munich instead of Passau. The tour director was up front, approachable, funny, nice, and enjoyable. His name was Terry and I thought he did a fabulous job on getting everyone organized, informed and entertained while on our cruise. The food during the cruise was decadent... diet? who is on a diet during vacation? We ended up sitting with the same people the entire duration of the cruise and it was nice to have that familiarity. I also liked that they had blankets out on the decks for people to bundle up to watch the scenery. I loved the night tour in Budapest as well. Everything was just incredible! The room we had was small, but it didn't really matter as we weren't in the room very often. I was bummed about the change in the performance in Vienna, but still enjoyed the orchestra performance. I wish there could have been more Music/Mozart optional tour for Vienna... so much history in that city. Really enjoyed everything. Great bonding time with my mom. We are already booked and set to go on another Viking Cruise (in August to an ocean liner). I will say that my mom did have issues on her flights back. Her flight was cancelled and she wished that somehow Viking could have made her aware and helped so she wouldn't have gotten stuck.... she ended up experiencing a 24+ hour travel day. YUCK! Thanks for everything! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Recommendation from friends made us choose this cruise on Viking. The cruise was wonderful. Weather cold but the experience was warm and welcoming. The Christmas Markets and the holiday festivities were enchanting. The accomadations on ... Read More
Recommendation from friends made us choose this cruise on Viking. The cruise was wonderful. Weather cold but the experience was warm and welcoming. The Christmas Markets and the holiday festivities were enchanting. The accomadations on the boat were more than adequate, the staff wonderful, food delicious and ship activities and excursions wonderful. We extended our trip on both ends and Viking was accommodating making trip wonderful. Transport from airport to ship was easy. The ports of call were awesome and each one seemed to be better than the last. The staff presentations and entertainment was excellent. We really enjoyed the information given on each city visited and the local culture. Cruise is a great way to get a taste of each place visited, but not enough time to do in depth touring. Food was outstanding and staff very attentive and helpful. No request or need went unmet. There were many choices, all delicious. We loved the smaller size of the ship and getting to know crew and other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was a great experience on The Viking Alta. Great crew and wonderful accommodations with many interesting visits along the Danube River. This is for sure to "old world Europe" do in part to the influence of communist ... Read More
This was a great experience on The Viking Alta. Great crew and wonderful accommodations with many interesting visits along the Danube River. This is for sure to "old world Europe" do in part to the influence of communist occupation but all the strength go the people. We meet so many wonderful people along the way from the various tour guides, to the village people we meet along the way to all the passenger and crew we meet during our trip. The Alta was a beautiful and comfortable ship and our suite was very tastefully presented, and quite spacious. The entertainment was just right and the crew did a wonderful job keeping us busy. The ports were vey interesting and the tours were outstanding and very educational. The on board dining experience was very good and there was always a good selection at each meal. We would highly recommend Viking and the Eastern European Cruise to all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had wanted to try a European river cruise. We had lived in Europe for 3 years during the Cold War so we chose Eastern Europe to see 5 countries and 3 major cities where then behind the Iron Curtain. Highlights: Planning was easy ... Read More
We had wanted to try a European river cruise. We had lived in Europe for 3 years during the Cold War so we chose Eastern Europe to see 5 countries and 3 major cities where then behind the Iron Curtain. Highlights: Planning was easy Making travel plans allowed for routing and upgrade options We received all the information we needed to plan & back Reception and return support was individual or small groups for individual flights Viking obviously selects only the best personnel, trains them to high standards and compensates them well enough to retain them and sustains exceptional service. While they anticipate every need, if you have to ask for anything, the answer is "yes sir, of course, right away, how many would you like, was that satisfactory, is there anything else and so on. But they are not overly solicitous. I felt like the crew were friends, easy to talk with and interested in our impressions and questions. Selection of tours allowed us to see and learn so much more than being on our own and yet there was time on our own to wonder around or take short side trips. Facilities, food, and service inconstant exceptional. we have planned the next trip and evaluating the options for the one after that. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Prague for three days prior to our journey was amazing. The viking staff took care of all of our needs as far as embarkation and disembarkation. Our hotel in Prague was wonderful with Viking staff members to help in every way! The lovely ... Read More
Prague for three days prior to our journey was amazing. The viking staff took care of all of our needs as far as embarkation and disembarkation. Our hotel in Prague was wonderful with Viking staff members to help in every way! The lovely buses that transported us on our different port journeys were very comfortable. The ship was beautiful and very!!!!! spotlessly cleaned. The dining and serve in each area of the ship was the best that we had ever experienced. The dining and bar staff so attentive. The shore excursions were logistically professional in every way. We traveled with two other couples and were constantly entertained and well taken care of in each aspect of our journey. Our cabin was so comfortable and always clean. The beds were comfortable and we had plenty of storage space for all of our items. The entire atmosphere on the ship was always fun, entertaining, and professional. I was called by name always and never had any needs that were not met. The communication for all activities, excursions, and ship news was prompt and clear. I would truly travel again with Viking and hope to do it in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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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