31 Viking River Viking Atla River Cruise Reviews

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
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
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 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
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
Class AAA from pre departure to return. The planning by Viking and all of the staff was exceptional. Everything was in excess of expectations. If you were to only have a once in a lifetime cruise to take, this would be the one. All ... Read More
Class AAA from pre departure to return. The planning by Viking and all of the staff was exceptional. Everything was in excess of expectations. If you were to only have a once in a lifetime cruise to take, this would be the one. All excursions and events were thoroughly planned to the last detail. Every excursion,lecture, and event went without any issues. All of the staff was extremely nice,courteous, and helpful. No question or request was deemed out of line. All were professional and cheerful from departure to return. It is never easy to please the public, but they managed to make everyone of the passengers feel special.I look forward to planning another river cruise. It will most certainly be with Viking River Cruises. There are not enough words to describe how very satisfied I and my wife were with the whole experience. I can't imagine a more pleasing experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first river cruise and we booked wth Viking since we have heard good reports about them. The cruise surpassed our expectations and Viking did an excellent job all around. The service and food was excellent, the tour guides ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we booked wth Viking since we have heard good reports about them. The cruise surpassed our expectations and Viking did an excellent job all around. The service and food was excellent, the tour guides outstanding, and the transport to and from the Viking venue was perfect. I was impressed that Viking used all local tour guides at each destination so they really knew the details. The electronic listening system for each tour worked flawlessly so we could hear the guides when we were not close to them. We extended our cruise with a trip over to Prague which was also handled by Viking and was excellent. My wife and I did not know anyone else on-board prior to joining the cruise but made friends as soon as we landed in Budapest for the trip from the airport. Everyone on the cruise, guests and staff, were extremely friendly and fun to be with. I certainly recommend Viking for anyone planning a river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
It was a nice clean ship. Plenty of open, comfortable areas to relax while on the ship. The staff were all very friendly and efficient. Overall they gave incredible service. Clear information given on activities and times for each day, ... Read More
It was a nice clean ship. Plenty of open, comfortable areas to relax while on the ship. The staff were all very friendly and efficient. Overall they gave incredible service. Clear information given on activities and times for each day, with added tips for preparing for weather or difficulty on each day's excursions. We were traveling with a wheelchair, which didn't get transferred with one of our flights. The Concierge was wonderful about keeping us updated on the status as he worked with the airline to get it caught up with the ship. I would have preferred more time sailing during the day to enjoy the sites from the river. Having a veranda wasn't much use the multiple times we were stacked with other ships when docked. If I do another river cruise, I would probably not spend the money to have one of those rooms. I wanted to sit out and enjoy the views of the river and shore, not another ship. The meals were a wonderful mix of selections. The included excursions were great to get a taste of each city. Most of the city guides were enjoyable, besides being informative. I would and have recommended a cruise with Viking to others. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We enjoyed the casual, yet very attentive, atmosphere aboard the Viking Atla. We felt we were getting great value for our money in that a sightseeing tour was included each day, plus beer and wine were included with lunch and dinner. ... Read More
We enjoyed the casual, yet very attentive, atmosphere aboard the Viking Atla. We felt we were getting great value for our money in that a sightseeing tour was included each day, plus beer and wine were included with lunch and dinner. Water, coffee, tea and hot chocolate were also available at all hours. The staff & crew were extremely pleasant to deal with and took care of our every need. We would have liked a few more informational talks while on board, especially about local history. The meals showcased local specialties, but could have been a little more varied. We loved the casual atmosphere in the dining room; it made it very easy to interact with the other guests aboard. We took advantage of the optional tours, which included the WWII History Tour in Nuremberg and a very special guided tour through the Vienna Fine Arts Museum. We did a Viking River Cruise (Rhine Getaway) in 2013 and were curious if this cruise would match our previous experience. It did, and we can't decide which was better. We had another outstanding experience and have already booked a Viking Ocean Cruise (Mediterranean Odyssey) for March of 2018. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My husband and I have been on at least 25 Caribbean ocean cruises over the years and were looking for something different. We choose this cruise because it was our first trip to Europe and this particular cruise seemed to offer a varied ... Read More
My husband and I have been on at least 25 Caribbean ocean cruises over the years and were looking for something different. We choose this cruise because it was our first trip to Europe and this particular cruise seemed to offer a varied taste of the countries we were most interested in. We carefully researched Viking Cruises and were satisfied on the information we were able to gather on line as well as the many people we spoke to who had first hand experience with the company. Everyone told us they had a positive experience and that we would have a great time and we did. We were a little apprehensive traveling to places where we had never been before and not knowing the languages but Viking made the experience a wonderful one. Since we were traveling so far, we decided to extend our trip by taking the packages offered at the beginning and end of the cruise. We flew into Budapest and were met by a Viking agent right at the airport and transported to a beautiful hotel right on the water. It was really well appointed and very comfortable. The restaurants were great and it was within walking distance of many points of interest. We stayed for 3 days exploring the city and trying different foods before boarding the Viking ship, which was moored right near the hotel. The ship was very clean and modern with a Scandinavian design. Our room was beautiful and had a balcony that we enjoyed while cruising. The bathroom even had a heated floor. The staff was very friendly and helpful and able to assist us with all questions and excursions that we wished to take and they kept the ship spotless. The food on the ship was very good and they offered a very nice selection of wines and beer. We met very nice people on the ship and made some new friends from different countries that we are still corresponding with. The daily excursions at the different ports were magical and we were so very delighted with the transportation that Viking provided to get us where we needed to be. They really have it down to a science and everything runs very smoothly for the passengers even though you can sometimes tell that the staff have made some adjustments to the schedules. The shore excursions offered are varied and you can do as much or as little as you want. Many of the excursions do not leave much time for you to do anything on your own before returning to the ship and setting sail. We couldn't believe how smooth the ride was on the Danube and we were blessed with wonderful weather. We ended our cruise in Germany and were transported via bus to Prague where we spent the final 3 days of our trip. What a beautiful city! We had a super hotel right in the heart of the city and were able to walk to every attraction that we wanted to see. The first morning Viking provided a walking tour that was absolutely wonderful. The shopping, food and people were great. We were very surprised and delighted to find that most people we dealt with spoke English and that Viking has a courtesy desk right in the lobby of the hotels so that they are available to their guests at all times. I will say that we were a little worried about our return flights home because of an airline strike; but, Viking assured us they would take care of everything and they even had one of their staff travel with us to the Prague airport and make sure all of our travel arrangements to get us home were in place. They really took care of us and I would definitely use their company again after the experience my husband and I had. The Viking cruises may be a little more expensive than some of the other cruises that are offered but they are worth every penny. We look forward to taking another Viking cruise in the future and know that we will have the time of our lives, meeting interesting people from other countries, making new friends, and enjoying peace of mind provided by Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Excellent vacation. The ship's staff was always friendly, professional and accommodating taking care of every request. The food and restaurant staff were excellent and always had good recommendations for food and wine. The menu ... Read More
Excellent vacation. The ship's staff was always friendly, professional and accommodating taking care of every request. The food and restaurant staff were excellent and always had good recommendations for food and wine. The menu has good variety and the quality of the food is excellent. The staff made dining fun as well as tasty. I really appreciate the included tours in every port. These introduced us to the city, got us oriented and provided enough information to prepare us to go out and discover on our own afterwards. Tours were efficient and provided access to the important places in each port. The staterooms were well appointed, clean and comfortable. I really enjoyed the French Balcony, this is a great innovation. It provides a large picture window, fresh air and a great view of the world we passed through. Enjoyed it so much we have already signed up for another cruise next year! Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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