Sail Date: April 2018
Viking River Cruises provided a wonderful itinerary for Tulips and Windmills in April 2018. The trip lived up to all of our expectations and then some. Every day was a wonderful adventure. All the ship amenities were wonderful. Our cabin ... Read More
Viking River Cruises provided a wonderful itinerary for Tulips and Windmills in April 2018. The trip lived up to all of our expectations and then some. Every day was a wonderful adventure. All the ship amenities were wonderful. Our cabin was spacious enough and very comfortable. The meals were outstanding, and the chef went out of his way to accommodate dietary needs of shipboard guests. The ship staff were all lovely people, and they went out of their way to accommodate us. The staff made us feel like they really cared about our well being and took care to provide us with assistance when it was needed. Our trip occurred during the first week of April, and we saw lots of tulips despite cool and rainy weather. We traveled in comfort everywhere on the ship and off on land excursions. The Netherlands and Belgium are two very beautiful countries, and we toured the nicest places in both. The local residents were very gracious, and the sites we visited were wonderful. One of the residents graciously opened his seaside home and invited us in for tea and apple pie. During the visit he shared information with us about his life in that region. We especially enjoyed the scenic Canal rides in Amsterdam, the Airborne Cemetery and Museum in Arnhem, the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, and the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. Lunch in Haarlem was a lot of fun. This trip was part of a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Thanks to Viking River Cruises and their wonderful staff, we had a trip of a lifetime. We are now looking forward to our next trip with Viking River Cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
After a lot of ocean cruises, we were ready for something different and more interesting. Viking lived up to all the good reviews we had read. From reservations and pre-cruise support to air and hotel arrangements, embarkation, cruising ... Read More
After a lot of ocean cruises, we were ready for something different and more interesting. Viking lived up to all the good reviews we had read. From reservations and pre-cruise support to air and hotel arrangements, embarkation, cruising and shore excursions everyone was highly organized and very friendly. Our Main Deck cabin was small but pleasant, with small windows at water level, about 5 feet above the floor. Most of the cruising was at night, and in port we often moored alongside other ships, so the value of higher level cabins seems limited, except maybe avoiding noise of passages through locks- which happened 67 times on this route. We liked the food, the shore excursions were mosty very interesting, and we got a lot of walking, sometimes 2 to 5 miles a day depending on time in port. The cruise director and staff were very good, and we liked the fresh Scandanavian decor. Hotels, transfers, and air tickets were all perfectly handled. On this cruise 90 percent of passengers were retired Americans in 60s and 70s, mostly well traveled and intelligent. There were no children and no facilites for them. The ships are well organized but there is no gym or fitness space and rhe “sun deck” cannot be used at all except on the Danube due to low bridges. Free wifi was a plus but as they note often very slow. Anyone with disabilities should not do this, unlike ocean cruising the ship has narrow corridors and tight rooms and requires use of stairs and steeply sloping gangplanks, and German cobblestone- paved towns require a lot of walking and stairs; buses have steep steps and narrow aises and are not acceptable. Even large cities have little or no accommodations for the disabled. The headsets provided for shore excursions were very helpful. In short, this is very enjoyable for older adults who can get around, but I think most chidren or teens would be bored. We were sorry to leave after te cruise and we are certainly looking forward to another Viking cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are ... Read More
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are largely church/history oriented, if you're into that sort of thing. Would have preferred more intimate excursions (for free) instead of 50-60 people ushered around already popular destinations. If you are a history buff, and like lectures, etc. This is for you. The passengers are largely 60+, and highly educated. A few wheelchairs also, although Europe is tough for them with all the cobblestones and hills. I really prefer Gate 1 for this sort of thing. More free time, less expensive, and a smaller group. You're not tempted into gluttony as much. Food was good, but not as good as some of the finer meals I've enjoyed in major cities. If there were more shore excursions catering to intimate experiences, that would be better-like seeing a cobbler make shoes. Since the cruise is so pricey, these should be included without an extra charge. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
I chose this cruise because it was advertised as the Grand Tour of Europe. It went to places I had never visited, but had only read about. It included many places I had read about regarding the history of World War II. The on-shore ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was advertised as the Grand Tour of Europe. It went to places I had never visited, but had only read about. It included many places I had read about regarding the history of World War II. The on-shore tours were absolutely fantastic. All were conducted by local people very familiar with the area and its history. The buses were large and very comfortable. There was a wide variiety of on-shore trips to choose from, some to ancient historic sites, some to World War II battle sites, others to modern cities. The Program Director was very attentive to the passengers and their needs. Everything was extremely well organized. The food was great, with dining areas well suited to meeting and talking with other passengers. The enrichment talks and demonstrations were all outstanding, renging from demonstrations by an expert glass blower to a detailed lecture on the hostory of Vienna given by a local university professor. It met and exceeded all expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Wanted to see the Netherlands and see what surprises were their that Viking was going to take on during our trip. Accommodations were excellent, the food was delicious and the wines and beers were tasty. We met a few friends from the USA ... Read More
Wanted to see the Netherlands and see what surprises were their that Viking was going to take on during our trip. Accommodations were excellent, the food was delicious and the wines and beers were tasty. We met a few friends from the USA and we had a great time sitting around talking and enjoying our drinks without being rushed. All ports and transportation to inland spots was first class and safe. Had a great time seeing Beautiful Flowers and people of the Netherlands. The historic area of Arnhem was very interesting and the bridges and stories related to us by guides a these places were Historical. Kinderdijk was fantastic to visit and walk around with many kinds of beautiful flowers blooming in Peak season. Ghent as very nice to visit and sample some of the foods and beers of the area, City of Amsterdam was great with all of the history from Anne Frank to Red light district and the water control of the canals and dams in the area. Loved this tour. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this trip because I'd always wanted to see the tulips in bloom in Holland. Viking was specifically chosen because of their Explorer Suites. At the back of the ship with full length windows in back and on side, a separate ... Read More
We chose this trip because I'd always wanted to see the tulips in bloom in Holland. Viking was specifically chosen because of their Explorer Suites. At the back of the ship with full length windows in back and on side, a separate bedroom area, outside deck and lovely amenities, they're the perfect place to relax and watch scenery. Some unexpected perks with the suite were a beautiful flower arrangement, silver drink package, laundry service, immediate room availability at time of embarkation and butler service. All staff were exceptionally accommodating and friendly, food was delicious and most excursions and lectures top notch. We enjoyed the itinerary and have already booked for a Danube Cruise next year. I've done a lot of ocean cruising, but had only been on a river trip on the Nile. I like 5 star accommodations and Viking didn't disappoint. I booked first class air, requested non-stop and arrangements were flawless. Perfect! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My husband and I have only been on one cruise and one river boat (not Viking) and decided river boating was the BEST.....don't have the crowds (only 160 on our boat) and can see scenery on both sides of the ship. (Not so much water). ... Read More
My husband and I have only been on one cruise and one river boat (not Viking) and decided river boating was the BEST.....don't have the crowds (only 160 on our boat) and can see scenery on both sides of the ship. (Not so much water). Read reviews on Viking and decided to try. The crew on Viking Baldur (Grand European - Amsterdam to Budapest) was amazing. We had never been on a trip (and we've been all over Europe) that the crew was SO attentive to detail. It was so interesting that many crew members 'wore several hats' and they helped each other. GREAT TEAM WORK, from meeting us at the airport to shuttling us back!!!!! Our room was cleaned and straightened up several times a day. On each venture out, bottles of water were given out, umbrellas were available...if it rained (only had one slightly rainy day for a couple hours), and the crew always welcomed us back with a cool drink. There were several optional tours after the walking tour each morning, and if we chose not to do any of them, the crew gave us a map of the city with cool things to go back and see. Instructions for subways explained and routes carefully penned so there was no frustration. Great comradery with the waiters and waitresses. They got to know us pretty well and could anticipate 'our usuals'. The dining was elegant and the food was GREAT, with attention to a special meal specific to the country we were motering thru. There was always a 'standard' American menu if you chose not to be adventurous and try the local dishes. The chef always gave a little talk about the evening menu right after an explanation of the next days' adventure by our connoisseur, who had a tremendous sense of humor. Every night they had entertainment of some sort and it was always a class act! I personally have never been crazy about opera, but the trio they had come on board that night, was hysterical. Even though you didn't understand the language, you got the message by their actions. I have never been so pampered...EVER.....and we're definitely going back next year, somewhere else with Viking. Can't praise them enough!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We started in Budapest on the Baldur, but did not do an early arrival. We had 2 days to explore that wonderful city. The embarkation was smooth an easy, with staff meeting us at the airport and moving our luggage to our rooms. The ship ... Read More
We started in Budapest on the Baldur, but did not do an early arrival. We had 2 days to explore that wonderful city. The embarkation was smooth an easy, with staff meeting us at the airport and moving our luggage to our rooms. The ship was comfortable and the room small but adequate. The veranda rooms were quite a bit larger and would have been nice, but were sold out by the time we booked our cruise. The food was excellent and the portions were just right so that weight gain was not a problem. We had dessert for every meal but in a nice small portion. The wait staff was friendly and accommodating. They quickly knew us and what we liked. Most of the entertainment was off the ship but the program director, Marek, was fantastic and the evening programs that he did were most informative Several nights we had outside musical groups that were excellent. The tours each day were well planned and gave a great overview of the cities. Each day there was an included tour to provide overview and then there were some extras that were excellent. We enjoyed the Vienna concert, the Cologne Pub crawl, and the Moselle Wine tour. This boat was mostly older adults and thus quite quiet. The river was smooth so there was no rocking of the boat. We would definitely do this kind of tour again!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
When I retired from teaching after 40 years of service, I wanted to celebrate my new life with a European river cruise. We chose the Grand European Tour for 2 reasons. The first reason was that it was highly recommended by friends and ... Read More
When I retired from teaching after 40 years of service, I wanted to celebrate my new life with a European river cruise. We chose the Grand European Tour for 2 reasons. The first reason was that it was highly recommended by friends and family and the second reason was that a close friend had already booked on this particular cruise. As my husband is an amputee, it seemed like a good idea to travel with someone we knew, just in case there were difficulties. However, we needn't have worried about that, as from the moment we arrived in Budapest until the time we departed the cruise in Amsterdam, we received amazing support and guidance from the whole Viking crew. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly because all the crew was involved. The food and wine were delicious and plentiful, prepared and served by attentive and friendly crew members. The focus on food and wine specialties of the regions we were visiting increased our enjoyment and added to our cultural knowledge and understanding of those areas; but there was also a wide variety of alternatives to satisfy everyone's food tastes and requirements. I can't live without fruit and salad and they were available with every meal! The ship's facilities, such as the walking track (which I personally loved - fresh air, exercise and beautiful scenery), the sun lounge and the indoor bar and lounge, provided ample opportunity for travelers to relax alone or to meet up with others in a comfortable central location. The entertainment presentations and daily briefing by the Tour Director in these areas were fun and informative and the advice regarding tours suitable for my husband was always appropriate. We chose a cabin with a veranda because we thought that if my husband was unable to join in some of the excursions, he could still be outside enjoying the passing sights. We loved the small, compact bathroom (my husband went so far as to declare it was the best bathroom he had ever used), because the heated floor dried out any water quickly, the folding shower chair provided by Viking fitted perfectly into the shower recess, and the solid bench tops gave him stability when moving around. The most important experience I would like to share though, is not about the wonderful tours and highly competent tour guides we had, nor the ready access to a wheel chair for any tours requiring a lot of walking, but about the professionalism and care we received when my husband had the misfortune to have problems with his back during the cruise. Simply bending over to tie his shoes one morning, resulted in him twisting his pelvis, which brought on painful muscle spasms. One of the waiters helped me to bring food and fluids to the cabin for my husband as any movement caused him extreme pain. He made it clear he was happy to do anything to help me. The hotel manager and concierge organised a doctor's appointment for that afternoon, and a taxi to take us to the doctor. The doctor recommended and gave a cortisone injection and anti-inflammatory tablets as the best course of action, given we were leaving the town that afternoon and would not be in a big city for the next two days. My husband immediately felt some relief from the injection, and the pain and stiffness eased over the next few days. We could not have anticipated this problem, but the Viking crew treated us with the care and concern as if we were members of their own family. They continued to watch over us and check that we were doing OK. We will be forever grateful for their gentle and considerate support. This cruise was a once-in-a life-time occasion for us, but we would go again in a heart beat if we were able. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
The cabins are very nice and roomy. There is little on board entertainment because of room. The service was excellent and the food was very good. We liked having the shore excursions included in the price. There are extra excursions if ... Read More
The cabins are very nice and roomy. There is little on board entertainment because of room. The service was excellent and the food was very good. We liked having the shore excursions included in the price. There are extra excursions if you want more. This seemed to be an older group. No children. I would definitely do another river cruise.in fact we have booked another Viking cruise to finish out the Danube in May. We will be going from Budapest, Hungry to Bucharest, Romania. This time we have upgraded to a French Balcony. My husband had some health issues on the trip which made us have to go to the hospital in Germany. We were a very disappointed that they sent us on our own in a place where we did not speak the language and the cab drivers didn't speak English. We were nervous about getting back to the ship before it sailed that afternoon. All worked out but we would have felt more at ease if someone could have accompanied us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My husband and I and two friends from work always wanted to do a river cruise. When this became available, we jumped at it. And glad we did. This was a wonderful experience. The longboat was gorgeous, the staff was amazing, the ... Read More
My husband and I and two friends from work always wanted to do a river cruise. When this became available, we jumped at it. And glad we did. This was a wonderful experience. The longboat was gorgeous, the staff was amazing, the accommodations are top notch, the food was fantastic, the excursions were perfect. I would recommend this to anybody and everybody that asked. We had a suite and our friends had a stateroom. The accommodations are sufficient, although the stateroom doesn't give you much moving around space. But you don't need it. If you aren't on an excursion, you are eating, or on the sun deck watching the scenery, or in the lounge having a nice drink and a chat with friends. Computers are available. Books are available. The entire experience was one I will never forget and we are definitely going to do it again. Next time I may look into the ocean cruises. I've done NCL and Royal Caribbean, so Viking is next. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This cruise was recommended by family who had traveled Viking before. My brother and his wife, my sister and her husband, and just me decided to take this particular adventure. It was a most superb experience. The boat was beautiful and ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by family who had traveled Viking before. My brother and his wife, my sister and her husband, and just me decided to take this particular adventure. It was a most superb experience. The boat was beautiful and clean while the crew was knowledgable, helpful and professional. Clearly the crew enjoy their jobs as they were always smiling and willing to spend time one-on-one. It's all in the details -- distributing umbrellas and water as we set off on our adventures. As for the onboard programs/activities, there was a variety to inform and amuse anyone. One of my favorite tours was of the Wheelhouse. I was most impressed by the details, gauges, and availability of the crew. My cabin was so clean and comfortable -- I love the bed and pillows! And the heated bathroom floors were such a pleasant surprise. Of course there's never enough time, but the programs planned for the travelers on shore excursions were varied in selection and reasonable in time spent. The opportunity to choose allows travelers a good preview of the trip. I did stay onboard one morning and had a perfectly fine time. The travel guides and home hosts were enthusiastic, informative, funny and patient. Everything was organized and efficient. Dining was a delight. The choice of venue and food was important -- but the food was delicious wherever I dined. I discovered 2 beautiful countries with such history and personality that I looked forward to whatever my day brought. I had such a wonderful time that I plan to cruise with you again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
It sounded very relaxing and it was a chance to see part of Europe I'd not seen. Our very attentive crew took care of all details. Superb meals. Reasonable cost. The shore excursions were well planned and I appreciated that the costs ... Read More
It sounded very relaxing and it was a chance to see part of Europe I'd not seen. Our very attentive crew took care of all details. Superb meals. Reasonable cost. The shore excursions were well planned and I appreciated that the costs were included. I didn't feel that we were being nickel and dimed. My wife has been on ocean cruises where they continually tacky on extra charges. My wife appreciated the wine being included with lunch and dinner. She has a severe gluten intolerance and the staff was very careful with all her meals. Our Maitre D' Gabor checked with her at every meal and made certain she had a gluten free meal even though we had not got our request in early enough according to the rules. The crew seemed to like each other and they all were very cheerful and very helpful at every turn. We met almost ll of the crew. Our tour director mad a point of involving the chef, the skipper and lots of staff people. This was my first cruise of any sort so I was a bit apprehensive. It turned out to be a delightful, rich experience. I've traveled Europe a number of times on a bicycle, now I'm too old for bikes, so I appreciated the full-service river cruise. The Danube is a very special place. Our tour director was very knowledgeable about the area and all our stops. The trip was quite a history lesson. I particularly appreciated the bus trip to Salzburg. We also had the choice of "leisure" shore excursions which helped with my limited walking range. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
2015 saw our first river cruise of what promises to be many. My wife and I had probably the best vacation that we have ever had. We had previously experienced Ocean cruises but we found this to be the most relaxing and most enjoyable ever. ... Read More
2015 saw our first river cruise of what promises to be many. My wife and I had probably the best vacation that we have ever had. We had previously experienced Ocean cruises but we found this to be the most relaxing and most enjoyable ever. We made some new friends on the 1st day, who we spent most of the 14 days with. Our trip was unfortunately split between 2 longships, the Baldur and the Magni. The reason for this was the low water level on the Danube. We were warned ahead of the trip that this might happen. However this in no way dramatically altered our overall review of this trip. Both Embarkation and Disembarkation were seamless. All staff were very helpful and considerate to our needs. The cabin was extremely well appointed and maintained very well on a daily basis. All of the staff on board were fabulous and very attentive to our needs. Our hotel manager Jens and Tour director Claus were very patient and incredible. The dining room staff and chef were outstanding. In fact the overall review of Viking's organization and attention to detail in caring for everyone on board was first class. All excursions in the ports along the way were beautiful! The tour guides were very nice and very knowledgeable about the cities and towns and their history. The freedom to explore on our own was appreciated and allowed us to investigate other interests. Even with the transfer to the Magni we went to all the places listed in the original itinerary. The onboard demonstrations and talks were very informative and enjoyable. Our first thoughts on arriving at our destination was "lets do it again". Several previous customers have indicated that Viking is a "Class Act" and both my wife and I have to agree. We loved this trip so much that we have booked a Portugal trip next March with 2 of the friends we made on this trip. Congratulations on an excellent organization. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Our first cruise ever and it was beyond all expectations. We pre stayed two days in Budapest at the Hilton over looking the Danube and had a relaxing time to get our clocks straightened out before the actual cruise. Boarded the Baldur and ... Read More
Our first cruise ever and it was beyond all expectations. We pre stayed two days in Budapest at the Hilton over looking the Danube and had a relaxing time to get our clocks straightened out before the actual cruise. Boarded the Baldur and the adventure began. The service and shore excursions were all excellent with lots of free time to explore on your own. The food on board was 5 star from breakfasts to wonderful dinners. Most nights there was entertainment in the lounge as we sailed along. The shore excursions were very good with local guides being very informative. So much to see. Getting on and off the boat was so easy with Viking taking care of our luggage both times both to and from the airport. In all the trip was a five star plus and would highly recommend this trip to any body who would like to see a lot of Europe in a most relaxing way. Thank you Viking. Looking forward to another voyage with you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We had a great time celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and marking two things off our buckets lists - visiting Germany and taking a cruise! We appreciated that all the arrangements and costs are included. We added the pre-cruise ... Read More
We had a great time celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and marking two things off our buckets lists - visiting Germany and taking a cruise! We appreciated that all the arrangements and costs are included. We added the pre-cruise option and spent time exploring Nuremberg. The hotel there was a wonderful older building full of charm. We walked through the city, ate at a bistro and found a city wide market was held that weekend. The accommodations on board were wonderful, the service outstanding, the atmosphere could not have been better. The room had ample area for us to relax if we wanted to stay on board. We enjoyed the cultural events on board, as well as the organized tours on shore. It was exciting to try the food from the region, the meals were always relaxed and almost a family type atmosphere easily allowing you to meet new friends, but the meals were far from ordinary. We were treated as if we were the focus of a team set to meet our every need. We plan to take another cruise with Viking as soon as possible. We had the unique experience of hearing the cathedral bell "Fat Peter" ring when we arrived in port on a religious holiday. Each port had something unique to see and learn about, especially the WW@ memorial. I especially loved seeing the tulip fields and touring the Keukenhof gardens - what majestic beauty! while my husband checked out the cigar shops in Amsterdam. One of the stewards even found him a unique cigar from the area. So many one of a kind experiences that we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Our 8 Day Viking river cruise started in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We had taken a transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette to get to Amsterdam, and as luck would have it, the Silhouette berthed in the place that our river cruise ... Read More
Our 8 Day Viking river cruise started in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We had taken a transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette to get to Amsterdam, and as luck would have it, the Silhouette berthed in the place that our river cruise ship, the Viking Baldur, normally docked. This necessitated that the Baldur temporarily dock at a remote pier in Amsterdam until the Silhouette departed. We had been told we could walk to our Viking ship, but due to this situation had to take a taxi to find where the Baldur had berthed. Our taxi driver was excellent, and after asking a few river cruise ship crews, quickly got us to the Baldur. Due to the early hour, around 9 AM, the Baldur was still in the process of off-loading previous passengers, but nonetheless we were greeted at the pier by Caitlyn, our Cruise Director. She gave us a warm welcome and directed to leave our luggage and have a seat/coffee in the lounge and relax until our cabin was ready. Since the Baldur was parked in a rather remote location, Viking had arranged a free shuttle bus to transport passengers hourly between the ship and the center of Amsterdam. Two of these shuttle trips included a short city tour, and after getting in our cabin and having a bite to eat, we decided to take the 1:30 city tour. We had a wonderful guide who gave us a short, but interesting tour of the central part of Amsterdam. It started to rain during the tour and we were eager to get back to the comfort of the Baldur. The Baldur is one of Viking’s newer “Longships”. It has 95 outside staterooms including: river view, French balcony, veranda, veranda suite, and Explorer Suite cabins. The Baldur has three decks and our cabin was on the middle deck. We had booked a French balcony cabin that had a sliding glass door that opened to the river, but no veranda. We feel this is the best value, as you really have little time to spend in your cabin. This is good because the cabin only measured 135 sq/ft compared to our 194 sq/ft Silhouette cabin. We had to quickly get our luggage under the bed in able to move around the cabin. The bathroom was small, but efficient, and I was even able to get my 6’ 3” body into the small shower that had excellent water pressure. All in all, we made due. After stowing our luggage, we made our way to the Lounge for our 6:15 Welcome Briefing from Caitlyn and the Hotel Manager Jens Wehrenberg. The talk was brief and we were quickly invited to move downstairs to the Restaurant for dinner. The restaurant was very modern, but comfortable and we were welcomed by the Chef and wait staff. We quickly befriended two Filipino waiters (Ryan & Darwin) who took care of our every need throughout the cruise. We had been told during the Welcome briefing that there was a large group from Canada on board, and they had special seating at the front of the restaurant. While we always knew they were there, they rarely got too noisy. The meals were excellent with a different menu every day. Breakfasts and lunches were a combination of menu/buffet items and dinners included local/regional specialties such as white asparagus which was in season for our cruise. For breakfast and lunch you could also eat off a buffet set up in the Aquavit Terrace/Lounge area. White and red wines as well as beer was complimentary and plentiful. I prefer a rose wine, and found that was also available. You can also bring your own wine on board and drink it at meals with no corkage fee. The ship provides a piano player/singer who entertained us in the lounge during lunch, happy hour, and after dinner unless there was a special event scheduled. He played a wide variety of enjoyable music and really added to the ambiance of the cruise. We were exhausted after a busy day and after a quick visit to the lounge retired to our stateroom for a comfortable night’s rest. Morning came too quickly, and after a great breakfast (7:00 – 9:30), we had an 8:30 Safety briefing including our life vests on the upper outer deck. After the safety briefing we joined the complimentary Amsterdam bus and canal boat tour. This was an excellent and thorough tour of Amsterdam. We returned to the ship for lunch and later took a local tram into town to tour the Anne Frank House. We had purchased tickets online 6 weeks earlier and were able to get right in, or we would have had to wait in line for up to two-three hours. After the tour we had a beer at a local place and headed back to the ship for dinner. At 7:00 PM our Captain, Rainer Lembck, had a welcome toast followed by a Port Talk about the following day’s events and schedules. After dinner, Viking provided a Dutch Folklore show in the Lounge. The Baldur left Amsterdam at 10:45 PM. The following days were filled with visits to places such as Nijmegen and the National War and Resistance Museum, Cologne and its magnificent Cathedral, Cochem and the imposing Reichsburg Castle, Marksburg and it’s 700 year old fortress, picturesque Rudesheim where we ate dinner in a local restaurant with live music and dancing, and historic Heidelberg with it’s university atmosphere and imposing hilltop castle. Each day also included daily port briefings by Caitlyn, as well as special evening events in the Lounge. I think our favorite day was Friday when we spent the afternoon cruising the Upper Middle Rhine Valley viewing magnificent castles and vineyards and a continuing narrative by Caitlyn of what we were seeing. The weather was perfect for sitting on the Sun Deck and enjoying the 360 degree views. We also enjoyed several lunches in the Aquavit Terrace which is a semi-enclosed terrace at the front of the ship. On nice days they open up the terrace doors and even use the ship barbeque. The ship and its facilities were very comfortable. The small size compared to ocean cruise ships made it very easy to meet a great number of the other passengers. Other features we liked included the free internet, complimentary wine and beer, and the very well done included tours. We had heard that river cruises were for older cruisers, but we would dispute this because of the early schedules and the fact that quite a few of the tours required quite strenuous walks and stair climbs in castles. We wished there had been more nice flat churches to tour. A review would not be complete without mentioning the service. We felt the service and crew were excellent. It seemed as if after the first day, the crew knew everyone and our favorite food and drinks. Every member of the crew has multiple duties, and everyone helps including the Hotel Director and Food Director. One day the entire crew was waiting for our return from a tour with cheers and welcome signs. This made us feel very special. Most of the crew works months without a day off, and still greet you every morning with a smile. The Cruise Director was also excellent. Every event was on time and well executed. As I mentioned a bit earlier, the small size of the ship makes it easy to meet most members of the crew. Overall our river cruise was excellent. Our 7 night 8 day cruise cost us $3110 p/p. This is about six times more expensive than our Transatlantic cruises which include a larger veranda cabin, but does not include free beverages and tours. If you can afford a river cruise, or want to see some of the beautiful cities and scenery included in a specific river cruise, you should do it; but if you are looking for value cruising with above average food and service, you probably want to stick with ocean cruising. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
our second cruise with Viking Cruises. Easily as good as the first a year before in a similar area. The staff are excellent, attentive but not in any way obsequious. We had fabulous excursions, restful times on board with fabulous ... Read More
our second cruise with Viking Cruises. Easily as good as the first a year before in a similar area. The staff are excellent, attentive but not in any way obsequious. We had fabulous excursions, restful times on board with fabulous views. What more can one say. Try it for yourselves. Appropriate activities about the areas we were in, clog dancing, local music, or a talk about the trip or from some one local about a specific subject. The ship well furnished, cabins are spacious and well equipped. Food was good, portions ideal given the regularity of meals. Nice to able to get decent coffee and tea between meals and home baked biscuits. Cabin staff were helpful, and very friendly - nothing was too much trouble. Thanks to all, we will be back, some saving up to be done first. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
From our first day on our river cruise, we had a great time! Food was delicious! Service by the crew was superb! Ports-of-call were fantastic, even though it rained at most of them...off and on and not steadily. Ha! Most of the tour guides ... Read More
From our first day on our river cruise, we had a great time! Food was delicious! Service by the crew was superb! Ports-of-call were fantastic, even though it rained at most of them...off and on and not steadily. Ha! Most of the tour guides knew their stuff and the hikes weren't that bad, considering I had just had a hip replacement in November, 2014 and would be having my other one done the end of April, 2015. The number of locks was a little overbearing, but what are you to do, going from where we boarded to where we ended in Amsterdam? The trip from Frankfurt, Germany to Amsterdam had far fewer locks and the weather was definitely great, although in Amsterdam, the weather was exceptional, so we roasted out at the gardens--which were beautiful. I got my castle pictures and loved every minute of seeing them again; and, hiking up to the large one on the hill was just wonderful! Even though it rain slightly, walking all around in that beautiful castle, without a guide, and only with two or three others who I met, as the highlight for me--Wertheim, I believe it was called. I would highly recommend having more time in that port, so a tour could be arranged up there, which could include the restaurant, also, when it was open. It was so close to the river and wouldn't require bus's, like a couple of the sites did. Cabin was delightful for a riverboat, although we were on a lower deck this time around. Ha! The disembarkation went smoothly and we so much appreciated the Viking crew that went with us...or met us at the airport, so we wouldn't have problems. Much appreciated! Read Less
Viking Baldur Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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