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13 Viking Eistla River Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it is the 'castles' tour on the Rhine River. Also we had not been to Amsterdam and wanted to spend a couple of days there. We picked Viking because we had heard such good things about it. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is the 'castles' tour on the Rhine River. Also we had not been to Amsterdam and wanted to spend a couple of days there. We picked Viking because we had heard such good things about it. We were not disappointed. A Viking rep met us at the airport, took us to our hotel, was on site while we were there. They took us to the ship, and after the cruise took us to the airport in Basil, Switzerland and went inside and made sure our flights were on time and that we knew where to go. We had picked which excursions we wanted to go on. Every time the busses were on time, and everything flowed smoothly. The accommodations were great, the food was fabulous and the staff superb. We wanted for nothing. The only entertainment at night was a piano bar. That was ok because dinner was at 7 pm and by the time we ate and had drinks we sat and talked to others. We had been out walking all day so it didn't matter. This is a great trip for adults, but not for children. It would also be a fantastic trip for someone who had never been to Europe and is leery of foreign airports, logistics of getting around and foreign languages. Everyone on the ship spoke English. I would do it again in a heart beat! We have been in Europe several times and this was by far our most relaxing trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Viking longship Mani had an accident with a barge earlier before and was still being repaired, so we were unable to embark on it for our cruise. No worries. The Mani crew took over the Estila and we sailed on her instead. We ... Read More
The Viking longship Mani had an accident with a barge earlier before and was still being repaired, so we were unable to embark on it for our cruise. No worries. The Mani crew took over the Estila and we sailed on her instead. We had been aboard the Estila the year before with the cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. So my review is about the crew of the Mani doing what I call a superb job on a different ship. The services provided were all professionally handled. Never once did we have any sort of problems. Even with the high water the Captain always found a place to disembark with buses waiting to take us where we needed to go. Cabins were always well cleaned and most welcomed after a long day in the cities. The room service crew was very professional and well trained. We loved the option of having the Aquavit lounge to eat our meals. being served the same food as below. George was the program director . And did the most excellent job of everything from getting us to our excursions to scheduling our roundabouts with the high water excursions Our cruise included a pre trip from Bruges Belgium Alex took care of everything on that end . Our post trip in Lucerne was fantastic and allowed us to unwind before the trip home . Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We had about 20+ friends ( which included my sister and I) who traveled with on the Danube Waltz New Year's Eve trip this past Holiday. The trip did not begin great for some of us as flight arrangements made by Viking caused ... Read More
We had about 20+ friends ( which included my sister and I) who traveled with on the Danube Waltz New Year's Eve trip this past Holiday. The trip did not begin great for some of us as flight arrangements made by Viking caused long delays, missed direct flight to Munich from Philadelphia and a very long delay on Amsterdam. We missed the tour of Passau which was the first excursion. We barely arrived in time for dinner aboard ship the first night. Once we arrived on ship, the trip was fantastic. While the Chef and staff were terrific and very attentive, the meals were not as great as my Cities of Lights experience. The menu was not as varied as the Paris to Prague trip. Too many repeat items on this last trip. Also, the stock for the bar was not as plentiful as there were several liquors that were not available (along with mixes) the last 2 days. Nonetheless, I love traveling with Viking. I am very complimentary of Viking when speaking with other friends and family members. My sister traveled with me on the Danube Waltz trip and she is sold on Viking, We look forward to traveling with you in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were celebrating a family event and wanted to experience something new. We wanted to visit multiple countries and explore new experiences. We've never cruised before so we chose the river as it's a smaller boat and not too ... Read More
We were celebrating a family event and wanted to experience something new. We wanted to visit multiple countries and explore new experiences. We've never cruised before so we chose the river as it's a smaller boat and not too intimidating. This cruise met all requirements as we visited 5 countries and toured multiple Christmas markets. We had a great time enjoying the local foods and customs. We typically plan and book our vacations on our own, so also having the itinerary pre-built made the trip relaxing. From the time we booked with Viking the communication and materials provided made everything quite simple and easy. They handled all our transfers flawlessly and check in was very simple. We had two cabins as we travelled with our teenage and adult children. The one advice on cabins is to book in the middle of the ship to avoid the engine noise. From the moment we stepped onto the ship, we were made to feel comfortable. The crew was outstanding, personable, accommodating, helpful to every detail. They truly are the stars of the cruise. The cabins were clean and new and the amenities just fine. The food was exceptional (always a bit much). It's amazing what they do on quality and quantity with such a small kitchen! Local foods were featured at all stops. The one advice for Viking is to provide local wines vs just the house brand. Tours were simple and overview driven. To go deeper, you have to plan ahead and book your own tour guide, but that said, it was just right. Being so close to city centers we finished the tours and headed back out to do what we wanted. We also decided to stay on an additional 3 days in Prague and that was worth it. What a great city and booking through Viking they handled all transfers and provided hotel staff to handle requests like dinner reservations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This cruise was great. Had a nice mixture of cities, sites and culture. Went the time of year when each country had their Christmas Markets which were fun to walk around (but tended to have the majority of the same items). It was nice ... Read More
This cruise was great. Had a nice mixture of cities, sites and culture. Went the time of year when each country had their Christmas Markets which were fun to walk around (but tended to have the majority of the same items). It was nice that each port had a tour included. I was calling this the "anti-cruise" because no one was pushing drinks (which were very reasonably priced), you didn't have to race to get to a show, no gift shop to really speak of, and there was really no clock watching. I did more physical activity by walking on the tours (we clocked 6,7,8 miles a day with our pedometers) than we would have on a cruise ship. Each stop had a tour guide that you were assigned to. Some were better than others but overall you learned a lot. Be prepared to tip the guides after when they are done. You actually had the pleasure of sitting in the large lounge and meeting and talking with other passengers. Food was overall very good. There are choices at each meal. You can order lunch off a menu and/or go to the buffet. Great breakfast with a chef making omelets if you wanted. No "midnight buffet" but there were cookies available each day by the 24-hour self-serve beverage stations. We were on the Eistla which was very nice and one of Viking's newest. Had a French Balcony which compared to a cruise ship was small but nicely appointed. Plenty of storage, great shower and I loved the heated bathroom floors. The weather precluded us from enjoying the outside deck, but it is a very nice feature. Staff was wonderful. We booked our air through the cruise line and it worked out great with our flights and transfers to and from the boat. We would definitely take another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We took two weeks prior to our embarkation to visit Germany, Italy & the Czech Republic & then spend a day in Passau. We chose this particular cruise for the Christmas markets & getting into the spirit of Christmas in ... Read More
We took two weeks prior to our embarkation to visit Germany, Italy & the Czech Republic & then spend a day in Passau. We chose this particular cruise for the Christmas markets & getting into the spirit of Christmas in Europe. We knew the weather would not necessarily be in our favor but the crew made sure we were comfy greeting us with hot, wet towels to freshen up with when we boarded, to furnishing us with needed umbrellas or a hot wine when we returned from a cold weather excursion. I have sailed many ocean cruises and by far, this was the best cruise ever, I felt like we were treated like royalty. The ship, the food, the staff, the shore excursions & how efficient they were handled. One thing impressed me was when we were on an excursion there was always a visible staff person around. I loved that the shore excursions were graded for tolerance and EVERYONE of our tour guides were fantastic as were the hearing devices that we used so we could hear the narrative without being at the head of the group. The friendliness of the staff supersedes any that I have ever encountered, from the cabin stewards to the chef to the captain to the fantastic waiters, awesome!!!! Our cabin was very comfortable & well equipped. A floor to ceiling window for viewing was so very enjoyable. I loved the "Block Party" that we had outside of our cabins & the champagne that was served. The whole cruise made one feel like it was a "family affair" being a lesser number of total guests & having meals with many different people all made for a warm & interesting cruise. Viking was with us right to the departure at the airport. Thank you for a wonderful memory & the desire to do another Viking River Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Wanted to cruise the Danube, see Budapest and Vienna. This cruise exceeded my expectations. The cities were beautiful. The guided tours were fantastic. Best of all, the ship, crew, meals and total experience were exquisite. Viking has ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Danube, see Budapest and Vienna. This cruise exceeded my expectations. The cities were beautiful. The guided tours were fantastic. Best of all, the ship, crew, meals and total experience were exquisite. Viking has perfected the river cruise experience. Every detail, from arrival to departure, was well planned and executed. The only recommendation I would have is that the flights that were booked through Viking were not as well planned or efficient as the rest of the trip. I would suggest that more effort be placed on securing the best possible flights with the shortest possible layovers. Once we arrived in Budapest the experience truly began. We were amazed at the preparation of the staff, the excellence of the tour guides, and the attention to detail. The cabin was comfortable, clean, and very pleasant. We reserved a room with a balcony (veranda) and in retrospect would probably not pay for that upgrade again. We travelled in late November and the weather was cold (it snowed in two of our stops) and, therefore, we did not use the balcony. In warmer weather I'm sure it would have been better used. We loved our cruise director (named David I think) who was extremely knowledgeable, personable and witty. He truly made the on-board experience a lot of fun. We loved the ability to visit with the chef and tour the kitchen. We also took great advantage of the beer and wine that was available at meals - a great benefit! We can't wait to do another Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Had never done a river cruise and wanted to experience one. Spent two nights in Prague prior to the cruise which went from Budapest to Amsterdam. Prague was a very interesting city. Particular highlights were the Charles Bridge and ... Read More
Had never done a river cruise and wanted to experience one. Spent two nights in Prague prior to the cruise which went from Budapest to Amsterdam. Prague was a very interesting city. Particular highlights were the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock 2 nights in Budapest followed and eating out at a local restaurant, dining on goulash was an experience not to be missed. Attended an equestrian show about an hours drive out of Budapest. Fantastic horsemanship. Leaving Budapest at night on the first stage of our cruise was quite magical with the city lit up. Our cabin was very spacious and while there was a bit of a walk to the dining room and bar, was very close to the main deck with its games and outdoor seating. Bratislava was very interesting and very hot, surprisingly and the Astronomical clock was a feature. Amazing the number of Segways in the streets and main square. Had local delicacies for lunch and spent time at a British pub. Transport back to boat was reliable and regular. On to Vienna and amazing buildings. Attended opera recital. Magnificent. Had lunch at small café and again sampled the local favourite Sacha Torte. A number of German cities followed as we moved into the Rhine. Regensburg was one of the best with great history. Food was great with Bratwurst sausage and rolls a must. Cologne was also a highlight, especially the Cathedral and the night time Pub Crawl on a Friday night with a local guide. Drinking habits of the locals were interesting. All bars had a great food service as a part of them. Interesting that you could not get a beer without a place mat and there was only one brand at each of the bars as they were all micro breweries. On to Holland and the world heritage site at Kinderjik, before heading on to Amsterdam Canal cruise was the final act before flying back to New Zealand via Dubai. Major feature of the cruise itself was the fact that there were only 187 people on board, so over the 16 days we managed to meet most of them. Formed a great relations hip with 2 Canadian couples, an Australian couple and an American couple and are still communicating with them 6 months later. Many great memories and even the issue of having to change boats mid trip was handled in a masterly fashion by the two crews involved. Would recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to get a look at central Europe. There was a variety of activities at each port of call and plenty of entertainment on board at night. Great value for money and exemplary service. Most enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I just loved the ship's restaurant staff. Such fun and so very happy to please us. The bar staff was equally lovely. I found out the hard way that they don't appreciate your bringing food from your excursions onto the boat and ... Read More
I just loved the ship's restaurant staff. Such fun and so very happy to please us. The bar staff was equally lovely. I found out the hard way that they don't appreciate your bringing food from your excursions onto the boat and eating them in the lounge. In your stateroom is fine. But they are more than willing to open a bottle of purchased wine in the lounge. Not sure what the difference is but lesson learned! Our excursions were very educational and geared nicely for all levels of ability and mobility. If you chose not to go ashore that was just fine. We ate several meals in the dining room and the food was great. The portions were reasonable and if you wanted something a bit different they were more than happy to accommodate you. We also ate several dinners on the Aquavit Terrace and that was equally nice. If it is too cool to have the doors open you have but to ask. GREAT service! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We took the Viking Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam and had a wonderful time. We put together a group of 7 cabins of friends so we always had someone we knew to talk with and do port excursions with, but the other guests on ... Read More
We took the Viking Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam and had a wonderful time. We put together a group of 7 cabins of friends so we always had someone we knew to talk with and do port excursions with, but the other guests on board were also very friendly and nice so we met new friends too. The ship size was perfect and the service superb! Embarkation was a snap and our cabin was very nice, we had a french balcony, but some of our group chose the rooms below with the half window and said they were nice and large and quiet. We are signed up for another Viking cruise next year, going from Munich and ending back in Budapest. We loved Budapest and wanted to see it again and spend more time there. Others from our group have signed up for other Viking cruises this year and next, so this cruise was a hit with everyone! The weather was a bit cool in early April, but the prices were also better at that time, and there were fewer tourist crowds to deal with. As far as shore excursions go, Bratislava was very interesting and our guide was witty and very knowledgeable. Our cruise next year goes back there and I hope it has not changed too much! Melk Abby was amazing, a must see, and the town of Cologne was lovely, people out for strolls and on blankets enjoying the spring sunshine. We recommend going into Budapest a day or 2 early to enjoy both sides of the river and poke around the markets nearby, lots to see and do within walking distance. The Marriott hotel on the river is excellent for pre cruise stays. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My son and I cruised with Viking on the new Eistla longboat in December. We embarked at Nuremburg, Germany. From the time we boarded until we disembarked we were overwhelmed by the professional and courteous service of Viking. The cities ... Read More
My son and I cruised with Viking on the new Eistla longboat in December. We embarked at Nuremburg, Germany. From the time we boarded until we disembarked we were overwhelmed by the professional and courteous service of Viking. The cities of Nuremburg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Wauchau Valley, Vienna and Budapest were impressive and made more enjoyable by the very knowledgeable guides in the tours. The dining was superb along with the very attentive wait staff. Evenings were informative and enjoyable thanks to Carl the cruise director. We haven't stopped talking about the trip since we've been home. Already thinking about our next trip with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I just returned from Viking's Grand European Tour on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. We are 100% satisfied with everything about this trip. The ship, Eistla, was brand new and on its maiden voyage. Viking handled all ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from Viking's Grand European Tour on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. We are 100% satisfied with everything about this trip. The ship, Eistla, was brand new and on its maiden voyage. Viking handled all aspects of the cruise including round trip air fare from Cleveland. At every point of the trip from the airport in Amsterdam to the air port in Budapest, Viking provided qualified representatives to escort and assist us. The service aboard the ship was superb in all categories. Our program director was outstanding. The free daily excursions were well managed and always interesting. We took only one optional excursion in Nuremburg and were very pleased with the content and the guide. Food also was superb. Abundant breakfast made to order or from the buffet, lunch and dinner in the dining room was always excellent. Lunch and dinner is open seating which provides the opportunity to meet many new people. Daily schedule enabled us to be back on the ship every day for lunch as well as breakfast and dinner so you did not have to seek out local places to eat. Each day there were scheduled presentations on subjects of interest and at night there was some type of entertainment, none of which was disappointing. Two cautions about river cruising. First, there is a lot of walking on the free excursions but the excursions are rated as to level of difficulty. Second, river water level can be a problem. We had one day where the ship could not proceed because of low water lever; this was on a section of the Danube. On that day, Viking arranged an excursion to Munich which was probalby better than the originally scheduled stop for the day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
So quick, easy and casual getting on and off, great tours and wine and beer included, Fantastic staff, especially our program Director, Henrietta. With only about 175 Passengers and Viking being very well organized with all the details ... Read More
So quick, easy and casual getting on and off, great tours and wine and beer included, Fantastic staff, especially our program Director, Henrietta. With only about 175 Passengers and Viking being very well organized with all the details everything went very smoothly even with a slight change of plans due to high water. We got to see Munich and have a fabulous German lunch at Ratskeller on Viking. On board all Meals were very good as well with plenty of choices whether you wanted sit down service or buffet. The beer and wine flowed freely at both lunch and dinner. There was always a predinner itinerary rundown in the lounge which worked out well as a meeting place for a visit over cocktails as well. The two help yourself coffee stations were always very clean and nicely stocked with yummy cookies Muffins or pastries. The machines could make about 8 different kinds of really good coffees. We were on the maiden voyage and there were a couple of problems with the tv and noisy vibrating noise but they seemed to do their best to get it sorted ASAP offered the use of a lower cabin and brought us a bottle of bubbly as an apology. The passengers were all American and Canadian and at 57 yrs old I was on the younger end of the age spectrum ( only a handful younger at most) but although an older crowd, for the most part a fairly fit group overall. This grand European river cruise on the Viking Eistla exceeded our expectations... We can't hardly wait to experience our Viking Ocean cruise in 2016....I only wish 2015 was available! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Viking Eistla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 N/A

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