5 Viking River Viking Emerald Europe - River Cruise Reviews

This was our 3rd cruise with Viking River Cruise . They have all be been great -- everything about them. We are planning to do another one with Viking. Both the included and optional tours were excellent with excellent local guides and ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking River Cruise . They have all be been great -- everything about them. We are planning to do another one with Viking. Both the included and optional tours were excellent with excellent local guides and ample free time. The on board food was excellent. The staff was very nice, efficient and responsive. I like the pace of river the cruise -- it is much less hectic than ocean cruises. It was a wonderful experience -- relaxing and informative. I also appreciate the efficiency of the transfers to and from the airports. We were originally supposed to change planes in Brussels. The day before the departure the terrorists attacked the airport. We learned that the Brussels A/P would be closed for at least 2 days -- including the day of our arrival. We called Viking. They answered right away and had already re-routed us through another A/P. They called us later to make sure we knew that our departure time had also changed. It was as seamless as could be imagined. Although our connection was not as good as the original flight plan it was still good. Fortunately this was the only glitch on the trip. The Viking staff in Prague was great. On the day of our arrival they provided a short orientation meeting and a short optional walking tour of the city. The hotel was conveniently located to the old town. It was an easy safe walk from the hotel. The orientation allowed us to better enjoy Prague while we were there -- it's a great city and well worth a dedicated trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We traveled on the final cruise of the year, we spent Christmas in Rouen as the Normandy Beaches excursion would have fallen on a Holiday. This is a very pleasant easy trip. Viking was on the ball, they rearranged the itinerary so that ... Read More
We traveled on the final cruise of the year, we spent Christmas in Rouen as the Normandy Beaches excursion would have fallen on a Holiday. This is a very pleasant easy trip. Viking was on the ball, they rearranged the itinerary so that we would not miss a thing, a little fast paced to get a day ahead, but no inconvenience to passengers. This cruise spends a great deal of river time, so if you enjoy leisure time, this is your trip. The itinerary was not overcrowded, and the free time was generous. I really fell in love with France, it wasn't on my list to see, and was pleasantly surprised on its beauty and friendliness. After the free day in Paris and the tour through the Louvre, I came to love the city, it will definitely be on my list to return and spend more time. The cruise had all the highlights of the areas to see in Normandy, which is a really lovely portion of France. The Normandy landing tour was a Long day, it is just too far to break it down to 2 days, although I really think you could spend 2 whole days on the history alone in the area.Once again Viking was first class, this was our 5th cruise with them, and the new Long ships are really first rate. We upgraded to a suite and found it very much worth it with the extra down time this cruise afforded. If you are looking for a very good relaxing short trip through beautiful countryside and some generous history thrown in this is your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our very first cruise and it was absolutely amazing. We were looked after so well from the minute we were picked up at the airport until the minute they left us at the other end of our holiday. Our tour guide was Joshua and he ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and it was absolutely amazing. We were looked after so well from the minute we were picked up at the airport until the minute they left us at the other end of our holiday. Our tour guide was Joshua and he was so knowledgeable. The entertainment on board ship was really good and the service we received was excellent. The staff even managed to remember our names! All of the excursions were amazing especially the Terracotta Army, which was my personal favourite. We are now saving hard for our next trip with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We used Viking air and joined about 15 other couples on the optional Helsinki Finland pre-cruise. Viking provides a city tour on the first day and then the next two days are free time. The Radisson hotel was just ok, and the local Viking ... Read More
We used Viking air and joined about 15 other couples on the optional Helsinki Finland pre-cruise. Viking provides a city tour on the first day and then the next two days are free time. The Radisson hotel was just ok, and the local Viking hotel guides, that were stationed there were not very helpful. We had wonderful weather and stayed in Helsinki the entire time. A great city to take time out and relax. Helsinki is a small city any one to two days are sufficient. Good restaurants are expensive. Viking booked the high speed train to St Petersburg and we found it to be a new and memorable experience. St Petersburg was great. THe museums and palaces are unbelievable. We booked the optional ballet back stage tour and although very pricy, was fantastic, not to be passed up. The ship, Viking Rurik was just refurbished and was excellent although all of the Viking Russian ship's interior stairways are extremely steep and difficult. Food was good although service needs more work. Viking needs to work with the cabin stewards, who although do excellent work, do not speak English. The ports of call were all very well managed and the local tour guides were excellent. The ships tour guides were just OK, and Viking has a lot of work to get them up to standard. Our highlights include: the breakfast at the Russian home in Uglich; the visit to the school in Kuzino; the Hermatage and Peter the Greats Palace in St Petersburg; the traffic in the cities. Moscow was also another wonderful experience but rushed. We stayed the optional extra two days and it made huge difference. The Radisson Royal Ukraine Hotel is over the top. Advice: STAY THE EXTRA TWO OPTIONAL DAYS. The local Moscow Viking hotel guides were outstanding. The subway tour is a must see and not miss the opportunity to take the Moscow river cruise at the hotel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was our second Viking River cruise. The first was unfavorable due to a missing luggage issue and there was absolutely no help from the ships hotel or cruise directors getting it back to us in 10 days despite the fact it was at the ... Read More
This was our second Viking River cruise. The first was unfavorable due to a missing luggage issue and there was absolutely no help from the ships hotel or cruise directors getting it back to us in 10 days despite the fact it was at the airport one hour after we arrived. The Tulips and Windmills cruise, absent this luggage and uncaring staff problem was very good so we thought we would try China using Viking. We booked a suite at a $3000 premium and that was a big mistake. As you might have seen in other reviews this ship is not up to any western or Viking standard at all. The suites are on deck five and to start the floor and walls are very uneven. The steel deck plates are sloping and have uneven places where they overlap and / or were welded. The bedroom sloped 2" just in the space of the king beds headboard (6 feet) and we "fell" downhill from the door to the window. My guess is that there was a 6 to 8 inch drop in the length of the room. We asked for and received another room which was not quite as bad but still had a slope issue (the bed was more level than in room 508). The hall was in the middle of the ship and even there you could feel the welds and deck-plate waviness under the carpet. Most people had trouble walking, especially after cocktail hour. The shower in our "better" room (511) was so uneven that the water did not flow to the drain, it stood in a big puddle in the back of the shower where you had to step out. The shower door rolled downhill and had to be engaged just so to keep it in place. Generally poor construction quality and with no use of levels or plumb-bobs in the construction process. Gaps, saw cuts in the woodwork to repair issues and other poor fit and finish items were commonplace. The deck five suites are a mess. Now, the air conditioning. During the five days on the ship AC was a major problem on deck 5. The temperature in our room (during May) was in the 80's and by electronic measurement by the staff, the "cool" air blowing into the room measured at and above 80 degrees F. For five days the suite passengers at times stood in the hall on Deck five while staff tried to fix the problem. We found this was not a new problem for just our cruise and some staff said this ship "was not up to Viking standards". We complained about the heat the entire trip while the rest of the passengers complained that the ship was too cold. It was cold in fact as they had lowered the temperature trying to placate deck 5. Basically the cold air that was available was not making it to the deck five air ducts. On day one they brought in a supplemental "air conditioner" to our room. It was a small unit (similar in size and shape to a dehumidifier) which blew air across a small bucket of ice cubes that we had to request be refilled several ties a day. NOTE - passenger direct access to ice is not available. It helped a small amount if you sat in front of the substitute "AC Unit" but it increased the humidity making it feel worse anywhere else in the room. Needless to say, curtains had to be closed to eliminate solar-heat gain. A not-so-nice nice touch if you want to see the sights along the river. After day three and a lot of complaints, I noted the cabin across from us had a full stock of these units filling the room. This was a known issue! Highest priced cabins had no adequate temperature control and were not level. Side issue but not the way I would handle a land / river cruise combo: While we were highest category customers (other than the Presidential Suite), the only upgrade for the cruise was to the worst set of cabins - large saunas described above. During the rest of the trip we were given no "upgrade" treatment. Starting with seats on the planes - luck of the draw I assume. Note there are many intra-China flights on this "cruise". It took several different regular-scheduled passenger planes to ferry us around on this land / cruise trip. Some of the 150 or so passengers were assigned to first class, some got aisle seats and some had to sit in the middle seats. In most cases we personally had the worst seats. In the hotels, we had average rooms but many on the tour got the "luck of the draw" in some cases with much better views or hallway locations. It seems to me that for a 12-day trip after paying 40% more than most others for a higher category, we would be in a waiting list to be among those getting any available better rooms or seats on the plane. Viking does not see it this way yet they could work this small problem. I personally would make every effort to give a little something extra to my highest paying customers. China is polluted. We saw blue sky on our total 16 days there while in the airplanes above the smog or while in Hong Kong which was clear. The people there are very nice. Too much Chinese food however. The guides for the most part were good. The tours were good. So, we enjoyed the trip, especially the Guilin / Hong Kong extension but the ship is not adequate, especially deck five and the upgrade fee for the sauna-suites is for only five days, not twelve. I am sure if I had paid the many thousands less and had one of the regular cabins this would have been a much better trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Viking Emerald Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family N/A 3.5
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.5
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 4.2

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