15 Viking River Viking Gullveig River Cruise Reviews

My husband and I love cruises but we wanted something a little different than the usual island hopping. Friends of ours had recommended Viking and we decided the time had come for us to give it a try. We arrived on the Budapest after ... Read More
My husband and I love cruises but we wanted something a little different than the usual island hopping. Friends of ours had recommended Viking and we decided the time had come for us to give it a try. We arrived on the Budapest after over twelve hours of traveling. We were tired from our trip and ready to collapse. The Viking staff picked us up at the airport and got us to the Gullveig with a minimum of fuss. Once aboard, we were told to expect our room to be ready by 1pm. Jaded travelers that we are we thought we'd actually be allowed in at 3 but the staff was as good as their word, at 1pm we were in the door able to finally relax. That was the first of many promises kept over the course of the week. When the Maitre'D Panayot found out I was a diabetic, he gave me a card with the number "5" on it. For the rest of the cruise, every time I sat down to eat, I'd just put the card on the table and Panayot would come and personally make sure my dietary needs were met. He kept entrees from being seasoned with sauces that might not be good for me and made sure desserts like fresh fruit with whipped cream were there for me every day. Other aspects of the service were equally excellent. Each day, the Captain was there to personally greet the guests as they returned aboard ship. When we wanted to see parts of Prague that were not covered on the normal tour. The tour director was able to make special arrangements and find a guide and transportation for us. The food was exquisite and the waiters and waitress were friendly and professional. The small size of the ship made the experience intimate and friendly. By the end of the cruise we knew almost everyone aboard. Then there was sailing up the Danube watching the lovely countryside glide by us as we made our way leisurely up river. We would get off the ship and go on beautifully orchestrated tours that had the memory cards of our cameras filled and the soles of our shoes noticeably thinner. Exhausting at times but well worth every minute! As I've said before, my husband and I are the veteran of many cruises but this was by far the best. We can't wait to do this again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this because of my sister and I had never experienced the Danube and we stopped in Vienna and Budapest. The river cruise was much better than we anticipated. All of the crew were just wonderful. Deb was always on top of ... Read More
We chose this because of my sister and I had never experienced the Danube and we stopped in Vienna and Budapest. The river cruise was much better than we anticipated. All of the crew were just wonderful. Deb was always on top of everything and she helped in so many ways. My sister and I both loved Deb. The cabin was beautiful and always kept clean and tidy by the cabin attendant. The entertainment and piano was spectacular. Vienna was undoubtably more than we expected. The extra special excursion to the Vienna Opera and Vienna City Orchestra was something we will never forget. I never wanted the performance to end! We had a wonderful vacation and one will never forget. This was our second Viking River Cruise. The first cruise was on the Rhine and was also memorable but with a different itinerary. Thank you Viking and a special thank you to the host, Debra Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was the first time we tried Viking, as we had two other river cruises on Uniworld. The Danube was wonderful, the ship modern, clean and great staff. I will say, however, the food on Uniworld was a step above Viking. Other than ... Read More
This was the first time we tried Viking, as we had two other river cruises on Uniworld. The Danube was wonderful, the ship modern, clean and great staff. I will say, however, the food on Uniworld was a step above Viking. Other than that, the ports were great, tour guides terrific especially in Passau and Nurnberg. Chilling tour of Courthouse where Nazi's were tried and Zepplin field. We did an extension to Prague and Viking handled that just perfectly. Munich tour was wonderful, small group, great lunch and tour of city. I do suggest that you DO NOT book shore excursions beforehand, as there is always room. Our tour to Salzberg was quite delayed so we cancelled and good thing we did, those who went said it was too long of a bus ride and not much time to explore. Viking was gracious enough to refund our $398. for that tour, so we were completely satisfied. Deborah was great, can't say enough good about the staff! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I have already encouraged friends and family to consider a Viking River Cruise. We will be taking another one. The questions are where and when.The staff was truly amazing. The ship is fantastic. The docking locations were exceptional, ... Read More
I have already encouraged friends and family to consider a Viking River Cruise. We will be taking another one. The questions are where and when.The staff was truly amazing. The ship is fantastic. The docking locations were exceptional, except for Nuremberg. I am grateful that our journey began in Budapest. The photos and even the videos do not do justice to this enchanting city. The disembarkation location is so odious it would have led to an ugly beginning, The food on board was better than we expected, it was a wondrous treat at each meal. The French Balcony room was more than enough for us. The steward work was better than in any hotel we have ever visited. The excursion to Schonbrunn was mush too rushed. The excursion to the Bavarian village was undermined by a poorly prepared local guide. The Danube Narrows and the incredible abbey will always remain a major highlight of our great trip. On the afternoon of our arrival in Budapest we were blessed to have an unexpected brief tour of Pest. That was so valuable for us on our forays on free time. All of the planned city tours were superb. Our two favorites were the planned tours of Regensburg and Nuremberg. From the moment we landed in Budapest until our flight departed from Albrecht Durer we felt that Viking was always looking out for us and our best interests. This is testament to superior management in hiring, training, and nurturing the best possible on board staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I wanted to see more than just one country and this cruise afforded us that option visiting four different countries. I wanted a cruise that was all inclusive and had a manageable amount of people on it. It proved to be a great way to ... Read More
I wanted to see more than just one country and this cruise afforded us that option visiting four different countries. I wanted a cruise that was all inclusive and had a manageable amount of people on it. It proved to be a great way to experience different cultures and food. The wait staff was exceptional and friendly, the housekeeping was perfect and the program director was entertaining and very competent. The Chef was delightful and even took us on tour of the kitchen area. We meet many people on this trip and it seemed like every meal you were engaged in conversation with different people. I would certainly consider taking another Viking cruise base on the good experience I had on this Viking Cruise. I felt the value was good for the amount of time we were afforded to relax and enjoy a great cruise. I really think you should reduce the amount of words required to place a review. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Everything went perfectly - was the best trip ever. Viking took great care of us from the time we stepped off the airplane until the time the led us to airport security for our flight home. We traveled with 8 friends but the whole ship ... Read More
Everything went perfectly - was the best trip ever. Viking took great care of us from the time we stepped off the airplane until the time the led us to airport security for our flight home. We traveled with 8 friends but the whole ship felt like one big happy family. We hated to leave and are already planing our next cruise. The food wand wine were abundant and excellent - and the little extras like afternoon tea and ice cream were a bonus. All the shore excursions left us with a good feeling for the history and cultures of the countries that we visited. We especially enjoyed the afternoon cruising through the Wachau Valley and the evening concert of Mozart and Strauss in Vienna. Our pre-cruise extension in Budapest gave us a special affinity for the city. We would love to go back but there are too many other worlds to explore. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
What a wonderful way to explore Europe! The ship, the views, the food, the care, and the ports were all great. It allowed us to have a comfortable overview of Germany, Austria, and Hungary, with a view toward coming back some day and ... Read More
What a wonderful way to explore Europe! The ship, the views, the food, the care, and the ports were all great. It allowed us to have a comfortable overview of Germany, Austria, and Hungary, with a view toward coming back some day and seeing even more of our favorite spots. My wife has some special food requirements and they easily and discretely took care of them. We had excellent tour guides all along the journey. I was concerned about language barriers and navigating in countries where their first language is not English. No problem at all! The staff gave excellent advice and input for our daily adventures. We met many wonderful people too. It is a very social experience (if you want it to be). The meals were delicious and we loved dining on the deck so we could enjoy the views while we ate. With a deck attached to every stateroom, the views were always available and ample. It was more than a vacation; it was an experience! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I need to say, first, that this cruise was the best vacation EVER!! I picked this cruise 6 weeks before it sailed. I'm not usually that impulsive, but Viking had just introduced a rate for single vacationers. Before my wife passed, ... Read More
I need to say, first, that this cruise was the best vacation EVER!! I picked this cruise 6 weeks before it sailed. I'm not usually that impulsive, but Viking had just introduced a rate for single vacationers. Before my wife passed, we had hoped to go on a river cruise, and after I couldn't convince myself to pay for 2 people when I was going to be by myself. I booked everything through Viking, in advance, including some extra excursions, I was personally interested in. That was the only thing I will change, on the next cruise (oh yes, I will go again). If you wait to add extra excursions until you are on the ship, you have more flexibility, in case you want to move things around. I have soooo many good things to say, I'm having trouble deciding where to start. My flight to Europe was exhausting. It was not Viking's fault, it was the airline's. The flight was booked with plenty of layover time, but the airline was so far behind schedule (afternoon flight) that I ended up spending 10 hours in the Paris airport. I made a call to the ship(the number is supplied in the FANTASTIC itinerary book, I received) and a very nice representative was waiting for us. Several other couples had the same airline delays, all around the US, but we became friends, in the Paris airport. That was the only real glitch in the whole trip. The cabin was very comfortable, and over the top CLEAN! Lots of storage, GREAT service(Andrea was in my room at least twice a day), comfortable bathroom, and no bad "surprises". The best thing about this cruise was the flexibility. You could do as much or as little as you wanted. All the included daily tours (all were around 4 hours) were well planned, giving you time to wander, and still giving lots of great local information. I'm not a suit and tie guy so dining was great! Some people put on a suit coat, for dinner, but most stayed informal. The crew encouraged informal! You could eat at the restaurant or do the buffet, which were both excellent. I usually ate dinner in the restaurant, and enjoyed the buffet for breakfast and lunch. If you wanted, there was something going on, from 8am until midnight, everyday. After dinner, there was something fun, in the lounge, to do every night. There were no Las Vegas style shows (this is a smaller, more intimate ship), but Bobby the keyboard guy, was excellent. They even brought in local entertainment acts, that were lots of fun and very professional. I'm a musician, and I was never disappointed. Many nights we broke in to small groups and played different games. We were always laughing, together, a lot! The crew was the best! Throughout the entire cruise I knew their only goal was that we had the best time ever. I felt welcomed and comfortable. Viking has obviously taken the time to learn from any mistakes, in the past, in order to make this a great experience. Many times a member of the crew gave little tips to make your personal time, on a local tour, that much better. On most vacations, at the end, you say to yourself, "Man, it will be great, to get home". This is the first vacation that I didn't want to end (I'm 65). If I didn't have to be back in the States, for a performance, I would have added days on, in Budapest. Viking would have adjusted my return flights and made it happen. Amazing! Best Vacation EVER! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We wanted to sail the Danube and go to all those wonderful cities and so we did. The staff on the Gullveig were Fantastic! The food on the ship was superb! Budapest was beautiful, and Vienna was also beautiful! Loved them! All the other ... Read More
We wanted to sail the Danube and go to all those wonderful cities and so we did. The staff on the Gullveig were Fantastic! The food on the ship was superb! Budapest was beautiful, and Vienna was also beautiful! Loved them! All the other ports were fantastic as well, and Nuermberg omg! was fabulous! Now the room we had was the balcony and it was wonderful as well, the room was always clean. The dining was fabulous food was excellent! All the ports and excursions were fantastic as well.. And yes; we would love to take the Romantic Danube again so we can see more of the different ports that we stopped at. And we did do another river cruise with Viking in early March of 2016 and it was down the Rhine! And yes; we plan to do another one sometime in the future when we have saved enough to do it again..Viking is a wonderful company their employees are fantastic and very personable. The cooks are also fantastic chiefs as well...I have nothing but good remarks for everything... Thank you Viking for such wonderful trips... Hope we can do it again. Only time will tell.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise with Viking. The first was terrific. This one was very disappointing. Although we certainly understand that low water levels can sometimes happen, this was not the first time Viking had to deal with this issue ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Viking. The first was terrific. This one was very disappointing. Although we certainly understand that low water levels can sometimes happen, this was not the first time Viking had to deal with this issue - it is our understanding that this has happened periodically over the past few years. Two major issues related to this: 1. When Viking docks at port, they now allow two or even three boats abreast at the dock. This did not happen to us on prior cruises. If you had the unfortunate experience of facing another vessel, you were unable to see out - your only view is the other boat. This occurred on our cruise for 3 days, as we were forced to stay put due to low water conditions and could not go any further. 2. Since we could not continue down the Danube, and had to stay in one place, Viking chose to bus us to the excursion sites, or stay on board. This meant a 3.5 hour trip - one way - to Nuremburg. The entire day was essentially gone, by the time we returned late that day. What was intended to be a relaxing vacation was rush, rush, rush, from one place to another. We asked the Chief Officer why we could not at least cruise back the other direction during dinner, so we could have the cruise experience, but he refused, blaming 'river traffic'. We also asked if we he could move the boat further down, so we didn't face another boat, but he refused that as well. The boat itself was very nice; the crew was excellent - none of this was their fault. But VIking dropped the ball here. They have lots of experience with this type of thing and their response was dismal. We could have gone back up to Vienna and Passau, but there were no alternative provided. No apologies - other than free drinks one night and waiving the fee for an excursion . We will certainly rethink any future cruises with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Background: This was our first river cruise. My wife and I have been on most major ocean cruises (45) to nearly all continents. Point being is that we are no novice at cruising. We have been on excellent to bad cruises and have rolled ... Read More
Background: This was our first river cruise. My wife and I have been on most major ocean cruises (45) to nearly all continents. Point being is that we are no novice at cruising. We have been on excellent to bad cruises and have rolled with the punches. We selected three day pre-cruise in Prague. The hotel Corinthia was not the newest but the accommodations were nice and Prague was one of the best cities I have ever been in. Highly recommend. Got an email from Viking that the river was low and we had to go to Passau to board the boat. I got this email only because the Corinthia Hotel had outstanding Wifi. I even made a face book call back to the USA in the bar which was a treat. Point being here was the email from Viking was the only warning that the trip was going south. Got bused to Passau. Viking should advertised this "cruise" as a sit in port then bus. We spend hours on various buses trying to "make the best of it". I came to hate the phrase as the Viking entertainment director seem to like it a lot. We sat in Passau next to an industrial site with a view of the dumpster for three days. My balcony view was a concrete wall. I requested to leave the ship and get credit. Was told by ship's personnel that they could not make that decision. Only "corporate" could make that decision and corporate would contact us 5 business days after the cruise. This meant the very distinct and as it turned out likely possibility of paying twice. Go back to Prague or stay on the ship was the choice. Did not have the guts to take a $7000 hit so stayed on the ship. After three days of a seven day cruise, we were not in the best of moods so that may have colored our judgement somewhat. Here are some other observations: Food : Poor to mediocre. Served hot dogs for lunch. Now that is real luxury dining for you. Viking gives the impression of gourmet dining. I have been on cheap ocean cruise ships serving 2,000 people that did a better job. I was served as an appetizer at dinner a half of a breaded chicken wing on a very large plate. Must be the large plate made it special. Could go on but you get the idea. Think the gourmet chef was on holiday. Room: Cabin was nice so no complaints. The cabin was even wired with 110 volt American style outlets. Entertainment: Small ship so did not expect much in the way of entertainment. Had a piano player that was good. Bar: Spend a lot of time at the bar as we were not cruising. Made a pretty good margarita. Main complaint is we lost three days of the cruise and have hear absolutely nothing from Viking. Seems this low river has been going on for six weeks prior to our arrival. If I had know that this was going on, I would have cancelled before I got there. Viking informed us the day after we arrived and we were told we "had to make the best of it". Very poor customer relations. Based on the food, lack of cruising, over priced for what you get, and poor customer relations, I recommend that you stay far away from Viking as you can. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
A few things you should consider before taking the cruise. 1. Internet is poor. Viking will tell you the internet connection is great (I called twice beforehand), and you can place video calls and watch video. This is not the case. Their ... Read More
A few things you should consider before taking the cruise. 1. Internet is poor. Viking will tell you the internet connection is great (I called twice beforehand), and you can place video calls and watch video. This is not the case. Their connection is poor. Unfortunately, I was unable to conduct some business via internet as planned. Normally not a big deal but I wish they would have told me the truth. 2. Food is just Ok. No room service, and no "real" food except meal times. This was a issue for us as some of the excursions included dinner and the dinner was low quality. 3. Rooms are very small. I'm blessed to get a suite on most of my cruises and I had a main level suite with a balcony. It was right next to the lobby and very convenient. The pictures make the suites look bigger than reality. Be forewarned. 4. Security is non-existant. Like it or not we live in a dangerous world. Viking doesn't seem to be too concerned. Unlike most cruises I have been on, there is zero security. Nobody checking to see who gets in board. No key card checkin or out. The good news is you can bring booze on board. 5. Speaking of booze, the Silver Package is a bargain. Very reasonable for those that drink often. 6. Ports were pretty interesting. I went and it wasn't terrible but there are other options that are better and safer. I would not consider Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We really didn’t know what to expect from this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. We have sailed on the Nile in the past, but never on a European river, so although we had some idea of what was involved, we were in the dark a little with ... Read More
We really didn’t know what to expect from this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. We have sailed on the Nile in the past, but never on a European river, so although we had some idea of what was involved, we were in the dark a little with what to expect. However, Viking did look after us very well indeed right from start to finish. One thing that does however remain the same as the Nile boats, is that you can be moored up tight against another river boat, which is standard practice. Viking have their own mooring/docking points at each port of call. The ‘Viking Daily’ which gives your itinerary for the next day’s activities is delivered during the previous evening. The Viking Gullveig is very new and the cabins are just wonderful, although really tight on space. Our cabin was No. 334 with a ‘French’ balcony. However, having said that, there is lots of storage space for luggage, clothes, etc. I’ve done a small separate cabin review that should be attached to this review here in Cruise Critic. One thing the boat doesn’t have though is a swimming pool. I don’t know why I thought it did, but perhaps I was thinking more of the Nile boats, as they do have pools on board. Life on board the Gullveig is very relaxing and there’s no ‘dressing up’ unless you really want to of course! The food on board is just excellent – we couldn’t fault a thing. The trips ashore are also very good but, like all package tours and trips, there’s never enough time in each place, however Viking seem to do their very best to give you some free time to do as you wish, which was appreciated. Everything ran like clockwork aboard the boat and we were unaware of any problems that there might have been. Entertainment is limited and perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but on some nights there is an opportunity to leave the boat to go ashore, which we took advantage of. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful right across the board – they are all obviously trained very well and they look after their passengers admirably. There was free wi-fi aboard with fairly good reception apart from up on the sun deck where I couldn’t get a signal. I’m not going to go into great detail here as I have done a travel blog with loads of photos, which pretty much covers the boat and what we done and saw on the cruise, so will give the link to that plus my Flickr album of photos that I took at the time of the Viking Gullveig. I am hoping that this will give people an insight into the cruise and the boat as there wasn’t much information out there when we were trying to do research prior to our holiday. Although you can book an extension to the cruise holiday to stay in either Basel or Amsterdam with Viking, we chose to do our own booking for Amsterdam at the end of the cruise. Of course that meant that we were responsible for our own transport to the hotel from the boat and then from the hotel to the airport, but that wasn’t a problem at all and everything ran smoothly. Viking are still happy to arrange your flights to suit what you have booked for yourself. If you arrange your extension with Viking though, then all of your transfers are included in the price of your holiday. All in all, we had a wonderful holiday and would recommend Viking very highly. Travel blog: http://vikinggullveigcruise.blogspot.co.uk/2014_07_01_archive.html Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marlscat/sets/72157645474973747/ **I had to put the port of embarkation as Amsterdam as Basel isn't mentioned in the list given. This cruise sails from Basel to Amsterdam (which is how we travelled) and also in the reverse from Amsterdam to Basel**   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Wonderful. Nothing could be improved. Not the ship, not the food, not the crew, not the shore excursion guides and not the agendas. Viking has to be one of the best managed corporations I have ever come across. The ship was the one of the ... Read More
Wonderful. Nothing could be improved. Not the ship, not the food, not the crew, not the shore excursion guides and not the agendas. Viking has to be one of the best managed corporations I have ever come across. The ship was the one of the new "Longships" . It was obvious it was the Cadillac on the river. Stick with these "Longships" if you go with Viking". Highlights were too many to mention. One great one was a woman violinist and a guitar player on board for the evening entertainment. Her lullaby she sings for her two year old son floored everyone. No Las Vegas type stage shows on these type of cruses. The 180 people on board were 80% retirees and 20% nearing retirement. Not a single one would you not want to have at your football game tailgate party. Since table seating was for eight you meet many people. Viking had their own docks. Some almost in peoples back yard. It was so nice to just walk off the gangplank and pat some locals dog or take a stroll into a nice town. Viking handles every detail down to picking your airline seat and getting you to the security point at the departure airport. We have already signed for our next Viking cruse. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
A group of us have just returned home from our Rhine River cruise on the Viking Gullveig. Overall, the cruise was very nice; we visited some beautiful locations. Having cruised the Danube last year with Viking, I was expecting another ... Read More
A group of us have just returned home from our Rhine River cruise on the Viking Gullveig. Overall, the cruise was very nice; we visited some beautiful locations. Having cruised the Danube last year with Viking, I was expecting another magical cruise, that is, until I was faced with the "fatal design flaw" in the new longships that Viking introduced. Last year we stayed in a very nice room with a French Balcony and it was great; that was pre-longship. There was room enough on the Viking Legend for a table and two chairs in front of the French balcony so we could enjoy our cabin. That cabin measured 170 square feet. Viking decided that the new longships would have verandas (balconies) on some of their rooms. To make those verandas, they shifted the main aisle between the cabins and took away 35 square feet from the French balcony cabins; that's a loss of more than 20% of the available space in the cabin, making the French balcony cabins so tight that two normal sized people have a difficult time maneuvering in the cabin. There is less than one foot of space between the side of the bed and the French sliding doors. To look out the French balcony, you must either sit on the bed or lean over the railing outside your door. This extreme reduction in space did not result in a reduction in price for the French balcony cabins. I call this a fatal design flaw because it cannot be easily changed without tearing the entire interior of the ship apart. What was Viking thinking? French balcony cabins are now 135 square feet and the cheaper lower deck cabins are 170 square feet; some one screwed up and it will not be easily fixed. Enough on the fatal design flaw. The crew was absolutely wonderful The excursions were well planned and the tour guides were excellent; everything I expected on a Viking cruise. The food was good, though the menu sometimes didn't meet my tastes, but the fallback of a New York strip steak is always nice. The ship was always kept very clean and the common areas were very nice. As for the ports, I wish we had more time in Amsterdam. We arrived mid-morning and had a welcome lunch on bard (much appreciated). We took a canal cruise that was very interesting. Couldn't get into Anne Frank's House; lines were very long. If you want to visit Anne Frank's, go on-line a month in advance and book the combined Canal Cruise with Anne Frank's House. Tickets sell out very fast. The second day we visited a windmill site in the morning; it was very interesting. That visit lasted about two hours and then we cruised for what seemed like an eternity to Cologne, arriving the following morning. The cathedral in Cologne was enormous, but lacked character that we have seen in other European cathedrals. If you visit the Chocolate Factory, skip the tour and go directly to the on-site store. The self-guided tour is not worth 9 Euros; spend those Euros on candy in the store. Heidelberg, Strausbourg and other stops were equally enjoyable. We ended our cruise in Basel, Switzerland, and took a two day excursion to Lucerne, which was beautiful. The optional excursion to Mt. Titlus was amazing. All in all, a very nice cruise. I preferred the Danube with its larger cites, especially Budapest, but the Rhine cruise was very nice. Sadly, with Viking adding so many longships with "shoe box" sized French balcony cabins, we may have to explore other cruise lines for our future river cruises in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Viking Gullveig Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.5
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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