9 Viking River Viking Jarl Family Cruise Reviews

River cruising is much different than ocean cruises. You get to know most of the crew and see the same passengers every day. You can have lengthy conversations and learn more about others on the ship. Because you are in the heart of ... Read More
River cruising is much different than ocean cruises. You get to know most of the crew and see the same passengers every day. You can have lengthy conversations and learn more about others on the ship. Because you are in the heart of the countries, not just along the coast, you learn much more about the culture of the country. The shore excursion tours are much more personal and you are told to interact with the guides and ask the “hard questions”. We thought the food was excellent. Generally the menus met or exceeded those I had experienced on ocean cruises. No fitness equipment on these vessels but they do have a walking track on the upper deck. What we really enjoyed was the sea time, because you are always in sight of land, passing by smaller cities, castles, churches and transiting 25 Locks just from Nuremberg to Budapest, as well as passing over a water bridge. Truly amazing scenery! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Took my family on their first river cruise and visited all the Christmas markets we could. AWESOME cruise in all respects except the weather ( It was very cold ) The cruise staff was excellant especially the Cruise Director. Excellant tour ... Read More
Took my family on their first river cruise and visited all the Christmas markets we could. AWESOME cruise in all respects except the weather ( It was very cold ) The cruise staff was excellant especially the Cruise Director. Excellant tour guides that actualy knew the area. The ship was very well layed out and it took all of ten minutes to find things. The cabin we had was very well done with two seperate rooms. That was great because One could go to bed, close the door while the other watched some TV or just read. Cabin had a big bathroom off the bedroom with a great shower. Rare on a boat/ship. Fridg was restocked every day. Room steward was right there any time we needed him and had the cabin redone before we got back from breakfast. He also had the bed turned down every evening by the time we got back to the cabin. The dining room was well done with different tables, anywhere from 2 to 8 people per table. There was an excellant dining staff that immediatly knew our names and remembered what we liked for drinks or salads and things like that. They were impressive. There was always a varied menu for dinner and what you ordered was ALWAYS well prepaired and presented. If you didn’t like one of the specials, the menu always had what I call standard fare you could order. The wine list was very well done as well and I would recommend buying the prepaid drinks because the selection was better than some high end places I have been to. Some of the dining stall worked in the bar area as well as the dining room and knew what we wanted as soon as we sat down. Again, very impressive. Would I sail with Viking again??? Absolutly. In fact we are looking at both river cruies and their ship cruises. We will take another in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. The room was adequately sized and appointed. It was the Viking Jarl. The dining was excellent as I stated above. Roger and Jahz were fabulous. The were very attentive and knew what we needed before we did. They made the trip. Also, Neli kept our room clean and neat. We visited Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau, Germany. At each port we took the walking tour and learned the history of each city. We also too the Nuremberg Jewish tour and learned of the trials of the Nazi war criminals. In Passau we visited a horse farm and a lovely beer festival. We look forward to our next trip and it will be on Viking as they have the best overall package we have found between the ships, personnel, cities visited and service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was one of our "trip of a lifetime" dream vacations. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery and castles along the Danube. We also wanted to enjoy guided tours through the old cities that are featured on the Nuremberg to ... Read More
This was one of our "trip of a lifetime" dream vacations. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery and castles along the Danube. We also wanted to enjoy guided tours through the old cities that are featured on the Nuremberg to Budapest cruise. The local guides on the guided tours were very interesting and knowledgeable. We enjoyed learning about the history of each city that we visited. When travelling through the Wachau Valley, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny morning for this section of the cruise and we were able to enjoy the view from the open top deck on the ship. The on-board entertainment was great - there was a good variety of entertainment and we had lots of fun. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. The dining room staff always made sure we were given personal attention. I would highly recommend the Nuremberg to Budapest cruise on the Viking Jarl. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We went on this particular cruise because the dates worked with everyone's schedule. We traveled with our two adult children and their spouses. Theses dates for the Danube trip were the only ones that worked for all of us. It was a ... Read More
We went on this particular cruise because the dates worked with everyone's schedule. We traveled with our two adult children and their spouses. Theses dates for the Danube trip were the only ones that worked for all of us. It was a fun family trip. We enjoyed the entire ship Jarl. The public space is wonderful. The deck is so nice to sit and watch the spectacular scenery go by. The ship and staff were fabulous as always. We were especially impressed with our dining staff. Because we were a group of six and wanted to sit together for each meal, we choose the same table in the dining room. Jahzz, Jayson, and Connie were the wait staff and the three of them made our trip even more special! They were outstanding in their service and are awesome people!! We really connected with them and they made meals very entertaining for us. The ports and shore excursions were awesome too. It is so great to see other cities and cultures. We loved each city for what there was to offer. We would definitely go on another Viking River Cruises. We've been on the Viking ships Idi and Heimdahl in the past. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We accompanied some friends on this cruise and they were the ones responsible for choosing Viking as well as the destination. However we were MOST impressed with EVERY aspect of the cruise and are definitely planning rebook with Viking. ... Read More
We accompanied some friends on this cruise and they were the ones responsible for choosing Viking as well as the destination. However we were MOST impressed with EVERY aspect of the cruise and are definitely planning rebook with Viking. The staff was extremely attentive and personable. They went beyond on a personal level although many of the thoughtful experiences were built into the ship's agenda. For example, on our first excursion, we started out in a cold rain. As we left the ship, we were offered nice (and large) umbrellas. Upon our return, we were greeted with warm towels and hot chocolate! Every excursion was well-orchestrated and the logistics were obviously well-planned. The guides for our excursions were very well informed and attentive to our needs while away from the ship. In addition to the built-in excursions, we were also given plenty of free time to explore the area or participate in another tour of our choice. The public rooms provided a great place to gather for large or small groups. The view was spectacular from almost any area in that space. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My cousins live in Hungary and we traveled there a week in advance to visit with them prior to traveling to Eastern Europe which we never visited before. The Viking representatives arranged the air travel so this could happen. The hotel ... Read More
My cousins live in Hungary and we traveled there a week in advance to visit with them prior to traveling to Eastern Europe which we never visited before. The Viking representatives arranged the air travel so this could happen. The hotel in Budapest was way above expectations! On board, the crew was awesome sharing information about what to expect and making sure we truly enjoyed our time on shore. The local guides were very informative. The food and entertainment was excellent as usual (this was our 4th river cruise with Viking). We truly enjoyed our waitress who knew in advance what we would like to drink before we ever sat down from breakfast to dinner. We have never been disappointed traveling with Viking. Even upon departure we were escorted the the airport where Viking representatives walked us through the aspects of foreign country routines. In fact we have been so impressed with Viking river cruising, their staff, and quality of our experiences that we have already booked our first Viking Ocean cruise for 2017. I can only imagine the splendor of such an ocean going vessel if it has an inkling of what we have experienced with the river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We took a 'Mom and Two Sons' river cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg. It was time to spend together traveling like we had not before and visiting cities, world heritage sites and countries that none of us had visited before. ... Read More
We took a 'Mom and Two Sons' river cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg. It was time to spend together traveling like we had not before and visiting cities, world heritage sites and countries that none of us had visited before. Every facet of out Viking experience was timely, stress-free and truly enjoyable, From the time we were met at the Budapest airport to the 'ship swap' to the Viking Atla to delivering us to the Nuremburg airport, we were treated like kings and queen. I do not enjoy crowds, so the size of the ship was perfect. Service was just right and quickly our 'favorites' were known and served. Each crew person was personable, fun to get to know and in a short time, became a friend who we cared for very much. Dining was so enjoyable and the chefs were fabulous. We truly enjoyed our meals and were very happy for the excursions so we could walk off the calories! Each excursion guide was friendly, informative and interesting because they lived in the cities where we toured. The extras from the city-natives was insightful and I felt like they were sharing their love of history as well as the beautiful architecture. I especially enjoyed walking on the Roman/Medieval roads, seeing the art and sculptures and the magnificent cathedrals. Realizing how real World War II remains in the cities we visited was eye-opening. The physical losses and rebuilding was truly conveyed to all of us and gave me a new appreciation for each city's peserverance. We did not have the opportunity to stay for any extra time in Budapest, although I certainly would love to return. Yes! I would love to take a longer river cruise when I retire in 2-3 years. What a great way to start a new phase of my life! Perhaps my sons will be able to come with me once again so we could create more memories. I have recommended Viking to many of my friends and co-workers because it was such a wonderful way to travel and see the world. Thank you, Viking, for my memories of the beautiful cities, valleys and time spent with my sons. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Pre-Cruise We flew from Atlanta to Basel via Amsterdam on August 20, arriving on August 21. Had about a 3-hour layover in Amsterdam which gave us time to locate our flight which was in the "lower 40". We took a bus to our plane ... Read More
Pre-Cruise We flew from Atlanta to Basel via Amsterdam on August 20, arriving on August 21. Had about a 3-hour layover in Amsterdam which gave us time to locate our flight which was in the "lower 40". We took a bus to our plane and walked up the stairs. In Basel Roy and Mom (who had wheelchair assistance) were moved by a lift to the ground so they didn't have to walk down the stars from the plane. We found a cab which could accommodate all 6 of us and our luggage and arrived at the St. Gotthard in Basel around 11am. No problem at all to check in early. Great location, across the street from the train station and around the corner from the tram stop. We had free tram passes for the 2 days we were there so this worked out great. No restaurant in the hotel, but several nice ones in each direction. Breakfast was included in our reservation, which at the price, it should have been. I think we paid 250 Swiss francs per night. Rooms were relatively small, but pretty good sized for Europe. Adapters came in handy for charging computers, cell phones, etc. Took dual voltage flat iron and curling iron which cold plug into German or Swiss plugs by using the adapters; all electronic chargers could also be used with these. After arriving we went to eat at the train station and Dad picked up something for Mom at the McDonalds next door. All of us flaked out, took naps until we got together for dinner around 6pm or so at the restaurant next door. After dinner we took a quick tram ride downtown. The next day we went to Les Reyes Trois hotel for lunch. Had reservations to celebrate Mom's birthday there. Amazing restaurant, with lunch having about 7 courses. She enjoyed it, which was important. They have a balcony overlooking the Rhine where we watched all the river traffic. We also took tram to the marketplace downtown and to see the cathedral. Great veggies early in the morning. Later in the day we took the tram as far as possible just to see what we could see, about 50 miles into the suburbs. Dad, Sandy and John to the zoo. We met Liz, Henry and Jean at a pizza place for dinner. We had a lazy morning the next day then got a cab to go to the riverboat (actually 2 cabs). They had to search a little bit to find the exact location of the boat, but once we got there, people from the ship helped unload the taxis and took our suitcases from there. We were guided to the lounge and a buffet lunch and waited until about 2pm before we could get into our staterooms. Viking Jarl My first impression concerned how easy everything was and how personal. They took care of our suitcases right away, and we walked onto the ship. No lines, no security, just make yourself at home. Everything light and airy feeling, very friendly staff. We met the Captain within 10 minutes of boarding! Our cabins were on Deck 2, same as the reception desk and the restaurant. We had a French balcony which is a room with a sliding glass door with no where to go...but lots of window! Not very much closet/cabinet space, but enough; also, pretty tight getting around the bed for us, but doable. I'm not complaining here, just know not to bring a huge amount of clothes. Day 1 - Basel After boarding the Jarl you have the option of taking a bus to the city center and going on a walking tour. We didn't do this since we'd been in Basel, but several of our group did. We had our initial meeting in the lounge at 6:30 meeting the captain, hotel manager and program director, all of whom were friendly and welcoming. This was followed by dinner at 7:30; we cast off at 7pm. The head chef, Georg and Maitre d' Sasha were wonderful. Just about every night Georg would give us at update before dinner as to what our options would be. When one of our party was sick one evening, Sasha brought some crackers, apple sauce and soup to her in her cabin...think that would ever happen on an ocean cruise??? We added the silver plan to our drinks at $150 per person for the 7 day trip and were able to drink whatever we wanted for the entire trip. We'd order a drink, say we had the silver plan and that was all it took. Your wine at meals is included, but they didn't have the wines I like and cocktails are extra. We thought it was a good deal and it was. I didn't record what we had for meals, but they were great. The crew would get fresh produce and meats, whatever, from just about every port. We even saw the captain helping load and unload! Day 2 - Breisach & Black Forest We had breakfast in the dining room, your choice of buffet or ordering from the menu (or a combination of both). Our first excursion, from 8:30am to 12:30pm to the Black Forest. I chose not to go to look at cuckoo clocks, but to go for a walk. After about 10-15 minutes I turned around, just too much in the way of hills for my lack of fitness. Ran into Mom and Dad and we went into the restaurant and ordered some black forest cake'too large for 3 people and to die for! Really pretty area there. I didn't actually go into any of the shops of which there were 2-3, but of course you can. Pretty drive. Viking had 3-4 buses that followed the ship to most destinations; tour guides changed but buses and drivers remained the same. That afternoon 3 of our group went on a World War II excursion and thought that made their trip. Excellent guide, very knowledgeable, and a great museum in Colmar. All things Audie Murphy, and just fabulous. Several of the others went for a walk in Breisach to the cathedral up at the top of the hill and through town. All enjoyed that, also. The cost was $39 per person and think they would have paid more! Entertainment was primarily a wonderful piano player, who had a really extensive repertoire, including "All My Exes Live in Texas" with a German accent! Sit and listen to him or dance, at your discretion. He did a great job. Day 3 - Strasbourg We arrived in Kehl, east of Strasbourg at 8am and after breakfast went on a bus tour around Strasbourg, seeing various UN buildings and the European Parliament before stoping at the cathedral and touring it. We had made reservations at the Chez Yvonne a local restaurant, that had been in operation since the 1800s, to celebrate Sandy's birthday. Her favorite thing in the world (other than her husband) is foie gras and that's their specialty. It was only a few blocks from the cathedral so this worked out great for us. Great meal, then some of us took a cab back to the ship and others walked around some more and returned to the ship via the shuttle which the Viking Jarl was operating until 5pm. Day 4 - Heidelberg and Rudesheim Bus tour of Heidelberg followed by tour of the castle then back to the ship for lunch. The ship cast off at 1pm for Rudesheim, arriving about 6:30pm. That afternoon we visited the wheelhouse and stood behind the captain to learn about how the ship was being operated, radar, etc. Very interesting...again, something you don't do on larger ships! After dinner a group of us went to Rudesheim and visited their street of wine taverns on our own, just a little ways from where the ship was docked. Others enjoyed a glassblowing demonstration. We stayed in Rudesheim overnight. Day 5 - Cruising the Rhine, Marksburg Castle, and Koblenz Traveling down the Rhine and seeing the amazing castles most of the morning until we got off for a tour of Marksburg Castle. Not for the faint of heart with lots of uneven stones, steps and uphill walks, but a wonderful sight to see. Don't do this one unless you're in pretty good shape! From here the buses took us to Koblenz (ship had already arrived there) where we had lunch. We were there the rest of the evening. That evening attended a great musical trivia quiz with program director Rene and our great piano player. Day 6 - Cologne We arrived in Cologne around 9:30am for a city walking tour including the old town and fabulous cathedral. We were docked about 10 minutes walk from the cathedral, very centrally located in an area with lots of other riverboats, a park-type area. There was a chocolate museum and a mustard museum which some enjoyed. A few of us just stopped in a cafe and had some great wine or beer. Some of our group did a little shopping since we were close to downtown. We sailed that evening around 11pm. Day 7 - Kinderdijk We were sailing in the morning, had an interesting program about all things Dutch from Rene and a great cooking demonstration from Chef de Cuisine Georg. After lunch we arrived in Kinderdijk and had an interesting tour of all their windmills, even walking inside one (and some climbing up). That evening we had our farewell dinner with all the crew being introduced in the dining room. Day 8 - Amsterdam We woke up in Amsterdam harbor with riverboats on either side of us, but I went up on the sun deck and could see the harbor. After breakfast we left the ship with help from the crew carrying our luggage. Rene and Dora had made arrangements for taxis for us to go to the train station. We could have walked, it was so close, but not with all our luggage! Off to Hamburg and our next trip. Other Thoughts: 1. Internet was great, free, and never had any problems getting on. 2. We never had problems hearing the information in the lounge. Just be sure and get there early so you can get a seat. Most days it's not a problem. 3. Food was wonderful. If you don't like their food, I don't know what to suggest. 4. Laundry service was available with about a 2-3 hour turnaround, fastest I've seen anywhere 5. Sometimes they set up leisure groups for those who walked slowly, but several of the guides didn't seem to know that was the purpose of the leisure group...we kept on asking them to slow down and they never looked back. If you're a slow walker, you might have to go on your own or else stay at the ship. 6. I'D TAKE ANOTHER VIKING CRUISE IN A HEARTBEAT!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Viking Jarl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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