126 Viking River Viking Legend Europe - River Cruise Reviews

The Danube cruise from Passau to Budapest was wonderful right from the start. Our cab pulled up to the ship, and the porters were right out there ready to take our luggage. In fact, they were actually too fast. We are so used to having at ... Read More
The Danube cruise from Passau to Budapest was wonderful right from the start. Our cab pulled up to the ship, and the porters were right out there ready to take our luggage. In fact, they were actually too fast. We are so used to having at least 45 minutes standing in line to board our cruise, my wife had not put the luggage tags showing our room on the luggage. The porters had to take them from her. We then walked on board, and were immediately handed our room keys; amazing! The food was good, and we found your optional drink package was definitely the way to go. As a matter of fact, as we were deciding whether to buy the package or not, we began talking to another couple about the package, and we both bought it, and ended up spending a lot of time with that couple. Quite the icebreaker. We definitely enjoyed the excursions, the Churches were amazing, and the Abbey at Melk was definitely the highlight. I would say Vienna was disappointing, in that we did not have enough time; I would suggest a longer excursion than just the morning. The Vienna Symphony was well worth the additional excursion, and I highly recommend it. I also think it was well worth staying awake to be on deck as the ship came into Budapest; quite the sight. We enjoyed the cruise so much, we bought the 2 for vouchers for a future cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Here are the details of my complaint regarding the Viking Legend cruise from 8 – 15 September 2013. I. Silverware, plates, tablecloths hygiene was below standard. 1. From the first meal I noticed both the plates and silverware ... Read More
Here are the details of my complaint regarding the Viking Legend cruise from 8 – 15 September 2013. I. Silverware, plates, tablecloths hygiene was below standard. 1. From the first meal I noticed both the plates and silverware frequently had small particles of dried food which I subsequently popped off using my fingernail. Alternatively, the plates and silverware occasionally felt greasy. 2. Table linen was not changed after every meal, even if it was soiled. At one breakfast I noticed coffee/tea stains around the perimeter of my blue cloth placemat. When I picked up the placemat there was smeared chocolate syrup, food/drink stains, as well as crumbs concealed under the placemat. When I called this to the attention of the Restaurant Manager his only action was to say he would put it in his report. I subsequently saw this same procedure of table preparation repeated after the dinner meal when they set the table for breakfast. II. The quality of both the food and preparation was inconsistent. Some meals were excellent, other meals were mediocre to poor. 1. On two evenings my meat was chewy (tough). 2. On the final night I ordered salmon; it was dry, unappetizing. On this meal my entrée plate was unusually dirty, I did not finish this meal. 3. Bread. The only evening I recall quality bread/rolls served for dinner was our final supper. The reminder of suppers we were served very-soft-crusted, room temperature, sliced baguette-type bread; very unappetizing. What an opportunity to showcase and excel with good bread. Of note, we did have a good choice and range of breads/buns available for breakfast. No bread was ever served at lunch in the dining room. 4. Soups. Without exception, all the creamy soups were poor. Either they were watery without flavour and spicing, or overly thick without flavour and spices and tasted of flour thickening. This was true for both lunch and supper soups. 5. The ‘Austrian/German’ lunch buffet in the lounge. a. Only cutlery provided was very flimsy plastic forks and knives (ineffective to cut or spear food). The paper plates provided were very thin oval-type that I’ve usually seen to serve a single hot dog on a bun. Not appropriate for a lunch buffet. They could have used the same cutlery/plates they provided for lunch in the lounge. b. Dessert. The struddle-type custard-like-filled pastry was not sufficiently cooked. Although the outside was browned, the inside of the dough was gummy. c. Fried chicken. Was tasty but excessively greasy. III. Of significant concern was the conversation I overheard between two ship employees (they did not see me as I was around the corner sitting in dim-light using my laptop computer. This was the night passengers had the optional concert tour and upon return to the ship could have a goulash snack. One employee told the other that since XXX (I did not catch the name) arrived the kitchen was disastrous. They said the quality of the meat and what was purchased was not as good as before. When one was offered some of the goulash, the other said that it was so bad they would not even taste it. IV. Cabin # 100. 1. The carpet was quite badly soiled. I did mention this to the Program Director and I believe the concierge was also there; they said the carpet would be cleaned, but I never noticed a difference. 2. The vacuum system in the shower drain was incredibly noisy, not quite a loud as a lawn mower (that is how loud it was). This vacuum system was also activated when using the sink. When I mentioned this to the front desk I was told there was nothing they could do, the lower on the ship the louder the vacuum noise became. 3. From time to time there was the smell of sewage gas in the passageway between Cabin 100 and the stairs located amidships. V. Seamanship. I am aware of three occasions on different nights the ship bumped the side of lock. On the first occasion the ship also scraped the side of the lock for several seconds. I was told the next day (I did not see this) that there was a diver in the water checking the side of the ship. In conclusion, I was disappointed in the Viking Legend’s overall quality. I want to stress the front line service personnel were quite good and doing the very best they could under the environment established by the Viking Legend’s leadership.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We recently returned from the Danube Waltz, Budapest to Passau in early September aboard the Viking Legend. The experience and scenery far surpassed our expectations. Our favorite highlights of the trip: Budapest in particular is an ... Read More
We recently returned from the Danube Waltz, Budapest to Passau in early September aboard the Viking Legend. The experience and scenery far surpassed our expectations. Our favorite highlights of the trip: Budapest in particular is an absolute delight. The city is so much prettier than we expected it to be. The docking location is right at the base of the Chain Bridge, thus giving easy access to walk and explore the city, and that we did. There are so many truly beautiful, old, ornate, and well-cared for buildings and streets on both sides of Budapest. The pedestrian shopping zone is just a couple of blocks off the river. It contained numerous sidewalk cafes, courtyards, local shops as well as Hard Rock Cafe, and Harley Davidson. A bus tour is included in the itinerary. The running commentary of our guide and the stops were good, but I thoroughly recommend allowing extra days to explore this city and its surrounding area. We wished we had, and plan to go back to have the opportunity to do so, as we really only time to see a brief overview. The optional excursion offered in Budapest of the Hungarian Horsemanship is great fun, with an added bonus of getting to see a little of the countryside on the way there. The ship leaves the city at night, and that is when the true beauty and magic of the city comes alive, as most of the buildings along both sides of the river are lit up and outlined in white lights. Everyone was on deck to view it as long as possible. Bratislava is another unique stop that we wished we had more time to explore on our own, as it the architecture and ornate designs of old buildings and churches that fascinate us. There is plenty of that there. The optional tour at Vienna is to Schonbrunn Palace. Of the huge palace and hundreds of rooms, only a few are open to public viewing, and are similar to other castles of the period. We enjoyed the extensive fountains and gardens more, and actually would have preferred to have had the choice to view the Zoo on the property instead of the Palace. We didn't have time to go in, but its video and photo ad outside the gates displays a surprising number and variety of animals (pandas) and it looked nice. It also had a beautiful location on the palace grounds. One of our favorite highlights of river cruises, is when we spend afternoon or morning time cruising. It is such a nice and stress-free way to have even a brief view of passing countryside. It is especially enjoyable when the scenery is as pretty as along the Danube. We are thankful for the upper deck setup with chairs, tables, loungers, and the nice glass screen that blocks wind and cool air. Even though early September, the air was brisk. It is also really nice to Viking to give each cabin wool blankets to wrap up in on deck. The stop at Linz offers a day-trip to Salzburg. As we had previously been to Salzburg and the forecast was for rain all day there, we opted to stay at Linz. It has good shopping options, in particular there were sidewalk cafes, and street vender stalls which ran for several blocks in a pedestrian zone selling everything from home-made soaps, perfume, jewelry to candies, cheese, grilled brats and other foods. A great place to taste and shop for souvenirs. We had a great time exploring. The last stop was Passau, and our favorite of the small town stops. The buildings and scenic location of Passau are displayed in many photos and ads, but none of them do it justice. In reality it is the complete package of almost unbelievable beauty, charm, and quaintness. Even though it was hard hit by the June floods, the town has been totally cleaned up. There is only the new high water line on buildings to show the height waters reached -- up to the 3rd floor on many. Passau is best viewed from the castle and its grounds perched above the river. There is a bus to the top, or a walking path. We walked it, and while some 500 plus steps, it isn't that bad. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery along the way. All too soon, the 8 day river cruises end. We have only Viking trips to compare, but we have enjoyed them all. We like the efficiency of Viking's staff. They really do handle everything, and in our opinion and on our trips, they have done an outstanding job in arrangements and details. We really can't fault them on much, (but putting alarm clocks in the rooms would be one suggestion!). And since they don't, we know now to take one with us. As far as scenery and stops, we thought the Danube Waltz to be the prettiest of our river trips to date. And going from Budapest towards Passau, the scenery became more scenic each day as we approached the hills and gorges of Bavaria. Clothing is very casual...jeans, sweaters, slacks. And for those worrying about wearing tennis shoes -- we saw as many Europeans in Nikes as American tourists. There is lots of walking on these trips, up and down steep, often slick inclines and over cobblestones -- good support, flat soles with grip, is a must. Another thing is warm / waterproof coat. On our first trip, we packed according to the high temperature forecast and froze. Pack according to the LOW temperature forecast. Tours are in the morning when temps are at the lowest. To be on deck (with best viewing and experience) wind chill is a factor. Pack a heavier coat than you think you will need. We expected temps the first week of September to be in the 80's (2 weeks before it had been 100). We hit 80 the first day, and 50's - low 60's the rest...add rain / cloudy skies and it felt much cooler. We had a lower cabin with the half-height window. Actually we liked it very much. The cabin size was good, plenty of storage, and the window allowed good light. One really isn't in the room except to sleep / change clothes. Our room was quiet, we never heard engine noise or anything else, or smell any type of fumes. Often it is hard tell if moving except to glance out a window. All in all, it was a fantastic trip, one we thoroughly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I was dazzled mesmerized mislead by Viking Cruise lines elaborate advertising campaigns. I truly believed that I was going on a first class river cruise, but instead I felt as if I was on a subpar barge floating down the Danube river. The ... Read More
I was dazzled mesmerized mislead by Viking Cruise lines elaborate advertising campaigns. I truly believed that I was going on a first class river cruise, but instead I felt as if I was on a subpar barge floating down the Danube river. The staff was cold and unfriendly. The food was good, but not great. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, and dinner was very small portions and the bread basket was full of slices of bread the size of a quarter. I love dessert and I was so disappointed in every dessert that they offered. It reminded me of what you would get on a buffet, or in a cafeteria. Our bathroom had a dirty toilet from the previous guest, which was cleaned up immediately. But I think the worst part was the fact that my 75 year old father was forced to pay my room expenses before he and the rest of the bus passengers were allowed to exit there bus at the Munich airport. I was unclear on why they did not just charge my credit card that was on file. And now I have been spending the last month and a half trying to reverse the charges from my father and apply them to my credit card. So far I get the impression that Viking River cruise does not care about their customers once they get your money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Viking River Cruise's "Danube Waltz" 8-day cruise from Passau to Budapest, August 18 through 25. Party of three; one single & one 2nd-deck double stateroom. We flew ourselves JFK-Prague three days ahead of the Passau ... Read More
Viking River Cruise's "Danube Waltz" 8-day cruise from Passau to Budapest, August 18 through 25. Party of three; one single & one 2nd-deck double stateroom. We flew ourselves JFK-Prague three days ahead of the Passau departure and rented a flat 1.5 blocks from Wensceslas Square. And we did it, all-in, for less than 2/3 of what Viking wanted for their pre-cruise extension (w/o airfare) - including all transfers, a large 2-BR flat, meals, a local tour and in-flat groceries. Prague was a pleasant place to recover from jet lag & adjust to central/eastern Europe. Hired a private Mercedes van to take us from Prague to Passau on departure day, and enjoyed the drive through farmlands to the port. The boat was easy to locate in Passau, the Viking staff made embarkation incredibly easy, and we were in our staterooms by 1:30pm AFTER we enjoyed a leisurely buffet lunch in the 3rd deck lounge. Passau suffered mightily during the June 2013 flooding; flood stage was in the vicinity of 39' above normal river level - the highest flood levels in recorded history (check the rathaus for flood marks). Most of the first floor shops/stores, etc. had been destroyed, and very little has been rebuilt. However, the entire port area was SPOTLESS; everything had been cleaned up and was more presentable than a lot of other cities we've visited. Well done. Overall highlights/recommendations - + Don't pass up on any of the half-day included bus/walking tours in each of the ports of call. They are generally well-done, allow for plenty of time to gaze & take photos, and are usually 1.5-3 hours long. Leisurely versions are available for those who have motoring limitations, and they are well worth it. + ENJOY the open seating for meals; it's comfortable and (usually) a lot of fun to share meals with new friends. One seating at each meal is NOT an issue, it actually led to a more convivial atmosphere after the first day. + DO NOT FRET over the relative lack of too-many choices for meals that come on larger ships. Each evening meal had three unique entrees; one meat, one chicken.fish, and one vegetarian, plus 3-4 standard items (steak, BBQ chicken, and I forget what else), along with salads, appetizers, wonderful desserts, and complimentary wine/beer at each meal. We only heard on whining complaint; the red wine was "too sweet" for one person (whaa-whaa-whaa). + This is NOT ocean cruising. If that's what you crave, please enjoy yourselves on the larger ships. This is a boat that's 11.5M wide, 110+M long, and only has four decks. The staterooms are just as large as comparable ones on ocean-going ships, and have everything that a reasonable traveler wants/needs. The wi-fi worked all of the time we wanted it - it's only unavailable on the sun deck in order to orient the wireless signal better within the confines of the boat. + The cities visited (Passau, Liz/Salzburg, Melk/Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava & Budapest) are all well worth the trip. Snap reactions - Salzburg was too full of tourists to feel comfortable walking without bumping into others at the end of European holiday season; Vienna was a big city although with too much classical history to pass it up; Bratislava is worth another visit if it could be joined to other destinations; and Budapest is absolutely charming and an up-and-coming tourist destination. + Viking does it right. Our cruise staff was professional, NOT in your face all of the time, and catering to any reasonable request. The Cruise Director (David Morgan) was thoroughly professional and spot-on with his recommendations. The hotel, concierge and housekeeping staffs were very timely (our staterooms were re-made by the time we finished breakfast EVERY DAY), and there were literally no bumps in the road (pun intended) during the cruise. In sum; we're already planning our next Viking River cruise - Russia from St. Petersburg to Moscow anyone?   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We arrived at Budapest Airport in the afternoon of 2 June - full of hope for our first river cruise. (We have previously undertaken many Ocean cruises). The Viking rep was there to greet us at Arrivals. He told us that the river was a ... Read More
We arrived at Budapest Airport in the afternoon of 2 June - full of hope for our first river cruise. (We have previously undertaken many Ocean cruises). The Viking rep was there to greet us at Arrivals. He told us that the river was a little high right now but we'd be taken to a hotel for a short while, to get some refreshments and then we'd be taken to our boat/ship to begin our holiday. Hurrah! He didn't appear to be concerned so we weren't, we had no reason to doubt what he was telling us. On arrival at the hotel (very nice hotel) we got refreshments, met other passengers and heard from our Program Director, David. He said we shouldn't be there too long, then we'd be taken, by coach, to the Viking Legend, which had, had to be moved due to the river levels on The Danube. Our stay at the hotel was longer than anticipated but eventually we were on our way to the ship. I think we arrived at the ship about 8 30pm, so dinner was served immediately. At that stage we didn't have our luggage, so all went in to dine as we were. The food was - okay. During dinner, David spoke about our plans the next day - a trip in to Budapest by coach. He told us that we'd have a chance to lie in the next morning (a lot of us had, had very early starts - we were up at 3 30am). While we were in Budapest the ship would be moved, he didn't know where. We were still given the impression, at this stage, that we would be cruising soon. The next morning at 8 30am, David's voice came in to the cabin, to tell us that we would be leaving for Budapest at 9 30am - panic stations, so no leisurely lie in and we had to get breakfast. The day in Budapest was fine - we had lunch at a restaurant (the best service of anywhere on the whole trip) and we enjoyed it. The coach journey back to the ship, at it's new mooring, took around 2.5 hours. We were moored at a small, probably disused, industrial harbour in Kormano, Slovakia. It wasn't pretty. We were the inside ship of four tied together, the Viking Bragi was immediately next to us, then a German cruise ship and another we didn't find out about. We got back to our cabin, with Juliet Balcony, we paid extra for and now had a view of a Viking Bragi balcony, they'd already closed their curtains, we did the same - that was the end of daylight in the cabin. We had another minimal briefing from the Program Director and were told that the next day we would be coached in to Bratislava. The ship would remain where it was. We still had not been told that we would not be cruising anywhere on this holiday. The journey in to Bratislava was long the next day as we were obviously not in our intended mooring. The highlight of our journey in to Bratislava was a comfort stop at a petrol station, four coach loads of people, all stopping at the same time - two ladies toilets, facilities for the men. Guide said we should be back on the coach in ten minutes - no way, this stop took the best part of an hour. We had lunch in Bratislava, the service took two hours, shambolic. Our tour of Bratislava was not as long as it should have been, due to travelling distance, long lunch break and the comfort stop. On return to the ship it was evident that the water had risen quite significantly. The German cruise ship had been evacuated and we learnt that the Viking Bragi was being evacuated the next morning. At the briefing that night we were told that we'd be going to Vienna by coach the next morning and that plans were being made to take us to Munich the following day, where we'd spend three nights at a hotel. The Danube was now officially closed. Quite a few people were unhappy about going to Munich - I believe some people left the cruise. The next morning again, the river level had risen, the walkway to shore had been extended. Lots of sandbags around the buildings in the area. The Viking Bragi had been evacuated - we were to return for another night. The estimate of our coach trip to Vienna was out by two whole hours. It took about four hours each way. We had a wander round the city, with the guide on arrival. Then lunch. The service was so bad (2+ hours to get to the main course) that my husband and I left, so we'd have some free time in the city. Viking also ran a trip to Schönbrunn Palace for those interested. We were told it was a very quick visit due to the time constraints of getting back to the ship. That evening we had to pack for Munich. The suitcases had to be ready, outside our cabin, for 8 30am as they were going separately - so they'd be waiting for us in Munich on arrival. Once more on leaving the ship the following morning, the river had risen, the walkway had been extended as far as it could go, over the flooding water, it was really quite concerning. The coaches couldn't park as near, so to get to them we had to negotiate sandbags and an extremely steep, temporary, set of steps up and down. These were quite a challenge for me but positively frightening for some of the more elderly guests who weren't as confident on their feet. The journey time to Munich, by coach, we had been told was 6.5 hours plus stops. No one was happy about that but we had to get on with it (as the Americans like to say on the board we had no option but to 'make lemonade') We set off to Munich at 9 30am - we arrived at the hotel at 9 45pm - TWELVE HOURS LATER. Of course, our suitcases hadn't arrived either - because they were so late in arriving, some of the passengers, plus the Program Director & Viking Hotel Manager, had to sort them out. All we wanted to do was get to bed. The hotel in Munich was nice but a few of us were told that we were Viking customers, so were made to feel inferior to the 'normal' guests there. There was no choice at dinner. I asked for a single scoop of vanilla ice cream, instead of the chocolate mousse served and was told 'it's not possible for Viking customers to deviate from the set menu'. Even if I paid for it, no, not possible. If you wanted to eat lunch at the hotel, it was charged. The internet was at a premium charge. These things were included on the ship. During our time at the hotel a trip in to Munich, with a guide was organised. Also a lengthy trip to Salzburg (which had been part of the original itinerary I think) or by public demand an alternative was also set up to visit Dachau. Munich was chosen as our final destination because people who were not extending our holiday were mostly flying from Munich (the extension was to Prague, which I guess was another lengthy coach journey). We flew home from Munich. The fact that The Danube flooded was not Viking's fault - not the fault of anyone. It's an act of God. However, Viking have access to the finest weather reports, river condition reports and forecasts. This did not happen overnight and catch them out. Some other river cruise lines cancelled their cruises that were due to depart the same day, on a similar itinerary. Another cruise line departed Budapest on the same day as us, then aborted the cruise two days later, as they realised their cruise could not be completed on The Danube. Viking cancelled their return sailing of our cruise on the same day we departed. It was an expensive holiday which turned in to a series of extremely long, arduous, bus excursions. This cruise should never have taken place as it cruised NOWHERE. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
My wife and I were first time river cruisers on the Viking Legend. As luck would have it, our cruise started the day before historic flooding that made the last floods of 2002 look tame. In fact, the floods in Passau were almost 2' ... Read More
My wife and I were first time river cruisers on the Viking Legend. As luck would have it, our cruise started the day before historic flooding that made the last floods of 2002 look tame. In fact, the floods in Passau were almost 2' higher than the record flooding of 1501, the previous record. We were disappointed that we could not actually cruise, but did have 4 lovely dinners on the boat and made some great new friends during dining and on the bus tours that were arranged for our first several cities. Ultimately we had to abandon ship and be relocated to Munich where we were put up at the Westin Grand, a very up scale hotel. We were given options for additional tours from there. Yes, being on buses was tiring, but we completely understood that our Tour Director David, and all the staff did a magnificent job under trying circumstances. We were told that Viking management would be offering some type of compensation as an offset to the problems. Shortly after the end of our travels, Viking sent an email indicating we would receive a 75% credit of the cost of our cruise toward any cruise they offered. We thought that was more than fair and will definitely take advantage of the offer. The ship itself was vintage 2009, but in excellent condition. Our room was very clean and both functional and comfortable. Dining was an absolute pleasure. The chef made dishes from various regions, but there were always options for the less adventurous. We did not get the special wines and spirits option, but the wines included in the base price were excellent. In short, the staff on board was great. Even the Captain pitched in to help get our luggage off the ship for our trip to Munich. All of the passengers we spoke to were also very complimentary of the way that adjustments were made to do as much as we could before the flooding became overwhelming. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
First, instead of canceling the cruise due to high water they withheld information and convinced everyone that they would be sailing and moved them to the ship outside Budapest by bus. Later we found out that Viking had decided to cancel ... Read More
First, instead of canceling the cruise due to high water they withheld information and convinced everyone that they would be sailing and moved them to the ship outside Budapest by bus. Later we found out that Viking had decided to cancel the next weeks cruise the day we were taken to the ship. Once we were on the ship we were told misinformation and half-truths to keep us on board. We saw abbreviated tours of places that were on the itinerary without the optional tours that they said were offered. The boat did not move from its docking place in a small Slovakian town so we were bused hours in each direction to see short tours of Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna. Second, I dont think they cared for our safety as they should. We were told that we were to be moved (evacuated) to Munich (not on the itinerary and a 12 hour bus ride). The passengers had to climb over flood barriers and sand bags to get to the buses for Munich. I felt that the passengers were placed in danger by waiting to the last moment to evacuate them. Several passengers were not that mobile and they had difficulty climbing over the sand bags. An emergency medical team was called as we were being moved on the bus but we were not told any details. Later that day my friends were told that the ship was inaccessible and later was told that the crew had to be evacuated by helicopter. The other Viking ship moored with us was safely evacuated the day before to Vienna. We were told we had to go to Munich since there werent any rooms in Vienna. Third, I have been to Budapest and Munich on business but had not been to Austria. Guess what country we saw very little of? I am so disappointed since I didnt get what I wanted; a restful river cruise, a better understanding about Austria or a Viking cruise that was up to standards. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Everything about this river cruise was first rate. Booked air travel and transfers through Viking. All flights from Phoenix to Munich were on time with no delays both coming and going. We were greeted in the Munich ariport by a Viking ... Read More
Everything about this river cruise was first rate. Booked air travel and transfers through Viking. All flights from Phoenix to Munich were on time with no delays both coming and going. We were greeted in the Munich ariport by a Viking Representative and transferred by a Viking bus to the ship in Passau. The ship was beautiful and clean. Our second level cabin with a French balcony was very accomodating. Recommed the french balcony as the first level is below water level and the window if rather high to see out. The breakfast and lunch buffets were great and the evening meal was excellent all nights. Each day there was a guided tour of the city we were visiting each day. We also had time to do things on our own in the afternoons. The highlight of the river cruise was coming into Budapest at 10pm. All of the bridges, monuments and government buildings were all lighted up and very spectacular. We stayed in Budapest two extra days and also booked this though Viking. We stayed at a 5 star hotel that was just beautiful. I highly recommend this cruise and will definately book another Viking River cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
I accompanied my 90 y.o. mother on the Viking River Cruise (Danube Waltz) in April 2013. I tend to be somewhat skeptical -- yet on nearly every point my Viking experience exceeded my expectations. The ship itself was great. Our ... Read More
I accompanied my 90 y.o. mother on the Viking River Cruise (Danube Waltz) in April 2013. I tend to be somewhat skeptical -- yet on nearly every point my Viking experience exceeded my expectations. The ship itself was great. Our French Balcony was of course small, but very comfortable and there was room for everything to be stowed away. Bathroom was fresh and modern, equipped with a vacuum flushing system that worked very efficiently. We loved having only 179 passengers aboard, as we really got to know people. Most of our cruise was from USA, England and Scotland. I believe that someone could go on this cruise, not knowing anyone else, and they would feel totally be-friended and included. It is a wonderfully inclusive environment. The food was simply amazing. Very elegant, lots of options and courses, not too large of portions -- so you didn't feel guilty trying lots of interesting things. I found the 'regional specialties' to be delicious. They always had the traditional back-ups on the menu: steak, roasted chicken, salmon, Caesar salad, etc. There was always fresh fruit and wonderful salad. One huge hit with everybody was their Latte / Coffee machine that is available (and free) 24 hours a day. At 6am they have their amazing pastries from Schmidl bakery available (watch their video on Viking Food). I liked grabbing a moccaccino and small pastry early in the morning, heading to the Library and video-chatting with my husband (in USA) on FaceTime. I found the internet to be way better than I had read. The Library is a great location, in case your room doesn't have the best Wi-Fi reception. I had almost no problems posting a few pictures on FB, getting email, looking things up on Google or FaceTiming. I incurred almost no phone charges as I forwarded my iPhone to my home phone in USA. I asked AT&T to give me "International Roaming" (even if you don't make calls -- do this!), I turned OFF Cellular Data. Texts TO me cost nothing, texts FROM me were supposed to cost 50 cents, but most of the texting I did was through FaceTime, so it was free. The sites we visited were literally "jaw dropping" for me. I 'd done my homework in advance, so knew quite a bit about what we'd see -- and I was still stunned with the beauty and history. Our tours were fabulous. We just went on the included tours, as that was enough for us. On excursions I learned that we could ask to be included with the "gentle walkers", so the guide would find the easiest route, and take it slowly. I would have never thought Budapest would interest me -- But being up on Buda Hill seeing Matthias Church was amazing! Loved the Melk Abbey (Melk, Austria) and cruising through the Wacchau Vallay. Bratislava was an interesting medieval city. Vienna was so beautiful and elegant. In Salzburg we ate in a 650 year old restaurant, had delicious Hungarian Goulash. I bought my mementos here (but wore out my knees as it was a long day), Passau was a delight - town hall was beautiful and so rich in history. The crew amazed me. They were so friendly and personable. I thought surely they would just put on an act of liking their guests. But they truly ENGAGED us and actually enjoyed the interactions. They responded to every request with a "can do" attitude. When it was time to tip, I was pleased to give the suggested amount, and also hand special thank you tips to several others that had truly blessed us - like Frances who (when asked) would make menu recommendations) or Alexander who greeted us by name each morning and would ask for my mother by name if she was missing. I had considered NOT getting the Viking Optional Transfers (to and from airport) -- but in the end it was so much easier that I did it. It was a bit pricey, but it was so well organized and stress-reducing, that I was glad I chose that route. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
My wife and I sailed on the first Danube Waltz of the season and had a wonderful time. There were a couple of minor issues during the cruise. To us, these were no big deal and expected since we understood that this was the FIRST cruise of ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the first Danube Waltz of the season and had a wonderful time. There were a couple of minor issues during the cruise. To us, these were no big deal and expected since we understood that this was the FIRST cruise of the season and about a third of the crew were new to the ship/itinerary. The weather was chilly and damp for most of the trip, but the staff and the ship were warm and very hospitable. We enjoyed meeting and mixing with all of the crew. We even "adpoted" one of the servers who was going through some home/family withdrawl. Most of the guests we met were nice too with the exception of a few couples that were overly demanding and very unappreciative of the effort put in by the staff. We even had one lady from Derbyshire feel slighted because she felt shorted on the number of caviar eggs garnishing her entree. The breakfasts were wonderful and plentiful. They really fueled their passengers for a day of exploration. Everyday there was something different to discover on the buffet so you didn't have to repeat any meal twice unless that's what you aimed to do. We even enjoyed the options for dining at lunch. If you wished, you could eat buffet-style in the lounge or sit in the dining room for a more structured setting. Dinners were always interesting thanks to the open seating and varying menus. For those not ready to be gastronomically adventurous, there were always three standard entrees availabe (grilled steak, chicken or salmon and a Caesar salad). The standard shore excursions were informative, especially since local guides were used. The headsets provided by Viking ensured that each passenger could hear what the guides said. The great thing about the standard shore excursions is that your are never forced to debark the ship and join the rest of the passengers for that day's tour(s). For instance, my wife and I had already visited Salzburg and Vienna a few years earlier. We knew Salzburg could be a bit congested with other tourists and didn't feel like riding on a coach to get there and back to the ship. We also knew, from spending a week in the city back in 2004, that Vienna offered too much to see in one day. We chose not to join the Viking excursions and explored Linz by ourselves and then rode Vienna's U-Bahn to where we wanted to revisit during our stop there. The massive abbey in Melk is not to be missed! The optional shore excursions were well varied and, from what we were told by those who chose to participate, good value for money. We chose the winery excursion in Dürnstein and thoroughly enjoyed the tour and tasting. We even brought some Wachau Valley wine back home with us. Delicious!! Budapest, we found out, is another city that requires further exploration. Arriving in port at night after dinner when it seemed the whole city was illuminated - brilliant touch. The standard tour Viking provided was enough, for us, to get our interest level very high. My wife and I did some further exploration of some of the sights after the tour and even arranged to have dinner that night in town thanks to the excellent concierge, David. We used Viking's embarkation/debarkation services for the cruise. Their pickup in Munich and drop-off in Budapest airports were achieve without any problems whatsoever. We can't wait for our schedules to allow us another cruise with Viking. We hope that the Danube River valley recover fully from this past year's flooding soon. We were fortunate to sail prior to the devastation of the region.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We boarded the Viking Legend in Budapest on Sunday, October 14 and cruised for a week up the danube and extened our tour after disembarking to include 3 days in Prague all arranged through Viking.It was an amazing tour. The sights we saw ... Read More
We boarded the Viking Legend in Budapest on Sunday, October 14 and cruised for a week up the danube and extened our tour after disembarking to include 3 days in Prague all arranged through Viking.It was an amazing tour. The sights we saw were fabulous and the service and care we recieved on borad the legend was extraordinary. We were looked after every second of our trip. Catalina, our program director was a delight and David our Conceirge was everywhere. Everyone on boad was pleasant and helpful. The bar crew of Andrew, Filip and Sava were extraordinary. Peter, the on board musician was wonderful. All transfers were handled very, very well. I was particualry impressed with little things....when we reboarded the ship after a local tour ( all of which were splendid) just exchanging our boarding passes for our room keys was done most expeditiously, never leaving us feeling like cattle ( much as you are made to feel by the airlines). Our room was constantly clean. Each morning when we went to breakfast, we returned to a spotlessly clean room. One time I even forgot something, went back to my room and somehow it had already been cleaned. Their timing was down to the minute with the few exceptions of arriving early once or twice to a destination. We were truly made to feel that, as Catalina would say, the Legend was our home away from home on the Danube, except with much better service. They handled our transfer to the Prague Hilton, our check in and then our transfer to the airport seamlessly. Much to our surprise, when we reached the airport at Prague, there was the Viking rep smiling and waiting to whisk us through the check in process painlessly. By this time, I was fully expecting a Viking rep to be waiting at our home when we returned with our mail all sorted, refreshments ready and waiting. They really could not have done anything more to make us feel comfortable and welcome. The arranged tours were professional, informative and fun. We met and made many new friends aboard So well done to Viking and especially the crew and staff of the Legend. We would certainly consider taking another cruise with Viking. You gave us the gift of a wonderful vacation and memories we will cherish forever. Thanks to all aboard and all the staff on land that made our trip truly special. THANK YOU!!! John Stevens Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My husband and I usually plan our own trips and do not take tours arranged by companies. However, we were not sure we could manage such an adventure in an area of the world where we are not familiar with the languages. In the past, we ... Read More
My husband and I usually plan our own trips and do not take tours arranged by companies. However, we were not sure we could manage such an adventure in an area of the world where we are not familiar with the languages. In the past, we have vacationed in the US, England, and the Netherlands. A Viking River Cruise seemed like a great way to see a lot and not have to worry about lodging or transport, and it was perfect! The flight arrangements and transfers went off without a hitch, and the staff on our ship (The Viking Legend) were as friendly as could be. Our cabin was very ergonomic--not large, but laid out EXTREMELY well--we were able to put everything away and not have it feel cluttered at all. The food was EXCELLENT--several regional choices at many meals, and if we weren't feeling as adventurous, there were always choices of salmon, chicken, or steak. Breakfasts were a sumptuous buffet, and the waitstaff at all meals were attentive. The wine and beer included in lunch and dinner were just fine--we did not feel the need to get the extra package. And the destinations! Each morning, there would be a tour by bus and then walking in the historic area of whatever the port of call was. The audio system worked well, and the guides were very knowledgeable. After lunch, we generally had free time or optional tours--we took a couple of the optional tours (a private home visit in Bratislava, which was fascinating as we got to hear about the changes in lifestyle as Slovakia became part of the EU), a trip to Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, and a classical concert in Vienna. These extra trips were worth it. The only disadvantage to a cruise of this type is it left us wanting more, and we would LOVE to see Vienna in more detail--we'll need to make a dedicated trip for that at some point! If you are looking for a very comfortable and convenient way to get a look at a broad area, and don't want to have to worry about ANYTHING, a Viking River Cruise is the way to go! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
The Viking Danube River cruise was beyond my expectations. We were very busy, and I loved touring different cities each day. Each one was interesting whether it was Passau, Germany, Salzburg, Melk, Durnstein, or Vienna, Austria, ... Read More
The Viking Danube River cruise was beyond my expectations. We were very busy, and I loved touring different cities each day. Each one was interesting whether it was Passau, Germany, Salzburg, Melk, Durnstein, or Vienna, Austria, Bratislava, Slovakia, or best of all, Budapest, Hungary. We were always given some free time. The Viking Legend staff provided excellent service. The food was delicious and served very elegantly. I also enjoyed the lectures on the European Union and Mozart. Also, one afternoon, we had tea and strudel while they demonstrated making apple strudel. There were so many extra delightful surprises. For example, after we returned from an all-day trip to Salzburg, we were greated with cold drinks. When we returned from our Budapest tour, we were greated with snacks. They always made sure we had plenty of water, both in our room and before we left on a tour. When we returned from a classical concert in Vienna, they served Hungarian goulash at 10:30 PM. The rooms were not large, but we spent very little time in the room. The ship was quiet and smooth. It could not have been more enjoyable. The room was not very large, but the only time we spent in the room was to sleep. We had a French balcony on the top level. It was very quiet. I don't think you would want a room near the back of the boat though. The libary was at the back of the boat, and it was quite noisy. We were given large bottles of water each day. They showed Sound of Music on the TV the night that we went to Salzburg, which we enjoyed because we had just seen places where it had been filmed. The service was good. Each evening when we returned from dinner, we were given the daily briefing for the following day. We had our own listening devices which we charged each night in the room. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
After taking 8 cruises aboard the large ocean liners, this was my first visit to Europe and a river cruise with Viking. Without a doubt, it surpassed any ship I have ever sailed before. We did not feel as though we were cattle being ... Read More
After taking 8 cruises aboard the large ocean liners, this was my first visit to Europe and a river cruise with Viking. Without a doubt, it surpassed any ship I have ever sailed before. We did not feel as though we were cattle being herded through huge lines as on large ships with 3000+ passengers. With less than 200 passengers and approximately 40+ employees, we knew most everyone before we disembarked, many on a first name basis. This cruise line gives the ultimate in personalized customer service. Staff members could not do enough for us and thought of many amenities before we even asked for them. Dining was more than a meal...each meal was a presentation of colors, flavors and aromas. Excursions were conducted in luxurious buses with tour guides who communicated with each person by audio boxes given to each passenger. Every effort was made to provide comfort, customer service and prompt attention to every detail of the cruise. I highly recommend this itinerary along the Danube River. Each port gives you an up close and personal visit to the culture of the community you visit. If you are looking for a party boat, this is not for you. The focus is on history, the local culture as well as music, dance and customs of each country. Evening entertainment is provided in a relaxed atmosphere in the lounge. The ultimate in the history of the Eastern European culture. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
My husband loved everything about our trip with Viking! Their staff took care of everything: the flights, the ship, and the lovely places we saw. We were picked up at the airport in Munich, Germany, by a very friendly staff and taken to ... Read More
My husband loved everything about our trip with Viking! Their staff took care of everything: the flights, the ship, and the lovely places we saw. We were picked up at the airport in Munich, Germany, by a very friendly staff and taken to our ship, the Legend. The captain greeted us, took our luggage, and welcomed us aboard. We were provided with a buffet and waited for our rooms to be prepared. This gave us time to meet our fellow travelers. After our rooms were ready, everyone was personally shown to their rooms! Our steward helped us prepare everything. She, Adrienne, was a dream. I must say that the chef and his staff were delightful and the food was mouth-watering, everyday, from breakfast to our evening meal. The staff was always smiling and acted like they couldn't do enough for us. David, Violetta, and several others were always helpful. We traveled to Passau, Linz, Melk, Salzberg, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. Everywhere we went, guides were provided. We experienced many interesting places, with lots of history. We travel through 11 locks, but only saw 2. We were asleep during the other passings. The lock near Budapest was simply amazing. Every city was more breath-taking than the last; especially Budapest! Our ship traveled to Budapest at night; the whole city, on the hills, were lit up to show visitors the beautiful buildings. Please book our journey with Viking River Cruises today! You will treasure your journey. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
In June of this year my husband and I took our second river cruise with Viking. In 2010 we took the Viking Sun on the Rhine River, and had such a wonderful time we decided to take the Viking Legend on the Danube. We began our cruise in ... Read More
In June of this year my husband and I took our second river cruise with Viking. In 2010 we took the Viking Sun on the Rhine River, and had such a wonderful time we decided to take the Viking Legend on the Danube. We began our cruise in Passau, Germany. As soon as we entered the ship all of our wonderful memories of our former cruise came back. The staff was welcoming and friendly. They took our bags immediately to our cabins while we were able to enjoy a lite lunch. Our cruise took us to Salzburg, Melk, Durnstein, and Vienna Austria. All of our excursions were informative and well organized. While in Vienna we took the optional excursion in the evening to hear a Viennese orchestra and opera singers perform in a palace. It was truly one of the most memorable occasions we have had. The next day we arrived in Bratislava, Slovakia, and had another enjoyable excursion. That night we sailed into Budapest. Our program director, Reka suggested we be up on the sundeck to see the beautiful sight of Budapest at night. She was so right! It is a spectacular sight to see the city in lights. We had another wonderful excursion and day in Budapest. The week was full of wonderful meals on the ship, great entertainment that they had brought on board, and unforgettable excursions in all the ports. The entire staff on the Viking Sun was friendly, helpful, knowledgable, experienced, and professional. We have had 2 wonderful experiences with our river cruises with Viking. The people we met on the cruises have all been so nice, And helped to make our experiences so enjoyable. We can't wait to take our next Viking River Cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This was the first cruise my wife and I have ever taken (if you exclude the overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen in 1974, during the worst storm to hit the North Sea since before D-Day - which may explain why this was the first cruise). ... Read More
This was the first cruise my wife and I have ever taken (if you exclude the overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen in 1974, during the worst storm to hit the North Sea since before D-Day - which may explain why this was the first cruise). It was a River Cruise on the Viking Legend from Passau to Budapest and we had with us our travel companions: my wife's sister and her husband. We'd decided to do it over a year ago and I called Viking to set it up, explaining to the fellow we dealt with, Zack, that we'd never done this before so some candid advice would be welcome. That set the tone for the cruise, by which I mean he was an extraordinary point of contact: helpful, informative, candid, responsive; indeed, more adjectives than I can easily list. The cruise itself went like clockwork, with people meeting us where we were to be met, getting us to the ship with no fuss or bother, and taking care of us throughout the eight days we were with them in a pleasant, low-key fashion. The ship was only a few years old, the cabins comfortable and well-designed, and the food keyed to the country we happened to be cruising through along the way. The other nice thing about the food was that it wasn't the overwhelming excess one associates with cruising. Rather it was nicely portioned for lunch and dinner and the few buffets we had were - essentially breakfast - were just enough. As for the itinerary, for us the Danube was an ideal venue, since it meanders through numerous countries and cultures, most of whose capitals are along the river, and the tours were nicely timed to see all of them, a good mix of driving and walking, with time to wander about after the 'formal' part was finished.. We stopped at Linz to bus to Salzburg, then Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest Our favorite places were Bratislava and Budapest, plus the portion of the cruise during the day through the Wachau Valley. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This cruise from Nurnberg to Budapest was threatened to not take to water due to the low water levels on the Danube in the late fall of 2011. Fortunately rains fell the week before we were to cruise, though Viking cruise line's ... Read More
This cruise from Nurnberg to Budapest was threatened to not take to water due to the low water levels on the Danube in the late fall of 2011. Fortunately rains fell the week before we were to cruise, though Viking cruise line's carefully worded information seemed to threaten that whether one cruised or not was the chance one takes upon booking??? That should have been due warning about the integrity of the Line, but it took more bumps to really recognize the lack of quality on this line. The food was poor. Despite the assertion that local foods and recipes would be featured we found it impossible to get a soft-boiled egg at breakfast, the cheese selection was very poor, no brotchen, no schwarzbrot, and the coffee was weak (more Norwegian-American) than European or Starbuck's. Generally however, breakfast was the best meal. Dinner was 4 courses. The salad was always a joke. The entree was only acceptable if one ordered the standard menu of steak/chicken/salmon and baked potato, but how local is that? The soup was never piping hot, and I believe it may have been the cause of sickness on the ship. Many cruisers were sick on this boat. Staff were sick too. I have never been so violently sick for so many successive hours. Generally I am a very healthy person. I think the kitchen and cook need to be replaced. The serving staff varied from competent to surly. The house wine was drinkable, free, and flowed with dinner. The outings at each port were accompanied by knowledgeable guides. I was unable to make every outing due to sickness and am generalizing here. The hotel staff were attentive and had to do extra cleanup due to sickness to be sure. If you know Europe at all, you are better off on your own along the Danube. You can eat better and stay better for less than half the price and a little internet research will guide your historical/architectural quests quite sufficiently. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As this was my third trip with Viking, I expected an excellent time on my trip, and that' s exactly what I got. The on shore trips were quite enjoyable. The amount of free time that we are allowed has extremely improved from the ... Read More
As this was my third trip with Viking, I expected an excellent time on my trip, and that' s exactly what I got. The on shore trips were quite enjoyable. The amount of free time that we are allowed has extremely improved from the previous trips that I have taken (Russian Czar Trip and Danube Christmas Markets) The romantic Danube trip was great since it coincided with the Christmas Markets so actually it was better than the previous Christmas on the Danube trip the previous year, except we didn't get to go to Linz. I would and have highly recommended Viking to my friends for these reasons. 1. Great for history and art lover. 2. Easy traveling for all age brackets. 3. Friendly ship personnel for the most part. (Russian the best) 4. Beautiful scenery and choice of cities visited. 5. Great breakfasts. 6. Wonderful entertainment aboard. 7. History on board has been so-so. Needs work!! Russian cruise was good. 8. Dinners need improvement. Too much like hospital food. 9. Modified walking trips for those who cannot keep up with rigorous paces. 10. Clean and good size rooms. 11. Internet not so great, so don't depend on for urgent communication. Too few computers also. 12. The pianist have been spectacular! 13. Front desk personnel could be friendlier. Waiters are "stuffy" except for the Philippian waiters. Housekeeping are quite and polite. Overall, I enjoyed my three trips with Viking and would do it over again. I also want to do future trips with them. I also have a family member that has gone on three cruises with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Previously we took the Viking Paris and the Heart of Normandy tour and had a fabulous time so we were excited about this Danube trip. The only problem was that the Legend was infected with a stomach virus bug and I got sick with vomiting ... Read More
Previously we took the Viking Paris and the Heart of Normandy tour and had a fabulous time so we were excited about this Danube trip. The only problem was that the Legend was infected with a stomach virus bug and I got sick with vomiting and diarrhea on the day we got to Vienna. After the chamber music concert that evening I was back on the ship only 15 minutes before I sprinted for the bathroom. Another passenger actually threw up in her hands at the concert!What upsets me most is that Viking wouldn't acknowledge that they had a serious problem and thereby put profits over people. If I had been forewarned, I would have exercised my trip insurance and cancelled.I can personally name 15 other passengers who got sick and a fellow passenger said that the total was over 34. One told me that passengers leaving the ship as he got on said most of the passengers on that cruise got sick. I was unable to go to the abbey in Melk or the walking tour of Regensburg. Consomme isn't my idea of a cruise dinner but that's all I could hold down for 3 days. At the New Year's Eve party I was unable to drink and it galled me to be charged for a Ginger Ale in the Lounge Bar. I thought that the crew seemed disengaged, tired, and ready to go home. They were going through the motions.On arriving from the airport at the dock in Budapest,we had to take our own bags down an extremely long and steep and dangerous gangway. The crew was nowhere in sight. I was also disappointed that Viking seems to arrange air travel routes which are the cheapest for Viking even if it means lengthy circuitous travel for the passenger. We left NYC at 10:40pm on Monday, 12/26 and finally arrived at the Legend in Budapest at 5:30pm Tuesday just in time for the nightly briefing and dinner but leaving no free time to see Budapest on our own. The next day Budapest tour was just a bus drive-by and didn't include the Terror Museum or going into St. Stephen's Basilica. At the end of our trip, we were told to have our bags outside our door at 3am with a 3;30am bus departure for Nuremberg Airport.The "breakfast" we were promised consisted of a pastry. No Viking staff member accompanied us to the airport, we weren't told where to go and the bus driver spoke no English.We were at the airport before 4am and the ticket counters didn't even open until 4:45am and our flight to Paris didn't start boarding till 6am. Next time I'll make my own travel arrangements. In Vienna, after the bus tour we elected to stay in the center city instead of going back to the ship for lunch. This proved to be a smart move since it enabled us on our own to visit the Imperial Apartments, the National Library(you have to see this majestic room!), and the Sacher Hotel for a Sacher Torte.Be sure you sign up for the Schonbrunn Palace tour in Vienna. We were lucky because their Christmas Market stalls were still open after Christmas when we visited. In Nuremburg the WWII tour was great. The food on board was generally good. There's no reason to purchase the liquor package since since you can have as much wine as you want at dinner.The local tour guides were excellent.The WiFi internet service was definitely subpar with lots of dead zones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
First and foremost - the food: Breakfast on board was excellant. Lunches were very good. Dinners were another story. While none of the dinners were bad, and some quite good, a lot of them were bland and pretty much without taste. ... Read More
First and foremost - the food: Breakfast on board was excellant. Lunches were very good. Dinners were another story. While none of the dinners were bad, and some quite good, a lot of them were bland and pretty much without taste. The one or two shows were very good, especially the galss blowing show. Wine list was very good. Only one beer on board, bitberger, which was good but a variety would have been better. WiFi was spotty but worked. Cabin upkeep was great. Biggest downside, to my way of thinking, was the time allotted for each port. We stayed in Vienna until 1 or 2 in the morning, so that at first light we could see some beautiful scenary, Only problem was - FOG. Nothing to be seen. The late departure from Vienna only allowed a couple of hours in Melik. No time to stop at the local shops and beer halls. Tour the abbey and rush back to the ship. I'd have much rather have left Vienna early evening and had a couple of more hours in Melik. Same for one of two other ports. You could do a tour or see the town, but not both. A real bummer! Wait staff and barkeeps were great. You have to take into consideration that their sense of humor is not quite parrallel to yours, but overall they were very good. Bottom line - I would do it again in a heartbeat, but I'm not so sure if my wife would. Do not miss the Mozart concert in Vienna - worth the price of the whole cruise!! West Palm Frank. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was our second River Cruise with Viking Cruise lines and it was great. The scenery along the Rhine and Main rivers is spectacular. Castles and vineyards on the hills along the river and interesting cities and villages all along the ... Read More
This was our second River Cruise with Viking Cruise lines and it was great. The scenery along the Rhine and Main rivers is spectacular. Castles and vineyards on the hills along the river and interesting cities and villages all along the river. The food on this cruise was also great. Our chef, Karl Heinz was super. At the buffet meals he was in the dining room directly supervising activities and at dinner he was often checking to make sure everyone was satisfied. Program Director Marek and his staff were very well organized and knew the area very well. The shore excursions were all well organized and the local guides were excellent. I was ill for several days and as soon as I sought help the staff found me a local English speaking doctor at our next stop who was able to get me the required medicine to get me back on my feet. River Cruising is a great way to see Europe. We visited 14 different cities or towns without having to pack or unpack once. The staterooms are larger than on most ocean cruises and although the level of luxury is not what is found on an ocean cruise the fact that there are only 150 other guests means you can actually get to know a good number of your fellow travellers. I highly recommend river cruising and Viking River cruises in particular. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Hats off to Viking for once again providing a fabulous river cruise experience. Budapest was one of those destinations to which I probably would never have visited had it not been on the itinerary. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the city ... Read More
Hats off to Viking for once again providing a fabulous river cruise experience. Budapest was one of those destinations to which I probably would never have visited had it not been on the itinerary. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the city on my own as well as the shore excursion from Viking. As usual, the tour guides were quite knowlegable and interesting. The cabin was nice and roomy. I just wish the windows had been larger like those on the Sky. Our cabin steward was exceptional. The two most outstanding memories aboard the ship were listening to the talented pianist and being able to enjoy the wonderful dining experiences offered by the remarkable chef. Both of those men are treasures. This was the second time I had traveled to Vienna, and I was able to see it from an entirely different perspective being on a river cruise. My biggest regret is that I did not choose to attend the evening concert while in Vienna. Very few of us were left aboard the ship. My husband and I had thought about signing up for that excursion so many times, but in the end decided not to do so. When we heard such outstanding reviews from those who attended, we were very disappointed that we had not gone. Anyone who takes this cruise should definitely attend the concert in Vienna. This was only my second river cruise, and we have booked another one for later this year. I must say that I'm hooked! The atmosphere aboard the smaller river cruises is far superior to that of the huge ocean cruise ships. It's a delightful experience getting to know the staff, and Viking Cruises hires extremely professional and personable staff members. Here's hoping that I get to enjoy many more relaxing vacations with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Review of Viking Legend22 April to 02 May 2011 Nuremberg to BudapestThis was a very different "cruise" for us - our first river cruise, after seventy-some ocean cruises. We had discussed this type of cruise for some time, and ... Read More
Review of Viking Legend22 April to 02 May 2011 Nuremberg to BudapestThis was a very different "cruise" for us - our first river cruise, after seventy-some ocean cruises. We had discussed this type of cruise for some time, and after perusing many web-sites, brochures, and travel writings, we decided to choose Viking River Cruise. The itinerary would be their Romantic Danube, from Nuremberg to Budapest. We opted for Viking's air-inclusive and a two night post-cruise hotel package, in Budapest, which also included complimentary wine at dinner. Pre-CruiseViking was most receptive and attentive to answering the many questions from a couple of neophytes. Their Customer Relations staff was probably the easiest we have ever found to deal with. As an example, after we sent in our original deposit, which went to their Woodland Hills, CA office, we were surprised to see a "Foreign Transaction Fee" charge on our credit card. Although Viking's U.S. offices are in California, the Company is based in Basel, Switzerland, and payments are converted to Swiss francs. We discovered this fact when we contacted their Customer Relations Department, to inquire as to why the fee was charged. It was an easy matter to have the Foreign Transaction fee refunded to us and we made subsequent payments with our "travel" credit card which does not incur Foreign Transaction Fees.Our flights to Europe were via Lufthansa Airlines (Boston to Munich to Nuremberg). This was another "first", flying Lufthansa. The flight and service were excellent, in spite of the fact that one of us does not tolerate long flights very well. The large selection of viewing and listening entertainment helped in the regard, along with the complimentary wine and cognac. Upon arrival at the Nuremberg Airport, there were Viking representatives waiting for us, to take us to the ship (yes, they do refer to them as "ships").EmbarkationUpon arrival at ship we were asked to "check in", which involved going to front desk handing in our passports and receiving our cabin key-cards. We were then directed to the lounge where there was a buffet lunch. There was then an announcement that cabins were ready for occupancy. We were met at front desk and escorted to our cabin, by our Cabin Steward. Viking also provided a shuttle into town for those interested. We opted to walk along the river path to take in the scenery and enjoy the nice weather.The Embarkation and Safety Briefing was held in the Viking Lounge at 18:15, right in the middle of the Cocktail Hour (pretty sneaky, but everyone was there). So far, everything was fine - how long would this last? The Viking Lounge was the venue for each evening's Cocktail "Hour" (which was usually scheduled for 1 ½ hours), and was also the post dinner entertainment venue, and where various lectures were held.Cabin 208The Viking Legend has three passenger decks (Main Deck, Middle Deck and Upper deck) and a Sun Deck. Cabin 208 was mid-ship on Middle Deck, which we found to be a very comfortable and convenient location, and one we would choose again. All the cabins on the Legend (except the two Suites) are same size (155 or 170 sq. ft. depending if one believes the brochure, or web-site); there are also five Single cabins (120 sq. ft) we did not get to see any of these personally.While this is a smaller size than we usually book it worked out to be more than adequate. The cabins on Middle and Upper Decks all have French Balconies, with sliding doors, which allow for a roomier "feel". The bathrooms were also adequately sized. We had more than enough storage space for all our clothes and "stuff". No need to remove the life jackets, extra pillows or blankets from the closet shelves and stuff them under the bed. The cabins on Main Deck had windows which were only slightly (1-2 ft.) above the water line. Other than that, they were identical to those on the other decks. All cabins have a 26 inch TV, refrigerator, telephone, safe, hair dryer, and air conditioning/heater controls. The beds were full hotel style beds (not pull-outs) and very comfortable. They are high enough off the floor to allow for storage of most any size suitcase. Our Cabin Steward was outstanding - very friendly and most efficient.Dining The Viking Restaurant, located on Middle Deck was the primary dining venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast and lunch there was also some additional limited "Cafe" buffet offerings in the Viking Lounge. There was also an area outside the Viking Lounge (on Upper Deck) that had coffee, tea, and juices available around the clock (usually some delicious pastries also).At breakfast there was buffet set out in the Viking Restaurant as well as additional items (eggs to order, omelets, Eggs Benedict) available from wait-staff. Anything on the buffet could also be ordered from the wait-staff. They also served fruit smoothies and other beverages each morning at the tables.At lunch in the Viking Restaurant there was a buffet that had salads, some sandwiches, a pasta dish, cheese plates, and fruit selections. Available from wait-staff were a pre-selected appetizer, a soup, choice of two entrees, and desserts. Also the wait-staff would serve you items from the buffet, if requested, and beverages.There was no buffet at dinner time, only service in the Viking Restaurant (single seating). This consisted of appetizers on the table (family style), starter course, soup course, choice from two entrees (usually one fish, one meat), and dessert. Of course the aforementioned complimentary wine (choice of red or white) was liberally poured, and refilled, by the attentive wait-staff. We found the wines of very good caliber. There was also a "stand-by" menu available each evening (chicken or salmon, unless one of them was on the featured menu, then a different fish or meat was available). Wait-staff did circulate about the restaurant with "seconds" (most if not every evening) in case anyone was still hungry.ExcursionsEach day there was at least one, sometimes more, included excursion. On some days there were also optional (price-added) excursions. Each passenger was assigned a wire-less receiver and ear-piece to wear whilst on excursions. The local guides on the excursions wore the transmitters so that each group would only hear their guide's commentary. This worked extremely well, especially for those who wished to separate from the group a bit to take photos. They could get their photo and still hear the commentary, as long as they did not stray too far afield. Each guest could set their own volume preference and did not have to suffer the crowding immediately around the guide. When one returned to their cabin they needed only to place the receiver unit in its charger, and they were ready for the next excursion. We did all of the included excursions and a few of the optional ones; almost all were excellent and worthwhile (one guide was mediocre and one bordered on poor). Each guest chose whom they wanted to tour with, and each time there was one or two groups that were designated as "moderately paced". Some of the walking tours did require extensive walking, but accommodations could be made if the ship staff was alerted beforehand.For brevity's sake here, we will not go into detail on the excursions.EntertainmentThere is no theater on board the Legend. The main entertainment venue is the Viking Lounge. Each evening during the Cocktail Hour and most evenings after dinner there was an excellent keyboardist playing there. On a few evenings there was local entertainment brought on board. Of course there was always television, and there is a Library on board which also has a number of board games available. It appeared that most opted for the lounge, and we enjoyed many nice conversations over drinks and snacks.Another form of "entertainment" was to go up on the Sky Deck and watch as we passed under some of the many bridges (some quite low), or passed through some of the many locks on the river. Some of the bridges are so low that the wheelhouse has to be lowered (it is on a hydraulically controlled platform. Most times one could also go up and chat with whoever was in the wheelhouse, unless it was the Captain who spoke no/very little English.We were never bored or at a loss for something to do. Another nice aspect of this cruise was the paucity of announcements. Information was relayed in a timely manner, when necessary, but there were not myriad announcements and no "reminders" for Bingo or Art Auctions.Miscellaneous One aspect where Viking really has their act together is Service. We mentioned their pre-cruise availability and accommodation. Their on-board service and logistical operations are excellent and beyond reproach. Something as important as tracking who was on-board, or not, was easily accomplished. Whenever we left the ship, we turned in our cabin key-card and received a day-pass; when we returned to the ship, the process was reversed. Every request was answered immediately or within a most reasonable time-frame. We were amazed at how it seemed that everyone had more than one job to do, and everyone was helping out wherever needed. There may have been some "master plan" directing all this, but it was not discernible. Everything just "worked"; no one ever seemed grumpy, and everyone was approachable. Even the guys delivering that entire amount of luggage by hand (three long decks - no elevators or carts) seemed to be having a good time.Post CruiseAs mentioned earlier, we opted for a two night post-cruise stay. Viking booked us into the Hilton Budapest, which is located on the Castle Hill of Buda, immediately adjacent to the famous Fisherman's Bastion, and directly across the river from the Parliament Building. The Castle Hill area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will find many shops, coffee houses, restaurants, museums within easy walking distance of each other, and our hotel was just about in the middle of all this. The main (high ticket) shopping, the business district, the City Market, and late-night clubs are to be found on the Pest side of the river, which is very easy to reach, via the Chain Bridge. We spent time on both sides of the river and were extremely happy with our hotel's location. The accommodations and service were also top-notch.Overall Perceptions:.We enjoyed this cruise very much, and are looking to choose our next itinerary, most likely on Viking River Cruises, who has four new ships coming out over the next year, or so. They are also anticipating some additional ones beyond that time -frame.We really enjoyed the ability to just stroll off the ship (usually right in/near the center of town) and wander about. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Viking Legend Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.4
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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