7 Viking River Viking Lif Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

We wanted to do something special to celebrate our retirement. We were not disappointed at any point during the entire cruise. The excursions were the best and we visited places we had only read and dreamed of seeing. The guides were ... Read More
We wanted to do something special to celebrate our retirement. We were not disappointed at any point during the entire cruise. The excursions were the best and we visited places we had only read and dreamed of seeing. The guides were well versed on places we visited, were patient with our many questions and allowed time to take pictures without being hurried along. We had the wonderful chance to take the pictures we will be able to share with others and remember of trip of a lifetime. The history books came to life! Great friendly, polite staff that provided service second to none. We enjoyed the dining options, which were served by friendly staff. We enjoyed the tour of the ship 's "kitchen" and the bridge. A piece of luggage did not arrive with us, the staff took care of contacting the airlines, we had our luggage before we sailed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We’ve been travelling with Viking many times and we always prefer a nice relaxing river cruise instead of an ocean one on a big noisy crowdy ship. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest manage to change our “top 10 best cruises” ... Read More
We’ve been travelling with Viking many times and we always prefer a nice relaxing river cruise instead of an ocean one on a big noisy crowdy ship. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest manage to change our “top 10 best cruises” taking the first place for so many reason. Viking LIF despite being an “old ship” (according to Viking Cruises timeline) was clean and sparkling and the housekeeping team was working hard in and out our cabin to achieve this. Our room stewardess was a sweet girl from Romania – marina – and she was doing everything possible to give us a non-stop “being home” feeling. We didn’t like the new menu in the restaurant (too complicated and no flavour) nor the new French style dinner on the terrace (the booking system was pointless, and the food didn’t have any connection with the French cuisine). Fortunately, our waiters Bart and George were superb with excellent manners and high standards. Absolutely in love with them. We missed the presence of the concierge on board despite all the efforts of the Hotel manager – a charming Dutch man and his team at the reception. Anckitza was so accommodating and always smiling. The biggest surprise on this trip was the Program Director. All our previous Viking Program Directors were good and very good, but Leonard push the expectations for our next Viking experience very high. Leonard was literally working 24h/day, 7 days/week: in the morning organising the excursion and supervising the guides (actually he knew all the city like his own pocket and sometimes better than the guides), in the afternoon planning and hosting different events on board (his presentation about Dracula and European Union were a perfect mix of academic information and fun) and finally in the evening putting together unforgettable performances, game shows and parties. Everything in a relaxed manner, always with a charming genuine smile but never forgot to be super-professional. What a gem. One day during the excursion one of the elderly ladies in our bus had a medical problem. Leonard stopped the bus in the middle of nowhere, assist the lady and her husband (later we found the Leo – as everybody was calling him on board – is a licensed physician and a famous Romanian movie star), organised an ambulance but at the same time manage to reschedule the excursion for the rest of us only with a small delay but without missing a thing from the program. It was what I call PERFECTION. Now a question for all of you who travelled before with Viking. We want to book a trip from Budapest to Amsterdam with Viking but we want to be sure that Leonard will be our Program Director. Does anybody know if you can request him to be on board with us? Thank you in advance for your advice. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest was an amazing experience. Thank you Viking Lif for this extraordinary trip! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We just come back from a cruise in eastern Europe on Viking LIF. We’ve been cruising many times before mainly on Cunard, Regent, Silver Sea and Viking (3 times on the ocean) but this was our very first river cruise. It was an awesome ... Read More
We just come back from a cruise in eastern Europe on Viking LIF. We’ve been cruising many times before mainly on Cunard, Regent, Silver Sea and Viking (3 times on the ocean) but this was our very first river cruise. It was an awesome experience from all point of view: the size and the ambiance of the ship, the excellent service, great tours and fantastic time on board. Our room attendant, Anna was very friendly and while we didn't ask for much, I believe she would be more than willing to accommodate our needs. The food on board was good but we believe that Viking needs to provide more quality ingredients to be sure that the food experience on board rich the standards of the rest of the services provided on Viking LIF. The staff was always pleasant, and we fell in love with our waitress Alina. Ivan in the bar had a great sense of humour and we love his wine and cocktails recommendations. But the cherry on the cake was the cruise director Leonard. In all our previous cruises we were luck to have nice good cruise directors. But this time Leonard beat all the records: his passion, expertise, knowledge and amazing sparkling personality brought this river cruise to a hard to beat level. His lecture were a pleasure to attend with a perfect mixture of information, knowledge and entertainment getting standing ovations every night (especially his talks about the life in communist Romania and the myths of vampires) Leonard was working almost 24 hours a day: we saw him at 5.00am getting ready the excursion, running up and down during the day with the guides and entertaining passengers in the lounge until midnight or maybe late. What a great asset for Viking! For sure we will be back on another river cruise but must be Viking, must be the ship LIF and of course must be Leonard as a cruise director. Thank you all for an amazing trip between Budapest and Bucharest! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little ... Read More
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little bit different, but we loved every moment between Budapest and Amsterdam. Viking Lif is a lovely ship, not very big (we were 190 passengers on board), giving you the feeling that you are in an intimate environment with a subtle added touch of luxury. The stateroom was not very big, but comfortable with decent amenities. Our room stewardess Anna was above any expectations, friendly and helpful and always happy to have a nice chat with us. She managed to keep our room sparkling every without being intrusive and her smile was the best way to start our days. My only real gripe is the food which was a little bit disappointing with not a lot of variety and sometimes tasteless or nearly tasteless dishes, something like semi prepared food from a tin. But the service was impeccable, both in the restaurant and the bar with Harold and Saska making every meal special. We purchased on board the “all-inclusive drinking package” which was great with plenty of choice. The only think that was not included was the smile of the staff in the bar; maybe they were tired, but we didn’t see them smiling once. The Reception team were trying their best to be helpful but, most of the time they didn’t have time or information to answer to our questions, especially the young guy working during the night, who always “made up” answers which were far from what we needed. Ionut and Anita were great and at least were trying to help us as much as possible. Maybe, as a suggestion for Viking, the presence of a Concierge or Passenger Service Agent will be a great idea! We met the Captain once during an evening presentation in the lounge. Despite his impressive, scary look he was a very interesting character and his “double act” show with the cruise director was great. The Hotel Manager Jerry was very efficient despite the fact that he was sometimes quite abrupt with both passengers and his own crew. But he was always around the ship to check that everything was perfect…and it was! But, with no doubts, the biggest asset of the ship was our Cruise Director Leonard. We're blown away with his energy, creativity, impressive knowledge, superb manners, an incredible sense of humour. He is a true professional and has the charisma of a Jay Leno, or a Johnny Carson. Managing every aspect of our excursions and events on board he was always around when somebody had a question or need any kind of support. His lecture and presentations were simply amazing and we watch him both in the lounge or on television learning so much about Mozart and Main Canal, Dutch cheese and Sound of Music. Everybody on board loved him and that’s include the crew; I saw Leonard in Wurtzburg buying roses for all the room stewardesses and sweets for the staff in the restaurant. I think he is FLAT OUT the BEST in the business! His fun-loving and happy personality comes across within his work and it is clear why he is so popular and well regarded by everybody. If anyone has the pleasure of being on a cruise with him, be prepared for the best and informative cruise ever! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Length and Composition was reason we booked this specific cruise. We discovered that fellow passengers make the difference between "excellent" and truly "outstanding." Of course, Viking does not have much control over ... Read More
Length and Composition was reason we booked this specific cruise. We discovered that fellow passengers make the difference between "excellent" and truly "outstanding." Of course, Viking does not have much control over this variable. So, as practical matter, our first portion, i.e., Amsterdam to Budapest, proved to be overall best experience. This first portion was therefore more satisfying considering the folks that we met and enjoyed during this portion of the cruise--several have become lifelong friends. That said, the remainder, i.e., Budapest to Bucharest, proved to be also very rewarding based on cultural and geographic sights as advertised, expert tours, and continuing excellent ship amenities. Not having to change cabins while transitioning from first portion to second was also much appreciated! We will travel again with Viking albeit not these same two itineraries. In fact, we recently booked Viking Alaskan cruise plus post-excursion for May 2019; looking forward to it with much anticipation! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My husband and I had never been to Europe. We talked with friends, who had friends that had traveled with Viking before and highly recommended the company for our tour. We really enjoyed the personal attention that the crew gave us ... Read More
My husband and I had never been to Europe. We talked with friends, who had friends that had traveled with Viking before and highly recommended the company for our tour. We really enjoyed the personal attention that the crew gave us during our trip on the Viking Lif and our transition to the other ship, the Viking Aegir. We had to switch ships half way through the cruise because the water level was too shallow in the canal area between Nuremberg and Regensberg. It was really nice to see the crew standing outside our ship to see us off to the next ship. Also, it was great that they allowed our tour director, Dan go with us to the next ship. He was great!!! When we got to the next ship, after our tour of Nuremberg, it was wonderful to see our new crew with welcome signs and umbrellas to bring us on board the Viking Aegir. Great customer service on both ships!!!!! The whole trip was beautiful and the tour guides, for the most part were very good and informative. We did experience a couple that were trying to rush people along too much; however, we realized that they only had so much time to give us a tour. In Cologne, the guide should have taken us to another building to tour since we were unable to visit inside the cathederal because of a cardinal funeral. A stop at the doughnut shop there would have been great. She took us by the shop, but it would have been nice to sampled one of the jelly doughnuts. The doughnuts looked great!!!!! Although we enjoyed something about each one of the towns that we visited, a highlight was getting to tour the Marksburg Castle in Braubach, Germany..... great tour and our guide Mark was wonderful. We loved the windmills of Kinderdjike....wished we could have had more time there to shop and look around. I was expecting Vienna to be the most beautiful place to see; however, I believe Budapest was by far the most beautiful, especially at night. We really enjoyed the beautiful churches that we got to visit....such beautiful steeples!!!!! I could go on and on about the many beautiful places that we visited; however, I would have to write a book. To sum it up, it was a great trip and an experience that my husband and I will always cherish and remember. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We checked out our options and alternatives. Viking River Cruises had the best options, the best offers and the best reviews. They were all well deserved! Starting in Amsterdam, we had opportunities to visit the city and surrounding ... Read More
We checked out our options and alternatives. Viking River Cruises had the best options, the best offers and the best reviews. They were all well deserved! Starting in Amsterdam, we had opportunities to visit the city and surrounding countryside. Then the cruise began. The river views were outstanding and the many side trips highlighted and filled in our desire to see and know more about each city and community. The cruise staff met our every need and the places and people we got to see and meet were a delight. We shopped as much as we wanted and have the items to help us remember this great trip. "Entertainment" both on and off ship was great providing just the right amount of change of pace when it was needed and wanted. The one hiccup in and on the river (not a Viking issue) was easily overcome by Viking and its staff. Few other "lines" have the resources to overcome issues seamlessly. Our evaluation before our trip payed off and was reflected in a most amazing and wonderful trip, education and vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Viking Lif Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 3.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 N/A

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