22 Viking River Viking Odin Romantic Cruise Reviews

I did an AMA cruise almost identical with my sister. My husband wanted to do this too so I chose Viking. It was by far heads and tails above the rest! I'm a Viking fan now. Lots of great stops. Food was excellent. Service was ... Read More
I did an AMA cruise almost identical with my sister. My husband wanted to do this too so I chose Viking. It was by far heads and tails above the rest! I'm a Viking fan now. Lots of great stops. Food was excellent. Service was amazing. Ship was so clean and beautiful. Definitely worth every penny. We were impressed with the friendliness of all the staff on the ship. It didn't matter if it was a cabin maid, a waiter, a bartender or whoever, they all had a smile on their face and a warm hello even if it was 6 in the morning or midnight. The tours we took were very good and informative. The guides were also nice and polite during our rides or during our walks around the towns. The scenery in this part of Europe is the best, a mixture of old times and new. Something we'll remember for a long time. Thanks for making this a great vacation Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My husband and I decided to commemorate our 10th wedding anniversary by going on a trip to Europe. We are avid fans of Downton Abbey, and we were mesmerized by the Viking River Cruise commercials displaying the Ship, and the wonderful ... Read More
My husband and I decided to commemorate our 10th wedding anniversary by going on a trip to Europe. We are avid fans of Downton Abbey, and we were mesmerized by the Viking River Cruise commercials displaying the Ship, and the wonderful breathtaking views from the river. We felt that Viking River Cruise had a well planned cruise, with all meals and beverages included, daily excursions and bonus excursions which were optional, and that it was a wonderful way to relax and not worry about where to go, and what to do each day, as Viking River cruise staff had it all organized and planned out. We were so impressed with the hosts at each place we visited (Czech, Bamburg, Nuremberg, Rudesheim, Miltenberg, Gutenberg, Cochem and Trier, then our week long trip in Paris France). All I can say is that I slept deeply and soundly each night, and woke up early to catch breakfast and mingle with our new friends. Breakfast and Lunch offered healthy choices, (we skipped 1-2 excursions because we wanted to sight see on the ship and enjoy the weather) Dinner was also good, but often I would eat when in the towns so I would definately enjoy the bar area where I was able to get to know the staff. I felt that I was treated like family by Each staff member, especially "Dada" Davorka Dada Grdic, Jindra Theresa, and Claudia Diederix, the program director, all were so helpful and made us feel at home! This trip affected me so much that even after all these months, I sometimes wake up and think I'm somewhere in Germany or Paris. Lol We plan to take another trip from Basil Switzerland to Amsterdam in the Fall and can't wait, I just wish I could have the same staff as the ones on Odin! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The cruise we choose was based on the destinations and the extension available, Downton Abby. The cruise was a dream trip visiting many ports of historical interest that added to the overall experience of this trip. We were accompanied ... Read More
The cruise we choose was based on the destinations and the extension available, Downton Abby. The cruise was a dream trip visiting many ports of historical interest that added to the overall experience of this trip. We were accompanied by good friends that added to the experience and added many laughs and good times that will never be forgotten. The end of or cruise was in Paris and a real highlight for us was a trip to the very top of the Eiffel Tower at night, the views were spectacular and the experience was breathtaking. The trip to Oxford England and Downton Abby is one that we will never forget. The guides were very well informed and added a great deal to this experience. There were several surprises along the way including a welcome toast by the dutchess at the Abby. Overall Viking out did themselves with this trip from beginning to end and their professionalism came through by the individuals they had to take care of use at each step along the way. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I wanted to try a river cruise after many prior ocean cruises. The Viking Odin was immaculate with beautiful Scandinavian design. The crew was extremely gracious and attentive. The cruise was made especially memorable by the ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to try a river cruise after many prior ocean cruises. The Viking Odin was immaculate with beautiful Scandinavian design. The crew was extremely gracious and attentive. The cruise was made especially memorable by the Cruise Director, Claudia Diederix, whose role simply cannot be overstated. Claudia became the face of the cruise, her perpetual smile, humor and client sensitivity unparalleled among industry staff to which we've been exposed over decades of travel. If I had to sum up the trip in a single word it would be "easy." Everything about the excursions, on board arrangements, dining was handled so effortlessly that both my wife and I continually remarked on how well being part of this tour turned out. Aside from the entrée during a single meal, I found the food quite pleasant, with reasonable portions, a welcome change from over loaded plates that encourage over-eating (of course you could always ask for more!). If there was any criticism, and I have to really think to find one, it would be how the Prague city walking tour ended. The tour finished in Prague's Old Town, leaving clients there to make their own way back to the trip designated hotel at the city's outskirts. It was implied that walking back was easy, when in fact to someone unfamiliar with Prague it could be a long, warm walk in late July. My wife and I are avid walkers so this was not a problem for us (and we actually walked the distance several times) but for some of the older clients this was perceived as an unnecessary hardship. There probably should have been the option of a Viking pickup point at a designated time to provide transportation back to the Prague hotel. This sort of transportation was available everywhere else on the cruise so it's absence in Prague for this event was an anomaly that in no way diminishes our overall recommendation which we enthusiastically make without reservation. To end on a more positive note, I commend Viking for the inclusion of a "no-fee" day tour in each destination. It's so annoying on a typical cruise to be charged exorbitant prices for shore excursions. The standard tours (there are optional fee based tours available) were of excellent quality and we took advantage of almost every one. I've little doubt we will travel with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We like to see places. With the tour in every port and the river cruising during daylight, our needs were greatly satisfied. The scenery along the rivers was spectacular, and the cities on the tours were unique, historical and very ... Read More
We like to see places. With the tour in every port and the river cruising during daylight, our needs were greatly satisfied. The scenery along the rivers was spectacular, and the cities on the tours were unique, historical and very interesting. The accommodations were excellent, but the on-board activities were very limited. We would have liked to have seen more and better entertainment, and an exercise room. The small number of passengers on a cruise like this gave us the opportunity to meet and talk with a lot of people from several countries. The staff were always friendly, very helpful and bent over backwards to make the cruise a pleasant and fun trip. The food was tasty and there was good variety to choose from. The entire cruise was very well organized and coordinated, and all of the ports were interesting. Viking is a cruise line that I would not hesitate to recommend. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This will not be our last cruise with Viking. The embarkations & disembarkations were seamless. Dining on the ship was fantastic. So many choices for food for all three meals and all of it delicious. Each stop had an included tour ... Read More
This will not be our last cruise with Viking. The embarkations & disembarkations were seamless. Dining on the ship was fantastic. So many choices for food for all three meals and all of it delicious. Each stop had an included tour that was always informative, the guides were always well versed. Got lots of walking and sightseeing in every day. We did an extension on both ends of our cruise and spent 4 days in Prague which was absolutely amazing. The hotel arrangements there were incredible. Also spent three full days in Paris. The Paris hotel was in a great location but the hotel bar was ridiculously priced. Thankfully there were lots of cheaper places around for food and drinks that were within a couple of blocks walking distance. Paris was a bit packed when we were there due to the UEFA cup but got to see nearly everything we wanted to. Food in Paris was divine. If you're ever in Cochem, Germany you must get the flammkuchen. Onboard activities were pretty fun. The onboard glass blowing demonstration was very entertaining and had to be one of my favorite nights on the ship. The crew throughout could not have been any better. The program director was amazing, restaurant and bar staff were excellent, accommodating and always friendly. Our cabins were excellent, staff in charge of cleaning did special presentations of your room for anniversaries and birthdays. We will definitely be sailing with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze (though be sure to buy airfare or transfers directly through Viking because they make it absolutely painless). The ship was so comfortable, and the staff were top-notch and professional. It ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze (though be sure to buy airfare or transfers directly through Viking because they make it absolutely painless). The ship was so comfortable, and the staff were top-notch and professional. It was so relaxing. The food was PHENOMENAL. The ports of call were wonderful, and it was very nice to not have to pay for each and every excursion (as compared to ocean cruises which my hubby and I frequently go on). The only downside is that my hubby and I are very active but the boat doesn't have a gym. It only has a walking track so I would walk 2-5 miles per day, but it's hardly the normal exercise I get at the gym. The cabin was very comfortable; it was very nice to be able to leave the balcony door open at night and get a cool river breeze. Lastly, the other passengers were delightful. We had a wonderful time and would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Viking Odin offered the exact cruise itinerary that I wanted. The cruise was a good value. I like the classic lines of the ship. The crew were attentive and truly wanted to please the guests. All our fellow cruises were delightful. ... Read More
The Viking Odin offered the exact cruise itinerary that I wanted. The cruise was a good value. I like the classic lines of the ship. The crew were attentive and truly wanted to please the guests. All our fellow cruises were delightful. We arrived a day early into Budapest and stayed at the Boscolo. It was a great hotel. Boarding the river cruise ship was flawless. We felt truly welcomed aboard. Our cabin was designed exceptionally well. There was a place for everything. We enjoyed watching reruns of Downton Abbey onboard.The two dining venues were fabulous. We enjoyed the multi course dinner at night with the wines. For lunch, we tended to like the lighter buffet up on the second deck and enjoyed the sun. We loved the ports of calls and the shore excursions offered. I would go again on a Viking River Cruise. It was so relaxing and enjoyable to see the beauty of the river go by. I can't say enough positive things about my trip! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Viking has a great reputation. The cruise was great from start to finish. The design of the ship was very appealing. Our cabin was spacious and truly designed well. There was a place for everything...and everything was in its place. ... Read More
Viking has a great reputation. The cruise was great from start to finish. The design of the ship was very appealing. Our cabin was spacious and truly designed well. There was a place for everything...and everything was in its place. The dining was outstanding. The waitstaff new our names and favorite drinks. We enjoyed the variety of the food each day. The meals were beautifully presented and and tasty. The service was excellent. The staff made us feel special. We enjoyed the ports and the included shore excursions. If was truly a relaxing vacation from start to finish. Our room was cleaned spotlessly each day. The German night was a true highlight of the trip. We enjoyed getting to try the multiple types of German food and wines that were offered. The last night's dinner was an amazing meal from start to finish. I am a true foodie...the cruise met all my expectations. We enjoyed having the outdoor buffet option for lunch as well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We explored the city before we left, had an awesome view at night. Great service from everyone. Excellent food, great tours and guides. The room was perfect ... Clean, comfortable, and great views. The staff was amazing... From the Captain ... Read More
We explored the city before we left, had an awesome view at night. Great service from everyone. Excellent food, great tours and guides. The room was perfect ... Clean, comfortable, and great views. The staff was amazing... From the Captain to the chef and all in between. The cities visited were amazing with views and history. The lounge was a great place to meet others. Having a choice on food between formal dining and relaxed area was perfect. The tours were a great time. Local experts , the individual radio broadcast made it so easy. The entire trip was relaxing and entertaining. Without question this was the best time I have had on any trip. Well worth the price The cruise director was such a hit. He remembered my name the entire trip, funny and informative ... He was a true delight. I wasn't prepared for the cool temps but they had jackets for sale ... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was the Cities of Light tour. We wanted to see some castles and go to Paris for a few days. We thought cruising the river through Europe would be awesome, and it is! We could not have had a more bubbly and upbeat cruise director than ... Read More
This was the Cities of Light tour. We wanted to see some castles and go to Paris for a few days. We thought cruising the river through Europe would be awesome, and it is! We could not have had a more bubbly and upbeat cruise director than Claudia. The staff on the ship do an excellent job, and overall the customer service was impeccable. We were pampered from beginning to end. The food on the ship is very good and there is a good set of choices each night. Plus they pour wine with the meal and that is included. If you buy the beverage package then you can order wines for the meal (but not share them with other guests). You can also go to a package store and buy wine (and, in our case, whiskey) and bring them on board. They will open and pour your wine for you at the table, if you want, but keep any other liquor in your room. There are excursions planned almost every day, with some optional ones that you can purchase. I found the tour guides to be very good overall, and in most cases, they are knowledgeable people from the area you're visiting (perhaps from local university) who know a lot about what they're talking about. We would never have planned all of these trips on our own, and having everything planned for us was great. There were no kids on board and only a couple people under 30. We were a little younger than most others on the cruise (50's), with average age of probably 65-70, but we found ourselves hustling to keep up with the old people! It is a pretty busy schedule, but you can skip an excursion if you want to just lounge on the boat. You do a fair amount of walking each day, which is good because you are going to eat and drink like a pig! I can't imagine people NOT gaining weight on this cruise. Some have complained about the bus rides, but I think some folks just like to complain. You do have to board a bus typically to be brought to day's planned excursion. Generally a bus ride of an hour or less. I did not find this to be annoying or odd. There is wifi onboard but it can be very spotty and so you have to use it when it is available, which isn't all the time. This is the only area that I wish was better, but I understand the limitations. Overall, we felt that the cruise was terrific and something that we will never forget. Viking's customer service and attention to detail was about as good as it gets. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Enjoyed the Cities of Light River Cruise sandwiched between stays in Prague and Paris. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director and staff were attentive for the whole trip. We had 100 of 180 passenger capacity so the service was ... Read More
Enjoyed the Cities of Light River Cruise sandwiched between stays in Prague and Paris. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director and staff were attentive for the whole trip. We had 100 of 180 passenger capacity so the service was favorable. Excursions included and optional ones selected were run efficiently and provided a topline visit to each port of call. Our cabin was on the 3rd floor with a veranda balcony that we nice to have with warm weather to enjoy the time sailing on the Main-Danube Canal, Main, Rhine and Mosel Rivers. Due to high water (I guess), we were not able to be on the top deck for three days at the start of the cruise, a little disappointing but understand for safety reasons. The Program Director ran a tight program and we felt our needs were taken care of while being comfortable the entire trip. Only one excursion in Paris, Montmarte Hill, was one hour late due to the bus arriving late. The others were on-time. We would return for another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Just completed the Viking River Cruise "Paris to Prague" which includes a river cruise from Trier, Germany to Bamberg, Germany. The Paris to Trier part and the Bamberg to Prague part of the trip are by bus. Trier to Bamberg is ... Read More
Just completed the Viking River Cruise "Paris to Prague" which includes a river cruise from Trier, Germany to Bamberg, Germany. The Paris to Trier part and the Bamberg to Prague part of the trip are by bus. Trier to Bamberg is along portions of the Moselle, Rhine, and Main rivers. My wife and I booked what we thought would be the vacation of a lifetime. On the Viking ship Odin, we booked a two room suite with small balcony looking forward to amazing views and luxury service. The entire trip was good - but not great. The pros: Nice ship, wonderful service by the Viking employees, good food, Paris and Prague were amazing. Loved the scenery along the Moselle and Rhine. The optional excursion to the charming town of "Rothenburg ob de Tauber" was the best of the cities/towns on the cruise portion. The cons: Way too much use of busses along the river cruise portion, the top "sundeck" was closed for the entire back half of the trip because of low bridges (that's the place you want to be with a glass of wine and taking in the scenery), some of the docking areas were is industrial areas far from the cities/towns centers (ergo the overuse of busses). Viking needs to be more honest with their advertising...this is not a "river cruise", it is a "river and land vacation" (and I'm not talking about the Paris to Trier and the Bamberg to Prague portions)...they use busses at nearly every cruise stop and some of the bus trips are hours long. What my wife and I dreamed would be a vacation of a lifetime turned into a bit of a disappointment...good, but certainly not great. If we wanted to to spend hours and hours on busses, we wouldn't have booked a Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our second time with Viking. The cruise was "The City of Lights'" from Bamberg Germany to Trier with an extra two night stay tacked on before the cruise in Prague and two nights afterwards in Paris. All organized by ... Read More
This was our second time with Viking. The cruise was "The City of Lights'" from Bamberg Germany to Trier with an extra two night stay tacked on before the cruise in Prague and two nights afterwards in Paris. All organized by Viking River Cruises. What can I say? We had a fabulous experience. Excellent shore excursions throughout hosted by knowledgable and personable guides. Accommodations on board the ship were comfortable, staff were amazing and the food always superb. The hotels we stayed in at either end of the cruise were luxurious and well situated for convenient sight seeing. There were always Viking Hosts available to assist us as needed with our daily excursion plans. This was our 2nd Viking Cruise. Our first was a wonderful cruise on the Rhine river. We enjoyed both cruises so much, we have booked a third cruise in October 2017, on the Danube River. This time, as on our second cruise, we are bringing friends along to share the experience with us. Highlights will include concerts and the Lippizaner horses in Vienna and the baths in Budapest. Looking forward, as always, to this next cruise with Viking. If a trouble free, no worries luxury cruise appeals to you... then we really recommend Viking. They are the best! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We went cruising to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Some of the things we experienced are: Very good food with the chef giving some demonstrations of special treats Very social environment. We were encouraged to meet with ... Read More
We went cruising to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Some of the things we experienced are: Very good food with the chef giving some demonstrations of special treats Very social environment. We were encouraged to meet with other cruisers Great tours. We signed up for every extra tours. This meant that we were up at 6 am every day, eating breakfast at 7 and touring at 8 or 9. For our anniversary, we were given 2 bottles of sparkling wine. We arrived in Prague and stayed at the Prague Hilton. The hotel was decent. Walking tours were provided that evening and the next day. The third day we spent a long time on the bus touring Nuremberg and then arrived in Bamburg where we embarked. A lot of time was spent on buses. Buses can move between towns faster than the boat. Many days we were bused to a town farther down river and then met the boat. The German cities were great. Beautiful, informative, and fun. We were not impressed by the city Luxembourg but the visit to the WWII cemetery was moving. Then came the 5 hour bus ride to Paris. We stayed at the Le Meridian Etois. It is located near the Arc de Triumph. Debarkation was not as organized as it should have been. Our bus had to be changed in Luxembourg due to a mechanical problem. It took hours to get our luggage in the hotel. Some people didn't get their luggage until 2 am. The Paris tour the next day was fair. It was mostly by bus with a tour of the Notre Dame cathedral. We stopped for 15 minutes near the Eiffel Tower. Normally, you would leave the day after that. We extended our trip 2 days but not through Viking. I highly recommend that. Paris is a city that would take weeks to see. We were able to see more of Paris and do some shopping. We will return to Paris and now know what we would like to see. The computers were down at the hotel when we wanted to checkout. Since we paid for our extensions ourselves, that meant we gave them our credit card and had to let them apply charges later. They emailed the receipt. I didn't like that but there was nothing that could be done. One final thought about the cruise. The majority of the passengers are over 60 (as are we). Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
After 37 ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. I worried I would not be able to enjoy a vessel without all the amusements of the larger cruise ships, but that worry never entered my thoughts once onboard. This trip "City ... Read More
After 37 ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. I worried I would not be able to enjoy a vessel without all the amusements of the larger cruise ships, but that worry never entered my thoughts once onboard. This trip "City of Lights" started with 2 days in Prague, 7 days on the Viking Odin and ended with 2 days in Paris. We extended Prague by one extra day and we were very glad to be rested when the tours began. We added three more days to Paris which sounded like a lot when we booked, but regrettably we could have used more time. Five days for the first Paris visit is just not enough. The towns we visited throughout Germany were well chosen and full of history. We saw and experienced the real Germany and I for one cannot wait to explore more of this beautiful country. The staff of the Viking Odin was so delightful. The captain, the Hotel Manager, the Program Director and even the Chef made every effort to make you feel like part of their family and not just a paying guest on their vessel. The food was excellent and each meal was accompanied by the wine of the region we were visiting. Many choices and I cannot imagine anyone ever leaving the table hungry or unsatisfied. All tours were well thought out and very well organized. Buses are very clean all drivers were very personable. This trip was more than I hoped for and we can't wait for another experience with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was by far our favorite cruising experience. We had only done ocean cruises prior to this. Viking staff were knowledgeable and organized. The hotels they selected were top notch. We also enjoyed the guided tours which was a ... Read More
This was by far our favorite cruising experience. We had only done ocean cruises prior to this. Viking staff were knowledgeable and organized. The hotels they selected were top notch. We also enjoyed the guided tours which was a pleasant surprise. Our room was very roomy and the bathroom was so much bigger than we expected. Loved the smaller venue with only 180 passengers. The food and service was excellent and we liked the menus which were designed to feature local cuisine. It was so relaxing and the European countryside was mind boggling. Would definitely go on another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I started our Rhine River Cruise in Paris. A Viking representative was there to direct us to our bus. We had a visual journey to our hotel. The hotel was great as well as the staff. Again, a Viking representative was in the ... Read More
My wife and I started our Rhine River Cruise in Paris. A Viking representative was there to direct us to our bus. We had a visual journey to our hotel. The hotel was great as well as the staff. Again, a Viking representative was in the lobby to help with sightseeing or anything else. Really first class. We traveled by bus to Trier and the Viking Odin. A most beautiful sight. Sleek, Clean, moored to a small dock with the city of Trier behind it. I knew we had made the right travel decision. The cabins are clean and I mean clean. Every day when we left Lubka would be there already cleaning. She also made sure each room had a personal touch. Towels wrapped like dogs. Butterfly's. Amazing she found time to do that but that's the Viking way. I know that now. You become family. The food was excellent. I felt like I was on a Food Channel show. And the presentation was just as good. The Chef took great pride in his work and it showed. The nightly Pre-Excursion lectures were wonderful and set you up for a most memorable day. I can't say enough good things about every excursion we went on. Each guide was knowledgeable and courteous and made every day fun and informative. After a day of Castle Climbing it was always good to come back to the boat, clean up and have DaDa make me a drink at the bar. Dinner and then maybe a little music in the lounge. Then it was time to go to a clean shower in our clean cabin and fall asleep with dreams of what tomorrow would bring. Thanks to all the staff of The Viking Odin! And tell Lubka and DaDa hello. It's been a year or so and I still remember their names. But then again, that's Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This is the first Viking cruise for my wife and I. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. The cruise was excellent, service, food, cabin, etc... all excellent. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. All the tours were ... Read More
This is the first Viking cruise for my wife and I. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. The cruise was excellent, service, food, cabin, etc... all excellent. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. All the tours were well organized and very interesting. We liked it so much that we are scheduled to go to China and Hong Kong in Oct of 2016 and considering the Med cruise in 2017. My wife enjoyed the gourmet meals the most. She owned and operated a restaurant for almost 20 years so she knows good cooking and food presentation. Service in the dinning room was excellent. The wait staff was excellent, they went the extra mile to accommodate our every need. Since the ship was small, entertainment was average; live piano. I had a slight disagreement with the piano player in that 'as time goes by' was not a classic song. Any film buff will tell you that this song is an all time classic. Highly recommended Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
The actual port of embarkation was Trier, Germany. My wife and I took the Cities of Light trip along with another couple from Paris to Prague. The crew were super friendly and very helpful. The program director (Claudia) was fantastic ... Read More
The actual port of embarkation was Trier, Germany. My wife and I took the Cities of Light trip along with another couple from Paris to Prague. The crew were super friendly and very helpful. The program director (Claudia) was fantastic and very knowledgeable of the areas that we traveled. We found that the captain of the ship was very approachable and friendly. We were allowed to spend time in the wheelhouse and see how he navigates the ship. Entertainment was quite limited on this trip but is to be expected on river cruises. The crew was quite good about keeping everyone informed about the upcoming plans for both that day and the next. Breakfast each day was exactly the same and did not vary one bit. Being in Germany, one would think that we would be blessed with abundant German food. That was not the case at all. One day for lunch, we stopped at the restaurant entrance to read the menu. It looked wonderful. It listed snitzel, purple cabbage, and other German delights. When we arrived for lunch a half an hour later.....Lunch had been changed to some sort of sandwiches. Thursday night was "German" night. Viking turned the sit down dining room into a huge buffet. This was a complete disaster. There were people on top of people. Very long lines......The kitchen struggling to keep up. In general it was a very unpleasant experience. Getting on and off the ship each day was easy and very efficient. The included tours were informative and nice. We may or may not travel with Viking. My wife and I may want to try another company to see how they size up. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This is a review of the Viking River Cruise that my wife and I recently enjoyed. I hope to provide some insight and tips for those who may be interested in doing a river cruise, doing one with Viking, or repeating the itinerary that we did ... Read More
This is a review of the Viking River Cruise that my wife and I recently enjoyed. I hope to provide some insight and tips for those who may be interested in doing a river cruise, doing one with Viking, or repeating the itinerary that we did (Paris to Prague, the 12-day Cities of Light trip). Overall the trip was excellent, accompanied with pleasing lagniappe (surprises), except for a sloppy screw-up with the bus transportation for the excursion in Prague. My wife and I have done a few ocean cruises with Disney, Paul Gauguin, and Holland America Line (HAL). We have read about river cruises and like the concept of a leisurely boat trip through rivers and canals. We had a thoroughly enjoyable experience on one of our HAL cruises when we transited the Kiel Canal in northern Germany. My wife’s only stipulation was that the ship has to be new or recently refurbished. Viking Cruise Lines was a match, because river cruising is apparently a booming business, and Viking launched 12 new longships in 2012 and 2013. Here is what appealed to us before the trip: the itinerary (Paris, the German rivers, Prague), the small number of passengers, inclusion of a “land package” (tours in Paris, Luxembourg, and Prague), actual balconies for most of the cabins (with chairs and a table for relaxing outside), and the included optional excursions. We sailed on the Viking Odin. The ship was almost full (about 190 passengers). There were several groups of families and friends. The age range was 40’s to 70’s (with an average age of about 60), mostly Caucasian, and mostly from the United States (including Hawaii). The crew was European. Two surprises were the Program Director and the Concierge. The Program Director accompanied us from Paris through Prague, and was the “face” of Viking Cruise Lines. He was friendly, always smiling, always helpful, and knowledgeable—a true asset to Viking. There was also a Concierge on board the Odin, who was available to help with booking visits, concerts, etc., in any of the cities on the cruise and in Prague. We used her services to book a wonderful organ and violin concert in St. Giles Church on our first night in Prague. She also sold future cruise vouchers on the ship (something apparently new for Viking; some bugs need to be worked out for the redemption process)—pay $100 and get $200 towards a future cruise, per person, per booking. There were no children on the trip. I think the history of the places on the trip would appeal to an interested teenager. Younger children would probably be bored. Except for a talented musician/piano player, there was no other regular nightly entertainment. There were a few nights with special entertainment. When we were in Heidelberg, we had a glass blowing demonstration onboard (the guy could be a comedian as well). Another night we had a classical violinist from one of the towns perform along with the ship’s musician. The weather turned out much better than expected for the last half of May—hardly any rain, sunny skies, and warm temperatures (70s and 80s). I packed for cooler weather and bought a Viking short sleeve shirt and a “Moselle River” themed t-shirt in one town for the warmer weather. Six days of the 12-day trip were on land (2 days in Paris; 1 day on a bus trip from Paris to Luxembourg to the ship, which was docked in Trier, Germany; 1 day on a bus trip from Bamberg to Nüremberg to Prague; and 2 days in Prague—one of which was the travel day to return home). The other days were on the Odin, with optional city tours at various towns along the way. The local tour guides were generally very good. They were knowledgeable and often humorous. They were willing to help you with pronouncing the local language. I think the locals appreciate it when you make an effort to speak a few words in their language. (The Program Director did teach some basic German and Czech phrases onboard the Odin.) We traveled on the Moselle, the Rhine, and the Main Rivers. There was no current on the Moselle River or on the Main River—because of an extensive system of locks. The ship would enter the lock, and then be lowered (or raised) 30-60 feet, before continuing the trip on the river. I was pleasantly surprised that locks were used on these rivers. Many passengers would watch the process from the front of the ship (Aquavit Terrace), the Sun Deck, or from their cabins. The downside to the lock system is that the ship’s schedule can be adversely affected. The Captain cannot predict which barges and ships might be on the river and enter a lock before the Odin; you have to wait about 30 minutes for each ship to enter and clear a lock. Due to the unpredictability, we arrived late in Rüdesheim and had an abbreviated optional excursion (wine tasting). The Captain even missed the Captain’s Cocktail Party and Captain’s Dinner when we departed from Würzburg, so that he could make sure we arrived at our next destination in a timely manner. In some spots on the rivers, there was not much overhead clearance for the bridges we crossed under. Railings on the upper deck would be removed, lounge chairs stowed, overhead awnings lowered, and the wheelhouse (from which the Captain and staff controlled the movement of the ship) would lower—sometimes completely to the deck below. The Sun Deck (upper deck) would be closed to passengers for safety reasons, until the ship passed safely under the bridge. The information on Viking’s website was helpful and accurate. The dress code was casual, but you could dress up if you wanted. Most did not. I liked that Viking provided name badges and lanyards for each passenger. That helped me meet and greet other passengers. A suggestion to Viking: make the first name much larger so that it is easier to read at a distance. My wife and I were sent a personalized travel booklet on our cruise several weeks before departure. My only complaints were the “generic” dates in the itinerary section and the information on power plug adapters. The dates were listed in the format Day 1, Day 2, etc. It’s up to you to figure out the exact calendar date for each location (to check weather forecasts, to make alternative visit plans, etc.) The paragraph in the booklet on travel adapters was useless; it didn’t tell you what kind of power plugs to bring. Even a call to the travel agent who called Viking didn’t provide the info I needed initially (strangely, Viking won’t talk to you if you book with a travel agent; you have to use your travel agent to get answers to questions). For Paris (and Prague), you need a Type C or Type F plug adapter. On the Odin, there were standard US plugs and well as European plugs (use Type C or F plug adapter). Paris was a nice starting point. My wife and I decided to arrive early and visit the Normandy area (just before the 70th anniversary of D-Day). It was easy to get from the airport to downtown Paris. Our plane arrived at Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle Airport. We took the airport shuttle train, CDGVAL, to the 2nd stop, Terminal 3/Roissypole; then we took a RER (Blue) train—one of the direct trains (four times an hour)—to the Gare du Nord station in downtown Paris, for 9.75 Euros each. From there we could connect to the Paris metro and other train lines. We later traveled on our own to the hotel for the start of the cruise. The hotel in Paris was nice: Le Méridien Etoile. It is located away from central Paris, but convenient to reach by metro or the RER train. The hotel is located across from a shopping center; on the lower level is an upscale store, Galeries Gourmandes, which sells groceries, wines, chocolates, etc. Hotel check-in with the Viking travel desk was quick and efficient. After 2 nights in Paris, we departed by bus (motorcoach) to travel across France for a visit to the city of Luxembourg. It was an early day. For my bus group, luggage had to be left outside your hotel room by 7:15 am, with departure by 8:15 am. The buses were double deckers, and most people sat on the upper level. There were 4 buses for the passengers. The buses stopped at a rest stop near Reims, France. You had the chance to buy some champagne (Reims is in the heart of the Champagne region), get a snack, or use the restroom (the buses had a small bathroom as well). One couple missed the departure time in Paris and took a taxi to meet up with the group at the rest stop. During the tour in Luxembourg, we encountered more lagniappe from Viking—Quietvox listening devices. Each passenger was given a unit with an earpiece. The guide would select a channel number, inform your group, and then talk into a microphone to give you commentary about the historic sites. You didn’t have to be around the tour guide; you could clearly hear what the guide was saying from up to several hundred yards away. This is a boon for photographers like myself who sometimes linger to take pictures. There were charging stations for the Quietvox in each cabin on the Odin. At the end of the day, the buses took us to the Odin, which was docked in Trier, Germany. The next day on our land tour of Trier, we encountered another pleasant surprise—Viking provided 4 Viking Cruise buses that transported us to meet local tour guides and return us to the ship after the city or castle tour. The buses stayed with us the entire time we were in Germany. After dropping us off at the Odin (which had moved down the river while we were on the tour), the buses would head to the next port to meet up with us. The buses were single level, clean, comfortable, provisioned with free water, and contained a small bathroom. You could leave stuff on the bus during the tour if you wanted. Just be aware that the overhead storage space is small; you could store backpacks, etc. on the floor under the seat in front of you. When we left the Odin in Bamberg, the Viking buses took us to Prague. We had different (local) buses for our land tour in Prague (sadly, there was a fee for bottled water on this part of the trip). Viking offered optional tours at all ports; these were free of charge. Typically, there was also a “leisure tour” option for slower walkers; this option tried to minimize the number of steps that were climbed. Suggestion for Viking: publish the number of steps for each tour to allow passengers to make an assessment of their ability to handle the climbing. Be prepared to pay 0.50 Euros to use public toilets in Germany. I don’t recall the fee for toilets in Prague, but it was a nominal amount also. An alternative is to buy coffee or a drink at a café, and then use their toilet. When we ate lunch in Heidelberg after a city tour, students from the local university sat at each table and talked with us. The student at my table was a first year physics student from Spain. It was a real pleasure to be able to talk with her. Another lagniappe was a “treat” when returning from a city or castle tour and going back aboard the Odin. The Hotel Manager greeted you and provided a cold drink, some “gummi bear” candy, an ice cream bar, etc. There were 4 optional excursions for a fee: two wine tastings, a trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and a tour of Lobkowicz Palace in Prague. It was difficult finding out from (my travel agent finding out from) Viking which tours I had to book before leaving home. On ocean cruises, you typically have to sign up in advance (while at home), to secure a spot on such an excursion. In the end, we only had to sign up for the Lobkowicz Palace tour in advance; the others we could sign up for on the ship (and we could have waited and signed up for the Palace Tour as well). Be aware that Viking does not issue a voucher for this prepaid tour; our tour sign-up was just noted in the personalized travel booklet sent to us prior to travel. We skipped the wine tasting in Bernkastel-Kues, because it only offered sweet wines. We did the other wine tasting in Rüdesheim at the Georg Breuer Vinothek, but the experience was so-so. (We had a free, blind wine tasting the day before on the Odin, and enjoyed that experience just as much.) Our visit was shorter than planned, because the ship arrived late. Viking did graciously refund a portion of the cost of the wine tasting excursion, because of the time constraint—another example of Viking’s good customer service. We did take the tour to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a medieval walled city; this was one of the primary reasons I selected this cruise itinerary; we liked the tour. We also enjoyed the tour of the Lobkowicz Palace. We got to eat in a private room in the palace and then listen to a classical concert by 3 performers. Info on these optional tours was available online and in a brochure in your cabin onboard the Odin (or ask the helpful Concierge). Our cabin (315) on the ship, a Category A Verandah room, was well designed and sufficiently spacious. The queen size bed was comfortable. There were plenty of drawers, a closet, a safe, a refrigerator, and a chair. The refrigerator even has a cut-away portion on the top shelf, so that you can chill a bottle standing up (another nice extra, compliments of Viking). My only criticism of the room is that there is a lack of places to hang up items to air out; there were only 2 hooks on the back of the door and a string line in the shower. The TV allowed you to see a GPS map of the location of the ship on the rivers. There was a good selection of music and movies on the TV. Unfortunately, the slideshow of photos did not work on the TV; you could only see the photos taken by ship staff (most often by the Program Director) on the TV screens in the ship lounge. Suitcases easily fit under the bed. The shower door could be closed (unlike some of the European hotel rooms that had a half glass partition). I liked the L’Occitane toiletry products in the bathroom. Be aware that the bathroom sink is designed so that if you wash your hands, some water splatters onto the counter, which runs off the counter onto the bathroom floor below. Your cabin was quickly and efficiently serviced by Housekeeping at least twice a day. Wine and beer were provided free at lunch and dinner, and there was sparkling wine for breakfast. You could get as much as you wanted. Except for one night, though, it was the same every day. You could order a bottle of wine from a wine list if desired. I think you could also buy wine ashore and drink it with a meal. Another option was to purchase the Silver Spirits Premium Beverage Package. Then you could get unlimited premium wines, beers, espresso drinks, juices, mineral water, and cocktails for the entire cruise. However, this was an expensive option: 150 Euros per person. My wife and I declined that package. We figured we could enjoy the free “house” wine and order a cocktail or two for several evenings and spend much less than 150 Euros. We did enjoy the “house” wine; the white wine and red wine were tasty and went well with the food. I would have preferred that Viking switch to new “house” wine halfway through the cruise, to add some variety. We ended up buying and enjoying some local wines in the outdoor cafes during our free time on the land excursions and near the piers where the ship was docked in the evenings. The shipboard cocktails were inexpensive (about 5.50-6.50 Euros) and well made. The Executive Chef was very personable, held cooking demonstrations, and mingled with guests at dinner and during some of the Daily Briefings in the lounge. He has an extensive herb garden on the Sun Deck and other places on the ship. One night the dinner theme was “Taste of Germany”; we got to visit the kitchen (galley) and be served local German favorites. The food was good at breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the ship. There was a lot of variety. I loved the ship-made strawberry and mango jams at breakfast. At all meals, you could order off a menu, in addition to selecting items from the buffet in the restaurant. You could show up late, after the start time listed in the daily program, and still get an entire meal. In the Aquavit Lounge, a buffet was served; at lunchtime, you could also get food from the grill. The server poured the “house” wine and beer, and served soft drinks and other beverages at lunch and dinner. You could ask for extra portions at any time. As lagniappe, the Maître d' would bring around special treats in the main restaurant at dinnertime. After your final night on the ship (in Bamberg), be ready for an early morning. For my bus group, I had to place luggage outside my cabin by 7:00 am and disembark by 8:15 am for the bus trip to Nüremberg and then to Prague. There is a rest stop on the way to Prague. The hotel in Prague was also nice: Hilton Prague. It is also removed from the city center, but near a tram stop. It is a 20-25 minute walk to the Old Town area. Hotel check-in with the Viking travel desk was quick and efficient. Although some restaurants in Prague would accept Euros, some places do not (including public toilets). So you need to plan to convert some Euros to Czech korunas. Except for one place that our tour guide recommended, avoid exchanging money in Old Town (you don’t get as good a rate as at other places). In Prague, you can pay in Euros instead of Czech korunas at major restaurants and tourist shops. However, I determined after I returned home that you pay a 10-20% premium to use Euros, depending on the restaurant (call it a convenience fee for the restaurant accepting Euros.) It’s better to convert some Euros to korunas at the hotel before you go out, or at a bank, and then pay in korunas. If you’re staying for several days, use an ATM. Viking offered a city tour in Prague in addition to the optional excursion to the Lobkowicz Palace. There were 2 small buses for the Viking Odin groups that did the combined city tour and Palace tour. Unfortunately, Viking mismanaged the transportation. When the bus that I was on dropped my group off for the Palace tour, we were told (as we were accustomed to) that we could leave stuff on the bus. We learned later that the people on the other bus were told differently—to take their stuff with them. After our Palace tour was over, different Viking representatives picked us up and took us to the buses. We were initially told that those going to the Hilton Prague should get on the 2nd bus (my original bus); it clearly didn’t have enough room for all the people who came on the first bus and the second bus in the morning. Then people from the original 1st bus sat down on stuff that people from my (2nd) bus had left on the seats. The people from my bus lost their seats and had to go on the other (1st) bus. That bus left, but then had to come back, because we had people standing in the aisle on our 2nd bus, and our packed bus couldn’t leave with people standing up. For as long as Viking Cruises has been doing tours in Prague, I was disappointed at the sloppy way the bus transportation was handled. (And some of my new friends were those who lost their seats and had their stuff sat upon.) We departed for the Prague Airport after our 2-night stay at the Hilton. We arranged with the Hilton to get a taxi to the airport. It was a very early morning for us, but it took less than 30 minutes to get to the airport. We arrived by 4:20 am for our 6:00 am flight, and were among the first to check in. We had printed out boarding passes the day before at the Business Center at the Hilton Prague. Originally we had signed up for the Prague extension with Viking. Then we reassessed the trip when we looked at pros and cons. According to the description online, and as verified by our travel agent, there were no tours or meals offered by Viking during the extension. The only meal provided was breakfast, which came with the hotel room at the Hilton. You could ask the concierge at the Hilton Prague about sightseeing tips, with no Viking involvement. I also found out that I could book a room at the same Hilton and thus extend my stay for much less than the cost that Viking was charging. Because my wife and I were comfortable taking a cab from the Hilton to the Prague Airport for our return trip (cheaper than the cost of the Viking transfer), there was really no benefit to booking a Prague extension with Viking. So we cancelled it. (We decided to do a pre-trip extension in France on our own instead.) My biggest regret on the cruise is that I was too busy taking advantage of the land excursions and other shipboard activities. I really enjoyed the scenic cruising in the Bamberg area, looking at the vineyards and castles along the river. I wish I had spent more time enjoying the cruising. But I suppose that is what repeat cruises are for. I had to rest at home after returning from this vacation. It was a thoroughly enjoyable vacation—highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This is absolutely the best way to be introduced to a part of the world that is new to you. The brand new Viking Odin had clearly benefited from Viking's years of experience in its design and amenities. But it wasn't just the ... Read More
This is absolutely the best way to be introduced to a part of the world that is new to you. The brand new Viking Odin had clearly benefited from Viking's years of experience in its design and amenities. But it wasn't just the boat's beautiful interior or our roomy cabin's thoughtful design that made the trip so comfortable. It was the crew that made it made it special, worry-free and fun. I cannot imagine how Viking is able to recruit such pleasant and hard working crew members. Our room was perfectly cleaned while we were at breakfast every morning and straightened up every evening while we dined. I have not experienced such service and attention to every detail at any resort or hotel I've visited. The meals were uniformly excellent, with dishes offered each evening that were characteristic of the region. The chef came out most evenings and sincerely wanted to know what we had liked and what else we might like to see on the menu. The wines served were quite good and I don't think the attentive waiters ever let a glass become empty during dinner. I admit that I can't compare Viking to other river cruise lines and I may never be able to since I'm unlikely to commit my money and vacation time to a competing company in the hope that their ship might be as nice and their service as good as Viking's. We thought that we would be on our own for the two extra days we spent in Budapest, but even there Viking delivered our bags to our hotel room and had a concierge on duty every day to give us suggestions, make dinner reservations, buy concert tickets. Even the trip's one minor glitch turned out to be a blessing. On our last night before reaching Budapest there was a brief engine failure that caused the boat to drift into a bridge abutment. The damage was minor, but it caused us to dock at Esztergom that morning which gave us an unexpected chance to visit this royal city of the medieval Magyar kings. The view of the Danube from high up on the castle walls is worth the climb and the history exhibits are fascinating. Viking should make it a regular stop on the trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Viking Odin Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.5
Dining 3.5 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.5 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 3.6

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