2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The experience with Viking Cruises was wonderful. Specifically with Odin cruise. It was a dream that became reality. We choose the tour Cities of Lights. We arrived in Prague 3 days before the departure, we had time to explore the ... Read More
The experience with Viking Cruises was wonderful. Specifically with Odin cruise. It was a dream that became reality. We choose the tour Cities of Lights. We arrived in Prague 3 days before the departure, we had time to explore the city and take tours in our own, different of the offer by Viking. Prague, is a beautiful city. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly in every port. The ship is very nice, our cabin very comfortable and relaxing, it was a Veranda. The housekeeping excellent. The dining it was wonderful, every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner was a great experience), many options to choose from. The dining servers were very attentive. The crew was wonderful and ready to satisfy any of our request, very flexible and helpful. The ports and shore excursions city visits very well organized and always on time. The motor coach comfortable and the drivers safe. My husband and I enjoyed very much the night entertainments and activities. Our Program Director, Claudia kept us very well informed all the time, we enjoyed having her, she is excellent coordinating everything. Claudia also provided very good information about the Castles along the Moselle River. It was very scenic. She always was smiling and in a very good mood. We liked very much to have "The daily" information on the activities and program for the next day in advance. All the staff and crew are very well trained and made our holidays more enjoyable. We definitely would like to travel with Viking again!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 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: August 2016
Fantastic itinerary. Wonderful staff Superior service. Would highly recommend Viking to all my friends. Looking forward to our next cruise with Viking The excursions ashore were fabulous Meals great Stayed two nights in Prague ... Read More
Fantastic itinerary. Wonderful staff Superior service. Would highly recommend Viking to all my friends. Looking forward to our next cruise with Viking The excursions ashore were fabulous Meals great Stayed two nights in Prague and added two extra nights in Paris I especially liked how Viking took care of us at the end of the trip. Transporting us from hotel to Charles Degaul airport. They took care of our baggage, signing in and brought us right to the checking in counter. Service top quality to finish our trip on the perfect, full-service finally. The tour guides were absolutely top notch. Each passenger had their own headset so we heard every word and never became separated from our group. Just the right mix of guided tour time and free time at each port of call. Rooms spacious and very nice. We had a French balcony with floor to ceiling slide glass door overlooking the river. Wonderful experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
From pick up at the airport in Prague until drop-off at the airport in Paris, we were treated like royalty. The crew is excellent, from room stewards to captain. I was worried there would be too much down time while on the boat. Just the ... Read More
From pick up at the airport in Prague until drop-off at the airport in Paris, we were treated like royalty. The crew is excellent, from room stewards to captain. I was worried there would be too much down time while on the boat. Just the opposite. There was always an activity to join if you wished. Ship accommodations were five star. Bus drivers were friendly, and took passenger safety very seriously. Tours were well managed and guides were very knowledgeable. If I were to make changes to our itenarary, it would be to NOT do as many extra excursions. We would have enjoyed just wandering the locations on our own after the tours if we had planned more free time for ourselves. Our cruise director, Claudia, was a gem. So thoughtful yet fun. Can't believe the skill of the Captain taking us under bridges at a very high water mark. Michael, the Hotel Manager, made every sailing moment a fun experience. Four thumbs ups from this pair of Viking Cruisers! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Some friends asked if we would join them on this cruise and we had been wanting to try one. The cruise was a lot more relaxed than being on a large ship. It was nice being just steps away from the lounge and dining areas rather than ... Read More
Some friends asked if we would join them on this cruise and we had been wanting to try one. The cruise was a lot more relaxed than being on a large ship. It was nice being just steps away from the lounge and dining areas rather than traversing a lengthy ship. The service and staff was exceptional. The food was good, the free wine and beer with dinner was great, and the entertainment was adequate (usually a singer/pianist in the lounge). The cabin and bath were spacious enough. The cruise director (?) was hilarious and very informative regarding the history of the ports we were to visit. The only disappointment was missing an entire port due to a weather-related issue (not being able to get under a bridge, thus losing a day's itinerary. Although I did learn to make towel animals that day!) It would have been nice to receive some kind of recompense. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
We wanted a cruise that included Paris...so we decided on the Prague to Paris- Cities of Lights- twelve day cruise with 2 nights in Prague, 8 days on the rivers and 2 nights in Paris. Viking Odin was a well organized, efficient team. ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that included Paris...so we decided on the Prague to Paris- Cities of Lights- twelve day cruise with 2 nights in Prague, 8 days on the rivers and 2 nights in Paris. Viking Odin was a well organized, efficient team. The crew was always striving to make our cruise the best ever.... And that is what we received. I highly recommend Viking. We enjoyed it so much that we have booked the European Sojourn next year, and of course Viking Air also. When we landed in Prague, we were greeted by a gentleman with the red Viking lollipop at the airport ( we also had Viking Air). We were greeted at the hotel by Suzy ( our program director). She was with us for the entire trip, and went the extra mile to make sure every moment was perfect. The next day we had a 4 mile, very interesting guide through the high points of Prague. This was the beginning of one of the most wonderful ... A dream of a lifetime trip!!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary. This was my first Viking River Cruise. The ship was beautiful, the crew couldn't have been nicer. The food was excellent. Our room was spacious and very comfortable. Our tours ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary. This was my first Viking River Cruise. The ship was beautiful, the crew couldn't have been nicer. The food was excellent. Our room was spacious and very comfortable. Our tours were great. The 176 passengers on this cruise were so much fun to be with. our cruise director, Bojan Bozic, was with us throughout our voyage. He was such a pleasant person and made each day more enjoyable. Some of the couples we met have become dear friends who I plan to keep in touch with. They are already e-mailing me on their next cruise on Viking in hopes we can all get together once again. The hotels we stayed at in Paris and Prague were beautiful. Our rooms were spacious and very clean. The overall pace of this itinerary was perfect for passengers our age(senior citizens). I will definitely be sailing again with Viking in the near future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
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
Our tour director, Claudia, met us in Paris and remained with us for the entire trip. She was always accessible, made sure everyone knew schedules, always informative and friendly. I was disappointed that the boat did not dock within ... Read More
Our tour director, Claudia, met us in Paris and remained with us for the entire trip. She was always accessible, made sure everyone knew schedules, always informative and friendly. I was disappointed that the boat did not dock within walking distance to the town at each port. It was so much more enjoyable when that was possible. The guides in each port were terrific. They were knowledgeable, interesting, and aware of our needs i.e. directions during free time, rest room breaks, recommendations. I was disappointed in the lunch that was served at the hotel in Heidelberg although eating with a college student was a nice touch. Unfortunately we did not arrive in Prague until late afternoon and by the time we got to our room, the day was almost over. Having only Sunday to tour the city and leaving early Monday morning for our flight home didn't leave much time to enjoy Prague. It was one reason we chose this trip. The breakfast buffet was great and Bello and Bella were terrific wait staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
The cruise was spectacular. The entire staff was perfect. The tours were all interesting and really very well planned. We had time to see the points of interest and hear all the discussions about the history and local flavor. Weather ... Read More
The cruise was spectacular. The entire staff was perfect. The tours were all interesting and really very well planned. We had time to see the points of interest and hear all the discussions about the history and local flavor. Weather was a little bit of an issue and it means packing clothes that will work under a variety of situations. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and broken in since walking is a big part of the trip. We travelled with friends but certainly during the trip met many people that we interacted with on a daily basis. This was certainly part of the fun. Every evening there was an activity/event in the ballroom and always worth going. Our favorite was the glass blowing. Our room had a television but we didn't turn it on until the last day! The internet connection was the only downside of the entire trip. Slow and hard to access. This was not a big issue for us but there was certainly grumbling about it. The food was all excellent. The open dining worked well and you meet people along the way and certainly eat with friends old and new. Unlike some cruises the food is not non-stop. That actually worked well and kept the calories and eating in general in a more normal scope. You are certainly never hungry. We bought the bar special for the trip and really enjoyed the crowd that routinely went there in the evening. As a beer drinker I would have liked more options but it was more than adequate. Service was 5 star in all ways. We plan to go again and try a new route. Read Less
Sail Date: August 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We stared our trip with a pre-stay in Lucerne organized by Viking Cruises. The pick up at the airport in Zurich gave us the opportunity to see sights on our way to Lucerne. The Schweizerhof Hotel was fabulous. Location was right on the ... Read More
We stared our trip with a pre-stay in Lucerne organized by Viking Cruises. The pick up at the airport in Zurich gave us the opportunity to see sights on our way to Lucerne. The Schweizerhof Hotel was fabulous. Location was right on the Lake. From there you could stand next to palm trees and see the snow covered Alps. Lucerne was a wonderful city, and with the Viking guided tour we got a good feel for the city and explored a lot on our own. Since all was booked through Viking, they then transported us to the ship in Basel. This was our third Viking cruise so we knew to expect really good guides at each of the stops. We were not disappointed. They timed our walks through the cities so we would have special experiences in each port. I am more impressed each time I cruise with Viking with the quality of their shore excursions. I walk slowly and always sign up for their leisurely group. It is so nice to have that option. We ended in Trier, then a bus to see Luxemburg, and on to Paris for two nights in Le Meridien Etoile. Great area for interesting restaurants, and a nice walk to the Arc de Triumph The ship was a Viking Longship. I really loved waking up and going to the lounge to have a couple of cups of Latte while my husband woke up. With the machine I could make it as weak as I like it - half water and half latte. I loved watching the Rhine and the castles as we cruised from the Lounge. This time when we booked all of the full balcony rooms were already taken so we booked a French Balcony. We decided that we do not like a French Balcony, and the full balcony is definitely worth the extra cost. Viking staff is always so helpful and really want to make the trip a special experience for you. The food has a nice regional touch, but with some choices for those that want more traditional food. I love the way the whole ship is invited each evening to learn the plans for tomorrow's activities, followed by the chef telling you what his dinner recommendations are. We normally spent so much time enjoying dinner, talking with the new folks we met at dinner, and the complementary wine with dinner that we just went to bed, and missed the evening entertainment. We have learned that booking the air, pre-stay, and cruise with Viking means you are fully taken care of. They pick you up at the airport, take you to the hotel, then ship, then back to airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
I received so many helpful hints from others prior to my cruise that I thought I’d share some highlights from my experience. I’m in my early 60s, an active, experienced traveler in good physical shape. I did this cruise with my sister, ... Read More
I received so many helpful hints from others prior to my cruise that I thought I’d share some highlights from my experience. I’m in my early 60s, an active, experienced traveler in good physical shape. I did this cruise with my sister, who has walking difficulties – she walks with a cane, can go steps, but walks slowly and can’t walk far without resting. So, some of this review will be from the perspective of someone with walking difficulties. Overall, we had a fabulous time and would happily sail with Viking again. However, there are a few small things that Viking could do to make it easier for people with limited walking abilities. Viking does offer a leisure/slow group for city tours and there were several others walking with canes that joined us for these. I did lots of research before the trip to make it as easy as possible and enjoyable for my sister – who had never been to Paris, Germany, or Prague before. I’ve been to Paris and Prague several times and to most of the places in Germany once, so I had a sense of what would be doable for us. For Paris, I relied heavily on Rick Steves’ guide. We had booked Vikings precruise tour of Paris, but ended up arriving a day earlier than expected due to a pilot’s strike by Air France. I had booked our airfare via Delta and received an email about 6 days before departure. I called Delta and easily moved the flight up a day. Some who had Viking book didn’t find out until the day before departure. Viking had us staying at Le Meridien and I booked another night myself. Tip: I booked a room for about $ 350 per night. The Viking precruise tour package ended up being about $ 500 per night. I would have booked it all on my own, but didn’t want the hassle of changing hotels if Viking made a last minute change. I didn’t get breakfast included in the $350 room rate and didn’t want to pay the 20+ euros for breakfast, so went across the street to Starbucks (in the shopping mall) for coffee and pastries. Breakfast was included in the Viking rate – it was good but not 20+ euros good. The shopping mall also has a fabulous gourmet grocery store. Several evenings, my sister was too tired to go out to dinner. I got takeout from the store and we enjoyed that in our room. Found some small items for gifts and bought some wine to take on the cruise. Transportation Tip: If you don’t have a Viking Transfer from the airport, the Air France bus stops directly across from the hotel. I bought our tickets in advance online – the transfer was very easy and I didn’t have to stress watching the taxi meter rise while stuck in morning rush hour traffic. The hotel isn’t in an area I’d choose to stay in, but transportation connections were convenient. Monday, 15 September Our flight came in about 5:30 AM so we arrived at the hotel well before checkin time. I didn’t expect that we could check in – and we couldn’t. Checked our baggage with the porter. I went to the metro station to buy a carnet of metro/bus tickets (a carnet is 10 tickets – cheaper than buying them individually). We walked up to the Avenue de la Grande Armee to catch Bus # 73 to Arc de Triomphe where we caught the Open Air Hop On/Off Bus. Thought this would be a good easy thing to do on our first day and would give my sister a feel for the layout of Paris. I bought my tickets in advance. We had a beautiful warm, sunny day, so enjoyed riding on the top. I wouldn’t recommend this as the fastest way to get around. We were often stopped for fairly long periods of time as people bought their tickets while boarding. We got off to visit Notre Dame here, so skipped this part of the Viking Tour – later in the week. Tuesday, 16 September My sister was very tired so I went out on my own – after my breakfast run to Starbucks. Returned and we had lunch at Le Sud, just up the street from the hotel. Took bus # 73 again to Musee D’Orsay. Let me start here by saying how access-friendly Paris and Parisians are. If you are handicapped, admission to museums for you and your companion is free. Wheelchairs are also free (just need to leave an ID). I knew that walking around museums, especially the Louvre, would be difficult for my sister, the wheelchairs made it possible. The staffs of the museums went out of their way to show us to the elevators – not always easy to find. Wednesday, 17 September We’re officially on Viking tour now and enjoyed the hotel buffet breakfast. Each day, the host/hostess seated us at a table close to the buffet so we didn't have to walk far. We took the Metro to the Louvre – fairly easy walk from station directly into the Louvre’s underground shopping center. I didn’t plan on use Metro much as there are steps and often quite a bit of walking if you’re in a station with connections. (People readily gave up their seats for my sister). Again, the museum staff were very helpful – we were even directed to go in front of the velvet rope at the Mona Lisa, so my that my sister had a great view. Dinner this evening was at the Eiffel Tower. Tip: If you want to go up the tower for a tour or a meal, be sure to book in advance or face waiting in a very long line. To avoid this, I thought about booking lunch. In June, lunch reservations were already sold out for our dates in September, so we splurged on dinner. Expensive (about $ 110 each), but food was great and the view was fantastic. We took a cab both ways. Thursday, 18 September Another morning on my own. In the afternoon, we went to Giverny with Paris Tours. It’s easy to get there on your own, but Paris Tours picks you up at your hotel. We were dropped off at the back, close to the lily ponds – there are steps. We did that first before walking up to the house and gardens. There were benches to sit on to rest. The bus picked us up near the house, so walking was minimized. Note: I really wanted to go to Versailles as I hadn’t been there in more than 20 years, but was concerned that my sister wouldn’t be able to keep up with a tour and if we did it on our own, it would involve lots of walking. And, recent reviews on TripAdvisor complained about the crowds. Also, I knew that Wurzburg would give us a baroque palace experience. Friday, 19 September Decided to take Viking’s morning tour of Paris (I wish they had 1 or 2 busses do this the first day of the precruise tour – kind of too late after you’ve been tin Paris for a day or two). The first part of the route took us through a part of Paris that we didn’t cover on the Open Air Tour. We got off near Notre Dame. I don’t recall if there was a slow group organized, but we wouldn’t have been able to keep up to get to Notre Dame. Decided to skip the rest of the tour and took bus # 63 to Pere Lachaise cemetery to see Jim Morrison’s (The Doors) grave. Used Rick Steves’ directions. I’d been before, but my sister wanted to go and it’s not a far walk from the bus stop and there are benches in the cemetery to rest. We took the same # 63 bus back and got off to visit the Rodin Museum – my sister’s choice. The gardens were lovely with roses and sculptures, but the house was not very accessible – just stairs. My sister was worn out by then – taking a bus would have meant a transfer and the taxi stand was quite a walk away. A woman in the gift shop offered to call us a cab – well worth it. Saturday, 20 September Left Paris about 8:00 for Luxembourg City. We were assigned to a bus with other “leisure travelers”. Here’s a little thing that Viking could do to help – have the bus with the leisure group parked closest to the hotel, ship, etc. While walking a few bus lengths isn’t a big thing for most, if you can’t walk far, it does make a difference – many times, our bus was the furthest one away. Had one stop along the way (bus drivers are mandated to stop for a break). Long lines at the restroom as all busses stopped at the same place. Nice shop to buy champagne, snacks, etc. Arrived Luxembourg City around lunch. With Saturday crowds and some kind of festival going on, it was hard to see and keep up with the guide on the walk to the center. She wasn’t very clear on when/where to meet for the city tour and some people missed it – we only had about 30 mins for lunch before the start of the city tour. We opted for a nice lunch instead. We went to The Chocolate House, recommended by Rough Guide, and across from the Grand Ducal Palace. Beautiful view, great food, and yummy desserts and bought some chocolate spoons to go (you dip these in hot milk for a hot chocolate drink). Stopped by the American Cemetery. Hard to keep up with our guide, but we heard what he said via the Quiet Boxes – what a great invention! Finally arrived in Trier to board the Viking Odin. Fast easy boarding process – if you’ve only cruised on ocean liners, you’ll be amazed at how fast checkin and getting your luggage can be! I booked our tour in December and the only cabin left was on the lower level. There is no elevator down. One flight of steps was ok for my sister. Being on a higher deck would have been easier. There is an elevator from Deck 2 (Dining Room) to Deck 3 (Lounge), with just steps up to the sun deck. If I cruise again with her, I’d go for a higher deck to minimize steps; with someone else, I’d be perfectly happy on the lower deck. We didn’t spend much time in our cabin and I’d rather splurge on something else. Had pre dinner brief by our program director, Titiana (I hope I spelled her name right). She’s an enthusiastic, ball of energy and did a wonderful job, as did the entire crew. Sunday 21 September Had a quick bus tour of the outskirts of Trier to see several Roman sites and then started our walking tour. We went with the leisure group. Had several opportunities to sit down but it was still quite a long walk. Couldn’t go into the basilica (primo Roman site) as it’s now used as a church and there was a service. We had time at the end of the tour to sit and have some hot chocolate. If you were on the fast tour, there might have been time to visit the museum by Porta Nigra. Note, my husband and I usually prefer to travel on our own and we’ve visited Trier before. This is one place where I’d have been very frustrated by the tour – we love Roman archaeological sites and I would have missed a lot if the Viking tour had been my only experience, but that’s one of the disadvantages of taking an organized tour. We had a late afternoon stop at Bernkastel. Did some window shopping. Monday, 22 September Docked in Cochem to visit Reichsburg Castle. Minivans took us up to the Castle and then back down the hill for a walking tour of the town. I asked if we could go up in the first van so that we’d have plenty of time to walk in the town (without slowing anyone else down). The Castle was doable for my sister and we enjoyed the tour. We left the walking tour early to slowly make our way down. We had a leisurely afternoon – watched a movie in our cabin before docking in Koblenz. Tuesday, 23 September I visited Marksburg Castle while my sister relaxed on the ship while it cruised to Brauback– you never have to get off for port visits if you don’t want to. Titania made it very clear that this tour would be difficult for those with mobility issues and she was right. The walk up to the castle isn’t too bad, but once inside the gate, there are places where it’s rocky, steep, and uneven. The afternoon was spent cruising the Rhine and viewing the castles. We had lunch on the Aquavit Terrace and stayed there most of the afternoon enjoying the view. The crew brought lap blankets as it was cool and cloudy to start. There are plexiglass panels at the bow, so we were fairly well protected from the wind. Titania broadcast which castles were coming up so we knew what to look for. Rick Steves also covers this area well. Docked in Rudesheim about 5. It was a long walk into town from where the ship docked. Another tip for Viking – in Rudesheim and a few other places, the ship docked quite far from the center of town. Some of these towns had little tourist trains/trolleys. It would have been nice if Viking could have arranged for these to meet the ship – or offered to call a cab. We’d have gladly paid extra for the convenience. Tip for Christmas decoration shoppers – our first Kathe Wohlfahrt shop was in Rudesheim. There are also stores in Heildelburg and Rothenburg. One of our tour guides offered brochures for a 10% discount. Had a special German dinner on board along with a tour of the galley. Wednesday, 24 September Disembarked in Aschaffenburg and took a bus to Heidelberg Castle. Quite a steep walk to the entrance from where the bus parked. The leisure tour did stop at several scenic places to sit so it worked out ok. Bus took us to the outskirts of the Old Town and we walked to Zum Ritter for lunch (included) – a fairly long walk. We had a very good beef dish but you could order a vegetarian option in advance. A student from the University was seated at each table, but we were too far away to converse with him. Restrooms were upstairs, but Titiana showed us a hidden elevator. After lunch we were on our own and did some window shopping. We were to meet at Zum Ritter for the walk back to the bus. Unfortunately, there is no place to sit on the square – except for restaurants where you had to order something. We ordered coffee, just to have a place to sit and wait. Bus took us back to ship which had sailed to Miltenberg. Thursday, 25 September We had signed up for the Rothenburg tour – I had been there more than 20 years before and would have liked to revisit, but it would have meant a full day of touring which was too much for my sister. Don’t miss if you haven’t been. We had seen some medieval towns, but hadn’t seen a baroque palace and didn’t want to be too tired to enjoy Wurzburg Palace. The bus dropped us off near the entrance. There is a magnificent staircase, but the guide told us where to find the elevator to join the tour at the top. We left the tour after the Palace portion, foregoing the city tour to take more time to enjoy the gardens. We made our way through town on our own, crossed the old bridge (and saw our ship going through the lock) to catch our bus which took us on a short ride to the ship. Our afternoon was free and I walked back to the city. Except for the Palace, it’s not a very touristy town and you’ll find shops and department stores geared towards the locals, not tourists. Captain’s dinner tonight and most people dressed up a bit more – as others have posted, whatever you wear during the day is perfectly acceptable for dinner. A group of men had T-shirts imprinted with a tuxedo – a nice touch. Friday, 26 September A leisurely morning with a disembarkation briefing followed by a lecture on the European Union. Arrived Bamberg after lunch. Took the leisure tour through the city and had lots of time after to enjoy a local beer and do more shopping. Bus back to the ship, our final dinner and I paid our bill after dinner. Unlike ocean cruising, there were few extras to pay for. We added our tips and I had a few slacks laundered – that was it. We had no bar bill. We found that wine or beer at lunch and dinner was plenty for us. We bought 2 bottles of wine in Paris and only drank ½ of one! A note about services on the ship. We didn’t use the services of the concierge, but she provided information about tours and concerts in Prague and would gladly book for any of those interested. We talked with several people who used her to book trips to Cesky Krumlov or a car/driver to take them to other places outside of Prague. Saturday, 27 September. Bags out by 7 and we were to be out of cabins by 8. After breakfast, we went back to our cabin – about 7:30, only to find that beds had been stripped and all towels were gone – a bit tacky, but we still left an extra tip for the cabin steward as she had been great all week. We also had to leave our quiet boxes – not sure why. The busses took us to Nuremberg. We didn’t have quiet boxes and couldn’t hear our guide most of the time. We went to the Zeppelin parade ground, the castle and then back to the Old Town. I liked Nuremberg more than I thought and will revisit if I'm in the area so that I can see more of it. We had lunch at a café on the square – we tried to pay by credit card and the waitress told us that the restaurants on the square don’t take credit cards, so be sure to have cash. The clock on the Church of Our Lady on the square has a mechanical show at noon – wish our tour guide would have told us that – maybe she did, but we couldn’t hear. We caught the end of the show. Bus to Prague for stay at the Prague Hilton. Like Le Meridien in Paris, I wouldn’t choose to stay in this location. But, the hotel is really nice. There are ATMs and currency exchange machines in the lobby so it’s easy to get Czech currency. I’m a Hilton Gold member and the Executive Lounge is probably the best I’ve encountered. My sister was too tired to go out, so we ended up eating “dinner” here every evening (a shame to miss out on real Czech cuisine, but we did have great lunches!). Tip: I had wanted to go to Pivovarsky Klub Microbrewery, 272 Krizikova –about 2 blocks beyond the Floenc Metro. My husband and I dined at their sister restaurant several years ago and enjoyed it. Be sure to try Becherovka, an herbal liquer made in Karlovy Vary. I also love Czech bread dumplings - often offered with goulash - the sauce on the dumplings is delicious. The hotel is not far from the Florenc metro/bus stop, but for us it was a long walk. There is a small shopping mall across the street with a grocery store and pharmacy (walk through here to get to metro). Sunday, 28 September We got new quiet boxes for the tour - yeah! Took the leisure tour to Prague Castle. Disappointed that we couldn’t visit St. Vitus Cathedral (Sunday services again) but we did hear the bells pealing which was almost as good. Saw the end of the changing of the guard ceremony. We had plans to meet family at 12. The bus was going nearby our meeting point and the driver kindly let us off. The fast tour had planned on stopping at the Charles Bridge and the group would walk over this to the Old Town. The slow group would have missed the Charles Bridge part. Monday, 29 September This was the end of the Viking Tour, but we extended one day in Prague and another 5 days in the Czech Republic. We took a taxi to the Mucha Museum (I love Art Nouveau). We walked from there to Obecni Dum (Municipal House) to see another Art Nouveau exhibit and had lunch in their beautiful café. Would have loved to have come back for a concert – it’s a really beautiful building. Walked to Old Town Square to see the Astronomical Clock and then shopped at Erpet Bohemian Crystal – across from the clock. Tip: Someone who used to work at the US Embassy Prague recommended this shop as a reputable place, especially if you want to ship your purchases. We bought some garnet jewelry here, but if I had wanted to make a large purchase, I’d do it here. We probably should have asked the store clerk to call a cab for us, but we walked to the Mustak Metro station and took it to Florenc (near the hotel). There is an elevator at Florenc but we had to wait a long time for it. Someone with a bicycle got on and there was no place for us so we had to wait for the next one (bikes aren’t supposed to be allowed). We had a drink at Hilton's rooftop lounge for a nice view of the city. Tuesday, 30 September – Friday, 3 October We had breakfast in the Executive Lounge – same food as the lobby buffet, but not as crowded. We had arranged for a Hilton car to take us to the airport (800 kc) and the car dropped us off at the car rental place as requested. We drove to the palace at Horovice (my great grandfather was a guard there) and stayed at nearby Chateau Zibrou – very interesting if you’re in the area and want a castle hotel stay and an interesting tour. I didn’t know it when I booked but Mucha spent several years here and there is a nice exhibit of his work. Next to Cesky Krumlov for 2 nights. Then to Putim, a small town outside of Pisek where we visited more relatives. I only mention this if there are any fans of the book “The Good Soldier Svejk”. Parts of the book take place here and a movie of the book was filmed here. There is now a statue of Svejk here as well. Saturday, 4 October Drove back to airport to return car and stayed at Airport Marriott. Since we had a very early morning flight, it seemed easiest to stay here. Very reasonable priced – about $ 85. And there are walkways to both terminals. We enjoyed a good dinner and our final Czech beer here. I hope that some of you find this review useful. I'm happy to try to answer any questions. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Our tour started in Prague and ended in Paris. I must say that the ship was clean and accommodations were satisfactory. The staff worked hard to make our journey a pleasurable one and succeeded beyond our expectations. The chef on board ... Read More
Our tour started in Prague and ended in Paris. I must say that the ship was clean and accommodations were satisfactory. The staff worked hard to make our journey a pleasurable one and succeeded beyond our expectations. The chef on board created meals that reflected the regional cuisine consistent with the location of the ship as it traveled through Germany and France. One rather disconcerting part of our journey was going through the various locks, about 30 of them during the earlier part of our voyage. the ship would stop and gradually disappear into these giant vaults only to be raised again to the proper level of the river at that particular location. It was interesting to see at first but rapidly became something of a nuisance. However it was necessary in order to navigate the rivers and well worth the inconvenience considering the magnificent scenery that we were privileged to see. Traveling the rivers was a peaceful experience. The ship never betrayed the fact that we were moving along at what seemed at times to be in the opposite direction of the flow of river. There was little in terms of entertainment which was expected given the size of the ship. Most guests huddled around the bar or sat on the many deck chairs provided by the crew while viewing scenery and enjoying the summer breeze. The excursions provided as options during the cruise were well planned and executed. One of our traveling companions had an ankle injury and elected to take some of the leisurely tours which were offered instead of the standard tours, some of which included lots of steps and inclines. Those alternative tours proved invaluable for some of the guests. In summation, it was a wonderful experience well worth the cost. I was so pleased that I have booked another Viking River Cruise through the South Of France. Read Less
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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