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5,977 Viking River Europe - River Cruise Reviews

I went with my parents for Christmas vacation. I will list the pros and cons. Pros: -The ship is well heated -The rooms and showers are clean -They will bend over backwards to accommodate you -Some of the excursions are ... Read More
I went with my parents for Christmas vacation. I will list the pros and cons. Pros: -The ship is well heated -The rooms and showers are clean -They will bend over backwards to accommodate you -Some of the excursions are decent -The staff is cordial and well-vetted -The excursions are planned so that you don't have to do much thinking or organizing -It is handicap accessible with an elevator Cons: -You must eat during their pre-set meal times. -Sometimes dinner isn't until 7 or 730 and my family and I were hungry prior to dinner time -There are no snacks available outside of meal times -The food is mediocre at best -Most of the cruising is done at night, so you don't get to see much of the river -If you book to sail Nov-Apr, please expect many of your excursions to be cancelled. They contract with local guides who don't do tours during the winter, but they will make you think you have a lot of fun things planned until you start getting cancellation emails -Don't bother going to the top deck if it's cold - everything is shut down Neither pros nor cons: -The activity director will announce excursions 15 minutes prior (over the loud speaker, which can wake you up if you are asleep) -They tidy your room twice a day. I personally don't want someone bothering me or in my room 2x a day, but some people might. -You don't feel the boat move much All said and done, I'm glad we did this for the experience but we've agreed we won't go again. We like more flexibility in accessing food, and we can organize a trip like this cheaper on our own with more shore time and exploration. A lot of time is spent cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had done several Viking river and ocean cruises but had wanted to experience the Christmas Markets. The trip met and exceeded our expectations! Viking, as always, has the best service but the crew were especially excited since this was ... Read More
We had done several Viking river and ocean cruises but had wanted to experience the Christmas Markets. The trip met and exceeded our expectations! Viking, as always, has the best service but the crew were especially excited since this was their next to last trip of the season. Then they return home until April. The ship was fully decorated to embrace the season. And the food choices also reflected traditional German meals. The balcony cabin is always smaller on the river boats, but more than enough storage space. Bathroom did not feel cramped at all. There was a Basel city tour the afternoon we boarded, after eating lunch. We were extremely fortunate that the weather was quite warm, cloudy but just a little rain once in a while. But more than happy not to wear heavy coats. On board delights included glass blowing, German carolers, lectures and cooking demonstration. We even were able to visit the adjacent Viking ship one evening for a show. The staff and service are always perfect. That's why we return to viking! But the markets are impressive! Eight separate markets in Cologne! Each stop was just beautiful. You won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our third Viking River cruise(Danube followed by China in 2012) which we booked to travel the Rhine at Christmas Markets time.The ship,cabins,excursion buses,guides,all met our expectations when compared to our previous Viking ... Read More
This was our third Viking River cruise(Danube followed by China in 2012) which we booked to travel the Rhine at Christmas Markets time.The ship,cabins,excursion buses,guides,all met our expectations when compared to our previous Viking cruises but the food service was much below the level we had come to expect. The lunch and dinner menus lacked variety,the soups mostly cream based seldom arrived at our table HOT, several waiters were slow to take our orders or follow up during dinner service.The breakfast buffet was excellent. It seems that adding a Viking ocean cruise fleet and rapid expansion of the river fleet since our 2012 China cruise has not been matched by a system to hire,train and coach staff that could maintain the food service quality Viking was justly proud of. The towns and cities visited were first time stops for us and the Christmas preparations made were very extensive and colorful.We would certainly recommend a Christmas markets tour of Germany and France Vancouver Island cruiser Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took the Paris to the Swiss Alps cruise in reverse from December 11-22, 2019 starting in Zurich. Viking has partnered with Marriott Hotels for accommodation pre- and post-cruise. The Hotel Renaissance is in the Technopark of low-rise ... Read More
We took the Paris to the Swiss Alps cruise in reverse from December 11-22, 2019 starting in Zurich. Viking has partnered with Marriott Hotels for accommodation pre- and post-cruise. The Hotel Renaissance is in the Technopark of low-rise buildings, but Tram #4 (blue) one block over runs to the old town. A day pass costs 8 Euro per person. Viking offered an orientation walk of the hotel area at 5:30 PM which is fine in summer but in December darkness comes early and lighting is poor. Some passengers purchased the day-long Highlights of the Swiss Alps optional excursion at $400, but it turned back due to heavy snow in the Alps. Instead of giving passengers a refund, Viking tried to offer an on-board ship credit. There is little to buy and how much can you drink? Just refund the money. Its basic public relations. After a bus ride to Basel and a convoluted walking tour around town pointedly trying to avoid the Christmas Market, we boarded Viking Alsvin at the St Johann Dock by walking down a long set of concrete stairs to the gangway. Note there is a lot of walking on this cruise so get yourself into condition before arriving. Alsvin is one of the newer additions to the Viking fleet all of which follow the same design template. That said, engine noise was louder than on the other six Viking river ships on which we have sailed and Alsvin would ‘shudder’ occasionally while underway. Our cabin 332 was filled with a king bed so we had to walk sideways around it. The bathroom was tiny but had all the necessities plus a heated floor. Twice the toilet wouldn’t flush but a maintenance guy cam promptly to fix it. Channel 9 on the TV is the bow cam for a view of where we were going should it be too to stand cold outside. Food service in the restaurant was okay but it took longer to get meals out of the galley and there were fewer serving staff on the floor than on previous Viking cruises. The first morning there was nobody at the omelette station and a slab of smoked salmon had not been sliced. Staff showed up later. Near the end of the cruise in Trier, they ran out of Coke and peanut butter and had to scramble to get some locally. Between Basel and Strasbourg, Viking Alsvin bumped into side walls of some locks and the jerky movement could be felt on board. No explanation from Captain Adam Buczkowski why this kept happening. Before Trier, the ship hit the wall of a lock with a loud ‘bang’ and enough force to jolt the ship and rattle glasses in the restaurant. Again, no explanation. I have never had this happen on any of my previous six Viking river cruises nor on any cruises with Avalon or Uniworld. Stops at Speyer and Mainz filled in sites I had wanted to see but while the Gutenberg Museum was closed on Monday, it was open to Viking passengers. Problem weas, their gift shop was not open. They could have made a tidy profit even after paying a salary and utilities but, so be it. Viewing the protected manuscripts is difficult in a crowd of people so go online to the Museum’s website where some exhibits are displayed. With the exception of transiting the Wachau Valley, there was very little commentary about the passing scenery on this cruise. Not even a separate TV channel with info. We cruised under an immense bridge then we drove on it to Luxembourg, but it was never identified by Viking staff. I found it is called the Hochmoselbrücke, literally the High Moselle Bridge, but it would be handy if Viking could identify local landmarks for passengers. Also, daily Port Talk briefings by Program Director Bojan Bozic lacked any details about walking from the ship to buses, for example, the multiple series of steps at Kehl for the Strasbourg tour and an alternative incline pathway. Finding our guides for excursions was often chaotic especially with other boats in port. Perhaps because this was the holiday season and some guides were not ‘regulars’ English language skills were challenging. When leaving Alsvin for excursions we had to pick up and return a guide number/letter card plus a little piece of paper stating our name, cabin and excursion so a manual tally could be made to determine if everyone was back on board. Why, for heaven’s sake, could we not tap our cabin card on exit and re-entry as is done on other ships? Technology works, Viking people. Also, Viking needs to acknowledge that on a cruise during the pre-Christmas season many passengers come to visit the little Christmas Markets along the Rhine and Moselle. Yet there was barely any Christmas music, classical or commercial, played on board. When I asked Reception why not, the woman behind the counter said, “it is not on our playlist”. I recommended the playlist be revised. The next day, I heard “Here Comes Santa Claus”. Once! Water was high in the Moselle and Viking’s large ship could not pass under some bridges even with its retractable wheelhouse fully lowered. Other smaller boats could make it. So, we double docked alongside Viking Eir and spent an extra day in Koblenz waiting for water levels to drop. A two-days-in-one combination bus tour of Cochem and Trier was set up. At 8:15 AM some Alsvin passengers boarded buses in Koblenz to Cohem and Trier completely bypassing Bernkastel located between these two towns. There was no commentary on the bus about the passing Moselle Valley. We arrived in Cochem for a flash tour of downtown and the reconstructed Reichsburg Castle. We were told, “you will have a little time in the square on your own.” No, we did not. Rush back on the bus for the hour plus ride to Trier. Certainly, no time to find a store selling the mustard which Bojan said was an authentic Cochem souvenir. Also lacking was a drive around Trier to see the Roman Amphitheatre and Roman Baths. We got off at the old town and marched directly to a restaurant near the Cathedral where we were scheduled to blow two hours at a three-course, sit-down lunch. I left, got a map and did my own tour. Come on. Most of us have sufficient reserves to get by on a snack of water and a granola bar when time is tight. And there is lots of food at the Christmas Market. We left at dusk and drove back to the ship in the dark. The next day we did sail up the Moselle to Bernkastel where we docked for a few hours before sailing to Trier for disembarkation. At 8:30 AM four buses took all Viking Alsvin passengers from Trier to Paris. This being the last cruise of the season, most crew left too and Alsvin would be taken to Cologne for off-season maintenance. While you can tip individuals for exceptional service, Viking Cruises reduces their wage costs by automatically billing 15 Euro per person per day in gratuities to be settled before disembarkation and divvyed up among crew doing the work for which they were hired. That’s about $200 per cabin per cruise. A nice chunk of change. This practice artificially lowers the advertised price of Viking cruises because other cruise lines take an honest approach and include basic onboard tips in their listed prices. Caveat Emptor. But before Paris there was a stop at the American Cemetery and Memorial at Haram and a walking excursion around old Luxembourg City then the long bus ride to our Paris hotel. On the bus, tour director Bojan finally decided to provide some not useful commentary by telling us about things off the motorway which we could not see such as Reims Cathedral (hidden by roadside berms and hi-voltage transmission towers), champagne vineyards (somewhere off in the distance, maybe), and Euro Disney (out of sight on the right) as we finally approached Paris. At 4:00 PM he got a call from the Marriott Opera Hotel asking where we were. After nine plus hours enroute, we finally arrived at 6:00 PM. The location of this hotel on Boulevard Haussmann is great within walking distance of many attractions. This Paris to the Swiss Alps Viking river cruise was not up to the quality of previous ones. I prefer river cruises to ocean cruises because distances are shorter, docks are close to sites and shore scenery is interesting. However, in 2017 we tried an ocean cruise from Barcelona to Rome on Viking Star with Captain Rune Lokling. The ship and amenities were excellent but along the way our cautious Captain Lokling decided he could not dock at Marseille, a natural harbor since medieval times, so no excursions. Instead he went further east to Toulon, home port of the French Navy Mediterranean fleet. We sailed in under sunny skies with calm water. I took photos. Then the white pilot boat departed, and we sailed out again. No excursions. Two hours later our captain finally announced bad weather prevented docking. No Way! So, we bobbed around at sea for a day with nothing to do. Next, the tender returning from St. Tropez hit the hull with enough force to break a window and toilets on board Viking Star did not flush for two hours one afternoon. I complained to Viking customer service in California. They denied any problems, but Viking Star now has a different captain. Maybe Viking Alsvin should too. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise for an opportunity to spend more time in Paris and for the excursions to Auvers-Sur-Oise and the D-Day sites. The transportation strike in Paris interfered with our extension there, but the cruise itself was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for an opportunity to spend more time in Paris and for the excursions to Auvers-Sur-Oise and the D-Day sites. The transportation strike in Paris interfered with our extension there, but the cruise itself was wonderful. Viking handled the airport and ship transfers with perfection. The cabin and public spaces were beautiful as always, although we did find the bed rather uncomfortable. Our Program Director, Max, arranged a very moving wreath-laying ceremony at the American Cemetery in Normandy. He also was extremely helpful to us in re-booking tickets and transportation to an exhibit in Paris that we had missed because of the strike. The visit to Auvers-Sur-Oise in the footsteps of Van Gogh was most memorable. Seeing Van Gogh's tomb, side by side with his Brother's was quite touching. The excursion was complemented by the ship-board watercolor class and the very informative lecture on Impressionism. Service everywhere on the ship was prompt and gracious. The food was good, but not memorable. A live pianist provided pleasant background music in the lounge. On one occasion there were three delightful young opera singers. This was our 4th Viking cruise and we have already booked the next one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets from Passau to Budapest with a 3 day pre cruise extension in Prague. The extension in Prague was outstanding, a beautiful city especially during this time. Viking offers ‘included ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets from Passau to Budapest with a 3 day pre cruise extension in Prague. The extension in Prague was outstanding, a beautiful city especially during this time. Viking offers ‘included tours’ in each stop. Some were walking tours others were bus tours so check to see which you sign up for. We used Viking Air service and were booked on Lufthansa. Incoming flight to Orlando caused us to miss connection in Frankfort...neither Viking nor Lufthansa were much of a help either rebooking or holding the Frankfort flight. Return flight had a 5 hour layover in Frankfort. Be aware when booking thru Viking. The ship itself was a bit of a disappointment. It is referred to to a ‘long ship’ which it is. The staff, while helpful, was somewhat distracted since this was the second to last cruise and most were going home within the next few weeks. The rooms are at best tiny. Storage is at a premium. Bathroom had a heated floor which was nice since we cruised in December. Bust again tiny with limited storage space. Dining was interesting. Viking does not accommodate medium sized groups for seating. We had to send a “scout” each night to stand in line before the doors opened to ensure we had a table for our party of 9. Service was attentive but slow. Wine/beer served with each meal. Menu selections were interesting, portions sufficient. Meals came out promptly and were presented well. Personally the soups were the highlight for me. Main courses nothing special. Entertainment was local and actually quite good. In my opinion, our cruise director was trying too hard to do his job. The hotel manager was great, funny and personable. My summary: compared to another river cruise I took, this was just ok. Viking gets raves but I was disappointed. Would I do another Viking? Perhaps. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this itinerary because we wanted to go to the markets and we were not disappointed! We started in Amsterdam (we have been there before) and then traveled to Kinderdijk, where we have also been before. We then went to Cologne and ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because we wanted to go to the markets and we were not disappointed! We started in Amsterdam (we have been there before) and then traveled to Kinderdijk, where we have also been before. We then went to Cologne and our first Christmas market. It was absolutely magical! We continued to more markets in Germany and one in Strasbourg France. The markets did not disappoint and i filled an entire bag of gifts from the markets as well as ten different mugs from the markets. If you don’t care for the hot wine at the markets, get the hot chocolate, it’s incredible. The ships captain was probably the best of all 6 of our Viking cruises as was the hotel manager. Our favorite by far was Renee, our program director. However, quite a few of the crew seemed uninterested in us being there. As a matter of fact I had a bartender be incredibly rude to me which has NEVER happened on Viking before. Another crew member who witnessed it came over to me to apologize, but I was so upset about it I left the lounge and was uncomfortable seeing this crew member the rest of the trip. The ship seemed a bit run down and housekeeping was a bit lax although our cabin steward was very sweet. The food was incredible and, as usual, my food allergies were taken care of with extreme attention. We have another trip with Viking booked and my hopes are that we will return to the service that we are accustomed to with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I were excited to sail on Sigrun by Viking River Cruises. We booked our Voyage in 2017 to sail in Fall 2019. We paid for a French Balcony room but were disappointed extremely when we were given a room on the bottom. I.m a ... Read More
My husband and I were excited to sail on Sigrun by Viking River Cruises. We booked our Voyage in 2017 to sail in Fall 2019. We paid for a French Balcony room but were disappointed extremely when we were given a room on the bottom. I.m a vegetarian and asked the Ship Chef if there will be any vegetarian option on the ship. He assured me that each meal has a vegetarian dish. So there was no option or choice for a vegetarian guest. And to my surprise, the understanding of a vege. meal for the Sigrun Staff was completely different than what I believe in. To my surprise the first vegetarian dish was a vegetarian soup made from/in Beef Broth. I can't stand the smell of beef, and for a Hindu, eating beef is a sin. The second experience was with Cesar Salad which consisted Ham on top. The staff on the ship was so reluctant to make any accomodation or adjustments to my choice. I asked for a grilled cheese sandwich for a meal one day but I was told that it can't be done since its not part of the menu. I asked for only asparagus for one dinner. Asparagus was being served with a meat dish. The server refused to serve only the asparagus to me. I basically ate bread and butter for most of the meals. The chef was being kind to make me a curry dish with a day before's leftover grilled vegetables. He mixed the tomato sauce and some water to make me a curry. I felt highly humiliated to see my special meal made from leftover food. When I went to share my negative experience to Ship Manager, Michael, he walked away without listening to me. I said I will write about it, he replied rudely, "Go for it" I don't know if I can ever go back with Viking or can advice anyone to sail with them, especially my vegetarian friends. Just to let you know that this was my fifth sailing experience and one of the worst one. My husband bought the special Silver Spirits Package, and none of the bottle served matched the list of menu listed on the Wine Menu. The positive points were: Most of the crew members, Cleaning Lady for our cabin, Bar Lady, The Radison Blu hotel in Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a day in Heidelberg that we were out from 10:00 to 3:30. We came in from the very cold day to a lunch of hot soup and finger sandwiches. I arrived about 3:35 and there were many still behind me. They were only serving one type of ... Read More
We had a day in Heidelberg that we were out from 10:00 to 3:30. We came in from the very cold day to a lunch of hot soup and finger sandwiches. I arrived about 3:35 and there were many still behind me. They were only serving one type of soup and when I got there they told me with no apology whatsoever that they were out of soup. I have been on at least 14 cruises on 4 different lines and I’ve never heard sorry, we’re out. The wait and bar service was mediocre. The cocktails were very inconsistent, I don’t think the bartenders were trained. the drink list was old fashioned and limited. One server grabbed my Cosmo before I was finished and put a napkin in it. When I said I was still drinking it he removed the napkin and handed it back. I wish I could say I was kidding. Shipboard entertainment was very weak. A piano player, a local choir, decorating the Christmas tree. Really, we decorate Your tree for you? The optional excursion that we did was disappointing. We paid $79 for an average meal at a German Restaurant. There was partying and an “oompah band” promised but the band did not even have a tuba. I don’t consider “Margaritaville” traditional German music. What was good: Not packing and unpacking, the stops. The included tours were actually good and they offered a more relaxed pace option for those who wanted it and the guides were good. Overall I would choose Tauck for a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I am willing to pay for a true luxury experience and that is what I thought I would get with Viking River but this is definitely not luxury, maybe 4 star for accommodations and 3.5 for food. Using an analogy to hotels, let's say Four ... Read More
I am willing to pay for a true luxury experience and that is what I thought I would get with Viking River but this is definitely not luxury, maybe 4 star for accommodations and 3.5 for food. Using an analogy to hotels, let's say Four Seasons/Mandarin Oriental/Conrad/Montage, etc. are at a top level 5 (which Viking River most certainly is not), Viking River is akin to a good Hilton. I splurged, I really wanted the luxury experience. So I paid extra for the verandah suite. Accommodations were nice especially for a "cruise". Spacious, clean and modern facilities (including a walk in shower with heated floors, an appreciated touch during the cold German nights). HOWEVER the food and service is definitely not luxury. Breakfast/lunch/dinner items are extremely generic and usually bland (to accommodate the tastes of the elderly who frequent these cruises). I ended up skipping dinner altogether most times and just having a protein drink in my room. For fitness buffs like myself, there is no gym by the way on these small river cruise ships which was a complete bummer. Similarly, the SERVICE was not luxury. The wait-staff are salt of the earth nice people who do a good job, but the level of deference and "invisible" service that you get at true luxury properties are not found here. Instead it seems the staff, particularly in the restaurant, are instructed to be outgoing and garrulous which is tiresome for me on a trip that is supposed to be relaxing. What really pissed me off is that I spent an extra thousand - on top of the premium price - on "optional" excursions which were a COMPLETE RIPOFF. For example, the Optional day trip to Munich, costing me an extra $279 PER PERSON, was just an hour and half drive on the bus, a pit stop at the FREE BMW headquarters, a walk around town (not even going inside to any of the multitude of museums), a pre-set rather cheap meal and then a ride back to the ship. THAT WAS AN EXTRA $300. Complete rip-off, it was literally a $40 car ride with a mediocre guide. All in all, if you love to go on cruises, this is probably one of the better ones but if you want true luxury - which I really really need for my VACATIONS - I will not be going on Viking again. OOOOHHHH how can I forget? The sleep issue. There was a constant clanging in the walls in what I was later told by the engineer as emanating from the hot water pipes. This clanging was LOUD, traveled all around the walls of my suite and CONSTANT. As in every 20 seconds 24/7. The captain came in, acknowledged the problem and offered ear-plugs. He said that this was just a built-in problem with the ship and the rooms...the hot water pipes are behind the walls of the small cruise ship and that when you cruise, you have to expect noises from the ship. I think that is UNACCEPTABLE for an experience labeled as "luxury" by the company. Getting good sleep is fundamental to a vacation and I did not get it here. AT THE VERY LEAST, the company should disclose this issue UP FRONT IN ITS ADVERTISING. Of course it does not. All in all, I am not impressed by the company and its lack of transparency and its cost-cutting measures that really do not make this a true luxury experience (for example, the coffee machines SUCK, do NOT offer decaf and the teas are just teabags that tasted gross...we're in Europe for crying out loud, premium teas are cheap and plentiful. By the way, WIFI is spotty and slow, you cannot stream movies which is UNACCEPTABLE these days especially if you don't offer other things to do on the ship like a gym, etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Extension in Prague was great, wonderful city but the Marriott they booked us at was the worst Marriott we ever stayed at. First there was construction noise all day, when we complained to the front desk the woman said nothing she could ... Read More
Extension in Prague was great, wonderful city but the Marriott they booked us at was the worst Marriott we ever stayed at. First there was construction noise all day, when we complained to the front desk the woman said nothing she could do. Our view was of a lower roof top...oh and the bar did not know how to make a Shirley Temple or apparently anything except a Mai Tai, the drink of the day everyday we were there. Bed was the worst I ever slept on, prisoners probably have better beds. The mattress pad was hard and lumpy, they replaced it with another which was just as bad...I finally told them do not even bother I pulled the pad off myself and we slept on the cheap thin foam mattress the entire cruise. Breakfast okay, lunch underwhelming but dinner usually good. Service in dining room was lacking, very hard to get cocktails and refills. Staff definitely not as good as on the Rhine cruise we did with Viking. Free tours are mostly bus tours, we either bought excursions or like in Passaic, did our own walking tour and went to a great cafe and Dachshund museum then Christmas Market and church. Worst thing was in Budapest we tried to arrange with the front desk for a cab to do High Tea at the Gresham Palace (did not want to walk as we dressed up) but they gave our cab to another room! We were late for our reservation and wasted our vacation time! I am sure our survey was thrown out. Bear in mind there are a lot of really old people and those who do not travel independently ever. The Christmas Market in Budapest we walked to on our own. Did not like the bread making and distillery tour in Austria...did not see any farm animals and did not make bread only kneaded, shaped and added toppings to it. Not sure we will do Viking again at this point. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have traveled on 2 other Viking cruises and had a wonderful time. Great wine choices, lots of local food offerings and beautiful ports of call that we were able to explore in the evening. Since we had heard so many wonderful things ... Read More
We have traveled on 2 other Viking cruises and had a wonderful time. Great wine choices, lots of local food offerings and beautiful ports of call that we were able to explore in the evening. Since we had heard so many wonderful things about Portugal, we thought the Douro would be a good choice. None of these things held true for this trip. The same wine was served every night. Food was average. We were a group of 10 that were linked in our reservation - but we still needed to fight for a decent table each evening for dinner. Why couldn't we sit at the same table that fit us all? Excursions consisted of long bus rides and several times we drove longer to meet up with the boat in a different location. Not really the "luxury experience" Viking said they would provide. The biggest hassle was with Viking and Iberia Air. We paid the fee to work directly with Air Plus, so that we could get the flights we wanted. I received email confirmation of flights and seat assignments. But on departure day found out that Iberia does not hold seats unless they are paid for - which Viking does not do, even though we had paid the trip off months in advance. Why don't they pay for the seat and avoid the customer getting stuck by the bathroom or in a middle seat, especially when they paid to work with the Air Dept. Lack of transparency. Totally not luxury and very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The breakfast choices were not as expansive as other river cruises and coffee was poor. Lunch choices as well were limited. Dinner choices were limited and some menus were good but small portions with protein. Deserts were average in ... Read More
The breakfast choices were not as expansive as other river cruises and coffee was poor. Lunch choices as well were limited. Dinner choices were limited and some menus were good but small portions with protein. Deserts were average in taste. If you don’t upgrade to silver spirits your wine will be poor. The ship service was good with the exception of dinner. The staff was slim for this sitting. The ship is very sparse in decor and looked a little worn out. Excursions were good and tour guides had good expertise. However the excursions could have had better tours in many of the locations because they had great material. I didn’t like paying the tips in advance and then being asked to give additional tips. Before booking Viking look at all the additional charges for the options. I felt nickel and dimed!! The boat had a window boarded up during the cruise in the dinning room. Also the ventilation seemed poor. The Thermostat in the state room did not appear to work. WiFi is pretty poor. Entertainment was just poor in comparison to other river cruises. I don’t like hearing about the history of Portugal as entertainment. Also if I hear about cork again I may ask someone to cork it!!! Not sure that I will become a Viking groupie Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First let me tell you this was Passage to Eastern Europe. Our ship was supposed to be the Aegir, but was switched to the Embla at the last minute. This was our third Viking River Cruise having done the Rhine Getaway and the Romantic ... Read More
First let me tell you this was Passage to Eastern Europe. Our ship was supposed to be the Aegir, but was switched to the Embla at the last minute. This was our third Viking River Cruise having done the Rhine Getaway and the Romantic Danube. While on the Danube cruise, I asked our program director, George, which was his favorite cruise. He said Passage to Eastern Europe. Consequently, we booked it as soon as we got home. Caveat: while this was a fantastic cruise, I would not recommend it for a first Viking cruise. As usual, the Viking staff and crew were exceptional. Service, dining, accommodations, etc. all the very best. However, the itinerary is specifically geared from an historical and cultural viewpoint. The five countries we visited were all recently freed from communist rule. Their reactions and development to this new way of life are very eye opening, yet inspiring. In all cases, the people of these countries worked very hard to maintain their individual cultures--no matter who was oppressing them. Important to note; due to rules in place in the various cities and countries, Viking is not able to offer the "special" excursions for those with mobility issues--I am one of those people. Bear in mind, there is a lot of walking, some of it difficult, on this cruise. As I mentioned, the crew and were absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, I developed a serious upper respiratory infection. It caused me to miss several excursions. I was getting concerned that it might turn into something serious. Viking managed to locate a doctor in Bulgaria who came on board, examined both me and my wife and prescribed medications. A woman who was on board with a children's choir for that night's entertainment, volunteered to go to a local pharmacy to get the meds for us. How wonderful was that!!! I missed several dinners (didn't want to be hacking and coughing on everyone) and Alexander, our waiter, brought soup to my stateroom each of those nights. Do I think Viking is the absolute best cruise line?? You bet!!! We have booked our next (and probably last) Viking cruise--I will be 81 years old by the time that rolls around; Paris to Normandy. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We arrived in Moscow 2 days early and were totally amazed at how clean the city was and how friendly all the people were. Our hotel in Moscow (Raddison) was like a palace. The food in the hotel was good also. We went to a local ... Read More
We arrived in Moscow 2 days early and were totally amazed at how clean the city was and how friendly all the people were. Our hotel in Moscow (Raddison) was like a palace. The food in the hotel was good also. We went to a local Ukranian restaurant and had a great time, the food was great, the waiters were fun and we felt like we knew everyone when we left. Shopping was also fun in Moscow. The Metro is like going to a historical art museum. The Kremlin was impressive as was St Basil. I would definitely reccomend going to Moscow a couple days early. The villages on the cruise were really interesting and educational. The school we visited was well done. it made me realize why everyone can speak english so well. They learn it with Russian from the 2nd grade on. The villages had lots of fun art objects to buy and the Russian Banyo was really good. St Petersburg was out standing of course, the architecture and history there is amazing. It's hard to take it all in. My opinion of Russian has changed completely, I went there thinking suppressed people, poverty, unrest, crime, I saw none of that if anything the opposite. It's a great country and the people are happy and resilent. The meals on board the Embla were wonderful as usual as was the entertainment and games at night. I got to help the chef make dumplings and had alot of laughs doing that what a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were so fortunate to vacation on the Viking Einar. From the moment we were picked up at the airport in Basel to our departure in Amsterdam we were treated as royalty. Every member of the staff was excellent. It was the norm for staff ... Read More
We were so fortunate to vacation on the Viking Einar. From the moment we were picked up at the airport in Basel to our departure in Amsterdam we were treated as royalty. Every member of the staff was excellent. It was the norm for staff members to greet us with a smile and a hello. The cruise director was excellent. She was always prepared and saw to it that all the passengers were having a good time and all their needs were met. The Einar is a new Viking ship and the design is beautiful, with tasteful decor throughout the ship. We stayed in a French Balcony room. Though the room was small, there was enough storage space and the warm bathroom floor was a nice touch. We enjoyed our meals in both the main dining room and at the Acquivit Terrace. The dining staff was very attentive and there was a variety of choices on the menu. The wine and beer served during meal time was a nice touch. It was very interesting to dine with different people throughout the cruise. The evening entertainment in the lounge was always pleasant. I enjoyed when we had local musicians perform as the evening's entertainment. The ship's pianist was excellent and he read what the passengers enjoyed. A highlight of our vacation was the wonderful tours we went on. Each of our tour guides were excellent and we learned so much. We especially enjoyed a food tasting tour in Strasburg, France. It was amazing to see all the castles along the Rhine, as we cruised. The cruise director's commentary as we sailed, made the experience more meaningful. Each tour was well planned and the quiet-vox which each passenger used, was most helpful. We enjoyed visiting the monastery, Kloster Eberbach, where we toured, had a wine tasting and enjoyed dinner. Touring the windmills in the Netherlands was also a touring high point. Each tour we went on was excellent and gave us much information. We have sailed Viking River cruises a number of times and I look forward to sailing with them again. I highly recommend this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had done the Danube on a previous trip. The decision to choose Paris and the heart of Normandy was my husband’s wish to visit the Normandy beaches. It was a good decision. There was lots of interesting tours, both included and ... Read More
We had done the Danube on a previous trip. The decision to choose Paris and the heart of Normandy was my husband’s wish to visit the Normandy beaches. It was a good decision. There was lots of interesting tours, both included and optional. As expected, everything was perfect. Even though a first impression is the cabin is small, it works! The layout is efficient, it may take a bit of thought and organization though! There are not enough adjectives to adequately describe the service that is provided by every member of the staff. Everything anyone could have possibly wanted was provided, almost to the point of appearing as if by magic, anticipating everything! The food was out of this world. No one could have lost an ounce on Viking cruises. There were so many choices on the menu, local specialties, items that were available daily, as well as an ever changing dishes. Everyone on the staff should be commended. Each member of the staff treated us with kindness, taking time to stop and talk, or answer questions. No one was ever too busy to spend time with guests. This is the reason we will continue traveling with Viking. I can’t say enough glowing, wonderful, awesome, things. I just smile when I think of our trips and always, always tell people they MUST experience it for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Background Information: This was my 68 cruise cruising on 13 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, Viking, MSC, and Celebrity. This was my first cruise ... Read More
Background Information: This was my 68 cruise cruising on 13 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, Viking, MSC, and Celebrity. This was my first cruise on Viking. I am 48 years old. We cruised on Viking Gullveig doing the Romantic Danube Itinerary the beginning of November starting in Nurnberg, Germany and ending in Budapest, Hungary for 7 nights. Air: We booked our air through Viking and paid the extra money to pick our seats. I was glad we did because after we booked our cruise, we moved so we needed to change our airport and Viking allowed us to without penalty because it was before final payment. Hotel Info: We decided to fly to Europe early and spend 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic. Viking put us up in Corinthia Hotel Prague. If I was to go back again, I would pick their other hotel option that was located in old downtown (even though it was more money) because this area was amazing and I loved walking around. Viking offered free shuttle service to and from downtown from the hotel. Prague: We did the Panoramic Prague tour that was complimentary with Viking and purchased the Privileged Access: Lobkowicz Palace tour. The Palace Tour was similar to touring a museum; however, it also included an amazing private classical concert for our group and a nice lunch in the Palace. Ship Info: The average age on Viking Gullveig was around 70 years old. The ship was extremely clean and the staff was friendly. Our cabin was a French Balcony. Our cabin location was at the very back of the ship, and I found it to be loud when we went through the locks (around 26 locks). I was impressed to find out that our bathroom floors were heated. Viking is a “well-oiled machine” especially when it comes to their excursions. Their tours show you the best of the best with excellent tour guides, and I love how they give you headsets so you can hear the guide. The guests on the cruise were very friendly and about 98% of them were from the US. I found there was less food variety in their dining room vs. a larger cruise line (probably because there are a lot less people). The one thing I really missed not having was a fitness center. You do not need to go through metal detectors when you walk on the ship (like other cruise lines); it is just like walking in and out of a hotel. Tours: I did all the included Viking tours and purchased two other optional tours. We did the Mozart & Strauss Concert in Vienna and the Schonbrunn Palace. I HIGHLY recommend both of those tours. My favorite tour was the Schonbrunn Palace Dress Code: The dress was casual (slacks or jeans). There were no formal nights. Most people dressed business causal during the dinners. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We really wanted to visit Normandy Beach and cemetery because of the history. The scenery was a bonus! As always, Viking takes GREAT care of all of its passengers - fantastic food, great customer service, very reliable ... Read More
We really wanted to visit Normandy Beach and cemetery because of the history. The scenery was a bonus! As always, Viking takes GREAT care of all of its passengers - fantastic food, great customer service, very reliable transportation, fully-stocked bar, shore excursions, transportation to & from the airport, etc. The crew - bar, dining, cruise director, ALL of them - did a great job! We had the "spirits" package and I was very excited that they had the same "nik weis" wine on this cruise that I fell in love with on our 1st cruise. As soon as I would walk into the bar, the bar manager was already pouring a glass for me! This is our 2d European river cruise with Viking and are already planning our 3d cruise with them. Our booking agent did a great job - took all of our wishes into account, anticipated many of our questions, provided books with information, etc. He ensured that all of our needs and wishes were met. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this tour because we could travel through Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic. Viking Gefjon is a beautiful ship with an outstanding, attentive crew. Our cabin was always fresh and clean every day, dining was ... Read More
We chose this tour because we could travel through Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic. Viking Gefjon is a beautiful ship with an outstanding, attentive crew. Our cabin was always fresh and clean every day, dining was delightful with many delicious choices as well as meeting friendly travelers, entertainment was fun and engaging, and our ship director Terry was over the top in making sure everyone was having a wonderful experience. The shore excursions were informative and included time to explore and revisit sites on our own. The audio-devices were great because we could wander off (to take nearby pictures) and yet still hear what the guide was saying and describing. The historical information was given by local guides who are passionate about their town and greatly enhanced our experience in each town and country. The "pork knuckle" lunch recommendation in Cologne was fabulous. Passing through the many locks were incredible experiences. This was our first river cruise and we look forward to further travels with Viking. Viking representatives met us at the airport with easy to see signage, were available at the hotels (pre-Amsterdam/post-Prague), provided maps and tips on board Gefjon, and took us from the ship to the departing airport to make sure we had our boarding passes and were good to go. Viking's Grand European Cruise truly exceeded our expectations! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I can't think of anything Viking could have done to make this cruise any better. I have cruised many times but this was my first Viking cruise and first river cruise. The food was outstanding in every way. Quality and presentation ... Read More
I can't think of anything Viking could have done to make this cruise any better. I have cruised many times but this was my first Viking cruise and first river cruise. The food was outstanding in every way. Quality and presentation every meal. We had a Veranda A cabin. Yes it is quite small but well designed for storage. Quality bath products are used. All tours went out on time and every guide we had was very knowledgeable and personable. The entertainment was exceptional as well. Excellent piano player who played at lunch as well as in the evening. One night there was a husband and wife singer and piano player as well as a night of classical music. Of course it is not like the entertainment on a larger luxury liner but I didn't expect that so I wasn't disappointed. We did the Rhine river from Basel to Amsterdam. Wonderful little towns and cities. Great docking location. The cruise director Renee was superb at his job as was the staff. We had a great waiter Ivan. He made suggestions on what to order and took good care of us. I would highly recommend Viking and would like to go on the Danube next. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a birthday present for my 60th birthday and something I always wanted to do. My family sent myself and my husband on a Danube river cruise on the Viking Prestige. My husband wasn't that keen as doesn't enjoy organised ... Read More
This was a birthday present for my 60th birthday and something I always wanted to do. My family sent myself and my husband on a Danube river cruise on the Viking Prestige. My husband wasn't that keen as doesn't enjoy organised trips and finds cruising a not particularly sustainable holiday choice but agree to go. He was also concerned that it would not be active enough for us, The trip was enjoyable but alas it was extremely regimental in many respects particularly the excursions which didn't leave you with any free time and the meal times (dinner was always a rush to find a seat which wasn't that relaxing) and the fact that most of the excursions started so early in the day that you didn't real feel like you were on holiday. If you like that sort of holiday then this is more for you. We were disappointed at the lack of daylight cruising and the distances the boat moored at some destinations. The highlights of the trip were the river cruising during the day, especially going through the river locks and the free time we spent wandering around the towns when choosing not to go on some excursions. The staff on the ship were pleasant but as this was towards the end of the season were a bit jaded. The food was nice but nothing that special and the wine pretty generic most of the time. The cabin was pleasant and I realised later that we were lucky to be on the Prestige as the cabins seem to be slightly larger than most of the later built Viking ships. Anything smaller would have been a real squeeze. Overall we had a pleasant time and there are no significant complaints but the trip you experience is not really the one presented in the Viking documents or advertisements. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Had a previous experience with Viking in Egypt and loved it. This cruise was as wonderful as the one we had done in Egypt. The ship is lovely! Our room was very comfortable. We were on the lower deck as we had booked late, but we spent ... Read More
Had a previous experience with Viking in Egypt and loved it. This cruise was as wonderful as the one we had done in Egypt. The ship is lovely! Our room was very comfortable. We were on the lower deck as we had booked late, but we spent so little time in the room that it didn't really matter. The food was excellent. I especially enjoyed the theme night. The service is wonderful. The cruise director was friendly, enthusiastic and did wonderful presentations to get us ready for our excursions. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. The excursions are awesome. One of the things that I really love about Viking is that one excursion per stop is included and so the trip is really complete without adding anything. The knowledge of the people that they hire for the excursions is outstanding. You can add excursions and they are definitely worth it. I would highly recommend Viking and will definitely take another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Previously sailed with Viking and the experience was great. When we started sailing with Viking the included tours were more packed with exciting things to see. Now everything you might want to see is optional and the prices are very high. ... Read More
Previously sailed with Viking and the experience was great. When we started sailing with Viking the included tours were more packed with exciting things to see. Now everything you might want to see is optional and the prices are very high. I would like to see less optional and more included. Food quality has also gone down, not as many choices and the food is not the same quality. We had to change ships because of the low river, thought Viking did a good job of making it as easy as possible. Received a voucher and tried to use it on a future booked trip, told we could not use until we booked another trip. Not sure why we could not use for the one we had booked. Also after paying for a trip I think it's cheap on Vikings part to charge you another $100 to arrange your air, petty however annoying. Who wants to end their trip getting up at 2am to go to the airport? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Paris to Prague was a delightful itinerary, and the cruise had a very good price with free airfare. We normally book a veranda suite on Viking river cruises, but the explorer suite price was too good to pass up. In retrospect we should ... Read More
Paris to Prague was a delightful itinerary, and the cruise had a very good price with free airfare. We normally book a veranda suite on Viking river cruises, but the explorer suite price was too good to pass up. In retrospect we should have passed and stayed with a veranda suite. The explorer suite is beautiful, with lots of room and some nice extra perks, but once the ship is underway, the noise and vibration in the explore suite makes it impossible to get a good nights sleep. The explorer suite is in the the stern of the ship, and the propulsion system vibrates the entire suite like a magic fingers bed when the ship is moving at speed. For a relaxing cruise, choose a veranda suite as far forward in the ship as you can book. Our previous cruises in a veranda suite have been excellent from a noise and vibration perspective. For being the most expensive cabin on the ship by a wide margin, the explorer suite should definitely be avoided. In fact the other explorer suite on our cruise was empty, there are only two explorer suites on a ship, now we know why.. Viking is the class of river cruises, but the highest class cabin on their river ship should be avoided. The excursions were excellent which is usually the case with Viking. An excursion in every port is included, with several optional excursions you should consider. The food was good, there is not the range of options that you find on a sea cruise, but I never has a problem finding something I thoroughly enjoyed for lunch and dinner. Entertainment is as varied on a river cruise, but there was some entertainment every night in the lounge. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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