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5,775 Viking River Europe - River Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the tour down the Danube. Our first river cruiswe and we were thrilled. We met wonderful people and the staff was amazing. Very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The cruise itself was so fun and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the tour down the Danube. Our first river cruiswe and we were thrilled. We met wonderful people and the staff was amazing. Very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The cruise itself was so fun and picturesque. We really enjoyed the tours and learned so much about the history and culture of the cities and tours. We started 2 days ahead in Prague and then went to Passau, Germany to start our cruise. So many places to see! The ship was clean and the cabin, although small was very organized and you had room to unpack and put your suitcase under the bed. The ports were fun and the excursions we chose were enjoyed! Panoramic tours of the cities: a wine tasting in Austria, bread making at a farm in Linz, A market tour with our chef in Vienna, A Mozart/Strauss concert in Vienna. We would have loved to stay in Brataslava to enjoy the Slovakian food but sadly we were there just a half day. Such beautiful cities and towns. We loved them all - Budapest is very interesting and beautiful.We arrived at night and saw the beautiful parliament building all lit up looking gold with a full moon shining also. Very impressive. I think people with mobility issues would find this trip a challenge. Lots of walking and cobblestone streets in these centuries old cities. The food was delicious with many choices and fare from the areas we toured, The piano player at night was great. Someone complained in a previous comment - we enjoyed him. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too ... Read More
Our cruise on the Delling down the Rhone from Lyon to Avignon had many excellent features (like service, food, and accommodations on the ship) but also some disappointments. There were about 185 passengers; any more would have been too many for us. The first thing to be said about it is that there was very little cruising and a lot of walking and bus-riding. In retrospect, we suppose this was to be expected since the distance is only about 150 miles. During shore excursions, one sees some very nice aspects of this region in France, especially Roman ruins, wineries, a canyon, and farms. But during the few hours we were actually cruising during daylight, we weren’t passing the beautiful castles one sees in the ads, but rather a lot of factories, nuclear power plants, etc. As senior citizens, one of us having had recent knee surgery, we were pleased about the “leisure” and “easy” tour offerings. Still, there was a lot of walking. Our cruising was further limited by an accident involving another boat that closed down the river for many hours, so we were bused to Arles rather than sailing there on the Viking Delling. We also spent a lot of time in locks: the first time was technically interesting, but later times were boring. Further detracting from use of our veranda were the frequent times that we looked out onto another vessel a few feet away, tied up to ours, rather than looking out to the river. We heard that Budapest to Amsterdam cruising was much better. On the positive side, our large stateroom (with adjoining living room) was excellent as a generally docked, small hotel room. There were many modern, attractive features and the bathroom was superior. The service was generally excellent. We were brought champagne, fresh fruits, flowers, and wine. The meal service was excellent almost all the time, whether picking items up from the buffet or ordering them from the menu (the chef was German; he did superbly on French cuisine and less so on occasional German cuisine). The only exception was sub-standard orange juice; why don’t they offer fresh-squeezed? The expedition leader, Mia, was exceptional with a marvelous sense of humor; she should be offered a big raise. The waiters were generally very good, only occasionally serving items to the wrong person. Most of the tour guides were very informative and professional; the buses were Mercedes-Benz. Entertainment in the lounge was high quality, including a fine talk about the French Resistance during WW II. So the Delling as a fine hotel was distinctly superior to our other decent first Viking experience on the Yangtze River in China. We signed up for three optional excursions at extra cost. One was excellent, despite the long bus ride: Beaujolais and Truffles, which visited a winery in a castle, a truffle farm featuring a delightful dog, and a goat cheese farm. However another excursion, said to be one of the most popular offerings, was poor: on the Chateauneuf-du-Pape tour, we were left standing for a long while in an uninteresting town square while the guide was gone…and then taken to a new winery with no place to sit as we stood listening to long lectures in French that were briefly summarized by our guide in English. The included tour in Vienne failed to go near the most important ruin in the town, the huge Roman amphitheater. We walked to it on our own and found out why: The view from the base is deliberately blocked by opaque screening, which has the evident purpose of forcing you to pay to enter a small venue from which you can glimpse the amphitheater through dirty, foggy windows. One negative feature of the included excursions is a feature of France: few and terrible toilets. Often you either have to pay (at a turnstile or by buying coffee in a café) or instead use what the guides pejoratively called “Turkish toilets,” which were holes in the ground. The buses had mini-toilets in compartments that were too small for large adults. We were glad that we didn’t purchase the expensive Silver Spirits beverage package. Given all the free alcohol otherwise available (e.g. during ship-wide cocktail parties) and the wine freely available during lunches and dinners, we wouldn’t have come close to getting our money’s worth. Our stateroom had two fancy screens, but they were inadequately managed. They showed us the weather forecast in Arles when we were in Avignon, and the forecast for Avignon when we were visiting Arles. And the forecast was totally turned off for the 24 hours preceding the day it would have been most useful: the day we departed the ship. We were also unhappy about the failure of a promise on our departure: a group of about two dozen of us on a bus to the Marseille Airport were promised that we would be met by a Viking agent who would accompany us all the way to Security. We were met, but the woman left us on the sidewalk outside the terminal. Upon entering the terminal, there were no indications of what to do and she was long gone. All things considered it was a fine way to see aspects of Lyon and Provence, with luxurious comfort and meals on our usually-docked ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first river cruise but not my last! Viking is a first class operation and the HEIMDAL is the best! The crew is more than helpful not to mention funny, the food excellent and plenty, excursions were fabulous and the ... Read More
This was my first river cruise but not my last! Viking is a first class operation and the HEIMDAL is the best! The crew is more than helpful not to mention funny, the food excellent and plenty, excursions were fabulous and the excursion guides were incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and humorous. The Captain was always smiling and made himself available everyday to greet the guests. How he maneuvers that huge ship through the Locks is amazing! The friend I traveled with chose this itinerary and I wasn't sure it would be wonderful....silly me... it was FABULOUS! Each port of call was different and amazing and as I said earlier the guides were excellent... not boring as some can be. Whoever trains them does a first class job! I loved the excursions but I also loved getting back to the boat, taking a refreshing shower then sitting outside looking at the fabulous views while sipping on a cocktail and being very thankful that I was here. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall grade: B- It was a rocky start. Two months before the start of the river cruise, we received in the mail a personalized brochure from Viking, giving us a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule, excursions, ship information, etc. ... Read More
Overall grade: B- It was a rocky start. Two months before the start of the river cruise, we received in the mail a personalized brochure from Viking, giving us a day-by-day breakdown of the schedule, excursions, ship information, etc. It noted that at the start of the cruise in Basel, the ship could be departing from any of three different locations. Seeing as how there still were two months before the cruise, this wasn’t a huge concern. About two weeks before we were scheduled to leave, Viking sent us our cruise documents in a digital format. We printed everything, and again the departure information in Basel was the same. I assumed that eventually, Viking would let us know where to find the ship. Bad assumption on my part. For those cruise customers who are part of Viking’s pre-cruise extension, this is of no concern because you get on a bus at the hotel and it takes you to the ship. However, for those who make their own travel arrangements, you’re on your own. I suspect this probably isn’t a major problem in most cities where ships dock at the same area, but in this case, where there were three choices, it can be an arduous way to start a vacation. Luckily for my wife and I, there was a Viking desk in the hotel we stayed at the night before the start of the cruise and a Viking rep gave us the departure location. Others didn’t have it so easy. At dinner on our first night aboard, we met a couple who simply hailed a cab and told the driver to go to each of the locations, figuring they’d hit the right one eventually. So I wasn’t even on board yet and I was ready to give Viking an F. All in all, things went smoothly. Excursions: Pretty good, though we had one hiccup on one day when the ship had to go in for repairs after hitting another vessel in a lock two days earlier and sustaining a 4-foot gash in front. Cruisers had two options: stay on the ship while it went for repairs, or take a two-hour tour and then spend four hours on your own until the ship returned. Viking gave everyone a $25 onboard credit for the inconvenience. Excursions ran on time and were well planned with plenty of buses and organized procedures. Food: It’s not as good as the chef would have you believe. He spoke to passengers one night early in the week and said that evening’s special, a filet with a Roquefort sauce, was “amazing.” It was, IMHO, quite average. He used the same word, “amazing,” one day to describe the potato soup. In Cologne, we had the chance to have lunch in town; we tried the potato soup at a pub and THAT was fabulous – a gazillion times better than what we had onboard. For dinner on the final evening, the chef recommended a brisket entrée; that turned out to be a horrible choice; mine was undercooked by two hours and not even close to being done correctly. At the end of the week, there wasn’t anything we had that made us think, “Wish we had a chance to have that again.” Food grade: C- Overall service: Mostly good. Room attendants refreshed the room quickly. Service in the lounge was inconsistent. The bartender was outstanding; I gave him my room number once on the first day and that was the last time he asked for it. I have no idea how he did that with nearly 190 customers. Table service in the lounge was spotty. Sometimes there were more servers than customers; at other times, you had to go to the bar to get a drink because there were no servers. Dining room servers were pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular ... Read More
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular mention of Ryan and Ladice. The entertainment manager Ryan worked tirelessly and had to over come low water problems. One of the great pleasures it to meet new friends and the river boats with their very comfortable lounge is excellent for doing so. The shore excursions are interesting. The guide did an excellent talk in the Court of Justice in Nurembourg. And the guide at Regensbourg wae entertaining and amusing. She could be an actress. There was a problem with low water in the river and we were forced to change ships. But all at Viking did their utmost to limit this inconvenience. Whilst the Hilton at Budapest was comfortable we would have preferred a hotel on the waterfront near the chain bridge where we stayed previously We plan to take another Viking River Cruise in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After 6 cruises on the big ships we decided for our anniversary to try a river cruise with Viking (we’ve done already 2 Viking cruises on the ocean). The cruise from Bucharest to Budapest sounded very interesting and we decided to try ... Read More
After 6 cruises on the big ships we decided for our anniversary to try a river cruise with Viking (we’ve done already 2 Viking cruises on the ocean). The cruise from Bucharest to Budapest sounded very interesting and we decided to try despite the fact that our friends from Atlanta got a better quote for the same cruise and the same cabin. The ship was Viking LIF and the entire experience made us to started to look more in to river cruise for our future holidays. Here are some suggestion and impression from our trip in eastern Europe Bucharest – a beautiful city where the communism left plenty of marks. We loved the food and the architecture and, as a suggestion, maybe in the future Viking will organise a stay longer than one night. Excellent hotel and very well organised transfers. Ruse – despite the fact that the journey to Arbanassii was quite long the excursion was amazing giving as the chance to learn about the history of this country (we didn’t have any idea about how old Bulgaria is). Great lunch and fantastic place to visit. Maybe the guides can be less ridged and less “primary school teacher”-like Vidin – a very poor city but the trip to the mountains was amazing. Was great that the cruise director “forced” us to go and ignore the information about difficulty of the excursion. Was worth it and you don’t miss the breath-taking views with plenty of things to do if you don’t climb the rocks. Sailing day – the landscape is fantastic, and the information offered by the cruise director made us feel like in a Discovery documentary. We loved the new excursions introduced by Viking in a local village, an areological site and a fortress. The children invited on board were amazing despite the fact that the moderator of the conversation was trying hard to take over the entire conversation. Belgrade – we would love to stay longer. What an amazing city! We strongly recommend the visit to the opera and a lunch on your own to a restaurant close to the ship with no name …just “?” (our Cruise Director was so right to recommend this place) Vukovar – the visit to a Croatian family was fantastic and a real eye-opener. Maybe Viking can do something about the “rush feeling” of that day…we would like to explore more. Kalocsa – the horse farm was an interesting and authentic experience. If you want to buy paprika do it here is far much cheaper and better quality than the one in Budapest. The small shop close to the ship has excellent prices and they all speak English. Budapest – we’ve been to Budapest before but was a pleasure to visit it again. The hotel was a nice decent one, the tours were interesting but for us, Budapest was the end of our cruise so we were sad to leave Viking LIF. The staff on Viking LIF was absolutely amazing and nothing was too much for them. Joy our room stewardess was a real “JOY” smiling, helpful and very well organised making our cabin impeccable every day. In the restaurant the manager Kristian was very helpful and friendly providing an excellent service with a lot of care and attention. Alin in the bar, great and very professional, learned in the first day our favourite G&T and we enjoyed every moment spent in the lounge. We fall in love with the reception team especially with Susanna very friendly and always ready to help. But the top of this extraordinary team was our Cruise Director Leonard. He was working around the clock, almost 24 hours daily with the same passion, enthusiasm and professionalism. Was obvious that he is in love with his job and every meeting before dinner was a mixture of practical information, facts traditions and stories put together with a unique charisma and sense of humour. After the first day, was hard to find a place for his presentation in the lounge. Every night after dinner Leonard had a surprise for the passengers: lectures (the one about Dracula was as good as a real History Channel documentary and his story about Ceausescu time was heart-breaking), games (so much fun in the music quiz) and an amazing Disco party with music and dance until early hours in the morning. With brilliant organisational skills everything planned by him went perfect even if sometimes you can see the struggle behind. Honestly if Viking will tell me that Leonard will be our next cruise director I will book a cruise even on the river behind our house! After on week on Viking LIF I understand why Viking is the best and the only option to travel in comfort. Thank you Viking, thank you Lif, thank you Leonard! See you soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall we had an enjoyable Danube river cruise, from Passau to Budapest, with a 3 day pre cruise stop in Prague. Danube water levels were fine and we had no issues going through the locks. Food was very good and plentiful, service was top ... Read More
Overall we had an enjoyable Danube river cruise, from Passau to Budapest, with a 3 day pre cruise stop in Prague. Danube water levels were fine and we had no issues going through the locks. Food was very good and plentiful, service was top notch. Boris, the cruise director was adequate although a little on the sarcastic side. The cabin was clean and roomy enough. On board entertainment was a decent piano player. Outside singers/musicians were brought on board a couple of nights and were enjoyable. My only complaint with the musicians is that I prefer that they stick to their traditional music. On night we heard My Way and another night it was Take me home, country Roads. REALLY! I believe the best part of the Viking experience are the guides that they hire for the daily excursions. They were all wonderful, very knowledgeable and extremely passionate about their country. We took the Panoramic tours in Prague, Vienna and Budapest, the all day tour to Cesky-Krumlov (an enchanted medieval town) and the Heurigan evening in Vienna. My problem comes in at the end. Our flight home to the US was cancelled. Viking Air, which we booked our flight through, was no help whatsoever. The service desk on the ship said they emailed Viking Air and we would hear from them. They never did. The goal of Viking was to get your off the ship ASAP by telling you to go to the airport. Basically, get out of here and deal with the airline at the airport. We couldn’t get out of Budapest for 2 days so going to the airport, which we did not do, would have futile. We stayed on the ship as long as possible and rebooked a flight through the airline, then got a hotel, Budapest Marriott (which was superb) in town. Viking needs to be upfront with their clients and tell them to contact the airline about your cancelled flight. Claiming they will help you is nonsense Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube ... Read More
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube might be a better title for the trip. Changing boats was inconvenient and took time away from seeing the cities we really went to see. The local guides were good and the staff tried their best. I would never recommend the Viking Cruises to anyone. I would not go even if someone else paid. When you look ahead at what you would enjoy doing you should cross this off your list. The cities we did see were well worth visiting. I strongly recommend flying to a starting point and the using the excellent European rail system and work to schedule well placed hotels. Tourism advice from knowledgeable experienced experts will help plan a great trip to the wonderful cities of Europe without the struggle of Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is the end of the Embla saga - on arrival at the Embla in Budapest on 11 September 2019 we were confronted by a vessel with an odd large boxed item next to the bridge. Wondering why it was there and how it would survive low bridges ... Read More
This is the end of the Embla saga - on arrival at the Embla in Budapest on 11 September 2019 we were confronted by a vessel with an odd large boxed item next to the bridge. Wondering why it was there and how it would survive low bridges unless it could be lowered and raised like the captain’s bridge, we went to our cabin where we found the 06 September 2019 letter – not good timing on Viking's part as we were already on board. Once we got to Linz, we had to disembark to end up at a golf resort - Bad Griesbach - for two nights.Note that we had already received a “low water on the Danube” excuse notification from 29 August 2019. From the golf resort I went on the two hour plus Viking bus ride to Regensburg . After the city tour I wandered back towards the bus park that is adjacent to a canal – I had wondered earlier how vessels made their way through Regensburg and now I was to find out as a cruise vessel, same size and (likely) same 1.7 m draught as Viking vessels, stopped to allow guests off to walk into the city – much nicer than a 2 hour bus ride there and back. So was the 29 August notice a smoke screen for the Embla’s generator replacement? And, if the generator replacement was known and urgent, for whose convenience did Embla sail in the first place? How would Viking have dealt with a situation had the vessel broken down 50 miles from the nearest large town? Clearly, passenger comfort and safety is not as high on Viking's priority list as one once imagined. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We recently cruised the Danube River on the Viking Hermod riverboat. This was our second river cruise with Viking, having cruised on the Rhine River in June of 2018. Overall, while we greatly enjoyed the trip, we both felt that some ... Read More
We recently cruised the Danube River on the Viking Hermod riverboat. This was our second river cruise with Viking, having cruised on the Rhine River in June of 2018. Overall, while we greatly enjoyed the trip, we both felt that some aspects of the trip were below the level of what we experienced last year. We booked this cruise a few months before the sailing and the only cabins remaining were standard rooms on the main deck with a (non-opening) picture window. Last year, we had a French balcony with a sliding door, which we could open. We had no complaints about this year's room. After spending a week in the standard cabin, I do not feel that the extra cost for one of the other types of rooms is worth it. On several days, we were docked alongside another Viking (and one Ama) ship, so a balcony would have been of no use. We did notice slightly more vibration and noise on this level of the ship while it was moving, but not enough to disturb us. As far as where we think the cruise did not live up to last year's, we did not think that the quality (and choices offered) of the dinners were overall as good as last year.  Most were good, but a few missed the mark.  Additionally, the number of passengers that were on each of the included tours seemed to be higher than what we had on last year's cruise. It may be that Viking is utilizing fewer guides for the same number of passengers. To be fair, all of the guides that we had, with one exception, were excellent. One other complaint was that our room not ready on the first day until 4:00 pm, despite arriving in Budapest at 9:00 am after traveling all night. Since Viking arranged the flights, they knew what time we would be arriving on the ship. I would have expected that the rooms for early arriving passengers would be the first ones ready. On thing that has not changed is the excellent service offered by the Viking staff. Our cabin was cleaned twice per day and was sparking clean when Katarina finished with it. We ate most of our dinners on the Aquavit Terrace and had great service from Andrea and Robert. These two also served as the primary bartenders and were excellent. We enjoyed all of the ports on the itinerary, especially Budapest and Vienna. We took advantage of all of the included tours, plus two optional ones - the Hungarian Horsemen in Budapest and the Mozart and Strauss Concert in Vienna. One comment on the average age of the passengers. We are 66 and 62 years old and consider ourselves very active. I would guess that the average age on this year's trip was significantly higher than last year's cruise. Perhaps it is due to traveling in September vs. our prior trip in June. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river cruises + 2 ocean cruises) we decided to take the 3 weeks trip from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Lif. We absolutely love the ship and we were lucky enough to don’t have any problems with the ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river cruises + 2 ocean cruises) we decided to take the 3 weeks trip from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking Lif. We absolutely love the ship and we were lucky enough to don’t have any problems with the water levels. Viking is for sure the best choice if you like river cruises: the level of hospitality, attention to details, organisation and the wide range of options are only couple of reason why Viking is always our first choice. In Budapest some of the crew change, and this is the main reason why I decided to post this review. Maybe Viking should pay more attention to consistency, especially when you think about the staff on board. After 3 weeks on board Viking LIF and 2 different staff we had the feeling that we travelled with two different companies. And that was more obvious at the level of the “key players” on board. And here are couple of reasons why we had this feeling Hotel director From Amsterdam we had Johnny a young Romanian with a lot of passion and dedication for his job. Nothing was to much for him and he was always there to assist passengers and his own colleagues. Always smiling and knowledgeable Johnny was a very pleasant presence for our first two weeks on board. Unfortunately for us in Budapest his place was taken by Joseph who, maybe because he is working in this business for too long (and he didn’t miss the opportunity to remind us every time) he was pretty bored, not at all approachable and quite arrogant. We missed Johnny so much in the last week of our cruise. Capitan For the first two weeks we hand a young Capitan and I must apologise for not remembering his name. The only time when we saw him was late in the evening, in the bar when he was drinking with one of his colleagues or a younger female passenger. We never had the chance to speak with him, which surprise us a lot thinking about our previous experience with Viking. In Budapest an amazing Dutch Skipper, Anna, join the ship and the story was completely different: he was always very polite and ready to answer all our questions. His presentation about the ship with the Cruise Director was very interesting and entertaining at the same time. When we had the chance to visit the bridge for the second time it was a completely different experience than in the previous week as he made us feeling welcome and accommodating all our questions and requests. Restaurant manager Martina was our first restaurant manager and she was very sweet despite the fact that she wasn’t very efficient. She was trying hard but couple of times she confused our diets and she was getting very stressed time to time. But we loved her. In Budapest her place was taken by Christian who was obviously that had more experience than Martina. His manners were at the level of a 5* restaurant, his solving problems abilities were amazing, and he always seemed to be calm and in control. Even if the restaurant was busy he always found time for a little chat. Cruise Director This was, maybe, the biggest surprise. For the first two weeks we had as a Cruise Director Sonya, a very pleasant girl from Serbia who was trying her best to be in line with our expectations. The only issue was her big personality, her inability to listen and her quite messy organizational skills. Especially in days with a lot of excursions and tours she got very agitated, getting in a very defensive mood with everybody around. We stopped asking her question after couple of abrupt answers! Sonya seemed to know her job but she always gave us the feeling that she just wanted to tick a box and run “behind the scenes” away from passengers and questions. In Budapest Leonard took over…literally took over. His personality, his knowledge, his energy and passion and his ability to be everywhere, anytime with the same smile and willingness to help made up for the entire trip. We never meet such an approachable, kind, genuine and hard-working Cruise Director in any of our cruises, both on the river and on the ocean. We wished to have Leonard for the entire 3 weeks: he created in 7 days memories for an entire lifetime. Maybe Viking will look for the future in to how different personalities fit the job profile and try to eliminate this differences which can impact the entire experience of a cruise. For sure we will be back. But can we have Anna, Christian, Johnny and Leonard with us? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica ... Read More
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica where we couldn’t get off the ship because of fights in the streets and the dirty Cozumel in Mexico. This cruise on the Viking Var was exceptional. There were 180 people on board and everyone was looked after as though they were family. It is to be noted that 90% of the travellers were from the USA and the average age had to be 65 with thankfully NO CHILDREN. We started our trip by flying from Heathrow to Budapest with BA. On arrival there was a Viking rep at the airport available for help if anyone needed it. We arrived in Budapest and several reps were available to ensure the right passengers got to the right ship. We had a 45 minute delay in getting to the ship because the transfer coach did not arrive on time with the excuse of a traffic jam. The driver should have checked on Waze or Google and left plenty of time to get to the airport. We arrived at the ship at 14:30 and fortunately the restaurant was still serving food. Our suit cases were delivered to our cabins. Our cabin number 325 was quite small but cleverly designed to make the most of the available space. We had twin beds with enough cupboard space to hang and put away our clothes including hiding our suit cases under our beds. The shower was large with a non slip mat and 2 different shower heads. Soap, shampoo etc were all there and were replaced when used. We had been warned that the electrical sockets were not UK 3 pin and took with us converters. It was great that there were several USB connection points for recharging our iphones and iPads. We paid a bit extra and had a nice balcony with a table and 2 chairs to sit on and watch the scenery go by, but this was seldom used because we met up with both our 4 friends we travelled with and new friends who we made on board and met on deck or in the comfortable lounges. I am not certain wether we would book a cabin with a balcony on our next trip as a Juliet balcony, where you have patio doors but no balcony to sit on, would probably suffice. Regarding food, drinks and restaurant timings. Timings were set to fit in with all the off ship tours and for each meal you could either have a snack or 3 course meal. Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks were served foc only during meal times. At all other times, they were charged to your cabin unless you had purchased a drinks package. There is however a coffee/tea station open 24 hours. Every evening there were 3 super menus: A 3 course local fare menu dependant on the country and city we were docked at; a menu with a selection of different daily themed plates and; a menu with a choice of food which was available every day. vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivarians and especially Americans who typically are unwilling to  try any unusual food they don’t recognise will have no problem finding something that would suit them. On arriving at the boat we asked the restaurant manager, the wonderful Alexandra, if they could provide lactose free milk and for my wife, gluten free food. No problem at all, I know that one day when they ran out of the milk Alexandra actually left the ship to go to a store to buy some herself!!! Every day Alexandra would show the dinner menu to my wife and went through what she could provide gluten free. She was a miracle worker and my wife received the perfect selection of food every day and with no nasty side effects. The serving staff in the restaurant were unbelievably helpful and service was never delayed. We tried to keep to the same area in the restaurant so that we had the same servers. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they had the wonderful Alan, Yuri and Ryan looking after them. By the second day, they knew that the 6 of us in our group didn’t drink wine and made sure we were provided with a selection of suitable soft drinks and very occasional bier or shandy. We booked our holiday to  include the cost of tips, but we were looked after so well that we still tipped them at the end of the trip. We took the free tours as offered as part of the cruise as well as a couple of additional cost ones which we wanted. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and looked after all participants making sure no one got lost or were left behind. Only one of the guides was below par, but that was in comparison to the others which was a shame. Tours commenced early in the morning so we tended to go to bed early, waking up at 6am or 630am to ensure we managed to get breakfast before setting off. Every day bottles of water were handed out to those taking part in the tours. The tours were arranged depending on people’s abilities and ensured that the less physical persons were not left out or placed on a tour they could not cope with. The headphone system to listen to the guides was first class and we never had a problem of hearing or understanding what they were saying or we were seeing. This Danube cruise started in Budapest then sailed north to Vienna, Krems  Passau, Regensberg finishing at Nuremberg. We then booked an extension of a 3 night stay in Prague. Transfer to Prague was a 3.5 hour coach ride. The ship’s Maitre D for the whole of the cruise was George. He was brilliant and provided film shows and pre tour information to help everyone get ready for the excursions with timings and advice. We often saw him about the towns during the excursions to ensure we were all ok. In the evening he even sang with the onboard professional resident entertainer Sylvia who sang and played a piano/ keyboard both in the evening and during the day. We had been looked after so well on the ship that we were, in comparison, unhappy with the reception by the reps and the position of the Hilton Hotel in the New Town. We arrived at approximately midday after the long drive and there was no food or drinks waiting for us. We were advised that we would not be provided with a room until 3pm and not one room was released till they were all ready. This was unacceptable and should have been made available as soon as each was ready. During this delay, we were taken outside the hotel and the rep pointed out the station and where shops and restaurants would be and just given maps and told where we could go nearby to obtain a meal. This was not acceptable and not in the manner of being looked after we had become accustomed to. We decided to have lunch in the hotel in one of the restaurants but were told that even though there were several empty tables they refused to put 2 tables together so that the 6 of us could sit together. The Viking reps should have expected some of us to want to eat in the hotel after a long transfer from the ship and made arrangements for the restaurant to have space available. So everyone (we were all in groups, having made friends on the ship) left the hotel to find a restaurant that would sit us together. This Hilton hotel, whilst new and attractive inside with its atrium is positioned between 20 minutes and a half an hour walk to the interesting part of the city. This area in the New Town is also dirty and there were men who either follow you around offering to exchange your currency or stand around the ATM exchange machines where you don’t feel safe to be alone. Never trust them as someone was sold what they thought was the legal currency but in fact we’re worthless. This was never the case in the old town where tourists and students were in abundance and we felt extremely safe. As a Hilton diamond HHonors member I expected my bedroom to be upgraded but this was refused as I didn’t book the hotel direct but through Viking. I didn’t see the relevance to this as one way or another they were still paid via me and I will be complaining to Hilton directly. The hotel itself is very large and very modern and our bedroom overlooked the interior of the hotel and atrium. There was a problem with the bedroom that we were taken to as whilst it was twin bedded as booked it only had a shower in the bath which my wife could not have physically climbed into. I told the Viking rep that the room was not as booked and was told they could do nothing and I had to go to reception. They did not offer to intercede. When asked to be moved, reception was not at all helpful and eventually gave us a king bedded room with a shower, saying that (in this enormous hotel) there were no twin bedded rooms with a shower available. I certainly felt that their response would have been different if I booked with Hilton rather than through Viking. Breakfast was included and there was an excellent choice of food from the breakfast buffet. We took bread rolls, meats, cheese and salads  every morning so that we had sandwiches for lunch. The next day we were taken on a coach and short walking tour of Prague and the following day we went on an additional cost tour of Jewish Prague. This guide was knowledgeable and really excellent ensuring we visited and entered every important site. On the last day we were rudely woken up at 07:30 by the maid who continued to bang on the door till we opened it. Check out time was 10am so we were really angry about this and complained to reception who was very rude saying that they had every right, especially as we had to wait till 3 pm to get a room when we arrived. At the end of our stay, transfer to Prague airport was arranged by Viking from the hotel and having left our suit cases at their dedicated desk in the lower lobby. We didn’t see our suit cases again till we arrived back home in London. This desk was manned the whole day for advice and help on what to do, how to use public transport, and where to go in Prague but was not helpful in the same way as on the ship. Don't forget to take sweaters, cardigans and shawls with you as the air conditioning on the ship is very cold. At the end of the cruise and before disembarking in Nuremberg we were offered coupons costing £100 Pounds Sterling, payable in Euros (everything on the ship was based in Euro’s) and for each £100, a coupon of £200 was given. Unfortunately only a maximum of 2 can be purchased. We enjoyed the cruise, the staff, the food, the tours and their organisation so very much that we will be booking with Viking again in 2021, that is unless our children purloin the coupons. It should be noted that whilst we were warned that the discounted coupons were only available before we left the ship, we have in fact received emails still offering them a week after returning home. Sent from Graham's iPad Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We just finished a disappointing Russia River Cruise with Viking and we were looking forward to a newer Long Ship, the type we have been on before. Due to low water, the ship couldn't meet us in Bucharest, so we had a long bus ride ... Read More
We just finished a disappointing Russia River Cruise with Viking and we were looking forward to a newer Long Ship, the type we have been on before. Due to low water, the ship couldn't meet us in Bucharest, so we had a long bus ride to get to the ship. When we arrived, we found out that they had a generator breakdown and installed a temporary one on the top of the ship. Yes, you guessed it, almost right on top of our Stateroom 303. Besides the noise and the diesel fumes, we were never able to enjoy our Veranda. At least with the door closed the cabin we were able to sleep, unlike our experience on the Russia Cruise. Also this ship had a strong septic smell. We were disappointed that none of the ports that we docked at had towns that we could just get off the ship and explore the town on our own. We were bussed everywhere. Some people might like that but I like to tour on my own without a guide in my ear for hours on end. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We heard about this cruise from our travel agent when we asked about Danube cruises. The trip far exceeded our expectations in every way. The crew was friendly, helpful, skilled and talented. The food was served beautifully. The choices ... Read More
We heard about this cruise from our travel agent when we asked about Danube cruises. The trip far exceeded our expectations in every way. The crew was friendly, helpful, skilled and talented. The food was served beautifully. The choices were always plentiful and I appreciated the size of portions- enough but not too much. Coffee of all kinds, tea and pastries are always available. The excursions were led by locals who knew their business. I do a lot of reading and research before traveling and the tours were great. Be aware that the staterooms are small but they contain lots of storage- plenty for two people. Also be careful to ask about the activity level of the tour- they usually offer two levels with the leisurely one having fewer steps and hills. Our cruise had a lady with a walker ( in her 80s) who did everything at the leisurely level. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Always dreamed about being able to experience a Viking Cruise and it did not disappoint! We did a 2 day extension in Budapest prior to boarding the ship. One of the best things we did was hire a private guide to show us the city from a ... Read More
Always dreamed about being able to experience a Viking Cruise and it did not disappoint! We did a 2 day extension in Budapest prior to boarding the ship. One of the best things we did was hire a private guide to show us the city from a locals perspective and it was well worth it! The embarkation process could not have been more smooth and even though we arrived 2 hours early, our room was ready within 5 minutes! We were fortunate enough to have one of the two Explorer state rooms, and it was well worth the extra money. To have a living room space as well as the wrap around balcony was a huge advantage, especially on such a long trip. Most importantly...the staff! I have been on many cruises in the past and I can say with absolute confidence...they were the best I have ever seen! By the second day, they knew everyone's name, cabin # and even what you preferred to drink. Every person we encountered was exceptional. The Program Director had more energy and personality than you could ever hope for and the Hotel Manager was truly amazing. He went above and beyond in every way. We did most of the included tours and each one was a great introduction to the city and it's highlights.We have already started looking at which cruise we want to do next! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We didn't choose this ship,- it chose us! from the moment we boarded in Amsterdam to the disembarkation, we were looked after royally, from the Captain down to the cabin Stewardess, we cannot fault, Our cabin on deck 2 was a ... Read More
We didn't choose this ship,- it chose us! from the moment we boarded in Amsterdam to the disembarkation, we were looked after royally, from the Captain down to the cabin Stewardess, we cannot fault, Our cabin on deck 2 was a "French Balcony" however even though it was a tad cosy ( read small) it still gave us an open sliding door to the world sliding past as we went up/down? the river to Budapest. Our Tour Director, Sanya, and her Co- Host staff managed each guests tour itinerary's without a miss-step and didn't loose any of our passengers once. We were looked after at each meal by very attentive staff ( Alajandro, Dawid and Pol) regally, and I cannot complain as to the overall attentiveness, they also strive to accommodate all tastes and dietary restrictions, - (although if you are Coliiac or dairy free, then it becomes a tad boring) BUT! you wont starve!, Our cabin Lass, Agata, was an absolute blessing as my wife went down with a head cold on week 2 of the trip and she looked after us with all requests for extra tissues, towels, bedding and privacy that was asked for, Gold Star for her!. For any prospective travellers with Viking on this trip, I can only say, sit back, enjoy, eat well and be pampered with the knowledge that you are looked after as a guest, not just another "head on a bed". I think to summarise why we would choose Viking again, I would say that when we were due to be taken to the airport in Prague ( after an extension to the river cruise) we were escorted from the hotel by a Viking staff member to the limo and met by another equally attentive staff member at the airport drop-off and were whisked straight through to the relevant check-in ( she took us straight to "Business" class) and we were booked in and on our way ( unfortunately this didn't get us B.C Seating) but we enjoyed the status of beating the queues, all in all, Well done Viking!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for itinerary as we wanted to start in Paris. We did a pre-extension on our own in Paris in order to see the beaches of Normandy, where my father in law spent the week after D-Day. We also did a Viking ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for itinerary as we wanted to start in Paris. We did a pre-extension on our own in Paris in order to see the beaches of Normandy, where my father in law spent the week after D-Day. We also did a Viking post-excursion 4 day trip in Switzerland. Embarkation, disembarkation, and all transfers were run exceptionally smoothly. Viking has a well oiled machine. Food sensitivities were excellently handled by the Maître D and dining staff throughout the cruise (was able to pre-order lunch and dinner at breakfast). Staff were very attentive at most times. Viking is much hyped on much social media so perhaps our expectations were heightened but we found the food to be nice but not exceptional. Dinner took 2 hours as expected however there would be 10-15 minute gaps between removal of first course dishes and arrival of 2nd course. Rooms were well kept. The included excursions were generally well run. Cochem and cruising the Rhine Gorge were the highlights for me. It was a first river cruise - I loved it, the quiet lap of water, the lack of swells, the novelty of locks. My husband, however, didn't feel there was enough of interest in the small port towns. Totally personal preference. Post-cruise trip to the Alps was delightful - despite rain and fog on our two attempts at the high Alps. Overall impression: well run ship and line; typical cruise industry food, eager to please staff, slow pace of service for dinner in dining room, able to handle special requests well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I had been planning a wonderful birthday celebration for him, so we decided on Viking. We had heard from many friends on how superb and excellent it was to travel with Viking. This was not our first cruise as we have done ... Read More
My husband and I had been planning a wonderful birthday celebration for him, so we decided on Viking. We had heard from many friends on how superb and excellent it was to travel with Viking. This was not our first cruise as we have done several cruises at least 1 every 2 years, fortunately enough with other very high-end lines - Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. We are lucky enough that we can afford high-end cruise liners so we thought Viking would be in the same category as our past cruise experiences! We booked the Eastern European cruise from Bucharest to Budapest from Aug 21-28, 2019. Boy were we SO wrong!!! I am currently sitting in my hotel room on August 25, in Sofia, Bulgaria writing this review, we have been here since August 23. The reason I am writing this today and posting to all different websites instead of communicated directly with Viking is because we have already tried that. We had an extremely unsatisfying phone conversation with Viking customer service when we arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria after disembarking. The lady on the phone was quite rude and dismissive of our issues. She was unwilling to admit any fault with Viking Cruises or their services and told us that we “chose to leave” therefore, there was no compensation for our dissatisfaction and that we should of purchase travel insurance. Really? Based on how we have been treated so far, we would not consider another Viking Cruise. We are on the younger side of their demographic, are active on social media, and have a wide circle of friends. If this is how we are treated, I cannot imagine how they dealt with the very elder members of the cruise. This is how are travel story began: We literately got on the ship on August 21 and disembarked and left on August 23 (being my husband's birthday)- two days into our cruise! The last thing you want to do is pack again when you have only spent 1 night on a ship. But it was such an awful and uncomfortable experience and my husband was so unhappy, we made the decision to leave the ship and told the ship's hotel director that we were disembarking on the next port of call (Vidin, which by the way, the ship did not stop there, but instead we made it to Lum as the ship had some issues getting to Vidin! - not surprise, as we were late the day before arriving to the first port of call Russe, Bulgaria to pick up the majority of the passengers who got off for their tours in a different location). Just think to have to decide to either deal with this awful experience for another 5 nights or cut your losses and leave ship, we chose the latter. We had to at least close the day of his 60th birthday in a place we would be more comfortable at. To start, we arrived on Saturday, August 17 in Bucharest from the US as we wanted to spend a couple of days on our own touring the city. We are not big on group tours and prefer doing our own thing (this is another big problem if you travel with Viking but will fill you in on that part of the story later). We were told to speak to our local Viking contact at the Sheraton Bucharest hotel - where we were staying as part of their 1 day pre-cruise land offer (and at least it is a very nice hotel, and since I hold Platinum status with them, we were upgraded to a lovely suite). Pre-cruise meeting August 20th in the evening – Sheraton Hotel: The Viking person there told us to have our luggage out by 7:30 am on August 21 and to meet in the lobby by 9 am. She indicated that there would be a scenic tour through the city on our way to a location for lunch and then a bus ride to the ship. What we were not told or even offered, especially for those guests that had already been in the city for days prior to cruising, was given an option to go straight to the ship from the hotel. August 21, ship boarding day, what really happened: Stop 1 - they bused us around the city again and took us to Old town (our 5th time there, remember, we arrived on August 17th!), then wanted to give us a walking tour of Old town, why??? We told them we had already been there 5 other times, so instead my husband and I sat around some bank building steps for almost 2 hours while the rest of the guest did their so called "tour" what a waste! At this time of day (9 am) all of Old Town restaurants are closed and only some coffee shops were open, we just had breakfast at the hotel as instructed! We sat around from 9 to 11:30 am! I asked Diani (or Dina) our very confused tour guide on bus 14, if there was a better option for us that we could meet them at the restaurant, she actually threatened and said that if we did not arrive at the restaurant, we would have to take a private car to the ship and that was about 1 hour and 45 minutes ride, so my husband and I decided to tag along. Old town tour is done thankfully, and now they tell us we are going to the Parliament building for a 10-minute picture stop and finishing up at the Museum of the Villages before lunch. Stop 2 - We crossed through town again, and saw the same scenery, the arch, the revolution square, heard the same stories and finally arrived at the Parliament location again and after 10 minutes those that got off for “picture moments” got back on the bus, where the tour guide and her very valuable assistant proceeded to do a head count and appeared that they were short 1 person as she stated that we were originally 37 on our bus (#14) and now we were 36. She then told us that we could not leave until such person was found and asked us if we knew this person? How could we know such person as we just all boarded 2 hours ago, none of us have even met, let alone know all the passengers on board? She didn't even know if we were looking for a man or woman. After an almost 45-minute wait in the parking lot, they finally gave up and we headed to the Museum of the villages tour. Stop 3 – Museum of Villages - What a dump, The is and old, mosquito infested open air museum that has the different house structures of Romania within its compound, we were forced to be there for 2 hours, so again we tried to find a decent place to sit while we waited for our 2 pm departure. We sat in an un air-conditioning hut where they Come to find out, that during this tour, the tour guide's quiet head sets and microphone were not working so no one could hear her talking about this 'wonderful museum'. Again, my husband and I do not like group tours, and we made this clear to the agent when we booked our cruise directly with Viking, he told us we could also do our own thing, really? Stop 4 – LUNCH - So now we are down to lunch, oh boy, it was at Pescarus by a local lake (why not Hard Rock cafe next door, at least the building is nicer, and they have real a/c and great food). The tour guide made it sound that this was an exceptional high-end restaurant with wonderful local food. This restaurant reminded us of an old 70 diner in Vegas, the food was some type of composition of lots of onions with some 3 pieces of meat, potatoes and bread, with some side salad. Wine, water and if you only asked beer, as they didn't voluntarily offered beer or told us it was included in our meal. My husband had already gone to the bar and paid for his as we didn't know it was also included. This was lunch – nursing home cafeteria!!! Oh, and some local folkloric dancing was provided for entertainment. Guys this is what you call luxury travel and superb top of the line service, read your advertisement, it is a SCAM, total SCAM!!! Then finally we are off to the ship, almost 2 hours into the drive, the tour guide's information about Romania is focused on that people have their own gardens, grow their own vegetables and fruits, and have cows, chicken, and pigs in their lands, and indicates "to the left you will see some cows, to the right you will see how gypsies live. Coming to the right again are more cows and some chickens"? Really... ok so we finally arrive the ship.... Finally, on board - Room was quite small, but appeared comfortable at least, we had room 323 on the highest level with a Veranda (never got to use it). The ship has NO WOW factor, it is small, clean, but small. Our room had a mini bar but of course empty why would they want to even fill it up with sodas, juice and beer for you, like most "LUXURY" cruises do when you pay such a high-price, of course not, we are just cattle and their job is to hurry you up to the next port of call get you off the ship and put you on another awesome tour for the day, give you some petty lunch and bring you back for dinner. We could see this coming. We had a decent dinner and some drinks at the bar and called it a night, we could not get much sleep as people were walking above our room, since we were on the top floor above us was the walking track! There is a taped paper sign by the railing asking guest that as a "curtesy not to walk between the hours of 10 pm to 7 am" did they see, read or listen, no! So between toilet flushes (oh yes, they have some type of vacuum system that is so loud, you can hear everyone’s flushes all night long - remember, the majority of passengers on this ship were over 70, I think we were the youngest, so they go to the restroom a LOT! And the guest walking above our room, we probably got 4 hours of sleep, but we thought when they all get off the boat tomorrow, we can relax and enjoy the ship and sleep in -- not! We were told that for those that were not going on tours in Russe, Bulgaria the next morning, they could lower their room speaker’s volume so you would not be disturbed! Right!!! 7:45 am a loud speaker wakes us up, literately we both jumped out of bed, as they had to announce the departing time for tours!!! We tried to reduce the speaker volume, and were unsuccessful as it was broken, so we knew now that sleeping in would not be an option for the next days. We decided to try and go to bed once again after everyone got off the boat and this is where the real meal plan begins. You see they offer breakfast from 7-9, because they don't expect any one to remain on the ship, why would they bother to extend breakfast time to maybe 10:30 for those that do want to stay onboard. All luxury ships provide some type of meal service throughout and 24 hours. This ship does not offer ROOM SERVICE, so you are screwed. You must eat at hours told, if not, you will end up like us with no breakfast or lunch for our first full day on board. By the time I got up on the first day of cruising (Aug 22), we both missed out on breakfast, tough luck! They had some breads and cold cuts, but forget some nice eggs or omelet, bowl of cereal or warm toast. We decided to stay on board to see how the experience would be as we had decided not to join any of the "free tours" based on our pre-cruise tour experience we could see the quality and decided to just get off where we could at each port of call and do our own thing (of course we didn't get to do that as we permanently got off the next day!). 1st full and last day on board - here it goes, we have no real breakfast, for lunch we both napped again and by the time we woke up we had missed the light lunch they sat out for the maybe 12 passengers that stayed on board. So, we ate what was left before they picked up by 2 pm. My husband likes to smoke his cigars, and proceeded after lunch to go to the upper deck to have one and enjoy the river view, to his amazement, they had removed all shading in the designated "smoking" area at the back of the ship, he literately sat in the withering sun at 90 degrees F trying to enjoy his cigar, he could not and just got up and we ended up spending the remaining of the day in the a/c lounge area. There is absolutely no wait service in the upper deck. If you want to get a drink, you must go down to the bar and order one. You are on your own. By this time my husband was so fed up with how the services are on board and the limited staff that is available we were so disenchanted that I only wanted to be off this ship! So, this is how the meals program works, breakfast is 7-9 am, lunch 12-2 pm, however, the restaurant is not open for those days where everyone or the majority of passengers our off on tours. So, the only day that lunch would even be available in the restaurant is the 24th as it was the only "Sailing day" to "enjoy the luxuries of this ship" a joke. Dinner starts at 7 pm as per their program sent to us. Not true, on the ship we were told that if you did not make it past 7:20 pm in the restaurant, most likely you would miss out on your appetizer, and if you got there by 7:45 pm you would might not get your main course, so of course everyone like cattle, herd over to the restaurant right at 7 pm! What a joke, where is the luxury in this, the comfort, why work on your time vs. ours! We are paying for this service it is not a nursing home, but we sure felt like it! We were so disgusted with this that we didn't even put in our dinner order we went back to our room and discussed our options, we decided to cut this trip short and leave! Didn't care where, just leave! I spoke with the Hotel director on board and explained that we were so disenchanted with this whole experience we just wanted off the boat. We left August 23 at 9 am to never, ever turn back. We ended up having to pay for a driver to take us to Sofia, Bulgaria $200 Euros. Booked a room at the Hilton in Sofia for 5 nights and booked two one-way plane tickets $1500 K to take us from Sofia to Budapest on the 28th as we already have the 2 post days in Budapest booked with Viking. We don't head home until the 1st of Sept so it would of cost us a lot of money to change our first-class seats back to the US for an earlier departure, plus Budapest has been on our bucket list for a long time. So, to summarize our experience, if you are looking for true luxurious travel, with all the comforts of high-end cruising VIKING IS NOT, again NOT FOR YOU! Our advice, please do your research, I failed to do this, and we relied on what people we knew that travel like us had shared! I didn't bother to read reviews, or investigate further, since their pricing and advertising is similar to those true luxury lines, we didn't think twice on booking. However, lessons learned, from now on it does not matter how experience travelers we are, we will always check. I am so upset about this, this cost us over $15,000 K, we could have done a beautiful resort in Hawaii or a luxury pent-house cruise in the Caribbean for this price, but no, we chose Viking due to their misleading, false advertising. As I initially stated, I called their customer service number once we arrived at Sofia, Bulgaria to ensure that they would NOT cancel our hotel in Budapest as it was part of the package and to also request a partial refund for such an awful experience. They lady on the phone proceeded to tell me that we didn't buy trip insurance and therefore, we were not owned anything back! As we chose to leave, no lady, you gave us plenty of reasons to leave that is the big difference!! We didn't buy trip insurance, why would we, we are both healthy and had every intention to make this trip, it is my husband’s 60th. She told me that if we would have purchased it, there would have been a partial refund. NOT TRUE, their trip insurance does not refund you for dissatisfied services only for the following as per their brochures: CANCEL FOR ANY REASON WAIVER DETAILS What We Will Do: Under the “Cancel For Any Reason” Waiver, we will waive our cancellation penalties and reimburse you in cash or travel vouchers (depending on the reason for cancellation) for the nonrefundable portion of your Viking trip cost, provided that you cancel before your scheduled departure. We will also waive any additional fees you would otherwise incur for a change in your per person occupancy rate if a person booked to travel with you cancels his or her trip and you do not cancel your trip. How You Are Reimbursed: If you cancel for one of the “Specified Reasons” listed in the Protection Plan document, we will reimburse you in cash. If you cancel for any other reason, we will reimburse you with a travel voucher that can be used for future voyages with us. The maximum amount covered under this “Cancel For Any Reason” Waiver is the cost of the travel arrangements provided by Viking Cruises. TRIP INTERRUPTION AND DELAYED ARRIVAL - Provides You with a reimbursement for the unused prepaid, non-refundable Payments or Deposits for Your land or water Travel Arrangements for Your Trip, plus the additional airfare cost to return home, if Your Trip is interrupted for a covered reason. MISSED CONNECTION - Provides You with a reimbursement for the unused portions of Your land or water Travel Arrangements, plus the additional costs to join Your trip, if Your arrival at the Trip destination is delayed for 3 hours or more for a covered reason. TRAVEL DELAY - Assists with additional travel expenses incurred when You are delayed at least 12 hours due to a covered reason. In the event of a covered delay, You will be reimbursed for additional expenses for hotels, meals, and transportation. AIR FLIGHT ONLY ACCIDENTAL DEATH & DISMEMBERMENT - Provides coverage up to the maximum benefit payable for loss of life, limb or sight resulting from an Accidental Injury. MEDICAL EXPENSE/EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Provides Medical Expense benefits for a covered Sickness or Injury incurred while on Your Trip. When required, We will evacuate You to the nearest qualified hospital and will then return You home when You are safe to travel. POLITICAL OR SECURITY EVACUATION - Provides coverage for all reasonable evacuation expenses incurred for Your transportation to the nearest safe haven, if You must leave Your Trip for a covered Political or Security Event. Evacuation must occur within 10 days of any Political or Security Event. BAGGAGE & PERSONAL EFFECTS - Provides reimbursement when Your baggage or personal belongings are damaged, lost or stolen during Your Trip. Personal belongings include such things as loss of luggage, jewelry, passports or travel visas. Ms. Viking Customer service or better yet, Mr. Hagen (CEO and President of Viking) tell me where you would reimburse me if we were unsatisfied with your services if we would have even opted to buy your so called “travel Insurance” oh but yes, another scam. Things to know, the main drive of Viking is to sell you tours, to get you off their ships like cattle herding as they now don't have to entertain you with drinks and meals on board. They put you on buses and bus you around and give you nice bottles of “warm” water and some type of lunch meal, then bus you back to their ship and feed you again to put you back to sleep in your corral and do this all over the next day. I call Viking a low-class glamping service, that really is what they are. There is absolutely no way to reach out to those higher up in the Viking organization, but one wonders if they are possibly well aware of these selling methods and activities. It is all about driving profit. I feel that as a consumer is my right to advocate for us travelers, and if publishing my review throughout all travel sites will have my voice heard, I will do until I have someone in the Viking organization try and appease this situation with us and reimburse us partially for such a disappointing and disastrous experience. I will also be disputing this with my credit card company. Also, anyone would be so kind, please share this review. Again, thank you for taking the time to read my review and feel free in reaching out to us, united we have a bigger voice. August 25, 2019 Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have been ocean cruising for a few years now and thought we would give river cruising a try. We saw Jane Mcdonald on a Danube river cruise, liked the itinery, so started looking around. Viking seemed to get a lot of excellent reviews, ... Read More
Have been ocean cruising for a few years now and thought we would give river cruising a try. We saw Jane Mcdonald on a Danube river cruise, liked the itinery, so started looking around. Viking seemed to get a lot of excellent reviews, nothing negative that we could find, so we booked with them. First off, they posted a nice personalised brochure to us. I logged onto their website and reserved our trips-don't worry if you forget this, you are automatically reserved on each of the included excursions and can change these at anytime, even on board. The meet up with the Viking rep at the airport and coach trip to the ship is very smooth.Once on the coach you won't touch your luggage again until its delivered to your cabin. On arrival we were shown around the ship and our cabin, and (depending on the time you arrive) were directed to a wine and cheese tasting event to get things going. The cabin was bigger than I expected, at least the same as on ocean cruises. Spotlessly clean and nicely decorated. Bottled water every day. Food was very good. Great choices with local variations at each port. Wine and beer included with every lunch and dinner. Waiters are mainly Philippino, very cheerful and clearly enjoy working for Viking. Nothing is too much trouble. Entertainment is obviously different to on an ocean cruise but the singers, musicians, and Tim our entertainment Director, are of very good quality and perfect for a ship of this size. Be prepared to join in, it makes for a great evening. Tim must eat Duracell batteries for breakfast, he's a human dynamo. The excursions are excellent, they run so smoothly and are fabulous. Water bottles are handed out as you leave the ship, so no getting dehydrated. No photographer on board (hooray! ), no sales pitches,no gym, a small onboard shop for those who collect memorabilia. Basically, what you pay for the cruise is virtually all you need to budget for, no nasty surprises. And no children on board! We are definitely using Viking again, we only need to decide where to go! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We've been talking about taking a river cruise for a long time and finally decided this was the time to go. So happy we did. So much nicer than the huge ships on other cruise lines. The ship was beautiful, the cabin was comfortable ... Read More
We've been talking about taking a river cruise for a long time and finally decided this was the time to go. So happy we did. So much nicer than the huge ships on other cruise lines. The ship was beautiful, the cabin was comfortable and the dining was wonderful. I always like to try new foods and was never disappointed in the quality. Also, the included excursions were really good and there were additional excursions to choose from. The entertainment was very good and the service was first-rate. We picked this cruise line because there were no small children, no rock climbing wall, no disco and no hard sell to buy jewelry or artwork. The staff, including the captain, were very warm and friendly and always there to help get whatever you needed. We will definitely do another cruise with Viking. It was the most relaxing cruise we've ever had and would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and ... Read More
We started the trip with a non-stop flight from Newark to Lisbon. We upgraded to Economy Plus for the extra leg room and enjoyed a smooth flight. We landed in the early morning and after clearing passport control we were met by Viking and transported to the Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa. It was a lovely hotel and we enjoyed our stay. We arrived so early we had to wait a little until our rooms were ready. Since I am useless with no sleep we just sat in the lobby until our room was ready. Our room was facing the interior courtyard and there was some noise from the nightclub on the roof but I was so jet lagged I was able to sleep. The hotel was very nice and clean and the included breakfast was terrific. We found a very nice seafood restaurant down the street from the hotel and we enjoyed dinner there. The second night we ate at a place recommended by the hotel but that was not exactly what we wanted. The food was tasty but floating in a bowl of gravy. Our transfer to Porto was quite a ride but we did make 3 stops to break it up, a comfort stop , a stop for lunch and a visit to Coimbra University. The tour buses were very comfortable and equipped with a rest room and wifi. This made the trip easier to bare. Our arrival at the ship was smooth and we were given our room keys as we got off the bus. The cabins were all ready and everyone was happy to arrive and unpack finally. The meals on the ship were all very good, the weather was perfect. Cool in Lisbon and Porto and the much warmer as we got into the Douro Vally. One thing about the meals was that if you didn’t take then Chef’s suggestion he took it personally. I had duck one day and did not want the gravy. He became so upset and insisted the duck needed the gravy. It was just a personal thing I don’t care for gravy but he was acting like I suggested we go club baby seals. One night my husband ordered from the always available side of the menu. The waitress again was horrified and tried to get him to order something else. I just found that strange. The tours were all very nice my favorites were the dinner at Grahams and the Bread Bakery tour. When we were riding up to Grahams the tour guide told us that we probably didn’t know each other yet but when she picked us up at the end of the dinner we would be great friends and we were. A beautiful dinner in a beautiful place. The bread bakery was amazing. I love bread and this was the best bread I ever tasted. The lady took it right out of the oven and handed it to me. I had to grab some napkins to stop from burning my hand. I enjoyed the warm bread with butter and homemade jam. We did several wine tasting at wineries. The Sanderman winery was interesting though the ride up there was very scary. There was nothing bad that happened but I was nervous. The Viking drivers were very skillful and careful. How they negotiated the hairpin curves and the narrow roads in the big bus was truly amazing. They always got applause and a handshake when we returned. The day in Salamanca ,Spain was very nice. Plaza Mayor reminded us of Venice. We enjoyed a lunch there . Delicious and reasonable priced. We enjoyed the ship probably even more because we received an upgrade to a Veranda Suite. I am afraid I have been spoiled. The bed was comfortable and the room was spotless. Our cabin steward was perfect. She kept our room in tip top condition. The final day we were sadly transported the Porto airport for another direct flight to Newark. It was a wonderful vacation. I cant wait for my next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have had a river cruise on out "bucket list" for several years. Viking's reputation led us to booking with them. We were not disappointed. We have shared the experience of our cruise with whomever will listen, and ... Read More
We have had a river cruise on out "bucket list" for several years. Viking's reputation led us to booking with them. We were not disappointed. We have shared the experience of our cruise with whomever will listen, and praise Viking at every level. The cruise, accommodations, tours, food and entertainment created an overall experience that we will never forget. Not to mention a crew that attended to every detail and more. The environment made it so easy to meet and enjoy new friends on tour and on the ship. Every question answered (and many before they were even asked). Would we go again... absolutely. Other cruise lines also have good reputations, but we would not risk changing, knowing what capable hands we would be in with Viking. We did not have to worry about anything. Every transfer, tour, etc. was organized and implemented flawlessly. All we id is small and have fun. Viking is the River Cruise line to choose... no doubt! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This trip was for our anniversary that we were not sure we would make as my husband has cancer. This was also our first River Cruises. We so happy with not only the service and the accommodation but more than anything the Crew. The ... Read More
This trip was for our anniversary that we were not sure we would make as my husband has cancer. This was also our first River Cruises. We so happy with not only the service and the accommodation but more than anything the Crew. The Program Director Candi and her team were fantastic everything from the organization of the excursion to the entertainment. The shore excursions, we great and the knowledge that was shared by the local guides was so helpful in understanding the local culture. The entertainment on board was also perfect. This was truly a trip of a lifetime. They truly made us feel welcome and like were part of the family. We are already thinking about another trip, I can only hope that it will be just as wonderful. Thank you, Viking, for a wonderful vacation. Thank you again for a wonderful trip and we hope to see you again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a wonderful cruise because it covered so much of Europe. The staff on the ship were so friendly and attentive. They quickly knew your name and your tastes. The food on the ship was delicious and varied with the region. We loved ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise because it covered so much of Europe. The staff on the ship were so friendly and attentive. They quickly knew your name and your tastes. The food on the ship was delicious and varied with the region. We loved sitting out on the Aquavit terrace for lunch and riding up top as we cruised along the rivers. All of the excursions were very informative and the quietvox technology made it easy to hear every word. It was also so helpful to have a Viking representative at the hotels during the extensions in the cities before and after the cruise. Those representatives were great at recommending local places and making any reservations needed. River cruising is the best way to see everything but still be able to relax and enjoy yourself. The small number of passengers let you get to know others and everyone was incredibly friendly. The onboard entertainment was also great. Loved the glass blower and the singers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected the 14-day Grand European Tour river cruise more than 12-months prior to embarkation. We splurged on the Explorer Suite as a treat to ourselves. On a prior Viking cruise we had a Veranda Suite, and enjoyed it. Needless to ... Read More
We selected the 14-day Grand European Tour river cruise more than 12-months prior to embarkation. We splurged on the Explorer Suite as a treat to ourselves. On a prior Viking cruise we had a Veranda Suite, and enjoyed it. Needless to say we anticipated this 2019 cruise with the greatest of expectations. Our original itinerary was for the Viking Vali ship. A week or so prior to the cruise we received notification from Viking that the river levels were low in Germany and what Viking's contingency plans would be if the water levels became impassable. We hoped for the best and went ahead with our plans. As it turned out the Viking Vali was unable to get back to Amsterdam due to the low water levels so the whole set of guests were put onboard the Viking Tir. All Viking river ships are for the most part exactly the same layout, so this change was not a problem. It turned out the rivers' water levels improved during our cruise so we were able to remain on the Viking Tir for the entire 14-day trip. HOWEVER, there is more to know about low water levels on a ship's comfort which will be noted later in this review. We did a pre-cruise stay in Amsterdam, and several excursions (some included and some for extra charges)...all were fine. Yes, some wished we had more time, but it's not until we're on the excursion that we realized that. Oh well. The villages of Passau and Melk were unexpected treats; the concert in Vienna was so-so. Dining and the crew's service onboard the ship were very good and matched what we expected from prior cruises. Granted we did pay quite a bit more for the Explorer Suite, so when a crew member knew our suite number they did give us a little more attention. The duo who entertained in the ship's Lounge every night were average; he was talented on instruments, but she was at best an average vocalist. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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