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536 Viking River Family 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
This adventure was over the top. The staff was excellent in serving the guests. Every detail of the trip was superbly executed. I would do it again. The shore excursions were well plans and guided for specific group levels. Free time for ... Read More
This adventure was over the top. The staff was excellent in serving the guests. Every detail of the trip was superbly executed. I would do it again. The shore excursions were well plans and guided for specific group levels. Free time for shopping was giving usually at the end of each shore excursion. Meals on ship were great, service great, and the food was great. There was always a good variety to choose from at breakfast, lunch , and dinner. The evening meals were a bit more formal although dress wasn’t required. The whole cruise was a very relaxed atmosphere. This was my third trip to Europe it my first on a European river cruise. I would highly recommend to extend the trip either before, after the cruise or do both. By doing this you would add much more to your adventure. Again, I would definitely go again with Viking. And the Eir is one of their best by far. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were invited by another family member to accompany them. We travel a lot but had never been on a river cruise or any kind of cruise before. It was wonderful! The Viking staff was extremely organized and all travel to and from airports ... Read More
We were invited by another family member to accompany them. We travel a lot but had never been on a river cruise or any kind of cruise before. It was wonderful! The Viking staff was extremely organized and all travel to and from airports and then each destination was executed perfectly and in an extremely timely manner! All the buses for transport were luxury. I have some food allergies and sensitivities and each day I met with Peter, one of the officers, to go over my meals for the day. He was patient, helpful and kind and had great ideas and recommendations. Thank you to the Chef! Also Dan was our primary server for food and he helped me out with that so much! — making sure that my special needs were taken care of. Again, all of this was done with such kindness and consideration. Vladimir and Tony made great wine recommendations! And Bruno was also helpful with that! The tour guides that Viking hires are all amazing! Everyone of our tour guides was knowledgeable and interesting. Frances and Natalie we’re both not only knowledgeable and interesting but also really fun and engaging! The night tour of Viviers and the walled city of Avignon and Pope’s Palace there we are among our favorites. So interesting! I know that Viking isn’t responsible for the French people, but all of the places where we visited as tourists, we were so well received by the French people! They were so pleasant and nice even if someone did not speak French! Such a wonderful, interesting, fun experience— That was easy. The Viking Delling was a beautiful boat. Sparkling clean -5 stars on everything! Thank you Philip for doing an amazing job keeping our room spotless. Another thing that I thought was so nice, upon returning to the ship after each tour there was a little treat of some type. If it was cold outside there was a hot beverage waiting, at night time there was a yummy little mini berry milkshake waiting for us, unusual refreshing juices were another item.. I was also surprised that there were interesting talks or activity on board almost every day either about World War II and the area we were in or just educational sessions on the Provence area or a cooking demonstration or French tea. Unexpected and engaging. And you could do as much or as little as you wanted. Again, everything was so well organized and executed perfectly and I thought it was an amazing value. Thank you to the Captain of the Viking Delling and the entire staff! They all know and do their jobs extremely well and with great customer service skills and wonderful sense of humor! Looking forward to our next Viking River cruise experience! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were treated to a fun time by all the staff and was surprised at the things we got to experience. The passengers were very friendly and soon became like Family. The scenery was beautiful. The food was delicious and the Staff was ... Read More
We were treated to a fun time by all the staff and was surprised at the things we got to experience. The passengers were very friendly and soon became like Family. The scenery was beautiful. The food was delicious and the Staff was awesome. The excursions were very interesting and loaded with history about the places we visited. The Captain was very visible to the guest and very friendly. He would come around and socialize with the guest a lot. We had great weather and the River was very inviting. When it came time to leave, no one wanted it to end. Leaving such great people and a Super Staff made debarking a difficult thing to do. If we could have gathered up everyone, Staff and all, we would have just continued to great times back home. We are so pleased to have experienced this great River Cruise. Looking forward to getting to go on another River Cruise with Viking. Highly recommend Viking. They give you First Class service all the time. Thank you Staff of the Viking Herja. Happy times! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise due to the wonderful reputation enjoyed by Viking. It was our first river cruise and it could not have been better. From the moment we boarded the Forseti, the crew made you feel right at home. The accommodations ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the wonderful reputation enjoyed by Viking. It was our first river cruise and it could not have been better. From the moment we boarded the Forseti, the crew made you feel right at home. The accommodations were wonderful. We really enjoyed the meals. Excellent quality and not so much food that you felt uncomfortable. Our excursions were great and we enjoyed them all. Especially the market tours, most interesting and informative. Our last dinner in the Chateau was spectacular. I don't know how they did it, but it was really great. We were so pleased with all the staff during the entire trip. Our Captain was very personable, but professional. We certainly have memories to last a life time. Certainly hoping to have the opportunity to take another Viking cruise in the near future. France is a beautiful country and we learned so much about the wine making process as well as the vineyards. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our friends invited us to join them on this cruise. Cruises are not exactly our style. The cruise ship was well laid out, clean and did not seem to be over crowded. Our favorite part of the cruise was sitting on the upper deck ... Read More
Our friends invited us to join them on this cruise. Cruises are not exactly our style. The cruise ship was well laid out, clean and did not seem to be over crowded. Our favorite part of the cruise was sitting on the upper deck watching the countryside go by. Since we did most of our traveling at night, the day time cruising was not as frequent as we would have liked. The crew and in particular the program director did an amazing job of keeping the events and shore excursions on schedule even though there were a couple delays on the river and in the canals. The shore excursions were what we expected, a bus ride and a group tour around the tourist attraction. It was generally crowed and somewhat rushed. There was usually enough time to go out exploring on our own which was really great. If you like beer, this tour is fantastic as there are many smaller breweries to visit. The food on board was excellent, each meal was arranged around the culture or city that the ship was at. Trying the different cuisines was an experience in itself. We purchased the premium liquor package which was worth it, you get a better selection of wines and top shelf liquor. The only bad part of the trip was the air travel, we got booked on American Airlines and had trouble at just about every section. Luckily we planned on getting to Prague early, we got the three day extension, and planned an extra day for travel going home. We needed it due to all the delays. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My family recently took a Viking cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. Our group was made up of myself and my fiance (28 + 27), my parents (55 + 57), and my Grampie (79). We decided on this cruise because it had been a trip my Grampie had wanted ... Read More
My family recently took a Viking cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. Our group was made up of myself and my fiance (28 + 27), my parents (55 + 57), and my Grampie (79). We decided on this cruise because it had been a trip my Grampie had wanted to take for years, and we wanted to make sure he got to take it. Generally, this kind of vacation would not be what my fiance and I or my parents would choose for ourselves. We prefer to spend more time in each city, do less tours, get to know the area, etc. My parents prefer to relax and not really explore. However, we all got something out of this trip that we didn't expect and honestly loved it! My fiance and I were well and beyond the youngest people on the ship, and these tours truly were not designed with our age group in mind - so if you're around our age, I would suggest looking elsewhere unless you're traveling with family. My Grampie loved the pace of the trip and only got tired/sore because we dragged him on a full-day walking tour in Strasbourg, which the rest of us loved but he probably could have done without. The fact that the itinerary was set meant that there was no tension or bickering about what we each wanted to do each day. We never had to worry about what cafes were open for breakfast, where we could stop for lunch, etc - meals were all planned on the shi[ and the food was good. We also loved that we only had to unpack once and that we got used to our stateroom; very different from packing up a bag in every city. I really enjoyed this aspect of the trip. The tours were well planned. Actually, everything was well planned. We never had to wait around, never felt stressed out, it was all 100% smooth. This is RARE when traveling and it was much appreciated. It's good to note that the itinerary is really organized to be fully guided. If you're looking to go off on your own and explore the city while the group tours around, please keep in mind that this could be VERY hard in some areas. On our itinerary, we had a few days where we could get off the boat on foot and explore - Cologne and Koblenz. We had an entire day and evening in Cologne and we were able to break away from the planned tours and explore the city ourselves on foot. We found local spots to eat and shop, and it was the best day of our trip. In other areas, like Colmar, you basically cannot get to the city from the ship unless you book an excursion through Viking. My mom and fiance and I did that, and we were able to get a good history lesson on the bus ride into Colmar. When we got there we ditched the tour guide (she wasn't pleased about this) and explored the city without the damn earpiece in our ear. Heidelberg is another stop that requires you to do the planned excursion in order to see the city. We were able to talk to the program director about what we wanted to get out of the trip, but he pretty much (kindly) told us upfront that we would be better off just going along with the plan. He was right - we surrendered to the planned tours and relaxed into the pace. The ship was nice, it only ever felt crowded during the "port talks" when everyone crowded into the lounge before dinner to hear about the next day. But the information was very valuable so I always squished in. The dinner is good, the wine and beer pour freely at lunch and dinner, and you can always top up your glass at the end of the meal to have an after dinner drink without having to pay at the bar. When it came to alcohol we were glad that we did not get the silver package (the all-inclusive drinking package) as we would have had to spend essentially 30$ a day per person to make it worth it, and at the end of the trip, we didn't come close to that. The house wine and beer are local and enjoyable, and you can always opt to pay for one or two drinks from the bar if you want something different. There also is no corckage fee, so if you want to bring a bottle of wine into the lounge that you bought when touring around, they will open and pour it for you!! Same goes for beer, or bottles of scotch, anything. The bottom line: this trip was well planned and comfortable, and did feel like a luxury experience. However, if you're under 40, this trip is probably not for you unless you're travelling with older family members. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
we had been looking at this cruises for at least 2 years. Friends that had been on the river cruise highly recommended this cruise. we were celebrating our 30th anniversary and choose this one. Liked the idea of a smaller cruise. with ... Read More
we had been looking at this cruises for at least 2 years. Friends that had been on the river cruise highly recommended this cruise. we were celebrating our 30th anniversary and choose this one. Liked the idea of a smaller cruise. with less than 200 people,we got to know alot of the travelers. the staff was excellent. very friendly and personnel. they seemed to get to know the passengers and many of them knew your likes. the tour guides were very informative and made exploring the areas interesting. the restaurants and food service was excellent. overall felt that this was a very relaxed vacation. the ship itself was comfortable and smooth sailing all the way. we are planning on another cruise with the Viking river cruise and possible on one of the ocean cruises. looking forward to booking another cruise. the booking process was so easy. thanks agin to all the staff involved with this cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was where we wanted to go and we had heard from friends what a great trip it was. We began in Bucharest and explored that city before we left. We made the most of each stop, exploring the city or town close to the ship. All the ... Read More
It was where we wanted to go and we had heard from friends what a great trip it was. We began in Bucharest and explored that city before we left. We made the most of each stop, exploring the city or town close to the ship. All the excursions were fun and educational. We especially enjoyed the biking excursions in Osijek, Croatia, and in Belgrade Serbia. We loved our 3 day add on to Prague and the e-bike trip around the castle. The dining each night was great and the local wines were so good. We traveled with a party of 10 and we were able to all do what we wanted to do for the excursions and meet for dinner each evening. Our favorite city was Budapest, Hungary. The 2 sides of the river are so different and we loved the excursion to the country side to Szentendre, which was so fun. We would definitely go again on another Viking River cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 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
We wanted to do a river cruise and Viking had a great report. All of the Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Made us feel like Family. The desk Staff was always ready to help and answer any questions with a smile and good sense of ... Read More
We wanted to do a river cruise and Viking had a great report. All of the Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Made us feel like Family. The desk Staff was always ready to help and answer any questions with a smile and good sense of humor. The desk Staff always greeted everyone when they came into the Atrium with a hello and a smile. We very much appreciated their kindness. Our Cruise Director was great and funny. We were always given the opportunity to do activities and have fun. Our cabin was on the bottom deck, but was nice. We don't stay in the cabin, because we are out doing activities. Our cabin Stewart was fantastic. She always spoke to us when she saw us. Always smiled. Meals were a fun time. The Staff would kid around with you and get you laughing and in such a happy mode. We miss everyone and Blessed to have had the Staff and experience that we got to have. We want to thank all of the Staff for making our Cruise down the Rhine River an experience that we will never forget. We will never forget the Wonderful Staff that we had the privilege to be with. Thank you all! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I manage a non profit. We have only taken 3 vacations in 20 years. So choosing the right one was important to us. Money isn't something in the non profit realm that is plentiful. We saved for this trip for a couple ... Read More
My wife and I manage a non profit. We have only taken 3 vacations in 20 years. So choosing the right one was important to us. Money isn't something in the non profit realm that is plentiful. We saved for this trip for a couple years. We chose the 15 day grand European because we don't know when we can do this again. I live in Kentucky so we traveled from here and we met my sister and her spouse where they left from philly and we met in Germany flying into Amsterdam together. We had adjoining veranda with balcony rooms. This trip was amazing. From the rooms, the ship, the tours, the food, atmosphere, david and the rest of the staff were truly wonderful to make this a once in a lifetime experience that makes us want to come back. We had low water going onto the Danube and had a small 3 hour transfer but it was done seamlessly and with great care for us all. The sites were stunning. Sitting on the aquavit terrace or on the top deck or on our balcony was always breathtaking. My wife is 49 and my sister is 71. Im 58 and my sisters spouse is 61. And we all enjoyed every minute of our journey/adventure. You had something for everyone. I cant say enough about how we enjoyed this trip and I would encourage anyone to do it. Even if you think it might not be affordable its worth saving for and making it happen to treat your spouse and self. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Exceptional fourteen Day European River Cruise on Viking Ve & Gefjon ( Amsterdam to Budapest). The entire experience from arrival in Amsterdam until our return flight home Exceeded our expectations. It was without question the Best ... Read More
Exceptional fourteen Day European River Cruise on Viking Ve & Gefjon ( Amsterdam to Budapest). The entire experience from arrival in Amsterdam until our return flight home Exceeded our expectations. It was without question the Best vacation my wife and I have ever taken! The captain, crew and hotel staff were very professional and outstanding representatives for Viking Cruises. The ports and the daily included tours were exceptional. The dining experience was the best we have experienced in our six previous cruises on Royal Caribbean, NCL, Celebrity and Holland America ships. The stateroom was very comfortable with great space to store luggage. Stateroom staff were outstanding. Finally the daily activities, lectures, nightly entertainment, and the castle tour on the Rhine were so much fun. We were so happy and impressed with our time on the Viking Ve and Viking Gefjon that we booked a follow on Viking Ocean cruise departing Stockholm on June 26th, 2021. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall excellent 15 day cruise with Viking through Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary. Only hiccup along the way was due to low river levels at highest elevation point on cruise near Regensburg, we had to do a "ship ... Read More
Overall excellent 15 day cruise with Viking through Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary. Only hiccup along the way was due to low river levels at highest elevation point on cruise near Regensburg, we had to do a "ship exchange", which only encompassed us having to pack our bags mid tour. Everything else was handled by Viking to ensure a smooth move from 1 ship to the next (identical ship, by the way, with having same room, amenities, etc). As for the cruise itself, every day we had an excursion available, and many times, a couple of them, with excellent guides and smooth processes with embarking and debarking the ship. The staff, restaurants, guest services and social services/activities provided by Viking all top-notch with little-to-no room for disappointment. Definitely will choose Viking in future for another riverboat cruise with no hesitation at all. Strongly encourage guests to take advantage of extended stays of starting and/or ending cities as Viking seemlessly assists with these options. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our 4th Viking River Cruise, and we chose this itinerary because although we had visited much of Europe, we had never been to these cities. I was quite concerned before the trip regarding the water level on the Danube due to ... Read More
This is our 4th Viking River Cruise, and we chose this itinerary because although we had visited much of Europe, we had never been to these cities. I was quite concerned before the trip regarding the water level on the Danube due to problems last year, but there were no issues. We came to Budapest a couple of days early and did some touring on our own, including a fun up close and personal Tuk Tuk tour. The embarkation went smoothly and we had a nice but small balcony cabin. All of the staff were excellent, from our waiters to our steward and we went on many of the excursions, as we recognized we are unlikely to come this way again. The food was fine and entertainment minimal other than a Mozart and Strauss concert excursion in Vienna and a folklore dinner in Prague. The captain was everywhere saying hello to all the guests which I haven't seen on a cruise before. The highlight for all of us (we were traveling with son and dil) was the Prague extension which was far more interesting than we expected. The architecture is outstanding and the tours were interesting. My dil developed a toothache, and the host in Prague at our hotel actually arranged for an emergency dental appointment near the hotel and accompanied her to see the dentist helping to translate. We were very grateful for this service. I have absolutely no criticisms of this trip. However, without the Prague extension, I would have given it 4 circles as it wasn't as exciting as prior Viking trips which I attribute to the nature of these cities rather than any faults on Viking's part. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My younger sister researched and suggested my husband and I join in. Glad we did as our brother, sister-in-law and other sister and brother-in-law did too. Plus 3 other couples who are friends. This was the first time we all travelled ... Read More
My younger sister researched and suggested my husband and I join in. Glad we did as our brother, sister-in-law and other sister and brother-in-law did too. Plus 3 other couples who are friends. This was the first time we all travelled together. Amazing that all of our schedules meshed to go on the adventure. The itinerary allowed everyone to venture and do what they wanted. It was fun to gather in the evening and compare the day's experiences. I do not like large cruise ships. The Einar Longship was just the right size and the right amount of guests and staff. Excellent staff who were always watching out for the safety and comfort of guests. Very accommodating and helpful suggestions of the cities and sites visited. Everyone was well trained and professional. Dining & service are excellent. Enjoyed the regional choices and everyday selection. The kitchen prepared a special menu for my sister-in-law who is from the Philippines. It was enjoyable to have a choice to dine in the dining room or upstairs on the deck. There were plenty of options for planned excursions, self-exploring or to stay on board. Greatly enjoyed the walking tours. The guides were excellent. Also enjoyed the lecture on the history, economy & changes to modern Germany. Could have spent more time in Heidelberg. A special touch was allowing guests to board early and enjoy lunch. During disembarkation, guests who had late flights or tours could stay on board and enjoy the public areas. My husband and I enjoyed the Viking Longship Einar. We will consider another Viking Longship river cruise in the future. Basel was enjoyable and good embarkation city. We also spent 2 days in Lucerne prior to Basel which was fun. In hindsight would have liked the pre-cruise tour of Lake Como but a reason to return to explore. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I had gone on the Romantic Danube, 11 years prior and absolutely loved it. We rated it as our best vacation ever! Now the Rhine Getaway is up there with this one. We chose this cruise because it would take us to areas we had ... Read More
My wife and I had gone on the Romantic Danube, 11 years prior and absolutely loved it. We rated it as our best vacation ever! Now the Rhine Getaway is up there with this one. We chose this cruise because it would take us to areas we had never been. The opportunity to explore was too much to resist! We were joined by my wife’s sister and her husband. He had never been to Europe before, so it was much fun watching him get excited about all the sights we explored. The added time in Amsterdam, before we embarked to the ship, was awesome and well worth it! Never knew they had more bikes than population. The guided tour, offered by Viking, was marvelous and so informative! Highly recommend this addition! Once we were aboard the great Viking service takes over. My brother-in-law said many times he felt almost guilty with how well he was treated! All information is handled in such a manner that you would have to go out of your way to miss it! Entertainment on board was an added treat and very well done. The excursions are well planned and so interesting. On this cruise, the day time ‘cruising’ down the Rhine was so beautiful and was a pleasure to sit and take it all in! So many excursions that it is difficult to chose just one as a favorite. The food each day was so enjoyable and enabled us to taste some traditional entrees. Being a people person, I so enjoyed meeting new friends from many different places! The most interesting was meeting a woman, from a small town that I grew up in, that went to school with my sister! Reminded me that this large world we live in can actually be fairly small! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The beauty and the history was the leading factor. I chose Viking because of the stellar reviews. The food was not as elegant as I expected. I probably was looking for more of richness of the French since we did sail on a river in ... Read More
The beauty and the history was the leading factor. I chose Viking because of the stellar reviews. The food was not as elegant as I expected. I probably was looking for more of richness of the French since we did sail on a river in France. The wines were all in good taste and I did enjoy trying a new one with dinner each evening. The on shore excursions were great. The towns visited were extremely welcoming, clean and full of history. I do think that there should be more on ship choices in the evening. The local entertainment was great, but more movie choices in the passenger rooms would have been good. Although it may not be entirely possible, internet service was spotty. It would seem that there would be better internet service even while sailing since it is in inland waters. Overall, I would choose Viking and sail with you all again. The staff could not have been nicer and more accommodating. The small personal "I wish" list is small and overall the experience was wonderful. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first river cruise, aboard the Viking Lif was fantastic! We couldn't have selected a better cruise than the Grand European Tour. It provided everything that we were seeking in a European Holiday: a fascinating tour through the ... Read More
Our first river cruise, aboard the Viking Lif was fantastic! We couldn't have selected a better cruise than the Grand European Tour. It provided everything that we were seeking in a European Holiday: a fascinating tour through the middle of Europe, beautiful scenery, rich history, and wonderful accommodations aboard a smaller ship. The service that was provided was exceptional -- we simply relaxed and let the Viking staff and the crew of the "Lif" take care of us, and they did a phenomenal job of getting to know us and tuning their service to fit our personalities and habits. The only shortfall of the vacation was that it left me wanting more: More time and tours in each port, more days in the cruise, and more finely prepared meals to savor -- three weeks with Viking was not enough! I believe another cruise is in order. I'll just change the destination, or possibly take the same cruise in the opposite direction for another great experience - yes! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was great because we stayed in Paris and had time to see some of the city then we went to Trier Germany and had a tour and then boarded the cruise ship. It was fantastic going along the rivers and seeing the beauty of the ... Read More
This cruise was great because we stayed in Paris and had time to see some of the city then we went to Trier Germany and had a tour and then boarded the cruise ship. It was fantastic going along the rivers and seeing the beauty of the countryside. We ended our trip in Prague which was another great place to visit. we were so happy to be able to experience the three country's through Viking. I love the size of the ship. Easy to get on and off and quick to get anywhere on the ship. They had coffee center available 24 hours with cappuccino, latte, tea etc and snacks. The food was wonderful with a great selection for us even though we do not eat meat. The ship has an upper deck which was really nice if you just want to lounge outside. The ports were very interesting and the guided tours were great. The staff on the ship was friendly and accommodating. I want to go on another Viking cruise so I am in the process of looking for our next travel destination. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Viking River Cruise on “Embla:” Bucharest to Budapest w/ 3-nt Prague Add-On Overall: Terrible experience with Viking aboard their boat Embla due to major maintenance issues known to them before our cruise started. Half speed at ... Read More
Viking River Cruise on “Embla:” Bucharest to Budapest w/ 3-nt Prague Add-On Overall: Terrible experience with Viking aboard their boat Embla due to major maintenance issues known to them before our cruise started. Half speed at best; little to no air-conditioning with room temperatures ranging from the high 70s into the 90s. The dining room felt even hotter with everyone assembled. This was a boat maintenance issue, NOT a river problem. We did not have a river cruise; the boat stayed in Russe, Bulgaria for 3 days. Then we were on buses for the rest of the trip. No choice/options as to what we ate. Viking gave minimal refund and never answered my emails to Customer Relations and several senior management personnel. Specifics: Immediately after boarding we were informed that: • The boat would be going slower than normal because the river level was low and that caused the water to be warmer which had a negative effect on engine cooling. A crew member later told us that the boat had previously hit a submerged object and had to travel slow coming to Bucharest because of propulsion problems. We saw other longboats passing us (on the one day we “cruised” from Russe to Lom); the “warm” water did not affect them! We also saw tugboats pushing loaded barges which rode much lower in the river than our boat. – We were misled from beginning!! Viking was aware of problems with Embla before we even boarded. Viking could/should have told us in Bucharest that the ship could only sail at half speed and that we would not be able to make our ports on time. They could have offered to cancel our cruise, receive a full refund for the cruise and Prague portion, and given us one more night in a hotel in Bucharest to make travel arrangements. Instead, Viking elected to hide the problem and have us board a ship that could only travel at a very slow speed with 50% a/c capacity, and sent us to spend 3 days in the small town of Russe. • We should not open our balcony doors, especially during the evening & night, as the mosquitos were very bad. This was also the case on the open upper deck. Thus, outside air was not a solution for the 80-90 degree (F) temperatures in our staterooms. The first day in Russe we elected to stay on the boat and not walk into town. We went to the dining room for lunch and were told lunch would only be available in the small eating area in front of the lounge. This “meal” consisted of a buffet of soup, cocktail sandwiches, and Bulgarian meatloaf; not exactly what you expect on a cruise. The next day we were told that we could stay on the boat, but there would be no a/c for several hours. We opted to go on a 3-hr tour of the old and new city squares of Russe. Once on the tour we were told that we would be eating lunch in Russe after the tour. Following lunch, we were informed that we must not return to the boat. We would tour 3 museums, attend a piano recital (at least it was in an air-conditioned room) and then have dinner at the same restaurant where we had lunch. At both lunch and dinner we were given what they wanted us to eat; no menu to select from. Again, not what one expects when traveling on a cruise. The boat set sail from Russe after midnight that night. The next day (Saturday, 27 July) we cruised at a very slow speed all day. This is the day we were supposed to be “scenic cruising past the Iron Gates.” That is one of the reasons we selected this Viking itinerary; we wanted to see the Iron Gates – this did not happen! We had lunch and dinner in the dining room. There was no ice cream available for dessert at dinner; the chef said the freezer was turned off. We were told before dinner that we would be getting off the boat the next morning in Lom. We were told that we would be driven by buses to Belgrade and then to Budapest. Keep in mind, temperature in the staterooms was 80-90 defrees (F). The rest of the boat (lounge, dining room, etc.) was even hotter. Sun, 28 July: After sailing over 36 hours and not even getting to Viden, we boarded buses in Lom and less than 3 hours later stopped for lunch with a distant view of the Belogradchik Rocks. That’s as close as we got to them and the Fortress (tours touted in the Viking literature). The lunch was a small buffet, no “ordering from a menu.” After a 12-hour day on a bus we arrived at the hotel in Belgrade. We had dinner around 9pm (more than 9 hours after we had lunch). Mon, 29 July: Spent the day in Belgrade. Had lunch in Old Town and dinner at the hotel. Again, we did not get to order from a menu. Tues, 30 July: Departed Belgrade via bus. Had noticed on the internet that it was a 4-to-5 hr bus ride to Budapest. Instead, Viking bussed us through Croatia where we had lunch in various private homes. We did not choose this; Viking did. When given the option prior to the cruise to have meals in private homes, we declined. This is not something we preferred to do. We, once again, did not get to select our meal. We were not offered the choice of a 4 or 5 hour bus ride vice a 12 hour bus day! After arriving at the hotel in Budapest around 9pm we had another buffet dinner. Wed, 31 July: Following two 12-hr bus ride days, two of our party were in poor physical condition and could not attend the included “Panoramic Budapest” tour. We were not meeting the objectives we had when we selected this itinerary. Since two members of our group were not on the tour, they were not provided lunch by Viking; the rest of us ate, once again, what & where Viking prescribed. Thurs, 1 Aug: Spent the day recuperating at the hotel. Note: Since we arrived in Budapest a day earlier than planned, we could not stay at the InterContinental Hotel as originally planned. This hotel is very conveniently located to Old Town, the river, and most the popular tourist attractions. Instead we were assigned a hotel that was not within walking distance of the tourist areas. Fri, 2 Aug: Took a 9-hr bus ride to Prague. Had this been our first “bus day,” we would have been in much better physical condition upon arriving in Prague. As it was, taking this 9-hr ride after the previous two 12-hr bus days was too much. This whole trip was a miserable, painful, terrible experience. As disastrous as it was, the Embla Captain never addressed the passengers and apprised us of the situation; it was like he was hiding. We were not consulted about what we might have wanted; we were not given any options. It was strictly, “Do what Viking says!” This was supposed to be “the vacation of a lifetime.” When we planned it, we did not choose a bus tour of Eastern Europe. We have several reasons for NOT wanting to spend hours riding a bus. We did not get to enjoy any of the advantages of a cruise. The few days/nights we spent on Embla were extremely uncomfortable. We chose a balcony room, and upon boarding, were told not to open the balcony doors in the evenings or nights! We only had a few meals in the Embla dining room where we got to select our meal from a menu. The rest of the time we had no choice as to what we ate. We all ate more meals consisting of chicken and potatoes than we ever thought possible when on a “cruise vacation.” We spent $13,494 on this cruise (two were refunded a small amount since they used their frequent flyer miles for the air travel), four of us paid an additional $50 each so we could choose our airline flights and seats, and we paid various amounts (average was approximately $1000/couple due to differing age) for travel insurance. Each couple spent approximately $15,000 to spend a miserable two weeks on a poorly-functioning boat and a bus. We were unable to enjoy places like Budapest and Prague because Viking’s choices had us so exhausted and physically impaired. To make matters worse, Viking has refunded $3,999 and claims that is 50% of our cost. Viking can most likely justify this with some “creative accounting.” $4,000 per couple does not come close to compensating us for our expenditures and the pain and suffering we endured. If you do book Viking, I recommend that you ask for a maintenance record of the boat. Specifically, for Embla: ask for the maintenance they performed after July 28, 2019 in order to fix the problems that led to our ‘bus tour”. I would also ask for the exact cost breakdown that they show for the trip to be sent directly to you, not just the travel agent so you are aware how they are pricing it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this 3 generation cruise before Viking River raised age to 18. Our 14 & 16 yr old granddaughters loved it as did our daughter and her husband (1st time cruisers). We are river cruise veterans who were blessed by having our ... Read More
Booked this 3 generation cruise before Viking River raised age to 18. Our 14 & 16 yr old granddaughters loved it as did our daughter and her husband (1st time cruisers). We are river cruise veterans who were blessed by having our best Cruise Director Brenton and a super (English!!!) chef Martin Carter. Everyone loved their rooms, French Balcony & Veranda. The dinners were excellent with many choices to satisfy everyone and great service. We ate dinner together but everyone was able to do their own thing at breakfast & lunch, from Aquavit Terrace to the Restaurant, what they wanted, when they wanted it. The tours ranging from Paris itself to just strolling off the ship to walk through towns where we docked were all excellent. With 3 generations, everyone was able to choose what they wanted to do each day. Departure day the unannounced walk through St Germain-en-Laye was a great way to introduce touring to our family, a fun tour. In Rouen I choose to walk the city again on my own in the afternoon while others went on a farm tour or off to Honfleur. Of course, the highlight was Normandy. Not enough time but time well spent. We (Americans) opted for the Commonwealth Tour (British) because we wanted to see the historic Bayeux Tapestry before it moved to England. Another highlight of that tour was Pegasus Bridge where 3 gliders landed within 100 yards, then captured & held the bridge. The bridge is there as well as gliders and a museum. Very moving wreath ceremony at the gravesite. On the last day my wife & I skipped the Napoleon Estate tour and took Viking shuttle into Paris enjoying another wonderful day at the Musee D'Orsay and walking the Seine. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
On July 7th my husband and my self we star our 5th river cruise in Moscow Russia.We had four amazing cruise and are looking forward for this one to learn about the culture of Russia.Since we are Orthodox Christians we are looking forward ... Read More
On July 7th my husband and my self we star our 5th river cruise in Moscow Russia.We had four amazing cruise and are looking forward for this one to learn about the culture of Russia.Since we are Orthodox Christians we are looking forward to visit all the churches that are the gem of this country.First day one the ship with a warm welcome and all the information for the following day and shore excursions.Everyone who was working was very polite and very professional.Everything was very well organized from the tours the shows on the ship and of course the amazing night at the ballet theatre at Saint Petersburg.How can you say thank you to the best cruise director who was from earlier time in the morning until late at night around the ship.But the most important role of course was played the master of cooking in the ship mr Leonidas Kritharas.He was excellent in preparation and presentation of all kind of food.The soups was the best and of course the lamb dish my husbands favorite and all the Russian food he made was the best.We visit the small kitchen the place with the final preparations.The most cleaning place you ever seen.We hope to meet him at another cruise soon.Viking river cruise are our favorites.We are thinking for Vietnam for next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We too had a bad experience due to a broken lock. We shared the horrible port with 3 other Viking ships. Cement factory working through the night. Homeless family living under bridge. Not the picturesque view we imagined to have. We ... Read More
We too had a bad experience due to a broken lock. We shared the horrible port with 3 other Viking ships. Cement factory working through the night. Homeless family living under bridge. Not the picturesque view we imagined to have. We spent three days traveling by bus from boat at dock. Sunday, we traveled 20 minutes each way to see sites ofcity of Nuremberg. Then Monday, Nuremberg to Regensburg(4 hours round trip) - back to horrible port, then Nuremberg to Passau (7 hours round trip)- back to horrible port, then on Wednesday finally on a bus once again Nuremberg to Ybbs(6 hours) to be transferred to Viking Gulliveg. Viking knew on June 22 locks were broken and contingency plans needed to be made. This was the best they could come up with?? Shame on them! More time on bus than traveling the river. Their response? A voucher to use for future travel. No credit for "time served" on buses. No apologies. Just matter of fact.. this is what we are offering. This was our first river cruise. Not sure what was more disappointing...The broken lock with our "port view", Viking's "best" contingency plan of more than 20+ hours on a bus, or Viking's response. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I wish we would have spent more time in the departure city along with more time in the debark city, these are 2 cities that we really wanted to explore, next time we would book the the excursion before and after the cruise, this is ... Read More
I wish we would have spent more time in the departure city along with more time in the debark city, these are 2 cities that we really wanted to explore, next time we would book the the excursion before and after the cruise, this is something we learned after we booked our cruise. The service was great, we had the best bartenders ever, they remember everything we drank, we would recommend getting the drink package it is worth the money. The dining was great, different menus every night for dinner and for lunch. Great food and service. I really liked that the servers and chefs remembered our names and what we like to eat for breakfast. Made us feel at home. Cabin was a bit small, but very nice, you really don't spend a lot of time in your cabin so being small was really not an issue. Loved the Ports that we stopped at, loved all the history that is what we really enjoyed the most, we are history buffs and love to see all the old cities and churches, We wish the excursions would have been a bit more geared to active people like us, we enjoy the walking, biking, and just a fast pace adventure. We are planning on going again maybe even in 2020 bur for sure 2021. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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