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Cruise Ratings
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I had long wanted to sail the Danube and selected Viking based on literature we reviewed. As we had never been on a river or ocean cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than the comfort of traveling through various countries which ... Read More
I had long wanted to sail the Danube and selected Viking based on literature we reviewed. As we had never been on a river or ocean cruise, we had no idea what to expect other than the comfort of traveling through various countries which we could tour at each port without the hassle of packing/unpacking as you travel city to city and change hotels. As such, we found the ship quickly became our home and our stateroom lacked nothing more we could want. The bed, pillows, and linens were extremely comfortable, the room layout was efficient, and housekeeping was impeccable. Dining on the ship was exciting and a pleasure due to the variety and presentation of each and every meal, whether it was in the formal dining room or casual dining by the terrace. The dining staff were, without exception, professional, friendly, attentive and quickly learned our personal eating preferences. Amazing service! The tours at every port city were extensive and informative, and the shore excursions were fun and gave us a good perspective of the culture and history. Most impressive was the organization and coordination to manage people leaving the ship on either a tour, excursion, or on-your-own time and to get everyone back on the ship on a time schedule. Incredible! The activities and presentations on the ship were numerous to round out each day, but the evening piano music in the lounge was a personal favorite! Overall, I must say the staff on the ship made the experience exceptional. Every day, greetings were given with a smile, enthusiasm, and a bit of conversation. We felt special. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We wanted to do a safe mother daughter trip in Russia. We started In Moscow and ended in St. Petersburg. We loved the trip. The included tours and lectures were great. The local guides were wonderful. Our ship guides, Alexei, Vadim, and ... Read More
We wanted to do a safe mother daughter trip in Russia. We started In Moscow and ended in St. Petersburg. We loved the trip. The included tours and lectures were great. The local guides were wonderful. Our ship guides, Alexei, Vadim, and Sasha were wonderful, knowledgeable, and open to any questions. They made the trip. We paid extra for a behind the scenes trip to The Hermitage that was well worth the money. All the workers on board were helpful and friendly. Constantine, the videographer, did a super job. We enjoyed all the stops along the river, especially Uglich and Kizhi. We were glad to be on the right side of the ship as we were able to see many of the stops as we approached them. Viking took care of us when our luggage was two days late. The Viking Doctor took good care of my daughter when she was ill. Be sure to go the ballet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first river cruise, and I cannot say enough about this cruise, it was WONDERFUL!!! The staff and crew on the ship were wonderful, Chris the cruise director, Allen the concierge, everyone was just so wonderful and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and I cannot say enough about this cruise, it was WONDERFUL!!! The staff and crew on the ship were wonderful, Chris the cruise director, Allen the concierge, everyone was just so wonderful and accommodating. We loved having a veranda to sit out on, so glad I upgraded to having a veranda cabin. The food was great, the tours were so well planned and interesting. WE met some wonderful people on the ship, and hope to cruise with them again. Thank you Thank you to all of the staff of Kvasir, I can't say enough about how great you were!! The entertainment on board was good, but we were so busy with the tours of the day and just enjoying the scenery, it wasn:t that important to us. Our favorite night was the German night, oh what fun and also having Chris the cruise director sing one evening. We skipped the glass blowing, is was a little boring. Thanks again Viking, we will be back! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Our first river cruise and it exceeded our expectations. Viking took care of all aspects of the travel involved with the trip. Ship, cabin and crew were impeccable in service and amenities. Extremely comfortable cabin and overall ... Read More
Our first river cruise and it exceeded our expectations. Viking took care of all aspects of the travel involved with the trip. Ship, cabin and crew were impeccable in service and amenities. Extremely comfortable cabin and overall experience. Fabulous food, fun and diverse on-ship entertainment. Incredibly knowledgable tour guides made the shore excursions come alive. Travel on longship offers opportunities to meet new friends as well as enjoying an adventure with your loved one, family and close friends. The setting allows more intimacy than the huge cruise ships. We want to do another cruise with Viking as soon as possible, whether river or ocean. The value of the included "extras" is priceless. Would recommend adding the extra days before embarkation, at least, to allow ample time in beginning location for exploration. That will also allow one feeling "jet-lagged" time to enjoy he sites and tastes of the city and country in which your journey begins. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our first cruise and we chose to take a Viking River Cruise down the Rhine River. We chose a pre-cruise extension and made all of the arrangements on our own, spending two nights in Amsterdam before boarding the Viking ship Hlin. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose to take a Viking River Cruise down the Rhine River. We chose a pre-cruise extension and made all of the arrangements on our own, spending two nights in Amsterdam before boarding the Viking ship Hlin. Our first impressions with the ship and crew were...Wow!! The ship was amazing and the crew friendly and helpful no matter what we asked or requested. Our stateroom steward made us feel as though we were her only customers! The rest of the staff was just as wonderful and at the welcome dinner we were informed that the water levels were good and we should have no problems with our cruise to Basel. The atmosphere onboard is casual and we saw everything from t-shirts to jacket and ties, and the ages ranged from early/mid 30's to early 80's. We did get rained on during our first two ports (windmills and Koln), but when you take a European cruise in early April, that is to be expected. There is a lot of walking on some of the tours and the guides were wonderful. Trust the ship's classification of tours as strenuous or easy, they are very accurate! I suppose my only complaint would be that a couple of the tours seemed a little rushed and it would have been nice to have a little extra time to spend at some of the locations. The Black Forest tour was one where it would have been nice to have an extra hour. Yes, we would take another cruise with Viking and we are already looking for our next cruise! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was for our honeymoon and we both love Christmas Hence the Christmas Market Tour on Viking. The ship was fine, the staff and excursions were above average. What was not good were the meals. Dinner was close to atrocious. They served a ... Read More
This was for our honeymoon and we both love Christmas Hence the Christmas Market Tour on Viking. The ship was fine, the staff and excursions were above average. What was not good were the meals. Dinner was close to atrocious. They served a lot of foods that most people were opting out of and even their alternates were not good. I ate the chees plate several times just to have some type of food. The worst, was the dessert. You are in Germany, supposed to have a pastry chef who was introduced and you might as well had been eating nothing because it did not have taste. Because we were there over the holiday itself there were not as many options on land to eat. The few we got we took advantage of and the last night meals were little something or another that were smaller than your finger even if there were seven courses. Also no food was available after we had a shore excursion and they charged for everything if it was not mealtime including ice tea. If you take this cruise try to eat before boarding the ship and bring food with you because they won't have any. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
We cruised the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam this past December on the Viking Kara. The weather was cold and rainy as expected but we enjoyed the Christmas markets and the various tours. The tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable. We ... Read More
We cruised the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam this past December on the Viking Kara. The weather was cold and rainy as expected but we enjoyed the Christmas markets and the various tours. The tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable. We traveled by comfortable buses. The wireless headsets allowed us the freedom to listen to the guide as we wandered at times within a reasonable distance from the group. Sailing was enjoyable despite the cold weather with clean, comfortable, efficient accommodations. The relatively small size of our ship made it easy to get to know fellow travelers. Meals and service were good and the complementary wine and beer was nice while dining. Our cruise director Rene was a delight. He could be a late night talk show host! We enjoyed a few nights of entertainment and several local cultural talks. The entire staff was pleasant and provided exceptional service. It would have been nice to have a fitness room but the trade-off was the more intimate nature of a small ship. We also did a great deal of walking everyday on the various tours and excursions. All in all we enjoyed our first cruise and we're busy looking over our many catalogs describing upcoming river and ocean adventures! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The boat, food and crew were excellent. The overall experience was very positive but thought some things needed to be said. First off, as in other reviews, leaving from Le Pecq and not Paris was a huge disappointment. The area in Le ... Read More
The boat, food and crew were excellent. The overall experience was very positive but thought some things needed to be said. First off, as in other reviews, leaving from Le Pecq and not Paris was a huge disappointment. The area in Le Pecq was really awful and our veranda room looked at a area under the dock for much of the time. We couldn't even use it because an RV was parked outside with people living in it. (Viking needs to have that removed). Actually for the 8 days we only stepped on the balcony a couple of times since the views were of docks, other boats, or it was night time with nothing to see. For this itinerary, the extra $1000 for the room over a French Balcony was wasted. The bus ride to Paris was almost an hour with traffic. Made the bus time too long versus site seeing time. Shore excursions were good, just be prepared with good shoes and to ride buses and walk a lot. The local guides were awesome. The Van Gogh excursion was great but thought it was weird that the boat traveled the river to meet us at our next destination so we missed that whole area of the Seine. Normandy excursion to Omaha beach was the highlight, but it was a long bus ride leaving at 8am and getting back at 645pm. We took the bus to Normandy from Rouen which made no sense since we had so much of the Seine to see north of the city. Didn't really understand why the boat seemed docked more than cruising and actually only went Le Pecq to Rouen and back to Le Pecq. Only had two times where scenic cruising was and it was of the same area going North and South. Guillermo the Director was good at explaining the plans and the chef, Bogdan and Hristo were also great in the dining area. Bottom line is if you want relaxing river time this itinerary is not for you. We will book again with Viking for the Rhine, Main or Danube trips. Met some great people on the trip and have some great memories. The hotel used for the 3 day post cruise was awesome and in a great location. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Right from the moment it started, this cruise was first class all the way. The way the staff, beginning at the airport greeter, all the way through the cruise met and exceeded every expectation we could have had. Every member of ... Read More
Right from the moment it started, this cruise was first class all the way. The way the staff, beginning at the airport greeter, all the way through the cruise met and exceeded every expectation we could have had. Every member of the Viking crew worked hard to make this a great trip. Had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, eat great food, and see a lot of history with great tour guides. Everything was set up to accommodate the travelers comfort. The ship was fantastic! Very clean, very professional, and decorated to make it feel as if you were still home for the holiday season. The staterooms were small. But they were designed with very modern features that truly seemed to expand the space. To be honest, we really didn't spend much time in the stateroom anyway, because there was always something of interest to do. Food was fantastic, and housecleaning made sure your stateroom was always in excellent condition. They were in twice a day, minimum, to make sure everything was in perfect condition. The staff was friendly and worked extremely hard to make sure everyone had a great experience. The program director, David Parker, was excellent, upbeat, and always made sure you had a good understanding of what was available to you daily. If you missed something, it's because you were not listening. We also had need of the services of the on-board concierge, Attila, and he went out of his way to make sure that everything was taken care of with no effort on our part. We told him what we needed, and he arranged it. This was our first trip with Viking, but definitely not our last. Very professional, very accommodating, and well worth the cost. Thank you Viking for a great tirp! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my first river cruise and my wife and I couldn't have picked a better introductory cruise. This was also my wife's first trip to Europe. The itinerary for the Danube Waltz trip contained the right amount of excursions ... Read More
This was my first river cruise and my wife and I couldn't have picked a better introductory cruise. This was also my wife's first trip to Europe. The itinerary for the Danube Waltz trip contained the right amount of excursions to learn about the different countries and cultures, as well as, giving us time to stroll through the numerous Christmas Markets. The weather was also a big factor into the overall awesome experience. The activities both onboard the Viking Skadi and on shore kept us busy every day. Our Program Director, Valentin Gheorghe, put together a great agenda for the guests. His attention to detail and willingness to talk to any guest with a problem or for local advice was truly commendable. His suggestion on where to get Hungarian goulash was first rate. Thank you again, Valentin. The food onboard was outstanding. Executive Chef, Jan Blanar, and his crew created delicious courses for all meals. The Taste of Austria was over-the-top excellent. Maitre d', Daniel, was very professional and his staff did a fantastic job throughout the cruise. Being able to sample local cuisines (meals and wines) and having local entertainment come onboard was truly an amazing experience. Our housekeeping was also excellent. Viking's representatives were very helpful once we landed in Budapest until we departed Munich. No unexpected issues or anxiety to worry about. First class service to ease you into your upcoming cruise and to get you on your way home. Not knowing what to expect, we were extremely happy with our cruise and plan to book more trips in the future. These will include Viking's Ocean Cruises. We have been speaking our praises of Viking to all of our friends who are interested in river cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first cruise of any kind. The staff was exemplary and the service outstanding. The variety and quality of the food was truly unexpected. This was not buffet food, but fine restaurant preparations and presentations. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any kind. The staff was exemplary and the service outstanding. The variety and quality of the food was truly unexpected. This was not buffet food, but fine restaurant preparations and presentations. The included daily tours were informative and fun with more than enough time for individual exploring (something that was essential to me and my wife). The listening devices were marvelous allowing for photography while the group moved on without missing a beat. We only opted for two of the extra cost excursions (one to Sauterne and one specially arranged by the concierge for tastings at more vineyards) and they was well worth the cost. Other guests expressed their pleasure with their extra excursions (Cognac and Oysters). Almost needed another day. Also despite never having cruised my wife and I are experienced world travelers, and a great surprise was the level of travel experience of our fellow passengers. The un-assigned meal seating encouraged a great interchange making the trip even more enjoyable. The whole ship including the decor was new and elegant. The room was efficient and we loved the bathroom. WiFi access was adequate, but occasionally frustrating, but hell we were on vacation. Access to the port cities was incredibly convenient allowing for a lot of local wanderings. Needless to say we are already talking about our next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Christmas market cruise. Absolutely magical! Dining experience was delightful and far beyond what I could have hoped for... from early morning coffee / breakfast to midnight snacks... servers polite, friendly, exceptionally ... Read More
Christmas market cruise. Absolutely magical! Dining experience was delightful and far beyond what I could have hoped for... from early morning coffee / breakfast to midnight snacks... servers polite, friendly, exceptionally accommodating. Dinners were quite memorable. Gourmet quality! Chateau Briand my favorite. land excursions were well planned and informative. Headsets a bit uncomfortable, but they weren't always needed. I never felt that the field trips were too long or not long enough. Just right! Could walk and explore or sit in a lovely coffee house. I did both. I especially liked Budapest, Vienna and Salzburg. Not enough time to see everything, so will have to return. If I could have stayed aboard the ship and retraced the journey back to Budapest I would have! Post cruise extension in Munich was wonderful as well. Again, the Christmas markets were unbelievable. 3 or 4 different ones in Munich alone. I couldn't get enough of them and each city had its own delightful character. Passau, Germany, one of the smaller markets, was one of the most enjoyable. Have not sailed any other lines, but Viking would be very hard to beat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
First of all, we ended up on the Jarl instead of the Alta, due to low river water. My husband and I had never been on a cruise before, so we did not know what to expect. We were pleased with the accommodations and were comfortable. We ... Read More
First of all, we ended up on the Jarl instead of the Alta, due to low river water. My husband and I had never been on a cruise before, so we did not know what to expect. We were pleased with the accommodations and were comfortable. We were on the lowest deck, so very little view from the clearstory window, but that meant more privacy from passing ships too! The staff was very friendly and willing to accommodate our needs. The food was outstanding! We liked how the menu was designed to allow us to sample the ethic food of the area we happened to be in, plus chose other dishes if we chose too. We were able to get to know one waiter, Jasenko, in particular for our party of eight, and he learned to know what we liked. We enjoyed seeing him each day. My husband and I went on the scheduled tours that came with our package, plus paid extra to go on additional tours in the afternoon. We were glad we did, for the history of each city was interesting, the old buildings and churches were interesting to look at, and we developed an appreciation for the long history of Europe. We took hundreds of pictures! We were very impressed with how well organized the activities were. Kudos to the Activity Director, Mario. He even prepared us the day before for sights we would see, and things we might like to do when we had free time. We even were able to see and hear samples of the ethnic music in the lounge while visiting various cities! Even our departure was well organized! We appreciated how the staff made sure we saw our luggage and put it on the bus we were departing on. The organization we saw on this trip was truly amazing. We enjoyed the trip so much, that we have booked a river cruise trip on the Rhine for November 2016 with our same group of eight! :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We had the crew of the Alsvin but we were on the Viking Modi. We were notified of the change in ships because of low water levels but ended up being able to sail on Viking Modi for our entire trip on Thanksgiving week. We really had an ... Read More
We had the crew of the Alsvin but we were on the Viking Modi. We were notified of the change in ships because of low water levels but ended up being able to sail on Viking Modi for our entire trip on Thanksgiving week. We really had an excellent time. The included tours were great and so was the one additional tour we took. This is definitely the way to travel - you can do as much or as little as you want. You can go on group tours or strike out on your own anytime you want. Staff were truly exceptional - very friendly, accommodating, spirited, fun, and most assuredly competent and super organized. The Hotel Manager, Program Director, and Concierge were truly exceptional. The Hotel Manager was wonderful, even going out of his way to accommodate a special request from a passenger. The Program Director and Concierge quickly adjusted the tours when they saw that there were some elderly people with walking issues and by the second day started offering "Leisurely Tours" for those groups as well as the regular tours and even some more active tours for the adventurous groups. They really did provide something for everyone. The chef and his staff were truly outstanding and prepared the most amazing food - every single meal was delicious. The Taste of Austria was beyond compare. The head of the dining room and his staff were very friendly and charming. The stateroom staff were very efficient, unobtrusive, and friendly. We never saw one frown on any of the 50 crew's faces. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
My boyfriend and I learned more about Viking River Cruises from PBS (while watching Masterpiece, of course!) and were immediately interested in the the fact that we could go to Europe and unpack once and still see multiple cities. Being ... Read More
My boyfriend and I learned more about Viking River Cruises from PBS (while watching Masterpiece, of course!) and were immediately interested in the the fact that we could go to Europe and unpack once and still see multiple cities. Being that we are only in our early to mid-30s we were hesitant to book the cruise, thinking that it would be a bunch of old ladies in shalls and men in top-hats on the cruise. We booked the Danube Waltz European Holiday cruise and were excited at the prospect of seeing Europe for the holidays. We decided to sail over the Thanksgiving holiday and started our journey by extending it pre-trip in Budapest, Hungary. Upon landing in Budapest, we were greeted by the friendly faces of Viking's staff at the airport which helped us with our luggage and waited with us until our car came to whisk us away to our hotel. For the extra two days, we stayed at the magnificent Gresham Palace, Four Season Budapest. The hotel and its staff were amazing, so hospitable and accommodating. Our large and well-appointed room was on the fifth floor (the top floor of the hotel) and our private balcony overlooked the beautiful Chain Bridge, which connects Buda and Pest. The Viking guide, which was already waiting for us in the lobby of the Four Season, kindly waited for us while we checked in and made our way down from our room. She thoroughly went over the layout of Budapest as a city with a map, letting us know how public transportation worked, where popular sights to see were at, etc. At our request, she gave us a mini-tour of the surrounding neighborhood of our hotel and after dropping us back at our hotel, left us to explore the city by ourselves for the next two day. (Although she offered to meet with us each day and show us around her lovely city, as two men in their 30s, we opted to explore on our own.) What an amazing city Budapest is! It is very tourist friendly city (the American dollar is strong and the population is English-speaking) and very walkable. The day we were set to join our fellow shipmates aboard our Viking vessel, the same Viking guide which greeted us at our hotel on the first day, arrived with a van and driver to pick us up and drive us the 200 feet to the ship. We thought this was hilarious, since we could have walked it, but Viking doesn't let you down (all transfers are included...haha!). Upon our arrival on ship, we were warmly greeted by Viking's staff and being that we were younger than their traditional clientele, surprised them. Over the next 8 days we visited the lovely cities in our Danube Waltz itinerary. At each stop, the local Viking tour guides made each visit very special. Each city visit started with a 60-90 minute walking tour, led by very knowledgeable guides. Then we were allowed to explore and enjoy the wonderful cities on our own. I would suggest that prospective Viking travelers look into the additional shore activities, most of which are well-worth the money. The staff aboard the ship was attentive and always had smiles on their faces. The spacious cabins were cleaned daily and the turndown every night was a nice touch. Additionally, there was TONS of storage in each room. There were plenty of places to store your busy suitcases (at least in room 319 there was). While the food is very good and the Viking kitchen staff does a good job to change up the dining menus, I would suggest you attempt to eat as much as you can locally when on shore. This is all part of the experience and you are missing out if you decide not to. Once we finally reached our last port in Passau, Germany, it was hard to say goodbye to Europe and the Viking ship. You really do forget about days and current time when aboard the ship. On our departure date, we were driven 2 hours from Passau to Munich to board our flight back to the states. Our last interaction before we left Europe was a Viking guide who helped us with our luggage at the Munich airport and led us to the counter to check in. This was the best vacation I have ever taken. While this is not an inexpensive trip (this is not a trip for high school kids or spring breakers looking to get hammered), the value is in the ease, comfort and care of the Viking ships and the wonderful staff. We had an amazing trip and look forward to doing another one in the near future. Oh, and we didn't see any men in top hat on the cruise... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats ... Read More
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats (Atla & Jarl) were enjoyable; both cabin rooms were comfortable; both staff were friendly and helpful; food was a bit on the salty side on Atla though; tour guides were excellent and provided detailed history of many of the cities; loved the headsets which allowed you to hear the guide even if you wanted to 'wander' a bit; relaxed and casual dining atmosphere. Onboard 'entertainment' did not interest us too much, but we were comfortable with retiring to our cabin to watch TV. It was a 'pain' to keep packing and unpacking between the hotels and two boats, but Viking personnel kept everything running very smoothly. This was our first river cruise and we would like to try in again, perhaps during another time of the year when the water levels are more consistent and when we can access the upper decks more. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Everything on the cruise was higher than what was expected. All the wines served were well above average. The only negative comment I have to say is I tried to contact Viking to find out if they could help me acquire some of the wines in ... Read More
Everything on the cruise was higher than what was expected. All the wines served were well above average. The only negative comment I have to say is I tried to contact Viking to find out if they could help me acquire some of the wines in the US and never heard back from them on this issue. The dining experience was super in quality and verity. Accommodations of our cabin was fine and service from the housekeeping staff and the service at all the dining experiences was super. The tours we chose to take were interesting and well run and informing. The only disappointment was I was hoping to see more of the Chateaus closer. The flight from the US by Delta and Air France was great. All the baggage handling was superior to other experiences I have had in the past. But I must say the flight from Amsterdam to NY on KLM was a complete bust. Seating on the plane was miserable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My Mother and I have just completed a river cruise on the Viking Skirnir and Lofn from Amsterdam to Budapest. At 85 years of age, this was the pinnacle of her 'bucket list' and an epic journey from Australia to Europe. I have ... Read More
My Mother and I have just completed a river cruise on the Viking Skirnir and Lofn from Amsterdam to Budapest. At 85 years of age, this was the pinnacle of her 'bucket list' and an epic journey from Australia to Europe. I have been on many ocean cruises before but never a river cruise. I found river cruising very different to what I have experienced on ocean cruises. Firstly embarkation - forget lining up with the hoards - we arrived at the cruise terminal in Amsterdam about 3pm and were taken to the ship. No lines - straight onboard and greeted warmly by the reception staff. We were taken to our cabin and given an overview and our luggage was delivered promptly. We booked a full balcony cabin and my first impression was that it was extremely small - much smaller than any ocean liner cabin I have ever been in. However, it was well equipped and had plenty of storage space for the both of us. The heated bathroom floor was a nice touch in the chilly weather. After unpacking, we acquainted ourselves with our home for the next 14 nights. Both the Skirnir and the Lofn are beautiful new ships and very well appointed. Due to low water levels in the Rhine and Danube, we faced the possibility of 3 ship changes during our journey. However, luck was on our side and we only had one change after 3 days from the Skirnir to the Lofn. This was handled beautifully by the staff and when we arrived to board the Lofn, our luggage was in the same room as previously and we just had to unpack once more. The ship was identical in every way except for the name on the side. My Mother has very limited mobility and uses a walker. In hindsight, although this cruise was her dream, it was really not for her. River cruises are far from a relaxing journey. You are in a different port every day and most of the tours are walking tours. With the low river levels, the gangway was very steep and just getting her to the top was a major effort. All of these old cities have cobblestone streets which are not conducive to walker or wheelchair use. Consequently, she had to stay onboard many days and missed a lot of the tours. Our cruise director was amazing. He arranged for us to use the onboard wheelchair so that I could take her onshore to have a look around at some of the ports. This was not without resistance from the hotel manager who insisted that the wheelchair was to stay onboard for emergency use. I am fairly fit but it was not an easy task negotiating ancient cobblestone streets with the wheelchair. The food onboard was amazing - much better than on any ocean liner I have been on. The variety was fantastic and we did not have any dish repeated in the 14 days. The staff were wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. They took wonderful care of Mum. There was an elevator onboard that took us from deck 2 (where our cabin was) up to deck 3 where the lounge was situated. There was no elevator to the top deck but it was really too cold to go up there anyway. As I said previously, most of the tours are walking tours. They do have a 'leisurely tour' each day for those who are not as able as others. However, these tours still involve a lot of walking and I heard complaints from many people who struggled with them. We finally decided that Mum was not going to see much at all, so arranged for the Concierge to have a taxi waiting for us in each port to show us around. This worked out very well and we had excellent drivers who spoke English and were very knowledgeable. These cost us around 30 euros per hour each time. As a tour is included each day at no extra cost, this was an added charge for us but the only way that Mum was going to experience any of the towns at all. Wine, beer, etc is included with every meal including champagne with breakfast for those who wish to partake. I did not always like the wine so tipped the waiter 5 euros and was able to have anything I wanted. Drinks outside of meal times are reasonably priced and I found them substantially cheaper than our previous Celebrity ocean cruises. Entertainment is lacking with just a piano player in the evenings. One day we had a glass blower on board and he was very entertaining. We also had opera singers one night (totally not my cup of tea) and some German dancers (ditto). Again disembarkation is totally different to the big ocean liners. Our flight out of Budapest did not leave until 3pm, so we were able to stay onboard until noon (after vacating our room at 9am) and use all of the facilities. We had breakfast and also a light lunch before our taxi driver came to collect us. So to summarise - these cruises are not everyone and particularly not for anyone with mobility issues of any kind. You are on the go every day and it is quite tiring. Don't expect to be entertained onboard. Most of the cruising is done at night but if you cruise during the day, just expect to sit and watch the world go by. This is just my personal opinion but river cruising (at the moment) is not for me. I will continue to do ocean cruises for many years to come. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Shall I start with the positive or the negative of my experience? Three Boats, never saw the one I was supposed to be on. Three weeks before departure I started tracking the Viking Mimir the boat I was supposed to be on, and noticed ... Read More
Shall I start with the positive or the negative of my experience? Three Boats, never saw the one I was supposed to be on. Three weeks before departure I started tracking the Viking Mimir the boat I was supposed to be on, and noticed that it was not moving in the direction it needed to be to board. I started asking my Travel Agent to get into contact with Viking to find out if there were going to be changes to our trip and if there were going to be issues with Water Levels or anything else. After saving money for THREE YEARS to go on a once in a lifetime trip and as I am an anxious traveler and I have high levels of anxiety. I kept getting the typical PR Responses that all would be fine. Needless to say we got on our Plane to Amsterdam on November the 10th. NOVEMBER 11 2015 at 12:22 in the Afternoon Mountain Standard Time WE GET AN EMAIL ASKING US IF WE WANTED TO CANCEL OUR TRIP AFTER ALREADY ARRIVING IN AMSTERDAM! Too Late now we are already in another country where we have no way to call and talk to anyone. We had already been gone for over 18 hours. Way to go Viking you really excelled at communication there. This is why I called every day and bugged my Travel Agent every day for a week before we left. Day 2 in Extended stay in Amsterdam, we joined the walking tour it was nice and informative. I talked with the Viking Representatives at the Hotel and found out that people who had arrived were canceling and returning home just as angry as I was. I heard others talking about how they got on-board ship credit for use on this cruise for the inconvenience. I promptly sent an email to my Travel Agent and Demanded that she call Viking and get the same for me I felt I was owed that much at least for lack of communication from Viking before I left the country. I eventually did get this on-board ship credit and it did soften the blow. Others got the Silver Drink Package for no Charge, Others got $200 each traveler on-board ship credit, some got 25% off vouchers. I got late communication and 15% off. NOT including my airfare. Yeah I was mad, livid is more like it. Day 3. I had booked an outside tour of the Jewish Museums, and Anne Frank house. Before I booked this alternate tour I called Viking directly and asked when I needed to be on board the ship. I was told as long as we made it back to the ship before 11:30 Departure we would be ok to tour Amsterdam. (NOT TRUE) The Viking Representatives at the Hotel told me I had to be on board for a 6:45 Daily Briefing and that it was Mandatory. Well my tour was not over till 8:00 that night. So I missed this Mandatory Briefing. Again another communication breakdown from the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. We boarded the Viking Eistla on Friday the 13th. All was well. I got to know the staff. There are several Staff members that I would like to pay tribute too. Vana our room Matron on the Eistla and Baldur. Vana went the extra mile to make our stay special. She had a wonderful energy and was always so nice to see. She gives great hugs and she made the trip positive for me. With the special little room gestures from one ship to another. She remembered the Extra Blanket that was needed and had it ready on the next boat so I did not have to ask for it again. I hope that I get to see her again on a future cruise. The Maitre'd Aryan (I think I am spelling his name right) has made every day on the ship memorable, Kurt and Lucas at the Front Desk, Vanya and Mary and Marlon in the Dining Room, Kristyan at the Bar, Ohna at the Bar were all excellent in their jobs and I enjoyed interacting with all of them. Monday the 16th we were switching ships. I appreciate all the hard work the staff did to help us switch ships. I am thankful that Viking booked a Scenic Cruise from Braubach to Bingen so we would not miss the beauty and splendor of the Rhine. I am grateful that we were able to do this instead of being bused. So I give Viking Cruise Director Rob a big thumbs up for coordinating this for us. We arrived the Baldur and everything was seamless and very nice. It was a lot better than I expected. This ship was exactly like the Eistla and so I did not notice any difference. Sunday November 22nd Switching Ships Again. Sadly I had to say Goodbye to Vana our Room Matron who again I must say was the most positive and wonderful staff members I have ever come across. Time to go to the Viking Embla. After a long day out and about we got to our room. As I was unpacking I noticed a constant humming coming from the bathroom. It was non stop and very annoying. This ship is showing signs of wear and tear. While I was unpacking my suitcase I pulled out the beside table to put down a glass of water. Instead in Stateroom 225 the bedside table pulled out and fell off right on my foot. I have a lovely bruise that is fading but it was painful. The closet door in the room would not stay shut and it would open and close on its own at all hours of the night. The temperature in the Shower was not consistent. Anytime someone flushed a toilet the water would turn scalding hot and I actually got a burn on my chest from the water and a blister from the water in the Shower. The Embla did not have the same amenities that we had in the other two ships. (No USB Port and Outlets were fewer) No under light in the bathroom and no lights in the closet that worked. Needless to say it was a disappointment from the other two ships. And that constant humming noise and closet doors opening on their own, this room was a little bit annoying to say the least. (FIX THOSE THINGS FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS) Now that we are home and going over the memories we are very pleased with the experience for the most part. However finding that others we cruised with got more than 15% off for a future cruise, some are getting 25-30% off. Considering it took us THREE Years to save for this cruise we would like to give Viking another try but we are taken back that we have to use this voucher in less than a year. So I would like something done about that. Considering I did not get 100% of what I paid for I expect some form of compensation that is not a complete and total slap in the face especially since I repeatedly asked for information before I left, and I would have canceled and re-booked for a later date when Water Levels were better. But the experience even though several ports were cut short due to water levels and some of our free time was taken away it was a good trip. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I took our first cruise ever and were very impressed with everything that Viking offered. The rooms were small, but we didn't spend much time there. The planning, execution, food, guides and especially our program ... Read More
My husband and I took our first cruise ever and were very impressed with everything that Viking offered. The rooms were small, but we didn't spend much time there. The planning, execution, food, guides and especially our program director Nick, were outstanding. We had to switch ships midway because of the low water level, and Viking made it very easy. We packed up and they did all the work. We did miss the crew from the Kasvir as we started with them. We learned a lot from the tours and guides and wished we could have stayed longer. The selection of food at every meal was impressive, healthy choices were always available. our program director Nick was a master at keeping us on time and schedule, but he was also a real entertainer and kept us laughing all the way. After dinner entertainment was always available with a talented pianist and a dance floor open every night. We met a group of people that became friends and we continue to communicate with. The whole trip was magical. We extended our stay in Amsterdam, and all the arrangements were great. We will definitely take another Viking cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We had a marvelous time. The ship, our cabin, the staff, the meals and alcohol...all of these exceeded our expectations. The town stops and the tours were all excellent. The service was extraordinary; we have never experienced such good ... Read More
We had a marvelous time. The ship, our cabin, the staff, the meals and alcohol...all of these exceeded our expectations. The town stops and the tours were all excellent. The service was extraordinary; we have never experienced such good service anywhere or anyplace. The only confusion and downside was that we ended up sailing from Le Pecq which is a port on the far western edge of Paris. I understand now that Viking River cruises are dependent upon the French government for the port placement and the scheduling of the port that they sail in and out of. Apparently this gets shifted around a lot and the company has no control over this aspect of the river cruise business. I imagine that this must be highly irritating for Viking River cruises to contend with in scheduling and in dealing with customers. Our fantasy had been to sail from Port Alma in central Paris which would have been a grand exit and entry point. As we arrived a week early to explore Paris, this port change meant we had to take a taxi from the 7th arrondisement to Le Pecq which was quite a trek. (Viking River Cruise gave us a substantial shipboard voucher for drinks for our trouble which was quite nice). As it turned out, we were there during the attacks of November 13th and Le Pecq was a good place for us to be situated as docking in central Paris would not have been possible nor desirable. On that note, I must say that the shipboard staff handled that whole dreadful situation with calm, ease and aplomb. There was no heightening of anxiety but it was all taken quite seriously even so. They managed, at the last minute, as Paris was in lockdown, to get a tour for everyone to see Chartre cathedral. I found this quite remarkable and it reveals a powerful efficiency. Another note. I was absolutely appalled by and ashamed for many of my fellow American travelers. The staff, bartenders, table staff, room cleaning staff, tour guides and all the people in the kitchen are dependent upon the gratuity that the passengers contribute. The suggestions in the handbook that you will receive is an excellent guide. If you can afford to go on a river cruise and disembark for the daily tours then you can afford to pay the suggested gratuity! Given that it was the absolute best service we have ever received the gratuity was ENTIRELY reasonable and amounted to about E300 plus what we gave seperately to some extraordinary individuals. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Boarded Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saône 11/8/15 for the Portraits of Southern France for 8 day cruise and optional 3 day extension in Nice. We were first time cruisers. Met at airport in Lyon by staff and transferred to Chalon. ... Read More
Boarded Viking Buri in Chalon sur Saône 11/8/15 for the Portraits of Southern France for 8 day cruise and optional 3 day extension in Nice. We were first time cruisers. Met at airport in Lyon by staff and transferred to Chalon. Found the Buri to be very comfortable and the staff to be very professional. The service was a highlight for us. We wanted to arrange a special anniversary meal in Lyon and the Concierge was especially helpful in looking over information we had gathered, doing her own research and making arrangements. It was a fantastic meal. Found the shore excursions to be well organized by local guides and liked the headsets used by the guides were a real plus as we walked. Meals were outstanding on-board and we appreciated the change in cuisine from central France to Provencal as we sailed south. We found the wine list good and also appreciated being able to choose from local wines. The serving staff was outstanding at meals. Activities offered after dinner were not our "cup of tea" but others seemed to enjoy them. Our only complaint was that we did a lot of travel by night, and that cut down on being able to sit on-deck and enjoy the scenery. I would have opted for less time on excursions and more time cruising - perhaps a different itinerary would better provide for this. Disembarkation at Avignon and transfer to Nice was smooth. Le Meridien Hotel in Nice was ideally situated, but the rooms were a little dated and disappointing. Excursions were we'll done. Weather was fantastic during our stay in France - could not have asked for better. Our air travel was arranged by Viking and we enjoyed our flights on Lufthansa. We opted for premium economy for the trans-atlantic legs of the journey and would recommend this upgrade. Our flight from Nice to Frankfurt was on-time but the transfer time to our connecting flight was under an hour and that is a mistake at Frankfurt, especially with Passport Control. We had to literally run to make the connection - travel agents should know better than to schedule things this tight. We very much enjoyed our trip and look to book another river cruise in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our trip started in Lyon and ended in Nice. (We did the extension.) The Staff and Crew of the Buri paid attention to virtually every detail with warmth and friendliness. The accommodations were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and ... Read More
Our trip started in Lyon and ended in Nice. (We did the extension.) The Staff and Crew of the Buri paid attention to virtually every detail with warmth and friendliness. The accommodations were lovely. The bed was very comfortable and details such as 110-120v outlets in key places in the state room were so helpful. The food was outstanding as was the service in both the dining room and the lounge. The daily excursions were so well organized with top notch guides and "quiet boxes" so you didn't miss anything. We were delighted with visits to several wineries, beautiful towns, the many opportunities to meet local residents, visit historic sites, and just take in the Burgundy and Provençal regions. The extension to Nice was enjoyable. Accommodations were satisfactory (although we were spoiled by the level of luxury on the Buri). Nice is beautiful, but we truly enjoyed the day trips to the surrounding medieval towns. We love visiting France anyway, but the river cruise was uniquely special. I cannot overstate what a wonderful time we had. I strongly recommend Viking and this specific trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The most enjoyable aspect of the trip were the shore excursions. They were all done with very knowledgeable persons who provided a great deal of interesting information about the areas, people and aspects of the particular locale. Travel ... Read More
The most enjoyable aspect of the trip were the shore excursions. They were all done with very knowledgeable persons who provided a great deal of interesting information about the areas, people and aspects of the particular locale. Travel to each of the locations visited was comfortable and provided an excellent overview of areas throughout which we passed. The coordination of times and the organization of the travel was always professional. Dining was always a treat. The food was diverse, excellently prepared and more than satisfying. We enjoyed the extra days in the debarkation port, but it would have been better if we had one additional day as we had about one half day at the debarkation port with a guided tour leaving the remainder of the day open and the following day open, but having to leave early the next morning to fly home. Would have enjoyed one additional day as part of the trip allowing two and one half days to free tour. Trip was outstanding; personnel courteous, helpful; food tremendous; adapted well to situations beyond control, i.e. low river conditions and change of vessels. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We spent much of our "cruise" riding around in buses. If I had wanted to take a bus tour it would have been less expensive. We spent a day and a half traveling by bus consequently we had much less time to,spend at our ... Read More
We spent much of our "cruise" riding around in buses. If I had wanted to take a bus tour it would have been less expensive. We spent a day and a half traveling by bus consequently we had much less time to,spend at our destinations. We were lied to by Viking. We had heard there were problems with the water level in the Danube prior to,our departure. We subsequently called Viking and were told everything was fine for the cruise. We traveled the same route by bus 3 times. The only concession they made for our inconvenience was one night of free drinks on the ship. We paid extra for a room with a view, What a huge waste of money. When we were docked it was usually in between 2 other Viking ships so our view was into another room on a different ship. When traveling by bus we were with 5 other buses so each time we stopped for a break there were all the other passengers as well as buses from other cruises. It was a nightmare, lines for the rest rooms and for snacks. Don't be fooled by their advertising that this is a luxury cruise. It is definitely NOT. If you are considering taking a cruise do your research. There are many other options besides Viking. Read Less
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