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Cruise Ratings
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our first river cruise and understood Viking was a top provider. BUT, we were very disappointed. The crew/staff were excellent, but after that things fell down. Getting a balcony is a waste of money as many times we were moored ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and understood Viking was a top provider. BUT, we were very disappointed. The crew/staff were excellent, but after that things fell down. Getting a balcony is a waste of money as many times we were moored next to another Viking ship's balcony which was just 2 feet away. No view or privacy! Breakfast was fine but other meals were poor. It became the joke many times to see what was served compared to what was ordered. Many times when we docked at a town we then had to be bussed. We were not able to simply get off the ship and walk around. A couple times we docked in industrial areas. On included tours guides were friendly and knowledgeable, but we were always rushed. Numerous times we had to move along as there was a group behind us. No time for questions (later) and photos. A typical tour was bussing, see a cathedral/palace/castle listen to some history/stories & then some free time. When you combine the amount of ships of Viking & it's competitors, tours become a herd! For the price do not recommend Viking. Will not use again. Viking may have been a class outfit, but possibly have lost control with expansion. Deep research needed for any river cruise. Have taken over a dozen land trips with success, but our ages require a more leisurely experience. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We were disappointed with our late April, 2018, Danube cruise and would not recommend Viking to others. First "problem": we paid more for a Veranda room with an outside deck and found that Viking has SO MANY boats traveling the ... Read More
We were disappointed with our late April, 2018, Danube cruise and would not recommend Viking to others. First "problem": we paid more for a Veranda room with an outside deck and found that Viking has SO MANY boats traveling the Danube, at the same time, that it STACKS its boats when it docks, side by side, leaving us with "a view" of ANOTHER Viking boat's outside deck one foot away from OUR outside deck, at EVERY docking. Secondly, our boat "cruised" in daylight hours, where one can see the sights, only ONE DAY, along the Wachau Valley. It was "in port", docked, during other daylight times. Thirdly, all of Viking's "docking locations" are a LONG walk, along a narrow passageway, to GET TO a street and access where one can catch a cab or other transportation in order to "independently see/tour a town" on one's own time, for which Viking provide sufficient time. Finally, our "Tour Director", and a few other staff members, noticeably and continuously outwardly displayed a "very overpowering/aggressive/obtrusive so-called friendliness" in their attitudes, talks, and personalities. Informally, I think of that as their "coming on" WAY too strong, to the point of making the trip "uncomfortable". Also, Viking's excursion leaders were, generally, not very good. These negatives far outweighed the ship's cleanliness and good food/meals provided, and made it a trip I wish I had NOT paid for, and made. I would NOT make the mistake of making a Viking river boat trip in the future. We have travelled with two OTHER river boat companies in other areas of the world, and BOTH those trips were MUCH more enjoyable. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
After several longer river cruises (i.e., Budapest to Amsterdam) we thought that we might like what would be a much shorter trip (Douro river is only what, 125 miles long?) and kind of quirky itinerary; small towns and wineries with time ... Read More
After several longer river cruises (i.e., Budapest to Amsterdam) we thought that we might like what would be a much shorter trip (Douro river is only what, 125 miles long?) and kind of quirky itinerary; small towns and wineries with time to walk and explore. Wow did we like it! Beautiful countryside in Fall colors, visits to often tiny towns, and so on. Castelo Rodrigo, for example, is a hilltop hamlet with about 48 residents. We had time on our own in some very small towns to just wander. Very restful, actually Quite different from say, Vienna! I don't recommend this for one's "first cruise". Take a longer one, or several, with Viking and then try The Douro. Doing that really helped us notice the differences and fully appreciate the laid back leisurely nature of this trip. It is very well thought out and complete. I think you'll find it wonderful. As always with Viking there are little extras; to be met back at the ship with a Port wine toast, local foods acquired almost every day, and some unique entertainments. Portuguese Fado music. for instance. I HIGHLY recommend the post-river add-on trip to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The shrine of Saint James is not only the ending point of "The Way" pilgrimages, but also a UNESCO Heritage center. We loved the city and its foods. Tapas three times a day! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We did the pre-cruise Lisbon two days and that added to the two days that Viking puts you in a hotel for two days in Lisbon gave us 4 days. Our mistake was not taking one of those days to go to Fatima. We paid to have tours from Lisbon ... Read More
We did the pre-cruise Lisbon two days and that added to the two days that Viking puts you in a hotel for two days in Lisbon gave us 4 days. Our mistake was not taking one of those days to go to Fatima. We paid to have tours from Lisbon to Porto (bus) and Fatima was one of the stops - what we didn't realize was that we would have approximately 45 minutes total in Fatima - not near enough. So my suggestion is to skip paying Viking for the extra stops on a bus ride you are going to be making anyway, take the free Viking transfer, and spend a day in Fatima on your own or pay for a private tour. Meals is Lisbon will cost you at least 40 euros per couple - not fancy places. Once on the boat in Porto we sat and rode buses for two days. Finally moving on the boat but each day is buses. Very little "cruising". Meals were so-so. Cabin seemed smaller than on our other Viking trips (this was our 5th trip). Could not see out the "porthole" because on this ship they have it covered with frosted plexiglass. Entertainment - how do you have a trip to Portugal and Spain and not have Fado? You do have a lecture on cork and a chance to buy cork products and a lecture on olive oil and a chance to buy olive oil but no Fado. Like I said this was our 5th so we are big fans of Viking - this trip was our most expensive but I rate it as 4th best. English is absolutely no problem in Portugal and since the cruising part of the trip is minimal one may be better off doing a land trip on their own. We also did the the two day post in Santiago and enjoyed the Cathedral and other sights; but once again English is no problem so one may consider doing it on your own. Meals in Santiago will run you at least 40 euros per couple. Airline - direct flight to Lisbon from Miami on TAP - seat arm rest was broken - very minimal English entertainment - food was horrible. Return flight - up at 5:30 to put luggage out and then to Vigo to catch flight to Madrid with only one hour to make next flight - we made it but they were getting ready to shut the door to the aircraft - this could have been avoided as there was a flight from Vigo to Madrid one hour earlier and as we had to sit in the Vigo airport for two hours waiting for our flight we could have been booked on the earlier flight. We had to literally run to make our flight connection in Madrid - no fun. Walking - get heavy duty comfortable shoes that are anti-slip (sidewalks can be a bit slippery when wet). So in summary - a good trip and glad we did it. We are booked on one of their ocean ships in March and looking forward to that. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Paris is always a draw but we were particularly focused on seeing Normandy. This cruise did all of this and more. The time spent in Paris was fun and well spent. We were quickly caught up on France's great history. The Louvre and ... Read More
Paris is always a draw but we were particularly focused on seeing Normandy. This cruise did all of this and more. The time spent in Paris was fun and well spent. We were quickly caught up on France's great history. The Louvre and Notre Dame were great. Traveling on the river to Normandy presented great excursions. Visiting the farm in Rouen was a particular highlight and Monet's gardens and home were a real treat. Normandy was a very special experience, especially the visit to Omaha Beach. Looking at the geography of the beach, one has to wonder how our great soldiers were able to overcome the odds by making it up that wide expanse of a beach and then up the hills beyond. This has to be seen to understand how difficult a time they must of had. The ceremony at the Memorial and the walk through the cemetery fulfilled our purpose for taking this cruise. As always, the food was wonderfully prepared and served. Our servers quickly became our friends and their entertaining capability made each meal more than just a food experience. The ease of coming and going throughout the whole trip is much appreciated. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Hild and capt johann were awesome. would repeat again. cruise program director emma was awesome. staff was great. food was great. Viking did a magnificent job on the river cruise. 5 stars or more. My "rub" was with the ... Read More
Hild and capt johann were awesome. would repeat again. cruise program director emma was awesome. staff was great. food was great. Viking did a magnificent job on the river cruise. 5 stars or more. My "rub" was with the hotels before and after the cruise. in zurich, the renaissance was located away from the city center and we were forced to wait in the lobby for three hours after we arrived before we could enter our room. so, a 12 hour flight experience to get to zurich and a 3 hour wait in a hotel lobby. come on viking!!! Our hotel in paris, the pullman, was past its prime. yes it is next to the eiffel tower, but the room was more 2 star than anything else. Note to viking; the passengers filled out the cruise survey without any feedback on the last two days in parish after disembarking. there is a gap there and if viking really wants feedback then figure out this gap. We are big viking fans and have already booked our next cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We had never tried river cruising before, and it seemed to have some possibilities, so we gave it a shot. At first, with such a small boat (relative to our Previous 38 ocean cruises) it seemed small. But that was exactly the point for ... Read More
We had never tried river cruising before, and it seemed to have some possibilities, so we gave it a shot. At first, with such a small boat (relative to our Previous 38 ocean cruises) it seemed small. But that was exactly the point for Viking. You get to MEET and dine and take excursions with the same people and get to know them, and vice versa. We have forged some friendships with people from all over. As a result of the "coziness" these ships offer we will be going salmon fishing in Alaska this summer with fellow ship mates. But back to the cruise: the meals were a notch up from other cruises we have taken. Everything was done to perfection. The daily excursions are (mostly) included. And we had evening entertainment that was up close and personal. It's not everyday that you get to witness a virtuoso violinist from one of Europes most prestigious Philhormonic orchestras play a 350 year old fiddle. She didn't need any backups. And on another night we were treated to an Oom Pas Pas German group. Overall, the Viking Mani, her wonderful crew from Captain Helmut to George our cruise director, the meals, excursions and unequalled show of cruise customers' interests were why we have already signed up for another Viking River Cruise. I give Viking a double thumbs up, a standing ovation, and a hearty BRAVO.! Job well done Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Very pleased with overall performance . The included shore excursions were well planned & executed . The most outstanding comment each day was HOW HARD & DILIGENT the program director was. I saw him from morning to evening at ... Read More
Very pleased with overall performance . The included shore excursions were well planned & executed . The most outstanding comment each day was HOW HARD & DILIGENT the program director was. I saw him from morning to evening at every event - observing, directing & controlling the entire program. His onboard & general knowledge of the entire trip was a amazing. ( without any notes). I only know of him as JOE. He is certainly an asset to this company. I would like to know of any other Viking cruises he is on , as i would definitely consider booking it. Everyone i talked with were completely satisfied with all aspects of the cruise. I will definitely consider another Viking cruise. River cruising has a distinct advantage over ocean cruising in the ability to view more of the country side as you are underway and very important -- the lack of "sea sick "movement of the ship. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
In general, cruises have never appealed to us. However, the idea of being on a river and getting off each day to explore and the specific itinerary convinced us to give it a try. We were not disappointed. In fact, we had a trip beyond our ... Read More
In general, cruises have never appealed to us. However, the idea of being on a river and getting off each day to explore and the specific itinerary convinced us to give it a try. We were not disappointed. In fact, we had a trip beyond our expectations. The local guides were superb! We enjoyed their in-depth knowledge as well as the personal anecdotes they shared. The ship's crew was an unanticipated surprise. Although we expected them to be polite and helpful, this crew was totally engaged with the passengers and really provided an extra level of service and comfort. Being somewhat of a neatnik and a planner, I was delighted by the level of organization and all the little things that were planned for and thought of by the crew and Viking. Last but not least at all, France and all the excursions were fantastic! We went non-stop and enjoyed a mix of included excursions, purchased excursions and exploring on our own. The food was excellent and provided a lot of choice for all palates. I'm already thinking about where my Viking River Cruise will take me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The timing was ideal. Central Europe was beautiful. The weather was ideal, as the vineyard leaves were showing fall colors. The cruise schedule was the right combination of scenic cruising and off-vessel tours. Our tour Director always ... Read More
The timing was ideal. Central Europe was beautiful. The weather was ideal, as the vineyard leaves were showing fall colors. The cruise schedule was the right combination of scenic cruising and off-vessel tours. Our tour Director always had the answers and kept us informed in a fun way. Entertainment during the evenings on board was delightful, exciting and educational. Dining always included a choice of locally inspired dishes and desserts. Room service was superb. Ports and shore excursions were just the right combination of activity, education and fun. We participated in all included tours and several optional tours. The staff always greeted us and often recognized us by name. We are two seniors on a honeymoon. We enjoyed dining with many different groups. We would go again. Travel arrangements were very well managed. We were met at the Amsterdam Airport by Viking Guides giving us immediate confidence that it was going to be a great trip. We are planning another river cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I love cruises but we wanted something a little different than the usual island hopping. Friends of ours had recommended Viking and we decided the time had come for us to give it a try. We arrived on the Budapest after ... Read More
My husband and I love cruises but we wanted something a little different than the usual island hopping. Friends of ours had recommended Viking and we decided the time had come for us to give it a try. We arrived on the Budapest after over twelve hours of traveling. We were tired from our trip and ready to collapse. The Viking staff picked us up at the airport and got us to the Gullveig with a minimum of fuss. Once aboard, we were told to expect our room to be ready by 1pm. Jaded travelers that we are we thought we'd actually be allowed in at 3 but the staff was as good as their word, at 1pm we were in the door able to finally relax. That was the first of many promises kept over the course of the week. When the Maitre'D Panayot found out I was a diabetic, he gave me a card with the number "5" on it. For the rest of the cruise, every time I sat down to eat, I'd just put the card on the table and Panayot would come and personally make sure my dietary needs were met. He kept entrees from being seasoned with sauces that might not be good for me and made sure desserts like fresh fruit with whipped cream were there for me every day. Other aspects of the service were equally excellent. Each day, the Captain was there to personally greet the guests as they returned aboard ship. When we wanted to see parts of Prague that were not covered on the normal tour. The tour director was able to make special arrangements and find a guide and transportation for us. The food was exquisite and the waiters and waitress were friendly and professional. The small size of the ship made the experience intimate and friendly. By the end of the cruise we knew almost everyone aboard. Then there was sailing up the Danube watching the lovely countryside glide by us as we made our way leisurely up river. We would get off the ship and go on beautifully orchestrated tours that had the memory cards of our cameras filled and the soles of our shoes noticeably thinner. Exhausting at times but well worth every minute! As I've said before, my husband and I are the veteran of many cruises but this was by far the best. We can't wait to do this again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
A river cruise provided the perfect medium for my wife and myself to visit some of the beautiful and iconic cities of this region. The concept of typically traveling from location to location at night and visiting our destinations during ... Read More
A river cruise provided the perfect medium for my wife and myself to visit some of the beautiful and iconic cities of this region. The concept of typically traveling from location to location at night and visiting our destinations during the day provided the most economical means of maximizing our time. We were very pleased with the extreme organization of every aspect of our trip: the flights; the transportation to and from the airports; the excellent accommodations at our book-end city stays; the comfortable and efficient buses during our on shore visits; and the excellent tour guides who were very friendly and exceptionally knowledgeable. The information that they provided at each of our tour locations was thorough, interesting and very informative. It was nice that they shared stories of their life experiences in their home areas during our tours. We were extremely pleased with the quality, quantity, and variety of food that was available. We especially found the availability of the optional "light" lunch very pleasing. We enjoyed the coffee machines and pastries/cookies always available in the lobby. With open seating available at all meals, we were able to dine with so many fellow passengers which provided the opportunity to meet so many new people. All of the waiters & staff were very friendly, helpful, and accommodating in responding to special requests. Our cruise director, Boris, did a terrific job of reviewing the available activities, both on and off of the ship, for each day. The Entertainment available on the ship was enjoyable and often added the perfect finishing touch to the end of the day. This cruise provided everything we had hoped for and set the standard for any of our future cruise tours. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Friends highly recommended this Rhine river cruise. Their take was exactly everything they expressed and more. So much to see & do! The castles & cathedrals were amazing. Each tour was full of interesting facts and beautiful ... Read More
Friends highly recommended this Rhine river cruise. Their take was exactly everything they expressed and more. So much to see & do! The castles & cathedrals were amazing. Each tour was full of interesting facts and beautiful squares with so much history. . Our only disappointment was the Lucerne 2 day extension. The weather was not cooperative for our journey to the Alps. Our tour guide made the remaining part of our tour very enjoyable & full of interesting facts. Our cheese making was full of many laughs. Our group made this experience one of the most memorable. The fondue finale was exactly what was needed to close a rough start to the day! The staff & crew were very gracious & eager to please. Our chef was amazing, especially the tour of the galley. So little space to prepare such amazing dishes. Rooms were very comfortable. Our cabin boy took such good care of us. Replenished our water continuously plus made us feel special. Met so many wonderful people which we have kept in touch with since our voyage. First class operation. For our first European adventure we were overly pleased. Planning another in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I have been on a Viking Cruis previously and enjoyed it immensely. I wanted my husband to be able go on a cruise and he chose Rhine getaway!! It was enjoyed by both of us and we had a great time away as a celebration for our 40th ... Read More
I have been on a Viking Cruis previously and enjoyed it immensely. I wanted my husband to be able go on a cruise and he chose Rhine getaway!! It was enjoyed by both of us and we had a great time away as a celebration for our 40th Anniversary as well as for my husband's retirement fron teaching a year ago! We enjoyed everything about the cruise. It was enjoyable just looking out at the scenery while we were cruising. The Rhine is a working river and it was nice to see all kinds of boats cruising along. One of the highlights of the trip was the Top of Cologne Cathredal tour. It was very interesting and informative about the history of this Grand Cathredral! The view from the top was amazing and the tour finished just as the sun was setting. Well worth it!!! The people we met on the river cruise were very interesting and you could have a meal with someone different every day or have a meal with some of the people we found most interesting. The historical sites we visited were amazing and to think of how many years ago some of these places existed was mind boggling. We truly enjoyed our time on the cruise and everyone of the crew and staff were really wonderful and so welcoming. When we were away for the day it was nice to come back to the boat and see familiar faces to welcome us back! It was a really memorable experience for both of us and will look forward to going on another cruise in the future! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a great time, as usual with Viking. For this trip in September, the weather was terrific. The chosen ports showed us a great "slice" of places along the Rhine River. We love Viking River and Ocean Cruise ships, with ... Read More
We had a great time, as usual with Viking. For this trip in September, the weather was terrific. The chosen ports showed us a great "slice" of places along the Rhine River. We love Viking River and Ocean Cruise ships, with wonderful service and attention to detail. We enjoy NOT being asked to pay for extras. There's always an excursion, at no extra cost, for every port -- although you can pay for some other options. Wine and beer are served at lunch and dinner -- at no cost. All staff do their jobs effectively and with a smile. On the downside, you do not get much time allotted to see the starting and ending ports on Viking cruises. It pays to either get the pre- and post-cruise excursions OR schedule with Viking to fly in early and/or leave later in order to visit those cities. BUT, we are spoiled with Viking and don't plan to cruise with anyone else -- unless it's a place Viking doesn't visit. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our friends booked this cruise in 2016 and at the last minuet, we decided to see if there might be a vacancy a week before the departure date in Sep 2017. We got a call 4 days before that there was an opening and we took it. The next day ... Read More
Our friends booked this cruise in 2016 and at the last minuet, we decided to see if there might be a vacancy a week before the departure date in Sep 2017. We got a call 4 days before that there was an opening and we took it. The next day we received another call that we were bumped up to the top deck where our friends were. The plane ride to Budapest was booked on Lufthansa, which was first class all the way. Arriving in Budapest, Viking took our luggage and the next time we saw them, they were in our cabin. The cabin was perfect with a sliding glass door, TV and a small, but an amazing bathroom. The cabin staff was very polite and all business. If you wanted something, they did their utmost to get it for you. The ship was superb in every way. Spacious, uncluttered and perfect to relax in and on as we cruised the Danube river to Amsterdam. The food was amazing! If you were hungry it was your fault. I told the chef his menu was fantastic and I thanked him for his selections. The waiters in both dining areas were polite, friendly and very concerned about your needs, be it wine, beer, pop or water. Visiting the ports on the way to Amsterdam, you could take the many guided tours (at an extra cost), the free tours or you could go rambling on your own, which we did. After the tours were over, you had time to wander through the interesting towns or cities. The tour guides spoke perfect English and answered any questions you might have. It was amazing to see the flood heights marked on the walls of some of the towns. The hotel manager and his staff were extremely professional and did everything they could to make your cruise as stress free and relaxing as possible. On our return trip home, Viking took our luggage from the room and the next time we saw it was at the airport. If you want the absolute best cruise available, go Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. The room was adequately sized and appointed. It was the Viking Jarl. The dining was excellent as I stated above. Roger and Jahz were fabulous. The were very attentive and knew what we needed before we did. They made the trip. Also, Neli kept our room clean and neat. We visited Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau, Germany. At each port we took the walking tour and learned the history of each city. We also too the Nuremberg Jewish tour and learned of the trials of the Nazi war criminals. In Passau we visited a horse farm and a lovely beer festival. We look forward to our next trip and it will be on Viking as they have the best overall package we have found between the ships, personnel, cities visited and service. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are ... Read More
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are largely church/history oriented, if you're into that sort of thing. Would have preferred more intimate excursions (for free) instead of 50-60 people ushered around already popular destinations. If you are a history buff, and like lectures, etc. This is for you. The passengers are largely 60+, and highly educated. A few wheelchairs also, although Europe is tough for them with all the cobblestones and hills. I really prefer Gate 1 for this sort of thing. More free time, less expensive, and a smaller group. You're not tempted into gluttony as much. Food was good, but not as good as some of the finer meals I've enjoyed in major cities. If there were more shore excursions catering to intimate experiences, that would be better-like seeing a cobbler make shoes. Since the cruise is so pricey, these should be included without an extra charge. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This is not a first cruise for anyone. It's a cruise for people who've seen a lot, and want more. The "river" between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a combination of lakes, rivers, and canals. Near St. P, it's ... Read More
This is not a first cruise for anyone. It's a cruise for people who've seen a lot, and want more. The "river" between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a combination of lakes, rivers, and canals. Near St. P, it's mostly uninhabited area. Near Moscow, it's more inhabited. Of the 5 stops on the "river," only two (Yaroslavl and Uglich) are real towns. Kizhi is fabulous, as a recreated ancient community. Mandrogy is an artisan village, and fun (and expensive if you shop), but for tourists. The monastery stop was interesting, but due to fog, we were shepherded past any vendors and didn't see a real town. St. Petersburg and Moscow were fabulous - and exhausting! You walk your feet off. It's worth it, but just be warned. The worst crush was The Hermitage in St. Petersburg - and I was there in a shoulder season! But the fabulous art is incredible and not to be missed. As are any of the St. Petersburg tours, and definitely Moscow by Night. The Kremlin (included) tour was very good, but I wish I'd done the optional tour that included the carriages, jewels, dresses, etc. We saw St. Basil's in the afternoon, which will NOT get you good pictures. You need to be there in the morning. Best souvenirs: Uglich. We skipped the tour and just shopped for 3 1/2 hours. Do not try to buy souvenirs in Moscow; for some reason, they are scarce and expensive. At the St. Petersburg port, there is a souvenir shop, which is better than nothing. Do not bring rubles; banks charge too much. I got rubles 4 times at ATM's, with a charge of $1 each withdrawal, and the best rates. Dollars are almost universally accepted, too. Though outside of vendors, very few people speak English. On the ship, we were coddled by the staff. In the dining room, Jeremiah, Mikey and Dino took fabulous care of us, including telling us to wait til Uglich to shop. In the bar, Dasha and Egor were attentive and helpful. Sasha (from Russia) was a terrific tour director. Andrey was a terrific tour guide. Daniel was the M'd with a sense of humor! Don't miss the pelmini cooking demo, or the vodka tasting! Russia has changed incredibly in the past couple of decades. Not a complete capitalist country, but growing so! The people were warm and friendly (they want our dollars). If you go, you'll love it. I wish you good cheer! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Viking and it met the high standards of the first one. The service was excellent. The food continues to be superb and the staff are the best. Like one big family. The shore excursions were just the right length ... Read More
This was our second Viking and it met the high standards of the first one. The service was excellent. The food continues to be superb and the staff are the best. Like one big family. The shore excursions were just the right length and time. Being a short cruise little time was actually spent looking at the countryside as most movement was at night. The director was fabulously entertaining as were the wait staff. They all seemed to love their job, especially those that had worked on other cruise lines. They said Viking was the best. My one negative was when they were presenting the opportunity to buy travel certificates for future travel. It was not made clear that only 1 per person can be used per cruise. We did the Paris extension and very impressed with the care we were given from the ship through to checking in at the airport. Viking staff members were with us every single step of the way. The Paris hotel was fine and within walking distance of many fine restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise quite by accident because some friends were already booked and we decided to tag along. We could not have been luckier. We ended up with the last room on the boat, suite 308 - which we loved! The ship is constantly ... Read More
We chose this cruise quite by accident because some friends were already booked and we decided to tag along. We could not have been luckier. We ended up with the last room on the boat, suite 308 - which we loved! The ship is constantly being cleaned, we never had a dirty window. The crew was young and friendly and from a variety of countries through Europe and abroad. We loved the diversity. With the suite you also get free laundry service - which sounds silly - but it was the icing on the cake for me! The space in our room and the additional light was wonderful. I never felt closed in. Our cruise director was Gary and he was incredibly organized, everything went off without a hitch. He made it very clear that the excursions leave on time and don't be late. I appreciated that. Each excursion was wonderful. The daily talks from Gary on what to expect the next day were very helpful. The food was pretty good. Loved breakfast - lunch was only so/so and dinner was sometimes fantastic and sometimes missed the mark. But we weren't there for the food, we were there for the itinerary - which did not disappoint. Each small village after another was unique and wonderful. The bigger cities were also interesting and charming. Loved it - can't wait to go back - I would do the same trip again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the ... Read More
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the accommodations were fine. The crew really made all efforts to ensure that we were served well, and our program director was awesome! The program director was very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was great but there was so much! Many times we ate in the lounge for a light meal instead of eating in the dining area. We liked this option. Even more impressive was that I learned that Viking is a privately held company. It is apparent that the owners take very good care of their employees. They have a philosophy that a happy crew promotes a happy customer. You have to respect that! It works! We will definitely travel again on Viking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by ... Read More
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by arguably the most capable and entertaining crew imaginable. They truly made this cruise one for the books! The cruise director, chef, and other staff made the port briefings and subsequent evening dining a highlight and not merely the dissemination of information and provision of outstanding menu items. This is our third Viking cruise, and while they all have their own personalities, it is the interaction of the crew that will provided us with some of our more endearing memories. The excursions were exceptional as well, again because the staff worked so well together. Throw together iconic land destinations and the capabilities of the staff and you have an unbeatable combination. We'll see Viking again soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to experience a more intimate, friendly cruise experience. We have grown tired of the big, mega ships with thousands of passengers. The meals were of top quality and a highlight of each evening. The ship staff were always ... Read More
We wanted to experience a more intimate, friendly cruise experience. We have grown tired of the big, mega ships with thousands of passengers. The meals were of top quality and a highlight of each evening. The ship staff were always polite and willing to help with any question s we had. The excursions were right on. They were long enough so we could enjoy the locale that we were visiting and still gave us time to unwind before dinner on the ship. In general, everything went well. All the events and excursions were well planned and went off without a hitch. GREAT TRIP. We enjoyed the experience so much that we have already booked another river cruise for next summer. Both of our fathers served in Europe during the second world war and we wanted to partially retrace their footsteps throughout France and Germany. Again a very good trip. Worth every penney. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were invited to join friends on this cruise and are so glad we did. Our cabin was on the lower deck (230) and was very comfortable. It was above the water level and had a full picture window, unlike the standard cabins on the Rhine and ... Read More
We were invited to join friends on this cruise and are so glad we did. Our cabin was on the lower deck (230) and was very comfortable. It was above the water level and had a full picture window, unlike the standard cabins on the Rhine and Danube. No complaints at all. The food was excellent as was some of the local Russian wine. Our somewhat complex travel arrangements were expertly handled by the Viking travel desk. The only negative was that two of my flights in Europe were booked in basic economy class so I got hit with two unexpected baggage charges, but when I complained to Viking they refunded the amount of the charges. You can see photos and some background on our cruise at tsarwaterways.shutterfly.com but here are some additional comments. Our cruise began in St. Petersburg and ended in Moscow - I think that's probably the best direction to do it. We had spent two days in St. Petersburg in 2009 and were happy to repeat some experiences and add new ones. Repeat visits to Catherine Palace and Peterhof were excellent and I would highly recommend visiting these places. The canal cruise was most enjoyable and really showed how St. Petersburg was designed and built around the canals - an appreciation one doesn't get from driving around. An evening at the ballet was most enjoyable even though the performance wasn't by the Mariinsky as they were on tour for the summer. The folkloric show was totally geared to tourists but good fun and well done. The middle section of the cruise on the waterways took us through remote countryside. Because of this, most of the excursions required a bus ride to get to the site of interest and in some cases the amount of time to explore was less than one wanted. However, the quality of the guides was very good. Three (Russian) Viking guides accompanied the cruise from beginning to end and they were excellent in explaining the historical and cultural background to what we were seeing as well as in general organization (including locating one traveler who got lost in Moscow!). Yes, one sees a lot of churches but their beauty is outstanding. Despite the distance from towns of any size, the ship was adequately provisioned with fresh and plentiful food and even fresh flowers every day. We opted for the extension in Moscow and easily filled the extra days: there is so much to see. After being shown the ropes we became quite adept at traveling on the metro. It's really not that difficult, though it helps if you have learned the Russian alphabet (there are a few lessons on that on board the ship). While we didn't speak any Russian, I was glad I had taught myself the alphabet and a few words in advance. Most of the museums we visited had some English language displays and audio guides in English. The hotel in Moscow, the old Soviet Ukraina, was great: luxurious and centrally located. One thing that was different from our previous Viking river cruises was that we had to select most excursions before departure and many of them involved an additional charge. I imagine this is because the logistics of running such excursions is so much more complex in Russia. The main negative on this cruise, which is out of Viking's control, is that the ships have to dock far out of the center of St. Petersburg and Moscow so getting into the city involved a bus or metro ride. All in all, the few negatives were minor while the positives were huge and I have no hesitation in recommending this cruise. Read Less
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