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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: August 2019
We sailed the Passage to Eastern Europe with the added pre-extension in Prague. Overall Viking is very organized in terms of transporting you from place to place. Starting at the airport, there was a Viking Rep waiting for us. We were kept ... Read More
We sailed the Passage to Eastern Europe with the added pre-extension in Prague. Overall Viking is very organized in terms of transporting you from place to place. Starting at the airport, there was a Viking Rep waiting for us. We were kept waiting for another couple, who never showed, for an hour and a half. Here’s where some common sense should’ve kicked in. Maybe wait a half hour and then take us to the hotel. We were exhausted from a long flight and wanted to rest at the hotel. We were booked at the Corinthia, which is a wonderful hotel The room was a good size and very clean. They have three good restaurants and a lounge for late-night coffee or drinks. Breakfast was included and very good. They have a Viking Desk at the hotel which is convenient. They had signed us up for the city tour, which we opted out of, so they arranged transportation for us to join the food tour which we had signed up for. The tour was good with three restaurants and several dishes to try. Very little walking. We also did the Prague by Night tour which drove us through the city at night with some beautiful stops for amazing views of the city. They also had a complimentary shuttle to the Old Town from the hotel, which we took advantage of to explore on our own. To get to Budapest was an 8-hour or so bus ride. We stopped a couple of times for bathroom breaks and lunch. It was essentially a lost day. We stayed at the Hilton in the castle district, which is absolutely stunning. Check-in was less smooth with everyone crowding the desk to get a room key. At this point I had pulled a muscle in my calf and was unable to go on one of the tours. Beware: Once Viking has your money, YOU WILL NOT get it back. We were told no refund unless we paid $130 Euros for a doctor’s note. We were looking to get back $180 US. Having traveled several cruise lines, Viking is the only one who wouldn’t refund our money for missing an excursion. We paid $20K for the trip and they have lost a customer forever. I hope the $180 was worth it. Awful service. Budapest is stunningly gorgeous. We went on a few of the tours, which were part bus, part walking tours. After two nights, Viking takes you on a day tour and then finally to the ship. Getting on board is relatively easy as you just check-in at the front desk and relinquish your passport. They had a light lunch waiting for us and shortly after 3:00 we entered our cabin. The ship was in good shape, clean, and inviting. It’s color palette is blonde wood with beige furniture and accessories. Because it’s a river boat, the spaces are smaller and fewer. The largest spaces are the lounge, dining room, and top deck. We never had any issues finding a table or seating for lounging. At night there is a pianist/singer in the lounge. That’s about it for entertainment unless they bring in locals for dancing and other activities. The food is good. Each night they have a tasting menu based on the country you’re docked in. Everything we tried was very tasty. Dining times are rigid for each of the three meals. However, if you do miss a meal, the staff is extremely well trained and accommodating so you can likely get something if you ask. We traveled through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Most of the tours are around 4 hours and some combination of bus and walking. All of the guides talked about the wars and Communism, which was really interesting. We had two full-day tours the last two days. On one of the tours we drove out to Veliko Tărnovo for a bathroom break, coffee, and photo op. Then on to Arbanasi for a walking tour and lunch, and then back to the other village for an “hour+ of free time.” Why not just head back to the ship? Instead we arrived back with less than an hour to spare before dinner. It felt like they just wanted us to spend money in town. The next day we disembarked, en masse, in 100 degree heat to be driven around all day and kept away from the hotel until after 4:00. There were no other options but to be forced on to this tour to get us off the boat. So, it says 11 days, but you’re only on the boat for 7. This means some of your meals are on you in addition to what you’ve already paid for the cruise. Overall we saw some beautiful places that have not yet been commercialized. We learned a lot about this part of the world. We met some wonderful people and had some great food. There were a few things that did leave a bad impression, most notably the refusal to refund one of the excursions. We expect more for the high cost of the trip. For our next cruise, we’d select a company who understands that fully accommodating its customers means repeat business. Viking, unfortunately, doesn’t get that part. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I was fortunate to experience the Grand European Viking Cruise in 2017 and loved the entire experience. I wanted to take another Viking cruise and chose the Swiss Alps to Paris as my second cruise. We experienced beautiful scenery in ... Read More
I was fortunate to experience the Grand European Viking Cruise in 2017 and loved the entire experience. I wanted to take another Viking cruise and chose the Swiss Alps to Paris as my second cruise. We experienced beautiful scenery in Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and France. Switzerland was our favorite as the entire country was gorgeous. We have beautiful mountains in Montana but the alps are in a category all their own. Joining in the National Holiday on August 1st was a great bonus with beautiful fireworks! The 7 day cruise on the Rhine and Moselle rivers was very enjoyable with great educational excursions. Our cruising companions were friendly and we enjoyed our conversations and sharing our experiences. The Viking Hild staff were unbelievable. They knew our names, food preferences and drink preferences within a day. Impressive! The lounge entertainment was great with local performers teaching us about the music from current and former times. The piano player, Danielle, who played every afternoon and evening was so good I looked forward to hearing him. He made he cruise extra special. In total everything was great! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I don't know where to begin with this review. Before we started the cruise we understood that low water levels may sometimes affect the itinerary so we were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for is what actually did ... Read More
I don't know where to begin with this review. Before we started the cruise we understood that low water levels may sometimes affect the itinerary so we were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for is what actually did happen. From the time we boarded the Embla to the time we got off the buses in Budapest the trip was a disaster. Viking knew before we ever boarded the ship that it was broke but wanted us to board so they could still get their money for the cruise. We could tell something was not right when we went to our room and the a/c was not working properly and all the other passengers were complaining about it as well and the common areas were just plain hot. We departed that night at 11pm and literally crossed the river and docked again. We were then informed that the boat had a generator problem and they were bringing in a technician to repair the problem. After 2 days stuck there with no a/c or toilets we finally attempted to sail further. The ship made it 1 day and traveled only a short way so we docked again in a small town where we were put on buses and bused to Belgrade a 12 hour bus trip with just 2 stops. 1 bathroom break and 1 stop for lunch. The toilet on our bus was broke and backed up making our bus smell awful. By the time we reached Belgrade it was after 9pm and they offered a buffet dinner at 9pm at night. After 2 nights and 5 buffet meals later we were again loaded on buses and this time it was 13 hours on a bus to get us to Budapest. During the trip one of the buses broke down and one of the Viking crew members used his belt to make a temporary repair. Our bus was leaking very bad during a rain storm and a passenger actually used a umbrella to stay somewhat dry. We finally arrived in Budapest after 9pm and again they served us a buffet dinner late at night. The next 2 days were again all buffet style meals that you can get at Golden Corral. We were told by a Viking represenative that we would be contacted by Viking shortly after we arrived home. That did not happen. They just refunded a portion of the cruise only amount back into our bank account without ever discussing this with us. The amount was not even close to what we actually paid for the cruise and when I called customer service he explained that it was for the river portion only because we were provided the hotels precruise and post cruise. We were refunded 50% of the river portion and a 25% discount on a future cruise. Why would we ever consider a future cruise. Ridicoulous. The representative told me Viking considered this a very fair offer but they would up the 25% discount to 35% for us if we signed a disclosure agreement to keep our mouths shut. Vikng from start to finish was never honest with us and could care less about the safety of the passengers. They knew from the very beginning the ship had issues and we should not have ever boarded the ship. We never received a safety drill prior to sailing which we only did 1 day of. When we returned home we reseached the Viking Embla and saw that on a previous cruise in June just before our cruise the ship had been involved in a accident that damaged the generator. The same problem we had which apparently never was fixed properly. This cruise was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime and we had heard many good things about Viking in the past but they apparently now only care more about the money than the safety and experience their passengers receive. My wife and I have been on many Ocean cruises, some good and some great but this trip was a disaster from start to finish and beyond. If Viking had done the right thing and refunded us 100% of the cost of the cruise we would have absolutely considered cruising with them again. If you are one of the lucky ones who had a great cruise with Viking congratulations but if you happen to be one of the ones that the cruise turns into a disaster do not expect Viking customer service to do the right thing. Beware. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a 'bucket list' cruise which did not disappoint. We had sailed with Viking in China (5 stars) and this could not compare with that experience. That said, it delivered on all of its promises, with the exception of the ... Read More
This was a 'bucket list' cruise which did not disappoint. We had sailed with Viking in China (5 stars) and this could not compare with that experience. That said, it delivered on all of its promises, with the exception of the hotel accomodation before and after. The experience on the ship was excellent, made better by the seamless planning and execution of the outstanding staff on board. By the end of the week we felt as though we were friends with everybody. Mealtimes were great, with excellent food and attentive service. We gained 5 pounds each! Our room (french balcony) was small but adequate, with a great shower and heated bathroom floor! TV reception was surprisingly good, watching the BBC world news was a treat. We slept well. Coffee and biscuits were always available, and very good! The shore excursions were good, with local guides, some of whom were excellent, none were awful. Highlights were the opportunities to explore on our own - in Mainz the Chagall glass in St Stevens was amazing, and worth the walk to see it. Viking handle the details so well. Luggage was transported efficiently - amazing to see the entire crew (including the Captain!) form a human chain to unload the bags at disembarkation. The only negatives were the choice of hotels before and after. Both were in business districts and somewhat out of the way. Le Meridien in Paris was very disappointing, even though we were upgraded to an Elite room. But it was within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and convenient to a Metro station. I can only imagine that this would be a challenging trip for folks with mobility challenges. Lots of walking and stairs would advise careful consideration. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be ... Read More
brochures and promo not accurate. We knew low bridges would restrict us from using the sun deck at time. But not for days on end. We knew at some ports of call we would be double and triple banked. It happened too many times to be comfortable. So don’t get a Balcony. All this information should be spelt out and told how many times it would happen. in the promo. Cologne was the only port we had local entertainers in the Evening. Unfortunate we missed it due to going on an evening excursion. Promo gives you the impression this happened every night. Where possible. Our Entertainment Director Kane was brilliant so he made up for the disappointment. Could not fault staff. Staff brilliant food good enough could we have a chocolate treat with coffee. tours OK I got churched out talked out and walked out in the end. I thought the quiet vox was a device so you could wander around the sights by yourself if you did not want to be hearded like sheep around the sights, I stayed with tour group in case I missed out on something amazing. And the fear of getting lost. Make sure you have plenty of 50c Euro coins for toilets. overall enjoyed my trip. We made the Journey without changing boat. We were the last boat to do this from to Passau. The band was very average but the nights where Kane had quizzes and trivia were hilarious. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river and 2 ocean cruises) and made us realised once again why we like cruising so much with them. Was the ideal way to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Grand European Tour on Viking LIF was the ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river and 2 ocean cruises) and made us realised once again why we like cruising so much with them. Was the ideal way to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Grand European Tour on Viking LIF was the perfect option. Based on our previous experience with Viking we saw how they started to cut corners especially with the quality of the food. But Chef Michael was a magician and every breakfast, lunch and dinner were kind of gastronomic events. And the service in the restaurant was simply sublime: Christian our server was very attentive, taking care of my wife medical requests, suggesting all the time the best from the menu and smiling every moment when serving our meals. What I would love to see on our next cruise is that Viking ban shorts and t-shirt during the dinner. It is a cruise ship not a fast food restaurant! I always thought that the lounge is a little bit small, especially when all the events (presentation, demonstration or shows) were very good and attracted a lot of people. On Lif one of the TV screen didn’t work and the sound was terrible sometimes which made quite hard to follow all the interesting information presented during the evening. The musicians were not our cup of tea, repeating every night the same songs and in a very amateurish style but all the other artists invited by the cruise director on board were excellent. A special mention to the bartender Ivan; we loved his knowledge and cynical sense of humour. Capitan Ana was the best we ever had. A gentle giant always talking with the passengers and keen to answer to all type of questions. His nautical presentation was a real treat, a fantastic double act with the cruise director. We never saw a captain so close to the passengers on board ever! The reception was another strong point of Viking Lif. Suzanna and Peter were knowledgeable, polite and efficient despite the fact that sometimes the place was very busy. We were impressed with the fact that if they didn’t have an answer the were asking the cruise director and come back to us in no time! A staff manning the reception night time was a little bit out of his league, forgetting couple of times our wakeup calls (we missed the wall on the Main) and spending to much time listening to his music than solving passengers issues. What a asset the Hotel Director Ionuts was for our trip! Very polite with excellent manners and extremely professional, Ionuts had always a genuine smile, being almost everywhere and leading the entire staff in a very efficient manner. He knows how to balance his skills with his age (he was 20 something). And my wife loved his hair! Viking excursions are always amazing but, this time was more than that. The guides were very informative without going over the top with historical information, mixing always personal stories with facts. Our top favourites: Rothenburg, War tour in Nuremberg, Jewish excursion in Wertheim and the cooking class in Regensburg. I save the best for last! If Lif is the crown of Viking, our cruise director Leo was the Hope Diamond. What a personality, what a passion and what a pleasure to have him. Leo was working non stop for 2 weeks at least 20 hours a day: coordinating and supervising the excursion in the morning, helping the reception during the busy lunch, answering questions in the afternoon, giving excellent briefings before dinner and organising parties or giving presentations in the evening. Somebody was joking about the possibility of having at least 3 clones of Leo on-board because he was everywhere when needed, always smiling and ready to help 24 hours a day for 2 weeks. His presentation during the sailing days were amazing: history, culture, legends everything mixed with an excellent narrative style, a war voice and a fantastic sense of humour. Leo had an answer for almost any questions, knowing all the cities as his own pocket and, at least for us, his recommendations were 100% perfect. He was a real one man show with a fantastic personality, a genuine care for the others (passengers and staff) and an encyclopaedic amount of knowledge. What can I say, and I heard other passengers saying the same, without Leo the trip will be very good but not excellent. It will be a privilege to have him as a cruise director on our next Viking cruise! Viking rules the river’s waves, Lif rules Viking and Leo ruled the excellence in our cruise in Europe. What an amazing experience. Thank you all! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
First time European river cruising for us. We loved it. Felt like an upscale floating hotel. Less than 200 people on board so you don’t fight the crowd of an ocean cruise. It takes a minute to reach the top deck for lounging, or dining ... Read More
First time European river cruising for us. We loved it. Felt like an upscale floating hotel. Less than 200 people on board so you don’t fight the crowd of an ocean cruise. It takes a minute to reach the top deck for lounging, or dining room for all meals, or Lounge area for music or bar. The staff is very friendly and professional. Our Program Director Alex was phenomenal and always accessible and organized for all off shore excursions. He is top notch in his field and Viiking is fortunate to have him. Same for the hotel manger Christine. Our room stewards kept the room immaculate and it was nice to have a clean and spacious balcony suite room after a busy day touring. Our trip started out on the Gefjon but a barge hit a lock and we did the usual procedure for this. Packed our bags and left them in our room for the staff to transport to the Sigyn on the other side of the damaged lock. All passengers were loaded onto a bus after an excursion and taken to our new ship. Bags were placed in same exact cabin number as old ship. It went flawlessly. Only downfall was the Gefjon staff had to stay on that ship, with luckily the exception of Alex. The new staff and crew were excellent also. This is just another reason to choose Viking. They have so many identical ships, switching ships is a remedy many other ship lines cannot perform. You cannot control lock breakdowns or water level so it’s benefical for a river cruise line to have this procedure. We cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest and saw beautiful sites throughout. Happy sailing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After a not very pleasant experience last year on the Rhine with Viking we decided to take this time Lif on a cruise between Bucharest to Budapest. What a massive difference! Everything was far above all expectations. The food was ... Read More
After a not very pleasant experience last year on the Rhine with Viking we decided to take this time Lif on a cruise between Bucharest to Budapest. What a massive difference! Everything was far above all expectations. The food was amazing, and we had the chance to visit Chef’s Michael kitchen were all our lovely meals were prepared daily. The cabin steward Raduh was the most friendly and efficient we ever meet on cruise ships. In the restaurant our server Martina was always smiling with excellent manners and coping perfectly with my husband’s complicated diet. We spend a lot of time in the bar chatting with chief barman Christian for Bulgaria; his stories was as great as his cocktails! Johnny and Susan were extremely attentive, with a lot of knowledge about the cities we visited and always having a suggestion for our free time. Being so approachable they manage to balance the arrogance and “I know all” attitude of the hotel manager Joseph, a personality a little bit to big for his shoes. The excursions were fantastic opportunities to discover a new world and the new stop in Iron Gate was a pleasant surprise from Viking. Sometimes the guides in Bulgaria and Romania were a little bit annoying talking too much, like reading a script but to one in Belgrade were fantastic! The only failure of this trip was a lecture about Serbian war incredible balanced and the lecturer manage to upset everybody, blaming Western Countries. for the horrible war from 1990. I save the best for last: our Cruise Director Leonard. He really made our trip: extended knowledge, dedication, sense of humour, a talent to mix historic facts with legends and traditions and a 24 hours genuine smile and passion made him the best cruise director we’ve meet in more than 12 cruises we took. The stories when sailing the Iron Gate were at the level of Discovery Chanel documentaries, his lecture about European Union and Dracula perfect mix between facts and sense of humour and the evening with memories from Ceauseschu time was overwhelming. No wonder why he got tears and standing ovations for more than 10 minutes. What a great personality. We are thinking very seriously to repeat our cruise on the Rhine but only is Lenard will be on board. Viking Cruises – you are a great way to travel and that’s 95% because of the crew and people like Leonard. tell us when Leonhard is again on board and we will be there! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My BF and I did this at the last minute because the price was right. The cruise started with 2 nights in Zurich. We were transferred to Basel on June 24 and boarded the ship. I admit my experience was influenced by the record heat wave ... Read More
My BF and I did this at the last minute because the price was right. The cruise started with 2 nights in Zurich. We were transferred to Basel on June 24 and boarded the ship. I admit my experience was influenced by the record heat wave coinciding with the cruise. However, the most disappointing aspect of the experience was the food. I expected some gourmet meals and there were none. The first section of the Rhine was boring, although the locks were interesting. The transfers were all excellent and we never had to wait to get into our rooms in Zurich or Paris. I didn’t like the location of the Paris La Meridian Hotel, as there was a lot of construction in the area. The included excursions were all good to very good, but they were outside walking tours and the temperatures were around 97 degrees. There was no air conditioning in any museums or restaurants, at least not the kind of AC we have in Texas where you are blasted by cool air whenever you go inside. I realize Viking has no control of the weather, but it seemed they could have adjusted the walking tours to occur in the early am or late evening when it was MUCH cooler. Dragging the very elderly passengers around in the afternoon heat was very risky I thought. Our guide in Speyer, Herman, was wonderful but he was in his mid 80s and I’m not sure how he made it through the day. Viking personnel did not sufficiently discuss the extreme heat, in my opinion. They NEVER mentioned there was an absence of AC in the towns and cities we visited, for example. I’ve been on well over 50 cruises and I’ve seen Ship Captains significantly adjust the cruises due to weather conditions to ensure the comfort of the passengers. I’m sure the local guides would have much preferred a morning or evening tour also. Crazy. Also, I developed breathing problems due to chronic asthma. This was not an emergency but I wanted a steroid shot so an emergency wouldn’t develop. We were in Mainz. Viking staff told me I had to go to the ER, no other option. They assured me I could pay with a credit card (wrong, cash only), they called me a taxi but the driver didn’t speak English and he dropped us off in the wrong location. It was a hospital but not the ER which we eventually learned was 3 blocks away. I huffed and puffed but made it OK. The ship apparently has NO medical support and no real information about medical care in the visited ports. I think this is irresponsible given the clientele they serve. I don’t expect medical care on board, but I do expect some support to obtain such. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I had a very nice cruise on the Viking Lofn in June, 2019. The staff were excellent, although we had to grin at the cruise director's obvious over-hype on occasion. We had one management level staff member in the dining ... Read More
My wife and I had a very nice cruise on the Viking Lofn in June, 2019. The staff were excellent, although we had to grin at the cruise director's obvious over-hype on occasion. We had one management level staff member in the dining area seem to "put down" a guest at our table when she ordered a steak rather than the suggested entre- that didn't set well with any of us who heard his statement about "Americans." (He did apologize to her the next day at dinner.) Honestly, the food was good, but not great in our opinion. We've had better. As an example, the scnitzel we had at a nice restaurant in Rudesheim au Rhine was much better than the one we had on the Lofn; twice as large, very tender, with fries and a nice salad- all for less than $12 US. The tours were very nice, but felt rushed. Occasionally we had time to spend on our own, but nof often. My Black Forest hike lasted all of 30 minutes, yet the bus ride there was 2 hours round-trip. Our tour of Marksburg castle was limited by the many other tours on-site. We rarely had more than a few minutes in a room or location, We did get a few minutes at the end of our tour to buy a Coke and sit on a bench. We don't blame Viking for this at all; there were hundreds of tourists on-site while we were there. The Bruhl tour was fine, but understand that one cannot take any photos of the beautiful interiors of the castle or hunting lodge. One must buy postcards of the interiors. I could add more to this review, but won't. We had a very nice time. Will we do it again? No, we won't. Are we glad we did it, yes. Viking did a very good job. The staff onboard, with one exception, was superb. The Rhine Getaway should have been a 10-day trip in our opinion, Thank you to Viking, the staff of the Lofn, Viking's staff in Amsterdam (where we took a wonderful 2-day pre-cruise stay at the Pulitzer Amsterdam) and all the tour guides. We would rate this cruise a solid four of five. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We had previously taken 3 European river cruises with Vantage Travel, a much smaller cruise line, and loved the experience. Our friends suggested that they would rather have a boat with verandas so that they could enjoy time in their room ... Read More
We had previously taken 3 European river cruises with Vantage Travel, a much smaller cruise line, and loved the experience. Our friends suggested that they would rather have a boat with verandas so that they could enjoy time in their room even when they weren't up to taking the excursions, so we agreed to go with them on this Viking "Rhine Getaway" cruise. We started with a 3-day pre-cruise extension to Lake Como which was delightful, and the Viking Program Manager accompanied us all the way from Italy to where the Herja was docked in Basel, Switzerland. The stateroom was smaller than what we had become accustomed to on prior cruises, but with good storage options, we soon stowed all of our belongings and acquainted ourselves with the ship. The Herja is just a few years old, and is maintained in perfect condition. Crew members are always polishing, cleaning, vacuuming, tidying up and keeping everything ship shape. We met Renee, our cruise director, at a Welcome Aboard event that evening, and were ready for cruising. He was very professional and knowledgeable and funny too. When we went on the very first excursion to the Black Forest the next morning, we marveled at the efficiency of the Viking organization. We were assigned to one of the 4 Viking buses that awaited us just outside the boat and were whisked away to our first excursion right on time. The guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, and the excursion proceeded with the efficiency of a German clock. This experience continued throughout the tour. Buses and guides were always waiting when we arrived in the port, and the guides gave us clear instructions as to when and where to meet at the end of the tour. There were a few opportunities to wander into some of the towns on our own, and we enjoyed touring in a less structured way and sitting down at a cafe for a local beer. All of the ports and excursions were interesting and worthwhile, but my favorite part of the tour was the morning that we spent cruising the Rhine Gorge with Renee narrating the history of the castles we saw along the way. Meals were interesting and varied, with local dishes featured based on the port we were in. Breakfast was always a buffet, with an omelette station. Lunch had some buffet choices and some plated meals, and dinners offered a choice of 2 or 3 salads/appetizers and 3 entrees. Steak, chicken and salmon are always available if you don't like what's on the menu. Service from every crew member we met throughout our cruise was friendly and exemplary. The weather was perfect for our entire cruise, and no alterations had to be made to the itinerary due to river conditions, which can sometimes happen later in the summer when the river is low. It's best to do these tours in spring for best weather and river conditions. The others who have given low ratings to this ship and itinerary traveled in late summer when the river was low. All cruise lines have a Plan B for when the river cooperates and you may not get to experience the ports that were advertised. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to experience Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands without continually unpacking and repacking. Once we landed in Zurich, we never had to handle our luggage in going from one location to another, including pre- and post- ... Read More
We wanted to experience Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands without continually unpacking and repacking. Once we landed in Zurich, we never had to handle our luggage in going from one location to another, including pre- and post- river journey stays. So, this trip was perfect in that respect. There was a wonderful, insightful excursion to Colmar, Strasbourg was charming and the Heidelberg visit was fun. I wanted to return to Heidelberg after 50 years when I was stationed there in the US Army. The ship was a perfect size for this cruise, had great amenities and was sparklingly clean. The food on board was well prepared and well planned as to specific local cuisine. The onboard staff was extraordinarily helpful and knowledgeable. Our pre-trip extension in Lucerne was a delight, with local Viking staff being most helpful, Ms. Radke especially. The post-trip extension in Amsterdam was not quite as interesting as Lucerne but the museums made up for it. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We always wanted to take a river cruise with friends and the Paris to Prague trip satisfied all our desires with stops that we wanted. We had been on several ocean cruises, but this cruise, this ship, and the Viking crew, greatly surpassed ... Read More
We always wanted to take a river cruise with friends and the Paris to Prague trip satisfied all our desires with stops that we wanted. We had been on several ocean cruises, but this cruise, this ship, and the Viking crew, greatly surpassed all others. Why? First, everything was included. No cost for any shore excursions. Second, the cabin was better and roomier without an additional expense. Third, the smaller ship was more convenient and made getting on and off much easier. Fourth, the dining was fantastic and included beer and wine with every meal. Fifth, the crew was fantastic, especially Bojan, the cruise director, and the tour guides, all local, were exceptional. What we didn't have, like elaborate on board entertainment and cameras in our faces every time we moved and extra expense for shore excursions, we didn't miss at all. We liked Viking service so much that we have booked a Viking Ocean Cruise for 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample ... Read More
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample storage. The service was outstanding; we would like Marlon, our waiter, to come and live with us. He knew all of our drink preferences after the first day and, when one of our party became ill, he never failed to ask about his progress. We were very lucky: the water level and the weather were close to perfect. We spent most of the afternoon of the Middle Rhine sailing on the top deck and Viking showed great attention to details: we had maps that showed all of the 31 castles we sailed by, the program director did a commentary, we were given ice water, shade umbrellas, and ice cream (the sun was very strong that day - we all had red skin on areas where we failed to use sunblock). Most of the excursions were very good; the one exception being the Black Forest where it takes much too long on the bus to spend an hour at a very touristy visitors center (let's not talk about the rush hour traffic we hit on the way back). We would love to travel with Viking again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this trip since we were interested in doing the route from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was fantastic. The shore excursions chosen by the ship were amazing. And a big KUDOS to the tour guides both on the ship and privately. ... Read More
We chose this trip since we were interested in doing the route from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was fantastic. The shore excursions chosen by the ship were amazing. And a big KUDOS to the tour guides both on the ship and privately. Special mention must be made to Valeria. She is first class as a guide and lecturer on Russian history. We had two lectures given by her and it was fascinating. Valeria really took us back in History in such vivid detail that you felt you were living in that era. Her tours especially Moscow by Night was brilliant. Thanks for the chocolate Valeria! Just what the dr. ordered at 100am!! Breakfast and lunches were excellent. But please please do something about dinner. The food was not good and if we had had a buffet with salads and vegetables, that would definitely have been great. The Matre D' Jonathan, is first class together with his staff. The coffee station on the 2nd deck is great and always available 24 7. There were hardly any entertainment activities besides the ship duo who played every night. TV was terrible. What about more movies? Documentaries? One needs that on sea days. Viking is a great company to sail with. They look after you very well and here I would like to give Stephanie Hotel Manager a big Kudos for the outstanding job she is doing. Also we arrived earlier that expected on embarkation day. It was pouring with rain and front desk staff received us very warmly and immediately ushered us to our cabin . They were very kind and in all our dealings with the front desk, service was top class Douglas, Program Manager, is a gem. Always keeping you up dated on your next port, etc. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We did the Viking "Undiscovered China" version (there are two other shorter alternatives). While onboard, you are together with 250 passengers, but on land you are usually with about 25-30 and one tour guide for the entire trip ... Read More
We did the Viking "Undiscovered China" version (there are two other shorter alternatives). While onboard, you are together with 250 passengers, but on land you are usually with about 25-30 and one tour guide for the entire trip for that group (Mark--outstanding). We started in Shanghai and stayed at the Wanda Reign, a relatively new hotel right on the river (Bund). This was an over the top Art Deco fantasy with an iPad to control the drapes, lights etc., and a toilet whose lid raised up as you entered the room, plus all kinds of bidet functions. This was typical of the other hotels, St. Regis, Chengdu, Westin Lijiang Old Town, Wyndam Grand Xian and Ritz Carleton Beijing. All were 5 stars. We did a pre-extension in Shanghai with a trip to a small town outside Shanghai (Suchow) where they have a grand canal and a classical garden. Then we started the "real" 19 day part of the tour. What we at first didn't realize is that all 250 passengers were in Shanghai, but at 4 different hotels so we didn't see many of them until the ship. Same for Beijing. After Shanghai, we went to Wuhan to pick up the ship for 6 days. This included both the Three Gorges Dam (transited via locks) as well as cruising through the Three Gorges. At the end of this, the 250 people split up as some were going to Tibet, some had the shorter 12 day trip which skipped the pandas at Chengdu (which we saw) etc. In the end there were three groups of 30 or so that had our 19 day route. Lunches on land often included tours to silk factories, jade carving, terra cotta warrior figurines, etc. and were mostly Chinese "round table with lazy-susan) but were all very good and not that repetitive. Dinners alternated nights with large western/Chinese buffets at the hotels, and Chinese restaurants in the local cities. Ship dinners did the same. What some passengers didn't realize is that the ship had a major interior refurbishment between last November and the beginning of April for this year's season. All the carpets, drapes, upholstery were replaced, so earlier complaints about the condition of the ship aren't relevant anymore. Staff was wonderful. We had the Silver Spirits alcohol package on board and they knew what we liked by the second day. Highlights of course were the pandas at the Panda Reserve in Chengdu, the terra-cotta warriors in Xian, and the cruise. We learned so much from our guide Mark who took great care of our group. We've been on Viking's Grand European River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, and this is of course different, but Viking took very good care of all of us throughout. We'd recommend this trip to anyone whose interested in China. One thing to consider: China is not handicapped friendly as in the US. There are lots of steps, hills and cobblestones. We had two people with canes and they got through, but it wasn't easy. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Viking is a Premier company. The ship, staff, cuisine, side trips were all amazing. The wait staff was absolutely amazing. After only one day they were aware of your personal preferences of beverage coffee, tea, soft drink, white or ... Read More
Viking is a Premier company. The ship, staff, cuisine, side trips were all amazing. The wait staff was absolutely amazing. After only one day they were aware of your personal preferences of beverage coffee, tea, soft drink, white or red wine) My travelling companion had many dietary restrictions and our Maitre de was at our table every evening to help her making choices and adjustments that the kitchen would be able to make. The ship in general was totally clean...no dust, no stains. We participated in most of the included tours and did take 3 or 4 of the additional add on choices. I was so impressed that I have already booked a second cruise for next year. My only complaint was with the hotel in Amsterdam for our post cruise stay. Our last night we were subjected to 'neighbors' who were fighting, screaming, banging on the wall and making attempts to enter our room. This went on well into the night. I called the front desk at about 1:30 a.m. and was promised it would be addressed. It stopped briefly and then started up again and I called about 2:30 am...this time I finally did stop. Although this is certainly not any fault of Viking, it was a awful experience. I can not believe that the hotel did not in any way apologize or offer some type of compensation. As we were two senior women, it was quite a frightful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I loved everything about this cruise (except the weather which was cold and rainy). Our cruise went from Budapest Hungary to Amsterdam. Castles, vineyards, beautiful scenery, churches, shopping, history, demonstrations-so much to see and ... Read More
I loved everything about this cruise (except the weather which was cold and rainy). Our cruise went from Budapest Hungary to Amsterdam. Castles, vineyards, beautiful scenery, churches, shopping, history, demonstrations-so much to see and do. Our cruise director/stand up comedian/singer was positively amazing and multi-talented. He coordinated all the activities and shore excursions so everything ran smoothly. He was very knowledgeable about the ship and the history of the places we saw along the way. He was also very entertaining, cracking jokes and keeping us in stitches. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Our Cabin Steward was really sweet and did an excellent job of keeping our room tidy. The meals were amazing, I think there was something for everyone and everything was top notch. Our room was a tiny bit cramped, but there really isn't any way around that. The ship can only be so wide to sail the rivers and get through the locks. Even though a bit small, there was ample storage and closet space. Just to manage expectations, if you are used to sailing the big ocean ships like carnival where there are pools, rides, Broadway shows, spa, casino, gym and all kinds of shops etc. This ship is tiny compared to those big ocean cruise ships and space is limited. They have internet, a small library, a tiny shop, a bar and a nightly singing duo, and occasionally demonstrations and history classes about the places we sailed by or visited. Most everyone of the guests on the cruise were retirees. If you can't live without all the bells and whistles, this is probably not the cruise for you. That being said, we sailed during the night and were in another port the next day with an included walking tour or optional excursions, shopping and sightseeing on your own. Even when we sailed during the day, there was so much beautiful scenery to see along the way, we were never bored. I gave a 3 star to the fitness and recreation catagory because they don't really have any fitness or recreational activities per se. There is a walking track on the top deck. On the other hand, I felt like the shore excursions themselves gave us plenty of walking exercise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ... Read More
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ourselves and so had to make our own way to the hotel. The ship was lovely, very clean, smooth lines, no chintz! The other passengers were probably 50% Americans, 25% British, 25% other and quite a wide age range from people in their 30s to 70s. I would say most of the people were 50 - 75. The service was excellent, but I think over the top. After cleaning the room in the morning, is there really any need for the maid to clean it again in the evening? This is one reason it is so expensive. I have stayed in top notch hotels where they close the curtains and turn down the bed and I think that is all that is needed. Alcoholic and soft drinks are included at both lunch at dinner and not just one, they keep topping up your glasses, so people like me who don't drink are actually subsidising those that do and they certainly take advantage of it! Some people opted for the drinks package which included certain drinks all day. However, both passengers in the state room have to take it, so it wasn't worth it for us. the service throughout the ship was excellent, with a good choice of food for breakfast and a limited choice for lunch with a good salad buffet and burgers if you did not fancy what was on offer. However, I was disappointed with the evening meals. There was always a regional menu of 3 courses, plus 2 choices of international dishes for each course and if you didn't like them, there was steak, burgers or chicken. However, I found it difficult to find something I liked every night and resorted to the steak and chips on several occasions. There was a German buffet one night, but as I am not keen on lots of sausages, cooked meat and pork I was not impressed, neither was the Jewish gentleman on our table! One night Thai soup was on the menu and I ordered that as it contained co-conut milk and as I am lactose intolerant did not expect to be served a very creamy soup containing milk! Also, the greatest disappointment for me was the tiny servings for dessert. The excursions were well organised with a leisurely option for those who had limited mobility, which we took advantage of as my husband had a bad knee. Little treats awaited us on our return to the ship which was nice and we all had electronic gizmos with earpieces so we could hear the guide, which were very easy to use. The excursions are mainly walking tours in the cities, concentrating on the history, architecture and cathedrals etc. The guides were very good except the fortress at Koblenz. The guide was an actor and it was supposed to be amusing, but it was not. The evening entertainment was mainly a pianist, but one evening there was a classical concert, another glass blowing demonstration on the adjoining ship, two quizzes which were great fun as they were not the usual format and a disco night. Ivan was in charge of this and he was excellent.We had been on ocean cruises but this was our first river cruise. We loved the fact there was less than 200 people on the boat, so you got to know people very quickly and we made some good friends. It was lovely to watch the scenery as you floated by and you won't get sea sick! Not far to walk to the cabin or the restaurant. However, there is not much to do when sailing except talk, drink, read, sunbathe, sleep or walk around the walking track. If we did another cruise, I probably would not take one that included drinks as this inflates the price if you don't drink very much. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My friend found this cruise for a great price. My wife had always wanted to do a European river cruise. We heard great things about Viking from others who had done one or more cruises. Nice, intimate (just the right number of ... Read More
My friend found this cruise for a great price. My wife had always wanted to do a European river cruise. We heard great things about Viking from others who had done one or more cruises. Nice, intimate (just the right number of passengers), well kept, well run ship. Very comfortable, clean lower cabin with all the amenities (make sure that after you have unpacked you store your suitcases under the bed - lots of room and out of the way). The food was absolutely amazing, great entertainment by locals, wonderful shore excursions and I cannot say enough about the crew - WONDERFUL IN EVERY WAY. The program director, Wez, was energetic, fun, creative and OH SO patient with us (was teased almost constantly). Warning, to all you avid photographers, they don't warn you until you're on the bus that many of the buildings you will be touring during shore excursions will not allow photography inside so you don't need to take the 40 lbs. of equipment I took. For most shots just a really good "point and shoot" or "bridge" camera for the external pics would be adequate. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I took the cruise down the Rhine. We had never been to Europe. I love castles! This cruise was for our 46th wedding anniversary! The ship was fantastic ,the entertainment was fabulous and my husband and I danced every night ... Read More
My husband and I took the cruise down the Rhine. We had never been to Europe. I love castles! This cruise was for our 46th wedding anniversary! The ship was fantastic ,the entertainment was fabulous and my husband and I danced every night away with the new friends we met on the ship .We enjoyed our balcony so much! We thoroughly enjoyed all of the excursions that were included and marveled at the beautiful scenery on the excursions and while riding down the Rhine River . The staff was so great and made us feel so special the whole trip! They were very friendly, attentive, and went out of their way to attend to our every wish! On the night of our anniversary we had dinner with the captain and the staff sang to us it was awesome ! The staff also decorated our room with hearts champagne and chocolate it was a wonderful surprise ! We can’t wait to book our next cruise , Thank You Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
After more than 10 cruises with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean me and my husband we decided to try something different. “Cruising the Eastern Europe” on board Viking LIF was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise at ... Read More
After more than 10 cruises with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean me and my husband we decided to try something different. “Cruising the Eastern Europe” on board Viking LIF was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise at the same time. What can I say about the entire experience? I already booked another 2 cruises with Viking. Everything was above exceptional: the service, the ship, the excursions and the staff on board. The staff on board Viking Lif was exceptional. Martina and Bart in the restaurant and lounge were perfect, always smiling and with great manners. Our room attendant Maya was a very nice girl with a lovely positive attitude and our cabin was always impeccable. We fall in love with the reception staff (Suzy and Johnny) always helpful and smiling and Capitan Anna was incredible: charming and always available to answer to any questions. Joseph the Hotel Director was one of the best we ever meet, solving any problems or requests we hand, nothing was too much for him. But the most impressive was our Cruise Director Leonard. His encyclopaedical knowledge, sense of humour and dedication made this trip unforgettable. Leonard was everywhere and sometimes we thought that he had 3 or 4 clones on board to be always smiling and ready to assist from 5AM to 1PM, every day. I wish I could record his commentary during the Iron Gate sea day when the amount of historical, geographical and social information mixed with a lot of legends and local traditions plus a fantastic sense of humour reminded me of a National Geographic documentary. He really made this trip unforgettable for us! Can’t wait for our next cruise with Viking Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised about 15 times, but this was our first river cruise.....and it won't be our last! We have already booked two more. The whole trip was fabulous. The beautiful ship, the super friendly staff & crew, and the ... Read More
We have cruised about 15 times, but this was our first river cruise.....and it won't be our last! We have already booked two more. The whole trip was fabulous. The beautiful ship, the super friendly staff & crew, and the gorgeous scenery. I can't say enough about the crew on the Tialfi. They greeted us by name from the very first day. Our waiter knew our drink preference, and even secured special bottles of wine for our table. One of our travel companions was "gluten free", and she had a great dinner every evening. They even made gluten free bread for her. The cabins were great. I recommend the balcony - you will travel through locks and it's pretty interesting to watch. The tours were awesome, informative, and the tour guides were great. We did the three day extension to Lucerne. The tour guide was fabulous and the scenery breathtaking. Well worth the extra cost. Embarking and leaving the ship were a breeze - no long lines! Can you tell I enjoyed this cruise? lol A 10 out of 10! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
It was recommended by several friends that had already taken it. It was important for us that it was a small cruise oriented to more mature people, navigated on a river, offered excursions in every Port, and everything was practically ... Read More
It was recommended by several friends that had already taken it. It was important for us that it was a small cruise oriented to more mature people, navigated on a river, offered excursions in every Port, and everything was practically included. It was easy making reservations and getting more detailed information from the very professional travel agent from Viking. The ship was elegantly set, with many inviting seating arrangements, an upper Deck geared to socialize. Our suit Veranda AA was so comfortable with all the necessary amenities, and a lovely balcony. Dinning was compared to a five stars restaurant, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food was incredibly exquisite. The attention of the staff was also beyond expectations, not only they learned all our names, but they had a genuine smile on their faces at all times, and were so attentive and gracious. The entertainment after dinner was lovely and so much fun. We went with one of our daughters and son in law, in spite of being the youngest ones on the trip they also had a terrific time. The cities in the different countries visited, and the excursions on very comfortable buses, were a phenomenal cultured experience, completed by the expertise of the tour guides. Viking made the whole trip from beginning to end smoothly, enjoyable, and unforgettable. We are looking forward the next one. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
After having a great experience with Viking in Russia, my wife and I again chose Viking for our tour of Egypt. We were met at Cairo airport at the arrival gate (before immigration) by Viking's airport representative, Amr, who ... Read More
After having a great experience with Viking in Russia, my wife and I again chose Viking for our tour of Egypt. We were met at Cairo airport at the arrival gate (before immigration) by Viking's airport representative, Amr, who guided us effortlessly through all required formalities and delivered us to our transport. From Cairo airport we were delivered to the Nile Ritz Carlton hotel (fabulous), in which we stayed for three nights while we toured the sights with Viking (pyramids, Citadel, museum and markets). On the fourth day we were flown to the Viking Ra in Luxor. This is a great little ship with all suite cabins, a great lounge and two exterior sun decks. The staff which consisted of both international and local personnel, were fantastic. The restaurant was very comfortable and the food very good. The cruise down the Nile was fantastic and all excursions were well organised and very engaging thanks to our program directors, Amr and Ahmed. We highly recommend the optional excursion to Abu Simbel and also the optional balloon ride over Luxor. Disembarking and returning to Cairo was also very well organised. And the accommodation and food at the Intercontinental CityStars was first rate. Transport back to Cairo airport also went smoothly. The only minor irritation was that some of our luggage was left at Luxor and we had to wait until just before we flew out of Cairo before we recovered it. Overall, a fantastic holiday with a great company. Read Less
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