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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: 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
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: August 2018
Thanks to all the staff for making our vacation the BEST EVER! This is an absolute must for everyone! Check your bucket list and write this cruise down! Once in a lifetime experience is a minimum! We plan to come again year after year. ... Read More
Thanks to all the staff for making our vacation the BEST EVER! This is an absolute must for everyone! Check your bucket list and write this cruise down! Once in a lifetime experience is a minimum! We plan to come again year after year. The destinations were amazing! The food and service is first class, truly 5 star! We will definitely travel the world with Viking, thanks again for everything! I just can’t write enough good words and praise for Captain Tomasz Danelski & his crew. Our trip was made incredibly memorable by Hotel Manager Alexandra Woods, Master Chef Nuno Maia (World renowned), Director Daniela Ebert, Maitre D’ Marci Jasinski, Bartender Extraordinaire Goska Kurowska! Also cannot ever forget The Legendary Dominika Lipska, Caramfil Florin Andrei and of course Rumen the Musician! These people are doing such a great job and I really hope to see them again on our next epic adventure! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Awful waste of money and a ruined trip of a life time, appears Viking ships can't cruise where APT can. Was warned day before embarkation of technical issues due to low water levels. Taken from Budapest airport to Slovakia direct ... Read More
Awful waste of money and a ruined trip of a life time, appears Viking ships can't cruise where APT can. Was warned day before embarkation of technical issues due to low water levels. Taken from Budapest airport to Slovakia direct in non descript mooringand boarded the EMBLA, must say the staff were great and freindly with excellent service, then a coach 90mins each way back again to Budapesr for a day tour the next day. After 2 nights we eventually cruised to Vienna via Brataslava at early hours. Moored at Vienna over night. Then onto Melk, so far so good. At Passau we moored up in city mooring for tour, then coached again to another town and a dreadful industrial mooring, again for 2 nights. This is where we coached to Regensburg, 90 mins each way for a day tour then back to our silo and unique views! Then the ship was staying we had to disembark and transfer to Nuremburg 3 hours plus on a coach then as the new ship the Lif, which wasn't ready and still wasn't ready for passengers, we dumped our hand luggage as cases went separately. The Nuremburg tour straight after this tiring trip was too much so I led on the top deck mostly roped off as railings not up and dozed on a sun bed, again out of town mooring, not like the adverts!. The ship then cruised via various German picturesque city's and towns and after Koblenz we moored in Cologne and stayed there. After a day tour of the city got back, stayed an extra night, AGAIN! As they stated we couldn't sail any further due to water levels a ^ hour transfer to Amsterdam, with a comfort stop at a drive through MacDonalds and a 2 hour tour of Kinderdyke on way. Saw the EIR another Viking ship go under a bridge on way which didn't help, put up at an airport hotel out side city at Schipol before flight home next morning. Would never trust or cruise with over priced and non caring outfit again, Wish I had taken full refund, but a pultry compensation is insulting!! They have never expailed how APT cruised the same route the same dates and no Coach Transfers, despicable! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
It was my third cruise with Viking River Cruises and I was extremely excited to return on board. Cruising the Passage to Eastern Europe with Viking was something I had been looking forward to this year as it had four countries I’ve never ... Read More
It was my third cruise with Viking River Cruises and I was extremely excited to return on board. Cruising the Passage to Eastern Europe with Viking was something I had been looking forward to this year as it had four countries I’ve never had the chance to visit and I was eager to explore. This time the ship was Viking Aegir but is good to know that the longship boats of Viking are essentially set up the same, the dining is good, and the staterooms are exactly what you need for the journey. The crew on board was what you normally expect from Viking: attention to details, manners, professionalism and always a special care for all passengers on board. Our waiter in the restaurant, a very pleasant young man from Argentina was mixing perfectly a family like atmosphere with very high standards and the manager in charge of housekeeping, Mirijana from Serbia, found always time to answer and solve all our request. The German hotel manager was a little bit abrupt and too much in to selling vouchers for next cruises (I bet he get a big commission with that) forgetting sometimes that he supposed to be a host and not a door-to-door salesman (especially during the Frequent Travellers cocktail when he invited everybody on board, talking for a very long 50 minutes and after that walking around forcing you to book your next cruise) On a negative side: the captain was very rude and unsociable and made everybody to feel uncomfortable during his evening lecture, despite the efforts of the Program Director to create a pleasant Q&A evening. Most shore excursions were very good, with interesting and knowledgeable local guides. However, many required very lengthy bus trips to the excursion sites. I will say that after doing three different itineraries with Viking River Cruises, this one was the most educational and enlightening. And all the praise goes to the Program Director Leonard for his huge knowledge of history, traditions, culture of the spaces we visited. He was working non-stop, almost 24 hours a day bringing his positive energy, his amazing personality, great sense of humour, elegant manners and enchanting conversations in a journey that gives you an opportunity to step into the Balkan’s turbulent past and experience the energy of a new generation moving forward. On each and every of his evening briefings, lecture, commentaries on the open deck or 1:1 conversation with all on board Viking Aegir, Leonard knew how to enlighten and open your perspective — the very core of travel for us. And for every moment of our trip he had a different approach: mixing historical facts with legends in his Dracula evening, genuine and heart-breaking talking about his early year in Ceausescu’s Romania, knowledgeable and incredible organised when coordinating in-depth tours at each stop and itineraries that touch on the highlights that make a memorable trip and fun and charming when he was leading the parties and entertainment on board Viking Aegir. What an asset for Viking! Bottom line: Viking River Cruises & Leonard – OUTSTANDING! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to cruise the Danube, and heard great things about Viking. The date worked out for us. Unlike other cruises, we had a full day in every port. The port talks on board let us know what to anticipate at each port, and in ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Danube, and heard great things about Viking. The date worked out for us. Unlike other cruises, we had a full day in every port. The port talks on board let us know what to anticipate at each port, and in addition to a free excursion at each, we were offered really interesting options. We went on several free tours, generally great introductions to each town or city, but our favorite was an amazing concert just for Viking passengers one night in Vienna. It included a brilliant ten piece orchestra that sounded twice that large as well as two opera singers and two ballet dancers. The program was not only glorious but also interspersed with humor at times. There were several standing ovations toward the end. The food at every meal was absolutely delicious, with many entree choices as well as great buffets. Our cruise director, George, made the cruise so much fun. Along with local entertainers, George and his pianist Boris kept everyone dancing, and his humor as well as his singing was delightful. We were truly treated royally by the entire staff and can’t wait to go on another cruise with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 2nd Viking Cruise...the prior one was on the Danube. We wanted to see new/different part of the country so chose the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. The ship was brand new and really lovely. Rooms were comfortable and very ... Read More
This was our 2nd Viking Cruise...the prior one was on the Danube. We wanted to see new/different part of the country so chose the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. The ship was brand new and really lovely. Rooms were comfortable and very well appointed, with very comfortable beds and heated bathroom floors!! The lounges are very nice and the service is beyond belief. All meals are excellant and servers are extremely attentive. I would rate Viking as one of the very best in the business...including service, coordination, cuisine, flight arrangements, transfers...you name it, and it was exceedingly well done. We traveled with friends and made new friends along the way. If you want to see more castles along the river, we commend the Danube. The Rhine is much wider, and more commercially travelled. WE are going on our 3rd in the spring and know it will be just as excellant as the last 2! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Nothing Compares to Paris in the spring. My sister and I had planned a different cruise the year before but due to an accident we cancelled the trip. (A word of advice BUY insurance). This cruise meant so much to both of us. I cannot ... Read More
Nothing Compares to Paris in the spring. My sister and I had planned a different cruise the year before but due to an accident we cancelled the trip. (A word of advice BUY insurance). This cruise meant so much to both of us. I cannot praise the crew enough. From the moment we landed we were treated like VIP’s. The ship was beautifully decorated,the food outstanding,the staff excellent. A special shout out to Mimi our cruise director, Nicky who sang and played every evening. The tours were delightful,especially the Giverny where the home of Monet gardens are located. Words cannot begin to describe the beauty there. After the cruise my sister and I spent 5days in Paris, we arranged this on our own. Paris,what’s not to love about Paris, it pulses life, culture , architecture,history, the people were very kind and friendly. Viva la France. Ship come and ship go, there are large ships and small ships but friendship is the best ship of all. Thank you for a memorable time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I wanted to visit Prague and Berlin as well as Wittenberg...not disappointed. Great hotels, ship staff and food were excellent. Enjoyed included excursions, and my granddaughter was so excited to see this part of the world. Very ... Read More
I wanted to visit Prague and Berlin as well as Wittenberg...not disappointed. Great hotels, ship staff and food were excellent. Enjoyed included excursions, and my granddaughter was so excited to see this part of the world. Very pleased;l had travelled Viking previously, and am considering an ocean voyage with tthem next. Some wasted time awaiting transfer to ship in Prague and again on another transfer. Our cruise director (EVA) was excellent in every way. She was pleasant, professional, and was available and helpful!! Some confusion about drinks that were included, but no worries...wine was plentiful. Resaurants visited in various ports such as Potsdam and Berlin were very good. Both hotel stays were very good!! With the exception of one, all guides were superb!!! Very knowledgeable and friendly!!! Buses were comfortable and all excursions were timely. Sad to see/hear of danger of pickpockets!! An experience of that occurred at the airportt in Berlin....fortunately just an observer; I was lucky!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was one river cruise that I could go on by myself since I had nobody to travel with this time. The vessel was the oldest but very clean and well maintained. The bathroom was a little small but worked out OK for my needs. Other ... Read More
This was one river cruise that I could go on by myself since I had nobody to travel with this time. The vessel was the oldest but very clean and well maintained. The bathroom was a little small but worked out OK for my needs. Other than sleep and shower I was not in my cabin much. The cleaning staff did a very nice job and were very pleasant to talk with. the dining was excellent and the staff was outstanding. They were very friendly and fun and help in any was possible. Entertainment on board was great and the cruise director was very good and helpful. She had a great personality and really seemed to enjoy her job. Her talks on the places we were going were fun and also informative. I would like to give a special thanks to the (2) young woman who were working the lounge and the piano player also. They were extremely nice people, very good service from all and just a pleasure to be around. They really made my evenings while we were sailing most enjoyable. I look forward to me next Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Locations visited and length of cruise was perfect. The staff was exceptional, and the food was delicious and plentiful! The wait staff kept the wine glasses filled as requ at both lunch and dinner. Although we weren’t on the optional ... Read More
Locations visited and length of cruise was perfect. The staff was exceptional, and the food was delicious and plentiful! The wait staff kept the wine glasses filled as requ at both lunch and dinner. Although we weren’t on the optional drink plan, the wine selections were very good. It was a very comfortable journey...not rushed, and we enjoyed the actual cruise alng the rivers. Seeing the scenery of vineyards, small villages, old castles, windmills and large cities lit up at night was an unexpected delight and it was glorious. On our last evening in Budapest, the captain took the boat out on the river to see the glorious lighting on all the buildings. It was beautiful! Because of the smaller size and fewer passengers, we had time to meet, chat with and relax at the lunches and dinners with other guests. We would sit with some several times at both lunch and dinner, as well as see them on the daily walking tours. We exchanged contact information with some of them. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Rhine River Cruise Nearly 40 years after we qualified and drifted apart a group of friends from Colombo Medical School suggested a get -together to catch up and compare notes. Eighteen of us just split up after a week on the Viking Eir ... Read More
Rhine River Cruise Nearly 40 years after we qualified and drifted apart a group of friends from Colombo Medical School suggested a get -together to catch up and compare notes. Eighteen of us just split up after a week on the Viking Eir cruising on the river Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel. Meeting on board a ship named after a goddess of healing was purely coincidental but significant. This certainly is one of the most memorable holidays for me and my partner. Atmosphere on board was friendly and informal, being a small vessel, the number of guests remain small in comparison to an ocean cruiser, so by the end of the week we knew most of the passengers contributing to the friendly atmosphere. We had one of the standard cabins on the main deck (the staff kept calling them "Staterooms") compact but perfectly comfortable with a shower room. Having to negotiate the locks in the river these boats have to be narrow so the rooms are smaller in comparison to an ocean cruiser. The common shared spaces are spacious, comfortable, light and airy; we spent very little of our awake time in the room. One of the most memorable things about Eir was its staff. Everybody from captain to the cleaning staff was cheerful, polite, helpful, and tried extra hard to make it a pleasant experience for the guests. Even the grumpiest and most miserable and complaining guest had to lighten up because of this atmosphere created by the crew. The Chef (Bobby) and his team kept us fed and entertained during meal-times, food was plentiful and very tasty, with a great variety for most of us omnivores, except one strict vegetarian among us who had a limited choice. Wine served with meals was good and the staff very helpful. I have to mention a few by name because of their friendly and attentive service. Cerasela (Ali)waited on us most of the meals with Bart, and two other guys who’s names I forgot to write down but all were equally helpful. On the second day of our cruise I witnessed with embarrassment a somewhat demanding passenger order three main courses from the menu in a single meal and fussing about the food yet the waiting staff were extremely patient polite professional to attend to all the demands of this guest. I found Natalia who served us at the bar very attentive, knowledgeable, and she seemed to remember our individual tastes. She asked me what I liked to try out and I told her I liked single malt scotch whiskies. Over the next few nights she introduced me to several not so common malt whiskies each night. I found her advice very helpful in exploring whiskies I had not tried before. The excursions included in the cruise were good and quite educational as well as enjoyable. Since we were more interested in the company and catching up we did not book many of the optional excursions, the one I took namely the visit to Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant was disappointing. I have to mention few other individuals who played crucial roles to make us feel welcome and enjoy our holiday. Captain Vadim, hotel manager Luciano, program director Daniel, Maria at the front desk, maitre d’ Ronell, are some of the helpful staff I need to be thankful to. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to experience the best in cruising which is why we chose Viking River Cruises. Our friends had recommended to us that cruising on a longboat was an unforgettable experience. Therefore, we selected the Danube River Cruise which ... Read More
We wanted to experience the best in cruising which is why we chose Viking River Cruises. Our friends had recommended to us that cruising on a longboat was an unforgettable experience. Therefore, we selected the Danube River Cruise which was our first experience with Viking. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Viking Longboat MAGNI and would highly recommend Viking. The service provided was truly exceptional which began with the airport transfer to the hotel, the transfer to our longboat, and the transfer back to the airport. Once we boarded the boat, we were all were treated as if we were royalty. The food on the cruise was truly exceptional with a variety of selections offered. I especially enjoyed tasting the local flavors as we docked in various ports throughout Europe. The wine was complimentary with each meal and the deserts were wonderful. We found all the food service personnel from the waitresses, waiters, cooks, and food director truly exceptional providing exceptional customer service. Everyone wanted to make sure your dining experience was memorable. The Concierge, Program Director, Tour Director, and the Ship's Captain were also very cordial and customer service focused. My wife and I were prejudice; however, we felt our Program Tour Director was the best in the Viking fleet. He provided tons of information and historical references on our cruise as well as providing recommendations of places we should visit at each of our stops. During our stops we took advantage of the optional tour excursions. The local tour guides were exceptionally versed on their local history which increased the educational significance of the trip. For the Danube River Cruise, I would recommend travelers to begin in Passau Germany and end their cruise in Budapest Hungry as the night lights cruising into Budapest were unbelievable as we experienced on the sun deck. What a photographic opportunity. We made so many friends on our cruise which made it that much more enjoyable. We stay in contact with several families and are looking forward with traveling with them in the future with Viking. We were so impressed with the Danube Viking Cruise that we booked two more cruises with Viking: Paris and the Heart of Normandy Cruise in April 2019 and Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Cities in April 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We just come back from a cruise in eastern Europe on Viking LIF. We’ve been cruising many times before mainly on Cunard, Regent, Silver Sea and Viking (3 times on the ocean) but this was our very first river cruise. It was an awesome ... Read More
We just come back from a cruise in eastern Europe on Viking LIF. We’ve been cruising many times before mainly on Cunard, Regent, Silver Sea and Viking (3 times on the ocean) but this was our very first river cruise. It was an awesome experience from all point of view: the size and the ambiance of the ship, the excellent service, great tours and fantastic time on board. Our room attendant, Anna was very friendly and while we didn't ask for much, I believe she would be more than willing to accommodate our needs. The food on board was good but we believe that Viking needs to provide more quality ingredients to be sure that the food experience on board rich the standards of the rest of the services provided on Viking LIF. The staff was always pleasant, and we fell in love with our waitress Alina. Ivan in the bar had a great sense of humour and we love his wine and cocktails recommendations. But the cherry on the cake was the cruise director Leonard. In all our previous cruises we were luck to have nice good cruise directors. But this time Leonard beat all the records: his passion, expertise, knowledge and amazing sparkling personality brought this river cruise to a hard to beat level. His lecture were a pleasure to attend with a perfect mixture of information, knowledge and entertainment getting standing ovations every night (especially his talks about the life in communist Romania and the myths of vampires) Leonard was working almost 24 hours a day: we saw him at 5.00am getting ready the excursion, running up and down during the day with the guides and entertaining passengers in the lounge until midnight or maybe late. What a great asset for Viking! For sure we will be back on another river cruise but must be Viking, must be the ship LIF and of course must be Leonard as a cruise director. Thank you all for an amazing trip between Budapest and Bucharest! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
While I did join my cousin and her husband on this cruise, I appreciated the ease with which a truly solo traveler could be accommodated with a number of dining choices on board ship and no worries about finding food in an unknown city. ... Read More
While I did join my cousin and her husband on this cruise, I appreciated the ease with which a truly solo traveler could be accommodated with a number of dining choices on board ship and no worries about finding food in an unknown city. When I came home I booked a Viking ocean cruise traveling truely solo. The included excursions were excellent reflecting a key aspect of the country and with top notch guides. I enjoyed the little surprises Viking included in the trip such as offering refreshment upon returning from a shore excursion. I also appreciated how we were kept informed with daily briefings and a daily newsletter. Having choices at meals made my dietary restrictions easy to accommodate without a fuss and I never felt deprived plus the food was excellent! The booking experience through Viking was a breeze with very helpful travel agents. The whole experience was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We love visiting new places, food and drinks were amazing. All staff was friendly, make us feel like home. Excellent service on and off board. Visited UNESCO places. Drink all we want, everything was included. Weather was ... Read More
We love visiting new places, food and drinks were amazing. All staff was friendly, make us feel like home. Excellent service on and off board. Visited UNESCO places. Drink all we want, everything was included. Weather was perfect this season, a little chilly to be outside. Temperatures inside were very comfortable. Perfect size boat, don’t have to walk long distances to be in the dining room or get off. Tours were long enough and very interesting. Very knowledgeable guides, new buses to takes us to different places. Met people from different places and cultures. Room had a good variety of channels and also accommodate 110V for appliances. Flight was perfectly routed from our point of departure in USA to our destination of arrival and departure. Again food was great, variety, all drinks were included during lunch and dinner. Coffee and juice accompanied our breakfast. Definitely will do it again next year, this time to Russia. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little ... Read More
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little bit different, but we loved every moment between Budapest and Amsterdam. Viking Lif is a lovely ship, not very big (we were 190 passengers on board), giving you the feeling that you are in an intimate environment with a subtle added touch of luxury. The stateroom was not very big, but comfortable with decent amenities. Our room stewardess Anna was above any expectations, friendly and helpful and always happy to have a nice chat with us. She managed to keep our room sparkling every without being intrusive and her smile was the best way to start our days. My only real gripe is the food which was a little bit disappointing with not a lot of variety and sometimes tasteless or nearly tasteless dishes, something like semi prepared food from a tin. But the service was impeccable, both in the restaurant and the bar with Harold and Saska making every meal special. We purchased on board the “all-inclusive drinking package” which was great with plenty of choice. The only think that was not included was the smile of the staff in the bar; maybe they were tired, but we didn’t see them smiling once. The Reception team were trying their best to be helpful but, most of the time they didn’t have time or information to answer to our questions, especially the young guy working during the night, who always “made up” answers which were far from what we needed. Ionut and Anita were great and at least were trying to help us as much as possible. Maybe, as a suggestion for Viking, the presence of a Concierge or Passenger Service Agent will be a great idea! We met the Captain once during an evening presentation in the lounge. Despite his impressive, scary look he was a very interesting character and his “double act” show with the cruise director was great. The Hotel Manager Jerry was very efficient despite the fact that he was sometimes quite abrupt with both passengers and his own crew. But he was always around the ship to check that everything was perfect…and it was! But, with no doubts, the biggest asset of the ship was our Cruise Director Leonard. We're blown away with his energy, creativity, impressive knowledge, superb manners, an incredible sense of humour. He is a true professional and has the charisma of a Jay Leno, or a Johnny Carson. Managing every aspect of our excursions and events on board he was always around when somebody had a question or need any kind of support. His lecture and presentations were simply amazing and we watch him both in the lounge or on television learning so much about Mozart and Main Canal, Dutch cheese and Sound of Music. Everybody on board loved him and that’s include the crew; I saw Leonard in Wurtzburg buying roses for all the room stewardesses and sweets for the staff in the restaurant. I think he is FLAT OUT the BEST in the business! His fun-loving and happy personality comes across within his work and it is clear why he is so popular and well regarded by everybody. If anyone has the pleasure of being on a cruise with him, be prepared for the best and informative cruise ever! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Me and my wife we just come back from “passage to Europe” on Viking LIF. We’ve been in many cruises on the big ships, two of them with Viking Sky and Star, but our recent experience exceeded any expectations. Viking Lif is a ... Read More
Me and my wife we just come back from “passage to Europe” on Viking LIF. We’ve been in many cruises on the big ships, two of them with Viking Sky and Star, but our recent experience exceeded any expectations. Viking Lif is a beautiful ship, our cabin was smaller than on the ocean but extremely comfortable and we always had the feeling of a big family due to the small size of the ship (only 190 passengers on board). Was like being on a floating home. The food was very good and the service in the restaurant was exceptional (we loved Harold and Bogdan). The only thing that we missed from the big ship was the buffet which on Viking Star was amazing. Our cabin was smaller that what you get on a big ship was impeccable clean and we loved the heated floor in the bathroom. The housekeeper Anna was a very friendly girl from Romania and she was brilliant keeping our cabin sparkling every day, extremely helpful and with a nice big smile. We wanted to take her home with us. On Viking Lif we didn’t find a concierge as we were promised when we booked the cruise, but the receptionist Ankita was always ready to assist us when we needed more information about the places that we visited. The cruise visiting Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Budapest was an excellent opportunity to learn about the ex-communist block and discover new traditions and lifestyles. Is a cruise that I strongly recommend if you want to leave your comfort zone of a boring cruise. Of course we were extremely lucky to have the best cruise director EVER! We cruised before with Princess, Holland America, Viking, Cunard and regent but we never had the chance to have somebody like the cruise director on Viking Lif. Leonard was born in Romania, is a doctor but at the same time a movie star in Romania. We were shocked to see that in Bucharest everybody was stopping him asking for autographs and photos. His was a walking encyclopaedia having a huge amount of information about every places that we visited and answering every questions. What we loved was that he know how to mix the right amount of information with a fine sense of humour, making never boring any conversation. His presentations about Communist Romania was heart-breaking and inspiring, while his talk about Dracula was informative and funny at the same time. Everybody on board loved him and Leonard was working 25 hours daily being anytime everywhere. Charming and elegant, smart and funny he is a huge asset for Viking making our cruise informative educative but everything with a lot of fun. We celebrate Halloween on board and was one of the best party ever: everybody was wearing a mask, a “scary disco party” was taking place in the lounge and the two witches acting as hosts (the cruise director and the pianist|) were great. The entire experience on Viking Lif was memorable and, persuaded by the charming hotel manager Jary to book for the next year another cruise on Viking Lif, this time from Amsterdam to Budapest. Finger crossed that we will have Leonard again as a Cruise Director. Thank you Viking you are THE BEST! Thank your Viking LIF you are exceptional! Thank you Leonard your are phenomenal! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Probably one of the best trips I have had in my life! I have to admit since this was my first Viking adventure I didn’t know what to expect and was a little hesitant to stay 8 days on a boat, but WOW what a great time I had! The food ... Read More
Probably one of the best trips I have had in my life! I have to admit since this was my first Viking adventure I didn’t know what to expect and was a little hesitant to stay 8 days on a boat, but WOW what a great time I had! The food was fantastic the staff was beyond excellent and the overall experience was just amazing. I enjoyed all of it but the one thing I would have to say that I was most impressed with was the professionalism of the staff, friendly, funny and always helpful and there for anything you needed. I really enjoyed the guided tours and the knowledge of all the tour guides. I learned a lot about the areas we visited and it inspired me to read more about those places once I was home. Overall, I would recommend a Viking tour for everyone at least once in your life, I am hoping to experience one many more times. I absolutely loved my vacation and my Viking experience very much!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
My friend and I chose this cruise because it was a dream we had always had. When the price dropped so low and included air, we jumped on it. Viking couldn't have been more wonderful to us. The pace was perfect and allowed us to relax ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because it was a dream we had always had. When the price dropped so low and included air, we jumped on it. Viking couldn't have been more wonderful to us. The pace was perfect and allowed us to relax as well as participate in excursions. We met lovely people with similar interests and have maintained contact with them. The atmosphere of the ship and services offered made me feel like I was on an expensive luxury cruise rather than being in the cheapest cabin available. After we got on board, I forgot all the hassle we had on the trip over. The Paris airport was a nightmare. We arrived with enough time to transfer to Basel but the red tape and disorganization made us miss our flight. We spent the entire day in the airport and missed seeing Basel. I believe that Viking should take this process into consideration and allow more time to get through Paris. Other than that, I would take another cruise with Viking in a New York minute. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Last month I spend 3 weeks on board of Viking ships sailing across Europe. No mistake, I said “Viking ships” because due to the water issues on the Danube I needed to change ships in Budapest. The first part of my trip was on Viking ... Read More
Last month I spend 3 weeks on board of Viking ships sailing across Europe. No mistake, I said “Viking ships” because due to the water issues on the Danube I needed to change ships in Budapest. The first part of my trip was on Viking Agir and the last 2 weeks on Viking Lif. I didn’t have any problems with changing ships but what I don’t understand is how Viking manage to offer two different experiences on two, in theory, identical ships? The boarding on Agir was a little bit chaotic with passengers arriving at the same time and waiting in the lounge until somebody from the reception was shouting, like in Central Station, the name of the lucky one who can get the room key. On Viking LIF everything was different: a sense of calm and control, with a lot of smiles and with the Hotel Manager and Cruise Director chatting with the passengers when we were waiting (not very long) for check-in. The girls from Agir reception were trying hard to smile and give useful information and always advise me to ask the Cruise director. On Lif the story was completely different: Anicka and Iout knew almost everything and when they didn’t have the answer, with a joke, were ask the Cruise director to help. The service in Agir restaurant was very basic and most of the time rushed; I don’t want to blame the waiters but was easy to realise that they were overworked and under the constant pressure of the Hotel manager who was always walking like an SS officer with no smiles for passengers or staff. On Lif everybody, anytime of the day had a genuine big smile and they looked that they love their job and being on board. On the second ship you have the feeling that they were a big family with everybody, from Captain Ane to my room steward (Marko) sharing jokes and being professional in a very friendly manner. Big differences between ships from top to bottom; on Agir the captain didn’t speak one word in English his presentation about navigation being another boring show off of the Hotel Manager while on Lif was an excellent double act with Cpt Ane and Cruise Director Leonard putting together an excellent infotainment night. Iana, Hotel Manager on Lif was very friendly and always ready to help not only the passengers but staff too, finding time to chat with everybody. The other Hotel Manager, Claus, was acting like a little dictator with both staff and passengers…not a pleasant face to see when on board! The only element of consistency was the Cruise Director, or Program Director as is called on Viking, Leonard. He was always funny, very informative and knowledgeable, showing a genuine care for all on board and finding time after very long days to chat both with passengers and his colleagues. I was so happy that he was with us for all 3 weeks and he’s the one who made me booking another Viking cruise. Maybe Viking can think very seriously about bringing consistency on board of their ships; after 3 weeks I will score 4 stars Viking Lif 2 stars Viking Agir And 5+stars Leonard. However, as a sign of respect and appreciation for Viking LIF the scores are for my 2 weeks experience on Lif between Budapest to Amsterdam Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose Viking because it had the itinerary we wanted and at an excellent price. Best of all, EVERYTHING was included in the price of the trip...including internet (unlike some cruise lines, which charge $75 per minute...) and beer, wine ... Read More
We chose Viking because it had the itinerary we wanted and at an excellent price. Best of all, EVERYTHING was included in the price of the trip...including internet (unlike some cruise lines, which charge $75 per minute...) and beer, wine & soda at lunch and dinner. Viking was a class act from the moment we stepped aboard until the moment the cruise ended. Viking went FAR BEYOND our expectations in every way. There was an included excursion at every port...sometimes two, and every time we left the ship, Viking gave us a cold bottle of water so we wouldn't get dehydrated. (Other cruise lines have the audacity to charge several dollars for a bottle of water.) When we returned from our excursions, they frequently had treats for us... The staff was fantastic, service was amazing, the rooms were spotless, the food was fabulous, the wifi was free (unlike other cruise lines that charge $ ..75 a minute.) The excursions, which were also included in the price, were exciting, interesting, educational and fun. The tour guides are well-spoken, engaging, entertaining, and knowledgeable, Viking was a superb value and an amazing cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious ... Read More
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious balcony where we could sit and enjoy the passing scenery, well worth the extra money. The trips into port were always fun and informative with local tour guides. The only thing we lacked were bicycles but next time we will rent them in port. We were very impressed with the boarding process, after couple of failures with other cruise lines. Just when we stepped out of our cab was the first moment when we meet our charming Cruise Director Leonard. That smile, his energy and his impressive manners were always with us for the next 14 days. Depending on when you board, head to your cabin if it's ready (your suitcase won't be far behind, thanks to the crew's efficiency) or make yourself comfortable in the lounge, where you can suss out fellow passengers and have a light lunch. No fuss, no hassle, no stress. Only Leonard smile dropping some useful information regarding our first afternoon and evening in Budapest. Simple fantastic! To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. The housekeeping crew on board are exceptional, every detail in our stateroom was attended to, and the speed and efficiency that these crew work at is an immense achievement all co ordinated by the super competent Victoria The meals on board were quite good, nothing exceptional but the service balance the lack of “wow” for every lunch and dinner. The staff were incredible and Bogdan, the restaurant manager was simply amazing as I have quite complicated dietary restrictions and it was handled in such a quiet and efficient way. We had a lot of choices to eat a meal , on the Aquavit Terrace, in front or in the main restaurant , and plenty to eat . Excellent meal prepared according to our day destination or you can order what is on the menu......Beer and Wine was also excellent.... The crew were so professional and never once had their hand out for a tip, they did their job, because they love their job !!! There's no separation of cruise "class" distinction. We were all treated as elite members with everyone receiving great service by the entire staff on board lead by one of the best Hotel Directors I ever meet: Jerry. He was always ready to sort any types of problems on board, sometimes over the top, but always charming and helpful. Love him! One day arriving back after a long day of sightseeing, we were greeted with a luscious chocolate at the door! We appreciated the flexibility of attending the evening activities or just relaxing in our room. Service is wonderful. The staff obviously takes great.pride in learning about their guests. The very quickly learn or preference, red wine/ white wine, coffee/ tea. They have an.amazing ability to know your name after the first day. Last but not least our Cruise Director. Leonard was exactly the opposite of some of our previous experiences with Silver Sea and Regent( see our review about the arrogance and lack of customer care of some of the Cruise Directors) Nothing was too much from Leonard, being everywhere at any time with the same smile and professionalism. He is one the greatest pro's I have ever seen! He knew the itinerary like his own pocket having a story or a unusual fact for every places we visited. His daily lecture were like a Discovery channel shows: informative, interesting and funny. And taking in the account the number of passengers and excursion every day he was SO organised managing everything with no failure. And every evening, no matter how busy the day was, Leonard was in the lounge for a chat, for a dance or an exciting presentation. One night he organised a ABBA and ‘80s Party where HE was an excellent DJ! What a treat…people dancing everywhere and some of the crew joining too. Leonard was simply amazing, a great asset for Viking! Above all, the crew was amazing! Whether the room stewards, the wait staff, the bartenders or the officers, everyone was cordial and friendly beyond belief. They also transitioned seamlessly between tasks on the ship which was evidenced by their ability to move our luggage when departing like a well-oiled machine. Everyone from the Captain to the kitchen help worked shoulder to shoulder. To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. Already booked another 2 cruises with Viking! Can we have Leonard as a cruise director, please????!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
“Passage to Eastern Europe” was our 3rd cruise with Viking, after France and Rhine and with no doubts was the BEST one! The itinerary gave us the chance to explore a part of Europe with a fantastic rich history and enjoy some ... Read More
“Passage to Eastern Europe” was our 3rd cruise with Viking, after France and Rhine and with no doubts was the BEST one! The itinerary gave us the chance to explore a part of Europe with a fantastic rich history and enjoy some breath-taking landscapes during well organized tours with excellent and informative guides. Viking LIF is elegant and stylish like the other Viking long ships but what made special this trip was the excellent crew. Our cabin stewardess Anna manage for 7 days to keep our cabin sparkling and made us feel like home. Maybe the amenities or the available space in the cabin are not at the level of other companies (Viking is cutting corners since our last trip) but Anna kept everything under control being a charming presence and incredible efficient. From the very first day we realised that Viking is trying to save money in the restaurant too. The food didn’t have the same standards and the quality was clearly under what Viking offered in our last trip. But at the end of the day the excellent service in the restaurant with the professionalism of Bogdan and the grace of Elena made every meal special. We missed the presence of the concierge on board but fortunately the team from the reception manage to help us in organised some extras during our trip. Ankika was great always smiling and happy to help. Above all the biggest asset of Viking LIF was our Program Director Leonard. We travel a lot, both ocean and river cruises but we never had the chance to meet somebody so special like Leonard. His extraordinary, almost encyclopaedic, knowledge of history, traditions, legends, geography made every daily meeting and lecture a unique opportunity to learn about this part of the world. Leonard had a great sense of humour and the mixture between personal experience, anecdotes and facts gain every evening a full house for his daily presentations (maybe, as a suggestion, the presentation should be broadcast in the cabins too as was never enough space in the lounge when Leonard was talking). After 7 days we didn’t manage the find how Leonard was able to be everywhere in every moment to help, chat, explain or joke! And was not only our opinion but Leonard made this trip GREAT for everyone on board. He can work in any other cruise lines around the world and will be a pleasure to meet him again. Watch out Viking don’t lose him if you want us back! Read Less
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