Sail Date: June 2018
The reason we selected Viking was because of the reputation of everything being included and not having to worry about being nickeled and dimed every time you turn around. I had researched all of the other river ships and no one could ... Read More
The reason we selected Viking was because of the reputation of everything being included and not having to worry about being nickeled and dimed every time you turn around. I had researched all of the other river ships and no one could measure up to the service that Viking gives. The person that motivated me to book the cruise was Shane Bagely located in Corp. headquarters, Woodland Hills CA. No pressure, knowledge of everything we wanted and a sincere interest in this being the first river cruise he wanted this to be best experience he could arrange for us. Everyone that greeted us on board generally treated us with warmth, professionalism, and attention to detail. The sweet we had was superb. The extra sitting room and balcony made a huge difference. The staff from the moment you came on board greeted you with enthusiasm. The ship, rooms and general areas were spotless. The dinning, under the guidance of Marcus, a 31 year old Executive Chef from Germany, served a 5 star meal every night that was representative of the port we were in. The Program Director was very entertaining, knowledgeable and ran the ship activities perfectly . The Capt. was very accessible as was the Hotel Manager, and Maitre d' The free morning tours were very informative and the guides extremely entertaining and knowledgeable. . By the end of the cruise we had met everyone on the ship and made many new friends that we still keep in touch with. A side note: I did not know that we would be going through 26 locks. Who need the Panama canal. I was just about to doze off on the first night of sailing. About 10:30 or so. All of a sudden there was a bump of the boat that shook the bed enough for me to jump out of bed. (I live in Los Angeles and earthquake came to mind) Looked out the window and alI could see was a wall of the first lock. Had to laugh at myself. Would we do this again? We have already booked the Rhine cruise for 2019 with our friends we meet on this cruise. Don't miss this cruise!!!!! 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 is our second and by far not our last. You embark on an adventure and leave as family. There is a feeling among staff and other travelers that makes you feel like it is a home away from home. The time goes quickly and tears fill your ... Read More
This is our second and by far not our last. You embark on an adventure and leave as family. There is a feeling among staff and other travelers that makes you feel like it is a home away from home. The time goes quickly and tears fill your eyes as you say goodbye. Price affordable for what you receive in return. The rooms are clean and always refreshed with bottles od water for your convenience. This is our second adventure with Viking. We did the Rhine from Amsterdam to Switzerland taking advantage of the extra days in both countries extending our vacation. Experiencing the Alps is something we never will forget. The many vacation options, River or Ocean cruises, are so tempting you become addicted to traveling with Viking. They keep you informed by social media and mail of all that is waiting out there for you. Viking is the only way we will travel. Safe , affordable, friendly and most important very organized so you can sit back and let them take over for a lifetime memory. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I booked this cruise because we thought sailing the Danube would be a beautiful and fun experience -- and it was. The ship was superbly maintained and always immaculate. Our cabin was amply sized and comfortable; the dining ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise because we thought sailing the Danube would be a beautiful and fun experience -- and it was. The ship was superbly maintained and always immaculate. Our cabin was amply sized and comfortable; the dining and service on board the ship were first rate; the shore excursions were fun; and the cruise director had boundless energy and gave extremely informative and well researched lectures before several dinners. Our most interesting experience was the WWII tour of Nuremberg. Standing where Hitler delivered his loathsome speeches to hundreds of thousands of his Nazi followers and then visiting Courtroom 600, the site of the Nuremberg trials where some of his most rabid henchmen finally were brought to justice, was simply chilling and deeply moving. Our two day pre-cruise stay in Budapest also was very enjoyable -- we had breathtaking views of Pest from our hotel window and our visit to the Dohany Street Synagogue and the nearby memorial to Raoul Wallenberg were other highlights of our trip. We will definitely book another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
New adventures for all of us. From DC, Philly and London, we gathered two days before the cruise at a well-located and comfortable hotel on the Pest side of Budapest. We took advantage of two separate guided walking tours to learn the ... Read More
New adventures for all of us. From DC, Philly and London, we gathered two days before the cruise at a well-located and comfortable hotel on the Pest side of Budapest. We took advantage of two separate guided walking tours to learn the history and explore this beautiful and vibrant Hungarian city. Traditional restaurants featuring local fare were plentiful, and we enjoyed two very full days prior to beginning the cruise. We even did a one- hour Segway tour. It was fun but difficult on the Pest side because of the crowds, easier to navigate on the Buda side at the lower elevations by the river. The Var was conveniently located and transferring from our hotel to the ship couldn't have been easier. We quickly learned all the offerings and nuances of our ship. The food was wonderful throughout, and the chef and staff never disappointed with a variety of delicious cuisine. The highlight at the beginning was a beautiful nighttime Danube cruise where we were able to experience the beauty of Budapest from the river under the lights. The rest of the ports and excursions were equally as exciting from romantic Vienna, scenic cruising through the Wachau valley, charming Passau and Regensburg, traversing the many interesting locks, and bustling Nuremberg. Following our wonderful cruise, we spent three exciting days in Prague which included an outstanding city guided tour and a fascinating day spent at Terezin, used as an internment camp during WWII. We all agreed that it was a fantastic trip and we look forward to doing something similar on one of the many opportunities in Europe. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My daughter and I just returned from a wonderful week visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany on the Viking Long ship, Var. After a little blip in air travel plans with Air Canada connections delayed to Toronto, we enjoyed what I would ... Read More
My daughter and I just returned from a wonderful week visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany on the Viking Long ship, Var. After a little blip in air travel plans with Air Canada connections delayed to Toronto, we enjoyed what I would say was a perfect experience. A call to the Viking hotline when we realized we were going to miss our transatlantic connection in Canada, resulted in a very quick response and rebooking to United to include a cab ride from Washington National to Dulles International. The rest of the flight was uneventful and we were happy to see the friendly Viking Cruise representative who met us in Nuremburg and encouraged us to relax after our long flight and to let Viking take care of everything from this point forward. She was right, Viking is extremely organized, we were able to settle in and not worry about another thing for the entire week. The Var is a beautiful ship, accommodating 180 passengers. We had a stateroom with balcony that felt roomy. The bathroom included heated floors and a strong shower (important to me). The complimentary shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash were of good quality so it’s not necessary to bring your own. A blow dryer was provided as well. Dress on the boat is relatively casual, even at night. I probably over packed. It’s winter in Germany so comfortable walking boots are essential for the cobblestone sidewalks as well as a warm coat, hat and gloves. Bring Euros for the markets and for tipping the guides, other larger stores and restaurants will accept credit cards. Each day we were in a different port that included a morning tour and then free time to explore the town and markets. We always had time to eat a good breakfast on the ship, either the standard American buffet with made to order eggs or a more European breakfast on the Aquavit deck that my daughter and I enjoyed. Most days we had lunch at the markets, sampling the different wursts and local treats. Every market provided a warm drink for about 3 Euros with a 3 Euro deposit if you wanted to keep the commemorative mug that was unique to each town and fun to collect. Stops included: Nuremburg-the largest market and famous for their wurst on a fresh roll and local mustard (to die for). The Christmas crafts were amazing! We bought little wooden ornaments. We were told that vendors are required to let buyers know if the items are not made in Germany so customers can feel confident that they are buying locally made products. The morning tour included a bus ride through the town with stops at the Nazi rally points and the Nuremburg castle. That night on the ship and every night we had a coordination meeting with our program director, Dan, who laid out the next day plans, introduced the ship officers and answered questions. I have to say that I have been on many large cruise ships but the more manageable ship size of river cruising is refreshing. It was nice to get to know the staff and other passengers more intimately. Dan was the most involved program director that I have ever seen. He accompanied us on all excursions, working hard to insure that everyone’s needs were completely fulfilled. Although the ship offers a full bar, most evenings we were offered complimentary champange, cordials or schnapps. Dinners were elegantly presented and tasty with an eye towards healthy eating. Portions were on the small size but adequate. I was looking forward to experiencing more regional cooking. Meals offered were somewhat traditional and included such things as Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand, Sea Bass and Scallops. Vegetarian choices were always an option. There was one German night that satisfied my need for German food and to improve the mood, we were serenaded by local musicians. Every night wine and beer was offered. We kept hearing about the local vineyards so I was surprised that the wine choices were from other countries, mostly Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc. Highlights from other ports included: Bamburg- charming medieval town. It is the home of smoked beer and a wonderful hot apple cider called “Apple Pie” which came highly recommended from our young tour guide. In Wurzburg we toured the elaborate palace in the morning and then were bused to the perfectly preserved town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Viking provided lunch at a traditional gasthaus called Glocke that included potato soup, bratwurst, mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut with apple strudel for dessert. It was so nice to come in from the cold to enjoy such a regional meal and what a pleasant surprise from Viking. Other points of interest in Rothenburg include the schnapps distillery, complete with tasting room. The tour guide suggested the raspberry and pear, although there were many flavors to sample. The original and largest Kathe Wohlfahrt store is located in this town as well as a large Steiff toy store. In the market we enjoyed hot chocolate with amaretto and another commemorative mug, yummm! Wertheim is a small town that has a small town community feel. The Christmas market includes a little renaissance fair complete with sword fights and medieval characters. Wertheim is known for glassblowing. Earlier in the day, Viking invited one of the more famous artisans to provide demonstrations on the ship. This day we spent more time cruising and were able to enjoy the scenery and to experience, during daylight, a few of the 31 locks negotiated during the cruise, which usually occurred during evening hours. The next morning we docked in Frankfurt and traveled to Heidelberg where we again visited the castle and took a walking tour of the town. Lunch was on our own so we had another opportunity to sample local cuisine and enjoy another Christmas Market. We returned late that evening expecting to pack and prepare for the next days departure, when one of our shipmates reported that the Frankfurt Christmas Market was in walking distance to the ship. They felt it was one of the best markets with a great vibe. Unfortunately, it was about this time that we were hearing reports of the Berlin terrorist attack and decided to stay on the ship. I would suggest saving some time and energy for the Frankfurt market for future travelers, sounds like we missed a good one. All in all, I can’t thank Viking enough for making this week enjoyable and stress free. It was such a treat to have had quality time with my daughter. For everyone considering a river cruise and waiting to hear what it’s like, I say go for it! Christmas is a magical time in Europe. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I had been interested in a river cruse for some time as it seemed more intimate with an opportunity to see more destinations of interest. Friends of ours signed up so we decided to make the leap and go. We were very pleased with ... Read More
I had been interested in a river cruse for some time as it seemed more intimate with an opportunity to see more destinations of interest. Friends of ours signed up so we decided to make the leap and go. We were very pleased with every aspect of the cruse and it lived up to it's billing. One thing the company can't control is the weather and we had spectacular weather the whole time which put it over the top. Starting with making air arrangements departing from Erlangen Viking was helpful and I always there. Once you arrive at your destination airport and make contact with your Viking representative until you get to the ticket counter for your departure you don't have to take care of anything. The food was first class and you always had choices. If you wanted something special all you had to do was ask and the staff would do what they could to take care of it. The excursions were in general very well planned and entertaining as well as educational. There is some history which you have to have to understand what you visiting and why it was important. The guides were very knowledgeable however they didn't try to impress only to explain and point out points and things of interest. One thing that was evident with most of our guides was they were happy to show off their towns/cities and seemed to really appreciate have us there. All in all a great rip and I want to look into the next level which would be the cruse on the Mediterranean with Viking however the size of the river cruse is hard to beat. Nice people and great service. Read Less
Viking Var Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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