141 Viking River Viking Var Europe - River Cruise Reviews

I am willing to pay for a true luxury experience and that is what I thought I would get with Viking River but this is definitely not luxury, maybe 4 star for accommodations and 3.5 for food. Using an analogy to hotels, let's say Four ... Read More
I am willing to pay for a true luxury experience and that is what I thought I would get with Viking River but this is definitely not luxury, maybe 4 star for accommodations and 3.5 for food. Using an analogy to hotels, let's say Four Seasons/Mandarin Oriental/Conrad/Montage, etc. are at a top level 5 (which Viking River most certainly is not), Viking River is akin to a good Hilton. I splurged, I really wanted the luxury experience. So I paid extra for the verandah suite. Accommodations were nice especially for a "cruise". Spacious, clean and modern facilities (including a walk in shower with heated floors, an appreciated touch during the cold German nights). HOWEVER the food and service is definitely not luxury. Breakfast/lunch/dinner items are extremely generic and usually bland (to accommodate the tastes of the elderly who frequent these cruises). I ended up skipping dinner altogether most times and just having a protein drink in my room. For fitness buffs like myself, there is no gym by the way on these small river cruise ships which was a complete bummer. Similarly, the SERVICE was not luxury. The wait-staff are salt of the earth nice people who do a good job, but the level of deference and "invisible" service that you get at true luxury properties are not found here. Instead it seems the staff, particularly in the restaurant, are instructed to be outgoing and garrulous which is tiresome for me on a trip that is supposed to be relaxing. What really pissed me off is that I spent an extra thousand - on top of the premium price - on "optional" excursions which were a COMPLETE RIPOFF. For example, the Optional day trip to Munich, costing me an extra $279 PER PERSON, was just an hour and half drive on the bus, a pit stop at the FREE BMW headquarters, a walk around town (not even going inside to any of the multitude of museums), a pre-set rather cheap meal and then a ride back to the ship. THAT WAS AN EXTRA $300. Complete rip-off, it was literally a $40 car ride with a mediocre guide. All in all, if you love to go on cruises, this is probably one of the better ones but if you want true luxury - which I really really need for my VACATIONS - I will not be going on Viking again. OOOOHHHH how can I forget? The sleep issue. There was a constant clanging in the walls in what I was later told by the engineer as emanating from the hot water pipes. This clanging was LOUD, traveled all around the walls of my suite and CONSTANT. As in every 20 seconds 24/7. The captain came in, acknowledged the problem and offered ear-plugs. He said that this was just a built-in problem with the ship and the rooms...the hot water pipes are behind the walls of the small cruise ship and that when you cruise, you have to expect noises from the ship. I think that is UNACCEPTABLE for an experience labeled as "luxury" by the company. Getting good sleep is fundamental to a vacation and I did not get it here. AT THE VERY LEAST, the company should disclose this issue UP FRONT IN ITS ADVERTISING. Of course it does not. All in all, I am not impressed by the company and its lack of transparency and its cost-cutting measures that really do not make this a true luxury experience (for example, the coffee machines SUCK, do NOT offer decaf and the teas are just teabags that tasted gross...we're in Europe for crying out loud, premium teas are cheap and plentiful. By the way, WIFI is spotty and slow, you cannot stream movies which is UNACCEPTABLE these days especially if you don't offer other things to do on the ship like a gym, etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The cruise was a "Girls Only" trip for several who had previously travelled with Viking and we KNEW how fabulous it would be! The cabins were extremely well laid out with more than enough room for clothing storage, relaxing ... Read More
The cruise was a "Girls Only" trip for several who had previously travelled with Viking and we KNEW how fabulous it would be! The cabins were extremely well laid out with more than enough room for clothing storage, relaxing after a full day of adventures or just to leisurely sit on the balcony sipping a warm brandy as we cruised down the beautiful Danube. The food selection had something for everyone and the chef did a great job of interpreting local cuisine for evening dinner menu options. We chose to extend our cruise with a 3 day adventure in Prague--the first time for an add-on land excursion. Viking personnel were just as attentive on land as they were aboard ship. Viking was there from the moment we stepped off the plane until we boarded our flight for our trip back to the US--taking the angst out of navigating unknown airports, buses, or shuttles in a foreign country. Our entire experience was fabulous--from the food, to the venues, scenery, and accommodations--we couldn't have been more pleased. We hadn't even finished this trip, before we were working on where we were sailing next with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went with a group of friends and had the time of my life. The professionalism of the crew was outstanding. George, our cruise director, was simply the best. The educational aspects of the group tours was impressive, the food delicious ... Read More
I went with a group of friends and had the time of my life. The professionalism of the crew was outstanding. George, our cruise director, was simply the best. The educational aspects of the group tours was impressive, the food delicious and the onboard entertainment and crew were number 1. I loved having the ship to come back to every day while visiting multiple countries. The onboard cabin service was excellent as well. Our rooms were cleaned meticulously every day and every need was met from extra towels and soaps to bottled water. I loved the variety of food offered at all the meals so that any dietary needs could be met. I upgraded to the custom wine and liquor for variety and found the selection to be perfect. The sommelier gave excellent suggestions and I would definitely choose the upgrade on my next cruise. We all want to come back and have George by our director again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular ... Read More
This was our sixth Viking River Cruise and we have enjoyed them all, The staff are always excellent, The organisation is superb and we meet new friends, The food is excellent and the restaurant service could not be faulted. particular mention of Ryan and Ladice. The entertainment manager Ryan worked tirelessly and had to over come low water problems. One of the great pleasures it to meet new friends and the river boats with their very comfortable lounge is excellent for doing so. The shore excursions are interesting. The guide did an excellent talk in the Court of Justice in Nurembourg. And the guide at Regensbourg wae entertaining and amusing. She could be an actress. There was a problem with low water in the river and we were forced to change ships. But all at Viking did their utmost to limit this inconvenience. Whilst the Hilton at Budapest was comfortable we would have preferred a hotel on the waterfront near the chain bridge where we stayed previously We plan to take another Viking River Cruise in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube ... Read More
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube might be a better title for the trip. Changing boats was inconvenient and took time away from seeing the cities we really went to see. The local guides were good and the staff tried their best. I would never recommend the Viking Cruises to anyone. I would not go even if someone else paid. When you look ahead at what you would enjoy doing you should cross this off your list. The cities we did see were well worth visiting. I strongly recommend flying to a starting point and the using the excellent European rail system and work to schedule well placed hotels. Tourism advice from knowledgeable experienced experts will help plan a great trip to the wonderful cities of Europe without the struggle of Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We embarked at Budapest onto the Viking La Var. From the moment we were met at the airport, in Budapest, until we alighted at Nuremberg the Viking crews saw to every fine detail. Accommodation was perfect as was the service on ... Read More
We embarked at Budapest onto the Viking La Var. From the moment we were met at the airport, in Budapest, until we alighted at Nuremberg the Viking crews saw to every fine detail. Accommodation was perfect as was the service on & off board. George, the entertainments & events manager was outstanding, and I am sure the boat could not run without him. All the tours, free and paid for, were arranged down to last detail, with amazing tour guides, who were very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. Food was excellent with a choice of 3 menus for lunch & dinner... a regular, a local & a Chef's menu... we were spoilt for choice. Service at the table was faultless, with attentive, helpful, friendly waiters. All in all a very pleasant, interesting, historic trip Would definitely travel with Viking again and would recommend it to future travellers for a really nice experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica ... Read More
Only been on one cruise before and that was on an enormous Royal Caribbean ship in the Caribbean which we didn’t enjoy as too many people, too impersonal, and all dockings were at awful ugly tourist trap towns like Ocho Rios in Jamaica where we couldn’t get off the ship because of fights in the streets and the dirty Cozumel in Mexico. This cruise on the Viking Var was exceptional. There were 180 people on board and everyone was looked after as though they were family. It is to be noted that 90% of the travellers were from the USA and the average age had to be 65 with thankfully NO CHILDREN. We started our trip by flying from Heathrow to Budapest with BA. On arrival there was a Viking rep at the airport available for help if anyone needed it. We arrived in Budapest and several reps were available to ensure the right passengers got to the right ship. We had a 45 minute delay in getting to the ship because the transfer coach did not arrive on time with the excuse of a traffic jam. The driver should have checked on Waze or Google and left plenty of time to get to the airport. We arrived at the ship at 14:30 and fortunately the restaurant was still serving food. Our suit cases were delivered to our cabins. Our cabin number 325 was quite small but cleverly designed to make the most of the available space. We had twin beds with enough cupboard space to hang and put away our clothes including hiding our suit cases under our beds. The shower was large with a non slip mat and 2 different shower heads. Soap, shampoo etc were all there and were replaced when used. We had been warned that the electrical sockets were not UK 3 pin and took with us converters. It was great that there were several USB connection points for recharging our iphones and iPads. We paid a bit extra and had a nice balcony with a table and 2 chairs to sit on and watch the scenery go by, but this was seldom used because we met up with both our 4 friends we travelled with and new friends who we made on board and met on deck or in the comfortable lounges. I am not certain wether we would book a cabin with a balcony on our next trip as a Juliet balcony, where you have patio doors but no balcony to sit on, would probably suffice. Regarding food, drinks and restaurant timings. Timings were set to fit in with all the off ship tours and for each meal you could either have a snack or 3 course meal. Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks were served foc only during meal times. At all other times, they were charged to your cabin unless you had purchased a drinks package. There is however a coffee/tea station open 24 hours. Every evening there were 3 super menus: A 3 course local fare menu dependant on the country and city we were docked at; a menu with a selection of different daily themed plates and; a menu with a choice of food which was available every day. vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivarians and especially Americans who typically are unwilling to  try any unusual food they don’t recognise will have no problem finding something that would suit them. On arriving at the boat we asked the restaurant manager, the wonderful Alexandra, if they could provide lactose free milk and for my wife, gluten free food. No problem at all, I know that one day when they ran out of the milk Alexandra actually left the ship to go to a store to buy some herself!!! Every day Alexandra would show the dinner menu to my wife and went through what she could provide gluten free. She was a miracle worker and my wife received the perfect selection of food every day and with no nasty side effects. The serving staff in the restaurant were unbelievably helpful and service was never delayed. We tried to keep to the same area in the restaurant so that we had the same servers. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they had the wonderful Alan, Yuri and Ryan looking after them. By the second day, they knew that the 6 of us in our group didn’t drink wine and made sure we were provided with a selection of suitable soft drinks and very occasional bier or shandy. We booked our holiday to  include the cost of tips, but we were looked after so well that we still tipped them at the end of the trip. We took the free tours as offered as part of the cruise as well as a couple of additional cost ones which we wanted. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and looked after all participants making sure no one got lost or were left behind. Only one of the guides was below par, but that was in comparison to the others which was a shame. Tours commenced early in the morning so we tended to go to bed early, waking up at 6am or 630am to ensure we managed to get breakfast before setting off. Every day bottles of water were handed out to those taking part in the tours. The tours were arranged depending on people’s abilities and ensured that the less physical persons were not left out or placed on a tour they could not cope with. The headphone system to listen to the guides was first class and we never had a problem of hearing or understanding what they were saying or we were seeing. This Danube cruise started in Budapest then sailed north to Vienna, Krems  Passau, Regensberg finishing at Nuremberg. We then booked an extension of a 3 night stay in Prague. Transfer to Prague was a 3.5 hour coach ride. The ship’s Maitre D for the whole of the cruise was George. He was brilliant and provided film shows and pre tour information to help everyone get ready for the excursions with timings and advice. We often saw him about the towns during the excursions to ensure we were all ok. In the evening he even sang with the onboard professional resident entertainer Sylvia who sang and played a piano/ keyboard both in the evening and during the day. We had been looked after so well on the ship that we were, in comparison, unhappy with the reception by the reps and the position of the Hilton Hotel in the New Town. We arrived at approximately midday after the long drive and there was no food or drinks waiting for us. We were advised that we would not be provided with a room until 3pm and not one room was released till they were all ready. This was unacceptable and should have been made available as soon as each was ready. During this delay, we were taken outside the hotel and the rep pointed out the station and where shops and restaurants would be and just given maps and told where we could go nearby to obtain a meal. This was not acceptable and not in the manner of being looked after we had become accustomed to. We decided to have lunch in the hotel in one of the restaurants but were told that even though there were several empty tables they refused to put 2 tables together so that the 6 of us could sit together. The Viking reps should have expected some of us to want to eat in the hotel after a long transfer from the ship and made arrangements for the restaurant to have space available. So everyone (we were all in groups, having made friends on the ship) left the hotel to find a restaurant that would sit us together. This Hilton hotel, whilst new and attractive inside with its atrium is positioned between 20 minutes and a half an hour walk to the interesting part of the city. This area in the New Town is also dirty and there were men who either follow you around offering to exchange your currency or stand around the ATM exchange machines where you don’t feel safe to be alone. Never trust them as someone was sold what they thought was the legal currency but in fact we’re worthless. This was never the case in the old town where tourists and students were in abundance and we felt extremely safe. As a Hilton diamond HHonors member I expected my bedroom to be upgraded but this was refused as I didn’t book the hotel direct but through Viking. I didn’t see the relevance to this as one way or another they were still paid via me and I will be complaining to Hilton directly. The hotel itself is very large and very modern and our bedroom overlooked the interior of the hotel and atrium. There was a problem with the bedroom that we were taken to as whilst it was twin bedded as booked it only had a shower in the bath which my wife could not have physically climbed into. I told the Viking rep that the room was not as booked and was told they could do nothing and I had to go to reception. They did not offer to intercede. When asked to be moved, reception was not at all helpful and eventually gave us a king bedded room with a shower, saying that (in this enormous hotel) there were no twin bedded rooms with a shower available. I certainly felt that their response would have been different if I booked with Hilton rather than through Viking. Breakfast was included and there was an excellent choice of food from the breakfast buffet. We took bread rolls, meats, cheese and salads  every morning so that we had sandwiches for lunch. The next day we were taken on a coach and short walking tour of Prague and the following day we went on an additional cost tour of Jewish Prague. This guide was knowledgeable and really excellent ensuring we visited and entered every important site. On the last day we were rudely woken up at 07:30 by the maid who continued to bang on the door till we opened it. Check out time was 10am so we were really angry about this and complained to reception who was very rude saying that they had every right, especially as we had to wait till 3 pm to get a room when we arrived. At the end of our stay, transfer to Prague airport was arranged by Viking from the hotel and having left our suit cases at their dedicated desk in the lower lobby. We didn’t see our suit cases again till we arrived back home in London. This desk was manned the whole day for advice and help on what to do, how to use public transport, and where to go in Prague but was not helpful in the same way as on the ship. Don't forget to take sweaters, cardigans and shawls with you as the air conditioning on the ship is very cold. At the end of the cruise and before disembarking in Nuremberg we were offered coupons costing £100 Pounds Sterling, payable in Euros (everything on the ship was based in Euro’s) and for each £100, a coupon of £200 was given. Unfortunately only a maximum of 2 can be purchased. We enjoyed the cruise, the staff, the food, the tours and their organisation so very much that we will be booking with Viking again in 2021, that is unless our children purloin the coupons. It should be noted that whilst we were warned that the discounted coupons were only available before we left the ship, we have in fact received emails still offering them a week after returning home. Sent from Graham's iPad Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was great, the food was really good, the tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. It was easily the best vacation my wife and I were ever on. We enjoyed the smaller setting with only 178 guests on our cruise. The crew was ... Read More
The cruise was great, the food was really good, the tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. It was easily the best vacation my wife and I were ever on. We enjoyed the smaller setting with only 178 guests on our cruise. The crew was fantastic. We enjoyed getting to know other passengers. The food was much better that the other cruises we have been on. It was a nice experience to go to sleep in one city and wake in another. The highlights for us were Budapest and Vienna. The only negative was our flight on Lufthansa was the only negative. 30 people's luggage were left in Frankfurt. Our flight coming in was 45 minutes late but it was 45 minutes late leaving so I don't think that was the issue. Leaving, we had to stand in the rain in the low thirties as we waited to board from the tarmac. I would recommend avoiding Lufthansa and Frankfurt if all possible. We're ready to take another cruise minus Lufthansa! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we could have made. It is at the top of one of the worst vacations we have ever taken. And to add to our disappointment, the $500 cruise voucher that has been offered, it is just an insult. We reached out to Viking but of course we never heard back! We understand “Acts of God” (river being low) however the lack of communication from Viking was unprofessional and deceptive. Sending an email the week before the trip is not communication especially because Viking knew all summer about the river problems and they knew the amount of rain needed for the proper water levels had not occurred and would not improve before our scheduled departure date. We would have expected your company to: 1) Cancel the trip; 2) offer a full refund; 3) inform guest that their money would be transferred to a future river or ocean cruise; or 4) make the fully aware of what they were getting into if we chose to take the trip. None of these things were offered. So, instead Viking decided to have a cruise of almost 200 disgruntled customers, who will now spread the word about their experience. Below are some of the issues / problems we experience with this trip that we feel warrants compensation from Viking, that is not the insulting $500 that was offered. Air Service – Very disappointed with this service. Had we know about all of the hidden costs, we would have made my own travel arrangements. Which would have allowed us more time and saved us money. Don’t use! 3 total ships (VAR, TOR and Hemods) Viking Var – (Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. Front desk not so much, when ask directly about the boat change, etc. that had been mentioned in the Port Talk, which we missed because of our late arrival. We were provided with incorrect information, which was rude. Optional Tour Nuremberg– the guide was informative and provided good information Optional Tour Regensburg– the guide for the walking tour was very informative and provided very good information Optional Tour Passau – we did not see Passau. We paid for Salzburg Highlights. The bus driver “the Pope” was very funny and made the unbearable long bus ride a tad bit better. The guide for the walking tour was also good. BAD Optional Tour Nuremberg – the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. UGLY Optional Tour Nuremberg – Not enough free time to shop or explore the city. Rushing back to ship to leave did not make any sense. Optional Tour Regensburg – Spending an entire day in a city that is completed closed was an utter waste of time. We could have spent more time in Nuremberg. Optional Tour Passau / Salzburg – The Salzburg Highlight tour was not worth the money spent. And if we had been informed that the 3 hour total bus ride was now a 6 hour bus ride, we may have opted out. We were not informed of the change until we had already boarded the bus and were on our way. The bus ride to and from was pure “hell” that was too long to be a bus for a 3.5 hour excursion. A total shame! There were no lights to guide guest back to the ship once the bus dropped us off from the Salzburg tour. It was extremely dark and very hazardous. Guest had to use their cell phones to find their way back. Luckily no one was hurt. Room Steward – In effort to clean our rooms before we could even leave the ship, the steward threw away my body buff that I use for bathing– not happy. Room Steward – The day of the bus ride, we went to breakfast and left our personal items on the bed. When we return to the room all of our items had been moved from the bed and the room had been cleaned. This is totally unacceptable! Our personally items should not have been touched under any circumstances and they could have waited another 20 minutes to clean the room. Viking Tor (Vienna and Krems) GOOD Optional Tour Vienna – the walking tour was excellent. It was refreshing after sitting on the bus the day before. The guide did a great job and we had plenty of free time to explore. One of the only highlights of the trip. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place – the guide was very informative. Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD After the long bus ride we decided not to go on the Gottweig Abbey optional tour. We stayed on the ship to take pictures of the Wachau Valley. However because of the lateness of the hour and the lock, were not able to get many pictures. It was very annoying that the commentary continued about what we were “not” seeing because it was dark out and could not make out anything. Yet another disappointment. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place –The tour seemed very rush and for the amount of money we spent, we should have been able to see both parts of the palace not just the one section. We felt cheated. It would have been cheaper and easier to do it on our own. UGLY The 3 hour bus ride was horrific, especially after the 6 hour bus ride the day before. It was totally unacceptable. The stateroom bathroom was horrible. The shower had not been cleaned properly, had hair on the walls and the floor that was not ours. The bathroom toilet was not flushing when we arrived. An officer came to the room and checked and it would not flush for him either. About 5 to 10 minutes after he left the toilet starting flushing and then a “rude” engineer came to the room stating that it was working. However the water pressure was very low and it took several attempts to get the toilet to flush. The bathroom also smelled like urine. It was extremely offensive. We reported the issue to the desk, however they decided to give us a lesson on how to flush the toilet and did not address the horrific bathroom smells. It was not good. Viking Hermod (Budapest) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD Optional Tour Budapest– the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. The guide was not as good as the others and she kept pointing out highlights way before we got to them and people were missing them. There was not enough time to explore the beautiful city. UGLY Another 3 plus hour bus ride – just a nightmare. The bathroom stop, where we had to pay was ridiculous. This should have been covered by Viking. Fortunately, we still had some Euros in order to pay for the bathroom. We are extremely disappointed in the quality and value of service that was received from Viking. There was absolutely no value for the money spent. Viking failed us and the other guest. We could never recommend Viking Cruises to any our blog readers. We also have already told our family and friends not to Cruise with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance ... Read More
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance with Viking’s Tripmate, you will pay more. You will only get a voucher for that cancellation, and with that voucher amount you will have to start over (including your air travel and the costs involved with speaking to the air agent for upgrading your travel), for insurance, and for whatever other costs are involved for your trip. If you cancel your Danube River cruise because the water levels will turn the trip into a bus trip. (Not exactly the vacation you envisioned.) And you decide that you will try to reschedule in the Spring since there would be a better chance for higher water levels, the cost will be at least $1000 to $1500 more. So, try for the fall next year. The cost will be at least $500 more—per person. On top of that you will have to buy new insurance if you want that trip covered. You have only 12-15 months after cancelling to reschedule so you don’t want to blow the opportunity. Viking insurance only allows for rescheduling; the company does not give refunds. Solution: Buy insurance outside of Viking for refunds. Keep in mind that your contract of carriage indicates that the Provider may change your itinerary. What Viking does is to give you assurances up to the last minute that your itinerary stays the same or close to it even though they know it will not. This does not give you adequate time to reconsider. And it especially does not give you adequate time when you have already left for the trip. How do we know, it happened to us. After five phone calls to Viking wherein we were assured that everything would be fine (oh, maybe one bus trip and one ship swap), we opted to go ahead and take the trip. Instead of the “only unpack once” concept, we packed and repacked for 7 or 8 days because we were on a boat, a bus, in a hotel, a bus, etc. We did not get an upgraded hotel room or an upgraded bus seat for the upgraded cabin for which we paid; we got only the same sort of bus trip and hotel everyone else got. So, Viking gave us a voucher, not a refund. Now we have a voucher for future travel on Viking. Do we really want to chance it again? There are those who were on the same trip who are delighted. I am guessing they believed everything Viking told them and think they are getting the deal of a lifetime. Our argument with Viking is not that the water levels were low. The argument lies with the lack of transparency and intentional vague and obscure manner of communication. About a year ago, we sailed on Viking to Cuba (one of their first soirees there). We booked it because we would dock in Havana, go to Belize and Cozumel. None of that happened. We docked in Cienfuegos. That was it, and we were bussed to Havana. I thought that this was Viking’s naiveté with Ocean cruising. Now I know it is the M.O. For this river cruise The Romantic Danube, yes, the water level on the Danube was the cause of the river cruise changes. Viking knew in early summer what was coming. In fact numerous passengers from other vessels told us the same story—this had been going on for a month. Viking prepared to fend off cancellations and complaints. What Viking should have offered was as follows: 1. Viking should alert passengers far earlier than one week prior when many may have already left the country. 2. Cash back for cancellations. 3. Cash reductions for those opting to go on a bus tour, or cash back for those opting to leave the tour. 4. Hotel upgrades for persons who had suites or Veranda cabins. 5. Dining at finer restaurants instead of roadside McDonalds or places of Vikings’ choosing wherein everyone got the same meal. Viking Customer Service admitted knowing of a problem and told us “we work with people.” We are still awaiting a resolution which, for us, would be a cash back solution. So far Viking is not “working with us.” Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" ... Read More
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a very uncomfortable Danube Bus Tour". Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, Although we realize that Viking is not in control of the weather, Viking was well aware that the Romantic Danube River cruise could not navigate the river on over half the trip. We were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg, Regensburg and Vienna. We spent approximately 7 daylight hours cruising during our 8 day river cruise. The rest of the time was spent changing cruise ships ( 3 times we had to pack our bags and put them outside our door for early morning pickup) This was not a river cruise it was a bus tour. The river cruise was advertised as a romantic once in a life time adventure highlighting the scenic Wachau Valley We never saw the spectacular views of the Wachau Valley as we were traveling through the country side by bus for eight hours We became well acquainted with the European bus companies and rest stops. One bus driver did not know the exit to take to Roth, Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. The same thing happened in Budapest. The guide said to leave the audio device on the bus and he would shout out the highlights. Then George showed up with a new device for our guide, but we no longer had our device as we left them on the bus and it was gone. On Monday October 15 while waiting on a pedestrian walkway for the “bus” pickup area in Passau, I was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. Not having enough time to be treated in Passau we returned to the ship, hoping for some medical help there. The ship had nothing but a band aid for the cut above my eye. As we arrived back at the ship the Captain was standing at the receptions desk and I asked for assistance. Apparently he did not understand what I needed because he called someone else to help me. The only help they could do for me was call a cab. My husband and I spent three hours that evening in the emergency room in Straubing. The staff on the ship did not know that it would cost us 100 euros to be treated. The receptionist at the desk would not treat us without the money even though I had insurance coverage. We did not have that much with us. My husband had to find an ATM at 6 o’clock in the dark, in a city he knew nothing about. We spent over 3 hours at the emergency as I required 2 stiches above my eye. I would have expected a little more support from the staff on the ship. The accommodations on the 3 ships we were on were adequate. The food left us somewhat disappointed. Nothing was what I would call spectacular. The staff on the Viking Tor was really great and tried to make the best of a bad situation. On Thursday October 18 we were again transferred from the Viking Wihlelm to Budapest by bus. Budapest was a bust. We arrived in time for lunch on the Viking IDUM, then loaded in a bus for the tour of Budapest. The tour guide was none stop talking about the city. Almost like he didn’t have enough time to say what he wanted to say. Then when we departed the bus the Quietvox did not work. So the tour guide told us to leave ours on the bus and he would talk loudly on the walking tour. So we left the QuiteVox on the bus. Then George showed up, gave the tour guide a new Quietvox and we continued. Only those who had their Quietvox’s were able to hear. We left ours on the We got back to the bus with no time left to go to the marketplace, which I was looking forward to, as we should have had all afternoon to take in. That didn’t happen. On Friday October 19, we were told to have our luggage outside our door at 6:30am. Which we did. Went to breakfast which was served cold. It appeared the staff had put the food out for the earlier departures and did not heat for the later breakfast arrivals. After we went back to our rooms at 7:30 our luggage was still outside our doors. Finally at 8am we were again on a bus to go to the airport in Budapest (expected transportation). We sat on the bus loaded and ready to go, but the bus driver was not sure he had everyone as he did not have a list of passengers nor was there a Viking representative there to help him. One of the passengers gave him the list that we had received the night before. If it were not for our group of family and friends, this cruise/bus tour would have been unbearable. We feel Viking misled us over and over with their daily updates on how bad the low water level was, when in fact Viking knew this situation persisted months before our cruise. This is very unprofessional on Vikings part. They should have been honest with their customers and given us the option to postpone or cancel the cruise. Instead they had our money and they were not going to give it up, instead Viking thought a bus tour was adequate for a very the price we paid for an expensive river cruise. AAA and Viking did not represent their customers, they are in the business to sell cruises so buyer beware. Remember future travelers, AAA and Viking represent themselves not you. I will not recommend AAA or Viking to anyone that will be traveling. Also, remember we are in the age group that will be traveling. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation ... Read More
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation was handled by Viking —delays in shuttling between destinations, multiple accommodation changes, excursions cancelled and lack of transparency/misleading communications by Viking before/during the trip— is unacceptable. This is my fifth cruise; first cruise on Viking. The cruise was an all around disappointing experience and not what I would expect from a luxury cruise line. Given the inability to cruise due to water levels on the Danube, Viking should have informed guests prior to the trip —AND provided an honest representation during the trip (this is the 4th month of fraught conditions). Instead, Viking withheld information until the night before (daily update meetings before dinner to inform guests of next day changes to schedule) and in certain cases were dishonest in communications. Viking river boats are not designed to handle situations such as low water levels as there are no activities for guests that may choose to remain on the boat. Food is fair and service is poor in relation to cost: no room service; special ordered food at breakfast that came out as prepared for buffet; noted this was a cruise to celebrate a birthday during cruise- no acknowledgement; Viking cancelled pre-scheduled excursions without communicating the change directly; needed something printed and front desk unable to deliver to room, etc. As others have stated, balaconies are a waste of $ as the majority of time we were docked and stacked with other boats with immediate views into other rooms. Not only did we not use the balconies, we kept our drapes drawn for privacy. The Viking river cruise was such a bad experience that we disembarked two days early, took the train to the final destination, and checked into a hotel. Viking staff made no offer to assist in coordinating this change nor would assist with luggage transfer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We loved the ports of call and activities on this cruise! The staff could not possibly have been more friendly or service oriented, although this was more so on our first boat (we had to change boats due to low water levels). The food ... Read More
We loved the ports of call and activities on this cruise! The staff could not possibly have been more friendly or service oriented, although this was more so on our first boat (we had to change boats due to low water levels). The food was outstanding, and we greatly enjoyed all our tour guides. Thee was a problem with the AC control in our room one evening, and the response from the young lady at the desk was the sole time that we were disappointed in the service, as she was not really helpful at all. The one suggestion we would offer is to minimize the time spent on a bus as much as possible, although we understand that was necessary in some cases to get to the chosen tour. Viking truly tries to take excellent care of their guests from the time we arrive until when we depart. It was a wonderful vacation, and we plan to take another Viking cruise sometime soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My family decided to do a special river cruise on the Viking Var sailing the Romantic Danube on August 17th. Like several others already noted, our experience was the worst we have ever experienced. I will not go into any farther detail ... Read More
My family decided to do a special river cruise on the Viking Var sailing the Romantic Danube on August 17th. Like several others already noted, our experience was the worst we have ever experienced. I will not go into any farther detail on doing very little sailing but a lot of bus rides since you can read others comments. My focus will be on how Viking did an extremely POOR job preparing and communicating to the circumstances of the low water issue. - receiving an email a couple of days prior to departure is ridiculous. They knew exactly the issue for over a month and should have given their CUSTOMERS a warning so they could decide any action they might like to take. VIKING decided their P&L more important. - The boats are not secure. ANYONE could walk on and off the boat. The only time there was ever security at the entrance of the boat was in Budapest. A gentleman/security sat outside on a bench. I actually went running and when I was returning to the boat my son FaceTimed me. The security guy was on the bench asleep. I actually turned my phone so my son could see him and get a good laugh at the level of security the boat has. VIKING open your eyes before something unfortunate happens and then you react. - Food was below average especially if you experienced an ocean cruise from other companies. I would say the service was average BUT lets be realistic. We were seeing different cruise employees since we were on 3 different boats. I'm sure it would be better if on same boat and you were building relationships and tipping for the trip was going to them. - My suite with oversized balcony could not be used due to spiders EVERYWHERE. Had to go to top verses use the view I paid for. - Communication was terrible. Kept saying they weren't sure of what we were doing at the end of the week. CUSTOMERS want to know, and VIKING simply didn't want to rock the boat. - I felt sorry for Director of the boat. You spend a lot of time on the boat not moving and she had to communicate all the bad news. WHERE"S THE CAPTAIN??? BOAT IS Not moving and she needs your support. Support your staff! - 25% is an absolute slap in the face AND IS ONLY ON THE CRUISING PART. Let's see: I spend over $18,000 and the initial offer is under $3,000 CREDIT on another cruise. WOW, I had such a terrible time let's do it again and at a rate that you make a lot of money on me again. Great deal - NOT!! My family reserved EVERY SUITE THEY HAD AVAILABLE. I talked with VIKING Customer Relations and made them aware that I was interested in giving them a chance to redeem themselves, that I would even stay in a suite but really thought they should step up to the plate more after I trusted them with an $18,000 investment. They did come up a little. Even 25% off my total Viking bill would have felt a lot better, but there is one simple reality to their offer: THEIR DECISION IS BASED OFF A P&L and not what is fair to their CUSTOMER. I even asked a Customer Service person if they were me would they be happy with what I was being offered, and all you get is silence, and then restating the offer. Without saying it, her answer was obviously NO. THAT SHOULD TELL VIKING SOMETHING. I believe VIKING must be fantastic when everything goes as planned. The reviews consistently say that. When things do not go as planned, they are far than at their best. - WARNING - WARNING - Do not sail VIKING's ROMANTIC Danube route in July or August!! I did not realize this is an ongoing seasonal issue. Go a different route our at a different time. - Want a POSITIVE: I noted issue with security, but loading and unloading is VERY SIMPLE. Congratulations for that. Also transportation to airport was done well. I will also say the customer service rep did a good job especially taking the beating she is taking over and over again. Unfortunately she is the messenger for VIKING and taking a pounding for them not taking care of CUSTOMERS. We had 5 suites and 2 other rooms for this cruise, and I believe I am the only one even considering giving VIKING another chance simply because the overall reviews are good. My wife is not on board with doing another cruise with VIKING, so not sure it will ever happen. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Recommendations Supposed to go in the Var to Budapest. River was low so went on the Tor for one night transferred to the Var. We did cruise the Wachau Valley and then transferred to another Long boat at Vienna. Bus rides for most of the ... Read More
Recommendations Supposed to go in the Var to Budapest. River was low so went on the Tor for one night transferred to the Var. We did cruise the Wachau Valley and then transferred to another Long boat at Vienna. Bus rides for most of the supposed Danube trip ie. Regensberg to Passau and back. Regensberg to Vienna, Vienna to Budapest. Left the boat at 3:30 am to go to the airport. Dumped at the airport with no guidance to catch a 6:30 am plane to Brussels and then to Chicago. I left out that I had a IU infection and called a Dr. in Vienna. Did Viking follow up, NO! We have been on 28 cruises and enjoyed all but one. We were notified 8 hours in advance that the river was low and we might have unpack and go to another boat. We had booked a room in Kansas City and it was too late to change anything. We were informed in Budapest that the long boat had been stuck for 3 weeks and was serving as a one night hotel. It is obvious that Viking was only interested in the money and had no concerns about passenger rights. We were offered a cruise voucher for 25% off future cruises which infuriates me. I might mention that we did not pick a 3:30 trip to the airport for a 6:30 flight which means getting up a 2:00am. See the World in comfort, yeah right! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We sailed with Viking previously on the Moselle and Rhine. We wanted to sail the Danube and chose Viking. We love how they take care of everything once you arrive. A barge accident blocked the Danube causing us to change ships. Viking ... Read More
We sailed with Viking previously on the Moselle and Rhine. We wanted to sail the Danube and chose Viking. We love how they take care of everything once you arrive. A barge accident blocked the Danube causing us to change ships. Viking handled everything and compensated for the lost cruise time. Excellent crew, guides and chef. The food is excellent with several choices at each meal. Viking also handled our flights and did a good job when a booking problem arose (Air Canada mistake). We would have liked more cruise time but the accident shortening cruise time was not Vikings fault. Viking hires energetic and friendly staff that learns your preferences and takes care of you. This even happened with our second ship crew which was amazing. We stayed in a French Veranda which is a bit small but not enough to feel cramped. We spent little time in our cabin and explored on land and participated in entertainment activities which were plentiful and enjoyable. We have cruised twice with Viking and hope to cruise with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had our first river cruise in 2017, a Viking Rhine cruise, and were so impressed with the way Viking looks after you from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave. We returned this year for their Romantic Danube cruise. We were ... Read More
We had our first river cruise in 2017, a Viking Rhine cruise, and were so impressed with the way Viking looks after you from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave. We returned this year for their Romantic Danube cruise. We were a little apprehensive as last year we were on the Viking Hild, which at that time was only about 3 weeks old. So we were not sure whether the Viking Var would compare favorably, being a little older. Glad to report that this longboat was just as perfect. We opted for the pre-cruise 2 nights in Budapest and are so glad we did. We were unlucky enough to get the only wet day of our trip, but despite this, our tour guide managed to make our 5 hour walking tour - a Taste of Budapest - so much fun and very interesting. Without her, there we would not have seen much of Budapest at all, in fact the rain would have probably driven us back into the hotel. She had tickets already for the Parliament tour, and when we got there the lines were almost out the door for people trying to get tickets (it being a rainy day), so we most likely could not have done this on our own. She showed us parts of Budapest we would not have found, including a restaurant with its own museum downstairs. On board, the Viking crew were excellent, with our Program Director, George being a real star. This position is vital to everyone having a good time, and George did exactly that, with a great sense of humor and endless energy. The onboard meals could not be faulted, and we enjoyed the white cloth, and waiter service with plenty of choices. We also appreciate the self service station, where you can make a variety of drinks 24 hours a day, including cappuccinos, hot chocolate, flat or sparkling water, and a variety of teas, even chamomile. The continuous supply of bottled water in the cabins is another great convenience, and being handed a bottle of drinking water each every time we left the boat for an excursion. Really there is nothing that Viking has not thought of to make the vacation really special. The evening port talks, to give you information for the following day's excursion, were really helpful, as were the printed sheets placed in our cabins during dinner each evening. All the excursions were very enjoyable, with Regensburg being our favorite, as our guide there kept us walking and talking, and not wasting time standing around too much. But all the places were visited were excellent. Needless to say, we have already booked for 2019, for their Rhone river cruise. Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2018
The Viking team took care of us from the moment our plane landed until we passed through airport security to return home. Everyone we came in contact with was great. The boat was beautiful. The room adequately sized but beautifully ... Read More
The Viking team took care of us from the moment our plane landed until we passed through airport security to return home. Everyone we came in contact with was great. The boat was beautiful. The room adequately sized but beautifully furnished. Food was incredible, over the top. Lots of it and all delicious. Meals from the regions we were visiting each day. Wines, too, from the regions we travelled to. The service was outstanding on all fronts. The airport team, the cruise manager, the people who greeted you every day, the wait staff, the chef, the housekeepers - everyone was courteous, friendly and accommodating. The tours were very informative. They were conducted by interesting and well educated tour guides who had a passion for their town and region. You had flexibility in your schedule, but there was always something happening. I would highly recommend Viking and will travel with them again! Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first experience with a river cruise and we are already booked for another this summer. We enjoyed the guides, the meals and meeting new friends. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and especially valued the day we spent simply ... Read More
This was our first experience with a river cruise and we are already booked for another this summer. We enjoyed the guides, the meals and meeting new friends. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and especially valued the day we spent simply cruising the Danube gorges. We found Nuremberg to be a fascinating historical stop. We also found Regensburg to be a historic gem. Budapest was a trip favorite from the nighttime cruise to the walking tour - a city we want to spend a week in sometime in the future. We liked being able to split our time between the early morning time on the prow before a second fuller breakfast in the dining room. I loved the on-ship library to augment the choices we had brought with us. We took advantage of the Viking flexibility and flew in early to travel around Austria, Germany and Slovakia before we boarded in Budapest. The range of food items was great, with the emphasis on diversity and local options. The crew was simply fantastic - enthusiastic, engaging and eager to serve. Our cruise director George was a bundle of energy and a font of witty jibes and "groaners." Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I finally did it and booked a river cruise. It exceeded my expectations. I chose 7 days which is perfect for me. I love the way the boats are configured to feel like you have so much space in a really limited size vessel. Loved the floor ... Read More
I finally did it and booked a river cruise. It exceeded my expectations. I chose 7 days which is perfect for me. I love the way the boats are configured to feel like you have so much space in a really limited size vessel. Loved the floor to ceiling windows. Every detail is thoughtfully executed. Great food, wine, people, entertainment. The included tours are great. You don't need to spend loads of money to have a delightful time. Well traveled folks who enjoy meeting each other. The crew work tirelessly to make the trip memorable. I will return at a future date for another cruise with Viking. I do thing you need to make sure that people are aware that when docked you may not be able to have a view from your cabin window. The ships tie up side by side and certain stops and also inside locks there is no view but concrete on those lower levels at times. It would have affected some peoples selections regarding cabin level I believe. I heard it discussed several times. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The cruise was the Romantic Danube with an extension in Prague. Viking representatives took care of everything from the moment we got through customs in Budapest. The towns and cities visited were great. The optional tour in Vienna for the ... Read More
The cruise was the Romantic Danube with an extension in Prague. Viking representatives took care of everything from the moment we got through customs in Budapest. The towns and cities visited were great. The optional tour in Vienna for the Mozart concert was terrific and not to be missed. The ship was spotless. The crew members were polite and always helpful. Food was excellent and the dining room staff were very attentive. If the food you ordered was not quite to your liking, the staff were right there to get you something else. The included and optional tours were very informative. Our cruise director, Boris, was terrific. The Prague hotel was right in Old Town and well positioned for touring the Old Town area. One thing my wife and I couldn’t believe was that the Viking representative who accompanied us from the Prague hotel to the Prague airport stayed with us at the airport until were got up to the airline check-in counter. Read Less
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
Sail Date May 2018
Viking Var Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.1
Family 1.0 3.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

Find a Viking Var Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click