Sail Date: June 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
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
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
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
Sail Date: April 2018
We had previously taken a Viking river cruise and enjoyed it. We had heard so many good things about Viking and wanted to visit the places on this trip. It was perfect and thoroughly enjoyable! The entertainment was fabulous and the staff ... Read More
We had previously taken a Viking river cruise and enjoyed it. We had heard so many good things about Viking and wanted to visit the places on this trip. It was perfect and thoroughly enjoyable! The entertainment was fabulous and the staff was attentive and always friendly. We had such a good time. We didn't book very many optional excursions because the included excursions were so good. We also wanted to have free time to do exploring on our own or to just enjoy the ship while in port. We were especially impressed with Czesky Krumlov and it was an included trip and took the entire day. It is a special place and had so much to see and do. Don't miss it! We added a stay in Prague at the end of our trip and were highly impressed with the city. We could have stayed longer and seen more. It is an impressive city. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
In many ways I hate to give such a critical review because the boat itself, the food and the accommodations were all exceptional, The staff were unbelievable. the the program director, George was wonderful. We marveled at the consistent ... Read More
In many ways I hate to give such a critical review because the boat itself, the food and the accommodations were all exceptional, The staff were unbelievable. the the program director, George was wonderful. We marveled at the consistent high level of service they delivered. While the land tours were uneven, they were mostly good and helped you to get a flavor for the region. Night lecture by a Bavarian scholar was excellent. However, due to high demand for river cruises on the Danube the boats are often required to tie up 3 deep while in dock. The venting systems for the boats pool between the boats and creates an unbelievable stench that permeated throughout the boat. It was impossible to be on the upper decks if you wanted to breathe. The common areas in the center of the boat made us gag on several occasions. The smell was not so bad in the rooms but because we had another boat tied along side, our balcony abutted the other ship. Not only was the view obstructed but it necessitated keeping the drapes and darkening shades drawen or you had to either look at a show you didn't want or you gave a show you didn't intend. Not acceptable.. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We (my husband and I, both retired) thoroughly enjoyed this, our first, river cruise. Te ship was modern and very comfortable. Our room was a little tight but nice with the balcony, which we used often day and night. The food was ... Read More
We (my husband and I, both retired) thoroughly enjoyed this, our first, river cruise. Te ship was modern and very comfortable. Our room was a little tight but nice with the balcony, which we used often day and night. The food was excellent. I have a restrictive diet and the maitre de was more than willing to be sure I had plenty to eat right down to delicious gluten & lactose free deserts. The shore excursions were all led by very knowledgeable guides, most of whom were university professors. We have already planned our next adventure on the Viking Truvor from Moscow to St. Petersburg in June 2019. Excursions were included, so the price for the cruise was well worth it. A bottle of water was provided each excursion. Also, sodas, beer and wine were included in the price. We've sailed on 6 ocean cruises with another line and for the price, we couldn't match the value. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this company because of positive review of friends. We should have arranged to arrive a day earlier than we did to allow more time in Budapest. We missed a connection in Frankfurt and thus arrived late to the Viking Var. We ... Read More
We chose this company because of positive review of friends. We should have arranged to arrive a day earlier than we did to allow more time in Budapest. We missed a connection in Frankfurt and thus arrived late to the Viking Var. We suggest you consider this when deciding when to arrive at the embarkation city. We were most impressed by our tour guide George and his attention to detail. Although we arrived late, he gave us a personal tour of the ship and a quickie orientation. He bent over backwards to ensure that city ours would proceed smoothly. The food was nearly worth the trip alone! Again, staff was very attentive to guests idiosyncracies--they could not be beat! The cabin, with the veranda was more than satisfactory, with cabin service twice daily! Informative lectures were held in the lounge in the evening. The emphasis here was on informing us about what we are seeing, and the cities we are touring...which I think is a plus. Highlights for us include the Mozart & Strauss concert in Vienna--well worth the extra you pay. Our visit to Freud's home and office were of special significance for me, having been a counselor in the past. The trip through the Danube Narrows is another must-do--beautiful scenery, plus a visit to a monastery which had its own beer garden. The tour through Regensburg was memorable for its medieval buildings and viewing the brass bricks, or "stumbling stones" showing where the Jews were abducted from their homes. The people we met on the ship were also a source of delight. One couple who we became acquainted with even decided to accompany us on our next cruise in April--to China! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
My mom and I went on the Romantic Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg, Germany. I won this trip at work and we chose this sailing because the Christmas Markets start to open at this time and the weather wouldn't be as cold. ... Read More
My mom and I went on the Romantic Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg, Germany. I won this trip at work and we chose this sailing because the Christmas Markets start to open at this time and the weather wouldn't be as cold. We were blessed with wonderful weather on the week over Thanksgiving. We had a French Balcony on the second level which was great and kept us water level which we loved since we could lay in bed with the balcony door open and watch all the sights go by. Embarkation was smooth and the staff was wonderful and professional. Disembarkation was smooth as well, everything is explained and they arranged a cab for us to the airport as well. The food was fabulous, tours and extra excursions were great and the crew fabulous. We cannot wait for our next trip!! It is worth the money with food, tours and service you get. The Christmas Markets were great by the way!! They were not available yet at every stop but they could get a little repetitive anyway. If you can spend a few days in Budapest I would high;y recommend that as well. We stayed at the Sofitel Budapest which put us in walking distance to the ship boarding dock. : ) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise as we had never traveled Europe outside of London and Paris. A river cruise allows one to not change rooms, but change venue everyday. We purchased the packaged tours at every stop and they were professionally run ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never traveled Europe outside of London and Paris. A river cruise allows one to not change rooms, but change venue everyday. We purchased the packaged tours at every stop and they were professionally run with top notch knowledge, plenty of free time and eating recommendations. We loved the on boat activities as well as just the leisure time. Budapest to Passau, we will be booking another one on the Rhine in the future. Favorite sites stops were Nuremburg trials, city shopping, and Salzburg. We also enjoyed a ballet and musical performance in Vienna with great talent in both dance and voice by the performers. It was also fascinating to just sit up on the deck and enjoy the breeze and see the homes and castles and town squares that passed by us as we made our way up the river to our destination. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
Wanted to see Southern France and learn about French wine. Learned a lot about the wine at two interesting wine tours with tastings. All escorted tours were fun and the guides were extremely knowledgable. The food was top notch with plenty ... Read More
Wanted to see Southern France and learn about French wine. Learned a lot about the wine at two interesting wine tours with tastings. All escorted tours were fun and the guides were extremely knowledgable. The food was top notch with plenty of choices. Everything was very fresh. The staff are wonderful. They all seem to love their jobs- even the room stewards. Our rooms were freshen up twice a day which was nice. The ship's decor is very relaxing. We loved the 24 hour specialty coffe and tea- and the homemade cookies! The cruise director Susie was fun and enthusiastic. She had a short and informative briefing each night and was seen taking photos everywhere we went. The food, especially the desserts was amazing. Small portions allowed us to try the appetizer, main course and dessert each night. Breakfast and lunch had an incredible variety of breads, eggs,cereal, fruit, meats and cheese. We were able to eat outside for lunch a few times and this was a great experience. It was pretty hot our first few days and we sat out on the upper deck. A staff member brought ice water and later ice cream to us- a very nice touch. Only bad experience was our trip to the Marseille airport. We were dropped off a long way from the entrance and had to drag our bags a long way over some very rough pavement to get into the airport. The Viking rep offered no explanation for this nor did she come inside the airport to help passengers check in. We have taken two other Viking cruises and there was a rep inside the airport to help out. Some of the more elderly passengers had considerable difficulty with their bags and needed help. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
the included daily walks through towns were great. Very doable and not too strenuous. There were lots of picture taking stops and places to eat, etc. We took a side trip in Vienna for a classical music night. We did three days in ... Read More
the included daily walks through towns were great. Very doable and not too strenuous. There were lots of picture taking stops and places to eat, etc. We took a side trip in Vienna for a classical music night. We did three days in Prague as well and took a trip to the Bone Church. Now that was something to see. Of course all of the meals were excellent and the service impeccable. This is the ultimate in river cruising. Going through the locks was the only time we felt any movement on the boat. Excellent experience. The cabin was spacious and we had a small veranda on which to sit and enjoy the view. The crew is helpful and polite. We were amazed at the quality of the bar choices. The weather was very good. We expected rain but got mostly sunshine. It was rather warm by the time we made Vienna. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
From what we had seen and heard about over the years it seemed an obvious choice for a relaxing vacation where we could explore a part of the world we had never seem. It totally met out expectations. Everything went smoothly, from the ... Read More
From what we had seen and heard about over the years it seemed an obvious choice for a relaxing vacation where we could explore a part of the world we had never seem. It totally met out expectations. Everything went smoothly, from the beginning as we were met at the arrival airport through the end where Viking personnel assisted us to the departing airport and were there until we left. All employees were very knowledgeable, friendly and a pleasure to be with, on and off the boat. Entertainment is minimal but that worked well for us. There is an area on top of the boat designed with a walking track but we found the excursions, package and additional, gave us a good exercise program for the week. On board, the rooms were comfortable and elegant. The food was always excellent and varried as we went from one country/region to the next. We met many wonderful people during the course of the week which enhanced our vacation. We guided excursions in the various towns were excellent. We got a well described tour of the area in small groups and then were able to continue to explore on our own. The best of both worlds. We enjoyed the fact that a river boat does not hold thousands of people. It is under two hundred. They are designed for a nice quiet and relaxing time on board. The are no children aboard because these cruises target an older group with common interests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Overall delightful trip, excellent weather after a first rainy day, enjoyable side trips, mostly entertaining personable guides. Delicious food all meals. Veranda stateroom on port side had good views most of the time with room to sit on ... Read More
Overall delightful trip, excellent weather after a first rainy day, enjoyable side trips, mostly entertaining personable guides. Delicious food all meals. Veranda stateroom on port side had good views most of the time with room to sit on the porch and watch the scenery. Especially fun in the locks and Budapest at night. Embarkation Budapest airport to hotel (because boat was an hour and a half away with low water) bus dropped us a block from the hotel in rain and didn't offer any umbrellas. One of our party was walking with a walker so got soaked walking to the hotel. An auspicious start. Once on the boat we felt more welcomed. The boat shift, while unavoidable, was still a disappointment because we didn't learn of it until we had completely unpacked and made ourselves at home. At least giving us an inkling it was a possibility initially might have saved some trouble as we mightn't have unpacked so thoroughly. Changing crews dampened the "you're home" feeling for the last two days as we had entirely different staff who didn't know us nor seem as interested in trying to be friendly. (we started on the Tor and shifted to the Var). I suspect it may be that their portion of the tips would be less from us and changing over the ship twice as often was a lot of work for them--fresh bedding, cleaning, etc. The ships were identical in layout, however, so there was no learning curve on where things were. Layout was the same. Would like to see a small workout room opportunity on the boat--recumbent bike, treadmill, stairclimber maybe--because sometimes I just wanted to work up a sweat a little. The tours were nice but the pace was generally relaxed (good for most of our travel group) and with all the good food, more exercise would be nice. Free time in the villages gave some opportunity for brisk walks a couple of days, but not on the tours. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We spent the first half of our Danube cruise on the Tor then transferred to the Var as a result of the ship change due to low water levels. If we had been on the Tor all week this would have been a five star rating. The difference ... Read More
We spent the first half of our Danube cruise on the Tor then transferred to the Var as a result of the ship change due to low water levels. If we had been on the Tor all week this would have been a five star rating. The difference between the staff on the two ships was like night and day. The staff on the Tor was outstanding. They smiled, called us by our first names and couldn't do enough to make our trip enjoyable. Not so on the Var. Viking obviously has no control over the water levels and they certainly went out of their way to compensate for the inconveniences involved in the ship change. From open bar nights to complimentary excursions, they did whatever they could to make sure our trip was amazing. The transfer was handled as seamlessly as possible by the Viking staff. Just put your luggage out in the morning and return later that day to the same room on the identical sister ship. The guides Viking uses for their excursions are outstanding. They are easy to understand, humorous, experienced and fun. This was our second Viking cruise with the first being the Paris to Normandy and we love the small river cruises. You couldn't get me on another huge ocean cruise where you feel like cattle being herded around. We are doing the Viking Shanghai to Bejing trip in May and it won't be our last for sure. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
There was six of us and we all had a great time. The staff was one of best parts of the trip.I know they have to be nice but in my opinion they went beyond. I really enjoyed all the places we went to, even though I couldn't go to one ... Read More
There was six of us and we all had a great time. The staff was one of best parts of the trip.I know they have to be nice but in my opinion they went beyond. I really enjoyed all the places we went to, even though I couldn't go to one of the places because of the steps.I was in a wheel chair and I must say that the whole staff was very helpful. When I go again I will pick one of the rooms with a veranda. The ship was beautiful,the towns were very quaint and we all really enjoyed ourselves. An other good point was the amount of people. Everyone was very friendly. So much different than an ocean cruise. It was easier to get to know more people than you would on an ocean cruise. I can't say enoughh about how much we all enjoyed this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
I have nothing negative to say about this trip....it was wonderful in every way. This was a first river cruise for my husband and me and it will not be the last. Although we questioned booking a lower level stateroom, the little time we ... Read More
I have nothing negative to say about this trip....it was wonderful in every way. This was a first river cruise for my husband and me and it will not be the last. Although we questioned booking a lower level stateroom, the little time we spent in our room convinced us we made the right choice. Although, it would have been nice to have a sliding glass door, it did not impact our trip in any way. What did we like most?? How do I begin..... ......Our program director, George Siderov, was the best ! He was always around to chat, answer questions or solve someone's problem. He planned several fun, social evenings and entertained us with his wonderful voice. ......the staff- the Captain, the front desk, the wait staff, the cleaning crew were all delightful. .....the food- outstanding ! High quality, healthy, and beautifully presented. .....the tours - very educational with knowledgeable, local guides. .....and most of all - the people you meet on the ship. We made friends with so many lovely people and exchanged emails in hope that we'll visit one another at some point. The evening talks were superb, especially Germany in 2015. We are impressed with the Viking operation. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We have been on 18 ocean cruises, on many different lines. This river cruise was the best we have ever had. The food was excellent! Every meal was so well prepared with the finest ingredients, and the best service. The ship was beautiful, ... Read More
We have been on 18 ocean cruises, on many different lines. This river cruise was the best we have ever had. The food was excellent! Every meal was so well prepared with the finest ingredients, and the best service. The ship was beautiful, the cruise director very entertaining, and the concierge was very, very helpful. The included tours were wonderful, and the optional tours we took were very memorable. Bravo Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We had a very enjoyable river cruise. The food and drinks were excellent. We thought the itinerary was very good. We also enjoyed some of the unusual excursions.The entertainment was excellent . We especially liked the service provided ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable river cruise. The food and drinks were excellent. We thought the itinerary was very good. We also enjoyed some of the unusual excursions.The entertainment was excellent . We especially liked the service provided in the dining area. The cruise director was very entertaining. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We are not usually cruise vacationers though we have cruised to Alaska and through the South Pacific islands. This was our first river cruise. Getting to the boat was the tough part as we had some distressing travel complications (not the ... Read More
We are not usually cruise vacationers though we have cruised to Alaska and through the South Pacific islands. This was our first river cruise. Getting to the boat was the tough part as we had some distressing travel complications (not the fault of Viking). Once on the Var all was beyond expectations. Our cabin had a small balcony that we made good use of. The storage space, the bed, the bathroom facilities were all perfectly acceptable. The shower was even spacious enough for me at 6 foot 2 and 195 pounds. All services on board were well planned and comfortable. On board entertainment was daily simple but the intent was to engage some local talent flavor. Dining was one of the major surprises. The food was varied, well prepared and professionally served. To make it even more impressive (to me) was the attention I got from the Maitre'D I had a gluten free dietary condition and I was met each morning at breakfast by him to go over my meal options and possible menu modifications to satisfy my diet. The port and shore excursions were well chosen and excellently run by polite and knowledgeable guides. We did however choose to do some walking tours on our own and that worked out very well also. Disembarkation was a bit early for our liking but we did need to meet an early flight from Berlin to catch our connecting flight in Rome. All in all the boat, the sights the staff were fantastic!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
In Summary 1. In our opinion, Viking Cruises is more a marketing company than a holiday provider. Marketing is what they do best, full of promises, fabulous photos and presentations to make you believe you'll be travelling with ... Read More
In Summary 1. In our opinion, Viking Cruises is more a marketing company than a holiday provider. Marketing is what they do best, full of promises, fabulous photos and presentations to make you believe you'll be travelling with the best cruise line in the World. Comparing Viking's handling of our complaint with the volume of their marketing material sent simultaneously by email and post, Viking's priority is marketing. 2. Our cruise was ruined by loud mechanical noises which kept us (and many others) awake every night. Viking staff did absolutely nothing about it, other than to make us feel like fussy, inexperienced passengers. Instead of putting things right, Viking staff tried to cover it up. 3. The boat was new and clean, but many of the brochure promises weren't met, including WiFi available throughout the boat and in our cabin. 4. Apart from a bigger cabin, you get nothing extra for paying more for an expensive cabin (i.e. meals, excursions, etc. are the same for all). 5. Meals were mediocre and certainly not the treat one looks forward to on a cruise. 6. Excursions are good and well-rehearsed, with generally good guides. 7. Many crew were friendly, helpful and attentive, but a significant number were surly and somewhat unhelpful. 8. The impressive Viking "Service Guarantee" is virtually worthless and once we'd made a complaint, Viking made it clear that they weren't interested in retaining us as valued customers, but just wanted to get us out of the way as quickly as possible. We had our cruise in April 2015, so you may wonder why this review is so delayed. It took us several months to agree compensation with Viking for our ruined holiday, without being gagged by their non-disclosure agreement (more about that below). Before the cruise, our main concerns were on-board cleanliness and the weather. The Viking Var was very clean, although before entering the restaurant, we were not required to use the hand sanitisers provided. As for the weather, apart from the day travelling to Passau, we had fabulous sunny weather throughout the cruise. So what went wrong? We were kept awake every night by loud mechanical noises in the boat, which affected virtually all passengers. Despite reporting the noise problem every day to Viking staff, not only did they do nothing about it, but tried to suppress passenger complaints and make us believe that we were fussy passengers who didn't realise that such noises are just part of cruising! By the end of the cruise we were completely exhausted from lack of sleep, unable to enjoy the excursions, or anything else. When we got home, it took us several days to recover, so we made a formal complaint. We were greatly reassured by Viking's "Service Guarantee" (which promises 100% refund if a complaint can't be resolved within 24 hours), until we tried to use it. To qualify, you must have left the cruise prematurely and made your own way home at your own expense! Clearly, not many passengers would choose this - imagine a group of pensioners disembarking onto the banks of the Danube with all their luggage. For us the journey home was about 1,000 miles, but much further for passengers from outside Europe. The Viking "Service Guarantee" is fatuous and provides no credible protection. Initially Viking offered us a 25% discount off another cruise! In other words, their idea of compensation was to sell us another holiday, from which they would profit. Only when we threatened Court action did we eventually reach a cash settlement. Then after reaching an agreement, Viking said we would only receive the money if we signed their "acceptance letter", which they said was for our benefit. Their "acceptance letter" is nothing more than a gagging order: "In consideration of the above refund referred to the above beginning as of the date of this Settlement Agreement 10th June 2015, neither this Agreement nor its subject matter shall be discussed with anyone other than the parties to the Agreement or their attorneys, except as otherwise required by law. We/I also agree to take all steps reasonably necessary to protect the confidentiality of this Settlement Agreement and to prevent the Settlement Agreement from falling into the public domain or public forums or into the possession of unauthorised persons or persons who do not work for Viking. We/I agree that, if asked about the status of any claims by or disputes between the parties to this Settlement Agreement, We/I shall not communicate the terms of the settlement except to state that this matter has been amicably resolved as this agreement is subject to a confidentiality clause" In other words, we would have to remain silent about the matter for ever, except to be able to say that it had been resolved amicably! This seemed so onerous that we immediately rejected their offer, as they had changed the terms of our settlement after we had agreed it. After further prolonged negotiations, we eventually received a full cash refund for the cruise, plus the cost of a supplementary excursion, without having to sign their disgraceful "acceptance letter". The Cruise Itself: We were in a cheaper, lower deck cabin (or "state room" as Viking annoyingly called it). Those in the more expensive cabins received exactly the same excursions, meals, etc., some having paid several times what we did. The cruise itself wasn't bad, greatly helped by the lovely weather, but it wasn't fantastic either, so paying considerably more wouldn't have made it any better. Passengers in the upper decks heard the same noises that we did (except perhaps not quite as loud). The success of your cruise depends to quite a large extent on the quality of the Cruise Program Director, who in our case was George. While not terrible, he wasn't much good either, spending quite a lot of his time sucking-up to the more affluent passengers (presumably those who might give a bigger tip) and telling us uncomfortably personal "funny" anecdotes during passenger briefings. The boat itself was new and clean and there was adequate lounge space. If you want to sit on your own for a quiet read, you may end up having to sit in one of the areas by the stairs, which is OK, but not ideal and hardly luxurious. Viking say there's free Wi-fi on board, which you can get all round the boat and in your cabin. We found there was no Wi-fi when sailing. Even when moored, the Wi-fi was very slow and limited to certain public lounge areas and we certainly couldn't get any signal in our cabin - maybe that's something the more expensive cabins had. On a cruise we don't expect a fast broadband connection, but we'd prefer that Viking didn't promise what it doesn't fulfil. Excursions were generally good and well rehearsed. We found the Quietvox units, provided to all passengers, very helpful. Guide quality was variable, but usually good. Buses were new, clean, reliable and punctual with careful drivers. Meals were nothing to write home about. Holiday breakfast is something I look forward to, but here it was usually a bit rushed as we all had to get away for excursion departure. Instead of lovely fresh coffee, it was served pre-prepared in vacuum flasks, to enable staff to serve us quickly. The breads were always delicious and fresh, but otherwise the buffet, while OK, was nothing special. Lunch was mediocre, served either on the Aquavit Terrace and in the restaurant. The Aquavit Terrace lunch depended on good weather and was more-or-less a barbecue, or salad and limited choice. The restaurant lunch wasn't much better. Dinner was supposed to be the meal of the day, but was generally average, with some quite odd courses and small portions. There were some "standby" courses that remained the same every day (e.g. steak, salmon, etc.), but on a cruise one hopes for better than that. In the restaurant there were no tables for two. Sharing with others is fine, but sometimes it's nice just to sit as a couple. As a cruise progresses, cliques develop, who "own" their group table. We were told a number of times how the kitchen staff performed miracles in a very confined space, which is probably true. However, it should be remembered that the Viking Var was built for Viking to their design, so Viking chose to make the kitchen area small, to allow for more cabins for paying passengers. Some crew/staff were fantastic, while others were quite surly and unhelpful. We had read how the crew's contracts of employment had recently been changed to their disadvantage, so that may explain why some weren't particularly enthusiastic. Would we try Viking again? DEFINITELY NOT! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Overall Excellent. The crew and staff really tried to relate and serve their guests in a timely, professional and friendly manner. Tours were timely and well executed. We learned a lot. Food reflected the best of the Danube River ... Read More
Overall Excellent. The crew and staff really tried to relate and serve their guests in a timely, professional and friendly manner. Tours were timely and well executed. We learned a lot. Food reflected the best of the Danube River Valley. There is no substitute for great service and high quality food. The Danube Trip no. 2 of now 3 tours taken to date. A 4th has been scheduled. PERSONNAL BACKGROUND: Married, Retired Military, Nashville, TN TRAVEL TO PORT OF PORT OF EMBARKATION: Delta to Atlanta GA United to Wash/Dulles Delta to Minneapolis Delta to Brussels Lufthansa to Frankfurt KLM to Amsterdam Bus to Amsterdam Lufthansa to Prague KLM to Nice Bus to Pasau Bus to Avignon HOTEL (3 DAY STAY) BEFORE CURISE Hotel Dukes, Bruges Sheraton Charles Sq Prague Le Meridien Nice RIVER CRUISE EMBARKATION Amsterdam NL Pasau Avignon, FR STATE ROOM Cat A Veranda w/Balcony Cat A Veranda w/Balcony Cat AA Suite Veranda Room # 233 Room # 309 Room # 320 SHIPS INFORMATION Viking Longboat Mani Viking Longboat Var Viking Longboat Heimdal DINING Meals Included Gourmet ACTIVITIES 2 Tours/stop Included/Local Dining Menu/Language and History Classes STAFF AND SERVICE 5 Star Excellent/Responsive ENTERTAINMENT Bar Entertainer and Local talent per stop for each boat. Well Done SHORE EXCURSIONS 3-5/Stop and tailored Excel Min 2/Stop Included in price DISEMBARKATION Basel, Switzerland Budapest, Hungry Lyon FR SUMMARY: After three complete riverboat cruises with Viking and understanding that I am a well traveled, military retiree, I still think well enough of Viking to book a fourth cruise, really says something. I find service to be 5 star quality and consistent across the Viking Fleet (Mani, Var and Heimdal). Each package was pre-paid, and inclusive. The food was served with care, fresh and well presented. You had the choice of local menu with gourmet items or the more standard fare. Everyone of the staff consistently presented a high quality, friendly/accessible and responsive service. There are many 5 star hotels that could learn from this operation. Tours were included and several were interchangeable or presented for a nominal cost. Guides were very informative and approachable with questions and local information. Overall, I find vary few operations that can deliver consistent service excellence with such a wide variety of service obligations. The running of the ship, the hotel service, the bar service, the galley service, tour service, medical emergency service, and still address one-on-one guess inquiries is nothing short of monumental. It is not "What Went Wrong" but rather, "How Well It Was Addressed" Job Well Done. Rating Overall Excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Great trip that made is both eager to do another river cruise. The ship (Var) is very new as are most of the Viking ships. We spent three extra days in Amsterdam before the cruise, and really loved that very diverse and interesting city. ... Read More
Great trip that made is both eager to do another river cruise. The ship (Var) is very new as are most of the Viking ships. We spent three extra days in Amsterdam before the cruise, and really loved that very diverse and interesting city. We want to go back! The location of our hotel, Moevenpik (sp?) was excellent for access to the tram system, canal cruises, and embarkation on the Var. The various stops to and up the Rhine included Viking arranged bus and walking tours that were well planned and very interesting. Guides on those tours were excellent, especially in Cologne, Heidelberg , and Strasbourg. The top deck proved to be a wonderful place to relax and view the beautiful towns, castles, and vineyards as we cruised from stop to stop. Not enough good words exist to describe the service and food in the lounge and dining room. The staff is very well trained, attentive, and a delightful part of our experience. There were many choices for all meals, so I'm sure everyone was more than pleased. We found that cruising with only about 190 passengers on this ship was much more enjoyable for us than past ocean cruises with three to five thousand. We are now starting to plan for our next river cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
A group of 8 of us went. It was our first river cruise. The trip was fantastic. The room was very comfortable. If you are a large person, the shower would be too small. The food was aways first rate, as was the service. I took the optional ... Read More
A group of 8 of us went. It was our first river cruise. The trip was fantastic. The room was very comfortable. If you are a large person, the shower would be too small. The food was aways first rate, as was the service. I took the optional wine tasting tour, which was horrible. The optional tour to Colmar was excellent. Others in our group did the WWII tour, and enjoyed it. Some of the things I wish I had known ahead of time are: 1. Most of the morning tours begin about 8:30 2. Several of the places require a lot of stairs. If you have trouble with stairs, this is not your trip. 3. Most of the time, the cruise line provides transportation into town for your free time. So if you choose not to take an optional excursion, you are not stuck on the boat. 4. Some of the optional tours have long bus rides. Ask about the length of the bus ride if it concerns you. 5. There are fresh baked cookies available most of the day if you need a snack. 6. Bottled water is provided on every excursion. I could not have been more pleased by Viking. The only low point of the trip was the wine tasting. We spent almost 4 hours on a bus to taste 4 lousy wines, and learn nothing about wine making. The guides in each city were very knowledgable and entertaining. Everyone connected with Viking spoke fluent English. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
We actually did the reverse itinerary from Basel to Amsterdam. We had three cabins for our party of six. The ports were all interesting with the usual good selection of included shore excursions we have come to expect from Viking. The ... Read More
We actually did the reverse itinerary from Basel to Amsterdam. We had three cabins for our party of six. The ports were all interesting with the usual good selection of included shore excursions we have come to expect from Viking. The dining room staff made sure we had a table reserved of six each night for our party. Food was generally good, but not considered gourmet in my opinion. I am amazed they can do anything in such a small galley, but they manage to pull it off. Our verandah cabins were well laid out with the modern appointments that you would expect from a newer ship. We have booked the new large Viking Star for 2015 and are looking forward to the voyage. Read Less
Viking Var Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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