17 Viking River Viking Vilhjalm Senior Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to return to some of the places of my youth and to share them with my wife. I had spent a summer in the area and this cruise included all but Praha. We had a wonderful time especially in Vienna. It was great to see the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to return to some of the places of my youth and to share them with my wife. I had spent a summer in the area and this cruise included all but Praha. We had a wonderful time especially in Vienna. It was great to see the Grand city once again and share some highlights with my wife. We were very pleased with how well Viking managed the logistics of the entire experience and we intend to use them again. The onshore excursions were well planned and the guides were knowledgable and personable. We enjoyed them all very much, the time was adequate and not overly taxing. The options were flexible and well chosen for each ability level. Each also provided more than a glimpse of the culture and traditions of the people and places we visited. Free time was also provided on each of the excursions and this allowed shopping and dinning which was enjoyed greatly. All in all, a very grand experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I have always wanted to take a river cruise with Viking. Their commercials are enticing and we thought we would have a wonderful trip. We agreed with Viking’s CEO, Torstein Hagen, that travel was broadening and time was ... Read More
My wife and I have always wanted to take a river cruise with Viking. Their commercials are enticing and we thought we would have a wonderful trip. We agreed with Viking’s CEO, Torstein Hagen, that travel was broadening and time was short. This cruise was expensive and we saved a long time to take it. Unfortunately, reality did not meet expectations. We we were forced to take long bus rides to destinations that we could not sail to because of the low river levels (Bratislava and Budapest). The bus rides were tedious and exhausting and because we used buses, which took time away from the excursions, one of the optional trips we booked was canceled. In addition, my wife got very sick and was unable to enjoy the rest of the cruise because of the long rides. If we wanted to ride buses we would have booked a guided tour. They did send two emails, one three months and another one two days in advance of the cruise, but the lead time was too short to cancel without full penalty. It does mention in the Terms and Conditions that “Itineraries are subject to change and may need to be altered or canceled specifically because of water levels or wind or other factors.” but some kind of compensation should have been offered. Other river cruise companies did offer partial refunds. A company with Viking’s reputation should have been more caring toward their customers. Because of this we will never book another Viking Cruise, river or ocean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We've heard from our friends about their great experience with Viking River Cruises. And so we went last Aug. 15-22, 2018 with 2 other couples. We were very impressed with the staff - very organized, friendly & courteous. ... Read More
We've heard from our friends about their great experience with Viking River Cruises. And so we went last Aug. 15-22, 2018 with 2 other couples. We were very impressed with the staff - very organized, friendly & courteous. Everybody was so nice. The ship is nice. The cabin was very clean. Just a little bit tight to move around. We enjoyed the good food & the wines. It was nice that they prepared local dishes of the cities we traveled to. The service was impeccable. I thought I was going to miss the big entertainment & activities of the ocean cruise; I did not. We were happy listening & dancing to the music of the piano player in the lounge area. And chat with the other guests. We enjoyed all the shore excursions we did. We had good tour guides. Saw a lot & learned a lot. Overall, our first river cruise experience was amazing!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First time on a river cruise and overall a good experience. Some areas need improvement, but overall we would do this again. This week long plus trip along the Danube - Budapest to Prague had been in the planning stages for more than a ... Read More
First time on a river cruise and overall a good experience. Some areas need improvement, but overall we would do this again. This week long plus trip along the Danube - Budapest to Prague had been in the planning stages for more than a year. Expectations were very high and so in some sense aspects of this trip did not meet expectations given the reputation and reviews I had seen. Flight into Budapest was smooth and I understand that Viking has no control over delays in departures and arrivals, but after a long flight over we finally arrived in Budapest for the add on extension at the beginning of the trip. Smooth arrival process and met folks on the bus to the hotel that had the same outlook as we did for this cruise. The help desk at the Hotel Corinthia ( a very grand and old European Hotel) were available and willing to do what was necessary to make sure we were off to a good start. English was not an issue. After a couple of days in Budapest we were off to the boat. Boat was effectively new (2 years old I think) and what we expected. Rooms were clean, well maintained during the week and overall I had no issues with the facilities. When we were in dock, there generally was a sewer smell that detracted from the experience. Excursions were well planned and for the most part solid guide leaders - some better than others as you would expect. One particular German woman - a very strong German woman leading a tour in a small town at times admonished our group for talking and it felt like I was back in Catholic grade school - God forbid you speak out of turn, get out of line or do anything that disrupted her presentation. She continually laughed at her own jokes when no one else was laughing. On another excursion in Bratislava the guide we had was excellent - not overloading us with historical and cultural facts and able to interject some personal stories that made in more personal and less rehearsed. Overall the food was good. Some meals excellent - others good. Breakfast was your normal buffet, lunch highlighted certain lunches types and one always had the ability to order off a standard menu that was available each day. I ordered off the daily menu and for most lunches was disappointed. One one day when Reuben sandwiches were offered, I ordered and I am still looking for the corned beef - it appeared that the sandwich was a lot of bread, swiss cheese, sauce and slice of corned beef. Dinners were generally good - although potions on some meals were small and in those cases I had to order a second meal. One night that we had Sea Bass, the portion of fish that I had was consumed in 3 bites. Ordering a second meal was never a problem and the wait staff was always excellent. The Osso Bucco the last night was excellent and worthy of 5 stars. The one major complaint I had was with the internet service. We had been warned by Viking that the service was spotty, depending on location and satellite transmission strength. I was able to get far better internet service on my phone using my home Verizon provider than what the boat provided. My issue here is that when everything is 4 and 5 star quality why put a product out there that is at best 1 star. Either remove the internet from the boat or spend the money to upgrade the system as a 1 star internet detracts from an overall 4 and 5 star cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose the Danube river cruise because Prague, Vienna and Budapest were on my life-list of places to visit. Air reservations, pre (Prague) and post (Budapest) cruise extensions all booked using Viking. We had a few challenges with ... Read More
We chose the Danube river cruise because Prague, Vienna and Budapest were on my life-list of places to visit. Air reservations, pre (Prague) and post (Budapest) cruise extensions all booked using Viking. We had a few challenges with flights before departure, but Viking made everything "right." Viking also rebooked our flights home (stress-free for us) when Air France went on strike. We appreciated Viking's service....2 examples - a desk in each hotel with Viking staff to answer questions, make recommendations, etc... and Viking staff accompanied us to the Budapest airport staying until we got to security checkpoint. The ship, Vilhjalm, was modern and clean. The cabin is small, but adequate. We did not have a balcony, and had no regrets with our choice. The food was very good, plenty of choices on the menu, a buffet at each meal and daily regional specialties. Loved the espresso machine and daily cookies. We also appreciated that shore excursions in each port were included in the cruise price; and there were also additional (extra expense) excursions to choose from. We went to the entertainment event almost every night...fun and/or educational. We have done several ocean cruises, and husband and I both agree we prefer river cruising. There is an intimacy since the number of guests is smaller and no motion sickness from "rough waters." We did not have a chance to review the post-cruise excursion called "Taste of Budapest" since reviews were collected before ship debarkation. We HIGHLY recommend this excursion, it was a fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose this cruise to celebrate my wife's 90th Birthday IN STYLE. The 2 for 1 price with air included and an included shore excursion in each port plus a free booze pkg. sealed the deal! As first time Viking longboat river ... Read More
I chose this cruise to celebrate my wife's 90th Birthday IN STYLE. The 2 for 1 price with air included and an included shore excursion in each port plus a free booze pkg. sealed the deal! As first time Viking longboat river cruisers we really did not know what to expect. We have cruised the Med. the Caribbean, Alaska, Eastern & Western Europe on the BIG cruise liners and wanted a more restful and peaceful experience. We got that with Viking. We had done land tours of Europe, The British Isles, Australia & New Zealand so we were familiar with the city tour concept and like it. As elder travelers, early to bed suited us fine, and we did not feel obligated to do any after hours activities. We had been to Vienna on a previous tour of Europe and were thrilled to see her in all her BEAUTY again. We were at the Gottweig Abbey on Sunday and my wife was able to attend Mass there which was an unexpected and welcomed surprise. The Cesky Krumlov Walking tour was the Treasure described in the brochure PLUS. Great side trip into the Czech Republic. The absence of children provided a much more relaxing atmosphere than I had thought. If and when we again have the ability to join Viking, WE WILL!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Always wanted to sail the Danube and visit old European cities not available to us during the cold war days. Big history buff so this was perfect for us, Loved the itenary and the added trip to the Czech republic. Loved the service and by ... Read More
Always wanted to sail the Danube and visit old European cities not available to us during the cold war days. Big history buff so this was perfect for us, Loved the itenary and the added trip to the Czech republic. Loved the service and by the second day the whole crew knew us by name. Stayed pre-cruise at a five star hotel that was excellent and the staff there was also great. Side tours also were excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and well executed. We would definiely go again but first we would like to take river cruises in other parts of Europe and we are going to try Viking ocean cruises as well.Dining was very good and the food was excellent. The chef came out and talked to us about a reciepe we were interested in. Our waiters were also excellent and very and knew the menu that was presented and made excellent recommendations Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had the pre-cruise in Budapest and had 3 days to wonder on our own. Great fun . My husband is retired Navy so he is used to being on the water and I hold on to the edge in the bath tub but the ship was wonderful. Very memorable. ... Read More
We had the pre-cruise in Budapest and had 3 days to wonder on our own. Great fun . My husband is retired Navy so he is used to being on the water and I hold on to the edge in the bath tub but the ship was wonderful. Very memorable. This was to celebrate our 50th anniversary. 10 days we will never forget. The food was so good, got to sample food from the areas we were sailing through. We really enjoyed the trip without having to deal with little kids. (had enough of them on the plane getting there) Would love to go again. The crew was so helpful and friendly. and the entertainment on board was very nice. The tours in each port were wonderful. If you need a tour for handicap or if you cant keep up with the main tour they provided us with a private tour that we could take at a slower pace. Very knowledgeable tour guides, Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Very pleased with overall performance . The included shore excursions were well planned & executed . The most outstanding comment each day was HOW HARD & DILIGENT the program director was. I saw him from morning to evening at ... Read More
Very pleased with overall performance . The included shore excursions were well planned & executed . The most outstanding comment each day was HOW HARD & DILIGENT the program director was. I saw him from morning to evening at every event - observing, directing & controlling the entire program. His onboard & general knowledge of the entire trip was a amazing. ( without any notes). I only know of him as JOE. He is certainly an asset to this company. I would like to know of any other Viking cruises he is on , as i would definitely consider booking it. Everyone i talked with were completely satisfied with all aspects of the cruise. I will definitely consider another Viking cruise. River cruising has a distinct advantage over ocean cruising in the ability to view more of the country side as you are underway and very important -- the lack of "sea sick "movement of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Friends and neighbors have all recommended trying a river cruise instead of ocean cruise. We have sailed before (5+) and enjoyed all our trips. We prefer ships with 2,500 or less and 7-8 day trips with a short stay pre or post trip. It ... Read More
Friends and neighbors have all recommended trying a river cruise instead of ocean cruise. We have sailed before (5+) and enjoyed all our trips. We prefer ships with 2,500 or less and 7-8 day trips with a short stay pre or post trip. It seemed most of our recommendations were with Viking and a short run for the first time - we took that advice. They were dead on with the recommendations. Our agent (Diana Randall) with Avoya made our selection and arrangements pain free - as usual! From pricing to selection of cabin, activities and post stay in Budapest were excellent. What we enjoyed the most; amazing-friendly and accommodating crew; excellent dinning and on board activities; enjoyed meeting new friends and not feeling like a cabin number, but a name and person; top notch excursions and plenty to select from - especially liked our own listening device for the trip which made it easy to hear and keep up with the tour; each crew member from cabin server to Concierge knew my name and made me feel as a "VIP"; attention to little details as: warm towel and drink upon returning for a day ashore, snacks and tea/coffee always available, fresh water always in the cabin, quiet places to relax - I can go on and on. In a nut shell - we are planning another Viking trip in September 2018 and trying an Ocean cruise on their new small ships in April 2019. Thank you Viking for the "VIP" treatment! Bob and Kathy Byrnes Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise based on the diversity of countries we would experience. We began with a 3-day pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a welcoming city offering beautiful architecture, landscape and historical sites. All arrangements ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the diversity of countries we would experience. We began with a 3-day pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a welcoming city offering beautiful architecture, landscape and historical sites. All arrangements were handled by Viking and went seamlessly. We especially enjoyed the coach ride through the country side from Prague to Passau Germany, where we boarded the Viking Vilhjalm. Our excursions were easily booked through Viking and were excellent. The Terazin tour was a somber, but touching experience. Highlights of the trip for us were Chesky Kromlov, Vienna, and sailing into Budapest seeing the city in lights. The crew aboard the Vilhjalm are friendly and attentive. The tour director shared personal stories of life while under Communist regime. This cruise was very enlightening in terms of gaining information and insight into the lives and struggles of persons who endured the effects of WWII. Viking longships are the perfect size. They offer care and comfort. The cuisine is local to the country you are in and is excellent. Viking staff know and display excellent customer service. This means of travel takes away the worry of travel to a foreign country. You are free to relax and enjoy the beautiful people and surroundings while experiencing the best possible cultural journey. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
There were many things that made this cruise a great choice. There was very little daylight time spent on the water and when there was, the staff made it an event. Overall, having worked in customer service, project planning and ... Read More
There were many things that made this cruise a great choice. There was very little daylight time spent on the water and when there was, the staff made it an event. Overall, having worked in customer service, project planning and operations, I recognized that this cruise was well planned in every detail. My sister and I very much enjoyed the larger cities. The unexpected delight was in the smaller towns. The entire dining staff accommodated my dietary restrictions. Special thanks to Alex, Elvin, and our chef on this. Our house keeper Janet was always friendly and incredibly effective. She realized I had allergies and provided me with extra tissues without my asking. The program director, Dan, was engaging and effective. We went on included, optional and our own tours. He gave us plenty of options for taking our own side trips. He also offered a new optional tour called Vienna Up Close which was excellent. All the guides were great and the Up Close guide was the cream of the crop. Thanks again to all the Viking Vilhjalm staff for a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because it was going to all the places we wanted to go. We had such a wonderful experience on our first cruise we decided to try another. The pre and post stays were in cities that we have always wanted to see. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was going to all the places we wanted to go. We had such a wonderful experience on our first cruise we decided to try another. The pre and post stays were in cities that we have always wanted to see. The shore excursions were also things we wanted to see and do. Let me begin with a very unpleasant beginning with the initial booking. When I initially booked the trip I told the Viking representative that this was a 50th anniversary celebration cruise. My wife and I were married in Italy in 1967 when I was assigned to the Italian Air Force. Our daughter was born in Italy in 1968. Upon booking I asked if it was possible to have a small cake and champagne on the cruise. The representation said congratulations and said they Viking would provide both at no charge. I thought that was extremely thoughtful and thanked her. During our initial booking I also scheduled a pre cruise in Prague and a post in Budapest. I was given the price and I said it was fine and booked it. As our cruise date grew closer I went online to check and make sure all was in order. At that time I noticed that our pre and post had not been booked. I immediately called Viking to see why. I was given no valid reason why and asked if I could still book a pre and post. I booked both and then asked about our cake and champagne at which time I was told there was no record for such a request and that I could get both at an extra cost to me. This was totally contrary to my initial conversation. After writing a steren mail to Viking I received a call from a Viking representative. She gave me the company line that such things could not be given to passengers as it would be too expensive for Viking. My response and subsequent conversation is a totally different subject. Things went fine with our pre in Prague. The Viking representatives were totally awesome. They met all our needs and requirements without hesitation. The cruise went as we expected with a huge exception from our first cruise. On our first cruise we had an extremely friendly wait staff at our meals. On this cruise we never did "connect" with the wait staff. They messed up meal orders on three occasions with little more than an apology. I will say this if it had not been for our Maitre 'd it would have been awful. The desk staff was exceptional as was Joe our Cruise Director. He was constantly making sure that everyone was in the right place at the right time. There was a major problem on our trip to Kunta Hora. As you know this is a very old city with very narrow streets. The city does not allow any tour busses in the old town. We parked about a mile away (that is what our tour guide told us), and had to walk. We had an elderly gentleman with a walker that was now expected to proceed with his walker for a mile or so over cobble stoned streets. At no time did any one from Viking offer any alternatives to this gentleman. My point with the above is that this tour and all tours should have been rated beforehand. This would allow people that are not physically able to do the tour could seek alternatives. Like I said in my title this was a good cruise not a great cruise. Based upon these experiences I will look at alternative companies for any future river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I traveled the Rhine in 2015 and the Danube in 2016. I had a wonderful time both trips. The cabins are wonderful and clean and all . The beds were comfortable. The showers were hot.The food was wonderful and delicious . The ... Read More
I traveled the Rhine in 2015 and the Danube in 2016. I had a wonderful time both trips. The cabins are wonderful and clean and all . The beds were comfortable. The showers were hot.The food was wonderful and delicious . The entertainment was wonderful. The ship is spotless . Any issues or questions were addressed . The tours are great for you had several levels of walking. The tour guides were all great and the most wonderful was the GIrl who did the Cesky kremlov was the greatest for she even gave her phone number, if we got lost or needed her. The ship never rocked and the crew kept us updated on all we needed to know. We got into Budapest late because of lock times and the next night the Captain took us back out after supper so we could sail back into Budapest in enjoy the spectacular lights of Budapest and it was fantastic for it was a holy day and all the church bells were ringing. It was spectacular as the fire works on the 4th of July! The crew on the boat were helpful and would do anything for you to make you comfortable and enjoy the trip. They could not have been nicer. My daughter is lactose intolerant and her food was great and she never ever got sick. Umbrellas were available if you needed them. We always had bottle water for tours. Bus Drivers were great. We met great and friendly people . People were polite on the trip. The cities were wonderful to see. Just sailing on the River was great . There was nothing to complain about. The man in charge of our side trips and other things told us we did not have change our euros for they would be accepted in the tourist area and he gave us the current conversion rates. I would love to go again. The next time I go it will be the Paris river cruise. My sleep was never ever disturbed. I loved it on the Danube for we had a suite. I loved the veranda and the view from the room. I loved up top of the boat and the special non slip flooring. I had no complaints and am saving my money for the Paris trip. I must say I am 70 and going on the boat to all these places was great for I did not have to go from hotel to hotel unpacking and packing . Eating my meals on the boat saved my daughter and me for getting sick . The meals on the boat corresponded to were we were and so did the entertainment. You can drink the water on the boat also. You did not miss anything by not eating in the towns for you had the cuisine and the local entertainment. Yes can't wait to go again. Oh yes they have people at the airport the help you get to the bus that goes to the boat when you arrive and when you leave they have people at the airport helping you get checked in. It is quite the organized procedure getting everyone to the airport in time for their flights -- staring breakfast in the wee hours . You never went hungry. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have already travelled the Rhine and the Moselle so decided to try another river the Danube trip with Viking was superb cabins,dining service all excellent very busy with trips because there are so many sights to see. Our only complaint ... Read More
We have already travelled the Rhine and the Moselle so decided to try another river the Danube trip with Viking was superb cabins,dining service all excellent very busy with trips because there are so many sights to see. Our only complaint was the lack of entertainment the other cruises we have done had better evening entertainment but we enjoyed the rest of the trip would go with Viking again but on a different trip of course our favourite river is the Moselle so pretty but understand the American passengers had travelled a very long way and it is all about the history in the bigger ports. Budapest was my favourite stop it is a lovely city so many great sights and so much history we also found Bratislava charming. I would recommend Viking to anyone if you want top class ships and top class service keep up the good work. Just one point I would have been a bit upset if I had paid extra for a balcony because at most ports we moored along side another ship so feel you were limited to the use of your balcony so feel that the quite large sum charged for different cabins is not a good selling point. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We arrived in Budapest two days before departing on our Viking cruise. With the help of a Viking representative in our hotel, the Marriott, my friend and I were able to use the Big Bus to get off and on at locations that we knew we would ... Read More
We arrived in Budapest two days before departing on our Viking cruise. With the help of a Viking representative in our hotel, the Marriott, my friend and I were able to use the Big Bus to get off and on at locations that we knew we would not see on the first day or second day of our guided cruise tour. We discovered numerous small cafes to leisurely enjoy the food for a meal, coffee, and / or a snack. Don't miss going to the Hospital in the Cave on the Buda side of the Danube. We were able to board our cruise ship, the Wilhelm, with no trouble, being greeted by several of the crew members. who, by the way, remembered our names starting right then and for the rest of the cruise. Our cabin had a balcony, on which we had our pastries and cappuccino each morning. The room was an adequate size considering how little time we spent there. I have been on Ocean and Sea cruises where the number of passengers seemed overwhelming. On the Viking River Cruise, the small number of passengers (171) meant that one could at least recognize almost everyone on our ship. Stopping to take photos when on guided tours sometimes separated us from our group. However, being able to recognize a familiar face, quickly got us back on track. It was also easy to make conversation with others with whom you sat relaxing or at a meal because they were recognizable. I also loved the idea of taking a trip without children who were crying, complaining, or lost. I truly enjoyed being "the child" as I experienced the wonders of the sites, the food, the locals, and the culture of the countries we visited. We loved the variety of foods served both in the dining room and in the Aquavit. The dress for each was fairly as dressy or causal as one felt like being. The chef was on hand for all meals - I especially liked being shown the kitchen on a tour he gave. The chef also guided a group to the market one day for a shopping and tasting tour. Great fun :) Each of the ports offered a variety of activities on land - either guided tours or time to spend on your own exploring. The ship's staff were involved in some of the tours, and if someone decided not to get off for either of these, the remaining staff saw to ones needs / wishes with food, discussions. There were also demonstrations on board as well as cultural entertainment in the evening after dinner. The singing, dancing, and music were examples of what the country we were visiting offered as their traditions. The audience - us - was encouraged to join in. The staff dressed in traditional German attire one afternoon and evening, much to the delight of us all :) The activities included tours that were included as part of our package as well as a number of extra ones. This included a night at the opera in Vienna - the singers and orchestra were outstanding and was another "must see". Our tour guides offered a regular and a slower pace groupings - which was a great advantage to many of us. The staff members were friends while they performed their duties - calling us by name, remembering what we liked to drink, our menu preferences, reminding some of us of our departure times (I'm always late), greeting us everywhere on the ship with a smile and questions about our day. They also took photos for us - I hate doing selfies :) I hated to say good-bye, and I hope to see some of them again on another Viking River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our second Viking River Cruise - we were so pleased with the first one, we decided to do a second...and, are considering a third trip with Viking. Service is warm, friendly, professional & efficient. The staff are a joy to ... Read More
This was our second Viking River Cruise - we were so pleased with the first one, we decided to do a second...and, are considering a third trip with Viking. Service is warm, friendly, professional & efficient. The staff are a joy to interact with - caring & conscientious. Cabin is spacious, comfortable & well-appointed. Balcony allows for a private area when you desire a bit of quiet time to read, write, chat etc. The food is well presented, varied, offers an opportunity to try regional specialties & most importantly, allows you to eat a very healthy, delichious diet, IF you choose too. Of course, you can be decadent, if that is your choice! Educational offerings & excellent guides provided real insight & enlightenment about the countries we were visiting. An enjoyable learning experience. We've taken advantage of going early & staying after the cruise both times - this added a lot to our overall satisfaction & enjoyment. Would definitely add the pre and post days every time. We've met lovely people both times - interesting, well-read, fun folks. The trips are a perfect combination of "just us" time and meet new friends opportunities. Bravo Viking - don't ever change! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Viking Vilhjalm Ratings
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