3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise, and our first trip to Europe. We were very cautious about this trip. Would the cruise be worth the money, would the cabin be good enough, what about the staff, language, other costs etc. etc. Typical ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and our first trip to Europe. We were very cautious about this trip. Would the cruise be worth the money, would the cabin be good enough, what about the staff, language, other costs etc. etc. Typical newcomers. This trip was absolutely magnificent. The cabins are roomy, modern, well set out, full view sliding window (dont book lower deck - our friends thought they would go for the cheap cabins and really regretted it after they saw our cabin!!), the food and dining was divine and the staff wonderful, friendly and very helpful. Only additional cost onboard was alcohol (other than mealtimes where it was included) and 3 optional tours. All other daily tours and guides were included in the cost, and were first class. There was a port and tour every morning to a different town with plenty of time for shopping and wandering or you could stay on board for the day (all meals included onboard), or come back for lunch, guides all had headset and we wore earphone on guided trips (so you miss nothing, and cant loose track of your guide), everyday was different, site seeing on cruise was always informative and entertaining (thanks Stefan, our wonderful cruise director), and interesting fun entertainment on several of the evenings onboard. There was nothing that disappointed us, and great value for money. We will be looking to Avalon for our next trip to south of France. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I have always resisted the idea of a cruise with 5000+ strangers, but the river cruises did attract my interest. The Viking Rhine River cruise was wonderful! Every aspect ... the staff, the guests (fewer than 200), the food, and the ... Read More
I have always resisted the idea of a cruise with 5000+ strangers, but the river cruises did attract my interest. The Viking Rhine River cruise was wonderful! Every aspect ... the staff, the guests (fewer than 200), the food, and the shore excursions ... were outstanding in every regard. The ship, the Viking Hlin, was quiet with no sounds of the engine thrumming; the staterooms were very comfortable and efficient in use of space and never felt crowded. But, the best parts were certainly the people: the staff just could not have been more helpful and professional, and they were genuine in their attention to each guest. A wonderful trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first River Cruise and it was for our 25th Anniversary. It was wonderful in every way. We stayed at the Hilton Doubletree the night before the cruise which was within walking distance from the train station for airport ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and it was for our 25th Anniversary. It was wonderful in every way. We stayed at the Hilton Doubletree the night before the cruise which was within walking distance from the train station for airport train, and a short walk to dock for the Viking Sun. Great hotel and staff. The Sky Lounge on the top floor gives you an incredible view of Amsterdam with a map so you know what you are viewing. The staff on the Viking Sun was superb and we never wanted for anything. The Captain and the Program Director were always available and friendly, as were everyone on the staff. The meals were outstanding with many choices and everything so fresh, and everything perfectly cooked and presented. Every meal was delightful. The included wine choices each day were great and complemented the meals. We could not help but gain weight even though we were so active on all the included shore excursions at each port, and with exploring some towns on our own. Cookies and various tea and coffee drinks were available in the area before entering the lounge every day and evening. The tours were also fantastic from the transportation on the new and comfortable motor coaches to the knowledgeable tour guides speaking to us on individual audio headsets on all the amazing sites we visited. We enjoyed the nightly programs in the Lounge too. It was always entertaining and fun. It was so easy to meet new friends and share the day's experiences Everything was so organized and went so smoothly, making it so relaxing and worry free as everything was taken care of for you. We loved it and look forward to taking another Viking Cruise soon. Super!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
After receiving many, many Viking catelogs, we finally made our adventure happen. Our expectations were surpassed. The Sun's service and the quality to detail made the voyage totally pleasant. The crew was always friendly. The ... Read More
After receiving many, many Viking catelogs, we finally made our adventure happen. Our expectations were surpassed. The Sun's service and the quality to detail made the voyage totally pleasant. The crew was always friendly. The excursions to castles and cathedrals were organized and enjoyable. Free time was acccomdated. The Sun Deck was the perfect to place to relax and watch the countryside of homes, vineyards and mountains cruise by. We look forward to future adventures. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Arrival day in Amsterdam included a walking tour and much rain, but great taste of the city. The ship was beautiful and well appointed. The crew were always friendly and accommodating. Room was very small, but quite adequate with a ... Read More
Arrival day in Amsterdam included a walking tour and much rain, but great taste of the city. The ship was beautiful and well appointed. The crew were always friendly and accommodating. Room was very small, but quite adequate with a wonderful "patio like" window that opened and allowed for enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells along the way. More food than one could possibly eat. Having local guides at all shore excursions was great and allowed for interesting conversations. Due to low water conditions, we had to "trade" ships half way, but other than having to pack our bags, the trade was almost seamless. Viking representatives were at the airport when we arrived, at the hotel during our 2-day extension in Budapest, and at the airport when we left. Our program director, Lubo, was fantastic! Viking took great care of everything! The hotel in Budapest was well located and very comfortable. It was a wonderful trip, especially for a first time to Europe. It would have been nice to have had more "free" time in some of the cities, but I understand the time constraints with such an itinerary. I would say that perhaps this isn't a trip for younger people as, at least on my trip, the clientele's average age appeared to be around 70, and a bit more sedentary than I had anticipated. Entertainment on the ship seemed to be geared towards an older audience as well. Still, a wonderful opportunity to see and visit many cities of Europe. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Grand European River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was wonderful. We booked everything through Viking so we were met by a Viking representative at every transfer point and they stayed with us until the transfer was complete. The ... Read More
The Grand European River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was wonderful. We booked everything through Viking so we were met by a Viking representative at every transfer point and they stayed with us until the transfer was complete. The itinerary and departure information booklet was very helpful. The write-ups on what we would see and do at each port and excursion helped us to plan our free time and choose extra excursions. We followed the tip of packing some of our clothes in each other bags. The booklet had all our travel information in one place. The ship was beautiful . All the crew members gave us excellent service . The food was presented nicely and every thing was delicious. The menu had many choices for each meal. Each night, a special course was offered featuring food from the region we were visiting . They gave us a special dessert to share to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Our program director kept our shore excursions well coordinated with local tour guides, provided small group entertainment on the ship, gave interesting informational talks on what we were seeing and arranged demonstrations of glass blowing and baking. Evening activities included music, interacting with crew in small groups and watching tv in your cabin. Safety is Vikings main concern. We transferred to another ship due to low water. The transfer was very easy. We were able to follow our itinerary of shore excursions by motor coach and meals were provided in local restaurants. In Budapest, Viking changed the train transfer to Prague to a motor coach due to a political situation. At the hotel in Prague, a van was provided to transport us down town for our convenience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first river cruise (actually, our first cruise of any kind, as the whole idea of cruising on anything larger than a sailboat never really appealed to us). We enjoyed it so much, we've already scheduled our next trip with ... Read More
This was our first river cruise (actually, our first cruise of any kind, as the whole idea of cruising on anything larger than a sailboat never really appealed to us). We enjoyed it so much, we've already scheduled our next trip with Uniworld. Everything was top-notch, from the included excursions to the food and service. It was especially refreshing not to be nickled and dimed for drinks, tips, and extras, and the only added cost we had at the end of the trip was for the Heidelberg optional excursion (which was very well done). We really enjoyed the tours to the Alsatian wine villages, but all of the tours were excellent. I require a gluten-free diet, and by the second day it seemed that all of the dining room staff were aware, and the chef did everything to ensure I got to enjoy lots of delicious menu items throughout the trip. They also offered a special reservations-only dinner on the top deck that was phenomenal. The cruise director was wonderful and seemed to have boundless energy (perfect for her job!). The nightly entertainment was fine, although it seemed to be primarily background music by a male/female duo. The swim-spa pool was great although it did have to be drained for a couple of days mid-trip so the ship would sit higher in the water due to low water levels on the Rhine. It was also on the cool side (even before it was drained and refilled) although it is heated according to the Uniworld documentation. All in all, I'd highly recommend this itinerary and ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was one of our best holidays in 2015. Schedule and organisation were perfect. The staff was very professional - special thanks to the Bulgarian staff on the ship! Nick, the programme director was OUTSTANDING! Our room was very clean ... Read More
This was one of our best holidays in 2015. Schedule and organisation were perfect. The staff was very professional - special thanks to the Bulgarian staff on the ship! Nick, the programme director was OUTSTANDING! Our room was very clean and comfortable. Food was good, so was the service. The programme included very interesting places to visit and enjoy Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We had an absolutely splendid time on our 1st River Cruise. It was everything and more than we had hoped for. We started on the Ve & due to the low water finished our trip on the Gefjon. The transfer from one to the other was ... Read More
We had an absolutely splendid time on our 1st River Cruise. It was everything and more than we had hoped for. We started on the Ve & due to the low water finished our trip on the Gefjon. The transfer from one to the other was painless. Each day we enjoyed breathtaking scenery on & off the ship. We were kept abreast of each & every thing that pertained to us during the trip. Every evening the Program Director filled us with details for the following day. Meals were 5 Star. The guides for the excursions were excellent. All were very knowledgeable & proud to share (with a touch of humor) their city with us. Entertainment was brought on board, the chef gave an Apple Strudel making demonstration, we had a glass blowing demonstration as well as informative talks to teach us about windmills & locks & being a captain. We were even given a crash course in German to make our time on shore easier. The staff were super friendly & all you had to do was ask & they would go above & beyond for you. We loved our room - the balcony was well worth it. This trip certainly left us wanting more. Thanks Viking. :-) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We booked our Viking River Cruise well over a year before we left on this cruise. We were very much looking forward to this adventure and to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. This cruise did not disappoint. I must admit it was a ... Read More
We booked our Viking River Cruise well over a year before we left on this cruise. We were very much looking forward to this adventure and to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. This cruise did not disappoint. I must admit it was a little rocky start when we arrived into Amsterdam and there were some mishaps beginning with the ship which was actually in Rotterdam and we were bused there, because of the inability for this "longship" to dock in Amsterdam due to a boating regatta in Amsterdam. A couple other issues while waiting at the hotel made us wonder. HOWEVER, once we arrived on our ship The Lofn, settled into our beautiful cabin, after having the entire crew welcome us on board, it all became very wonderful. The crew, the guides at each port, the views out the large ship windows, the service, our Program Director, our cabin person, wait staff, desk staff were all more than helpful throughout our journey on both the Lofn and the Vidar which was a ship change due to low water levels on the Danube. The crew made that pretty seamless too, as no one was looking forward to packing up and moving. But, the crew made it so easy and even all the new crew on the Vidar were doing all they could to make us comfortable. The sights, the countries, the guides who were so knowledgeable made our adventure just fabulous. Thank you Viking for a 50th Wedding Anniversary that will always be remembered. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first cruise and we were not sure what to expect. Our prior experiences were all inclusive ocean cruises with Silversea. Overall, the river cruise was fabulous and exceeded our expectations. Great experiences in most ports, ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were not sure what to expect. Our prior experiences were all inclusive ocean cruises with Silversea. Overall, the river cruise was fabulous and exceeded our expectations. Great experiences in most ports, energetic staff and excellent cruise director (Barry) who found creative solutions to issues that arose and was always there with us, making sure everything went well. The Alsvin Longship was beautiful and we enjoyed our balcony room on the middle deck (200 level). The restaurant menu was different every night and all dishes were delicious and nicely presented by staff who did everything they could to please guests. Wine and beer included with lunch and dinner and they were generous. The chef was also fabulous and we enjoyed going with him to market for an excursion in one of the ports. The cruise itinerary was engaging and provided some interesting options that we enjoyed, such as the amazing concert in Vienna. We would have liked more time in Vienna, it is truly amazing! Less time in some ports might provide this extra time. We even think a day not in a port might be nice as you are always on the go for the shore excursions, but some people just skipped a tour which is worth considering, but we hated to miss anything. It turns out we were very lucky because we were able to stay on the same ship throughout the cruise, but many people on other cruise ships (Viking and others such as Uniworld) had to switch ships mid cruise due to low river conditions. Thanks to our very resourceful Ship Captain, we were able to make it through when other cruise ships did not! People we talked to in towns during excursions grumbled about being bused around and having to pack and unpack to switch ships. For us, the most disappointing thing on the river cruise ship was the limited lounge music genre. Only one person provided lounge entertainment and he provided 90% slow songs even when faster music was requested by numerous guests. The entertainment that was brought on for some evenings (opera singing, cultural music, etc) from local entertainers was outstanding however. All in all, it was a fabulous experience and we look forward to another cruise, but will consider a different time of year to avoid the low river conditions in late August, early September. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Unfortunately, what should have been a great Rhine cruise was marred for over half the passengers on the Viking Hlin. Within two days of boarding the ship over 60 out of 188 passengers came down with gastroenteritis. The ship staff took ... Read More
Unfortunately, what should have been a great Rhine cruise was marred for over half the passengers on the Viking Hlin. Within two days of boarding the ship over 60 out of 188 passengers came down with gastroenteritis. The ship staff took virtually no measures to control the virus so it tore through the rest of the passengers in short order. Sick people were loaded onto tour buses with healthy ones, self-service buffets continued, and there was no systematic disinfection of handrails or shared furniture. To add insult to injury they didn't bother to obtain rehydration solution or antidiarrheal medication, even though they knew dozens of passengers were sick and local shops closed on the weekend. Handling of special diets was adequate, but not up to the high standards they claimed when I booked my ticket. Despite my telling them about my gluten-free/egg-free diet six weeks in advance, breakfast was a sad affair. There wasn't a single bread or cereal aboard I could eat; even the hash browns were made with eggs. I was completely left out of the two afternoon teas because the only gluten-free option was egg custard. If you don't have a special diet or mind a round of gastroenteritis with no medicine for relief, the rest of the cruise is to be recommended. Shore excursions are to carefully chosen sites, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The tour guides are somewhat variable in quality, but most are very good. I was only disappointed by one guide, who was intent on telling a particular story and glossed over what we were looking at. There are both included and optional tours, plus short walks into port cities lead by the conceirge. Be sure to consider the optional tours which go to interesting places and provide good value. Viking provides a transmitter/earpiece system so it's easy to hear all the narration. When the ship is cruising, there are slide shows in the afternoon, appealing spreads of local pastries, and music in the evening. The cabins are well appointed and the information on their website is spot-on. L'Occitane toiletries are a nice touch. The lounge is big and comfortable with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of seating. There is a rooftop sundeck as well, with plenty of lounge chairs and the option of sitting in the sun or the shade. Dining room tables seat either six or ten guests and lounge seating is in conversation groups. This is a good arrangement if you like to mingle and talk to other people on the ship. Mealtimes are fairly regimented if you want to enjoy the main menu; breakfast is the only meal with a fair amount of flexibility. Dinner was often later than I would have liked. We were typically seated at 7pm and not served until maybe 7:45. The late dinners combined with 8:30 am excursions meant I ended up a bit sleep-deprived. Because of the relatively small size of the ship there were typically only 3-4 selections for lunch and dinner, plus a menu of fixed options. The food was fresh and well-prepared. Wine is served with lunch and dinner. They serve the same complementary wine with all the meals the whole week. If you want something different there are some really nice wines for purchase on the wine list. Be aware with the Rhine cruises that the ones originating in Amsterdam are going upriver. That means more time on the water and less on shore excursions. Choose your direction by whether you like sitting on the sundeck and watching the river go by, or having more time to wander the local cities. There isn't a right or wrong answer; the cruises are just different. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The first 8 days were changed to the AmaVenita because of low water levels around Nurenburg...and changed to the Ama Reina for the last half of the trip....no problem there. Day one...we entered our cabin 204, Catagory T+ which gave us an ... Read More
The first 8 days were changed to the AmaVenita because of low water levels around Nurenburg...and changed to the Ama Reina for the last half of the trip....no problem there. Day one...we entered our cabin 204, Catagory T+ which gave us an outdoor balcony plus a French Balcony. Very nice, except that another ship was moored right along side us. so - no view except of a neighbouring cabin about 10cm from our balcony. This was to happen frequently during the trip, sometimes with ships moored on both sides of us for hours. When you consider that we paid $22,000 for the 15 days (airfares extra) - anyway -I decided we were quite often a 5star club sandwich. We were told by staff members that this was only going to get worse as more ships enter the tourist market in river cruising in Europe! O.k day nine - first morning on the AmaReina, we are still sleeping, it is 6.45am and in walked the cleaners to clean our room!!!! I did complain and was told that they got the wrong room - not acceptable , by my standards. We had also been led to believe, from the T.V commercials, brochures etc that most days we would be able to walk into towns/villages in our leasure time - this does not happen....mostly we were moored too far from towns, even for tours etc we were taken by bus, sometimes up to two hours, to get to the advertised daily excursion. Budapest was a very welcome exception - we were actually moored very close to town. Meals were plentiful, and very good. BUT, you did need to eat on call, no time to relax -because the days events were so over organized, be back at a certain time, lunch is now! ship is sailing now! Nurenburg was advertised that we could VISIT the Nazi War Courts - not so - we had this building pointed out to us as we went passed on the bus!! Just one of many advertised mis-informations in the brochures. Back to day one - arriving at Amsterdam airport we were met by an APT driver, however he picked up 2 others as well as us so we did not get the promised porterage - and that airport is huge.... The good points...well, if we had not done the trip we would not know that organized, regulated holidays are not for us. We will stick to our usual fly/drive holidays in Europe Entertainment on board was very good. Staff were so attentive that is became quite difficult to say 'good morning' a few dozen times. There was a 'gentle walk' available with most shore excursions - we took advantage of them..... Oh, Well, now I wonder if you will print this. I also wonder at only good reviews, there were many people on board with similar complaints....... Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
I was worried about the food on the cruise - even though Viking assured me it would not be a problem accommodating my gluten free diet. I was given a menu for lunch and dinner every morning so I could choose my meals. This gave the Chef ... Read More
I was worried about the food on the cruise - even though Viking assured me it would not be a problem accommodating my gluten free diet. I was given a menu for lunch and dinner every morning so I could choose my meals. This gave the Chef time to prepare my meal gluten free. I basically ate what everyone else ate but just prepared without the gluten. The meals were excellent. The wait staff are fantastic. They are very adept at anticipating your every want or need. We chose not to go with one of the larger suites instead opting for a smaller one on the top deck. Do not regret this decision as we were never in our rooms - except for sleeping and changing. The rooms are very clean and well maintained by a great housekeeping crew. If you're prone to seasickness don't worry - it was extremely smooth sailing. The party we traveled with are all in their late 50s early 60s and we were some of the youngest. I wouldn't recommend bringing kids as there isn't anything on the ship for them to do. Lots of 50th anniversaries being celebrated. Only flaw we'll correct on out next trip with Viking is booking our own travel to and from Europe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
The ship is immaculately maintained and luxuriously comfortable. The food was exquisite and the staff from the Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, Maitre D and all the other staff as well as the captain and crew were, without exception, first ... Read More
The ship is immaculately maintained and luxuriously comfortable. The food was exquisite and the staff from the Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, Maitre D and all the other staff as well as the captain and crew were, without exception, first class. There was a problem with the river level on approach to Vienna but the Avalon staff, in particular Adrienn the cruise director, swung into action, and we were transferred to a 4 star Hotel in Linz. This was the only negative as, although the hotel was comfortable, the food was not up to standard and they did not appear capable of coping with the influx of guests and their organisation at the main meal time was chaotic. The response from the vice president in promising a discount for any days away from the ship was rapid. It is only when problems occur that one discovers the real quality of a holiday company. Avalon response was outstanding. Though disappointing, the problems did not spoil our enjoyment and there was virtually negligible adverse comment from the guests. One problem during the booking process was encountered as we chose to travel by rail in both directions from the UK. SNCF/Avalon seemed incapable to reserving seats on the one part of the rail journey from Vienna to Zurich. This meant that, on arrival in Vienna, I had to go to the local rail station and book a reserved seat for the journey. A simple but, in my opinion. essential action. If SNCF are incapable of such a simple process you may wish to look elsewhere to book rail travel. I must stress though that, although it meant a morning doing something that could have been otherwise arranged, this has NOT diminished my admiration for Avalon and in particular the Avalon Luminary. Particular mention should go to Adrienn, the cruise director, the hotel manager ( whose name I do not have unfortunately) and to staff in the bar and restaurant namely Ganis and Stephan. 10/10 Avalon Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Six of us celebrated a 50th anniversary by taking the Viking River cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest leaving Amsterdam on July 11, 2015 Wonderful cruise, on the Bagri. Program Director Alex was the most informative, hard working ... Read More
Six of us celebrated a 50th anniversary by taking the Viking River cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest leaving Amsterdam on July 11, 2015 Wonderful cruise, on the Bagri. Program Director Alex was the most informative, hard working individual I know. Daily excursions were well planed, informative, and interesting with great English speaking guides. Meals were wonderful with great variety. Staterooms are well planned with nothing left to want. Daily excursions are a great reason to go on the Viking Grand European cruise. When the Danube was closed to traffic for approximately 150 miles, Viking accommodated all passengers with a coach trip around the closure and a swap to a sister ship (the Skadi) in Passau. We never missed any city stop. In fact in Nuremberg we had lunch in a German restaurant which was a great experience. Viking made our swap very easy and accommodated us in other ways. Walking tours were designed with all walking abilities accommodated from fast walkers to those with more challenging walking speeds. Razil and Niko (in the dining room) on the Bragi were exceptional individuals who we were sad to leave after the one week. All staff were wonderful on both ships. Arriving in Budapest at night was incredible, bridges and building all lit up. What a way to end a fantastic holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Six of us celebrated a 50th anniversary by taking the Viking River cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest leaving Amsterdam on July 11, 2015 Wonderful cruise, on the Bagri. Program Director Alex was the most informative, hard working ... Read More
Six of us celebrated a 50th anniversary by taking the Viking River cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest leaving Amsterdam on July 11, 2015 Wonderful cruise, on the Bagri. Program Director Alex was the most informative, hard working individual I know. Daily excursions were well planed, informative, and interesting with great English speaking guides. Meals were wonderful with great variety. Staterooms are well planned with nothing left to want. Daily excursions are a great reason to go on the Viking Grand European cruise. When the Danube was closed to traffic for approximately 150 miles, Viking accommodated all passengers with a coach trip around the closure and a swap to a sister ship (the Skadi) in Passau. We never missed any city stop. In fact in Nuremberg we had lunch in a German restaurant which was a great experience. Viking made our swap very easy and accommodated us in other ways. Walking tours were designed with all walking abilities accommodated from fast walkers to those with more challenging walking speeds. Razil and Niko (in the dining room) on the Bragi were exceptional individuals who we were sad to leave after the one week. All staff were wonderful on both ships. Arriving in Budapest at night was incredible, bridges and building all lit up. What a way to end a fantastic holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Our first river cruise and what a fantastic journey! Viking and the Kvasir crew far exceeded our expectations. Our Veranda Suite provided us with adequately-sized, very comfortable accommodations. The food and wait staff were very good. ... Read More
Our first river cruise and what a fantastic journey! Viking and the Kvasir crew far exceeded our expectations. Our Veranda Suite provided us with adequately-sized, very comfortable accommodations. The food and wait staff were very good. The crew always seemed to be enjoying themselves and it showed in they're attentiveness. All of our tours were very good to excellent - some great stops and sightseeing. I would highly recommend Viking if you're considering a river cruise. We're already planning another. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
I have never been on any cruise, ocean or river and had no real desire to do either. I visited my son in the military in Germany and while touring Rhineland-Falz, I asked someone what the funny looking long boats with windows were doing ... Read More
I have never been on any cruise, ocean or river and had no real desire to do either. I visited my son in the military in Germany and while touring Rhineland-Falz, I asked someone what the funny looking long boats with windows were doing moving up and down the river. After learning that they were river cruise ships, the first thing I found out was "Viking Cruises" were the best. We scheduled a cruise down the Rhine river for July-2015 for our 25th wedding anniversary and had one of the best vacations of our lifetime. Everything was perfect. Every need and want was met and every detail was thoughtfully planned. As I have a permanent disability, all accommodations needed were provided. We met great people, visited beautiful towns and cities travelling through Europe via the Rhine River. We have definitely decided to take another cruise and will not wait 25 more years either. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
This was my first river cruise but it won't be my last. I had taken several ocean cruises and did not know what to expect on a river cruise. It was much better than any previous cruise. The crew of the Embla was wonderful from Maya ... Read More
This was my first river cruise but it won't be my last. I had taken several ocean cruises and did not know what to expect on a river cruise. It was much better than any previous cruise. The crew of the Embla was wonderful from Maya who cleaned our room to Leonard , the program director, your wait staff and the Maitre D. There was not one negative thing about this experience. I traveled with my granddaughter on her first trip to Europe and she, too, was thrilled. The shore excursions were excellent with very knowledgeable guides in every port at which we stopped. The food was excellent as was the on board entertainment. Everyone on the crew with whom we came in contact made us feel welcome. The dining system of six to a table and changing tables with every meal or staying with one group was a wonderful idea and we made many new friends as a result of this. We are looking forward to taking another Viking cruise. Right now I have my eye set on the ocean cruise of the Scandinavian countries, Estonia, Poland, Germany and Russia, while she is hoping for something that includes Paris. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
Although we have been on a number of ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. It will not be our last. We had heard nothing but rave reviews about Viking and the river cruise experience. This cruise surpassed our expectations. ... Read More
Although we have been on a number of ocean cruises, this was our first river cruise. It will not be our last. We had heard nothing but rave reviews about Viking and the river cruise experience. This cruise surpassed our expectations. From the time we walked out of customs at Amsterdam's airport until the time we checked in for our flight home, there was always a Viking representative there to take care of us. We never felt alone in a foreign country. The ship's accommodations and meals exceeded our hopes. The dinning and hotel staffs were pleasant and did everything possible to ensure the trip was enjoyable. The food was excellent and the portions were just right. The idea of changing tables every meal and meeting different people was great. No matter who we dined with, our wait staff of Jaycee, Josh, and Gilbert were always there to provide great service. The shore excursions were varied to the point of having something for everyone. The concierge was exceptional. He was able to arrange a private side trip from Cologne to Margraten, NL for us. The driver he arranged for us was friendly and knowledgeable. Leonard, the program director, was also very good. He had great commentary about the local scenes as we cruised the river. The man is full of energy and he spread it among the passengers. We are looking forward to more Viking cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We had been watching the Viking River cruise promotions on TV for months, with a mix of fantasy, disbelief and thought this was too good to be true. Seeing is believing! So we, impulsively booked a cabin with a verandah. To our amazement, ... Read More
We had been watching the Viking River cruise promotions on TV for months, with a mix of fantasy, disbelief and thought this was too good to be true. Seeing is believing! So we, impulsively booked a cabin with a verandah. To our amazement, our experience on Viking Embla, surpassed our wildest expectations and we are ready to sing their praises, out loud.This was our first river cruise, from Amsterdam to Budapest; and it left us with a longing for another one, sooner than later. The ship was beautiful, comfortable, clean and had space for everyone to enjoy the view. The library and computer terminals were a great feature. The exceptional staff and crew were professional, very helpful and always cheerful. The tour director Leonard had the perfect charisma to lead us on this great adventure down the Rhine and Danube. He was knowledgeable and humourous, with a great DJ's voice that accompanied a bubbly and enthusiastic personality. He gave us interesting commentaries and shared unique legends, as we sailed along the ever-changing landscapes. 15 minutes before dinner, we were invited to the lounge to attend a briefing and power point presentation of the next day's itinerary. This helped to refresh our minds and prepare the way for tomorrow. Many levels of included and optional tours were offered, to accommodate most needs. Each evening after dinner, there would be entertainment in the lounge. Often, we would participate in an intriguing presentation of the art, music, culture or cuisine of the town that we were going to experience the following day. After which, we could relax in the lounge listening to the charming on-board pianist, or go back to the cabin and watch a movie or listen to a wide selection of music. While we were at dinner, a detailed printed itinerary for the next day would be left in our room. The whole tour was well organized and efficiently handled. Even though we hit some hurdles with the water level being too low, during the heat wave, the captain worked creatively with the staff and managed to give us a complete river cruise, whereas other ships had to coach their passengers from port to port. The food on board was varied, well-presented and relevant to the country in which we were docked. This gave us an opportunity to taste local delicacies, both in town and on the ship. The wait staff were impeccable and in a few days learnt the passengers likes and preferences giving one the feeling of personalized service. With no fixed sitting for meals, we were encouraged to reach out to new friends each day. Special onboard activities included games, glass blowing, coffee and strudel preparation, local musicians and dancers entertained us as well. It was such fun. The shore tours were much anticipated with local guides using "quiet boxes" to add extra flavour. Travel to embarkation and disembarkation points was flawless. Throughout our stay on Embla, we were made to feel "at home". I highly recommend adding a Viking River cruise to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed. In fact you will be fulfilled. A dream come true; A fantasy into reality! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We just returned from our 1st Uniworld River Cruise. IT WAS AMAZING! We saw so many wonderful things, met so many interesting people and the service was unbelievable. The staff was so well trained and pleasant. The ship was ... Read More
We just returned from our 1st Uniworld River Cruise. IT WAS AMAZING! We saw so many wonderful things, met so many interesting people and the service was unbelievable. The staff was so well trained and pleasant. The ship was beautiful and spotless. The food was delicious and diverse. We participated in most of the shore excursions. The guides were knowledgeable and entertaining (with only one exception..she was knowledgeable but boring). The attention to detail was exceptional. Uniworld's years of experience shows. Our cruise manager, Rik, was obviously well trained and thoroughly enjoyed what he was doing. We did not participate in much of the entertainment offered on board. We made so many new friends that we made our own entertainment. We have taken sea cruises on large ships in the past but never again....The intimacy of a river cruise is definitely the way to go. More personalized service and more opportunities to get to know your ship mates. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We started the adventure by doing a post sailing stay for two nights in Amsterdam. What a city and all those bicycles. Loved taking the canal boats, the best way to get to know Amsterdam. Then sailed on the Rhine River from Amsterdam to ... Read More
We started the adventure by doing a post sailing stay for two nights in Amsterdam. What a city and all those bicycles. Loved taking the canal boats, the best way to get to know Amsterdam. Then sailed on the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel on the IDI in July 2015. The food was excellent, staff was excellent, excursions and optional tours were fun, accommodations were a delight. This was my first river cruise and really enjoyed it. Nick, the cruise director, was outstanding. We were kept well informed and met lots of interesting people. We extended the trip to three days in Lucerne. This is a lovely but expensive city. We took the tour to Mt Titlis and what an experience at 10,000 feet. Spent the last day in Lucerne doing the Golden Round Trip - which included a boat trip across Lake Lucerne, then the cogwheel train to the top of Mt Pilatus (7000 feet), then gondolas and cable cars down to Kierns, and a bus back to Lucerne. I highly recommend the Golden Round Trip. The only thing that I would like to see changed is having more time at the Black Forest. By the time you arrived by bus at the Black Forest there was not enough time to see the demonstrations, do the walk, and also shop. I did however purchase a lovely cuckoo clock which the store shipped to my address. Each time I look at the clock I will remember the trip. Thank you for the great experience as a first time cruiser, and hopefully there will be other cruises with Viking. I highly recommend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our first river cruise experience and we were impressed. From the initial greeting at the airport in Amsterdam to the assistance at departure from Budapest, Viking crew and team members were extremely courteous and hospitable. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise experience and we were impressed. From the initial greeting at the airport in Amsterdam to the assistance at departure from Budapest, Viking crew and team members were extremely courteous and hospitable. They were like family and knew how to anticipate what we might need or want. Our veranda state room was well equipped with what we needed, but we found ourselves enjoying the views from the public areas of the ship in the midst of new found friends. The day excursions were guided by knowledgeable and interesting guides. The additional excursions were well worth the added costs. The food was delicious, but our favorite was the pork knuckles we ordered at the cafe in Cologne. We have fond memories if this trip and look forward to more in the future. Read Less

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