Sail Date: November 2018
Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. Chose this trip primarily for the Christmas Markets which were fabulous! Each one slightly different and unique but lots of fun and did most of my Christmas shopping. Love the souvenir mugs from each ... Read More
Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. Chose this trip primarily for the Christmas Markets which were fabulous! Each one slightly different and unique but lots of fun and did most of my Christmas shopping. Love the souvenir mugs from each market. Best excursion was the Colmar WWII - guide was amazing and I learned so much about the area and the war. Other local guides were also very knowledgeable and made history come alive as well as providing information on each area visited. Food was totally incredible. Liked both the restaurant and the more informal atmosphere of eating in the lounge with smaller group of friends. For a person who is really not one for desserts, I had some of all of them --- luscious. Staff were all attentive and helped to make the experience great overall. Even though we had to switch ships due to low water levels, all was handled professionally. Already booked my next Viking Cruise for this fall! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
For several years my wife and I have been discussing going on a Christmas market river cruise. Finally, in celebration of my 60th birthday, she booked us a 7 day get away cruise with Viking along the famous Rhine River. Unfortunately we ... Read More
For several years my wife and I have been discussing going on a Christmas market river cruise. Finally, in celebration of my 60th birthday, she booked us a 7 day get away cruise with Viking along the famous Rhine River. Unfortunately we were one week to early for Amsterdam's Christmas markets so we made it up exploring the city. Since our trip began in Amsterdam we booked an extra day to get over jet lag and enjoy the city. We had purchased tickets in advance online to visit the Ann Frank house. Amsterdam was decorated nicely for Christmas and enjoyed a pleasant night time walking tour of the city with all the sparkling lights. Made time to visit the Van Gogh museum and down the street get a photo in front of the red and white "Iamsterdam" sign.  We really enjoyed the hospitality of the dutch people. Our first stop was a cold and foggy morning excursion to Kinderdijk where we enjoyed numerous photo opportunities and even got to tour the inside of a working windmill and later in the day enjoyed touring a cheese factory. I learned that cows on the dairy cheese farms are treated pretty good since there health and emotions can influence the quality of the cheese. Since they raise very happy cows, I think we ended up buying 10 lbs of cheese. We absolutely enjoyed Cologne, and the beautiful cathedral. Inside the Cologne cathedral is the Shrine of the Three Kings  It was amazing to see the city all decorated in celebration for Christmas. Cologne had six individual Christmas markets and we made a point to visit every single one off them. One even had a ice skating ring in the middle of it. Every market had a different theme with individual gluehwien cups to match. The historical part of the city is beautifully decorated at Christmas to the point we felt like we were walking in a Christmas novel. I purchased a really cool Christmas tree hat that had blinking lights that mysteriously didn't make the journey back to the US. The out door Christmas beer gardens were so festive and alive with laughter. We enjoyed this city so much we contemplated missing the boat and staying the rest of the week just to enjoy the atmosphere however we gave into our desire to visit and experience other towns. I had seen dozens of pictures of Marksburg Castle, but was surprised by the actual size. Its a big castle, so we enjoyed the tour. The views of the Rhine river from this castle along with the colorful fall leaves was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed viewing all the small villages as we cruised along the Rhine and only had one day of light misty rain during our entire trip. Our decision to visit Heidelberg and its Christmas markets was a good one. This beautiful city along the Rhine is one you don't want to miss. We dined at one of the local restaurants for lunch and purchased lots of goodies for friends and family to share back home. The make a lot of fancy liquors in this town.  I ate so much good German food that I think the bus busted a shock when I stepped onto it.  Strasbourg, France was gorgeous with every shops exterior decorated for Christmas. The Strasbourg Cathedral was another Gothic architectural beauty that reminded me of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. I was surrounded by hundreds of Christmas booths selling everything from treats to ornaments. The Place Kieber Central Square with the huge Christmas tree fully decorated was amazing at night. The Christmas cookies in this town are addicting, so don't think for a minute your going to eat just one. Best cookies ever, even better than grandma's. We purchased more gifts to stuff into the luggage to the point I was wandering how we were going to ever get it to the airport. Colmar, Germany was another pleasant treat. This small German town reminded me of a Christmas story picture book I had as a child. The town was architecturally beautiful with all the decorations designed to fill your heart with Christmas spirit. My wife managed to buy more gifts to the point I am certain we are going to have to purchase another ticket for an extra bag for the flight home.Basel, Switzerland was the end of our Christmas market journey and decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the markets. They had three wonderful markets, each with their individual themes but were much more crowded especially at night. We really enjoyed the sausage, pretzels and beer. One of the markets even had several warming stations where you could sit and drink more gluehwien. Basel, was a little more expensive than the other markets so I was glad my wife had purchased more of our presents in France and Germany. Every market was different. If you see something you like in one market, don't assume the next one you see will be selling the same thing. If you see something you like, go on and purchase it, don't wait till the next market. So if you want one of those green lighted Christmas tree hats, you better purchase it in Cologne. I had heard reports about the Rhine being low but Viking managed the detours in a acceptable fashion. We were unable to visit one town due to changing boats, however the bus ride to the second boat was beautiful. Seeing the countryside along the Rhine is well worth a bus ride. The staff on both ships were absolutely wonderful. Our rooms were so comfortable and pleasant we had difficulty leaving them every morning to participate in the excursions. We never had a bad meal and everyone one the boat was extremely pleasant. Viking runs a smooth and efficient cruise line, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the journey. In summary, we really enjoyed our trip even though we headed back to the U.S. with an extra piece of luggage full of Christmas goodies (however that bag of extra cookies didn't make it). Along the journey experiencing all the beautiful and magical towns decorated for Christmas I managed to find my Christmas spirit, and that made making this journey well worth the trip. We look forward to many more Christmas Market Cruises in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Three weeks before our sail date they emailed us that the Rhein was low and we may have to swap boats. We started on the Tialfi and I explained to the Matre D that it was an anniversary ... Read More
We chose Viking to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Three weeks before our sail date they emailed us that the Rhein was low and we may have to swap boats. We started on the Tialfi and I explained to the Matre D that it was an anniversary trip and could he do something special (we did this based on the guidance of the tour director Lutz) because of the boat swap it almost didn’t happen and I had to ask twice more to make sure we foot a little special treatment at dinner. They kept telling us there was a chance we wouldn’t have to swap, but we did. We ended up swapping to the Alruna.Then we found out they have been swapping for weeks. It felt like we spent more time packing, unpacking, riding buses and sitting in industrial ports than we did actually enjoying a cruise in the river. We showed up on a Monday in Cologne and all of the museums were closed. We showed up in Strasbourg on All Saints day and everything was closed. The Black Forest trip was a bus ride with a stop at a glorified rest area, then back to the ship. We arrived in Basel in just enough time to get in a bus back to the airport to leave. Everyone on the ship said their goal was to surpass our expectations and Lutz and crew tried. The food was average on the boat. The veranda stateroom was a waste because there was rarely any scenery. We had a wonderful time exploring Kinderdjyk, Koblenz, Cologne and Strasbourg. But we could have had that experience for a fraction of the cost. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Had to try it for our selves after hearing good things. All our expectations an wants were met. Cruise very professional an accommodations very nice for size of ship. Food was prepared to your liking and a wide variety. The size of the ... Read More
Had to try it for our selves after hearing good things. All our expectations an wants were met. Cruise very professional an accommodations very nice for size of ship. Food was prepared to your liking and a wide variety. The size of the excursions was the most attractive to me . Very personable an very timely. The ports were of great interest an the guides were very knowledgeable. The little things that Viking did set them apart from other cruises we have been on. Always felt welcome an appreciated. The staff are very well trained. When you are spoken to by name it feels a little special . The severs in the dining area were always around making sure we had what we wanted prepared to our liking. We felt like if you had a bad meal it it was our fault. The chef would prepare your meal like you wanted it. My wife is vegan an the catered to her food choices. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The staff was incredible. All very personable, friendly, knowledgeable and remembered our names. Always greeted with an Hello! Wi fi was terrible so we went to Starbucks in some of the towns if we really needed to use our wi fi. The tours ... Read More
The staff was incredible. All very personable, friendly, knowledgeable and remembered our names. Always greeted with an Hello! Wi fi was terrible so we went to Starbucks in some of the towns if we really needed to use our wi fi. The tours were great as were the extra excursions. Ship was just big enough to get to know other passengers. Very clean and always had coffee, tea and cookies 24/7. The meals were tasty, beautiful presentation. The was a part of menu that was the same for cruise in addition specialties of the region per day and always a buffet. One could eat as much as they wanted for all menus. We purchased the extra drink package but if both people in cabin don't drink it is not worth it. Entertainment was fun..especially the Trivia nights. There is a refrigerator in cabin and a fresh liter bottle of water every day. They also have bottled water when you depart for tour and a special treat on return. We cannot wait to go on another Viking River cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had heard that Viking treats everyone with first class service so we decided to give it a go. We we had heard is exactly what we got and then some. The is a Viking representative at your finger tips from the time you land until they ... Read More
We had heard that Viking treats everyone with first class service so we decided to give it a go. We we had heard is exactly what we got and then some. The is a Viking representative at your finger tips from the time you land until they walk you to the check-in at the airport upon your trip home. The ship itself was wonderful with tours of the galley and wheel house available. The upper deck was a great view as we cruised the Rhine The food was first class with more than enough to eat. Each nights entertainment was very good with something a little different each night. The ports and shore excursions were first rate with guides from the area. You could do as much as you wanted at each port or as little as you wanted. We have already booked our next cruise with viking for 2020. This time we will be doing an ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise from rating others had given. We had not done a cruise before and wanted to go with a quality organization. The veranda suite was lovely, lots of space and kept very clean. The food was varied and excellent ... Read More
We chose the cruise from rating others had given. We had not done a cruise before and wanted to go with a quality organization. The veranda suite was lovely, lots of space and kept very clean. The food was varied and excellent flavours. We have vacationed overseas before and in comparison these meals were 5 star. We really enjoyed the variety of excursions offered. We chose a number of the extra ones and they were very enjoyable and worth the extra dollars. The guides on all the excursions were well spoken in English and always had entertaining stories about the places we visited. We appreciated that the difficulty level of each activity was well expressed, allowing us to make good choices. The schedule of every event was well handled as was transportation at each location. The crew were very nice, always checking if there were any problems or concerns. We would definitely do another Viking Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I flew in to Amsterdam the day before our cruise for a few reasons. Most importantly so that we would not risk travel issues causing us to miss the boat and to overcome jet lag. We were glad we had the time to explore the ... Read More
My husband and I flew in to Amsterdam the day before our cruise for a few reasons. Most importantly so that we would not risk travel issues causing us to miss the boat and to overcome jet lag. We were glad we had the time to explore the city of Amsterdam and see the sights, including the Anne Frank House. Not having Viking transfer us to the ship caused some difficulties. It was a little challenging to find our ship once we were at the pier. Alrhough we knew the pier (one of three possible in Amsterdam) our ship was docked at, it was still not terribly easy to find our ship. It was hidden, snugged up against another Viking ship which made it invisible from the road. We finally found it, and once we did, our vacation began! Viking has customer service DOWN! From the moment we came aboard, we were pampered and made to feel like we were the most important couple on the ship. Every staff member aboard provided cheery, seemingly effortless service. The ship was spotless, and well designed with plenty of options for inside or outside seating. We frequently enjoyed the outdoor seating in the Aquavit Terrace during meals as we were blessed with spectacular weather during our cruise. The food was incredible. Fresh, lots of variety, and beautifully presented. The menus reflected the area we were cruising through and the wine and beer which were included at no extra charge during lunch and dinner were not “”house” varieties, but were also chosen to reflect the region we were in. The included shore excursions were well organized and the tour guides were impressive... very knowledgeable and interesting. I think we lucked out and always got the best ones ... we compared notes one day with other people on the ship and ours was the only one to offer samples to smell of the different fragrances available in the city of Cologne. Speaking of fellow travelers, we were surprised at how easy it was to make friends on board the ship. We are definitely not the outgoing types and yet we met three other couples on the cruise who we not only ate with most meals but also hung out with during our free time off the ship. When we booked this cruise, we worried that we might be amongst the very elderly but that was not so at all. Most people were in their 50’s to 70’s and shore excursions were organized so that anyone needing a more “leisurely “ tour had the option of joining a group geared for them. I think our 30-something daughter and son in law would have enjoyed this cruise as well. I think the only thing the younger crowd might want would be more club-like entertainment in the evenings. We went on this cruise with a “one and done” mind set but after experiencing what Viking offers, we are definitely going to be planning another one in the next year or two! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise as a celebration of our 51st anniversary. It was like a delayed honeymoon. Our ship was not the original one we were supposed to sail on because the Rhine River was low. The possibility of having to change ships ... Read More
We chose the cruise as a celebration of our 51st anniversary. It was like a delayed honeymoon. Our ship was not the original one we were supposed to sail on because the Rhine River was low. The possibility of having to change ships was expected as we cruised toward Amsterdam. Fortunately, rain arrived and we stayed on our original ship. The crew and staff made us feel as if we were the only passengers aboard. No question or request was ignored. Each were handled much faster than we anticipated - in ways we did not anticipate. My husband got sick the first day out of port, and the staff anticipated every one of our needs. I had not eaten, so went to see if it was too late to get something from the dining room. The waiter, realizing that my worry about my husband was causing me to be indecisive, shared the menu with me, and made recommendations. When I told him I would be happy to take it back to the room, he told me, "No. Go back. I've got you taken care of. I'll bring your food and pick up your tray when you are through. Just call the main desk and they'll let me know." He was true to his word and took the time to "set the table" for me before he left. This was just a small example of the service we had from the staff. However, not just us, but others on board. The last day aboard ship, one of the men on our ship was struggling to make it to our transportation to see the windmills. When we got to the windmill, he was struggling with breathing, so my husband asked our tour guide to see if someone from the ship could meet us with a wheelchair when we returned. He did and when we arrived back to board our ship, the tour director was there waiting for a member of the staff who was running along shore with a wheelchair. When the man was seated, the staff member assured him it was nothing for him to take him back to the ship. I could go on about the food, the excursions, and activities being the best, but those things are expected. However, the individual care for each passenger created a secure atmosphere I did not expect to find. We'll definitely be going again....and definitely on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The Rhine Getaway was our second Viking Cruise. We chose this cruise because we like the small ship, only unpacking once, getting off every day with a different excursion, the quality of the excursions (the guides were mostly excellent - ... Read More
The Rhine Getaway was our second Viking Cruise. We chose this cruise because we like the small ship, only unpacking once, getting off every day with a different excursion, the quality of the excursions (the guides were mostly excellent - all very knowledgeable), the quality of the food and service (the waiters remembered us by name and what we liked to drink), the ability to make friends easily (and we did!). We loved all of the stops and the excursions with the exception of the Black Forest optional excursion. This was a very long bus ride and the destination was a tourist trap where they were selling cookoo clocks and glass products. I suggest eliminating this excursion. Other than that, we were 100% pleased with the excursions! I was very pleased that the pianist also played dance music at night (but not every night). There was an evening or two where a group of us wanted to dance, and he would only play slow piano music - not sure why. I can't say enough about the staff. They were all fabulous and really cared about making our experience wonderful! we would definitely cruise with Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I chose the Rhine River cruise to emerse ourselves in learning and experiencing the local cultures. Viking shore excursions were an awesome opportunity to achieve this goal. The ship activity director was from Germany and ... Read More
My husband and I chose the Rhine River cruise to emerse ourselves in learning and experiencing the local cultures. Viking shore excursions were an awesome opportunity to achieve this goal. The ship activity director was from Germany and able to suggest excellent local spots to dine and relax and have coffee or enjoy a locally brewed beer. The onboard activities and entertainment were very enjoyable and the adult only atmosphere was greatly appreciated. The Viking staff were A+; from the point of embarkation to disembarkation. Traveling overseas has never been as smooth as this experience.The staff was so attentive to our needs; they gave great attention to every detail. The cleanliness of the ship was top notch. The chef and his staff prepared delicious local fare and offered wonderful demonstrations. In addition, the waitstaff were knowledgeable of local wines and beer. This was our first Viking cruise and it is definitely not our last. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The timing was perfect for celebrating our anniversary, and we had never visited any of the sites along the way, including Amsterdam - so the Rhine Getaway was our choice! Viking made everything so painless - unheard of for international ... Read More
The timing was perfect for celebrating our anniversary, and we had never visited any of the sites along the way, including Amsterdam - so the Rhine Getaway was our choice! Viking made everything so painless - unheard of for international travel these days! We were met at the airport, where our luggage was whisked away and we were escorted to the ship. Since we arrived early, our stateroom wasn't ready yet, but we were encouraged to visit the dining room to have some lunch in the meantime. Our lovely lunch, with friendly people, was indicative of every meal while on the ship! Our cabin was perfect - small, but plenty big for our needs - after all, who wants to "hang out" in the cabin when there's a ship to explore and new friends to make?! We had a wonderful guided one-hour tour of Amsterdam that first afternoon - unexpected, but so appreciated! It, too, was typical of every tour on our trip - every tour guide was friendly and super-well-informed! We returned in time for a little power nap before the cocktail hour in the lounge. Joe and Adrien, the bartenders, were such fun that we ended up sitting at the bar, enjoying their banter, and listening to the talented pianist every evening before heading to a fabulous meal. Dinners were leisurely and enjoyable - no assigned seatings, like on bigger ships - on Viking you see a table with a few empty seats and lots of friendly faces, and voila! - new friends! The service is fantastic, the food outstanding, and the wine both delicious and plentiful! After dinner offered time back in the lounge, or up on the deck, enjoying the views and conversation. A couple of evenings offered other entertainment, but after a wonderful day of sightseeing we rarely felt the need for more! Shore excursions were well planned, interesting, and fun! Again, every tour guide was local, and offered information about the area that books never could! Cologne was my least favorite shore excursion, as it is a modern city - completely rebuilt after WWII. That takes nothing away from our guide, who was both informative and entertaining! Heidelberg and Strasbourg were my personal favorite ports, although our docking spot in Strasbourg was very far from the city, and required busses in both directions, and pick-up in a different spot from drop-off. Overall, our trip was fantastic, and the staff was wonderful - both Program Director and Hotel Manager were friendly, well-organized and accessible, and everyone else, from the housekeeping staff (who cleaned our cabin in record time, while we were at breakfast each morning) to Judy, who made amazing omelettes to order each day, to the wait staff, who brought us champagne and cake on our anniversary, were exemplary! Disembarkation, too, was painless, with no glitches to complicate an otherwise perfect trip. At the airport, our Viking representative got us right to the check-in counter without a wait, nor the need to lug our luggage! The only negative was that we were going home, instead of on another day of adventure! We would go on another Viking cruise in a heartbeat - and are conflicted as to which should be our next! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. ... Read More
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. I enjoyed getting to know the other passengers and was really able to get to know many with such a small number of passengers. I really liked being welcomed up in the wheelhouse at anytime to ask questions and learn about the ship. We had a group of ten that traveled together and we were always able to sit together and when a few of us wanted massages, the crew set up appointments as well as figured out transportation for us as well. Cabins were very clean and we still talk about how luxurious the towels were. Service and food was wonderful with lots of attentiveness. Already on my radar is going up the St Lawrence in Canada as well as a Scandinavian cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Friends had gone and raved about the total experience. I found a woman friend who would share my first experience with me. The fact that the company covered all the details and the planning was superb was such a delight and so reassuring. ... Read More
Friends had gone and raved about the total experience. I found a woman friend who would share my first experience with me. The fact that the company covered all the details and the planning was superb was such a delight and so reassuring. We had weather that was cool and damp yet not unlike Maine in Spring, so not a bid deal and everyone on board were such good sports. I was disappointeded that museums were closed on one of our days ashore (Monday in Cologne) after being told how great the museums were there, yet seeing storks in their nests in the Orangerie in Strasbourg made up for it big time!! The kitchen isn’t super prepared to deal with vegetarian AND gluten free, so some of my dinner meals were a bit scanty, yet the wine flowing non stop made up for that! Overall, will do it again, no question . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I have heard from many acquaintances the Rhine cruise is one of the best. This was our first River Cruise and we chose Viking based on our Experience on the Ocean Cruise which was outstanding. We were not disappointed. Getting on board ... Read More
I have heard from many acquaintances the Rhine cruise is one of the best. This was our first River Cruise and we chose Viking based on our Experience on the Ocean Cruise which was outstanding. We were not disappointed. Getting on board and settled in was a snap and meals and drinks were available as soon as we boarded. On the day all the castles were coming in bunches we had a glorious sunny day and the upper deck was full of people lounging and enjoying the weather and the views. The PA system was providing descriptions as we cruised past the multiple castles for several hours. Waiters were bringing hors' d oeuvres refreshments. It was a fantastic day of cruising. We enjoyed the day trips on all the dockings. The evenings were occupied with music and dancing in the lounge and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The piano player bartender and wait staff were very good in the lounge. The debarkation was well coordinated to get us on our way at the completion of the tour. After being on the Ocean cruise we were a bit disappointed in the meals on board as there was less selection and service was not as good, Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
After seeing advertisements for many years, and talking to people who took the tour, It was something we just had to do. The trip was rewarding in that we saw things we had only heard about. The trip was impressive and should not be ... Read More
After seeing advertisements for many years, and talking to people who took the tour, It was something we just had to do. The trip was rewarding in that we saw things we had only heard about. The trip was impressive and should not be missed. Traveling on a river is quite different than sailing in an ocean-going vessel, but it has it's advantages. Baggage handling is very much the same. However, there are no rough seas to be concerned about, and there are frequent port stops featuring diverse local customs and enjoyable diversions. Passengers are given individual attention and relationships are developed with a large portion of the crew. The food is exceptional and the bar is well stocked. It also appears that the cabins are fully and completely cleaned each day. And finally, your fellow passengers are probably the friendliest and most interesting people you could hope to find. They add considerably to the overall enjoyment of the trip. It appears that Viking knows how to do it. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
While I did join my cousin and her husband on this cruise, I appreciated the ease with which a truly solo traveler could be accommodated with a number of dining choices on board ship and no worries about finding food in an unknown city. ... Read More
While I did join my cousin and her husband on this cruise, I appreciated the ease with which a truly solo traveler could be accommodated with a number of dining choices on board ship and no worries about finding food in an unknown city. When I came home I booked a Viking ocean cruise traveling truely solo. The included excursions were excellent reflecting a key aspect of the country and with top notch guides. I enjoyed the little surprises Viking included in the trip such as offering refreshment upon returning from a shore excursion. I also appreciated how we were kept informed with daily briefings and a daily newsletter. Having choices at meals made my dietary restrictions easy to accommodate without a fuss and I never felt deprived plus the food was excellent! The booking experience through Viking was a breeze with very helpful travel agents. The whole experience was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Christmas markets in the different European cities. The cruise was peaceful and quiet while traveling during the night time. You couldn't even tell you were moving. The boat was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Christmas markets in the different European cities. The cruise was peaceful and quiet while traveling during the night time. You couldn't even tell you were moving. The boat was very quiet which made sleeping easy. The activities and different excursions offered at each port were wonderful. We took advantage of every one that was offered. The transportation to and from the excursions was very well coordinated and the guides seemed very knowledgeable. The personnel on the boat were friendly, kind, and overly helpful. We didn't want for anything while we were on the boat. The crew was at your service every step of the way. They waited on the guests constantly. You didn't have to wait for a thing! The food was exceptional and the dining area was like a fancy restaurant. The seating arrangements were such that you could meet new people every night of the cruise and share your experiences with them. I would recommend a Viking cruise to anyone. I want to take an Viking ocean cruise next. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The best of everything. The ship was the best, the service was great, the country side was wonderful. I can not say enough about the service and the crew being able to speak all the different languages was amazing. The transportation was ... Read More
The best of everything. The ship was the best, the service was great, the country side was wonderful. I can not say enough about the service and the crew being able to speak all the different languages was amazing. The transportation was brand new Setra buses. They were very clean and the drivers were wonderful. The food was excellent. I have never eaten better in my whole life. The other guests were very nice and friendly. I made several friends. I enjoyed the excursions and being able to see all the different places. I think they picked the very best places to go. Everyone was nice and able to speak English. I look forward to going on another cruise. The number of people on the River cruise was perfect. I never felt crowded or rushed. I could keep up with the pace. I should not have waited so long to go on a cruise; it was a dream come true. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I choose Viking because of the great reviews from friends and PBS. We had never taken a river cruise before but will do it again. There were so many wonderful experiences that contribute to us sailing Viking again. I ... Read More
My husband and I choose Viking because of the great reviews from friends and PBS. We had never taken a river cruise before but will do it again. There were so many wonderful experiences that contribute to us sailing Viking again. I believe the Alruna is a beautiful ship because of its beautiful staff and crew and the homey, comfortable feeling you have on board. The staff really set the stage from the very beginning by making everyone feel welcome and special. Evelyn Kolditz, Hotel Manager, went above and beyond to make sure we felt like the only ones on the cruise. Ivan, Program Director, did a great job of including everyone in all activities and shared valuable information about every port. The bar staff, Will, Albert, Margarita have the perfect personality for their profession. They were attentive to everyone’s needs and wants. They knew what you wanted before you did. The restaurant staff were also very attentive Marislov, Peter, Yavor really stood out and were always very friendly. Then there is Judy, Queen Omoletta, her energy and spirit were contagious and she made dining up stairs an event every night. The food was extremely good at every meal. The cabin staff were like invisible fairies that wave a wand and everything is in it’s place. Some of the included shore excursions were a lot of driving for very little time. They were great once we got there but too much time spent on the bus. For the most part the local guides were good but Dana Ackerman in Heidelberg was exceptionally good. She was exited about sharing her knowledge which made the guests excited to hear it. She was happy and not rushed. On the other hand Heidi in Strausborg took our group through other Viking groups getting us confused on which group people were in, very frustrating. It seemed she didn’t have good people skills. I don’t remember the name of our guide at Marksburg Castle but he was with group B 45, he would give his information like a tape recorder ask if there where questions and then moved on. I felt he didn’t want to be there and the group could feel that attitude. I did the Alsace wine tasting at Albert Seltz. There seemed to be some confusion when we arrived. The wine maker wasn’t even there and we had to wait for him to arrive. There were elderly couples that had to stand for quite a while and were very uncomfortable. Then Albert rushed through the wine making process like he was annoyed we were there. We only tasted 4 wines and then he rushed us out of there like he had some place to be. It was not worth 79$. The musician on board was sweet, Stephan. As a musician I felt he could have had more diversity in his styles or even do theme nights. I felt he didn’t cater well to the older crowd. They need Frank, Dean, Tony, Elle, Sammy, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney for example. Stephan is a very talented musician and pianist. The special guests on board were great as well. Evelyn told me to be very specific so I was. I want it to be contructive not complaining. I enjoyed every minute on board and felt the guests on the cruise were all having a fantastic time. Everyone got to know each other and mingled well. I never heard one guest complain about anything on board. I truly believe that is due to a staff that is cohesive and managed well and enjoys their job which transfers to the guests. I will cruise Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
When my daughter and I arrived we were pleased with the organization and smoothness of our embarkation with Viking Cruise. Previous reviews and especially the agent we contacted for the Rhine River Cruise offered by Viking Cruises was ... Read More
When my daughter and I arrived we were pleased with the organization and smoothness of our embarkation with Viking Cruise. Previous reviews and especially the agent we contacted for the Rhine River Cruise offered by Viking Cruises was very helpful and sincere. We trusted his sincerity in the company, believed, and booked. The dinning atmosphere and foods were relaxing and enjoyable. The Alruna shipcrew and Captain made this cruise very memorable and would do again. The timing and cost of this cruise ideally coincided with our travel plans. The crew, especially the staff were helpful and accommodating. All of our added excursions were insightful in understanding the history and culture of this area. If you appreciate World War II; the Audie Murhpy Memorial is a must. Activities and enthusiasm of the Alruna staff and crew was contagious. My family and I would - if time and monies allow - do again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We have been taking ocean cruises for some time and on our last cruise decided we wanted to try something different, so went with a river cruise. We use a travel professional to book our travel, and after discussing our interests came up ... Read More
We have been taking ocean cruises for some time and on our last cruise decided we wanted to try something different, so went with a river cruise. We use a travel professional to book our travel, and after discussing our interests came up with the Rhine Getaway. It was fabulous! Outstanding accommodations, food, and shore excursions. The on-board educational activities were both fun and informing. A great mix of time to relax and to explore new countries. Our flight arrived 90 minutes early - 5:30 a.m. - but there were Viking staff at the airport who got us on a bus to the dock and we were on our ship by 6:30 a.m. Had a nice breakfast and then took the opportunity to spend some extra time in Amsterdam. We returned to the ship late morning and our room was already prepared and our luggage delivered, a very pleasant and unexpected surprise. Gave us time to clean up and catch our breath before lunch and a couple of afternoon tours. Viking makes your travels so simple. Ground transportation to/from the airport/port was efficient and comfortable, all the ship staff took time to get to know us and many were calling us by name within a day or two. Each on-shore excursion had a professional guide, and each guide was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English, as well as at least 1 other language. We're definitely planning another Viking river cruise, next time likely a longer cruise to a different part of Europe that we haven't been to before. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We are a group of 8 who have traveled together on land tours, but this was our first river cruise, and was a complete delight! The Alruna is a relatively new ship, and beautiful from stem to stern. The long ships are quite simply laid out, ... Read More
We are a group of 8 who have traveled together on land tours, but this was our first river cruise, and was a complete delight! The Alruna is a relatively new ship, and beautiful from stem to stern. The long ships are quite simply laid out, you have essentially three decks to hold the staterooms, a lounge and a dining room, and the sun deck for lounging and enjoying the scenery when sailing during the day. We had classic central European fall weather, mainly cool with occasional rain, so we didn't have much chance to sit on the sun deck except for a day in which we sailed by several castles, and it was absolutely fabulous. We chose to tack on two days in Amsterdam at the start of the trip, which was a doubly good idea, as it gave us more time to explore the city and enjoy the night life, and at the same time shake off any jet lag before beginning the actual cruise. When we arrived in Amsterdam we were greeted by Viking agents, who led us to a limousine to take us to our hotel (Amsterdam Renaissance). It was pouring rain and a fair piece to the hotel, during which our driver regaled us with the history and anecdotes about the city. Once at the hotel we met with other agents who helped us plan out our city tours and activities, and one of them (Iris) led us on a walking tour of the city on the second day. All the agents were friendly, helpful, and entertaining! Iris was the best! We walked to the ship from our hotel, which tells you how convenient river cruising is compared to the experience on ocean cruises. Processing was like checking into a hotel! On board the ship, the experience is relaxing and fun, while including some education for you about the areas you are passing through and stopping at. Meals vary from day to day, following the local cuisine, although if you wish you can always get a steak or a chicken dish. The menu is limited in comparison to big ocean liners, but found them more than adequate in choices, and complete with beer and wine. Speaking of which, Viking has probably the best drinks package of any line we have traveled on. Each stop has an excursion that is included (usually a city walking tour) and a few optional ones. The guides were all top-notch, very knowledgeable, and equally amusing. Viking provides each guest with a "quiet stick", which is a small receiver and earphones. The guide uses a similar looking transmitter, so you are able to hear clearly everything they say without having to run to be at the front of the crowd. One feature of their organizing the excursions is for people who are limited in their mobility (not necessarily handicapped, but travel a bit more slowly than most), Viking organizes separate groups to accommodate them without missing any of the highlights of the tour. One excursion you don't want to miss is the "Taste of Alsace" in Strasbourg. It is a walking tour of the city, during which you stop at various shops where you taste (and may purchase), breads, cheeses, cured meats, pastries, etc, ending up in a wine shop where you have a "picnic" of the items the guide has collected, and glasses of Alsatian wines from the shop. Be sure to book early, it is limited! Another feature of Viking's attention to detail for excursions is they provide you with an excellent small city map (not the sort of map the big liners provide showing you where the Diamonds International are), and a business card with information in the local language on your ship and where it is located, and phone numbers to contact it or Viking. If you should happen to get lost or are delayed in returning to the ship, you can show the card to, say, a cab driver or policeman, and they can help get you back to the ship in time for sailing! As I said, this was our first river cruise with Viking, but it will certainly not be the last. In fact, our group has already booked for a Danube cruise in 2018, with the two-day stay in Prague tacked on to the beginning of the trip. This was another last-minute decision, and guess what, we will be back in "steerage" again, but who cares! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
There is no limit to the wonderful things that can be said about this cruise. The ship is gorgeous and so well kept. A simple embarkation in Amsterdam, and after a day of flying from Dallas, it was so nice to be able to get on board right ... Read More
There is no limit to the wonderful things that can be said about this cruise. The ship is gorgeous and so well kept. A simple embarkation in Amsterdam, and after a day of flying from Dallas, it was so nice to be able to get on board right away to freshen up and have a light snack. Every port was just as easy and stress-free, Viking offers plenty of opportunity to explore with guides or on your own with the comfort of knowing you can get back to ship quickly by way of their shuttle buses. The included excursions were all absolutely worthwhile, with personable and knowledgeable guides and experiences you cannot get elsewhere. I can't say enough about this cruise. My grandmother and I went together, and we both had the most wonderful time. We continue to discuss it with every phone call, although it has been a number of months! We loved the trip, the staff, the accommodations...absolutely everything was beyond perfect. Would take this trip every year if I could! Please take it and enjoy! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The Rhine Getaway river cruise was amazing, and it far exceeded my expectations. The ship was immaculate and well appointed, and the crew and staff were superb! The cuisine was excellent, and passengers had many choices at each meal. Each ... Read More
The Rhine Getaway river cruise was amazing, and it far exceeded my expectations. The ship was immaculate and well appointed, and the crew and staff were superb! The cuisine was excellent, and passengers had many choices at each meal. Each evening staff enticed us with an overview of the next days activities and excursions, as well as providing a variety of entertainment. The overall service was OUTSTANDING! The transition from the hotel to embarking the ship, as well as arrangements and assistance at the time of departure in Basel, was well managed and smooth. Staff were accommodating, meeting every need, and each event was well planned and executed. It was a fabulous trip and well worth it. The pace was never rushed or hurried, allowing time to enjoy the scenery close up and from afar. The local guides on the excursions and tours were well prepared and informative, yet warm, relaxed and welcoming. I see why Viking is held in such high regard and can't wait for my next opportunity to take a Viking cruise. Planning is underway! Read Less
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