5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I don't know where to begin with this review. Before we started the cruise we understood that low water levels may sometimes affect the itinerary so we were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for is what actually did ... Read More
I don't know where to begin with this review. Before we started the cruise we understood that low water levels may sometimes affect the itinerary so we were prepared for that. What we were not prepared for is what actually did happen. From the time we boarded the Embla to the time we got off the buses in Budapest the trip was a disaster. Viking knew before we ever boarded the ship that it was broke but wanted us to board so they could still get their money for the cruise. We could tell something was not right when we went to our room and the a/c was not working properly and all the other passengers were complaining about it as well and the common areas were just plain hot. We departed that night at 11pm and literally crossed the river and docked again. We were then informed that the boat had a generator problem and they were bringing in a technician to repair the problem. After 2 days stuck there with no a/c or toilets we finally attempted to sail further. The ship made it 1 day and traveled only a short way so we docked again in a small town where we were put on buses and bused to Belgrade a 12 hour bus trip with just 2 stops. 1 bathroom break and 1 stop for lunch. The toilet on our bus was broke and backed up making our bus smell awful. By the time we reached Belgrade it was after 9pm and they offered a buffet dinner at 9pm at night. After 2 nights and 5 buffet meals later we were again loaded on buses and this time it was 13 hours on a bus to get us to Budapest. During the trip one of the buses broke down and one of the Viking crew members used his belt to make a temporary repair. Our bus was leaking very bad during a rain storm and a passenger actually used a umbrella to stay somewhat dry. We finally arrived in Budapest after 9pm and again they served us a buffet dinner late at night. The next 2 days were again all buffet style meals that you can get at Golden Corral. We were told by a Viking represenative that we would be contacted by Viking shortly after we arrived home. That did not happen. They just refunded a portion of the cruise only amount back into our bank account without ever discussing this with us. The amount was not even close to what we actually paid for the cruise and when I called customer service he explained that it was for the river portion only because we were provided the hotels precruise and post cruise. We were refunded 50% of the river portion and a 25% discount on a future cruise. Why would we ever consider a future cruise. Ridicoulous. The representative told me Viking considered this a very fair offer but they would up the 25% discount to 35% for us if we signed a disclosure agreement to keep our mouths shut. Vikng from start to finish was never honest with us and could care less about the safety of the passengers. They knew from the very beginning the ship had issues and we should not have ever boarded the ship. We never received a safety drill prior to sailing which we only did 1 day of. When we returned home we reseached the Viking Embla and saw that on a previous cruise in June just before our cruise the ship had been involved in a accident that damaged the generator. The same problem we had which apparently never was fixed properly. This cruise was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime and we had heard many good things about Viking in the past but they apparently now only care more about the money than the safety and experience their passengers receive. My wife and I have been on many Ocean cruises, some good and some great but this trip was a disaster from start to finish and beyond. If Viking had done the right thing and refunded us 100% of the cost of the cruise we would have absolutely considered cruising with them again. If you are one of the lucky ones who had a great cruise with Viking congratulations but if you happen to be one of the ones that the cruise turns into a disaster do not expect Viking customer service to do the right thing. Beware. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our first river cruise and understood Viking was a top provider. BUT, we were very disappointed. The crew/staff were excellent, but after that things fell down. Getting a balcony is a waste of money as many times we were moored ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and understood Viking was a top provider. BUT, we were very disappointed. The crew/staff were excellent, but after that things fell down. Getting a balcony is a waste of money as many times we were moored next to another Viking ship's balcony which was just 2 feet away. No view or privacy! Breakfast was fine but other meals were poor. It became the joke many times to see what was served compared to what was ordered. Many times when we docked at a town we then had to be bussed. We were not able to simply get off the ship and walk around. A couple times we docked in industrial areas. On included tours guides were friendly and knowledgeable, but we were always rushed. Numerous times we had to move along as there was a group behind us. No time for questions (later) and photos. A typical tour was bussing, see a cathedral/palace/castle listen to some history/stories & then some free time. When you combine the amount of ships of Viking & it's competitors, tours become a herd! For the price do not recommend Viking. Will not use again. Viking may have been a class outfit, but possibly have lost control with expansion. Deep research needed for any river cruise. Have taken over a dozen land trips with success, but our ages require a more leisurely experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband wasn't too interested in traveling abroad except for in Germany. So this met his criteria. I am willing to go anywhere so it met my criteria too. The flight from Detroit was direct to Amsterdam - long and tiring as ... Read More
My husband wasn't too interested in traveling abroad except for in Germany. So this met his criteria. I am willing to go anywhere so it met my criteria too. The flight from Detroit was direct to Amsterdam - long and tiring as expected. Just a hop from Amsterdam to Basel. I slept the arrival afternoon; my husband took the walking tour and enjoyed it. The cabin was fine - not elegant but well arranged and clean. Neither of us are "foodies" but we did enjoy all of the meals on the ship - especially the 5 course meal on the front deck. We did that the first night which was smart as there was only one other couple there. As word spread about how enjoyable it was people could not get reservations and it was probably not nearly as "special" as it had been for us. Of all the tours we enjoyed the Colmar World War II tour the most. Our guide was fabulous...so knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. He made us feel like we right there with Audie Murphy and his troops. Also enjoyed the museum in town. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Our second favorite tour was of the windmill in Kinderdijk. We did not do the bicycle tour - only the included tour. Our guide for this tour was also special. He was from Kinderdijk and thus knowledgeable and passionate about his town and the windmills and their significance. The rest of the included tours were fine...driving through the black forest was great; and seeing all the vineyards in southern France was very interesting too, Viking was very successful in mixing up "cruising" and "touristing" - we did not have a boring minute. We also especially liked the cruise through "castle country" as I call it. Recommend that you get a guidebook for the Rhine to assist in identifying and learning about all the castles you see as you cruise. Very organized in the way Viking handled leaving the ship/bussing everyone to their destination/and the return. As well as being able to hear the guides. Our cruise director Boris was fantastic - seemed to know everything about everything - and no matter what when on, always pleasant. The whole staff was great. Seemed to know everyone's name within 24 hours - how they do that I do not know. The entertainment was good....we were pretty tired at the end of each day so turned in early. Slept very well whether in port or cruising at night. Viking is great. We would go again in a heartbeat Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Our journey via BA to Bucharest was uneventful. We stayed at the Athenee Palace which was OK. My wife did order Ravioli in Robertos restaurant there but was cold both times and she refused any more food then. The Danube is a rather ... Read More
Our journey via BA to Bucharest was uneventful. We stayed at the Athenee Palace which was OK. My wife did order Ravioli in Robertos restaurant there but was cold both times and she refused any more food then. The Danube is a rather pleasant way to travel through these parts. Viking Embla basically a smooth passage with only 2 locks, one at night. Entertainment on board limited . Excellent keyboard player Honario . Some added itinerant musicians arrived en route and were good. Cabins small but acceptable. Restaurants, 2, were generally good but occasionally we had things go wrong. One of our friends waited 10 mins for a beer. We had Chicken a la King which was cold and we sent it back. My wife had cold grilled Salmon, sent it back and it returned warm but atop original cold veg. We waited at breakfast 10 mins for French toast which duly arrived cold, sat in pass we suspect. Excursion to Parliament building in Bucharest brilliant. Best afternoon was with family in Croatia where we had a Q & A session with the local family. Best cooking demo was when we witnessed cooking Homemade Banitsa dish from a Bulgarian family in their home. Trips included visiting churches. Far too much detail and really impossible to remember or take in. One church , the Holy Cross church in Osijek, we had a keyboard vocalist called Martina who was absolutely brilliant. In Budapest we visited the Church atop Buda which was excellent if a little boring in detail. Next day we visited the Synagogue on our own saveing 100 euros by walking there. We also visited St Stephen's basilica . A remarkable building completed in 1905. Very interesting and well worth the visit. We also visited the house of Horrors in Budapest relating to the occupation by German and Russian forces. Descriptive and depressing. Our Hotel in Budapest was the Hilton, West End. A soulless unloved hotel. TV in our room froze. Bathroom door was impossible to close. Journey home by BA was good and Viking staff looked after us well at the airport. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
Viking was our go-to river cruise company because of it's heavy advertizing. We had checked out most of the major river cruise lines prior to booking and found Viking to be in the upper middle, pricewise. We did like the ads we saw. ... Read More
Viking was our go-to river cruise company because of it's heavy advertizing. We had checked out most of the major river cruise lines prior to booking and found Viking to be in the upper middle, pricewise. We did like the ads we saw. Viking really knows how to take care of their guests! When we arrived In Amsterdam, there were two Viking representatives to meet incoming flights. As soon as all new arrivals were present, we proceeded to our bus for the ride to our hotel. Except to unpack, we never had to think about our luggage. We chose to arrive two days early so that we could poke around Amsterdam. The hotel we stayed in was probably a 4 star. Quite nice. Viking had representatives at the hotel who could answer all of our questions, tell us where to go and eat. And may I say, EVERY Viking employee was attentive. Even if they were doing something, they would stop, look you in the eyes, smile and ask how they could be of assistance. That is not common in this day and age. Of course, Viking included one free tour at each stop, which was every day. In the large cities it would be a bus tour. In the smaller villages, it was a walking one. Prior to leaving for daily tour, Viking had free water available for us to take. If it was supposed to rain, Viking had huge Viking umbrellas available for us to use. When we arrived back at the ship after a tour, staff had a treat awaiting us. It could be a canape, a cookie, fruit juice cocktail or something similar. On particularly hot days, the staff was waiting with lemon scented hand towels for us to freshen ourselves. These were the little touches that made our Viking river cruise simply the best. We expected to have clean rooms, great food and service. Viking handled that end with style. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
I chose this cruise because of my physical limitations. I could walk the easy tours but stay on the ship if I needed to. It was very easy to board and disembark. We loved Budapest, but did not like Amsterdam. We enjoyed the rest of ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of my physical limitations. I could walk the easy tours but stay on the ship if I needed to. It was very easy to board and disembark. We loved Budapest, but did not like Amsterdam. We enjoyed the rest of the tours. The passengers all became ill with a chest cold which we acquired our last 4 days on the trip. Must remember to bring along cold medication next trip. The crew and dining service was excellent. The ship was limited due to a bad engine and forward progress was limited. The crew did a good job of adjusting. It was quieter in the aft cabin with only one engine. We switched ships at the low water point and that went smoothly. We liked the Embla crew better but they all did very well. We are looking to do other Viking cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because it covered countries that we had not visited yet. Hungary and Croatia were the highlights of the cruise. Romania and Bulgaria were disappointing and we could have skipped them. Some tours were very good and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered countries that we had not visited yet. Hungary and Croatia were the highlights of the cruise. Romania and Bulgaria were disappointing and we could have skipped them. Some tours were very good and interesting but others were a waste of time. Service aboard the Embla was good as expected since we had already cruised aboard the ship Odin and consider it the best choice. They seemed to have difficulty with fish dishes as they were not good. The time for the evening meal was a bit late for us seniors and they often competed with other activities in the lounge. On the day that we were to board there was great confusion and guests were required to sit in the lounge area for at least two hours before the cabins were ready for occupancy. I would have to think hard about taking another Viking river cruise since our six ocean cruises were definitely more enjoyable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
It covered areas that we had not visited before or had not been exposed to that culture. We had sailed on the Oden previously from Paris to Prague and enjoyed that cruise even though there were snags in the itinerary. We would never ... Read More
It covered areas that we had not visited before or had not been exposed to that culture. We had sailed on the Oden previously from Paris to Prague and enjoyed that cruise even though there were snags in the itinerary. We would never have taken the cruise on the Embla if our experiences on the Oden had been the same. The first part of the cruise was in Budapest and enjoyable. Croatia was the only part worth going ashore for. The visit to a citizen home was a joy. Bulgaria and Bucharest were the worst of all tours. Food was just okay most of the time and the day of boarding the vessel was very disorganized and we had to find a place to sit in the dining are to await the preparation of our rooms. There were a few snacks but generally we waited without food or service. Considering the cost of Viking River Cruises, I think that I will stick to ocean cruises. Maybe try a Viking ocean cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our first river cruise after 36 ocean cruises its was for a 50th wedding anniversary, we fly Business class with Viking air and booked a Veranda suite so about 25k cost, the suite has a sitting room and separate bedroom separated ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after 36 ocean cruises its was for a 50th wedding anniversary, we fly Business class with Viking air and booked a Veranda suite so about 25k cost, the suite has a sitting room and separate bedroom separated by a pocket door which was opaque so the light was not eliminated from the bedroom when shut a big mistake, we had two TV’s but when I would go in the sitting room to watch late at night the remote would turn both sets on waking my wife, it took them six days to get that fixed room was 275 Sq ft. but hardly any storage at all beds were very narrow and easy to fall out of. Bathroom also had opaque glass should be blackout the food on the boat was truly poor quality and badly prepared, the free wine at lunch and dinner was almost always the same one lunch the had fish and chips the chips were fine but the fish was so strong could not eat it most of the fish was very strong or way overcooked, most of the soups were watery and very salty, I could not find any clam in the clam chowder. Shrimp cocktails were never available as appetizers nor was escargot ever served one night for the farewell dinner for those getting of after two weeks we were supposed to have lobster, scallops and filet we were served a small filet no lobster no scallops just two quarter size shrimp other examples baby back ribs turned out to be short ribs they pre cooked the burgers so they were like hockey pucks and the buns were left out so the were stale one night they had spaghetti with meat sauce with cauliflower in it! The waiters and staff tried very hard to please but they had nothing to work with! I CANT REMEMBER A CRUSI WHEN WE HAD WORSE FOOD!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We arrived the day the cruise started but would go a couple of days earlier if ever go again, Embarkation was very smooth and the crew were exceptional the ship was very long and low our room was great small but we were only in it at ... Read More
We arrived the day the cruise started but would go a couple of days earlier if ever go again, Embarkation was very smooth and the crew were exceptional the ship was very long and low our room was great small but we were only in it at night, The dinning was excellent with choices of sit down dinning or smorgasbord. The food was excellent and lots of it. The wines were great at our meals and the staff were the best.The entertainment while travelling was very good and lots to do.The shore excursions were great very informative our guides were great and answered all our questions as well as kept track of every one. Our buses very very clean and our guide on the buses very good. After our tours a couple of times we were allowed to travel around on our own and we had great directions how to get back to the ship. There was a very good way of knowing who was off the ship and when you came back with card telling the phone numbers and room numbers so was very hard to get lost.My wife and I loved the whole trip and would definitely go again. We disembarked in Budapest and went to the airport by bus and we had a guide go with us and helped us get to the right areas as well could speak the language. We enjoyed our trip so much we just booked the world cruise with the Viking Sun . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our 2nd Viking cruise, the other being in 2014 in Russia for 14 days was wonderful and exciting, now comes my coparison. This cruise "The Grand European Tour" from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Embla was average at best. ... Read More
This was our 2nd Viking cruise, the other being in 2014 in Russia for 14 days was wonderful and exciting, now comes my coparison. This cruise "The Grand European Tour" from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Embla was average at best. We did the pre and post cruise extensions. Lack of local entertainment on board, 2 of which were musical and very nice and a local glass blower who was more about selling his goods. Each night at 6:45 there was a briefing for the next days included and optional excursions where the program director was in the zone for selling the optional tours. The first night she went on and on about the upcoming optional tours like an encyclopedia salesman. The dining staff was short staffed at best, very rushed, twice we had to ask where our food was. a few nights we were finishing dinner and wanted another glass of wine and just chat with friends and low and behold the wine is gone and they are setting up for breakfast with clanging dishes, just horrible service. then I was not feeling well with a chest cold nad canceled one of our optional tours for the next day which I explained to the concierge at the front desk and he knew I was sick. He had told me he couldn't do anything because we booked online and when we got home just call Viking for a refund and they would confirm I was sick. Not so! Called viking and was told that the policy is no refunds under any circumstances. all in all it was an expensive lesson I will never repeat and our plan after our Viking river cruise was a Viking cruise every other year. Not happening now. They really nickle and dime you. Theyt have grown to fast over the last couple of years in my opinion. Sorry Viking, you reap what you sow. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We'd never been anywhere in Eastern Europe and wanted to see Budapest and some of the other places we've always heard of. The river connected all of them and was an easy way to get a glimpse. We arrived in Budapest by overnight ... Read More
We'd never been anywhere in Eastern Europe and wanted to see Budapest and some of the other places we've always heard of. The river connected all of them and was an easy way to get a glimpse. We arrived in Budapest by overnight train from Prague (not a Viking extension--on our own) and showed up at the pre-cruise hotel, the Hilton Budapest, at about 9:30 AM. Viking had two reps already at the welcome desk, so we could check in with them right then. They let us know about an afternoon walking tour, suggested that we check with the hotel to see if they had a room we could check into early (the hotel did), gave us some info on the neighborhood and we were on our way! Viking includes one tour each day of your trip and offers just a few optional excursions for extra cost, but only 10's of dollars, not 100's! We went on one of them and had a very enjoyable afternoon. After two nights at the Hilton, we were taken to the ship (a different one than scheduled, but identical). After lunch, we had the afternoon to run around on our own and got helpful advice from the ship's concierge. The ship sailed right after dinner and we were treated to the night-time river tour we had missed due to misty/rainy weather. Budapest at night is glorious! The ship was moored just downriver from the parliament building and cruised slowly upriver past it--beautiful. We had a wonderful view of Castle Hill as well. Each of the cruise stops included at least one included excursion and all were interesting. Some were in towns and cities, others out into the countryside, some were both. A couple of tours included lunch at a location other than the ship and all included at least one refreshment (and restroom) stop. Only complaint: almost too much to take in! Our stateroom (a french balcony) was small, but more than adequate and convenient. The bathroom had a very efficient design, so we had no problems there, either. Wi-Fi and satellite TV kept us in touch with the world when we wanted to be. Food served in the main dining room and in the Aquavit Terrace was very good with a good selection every meal. One could go through a buffet line or order off a menu in either venue. The Terrace selections were slightly more limited than the main dining room's. We had lunch up on the Terrace and dinner in the main dining room and were more than happy with both. Beer and wine (included) at both meals were welcomed, also. All in all, a great way to see a little bit of the world. We've already booked our next Viking rivercruise 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
Sail Date: March 2015
From the moment we were met at the airport and driven to the ship and welcomed onboard by such friendly staff, my two wonderful weeks had begun. The service was amazing, the dining room staff so friendly and humorous. We took all the off ... Read More
From the moment we were met at the airport and driven to the ship and welcomed onboard by such friendly staff, my two wonderful weeks had begun. The service was amazing, the dining room staff so friendly and humorous. We took all the off shore excursions, learned so much history about each community. The entertainment on board was excellent with different people from each community. Vienna was spectacular. We chose our own concert, took the subway to St Charles Church to see Mozart's Requiem, it was a beautiful night and the concert was spectacular. I really don't know what I can say about what I enjoyed the most as every day was a new place and experience. I enjoyed it all. Our tour director Leonard was informative, very friendly and a great sense of humour. All the staff were very friendly and accommodating. I felt pampered for two weeks. I loved being on the rivers. All the guides were excellent and very informative. Read Less
Viking Embla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 1.0 2.8
Family 1.0 2.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.7

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