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Sail Date: August 2019
We just got back from the Cities of Light cruisetour (August 7-18th, Prague to Paris on the Alsvin) and had a great time! This was our second Viking river cruise having gone on the Danube Waltz last summer (Budapest to Prague on the ... Read More
We just got back from the Cities of Light cruisetour (August 7-18th, Prague to Paris on the Alsvin) and had a great time! This was our second Viking river cruise having gone on the Danube Waltz last summer (Budapest to Prague on the Legend) which we also really enjoyed. I was worried that August would be unbearably hot and crowded. However, we found the crowds quite manageable and the weather was very nice: low 70s and sunny/clear most days; there was only one day when it rained steadily throughout the day. We had no problems with low or high water levels on this cruise. Viking is not the most luxurious or all-inclusive (or expensive) river cruise line but, for the price we paid which included air, we have been very happy with what Viking offers. Our vacation unfortunately got off to a rocky start. We used Viking Air and, through no fault of Viking’s, the first leg of our Delta flight to Prague was cancelled because of weather. We were re-routed all over the place and ended up on three connecting flights. Instead of arriving in Prague at 11 AM, we arrived closer to 6 PM that day. I had called Viking en route to let them know of the delay, and a very nice Viking representative was waiting for us at the airport when we finally arrived (the one bright spot to an otherwise miserable, exhausting flight). To top it off, my checked bag with a two-week supply of clothes, shoes and toiletries did not make it to Prague. The concierge at the Prague Hilton hotel was basically useless in helping me track down my bag. However, the minute the Alsvin Program Director, Bjorn, became aware of my situation, he took over and contacted the airlines; my bag was delivered soon after directly to the ship. Bjorn even arranged to have my one change of clothing laundered (at no charge) until my suitcase arrived. Thank you, Bjorn! The two hotels we stayed at, the Hilton Prague and the Le Meridien Etoile in Paris, were fairly good but I would probably choose to stay somewhere else if returning to Prague or Paris. At the Hilton Prague, the air conditioning didn’t work in our traveling companions’ room and was never fixed despite repeated attempts to inform the front desk. At both hotels, I was disappointed in the quality of service offered by the concierges and front desk. One the other hand, they are centrally located, the rooms/bathrooms were attractive, clean and spacious, and the breakfasts were very good. The Alsvin is a beautiful ship with a modern, clean, Nordic décor. It’s kept sparkling clean and is in great condition for its age. The staff with very few exceptions were outstanding, very friendly and attentive – we were treated like royalty on this cruise! As already mentioned, Bjorn, our Program Director, was remarkably knowledgeable, helpful and attentive… and very funny too! Last year on the Legend, we had a French Balcony cabin. Although it was nice to open the sliding door at night (if not rafted next to another ship), we spent very little time in our cabin during the day since most of our time was spent dining, touring, and lounging in the public spaces. On this cruise, we booked the least expensive “aquarium” class cabin, saving about $1000-2000 compared to a balcony cabin, and were happy with our choice. Our cabin was very small but comfortable and efficiently laid out. Our cabin steward was excellent and kept everything very neat and clean. Meals are served in the main dining room and in the Aquavit Terrace which opens to a lovely, outside deck with expansive views. We really enjoyed the Aquavit and had about a third of our meals there. I would say the food on our cruise ranged from very good to excellent. Food quality can vary across ships depending on the Executive Chef and kitchen. Our Chef, Thomas, prepared some excellent regional dishes (mostly German) and we tended to order those most nights. For example, on the German buffet night, everything was delicious and perfectly prepared. The soups on this cruise were especially good, a highlight of the cuisine I thought. My husband had the ‘anytime’ steak one night and he said it was excellent. There was only one night when I wished I had ordered something else: I tried a lamb dish on the menu one night and was a little disappointed. The dining service was usually very good to excellent although not quite as outstanding as on the Danube Waltz Legend cruise we took last summer. On one or two nights depending on where we sat, the service seemed to drag on a bit, and we had to ask our server to refill our wine glasses (something we NEVER had to do on the Legend!). The included excursions and guides ranged from very good to excellent, and were very enjoyable. I think Viking does this very well! You visit many of the ‘berg’ towns on this cruise (Nuremburg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Rothenburg, Heidelberg) which are very picturesque and charming – think of those quintessential German half-timber houses and thatched roofs. We went on only one optional excursion, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, for $99 per person. Rothenburg is a walled medieval village with a fascinating history and some interesting shops and museums. However, we were disappointed that we had little free time to explore – only an hour after the fairly long bus ride, guided tour and a somewhat mediocre lunch at a local restaurant that took too long. In retrospect, we should have skipped the lunch to allow more free time to explore on our own. On most river cruises, the evening entertainment after dinner is often fairly dull and boring. On our Danube Legend cruise last summer, there was an uninspiring piano player and the lounge was usually empty after dinner. On this cruise, however, the entertainment seemed much more lively. There was a husband and wife keyboardist/singer team on board who were quite talented and seemed to encourage people to dance. Bjorn organized a couple of ‘quiz and game nights’ which people seemed to enjoy. On a couple of nights, there were onboard performances from local classical and jazz musicians who were quite good. I was surprised to find the lounge full of people many nights after dinner, “partying” until the late in the evening. There are a few downsides to be aware of when booking this particular itinerary (not a criticism of Viking, just the nature of the itinerary on this cruise). First, in order to pass under the MANY low bridges along the Main river, the sun deck remains closed for 3 of the 6 days on this cruise, from Bamberg until reaching Mainz on the Rhine river. It takes a long time for the staff to open and close the sun deck, so it may be standard for most cruise lines to close the sun deck while sailing on the Main river. However, it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience for us because the Aquavit Terrace on the third deck was available and has lovely outdoor seating to enjoy the views. Second, for those adverse to bus trips, this may not be the cruise for you. There are several long bus trips on this itinerary: the bus from Prague to Nuremberg takes over three hours and Luxembourg-to-Paris takes over 4 hours. There are also fairly lengthy bus rides (45 minutes to over an hour) to reach the Heidelberg and Trier excursions. Heidelberg is located over an hour’s drive from the river; for Trier, you depart the ship at Wintrich and are bused to Trier for the excursion, while the ship continues sailing on to Trier. The coaches, however, are very comfortable with guides that provide interesting information about the region. Finally, I would have liked to have had more time to experience sailing along the beautiful Moselle river. Although we had a full morning of sailing through the Rhine castle region (which is spectacular!!), our time on the Moselle was limited and we had to choose between going on the Trier excursion or staying on the ship while it sailed the Moselle to Trier. None of this detracted from the fabulous time we had on this cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Viking's reputation for excellence is well deserved; they know what they are doing. We looked for a cruise that included Prague and the Rhine River. I can't get enough of river cruising with villages that have been here for ... Read More
Viking's reputation for excellence is well deserved; they know what they are doing. We looked for a cruise that included Prague and the Rhine River. I can't get enough of river cruising with villages that have been here for centuries, castles, cathedrals, hillside vineyards, and living the life of luxury for a week! This cruise had it all. Dining is always excellent with Viking. The servers are so accommodating and watch for ways to add that special touch to each meal, like having my hot water for my tea waiting for my arrival at breakfast. Cabin steward knew our names from the get-go and remembered special requests. Top notch! Tour director (Boullion) was genuinely ready to help us in any way possible. He truly cared about making our experience the very best. He worked tirelessly in Paris making sure everyone had a ride to the airport in a timely manner. At the Paris airport, we never would have known where to go without our Viking rep who was ever so helpful. We've been on two Viking cruises and plan to take our third next summer! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We cannot say enough great stuff about Viking. We were worried about going to Europe for the first time. We were afraid of not knowing the languages or how to get around, etc.. Well, going through Viking was a dream come true. They ... Read More
We cannot say enough great stuff about Viking. We were worried about going to Europe for the first time. We were afraid of not knowing the languages or how to get around, etc.. Well, going through Viking was a dream come true. They met us at the airport and took care of us all the way, even waiting for us to check our bags at the airport to go home. The ship was small enough that we got to know all of the staff and they got to know us. It was so nice to pass them in the corridors and have them say, good morning John & Linda. With only 150 passengers on board, we were able to pal up with many of them during meals or tours. We made many new friends, including the staff. Bujorn (pronounced bullion) was our tour director and he made our trip so much fun. Every evening, before our scrumptious dinners, he briefed us of the following days activities. The chef would even brief us on the food selections and the wine steward would give us his nightly wine selections to compliment the meal according to your selection. Alcoholic drinks were included with lunch and dinner each day (which was an appreciated savings). Each port had multiple ability tours available. I thought it was great that they had tours for limited mobility as well as tours for normal ability people. They also supply you with a quietvox (hearing device) that you kept for the entire trip, for you to wear at each shore excursion. That was WONDERFUL. Everyone could adjust the volume, so you didn't have to try to stay at the front of the tour to hear the guide. My husband is hard of hearing, so he was really happy to be able to adjust his volume. It also made it so nice, because there were multiple tours going on at the same time at almost each venue, so there was no straining to hear our guide. Seating for meals were open, so you could sit wherever you wanted, but we made friends with David and March (our servers) and tried to get to their table every evening. The food was excellent.... A local cuisine option was available at every meal, which was a fun way to try new food. You could eat on deck or in the dining room each meal. There was no mandatory dress up meal, which we really appreciated, so we didn't have to use up valuable packing space for formal attire. Every evening, Bujorn had an activity planned for our enjoyment. Each day just flew by !!! We thought that this trip would be our one trip to Europe, but we are already planning another Viking trip with some of the new friends we made on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to try a River Cruise. We don’t especially like the big Ocean cruises with 2000-3000 people. Those always feel like a ‘Cattle-call’ when embarking and debarking. Our River Cruise was not like that all all. The rooms were ... Read More
We wanted to try a River Cruise. We don’t especially like the big Ocean cruises with 2000-3000 people. Those always feel like a ‘Cattle-call’ when embarking and debarking. Our River Cruise was not like that all all. The rooms were great! The staff was exceptional. We appreciated the included excursions. We loved the little towns we were able to visit. The food was really good with plenty of options. There was not an abundance of evening activities but we didn’t miss those at all. The ones they had were excellent, very interesting informative and entertaining. The one surprise was that it wasn’t as relaxing as we had expected. Next time I would probably schedule fewer option excursions. Our cruise started with 2 days in Prague. We had added the extension. I am so glad we did! We LOVED Prague. We ended with 2 days in Paris and we extended that as well. Paris was also great! We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We choose this river cruise because we had heard so much about Viking and wanted to see for ourselves. We loved all the stops and the staff were excellent in helping us every step of the way. The ship was beautiful and our room ... Read More
We choose this river cruise because we had heard so much about Viking and wanted to see for ourselves. We loved all the stops and the staff were excellent in helping us every step of the way. The ship was beautiful and our room exceeded our expectations with much more storage space than anticipated. The food was wonderful and I enjoyed the Chef telling us details about what the next meal would bring. Entertainment was very entertaining from the nightly piano player to the exceptional performances from people in the region we were traveling through. I must express how happy we were that the longboat had an elevator. My traveling companion sure needed it as steps are not easy for him. We were so please with Viking we have booked a mediterranean cruise for this coming July, 2019. Barcelona to Venice on the Viking Star. Can't wait for our next big adventure with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We loved everything about our Viking cruise Paris to Prague ! Viking has an Amazing staff. They Viking staff are superb!! They were Professional, courteous, and friendly !! They appeared to Anticipate our every need and desire!! Our ... Read More
We loved everything about our Viking cruise Paris to Prague ! Viking has an Amazing staff. They Viking staff are superb!! They were Professional, courteous, and friendly !! They appeared to Anticipate our every need and desire!! Our accommodations were lovely. The cabin was comfortable, spacious and well appointed. The cabin service was excellent. We were delighted with the dining room service and quality of the meals. The wait staff went out of their wa to satisfy our needs. Just terrific! The food preparation and the presentation was beyond our expectations. The excursions were interesting and varied. Viking accommodated all activity levels. The evening entertainment was lovely! Great music! Great lectures! The lounge provided a warm, friendly and intimate atmosphere. We travel often and we feel that Viking cruises give us great value!! Clearly attention was paid to the details! We loved our trip!! Thank you Viking for a great time!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Wonderful cruise! Superbly-maintained ship! Interesting, mature fellow passengers! Great food! Beautiful accommodations! Very EASY and comfortable!! A great experience! We were very impressed with Viking and we will be back. In fact, we ... Read More
Wonderful cruise! Superbly-maintained ship! Interesting, mature fellow passengers! Great food! Beautiful accommodations! Very EASY and comfortable!! A great experience! We were very impressed with Viking and we will be back. In fact, we are planning on the Budapest-Bucharest cruise in May 2019. The only complaint was (believe it or not!) a somewhat anti-American walking tour guide (?!!)......I believe it was in Mainz. We found this very odd, as apparently did our fellow tour companions, two-thirds of whom drifted from the tour by time it was only half complete! All other ship's personnel were friendly, highly-motivated professionals who definitely appeared to care about our comfort and well-being. Our cabin make-up attendant was really, really nice...a very sweet young girl who worked hard and did a beautiful job with our stateroom!! Sitting at all meal hours was easy and accommodating, no problem at all. And we never failed to be seated with affable, interesting couples! Thanks to Viking for a special experience! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We wanted to revisit prague and places along the river There were several ports new to us We had never been to Paris so we added pre and post cruise packages The hotel in Prague was a huge disappointment first we were never informed there ... Read More
We wanted to revisit prague and places along the river There were several ports new to us We had never been to Paris so we added pre and post cruise packages The hotel in Prague was a huge disappointment first we were never informed there would be a shuttle we planned to use the metro since we had no way to walk to the old town are ..Back to the hotel was a bit worn and only a couple options for dinner The river cruise seldom docked were they said we would ..we spent way too much time being bussed places We chose to purchase the Versailles side trip When we arrived we had to wait 45 min in the heat while the tour guides tried to rectify the wrong purchase dates on the tickets ,causing us to miss seeing more than a glance at the gardens ,We were beyond words of disappointment The entire river part of the trip we had no internet as promised .The desk staff were less than forthcoming telling us the first 3 days oh we will have it tomorrow all the while knowing it was never going happen Since this was a service we expected to be able to use i needed to be in contact with sick family members IF you advertise a service then you should have had your provider board the ship during the first docking port to repair oh well is not an option Makes me wonder what else they take so lightly I might add this is our 3rd river cruise with Viking and also one ocean cruise We did not depart this trip with a very happy feeling Definitely the standard we were expecting Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our trip, the City of Lights tour, started in Prague and ended in Paris. After a wonderful two night stay in Prague, we traveled by bus to Bamberg to embark on our cruise on the Main, Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Boarding, access to our ... Read More
Our trip, the City of Lights tour, started in Prague and ended in Paris. After a wonderful two night stay in Prague, we traveled by bus to Bamberg to embark on our cruise on the Main, Rhine and Moselle Rivers. Boarding, access to our cabin and luggage were efficiently handled. We're off to a great start! Cocktails in the lounge from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. was a nightly occurrence. This included information about the next day's excursions and events as well as what was being served for dinner that evening. Several times wine from the region we were traveling through were served with the meal and we were given information on the area and the wine at this time as well. Our party consisted of my husband and me (in our 70's) and our two adult children and daughter-in-law (in their 30's). They were definitely the youngest passengers but thoroughly enjoyed everything about the trip. One seating for dinner, usually at 7 p.m. The dining room was beautiful, the service impecable and the food was delightful every evening. Dress was what I would call business casual. A more casual meal was available on the deck but we enjoyed the dining room so much that we never varied our routine. Our servers were fun but professional and came to know our likes and dislikes and made us feel so welcome. It was also a time for us to discuss our day, especially nice if we took part in different excursions during the day. There was entertainment following dinner each night that included live piano music with our onboard musician, a traditional glass-blowing demonstration, dancing, a performance by local musicians, etc. Breakfast in the dining room was served from 6:30 - 9 a.m. and included anything you could want from the buffet breakfast or a choice of dishes cooked to order. Excellent! We were very spoiled by the end of the cruise. On the days we were not on an excursion during lunch, the dining room served lunch and a lighter, buffet-style lunch was available on the terrace. Excursions included with the tour were led by local people who were very knowledgeable about the history and culture. Every one we took was well worth our time, well led and informative. One of our favorites was the tour of Rothenburg, called the best-preserved medieval town in Germany. The architecture, the narrow cobblestone streets, and the medieval gates transported us to another time - all the beauty without any of the hardship involved in living during that time. Several excursions were offered that were available at an extra charge. We enjoyed an optional tour that included a wine tasting in Rothenburg as well as one in Rudesheim. While riesling wines are generally thought of as too sweet by my family, we found the wines we tasted on this trip to be very good and not too sweet. I strongly recommend this trip. Viking pays close attention to all the details and handles them seamlessly. I very much hope to go on another Viking river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Enjoyed our river cruise trip with Viking Bragi from Budapest to Amsterdam having already cruised with them in China. The only complaint I have, and it is a big one ! Is that the sundeck is closed for half of the trip!! Didn't know ... Read More
Enjoyed our river cruise trip with Viking Bragi from Budapest to Amsterdam having already cruised with them in China. The only complaint I have, and it is a big one ! Is that the sundeck is closed for half of the trip!! Didn't know the reason why until I returned to the UK and found out that there had been a major crash on another Viking ship the previous year. Two crew died at night when the wheelhouse struck a bridge ! So now as a safety measure the sundeck is closed down throughout the canal part of the trip, which to be quite honest did ruin the holiday. So yes my wife and I enjoyed all the places we visited with Viking, but not be able to exercise on the sundeck, or take a stroll, or just relax in a sun lounger ruined what was an enjoyable trip. The food overall was really good, and our cabin level 2 with balcony was cosy with a really comfy bed. The service was very good, and the cruise director Kane was outstanding, we even got him to sing one late evening when most folk had retired to bed. There were two resident singers, a husband and wife team called Sundown who were okay, he played the piano and also sang. There was free wine with your meals, or spirits, and unlimited tea or coffee throughout the trip from a machine on level 3, which was okay but not Starbucks ! The excursions were very informative, and most of the guides were very knowledgeable. We have been back now a few weeks so cannot always remember all that we did, but we had a really good time, and met some interesting people , and made some good friends with 2 couples from the USA. We have already booked a cruise with them for next July with the Celebrity Reflection. We did look at a Viking ocean cruise to the same area, the Greek islands and Italy, but the cost so much more. Overall our trip was fabulous as the pros outweighed the cons, and for that reason I would rate this holiday 8/10 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We recently did the Prague to Paris City of Light cruise on Viking. It was absolutely incredible. The cruise portion was fantastic. The sites along the way, the small towns we stopped in, the tours they included all were great. Our ... Read More
We recently did the Prague to Paris City of Light cruise on Viking. It was absolutely incredible. The cruise portion was fantastic. The sites along the way, the small towns we stopped in, the tours they included all were great. Our chef on the ship, Gregorio, I have to say was incredible. Every night he seemed to outdo himself as he and his staff came up with a new menu. I have to say I was more than happy with everything. Our tour guide Bojan was on top of everything and kept things moving and on schedule. Believe me when I say that was no small feat. A simple great cruise. The land portion with stays in both Prague and in Paris was great. The hotels selected were top noch. The tours were all very informative and paced vefry well I was very happy with both the ship and with Viking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I wanted to see Paris and the castles of Germany! It was great! Loved the crew and food! I am gluten free and the chef made bread and all my food was cooked with that in mind. The tours were outstanding! The hotels were excellent ... Read More
I wanted to see Paris and the castles of Germany! It was great! Loved the crew and food! I am gluten free and the chef made bread and all my food was cooked with that in mind. The tours were outstanding! The hotels were excellent and everything went so smoothly! There were so many tours and the tour guides were great! The coordinator for this cruise was excellent! The airport pickup and the taking us to the airport at the end was very timely and I felt very special throughout the cruise. The Wifi was sketchy but that was usually only when we were moving! The locks were so interesting! The entertainment piano player was soon good! The other entertainment was great too! I loved that we got to know different people and the ship was small enough that I didn't feel overwhelmed. The Captain and the 1st Liuetenant were cleaning windows one day which impressed me a lot! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I decided to commemorate our 10th wedding anniversary by going on a trip to Europe. We are avid fans of Downton Abbey, and we were mesmerized by the Viking River Cruise commercials displaying the Ship, and the wonderful ... Read More
My husband and I decided to commemorate our 10th wedding anniversary by going on a trip to Europe. We are avid fans of Downton Abbey, and we were mesmerized by the Viking River Cruise commercials displaying the Ship, and the wonderful breathtaking views from the river. We felt that Viking River Cruise had a well planned cruise, with all meals and beverages included, daily excursions and bonus excursions which were optional, and that it was a wonderful way to relax and not worry about where to go, and what to do each day, as Viking River cruise staff had it all organized and planned out. We were so impressed with the hosts at each place we visited (Czech, Bamburg, Nuremberg, Rudesheim, Miltenberg, Gutenberg, Cochem and Trier, then our week long trip in Paris France). All I can say is that I slept deeply and soundly each night, and woke up early to catch breakfast and mingle with our new friends. Breakfast and Lunch offered healthy choices, (we skipped 1-2 excursions because we wanted to sight see on the ship and enjoy the weather) Dinner was also good, but often I would eat when in the towns so I would definately enjoy the bar area where I was able to get to know the staff. I felt that I was treated like family by Each staff member, especially "Dada" Davorka Dada Grdic, Jindra Theresa, and Claudia Diederix, the program director, all were so helpful and made us feel at home! This trip affected me so much that even after all these months, I sometimes wake up and think I'm somewhere in Germany or Paris. Lol We plan to take another trip from Basil Switzerland to Amsterdam in the Fall and can't wait, I just wish I could have the same staff as the ones on Odin! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our second time with Viking. The cruise was "The City of Lights'" from Bamberg Germany to Trier with an extra two night stay tacked on before the cruise in Prague and two nights afterwards in Paris. All organized by ... Read More
This was our second time with Viking. The cruise was "The City of Lights'" from Bamberg Germany to Trier with an extra two night stay tacked on before the cruise in Prague and two nights afterwards in Paris. All organized by Viking River Cruises. What can I say? We had a fabulous experience. Excellent shore excursions throughout hosted by knowledgable and personable guides. Accommodations on board the ship were comfortable, staff were amazing and the food always superb. The hotels we stayed in at either end of the cruise were luxurious and well situated for convenient sight seeing. There were always Viking Hosts available to assist us as needed with our daily excursion plans. This was our 2nd Viking Cruise. Our first was a wonderful cruise on the Rhine river. We enjoyed both cruises so much, we have booked a third cruise in October 2017, on the Danube River. This time, as on our second cruise, we are bringing friends along to share the experience with us. Highlights will include concerts and the Lippizaner horses in Vienna and the baths in Budapest. Looking forward, as always, to this next cruise with Viking. If a trouble free, no worries luxury cruise appeals to you... then we really recommend Viking. They are the best! Read Less
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