Sail Date: July 2019
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. ... Read More
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. The staff is extremely polite, and nice at the reception, in the restaurant, in the bar etc.. The pool has a relaxing atmosphere. The city tours have been well organized with professional guides, comfortable couches. We had great opportunity to visit the most important places, monuments, castles and churches. During our free time we have been good advised to explore the cities in an independent way. Every evening we had various entertaining programs with a lot of fun and laughing moments. The whole crew made our trip enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. We enjoyed our breakfast buffet every morning and 4 courses dinner each evening as well as our lunch combining buffet and menu. Additionally we had joyful teatime and late night snack. All food was fresh and well prepared. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I have been to several countries since 1992, but never to Hungary, Austria and Germany. The cruise was wonderful traveling along the Danube River. It was wonderful not having to always leave the ship to see so many interesting sights. ... Read More
I have been to several countries since 1992, but never to Hungary, Austria and Germany. The cruise was wonderful traveling along the Danube River. It was wonderful not having to always leave the ship to see so many interesting sights. We had an outside balcony so we could sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. We really liked the optional tours we took by bus. I had a bi-lateral knee operation two years ago and the walking tour was excellent, as I was in the leisure strollers group and I used my cane. The guides were so well versed and ready to answer any questions we had. The food was excellent and we had many dining choices such as buffet, sit down dinners and snacks and we got to choose from standard choices like hamburgs and sandwiches and ethnic foods, like Hungarian Goulash. I taught a Foods class and attended the Culinary Institute in Hyde park, N.Y., so i know what a good chef we had. I love classical music and the concert by the residence Orchestra at a castle in Vienna was wonderful. I also taught History at one time and the trip to the courtroom where the Nazis were on trial was spell binding. The guide was such an excellent speaker and during the hour we were there, the guide was spell binding. The service was excellent and if we wanted anything, such as more sauce for a meat, it arrived immediately after it was requested. I certainly would go again. I haven't been to Sweden and my Paternal Grand-Mother was born in Stockholm, so Id like go go there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With so many guests, that was very flattering. Talida was a great cruise manager and kept us informed of happenings each day. The laundry service was fast and not too expensive. The food, OMG, what can we say to express how impressed we were. How they managed to serve everyone at a table at the same time with the right order was amazing. The beds in our cabin were so comfortable that the first night we slept right through breakfast the next morning - slept from 10PM to 10AM Luckily we didn't miss our Pecs Excursion. We really appreciated being able to choose the gentle walking tours and they even had a town train to take us around on one of the stops. The tour we enjoyed most was the Banitsa making one, with Pavel and Ramona's entertaining explanation of how to make it. I plan to try that recipe soon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was ... Read More
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was friendly and professional and personal. She supplied pertinent information at the exact time we needed it. The excursions were timely and informative and guides were excellent. The time at the excursion sites is relatively quick. If you really want to explore a city, you really don't have time to do so - you mostly get an overview, then move on. We did a bike tour along the Danube, as well as a hiking tour, but the rest were city tours, which are informative, but next time I might do something more specific to the area, such as a wine tasting, etc. The cruise was relaxing but never boring. You can be as active as you wish, or relax as necessary. The excursions were offered for easy walkers, regular walkers or active walkers, along with bike and hiking. Be sure to pack clothing to enjoy the deck. As you travel along the Danube (we sailed from Budapest to Vilshofen) the scenery got more and more beautiful as we sailed up the river. The food was delicious but not in excess like it can be on an ocean cruise. The only thing I would criticize would be the on board gym. It could have used a few free weights and an elliptical machine, but after a few days I didn't have the time or energy to use it anyway! Can't wait to cruise with AMA again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had a great time with Avalon in China in 2017. We wanted to see the Danube and thought Avalon would be good again. They did not disappoint. The service was magnificent, the food very good, the tours were great. We enjoyed every ... Read More
We had a great time with Avalon in China in 2017. We wanted to see the Danube and thought Avalon would be good again. They did not disappoint. The service was magnificent, the food very good, the tours were great. We enjoyed every minute of it. We had plenty of time to explore Budapest and were able to store our luggage on board on embarkation day. The staff was so accommodating. One evening, we didn't not realize that Vienna closed so completely and early. We made our way back to the ship knowing we had missed dinner. We did not even ask, the crew said "you have missed dinner, can we get you something?" We will be taking other Avalon cruises because they have not disappointed at all. We needed to make alternative arrangements at the end of the cruise and the staff was very accommodating and helped us get to the train station in Regensburg to catch the train to Munich. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose Viking River Cruises for our first cruise - and loved every minute of it. Viking handled all our luggage from the time we landed at the airport and by the time we were brought to the ship, our luggage was waiting for us. Amazing! ... Read More
We chose Viking River Cruises for our first cruise - and loved every minute of it. Viking handled all our luggage from the time we landed at the airport and by the time we were brought to the ship, our luggage was waiting for us. Amazing! Viking also provided wonderful information on our departure city and each stop along the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. We arrived a few days before our departure from Budapest and thoroughly enjoyed exploring Buda and Pest. At the end of our cruise, we opted to spend a few days in Amersterdam as well. I would highly recommend those thinking of taking The Grand European Tour do precisely that! While cruising along the river, we took full advantage of the excellent excursions and felt we learned quite a bit about each city we visited. The Skirnir was lovely. Our room had everything we needed and was a model of minimalist perfection. Heated bathroom floors were an unexpected treat! The Skirnir is a longboat, not a giant ocean-going vessel but rather an intimate-sized ship holding approximately 185 guests. Still, it offered several dining areas and an outdoor exercise track for walking - or in our case, spontaneous yoga classes. The staff was amazing - catered to everyone and made all of us - there were 8 in our party - feel welcome and special. While none of us were disabled, it was interesting to note that those with disabilites were accommodated just as easily. Elevator onboard was a plus. As I said, everyone was catered to by the thoughtful, friendly and capable staff. Ship Director Steven was quite possibly the best host ever! He was knowledgeable, entertaining and talented. That man could sing!!! Since our return, I have been recommending Viking River Cruises to everyone who followed our trip on our Facebook page. My husband and I have even signed up for two more cruises. The whole cruise was a wonderful experience. Thanks, Viking!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I found this river cruise fantastic, I cannot understand one of the reviews on this cruise, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Food wonderful, staff so helpful, the people on the cruise very friendly, the tour director Emese ... Read More
I found this river cruise fantastic, I cannot understand one of the reviews on this cruise, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Food wonderful, staff so helpful, the people on the cruise very friendly, the tour director Emese (spelling) could not do enough for everybody. I have a mobility problem and she went out of her way to make sure I was comfortable, travelling with Australians was fun, friendly and enjoyable. Cabin beautiful, tours fantastic no complaints from start to finish. The dining room staff were second to none, helpful,friendly and could not do enough for you. The Reception desk helpful, staff in the lounge wonderful, people who cleaned the cabins courteous and very friendly and cabins always so nice and clean. The food to die for, fresh and lovely every day. The tours that Emese organized were brilliant all and all a wonderful holiday, a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have sailed with Uniworld 8 times in the past, 6 times in Europe plus once each in China and Egypt. We embarked in Budapest which we'd visited before so didn't spend any extra time before the cruise started. Uniworld ... Read More
We have sailed with Uniworld 8 times in the past, 6 times in Europe plus once each in China and Egypt. We embarked in Budapest which we'd visited before so didn't spend any extra time before the cruise started. Uniworld picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the ship with no hitches whatsoever. As usual, the food was excellent and Dimitar, the restaurant manager was the best we've had in Europe. He was personable and interacted with diners well while keeping an eye on the level of service. When serving staff were pressed, he pitched in serving beverages and assisting to keep service flowing smoothly. Danny the Hotel Manager was also very helpful when anything needed attention. As in the past, all of the staff were a delight working hard to keep everyone happy. Uniworld has the best soups at lunch in my opinion. We love Uniworld's use of the VOX Box (guides transmit commentary by radio into an earpiece or headset) which allows us to hear over traffic noise and distance which develops when a group gets spread out because of narrow sidewalks, etc. Since our last Uniworld cruise in France in spring 2016, the earpieces have been improved so they actually fit in my ear canal and I didn't need to use my headphones. Suggestion for those who use hearing aids and can't insert an ear bud: Take headphones with you. The VOX receiver which has a lanyard to hang around your neck takes a standard audio jack. In addition, there is now a setting that can be used when you're on the deck. There is a GPS system that provides relevant commentary as you float past landmarks, towns and villages. It also told us about food and drink of the region. Breakfasts and lunches are buffet style and times will vary somewhat depending on when excursions are scheduled. Dinner is generally served at 7. If there is an excursion that needs to start at 6 pm, dinner will be served early or in one case, there was a buffet dinner. Every breakfast has a special of the day (example eggs Benedict). In the past this special was advertised on a podium at the entrance to the dining room. Now, you have to ask for a menu in order to see what the special is. People who had been on the ship for the preceding leg of the cruise didn't know that there was a special. We asked only because we'd been on other Uniworld cruises. The on-board entertainment, a brother and sister, (Rita and MIchael) were excellent and the best on board we've had. Refurbished SS Beatrice: I like the decor much better than on other Uniworld ships we've been on. It's more understated than the decor of the others. There is an elevator from the bottom level to the 3rd level and a mechanical chair to take a person to the top sun deck. Great for those with mobility problems. On the negative side: the lobby floors are marble which can be slippery when wet and when wearing non-grip soles on shoes. The regular rooms (i.e. not suites) have too much furniture in them. The rooms are small, but we expected this. But between the bed and the outer wall were two arm chairs and a glass coffee table. The clearance to get into bed was far too narrow. We and other passengers had, at minimum, the glass table removed entirely and some also had one of the armchairs removed. When speaking with staff, they told us they had a room full of excess furniture. It may look nice to have these furnishings but so many pieces is not functional in the least. The bathrooms are small (again we expected this) but the toilet is squeezed between the shower wall and another wall. And it is not normal adult height but might work well for a 12 year old. Taller men were heard to say that they had to heave themselves up to get off. I'm 5'5" and had to work at standing up. There is no hook in the bathroom for a bathrobe. The water in the shower would on occasion stop altogether but only for a second or two. A problem with flushing our toilet was solved quickly because the fix-it man was in our hall after fixing someone else's toilet. The ceiling height in the lounge and dining room is quite low. Taller people may need to duck. On the other hand, the sound baffling on the ceiling is much improved. On other ships, dinner conversations could completely obliterate your ability to hear others. This ship has fixed that problem. The lounge is chopped up compared with previous ships, probably because of the addition of the Schubert's dining area. However the furniture arrangement of very deep sofas arranged back to back and jutting into the smaller space didn't allow much dancing room and impeded many passengers from seeing the speakers.There were no true arm chairs in the lounge. My husband with balance problems had trouble getting up and the sofas were too low and deep for him to use. We've chosen Uniworld because of the delicious food and the attentiveness of the staff AND their provision of a gentle or easy walker program. On arrival at the ship, we were told verbally that this program was cancelled and this was confirmed by Uniworld by e-mail. After my protestations, this program was promptly reinstated for this cruise and subsequently reinstated for all for 2018. Thanks to Uniworld for addressing our complaint but the cruise started on a sour note. My husband has MS and has problems with balance. On the ship he uses a cane; on walking tours, he uses a walker. European streets often have cobblestones which can be difficult even if you have no mobility problems. The ship staff found a place in a public space but out of public traffic to store the walker. We already had too much furniture in the room. Comments on tours that were memorable for us: Those who went on the 27 km bicycle ride loved it. The same for those who did the 7 km hike. Both these groups departed the ship at one dock and met up with the ship further up the river. Spitz Village Day with wine tasting: This was an easy walk just by its nature. Our guide was both on the board of the Shipping Museum and was involved in the family business of producing apricot products. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the museum much but was pleasantly surprised by the ingenuity used in the past in using the wooden boats. We then went on to the tasting of apricot products: brandy, liqueur, jam and barbecue sauce. Altogether a very nice half day. Nuremberg Panoramic City Tour: We were bused to Zeppelin field where Hitler held marches. A local historian guide was very good and most informative. The Nuremberg Castle was also most interesting in terms of how well protected it was. Prague: We were bused from Nuremberg to Prague. checking in at the Art Deco Imperial was disorganized and late based on what we told on the ship. When we got to the room, we discovered that you had to step up about 22 inches to get into the tub. We were offered steps to get in (but you still had no way to get out.) Because my husband could not manage either getting in or out, we were offered a room with both a tub and a shower. In talking with others in our group, at least three able bodied people slipped in the tub. There was a combination of new tubs and soft water and no arm height grab bars. All had asked for and not received non-slip mats for the bottom of the tub. Not a good choice of hotel. Prague: morning Estates Theater and Mucha Museum: We chose this as it involved the least amount of walking. Even so, we took a cab to the Theater so that my husband wouldn't get too tired because we'd also booked an afternoon tour. This small theater is used only for Mozart operas and is a jewel. We were entertained by a quartet playing classical music. A lovely interlude. We then walked to the Mucha Museum. I'd never heard of Mucha but recognized his work and style and it was interesting to learn more about him. And then recognized his work on hotel walls and other buildings throughout the city. Prague: afternoon Terezin Concentration Camp: We were driven through the countryside to this camp which was primarily a transition camp where conditions were so bad many died there. There are two cemeteries, one for Christians and one for Jews. Not necessarily an enjoyable tour but most interesting. A special guide was assigned to my husband to take him the easiest walking route through the camp. This was followed by a visit to a museum in the Jewish ghetto nearby. By then, at the end of the whole cruise and the end of a long hot day, we left a little early to visit the local ice cream shop. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I am Canadian and my cousin is American. We have met up at various places on the globe, as a way of seeing each other, as well as enjoying an adventure together. We chose to cruise on the Danube, as neither one of us had ever been on a ... Read More
I am Canadian and my cousin is American. We have met up at various places on the globe, as a way of seeing each other, as well as enjoying an adventure together. We chose to cruise on the Danube, as neither one of us had ever been on a river cruise and we hadn’t visited several of the cities that the cruise stopped at. As far as which cruise line to chose goes, that was an easy decision as we had heard wonderful things about Viking. After our cruise was over, I read that Viking was chosen as the Number #1, river cruise line, by Conde Nast. I have only wonderful things to say about Viking, so I can easily see, why it would be an award winner. Our room was comfortable, the meals were excellent!! If I had to list my favourite thing of my experience, I would have a difficult time to chose just one thing. I loved how organized each stop was and how it took less than a minute to get off the boat - there was no 20 minute line up to get off, which is common on ocean cruises. I also loved how I knew which bus to get on as soon as I stepped ashore. I loved how each port had a free city tour. I loved that all the day tours were graded for diffulty, as mobility was an issue for my cousin. To add to my point of disembarkation being easy at each port, I want to add that going to all of the meals, lectures and entertainment venues were equally easy. There were no line ups, there was no waiting, it was all very relaxed and civilized. I could go on and on. I would highly, highly recommend a river cruise with Viking for anyone. Go and have to time if your life!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Just heard Viking is restricting all cruises to NO KIDS. Wow! That really saddens me, because our 2017 multi-generational family vacation aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremburg was amazing. Our Group included 10 family ... Read More
Just heard Viking is restricting all cruises to NO KIDS. Wow! That really saddens me, because our 2017 multi-generational family vacation aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremburg was amazing. Our Group included 10 family members- ages 12 to 85 years. We travelled with two (2) children who would not be welcomed aboard Viking Cruise lines. The senior members of our group and junior members also loved the chess board on the deck! At any rate - Avalon was simply amazing!!! Rooms were fantastic and the itinerary literally had something for everyone. On one particular day my son and his cousin (12 and 13) road bikes with their aunt through Regensburg, while Grandpa and Great Aunt Barbara enjoyed an afternoon of folk music and a beer at the Monk's Abbey. Grandpa loved the opportunity to take his 13 year-old grandson to a classical concert in Vienna. Every single person in our group loved this vacation and would do it again in a heartbeat. If you are thinking about booking a multi-generational family vacation, don't hesitate! Grandpa says it was his best birthday gift of his life! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Probably one of the best trips I have had in my life! I have to admit since this was my first Viking adventure I didn’t know what to expect and was a little hesitant to stay 8 days on a boat, but WOW what a great time I had! The food ... Read More
Probably one of the best trips I have had in my life! I have to admit since this was my first Viking adventure I didn’t know what to expect and was a little hesitant to stay 8 days on a boat, but WOW what a great time I had! The food was fantastic the staff was beyond excellent and the overall experience was just amazing. I enjoyed all of it but the one thing I would have to say that I was most impressed with was the professionalism of the staff, friendly, funny and always helpful and there for anything you needed. I really enjoyed the guided tours and the knowledge of all the tour guides. I learned a lot about the areas we visited and it inspired me to read more about those places once I was home. Overall, I would recommend a Viking tour for everyone at least once in your life, I am hoping to experience one many more times. I absolutely loved my vacation and my Viking experience very much!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
There are so many great things to say about Amawaterways AmaPrima, but the most important is the hospitality and service quality of the staff. Every single interaction with them was a pleasure -- waiters, housekeepers, the madly French ... Read More
There are so many great things to say about Amawaterways AmaPrima, but the most important is the hospitality and service quality of the staff. Every single interaction with them was a pleasure -- waiters, housekeepers, the madly French cruise manager, chefs, sailors met in the hallways or on deck, and the seriously Dutch captain. The ship is bigger than you expect -- 38 feet wide and much longer than a football field -- it feels spacious. The decor is very luxurious, and the crew is surreptitiously scrubbing and polishing all the time. The 140-ish passengers can all fit into the lounge at once for meetings and entertainment, and can also all fit into the dining room in one seating. Our stateroom was 220 square feet, including a balcony, which was plenty. Rooms without a balcony have equivalent space inside. Not a bad seat in the house! I do recommend a balcony stateroom, however, because it was delightful to sit on the balcony with a cup of coffee (morning) or a glass of wine (evening) and watch Europe go by. Food -- spectacular! My wife and I had to cut back halfway through our cruise to ensure we would fit in our clothes at disembarkation! Dining is open-seating, and one of the great pleasures of the voyage was meeting new people over meals. Free wine and beer with meals, too (and at other times, very reasonable prices at the bar). Snacks available at odd times, but not the same "eating all the time" feeling one gets on a big ocean-going ship. Our voyage was Budapest to Amsterdam -- two luxurious, relaxing weeks. Shore excursions organized by Amawaterways every day. Most of these were included in the trip price, with a few optional ones (around 60 euros pp) that involved an hour bus ride (e.g. a day in Salzburg). Another (very fun) optional was a baroque music concert after dinner, in the former stock exchange hall in Vienna. There was entertainment every evening in the lounge -- most of these were local musicians who came on board, played a set for maybe an hour, and hopped off at the next lock. These folks were very fun, quite professional. Seriously, folks -- Amawaterways has all the elegance, comfort and luxury of an ocean-going cruise ship, shrunk down into a 140-passenger, 42-crewmember package. And, between "ports", you get to enjoy medieval towns, spectacular vineyards, hillsides and locks go by outside your hotel window. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing ... Read More
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing storage. Even though this cabin was not a suite, we had two balconies. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom very adequate with a great shower, and the entire cabin was scrupulously maintained by the Amacerto housekeeping staff. The cruise manager, Nikola Grujin, was fantastic! Humorous and exceedingly helpful. Nikola was there for all of us in planning the trips to care of an injured passenger. Due to no fault of the Ship's crew, a passenger hurt her finger. All this is to say that Nikola accompanied the injured guest to Vienna hospital. Message to us: Ama Waterways staff will go the extra mile in the care of its passengers. Food & Drink: For all three meals, passengers can choose from the abundant buffet, or order from the menu. One of our friends ate vegetarian; a special elegant breakfast, lunch, and dinner was served to her. This was a wine-tasting cruise with Dr. Doug Garman, wine expert, that gave special lectures and wine tastings for all passengers. Touring & Entertainment: The guides were very well informed supplied by the local population. Choice of gentle to vigorous touring were offered. Opportunities for biking trips were for the younger folks. Since we are an elderly couple, we chose the more moderate excursions. Our favorite entertainment was a special concert of Mozart and Strauss at the beautiful Vienna Konzerthaus. We were entertained by Wiener Hofburg-Orchestra under the direction of Svetoslav Borisov; operatic solos and duets by soprano Ella Tyran and baritone, Michael Havlicek. Classical ballet pieces and Vienna folk dances were also included in the program. Every evening hours: beautiful music was provided by pianist, Gabor. A special onboard musical vocal duet of Vienna music was delightful. Even an Octoberfest beer celebration was provided by the local population. Disembarkation was professionally accomplished. All passengers were carefully delivered to the Munich airport. I cannot believe any other longship river cruise could offer a passenger more enjoyment. Don't miss a fabulous opportunity for a river cruise. Select Ama Waterways to be guaranteed fabulous experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We loved Scenic because their balconies offered an automatic glass window that you could raise to lower to expand the bedroom space and allow us to enjoy the river scenery. They also offered multiple choices of excursions each day and all ... Read More
We loved Scenic because their balconies offered an automatic glass window that you could raise to lower to expand the bedroom space and allow us to enjoy the river scenery. They also offered multiple choices of excursions each day and all were included. The tailor made devices were cumbersome to use on the tours but here helpful to point our sites while on the river. The staff were superb and the food choices were fabulous. The cruise director was exceptional at accommodating any request by guests and ensure we all had a fabulous experience. We loved starting in Budapest and cruising to Amsterdam so the 68 lift locks came first then we had an easier cruise into Holland. We had great weather --22-28 degrees. The water was low but we only were stuck in the mud at one point when we moved to the side of the Rhine to let another river cruise ship go by. There were days when we had to close the sun deck as the the clearance to the bridges was so tight. The concert in Palace Lichenstein in Vienna and the Sounds of Music in Salzberg were highlights as was the Sundown evening in Aggstein Castle. Dining was open and earliest you could have dinner was 7:00pm. But after the excursions and the pre-dinner entetrainment eg. violinist, string quartet etc. made it seem not so late to eat. The gym was small and had only 2 bicycles but we made do. I would love to do another Scenic cruise SOME DAY! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have done three other river cruises on Vantage Travel and loved them. We would have booked this on Vantage again, but we had an issue with being given the air discount so booked with Viking and actually saved a little money. We had ... Read More
We have done three other river cruises on Vantage Travel and loved them. We would have booked this on Vantage again, but we had an issue with being given the air discount so booked with Viking and actually saved a little money. We had Vantage to compare with and thought Vantage was above the high rating of Viking. Viking did not do the little things that Vantage does. First of all on Vantage you get a 10% discount for paying early, Viking a lowly 3%. We did the extension in Budapest, as we had been there twice before and missed some things to do. Vantage has a welcome dinner and meeting with the travelers and on post extensions does a farewell dinner. Viking did none of this, but had a program manager, but not sure why. We were informed that we were suppose to be on the Gefjon, but due to low water we were shifted to the Ve. Both were the newest ships in their fleet. We went to the ship early on our own and had trouble finding our ship, as there were a number of Viking ships at the dock area. There were no signs or personnel to direct you. The ship was very nice, slightly above Vantage, but thought the rooms were smaller, as they add the veranda in the square footage. Having heated bathroom floors was a nice touch. Dinner at times was good, but other times a disappointment. I perhaps had the worst dinner on this cruise than on any river cruise. The Chef for whatever reason, decided to present Chicken A' La King one night. It was not creamy and still had pieces of the chicken cartilage in the meal. This level of cruising never should have had this occur. The Chef would come up every night to recommend items for dinner. Seem he would have been better served to stay and prepare out meals. They seem to have less dinner selections than did Vantage, breakfast also lacked, no cheese offered at lunch. Dinner salads were always leaf lettuce, which I don't care for. I love soups and a good soup and small salad at lunch serves me fine. Soups were fairly good, but not unique at times. Vantage provides a list of the passengers with home towns and name tags that helps in socializing, Viking did none of this. They also supplied no information about the 60 or so locks we went through. Vantage provided this and a map. You had to buy a map on Viking for 7 Euros. Viking did not reserve seats on the bus for handicap and no chairlift to the top deck as does Vantage. At times you had to walk quite a distance to the coaches, seems they could have had a golf cart in these situations to aid the handicap, as I was. Coaches usually were owned by Viking and very nice. Charged 10% to convert money to Euros and had no US. money on board. Not the case with Vantage. Vantage impressed me by providing Euros to passengers not on tour to buy lunch as lunch was no being served on board, not the case with Viking. Vantage gives you cultural experiences sometimes having lunch in locals homes or with college students. Viking did none of this. The highlight to the cruise was the cruise director. We had many problems and he worked his tail off to correct them and satisfy passengers. Instead of just a piano player in the lounge we had two lounge singers, who we enjoyed. Not much entertainment, but the cruise director did games at night that were fun. We were suppose to change ships halfway through the cruise but did not have to, to every ones pleasure. We saw the Gefjon go by in one of the canals. We paid for many of the excursions, as we had been to most of these ports before. Many of them did not allow you to take pictures, so what is the sense to that? You cannot save your memories. We went to see the Lipizzaner Stallions and could not take any pictures, but was not told this when booking. They were suppose to have a slow group for handicap, but the tour guides seem to take off and never look back or slow down. The ship was a little better than Vantage, but no workout facility as does Vantage. We did not think the staff understood English very well and had a few problems with that. Many on the cruise raved about it and said it was the best cruise they had ever done, but they had nothing to compare it to, as we did. We had to have a luggage out at 4:30 a.m., which we did not know why and was inconvenient. Never had to do this before. We are going on a Viking Ocean Cruise in November and hope we like it. We have done over 25 ocean cruises, so we have much to compare it to. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We got a great value for cruising on Viking. Every aspect of our cruise was outstanding and well organized, including switching ships because of low water on the Danube. Program Manager, Stefan, was more than outstanding, including ... Read More
We got a great value for cruising on Viking. Every aspect of our cruise was outstanding and well organized, including switching ships because of low water on the Danube. Program Manager, Stefan, was more than outstanding, including assisting my wife with her infected finger and getting medical attention for her. The little perks, water given at every port and excursions, welcome back drinks upon our return, maps of the cities and towns visited, free time after excursions created quite an experience. My wife and I have ocean cruised 16 times on various Cruise Lines, many not our choice but selected by the group we're traveling with. This was our first river cruise and one longer than a week. With the small ship we were able to meet those with whom we traveled as well as those not part of our group. I have posted about 2000 photo images of our cruise on my photography website, www.1stimage.com. Select the green zenfolio button to reach 13 galleries of our cruise. All staff was outstanding, food more than outstanding. We could not have had a better experience. We will cruise with Viking again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We had previously been on the Viking River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. Thoroughly enjoyed it and decided to take a longer cruise this time. Viking lives up to its advertising. The ship is spotless, Staff cannot do enough for you. I ... Read More
We had previously been on the Viking River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. Thoroughly enjoyed it and decided to take a longer cruise this time. Viking lives up to its advertising. The ship is spotless, Staff cannot do enough for you. I have been on "big" cruise boats and will never go back. Viking is our choice. We plan to make a Viking Ocean cruise December of 2018. This time Australia to New Zeland. The limited number of people makes for a much better experience. The river boats have a max of 190 guests and the ocean 998. this is manageable. The barman even knew what I liked to drink on the second night. Great service. The side trips vary. Some are free and some you need pay extra for. The side trips we paid for were worth every penny. Viking uses a microphone for its' guides, you have an earphone and always hear every word of the guide's presentation even at a distance. No having to get to the head of the group to hear what is going on. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We arrived in Budapest 2 days early. Fanni and Andrea were wonderful. Great concierge service. Gave us great ideas and directions. Agnes took us on the Taste of Budapest tour. She was a wonderful guide. Carmen in Melk was also a ... Read More
We arrived in Budapest 2 days early. Fanni and Andrea were wonderful. Great concierge service. Gave us great ideas and directions. Agnes took us on the Taste of Budapest tour. She was a wonderful guide. Carmen in Melk was also a terrific guide, wonderful sense of humor. On our post extension tour to Salzburg and Munich, Fred was so knowledgeable and was an outstanding guide. It was also interesting to take a brief bus tour of Marcos' home town (Oberammergau). Friends ask us what was our favorite part of the cruise. Difficult to say...too many choices. All shore excursions were very organized. Cabins are a little small. Next time we would upgrade to a suite with veranda and French balcony. Wonderful service. Dining room staff were top notch. We celebrated our 50th anniversary on the cruise in Vienna. The Dining room staff made it memorable. The pre-cruise hotel (the Corinthia in Budapest) was an elegant hotel. The post-cruise hotel (Goldener Hirsch in Salzburg) was wonderfully refurbished with huge rooms. The Munich hotel (Hilton Munich Park) was a typical business man's hotel, but walking distance to a bier garden, and restaurants. We would definitely take another river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this for its destinations, as it was along the lower reaches of the Danube, which we didn't know. Embarkation was very smooth, though it was a pity there wasn't more time in Budapest. The cruise was full of interesting ... Read More
We chose this for its destinations, as it was along the lower reaches of the Danube, which we didn't know. Embarkation was very smooth, though it was a pity there wasn't more time in Budapest. The cruise was full of interesting trips, including visits to a school in Bulgaria, and a lunch with a local family in Croatia. All of the local guides were experienced, very knowledgeable, and spoke good English. The Cruise Director also gave us interesting daily talks on the countries we were visiting. On two evenings we had excellent local dancers/singers on board. Everybody I spoke to enjoyed the cruise very much; the ship is lovely, with good size cabins and lounge, and the food reflected the countries we were visiting. The service was excellent, and the staff (mainly East European) friendly, relaxed and efficient. There is an attractive indoor swimming pool, and a minute fitness room. WE did feel that during the one day with no port stop there could have been more activities arranged, especially as it rained solidly all day.We finished with 3 nights in the Sheraton in Bucharest, which is a stunning city. We mainly found our own meals in Bucharest, but we did feel that more could have been made of the final night's dinner, which was uninspiring and a big contrast to the excellent on-board meals. We certainly plan to travel again with this company, and would recommend this particular cruise as something a bit different. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
European Christmas markets, beautiful Danube Austrian and Bavarian locations, sailing up river thru some 26 locks passing Austria and into Bavarian Germany, so enticingly promised by the highly effective and persuasive Viking ads. How did ... Read More
European Christmas markets, beautiful Danube Austrian and Bavarian locations, sailing up river thru some 26 locks passing Austria and into Bavarian Germany, so enticingly promised by the highly effective and persuasive Viking ads. How did the cruise pan out? Just fine! Nearly completely met the promises, not easy to do… This off season cruise incorporated the usual highly rated Romantic Danube agenda with the first week of Christmas markets in the heart of Danube gemutlichkeit (good feeling). It didn't hurt that we were lucky with both river water level (not too high or low, not always the case in past years), and weather i.e., cold but not rainy, just some delightful white flakes drifting down. Could one ask for more?? We don't think so. Now I’ve gotta say: a big plus to the overall good feeling for us was the Atla’s 90% male crew led by a chef presenting consistently interesting, delicious, well served food. The only better food afloat per us might be Crystal, out of 20+ ocean and river ships we’ve been on. The chef, and Viking’s well planned menus, consistently fed the 186 guests wonderfully varied, fresh, well prepared, interesting selections, mostly with decent wine. Perhaps actually this was the biggest key to success of the cruise. A second was Super Mario, the tour and entertainment guru. The Captain and boat crew also all were efficient, aided by no shortcuts in the design and execution of the boat with its very well equipped cockpit. Our Ukrainian captain timed arrivals and departures well to maximize time in port plus one day doing daylight sailing thru the beautiful Wachau valley of Austria. All not easy to orchestrate given that we were going upstream on the fast flowing Danube with so many locks to negotiate, all while needing to fit in with commercial traffic. Truth be told, if this is a fair example, (and it is our first time aboard Viking) they have this river cruising thing down cold. Personalized attention to detail again and again starts at the top with the CEO and his wife, the sparkly and appealing Karin. Rooms, meals, tours, places to dock, festive seasonal touches, a special arrangement with a wonderful monastery and seasonal cooking demo examples, special music just for the boat in a classic theatre in Vienna, so helpful service desk and an offset hall room plan, and working elevator for the more mobility impaired. Really hard to see how one could ask for more, different or better. While we're also fans of Avalon with their larger rooms, from past cruises, Viking certainly now has won our business and surely will see us again on the rivers...and maybe as ocean cruisers on their new ships as well. Tip: we arranged our own to/from transportation. Viking did so for most others and had a problem with Lufthansa pilots going on strike. Lesson: pay a little extra ($50 I think) for the Viking option to use your own travel agent who can argue for and help to arrange the most favorable routing. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Grade A service, Grade A logistics, Grade A tours, Grade A optional land excursions, Grade A food, and Grade A entertainment. The food was superb and for me being on a salt restricted diet, the maitre'd sought me out at breakfast ... Read More
Grade A service, Grade A logistics, Grade A tours, Grade A optional land excursions, Grade A food, and Grade A entertainment. The food was superb and for me being on a salt restricted diet, the maitre'd sought me out at breakfast and would give me the lunch menu and dinner menu for the day. On the left side are the daily selections and on the right there are the standbys available every night, e.g., steak, fish, chicken, pasta. I was able to pick my daily meals with no salt....especially made for me. There were others who were diabetic and those needing a gluten free meal. The land tours were great and divided into groups from easy walking to longer more intense walking trips. The guides were local to the town we were visiting and they spoke English very well. They definitely deserved the tips that were offered. I can't think of one thing that I would have changed. The service was impeccable. First night we had a tour of the river lights in Budapest. It was chilly when we went to the upper deck, but they were right there with blankets and a tray of apricot schnapps. Nice touch!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
What a wonderful experience on the Danube River. If you love to visit interesting cities and towns and explore (at your own pace or with a group), then this is the cruise for you. The scenery on the Danube river on sailing days is ... Read More
What a wonderful experience on the Danube River. If you love to visit interesting cities and towns and explore (at your own pace or with a group), then this is the cruise for you. The scenery on the Danube river on sailing days is spectacular...took my breath away, even other passengers were so friendly...met great people at dinners. The ship was tidy and clean, service and staff is first class...they are so helpful and take time to help you out, excursions are wonderful and interesting (only thing is maybe add a bike tour), cabin was spacious considering, bed was so comfortable...great views from the room, food/meals were delicious! I like the way they would adapt their menu to the port of call! I would definitely recommend a River cruise for 45 and up...very relaxing and easy going. Not much night life, but a nice drink and some dancing after dinner was fun! My husband and I definitely plan to do this again!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Great trip with many stops through Europe. Ship was in wonderful shape, almost new condition. Crew from the Captain on down were fantastic, all were excellent personnel. Made friends with several of them. Food and beverages ... Read More
Great trip with many stops through Europe. Ship was in wonderful shape, almost new condition. Crew from the Captain on down were fantastic, all were excellent personnel. Made friends with several of them. Food and beverages were first rate with something different most any day. Other passengers seemed to also enjoy their experience. We made several friends on the voyage. Sleeping Cabin was a little tight, however comfortable. Housekeeping seemed to go out of their to maintain everything. During the trip the wife and I Celebrate our 43rd Anniversary. Both the Housekeeping and Dining Crew made it Special Occasion. The main topic of the Vacation was the sightseeing of the Danude River and it's associate water ways. This to include the many stops at cities and landmarks. Excursions at all included plus other at additional charge. The ones we took were really something special in both the viewing and the tour guide's shared knowledge and stories associated with the location site. Note a whole lot of fantastic churches, war artifacts and wine related items. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I wanted to see the old cities of Europe and not have to move from hotel to hotel. My friend recommended Vantage and we unknowingly booked the same cruise. It was the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. I hope to take a Vantage ... Read More
I wanted to see the old cities of Europe and not have to move from hotel to hotel. My friend recommended Vantage and we unknowingly booked the same cruise. It was the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. I hope to take a Vantage cruise every second year to different destinations but I would even take this cruise again. Water was so calm that we didn't know when we were moving - the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. I loved that there were only 160 passengers so that it was interesting to meet a varied group of travelers and have meals with very nice people. Met some new friends too. The boat was kept very clean, inside and outside. Service was exceptional and the best food I've eaten in a two week period. Loved that they were so flexible in providing food from the café menu in the restaurant so when the menu got a little too fancy for me I could order a grilled steak or salmon. There was no shortage of excellent and fresh food and a good menu variety. I'm a believer in Vantage. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
Our neighbors told about the river cruise, After flying from Colorado the 26th to Europe the night of 27th . The gal at disk welcomed us by saying you are on the "wrong boat" !! not a very good start for our trip. I'm in ... Read More
Our neighbors told about the river cruise, After flying from Colorado the 26th to Europe the night of 27th . The gal at disk welcomed us by saying you are on the "wrong boat" !! not a very good start for our trip. I'm in a stander-ed wheel chair. Was very hard in our cabin. walking is very hard for me. But after I left the room the crew was very helpful. All and all I'm very happy i made the trip. A cruise ship does work better as they have handicap rooms. First time in Europe, the shore excursions were great. The help getting of boat and on the couches was wonderful. i would like to do again, but need a more handicap ed room. and a river boat cruise is good as you can see a lot just cruising the river. The help on the boat was wonderful. Read Less

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