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7 Night Europe Cruise from Budapest

7 Night Europe Cruise from Budapest

Viking Alsvin
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Viking Alsvin

Viking Alsvin - Viking River Cruises


Ample public space and abundant storage in all cabin choices


A lack of variety among included shore excursions and on TV in the cabins

Bottom Line

Attention to detail in ship design and service make this an enjoyable ship

Cruise Reviews

6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Norwegian. The cabins were nice and our cruise director, Jerome, was hilarious and great at what he does. The itinerary was good and if you get the chance to go to Prague, don't miss out. Absolutely fantastic. I took my wife and two teenage sons on the trip and I would say that the first strike against a Viking cruise is the focus on an older age group. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and we were very near the youngest people on the ship and most of the ship board activities and excursions were geared around an older age group. In fact, I heard but never asked, that Viking is not allowing people under 18 to cruise on their ships after this season. Not sure but I do believe they are going to steer the middle age group with families away from their product if they don't address this. I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of 40 unless they are traveling with a group of friends. We enjoyed all the people we met on the ship but there were not many people our age and only one other family with kids near our teenagers age. A second strike against Viking was never having enough time in each port to do things on your own. It seemed that we were always late to pull into a port and when there was free time allotted, it was usually only 30-60 mins at most. EVERY person we spoke to on the ship was disappointed in the lack of time to actually spend shopping and exploring. Each excursion included a lunch but European restaurants are not in a hurry to feed you and we would spend 1.5-2 hours at a meal which took all the free time away. I would strongly encourage them to offer a lunch box option for people who go on excursions and don't want to sit all afternoon for a meal. The worst example was Rothenberg. I was so excited to revisit this town that I remembered going to as a young boy growing up. We were late leaving the ship again, hit traffic, had a 1.5 hour lunch and were left with 45 mins to explore the city. We quit eating with the group and broke free on our own. We also played second fiddle to multiple other Viking cruises that pulled into port on the same day. For example, on our trip to Marksburg Castle, we actually left on time, got to the castle and the first of our groups to tour went into the castle. Then another Viking boat with a 50-60 people arrived late and they moved them ahead of us. This caused the remaining people in our group to have to wait outside in the 90 degree heat for about an hour until the other Viking tour group went through. Then came our final stop in Bamburg where other Viking ships ported before us and we were sent to a shipping yard outside of the city to tie up for the night. Had a beautiful view of metal shipping containers with something rotten in them that smelled awful. We couldn't get off the ship to explore Bamburg at night and didn't want to be on deck because of the smell and view. Not everything was bad but it was not what we were told to expect which was why I gave it a 3* rating. Excursions that we did..... 1) Panoramic Paris- great overview by bus. Problem was Paris traffic which makes a bus tour strenuous and we were supposed to have 1-1.5 hours on our own at Notre Dame (which reopened to view but not go inside) and St. Chappell. We actually had only 25 mins so we didn't explore 2) Luxembourg and American Cemetery- Amazing experience and the walking tour of the town was nice 3) Trier city tour- part bus and part walking and very nice with time to explore which was great. 4) Bernkastle-krus wine tour- great wine tasting but very little time left to explore the town which would have been amazing. 5) Koblenz Marksberg Castle- fantastic castle but being stuck as mentioned above in the heat because another Viking ship got to the castle late was frustrating for everyone. 6) Heidelberg- neat town but we finally realized that if we want to explore the town, we would have to quit eating the provided lunches so we left the group and toured it ourselves and had a blast. Heard the lunch was good but restaurant was not air conditioned well and very hot. 7) Rothenberg- as mentioned, was really looking forward to this and was very disappointed in the amount of time spent in the city. The boat was an hour late arriving to port so that removed all the time we could have had to see it. The trip to Wurzberg Castle was perfect but very few people on the Rothenberg itinerary went to the Castle and missed it. I thought it was great and would strongly encourage people to go. 8) Versailles- amazing castle but it is VERY crowded. Not Vikings fault but really difficult to enjoy when each room is packed with 80-100 people. Would have liked time to spend in the gardens but only had 30 mins sooooo...... 9) Cochem- castle was beautiful and had a bit more time to explore the city which was nice. 10) Nuremberg- bus tour as well as walking tour of city which was nice and we were given a bit of time on our own to explore. 11) Prague- this was truly the highlight of the trip. The hotel was spectacular ( Hilton Prague). The old city is spectacular and the tour to the Palace and downtown was worth the trip. If you get a chance, there is a fantastic 1930's style bar in old ruins under the city called the "Black Angel Bar" which was a real find and worth a stop in. We did the silver package and think it was worth the purchase but remember that house wines and beer are included with lunch and dinner. Top shelf wines are not and liquor is not included so many people choose not to get it and remember that all people in a cabin must be on the package. We stayed in a Veranda room but no balcony. The windows are full length and slide open for a nice view. Rooms were larger than most cruise ships with nice full showers and heated floors. Musical entertainment was a nice married couple that sounded great but all of the music was based around an older crowd as mentioned above. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary looked very interesting, and we got to start in Paris and end in Prague. We traveled with another couple. We're all between 50-60 years old and are very active. My husband and I traveled ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary looked very interesting, and we got to start in Paris and end in Prague. We traveled with another couple. We're all between 50-60 years old and are very active. My husband and I traveled with Avalon a few years ago for the Romantic Rhine cruise and based on that experience, we told our friends we would almost never be on the ship because we would be docked right outside the towns we were visiting and anticipated spending a lot of time checking out the sites. Well, I don't know if it's Viking or just this itinerary, but we spent very little time in any charming cities. Viking relied very heavily on bus transportation. Also, two nights, we docked at charming little towns, but we arrived after 6:00 p.m., and nothing was open unless you just wanted to eat and drink. One of our stops was supposed to be Koblenz, but we never stepped foot in Koblenz. We docked a few miles away in Winningen. Also, at our last stop, Bamberg, we were at an industrial dock several miles outside of the city, with nothing within walking distance. I have to believe Viking either has too many ships and not enough docks, or they are selling their dock space to other cruise lines and docking at cheaper locations. The good: Transfers to and from the airport were flawless. The scenery while cruising was beautiful. The food was delicious, and the service and staff were great. The tours were well-organized with excellent guides. The bad: Too much time on the ship sailing. There just isn't enough to do on board for that much sailing, plus the upper deck is closed the entire time on the Main due to low bridges, so shuffleboard and putt-putt aren't even available. The stops were very rushed, and we never had any time in the towns to explore. Finally the docking locations were terrible, resulting in too much reliance on bus transportation. Below is a synopsis of our stops: Our trip started in Paris, and the transfer from the airport was flawless. We stayed at the La Meridian Etoile. I've read other reviews that didn't like the hotel, but we all thought it was fine. It was a 10 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The provided city tour was very good. The guide was excellent. Traffic was pretty bad, so we didn't have much time at any stops. The last stop was the Eiffel Tower, so we left the group and walked back to the hotel (about a 30 minute walk). We also did an evening boat tour we booked through the concierge and really enjoyed that. On our way to Trier, we stopped at Luxembourg. The city tour was very nice, but we had trouble hearing our guide. It's a beautiful city. We also stopped at the American Cemetery and Memorial, which was excellent. Being retired military, we were grateful to be able to tour it. Embarkation in Trier was very smooth. The ship was clean, and our room, although very small, was comfortable. We had a stateroom with the French balcony. The bathroom was very nice. Even though it was hot, I enjoyed the heated floor and the anti-fog mirrors. The city tour of Trier was excellent, and we had a little time to roam on our own prior to sailing. Our next stop was Bernkastel-Kues. We arrived a little late, so everything was closed by the time we left the ship to walk around. It is a beautiful little town, but there really wasn't anything to do, so we just walked around and took some pictures. Next was Cochem. The walking tour of the town and the tour of the Reichsburg Castle was excellent. We maybe had an hour to tour around on our own, but all-in-all, this was a very nice stop. Our next stop was supposed to be Koblenz, but we ended up docking at Winningen instead around 6:00 p.m. Again, this was a quaint, pretty little town, but there was nothing to do after 6:00 p.m. except eat or drink. We walked around a bit just to get a little exercise. The next morning we caught a bus to Marksburg Castle. Our ship actually arrived on time, but another Viking ship's tour arrived late, so they went ahead of us, so we waited around outside in 90 degree heat for over an hour. When Viking's tour groups are interfering with each other, I do believe this is another indicator that Viking has overextended themselves. The tour itself was excellent, and I really enjoyed seeing the collection of armor and the torture chamber. We took a long bus drive to get to our next stop, Heidelberg. The city tour was very interesting, and we enjoyed eating lunch with one of the University students, but we tried to cut that a little short, so we could have at least a little time to shop and look around. After about 1/2 hour of free time, we toured the Castle. Our tour guide, Charles, was quite interesting and an excellent guide. Amazingly, we actually docked in Wurzburg and didn't have to take a long bus ride to get anywhere. The Bishop's Residenz was amazing....do not miss it! Some people on our tour said they thought it was more beautiful than Versailles. It was worth seeing in spite of the extreme heat. The tour of the town was excellent as well, but again, we only had less than an hour to look around before having to return to the ship. For Bamberg, we docked at a grain elevator and took a bus into town. The town was beautiful, and the tour guide was excellent. After very little free time, we took a bus back to the ship, docked by a rock quarry outside of town. On our bus ride to Prague, we stopped at Nuremberg. This was part bus tour and part walking tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. We had just enough free time to eat lunch and buy a ginger cookie before boarding the bus for Prague. Our arrival at the Hilton in Prague was flawless. Viking has definitely figured out how to handle large groups arriving all at once. The hotel was excellent and within walking distance of downtown. The walking tour the next day was also excellent. The city is beautiful. The architecture is amazing! We did the optional Lobkowicz Palace tour, and we all really enjoyed it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the extension of Zermatt and Geneva. We had been to Zermatt years before and the call of the Matterhorn was before us, We were not so interested in the small towns in Germany along the way so because of cold weather and rain, we stayed with the ship and did not go on walks in those towns. We disembarked in Basil and did a city bus tour. Places we have visted before have all, for better or worse, changed. Our last stop was Zurich before the extension. For the better part of the river cruise, I developed a cough. Passengers were very concerned and offered cough drops and we very caring. I asked our tour director, Boris, when we arrived at our hotel in Zurich, about where I could find a doctor. He didn't know and offered no assistance to answer my question. By then my condition was much worse. It was Raphael at our hotel who guided us to a pharmacy where physicians were great. After exrays and a blood test, my diagnosis was Pneumonia. The physician there warned that we were not to go on the extended trip and we did not. Viking found us a flight with Air Canada to Toronto and then to Philadelphia. It is the people who make your trip. It's not the sights, or the entertainment, but we have found that it is always people. Read Less
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