Sail Date: April 2019
We had received a booklet about the Viking River Cruises from my wife's mother, who got them in the mail, because she had been on a Viking Ocean Cruise to the Nordic countries. We were looking for a River Cruise that could end up in ... Read More
We had received a booklet about the Viking River Cruises from my wife's mother, who got them in the mail, because she had been on a Viking Ocean Cruise to the Nordic countries. We were looking for a River Cruise that could end up in Amsterdam, where we have a friend that lives there. The Rhine River Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam fit our plan perfectly! The Veranda Suite that we got ( Rm. 308) was roomy and beautiful. The full balcony off of the living room was like having our own private piece of Heaven! Being greeted in the morning by groups of beautiful, white Swans was really a treat! The bathroom was surprisingly spacious, and the heated floor in the shower let us know that we were traveling in First Class accomadations! The restaurant was gorgeous, and the food was amazing...especially because of the special menus offered each evening, featuring the local cuisine of each of the places that we visited, day by day. The menu recommendations by Frank, our Hotel Manager, were outstanding! Our experiences on the land excursions were excellent also, and we took one day to explore Cologne by ourselves, opting out of the group excursion, and taking a private Rickshaw tour of the city, away from the crowded places, and getting lots of historical and cultural info from our guide, Victor. We highly recommend the Rickshaw expericence!. Our favorite night, was the special dinner excursion, Dine in Rudesheim am Rhein!! The Food, the Fun, and the People, all made it an evening to remember forever! We felt that we were treated like Royalty the entire trip...and we will certainly be doing another Viking River Cruise in the future! Thank You Viking!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We cruised from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. We decided to go in December so that we could experience the many Christmas markets along the Rhine River. They were amazing. The cruise was better than I ever imagined! The food was ... Read More
We cruised from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. We decided to go in December so that we could experience the many Christmas markets along the Rhine River. They were amazing. The cruise was better than I ever imagined! The food was better than gourmet. I get horribly motion sick, but did not have any issues on this boat. The boat was clean, the staff were ever professional and our cruise director, Sebastian, always went above and beyond. He was funny, too! The tour guides were all local to the port we were in. They were really knowledgable and great story tellers. Our best tour guide was on the Colmar World War II memorial tour. The included excursions were great and we chose to go on several optional tours. I am already planning my next Viking River Cruise. I would highly recommend going on this cruise. Even if you have limited mobility, they had tour groups that were for people who needed a slower pace. They made sure that everybody on the cruise had an enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We absolutely loved our Viking Cruise. This was our first river cruise and and we were told many times that river cruising is different than ocean cruising. It is indeed but it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. We cruised the Rhine ... Read More
We absolutely loved our Viking Cruise. This was our first river cruise and and we were told many times that river cruising is different than ocean cruising. It is indeed but it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. We cruised the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam. We were so impressed with every city we visited and the excursions that were included with the cruise, were quality tours that were lead by interesting tour guides. And Christmas time was such a wonderful time to explore Europe with all the Christmas markets. It was magical. Viking’s attention to detail in every facet of our cruise was impressive, from heated bathroom floors, to water provided on our tours and treats awaiting us as we got back to the boat. We also chose to extend our travel on both sides of the cruise through Viking. Once again, we were not disappointed. We stayed in beautiful hotels in Lucerne Switzerland and Amsterdam. And Viking took care of getting us to where we needed to go every time. I did not have to think about anything - they handled it all. Viking has made a life long customer of me! I can’t wait to book my next Viking Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was the second German December Christmas Markets cruise on Viking with a girlfriend. We had a great time again! We were on the Rhine River and were lucky enough to be able to stick to our itinerary since it had started to rain ... Read More
This was the second German December Christmas Markets cruise on Viking with a girlfriend. We had a great time again! We were on the Rhine River and were lucky enough to be able to stick to our itinerary since it had started to rain enough so that we didn't have to change ships mid cruise. The food on the Alruna was some of the best I have ever had on any ship! The cabins were clean and spacious enough for us and all of our treasures we bought at the Christmas markets. The staff was superlative! Everyone was extremely professional and friendly and knowledgeable of the area. We had a great time and look forward to another Viking trip. We loved the itinerary which started in Switzerland and ended in Amsterdam. Each town had a Christmas market and they were each different due to the locale. Strasbourg was the best! Overall excellent experience! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This trip was with 8 of our closest friends and THAT made it very special to us. We generally travel alone, but this time we took along friends. We all spent 2 extra days in our arrival city, Basel, Switzerland. Most of us took a side trip ... Read More
This trip was with 8 of our closest friends and THAT made it very special to us. We generally travel alone, but this time we took along friends. We all spent 2 extra days in our arrival city, Basel, Switzerland. Most of us took a side trip to the Swiss Alps which were covered in snow and the sights were fantastic. I highly recommend you ask your Viking rep about this trip to Lucerne if you have the time.Our embarkation and debarkation went very well. No complaints about that part and they took care of all the luggage from the hotel to the ship, and since most of us also extended for 2 more days at our ending city - Amsterdam - all our luggage was taken from the ship to that hotel as well. Very nice. The ship is very nice. Smaller than the regular cruise liners, but that makes it special. I believe there were only about 190 folks on our ship. We got the balcony cabin even though it was December, but that extra room was nice. Some of the did not get this room type and said their room was much smaller. As for the dining, fantastic. The food is very good and lots of it. Breakfast was either buffet or order from the menu. Dinners were multi-course and always several options to choose from. Wine or soda if you didn't drink wine was always included with all meals. Many of the lunches we were out on an excursion or in town enjoying the local cuisine and visiting the Christmas Market. My only complaint about the dining was that they didn't do reservations. There were two large groups on the ship, but only one table setup that would hold 10 folks. There was some "territory" issues the first couple days, but in the end, our group did get the larger table. I can't say that I was a fan of the entertainment on board the ship in the evenings. Usually it was a gentleman playing piano and singing. We did not usually stay to listen to him. Dinners were late - started at 7PM, and with our larger group lasted a while, so usually we just went back to our cabin after dinner. I can say that the included excursions for each port city were very nice. They were mostly walking tours so if you have difficulty walking, some of them may have been a little hard to do. What I really liked was that they were all early in the morning and were usually done by the time the markets opened, so we had plenty of time to walk through them. This gave my husband the opportunity to hear the history and me the time to spend in the markets, nice! We did do a couple extra excursions at an extra cost and they were also very nice. The service on board was also very good. The room stewards had the rooms cleaned up most days before you got back from breakfast and turned down by the time you were done with dinner. The waiters were exceptional and stayed with one area, so by the time the cruise was done, we all knew each other quite well. Our weather was not the best - very rainy. However, due to this rain, our cruise was the first one this year that was able to sail all the way up the Rhine River and NOT have to switch boats as we thought we might have at the start of the trip. THAT was VERY nice!! Of course after we made it through the lower part of the river, would have been nice to have a couple sunny days. We made out though. The only bad thing about the rain was the day we were at Kinderdijk. This was were the windmills were, but it was raining so bad and very windy that most of our group opt'd not to venture out and those that did came back early. Only one couple in our group was brave enough to stay the whole time and they were completely soaked by the time they returned to the ship. Would I go again? I would defiantly do a Viking cruise again if I were to take another river cruise. We have done the Danube (different cruise vendor) and now the Rhine, so if I decide to do another area that Viking cruises to, definitely. The break on the airfare was nice too. Most of us upgraded to Economy Plus which helped with the long flight from the states to Switzerland. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. Chose this trip primarily for the Christmas Markets which were fabulous! Each one slightly different and unique but lots of fun and did most of my Christmas shopping. Love the souvenir mugs from each ... Read More
Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. Chose this trip primarily for the Christmas Markets which were fabulous! Each one slightly different and unique but lots of fun and did most of my Christmas shopping. Love the souvenir mugs from each market. Best excursion was the Colmar WWII - guide was amazing and I learned so much about the area and the war. Other local guides were also very knowledgeable and made history come alive as well as providing information on each area visited. Food was totally incredible. Liked both the restaurant and the more informal atmosphere of eating in the lounge with smaller group of friends. For a person who is really not one for desserts, I had some of all of them --- luscious. Staff were all attentive and helped to make the experience great overall. Even though we had to switch ships due to low water levels, all was handled professionally. Already booked my next Viking Cruise for this fall! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
For several years my wife and I have been discussing going on a Christmas market river cruise. Finally, in celebration of my 60th birthday, she booked us a 7 day get away cruise with Viking along the famous Rhine River. Unfortunately we ... Read More
For several years my wife and I have been discussing going on a Christmas market river cruise. Finally, in celebration of my 60th birthday, she booked us a 7 day get away cruise with Viking along the famous Rhine River. Unfortunately we were one week to early for Amsterdam's Christmas markets so we made it up exploring the city. Since our trip began in Amsterdam we booked an extra day to get over jet lag and enjoy the city. We had purchased tickets in advance online to visit the Ann Frank house. Amsterdam was decorated nicely for Christmas and enjoyed a pleasant night time walking tour of the city with all the sparkling lights. Made time to visit the Van Gogh museum and down the street get a photo in front of the red and white "Iamsterdam" sign.  We really enjoyed the hospitality of the dutch people. Our first stop was a cold and foggy morning excursion to Kinderdijk where we enjoyed numerous photo opportunities and even got to tour the inside of a working windmill and later in the day enjoyed touring a cheese factory. I learned that cows on the dairy cheese farms are treated pretty good since there health and emotions can influence the quality of the cheese. Since they raise very happy cows, I think we ended up buying 10 lbs of cheese. We absolutely enjoyed Cologne, and the beautiful cathedral. Inside the Cologne cathedral is the Shrine of the Three Kings  It was amazing to see the city all decorated in celebration for Christmas. Cologne had six individual Christmas markets and we made a point to visit every single one off them. One even had a ice skating ring in the middle of it. Every market had a different theme with individual gluehwien cups to match. The historical part of the city is beautifully decorated at Christmas to the point we felt like we were walking in a Christmas novel. I purchased a really cool Christmas tree hat that had blinking lights that mysteriously didn't make the journey back to the US. The out door Christmas beer gardens were so festive and alive with laughter. We enjoyed this city so much we contemplated missing the boat and staying the rest of the week just to enjoy the atmosphere however we gave into our desire to visit and experience other towns. I had seen dozens of pictures of Marksburg Castle, but was surprised by the actual size. Its a big castle, so we enjoyed the tour. The views of the Rhine river from this castle along with the colorful fall leaves was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed viewing all the small villages as we cruised along the Rhine and only had one day of light misty rain during our entire trip. Our decision to visit Heidelberg and its Christmas markets was a good one. This beautiful city along the Rhine is one you don't want to miss. We dined at one of the local restaurants for lunch and purchased lots of goodies for friends and family to share back home. The make a lot of fancy liquors in this town.  I ate so much good German food that I think the bus busted a shock when I stepped onto it.  Strasbourg, France was gorgeous with every shops exterior decorated for Christmas. The Strasbourg Cathedral was another Gothic architectural beauty that reminded me of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. I was surrounded by hundreds of Christmas booths selling everything from treats to ornaments. The Place Kieber Central Square with the huge Christmas tree fully decorated was amazing at night. The Christmas cookies in this town are addicting, so don't think for a minute your going to eat just one. Best cookies ever, even better than grandma's. We purchased more gifts to stuff into the luggage to the point I was wandering how we were going to ever get it to the airport. Colmar, Germany was another pleasant treat. This small German town reminded me of a Christmas story picture book I had as a child. The town was architecturally beautiful with all the decorations designed to fill your heart with Christmas spirit. My wife managed to buy more gifts to the point I am certain we are going to have to purchase another ticket for an extra bag for the flight home.Basel, Switzerland was the end of our Christmas market journey and decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the markets. They had three wonderful markets, each with their individual themes but were much more crowded especially at night. We really enjoyed the sausage, pretzels and beer. One of the markets even had several warming stations where you could sit and drink more gluehwien. Basel, was a little more expensive than the other markets so I was glad my wife had purchased more of our presents in France and Germany. Every market was different. If you see something you like in one market, don't assume the next one you see will be selling the same thing. If you see something you like, go on and purchase it, don't wait till the next market. So if you want one of those green lighted Christmas tree hats, you better purchase it in Cologne. I had heard reports about the Rhine being low but Viking managed the detours in a acceptable fashion. We were unable to visit one town due to changing boats, however the bus ride to the second boat was beautiful. Seeing the countryside along the Rhine is well worth a bus ride. The staff on both ships were absolutely wonderful. Our rooms were so comfortable and pleasant we had difficulty leaving them every morning to participate in the excursions. We never had a bad meal and everyone one the boat was extremely pleasant. Viking runs a smooth and efficient cruise line, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the journey. In summary, we really enjoyed our trip even though we headed back to the U.S. with an extra piece of luggage full of Christmas goodies (however that bag of extra cookies didn't make it). Along the journey experiencing all the beautiful and magical towns decorated for Christmas I managed to find my Christmas spirit, and that made making this journey well worth the trip. We look forward to many more Christmas Market Cruises in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We have never been on a river cruise or Germany before.We were concerned about the low waters in the Rhine but they managed the detours in a very acceptable fashion. Highlights: Meeting people from all over and interacting with them. ... Read More
We have never been on a river cruise or Germany before.We were concerned about the low waters in the Rhine but they managed the detours in a very acceptable fashion. Highlights: Meeting people from all over and interacting with them. Made friends with a couple from Australia whom we hope to visit some day. Lutz the cruise director was outstanding. He managed a crowd of well traveled customers flawlessly. Evelyn the hotel manager could not have been better. Enthusiastic, bubbly and always there to help. Food was excellent. Hate to say that I gained 8 pounds! .We have been on many ocean cruises but without question this is the best cruise we ever sailed on. The included excursions were well planned and informative. Don't hesitate if you want a river cruise. Viking knows how to do them. Although we had to bus around low water the transfer to a sister ship was not a major issue. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Three weeks before our sail date they emailed us that the Rhein was low and we may have to swap boats. We started on the Tialfi and I explained to the Matre D that it was an anniversary ... Read More
We chose Viking to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Three weeks before our sail date they emailed us that the Rhein was low and we may have to swap boats. We started on the Tialfi and I explained to the Matre D that it was an anniversary trip and could he do something special (we did this based on the guidance of the tour director Lutz) because of the boat swap it almost didn’t happen and I had to ask twice more to make sure we foot a little special treatment at dinner. They kept telling us there was a chance we wouldn’t have to swap, but we did. We ended up swapping to the Alruna.Then we found out they have been swapping for weeks. It felt like we spent more time packing, unpacking, riding buses and sitting in industrial ports than we did actually enjoying a cruise in the river. We showed up on a Monday in Cologne and all of the museums were closed. We showed up in Strasbourg on All Saints day and everything was closed. The Black Forest trip was a bus ride with a stop at a glorified rest area, then back to the ship. We arrived in Basel in just enough time to get in a bus back to the airport to leave. Everyone on the ship said their goal was to surpass our expectations and Lutz and crew tried. The food was average on the boat. The veranda stateroom was a waste because there was rarely any scenery. We had a wonderful time exploring Kinderdjyk, Koblenz, Cologne and Strasbourg. But we could have had that experience for a fraction of the cost. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Had to try it for our selves after hearing good things. All our expectations an wants were met. Cruise very professional an accommodations very nice for size of ship. Food was prepared to your liking and a wide variety. The size of the ... Read More
Had to try it for our selves after hearing good things. All our expectations an wants were met. Cruise very professional an accommodations very nice for size of ship. Food was prepared to your liking and a wide variety. The size of the excursions was the most attractive to me . Very personable an very timely. The ports were of great interest an the guides were very knowledgeable. The little things that Viking did set them apart from other cruises we have been on. Always felt welcome an appreciated. The staff are very well trained. When you are spoken to by name it feels a little special . The severs in the dining area were always around making sure we had what we wanted prepared to our liking. We felt like if you had a bad meal it it was our fault. The chef would prepare your meal like you wanted it. My wife is vegan an the catered to her food choices. Read Less
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