Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I did this cruise because we wanted to experience a different type of cruise experience. We usually cruise on sailing ships (e.g. Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Star Clippers, Windstar) and we generally like smaller ships. We ... Read More
My wife and I did this cruise because we wanted to experience a different type of cruise experience. We usually cruise on sailing ships (e.g. Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Star Clippers, Windstar) and we generally like smaller ships. We were worried about the water levels and if we would have to change ships midway - fortunately, we were able to stay on the ship through the whole cruise. The ship itself is beautiful, with great rooms. We enjoyed having a balcony where we can watch the swans when at port and also the locks when changing to different parts ofthe Rhine. The food was excellent, as were the wine choices. We generally stuck to the house wines and id not get a drink package, because we are not big drinkers. We met friendly people while on board. Had many pleasant conversations. The view while on the river were spectacular. My wife was able to get many beautiful photos. We enjoyed the off shore excursions, especially the dinner at the monastery. However, we weren't too thrilled about braving the storm to check out the windmills. In fact, my wife would not walk to the windmill, due to the large amount of rain falling. Unfortunately, she had an upper respiratory infection, that worsened. Overall, a fun trip. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Viking reputation. It was our first Viking river cruise and second river cruise overall. We liked the ease of embarkation/disembarkation and the included excursions for every port. We booked this cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Viking reputation. It was our first Viking river cruise and second river cruise overall. We liked the ease of embarkation/disembarkation and the included excursions for every port. We booked this cruise late and got one of the last rooms and it was on the bottom deck right underneath the gang plank, so we never had a view. The service was exceptional and the food was very good. The ship entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular. My favorite part of the cruise was the Rudesheim dinner excursion and the cruise up the middle rhine gorge, seeing castle after marvelous castle, while sipping delicious German Rose Sect. Every port was wonderful and we bookended our trip with 3 days in Zurich/Lucerne and 3 days in Bruges and Amsterdam. I want to live in Bruges one day! Amsterdam was pretty filthy and too crowded. All in all, a delightful vacation and we will definitely be sailing with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had just spent 2 weeks traveling in Italy and thought this would be a good way to wind down and relax after a hectic travel schedule. We arrived in Basel by train the day before we boarded the Alruna, so we did have a day and a half to ... Read More
We had just spent 2 weeks traveling in Italy and thought this would be a good way to wind down and relax after a hectic travel schedule. We arrived in Basel by train the day before we boarded the Alruna, so we did have a day and a half to explore Basel before we left on the cruise. The cruise was interesting, many lovely people on board, good food. The cabin was large enough with enough amenities. There were however, too few crew members, and they had several roles to fill on the cruise. Several times the "bartenders" didn't know how to make a simple drink, such as a Margarita They admitted they were not really bartenders, but filling in as necessary. Most of the excursions were interesting and well planned. Our problem with a few of them were that the tour guides were moving too quickly for many of the cruisers. They need to understand that most of the tourists on this type of cruise are a little bit older, many with mobility issues, especially on the uneven terrain in castles, cobblestone streets, etc. We asked several times for the guides to slow down but the usual answer was "they were on a schedule". We understand that, but to either leave the tour or lag way behind and hear nothing of the history, or description of what we were seeing was not acceptable. The on board entertainment was very limited, and we should have expected that with a ship of its size. The comradery among the passengers was, to me, the highlight of the trip. We made many new friends that we hope will carry on for years to come. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise when recommended by another family member. Included excursions made it easy to see the highlights of the cities visited. I would have like to see more entertainment available especially at night. It was fitted for a ... Read More
I chose this cruise when recommended by another family member. Included excursions made it easy to see the highlights of the cities visited. I would have like to see more entertainment available especially at night. It was fitted for a more mature crowd. Our group was ages 55-65 but we still like to be active after dinner. No lights on the shuffleboard for nighttime playing was a damper to the fun we were having. The food was good. Many, many choices. Staff were excellent and friendly. We were definitely dotted on! Transportation to and from ports and excursions was top of the class. Post and pre excursions were magnificent! Don't pass those opportunities to spend a few days before and after disembarking as this only added pleasure to our vacations! Airline transportation was very bad (American Airlines)! Delayed departure, food was horrible and as well as the choice of movies. The plane's drop down seat trays we're filthy. On board staff were below standards of friendliness. When flying overseas I prefer to have my own television with choices of movies/music/television shows. The movies were very juvenile which made the flight seem even longer. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Since there are plenty of postings already available for this cruise, I am just going to add what I did not find when I was doing research and what I deem worthwhile to also mention. At the time of booking, we took advantage of the ... Read More
Since there are plenty of postings already available for this cruise, I am just going to add what I did not find when I was doing research and what I deem worthwhile to also mention. At the time of booking, we took advantage of the promotional price of $395 per person to have the flight arrangement through Viking. Overall, this promotion did not work out well for us. The schedule we received about three months prior involved three flight segments each way. We ended up having to pay an extra $150 per person in order to have two flight segments each way and to have different dates. Therefore, the airfare deal did not turn out to be as good as advertised. I feel that we were given an undesirable air schedule purposefully. In addition, since we booked through AAA, Viking representatives would only deal with the travel agent from AAA and not directly with me. I am glad we changed the flight schedule as our ship did not depart according to schedule because two passengers who had three flight segments arrived late to Basel. We had gone through that stressful experience once before and wowed not to put ourselves in that situation again. For the schedule of the return flights, we only had a 65-minute connection time. I questioned it but I was told to not worry about it as the gates will be close by. That was not the case. We also had to go through passport control. In the end, we had to dash through the terminal and only made the second segment by 5 minutes. Our luggage did not make it onto the plane though. For this trip, the best we were able to manage was to arrive one day before the cruise. We booked our own hotel a tram stop away from the train station in Basel. Thanks to the Cruise Critic community, I learned about Bus #50 to transport from the airport to the train station. We had our hotel information ready to show the bus driver so that we don’t need to pay for the bus fare. But no one asked for proof. In fact, we were never asked to show the transport pass we received from the hotel on subsequent rides on various trams. After we checked in to our hotel, we went back out looking for dinner near the train station. We ended up eating at the Markthalle. It is essentially a food court. It is less than a 5-minute walk east of the SBB train station. If you ride the number 50 bus from the airport, you will see it on the left just before arriving. Since I did not book the hotel through Viking, I needed to know the port of embarkation. The MyVikingJourney.com site identified three potential ports. While we were waiting to board the plane for our first flight segment, I called the 800 number for Viking. I was informed that the port will be at St. Johanns. After we retrieved our luggage in Basel, we saw Viking representatives who were there to pick up our shipmates. One of those representatives confirmed that the port will be at St. Johanns. We took Tram #11 from the SBB train station to St. Johanns Tor stop the next day. The dock is a short 5-minute walk downhill from the tram stop. However, our ship was not docked there. Fortunately, I had done the research and knew where the other two ports are relative to the St. Johanns port--across the river. I ended up walking along the river to find our ship while my wife stayed with the luggage. Upon getting close enough to see the name of our ship, I deduced that it was docked at Klybeck. We retraced our steps and took Tram #11 back three stops to transfer to Tram #8. The information for the transfer points are displayed on the tram. We got off at Kleinhuningen and dragged our luggage to the dock. Before you become overly concerned, the extra hassle can be avoided by booking everything through Viking because pick-up and drop-off services are part of the package. We elected the alternative because we don’t mind the extra research and pay only a fraction of the price for the add-ons. We had a quick lunch after we checked in so that we can join the first walking tour at 1:30 p.m. There was another tour scheduled for 3:00 p.m. At the conclusion of our tour, we wanted to spend more time in the city. Our options were to either catch the bus back to the ship with the second tour or take Tram #8 back at our desired time. We opted for the latter in order to have time to visit the monument at the meeting point of three countries (Switzerland, France and Germany). We got back to the ship with 30 minutes to spare ahead of the 6 p.m. briefing. We received a letter to make disembarkation arrangement at the front desk. We were informed that our ship is going to dock at a port in an industrial area of Amsterdam. The two options are to take a taxi to the hotel that Viking can help arrange or to take a Viking shuttle to the Centraal Station at 10 a.m. I elected the free shuttle option since I did not know where the dock is going to be but I already knew how to get to the hotel from the train station. While on the shuttle, we learned that the shuttle runs a loop from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between the port where we got on and the port by the train station. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Have always been interested in taking a river cruise and had a chance to join relatives on this one. The Rhine itinerary is wonderful with each and every stop full of interesting things to see. The ship staff was truly fantastic and were ... Read More
Have always been interested in taking a river cruise and had a chance to join relatives on this one. The Rhine itinerary is wonderful with each and every stop full of interesting things to see. The ship staff was truly fantastic and were attentive to our every need. We have ocean cruised many times and found river cruise staterooms a little small and missed having a chair or something in the room. However we did not spend a lot of time in the room. The view of the river from a French Balcony is wonderful and we really liked being close to the water. I guess our only slight disappointment was in the food. Breakfast was fantastic, lunch was usually great, but dinner was often somewhat of a disappointment. The waiters were incredibly busy and even though they were using electronic devices to take our orders we failed to get items we had ordered like a soup or salad. They were so busy it was hard to get their attention to correct the problem and we certainly didn't go hungry because In fairness when we realized they had skipped the item we didn't mention it to them. For our taste the food was also a little bland. On a positive note if you liked wine with your meal your glass did not stay empty long! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I have heard from many acquaintances the Rhine cruise is one of the best. This was our first River Cruise and we chose Viking based on our Experience on the Ocean Cruise which was outstanding. We were not disappointed. Getting on board ... Read More
I have heard from many acquaintances the Rhine cruise is one of the best. This was our first River Cruise and we chose Viking based on our Experience on the Ocean Cruise which was outstanding. We were not disappointed. Getting on board and settled in was a snap and meals and drinks were available as soon as we boarded. On the day all the castles were coming in bunches we had a glorious sunny day and the upper deck was full of people lounging and enjoying the weather and the views. The PA system was providing descriptions as we cruised past the multiple castles for several hours. Waiters were bringing hors' d oeuvres refreshments. It was a fantastic day of cruising. We enjoyed the day trips on all the dockings. The evenings were occupied with music and dancing in the lounge and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The piano player bartender and wait staff were very good in the lounge. The debarkation was well coordinated to get us on our way at the completion of the tour. After being on the Ocean cruise we were a bit disappointed in the meals on board as there was less selection and service was not as good, Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Traveled with sister and booking was last minute decision so the only cabin available was owner's suite, Explorer. Thus airport transfer and ship embarkation was private and perfect. Cabin and service were up to expectations. ... Read More
Traveled with sister and booking was last minute decision so the only cabin available was owner's suite, Explorer. Thus airport transfer and ship embarkation was private and perfect. Cabin and service were up to expectations. Weather in November was cold thus didn't enjoy any outdoor dining or balcony cruising. As it being our first river cruise, found both positives and negatives with the style. Evening dinner call was at 6:30 pm after the next day tour review in lounge (not to be missed) which meant 150 + people trying to save seats for each other in main dining room. That was a mess. Did eat dinner at the alternative limited menu restaurant every night. Food was good as with most cruises. Tours are organized and well planned. Do not pre-book and pay for any online optional tours unless you are certain. Ship could not change or refund your money for anything done online. Missed spa and pool services of ocean ships as there is nothing to do on the river boat. It is truly a destination oriented, floating hotel style of traveling. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our fourth Viking River cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Viking now uses its own fleet of buses which are much more comfortable than local tour buses. Also, the restrooms work, which is a big problem on local tour buses. ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking River cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Viking now uses its own fleet of buses which are much more comfortable than local tour buses. Also, the restrooms work, which is a big problem on local tour buses. One complaint...our cabin was on the starboard side, and the ship tied up with the starboard side facing the pier about 80% of the time. No idea why. We booked this tour to see the rivers, not the shoreline. Some other people on the cruise complained that the noise and vibration in the aft cabins was very disturbing. Walked back aft one evening while underway, and the vibration was very strong. Definitely want to be in the forward part of the ship. Rating system at the end of the cruise was very confusing. Ratings were "Met expectations" and "Exceeded expectations". This was our fourth Viking Cruise, and we have very high expectations because of our prior experience. Not sure it was possible or feasible to exceed our very high expectations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We enjoyed our Danube cruise the year before and thought the Rhine one would be a good one too. I travel with my sister and this is our second Viking trip but our 4th European trip together. The service on Viking cruises is wonderful, ... Read More
We enjoyed our Danube cruise the year before and thought the Rhine one would be a good one too. I travel with my sister and this is our second Viking trip but our 4th European trip together. The service on Viking cruises is wonderful, the food great and the excursions have something for everyone. The castle in Heidleburg was very interesting and we had a young college student that majored in history that was very knowledgeable about the castle which gave us a lot of insight into the history of it. My sister was not able to do the Marksburg Castle because it was too strenuous and we felt it should not be the included excursion for that day. We plan to do another Viking cruise if my sister's health permits. We are thinking about the Elbe cruise or perhaps the Russia one. We are not that interested in the ocean ones as yet but perhaps at a later date. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
I've been on three Viking cruises and this one had the best food. There was the usual Viking great customer service. The tours that came with the trip were good. Our guide at the dutch mills was poor, which is unusual for Viking ... Read More
I've been on three Viking cruises and this one had the best food. There was the usual Viking great customer service. The tours that came with the trip were good. Our guide at the dutch mills was poor, which is unusual for Viking guides. Others were the far-above-average quality that we expect from Viking. This tour was less attractive to some because a large amount of the tour went through industrial areas - more time than would be expected by watching the advertising which focuses on castles, of course. The hotel manager was entertaining and her communication skills were excellent. The cruise director was amusing and communicated well also. All staff in the public positions were considerate and helpful. Staff behind-the-scenes must be as well, as all service aspects of the cruise went extremely well. The room was comfortable for the category purchased and it is a amazing that such a comfortable bathroom can be squeezed in a small space. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose Viking from friends recommendations, and we liked that they published prices online without going through 'request a quote' delays. It was our honeymoon, and literally everything about the cruise was fantastic. The ... Read More
We chose Viking from friends recommendations, and we liked that they published prices online without going through 'request a quote' delays. It was our honeymoon, and literally everything about the cruise was fantastic. The staff, from Nick our program director to the cleaning crews, were the best. The food, quantity and quality as well as quality wines, etc. we're all top quality. We chose the upgrade for $150 each to include upgraded liquor for the week. That included top shelf cognac bourbon and an array of the best alcoholic beverages. The view of castles and the wine country along the Rhine were breathtaking. We very much enjoyed the tours in various cities including Heidelburg and Cologne. We give the Viking organization the highest rating in every aspect, and we both really couldn't come up with any suggestions that could have improved our 'over the top' experience. Even the weather was perfect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Wanted to try Viking Longship- had not done the Rhine nor been to Switzerland before. Booked on early bird discount- airfare was terrific, booked through Viking and paid to have airline of our choice, airports and extension of dates. Flew ... Read More
Wanted to try Viking Longship- had not done the Rhine nor been to Switzerland before. Booked on early bird discount- airfare was terrific, booked through Viking and paid to have airline of our choice, airports and extension of dates. Flew to Zurich and spent 3 days before taking train to Basel for ship. Traveling with another couple- we were able to take excursions in the same group. Restaurant was terrific- food and service was excellent, cruise director was great, everything on the cruise was just as advertised. We had lowest priced cabin which was clean and comfortable- a little small, but most of the cabins were the same size. The local guides for the excursions were very knowledgable and the group size, and hearing devices were perfect for the old town and other small venues we visited. We had gorgeous clear weather for the narrated trip along the Rhine for the castles. On the basis of that trip, we have booked a Viking ocean cruise next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our first choice was actually the Elbe River, but we were concerned about the river level being as low as it had been the previous year. Passengers last year had to be bussed to some of the tour sites. Thus, our second choice was the ... Read More
Our first choice was actually the Elbe River, but we were concerned about the river level being as low as it had been the previous year. Passengers last year had to be bussed to some of the tour sites. Thus, our second choice was the Rhine since we are more familiar with the area. We were delighted. Our cabin was immaculate, and we were looked after by a delightful stewardess. We had two restaurants to choose from and the food was fantastic. Lighter fare was always available, along with gourmet selections. The wait-staff was charming and efficient. We took all of the included tours and chose one additional offering. The tour guides at each stop were entertaining and knowledgeable. We wouldn't have missed any of it! Although there were evening programs offered, we most often were perfectly content to retire early. We are both in our 70's and the days activities were all-consuming. Our tour director was trying very hard to be enthusiastic, entertaining and encouraging. We found her a bit too ebullient at times, but others seemed to get caught up in her enthusiasm. One shining light for us was the Viking consierge at our hotel in Basel. We arrived two days before our river cruise began so that we could have a chance to see something of Basel. This woman made suggestions, actually walked us to the best place to get a tram pass and train tickets to Lucerne, directed us to little-known areas of the old city, and just generally made our visit very special. Read Less
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