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
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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