Sail Date: March 2013
What a marvelous experience we enjoyed! From the accommodations and staff, to the food and land tours, every detail was carefully orchestrated to allow all passengers to have the greatest trip possible. The benefit of river cruises is the ... Read More
What a marvelous experience we enjoyed! From the accommodations and staff, to the food and land tours, every detail was carefully orchestrated to allow all passengers to have the greatest trip possible. The benefit of river cruises is the smaller number of passengers, allowing people to actually interact and to get to know one another. By the end of the trip, we felt as though we had made friends with a number of people and have had contact with them since returning home. The crew members were amazing! They went out of their way to make certain every passenger had the perfect trip. It was the "little" gestures that made it an exceptional trip. When it was unseasonably cold for one land trip, we walk back onboard to crew members waiting at the door, greeting us with hot drinks. Another day, after being out all day on a land tour, they greeted us with warm hand towels to freshen our face and hands. I have no desire to ever take a huge ocean cruise, for the river cruise has won my heart. We are already talking about where our next trip will be! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
I booked on impulse late and got the last available cabin,but it was an upgrade for the price and on the top deck which gave excellent views. Amsterdam to Budapest and the lot in between, including locks. The cruise blogs tell you that ... Read More
I booked on impulse late and got the last available cabin,but it was an upgrade for the price and on the top deck which gave excellent views. Amsterdam to Budapest and the lot in between, including locks. The cruise blogs tell you that these cruises are different from those on the ocean and its very true. Only 180 passengers with 50 crew, so you get to know most people and the crew members get to know you. But you need stamina. Viking have inclusive visits at each stop and these are perfectly adequate for seeing the area. The breaking up of the groups into normal/ adventurous, and slow for those with limited get up and go was good. Yes there are optional excursions (at a price),but if you do your homework, and unless it is really something you NEED to see, you can use Shank's pony and explore on your own. You need to pace yourself and NOT go back to the boat after the morning tour for that lunch and free booze. Have a good breakfast (but not excessive), take some fruit and find somewhere for coffee whilst you explore. So you also need discipline. Now the food - yes there is an awful lot of it, and whilst some grazed and drank their way through each day, if you are sensible you will again apply common sense. Some people think that because they've paid for it they must consume it. A big gripe are the individuals who fill their plates then leave half of it. Would they do that at home ....perhaps. But it is plain insulting to those who have prepared what are excellent dishes, and coming from a family who number chefs and caterers in their ranks (not me I'm a medic), I do not understand this mentality. We had free beer and house wines and these are quite adequate. Now you can buy special wines etc but for many who have saved for this type of holiday - is there any need?. Viking home wines are perfectly palatable. A word of warning. They do offer an alcohol "silver deal" where you can upgrade your wines and beers, cocktails and drink yourself into oblivion. You'd need to - at a cost equivalent to £200. Don't bother. Dress code interested us. It was described as casual, but what we discovered was this meant different things depending on where you came from! The evening dinner was a 5 course affair equivalent to a good restaurant in its layout, service and food. We liked to get dressed into what I would call smart casual - its all part of this sort of holiday; so shower, shave and into a shirt and tie with smart sports jacket, whilst the other half had a range of accessories she could switch around. First night we seemed to be the only ones who bothered. Gradually the women started making an effort and eventually some of the men. But even for the captain's farewell dinner some stayed in the clothes they had worn all day. Can't understand it but then I'm a traditional Brit and even wore a tie at the coalface when the NHS clip boards told us we shouldn't. The Skadi was a fabulous ship, one of this years new ships and very well appointed. The staff were welcoming and attentive and got to be very friendly as long as you responded in kind. They certainly worked hard and long hours This was an excellent holiday that I would recommend to anyone as you covered so much ground and got to those towns and cities that you otherwise wouldn't. Yes it IS tiring and if you can I'd advise s few days city stop-over at the end if you can afford the time and money. We did ours independently of Viking in Budapest - had a boutique hotel at a fraction of the cost of the posh hotels Viking use (see review on tripadvisor - Brody House). The extra days let you unwind and slow down on food etc. If I have one gripe it is the advice given on tipping. This is not natural to those of us from the UK, (Canada and Oz as well and we had some discussions that showed broad agreement on the points I'm raising). The recommended rates should be ignored and individuals should not feel obliged to pay up. After all some who have saved their pennies for this special holiday may well not be able to afford this extra expense. It would be better if the cruise company paid their staff a good rate rather than hinting they could double or treble their income with tips and it was included in the price. Some firms already do this. Also don't be fobbed off into adding any tips to your bill at the end (mine came to 29 euros, but I am one of the last big spenders; and that included some laundry). If you want to leave a tip, use the envelopes and specify who they are to go to - or hand them to the individual themselves whilst saying thank-you. So would we travel with Viking again. Yes definitely.. I'm already trying to chose between 2 itineraries for 2015. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Often your cruise experience depends on your cruise director and hotel manager and we had two of the best. Jochgum (Joey) Schuijt and Wilhelm Steinbrunner. The ship's staff was well trained to meet our needs whether it was meals or ... Read More
Often your cruise experience depends on your cruise director and hotel manager and we had two of the best. Jochgum (Joey) Schuijt and Wilhelm Steinbrunner. The ship's staff was well trained to meet our needs whether it was meals or our room comfort . The tours were run efficiently as organized by Joey. The food was excellent with just enough local fare to make you feel you were away. There was always an optional safe choice for those who desired it. The tours most of the time required walking over cobblestoned streets and up and down hills. They offer a more leisurely tour for those who require it. Local tour guides were excellent as was their English. In towns with universities the guides were often college students and very knowledgeable. The city stops were well timed so you never felt exhausted. Disembarkation was smooth with staff at the airport to assist. On board entertainment was good and the piano player Sylvia was great. The entertainment was not the big shows as with the ocean cruises but still good. One minor glitch that was handled extremely well by Joey was while on tour our ship was to meet us down river after going through several locks. While going through a lock it was bumped from behind by another ship. This created a several hour delay in meeting us. Instead of leaving us on a bus or at the dock waiting, we were told to go into a pub order a drink and keep the receipt which was taken off by bill at the end of the cruise. My only regret was that I did not upgrade to a balcony or French balcony but overall it did not deter from a great experience. Everyone we spoke to on this cruise held much the same opinion. Viking does a superb job. I would recommend them. I would also recommend you research the weather as we had great weather also with but two days of rain Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We did this same stretch of the river Danube last summer with Viking's Grand European Itinerary on Viking Odin and loved it. The December Danube Waltz itinerary might sail down the same river but is a totally different experience. I ... Read More
We did this same stretch of the river Danube last summer with Viking's Grand European Itinerary on Viking Odin and loved it. The December Danube Waltz itinerary might sail down the same river but is a totally different experience. I don't think I truly appreciated what we had seen sailing from Passau to Budapest, stopping at Christmas markets along the way until returning home. Then, it seemed as though we had been to a magical land that was a unique experience. Sizzling bratwurst on the grills of those markets along with Ghluwein, a potent holiday beverage were made possible with a tour included in the price at every port. On the ship, with less than 200 passengers, the crew is happy, attentive and most know you by name. I have to say, I can't remember the last time I felt more like tipping at the end of it. They really worked hard to take care of us every step of the way. I liked that too; from the time we collected our luggage upon landing in Germany until we were on our flight coming back home, Viking was with us. Actually, they started prepping us for the trip in advance of sailing with a doc package (they still send them) that included nice books on the places we would see, a day by day detailed itinerary and more. Living in Florida, we are not big fans of cold weather and we sure got plenty of it on this cruise. But it was totally worth being a little cold to see the amazing things that come around every bend of the river. I'd do this again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our third cruise on Viking River Crusies and the first time on one of the new Longships. The new ships are really nice. The are well appointed and more spacious than the previous Viking ships we had experienced. The food on board ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Viking River Crusies and the first time on one of the new Longships. The new ships are really nice. The are well appointed and more spacious than the previous Viking ships we had experienced. The food on board the ship was excellent. One of the reasons we come back to Viking River Cruises is the casual atmosphere and the nice peolpe we meet from other parts of the US as well as people from other countries. Another reason we come back are the Viking employees. They have always been so nice and helpful as well as being fun. You can talk to them like friends and after a couple of days that's what they become, friends. They always are there to make sure you are taken care of and have everything you need. The cruise was fun with a lot of interesting ports of call and things to do. Where to begin? Amtersdam was full of historical sites from the Anne Frank House to the Rijksmuseum. Our next stop was the quaint town of Hoorn. After a walking tour we did something quite interesting here. We were broken into smaller groups and were able to visit with one of the local residents in her home. In Arnhem we took an optional tour to the Kroller-Muller museum with it's enormous collection of impressionist art. We enjoyed the story of Kinderdijk and the chance to vist an operational windmill. This was a real treat and we got a better idea of why windmills were so important to Holland. Bruges was a gorgeous medievil town. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip. You could spend your day just taking pictures and aborbing the atmosphere. We ended our cruise by visiting the Keukenhof Gardens. I have never seen such a beautiful garden with so many beautiful flowers.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
The ship was excellent. Spotless from stem to stern. Very quiet. Gourmet dining every night and if you didn't like the choices they also offered steak or chicken! No nickel and diming here. Free beer and wine with the lunch and dinner ... Read More
The ship was excellent. Spotless from stem to stern. Very quiet. Gourmet dining every night and if you didn't like the choices they also offered steak or chicken! No nickel and diming here. Free beer and wine with the lunch and dinner meals. It's house wine, but very good. Each and every excursion was extremely well planned by our tour guide Joey. All the staff spoke fluent English and made every guest feel as if they were the only people on the ship. If you like the big ocean cruises and want to be a faceless member of the masses, you will not like Viking. It's a casual setting where you get to meet, and see new people without being overwhelmed. No exercise equipment was the only drawback although, there is a walking oval on the top deck which worked out well for me. Two more trips planned for 2015. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
My husband and I were on the Grand European Cruise on Viking Skadi which departed from Budapest on May 17. We enjoyed it and consider ourselves lucky that the weather was mostly good and the cruise went mostly as expected, with a few ... Read More
My husband and I were on the Grand European Cruise on Viking Skadi which departed from Budapest on May 17. We enjoyed it and consider ourselves lucky that the weather was mostly good and the cruise went mostly as expected, with a few exceptions that were handled as best as they could be. Embarkation Embarkation was very smooth. My husband and I made our own arrangements for the flight (a lot less than what Viking was charging) and we took a taxi from Budapest airport to the Viking dock. The only issue was that we got off the taxi a little bit too far from the ship and had some difficulty carrying our suitcases over gravel / grass since there was no sidewalk. As soon as the Viking crew saw us they came and carried our bags. We got into the ship, gave our names, and were led straight to our cabin by the hotel manager. They didn't even check our ID to make sure we were who we said we were. Cabin We were in a stateroom with a "French balcony" (not really a balcony, but a floor-to-ceiling window which slides open). It's a tight squeeze in the room, but we expected that. I have a few complaints: (1) the pillows are too soft -- almost like having no pillows at all; (2) the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom is a terrible design - I had to keep removing the toilet paper from it and just setting it on the shelf; (3) toilet paper is a bit rough; (4) not enough hangers in the closet. I had to hang three or more pieces of clothing on each hanger, and I used all the 3 drawers just for my things. My husband used the shelves in the other half of the closet to stack his clothes (folded, not on hangers). Well, we survived. Maybe I brought too many clothes! Finally (5) wi-fi internet access is very spotty in the rooms. Apart from these, I think the stateroom was fine. Bathroom amenities included La Occitane en Provence shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and shower gel. The shower has good pressure and is a good size for a river cruise ship. I never heard noise from the rooms next to us or the hallway. There is a safe and several electrical outlets, both US and European. The room was always cleaned promptly, usually while we were having breakfast, and the bed was turned down while we had dinner. One day we got a towel bunny and another day we got chocolates (I wish it had been every day!). The TV in the room is a large flat screen, with just a few channels, a limited selection of movies, and all episodes of Downton Abbey. You can also get the weather forecast, a map of the ship's location, a lounge cam, and a bow cam. The lounge cam allows you to watch the daily briefing if you don't feel like going to the lounge for it. Ship Nice dining room, with tables set for six or eight. The lounge was a bright, comfortable place to relax at any time of day, and the best place to get wi-fi (a couple of laptops are also available for public use). There is a sun deck, but for more than half of our cruise it was closed. The water in the rivers was very high due to lots of recent rain, so the railings had to be dismantled, and all the tables and chairs removed so that the ship could go under the bridges. It was a bit scary sometimes to see that there was just a foot or less of clearance between the top of the ship and the bottom of a bridge! A few more inches and our cruise might have been canceled. Fortunately, for our departure from Budapest, as well as the most scenic parts of the cruise, the sun deck was available to us. Also on the sun deck (which has a shaded section) are a walking track, shuffleboard, and a giant chess board, as well as an herb garden for the kitchen's use. Apart from the lounge and sun deck, there are a few other small other public areas where one can sit and relax -- a little library, the outdoor Aquavit Terrace, and some sofas in the atrium. They are nice enough. Unfortunately our ship had a problem almost right from the start - water had gotten into the engine. This did not affect the first few days of the cruise, but we were told that instead of docking in Passau on Day 4, we would dock in Linz and would be taken to Passau by bus. While we were in Passau the ship would be repaired. Everybody had to get off the ship, whether they wanted to or not. Free lunch was provided at a restaurant in town (my husband and I decided to eat elsewhere, to save time so we could do more sightseeing). At the end of the day, the bus dropped us off at a different location so we could board the ship. The bus ride was an hour and a half each way, which meant significantly less time available to see the sights in Passau. In addition, for the next few days we had to disembark in industrial areas instead of the city, because the ship was behind schedule. To compensate for these inconveniences, there was one evening of open bar in the lounge. At another city, when the ship was delayed arriving at the port where we were to get back on, the cruise director offered free drinks at a bar in town (imagine the madhouse in the bar as a result). Well, stuff happens and this little engine crisis caused some inconvenience, but I think that Viking handled it well and I didn't hear any major grumbling about it from other passengers. Upon our return Viking sent us a voucher worth 25% of what we paid for this cruise, good for a future cruise. I hope to take advantage of this voucher next year. Food I would say that overall the food was very good. I enjoyed most of the meals, the main exception being the German-themed dinner when the pork was tough and dry. On a couple of evenings my husband said that the fish was overcooked. The portions are not large, so if you're a big eater you might want to order more food, but for me there was always more than enough. There was always a selection of several appetizers, entrees, and desserts, which changed every evening. And if you didn't want any of those, you could always have salmon, steak, or roast chicken. Caesar salad and a cheese plate were also always available. There were a couple of times when I couldn't decide which appetizer to have so I ordered two. On our last evening, the kitchen was apparently trying to get rid of an excess supply of asparagus, so there was asparagus in almost every selection except dessert! I didn't mind since I like asparagus and since it was the peak of the season, it was quite good, and rather funny. But for anyone who doesn't like asparagus, it was probably a disappointment. Wine, beer and soft drinks were included at both lunch and dinner. Lunch and breakfast were buffet style, but you could also order from a menu. It was very easy to overeat at these times. All meals are open seating. After a couple of days however we ended up eating with the same group of people for almost all meals. We met two other couples that we really liked and we all got along really well. We had our favorite table and favorite waiter who took good care of us. It's not really possible to reserve a table, so we tried to get to the dining room early to make sure we got our spot. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are always available from a machine. There were cookies for snacks. Croissants were also put out near the coffee/tea machine at breakfast time for anyone who doesn't like a big breakfast. One afternoon there was "German Tea Time" with a variety of cakes and a special coffee with cognac. Another afternoon there was a demonstration of how to make apple struedel, with slices of struedel given out afterwards. It was good and they gave the recipe, but too complicated for me plus I'm diabetic so shouldn't be eating it anyway. Staff It seems that in order to be a Viking employee, one important qualification is to always have a smile on your face. Everyone was very nice and friendly. About 1/4 of the staff were from the Philippines, the rest Eastern European, except for the program director, Matthew Shaw, who is British. I was impressed with his multi-tasking -- he coordinated the excursions, gave a briefing every evening on the next day's events, served as master of ceremonies during the evening entertainment as well as "game show" host, and even did a little cabaret one evening, singing different genres of songs. I only wish he hadn't tried to "honor" Luciano Pavarotti by singing a couple of songs in Italian, because his accent was horrendous! Our dining room waiter was a gem. We got to know him quite a bit and now he's my friend on Facebook! Excursions Short city tours (about 1 to 1.5 hours) were included in every stop, as well as some free time. The quality of local guides varied. We had a really good guide in Cologne, a middle school history teacher. Overall I was satisfied with the tour guides though I often felt that the tours were too short. On the other hand, it's a bit of a pain walking through a city with a large group of people. A few passengers abandoned the guided tours altogether, preferring to strike out on their own. My husband and I went on only one optional tour, to Rothenburg. It was worth it as Rothenburg is a lovely town, but it was way too short. We lost at least 45 minutes because of late arrival at the port (Wurzburg). My husband and I left the included lunch early so that we could have a bit more time to go to the all-year Christmas shop. In Cologne we also took the free optional extension to the Roman museum (entrance fee included, and only a few people took advantage of it). In some places we had only half a day to go sightseeing (and just a couple of hours at Kinderdijk). The city with the most free time was Vienna (not counting Budapest, where you can stay out all night on the first day if you like). After the short city tour in Vienna we had the whole afternoon and evening until 10 pm available. Note that when the Viking guide says "See the Opera House, Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral" etc you will see only the outside of these places, so the afternoon is a good time to see them on your own. Some people went the optional tour to see a concert after dinner. I happen to have a college friend in Vienna so took the time to see her. We went to a couple of off-the-beaten path places and had dinner in a nice restaurant with typical Austrian food. In Vienna, getting back to the ship requires a subway ride. When we got off the subway at 9:45 pm, we had no idea in which direction to go but fortunately someone showed us the way. It was about 10 minutes walk. In some cities the only way to and from the ship was via the Viking bus, so you had better be on time if you don't want to get left behind. However the Viking staff were good at counting everyone to make sure no one was actually left behind. A couple of people got a little scolding from the program director when they did not appear at the meeting place on time. Between Budapest and Amsterdam there are 67 locks. At the first one, many people went out to the sundeck to watch. After that it was generally a ho-hum event, but it could be interesting to see how different types of locks operated. The ship went through many of the locks at night while we were sleeping. Each lock takes about 20-30 minutes, but could be longer if another ship has to be accommodated at the same time. Occasionally we bumped hard into the sides of the locks, which can be very narrow -- just a little wider than the ship. Our waiter told me that on the previous sailing the ship never bumped into the lock walls, so it's not inevitable. Maybe we had a less experienced captain. We were very lucky with the weather! There was a brief period of rain in Budapest, and a few sprinkles in other cities (Viking provides large umbrellas, but I brought my own little one), but otherwise the weather was lovely. Average temperature was in the 60s, so I usually had to wear a sweater or jacket (some Canadians wore shorts). It was never more than 70 degrees. No sweat! We were told that the week before our cruise, it rained nonstop for several days. Even in Amsterdam, where it rains 200 days of the year, we had sunshine (though the cruise was over by then). Entertainment Most of the evenings the entertainment was just a lone musician singing and/or playing the piano. Other evenings we had: (1) songs and folk dances from Slovakia; (2) opera music; (3) a glass-blowing demonstration; (4) Matthew's cabaret; (5) team games on two nights (a 50s-60s quiz and a guess-the-meaning-of-the-word game). In addition during the German-themed dinner there were roaming musicians. During the day there were a few presentations: (1) the life of Mozart; (2) a history of locks and canals; (3) how locks work; (4) history of the European Union, with a guest lecturer; and (5) Dutch cheese and jenever ( a Dutch liqueur). Except for the one on the EU, the program director gave all the presentations, using Powerpoint. They were ok, a good way to pass the time during less-interesting scenery (no question-and-answer afterwards). Matthew also did some commentary on castles while we were on the Middle Rhine and in the Wachau Valleys. Passengers Viking caters to an English-speaking clientele. Most of the passengers were from the US and Canada; there were a few from Great Britain and Australia. In addition there were a few from Latin America. I would say that most people were in their 60s or 70s. I think there were only two people who were under 30 (not together, but traveling with older relatives). Disembarkation We arrived in Amsterdam early in the morning. Some people had very early flights but breakfast was available for them even at 4 am. Everyone got color-coded tags depending on their time of departure, so their bags could be taken by the staff from outside the staterooms. My husband and I were staying in Amsterdam for a few days, so we could disembark when we liked (but everyone had to leave their rooms by 9 am to allow for cleaning). The staff called a taxi for us (arranged the day before) and the taxi came on time. It was organized chaos as passengers departed and new ones came on board. We were sad to leave! My husband and I are hoping to do another river cruise next year.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
From the moment we boarded the ship in Amsterdam, the Viking crew treated us royally. Everything was so organized - The service was exceptional. food was outstanding. our cabin was nicely appointed and the bed so very comfortable. Great ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the ship in Amsterdam, the Viking crew treated us royally. Everything was so organized - The service was exceptional. food was outstanding. our cabin was nicely appointed and the bed so very comfortable. Great bathroom - heated floors and mini clothesline for hanging up washing. It was so nice having a French Balcony room - nice watching the world go by in the comfort of our room. The common areas onboard were lovely, comfortable and always clean. The daily tours were very well organized - the tour guides were exceptional - I loved the personal touches each of them added to their commentaries. Sometimes it would have been nice to have been able to spend a bit more time in the towns - but seeing how the schedules ran - I understand why we couldn't. The highlight of the tour had to be arriving in Budapest at night - what a beautiful city both in daylight as well as night time. This was our first trip to Europe and our first cruise - we were spoiled and Viking has set the bar high for any future trips we take. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We sailed with Viking cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest and had a FANTASTIC trip. The small Viking ship was very comfortable, the food was outstanding and the staff was great. The trip provided us with a wonderful trip to many great ports ... Read More
We sailed with Viking cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest and had a FANTASTIC trip. The small Viking ship was very comfortable, the food was outstanding and the staff was great. The trip provided us with a wonderful trip to many great ports in fabulous cities and brought us close to the old Europe. Our room was very comfortable and the view was great from our full length sliding windows. The bed was comfortable and we were able to get a good nights rest each evening. There was always entertainment in the lounge at night and it provided a nice opportunity to unwind after the days activities. The tours provided by Viking were excellent and gave us a close view of the cities and towns and made us aware of the people and their way of living. The many castles and churches visited were breathtakingly beautiful. This was our first river cruise and it will definitely not be our last. We have told all our friends and have encouraged them to take one. This was an unforgettable trip of a lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was my first trip to Europe. Landed in Amsterdam for a 6 hour lay over for our 3 day side trip to Prague. Had a fabulous time in Prague great guided tour of the city then spend the rest of our time on our own revisiting some parts of ... Read More
This was my first trip to Europe. Landed in Amsterdam for a 6 hour lay over for our 3 day side trip to Prague. Had a fabulous time in Prague great guided tour of the city then spend the rest of our time on our own revisiting some parts of the city then explored others. . The Viking staff were a great help giving us directions to various attractions. The Viking staff on the Skadi were outstanding, the food & service were exceptional. The evening entertainment was always an event we looked forward to. Our only disappointment was the tour guide we had in Vienna, never took us to any of the great architectural wonders of such a fabulous city. Left us on our own and never returned to guide us to our bus for our return to the ship. The Skadi concierge and chef took us on a trip to an open air market to sample some of the foods and enjoy looking at the great display of local foods. I have talked to many of my friends and acquaintances about our trip that many have put the Viking tour on their bucket list. We are looking forward to planning another trip in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
With more than 25 ocean cruises on many different lines completed, my wife and I decided it was time to try the river cruising experience. We were somewhat concerned about the smaller scale of the vessels, so anticipated unreasonably few ... Read More
With more than 25 ocean cruises on many different lines completed, my wife and I decided it was time to try the river cruising experience. We were somewhat concerned about the smaller scale of the vessels, so anticipated unreasonably few menu selections, fewer onboard activities, limited entertainment, boring excursions, etc. We couldn't have been more wrong! A Viking River cruise offers a top-of-the-line experience in every category - all of which are included in the price of the cruise! The smaller size of the ships allows for a much less regimented experience, with services cheerfully performed by all staff members, regardless of their primary job onboard. Trouble-free check-in, beautiful, well-appointed staterooms, included shore excursions at every port led by very knowledgeable english-speaking guides, sumptuous meals in the dinning room or on deck with included beer and wine, and enjoyable entertainment - often featuring performers from the local community. Can you tell we enjoyed it? No, we haven't given up on ocean cruising, but have already booked our next one on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We just completed the Grand European tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. We were 10 in our group and were treated very well on the boat. Budapest, for those of you going here in the future, was our favourite city. Evenings in Budapest are ... Read More
We just completed the Grand European tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. We were 10 in our group and were treated very well on the boat. Budapest, for those of you going here in the future, was our favourite city. Evenings in Budapest are beautiful with the three bridges all lit up. The other stops were great too but this was the best. It was incredible to see pictures of all the damage to these cities during the wars but the people rebuilt and the legacy continues for us to see. The castles, the Cathedrals and museums were plentiful and very interesting. We took a couple of the extra tours along the way and would recommend them to future travelers. He staff on the Skadi were great and special praise to Dan, the program director. He was so knowledgeable about every stop, he has an amazing sense of humour, he was friendly and helpful to all. The food was great, just too much of it! You have the choice of eating in the dining room where you can be served or up top at the buffet. We enjoyed being waited on and were treated very special by Walter, Lucky and Vladamir. Evenings on board were mostly spent sailing but there were a few where we stayed in post til late at night. Vienna was one of these nights and that is when we went to a concert at one of the many concert halls there. We also had entertainment come on board, local singers and dancers from the area. One evening there was a glass blower giving a demonstration. His wit was great! He had trained, at one point under Dale Chihuly, for those who know who he is. Very glad we got to see him working his magic simply by heating and blowing the glass. Probably the biggest thing to remember is to bring comfortable shoes. You do a lot of walking every day and a lot of it is done on cobblestone type sidewalks and roads. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
After 3 days touring Amsterdam, we embarked on a 15 day cruise to Budapest. The viking experience was as envigorating as it was relaxing. Their daily guided tours at each city were captivating. An english speaking local guide at every ... Read More
After 3 days touring Amsterdam, we embarked on a 15 day cruise to Budapest. The viking experience was as envigorating as it was relaxing. Their daily guided tours at each city were captivating. An english speaking local guide at every port of call. All meals were well presented and served with enthusiasm. Menue changes took place as you travelled each region. Wines and cocktails were top notch. Wine sellection changed as the cruise progressed. You are even encouraged to buy region wines to have served at your tale, with no corkage fee. You may even shop locally to set up a bar in your room with help from the stewart. setting it up. Being treated like an adult is unlike any ocean cruise you may take, were the purchase of liquor at a port is considered cause for confiscation. Every detail is thought out and anticipated. This was by far the best expenditure of money we have made towards a vacation. We will go on another and tell all we meet to do likewise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We were very impressed with the service on Viking. At the Airport in Amsterday, we put our Viking sticker on and within a minute were met by an extremely friendly guide who took over our baggage and got us quickly the Mercedes Limo to ... Read More
We were very impressed with the service on Viking. At the Airport in Amsterday, we put our Viking sticker on and within a minute were met by an extremely friendly guide who took over our baggage and got us quickly the Mercedes Limo to take us to the ship. At the ship, we were the second on board, we were met by the Hotel Manager and Cruise Director who carried our luggage to our room (note: we were the first cruise of the year-so we got into our room immediately. Normally you have to wait til around 3PM for cleaning to finish). After being on an airplane or airport for all night, we were really hungry. The Hotel Manager personally saw to it that we were served a specially prepared breakfast to order. A few things uniques about Viking 1. No Gambling 2. I never smelled cigarette or cigar smoke. 3. Freely poured wine or beer for meals 4. Exceptional Service always at all times by every crew member-no exceptions 5. No hustling for their optional tours (note: included tours are very comprehensive. 6. All tour guides were very good-for included and optional. Things to Consider: 1. We went in late March-Cold and Wet, 2. Viking caters to older folks. we liked Bike and Barge with VBT better-A barge and Bike is the way to see the Netherlands. 3. the purpose of taking a river cruise is for scenery along the way-The scenery of this cruise is not very interesting - lots of industry and commercial 4. We were supposed to dock in Amsterday at a location near the Central Station-that was one of the reasons we took the cruise-because we could walk to the Central Station and get buses or trams everywhere in Amsterdam. BOTH time we docked in Amsterday, we were in a remote location where we had to take a shuttle which took a half hour to run and only ran every half hour. The last day the police prevented it from stopping at the Victoria Hotel-so it had no way to pick up folks to return to the ship-I don't know how they got back-probably by Taxi. The Viking crew blamed the problem on the Harbor Master. Whatever caused the problem, the dockage location (for us), severly restricted our abiltiy to see Amsterdam-It changed from a 10 minute walk to the Central Station to 1/2 hour shuttle ride which runs every hour or so, and can't stop to return you to the ship. 5. Viking doesn't force you to buy expensive drinks on board-beer was priced at a reasonable charge (3 Euros). You also can bring any kind of alcohol on board-with NO CORKAGE. Also we booked our flight through Viking. We flew from Atlanta to Newark, with several hour layover and from Newark to Amsterdam. We found out later that folks from Texas flew from Texas to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Amsterdam. WE COULD HAVE GOTTEN A DIRECT FLIGHT-if we had been SMART ENOUGH TO ASK FOR IT. Others on board said they were routed in a circuitous fashion (like us) and becase they requested a direct route-THEY GOT IT. SO BEWARE! So, in summary, I personally would not use Viking for a river cruise in the Netherlands-because we prefer a more active Bike and Barge-e.g., VBT. If you prefer a less active cruise where your every need is catered to and you want a central docking situation, find out FOR SURE if they have resolved this problem in Amsterdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Overall Thoughts about Viking There is no doubt about it, that Viking is a professional organisation who knows how to run river cruises and to make a cruise happy. The crew are well informed, attentive and clearly enjoy their work. That ... Read More
Overall Thoughts about Viking There is no doubt about it, that Viking is a professional organisation who knows how to run river cruises and to make a cruise happy. The crew are well informed, attentive and clearly enjoy their work. That makes a big difference. Our trip on Viking Skadi round the Dutch Bulbfieldi and the Cities of the Rhine Delta was very enjoyable. It was our first Viking River Cruise. But it may also be the last. Why? It was overpriced, and we suffered from a booking experience which has left a sour taste in the mouth. (Viking my redeem this, given time). First the positives. Here I would like to cite one person in particular who made the trip enjoyable. That was the Programme Director Gary Nicholson. His talks were informative, entertaining, and his team including the Concierge Desislava made everything smooth. The food was great too. Axel’s Chateaubriand was most delicious. Even the room cleaner Sandra was pleasant and spoke English beautifully. But did we get value for money? We are people who do our own thing, and we don’t drink much. Some told us that Amadeus might be better. All in all we had been satisfied and rated the cruise 'as expected'. Ruth gave it a higher rating. There were a couple of things we want to bring to the attention of the management . Get the booking experience easier. I know things change but getting information on routing and arrival and departure times was difficult and inconsistent, the staff did their best. There should a web page with all the information for the tour and boat, The booklet and the schedule were inconsistent with daily programmes not corresponding to the actual plan. The web page should rectify this. We should have been given the option of travelling by Eurostar. Other guests had this included for £50 more. We made our own arrangements and ended up paying a lot more. We have written to Viking about this. Will we get a refund? Who knows? It would have been a good idea if each passenger group was invited to submit a brief introduction and interests along its an optional photo. This should be printed and made downloadable. Then it would help when we met, and more importantly there could be space for exchanging email addresses etc, 5 Viking should issue a small map with our planned route. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
It was perfect. Some say "it is better to be lucky than good" -- in our case, that is so true. We arrived at the very height of tulip season and the flowers were at their peak for the entire 10 days of our cruise. The staff of ... Read More
It was perfect. Some say "it is better to be lucky than good" -- in our case, that is so true. We arrived at the very height of tulip season and the flowers were at their peak for the entire 10 days of our cruise. The staff of the Viking Skadi was one of the best! They were friendly & accomodating and couldn't have been any better at making our first cruise one to remember forever. Our fellow cruisers said that the Skadi had the best crew they have ever cruised with and many of them were on their 7th or 8th cruise. A great example was when we were asked what "our song" was and although he had never heard it -- our entertainment director, found it and learned it. On our last night, while my husband & I were dancing, he played it without being prompted -- he had taken the time to get to know us personally! Viking you get it! and you get it right! We are booked on another Viking cruise in the near future, this time with friends who have never been on a river cruise. We can't wait!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We are experienced travelers in our mid 70's. We have been on the big ships - Princess, Celebrity, Oceania, Holland America - and three other river cruises. The staff on the Skadi was by far the most pleasant, efficient group that ... Read More
We are experienced travelers in our mid 70's. We have been on the big ships - Princess, Celebrity, Oceania, Holland America - and three other river cruises. The staff on the Skadi was by far the most pleasant, efficient group that we have ever come across; especially Gary the Program Director and Daniel the Maitre'D (and master of everything else). The staff did not seem to know the word "no". They met every request and every problem with a wonderful can-do attitude. They were truly exceptional. The shore excursions greatly surpassed our expectations. There were many more tours than the brochure indicated. Some days we went on two different tours at no cost. Besides, there were optional tours that were very fairly priced. Of course, the star excursion was the trip to see the 7 million tulips. Awesome! It was downright cold on some of our excursions. Mid 50's does not seem cold, but it is when combined with gusty winds. We were so glad that we brought layers which we could wear all together, and gloves. Should have packed a wool hat! The dining was more than adequate, and there was always something that appealed. There were steaks (the rib steaks were exceptionally good), salmon and chicken that were always available, and then three specialities of the night. Disembarkation was a breeze thanks to Desi, the concierge. She paired us up with another couple that was also heading to The Hague on their own, and we procured a van for us. Since we left a little later than most, we watched smiling Gary, Daniel, Desi get everyone onto the buses. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We were a group of 4 women. Three of us had traveled together before. We flew into Amsterdam two days befor the cruise. Unfortunately the luggage for two of us did not arrive with us. So, we went shopping. Viking was wonderful about ... Read More
We were a group of 4 women. Three of us had traveled together before. We flew into Amsterdam two days befor the cruise. Unfortunately the luggage for two of us did not arrive with us. So, we went shopping. Viking was wonderful about this, especially because it was the airlines issue. We were given an allowance. This gave us an extra chance to see more of Amsterdam as walkers. We found the appropriate stored to buy the few items we needed for the night and next day. The next afternoon our luggage was delivered. The hotel was wonderful. We spent two very nice days touring Amsterdam. We were picked up by buses to take us to the ship. Our cabins were very nice and clean. The ship's staff were excellent. One of our group is hearing impaired and they found a loop system for her for the shore excursions, which made it so much better for her so that she could hear the tour guides. On several occasions upon returning to the ship after an excursion, we were greeted by the staff with welcome back drinks. All of the shore excursions were well done, with knowledgeable guides. So much history in each of the towns and cities. Such interesting architecture. So different from here in the USA. We were fortunate that the tulips were in full bloom. The farm we visited had so much vivid color with rows and rows of tulips, that it almost hurt your eyes. We spent one day at the Kerkenhof gardens, where thousands of tulips were displayed. Entertainment and activities on the ship were lots of fun. The singer,musician was very talented and could sing almost any song. The wooden shoe making demonstration was was one of my favorites, along with the singing fishermen. Dining on the ship was culinary experience. There was a wonderful buffet every morning, with cold and hot choices. Each meal was exceptional. Not only was it delicious, but beautifully presented. This was a joyful experience! I would recommend this cruise to anyone, and I already have. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We wanted to sail on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. The trip started in Amsterdam, and the tulips were in full bloom. We decided when making reservations to spend two extra days in this wonderful city and area. The Renaissance Marriott ... Read More
We wanted to sail on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. The trip started in Amsterdam, and the tulips were in full bloom. We decided when making reservations to spend two extra days in this wonderful city and area. The Renaissance Marriott hotel was very good. Once on the Skadi we marveled at the beauty of the ship. The staff was consistently attentive. Food and drink excellent. Some evenings had local entertainment. Views were excellent along the rivers. The locks carrying the ship up and down were quite interesting. We loved the local culture and towns on the agenda. Always the tour guides were informative and often funny stories were told about people and places. We could wander freely. Free time was ample. Our Veranda Suite was definitely the way to go. Spacious and we loved the balcony. Finally, sadly, we came to Budapest at the end of our travels. We loved this city as much as Amsterdam but for different reasons. Budapest showed all the history of the 20th century, and we found the citizens to be mindful of their often tortured history but proud also. We could have spent more time here also. One thing is certain, you will enjoy a Viking cruise very much. And now we will be embarking soon in France going from Paris to Normandy. Again the history will be anticipated. This will be our second river cruise, and we anticipate the same standard of excellence. Thank you excellent Viking staff, organization, and itinerary planners. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I highly recommend this cruise. We enjoyed the many tours (and the organization of groups according to their fitness level) and the valuable information provided by the tour guides. We had plenty of time to wander about by ... Read More
My wife and I highly recommend this cruise. We enjoyed the many tours (and the organization of groups according to their fitness level) and the valuable information provided by the tour guides. We had plenty of time to wander about by ourselves and at all times buses were on time to take us back to the boat. We also can't say enough about the humorous tour director (Valentine), courteous staff and excellent cuisine. The morning news schedules and afternoon meetings were most helpful in preparing us for the day's schedule. Our lower cabin was clean and comfortable. The smaller boat lends itself to a more intimate experience. The scenery the whole way is absolutely beautiful and we were impressed that the boat arrived as scheduled each day. Only thing we would recommend is greater laundry facilities and a place where we could iron clothes. Your prices are way to expensive. The pre-cruise itinerary sent was extremely helpful!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Our first river cruise was on the Mississippi River -- the Mississippi Queen paddle wheel. Our Viking Grand European Tour was the first European River trip we've been on, and I hope there will be more in our future. We flew into ... Read More
Our first river cruise was on the Mississippi River -- the Mississippi Queen paddle wheel. Our Viking Grand European Tour was the first European River trip we've been on, and I hope there will be more in our future. We flew into Amsterdam 3 days before sail date and used the time to see and do wonderful things in that city and in Brussels where we went by train for a day and night. We stayed at a wonderful hotel, Bilderberg Gardens, a couple of miles away from the city center. Our ship, the Skadi, was wonderful and all staff were attentive and friendly. They work very hard to make everything look effortless. Our waiters and maitre' felt it was important to learn our names and greeted us by name thereafter. Our concierge went out of his way to make special accommodations for a rickshaw tour of Cologne when walking the city was too difficult for my sister. The tour director Valentin, was charming and knowledgeable. Having a choice between eating in the dining room or up on the Aquavit Terrace was great. Speakers, a glassblowing exhibition, theatre performance-- all were wonderful. Favorite tours are Nuremberg rally grounds and the famous trials room in the Justice building. Another was the Mozart evening in Vienna. After leaving our last port, Budapest, we extended our European tour independently for 3 days each in London and Paris. I'm not in a financial position to do another Viking River cruise in the foreseeable future, but I wish I could do the Baltic capitals one sometime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Everything about our cruise was superb. The wait staff made the cruise so much fun and the evening activities were enjoyable. I can't say enough about the food. So good and the verity of choices were excellent. We loved the ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was superb. The wait staff made the cruise so much fun and the evening activities were enjoyable. I can't say enough about the food. So good and the verity of choices were excellent. We loved the piano player. He learned my favorite song and played it almost every time we entered the lounge. The shore excursions had the right pace for walking and the tour guides were easy to listen too. The bus drivers were safe and friendly. They got to group to the proper location on time. We got to sample local wine and liquors on the ship. We won a prize in one of the games that were played on board. I would recommend this for any and all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first River Cruise and it exceeded our expectations all round. From the moment we were picked up in Budapest and taken to the ship the service was first rate. We loved being so close to the action in all the Ports. A short ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and it exceeded our expectations all round. From the moment we were picked up in Budapest and taken to the ship the service was first rate. We loved being so close to the action in all the Ports. A short walk with the guides in the morning then left to explore on our own. Any questions about local history or directions to hidden attractions were cheerfully given by the well trained guides. The cabin made good use of the space and was very well appointed. One must bare in mind that River Ships are smaller by necessity and thus the cabins must reflect this but the design is so well thought out that we did not notice. We loved the freedom to come and go from the ship with ease. No security or bag scanning and seldom a line up. We could pop back for lunch then back into town. The food was great and the Chef's pre meal overview was a pleasure. If you want endless buffet style dinning stay with ocean cruises. We felt the dining options of either the terrace (lighter fare) or the full table service of the main dining room was more than adequate. Had a great time and would definitely cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Viking Skadi Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.5
Rates 4.0 4.0

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