3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We commenced what was supposed to be our Viking Grand European river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam with a Prague extension on 08/08/18. 3 days prior to the cruise departure from Budapest on 11/08/18, Viking emailed us advising that our ... Read More
We commenced what was supposed to be our Viking Grand European river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam with a Prague extension on 08/08/18. 3 days prior to the cruise departure from Budapest on 11/08/18, Viking emailed us advising that our planned overnight stay and sail away from Budapest as per the planned itinerary was changed due to low river levels. This was the start of our river cruise farce which I believe bordered on fraudulent behaviour by Viking. Namely, providing passengers with a vastly altered river cruise package holiday they knew they could not deliver according to their original product description and failing to advise passengers of the full extent of the impact and implications the river levels would have on their holiday. Viking had been watching the river levels in Europe for over 6 weeks prior to our departure date. Europe had been experiencing an extremely dry and hot summer and river levels were very low, Viking knew this but chose not to disclose the full extent of the situation, the difficulties passengers would face and the full impact on the itinerary. Passengers were not provided with real time facts, stopping them from making informed decisions on their travel arrangements. Our holiday commenced with a bus ride from Prague to Kormarno in Slovakia, not Budapest, to join our boat. This change to itinerary meant we never docked in Budapest overnight but were bused in for a coach drive by tour. From Budapest we were bused to Vienna to finally join our ship, the Bragi (we were actually booked on the Skadi). Viking had already repositioned some of their ships obviously to cover their bases and attempt to provide some extremely limited scenic cruising on some small parts of the Danube and Rhine. For the initial change we were offered a 25% reduction of the cruise portion on a future cruise but were also advised that we may have to do a ship swap later in the cruise. The swap did occur on 16/08/18 , we missed numerous listed port dock stays, we were transferred on numerous long bus rides to get to sights on the itinerary or remained docked in destinations like Passau for longer or alternate destinations like Mainz for longer periods. It was not scenic cruising, it was sleeping on board a ship, or completely missing out on the ports of Koblenz and Kindersdik. We were never told the entire truth about the situation, it was the Viking cover story that was continuously provided. On our last day, 24/08/18, we endured a 9 1/2 bus trip from Mainz to Amsterdam with a 1 hour walking tour of Cologne, delays of 2 hours waiting for buses that had gone to another dock area in error, a guide who did not wait for his tour group to exit the bus and took off across the street with at least half the group missing in Cologne. Many of us would have happily bypassed Cologne and been driven directly to Amsterdam. Despite requests, the Viking representative would not oblige. It was a total farce, the errors and arrangements made to rectify the errors became a major frustration for all passengers and I have never seen so many irate, angry passengers at the end of that trip. We will be demanding genuine compensation for the loss of our dream holiday as will many, many other fellow passengers. Sadly as we left Amsterdam on 25/0818 we met many people about to experience the same tour as ours in reverse, they told us they had already been advised by Viking that they would be receiving a 50% discount on a future cruise due to the changes to their itinerary. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We are deeply disappointed in Viking. This was our first cruise with Viking and definitely our last. The cruise was not at all what we expected. We never felt the luxury they promote in their brochures and TV ads. Instead we paid a ... Read More
We are deeply disappointed in Viking. This was our first cruise with Viking and definitely our last. The cruise was not at all what we expected. We never felt the luxury they promote in their brochures and TV ads. Instead we paid a premium price of over $14,000 for two people and in exchange received substandard service and an exhausting and frustrating trip. We have traveled worldwide independently and were looking forward to being pampered in the lap of luxury with all our needs taken care of, no packing and up packing from city to city and upscale companion travelers. Instead we were herded through cities like cattle, kept to an aggressive time table if we wanted to see anything in port, forced to pack and unpack mid trip in order to change boats and accompanied by passengers who were for the most part unsophisticated retirees most of whom had saved up for this once in a life time trip for many years. Most of the cruising was done at night when you cannot see the beautiful idyllic settings advertised by Viking. We were often docked at unpleasant industrial sites. Luckily we were on a high floor and had our balcony level with asphalt. Those below us looked out on to a cement wall. No reason to sit out on the expensive balcony we splurged on. Instead of apologizing the staff made jokes about the view being modern art. In the daytime instead of being at the old city center, we were often far from the sites, due to so many other Viking boats in dock and were bused or walked long distances to the attractions often up many flights of stairs. Free time in ports was in most cases 1 hour, meaning you see very little and no time to shop. In many ports, the ships were stacked, boats next to each other next to the shoreline so you are literally looking into another person's cabin. No view from your room and sometimes none from the public spaces. The stateroom is uncomfortably small and cramped not to mention the unpleasant decor. The public spaces are beautifully designed but the staterooms were ignored, decorating with a prison cell gray color, tiny sinks and white bland tile. No softness anywhere. Stiff chair, horrid bed, backless stool at the desk, everything hard edged which forces you to leave your expensive room as frequently as possible. The art work throughout the boat is very acceptable but in the state room all we got was a stylized Viking framed logo to look at. Our bathroom on the first ship smelled of mildew but that was nothing compared to the many docks where the river smelled foul. I will spare you the details of the unpleasant toilet flush function on the Skadi ship. More importantly, Viking is not forthcoming with information when it concerns important issues. The ship administrators do not communicate enough with passengers. Their business model seems to be that passengers need not know anything until it is absolutely necessary and that Viking is never wrong, they do not apologize or admit to any wrong doing. Viking had experienced low river levels all summer, yet there was never a notice sent to us before we left regarding a change of boat or having to take buses. If we had received a notice we would have packed accordingly and been mentally prepared. Instead they told us one the day before, first that we were on a different ship and second that we needed to be bused to another ship mid cruise requiring us to pack and repack our bags. The change of ship required me to contact several local tour guides we had arranged on our own and notify them of the ship change, really annoying as the internet connections were so awful; my husband wasted hours trying to hook up a workable Internet. Viking attempted to make it up to us by having the crew on the deck with handmade signs saying welcome aboard, a free welcome drink and a free optional tour. None of this even began to make up for losing a quite morning sailing up the river, which is what was planned or spending an evening packing and an afternoon unpacking. We were put on a bus on a highway for over three hours with nothing of interest to see and a stop at a horrid gas station for a restroom break. Even though my bags were labeled and put out on time for the mid cruise ship change, Viking managed to lose one. When I reported it to three Viking employees, program director, hotel manager and desk manager, none apologized. Instead I was asked condescendingly if I really put it out, did I look in my closet, and then accused of not putting the proper luggage tag on my bag. In other words it was my fault, not Viking’s. Fortunately, as I didn’t trust them from the start, I took a picture of all my bags in the hall that morning, clearly showing all of my bags with the correct luggage tags. Only after seeing the photo did anyone attempt to locate the missing bag, which they ultimately did find. There were mechanical problems with the first boat. My husband and another passenger are engineers and noticed this almost from the time we boarded. Yet no communications about it. When someone asked the crew for an explanation for all the loud hammering and banging, they were told they weren’t allowed to say. For one day trip there were several busses and several Viking representatives. Instead of putting a Viking employee on each bus they choose to sit all together on one bus. Our bus was left unaccompanied with a German speaking driver and no one among the passengers who could communicate with him. Had there been an emergency I don’t know what we would have done. As it was, the driver delivered us to the wrong place forcing us to walk a very long distance and left on our own to find our ship, this after an already long day of walking. When we arrived at our ship, the bus with the Viking staff arrived right next to the ship. When I asked why we were dropped off so far away, when there was an obvious parking place closer, the Viking employee just shrugged his shoulders, said he didn’t know and walked away. No apology, no concern, not his problem, although he was the employee responsible for the day tour and the drivers. The vibrations of the ship, the noise of going through the locks and the ship bumping into the sides of the lock keeps you awake at night, not to mention the most uncomfortable bed I have ever slept in, which felt like a cement block. Ideally suited to the prison grey décor. I would estimate 80% of the passengers on our ship were sick mid-way through the cruise. Several needed to go to the local emergency room for breathing problems. The ship was so cold, even though we were sailing in Sept/Oct with outside temperatures in the 60’s, I asked the staff to turn down the AC in the lounge several times and they said they were unable to do it. The AC in the cabins can only be turned off when the balcony doors are open. Given that we were often stacked against another boat or the noise from the ship or the port was too loud or the smell too awful, we were forced to sleep in AC with no way to turn off the fan which is pointed directly to the head of the bed. We both developed very nasty head colds. The ship has no basic medications or hot water bottles or heating pads for passengers and so we were forced to spend valuable time in port searching for pharmacies to purchase OTC cold and sore throat medications, having to translate ingredients and find pharmacist who spoke English. The tipping suggestions in the cruise brochure recommended we leave over $400 per couple. We refused to tip that much. It was obvious that Viking pays lower salaries and gets away with it by promising the staff that high tip recommendations would be strongly suggested. We tipped individuals on staff that had provided service above and beyond the call of duty. We hated the constant staff interference at meals. We always felt rushed, the staff couldn’t wait to clear the table and get on with their other duties especially at lunch. They interrupted conversations and never asked the women for their orders first, just went around the table at their own convenience. When I waived one waitress away with my hand as she was constantly interrupting me during a conversation, offering wine, when I had already refused it, she made a rude gesture with her hand mimicking my brushing her aside. At several meals I asked for a drink multiple times, and waited more than 15 minutes for it to be served and on one occasion received the wrong drink. I asked a waiter for a menu three times the third time loudly thinking he might be deaf, and he shouted at me for raising my voice. While we had no complaints about the food the options were often limited especially if you wanted a light meal in the lounge. We ate mostly in the main dining room, however there are no tables for two and so you are forced to eat all meals with other passengers. Sometimes we just wanted to be alone and we felt we had nothing in common with the other passengers, many of them in large groups of friends or family, who sang drinking songs during diner. Dinner is scheduled from 7 to 9 but that does not mean you can walk in any time and be served. If you are not in the dining room at one minute before seven the only seats available are in the center of the room, not by a window. You really can only eat in the main dining room starting at 7 and ending at 9. This was too regimented for us. We thought, reading the schedule, we might be able to drop in any time between 7 and 9, not so. The after dinner entertainment was poor, local community theater groups and the lectures which were juvenile. On several nights they played games like I imagine they do in retirement communities. Several times the itinerary differed from the actual event. The captain’s dinner was listed for the Thursday evening but occurred on Wed three full days before the cruise ended. A glass blowing studio tour was promised in one port, something I was looking forward to but never materialized. When I mentioned it to the program director he spoke to me as if like I was an idiot and told me the studio was outside of town. Yet it was on the printed itinerary. He obviously had no knowledge of this, yet he was the program director. When we toured the kitchen we discovered that there were no dishwashers, that dishes were washed by hand. It was clear then why cups arrived at a freshly laid table with old lipstick stains on them and why so many of us were sick. Reading some of the other reviews I consider ourselves lucky. One ship had GI disorders among the passengers, another had half of their trip cancelled and a third missed Budapest all together, which we felt was a highlight. We were on new boats throughout and I understand the old ones are dreadful. Members of the Viking staff and local tour guides often commented on how quickly Viking is growing. Obviously they are experiencing growing pains. And if they are sitting fat and happy with all of their boats sold out then they are unlikely to pay careful attention to service and passenger complaints. No need to encourage passengers to be repeat customers when their waiting lists are already so long. I wrote this same review on the feedback form Viking provides passengers at the end of the cruise. I indicated that a senior customer service representative could phone me to discuss my concerns. I am writing this a week after we disembarked and no call yet. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was cruising for the totally gutless traveler. If you are totally new of overseas travel it might be good otherwise, no. EVERYTHING is totally scripted you are on a bus tour most days while your ship is "sailing through the ... Read More
This was cruising for the totally gutless traveler. If you are totally new of overseas travel it might be good otherwise, no. EVERYTHING is totally scripted you are on a bus tour most days while your ship is "sailing through the heart of Europe!" The planned activity level is really limited. If you have mobility issues, you might like it as they really cater to travelers with limited mobility. Didn't think the food was all that great. Most people wore jeans most of ht time I put on a dress for dinner the first night... and felt totally overdressed. I will say though that the staff were excellent. We ended up having to pack up and transfer to a different ship at the end of the first week due to low water. That had apparently been going on for months; however, we didn't find out we were not even on the ship we were originally scheduled on... until they sent an email the day before sailing. NEVER AGAIN! Don't get sucked in by there advertising! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This being our 42st cruise and 5th riverboat voyage, we are very fortunate to have many experiences from with which to compare our latest cruise on Viking's Grand European Tour. On the very positive side, we met several wonder ... Read More
This being our 42st cruise and 5th riverboat voyage, we are very fortunate to have many experiences from with which to compare our latest cruise on Viking's Grand European Tour. On the very positive side, we met several wonder couples, enjoyed diverse ports, and were appreciative of the exceptional service and demeanor of the staff. However, there were many misrepresentations of what was advertised and what was actually delivered, particularly by what is touted to be an upscale line. Instead of arriving early in the morning at each destination, for half the trip, the ship did not dock until noon or later in the afternoon. Therefore, there was only time for the arranged ship tour and virtually no free time to explore on our own, as had been the normal procedure on past riverboat lines. Next, the top outside deck was closed for more than half the cruise, so there was no place to exercise or enjoy the outside; there was no option of an exercise room on the ship. No explanation was given for either situation mentioned. So, with basically nothing planned on board, we were literally held captive, with only a lounge available as a common area, as we awaited late arrival in the majority of the ports. With the Skadi being a new ship built in 2013, we expected our room to be small, yet comfortable, based on the 150 sq ft. designation given on the website. In actuality, we literally had a maximum o 18 inches to maneuver around the bed (about 50 sq. ft. of usable space) , and no chair or table. Therefore, we could not resort to use of our room during the endless ship time, since the only place to sit was actually on the bed in claustrophobic quarters. While the front desk responded quickly to our reports of mold smell in our room 122, no source was found, so we lived with that and a sewer smell the entire cruise. Having taken four other river cruises at a fraction of the cost of this voyage, all of which providing much better quality and experiences , I found the circumstances unforgivable. Hopefully this will prevent others from a costly mistake. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A big problem is low water levels which isn't in Vikings control, but the choices they made didn't make for the best vacation. Late buses, locked bus bathrooms, ugly docking area, and no show shuttle to name a few. Add to that ... Read More
A big problem is low water levels which isn't in Vikings control, but the choices they made didn't make for the best vacation. Late buses, locked bus bathrooms, ugly docking area, and no show shuttle to name a few. Add to that an assistant that lack awareness of senior pacing which is important since that is your cruisers, turn around and look lady, I shouldn't have to chase after her because others are lagging behind and becoming distressed. And, unless you leave someone in charge of the group, don't run off with part of the group and leave the rest behind even if shortly you intended to return. Add to that our cabin bathroom flooding twice, yuck. And, the more that went wrong, the more disgruntled folks became, lots of not happy folks. Because of cruise critics I expected some of low water issues and I was glad it wasn't as bad as it is now with problems on both ends and in the middle, but most folks on the cruise were surprised by the changes we had to make. On a positive note, the scenery is amazing, towns are picture pretty, like a storybook. Both our cabin stewards were great. Marik the entertainment director was fantastic and hustled his butt trying to keep everyone happy. If you like fish, especially salmon you'll be in heaven! The entertainment they brought on board and Marik's were great, loved the opera and the glass blower. I usually don't review, but after sooo many positive reviews I wanted to be sure you knew things aren't at their best right now. And, for the cruisers willing to give it another try, they are giving future cruise credit to compensate for the disruptions. 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 2018
I was invited by a friend, so I was going, just to be going somewhere on a vacation! Little did I know how much I would enjoy the trip and the history of the Netherlands and Belgium. The country is beautiful, the history of what these ... Read More
I was invited by a friend, so I was going, just to be going somewhere on a vacation! Little did I know how much I would enjoy the trip and the history of the Netherlands and Belgium. The country is beautiful, the history of what these people have done to survive the wars and north sea is a wonderful experience. The people are truly lovely. Local guides, showing and telling us the local history, plus today's understanding of Europe and was the best part. And oh the FLOWERS. Our visit included the grand gardens on the last day of our trip and it was the best it could be. The food and service was top of the line. The fact that it was a river cruise and a smaller boat was that at our evening meal time, we were able to move around and meet and get to know more than half of the ship... Unlike a ocean cruise. The people then became friends as we went on our group tours too. So I came with one friend and have pictures of almost 30 that I would travel with again! Our Tour guide Steen did a wonderful job of taking care of issues and requests. Viking is the way to go! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Because of the itinerary. Met most of the folks on the ship. Loved the included shore excursions. Most of the city tours were very informative. Didn't like the Lipizzaner excursion. Waste of money. The included city tour saw ... Read More
Because of the itinerary. Met most of the folks on the ship. Loved the included shore excursions. Most of the city tours were very informative. Didn't like the Lipizzaner excursion. Waste of money. The included city tour saw more of the stallions than the optional excursion, and closer up. Meals, service, entertainment were great. Cabins on levels 2 and 3 are great, not on level 1. The staff in the bar and dining areas were great. Before the cruise, we spent the extra days in Amsterdam. Should have spent more time there. The transfers should be improved. Arrived in Amsterdam at 7:30, at the hotel by 9, but couldn't check in till 3. Leaving the ship in Budapest, we spent more than an hour in line to check in, then a LONG walk to the gate to leave. But the time on the ship was great. Would take this trip again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
I need to start this review by going to the end of the cruise first where we had booked the Prague extension from Budapest, before going home. If we had known this to be an 8 hr bus ride we would not have gone to Prague. This is too long ... Read More
I need to start this review by going to the end of the cruise first where we had booked the Prague extension from Budapest, before going home. If we had known this to be an 8 hr bus ride we would not have gone to Prague. This is too long to make any trip enjoyable. the Corinthia hotel is great but there were lots of frowny faces when we got off that bus. Viking never said a word about the distance, they should have. The other concern I have re the Viking management is the way my sister was treated who had just found out her house in Houston was possibly damaged due to hurrican Harvey. the Houston airport was closed of course, she asked the Viking Rep what to do, He said that she must follow the progrom and fly to Amsterdam where " we will see what will happen ! " Does that sound like something you would want to hear? Later they told her she could fly from Amsterdam to NY and then to Dallas where she could stay one night but that offer was only on the table for a short time! Does that sound caring? Travel insurance was with Viking. She wisely decided to stay at the Corinthia in Prague until the Houston airport was open again. KLM the air carrier agreed She never heard from viking again but I am sure they will hear from her .That said our Cruise was excellent .We had already made the lower Danube previously which was even better so were were not new to river cruises The Skadi and crew is a fine vessel and organization. Shore excursions were great My wife and brother inlaw are both severely handicapped but we were able to navigate most of the tours the staff were fantastic ,especially in the dining room This is a great cruise don;t miss it but watch out for management on- shore, it can leave a sour aftertaste.with misinformation or lack of any information. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This Grand European river cruise has been on my wish list for a long time. We started in Budapest on Saturday, May 6, the Skadi is a lovely ship, our cabin was nice, it would have been nice to have two chairs instead of one chair and a ... Read More
This Grand European river cruise has been on my wish list for a long time. We started in Budapest on Saturday, May 6, the Skadi is a lovely ship, our cabin was nice, it would have been nice to have two chairs instead of one chair and a stool, but otherwise was comfortable. The dining was wonderful, I needed special foods because of allergies and Ivan was wonderful assisting me. The ship's entertainment was fun and the service outstanding. I was surprised at the many ships at each port we visited. Sometimes several ships had to raft and walk through to get ashore, once we had to climb up to the top deck and cross over the top deck of the adjacent ship, then descend down to get off the ship. The included shore excursions were great, those guides were outstanding and the choices of ports was good. I was disappointed in the paid excursion to the Lipizzaner horses, we did not realize we would not get to see them perform or exercise, instead we had a tour of the stables. For the price of euro 99, for "Behind the Scenes at the Lipizzans" it was not what I expected. The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress tour was a disappointment too. I could have taken the Cable Car and walked through the Fortress for 8 euros instead of euro 49 because the so called guide who did a ridiculous skit as we walked through the outside to the Bier Garden where he left us to go tour on our own. Had it not been for these two excursions this would have been a 5 star cruise. There is so much history about WWII to be seen on this tour, I had read about the shoes memorial left along the Danube River in Budapest. The Skadi was anchored nearby. Seeing it saddened me to think this was done by the Nazi's. I loved seeing the castles and homes along the rivers. Cruising down the rivers and going through the locks was wonderful, it was exciting to watch the ship rise up and cross the Continental Divide then descend through the Main to the Rhine River. Passing the Lorelai and hearing the story was wonderful. Seeing the Windmills at Kinderdijk was interesting, there were too many people inside the mill to be able tours upstairs. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Since the culture in Europe is changing so rapidly with immigration, I wanted to visit the Netherlands and Belgium now. The Skadi is one of the new Viking long ships and is very nice. Having traveled on a previous Viking cruise on an older ... Read More
Since the culture in Europe is changing so rapidly with immigration, I wanted to visit the Netherlands and Belgium now. The Skadi is one of the new Viking long ships and is very nice. Having traveled on a previous Viking cruise on an older ship, I was disappointed the window in our lower cabin was much smaller than the older ship. Be careful to point the shower head away from the shower door, or the bathroom floor will be wet. The bathroom sinks are very small, so do not turn the faucet on full force or the water will "jump" out of the bowl onto your feet. The staff were extremely caring and pleasant, meals were good, included excursions were well done (the home visit was very nice). Several had asked for a way to attend a religious service on Easter Sunday, either on board or in the city; but that did not happen. An alternative would have been to have offered a space and time for passengers to voluntarily meet to read the Easter story from the Bible, possibly sing a hymn, etc. We enjoyed the optional trip to the tulip farm which helped us to see the countryside and understand the tulip industry. We also enjoyed the trip to the farm which made cheese and took home some of their products. Having an interest in history, a trip to the optional Open Air Museum presented a wonderful collection of actual historical buildings that were reassembled at the park. Costumed guides in businesses such a fishing, linseed oil, dairy, peat, etc. were informative. My favorite house was from the 1700's which housed both the family and livestock. The weather was unseasonably cold and windy. Take warm outer clothing, gloves, and a hat just in case of cold weather. We spent the "full" day in Burgess, but were still able to take a Viking bus afterwards to Ghent where we walked 15 minutes to Gravensteen Castle which after April 1 is open until 6:00. It is unfurnished, but does give the feel of a medieval castle. After the 1400's, it was a center for justice and punishment and has an interesting collection of torture and punishment instruments (check website for cost) Underestimating my husband's interest in WWII history, I wish I had scheduled the optional tour which explored the military history of "A Bridge too Far" in Arnhem. Overall we had a great time and understand how dykes, windmills, Delta Works, etc. allow people to live many feet underneath sea level. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
I really enjoyed our cruise, our cabin was beautiful, the staff was amazing especially our cruise director. As we embarked early in the morning we were greeted with coffee and pastries, we were lucky enough to be the first cruise of the ... Read More
I really enjoyed our cruise, our cabin was beautiful, the staff was amazing especially our cruise director. As we embarked early in the morning we were greeted with coffee and pastries, we were lucky enough to be the first cruise of the season so we got to go straight to our rooms. Every night we were informed of the next days activities and everything always ran smoothly and efficiently when we left the ship and did our excursions. The Excursions were for the most part amazing, my only complaint is that we were not given enough free time to explore on our own. The guides would promise us time but it was always only at the most 1/2 an hour would be given to us. That is not enough time to explore even the smallest of towns. Most of the optional cruises were definitely worth the amount we paid, but again if we did the optional cruise we would not have time to explore the port. The dining room was first class, from the food to the service, from Breakfast to dinner, to late nights snacks at the coffee bar. I love Viking and we are already looking forward to our next sailing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Our Viking Ship Skaadi provided a beautiful cabin, delicious food, and wonderful service. The views from our room were often breath-taking and, overall, the trip was magical. However, in several ports, we docked adjacent another Viking ... Read More
Our Viking Ship Skaadi provided a beautiful cabin, delicious food, and wonderful service. The views from our room were often breath-taking and, overall, the trip was magical. However, in several ports, we docked adjacent another Viking boat and the view was blocked. To have the advantage of seeing the Budapest skyline from our cabin only to have it blocked by our own cruise company was frustrating. Viking's personnel are amazing-- charming, charismatic, and devoted to providing a positive experience for their clients. We were highly impressed and noted that Viking must be an oustanding employer. Most of the excursions were high-quality with very knowledgeable guides. However, not all passengers heeded the physical requirements for some of the paid excursions, and a great deal of time was devoted to moving them along. I believe in being inclusive; however, my husband and I left one expensive tour and ventured out on our own because the pace was painfully slow. Overall, our Viking experience was beautiful and satisfyingly enriching. We will be taking more! (Our Grand European Cruise began in October and we had a good deal of rain with some uncomfortably cold days. I doubt that we will book a trip that late again.) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first river cruise and we chose it because of its over all value. We had no expectations. At the end, we were very pleased with our experience. The crew was very cordial and polished. Everything was to our liking. The ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we chose it because of its over all value. We had no expectations. At the end, we were very pleased with our experience. The crew was very cordial and polished. Everything was to our liking. The included excursions were excellent. The organization related to them were very good. The menu for each meal was varied. We always ate at the dining room and all the personnel was very pleasant. The meals were good. There was always a variety of items. The wines were very good. All the ports we visited, which were several, were very interesting. The disembarkation was also handled very professionally. We would recommend this cruise to anyone looking for their first River Cruise experience. We will also entertain the idea of going on a Viking Ocean Cruise in the future. We were presented a video depicting the ocean cruise and it seemed very appealing as well. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
We wanted to see the tulips and we had to meet our friends and this cruise fit into our schedule. Unfortunately, I got sick the third day and missed a tour I was counting on. This wasn't an anomaly as most of the passengers got sick ... Read More
We wanted to see the tulips and we had to meet our friends and this cruise fit into our schedule. Unfortunately, I got sick the third day and missed a tour I was counting on. This wasn't an anomaly as most of the passengers got sick at one time or another and my wife got sick a couple days before the end of the cruise. This was a 24 hour gastrointestinal bug that not only affected the passengers but the staff as well. My wife and I have been disappointed that Viking hasn't offered us any compensation for any future cruises. The other disappointment I have is that, with only a few weeks left, we asked our travel agent if there were any openings on the second or third decks as the only one we could originally get was on the lowest deck. We were able to get one on the second deck after paying $800 each for the upgrade. What we weren't told was that the staterooms on that deck aren't all the same and the center passageway is off center for the boat and we upgraded to a room which was much smaller than the one we had in November 2015 when we went to Germany. All in all the cruise was pleasurable, but the above issues were both negatives in our minds concerning the overall Viking experience 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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