3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had been planning for our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Var for over a year. Eight of us were traveling together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have never spent this much money on a vacation ($12,000) before and we ... Read More
We had been planning for our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Var for over a year. Eight of us were traveling together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have never spent this much money on a vacation ($12,000) before and we were so excited to cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg. The first four days of our trip was a dream. The crew on the Var was fabulous and we could not have been happier. On the 4th day, rumors started circulating around the ship that we were going to have to change ships. We understood from our contract with Viking that river levels or other issues could cause a change in itinerary, but how Viking handled the change is completely unacceptable. Viking has known a lock on the Danube between Regensburg and Nuremburg was broken since a Viking ship broke it on June 5th. We did not sail until June 28th, Viking knew about this itinerary change and did not notify its customers. We were told the night before a ship change that we had to have all our things packed and outside our cabin doors by 8:15 am to be transferred to a new ship. Here’s where it got worse: 1) We were bussed (1.5 hours) to Passau, Germany for that day’s tour and then bussed for 4 hours to Roth, Germany where our new ship, the Viking Tor, was docked in a dirty industrial canal. 2) When we boarded our new ship after four hours on a bus, not a single crew member apologized, a drink wasn’t offered…nothing. 3) At that night’s port talk, we were told that if we wanted to go to Regensburg, we would have to be bussed 1.5 hours each way for a two-hour city tour. We declined to take that tour and found our own way to the Roth train station and made our way to Nuremburg on our own and at our own expense. We were only 30 minutes from Nuremberg and the Viking crew would not help us arrange something different than what they had planned. 4) We then sat in Roth, in a dirty industrial canal for two days. 5) We sailed to another industrial canal in Nuremburg and disembarked the next day. Upon arriving home, I contacted Viking Customer Service to provide feedback and to ask for compensation for spending a third of our “Romantic Danube” cruise on dirty canals. I was told by the Agent for Viking that Viking Executives were reviewing compensation for all of the passengers. He told me that after I received that communication if I was not happy, I should call him back. About two hours later, I received an email from Viking offering us each a $250 voucher for another cruise. That is roughly 4% of the cost of our trip when we spent almost a third of our trip either on a bus or a dirty canal. What an insult from Viking. All of Viking’s advertising touts their world class service…that’s all true when everything is going fine, but when issues arise, Viking takes no responsibility or accountability with their customers. When I called the Agent back, he confirmed that $250 was the offer and that it was “more than generous”. He also explained to me how itinerary changes are made by Viking and that the experience I explained to him was not what had happened. He offered me $500 each for an ocean cruise, “but, that is the best I can do and we are at an impasse.” He was nice in our first call and very rude in our second. Here’s the truth: 1) Viking knew about the lock before we boarded our ship. They chose not to disclose it. Other river cruise companies did and one cruise line even put their passengers up in a 5 star hotel rather than make them spend days on a dirty canal. 2) Viking gave us 10 hours’ notice of the change. No one ever apologized. If they would have offered everyone a free drink in the bar that night after a 4 hour bus ride, that would have gone a long way. 3) We spent one-third of our vacation in a dirty canal and Viking could care less. I will never take a Viking cruise again, I will never recommend Viking, I will proactively tell my friends and family to never take a Viking cruise and I will use all social media and cruise review sites I can to tell my story. What a truly disappointing experience. Viking is dishonest and does not care about its customers…plain and simple. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had done the Rhine and couldn't wait to go again. I can't believe this is even the same cruise line. The crew was very standoff-ish. But, we made nice friends and the first few days were decent. Then, at Gottwieg Abby, we ... Read More
We had done the Rhine and couldn't wait to go again. I can't believe this is even the same cruise line. The crew was very standoff-ish. But, we made nice friends and the first few days were decent. Then, at Gottwieg Abby, we were informed that due to a broken lock, we would have to do a boat swap with Tor that night. We'd pack, they would transfer our luggage to another boat while we were touring, we'd return to the new boat and be on our way. What happened is that they stuck us on a 6-hour bus ride and delivered us to Tor - parked in an industrial waste site, complete with rumbling dump trucks and trash. There we stayed for 3 days! We found out it had already been there for 3 days prior! Most of our tours were canceled for two days. If we wanted to do anything we had to be up at 5:30 AM and on a bus for a 2-3 hour bus ride to a faraway city....where we would get to spend a whole hour touring! We finally mutinied and told them we were staying till 4 and they had better come and get us. They did...but at 5:45! Yet, we met other Viking passengers who had boat-swapped with little disruption. We understood the lock issue... until they tied us up for 3 days! No explanation. Calls to Viking upon return home were met with the rudest, nastiest treatment imaginable. "What do you want, lady?" I paid $10,000 for half a cruise. I would expect decent compensation. Nope, they acted as if we should have been grateful that they said, 'sorry.' Our Rhine had lectures and classes...this one had nothing! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The cruise was great, the food was really good, the tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. It was easily the best vacation my wife and I were ever on. We enjoyed the smaller setting with only 178 guests on our cruise. The crew was ... Read More
The cruise was great, the food was really good, the tour guides were pleasant and knowledgeable. It was easily the best vacation my wife and I were ever on. We enjoyed the smaller setting with only 178 guests on our cruise. The crew was fantastic. We enjoyed getting to know other passengers. The food was much better that the other cruises we have been on. It was a nice experience to go to sleep in one city and wake in another. The highlights for us were Budapest and Vienna. The only negative was our flight on Lufthansa was the only negative. 30 people's luggage were left in Frankfurt. Our flight coming in was 45 minutes late but it was 45 minutes late leaving so I don't think that was the issue. Leaving, we had to stand in the rain in the low thirties as we waited to board from the tarmac. I would recommend avoiding Lufthansa and Frankfurt if all possible. We're ready to take another cruise minus Lufthansa! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Always wanted to see Christmas markets in Germany/Austria. Saw an email three months prior to the trip with pricing offer that seemed too good to pass up. Have done several ocean cruises in Europe - this was our first river cruise. We ... Read More
Always wanted to see Christmas markets in Germany/Austria. Saw an email three months prior to the trip with pricing offer that seemed too good to pass up. Have done several ocean cruises in Europe - this was our first river cruise. We really enjoyed the slower pace, the ease of walking right to the center of town from our ship (unlike ocean ships where you sometimes must get transportation from the port to the city center). The ship's decor was elegant and simple. Service was excellent, very friendly crew. The food was very good, with regional menu offerings. There is no fitness area on the ship, but we walked our legs off nearly every day so we didn't miss it. The entertainment on river cruises can't compare to the big production shows you see on ocean ships, but the singing groups they brought on in a couple of the ports did a nice job. It was the first time in five months that the ship had been able to complete the entire journey, due to low water levels all summer. Thankful that we only had to unpack one time and were able to stay on the same ship for the entire journey without having to be bused between ports. The port towns/cities were all very charming and interesting - Christmas decorations and markets were very beautiful. The tours that Viking includes in the cruise price were very well done. Could not tell the difference between the included tours and the couple of tours that we paid extra for. We will definitely cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Just what we were looking for. We needed to get out of town during that time and this provided a no fuss way to do it. During the trip we had no worries or concerns about transfers, baggage, meals or entertainment. The necessities were ... Read More
Just what we were looking for. We needed to get out of town during that time and this provided a no fuss way to do it. During the trip we had no worries or concerns about transfers, baggage, meals or entertainment. The necessities were taken care of seamlessly and the added value was extraordinary. The ship was spacious and clean, I never felt crowded or 'herded' as I have on other trips. I do not know how they kept our cabin so clean and ship-shape as we seldom saw a chambermaid unless one was needed, but the room and facilities were always spotless. As far as the other help went (waiters, bartenders, etc.) they were also extraordinary. I even have a joke that I tell my friends, when I asked a staff member if he ever said 'no' his answer was of course 'no'. Everyone went out of their way to provide for our needs. The food was excellent and of course the staff would never say 'no' to a special food request. We even came back from ashore late one afternoon, freezing cold and way too late for lunch but of course they still served us, as I said they never say no. All the food was just great but we looked forward to every dinner as they was always something very special on the menu. Every stop was a new adventure. Not only were the guides local, knowledgeable, proud of their town but were lots of fun. Not a bad guide for the whole trip and we had many. There was so much to do everyday that we had to make time to relax and get some rest although when we did we felt like we were missing something and we didn't want to miss a thing. I don't know what else to add except I hope to get chance for another Viking adventure Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The entire cruise was thoroughly enjoyable. Every crew member treated everyone as royalty. Every minute was enjoyable. I’ve done several ocean cruises with other cruise ships and non can compare to Viking. The service was impeccable. ... Read More
The entire cruise was thoroughly enjoyable. Every crew member treated everyone as royalty. Every minute was enjoyable. I’ve done several ocean cruises with other cruise ships and non can compare to Viking. The service was impeccable. This was an adult cruise with no children. Very relaxing!!! The food was excellent. The entertainment was good. If you have never cruised before or even if you have; I wouldn’t recommend any other cruise lines to travel with. They make it easy and seamless. The airlines had lost my luggage upon arrival. Viking did not give up on my luggage. The front desk followed through with the airlines almost hourly. It did take two days but they were able to track down my luggage and got it delivered to me. We went on this particular cruise to see the Christmas markets. Viking’s ports of call did not disappoint. We had Christmas markets to see and wander as long as we wanted in every port. I only rated the cabin very good vs excellent because we were in the lower level of the ship with no window and heard the anchor and engines all night. But that is to be expected when you’re trying to save money for all of the souvenirs. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people. The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we could have made. It is at the top of one of the worst vacations we have ever taken. And to add to our disappointment, the $500 cruise voucher that has been offered, it is just an insult. We reached out to Viking but of course we never heard back! We understand “Acts of God” (river being low) however the lack of communication from Viking was unprofessional and deceptive. Sending an email the week before the trip is not communication especially because Viking knew all summer about the river problems and they knew the amount of rain needed for the proper water levels had not occurred and would not improve before our scheduled departure date. We would have expected your company to: 1) Cancel the trip; 2) offer a full refund; 3) inform guest that their money would be transferred to a future river or ocean cruise; or 4) make the fully aware of what they were getting into if we chose to take the trip. None of these things were offered. So, instead Viking decided to have a cruise of almost 200 disgruntled customers, who will now spread the word about their experience. Below are some of the issues / problems we experience with this trip that we feel warrants compensation from Viking, that is not the insulting $500 that was offered. Air Service – Very disappointed with this service. Had we know about all of the hidden costs, we would have made my own travel arrangements. Which would have allowed us more time and saved us money. Don’t use! 3 total ships (VAR, TOR and Hemods) Viking Var – (Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. Front desk not so much, when ask directly about the boat change, etc. that had been mentioned in the Port Talk, which we missed because of our late arrival. We were provided with incorrect information, which was rude. Optional Tour Nuremberg– the guide was informative and provided good information Optional Tour Regensburg– the guide for the walking tour was very informative and provided very good information Optional Tour Passau – we did not see Passau. We paid for Salzburg Highlights. The bus driver “the Pope” was very funny and made the unbearable long bus ride a tad bit better. The guide for the walking tour was also good. BAD Optional Tour Nuremberg – the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. UGLY Optional Tour Nuremberg – Not enough free time to shop or explore the city. Rushing back to ship to leave did not make any sense. Optional Tour Regensburg – Spending an entire day in a city that is completed closed was an utter waste of time. We could have spent more time in Nuremberg. Optional Tour Passau / Salzburg – The Salzburg Highlight tour was not worth the money spent. And if we had been informed that the 3 hour total bus ride was now a 6 hour bus ride, we may have opted out. We were not informed of the change until we had already boarded the bus and were on our way. The bus ride to and from was pure “hell” that was too long to be a bus for a 3.5 hour excursion. A total shame! There were no lights to guide guest back to the ship once the bus dropped us off from the Salzburg tour. It was extremely dark and very hazardous. Guest had to use their cell phones to find their way back. Luckily no one was hurt. Room Steward – In effort to clean our rooms before we could even leave the ship, the steward threw away my body buff that I use for bathing– not happy. Room Steward – The day of the bus ride, we went to breakfast and left our personal items on the bed. When we return to the room all of our items had been moved from the bed and the room had been cleaned. This is totally unacceptable! Our personally items should not have been touched under any circumstances and they could have waited another 20 minutes to clean the room. Viking Tor (Vienna and Krems) GOOD Optional Tour Vienna – the walking tour was excellent. It was refreshing after sitting on the bus the day before. The guide did a great job and we had plenty of free time to explore. One of the only highlights of the trip. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place – the guide was very informative. Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD After the long bus ride we decided not to go on the Gottweig Abbey optional tour. We stayed on the ship to take pictures of the Wachau Valley. However because of the lateness of the hour and the lock, were not able to get many pictures. It was very annoying that the commentary continued about what we were “not” seeing because it was dark out and could not make out anything. Yet another disappointment. Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place –The tour seemed very rush and for the amount of money we spent, we should have been able to see both parts of the palace not just the one section. We felt cheated. It would have been cheaper and easier to do it on our own. UGLY The 3 hour bus ride was horrific, especially after the 6 hour bus ride the day before. It was totally unacceptable. The stateroom bathroom was horrible. The shower had not been cleaned properly, had hair on the walls and the floor that was not ours. The bathroom toilet was not flushing when we arrived. An officer came to the room and checked and it would not flush for him either. About 5 to 10 minutes after he left the toilet starting flushing and then a “rude” engineer came to the room stating that it was working. However the water pressure was very low and it took several attempts to get the toilet to flush. The bathroom also smelled like urine. It was extremely offensive. We reported the issue to the desk, however they decided to give us a lesson on how to flush the toilet and did not address the horrific bathroom smells. It was not good. Viking Hermod (Budapest) GOOD Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly. BAD Optional Tour Budapest– the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. The guide was not as good as the others and she kept pointing out highlights way before we got to them and people were missing them. There was not enough time to explore the beautiful city. UGLY Another 3 plus hour bus ride – just a nightmare. The bathroom stop, where we had to pay was ridiculous. This should have been covered by Viking. Fortunately, we still had some Euros in order to pay for the bathroom. We are extremely disappointed in the quality and value of service that was received from Viking. There was absolutely no value for the money spent. Viking failed us and the other guest. We could never recommend Viking Cruises to any our blog readers. We also have already told our family and friends not to Cruise with Viking! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before ... Read More
We just returned from a “Romantic Danube” river cruise, which not only did not meet our expectations, but left us feeling miss-led. I say that because we were communicating with friends taking similar Viking itineraries weeks before our travel who made us aware of the nightmares they were experiencing. Nightmares as defined by numerous bus trips and lack of cruising time and being on board of a stagnant boat for accommodation purposes only. As we heard of these nightmares we contacted our travel agent and asked to cancel the cruise due to the low river levels. Our agent talked directly with Viking to understand the situation. We were then assured there would be only one bus ride for a three-hour duration from the Passau region to Vienna. The fact of the matter is the first bus ride was five hours, followed by a second bus ride into Budapest that took another 4 ½ hours. Combined with the numerous bus rides comes the task of packing and unpacking two more times than planned, which is a huge inconvenience. Once we reached Budapest we boarded an older boat that did not leave the dock – not much of a river cruise. While I understand Viking cannot control mother nature, you can control communications with honesty and integrity. It is quite apparent the revenue derived from your efforts is more important than customer satisfaction. My complaint is simple; we made our intentions clear; if there was any chance of additional bus rides and or lack of cruising time on the river we wanted to execute our insurance policy and obtain a full refund. That request is well documented with email communications more than two weeks prior to travel. We are now demanding a full refund for the cruise portion of the trip. We are not looking for a discount for future travel. Viking and Travel Leaders has lost our trust. As the previous President of my own company I would want to know about and work with dissatisfied customers. Which is the reason I’m writing a high-level executive and asking for more than a discount on a future Viking cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance ... Read More
An old adage says, “If a man deceives me once, shame on him, if twice, shame on me. Not exactly true when it comes to dealing with Viking Cruises. You can cancel your Viking cruise but even with “cancel for any reason” insurance with Viking’s Tripmate, you will pay more. You will only get a voucher for that cancellation, and with that voucher amount you will have to start over (including your air travel and the costs involved with speaking to the air agent for upgrading your travel), for insurance, and for whatever other costs are involved for your trip. If you cancel your Danube River cruise because the water levels will turn the trip into a bus trip. (Not exactly the vacation you envisioned.) And you decide that you will try to reschedule in the Spring since there would be a better chance for higher water levels, the cost will be at least $1000 to $1500 more. So, try for the fall next year. The cost will be at least $500 more—per person. On top of that you will have to buy new insurance if you want that trip covered. You have only 12-15 months after cancelling to reschedule so you don’t want to blow the opportunity. Viking insurance only allows for rescheduling; the company does not give refunds. Solution: Buy insurance outside of Viking for refunds. Keep in mind that your contract of carriage indicates that the Provider may change your itinerary. What Viking does is to give you assurances up to the last minute that your itinerary stays the same or close to it even though they know it will not. This does not give you adequate time to reconsider. And it especially does not give you adequate time when you have already left for the trip. How do we know, it happened to us. After five phone calls to Viking wherein we were assured that everything would be fine (oh, maybe one bus trip and one ship swap), we opted to go ahead and take the trip. Instead of the “only unpack once” concept, we packed and repacked for 7 or 8 days because we were on a boat, a bus, in a hotel, a bus, etc. We did not get an upgraded hotel room or an upgraded bus seat for the upgraded cabin for which we paid; we got only the same sort of bus trip and hotel everyone else got. So, Viking gave us a voucher, not a refund. Now we have a voucher for future travel on Viking. Do we really want to chance it again? There are those who were on the same trip who are delighted. I am guessing they believed everything Viking told them and think they are getting the deal of a lifetime. Our argument with Viking is not that the water levels were low. The argument lies with the lack of transparency and intentional vague and obscure manner of communication. About a year ago, we sailed on Viking to Cuba (one of their first soirees there). We booked it because we would dock in Havana, go to Belize and Cozumel. None of that happened. We docked in Cienfuegos. That was it, and we were bussed to Havana. I thought that this was Viking’s naiveté with Ocean cruising. Now I know it is the M.O. For this river cruise The Romantic Danube, yes, the water level on the Danube was the cause of the river cruise changes. Viking knew in early summer what was coming. In fact numerous passengers from other vessels told us the same story—this had been going on for a month. Viking prepared to fend off cancellations and complaints. What Viking should have offered was as follows: 1. Viking should alert passengers far earlier than one week prior when many may have already left the country. 2. Cash back for cancellations. 3. Cash reductions for those opting to go on a bus tour, or cash back for those opting to leave the tour. 4. Hotel upgrades for persons who had suites or Veranda cabins. 5. Dining at finer restaurants instead of roadside McDonalds or places of Vikings’ choosing wherein everyone got the same meal. Viking Customer Service admitted knowing of a problem and told us “we work with people.” We are still awaiting a resolution which, for us, would be a cash back solution. So far Viking is not “working with us.” Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018 with a three-day extension in Prague, starting on October 9. In short, our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a "Stressful Danube Bus ... Read More
We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018 with a three-day extension in Prague, starting on October 9. In short, our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a "Stressful Danube Bus Tour". Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, we were bussed to all our ports, except for Nuremberg (an industrial port with cargo "scenery"), Regensburg and Passau (another industrial port actually located in Sausburg). We never experienced the beautiful river sites of the Wachau Valley, the Danube bend, or Budapest's extraordinary architecture. However, we did experience a boat hotel/restaurant experience on three different ships (not the Var as originally scheduled)--the Tor, the Wilhelm and the Idun--having to unpack and repack our luggage several times and in time for very early bus departures to our next city. A few of the "highlights" of our bus tour included: - Absolutely no leisure time to explore Vienna or Budapest - A lunch of overdone pot roast and tator tots at a Melk hotel restaurant - Becoming experts in European bus companies and rest stops (After all, Viking does market itself as a "thinking person's" cruise company, and we certainly did learn a lot about bus travel!) - Two cabin bathrooms that smelled of urine, one broken toilet seat, one clogged shower drain, three very dirty balconies - Cancelled optional excursions in Budapest - Balcony sites that included cargo, foul smelling water, other ships cabins (Many ships docked in tandem so that you can see into others cabins) - A bus driver who almost got us all killed by challenging two tractor trailers to a skirmish (Viking does advertise an "exciting trip"!) - Unorganized disembarkation -- oh, I mean bus departures -- due to unprepared staff; in fact, we almost missed our flights home due to miscommunication between the ship and the bus driver - An Austrian bus tour guide who could not speak or understand English (Well, I guess Viking does advertise a truly “in-country” experience) - A Tour Director who constantly touted the excellent service and scenery which should translate into gratuities for the staff. He was certainly laser focused on getting his tip! - A farewell captain's speech that summarized why we should buy from Viking again (Can you say ‘tone deaf?) Ahhh, but the most memorable highlight of all was the Tour Director lecturing us on why we should be happy with our circumstances, because "after all, you could be a victim of hurricane Michael." (I kid you not!) Again, Viking has known for many months about the low river levels and chose not to notify their customers/passengers in a timely, honest manner. After some online research and talking with other Viking passengers, we have also learned that Viking consistently performs misleading advertising and unethical business practices. Basically, they lie to their customers in return for profits. Viking has offered us a 25% discount on our next cruise, but what about our current cruise? We did NOT get what Viking promised. Viking, why not start demonstrating some integrity and provide a minimum 50% discount on the "cruise" we just took? We're about to retire and thought we would be travelling numerous times with Viking. But based on the way they have mishandled this cruise, we will book with their competitors like Crystal, AMA or Avalon. In short, #MYVIKINGSTORY: NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" ... Read More
BUYER BEWARE. The 2018 Romantic Danube Viking Rivers Cruises is a sham. You will not get what you signed up for. We "sailed" with Viking October 12 through October 19, 2018. Our "Romantic Danube River Cruise" turned into a very uncomfortable Danube Bus Tour". Due to low water levels on the Danube, which we now understand has been known by Viking for many months, Although we realize that Viking is not in control of the weather, Viking was well aware that the Romantic Danube River cruise could not navigate the river on over half the trip. We were motor coached to all our ports, except for Nuremberg, Regensburg and Vienna. We spent approximately 7 daylight hours cruising during our 8 day river cruise. The rest of the time was spent changing cruise ships ( 3 times we had to pack our bags and put them outside our door for early morning pickup) This was not a river cruise it was a bus tour. The river cruise was advertised as a romantic once in a life time adventure highlighting the scenic Wachau Valley We never saw the spectacular views of the Wachau Valley as we were traveling through the country side by bus for eight hours We became well acquainted with the European bus companies and rest stops. One bus driver did not know the exit to take to Roth, Our first tour guide didn’t have a charged audio system and had to try to shout out the interesting aspects of Regensburg. The same thing happened in Budapest. The guide said to leave the audio device on the bus and he would shout out the highlights. Then George showed up with a new device for our guide, but we no longer had our device as we left them on the bus and it was gone. On Monday October 15 while waiting on a pedestrian walkway for the “bus” pickup area in Passau, I was struck and knocked down by a bicyclist. Not having enough time to be treated in Passau we returned to the ship, hoping for some medical help there. The ship had nothing but a band aid for the cut above my eye. As we arrived back at the ship the Captain was standing at the receptions desk and I asked for assistance. Apparently he did not understand what I needed because he called someone else to help me. The only help they could do for me was call a cab. My husband and I spent three hours that evening in the emergency room in Straubing. The staff on the ship did not know that it would cost us 100 euros to be treated. The receptionist at the desk would not treat us without the money even though I had insurance coverage. We did not have that much with us. My husband had to find an ATM at 6 o’clock in the dark, in a city he knew nothing about. We spent over 3 hours at the emergency as I required 2 stiches above my eye. I would have expected a little more support from the staff on the ship. The accommodations on the 3 ships we were on were adequate. The food left us somewhat disappointed. Nothing was what I would call spectacular. The staff on the Viking Tor was really great and tried to make the best of a bad situation. On Thursday October 18 we were again transferred from the Viking Wihlelm to Budapest by bus. Budapest was a bust. We arrived in time for lunch on the Viking IDUM, then loaded in a bus for the tour of Budapest. The tour guide was none stop talking about the city. Almost like he didn’t have enough time to say what he wanted to say. Then when we departed the bus the Quietvox did not work. So the tour guide told us to leave ours on the bus and he would talk loudly on the walking tour. So we left the QuiteVox on the bus. Then George showed up, gave the tour guide a new Quietvox and we continued. Only those who had their Quietvox’s were able to hear. We left ours on the We got back to the bus with no time left to go to the marketplace, which I was looking forward to, as we should have had all afternoon to take in. That didn’t happen. On Friday October 19, we were told to have our luggage outside our door at 6:30am. Which we did. Went to breakfast which was served cold. It appeared the staff had put the food out for the earlier departures and did not heat for the later breakfast arrivals. After we went back to our rooms at 7:30 our luggage was still outside our doors. Finally at 8am we were again on a bus to go to the airport in Budapest (expected transportation). We sat on the bus loaded and ready to go, but the bus driver was not sure he had everyone as he did not have a list of passengers nor was there a Viking representative there to help him. One of the passengers gave him the list that we had received the night before. If it were not for our group of family and friends, this cruise/bus tour would have been unbearable. We feel Viking misled us over and over with their daily updates on how bad the low water level was, when in fact Viking knew this situation persisted months before our cruise. This is very unprofessional on Vikings part. They should have been honest with their customers and given us the option to postpone or cancel the cruise. Instead they had our money and they were not going to give it up, instead Viking thought a bus tour was adequate for a very the price we paid for an expensive river cruise. AAA and Viking did not represent their customers, they are in the business to sell cruises so buyer beware. Remember future travelers, AAA and Viking represent themselves not you. I will not recommend AAA or Viking to anyone that will be traveling. Also, remember we are in the age group that will be traveling. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation ... Read More
Our Viking river cruise was a disappointing experience; marred by poor customer service and misleading information. While I appreciate there is a drought and hence impact to the cruise that is out of Viking’s control, how the situation was handled by Viking —delays in shuttling between destinations, multiple accommodation changes, excursions cancelled and lack of transparency/misleading communications by Viking before/during the trip— is unacceptable. This is my fifth cruise; first cruise on Viking. The cruise was an all around disappointing experience and not what I would expect from a luxury cruise line. Given the inability to cruise due to water levels on the Danube, Viking should have informed guests prior to the trip —AND provided an honest representation during the trip (this is the 4th month of fraught conditions). Instead, Viking withheld information until the night before (daily update meetings before dinner to inform guests of next day changes to schedule) and in certain cases were dishonest in communications. Viking river boats are not designed to handle situations such as low water levels as there are no activities for guests that may choose to remain on the boat. Food is fair and service is poor in relation to cost: no room service; special ordered food at breakfast that came out as prepared for buffet; noted this was a cruise to celebrate a birthday during cruise- no acknowledgement; Viking cancelled pre-scheduled excursions without communicating the change directly; needed something printed and front desk unable to deliver to room, etc. As others have stated, balaconies are a waste of $ as the majority of time we were docked and stacked with other boats with immediate views into other rooms. Not only did we not use the balconies, we kept our drapes drawn for privacy. The Viking river cruise was such a bad experience that we disembarked two days early, took the train to the final destination, and checked into a hotel. Viking staff made no offer to assist in coordinating this change nor would assist with luggage transfer. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We loved the ports of call and activities on this cruise! The staff could not possibly have been more friendly or service oriented, although this was more so on our first boat (we had to change boats due to low water levels). The food ... Read More
We loved the ports of call and activities on this cruise! The staff could not possibly have been more friendly or service oriented, although this was more so on our first boat (we had to change boats due to low water levels). The food was outstanding, and we greatly enjoyed all our tour guides. Thee was a problem with the AC control in our room one evening, and the response from the young lady at the desk was the sole time that we were disappointed in the service, as she was not really helpful at all. The one suggestion we would offer is to minimize the time spent on a bus as much as possible, although we understand that was necessary in some cases to get to the chosen tour. Viking truly tries to take excellent care of their guests from the time we arrive until when we depart. It was a wonderful vacation, and we plan to take another Viking cruise sometime soon! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My family decided to do a special river cruise on the Viking Var sailing the Romantic Danube on August 17th. Like several others already noted, our experience was the worst we have ever experienced. I will not go into any farther detail ... Read More
My family decided to do a special river cruise on the Viking Var sailing the Romantic Danube on August 17th. Like several others already noted, our experience was the worst we have ever experienced. I will not go into any farther detail on doing very little sailing but a lot of bus rides since you can read others comments. My focus will be on how Viking did an extremely POOR job preparing and communicating to the circumstances of the low water issue. - receiving an email a couple of days prior to departure is ridiculous. They knew exactly the issue for over a month and should have given their CUSTOMERS a warning so they could decide any action they might like to take. VIKING decided their P&L more important. - The boats are not secure. ANYONE could walk on and off the boat. The only time there was ever security at the entrance of the boat was in Budapest. A gentleman/security sat outside on a bench. I actually went running and when I was returning to the boat my son FaceTimed me. The security guy was on the bench asleep. I actually turned my phone so my son could see him and get a good laugh at the level of security the boat has. VIKING open your eyes before something unfortunate happens and then you react. - Food was below average especially if you experienced an ocean cruise from other companies. I would say the service was average BUT lets be realistic. We were seeing different cruise employees since we were on 3 different boats. I'm sure it would be better if on same boat and you were building relationships and tipping for the trip was going to them. - My suite with oversized balcony could not be used due to spiders EVERYWHERE. Had to go to top verses use the view I paid for. - Communication was terrible. Kept saying they weren't sure of what we were doing at the end of the week. CUSTOMERS want to know, and VIKING simply didn't want to rock the boat. - I felt sorry for Director of the boat. You spend a lot of time on the boat not moving and she had to communicate all the bad news. WHERE"S THE CAPTAIN??? BOAT IS Not moving and she needs your support. Support your staff! - 25% is an absolute slap in the face AND IS ONLY ON THE CRUISING PART. Let's see: I spend over $18,000 and the initial offer is under $3,000 CREDIT on another cruise. WOW, I had such a terrible time let's do it again and at a rate that you make a lot of money on me again. Great deal - NOT!! My family reserved EVERY SUITE THEY HAD AVAILABLE. I talked with VIKING Customer Relations and made them aware that I was interested in giving them a chance to redeem themselves, that I would even stay in a suite but really thought they should step up to the plate more after I trusted them with an $18,000 investment. They did come up a little. Even 25% off my total Viking bill would have felt a lot better, but there is one simple reality to their offer: THEIR DECISION IS BASED OFF A P&L and not what is fair to their CUSTOMER. I even asked a Customer Service person if they were me would they be happy with what I was being offered, and all you get is silence, and then restating the offer. Without saying it, her answer was obviously NO. THAT SHOULD TELL VIKING SOMETHING. I believe VIKING must be fantastic when everything goes as planned. The reviews consistently say that. When things do not go as planned, they are far than at their best. - WARNING - WARNING - Do not sail VIKING's ROMANTIC Danube route in July or August!! I did not realize this is an ongoing seasonal issue. Go a different route our at a different time. - Want a POSITIVE: I noted issue with security, but loading and unloading is VERY SIMPLE. Congratulations for that. Also transportation to airport was done well. I will also say the customer service rep did a good job especially taking the beating she is taking over and over again. Unfortunately she is the messenger for VIKING and taking a pounding for them not taking care of CUSTOMERS. We had 5 suites and 2 other rooms for this cruise, and I believe I am the only one even considering giving VIKING another chance simply because the overall reviews are good. My wife is not on board with doing another cruise with VIKING, so not sure it will ever happen. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Recommendations Supposed to go in the Var to Budapest. River was low so went on the Tor for one night transferred to the Var. We did cruise the Wachau Valley and then transferred to another Long boat at Vienna. Bus rides for most of the ... Read More
Recommendations Supposed to go in the Var to Budapest. River was low so went on the Tor for one night transferred to the Var. We did cruise the Wachau Valley and then transferred to another Long boat at Vienna. Bus rides for most of the supposed Danube trip ie. Regensberg to Passau and back. Regensberg to Vienna, Vienna to Budapest. Left the boat at 3:30 am to go to the airport. Dumped at the airport with no guidance to catch a 6:30 am plane to Brussels and then to Chicago. I left out that I had a IU infection and called a Dr. in Vienna. Did Viking follow up, NO! We have been on 28 cruises and enjoyed all but one. We were notified 8 hours in advance that the river was low and we might have unpack and go to another boat. We had booked a room in Kansas City and it was too late to change anything. We were informed in Budapest that the long boat had been stuck for 3 weeks and was serving as a one night hotel. It is obvious that Viking was only interested in the money and had no concerns about passenger rights. We were offered a cruise voucher for 25% off future cruises which infuriates me. I might mention that we did not pick a 3:30 trip to the airport for a 6:30 flight which means getting up a 2:00am. See the World in comfort, yeah right! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We sailed with Viking previously on the Moselle and Rhine. We wanted to sail the Danube and chose Viking. We love how they take care of everything once you arrive. A barge accident blocked the Danube causing us to change ships. Viking ... Read More
We sailed with Viking previously on the Moselle and Rhine. We wanted to sail the Danube and chose Viking. We love how they take care of everything once you arrive. A barge accident blocked the Danube causing us to change ships. Viking handled everything and compensated for the lost cruise time. Excellent crew, guides and chef. The food is excellent with several choices at each meal. Viking also handled our flights and did a good job when a booking problem arose (Air Canada mistake). We would have liked more cruise time but the accident shortening cruise time was not Vikings fault. Viking hires energetic and friendly staff that learns your preferences and takes care of you. This even happened with our second ship crew which was amazing. We stayed in a French Veranda which is a bit small but not enough to feel cramped. We spent little time in our cabin and explored on land and participated in entertainment activities which were plentiful and enjoyable. We have cruised twice with Viking and hope to cruise with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had our first river cruise in 2017, a Viking Rhine cruise, and were so impressed with the way Viking looks after you from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave. We returned this year for their Romantic Danube cruise. We were ... Read More
We had our first river cruise in 2017, a Viking Rhine cruise, and were so impressed with the way Viking looks after you from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave. We returned this year for their Romantic Danube cruise. We were a little apprehensive as last year we were on the Viking Hild, which at that time was only about 3 weeks old. So we were not sure whether the Viking Var would compare favorably, being a little older. Glad to report that this longboat was just as perfect. We opted for the pre-cruise 2 nights in Budapest and are so glad we did. We were unlucky enough to get the only wet day of our trip, but despite this, our tour guide managed to make our 5 hour walking tour - a Taste of Budapest - so much fun and very interesting. Without her, there we would not have seen much of Budapest at all, in fact the rain would have probably driven us back into the hotel. She had tickets already for the Parliament tour, and when we got there the lines were almost out the door for people trying to get tickets (it being a rainy day), so we most likely could not have done this on our own. She showed us parts of Budapest we would not have found, including a restaurant with its own museum downstairs. On board, the Viking crew were excellent, with our Program Director, George being a real star. This position is vital to everyone having a good time, and George did exactly that, with a great sense of humor and endless energy. The onboard meals could not be faulted, and we enjoyed the white cloth, and waiter service with plenty of choices. We also appreciate the self service station, where you can make a variety of drinks 24 hours a day, including cappuccinos, hot chocolate, flat or sparkling water, and a variety of teas, even chamomile. The continuous supply of bottled water in the cabins is another great convenience, and being handed a bottle of drinking water each every time we left the boat for an excursion. Really there is nothing that Viking has not thought of to make the vacation really special. The evening port talks, to give you information for the following day's excursion, were really helpful, as were the printed sheets placed in our cabins during dinner each evening. All the excursions were very enjoyable, with Regensburg being our favorite, as our guide there kept us walking and talking, and not wasting time standing around too much. But all the places were visited were excellent. Needless to say, we have already booked for 2019, for their Rhone river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The reason we selected Viking was because of the reputation of everything being included and not having to worry about being nickeled and dimed every time you turn around. I had researched all of the other river ships and no one could ... Read More
The reason we selected Viking was because of the reputation of everything being included and not having to worry about being nickeled and dimed every time you turn around. I had researched all of the other river ships and no one could measure up to the service that Viking gives. The person that motivated me to book the cruise was Shane Bagely located in Corp. headquarters, Woodland Hills CA. No pressure, knowledge of everything we wanted and a sincere interest in this being the first river cruise he wanted this to be best experience he could arrange for us. Everyone that greeted us on board generally treated us with warmth, professionalism, and attention to detail. The sweet we had was superb. The extra sitting room and balcony made a huge difference. The staff from the moment you came on board greeted you with enthusiasm. The ship, rooms and general areas were spotless. The dinning, under the guidance of Marcus, a 31 year old Executive Chef from Germany, served a 5 star meal every night that was representative of the port we were in. The Program Director was very entertaining, knowledgeable and ran the ship activities perfectly . The Capt. was very accessible as was the Hotel Manager, and Maitre d' The free morning tours were very informative and the guides extremely entertaining and knowledgeable. . By the end of the cruise we had met everyone on the ship and made many new friends that we still keep in touch with. A side note: I did not know that we would be going through 26 locks. Who need the Panama canal. I was just about to doze off on the first night of sailing. About 10:30 or so. All of a sudden there was a bump of the boat that shook the bed enough for me to jump out of bed. (I live in Los Angeles and earthquake came to mind) Looked out the window and alI could see was a wall of the first lock. Had to laugh at myself. Would we do this again? We have already booked the Rhine cruise for 2019 with our friends we meet on this cruise. Don't miss this cruise!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The Viking team took care of us from the moment our plane landed until we passed through airport security to return home. Everyone we came in contact with was great. The boat was beautiful. The room adequately sized but beautifully ... Read More
The Viking team took care of us from the moment our plane landed until we passed through airport security to return home. Everyone we came in contact with was great. The boat was beautiful. The room adequately sized but beautifully furnished. Food was incredible, over the top. Lots of it and all delicious. Meals from the regions we were visiting each day. Wines, too, from the regions we travelled to. The service was outstanding on all fronts. The airport team, the cruise manager, the people who greeted you every day, the wait staff, the chef, the housekeepers - everyone was courteous, friendly and accommodating. The tours were very informative. They were conducted by interesting and well educated tour guides who had a passion for their town and region. You had flexibility in your schedule, but there was always something happening. I would highly recommend Viking and will travel with them again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to cruise the Danube, and heard great things about Viking. The date worked out for us. Unlike other cruises, we had a full day in every port. The port talks on board let us know what to anticipate at each port, and in ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Danube, and heard great things about Viking. The date worked out for us. Unlike other cruises, we had a full day in every port. The port talks on board let us know what to anticipate at each port, and in addition to a free excursion at each, we were offered really interesting options. We went on several free tours, generally great introductions to each town or city, but our favorite was an amazing concert just for Viking passengers one night in Vienna. It included a brilliant ten piece orchestra that sounded twice that large as well as two opera singers and two ballet dancers. The program was not only glorious but also interspersed with humor at times. There were several standing ovations toward the end. The food at every meal was absolutely delicious, with many entree choices as well as great buffets. Our cruise director, George, made the cruise so much fun. Along with local entertainers, George and his pianist Boris kept everyone dancing, and his humor as well as his singing was delightful. We were truly treated royally by the entire staff and can’t wait to go on another cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first experience with a river cruise and we are already booked for another this summer. We enjoyed the guides, the meals and meeting new friends. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and especially valued the day we spent simply ... Read More
This was our first experience with a river cruise and we are already booked for another this summer. We enjoyed the guides, the meals and meeting new friends. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and especially valued the day we spent simply cruising the Danube gorges. We found Nuremberg to be a fascinating historical stop. We also found Regensburg to be a historic gem. Budapest was a trip favorite from the nighttime cruise to the walking tour - a city we want to spend a week in sometime in the future. We liked being able to split our time between the early morning time on the prow before a second fuller breakfast in the dining room. I loved the on-ship library to augment the choices we had brought with us. We took advantage of the Viking flexibility and flew in early to travel around Austria, Germany and Slovakia before we boarded in Budapest. The range of food items was great, with the emphasis on diversity and local options. The crew was simply fantastic - enthusiastic, engaging and eager to serve. Our cruise director George was a bundle of energy and a font of witty jibes and "groaners." Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I finally did it and booked a river cruise. It exceeded my expectations. I chose 7 days which is perfect for me. I love the way the boats are configured to feel like you have so much space in a really limited size vessel. Loved the floor ... Read More
I finally did it and booked a river cruise. It exceeded my expectations. I chose 7 days which is perfect for me. I love the way the boats are configured to feel like you have so much space in a really limited size vessel. Loved the floor to ceiling windows. Every detail is thoughtfully executed. Great food, wine, people, entertainment. The included tours are great. You don't need to spend loads of money to have a delightful time. Well traveled folks who enjoy meeting each other. The crew work tirelessly to make the trip memorable. I will return at a future date for another cruise with Viking. I do thing you need to make sure that people are aware that when docked you may not be able to have a view from your cabin window. The ships tie up side by side and certain stops and also inside locks there is no view but concrete on those lower levels at times. It would have affected some peoples selections regarding cabin level I believe. I heard it discussed several times. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I had never been to Europe & had always wanted to go. A friend and I saw a 2 for 1 add for the Danube Cruise. We called Viking & booked; I was surprised at how easy it was. Our booking agent kept in contact with us for the entire 8 ... Read More
I had never been to Europe & had always wanted to go. A friend and I saw a 2 for 1 add for the Danube Cruise. We called Viking & booked; I was surprised at how easy it was. Our booking agent kept in contact with us for the entire 8 months to keep us up to date with everything. What was most impressive was how attentive the staff was from the very beginning (picking us up at the airport) to the very end, taking us back to the airport after an additional 3 day stay in Budapest (also all arranged by our agent). Our party of four turned into a party of 14, which also helped lift our spirits. Once on board, I was taken to my cabin; it was beautiful. We had a Veranda room with a balcony which I sat on every morning as I drank my tea. Sometimes it's just the little things that stand out...like a heated floor in the bathroom! It was so much more than just adequate, it was comfortable and well appointed. Room service was available, as well as laundry service. I didn't know what to expect as far as dining was concerned, but I would soon discover that it was amazing. Regional selections were available each day as we traveled from Passau, Germany, through Austria, Slovakia to our final destination of Budapest, Hungary. They also had a menu with standard items that were always available. I highly recommend the private dining which each passenger will have the opportunity to book; I think the room will seat approximately 20-24 people.. This a five course meal cooked in front of you by the chef. It was wonderful, don't miss it! Each stop had a variety of excursions, including at least 1 free option per port. I thoroughly enjoyed the walking tours, it gave you such a sense of history as you walked through each city. Did I mention with the Viking Longboats that you can literally walk off the boat & be in your port city in just a few steps? This was a welcome change from the larger ocean cruises where you sometimes have to get on a bus just to get out of a port. Each tour guide was able to give really interesting facts & details about the city we were touring, sometimes including some personal family history too. Another wonderful detail about each port was that it was almost always a night departure, which allows one to explore the city on their own, if they choose, and then wake up in a new city. Our final entry into Budapest was spectacular. Our captain timed it so we would arrive at night & see both sides of the river lit up in glorious bright colors; I can honestly say that this is one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen. I must say a few words about the staff on board. They are remarkable. They will cater to your every wish and they somehow end up feeling like old friends before the cruise is over. The beauty of these Viking Longboats is that they only hold about 200 passengers. It is very easy for them to become familiar with each passenger. They never ceased to surprise me with their care & exemplary service. This was a dream vacation and it is the amazing service from the Viking Var that made it possible. Don't miss out on an opportunity to experience the Cruising Life on a Viking Longboat. I just booked my next one on the Rhine! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The cruise was the Romantic Danube with an extension in Prague. Viking representatives took care of everything from the moment we got through customs in Budapest. The towns and cities visited were great. The optional tour in Vienna for the ... Read More
The cruise was the Romantic Danube with an extension in Prague. Viking representatives took care of everything from the moment we got through customs in Budapest. The towns and cities visited were great. The optional tour in Vienna for the Mozart concert was terrific and not to be missed. The ship was spotless. The crew members were polite and always helpful. Food was excellent and the dining room staff were very attentive. If the food you ordered was not quite to your liking, the staff were right there to get you something else. The included and optional tours were very informative. Our cruise director, Boris, was terrific. The Prague hotel was right in Old Town and well positioned for touring the Old Town area. One thing my wife and I couldn’t believe was that the Viking representative who accompanied us from the Prague hotel to the Prague airport stayed with us at the airport until were got up to the airline check-in counter. Read Less
Viking Var Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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