Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Viking; the previous cruises were in China, Egypt and the Grand European Tour. The Paris to ... Read More
My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fourth cruise with Viking; the previous cruises were in China, Egypt and the Grand European Tour. The Paris to the Swiss Alps Cruise started in Paris on July 20, 2019. Our flight from Florida was arranged by Viking and flew through Frankfort, then to Paris. No problems. The Viking representative was waiting for us at the airport in Paris. We didn't add the Paris extension because we had been to Paris a few times previously. The Hotel in Paris was one block from the Eiffel Tower … great location. There were many good restaurants in the area and lots of touristy things to do. The Panoramic Tour of Paris was a whirlwind tour with some free time near Notre Dame to walk around. It was a nice tour that included most of the highlights of Paris from a bus. In the afternoon, we had lots of time to tour on our own or to just walk around the Eiffel Tower area. We added the Paris Cabaret with Dinner tour. It was great. The dinner was very good and the entertainment excellent … the type of show you would expect in a Paris Cabaret. The bus trip from Paris to Trier include a stop in Luxembourg then on to Trier. Luxembourg is an interesting city with an good economy and a large World War II cemetery. We learned a lot about the war and also about Luxembourg. Trier too was interesting … a very historic city. The city tour was very nice, as was the free time to tour around on our own. The ice cream in town is excellent. Boarding the Viking Kvasir was very easy in Trier; they were waiting for us. Our room was on the lower level towards the rear of the ship, room 125. This was near a stairway and an ice maker. Most points of interest are on 2 (dining room), 3 (lounge) or the sun deck (the roof). The crew resides on this deck too. Actually, there are no bad locations. The ship was a few years old and was very nice; very clean. The staff was great and the food was excellent. The chef would provide a little discussion of the dinner menu every night and appeared to be excited about the food and his staff. Breakfast was available in the dining room and also on deck 3 in the lounge in a reduced menu. It was similar for lunch. Beer and wine were provided during dinner and lunch. Coffee and cookies were available in two locations 24/7. Food was almost always available someplace. The ship provided complimentary water prior to every tour. The Program Director, Devin, provided information about tours and timing and basically everything you need to know on a timely basis. He even provided entertainment in the evenings when local entertainers were not on board. The ship had one entertainer on board who performed in the lounge several times during the day and in the evenings. He was very professional and an excellent musician. We generally just took the included tours, although we did pay to add the Bernkastel-Kues Wine Tasting. We tasted four wines … nice wine tasting and an interesting winery … cute town. The visited Ports of Call follow. Cochem, Germany – This tour included an entertaining wine tasting. The tasting was divided into two groups, so a lot of people were in one room. The owner ran the tasting and was comical. The city is very clean and very German looking … like of a tourist trap. The tour of the castle was especially interesting from the exterior but nothing too especial from the interior. Koblenz, Germany – The included tour was a walking tour of the city. Koblenz is just another nice looking German city. It was really hot during these tours (104 degrees F). After the tour, all we wanted to do was go back to the ship and cool off in our rooms. The temperature set the tone for the tour. Mainz, Germany – The included tour was primarily the Gutenberg Museum. It was very impressive with an interesting demonstration of the operation of the press. The tour include a few great churches too. Again, it was hot! Speyer, Germany – The included tour was similar to the Mainz walk around. Just another nice German town along the river with huge churches. It was HOT. Strasbourg, France – It's beginning to cool off a bit. Strasbourg is a very German city, but in France. It is different from the prior river cities visited, more interesting huge cathedrals. This is a good city to just walk around and explore. Strasbourg has great pastries. Basel, Switzerland – The weather is much better. The included tour of the city, both the bus and walking tours were very nice. A local guide conducted the tour. We had a nice lunch in town and enjoyed a Swiss beer. We then had a one hour bus ride to Zurich. It's interesting that the wages are high in Switzerland, the shopping is cheap in Germany and the living costs are lowest in France. Basel, being on the border of all three countries, benefits from all three. Zurich, Switzerland – The included tour included a tour of the lake in the morning … very nice. The city tour was interesting and we had lots of free time to explore the city in the afternoon. We are now off the boat and staying in a very nice hotel. Zurich is a nice city to visit. For many people, this was the end of the tour. We continued on to explore the mountains. This is a must do! The Glacier Express – We started the day on a bus to Chur to board the train. Our new guide, Astrid, was fantastic. She was from The Netherlands, but spoke perfect English, in addition to I don't know how many other languages. The train went through mountains and valleys that were just beautiful. It even stopped a few times for us to get out and take photos. The day started out cloudy but as we got closer to Zermatt, the skies cleared. Fantastic Day! Zermatt – The day started with another train; a cog-wheel to Gornergrat. The top of the mountain was over 10,000 feet and the views were out of this world. This was an unbelievably beautiful experience. The skies were a clear blue and the Matterhorn was so close you could almost touch it. Our photos are beautiful. Our guide, Astrid, showed us the most important views and also, took us to a lake to take photos of the Matterhorn. Some of us walked with her down to a little restaurant for a nice lunch in the mountains … next to the Matterhorn. Again, the photos are fantastic. This tour is a must do! Geneva, Switzerland – We left Zermatt on a train and then transferred to a bus to Geneva. On the way we stopped at a winery. This winery is at a beautiful location, the wines were good as was the lunch. The views from this winery were fantastic. Continuing to Geneva was on a bus. The hotel was very nice and the extension included tour on the lake. The tour included a bus and walking tour of the city. We also toured the Red Cross Museum. In the afternoon, we were free to explore on our own. We took a bus to France and took a gondola to an overlook of the city. On the overlook we had a nice lunch and also watched people hang gliding. Geneva is a fun city in Switzerland, surrounded by France. An easy city to get around by bus. Overall, the cruise and additional time in Switzerland was wonderful. You will see too many locks, vineyards, palaces, churches and castles; but you will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. You will also walk …. a lot. The joke on the ship was that this tour included the three Cs: Churches, Castles and Cobblestones. Most cities in this tour are paved in cobblestone … so bring good walking shoes. Viking really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the trip. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the ... Read More
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the only time we received future information was if we called to ask a question. A few days before our departure, I had read on the internet that Viking was having issues with low water levels, so I called "customer service" and that information was disclosed to me, AT THE TIME. After sharing my displeasure with the lack of communication received, all the documents suddenly appeared on the internet for printing. Up until this time, we had only received the blue Viking bag with the itinerary and luggage tags. We had already decided we were going to have a good time regardless!! Our cruise started out on the Idi, but we were transferred to our scheduled ship, Kvasir the 4th day. This move was smooth and was made by Viking personnel while we were on a tour. They also gave us an additional tour and our time on the bus was broken up and not very intrusive into our schedule. No complaints here! The food was average and the dining service was good. I felt like the personnel was not as happy as they could be.....don't know what was going on there; for the most part, they were friendly and cordial. The Hosts/Hostesses and guides were knowledgeable, and very helpful. I know there were some people complaining, but we were determined it would be a fun experience, and it was a vacation I will always remenber with fond memories. We had scheduled the pre-extension in Lucerne, and the Hotel was a 5 Star....absolutely beautiful and was conveniently located. The post-extension was Amsterdam, with the hotel rated 4 Star, but was more like a 2 star. The bathroom was disgusting.....the hotel wasn't located close to anything!! We heard comments from others in our group with similar experiences. Both of the hotels provided wonderful buffet breakfasts. We enjoyed each and every port, and the tours weres excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We had never seen this part of Europe and wanted to see it. We were met at the airport in Zurich by the Viking representative and had a nice drive to Lucerne, where we stayed for 3 days prior to embarking in Basel. Lucerne was ... Read More
We had never seen this part of Europe and wanted to see it. We were met at the airport in Zurich by the Viking representative and had a nice drive to Lucerne, where we stayed for 3 days prior to embarking in Basel. Lucerne was delightful, we stayed at the Hotel Schweizerhof, a deluxe hotel by the lake and by the chapel bridge. Viking guides there were excellent, Jacqueline showed us Lucerne and kept us up to date on Viking, and she was excellent. Her tour of Lucerne did a marvelous job of covering the most notable features, and she was very informative about Switzerland. The next day we took a trip up the Stanserhorn, which was spectacular (we had good weather). You got incredible views of the countryside and Switzerland, and our guide, Jim was very knowledgeable about the area and gave us a lot of interesting background on Switzerland. Some walking is involved but it was moderate, and the trails were excellent. At the end of this, Jim took us to the ship in Basel and gave us an extremely interesting and informative account of how Switzerland handles many government functions, such as health car. Between Jim and Jacqueline I felt we got a superb tour of Lucerne and the area, and acquired a lot of current information about Switzerland. The rest of the cruise went well. Due to low water on the Rhine, we had to get off at Breisach take a bus to Heidelberg, where we had a nice tour and then we got on the Ksavir at Koblenz (they used a sister ship, the Idi from Basel to Breisach). This was accomplished smoothly and the next day we saw the part of the Rhine we missed on a shallow draft sightseeing boat. While this was a nuisance, since the Rhine was at the lowest level ever recorded, Viking's problems were understandable. The rest of the tour went well, the guides were excellent, the areas visited were interesting and enjoyable (Cologne cathedral was especially notable) and I would definitely give the cruise high ratings. But, as I said at the start, the beginning excursion in Switzerland was what really set it apart. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Disappointed. Exhausted. These are just two of the takeaways from my journey along the Rhine River aboard the Viking Kvasir and Viking Idi. About a week before our cruise, we were emailed that low river levels may necessitate changes to ... Read More
Disappointed. Exhausted. These are just two of the takeaways from my journey along the Rhine River aboard the Viking Kvasir and Viking Idi. About a week before our cruise, we were emailed that low river levels may necessitate changes to our itinerary. Once we were on the ship, the decision to deviate became more certain because of the low river levels. According to all of the information we received, the Rhine River valley had not received any appreciable rainfall in more than two months. The crews even told us that the passage the week before down the Rhine had been very uncertain and the boat only had about a meter of clearance between the bottom of the boat and the riverbed, meaning Viking knew that 1. no rain was coming to alleviate the situation (weather forecast) and 2. the cruise would have to be deviated. Because of this deviation, the passengers aboard the Viking Kvasir were cheated out of about a day and a half of our cruise. While I realize that the cruise line cannot control the weather, it did know what the weather had been -- no rain and that no rain was predicted that could increase the water levels. Much time was spent packing and unpacking between the two ships, the Kvasir and the Viking Idi, to which we were transferred. Plus, we spent about nine hours on buses and missed seeing many of the castles along the journey. I was so disappointed. Our time in Heidelberg was cut very short and we were unable to really visit the city. We were exhausted from the long bus rides, the early wake-ups every day for early morning excursions and the stress and uncertainty of changing cruise ships. The crews on both ships were very nice and professional. The rooms were clean. I would probably not recommend another Viking Cruise to anyone until the company decides to become transparent about the river levels and do the right thing and cancel the cruises, which are more like short river rides and long bus trips. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
From our pre cruise stay in Amsterdam through our post cruise extension in Lucerne, Viking took care of our needs and logistics superbly. Every effort was made to insure our trip was above expectations. With the low water levels on the ... Read More
From our pre cruise stay in Amsterdam through our post cruise extension in Lucerne, Viking took care of our needs and logistics superbly. Every effort was made to insure our trip was above expectations. With the low water levels on the Rhine, our captain expertly navigated the River. A slight adjustment was made to our itinerary in Heidelberg to allow the captain to take advantage of tides and without the weight of the passengers he was able to keep us on our beloved ship. The extra time in Heidelberg was most enjoyable as a festival was going on and we experienced the city with its inhabitants at ease. Viking arranged lunch and adult beverages for us in town. Our favorite day was the post cruise “Pearls of Switzerland” excursion which was simply perfect. We loved everything from the boat cruise, cog train, breathtaking views, gondola, monastery, dairy farm, cheese making to the fondue dinner. The hardest decision now is choosing the next Viking cruise...I want to do them all. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We did the Danube cruise several years ago and knew that this trip would be a great compliment. We know that Viking provides the very best river trips. The ship is a masterpiece of design and function. The cabin is artfully designed for ... Read More
We did the Danube cruise several years ago and knew that this trip would be a great compliment. We know that Viking provides the very best river trips. The ship is a masterpiece of design and function. The cabin is artfully designed for comfort and efficiency although we were in a water-level cabin with a small widow (the only cabin available when we booked). The trip offers many options and we never felt forced to do something. Food was great with lots of choices with each meal. Entertainment was interesting and informative, both on-board and on the shore excursions. Guides on shore excursions were fantastic and truly enjoyed what they did. Service was spectacular -- amazing that so many crew members knew us by our first names on the second day of the cruise. Weather mostly cooperated -- especially the warm, sunny day through the castle country. We have already booked another Viking trip -- this time on the ocean! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My partner and I took a Viking Rhine River cruise last September, the usual half-price but super expensive offer. Never again. (1) The service was great. (2) Food okay-good. (3) The included wines not good, so you're likely ... Read More
My partner and I took a Viking Rhine River cruise last September, the usual half-price but super expensive offer. Never again. (1) The service was great. (2) Food okay-good. (3) The included wines not good, so you're likely (encouraged?) to buy the pricier options. (4) The free tours are adequate-good but too early--"everybody, get ready to board bus at 8:00"--so you're likely (encouraged?) to choose pricy later tours. (5) Onboard talks and entertainment adequate. (6) The messaging in between: a constant commercial to sign up for other cruises, the more expensive tours or Viking merchandise. (7) The ship got stuck on a sandbar 100 ft from the dock; many hours later a tugboat got us unstuck; The incident was poorly handled in terms of informing passengers and compensating for the inconvenience. (9) Few days to see Rhine: sailing at night between ports so except for castle segment there was little explanation of what we passed. (8) The brochures never ever stop coming no matter how often or to whom you complain--spamming. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We already knew the area quite well. We thoroughly enjoy sailing with Viking. The BEST way to do it. I would suggest a more ecologically friendly way to have water for the excursions. Seems we are adding to the pollution problem with the ... Read More
We already knew the area quite well. We thoroughly enjoy sailing with Viking. The BEST way to do it. I would suggest a more ecologically friendly way to have water for the excursions. Seems we are adding to the pollution problem with the many water bottles used on the trip. The crew were great. The excursions were nice and though we didn't need to do all of them, as we knew the areas quite well, we enjoyed the guides and information. Evening entertainment was fun. Our cabin was perfect. Dining was superb and we enjoyed the special evenings and opportunities to try new foods. The shipboard activities allowed you to pick and choose well enough to not be bored. We are looking forward to another cruise in 19 or 20.....The cost is affordable and the variety of cruises allows for relieving old memories or making new ones. We highly recommend Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We are normally ocean cruisers but wanted to experience a bit of Europe by river! Viking was an obvious choice for us due to itinerary & services offered! The entire experience was a total delight... from our extension in Lucern to ... Read More
We are normally ocean cruisers but wanted to experience a bit of Europe by river! Viking was an obvious choice for us due to itinerary & services offered! The entire experience was a total delight... from our extension in Lucern to the Rhine River to our extension in Amsterdam!, The crew took special care with my diet (no lactose & low gluten), each crew member is considerate, knowledgeable, informative & caring. The included tours are PERFECT ... the organization, length of tour, guides and each is extremely informative. The optional tours are worth the extra $$ spent (we booked 4 optional tours). I'm a retired event planning company president, so organization is key for me. We knew Viking would meet our expectations and they did... hopefully everyone will have as great a crew as us but I believe they are all trained well and love their jobs & caring for others. We cannot wait to select our next Viking River Cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The entire cruise from the pre-extension in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Rhine river cruise, to the post-extension in Zermatt and Geneva, Switzerland was fantastic!! The only issue before we left home was a late cancellation of a flight (the ... Read More
The entire cruise from the pre-extension in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Rhine river cruise, to the post-extension in Zermatt and Geneva, Switzerland was fantastic!! The only issue before we left home was a late cancellation of a flight (the day before we were to leave). This caused some problems with flight connections later in the trip, but the cancellation was not the fault of Viking River Cruisers. The hotel accommodations in Edinburgh and Switzerland were excellent. All of the transfers from airport to hotel to ship, etc. were very well coordinated and made the transition very easy. Everything on the ship was super. The cabin, the dining, the service by everyone were excellent. The Cruise director, the hotel manager, the chef were all very friendly and courteous and could not have been nicer. It seemed that everywhere we went Elizabeth, the cruise director, was there with us. I don't know how she did it. The coordination between ports was amazing. Many times changes were made during the night because of the issues with the river level. We did have an issue with the shore excursion in Amsterdam. The guide was very poor and we related this information to Elizabeth and submitted a review form. Every other guide was very good. We could not pick out one excursion or part of the trip that was the most outstanding. One that was especially meaningful was the Colmar WWII excursion, so hard to imagine what the soldiers went through during that time. Another amazing excursion was at the Matterhorn in Zermatt. It is hard to describe the feeling of being on top of the Swiss alps! We would highly recommend the Rhine River getaway to anyone considering a European vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this river cruise because I like ocean cruises and my husband does not. After this Viking River cruise, my husband is totally in love with Viking and river cruises! We went with our two grown children, 24 and 28 and they had a ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because I like ocean cruises and my husband does not. After this Viking River cruise, my husband is totally in love with Viking and river cruises! We went with our two grown children, 24 and 28 and they had a great time also. We have no complaints as everything was great from the ship to the activities to the excursions. I must point out the food and the staff on our ship were excellent! We felt like old friends from the moment we stepped on the ship and almost cried when we had to leave. The only complaint (if you can call it that) is we felt were burning the candle at both ends as were up late every night singing and dancing and yes drinking, till at least midnight with new friends we met on the ship and then we had to be up early for each excursion the next morning. I actually missed one that my husband and kids did go on as I had too much the night before. I guess complaining about having too much fun really isn't a complaint. We are looking for our next Viking River cruise as we speak. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a wonderful first experience with Viking but it will not be the last. From the moment we arrived at the airport until we stepped off the ship for the last time we were taken care of and made to feel special. The ship is ... Read More
This was a wonderful first experience with Viking but it will not be the last. From the moment we arrived at the airport until we stepped off the ship for the last time we were taken care of and made to feel special. The ship is beautiful and our cabin was more than adequate, particularly since we did not spend much time there. The dining was out of this world and you never left the table feeling anything but sated! The activities and entertainment on the ship was fun, upbeat and gave us a wonderful area of the area where we were traveling. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff to accomplish and always with a smile and a good wish. It was like being in a fairy tale for 7 days! The shore excursions were perfect - neither too long for the day or too rushed. All in all it was the perfect way to see the cities and countries! I am looking for the next trip and saving up to make it happen! Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had the pleasure of taking a Viking Rhine Getaway from July 29 through August 8 of this year (Booking #4953028). As much as we enjoyed the experience, we feel that it is important to make you aware of some of the unpleasant events that ... Read More
We had the pleasure of taking a Viking Rhine Getaway from July 29 through August 8 of this year (Booking #4953028). As much as we enjoyed the experience, we feel that it is important to make you aware of some of the unpleasant events that occurred during our time with Viking. • When we arrived at our first destination (Edinburgh), we were shuttled from the airport to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, arriving at approximately noon. We were meet by one of your employees. Silva, and told that our room was not ready and given a map with suggestions where we might get lunch and for sight-seeing. We did as she suggested in the pouring down rain. We returned to the hotel at 3:00, which was the time given for our room to be ready. We were drenched and tired from traveling all night and the room was not prepared. This is understandable, but we were not given an alternative as to where we might sit until the room was ready. Finally, we were told we could sit in the breakfast room to wait. We were never notified when our room was ready and finally had to go and check. Our suggestion would be that when you have 30 people who have travelled a long period of time and; in this case, are drenched, it would be nice to have a place for them to stay and relax with possibly something to drink. • When we arrived in Amsterdam, we were offered a walking tour of the city while the ship was being prepared for our cruise. This was a wonderful gesture and we enjoyed it. Just a comment that the gentlemen that narrated our tour was not nearly as good as any of the others we had on the trip. He got off-track a number of times and stopped to “tell-off” a biker. • When reserving this cruise, it was advertised as an eight-day Rhine Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil. We never saw Basil as we left the ship at 4:30am. It would have been nice to know that the eighth-day really isn’t included in the “experience” and enjoying Basil was really is not included. • When being shuttled from the ship to the airport at Amsterdam and Basil, we were dropped off at a spot not near our departing gates. We were left in an unfamiliar airport with no guidance as to where to go and, in the case of Basil, couldn’t find anyone who spoke English for directions. The itinerary for Basil listed Delta flight #133, which turned out to be Air France and was at the far end of the terminal. By the time we figured this out, we almost missed our flight. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and hopefully, some of our comments will make it easier for future travelers. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I've always wanted to see Europe, Especially Germany, France and Switzerland so this was the perfect opportunity. The excursions were educational, awe inspiring but much too short to see everything and to become immersed in the ... Read More
I've always wanted to see Europe, Especially Germany, France and Switzerland so this was the perfect opportunity. The excursions were educational, awe inspiring but much too short to see everything and to become immersed in the culture. We visited Scotland prior to flying to Amsterdam to start our cruise and I truly enjoyed that short trip more than anything. It was the highlight of the trip for me. Our ship was extremely comfortable with a crew that couldn't be more cordial and service oriented. It seemed every time we left our cabin, our steward went in to make up the bed again, supply more towels, and straighten up our messes. I want her to come live with us. The food was great with a fantastic buffet at each meal with a menu to select from as well. While I'm not a wine drinker, my wife said the selection of wines was very good. There was great live music each night but there was nothing greater that going up to the top deck after dinner to watch the sun go down. Unfortunately, the weather was extremely hot which is very unusual for this area, and the drought made for low water levels at times, but we made it through with the skill of our great captain and his crew. I would certainly do this cruise again, however there are too many other Viking cruises that have caught my eye. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
From the moment you put your Viking sticker on your shirt, your every need is anticipated. The ships accommodations were superior. The tours were well organized and enjoyable. The optional excursions created the perfect cultural ... Read More
From the moment you put your Viking sticker on your shirt, your every need is anticipated. The ships accommodations were superior. The tours were well organized and enjoyable. The optional excursions created the perfect cultural opportunity. On board dining was a treat unto it self. The wine and beer provided with meals was great. The ships crew was committed to your enjoyment. The bar was well stalked and staffed with skilled mixologists. Cabins were exceptionally clean and housekeeping kept it so. The decor was elegant. Space was very carefully used for your comfort and convenience. Common areas were stately yet welcoming. Early morning coffee and pastry or late night cup of tea. Every detail was considered. Our 2 day extension started with limousine service our hotel. The Pulitzer maintained the level of comfort were enjoyed on board the Kvasar. The morning of our return flight a limousine was waiting as we checked out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We took the 'reverse direction' Rhine Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, with a two-day pre-cruise extension in Lucerne. The transfer from Zurich airport on Wednesday 9 July to the excellent Art Deco Hotel Montana in Lucerne went ... Read More
We took the 'reverse direction' Rhine Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, with a two-day pre-cruise extension in Lucerne. The transfer from Zurich airport on Wednesday 9 July to the excellent Art Deco Hotel Montana in Lucerne went smoothly (effectively a private transfer with just four of us in the people-carrier) and we had a terrific lake-view room with balcony. The breakfasts on the terrace overlooking the lake were excellent. Viking's pre-cruise information simply stated 'you have a transfer arranged for Wednesday 11 July', with no indication of the time of day. We had assumed a late morning transfer, in time for a leisurely boarding of the Kvasir and a first lunch on the ship. Not so! We did not leave Lucerne until around 4p.m., which meant arrival at the ship at about 5.30p.m., a hurried first 'meet and greet' and then practically straight into dinner with no real time to change and freshen-up. The reason for the late departure is almost certainly so that Viking can 'encourage' you to sign-up for their optional 149 Euros each cable-car trip on the third day in Lucerne. We didn't - but as it turned out this did give us time to get up and down Mount Pilatus independently (three and a half hours, including walking to/from the Lucerne railway and bus station). That trip - the one to do - cost us something over 70 Euros each. The resident Viking representative had implied that a lot longer is required for Pilatus, but this is not the case at all if you just want to go up and down. The hotel had provided us with a card which gave us free bus and rail travel in and around Lucerne - something else that had not been made clear by Viking in advance (all of the city's hotels do this) - and this effectively discounted the cost of the Pilatus trip. The real 'must do' recommendation is to take a lake trip on one of the paddle-steamers. Top tip: buy the ticket in advance (over the internet, or even from the ticket office up to 24 hours before departure) for a 60% saving on the usual price for a full three hour afternoon trip all over the lake ('The Best Of Lake Lucerne'). We paid just £16 each, which was a real bargain. I am not going to say a lot about the ship, since plenty of other reviews cover this very adequately. Suffice to say the stateroom (French Balcony) and the food were uniformly excellent. Likewise, the 'included tours', which were well-organised with excellent guides. For British readers of this review, if your perception (as had been ours) is that you will find mostly British fellow-passengers, this is unlikely to be the case. I would estimate that around 70% of the passengers on our cruise were from America. Not a problem at all, but just something to be aware of. Something else- which is covered in the ‘smallprint’ - is the likelihood at least some of the time of having another longship 'double-docked' next to you. This is not great, especially if you have paid top-dollar for a veranda stateroom and then find that rather than looking out at a (potentially) nice view, you are looking straight into a next-door ship's stateroom, about three feet away. A special mention must go to our 'Cruise Director' (Sharon), who knew her stuff inside out and backwards and everything went extremely smoothly. The one REALLY BIG disappointment for us (and asking around afterwards, apparently for a lot of other passengers) was the themed 'German Evening' buffet on the Sunday evening when the ship had moored at Koblenz after the highlight scenic-cruising through the Middle Rhine. This was IN LIEU of the usual a-la-carte dinner and apart from comprising the to be expected German food, also featured some overly-noisy 'entertainment'. As far as I am aware, Viking had made no mention in their cruise literature of their intention to turn one evening's dinner over to a themed buffet - so be warned! True, it is still possible to order from the restricted 'always available' food-options - but sadly we were partially overlooked in that request and accordingly missed-out on dinner that evening. A couple of other things. Saturday evening's arrival at Rudesheim (around 5p.m.) really meant insufficient time to walk into the town, explore a little and walk back in time for dinner at 7p.m. I'm not sure why Viking cannot arrange for dinner to be later (say 8p.m.) on that evening? Perhaps it's because they are hoping that you will have signed-up for the (expensive) 'optional' tours which took in restaurants ashore. The tipping regime is also worthy of comment. The system is fair enough - and it is entirely discretionary - but we chose to pay (very close to the 'recommended amount') by cash using their unmarked envelopes and in consequence Viking have absolutely no idea whether we 'tipped' or not. Those who paid by credit card would be immediately known to Viking through their final on-board account and - cynically - this could possibly be used by Viking as a tool to make 'special offers' available, which will not be the case for us. It seems to me that since the end-of-cruise questionnaires carry a barcode to identify the cabin and passengers, then the 'tipping envelopes' could be similarly so marked. My recommendation is to pay by credit card. The departure from Amsterdam went well and - because we had quite a late flight back to Heathrow - we had the opportunity to explore Amsterdam in the morning, including a canal trip. We were able to return to the ship and have lunch on board, so in the end we did get our full quota of lunches, despite having missed out on arrival day. We were the only passengers travelling to the airport at that time of day and had an excellent private-limousine arranged for us. This was a full three-and-a-half hours before expected take-off (far too long in our view) and unfortunately the flight was then also delayed, so that was all a bit frustrating! Despite the 'niggles', the Viking longship experience can be thoroughly recommended. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The one and only thing that really annoys my is when people mislead you to believe something and it’s not the truth. This review is only regarding the food and the food availability and meal options. If you have a food related problem ... Read More
The one and only thing that really annoys my is when people mislead you to believe something and it’s not the truth. This review is only regarding the food and the food availability and meal options. If you have a food related problem due to allergies or food items that just don’t agree with digestion system —BEWARE!! PLEASE KEEP READING. My wife and I are actually on this river cruise ship as I am writing this review and I have 6 more days I am not sure I can handle one more day because my ship meal plan is as follows for 8 days with NO CHANGE. *** BREAKFAST is plain scrambled eggs and bacon, lunch is a way over cooked dried out hamburger patty (only) (no bun because GF) and dinner is grilled chicken with French fries. This is food plan is every day and the same thing for 8 days total. THIS IS MY ONLY CHOICE OTHER THAN PLAIN LETTUCE SALAD. I am careful of GLUTEN, LEGUME, DAIRY AND RAW VEGGIES. I was told by Viking Sales person that a Michelin chef is on board and skilled with preparing meals with people with food allergies. FAR FROM BEING ACCURATE or he/she maybe but the food available to prep or cook is where is maybe misleading. I do understand allergies and I have learned to cook meals far better at home than this so called Michelin Chef aboard this Viking river Cruise Ship. I asked if there are any other food options the day of departure which should have been the tip off for me to understand but the restaurant crew assured my otherwise, I am stuck now and loosing weight on this cruise ship (figure this out) I can’t wait to stop at each port to eat something I’m always hungry and it burns. AGAIN BEWARE MENU IS LIMITED EVEN FOR GUESTS WITHOUT FOOD ALLERGIES BUT IF YOU HAVE ANY FOODS THAT ARE ON THE “OFF LIMITS” this is may not be the place for you and voicing a warning don’t make a 15,000 mistake like I did and not get a meal any better than the military or a prison(never been either but seen movies) Absolutely horrible spot I am in and it’s unfortunate my wife has to feel my hunger pain as well. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to visit Switzerland, France, & Germany. We started with a pre-cruise visit to Lucerne. It was beyond expectations. We felt pampered & saw things we would not have found on our own. Then the cruise itself was wonderful. ... Read More
We wanted to visit Switzerland, France, & Germany. We started with a pre-cruise visit to Lucerne. It was beyond expectations. We felt pampered & saw things we would not have found on our own. Then the cruise itself was wonderful. We ate & drank local food & brews. The entertainment was appropriate for each of the posts- opera singers, romantic music, game nights & even organ grinder & accordion player. We had informative lectures the evening before so we could get the most from our visits. It was great to see highlights of the countries & still return each night to our cabin. The crew was exceptional-they even remembered us by name. The cruise director was a joy & an amazing problem solver for whatever may have come up. I would highly recommend Viking. We have been on may ocean cruises. This was our 1st river cruise. We are already planning our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
A great trip, we got upgraded to the Explorer Suite and it was a fantastic experience. The suite was great and had breakfast on the wrap around balcony each day. We got the perfect view of all the sites each day from the wrap around ... Read More
A great trip, we got upgraded to the Explorer Suite and it was a fantastic experience. The suite was great and had breakfast on the wrap around balcony each day. We got the perfect view of all the sites each day from the wrap around balcony on the back of the ship. We got free drinks and laundry service every day. The bar in the ship was very good and had a couple new drinks that were great. The sun deck on top gave an excellent view of all the surroundings and a great place to have a drink and watch the sun set. The food was excellent with good people all around to share the days experiences with. Each day the crew would give a little class on the next stop and point out a little history of all the places you would see. We have booked our next cruise on the Viking Ocean cruise and we are very excited about the upcoming trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my first River Cruise and it was fantastic. I have sailed on many (15) ocean cruises on various lines but this beats them all. Our Cruise Director was just the best, professional but very friendly to all the passengers in spite ... Read More
This was my first River Cruise and it was fantastic. I have sailed on many (15) ocean cruises on various lines but this beats them all. Our Cruise Director was just the best, professional but very friendly to all the passengers in spite of a situation with the Locks on the Rhine that disrupted, delayed the boat, yet she worked to reschedule tours and still had a smile on her face. She was the heart of the Boat. The entire crew was excellent and always had a friendly smile and performed their duties with a score of 10. I had a problem with a suitcase and needed a screwdriver, I happened to see a crew member and asked to borrow a screwdriver, nope he came to the cabin and helped to repair the suitcase. THAT is above and beyond everyday excellent service. The tours and the Guides were wonderful. There was one ANNOYING problem and hat was where the Boat was HIDDEN in Basel. If we had not met an off duty crew member we would still be looking for the boat. Looking forward to my next Viking River Boat and Ships tours. At least you can't "HIDE" a ship! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I sailed with Viking Cruises on the Rhine with my 16-year-old son. We loved every minute of our trip. The entire staff was excellent in every way. They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Our chamber maid so kindly got us ... Read More
I sailed with Viking Cruises on the Rhine with my 16-year-old son. We loved every minute of our trip. The entire staff was excellent in every way. They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Our chamber maid so kindly got us extra water whenever we wanted it, the wait staff was fun and encouraging, and the cruise director was a BLAST!! Friendly, hard-working, and personable. The room size/bathroom was perfect for two people and very pretty. All of the tours were enjoyable and interesting, and the food was fantastic. I highly recco this trip for parent/child pairings to enhance the relationship and memories. The dining experience was perfect with many options, buffet, and table service. The flavors and variety was so appreciated, especially when traveling with a teenage boy. The excursions were varied and interesting, giving us lots of great options to get immersed in the culture. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
You got to spend a lot of time in ports, so you could really take the time to see everything. At night time it was great to sit on the upper deck and watch going through the locks, day time when your moving the shoreline had plenty to see. ... Read More
You got to spend a lot of time in ports, so you could really take the time to see everything. At night time it was great to sit on the upper deck and watch going through the locks, day time when your moving the shoreline had plenty to see. I had some people question the lack of the nightly entertainment that an ocean cruise would have. Didn't miss it one bit. Sitting on the upper deck was relaxing and had its own entertainment. The sight seeing trips were well organized. I also heard that some think this is just for old people, well try to keep up with these so called old people. Nobody was growing moss under their feet. I did like the fact that there were no kids onboard so you weren't bothered by screams and tantrums at dinner time. A great cruise, we plan on doing one of their ocean cruises next. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
It was suggested by our Travel Agent, that we use. A Viking Representative show a outstanding video of the Rhine Getaway and we knew this was the trip we needed to do ! Petty much every thing went like a fine oil machine. Our Travel agent ... Read More
It was suggested by our Travel Agent, that we use. A Viking Representative show a outstanding video of the Rhine Getaway and we knew this was the trip we needed to do ! Petty much every thing went like a fine oil machine. Our Travel agent working with Viking took care of every detail From the moment our luggage was brought to our Stateroom to our first meeting with the Caption and the Crew. to Our Program Director, who was the BEST. She kept us informed and amused. The food is plentiful and of excellent quality and of course wine or beer is served at lunch and dinner. I would like to mention the trip excursions that are provide, by Viking.. They are well planed with plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings, without feeling overwhelm . If you are the type that doesn't like surprises or disappointments. Then a Viking River Cruise is for You ! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
From landing at the airport, our pre-cruise stay in Lucerne, the cruise itself, and our post-cruise stay in Amsterdam, everything ean smoothly and was perfect. The longship was beautiful, the food always excellent, and every crew member ... Read More
From landing at the airport, our pre-cruise stay in Lucerne, the cruise itself, and our post-cruise stay in Amsterdam, everything ean smoothly and was perfect. The longship was beautiful, the food always excellent, and every crew member was friendly, efficient and extremely helpful. Our Entertainment Rep, Elizabeth, was amazing, full of fun, but very professional. I loved that there were two tea/coffee stations on board, where you could make drinks anytime of the day or night, with pastries, muffins and cookies available. It seems that Viking think of everything to make your trip more enjoyable. We were pleased to see bar prices were very reasonable as we expected high prices. The tours at our stops were first rate. Our only complaint was the World War 2 trip, which seemed to last forever, as the tour guide was really boring. We were so impressed overall with Viking, that we booked. Mekong River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Special offered 2 for 1 with free air fare. Glad it was. I would do this again. It was the best. The longship was more than I ever expected. It was beautiful nothing I've been on in the past. Would recommend to everyone that they ... Read More
Special offered 2 for 1 with free air fare. Glad it was. I would do this again. It was the best. The longship was more than I ever expected. It was beautiful nothing I've been on in the past. Would recommend to everyone that they need to take one of these in their lifetime. The excursions and ports offered were very informative and covered points of interest. The open seating made it so that we were able to meet and make friends with various travelers from many countries and states. The menu had anything you would like available. Service was GREAT no matter whomever you spoke to wether it being in dining room , lounge or pursers. I would recommend River Cruise and to the Rhine to any one looking for a quiet, interesting and spectacular vacation. Was informative by day and relaxing by night. Transfers were handled from air to ship and vise versa with ease. Will definitely do this again. Read Less
Viking Kvasir Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.6
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.6
Rates 4.0 N/A

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