1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I can't recommend Viking highly enough. We had an amazing time. The crew were so kind, the food was incredible and the beds were more comfortable than mine at home. I felt that the cruise was an excellent value for the money and would ... Read More
I can't recommend Viking highly enough. We had an amazing time. The crew were so kind, the food was incredible and the beds were more comfortable than mine at home. I felt that the cruise was an excellent value for the money and would have expected a higher price for how good of an experience we had. I enjoyed the variety of excursions available to passengers and just relaxing on the boat as well. I get motion sick, but could not tell that we were moving. I loved being able to see the beauty of three countries while staying in one room and not having to worry about finding my way to tourist attractions or popular areas. My grandma cannot walk very far and she was still able to enjoy the trip. We chose to extend our trip with three nights in Amsterdam and I am so glad we did. The flower markets, museums and the Anne Frank House were well worth it. The only downside to the trip was that it was not longer. If anyone is considering a Viking Cruise, don't hesitate! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the cruise on the advice of friends. We were told that it is the best time to take this trip because of all the winterfest activities that we would encounter along the way. Our friends were correct. We had a memorable trip. We ... Read More
We chose the cruise on the advice of friends. We were told that it is the best time to take this trip because of all the winterfest activities that we would encounter along the way. Our friends were correct. We had a memorable trip. We immersed ourselves in every activity and tour that we could fit into the schedule. We had one exception --- we had to take a slight detour and change boats along the way because of the low water level in the river. But, all things in stride, the cruise director and staff made sure that we were taken care of and provided us with a fabulous bus ride/ tour that made the day the most pleasant and enjoyable experience that it could be. That said, I was very ill with a flu virus that actually turned out to be pneumonia. I was on antibiotics during the whole trip and the crew made sure that I always had a box of tissues handy. Someone gave me a packet of cough drops like I have never had before; they worked like magic. During the trip we were able to find a pharmacy to restock. Even the pharmacy was a unique experience. There was a doctor in house. You tell them the symptoms and the doctor gives you the right thing to use. Fabulous. At the end of our trip we stayed a couple of days extra and explored Amsterdam on our own. There were four of us in our group, and we all had a very good time. We ate well every day, we drank loads of hot wine, we laughed a lot and walked our feet off while having a good time. What more can you ask for? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We had great time on our cruise. I travel with several mature gal friends. A little disappointed in the tour of Amsterdam, I would suggest paying for a canal boat tour over the free walking tour. In addition to the great tours in each ... Read More
We had great time on our cruise. I travel with several mature gal friends. A little disappointed in the tour of Amsterdam, I would suggest paying for a canal boat tour over the free walking tour. In addition to the great tours in each city, we enjoyed kicking up our heals in the lounge in the evening, dancing and singing along with the piano man. The water levels were up so we had smooth sailing. The ship was clean, the cabins were nice, the lounge was great fun. The service staff was attentive. We had excellent waiters and waitresses. The food was very good. ( I wish we could have a dining table assigned.) The long, uphill walk to one of the castles almost did me in, but I'm overweight and under fit. We've also done the Danube with Viking and loved it. We will probably be looking for our next river destination in 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise ever, my wife and I did not like the idea that we may not have enough free choices on cruise and have to follow their schedule rather than yours. But this cruise changed all that perception, it was very well ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, my wife and I did not like the idea that we may not have enough free choices on cruise and have to follow their schedule rather than yours. But this cruise changed all that perception, it was very well organized, with varieties of activities we could choose from and it appeared that Viking has a great local connections whereever we visited. From airport transportations to local hotel choices, all the concerns we had evaporated, meticulous and courteous services. The cruise staff, I have to say that almost perfect, great smiles, very attentive, always around available. We met a lot of people from all over the world, wish we had more time to get to know them. We are still in touch with another couple from New Jersey, we had so much of fun together. We had pre & post cruise in Lucerne and Amsterdam, even that was arranged very well. For over 12 days travelling through many places and 4 different countries, there was no single issue or mishap, on excursions, transportations, hotels, I would say that is rare. We are looking forward to get on board with Viking hopefully soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise was the greatest! I was with 3 other people and we all had a good time. The ship was very nice. We could go up to the top and watch the scenery. No problems getting there from the airport. The cabin was a little small but we ... Read More
The cruise was the greatest! I was with 3 other people and we all had a good time. The ship was very nice. We could go up to the top and watch the scenery. No problems getting there from the airport. The cabin was a little small but we made due. The food was excellent. The servers were very friendly and always pleasant. By the end of the cruise they knew my order! I liked that a lot! Entertainment was very good. The games were fun and the classical concert was super. The included excursions were so much fun and very informative. They were so well organized and run. We added 2 other excursion, too. Those lollypops are a great idea! Enjoyed staying for lunch a couple of days that shuttles were provided after the included tour. We stayed an extra 2 days in Amsterdam. The hotel and service from the Viking people made the change from ship to hotel seamless. Kudos to Claudia and her crew. They were so much fun. All service people were excellent. I would definitely do another Viking river cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Hadn't planned on a cruise at this time, but the combination of price, ports of call, and opportunity caused us to jump at the chance to see parts of Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany that we had not visited. We opted for the ... Read More
Hadn't planned on a cruise at this time, but the combination of price, ports of call, and opportunity caused us to jump at the chance to see parts of Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany that we had not visited. We opted for the pre-cruise trip to Lake Como, which was excellent. Even though we were two plus hours late on our arrival at Milan, we were met by a Viking Representative and whisked to Lake Como in a very nice Mercedes sedan. Our guide was both knowledgeable and delightful. There were only 10 of us, which made our tours around the lake and town more enjoyable. Our coach trip through Switzerland was beautiful. When we arrived in Basel, we immediately boarded our boat, our bags were delivered to our stateroom and we attended the welcome aboard meeting prior to dinner. On the river cruise, the shore excursions were well run and informative, and service was outstanding. Our Program Director aboard the Mani was personable and very well informed about the history and customs of the places we visited. Food was very good, selections for each meal were many, and again, service was outstanding. At the end of the cruise we (on our own), stayed a few days in Amsterdam, then flew to Prague for a few days, and Viking, included in our "free air" flew us back to Kansas City. I was very impressed with the entire experience from the time we landed in Milan until we left the Mani in Amsterdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I basically chose this cruise because of the special promotion that was offered in early 2018. We arrived in Amsterdam early on the day of our departure and took a canal tour, followed by a 4-hour walking tour. I'm so glad we had ... Read More
I basically chose this cruise because of the special promotion that was offered in early 2018. We arrived in Amsterdam early on the day of our departure and took a canal tour, followed by a 4-hour walking tour. I'm so glad we had this time to see this beautiful and unique city. Once onboard our ship, we were able to relax and meet fellow passengers before starting a week of non-stop sightseeing. We usually took 2 different excursions at most ports, which allowed us to see and experience so much. But, I will have to say that I enjoyed the time we spent on the river cruising thru the area where there were so many beautiful castles and little towns. I only wished that we could have spent more time doing this because it was just magical. We also enjoyed our time onboard ship. The crew was especially helpful, as well as funny and entertaining, and our tour director, Claudia, was fantastic! Following the cruise, we extended our visit and enjoyed seeing Basel & Lucerne. Can't wait to go back!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Even with the first night and first day not as planned because of a boat/propeller issue, the cruise was awesome. The crew did an incredible job trying to make us feel special even though we had to start off at a hotel and a bus instead of ... Read More
Even with the first night and first day not as planned because of a boat/propeller issue, the cruise was awesome. The crew did an incredible job trying to make us feel special even though we had to start off at a hotel and a bus instead of the river boat. Once on the longboat, everything was stellar. After several ocean cruises with 3000 guests onboard and being able to get lost in the crowd, we were concerned that we would be conformable with only 190 guests. It was never an issue! Never had to get dressed up for dinner; in fact, wore nice jeans every evening. Even made new friends that we shared most meals with; and made a point to get scheduled on the same bus for the excursions. The included excursions were great. They were lead by very knowledgable locals, and would have cost on any other cruise line. They also included a lot of walking! Wear comfortable shoes! We would go again, and in fact, will, summer of 19! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband and I won this trip at a local fundraising event in late 2017. We had never been on a cruise before and wanted to see what it was like. An ocean cruise was out of the question - we aren't interested in being in a huge ... Read More
My husband and I won this trip at a local fundraising event in late 2017. We had never been on a cruise before and wanted to see what it was like. An ocean cruise was out of the question - we aren't interested in being in a huge floating hotel with thousands of guests. This trip from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam for a week, with a total of 97 rooms seemed more our speed. We flew into Basel the day before the cruise began. Probably the most important experience on any cruise is with your interactions with the crew and guests. Viking must have a great customer experience interview process because their people are fantastic! Everyone from the Captain to the waiters were really interested in giving each guest a great experience. This was especially important because unfortunately, two days before the end of the cruise, our propellers were damaged by some river debris and we had to transfer to buses for the final overnight to a hotel outside of Amsterdam. It really helped us all get over this unfortunate problem because the Viking crew really responded well to the situation and did everything they could to make us feel special. The ship and our cabin were first rate - everything worked well and even though I'm very tall, I didn't feel cramped. That's important to me. The food was great and it was fun to have our chef explain the evening's specials to us beforehand. We had ample time to talk with the other guests who were mostly similar to us in background (probably would have been more interesting if some of the guests were of different ethnicities but that's the way it was). For many of the guests, this was their first cruise ever, just like us. Some had taken a number of trips with Viking before. All of our day trips were great - Viking really wants their guests to enjoy where they are, which means getting off the ship and experiencing the sites. Great tour guides, transportation, etc. No complaints. This cruise is not for the faint of heart - we did a lot of walking and to keep to a schedule meant that things had to progress to a carefully watched schedule. This was new to us, as we usually plan our own days as we like. Overall, the experience was great - I rated the overall as "Very Good" due to the ship problems and that the hotel stay was not as nice as being on the ship. But the Viking staff did their utmost to deliver on their promises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Looked for a highly rated cruise line, and we wanted a cruise that would include Germany. Every person I talked with that had gone with Viking raved about the cruise so we decided to take the chance. Pre-trip: friendly booking ... Read More
Looked for a highly rated cruise line, and we wanted a cruise that would include Germany. Every person I talked with that had gone with Viking raved about the cruise so we decided to take the chance. Pre-trip: friendly booking people that were very helpful and answered all our questions. Helped us with flight upgrades and got us the exact staterooms we wanted, Planning the extra excursions was easy online and we were tickled with the packet of info that came a few weeks prior, that confirmed all the details. Arriving, we were met and smoothly transferred to the ship. Our stateroom was amazingly well designed and so comfy! Loved the full-length windows— great views from our room day and night. The service onboard was spectacular. Kind, thoughtful, personable—just a delightful crew. From the captain Helmut to Claus the hotel manager to Radim the program manager, all were very friendly. We enjoyed meeting other staff too and getting to know them a little: Roy, Norm, Jana, Isabella, Josh, Natalia—so amazing! The excursions and guides were insightful and fun. Loved learning a little about the history of each place we stopped. The food was excellent—well prepared and presented with flair—we took photos since they looked too good to eat! (But we did!) The total experience was fabulous and we are already planning when we can go on another Viking cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife has wanted to visit Germany since she was a little girl. This cruise fulfilled her wish. The cabin, the staff, the food, everything was terrific and we couldn't have asked for better weather. We enjoyed the cruise so much that ... Read More
My wife has wanted to visit Germany since she was a little girl. This cruise fulfilled her wish. The cabin, the staff, the food, everything was terrific and we couldn't have asked for better weather. We enjoyed the cruise so much that we are booked on a cruise from Prague to Berlin in March of 2019. We were on our 34th anniversary trip. Each of the shore excursions were well planned, interesting and worthwhile. It was very meaningful for me, personally, as I had been stationed in West Germany during the Cold War while on active duty in the US Army. My wife was particularly thrilled with the visit to Heidelberg. We extended our stay after disembarkation in Switzerland, returning to Germany for another 6 days. We visited Wurzburg, my old duty station, and the spent a few nights in Oberammergau, the site of the Passionspiele coming up in 2020. Completed our visit in Munich before flying home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We traveled with another couple and wanted to see the castles of Germany. None of us had taken a cruise before, preferring to discover other countries and sites on our own. We chose Viking because of the two-for-one offer and the free ... Read More
We traveled with another couple and wanted to see the castles of Germany. None of us had taken a cruise before, preferring to discover other countries and sites on our own. We chose Viking because of the two-for-one offer and the free airfare on our particular cruise. The departure from Amsterdam was a plus, since we traveled in April, the height of the tulip season. We took advantage of arriving a few days before our embarkation date to see the tulip gardens and visit the Anne Frank museum. We missed the museum during our last visit and we considered the opportunity to be a plus. We arrived at the ship just ten minutes before the dinner hour. We were in such a rush, due to traffic in Amsterdam and we all felt that we might miss dinner if we weren’t on time. We were SO mistaken. We were warmly welcomed, our bags were taken from our anxious hands and we were introduced to the Viking “way”: Let us help, you are on vacation”! We were escorted to our rooms, introduced to the amenities within - heated bathroom floors, bottled waters, French Balcony for our own private view of the river, and a very comfortable bed, and a television that streamed movies, posted daily notices of excursions and activities onboard, and a map that would track our voyage (we loved looking at that!). We were assured that we weren’t “late” for dinner. We freshened up and headed for the dining room. We fell in love with our waiters, Norman and Jana, at first site. They were so very accommodating, anticipated our every need and overall pampered us. We tried to sit at their tables for every meal, but found that ALL the wait staff were as friendly and helpful. We still had a soft spot for our two, as they introduced us to all that was available during our cruise in the dining room. Not only was there a buffet at breakfast and lunch, we could also order from a menu, or do both! Every evening a special meal was offered that gave us a taste of the region we were traveling through. Needless to say, while traveling on a Viking cruise, you eat well and you are pampered. I never had to reach for a carafe of coffee or a bread basket. Someone was always right there to hand it to me. Personally, I felt like a queen! As for ports and shore excursions, we enjoyed every stop. Since we have been traveling on our own for many years, our only wish would be that there were more time to see each port. The guided excursions were informative and gave us a hint of the history of each city, but as in any guided tour, it was slow trying to move 20 to 30 people from one place to another. At least each guided tour was small, which was a definite plus. Activities on board were low-key, but nice. Every evening there was live music and many of us danced. We made quite a few friends and spent time learning about each other. The activity director on our cruise was upbeat, solicitous, and knowledgeable. She hosted a, “Learn German” language class one evening around the cocktail hour, and a “Music Trivia” game on another night. Everyone was laughing, learning, and thoroughly enjoying the diversions. One evening, as the ship passed through one of the many locks on the river, the captain treated everyone on the top deck to an aperitif to celebrate the event. These are only a few of the moments that we’ll remember. Hopefully, it encompasses what a wonderful time we had on our Rhine cruise in 2018. Thank you, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to treat ourselves to a luxury cruise and Viking reviews were always topnotch. After speaking to others who had cruised Viking and loved it, we decided to chose a destination. That was the hard part- there are so many good places ... Read More
We wanted to treat ourselves to a luxury cruise and Viking reviews were always topnotch. After speaking to others who had cruised Viking and loved it, we decided to chose a destination. That was the hard part- there are so many good places they go. We did the Rhine Getaway along with pre and post stays in Basel and Amsterdam. Everything, from being picked up at the airport, taken to the hotels, then the ship and the tours- were amazingly seamless. All went off without a hitch- which made the trip so delightful. The meals on board were amazing- so many choices of food you couldn't go hungry. We very much enjoyed the small size of the ship and the non assigned seating for meals- which made getting to know other passengers so much fun. The tours were great, again seamless and great tour guides. We got lots of great exercise and that helped with all the great food intake! The weather was perfect- actually a heat wave hit Europe and we were overdressed, but that was much better than they said it had been a few weeks prior. All the staff on board were friendly, fun and accommodating! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
The embarkation of our cruise on the Mani went very smooth. We arrived by air to the beautiful city of Amsterdam. A fine group of arrival people met us at the airport and guided us through customs. We then boarded a bus that took us to the ... Read More
The embarkation of our cruise on the Mani went very smooth. We arrived by air to the beautiful city of Amsterdam. A fine group of arrival people met us at the airport and guided us through customs. We then boarded a bus that took us to the Mani. A complimentary walking tour of the center of Amsterdam was provided in the afternoon before the 5 pm departure. I do regret not taking the offer of a 2 night stay in Amsterdam before the departure. Next time we will. The Mani was quite large for a riverboat and quite comfortable. We chose a French balcony cabin which was very comfortable but smaller than the cabins we were used to on seagoing vessels. Dining was wonderful in the beautiful, large dining room. The food was quite delicious and prepared by a talented Swiss chef. Our Captain was quite gracious in conversation and posing with us in photos. Service by our cabin attendants was excellent and fast. There was a nice bar on board with a couple of very talented and generous bartenders that I will always remember. A complimentary shore excursion was offered at every port along our Rhine journey. We also opted for 4 other tours along the way which were very inexpensive and enlightening. I especially enjoyed Cologne, Germany where my Grandmother immigrated from. Other excursions were wine tasting in Strasbourg, France, and Marksburg Castle in Germany. It was a wonderful trip with experiences I will always remember. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Price of the Rhine Getaway Cruise was too good not to go. This was our first cruise and first time overseas. This trip was a dream come true for us. Viking treats their guests like royalty from the time you arrive at the airport and ... Read More
Price of the Rhine Getaway Cruise was too good not to go. This was our first cruise and first time overseas. This trip was a dream come true for us. Viking treats their guests like royalty from the time you arrive at the airport and after you have departed for the return trip home. We booked a two day stay in Lucerne, Switzerland and there was always Viking representatives at the hotel to help you with any questions and a Viking representative met us at the airport in Zurich and again in Amsterdam. While on the ship we were completely spoiled by the constant attention, the fantastic food, and the comfortable cabins. The crew members made the trip so fun. All of the included excursions were excellent with very knowledgeable tour guides. We would definitely book with Viking again because of how they treat their guests and we love the fact that an excursion is included at each stopped port. We also love the notion of traveling on a smaller ship instead of a larger ship with thousands of people. All in all this was a great memorable trip and I cannot wait until our next one with Viking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our 4th Viking cruise..and our last. The best thing about it was that they have a new chef and he is the BEST we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. HOWEVER, the tours provided were dull at least. Usually they give you a ... Read More
This was our 4th Viking cruise..and our last. The best thing about it was that they have a new chef and he is the BEST we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. HOWEVER, the tours provided were dull at least. Usually they give you a decent tour; these simply weren’t. One was where we had to walk from the ship to a cathedral in Cologne. I could have done that myself. Then Ifelt the guide was going to tell us about every scratch on the door. The guides were verbose. One tour we were left by the guide. We had walked slowly back to the bus because our friend was having difficulty. BUT it wasn’t that slow. When we got there, our bus had left. Luckily, the other two buses were there. I complained when we came in. NOTHING.Bottom line I don’t understand why anyone is so gung-ho about the Rhine cruise. The best part was an hour when we saw the castles. Other tour lines may have better tours?????? We also did the Lake Lucerne pretrip. I could go off on that besides it being very expensive. Lars had much to be desired. The scenery was just as good in Lake Dillon in Colorado, if not better. That was just a total waste of money. Everyone wanted to leave earlier so we could spend some time in Basel. It wasn’t happening, much to everyone’s dismay. Then we just sat in the waiting room at hotel for 6 hrs. From 10 to 4No Basel for us. The tours were just walking around town...a repeat each time. We got two breakfasts. If you wanted a dinner, it was $50 a person Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The Mani delivered from the pre-tour of Amsterdam all the way through. I thoroughly enjoyed the style of the ship, spacious cabins, great French balcony and interior decor. Capt. Helmut greeted us at the door with great hospitality. ... Read More
The Mani delivered from the pre-tour of Amsterdam all the way through. I thoroughly enjoyed the style of the ship, spacious cabins, great French balcony and interior decor. Capt. Helmut greeted us at the door with great hospitality. Cruise Director Radim was perhaps the nicest most caring person I have met on a ship. On a small ship like the Mani you get to meet and interact with the crew frequently. Radim ran the programs with precision, on time and with excellent success, even tracking down errant passengers for a tour they opted for. The entire cruise staff was exceptionally friendly and accommodating. Chef Peter was careful to avoid my food sensitivities and I enjoyed every dish he served. The breakfast buffet was superb and fresh ingredients sourced locally made everything taste great. The towns we visited on the Rhine were well selected - each was unique and interesting. I particularly liked crossing between Germany and France for a different experience. The tour guides were excellent. I loved the dairy farm excursion in particular as we sampled and purchased fresh gouda cheeses that I have yet to find back home. I also loved the tour of the windmills. Most nights I stayed up for the entertainment which was very good. For the German buffet night we enjoyed a raucous duo with accordions. Another night we saw a glass blowing demonstration. The onboard Internet was not working well but I had a good signal through my cell phone. The Mani delivered and I would be pleased to sail with her again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
My wife & I have been on dozens of cruises before (to the Caribbean, Alaska, etc.) but we wanted to try Viking River Cruises this time as we both have roots in Germany. Overall, this was a spectacular cruise experience for us. We ... Read More
My wife & I have been on dozens of cruises before (to the Caribbean, Alaska, etc.) but we wanted to try Viking River Cruises this time as we both have roots in Germany. Overall, this was a spectacular cruise experience for us. We especially like that there was only 180 passengers so we got to know many of them pretty quickly. The food was amazing, especially for my wife who has numerous food allergies. If the menu didn't have a viable option for her, the dining staff made something especially for her how's that for service! The shore excursions were all very nice. Some of the docking places could have been better situated and some needed updated lighting, but we always felt safe. The staff onboard was wonderful. We always felt welcome and comfortable. We loved this cruise so much that we have been planning on another Viking cruise this year, but with so many itinerary choices it's hard to choose which one! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Amsterdam: We arrived in Amsterdam early on embarkation day and Viking had us on the ship by 9am! Very smooth transfer. We waited and relaxed in the Viking Lounge until 11am when our cabin became available. After lunch on the ship, we ... Read More
Amsterdam: We arrived in Amsterdam early on embarkation day and Viking had us on the ship by 9am! Very smooth transfer. We waited and relaxed in the Viking Lounge until 11am when our cabin became available. After lunch on the ship, we went on the complimentary walking tour of Amsterdam that Viking organized. There were two tours that afternoon and we took the earlier one. Where the ship was docked is so close and convenient to just walk to do some sightseeing! The train depot with lots of neat shops (cheese, delft, chocolate, etc) is a good starting point and it was maybe a 5-10 minute walk. Easy! The tour took over an hour and the knowledgeable guide gave us instructions on how to get back to the ship in case we wanted to wander around a bit more after the tour. We went on one of the river cruises (recommended by the guide) to see more of the city. Back on the ship, Cruise Director Emily had a presentation around 6pm in the Lounge about the itinerary and activities for the following day. She did this every day and it was very helpful. Dinner was usually around 7pm in the MDR though they also had food available in the Aquavit Terrace (adjacent to the Lounge). After dinner, there was usually some entertainment at the Lounge - trivia, musicians, etc. Breakfast the next morning was also in the MDR - a buffet with an omelet station and you could also order off a small menu. Next stop was Kinderdijk and because we were there in mid-December, the sun was just rising when we started the tour of the windmills. Our pictures that morning were incredible! It was also my first time to see a full rainbow! No pot of gold at the ends, though. :D After the tour, the ship had to leave right away to keep to our schedule because the water levels on the Rhine was too high. One of the optional tours had to be cancelled. Lunch was at the MDR (or the Aquavit Terrace) every day if we were not off on an excursion. Around 3pm, there was usually a demo of some kind (cookie-baking, coffee-tasting, etc) and a small buffet - like an afternoon tea - in the Aquavit Terrace. Usually soup, sandwiches and pastries. It was also usually excellent! Cologne was one of our favorite ports. Again, you walk off the ship and in a few minutes, you're at the awe-inspiring Dom or the chocolate factory or at one of the many Christmas Markets. We found the best prices at Cologne's Christmas Markets compared to the other towns on this cruise (Strasbourg, etc). They also had the best gluwein mugs to take home as souvenirs. In Cologne, you have to try the beer - usually served in a small glass. Next day, we were in Koblenz in the morning. We chose not to go to Marksburg Castle with its uneven walking surfaces and walk up the hill. Not good if you have a knee problem like I do. So, instead, we toured Koblenz with Ziggy, the tour guide, and another couple from the ship. We were there so early, the Christmas markets and most of the shops weren't open yet. We went to the museum after walking around for a bit and we were offered some delicious schnapps when we got there! So good that we took a bottle home with us! We cruised the middle Rhine that afternoon, a few of us opting to go on the freezing top deck for the best views - well, at least for a while. Cruise Director Emily would point out where the castles where and which towns were were passing. The crew kindly offered us gluwein or hot cocoa to warm us up! We also took wool blankets from the Lounge. We docked in Rudesheim in the late afternoon right next to another ship - the Viking Eir. We had to walk through their lobby to get on the dock! It was almost totally dark by this time and the town was a bit of a distance away. Luckily we booked the optional Dinner in Rudesheim option and didn't have to walk in the dark. The dinner was at a local pub - complete with musicians, dancing, drinks, etc - so much fun! Later on, we learned that the Christmas Markets closed early so some folks who chose to walk around town didn't really have any time to shop. With our optional dinner, we didn't have any time nor opportunity to walk around at all. There was a local glassblower doing a demo in the Eir's Lounge when we got back. It was packed with passengers from both ships and the lines were long if you wanted to buy some glass. Great for souvenirs and christmas gifts, though. Prices were also decent. Most of the Viking ships are totally identical in design. However, decorations and the art on the walls as well as the staff, of course, are what differentiates one from the other. It was a very interesting experience to see another Viking ship up close! Next day, we docked in Mannheim to go to Heidelberg. Because every activity was usually on time or early, it was curious that the announcement for the excursion was late. As it turned out, one of the buses that would take us there had been involved in a minor accident and was delayed while the police paperwork was being sorted. So, Viking arranged for about a dozen taxis to take some of us to Heidelberg. The staff did really well with this contingency plan. Our taxi driver tried to follow the buses and got us to the Castle with minimal issues. It was a good thing as he didn't speak English and wasn't quite sure of the way to go to the Castle! Some other taxis did get lost a bit and got to the Castle later. After the Castle tour (incredible views of the town and the Neckar river!), all the buses were there to take us into town. No more taxis! Our guide did a great job of pointing out landmarks so we would know how to get back to the buses at the right time. After the guide left, we had some time to shop at the Markets or browse the shops or visit a couple of churches or have some potato pancakes from one of the Market vendors. Afterwards, the buses took us to Speyer, where the ship had sailed to while we were in Heidelberg. We got back to the ship mid-afternoon and they had a casual late lunch available at the Aquavit Terrace. Some people went right back out to walk the mile or so to explore Speyer. Next day, we docked at Kehl and went to Strasbourg. It's a very picturesque town though a little pricey in general compared to the other towns on this cruise. It was also a shorter walking tour and we had more time on our own. The food in this region - Alsace-Lorraine - was really good - from pastries to meals - yummy! To get back to the ship, we had a designated meeting place near the Cathedral. The walk from there to the bus was really long and our guide, at one point, was practically speed-walking. Other folks complained right away so we slowed down a bit. But, if only we had known where to go, we could have taken a more leisurely walk back to the bus without waiting for the guide. Unfortunately, Viking doesn't give you this option and the buses are not allowed to wait for longer than 15 minutes or so. We docked in Breisach next and the bus ride to the Black Forest was pretty long. However, the closer we got, the better the scenery. Lots of snow in the higher elevations so the trees in the snow looked really pretty. We got to the village where they had cuckoo-clock-making, Black Forest cake demo, walk through the forest, etc. It was pretty touristy, pricey and short for the length of the bus ride. I think the scenery really made up for it. We were back on the ship for lunch and headed to Colmar in the afternoon. It's another picturesque town with a fascinating history, interesting shops and Markets. We were able to get really good prices on souvenirs at the local shops. The same items were being sold for double the price in the other towns. Disembarkation was the next day in Basel. Our flight was in the afternoon so we were among the last to leave the ship - around 10:30 or so. We had to leave our room by 9am and wait in the Lounge. To get to the bus, we had a steep climb up some steps from the dock. Otherwise, the crew was really helpful and organized in getting us off the ship! So, in retrospect, I would be happy to do this cruise again - especially in early December. The Christmas markets are just really so festive. However, I think I would prefer to go from Basel to Amsterdam instead. I think it would have been more relaxing. Some friends did the cruise this way and spent a couple of days exploring the Lake Lucerne area before getting on the cruise. Plus, direct flights are easier to find from Amsterdam to the US. The crew was excellent - from the friendly captain who gave us a tour of the bridge to the crewmembers who carried our luggage out. However, since we were on the second to last cruise of the season, you could tell that they were already all really looking forward to heading home. So lots of talk of going home or going on vacation, etc. Couldn't blame them with Christmas holidays right around the corner. There weren't any children on this cruise - maybe just a couple of teenagers or young adults. We didn't really notice. But, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Most of the passengers (if not all) were from the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Apparently, Viking groups people this way for a better experience. They had a ship on the Rhine that we saw that caters to just the Chinese. The food was pretty good with some highs and some lows. One of the regular MDR entrees is a ribeye steak (delicious) served with veggies and ... french fries. The french fries weren't made fresh and that was disappointing. I think a baked potato would have been better. One of the good things about the food on Viking was the right sized portions. You don't ever feel overstuffed. They also had locally-inspired food options and some of the best soups and pastries. If you had food issues, they went out of their way to make sure to serve you food you could eat. I would rate their food as just below what we had on Celebrity. By the way, other than mealtimes, they only had cookies/muffins, coffee/tea/hot chocolate and water available at the self-serve stations. There's water in the cabins also. There were enough activities and entertainment to keep you occupied. A couple of times, after some excursions, they would greet us with a nice drink (usually a bit alcoholic) or a hot towel to warm you up. There's certainly a lot of walking on these excursions. However, other than a walking track on the top deck, there is no gym or exercise equipment on these ships. No pool either. There was free wifi but it was spotty or nonexistent in the cabins. Stronger signal in the Lounge and even better in the Library area where they had public computers. The weather was a bit unpredictable on this December cruise. We had showers, rain, sleet and even some hail. So, a rain coat and corresponding shoes were a must as much as a warm regular jacket. We got light packable down jackets and fleece sweaters for layering. Comfortable shoes for walking, gloves/mittens and a hat were also good to bring. No formal nights on Viking ships - everyone was casual though maybe dressier for dinner when possible. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Great time of the year to explore and enjoy the Winter Christmas Markets in various cities (Amsterdam did not have a Christmas Market. Heidelberg was the better of them all (more open, less crowded)). Started in Amsterdam and floated ... Read More
Great time of the year to explore and enjoy the Winter Christmas Markets in various cities (Amsterdam did not have a Christmas Market. Heidelberg was the better of them all (more open, less crowded)). Started in Amsterdam and floated "up" the Rhine River to Basel (Switzerland) with port calls in: Kinderdijk; Cologne; Koblenz; Rudesheim; Heidelberg; Speyer; Strasbourg/Kehl; Breisach/Colmar. The view from the Viking Longship 'MANI' was amazing since you are near the shoreline of picturesque towns or the remains of castles nestled in the vineyards or tucked back in the hillsides. Even though our embarkation was set for 15 Dec, we flew out early (11 Dec; 1730) and arrived in Amsterdam on 12 Dec at 0830 [time difference from Kansas to Amsterdam - 7 hours]. Stayed at Hotel JL #76, which is one street from the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum museums, and a few blocks from the Hard Rock Café, Blue Boat Company (explore the city canals), McDonalds, and Starbucks! This gave us time to acclimate and explore Amsterdam's museums, night life, and canals at our leisure. From the hotel, it was a 10 minute taxi ride (about $20) to the pier where the 'MANI' was docked (near the Central Train Station). The embarkation process was painless. You're provided with preprinted luggage tags with your name & cabin #, so all you have to do is drop your luggage off and the crew members will take care of stowing your luggage while you roam about the longship. They offered a city tour of Amsterdam's Red Light District and Central area of town. Well worth the short walk to learn more about the city's history. Life aboard the Longship 'MANI' was "FANTASTIC"! There was 188 passengers with 49 crew members aboard. They served meals from 0600-11:00 Café Breakfast (continental breakfast for those that get up early); 0700-0930 breakfast (eggs to order; full meal; etc.); 1230-1430 lunch/café lunch; 1630-1800 "tea" brunch (finger foods); & 1900-2030 dinner. To say that you went "hungry" means you didn't take advantage of what they had to offer!! Plus, there are two (2) 24hrs self-serve coffee, tea, water & cookie stations. Of note: it's a 'cashless' excursion. . .meaning you don't pay for anything. Everything you purchase is charged to your room, which you will settle at the end of the tour [includes tipping]. We booked through AAA and had a $125 credit (each) that could be used as ship's credit, but we used it to pay for all "gratuities" for the ship's staff. At the end of the trip, they give you 2 envelopes for "gratuities". . .1 for the ship's crew and another for the Program Director (plans the port excursions and shipboard entertainment). We also had $125 ship's credit (each) from Viking, which we could use to pay our bill at the end of the tour. Any alcohol or soft drinks purchased outside the "food/dining schedule" (select wine & beer free during food service; as well as soda drinks) would be added to our room. Any Viking merchandise purchased at the ship's store would be added to our room. Laundry service (very reasonable prices) was added to our room with less than a day turn-around. At the end of the cruise, they offered a $200 voucher (for only $100) that could be used toward your next Viking Riverboat or Cruise Ship vacation. It never expires, can be transferred to someone else and can be used in conjunction with other special offers (2-for-1; free air; etc.). Limit of 10 per person. Best advice. . .don't over pack on clothes since they offer laundry service aboard the riverboat!! We placed our laundry in a bag in the morning before breakfast and found it hanging up in the closet after we came back from lunch! Now that's a quick turnaround and great service to take advantage of! Also, the Program Director hosts a VIKING DAILY around 1815 (before dinner) to review the next day's events and excursions. . .very helpful, especially before the debarkation in Basel. While you're at dinner, your room steward would turn down the bed, tidy up the bathroom and deliver the VIKING DAILY Newsletter, which contained the events and excursions for the next day. At every port of call, they offered a 'planned' Excursion to some event, castle, cathedral, etc.. Afterwards, you could "pay" for an optional excursion to other events (restaurant/beer walk; castle; museum; etc.). We participated in all planned Excursions and went out on our own to explore the port, city and Christmas Markets. Overall. . .it was well worth the money (2-for-1 with Free Air [round trip]) for our first Viking Riverboat Cruise. We chose this time of the year because of the various Christmas Markets in Cologne, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, and Colmar, which we were not disappointed with. Even though it rained during the trip (rain. . .then "mist"), it wasn't as cold as expected. During the short 8-days cruise, it didn't take long to get to know the 'MANI' staff. They are all wonderful, interesting and attentive people. We enjoyed learning about their longship life, experiences and opinions on places to visit. FYI. . .they don't have an exercise room with machines or weights. There is a "walking track" on the top deck, but then again, you're getting plenty of exercise walking around the towns. Average age group of vacationers - late 50s, early 60s. Lastly, not sure how the timeline is impacted, but we were sailing 'up river' [against the river flow]. . .if we started in Basel, Switzerland, heading 'down river' [with the river flow]. . .would we have more time to visit each river port since the float time would be faster? Just curious if that holds true. . . We enjoyed our first riverboat cruise so much that we already scheduled our next Viking Riverboat Cruise on the Danube aboard the 'JARL'. CHEERS!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Always dreamed of a Viking Cruise, especially to Alsace. When we saw the Christmas market tour we were sold. Embarked from Basel. Beautiful snowy day in Strasbourg. The evening sessions when Rene previewed the upcoming day were ... Read More
Always dreamed of a Viking Cruise, especially to Alsace. When we saw the Christmas market tour we were sold. Embarked from Basel. Beautiful snowy day in Strasbourg. The evening sessions when Rene previewed the upcoming day were informational and interesting. The tour guides were very informative and shared personal stories. We particularly enjoyed the optional tours such as the dinner in Rudeshiem and and the beer and food tour in Cologne. Cologne also had the best Christmas market. When looking back on our cruise, we realized it was the best of any cruise we had taken. Viking’s attention to detail and care to insure we were taken care was unlike any thing we had experienced in our past cruises. In fact, we were so impressed with Viking’s total customer experience that we booked the Romantic Danube cruise as soon as we got back. Can hardly wait for our November cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this as a way to experience multiple Christmas Markets through France, Germany and Switzerland. It was perfect. The cruise was tailored to really help us take advantage of the markets. In addition to the year around maps for ... Read More
We chose this as a way to experience multiple Christmas Markets through France, Germany and Switzerland. It was perfect. The cruise was tailored to really help us take advantage of the markets. In addition to the year around maps for each of our stops, the crew provided us with special maps where all the Christmas markets were in each city or town. Those were extremely helpful. We did explore Amsterdam on our own and had gotten tickets to the Anne Frank House ahead of the cruise. We were able to navigate all the other stops and the markets in each with the advice of Renee our cruise director. We bought the extension in Basel post cruise and our on the ground Viking contact actually took us to the train station and helped us get to Lucerne for the day too. Very customized advice and help with everything we hoped to see and experience in the markets. The dining was perfect also. Good food and the option of the more formal dining room or the quiet bar area if we came in late without time to change or freshen up after a long day walking through various markets and cathedrals. The afternoon activities helped prepare us or be a teaser for what we would see at the next stop. For example how to make Rudesheimer Coffee before our Rudeshiem Germany stop. (My favorite stop). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first river cruise and we had heard so many great things about Viking, so we booked this one. It was so terrific and we will do more river cruising with Viking in the future! The staff were so awesome and personal. They ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we had heard so many great things about Viking, so we booked this one. It was so terrific and we will do more river cruising with Viking in the future! The staff were so awesome and personal. They learned our names and knew the food and drink items that we enjoyed. They really made the cruise an enjoyable experience. The lounge area was always nice and inviting with just enough entertainment at times, and relaxed down time at others. We booked the included excursions each day and liked them very much. Each city we visited was great with the guided tours and the time to explore on our own. But our next cruising adventure will be a Viking Ocean Cruise on the Viking Jupiter leaving April 13 from Venice to Barcelona. We are very excited for this one! After that, we are looking at the Viking World Wonders Cruise. We are hoping that this cruise will have a schedule date of Jan 2021! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise because friends had taken it during the summer and they really loved it. We had very high expectations and those expectations were exceeded. We found the ship itself gorgeous and spotless, too. The ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because friends had taken it during the summer and they really loved it. We had very high expectations and those expectations were exceeded. We found the ship itself gorgeous and spotless, too. The housekeeping crew kept our stateroom clean and even turned down the bed while we were at dinner. The food was excellent and the dining room views were lovely. We sat a different table for most meals and met a wide variety of people who were interesting and well traveled. Heidelberg was our favorite stop and our tour guide there was so knowledgeable and funny, but all of our tours were informative. Our activities director was talented and well organized and the evening entertainment was always fun. We are hoping to take another Viking Cruise in the future. Cruising in November had both advantages and disadvantages. The Christmas markets were all open and we got to taste Gluwein. The trade-off was the weather which was fairly cool. It never kept us from having a good time, though, and returning to a warm stateroom and getting ready for dinner was something to look forward to. Read Less
Viking Mani Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.8
Family 1.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.7
Service 5.0 5.0
Value For Money 3.0 4.6
Rates 4.0 N/A

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