Sail Date: November 2018
For several years my wife and I have been discussing going on a Christmas market river cruise. Finally, in celebration of my 60th birthday, she booked us a 7 day get away cruise with Viking along the famous Rhine River. Unfortunately we ... Read More
For several years my wife and I have been discussing going on a Christmas market river cruise. Finally, in celebration of my 60th birthday, she booked us a 7 day get away cruise with Viking along the famous Rhine River. Unfortunately we were one week to early for Amsterdam's Christmas markets so we made it up exploring the city. Since our trip began in Amsterdam we booked an extra day to get over jet lag and enjoy the city. We had purchased tickets in advance online to visit the Ann Frank house. Amsterdam was decorated nicely for Christmas and enjoyed a pleasant night time walking tour of the city with all the sparkling lights. Made time to visit the Van Gogh museum and down the street get a photo in front of the red and white "Iamsterdam" sign.  We really enjoyed the hospitality of the dutch people. Our first stop was a cold and foggy morning excursion to Kinderdijk where we enjoyed numerous photo opportunities and even got to tour the inside of a working windmill and later in the day enjoyed touring a cheese factory. I learned that cows on the dairy cheese farms are treated pretty good since there health and emotions can influence the quality of the cheese. Since they raise very happy cows, I think we ended up buying 10 lbs of cheese. We absolutely enjoyed Cologne, and the beautiful cathedral. Inside the Cologne cathedral is the Shrine of the Three Kings  It was amazing to see the city all decorated in celebration for Christmas. Cologne had six individual Christmas markets and we made a point to visit every single one off them. One even had a ice skating ring in the middle of it. Every market had a different theme with individual gluehwien cups to match. The historical part of the city is beautifully decorated at Christmas to the point we felt like we were walking in a Christmas novel. I purchased a really cool Christmas tree hat that had blinking lights that mysteriously didn't make the journey back to the US. The out door Christmas beer gardens were so festive and alive with laughter. We enjoyed this city so much we contemplated missing the boat and staying the rest of the week just to enjoy the atmosphere however we gave into our desire to visit and experience other towns. I had seen dozens of pictures of Marksburg Castle, but was surprised by the actual size. Its a big castle, so we enjoyed the tour. The views of the Rhine river from this castle along with the colorful fall leaves was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed viewing all the small villages as we cruised along the Rhine and only had one day of light misty rain during our entire trip. Our decision to visit Heidelberg and its Christmas markets was a good one. This beautiful city along the Rhine is one you don't want to miss. We dined at one of the local restaurants for lunch and purchased lots of goodies for friends and family to share back home. The make a lot of fancy liquors in this town.  I ate so much good German food that I think the bus busted a shock when I stepped onto it.  Strasbourg, France was gorgeous with every shops exterior decorated for Christmas. The Strasbourg Cathedral was another Gothic architectural beauty that reminded me of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. I was surrounded by hundreds of Christmas booths selling everything from treats to ornaments. The Place Kieber Central Square with the huge Christmas tree fully decorated was amazing at night. The Christmas cookies in this town are addicting, so don't think for a minute your going to eat just one. Best cookies ever, even better than grandma's. We purchased more gifts to stuff into the luggage to the point I was wandering how we were going to ever get it to the airport. Colmar, Germany was another pleasant treat. This small German town reminded me of a Christmas story picture book I had as a child. The town was architecturally beautiful with all the decorations designed to fill your heart with Christmas spirit. My wife managed to buy more gifts to the point I am certain we are going to have to purchase another ticket for an extra bag for the flight home.Basel, Switzerland was the end of our Christmas market journey and decided to stay an extra day to enjoy the markets. They had three wonderful markets, each with their individual themes but were much more crowded especially at night. We really enjoyed the sausage, pretzels and beer. One of the markets even had several warming stations where you could sit and drink more gluehwien. Basel, was a little more expensive than the other markets so I was glad my wife had purchased more of our presents in France and Germany. Every market was different. If you see something you like in one market, don't assume the next one you see will be selling the same thing. If you see something you like, go on and purchase it, don't wait till the next market. So if you want one of those green lighted Christmas tree hats, you better purchase it in Cologne. I had heard reports about the Rhine being low but Viking managed the detours in a acceptable fashion. We were unable to visit one town due to changing boats, however the bus ride to the second boat was beautiful. Seeing the countryside along the Rhine is well worth a bus ride. The staff on both ships were absolutely wonderful. Our rooms were so comfortable and pleasant we had difficulty leaving them every morning to participate in the excursions. We never had a bad meal and everyone one the boat was extremely pleasant. Viking runs a smooth and efficient cruise line, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the journey. In summary, we really enjoyed our trip even though we headed back to the U.S. with an extra piece of luggage full of Christmas goodies (however that bag of extra cookies didn't make it). Along the journey experiencing all the beautiful and magical towns decorated for Christmas I managed to find my Christmas spirit, and that made making this journey well worth the trip. We look forward to many more Christmas Market Cruises in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Three weeks before our sail date they emailed us that the Rhein was low and we may have to swap boats. We started on the Tialfi and I explained to the Matre D that it was an anniversary ... Read More
We chose Viking to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Three weeks before our sail date they emailed us that the Rhein was low and we may have to swap boats. We started on the Tialfi and I explained to the Matre D that it was an anniversary trip and could he do something special (we did this based on the guidance of the tour director Lutz) because of the boat swap it almost didn’t happen and I had to ask twice more to make sure we foot a little special treatment at dinner. They kept telling us there was a chance we wouldn’t have to swap, but we did. We ended up swapping to the Alruna.Then we found out they have been swapping for weeks. It felt like we spent more time packing, unpacking, riding buses and sitting in industrial ports than we did actually enjoying a cruise in the river. We showed up on a Monday in Cologne and all of the museums were closed. We showed up in Strasbourg on All Saints day and everything was closed. The Black Forest trip was a bus ride with a stop at a glorified rest area, then back to the ship. We arrived in Basel in just enough time to get in a bus back to the airport to leave. Everyone on the ship said their goal was to surpass our expectations and Lutz and crew tried. The food was average on the boat. The veranda stateroom was a waste because there was rarely any scenery. We had a wonderful time exploring Kinderdjyk, Koblenz, Cologne and Strasbourg. But we could have had that experience for a fraction of the cost. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise from rating others had given. We had not done a cruise before and wanted to go with a quality organization. The veranda suite was lovely, lots of space and kept very clean. The food was varied and excellent ... Read More
We chose the cruise from rating others had given. We had not done a cruise before and wanted to go with a quality organization. The veranda suite was lovely, lots of space and kept very clean. The food was varied and excellent flavours. We have vacationed overseas before and in comparison these meals were 5 star. We really enjoyed the variety of excursions offered. We chose a number of the extra ones and they were very enjoyable and worth the extra dollars. The guides on all the excursions were well spoken in English and always had entertaining stories about the places we visited. We appreciated that the difficulty level of each activity was well expressed, allowing us to make good choices. The schedule of every event was well handled as was transportation at each location. The crew were very nice, always checking if there were any problems or concerns. We would definitely do another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise as a celebration of our 51st anniversary. It was like a delayed honeymoon. Our ship was not the original one we were supposed to sail on because the Rhine River was low. The possibility of having to change ships ... Read More
We chose the cruise as a celebration of our 51st anniversary. It was like a delayed honeymoon. Our ship was not the original one we were supposed to sail on because the Rhine River was low. The possibility of having to change ships was expected as we cruised toward Amsterdam. Fortunately, rain arrived and we stayed on our original ship. The crew and staff made us feel as if we were the only passengers aboard. No question or request was ignored. Each were handled much faster than we anticipated - in ways we did not anticipate. My husband got sick the first day out of port, and the staff anticipated every one of our needs. I had not eaten, so went to see if it was too late to get something from the dining room. The waiter, realizing that my worry about my husband was causing me to be indecisive, shared the menu with me, and made recommendations. When I told him I would be happy to take it back to the room, he told me, "No. Go back. I've got you taken care of. I'll bring your food and pick up your tray when you are through. Just call the main desk and they'll let me know." He was true to his word and took the time to "set the table" for me before he left. This was just a small example of the service we had from the staff. However, not just us, but others on board. The last day aboard ship, one of the men on our ship was struggling to make it to our transportation to see the windmills. When we got to the windmill, he was struggling with breathing, so my husband asked our tour guide to see if someone from the ship could meet us with a wheelchair when we returned. He did and when we arrived back to board our ship, the tour director was there waiting for a member of the staff who was running along shore with a wheelchair. When the man was seated, the staff member assured him it was nothing for him to take him back to the ship. I could go on about the food, the excursions, and activities being the best, but those things are expected. However, the individual care for each passenger created a secure atmosphere I did not expect to find. We'll definitely be going again....and definitely on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The Rhine Getaway was our second Viking Cruise. We chose this cruise because we like the small ship, only unpacking once, getting off every day with a different excursion, the quality of the excursions (the guides were mostly excellent - ... Read More
The Rhine Getaway was our second Viking Cruise. We chose this cruise because we like the small ship, only unpacking once, getting off every day with a different excursion, the quality of the excursions (the guides were mostly excellent - all very knowledgeable), the quality of the food and service (the waiters remembered us by name and what we liked to drink), the ability to make friends easily (and we did!). We loved all of the stops and the excursions with the exception of the Black Forest optional excursion. This was a very long bus ride and the destination was a tourist trap where they were selling cookoo clocks and glass products. I suggest eliminating this excursion. Other than that, we were 100% pleased with the excursions! I was very pleased that the pianist also played dance music at night (but not every night). There was an evening or two where a group of us wanted to dance, and he would only play slow piano music - not sure why. I can't say enough about the staff. They were all fabulous and really cared about making our experience wonderful! we would definitely cruise with Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Viking reputation. It was our first Viking river cruise and second river cruise overall. We liked the ease of embarkation/disembarkation and the included excursions for every port. We booked this cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Viking reputation. It was our first Viking river cruise and second river cruise overall. We liked the ease of embarkation/disembarkation and the included excursions for every port. We booked this cruise late and got one of the last rooms and it was on the bottom deck right underneath the gang plank, so we never had a view. The service was exceptional and the food was very good. The ship entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular. My favorite part of the cruise was the Rudesheim dinner excursion and the cruise up the middle rhine gorge, seeing castle after marvelous castle, while sipping delicious German Rose Sect. Every port was wonderful and we bookended our trip with 3 days in Zurich/Lucerne and 3 days in Bruges and Amsterdam. I want to live in Bruges one day! Amsterdam was pretty filthy and too crowded. All in all, a delightful vacation and we will definitely be sailing with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband and I did the Rhine cruise on the Alruna for our honeymoon and it was the most amazing experience! It was our first river cruise, and Viking really set the standard high, we had such a phenomenal experience. Viking the made the ... Read More
My husband and I did the Rhine cruise on the Alruna for our honeymoon and it was the most amazing experience! It was our first river cruise, and Viking really set the standard high, we had such a phenomenal experience. Viking the made the entire experience very easy, and we had no trouble with embarkation or switching to the ocean cruise ship in Amsterdam for the second half of our journey. I cannot speak highly enough of the entire crew on-board the Alruna. I have many severe food allergies, which always make traveling very difficult, and our Maitre D and chef made this the best traveling experience I have ever had. Every meal was unique, thoughtfully put-together, and made with such care. It was wonderful to be able to enjoy the excursions without worrying about what my next meal would be, as the chef, Maitre D and dining crew all knew me and had every meal planned, whether we were dining on the ship or away for afternoon excursions (yes, they even planned lunches for me to pack and bring onshore). The chef managed to incorporate local ingredients and flavors into every meal for me, despite my restrictions, and he went above and beyond in finding ways to make sure my culinary experience was just as wonderful and diverse as the main meals being served. The ship was beautiful, and we loved the intimacy of the crew and other passengers. The activities and excursions that we did were all amazing (both the included ones and the ones we paid extra to participate in). The days that involved us being on the river were just as amazing as onshore - there were numerous activities on deck of the ship, the views were beautiful, and we loved learning about the castles we passed and the locks we went through. While the activities and sight-seeing were incredible, the crew on the Alruna really made the trip exquisite and set it apart from all other trips we have done before. My husband and I will only sail with Viking in the future, we see no reason to look elsewhere when they provided the most wonderful honeymoon we could have asked for. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
It was every thing we expected and more. The crew was wonderful, the food was wonderful the rhine is spectacular, we are very very satisfied,hoping to do another with viking! The next will be another river cruise and we will add ... Read More
It was every thing we expected and more. The crew was wonderful, the food was wonderful the rhine is spectacular, we are very very satisfied,hoping to do another with viking! The next will be another river cruise and we will add days on either end to expand on the cities we can visit. We met two other couples at dinner the first meal and became good friends and we ate together at every meal for the entire trip. My favorite meal was breakfast. Our waiter was excellent, anticipating our every need. We marveled at the way the locals made use of the land, particularly the vineyards, spectacular. The castle tour was very informative and an architectural marvel as well. Watching the captain negotiate the locks with so little room to spare was very impressive, especially to a retired yacht captain who did a few lock passages in his day but none so spectacular!! The other cruise ships docking alongside and departing into very strong currents was a thrill to watch. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. ... Read More
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. I enjoyed getting to know the other passengers and was really able to get to know many with such a small number of passengers. I really liked being welcomed up in the wheelhouse at anytime to ask questions and learn about the ship. We had a group of ten that traveled together and we were always able to sit together and when a few of us wanted massages, the crew set up appointments as well as figured out transportation for us as well. Cabins were very clean and we still talk about how luxurious the towels were. Service and food was wonderful with lots of attentiveness. Already on my radar is going up the St Lawrence in Canada as well as a Scandinavian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
What a beautiful perfect experience...from the flight.to the moment we landed.greater by the lovely “Viking hostess” Luzern was magnificent...hotel Montana..overlooking the Alps and lake luzern...BARBATTI restaurant..the cafes..the ... Read More
What a beautiful perfect experience...from the flight.to the moment we landed.greater by the lovely “Viking hostess” Luzern was magnificent...hotel Montana..overlooking the Alps and lake luzern...BARBATTI restaurant..the cafes..the tours...onward to Cologne Heidleburg..Strasbourg..LOVE THE SMALL TOWNS..FULL OF HISTORY..SOME VERY SAD..with young wonderful welcoming people..Kinderdijk..Amsterdam..the tours were magnificent..THE ANNE FRANK HOUSE brought me to tears ... the canal ride was delightful...Casa David.. the most wonderful little Italian restaurant..went back twice! the museums wew MAGNIFICENT..the education was fantastic..the KEUKENHOF WAS THE GRAND FINALE..awaiting 164 tulip bulbs in the fall! MEMORIES ABOUND..the staff of the ship were amazing..from the moment we got on the ship we felt like family..the cabin was lovely..the director, the service, was beyond reproach..there is a misunderstanding as to nothing to do at night...just enough after a full day to meet perfection..loved the loved the lounge..welcome relaxed atmosphere...the food was delicious and drinks perfection..sitting on the deck where we could watch the countryside was magical..we left a deposit...just need to decide what’s next!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I have heard from many acquaintances the Rhine cruise is one of the best. This was our first River Cruise and we chose Viking based on our Experience on the Ocean Cruise which was outstanding. We were not disappointed. Getting on board ... Read More
I have heard from many acquaintances the Rhine cruise is one of the best. This was our first River Cruise and we chose Viking based on our Experience on the Ocean Cruise which was outstanding. We were not disappointed. Getting on board and settled in was a snap and meals and drinks were available as soon as we boarded. On the day all the castles were coming in bunches we had a glorious sunny day and the upper deck was full of people lounging and enjoying the weather and the views. The PA system was providing descriptions as we cruised past the multiple castles for several hours. Waiters were bringing hors' d oeuvres refreshments. It was a fantastic day of cruising. We enjoyed the day trips on all the dockings. The evenings were occupied with music and dancing in the lounge and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The piano player bartender and wait staff were very good in the lounge. The debarkation was well coordinated to get us on our way at the completion of the tour. After being on the Ocean cruise we were a bit disappointed in the meals on board as there was less selection and service was not as good, Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the opportunity to take advantage of our extended time off from work during this time of year. We had never been on any type of cruise and my wife and I have no desire what-so-ever to take an ocean cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the opportunity to take advantage of our extended time off from work during this time of year. We had never been on any type of cruise and my wife and I have no desire what-so-ever to take an ocean cruise where the endless food is the star. This was a great opportunity to visit one of the great wine regions of the world, an item on our bucket list is to hit them all, and then to spend a week in Amsterdam where Christmas was purported to be beautiful. Now to the cruise itself. The staff of the Viking Alruna were fabulous! Everyone on board was so gracious and accommodating because, even though this was one of those trips of a lifetime for us, nobody bothered to tell my wife's immune system and she caught the flu the day before we were scheduled to leave. She spent almost 15 hours a day in bed for virtually the entire trip. We upgraded to a Veranda Stateroom and the extra room and generous bathroom with the heated floors made the trip a little more bearable for her. There were lovely choices for dining for every meal even though we chose to eat alone for many of the early meals in an attempt to not get others sick. We did take several excursions on the trip partially because we had already paid for them, partially to get her some fresh air and allow our wonderful room attendant to completely change out the linens and towels, but mainly because we really wanted to explore France and Germany. I must confess to ditching my lovely wife at night and having too much fun in the lounge after dinner dancing and sing karaoke with many of the other guests. The staff of the Alruna seemed just as festive as the people on the cruise and a good time was had by everyone in the lounge after hours. Our excursions were centered around wine events with two tastings and a dinner at a monastery. The wine tastings were very enjoyable even though we both lean towards red these would be a must for any white wine drinker. The Eberbach monastery itself was very interesting but the meal was only slightly above average and below the quality of food on the Alruna. One of the major reasons we want to return at the same time of year is the Christmas fairs which we didn't get to see enough of (pretty sure my wife could spend 6 hours a day in those). We did not travel with children and really don't think this type of cruise is ideally suited to children which is one reason why we chose this type of cruise rather than a larger boat for our first foray in to cruising. Getting to the boat was very easy and had we been to Amsterdam before I would have arranged for our own transportation leaving the boat as the cab fare was very steep compared to the plentiful inexpensive public transportation in Amsterdam. We were both very much agreed that we would repeat this trip in a heartbeat with only a couple of minor changes. We would start in Amsterdam and end in Basel as we think there would be added romance in spending Christmas in Switzerland. Also, I'm not sure the private veranda was needed in the middle of winter as we spent no time on it at all. My advice is book early, wait for the deal you want (we got a great deal I felt), and above all book with Viking because they were top drawer on every aspect of the trip itself. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Brenda and I always thought a river cruise would be a pleasant experience .We booked the Rhine River cruise because , even though we thought it pricey, we figured we weren't getting any younger and better to do it now while we could. ... Read More
Brenda and I always thought a river cruise would be a pleasant experience .We booked the Rhine River cruise because , even though we thought it pricey, we figured we weren't getting any younger and better to do it now while we could. So,now I'm writing to tell all readers and prospective cruisers that it was worth every penny. In a word, the cruise was fabulous . We have already booked another one (next time for the Danube) in 2019 because our experience was that good. Viking does a great job so, if you are thinking about a river cruise, stop thinking and just do it. You'l be glad you did. The entire staff of the Viking Aluna worked hard to insure our trip was the best it could be. They succeeded admirably all the way from the captain to the maintenance crew. The entire atmosphere made us feel, not like passengers, but like members of the Viking family. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We are a group of 8 who have traveled together on land tours, but this was our first river cruise, and was a complete delight! The Alruna is a relatively new ship, and beautiful from stem to stern. The long ships are quite simply laid out, ... Read More
We are a group of 8 who have traveled together on land tours, but this was our first river cruise, and was a complete delight! The Alruna is a relatively new ship, and beautiful from stem to stern. The long ships are quite simply laid out, you have essentially three decks to hold the staterooms, a lounge and a dining room, and the sun deck for lounging and enjoying the scenery when sailing during the day. We had classic central European fall weather, mainly cool with occasional rain, so we didn't have much chance to sit on the sun deck except for a day in which we sailed by several castles, and it was absolutely fabulous. We chose to tack on two days in Amsterdam at the start of the trip, which was a doubly good idea, as it gave us more time to explore the city and enjoy the night life, and at the same time shake off any jet lag before beginning the actual cruise. When we arrived in Amsterdam we were greeted by Viking agents, who led us to a limousine to take us to our hotel (Amsterdam Renaissance). It was pouring rain and a fair piece to the hotel, during which our driver regaled us with the history and anecdotes about the city. Once at the hotel we met with other agents who helped us plan out our city tours and activities, and one of them (Iris) led us on a walking tour of the city on the second day. All the agents were friendly, helpful, and entertaining! Iris was the best! We walked to the ship from our hotel, which tells you how convenient river cruising is compared to the experience on ocean cruises. Processing was like checking into a hotel! On board the ship, the experience is relaxing and fun, while including some education for you about the areas you are passing through and stopping at. Meals vary from day to day, following the local cuisine, although if you wish you can always get a steak or a chicken dish. The menu is limited in comparison to big ocean liners, but found them more than adequate in choices, and complete with beer and wine. Speaking of which, Viking has probably the best drinks package of any line we have traveled on. Each stop has an excursion that is included (usually a city walking tour) and a few optional ones. The guides were all top-notch, very knowledgeable, and equally amusing. Viking provides each guest with a "quiet stick", which is a small receiver and earphones. The guide uses a similar looking transmitter, so you are able to hear clearly everything they say without having to run to be at the front of the crowd. One feature of their organizing the excursions is for people who are limited in their mobility (not necessarily handicapped, but travel a bit more slowly than most), Viking organizes separate groups to accommodate them without missing any of the highlights of the tour. One excursion you don't want to miss is the "Taste of Alsace" in Strasbourg. It is a walking tour of the city, during which you stop at various shops where you taste (and may purchase), breads, cheeses, cured meats, pastries, etc, ending up in a wine shop where you have a "picnic" of the items the guide has collected, and glasses of Alsatian wines from the shop. Be sure to book early, it is limited! Another feature of Viking's attention to detail for excursions is they provide you with an excellent small city map (not the sort of map the big liners provide showing you where the Diamonds International are), and a business card with information in the local language on your ship and where it is located, and phone numbers to contact it or Viking. If you should happen to get lost or are delayed in returning to the ship, you can show the card to, say, a cab driver or policeman, and they can help get you back to the ship in time for sailing! As I said, this was our first river cruise with Viking, but it will certainly not be the last. In fact, our group has already booked for a Danube cruise in 2018, with the two-day stay in Prague tacked on to the beginning of the trip. This was another last-minute decision, and guess what, we will be back in "steerage" again, but who cares! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We have been taking ocean cruises for some time and on our last cruise decided we wanted to try something different, so went with a river cruise. We use a travel professional to book our travel, and after discussing our interests came up ... Read More
We have been taking ocean cruises for some time and on our last cruise decided we wanted to try something different, so went with a river cruise. We use a travel professional to book our travel, and after discussing our interests came up with the Rhine Getaway. It was fabulous! Outstanding accommodations, food, and shore excursions. The on-board educational activities were both fun and informing. A great mix of time to relax and to explore new countries. Our flight arrived 90 minutes early - 5:30 a.m. - but there were Viking staff at the airport who got us on a bus to the dock and we were on our ship by 6:30 a.m. Had a nice breakfast and then took the opportunity to spend some extra time in Amsterdam. We returned to the ship late morning and our room was already prepared and our luggage delivered, a very pleasant and unexpected surprise. Gave us time to clean up and catch our breath before lunch and a couple of afternoon tours. Viking makes your travels so simple. Ground transportation to/from the airport/port was efficient and comfortable, all the ship staff took time to get to know us and many were calling us by name within a day or two. Each on-shore excursion had a professional guide, and each guide was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English, as well as at least 1 other language. We're definitely planning another Viking river cruise, next time likely a longer cruise to a different part of Europe that we haven't been to before. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We did not stay in Basel before our trip as we were fortunate enough to have relatives in the area so we stayed with them, and visited Biel, Bern,and Gruyuere. We heard on other cruises that this was one of the most scenic cruises ..and ... Read More
We did not stay in Basel before our trip as we were fortunate enough to have relatives in the area so we stayed with them, and visited Biel, Bern,and Gruyuere. We heard on other cruises that this was one of the most scenic cruises ..and they were right. They have made the embarkation and the disembarkation process very smooth and easy One wish that I do have is that you could get more information on your day to day itinerary before you get on your cruise. The cabins are comfortable,the beds are too and if you need a different pillow or a topper for the bed just ask. the bathrooms have more room than bigger cruise lines. The food was great and the on board entertainment and cultural experiences were spot on. We had exceptional cruise director N. Hale very knowledgeable and entertainer extraordinare. Everyone was very helpful and nice, the hotel manger saw to our every need. Be prepared though on this trip there was a lot of walking..not necessarily on the excursions but to and from the ship to get to the buses. But if you needed extra assistance our cruise director went out of his way to try and accommodate you. Even if it was hiring taxis to get you to the buses..for the few who really needed it. Oh! There is also an elevator on board .not a big one but enough for a wheel chair or motorized chair. The wait staff at breakfast and dinner by the second day knew who we were and already knew what we liked wether it was who liked OJ or coffee or tea or water or wine..I find that amazing..the best part for me was I got to celebrate the taste of Germany night on my birthday. I hope this review will help you decide to take one of Viking's Cruises this was our 3rd. You will also notice all the little extras they do for you..be surprised.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We choose Viking for our honeymoon. We married a bit later in life and did not want the typical beach setting. We wanted something more adventurous, but also something that was easy and we did not have to think or plan much. This trip was ... Read More
We choose Viking for our honeymoon. We married a bit later in life and did not want the typical beach setting. We wanted something more adventurous, but also something that was easy and we did not have to think or plan much. This trip was the most perfect honeymoon. We absolutely loved our cruise on the Alruna. The ship, the staff, the sites, the environment was everything and more than we could ever ask for. The food on the ship was delicious and the excursions were planned to perfection. The staff on board could not be more accommodating. They were so kind and friendly. We actually felt as if we were friends by the end of the cruise. We allowed for Viking to book our airfare with our cruise and that was the way to go. Our flight times were perfect and the transportation that was arranged was flawless. We will ABSOLUTLEY take another Viking Cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We have always wanted to take a river cruise through Europe and selected Viking based on the recommendation of close friends we had cruised with before. I must say we were more than pleased with every aspect of our experience. We found ... Read More
We have always wanted to take a river cruise through Europe and selected Viking based on the recommendation of close friends we had cruised with before. I must say we were more than pleased with every aspect of our experience. We found every member of the Viking team we encountered, from reservations to arrival and throughout the cruise, including the shore excursion guides, to be true hospitality professionals committed to ensuring a memorable experience for all. Our cabin was comfortable and immaculately clean (though the bathroom shower was a bit tight). As career hospitality exec, I understand and appreciate what it takes to train young folks from all over the world to deliver exceptional service and in my opinion, only a few organizations do it as well as Viking River Cruises. It is the personal touches that really sets Viking apart. The entire staff was quick to learn not only our names, but also remembered our dining preferences, sharing their knowledge of the region's wines and the best pairings with the evening's entrees. My wife enjoys relaxing with a cup of tea in the cabin before retiring at night which our cabin attendant recognized on our first night out. Every night thereafter we were treated to a fresh pot of hot water and a selection of teas waiting upon our return. I couldn't close without commenting on the shore excursion guides, who dazzled us with their knowledge and passion for their towns and countries each day. We have already booked another Viking River Cruise and are looking forward to exploring the towns along the Danube next spring. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because we had not been on a cruise in a long time and are not into the hug ships with thousands of people, we love the intimacy of the river ships. The itinerary was important, the ability to see so many wonderful ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been on a cruise in a long time and are not into the hug ships with thousands of people, we love the intimacy of the river ships. The itinerary was important, the ability to see so many wonderful things that we might never have experienced. There were 10 of us in our group and we all had such a wonderful time, making new friends and having a life of wonderful memories. Our cruise director Nick made the trip fun and he made the shore excursions exciting and interesting. For me the best day was Heidelberg , Nick helped me find the perfect spot the spread m mothers ashes. My parent met during WWII in Heidelberg, the were both in the Army, met & married there and my brother was born there, so mom came full circle. His wit and humor made our days. We had great wait staff especially at dinner. We were lucky to have the same table set up for the 10 of us each night with the same servers, Will & JJ, they made sure our dinners were special and never boring. Overall, wonderful trip and can't wait to do another Viking cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We choose this cruise for a couple reasons. The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland were areas we wanted to see for their beauty and history. We were excited to see these places that have history and buildings dating back over a ... Read More
We choose this cruise for a couple reasons. The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland were areas we wanted to see for their beauty and history. We were excited to see these places that have history and buildings dating back over a 1,000 years. We were excited to see and visit some of the Castles along the Rhine and to taste the local cuisine and to eat in a restaurant that has been serving patrons for over 500 years. We were excited to walk the streets where my ancestors came from! We were excited to visit the magical Black Forest. There was not one disappointing excursion on our cruise! The ship itself was a gem! It was just beautiful. Because the ship was only 200 or 300 passengers, we met a lot of different people at our meals. It was possible to get to know several other passengers and engage in lively conversation! The food was always plentiful and delicious. Service was impeccable. The dining was fun! Our entire cruise staff was awesome. Nick Hale, the Cruise Director, was always a perfect 10 in terms of his comedic and entertainment talents! He always had the entire group laughing and having fun. Our room was very, very nice. Plenty of room for everything. The bed was great, Loved the veranda! The amenities were also top notch. I would most definitely take a Viking Cruise again. I would love to take the one that sails on the Danube. Okay, honestly, I would like to take them all! You spend less time unpacking and packing as you would on a land tour. You spend more time in Ports, as you usually sail in the evening. The one day we had no excursions we sat on the top deck and sailed past beautiful towns and countryside and castles high atop the hills. The staff came up and served us hot cocoa with brandy to warm our spirits and our tummy's. Yummy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our retirement cruise and we had always wanted to cruise the Rhine. Never having cruised before it was perfect. The perfect number of days, the perfect venue, the perfect route and amazingly the perfect weather. We took full ... Read More
This was our retirement cruise and we had always wanted to cruise the Rhine. Never having cruised before it was perfect. The perfect number of days, the perfect venue, the perfect route and amazingly the perfect weather. We took full advantage of the opportunities offered on the cruise. We didn't miss an excursion and we added several extra ones. Loved seeing everything. Nick Hale, our cruise director was amazing. His personality brightened each and every thing we did. The staff was amazing, things happened and you never saw it happen-such as your cabin being cleaned while at breakfast and the balcony wiped down, the "treat" awaiting after each outing and the list goes on.......Food allergies for me were accommodated in a most delicious fashion. The key-let people know what your needs are-they were so helpful. Can't wait to cruise on Viking again-but sadly unless we cruise the Rhine again we will most likely miss Nick. Loved the sense of humor by all aboard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
I had seen adds for this cruise line and called for pricing. It was a little more than I could go at the time. About a year later they called me with an offer and the timing and price were just right. The ship was beautiful and our cabin ... Read More
I had seen adds for this cruise line and called for pricing. It was a little more than I could go at the time. About a year later they called me with an offer and the timing and price were just right. The ship was beautiful and our cabin was better than expected. The entire staff went above and beyond to make sure our trip was great. The food was very good and there was as much as you wanted. The excursions were very well organized. They have local guides with great knowledge of the area. You get a wireless headset so you hear it all without being right on them. The day on the boat when we passed all the castles was a day I won't forget. Spent the day on the top deck seeing something I will probably never see again. I say the Viking Cruise Rhine Getaway is a can't miss. I would say I would do it again but there are so many options from them for things I haven't seen I'm not sure that will happen. We have already booked our next trip with more family and I can't wait. For those of you with younger children this was an older crowd. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We had toured parts of Europe on or own before and thought a cruise would provide a convenient lodging structure that would allowed us to spend time in various cities without searching for hotels and the flexibility to participate in group ... Read More
We had toured parts of Europe on or own before and thought a cruise would provide a convenient lodging structure that would allowed us to spend time in various cities without searching for hotels and the flexibility to participate in group excusions or to go our own way. The Viking Cruise was perfect. We spent six days and nights prior to the cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium befoe boarding the Alruna and embarking from Amsterdam. At the conclusion of the tour in Basel Switzerland, we added another week to tour Switzerland on our own. We were very impressed with the ship. It was like being in a very upscale hotel. Service was outstanding, the room, while small, was plenty spacious, well appointed and very comfortable. It actually lived larger than I expected. This was partially because the rest of the ship was so available and comfortable at any hour as lounge, lobby, restaurant, observation platform, bar, library, etc. Food was very good, entertainment fine. Cruising the middle Rhine while on the upper deck was all that it is cracked up to be and offered amazing views and an excellent informative narrative. Shore excursions kept us busy, entertained, and educated but there was plenty of time for us to explore on our own. I have to say that our Activities Director, Alex was a highlight of the trip. His tours, and programs are simply outstandking! His contributions especially were educational but presented with great humor, and knowledge. He not only informed but entertained us. It was a joy to benefit from and watch such an accomplished professional at his craft. We really can't imagine what a cruise line could do to top the experience we had with Viking and we will go again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
We wanted to experience river cruising and going to Amsterdam. Take an in depth picturesque experience with visiting cities along the Rhine River. Our prior cruises were ocean cruises and we wanted to have the daily stops and excursions ... Read More
We wanted to experience river cruising and going to Amsterdam. Take an in depth picturesque experience with visiting cities along the Rhine River. Our prior cruises were ocean cruises and we wanted to have the daily stops and excursions on land to get to know better the different life styles. We were not disappointed at all and more pleasantly surprised on the knowledgeable excursions and guided tours. The food and service was exceptional with friendly staff waiting patiently to serve our every need. We found out a day after one of our excursions where we withdrew cash from an ATM in town that we lost the money. We asked on board the ship if any money had been turned in and sure enough it was. We were amazed that the cash was turned in which showed the honesty of the staff and other travelers. Our dining experience was so pleasant as we met so many lovely people and had no pressure at all to interact if we didn't want to. Dining was so easy going as we could dine casual or dressy as we choose. it was so refreshing to have those options. We loved all of the experience and look forward to another Viking Cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I had read that Viking had been in this business of river cruising for a long time. They had new ships coming on line in 2016 which I did not know but was informed of by my travel consultant at Viking. He suggested I move my embarkation ... Read More
I had read that Viking had been in this business of river cruising for a long time. They had new ships coming on line in 2016 which I did not know but was informed of by my travel consultant at Viking. He suggested I move my embarkation day back one and I would be on a brand new boat. I did and was extremely pleased with the whole cruise. Service was exemplary, the food was more than adequate and quite delicious and the accommodations very comfortable. The included land tours were well organized with locals doing the narration and the optional ones in the afternoon of which we picked 3 also interesting. The staff was exceptional with service and pleasing the client number one on their list. Friendly and accomodating and filling your requests with a smile. I would recommend this company with no reservation. First class in all areas: accommodation,vessel,tours,entertainment and service. Read Less
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