1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Food was superb. Crew was very congenial, helpful, and accommodating.Ports of call were as good as they could have been. Local tour guides were passionate about their work/leadership. On board educational services were excellent. Crew ... Read More
Food was superb. Crew was very congenial, helpful, and accommodating.Ports of call were as good as they could have been. Local tour guides were passionate about their work/leadership. On board educational services were excellent. Crew personnel went out of their way to be hospitable and friendly. Tour director, Marek, was so wonderful we wanted to take him home with us!! The issues with low water were handled superbly. I didn't;t see them as an inconvenience and I feel that Viking was more than fair in refunding 50% of the cruise cost towards a future cruise. More businesses should be so generous!!! We also felt that two weeks was a good length for a vacation. It often takes at least a week just to unwind and get into 'vacation mode.' WOUld have opted for more time in Amsterdam after discovering how much there was to see and do. Have to go back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We cruised the Danube for our 30th Wedding Anniversary in April, 2018. We are an active couple in our low 50's and have traveled independently for many years. Viking's Danube Waltz 8 day River Cruise was a great alternative to ... Read More
We cruised the Danube for our 30th Wedding Anniversary in April, 2018. We are an active couple in our low 50's and have traveled independently for many years. Viking's Danube Waltz 8 day River Cruise was a great alternative to ocean cruises (no seasickness). We found Viking to be the right level of "luxury" for us -- comfortable without a lot of frills we don't need or desire. It seemed to attract a group of individuals who were much like us-- laidback, not super-fancy, earthy people who enjoy the cruising experience with delicious, filling meals with a few drinks but were not on a cruise to eat and drink their way through the week. The format with a choice of daily guided group excursions was perfect for us. We typically chose the more active, walking option with an introduction to the location we would visit. The wireless headset technology used for the guided tours was exceptional and allowed us to clearly hear the guide without huddling in tight groups. The introductions helped us get acquainted with the layout, culture, and things to see or do at each destination and then we had free time to explore each destination on our own. We enjoyed the delicious regional dinners with local themes, meeting different guests each night (different cultures, backgrounds, experiences, ages), and the evening activities and/or entertainment. We were impressed and delighted with the simplicity, flexibility and ease of travel. The travel arrangements, embarkation and disembarkation were all smooth and the service was impeccable. The crew was highly competent, engaging, attentive to all guests, and talented! After a 2 day early arrival and exploration of Budapest on our own, we moved into our small but well-appointed, beautiful French Balcony cabin and appreciated going to a new destination each day without having to pack/unpack our things. While cruising the river we enjoyed learning about the lock system on the river. The views and fresh air from our cabin's sliding glass door were incredible, and we enjoyed the breathtaking 360 degree scenery and taking a few laps around the walking track on the upper deck in perfect Spring time weather. We enjoyed all destinations, but especially enjoyed the excursion to the fairytale-like city of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. This was a relaxing, educational, cultural, romantic, and fun experience that combined guided, group activities with on-your-own adventures at a great value. We can't wait to book our next Viking Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This cruise was so so fabulous in every way. The itenerary was the most wonderful cities and the accommodations were 100% first rate. The cruise staff on the Villi are excellent, From the cruise director Gary to Martin to Marta , they ... Read More
This cruise was so so fabulous in every way. The itenerary was the most wonderful cities and the accommodations were 100% first rate. The cruise staff on the Villi are excellent, From the cruise director Gary to Martin to Marta , they were so friendly and treated us like guest and even family at times. The food and excursions were the very best. We are preserved on another Viking cruise next year- France’s Finest and we can’t wait! The towns of Smsterdam, Vienna, Budapest and Prague are all favorites. We did both pre and post cruise excursions and the accommodations and special treatment from Viking staff made this soo so special. The ship was amazing. We had a comfortable French Balcony stateroom and enjoyed all of the common areas of the ship. We met great people and will cherish the experience for a lifetime. It is easy to see how Viking is rated number one in River Cruising- excellent! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have done many ocean cruises and did short (1 day) cruises on the Rhine River, and had thought for some time about trying a river cruise. When we finally got around to talking about it and doing it, we decided on the Grand European. ... Read More
We have done many ocean cruises and did short (1 day) cruises on the Rhine River, and had thought for some time about trying a river cruise. When we finally got around to talking about it and doing it, we decided on the Grand European. Once we have flown from the US, we wanted to stay as long as possible. It turned out we were on the first trip of the season. The shopkeepers in all the towns were happy to see us coming. Because it was early in the year, we had NO crowds in any of the towns. Even the bus drivers mentioned how nice it was with no traffic. We also had weather across the board: rain, sleet, snow and warm sunshine. Nothing dampened our spirits, and most on board enjoyed experiencing four seasons in a day or two! This is a long, but quick review. I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry! Oh, speaking of laundry, if you want to bring less clothes, we both used the laundry service on the ship. It was beautifully and quickly done! We aren’t really shoppers, but managed to find gifts for our kids and grandkids and were happy our suitcases were not too packed. If you have any specific questions about the cruise or the ship, please ask! You are all in for a treat on your trip. I get motion sickness very easily and wear patches on ocean cruises. On this ship, I can easily say 96 percent of the time you didn't even know you were on a ship. The ride was very smooth! You did know a few times when we were going in a lock as the sides would hit a bit, but the locks were fascinating! Prague We booked the pre-stay in Prague. We had been before and loved the city. We were met at the airport in a timely manner by the Viking representative, and we never thought of another detail for three weeks! Everything was handled for us, and what a pleasure. We stayed at a lovely hotel, the Art Nouveau Palace Hotel. The hotel was just a few short blocks from Old Town. There were Viking representatives at the hotel if we needed anything. The breakfast room was lovely and the breakfast had everything you could possibly want. It was a large buffet and had great food and service. We went on the included tour of Prague and enjoyed it, although it was a very long walk. We walked for hours but saw a lot! The next day was free and we went to the Jewish Quarter and back to Old Town and the Charles Bridge. Early the next morning after breakfast we met in the lobby and were taken by coach to Budapest, with a few short stops and a lunch stop. SHIP: When we arrived in Budapest, we were taken directly to the Vili, and checked in within minutes. Once we had our keys we went to our room to unpack. There was a safe in the room, large flat screen tv, desk and refrigerator. We were given fresh bottled water daily in our room. We met our room steward, Gabriella, who was sweet and offered to help in any way and wanted to make sure we were comfortable. Gabriella turned out to be an angel who did our room the minute we left each morning and freshened it again each evening when we were gone. Sometime that evening there was a welcome reception in the lounge and then dinner. I could go on and on about the staff on the Vili, from the unseen staff who quickly docked us to the terrific Tour Director (Gary) and everyone in between, but you are in for a special treat to experience this yourself. We commented several times, with many others echoing our thoughts, that we felt like VIPs. Honestly I don’t know how they do it, but the staff was wonderful at every turn and seemed genuinely happy to assist us. I will just say right now that the meals were terrific. There was plenty of variety, even for 15 days on the ship. Every night featured a regional menu, with food from the area we were traveling in. Hungarian, German and Danish food, which was very fun to try. The included wines and beer each afternoon and evening were usually very good. Some with the Silver Beverage package even drank the free wines at dinner as they were very good. My husband is a beer drinker, and there were 10-12 bottled beers offered, and one nice German draft beer. Champagne was supplied every morning for mimosas. Probably the only thing better than the food and variety was the service. We could not have asked for better service. We happened to sit in a section the first night, and the staff seemed to immediately develop a rapport with us. We ended up staying in the same section most meals, knowing we would get exceptional, cheery, fast and friendly service. The servers even remembered our drinks of choice and offered it immediately when we sat down. It was really incredible to watch how hard all the staff on the Vili worked. There was some entertainment on board, and all seemed to be well received. Honestly, most were usually beat by the end of the day after seeing all the towns and doing the tours. My favorites were the Taste of Germany night and the guitar concert. There was a duo who provided great music every night in the lounge. There were two classical music concerts and a glassblower who came on board. The Tour Director gave several informative talks, and there were drink sampling, cheese sampling and a few other fun things. The included tours were all terrific (except Amsterdam) and rivaled many we have paid a lot of money for. It was very easy to understand some incredible guides! It seemed the guides were handpicked for their great English, humor and history knowledge. The cruise was a great balance of go, go going and seeing and doing, and some nice down time. We took advantage of our down time and rested (our legs!) and enjoyed all the other tours. There were lots of opportunities to add excursions or on your own jaunts, or time to relax if you needed too. BUDAPEST: The evening we embarked, the Tour Director and Captain of the ship announced he knew many of us were tired from long travel days, but they were going to take us on an evening cruise to see the lights of Budapest. They stressed we would not be disappointed if we could stay up, and they were so right. The lights of the Parliament and other location sin Budapest were stunning. It is something you will never forget if you get the chance to see it! The next morning, we were taken on a great included city tour of Budapest, seeing the major sights. You always have the option to opt out of the included tour if you wish to get out on your own, but we enjoyed every tour, with the exception of the one in Amsterdam that was just so-so! The rest of the day in Budapest was on our own. We went to the great market and to the shoe monument on the river. The market was right by the ship and was interesting. The top floor was souvenirs and lots of Hungarian crafts and items, and the street level was all food. Great place to pick up paprika! The lower level was an Aldi supermarket, where some people stocked up on items for their refrigerator and rooms. We left Budapest that evening in the middle of a huge snow storm! We again got to see the Parliament and other lit monuments as we sailed again, and it seemed more magical in the heavy snow! VIENNA: Upon arrival in Vienna there was a light covering of snow. It was cold but we had plenty of very warm clothes. We again had a great included city tour, mostly by bus with nice stops for photos. In each stop Viking has great city/town maps on the reception desk. In addition, on the back of the daily newsletter Viking highlights the sights, stores and places to eat that are good. We went to a few of each of the stores and cafes/restaurants and were not disappointed in the recommendations. After lunch we had free time. We went to the “Behind the Scenes of the Lipizzaner Stallions” tour. We were told in advance it was the horses day off (Monday) and there was no show that day. The behind the scenes tour turned out to be very interesting. The horses have some great digs in the heart of the city, and the history and stories we heard while touring the Spanish Riding School exceeded our expectations! After the tour we were taken to a nice café for cake and coffee, and the snow started again! After dinner there was a very large group of people who had signed up for the optional Strauss and Mozart concert, which we did also. We honestly hadn’t signed up, but had spoken to so many people who had, that we thought everyone must know something we didn’t, so we joined in. The concert was in a beautiful hall, a bit crowded, but Viking had prime seats reserved and we were in the first 5 rows. The concert was entertaining and very good. Again, we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the whole show, and we are really just old rock and rollers! MELK: The next morning, we cruised the Wachau Valley (on the Danube) and the Tour Director had a running commentary on the sights. It was interesting, beautiful and relaxing. Later that afternoon, we arrived in Melk and were bussed to the Melk Abbey. I thought it strange we were really just making a stop to see an abbey. But please, take my word for it, YOU CANNOT MISS THE MELK ABBEY! I don’t want to tell you how spectacular it is, you need to see with your own eyes. Really an incredible place. Very little walking on this tour, except around the Abbey. The buses picked us up and took us right to the Abbey. We had a bit of free time after the Abbey to walk through town and back to the ship if you wished. PASSAU: Again, a great included tour. Passau was easily walkable (as easy as cobblestones with some ice on them can be!), and it was a great tour. Normally there is an organ concert offered in the beautiful cathedral, but as we were there in the off season there was no concert. After the tour we were given time to explore the city on our own and walk back to the ship on our own. We did not do an optional tour, but the people who did the Bavarian Cruise & Baroque Tur Scharding tour spoke very highly of it. Those that went to Salzburg also enjoyed their day and saw a lot of the city in a short time! REGENSBURG This town turned out to be a little unknown (to us) jewel! This was a1 ½ hour walking tour that showed us all the important historical sights. The tour ended at the Stone Bridge and the Old Sausage Kitchen. While we all joked that no one needed any more food, Regensburg is famous for their sausage, so in we went. The sausages are small (breakfast sausage size), and in true American fashion you can get them to go on a pretzel bun for just 3 Euros. The sausage was good, but I especially loved their sweet mustard! The rest of the day we were able to walk around this nice town, and easily walk back to the ship when we were done. NUREMBERG The morning was for free time, and they drove us into Nuremberg (ten minutes away). We were left at the main town square and explored the market and other sights on our own, with recommendations from the local guide. In the big cities we went to, the included tours were great on just showing us the important, beautiful historical sights. The bigger cities on this itinerary had nice, historic town squares. We were especially lucky to run into three Easter Markets, including the largest, in Nuremberg. The markets are not as large as the Christmas markets, but were fun to explore. I’d love to do a Christmas market tour! This included tour was also very good. It was a four-hour tour, mostly on the bus. It was recommended we try the gingerbread in Nuremberg. It was delicious and interestingly enough, made without ginger! BAMBERG Bamberg was a fun little town. The beauty of this little town was striking. We were given a great 4 hour walking tour. Most of the walk was easy, with steep steps at the end leading up to the cathedral. The views from the cathedral were stunning and worth the short hike up the stairs. After the tour we met many from the Vili at the oldest pub to sample the smoke beer. We met some locals who joined the large tour group and it was quite fun. I wasn’t a fan of the smoked beer, but glad I tried it. My husband is a beer person and enjoyed it. We had a few hours to explore Bamberg on our own which was nice. WARZBURG The day we docked in Warzburg we took the optional tour to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We had both been to Rothenburg before, but it remains our favorite place in Germany! The bus trip was about 45 minutes each way. Once we arrived in Rothenburg, we were given an included tour through the town, then taken to lunch. After lunch we had several hours on our own to explore. My husband and I again walked the walls of the city for spectacular views. This trip was on a Sunday, and many on the tour were disappointed the cute, small shops were all closed. Restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries were open. There is a lot to see in this tiny town so we did not miss shopping at all! If you do get there on a shopping day and like Christmas at all, be SURE to visit the Kaethe Wohlfart Christmas museum and beautiful store. She has 4 stores in Rothenburg, but the main Christmas store is behind and opposite the town hall. The museum was 2 or 3 euro to get in, but not to be missed if you are a Christmas fan like I am! After our free time in town, we were taken back to Bamberg to do the included tour of the Bishop’s Residence. An incredible building and again, not to be missed. It was a short, one-hour tour with easy walking. We were then given time to walk back to the ship and explore Bamberg on our own or return to the ship. If you can’t decide whether to do an optional tour, you do see everything in Bamberg from the tour even if you go to Rothenburg, which was a plus for me. I hate to miss anything! I can’t recommend Rothenberg enough! WERTHEIM: Wertheim is a very small town. The tour director joked you could see it all in 15 minutes, and they were close. They managed to fit it into a 1 hour tour and we saw some incredible sights and loved this little storybook town. Easy walking. After the tour we had time to walk around town on our own or have another (free, included) tour of the Jewish history on the town. Those who did the Jewish part of the tour said it was a lot of hilly walking but very interesting. Cute town! KOBLENZ The day we were to be in Koblenz we work up in the middle of a large city. I thought it was strange, and turned on the tv to the Ship Tracker, and noticed we were in Frankfurt. I assumed we were stopping for a quick stop. Around 9 am, the Tour Director came on the loudspeaker and announced that there was a one day lock strike, and we could not continue up the river. He said there would be a briefing in the lounge at 9:30. By 9:30 a.m., the crew had lined up all sorts of tours! You could take an included walking/bus tour of Frankfurt, or take the bus (included) trip to the Marksburg Castle that afternoon. The ship took us by bus as we were unable to get to Koblenz by ship. We chose the castle, as we had both been to Frankfurt. You had the morning free to walk around the main square of the old town in Frankfurt. After lunch we took a bus trip to the castle. We were warned (and warned again) about the walking and climbing on this tour. If anything, we felt the tour director UNDER estimated how bad it was. We felt like mountain goats all afternoon. It’s a very steep climb from the bus to the castle, and once inside it is lots of steps and walking on slate, more uneven than cobblestones. That being said, we loved the castle and the beautiful view. If you have it in you, do this tour, but know that it is a lot of climbing and walking. The tour itself went fairly slow, it had rained a bit so the slate was slippery. Around 11 p.m., we were able to start again down the river. If you go to the castle, or find someone who is, there is a great book for 3.90 euro that has pictures and information about all the Rhine Castles. It was fun to have, and we can now identify our photos. MIDDLE RHINE/COLOGNE: The captain adjusted our schedule so we did not cruise the picturesque Middle Rhine at night. For about 3-4 hours, the tour director gave a commentary on the incredible sights! Cute half timbered towns and many, many castles! It was a nice cruise. That afternoon we arrived in Cologne. We had a two hour walking tour of Cologne, and enjoyed the whole thing. We ended up by the river, and you could easily walk to the ship. The ship was parked right next to the Chocolate Museum and the pub/shopping area. That evening we took the optional tour of the pubs, the Beer Culture Dinner. What fun that was. Again, we can highly recommend. If you are going and have met friends, as the tour director to put you in the same group. By this time we had a group of people we met and had fun with, so we had a great group. We had dinner at a restaurant with unlimited beer, followed by three or four other pubs, again with unlimited beer. We had a great guide who gave us lots of history and even more laughs. KINDERDIJK What a great stop this was! The ship parked directly across from the windmills. Maybe it was because it was warm and sunny, or because we got to go inside a windmill and learn lots of history and fun facts, but this was one of our favorite days. We too k the two hour included tour, very easy walking. There are 19 windmills in this area. Really something to see! Those that took the windmill/cheese tour also enjoyed it, sampled lots of cheese and bought more. AMSTERDAM The next morning we arrived in Cologne. We have been briefed in writing and in updates about the disembarkation. From what we saw it went so very smoothly. I’m not sure it has ever been that easy for us. We were assigned a time to have our luggage out and what time we would be picked up. We had a nice breakfast, said goodbye to a few people and sadly ended our cruise. We did, however, have the Amsterdam post stay booked. We were in the beautiful Pulitzer Hotel, right on the Princess Canal. This hotel was a series of canal houses built together and was gorgeous. Most were put at the Movenpick down on the water. I believe the Pulitzer was an upgrade, but we enjoyed every second here. After we arrived, we had an included two hour walking tour. For whatever reason, this was not a great tour. We were a block away from the Anne Frank house, which we didn’t know until we discovered it ourselves. The guide took us through a shopping district, and at least a mile of walking through a residential district. Didn’t see much until the end when we arrived at Dam Square. In the end we felt fortunate we only had one bad tour out of all the tours we took! The rest of the day and next day were free. We took our own tour to the Kuekenhof Gardens. Wow is all I can say. We saw tulips and flowers for many, many miles. It was a lot of casual, easy walking, but beautiful surprises were around every corner. If you are in Amsterdam when it is open, we can’t recommend these gardens enough. My husband was a great sport about tiptoeing through the tulips, so the next day we went to the Heineken Experience, a Disneyland for beer lovers. They offer a fun, short tour with lots of beer. We had to buy advance tickets because it was a very busy Easter weekend, but got in easily. After the beer, we took a canal cruise which was relaxing and interesting. Later that afternoon we had pre-purchased tickets to the Anne Frank House. Many, many on our cruise had wanted to go, but waited too late to get their tickets. You must buy tickets in advance online. I believe you can do it 60 days in advance. We got in very easily at our assigned time. Museum and house is well done, if not quite somber. The next morning, we were picked up by Viking arranged transportation and returned to the airport in Amsterdam. This was the first time in many trips we just had Viking make all our arrangements, and we were not sorry. Everything went very smoothly and with little, or no effort from us! We are now anxious to book another Viking river cruise. It was just spectacular and fun from start to finish. We are fairly easy-going travelers with a lot of experience but have to say this was the best trip we have ever taken. While I know you cannot keep everyone happy, I don’t think I heard a complaint in the over two weeks we were on the ship. Amazing! We give Viking River Cruises our highest recommendation, and we have several favorite cruise lines. Enjoy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Spent 3 days in Prague and got to know the city; shuttle busses allowed independent exploration; took the provided 41/2 mile walking tour and although she moved fast she did try to accommodate my difficulty walking fast and up/down stairs. ... Read More
Spent 3 days in Prague and got to know the city; shuttle busses allowed independent exploration; took the provided 41/2 mile walking tour and although she moved fast she did try to accommodate my difficulty walking fast and up/down stairs. Wanted to explore the countries we visited. Great ports and activities, but tour guides for the "slow walkers" had no mercy and most of them just moved way too fast and did not accommodate difficulty with stairs. Once we were left so far behind that we ended up training another group back to the bus. Unfortunately our leader never noticed we were missing. Having toured on 2 other river cruise lines, I was vey disappointed in the lack of accommodation compared to tour guides on the other lines. Comfortable cabin, with great service, good evening entertainment, good festive dining, great beverage selection; wonderful service on board; Great port selection and toured wonderful sites, just moving too quickly for my comfort and abilities. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because it took us to places we wouldn't have otherwise visited and we knew we would be spoiled and treated well. Well, it wouldn't be enough to say we received what we expected... the food and drink is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it took us to places we wouldn't have otherwise visited and we knew we would be spoiled and treated well. Well, it wouldn't be enough to say we received what we expected... the food and drink is incredible, tons of it and all quality. The service is spectacular and everyone tries their very best to make your day the best it can possibly be. They provide daily excursions that are so well planned, the logistics all excellent, then stand ready upon your return to cater to your every whim. We loved Vienna, Budapest and some little places in between. I recommend the 3 night add-on land package to Prague to extend the experience to a full 10 day trip. We met some fabulous people we hope to continue to cruise with in the future. It was the best trip we ever had. Of course the price is high and so we cannot go every year, but if you want to travel in style and see super interesting places, this is the way. We will be back for another in a year or so. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We did the Grand European Tour with two other couples who are family. We wanted an adventure such as none of us had ever had and Viking met, and exceeded, what we were hoping for. We are experienced ocean cruisers but this was our first ... Read More
We did the Grand European Tour with two other couples who are family. We wanted an adventure such as none of us had ever had and Viking met, and exceeded, what we were hoping for. We are experienced ocean cruisers but this was our first river cruise. We chose Viking based on the recommendation of other family members and we were anything but disappointed. The level of service is without flaw - they thought of everything and anticipated everything. Our cabin, while smaller than cabins on an ocean cruise, was so well laid out and appointed. Heated floor in the bathroom.... heaven. The excursions, that are included in every port, were simply outstanding. Our tour guides were all local and we learned so much about the history and culture of the ports that we visited. They were all wonderful. In some ports local talent and lecturers were brought on board in the evening, which was wonderful. The river cruise ships are lacking many of the "bells and whistles" of ocean cruise lines, such as shows, casinos, pesky photographers, games, etc. But there was a beautiful lounge on our ship with a great duo who played every night so it was a pleasant surprise to find that we could dance on the ship. The food was amazing - far superior to the ocean line that we normally travel. The presentation was gorgeous and there were always ample choices. In a word...... our Viking cruise was amazing. It was our first but it certainly won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first river cruise and first visit to this part of the world. Viking took care of everything! It was a stress free trip since Viking organized everything and the wonderful staff were always there to answer questions, offer ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and first visit to this part of the world. Viking took care of everything! It was a stress free trip since Viking organized everything and the wonderful staff were always there to answer questions, offer suggestions, etc. The food was great with plenty of choices and always a vegetarian option for my husband. We had a veranda stateroom and loved sitting on our little balcony with a coffee, watching the beautiful scenery go by. The included tours were excellent with local guides who always had a few personal stories to share. Buses were comfortable and had a bathroom if you were traveling more than 1/2 hour. There was plenty of time to explore on our own, shop, have a coffee and pastry, etc. We did a few optional tours and loved those as well... Nuremburg WWII tour, Rothenburg Ob De Tauber, Top of Cologne. We have recommended this trip to many friends. We liked the size of the ship and found it easy to get to know people since you saw them at meals, on tours, etc. Our room was nice, clean, bed comfortable. We enjoyed the onboard lectures and entertainment. The staff were all wonderful as well and many greeted us by name after a day or two. We will surely do another Viking Cruise in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
I had looked longingly at the Viking commercials on television, never dreaming this would be possible for us. I finally decided to investigate and just happened to reach the website at a time when 1/2 price cruises were being offered. I ... Read More
I had looked longingly at the Viking commercials on television, never dreaming this would be possible for us. I finally decided to investigate and just happened to reach the website at a time when 1/2 price cruises were being offered. I am of German heritage, and my father was in Germany after WWII, and this looked like a perfect trip. Amazingly, my husband agreed that this was a good idea! Our trip exceeded all expectations. Our trip down the Rhine and the Danube was a trip of a lifetime. The accommodations were first class Even though we had a standard stateroom, with no balcony, wee didn't miss a thing. Everything was comfortable and perfect. Our cabin attendant saw to our every need. The Viking Villi Program Director Stein was an amazingly energetic and polished individual who provided expert preparation for our excursions prior to our stop in every port. His recommendations for places to go and things to try and see were always on point. We saw sights that we had only ever seen in books or on film, and could hardly believe that we were experiencing these wonderful places and people in person. Max the Chef presented a wide variety of fabulous regional cuisine Everything included locally fresh produce and ingredients that were loaded at each port. There were numerous choices to satisfy every palate. I can't say enough about the superlative quality of every aspect of our trip. All members of the crew were ready and willing to do anything required to meet our every need. Of all the magical aspects of the trip, I'd have to say that the exemplary service of every crew member was the single characteristic that puts Viking at the top of the list of cruise lines. And just so you know how every much we enjoyed our Viking experience, you probably need to know that we couldn't wait to book another one! We're going to Italy in May 2018!. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
We had heard a lot of good things about Viking River Cruises and decided to take a cruise ourselves to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We decided on the Viking Grand European Tour and asked three other couples to join us. From ... Read More
We had heard a lot of good things about Viking River Cruises and decided to take a cruise ourselves to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We decided on the Viking Grand European Tour and asked three other couples to join us. From the time we stepped off the plane in Prague, for our pre-cruise tour, to the drop off at the airport after our post-cruise tour of Amsterdam, we had a very wonderful time. We must say, however, the accommodations in Prague, at the Corinthia Hotel were a lot nicer than the accommodations at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Amsterdam. After the Corinthia Hotel the Radisson Blu Hotel was a moderate to big let down. In addition we felt the Viking staff at the Corinthia were a lot more accommodating than the crew at the Radisson Blu. We also felt the tour of the city of Amsterdam should have been postponed to later in the day because of really heavy rain. Instead the tour went on and most everyone got soaked. We left the tour after 20 minutes and went back to the hotel to dry out. The cruise itself, the cruise director, the other officers and the rest of the ships crew, were all quite excellent. Everyone went out of their way to be helpful. Even the young man assigned to our cabin, although new and not yet up to par, was very helpful and did his best. Our cabin itself was large enough and in excellent condition. A problem with the TV in our cabin and the entire ship was our only complaint. EXCELLENT, that is only word we can think of to describe the dining experience aboard the ship. EXCELLENT. The staff in the dining room as well as the lounge and the Aquavit Terrace were as near perfect as one can expect. The entertainment was just what we had hoped it would be; a good piano player and an equally good singer. In addition some very nice surprises from the crew. The cruise director 'Joey' was nothing short of excellent and entertained us with everything from the weather reports to commentary while sailing through the Wachau Valley. The area we thought could use some improvement was the ports-of-call and the shore excursions. In particular Nuremberg comes to mind. As history buffs we very much looked forward to a tour of Nuremberg and opted for the Nuremberg World War II Tour. In our opinion the tour was a waste of money and time. Our arrival date in Nuremberg was the same day as the huge Rock im Park rock music festival held ANNUALLY in Nuremberg. Because of the festival we had traffic delays and we could not see Zeppelin Field. The festival is an ANNUAL event and Viking should not have sold that tour on the same day knowing the festival would be there. And as far as Courtroom 600 is concerned all we say is, is that all there is? In addition because we took the optional tour we missed the included tour of the city of Nuremberg. We also opted for the Salzburg Highlights tour which was promoted as a 9 1/2 hour tour. What is not in your literature is, there is more than 4 hours travel time to get to Salzburg and an equal amount of time needed to get back to the ship. Also, we could have done without the luncheon with a fixed menu and the "Sound of Music" entertainment. Additionally, we missed the walking tour of Passau. We think the Cologne Walking Tour should have included a lot more than Cologne Cathedral. It was just a walk around the cathedral. Aside from the problems with the tours we had an overall excellent time. We will say, however, that for future cruises we will most likely book our optional tours on board ship and not before the cruise. We think getting to speak with the Cruise Director and other personnel on board we can get a much better idea of what a tour will entail. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
the trip was fantastic!!!!! crew and staff excellent in every way. Christmas dinner was something very special for everyone on board. local talent to come on board was also very much unexpected and very good. shore excursions were ... Read More
the trip was fantastic!!!!! crew and staff excellent in every way. Christmas dinner was something very special for everyone on board. local talent to come on board was also very much unexpected and very good. shore excursions were fantastic with ample time to explore on your own. Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna in the evening at the palace had to be the climax of the trip. the usher asked us if we were from Viking and we were escorted to seats on the stage with the orchestra. shopping the Christmas markets was fantastic. problem being how to pack it all and bring home. (suggest extra suitcase) another reason I pick Viking is their airport transfers, this is very import as just one more thing I do not have to worry about, I am on vacation and Viking makes every minute count. I have recommended Viking to many of my friends and seems we are all getting to be world travelers as Viking expands their fleet, our next cruise is already booked and really looking forward to the Viking Star ocean cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife had always wanted to go on a cruise with me but in my opinion the big cruise ships held no magic. Sailing along rivers and looking at castles was what I wanted so we booked the Grand European Tour on the Viking Villi. I was ... Read More
My wife had always wanted to go on a cruise with me but in my opinion the big cruise ships held no magic. Sailing along rivers and looking at castles was what I wanted so we booked the Grand European Tour on the Viking Villi. I was impressed with the boat and our room, #308, a Veranda Suite. The food was excellent, lots of choices and sufficient quantity to keep a grown man full. Staff were happy and efficient, taking care of any requests promptly. Our room steward, Dousdan, handled several odd requests quickly and with humor. Of the serving staff, Bogomil, was our favorite and his exclamation of "Excellent Choice" became a common line among our little group. A few minor schedule flubs were handled quickly by the Captain and crew, causing little or no delay in our trip. The Tour Director, Terry, was a congenial little Brit. and kept things interesting and fun. My wife and I were very pleased with the trip and would travel again with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
The places it stopped were all of interest to us and Viking has enough ships to be able to deal with lock problems and water level issues. Going with Viking kept our cruise a cruise instead of a tour bus trip this feature alone makes them ... Read More
The places it stopped were all of interest to us and Viking has enough ships to be able to deal with lock problems and water level issues. Going with Viking kept our cruise a cruise instead of a tour bus trip this feature alone makes them a first consideration and worth any premium they may charge above another cruise company. On both ships we were on the service was impeccable both on board ship and during the shore excursions. The housekeepers cleaned and freshened our room several times a day restocking the towels and water every time. Every evening there was an on board form of entertainment varying for musical performances to glass blowing demonstrations. The meals were especially good and prepared to each of our preferences. The breakfast was a buffet or a breakfast cooked to our preference. The kitchen was the cleanest commercial kitchen I have ever seen. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Loved the smaller passenger number (190) and the European ports of call from Budapest to Vienna, then through Germany to Amsterdam. Wonderful stateroom with veranda was very comfortable. Service was outstanding, as well as food. Staff was ... Read More
Loved the smaller passenger number (190) and the European ports of call from Budapest to Vienna, then through Germany to Amsterdam. Wonderful stateroom with veranda was very comfortable. Service was outstanding, as well as food. Staff was exceptional, professional and knowledgeable. Excursions included in fare were very informational and conducted by local guides (loved Marcus, the tour guide in Cologne!). Optional tours were excellent as well- we very much appreciated the WWII tour in Nuremberg and the Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna. Viking team made embarkation and disembarkation as easy as possible. We were nervous landing in Budapest, but Viking representatives quickly put us at ease. The motor coaches for transfers and tours were much more comfortable than we expected. The entire trip simply exceeded our expectations. Our favorite meals were evening dinners on Aquavit deck, with Marianna and Dragos taking exceptional care of us. We'd love to go back to the Vili and repeat the trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We wanted to do a European river cruise for years, and after asking around, decided to go with Viking River Cruises. We've taken to ocean cruises on Carnival (Mexico Pacific coast and Alaska to Vancouver BC, and this was our first ... Read More
We wanted to do a European river cruise for years, and after asking around, decided to go with Viking River Cruises. We've taken to ocean cruises on Carnival (Mexico Pacific coast and Alaska to Vancouver BC, and this was our first river cruise. We vastly prefer the Viking experience. The smaller ship doesn't skimp at all in amenities, at least the kind we look for. As their ads say, no swimming pools or drinks with umbrellas. We had local guides for every stop, and the individual audio devices ensure you can hear the narrative just fine without the guide shouting. We enjoyed a mix of included and optional tours, augmented by some supplementary helps graciously suggested by our Concierge. For example, by wife had some temporary difficulty walking distances, so our Concierge suggested a "rickshaw" tour of Salzburg, which my wife wouldn't have been able to handle otherwise. The extra cost was very reasonable and well worth it. We were "five star" pleased with the accommodations, the outstanding food, the warm and gracious service and the many things included in the price. We opted for the veranda room (not the French veranda) and found it to be an excellent balance between price and comfort. At the end of the river portion, we took the optional three days in Prague. This was another example of Viking's excellent service. Most tour companies would have put us on a chartered bus, said goodbye at the ship, and then had someone at the hotel in Prague to greet us. With Viking, we had a Viking guide with us on the whole trip to Prague, plus a dedicated driver for their transfers between Budapest and Prague. This really helped out with the rest stops and especially during the lunch stop, since the menu was all in Czech and the English of the staff was not the best. Arriving in Prague, we were competently turned over to a full time resident staff in the hotel that gave us the same attentive service as on the ship. We're already looking forward to our next trip with Viking, which will be a Christmas markets tour next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
Love the small ship and many of the staff knew our name after the first few days. After the first day, when we went to pick up our shore pass cards, from the front desk, (we can't remember her name) would always greet us with, ... Read More
Love the small ship and many of the staff knew our name after the first few days. After the first day, when we went to pick up our shore pass cards, from the front desk, (we can't remember her name) would always greet us with, "Hello Mr & Mrs Wxxxxx from stateroom 209". That is a great way to start each day. We were not just a number with someone asking for our number. This was on our 40th Anniversary and Viking treated well with several people signing to us at Dinner, and flowers and towel swans in our stateroom. The Head Chef came and visited with us that night and later in the cruise also. We have cruised on 9 cruises and 4 different cruise lines before this cruise and find Viking the BEST. Viking treated us so good. Bottle of water each time we go ashore, welcome back snack or such. We also loved the one free tour each day where as we did not have to pay for every tour. We did purchase a few of the optional tours, and were glad they did not conflict with the free tour for time. The Tour Guides were all great. We are planning to be some of the first to cruise on the Mississippi River in the USA, with Viking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Having been on Viking before we were already aware of all of the great things about doing river cruising with Viking. On this particular cruise we were most impressed with the caliber of service from the crew. As it happens sometimes I ... Read More
Having been on Viking before we were already aware of all of the great things about doing river cruising with Viking. On this particular cruise we were most impressed with the caliber of service from the crew. As it happens sometimes I fell ill on the cruise and required a doctor and then needed to rest for a few days. The concierge made the appointment, got the cab and came to the doctor's with me. When I needed to rest for a few days the rest of the crew helped my wife to get me food, and brought hot tea to help me feel better. They checked in on me and were just a joy to work with. Throughout the rest of the cruise the crew was especially attentive to me and always asked how I was doing and if there was anything I needed. I am happy to say that I had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
A small river boat from Budapest to Amsterdam. City tours every day, river cruise every night. Incredible staff, better food, and luxurious accommodations. I got an understanding of the history or the river valleys, the castles, the ... Read More
A small river boat from Budapest to Amsterdam. City tours every day, river cruise every night. Incredible staff, better food, and luxurious accommodations. I got an understanding of the history or the river valleys, the castles, the monasteries, the Prince Bishops and the stages of the agriculture, the wars, the religions, and economies over 2000 years. Detail: Embarkation and debarkation - The crew took care of everything. All we had to do was walk on board. Ship: 200 staterooms, three dining areas, rooftop lounge and walking track. Dining: Three gourmet meals a day, each spread over a wide time band, running into each other. Snacks and coffee/tea all the time. Often the lunches and dinners were themed, with excellent food based on where we were travelling. Local wines in abundance. Just when I was wondering how they could improved as the trip had five days to go, they went all out for a series of incredible meals. Entertainment and activities - Onboard, music and culture, electronically showing pictures reliving the day. Offboard, several trips every day with varying levels of effort, showing the best each city or region had to offer. Service - Sublime, personal, from new friends. Ports and excursions - We hit all the big cities, castles and monasteries,with great local guides pointing out their favorite points and the importance of what had happened. Also remember a trip to a family vineyard and wine bottling and selling operation, excellent in-town food, souvenirs and just time to ramble in town, waving to the ship staff going the other way in a small alley. We are already planning another viking cruise or two, probably Portugal and the Baltic Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
We had taken the Romantic Danube Cruise in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed it. An offer came in the mail about this particular cruise that included hotel time in Budapest and also in Bucharest with air. Budapest had captured our hearts in ... Read More
We had taken the Romantic Danube Cruise in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed it. An offer came in the mail about this particular cruise that included hotel time in Budapest and also in Bucharest with air. Budapest had captured our hearts in 2014, so we couldn't pass this one up. Budapest was as enchanting as before. The hotel, Sofitel, I believe, was wonderful. We had a beautiful view of the Chain Bridge and Fisherman's Bastion from our room. The Viking Vili was just across the street and boarding couldn't have been more pleasant. After arriving in Kalocsa, we were treated to an astounding display of horsemanship at a local farm. Hungary has become one of my favorite countries. Our visit to Osijek, Croatia began with a home visit. I was not eager to go traipsing into someone's home, but the young man and his family were so charming and welcoming, that I soon lost my trepidation. The Serbian capital of Belgrade was beautiful and I enjoyed the Kalemegdan Fortress immensely. Cruising through the Iron Gate a pleasant and lovely way to spend the day. The excursion to the Belogradchik rocks made me feel like I was in a fairy tale...amazing. Just as enjoyable were the ruins of the Tsarevets Fortress and the gorgeous interior of the little church in Arbanassi. Our hotel in Bucharest, The Hilton, was luxurious and the location was perfect for venturing our on our own. The service aboard the Vili was without a fault, just as it was when we cruised on the Eistla. We look forward to the same top-notch crew when we cruise on the Kadlin in the spring. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Food - delicious; room - Private with a lovely view. We could watch the shore and relax in our room. This was the trip of a lifetime with all details carefully planned. The shore excursions were designed to give the best possible ... Read More
Food - delicious; room - Private with a lovely view. We could watch the shore and relax in our room. This was the trip of a lifetime with all details carefully planned. The shore excursions were designed to give the best possible experience in Europe. My favorites: Belvedere museum; Vienna concert (a personal dream since my teen years!) We explored ancient and recent history. We saw art that we had only seen in books. We had a renewed appreciation for travel. (Can't wait for next trip) Our crew: wonderful. Every program onboard was entertaining and educational. Mozart was big on this cruise - heard selections from the Magic Flute twice. Even saw examples of glass blowing from an associate of Chihuly no less!. The tours were exciting and not overly taxing. There was something for everyone from a pub crawl to a formal concert. This trip was worth every penny. I love these guys. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Spent a few nights in Prague prior to the cruise and another couple in Amsterdam after. Viking staff couldn't have been more attentive. The daily tours, the transfers, the food and even the cabin were above expectations. We also ... Read More
Spent a few nights in Prague prior to the cruise and another couple in Amsterdam after. Viking staff couldn't have been more attentive. The daily tours, the transfers, the food and even the cabin were above expectations. We also had near-perfect weather the whole cruise. The tours on shore were conducted by very knowledgeable locals who explained the complicated history of the various regions we visited. In all, a most enjoyable experience and one that will be hard to top in the future. Read Less
Viking Vili Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2

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