River Cruisers Talk About their Viking Cruise Experiences

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A Viking River Cruise ship.

What do TripAdvisor readers think about Viking River Cruises?  We surveyed the site to get some glimpses of what most people think about river cruises and this market leading cruise operator specifically.

One guest gave their Budapest to Amsterdam cruise in 2010 four stars. “Everything was exactly as the brochure said and pictured, even the bedspread.” They liked that the staff treated them the same way you’d expect in a dining room with china and white tablecloths.

The tour director, though, was described as rude and condescending, and they avoided him as much as they could. Internet access on the boat, too, came under fire, being down for much of their journey.

Their advice to future river cruisers? Bring less clothes, no cute shoes and make that walking shoes, since you’ll encounter a lot of cobblestones. Oh, and bring dressier clothes for dinner or else you’ll feel, like she did, a bit underdressed. How American!

Vincent the Hero

Another couple wrote about their Rhine Getaway cruise on Viking’s Helvetia.  They lost luggage en route and Vincent, in his red Viking jacket saved the day and helped them get their bags back. “The ship was beautiful, clean and well-appointed. Wine was included in the meals, which were all good but not the typical ocean cruise ‘belly up to the bar’ type of scene.

Rene the program director got great kudos. “You should take this cruise because of him if for no other reason!” they exclaimed. Extremely helpful, friendly, hilarious even.  This couple did a lot planning before their river cruise, getting new brochures in the mail every day. Ï’m glad we got it right!” they said.

The kudos continued in a review of a 2010 Viking cruise by a Florida couple. “This will become our benchmark for evaluating our cruise vacations,” they wrote. “The whole experience was truly phenomenal. Gracious staff, excellent planning for excursions, they felt that the company truly is seamless in putting all of the pieces together.

A pair of women cruisers from San Antonio Texas said that the wine flowed at dinner and there was never an empty glass. They liked all of the walking and took brisk walks on the sun deck as well as over the cobblestone streets during their trip down the Danube. Budapest’s market was a highly praised and they would definitely take another Viking cruise.

A Viking river cruise ship.

A first time river cruiser from Milan weighed in, saying that though the thought of river tourism in a European capital might make one think of Paris, Berlin, too offers the Spree River for a highly scenic view. “It’s an interesting way to see Berlin’s sites—the Reichstag, Chancellery and the House of World Cultures, among other sites on the Spree.

Cruisecritic.com also offers a chance to hear cruiser’s opinions of their Viking River Cruises.  One woman wrote about a December 2012 Christmas Markets cruise, “Keep in mind that river cruises will not have the elaborate shows you find on mega ships. You can easily make friends with all of your fellow passengers, since the open seating brings people together at meal time.

For her the highlight was the Breisach, the Black Forest, Heidelberg and the castle and that most scenic stretch between Ruedesheim to Koblenz with castles on both sides of the river. They also loved doing their Christmas shopping at the delightful markets that are a hallmark of Northern Europe during that time.

This reviewer had fun dancing to the piano player in the ship’s lounge, she did not mind the absence of the elaborate shows on ocean cruises.

A couple who took a cruise on the Elbe River commented on the interesting stories that the crew told them about German reunification and the Czech velvet revolution. There was a lot of World War II history that seemed to attract a mostly British group of passengers.