We have sailed with Viking previously (Christmas Markets of the Danube) 3 years ago, and in fact, on the same ship. The ship hasn't changed, but the crew, and attitudes, has. This trip we opted for deck one (cabin 110) and the cabins are just fine....typical for a river cruise ship, with the usual space constraints. The crew was very good (Arturo, the Concierge) said we would remember him...a true statement. The rest of the crew and staff went out of their way to assist my wife when she had to return to the ship due to medical reasons. (The ship was to drop us off, immediately sail on, and remeet later.) All of that was good.
One problem was the itinerary...it just did not take full advantage of the Rhine River. Our stop in Kobletz is a prime example. We docked at the base of the cable car to the castle, just a few meters from the statue area at the conflux of the Rhine and Mozelle Rivers. Absolutely no time was allocated to be able to go into the town, or to explore the monuments. The group going on the included castle tour grabbed their bus and took off. Those remaining going to the alternate (extra cost) castle headed to the cable cars, hand went up on their tour. The ship, in the meantime, headed up river, to dock near where the first group would end up. After the second group finished their castle tour, we all boarded buses and went to where the ship was waiting. Food was not as good this trip, and there were some nights the "always available" menu was needed. Entertainment was very good, as brought aboard. However, why, in Germany, was there no "oom-pa-pa" band? Will we sail again with Viking? Yes. They do care, but they need to do some refresher courses.
Cabin 110 is located on the lower deck, almost midship. Since all cabins on that deck are the same, it becomes a choice of where on the ship you want to be. There is no need to head fore or aft, since there is no motion from waves. Cabin size is typical, and at (roughly) 160 square feet, is tight, yet Viking has managed to make it appear larger, and feel larger. There are plenty of both European and North American sockets.
While waiting for all the passengers to arrive, a short (1 hour +) was offered, leisurely tour to get a taste of the city. It included a snippet of the Red Light District, Canals, Central RR Station area, "coffee shop" area, and return to the ship. It gave you a brief glance of Amsterdam, and explained the city history, building design, and city feel.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We departed the ship and headed to the cathedral area where we disembarked the buses and started walking. After seeing the sights, we returned to the ship for lunch. Afterwards, we got a bicycle "rickshaw" ride (booked through the ship) which provided us a different view, then off to the other side of the river to the Koln Triangle where we ascended to the top (26 floors) where you can get a panoramic view of Cologne, including the iconic cathedral. After a brief (1 hour) at the Triangle, we were pedaled back the the ship...a delightful 2 hour ride.View All 148 Walking Tour Reviews
We booked the optional tour of the Einbreichstein Castle, accessible by a cable car stretching from the river to the castle. At the top we were met by our "Guide", an in character actor who was exploring the castle for the British. It made a simple tour of a large castle area into an enjoyable trip back in time, to get a view of the life of that time. Also at the top is a small cafe that serves good hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.View All 104 Walking Tour Reviews