This was our first cruise of any kind, although we are experienced travelers. It was nice to turn all of the logistics over to Viking, and we would trust them with another vacation, based on our experience. We liked the small scale of the the boat at 170 passengers. Walking tours in our ports of call were the heart of the trip. We usually divided into groups of 10-15 for each guide. Our local guides ranged from good to excellent.
Service and food on board were very good. Our room was small, but well designed and practical even for a large tall person like me. There were a variety of common spaces, all of which were comfortable and relaxing. Everything on the boat is well designed, attractive, and clean. We were seldom in our cabin except to sleep. Access to outdoor decks was sometimes limited by cool weather and low bridges. Onboard entertainment and activities were good, if low key; but that's not the focus of a river cruise. We appreciated the briefings every evening that prepared us for the following day's activities. Viking staff make sure that you have everything that you need plus some nice touches.
The itinerary of this cruise included two long legs by bus: Prague to Bamberg and Trier to Paris. Those days were acceptable but not our favorites. The payoff was the opportunity to visit two wonderful cosmopolitan cities on one trip. Hotel accommodations in Prague and Paris were very good and provided easy access to scenic and historic areas of the cities. Those cities provided a nice balance to the smaller cities and villages along the river route following the Main, Rhine, and Mosel. We slipped past Frankfurt at night. We added a couple of optional excursions, but you could have a great trip with only what's included in the basic package.
Our only glitch was a missed flight connection in Dallas/Fort Worth on our return trip. American Airlines boarding procedures were chaotic and the layout of the customs area in DFW is difficult. You have to clear customs and then go back through TSA security to reach your domestic flight. We'll allow more time next trip.
Small but well designed.