The Rhine was our second Viking river cruise. We did the Rhone the last time.
Our plan is to work our way through many more of the Viking offerings as time passes.
We've started with the eight day sailings in Western Europe. I was eager to see Switzerland again, so the start in Basel and tours of the Alsace made the decision for us.
We toured Basel, and along with Colmar and the Alsace, were totally entranced with the charm, culture, architecture and cuisine that we experienced on the Rhine. The very capable and personable tour guides deepened our appreciation as they provided keen insights into history and current relevance of the various regions.
Every aspect of the Viking experience can only be described with superlatives. The ships and their attractive, comfortable and ingeniously designed cabins and the common areas demonstrate that Viking is dedicated to providing a 5 star environment to its passengers.
Being a "foodie", I can attest that dining offerings, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner the meals are excellent and often reflect the cuisine of the area you are touring.
But special kudos go the the staff and crew on Viking. These are an elite group of the most professional, attentive, personable (yet unimposing) people who maintain a sense of luxury and personal service that is unrivaled. My compliments to Viking for their high standards in staff and crew selection.
Viking is now part of our consideration for any vacation planning. In fact we are scheduled for a Viking ocean cruise in the Caribbean in just a few weeks.
The cabins on Viking ships are an incredible exhibition of thoughtful and efficient design.
(I am incredibly impressed with the ability of designers of small spaces.)The decor is subtle and tasteful and very comfortable and reflective of the overall design of the ships common areas.
Viking's housekeeping staff do an a great job maintaining the rooms so that they are always neat and orderly and they do so as unobtrusively as can be.
The German countryside was spectacular. Though it involved a moderately long bus ride, which I normally detest, the vistas and the informative and entertaining narrative by our tour guide made it well worth whileView All 67 Black Forest Reviews
Little of "old" Cologne exists having been destroyed in WWII. What we saw was somewhat unmemorable except for the Cathedral which is an awesome venue and needed so much more time than we had. My only complaint was that the tour guide had us dally near the ship for about an hour and fifteen minutes... his narrative was interesting but I did not appreciate the abbreviation of our excursion.View All 125 City Tour Reviews
What an incredible architectural and artistic achievement! Thankfully it survived the devastation experienced by the rest of the city. The place is overwhelming and you could spend days exploring it but our time there was a worthwhile introduction.View All 184 Cologne Cathedral Reviews
This was probably the most disappointing excursion as compared to Basel, Colmar Strasbourg and the other venues.View All 52 Cologne Old Town Reviews
Tour guide had us standing around too long. It seems our ETA at the cathedral was later in the tour and he didn't have a plan to initially engage us.View All 148 Walking Tour Reviews
The castle has seen better days and is partly in ruins but it is spectacular and well worth the time. Its placement high over the river and town below a spectacular view.
We toured the city following the castle visit and again basked in the charm of these old European cities.View All 180 Heidelberg Castle Reviews
Strasbourg was our favorite excursion. The town is so charming and has so much history. It is Europe as you imagine and hope it will be. We had guided and unguided time and it was topped with an wonderful Alsatian lunch at the charming "Le Sepulcre" just around the corner from the cathedral.View All 79 Le Petite France Reviews
Like Cologne cathedral, this venue was an incredible structure and well worth the visit.View All 95 Notre Dame Cathedral Reviews