We wanted to try a river cruise, having enjoyed a Viking Ocean Cruise last year. We have previously done ocean cruising with Seabourn and Silversea and we are looking for the right cruise line for us.
What a disappointing trip this was. River levels were low, and on the first day we were bused to Slovenia to join a boat- the Embla- , rather than sailing out of Budapest. After a week we had a 3.5 hour bus trip to transfer to the Lif where we made it to Cologne before being advised we could not travel any further and that everyone would be bussed to a hotel at Schippol airport (Amsterdam) the next day. Therefore the cruise ended a day early.
Viking are of course not responsible for the low water levels, but it was the management of the issue that left a lot to be desired -we always felt we were being kept in the dark and drip fed information. This extends to having heard NOTHING from Viking since our return - although we know other passengers who complained have been offered 25% discount off a future cruise.
Of importance to us was the poor quality of the meals, particularly dinner. Fish was almost always very overcooked, as were the steaks and the overall menu and quality of the food was just so disappointing. Wine choices were ok, we took the silver package so had a better selection of drinks.
As others have noted, only a few times did we dock where you could walk into town, and more than once we docked in industrial areas - once next to a giant smelly rubbish skip. Many of the towns where we stopped were small german towns and had little to see. Often you were stuck in the town for hours after the included tour with nothing to do but wait for the bus transfer back to the boat.
Staff on the Embla were ok but were much better on the Lif. Our Verandah Suite was very comfortable, with a separate lounge area. Beware that you are often rafted next to other boats so have to keep your curtains closed at all times.
We will not do a river cruise again - and after loving our Viking ocean cruise we are now very disillusioned with Viking - so won't be sailing with Viking again. Our search for the right cruise line continues.
Comfortable suite with lots of room.
didn't sail out of here
good introduction to the cityView All 169 City Tour Reviews
Passau is a bigger town and interesting to walk aroundView All 218 Walking Tour Reviews
did't get off the boat
Didn't get off the boat
all these small German and Austrian towns are very similiar
interesting walking tour, busy townView All 125 City Tour Reviews