I've been reading about Viking river cruises for years in the brochures that arrive in my mailbox. Two years ago my sister and her husband took this trip. My sister (who is an avid complainer) not only had absolutely nothing to complain about, but raved about everything connected with their trip. That sold me. When my husband and I decided to give Viking a try, we chose the Rhine trip.
Viking has an exceptional way of letting you research the ports you will visit, and details of excursions through their My Viking Journey portal on their web site. Since anticipation is a fun part of any trip, the portal really whets your appetite for the upcoming trip.
Embarkation is beyond smooth. Our bags were whisked away to our cabin even before we climbed out of the cab that Viking had sent to pick us up at the airport. The ship, small by ocean cruse ships, was beautifully appointed and more than large enough to comfortably accommodate our 181 fellow passengers. Our cabin was very comfortable (loved the heated floor in the bathroom), pristinely clean, and taken care of by a steward who moved in and out quite unobtrusively with fresh flowers, fruit, and linens.
The dining room was large enough to accommodate all guests at the same time, and there were no assigned tables/seating. The food was much better that any ocean cruise ship we've been on, and while there were not dozens of choices at each meal, there were more than enough to satisfy.
Viking brings local artisans and artists onboard to entertain. From glassblowing to German folk music to classical strings, each experience was most enjoyable.
The shore excursions were spot on. They showed us the medieval Europe that we came to see. Perhaps the most important thing here is that my husband is disabled (but not wheel chair bound). He was able to move about the ship easily. He was able to go on all of the included excursions (thanks to the "E" group that saw all the same sites as everyone else, but at a slower pace), and several of the optional excursions as well. The onboard staff as well as the tour guides and drivers were exceptionally knowledgeable, accommodating, and in most instances, just down right fun. We've already booked our next cruise - on the Danube!
The cabin was beautiful, had plenty of room, and was kept spotless during the whole week. Our cabin attendant entered frequently to perform her tasks, yet we never actually saw her after she introduced herself on the first day of the cruise. Loved, loved, loved the heated floor in the bathroom, the shower that was not the size of a phone booth, and the full-sized toiletries. Fresh fruit (everyday), fresh flowers, bottled water, and wine were amazing.