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Sail Date: December 2018
After having a great experience with Viking in Russia, my wife and I again chose Viking for our tour of Egypt. We were met at Cairo airport at the arrival gate (before immigration) by Viking's airport representative, Amr, who guided us ... Read More
After having a great experience with Viking in Russia, my wife and I again chose Viking for our tour of Egypt. We were met at Cairo airport at the arrival gate (before immigration) by Viking's airport representative, Amr, who guided us effortlessly through all required formalities and delivered us to our transport. From Cairo airport we were delivered to the Nile Ritz Carlton hotel (fabulous), in which we stayed for three nights while we toured the sights with Viking (pyramids, Citadel, museum and markets). On the fourth day we were flown to the Viking Ra in Luxor. This is a great little ship with all suite cabins, a great lounge and two exterior sun decks. The staff which consisted of both international and local personnel, were fantastic. The restaurant was very comfortable and the food very good. The cruise down the Nile was fantastic and all excursions were well organised and very engaging thanks to our program directors, Amr and Ahmed. We highly recommend the optional excursion to Abu Simbel and also the optional balloon ride over Luxor. Disembarking and returning to Cairo was also very well organised. And the accommodation and food at the Intercontinental CityStars was first rate. Transport back to Cairo airport also went smoothly. The only minor irritation was that some of our luggage was left at Luxor and we had to wait until just before we flew out of Cairo before we recovered it. Overall, a fantastic holiday with a great company. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
XMAS CRUISE 2018 PORTO TO PORTO , DOURO RIVER PORTUGAL. itinerary changed so many times even the staff could not tell me where or what we were doing have the time. Spent 10% on the ship ( sleeping , eating ) 90% on buses this is a ... Read More
XMAS CRUISE 2018 PORTO TO PORTO , DOURO RIVER PORTUGAL. itinerary changed so many times even the staff could not tell me where or what we were doing have the time. Spent 10% on the ship ( sleeping , eating ) 90% on buses this is a bus trip not a river cruise. I feel we were deceived as the excursions were changed / canceled repeatedly. if xmas is not a good time for attractions to be open , then do not offer this cruise. All other cruise lines not operating douro river at this time ( wonder why ) we were dropped off at mateus palace for a 30 min tour/ then 2.5 hrs free time to do absolutlety nothing !, whole day wasted for this ! as bus ride took up the rest of the day. Meals were not very good compared to our other cruises (ama was better ) restaurant had a hole in front entrance floor ( not appealing to look at ) same wine served every night , which was not the greatest they ran out of lots of things after 3 days of cruise( lemons , milk , ketchup, jam , coke to name a few.) We were not impressed with this cruise at all ! ( the douro valley is very beautiful to see ) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We were in cabin 105 so only a window. All cabins are 2 room suites and lovely. Full size shower. Ship smaller in size so max of 50 people. The chef was a genius and some of the best food on a cruise. We had prime rib roast, lobster, giant ... Read More
We were in cabin 105 so only a window. All cabins are 2 room suites and lovely. Full size shower. Ship smaller in size so max of 50 people. The chef was a genius and some of the best food on a cruise. We had prime rib roast, lobster, giant prawns, lamb.....and my favorite was an Egyptian night with many delights. The tours were wonderful and the guides/egyptologists did a great job of navigating you through The Valley of the vendors. The balloon ride over The Valley of the kings was amazing as was the trip to AbuSimbel. On our return to Cairo some folks set up private tour to inside the Sphinx. We opted to go to the Coptic quarter which was very interesting and the prettiest Coptic Church we have seen. We also did Pretrip Jerusalem which is where I clocked 15000 steps. In Egypt i never made it past 10,000 while touring. You will be walking on stone and uneven terrain so those with bad knees/hips may find things difficult. At first we could not understand why this trip was more expensive than some of the Europe ones but you have a minimum of 2 in country flights. This is the fastest way to get around. We had private security with us daily and large comfortable Viking coaches with extra space between seats for comfort and USB ports and WiFi on the bus....better than the ship Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We visited a wide variety of venues/countries. We were able to explore all cities/towns in which we docked and had a pleasant pre-trip extension in Munich and Salzburg. The ship was of a comfortable size (188 passengers). The service ... Read More
We visited a wide variety of venues/countries. We were able to explore all cities/towns in which we docked and had a pleasant pre-trip extension in Munich and Salzburg. The ship was of a comfortable size (188 passengers). The service provided by the staff was excellent and the ship and cabin were very clean. (One example: After having some wine accidently spilled on me during dinner, the staff had my clothing cleaned gratis.) The meals were excellent and reflected the cuisine of each of the towns we visited. The shore excursions were interesting although we probably over-booked them; some additional relaxation time on the top deck was needed. Our relaxation time came when cruising the Danube with the French balcony door open. The guides for the shore excursions were well-informed and answered all questions put to them. The entertainment was great; I even got to sing with the piano player during one evening!! Both embarkation and disembarkation were well organized and went smoothly. We enjoyed the cruise so much that we booked another cruise (for 2020) onboard the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The itinerary was inviting and did not disappoint. Did the pre trip Israel for 4 nights (King David Hotel)then on to Cairo for 3 nights ( Ritz Carlton Cairo ) then a short flight to Luxor to catch the Viking Ra which was lovely. We had ... Read More
The itinerary was inviting and did not disappoint. Did the pre trip Israel for 4 nights (King David Hotel)then on to Cairo for 3 nights ( Ritz Carlton Cairo ) then a short flight to Luxor to catch the Viking Ra which was lovely. We had cabin 105 and it was near crew/stairs/elevator but very quiet and a beautiful 2 room suite. The Egyptologist guides were top notch and took care of bathroom tips along the way. The only thing you had to pay was “camera” fees at some sites to take photos inside. They told you well in advance so you could get money in local currency. The ship staff were guided by seasoned Viking reps who did an outstanding job with training the local Egyptian staff. Drinks a bit prucey due to Egyptian taxes but I brought 3 bottles of Italian wine and a bottle of Jamison’s Irish whiskey with no issues. The local wines were fair. The bus drivers on “Viking” bus stay with you so you tip them at the end. There is also a restroom on the bus. Water in bottles is handed out on bus and ship and you should never need to purchase any. Temps in late Dec were perfect high 60-low 70’s. Food on the boat was great with the Egyptian night offering a ton of tasty treats. We used ATM’s along the way to get local currency’s and brought $100 in Dollar Bills and never had a problem with any being accepted. We did the optional Balloon ride over The Valley of King/queens and it was amazing. Also did optional trip to Abu Simbel via short plane ride, which was well worth it. We had security with us who watched over us and never felt worried, or unsafe. We ventured on our own into a couple of markets in Cairo and Aswan and had no problems. Please do not hand money to kids in the street as it encourages begging from tourists. There is a school visit so bring things like pencils crayons coloring books to donate. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Viking River Cruises can best be described as affordable elegance. The Longships are clean, modern, nicely furnished- and all identical. The French Balcony cabin was small, comfortable, and cozy. The food was good and meals feature local ... Read More
Viking River Cruises can best be described as affordable elegance. The Longships are clean, modern, nicely furnished- and all identical. The French Balcony cabin was small, comfortable, and cozy. The food was good and meals feature local cuisine. Viking represents a good value for the money since a tour in every port is included; and unless you are a drinker, the soft drinks, wine, and beer provided at lunch and dinner- as well as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available 24/7- means that you can do without paying extra for a drink package. You also save money since there are no speciality restaurants- there are plenty of options available in the dining room and Aquavit Terrace. Day One: Flight to Paris with Air France DD and I were picked up at the airport by Viking, meeting up after exiting the baggage claim area, and taken to the Rolf which docks in Le Pecq, a suburb of Paris. Our cabin was ready, so we dropped off our luggage and walked about a mile to the RER and took the train to Paris. We were able to see some of the sights before returning to the ship for dinner. Our favorite place to eat onboard was the Aquavit Terrace. The same menu is used in both the Aquavit Terrace and dining room, so as we like a more relaxed, casual dining experience, we ate most of our dinners there. Peter took great care of us during the cruise, and always kept our glasses full of Coke. Day Two: Paris We skipped the Paris tour in order to go to Disneyland Paris on our own. For Disney fans, it is a must-see, but don’t expect it to be the same as Disneyland or Disney World. A worker carrying a broom and dustpan walked right by some trash without picking it up. There are designated smoking areas, however, one guy walked by smoking a cigar, others smoked cigarettes as their walked along past attractions and shops. Lots of gum littering the streets, too. However, it is Disney- and Disney is always lots of fun. Note: make sure you know when your ship is leaving for the next port. On this day, we had to leave Disneyland at 3 in order to make it back in time before the ship left Le Pecq. Day Three: Auvers-sur-Oise and Vernon Since it was December, instead of going to Claude Monet’s home and viewing his gardens, we traveled to Auvers-sur-Oise and got to see the room in which Vincent Van Goth spent the last 70 days of his life, and where he also died. We saw a moving film about his life, and then walked to the graveyard where he is buried next to his brother, Theo. In the afternoon, we went on another walking tour, this time in Vernon, and viewed many lovely half-timbered homes centuries old. Day Four: Rouen This is the town in which Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and was burned at the stake. You will visit a church built near the site of her execution, as well as Notre Dame Cathedral, a favorite subject of Claude Monet. Many more beautiful half-timbered homes can be admired while walking through the town. Day Five: Normandy Beaches We were taken on an all-day trip to a museum at Gold Beach, a lunch at Le Meridien, the Normandy American Cemetery, and Omaha Beach. Very moving experience. We were given roses to be placed on a grave of our choice at the American Cemetery. Day Six: Les Andelys Lovely little town which is easy to walk through. We took a tour to Chateau Gaillard, built in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart. Day Seven: Le Pecq We had to skip the port of Mantes-la-Jolie due to an impending strike announced by the lock workers so that we would make it back to Le Pecq before the workers walked off the job. Due to the demonstrations by the Yellow Jackets, the Palace of Versailles was closed. A visit to Chateau Chantilly was substituted. It was so nice of Viking to go out of their way to substitute the canceled excursion with something else. Many thanks to our Program Director, Michael, for putting the excursion together. The chateau is very impressive and majestic. The horse stables seen off to the distance could be mistaken for another chateau. After a visit here, President Nixon asked why he had always been taken to Versailles before, if he had know about Chantilly he said, he would have stayed there instead during his previous visits. In the afternoon, we visited Napoleon’s Chateau de Malmaison, which, although not as impressive as Chantilly, is an elegant manor house oozing with history. We took the optional tour, Paris by Night, after dinner which was a perfect way to end our trip. Day Eight: Flight home via Delta We liked the airlines and flights chosen by Viking, and the price we paid for the flights represented a great value. Having Viking pick us up at the airport and drop us off again for our return flight meant that we had an easy, no-stress way to start and end our vacation. Fellow passengers, scheduling, and concluding thoughts The passengers are mostly in their 60s and 70s, with a few young adults traveling together or with family. Most people were happy with the service onboard, however, there are always a few complainers. One passenger was unhappy that he couldn’t order another dessert after dinner since there was no remaining food left over at the end of the meal. You can order multiple desserts- but make sure that you order everything you want at the start when your order is taken. It definitely pays to be on time for meals: for example, our French Tea started at 4:00, by 4:07, I picked up the only remaining watercress sandwich, after which, the waiter took the sign and tray away. Cleaning up started at 4:30, and two ladies arriving at 4:45 were disappointed to find that everything tea related had been cleaned up. In general, know if there is another event scheduled in the same venue shortly after yours. That means that the crew will have to clean up quickly in order to set up for the next event, so get there early. This is true no matter what type of cruise you are on- river or ocean. There are vegetarian options, but rather limited. Breakfast buffets in the dining room offered the best options for vegetarians to enjoy a good meal, so make sure you eat a hearty breakfast. Also, enjoy some of the local options- the bakeries are wonderful! Make sure that you check when the ship is due to sail. Always pick up your disembarkation cards before leaving the ship so that the front desk knows that you are not onboard and won’t sail off without you, hopefully. Pick up a card which has the ship’s current location printed on it so that you can give this card to a taxi if you should get lost or are pressed for time while returning to the ship. The cabins have a fridge so you can buy your own beverages if you want to. You will receive two Cokes waiting for you the first day, along with bottles of water (replenished daily). Keep lots of Euros handy to use to tip your tour guides and drivers. All of the tours were wonderful. We enjoyed all of them very much and learned so much about the people and places related to each tour. The guides all did a fabulous job. The tours are tailored according to physical ability. There was always an easy walk option for people with mobility issues. We were always warned by our program director as to whether an excursion would be physically challenging or not. The tour guides always told us how to get back to the ship and ended the tour in a shopping district. Get your shop on! This was my first Viking cruise and I have already booked my next Viking cruise. Can’t wait. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our 2nd Viking cruise this year. In April my family did the Paris to Normandy and it was wonderful and the crew top notch. We are on the Budapest to Nuremberg cruise right now and it’s proving to be quite the let down. Upon ... Read More
This is our 2nd Viking cruise this year. In April my family did the Paris to Normandy and it was wonderful and the crew top notch. We are on the Budapest to Nuremberg cruise right now and it’s proving to be quite the let down. Upon arrival we waited almost 2 hours at the airport to be transferred to the ship and no one came by to explain the delay. Had no time in Budapest save an hour to walk around the castle district. Never saw the parliament building like Viking advertises. But mostly the crew is a disappointment. The cruise director is gruff and not friendly or helpful. He talks a lot at briefings and goes on so long you forget what you need to know for the next day. There is a second supposed cruise director and he’s not any better. Unapproachable and not helpful. It’s common at a meal to have to go fetch your own water and yesterday no waiter ever came to ask about our lunch order. Going to be selecting a different company next time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a family cruise, celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. There were 15 of us. A cruise was a great way to be together but not TOO together if folks needed their own space. We arrived in Budapest almost a week early and ... Read More
This was a family cruise, celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. There were 15 of us. A cruise was a great way to be together but not TOO together if folks needed their own space. We arrived in Budapest almost a week early and enjoyed exploring independently. We were pleasantly surprised by our cabin which was not super-spacious, but had enough space for us to fully unpack. The bed was quite comfortable and we appreciated the well designed bathroom. Service on the cruise was top-notch and everything was extremely clean. We enjoyed spending time in the public spaces of the ship, such as the library and lounge. Food was very good. Certainly it was plentiful. Staff were extremely good at accommodating dietary restrictions. Special requests were accommodated with alacrity. We did not take advantage of the tours that were offered because we prefer exploring on our own, but family members were very pleased with both the included tours and optional excursions. The ports visited were all excellent. From Budapest, we sailed to Vienna. The only problem was that one day in Vienna is laughably insufficient. Obviously, though, it is a wonderful destination. And it is the one port where you could leave anytime after breakfast and come back after dinner (the ship would still be there). There were shorter stays in most other ports, or we needed to take a coach from the town to the place the ship had traveled to. I gather that because of all the locks on the Danube, the ship really needs to make time to hit all the destinations, so it can't just sit in port all day. We were very happy with our first Viking experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Family Christmas cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest....what a wonderful way to experience the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. A must for any family wanting to share and create Holiday memories. The Christmas markets are an ... Read More
Family Christmas cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest....what a wonderful way to experience the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. A must for any family wanting to share and create Holiday memories. The Christmas markets are an absolute must, with handmade goods including Christmas ornaments and souvenirs, local foods, mulled wine and great beers. Add in the local history and culture of each destination and it creates unbelievable memories. River locks along the Danube are also a fun and interesting experience as you travel along the river watching the scenery. Viking does it better than anyone! Great cabin accommodations, shore excursions that are included, enjoyable and fun, fabulous service and staff, nice dining and drink options and a great way to see and experience Europe. The ships are comfortable, modern and beautiful. Very relaxed cruising, with no pretentious atmosphere. This was our second Christmas cruise with Viking and we look forward to traveling more with Viking in the future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets and this seemed an efficient way to do this. It was our first ever river cruise, and we were lucky to be able to sail the entire way given this year's chronic low water issues. Most of the staff ... Read More
We wanted to see the Christmas Markets and this seemed an efficient way to do this. It was our first ever river cruise, and we were lucky to be able to sail the entire way given this year's chronic low water issues. Most of the staff were outstanding; very warm and helpful except perhaps for the tour director Lee, who seemed a bit prickly and distant at times. The weather was VERY cold, and this may not have given us a true picture of what river cruising is like, as the outdoor areas of the ship were unusable, and several of the excursions were bitterly cold, including the one I had most looked forward to, to Cesky Krumlov. I have been an independent traveler for most of my life. I don't like tours, and some of the excursions were a bit too programmed for my taste (though the guides were all excellent). Not sure if I will try another river cruise at this point. Read Less
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