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Viking River Cruises: Viking Legend

Viking Legend Review

A quiet ride makes the 2009 Viking Legend a standout. A technologically advanced propulsion system keeps vibrations low and engine noise and pollutants to a minimum. Spacious cabins with French balconies, including large suites by industry standards, keep guests happy on Danube itineraries that go to Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia.

In the luxury river cruising niche, Viking is an absolute winner, receiving praise from both the industry and demanding clientele. In 2013, Viking will operate 30 vessels. Nearly half of these were added in the last two years as the new Longship-class of next-generation vessels, inspired by ancient Norse longships and designed with sophisticated elegance by famed Norwegian maritime architects Yran and Storbraaten. All-inclusive fares, superb service, and sleek rooms with exceptional views are showcased. Apart from minor design flaws, river cruising doesn’t get any better than this.

Viking’s two smallest ships are the intimate 124-passenger Fontane and Schumann, both built with the shallow Elbe River in mind. Among Viking’s other ships, capacity ranges between 150 and 160 guests. These include the Danube, Europe, Neptune, Pride, Sky, and Spirit. With capacity for 198 guests, Helvetia and Sun are larger. The first “green” ship, built in 2009—the 189-passenger Legend—features diesel electric hybrid engines. The wow factor is high for newer green vessels Aegir, Embla, Freya, Idun, Njord, and Odin—all launched in 2012.

Cruises in Europe are offered on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Elbe, Saône, Seine, and Rhône rivers, as well as the canals of the Netherlands and Belgium. Viking also has five ships in Russia and Ukraine. Kirov, Pakhomov, Peterhof, and Surkov sail on the Volga, while Lomonosov meanders the Dnieper.

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Sep 6, 2010

Grand European Tour

In hopes that others will read this prior to booking a cruise on the Legend. It is ludacris to believe that this cruise would actually sell for $10,000 per person. It is advertised as two for one and one is $5,600 per person. What a dissapointment. The serving crew and some of staff at desk acted as we were imposing on them and their time, if a service or question was asked. WiFi was non existentent even thought that is something they really

play up as providing in the brochures. We spent more time in locks than actually cruising which I think could have been explained prior to booking as I was not interested in looking at the side of a lock most of the time. We had a french balcony that I would not have paid extra for. As there was not a lot of use to it. The best meals we had were OFF of the ship. It was mediocre at best. The highlight of the cuisine was fish - they did know how to prepare that. The service again was lacking in any customer service - ie I only wanted one egg in the morning "but they only prepared it one way - 2 eggs" Very rigid in their approach to serving the customer. I requested each morning a carafe of coffee as they did not refill your cup with any regularity and then you would have to get up to get their attention for coffee. They did not like this, it is not the "way" they do it. They were not doing it anyway, so that was in my opinion a help to them and for me to have coffee when I wanted it and not 10 minutes later. I will say somewhat in defense of the wait staff, there were not enough to adequately serve any group over 50. Our stateroom was basic but nice and kept clean by our wonderful steward. The beds have a mattress that is about 3 inches deep and sits on a platform (no box springs) thus it was VERY hard and uncomfortable. I reported my feelings and was told by the Hotel Manager that all beds were the same and maybe after the ship was a few years older they would be softer. I then pointed out the 24 hr satisfaction clause, and immediately he wanted to know what I would like for them to do. Subsequently they placed 4 duvets on the mattress and it was better, but still very uncomfortable. The beds can either have a twin or king size configuration, but they have nothing but twin sheets. So the bed was cobbled together with these twin sheets on a king size bed. We got caught up in the sheets every night . Couldn't imagined them not having enough sense to provide linens that fit. Informative films and movies were shown, but continually stopped or got stuck on one scene and played over and over. Desk could not leave to restart or fix film. So that was not a plus. The unboard activities for the most part were worthless or non existent. Our program director, Joe was asked what UNESCO stood for and he did not know. A person on the cruise told him. Pretty unprofessional in my opinion. We did have a fantastic demo of glass blowing. One morning we had breakfast that ended at 9am and then they proceeded to have a bavarian breakfast at 10:30am, also Hungarian gulosh one night at 10pm when most of course were in bed. Odd times for these food offerings. Can never say too much about the architecture and beautiful castles, abbeys, etc. But these were provided by the countries we visited - not the cruise line. The general consensus of the trip was - staff not very accommodating. Beds really uncomfortable. Shore excursions cut short or altogether. Some stops very repetitive of other villages that we had seen. Not enough time in wonderful places of history and cultures, ie Vienna. Not a cruise line I would recommend to anyone. Overall pretty disappointing. And not inexpensive.

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  • New

Jul 13, 2010

Grand European tour

The best cruise I have ever taken. This cruise is destination driven, there are no pools, or casinos, very little in the way of entertainment. The excursions are included in the cost of the trip, which is pricey. This is not a family cruise, there are no children usually, and no activities for children. Most of the guests are retirees, and all are experienced cruisers. Most are Americans, with Canadians and Australians filling out the rest. The

internet access is very sketchy, and none is available in the staterooms, although there are connections for it. You need to go to the midships area to access the ships' WiFi, and it is SLOW. But, you are on vacation, so after a day or two, you forget to be stressed out about it and start to relax. Satelitte service is interrupted every time you go through a lock (67 of them on this trip) or under a bridge (too many to count). Awesome food. Well prepared, well presented, never the same dish twice, all the buffets for breakfast and lunch were great, the Austrian Chef was available every morning at the omlet station, and walked through the dining room each night at dinner. Very personable. I am the person who ALWAYS gets the one hair in my food, but i didnt see one the whole trip, he keeps his kitchen spotless and his assistants wear gloves and caps at all times in the kitchen. Fresh food picked up almost daily from small ports of call. Desserts were fabulous, and the afternoon "tea" time became a favorite with us. Our cabin was of course small, no smaller than a large cruise ship. The bathroom was efficient, and the water pressure ROCKED!. The bed was too firm for me, i had a tough time with that. The windows slide open, which is nice is the weather is not too hot, you can catch a nice breeze. There really werent many. A daily talk about the next days excursions, occasionally a demonstration of some kind. Very low key. The musical entertainemnt was too "senior" for us, we are in our 50's and would have liked at least 1 or 2 dance nights up on the top deck. We really avoided the lounge because we did not relish the music. If you have trouble walking, DO NOT TAKE THIS CRUISE. Almost all of the excursions were bus/walk tours, and some of the excursions were downright dangerous for older folks. The castle at Marksburg was very tricky due to uneven cobblestones and long, steep stairs. Using the videobox receivers is great tho, you dont have to stay on top of the guide to hear the presentation. Bring good walking shoes. ANd, cool, loose clothing. We were there in June/July, and it is typically hi 70's, but of course we got a heat wave, and had a lot of high 90's weather. Bring one of those handheld battery operated fans if you cant stand hot, close atmospheres in the castles and cathedrals. they do not have air conditioning, and obviously are not big fans of "fans". The excursions themselves were very well thought out, and the guides were great, some better than others of course. The itineraries were good, we did not care for Vienna because it was very crowded. Wonderful time, we will definately sail with Viking again. The crew were fabulous, the cabins clean, the food great, the excursions interesting. Checking in and disembarkations was a breeze. They dont try to nickel and dime you to death with photos and such, but do offer local products from the region you are exploring at that time, very reasonable prices, i found them actually less expensive than some of the souvenier shops. Be prepared to FALL IN LOVE with Durnstein. Bon Voyage!!!!!!!!!

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