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Viking River Cruises: Viking Njord

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Viking Njord Review

Offering Danube cruises between Passau and Budapest, the Viking Njord is one of several that were launched in 2012. An eight-day journey from Budapest back to Nuremburg includes a wonderful tour of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Cabins include two Explorer Suites with spectacular 270-degree views as well as private wraparound verandas. The ship, with 95 outside cabins, many with balconies, promises a smooth ride. This is one of the newer Viking Longships, so all cabins come with flat-screen TVs, comfortable baths with L'Occitane amenities, and cushy beds.

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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Jan 4, 2016

Europe- Danube

Viking - Worst Vacation Ever. We were sold & expected a relaxing, stress less cruise, which docked in the heart of the city and included a choice of tours. Instead, we got early morning bus rides and strenuous uphill tours with mostly mediocre lunches on land. We started out in Nuremberg on the Frey, (not the Njord) docked at a construction site with mounds of fine silt blowing on the deck and which our Veranda faced. The veranda was mostly

unusable the entire cruise and so was the top deck. We constantly felt entombed in our room facing a stone lock wall (on tributaries & not the Danube) or docked smack up against another ship. Finally, we were told that the next day would be more bus tours and then we would have to pack up because we would be bused early the following morning overland to the Njord. ( It took us 3 hours to get back to the ship that day) We asked to go home since our flights were made with Viking but no one would help us so we had to pack up and ride 5 hours overland early the next morning to the Njord. We didn't sail until nighttime and there was nothing to see. So our 8 day relaxing cruise turned into two days on the Danube in Budapest where we hired our own driver because I couldn't abide another bus, and by now I had a severe back problem from all the stress and uphill hikes. Viking's complaint department is one of the worst I've even encountered. You deal with a caseworker and can never get the same person twice. I called many times and wrote to their CEO, who never replied. I asked for a $2000 rebate (total trip costs were over $6000) but they refused and would only offer a voucher for another cruise. If they had been honest and told us in advance that there might be a problem, we would have cancelled and may have rescheduled. However, they kept this information hidden from us and still maintain they didn't know about the river level - (would that Pinocchio were true). Mediocre food at best. Everyone goes to dinner at the same time. Breakfast is a buffet and most lunches are outside on the tour with only one that was good. There were no shows, except for some local talent after dinner If you are very physically fit and used to hiking uphill early every morning then these excursions may suit you but these river cruises are marketed mostly to seniors who don't want this experience every day even if they are able to do it. They promise less active tours and there was one that was still uphill but a little slower. They could have started from the top of the hills which may have been easier. This was the worst vacation we ever had & we've had many very active ones but it was our choice. With Viking there was really no choice except to stay on the ship with nothing to do. You would save a lot of money and aggravation by flying to your city and taking a local river cruise which may include overnights but make sure they can navigate - that the water is not too low or too high or that there are storms and hope that they tell you honestly unlike Viking.

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Mar 18, 2015

Cancellation

Be sure to have insurance covering your trip. My wife had an emergency root canal two days before we were to leave. We tried to reschedule the trip. Viking will not refund or reschedule. They are ironclad in their contracts. We will look for another cruise line...

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