Viking River Cruises

Old May 9th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Viking River Cruises

We have booked a trip Viking for Sept. 09. We ill taking the China's Cultural Delights (17 day). Has anyone been on a Viking river cruise recently, if so please share your experience. This will be our first experience with Viking Tours.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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We took the Viking Seine River cruise in 2004, and it was wonderful. However, I read on this forum that someone who took a recent cruise with the 2 for 1 deal felt the quality of the cruise had definitely declined since their last cruise on Viking. When I read about the 2 for 1 I wondered how they'd be cutting corners. Has anyone else been on a recent cruise with Viking? Did you feel the service was not good or that the food portions were small as the other respondent did?? We are considering the France Burgundy/Provence cruise for next spring.
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Old Jun 14th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Watching for a response, as they spend $$$ mailing ads to me.
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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You might want to go over to the Asia board and read some TRs on China. This is a land as well as boat trip, but the land sections can easily be done on your own. The boat part is longer than usual - most people find Chongqing to Wuhan enough river time. And there are mixed reports as to whether the three gorges cruise is worthwhile now the water level has risen.
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Old Jun 21st, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Hi. I did a river cruise with them back in 2004 and will only speak for my experience back then as things may have changed. We were pleased with most things but not everything. I will explain. EVERYTHING is included in the price (except your alcohol) so to me, what we paid for the trip was the cost (except for tipping at the end). All the tours, all the transportation, the meals outside of the boat (if the schedule had it that way). We actually covered a lot of territory and this included many people who couldn't get around as quickly as others.
The things I did not like are based upon my personal tastes so how it applies to you will depend on your perspective. I am active and attended a fitness "stretching" class. I did not want to come across as a "show off" to the other people in the class because I was far younger and far more flexible than the others there. Rather than not get anything out of my time, I chose not to attend any future fitness classes on board. I also like a late dinner seating but there was only one seating each night and it was an early dinner.
I will say that despite my being 30 years younger than most other people on my cruise from Antwerp to Basel, we were exhausted each night from all the sights we saw. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. Enjoy!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:48 AM
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We did a two for one cruise with Viking to Russia (Moscow to St. Petersburg) a couple of years ago and loved it. It was a first for us with them so I have no basis of comparison, but certainly did not feel any "skimping" was done. Loved the buffet breakfasts and lunches. So many choices for both. Dinners were fine with good portions. As noted above, almost all excursions are included and we were fortunate to have a terrific guide. We were treated very well by all personnel. We in no way felt we were given a "bargain" cruise because we paid less.

However, we are currently experiencing bad economic times, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the need to cut back in some areas. We felt the menu was reduced on our recent Princess cruise, but it in no way diminished the overall trip.

We're also receiving a lot of brochures and offers from Viking (we get e-mails too). I wish we could take advantage of another river cruise, but we have other trips planned this year. We'd go in a heartbeat (particularly interested in Amsterdam to Budapest trip) if it fit in our budget and trip plans!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:46 PM
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Giovanna - I've been looking at the same trip you took with Viking (Russian Rhapsody). I see three categories of rooms that seem to be the same in layout and size. What determines why one room is more expensive than an another given the 'sameness' of them? Also, the size was 90 sq. ft - sounds REALLY small. Did you book this type of room (cat C, D and E) or a different one?
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Actually our river cruise was called "Waterways of the Czars." We had a Category C room on Viking Pakhomov. I don't remember the square footage, (we've had similar cabins on cruise ships), but it was surprisingly efficient with lots of space to put things. There were twin beds with a nightstand/table in between and a large window (which opened) above it. Lots of shelving above the beds. Quite a large closet. A small refrigerator. The bathroom was yacht type, with a curtain that pulled around in front of the toilet and a hand-held shower. There was a raised mat on the floor so the water could go through and it dried very quickly. Not the best arrangement, but certainly doable and much better than I had envisioned from the brochure description. We were quite comfortable in our room.

As I understand it some of the lower deck rooms are less expensive and upper deck more expensive. We did see a suite on our boat and it was larger with a double/queen (?) bed, a chair and overall more space.

If I can help further or answer other questions, don't hesitate to e-mail me: [email protected]

We consider this trip one of our very best!
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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I just got back from a 11 day cruise in Ukraine, and it was the biggest waste of time: We had literally three hours in Kiev, one of the most historic cities in Eastern Europe, and half of the city stops were nothing but shopping-stops. The advertised transfers and baggage handling was done with rickety buses, and having elderly people handle their own bags (both at Odessa arriving, and Kiev, departing). Their airfare service put me on a flight that left at 3:30 in the morning -- and I was unable to get seat assignments changed to what I was eligible for, as a Premier member.

The worst of this is that, when I tried to complain to "customer service" -- they didn't care.

I wish now I'd never made the trip ... in the future, I'm sticking with Vantage or IE for professional travel companies: Viking is pretty good at taking your money, but LOUSY at providing a travel experience.
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Old Aug 13th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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We took Viking's "Grand European" river cruise aboard the Viking Spirit in late April '09. This was our first river cruise and we enjoyed it very much. We now have taken advantage of Viking's discounts and have booked an "Imperial Jewels of China" cruise for October '10. We flew into Amsterdam several days early to take in some of the sights (windmills and Kuekenhof Gardens) before boarding the ship. We made our own airport transfers at both ends and didn't use Viking's air services - we are for the China trip tho, and have upgraded to their business air and I intend to be on them like a cheap suit to get the flight I desire since I've paid handsomely for their services. Like I said, the GE cruise was really nice. The room was spacious and well appointed and was kept very tidy by our cabin stewardess. The food was very good: breakfast and lunch are largely buffet style with an off-the-menu entree and have much of the same offerings day-in and day-out but we never got tired of it. The dinners had several entree choices and they were all very good as were the desserts. Alcohol is not cheap and you can buy bottles of wine to share with dinner - also not cheap but a better value than by the glass. Servers at the meals are stretched to the limit so be prepared for marginal service at times - you'll have to ask, sometimes repeatedly, for drink refills. Unlike an ocean cruise that will soak you to the limit for shore excursions, Viking's shore excursions are part of the package and they delivered almost everytime. There are some "optional" shore excursions which we signed up to take but later felt as if they were more of a "dog and pony show" and were not worth the money so be careful. This type of cruise is very relaxed with no casino, theater, dance floor/band, etc., so come prepared for down time. But, you get to see a lot of Europe for the money! If China works out next year we are hoping to take the "Waterways of the Czars" cruise next. I would give Viking an "A+" for ship cleanliness, an "A" for food, a "C+" for dining room service, a "B+" for shore excursions and entertainment and an "A+" for value.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Dear Lillet,

We are sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with your trip to the Ukraine. Your concerns are important to us and we kindly ask that you allow us the opportunity to discuss them in greater detail. Please contact us directly at [email protected].


Viking River Cruises
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Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 03:49 PM
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If you go to you're likely to get more recent comments than what's been posted here. No cost to join that website. Go to "Boards" and look where it says "Other Cruise Lines" in the list of cruiselines. I was just at that board and there are tons of Viking River Cruises posts.

And for another older review - we did China in 2007 with Viking River Cruises. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip with them. Our trip was the "Roof of the World" which included Tibet. Our guide Francis was fantastic and even after I got back I e-mailed him with an issue we were having in getting a replica of a Terra Cotta warrior we had bought there and had shipped from the museum. He took the time to call them and followed up with me about it.
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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This thread is a year and a half old. Why top it?
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