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Viking River Cruises: Viking Odin

  • Viking Cruises
  • Viking Cruises
  • Viking Cruises
  • Viking Cruises

Viking Odin Review

Offering Danube cruises as well as journeys along the Rhine, Main, and Danube between Paris and Prague, the Viking Odin 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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Aug 7, 2015

Cities of Light

Our very expensive Cities of Light Cruise proved to a huge disappointment. The service crew was stellar - God bless them every one. But the boat crew not-so-much. There were a number of problems that weren't properly addressed - some that began on Day One and continued until we disembarked. On balance, I do not feel that I got fair value. There were so many easily-avoidable issues that it is difficult to imagine that Viking will be interested

in improving anytime soon. I conducted an un-scientific survey of fellow passengers. Many shared my concerns but few were ready to publicly admit that they'd spent so much money for so little value. Their skewed public ratings may beguile prospective travelers so don 't get taken in. On a final note: I sent these complaints to Viking immediately upon our return to the States. I was assured that someone would contact me to discuss my concerns, but of course they never have done. So much for Viking's customer service... Regrettably, I must recommend you avoid taking a river cruise with Viking. Food The food was good, but the ship's banquet style service model let us down. Hot food was often tepid on arrival, and beef dishes were over-cooked. On at least two occasions, our ship was rafted with another Viking ship. Our expensive balcony was just inches away from a cabin on the neighboring ship. There was no view possible, and for privacy we had to draw closed the heavy drapes making our cabin as dark as a cave. Once this was remedied within a few hours (a few too many), but on another night we had no view and no daylight from before sunset to after sunrise. The blocker was another Viking ship, so I feel strongly that Viking should have planned to avoid this. HVAC The thermostat in our cabin was programmed such that we simply could not get adequate cooling. When we reported this on the first day, we were told "we are working on it." But from start to end it was never repaired. No internet access Access wasn't just spotty -= it hardly existed at all. Nowhere on the ship was the wireless signal any better than 50% and most often it was a single bar that incessantly failed. I purchased my own router in Nuremburg and installed it in our cabin. This gave me a good feed into the wired network on the ship but the ship's satellite link never worked at all well. It appeared that antennae at the rear of the ship could have been raised for a better signal, but to the best of my knowledge they never were. Another passenger bought his own router but his wired feed to his room failed altogether after two or three days. Water problem Late one afternoon, I stood covered with soap in the shower for just under 10 minutes until the water started running again. One expects that some interruptions might occur when switching between on-board and shore-delivered services, but one also expects to be forewarned. Sun Deck The sun deck was closed for about three-fourths of the trip with no explanation until we asked. Stairways were blocked with a chain labeled "closed temporarily" but really it was more like"open" was the temporary condition. Buses, buses, buses We spent far too much time riding in tour buses. Not just at the start and end of the cruise, which was expected, but there was constant bussing from poorly-situated moorings. The hope of taking an evening stroll through some quaint old town was seldom realized. Different walks for different folks On two of the walking tours, leisurely walkers (elderly and handicapped) were mixed in with the fitter folk. This didn't work well for anybody: the infirm felt rushed while the others were frustrated by the snail's pace of travel. Mooring locations were generally poor. On our final night, we docked in a dismal industrial basin with a view of rusting railroad cars, cranes, shipping containers and a grain elevator. Not what I expected nor what I feel that I paid for. On at least two occasions, our ship was rafted with another Viking ship. Our expensive balcony was just inches away from a cabin on the neighboring ship. There was no view possible, and for privacy we had to draw closed the heavy drapes making our cabin as dark as a cave. Once this was remedied within a few hours (a few too many), but on another night we had no view and no daylight from before sunset to after sunrise. The blocker was another Viking ship, so I feel strongly that Viking should have planned to avoid this. The boat rarely stayed in any location long enough for evening strolls through the towns. Often we were too far away from the towns anyway!

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