Viking really lived up to their advertising. The cruise was fantastic. The ship was clean and beautiful. The crew and staff were helpful and friendly. The food was great and they offered local wines, beers, dishes, and desserts. Our favorite part was an extension tour in Nuremberg on WWII. All the tour guides were knowledgeable and informative. We were Viking Virgins and are already thinking about where we want to go next.
Overall, the staff was very good, although some additional variation in the food offerings and canned music in the lounge would have been appreciated.
Also, owing to high water (v. bridge clearances), the upper deck was closed for about three days. I think we and others felt cooped-up, and couldn't quite understand why sections of the upper deck weren't made available when we were docked. Assume there was some valid reason.
Walking tours tended to be longer and tedious, especially for older folks.
Having said all this, we would probably consider going on another Viking cruise although we would plan a bit more about what we might do on our own when making shore visits.
Two days in Budapest prior to cruise were great, as was the local host!
I often wondered why Viking advertises so much, I now believe it could have to do with what I'll call the 'Bucket List Effect'. Cruising the Danube was mostly at night so we really didn't see the vistas in the TV advertising. The ad is actually the Wachau Valley leg and we did see that, but due to low water levels, we were bussed to Melk and boarded a dining sightseeing boat for that part of the tour and we also had to transfer ships between Passau and Melk.
PLUSSES: Food was very good; staff on the Viking Njord, our second boat was exceptionally hospitable.
NEGATIVES: The program director was not open and upfront about when we would transfer ships and even if it would occur until the day before. The top deck of the ship was rarely open due to low bridges (even with low water) that made the crew clear the deck to clear the bridges. When in Budapest electrical failures aboard caused us to lose power 2x while docked and therefore we were unable to enjoy the night time tour of Buda & Pests beautiful illuminated castles & government buildings. Also was surprised that boats frequently dock "adjoining" one another which results in half the cabin verandahs having a view of only the cabin in the adjoined ship.
OVERALL: Thrilled to have visited beautiful cities including Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Vienna & Budapest. Disappointed that the experience was not quite what is advertised, but would recommend a river cruise with Viking or another line as a one time bucket list experience.
The accommodations were nice although a little tight but the cruise itself was a bit disappointing because of the low water levels. We were forced to change ships, take buses to several of our destinations and in reality, lost a great deal of our free time to explore many of the sights on the itinerary. Viking did the best that they could given the circumstances. The food was OK and the crews on both ships were very accommodating due to the situation.
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