In 1997, Viking was founded in Russia. Through rapid expansion, the company has grown to be a leader in both river and small ship ocean cruising, with US headquarters in Los Angeles, California, and operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Today, Viking operates more than 70 state-of-the-art river ships and an award-winning ocean fleet, providing destination-focused, culturally enriching itineraries designed for travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history.
On Europe’s rivers, the award-winning Viking Longships offer a variety of staterooms, including true (two-room) suites, along with a restaurant, a bar and lounge, a library, an expansive sun deck and al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace.
Ranging from 8 to 23 days, river itineraries feature Europe’s Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, Rhône, Douro, Moselle, Elbe, Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde; Russia’s Volga, Neva and Svir; Ukraine’s Dnieper; Egypt’s Nile; China’s Yangtze; and Southeast Asia’s Mekong.
In 2015, Viking introduced its first 930-guest ocean ship. Over the next three years, the fleet grew to five sister ships. The sixth, Viking Jupiter, joins them in 2019 with four more yet-to-be-named ships scheduled to launch by 2023. Each boasts a private veranda in every stateroom, a choice of restaurants, the most al fresco dining at sea, an infinity pool, a Nordic-inspired spa, thoughtfully curated book collections throughout the ship and more.
Designed to maximize the amount of time travelers spend in their destination, ocean itineraries include base and combination cruises sailing to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Alaska, the Americas and Africa.
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First time (and last) Viking cruise. Viking reps have made errors and given inaccurate information throughout the booking process and charge fees to correct their mistakes. Although airfare in included, they will not book our family on the same flight without extra fees. When I’ve asked to speak to a supervisor, I hear, “there’s no one else for you to speak to”. Don’t chose this cruise line.
We appreciate you bringing this to our attention, Mary Ann, and are glad to see that you are currently working with us toward a mutually-agreeable resolution. Thank you for sharing your feedback, and we look forward to welcoming your family aboard. Have a great day.
This is our 3rd river cruise with Viking. We ended up on a ship that is leased by Viking. It’s old, not updated to VIKING standards, doesn’t have an Aquavit lounge with outdoor seating, no outdoor balcony (we are in a suite) and the food quality at dinner has been average - and I’m being generous. We’ve sat up on the top Deck so we could be outside, but you have to go fetch your own wine - no service. The staff is great, but the ship is depressing. I think the company has grown too fast and they’ve lost the attention to details. Very disappointing.
Thank you, Pam, for allowing us this opportunity to learn more about your recent Viking experience. We regret to hear that your third cruise with us has left you feeling disappointed, and while we have collected your feedback for further review, we would appreciate the chance to investigate the events you’ve described and kindly ask that you contact us directly with your booking information. We hope to hear from you, and wish you pleasant day.
Booked to go on the China river cruise in May. From the time we made inquiries up to paying the deposit, the service was magnificent. Emails replied promptly, sometimes within minutes! After we paid the deposit, everything started to seem too difficult. The CSO no longer wanted to provide any assistance, then passed the buck to other departments. Now that final payment has been made and almost less than a month away from departure, they have even stopped responding to our emails. Terrible service so far and we haven’t even set foot on the ship. First and absolutely the last cruise with Viking.
We regret to learn of your disappointment, Julie, and appreciate you reaching out. Should you experience delays in responses going forward, we welcome you to Call your local office directly. It would be our pleasure to provide you with prompt assistance in the future, and hope to hear from you.
We have taken over 20 cruises and never cancelled one until recently because of financial considerations. When we booked with Viking, they encouraged us to buy their Trip Mate travel insurance. Usually we purchase travel insurance closer to cruise time, before final payment. This time we fell for their pitch. We are cancelling more than a year in advance of the cruise and in addition to the $100. per person penalty that Viking charges (seems fair), the travel insurance company that Viking promoted is charging us $2,030 for cancellation! We contacted Viking after learning that only if Viking waived the $100. pp fee, then Travel Mate MIGHT waive their $2,030. Viking refused. We have cruised with Viking several times and friends and family have joined us. We will never sail with Viking nor use TripMate again. There are many other cruise and travel insurance companies to choose from.
We regret to learn of your cancellation, Gloria, and appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us. To learn more and address your disappointment, we’ve arranged for a member of our Customer Relations team to contact you directly. We look forward to speaking with you, and hope a mutually-agreeable resolution is on the way. Thanks, once again, for sharing your experience, and have a great day.
The Viking air department reached out to me after this review was published. The woman that called displayed empathy for my situation and was able to make accommodations to my satisfaction. Viking air is fortunate to have someone with her skill set to address customer concerns. I only wish this could have been resolved with the first contact to the Viking air department.
Booked an Alaskan cruise and pre-cruise tour for June 2019 which included free airfare. The pre-cruise tour was scheduled to begin in Fairbanks. I canceled the pre-cruise Viking tour (substantially more expensive compared to non-Viking options) but still wanted to arrive in Fairbanks the same date. Since I canceled the Viking pre-cruise tour, Viking would not fly me into Fairbanks but only Anchorage.
I still wanted to come in early so that's a deviation per Viking and they charged me $100 per person, a total of $200, to make the change which I agreed to pay. The flights would not be booked until 75 days or so from sailing. Upon seeing that Viking planned my flight into Anchorage from Chicago with a 3:40 PM departure, I contacted them to get the earlier flight available.
They offered an earlier flight departure in the morning but it would require another $150 per person or $300 to make this change as "their system" had already selected the late afternoon flight. I refused since I had already paid $200 to have my flight arrive in Anchorage. Further follow up with Viking Air only escalated the fee required to change the flight schedule. It is obvious that Viking's priority is collecting high fees rather than servicing their customers. I'm hoping the cruise is a better experience than what I have encountered to date with Viking.
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We are return customers to Viking. Our first trip in November of 2018 down the Danube was met with low river levels and multiple ship changes. Not a good experience to say the least. We received a credit and then planned another trip to the Baltic in May of 2020. Recently the ship we are booked on experienced engine failure and all passengers had to be air evacuated by helicopter in extremely rough weather. The Norwegian Coast Guard is questioning why the ship would leave port knowing the rough weather foretasted? The engine failed due to low oil levels. We are now trying to connect to our Viking agent Arden **, however she is not returning our calls or emails - now two weeks old. I've called customer service with very little empathy or response.
I took the pre-trip to St. Petersburg and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then, got on the riverboat which was docked far out of the city. It took over an hour in traffic to get back to the sites. Thank goodness I paid extra for the Hermitage tour because that was the best part of my entire trip. My girlfriend and I booked a more expensive room on the ship with a deck, however, we docked next to other ships and our decks met each other - so we always had the curtains drawn.
In Moscow, we again docked over an hour from the city, again sitting in traffic. As a result, we saw far less than what we could have seen if we had skipped going by riverboat. The places we stopped between St. Petersburg and Moscow were interesting, but not worth extra time away from the two major cities. Our guides were ok, but difficult to understand. I felt it was a very expensive trip and have been with other companies where I felt that I received the value I had paid. I now have requested no brochures from Viking (several requests) but they still send me 3-5 brochures a week.
Thank you, Barbara, for your constructive feedback regarding your recent voyage. Though we are appreciative of this opportunity to learn more about your experience and connect, we regret to learn of your disappointment and have made note for further review. Should you like to share more and receive assistance in our mailing list removal, please contact us directly. We hope to hear from you.
Updated on 04/05/2019: I contacted Viking as requested and was told they will not provide free in-country airfare. The airfare only free if you book the entire flight from the U.S. I expected a more favorable outcome and remain a disappointed customer.
Original Review: My husband and I reserved cabins aboard Viking Buri for our family of five to cruise from Lyon to Avignon. The attractiveness of the offer was the "free airfare," and we paid the $50 per person deviation fee to be able to have some control over the scheduling. We additionally paid an additional $200 each for three of us to stopover in Paris prior to the cruise. One daughter’s direct flight to and from Houston to Paris was perfectly acceptable, and my husband and I agreed to an additional $800 each for premium economy on the flight from Dallas to Paris. Our other daughter and son-in-law, who are traveling from Austin, declined the free airfare so they could fly round trip business class using their personal air miles. This is where the “money grab” begins.
The Austin couple is not using the transatlantic “free airfare” which is valued by Viking at $1200 each, yet they are denied free airfare from Paris to Lyon. In my mind, free should be free, whether one is coming from the US or within France. So Viking is asking us to pay for the tickets from Paris to Lyon as well as for the transfers from the airport to the ship ($60 each at the beginning and $120 each at the end). Even our travel agent found this “difficult to explain.” We have cruised with Viking seven times before and looked forward to hosting our children on a special vacation. This has certainly diminished our view of Viking.
While we’re delighted to hear that you’ve enjoyed past sailings with us, Merikay, we regret to learn of your recent disappointment. To further assist your daughter and son-in-law, we welcome them to contact us directly with their booking details. We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention, and look forward to speaking with them soon.
My mom (90 years old) took my sisters and I on a Viking River Cruise last August. The cost was close to 30k. The water levels were low so it was actually more of a bus trip, which was a problem for my mother. I believe Viking knew in advance but chose not to give passengers the option to reschedule or cancel. After trip Viking offered a 25% credit towards another trip. So we decided to give Viking another chance and we booked a trip on Viking Sky and paid an additional 9k to take advantage of the 25% credit.
The cruise departs April 15, 2019. With the recent incident with the ship in Norway, I’m concerned about parts of the ship being closed off for repair. I called Viking, but just like they did with the river cruise, they are being very vague about the situation. They don’t seem to care about the passengers at all. It appears to be all about the money. Very disappointed. I understand that some things are out of their control but the way they handle is horrible.
Went in Oct 2018; they usually docked away from city center. Not enough water in river (obviously, not their fault) but Viking did a good job busing us to next boat where there was more water. Boat clean and cabins nice and food was relatively good and plentiful. Disappointed, however, that “local food” which they advertised heavily before trip was mainly served on the boats and not on the lunches and dinners provided on the included excursion trips.
For example, we went to an included-for-everybody, German beer house (Brauhaus) and instead of being offered traditional bratwurst and sausages we were offered chicken - for the 3rd time in two days - the other two times on the boat. I think unusual for a Brauhaus in Germany to offer chicken and not bratwurst and sausages. By the way, you only had one other choice other than the chicken at the beer house - a vegetarian dish. No exceptions! Did discuss this with manager and group leader and they said they “noted it.” If we do another river cruise it probably won’t not be with Viking. A pity since their ads on PBS are beautiful!
Hi, Victor. We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention, and while we’re happy to hear that you enjoyed aspects of our voyage together, we regret to learn that the food did not meet your expectations. To further discuss your experience, we welcome you to contact us directly with your booking details. We look forward to continuing this conversation, and thank you for providing this valuable feedback.
My friend (platonic - I only note this because we don't live together and are not joined at the hip with every move being monitored by the other) and I took the Rhine river cruise last year with Viking. As first-time cruisers, she and I were pleased. So much so that we booked the Danube cruise leaving in a few days. It is SO frustrating to try and get Viking to send ALL correspondence to BOTH of us at separate email addresses. How hard can that be???? Obviously, for them, it's impossible. GRRRR! A note to Viking... get your act together! As for the actual cruise, they may get a better rating.
While we’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed our past voyage together, Alice, we regret to learn of your recent disappointment. To continue this conversation and further discuss your concerns, we welcome you to reach out to us directly with your booking details. We look forward to speaking with you, and are excited to be joining you on another memorable sailing.
We are a return customer with Viking and have been very pleased in the past. For our most recent trip, that we booked on June 24, 2018 for a departure date of October 29, 2019, we sadly had to cancel on November 11, 2018. In addition to our trip deposit which cost $926.15 we purchased travel insurance as recommended by Viking (the Viking Agent said we would not be able to purchase the insurance at a later date), at a cost of $1,238. Viking reimbursed us $726.15 minus $100 per person for cancellation charges.
We also wanted to recover our insurance costs We were told by Viking that we had to file a claim for the insurance money. TripMate (Viking's insurance co) refused to reimburse us and would only reimburse us $200, Viking's cancellation fee. This seems very unfair. A better customer service approach would at a minimum provide a depreciation schedule for reimbursements as is done for the reimbursement of the trip deposit. Furthermore, we did not receive the TripMate document until after we booked and then we find out that TripMate's Plan document states that you may cancel this plan by giving written notice to Viking within the first to occur of the following (a) 14 days from the effective date of your insurance or (b) your schedule departure date.
Based on TripMate's position it seems the insurance coverage is more a scam/ransom and with the two ridiculous dates for cancelling it does not provide any level of quality customer service when it comes to addressing a customers need to cancel or provide any sensible reimbursement scheme. Why should we be paying insurance for a trip that we were not taking? This treatment will carry considerable weight in our decision for selecting Viking for our next trip unless you can intervene and provide a better reimbursement to us.
We appreciate the opportunity presented here to address your concerns, Thomas, and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Should you be interested in continuing this conversation and further discussing your experience, we welcome you to reach out to us directly with your booking details. We look forward to speaking with you, Thomas, and thank you for reaching out.
Took our first trip on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube and had a great time. Viking's included and optional tours were wonderful and having their own tour buses was a real plus as all were well maintained and clean. Some of the best tour guides we have ever encountered. Service was superb and the food was very good. One member of our party became quite ill and the staff did an excellent job ensuring their safety and providing assistance even after the cruise ended as they had to stay on at our last stop before being able to travel home. Cabins were very nice and clean. Would highly recommend them to anyone and we plan on another trip in the near future.
This would be a five star rating but was disappointed in that Viking essentially required us to pay a certain amount in gratuity either before our trip (did not allow us to put in our own figure) or after the trip when we checked out. Ugh.
We went on this cruise, after hearing how great Viking was. Boy were we disappointed. First the good things, the boat was clean, new and well decorated. The cabins were the same and they probably had the biggest bathroom that we have ever encountered. The Italian specialty restaurant had the best food on the boat. All the staff that we meet, from the bartenders to the room steward were professional, helpful and friendly.
Now the bad. I have always wanted to visit Cuba, it's on my bucket list so we decided to try Viking due to its itinerary and excursions. We signed up for the one on one salsa class, well it was 12 fellow cruisers to one Spanish speaking instructor. It was described as an air-conditioned studio, well it was an outside patio of a bar. On the ride over all the guide talked about was about the rich people that used to live here and how the revolution has helped the people. I went for the culture not a political rally.
Second we signed on for the catamaran tour. It was a double decker boat with plastic chairs. We were also signed up for the "kitchen table." This is where we were going to shop on the island with the chef prepare the meal and have dinner. It was canceled, we found out later that it had been canceled since they went to Cuba. The meals in the main dining room were disappointing, they seems to not have enough staff and for the few meals we ate there. We were always asking for something.
This is the first time we had to eat most dinners at the buffet. I know most people do but we are foodies and actually relayed our opinion to the head chef. But the kicker was the captain decided not to go to the second port due to bad weather. We went back to our room and got on the internet and found out that this was not true. The staff told us that they have not visited that port in the last 3 cruises. We were not the only disappointed travelers, that's all people talked about at happy hour and all the next sea day.
When we got back home we had an email offering that Viking would give a voucher for 500 dollars for a next cruise. I call Viking customer service, discussed my concerns and the fact that I consider this to be false advertising. I was put on hold. They came back with 750 each, I refused and asked for ALL my money back. Again I was placed on hold and this time I was offered 250 dollar cash if I signed a non-disclosure form, I refused. I stated that why would I go on another cruise when I was lied to so many times. I explained that we cruised a lot and if we were told the truth about Cuba we would have picked another itinerary. Nothing, so I hung up. My job now is to spread the word about Viking cruises and how they treat people.
We're in receipt of your disappointment, Gregg, and appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. While our records indicate you've been in recent contact with a member of our Customer Relations team, we regret to learn an agreeable resolution could not be attained. Should you wish to resume the conversation, we welcome you to reach out to the agent handling your case. Sending our best wishes to you going forward.
We were told that’s Viking River Cruises are top of the line luxury. We were very disappointed in our 10 day cruise from San Juan to West Indies this past Feb March. The food was inedible... Cold, dried out, unseasoned and inferior in quality. The carpeting was dirty and had an odor. The towels were scratchy. We paid extra for a deluxe veranda stateroom, and it was small with no room for storing clothes and luggage. The onboard amenities were a joke. The pool in my backyard is bigger. The entertainment was boring and catered to very the elderly guests (the majority). We’ve cruised on other lines for half the money and we're more satisfied. Viking sure sells the product with their glossy brochures. We felt totally ripped off.
We're sorry to hear aspects of your cruise did not meet expectation, Linda, and appreciate you sharing your experience. While our records show you've been in recent contact with a member of our Customer Relations team, we welcome you to reach back out should you wish to resume the conversation. Thank you for your feedback, and have a lovely day.
Our best friends and my wife and I were booked on our first Viking Ocean cruise for October 2019. After all that we read and heard about Viking cruises we were excited about having a fantastic experience. Well that recently changed. Earlier this year my wife was diagnosed with cancer and has treatments and surgery ahead of her through at least August 2019. Afterward she needs to build up her stamina and health for a few months. We asked our travel agent, who has booked numerous cruises for us and has done a great job over the past 10+ years, if we could move out the cruise date to April/May of 2020 and verify if any price increases would be incurred. She called Viking at least three times and each time was told the date can be moved and there would not be any increase in fee.
Based on this information we had her cancel our October cruise and re-book for April 2020. All was good until later that day we received the guest statement from Viking. The price increased a total of $3608 or 33%. Our travel agent escalated this within Viking and even had a supervisor listen to the recordings of the people who told her the price would not change. The supervisor acknowledged the wrong information was provided and was aware of the medical reason, but it didn’t matter to Viking. Our agent then escalated the issue to higher management in Viking and after 3 days they too said nothing they can do. So much for taking responsibility of your mistakes (3 times). They did offer a small shipboard credit to each room but otherwise would not budge. This was totally unsatisfactory to us!
I know Viking has many favorable customer reviews and are highly rated… Perhaps they have grown too fast and are forgetting how people can make a difference. One other unique nuance we found with Viking is that when we booked the cruise in March 2018, they wanted the full payment almost immediately even though the cruise was 19 months to sailing. Our travel agent said she never heard of this with other cruise lines and when she asked Viking she was told something to the effect of, “We ask for it because we can get it.” She was able to get them to delay full payments until 8 months prior to sailing. Seems a bit of arrogance is part of their culture as well.
Allow us send our best wishes of good health to your wife, Charles. While our records show you've been in contact with a member of our team, we're sorry to learn of your disappointment. Should you wish to resume a dialogue, we welcome you to reach back out to the agent handling your case for further review. Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention, and have a lovely day.
I just returned from a trip to Tel Aviv, Israel & was booked on Air Canada. In all my years of traveling I have NEVER had problems with any airlines to compare with Air Canada. It took 3 days to get from Nashville, TN to Tel Aviv, Israel because of their delays and cancellation of flights. Finally after two days of waiting I flew from Nashville to Toronto to Zurich to Tel Aviv. It took 3 days to get from Nashville to Tel Aviv! On the way back they were an hour late leaving Toronto. What was so troubling was that the staff appeared to be incompetent and unconcerned. I see now that Viking has booked this same airline for travel on their Rhine River cruise next month.
Being concerned I called Viking Customer Service this morning & was told that it would cost us $700 to change to another airline in spite of my telling them of my experience with Air Canada & requesting another airline. I have no doubt that Air Canada will be too late in getting into Toronto for us to make our connecting flight on to Amsterdam since the window for transferring is only an hour and 10 minutes. I then asked to cancel the entire cruise & was told it would cost us almost $4000 to do so. NEVER FLY AIR CANADA! If you doubt what I say do a search & you will see that many others have had the same experiences.
Thank you for your pre-cruise review of the selected airline, Greta. Though we regret to learn of past encounters with our third-party vendor, we’re appreciative for this opportunity to learn more as well as assure you we are confident this voyage will be enjoyable despite this. Additionally, we encourage you to take advantage of our Air Plus program for future travels, where guests may customize their air itinerary, including selecting airlines. Thank you, and contact us directly to share more.
We received the Viking River Cruise brochure in Feb 2019. We made a reservation for the Romantic Danube from 25 Sep 2020 from Nuremberg to Budapest. Listed in the Feb brochure was priced for the Veranda Suite at $6499 reduced to $5999 per person for May through Sep. This price was if you paid by 28 Feb 2019. We made the reservation and were surprised to see the reservation was now $7099 per person. We contacted Viking Expert and both the Salesperson and their Supervisor stated that that price was for a July trip and the fine print states "Prices shown reflect lowest fare by months listed."
Why would they list May - Sep and not month to month prices if this is the case, all previous advertisements. They said they would not do anything for us and would be glad to cancel our reservation. I was very polite in our discussion as they were also. We are very disappointed in their actions and the way they advertised. We are considering other companies for our cruise.
Thank you for taking the time to write this review, Kathy. While we’re glad to hear you encountered polite customer service, it’s disappointing to learn that aspects of your booking experience did not meet expectation. We’ve sent a private message with our contact information, and invite you to email us should you wish to resume the conversation. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and hope to hear from you.
My husband and I booked the Viking River Cruise on the Magni. (Budapest to Amsterdam). We had good food and great service. Our included excursions were good except the one in Budapest. (She had a cold/cough and kept skipping around on stories). We really enjoyed this cruise. The complaint was that my husband became sick with a 24 hour bug and we could not attend the paid excursion in Cologne, Germany. Instead of a refund, we got a ship credit after I mentioned that he became sick. We had to spend the credit 1-2 days before ending the trip on items on the Magni mini gift shop. (He could be on the staff with his Viking shirt, Viking Coat he bought. LOL.) The next complaint was that if I had not spent 50.00 per person to change the original flight and decide to stay in Amsterdam (thru Viking) for extended stay, we would have not seen Amsterdam.
We were originally scheduled for an 8:30 am flight the morning we arrived in Amsterdam. We would have had to get up so early to fly home and not even see Amsterdam. We decide to extend for two days and was able to get the "Included" walking tour of Amsterdam in the morning we left the ship. We are going on the Mediterranean Odyssey tour on Viking Star in May 2019 because we did like the atmosphere that Viking offers. However, when I booked my flights for this next trip thru Viking, there was not a lot of flight options left. The airlines I wanted was already booked as well as the seat selection I wanted to upgrade. (because of a leg/foot surgery I had recently.) I was never told when I could actually book my flights. They told me I could have done it earlier, but no one informed me on that. I just started working on it when I got the pre booked flight itinerary.
We took my first cruise with Viking Cruises to Cuba- A group of 12 of us. It started out beautiful then went downhill. One of the engine died on the ship- then the Norovirus hit the ship. So we could not go to the second port to dock in Cuba and had to leave a day 1/2 early to head back as we had to go slower to get back to Miami. The Spa, pool, gym were closed to cleaned for the virus. Spent a lot of time in the room. We were advised that we could get 20% discount on the next trip. Then before we got back to Miami - they increased to 30% voucher.
We explained that we did not want a voucher as I spent $7000.00 dollars and was not planning another trip. The last thing I would do is take another cruise. I was told by the Travel agent that she would contact Viking and see if they would do anything for us. Then the agent said that I had to contact Viking ourselves. I called and spoke to Mecca who was not very helpful. She stated first 35% voucher- I explained that I would not want a voucher- she then stated $250.00 dollars for my husband and myself. Then we also need to sign a non-disclosure. I was very upset over this as $7,000 trip and they would give the other people $1400.00 credit and we would get $250.00. I think this is terrible that you are suppose to be a luxury cruise and you treat people this way.
We booked a Rhine Getaway over a year in advance of our departure. We purchased from Viking both the cruise and airfare, including transfers, to make it a worry free vacation. Viking had booked us on flights to Newark and then on to Munich and finally Basel for the river cruise. When we arrived at the airport the departure time was on time. As we approached the departure time, we were told departure would be delayed 15 minutes because of weather in Newark. Then, we were told the departure time would be delayed to an hour, but the plane was at the gate and we expected to take off shortly, able to make our connecting flight in Newark.
Next came additional departure delays of 2 and 3 more hours so I called Viking to inform them that we may not make the connection. The Viking representative told me that since I had already checked into my flight, that they could not help me. They offered no assistance of any type and simply told me I would have to deal with the airline. I was appalled. We booked a cruise and airfare with Viking. Viking selected the airline and route, and knows where the ship will be and what cities (airports) are close to the ship, but they would not assist me at all.
Finally our flight was cancelled. By the time our flight was cancelled, they were booking at least two days out because of the massive backlog of cancelled flights. I said that my cruise ship would have left Basel by then, so she asked me where I wanted to fly to. I did not know what would be best since our ship would leave Basel before we could even be rescheduled to depart. Since there was no way to catch our cruise ship in Basel, I told the airline I had to find out where we should go. I called Viking’s after hours service this time and spoke with them for over 20 minutes. I was again told that since I had checked into my flight, that they could not assist me. I asked if they could at least tell me what city I should try to fly to in order to catch the ship for either Sunday or Monday depending when I could get in.
I was told, after several cities were mentioned, that Frankfort was the best place to fly into to catch up with the cruise whenever I could get there. I was told from Frankfort that I could get about anywhere. There was no mention of how I would get from Frankfort to the ship, how I could figure out where to go, how to get to the ship or who to use to go there. Viking simply made me feel like I had no options but to wing it on my own and figure out how to catch a moving ship in a foreign country. No suggestions were made to assist me. I was told that Viking “hoped I had travel insurance”. My call was disconnected when the air department was transferring me to the cruise ship department. I spoke to the cruise department who had left a voicemail for me to return the call while I was collecting my luggage. I received no help from the cruise department either.
I could not imagine trying to get myself to a moving ship somewhere in Germany on my own. I had called to cancel my pick up in Basel as the papers I received had told me to do. When the Viking agent asked me if I wanted to cancel my cruise, I felt that I had no other choice. He never told me that I would lose all of the money I paid. He only said that he hoped I had travel insurance. It was simply too much to try to figure out with my limited knowledge of where I was and without any assistance, so I canceled. Yes, Viking kept all of the money too.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Bonnie. Our records indicate that a member of our Customer Relations team has been in recent contact with you, and an agreeable resolution has been attained. We're grateful for the opportunity to address your experience, and wish you the very best going forward.
My sister and I purchased a Rhine Getaway River Cruise package last summer. One week before we left we received an email stating that our trip MIGHT be interrupted because of possible low water levels which might necessitate switching ships. On arrival in Germany we were informed by our airport transportation that we would indeed have to change ships. Viking ships had not been able to navigate the Middle Rhine for several months! That was a total surprise. We arrived on Saturday evening and on Tuesday morning we had to have our bags out at 7am. We endured a 6 hour bus tour before arriving at our new ship.
We were informed on Wednesday we had to ride another bus 3 hours before being herded onto a crowded day cruise boat with poor quality food for lunch in order to "cruise" the Middle Rhine which was suppose to be the highlight of the trip. This cruise only lasted about 90 minutes then we were herded back off the day "cruise" boat for another 3 hour bus drive to arrive back on the second ship. Our ship was docked in an industrial area so our view was other cruise boats sandwiched together and we had to walk across the boats to get to land. The only day of scenic cruising was the last day. Our primary complaint with Viking is the company's total lack of transparency starting with the booking agent and ending with the cruise program director.
The booking agent made absolutely no reference to the water level problem which was definitely negatively impacting river cruises including the one we booked. The pretense presented by every Viking representative was that all the undesirable changes to our trip were not expected detours however we later learned that this had been occurring all summer. The cruise program director always minimized the time that we would be on the bus and refused to take questions during his port talks.
I have sent you two letters by the postal service, one from my sister and me and the other from my brother, a recently retired attorney who paid for our trip as a gift for caring for our deceased mother in her final few years of life. We looked forward to this trip so much. What a disappointment. Donna **. Ruth **. Booking number-**. Trip dates- October 27-November 3, 2018
Thank you for reaching out, Donna. We’re disappointed to hear that your cruise suffered itinerary changes due to uncooperative weather. While we appreciate the opportunity to discuss your experience further, your information has been redacted by this forum. We've sent you a private message with our contact information, and hope to hear from you.
We are considering our 4th cruise with Viking, but are a bit hesitant to book. We were on the Danube in December for a Christmas Market cruise. About 2 weeks before we sailed we received an email letting us know the water levels were low and we may not be able to sail into all ports. A 25% credit was offered. That sounded great. However, the reality was - according to message boards - that this had been ongoing since June or July. We fully understand that Viking is not responsible for record drought conditions, but why not be more forthcoming with information. Two days of our cruise was spent on tour buses and 2 excursions were canceled. As late as 2 nights before the end of the cruise, we were told that we "may not be able to sail into Budapest. We'll let you know as soon as we know." The truth was they already knew. The 25% credit should be a 33% credit or a 25% refund.
Thanks for reaching out, Yvonne, and for your loyalty. We regret to learn of your disappointment, and we hear your wish for more advanced communications. Though Viking took strides to keep to the original program during the historic European drought in 2018, we understand some necessary changes did not live up to your expectations as an experienced cruiser. To discuss your feedback more directly, please contact us at the email provided via private message. We look forward to hearing from you.
My wife and I booked our Rhine River Cruise (with full - cancel for any reason purchased as well) in April of 2018. Our cruise was set for June of this (2019) year - paid for in full to include first class air in June of 2018. As with any plans made that far in advance - life happens. Fast forward to January of this year when it became necessary to cancel our cruise.
After Viking's own 'policy' of refunding within 21 working days - we are still waiting. And the real reason for this vent (despite the obvious nearly $11,000 - we have received our $4200 airfare back) is the lack of communication from them regarding the refund. After three attempts, the response was "You should be receiving your refund soon". Unacceptable. Payments in full when booked are understandably required. To be expected to wait this long for reimbursement when - as I mentioned 'when life happens' is not. Quite certain we are reconsidering another cruise line when we again - book for Europe.
Thank you for reaching out, David, and for this chance to engage with you. The delay in refund you’ve outlined here is regrettable, and we would appreciate the opportunity to investigate and address these circumstances with you directly. We hope to hear from you soon, and wish you a pleasant weekend.
I have not yet taken the cruise which is scheduled for May 2019; however, I need to review Viking's ploy in which to get people to sign up for a cruise. I had been wanting to take a cruise with my sister for some time to St. Petersburg. When I was researching cruises, I came across a "2 for 1" "deal" at Viking. I went to my travel agent and signed up--very excited that we had gotten what I thought was a terrific deal. I was SO wrong. The quoted price for the cruise was $4,700/person. OK--so, silly me, I think that means we both get to take the cruise for that price. Nope! Not so.
When I look at the pricing on my receipt, this is what I see: EACH person is charged $9,598. And then THAT price is halved so that, in reality, we are each paying the going rate of $4,799. Not a "deal" at all. Interesting too, that if you look at fares for their cruises even without their so-called 2 for 1, the prices are the same. No discount. Just a big come on. I will take the cruise since it has been paid for. My sister and I will enjoy ourselves, but I can pretty much guarantee I will not be taking another Viking cruise. Lesson learned.
We appreciate you reaching out to us, Linda, and regret to hear that you’re unhappy about your booking even before your cruise. Although we are certain that you will have an outstanding onboard experience, we hope for the chance to chat with you about your disappointment. Kindly, send us your booking number so we may arrange for a member of our Customer Relations team to contact you promptly. Have a lovely day!
I am finally recovered from the anger about Viking’s unprofessional and deceptive business conducts; and be able to share my experience with Viking. We took our first “dream” cruise with Viking, from Amsterdam to Budapest for 15 days in October 2018. It turned out to be the most overpriced “coach tour” and the worst ever vacation we’ve had. We felt cheated and ripped off. Viking had to know the low water level that made the ship not passable on the Rhine and Danube rivers as this water problem throughout past couple years was referenced to by almost all of the local guides. Viking chose to keep their money and let the couple hundreds of guests keep their miseries. Moreover, we were treated like ignorant people as the Program Director kept announcing the change of plan during the preview meeting for the following day with a disclaimer that he was just told about it or just found out…
We stayed first day and night at hotel with cheap lunch/dinner, packed and unpacked 4 times, sitting in buses to catch the next ships or for excursions. Instead of leisurely sitting on the boat cruising the rivers, watching the beautiful sceneries, walking up to the beautiful cities/towns as what Viking advertised; we had to rush to take countless long and tedious bus rides either to catch the boat at the far away docks in seemly industrial areas, or to the excursion sites. We saw high speed highways instead of tranquil seaside sceneries. No cultural enrichment was offered before arriving the next cities either, except one glass blowing session, one history lecture on Austria and Viking chefs’ demonstration of how to make strudels. See below of the summary of our expensive 15-day Grand European River Cruise.
Day 1 –overnight hotel in Amsterdam, all excursions cancelled, unpack & pack, cheap lunch & dinner & breakfast. Day 2 - early morning, 5 hrs. motorcoach to Mainz to embark Viking Skirnir, with a stop in Cologne for short walking tour and lunch. Day 3 – early morning motorcoach to Rudesheim for sightseeing tours, and return by motorcoach. Day 4 – city tour and sailing to next port. Day 5 -walking tour, afternoon motorcoach to catch Viking Skirnir at the next port. Day 6 –as scheduled.
Day 7 – afternoon motorcoach to Bamberg for short walking tour and back to another port to catch Viking Skirnir. Packed for swapping ship. Day 8 – afternoon motorcoach to Passau to embark on Modi, unpacked. Day 9 – as scheduled. Day 10 – 6 hrs round trip optional excursion to overprice Salzburg Highlights for 2 hours. Day 11 – only one that’s leisurely cruising- sailing through Wachua Valley, live demonstration of cooking apple strudel. Shuttle bus to city for walking tour. Day 12 – as scheduled. Day 13 – enrichment lecture on Austrian history. Guests that had early morning departure to airport on Day 15 had to pack to swap ship, Viking Bragi that docked at Budapest. Day 14 – 2 ½ hrs motorcoach to Viking Bragi that docked at Budapest for a cheap lunch, 2-3 hr, sightseeing in town, 2 ½ hrs motorcoach back to Viking Modi in Vienna. Disembarkation day- 3 hrs motorcoach to airport in Budapest.
As a responsible and ethical business entity, Viking should have informed all passengers what the “journey” would look like at least 3 to 6 months, not by sending an email a week before the start of the trip. I now found that this low level water problem has been happening since 2015. As such, Viking should have offered options for the passengers: 1) to continue to take the trip, knowing what they would get themselves into, or 2) cancel the trip and take a full refund or 3) cancel the trip and transfer all fares to a future river/ocean cruise. Adding another insult to the injury, at end of the trip, Viking offered a 25% (later 50%) of the fare to be applied to future Viking cruises with one year time limit.
By the way, they cancelled the optional excursion on Day 3 that I paid the listed US$ amount in full by credit card a month prior to the cruise. After the cancellation was announced on that day, they said that the refund would be credited to our payment method immediately. Nothing happened for over 2 months after the trip. I had to call several times to follow up. When it was issued, it was less than the original US$ amount that I paid as they said that it was the currency exchange rate! It’s a shame that Viking continues to market their European river cruises with deceptive advertisements of what enticed us into taking Viking European cruises. They cannot deliver what they advertise. So, please beware!
Thank you for reaching out to us, Sai, and for allowing us the opportunity to respond to your comments. We regret to hear that your long awaited cruise was impacted by the drought in Europe. In order to address your concerns directly, kindly contact us with your booking information, so we can better discuss your overall experience. We hope to hear from you, and wish you a great day.
My husband and I took a holiday cruise on Viking this year. My husband got very ill on the last day of the Cruise and ended up in a coma on the ship. The ship's policy is not to let people die on the ship, so instead of making my husband comfortable until we docked in Miami and letting the chips fall where they may, they dumped my husband and myself in Cuba with no help. Cuba of course has no diplomatic relations with the US, has sub par medical facilities, does not take American currency and no one speaks English. I was told by Viking that they had a rep in Cuba who was bilingual but no effort was made to put that rep in contact with me.
There I was with my husband dying with no ability to talk to the medical staff, no accommodations for myself and no usable money for food or anything else. An hour later, my husband died and I have spent weeks getting his remains back, the death certificates and dealing with the Viking on travel insurance. And after a month I still have heard nothing on the status of my insurance claims, even though I had to front a lot of money that I lost. Viking is not the kind of company I would ever do business with again. Beware, if you have a problem on board they are not there for you... And show that they couldn't care less about their passengers. All they are worried about is their company name.
We appreciate you reaching out during this incredibly difficult time, Linda, and offer our sincere condolences to you and your loved ones. In an effort to assist, we have arranged for a seasoned member of our Customer Relations team to contact you directly, to discuss your comments and connect with the travel insurance company on the status of your claim. If there’s anything else we can do, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we hope to provide support wherever possible.
We took the Romantic Danube River cruise back in August. We were made aware of "possible" changes in our itinerary as we heard our BOARDING CALL from the airline. Our experience was better than some worse than others - you've read the highs and lows here. I have been waiting 6 months now for a $384 refund of excursions that were cancelled - by VIKING.
I now have made 14 different contacts phone/email and am still waiting for our refund. The Customer Relations people say all the right things. I have been promised that a check would be sent 10/19/18 - nope didn't happen (my name/reservation had not been forwarded to accounting for payment by the ship - **). I was told that my information was handed to accounting on 11/14/18 for payment. I contacted CR again on 12/19/18 and rec'd an email that included "Can you please check on the status of the RSBC refund for Mr. **, and expedite his refund check if it has not been sent already?" My refund was ESCALATED at that time - surely that would be enough (1. 5 months 2. Accounting has my info 3. refund request has been EXPEDITED & ESCALATED! Wow surely I'll see something now). NO!!! 1/23/19 contacted CR again and I was told that the refund was out of their hands and my refund would be by handled by accounting.
We sincerely apologize for your delayed refund, Victor, and can confirm that your payment has been expedited. Thank you for your patience; you can expect to receive a check in the mail tomorrow. Though we don’t anticipate it, should you experience any further delay, you may email us. We appreciate your follow-up, and wish you a lovely day.
I wrote to Viking customer relations concerning a cruise my husband and I took aboard the Empress of the Seas on a trip to China. The trip was terrific. The ship was not. I have been in correspondence about some compensation for the poor condition of the ship and its amenities and was offered a measly $800 of vouchers dated for one year on a cruise that cost us a total of $16,000. I have so far only received $400 in any event but have asked for the other $400 promised and that the vouchers be open ended as we cannot take a cruise this year.
I have not had any further communication from Viking and am frankly disgusted at the way I have been treated. They seemingly have brushed aside our complaints and ignored several emails and a phone call to try to resolve this matter. The ship was not anywhere near their supposed standards or in accord with their chairman’s statements on how the ships are and I quote - “Surpassing the highest standards has been a driving force throughout my career.” That is a direct quote from their chairman Torstein Hagen. Let me continue with another quote by the chairman, “Your Viking home will always been an elegant, calm, state-of-the-art ship that embodies the best of Scandinavian design, offering the amenities of a fine hotel.” Hardly, the ship did not meet any of this supposed criterion!
Thank you for reaching out, Lynn. We regret to hear that the quality of the ship on your recent sojourn did not meet expectation. We are interested in clarifying the details of your vouchers, as well as discussing your comments in further detail, and invite you to email us with your booking number should you wish to do the same. We appreciate the opportunity to respond and hope to hear from you soon.
Viking Cruises expert review by Michelle Baran
Viking River Cruises, which launched in 1997, has its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles. It has more than 60 ships that cruise rivers all over the world and targets cruisers from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
New U.S. cruise focus: While Viking has long offered rivers cruises in destinations such as Russia, Europe and Egypt, it is gearing up to launch a river cruise on the Mississippi in the United States by the year 2018. New Orleans will be its American home port.
Inclusiveness: Viking includes Wi-Fi service, hotel accommodations, daily excursions and port charges in its pricing.
Longship: The nearly identical Viking Longships that Viking has been churning out by the dozen in Europe evoke a sleek Nordic design, are energy-efficient and have a large variety of room sizes, both with and without verandas.
Wide range of itineraries: With the largest number of destinations of any river cruise line, Viking offers a cruise for nearly every part of the world.
Value: Viking’s notorious 2-for-1 deals offer a great value for river cruisers.
Best for: Viking River Cruises is best for older travelers.
Viking River Cruises Company Information
- Company Name:
- Viking Cruises
- Year Founded:
- Formerly Named:
- Viking River Cruises
- 5700 Canoga Avenue
- Woodland Hills
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (877) 668-4546