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Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.98/5
  • 5 stars
    10
  • 4 stars
    3
  • 3 stars
    4
  • 2 stars
    15
  • 1 stars
    40
Based on 72 ratings submitted in the last yearSHOW RATING DISTRIBUTION

Viking River Cruises

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97 Viking River Cruises Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 17, 2018

I recently inquired about a price for a trip to Norway. The response quote was very vague even though I specifically asked how much for a single supp price. $4,700 was the answer so DOUBLE the cost for a couple. Two for one?? What a lie. How about one paying for two??? They are totally bias against single people. A total ripoff!

Be the first one to find this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 15, 2018

This relates to the paltry compensation being offered by Viking as compensation for a bad change in itinerary due to low water level in the Danube. They are offering a discount on future cruising with Viking, to be used within a year. After experiencing poor food and service on board the Egil, we do not wish to ever sail with Viking again.

8 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 15, 2018

I was very disappointed today by Lauren who answered the phone number listed as call "To get help with your My Viking Journey account, please call: 1-800-304-9616." Well Lauren apparently does not work as a customer service specialist, because there was no customer service and she was anything but helpful. For our once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Europe we book several shore excursions. The instructions were want for information and there was no deadline listed as "Pay by this date" or "Shopping cart closes on such and such date." So when I logged on to pay for our excursions, I found the shopping cart closed and all of our planned excursions were removed from our calendar - only the free ones remained.

I explained this to Lauren but she was absolutely not going to help - kept telling me that all the free excursions were still available and when we get on the boat we can see if the premium excursions are still available and complete the purchase then. Excuses never fix anything. Viking frequently sends emails "waiting to welcome you onboard;" one would think that at least one of those emails could say "hey, shopping cart closing on." Already have a bad feeling about Viking and am quite sure, after talking to Lauren this morning, that this may be our last Viking cruise.

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Viking River Cruises response

We regret to hear of your disappointment, Wayne, and have passed along your feedback to our Executive Team. As cancellations do happen, it is advised to periodically check your My Viking Journey account for openings. Also you are encouraged to inquire onboard, as your crew will make every effort to accommodate you. Should you wish to discuss this further, you may email Tellus@VikingCruises.com. We hope this snag will not tarnish your upcoming cruise, Wayne, and look forward to sailing with you.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 14, 2018

Elegant Elbe River Cruise - A week before our departure, we received a cryptic email that changes may affect our trip, and vouchers for $499 for future cruises were attached. When we called Viking, we found out the cruise would be a bus trip. Viking says it will refund our money, but that will take up to 20 days. But what really irritates us is the $499 voucher for a future cruise. We are out much more money than that, not to mention time and now the hassle. Last summer we did the Grand European cruise and gave it great reviews. This time, I am not so happy with how Viking contacted us and the paltry compensation they are offering. Buyer beware!

9 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 13, 2018

"fraud·u·lent. ˈfrôjələn. adjective. Intended to deceive people for the purpose of obtaining property or money". Viking sells river cruises. Viking has known for weeks that they cannot deliver the product they sell. We have been defrauded out of $11000 for a 7 day Budapest to Nuremberg cruise that began 12 August 2018 and so have 186 other people on our boat. Many are elderly with multiple physical restrictions. Instead of refunding, they will move us by bus boat to boat driving on highways, today for 3 hours. In addition, they do not allow guests to remain in a cabin until transfer time. They forced all guest to go to the common areas from 8 am until 2:30 pm.

There were a total of 4 toilets available for 6 hours. They took all luggage removed it from the boat got 6 hours in 32 C degree weather. There was no accommodation for elderly passengers. People are complaining. No concern. This is, in my opinion, fraud. They have known for several weeks that they cannot deliver the product I bought and they will not refund my money or that of the 188 other who are elderly. This is a bait and switch and I think there should be consequences for this.

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20 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 2 starsResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 11, 2018

This was a bucket list trip for us. We chose this trip so that we could get a taste of the cities that are ADVERTISED on this journey. We received an email the day after we departed the US for Prague that the water levels were low and it may affect our trip... It did, we spent the majority of the time on busses. We booked a suite so that we could sit on our balcony and watch the scenery go by but unfortunately we were not cruising too often! AND - when we were docked, we had a ship right next to us so we couldn't open the curtains or use the balcony!

If you think that you are going to take the boat to a port where you can walk out of the boat into town, think again. We didn't ended up in the ports that we were suppose to and had to be bussed at least 1.5 hours away to the city center - even in the cities that were planned stops were not close to the city and required transportation. The advertisements and the itineraries lead you to believe that you will have free time in the city and you can easily come and go on/off the boat. This is not true and misleading.

Nuremburg (have to be bussed into city center). Regensburg (the only port that you can step off the boat and be in the city.). Krems, (didn't see). Straubing - suppose to be in Passau, (3 hours in bus). Vienna (1.5 hours in bus). Komaron - was suppose to be in Budapest. (1.5 hour bus ride to Budapest). We had to transfer to another boat halfway through the trip and after a 3 hour bus ride we were stranded in the town of Ybbs with no boat and the city was shut down so we did not have water or restrooms either.

Missed the Danube Bend scenic cruising which was a highlight of the cruise. Missed the Danube Narrows and the Weltenburg Abbey (3 hour bus ride to the Abbey). Missed the Salzburg Highlights so that we could actually stay on the boat to cruise. Missed Krems - never stopped there. Missed Gottweig Abbey and Mozart Concert. (3 hour bus ride to the Abbey). Missed the Castle Hill City Hike (would have had to take a 3 hour bus ride). Missed all but one of my optional paid excursions due to the changes in the schedule.

Service on the Tor was great - food was ok. We transferred to the Var and the service was awful! We didn't receive service close to what they advertise. They were rude and were not attentive. They acted like the guests were a bother to them. At the end of the trip our cruise director acknowledged the extraordinary problems on this cruise and said we would be receiving a call from Viking to rectify some of the mishaps of the trip. Upon our return we immediately received an email offering us 25% off a future cruise.

Unfortunately, we feel that Viking needs to "right the wrong" at hand not give us a credit for a future cruise. Also, had Viking notified us a day earlier we had cancellation insurance where we could have rescheduled or receive a refund for our ENTIRE trip! I can hardly believe that Viking did not know that we would not be able to cruise the Danube as there are other reviews that went right before us that experienced the same low water levels.

I am fully aware Viking could not control the water levels, however, 1) they probably should not offer this cruise during the late summer months when the probability of low water levels are high. 2) They should better advertise/communicate the locations of the ports to the city center so we can make an informed decision whether we want to take the trip or not. 3) Advertise truthfully how far the excursions are and the length of the bus rides. 4) Communicate the negatives about a Veranda suite and the limited use due to the docking situations.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you reaching out to us with your concerns, Erica. While we regret to hear of your disappointment, we look forward to having a continued conversation on your experience, and a seasoned agent will contact you within 24 hours to discuss this matter further. We wish you a wonderful day, and look forward to speaking soon.

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 starsResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 10, 2018

I am appalled at the lack of transparency the Viking company has given and continues to give its customers in respect of the water levels on the Danube that adversely affects Vikings ability to navigate the route as described in the itinerary. From what I have since learnt low water levels on the Danube are not unusual at this time of year yet your company continues to offer holidays knowing that they are unable to fulfill the expectation of their customers. We received an e-mail from Viking on 25th July 2018 prior to our departure on 27th that stated:

“This message is to let you know that the Danube River is currently experiencing unusually low water levels that may impact your itinerary. When the water levels are too low, navigation on the river is restricted, making it impossible to sail through the affected areas. While you will still embark your original ship, Viking Tor, Viking operates identical ships traveling in opposite directions along the river so that we can execute what we call a ship swap part way through your itinerary. In these instances, you will be transferred by coach from your original ship to an identical sister ship, Viking Var, stationed further along the river so that you can resume your itinerary with minimal impact.

Exact details are not available at this point, but our nautical department, which monitors all the rivers we sail on, will update your Captain during your cruise if it becomes necessary to enact the mid cruise ship swap. Your Program Director will in turn inform you of any program changes we need to make as a result.

We are confident that you will enjoy your journey with us whether the mid cruise swap takes place or not, but wanted to make you aware of the circumstances as soon as we ourselves learned.”

I question the fact that Viking “were not aware of the exact details at this point” as I understand that the river has been low for quite a while now and on perusal of the weather forecast, it wouldn’t take a genius to realize that the cruise was going to be affected massively. I have an elderly distant relative who in her working life worked for a cruise company on the Danube and upon seeing my Facebook posts about my holiday said that the fluctuating river levels on the Danube are nothing unusual as has been like this for as long as she can remember. I therefore consider that the weather conditions could not be described as “adverse,” this is very much part of life on the Danube River, or not!

What concerned me further was what was witnessed at the end of our holiday. The Viking representatives, were in my opinion being minimal with the truth with the new arrivals and again were not being transparent in that their cruise was not going to be as expected. I heard them say that they were awaiting an update and they will let the new arrivals know accordingly. This was exactly how we were treated. We were “drip fed” the bad news throughout the holiday when staff knew full well that the cruise was not going to happen as promised. On the Passau trip the guide said that it will take 8 days of heavy rain for the rivers to regain a level to allow the boats to navigate. You only have to peruse the weather forecast to see that this is nowhere to be seen on the horizon.

A resume of our holiday is as follows: I consider that the holiday started well, visiting Nurenburg and Resenburg, At this stage we knew there was a potential problem of the river levels being low and that there was a possibility of a ship swap as per email - we had no idea how badly this would affect our trip and that this was not going to be the only hitch, we spent the majority of the time on busses.

Our first crew on the Tor were fantastic, however the second crew on the Var were not as attentive. The food was good - not fabulous but good – aside from the Bavarian sausage night which was awful. The bottom sheet used on our bed on Var had a large hole, I didn’t bother to inform staff as I felt quite sorry for them, it must be horrendous for them having to work under these circumstances, I think this can be seen in the lack of attentiveness we received from the staff on the second ship, they all must be very tired.

Monday - July 30 - STRAUBING (Supposed to be in Passau). Water levels were low so we ended up in Straubing. No tours in Straubing only Passau, so we were bussed 1.5 hours into Passau. 3 hours in total on coaches. Tuesday, July 31 - YBBS – On the Tuesday we were transferred from Straubing to Ybbs on a 3 hour coach ride. Upon our arrival at the dock we found that the boat wasn’t there as expected but was advised by the Tour Director that the boat was just on the other side of the lock. We were left stranded for another 1.5 hours on the dockside in the blistering heat. We arrived in YBBS around 1pm so was expecting lunch at this time. My husband is diabetic and so timing meal times is crucial for him.

We eventually received “lunch” at 3.30pm when we embarked onto our new boat with dinner a few hours later. The unfortunate part other than being stranded was the entire town was shut down so we did not have anywhere to go, nor could we access any food/drinks ourselves. There were no toilet facilities to be found, only the toilets on the coach which were undesirable as you can imagine in the heat.

The only positive I can say about this day was the fact that we had around 2.5 hours of scenic cruising along the Wachau Valley. We were however supposed to be docked in Krems which I wanted to see but due to being on coaches for the majority of the time we were unable to dock, we just sailed right past. We missed the Gotweig Abbey Tour so that we could actually cruise the Wachau Valley. Whilst I am disappointed that we missed the Abbey as it did look stunning, the decision we made led us to experience the only 2.5 hours of “Quality cruising” of the entire cruise with commentary from the cruise director. Having been on numerous other river and Ocean cruises I knew what to expect and so feel let down that we didn’t get what we paid for A RIVER CRUISE!

Wednesday - August 1 - VIENNA. Due to being docked outside of the scheduled area we were again put on the coach for another 1.5 hours into Vienna. We then set sail from Vienna to Komaron. Thursday - August 2 - Komaron We were supposed to be sailing to Budapest on this day but instead was taken to Komaron, two places that couldn’t be more poles apart (see attached photos) Due to the boat not sailing we missed the Danube Bend scenic cruising highlighted as a special moment of the cruise. We were taken into Budapest by coach, again another 1.5 hours journey each way. Friday - August 3. On the Friday we were transferred to Budapest, another 1.5 hour coach ride. This for us was the highlight of the holiday. The Inter-Continental Hotel was GREAT! We paid privately for a dinner and cruise evening so we did get to cruise around Budapest, no thanks to Viking!

I think it should also be pointed out that being transferred by coach led to us having to get up early each morning. It also took away the ability to make choices for what we chose to do for example, if you are moored in a main town/city you can get on and off the boat as you wish, go back to the boat for a rest when you choose. Being placed so far away from the main areas it would be impossible to do anything independently. At the end of the trip our Cruise Director said we would be receiving a call from Viking to make reparation for our disappointment. The holiday felt more like a coach tour than a cruise, and considering the cost I would have been better off considering city breaks that would have been far better organized and a lot cheaper!

I am fully aware Viking could not control the water levels, however: I am of the opinion that you should not offer this cruise during the late summer months when the probability of low water levels are high and not unusual. People have traveled from all over the world to “Cruise the Romantic Danube” There is nothing remotely romantic about being herded on and off coaches. Viking should better communicate and be transparent about the difficulties, the locations and distances of the ports to the city centers and be open and honest from the start as to how this would impact on our holiday.

I also begrudge having to spend my time penning this complaint when I should be resting as I continue to be on annual leave, I work full time and so my spare time is very precious! My husband and I are approaching retirement age and so hopefully have many more cruising holidays to look forward to in the future. Would we consider cruising with Viking again, I would say no. Would we recommend Viking? Again I would say no. Do we trust that Viking can deliver, NO. Viking, in my opinion lack any integrity.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate this opportunity to respond, Julie, and regret that your recent voyage left you feeling dissatisfied. Although we recognize you've been working with one of our senior Customer Relations agents towards an amicable resolution, please know that we would be happy to offer additional assistance at TellUs@vrc.com. Thank you for reaching out, and we hope to come to an agreeable solution soon.

27 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 9, 2018

My husband and I booked what we hoped would be the trip of a lifetime for our 25th wedding anniversary. I am not a rich person. I saved for years for this trip and 10,000 dollars for a vacation was a lot of money for us. The fact that we lost 30-40% of percent of our cruise due to a lack of water was devastating. Spending 6-8 hours on a bus to spend 4 hours at either Regensburg or Nuremberg was a hardship. We missed a great deal of the experience in our last three days of the trip. One of our favorite things to do on the first part of our trip was to sit topside and enjoy the sun and the passing view, at night to feel the cool wind and see the lights was amazing. Docked outside Passau next to large garbage bins and in a smelly backwater where we were able to watch barges and trucks unload gravel and sand was not what I wanted out of my expensive European vacation.

This however was not the worst part of our trip. There was a small child of 9 or 10 named Cooper, Cooper was adopted by the crew and given a Viking crew shirt and name badge and was even allowed on at least one occasion to make ship announcements over the PA system. On several evenings when customers were relaxing and enjoying a drink in the lounge, Cooper was seated at the bar drinking soda until 11 or 12 o'clock at night. There was some excessive drinking and some explicit and sexually explicit language and games facilitated by the program director Oliver that included ship staff and customers. I had to leave the lounge because I was embarrassed at the language and behavior that exhibited by staff and customers in front of this child.

One particular game involved guessing correct word definitions acted out by the staff that was extremely explicit and involved sexual language and posturing by staff members as they turned to high five Cooper as he sat at the bar watching this behavior, I didn't stay for the whole program as I was extremely uncomfortable with the behavior in front of a child. In addition, we assumed this was an adult vacation, we didn't bring our children and we didn't expect to have to put up with other people's children.

Cooper's behavior was not necessarily poor, but he was encouraged by the program director and staff to be particularly obnoxious and it made us uncomfortable to have him so intimately included in all ship adult activities. When I mentioned to one of the staff that I was uncomfortable with the behavior I was told that Cooper recently lost his father and why would I try to ruin his vacation... His vacation... What about my trip of a lifetime that I had spend years saving for?

To add insult to injury, we were offered a 25% off voucher off a future cruise... We thought ok... In a few years we can save up to maybe have a better vacation and we will do our homework, choose a better time of the year and make it a second honeymoon. This is not to be, our voucher is for 787.00 and must be used in one year. One year? The email we got said 25% off and I quote "any future cruise with Viking-river or ocean-". Says nothing about one year... What a ripoff. At this point I would never cruise with Viking again, we feel deceived, and totally unsatisfied with the experience and would advise anyone we know to choose another line over Viking after this experience.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you, Julie, for allowing us this chance to collect your feedback and respond. The circumstances you’ve described are regrettable, and we would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about and address your concerns in further detail at TellUs@vikingcruises.com where we will connect you with a seasoned Customer Relations agent. We hope to hear from you soon, Julie, and hopefully restore your faith in Viking.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 8, 2018

I was on a The Viking River Cruise August 24, 2016 and broke my RIGHT thumb BECAUSE OF A BROKEN HANDRAIL THAT LEAD TO THE UPPER DECK (several passengers took photos of the broken handrail on my behalf). The incident was reported immediately to the staff on the ship, who said they would fix the broken rail. Upon departure of the end of the trip, the rail was STILL BROKEN. When I returned home I went to urgent care who referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon for my thumb (x-ray showed a closed fracture of proximal phalanx of right thumb).

My thumb was placed in 2 different casts, I had Physical Therapy, tried ** shots, acupuncture, everything I could try before having surgery. My surgery was done October 2017, and a pin was placed in the tip of my thumb to hold the fractured bones in place. I will NEVER BE ABLE TO BEND MY THUMB AGAIN! I own a Medical Equipment Company, for over a year I was not able to move, or set up the equipment for our patients, because of my casts and broken thumb. I had to bring on delivery staff to work delivering the equipment I was unable to deliver.

I did contact a Lawyer, to discuss the problems with the BROKEN HANDRAIL and my thumb surgery. We were hoping to have Viking pay for my surgery, my time off work, and all the other long term issues with a RIGHT THUMB I can no longer use properly. My Lawyer John ** did contact Viking and got a response back from Jake ** Lead Agent Customer Relations ** who stated that the Viking Legal Department would get back with us. It has been several months, and we have had NO correspondence from that department. My Lawyer John ** has spoken with another passengers lawyer who was also injured on the same trip to see how to move forward with Viking River Cruises legal department. The statute of limitations is one year, according to the BACK OF THE TICKET INFORMATION...THAT I DID NOT SEE as I did NOT buy the tickets!!

Also, the maritime law for this ship is in Switzerland. I did not file a lawsuit before the end of the year as I was hoping I would NOT have to have surgery, Now I am stuck, with medical bills, no use of my right thumb and NO response from Viking!!! A few more important facts: Unfortunately there was no first aid kits, so several of the passengers made a splint out of coffee stir sticks and tape to brace my thumb (including Physician whose wife was also injured on the same steps). When I returned home I called Viking the day I got home and asked for a copy of my incident report, they said it had to be subpoenaed by a lawyer.

I did have travelers insurance, but they would not cover anything because a doctor did not treat me on the ship (there was NO Doctor on the ship).

I am requesting that Viking River Cruises and ALL of their ships inform their passengers in ADVANCE OF PURCHASING THE TICKETS the rules, laws and regulations regarding injuries. I am also asking for your help with my lawsuit to have the Viking Legal Department respond to my Lawyer, and assist with the damages from THEIR BROKEN HANDRAIL. I do have the name and information from the other passenger who had to have knee surgery, because of a fall on the same dark staircase. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me, and most importantly!!! To have Viking be forthright with their rules and regulations to all passengers before they buy their tickets.

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12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 7, 2018

My travel partner and I paid Viking $17,437.06 under booking number **. We needed to cancel and Viking has confirmed the cancellation with the full refund, less the $100 cancellation fee, to be credited within 24-48 hours. No ACH (electronic) transfer of funds to our banks has been received. We've had no clarification or response to inquiries of Viking. Our travel agent, too, has been unable to get any answers, apology or explanation. I've had my last cruise with Viking.

Viking River Cruises response

Thanks for reaching out, Donald, and apologies for the delay in refund. Oftentimes, the Consumer Affairs website will censor the users’ booking number in order to protect their personal information, which is what happened in your case. In order to address your concerns directly, please contact us at TellUs@vrc.com with your booking information, and we will arrange for a Customer Relations agent to contact you. We hope to hear from you through that outlet, and wish you a great day.

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 3, 2018

Viking's notion of luxury is couple/cabin. Booking is done by cabin. You are not a person you are a cabin. Single don't come, you are a cabin and your travel mate must do what you do. The cabins are only doubles. No singles. Only couples. All booking must be done in tandem. No individuals. Only couples. All bills must be paid in tandem. No single travelers with roommates. All itineraries are for couples who travel together! No separate plans. Oh the final degradation. Single women get the stairwell cabin. You guessed it. All mail goes to one person. SO WHAT HAPPENS TO THE TRAVEL PAL? I don't know. She hasn't gotten any info. I got it.

Staff tell me this is a system problem and this should somehow make it ok. Systems are created by people/marketers who only want COUPLES on their boats. I don't get the dignity of having my own booking, paying or my own trip. I've got to sit down and sort out all the travel expenses and send my travel mate who never got her itinerary or information or flight SA bill! I have travelled with several reputable luxury companies and this is the only one who does not welcome single travelers. If you are single GO elsewhere.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out, Kt. We’re sincerely sorry to learn of your concerns, and while we do offer single cabins and fares on a few of our ships, we understand that the challenges you and your travel companion have encountered during the booking process have not been ideal. As we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your comments further, we invite you to email us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com with your booking information. We hope to hear from you soon, Kt, and wish you a lovely day.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 28, 2018

Viking customer service... not so much! I don't know what I am more dissatisfied in with Viking Cruise lines; The inability to get our reservations correct, the numerous unanswered emails and phone messages to correct problems, being charged a fee for services not provided or the total lack of customer service. It all started when 4 couples decided to check off a buck list item and cruise together. In December 2017, we booked a river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel for a September 2018 sailing. After our initial reservations, 3 of the couples decided to do a pre-cruise in Amsterdam through Viking. It was when we received our new itinerary that problems became apparent.

We attempted to get answers from the Viking travel reservationist, Todd, and when he did not return emails and calls we contacted his supervisor. His supervisor, Monica, was less than helpful. She didn't offer an apology for the mixup in the reservations simply saying there was nothing that she could do for us. Hoping to save our bucket list vacation, I wrote to Stephanie **, Customer Relations Manager. After waiting a week for a reply, I wrote to Joost Ouendag, VP Product Marketing. Again, another week and no response from him. We paid an extra fee to have our reservations linked together. This was to ensure we would be on the same buses, shore excursions and flights. We were assured that they were linked... until they weren't. So far my "Viking Experience” has been less than satisfactory. Thinking of cruising with Viking... buyer beware!

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us, Linda, and regret to learn that your previous correspondence has not resulted in a continued conversation. In an effort to connect you with an agent who can further assist you, we welcome you to contact us directly at TellUs@vrc.com. We look forward to hearing from you through that outlet, Linda, and wish you a great day.

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 26, 2018

This is unusual for me to be writing a negative review of Viking Cruises since my wife, Elena, and I thoroughly enjoyed two previous river cruises (Bordeaux and Rhine) and are scheduled to take our third in France (Provence 7-day Cruise with post extension in Dijon) initially flying October 27, 2018. The reason I am complaining is how horrible Viking scheduled our flights, and their stubborn refusal to rectify at no additional cost. One of Viking's selling points is their low airfare, but apparently unless one initially pays an extra $50/person to purchase Viking Air Plus, all scheduling is done by a computer. Apparently, the computer selects the cheapest flights from airlines with which Viking has contracts, and this means the cheapest for Viking and NOT ANY consideration for reasonableness for the travelers.

Yesterday, I received our flight itinerary. Viking had booked with United, and the flight from San Diego thru Washington (Dulles) DC thru Brussels to Marseille, France was reasonable and OK with us. HOWEVER, the flight home was TERRIBLE! Viking's computer had scheduled our first leg home @ 8:30 am from Lyon, France. Because of our Viking post extension in Dijon, which is 132 miles or so north of Lyon, arriving at the Lyon airport 2 hours ahead of time, or near 5:00 am, would require we leave Dijon at 2:30 am by bus or 3:00 am by car. This means we would have to wake up at 1:00 am or so, thereby eliminating our last night's sleep in the expensive hotel.

If that was not enough, the return from Lyon thru Brussels thru Newark, NJ, to San Diego had a near 4-1/2 hour layover in Newark! Because this return flight itinerary was so unreasonable, I assumed (incorrectly) that Viking would correct the situation by rescheduling us on more reasonable flights, at no cost. HOWEVER, my AAA Travel agent, who was managing our trip, and I, after at least three phone calls, were unable to get Viking to waive the $50/person Viking Air Plus they insisted upon before changing my return flights to ones that are more reasonable. My wife and I finally gave in, and now we leave Lyon at 1:20 pm (allowing us plenty of time to get there from Dijon after having a full night's sleep). We get home in San Diego late at 11:10 pm, but I guess that cannot be avoided.

The AAA Travel agent told me that even after paying $50/person for Viking Air Plus, that not all flight options are available without paying an additional $150-$250/person for better flights if these flights are not included in Viking's contracts with the airlines. So, in summary, either initially pay the extra $50/person for Air Plus to give yourself a better chance of not being surprised and infuriated by a totally unreasonable schedule as happened to us, or be prepared to pay this later if/when your luck runs out and you get a crappy schedule.

I know it is only $50 X 2 = $100, but I am so angry with Viking! Their service up to this point has been outstanding, so I just cannot accept their unwillingness to correct at no charge their totally unacceptable flight schedules. I definitely will tell this story to anyone who asks about my trip or about Viking cruises, so I assume that Viking will suffer far more than $100 in bad marketing. Good luck to you; but be forewarned.

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Viking River Cruises response

Hi there, John. Thank you for reaching out to us, although we are disappointed to hear your concerns before your upcoming cruise. At this moment, our records indicate that a resolution has been reached. Should you wish to resume our conversation, we would be happy to hear from you at TellUs@VikingCruises.com. Looking forward to your cruise, and wishing you a great day.

17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 24, 2018

Russian River Cruise June 24 - July 6, 2018: A trip I anticipated for a couple of years was the worst I have ever experienced in many ways. 1. The Delta flights were horrible. The rest of the flights were just okay. I'll never let someone book my air other than myself again. 2. Room 226 looked out at the metal bracings and gangplank on the boat, this was after I was assured the room had a great view by Jennifer that made my reservation. I have photos of my room's view on my phone. We couldn't open a window because of diesel fumes. The vibration noise of the motors was deafening. I have it recorded on my phone if you would like to listen to it from my room. Earplugs were necessary to sleep. After several nights I was offered a smaller room, but since my daughter is a large woman, we declined since it was so much smaller because she would have been uncomfortable with less space and storage.

3. The lunch and dinner meals were very sad. If not for the good breakfast I might have starved. I sent back several dishes. I've had better food on a Carnival Cruise. The meats were tough and every fish dish but one was overcooked. 4. The worst thing was I became very ill on July 3rd with severe upper respiratory infection and was in bed until we left the ship on July 6th. I saw the ship's doctor the morning of the 4th. He gave me antibiotics, ear drops, some sort of natural drug and a packet of something to give me energy, and said I should rest in bed. I have his diagnosis written as severe. When I asked for a refund of the tours I paid for, Moscow by Night and Sergiev Posad-Russia's Greatest Monastery, and was too sick to take, I was told no refunds without a doctor's note. It made no difference. I was unable to leave my room except for a short time for something to eat.

There is no room service at all. I had to leave my room and expose everyone else in the dining room. I'm not asking for anything except a refund of $238 for the tours I paid for, but was unable to take. I just hope that other Viking River Cruises in other parts of the world are better than what I experienced. On a positive point my waiters were excellent and kind and the guides were excellent and knowledgeable and the tours I was able to take until I was ill were very good.

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Viking River Cruises response

We regret to hear that your cruise was disappointing, Candace, and are interested in learning more about your experience. Please contact us at TellUs@VikingCruises.com with your booking information, so we can arrange for a member of our Customer Relations team to call you and discuss your comments in detail. Your feedback is valuable to us, and we would be happy to look into your comments with attention in hopes to attain a resolution. Candace, we hope that you feel better and have a nice day.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 21, 2018

I was excited to book my first river cruise with Viking. I contacted them on June 5, 2018 to book the romantic Danube trip leaving on October 10, 2019, including air fare and an extended stay in Prague. Gave them a deposit of $2238 at time of booking. I received an email on July 17th requiring the balance, $10,194. paid in full by July 31st. Questioning why the entire balance was due almost a year and a half before the trip I called the company. I was told, by Adonis, that their policy is full payment is due within 60 days of booking confirmation of my trip. That’s it, no exceptions, company policy! If I booked a trip for October 2020, my full payment would be due by the same date!

I explained that I could make a partial payment by 7/31 but not full payment. Didn’t understand why they needed full payment so far in advance. No explanation other than, company policy. Was told if they didn’t receive full payment by due date, my reservation may be canceled. Asked to speak to a supervisor. After being put on hold same person got back on phone and stated they spoke to a supervisor and they said due date cannot be changed, company policy. Again asked to speak to a supervisor, again put on hold, again same person got back on phone and said he spoke to “several” different supervisors and all said date cannot be extended. Then asked who I can address my issue with within the Viking company.

Again told the point of contact is the supervisor of the individual I was speaking with. I told him Since this was the third time I was asking to speak to some else to address my concerns and all I got was him telling me he spoke to someone else, there was no point in continuing to speak to him, which brings me here writing my complaint. Reviewed paperwork I received from Viking and noted it states final balance is due no later than 90 days prior to departure??? Since I have cancellation insurance I’m considering canceling entire trip and taking the $100 pp loss and booking elsewhere.

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Viking River Cruises response

While we regret to hear of your disappointment, Janice, we appreciate the opportunity presented here to address your concerns. To speak with a seasoned agent and discuss this matter further, we welcome you to contact us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Thank you for taking to the time to review this situation with us, and have a wonderful day.

19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 19, 2018

Would like to comment on our recent 11-days Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal Viking Ocean cruise. Firstly, we were booked on a connecting flight with less than 35 minutes of connection from Munich to Copenhagen. In the first place Viking should know better NOT to book passengers on such TIGHT CONNECTIONS. We ate at "the chef's table" twice and both times we were disappointed. The quality of food was not up to Viking standards. And on day TEN, we arrived at the Amsterdam port at NOON, disembarked for an included 2hr city & canal tour and off we leave next morning at 6am for the airport. In essence, it was considered a 10-day trip.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 starResolution In Progress
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 13, 2018

I know that in the past I've spoken highly of the Viking River cruises Penny and I have taken, and probably a dozen or more of you have taken them also, and some of you we've met on the cruises. Howsomever. We've just been screwed by our recent trip on the "Elegant Elbe," and treated with indifference and even arrogance by Viking when registering our complaint.

Our first hour on board we were informed by the captain that the river was about 14 inches too low to be navigated, and dropping fast after a nine week drought. So we were basically bused from Berlin to Prague, stopping to overnight and eat and sleep on beached Viking vessels. We saw no sign of any rival cruise boats throughout the trip. And we learned from another couple the company they originally booked with notified them six weeks in advance that their cruise might be cancelled, and a week later that it was in fact cancelled. So they (perhaps foolishly) booked with Viking. Viking gave none of the other passengers we talked to a word of warning, or the opportunity to book different cruises.

Pretty obviously the river did not drop that much in one or even two weeks, and Viking did not learn at the last moment of the drought, too late to offer us a cruise on a different river, or later in the season if the river rose. In the largest online comment site I found passengers on previous trips rated Viking as 2.5 on a scale of five. Apparently we are not the first to have troubles with the company.

Two passengers, for example, complained online of a trip where a large number of passengers were taken off a ship with respiratory illnesses. And they learned of it only through the onboard grapevine. No effort was made to warn passengers or mitigate contact and other circumstances. Doing such might have cost Viking some money, I guess.

Given that we signed up and paid for a river tour, and got a long bouncing bus ride instead, and that the company undoubtedly saved a ton on fuel for an upstream cruise, lock and dam fees, docking fees and many other costs all those I talked to thought we were reasonably entitled to a rebate somewhere between 1/4 and 3/8 of our costs $8,500. What we've been offered is a $1,000 credit on "our next" cruise.

We were advised, on the boat, to call customer service when we got back home. Instead customer service just sent out an email citing the $1,000. When I called I was told by a phone bank operator that he could not pass me on to anyone with authority to discuss or change the offering. He went so far as to tell me that even Mr. Whozit Hagen, owner of the company, could not change the offer. And insisted it on it. When things go well, the river cruises can be great, and I still recommend them. Other companies we saw frequently in our previous cruises were Tauck and Avalon. Sorry for the bum endorsement.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you, David, for sharing your feedback with us regarding the communication of the low water on the Elbe. Though we regret that your journey did not meet expectations, we are delighted that we could come to an agreeable resolution, and hopefully restore your faith in us. Should you wish to continue the discussion, it would be a pleasure to chat at TellUs@vikingcruise.com. Have a wonderful day.

17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 13, 2018

Since there are a lot of old people on this cruise and old folks are more prone to getting sick from each other in a social setting like the ship and the tour buses, when some people got sick and were hospitalized, no warning was given by the cruise director or supervisor to the rest of the people. They kept the sickness as a secret and we were only hearing about more people getting sick and getting off the boat thru the grapevine! There was an outbreak of respiratory illness on the boat and a lot of people were coughing on the bus and passing it to each other. I came back with the worse bronchitis and after visits my doctor and taking care for several days, still have a fever and feeling very sick. I think it was Viking responsibility to inform all the passengers about how to take precaution and even provide masks for them, while boarding the ship. We went on the cruise to have a vacation but are both back sick!

Viking River Cruises response

We’re sorry to hear of your continued illness, M., and do hope for your speedy recovery. Getting sick during a vacation is certainly undesirable, and we hear your concern; we’d love the opportunity to look into these circumstances in more detail. Please kindly email us your booking information to TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we may better understand and address the events you’ve described. We hope to hear from you, and have a restful weekend ahead.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
profile pic of the author
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 12, 2018

I bought travel insurance from Viking Cruises. They use Trip Mate, the worst insurance ever, over 300 bad reviews. Even though they know Trip Mate sucks, they keep selling it. Very disappointed at an otherwise great company. I put a claim to Trip Mate for some medical expenses and they do not want to pay. I will NEVER buy their insurance again and I strongly recommend you do not buy it too.

Viking River Cruises response

We’re sorry to hear you are disappointed with the insurance vendor, Hector, and thank you for alerting us to your circumstances. Though our records indicate efforts to assist your insurance claim with a third-party agent are underway, we’d welcome the opportunity to continue a dialogue at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. We look forward to connecting, and thank you for this chance to respond.

14 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 6, 2018

We booked our Rhine Getaway cruise last minute and were pleased because we thought we received a great deal. We were looking forward to a relaxing and scenic trip through Europe. Unfortunately, we were never able to take our trip. The day before departure I went to the doctor as I was in the early stages of pregnancy. I heard the news no expecting parent wants to hear, they could no longer find a heartbeat. On top of this already horrible news I was informed that I required emergency surgery. My doctor, knowing we had this trip planned explained that even taking the flight put me at risk, and that 8 days on a ship was out of the question as the emergency care by the ships limited medical crew would not be sufficient if something happened. At this point it became clear that we had no choice but to cancel our trip.

We barely had time to process the devastating news before reaching out to Viking. We called on our way out of the doctor's office and after several calls (they are notoriously bad about answering phone calls) we finally spoke to someone who told us that unless we had purchased their travel insurance our cancelation fee would be 100% of our trip. They gave us an email address for a supervisor - because in the world of Viking I suppose you only get to speak to someone when they are going to make some money off of you.

In the spirit of full disclosure we did not purchase the travel insurance through Viking. We are both young and healthy. At the time of booking I did not even know I was expecting. It was only after the 14 day window to purchase travel insurance that we found out. Additionally, we almost always book our travel using a CC that offers free trip protection. Viking offers a 3.3% discount for paying with e-check, which we foolishly did. In the future we will book every travel using our CC.

Although we did not purchase travel insurance, we felt that the circumstances would merit some understanding from Viking. We emailed the supervisor as instructed and explained we weren’t interested in a full refund, we hoped to be able to travel with Viking at a later date or if that wasn’t possible even a partial refund. The response from the supervisor told us we would be charged a 100% cancellation fee and that they hoped we purchased travel insurance (which they already knew we didn’t). At this point I was inconsolable. Not only had I heard the most devastating news of my life but now we had lost nearly $5,000. My kind mother in law called Viking, while I sobbed - and the representative was unnecessarily rude telling her “we already told them they aren’t getting anything - what don’t they understand?”

This is a highly personal story- we hadn’t even told our families about the pregnancy. However, the treatment by Viking has been cruel. We understand all companies have cancelation policies, we were never asking for a full refund. However we expect that companies, no matter how large or small have compassion for their customers. Viking not only lacks compassion but is as uncaring a company that I have ever encountered. We are first and foremost devastated by our loss. But we are also devastated by the lack of compassion shown by Viking. I urge you to not book anything with this company and take a moral stand against a company that puts profit over human decency.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for taking the time to reach out, Sarah, and we hope this finds you in good health. We’re sincerely disappointed to hear that your experience with the cancellation process has been anything but delightful. We value the integrity of your interactions with us and are interested in exploring your comments further. Please email us at TellUs@vrc.com so that we may learn how we might be able to regain your trust. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a lovely day.

17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 4, 2018

Not quite to expectations a rip-off, it’s a better explanation! Advertised as a big deal of the package, WiFi was almost not existent, TV is worthless and polarized, there is really nothing to see, the "news" channels CNN and BBC International (I prefer a torture chamber since watch those stations). After couple minutes disconnected and then return in German language, no internet connections on the library PC. Very false advertising. After couple days of attempted connections my iPhone locked up.

Paid-for balcony, useless as 2 or 3 boats tied up in port and balcony touches other boat. Total waste of money and close to fraudulent as a room upgrade. The expected 140 guests end up to be 200 making the public areas very busy, long lines at the buffet tables and uncomfortable sitting at the dining. Sundeck closed during most of the cruise. Excuse for a walking deck, the bridges were too low, possible that is unknown to the Viking organization when they run the ads? Maybe with some honesty can disclose the inconvenient at the booking time!

Program Director was mostly annoying as she was primarily a salesperson for optional tours, to make things worse at the end of the cruise we were asked to pay her 2 Euro a day per person (gratuity?), beside the 12 Euro per person, day gratuity for the service, presented as an obligation. Disturbing, because we had to contribute donations to support the officer and the dishwasher. Total 450 Euro, the obligation or, forced goodwill was never mentioned in the package. Thanks for the all-inclusive package. I will not comment on the included tours, I am trying to find civilized worlds to describe them! At the end the cruise we were prompt to fill up a questioner about the two weeks experience, I did express my disappointment and I did ask to be contacted for further explanations (left Email and phone number), so far no attempt has been made. I’ll wait a little longer before publicizing my reviews.

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21 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 2, 2018

Viking Romantic Danube Cruise. We sailed on 6-22-18 with Viking to Germany, Austria and Hungary. The cities visited were interesting and the guides informative. Due to two barges stuck in the river, we had to change ships from the Egil to the Gullveig, but this was no fault of Viking and the transition was smooth and Viking tried to make it as painless for the customers as possible.

My main concerns with Viking are — the seats on the flights Viking made for us were changed several times before we left and the outbound seats were next to the bathrooms. Horrible banging of the doors, odor, and a line of people by our seats for hours. I paid an extra $100 to have the privilege of communicating with the Viking air dept., actually encouraged by Loris at Viking to do it. We got the flights and seats the agent wanted us to have anyway and then those were changed to worse seats. That was a $100 totally wasted. Don’t fall for that trickery!

When I made my reservation Loris at Viking did not tell me the room was underwater. Beware of where your cabin is located. I wanted to check the location online and call him back before completing my reservation, but he told me he did not have an incoming phone number. Miraculously, as soon as I booked the room and paid, he gave me his incoming number. The Egil had a horrible sewer smell at the bottom of the front stairs going to our cabin (125) and both ships had a number of flies in the dining rooms every day. Overall I felt the food and service was good, especially on the Egil. Oh, one day we misplaced our daily program and the lady at the desk told us to look at the program in our room, she didn’t have one to share. Rude.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out to us, Sonya. We regret to hear that your flight arrangements and other aspects of your cruise fell below expectation. To discuss your concerns in detail, we have arranged for a Customer Relations Agent to contact you within 24 to 48 hours. We look forward to connecting, Sonya, and wish you a lovely day.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 29, 2018

We booked a China river cruise, the cruise itself was OK. Actually very good. However the cruise boats they use in China are not actually Vikings' boats. They are leased and not up to the level one expects with Viking. We were also told that gratuities were not necessary and were included in the price. We thought that this was great, until the end of the trip we were made to feel guilty if we didn't pay extra for gratuities. So we did. But the biggest issue was their lack of management of our flights. Not acceptable.

The night before our trip we were led to believe that we were not yet confirmed on our flights. We tried again and again to reach Viking for their assistance. We called every Viking number we could. As it turned out they do not have 24/7 coverage. There is no one to talk to after hours. Let me repeat that. If you have a problem that you need assistance with, there is no one to help you after their normal work hours. We felt high and dry on our dream vacation. We did actually made the flight and made the trip. But they caused us a lot of stress and anxiety. Not the way to start a dream vacation. We use Royal Caribbean now.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate the time you took to review your recent journey, Brent. While we’re glad to hear that the cruise itself was enjoyable, your comments about the gratuities and feeling abandoned when confronted with a flight issue are concerning to us. We value the integrity of your experience and invite you to email us at TellUs@vrc.com so that we may explore your comments further and learn how we might be able to regain your trust. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a lovely day.

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 26, 2018

The Good: The boat is kept in pristine condition. Stateroom adequate and comfortable. Great service from the crew. They really try. Some of the tour guides were excellent and interesting; a few not so. The Not So Good and Inadequate: The wi-fi is advertised but was almost non-existent. Very false advertising. Two of our devices never connected, yet did easily in hotels. Other devices were extremely slow and not available often. No excuses Viking: wi-fi is available these days everywhere, on buses, planes, etc.

Wi-fi calling was not available at all on boat, yet available easily at all hotels. If Viking is reading this, you should reimburse us about 15 dollars for needed cell calling. Advertised TV is almost worthless, as there is really nothing to see, The "news" channels CNN and BBC International mostly run 2 or 3 day old feature stories over and over. No movies. No local TV including no soccer/football during World Cup. Unforgivable in Europe.

Paid-for balcony (or even window) useless as 2 or 3 boats tied up in port and balcony touches other boat. Total waste of money and close to fraudulent as a room upgrade. Best I can say about the food is that it is plentiful but "plain." Some of the local specialties in Austria and Hungary raised the average a bit. Good breakfasts. Program Director was mostly annoying as he was primarily a salesperson for optional tours and $100 certificates for future cruises. Voice blasted at high volume during the sales pitches. Had to listen to sales talk in lounge before dinners as it was mixed with some needed information. Gratuities in literature spoken of as Viking gratuity "policy." As I see it the gratuity "policy" is mine and yours, not Viking's.

Viking would not fly us USA to Florence, which was our first choice. Viking would not book us on the only non-stop from Rome to Nuremberg; wanted to route us through Paris or elsewhere at high cost and much wasted time. Therefore would not provide transfer from Nuremberg, though we met Viking rep at airport. Wanted Euro 60 for transfer. Took a cab for Euro 29. Viking transfer bus had 50-60 (?) empty seats. Viking changed our return flight while we were on the boat, because of a strike, but did not notify us.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out to us, Mel. We regret to hear that your cruise fell below expectation, and are interested in learning more about the aspects of your voyage that have room for improvement. If you’d like to discuss your experience in detail, please send us your booking information at TellUs@VikingCruises.com so we can connect you to a Customer Relations Agent promptly. We hope that you give us the opportunity to speak with you, Mel, and wish you a lovely day.

14 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 23, 2018 Buyer Beware - based on recent experience: European Grand Tour. Dinner time food terrible - steak tough as can be, salmon absolutely no taste, chicken - legs and bones best eaten in private with fingers. Don't plan that you could even have a little cheese and crackers anytime after normal mealtime. Doesn't happen.

No entertainment, unless you call a boring half hour Port talk entertaining with multiple excuses for what went wrong today. Or you like to go to bed at 9 pm. Don't plan to sit outside much or get much exercise. Sundeck closed for 5 straight days. Excuse for a walking deck.

Don't fall for the 'Sales' Pitch - Viking uses that to lure people, but will not reduce your price. In our case paid Viking $17,000, a year in advance for a so call 'Exclusive Sale' - all inclusive deal - only to find 6 weeks before trip 'another sale' on, significantly less - but Viking would no way give us the better deal. Never again! Using my money for one year! And then finding out others get the same trip $3,000 less with no discussion or compromise for us! All inclusive tours - A joke! Of course the best tours are considered optional and I might add quite expensive. Don't add an extension with Viking. All you get is hotel and breakfast at a more costly rate.

Don't plan on being sick or wanting to get sick. Germs spread quickly. Little done to control a sickness outbreak. Felt like we were in a hospital on the end of our trip. Staff were very nice and accommodating. Hope they are paid well. Lots of bus rides - nice buses though, guess they are paid for by all the money Viking scams from customers!

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding this matter, Theresa. While we’re happy to hear that your experience with the staff was exceptional, we regret to learn that many aspects of your voyage were disappointing. To discuss this situation further and have a continued conversation, a Viking Customer Relations Agent will contact you within the next 24 hours. We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns, Theresa, and look forward to speaking with you soon.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 22, 2018

I cringe whenever I see a Viking (River) Cruise commercial on TV. Fortunately, since I am a retired senior, I take every opportunity that I can, at every club event, HOA meeting, party, political gathering, gym workout, and any other gathering of potential cruising customers, to tell the truth about the worst vacations of my life with Viking Cruises.

The first unfortunate vacation was the Viking Yangtze River Cruise. We made airline reservations through Viking. Shortly after midnight on the day our flight was due to leave, less than five hours before the flight was due to leave, we received a voicemail call from the airline, canceling the flight. I called the airline and was told there was another earlier flight, on another airline, scheduled to leave an hour earlier, which could get us to our connecting flight. I awakened our neighbor who was driving us to the airport and he consented to drive us to the airport at 03:00 AM. Unfortunately, this flight also was delayed and we arrived at the connecting airport moments before the connecting flight was due to depart.

After boarding the connecting flight, the aircraft encountered technical problems, a defective newly installed Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and the passenger compartment filled with smoke. Everyone was deplaned, and, since there was no replacement part available, we were forced to wait overnight for the next aircraft to arrive on the following day. We started our much anticipated vacation a day late in China.

The food on that river cruise was abysmal. The Chinese food on board the boat, which was not too spicy to eat, tasted like paste. It was perilous to eat any fresh fruit or vegetables washed in the undrinkable water. Only bottled water, which was separately charged to passengers, could safely be consumed. Upon arriving in Beijing to see some magnificent sights such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, etc., we found more than half the Chinese citizens wearing surgical masks due to the extreme air pollution.

Upon arriving at the departing airport, more than half the passengers/customers were sick. We boarded the plane back to the US and had a very rough takeoff. Fifteen minutes into the flight home, the pilot came on the intercom and advised that the plane's landing gear would not retract and therefore we had to fly out over the ocean for another half hour to drop fuel, before returning to Beijing to board another aircraft back to the US. After boarding another aircraft, we finally arrived back in the US, ever so grateful to be home after a horrible vacation.

But, the worst was still to come... the Danube River Cruise. After spending three precruise days in Prague, we took a bus trip to a small town in Germany to begin the river cruise. Indeed, we stopped at many, many small towns, spending much more time in small towns than in amazing cities such as Vienna and Budapest. Does Viking get financial incentives from small towns for visiting so many small towns while giving such short shrift to major sites of interest such as Vienna and Budapest? It certainly seemed that way. Although the food on board was far better than China, it was certainly nothing to write home about.

But, as mediocre as the food was, the service on board was miserable. After marching several miles in one of the numerous "small towns" on the cruise to see the unremarkable local sights, we returned to the riverboat for lunch. We had purchased the upgraded package with alcoholic drinks. We arrived back at the ship famished and thirsty. So I ordered lunch with a beer. Although the food service was slow, the beer I had ordered did not arrive until well after lunch was finished. Some service!! We had only one day and night in Vienna. Thank goodness we got to see an orchestra and its production. We arrived in Budapest at night and it looked fantastic with all the lights along the river. Budapest was a fascinating city. Too bad we had so little time there. But the worst was yet to come.

At the Budapest airport, we met another couple at the airport. This couple had also been on a different Viking Danube River cruise. When a person goes on a cruise, that person expects to leave their personal items stored in their cabin until the end of their journey. The unfortunate couple we met had to pack up and offload their possessions not just once, but twice on their cruise, allegedly because the water in the Danube was too low to accommodate the riverboat. Instead, the couple and their possessions were bused to another location where they had to board another boat. Not just once but twice during their "vacation ". I pity that couple.

The worst part was yet to come. From Budapest we flew to Paris (DeGaul Airport). Again the flights were arranged by Viking. We arrived in Paris with nearly two and one half hours before the flight from Paris to Atlanta was due to leave. To get to the plane in Paris, we went to various terminals, took two bus rides (in the airport) climbed and descended various stairs and finally took an external stairway to the plane (not a jetway) with literally five minutes to spare before the plane closed its doors for takeoff. Then, the plane trip back to Atlanta was pure agony. The plane was overbooked with screaming infants and toddlers crying, running up and down the aisles and generally tormenting the passengers. This was truly the vacation from hell. Viking may advertise its false accolades on TV. As for me, I'll let every senior/retiree meeting I attend know to pass along word of mouth the agony of a Viking River Cruise or Viking Ocean Cruise Vacation.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent cruises, Stephen. It pains us to hear that certain aspects of your journey, such as the food and service, did not meet expectation. As your feedback is valuable to our growth as a company, we invite you to email us at TellUs@vrc.com with your booking information so that we may connect you with a Customer Relations Agent to learn more about your sailing. We look forward to hearing from you, Stephen, and wish you a lovely day.

17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 20, 2018

I booked my dream river cruise down the Nile in Egypt last February. I had to book almost three years out to get to spend New Year's on the river in Luxor. I also added the extension in Jordan. For this, I agreed to pay approximately $20,000. My flight was to leave Denver on December 27th. I received an email day before yesterday stating that my trip has been moved and now my flight will leave Denver on CHRISTMAS EVE and arrive in Cairo on CHRISTMAS. And they are sorry if this causes me any inconvenience.

The young people who answer the phone cannot change my cruise to one of the same value since my dream New Year's cruises are now unavailable. I spoke to three of them and each one just gives me an email address to send a complaint. No response as of yet. I feel so embarrassed for trusting this company. But I am grateful that I was able to see their true colors before I booked again. I was going to take a Mediterranean cruise with more availability a bit sooner because I was so excited. I feel sick now. When we read in the disclosures that they may need to be some flexibility in the dates, no reasonable person actually believes that they would deliberately change to schedule to force you to miss spending Christmas with your family. But they did. And they did it by email. My $20,000 wasn’t even worth a phone call.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you reaching out to us, DeAnn. It’s disappointing to hear that this modification of your itinerary dates may cause unwanted adjustments to your travel plans. We have arranged for a Customer Relations Agent to contact you to discuss your options of cancelling, re-booking or adjusting your cruise. We hope to find a favorable resolution for you, DeAnn, and wish you a lovely day.

15 people found this review helpful
Customer increased Rating by 4 stars!
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 19, 2018

Our Iconic Mediterranean Cruise taken two weeks ago was perfect, up until the last night. All week, a contest was run in the fine jewelry shop on the Viking Star. You were to come closest to the carat weight of a tanzanite necklace and would be the winner. You must be present that Friday night at 8:30 PM. I submitted several guesses which were written on slips of paper and put in a fishbowl. We had dinner at 7:30 and left the table to find out the results of the contest. There were approximately 50 passengers crowded in the shop. The representative touted the qualities of tanzanite and how rare a stone it was. Long and short, my suite number was announced and I was the winner. The stone was 4.93 carats; my guess was 4.91.

Before I walked up to the counter, I heard, "How many of you thought you were going to win the tanzanite necklace?" All hands went up. Voice continued, laughingly, "Well you are not. That isn't the prize." I was presented with a glass paperweight of a Viking ship instead, described as if it were the Hope Diamond. Not only was I humiliated, but embarrassed hearing from passengers that I was robbed of the necklace. Upon my return home, I contacted Viking Customer Relations in Woodland Hills to express my dismay. I was told that all Viking ships run that exact contest. A contest based on a lie of omission. I was sent a $400 voucher for my next cruise for my troubles. I refused it. Why would I want a $400 voucher when another cruise would cost me another $19,000?

I wanted my issue resolved. I also sent back the paperweight. I rightly should have won the necklace. Why guess a gemstone carat weight, when that is not even the prize? How about an M and M or gumball total? This practice is certainly not in line with the high caliber of Viking, but more of a sleazy pawnshop. I am extremely disappointed and will avoid travel with them ever again.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out to us, John. Our records indicate that you have been in recent contact with a member of our Customer Relations team, and that a resolution has been attained. However, should you wish to resume our conversation, we would be happy to hear from you at TellUs@VikingCruises.com and connect you to a Customer Relations Agent. Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

18 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 9, 2018

Nice crew, BAD room - Nobody told us that rooms in the rear of the ship would be sub par due to engine noise and vibrations. We paid the same as people in the front of the engines. I complained and was told, "Someone with Viking would get back to you," but a month later, no one called.

Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you reaching out to us, John, and regret to learn of this disappointing experience. While we’re sorry to hear that you have not been contacted about this matter, we invite you to reach out to us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Once we receive your correspondence through that outlet, we will connect you with a seasoned agent who will contact you and address your concerns. We hope to hear from you there. John, and wish you well.

16 people found this review helpful
Customer increased Rating by 4 stars!
Verified Reviewer
Resolution response: June 10, 2018

Viking Customer Relations later reviewed my complaint and has resolved my issue with their Air department to my satisfaction. Based on my experience, I would not hesitate to book travel with Viking in the future. Viking came through and was very responsive to my concerns, and worked with me to resolve my fare discrepancy. I very much look forward to my Homelands Ocean cruise in August. Thank you Viking!

Original review: June 8, 2018

I just booked a Viking Ocean Cruise, including Air. Viking significantly overcharges for Air, despite advertising a false $500 discount if you book roundtrip air directly from Viking. BUYER BEWARE!!! After I received my booked air itinerary of which you have no control of carrier choice, I checked with the airline directly and was quoted a much lower fare. Obviously, Viking is overcharging for Air at the time of booking. Customer service was not responsive when I called to complain and defended their overcharging policy, saying, "I should have known that at time of booking, I may be overcharged for booking air through Viking." I will never book a cruise with Viking again.

Viking River Cruises response

We're happy to see that your situation was resolved after speaking with our agents. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to restore your faith in traveling with us. We appreciate you taking the time to revise this review to reflect this amicable outcome, Catherine. Wishing you a lovely day.

9 people found this review helpful
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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.

Profile picture of Michelle Baran
Michelle Baran

River Cruises Contributing Editor

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Michelle Baran is a senior editor at Travel Weekly, where she has been reporting on the travel and river cruise industries since 2007. Baran has also written about river cruising for Travel + Leisure, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia and Budget Travel, and co-authored Frommer’s "EasyGuide to River Cruising.” She received her Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Viking River Cruises Company Information

Company Name:
Viking Cruises
Year Founded:
1997
Formerly Named:
Viking River Cruises
Address:
5700 Canoga Avenue
City:
Woodland Hills
State/Province:
CA
Postal Code:
91367
Country:
United States
Phone:
(877) 668-4546
Website:
www.vikingcruises.com
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