Viking River CruisesConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
They put TripInsurance on my bill even though I didn't want it. It costs twice as much as other providers. Called to cancel but they said it was too late. Ended up canceling the entire trip and challenged the charge. Very shady.
Thank you for reaching out to us, Claude. We regret to hear that a miscommunication in your booking process caused the unwanted trip insurance charges to be added to your account, and ultimately, the cancellation of your planned trip with us. Please contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com so we can review your case and connect you to a Customer Relations Agent to discuss your experience. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a lovely day.
Doing business with Viking is a hassle. With electronic transfers, it’s hell! Our travel agent said electronic transfers would save us 3.3%. Little did we know that would trigger many hours of hard work trying to calculate how much to authorize Viking to take out of our bank account. What Viking didn’t say is that when you authorize them to transfer $1,000 they only take $967 out of your bank (3.3% less than $1,000).
You’d think your new Guest Statement would show the payment and your new balance due would be $1,000 less than before. No such luck! Viking’s Guest Statements don’t tabulate payments or rebates or calculate a new balance due. The $967 bank transfer and a $33 rebate don’t show as credits. Instead someone at Viking types those numbers into a comment that shows in fine print near the bottom of page two. You can’t use the Guest Statement to pay from.
So after you authorize the $1,000, what is your new balance due? Get out your calculators and put on your thinking cap! You and your travel agent must figure it out. Our Travel Agent was very helpful, but they had to work overtime to understand it from Viking and then explain it to me. Keep in mind Viking transfers 96.7% of your payment amount electronically but internally they seem to treat it as though it were 100%. Makes you wonder what Viking is trying to hide?
MyVikingJourney.com for your account will help you say? There is a Purchase History page that lists your transactions chronologically. Don’t get your hopes up. It will say, “Only items booked on MyVikingJourney are displayed.” I wonder why Viking does these strange things which are obviously stressing many of their guests.
Viking Management: Please show rebates and payments as credits on your Guest Statements and included them in calculating a balance due. If for some reason you want the Travel Agent to do this work then give them some example worksheets and a paragraph or two of explanation so they’ll know how to prepare an understandable bill to the guest(s).
Viking Guests: Think about paying with a credit card. You lose the 3.3% rebate but you might gain some of it back with your card’s rewards program. Also, having a credit card company might prove helpful if you need to resolve disputes, overcharges, cancelations, etc. We went ahead and used e-checks. Now Viking has our money and we don’t have a credit card company to help resolve problems that might arise.
Thank you for reaching out to us, Allan. We regret to hear of the difficulties that you are experiencing while booking via e-check, and would appreciate the opportunity to further look into your case. Kindly, please contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com with your comments and booking information, to be connected with an agent who will be happy to assist you. We hope to hear from you soon, and wish you a lovely weekend.
My family and I just returned from a river cruise with Viking called Christmas in Germany. From the first 5 minutes of my cruise until the end, the Viking staff made this trip unforgettable. First off, due to a late train trip from France that I had booked, we boarded the ship at 10:30 at night. We were immediately greeted by staff at check in who handled our baggage, showed us to our rooms and told us to freshen up and meet in the lounge for a meal. Even though no one was in the lounge at the time, the chef was summoned to make us a delicious hot meal to welcome us to the ship. Wine and beer was served complimentary and our cruise was off to a fantastic start.
From there, each day was filled with top quality service, great food and unforgettable travel experiences. What I really appreciated about the cruise was the attention to detail. Travelers who booked this cruise were there for the Christmas experience and Viking really delivered on it. The ship was tastefully decorated in the Holiday theme and before Christmas day, all ports included close access to Christmas Markets for gift shopping. As with all Viking's cruises, a complimentary tour in each port was also included. And these tours were not cheesy 20 minutes walking tours of the city. One tour was an all-day excursion to Heidelberg Castle with an included lunch. Another was of a quaint town with breweries, cathedrals and castles. On Christmas day, there was a city tour by motor coach ending in a fabulous wine tasting in a castle cellar by candlelight - truly unforgettable.
Each of the days around Christmas, Viking would have little gifts waiting for us in our staterooms at night. This made the holiday so special. I also appreciated how they made an extra stop along the river on Christmas Eve for those who wanted to attend Mass. Viking really thought of everything to make this holiday so special for me and my family. I found Viking to be top notch, totally dialed into what their customers wanted, and ready to deliver. I had absolutely no complaints. With what the cruise line includes (unlimited wi-fi, tours in each port, wine and beer included with each meal, excellent concierge service, extras included), I found the trip to be a fantastic value and will certainly be traveling with Viking again.
Beware of Viking on two fronts. This is the second Viking Cruise that we book - this time to the Mediterranean. At the time of booking we told the agent that we didn’t want airfare or trip insurance. Both showed up on the bill - we called and the guy said “Don’t worry - you can remove both later”. When the final bill came, my wife paid it without going thru it in detail. When I realized that the trip had both airfare and insurance I called immediately (same day) and told them I had already previously declined both. The answer - “Oh trip insurance is non-refundable!” - Surprise!! Spoke to a Supervisor and got the same answer - explained exactly what the agent said upon booking and “They are looking into it”.
Secondly they agreed to refund the airfare but said it would take 21 days! Really? We paid by account transfer which is essentially immediately - but Viking requires 21 days to refund. Completely and utterly ridiculous. I won’t even go into the attitude I had to deal with on the call with the agent. I will admit that the Supervisor I spoke to was very professional even though she was carrying the company line. My wife and I cruise a lot - this kind of thing HAS NEVER happened to me on other lines perhaps because we have status on other cruise lines. So I feel this was an intentional bait and switch. And the trip is one year away.
We regret to hear of the difficulties that you are experiencing with your booking process, and hope for the opportunity to assuage your concerns before your voyage with us. To connect you with a seasoned Customer Relations Representative who can assist you, please contact us at TellUs@vrc.com with your booking information.
We thank you for reaching out to us; we appreciate the chance to address your comments directly. We look forward to hearing from you.Regards,
Viking changed our itinerary based on a State Department notice for a trip leaving in one week. The changes in the itinerary are unacceptable to us. The two ports that were changed were the whole reason for the trip. We would not have booked the cruise with this new itinerary. I contacted Viking. They told us basically that there was nothing they would do period. End of story. They show no sympathy and will not offer any type of refund. Although we have trip insurance all it will get only get us a voucher with Viking. Given their poor customer service we do not wish to stay with Viking Cruises. Please note to Viking, I understand there are safety concerns. However please do not reply with a form letter asking us to contact Viking since we already done this to no avail.
Given your frustration over the need to make changes to the itinerary for this sailing, we understand your disappointment and reluctance to contact us again. With that said, we do encourage you to reach out to us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com, where a seasoned agent can continue to have a conversation with you and discuss your specific needs. We hope to hear from you through that outlet, John, and look forward to continuing our dialogue with you.Kind regards,
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Viking modified our itinerary citing State Department warnings. However upon inspection of the state department website and request for reference Viking responded that it was not public information they were using and instead claimed that the US State department shares Information regarding US citizen's safety abroad that's not public knowledge. I'm all for safety if a credible source can be cited but this is bait and switch to screw customers and increase profits. What's more egregious is the insinuations the US government would withhold information from its public about credible threats to traveling abroad but share them with a private company.
Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to respond. While we understand your disappointment with the change to your upcoming journey, we want to assure you that the safety of our passengers remains our top priority.
If you haven’t already, please contact us at TellUs@vrc.com so that we may put you in touch with a seasoned member of our Customer Relations team to address your concerns. We hope to hear from you.Kind regards,
This is the first cruise (France) my husband and I have been on with this particular cruise company. We were pleased with the knowledge of the tour guides, but that was about it. We were not happy with the food (quantity, quality or restricted times offered). The last night of the cruise we were actually served stew meat. Unbelievable! I ended up losing 10 pounds on this 1 week cruise. Never again.
Also the employees on board were not extremely helpful or cordial. Also, totally dissatisfied with the insurance company for Viking. Prior to this last cruise, we had booked a separate cruise to Russia, but had to cancel. After a long delay, we just received in the mail two $100 vouchers to be used within the next 12 months to reimburse us for the $200 cancellation fee charged by the cruise line, in an otherwise "cancel for any reason" type of insurance policy -- not only did we lose the cost of the insurance, but an additional $200 cancellation fee charged the cruise line.
Thank you for providing feedback on your recent Viking experience. We are disappointed to learn that the food and service on your cruise fell below expectation.
To further discuss the details of your experience, please contact us at TellUs@vrc.com with your comments and booking information. We will be happy to connect you with a Customer Relations Agent to collect a comprehensive review of your cruise.
We hope to hear from you soon and wish you a lovely day.Best,
We recently returned from a 15 day Viking Ocean Cruise on the "Viking Star", "Trade Routes of the Middle Ages". This was our 2nd Viking experience. We opted to pay cash to receive the discount, however, we are sorry we did not use our credit card because they would be handling our current dispute. My husband and I arrived at the airport to leave the USA, only to learn that Viking cancelled our air reservations a month earlier without notifying us.
I printed the e-tickets off my Viking account about a week before departure. We arrived at airport to learn we had no tickets. After hours of aggravation and phone contact we were finally able to board the plane minutes prior to departure. Because of this Viking error I requested the Viking Rep to ensure that the return flight from Barcelona Spain was correct. She assured us that the return flight was properly scheduled. Viking also canceled our Oslo, Norway connecting flight without notice and this additional error caused us to waste 5 hours at the Oslo airport.
After a very mediocre cruise we were dropped off at the Barcelona airport to find that our return flight had also been cancelled without notice, notwithstanding, the erroneous assurances that our flight was proper. We were stranded. We do not speak the language, Viking did not provide any international information, we had no cell phone and we were left on our own in a very hostile Politically charged Country. Though our own truly agonizing efforts, with no help from Viking, we managed to secure a flight home.
The first flight errors were inexcusable. The Barcelona error remains unconscionable beyond words. To date our efforts to resolve this has been met with "used car salesman like tactics", with insubstantial offers of settlement and no formal apology. We have received polite lip service that such egregious errors have never happened before, but Viking has not translated the seriousness of this purported anomalous behavior to honest recompense. We took this cruise to celebrate the sucessful recovery of my husbands two major open heart surgeries...rather than a celebration, Viking provided a nightmare. Upon returning home, I wrote a detailed 18 page letter to Viking. We have also spent over 8 hours on the telephone with Viking Reps. I even prepared a timeline with attachments and sent it to Viking CEO and the Viking Executive team. All this has proven to be a waste of time.
Viking markets itself as a first class number one cruising company but that is misleading because they do not take responsibility for their own errors... WE ARE VICTIMS OF VIKING ERRORS. WE DID NOT RECEIVE THE PRODUCT WE PURCHASED. Please do your homework, protect yourself, VIKING IS NOT AN INEXPENSIVE TRIP... We are saddened by their caviler attitude towards our experience. WE do not recommend Viking Ocean Cruises.
Our records indicate you have been in contact with our Customer Relations agents in attempt to reach an amicable resolution. Should you wish to resume this conversation we invite you to contact us at TellUs@VikingCruises.com. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss any further matters and wish you the best.Warm regards,
I purchased travel insurance on trip mate through Viking River Cruises. The insurance said I could cancel for any reason. My husband was ill so I had to cancel. Two months later I have not heard from Trip Mate nor received a call back when I leave a message. I've had no serious help from Viking on this matter. What a scam operation.
While we're grateful for this opportunity to respond, we are sorry to hear of your husband’s illness and hope he has recovered.
We regret to learn of your disappointing experience with Trip Mate. In order to address your concern, please kindly send us your booking information to TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we may put you in touch with a seasoned Customer Relations Agent. We look forward to speaking, Jill, and wish you a pleasant holiday weekend.Kind regards,
We booked our third Viking Cruise to France for this past October 2017. We paid close to $15,000 for an extended trip (a pre-cruise trip to Paris and Burgundy, then the cruise, and finishing up three days in Nice). In addition, we spent almost another $2,000 for optional shore excursions. When I booked these, I asked if they could be cancelled as my husband might get tired and I was assured they could as long as we gave 72 hours notice before the excursion. Unfortunately, my husband became ill in Dijon and was rushed to the hospital with a medical issue. Later that evening, we told the tour director we could not continue the next morning with the group to Lyon as he had a follow up appointment with a specialist back at the hospital two days later. We contacted Viking in California as well to notify them that we would not be continuing and would not be boarding the boat. Travel insurance was purchased for another $1200.
I contacted Viking today to find out when I would be receiving a refund for the optional tours we did not take. I was told by Customer Service that these tours are non-refundable (not what I was told when I booked them). It was suggested maybe I could get a credit towards a future cruise. I asked to speak with a manager and was told there was none and I could write to the CEO. Very disappointing service. As a former corporate manager, I find it hard to believe there is no one to escalate this matter to, so legal recourse may have to be an option for me.
The only thing I can say positive about this experience was our tour guide called us regularly, even after he delivered the tour to the boat, to see how we were doing and if he could help us in any way. He even called us at home to make sure we arrived back OK. What a wonderful man. I even wrote a letter to Mr. Hagan, CEO to tell him about his employee. Too bad the company he works for doesn't provide the same quality customer support.
We’re sorry to hear about your recent experience while sailing with us, and hope your husband has fared well during his recovery from illness. Although we’ve previously discussed this matter with you, we invite you to contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com for a continued conversation on how we may better address your concerns. We look forward to speaking with you through that outlet, Patricia, and hope to talk soon.Kind regards,
Our return flight from an otherwise lovely river cruise and vacation, was THE TRIP FROM HELL. We would like to start this BY stating that WE PAID $ 1690 FOR PREMIUM ECONOMY ON ALL FLIGHTS. Here are the details of our horrible return flight! First: we were told late in our scheduling (we booked in February I recall), that we would be leaving at 6:10 am from Stockholm airport. That meant we needed to be at airport by 4:10 AM, which meant leaving the City of Stockholm by 3:10 am. We are two people in their 70’s (my husband is nearly 80!). It is no secret to Viking that many older couple take their Cruises, plus we filled many forms stating our ages. We tried to change the flights but were told it was too late. Therefore, to get to airport on time, WE STAYED UP THE ENTIRE NIGHT! Trying to sleep on hard benches in the Stockholm airport was no fun for this older couple!
When we got on the plane, we were shocked to find we were NOT IN PREMIUM SEATING. I understood there was a possibility that we could be separated on the flight, but we were not only SEPARATED, but also put in the MIDDLE OF THE THREE SEAT ROWS, and in the “SARDINE” COACH area. This was particularly stressful for both my husband and myself, because my husband has poor circulation in his legs and I am afraid of flying and needed the comfort of my husband close to me. Also, because we were in the back part of the plane it took much longer to disembark than had we been in PREMIUM FOR WHICH WE HAD PAID.
When we arrived in Paris, to change planes for Los Angeles, you can see we were allotted 1 HOUR AND 20 MINUTES to make the change. Surely, you or your staff would know what we would need to do to arrive on time for the next plane’s departure, but that was not evident in your itinerary for us. WE HAD TO GO THROUGH CUSTOMS, WHICH TOOK MORE THAN 45 MINUTES (no one wanted to help us!) after which we had to take a tram to get us to another part of the airport, and then a bus to take us to another part of the airport, after which we had to find our exact gate number which was at the end of the corridor! We were running the whole way, with my husband’s swollen legs/ankles, and my high blood pressure! Because, we were not the only people running like crazy, the flight was held for us… But the whole experience was AWFUL!
Because of the above, we are so turned off to VIKING RIVER CRUISES, even though before this last leg of our trip, we were definitely considering several other VIKING CRUISES. (The Cruise itself was wonderful, as was the food, and particularly all staff members, from the chef, desk personnel, and including the people who so cheerfully cleaned our rooms each day!) It’s a shame that we were treated so badly the end of the trip! Really sad. At the very least, we would like to get a partial refund of the monies we paid for the Premium Seating.
Because of the above, we are so turned off to VIKING RIVER CRUISES, even though before this last leg of our trip, we were definitely considering several other VIKING CRUISES. (The Cruise itself was wonderful, as was the food, and particularly all staff members, from the chef, desk personnel, and including the people who so cheerfully cleaned our rooms each day!) It’s a shame that we were treated so badly the end of the trip! Really sad. At the very least, we would like to get a partial refund of the monies we paid for the Premium Seating.
While we’re delighted to hear that your overall cruise experience with Viking was excellent, we regret to learn of the disappointing return flights that marred an otherwise wonderful trip.
To fully discuss this matter and further address your concerns, we invite you to reach out to us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com.
We look forward to hearing from you through that outlet, Joy, and once in receipt of your correspondence, will talk with you shortly.Kind regards,
Cruise affected by hurricane - We purchased our dream 50th anniversary cruise from Viking. Now three of our ports have been cancelled and they are still taking us to one that is in total devastation. They have changed our flights so that now it will take us 19 hours to get there with three stops. When they have had water issues on their river cruises they have given full refunds, which is what they should be doing now. This has turned into the trip from hell and I suggest no one should plan their dream trip with Viking!
While we’re sorry to hear of your disappointment, we appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. To get you in contact with a Viking Agent and to fully assess this matter, we invite you to contact us at Tellus@vikingcruises.com with your booking information. We look forward to hearing from you through that outlet, Linda, and hope to talk soon.Kind regards,
Keep in mind the risk you’re taking when you put down a hefty load of cash for a Viking River Cruise. You may not get the cruise and you may lose a lot of your cash. My friend and I put down $15,188 for the 15-day “Grand European Tour” that departed Amsterdam last July 1. Our tour ended with the flight from Baltimore to Toronto. A delay departing Baltimore caused us to miss the connecting flight to Amsterdam. The cruise left without us. Viking had not scheduled enough time to catch an international flight. Trip Mate, Viking’s “travel protection” insurer, has offered us, but not yet paid in full – three months later – its standard $3000 per person refund for trips “interrupted.” Also, we had paid Trip Mate $1,438 for “protection”, so the value of our refund was actually $4,562. It seems Trip Mate exists to protect Viking River Cruises.
Here are the details — which have been sent for review to Jason **, Senior Vice President, Viking River Cruises, and Brad **, CEO, Trip Mate Insurance Agency: United Airlines Flight 8131 was scheduled to depart Baltimore (BWI) at 6:20 p.m. 6/30/17 and arrive at Toronto (YYZ) at 7:42 p.m. The continuing flight to Amsterdam was scheduled to leave Toronto an hour and three minutes later, at 8:45 p.m. However, an airport bomb scare delayed Flight 8131’s departure for an hour and 18 minutes. Thus, by the time the Baltimore flight arrived in Toronto the Amsterdam flight was gone. There were no Viking or Trip Mate representatives in Toronto to assist stranded travelers. Trip Mate advised us by phone to take the next day’s Amsterdam flight and find a way to catch Viking’s cruise ship which, by then, would have embarked on its voyage.
“Finding a way” was no simple matter. The flight would put us in Amsterdam on the morning of July 2. We would have to spend $2,600 for airline tickets to an airport near Cologne where the ship would spend Day 3 of the cruise. Finding transportation from the airport to the ship before it departed Cologne at midnight was also our problem. We had already put considerable effort, expense and emotion into our “trip of a lifetime.” We threw in the towel and paid our own way back home.
We regret to hear of the unfortunate situation at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the events that prevented you from joining us in Amsterdam.
To address your concerns and assist with your insurance claim, we’ve arranged for a Customer Relations Agent to reach out to you within 24 hours.
Although TripMate is a third-party company, the feedback regarding your experience is important to us and we look forward to speaking with you.Sincerely,
This was our second river cruise with Viking. We chose this cruise because we do not enjoy packing and unpacking during our holiday. We were disappointed, therefore, to be told on the first night on the boat that our 7 day cruise was to be reduced to 5 days and the last two nights were to be spent in a hotel in Lyon. Others on the holiday had been sent a letter a few days before apologising and offering some compensation in the form of money off a future cruise but we had not been sent this letter. We had no option but to go along with this and enjoyed our five days on the boat with the usual good choice of food and service.
However our time in the Sofitel hotel in Lyon was a disaster. On both days we were given lunch in local restaurants - whilst the food was of a good standard it was a set menu with absolutely no choice - we were even refused tea as an alternative to coffee! In the hotel the food was again a set menu and was inedible and served in a cramped airless and windowless basement. I protested in the strongest possible terms to the Viking staff who merely shrugged their shoulders and advised me to complain on my return. They made no attempt whatsoever to address the problem on the spot.
When I lodged my complaint I did eventually succeed in getting compensation of £250 per person plus vouchers off future trips and after protracted correspondence a grudging acknowledgement that their staff had not handled things properly. However I did not feel at all confident that lessons had been learnt and would be reluctant to use this firm again.
As a past Viking guest, we sincerely regret to hear of the disappointment experienced with the Sofitel hotel in Lyon. While we’re delighted to hear you enjoyed the cruise, we appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. Although it sounds like we've discussed this matter and made a goodwill gesture, should you wish to discuss further, please contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. We wish you well, David, and hope to welcome you aboard again.Kind regards,
Longship - The cabin only had a view of any sort when the boat was moving! That is during the night. During the day it's in darkness against the pontoon! Beware of rooms 101, 103, 105 on the Rhine getaway and other trips.
While we regret to hear of your disappointment over the view from your stateroom, we appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. We invite you to contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com with your booking information, so that we may have a Viking Agent contact you directly. We wish you well, Karaticus, and hope to hear from you through that outlet.Kind regards,
We have just returned from our Viking Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest, with 2 additional days each in Amsterdam and Prague. We departed on September 5, 2017 and returned on the 25th. This trip was a 50th anniversary celebration. After reviewing various river cruise companies we chose Viking because of their fine reputation and ship size. In no way do we suggest that other companies do not meet the same standard but Viking was the one we chose. There were 186 passengers with a ship staff of 52. Most passengers are aged 45+ and the ships, excursions, and staff are designed for that age group. We used AAA as our travel agent and, as always, they did a great job in answering all of our questions and concerns.
From the first day to the last, this trip was nothing short of magnificent. From our arrival in Amsterdam to our departure from Prague the Viking staff was there to assist us and attend to our needs and comfort. Viking exudes attention to detail. At all stages of this trip our luggage was handled in an expeditious manner, whether from arriving at the airport, to the Hilton (Amsterdam), to the ship, to the Corinthia (Prague), to the airport. Not one problem. We could write a book on the ship and staff but, suffice to say, it could not fully describe this great experience. Nothing was overlooked. The staff could not do enough for each and every guest. Breakfast a morning joy. Lunch was a daily treat. Evening dinner was a delightful culinary experience. The staff kept the ship spotless.
Prior to dinner, we enjoyed time in the lounge. Just about any beverage you would ask for was available (suggestion - purchase the drink package). In addition, there was always some special treat being served. Every evening there was a briefing on the next day's activities, that evening's dinner choices, and post-dinner activities. There were a number of interesting programs and lectures which were offered to the guests. Excursions: many are included and many are at additional cost. We did both and were completely satisfied with Viking’s professional guides. Lots of walking so wear comfortable shoes. Important – the tours are designed from easy to somewhat strenuous so read the tour descriptions carefully. Weather – nature is in charge. This may sound minor, but Viking supplies great umbrellas.
Clothing – We made the error of bringing way too much. We discovered that 95% of the men and women wore jeans or other comfortable garb. There were no formal evenings. We would recommend that anyone considering any travel get Travel Insurance. Make sure to read all the travel documentation and get clarification on what you do not completely understand. This is a contract. Finally, repeat all the above.
I recently received a mailer offering a 2 for 1 Viking Cruise if booked by September 30 for departure dates in May/June of 2018. We were interested in a couple of different options and decided to take the Danube Waltz in June. I was informed by Viking that the cost would be $3349. I assumed that was the full price. Half would have been $1675. When I verified the cost per person, I was told that no, it was $3349 per person for May and June and that was the half price. I was also informed that July departure dates were $3149 (not on sale). I told them that was $6698 per person was outrageous (given that 'regular' price was less than half already) and that we were not interested. I checked further and all other departures, NOT on sale, were typically starting in the $3400 range. This trip is an 8 day cruise. Comparable fares on other river boats are about $2200.
My husband and I booked the Viking River Cruise Grand European Cruise in Sept. 2017. The trip started 26 August 2017. That left an entire year to do research and look up reviews of the cruise. The number of negative reviews on this website left me concerned. I was terrified we had invested so much money and were going to be disappointed.
I can now report that the Viking River Cruise was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Near the end of the cruise a fellow shipmate asked me what I would have liked to be different about the trip and I couldn't think of one thing negative. We started our trip in Amsterdam and traveled to Budapest. Every port was interesting and fun. I thought I would be bored on the tours because 1) I don't like to travel in a pack and 2) I don't find historical data overly interesting. Boy, was I wrong. Thanks to the listening devices provided by the ship we didn't need to be too close to the tour group so I had plenty of breathing room.
The tour guides were so interested in the information they were sharing and very entertaining to listen to. Getting to learn something about each location was much better than touring it alone. After the guided tour, there was ample time to roam the city on our own if we wanted. There were always multiple opportunities to return to the ship so you could go back if you wanted. I was concerned about getting lost but there were maps provided for each city and the program director came along and roamed around to make sure no one got lost. The ship also handed out cards with the ship location so if you wanted to take a cab you could.
As for the ship itself it is beautiful (as you can see in the virtual tour). We opted for a suite, which was really nice, but I think to save money the next time I would get a room with a balcony. Some people said they didn't need a balcony but I liked the opportunity to be away from the other people on the ship. The suite had the added bonus of courtesy laundry services which was really nice. The weather forecast said it would be chilly (around 70F) but it was generally 85F and sunny so rewearing clothes was a challenge.
Our bed was comfortable and the bathroom was spacious. I read somewhere that they used to use L'Occitane products but now they provide Freyja. Probably a smart move for Viking because the Freyja products were pretty much scentless so I felt no need to acquire more product than I was provided. :) That being said the containers were large and replaced up to twice a day as needed. They clean your room twice a day which is really nice.
The staff on our ship was amazing. Our program director was Kane and I'm sure in a different life he was an actor because he was so entertaining and fun to listen to. Each night there is a port talk to review the next day's tour and Kane really got us pumped for the next day's adventure. Our waiter (Daniel), server (Tri), cabin steward (Ruby) and hotel manager (Ditmar) were all fantastic. We even got to know (and love) the chef, Jacob.
Speaking of food, the food on the ship is great! Every meal is something different and I was never disappointed. Viking always made sure meals were available around the day's activities and you never had to buy food off the boat if you didn't want to. It's odd being on a cruise where food isn't available 24/7 but I appreciated not coming home with a weight gain.
When we signed up for the cruise I was concerned about that fact that you can't sit at a table for two in the dining room. I am 48 so I was considerably younger than most of the people on the ship and wasn't sure how much I'd have in common with people. In retrospect, I am so glad I was forced into a situation where I had to be social because we made some amazing friends. As we sat at a table for six we even planned our next vacation together as a group (#Tuscany2020). The age difference made no difference and most everyone on the boat was super nice and really interesting.
My husband and I were also torn about whether to purchase the Silver Spirits package. For the two weeks it cost $600. A friend who had taken the cruise told us to skip it and she was right. First let me say that although we are not alcoholics we do drink regularly and drank even more while on vacation. All meals are served with wine and that wine varies daily and by location so it never got boring. Each night before dinner we went to the bar where my husband had two top shelf drinks and I had one. On occasion we went back to the bar at night. Despite our best efforts we ended up with a $400 bar tab at the end of the two weeks. Additionally the beer in Europe is fantastic and really inexpensive so that was an option as well. We did meet a couple who were trying to get their $600 worth but I know if we had purchased that package I would have felt the need to get my monies worth and would have spent the entire cruise hung over.
I read some people complaining about the view from the ship. Although it is true that you are not cruising scenic countryside 24/7 for the entire cruise, the majority of the time the countryside is beautiful. Some views are more amazing than others and occasionally you could spot an unexpected castle. The vineyards were lovely and I really enjoyed the swans in the river. I live in Florida and our river does not have swans. One day we even spotted small horses at the water's edge. I never got tired of sitting at a window.
I do regret is that I didn't plan to tip more. Viking provides a tip guideline so we brought enough euros to cover that (you can also use your credit card). Once you start interfacing with the same staff members daily you feel like you want to tip them more. I did some extra tipping but I regret not tipping more people extra. Next time I'll plan cash for the extra tips and use a credit card for the general tips.
I think that covers all the things I was concerned about when booking the cruise. One last note is that we booked our flight with Viking Air. We did not purchase travel insurance. The day before we were scheduled to come home our flight to Orlando was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. Because we did not want to be stuck in an airport for days we opted to extend our stay in Budapest and get a hotel for three days. The night we checked in we learned (through a phone call from Viking) that they had re-booked our flight into Washington and booked us a hotel until we could get home.
At the same time our second flight was also cancelled. Due to a timezone difference, and the confusion of the storm the message from Viking about us being rebooked did not get to us before we left the ship. When they called they offered to fly us to Washington the next day but since we had already paid for our hotel in Budapest we opted to stay at which point Viking booked us a new flight home. Upon our return I reached out to Viking regarding the cost of the hotel. Not only are they reimbursing us for the hotel but they are also reimbursing us for the Marriott points we used to offset the cost of the room.
So in conclusion if you are considering a Viking River cruise I encourage you to take it. It was two glorious weeks of having someone else do all the planning so you can just have fun. I have been trying to figure out how we can afford to take another one since the moment I returned to the United States. I literally have no complaints which is pretty amazing considering the cost of the cruise.
We have been cruisers for over 2 decades. For our 30th wedding anniversary, we decided to splurge and book a 12 night Cities of Light cruise. 2 days before we were to leave for Paris, my husband had unexpected heart surgery. The doctors didn't want him to travel for a month. My travel agent called and emailed the cruise line to determine what options we had. Viking CANCELLED the cruise without our authorization!! They then put the room up for sell and probably sold it for all we know. I have emails that prove we didn't give express authorization to cancel our trip. Now we are out $14,000.00!
After calling several times and getting nowhere, I asked to be directed to someone to whom I could appeal their decision. The representative was very hesitant to give me someone else to talk with. Finally, she did but repeatedly asked me why we didn't buy insurance. That wasn't the point. The point was they CANCELLED my reservation. The next representative said that the best he could do was to give me a 25% discount on my next cruise but I would have to probably sign a "release" form. Viking CANCELLED my reservation and didn't give me my money back. They had no right to do that!! And then turn around and kept my $14,000.00 and probably sold my suite to someone else. That is just WRONG!! Never book with this cruise line!! I am not done with this battle but wanted all consumers to know how bad we were treated.
Over the last 5 years we have taken three Viking cruises, which includes a 15 day river cruise, a 15 day ocean cruise and a 15 day land/river trip. There are several good reasons to use Viking, but a few things you need to be aware of which turned out to be major disappointments for us include: You better read ALL your information very carefully before booking. What your travel agent or even a Viking booking agent tells you may not be true! Their internal communications is quite suspect. What Viking sends/emails you in your booking information is what you are getting, which may differ from what you thought and/or were told by Viking or your travel agent about your trip.
We booked an 11 port Viking Ocean Cruise, which was confirmed as 11 port stops by both (various) Viking booking agents as well as our travel agent. After we booked it, we stumbled across the fact that it was actually only 7 port stops. This represented 4 less port stops, an over 27% reduction in ports we thought we were going to see. After we stumbled across this very disturbing news, I continued to call Viking booking agents to see what they would tell me about how many port stops that particular cruise would have. ALL continued to tell me there were those 11 ports (not the actual 7).
After very long frustrating talks over a long period of time, Viking told me they could refund my money, which was not an option for us because of what we wanted to do for that special trip we had already booked. After many hours over many weeks of conversations, they finally told me they would review this again after we completed our cruise for some compensation. They told me front end that they would NOT issue any cash refund, but would (ONLY) give us a credit on a future Viking booking.
This was very frustrating. Many people would not want to ever book with them again, but this is the only way they would compensate us, which resulted in our 3rd booking (so we could use their credit). You think of Viking as a very high quality company that would put a huge emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. They were extremely frustrating to deal with. Be aware.
After careful consideration of many options for our annual vacation we have decided to book a river cruise thru Costco Travel. Our trip to Italy in 2014, booked thru Costco was amazing. On February 24th, 2017 we called to book a cruise on Uniworld cruise line. However a Costco agent Trish ** recommended that instead Uniworld we should go on a Viking River Cruise. We accepted her recommendation.
Having a number of physical limitation (hip and knee problems as well as rheumatoid arthritis) we were very careful in choosing excursions and activities. After spending close to $9,000.00 plus another $2,500.00 in additional upgrades and expenses we were ready to be pampered and entertained by beautiful scenery to be enjoyed from our veranda on the 3rd deck as we sail thru Europe.
Exactly 24 hours before our trip we received an e-mail from Viking to let us know that the Danube water levels were low and instead of embarkation in Nuremberg it will happen in Regensburg, about 70 miles southeast of Nuremberg. We were to meet at a welcome center, have lunch and be transported to Regensburg by a motorcoach.
Because of our physical limitations I was concerned with traveling on a bus after long flight. I called Viking to find out if this was the only change in itinerary or was their possibility of extended bus travel. I was told by their customer service person that he did not have any additional information. We were considering canceling the trip because of the fear of extensive bus travel thru Europe instead of comfort of the ship travel.I called Costco travel after that and was told that this was the only change in the itinerary. Costco travel agent told me at the time of my call that we will be staying at the Le Meridien Grand Hotel for the night and leave for Regensburg the next morning. The next day, June 23rd, 2017, while already at the Miami Airport we have received second e-mail from Viking informing us that the embarkation will take place in Passau which is 140 miles from Nuremberg.
The shore excursions will operate by motor coach from Passau. My fears were mounding.
Our total travel time to Nuremberg from Miami was 19 hours. There was no welcome center in the hotel. There was no lunch. We were not staying at the Le Meridien Grand Hotel overnight. We were herded to the bus and driven for about 3 hours to Passau. No food or bathroom stops. We arrived at the ship that was docked outside of town at what it looked like waste management facility. Please, see the pictures.
We had dinner, which I hardly remember because I was too exhausted from travel. That took care of the first day of this "lavish" vacation. The next morning, around 8 am, (2 am Miami time ) the loud speakers exploded with sound of a women's voice telling us to report at the desk for our 2-3 hour bus trip back to Nuremberg. Really? My body was still hurting from the day before. We could not endure a total of about 6 hours on the bus again. We did not go. Instead, I got showered and dressed and decided to have a nice breakfast. Only to find out that the staff was closing the restaurant at 9:30 am so my only option were some slices of over processed ham, dried up cheese and stale bread, called a "continental" breakfast. After making a scene and getting a manager involved I was given a plate of cold eggs and bacon.
We stayed on the ship. We could not experience Nuremberg. A total loss of 2 days of our European exploration. After dinner, on Sunday, Ms. Debra **, the Program Director, announced that the next day everyone must leave on the bus for Regensburg shortly after 8 am. We did not plan on an early excursion. We planned and paid for a Weltenburg Abbey & The Danube Narrows trip that was scheduled for 2 pm.
I asked Ms.** about that and I my question was abruptly dismissed in front of all guests. I was told that we must get on the bus in the morning if we want to go on our chosen excursion. We were disappointed but did not want to lose attractions of the third day in a row. The next morning, Monday, I approached Ms. ** in front of the bus full of guests. As I started asking her a question she looked at me and said "I have no time for your nonsense". Then she opened her hand, put it on my back and pushed me into the door of that bus!!! I felt violated, embarrassed, manhandled and totally disrespected!
Not wanting to make a scene and ruin everybody else trip, I went on the bus. After we came back I complained about the incident with Ms.** to Jurgen (?) the hotel Manager. The next day Jurgen asked me if I would accept an apology from Ms. ** and let the whole thing go. I told him that I would accept apology for the words, but, because of her pushing me I will make an official complaint to Costco and Viking. No one deserves to be treated like that.
Two days later Ms. ** approached me and asked if I would accept her apology and I told her the same thing. This was supposed to be a luxurious trip that would allow us to rest, relax and enjoy the scenery and amenities. About the scenery. We were docked at that waste management place for 4 days of our 7 day trip. Totally not what we paid for. Totally not acceptable. Just, please, take a look at the pictures.
They represent the view from the Aquavit Terrace and from our stateroom. The restaurant windows were about one foot from a concrete wall. I did not need the binoculars that Viking advertising suggested I bring. I am upset with this whole bad experience. We have only so many vacations that we can take and enjoy. This was a waste of time, opportunity and a lot of hard earned money.
We purchased ticket from Viking. Husband fell and couldn't go. Sister purchased another ticket. We bought insurance from insurance company they had on their site. Feel that either Viking - because they were paid for 3 trips and only 2 taken - or Tripmate. Filled out all paperwork and submitted twice but denied refund even with doctor's note.
Viking River Cruise Rhine Getaway - We booked this cruise for our 45th wedding anniversary. When we booked they said that they would have a gift basket of a champagne bottle and chocolates in our room on that day. Which never arrived as promised. So I went down to reception at 5pm and inquired and he said that he had to check on the computer and then confirmed that the complimentary request was there and forgot to deliver at 10am. Promised that they would send it by 6pm. Still nothing so at 7pm I went back again and asked why it wasn't still there then he said the cleaning crew was supposed to deliver it by 6pm.
Nothing came so after dinner I complained again at 9:30pm and all they did was point the finger at everyone. So I said it was not the gift that mattered but the principle. If they promised something they should acknowledge and deliver. Giving people false hope especially when we are seniors and look forward to these trips that take over 8 years to save.
Finally when the bottle of champagne arrived it was 11:30pm. We were already in bed asleep. I was very disappointed that they charge so much money and never keep their promises. And also they forgot the chocolates. They sent a very small box of chocolates the next day through the cleaning girl with a little note saying they were sorry. None of the managers had the decency to come up to us and actually apologize. I wouldn't recommend Viking for anyone. For all the money they charge there is no good service. Food was ok. Rooms were too compact. Nothing else to do on the ship when it is sailing. But just sit around and kill time. Boring as hell. They don't have a gym or a swimming pool or a sauna/spa. Nothing. It was boring and I wouldn't recommend anyone going on those cruises if you are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. Don't waste your money. Take a nice Holland or Celebrity ocean cruise for half the price.
Viking strives to be excellent, for the most part they met expectations. However one wing of the second deck were without indoor plumbing for 1/4 of the cruise!!! I couldn't believe it!! You get the picture, throw your jammies on in the middle of the night and hope the hall bathroom is available or there is going to be a huge problem, I am an old guy so this happened several times a night!! Not my idea of the deluxe cruise we paid for. I felt that's ok, we will be compensated upon our return, WRONG!! I got the "better luck next time, here is a coupon to use on your next cruise with us" blow off!! WRONG!! Fool me twice, shame on me. So - you might get lucky, if not Viking does not take steps to make things right. Buyer BEWARE.
We just completed our Viking Homelands Cruise with Viking and have previously done the Istanbul to Venice Ocean cruise and the Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise with them. All three cruises were OUTSTANDING in every respect. Every point of contact with Viking was professional, timely and accurate. The ships and river boat are engineering marvels and it seems that nothing was not considered in creating a comfortable and accommodating environment.
And then there was the food! Outstanding at every meal and room service, the choices were staggering and the quality was equal to any restaurant we normally choose. The included excursions were all designed to give us an overview of the particular port or country and the optional excursions allowed us to focus on our individual interests. On-board WiFi was excellent and the unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks at meals was very nice! The staff could not have been nicer and our overall experience was so good that we have already booked three more cruises (Duro River in Portugal, Southern Mediterranean Discovery Cruise and Alaska Cruise) for 2018 and 2019! We have decided that Viking is for us for all future cruises! We love Viking and think you will too!
Our dealings with Viking prior to the cruise has been frustrating. We have not been told the truth or have been misled about booking our air travel. We paid extra to chose our flights and our airlines and they put us on Canada Rouge, an airline rated more poorly than any we've seen. They also told us we were on the same flight with the family members also traveling with us, and we are on different flight. We have not been ale to get the same answer from any of the agents and cannot find a manager or supervisor. I can't bear to hear the Viking Cruise advertisements on PBS right now.
My husband and I went on a Mediterranean cruise (March 2017) and while the cruise was great, we were extremely dissatisfied with our cabin. We purchased the Explorer's Suite which was bigger than others but the noise on the upper deck was irritating. The crews were moving chairs/tables on the upper deck so early in the morning (4:30 am) while we were still trying to sleep. I brought it up to housekeeping and the noise subsided the following day. Two days after, the noise started again at 5:30 am. The noise continued in the afternoon while we were trying to take a nap after our shore excursion. We took this cruise to have a nice relaxing vacation but that was not the case. We were not told that the suite we purchased was subject to noise from the upper deck. We would have been more relaxed if we had purchased the lower deck cabin. For the price you would pay for an Explorer's Suite, save your money and get a cabin in the lower deck.
Then one morning while getting ready to go on our shore excursion, a worker came to our balcony out of nowhere to do his routine cleaning. There was no notice given. Our drapes were wide open and felt we were not given the privacy we deserved. I thought we were violated. I reported this incident to the Explorer's desk and all they could say was sorry. This is the last time we would take a cruise with Viking. We were impressed with the cruise we took in 2016 so we decided to take another cruise with Viking. I would tell my friends to consider other cruise ships than Viking.
I just returned a few days ago from the Paris and Normandy cruise. Due to severe weather in Atlanta, I had last minute flight/airline changes. Long story short, I arrived in Paris CDG airport and my luggage was not there. I filed a lost bag report with baggage claim and was then transported to the Viking ship. The Viking staff made copies of my lost/delayed baggage claim and said they would handle all the arrangements to get my luggage delivered to the ship and assured me that they have this occur all of the time.
I went the entire 8 days with never receiving my luggage; my luggage sat in CDG airport in the luggage lost and found department for the entire duration of my vacation. I was told by the Viking staff that the cruise ship was too far away from CDG airport to have my luggage delivered. A quick Google search will tell you that Paris to Normandy, which was the farthest distance away from Paris we traveled which was on day 5 out of 8 on the trip, is 137 miles. Other passengers received their delayed luggage on day 5 of the trip and I could not be given a reason other then the ship was too far away for delivery.
It wasn't until 2 1/2 days into my trip that another passenger told me that when her luggage was delayed in arriving the Viking staff told her the ship would do her laundry for free until her luggage arrived. No one from Viking - including the program director Ken - ever told me this despite them all being aware of my situation. Until that point I was washing my clothes in the shower each night and drying them with a hairdryer.
It wasn't until three days into travel that we reached a town large enough to have clothing stores that I could buy another outfit to wear (I did not reach the ship until after 7:15 pm the first night and the stores by the ship were all closed; the first day in Paris was essentially a motor coach tour that didn't allow an opportunity to purchase clothing and I was still optimistic that I would be getting my luggage that day which is what the Viking staff originally told me). Then when I did send my clothing to be laundered they lost my undergarments which took 24 hours for them to locate. Viking does not provide you with any toiletries other than the shampoo/conditioner/soap in the room. There was no toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
I was told by Viking that I would have to pick up my luggage in the lost and found department when I went back to CDG for my departure flight home. I asked no less than 6 times the front desk staff AND the program director of the cruise if I needed to leave for the airport earlier than the already scheduled 3 hour pre-flight departure time. I was told no. I spent one hour in the luggage lost and found.
When I went to the kiosk to check in for my departure flight it said I had no reservation in the system. I then went to the agent at the counter. I showed him the booking confirmation paperwork as well as the seat assignment upgrade I paid for on the flight. He continued to search the computer and kept telling me I did not have a reservation on the flight. He made multiple phone calls to his supervisor and eventually my reservation was found but under a different booking number, as Viking air travel department (which I had to pay for that "luxury") had somehow created multiple booking numbers for me. Of note, there were 6 other cruise passengers on my same flight home and 2 of them had the same issue happen with them when they went to get their boarding passes.
My husband and I booked an Anniversary cruise to the Baltics on Viking Ocean Cruises for this coming August 2017. We read reviews which lead us to believe that the Ocean business was better than the River business. We deliberated and decided to book the cruise. We also had Gabrielle as the booking agent. Her information regarding costs plus insurance was incorrectly entered into the system as the insurance was never added to the total confirmed to us as the final charge. Repeated calls to Gabrielle led us only to her voicemail and we elected to push 0 and get the Customer Service Dept. Viking Cruises and Customer Service have never met! EVER!
We called to get instructions to send our balance due to Viking. We were transferred to "Customer Service" ** to get the instructions to transfer the correct funds the balance of funds for our cruise and travel insurance. The gentleman gave us all bank transfer information and additional information on how to make sure that our travel insurance was part of the money transferred.
The funds were transferred as directed. When, after two days, we had not received documentation of the transfer and balance from Viking, we called Gabrielle again. We were directed to her voicemail and, again dialed "0". The lady who took our call at first only told us that our initial deposit was recorded. When I incredulously inquired as to our $10,000 plus money transfer, she finally located it but told us we still owed more money and that it didn't include the cost of insurance. Now remember, we had been told by two agents of this company that the total amount included insurance and that our money transfer reduced the cruise amount by 3.3%. At that point she consulted a Supervisor.
Customer Service Supervisor Nicholas offered very little assistance as "Viking's" person on the front line. He admitted that we had received wrong information from his staff and that we had been given bad information and also admitted that the fact that we had not received an acknowledgment of monetary funds transferred was not good. However, his only answer was to give us a shipboard credit for less than what we would have to pay them for THEIR mistake!
We decided to cancel the cruise as there were too many red flags in our way. Nicholas did waive our $200 cancellation fee. Bottom line: never again will we think of booking with Viking. We take 2 to 3 Cruises per year. We spend at least three months a year traveling the world. We thought we would give Viking a try. Big Mistake!!!
My sister booked a cruise for us in Nov. 2016, traveling July 2017. One of the options was to pay extra for Air Plus. We assumed, prior to that, that the prepaid flight cost was for a ticket that Viking would book FOR us, and the Air Plus was if I wanted to request specific seating on the plane. That was what I was told. When I called Viking Air Plus, they asked me what airline I wanted to fly on. I said, I thought they had booked me a flight. I asked what the Air Plus fee was for. They said to be assigned a preferred seat, and a preferred airline, so I wouldn't have to fly on an airline I didn't want to.
Then they informed me, the only airline I could fly on was the one airline I had said I didn't want to fly on. They were also not able to guarantee me preferred seating. I asked what the extra fee was for then. They said to request an airline and preferred seating. I said, "What happens to people who don't pay for Air Plus,?" and, they said "They get their flights booked, but don't get to talk to a person at Air Plus personally. They can contact their assigned airline and asked for seat assignments." I said, "Isn't that what I'm doing, but it's costing me?" They said, "Yeah, I guess" and laughed. Also, we believed the cruise included all the tours at all the stops. We had to pay extra. We haven't even left yet, and they are getting one star from me. I hope we don't encounter any more "misunderstanding" related to the services they promised.
Viking River 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.
River Cruises Contributing Editor
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 River Cruises
- Year Founded:
- 5700 Canoga Avenue
- Woodland Hills
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (855) 707-4837