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Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises
Overall Satisfaction Rating
2.82/5
  • 5 stars
    64
  • 4 stars
    63
  • 3 stars
    36
  • 2 stars
    36
  • 1 stars
    158
Based on 357 ratings submitted in the last year
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Viking River Cruises

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HISTORY

In 1997, Viking was founded in Russia. Through rapid expansion, the company has grown to be a leader in both river and small ship ocean cruising, with US headquarters in Los Angeles, California, and operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Today, Viking operates more than 70 state-of-the-art river ships and an award-winning ocean fleet, providing destination-focused, culturally enriching itineraries designed for travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history.

RIVER CRUISES

On Europe’s rivers, the award-winning Viking Longships offer a variety of staterooms, including true (two-room) suites, along with a restaurant, a bar and lounge, a library, an expansive sun deck and al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace.

Ranging from 8 to 23 days, river itineraries feature Europe’s Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, Rhône, Douro, Moselle, Elbe, Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde; Russia’s Volga, Neva and Svir; Ukraine’s Dnieper; Egypt’s Nile; China’s Yangtze; and Southeast Asia’s Mekong.

OCEAN CRUISES

In 2015, Viking introduced its first 930-guest ocean ship. Over the next three years, the fleet grew to five sister ships. The sixth, Viking Jupiter, joins them in 2019 with four more yet-to-be-named ships scheduled to launch by 2023. Each boasts a private veranda in every stateroom, a choice of restaurants, the most al fresco dining at sea, an infinity pool, a Nordic-inspired spa, thoughtfully curated book collections throughout the ship and more.

Designed to maximize the amount of time travelers spend in their destination, ocean itineraries include base and combination cruises sailing to Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Alaska, the Americas and Africa.

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Viking River Cruises
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304 Viking River Cruises Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 30, 2019

My friend (platonic - I only note this because we don't live together and are not joined at the hip with every move being monitored by the other) and I took the Rhine river cruise last year with Viking. As first-time cruisers, she and I were pleased. So much so that we booked the Danube cruise leaving in a few days. It is SO frustrating to try and get Viking to send ALL correspondence to BOTH of us at separate email addresses. How hard can that be???? Obviously, for them, it's impossible. GRRRR! A note to Viking... get your act together! As for the actual cruise, they may get a better rating.

Viking River Cruises response

While we’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed our past voyage together, Alice, we regret to learn of your recent disappointment. To continue this conversation and further discuss your concerns, we welcome you to reach out to us directly with your booking details. We look forward to speaking with you, and are excited to be joining you on another memorable sailing.

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 27, 2019

We are a return customer with Viking and have been very pleased in the past. For our most recent trip, that we booked on June 24, 2018 for a departure date of October 29, 2019, we sadly had to cancel on November 11, 2018. In addition to our trip deposit which cost $926.15 we purchased travel insurance as recommended by Viking (the Viking Agent said we would not be able to purchase the insurance at a later date), at a cost of $1,238. Viking reimbursed us $726.15 minus $100 per person for cancellation charges.

We also wanted to recover our insurance costs We were told by Viking that we had to file a claim for the insurance money. TripMate (Viking's insurance co) refused to reimburse us and would only reimburse us $200, Viking's cancellation fee. This seems very unfair. A better customer service approach would at a minimum provide a depreciation schedule for reimbursements as is done for the reimbursement of the trip deposit. Furthermore, we did not receive the TripMate document until after we booked and then we find out that TripMate's Plan document states that you may cancel this plan by giving written notice to Viking within the first to occur of the following (a) 14 days from the effective date of your insurance or (b) your schedule departure date.

Based on TripMate's position it seems the insurance coverage is more a scam/ransom and with the two ridiculous dates for cancelling it does not provide any level of quality customer service when it comes to addressing a customers need to cancel or provide any sensible reimbursement scheme. Why should we be paying insurance for a trip that we were not taking? This treatment will carry considerable weight in our decision for selecting Viking for our next trip unless you can intervene and provide a better reimbursement to us.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate the opportunity presented here to address your concerns, Thomas, and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Should you be interested in continuing this conversation and further discussing your experience, we welcome you to reach out to us directly with your booking details. We look forward to speaking with you, Thomas, and thank you for reaching out.

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 27, 2019

Took our first trip on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube and had a great time. Viking's included and optional tours were wonderful and having their own tour buses was a real plus as all were well maintained and clean. Some of the best tour guides we have ever encountered. Service was superb and the food was very good. One member of our party became quite ill and the staff did an excellent job ensuring their safety and providing assistance even after the cruise ended as they had to stay on at our last stop before being able to travel home. Cabins were very nice and clean. Would highly recommend them to anyone and we plan on another trip in the near future.

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 24, 2019

This would be a five star rating but was disappointed in that Viking essentially required us to pay a certain amount in gratuity either before our trip (did not allow us to put in our own figure) or after the trip when we checked out. Ugh.

20 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 12, 2019

We went on this cruise, after hearing how great Viking was. Boy were we disappointed. First the good things, the boat was clean, new and well decorated. The cabins were the same and they probably had the biggest bathroom that we have ever encountered. The Italian specialty restaurant had the best food on the boat. All the staff that we meet, from the bartenders to the room steward were professional, helpful and friendly.

Now the bad. I have always wanted to visit Cuba, it's on my bucket list so we decided to try Viking due to its itinerary and excursions. We signed up for the one on one salsa class, well it was 12 fellow cruisers to one Spanish speaking instructor. It was described as an air-conditioned studio, well it was an outside patio of a bar. On the ride over all the guide talked about was about the rich people that used to live here and how the revolution has helped the people. I went for the culture not a political rally.

Second we signed on for the catamaran tour. It was a double decker boat with plastic chairs. We were also signed up for the "kitchen table." This is where we were going to shop on the island with the chef prepare the meal and have dinner. It was canceled, we found out later that it had been canceled since they went to Cuba. The meals in the main dining room were disappointing, they seems to not have enough staff and for the few meals we ate there. We were always asking for something.

This is the first time we had to eat most dinners at the buffet. I know most people do but we are foodies and actually relayed our opinion to the head chef. But the kicker was the captain decided not to go to the second port due to bad weather. We went back to our room and got on the internet and found out that this was not true. The staff told us that they have not visited that port in the last 3 cruises. We were not the only disappointed travelers, that's all people talked about at happy hour and all the next sea day.

When we got back home we had an email offering that Viking would give a voucher for 500 dollars for a next cruise. I call Viking customer service, discussed my concerns and the fact that I consider this to be false advertising. I was put on hold. They came back with 750 each, I refused and asked for ALL my money back. Again I was placed on hold and this time I was offered 250 dollar cash if I signed a non-disclosure form, I refused. I stated that why would I go on another cruise when I was lied to so many times. I explained that we cruised a lot and if we were told the truth about Cuba we would have picked another itinerary. Nothing, so I hung up. My job now is to spread the word about Viking cruises and how they treat people.

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Viking River Cruises response

We're in receipt of your disappointment, Gregg, and appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. While our records indicate you've been in recent contact with a member of our Customer Relations team, we regret to learn an agreeable resolution could not be attained. Should you wish to resume the conversation, we welcome you to reach out to the agent handling your case. Sending our best wishes to you going forward.

33 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 10, 2019

We were told that’s Viking River Cruises are top of the line luxury. We were very disappointed in our 10 day cruise from San Juan to West Indies this past Feb March. The food was inedible... Cold, dried out, unseasoned and inferior in quality. The carpeting was dirty and had an odor. The towels were scratchy. We paid extra for a deluxe veranda stateroom, and it was small with no room for storing clothes and luggage. The onboard amenities were a joke. The pool in my backyard is bigger. The entertainment was boring and catered to very the elderly guests (the majority). We’ve cruised on other lines for half the money and we're more satisfied. Viking sure sells the product with their glossy brochures. We felt totally ripped off.

Viking River Cruises response

We're sorry to hear aspects of your cruise did not meet expectation, Linda, and appreciate you sharing your experience. While our records show you've been in recent contact with a member of our Customer Relations team, we welcome you to reach back out should you wish to resume the conversation. Thank you for your feedback, and have a lovely day.

19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 6, 2019

Our best friends and my wife and I were booked on our first Viking Ocean cruise for October 2019. After all that we read and heard about Viking cruises we were excited about having a fantastic experience. Well that recently changed. Earlier this year my wife was diagnosed with cancer and has treatments and surgery ahead of her through at least August 2019. Afterward she needs to build up her stamina and health for a few months. We asked our travel agent, who has booked numerous cruises for us and has done a great job over the past 10+ years, if we could move out the cruise date to April/May of 2020 and verify if any price increases would be incurred. She called Viking at least three times and each time was told the date can be moved and there would not be any increase in fee.

Based on this information we had her cancel our October cruise and re-book for April 2020. All was good until later that day we received the guest statement from Viking. The price increased a total of $3608 or 33%. Our travel agent escalated this within Viking and even had a supervisor listen to the recordings of the people who told her the price would not change. The supervisor acknowledged the wrong information was provided and was aware of the medical reason, but it didn’t matter to Viking. Our agent then escalated the issue to higher management in Viking and after 3 days they too said nothing they can do. So much for taking responsibility of your mistakes (3 times). They did offer a small shipboard credit to each room but otherwise would not budge. This was totally unsatisfactory to us!

I know Viking has many favorable customer reviews and are highly rated… Perhaps they have grown too fast and are forgetting how people can make a difference. One other unique nuance we found with Viking is that when we booked the cruise in March 2018, they wanted the full payment almost immediately even though the cruise was 19 months to sailing. Our travel agent said she never heard of this with other cruise lines and when she asked Viking she was told something to the effect of, “We ask for it because we can get it.” She was able to get them to delay full payments until 8 months prior to sailing. Seems a bit of arrogance is part of their culture as well.

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Viking River Cruises response

Allow us send our best wishes of good health to your wife, Charles. While our records show you've been in contact with a member of our team, we're sorry to learn of your disappointment. Should you wish to resume a dialogue, we welcome you to reach back out to the agent handling your case for further review. Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention, and have a lovely day.

29 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 2, 2019

I just returned from a trip to Tel Aviv, Israel & was booked on Air Canada. In all my years of traveling I have NEVER had problems with any airlines to compare with Air Canada. It took 3 days to get from Nashville, TN to Tel Aviv, Israel because of their delays and cancellation of flights. Finally after two days of waiting I flew from Nashville to Toronto to Zurich to Tel Aviv. It took 3 days to get from Nashville to Tel Aviv! On the way back they were an hour late leaving Toronto. What was so troubling was that the staff appeared to be incompetent and unconcerned. I see now that Viking has booked this same airline for travel on their Rhine River cruise next month.

Being concerned I called Viking Customer Service this morning & was told that it would cost us $700 to change to another airline in spite of my telling them of my experience with Air Canada & requesting another airline. I have no doubt that Air Canada will be too late in getting into Toronto for us to make our connecting flight on to Amsterdam since the window for transferring is only an hour and 10 minutes. I then asked to cancel the entire cruise & was told it would cost us almost $4000 to do so. NEVER FLY AIR CANADA! If you doubt what I say do a search & you will see that many others have had the same experiences.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for your pre-cruise review of the selected airline, Greta. Though we regret to learn of past encounters with our third-party vendor, we’re appreciative for this opportunity to learn more as well as assure you we are confident this voyage will be enjoyable despite this. Additionally, we encourage you to take advantage of our Air Plus program for future travels, where guests may customize their air itinerary, including selecting airlines. Thank you, and contact us directly to share more.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 26, 2019

We received the Viking River Cruise brochure in Feb 2019. We made a reservation for the Romantic Danube from 25 Sep 2020 from Nuremberg to Budapest. Listed in the Feb brochure was priced for the Veranda Suite at $6499 reduced to $5999 per person for May through Sep. This price was if you paid by 28 Feb 2019. We made the reservation and were surprised to see the reservation was now $7099 per person. We contacted Viking Expert and both the Salesperson and their Supervisor stated that that price was for a July trip and the fine print states "Prices shown reflect lowest fare by months listed."

Why would they list May - Sep and not month to month prices if this is the case, all previous advertisements. They said they would not do anything for us and would be glad to cancel our reservation. I was very polite in our discussion as they were also. We are very disappointed in their actions and the way they advertised. We are considering other companies for our cruise.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for taking the time to write this review, Kathy. While we’re glad to hear you encountered polite customer service, it’s disappointing to learn that aspects of your booking experience did not meet expectation. We’ve sent a private message with our contact information, and invite you to email us should you wish to resume the conversation. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and hope to hear from you.

23 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 24, 2019

My husband and I booked the Viking River Cruise on the Magni. (Budapest to Amsterdam). We had good food and great service. Our included excursions were good except the one in Budapest. (She had a cold/cough and kept skipping around on stories). We really enjoyed this cruise. The complaint was that my husband became sick with a 24 hour bug and we could not attend the paid excursion in Cologne, Germany. Instead of a refund, we got a ship credit after I mentioned that he became sick. We had to spend the credit 1-2 days before ending the trip on items on the Magni mini gift shop. (He could be on the staff with his Viking shirt, Viking Coat he bought. LOL.) The next complaint was that if I had not spent 50.00 per person to change the original flight and decide to stay in Amsterdam (thru Viking) for extended stay, we would have not seen Amsterdam.

We were originally scheduled for an 8:30 am flight the morning we arrived in Amsterdam. We would have had to get up so early to fly home and not even see Amsterdam. We decide to extend for two days and was able to get the "Included" walking tour of Amsterdam in the morning we left the ship. We are going on the Mediterranean Odyssey tour on Viking Star in May 2019 because we did like the atmosphere that Viking offers. However, when I booked my flights for this next trip thru Viking, there was not a lot of flight options left. The airlines I wanted was already booked as well as the seat selection I wanted to upgrade. (because of a leg/foot surgery I had recently.) I was never told when I could actually book my flights. They told me I could have done it earlier, but no one informed me on that. I just started working on it when I got the pre booked flight itinerary.

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11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 24, 2019

We took my first cruise with Viking Cruises to Cuba- A group of 12 of us. It started out beautiful then went downhill. One of the engine died on the ship- then the Norovirus hit the ship. So we could not go to the second port to dock in Cuba and had to leave a day 1/2 early to head back as we had to go slower to get back to Miami. The Spa, pool, gym were closed to cleaned for the virus. Spent a lot of time in the room. We were advised that we could get 20% discount on the next trip. Then before we got back to Miami - they increased to 30% voucher.

We explained that we did not want a voucher as I spent $7000.00 dollars and was not planning another trip. The last thing I would do is take another cruise. I was told by the Travel agent that she would contact Viking and see if they would do anything for us. Then the agent said that I had to contact Viking ourselves. I called and spoke to Mecca who was not very helpful. She stated first 35% voucher- I explained that I would not want a voucher- she then stated $250.00 dollars for my husband and myself. Then we also need to sign a non-disclosure. I was very upset over this as $7,000 trip and they would give the other people $1400.00 credit and we would get $250.00. I think this is terrible that you are suppose to be a luxury cruise and you treat people this way.

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20 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 18, 2019

We booked a Rhine Getaway over a year in advance of our departure. We purchased from Viking both the cruise and airfare, including transfers, to make it a worry free vacation. Viking had booked us on flights to Newark and then on to Munich and finally Basel for the river cruise. When we arrived at the airport the departure time was on time. As we approached the departure time, we were told departure would be delayed 15 minutes because of weather in Newark. Then, we were told the departure time would be delayed to an hour, but the plane was at the gate and we expected to take off shortly, able to make our connecting flight in Newark.

Next came additional departure delays of 2 and 3 more hours so I called Viking to inform them that we may not make the connection. The Viking representative told me that since I had already checked into my flight, that they could not help me. They offered no assistance of any type and simply told me I would have to deal with the airline. I was appalled. We booked a cruise and airfare with Viking. Viking selected the airline and route, and knows where the ship will be and what cities (airports) are close to the ship, but they would not assist me at all.

Finally our flight was cancelled. By the time our flight was cancelled, they were booking at least two days out because of the massive backlog of cancelled flights. I said that my cruise ship would have left Basel by then, so she asked me where I wanted to fly to. I did not know what would be best since our ship would leave Basel before we could even be rescheduled to depart. Since there was no way to catch our cruise ship in Basel, I told the airline I had to find out where we should go. I called Viking’s after hours service this time and spoke with them for over 20 minutes. I was again told that since I had checked into my flight, that they could not assist me. I asked if they could at least tell me what city I should try to fly to in order to catch the ship for either Sunday or Monday depending when I could get in.

I was told, after several cities were mentioned, that Frankfort was the best place to fly into to catch up with the cruise whenever I could get there. I was told from Frankfort that I could get about anywhere. There was no mention of how I would get from Frankfort to the ship, how I could figure out where to go, how to get to the ship or who to use to go there. Viking simply made me feel like I had no options but to wing it on my own and figure out how to catch a moving ship in a foreign country. No suggestions were made to assist me. I was told that Viking “hoped I had travel insurance”. My call was disconnected when the air department was transferring me to the cruise ship department. I spoke to the cruise department who had left a voicemail for me to return the call while I was collecting my luggage. I received no help from the cruise department either.

I could not imagine trying to get myself to a moving ship somewhere in Germany on my own. I had called to cancel my pick up in Basel as the papers I received had told me to do. When the Viking agent asked me if I wanted to cancel my cruise, I felt that I had no other choice. He never told me that I would lose all of the money I paid. He only said that he hoped I had travel insurance. It was simply too much to try to figure out with my limited knowledge of where I was and without any assistance, so I canceled. Yes, Viking kept all of the money too.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Bonnie. Our records indicate that a member of our Customer Relations team has been in recent contact with you, and an agreeable resolution has been attained. We're grateful for the opportunity to address your experience, and wish you the very best going forward.

35 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 18, 2019

My sister and I purchased a Rhine Getaway River Cruise package last summer. One week before we left we received an email stating that our trip MIGHT be interrupted because of possible low water levels which might necessitate switching ships. On arrival in Germany we were informed by our airport transportation that we would indeed have to change ships. Viking ships had not been able to navigate the Middle Rhine for several months! That was a total surprise. We arrived on Saturday evening and on Tuesday morning we had to have our bags out at 7am. We endured a 6 hour bus tour before arriving at our new ship.

We were informed on Wednesday we had to ride another bus 3 hours before being herded onto a crowded day cruise boat with poor quality food for lunch in order to "cruise" the Middle Rhine which was suppose to be the highlight of the trip. This cruise only lasted about 90 minutes then we were herded back off the day "cruise" boat for another 3 hour bus drive to arrive back on the second ship. Our ship was docked in an industrial area so our view was other cruise boats sandwiched together and we had to walk across the boats to get to land. The only day of scenic cruising was the last day. Our primary complaint with Viking is the company's total lack of transparency starting with the booking agent and ending with the cruise program director.

The booking agent made absolutely no reference to the water level problem which was definitely negatively impacting river cruises including the one we booked. The pretense presented by every Viking representative was that all the undesirable changes to our trip were not expected detours however we later learned that this had been occurring all summer. The cruise program director always minimized the time that we would be on the bus and refused to take questions during his port talks.

I have sent you two letters by the postal service, one from my sister and me and the other from my brother, a recently retired attorney who paid for our trip as a gift for caring for our deceased mother in her final few years of life. We looked forward to this trip so much. What a disappointment. Donna **. Ruth **. Booking number-**. Trip dates- October 27-November 3, 2018

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out, Donna. We’re disappointed to hear that your cruise suffered itinerary changes due to uncooperative weather. While we appreciate the opportunity to discuss your experience further, your information has been redacted by this forum. We've sent you a private message with our contact information, and hope to hear from you.

26 people found this review helpful
Customer increased Rating by 2 stars!
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 15, 2019

We are considering our 4th cruise with Viking, but are a bit hesitant to book. We were on the Danube in December for a Christmas Market cruise. About 2 weeks before we sailed we received an email letting us know the water levels were low and we may not be able to sail into all ports. A 25% credit was offered. That sounded great. However, the reality was - according to message boards - that this had been ongoing since June or July. We fully understand that Viking is not responsible for record drought conditions, but why not be more forthcoming with information. Two days of our cruise was spent on tour buses and 2 excursions were canceled. As late as 2 nights before the end of the cruise, we were told that we "may not be able to sail into Budapest. We'll let you know as soon as we know." The truth was they already knew. The 25% credit should be a 33% credit or a 25% refund.

Viking River Cruises response

Thanks for reaching out, Yvonne, and for your loyalty. We regret to learn of your disappointment, and we hear your wish for more advanced communications. Though Viking took strides to keep to the original program during the historic European drought in 2018, we understand some necessary changes did not live up to your expectations as an experienced cruiser. To discuss your feedback more directly, please contact us at the email provided via private message. We look forward to hearing from you.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 8, 2019

My wife and I booked our Rhine River Cruise (with full - cancel for any reason purchased as well) in April of 2018. Our cruise was set for June of this (2019) year - paid for in full to include first class air in June of 2018. As with any plans made that far in advance - life happens. Fast forward to January of this year when it became necessary to cancel our cruise.

After Viking's own 'policy' of refunding within 21 working days - we are still waiting. And the real reason for this vent (despite the obvious nearly $11,000 - we have received our $4200 airfare back) is the lack of communication from them regarding the refund. After three attempts, the response was "You should be receiving your refund soon". Unacceptable. Payments in full when booked are understandably required. To be expected to wait this long for reimbursement when - as I mentioned 'when life happens' is not. Quite certain we are reconsidering another cruise line when we again - book for Europe.

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out, David, and for this chance to engage with you. The delay in refund you’ve outlined here is regrettable, and we would appreciate the opportunity to investigate and address these circumstances with you directly. We hope to hear from you soon, and wish you a pleasant weekend.

25 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Feb. 6, 2019

I have not yet taken the cruise which is scheduled for May 2019; however, I need to review Viking's ploy in which to get people to sign up for a cruise. I had been wanting to take a cruise with my sister for some time to St. Petersburg. When I was researching cruises, I came across a "2 for 1" "deal" at Viking. I went to my travel agent and signed up--very excited that we had gotten what I thought was a terrific deal. I was SO wrong. The quoted price for the cruise was $4,700/person. OK--so, silly me, I think that means we both get to take the cruise for that price. Nope! Not so.

When I look at the pricing on my receipt, this is what I see: EACH person is charged $9,598. And then THAT price is halved so that, in reality, we are each paying the going rate of $4,799. Not a "deal" at all. Interesting too, that if you look at fares for their cruises even without their so-called 2 for 1, the prices are the same. No discount. Just a big come on. I will take the cruise since it has been paid for. My sister and I will enjoy ourselves, but I can pretty much guarantee I will not be taking another Viking cruise. Lesson learned.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you reaching out to us, Linda, and regret to hear that you’re unhappy about your booking even before your cruise. Although we are certain that you will have an outstanding onboard experience, we hope for the chance to chat with you about your disappointment. Kindly, send us your booking number so we may arrange for a member of our Customer Relations team to contact you promptly. Have a lovely day!

17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2019

I am finally recovered from the anger about Viking’s unprofessional and deceptive business conducts; and be able to share my experience with Viking. We took our first “dream” cruise with Viking, from Amsterdam to Budapest for 15 days in October 2018. It turned out to be the most overpriced “coach tour” and the worst ever vacation we’ve had. We felt cheated and ripped off. Viking had to know the low water level that made the ship not passable on the Rhine and Danube rivers as this water problem throughout past couple years was referenced to by almost all of the local guides. Viking chose to keep their money and let the couple hundreds of guests keep their miseries. Moreover, we were treated like ignorant people as the Program Director kept announcing the change of plan during the preview meeting for the following day with a disclaimer that he was just told about it or just found out…

We stayed first day and night at hotel with cheap lunch/dinner, packed and unpacked 4 times, sitting in buses to catch the next ships or for excursions. Instead of leisurely sitting on the boat cruising the rivers, watching the beautiful sceneries, walking up to the beautiful cities/towns as what Viking advertised; we had to rush to take countless long and tedious bus rides either to catch the boat at the far away docks in seemly industrial areas, or to the excursion sites. We saw high speed highways instead of tranquil seaside sceneries. No cultural enrichment was offered before arriving the next cities either, except one glass blowing session, one history lecture on Austria and Viking chefs’ demonstration of how to make strudels. See below of the summary of our expensive 15-day Grand European River Cruise.

Day 1 –overnight hotel in Amsterdam, all excursions cancelled, unpack & pack, cheap lunch & dinner & breakfast. Day 2 - early morning, 5 hrs. motorcoach to Mainz to embark Viking Skirnir, with a stop in Cologne for short walking tour and lunch. Day 3 – early morning motorcoach to Rudesheim for sightseeing tours, and return by motorcoach. Day 4 – city tour and sailing to next port. Day 5 -walking tour, afternoon motorcoach to catch Viking Skirnir at the next port. Day 6 –as scheduled.

Day 7 – afternoon motorcoach to Bamberg for short walking tour and back to another port to catch Viking Skirnir. Packed for swapping ship. Day 8 – afternoon motorcoach to Passau to embark on Modi, unpacked. Day 9 – as scheduled. Day 10 – 6 hrs round trip optional excursion to overprice Salzburg Highlights for 2 hours. Day 11 – only one that’s leisurely cruising- sailing through Wachua Valley, live demonstration of cooking apple strudel. Shuttle bus to city for walking tour. Day 12 – as scheduled. Day 13 – enrichment lecture on Austrian history. Guests that had early morning departure to airport on Day 15 had to pack to swap ship, Viking Bragi that docked at Budapest. Day 14 – 2 ½ hrs motorcoach to Viking Bragi that docked at Budapest for a cheap lunch, 2-3 hr, sightseeing in town, 2 ½ hrs motorcoach back to Viking Modi in Vienna. Disembarkation day- 3 hrs motorcoach to airport in Budapest.

As a responsible and ethical business entity, Viking should have informed all passengers what the “journey” would look like at least 3 to 6 months, not by sending an email a week before the start of the trip. I now found that this low level water problem has been happening since 2015. As such, Viking should have offered options for the passengers: 1) to continue to take the trip, knowing what they would get themselves into, or 2) cancel the trip and take a full refund or 3) cancel the trip and transfer all fares to a future river/ocean cruise. Adding another insult to the injury, at end of the trip, Viking offered a 25% (later 50%) of the fare to be applied to future Viking cruises with one year time limit.

By the way, they cancelled the optional excursion on Day 3 that I paid the listed US$ amount in full by credit card a month prior to the cruise. After the cancellation was announced on that day, they said that the refund would be credited to our payment method immediately. Nothing happened for over 2 months after the trip. I had to call several times to follow up. When it was issued, it was less than the original US$ amount that I paid as they said that it was the currency exchange rate! It’s a shame that Viking continues to market their European river cruises with deceptive advertisements of what enticed us into taking Viking European cruises. They cannot deliver what they advertise. So, please beware!

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out to us, Sai, and for allowing us the opportunity to respond to your comments. We regret to hear that your long awaited cruise was impacted by the drought in Europe. In order to address your concerns directly, kindly contact us with your booking information, so we can better discuss your overall experience. We hope to hear from you, and wish you a great day.

33 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2019

My husband and I took a holiday cruise on Viking this year. My husband got very ill on the last day of the Cruise and ended up in a coma on the ship. The ship's policy is not to let people die on the ship, so instead of making my husband comfortable until we docked in Miami and letting the chips fall where they may, they dumped my husband and myself in Cuba with no help. Cuba of course has no diplomatic relations with the US, has sub par medical facilities, does not take American currency and no one speaks English. I was told by Viking that they had a rep in Cuba who was bilingual but no effort was made to put that rep in contact with me.

There I was with my husband dying with no ability to talk to the medical staff, no accommodations for myself and no usable money for food or anything else. An hour later, my husband died and I have spent weeks getting his remains back, the death certificates and dealing with the Viking on travel insurance. And after a month I still have heard nothing on the status of my insurance claims, even though I had to front a lot of money that I lost. Viking is not the kind of company I would ever do business with again. Beware, if you have a problem on board they are not there for you... And show that they couldn't care less about their passengers. All they are worried about is their company name.

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you reaching out during this incredibly difficult time, Linda, and offer our sincere condolences to you and your loved ones. In an effort to assist, we have arranged for a seasoned member of our Customer Relations team to contact you directly, to discuss your comments and connect with the travel insurance company on the status of your claim. If there’s anything else we can do, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we hope to provide support wherever possible.

50 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 29, 2019

We took the Romantic Danube River cruise back in August. We were made aware of "possible" changes in our itinerary as we heard our BOARDING CALL from the airline. Our experience was better than some worse than others - you've read the highs and lows here. I have been waiting 6 months now for a $384 refund of excursions that were cancelled - by VIKING.

I now have made 14 different contacts phone/email and am still waiting for our refund. The Customer Relations people say all the right things. I have been promised that a check would be sent 10/19/18 - nope didn't happen (my name/reservation had not been forwarded to accounting for payment by the ship - **). I was told that my information was handed to accounting on 11/14/18 for payment. I contacted CR again on 12/19/18 and rec'd an email that included "Can you please check on the status of the RSBC refund for Mr. **, and expedite his refund check if it has not been sent already?" My refund was ESCALATED at that time - surely that would be enough (1. 5 months 2. Accounting has my info 3. refund request has been EXPEDITED & ESCALATED! Wow surely I'll see something now). NO!!! 1/23/19 contacted CR again and I was told that the refund was out of their hands and my refund would be by handled by accounting.

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Viking River Cruises response

We sincerely apologize for your delayed refund, Victor, and can confirm that your payment has been expedited. Thank you for your patience; you can expect to receive a check in the mail tomorrow. Though we don’t anticipate it, should you experience any further delay, you may email us. We appreciate your follow-up, and wish you a lovely day.

23 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 22, 2019

I wrote to Viking customer relations concerning a cruise my husband and I took aboard the Empress of the Seas on a trip to China. The trip was terrific. The ship was not. I have been in correspondence about some compensation for the poor condition of the ship and its amenities and was offered a measly $800 of vouchers dated for one year on a cruise that cost us a total of $16,000. I have so far only received $400 in any event but have asked for the other $400 promised and that the vouchers be open ended as we cannot take a cruise this year.

I have not had any further communication from Viking and am frankly disgusted at the way I have been treated. They seemingly have brushed aside our complaints and ignored several emails and a phone call to try to resolve this matter. The ship was not anywhere near their supposed standards or in accord with their chairman’s statements on how the ships are and I quote - “Surpassing the highest standards has been a driving force throughout my career.” That is a direct quote from their chairman Torstein Hagen. Let me continue with another quote by the chairman, “Your Viking home will always been an elegant, calm, state-of-the-art ship that embodies the best of Scandinavian design, offering the amenities of a fine hotel.” Hardly, the ship did not meet any of this supposed criterion!

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for reaching out, Lynn. We regret to hear that the quality of the ship on your recent sojourn did not meet expectation. We are interested in clarifying the details of your vouchers, as well as discussing your comments in further detail, and invite you to email us with your booking number should you wish to do the same. We appreciate the opportunity to respond and hope to hear from you soon.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 21, 2019

We just completed our sixth cruise with Viking, three river and three ocean and I have to say that despite some weather required modifications we have been very pleased with Viking. We have sailed from Istanbul to Venice, from Stockholm to Oslo, from Rome to Barcelona with Viking Ocean and from Budapest to Amsterdam, from Paris to Normandy and Paris and the Porto River Cruise and have had some fabulous trips! The top four were Istanbul to Venice and Stockholm to Oslo on Viking's fantastic ocean ships and the Grand European Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam and Paris to Normandy on Viking’s unique riverboats. The other two cruises were weather impacted and required Viking to make modifications for our safety and even then the results were excellent!

Viking’s approach to providing an excellent outcome has us looking forward to our next three, already booked, cruises! The food service is simply hard to describe other than it is wonderful! The other aspect of a Viking cruise that we enjoy is the “intellectual” stimulation provided by their Port Talks and their onboard professional historians or cultural presentations. Over the various cruises we have enjoyed many excellent excursions, a few ordinary excursions and only a couple of excursions that we felt were not up to Viking standards. Many days we have been able to take 2 or even three separate excursions and ended the day, tired but exhilarated!

Our cabin attendants have ALWAYS been exceptionally competent and clearly very focused on excellent service! The entertainment is another area where Viking shines. Overall, we love Viking and will continue to “travel well” with Viking. We are scheduled to spend our 50th wedding anniversary with Viking in China! Lastly, a special word of satisfaction with Manfredi’s, the Italian Steakhouse on Viking Ocean Ships. Never a bad experience, never a bad meal and never a bad waiter. Great Italian steak! And their “French Kiss” dessert is phenomenal! In our opinion, Viking is clearly a “cut above” the competition!

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Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for the kind words, Bill. We are delighted to hear that our commitment to excellence has made you such a loyal guest. Your constructive feedback allows us to explore the areas of improvement that need some work, as well as evaluating our strengths in order to offer a better experience. We can't wait to continue exploring the world, and celebrating special days and milestones together!

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 18, 2019

We had a poor experience in 2017 on a cruise from Athens to Rome; weather prohibited landing on Crete but no alternate destination was substituted. The dining service on the ship was spotty with an evident need for kitchen and dining room training. Previously we had been on a Danube river cruise from Bucharest to Budapest which featured pre-made lunches with no option for ready made. Not a premium line's behavior.

As a compensation for the poor ocean cruise, Viking issued 2 vouchers that had to be used within a year, but as it was posited could be substituted for a later cruise. After we reserved a cruise for 9/19 well within the time for the voucher's expiration we had to revise the reservation due to a medical issue to a cruise in 2020, we were informed that the voucher had expired and would not be honored. This policy differed from the assurance that we had gotten that the voucher would just be continued for the revised reservation. After 3 weeks of phone tag we had no other option than to cancel and ask for our money to be returned. We are out the insurance and cancellation fee. Under these circumstances, we regard Viking's behavior as unethical and wish to have the insurance monies credited to us also. We have asked that we receive no more brochures or other mailings of all types. We will never use Viking again.

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Viking River Cruises response

We regret to hear that medical circumstances required a change to your cruise plans, Stuart, and hope this message finds you well. Though the terms of the third-party insurance and insurance premium are not dictated by Viking, we do hear your concerns and understand your position. We recognize you’ve recently been in contact with us, however we would be happy to investigate the events you’ve described in more detail should you wish to share more. We hope to hear from you.

20 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 14, 2019

At least we were able to take the full cruise on the same ship but it was the worst of all the cruises we've taken. The food was bad and the tours mostly walking the cities. I would advise skipping the Viking tours and booking your own. The only meals we enjoyed on the boat were the breakfasts. Eat as many meals off the ship as possible. Also, don't let Viking book your air transportation. In both directions, we were unable to make the short connections and suffered through multiple screwups with Viking trying to fix the problem. We caught up to the boat on the second day of the cruise.

Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for contacting us, Lee, and for the opportunity to address your concerns. We are disappointed to learn that your experience didn't meet expectation, and are interested in discussing your comments in detail. Kindly, contact us with your booking information, so we can connect you to a member of our Customer Relations team. Your feedback will allow us to evaluate our areas of improvement, so we can provide a better experience to all our guests. We hope to hear from you.

25 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 13, 2019

Viking Hemming Dec 21 2018, itinerary was changed last minute, did not experience the itinerary we were sold. Entire cruise was on a bus, wasting our valuable Portugal time, last day we were taken to Mateus Palace for a 30 minute tour, given 2.5 hours free time with absolutely nothing to do! Then back on to bus to drive to ship that moved further away from us while we're at the palace, makes no sense. (Whole day wasted for that.)

Dining experience was poor, menu did not represent what was being served, what was served was not very good. My daughter was served a ice cold Eggs Benny with a mouldy English muffin (yes green mould on the bottom). Needless to say the Eggs Benny were served with toast after that. The cappuccino is made from powdered ingredients, they do not even have a real cappuccino machine onboard. The same wine was served every night, not good wine (3 euros in the gas station market). Ship ran out of several things early on in the cruise. Ketchup, milk/Cream, strawberry jam, lemons, Coke, oatmeal, lemon tea to name a few. Too many things to list.

My family of 4 paid over $18,000 for this 7 day cruise, huge disappointment/Ripoff. I called & explained my cruise experience, the agent begged to differ on a few things & offered an unacceptable Future cruise credit of $400.00 pp. Obviously Viking could care less if we cruise with them ever again. Please use extreme caution booking with Viking, study these reviews & be careful spending your hard earned money with Viking River Cruises. I might add Viking was the only riverboat operator on the Douro river at the time of year (the other operators must have known cruising at Xmas would not be an worthwhile cruise). Shame on Viking River Cruises, you can do better!

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Viking River Cruises response

We appreciate you reaching out, Michael, and are happy to see that, according to our records, an agent from our Customer Relations Department was able to speak with you and address your concerns since this comment. Should you wish to revisit the conversation or have any further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the handling agent directly at the outlets provided. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, and have a wonderful day!

28 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 7, 2019

On 11/28, my mother and father and I attempted to check in at DFW airport to travel to San Francisco for a connection to Hong Kong for the Viking Australia cruise. The DFW American Airlines supervisor advised me they had no record of me being booked on the flight. After great efforts, we telephoned Viking and our travel agent and they were able to “persuade” American Airlines to allow me onto the plane to San Francisco although my entire flight reservation through to Bali, Indonesia had been cancelled.

The cancellation resulted by Viking error and negligence when my uncle, Billy **, was canceled a month before. The Viking Air people negligently and erroneously cancelled my entire reservation for the airfare. After much stress, turmoil and complaining, the American Airlines agents, including their crass supervisor, refused to issue boarding passes for my connecting flights from San Francisco through Hong Kong to Bali because I had been “removed” from their system as result of Viking’s error.

After much confusion, and almost missing our flight from Dallas to San Francisco, we arrived in San Francisco over an hour late because of alleged air traffic control delay. We arrived in San Francisco with less than 45 minutes to board the Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. We rushed to the Cathay Pacific counter to obtain a boarding pass and were crassly and belligerently notified by the oriental Cathay supervisor, she would absolutely not issue a boarding pass to me because the counter was “closed.” The counter was not closed. There were no less than 12 oriental people standing around the counter.

I attempted to go to security to try to board the plane and was prevented from doing so by security because I did not have a boarding pass. I went back to the distasteful Cathay supervisor, who was still standing in the same place at the counter and she categorically and belligerently refused again. I missed the flight. We immediately went to the American Airlines counter, and counseled over 1 ½ hours with Ms. Lee ** and her supervisor Marcello who, despite their genuinely caring efforts, were unable to locate any alternate method to travel to Bali to timely meet the Viking ship. After much trauma, confusion, and emotional distress, we purchased American Airlines tickets back to DFW that morning at 1:00 a.m.

Viking’s error and negligence in cancelling my reservation caused me to miss the San Francisco flight and my elderly parents suffered much unnecessary emotional distress as a result. This would have been my 3rd Viking cruise. I have demanded full refund of 100% of both me and my parents, which is over $42,000 for myself, David ** and Judy **, my parents, for the 11/28/2018 Australia cruise cost plus the airfare I incurred to travel back to DFW from San Francisco. I will not request reimbursement for all of the related incidental expenses at this time, but if I am forced to collect the funds, they will be included, along with all incidental and consequential damages we incurred.

If I do not receive the full refund within 20 days of this correspondence, I will file suit to collect same. I have practiced law for 28 years and this incident is textbook service provider negligence. Everything I have written above, requires no affirmation. I am already under oath full time as a practicing attorney. Viking and the travel agents have all the data to corroborate my statement in their files.

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46 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 31, 2018

My wife and I have been on two Viking River cruises and booked another for April, 2019 and an Ocean Cruise for April, 2020. In all my conversations with our Viking agent, NOTHING was mentioned about when a final payment would be due. I paid the April 2019 cruise early so we could get our airline tickets figured out, but then was informed that my entire $10K for the April 2020 cruise was due Dec. 31, 2019 - that is 16 months before the cruise leaves!

Viking's customer service simply replied that's what we told you on your printed contract. (I reminded them that few people plow through an entire contract for dates like that). Their supervisor, Amir, then informed me he could delay that payment for 60 days to Feb. 28, 2019. I told him that wasn't acceptable based on the standard of paying off cruise trips 90-120 days in advance of a cruise. When I told him this would be my last Viking cruise and I was going to write negative reviews for Viking, he then rescinded his offer to delay payment by two months. I don't know what's wrong with Viking, but they've gone from a friendly, service oriented company to a company desperate for money and lack of service. My advice is to never use Viking for any cruising.

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44 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 30, 2018

Our ship NEVER left the dock because of low water levels, which Viking was aware of well in advance. Our veranda overlooked the embankment. Every day, we rode buses for hours and hours to ports along the Rhine, from Switzerland to France, dashing through each town, so not to miss the bus returning us to our sleeping quarters on the stranded boat. We traveled 100% of our "cruise" by Viking River BUS, an insufferable Plan B. Viking did not deliver on its promise, and its customer service representatives and top executives are not stepping up to make fair restitution to affected customers. They are offering partial (20%) vouchers for another cruise. Once wasn't bad enough? Why would we want to do business with this company ever again? Give me a reason, please.

Viking River Cruises response

Thank you for your review, Cynthia. While river conditions are out of our control, it's regrettable to hear that measures taken to preserve the integrity of your cruise did not meet expectation. Our records indicate you've been in recent contact with us, however, a mutually-agreeable resolution has yet to be attained. Should you wish to revisit the previous offer made, or review your experience further, you may reach out to the agent handling your case. Sending our best wishes for the new year.

42 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 28, 2018

They sell River Cruises they cannot deliver, and then substitute bus trips to get from city to city, and land hotels. Moreover, they do not disclose this fact in phone conversations, nor in their printed marketing materials. Deceptive advertising and smarmy unethical sales practices. I cite the Danube Cruise. If it does not rain enough, their cruise ships cannot get down the Danube. Despite their deception, they do not refund 100% of one’s $1,000 deposit. They keep $200, and say this is their “policy”. Multiple emails were required to even get our $800 back. Will never ever do business with them.

Viking River Cruises response

We regret to hear you felt deceived, Chris, as we assure you that was not our intention. While our Terms & Conditions do outline the fee schedule for all cancellations, we understand your position. Should you wish to discuss your individual circumstances further, we encourage you to contact us. Thank you, and have a happy new year.

34 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 28, 2018

I made a reservation passage to Eastern Europe. I allowed the company to debit my bank account. They debited my bank account 4 times. My trip will not start till 4/22/2019 but in mid-December 2018 they cancelled my reservation citing non-payment of balance. The trip was 4 months away. They deliberately want you to forget to pay so they can get the insurance money you paid as they are affiliated with the insurance company they use. The thing is I did not forget. I always have the impression that it is not due till 90 days before the trip. We spoke with the rep in November 2018 to upgrade my flights but he never mentioned about the balance due. The fact is they were authorized to debit money from my bank account. Very greedy people.

Viking River Cruises response

We are in receipt of your review, Harry, and are sorry to learn you will not be joining us in April. Although the final payment due date is listed on all guest invoices from the time of booking, we hear your concerns and regret the misunderstanding. Should you like to address your individual booking with a member of our Customer Relations team, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

28 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 27, 2018

Paid over $25,000 for a 15 day European river tour, 1000 miles from Budapest, Hungary to Amsterdam. Spent 68% on buses, had to pack and unpack 4 times, and stayed two nights in hotels, the first was terrible with no running water for 4-5 hours and numerous filled roach motels.

Viking River Cruises response

We’re sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience on your recent voyage with us, Raymond, and appreciate the opportunity presented here to address your concerns. Should you be interested in further discussing your experience, we welcome you to contact us. We look forward to communicating through that outlet, and wish you a wonderful day.

33 people found this review helpful
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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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