Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises Review

Viking River Cruises creates the “thinking person’s cruise” as passengers immerse in each port of call’s food, culture, countryside and customs. While you’ll visit the iconic landmarks on a Viking river cruise, you’ll also get to experience local life with access to places that are otherwise difficult to access. Viking passengers get an insider’s view to world-class museums and cultural performances with ballet, folklore, opera and more. On board, the theme continues with a curated library focusing on the onshore excursions and guest lecturers, local cuisine complete with cooking demonstrations, wine from your destinations, and craft demonstrations from local artisans.

Pros
  • Named the Best over 35 times by Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Cruise Critic
  • Menus inspired by local cuisine with a tasting of vintage local wines
  • The most extensive fleet of river cruise vessels with 73 ships

Cons
  • Refunds based on the current exchange rate for advance purchase optional excursions, not the time-of-sale rate

What to Expect on a Viking River Cruises Ship

While each of Viking’s 73 river vessels is unique, all offer spacious staterooms and suites with full-size verandas, French balconies or half-height picture windows, and amenities comparable to those found in top-rated hotels. The ships feature a Culture Curriculum with art and history lectures for ports of call, and local music and entertainment.

Guests on each Viking ship get access to onboard curated libraries, panoramic windows and spacious sun decks. Other features depend on the boat assigned to your river cruise and include:

  • Health clubs and massage therapy
  • Observation lounges
  • Pools and spas
  • Putting greens
  • Walking tracks

Dining on Viking River Cruises

While Viking River Cruises does not boast any Michelin chefs, the food is plentiful and of excellent quality. Each menu is crafted with the locale in mind, bringing in traditional tastes of the area through main dishes, bread and pastries.

  • Breakfast is served buffet style with an extensive selection of eggs, meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and baked goods.
  • Order from the lunch menu or choose from the buffet.
  • Dinner is a multi-course affair that’s more casual compared to the pomp and circumstance found on ocean liners.
  • The lounge is a great place to grab a light breakfast or lunch.

You are free to dine with friends or make new acquaintances since there’s no assigned seating. If you would like to dine alfresco under the sun or stars, you’re welcome to take a plate to the sun deck.

Viking River Cruises Cost and Destinations

Viking River Cruises travels along the rivers of China, Egypt, Europe, Russia, and Southeast Asia throughout the year. Viking’s all-inclusive pricing includes river-view staterooms with luxury linens, port taxes and fees, one complimentary shore excursion at each port of call, visits to UNESCO locations, access to lectures and destination performances.

Viking River Cruises Destinations
Per Person Prices
Cruise Destination Countries Visited Days Starting Price
Asia 1 to 2 14 to 19 $3,499 to $4,999
Danube 3 to 8 8 to 23 $1,899 to $9,198
Douro / Portugal 2 10 $2,799
Egypt 1 12 $5,399
Elbe / Germany 2 10 $2,799
France 1 to 6 8 to 15 $1,999 to $6,498
Oberammergau 3 to 5 10 to 12 $4,599 to $5,199
Rhine 2 to 8 8 to 23 $1,999 to $6,899
Russia 1 13 $5,499
Ukraine 1 to 2 11 to 12 $3,699 to $3,799
Christmas Market 3 to 5 8 to 12 $1,899 to $3,499
River & Ocean 6 15 to 22 $6,498 to $9,198

How to Book a Viking River Cruise

Book a vacation with Viking River Cruises by visiting the website or calling the number on the site, or through a travel agent. You can see all available river cruises for the current and following year on Viking’s website with dates, itineraries, available suites and rooms, prices and airfare.

Viking River Cruises Complaints

Viking River Cruises has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau with 49 complaints in the past 12 months. However, the problems were often beyond the company’s control, such as low water levels due to drought conditions. Out of nearly 6,500 reader reviews on CruiseCritics, Viking River Cruises received close to 5,000 5-star ratings. We found Viking River Cruises representatives were quick to answer complaints, resolving many with a priority on customer satisfaction.

Viking River Cruises Q&A

  • Do Viking River Cruises bundle with airfare to get to and from the port of call?
    Viking partners with 16 airlines to offer round-trip transoceanic air travel, and you can buy tickets from Viking at the same time you purchase your river cruise. Viking River Cruises provides air travel at a discounted rate with free ground transfers.

  • Are tips included in a Viking River Cruises travel package?
    You can add an optional prepaid gratuity package to your trip using My Viking Journey on the website. The amount from the prepaid tips gets split among onboard staff. Otherwise, the amount you tip at the time of service is at your discretion.

  • What shore excursions can I expect on a Viking river cruise?
    Viking offers Local Life, Working World and optional Privileged Access experiences on shore, giving you a choice of activities and sightseeing. An onboard Viking Concierge helps passengers customize a trip at their request.

  • Are children allowed on Viking River Cruises longboats?
    Viking recently changed the minimum age policy to include only passengers who are 18 and older. The majority of passengers on Viking River Cruises are 50 years of age or older.

  • Do Viking River Cruises sail during a specific season?
    Viking’s river ships cruise to fewer destinations some months, but cruises operate all year round.

Conclusion

River cruising with Viking is an excellent option for travelers who want to experience different cultures. Viking River Cruises’ intimate, inclusive itineraries are specifically designed to help travelers explore and engage with destinations through fascinating on-land excursions and sightseeing with exposure to local customs, folklore and food.

Viking River Cruises Reviews

Recent Reviews

Featured Review
August 31 2019 7:27PM

I recently enjoyed a Viking Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel Switzerland. The cruise was nothing short of top-notch perfection in All Rights. The staff was impeccable even remembering my name after the first time meeting me. Everything went smooth comfortable enjoyable and just downright amazing.

I have recently booked another Viking Cruise bringing two friends so now three of us and myself are going to do the same cruise for two weeks. I also booked a Viking Cruise from Zurich to Paris in March for my son my mother and a friend. I'm a Viking Cruiser for life.

Jon L.
Lockport, NY
October 08 2021 7:59PM

I was told I would have NO problems cancelling or making changes to my Romantic Danube cruise. They have made nothing but mistakes.

My husband's name was misspelled, the airport we are to leave and return to is hours away as opposed to the one I requested which is 1 hour away and we were seated 20 rows apart.

I called 3-4 times a week to get assistance with this and was put on hold for 1/2 - 3/4 of an hour. Working full time makes it impossible to stay on the phone. I left messages with the Viking agent every time for the past month and he has yet to return my call.

My cousin called multiple times for me and finally got a woman in Boston who got the name changed without having to pay 700 dollars (their offer to fix THEIR mistake).

We had to cancel our last 3 days since viking would not fix their mistake and they won't answer a call until 60 days prior to departure which, according to them< is too late to fix without the substantial penalty. I would not ever recommend viking to anyone.

Diane H.
Blairstown, NJ
September 30 2021 2:06AM

Viking River Cruises completed misrepresented the cruise at sales time. We cruised on the condition that we would do a pre-cruise extension for which Viking gladly took our money for this option and also took $15500 dollars for their river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest.

Viking without warning or notification cancelled our pre-cruise extension and our flight at the last moment.

Also, without telling customers, they continued to sell riverboat cruises bypassing Amsterdam without telling would-be customers before they purchased and paid for the their full cruise when Viking knew they were busing their passenger from Amsterdam's airport to a German port as their first embarkation port not Amsterdam.

Viking refused to refund our full cruise amount of $15550 which included pre-cruise extension and air diversion. This amount will be lost as we cannot cruise with Viking riverboat conman in good conscience.

Do not book on this cruise line as your cruise will be for Viking benefits not yours and will be filled with surprises you had not planned for or anticipated.

These people sound very customer-oriented during pre-sales and booking, but are conman who just wanted to pay full prices and bait-and-switch you later on when you have paid full price. Viking does not stand behind what they sell and your contracted to receive.

Mark C.
Danville, CA
May 03 2021 7:51PM

Booked a very good trip and price from Paris to Lucerne but all travelers with me opted out. I was stuck with deposit fees that they would not refund.

Have been on 2 trips before and liked pretty much everything. If you travel on your own the parties as husband/wife don't like you to sit with them if you are attractive.

Charlene L.
Tucson, AZ
July 29 2020 4:00AM

I’ve been on 2 river cruise lines 1) Uniworld and 2) Viking. I found Viking was more fun and younger people. The food was plentiful but not outstanding. Mediocre would best describe it.

The wine and beer included in the price was not good. I’ve had better boxed wine in the states than what was served on Viking. Only one type of red and one white. I think only one type of beer also.

Uniworld was classier but more money. The food was outstanding and wine was top notch with a large variety. Tours were equal. I was going to book tonight for a trip next spring as I got an outstanding offer in the mail for Viking.

$1999.00/person, (Starting price) international air, silver beverage package included. Dates stated March - May 2021. After calling and being transferred to a sales person who had “deals” for return customers I found out the price $1999.00 was March ONLY!!!

Why advertise that way. If that price is for March only specify March only!! I was booking tonight for 2 people and found out it would cost me $2799 ($200 credit for past customer) and my friend $2999 for May dates. Their explanation was it’s better weather in May than March. Duh!

After reading what others have gone through I’ll be looking elsewhere. *Whoever wrote about not getting served due to wearing jeans and open neck shirt!!! That’s ridiculous! Keep it classy Viking!

Julia N.
Minneapolis, MN
May 03 2020 2:40PM

My wife and I have been married for 50 years and we decided to take a European River cruise via Viking. We booked everything through Viking, air, insurance, pretips, and the cruise. We paid everything upfront a year before the cruise scheduled for June of 2020. Then the Virus struck.

Viking canceled the cruise and we were offered our money back or 125% voucher for another cruise date but we had to respond within 3 days to get the alleged deal. We were told by our travel agent that everything would be transferable. After we decided to take the 125% and the upgrades that went with it they booked the trip for May of 2021. We were then told that the insurance will not be transferable and we would have to purchase new insurance.

According to Viking we could no longer get our money back and deep six the cruise. Many many many phones calls were made back and forth to determine exactly what was or was not included in the 125% deal. Each time Vikings response was different and the only way they could tell us anything was after we applied the credits. I argued that how do we know what to do if we don't have all the information.

One time they tell us everything is transferable plus we get upgraded and the next time they tell us the insurance which was not used by us must be purchased again. Several different Viking agents told us different things. The travel agent was frustrated and this writer was frustrated. We will never use Viking again

Larry K.
Bernville, PA
December 12 2019 9:06PM

My wife and I were on the Viking Einar “Rhine Getaway” tour embarking on 11/20/19 and returning on 11/27/19 , booking #**. We have been on 3 total Viking riverboat cruises. Unfortunately an incident occurred that may prevent any future cruises with Viking. On the second evening, we had taken a walk in Breisach before dinner. When we returned the restaurant seating had just begun. Because of my lack of appropriate dress (jeans and open collared shirt), we decided to eat at the Aquavit Terrace (AT).

It was 5 minutes after 7pm and the AT was to open at 7:10pm. At 7:05 pm we arrived at the AT and were told by the attendant (Stephon) that the AT could only seat 18 and they were already full. I requested to be seated at a lounge table in the AT or a table at the back of the Einar lounge. Stephon said that he could not serve us as he could only serve 18. Nothing in any Viking literature I received indicated a limit of 18 at the AT. We then went to the Guest Services desk and explained to Eleonora that we could not eat in the dining room because of our dress and that we had been denied service in the AT.

Instead of offering an option Eleonora greeted us with a smile and advised that she could do nothing. I immediately requested to remove any gratuities from my bill. (I later recanted and put my gratuities in envelopes for those that actually deserved them). Since it was too close to departure time to go back to town, we went to bed hungry. As the cruise progressed we found that many on the cruise did not comply with the no jeans, shorts or non- collared shirts dress code. In spite of the way we had been treated by the staff, we decided to forget all and try to make the best of our cruise.

On the last night we decided to eat a quick meal in the AT. We went to the AT 20 minutes before opening at 6:50pm. All the seats were taken except 5 seats at one table. When we sat down we were told by a lady sitting at the table that the seats were all “saved”. I explained that “saving” seats was not an option.

A short time later, as her party started arriving, she went to Stephon with her complaints. I overheard Stephon offer to seat her party in the lounge. This reignited my anger to find that my wife and myself had been denied the same option by Stephon.

As I previously stated I have used Viking on 3 cruises and have recommended you to many of our friends, some whom have since gone on Viking cruises. Because we were treated so poorly by those mentioned, we will be using other companies for future cruises and will advise others of our experience with Viking with a recommendation to avoid Viking. We have never been treated with such disrespect on any of our previous cruises. We will not be using or recommending Viking in the future.

Jerry B.
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, FL
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