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Complaints & Reviews

[Resolved] airport transfer provided by center city limo

We just completed (10/18) the Eastern Seaboard Explorer cruise on the Viking Star. We did the post port excursion staying at the Westin at Time Square NY. Viking scheduled our airport transfer for 10/20 with Center City Limo. Pickup was at 5:00AM. Driver was either sleep deprived or impaired somehow during the drive. He was wandering out of the lanes then scraped the side of the vehicle in the tunnel to Newark AP. During the drive to the AP he was driving radically weaving from lane to lane. About a mile from the AP he stopped in the middle of the freeway, we yelled to him and he started again. At the airport he keep missing the departure turnoff going around twice. On the third attempt he stopped again in the middle of the road and one of our traveling companions moved to the passengers seat and the drive was either asleep or passed out. He awakened the driver and guided him to the proper terminal. It was a terrifying end to a terrific Viking experience.
Mark Baker Booking # 4706550 Society Member # [protected]


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Oct 22, 2018

    Thank you for alerting us of this incident, Mr. Baker. Your comments about the transfer company driver are unsettling, and we are interested in learning the details of this occurrence. Therefore, we have arranged for a Customer Relations Agent to contact you to discuss your overall experience. Once again, we appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and look forward to connecting.

panama canal

A change in port from Limon in Costa Rica to Cartegena has meant that our booked excursion has been cancelled and refunded, which is fine. However we are Deluxe Veranda occupants and being out the evening that we received notification of the change, meant that we were not in time to re-book a similar excursion from the new port, because we were too far down the priority list for re-booking. This within 3 hours of the notification. We feel that we, alongside others who had booked for the excursion in Costa Rica should have been given priority rather than it being passed to the higher paying cabins first. We are very disappointed that we are now told that it is sold out, when originally we immediately booked as soon as we could i.e. when our cabin class allowed us. It was our special wedding anniversary day on the 27th. December. We were not asking for special treatment but it seems that we have missed out because of the class of cabin that we could afford at the outset. We have a call in to talk to a Manage but are not expecting any accommodation on this matter. Viking should change their policy when it comes to re-booking excursions and give priority to those who have already booked.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Oct 20, 2018

    We regret to learn your desired shore excursion is sold out, Madeline, and do hear your wish for consideration given the circumstances. We understand you’ve spoken with our service team and are scheduled to discuss your concerns further with a manager, however should you wish to share additional comments following your conversation, we welcome you to reach out via [email protected] at that time. We look forward to connecting, and wish you a lovely day.

  • Updated by Madeline Celeste · Oct 29, 2018

    We have now been contacted by Viking and are very satisfied by the way that they have dealt with our complaint. It seems that the problem lay more with the update in the website which we found confusing and which was not explained clearly to us by the Manager that we spoke to the night of our first phone call. Our second call by another Manager explained matters to us and we were very satisified by his explanation.

[Resolved] amsterdam to barcelona, october 6, 2018

We just got home from our third Viking cruise (1 river, 2 ocean) sailing from Amsterdam to Barcelona on...

[Resolved] quality of tour at colmar, germany

We were given the opportunity to either do a walking tour or ride the tram through Colmar, Germany with the tour guides. We chose to take the tram due to one of our friends having a difficult time walking that day.

While on the tram the Guide would mention some of the sights just as we were approaching them and the Tram would not slow down to let us see or take pictures of the sites. We did not have enough Time!!! to enjoy the City.

It was a complete waste of time and money for this tour.

I am requesting that the monies for my wife and I be refunded. to us.$ 69 each


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Oct 17, 2018

    Thank you for reaching out to us, Mr. Yeck. We regret to hear that the tour of Colmar didn't live up to expectation, and have made note of your feedback for consideration moving forward. Additionally, our records indicate that a member of our Customer Relations team has been in touch with you to discuss your overall experience. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with any further inquiries or concerns, Mr. Yeck, and we certainly hope to travel with you again!

recent cruise

Dear customer name offered in your correspondence,

Thank you for the consideration of compensation for our inconvenience but as a retired police officer, volunteer fireman and a former emergency management coordinator in Pennsylvania, I must express severe criticism of your emergency procedures aboard the Viking ship we were transported to after the Vilhjalm could not continue the voyage to Budapest.

We arrived at our new ship, The Idun, without any problem, secured our staterooms and proceeded to enjoy Budapest. After several hours we returned to a ship without any electric or water. We were unable to get to our staterooms or have any sanitary facilities available. I was shocked to find there were no emergency lights in any corridors or common areas. I saw the watertight doors had closed but I could hear people behind them and we had the doors opened but they had to be blocked as they continued to attempt to close and caused elderly people to stumble in the dark conditions. Others were trying to get thru the corridors in pitch black conditions, and were stumbling due to the fact very few had any hand held lighting. We further discovered some people were locked inside their rooms and were attempting to open the doors and you could hear the beginnings of panic, fortunately that did not take place and they were able to exit.

I must say I am still shocked at the lack of any safety protocol and or guidance from the crew as to what to do. I suggested at least bringing water to the lobby and directing everyone to a safe section of the boat. The water was brought but ships company was not very evident or informative. The need for safety lighting and trained personal in emergency procedures, other than abandoning ship, should be resoundingly addressed and remedied post haste.

Please advise me as to the remedies that have been initiated. We are considering future cruises with Viking but that will depend on your response to this letter and action taken.

Sincerely Yours,

Thomas A. Bradley
1679 Anthem Rd The Villages Fl 32162

Booking number 4749545

  • Updated by Tom Bradley · Oct 07, 2018

    Nothing further at this point...Will reserve option of revisiting at a later date.

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[Resolved] august 6, 2018-august 20, 2018 amsterdam to budapest river cruise

Do not cruise with viking river cruises!!!

We booked and took a viking river cruise from august 6, 2018-august 20, 2018 from amsterdam to budapest.

This was not, in any way, the cruise we were promised via the expensive printed glossy viking brochures. This was a very, very expensive cruise for which we have saved all our lives to take and enjoy.

Our booking number is was 4782487.

We have called and spoken with viking customer service representatives over three times now and today again called to speak with an upper level customer service manager. The service agent I spoke with refused to allow us to talk to an upper level service manager.

This is far from "customer service".

We have been offered "future cruise vouchers" for future cruises which must be taken by september of 2019.

We are not wealthy people and to take another expensive cruise in not in our budget and therefore the future cruise vouchers are of no value to us.

We have asked for cash refund of our cruise for the cost of the cruise, outside of the airline fare and post cruise two day stay in budapest.

The cruise was a disaster as low water level on the rivers, which we were never ever notified of before we left for europe, did not allow for a "river" cruise.. Instead the trip consisted of three different boats, unpacking and packing up on almost no notice and then being bussed to these boats.

Viking knew full well of the low water conditions many weeks before this cruise but yet did nothing to let us know or give us any alternatives for a later cruise at a later date or refund our cruise prior to departure.

We were docked in industrial locations far from city centers and far from the "beautiful" sights promised in your glossy brochures. When we were docked in the promised cities, we were wedged in between two other viking cruise boats and therefore had no view from our staterooms other than to look directly into another boat stateroom.

The crew was so sick in the restaurants that they were taking turns resting and taking each other's shifts to recuperate. This however, resulted in passing their illnesses on to most of the passengers, including myself, my fiancee, tom paltani, my sister anne mccracken and my 82 year old mother, maria waring. As a matter of fact, we were all so very sick that we each spent several days of our lovely journey in our cabins preventing us from enjoying the sights and taking our excursions. We understand that there were even passengers who were so ill that they had to leave the cruise early and be flown back to the us for hospital care.

Additionally, we were not allowed to use the upper level deck of the boat during much of the cruise. The reason for this is still unknown to us.

The final parting gift viking gave us was being placed in our last stateroom which smelled of sewage, had no air conditioning and a toilet that wouldn't flush.

If we are not able to be allowed to even speak to someone who can actually resolve this dispute, we are forced to file a lawsuit to pursue legal remedy.

As of my conversation today with a lady in your customer service, in which I was refused any further communication with viking management on this matter, I have scheduled a meeting with my attorney for wednesday, october 3, 2018 at 10:00 to begin legal proceedings.

Should anyone from viking with a conscience and good business practice wish to contact us, our phone numbers are:

[protected] mary waring
[protected] tom paltani


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Oct 05, 2018

    Thank you for reaching out to us, Ms. Waring. Our records indicate that a member of our Customer Relations Department was in recent contact with you to discuss compensation for your concerns. Should you wish to resume our conversation and revisit your options moving forward, we welcome you to contact us at 1-877-523-0579. Have a great day.

  • Updated by Mary Waring · Oct 05, 2018

    I, Mary Waring, am the publisher of the above post “ Viking River Cruise - August 6-August 20th” regarding the Viking River Cruise which I and my fiancée, Tom Paltani took this summer.

    I am greatly offended at the above response posted by the customer service representative from Viking River Cruises above to my post and my conversation with her today.

    She called to offer me $500 cash ( hush money) along with the vouchers offered already offered in order for me to stop posting cruise reviews and ONLY if I would also sign acceptance as a settlement and agree to no longer post regarding this disaster of a trip.

    In offering the $500 she also lied to me point blank by telling me that no one else had been offered any more that the $500.

    I know this a blatant lie as I know of at least one other passenger that was offered more than this.

    I hope all of you reading this understand that I have been very communicative and patient with Viking to do the right thing by their so called “valued customers”.

    So far, there has been no satisfactory resolution whatsoever.

    Please avoid cruising with Viking River Cruises as you will avoid a $14, 000 costly mistake which we ourselves made.

    Mary Waring

  • Al
    Al_Allen Oct 08, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Mary. While sympathetic to what happened on your recent Viking River Cruise, you are missing so many points. I've river cruised with Viking twice on the Grand European Tour in 2015 and the European Sojourn April 2018. Flawless cruises, most enjoyable time.

    Posted in European and USA news sites, this year's low river water levels were disastrous to all river cruise and commercial shipping companies. All of them experienced delays lost shipping time, canceled trips.

    Weather is always changing; rain can come and go as we have seen in the USA with numerous drought areas. Mississippi River also suffers low water levels, same shipping as Europe experienced.

    All river traffic is controlled by Harbor Masters/River Management whose job it is to ensure traffic is stopped in low water areas to avoid a ship becoming stuck, blocking the river to those ships when can still navigate. Conditions can change by the hour. Viking, like all other river users, does as directed in using the river. Not the Captain's call to go or stay.

    As you never mentioned travel insurance, either it was offered to you or you already knew about it. It is also mentioned on the Viking River Cruise FAQ page. Your decision not to use it. With the travel insurance, you could have received reimbursement on the coverage selected. This is on you. Need to accept responsibility for your failure to use travel insurance.

    You insinuated someone receive a higher payment than $500 yet willfully failed to provide credible proof. This is an "Unsubstantiated Allegation" carrying zero credibility. Same for your "ONLY if I would also sign acceptance as a settlement and agree to no longer post regarding this disaster of a trip."

    Congress recently passed the "Consumer Review Fairness Act" which bans companies from contacting people to pull negative reviews, charging them, or threatening to sue, or the use of so-called "Hush Money." Federal Trade Commission is point for this act. Knowing this, again, your post lacks credibility.

    You were not allowed to use the upper deck, as the ship has to pass under low bridges. All top deck items, to include the Pilot House are lowered to allow clearance. Passengers are briefed on this during the initial on ship orientation. Or just ask a crewmember.

    "Docking" is and has been standard practice on the rivers for years. There are not enough docks to allow each river ship to have their own space. You only lose your balcony view for these short times. Every river cruise company does this when necessary. Deal with it.

    As an adult, you need to accept your part of the responsibility for what happened. Travel insurance could have made all the difference. Recommend you do not make this mistake again.

    -1 Votes
  • Du
    Dutchie1990 Oct 20, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We are currently on a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Many if the exact same conditions are occurring as we speak. I am not happy! The top deck can't be used for the next four days, two of which I believe are cruising days, if we get them. I am trying to complain directly to Viking, but can't find the link to send an email to them. Also the internet is of course very sluggish! How did you make out in the end? I doubt I will ever go on another cruise!!
    Jane Cosgrove

    1 Votes
  • Viking River Cruises Oct 20, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Dutchie1990 We’re sorry to hear your journey isn’t going as planned, Jane, though we are glad to have this opportunity to connect with you. Though we are confident you will find the remainder of your trip enjoyable, we would be happy to receive your post-cruise comments at [email protected] at the conclusion of your time aboard so that we may learn about your overall experience, start to finish. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a lovely evening.

    0 Votes

[Resolved] danube waltz cruise - on a bus more than actually cruising a river

This is a follow up from my several phone calls to customer service, we are still awaiting any type of resolutions or response from Viking;
*Our Viking representatives at the Corinthia Hotel in Prague were very unorganized and would give very little information. This is the first time we heard about the possibilities of low water and being put on a bus instead of cruising the river. We heard this from fellow passengers when we asked the Viking representative we were told she didn't know that we would get an email. I finally called customer service and was told that yes this could happen and they would keep us informed.

Once on the ship this possibility was not mentioned again until we were in Bratislava. The night before we docked in Bratislava we were informed it was possible but not probable that we would be taken off the ship and bused to another ship. Boris, cruise director said they could get the boat into port but might not get it out and Viking wouldn't want their ship trapped. Was this really our problem!

The morning of our short scheduled stop in Bratislava we all left as usual for our tour of the city, still no word that any schedule change was about to take place. We were all told to be back on the ship by 11:30 am for our beautiful leisurely travel to Budapest. (we were told at the beginning of the trip by the cruise director Boris that this leg of the trip was by far the most beautiful we would see!!)
We all arrived on the ship on time and then were informed oops sorry we are now not leaving until 7:30. Why we were not told this before leaving that morning so that we could have enjoyed a slow paced and enjoyable day in Bratslava I simple cannot understand. We were told we could all walk back into town but who would want to do that after you already hurriedly saw everything so you could be back on the boat. We were all looking forward to the beautiful relaxing trip up the river but instead we all just sat around on top of the boat. No drinks or anything special was offered. No information was given, when we asked Boris said he didn't know any additional info and would give us an update that evening. Finally right before dinner we were told we would need to get off the ship in the morning at 8:15 and be bused to Budapest 1 1/2 hours or so away. We then spent our evening packing instead of a relaxing cruise into Budapest. We again called Viking customer service and the person that answered couldn't believe they did not add any activities or offer any drinks or anything for the time just sitting in port. We were told they would email the boat and let them know.
We were told we would get on the bus and once in Budapest we would be taken to our Ship for a quick stop then on to a tour of Budapest.
Once on the Bus the guide told us no sorry we aren't going to the ship first. We arrived in Budapest after 10am then did a bus trip around the city after first stopping at bathrooms for 30 min. The tour of Budapest was supposed to be from 8:30 until 12:30 so we did not get the tour we were promised.
We then arrived to our new ship and spent time unpacking and getting settled back in only to have all the electricity and water to fail. We spend hours with no electricity, no water, no bathrooms... Because of all of this dinner was finally served at 9pm but we were not allowed to choose we just had to take what they gave us, really??
*very unorganized, thankfully we were the young ones on the trip. The older clients were not taken care of at all, they were on their own to figure things out...
* poor communication throughout the trip and before. Cannot understand why we were not informed before going on this trip that low water was an issue and cannot understand why during the trip no one thought it was important to keep us informed or answer our questions.
*poor service while on the ship (we were told when we got to dinner 8 min after 7pm that our friends need to hurry and get there) On the top deck no service is available at all. Tables were full of dirty glasses etc. for hours until someone finally came up to collect. Didn't see this in your marketing...
*we paid for a balcony which is a joke. only once in the whole trip could we use the balcony and that was at 6:00am. By 6:30 another ship pulled up and again you could not see. Nowhere do you say or show that when docked (which is almost always when it is daylight, that you can't see out your balcony because you tie up another boat up next to it!! So instead of beautiful views you have to keep your blinds closed.
For this once in a lifetime very expensive trip we literally lost 2 days of the 7 day trip with no compensation. We never mind paying but we definitely feel like Viking did not hold up to their end of any of this trip...………………...


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Sep 25, 2018

    Thank you for reaching out, Scott & Anita Bennett. We regret to hear of your disappointment in the organization, communication and service offered while on board, and further, that your trip was impacted by a ship swap. We’re happy to note, however, our records indicate that a member of our Customer Relations team was able to get in touch, and we have reached an amicable and agreeable resolution together. Should you wish to continue the conversation, or share additional comments, we’re always happy to hear from you through that outlet. Wishing you a lovely day!

  • Ca
    Call the Waaaambulance! Sep 24, 2018

    Wow...Another entitled American, in a foreign country who thinks that if they complain loud enough, they will get their way. SAD! (Shakes head).

    0 Votes

[Resolved] viking extra air

Hello To whom this may concern, My friend and I have a trip booked with you on a River Cruise this November...

injury on board their ship due to their carelessness.

June 5 2018 my husband and I started our 8-day Rhine River cruise from Basal, Switzerland aboard the Viking Herja. This trip was booked for our 45th wedding anniversary as a gift to each other. June 6th was the date of the safetyt drill. Our cabin was on level 3 and we were told to get our life jackets on and head up to the sundeck. As I topped the stairs to the sun deck and asked where I needed to proceed to I could not see a 4-5-inch diameter hose that was strung across the sun deck. There were no caution markers either. The life vest limits one's visibility when looking straight down. I turned to go to the directed assembly area tripping and falling over that hose. I sustained considerable injuries in that fall. My husband and a Viking crew member got me up and took me down the stairs to level 3. A Dr. came aboard and told the ship to call an ambulance and I was transported to a local hospital in Breisach, Germany. I knew my nose was broken and my knee badly bruised without confirmation from the local Dr. as I not only felt but heard it break as I landed. They did X-rays and confirmed the break at the hospital. We returned to the ship from the hospital where no one greeted us nor even asked if we needed lunch or something cold to drink. We did go to the lounge at one point to get a coke and ginger ale and asked for some peanuts as we were thirsty and hungry as we had missed lunch due to being at the hospital. We were charged for these drinks as it wasn't "dinner time or lunch time". I was able to "continue" the trip but not enjoy a trip that cost a considerable amount of money. Our Captain did not speak to me for any reason. Since this is basically the Captain's "house" he should have at least inquired about my condition. The only inquiry Viking made directly to us was to ask us to fill out an accident report which we did. This was done by the front desk staff.
After our return home our travel agent gave us a contact at Viking Customer Relations. Two different times I spoke with them. The first customer relations person, Kayla, informed me she had to stay late to call me. After a few minutes I could tell the conversation was going nowhere after being told again it was my fault she had to stay late so I told her it was probably best to terminate the call. I then wrote an e-mail to Stephanie who is supposed to be a VP of customer relations. A few days later I got a call from Marsha offering me first $500 off another cruise, then $750, then "final offer" of $1000 off another cruise. I was also told by both customer relations staff members that there are no supervisors to talk with me as they are all the same position. They also said Vikings executive staff does not call customers that encounter problems. I have been told by Viking that they do not owe me anything as far as they are concerned. That includes medical expenses, refund of the cruise or even another cruise to replace the one that was totally ruined by their carelessness. I would love to be their best spokesperson rather than feeling like I do.
I'm not real sure why they have customer relations staff except to sell cruises as they showed no real interest in resolving my situation. One can call me too trusting but I really thought Viking would actually care about an injury that occurred on one of their ships due to a totally avoidable incident caused by them. I have found out from may other travelers that life boat drills for 3rd floor guests usually take place in the lounge when a ship is docked due to the hose across the deck. I even overhead our tour director questioning that order as he was discussing it on a tour with another passenger not realizing I was 3 rows behind him on a bus. For 7 days each time I met someone they immediately knew I "was the one" that fell. I, like most people, am not comfortable with that kind of notoriety but with a badly broken and bruised nose no one could miss it. I was very fortunate that each of our fellow passengers were kind and supportive. Each and every one thought, as we did, that Viking would make some kind of overture towards us to make the situation right while we were still on the cruise. At this writing the injuries are still not healed and more care is pending.

My husband and I are not novice travelers. We had intended to book at least two more Viking River Cruises as we travel several times a year and most of those trips are a cruise of some sort. The disappointment and frustration, not to mention the physical pain of such a fall that I experienced has been great. I would love nothing better than for Viking to contact me and make this situation right. This is the first negative review I have ever written, as I much prefer to tell others about our wonderful times. Viking states in their terms and conditions that they aren't liable for any injuries and so forth that is caused by them. Anyone considering booking a cruise just read all the fine print real close and weigh the risks and benefits. I never thought I would be the one hurt on a trip.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Sep 28, 2018

    Thank you for making us aware of the disappointing incident you’ve outlined here—we hope this message finds you in good physical health. We regret any feelings of indifference encountered, both onboard and via phone call, as that is certainly not our intention. Our records show a senior member of our Customer Relations team has recently reached out to discuss your available options. Should you wish to resume a dialogue, we invite you to reach back out to your handling agent who will be more than happy to assist you going forward. We appreciate this opportunity to connect with you, and wish you all the best.

  • Updated by LCF12 · Oct 08, 2018

    I did receive a call from a customer relations person (I didn't know I was being handled as they say in their response) about my complaint. They offered me a small discount on another cruise. This amounted to me having to buy another cruise from them to receive a small discount in compensation for my injuries. The agent/handler admitted they were at fault but reminded me that in their terms and conditions they have a disclaimer stating that they are not liable for any accidents or injuries caused by them. I refused their small offer and then asked if any of their management or executives would accept such a ridiculous offer. I'm guessing that is a big NO. I would not spend another dime with Viking at this time. They are plenty of other choices to travel with.

[Resolved] flight with brussels airlines from porto to brussels with a connecting flight to birmingham, uk.

Flying with Brussels airlines was the worst flight experience of my travel. We went on river cruise from...

[Resolved] poor customer service

This is the letter that was sent to Stephanie Maldonado on September 10th. The response today from Evan Sterling was $0 compensation and no apologies.

My husband and I recently went on a Rhine Getaway Viking River Cruise on the Alruna (ALP18018). We had heard very positive reviews over the years from family and friends and were excited about our first river cruise with a company whose reputation was built on river cruising.

However, to say that we were disappointed with the week-long cruise would be an understatement. We have numerous complaints, thus am outlining these grievances along with requesting compensation from Viking. I will attempt to be brief and provide concise information, however given the problems we experienced, I appreciate your indulgence to read this letter through to the end.

- With several phone calls to your Customer Service area and our flexibility on dates, it was disappointing to find out that EVERYTHING is closed on Mondays in Cologne. This ended up being the one and only day in which we were in city during the day and early evening. We only saw the Cathedral and could not visit anything else. It would have been helpful to have been advised this when we were planning our trip.
- As we had booked the Amsterdam pre-cruise extension, I wanted to find out how the embarkation day time table would work so we could plan our day. I was told before trip that the bus would pick us up in Amsterdam hotel at noon. It ended up being 3pm and I could have booked another time slot at a museum that day. (We were told at the Hotel that morning that the time would be 3pm, so the day was not wasted.)
- We were told that we would be docked in every port and able to walk to/from the ship. This was only true in Cologne - in which everything was closed, as stated previously.

- We understand that the weather was not under Viking's control, HOWEVER -how things were handled and communicated were under your control. Both were abysmal!
- On the embarkation date -18 August - we were not told until late that evening that we might have to change ships. Thus, we and many, many other passengers had already fully unpacked. When we were getting on ship, there should have been an announcement that there was a strong possibility of changing ships, thus don't unpack everything.
- Due to changing ships from the Alruna to Tialfi on Tuesday, August 19th, we missed 150 miles of the Rhine. We were shuttled onto a "day" tour ship for 3 hours of the boat change. The commentary during our "river cruising" was a single statement made by Sebastian (title??) who stated at one point, "This is my favorite castle". That was it! We also were told (and you'll find that this is a pattern of Sebastian's) that we'd be on the "day" ship for 1-2 hours. It ended up being 3 hours with no shade on the upper deck.
- On getting on to buses after our day trip, the bus drivers and Sebastian were outside talking for more than 20 minutes while final coordination was made with the bus drivers and the Alruna staff who had come with us to serve lunch. (These ladies did a great job!) One bus had to have someone ask the bus driver to close the doors and turn on the AC given how hot we were just sitting and waiting.
- We were then told, by Sebastian, that the drive would be 1 to 1.5 hours. It took us over 3 hours to get to an industrial park in Strasbourg.
- The staff of the Tialfi were standing outside to greet us, which was nice. And Sebastian announced that there was an open bar for the 30 minutes before dinner. However, there was a single bartender and we were charged for our wine. Again, another false statement/promise!
- The staff on the Tialfi except for the room service staff, were not friendly nor provided good service during meals. The only night they seemed happy was the last night before everyone disembarked.

Heidelberg, Germany - August 22nd

-This was the worst day of our river cruise and another example of Viking representatives "just not thinking".
-Given that we had to change ships, we then had to drive 3.25 hours BACK to Heidelberg. This left us with a 25-minute castle tour and a 1.5-hour lunch in a restaurant with only 2 servers and no A/C. Lunch should have been announced that it was optional and an end time of when to be back on the bus announced in the morning. Sebastian could not be found during lunch to ask how much time we had in the afternoon to explore Heidelberg. We ended up leaving before dessert just to walk 1-2 blocks to see something of Heidelberg. We then drove 3 hours back near Strasbourg. In my opinion, Viking owes us a day in Heidelberg.

Change in the end of our trip

- After the horrible day in Heidelberg and my husband getting sick, on the afternoon of Thursday, August 23rd, we asked the customer service desk to book us on flights going home on Saturday versus staying in Basel for the extension. In the early evening, according to Evelyn, Viking flights/customer service that supports the ship staff told her that there would be a $400 per person change fee to take the exact same flights with British Airways on Saturday versus Monday. That evening before dinner we confirmed in person that we would like to go ahead and have the flights changed. We were told that documentation of the change would be sent to the ship.

- On Friday, in Colmar, we were the first tour group to leave the ship at 8:15am for the WWII memorial tour. When we arrived back at 12:45pm, I checked in at the customer service desk to inquire about our new flight reservations for the next morning. Igor and Evelyn talked to us and stated that now the airfare would be $5, 200 per person for business class (on top of the $3390 that we'd already paid when we made our initial trip plan). Igor said that he had tried to find us in the morning to tell us about this change, which I do not believe given that we were at breakfast and on the tour. I stated that this was unacceptable and felt like we were being held hostage by Viking to continue our extension in Basel. Igor and Evelyn had me so upset that we missed the last tour of The Black Forest. About 2 hours later, I checked back in with them to find out what the Viking air/customer service area had found for us. We were told to be patient, even though it was going on 5pm Friday evening. Igor did get on the phone with us with much prompting and eye-rolling by Evelyn to find him. Leo Munsalud said that he was working on finding us something via business class or premium economy.

- We went to dinner that evening at 7pm and my husband checked in with the customer service desk around 8:30pm to see if flights had been finalized. They had not. It was not until after 9pm that Igor knocked on our door to let us know that flights had been found and documentation was being emailed directly to us from Leo. Once confirmed, Igor then told us that there wouldn't be any change fees assessed and finally seemed to get in gear to assist us with luggage tags and a taxi in the morning.

Again, one of the worst vacations we've ever taken! Viking's business model seems to only support "when everything is normal". Once "something" occurs that is out of the norm, the business isn't adequately prepared to ensure a pleasant cruise nor assist with changes.
Given that nearly fifty percent of our trip was either interrupted and/or did not meet the experience as outlined and documented by Viking's website, brochures, and ship representatives this is the refund amount that would seem fair to us. However, I realize that Viking's business model will not sustain a 50% refund, thus I am asking Viking to provide a cash refund that you deem appropriate via our credit card. An amount payable via a Viking future cruise credit is not acceptable to us. The $500 "token voucher" that Viking sent to everyone after the cruise is only 4% of our total cost, not transferable, and expires within a year. This makes it an empty gesture, in my opinion.


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Sep 25, 2018

    Hello, and thank you for providing us your feedback on your recent Viking experience. It is with regret that we learn of the disappointment you’ve described in the necessary changes due to uncooperative weather, and we hear your dissatisfaction with the proposed solution. Our records indicate our Customer Relations team has recently worked closely with you to come to an agreeable resolution, however should you wish to continue the discussion and revisit your options going forward we invite you to contact us directly at 1-877-523-0579. Thank you, and have a pleasant day.

[Resolved] romantic danube cruise/pre-cruise in prague

My wife and I recently returned from the Romantic Danube River Cruise. Pre-Cruise 8/21-24, Cruise 8/24-31...

[Resolved] danube waltz river cruise failure to sail

FROM: Leesa Morgan-Baker
2100 Valley View Drive
Woodland Park, CO 80863

TO: Viking River Cruises, Inc.
5700 Canoga Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91367


Danube Waltz - Budapest to Passau (August 5, 2018- August 12, 2018)
RE: Booking Number: 4773582 Service Recovery

Dear Viking River Cruises:

I am writing to request additional service recovery of an additional 25% on the trip we booked with Viking River Cruises as referenced above. This trip was intended to be a multigenerational, once in a lifetime event with my 84-year old mother, niece, sister-in-law and longtime friend.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. Due to low water we were bussed from Budapest to Bratislava. The compensation offered at this point was 25% toward another cruise. It seemed adequate compensation. We boarded the ship in Bratislava and sailed in the dark to Vienna. We never left the port due to failure of the generator on the ship in Vienna.

We were repeatedly assured that the generator would be fixed so waited patiently as we were bussed to our tour destinations. We only sailed on the Danube for one evening. We never sailed the Danube in the daylight and were moored between two ships so couldn't even avail ourselves of the French Balcony windows we selected purposely for being able to view the Danube while sailing.

To finish the tour we were bussed again to a resort outside Passau where we spent the remaining time. Once again we had to unpack and then pack up again we went to Passau for the end of the tour. I can't call this a cruise as we were on land the majority of the time.

The compensation requested seems fair and I am so disappointed that Viking has not lived up to their reputation as the best cruise line in the world. A multinational, multimillion dollar company has failed to extend a fair and adequate compensation of $1800. It seems your good will and reputation would be at least worth that.

I have been promised that someone would call me back in 5-7 days after speaking to a representative on the phone and am still waiting on day 12 for that callback. I look forward to your prompt response to this letter.

If my request has not been honored by September 30, 2018 I will feel feel compelled to utilize various social media outlets to inform the general public of your lack of adequate response.

Leesa Morgan-Baker


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Oct 04, 2018

    We thank you for the opportunity presented here to discuss your concerns, Ms. Morgan-Baker, and appreciate your patience as we've continued to work with you on this matter. While our records indicate that an agent from our Customer Relations Department has been in contact with you and has addressed your disappointment, should you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at [email protected] We wish you well, Ms. Morgan-Baker, and hope to regain your trust on a future sailing.

[Resolved] tripmate insurance

I had purchased Viking Cruise for May 2019 on August 15, 2018. I was ask to pay Travel Insurance which I did...

[Resolved] lack of customer service

This trip was a once in a lifetime trip for my mother, my aunt, myself, and my 82 year old grandmother on the Danube. We were not made aware, prior to our departure from the U.S., of the low water issues happening on a continuous basis on the Danube River and the management of mechanical issues that proceeded to follow are unacceptable for the caliber of cruise line advertised by VRC. Had we been made aware in a timely manner, we would have been able to use our VIKING provided travel insurance to opt out of the trip and reschedule. Instead, Viking waiting waited to inform us until everyone was already in or en route to Budapest. We were offered a 25% voucher for another cruise (to be used within a year), and $100 of onboard ship credit (which we weren't able to use because we only spent 2 days on the boat).

We were set to board the ship on Sunday, August 5th, and were informed on the evening of August 3rd, the water level was too low and we would be spending extra unplanned days in Budapest.

 On Tuesday, August 7th, we had to pack and board motor coaches to Bratislava, where we boarded the boat around lunch time.  We toured the town that afternoon and sailed early in the evening for Vienna.  We woke up on Wednesday, August 8th, in Vienna and the day proceeded as planned.  That evening we learned the ship had suffered a mechanical failure and we could not sail. At times, our toilets wouldn't flush and the power had to be shut off.  All the while, we are docked between 2 boats so when we opened the windows to our "French balcony" we were staring at another boat. These 2 boats were also cooking all the food for our ship as we had no power to cook anything. We were told the ship would be fixed shortly and we would be sailing at some point during the night.  

When we awoke on the morning of Thursday, August 9th, we were still in Vienna docked between 2 boats.  Viking Cruises was again forced to bus all passengers to our Krem tours (which was supposed to be our port that morning).  We didn't see the city but were able to do our tour of the Gottewig Abbey.  At this point, we were waiting on a part to arrive to fix the boat so we lost an entire afternoon being stuck on the boat in Vienna "waiting" .

On the morning of Friday, August 10th, we spent the whole morning on board the ship (which has no entertainment) awaiting further instructions.  At about 11:30 we finally learned that we would AGAIN need to pack our bags and be off the ship by 2pm that afternoon.  We would board motor coaches and be bussed to just outside Passau, Germany for the remainder of the trip.  This was a 3+ hour bus ride.  We stopped and boarded a public sightseeing boat for a tour of the Wacchau Valley that we were supposed to see on our cruise.  Due to the rain and the inability of a sight-seeing boat to accommodate weather circumstances, we did not see much in our 30 min cruise. We arrived at the hotel in Germany and although it was a nice hotel, they were not prepared for 180 passengers from a cruise ship and the food was sub-par at best. Viking did cover all drinks and mini bar purchases while we were there, but this was yet another unpleasant experience in an endless chain of continuing events. 

On Saturday, August 11th, we were bussed 30 min into Passau for our scheduled tours. We skipped the port of Linz all together which was an advertised port of call for our itinerary.  The evening, a piece of paper was slipped under our door offering us a 25% refund on our cruise as well as the 25% voucher for a future cruise. Mind you, this was a $7k trip, just for me. Plus all the extra expenses that were spent using public restrooms and buying snacks/water on our bus transfers.

Sunday, August 12th, we were shuttled to the airport where we left the resort late and barely made our flights out of Munich, Germany.  We were literally the last ones to board the plane. We spent more time on alternate ground transportation than we did being able to relax, in one home base location, on the boat.

All of this to say, the biggest disappointment, is Vikings refusal to rectify the situation. I have sent emails, and spoken to representative many times to no avail. I was literally told once that 25% refund + 25% voucher equaled the 50% refund that I was requesting. Viking has also REFUSED to acknowledge the broken ship. I have spoken to 2 different representatives who both continually told me how the low water is beyond their control and the best offer I could get was a 35% voucher on another cruise. It's as if they have been coached on what to say. As if, I would ever set foot on another Viking cruise.

I am so disappointed to see a company that touts themselves as being a 5 star vacation destination refuse to actually serve the customer. A company's true colors are revealed in a crisis, and my friends, Viking revealed theirs. A company that thinks nothing more than the bottom line of their financial report. They could have made this right from the beginning and had a customer for life.


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Sep 09, 2018

    While we regret to hear of your disappointment, Kari, we thank you for reaching out through this outlet and appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. To continue this conversation, a representative from our Customer Relations Department will contact you to further discuss this matter and your overall experience. We look forward to speaking soon, Kari, and wish you a wonderful day.

[Resolved] flight information

I am a travel agent and booked my first Viking River Cruise for Danube Waltz Booking #4924292. Sonny and...

romantic danube cruise

Joining the outcry of disappointed people who have had the misfortune of 'cruising' with Viking Cruises thi...

[Resolved] bordeaux cruise (running now)

Booking Refernce 4601922

I will write at greater length when we are somewhere where the Wi-fi works better but I must say how incredibly disappointed we are with this holiday.

We are a party of 6 (3 separate bookings) and have now been on board the vessel Foresti since Saturday at 2pm. In this time, the ship has moved on only one occasion with us on board which occurred on Monday afternoon when we were in motion for 6 hours. I do not know how you can call this a cruise when the ship does not move!!!

The rest of the time we have been stationary. Moist of that time we have been double parked with another ship so that we are either looking at the bank (some 10 yards from the window) or at the Sid elf another boat parked right alongside us., There is no bview of the river unless we walk to shore and see it from the land.

The staff on board are lovely and helpful but even they are saying "it is unusual that the ship does not move very much".

On top of that, we elected to upgrade to the premium silver wine pack openly to be told that the ship had exhausted suppplies of Rose by the second night and would not restock for 2 days and then last night it also ran out of the better white wines on the menu. This is very very poor indeed.

The town at which we are moored for last night and tonight is mor like a village with almost no facilities and very little reason to get off the boat.

If you read the advertising material accompanying this holiday put out by Viking (which was obviously our motivation to book the trip in the first place) you would not believe the five days we have just had. For what we have seen, it would have been easier to rent a car and stay in hotels along the way.

I will write ore when less annoyed.

Simon Davis


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Aug 30, 2018

    Thank you for reaching out to us, Mr. Davis. We regret to hear that your cruise has fell below expectation. It is not ideal that the drought in Europe has caused the river levels to drop, limiting your ship’s ability to sail the entirety of your scheduled itinerary. Rest assured, we are in receipt of your comments, and have forwarded them to our UK office in request to contact you upon your return home. For now, Mr. Davis, I hope that you are able to enjoy the rest of your vacation, and we look forward to speaking soon.

[Resolved] did not receive what we paid for

copy of letter sent to Viking River Cruises
28 August 2018

From: Patrick Stapleton
3785 NW Loma St.
Poulsbo, WA 98370

To: Viking River Cruises, Inc.
5700 Canoga Ave
Woodland Hills, CA [protected]

Dear Sir or Ma'am,

My wife and I just returned from our "Romantic Danube Cruise" (Booking no. 4735439, Aug [protected]). Like all the other passengers aboard, we were greatly disappointed. The river cruise turned out to be more of a bus tour (with stops at autobahn gas stations as highlights) with occasional water travel. We did not simply unpack and relax, we unpacked, packed, unpacked and re-packed several times occupying a total of three different Viking ship, used more as floating hotels than for cruising. Tours were canceled, rushed, combined or forced to choose between actually cruising, or seeing a tour. Not at all relaxing, certainly not "romantic".

During the tour we heard that the problem with Danube water level had been affecting cruises for two months. Yet, the first we heard about it was an e-mail dated the 16th, when we were already in Europe. The e-mail itself did not seem to indicate the problem as being serious and tried to brush it off as a minor inconvenience. While our tour director did her best, the overall feeling was that Viking had lied to us by failing to tell everyone the severity of the situation and that they already knew we would be traveling so much by bus before we even arrived. If we had known this, we would almost certainly have rescheduled or changed plans in some fashion, but we were not given that choice.

Vikings' offer to compensate us by allowing 25% off on a future cruise (if used within the year) was rejected by just about everybody aboard as being totally inadequate. Vikings offer stands in contrast to what we heard when talking with people on other tours, using other lines, some of whom said they had been offered $80/day compensation for their troubles, and still felt slighted. All things considered, my wife and I would prefer receiving a 25% refund on our wrecked vacation rather than some nebulous future offer. Please consider this missive as a formal request for that compensation.

Copies of this missive will be posted online to cruise review sites, and shared with other interested parties.

Patrick M Stapleton
Leslie M Stapleton


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Aug 29, 2018

    Thank you for reaching out to us, Mr. Stapleton. We hear your concerns regarding your most recent cruise, and are aware that uncooperative weather forced the unfortunate modification of many itineraries. However, we interested in learning the details of your experience. For that, we have arranged for a member of our Customer Relations team to contact you as soon as it’s feasible to discuss your comments. Have a great day.

[Resolved] danube river cruise

We booked a Danube River Cruise for our 50th wedding anniversary. When we arrived at the cruise line they informed us that the river was low and that we might have some problems. What was supposed to be a river cruise turned into a bus tour. We were unable to dock in several of the cities that we were supposed to dock in and we had to take long bus rides to get to the tours. We really had only one afternoon of a nice scenic cruise, the rest of the time we were bused around to various sights. My wife is handicapped it this was very difficult and stressful to her.

My biggest complaint is that it is very obvious that Viking new of this issue well before we embarked from the US for the tour and they failed to notify us and give us a choice to cancel. They waited until we got there and had the never to tell us that we might have some issues knowing all along that we would definitely have issues and would even have to change boats half way thru the cruise.

My wife and I have had several communications with Viking asking for a full refund and we have been told we would hear back from someone with an offer. As of this date we have not heard back. Viking likes to advertise that they are the number one rated cruise line. In my mind they showed our tour group a lack of integrity and honesty by not giving us a chance to cancel the cruise and now they area stone walling us on our request for a refund. I would highly recommend anyone wishing to take a cruise that they avoid Viking Cruises


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Viking River Cruises's response · Aug 28, 2018

    Congratulations on your 50th wedding anniversary, John! We are honored that you chose to celebrate such a special occasion with us and regret that your experience was impacted by unfavorable river conditions. Your satisfaction is important to us and we apologize for the delayed response to your request. Fortunately, we are happy to see that, since posting these comments, efforts have been made to resolve your concerns. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss your experience further, please do not hesitate to connect with us at [email protected]

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