Anne Hanifen from the USA.
# of Nights
Departure Date & Ports
June 2017, Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland; stopping at German and French ports along Rhine River.
5 out of 5 stars (5=excellent, 4=very good, 3=good, 2=poor, 1=terrible)
-Food Rating: 5
-Cabin Rating: 4
-Service/Crew Rating: 5
-Itinerary Rating: 5
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I’ve been on 1 small ship cruise.
For our first family cruise we took a seven-day Viking Rhine river excursion from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland. Although there was an option to stay in Amsterdam for three days prior to embarkation, we opted to add three days in Lucerne, Switzerland at the end of the cruise. Thankfully, we had the afternoon to see some of Amsterdam before the ship departed around midnight as Viking provided shuttles into the city and tours all day. After a long flight it was a treat to have easy access to the city and an opportunity to explore a bit.
With 50 crew members aboard the Viking Lofn, the approximately 190 passengers were taken care of well. Our state rooms on the upper deck were modern with small balconies, air conditioning, internet (spotty at times) and television (not a lot of movie options for our teenagers). We all enjoyed the complimentary fresh baked goods, coffee, tea and cocoa available in the common area all day. The dining on board was exceptional with many wines, cooking demonstrations and delicacies from the local areas we visited. Though the menu choices changed daily, there were certain items that pickier eaters could always order.
Traveling between ports primarily overnight was quiet and relaxing, while each day offered new places to explore. Transportation, local guides and access to historic sites were all included. Passengers could tour on their own, remain on board, or participate in the well-organized included tours. For a fee, Viking offered additional tours at many of our stops along the Rhine. We added a tour of the medieval village of Colmar, which was charming with canals, half-timber houses and Alsatian architecture. Our daughters aged 15 and 18 were old enough to appreciate the history and culture of all the sites we visited. One of our favorite days was spent touring the Marksburg castle in the morning and lounging on the upper sundeck in the afternoon as we cruised past numerous castles perched above the scenic Rhine.
At the end of the cruise, Viking provided transportation for those traveling on to Lucerne and booked us in a gorgeous hotel overlooking the lake. Viking maintained staff in the hotel lobby to arrange activities as well as transportation to the airport in Zurich for our return flight. Viking took care of every detail and the service was fantastic. The cruise was excellent from start to finish and we would happily travel with Viking again.
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