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Review: Viking Helvetia

Cruise - River Cruise

Rhine river serenade

  • By SilverTraveller Al-N.-Carolina

    1 review

  • 2010
  • Wife
  • Regular holiday
  • Outside

80 people found this review helpful

This was the first riverboat cruise for Joan and me. Previously we had been on a number of ocean liner cruises and had enjoyed them a lot. At the outset we were pleasantly surprised to note one of the advantages of the small ships; namely we took a cab to the dock in Basel and, as we stepped out at the dockside we were courteously greeted by a member of the crew who took our bags and stowed them in the first deck lobby plainly in our sight. Coffee and ice water were readily available. In a matter of minutes we were checked in by friendly staff members. We liked the open seating arrangement and our first dinner was very good.

As the cruise got underway it was very pleasant to watch the beautiful countryside go by so close you could almost walk ashore. Of course the castles in the mid Rhine region were a special treat for a couple of amateur photographers; it was made extra special by a warm sunshiny afternoon. The tours were well managed with sufficient well-informed guides to point out the historical details. We were particularly impressed with the tour of the ancient Heidelberg castle and the associated narrative of our guides. The views of the town and bridge over the Rhine from the castle grounds provided especially good photo opportunities. Bought lots of Christmas tree ornaments in the quaint little town of Rudishem, Germany. Other treats were the cathedrals at Cologne and later Strasbourg; what a feat of construction by these highly skilled craftsmen and because of their massive size a real challenge for our photographic skills.

As we neared our destination the geography and history of the Dutch countryside came in view. The castle of the Orange rulers was another interesting tour. The manicured gardens and hedges were unequalled in our experience. The cruise terminated in Amsterdam where we enjoyed an extended stay at the first class Marriott Hotel. Sightseeing included the Floating Gardens and of special interest the Anne Frank house. In summary, we were very satisfied with our first riverboat cruise; it definitely exceeded our expectations, and in several ways was better than a comparable large ocean cruise. The food was superior and the attentiveness by the staff exceptional. Free wine at dinner and coffee anytime were additional values. We would go on another in an instant.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

More about 'Viking Helvetia'

Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Viking River Cruises

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • 55durham
    about 6 years ago
    What a fabulous selection of places visited, a photographer's paradise!
  • juneski
    over 7 years ago
    Thank you for your review. We have been contemplating taking a river cruise, the idea of having something to watch all the time rather than just the ocean is certainly appealing!