travelgenie Posted November 6, 2013 #1 Share Posted November 6, 2013 Just got back a few days ago from Viking Forseti, our second river cruise with Viking, and we were not disappointed. We booked rather late (July), taking advantage of a great offer with free air. We also decided to do the pre-extension in Amsterdam and post in Lucerne with all the transfers, all worked out perfectly. We could have saved money doing this ourselves and usually do but since we did not have to pay for flights, decided to splurge, and so glad we did. We were fortunate that the flight arrangements that Viking made were non-stop both ways, thrilled with that. Once we arrived in Amsterdam, we were met by a Viking rep and were taken within minutes to the Movenpick Hotel where we were met by another rep who got us settled in and oriented with maps, etc. and we were on our way. The Movenpick, is probably about a 20 minute walk to the edge of the city, we opted to take the free shuttle to the train station and walked in from there and other times used trams to get out to the museum areas. Ultra modern hotel, great room with a nice view of the river/city and nice breakfast buffet. We had a nice city tour the next morning and then took a countryside tour in the afternoon to see some windmills, fishing village and the quaint town of Volendam, enjoyed this very much. The day of embarkation, Viking handled all of our luggage and transferred them to the ship, we went back into the city for the day and walked back to where the ship was docked in the late afternoon. The Forseti was very nice, the staff was great, our cabin, on the lowest deck, was a lot smaller than our previous cruise on an older ship, but was nicely appointed. I did not mind the location, the small window was fine, we spent so little time in there anyway, with the weather being on the cool side, money would of been wasted for us on a balcony. All the staff was wonderful, helpful and professional, Darrin the program director was a hoot, we really enjoyed his quirky sense of humor. The food was great, we had most meals on the ship with the exception of a few lunches. The wine and beer flowed pretty freely at dinner, our glasses were always kept full. No complaints at all with our time on the Forseti. Ports: Kinderdijk, a morning tour of this windmill park, it was nice, but we enjoyed seeing the windmills on our countryside tour the day before. Back on the ship for lunch and cruised through the afternoon, enjoying the sites and relaxing. Cologne, my least favorite port, we were there on a Monday and all the museums were closed as they are all over Europe for the most part. We really wanted to go to the Chocolate Museum...we were very disappointed with our city tour guide, later in the day when talking with other passengers, we found out our tour was cut very short, missing allot of important sites and info. Besides the Cathedral, there are not that many interesting sites, but lot's of shopping if that is what you want to do. Koblenz, the tour to Marksburg Caste was great, we enjoyed that very much. Back to the ship for lunch and then cruised through gorgeous scenery to Rudesheim. We got there late afternoon, most everything there was getting ready to close up, we darted into a couple of shops for some Christmas decorations and then headed back to the ship for dinner. Heidelberg, the city tour was nice, it is a beautiful city, having been there before we knew that the castle were really ruins and not to be compared to Marksburg. Stayed in town for a great German lunch and back to the ship now docked in Speyer. We walked into town, very quaint, nice pedestrian area, with some nice shops and pretty church. Back to the ship for dinner. Strausborg, a busy city, we had a nice tour and then stayed for lunch and some shopping, it is a little confusing getting around, the map the ship provided was poorly printed and pretty much useless. Our tour guide gave us good directions to get back to where we were to meet the shuttle. Breisach, a tour to the Black Forest, yes it is sort of a tourist trap, but the ride there was beautiful and there were quite a number of people interested in purchasing cuckoo clocks. We booked the optional tour to Colmar, a lovely place, I enjoyed that more than Strausborg, we had a great guide. Disembarkation in Basel was good for us, we were transferred to Lucerne by bus about an hour away and for us this was the highlight of our trip. Lucerne is gorgeous, I was very impressed with the 5 star hotel, The Schweizerhof, I was not expecting the gorgeous 2 room suite with balcony facing Lake Lucerne, very very pleased. Once our luggage was stored we went on a city tour and the Viking rep arranged for us to go on a boat tour of Lake Lucerne in the afternoon, awesome. The beauty of the area was mind blowing, it had snowed the night before in alps, the place looked like a postcard. We also signed up for the optional tour the next day to Mt. Titlis, an awesome experience, picturesque bus ride, stop at the base at cheese factory/monastery and then the trip up to the top, spectacular! All in all we were very pleased with our trip, we would sail with Viking again in a heart beat, the weather was great, terrific food, we met some great people a truly great vacation. I am happy to answer any questions. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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