Subject: Re: River Cruises
Tom, and others!

I HIGHLY recommend Viking River Cruises. We were on a cruise with them in 2002 from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking Pride. Everything was wonderful. It was during the time of the flooding of the Elbe and the lower Danube and adjustments had to be made by the company but everything was handled in a very professional manner. It must have been a logistical nightmare for them, but we didn't miss a thing.

I always advise clients NOT to take the lowest category. The only window is high up and horizontal and you can't see a thing. Move up one category and you have a huge picture window to watch what is going on outside on the river and windows that actually open.

Viking River Cruises are now geared toward English Speaking passengers so no worry you will be the only two with a big group that is not English Speaking. Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the ship, only on top deck. The dining room service and food was wonderful. The servers and chefs are Swiss Hotel Trained and it shows. The Staff seemed to know everyone's name by the second day. Klaus, the cruise director, seemed to know everything and kept things running smoothly at every turn.

There were many repeat passengers on our cruise and some had been on the Russian River cruise. Rave reviews! I think that Viking now has two itineraries - one from the Black Sea to Kiev and one from Moscow to St Petersburg.

On a cruise on the sailing ship Star Flyer from Athens to Thailand, we met a couple that had been on the Elbe River cruise with Viking. Reported that it was absolutely spectacular - scenery included.

Ruth Kuehn Fort Myers FL