Viking River Cruises vs Elite Luxury Kenya - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4
Value — 3.9
Guide — 4.1
Activities — 4.4
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 3.9
Meals — 4.1
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

Misleading and often just plain dishonest.

1.0 October 2018
L
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 3.0
We paid for a 3 week luxury river cruise but received a large group bus trip across Europe with many days of packing and unpacking. I called our Viking representative when we received an email message just 2 days prior to departure that mentioned a possibility of problems with low river levels. I was assured that everything was "normal" In reality, as we learned later from ship personnel, nothing has been normal for at least 3 months. About 2 weeks prior to departure, we received by mail, lovely personalized booklets describing all the details of our voyage on the Viking Lif, which we were to board in Russe, Romania. Instead, we boarded the Viking Aegir but not at Russe, because the Danube was too low. Instead we rode buses upstream to a port on the Romanian side directly opposite our first scheduled stop at Nikopol, Bulgaria. We had a beautiful cruise through the Iron gate gorge, but after three more scheduled stops in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia, our voyage was terminated in Mohacs, Hungary, an unscheduled place two days short of reaching Budapest. So we were herded into buses for a 1.8 hour ride each way to our scheduled stop at Kalocsa. The next day we retraced the journey to Kalocsa and continued an extra 1.5 hours to reach Budapest. We lost the entire morning in Budapest and spent the night at the Marriott hotel. The next day we lost the entire afternoon in that city because we had to take a 4 hour bus ride to Vienna. Where we were put aboard the Viking Embla. Our voyage on that ship ended two steps later at Passau Germany. After a day in Passau we went upriver for a short distance and it seemed that we had entered the canal to take us to the Main river. But much to our surprise, it was a dead end channel for an industrial port. We spent two days there with our balcony room moored tightly against another Viking ship so there was nothing to look at but the scenery at that site was even worse than looking at someone else's window and the balcony was unusable anyway due to the unpleasant odors at that site. The pattern continued with a long round trip bus ride the next day to our scheduled stop at Regensburg and a 3 plus hour trip the following day to Nuremberg where we finally boarded the Viking Lif. A crew member told us that the Lif had not traveled east of Nuremberg for 3 months. We sailed from Nuremberg to scheduled stops in Bamberg, Wurzburg, and Werthiem and then our voyage terminated for good at an unscheduled port in Mainz. Once again we endured a long round trip journey to our next scheduled stop at Koblenz, followed by a 10 plus hour bus trip (with lunch and a walking tour in Cologne) to Amsterdam and a night in a hotel. Despite a promise that our bags would be in our rooms (they did take great care to provide us with tags so they could easily keep our bags organized) all the baggage was dumped in the hotel garage and it took a good 15 minutes of searching to find it and then take it to our rooms ourselves. There is much more, but it would only be more descriptive of the misery of this trip. We know Viking didn't cause the low river levels, but they did not need to lie to us and make us suffer because of it.
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Viking Rescheduled my Flight to CHRISTMAS Without my Consent

1.0 June 2018
D
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I received an email day before yesterday stating that my trip has been moved and now my flight will leave Denver on CHRISTMAS EVE and arrive in Cairo on CHRISTMAS.
And they are sorry if this causes me any inconvenience.
The young people who answer the phone cannot change my cruise to one of the same value since my dream New Years cruises are now unavailable. I spoke to three of them and each one just gives me an email address to send a complaint. No response as of yet. I feel so embarrassed for trusting this company. But I am grateful that I was able to see their true colors before I booked again. I as going to take a Mediterranean cruise with more availability a bit sooner because I was so excited. I feel sick now.
When we read in the disclosures that there may need to be some flexibility in the dates, no reasonable person actually believes that they would deliberately change the schedule in such a way to force you to miss spending Christmas with your family. But they did. And they did it by email. My $20,000 wasn’t even worth a phone call.
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We enjoyed the entire experience

5.0 August 2015
R&F
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We enjoyed the entire experience; Normandy and Omaha Beach were especially moving. The food and service deserve praise too. This is our third Viking cruise and we'll do it again. Viking does it first rate all the way. Keep it up.
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Tours 18 Trips 5 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 277 $ 442
Operator Type River Cruise Line Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Service Level Luxury Luxury
Regions
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Luxury
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Luxury
Headquarters Woodland Hills, California, USA Nairobi, Kenya
Year Established 1997 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A
Top Trips
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    About Viking River Cruises

    Founded in 1997 as a line offering Russian river cruises to Europeans, Viking expanded to the North American market in 2000. 

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Since 2007, Viking River Cruises has zoomed from carrying one-fifth to one-half of all passengers in the fast-growing European river cruise market. Not only is Viking the world’s largest river cruise line with some 66 ships now in service around the globe, but the line is operating at near full capacity in Europe, with many itineraries sold out months in advance.

    Who Travels With Them?

    They cater primarily to “culturally curious” English-speaking Americans, Canadians, British, Australians, and New Zealanders aged 55-plus. (Think sophisticated viewers of PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” which its helps to sponsor.)

    Where Do They Operate?

    Besides European rivers such as the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Seine, Duoro, and the waterways of Russia between Moscow and St. Petersburg, Viking now cruises three rivers in Southeast Asia -- the Yangtze, Mekong, and Irrawaddy -- and along the Nile in Egypt.

    Why Travel With Them?

    While they may not rank as the most luxurious river ships, many of Viking’s vessels are sleek, innovative, and freshly minted: the line has added 18 new ships in 2014 alone. Overall, Viking has established a reputation for offering an incredible value - high-quality service, food, and guided shore excursions at competitive prices, all adding up to strong repeat customer loyalty rates.

    About Elite Luxury Kenya

    Also called “Kenya Safaris” this company is very locally minded, offering boutique travel experiences including honeymoon, and fully customized travel.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Elite Luxury Kenya provides a travel experience in Kenya that will introduce travelers to another side of the African safari. No frills, yet comfortable, the travel options seem to distinctly be designed to showcase traveling beyond the safari. Though this is not to say safari’s are not a focus. Rather for them, a safari holiday with them means you’ll get a very diverse tour in terms of activities, excursions, and accommodations.

    Who Travels With Them?

    Those seeking an affordable Kenya, Tanzania, and / or Uganda experience. Their tours are private and completely customizable. As a smaller company travelers may find that accommodations are less luxury in feel than an established luxury safari brand, however you will be very comfortable and well taken care of. And if local touches are important to you, these will make your trip especially enjoyable.

    Where Do They Operate?

    Despite what the name suggests, Elite Luxury Kenya also provides tours in Tanzania and Uganda. Part of their mission is to introduce travelers to Kenya and these other destinations beyond the typical safari. To that end you may enjoy a beach holiday, gorilla trek, or hike up Mount Kenya.

    Why Travel With Them?

    Kenya based and small, traveling with them is a way to support local business and in return have a fully local experience. You will get a sense of the “real” Kenya, while also experiencing all the classic safari moments.

    Tours are led by local knowledgeable guides, and your trip is designed by experts for a personalized touch - this helps ensure your trip to Kenya fulfills everything you want to see.


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