Passenger Complaint: Viking River Cruises Customer Review June 9, 2018 – “We took the China Yantze River + land tour 16-day tour from Shanghai to Beijing (4/10-4/26/18) and all I can say is that the overall experience is “frustrating” and “disappointed”. Key points: 1. Booked almost one year earlier and paid almost double the price of some fellow travellers since, unable to fill the space, Viking put the trip on sale about 2 months before the sailing date. Without price guarantee, we will be deterred from booking early with Viking in the future. 2. The river cruise ship is not Viking ship, but only a local Chinese-company run ship chartered by Viking during the season. Needless to say, the quality of the ship is way way below “Viking” standards.
3. Cabin very very tiny (with 6 inches of closet space, good for three hangers), plus old and smelly bathroom! Further, pretty much all public area is occupied by vendors selling souvenirs…etc… Can hardly find a space to sit around and read, besides the bar and lounge area for drink. The ship staff is quite attentive though, and the food provided on ship is good. 4. Bothersome and too much tipping requirements – Viking has suggested each traveller, while on board, to pay the ship service staff (of course), the local tour escort and driver, plus your own tour escort ($15+$5+10 per day per person.) As per Viking brochure, each day each person is expected to pay $30 tips (or $60 per day per couple). This is almost European standards or more.
5. On the 10-night land tour: a. Bus contracted is old and worn out; b. Too few arrangements for excursions, e.g. we spent two nights in Xi’an, and the only destination is to visit Terracotta Warriors museum, plus an optional dancing show. Did not even get to see the city itself, as the hotel is outside the city wall; c. The food quality from the local restaurants is just bad, cheap and unsanitary (6 to 8 people got ill from the food), worse than food provided by local low-fare tour group. If Viking is unwilling to spend money on the food during excursions, might as well put the travellers on their own for meals; instead of giving us such garbage to eat. It is an insult!
d. Tour escorts require further professional trainings. We are out there to learn about the place, historically, geographically and culturally, not to listen to his/her personal story and how to pass a driving test in China, plus pro-Government political talks. e. Local family visitation is nonsense, as it is “sample” family for foreign tourists to see. The whole trip does not live up to its marketed high-end tour and its price tag.”
Viking River Cruises Response: “Thank you for taking the time to review your recent cruise and land tour, Franklin. We’re sorry to hear that the ship, itinerary and land tour food did not meet expectation. We would like to learn more about your concerns and invite you to email us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com with your booking information so that we can connect you with a Customer Relations agent to address your review in further detail. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you a lovely day.”