Viking Freya River Cruise Ship Strikes Bridge, Kills Two Officers

Viking FreyaA number of German newspapers are reporting that the Viking Freya struck a rail bridge, last night, crushing the wheelhouse and killing two officers who were navigating the ship. The ship came to rest under the rail bridge and a pedestrian bridge which paralleled the rail bridge.

The river cruise ship had just left the town of Erlangen on its way to the Hungarian capital of Budapest, and was operating on the main Danube Canal at night when the accident occurred. The accident reportedly occurred at 1:30 A.M.

The dead officers were a 49-year-old who was at the helm of the vessel and a 33-year-old man. 

Photographs taken after the accident show that the wheelhouse was completely obliterated in the impact with the bridge.

The Blick ama Abend newspaper indicates that that the two crew members who were killed were Hungarians. The ship is operated by Viking River Cruises AG.

The wheelhouse can be lowered when the Viking Freya encounters low bridges, as seen in this YouTube video, and then raised after it goes under the bridge.

There were reportedly 181 passengers and 47 other crew members on the ship at the time. No other injuries or casualties were reported.

Photo credits: Top © Nicolas Armer/dpa via Stern; Bottom UPI via Blick am a Bend.

Viking Freya

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Comments (127) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Elizabeth browning - September 11, 2016 2:17 PM

Was the wheelhouse lowered ? If not is it up to the crew to decide to lower it or not?

Matthew - September 11, 2016 2:49 PM

Hi Matt:
Grandy and I took a European river cruise about 5-6 years ago with Viking. Same route. It was a terrible cruise line, operating old equipment with a "surly" staff. Why am I not surprised by this. Sloppy operators.

Bub

John Reed - September 11, 2016 5:01 PM

We took the Freya last summer on that exact route, Nuremberg to Budapest...contrary to previous post, we had a great trip with excellent crew service...hate to hear about the casualties.

Mary - September 11, 2016 5:22 PM

I disagree wholeheartedly with Bub. I have made several river cruises with Viking and found no fault - ever. The old ships have been replaced, the crews were always efficient and friendly and everything ran like clockwork. This was a tragic accident. Usually the decks are cleared and the wheelhouse lowered in very good time before a low bridge has to be negotiated.

Jeff Gilman - September 11, 2016 5:48 PM

I took a Viking Cruise summer before last, down the Danube
on the Viking Ingvi. TOP NOTCH EXPERIENCE TOP NOTCH STAFF.
I Plan to do it again this coming Spring. FIVE STAR

derek abott - September 11, 2016 5:58 PM

Having sailed with Viking three times in the last three years, Elbe, Danube and Rhine cruises, I cannot disagree more with Bub. My wife and I found the crews to be more than accommodating and pleasant. The whole experience each time more than satisfactory.

Uday - September 11, 2016 6:15 PM

I also disagree with Bub. We were on the Freya in June. Had a terrific time. The ship was in excellent condition and the crew and service superb. Shocked to learn about this tragic accident.

Collin - September 11, 2016 6:47 PM

Agree with most. We were on the same route a year ago and the Viking Cruise was first class and excellent. Sad to hear about the tragedy all the staff we had were excellent and professional people. Condolences go to the family and staff.

pittipat - September 11, 2016 6:57 PM

Adding my voice to those who disagree with Bub. We sailed Viking last summer, including this route on the Danube. It was an extraordinary experience, in large part because of the good cheer and professionalism of the crew. I am so sorry to hear of this tragic accident. May the two officers rest well.

Dennis Gustafson - September 11, 2016 6:58 PM

What a sad event. We have been on three cruises with Viking, all have exceeded expectations. crew, room, service, food, tours and cities and towns visited all excellent. Evidently someone missed something and they didn't lower the helm station, our prayers to those families of Capt and Mate for this unfortunate event. May they rest in peace.

Suzanne - September 11, 2016 7:00 PM

My husband and I went on a Viking cruise this summer fro Paris to Prague...I must disagree with Bub as it was the most amazing trip that Viking took us on...everything and all equipment was perfect. I would say this was a terrible accident and definitely not due to something the company did. Human error perhaps, but that does happen.

Trish - September 11, 2016 7:31 PM

It's a pity the negative comment comes first. We did Budapest-Amsterdam on the sister ship in July. The ship was new and beautiful, the staff and crew were exemplary We would do another river cruise with Viking. A tragic mistake.

Edith Messick - September 11, 2016 8:22 PM

We have been on 2 Viking River Cruises and will take an Ocean Cruise next month. We believe they are the very best and will continue to go with them.

Chris Albe - September 11, 2016 8:25 PM

I was shocked and saddened to hear about this accident. We just went on a cruise up the Danube this past July. We couldn't have had a better time, staff, food, excursions were superb. A trip of a life time.

Robert Young - September 11, 2016 8:29 PM

Like others I am astonished at the utter nonsense from 'Bub'. My wife and I have been on three Viking cruises, including one on the Freya to Budapest. A very professional line all round, including on the seamanship involved. In answer to Elizabeth Browning, yes the lowering of the wheelhouse would be a matter for the crew, specifically the officer in charge at the time. Subject to the necessary inquiry, it would appear that some mistake was made. Water levels do vary. I know that this tragic event will be deeply regretted throughout on every Viking vessel world wide. Above all one's heart goes out to the families, friends and colleagues of those involved. Not so important, but a sad ending too to a wonderful cruise for the passengers on the vessel at the time; I am sure they feel the loss of two crew members very deeply. RIP.

Thomas Long - September 11, 2016 8:40 PM

I too strongly disagree with Bub. We just sailed on the Freya in August 2016 from Budapest to Nuremberg going the opposite direction of this cruise. We've also sailed with Viking on the Rhine. They have the most modern fleet in Europe and the crew and staff couldn't have been more professional. Just hard to understand how this could have happened.

Ron Schwartz - September 11, 2016 9:06 PM

My wife and I have been on 5 Viking river cruises and would never go on any other cruise line.
We have had the best experiences on all of them. Our next trip is to Portugal in November.

Andrew Allsopp - September 11, 2016 9:16 PM

Just finished the Viking Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest on the longship Skadi. On this section of the cruise north of Nuremberg, the top sun deck is completely folded flat and not accessible by passengers due to the number of bridges and locks with low clearance. Not sure why the wheel house was not lowered completely, but from the looks of the photos in this article, the water level may have been higher than anticipated.
Sympathy goes out to the family of the crew members killed and to the rest of the crew as well since they certainly acted like family on our cruise.

Susan - September 11, 2016 9:18 PM

My husband and I have travelled with Viking for nine cruises. Obviously, with this number of trips, we have had wonderful experiences.... itineraries, cabins, food, wonderful staff, and excellent service. On our first trip we had to switch ships due to water levels (we were traveling north, the sister ship was traveling south and neither could go under a bridge) The switch was handled so well...while guests were taken on an "unplanned excursion", the crew moved luggage into the same cabin number guests had. Meanwhile both ships had to change linens and clean cabins and public rooms. For the cruise line this would be a common practice, if needed. For us it was interesting experience...except for packing and unpacking. To date we have not had a poor experience. We offer our condolences to all involved in today's accident on the Viking Freya. Bless the crew members who died.

Lynda and Marsh Batchelor - September 11, 2016 9:18 PM

We LOVE Viking cruises--staff, hospitality, top notch employees--nothing to complain about. Hmm-maybe Bub is the problem.
Such a sad thing to happen.

Patrick Genova - September 11, 2016 9:33 PM

Just returned 9-1-16 from the Viking River of Gold which was our second VRC. Every safety measure was taken when lowering the wheelhouse to ensure clearance when going under a bridge and find it hard to believe how this has happened. Have found VRC to be excellent in the past.

Jim and Tammy White - September 11, 2016 10:11 PM

Cannot disagree with "Bub" more! We had an AMAZING experience last spring with Viking, and are excitedly looking forward to our next excursion next fall. What a tragic loss to the families - both personal and professional - of the two crew members. May they rest in peace.

Karen Peiffer - September 11, 2016 10:21 PM

Although I have not cruised with Viking, many of my clients have and all have reported a wonderful experience with superb service. The river ships have been replaced with new ones and they are excellent. My heart is sad that crew members were lost. We may never know what happened but our best should go to the families and friends of those lost.

Gay - September 11, 2016 10:28 PM

So saddened to hear of this tragic accident with loss of 2 lives.
Condolences to all family and colleagues at this time of deep sorrow.
We have never done a river cruise however have often thought it would be nice .
Things happen! We never know! WHY!
This tragic event would not prevent us from using the Viking Line of cruises.
Unfortunate situations are a part of our lives. Lessons are learned for all of us.
I wish only the best to all those involved in this very sad incident!

David Watkins - September 11, 2016 10:41 PM

We were on Viking Neptune last year, beautiful boat and yet retired as too dated for Viking after our trip, wonderful crew, great director, great service and food, we are going again this October on Viking.

It appears this incident was due to an unlighted bridge, an alternate local crew at the helm and the dark wee hours and the wheel house not being lowered. Sad as it is, it is also a stark reminder that the unforgiving reality of physics and a few hundred tons in motion requires the full attention to the details every time.

Consider Bub's experience was six years ago if true.

Carl Franklin - September 11, 2016 11:13 PM

Just went on the Amsterdam Budapest Grand Cruise on the Viking Villi. It was a fantastic experience Officers, food, service were outstanding and the Concierge and the Program Director were superb

Graham - September 11, 2016 11:55 PM

Bub's comments are way out of line. The standard of class with Viking vessels are unparalleled. This accident will remain a mystery until fully investigated, sympathy to all.

Vel - September 12, 2016 12:06 AM

I returned last Saturday, Sept. 3,2016, from a cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Viking ship Bragi. I was shocked to hear of this accident. Our crew was professional and I felt safe. The top deck was off limits to us for most of the trip. The rails, and everything else flattened. We were told how the wheel house gets lowered into an area behind the bar in the lounge. I don't know if this was a mechanical problem or human error. Guests and crew get to know each other since they spend 12-15 or even 24 hours a day together for 8 to 15 days. The crews on the various ships really get to know each other too. It's just tragic. But I would not be afraid to take another river cruise with Viking.

Bev Alfred - September 12, 2016 12:36 AM

I too have had good experiences with Viking. River cruise on Viking Bragi, then Baltic cruise on Viking Star. We are planning a 3rd cruise next year. We have always found the staff to be professional and very well trained. I cannot believe this tragedy has happened. We need to wait for the outcome of the investigation before jumping to conclusions. Lives have been lost. Very very sad. Condolences to all the Viking family

P James Long - September 12, 2016 1:25 AM

One more disagreement with Bub; he is simply out of date. I just returned from a VRC cruise on Viking Freya from Budapest to Nurnberg Aug 7 - 14, 2016: Condition of the ship: excellent; courtesy and professionalism of the crew: excellent; performance of the crew: excellent; overall impression: excellent. My condolences to the crew and management for this tragedy, especially to the families of the two who were killed.

Kathy Sellers - September 12, 2016 1:40 AM

My husband and I have been on 11 river cruise trips,(5 of them with Viking), and we find Viking to be one of the best. This year we added an ocean cruise with Viking and will do so again in October because we enjoyed our first ocean trip with Viking so well. It is very sad to hear about this accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these two men.

P James Long - September 12, 2016 1:43 AM

One more disagreement with Bub; he is simply out of date. I just returned from a VRC cruise on Viking Freya from Budapest to Nurnberg Aug 7 - 14, 2016: Condition of the ship: excellent; courtesy and professionalism of the crew: excellent; performance of the crew: excellent; overall impression: excellent. My condolences to the crew and management for this tragedy, especially to the families of the two who were killed.

Laura - September 12, 2016 1:44 AM

This is terrible news and I disagree totally with Bub - my husband and I sailed on the Freya from Budapest to Nuremberg New Year's Eve 2015 and we had one of the best ever holidays - everything was fantastic especially the staff. The families of the two officers are in our prayers.

David B - September 12, 2016 2:16 AM

I have just returned home having had my first river cruise with my wife. We were on rhe Amsterdam to Basel trip on Viking Mani. Beautiful ship, excellent staff and food. I, and other passenger, had a tour of the bridge with the Captain and he demonstrated the lowering of the bridge, all their navigational aids and control systems. I was shocked to hear of this terrible incident.

Colin burge - September 12, 2016 2:19 AM

My wife has travelled on VCR and found them excellent.The only complainers are usually loud Americans who always find things to complain about as they are looking for compensation

Bob - September 12, 2016 2:36 AM

My wife and I are in Budapest, having just completed a Viking cruise down the Danube from Nuremberg. We were shocked and saddened to learn of this tragic accident. The Viking crew and staff provided us with outstanding service. The Viking Egil on which we cruised was in superb condition. During the trip I visited the wheelhouse and was impressed with the technology of the equipment and professionalism of the captain and first officer. This was our second Viking cruise. We will book another cruise with Viking when we next travel abroad. Our condolences to the families of the seamen who died.
Bob and Ann
Pacific Palisades, California

Dawn Austin - September 12, 2016 2:41 AM

We have had three wonderful cruises with Viking.
Superb ships and the crew couldn't have been bettered.
Hard to believe this Bubb is real.

Lee Snyder - September 12, 2016 2:47 AM

This is our third Viking Cruise and we love them. My wife has been on many ocean going cruise lines and we still come back to Viking for river cruises. Viking bends over backwards to accommodate any needs and their crew is exemplary. We obviously feel so sorry for their loss and realize that accidents can happen. The critique by "Bub", although well within his rights to say in a free society, sounds very much like an unhappy person who likely would not have been pleased with any cruise line. I do think his comments could have been moderated by the author if he had been more sensitive to the tragic consequences of the accident itself. Please add our heartfelt sorrow to the growing list of supporters for Viking, the two crew members lost, their families and the families who went through this horrific experience. I would expect nothing less of Viking. In their professionalism and sincere effort to comfort those involved. May God be with them all at this very sad turn of events.

Monika Cavojska - September 12, 2016 3:13 AM

We are truly sorry to hear of the loss of two great crew members please accept our condolences and may our prayers help comfort you and hasten the journey of your soul to heaven.
Our deepest sympathy go out to your and your family.
All crew members from Viking Forseti, France 😢😢😢

Jane Preston-smith - September 12, 2016 3:15 AM

I have recently got back from a cruise on the Rhine and I couldn't say enough about the staff and the ship it was all fantastic. Looking forward to my next cruise. So sad to hear about the loss of the officers they all went above and beyond to ensure our safety and comfort.

Sherry - September 12, 2016 3:16 AM

Yes, I'm agreeing with everyone else! Viking is a wonderful company in the river cruise/ocean travel industry. I should know. I've been on 5 of their cruises, the most recent one was in January 2016 to Egypt. It was an awesome experience! This was a horrible accident that happened unfortunately from human error, it seems. Their cruise line should not be blamed or suffer from what happened. I've always found them to be extremely careful in all aspects of their trips. My heart breaks for the families of the deceased men and the entire Viking family😥😥

Mike Moloney - September 12, 2016 3:34 AM

Deepest condolences to family of the killed crew members. My wife and I have just completed the cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest on the Viking Skirnir. The cruise exceeded our expectations and the crew were exceptional. Communications on board were of a high standard as was the attention to safety and care for passengers.

Ley - September 12, 2016 4:06 AM

So sad. Last year we did our first Viking river cruise and it exceeded our expectations, mainly due to the competent, organised staff. No one knows at this stage the absolute cause of this tragic accident and people who just want to complain about something totally unrelated to this particular cruise should just but out! We can't wait to go with Viking again, they are wonderful.

Chris - September 12, 2016 4:11 AM

Another disagreement with Bub from me. I've been on two Viking river cruises and they were the best trips I've ever had. I can't wait to sail with them again. My thoughts are with the Freya's crew (one of whom is now a friend after our cruise last year) and the families of those who perished.
Looking at the pictures, I'm not sure there would've been enough clearance for the wheelhouse even when retracted - it looks to me like the water level was too high for the ship to pass safely under the bridge at all.

Pat - September 12, 2016 5:36 AM

Couldn't disagree more with Bub. Too bad his/her trip was bad but I've been on two Viking Cruises and I see no reason to travel on any line but Viking. Great ship,crew and experience. Would have traded it for the world. Just travelled that route the last thirteen days and passed the other unfortunate ship. Remember waving to them as they passed. So sad and unfortunate someone has to pile on with the remarks Bub did. Pretty classless especially with the loss of life, loved ones and all the passengers that had to be so frightened.

Pat - September 12, 2016 5:43 AM

Couldn't disagree more with Bub. Too bad his/her trip was bad but I've been on two Viking Cruises and I see no reason to travel on any line but Viking. Great ship,crew and experience. Would have traded it for the world. Just travelled that route the last thirteen days and passed the other unfortunate ship. Remember waving to them as they passed. So sad and unfortunate someone has to pile on with the remarks Bub did. Pretty classless especially with the loss of life, loved ones and all the passengers that had to be so frightened.

Marilyn - September 12, 2016 6:01 AM

We have just returned 2/9/2016 on the Var from Budapest we had a great experience and would consider going on another. Staff all very helpful and pleasant had a lovely holiday .

Joanne - September 12, 2016 6:21 AM

My husband and I did a Viking cruise last year and had an amazing time. Crew, cabin and itinerary were outstanding. We had to change ships due to water levels but this was done so well, it was so easy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the 2 crew members that have passed away.

Vera E Fritz - September 12, 2016 6:37 AM

Took 2 trips with VRC. Rhine and Danhub. Both exellent staff, very professional and friendly. RIP to the officers. Conductance to the staff, families and VRC.

Win and Alan Sayers - September 12, 2016 6:38 AM

Desperately sad at this tragic accident. Sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the officers. We are sad for the Viking company - our experience of the holiday of a lifetime was of the great care taken of everyone on board. We sailed from Budapest to Nuremburg two weeks ago and have nothing but praise for the professionalism of the staff who catered for our every need. We have no hesitation in recommending a Viking River Cruise and we look forwrd to sailing with you again.

Bruce - September 12, 2016 6:40 AM

Obviously Bub has little idea of what is good. What is the point of a comment that is 5 years out of date anyway. We have done 4 river cruises and 2 ocean cruises in the last 3 years and all Viking staff and ships have been exceptional. Thoughts are with relatives of the crew and the passengers. Not a good way to start the exact same cruise we did barely 5 months back.

Vera E Fritz - September 12, 2016 6:53 AM

Took 2 trips with VRC. Rhine and Danhub. Both exellent staff, very professional and friendly. RIP to the officers. Conductance to the staff, families and VRC.

Karen & Tom Frahn (Adelaide South Aust) - September 12, 2016 7:58 AM

We've just completed our 1st river cruise on the Viking Skirnir 29/8/16 Budapest to Amsterdam.All staff & facilities were excellent, with passenger safety always paramount.Our deepest sympathy to the families, friends & staff of the 2 crew members who tragically lost their lives.

Beth - September 12, 2016 8:34 AM

This is so sad. My condolences to the families and the Viking family. I also strongly disagree with Bub. We have sailed on VRC twice in the past 2 years and will be cruising again in Russia in 3 weeks. This is a terrible accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the men who died and the Viking family as a whole.

Kath and Rod Bradley - September 12, 2016 11:01 AM

We sailed on Viking Freya 2 weeks ago on Budapest to Nurenburg. An excellent boat with wonderful staff and this is our 4th trip with Viking. Apart from the split flights everything is first class. Our thoughts are with the Viking crew and members of the family of the 2 crewmen killed. Obviously a terrible accident. So sorry everyone. Kath and Rod Bradley

Cat - September 12, 2016 11:06 AM

Was on the Freya this same time in 2014 on the Danube. Crew, staff and boat were great. Our problem was low water and bad communication on how that would impact our 'River cruise'!
We spoke to the 1st mate and had a tour of the wheelhouse. He was friendly and informative. I hope he wasn't one of the 2 killed. My prayers go out to their families and fellow crew members.

Tim Walter - September 12, 2016 11:16 AM

Sounds like Bub might be a crotchety ol' curmudgeon. We had only excellent experience on Viking as well.

Neil O'Donnell - September 12, 2016 11:23 AM

We made the trip from Amsterdam to Budapest in July on the Skirnir. Had an incredible wonderful experience. Very professional staff and crew. Would recommend the experience to anyone. There might have been a last second malfunction. Our condolences to all the immediate family and to the whole Viking family as well.

Dee - September 12, 2016 11:25 AM

We have taken 3 cruises in the past 3 years, one on the same cruise itinerary of this vessel. On all 3 cruises, the crew was absolutely top-notch. Our experiences could not possibly have been more enjoyable. And, the boats were practically brand new. It is very sad that this accident occurred, and our thoughts are with the families of the 2 young men and the Freya's crew members.

PS- We will take another Viking cruise in 2017, and we look forward to it.

Dorina - September 12, 2016 11:28 AM

Mr. BUB you and GRANDY must be really miserable to find the moment to make such comment, regardless of your "experience" on Viking Freya which might, in matter of fact, been without a doubtdue to your miserable attitude towards life in general it is not the moment to share it. Next time you go on a trip go and appreciate the culture and history of the places you supose to visit as that must be the mainly reason you are there. Condoleances to the families of the death.

Kenneth Whitham - September 12, 2016 12:21 PM

We have taken several Viking River Cruise trips and have had a wonderful experience. We are saddened to hear of this accident. The Viking River Cruise Fleet is excellently staffed and very,very professional. Our condolences to the families of the 2 lost crewmen.

Sincerely The Whithams

Linda - September 12, 2016 12:57 PM

Just got off the Viking Skirnir in Budapest this morning. The crew was very clear about the danger of the low bridges. I'm so sorry for those who died. Ours was a wonder cruise. Highly recommend it.

Raef - September 12, 2016 1:10 PM

You have to wonder if Bub is one of those guys who complains about everything and you hate to sit with on a cruise, tour, etc. If so, no wonder people (including staff) turn surly back. Some people just can't find anything to be happy about and travelling is so much fun, especially with Viking, those who can't enjoy it should just stay home and complain to the TV.

Linda Christensen - September 12, 2016 1:36 PM

Have done two river cruises with Viking. We can't say enough about the wonderful staff and crews. Both Seine and Rhine river cruises were wonderful! We've recommended them multiple times.

Chad & Kim Barnes - September 12, 2016 2:47 PM

My wife and I have completed 3 separate Viking Cruses to date, all first class experiances. We plan more in the future.
Before we all point fingers at crew mistakes, please keep in mind this tragic accident may be an equiptment malfunciton. Our experiances with Viking staff only showed careful consideration and safety for all aboard.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers, staff, families of these officers, as well as the entire Viking staff and ownership.
Chad & Kim Barnes

steve estvanik - September 12, 2016 3:32 PM

we are currently on the VIking Skadi headed towards Amsterdam and were stopped outside Nuremberg due to this unfortunate accident. the response from Viking has been outstanding - they have kept us up to date about the accident, and they have done an amazing job in coping with the delays -- they have re routed buses to maintain our itinerary, meeting the ship in unscheduled places and generally doing whatever they can after a 12 hour delay.

Lisa - September 12, 2016 3:53 PM

I took this same Viking cruise last November and couldn't have been more satisfied. Viking was top notch, from the ships to the last member of the staff. My friends were on this ship and are thankfully fine, although a little traumatized especially at the two casualties. I supposed time will tell what the circumstances were, but regardless, it's awful that 2 people died.

Marilyn - September 12, 2016 4:13 PM

Bub created quite a fire storm didn't he and it is obvious he is not at all familiar with Viking's current operations. My husband and I took a cruise with them from Budapest to Amsterdam 16 months ago with the Vili. It was just her second sailing and on several stops, we tied up to Freya. I cannot say enough about the fabulous service and friendliness of all of the staff on board - this was probably the best holiday we have ever been on and I would go again in a heartbeat. Our thoughts are with the families of those who were lost and our deepest sympathies go out to all of the Viking family.

Debby Husmann - September 12, 2016 4:40 PM

Do you know the names of the victims? Or, where can I find out who they were?

Darryl Bloom - September 12, 2016 5:08 PM

Just returned last week from our 4th VIKING River Cruise...did Amsterdam to Budapest in 2013....as I seem to remember, much of the Main River transition from the Rhine to the Danube happens at night....lots of locks, but always advised passengers of any possible issues regarding high water and closing of Sun Deck in order to facilitate passing under the bridges. VIKING has always been great...so sorry about this accident, and for the 2 crew who lost their lives. This incident will not change my mind about booking my next trip with VIKING!!!

Warren - September 12, 2016 5:52 PM

Bub,
Your name indicates that you may be better off taking a vacation sitting by a pool in Cuba drinking watered down drinks and telling everyone how well off you are.
Our Viking vacation was the trip of a lifetime.

J. King - September 12, 2016 6:07 PM

We sailed the Viking Longship Ingvar from Budapest to Amsterdam just this past May/June and played 'tag' with the Freya. To say we loved both the cruise and the ship is probably an understatement. Our ship was fairly new and beautiful, the crew was top notch and the officers were amazing. Knowing how diligent our crew was, I wonder if this was a mechanical failure. I am so very sorry to hear that lives were lost; however, I would never, ever hesitate to sail on Viking again.

John Carroll - September 12, 2016 6:27 PM

We did this cruise with friends and had a wonderful time and found the crew very nice and enjoyed kidding around with them during our meals. Don't know Bub but anyone who can't have a great time on a Viking cruise should stay home. We've done several cruised and the crew can't be more attentive. Can't wait for my next Viking cruise.

Yvonne Phelps - September 12, 2016 7:08 PM

We were just in a River cruise with Viking, leaving Budapest on August 21 and ending in Amsterdam in September 4rh, one of the locks broke down and Viking sent another ship and buses for us to continue the cruise, everything was done quickly and orderly, we had to pack again but we got to continue on the tours and missed two sights but saw two other sights. Viking was excellent, there was nothing else Viking could do, there are 68 locks between Budapest and Amsterdam. Every now and then one breaks, it is what it is. The staff at Viking were excellent and the the new ship treated us like Royalty. The Program Director Van Dort and the lady Concierge worked very hard to make sure that we were comfortable and fine. Not a big deal, we have two more upcoming cruises with Viking. Sorry about this accident and the two officers who died, that is very sad. The waters must have been too high.

John Orct - September 12, 2016 7:20 PM

We have been on a number of Viking River Cruises and they were beyond our anticipation.
Mr Negativity Bub was on some other cruise line because he is out to lunch if he is referring to Viking. In fact, he sounds like the staff he is referring.

Julia L Shuran - September 12, 2016 7:46 PM

I was on the Freya late June/early July. Met the captain, if the same, have his picture. Very nice man!
I can't say enough about our cruise! I have never been so pleased with any cruise. My all time favorite trip.

Jim - September 12, 2016 7:50 PM

We took the Freya last September, same route, the river was very low. The boat could not make the trip, we were bused a couple of hundred miles into the next country, ran many hours behind schedule. Very bad trip, missed the "big" attractions. That was our 2nd Viking cruise, took a 3rd this spring, in Bordeaux, when much better.
Bigfoot.

Jim Walker - September 12, 2016 8:08 PM

The "let's-bash-Bub-and-praise-Viking" talk has more than run its course.

This adoration, and lack of critical thinking, are fundamentally disrespectful to the families of the crew members who met their untimely deaths.

Jerry - September 13, 2016 12:21 AM

We just got off the Egil which had the same route to Budapest. We've cruised all the rivers of Germany and France and had about 8 or 9 ocean cruises. This was our first with Viking. On 10 scale, I would rate it a 6. The water in the bath rooms is scalding hot. Movie options were poor. For US news only had CNN and CNBC. Who wants to have to watch those ultra lib channels who cover for Clinton? Why no Fox News? I found the food mediocre. The program director and staff were great. We will not take another Viking Cruise. As to the tragic accident, I would think the wheel house would have warning alarms go off if they are not lowered when approaching low bridges. At 1:30, maybe the navigators were asleep?

Mae - September 13, 2016 1:39 AM

Viking are a wonderful caring company. Their ships and crew are second to none.
Everything about them is A1. Am about to do my 5th cruise. No complaints about any of them. So sad about the accident and loss of life .

jm - September 13, 2016 8:46 AM

Hello all! First of all i have to do with the family of these 2 crew-members. But i want to make a little point.....
In the rhine-danube area is viking-cruise at the top of big accidents....
But there is a reasen for this..... viking is i suppose the biggest company with lots of ships a few years ago they build in one time 10! Ships..try to count how much GOOD qualifed personal you must have......
The most west-european captains (like me) dont sail with them....why is that.....
These boats are much to big (high) for this route always sail at nigh with a heavy time-table.Another thing is that the wheelhouse is always in the front.....i would say put it in the back (just like ALL cargoships...(also other cruisecompagnies)
Tis is for now. Lots of rhinecaptains think like me but nobody is listening to us.... i write a few months ago that people are gonna die......
Good luck everybody keep on cruising but think at this little story....

John - September 13, 2016 9:08 AM

This was an accident waiting to happen! my wife and I cruised the Rhine last summer and have just returned from a Douro cruise both with Viking..on each cruise we went under very low bridges requiring us to crouch to avoid being hit by the bridge.We commented at the time that ALL passengers should be asked to leave the top deck well before the bridges.My thoughts are with the family of the dead.There needs to be a review by Viking.

Albert Nissim - September 13, 2016 11:45 AM

We just disembarked from the Egil in Budapest on Sunday. The whole cruise was delightful as the ship was just built this year and the staff could not have been more congenial and informative. Accomodations were kept spotless and the food was fresh, of good quality and well prepared.

This seems to simply be a case of human error and we regret the loss of two lives. However, since there are so many bridges where the wheel house has to be lowered, and since the ships are so modern, perhaps Viking should specify something more automatic in the future...like a warning beforehand and a slowdown or stop if the wheelhouse is not lowered.

Doug Schaff - September 13, 2016 1:47 PM

Thank you all for your sharing your experiences. My wife and I are booked on our 1st Viking river cruise next month (Nuremburg - Budapest), and were concerned when we read Bub's comments. However, the posts that followed truly helped allay our concerns, and we look forward to our trip as before.

johnny - September 13, 2016 3:36 PM

So 2 people died because of someones incompetence and all you talk about is the fantastic staff and trips on board Viking. What if the 2 dead people had been passengers?

Dee Dee - September 13, 2016 5:27 PM

We took the Freya from Budapest to Nuremberg last week of May 2015 to beginning of June. Top of the line services, accommodations and staff. As a Marine Underwriter in the Brown Water business in the GOM accidents happen - hence that is why they are called accidents. My sympathy goes out to the deceased and family.

Pat - September 13, 2016 9:01 PM

We have taken 6 Viking river cruises - the first in 2010 and the latest in May 2016. They were all exceptional. The last was our only longship and it was lovely, but the others were also very nice. In 2010 we did Budapest to Amsterdam on the Legend (brand new at the time and their first green ship) and were delighted to be tied up near it in Vienna this year. We just booked our first Viking Ocean Cruise for February and are anxious to see how those ships are. Sorry, Bub, you are the first person I've ever heard criticize Viking. Maybe we are all out of step but you????

Mike Overton - September 14, 2016 3:15 AM

This is our third trip with Viking, Danube, Rhine and just home from a trip on the Rhone. Above expectation, professional delivery in all areas and the staff could not do enough to make our holiday more pleasurable. So friendly always.
Our condolences go to the the families of the two lost Crewmen and to the Viking members of staff throughout.

mike - September 14, 2016 3:04 PM

My wife and I just returned from a trip on the Rhine with Viking and we have never been treated better any where we have ever traveled, Everyone one of the staff with Viking were amazing, great food , service was second to no one. we will be back with Viking again. My heart goes out to the families of the 2 crew who were killed.

Mike

Marleen Norton - September 15, 2016 6:25 AM

We just got off the VC and it was a wonderful adventure. The staff (Katlyn), the food and cleanliness, The service is a five star outfit.
We are sadden of this news.

Betsy Graves - September 15, 2016 11:40 AM

I have to agree with Bud. We were on the Viking Modi in August of this year. While the crew and ship was acceptable, it, in my opinion, was not the value for the money. Food was terrible. We had one of the suites and couldn't even get ice for our room. $27,000 you would think they could bring us ice. Another friend wanted four Cokes each day. They wouldn't even do that. Not a good value.

Janice Moss - September 15, 2016 2:41 PM

We have unfortunately just been on the Freya when it had the accident. For various reasons we decided to come home early as did other passengers. All i would say is that Viking staff were absolutely fantastic under such tragic circumstances. They lost colleagues but retained their dignity and helpfulness the whole time. I would also like to thank the emergency services, the Red cross and all those who looked after us in Erlanger.
Bub's remarks are very unfortunate and unhelpful at a time like this.

Gary Aerts - September 15, 2016 8:59 PM

My wife and I have been on two Viking river cruises and are signed up for a third next year. We cannot be more pleased with the service we have received! Our sympathy to the families of the deceased crew members and to the Viking family.

Adam - September 15, 2016 9:50 PM

I was on a Viking Cruise with on Prestige last October, I was in one of the few studio cabins, it was an amazing experience and would do it again if Viking offered more solo itinerary. The staff was great, they were all kind and helpful. The food was excellent also.

David Clarke - September 16, 2016 2:55 PM

In this debate one needs to seperate the quality of service to the passengers from the safe operation of the ships. Have a look at the accident record of the company's operating in the river you are travelling in. The previous comment by a captain regarding the size of the boats is also pertinent. Given the variability of river levels in most of the European rivers perhaps the boats are just to big? I have undertaken 2 river cruises (Danube and Rhone) and the experience of the captain is vital in the variable conditions that are encountered. The quality of the staff in the restaurant has no bearing on the safety of the ship.

Steve - September 16, 2016 2:57 PM

We cruised on the Price from Amsterdam to Budapest about five years ago. It was the vacation of a lifetime. We had zero complaints about the ship or the line. Excellent food and wine. Nice crew. Great way to travel the interior. If you like engineering stuff, the R-M-Danube Canal is a trip with all those amazing locks. So sorry to hear about this and these poor men.

Donna - September 16, 2016 5:09 PM

We have sailed four times with Viking and had wonderful experiences. We are booked again for 2017. I am sorry for the loss of the crew and hope Viking can do some crew training so this does not happen again. Somebody was not paying attention. Our experiences are nothing but positive from beginning to end.

John - September 16, 2016 8:22 PM

Wife and I just returned home from Rhine cruise on the Eir. WE enjoyed the trip and felt the crew was very professional in their duties. No problems were incurred on the complete trip. The only comment we would make was their was too lomg of walking to get to the buses for shore trips. We have also gone on several sea cruises and felt the food was a little better than the river cruises.

Roy Herman - September 17, 2016 7:46 AM

We just returned home from a Viking trip on the Danube. It was wonderful. While on the cruise the captain was introduced and his requirements for licensing explained. They said that before he gets his license for sailing on the Danube, the tester gives the applicant a mile (kilometer) marker number and the applicant must recite what is located there. I thought that was pretty intense but understand why it may be necessary. I am not sure if the captain was one of the ones killed.

As an added comment, I don't understand why so many people post against Bub's comments. He is entitled to his opinion as well as everyone else!

GERRY ARABIT - September 18, 2016 9:43 AM

We just finished our first Viking River Cruise on the Jarl 8 days ending August 28,2016 on the same route Nuremberg to Budapest. We had the Freya docked on our side. The cruise was super amazing & the crew & service just fantastic. My wife & I had a chance to be right on the wheelhouse & met the captain & his son his co-captain.
Captain was nice enough to let me sit down on the captain's chair. We just could not believe how this collision could have happened.We plan to cruise on the Viking soon & recommend it to anyone. Amen!

Rob Reid - September 19, 2016 6:36 AM

Have done 2 Viking cruises In Europe. Only complaint I can make is the attitude of some people in the Australian office. The conduct of the crew and the professionalism of the company is outstanding. I will go again, one day.

Rob

Brian Kebell - September 19, 2016 8:58 AM

We have taken 5 Viking cruises . 2 trips on the so called " old " ships.ALL cruises were fantastic .
I would hope that "BUB" will now withdraw his spiteful , and stupid comments , and show some respect for the poor crew members who perished .
Brian and Avril send their condolences.

lynzy - September 19, 2016 12:16 PM

The comments by Bub should be removed not be at the top of the list. We went on the Douro with Viking last year, the ship, crew, food, trips ashore all were superb, top class everything. The crew were all Portugese and passionate about their lovely country. I suspect Bub is a spoiler and has never traveled with this brilliant company!

Emily Price - September 20, 2016 11:32 AM

We boarded our Viking Cruise Sunday 9/11/16, on the Prestige Vessel, unaware of the lost of two deaths. The crew members are a family, and obviously there was a loss felt, as flowers were placed at the entrance to our ship. WE loved our experience with the Viking Cruise line, even though there was another accident on the Danube River by another cruise line, that ran into one of the dams. This rerouted our entire itinerary, having us change ships to get to another ship past the broken lock. We could have been placed in a hotel, but our INCREDIBLE Cruise Director, OLIVER, made it his mission to make our trip the best it could be. Obviously there was a lot of busing rather than river cruising,but Oliver made it possible. Thank you Viking for making it possible to see what we did.

Bradley Pasko - September 20, 2016 12:04 PM

Brad Rosy Joann &Sheila just sailed on the Rhone with Viking .Avignon to Lyon/Macon. We could not have been more pleased and satisfied with ship and great staff.We will go again Danube next year..

Nigel - September 20, 2016 3:17 PM

May I add my support to Viking at this difficult time for them. I have been on two Viking river cruises, these being on a new (Viking Prestige) and older (Viking Sun) ship. On both occasions I have been impressed by the standards that Viking deliver, both for holiday enjoyment and their professionalism. I fully intent to use them again as and when the time comes. It is very disturbing that two people should have lost their lives, no doubt doing their best to provide a good holiday for their guests. Bub is entitled to his negative opinion but this is not the time to voice it.

Tony C - September 21, 2016 6:08 AM

We commenced our cruise on 11th September, and heard the awful news on board. It would appear that this sort of accident happens on a fairly regular basis ( Just google Danube cruise lock damage) From the dates of the first 'supportive' messages, it might appear that Viking have a very good P.R. department . We found that the cruise was more of an expensive coach trip, the only city we berthed in was at the start in Budapest, where we could walk off the boat and walk in the city, otherwise it was a coach trip into the various ports.
We saved up a long time for this trip, and consider it bad value for money. Never again

sherry p - September 22, 2016 7:52 PM

I had just finished the south of france cruise when the 9-11 accident happened. The comments previous I find interesting that most are 2016. The news of this incident was virtually unheard in the US.
So we will probably never hear the results.

I've had one grand european trip of a lifetime that was perfect from beginning to end in every way imaginable. That was 2014 so I couldn't wait for the next one.

The explanations and traveling through the lockes -65 of them on this route - would make ALL safety measures a necessity. The news at the time also mentioned "locke strikes'. EUROPEAN strikes are a plague every single summer. Air, rail, land and I was aware of sea!
Between the two trips, The differences are too long to list. Comments related to this accident and comparing rivers, crews, weather, water...also endless. 9-11 another tragic accident.
On a personal and individual traveler level, I can suggest, as I would do next time, that all the fine print in the contract be read and requirements outlined that allow for compensation or reimbursement that permit a passenger to return home for ANY reason with explanation of travel insurance policy available.

Karen Bishop - September 24, 2016 10:09 AM

My family and I arrived at our Viking ship in Lyon the same day the tragedy happened on the Danube. We were first time river cruisers, so didn't know what to expect or even that this had happened until our first gathering with the program director and other crew members that evening. It was very clear that many of the staff members of Viking consider one another beloved friends and family members, even if they are from all over the world; Viking moves around their employees every month or two to ensure they stay engaged and motivated and interested ... at least this is my understanding. So, they obviously get to meet many other crew members if they've been with the company for any length of time.

It was quite touching and heartbreaking to hear of the tragedy from one of the officers of our ship (Brian from Scotland). He was visibly shaken and had a hard time getting through the announcement. There wasn't a dry eye, and it somehow brought us all together as human beings experiencing the same feeling of loss, even though we had never met one another before.

Truly, that feeling of engagement and connections remained through our week long journey. Never have I experienced the level of service and care on cruises (ocean) or bus tours that I've taken in the past. The staff was beyond excellent, the food fantastic, the boat was older but well kept and spotless, and the stateroom was lovely and so well organized and had the best use of space I've ever seen in a small area.

We loved the cruise, we loved the staff, we loved the people of France and of course the scenery and history and lessons we learned about the country and the different kinds of industries there (wine and fabrics to name a couple)were fascinating.

I absolutely couldn't recommend Viking more. I hope to go on another Viking cruise someday.

Madeline Ancona - September 24, 2016 10:15 AM

Have traveled twice with Viking and were wonderful experiences. Planning on another in 2017. My thoughts and prayers to the families of the deceased ,Viking Cruise and all impacted by this tragedy. God bless you.🙏🏽😥

Susan Kovaleski - September 24, 2016 7:04 PM

My husband and I traveled on the Viking Prestige this summer from Budapest to Passau and the trip was fabulous. The Viking staff, the Captain, the Manager, and the Program Director could not have done a more professional job. We enjoyed every minute of the cruise and would not hesitate to travel with Viking again, ever, in fact we look forward to it. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the crew members who lost their lives in this tragic accident and to all the Viking people. We felt a close connection to the staff on our ship by the end of our travel week, so we can imagine how difficult this is for everyone.

Douglas LLOYD MD, Captain USN Retired - September 28, 2016 2:23 PM

We took the same route, but on a different long boat 3 years ago. Excellent in all respects. The crew was superb. Based on our good impressions of Viking, we took the Venice to Istanbul trip on the six month old (new) Viking Star last fall (2015). Don't think it could have gone any better. As an old Naval officer I have been around the world on Navy ships, but this is a whole new fantastic experience. And I have been an officer of deck and know of the complexities of navigating a large ship. I look forward to my next cruise on Viking.

E D Hummel - September 30, 2016 7:28 PM

My wife and I just returned from our Viking grand European cruise and I must say the Viking ship Modi, their staff and crew were there to make your stay an experience to remember. Our ship was the next cruise behind the Freya but did not learn of the accident until three or so days after. we would recommend this cruise to anyone who enjoys fine dining, good wine and beautiful scenery

B. Gallo - October 1, 2016 8:43 AM

Let me add my "two cents" worth on Viking cruises. My wife and I were very disappointed TWICE as we NEVER cruised anywhere. The first time the Danube was rising and we left Budapest and they docked us in a "god forsaken" place where we had to walk in weeds, etc to get on busses to go everywhere! Then they decided to move ship to "someplace" and we were put on busses to meet another ship. The busses got lost someplace in Germany & it took about 10 hours to get us to another ship WHICH DID NOT SAIL EITHER! When we finally
got to the ship they made us wait in line to eat "dinner" but they would not allow us to use dining room because it was was already set up for following morning breakfast. On our second NON CRUISE adventure after we arrived at airport we were told the "ship had been in an accident the day before and COULD NOT SAIL! Once again we spent a week on & off busses. The hotels they put us in were just OK, the food just OK most of the time.Needless to say we will NEVER cruise with Viking!

Jerry Hahn - October 3, 2016 8:24 PM

Condolences to the Viking family and the family and friends of the two officers killed in the Freya accident.

My wife and two friends who live in Illinois, USA, only 20 minutes from the Mississippi River,completed the Viking Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise in early August this year, on the Ingva - our first river cruise. We found this European Danube river experience with its similarities and differences to our Mississippi River and region,to be many. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire cruise, the cultural encounters; the professional, helpful and friendly room and dining/lounge staff; excellent food and comfortable on-board accommodation; guide and coach personnel; - the entire lot was top drawer! My observations were that they took time and opportunity to push passenger and crew safety - at all times, frequently - reassuring to be certain. We are saddened to become aware of the safety breakdown - regardless of rhyme or reason.

Of great interest to me and my companions,were the numerous locks and dams and river traffic.I am retired from the US Army, Corps of Engineers,which is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of these facilities and Mississippi river channel. For over 32 years in Human Resources I traveled from our District HQ near Lock and Dam 15 at Rock Island to locations up and down river.Rivers are risky, working and playing on them can be dangerous - even with intense safety programs in place.

Of special interest to me was the visit to Nuremburg where I was stationed for nearly two years (O'Darby Kaserne, Furth, Bay) in the mid 1960's while in the U.S. Army. Wow! have things changed in the last 50+ years! Thanks Viking for a wonderful view of Europe today.I was a photographer then, and surely photographed again now, from the Ingva and on shore!

Polly Fredericks - October 26, 2016 3:15 PM

Just went on our first Viking Cruise. Fabulous trip wonderful crew. I don't know how this could happen. The captain took us in the pilot house and showed us how everything worked down to a tee. Was the water in the lock too high? I'm sure they have a way of preventing this from happening?

Thomas Peter Hannah - October 30, 2016 9:03 AM

We also strongly disagree with Bub. Our three river cruises with Viking have been great. We have booked two ocean cruises and fully expect more 5 star experiences. We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the crew members who were killed. In our experience, Viking always operated in a very safe manner. We have no hesitation whatsoever in returning for another cruise with them.

Lynda Masterton - November 4, 2016 4:47 PM

My husband and I were on the Freya in August. Fantastic ship, fantastic crew. So very saddened to hear of this tragic accident. We send our prayers and condolences to all involved.

C.W. Soules CAPTAIN USN RET - November 6, 2016 9:13 PM

We have made three Viking cruises on their new ships. We enjoyed our cruises, we ate well, and the tours were worth taking. When accidents happen they call into question the training and qualification of the ship handling crew. I am certain Viking and the authorities are reviewing what happened so they can apply the lessons learned to prevent another accident. Accidents such as this usually improve safety as the lessons learned are passed on to the crews. We are considering our 4th cruise with Viking.

John C. Smith - November 17, 2016 10:41 PM

I was on that river cruise on the same date on another Viking ship, going in the other direction (northwest) and 12 hrs away from the crash site. It certainly had a
bad effect on our crew, and to a lesser extent, the passengers. There was much discussion as to how this could have happened, given the extent of training, and years of cruising experiencer on this river.

Can anyone advise me how to follow up on this. In Canada, there is a police and a maritime agency investigation, as well as a Coroner's Inquest. I know this takes time, but where can I search for answers?

John C. Smith (Ret. RCMP officer) Victoria, BC canada

K Quan - December 4, 2016 12:56 AM

I really don't know what Bub and Matt are talking about in regards to the Freya. I was on the Frey two years ago and fully enjoyed the cruise and especially the ship and staff. Excellent service, good food and the ship was very clean and recently built. viking replaced the older ships two-three years ago. Bub and Matt must have not traveled with Viking recently. I am planning another cruise with Viking soon.

Ian - December 22, 2016 2:28 AM

We have had 2 river cruises with Viking including the route this accident occurred on. They were wonderful cruises and the staff were so good and helpful. We only wish we could afford to do another one. We would not hesitate to cruise again with Viking.

S Allen - December 30, 2016 6:12 PM

Poor Bub. He tried to diss Viking, and it just didn't work. Matt tried to join in, to no avail. Folks, let's just ignore Bub and Matt. We all know Viking is the greatest. We've taken at least one cruise a year, sometimes two, since 2010. Not once have we been disappointed. And guess what? We're booked again in 2017. Bub and Matt -- dear fellas -- you're outvoted.

Jm - January 21, 2017 2:33 AM

To all again,.... (i wrote earlier a revieuw) the problem is NOT the service to the passengers that is good. The problem is the navigation-staff. You have normally nothing to do with them....but THEY are stearing YOUR ship.... some say in comments they have years of learning and experience...... dont believe everything in life. There is an enormous shortness in good captains, also on the riverbarges. And again....(in my opinion) these ships are tooo big for this kind of rivers.

Oh and a comemnet for john c. Smith. You think they gonna investigate this.....dream on...

Keep on cruising! But keep this in mind!

Lawrence J Sherwood - April 2, 2017 11:15 AM

From the looks of the photos, the boat should not have gone under the bridge. Wheelhouse could not be lowered enough. I have sailed on Viking and it was an enjoyable experience. Sorry to hear abouth this

John Rowcroft - May 29, 2017 1:14 PM

We have just got back from the Douro cruise in Portugal. It was our second Viking cruise and it was on the Viking Ostrid. Both were a magical experience. Crew, food, comfort, ambience, efficiency et al were absolutely super. It's hard to imagine how any improvements could be made. We are planning for next year already.

Jm - September 23, 2017 5:40 AM

Hello here i am again. Its in german languages but it say a lot of your cruiseships wich you are booking!!
Just think of it....your safety first!, not your dinner......


http://www.br.de/nachrichten/oberpfalz/inhalt/flusskreuzfahrten-illegale-beschaeftigungen-lka-kontrollen-100.html

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