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Viking River Cruises

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We are taking our first cruise this fall and we decided to go with the Viking River Cruise in Germany. I have multiple sensitivities and contacted them to see if they could accommodate my gluten, casein and soy free diet. To further complicate things, I am also quasi-vegetarian (I eat fish & eggs). I was a little concerned because I had so many requirements and I've read that many cruise lines aren't overly accommodating. I sent an email outlining my diet restrictions and offered to bring my own condiments, pasta, etc. if they couldn't provide them. I was hoping that they would be more flexible since they have small boats and this particular trip is in Europe. I received this email from the cruise line within 24 hours of my initial request. I will post my experience when I get back and let everyone know how well they follow through but I am very pleased so far.


Dear Traveler,

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the Viking River Cruises website.

We will be able to accommodate most, if not all, of your dietary needs. I have requested you to have fruit meals, gluten free meals, vegetarian meals with no meat, and seafood meals. I have also notified our Operations department of your specific requests, such as no casein and no soy. These requests will be on the ship manifest.

Breakfast is served buffet style; to ensure that your lunches and dinners are what you need, please check in with the cruise director as soon as you get on board. As we do make accommodations for gluten free meals, there should be pasta and bread on board, but you may want to bring your own condiments due to your very specific needs.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Here at Viking, customer satisfaction is our number one priority.

Again, thank you for your interest in Viking River Cruises. We look forward to welcoming you aboard our award-winning ships very soon!

Kind Regards,

Reservations Department

Viking River Cruises, Inc.


MP - celiac for 10 years


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Wow - that is fantastic! My hubby and I were looking into taking a Viking River Cruise in China, but I was worried about the food. Thanks for the info :D


"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page" -St. Augustine

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Please do report back. I had a negative experience with another cruise line (Amadeus) this summer. I had faxed them with my needs & they said it would be no problem. I talked to the head of hotel operations once on the ship; again, I was told there would be no problem. However, the kitchen kept recommending things I knew I couldn't eat. A couple times things were recommended and I asked the waiter to check if certain ingredients were included, that if they were I couldn't have them. Then someone else brings those items and yes, indeed -- after I'd eaten them -- I found that they did. So I got sick twice.

I also found that my alternatives were very, very limited even when they got the restrictions right. The chef was a real believer in soups, salad dressings, & sauces based on cream and liked to throw cheese in there too if he could. The vegetarian option only rarely was something I could eat, so I had to eat fish. Fish, fish, fish. Unfortunately unseasoned. It was so loud in the dining room and the waiters were so harried (and native Hungarian speakers for the most part), it proved impossible to get anything fixed.

Oh well, they did have free wine at dinner and that was very good. And there was a nice salad bar at lunch when I really filled up. (The rest of the cruise was great too, so on balance I guess it was still worth it [we went on the Danube & Rhine]. I don't know how I could have improved the food situation. I actually complained to the higher ups at one point, but nothing improved. I mean how could they bring me something seasoned with soy sauce, even recommending it, when I specifically told them to check & NOT bring it if it was? It was like talking to Manuel in the Fawlty Towers program -- a nod, he seemingly understands, but ... no.)

Talking to a celiac on board (there were at least six of us gluten-free sorts with a passenger list of few more than a hundred -- none of us were impressed), she said she had had a wonderful experience with the Norwegian cruise line. So I think that is the one I'll try next, unless you tell me that Viking is good, too!

OK, rant over :lol: I hope you have a wonderful time. Viking, I think, is a bigger outfit so they could well do a better job. Aren't the Scandanavian countries better for gluten-free to begin with?

McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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