This was our first time river cruising and we did not know what to expect.
Before departure there were 2 niggles.
Viking were late in sending out information regarding the trip, with the necessary documentation arriving just 3 days before departure. We were disappointed that we had to fly via Amsterdam when we could have had a direct flight from Bristol
We were met at the airport and quickly transferred to the Hilton in Prague.Throughout the trip Viking looked after our luggage so that there was no carrying. This is a bonus.The Hilton was a lovely hotel but a little far from the Old Town and devoid of any Czech atmosphere.
It was a pleasant sunny evening and we joined the exploratory walk. As we had been to Prague previously this turned out to be a little boring so after about 30 minutes we set out on our own. The Old Town Square was full of people and had an exciting buzz with people eating in the restaurants, watching the famous clock and generally enjoying themselves.After a reasonably priced meal we walked back to our hotel.
The breakfast in the hotel was excellent with the best fresh fruit salad I have ever had. The guided tour of Prague began at 08.30. Did we have to begin our holiday with such an early start? Unfortunately it was raining very heavily and most of the guests would have preferred to go straight to the ship.The Cathedral was closed to visitors! Could Viking not move the trip by one day either way so that the visit took place when the Cathedral was open?
The transfer to the ship went smoothly and soon we were in our compact cabin. After the king size bed in the Hilton the 2 narrow singles did not look welcoming. They did however turn out to be comfortable. The bathroom was quite small but the shower was strong with plenty of hot water.
The food on the ship was first class with a good choice. If you did not like what was on the menu you could always ask for something else. Nothing was too much trouble. The waiters were friendly and provided top notch service. Indeed all the crew could not do enough to help you enjoy the cruise.They were superb.
I must single out Radim. His commentary and sense of fun will be a long lasting memory.
Our first visit was to Litormice.5 minutes there was too long. Even the visit to a brewery was boring. Viking please give this a miss.
The visit to Dresden was amazing. One day there was not enough.
We enjoyed the visit to the Meissen porcelain factory but needed more time in the small town.
The scenery in Saxon Switzerland was exceptional.
On to Wittenburg. Many found this visit, with the great detail on Luther, a bit heavy.
The visit to the "enlish garden" was delightful. It was a lovely sunny, autumn morning and the autumn colours were splendid. The rowing boat excursion made this visit highly enjoyable.
The visit to Potsdam was a bit rushed. The palace tour was boring but the grounds beautiful.
The tours all had excellent guides. Full marks here.
Apart from the visits there were many talks on board mainly on the GDR or EU. On the first night there was a good dance group and on one other night a classical trio.Evening entertainment was a bit lacking and after 10pm there were few people in the lounge.
Now Berlin. Unfortunately we did not arrive until 5pm. The Hilton was within walking distance of the main tourist attractions. This was a good location with plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel was again very good.
Although we are not big shoppers it would have been nice to be in Berlin when the shops were open. Shops close on a sunday.
We enjoyed this holiday. All arrangements by Viking went smoothly. Nothing was too much trouble. If you want a well organised, informative, relaxing holiday I would recommend this cruise.