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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
After doing 3 previous Viking Cruises, we believed that this relatively new itinerary would be interesting and that Viking would provide a good experience and it did not disappoint on most levels. Hotels were in excellent locations, tours ... Read More
After doing 3 previous Viking Cruises, we believed that this relatively new itinerary would be interesting and that Viking would provide a good experience and it did not disappoint on most levels. Hotels were in excellent locations, tours were interesting and gave great overviews of historical sites, etc. Busing from Prague to Krakow and Krakow to Warsaw provided adequate stops for snacks or stretching legs. In addition, bus trips always provided a stop in a town that allowed for exploration and lunch--good way to break up the trip, eventhough Viking buses are large and comfortable. Viking did a great job of breaking up groups into smaller, manageable ones that allowed for plenty room on the bus. Even had Polish vodka provided when the trip to Warsaw ended up being longer that projected due to traffic problems. Only real issue was the Viking representative who met us at the airport for departure--showed us to the wrong check in line and then disappeared on us even when he said he would be around to check on us. All in all, a great trip--so much to see and do and carried out with Viking efficiency. No water problems--fortunately, a whole day of heavy rains allowed us to go all the way down the Elbe even though we were given a warning a week ahead of time that the river could pose a problem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Low water in the Elbe meant that Viking had not sailed for 3 months. Half of our passengers, when given the opportunity, cancelled their trip, in the expectation that the ship would not sail. We chose to go ahead and we were rewarded ... Read More
Low water in the Elbe meant that Viking had not sailed for 3 months. Half of our passengers, when given the opportunity, cancelled their trip, in the expectation that the ship would not sail. We chose to go ahead and we were rewarded with an actual sail, merely failing to sail to the last port. All excursions took place and the staff worked tirelessly to make the cruise a success. The tour director was excellent and really made it a memorable tour. The river, itself, is not very busy and the scenery is rather samey, but there are good sections to the river. The beauty of this tour is the visit to many areas which were previously in East Germany and behind the Iron Curtain. This was very interesting. We particularly enjoyed the visit to the Meissen factory, and a visit to the lovely and interesting city of Dresden. We wouldn't go back, but only because we have now seen all we want to on the River Elbe. Great food on board throughout. Visits from local activities providing an enriching experience. All excursions were included. The was great value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Elegant Elbe river trip, September 5-13, 2015, was very disappointing. No Viking boats had cruised the Elbe in weeks, and we didn't either. Because of the historically low water on the Elbe River and our not cruising, we had the ... Read More
The Elegant Elbe river trip, September 5-13, 2015, was very disappointing. No Viking boats had cruised the Elbe in weeks, and we didn't either. Because of the historically low water on the Elbe River and our not cruising, we had the pleasure of enjoying two new Viking Elbe River cruise boats, the Astrild and the Beyla. These boats became our hotels, and instead of cruising we were bused to destinations. Both of the boats are new, sleek and sophisticated, comfortable staterooms with adequate storage, and lovely, well-appointed common-gathering spaces. Service was outstanding!!! Bojan Bozic, our Program Director, was extraordinary in every way!!! My husband and I understand the forces of nature and how dependent river cruising is on this. In 2013, during the historic 500-year flood, our Viking Great European Trip from Budapest to Amsterdam was hugely affected by the rapidly rising water. For the trip inconvenience Viking gave to my husband and me, as well as to the other boat passengers, a voucher, $2500. each. For the Elegant Elbe River trip, what a paltry showing of goodwill the $1000. voucher is in comparison. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We were a grouip of six on the Viking Beyla Elbe River cruise in early June - One night in a nice Berlin Hotel (Steigenberger), seven nights aboard the Viking Beyla and One night at the end at the Prague Hilton. We arrived a week ealry and ... Read More
We were a grouip of six on the Viking Beyla Elbe River cruise in early June - One night in a nice Berlin Hotel (Steigenberger), seven nights aboard the Viking Beyla and One night at the end at the Prague Hilton. We arrived a week ealry and stayed in the outstanding Hotel Adlon in Berlin and stayed 5 days after in Prague in the Hotel Augustine to extend the trip. The Viking Beyla is a new smaller version of the Viking Longships which was built for traveling on the shallower Elbe River - see ship review below. Sadly when we had boarded the ship our outstanding Viking Program Director Radim and the ship's captain had the unhappy task of announcing that the river level was so low that the ship would not be able to sail as scheduled. So for four days we were in Mandenburg and Radim (and would guess large Viking support group somewhere) had to reorganize the schedule day by day to somewhow still offer coach tours to several of the sights we had been scheduled to sail to (the distances are not as great between stops as one would think). Viking has a fleet of deluxe coaches and great drivers who with Radim and his staff did the very best possible to be sure we were offered as much as possible while our river cruiser became a riverside hotel. We cannot say enough about the grace under pressure Radim and the Viking people handled all this last minute problem of making the very best of the no sailing/water level problem. Once we were able to sail it was a 3 day joy. Unfortunately the vistas on the earlier part of the trip are mostly flat farmland. Only when you get further up the river in Saxony do you get the beautiful mountains, castles, etc that you hope for but this was all cut short because of the schedule changes necessary. All in all it was a sad disappointment not to have been able to really enjoy the river cruise we had been looking forward to for so long. VIKING BEYLA as mentioned is beautiful and new. It is beautifully appointed and has a nice feel carrying only 98 passengers. The rooms are modern sleek, well appointed and well designed although on the small size as on all river ships. The forward main lounge opens up to include a nice outdoor covered terrace on the bow (a great pianist entertains). The dining room one deck below also has great windows thus is bright and well laid out for one sitting open dining. The food is just outstanding - all meals. Thanks to the great chef and his staff. The ships entire staff is tops and do everything possibnle to make you feel at home. In particular we salute Georgi who was both behind the bar and in the dining room and made sure the very nice wines kept flowing with his jolly smile. Our waiter Pater (as all the dining room staff) was on top of everything as was Andrea who was the main overseer in the bar. Viti our room stewardess was as good as it gets. So cheers to Viking, the Beyla and all the staff who were great in a unfortunate situation. I cannot rate shore excursions in that they were all not as planned and cannot give this trip a five star excellent that it surely would have been had we been able to make the planned schedule. We would love to do this again someday when it is an actual river "cruise". Read Less

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