13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband and I chose the river cruise as a new experience. We normally travel internationally alone, but we have heard very good things about tauck tours and thought that the boat was small and the group would be a manageable size. We ... Read More
My husband and I chose the river cruise as a new experience. We normally travel internationally alone, but we have heard very good things about tauck tours and thought that the boat was small and the group would be a manageable size. We are around 60 years old we had asked what the ages will repeat of the guests on the boat. We were told 60% over 60 years old 40% below. We were dismayed to find that generally speaking the primary age was mid to late 70s till early 90s, with very few below this age range. The cruise was half land and half sea. From the very first evening that we met as a group it was clear that we were to be herded around like cattle and it would be a very impersonal experience. Tauck reps spent all there time telling you what bus to get on with no interaction personally. On the bright side the hotel in Berlin was incredible. The tours were very good and the river ship was beautiful with wonderful staff. The food throughout the trip was very good. And the countries we visited Germany Austria Poland were fabulous. Much time was spent on buses literally entire days were spent on buses where we were herded iaround. Although I have wonderful memories I will not be repeating this experience in anyway shape or form. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this one because we wanted to visit two of the places on the itinerary. We were not disappointed. Unfortunately we had not read the brochure properly and had not realised that the first two and last two nights would be in ... Read More
We chose this one because we wanted to visit two of the places on the itinerary. We were not disappointed. Unfortunately we had not read the brochure properly and had not realised that the first two and last two nights would be in hotels, in Berlin and Prague respectively. However, that was our fault, not Viking's! In the event, we found the experience in Berlin rather dry, but Prague is a lovely city which we will be visiting again. Also unfortunately, our holiday got off to a very poor start due to a strike of air france staff. We finally go to Berlin eight hours late, after being routed round via Zurich. However, we had informed the London office of our difficulties and we were met by a charming Viking courier and driven to the ship. As always, the staterooms are spotlessly clean and blissfully comfortable. The selection of entertainment on the wide screen TV is chosen to suit all tastes. All of the staff are courteous, friendly and helpful. Meals, especially the local specialities, are always delicious and there is always a good choice. The excursions to Meissen, where we were given a demonstration of porcelain making (Meissen is one of my favourite makes!) and Wittenberg, where we had what can only be called a lecture-tour about Martin Luther, were very well thought out and interesting. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This is a great cruise for those who want an intimate, small cruise experience. We met just about all the passengers and the staff got to know us as individuals as we did them. For those who have sailed with Viking before the service, food ... Read More
This is a great cruise for those who want an intimate, small cruise experience. We met just about all the passengers and the staff got to know us as individuals as we did them. For those who have sailed with Viking before the service, food , shore excursions and accommodations were exactly what one would expect. For first time cruisers you won't find a better river cruise experience. We also had the river to ourselves as Viking is the only line cruising the Elbe. The local cultural enrichment programs were perfect. The small guest population allowed plenty of time to interact with the cultural representatives. Word of caution. There are stairs to navigate to the dining room. Quite a bit of walking on the tours as well. We did have some guests who had difficulty walking but experienced no issues. For those with severe mobility issues, however, I would not recommend this cruise. Otherwise, I recommend this cruise and ship without hesitation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Arrived in Berlin and spent 2 nights at the Intercontinental. Lovely hotel, although the bathroom was interesting, there was a huge window above the bathtub so you couldn't leave the light on for a nightlight and there was no ... Read More
Arrived in Berlin and spent 2 nights at the Intercontinental. Lovely hotel, although the bathroom was interesting, there was a huge window above the bathtub so you couldn't leave the light on for a nightlight and there was no nightlight for a very dark room. Also the temp seemed to be set for freezing, thermostat would not work for us. The breakfast buffet was wonderful and plentiful. I was disappointed in our Taste of Berlin tour, we were supposed to go to a very old bakery and never saw it. We did thoroughly enjoy Berlin and would go back to see more. Traveling by coach to Potsdam to Sanssouci Palace was delightful. Afterwards we had a lovely lunch hour to stroll the town. Then on to Worlitz Castle for a gondola ride and tour of the grounds. Our boat was located in Wittenberg, the birthplace of Martin Luther. What a wonderful town. Unfortunately, our ship could not travel up river due to low water so we were coached to our next destinations: Torgau, Mieissen and Dresden. Torgau is a lovely old town with great history and WWII memorials. We discovered some lovely back roads with the nicest "secret" gardens. Then off to Meissen for a great tour of the porcelain factory. Now I understand why it's so acclaimed and priceless. Upon arriving back at our ship we were told that we would be transferring to another ship for the duration of the trip. We were coached to Dresden, what a spectacular city she is. I would gladly spend more time there. We took a side trip to Moritzberg Castle, a "hunting lodge" built on a man made lake. What a lovely place to visit. We also toured a winery and ended with a tour of the Zwinger Palace and the Green Vault. I totally fell in LOVE with Dresden. Our tour guide was very informative and helpful. After return to the ship we were told that enough rain had fallen upstream to allow us to travel by boat through the rest of our trip. Going through Saxon Germany was truly breathtaking. I never knew about this side of Germany. The rock formations are fascinating. Beautiful countryside. We then debarked in Decin for Prague. What can I say about Prague, its truly magnificent and must be seen once in your life. I was disappointed in our tour guide though. She did not take into consideration for those in our group who were not very fast walkers, especially on cobbled streets. It was also quite a long trek from our drop off point to the center of the old city square, which was about a mile up and down steps and a very crowded Charles Bridge. The bridge has some 30 statues and she wouldn't stop and explain any of them or allow us to stop. I once asked her to hold up her placard for those trying catch up to find us and she stated "I'm not the Statue of Liberty." Many of the passengers had canes and were quite worn out reaching the square. We never did get to see the St. Vitus, it was so crowded when we were there. Prague Castle is beautiful. Overall it was lovely wonderful trip. I had been on another Viking cruise the year before and we thoroughly enjoy the service and exceptional food we receive. I would definitely do another and another and another. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We choose the cruise on the advice of other people. We thought the food was excellent. The service provided by all the crew members impressive. I spilled a tomato based sauce on a white blouse at dinner one evening and could not remove ... Read More
We choose the cruise on the advice of other people. We thought the food was excellent. The service provided by all the crew members impressive. I spilled a tomato based sauce on a white blouse at dinner one evening and could not remove the stain. I gave the blouse to housekeeping and it was back in my room perfectly cleaned early the next morning. The cabin was cleaned to perfection every morning. Our tour director was absolutely wonderful. Every possible thing that would stress me out about traveling was taken care of. Friends had recommended the Cafe Imperial in Prague to us. I asked Daniella about it and she offered to make reservations for us. She made the reservation and we even were given a window seat. The shore excursions were very well done. Our favorites were the Lobkowicz Palace and the food tour. Having the Viking shuttle available in Prague was great. Thanks for a wonderful trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We lived in Germany during the early 1980's and, because of political reasons, did not visit East Germany other than Berlin. This cruise was an excellent opportunity to revisit Berlin and see those cities such as Wittenberg, Meissen ... Read More
We lived in Germany during the early 1980's and, because of political reasons, did not visit East Germany other than Berlin. This cruise was an excellent opportunity to revisit Berlin and see those cities such as Wittenberg, Meissen and Dresden, many of which were still suffering the ravages of war in the 1980's. The trip was done in superb Viking manner with excellent sights, savory meals (They got the steaks right) and first class accommodations. The included tours where informative and given by knowledgeable guides that had a good command of the English language. Our Cruise included a extra time in Prague, Krakow and Warsaw. The accommodations in these cities were absolutely wonderful and in locations where it was short walking distance to many of the more interesting historical aspects of these admirable cities which were hidden from view during the communist regimes. Viking is the best and well worth the premium cost. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This was another fabulous Viking River Cruise!!! We enjoyed two nights in Berlin at a MOST amazing Hotel, central to everything. The tour of the city was fabulous and most educational. Such history! Of course we had to buy the traditional ... Read More
This was another fabulous Viking River Cruise!!! We enjoyed two nights in Berlin at a MOST amazing Hotel, central to everything. The tour of the city was fabulous and most educational. Such history! Of course we had to buy the traditional pair of Birkenstock Sandals found near Checkpoint Charlie to bring home!!!!! We then boarded Viking Rolf and cruised for 7 nights to the most fascinating cities/ towns en route. The shore excursions were amazing, informative and varied. The crew, while on board, was friendly and attentive. The food was amazing!!! We quite enjoyed the specialty night of German Food! We met some people from England (we are Canadians) and enjoyed ourselves so much that we have signed up to go on another cruise together next year. Friendships are always made on Viking River Cruises! The cabins were very comfortable and the ship was so clean and easy to navigate! Very organized! We then stayed in Prague for two nights...beautiful city...and flew home. We totally enjoyed our cruise and will be back again! Thank you Viking!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We flew into Berlin, but because we chose to make our own flight reservations, we had to find out own way to the ship. Embarkation went smooth, very organized and a SUPER staff! The Ship was just the perfect size, able to meet people ... Read More
We flew into Berlin, but because we chose to make our own flight reservations, we had to find out own way to the ship. Embarkation went smooth, very organized and a SUPER staff! The Ship was just the perfect size, able to meet people and get to know them, felt very comfortable, was extremely clean and ran like an oiled wheel. Dining was excellent. One of my family members has a shaking thing, and the staff made sure that we were able to have the same table for every meal, in the corner, so that she felt comfortable and could sit with her back to everyone else. Entertainment was well thought out. The excursions were wonderful, and we only took a bus a couple of times. We extended our stay in Prague and the traditional dinner with entertainment was a highlight...we would take this cruise again in a heartbeat!! The staff went out of their way to split the excursion groups into two, mobile and less so. It made us want to go on another cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
Chosen b/c of my German heritage and historical interest. We experienced both the Fontanne and the Schumann due to low river level. The ships were identical and both crews were superb, but the crew on the Fontanne holds the edge for ... Read More
Chosen b/c of my German heritage and historical interest. We experienced both the Fontanne and the Schumann due to low river level. The ships were identical and both crews were superb, but the crew on the Fontanne holds the edge for friendliness, individual attention and the chef seemed to have a bit more pizzazz than the one on the Schumann. Though these were retiring ships from the line, they were up to date and clean and modern. Our cabin was comfortable and always well kept. The program director (who was with us on both ships) was excellent, especially at finding ways around the low water level with busses to extra attractions and lunch out. I really enjoy river cruising b/c you are within sight of land at all times with scenery to enjoy. I like the casual atmosphere and the cultural attractions brought on board - in this case lace making and folk dancing. The Silver Spirits package made for fun wine and single malt scotch tasing. Read Less
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Wanted to try a river cruise. Chose Viking because it had a 2 for 1, and special on airline tickets . Also, excursions were included. It is called the elegance of the Elbe river. Started in Berlin and ended in Prague. The ship requires at ... Read More
Wanted to try a river cruise. Chose Viking because it had a 2 for 1, and special on airline tickets . Also, excursions were included. It is called the elegance of the Elbe river. Started in Berlin and ended in Prague. The ship requires at least 14 inches of water ; the Elbe is suppose to be one of the shallowest rivers in Germany, so Viking designed a ship specifically for this river. We did get an email that it couldn't go to a couple of destinations and would require a motor coach to reach the sites. We went down as far as it could, did a u tiun to go back to Dresden (not a bad place to end up in) loved the experience. It is the smallest, and there were about 96 people on the cruise. Met some fascinating people on the cruise. Excursions and guides were great. Staff ratio is 1 staff to 3 guests. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise because of the locations of Berlin and Prague. Having seen Berlin prior to the wall coming Down, we wished to see it with all the changes. It is beautiful and easy to get around with the hop on hop off buses. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the locations of Berlin and Prague. Having seen Berlin prior to the wall coming Down, we wished to see it with all the changes. It is beautiful and easy to get around with the hop on hop off buses. The hotels, both in Berlin and Prague were very nice and in an excellent location for easy access to the attractions. We enjoyed all the locations/shore excursions that we visited between both cities. The cities and villages were beautiful and interesting. We especially enjoyed Dresden and how well it has been restored. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and were easily understood. Our modes of transportation were very comfortable. The ship service was excellent, the dining was fabulous and our cabin accommodations were just great. Our cabin was great and we especially appreciated the picture window that we had. This trip was a relaxing way to travel and I would absolutely recommend this cruise to everyone! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
My wife chose the cruise because we wanted to see Germany (where our ancestors came from) and see where Martin Luther lived because we were both of the Lutheran Faith. Both which were fulfilled on this amazing cruise. We had a great time ... Read More
My wife chose the cruise because we wanted to see Germany (where our ancestors came from) and see where Martin Luther lived because we were both of the Lutheran Faith. Both which were fulfilled on this amazing cruise. We had a great time saw lots of interesting places and learned a lot. The crew was more than helpful and went out of their way to make the trip a wonderful holiday for us. They made us feel that they were having as good a time as we were. All of the little things, like being welcome back to the ship by the captain and crew after each excursion with a little refreshment. The little treats left in our rooms by the housekeeping staff. The entertainment each evening and of course the food and beverages, They were beyond anything we expected. We were happy that the walking was included in the outings as we may have gained a bit of weight from the fabulous meals provided, It's no wonder you were chosen as the worlds best cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Traveling with theater group Berlin-Prague. Viking Astrild is newer two deck, midsized ship that allows easy interaction between all guests. Crew was outstanding from day one and quickly picked up on individual preferences of the guests. ... Read More
Traveling with theater group Berlin-Prague. Viking Astrild is newer two deck, midsized ship that allows easy interaction between all guests. Crew was outstanding from day one and quickly picked up on individual preferences of the guests. Food was delicious with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables delivered each day to accompany meals. The cheese variety and abundance was amazing. Ask the chef for recipe on any favorite meals. The guides for tours were great and added many interesting insights for locations visited. Onboard entertainment, cozy and comfortable. A pianist as member of the crew and small local musical groups that came on board in the evening while docked. First trip on river cruise and not sure we will ever go back to ocean cruising. The pace, intimacy, comfortable lounge, dinning and recreational areas made the trip much more relaxing than large ships. This was first visit to Prague and we would go back in a minute. It is a beautiful city with a blend of historic and modern and a population which made us feel very comfortable and at home. We wandered the streets and visited exclusive designer clothing, jewelry, glass stores and small local shops with no problems with language or communication. We have visited many cities in Europe and always felt comfortable, but never quite like Prague. After just a week, we were sad to leave the new friends we had made among crew and guests. Weather the end of March, beginning of April ranged from cool to warm, often in same day. Similar to range in US Pacific Northwest. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose `Poland, Prague and the Elegant Elbe`because it enabled us to visit Berlin, Prague, Auschwitz and Krakow with a river cruise included. River cruising is our favourite way to travel but until this new trip was announced we had ... Read More
We chose `Poland, Prague and the Elegant Elbe`because it enabled us to visit Berlin, Prague, Auschwitz and Krakow with a river cruise included. River cruising is our favourite way to travel but until this new trip was announced we had thought we would have to visit these areas by coach. The cruise portion on the Elbe River comprised seven nights with embarkation at Magdeburg and disembarkation at Melnik. Our cabin (Standard E) was small but adequate. An extremely comfortable bed and all the amenities one might want. The main problem with the food was how not to eat too much. By mid-week one attempted to cut down but then one look at the menu and temptation won yet again. Although local specialties were sometimes included they often were not identified on the menu - a disservice to the chef and a small criticism that can easily be rectified. The library area was small but carried an excellent selection of appropriate books. On the other hand the extremely limited Beyla gift shop was disappointing in size and in range of items offered especially when compared with that on a previous Viking trip "Waterways of the Czars." where the range of items offered and the competitive prices were amazing. Service on board Viking Beyla exceeded even that in the excellent 5-star hotels also included in this trip. The staff were exceedingly well trained, personable, attentive to all our needs. The hotels in Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw were all located within walking distance of many top locations. Tour Director, Veronika, was outstanding. This was our third river cruise and second with Viking. Will we travel with Viking again?You bet we will. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We were notified about 2 weeks prior to departure that, due to the low water level in the Elba River, we would be doing land cruises and change ships (floating hotels) mid trip. We almost cancelled but decided to go. We were very happy ... Read More
We were notified about 2 weeks prior to departure that, due to the low water level in the Elba River, we would be doing land cruises and change ships (floating hotels) mid trip. We almost cancelled but decided to go. We were very happy that we did! We had a wonderful time and made lots of new friends. Although it was a very busy schedule we found it fascinating. The guides at each destination were local people that really knew the history and culture of the area, related personal stories, were fluent in English and gave us great memories. The food aboard ship was great with an emphasis placed on allowing us to explore local fare. The wait staff in both the dinning room and the lounge always went the extra mile to provide excellent service and create a friendly atmosphere. Their attention to detail spoiled us. All of the shipboard staff were courteous and very helpful. They offered tips on independent travel and offered advise on best routes to desired locations. They all seemed to bend over backwards to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. Everything appeared to run very efficiently including our embarkation and disembarkation. We really believe that we had a more enriching experience by not cruising and taking the buses to our destinations. Because of the low water level, and the ships having to stay at the dock, each passenger was issued a $1,000 voucher for a future cruise. Our one negative critique is that folks that paid a premium for upgraded rooms really didn't really get their moneys worth with the voucher. We had a view of the gangway our whole time aboard both ships and feel Viking could have been a little more generous. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We arrived in Berlin on July 9th to be informed that due to low water level in the Elbe that our river cruise had just become a bus tour. We were supposed to have been notified by e-mail on July 7th or 8th but were not. It is really a ... Read More
We arrived in Berlin on July 9th to be informed that due to low water level in the Elbe that our river cruise had just become a bus tour. We were supposed to have been notified by e-mail on July 7th or 8th but were not. It is really a travesty of justice that Viking never informed us or other people on our "cruise" that both Viking Elbe ships had been stranded since mid to late June. Also the ship's staff had been informed that neither ship will be able to sail until October 2015. No cash adjustment was offered other a minimal credit on a future cruise. Both ships were very nice and most of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The cruise director Bojan was great and went out of his way to help make the experience as pleasant as possible given the circumstances. The busses for the land tour were very comfortable but still did not make up for not cruising. Also, some of the tour guides were hard to understand and on the walking tours they were too fast for some of the older passengers. Hotels in Berlin and Prague were excellent, except for no WiFi in your room in Prague. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
After cruising on 5 rivers with Viking I have to say that the Elbe is not my favorite. Very little river traffic made for uninteresting travel and the scenery for the first three days changed little, just fields and trees with few villages ... Read More
After cruising on 5 rivers with Viking I have to say that the Elbe is not my favorite. Very little river traffic made for uninteresting travel and the scenery for the first three days changed little, just fields and trees with few villages or scenic views. Although we were aware of the water level problem on the Elbe we were not aware its seriousness. As were many this year, we were disappointed with only three days of river cruising and four days of busing around the countryside. Viking did well with the travel arrangements and a few extra optional tours but it was not the relaxing enjoyable cruise we had been hoping for. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The Elbe is the least senic of the trips that that I have been on the Rhine and the Danube are superior also the Mississippi. The only negative was on the food. The presentation and the service great. The breakfast were fine the ... Read More
The Elbe is the least senic of the trips that that I have been on the Rhine and the Danube are superior also the Mississippi. The only negative was on the food. The presentation and the service great. The breakfast were fine the salads also fine. The breads and roll were also store products truly fresh baked. The fish was fine except for the fish and chips the batter was thin and fell off the fish. The beef, pork and lamb were all over cooked. The German night was a disaster. We stayed our first two nights at the Stegenberger in downtown Berlin it was great the one the last night be the railroad station the hotel was fine but there was no place to eat in the area and nothing out there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first river cruise and we could not have been happier. The ship "astrild" was on its maiden cruise but things went so smoothly you would have thought the crew had worked together for a long time. The food was ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we could not have been happier. The ship "astrild" was on its maiden cruise but things went so smoothly you would have thought the crew had worked together for a long time. The food was excellent, abundant, and varied. I normally do not eat much outside of the meat and potatoes group, but I tried most everything because it looked so good and it was. The cabin was spotless and got cleaned several times a day. The design of the rooms made excellent use of the space and the super large windows were great. I especially want to mention our program director Bojan who was great. He was organized and made sure we had a variety of things to do. His evening talks were always entertaining. The captain is truly gifted in how he can get the ship in the very tight locks in some areas where it looks like no more than an inch or two of room on each side. We had an unexpected fireworks show on VE Day and the captain moved the ship out into the river away from the fireworks and gave us the best seats in the house. Great job thinking on his feet. On the tours they had well informed guides which really helped get a good flavor for where we were. I especially liked Berlin and Dresden. Prague was beautiful but too crowded for me. Our guide in Prague was especially good however because he brought so much local knowledge. Read Less

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