1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this route because we are interested in Reformation history, medieval architecture, and we had been on Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and Main. Astrild is smaller (94 guests) than other Viking longboats but has all the same amenities in ... Read More
We chose this route because we are interested in Reformation history, medieval architecture, and we had been on Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and Main. Astrild is smaller (94 guests) than other Viking longboats but has all the same amenities in suites, dining room, lounge, etc. The balcony (rooms on the right side; rooms on the left have French doors and a rail but no place to sit) is actually useful on this route because the schedule means that you are frequently cruising in day light so can relax in the deckchairs and enjoy the pastoral views. Smokers gather at the rear rooftop so chose a room mid-ship or front to avoid the smoke smells. I liked the undemanding approach to tours - you head to the bus without any loud announcements, participate in just how much you want to, and there's always a more robust option with extra walking, etc. We were delighted with several surprises like Matt cruise director, leading us on an evening stroll through Torgue after dinner one night. This historic itinerary is filled with several over night stops allowing for time off the ship on your own in the evenings. The ship is always docked in a town. Guides are very knowledgeable and often have personal/family connections to the stormy history from the wars. Evening entertainment frequently included music and dancing although there was no dance floor aboard. Food was presented well and was fine but not shockingly yummy. 2 things that were a miss for us was the lack of a somalia (true! a couple bar tenders but no one who had been trained in wines to assist guests. Secondly, a silly practice of not serving tea in a pot. They had tea pots and when pressed would get one for you but not without being ugly about the request. A little thing that had a big negative impact on a lot of Brits, Aussies and Canucks! **The post-cruise trip to Poland was fantastic. I wish I could remember the director's name. She was so good. A former teacher, she passed out maps while she shared details of what we were going to see. And gave us treats from little towns and even a vodka tasting on board! She was very organized and friendly. What a treat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have taken many Viking river cruises. Unfortunately this was the non cruise cruise as the Elbe did not have enough water to allow the ships to navigate the river. Therefore we were bussed everywhere and there was zero cruising. If you ... Read More
We have taken many Viking river cruises. Unfortunately this was the non cruise cruise as the Elbe did not have enough water to allow the ships to navigate the river. Therefore we were bussed everywhere and there was zero cruising. If you take this route ask what months are best to give the chance of water in the river as apparently this happens quite a bit around the time we took the cruise. Other than that the places we visited were interesting but it would have been much better to have seen them from the river versus through a bus window. The staff tried to do as much as they could to make this a good experience but that was difficult given the circumstances. Viking did not notify us of the situation until two days before embarkation. Not good for us as we were already in Europe so no chance to defer. They then offered a very small amount of compensation for the cruise. Finally senses prevailed and they gave us a credit for half of the cruise value. The only issue was it had to be used within a year of the cruise date. I would have made that two years as people already had booked 2019 cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had not been on a Viking Cruise prior to this trip and had always been told how marvelous they are. I can now fully understand the comments. Never having been in Berlin we were looking forward to seeing the city of such important ... Read More
We had not been on a Viking Cruise prior to this trip and had always been told how marvelous they are. I can now fully understand the comments. Never having been in Berlin we were looking forward to seeing the city of such important parts of history. Our tour guide had lived behind the Berlin Wall. Her stories became a tremendous lesson of perseverance of life as she shared of her family before, during and after the wall came down. History previously read became alive in most excursions in Berlin and other cities. This was the smallest Viking ship, but lacked nothing. The service was wonderful and no details were left out. The food was delicious and much more than needed, but oh so enjoyable around a table with strangers who became friends. A highlight of the ship was to be in the wheelhouse to talk with the captain and learn details of this smallest ship and bits of information of the river and why the ship was the smallest in the Viking line. Our visits in other ports and tours were educational, fulfilling, beautiful and not to be forgotten. It was wonderful to stand in Martin Luther’s home and be in churches and buildings which carried importantance in the history of the Reformation. Having a history buff as a tour director helped prepare us for all we would see and experience. The stories of triumphs and the stories of suffering were shared in each stop. The beauty of architecture and the beauty of people. All imprinted in the memory. We have already booked a cruise for May of this year and the next year. Such a joy! Thank you Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The trip offered 2 nights in Berlin and 2 nights in Prague. I wanted to see those cities combined with a river cruise. The Elbe River is not a commercial waterway like the Rhine and offered an almost private cruise of the countryside. The ... Read More
The trip offered 2 nights in Berlin and 2 nights in Prague. I wanted to see those cities combined with a river cruise. The Elbe River is not a commercial waterway like the Rhine and offered an almost private cruise of the countryside. The cruise was very relaxing as well as informative of the cities we visited. The river depth was low and we could not make the last port. But that really only translated into a longer bus ride to Prague which was scenic. Overall I’d recommend this cruise for people wanting to visit Berlin and Prague as well as visiting the cities along the river. The side trips available were also attractive - many people went on to Krakow and Warsaw. I’m Berlin there was a 4 hour river tour through Berlin that was interesting to see the city from the water view perspective. Chef Oliver excelled as he prepared local foods as we moved along the river. His personality is infectious- you feel like he’s cooking for a family get together rather than a cruise. He is an asset beyond his pay. He is the type of person that makes your clients to want to cruise with Viking again! Sergio and Jamie were outstanding. Jamie went way out of his way to show guest the sites. One day in Prague he walked 6 of us to restaurant for lunch that offered real local cuisine. We would not have found this place on our own and the restaurant experience was fantastic. I did compliment Sergio on his staff because they all attentive to the cruisers. Our housekeeping person (his name escapy me) was over the top as exceeding our needs. Just little things like finding an extra blanket or water it was like he was pulling it out of his back pocket. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise from a Viking email with a great price. Everything was excellent except the return home. Our flight was late getting to Frankfurt and our flight to Philadelphia left us. We had to wait several hours for a flight to ... Read More
Chose this cruise from a Viking email with a great price. Everything was excellent except the return home. Our flight was late getting to Frankfurt and our flight to Philadelphia left us. We had to wait several hours for a flight to Washington and then another flight to Philadelphia. The overall quality of the cruise however was excellent. The ship and cabins were very lovely and cozy. The included shore excursions were excellent. The entertainment in the lounges was very good. The optional tours in each port were well thought out and very well run. We explored Berlin before we departed and loved that city. The service on the ship was excellent including being interviewed and welcomed by one of the officers interested in marketing the cruise to African-Americans and how did we find out about it The dining room experience and wine tastings were a nice exploration. I even bought a case of one of the wines when I returned home! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the ... Read More
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the accommodations were fine. The crew really made all efforts to ensure that we were served well, and our program director was awesome! The program director was very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was great but there was so much! Many times we ate in the lounge for a light meal instead of eating in the dining area. We liked this option. Even more impressive was that I learned that Viking is a privately held company. It is apparent that the owners take very good care of their employees. They have a philosophy that a happy crew promotes a happy customer. You have to respect that! It works! We will definitely travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This trip was first time for many of the stops and we were well pleased with the accommodations and quality of the tours. The cruise director was exceptional in many ways with a masters degree in european history. We were pleasantly ... Read More
This trip was first time for many of the stops and we were well pleased with the accommodations and quality of the tours. The cruise director was exceptional in many ways with a masters degree in european history. We were pleasantly surprised that the food quality and other services matched the other river boats we have been on (4 of the long boats). We have used other river cruise lines and Viking is very competitive in price, quality of visits, and ship board amenities. This trip took us into Berlin and Prague for about 3 days each and these great cities were connected by the Elbe River which is smaller than many other rivers thus the smaller ship. We really liked the extended time in Berlin and Prague where we stayed in quality hotels and did day trips in and around the city. Viking was quite visible in the hotels and led many tours of these cities yet we had sufficient time for our personal agenda and the staff helped us with shuttle, taxi and public transportation. We have enjoyed a family cruise offered by Tauck and it was excellent. Viking does not offer that option and the travelers on our ship (like other river cruises we have used) focused on English speakers and middle age and up. I did not notice if the Astrild had an elevator but is just two levels of rooms so there are less steps. I gave this ship a low rating on fitness and recreation since there is no fitness room, no bicycles and no swimming pool/hot tub as are found on other non-Viking ships. There is still walking on the top deck and off boat walking/jogging as the traveler might want. 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 chose this trip out of Berlin, on the Elbe river because we had spent the previous week in Poznan, Poland with our family. We came back a day before our cruise started and were able to stay at the InterContinental Hotel where our cruise ... Read More
We chose this trip out of Berlin, on the Elbe river because we had spent the previous week in Poznan, Poland with our family. We came back a day before our cruise started and were able to stay at the InterContinental Hotel where our cruise group gathered. Devon our cruise director that we met in Berlin was so gracious and knowledgeable about all aspects of our trip, and the staff members were so accommodating and fun to be around. They thought of everything to make our trip the best my mother and I have ever had. Ella did such a great job keeping our room clean and inviting. The food on board was delicious and we enjoyed the wines and beer with our meals. We even had a German themed dinner, special farewell dinner, and the people we met were great. The shore excursions at our different ports were very interesting and well planned, plus the scenery was beautiful. The tour guides on the coaches were very informative. The thing we liked the most was that my mom could take a more leisurely tour and I could take the walking tours. The entertainment and activities on board were fun. Our days in Prague before we came home were so nice, and Viking provided a shuttle service that went from our Hotel to the main square. It was also comforting to us that we were taken by coach to the airport and everyone was helped to get to the right area before flying home. My mother and I made the best memories, and I am looking forward to taking another cruise with my husband. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Prague, which contains an ancestral palace which belonged to our family. The fact that this cruise also stopped in Wittenberg, clinched the deal, since we are Lutheran, and especially ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Prague, which contains an ancestral palace which belonged to our family. The fact that this cruise also stopped in Wittenberg, clinched the deal, since we are Lutheran, and especially interested in the reformation. Between our cruise director, who has a master's degree in German history, and the many tour guides, we were treated to a historical and cultural smorgasbord. It was interesting to have some guides who grew up in West Germany, and some from East Germany, and hear, not only the history, but their personal experiences. We were impressed with all our guides. Also, there were usually choices for each tour. You could pick an all walking tour, bus + walking, or leisurely tour in Dresden, for example. We felt very welcome everywhere we went. We have been on tours where you are overbooked, and didn't feel that way on this tour. They seemed to know exactly when to give us some free time, and anticipate our needs. There was some free time in every port, and optional tours. We started the tour not knowing how to gain access to the palace in Prague, and through the help of our cruise director, were able to secure a private tour with the head curator, and hire a car to take us directly to its door. This was our first Viking river cruise, and we felt the service was very good. The food was excellent, and with our shipboard credit through AAA, we were able to upgrade our wine and include extra after-dinner drinks and a folk dinner outside of Prague. When we first saw the river, we were shocked at how small it was, but we were able to complete 95% of the cruise, and stay in each of the ports. There was a small room on board where you could get fancy or plain hot drinks--loved to get cappuccino every morning, and still or sparkling mineral water any time of day for no extra charge. The other people on our cruise were especially fun to be around, we met so many interesting people. We enjoyed the nighttime concerts and lectures, and especially the music trivia game. It seemed a low-key cruise, with a few smaller towns, and even a national park in Saxon Switzerland, as well as the larger cities of Berlin and Prague. We had a standard cabin, which was great. We heard the window was large for a cruise, and the cabin was super-efficient. We had laundry done, and it was delivered boxed and in tissue paper. Everything went smoothly, and we did not encounter any problems in the scheduling, tours, etc. We were a little confused with how many meals were included, but it turned out all the meals during the cruise, and breakfast in the hotels was always included. We were happy to be able to use our electronics without a converter. The towels were better than any of the towels at our luxury hotels, and even the bed was more comfortable that the beds at either of hotels. Viking meets you at the airport, and sees you off at the other end, even getting boarding passes, so we didn't really even need to think about anything once we arrive. Next time, we want to pick a cruise where we can stay longer on the ship! 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
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I went on our first river cruise on the Elbe from Berlin to Prague. It was a wonderful experience and we greatly enjoyed getting to know the crew and other passengers. Highlights of the trip include fascinating trips to ... Read More
My wife and I went on our first river cruise on the Elbe from Berlin to Prague. It was a wonderful experience and we greatly enjoyed getting to know the crew and other passengers. Highlights of the trip include fascinating trips to Martin Luther's Wittenberg, Meissen porcelain factory, the beautiful Bastei region, and the Lobkowicz Palace. The crew was very welcoming and friendly. Our captain, Josef, was very approachable and his bridge was always open for visitors. The food by chef Gavin was outstanding, especially his sumptuous desserts. The guides were all very interesting, well informed and willing to share their own personal perspectives on recent historical events relating to Nazi and Soviet times. Our hotel director, Dorit, made sure all our needs were met and made a personal connection with each guest. Devin, our program director, was especially impressive, with his expert command of the German history, language and culture, always mixed in with his quirky style and sense of humor. We look forward to our next Viking cruise, but that crew will have high expectations to meet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We had a great time on this cruise. Meeting Claudia our cruise director in Berlin, was a treat and we knew that things were only going to get better. She was a lively, gracious host that took pains to see to everyone's needs, and ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise. Meeting Claudia our cruise director in Berlin, was a treat and we knew that things were only going to get better. She was a lively, gracious host that took pains to see to everyone's needs, and always with a ready smile. The waiters, especially Lucas, were attentive and remembered our needs and likes after the first night. The maître' d was always at your service and was seen each night and morning going table to table to see that everyone had what they needed. He even pitched in and helped to clear plates and serve. We had never seen that before. The captain was around and gave a great tour of the controls that ran the ship. We met good friends, had a friendly crew, and a wonderful cruise. We have seen better scenery on other rivers but the quietness and tranquility of this cruise made it very restful when on the river. We never felt we had to jump up to the top deck to see something we might miss. We have cruised with Viking before and will look forward to doing so again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We had a great time on this cruise, our 4th with Viking. The crew were fabulous and the extra care we got from the Program director and staff was outstanding. The only concern was that it would have been nice to be on the ship longer and ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise, our 4th with Viking. The crew were fabulous and the extra care we got from the Program director and staff was outstanding. The only concern was that it would have been nice to be on the ship longer and leave out the land stay. We enjoy going place to place and often stay on land on our own. We really like the sailing. I will say that during the land stays the attention to us and our comfort was nice. A hotel in Berlin closer to the city center would have been easier to access the sites that we were interested in seeing. A suggestion of a longer cruise with a couple days on shore would have made us happier. But the port of calls and escorted sightseeing is always good on Viking and this time too it did not disappoint. The tour guides showed their pride in their country and their English was impeccable. The food was fabulous and plentiful and the waitstaff attentive. We can't wait for another trip in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
It was a trip with friends. The service was great, the tours were super and the guides were outstanding. Food and the service were excellent. Viking is my new favorite cruise line. Transfer from the airport to the hotel was painless. ... Read More
It was a trip with friends. The service was great, the tours were super and the guides were outstanding. Food and the service were excellent. Viking is my new favorite cruise line. Transfer from the airport to the hotel was painless. Hotel accommodations in Berlin were great. We did our own walking tour on arrival day. Boarding the boat was simple, quick and we were on our way. Each of the stops had a well thought out provided tour. Each of the tour guides were exceptionally knowledgeable of the location and the history. Many had lived through times from before the wall came down to now. Their insight was amazing. Prague was a key stop for us. It's an amazing city, but becoming more commercialized, losing some of it's old world flavor. Still a great place to visit. We stayed a couple extra days in Prague and made our own way to the airport. Air France was the primary carrier for our flights. Gate personnel at Charles DeGaul were rude. Not sure I'd fly through there again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our second Viking Cruise. Our first, the Grand European, was spectacular. Since we signed up a little late for this trip (Elegant Elbe) we got one of the last rooms left which was at river level and very tiny but overall it was ... Read More
This was our second Viking Cruise. Our first, the Grand European, was spectacular. Since we signed up a little late for this trip (Elegant Elbe) we got one of the last rooms left which was at river level and very tiny but overall it was comfortable. The food on the ship was delicious as ever and we've always enjoyed the free beer and wine with dinner and lunch. Service by the wait staff and housekeepers was outstanding and the staff seemed to enjoy their jobs which always adds to the overall enjoyment of the trip. Our cruise director was a young American man who seemed to know absolutely everything about German and Czech history. This made it very interesting and really added to our understanding of German and Czech life before and after The Berlin Wall came down. This is also true of the tour guides that took us around and told us about their personal experiences under the Soviet Block. My husband, who had recently had a stroke, had a great deal of difficulty walking some of the tours on cobblestones at a very fast pace, sometimes in the dark. Another couple on the ship with walking difficulty had brought a wheelchair and I think they enjoyed the cruise a lot more than we did. I do not recommend this particular cruise to anyone with ambulatory difficulties. Most of the entertainment on the ship was historical lectures which were very interesting but painfully long. Overall, I would recommend the trip if history is your passion and it certainly did make me want to sign up for additional Viking Cruises. But if you want castles and cathedrals and beautiful scenery, I'd send you to the Rhine and Danube instead. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Just returned from the Elbe Cruise that never went anywhere due to low water levels, but that is not the reason for the one star. Viking is not responsible for low water levels, but their response is shameful. Customers were notified and ... Read More
Just returned from the Elbe Cruise that never went anywhere due to low water levels, but that is not the reason for the one star. Viking is not responsible for low water levels, but their response is shameful. Customers were notified and given the opportunity to cancel just a few days before departure even though the possibility of not being able to sail was strong for some time. For many, like us, who were combining this trip with other travel or business, cancelling and trying to get last minute air tickets and hotel arrangements to Europe was not an option. This turned out to be an extremely expensive motor coach trip as we were herded around in buses for hours every day. We had all of the inconvenience of being on a boat (tiny bathroom, docked away from town center) without any of the convenience and for many the extra walking was quite difficult. Viking's response? A voucher for a discount to be used within a year. In other words, absolutely nothing. When I called to ask for a refund instead of a voucher, I was told it was an "Executive Level Decision" not to give any refunds. I was also told that no one from upper management would be interested in hearing from their customers and that no emails would be read. So, Viking, here is how it should have gone. 1) Offer cancelation OR offer to work with the customer to put them on another cruise, arrange alternate air tickets or hotel rooms. 2) Give some kind of refund, any kind of refund, to customers who decide to stay on the trip. You would have had far fewer cancellations and would have saved money in the long run. The customers would not have been so bitter about the response from Viking while trying to enjoy their truncated vacation. 3) Fall all over the customers who stay; drinks, laundry, Uber or cabs from the dock, anything, everything. This trip alteration without compensation made us feel cheated. 4) Don't ask for tips at the end. Viking should be embarrassed to have their staff stand up and say that Viking does not pay them a living wage and they depend on tips for their salary (of course, these are not the words, but the sentiment). 5) Teach your customer services representatives not to argue with the customers. If Viking had done these things, they would have had happy customers, despite not having been able to travel on the river. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This fall my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary by taking our first ever cruise on the Elbe river from Berlin to Prague. We booked 18 months in advance and secured one of two Voyager Suites on the ship to celebrate in ... Read More
This fall my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary by taking our first ever cruise on the Elbe river from Berlin to Prague. We booked 18 months in advance and secured one of two Voyager Suites on the ship to celebrate in style. We also extended our trip 2 days on both ends to enjoy two cities that have long been on my bucket list. In large part our Viking experience was excellent. Transfers were well done, hotels very nice in great locations, the ship(s) were spectacular, crews excellent, tours/guides very knowledgeable. The food was ok but a little disappointing - the chefs did their best with the underlying product provided, but it was a best good hotel convention food. So why only a 3 rating? We did not cruise! Viking notified us a few days before sailing that water levels were low and it was possible the boat would not be able to cruise the length of the river. This became a reality and after the first night we docked at Wittenberg and bussed to our locations. Mid-trip we packed up and did a ship swap to a sister ship docked in Dresden where again we bussed to our tour destinations. A couple weeks after returning I contacted Viking customer service to relate our high level of satisfaction of the product provided but requested a refund for the incomplete experience. Within a couple hours of writing my email a very professional customer service representative called, listened, and offered discounts on future trips. I respectfully declined - the principle in play is Viking failed to deliver on their brand promise; appropriate and reasonable compensation is a fair expectation. Bottom line. Great product but do your research on water levels before booking your cruise. High water can also prevent cruising so check with Viking, your travel agent, and look for reviews like this one before committing. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
We began our journey in Berlin which was such an interesting city and new to us. We were taken by coach to the embarkation point of Magdeburg stopping for a time in Potsdam. Everything was perfect. The ship (Viking Astrild) is small ... Read More
We began our journey in Berlin which was such an interesting city and new to us. We were taken by coach to the embarkation point of Magdeburg stopping for a time in Potsdam. Everything was perfect. The ship (Viking Astrild) is small (about 100 passengers) and new. Our cabin had a lovely balcony and the weather was good so we could use the balcony to watch the world on the Elbe river go by. The food and wine in the dining room were excellent. There was always a talk in the lounge ahead of dinner to learn about the next day's activities where lovely appetizers and cocktails were served. Each port was unique and new to us. We stopped in Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and worked. We visited Dresden. There was music on board the ship on several occasions. Our disembarkation was in a town near Prague and we were driven by coach to a hotel in the center of Prague. We enjoyed every aspect of this cruise and will be planning other river cruises, probably with Viking, in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first River Cruise and we had relatively high expectations when we arrived. Viking and everyone involved with the trip exceeded our expectations. From the moment we landed in Berlin to our departure from Prague, Viking took ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and we had relatively high expectations when we arrived. Viking and everyone involved with the trip exceeded our expectations. From the moment we landed in Berlin to our departure from Prague, Viking took care of our every need. The accommodations, staff, guides, food, etc. were all fabulous. Loved the small boat atmosphere. It allows you to get to know your fellow cruisers. Made some new friends. There was a good mix of planned activities and free time. We could opt in or out of whatever suited us. Having local tour guides on the excursions made an amazing difference in the depth and breadth of information, history and personal perspective we received on each outing. Every person on the staff went out of their way to provide for your every need. Their attention to detail was amazing. It was such a great experience that we booked our next River Cruise a couple of weeks after we returned home. Can't wait for our next trip in 2017. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This tour was one of the first to Eastern bloc countries and was incredibly interesting - part of the world we had never been to. The tour director was very helpful and had great suggestions. We especially enjoyed Michal - our tour ... Read More
This tour was one of the first to Eastern bloc countries and was incredibly interesting - part of the world we had never been to. The tour director was very helpful and had great suggestions. We especially enjoyed Michal - our tour director for the land based extension into Poland. He couldn't do enough for us! All of the local tour guides were wonderful - really knowledgeable and interesting. English skills were very good. Food on the ship was terrific (as always), portions were good and wait staff very attentive. Our cabin steward also did a great job and was very flexible with our comings-and-goings. There is no exercise equipment on such a small river ship, but then, I don't know where you would put it! We tried to walk laps on the topmost deck. The hotels in Czech Republic and Poland were absolutely top drawer - much better than some we have stayed in with other tour companies. Could not have had a better experience! 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because neither of us had been to Berline, Prague or down the Elbe. We didn't know anything about Viking except what we saw on PBS ads but we had been on a Danube cruise with another company, so we thought this ... Read More
We chose this cruise because neither of us had been to Berline, Prague or down the Elbe. We didn't know anything about Viking except what we saw on PBS ads but we had been on a Danube cruise with another company, so we thought this would be the same. Boy, were we wrong. From the moment we were met at the Berlin airport until we were helped right to to security at the Prague airport, we were cared for in an extraordinary way. Every detail was perfect, but the service was never overbearing. We have traveled a great deal, and Viking stands out for service, for punctuality and for just plain excellence. The ship is lovely and very small. Because there are only about 90 passengers, there are only two busses for shore excursions, so getting on and off the ship is easy and quick. No standing in line. No huge group overwhelming a small town. Our cabin was compact and elegant, with every detail thought through. For example, the beds are high enough so that your larger suitcase can slide right underneath and the sliding doors on the bath and closet close onto felt strips rather than banging into wood. Everyone building a house should have Viking's architect. The food was good and plentiful. We especially enjoyed breakfast and the German dinner. Shore excursions were orchestrated beautifully and we especially loved Dresden and Berlin. There was plenty of free time to explore a city on your own and we took advantage of that time with our very minimal German. There was always someone who spoke English to help us if needed. VIking provides maps of each town as you leave the ship - just one more excellent Viking detail. Many people on the ship had been with Viking before. That impressed us. When we got home we signed up for the Rhine next year. Read Less
Viking Astrild Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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