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Sail Date: September 2011
My wife and I and another couple took a cruise on the Viking Line Schumann in September 2011. It was a 7 day English speaking cruise starting in Melnik (near Prague)in the Czech Republic and ending in Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin). We ... Read More
My wife and I and another couple took a cruise on the Viking Line Schumann in September 2011. It was a 7 day English speaking cruise starting in Melnik (near Prague)in the Czech Republic and ending in Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin). We extended our cruise Through Viking with 3 days in Prague prior to the cruise and 3 days in Berlin after leaving the ship. Both extensions were in good Hilton hotels. The Viking ship Clara Schumann is one of the smallest vessels in Viking's fleet. It has a very shallow draft, and is propelled by water jets rather than propellers because of the shallow Elbe River. The cruise was sold out and had 105 passengers. There were lift chairs to assist passengers between the 3 decks. We purchased a cabin in the middle of the price range, and based on 4 previous river cruises found the cabin to be more than adequate. The boat was refurbished in 2010. The washroom and shower were the largest we have ever had, but the shower and washroom floor was one sloped surface in the style of some European wash rooms. Showering got most of the washroom floor wet no matter how you adjusted the shower curtain. We dried the floor off with a towel after showering and found it a small price to pay for the extra elbow room. We spent most of our awake time in the boat's lounge, sun deck and dinning room. All of which were well appointed. While top end lobster and Filet Mignon dinners were not served, the food and cooking was of a very high quality and diverse enough to more than serve the needs of the rather discriminating group that I was traveling with. I found the tours largely interesting because all of the visited area had been part of the communist block prior to the 1990's. The Viking staff meet us at the airport, were at the hotels and of course were on the boat and were outstanding. The boat was clean, quiet and comfortable. The cruise exceeded our expectations in every regard. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We took the Eurostar to Paris, where we were transported to our awaiting boat, we were very impressed with our cabin, small but very clean and plenty of storage space. We arrived at 2.40 pm, there was a buffet lunch for us to have a snack. ... Read More
We took the Eurostar to Paris, where we were transported to our awaiting boat, we were very impressed with our cabin, small but very clean and plenty of storage space. We arrived at 2.40 pm, there was a buffet lunch for us to have a snack. The food on this boat was first rate, the menu was quite varied, and for anyone who wanted something plain there was chicken and steak always available ( steaks were large and well cooked) complimentary wine served with dinner. Tea/coffee and cookies available all day. Complimentary water in your cabin, and bottles to take on shore excursions. The day we went to the Normandy Beaches was an early start, 8am and a 2-3 hour bus ride, in Arromanches we were booked into a lovely restaurant for lunch, wine included. This holiday was more or less all inclusive, a drinks package 150 euros each could be purchased, unless you are an all day drinker or perhaps like a few shorts, it would be a waste of money, we found the wine served with dinner plenty for us.The majority of our fellow passengers were American, they were all lovely and friendly and good amusing company at dinner. There are no tables for two and no seating plan, so you can sit with different people every night if you so wish.It was quite a busy holiday with a few trips with early starts organised, ofcourse if you wanted to stay on board and relax you could do so. Sitting on deck while cruising down the Seine is a splendid way to see the countryside.Our only gripe was cabin 215, there was a water pump beside it, this would run for a few mins, cut out and start up again, most nights it was switched off at midnight and start back up at 6am, earplugs are a must, but didn't drowned it out completely.The on board entertainment was a pianist/singer, pleasant to listen to, on our last night in Paris we were entertained by some local opera singers.On the whole it was an excellent holiday, and we will certainly think about taking another Viking River Cruise. Read Less

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