5 Dresden to Europe - River Cruise Viking River Viking Beyla Cruise Reviews

We have previously sailed with Viking on the Rhine, Rhone & in Bordeaux (+ 2 ocean cruises) and thought the Elegant Elbe might be good too. The landscapes at the south end were spectacular (especially the Bastei rock formation which ... Read More
We have previously sailed with Viking on the Rhine, Rhone & in Bordeaux (+ 2 ocean cruises) and thought the Elegant Elbe might be good too. The landscapes at the south end were spectacular (especially the Bastei rock formation which soars above the Elbe) but the further north you go, it was cruising in a ditch through farmland. It was interesting to see the slow pace of economic development in the former East Germany, even after 30 years of reunification. The rebuilt city of Dresden is impressive, as is Wittenberg. In preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Wittenberg was given a major face lift. All utilities were buried. Not a wire or satellite dish to be seen. It's a very pleasant walking town. I would definitely skip the pre-cruise "package" in Prague if I was planning the trip again. It consisted of nothing more than two extra nights in an overpriced hotel room ($650 per night) plus breakfast. Some optional excursions were offered but all were at substantial additional cost. That was disappointing because Viking had a reputation for excellent, included excursions. The weather in early April can be marginal in northern Europe. Perhaps this cruise would be better if delayed a month. I would stay further south in Europe if cruising in early spring again. Our Viking dining experience was typically excellent. Entertainment was minimal but good, as we expected on a very small ship. Rik, our Cruise Director was quite entertaining (quick wit and dry sense of humour!) as well as highly competent in organizing everything. Beyla is a small ship with a more intimate feel to it. Staff were great, attending to almost every detail with enthusiasm. Our only concern was the lack of attention to infection control in the common areas. On every other ship we have cruised on, meticulous attention was paid to disinfection and, especially, the mandatory use of the hand sanitizers. Unfortunately, a significant number of guests had flu and/or colds and shared them with the rest of us. This lead to a few weeks of misery for us during the second part of our visit to Europe (extended stay in London) and Viking Air wasn't of much help when we tried to go home early. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because one of the destinations was Berlin and I’ve always wanted to see this city. Also another plus for us was that this cruise also visited Wittenberg and because of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this ... Read More
We chose this cruise because one of the destinations was Berlin and I’ve always wanted to see this city. Also another plus for us was that this cruise also visited Wittenberg and because of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this is another destination we wanted to see. Since my wife and I are Lutheran, this visit had special meaning to us. We were also struck by the beauty of Prague. We had no idea before we left home about much of the history of the city and how beautiful the city is. A much unexpected plus for our journey! And we cannot say enough regarding the staff of the Beyla. Since this was our first extended trip to Eastern Europe, we were a little apprehensive about our trip. But the crew on the ship and especially our cruise director Claudia alleviated all our concerns. The ship itself was wonderful. We enjoyed our accommodations. The food provided was very good, and being a very picky eater, I was able to find something to eat for all my meals that we had onboard. This was a truly great and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The Elbe River has very low waters such that it is not presently navigable by the usual cruise ships. This was predictable from early spring as snow falls and run off were about 1/3 of annual. In April I received an enticing offer from ... Read More
The Elbe River has very low waters such that it is not presently navigable by the usual cruise ships. This was predictable from early spring as snow falls and run off were about 1/3 of annual. In April I received an enticing offer from Viking to book the ELEGANT ELBE cruise, which we did. But I knew nothing, and told nothing of the possible (likely) "non-cruising" itinerary, which passengers were eventually notified of 2-3 days before the cruise. Some passengers were actually booked only 3 weeks before departure (due to other cancellations); but also were enticed (i.e. told nothing) of the "bait and switch" they were offered. The passengers accepted that Viking does not control the weather or water levels. BUT they unanimously felt the company should have informed us earlier of this issue and given us the opportunity to modify our travel plans. Instead, they "graciously" offered a $1000/per person voucher on a FUTURE VIKING CRUISE, but to be booked in less than 12 months. Many angry and disappointed passengers have contacted Viking with little satisfaction thus far. Instead of cruising leisurely the Elbe river from one town to another, we were bused 1-2 hrs to excursions. This was neither leisurely nor cruising, and conducive to swollen legs. I have sent an email to Viking a few days ago, no response yet. I wonder if this company grew too quickly, overextended itself, and is now not able to provide customer satisfaction. Otherwise the ship was new and comfortable (can't tell about sailing), food very good, staff attentive (and stressed). This was our second, and likely last Viking cruise. Problems arise in any circumstance, the key is how the person or company resolve the problem. Viking does not appear to know the difference between a river cruise and a bus tour, NOT THE SAME! not the same value either. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The ship never sailed. I don't know how they can call it a river CRUISE. I did not get notice until after I had arrived in Europe and lost the chance to cancel. it was supposed to cruise from Prague to Berlin. They substituted long ... Read More
The ship never sailed. I don't know how they can call it a river CRUISE. I did not get notice until after I had arrived in Europe and lost the chance to cancel. it was supposed to cruise from Prague to Berlin. They substituted long bus rides and a move to a second ship, the Beyla. One day (Between the hotel and arrival at the ship) included a mandatory trip to walk around Litormerice for hours in 1oo degree heat where (since they had changed the day of the visit to Sunday) everything was closed except a beer cellar where they had arranged a tasting. I am a 68 year old and was traveling with a friend. In Prague, we stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel, which was very comfortable and in a great location. The Astrilde was a pretty new ship, although the cabins are small. Two people can't walk past each other. There were daily bus excursions to local towns. Activities and entertainment on the ship were very limited, probably because we did not cruise to planned ports. Two nights were German history, one was a Viking "commercial" followed by irate customer complaints, and one was a string trio from Dresden. Dining on the ship was a highlight with good food, good service, and good company. With the rescheduling, we ended with only twelve hours in Berlin and took the 4:45am shuttle to the airport. In summary, I wish I could have cancelled or postponed. The bad outweighed the good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Viking Beyla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.4
Family 2.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

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