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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
As always (our 5th Viking cruise) Viking did an amazing job. The fact that the eastern part of Germany and Europe was suffering a severe drought and the Elbe had record level low water did not spoil the trip. While disappointing that we ... Read More
As always (our 5th Viking cruise) Viking did an amazing job. The fact that the eastern part of Germany and Europe was suffering a severe drought and the Elbe had record level low water did not spoil the trip. While disappointing that we could not cruise Viking was able to provide all of the tours promised and enjoyable stays on two ships - the Astrild and the Beyla. Our Cruise Director, Boyan Bozic, was exceptional and we would love to find him on another cruise. He was fun, knowledgeable, and organized. We had great guides for our excursions - again as always with Viking. The crews on both ships were also exceptional. We thoroughly enjoyed our pre-extension in Berlin with all of the history that goes with it. On our last night before the cruise we were able to get reservations for dinner at the top of the Reichstag to soak in the incredible views. (Very good meal by the way). All of the guides / excursions provided great insight into life under communist rule in east Germany as many had grown up in the east. We always enjoy our Viking cruises and this was no exception. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My seventh cruise with Viking cruises was the “Elegant Elbe” between August 26 and September 10, 2015 with a pre-extension in Krakow prior to the normal itinerary from Prague to Berlin as well as a few extra days in Berlin as a post ... Read More
My seventh cruise with Viking cruises was the “Elegant Elbe” between August 26 and September 10, 2015 with a pre-extension in Krakow prior to the normal itinerary from Prague to Berlin as well as a few extra days in Berlin as a post extension. I took the Elegant Elbe from Prague to Berlin in 2011 and enjoyed the experience enough that I wanted to repeat it in 2015. This encore cruise was quite different from the first experience aside from the very enjoyable pre-extension in Krakow. Due to low water level in the Elbe, it was not possible to cruise from port to port. Instead, the ships Beyla and Astrild served as hotel/restaurants from which buses provided transportation to the several itinerary locations. Personally, I felt that this experience was much more rewarding than the previous voyage. Although the Beyla and Astrild were newer and nicer ships than the previous Clara Schumann, the itinerary changes forced by low water made the real difference. Although the bus rides to various sites were a bit lengthier than with the normal itinerary, they provided much more time ashore because they arrived at the points of interest much more quickly than the leisurely cruising on the river. I saw much more than with the normal itinerary and had much more free time to explore on our own. The normal cruise itinerary often had sailing departure times leaving us wishing we had just a few more hours on shore for exploring. Okay, to nitpick, I had to unpack/pack/ once more than usual. One meal (out of over 200 by Viking) provided poorly done fish and chips. Not much to complain about in 7 cruises with Viking! I can understand that some customers were upset at the changes and the late notification of the situation as well as spending slightly more time than normal aboard buses instead of river cruising, but every review that I’ve read had high praise for the staff and service. In my opinion, this “cruiseless” cruise was a better experience and value than my previous “Elegant Elbe” cruise and, given the choice, I’d opt for the recent experience – less time on the water, more time on land. The low ratings given by other reviewers seem to focus on the late notification of the changes and seem intent on being offended by a perceived “bait and switch” rather than realizing the “switch” was, to paraphrase: “a consummation devoutly to be wished”. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first experience with Viking River Cruises. We were to set sail from Melink on the Viking Astrild. Unfortunatley we were notified that we would not be sailing at all as the River Elbe was to low. We were notified of this on ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking River Cruises. We were to set sail from Melink on the Viking Astrild. Unfortunatley we were notified that we would not be sailing at all as the River Elbe was to low. We were notified of this on August 25, 2015 at 4PM. The reason I mention this, is we had left at 1125 AM for our Pre-Cruise trip to Krakow. We received this message after we had landed in Frankfurt. Imagine our surprise when we were informed that we would not be sailing. When we arrived in Krakow, there was not one Viking Representative to meet us. Two hours and several phone calls later, someone finally picked us up. Now, we could have taken and paid for a cab, but ALL transfers were to be included in our paid trip. Once we got to hotel in Krakow, we contacted our travel agent back in Iowa and she assured us that although we would not be sailing on the first half of our trip, we would be sailing on the 2nd half aboard the Viking Astrild. Needless to say, that was not true. On August 30, we boarded the dry docked Viking Beyla. The Crew and Staff were the most pleasant people we could ask for. They made the stay pleasant for us. We did ask how long they had been dry docked and we were informed 6 weeks! REALLY, and Viking lets you know the day you are flying over that you could Cancel? Then to really slap you in the face they offer you a $1,000 per person Voucher to be used within a year. We are not your average people that can shell out thousands of dollars to do this. We need to save up. We did not sign up for a land tour. We have done these and did not like that you need to be up by a certain time to board a bus and travel. If this had been a land tour, at least we would have seen different scenery each day instead of the same thing. The majority of our tours were in the morning, so you would need to get up, eat breakfast, board a bus, tour, back on the bus, back to the ship for lunch, and then NOTHING. I can sit at home and watch TV. At least when we were in Dresden, you were within walking distance of the square, but when we were dry docked in Wittenberg, the only thing close was a beer garden and grocery store. You could take a cab to the market, but trying to find a cab was ridiculous. This was a joke of a trip. If anyone is considering taking a Viking River Boat Cruise, I would think twice.... Now, our pre-cruise in Krakow was great. Krakow is a beautiful quaint town. People are friendly tons of things to do day and night. Visited the Salt Mines and Auschwitz. We are glad we had booked this. Prague was beautiful also. Only thing is that the hotel that Viking put us up in was in the middle of nowhere. Was a 10-15 minute walk to get anywhere. Berlin was great also. We hired a private guide to take us around and was very impressed with him. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We were notified by Viking a week and a half before we were to leave for our Cruise from Berlin to Prague. Gave us plenty of time to decided whether to go or not. We decided, as our grandson tells us, Go It will be an Adventure! We ... Read More
We were notified by Viking a week and a half before we were to leave for our Cruise from Berlin to Prague. Gave us plenty of time to decided whether to go or not. We decided, as our grandson tells us, Go It will be an Adventure! We decided to go and were glad we did and disappointed at the same time. Berlin was amazing and our hotel was excellent. The hotel staff and our Viking representative was always available (which we needed because Germanwings lost out luggage in London and it took them 3 days to deliver to us). Our cruise director Bojan Bozic was outgoing, funny and very helpful in recommendations for Berlin. We did sail the first night down to Wittenberg, but that was it and it was all night so no enjoying the view as we sailed. The staff of the Astrild were a pleasure to be around considering the circumstances. Had a great time with them and, as always, the food was to die for. We did every excursion that was promised and a couple more. After 3 days we transferred to the Beyla. The staff there was much smaller than on the Astrild. They were very pleasant and friendly. Personally I did not enjoy the food as much on the Beyla as it seemed to have a lot more spices and heat (I am not a spicy eating person). My husband loved it. Dresden was beautiful, we could walk to town every night and the weather was great. However, when we arrived in Prague they were in the mist of a historical heatwave and it was brutal walking around. The Hotel Hilton was quite a walk and even being from Arizona we were suffering at times. Prague is beautiful and we took a night cruise which was amazing with all the lights on the buildings. The Cathedral and Palace are definitely worth the visit. Did I say how amazing our Program Director, Bojan Bozic was? Well he made a difficult situation fun. He handled everything professionally and with a smile on his face. Highly recommend taking a cruise with him as Director. All in all, would we do it again. YES (but without the heat)! So much history to see and experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
For future travelers - check the water level of the Elbe before you sail. If Viking offers you the opportunity to cancel your trip because the water is too low (or sometimes too high), cancel you trip. Otherwise you will be spending most ... Read More
For future travelers - check the water level of the Elbe before you sail. If Viking offers you the opportunity to cancel your trip because the water is too low (or sometimes too high), cancel you trip. Otherwise you will be spending most of your time on a tour bus. I enjoyed the places we visited but did not enjoy the bus travel or the fact that we had to switch boats mid-trip. Viking did give each of us $1,000 voucher to use on a future trip. The staff was wonderful and did the best that they could to make things as pleasant as possible. Bojan was an excellent tour director, and I would love to sail again with him. Food on the ship was excellent. Our room was always well-tended. The cultural activities on board were very good and the tour guides, for the most part gave just the right amount of information without being preachy (with the exception of one). We did extend our trip with extra time in both Berlin and Krakow. Those additions were well worth the price. Krakow is an easy place to get around and we walked everywhere. Our Viking host in Krakow was exceptionally friendly and helpful. We did take the optional tour of the salt mine and found it fascinating. I will tour with Viking again, but if they ever offer me the chance to cancel because there is a problem with the water level, I will not hesitate to cancel. My next trip will be on the Danube where the water level is not a problem. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We were notified 2 days before the cruise that the Elbe was low and the ship could not cruise. We had cruised with Viking before and loved it. The Prague Hilton was a luxurious hotel in a poor location. It was a 30 minute walk to the ... Read More
We were notified 2 days before the cruise that the Elbe was low and the ship could not cruise. We had cruised with Viking before and loved it. The Prague Hilton was a luxurious hotel in a poor location. It was a 30 minute walk to the Charles Bridge and the Old town. Our walking tour did not show the attractions well at all. Frankly we spent too much time on buses. The stops and tour guides were fine but the bus rides were tiring. The Beyla and Astrild crews were friendly and helpful. Our room was probably the cheapest available and was certainly adequate. We were fortunate and had a room with a view. The offer of $1000 per passenger is great for us because we are doing another cruise in the spring but our friends and many others cannot so they receive nothing. Our cruise director, Danayle Egbert, was wonderful. She was with passengers at all times. She tried to satisfy every request. She is a 5 star plus. Pros: great crew, nice ship, good food, excellent company Cons: Viking did not notify us when they knew at least a month before that we would not cruise, bus rides, little free time on tours, offer inadequate By the way we cruised one day. Loved the hotel in Berlin and the beer garden. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We were on the Viking Beyla and Viking Astrild in July on the Elbe.....although scheduled to be 7 nights on the Astrild. We were informed that the boat(s) would be stationary on the day we left for Berlin. This trip was NOT what we ... Read More
We were on the Viking Beyla and Viking Astrild in July on the Elbe.....although scheduled to be 7 nights on the Astrild. We were informed that the boat(s) would be stationary on the day we left for Berlin. This trip was NOT what we expected nor paid for. I maintain that Viking knew of the situation long before we were notified and specifically waited to inform us so that we could not cancel. The highlight of our trip was our tour director Bojan Bozic. He always had a smile and handled many unhappy people with grace and good nature. I hope Viking realizes what a valuable employee and true asset he is. The buses were beautiful but we certainly had not expected to spend so much time on them. The boats are identical and quite lovely. People complain about the size of the cabins but I find that to be typical on river boats compared to cruise ships. The personnel on both boats were excellent and the food was very good. If anyone is contemplating this trip I highly recommend the post trip to Krakow. I would really like to commend Bojan and thank him for helping everyone make the best of a very unfortunate situation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
While water levels on the Elbe River precluded sailing, it was Viking's unforgivable failure to notify its customers of the situation in a timely fashion that makes their reputation seem suspect if not undeserved. Many passengers ... Read More
While water levels on the Elbe River precluded sailing, it was Viking's unforgivable failure to notify its customers of the situation in a timely fashion that makes their reputation seem suspect if not undeserved. Many passengers received e-mails from Viking saying there were problems on the Elbe with only about 24 hours notice and in some cases only after they'd already arrived in Europe. Further it appeared that inaccurate or incomplete information was provided to the ship-board personnel who had to face irate customers asking about modified itineraries, etc. Initially no Viking representative could definitively answer whether passengers would sail at any point and it goes without saying that there was no one available to explain customer alternatives such as cancellation or postponement. Basically, you were "stuck". Viking's solution was to first motor coach passengers to one ship (Viking Astrild serving as a floating hotel) on which they were lodged for three days then to motor coach passenger farther down the river to another ship (Viking Beyla serving as floating hotel number two) for another three days. Tours to featured sites were done by bus using the ships as home base. At no time did any Viking customer sail on any Viking ship. The crews of both vessels were superlative and to be honest, the sites visited went a long way toward mitigating the inconvenience. But, WITH LITTLE OR NO PRIOR NOTICE, a bus tour was foisted on folks who had purchased and expected a river cruise. A negative feeling hung over the entire trip. Viking's gesture of good will was to offer one thousand dollar vouchers to be used against the cost of a future Viking cruise. I believe most people considered this as tantamount to an insult. While Viking's equipment and on board staffing continue to be exceptional, its administration and customer relations - which is distinctly unresponsive - are a dismal failure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I, together with two friends, were on the Elegant Elbe cruise in June, on the very new Viking Astrild. We were VERY lucky that the river level cooperated throughout our tour. The Elbe was very low during the weeks prior to ... Read More
My husband and I, together with two friends, were on the Elegant Elbe cruise in June, on the very new Viking Astrild. We were VERY lucky that the river level cooperated throughout our tour. The Elbe was very low during the weeks prior to our cruise, as well as the weeks after (low enough that Viking has had to cancel some July sailings). But thanks to some rain we were able to sail without major issues (however we had to use umbrellas during some of our shore excursions). We could not board the ship in Melnik as provided in the original itinerary, but instead boarded the ship in Decin, about half an hour away. Not a problem, as Decin has its own interesting sights to see. The Czech river authorities released some water from a nearby lock before our cruise to give the ship a "push." As mentioned the Viking Astrild is new (I believe we were on its 7th sailing) so everything was in great condition. The food was very good; I can't recall having any bad food, although I didn't particularly enjoy the German dinner since I don't really care for German food. The crew members were excellent, always smiling and eager to please. The program director Viktoria Muller was very well organized and made sure that everything went like clockwork. Onboard entertainment was fun and the lectures were educational. Shore excursions were mostly good, given the limited time available at each port. Every city has plenty to see, and there is no way that the local guides can show you everything. This was especially true in Dresden. If you want to see more, a river cruise is not for you. But for just the highlights, Viking's shore excursions are adequate. In some cities they also offer options for those who are less mobile. They even gave people the option to skip the tour in Potsdam and go directly to Berlin if that was their preference (though I don't recommend that since Potsdam is a "must see"). For the first shore excursion, we had the option of going either to Litomerice (beer tasting) or the Terezin concentration camp. I went to Terezin and found it very sobering and educational. I spoke to several people who went to Litomerice; they were not impressed. Not much to see in the town, and the beer tasting was nothing to write home about. The passengers on average were in their 60s-70s, but there were a few young people traveling with their parents. My husband and I met a number of very nice people who became frequent breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner companions. I was on the 2-week Rhine / Danube cruise last year and that is definitely more scenic than the Elbe, as well as very busy with other river traffic. I don't recall seeing other cruise ships on the Elbe other than the Astrild's sister ship, not counting the boats which just do day trips. There was never another ship docked beside ours. For the friends who were traveling with us, this was their first-ever river cruise. They found it "delightful" and were extremely pleased with the experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Having read the reviews on the Viking cruises that did not go well due to lack of water in the Elbe River, I thought I would offer my comments on the Elbe River cruise that took place as the water problems were starting to occur. We ... Read More
Having read the reviews on the Viking cruises that did not go well due to lack of water in the Elbe River, I thought I would offer my comments on the Elbe River cruise that took place as the water problems were starting to occur. We booked the cruise, "Elegant Elbe," with a pre-stay in Berlin and post-stay in Kraków, Poland. With the "bottom line up front," I would recommend the cruise to anyone with the normal caveat that "things happen" and you need to be prepared for whatever happens. To begin, we flew to Berlin and were met by Viking and transported to our hotel, the Steigenberger, located across the street from the main train station. Bojan Bozic was the Viking representative who was at the hotel and he then became our Program Director for the cruise. I cannot say enough good things about how well he handled everything. He provided good information about where to eat and other items of interest. His information was always accurate and all his recommendations worked out very well. Not part of the normal Viking tour, I highly recommend the tour of the Reichstag which can be arranged via the internet (just Google "tour of the Reichstag" and you will get the information you need). If you want to do the tour, you must arrange it ahead of time and it must be approved by German authorities but it is not difficult to request the tour and you will receive authorization prior to your trip. The tour was about 90 minutes long and very interesting. Another recommendation is to take the short tour on the Spree River on one of the tour boats. Only takes about an hour but you get to see another view of the city. Tours are available within a five minute walk from the hotel. The hotel was very good and located close to the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. By taking advantage of the pre-cruise stay in Berlin, you have the opportunity to see much more than you would if you just did the cruise which provided very little time in Berlin itself. After our stay in Berlin and the bus trip from Berlin to Magdeburg, we boarded the Viking Astrild for our cruise. The ship is smaller than the normal Viking "longships" with only 98 passengers and 2 decks rather than the larger ships with 190 passengers and 3 decks. The ship was built especially for the Elbe River but even with a smaller ship, the lack of water in the river became a problem. The ship was fabulous and the crew made it even better. The Captain, Vaclav Drahos; Hotel Manager, Jochen Prigge; Program Director, Bojan Bozic; and Chef, Larss Regenberg, were all fantastic. In every case, they went the extra mile to make sure our expectations were not only met but exceeded. I will not try to describe all the spectacular things we were able to see during the cruising portion and the land tours where we stopped. Suffice to say that even though I lived in Germany for three years and have done several other cruises in Europe, I still enjoy opportunities to return and see more. Bojan and Jochen were always available to help when needed and to inform all of us about the areas where we were traveling. Bojan even made a reservation for four of us in a restaurant in Prague for the night we would spend there. (The restaurant is the Café Imperial and is a great place to have a wonderful meal.) For our cruise, the problem of lack of water began when we docked at Decín. When we docked, the crew informed us that we would likely not have enough water to continue our voyage from there. The Astrild would remain in Decín and we would continue our tours with buses. We would go out during the day on the buses and then return to the ship for the night. We missed a little bit of the river but not the same problem as others encountered later. They did bus us to Prague and we continued the trip as planned with a one-night stay in Prague. There was an option of extra days in Prague or to travel to Kraków, Poland, before returning home. Having spent time in Prague before, we decided to continue on to Kraków to see something else. Had I not been to Prague before, I would have most likely stayed in Prague as there are many things to see and do there. I highly recommend the trip to Kraków. It is a wonderful city and well worth the trip. It does require about a 7-hour bus ride but again, it is worth the effort. We stayed in the Radisson Blu Hotel, centrally located and walking distance from the very large market square. The Viking representative at the hotel was again very helpful in directing us to places to eat and other information. She recommended two places to eat and we tried both with great results both times. One extra we did in Kraków was to take a "golf cart" tour of parts of the city. I call it a "golf cart" tour because it basically is a large cart that holds 6 passengers and the driver. He took us to places that were very interesting and not all on the normal "tour route." We told him that we wanted to go to Schindler's factory (now a museum). We ended our tour there but it was not walking distance back to the hotel. He asked how long we wanted to stay there and he would pick us up and return us to the hotel. He was back at the appointed time and we headed back to the hotel. As an optional tour, we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Represents a very ugly part of history but worth the trip. Highly recommended. In all, the cruise went very well. Rivers in Europe can cause problems, either from lack of water or too much. Temperatures in Europe are usually not uncomfortably hot but they can be and many hotels are not air conditioned in the same manner as what is expected in the U.S. My comment is that if you are considering a Viking River Cruise, don't be discouraged by the problems identified for several of the trips. In our case, the crew did everything in their power to make the best of the low water situation. I will not try to excuse any actions or lack of action on Vikings' part to notify people but for the people on the actual ships, they did a great job and the cruise was great. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We had a wonderful time on the Elbe River cruise. The staff on the ship was excellent in service, friendly, and did their best to make everyone comfortable. The itinerary was well planned and executed. Viking seems to have a contingency ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the Elbe River cruise. The staff on the ship was excellent in service, friendly, and did their best to make everyone comfortable. The itinerary was well planned and executed. Viking seems to have a contingency plan for everything that might happen on the cruise. Except for a couple chilly, rainy days, the rest of the cruise was quite enjoyable. The food on the cruise was excellent, with plenty of wine to accompany dinner. The onboard activities were well planned, from the traditional German dinner to the presentations on German history and culture. The shore excursions were well-planned, packed with a lot of history, and with plenty of free time to explore on our own. Our personal favorites were the Bastei and Saxon Switzerland National Park, and the Meissen porcelain factory tour. At the risk of sounding like a Viking salesman, everyone should take a Viking river cruise. Once you have sailed on one of these ships with only 90-180 passengers, you will never want to set foot on a large cruise ship again! This was our seventh Viking trip and we will go again. The ship was very comfortable and well-kept. The rooms were quite adequate for our needs, as we really didn't spend much time there. There were simply too many things going on to stay in our room! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
It started with a pre-tour of Berlin. The hotel was well located near the Hof Banhof, with easy walking to the river Spree, the Chancellory, Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. Each passenger could plan their own tour, except for the City ... Read More
It started with a pre-tour of Berlin. The hotel was well located near the Hof Banhof, with easy walking to the river Spree, the Chancellory, Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. Each passenger could plan their own tour, except for the City bus tour and the walk from the hotel to the Brandenburg Gate. The morning of the fourth day we boarded buses and stopped in historic Potsdam, with a stop at the Celilienhof Palace where the leaders of the Allied Forces met. Lunch in Potsdam and then a trip to the Viking Astrid in Magedburg. I have visited Germany on a number of trips but never had traveled on the Elbe river. As a boy, I attended a German Lutheran School in San Francisco and Martin Luther, his 95 Theses, and the beginnings of the reformation played a major part of my school life. It was powerful to be in the place and learn more about Martin Luther and his wife and the impact their actions played on life in northern Europe. The stop in Dresden was impressive. I had been once before shortly after the wall came down and what I saw this time was a renewed city. I opted for the optional tour of the Volkswagen Transparent Factory. This was one amazing factory and following the manufacturing process was outstanding. Other stops showcased old Europe, cobblestones and all. The trip concluded in Prague, and I opted for a three day extension. Loved the city. Our program director Bojan, was one of the best I have ever encountered. I had a couple of beers in stops with him and each time the phone range, He said, Bojan here, How may I help you. He was an amazing person who undertook to make the trip interesting and helped in uniting the passengers as a touring family. The other staff of the Astrid were very professional and had a great sense of humor. They worked well as a team and make the cruise into a fun filled week. 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
I am a very fit first time Viking river cruiser. Our first contact was in Berlin with Bojan Bozic our Program Director. He accompanied us throughout our trip, very knowledgeable, helpful and always smiling. There were never too many ... Read More
I am a very fit first time Viking river cruiser. Our first contact was in Berlin with Bojan Bozic our Program Director. He accompanied us throughout our trip, very knowledgeable, helpful and always smiling. There were never too many questions as he always interpreted our needs. The excersions were very good and we were well prepared the evening before as to historical background. The Astrild was fantastic. It was very special being the first cruisers on the ship. Our Captain Josef Cvejn never gave us a rocky moment and he mastered the locks perfectly. Jochen Prigge, the Hotel Manager, assembled a very competent, motivated and friendly crew. Thank you Victor for your smile and morning cappucino. Zjanette, you made the best Mojitos, perfect service, many thanks. The kitchen was fantastic thanks to Igor and Lajos. And again thanks to all the crew that looked after us. Two very small critics, first there is no elevator for physically challenged guests, and when travelling as a single you must pay double fare. Donna Zurich, Switzerland Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first cruise with Viking River cruises and my wife and I loved every minute of it. The ship, Viking Astrild, was new and we were the first passengers on her maiden voyage. The accommodations, wonderful food, and warm and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Viking River cruises and my wife and I loved every minute of it. The ship, Viking Astrild, was new and we were the first passengers on her maiden voyage. The accommodations, wonderful food, and warm and helpful crew were first rate. Our Program director was outstanding with a wonderful sense of humor and an in-depth understanding of our cruise ports. He was attentive to all our needs and any request was handled in an expeditious way. Each port had wonderful transportation arranged with excellent guided tours. The voice box with earphones is a wonderful device and made the tours easy to listen and allowed us walking flexibility. We loved the food and having a light fare on the main deck was terrific. The staterooms were spacious enough and we felt entirely comfortable. The crew overall were very gracious, and cared to give the passengers a good time. We have told our friends about our wonderful trip and we plan on making another in the near future. 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
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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