93 Viking River Viking Astrild Cruise Reviews

I have had absolutely excellent service from the Viking staff...the excursions are wonderful, all food is superior, the accommodations are very, very comfortable. The shampoo, shower gel smells wonderful, I always try to bring some home ... Read More
I have had absolutely excellent service from the Viking staff...the excursions are wonderful, all food is superior, the accommodations are very, very comfortable. The shampoo, shower gel smells wonderful, I always try to bring some home with me...Last year I bought some of the gift packs onboard the ship for staff thank you gifts and everyone liked it very much too... I totally enjoy the relaxed atmosphere they provide for cruising, don't have any of the formal attire to have to pack and dress in. From the beginning to end, the staff and crew are friendly, knowledgable and willing to assist you in any task you bring them. This was my third cruise with Viking and I'm currently booked to go on another Christmas Market cruise this year from Frankfort to Nuremburg. I can hardly wait for the tim to get here so I can visit the Christmas markets, which they give you ample time for shopping and eating!!! I especially like the Christmas market cruises, as the guides can let us know which markets are the very best to go to. They also decorate the ships lounge and restaurants for Christmas that gives a nice festive feel. The kitchen staff do a special dinner one evening and we are invited to see where all the meals are prepared and sample many different recipes. On another afternoon, the chef gives a special recipe and demonstration on how to make it...This usually is done at a time when the area that we are cruising thru doesn't offer a lot of scenery. I love Viking Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our November Elbe cruise only sailed one day due to low water of the river, but it was an excellent trip. The entire Viking staff and crew met our every need and arranged memorable tours and programs. Victoria Selig, our program director, ... Read More
Our November Elbe cruise only sailed one day due to low water of the river, but it was an excellent trip. The entire Viking staff and crew met our every need and arranged memorable tours and programs. Victoria Selig, our program director, was engaging, knowledgeable, and relentless in tracking down our lost luggage (left in JFK). The quality of the tours, tour guides, and information sessions are particularly enjoyable and informative. As history buffs, we look forward to all kinds of interactions.In addition, there was never a lack of delicious food and beverages. We met many wonderful fellow travelers and will book other trips in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Wanted to cruise Elba River and visit cities along the way. Unfortunately the river didn't want to cooperate and we were able to sail only one day. Staff on both ships, had to change ships in middle of cruise, did and excellent job ... Read More
Wanted to cruise Elba River and visit cities along the way. Unfortunately the river didn't want to cooperate and we were able to sail only one day. Staff on both ships, had to change ships in middle of cruise, did and excellent job in providing service and trying to keep us on schedule and visiting sites advertised. The food and accommodations were excellent as these were new ships but all accommodations on Viking ships have been excellent. The buses and tour guides on each day trip were excellent and we were able to see all sites planned. The weather was not cooperative as it was windy and mostly cloudy but umbrellas were provided if needed when needed. We did not have a need for anything because if we had a request, a crew member supplied our need. My wife and I were in the middle of trying to sale a home back in the states, due to the death of a famliy member, and I was keeping in contact with the realtor via email. in one instance, the realtor had papers for us to review and there were to many to read plus the format made it almost impossible to read. The papers were sent to me by the realtor and I was able to forward them to the ships front desk and they printed them off for us, and they would not except payment for this service. Because of this service, we were able to reach a decision on the sale. We have another trip for June 2017 with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We enjoyed our time on the Viking Astrild even though we didn't get to sail due to the low level of the river's water. This was our second Viking cruise so we knew what the view would have been like while on the river. However, ... Read More
We enjoyed our time on the Viking Astrild even though we didn't get to sail due to the low level of the river's water. This was our second Viking cruise so we knew what the view would have been like while on the river. However, the bus tours were excellent, and afforded us the opportunity to see the sights from a different perspective. The tours were wonderful and educational. The guides were friendly and informative. Susi, our program director, although very professional, became like a good friend to us all. The ship's staff did a great job and the food was delicious. We will sail on Viking again as well as encourage our friends to do so as well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We booked with the knowledge of the low water condition so were not at all surprised that the ships remained moored. However the use of two identical and new ships as floating hotels worked well. Everything was to the Viking standard we ... Read More
We booked with the knowledge of the low water condition so were not at all surprised that the ships remained moored. However the use of two identical and new ships as floating hotels worked well. Everything was to the Viking standard we have come to expect. This was our fifth Viking cruise. Wittenberg's reformation history, and the fact that our travel was in what was once the Eastern zone, made this a very educational cruise. The fact that the ships were immobile detracted very little. Also, Viking upgraded our booked Standard cabin to a Veranda cabin and provided us each with a $1,000 voucher for a future cruise. We also took the post-cruise extension to Krakow including a day trip to Auschwitz. The city of Krakow was delightful and our Viking hosts handled the Auschwitz trip with professionalism and true sensitivity - we are very glad we visited Auschwitz but it is not an excursion one would make twice. We thank-you Viking - Well Done. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 2015
we chose the cruise as we had not been on the Elbe River. We knew that there had been problems with low water in 2018 but we thought July would be okay, but it was not. A week before the cruise we were told that we would board another ... Read More
we chose the cruise as we had not been on the Elbe River. We knew that there had been problems with low water in 2018 but we thought July would be okay, but it was not. A week before the cruise we were told that we would board another cruise boat & be bused to another one down river for the remainder of our tour. We could have cancelled the tour but decided to go with it anyway. There were about 35 passengers onboard which made for an intimate experience. I recommend to not book a cruise past May. The Elbe is a wild river with no locks to hold water so cruises are dependent on the amount of rain. Food was mostly good with sparking wine at breakfast. We will receive a 50% voucher for a future cruise to compensate us for the non cruise experience. The ship is smaller than others with only 2 levels . I spoke to a couple were not notified that the boat would not move until they arrived at the ship. Viking was sending email to my travel companion but not me. When I asked that I receive emails I was rudely informed that it was not possible! I did not see an elevator. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this itinerary because besides Prague, we had not been to any of the other places and had heard good things about it. The cruise itself was good, did not get to spend much time in any of the places we visited while on the boat and ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because besides Prague, we had not been to any of the other places and had heard good things about it. The cruise itself was good, did not get to spend much time in any of the places we visited while on the boat and would have liked to have had a bit more free time on shore after the excursions. We have traveled on 2 other prior cruises with Viking and absolutely loved everything about it. This go, the food was sub-par, we were told they ran out of certain foods, like the steak on the everyday menu and would not be getting anymore. Service in the dining room was mostly non-existent, if you were served one glass or wine, beer or soda, no more was offered unless you tracked them down, or did as I did and walked over to the shelf and poured my own. For those who travel with Viking, you know how attentive the service is normally. I believe the staff in the dining room had checked out since this was the last cruise of the season. Our cabin was spotless and very comfortable, I did miss the heated tile floor, but the young lady that took care of our floor was just wonderful and very kind. The reception area was also wonderful, very friendly. Really liked the captain, he was very social the entire cruise. The excursions were absolutely fabulous. We were very impressed with the majority of them. We will be going on another cruise with Viking, just hoping to not have a repeat of the not that great of food. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise as our third river experience, all with Viking, because we wanted another taste of reconstructed former Eastern Europe, and we were offered free air fare. We were in great hands from the moment we stepped off the plane ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our third river experience, all with Viking, because we wanted another taste of reconstructed former Eastern Europe, and we were offered free air fare. We were in great hands from the moment we stepped off the plane until we waved goodbye to come home. The ship, one of Viking's smaller, made for an intimate and very personable voyage downstream to Martin Luther's Wittenberg, and the service was outstanding, from the captain to every member of the crew. The entertainment aboard as well as the excursions that included entertainment were varied and reflected the rich Czech, Bohemian, and German cultures along the Elbe. We enjoyed the days in Prague and the immersion in Berlin's Cold-War history. My only disappointment was the "Prague by Night" excursion -- I had been expecting a pub crawl as we had had in Cologne two years earlier, instead of the panoramic tour we received, seeing the lights of the city from several viewpoints. I certainly plan to cruise Viking again, probably somewhere in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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
Sail Date October 2016
BEFORE THE TRIP-CALL CENTER ISSUES Viking does not train the call center staff well and I was given wrong, inaccurate information regarding questions and specific travel details. Mistakes were made regarding the flights, trip extension ... Read More
BEFORE THE TRIP-CALL CENTER ISSUES Viking does not train the call center staff well and I was given wrong, inaccurate information regarding questions and specific travel details. Mistakes were made regarding the flights, trip extension dates, what was/was not included, and important information not shared which has effected what we could and couldn’t see due to "holiday days" in Berlin. After a letter to the CEO and a number of phone calls we were given a ship credit. Viking could not explain why information provided by call center reps was not always correct such as pushing us to leave later in the month because the ship was newer which not the case. This forced us to extend and incurred more expenses. Doubt that we will take another cruise with Viking because of the call centers wrong information and the problems encountered as a result. The call center rep told me that if you extend in Prague that the extension in Berlin was automatic, however that was not correct. Our flights were re-booked with new dates and there was a $200.00 charge which we had to pay. The call center never explained that the return flight was not with Lufthansa but United and had we not found this out ourselves we would have had a serious problem at the airport looking for the wrong gate/terminal. No one at the call center knew that the Semper opera tour was schedule on the tour plan and we purchased tickets online ourselves. No one at Viking was willing to assist us with the hotel extension in Berlin nor give us any booking information. I had to resolve this problem on my own taking four hours of my time with Hilton reservations to book the room for us. This was EXTREMELY difficult for me to do with the cost of phone calls, time on the internet and worry if we'd have a hotel room for the extension period of one night. THE SHIP EXPERIENCE The experience on the ship was WONDERFUL. Ship staff were well trained, the food was good with a nice selection of choices, daily tours were good especially the tour guide in Berlin and everything was well organized. The Concierge on the boat was especially helpful and the Program Director (Brenton) was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date July 2016
Past favorable cruise. Would go again. Only disappointment was the blocking of the river by a barge that hit a bridge near Dresden resulting in our ports to be reduced and the most scenic portion of the cruise eliminated. Viking did do ... Read More
Past favorable cruise. Would go again. Only disappointment was the blocking of the river by a barge that hit a bridge near Dresden resulting in our ports to be reduced and the most scenic portion of the cruise eliminated. Viking did do the best to provide for a pleasant experience. The problem was not any fault of Viking. The ship was very nice and luxurious at all levels. It was a pleasure to have so many choices for meals. Large or small breakfasts and lunches. The relaxing dining rooms and lounges were a pleasure. The ability to navigate through out the ship at ease was comforting along with the smallness and uncrowded atmosphere. The shore excursions were good and some required quite a lot of walking which was a little unexpected but acceptable. We enjoyed the small ship and the newness. All of the staff were exceptionally accompanying. Our tour director was very well versed on all aspects of the cruise and very entertaining throughout the trip. The tour of the ship and the facilities on board was very informative. The Captain was especially accommodating in the pilot house as was the ships engineer pertaining to the operation of the mechanics. Embarkation and disembarking was very efficient and timely. All this made the trip relaxing with no worries or frustrations. We would recommend traveling via Viking to anyone interested in quality vacation time. As I mentioned in the beginning we were disappointed by the blocking of the river which was unforeseen by anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our trip had a lot going against it--we couldn't cruise due to low water and had cold, rainy weather. Even so, everyone worked hard to make it a memorable trip and ensure that we visited the scheduled sites and had a positive trip. ... Read More
Our trip had a lot going against it--we couldn't cruise due to low water and had cold, rainy weather. Even so, everyone worked hard to make it a memorable trip and ensure that we visited the scheduled sites and had a positive trip. We weren't sorry that we went but I don't think I'd do another non-sailing cruise should that possibility present itself in the future. It was fascinating to be in the former East Germany--we could see many of the remnants of Soviet rule in the large, boring buildings, even if they were now painted. Wittenberg was fascinating, Saxon Switzerland a revelation and we really loved Berlin and Prague--we even had a little sunshine in Prague. We did the trip to Terezen, which was very powerful. Because our numbers were down from the sold-out cruise we were expecting, we had particularly excellent service on the two identical ships. We did find that, due to the almost constant rain that closed the upper deck area, there were few places we could go to on the ships, which made them seem quite small. On my prior cruise several years ago, there was a morning exercise class--I was very disappointed that something like that was not offered this time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were already in Germany when we were notified that we could not cruise because of low water. Having traveled with Viking before we thought it would still be a wonderful trip, which it turned out to be. The Berlin Hilton was excellent, ... Read More
We were already in Germany when we were notified that we could not cruise because of low water. Having traveled with Viking before we thought it would still be a wonderful trip, which it turned out to be. The Berlin Hilton was excellent, First ship was the Astrild and the staff and the Chief were EXCELLENT, fantastic service and the room was very clean. The person I must commend was our Program Director Brenton Pieper, he was the BEST of ALL. He was always cheerful, had excellent tour guides assembled for our outings and programs on the ship as well. He made it a point to have lunch or dinner with the guests and we had interesting conversations. Well organized and keep us well informed as to what would be happening everyday, plus when we had to move from the Astrild to the Beyla. We saw so many things I cannot pick a favorite since everything we saw and heard was fantastic, aariving in Potsdam & being able walk part way across the Glienicke Bridge learning how spies were exchanged and visit Sanssouci Palance and hear facts about "Old Fritz" with his 11 dogs and seeing the graves of the 11 dogs and his finally together after many years. To learn about Martin Luther and Katherina. Emjoyed seeing the Cantileveres staircase in by Hartenfels Castle in Torgau. Loved touring the Meissen FactoryEnjoyed Dresden, (especially since my husbands father came from there) and seeing Kohnigstein Fortress it was truly impressive. My husband enjoyed the Saxon Switzerland: on the Elbe tour and last the tour of Prague, we took the three extension and really enjoyed all the sights and museums plus we went to a concert which was excellent. Glad we decided to go even learning of the low water, saw everything we would have seen cruising and the busses were modern, and clean and the drivers curtious. Thank you for a great trip Viking. Read Less
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date May 2015
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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