5 Viking River Viking Astrild Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise as my great grandparents came from Saxony and I wanted to view the lay of the land from the water by cruising down the Elbe. Unfortunately drought and the resulting low water levels did not allow for cruising and we ... Read More
I chose this cruise as my great grandparents came from Saxony and I wanted to view the lay of the land from the water by cruising down the Elbe. Unfortunately drought and the resulting low water levels did not allow for cruising and we were bused from site to site while overnighting on the riverboats. Naturally this was extremely disappointing to us, but when life gives you lemons then you make lemonade... On the plus side, the crew tried very hard to accommodate us, although much of our onboard ship time turned into bus time in order to reach the prearranged tour stops on our itinerary. Another plus was that over half of the passengers opted out of the trip two weeks out when they were told that they would not be sailing.... Hence my husband and I only shared the the boat with fifth-one fellow cruisers. Meal options were limited to breakfast and dinner as we were always off the ship at lunchtime. We opted for the lighter breakfast option in the lounge on second, although full breakfasts were served daily in the dinning room on first. Dinner was served nightly on the first deck with table seating for groups of four or six. Small groups tended to gather in the lounge area prior to dinner and again following dinner where alcohol was available for purchase and instrumental and vocal entertainment was provided. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It was our second river cruise with Viking, we were happy with our previous cruise in France. This time was a big disappointment. As previous review stated the problem was low water level on Elbe. We understand that the water levels in ... Read More
It was our second river cruise with Viking, we were happy with our previous cruise in France. This time was a big disappointment. As previous review stated the problem was low water level on Elbe. We understand that the water levels in Elbe are out of Viking control, but we are greatly disappointed in the way Viking handled the situation: - The company totally lacked honesty and transparency. Low water warning was removed from the website, making us believe that conditions are adequate for our sailing. Even upon arrival our cruise director Liz in all the long talks never honestly said that we were not going to sail. - The company failed to give us an option to cancel the trip with the full refund, while knowing full well that the cruising part cannot be implemented. Very deceiving of Viking. - Due to spending several hours on the bus every day (the part that we were looking to avoid when selecting our cruise package) all our city tours were cut short. For example, instead of the full day we had only two and a half hours in Dresden. - The ship swap and changing the crew, packing and unpacking, living out of the suitcases the entire trip are the factors that made it difficult for us to relax on this trip. If we wanted a bus tour we could have booked a much nicer and cheaper one where we would not be stuck in Wittenberg for 3 days. Viking did not even try to make it up to us in any way, no additional perks like free drinks or extra tour… nothing to make us feel better. Hotel in Prague is very far from center, however there is a shuttle during most of the day. Still would be much more convenient to stay closer to Old Town. Intercontinental in Berlin was great. We spent only 2 nights on Astrild. Service and food was good, boat is lovely, beds comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
we picked this cruise to end up the celebration of my 65th birthday. Unfortunately March 5th is not a prime time to go to Europe. I will never book a Europe trip this early in the season. ours was the first for the season on the Elb and ... Read More
we picked this cruise to end up the celebration of my 65th birthday. Unfortunately March 5th is not a prime time to go to Europe. I will never book a Europe trip this early in the season. ours was the first for the season on the Elb and your could still see ice floating in parts! Most of the amenities aboard the Astrild were top notch. the glaring detractor and ruination of the cruise was the bedding. unbelievable discomfort. The mattress cover had pieces of cloth sewn all over it to create a "pillowing effect" it was more like a cratering effect. could not sleep first night and complained next morning to a very uncaring staff. was told " all beds are the same,we cannot get you a new mattress." so asked around and got many more passengers to agree on the crummy bedding,to no avail. the chambermaid tried putting two mattress covers on and that made it twice as bad. Finally my spouse and I stripped the bed to the mattress and I tried it without any cover. still miserable. this was the deal breaker for me as I have cruised with Viking on prior occasions including the Grand Tour and Bordeaux. Both of which had wonderful bedding. The Elb is a quaint more narrow river with one or two memorable spots. The weather was horrible. Freezing rain and snow. Cold that bit right through you. Prague was the worst,really really cold. think twice before booking this cruise. Do not do it on the cusp season! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date July 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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