12 Viking River Viking Astrild Cruise Reviews

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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