4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The main problem was that there was insufficient water in the Elbe to cruise. Viking knew this well in advance and should have given us the opportunity to cancel and receive a refund. They also changed hotels after they confirmed our ... Read More
The main problem was that there was insufficient water in the Elbe to cruise. Viking knew this well in advance and should have given us the opportunity to cancel and receive a refund. They also changed hotels after they confirmed our booking. Instead of the Marriott in downtown Prague, it was changed to the Corinthia in the suburbs. Not a good hotel and had to get the metro to go into Prague. Had to bus from Czech Republic to Germany to board the boat due to low water levels. Spent 4 hours total cruising the river. The rest of the time we were bussed everywhere. We had to pack and were bussed to the termination point of the cruise to transfer to the sister ship as that was stuck in the port. No compensation from Viking. they didn't even offer to comp drinks. This was our trial of Viking for future ocean and river cruising. Thy failed miserably. It was not Viking's fault that the river levels were low but they took our money KNOWING that they were not going to provide a river cruise. If we wanted a bus tour of Europe we would have booked one. Viking will never have us again as customers and I would advise people to be very wary. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Just returned from the Elbe Cruise that never went anywhere due to low water levels, but that is not the reason for the one star. Viking is not responsible for low water levels, but their response is shameful. Customers were notified and ... Read More
Just returned from the Elbe Cruise that never went anywhere due to low water levels, but that is not the reason for the one star. Viking is not responsible for low water levels, but their response is shameful. Customers were notified and given the opportunity to cancel just a few days before departure even though the possibility of not being able to sail was strong for some time. For many, like us, who were combining this trip with other travel or business, cancelling and trying to get last minute air tickets and hotel arrangements to Europe was not an option. This turned out to be an extremely expensive motor coach trip as we were herded around in buses for hours every day. We had all of the inconvenience of being on a boat (tiny bathroom, docked away from town center) without any of the convenience and for many the extra walking was quite difficult. Viking's response? A voucher for a discount to be used within a year. In other words, absolutely nothing. When I called to ask for a refund instead of a voucher, I was told it was an "Executive Level Decision" not to give any refunds. I was also told that no one from upper management would be interested in hearing from their customers and that no emails would be read. So, Viking, here is how it should have gone. 1) Offer cancelation OR offer to work with the customer to put them on another cruise, arrange alternate air tickets or hotel rooms. 2) Give some kind of refund, any kind of refund, to customers who decide to stay on the trip. You would have had far fewer cancellations and would have saved money in the long run. The customers would not have been so bitter about the response from Viking while trying to enjoy their truncated vacation. 3) Fall all over the customers who stay; drinks, laundry, Uber or cabs from the dock, anything, everything. This trip alteration without compensation made us feel cheated. 4) Don't ask for tips at the end. Viking should be embarrassed to have their staff stand up and say that Viking does not pay them a living wage and they depend on tips for their salary (of course, these are not the words, but the sentiment). 5) Teach your customer services representatives not to argue with the customers. If Viking had done these things, they would have had happy customers, despite not having been able to travel on the river. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 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
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: 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The drought affected the Elbe river so the ship did not move. The crew was excellent, though. The food was very good, way above average. The tours including Worliz & Fredrich the Great, Wittenberg & Martin Luther’s history ( ... Read More
The drought affected the Elbe river so the ship did not move. The crew was excellent, though. The food was very good, way above average. The tours including Worliz & Fredrich the Great, Wittenberg & Martin Luther’s history ( although guide Stephanie was poorly engaged and lacked enthusiasm), Meissen and the porcelain factory, and Dresden’s various museums and churches were outstanding. Prague was beautiful and the tours were nice. The excessive heat made it difficult for all involved, however the weather was not controllable. We wish to thank the staff and crew of Viking for making a difficult trip fun and enjoyable despite the heat and unnavigable waters of the Elbe river. I have been recommending this trip to others already, even considering the heat and low water preventing the movement of the boats. Devin Kennedy was a blessing. He was extremely helpful and totally engaged with the guests. His outstanding effort was above the chart. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have taken many Viking river cruises. Unfortunately this was the non cruise cruise as the Elbe did not have enough water to allow the ships to navigate the river. Therefore we were bussed everywhere and there was zero cruising. If you ... Read More
We have taken many Viking river cruises. Unfortunately this was the non cruise cruise as the Elbe did not have enough water to allow the ships to navigate the river. Therefore we were bussed everywhere and there was zero cruising. If you take this route ask what months are best to give the chance of water in the river as apparently this happens quite a bit around the time we took the cruise. Other than that the places we visited were interesting but it would have been much better to have seen them from the river versus through a bus window. The staff tried to do as much as they could to make this a good experience but that was difficult given the circumstances. Viking did not notify us of the situation until two days before embarkation. Not good for us as we were already in Europe so no chance to defer. They then offered a very small amount of compensation for the cruise. Finally senses prevailed and they gave us a credit for half of the cruise value. The only issue was it had to be used within a year of the cruise date. I would have made that two years as people already had booked 2019 cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Arrived in Berlin and spent 2 nights at the Intercontinental. Lovely hotel, although the bathroom was interesting, there was a huge window above the bathtub so you couldn't leave the light on for a nightlight and there was no ... Read More
Arrived in Berlin and spent 2 nights at the Intercontinental. Lovely hotel, although the bathroom was interesting, there was a huge window above the bathtub so you couldn't leave the light on for a nightlight and there was no nightlight for a very dark room. Also the temp seemed to be set for freezing, thermostat would not work for us. The breakfast buffet was wonderful and plentiful. I was disappointed in our Taste of Berlin tour, we were supposed to go to a very old bakery and never saw it. We did thoroughly enjoy Berlin and would go back to see more. Traveling by coach to Potsdam to Sanssouci Palace was delightful. Afterwards we had a lovely lunch hour to stroll the town. Then on to Worlitz Castle for a gondola ride and tour of the grounds. Our boat was located in Wittenberg, the birthplace of Martin Luther. What a wonderful town. Unfortunately, our ship could not travel up river due to low water so we were coached to our next destinations: Torgau, Mieissen and Dresden. Torgau is a lovely old town with great history and WWII memorials. We discovered some lovely back roads with the nicest "secret" gardens. Then off to Meissen for a great tour of the porcelain factory. Now I understand why it's so acclaimed and priceless. Upon arriving back at our ship we were told that we would be transferring to another ship for the duration of the trip. We were coached to Dresden, what a spectacular city she is. I would gladly spend more time there. We took a side trip to Moritzberg Castle, a "hunting lodge" built on a man made lake. What a lovely place to visit. We also toured a winery and ended with a tour of the Zwinger Palace and the Green Vault. I totally fell in LOVE with Dresden. Our tour guide was very informative and helpful. After return to the ship we were told that enough rain had fallen upstream to allow us to travel by boat through the rest of our trip. Going through Saxon Germany was truly breathtaking. I never knew about this side of Germany. The rock formations are fascinating. Beautiful countryside. We then debarked in Decin for Prague. What can I say about Prague, its truly magnificent and must be seen once in your life. I was disappointed in our tour guide though. She did not take into consideration for those in our group who were not very fast walkers, especially on cobbled streets. It was also quite a long trek from our drop off point to the center of the old city square, which was about a mile up and down steps and a very crowded Charles Bridge. The bridge has some 30 statues and she wouldn't stop and explain any of them or allow us to stop. I once asked her to hold up her placard for those trying catch up to find us and she stated "I'm not the Statue of Liberty." Many of the passengers had canes and were quite worn out reaching the square. We never did get to see the St. Vitus, it was so crowded when we were there. Prague Castle is beautiful. Overall it was lovely wonderful trip. I had been on another Viking cruise the year before and we thoroughly enjoy the service and exceptional food we receive. I would definitely do another and another and another. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This fall my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary by taking our first ever cruise on the Elbe river from Berlin to Prague. We booked 18 months in advance and secured one of two Voyager Suites on the ship to celebrate in ... Read More
This fall my wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary by taking our first ever cruise on the Elbe river from Berlin to Prague. We booked 18 months in advance and secured one of two Voyager Suites on the ship to celebrate in style. We also extended our trip 2 days on both ends to enjoy two cities that have long been on my bucket list. In large part our Viking experience was excellent. Transfers were well done, hotels very nice in great locations, the ship(s) were spectacular, crews excellent, tours/guides very knowledgeable. The food was ok but a little disappointing - the chefs did their best with the underlying product provided, but it was a best good hotel convention food. So why only a 3 rating? We did not cruise! Viking notified us a few days before sailing that water levels were low and it was possible the boat would not be able to cruise the length of the river. This became a reality and after the first night we docked at Wittenberg and bussed to our locations. Mid-trip we packed up and did a ship swap to a sister ship docked in Dresden where again we bussed to our tour destinations. A couple weeks after returning I contacted Viking customer service to relate our high level of satisfaction of the product provided but requested a refund for the incomplete experience. Within a couple hours of writing my email a very professional customer service representative called, listened, and offered discounts on future trips. I respectfully declined - the principle in play is Viking failed to deliver on their brand promise; appropriate and reasonable compensation is a fair expectation. Bottom line. Great product but do your research on water levels before booking your cruise. High water can also prevent cruising so check with Viking, your travel agent, and look for reviews like this one before committing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this itinerary because I was interested in the recent history of the area covered by the cruise---World War II, the Iron Curtain, Glasnost. I was reminded of the profound effect that the Soviet occupation had. Along the way the ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because I was interested in the recent history of the area covered by the cruise---World War II, the Iron Curtain, Glasnost. I was reminded of the profound effect that the Soviet occupation had. Along the way the tours, usually lead by locals, were relevant and engaging. We were given enough free time at each stop to wander on our own. Adding the two days in Prague and the two days in Berlin at each end of the tour was a tremendous complement to our experience. Our dinner at the top of "Ginger and Fred" followed by a drink at Bar Hemingway were memorable The Viking people, particularly Viktoria Selig, were with us from the moment we arrived in Prague to the moment we left for the Berlin airport. We could not ask for more shipboard. The cabin, the food, the service were excellent. The light lunch option in the bar was something we took advantage of daily. We met many wonderful people on board from all over the US (Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Connecticut). The whole experience fulfilled our greatest expectations. 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 2019
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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: October 2016
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: September 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
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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