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This is the first Viking ship we have been on. It Is an unusual one because all the ships on the Elbe are designed for this very shallow river. The ship is beautifully maintained and kept clean. I don't know when it was built but it could have been yesterday. One night the captain gave us a briefing on the ship design and maintenance. The cabins are small, but adequate and, as far as I can tell, identical to the cabins on several of the Grand Circle ships that travel on larger rivers. The dining is a buffet at breakfast, both a sit-down and buffet at lunch, and a sit-down order from the menu at dinner. I did not realize how good the food was until we took a cruise on the Fathom Adonia which was poor to average - the food on the Viking ship was excellent. The service was superb from the entire crew, not just the waiters. The crew is small and you get to see the entire crew many times. There is a suggested tip at the end of the cruise, but we were delighted to give more. The other thing we liked was that we like was that the tip was divided by the entire crew, not just the wait staff. Wine was included at dinner. There was a soft drink package at the bar. The dinning room is in the bottom of the ship and does not have the views of the dining room on the other river ships. The Elbe trip is not excellent for several reasons. Most of the scenery on the river is flat and uninteresting - no castles of majestic views as on the Rhine and the Mosel. This is basically a tour of the old East Germany. However, the only time in Berlin was one afternoon and a one hour walking tour from the hostel after dark and a bus ride out of town the next morning. Absurd. There should be at least one day in Berlin to do the wonderful museums. We went to the Cecillienhof where the Potsdam Conference at the end of WWII was held. We stood outside in a light rain for the talk and never went inside! I left the tour and went inside - it was open. Strange. In Dresden we had a tour in the morning and then free in the afternoon. We learned that we could have had a tour of the glass Volkswagen factory, but you had to make reservations in advance - one couple on the ship had done this. We were never offered this chance. They need to have opportunities during "free time", even of we pay extra. There was an evening "port talk" but very little history about what we would be seeing the next day, except a little prior to visiting Wittenberg. If the guide accompanying the ship can't do that, they should hire an expert to tape a short 30 minute talk on the history that we will see the next day.

Elegant Elbe

Viking Schumann Cruise Review by vmiman

Trip Details
This is the first Viking ship we have been on. It Is an unusual one because all the ships on the Elbe are designed for this very shallow river. The ship is beautifully maintained and kept clean. I don't know when it was built but it could have been yesterday. One night the captain gave us a briefing on the ship design and maintenance. The cabins are small, but adequate and, as far as I can tell, identical to the cabins on several of the Grand Circle ships that travel on larger rivers. The dining is a buffet at breakfast, both a sit-down and buffet at lunch, and a sit-down order from the menu at dinner. I did not realize how good the food was until we took a cruise on the Fathom Adonia which was poor to average - the food on the Viking ship was excellent. The service was superb from the entire crew, not just the waiters. The crew is small and you get to see the entire crew many times. There is a suggested tip at the end of the cruise, but we were delighted to give more. The other thing we liked was that we like was that the tip was divided by the entire crew, not just the wait staff. Wine was included at dinner. There was a soft drink package at the bar. The dinning room is in the bottom of the ship and does not have the views of the dining room on the other river ships.

The Elbe trip is not excellent for several reasons. Most of the scenery on the river is flat and uninteresting - no castles of majestic views as on the Rhine and the Mosel. This is basically a tour of the old East Germany. However, the only time in Berlin was one afternoon and a one hour walking tour from the hostel after dark and a bus ride out of town the next morning. Absurd. There should be at least one day in Berlin to do the wonderful museums. We went to the Cecillienhof where the Potsdam Conference at the end of WWII was held. We stood outside in a light rain for the talk and never went inside! I left the tour and went inside - it was open. Strange. In Dresden we had a tour in the morning and then free in the afternoon. We learned that we could have had a tour of the glass Volkswagen factory, but you had to make reservations in advance - one couple on the ship had done this. We were never offered this chance. They need to have opportunities during "free time", even of we pay extra. There was an evening "port talk" but very little history about what we would be seeing the next day, except a little prior to visiting Wittenberg. If the guide accompanying the ship can't do that, they should hire an expert to tape a short 30 minute talk on the history that we will see the next day.
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