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Viking Beyla Review

Elbe Not That Elegant

Review for Europe River Cruise on Viking Beyla
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rideaucruiser
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Mar 2018
Cabin: French Balcony Stateroom

We have previously sailed with Viking on the Rhine, Rhone & in Bordeaux (+ 2 ocean cruises) and thought the Elegant Elbe might be good too. The landscapes at the south end were spectacular (especially the Bastei rock formation which soars above the Elbe) but the further north you go, it was cruising in a ditch through farmland. It was interesting to see the slow pace of economic development in the former East Germany, even after 30 years of reunification. The rebuilt city of Dresden is impressive, as is Wittenberg. In preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Wittenberg was given a major face lift. All utilities were buried. Not a wire or satellite dish to be seen. It's a very pleasant walking town.

I would definitely skip the pre-cruise "package" in Prague if I was planning the trip again. It consisted of nothing more than two extra nights in an overpriced hotel room ($650 per night) plus breakfast. Some optional excursions were offered but all were at substantial additional cost. That was disappointing because Viking had a reputation for excellent, included excursions.

The weather in early April can be marginal in northern Europe. Perhaps this cruise would be better if delayed a month. I would stay further south in Europe if cruising in early spring again.

Cabin Review

French Balcony Stateroom

Cabin D

The cabin was typical Viking: small, clean and very efficient use of space. French balcony cabins are quite adequate for an early season cruise. Floor to ceiling windows provide a great view. Our friends across the hall had a balcony but it was too cold to use it.

Beyla is one of Viking's very small ships, carrying a maximum of 98 passengers. It has one fewer deck than the normal longships. As a result, a cabin in the lower deck might be OK too. More of the cabin is above water so the portholes are much larger than what is found in a lower deck cabin on a Viking 200 passenger longship. (note that the generic photo of a Viking ship used by Cruise Critic on this page is not Beyla; it is one of the larger Viking longships)

Port Reviews

Baden-Baden

The port was actually Bad Schandau (not Baden) and was the departure point for the tour of The Bastei, an impressive sandstone pinnacle with great views of the Elbe river. This was the highlight of the cruise.

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