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Viking Beyla Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
92 reviews

"Elegant Elbe" gives fascinating view of former East Germany

Review for Viking Beyla to Europe River
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Andy_Ottawa
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2019
Cabin: French Balcony Stateroom

Itinerary (2 days in Berlin, 5 day cruise including Wittenburg, Meissen and Dresden, 2 days Prague) appealed to us and didn't disappoint. Viking's cruise environment is (for us) a good mix of levity, entertainment and enrichment led by excellent program director Rik and enhanced by unadvertised extras such as an evening walk in Torgau, a lacemaking demo (and chance to try), a talk from a local woman on her upbringing in the DDR and a classical music trio. Much of the Elbe sailing is through tranquil farmland, but there is more varied landscape at the eastern end of the itinerary and the Bastei viewpoints are spectacular. We were glad we sailed from west to east because the views becam emore interesting the further we got.

We enjoyed the hotel stays in Berlin and Prague, but would advise that a Viking hotel stay is not like being on board a ship. Both hotels (Hiltons) were perfectly adequate but typical chain hotels with little local character. Viking reps were helpful, but the Viking experience of these days was limited to the panoramic/walking tours of each city. Airport transfers (we used Viking Air) were fine.

There is a buyer-beware warning for this cruise. We were one of the first successful sailings of this cruise for many weeks because of low water levels. Viking seems to be very coy about saying how many Elbe cruises end up being stationary with buses used to cover the itinerary (and we had been warned there was a strong likelihood that would happen to us), but it seems to have been a lot over the last two summers. Water levels on the Elbe appears to be quite unpredictable, so it's hard to say when in the season is best, but spring and early summer may be less prone to problems.

Cabin Review

French Balcony Stateroom

Perfectly adequate, though snug.

Port Reviews

Wittenberg

Good walking tour including churches and museum, not surprisingly focussed on Martin Luther.

Meissen

Meissen porcelain manufacture was interesting, as was walking through the town. Guide was adequate but less engaging than others.

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