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Viking Beyla Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
105 reviews

Beware Elbe Low Water Level

Review for Viking Beyla to Europe
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2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2022
Cabin: Standard Outside Stateroom

My wife and I had cruised Viking on the Rhine, Main, Danube, and Moselle previously. We knew what a great experience Viking provides its passengers, and so we wanted another Viking experience on another river. We had attempted to book the Elbe cruise before, but because the river was too low for a complete on-water itinerary, we chose the cancellation option Viking afforded us. We booked this second time anyway, now with the knowledge of the river's fickleness. We were anxious to travel again after Covid and decided to accept the low-water risk. Wouldn't you know that a few days before departure Viking informed us of a possible itinerary alteration because of low water! That means bussing between the scheduled port calls and dining and overnighting on the Beyla. Not a very attractive alternative. This time, cancellation was not given as an option, but we were determined to go anyway.

We would start in Prague, end in Berlin, and extend in Hamburg. We were greeted with great news before leaving Prague to board the Beyla somewhere on the Elbe! Heavy rains from thunderstorms over the Elbe's source waters raised the river level, and we would be able to cruise the entire river's planned itinerary.

The entire experience was up to Viking's high standards. You can read about what those standards are in most reviews of any Viking river cruise. What I want to focus on is the characteristics of the river itself. The river is left natural and is normally shallow. There are no locks along its course. Lack of rain can lower the river to the point that even the specifically-designed Beyla may not be able to navigate sections. The Beyla has a very shallow draft and uses hydro-jet propulsion instead of propellers to negotiate low water. Conversely, substantial rains can raise the river quickly, as we experienced.

Cabin Review

Standard Outside Stateroom

Standard room. No balcony. Suitable if one does not spend considerable leisure time in the room.

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