We have wanted to see the Christmas markets for many years and this cruise was through old East Germany on the Elbe which we thought would be interesting. We started in Prague which had a wonderful market in the main city square. After 2 nights in the Hilton (walkable to the city square) we boarded the Astrild which is a smaller river ship-98 pax- compared to the other Viking river ships. There was no elevator but only 1 flight of stairs to the dining room. Our CD Michael was with us for the whole tour, not just on the ship (which was only 5 nights of a 9 night tour). He was the best CD we've ever had- very attentive, knowledgeable, and funny. The entire crew was great, the waiters knew everyone's name by the 2nd day, and housekeeping kept our rooms immaculate. The food was excellent- one night was entitled A Taste of Germany. The menu had Classics: Always Available on one side with 3 choices of entrees, and Regional Specialties tasting menu on the other with 2 entree choices. German wines were available with dinner, and premium bottles available for purchase. There was one sitting for dinner and the tables were mainly 6 persons with a couple of 8 persons so we got to meet most of the other guests while on board. Entertainment included a great piano player, and one night a trio from the local philharmonic gave us an hour concert. Cabins were small as were the bathrooms but we spent a lot of time in the lounge. Internet and TV news channels were good. Excursions were very well done with the "quietvox" audio systems for every tour. The night tour of Torgau with Michael was memorable. Daylight was from 8 am until twilight at 3 so the days were short. Berlin Intercontinental Hotel was wonderful and had the best breakfast buffet I've ever had. The night tour of Berlin was great with a ride to the top of the TV tower to see the night lights from above and a great dinner was included. The weather was very cold so be sure to bring very warm clothes, gloves and hat. A great trip, I'd do it again.
Very small bathroom and shower. Beds were comfortable with excellent linens. The balcony was very cold so we spent no time there.