One of our goals in cruising is to see places we've never been before. We are history buffs and are primarily interested in cruising for the destinations and excursions. This was our seventh Viking cruise (four on rivers) and eighth overall cruise. We'd received a refund for a cancelled extension on another cruise, and this cruise was about the right budget for that. Our excursions on this cruise ranged from Frederick the Great's Sans Souci Palace to the Meissen porcelain factory to the concentration camps of Sachsenhausen and Terezin. Berlin, Prague, Dresden, and Martin Luther's town of Wittenberg were also highlights. Viking provides experienced local guides for all excursions, and the tours are often in considerable depth. In Berlin and Prague we stayed at the Grand Hyatt and the Hilton respectively, with a tour bus transferring us between these cities and the river cruiser. The Viking Astrild is one of Viking's smaller ships, with two decks instead of three, but the stateroom size is only slightly smaller than their other river cruisers. Our only significant criticism is that the ship lacks an elevator, unlike the other Viking river cruisers we've been on. My wife has some mobility issues and had trouble getting up and down the stairs for every meal. The staff gave us great service throughout, even when I was in Prague and realized I'd left our passports and car keys in the hotel in Berlin. A Viking staff member drove round-trip for the price of gas to recover them. The food on the ship was of the high quality and variety we expect from Viking, with numerous local dishes and beverages included.
We were in a veranda stateroom that was reasonably sized for river cruising. The bathroom and shower were of a comfortable size.