5 Viking River Viking Astrild Luxury Cruise Reviews

We enjoyed our time on the Viking Astrild even though we didn't get to sail due to the low level of the river's water. This was our second Viking cruise so we knew what the view would have been like while on the river. However, ... Read More
We enjoyed our time on the Viking Astrild even though we didn't get to sail due to the low level of the river's water. This was our second Viking cruise so we knew what the view would have been like while on the river. However, the bus tours were excellent, and afforded us the opportunity to see the sights from a different perspective. The tours were wonderful and educational. The guides were friendly and informative. Susi, our program director, although very professional, became like a good friend to us all. The ship's staff did a great job and the food was delicious. We will sail on Viking again as well as encourage our friends to do so as well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first experience with Viking River Cruises. We were to set sail from Melink on the Viking Astrild. Unfortunatley we were notified that we would not be sailing at all as the River Elbe was to low. We were notified of this on ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking River Cruises. We were to set sail from Melink on the Viking Astrild. Unfortunatley we were notified that we would not be sailing at all as the River Elbe was to low. We were notified of this on August 25, 2015 at 4PM. The reason I mention this, is we had left at 1125 AM for our Pre-Cruise trip to Krakow. We received this message after we had landed in Frankfurt. Imagine our surprise when we were informed that we would not be sailing. When we arrived in Krakow, there was not one Viking Representative to meet us. Two hours and several phone calls later, someone finally picked us up. Now, we could have taken and paid for a cab, but ALL transfers were to be included in our paid trip. Once we got to hotel in Krakow, we contacted our travel agent back in Iowa and she assured us that although we would not be sailing on the first half of our trip, we would be sailing on the 2nd half aboard the Viking Astrild. Needless to say, that was not true. On August 30, we boarded the dry docked Viking Beyla. The Crew and Staff were the most pleasant people we could ask for. They made the stay pleasant for us. We did ask how long they had been dry docked and we were informed 6 weeks! REALLY, and Viking lets you know the day you are flying over that you could Cancel? Then to really slap you in the face they offer you a $1,000 per person Voucher to be used within a year. We are not your average people that can shell out thousands of dollars to do this. We need to save up. We did not sign up for a land tour. We have done these and did not like that you need to be up by a certain time to board a bus and travel. If this had been a land tour, at least we would have seen different scenery each day instead of the same thing. The majority of our tours were in the morning, so you would need to get up, eat breakfast, board a bus, tour, back on the bus, back to the ship for lunch, and then NOTHING. I can sit at home and watch TV. At least when we were in Dresden, you were within walking distance of the square, but when we were dry docked in Wittenberg, the only thing close was a beer garden and grocery store. You could take a cab to the market, but trying to find a cab was ridiculous. This was a joke of a trip. If anyone is considering taking a Viking River Boat Cruise, I would think twice.... Now, our pre-cruise in Krakow was great. Krakow is a beautiful quaint town. People are friendly tons of things to do day and night. Visited the Salt Mines and Auschwitz. We are glad we had booked this. Prague was beautiful also. Only thing is that the hotel that Viking put us up in was in the middle of nowhere. Was a 10-15 minute walk to get anywhere. Berlin was great also. We hired a private guide to take us around and was very impressed with him. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We were notified by Viking a week and a half before we were to leave for our Cruise from Berlin to Prague. Gave us plenty of time to decided whether to go or not. We decided, as our grandson tells us, Go It will be an Adventure! We ... Read More
We were notified by Viking a week and a half before we were to leave for our Cruise from Berlin to Prague. Gave us plenty of time to decided whether to go or not. We decided, as our grandson tells us, Go It will be an Adventure! We decided to go and were glad we did and disappointed at the same time. Berlin was amazing and our hotel was excellent. The hotel staff and our Viking representative was always available (which we needed because Germanwings lost out luggage in London and it took them 3 days to deliver to us). Our cruise director Bojan Bozic was outgoing, funny and very helpful in recommendations for Berlin. We did sail the first night down to Wittenberg, but that was it and it was all night so no enjoying the view as we sailed. The staff of the Astrild were a pleasure to be around considering the circumstances. Had a great time with them and, as always, the food was to die for. We did every excursion that was promised and a couple more. After 3 days we transferred to the Beyla. The staff there was much smaller than on the Astrild. They were very pleasant and friendly. Personally I did not enjoy the food as much on the Beyla as it seemed to have a lot more spices and heat (I am not a spicy eating person). My husband loved it. Dresden was beautiful, we could walk to town every night and the weather was great. However, when we arrived in Prague they were in the mist of a historical heatwave and it was brutal walking around. The Hotel Hilton was quite a walk and even being from Arizona we were suffering at times. Prague is beautiful and we took a night cruise which was amazing with all the lights on the buildings. The Cathedral and Palace are definitely worth the visit. Did I say how amazing our Program Director, Bojan Bozic was? Well he made a difficult situation fun. He handled everything professionally and with a smile on his face. Highly recommend taking a cruise with him as Director. All in all, would we do it again. YES (but without the heat)! So much history to see and experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We were notified 2 days before the cruise that the Elbe was low and the ship could not cruise. We had cruised with Viking before and loved it. The Prague Hilton was a luxurious hotel in a poor location. It was a 30 minute walk to the ... Read More
We were notified 2 days before the cruise that the Elbe was low and the ship could not cruise. We had cruised with Viking before and loved it. The Prague Hilton was a luxurious hotel in a poor location. It was a 30 minute walk to the Charles Bridge and the Old town. Our walking tour did not show the attractions well at all. Frankly we spent too much time on buses. The stops and tour guides were fine but the bus rides were tiring. The Beyla and Astrild crews were friendly and helpful. Our room was probably the cheapest available and was certainly adequate. We were fortunate and had a room with a view. The offer of $1000 per passenger is great for us because we are doing another cruise in the spring but our friends and many others cannot so they receive nothing. Our cruise director, Danayle Egbert, was wonderful. She was with passengers at all times. She tried to satisfy every request. She is a 5 star plus. Pros: great crew, nice ship, good food, excellent company Cons: Viking did not notify us when they knew at least a month before that we would not cruise, bus rides, little free time on tours, offer inadequate By the way we cruised one day. Loved the hotel in Berlin and the beer garden. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Having read the reviews on the Viking cruises that did not go well due to lack of water in the Elbe River, I thought I would offer my comments on the Elbe River cruise that took place as the water problems were starting to occur. We ... Read More
Having read the reviews on the Viking cruises that did not go well due to lack of water in the Elbe River, I thought I would offer my comments on the Elbe River cruise that took place as the water problems were starting to occur. We booked the cruise, "Elegant Elbe," with a pre-stay in Berlin and post-stay in Kraków, Poland. With the "bottom line up front," I would recommend the cruise to anyone with the normal caveat that "things happen" and you need to be prepared for whatever happens. To begin, we flew to Berlin and were met by Viking and transported to our hotel, the Steigenberger, located across the street from the main train station. Bojan Bozic was the Viking representative who was at the hotel and he then became our Program Director for the cruise. I cannot say enough good things about how well he handled everything. He provided good information about where to eat and other items of interest. His information was always accurate and all his recommendations worked out very well. Not part of the normal Viking tour, I highly recommend the tour of the Reichstag which can be arranged via the internet (just Google "tour of the Reichstag" and you will get the information you need). If you want to do the tour, you must arrange it ahead of time and it must be approved by German authorities but it is not difficult to request the tour and you will receive authorization prior to your trip. The tour was about 90 minutes long and very interesting. Another recommendation is to take the short tour on the Spree River on one of the tour boats. Only takes about an hour but you get to see another view of the city. Tours are available within a five minute walk from the hotel. The hotel was very good and located close to the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. By taking advantage of the pre-cruise stay in Berlin, you have the opportunity to see much more than you would if you just did the cruise which provided very little time in Berlin itself. After our stay in Berlin and the bus trip from Berlin to Magdeburg, we boarded the Viking Astrild for our cruise. The ship is smaller than the normal Viking "longships" with only 98 passengers and 2 decks rather than the larger ships with 190 passengers and 3 decks. The ship was built especially for the Elbe River but even with a smaller ship, the lack of water in the river became a problem. The ship was fabulous and the crew made it even better. The Captain, Vaclav Drahos; Hotel Manager, Jochen Prigge; Program Director, Bojan Bozic; and Chef, Larss Regenberg, were all fantastic. In every case, they went the extra mile to make sure our expectations were not only met but exceeded. I will not try to describe all the spectacular things we were able to see during the cruising portion and the land tours where we stopped. Suffice to say that even though I lived in Germany for three years and have done several other cruises in Europe, I still enjoy opportunities to return and see more. Bojan and Jochen were always available to help when needed and to inform all of us about the areas where we were traveling. Bojan even made a reservation for four of us in a restaurant in Prague for the night we would spend there. (The restaurant is the Café Imperial and is a great place to have a wonderful meal.) For our cruise, the problem of lack of water began when we docked at Decín. When we docked, the crew informed us that we would likely not have enough water to continue our voyage from there. The Astrild would remain in Decín and we would continue our tours with buses. We would go out during the day on the buses and then return to the ship for the night. We missed a little bit of the river but not the same problem as others encountered later. They did bus us to Prague and we continued the trip as planned with a one-night stay in Prague. There was an option of extra days in Prague or to travel to Kraków, Poland, before returning home. Having spent time in Prague before, we decided to continue on to Kraków to see something else. Had I not been to Prague before, I would have most likely stayed in Prague as there are many things to see and do there. I highly recommend the trip to Kraków. It is a wonderful city and well worth the trip. It does require about a 7-hour bus ride but again, it is worth the effort. We stayed in the Radisson Blu Hotel, centrally located and walking distance from the very large market square. The Viking representative at the hotel was again very helpful in directing us to places to eat and other information. She recommended two places to eat and we tried both with great results both times. One extra we did in Kraków was to take a "golf cart" tour of parts of the city. I call it a "golf cart" tour because it basically is a large cart that holds 6 passengers and the driver. He took us to places that were very interesting and not all on the normal "tour route." We told him that we wanted to go to Schindler's factory (now a museum). We ended our tour there but it was not walking distance back to the hotel. He asked how long we wanted to stay there and he would pick us up and return us to the hotel. He was back at the appointed time and we headed back to the hotel. As an optional tour, we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Represents a very ugly part of history but worth the trip. Highly recommended. In all, the cruise went very well. Rivers in Europe can cause problems, either from lack of water or too much. Temperatures in Europe are usually not uncomfortably hot but they can be and many hotels are not air conditioned in the same manner as what is expected in the U.S. My comment is that if you are considering a Viking River Cruise, don't be discouraged by the problems identified for several of the trips. In our case, the crew did everything in their power to make the best of the low water situation. I will not try to excuse any actions or lack of action on Vikings' part to notify people but for the people on the actual ships, they did a great job and the cruise was great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking Astrild Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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