2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the ... Read More
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the accommodations were fine. The crew really made all efforts to ensure that we were served well, and our program director was awesome! The program director was very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was great but there was so much! Many times we ate in the lounge for a light meal instead of eating in the dining area. We liked this option. Even more impressive was that I learned that Viking is a privately held company. It is apparent that the owners take very good care of their employees. They have a philosophy that a happy crew promotes a happy customer. You have to respect that! It works! We will definitely travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Friends had told us that Prague was a must see city, and we had always wanted to visit Berlin. The Elegant Elbe seemed a perfect way to combine a history lesson and our desire to leisurely travel. The Astrild was a very new ship and with ... Read More
Friends had told us that Prague was a must see city, and we had always wanted to visit Berlin. The Elegant Elbe seemed a perfect way to combine a history lesson and our desire to leisurely travel. The Astrild was a very new ship and with a maximum capacity of 99 (we only had 79)- was just what we were looking for. Travelling through what had been East Germany and learning through the shore excursions and the enhancement discussions when locals came on board was very rewarding. We are not big "entertainment fans" but the local cultural activities were well done. Our favourite memories are of our Program Director Vikki who was with us on both extensions in Prague and Berlin, she provided great insight to both cities and on our daily excursions. Vikki took pictures of us on our outings - so we have a great USB key of not only the sites we visited but of some of the folks we were travelling with. I also have to give a shout out to Chef Bobby who provided an excellent bill of fare, and willingly made custom breakfast omelettes to set the stage for day. We are happily repeat Viking customers and can hardly wait for our next trip France's Finest. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
After doing 3 previous Viking Cruises, we believed that this relatively new itinerary would be interesting and that Viking would provide a good experience and it did not disappoint on most levels. Hotels were in excellent locations, tours ... Read More
After doing 3 previous Viking Cruises, we believed that this relatively new itinerary would be interesting and that Viking would provide a good experience and it did not disappoint on most levels. Hotels were in excellent locations, tours were interesting and gave great overviews of historical sites, etc. Busing from Prague to Krakow and Krakow to Warsaw provided adequate stops for snacks or stretching legs. In addition, bus trips always provided a stop in a town that allowed for exploration and lunch--good way to break up the trip, eventhough Viking buses are large and comfortable. Viking did a great job of breaking up groups into smaller, manageable ones that allowed for plenty room on the bus. Even had Polish vodka provided when the trip to Warsaw ended up being longer that projected due to traffic problems. Only real issue was the Viking representative who met us at the airport for departure--showed us to the wrong check in line and then disappeared on us even when he said he would be around to check on us. All in all, a great trip--so much to see and do and carried out with Viking efficiency. No water problems--fortunately, a whole day of heavy rains allowed us to go all the way down the Elbe even though we were given a warning a week ahead of time that the river could pose a problem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
We began our journey in Berlin which was such an interesting city and new to us. We were taken by coach to the embarkation point of Magdeburg stopping for a time in Potsdam. Everything was perfect. The ship (Viking Astrild) is small ... Read More
We began our journey in Berlin which was such an interesting city and new to us. We were taken by coach to the embarkation point of Magdeburg stopping for a time in Potsdam. Everything was perfect. The ship (Viking Astrild) is small (about 100 passengers) and new. Our cabin had a lovely balcony and the weather was good so we could use the balcony to watch the world on the Elbe river go by. The food and wine in the dining room were excellent. There was always a talk in the lounge ahead of dinner to learn about the next day's activities where lovely appetizers and cocktails were served. Each port was unique and new to us. We stopped in Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and worked. We visited Dresden. There was music on board the ship on several occasions. Our disembarkation was in a town near Prague and we were driven by coach to a hotel in the center of Prague. We enjoyed every aspect of this cruise and will be planning other river cruises, probably with Viking, in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first River Cruise and we had relatively high expectations when we arrived. Viking and everyone involved with the trip exceeded our expectations. From the moment we landed in Berlin to our departure from Prague, Viking took ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and we had relatively high expectations when we arrived. Viking and everyone involved with the trip exceeded our expectations. From the moment we landed in Berlin to our departure from Prague, Viking took care of our every need. The accommodations, staff, guides, food, etc. were all fabulous. Loved the small boat atmosphere. It allows you to get to know your fellow cruisers. Made some new friends. There was a good mix of planned activities and free time. We could opt in or out of whatever suited us. Having local tour guides on the excursions made an amazing difference in the depth and breadth of information, history and personal perspective we received on each outing. Every person on the staff went out of their way to provide for your every need. Their attention to detail was amazing. It was such a great experience that we booked our next River Cruise a couple of weeks after we returned home. Can't wait for our next trip in 2017. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We wanted to go somewhere we had not been before so we chose the Elbe River. It was a wonderful cruise, I can't give it enough cudos. The crew were super and the Captain was the best. The Captsin was around all the time when we got ... Read More
We wanted to go somewhere we had not been before so we chose the Elbe River. It was a wonderful cruise, I can't give it enough cudos. The crew were super and the Captain was the best. The Captsin was around all the time when we got off the ship and returned. The food and wine were excellent and the waitstaff were very attentive. We had a balcony you cabin that was great, very comfortable with plenty of storage space. The cabins are not real wide and the bathrooms are small but there is excellent use of space. Our tour director was very energetic and enthusiastic. There was always water available on our way to a tour and umbrellas if needed. Upon our return we were greeted with a drink and a welcoming crew. The ports were excellent, some we had been to before but we saw new things each time. I was a little hesitant in choosing this particular trip as it was a small river but I would do it again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This tour was one of the first to Eastern bloc countries and was incredibly interesting - part of the world we had never been to. The tour director was very helpful and had great suggestions. We especially enjoyed Michal - our tour ... Read More
This tour was one of the first to Eastern bloc countries and was incredibly interesting - part of the world we had never been to. The tour director was very helpful and had great suggestions. We especially enjoyed Michal - our tour director for the land based extension into Poland. He couldn't do enough for us! All of the local tour guides were wonderful - really knowledgeable and interesting. English skills were very good. Food on the ship was terrific (as always), portions were good and wait staff very attentive. Our cabin steward also did a great job and was very flexible with our comings-and-goings. There is no exercise equipment on such a small river ship, but then, I don't know where you would put it! We tried to walk laps on the topmost deck. The hotels in Czech Republic and Poland were absolutely top drawer - much better than some we have stayed in with other tour companies. Could not have had a better experience! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Traveling with theater group Berlin-Prague. Viking Astrild is newer two deck, midsized ship that allows easy interaction between all guests. Crew was outstanding from day one and quickly picked up on individual preferences of the guests. ... Read More
Traveling with theater group Berlin-Prague. Viking Astrild is newer two deck, midsized ship that allows easy interaction between all guests. Crew was outstanding from day one and quickly picked up on individual preferences of the guests. Food was delicious with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables delivered each day to accompany meals. The cheese variety and abundance was amazing. Ask the chef for recipe on any favorite meals. The guides for tours were great and added many interesting insights for locations visited. Onboard entertainment, cozy and comfortable. A pianist as member of the crew and small local musical groups that came on board in the evening while docked. First trip on river cruise and not sure we will ever go back to ocean cruising. The pace, intimacy, comfortable lounge, dinning and recreational areas made the trip much more relaxing than large ships. This was first visit to Prague and we would go back in a minute. It is a beautiful city with a blend of historic and modern and a population which made us feel very comfortable and at home. We wandered the streets and visited exclusive designer clothing, jewelry, glass stores and small local shops with no problems with language or communication. We have visited many cities in Europe and always felt comfortable, but never quite like Prague. After just a week, we were sad to leave the new friends we had made among crew and guests. Weather the end of March, beginning of April ranged from cool to warm, often in same day. Similar to range in US Pacific Northwest. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
I have had absolutely excellent service from the Viking staff...the excursions are wonderful, all food is superior, the accommodations are very, very comfortable. The shampoo, shower gel smells wonderful, I always try to bring some home ... Read More
I have had absolutely excellent service from the Viking staff...the excursions are wonderful, all food is superior, the accommodations are very, very comfortable. The shampoo, shower gel smells wonderful, I always try to bring some home with me...Last year I bought some of the gift packs onboard the ship for staff thank you gifts and everyone liked it very much too... I totally enjoy the relaxed atmosphere they provide for cruising, don't have any of the formal attire to have to pack and dress in. From the beginning to end, the staff and crew are friendly, knowledgable and willing to assist you in any task you bring them. This was my third cruise with Viking and I'm currently booked to go on another Christmas Market cruise this year from Frankfort to Nuremburg. I can hardly wait for the tim to get here so I can visit the Christmas markets, which they give you ample time for shopping and eating!!! I especially like the Christmas market cruises, as the guides can let us know which markets are the very best to go to. They also decorate the ships lounge and restaurants for Christmas that gives a nice festive feel. The kitchen staff do a special dinner one evening and we are invited to see where all the meals are prepared and sample many different recipes. On another afternoon, the chef gives a special recipe and demonstration on how to make it...This usually is done at a time when the area that we are cruising thru doesn't offer a lot of scenery. I love Viking Cruises! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our November Elbe cruise only sailed one day due to low water of the river, but it was an excellent trip. The entire Viking staff and crew met our every need and arranged memorable tours and programs. Victoria Selig, our program director, ... Read More
Our November Elbe cruise only sailed one day due to low water of the river, but it was an excellent trip. The entire Viking staff and crew met our every need and arranged memorable tours and programs. Victoria Selig, our program director, was engaging, knowledgeable, and relentless in tracking down our lost luggage (left in JFK). The quality of the tours, tour guides, and information sessions are particularly enjoyable and informative. As history buffs, we look forward to all kinds of interactions.In addition, there was never a lack of delicious food and beverages. We met many wonderful fellow travelers and will book other trips in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Wanted to cruise Elba River and visit cities along the way. Unfortunately the river didn't want to cooperate and we were able to sail only one day. Staff on both ships, had to change ships in middle of cruise, did and excellent job ... Read More
Wanted to cruise Elba River and visit cities along the way. Unfortunately the river didn't want to cooperate and we were able to sail only one day. Staff on both ships, had to change ships in middle of cruise, did and excellent job in providing service and trying to keep us on schedule and visiting sites advertised. The food and accommodations were excellent as these were new ships but all accommodations on Viking ships have been excellent. The buses and tour guides on each day trip were excellent and we were able to see all sites planned. The weather was not cooperative as it was windy and mostly cloudy but umbrellas were provided if needed when needed. We did not have a need for anything because if we had a request, a crew member supplied our need. My wife and I were in the middle of trying to sale a home back in the states, due to the death of a famliy member, and I was keeping in contact with the realtor via email. in one instance, the realtor had papers for us to review and there were to many to read plus the format made it almost impossible to read. The papers were sent to me by the realtor and I was able to forward them to the ships front desk and they printed them off for us, and they would not except payment for this service. Because of this service, we were able to reach a decision on the sale. We have another trip for June 2017 with Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Our trip had a lot going against it--we couldn't cruise due to low water and had cold, rainy weather. Even so, everyone worked hard to make it a memorable trip and ensure that we visited the scheduled sites and had a positive trip. ... Read More
Our trip had a lot going against it--we couldn't cruise due to low water and had cold, rainy weather. Even so, everyone worked hard to make it a memorable trip and ensure that we visited the scheduled sites and had a positive trip. We weren't sorry that we went but I don't think I'd do another non-sailing cruise should that possibility present itself in the future. It was fascinating to be in the former East Germany--we could see many of the remnants of Soviet rule in the large, boring buildings, even if they were now painted. Wittenberg was fascinating, Saxon Switzerland a revelation and we really loved Berlin and Prague--we even had a little sunshine in Prague. We did the trip to Terezen, which was very powerful. Because our numbers were down from the sold-out cruise we were expecting, we had particularly excellent service on the two identical ships. We did find that, due to the almost constant rain that closed the upper deck area, there were few places we could go to on the ships, which made them seem quite small. On my prior cruise several years ago, there was a morning exercise class--I was very disappointed that something like that was not offered this time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked with the knowledge of the low water condition so were not at all surprised that the ships remained moored. However the use of two identical and new ships as floating hotels worked well. Everything was to the Viking standard we ... Read More
We booked with the knowledge of the low water condition so were not at all surprised that the ships remained moored. However the use of two identical and new ships as floating hotels worked well. Everything was to the Viking standard we have come to expect. This was our fifth Viking cruise. Wittenberg's reformation history, and the fact that our travel was in what was once the Eastern zone, made this a very educational cruise. The fact that the ships were immobile detracted very little. Also, Viking upgraded our booked Standard cabin to a Veranda cabin and provided us each with a $1,000 voucher for a future cruise. We also took the post-cruise extension to Krakow including a day trip to Auschwitz. The city of Krakow was delightful and our Viking hosts handled the Auschwitz trip with professionalism and true sensitivity - we are very glad we visited Auschwitz but it is not an excursion one would make twice. We thank-you Viking - Well Done. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We were already in Germany when we were notified that we could not cruise because of low water. Having traveled with Viking before we thought it would still be a wonderful trip, which it turned out to be. The Berlin Hilton was excellent, ... Read More
We were already in Germany when we were notified that we could not cruise because of low water. Having traveled with Viking before we thought it would still be a wonderful trip, which it turned out to be. The Berlin Hilton was excellent, First ship was the Astrild and the staff and the Chief were EXCELLENT, fantastic service and the room was very clean. The person I must commend was our Program Director Brenton Pieper, he was the BEST of ALL. He was always cheerful, had excellent tour guides assembled for our outings and programs on the ship as well. He made it a point to have lunch or dinner with the guests and we had interesting conversations. Well organized and keep us well informed as to what would be happening everyday, plus when we had to move from the Astrild to the Beyla. We saw so many things I cannot pick a favorite since everything we saw and heard was fantastic, aariving in Potsdam & being able walk part way across the Glienicke Bridge learning how spies were exchanged and visit Sanssouci Palance and hear facts about "Old Fritz" with his 11 dogs and seeing the graves of the 11 dogs and his finally together after many years. To learn about Martin Luther and Katherina. Emjoyed seeing the Cantileveres staircase in by Hartenfels Castle in Torgau. Loved touring the Meissen FactoryEnjoyed Dresden, (especially since my husbands father came from there) and seeing Kohnigstein Fortress it was truly impressive. My husband enjoyed the Saxon Switzerland: on the Elbe tour and last the tour of Prague, we took the three extension and really enjoyed all the sights and museums plus we went to a concert which was excellent. Glad we decided to go even learning of the low water, saw everything we would have seen cruising and the busses were modern, and clean and the drivers curtious. Thank you for a great trip Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
As always (our 5th Viking cruise) Viking did an amazing job. The fact that the eastern part of Germany and Europe was suffering a severe drought and the Elbe had record level low water did not spoil the trip. While disappointing that we ... Read More
As always (our 5th Viking cruise) Viking did an amazing job. The fact that the eastern part of Germany and Europe was suffering a severe drought and the Elbe had record level low water did not spoil the trip. While disappointing that we could not cruise Viking was able to provide all of the tours promised and enjoyable stays on two ships - the Astrild and the Beyla. Our Cruise Director, Boyan Bozic, was exceptional and we would love to find him on another cruise. He was fun, knowledgeable, and organized. We had great guides for our excursions - again as always with Viking. The crews on both ships were also exceptional. We thoroughly enjoyed our pre-extension in Berlin with all of the history that goes with it. On our last night before the cruise we were able to get reservations for dinner at the top of the Reichstag to soak in the incredible views. (Very good meal by the way). All of the guides / excursions provided great insight into life under communist rule in east Germany as many had grown up in the east. We always enjoy our Viking cruises and this was no exception. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
While water levels on the Elbe River precluded sailing, it was Viking's unforgivable failure to notify its customers of the situation in a timely fashion that makes their reputation seem suspect if not undeserved. Many passengers ... Read More
While water levels on the Elbe River precluded sailing, it was Viking's unforgivable failure to notify its customers of the situation in a timely fashion that makes their reputation seem suspect if not undeserved. Many passengers received e-mails from Viking saying there were problems on the Elbe with only about 24 hours notice and in some cases only after they'd already arrived in Europe. Further it appeared that inaccurate or incomplete information was provided to the ship-board personnel who had to face irate customers asking about modified itineraries, etc. Initially no Viking representative could definitively answer whether passengers would sail at any point and it goes without saying that there was no one available to explain customer alternatives such as cancellation or postponement. Basically, you were "stuck". Viking's solution was to first motor coach passengers to one ship (Viking Astrild serving as a floating hotel) on which they were lodged for three days then to motor coach passenger farther down the river to another ship (Viking Beyla serving as floating hotel number two) for another three days. Tours to featured sites were done by bus using the ships as home base. At no time did any Viking customer sail on any Viking ship. The crews of both vessels were superlative and to be honest, the sites visited went a long way toward mitigating the inconvenience. But, WITH LITTLE OR NO PRIOR NOTICE, a bus tour was foisted on folks who had purchased and expected a river cruise. A negative feeling hung over the entire trip. Viking's gesture of good will was to offer one thousand dollar vouchers to be used against the cost of a future Viking cruise. I believe most people considered this as tantamount to an insult. While Viking's equipment and on board staffing continue to be exceptional, its administration and customer relations - which is distinctly unresponsive - are a dismal failure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I, together with two friends, were on the Elegant Elbe cruise in June, on the very new Viking Astrild. We were VERY lucky that the river level cooperated throughout our tour. The Elbe was very low during the weeks prior to ... Read More
My husband and I, together with two friends, were on the Elegant Elbe cruise in June, on the very new Viking Astrild. We were VERY lucky that the river level cooperated throughout our tour. The Elbe was very low during the weeks prior to our cruise, as well as the weeks after (low enough that Viking has had to cancel some July sailings). But thanks to some rain we were able to sail without major issues (however we had to use umbrellas during some of our shore excursions). We could not board the ship in Melnik as provided in the original itinerary, but instead boarded the ship in Decin, about half an hour away. Not a problem, as Decin has its own interesting sights to see. The Czech river authorities released some water from a nearby lock before our cruise to give the ship a "push." As mentioned the Viking Astrild is new (I believe we were on its 7th sailing) so everything was in great condition. The food was very good; I can't recall having any bad food, although I didn't particularly enjoy the German dinner since I don't really care for German food. The crew members were excellent, always smiling and eager to please. The program director Viktoria Muller was very well organized and made sure that everything went like clockwork. Onboard entertainment was fun and the lectures were educational. Shore excursions were mostly good, given the limited time available at each port. Every city has plenty to see, and there is no way that the local guides can show you everything. This was especially true in Dresden. If you want to see more, a river cruise is not for you. But for just the highlights, Viking's shore excursions are adequate. In some cities they also offer options for those who are less mobile. They even gave people the option to skip the tour in Potsdam and go directly to Berlin if that was their preference (though I don't recommend that since Potsdam is a "must see"). For the first shore excursion, we had the option of going either to Litomerice (beer tasting) or the Terezin concentration camp. I went to Terezin and found it very sobering and educational. I spoke to several people who went to Litomerice; they were not impressed. Not much to see in the town, and the beer tasting was nothing to write home about. The passengers on average were in their 60s-70s, but there were a few young people traveling with their parents. My husband and I met a number of very nice people who became frequent breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner companions. I was on the 2-week Rhine / Danube cruise last year and that is definitely more scenic than the Elbe, as well as very busy with other river traffic. I don't recall seeing other cruise ships on the Elbe other than the Astrild's sister ship, not counting the boats which just do day trips. There was never another ship docked beside ours. For the friends who were traveling with us, this was their first-ever river cruise. They found it "delightful" and were extremely pleased with the experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
I am a very fit first time Viking river cruiser. Our first contact was in Berlin with Bojan Bozic our Program Director. He accompanied us throughout our trip, very knowledgeable, helpful and always smiling. There were never too many ... Read More
I am a very fit first time Viking river cruiser. Our first contact was in Berlin with Bojan Bozic our Program Director. He accompanied us throughout our trip, very knowledgeable, helpful and always smiling. There were never too many questions as he always interpreted our needs. The excersions were very good and we were well prepared the evening before as to historical background. The Astrild was fantastic. It was very special being the first cruisers on the ship. Our Captain Josef Cvejn never gave us a rocky moment and he mastered the locks perfectly. Jochen Prigge, the Hotel Manager, assembled a very competent, motivated and friendly crew. Thank you Victor for your smile and morning cappucino. Zjanette, you made the best Mojitos, perfect service, many thanks. The kitchen was fantastic thanks to Igor and Lajos. And again thanks to all the crew that looked after us. Two very small critics, first there is no elevator for physically challenged guests, and when travelling as a single you must pay double fare. Donna Zurich, Switzerland Read Less
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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