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Sail Date: September 2011
My wife and I and another couple took a cruise on the Viking Line Schumann in September 2011. It was a 7 day English speaking cruise starting in Melnik (near Prague)in the Czech Republic and ending in Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin). We ... Read More
My wife and I and another couple took a cruise on the Viking Line Schumann in September 2011. It was a 7 day English speaking cruise starting in Melnik (near Prague)in the Czech Republic and ending in Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin). We extended our cruise Through Viking with 3 days in Prague prior to the cruise and 3 days in Berlin after leaving the ship. Both extensions were in good Hilton hotels. The Viking ship Clara Schumann is one of the smallest vessels in Viking's fleet. It has a very shallow draft, and is propelled by water jets rather than propellers because of the shallow Elbe River. The cruise was sold out and had 105 passengers. There were lift chairs to assist passengers between the 3 decks. We purchased a cabin in the middle of the price range, and based on 4 previous river cruises found the cabin to be more than adequate. The boat was refurbished in 2010. The washroom and shower were the largest we have ever had, but the shower and washroom floor was one sloped surface in the style of some European wash rooms. Showering got most of the washroom floor wet no matter how you adjusted the shower curtain. We dried the floor off with a towel after showering and found it a small price to pay for the extra elbow room. We spent most of our awake time in the boat's lounge, sun deck and dinning room. All of which were well appointed. While top end lobster and Filet Mignon dinners were not served, the food and cooking was of a very high quality and diverse enough to more than serve the needs of the rather discriminating group that I was traveling with. I found the tours largely interesting because all of the visited area had been part of the communist block prior to the 1990's. The Viking staff meet us at the airport, were at the hotels and of course were on the boat and were outstanding. The boat was clean, quiet and comfortable. The cruise exceeded our expectations in every regard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
We embarked near Prague (Melnik) and exited in Dessau (near Berlin). The trip was a very good one and uneventful. The stops were good except for the Meissen China Factory tour. Perhaps Viking gets compensation for this in some form as it ... Read More
We embarked near Prague (Melnik) and exited in Dessau (near Berlin). The trip was a very good one and uneventful. The stops were good except for the Meissen China Factory tour. Perhaps Viking gets compensation for this in some form as it is really a waste, except for the town tour. A highlight was the optional Terezin POW camp tour. Be sure and take it. The boat is small, the room was smaller (class B" cabin), the food was average (which is good for those of us who don't want to gain weight on a trip), the premium beverage package is a waste of $$ unless you plan on staying on board and drinking all day, (you can bring your own liquor,etc. on board, wine is served with dinner) the Viking employees are excellent, tours and guides are excellent, overall, a good trip but a bit overpriced. These tours are not for the feeble or those unable to enter and exit tour buses, walk for one-half day, etc. So if you envision a "cruise", this is more of a floating hotel with stops and tours every day. I would advocate taking an extra day or two in both cities (Prague and Berlin). We used Viking for the air and they get discounted seats so don't expect any better seating than "tourist" unless you upgrade. Be sure and AVOID Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris if at all possible. We just transferred there and it was awful. It is beyond a dreadful nightmare. And for trans-Atlantic, I'd recommend an American carrier as well. (Air France is no fun to fly.)But Zanex is actually a great drug for air travel. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Upon check-in at the hotel in Berlin the cruise director told us that due to the low water level on the Elbe we would not embark in Magdeberg as scheduled but be bussed to Dresden instead. Upon arrival in Dresden we were told the chances ... Read More
Upon check-in at the hotel in Berlin the cruise director told us that due to the low water level on the Elbe we would not embark in Magdeberg as scheduled but be bussed to Dresden instead. Upon arrival in Dresden we were told the chances of sailing were not good and since the prospect of rain and/or release of water by the Czechs could not be ensured we had to adopt a day to day wait and see posture while Viking did what they could to salvage the "sailing". We ended up staying in Dresden for the entire week and were taken by bus to Wittenberg and Torgau, Saxon Switzerland/Bad Schandau, and Meissen. We missed Magdeberg, Melnik, Litomerice, and Dessau. Viking cancelled the following Elbe itinerary. Viking awarded us with a 40% credit toward future cruising through December 2012 as compensation (some restrictions may apply but we'll have to see how that unfolds). One member of our group is 91 and whether or not he is able to make the trek to Europe remains to be seen so the credit may not be a good deal. Viking says the credit could be transferable to a family member. I understand a fellow passenger has opened a lawsuit against Viking alleging Viking knew well enough in advance to provide us with the option for a full refund or rebooking on another voyage. We were lucky as Dresden has immense importance to our family from World War II and we were able to make connections there that otherwise would have been impossible. We enjoyed multiple days in Dresden on our own initiative without a lot of help from the cruise director who could have found more activities for our group in that city. If we did not have the Dresden connection I would have been very disappointed with Viking's treatment of us. Bus rides to some of the scheduled stops were long, not very comfortable, and the reduced time at those stops detracted from our enjoyment of them but Viking was trying to make lemonade out of lemons. Food and staff were good but the cruise director was stressed and surly at times. The assistant cruise director was very nice and helpful. Our D category cabin was small (120 square feet) and the twin bed setup wasn't very romantic. The food was OK but nothing special. Read Less
Viking Schumann Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.8

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