Elegant Elbe Cruise
This cruise started with two hotel nights in Prague and ended with two hotel nights in Berlin. Incidentally the boat was the Viking Beyla but this is not listed in the web site options.The cruise was marred by the heatwave in Europe and consequent low water level in the Elbe. This necessitated us missing the starting point in Decin and travelling by bus to Bad Schandau. From there we did some sailing on the river but after that almost all travel was by bus. We also had to change boats after two nights and move to the Viking Astrid which was doing the same journey but in the reverse direction. The change of boats inevitably resulted in more bus travel between the two but they are identical boats and obviously we all moved to the equivalent cabin so there was minimal disruption. We finished up spending two nights on the Astrid in Wittenberg. The mooring spot was in quite a rural location and deer, foxes, and beavers could be seen on the river bank.Although the lack of actual cruising on the river was disappointing in other respects the cruise was very good. Lutz, the cruise director, did an excellent job in keeping things moving as best he could and the accommodation, food, and service etc. were up to Viking's usual excellent standard.We did most of the included walking tours which were extremely interesting as they were in towns previously in East Germany and the tour guides were people who had lived there under the communist regime. I personally found the tours and tour guides the best I have experienced on any cruise.On our return home we noticed in the Viking brochure that this particular cruise does not run in the months of high summer and we will bear this in mind and be more careful with our bookings in future.On return our disappointment was alleviated somewhat by the very prompt offer from Viking of a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of the cruise.
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