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beemer2

Viking Elbe - Berlin to Prague August and September 2017 - why no discussion?

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I have looked at a couple of threads mentioning Viking Elbe cruises. We travel 6th September Berlin to Prague but I have read nothing about earlier or current cruises for this route. As everyone knows low water can kill this cruise and I wish that there had been similar responses to those we got last year on our Rhine cruise which conversely suffered from high water.

 

So come on folks, whats the news?

 

Ian

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There are far fewer cruises on the Elbe than on some of the other rivers, so less chance of finding someone who has recently been here on CC.

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I have looked at a couple of threads mentioning Viking Elbe cruises. We travel 6th September Berlin to Prague but I have read nothing about earlier or current cruises for this route. As everyone knows low water can kill this cruise and I wish that there had been similar responses to those we got last year on our Rhine cruise which conversely suffered from high water.

 

So come on folks, whats the news?

 

Ian

 

Good afternoon Ian.

 

You can always check out my review though it was on the reverse course, Prague to Berlin...

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/07/26/viking-clara-schumann-prague-to-berlin/

 

 

9357032229_8f42179fec_z.jpg

 

One excursion I would definitely recommend is to the Jewish cemetery at Terazin...

 

9364445504_21ab60d6ba_z.jpg

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Feedback is indeed rare, for the reasons gnome12 has mentioned. Additionally, German cruise companies tend not to publish online updates so I cannot obtain information from that source. The local news online in Saxony report low water only when it is extreme, or in a general discussion about the future of trade on the river. Current water level at Dresden ist at 90cm. A "standard" low. How low it will be when you cruise - or if it will at all fall - depends on rainfall in the next few weeks of course. It can change quickly.

 

notamermaid

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Good afternoon Ian.

 

You can always check out my review though it was on the reverse course, Prague to Berlin...

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/07/26/viking-clara-schumann-prague-to-berlin/

 

 

9357032229_8f42179fec_z.jpg

 

One excursion I would definitely recommend is to the Jewish cemetery at Terazin...

 

9364445504_21ab60d6ba_z.jpg

Hi Richard,

You review is one of the best I have read on CruiseCritic. Thanks for the link.

Last year there was one review of Prague to Berlin where the Viking ship never sailed and everyone was bussed every day.

Having previously sailed with Viking River we have no fear about the service on board or quality of the ship or quality of the excursions. Our only concern is being docked in an out of the way location and being bussed for what can be more than two hours each way every day.

Viking's notification of fail to sail has in the past been variable with some not learning about it until embarcation day. In hindsight we should have Googled about the Elbe water levels before booking. We would still have gone with Viking but perhaps gone on the Portugal cruise instead.

I'll post about our September cruise.

BTW - We have a big framed print of Jack Vetriano's. "The Dancers" on our lounge wall.

thanks,

Ian

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I have looked at a couple of threads mentioning Viking Elbe cruises. We travel 6th September Berlin to Prague but I have read nothing about earlier or current cruises for this route. As everyone knows low water can kill this cruise and I wish that there had been similar responses to those we got last year on our Rhine cruise which conversely suffered from high water.

 

So come on folks, whats the news?

 

Ian

 

As noone can forecast the rainfalls in three weeks time, it is hard to give any "news". So far this year the Elbe has had low waterlevels, but mostly enough to have the cruises sailing. There had been no-sailings earlier in the year. For the time being the water levels are low but sufficient to allow sailings. With more rainfalls expected the next days there is a good chance that things wont change in the next say ten days. But if the Viking Astrild will be leaving Wittenberg on Sept 9th upriver (the first three days of your trip will be on land anyway), it is too early to say.

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As noone can forecast the rainfalls in three weeks time, it is hard to give any "news". So far this year the Elbe has had low waterlevels, but mostly enough to have the cruises sailing. There had been no-sailings earlier in the year. For the time being the water levels are low but sufficient to allow sailings. With more rainfalls expected the next days there is a good chance that things wont change in the next say ten days. But if the Viking Astrild will be leaving Wittenberg on Sept 9th upriver (the first three days of your trip will be on land anyway), it is too early to say.

 

Many thanks for your comments. My friend at 17 years old having spent his life in Wittenberg escaped to the West in 1960. When I visit Luther's church I will pray for rain :) (well just enough rain to sail)

 

Ian

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When I visit Luther's church I will pray for rain :) (well just enough rain to sail)

 

Ian

 

Good idea, but a bit late. To place the order properly, the rain you would need, should be falling in Bohemia in the last days of August and the first days in September.

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Hi Richard,

I'll post about our September cruise.

BTW - We have a big framed print of Jack Vetriano's. "The Dancers" on our lounge wall.

thanks,

Ian

 

Ian,

I would appreciate your posts as we are scheduled for this cruise in same direction in Sept 2018. Would love to hear about all of it - accommodations, food, excursions, staff, etc.

One question I have even now has to do with the optional tour of Taste of Berlin. Where you able to schedule it before sailing?

Bon voyage and good luck with water levels

TIA

Paul

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Hello beemer2,

We sailed on Viking Beyla from Berlin to Prague on July 25th. We got lucky and had a few rainy days early on in Berlin. The ship was able to sail the full route to Decin. We feel very fortunate as this is not always the case.

You are able to book all optional shore ex ahead of your sailing on the Viking website.

I would be happy to answer any questions on this cruise.

Annette

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Hello Annette,

Were you pleased overall with the itinerary? After your two days in Berlin at what time were you transported to the ship?

Is there anything that you would have liked changed on this cruise?

 

Ian

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Hi Ian,

Overall we were pleased with the itinerary. It would have been nice to have a few extra days onboard. The five days on the ship went by very quickly. (A lot of packing and unpacking on this itinerary, but we knew this ahead of time.) Our program director was Sebastian. He was excellent! A very friendly and personable young man. Our Captain was Captain Ber. I have never seen a more friendly and on-hands captain. He was even helping the crew load and unload items in the ports. He gave us a tour of his wheelhouse. He was a constant presence onboard. Food was delicious and plentiful.

 

We left Berlin by bus at 730AM to head to Potsdam and San Soucci palace. We were then bussed to see Worlitz Gardens and Park before heading to the Beyla around 4PM. We met the ship in Wittenberg. Embarkation was quick, luggage was delivered promptly and we were wine tasting by 5PM!

 

The optional tours we chose were:

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (from Berlin) A very moving experience, good audioguide.

 

Berlin Evening Tour, which included dinner and a bus tour around the monuments lite up at night.

 

Lobkowitz Palace, included lunch, concert and tour. Very nice afternoon.

 

Folklore Dinner, includes musicians, dancers, and a ho hum meal. This was fun because of our company, but I would not recommend it.

 

Any other questions??

Annette

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Hi Annette,

It doesn't sound like you took the culinary tour Taste of Berlin. Have you heard any feedback about it?

TIA

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Beemer2:

My husband and I did this itinerary last year and it was one of our favorite trips. However, at that time, Krakow and Warsaw were part of this itinerary. We, too, were concerned about the water levels as we had read that many cruisers were being bussed to ports or transferred to other ships, farther up the river. Luckily for us, there was a huge amount of rain the week before we left, so we were able to make the entire trip on the river. We had great hotels in Berlin and Prague as well as in Poland. We found the trip to be most enjoyable from beginning to end, even when we had a two hour longer bus ride from Krakow to Warsaw due to a road closure that was completely unpredictable. The tour guide made the trip easier by handing out Polish treats as well as Polish Vodka. In addition, Viking, wisely, divided the passengers into two groups each with our own bus, thus making for a much more comfortable trip as each group filled half the bus. I wish you the best and will keep my fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate and bring you great water levels for sailing!

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We've just been informed that our Elbe cruise that begins in Decin on Aug 27 may fall victim to low river levels. Since we are adding on days at the start, this means that we will not know whether our trip is a cruise or a bus tour until we are already in Prague. It appears that the Elbe has been marginal for sailing all summer, but Viking did not see fit to supply us with any warnings or options until it was far too late to make any changes. No matter how this turns out, I think this will be both the first and last time we use Viking.

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Sorry to hear about this late notice regarding river levels and how it may impact your trip. I know that it must be both frustrating and disappointing. We were notified by Viking about low river levels last year but I do think that we were notified weeks in advance, not that this would have changed anything as it is stated in all documentation from Viking, that they are not responsible for any changes due to things such as river levels. I, too, thought that my cruise would become a bus tour, but as I stated, the Elbe received enough rain to allow us to cruise the entire time. I think that Viking waits to see if conditions may change and that can be a day to day thing, but I don't see how notifying you a week before your departure is a good practice but it probably wouldn't change things for you anyway, unless you purchased "cancel for any reason" travel insurance. Best of luck and I will continue to pray for rain for you before you begin your trip.

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We've just been informed that our Elbe cruise that begins in Decin on Aug 27 may fall victim to low river levels. Since we are adding on days at the start, this means that we will not know whether our trip is a cruise or a bus tour until we are already in Prague. It appears that the Elbe has been marginal for sailing all summer, but Viking did not see fit to supply us with any warnings or options until it was far too late to make any changes. No matter how this turns out, I think this will be both the first and last time we use Viking.

 

The Elbe is the most notorious river for low water conditions. But one good rainy day can chance things overnight. So in Viking's defense they can not give any advance notice on how each cruise will be affected.

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My feeling is Viking chooses to run cruises on this river, which has been marginal at best all summer, not just this week. To find out only a few days before we are due to leave that our ship might be a bus is beyond disappointing. If they'd offered us an alternative weeks ago we might have taken it. Sure they have our money now, and the small print gives them the right to keep it but I can't see them getting any of ours again.

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My feeling is Viking chooses to run cruises on this river, which has been marginal at best all summer, not just this week. To find out only a few days before we are due to leave that our ship might be a bus is beyond disappointing. If they'd offered us an alternative weeks ago we might have taken it. Sure they have our money now, and the small print gives them the right to keep it but I can't see them getting any of ours again.

 

I don't know if you had done any research on the Elbe before you booked this cruise but the Elbe is horrible for

low water. You take your chances when you book this type of cruise.

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I don't know if you had done any research on the Elbe before you booked this cruise but the Elbe is horrible for

low water. You take your chances when you book this type of cruise.

 

A little, perhaps not enough. We picked the itinerary for its proximity at beginning and end to Prague and Berlin. We understand the risk inherent in any cruise, having missed ports on large ship cruises due to sea conditions. Some of that is unavoidable, but nobody should be selling cruises that are routinely subject to being turned into bus tours and then just pointing at the small print and telling you "too bad." I mean, I don't know why they even sent out the email since there's nothing we can do about it whatsoever, except turn the last few days of preparation for the trip into a misery. I can't think of a single good thing about the way Viking has handled this. Not one.

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Hi Richard,

You review is one of the best I have read on CruiseCritic. Thanks for the link.

Last year there was one review of Prague to Berlin where the Viking ship never sailed and everyone was bussed every day.

Having previously sailed with Viking River we have no fear about the service on board or quality of the ship or quality of the excursions. Our only concern is being docked in an out of the way location and being bussed for what can be more than two hours each way every day.

Viking's notification of fail to sail has in the past been variable with some not learning about it until embarcation day. In hindsight we should have Googled about the Elbe water levels before booking. We would still have gone with Viking but perhaps gone on the Portugal cruise instead.

I'll post about our September cruise.

BTW - We have a big framed print of Jack Vetriano's. "The Dancers" on our lounge wall.

thanks,

Ian

 

Good morning Ian.

 

Thank you for the kind comments and Bon Voyage for September.

 

We are back with Viking in 2018: trying the Seine.

 

PS. Our Jack Vetriano's are on the bedroom wall. :D

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