My First River Cruise

In just 23 short days, I jet off to Europe for my first river cruise experience. I'll be cruising the Elegant Elbe on Viking River Cruises' Viking Beyla from Prague to Berlin.

My itinerary includes 1-night pre- and post-cruise stays in Prague and Berlin and a 7 night cruise from Melnik, Czech Republic to Magdeburg, Germany, with visits to

Litmoerice Bad Schandau Dresden Meissen Torgau Wittenberg

In addition to being my first river cruise, this will also be my first visit to Europe. Do any of our river cruise or Europe experts have advice to impart as I prepare for my journey along the Elbe?

I'm all ears!

Tags: Viking River Cruises River Cruise Elegant Elbe Elbe River

7 Answers

I don't have any advice. But I hope you have a great time! I wait for your review.

Bring plenty of memory cards with you. Bring comfortable walking shoes. Have a positive attitude and you will have a great time. Oh, one more important thing! make sure you mail out my rewards. I'm still waiting. Laugh, laugh

Hey Simon!

How exciting! You will love Europe and you will love river cruising! Here's a few thoughts to get you ready...

Money Matters -

Make sure you have a CHIP credit card as most places in Europe require it. Check with your credit card providers to see if they charge a foreign currency conversion fee (about 3% usually). Some cards don't - Chase Explorer for instance. Check the currency needed in your destination. You will want to buy some Euros before you go, just to be safe. Otherwise you can use ATM's when you are there for a decent exchange rate. Use your credit card when you can (if you don't have the foreign exchange currency fee) for the best exchange rates.

Keep in mind, you will want small change (Euros) for tipping local tour guides, buying gifts, etc.

River Cruising -

You will see many awesome sites while sailing - the shore is always in sight. Take tons of pictures - thank god for digital cameras! Embrace the small towns and the local culture. Whenever you have free time in port, enjoy a local wine/beer/meal - talk to the locals.

You will probably be one of the youngest people on the river ship. Don't let that stop you from meeting everyone!! People who river cruise love to tell their travel stories.

Don't fill up every minute of your day with optional tours (unless it's really cool!!!) - enjoy some time strolling the alleys on your own.

Don't miss any of the local entertainment or lecturers when they bring them onboard! They are usually very talented and entertaining.

Dining -

They have a 24-hour specialty coffee machine for you!!!!

The open seating dining allows you to sit with different people at every meal. Just walk up to a table and say..."May I join you?"

When they ask you if you want RED or WHITE wine with dinner...the answer is YES! (we always get both to see which we like better!)

Try any local specialty dishes as they are usually very good!

That's it for now! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Due to low water levels on the Elbe, this cruise isn't going to happen, unfortunately Crying

I'm going to be rebooking for a Christmas Markets sailing along the Danube in late November. More details come!

Simon: sorry the cruise was postponed :-( On the bright side the X-mass markets cruise should be great (think of all the special X-mass food and drinks, also if any snow a white x-mass would be nice). That is a cruise I have look at and wanted to go on. I hope it will be worth the wait.

Bummer about the cancellation. You will absolutely love the Christmas Markets though, they’re truly magical!

How disappointing for you and all the others booked. I heard that that was going to happen.The river cruise companies are equally disappointed. Think of all the money that they are losing. CryingCryingCrying

I have never taken the Christmas Markets sailings. For these I suggest layered warm clothing. And bring gloves. You will probably need them - maybe even boots. Everyone I know who has been on one of these has loved it, so expect a good time. The Danube is a beautiful river. There are so many castles to view.


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