This cruise never was a cruise; low water prevented the ships from cruising and Viking never got in touch with us as they had an incorrect email address but they did not take the extra effort to call us and ask us if we wanted to cancel. We only found out when we arrived at the hotel in Prague. The "cruise" required us to change ships halfway through the trip and all travel was by bus - instead of leisurely cruising on the Elbe; Staff worked hard to compensate but there really is no way to compensate. Horrible experience even though some of the tours were really good but several were very poor.
Lovely River with an element of risk
Sail Date: /
Traveled As: Couple
I would recommend this cruise with the knowledge that at certain times of year you are taking a risk that the water levels may be too low. We missed Decin for this reason but fortunately, we had no further problems. The Elbe is a beautiful river with very little traffic. We felt like we had it to ourselves.
PAID FOR RIVER CRUISE, GOT A BUS TOUR
Sail Date: /
Traveled As: Couple
WE WERE SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS VIKING BEYLA RIVER BOAT CRUISE AS WE HAD NEVER BEEN ON A RIVER BOAT CRUISE BEFORE. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT. THIS TRIP WAS DEFINITELY A BUS TOUR AS THE BOAT NEVER MOVED. WE WERE TAKEN TO ALL OF THE TOWNS BY BUS AND QUITE OFTEN LONG TRIPS. WE WERE TOLD THE LOW WATER CONDITION HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR SEVERAL WEEKS AND VIKING NEVER GAVE US THAT INFORMATION UNTIL 48 HOURS BEFORE OUR SCHEDULED FLIGHT. THEY SAID IT WAS POSSIBLE WE WOULD SAIL THE LAST FEW DAYS. ON WEDNESDAY JULY 29TH WE WERE MOVED BY BUS TO THE VIKING ASTRILD WHICH WE DID NOT EXPECT.THIS MEANT PACKING & UNPACKING. THIS BOAT ALSO DID NOT MOVE. OFFERING VOUCHERS OF $1000.00 FOR A FUTURE TRIP TO BE USED WITHIN A YEAR IS UNACCEPTABLE. WE SHOULD GET A CASH REFUND AS WE PAID FOR A RIVER CRUISE & GOT BUS TOURS. AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE WE WILL NEVER RECOMMEND NOR TRAVEL WITH VIKING.
One day before departure I received an email by Viking regarding the low water river conditions. I contacted Viking Customer Service and was told that there was a possibility that the cruising would begin on Wednesday based on the amount of rain and the release of water from Prague.
We had no choice but to take this cruise. Once we arrived in Prague, the Program Director, could not offer us any additional information. We were told that a decision whether to cruise would be made by the Captain of the Beyla on Tuesday. Regarding the weather conditions--It did rain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, with an occasional downpour during the late evening hours. We were driven by bus to Dresden where the Beyla was dry docked and we stayed until Wednesday, July 29th. The day trips consisted of bus tours. Once Tuesday, July 28th came, we were told by the Captain that we would need to repack and move to the Viking Astrild. Something we all did not expect. It was the Captain of the Astrild who told us definitively that no cruising would take place.
Once in Wittenberg, we were subjected to disgusting and unbearable conditions. The Viking Astrild was dry docked, whereby the ship was surrounded by mounds of dirt, port-a-potties, rocks, rubble, etc. The smell made it difficult to open the cabin doors or to stay on deck. No human should be subjected to these conditions. The days continued with lengthy bus rides. In short, I paid for a river cruise, not a bus tour.
A group of 22 guests spent over two hours on the evening of Thursday, July 30th to report these conditions to Customer Service while on the ship and spoke to, a customer service case manager in the LA office. We were told that Viking would address each complaint individually post cruise.
Upon arrival home, I contacted Viking Customer Service to discuss my experience. He told me he was aware of what was happening, but offered no consolation.
Viking knew of the low water level conditions for months and did not run other cruises since mid-June. Making the decision to run this so-called “River Cruise” under false pretenses and not allowing guests the option to cancel with full reimbursement is poor and unethical business practice.
Offering vouchers for future Viking trips is not a solution. This cruise should have been cancelled from the onset.
Viking offered superior service on the cruise; everything was top-notch- the food, service, cities visited, tours, entertainment, etc. I could not have asked for anything more. I highly recommend Viking River Cruises!
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency,
and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners
(travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our
users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or
prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site
for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on
external web sites.