Saturday 20 April 2019
After our British Airways flight from Heathrow to Tegel, Berlin,
we were met at the airport by the Viking representatives and
driven to our hotel - the Intercontinental on Budapest Strasse,
Once unpacked and settled into our suite, we all met up with
Programme Director Rick for a 'Familiarisation Walk' around the
area of our hotel - where Rick pointed out a few places to eat
Later, we walked back to the city centre and had a meal, before
returning to the hotel.
Sunday 21 April 2019
Following breakfast, with new friends Les and Elaine we
decided to take the number 200 bus (as recommended by Rick) into
central Berlin - where we got off the bus and wandered round to
take in the sights.
We took a boat trip along the river Spree, walked along the
famous Unter den Linden, checked out the Brandenburg Gate,
stopped for a few biers, before walking through the Tiergarten
back to our hotel.
In the evening, along with Les and Elaine, we dined at a great
Italian restaurant just opposite the hotel.
Monday 22 April 2019
Our first tour of this trip started with a coach journey to the
north of Berlin to visit Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp - a
sobering but moving experience.
Back from the visit, we took a stroll into a nearby Biergarten
for a rest and a few biers before taking the 'Berlin by Night'
tour to a restaurant for yet more biers and a meal.
After breakfast it was on board the coach for the 'Panoramic
Berlin' tour - taking in Checkpoint Charlie (which I had visited
as a youngster in 1972 when Berlin was a divided city).
From there we drove on to see a section of the Berlin Wall - now
a tourist attraction - before driving round the former airport
of Templehof - scene of part of the Berlin Airlift.
Finally, we were taken by coach around the Reichstag,
Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden and the Jewish Holocaust
Memorial, before returning to our hotel.
The evening was taken up with a 'Brewery visit and Dinner' -
where the Braumeister (a Brazilian) explained the brewing
process and provided samples of light and dark brews to
accompany our meal.
24 April 2019
After checking out of the Intercontinental, we boarded our
coaches for the trip to Sanssouci Palce - Frederick the Great's
place. Our guide was British - Bridget who was very
knowledgeable and showed us around the oppulent interior.
From Sanssouci, we were driven to the Cecilienhof Palace - scene
of the Potsdam conference of 1945. From the palace we drove into
the town of Potsdam for some free time.
After a delicious snack of Currywurst and Fries, Les and I had a
couple of Biers while the ladies went shopping.
From Potsdam, we drove to Wittenberg to finally board our cruise
ship at 16:00 - the Viking Beyla.
After our cases were brought on board and we had unpacked, we
were invited to meet the Captain and crew for a toast, after
which we had a 'Welcome Briefing' before sitting down our first
dinner on board.
25 April 2019
On the coach by 08:45 for the short drive into Wittenberg - home
town of Martin Luther - for the 'Walking Tour', led by our
After visiting all the various sights, we were given half an
hour's free time - so Kay went shopping!
Back on board by 12:30, the Viking Beyla cast off and after a
light lunch at 14:00 we took part in compulsory safety drill
where we donned our life jackets and assembled at our muster
station on deck.
I took up the offer to visit the wheelhouse where the Captain
showed us all hi-tech equipment.
After various on-board entertainments, followed by dinner at
18:00, we arrived at Torgau at 20:00, where we went ashore for
an 'Evening Stroll' guided by Programme Director Rick.
Having cast off from Torgau in the early hours at 02:30, the
morning was given over to various talks and tour briefings
before the Beyla arrived at Meissen - where we had a shore
excursion to the famous porcelain factory.
After the factory tour we were driven around Meissen to see the
sights - before getting off the coach to visit the town square -
where Les and I had a welcome bier (and tried, unsuccessfully to
order a second) - while Kay and Elain went shopping!
Back on board by 17:15, the evening was taken up with a cocktail
party followed by a dinner themed on 'A taste of Germany'.
Rick's Music Quiz in the lounger rounded off another enjoyable
27 April 2019
Casting off from Meissen at 04:00 the Viking Beyla arrived at
our next port of call - Dresden - at 08:30.
We had signed up for the 'Panoramic Dresden' tour, so boarding
the coach at 09:00 we were driven into the city where we
de-bussed to walk around the sights.
We visited the Zwinger Palace before going inside the Green
Vault to marvel at the stunning exhibits.
Les and I went on the afternoon excursion to 'The Working World
of Volkswagen' - except that, it being a Saturday, the assembly
lines were silent!
Nonetheless, it was an interesting visit - although we were not
allowed to take photos of the largely automated assembly line -
presumably they were commercially sensitive?
Meanwhile, the ladies, guess what? - went shopping in Dresden.
The final excursion of the day was to an hour-long 'Gala
Concert' by the five-piece Dresden Residence Orchestra.
Those that stayed on board were entertained in the ship's lounge
by the three-piece Allegria Ensemble - for free!
cast off from Dresden at 07:00 for the
long cruise to Bad Schandau - passing
through some interesting scenery pointed
out over the ship's tannoy by Rick.
After passing the rock formation of the
Bastei, we sailed on for our next stop
at Bad Schandau - where we boarded the
waiting coaches for the journey back to
the Bastei - where we scaled the steep
steps and pathways - along with zillions
of other tourists - before climbing back
up to the cafe for a welcome bier!
The Beyla cast off at 17:30 for Děčín in
Republic (or Czechia as it is now,
apparently called) - arriving at 20:30.
We had attended the Captain's Cocktail
Party and Final Farwell talk by Rick
before having our last evening meal on
board at 19:00.
29 April 2019
This is the day we depart the Viking Beyla for
our hotel in Prague. We had to place our luggage outside the
stateroom by 07:30 and vacate the room by 08:30 to board the
The journey to Prague took about 1.5 hours and on arrival at
the hotel Corinthia we were re-united with our luggage in our
We had planned to go on the 'Prague Old Town and Castle Walk'
at 10:30, but as it was pouring down with rain, we opted out
and met up with Les and Elaine in the hotel bar.
The weather brightened up a bit in the late afternoon, so we
took the hotel shuttle bus into Prague centre for wander
around the Old Market and Charles Bridge before returning to
30 April 2019
The weather was much
improved so the four of us took the
shuttle bus into the city centre and
walked along the banks of the Vltava
river before crossing the bridge for the
long walk up the incline to Prague
Castle. After queuing for security
checks, we passed through into the
castle - where we separated, Les resting
in a small restaurant, whilst the ladies
explored the open market and I struggled
with my failing camera to take a few
I joined Les for a couple of biers and
when the ladies arrived we all had a
nice lunch with a great view from the
After lunch, we descended the steep
slope into Lesser Town, before crossing
Charles Bridge to make our way back to
the Old Market to catch the shuttle bus
to the hotel.
In the evening we went on the 'Prague by
Night' tour - by coach around the
various sights, stopping off for a bier
tasting and a visit to the Television
Tower - with it's panoramic views
over the city.
By this time my camera had given up the
ghost so no photos of the night tour.
1 May 2019
Time to pack
our bags and
check out of
the hotel to
be driven to
for our 11:15
flight back to
This was a
great cruise -
with plenty to
see and do. It
was made more
of the crew -
who kept us
Meeting up and
with Les and
Elaine was the
icing on the
Duffey - May