Brand new for 2015 along with its sister ship - the Viking Astrild - the Viking Beyla boasts many features that mirror those found on the Viking Longship-class of vessels. The Elbe-based Viking Beyla is an innovative and contemporary river cruise ship that is built in such a way that it can navigate the River Elbe with ease, thanks to its customised hulls and engines. Green credentials including hybrid diesel-electric engines and onboard solar panels ensure that trips down the river are energy efficient, quiet and clean. Combine these engineering feats with beautifully-appointed staterooms and bright and breezy public areas featuring glass walls to ensure optimum views of this historic European river, and guests will be treated to an unforgettable river cruise experience.
Passengers Despite being Longship-esque, the Viking Beyla is substantially smaller than its Longship-class sisters, with a maximum capacity of 98 guests onboard. The highly trained and friendly staff and crew members, including a dedicated Cruise Director, will ensure that every passenger can make the most of their time onboard, by helping them to plan their schedule and answer any questions. Most travellers tend to be American due to the US-based line, but other English-speaking nationalities find these contemporary and extremely popular vessels inviting. As such, well-travelled and affluent holidaymakers from the UK, Australia and Canada are not uncommon onboard.
Dining There is one main restaurant onboard, situated on the Main Deck, where guests can enjoy mouth-watering buffets for breakfast and lunch, and a gourmet waiter-service meal for dinner. The breakfast buffet consists of cereals, fruit, continental meats, cheese and made-to-order eggs, and lunch includes an extensive range of soups, salads, entrees and desserts. The a la carte dinner menu offers both regional specialities and popular favourites that will appeal to every tastebud. All meals are freshly prepared onboard, using ingredients from the onboard organic herb garden as well as seasonal, locally sourced produce. Guests can enjoy free-flowing wine, beer, soft drinks and water with their lunch and dinner, and an optional drinks package upgrade that includes fine wines and premium spirits is also available. Hot beverages can be sought from the self-serve beverage station, 24-hours a day. As well as the main dining area, passengers also have the option to enjoy early riser breakfasts and casual, grilled fare and light bites at the Aquavit Terrace onboard, which boasts both indoor and outdoor seating areas – perfect for al fresco dining when the weather permits. The dress code here, as is throughout the ship, is casual.
Entertainment Entertainment onboard is relaxed and low-key, with most guests happy to grab a comfortable chair in the Observation Lounge on the Upper Deck and enjoy drinks with friends while appreciating the local performers and entertainment programme, which includes baroque chamber music and Czech folkloric performances. The lounge also benefits from a full-service bar.
Activities The Viking Culture Curriculum onboard includes a multitude of enticing activities both onboard and onshore that guests can enjoy. Onboard, passengers can get involved in multimedia presentations and expert-led lectures on topics including Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, Luther & the Reformation and modern-day Czech Republic. Guests can also make use of the ship-wide complimentary Wi-Fi to stay connected with loved ones. Onshore, guests can enjoy an array of exciting and intriguing guided tours and sightseeing visits to various towns and cities along the Elbe, as well as iconic sites including four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a poignant visit to a concentration camp in Terezin, the spa town of Bad Schandau and Worlitz Park in Dessau – Germany’s first landscaped park.
Accommodation There are 49 staterooms onboard the Viking Beyla, each extremely well-appointed and beautifully decorated. Standard staterooms (140 sq. ft.) feature a picture window, while all the other categories of accommodation, varying in size between 122 sq. ft. and 250 sq. ft. feature either a veranda or a French balcony (Suites feature both). Amenities that come as standard include hotel-style beds (with optional twin configuration), private bathroom with shower and premium bath products, telephone, refrigerator, safe, hairdryer, individual climate control, flatscreen TV with entertainment package, bottled water that is replenished daily and bathrobes and slippers on request. Suites also include separate seating and sleeping areas.
Spa/Wellbeing Guests can make use of the facilities on the Sun Deck when not enjoying the various activities and guided tours, including plenty of relaxing sunloungers and a shaded sitting area when in need of a little respite from the sun. Wherever you choose to sit though, you can enjoy the beautiful views while you relax and unwind.
Itineraries The Viking Beyla currently operates the ten-day ‘Elegant Elbe’ itinerary which includes nine guided tours, sailing between Berlin and Prague. Immerse yourself in some of the beautiful cities along the way, including baroque Dresden, its castle and Green Vault, and historic Wittenberg including Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, learn more about the history and heritage of the region and appreciate the beauty of Berlin and Prague. Guests can also extend their trip with pre- and post- cruise land stays in Berlin and Prague.