The Elegant Elbe itinerary looked interesting, and we were not disappointed. Every port featured history and architectural and/or natural beauty. The cruise was affected by low water levels on the Elbe, and as a consequence, we only "cruised" the Elbe on one day. No mind, however, as Viking provided motor coach shuttles to and from the ship and each port of call. Cruising is great, but the motor coach had some advantages, namely being able to view the towns along the way from the inside, rather than from the outside had we been cruising.
Some may say that Viking made lemonade from lemons, but given the high level of service and our cruise director Emma Payne's boundless energy and cheerfulness, I would say that the alchemists running this voyage manage to make champagne out of those lemons. While we were berthed only in two ports, Viking had us transfer mid-voyage from one of its long ships to another. This enabled us to seamlessly experience our itinerary as though we had been cruising the waterway.
Virtually all meals were provided on board, and we spent each night in our cabin, and that way we were able to enjoy the cruise experience as much as we could without the actual "cruise." Our cabin was well appointed and suited our needs. The staff was terrific - hospitable and able. The port excursions (included in the fare) were led by experienced and friendly guides.
One glitch beyond Viking's control was a Lufthansa strike that was announced to begin the next day -- the day we were to depart for home. Emma told us not to worry and to enjoy our final day, and sure enough Viking had us rebooked on other flights that got us home on time. We were happy to have used Viking from the outset to arrange our flights, which paid off big time on this occasion.
I think it's fair to say that Viking exceeded expectations, and we have already signed up for our next Viking river cruise, and while we hope this one comes complete with navigable rivers, we are confident that Viking will make it wonderful.
Fully met our needs, clean and well-appointed.