Sailing the Elbe River with Viking

After sailing the Danube on the beautiful Viking Rinda, one of Viking’s many longships, we were both very excited for our second Viking river cruise. This time we would be sailing the Elbe on Viking Beyla, affectionately known as a ‘baby longship’.

Viking have specially built two baby longships to sail on the River Elbe with customised hulls and specially designed engines to sail this narrow and shallow river.

Built in 2015, Beyla reminded us very much of Rinda, she simply has two decks instead of three. At full capacity she holds 98 guests. We sailed with approximately 90 per cent capacity, but at no point did we ever feel like the ship was too small or there wasn’t enough room. Viking make all the shared areas very spacious and we loved the intimacy of sailing with only 80-odd guests. We met some absolutely wonderful passengers onboard.

You walk onto the ship into the upper deck. Here you will find the small library with books for guests to read and  a variety of board games. There is a small shop with a selection of merchandise – we couldn’t resist purchasing a Viking fleece for wearing on our many dog walks at home to remind us of our sailing.

Also located here is guest services where the friendly Viking front desk team are always there to help you in any way they can. If there were no other guests there we often stopped for a quick chat with Calypso who manned the desk in the day and Johnny in the late evening, both were so lovely.

We stayed in a veranda stateroom, all of which are located on the upper deck along with the two veranda suites and French balcony staterooms. The standard staterooms are located on the main deck.

Our room was decorated in the traditional Viking Scandinavian interiors. We found the room to have plenty of wardrobe and drawer space and I do not pack light! The wardrobe had internal lights which came on automatically when opened and went off when closed.

The queen size bed was very comfy and the bed is designed with space under it to keep you suitcases, a great design idea. There are power points next to each side of the bed as well as additional points on the dresser.

I loved the location of the dresser next to the veranda. It let in so much natural light it was perfect for doing my make-up and it was nice getting ready whilst gazing out at the always wonderful views.

The TV is interactive so as well as being able to watch a selection of TV channels and movies, it also has information about your sailing and the ability to complete a quick survey about the excursions you have been on.

The room also has a fridge, safe, telephone, hairdryer, notepad and pen, and bottled water which is replenished daily. Every night we also had our ‘Viking Daily’ left out for us which detailed the next day’s port and timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner etc. as well as activities which were going on that day.

The bathroom has a glass-enclosed shower which for a river ship I found spacious in size. The toiletries are by Freyja and I was very happy with the quality of them. There are no miniature toiletries on Viking which is great as I always run out with those tiny bottles. You are provided with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion as well as soap, shower cap and vanity kit.

My favourite place in our room was always the veranda. There is something so special and unique about having uninterrupted views which we had plenty of on this sailing.

Even though it wasn’t summer, we still made the most of our veranda, enjoying a drink, relaxing, sitting back and reading a book or simply watching the world go by.

I can’t talk about our stateroom without mentioning Ella, our wonderful stateroom steward who twice a day went into our room and made it like new. Water was always full, we never ran out of toiletries, towels were folded and freshened, our bed always immaculate and when we left our books out one day she left us both Viking bookmarks. She was also so very friendly and we loved bumping into her smiling face when we were on the ship.

Also located on the upper deck are two computers available for guests to use and a 24-hour coffee station – Mr B and I both really enjoyed the coffee on board.

The coffee station also had a wide selection of teas. In the morning it had fresh pastries and in the day a variety of sweet treats, including my absolute favourite on Viking, their cookies! The double chocolate are yummy, but my favourite are the oatmeal and raisin, they are so delicious. It was hard to resist grabbing one every time I went past!

Continue to walk on the upper deck and you will find one of Mr B and I’s favourite places, the lounge and bar! The lounge has plenty of seating whether you want to relax on one of the sofas and enjoy the views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Or maybe sit at one of the tables and read a book, or prop up the bar on one of the stools and enjoy a cocktail. We enjoyed so many wonderful creations by our lovely bar chef Milos.

The lounge is also the space where every night before dinner our lovely programme director Titiana gave a talk on the next day’s port and Chef would appear at the end and let you know his recommended dishes for that night. On the first night we enjoyed a welcome talk here before dinner where we got introduced to some of the crew and in the blink of an eye the five nights had gone and we found ourselves there sipping on champagne at the farewell talk toasting to what a special holiday we had all had.

At the end of the lounge you will find the Aquavit terrace which has a small selection of tables which are available for a light breakfast and for lunch. They give such wonderful views over the bow of the ship. There are also some tables outside, but it was slightly too chilly on our sailing to enjoy these.

On the top deck you will find the wonderful sun deck where there is a large range of seating.

Being here whilst sailing is magnificent, the 360 degree views are simply stunning. When we were up on deck one day sailing the scenic Elbe and it was quite windy, the crew came round with blankets and hot chocolate (and a bottle of Baileys for anyone who fancied a splash in their hot chocolate!).

For sunnier sailings there are a selection of loungers to relax on. Towards the stern you will find the organic herb garden, which smelt lovely. Here you will also find the putting green which Mr B couldn’t resist having a go on.

Now moving from the top deck down to the bottom, onto one of the most important rooms onboard . . . the restaurant! The lovely, light and airy dining room has a range of tables and this is where we spent our nights chatting to our fellow passengers and enjoying all the fantastic cuisine on-board (more to come on that in a separate blog post!).

Viking Beyla is a beautiful ship. She was our home for five incredible nights, but what makes this ship so extra special is the crew onboard, who are more like family. They do everything they can to look after you and spoil you!  Everyone we encountered on Beyla was simply a delight.

Read about our itinerary sailing the river Elbe with Viking on my below blog post . . .

Elegant Elbe Itinerary on Viking

Want to know what the food is like on a Viking river cruise? Have a look at my blog post . . .

What Is The Food Like on a Viking River Cruise?

Read all about the drinks package on Viking to see what is included . . .

Drinks Package on Viking



  1. Susan May 21, 2024 / 4:49 pm

    I was on the Rinda last year and I will be on the Bayla in a couple of weeks.
    With hotel stays at both ends of the trip, can you recommend any restaurants?

    • thetravelsofmrsb
      May 22, 2024 / 8:14 am

      Hi, two wonderful ships! I’m sure you will have a wonderful time. If you like high end dining, in Prague we went to Field and had the 10 course tasting menu, its a Michelin star restaurant and it was a wonderful dining experience. In Berlin we went to a local bar who served great schnitzel, it was called Stadtklause. However your programme director is with you during the hotel stays and they have lots of restaurants recommendations

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