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Viking Njord - Christmas Market Cruise on the Danube River


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Danube Waltz with Viking River Cruises
Viking Njord in Budapest

Viking Njord at the dock on the eastern bank of the Danube River in Pest, Hungary. Buda Castle towers over the river on the opposite (Buda) side. Seven bridges connect the cities of Buda and Pest, and the city is spectacular at night.

Viking Njord in Budapest (c) Linda Garrison
The Viking Njord is one of six new identical "Longships" launched by Viking River Cruises in 2012. The ship is very modern and I love the contemporary, Scandinavian look. The color scheme of earthtones of browns, rust, oranges, and gray are quite comfortable. Our Veranda cabin was adequate in size, with plenty of storage, and the shower was quite large compared to some I've had on ocean ships. The bathroom had a heated floor (nice for a winter cruise), and a glass shower wall that went from clear to translucent with the flip of a switch. We also had a full balcony as large as those on ocean ships. The Veranda Suites across the hall were quite spacious with separate sleeping and sitting rooms.

This was my first December trip to Europe, and it was as I hoped--cold and snowy--but quite gorgeous. Living in Georgia, we don't get much snow, so we were thrilled to have the winter weather. And, since we were on a ship, it didn't slow us down one bit.

We arrived at the Viking Njord in time for a late buffet lunch on the Aquavit Terrace. This dining venue, which is forward of the Observation Lounge, has both indoor and outdoor seating. It was too cold to sit outside, but the views of the Chain Bridge and Budapest were a great backdrop for our lunch. Soon we were in our cabin.

After lunch, I went for an hour's walk while mom read and napped a little. I got back to the ship about 4:30. By then it was already dark! Ordinarily this would not be good, but all the Christmas lights were on, and I enjoyed being outside. Mom and I took plenty of warm clothes, and we were glad. It really makes you get into the holiday mood with everyone being bundled up. The largest Christmas market (there are several) in Budapest was held in the square just four blocks from our ship, which was docked on the Pest side of the Danube just downstream from the Chain Bridge. Since it was Saturday, the local shops had many of their winter wares (hats, gloves, sweaters, etc.) on racks outside. The Christmas market was as I expected--numerous kiosks of Hungarian handicrafts, food, and drinks. Since I was out for a walk, I didn't buy anything, saving it for the next day with mom.

We had a nice dinner in the Restaurant our first night on the ship, dining with a couple from Kansas City and another from Arizona. Mom and I both had the fish, which was good.

Our first day on the ship was over, and we couldn't wait to see more of Budapest the next day.

Viking Njord Christmas Market Cruise

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