1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email

Cruise Line Profile of Viking River Cruises

By

Viking Njord, one of the Longships

Viking Njord, one of the Longships of Viking River Cruises

Viking Longship (c) Linda Garrison

Viking River Cruises Lifestyle:

Viking brings a relaxed way of touring Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia on its river vessels and tours. Almost all shore excursions are included in the fare, and the pace of river cruising is less hectic than on a mega-liner. The scenic rivers flow through quiet towns and major capitals, and Viking allows passengers to see them all without having to pack and repack like you have to do when touring via bus or car. Since the focus is on the river and the ports of call, onboard activities are minimal.

Viking River Cruises Cruise Ships:

Viking added six new Longships in 2012, eight in 2013, and plans to add 12 more to its European fleet by 2014, bringing the total fleet operated by the river cruise line to over 50 ships. This fleet sails the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine and China--in Europe, the Rhine, Main, Moselle, Danube, Douro, Elbe, Seine and Rhône; in Russia the Volga; in the Ukraine the Dnieper River; in Egypt the Nile; in China the Yangtze; and the Mekong and Irrawaddy of Southeast Asia. These river ships average in size from less than 75 guests on the Southeast Asia river ships to over 250 on the Yangtze River ship. Most of the European river ships carry about 150-200 guests.

Viking River Cruises Passenger Profile:

Although there is a mix of ages on the Viking River ships, most passengers are 60 plus, and many are retired, especially on the longer voyages. Viking markets its ships to different countries, so if you are from the United States or another English-speaking country, English will be the onboard language. Viking passengers enjoy exploring small villages or historic sites. Viking's small river ships are not suitable for children or those who need to be constantly entertained.

Viking River Cruises Accommodations and Cabins:

All Viking ships have outside cabins with large windows, French balconies, or full verandas. Cabin size and layout vary by ship, but all have hair dryers and adequate storage space. Voltage is both 220 and 110, so an adapter may be needed for recharging some batteries or using a curling iron. Cabins have a TV with news and documentary channels and movies.

Viking River Cruises Cuisine and Dining:

All Viking ships have open seating, with tables set for 4 to 8 passengers. Breakfast and lunch include buffet and/or menu dining, and dinner always includes at least two choices of appetizers, soups, entrees, and desserts. In addition to the menu items, broiled chicken breast, steak, or a Caesar salad are always available at dinner. Menus are set fleetwide each month, so all ships sailing the same destinations are serving basically the same foods. Complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks are included with both lunch and dinner service on most itineraries.

Viking River Cruises Onboard Activities and Entertainment:

Onboard activities and entertainment on the Viking ships are limited to local talent in the evening, reading, playing games and cards, or just sitting in the observation lounge and watching the river scenery slide by. Local glassblowers, musicians, singers, and even wooden shoe makers come onboard the ship to demonstrate their skills and enhance travelers' knowledge of the local customs. When the ship is cruising in the daytime, most passengers can be found in the observation lounge or on the outdoor decks enjoying the sights.

Viking River Cruises Common Areas:

The Viking European river ships all have two main indoor common areas--the windowed dining room and an observation lounge and bar. Some ships also have a library and small sunroom/bar in the aft of the ship. The Longships have the Aquavit Terrace, an indoor/outdoor dining area forward of the Observation Lounge. The decor is contemporary and comfortable. The river ships sailing elsewhere in the world have a different layout and more interior common space. When the weather is good, the top sun deck has plenty of comfortable seating.

Viking River Cruises Spa, Gym, and Fitness:

The Viking European river ships do not have a spa, gym or fitness area. Most passengers take long walks when docked to get their exercise. The Yangtze River ship has a small spa and fitness area.

More on Viking River Cruises:

European river cruising has come into its own the last 10 years. Many inland countries in Europe are now accessible to cruise lovers, and you can sail from Amsterdam all the way to the Black Sea with Viking River Cruises. Viking offers outstanding quality for the cost, especially when you consider that almost all shore excursions are included. (tips are not included in the fare.)

Viking River Cruises Contact Information
Address: 5700 Canoga Ave, Suite 200
200 Woodland Hills, California 91367
Telephone: (818) 227-1234 or 1-877-66VIKING (reservations)
Web Site: vikingrivercruises.com

Related Video
Ensure your Maui, Hawaii Trip is Your Best Vacation Ever

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.