Viking Cruises, the world’s largest river cruise line, is on an aggressive new-build target. Its 190-guest Longship class has resulted in more than 40 near clones of its sleek design to its fleet since 2012. The Longships were created specifically for river cruising and feature all-outside cabins, two-room suites, balconies and several dining venues ranging from formal to light-fare cuisine.
Viking Cruises offers both river cruises and ocean cruises through two product lines, Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, with global headquarters in the United States. Viking River Cruises currently offers cruises along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. Itineraries are carefully crafted with a mix of cosmopolitan and smaller ports of interest, and are planned to offer more time in port than competitors.
Sailing since: 1997 Number of ships: 61 Itineraries: seven to 23 days
Destinations: Europe (Rivers: Danube, Dordogne, Douro, Elbe, Garonne, Gironde, Main, Rhine, Rhone, Saône Saone, Seine) Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers.Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers.
Countries visited: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland Russia (Rivers: Svir, Volga) Asia (Rivers: Angkor Wat, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Yangtze)
Countries visited: Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Vietnam Africa – Egypt (Nile River)
Theme Cruises: Various; too many to list Amenities:
All Viking river cruises are priced to provide top consumer value by leveraging economies of scale and experienced management, and include such items as shore excursions and wine or beer with onboard meals. The company also ensures a focus on enrichment through shore excursions by local guides, regional foods and Privileged Access for in-depth exploration of the destinations.
All cruises include the exclusive Viking Culture Curriculum program, which brings history and culture to life through onboard enrichment lectures, language classes, hands-on cooking demonstrations and classes, and local entertainment to complement included shore excursions
Longships Explorer suites each offer 445 square feet and feature 270-degree views with a private wraparound balcony
Longships feature alfresco dining, solar panels and organic herb gardens
added more dining settings
Viking’s earlier classes of river ships mostly feature French verandahs, lounges with panoramic views, windows to the outside, private bathrooms, TVs and safes
The Aquavit Terrace, a special feature of the Longships design, functions as an indoor/outdoor restaurant and lounge
Alfresco dining, rarely available on river lines, is so popular with travelers, that Viking has
Open seating for all meals
Soft drinks, beer and wine are served complimentary at dinner
In every port there’s at least one complimentary shore excursion and a selection of more in-depth outings for extra fees
Bonus: Known for its relative bargains, such as two-for-one deals, Viking can be a great value for first timers to river cruising. Also, as the world’s largest river cruise line, there are often more itinerary choices.