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Viking River Cruises: Viking Jarl

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  • Viking Cruises
  • Viking Cruises
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Viking Jarl Review

Offering Rhine and Danube cruises between Amsterdam and Budapest, the Viking Jarl is one of several that were launched in 2013. Cabins include two Explorer Suites with spectacular 270-degree views as well as private wraparound verandas. The ship, with 95 outside cabins, many with balconies, promises a smooth ride. This is one of the newer Viking Longships, so all cabins come with flat-screen TVs, comfortable baths with L'Occitane amenities, and cushy beds.

In the luxury river cruising niche, Viking is an absolute winner, receiving praise from both the industry and demanding clientele. In 2013, Viking will operate 30 vessels. Nearly half of these were added in the last two years as the new Longship-class of next-generation vessels, inspired by ancient Norse longships and designed with sophisticated elegance by famed Norwegian maritime architects Yran and Storbraaten. All-inclusive fares, superb service, and sleek rooms with exceptional views are showcased. Apart from minor design flaws, river cruising doesn’t get any better than this.

Viking’s two smallest ships are the intimate 124-passenger Fontane and Schumann, both built with the shallow Elbe River in mind. Among Viking’s other ships, capacity ranges between 150 and 160 guests. These include the Danube, Europe, Neptune, Pride, Sky, and Spirit. With capacity for 198 guests, Helvetia and Sun are larger. The first “green” ship, built in 2009—the 189-passenger Legend—features diesel electric hybrid engines. The wow factor is high for newer green vessels Aegir, Embla, Freya, Idun, Njord, and Odin—all launched in 2012.

Cruises in Europe are offered on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Elbe, Saône, Seine, and Rhône rivers, as well as the canals of the Netherlands and Belgium. Viking also has five ships in Russia and Ukraine. Kirov, Pakhomov, Peterhof, and Surkov sail on the Volga, while Lomonosov meanders the Dnieper.

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Oct 19, 2014

Grand Eurpean Tour

In the middle of the cruise. Thus far very pleasant. Staff is very good and accommodating. There is one MAJOR problem. We are in one of only seven 2 room suites (besides the two Owner's suites) on the ship. It wasn't worth the huge cost increase. The walking track is above our deck. The noise, all times of day and evening is extremely loud. It sounds like someone is going to fall through the ceiling. The noise is pounding at times and you

can't even carry on a conversation, let alone take a nap after an all day shore excursion. Alarm clock......why need one when the pounding starts sometimes at 6:30 AM. I can't understand why there isn't some restricted hours for use of the track especially since the noise affects the higher priced berths. While we like the space offered by the upgraded suite, I wouldn't recommend a suite on the deck right below the track unless you sleep with ear plugs. The only good night's sleep has been when they close the top deck going through the Locks. Fairly good food with nice selections. It's not gourmet but it's good. If you don't like something you ordered the staff is very accommodating and will get you something else. I can imagine staying in a single room as it is extremely small. We have a suite which is a living room and bedroom and while still somewhat small, it is comfortable. Closet and shelf space is limited so pack accordingly. Fair entertainment. Need to take advantage of all included shore excursions.......some better than others. We are going to do the optional Nuremberg WWII excursion and the Vienna evening concert. There are some very good excursions in Budapest but we have our own private Budapest local tour guide planned (for 4). Except for the noise, it has been enjoyable. However, we will not be back on Viking if the ship configurations are similar to the Jarl.

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