Fodor’s Expert Review
Designed by legendary naval architects Yran & Storbraaten, the team behind The Yachts of Seabourn, these new vessels offer state-of-the-art engineering, patented design and luxury. The Viking Longships provide guests with more ways to personalize their trip. Choose from a variety of stateroom classes, onboard entertainment options and ship locations from which you can enjoy sailing through the scenery, all the while enriching your time in some of Europe’s most remarkable destinations.Read More
Two Explorer Suites feature spectacular 270 degree views with a private wraparound veranda. Veranda Suites feature two full rooms with a veranda off the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom. Enjoy the indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace at the bow of the ship, or relax on the Sun Deck. These “green” ships, featuring energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an organic herb garden, were named to honor prominent members of the Norse pantheon. Each ship carries 190 guests in comfortable, understated elegance, with hotel-style beds and amenities like 40” flat-panel Sony® TVs and in-room refrigerators.
Offering Danube cruises as well as journeys along the Rhine, Main, and Danube between Paris and Prague, the Viking Odin is one of several that were launched in 2012. An eight-day journey from Budapest back to Nuremburg includes a wonderful tour of Austria’s Wachau Valley. 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.