Viking River Cruises is the world's largest cruise line with a deluxe fleet of 99 ships that transports passengers to popular tourist destinations in Europe, Asia, Russia, and Egypt. The cruise line generally attracts passengers over 55 years old. Cruises range from 8-19 days and are offered year round. The company splits it line into two groups: one that offers river cruises, and the other offers ocean cruises.
- Unique experience
- Onboard entertainment
The company's longships feature a Scandinavian design and are designed for river cruising. These vessels offer all-outside cabins and several dining venues. The Aquavit Terrace aboard the ships operates as an indoor restaurant and lounge. Dining is al-fresco, with cuisine that ranges from formal to light fare. Soda and alcoholic beverages are served complimentary to guests at dinner time.
Many of the Viking River Cruises' ships contain French verandahs, sundecks, and cozy libraries. Panoramic views can be enjoyed in the lounges. Cabins provide private bathrooms, safes, telephones, and flat screen televisions. Explorer suites feature a private wraparound balcony, with 270 degree views. Free ship wide Internet Service is provided to all guests. Standard amenities found onboard Viking River cruise ships include:
- Explorer Suites with French Balconies and Modern Amenities
- Spacious Veranda Staterooms
- Aquavit Terrace
- Observation Lounge and Bar
- Contemporary Cuisine Restaurant
- Shopping Boutique
- Personal Safe
- Life Jackets
- Fire Extinguisher
- Emergency Hammer
Onboard entertainment options are designed to help passengers learn more about the culture of the regions they are visiting. The ships also offer local musicians and themed dinners that offer regional specialties. The company also offers one complimentary choice of shore excursion and a wide selection of other choices for an additional charge. Some ships also have pools and hot tubs. Other entertainment options include cooking classes, traditional dance performances, and hands-on demonstrations.
Sundecks aboard the ship provide a 360-degree view. They are also equipped with an organic herb garden, solar panels, putting green, and walking track. A boutique is onboard for shoppers as well as an atrium. The dress code onboard is casual and comfortable, and guests are encouraged to wear layers due to the unpredictability of the weather. Guests are also encouraged to bring raincoats and umbrellas. Passengers will also want to bring a good pair of comfortable walking shoes.
- Unreliable internet
- Crowded and noisy
- Lacking some services
Internet service is unreliable at times aboard the ship. During certain points in the journey, Internet and cellular services has trouble connecting to satellites. The company recommends that guests only check and send email rather than surfing the Web or trying to download large files.
Crowded and Noisy
Lounges and dining areas can get extremely crowded and noisy. The lounges have poor acoustics and guests have had a hard time being able to get a seat or carry on a conversation when the ship is at full capacity. Guests who want to avoid the long lines at dinner may choose to eat at the Aquavit Terrace, but the menu is limited to burgers, pastas, club sandwiches, and baked potatoes. Wine is free at both lunch and dinner, but guests are offered the same red or white wine at every meal.
Lacking some Services
Laundry is provided aboard the ship for an extra charge. Clothes cannot be dry-cleaned. The ship does not offer a fitness center, sauna, or bicycles due to the owner's belief that the tours themselves provided plenty of physical exercise. Therefore, the space that these items would take up would be better used for more cabin space. This is unfortunate for those who enjoy working out, and these individuals may want to consider choosing another cruise line that offers these amenities.
The cruises are expensive overall for many travelers with cruise prices ranging from $1,699-$6,299 per person, excluding tips. The suggested gratuity price is 13 Euros or $15 USD per person daily. Expect your cruise to cost around $500 a day for a seven day cruise, including tips. This does not take into account offshore excursions and additional purchases.Taxes, fees, and port expenses are also extra depending on the voyage selected. Service fees charged for additional features include:
- Laundry Services
- Ship Computer Usage
The Bottom Line
Viking River Cruises is the world's largest cruise line that attracts affluent passengers over 55 years old. The company explores numerous exotic destinations in Europe, Asia, Russia, and Egypt. Year-round cruises are available lasting from 8-19 days. Free Internet service is provided ship wide to passengers and unreliable at times, and the onboard entertainment focuses exclusively on the regions being visited. Roundtrip airport-to-ship transfers are only included when air is purchased with a tour package.
The cruises can be expensive for many passengers. Gratuities, laundry services, and offshore expenses are not included, and these can add up quickly. The dining experience could be greatly improved with better acoustics and additional seating. The company does not offer facilities for fitness buffs. The dress code is casual, and guests are encouraged to wear layers due to the unpredictability of the weather. The cruises are a good fit for wealthy individuals who desire plenty of socializing in a relaxed environment.