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A Complete Guide to Viking River Cruises

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Viking River Cruises is one of the most well-known and respected cruise lines in the world. They offer trips on some of the most famous waterways in Europe, including the Danube and Rhine rivers. Viking also sails to more exotic destinations including the Nile River and the Mekong Rivers. This is a complete guide about Viking River Cruises and my personal experience sailing with them.


In this article you will find:

  1. Who are Viking River Cruises?

  2. How Does A Viking River Cruises Work?

  3. Viking River Cruises Destinations: Where do they sail?

    1. Danube River Cruises

    2. The Rhine River Cruises

    3. River Cruising in France

    4. River Cruise on the Duoro

    5. River Cruise on The Elbe

    6. River Cruise on The Mekong

    7. River Cruise on The Nile

    8. Cruise with Mississippi with Viking

    9. River Cruise Christmas Markets

  4. Viking River Cruise Longships

  5. Rooms on a Viking Longship

    1. Explorer Suite (ES)

    2. Veranda Suites (AA)

    3. Veranda Stateroom (A, B)

    4. French Balcony Stateroom (C, D)

    5. Standard Stateroom (E, F)

    6. Is It Worth Getting a Baloncy on a River Cruise?

  6. Viking River Cruise Common Spaces

    1. The Lounge and Bar

    2. The Sun Deck

    3. The Aquavit Terrace

    4. The Dining Room

    5. The Library

    6. Self-Serve Coffee and Tea Stations

  7. The Onboard Experience with Viking

    1. Embarkation Day

    2. Disembarkation Day

    3. What to Wear

    4. Meals on a Viking River Cruise

  8. Preparing for your River Cruise

    1. Prebooking Excursions

    2. What is the cancellation policy for my booked shore excursions?

  9. Frequently Asked Questions About Viking River Cruises

    1. How Much Does It Cost to Take a Trip on a Viking River Cruises Cruise?

    2. Who Should Consider Taking a Trip on a Viking River Cruises Cruise?

    3. What is parallel parked ships?

    4. Can Children Travel with Viking?

    5. How can I learn more about the ship layout?

    6. Is there Internet access on board Vikings cruises? Are there computers?


#1 Who are Viking River Cruises?

Viking River Cruises is an iconic brand of river cruise ships, renowned for their luxurious amenities and high-end service. Founded in 1997, this company has grown to become the world’s largest and most awarded river cruise line, offering voyages along the waterways of Europe, Asia and Egypt. Guests can choose from a variety of delicious onboard cuisine options at the restaurant or enjoy drinks in the stylish bars. Each ship also offers a selection of entertainment activities like live music, lectures and wine tastings. With its variety of cultural experiences, Viking River Cruises provides an unforgettable journey for its guests. Whether it’s an exploration of historic sites along the Danube or a journey through the waters of the Nile in Egypt, Viking River Cruises has something for everyone.


Did you know that Viking also operates an award-winning fleet of Ocean Ships? Viking Ocean Cruises has been voted Travel + Leisure World's Best ocean cruising line! Learn more about them here.

Viking Ocean Cruise Ship in Flam, Norway
Viking Ocean Cruise Ship in Flam, Norway

#2 How Does A Viking River Cruises Work?

Viking River Cruises offers a unique way to explore. With over 50 cruises available, there is something for everyone. Each cruise offers a variety of activities, such as scenic views, charming villages, and cultural experiences. Guests can choose from itineraries that range from 8 to 23 days, and explore various parts of Europe and beyond. With each itinerary, guests will receive an exclusive Viking Shore Excursion per port included in the cost of their cruise. Viking River Cruises also offers optional shore excursions that allow you to explore even further and experience the local culture. These come at an extra cost. Onboard, you will find comfortable cabins, gourmet meals, and an onboard program featuring a variety of lectures and demonstrations. The crew is dedicated to providing excellent service and will ensure that your cruise is a memorable one. With Viking River Cruises you will have the opportunity to experience Europe, Asia or Africa in a unique and exciting way!


#3 Viking River Cruises Destinations: Where do they sail?

Viking River Cruises provides unforgettable journeys along the world's greatest rivers, including the Rhine, Danube, Seine, and Elbe. You can cruise through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria on the Danube; sail the Netherlands and Germany on the Rhine; explore France on the Seine; or journey through Czech Republic and Germany on the Elbe. Depending on your chosen route, you can experience everything from charming villages to grand cities. On your visit to each port of call, you will have the opportunity to explore ancient castles, cathedrals, vineyards and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Viking River Cruises also offers many optional shore excursions so you can make the most of your time at each destination. From city tours to evening experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are looking for an exciting adventure or a relaxing getaway, Viking River Cruises has a destination that is perfect for you.


Danube River Cruises

The Danube is one of the most iconic rivers in Europe and is a great choice for a river cruise. Viking's European river cruises on the Danube offer a variety of itineraries, ranging from seven to twenty-three days. One of the most popular cruises is the 17-day journey, Capitals of Eastern Europe, which includes stops in Nuremberg, Vienna, Budapest, and Belgrade. On this voyage, you'll have the opportunity to explore some of Europe's most beautiful cities and towns. An eight-day cruise, such as the Danube Waltz or Romantic Danube, will typically offer a shorter version of this route, stopping in cities such as Passau, Linz, and Bratislava. For those looking for the most iconic itinerary, you should choose the 15-day Grand European Tour, which sails from Amsterdam to Budapest. No matter what itinerary you choose, you're sure to have an amazing experience on your Danube river cruise with Viking.


You can view Viking's cruises on the Danube by clicking here.


The Rhine River Cruises

A trip on the Rhine River with Viking River Cruises is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Europe. From Amsterdam to Basel, passengers will be able to discover some of the most picturesque cities and towns. Along the way, you can see centuries-old castles, charming villages and stunning vineyards. You will also have the chance to see renowned attractions such as the Cologne Cathedral, Marksburg Castle and Heidelberg’s Old Town. During the cruise, you will have plenty of opportunities to explore on-shore excursions and indulge in delicious cuisine. Viking’s itineraries offer a variety of routes.


You can cruise from Amsterdam to Basel on the Rhine Getaway, with stops in Basel, Cologne and Koblenz. Along this path, you’ll also be able to explore picturesque Koblenz.


On another route, Lyon, Provence and the Rhineland, embark on a Viking River Cruise and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns that line the riverbanks. Savor the region's famous white wines, which have been cultivated on terraced vineyards since Roman times. Explore the Palace of the Popes in Avignon and indulge in the culinary delights of Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy. This journey offers a rich tapestry of diverse cultures and stunning landscapes that will leave you in awe. Whichever route you choose, you are sure to experience an unforgettable journey of discovery on a Viking River Cruise.


You can view Viking's cruises on the Rhine by clicking here.


River Cruising in France

Experience the beauty of France on a river cruise! From the picturesque shores along the Seine and Rhone Rivers to the bustling cities of Paris and Lyon, a river cruise in France offers an abundance of cultural, historical, and culinary discoveries.


Viking River Cruises offers a variety of itineraries for France, including a 12-night voyage from Paris to Zurich, called Paris to the Swiss Alps. Embark on a 12-day Viking River Cruise and experience the beauty and history of Europe. Explore the Luxembourg American Cemetery and pay your respects to fallen soldiers. Discover the ancient Roman city of Trier and indulge in the delicious Moselle Rieslings in the charming wine town of Bernkastel-Kues. Take in the stunning scenery as you cruise past the Lorelei Rock and through the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the captivating cities of Worms and Heidelberg, and enjoy hotel stays in the vibrant cities of Paris and Zürich. This irresistible cruisetour is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of Europe.


Another popular itinerary is the 8-day Bordeaux River Cruise, Chateaux, Rivers & Wine. Embark on a river cruise through the Aquitaine region of France, once known as Europe's wealthiest kingdom. Explore the charming ports, lush vineyards, and picturesque farms and forests of the area. Visit the famous cellars and fountains of Bordeaux, hunt for truffles in Périgord, and create your own unique blend of Cognac at the Camus distillery. Indulge in France's finest oysters, freshly harvested from the bay at Arcachon, and sip on the region's renowned wines, including Saint-Émilion, Médoc, and Sauternes, each with their own distinct "terroir." Experience the epitome of fine living on this unforgettable Viking River Cruise through Bordeaux. Whether you're looking for an educational adventure or just want to relax on a leisurely cruise down the river, Viking River Cruises has something for everyone. So why not plan your next river cruise in France today?


You can view Viking's cruises in France by clicking here.


River Cruise on the Duoro

Experience the unforgettable beauty of Portugal's stunning Duoro river on a Viking River Cruise. With various itineraries available, you can choose a cruise that fits your needs. Explore the historic towns of Lisbon, Porto and Salamanca on your journey. Along the way, you'll have time to relax on the sun deck or take in the beautiful views of the riverfront villages. You can also explore the renowned vineyards of the Douro Valley and sample local cuisine. Get a firsthand experience of Portuguese culture through interactive activities such as cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and market visits. Spend nights in charming towns and visit world-famous sites like the Palace of Mateus and the University of Coimbra. Whether you're looking to explore Portuguese culture or just relax and enjoy the scenery, a Viking European river cruise on the Douro is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


You can view Viking's cruises on the Douro by clicking here.


River Cruise on The Elbe

River cruising on the Elbe is an experience like no other. With the Elbe River winding through Germany and the Czech Republic it's a great way to explore Europe. Viking River Cruises offers itineraries that give you an opportunity to see the best of each country. You will visit famous cities such as Berlin, Dresden, and Prague as well as quaint villages and picturesque vineyards along the way. River cruising on the Elbe is an unforgettable experience that will give you a chance to explore Europe with ease and comfort.


You can view Viking's cruises on the Elbe by clicking here.


River Cruise on The Mekong

Viking's Mekong river cruises offer a unique opportunity to explore some of the most diverse regions in Asia. On the 15-day sailing, Magnificent Mekong, travellers can choose from a variety of itineraries that take them from the bustling cities of Vietnam and Cambodia to the tranquil riverside villages. Highlights of the cruise include visits to vibrant cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, as well as a number of cultural sites along the way.


You can view Viking's Mekong River cruises by clicking here.


River Cruise on The Nile

Embark on an unforgettable journey down the iconic Nile River with a river cruise in Egypt. Discover the beauty of the world's longest river, taking in stunning landscapes and ancient sites on the 12-day sailing, Pharos & Pyramids. Explore ancient monuments, temples, and archaeological sites with a knowledgeable guide who will share their insight into the history of this region. Enjoy the convenience of a floating hotel as you sail along the Nile, stopping at picturesque locations to explore. Delight in delicious meals and drinks as you travel in comfort and style. Whether you're looking to relax and take in the unparalleled views or immerse yourself in the deep culture of this beautiful land, a Nile River Cruise is an ideal way to do it. Experience ancient wonders, majestic landscapes, and vibrant culture as you travel along one of the most iconic rivers in the world.


You can view Viking's Nile River cruises by clicking here.


Cruise with Mississippi with Viking

Cruise the Mississippi River in style with Viking River Cruises. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the river as you make your way through the heartland of America. With cruises between 8 and 15 days, you can discover the beauty and culture of the Deep South as you journey from St. Paul to New Orleans. Viking River Cruises offers an authentic experience as you cruise down one of America’s most iconic rivers. Enjoy the convenience of having your meals and accommodations all taken care of in one roomy stateroom. Explore the rich history of the region from the comfort of your own ship as you take shore excursions to visit local sites and attractions. Enjoy live entertainment onboard, a variety of delicious dining options, and explore the vibrant nightlife of historic river towns. With Viking River Cruises, you can experience a special journey on the Mississippi River that you won’t forget. Join us for an unforgettable cruise today!


You can view Viking's Mississippi cruises by clicking here.


River Cruise Christmas Markets

Experience the magic of a Christmas market river cruise in Europe! Viking River Cruise offers a variety of festive holidays throughout the season, with plenty of opportunities to explore, enjoy and relax. Christmas markets are a traditional favourite, with vendors selling handmade goods, festive music, and delicious seasonal treats. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a girlfriend's trip, a river cruise is a perfect way to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. From Germany and Austria to France and Switzerland, each cruise offers something unique. Enjoy a hot chocolate while exploring quaint villages on a walking tour, or sample local delicacies while cruising along the Danube. Take part in special holiday activities like carolling or decorating gingerbread houses. With Viking River Cruise, you can create lasting memories with loved ones during this magical time of year. Book your Christmas market river cruise today and experience the joys of the season!


You can view more of Viking's Christmas Market cruises by clicking here.

Christmas Market in Europe 2022
Christmas Market in Europe 2022

#4 Viking River Cruise Longships

Viking River Cruises offer an unforgettable experience aboard their iconic Longships. These ships are designed to provide you with the perfect balance of comfort, convenience and luxury. They feature a timeless Scandinavian design combined with modern amenities, such as spacious staterooms with king-sized beds and high-end amenities, floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple dining venues, and a lounge area for your relaxation.


Take a tour of a Viking Longship by watching this video.


The Viking Longships also provide an innovative Aquavit Terrace at the bow of the ship, which offers al fresco dining and breathtaking views. You can also enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and a library on board. Onboard activities include lectures by local experts, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment such as traditional music and dance. With onboard trained crew members are available 24/7, you can rest assured that your safety is their top priority.


From the moment you step on board a Viking Longship until you disembark, you will experience an unforgettable journey that will leave you wanting more.


Each ship has a sun deck which includes lots of seating and sun loungers, a walking track, lawn bowling and putting greens. This is also where you will find the herb garden! The sun deck is the best place to be when passing through locks and under bridges.


The upper deck has the library stocked with books and computers, the bar + lounge, self-serve tea and coffee stations and the stunning Aquavit Terrace. This is also where you will find the Explorer Suites, Veranda Suites and some Veranda and French Balcony staterooms.


The Middle deck has the main reception and holds the beautiful main staircase. You will also find a small shop and the main dining hall. The rooms on this floor are all Veranda or French Balconies.


The lower deck is where you will find the standard staterooms.


If you would like to take a 3D tour of a Viking Longship, click here.


#5 Rooms on a Viking Longship

THE SUITES:

The first-ever true two-room suites on Europe’s river ships. THE ULTIMATE IN COMFORT. While other cruise lines call one large room a “suite,” Viking Longships offer river cruising’s first-ever true suites, each with TWO FULL-SIZE ROOMS. These outstanding spaces are among the largest two-room suites on Europe’s rivers and provide commanding views, making our innovative Viking Longships the most desirable way to see Europe’s great waterways.


Explorer Suite (ES)

Viking's Explorer Suite Layout
Viking's Explorer Suite Layout
  • Stateroom size: 445 sq ft (includes private veranda)

  • River-view suite with private wraparound balcony offering 270-degree views off a spacious, separate sitting room, and French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door) in sleeping quarters

  • 12 PM Embarkation

  • 12 PM priority stateroom access

  • Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows

  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

  • Flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring a selection of live TV channels, complimentary Movies On Demand and in-house programming

  • Additional flat-screen TV in sitting area

  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports

  • Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

  • Premium Freyja® toiletries

  • Plush robes & slippers

  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator

  • Individual climate control

  • Bottled water replenished daily

  • Welcome champagne; mini-bar with wine, beer & soft drinks (replenished daily); daily fruit plate

  • Binoculars

  • Personal coffee machine with premium coffee & tea selections

  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping

  • Complimentary in-room breakfast service

  • Complimentary laundry & shoe shine services

  • Silver Spirits beverage package included

  • Private arrival/departure transfer in destination

  • Under-bed suitcase storage space

  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers

  • Complimentary Viking Air Plus (US & CA only)

Veranda Suites (AA)

Viking's Veranda Suite
Viking's Veranda Suite
  • Stateroom size: 275 sq ft (includes private veranda)

  • River-view suite with full-size veranda off a spacious, separate sitting room, and French Balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door) in sleeping quarters

  • 12 PM Embarkation

  • 12 PM priority stateroom access

  • Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows

  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

  • Flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring a selection of live TV channels, complimentary Movies On Demand and in-house programming

  • Additional flat-screen TV in sitting area

  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports

  • Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

  • Premium Freyja® toiletries

  • Plush robes & slippers

  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator

  • Individual climate control

  • Bottled water replenished daily

  • Welcome champagne; mini-bar with wine, beer & soft drinks (replenished daily); daily fruit plate

  • Binoculars

  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping

  • Complimentary laundry & shoe shine services

  • Under-bed suitcase storage space

  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers

  • Complimentary Viking Air Plus (US & CA only)


THE STATEROOMS

Each of Viking's spacious staterooms offers deluxe comfort during the river voyage. Whichever stateroom guests choose, the Viking Explorer Bed topped with luxury linens provides the perfect place to turn in after a full day of exploring great towns and cities.


Veranda Stateroom (A, B)

Viking's Veranda Stateroom
Viking's Veranda Stateroom
  • Stateroom size: 205 sq ft (includes private veranda)

  • River-view stateroom with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to full-size veranda

  • 12 PM Embarkation

  • 3 PM stateroom access

  • Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows

  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

  • Flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring a selection of live TV channels, complimentary Movies On Demand and in-house programming

  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports

  • Private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

  • Premium Freyja® toiletries

  • Plush robes & slippers (upon request)

  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator

  • Individual climate control

  • Bottled water replenished daily

  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping

  • Under-bed suitcase storage space

  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers

French Balcony Stateroom (C, D)

Viking's French Balcony Stateroom
Viking's French Balcony Stateroom
  • Stateroom size: 135 sq ft

  • River-view stateroom with French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door)

  • 12 PM Embarkation

  • 3 PM stateroom access

  • Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows

  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

  • Flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring a selection of live TV channels, complimentary Movies On Demand and in-house programming

  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports

  • Private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

  • Premium Freyja® toiletries

  • Plush robes & slippers (upon request)

  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator

  • Individual climate control

  • Bottled water replenished daily

  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping

  • Under-bed suitcase storage space

  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers

Standard Stateroom (E, F)

Viking's Standard Stateroom
Viking's Standard Stateroom
  • Stateroom size: 150 sq ft

  • River-view stateroom with half-height picture window

  • 12 PM Embarkation

  • 3 PM stateroom access

  • Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows

  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)

  • Flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring a selection of live TV channels, complimentary Movies On Demand and in-house programming

  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports

  • Private bathroom with accessible shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

  • Premium Freyja® toiletries

  • Plush robes & slippers (upon request)

  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator

  • Individual climate control

  • Bottled water replenished daily

  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping

  • Under-bed suitcase storage space

  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers

Is It Worth Getting a Baloncy on a River Cruise?

This is a question I get asked all the time. Is a balcony worth the extra cost? The answer is different for every traveller. Before you make your decision, it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of having a balcony room on your cruise.

Pros of booking a balcony on your river cruise:

One of the biggest advantages of having a balcony room is that you'll have guaranteed access to beautiful views throughout your trip. On a river cruise, you'll be able to enjoy changing scenery day after day. Having a private balcony gives you an even better chance to take in all the sights and sounds along your journey. Even while docked, you can relax and soak up the beauty without having to leave your cabin.


Cons of booking a balcony on your river cruise:

One of the biggest cons of booking a balcony room is that there just won't be many options on many river cruise ships. This limited selection can lead to pricey rooms. Depending on the ship, you may have to pay a higher price for balcony rooms in comparison to other (but comfortable) standard accommodations.


I have a complete article with more pros and cons: Is a Balcony Room Worth It For Your River Cruise Vacation?


#6 Viking River Cruise Common Spaces

The Lounge and Bar

When you embark on a Viking River Cruise, you can look forward to a luxurious experience in their signature lounge and bar. Each of their Longships features a spacious lounge and bar area, perfect for relaxing after a day of sightseeing. The lounge has comfortable seating and the bar offers an extensive selection of beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails. There's even a special selection of drinks that are exclusive to Viking River Cruises. The bar also serves snacks and appetizers, allowing you to enjoy a light bite while you relax and mingle with other passengers. The lounge is the perfect place to come together with friends or family, or just to sit back and take in the views from the large windows. Whether you're looking for a quiet spot for conversation or an energizing atmosphere for socializing, the lounge and bar provide something for everyone. In the evening, the resident piano player fills the lounge with upbeat music. With its warm atmosphere and array of choices, the lounge and bar are always popular spots during a Viking River Cruise!


The Sun Deck

Sailing on a Viking River Cruise is an unbeatable experience, and one of the best parts of the journey is the sun deck. Found on every Viking longship, the sun deck offers spectacular views as you sail down the river. It’s also the perfect place to relax and unwind while taking in the scenery. The expansive deck has comfortable seating, and plenty of shade if you’d like to escape the sun. The sun deck is also a great spot to capture photos of your journey, with plenty of open space to move around. With its endless possibilities, the sun deck on a Viking River Cruise is sure to be one of your favourite spots.


The Aquavit Terrace

Experience the best of the outdoors and indoors with the Aquavit Terrace on Viking River Cruises. Located on the upper deck of Viking's longships, the Aquavit Terrace is the perfect spot to take in the sights of your river cruise journey. Enjoy an al fresco dining experience with panoramic views of the passing scenery while you enjoy a meal prepared by the onboard chef. Relax in a comfortable lounge chair or take in some sun on the terrace. The Aquavit Terrace also features a heated, covered area for those cooler days or for when you want to stay out of the elements. Enjoy a variety of unique and delicious cocktails or a glass of wine from the onboard bar. With its stunning views, comfortable seating, and delicious drinks and cuisine, the Aquavit Terrace is an experience you won't forget. Plan your next Viking River Cruise today and let the Aquavit Terrace make your journey unforgettable.


The Dining Room

The dining room on a Viking River Cruise is truly something special. Every meal is an unforgettable experience, served by friendly staff in an elegant setting. As you step aboard one of the signatures Viking longships, you will find a spacious dining room with plenty of space for all passengers to enjoy their meals. The décor is inspired by the Scandinavian heritage of the Viking culture and features beautiful wood panelling and furniture. You can also enjoy stunning views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide a breathtaking backdrop for your meal. Menus feature fresh, seasonal ingredients from local producers and suppliers, as well as creative dishes inspired by the riverside destinations you will visit during your cruise. Every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at times that fit your schedule, as well as complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the day. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner for two or a lively atmosphere with friends, the dining room on a Viking River Cruise offers something for everyone.


The Library

On a Viking River Cruise, the library is an ideal spot to relax, read a book, and learn about the destinations you will visit. Each Viking Longship is equipped with a library stocked with a variety of books, board games, and magazines. The library is also equipped with a wide selection of maps and destination-related literature to help you get the most out of your journey. There are also writing materials available to keep track of your adventures. Whether you are looking for something to read in the comfort of your stateroom or an area to gather and socialize with other guests, the library on a Viking River Cruise is sure to provide something for everyone. Enjoy the convenience and variety of this unique amenity as you explore some of Europe's most beautiful rivers.


Serve Yourself Coffee Stations

On a Viking River Cruise, you can enjoy delicious coffee and espresso any time of the day. Viking ships feature convenient serve-yourself coffee stations located throughout the ship. Enjoy your favourite cup of coffee or espresso while soaking in the sights of the passing scenery. Viking's coffee stations are stocked with complimentary freshly ground beans, as well as an array of teas and hot chocolates. For those who like a little something extra in their coffee, they also offer creamers, sugar and other condiments. Viking Longships are equipped with state-of-the-art machines that allow you to make your own cappuccino, latte and more.

# 7 The Onboard Experience with Viking River Cruises


Embarkation Day

Boarding the Viking Longship is the start of an exciting journey. Embarkation day is a special time as you board the ship and get to explore your stateroom. Depending on the cruise itinerary, embarkation usually begins in the afternoon, but you will be welcomed onboard if you arrive earlier. You will be greeted by a Viking crew member, checked in and then directed to your stateroom if it is available. This is a great time to settle in and explore your stateroom and the public areas of the ship. A light lunch will be available in the Aquavit Terrace and in some cases, Viking will have a shuttle service available so you can head off and explore local towns.


Make sure you attend the welcome session, typically held before the first dinner service. There you will go over all the important information to make sure you get the most out of your river cruise. Once you have settled in and enjoyed dinner, you will begin your adventure with Viking River Cruises!


Disembarkation Day

Prior to the last day onboard you will be asked to join a final chat in the lounge where information about disembarking the ship will be shared.


In your room, you will receive your final invoice and your debarkation instructions. If you are on an early morning flight and require a transfer early in the morning (say, 3 am) you will be asked to place your checked luggage outside of your stateroom in the evening. If your departure time is later or you are heading on a post-cruise extension you will be asked to leave your stateroom typically by 8 am.


On the last day, a full breakfast is served and guests are able to enjoy the ship for the rest of the morning and even early afternoon if they wish.


What to Wear

If you're planning a Viking River Cruise in Europe, you'll want to know what type of attire is typical onboard. Generally, the dress code is casual during the day and slightly more formal in the evening. During the day, comfortable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, and casual dresses are appropriate. Many people also bring a light jacket or sweater for cool weather. For evenings, slacks and a collared shirt for men and a dress or skirt for women are recommended. Jeans are also acceptable but should be paired with something dressier. Shoes should be comfortable but still stylish - closed-toe shoes like sandals or loafers are suitable. Of course, you will want to bring some warm clothing and rain gear as the weather is unpredictable. Most importantly, make sure to bring something you feel comfortable in!


I have a complete article about what to wear onboard a Viking ship: What to Pack for a European River Cruise: The Ultimate Checklist


Meals on a Viking River Cruise

With Viking River Cruise you have access to a variety of meal options throughout the day. Breakfast is served from 7:00 am-9:30 am and typically includes items such as croissants, eggs, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Lunch is available from 12:00 pm-2:00 pm featuring dishes such as salads, sandwiches, and hot entrees like soup or stew. Dinner is served between 7:00 pm-9:00 pm with a variety of appetizers and main courses like fish, steak, or pasta. Additionally, coffee, tea, and snacks are available between meals. With all these options you're sure to find something that satisfies your cravings while on board your Viking River Cruise!


Menu Options

Onboard you will find an ever-changing menu which reflects the cuisine of the destination. Ingredients are fresh and often sourced locally.


Always Available

For those with a pickier pallet, rest assured there are some staples that you will find on the lunch and dinner menu every day. While I was on my last sailing the options were:


Regional Specialties

If you are able to, I would recommend ordering from the regional tasting menu side. Here the chef has curated a meal which will showcase local specialties and highlight the unique cuisine of each destination.


Drinks on a Viking Cruise

Onboard, you can expect to enjoy a wide range of beverages. Included with every cruise are unlimited coffee, tea, water soft drinks and juice. Beer and house wine are complimentary during lunch and dinner and don't worry - there is no limit on how many refills you can have.


Viking's Silver Spirit Package

The Silver Spirits package includes additional brands of wine as well as a selection of cocktails and spirits. The bar menu includes a variety of classic cocktails such as martinis, old-fashioned, and margaritas. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy more specialty cocktails such as the Viking Mule and the Viking Punch. For those who prefer wine, there are several options from which to choose, including reds and whites from various regions in Europe. To top it off, you can also enjoy a variety of non-alcoholic drinks such as soda, bottled water, juices and hot drinks like coffee and tea. The Silver Spirits package is included for anyone travelling in the Explorer Suite.


Pricing for Viking's Silver Spirit Package


Length of sailing (price is USD/guest) *Please note: Both guests in a stateroom must purchase the package in order for it to be valid. Prices are effective as of October 2017.

  • 5 nights $110

  • 6 nights $130

  • 7 nights $150

  • 9 nights $199

  • 10 nights $220

  • 12 nights $260

  • 14 nights $299

  • 21 nights $449

On board Viking's river ships, you may have complimentary assorted hot teas and coffees anytime, as well as iced teas, house wines, beers and soft drinks with onboard lunches and dinners. They also offer a Silver Spirits beverage package, which covers unlimited wines, sparkling wines, beers, cocktails, spirits, specialty coffees, juices and mineral water throughout the day.


Preparing for your River Cruise

Prebooking Excursions

Shore excursions are typically ready 180 days prior to the sailing date. When you go to select your excursions you will see included options (one per port at minimum) and excursions which carry an additional charge.


What is the cancellation policy for my booked shore excursions?

If you have booked shore excursions for your river cruise, it's important to know the cancellation policy. The tour operator requires advance notice of guest counts to ensure quality guides and transportation. Tours operate rain or shine and can be added or cancelled up to seven days prior to departure through My Viking Journey. If you need to cancel within three days of the itinerary start date, you can call the Contact Center for assistance and a full refund. However, no refunds will be given once within three days of the advertised start date of the itinerary. Refunds for cancelled items will be issued back to the payment method used for the purchase but may take up to 14 business days to process.


Frequently Asked Questions About Viking River Cruises


How Much Does It Cost to Take a Trip on a Viking River Cruises Cruise?

Are you wondering how much a Viking River Cruise will cost you? Taking a European river cruise can be an incredible experience, but you want to be sure that the cost is within your budget. Fortunately, Viking River Cruises offers a range of packages and prices to suit all types of travellers. You can expect to pay anywhere from $3,200CND to $18,000CND depending on the length of your trip and the number of amenities included. This cost includes meals and activities, as well as port taxes, gratuities, and transfers. If you're looking for more luxurious options, you can expect to pay more. Viking River Cruises also offer add-ons such as pre-and post-cruise tours, premium staterooms, shore excursions, and travel insurance. These additional services may add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your total cost. Overall, a Viking River Cruise is an affordable way to explore Europe with its beautiful river views, onboard comfort and service, and exciting ports of call.


You may find these two articles helpful:


Who Should Consider Taking a Trip on a Viking River Cruises Cruise?

If you're a baby boomer looking for an unforgettable experience, a Viking River Cruise is a perfect choice. With an average age of 65, Viking River Cruises caters to a mature and sophisticated crowd. But before you book, there are a few things you should know. Viking River Cruises is known as the "Thinking Person's Cruise" for a reason. It's designed for travellers who want to explore the world in an immersive way with the highest standards of comfort and service. The educational opportunities, cultural connections, and enriching experiences make it one of the top river cruise lines in the world. With itineraries that span from Amsterdam to Budapest, you can explore the most fascinating regions of Europe in style and comfort. So if you're looking for an adventure and to make some lasting memories, a Viking River Cruise should be your top choice.


What is parallel parked ships?

River cruises have become increasingly popular in recent years, leading to a high volume of traffic in popular cities along the way. Passau, a city with a population of over 50,000, often experiences this influx of river cruise ships, as do more well-known destinations like Vienna and Budapest. When this happens, your vessel may have to dock next to another cruise ship, which could mean being the first or subsequent arrival at disembarkation ports. Additionally, accessing shorelines or visiting fellow passengers on their respective boats may require walking through other vessels' common areas.


Can Children Travel with Viking?

All guests must be eighteen years or older on the day they are set to depart on their cruise; Viking River Cruises do not provide entertainment, amenities or services for anyone younger than that.


How can I learn more about the ship layout?

Yes, you can! And with the virtual tour, you can feel like you are right onboard the ship. Click here to take a virtual tour of a Viking longship.


You can also find detailed deck plans, stateroom layouts and images of all of Viking's cruise ships by clicking here and selecting the ship you would like to view.


Is there Internet access on board Vikings cruises? Are there computers?

Viking Cruises offers free Wi-Fi on all ships sailing through Europe, Egypt, and the Mississippi. However, due to the nature of data bandwidth and potential interruptions in satellite signals, guests may experience slower online connections than they are used to at home. To ensure fair usage for all guests, heavy-bandwidth applications, downloads, or software upgrades may be limited. It is recommended that guests limit large uploads/downloads and live streaming and download content prior to the cruise. On the Mekong ship, Internet access is limited and Wi-Fi is not available. Guests can use one of the public computers on board to access the Internet. Standard Wi-Fi and data roaming services are available on shore in most towns and cities visited. Viking Cruises strives to provide an enjoyable online experience and can assist with device settings once on board.

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Guest
Apr 23, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love the thorough content...it answered all my initial questions before calling Melissa. Great resource!

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Yaycations
Yaycations
May 01, 2023
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Thanks!

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