Continuing our Viking river cruise adventure. This post explores the accommodation on board the Viking Longships, together with the exceptional service.
Sleep like a Viking
When it comes to accommodation, you are spoilt for choice on board the longships.
Coming from ocean cruising, I found that rooms are typically smaller than what I’ve experienced before. However, they are just as comfortable and their design directly echo’s their ocean cousins.
There are five types of stateroom on board. There are 25 Standard river-view Staterooms, 22 French Balcony Staterooms and 39 Veranda Staterooms. On top of this there are 7 Veranda Suites and two Explorer Suites.
A typical room has plush beds and bedding, a river view and a well-appointed bathroom with heated bathroom floors and premium bath products. There’s also a Telephone, refrigerator, safe, hair dryer, a large interactive TV & bottled water replenished daily. Our room also had plenty of power outlets, including USB sockets (a big bug bear of mine on some ships). Despite the rooms being typically smaller than on ocean, there’s plenty of storage everywhere you look – I was still finding new storage spaces on the day I left the ship!
Rooms embody the scandi-feel of the line and exude hygge. They have a warm and cosy feel, brought to life through the use of light woods and tactile and textured fabrics. You feel like you’re at home.
Starting with the standard stateroom on board, it features all of the amenities above with a half-height windows that looks out over the river. This is what I stayed in and I found it perfect for a week on board. If you tend to want to spend more time in your room, I would recommend upgrading to one of the other categories, just to benefit from that little extra space and larger window.
Next-up, we have the French Balcony Stateroom. Very similar to the Standard, it replaces the window with a full-height French balcony. Again, moving-up to the Veranda Staterooms, these are typically larger with a small seating area inside, as well as a fully balcony outside with further seating.
Looking at suites on board, you have a choice of two types. Firstly, the Veranda Suite. Think of it as a double width room, with one half a large sitting area and vanity and the other half the bedroom and bathroom. They also feature both a French Balcony in the bedroom and a full balcony in the living area. It’s a really lovely space to spend time in.
At the aft of the ship you will find the two explorer suites on board. These opulent spaces overlook the wake of the ship. They feature a large river-view bathroom, a private bedroom with French Veranda and large living area. There is also a private wraparound Veranda off of the living area offering 270-degree views.
When booking a suite on board, as with other lines, there are a number of benefits including priority(/early) check-in, complimentary beverage packages (Explorer only), complimentary private transfers and air packages, welcome champagne, complimentary laundry, mini-bar with wine, beer and soft drinks (replenished daily) and a coffee machine.
For me, my personal choice would be the French Veranda. With oodles of light being let through the large doors which can open, you feel a true connection with the water as you cruise.
The Viking Service
The one thing that struck me on my river cruise is the level of service, as well as the attention to detail.
From the moment you step on board all the staff look to provide a level of service you don’t tend to experience all that often on ocean. This is partly down to the size of the ships and the communal feel on board.
While I knew the ships would of course be smaller, I had not appreciated the intimacy of the whole experience. There is a true family feel, with passengers coming together over dinner and drinks every night to share their experiences. It is a very relaxed and communal affair.
A big part of this was of course the staff on board. They genuinely want to get to know you and your preferences, alongside providing some friendly banter along the way, to really give you the best holiday experience. Whether that be the Programme Director, Terry taking time to talk to each and every guest throughout the day, or the amazing and talented bar tenders on board learning our drink preferences so they could create bespoke drinks for us.
Coming away from my first experience, I can see why so many people love and embrace river cruising.
This blog series explores the overall Viking River experience, from the design of the Longships, to food and entertainment. It will also look at the destinations we visited and the beautiful Danube River. To head back to the beginning of this journey, click below.