You’ve probably heard the argument before: Viking River Cruises’ Viking Longships must be cramped. They must have less space. They must be less comfortable. Why? Well, because they carry 190 guests, of course! That’s far more than Line X or Ship Y.
It’s a statement we hear a lot at River Cruise Advisor, but it’s one that we’ve never particularly found to be true. Except for prime events in the Main Lounge, the Longships don’t seem any more or less crowded than a similarly-sized ship carrying thirty to forty guests less.
So does the statement have any validity? Not really – and the reason has to do with the design of the Longships themselves.
It all starts with the bow: the Viking Longships have a distinctive, squared-off bow that provides an additional 54 square feet of dining space over the more traditional pointed bow design used on other cruise vessels. On other ships, this is mechanical space for the mooring lines; on Viking, guests can access this space, which is part of the outdoor Aquavit Terrace.
The Viking Longships also lack a Spa and Gym – which translates into more space for accommodations and larger, more elaborate public rooms like the spacious two-story reception area.
There’s also another important distinction with the Viking Longships: three full decks of passenger space as opposed to two-and-a-half on most other similarly-sized cruise vessels. Again, it’s all about the design: the ballast tanks for each Viking Longship are placed alongside the hull of the ship, rather than in the ship’s keel, or bottom.
If the technical gobbledegook isn’t your thing, here’s the lowdown: the Viking Longships don’t feel any more crowded simply because they have, on average, more available space to accommodate the increase in guests. Plus, with an increase in full suites, more guests are likely to spend their relaxation time in their suite or on their balcony as opposed to the main lounge.
Does this make the Viking Longships any better than their competitors? Not really – but it does level the playing field. They may hold another thirty to forty guests over similarly sized ships, but it’s an increase that the Viking Longships absorb well.
More information on Viking River Cruises can be found by viewing our company profile here on River Cruise Advisor.