Transcript: Hi, I’m Ralph Grizzle, editor of River Cruise Advisor. I recently sailed from Basel to Amsterdam on Viking River Cruises. Eight days on Viking Hlin allowed me time to fully explore – and appreciate – Viking’s “affordable brand of luxury.”
Named for Norse gods and goddesses, Viking River Cruises’ Longships are among the most beautiful ships on the European rivers. Viking’s Longships evoke the natural beauty of the Nordics. In the airy lobby, you’ll see plenty of natural woods and stones, with a gorgeous staircase complemented by handrailings bound in leather and flanked by foresty flowers and moss-covered rocks.
The Longships embody the beauty of Scandinavia throughout, including in the main restaurant where windows frame the gorgeous landscapes of the rivers and where linen covered tables serve as blank canvasses for Viking’s chefs to present their beautiful culinary creations.
While you may know Aquavit as the flavored Scandinavian spirit, on Viking’s Longships, the Aquavit Terrace is the perfect place to relax. No other river cruiser can boast such a space. The Aquavit Terrace also serves as a second restaurant for light meals as well as for special treats during the day.
In the main lounge, service is gracious and inviting while one deck up, bartenders have the luxury of a sundeck garden to harvest herbs for their creative concoctions. A clip of mint, a sprig of basil and a little magic with a rigorous shake conspires to conjure up the perfect cocktails. The optional Silver Spirits Beverage Package includes your cocktails as well as spirits, wine and beer.
Viking is among the only river cruise companies to offer two-room suites, featuring a bedroom with a balcony that opens up on to the rivers and a living room with its own balcony. Bathrooms in all staterooms feature heated floors, representative of the style of affordable luxury river cruising that Viking provides.
Rekindle your romance, ham it up with new-found friends or enjoy the discovery of new places that are just a gangway’s distance away. Cruise past gorgeous landscapes, explore Europe’s charming villages with friends or take a solo hike through vineyards that leave you breathless both because of their beauty and the required effort.
I very much enjoyed the pleasure of shared experiences while our captain sailed our good ship Viking Hlin toward the next sunset and our next adventures.
I’m Ralph Grizzle. Thanks for watching.
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Karen Boblett says
Ralph, thanks for the article on Viking River Cruises. I just booked their Bordeaux cruise for 2021. They had a lot of great discounts but in order to get these on 2020 or 2021 you had to book by the end of September 2019. I have been waiting for a long time for Viking to lower their fares in comparison with the other lines we have gone on -signed up for their emails and that is how I found this cruise with much lowered prices. After comparing them with a few other river boat companies, I found that Viking had the best tours, wine tastings and even dinner at a winery, plus the boat was gorgeous with more than one dinner option in one dining room all at the same time. We are looking forward to lunches and maybe a dinner on their Terrace which is lovely. I did find one odd thing about the trip and that was after I booked and paid our $1500 deposit for two people, they required payment in full on Dec 31, 2019 when the boat doesn’t leave until Oct 2, 2021. I thought this was a little strange as we have never had to do this on more than 25 trips we have booked and taken on river boats as well as ocean trips. I will hope that this won’t be a Thomas Cook affair as we are still going to go with them and hope for the best.
Ralph Grizzle says
Thanks Karen. I do like Viking too and agree with you. Yes, Viking is anomaly in requiring full payment way in advance. They seem to want skin in the game. I couldn’t imagine them going the way of Thomas Cook, but then a lot of things have happened in my life that I never could have imagined!