Viking River Cruises – Introduction
Viking River Cruises is a privately owned company. They started in 1997 with cruises in Russia. In 2000 they purchased Europe’s KD River Cruises. Then in 2012 they began an extensive ship building program, with the introduction of their Longships. From 2012 – 2016 they built 45 European river cruise ships. They converted their entire European fleet to longships during this period and expanded to dominate 75% of the European cruise market. Viking has become so popular that despite their large volume of ships, they regularly sell out cruises a year in advance.
Viking River Cruises – European Longships
Viking’s European Longships now cover their entire fleet on the Rhine, Danube, Main, Moselle and Rhône Rivers. The Longship details are:
- Room for 189 passengers. Due to constraints of lock sizes, European river cruise ships can’t get any bigger in size.
- Two Explorer Suites with 445 sq ft and separate livingr room, bedroom and wraparound veranda with 270 degree views. These are the largest suites in river cruising.
- 7 two – room Veranda Suites.
- 39 Veranda Staterooms that are 205 sq ft. These have been created by moving the hallway off center. The units on the non-veranda side are 135 sq ft and have French balconies.
- All-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace with retractable floor-to-ceiling windows and views to both sides of the river.
- Heated bathroom floors and mirrors.
- Solar panels and low vibration hybrid engines.
Viking River Cruises – Douro and Elbe Rivers
Viking operates 3 ships on the Douro in Portugal and 4 ships on the Elbe in Germany. These are not Longships due to the smaller size of these rivers, but Viking has made the newer ships here with a similar design.
Viking River Cruises – Other Continents
Unlike most river cruise companies, Viking maintains its own ships on other continents instead of affiliating with other companies. The only exception is their cruises in Egypt. Viking operates 4 ships in Russia. Their 3 ships in Asia operate in China, Myanmar and Vietnam / Cambodia. Viking also operates 1 ship in the Ukraine and 2 ships in Egypt.
Viking River Cruises – Guest Profile
- Age of 50+ with a median age of 61.
- Close to retirement.
- Usually dual income travelers.
- Often own the book “1,000 Places To See Before You Die”.
- Women traveling in groups without their partners.
- Experienced ocean cruises looking more intimate and educational experiences.
Viking River Cruises – Special Pricing?
Viking has conducted a campaign for many years where they offer special pricing that expires at the end of the month. Then they immediately renew the offer again for one additional month. This creates a continual sense of urgency to book their cruises, which is apparently successful or they wouldn’t keep doing it.
Viking River Cruises – Amenities Included
- All meals (no specialty pricing)
- Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner on board. Passengers can help themselves to tea, coffee and cappuccino at any time. Complimentary bottles of water are supplied in your stateroom each day.
- Shore excursions for every destination.
- Port charges.
- Free Wi-fi.
- Lectures and local entertainers brought on board at various ports of call.
- Hair dryers
Viking River Cruises – Amenities Not Included
- Tips & Gratuities.
- Laundry (available for a fee).
- Premium wines and beers, cocktails and sparkling wine. Premium beverage packages are available for purchase.
- Airport transfers. Transfers are included if airfare is booked with Viking.
Viking River Cruises – Amenities Not Available
- Room Service
- Fitness Center
- Children’s Programs
Viking River Cruises – Policies
Children – Children under 12 are discouraged by Viking River Cruises.
Smoking – All Viking ship interiors and staterooms are nonsmoking. Each ship has an outdoor smoking area.
Tipping – The cruise price does not include tips. Gratuities are not automatically deducted at the end of the cruise. Viking suggests daily rates for the Program Director and for the rest of the staff. You can tip onboard staff in cash or charge your tips to your credit card on the last day of the cruise (except in Egypt and Southeast Asia).
Viking Cancellation Policy
121 days or more | $100 per person
120-90 days | 15% of full fare
89-60 days | 35% of full fare
59-30 days | 50% of full fare
29-0 days | 100% of full fare