Viking River Cruises built its first two Douro-class ships — Viking Hemming and Viking Torgil — in 2014 to sail Portugal’s Douro River, the epicenter of port wine production. Smaller versions of Viking’s famous Longship vessels, this duo manages to incorporate all the features that have made the Longships so popular with guests, but in a scaled-down package. And they will be joined by sister ship Viking Osfrid in March 2016. Each ship accommodates just 106 guests in staterooms that range up to 185 square feet and suites offering 302 square feet. Unchanged: Viking's emphasis on guided group tours, in this case mainly to the region's vineyards.
What We Love
There's a Pool: Unlike the Viking Longships, Douro-class vessels feature a decent-sized swimming pool on the upper Sun Deck — and taking a dip is a great way to beat the summer heat in Portugal.
Upgraded Décor: Viking is known for its clean Scandinavian décor, but Viking Hemming, Viking Torgil, and Viking Osfrid kick things up a notch with Portuguese textiles and floor-to-ceiling images of the Douro Valley.
Best Known For
The Aquavit Terrace: Viking’s most popular indoor-outdoor Longship innovation found its way on board Douro-class vessels, offering guests the chance to dine al fresco while overlooking the bow of the ship.
Regionally Themed Menus: Viking’s Douro-class itineraries are matched with onboard menus featuring a mix of Portuguese spirits, wines, beers, and local ingredients for an immersive experience — and some of the simpler Portuguese specialties are among the most satisfying.
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Who It's Best For
Anyone Seeking Longship-Style Cruising on the Douro: Viking veterans, especially wine lovers, will appreciate the amenities translated to accommodate operations on Portugal's best-known river.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There Are No Explorer Suites: Douro-class vessels lack the expansive, panoramic Explorer Suites that grace the sterns of Europe-based Viking Longships.
Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.
List of Ships
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Douro Class at a Glance
- Line: Viking River Cruises
- Class: Douro Class
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