The signature Viking Longship design, introduced in 2012, transformed the face of European river cruising, and Viking River Cruises has expanded the fleet at a rapid pace ever since. Unlike the competition, these modern 190-passenger riverboats maximize the space available on Europe's waterways with a unique blunt bow for four full-length decks, plus a quiet propulsion system that allows for two luxury suites to be positioned at the stern, delivering 270-degree views.
Viking Longships sail more than a dozen itineraries ranging from seven to 23 days on Europe's major rivers, from the Danube to the Dordogne. While there's still not much in the way of onboard entertainment, plentiful floor-to-ceiling windows (even in the atrium-like lobby) place the focus squarely on the destination — as does regionally inspired cuisine — and Viking's friendly service and local guides are top notch.
What We Love
Stateroom Options: A cleverly offset central corridor positions larger-than-average 205-square-foot veranda staterooms on one side of the vessel and more compact 135-square-foot French balcony staterooms and double-wide 275-square-foot veranda suites on the other. Explorer suites, located aft on the upper deck, are a spacious 445 square feet, with a private wraparound balcony. All staterooms have heated floors in the bathroom — a lovely perk during cool weather itineraries.
All-Inclusive Features: Soft drinks and house beers and wines at lunch and dinner — plus Wi-Fi — are included in the cruise fare, and there is at least one complimentary shore excursion in every port.
Best Known For
Scandinavian Design: Common to all Viking Longships is a modern Scandinavian design with open, airy spaces and light woods and textiles. Down duvets, high-thread-count linens, faux-suede headboards, and streamlined furnishings create a sense of serenity.
Aquavit Terrace: The indoor-outdoor glass-paneled deck at the front of the ship can be left open for casual alfresco lounging and dining, or closed if the weather isn't cooperating, always emphasizing the surrounding scenery.
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Who It's Best For
Mature Couples: These ships are most frequented by American, Canadian, and British couples 50 and older who seek a good value in river cruising.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Small Size: With only 95 cabins, Viking Longships' onboard experience is pleasantly intimate, but that also means there are fewer features — no pool, fitness center (other than a walking track), casino, or boutique.
Limited Tables for Two: Viking encourages interaction among its guests, so there are only a few tables for two in the open-seating dining room. Arrive early if you prefer a romantic dinner without tablemates.
Jason Leppert is a San Diego-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel Channel and Porthole.
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Longship Class at a Glance
- Line: Viking River Cruises
- Class: Longship Class
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