Viking Longship Alruna
As a brand new addition to Viking River Cruises’ Longship-class of vessels, the Alruna will be debuting onto the Rhine River in 2016, and will continue the line’s award-winning fleet. Its combination of contemporary design features, innovative ‘green’ technologies including diesel-electric hybrid engines and solar panels, comfortable staterooms and friendly onboard vibes all contribute to a clean, quiet, environmentally-friendly and unforgettable river cruise.
Passengers Most discerning travellers will hail from English-speaking nations, particularly the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia. The majority of guests will be well-travelled and mature, with a love of travel and appreciating all of the opportunities that a river cruise can provide. The Alruna has a maximum capacity of 190 guests, all of whom can benefit from the excellent level of hospitality onboard. The Programme Director is on-hand throughout the voyage to ensure every guest’s free time is planned accordingly, and the Viking Daily newsletter helps to inform guests of what activities and excursions are available ahead of time.
Dining The main restaurant onboard, which boasts amazing panoramic windows providing phenomenal views of the river, operates an open-seating arrangement and a casual dress code. Here, guests can enjoy breakfast and lunch services in an extensive buffet format, serving an array of dishes from cereals, pastries and made-to-order eggs for breakfast to soups, salads and entrees for lunch. Dinner is a waiter-served, five-course gourmet meal, with a menu that includes both authentic local dishes and simple, traditional favourites that will appeal to all. Drinks, including local wines, beers and soft drinks, are complimentary with both lunch and dinner, and hot beverages are available throughout the cruise via the self-serve machine. If guests wish, they can upgrade to a premium drinks package, onboard or in advance, and that includes premium spirits and fine wines. If you’re looking for an early riser breakfast, or something a little lighter for lunch or dinner, the amazing Aquavit Terrace onboard offers al-fresco dining opportunities as well as indoor viewing and dining areas.
Entertainment The entertainment programme onboard includes an array of carefully selected music revues and performances that are in-keeping with the itinerary. However, as with most other river cruises, it tends to be low-key and relaxed, with many guests retiring to their staterooms at a reasonable hour in preparation for the following day’s activities. In some ports, local acts are invited onboard for regional-specific performances but, nevertheless, the Observation Lounge is a wonderful area of the ship to relax and enjoy a drink with friends.
Activities The Viking Culture Curriculum aims to provide guests with an incredible choice of excursions and activities which complement the itinerary and the destinations perfectly. Guests can enjoy lectures and presentations onboard, with topics including Germany’s current affairs and the origins of Rhine River cruising. They could also enjoy live glassblowing demonstrations and culinary classes where they can learn how to make Alsatian Flammkuchen (a tarte flambee similar to a pizza). Shore excursions and sightseeing opportunities including the windmills at Kinderdijk, Heidelberg Castle and a trip to a local workshop to see how cuckoo clocks are made in Breisach can also be enjoyed on a typical itinerary. Guided tours include the use of audio headsets, to ensure all guests can hear the informative walks perfectly. Passengers can also make use of the onboard library corner, browse the boutique and stay in touch with loved ones and surf the net using the complimentary Wi-Fi.
Accommodation There’s a choice of 95 staterooms onboard, ranging from 150 sq. ft. standard staterooms situated on the Main Deck, to 445sq. ft. deluxe Explorer Suites on the upper deck. Every stateroom features river views, with most offering French balconies or verandas (or, in the case of suites – both!). Standard staterooms are the only rooms onboard without these features, and have half-height picture windows instead. Amenities that come as standard include hotel-style beds which can be configured to be twin or double, an en-suite bathroom with shower and premium bath products, ample storage space, in-room safe, climate control, flatscreen TV with English channels and infotainment system, fridge, complimentary bottled water, hairdryer and bathrobes & slippers on request. In addition, suites have more spacious seating areas and Explore suites have the luxury of a wraparound veranda that means guests can enjoy sensational 270degree views of the beautiful landscapes.
Spa/Wellbeing The Sun Deck on the Alruna features comfortable and relaxing sunloungers, as well as a shaded seating area – perfect if you just wish to kick back and unwind after a morning’s exploration. Golf fans will appreciate the putting green, also situated on the Sun Deck.
Itineraries The Alruna is expected to focus its attention on the Rhine River, with voyages that normally last eight days. Guests can expect to depart from Amsterdam and end their journey in Basel, with guided tours and opportunities in various ports of call along the way, including Strasbourg, Cologne, Koblenz, Heidelberg and Breisach. Pre and post extensions in Amsterdam and Lucerne are also available on the Rhine Cruise if you wish to prolong your trip.