Viking Longship Baldur
The Viking Longship Baldur made its debut in 2013 – a busy year for Viking River Cruises as the line released 10 Longship-class vessels that year in total, including the Atla, Bragi, Forseti, Jarl, Magni, Rinda, Skadi, Tor and Var. As one of the 46-strong Longship-class, the Viking Longship Baldur continues Viking River Cruises’ mission to provide phenomenal river experiences to fortunate travellers, with a focus on ‘green’ travel thanks to the hybrid diesel-electric engines and solar panels onboard. The cleaner, more efficient and quieter travel is just one of many reasons why the line is so popular, with guests booking the Baldur for its stunning staterooms and public areas, mouth-watering cuisine, insightful culture curriculum and lifelong memories that can be made as it sails along some of Europe’s most iconic waterways, including the Rhine, Main, Danube and some of Amsterdam’s beautiful canals.
Passengers When travelling at maximum capacity, the Viking Longship Baldur can hold 190 guests, with no concerns over feeling overcrowded at any stage. The 50 attentive, friendly and professional crew members onboard will help to ensure every guest is tended to, and the Cruise Director is also available to ensure everyone’s time onboard is planned effectively. As an American line, most travellers are affluent, mature holidaymakers from the USA, but the contemporary and sleek design of the Longship-class vessels does often attract slightly younger clientele too. Other English-speaking nations also find the line appealing, with a high ratio of guests from the UK and elsewhere onboard, too.
Dining Guests can enjoy a full breakfast buffet and lunch buffet in the main dining room, which offers open-seating so that passengers can have the flexibility of choosing where to sit, with whom, and when. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow guests to appreciate the stunning views as well as the delectable cuisine on offer. Every evening there’s an a la carte dinner menu featuring authentic local fare and firm traditional favourites, as well as a full waiter service. Drinks with lunch and dinner are complimentary, with a range of local wines, beers, soft drinks and water on the house, and there is also a beverage upgrade package available. Hot beverages are available 24hours a day, via the self-serve tea and coffee station. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, the laidback vibes of the Aquavit Terrace are extremely inviting, with both indoor and outdoor seating areas available. Here, guests can enjoy early-riser breakfasts, as well as casual light bites, with the opportunity to dine al -resco when the weather permits. The dress code onboard is casual, with many guests opting for ‘dressy casual’ for dinner.
Entertainment The entertainment programme is low key, but enjoyable and engaging for all guests onboard if they wish to appreciate some music and local performances before they retire to their staterooms. The Observation Lounge features a full-bar service, as well as plenty of comfortable seating areas for guests to relax in. Depending on the port and itinerary, guests can be treated to a number of enthralling performances that complement the Viking Culture Curriculum, such as Hungarian folkloric performances and Austrian classical music revues.
Activities While onboard, guests have an array of facilities to ensure they can make themselves at home, including a well-stocked library, boutique to browse and shipwide Wi-Fi that is complimentary to use throughout the voyage. The Sun Deck also features some deck games, including giant chess and shuffleboard, which guests can enjoy during down time (or even try their hand at the Dutch shuffleboard equivalent – sjoelen!) The Viking Culture Curriculum ensures that all guests can enjoy a jam-packed itinerary, whether it’s joining a guided tour of a local town or city, or soaking up some of the iconic sights that aren’t to be missed. Individual audio headsets are provided for all guided tours. There’s also plenty of opportunity for independent exploration, particularly when the vessel is moored for the evening. There are ample activities planned onboard to coincide with the local culture too, including expert-led discussions on topics such as current affairs in Germany, Holland and the EU, cheese and jenever tasting in Holland, and live glassblowing demonstrations in Miltenberg.
Accommodation Onboard there are 95 staterooms and suites, which vary in size between 135 sq. ft. and 445 sq. ft. All accommodation types provide river views, with the majority boasting either a French balcony or a veranda (apart from the Main Deck standard staterooms, which feature half-height picture windows). Amenities in every category of stateroom include hotel-style queen-size bed (with optional twin bed configuration), private bathroom with shower and premium bath products, bathrobes and slippers on request, individual climate control, in-room safe, fridge, hairdryer, telephone, flatscreen TV with infotainment system and complimentary bottled water that is replenished daily. Higher end accommodation – Explorer and Veranda Suites – also feature more spacious bathrooms with heated mirror and floor, separate seating and sleeping areas, two TVs instead of one, and in the case of the Explorer Suites, wraparound verandas that provide stunning 270-degree views of the river.
Spa/Wellbeing The Sun Deck features plenty of sunloungers, as well as a shaded sitting area in which to relax and unwind. There is also a putting green and a walking track for keeping fit and active.
Itineraries The Viking Longship Baldur currently sails two itineraries, including the 15-day ‘Grand European Tour’ which sails from Amsterdam to Budapest and the 10-day ‘Tulips and Windmills’ itinerary, which encompasses areas of Holland and Belgium. Sail along the Rhine, Main and Danube as part of the Grand European Tour, exploring some of Europe’s fine cities including Vienna, Amsterdam, Nuremburg and Cologne. With 13 guided tours to join and 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to appreciate – including the breath-taking Wachau Valley in Austria – this voyage is ideal for anyone wishing to absorb as much as possible in such little time. From Nuremburg’s Palace of Justice – famous for being host to the Nuremburg Trials – to sampling sachertorte in Vienna, there’s something for all on this diverse itinerary. The Tulips and Windmills voyage includes 8 guided tours and 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as sightseeing tours of Belgian cities like Antwerp and Bruges. Take a tour of the windmill network in Kinderdijk, or nosey around the Dutch Royal Family’s summer home – the Paleis Het Loo. Guests will also be able to visit Rotterdam and Ghent, before spending some time enjoying the cosmopolitan cultural hotspot of Amsterdam. Pre- and post- extensions are available on both itineraries, in Amsterdam and Prague and, for the latter, Amsterdam and The Hague.