Viking Longship Embla
Cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube since its inauguration into Viking River Cruises’ fleet in 2012, the Embla is one of the 46-strong fleet of Longship-class vessels that benefits from pioneering technology, contemporary design and green credentials – just three of the reasons why the line continues to win awards for its service to river cruising. With light and spacious public areas, cosy and inviting staterooms and exciting itineraries, the Viking Longship Embla, named after the first woman created according to Norse mythology, cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest, and further into Eastern Europe – perfect for river cruise fans who wish to explore more of this beautiful continent.
Passengers The majority of passengers who embark on a Viking Embla voyage are English-speaking, with a love of culture, history and immersing themselves in the various activities and experiences that are available both on and off the vessel. All Viking Longships hold up to 190 guests, who can make use of the onboard Programme Director and his/her knowledge and expertise, and also enjoy the high quality of service provided by the attentive crew throughout. The daily Viking newspaper also keeps guests informed of activities, excursions and ship news.
Dining The floor-to-ceiling windows in the main restaurant offer fantastic views of the scenery as you dine, offering inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner services. The casual dress code and open-seating ensures an informal air, but elegance and sophistication are still maintained thanks to the crisp linens, glimmering cutlery and polished china. Both breakfast and lunch are served in the form of an extensive buffet spread, ranging from cereals, cheese, meats, fruit and pastries for breakfast to salads, soups and entrees for lunch. Hot dishes are also available. Dinner is in the form of a five-course gourmet meal, sometimes themed to reflect the port the vessel is moored in. Menus include both regionally-inspired and traditional options to suit every palate. Alternatively, guests can make use of the al-fresco Aquavit Terrace, where indoor and outdoor seating areas are available. Here, guests can enjoy early riser breakfasts and lighter lunches and dinners. Hot drinks are available around the clock from the 24hour self-serve beverage station, and wines, beers, soft drinks and water are free-flowing with lunch and dinner. Alternatively, guests have the option to upgrade to a premium drinks package.
Entertainment Guests look forward to the welcome cocktail party and farewell dinner – both of which offer perfect opportunities for socialising with other travellers. Throughout the river cruise, there is also a carefully selected entertainment programme that takes place in the ambient and friendly Observation Lounge, with local musicians and acts often invited on the ship to perform regional music and folkloric performances.
Activities The Viking Culture Curriculum is one of Viking’s real highlights, with presentations, lectures, classes and demonstrations available to coincide with the itinerary booked. Example topics include current affairs in Germany, Holland, the EU and Serbia, Dracula and Transylvania, and Orthodox religion, taught by a Bulgarian priest. When onboard, guests can also browse the internet using the free Wi-Fi, grab a book from the library corner or peruse the onboard boutique for treats and souvenirs. Onshore, guests have plenty of guided tours and sightseeing opportunities available to them, with the use of individual audio headsets for all guided tours. Choose from various excursions available, from wandering the Viennese markets to making your own Rudesheimer coffee.
Accommodation There’s a total of 95 staterooms onboard, including two explorer suites, seven veranda suites, 39 veranda staterooms, 22 French balcony staterooms and 25 standard staterooms. Each offer an outside view, either via half-height picture windows (Main Deck standard staterooms), French balconies or verandas, and Scandinavian-style interiors which are beautifully-appointed. Regardless of stateroom category, typical amenities include hotel-style beds (with optional twin or double configuration), private bathroom with premium bath products, individual climate control, fridge, in-room safe, hairdryer, bottled water (restocked daily), flatscreen TV with infotainment system and entertainment package, and bathrobes and slippers on request. Explorer suites also boast a gorgeous wraparound veranda that offers 270-degree views of the river, as well as a French balcony in the bedroom. Veranda suites also have a veranda and a French balcony.
Spa/Wellbeing Embla’s Sun Deck features a walking track that is perfect for a leisurely stroll, as well as a putting green for golfing fans. A wander around the aromatic organic herb garden is also enjoyable. There are plenty of sunloungers as well as a shaded seating area, too.
Itineraries The Embla currently sails three itineraries – the 15-day Grand European Tour, the 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe and the 23-day European Sojourn, which is a combination of the previous two. The Grand European Tour includes 13 guided tours, and sails along the Rhine, Main and Danube from the Netherlands to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Highlights include the ability to sail through the UNESCO-recognised Wachau Valley in Austria, capture snaps of the breath-taking windmills in Kinderdijk, enjoy a glassblowing demonstration in Miltenberg and extend your trip with pre- and post- cruise stays in Amsterdam and Prague. As part of the Passage to Eastern Europe voyage, guests can visit some of the region’s iconic capitals, including Budapest, Belgrade and Bucharest, as well as explore some of Bulgaria’s and Croatia’s most charming towns. Other highlights include being able to appreciate Serbian and Hungarian folkloric performances, pre- and post- extensions in Bucharest (and Transylvania!) and Prague, and the opportunity to enjoy a traditional puszta horsemanship show in Kalocsa. The European Sojourn itinerary sails from Amsterdam, all the way through to Eastern Europe, giving guests an in-depth look at some of the continent’s most spectacular cities, sights and landmarks.