Viking Longship Skadi
As one of eight Longship-class vessels to join Viking River Cruises’ fleet in 2013, the Viking Longship Skadi boasts the classic design features that have grown to be synonymous with the Viking brand, including green credentials which ensure a clean, efficient and quiet voyage through some of Europe’s most beautiful regions. Named after a Norse goddess, the Longship Skadi provides beautifully-decorated interiors with elegant furnishings, in order to offer its guests comfortable and relaxing voyages through Amsterdam and Belgium.
Passengers Every one of the maximum 190 guests onboard the Skadi can enjoy excellent hospitality and the impeccable service of the crew and staff members, including a dedicated Programme Director who is available throughout every cruise to provide guests with advice and guidance so that time can be managed effectively. The Viking Daily newsletter can also help to inform guests of plans in advance. Most guests who travel with Viking are English-speaking, well-travelled and interested in learning more about the destinations that each itinerary visits. The majority are American, but the demand for Viking cruises by passengers from Canada, the UK and Australia are increasing.
Dining Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served in the main dining room onboard, which benefits from floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful tableware and plenty of space. The restaurant operates an open-seating policy, so guests can choose where they wish to sit, when and who with. The lack of formal dress code also contributes to the overall relaxing and friendly vibe that the venue offers. Breakfast and lunch are served via buffet stations, with made-to-order eggs and hot entrees available on request. Dinner is a five-course menu, made up of regional and traditional dishes, and is waiter-served. Chefs endeavour to introduce guests to authentic local dishes as part of all itineraries, with plenty of opportunities to taste something new. Drinks including local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at no extra charge during lunch and dinner, and hot beverages are available 24/7 from self-serve stations. Guests can also upgrade this basic drinks package to include premium drinks if desired. If you wish to dine somewhere a little different occasionally, the Aquavit Terrace can be found at the front of the Observation Lounge, and offers al-fresco grill fare and lighter bites. The innovative design of the area provides both indoor and outdoor seating areas, which can be used regardless of the weather.
Entertainment Entertainment is low-key, with most taking place in the Observation Lounge which also benefits from a full-service bar. There is an in-house pianist performing most evenings, and local performers are often invited onboard for classical music revues and folkloric performances. However, most guests choose to enjoy a relaxed evening in preparation for the busy daytime activities the following day. Social highlights on every river cruise include the Captain’s cocktail reception, welcome dinner and farewell gourmet dinner.
ActivitiesGuests can sign up to a wealth of onshore excursions and guided tours, including the use of individual audio headsets for all expert-led sightseeing walking tours. There is also plenty of opportunity to delve deeper into the local culture and traditions, including sampling savoury cheeses in Holland and mouth-watering chocolates in Belgium, observing how intricate lace is made and learning about how windmills work in the UNESCO-recognised site of Kinderdijk. The Culture Curriculum brings this immersive experience onboard too, with a range of captivating activities available throughout every river cruise, from expert-led lectures on Belgium’s political affairs and Holland’s 17th-century tulip craze, to culinary tasting sessions including Dutch cheeses and jenever liquor.
Accommodation When booking a river cruise onboard the Skadi, guests can choose from eight different categories of stateroom, ranging from 135 sq. ft. French balcony staterooms and 150 sq. ft. standard staterooms to the grandeur 445 sq. ft. Explorer Suites which can be found on the Upper Deck. All categories boast a river view, with most featuring either a French balcony or private veranda – or both. It is only the standard staterooms that lack this feature, instead offering half-height picture windows. While the amount of space differs substantially, the facilities that each stateroom provides remain much the same. Amenities include hotel-style beds that can be configured as a double or as a twin on request, private bathroom with shower and premium toiletries, plenty of storage space, telephone, hairdryer, safe, refrigerator with complimentary bottled water, flatscreen TV with infotainment and English-speaking channels and individual climate control. Guests can also request bathrobes and slippers. In addition, suites benefit from separate, larger sleeping and seating areas, and both a French balcony and full-size veranda. Explorer Suites feature wraparound verandas that provide stunning 270-degree views. Bathrooms also include heated mirrors and floors.
Spa/Wellbeing If you wish to kick back and relax, the Sun Deck is kitted out with plenty of comfortable sunloungers and a shaded seating area which offers up 360-degree panoramic views that will take your breath away. Alternatively, the Sun Deck also features a walking track and a mini putting green that’s perfect for golfing fans.
Itineraries Sail the ten day ‘Tulips and Windmills’ itinerary that includes eight guided tours in both Holland and Belgium, and absorb some of the natural beauty of the Low Countries during the springtime. From cosmopolitan Amsterdam, home to the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank’s house and beautiful Golden Age architecture, to historic Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, there are plenty of exciting itinerary fillers to make this ten day journey memorable. As part of the voyage, guests will be able to visit the ancient shipping village of Hoorn, Arnhem – the home of the Dutch Royal summer home at Paleis Het Loo, Kinderdijk – home to an impressive network of windmills, and Rotterdam – the largest port in Europe. Optional excursions to battlefields, small towns and rolling countryside landscapes are on offer at a small additional fee. Pre- and post- cruise extensions in Amsterdam and The Hague are also available.