Viking Longship Skirnir
Named after the messenger that was servant to the Norse God Freyr, the Viking Longship Skirnir was released onto Europe’s waterways in 2015 and is one of the youngest members of the Longship-class fleet. It follows its predecessors in providing a superb range of features and facilities to well-travelled guests from across the world, and benefits from state-of-the-art design and engineering which come together to give an outstanding all-round experience. From the green features onboard, including solar panels, an organic herb garden and hybrid diesel-electricity engines which ensure a quieter, cleaner and more efficient ride, to the innovative corridor design that can allow for a variety of stateroom configurations, the Viking Longship Skirnir aims to do what its sisters are also doing – providing out-of-this-world river cruises to meet the growing demand.
Passengers The ship can accommodate up to 190 guests; all of whom will benefit from the exceptional service and hospitality that the staff and crew members provide. The onboard Programme Director is available throughout each journey to provide advice and support, and help every guest to plan their precious holiday time wisely. The majority of guests who choose to sail with Viking are American, with a growing number travelling from the UK, Australia and Canada – drawn by the high standards of river cruises that the brand offers.
Dining The main dining room is spacious and bright, with open-seating that allows flexibility and relaxed dining. Tables are laid to exacting standards, bringing elegance and sophistication to a relaxed atmosphere. Breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, with a range of dishes available from the station. Hot meals such as made-to-order eggs and entrees are also available on request. For dinner, guests can enjoy a five-course menu, served by professional waiting staff. A choice of authentic local specialities and traditional crowd-pleasers are on offer to suit every diner. Occasional themed evenings, such as a traditional Hungarian dinner in Budapest, are also planned to coincide with some itineraries. Alternatively, the Aquavit Terrace serves casual fare and lighter lunches – some prepared on the al-fresco grill. The design of the area means that guests can enjoy the views that the Aquavit Terrace provides, come rain or shine, thanks to the indoor and outdoor seating areas. Drinks including local wines, beers and soft drinks are free-flowing with lunch and dinner, and there is also the possibility to upgrade the drinks package to include premium wines and spirits if desired. Hot beverages are complimentary throughout the trip, and are available from the self-serve beverage station.
Entertainment Guests can enjoy low-key, relaxed entertainment in the Observation Lounge every evening, including music provided by the in-house pianist. Occasionally, local groups and musicians are invited onboard to perform, examples of which could include an evening of Austrian classics and folkloric performances. The majority of guests are happy enjoying eachother’s company from the comfort of a lounge chair, socialising and sipping drinks from the full-service bar.
Activities There is an abundance of activities available onboard that relate to the itinerary and the region you’re visiting. Thanks to this Viking Culture Curriculum, guests can appreciate the local culture and traditions while on the ship, as well as off. Examples include learning how to make your own Rudesheimer coffee, sampling Dutch cheese and jenever liquor, and trying your hand at Dutch shuffleboard (sjoelen). Expert-led lectures are also thrown into the mix, ranging from the current affairs of Germany, Holland and the EU, and the political landscape of Belgium, to Holland’s 17th-century tulip craze. Guests also benefit from complimentary Wi-Fi onboard, and are welcome to browse the well-stocked library and boutique. Off the ship, there is plenty to see and do thanks to the carefully-planned guided tours and excursions. All guided tours include the use of individual audio headsets, and there are many exciting experiences to sign up to, from wandering a Viennese Market to finding out how windmills work in Kinderdijk.
Accommodation There are 95 staterooms onboard, divided into eight different categories based on features and size. Main Deck standard staterooms are the only rooms not to feature a French balcony or veranda, but still provide river views thanks to the half-height picture windows. Higher end accommodation (Veranda Suites and Explorer Suites) feature both a full-size veranda and a French balcony. Apart from the obvious size difference (ranging between 135 sq. ft. to 445 sq. ft.), many of the amenities are as standard, and include hotel-style beds, plenty of storage for belongings, a private bathroom with shower and premium toiletries, flatscreen TV with infotainment system and English-speaking channels, hairdryer, telephone, in-room safe, climate control, refrigerator, complimentary bottled water and bathrobes and slippers on request. Suite bathrooms also feature heated floors and mirrors, and separate seating/sleeping areas.
Spa/Wellbeing The Sun Deck onboard features an abundance of comfortable sunloungers, as well as a shaded seating area if you’re hoping for a little respite from the sun. Wherever you choose to sit, you’ll be able to take advantage of the beautiful 360-degree panoramic views. The Sun Deck is also home to a walking track and a putting green.
Itineraries The Viking Longship Skirnir offers two itineraries for 15/16 – the ten day ‘Tulips and Windmills’ tour between Amsterdam and Antwerp, and the 15 day Grand European voyage that travels from Amsterdam to Budapest. The Tulips and Windmills tour includes eight fantastic guided tours which introduce guests to a range of beautiful sights, from the windmills of Kinderdijk to the medieval and historic centres of Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. Meanwhile, the Grand European itinerary sails along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers and takes guests on an adventure through some of Austria’s and Germany’s most beautiful regions, including the Wachau Valley and the breathtaking Middle Rhine. Highlights of this river cruise include Bamberg, Rudesheim, Miltenberg, Nuremberg, Passau, Vienna, Regensburg, Cologne, Amsterdam and Budapest. Both itineraries include the option for pre- and/or post- cruise extensions in Amsterdam and The Hague (Tulips and Windmills) and Amsterdam and Prague (Grand European).