Viking Longship Vili
As one of ten Longship-class vessels to be released by Viking River Cruises in 2015, the Viking Longship Vili is one of the youngest members of the growing fleet. Incorporating all of the innovative and desirable features of its Longship-class predecessors, including solar panels, an organic herb garden and hybrid engines which contribute to the line’s green initiative, the Longship Vili provide sensational river cruises along the Danube, Rhine and Main Rivers, showcasing some of Europe’s most beautiful regions. Viking River Cruises has achieved an incredible amount over the past several years, with demand for its cruises ever-increasing. This explains why ships such as the Longship Vili are being launched year after year – to meet the requirements of the growing number of loyal travellers who keep coming back for more.
Passengers The Longship Vili can accommodate up to 190 guests on each of its cruises; most of whom are English-speaking, well-travelled and from a more mature demographic. The majority of passengers who choose to travel with Viking are from the USA, with an increasing number of guests travelling from the UK, Australia and Canada. Free time can be planned effectively with the help of the dedicated Programme Director, and the Viking Daily newsletter can be an essential, informative resource which can help all guests to know what is happening each day, in advance.
Dining The main dining room is elegantly decorated and features floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, which add brightness to the room, as well as providing breathtaking views. Tables are set beautifully, with crisp white linens, china crockery and gleaming glassware. Despite the sophisticated feel to the room, guests can enjoy a relaxed and friendly environment thanks to the flexible open seating arrangement and the lack of formal dress code. Here, breakfast and lunch is available daily and is served in a buffet format. Hot menu dishes are also available on request. Dinner is a five-course gourmet meal, which incorporates elements of the local cuisine as well as some firm favourites that will suit every palate. Professional waiters are on hand to ensure every course is served quickly and efficiently, with impeccable hospitality coming as standard. Drinks including local wines, beers, soft drinks and water are complimentary with lunch and dinner, with the option to upgrade the package to include premium spirits and fine wines if desired. Hot beverages are also available from the self-serve beverage station, around the clock. If guests fancy something a little more casual, the innovative and fresh Aquavit Terrace is located at the front of the Observation Lounge. This airy space can be used regardless of the weather, thanks to the indoor and outdoor seating areas, where guests can enjoy the picturesque views as they tuck into al fresco fare served straight from the grill, as well as lighter lunches and early riser breakfast options.
Entertainment Guests always look forward to the welcome reception and dinner, and the farewell dinner, which take place during every cruise. These offer perfect opportunities for guests to dress up a little, mingle with fellow travellers and break the ice. The Observation Lounge acts as a central social meeting place for guests who wish to relax with a drink and mingle after dinner to background music provided by the resident pianist. The venue also features a full-service bar and dancefloor. Occasionally, local acts are invited onboard to showcase some regional revues, including Austrian and Hungarian classics.
Activities The fantastic Viking Culture Curriculum is a highlight of every itinerary, and provides guests with a superb choice of activities and experiences both on and off the ship. Attend a range of interesting lectures led by experts, on topics including current affairs in Germany, Holland and the EU, Mozart and Viennese coffeehouses, or learn how to make your own Rudesheimer coffee or Austrian apple strudel. You will also have the opportunity to grasp the local languages along the way. Off the ship, there are plenty of exciting guided tours available, which include the use of audio headsets which can help every guest to hear the narrative provided by the local guide. Optional shore excursions are also available, as are special experiences such as listening to a baroque organ concert, wandering Viennese markets and learning how windmills work in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk in Holland. Back on board, guests can browse the boutique, peruse the well-stocked library corner or surf the web thanks to the complimentary Wi-Fi.
Accommodation There are 95 beautifully-appointed staterooms onboard, divided into eight different categories according to size and features. All have the luxury of an outside view of varying degrees, ranging from picture windows in the Main Deck standard staterooms to wraparound verandas and French balconies in the high end Explorer Suites. Stateroom and suite sizes vary from 135 sq. ft. (French Balcony Stateroom) to 445 sq. ft. (Explorer Suites). Standard amenities include hotel-style beds, private bathrooms with shower, premium bath products, climate control, telephone, hairdryer, safe, fridge, flatscreen TV with English-speaking channels, complimentary bottled water and bathrobes/slippers on request. In addition, suites have larger bathrooms with heated floors and mirrors, and separate seating and sleeping areas.
Spa/Wellbeing The Sun Deck is home to plenty of comfortable sunloungers and a shaded seating area, perfect if you wish to relax and unwind as you watch the world go by. It also features a walking track, putting green and deck games.
Itineraries For 2016, the Viking Longship Vili will be sailing the immensely popular 15 day Grand European Tour, and for the later portion of the year, the eight day Danube Waltz. The Grand European itinerary sails from Amsterdam to Budapest, and incorporates areas of the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. As guests sail through some of Europe’s heartland, they can immerse themselves in the culture and heritage at the same time as soaking up the beautiful scenery, from learning how windmills work in Kinderdijk to enjoying guided walking tours in Cologne, Miltenberg, Bamberg, Vienna and Nuremberg. Pre- and post- cruise extensions are available in Amsterdam and Prague. The Danube Waltz tour travels between Budapest and Passau, offering optional extensions in Budapest and Prague, and takes you on a journey through some of Europe’s most stunning regions at a wonderful time of the year. From the baroque architecture in Bratislava to the imperial wonders of Budapest and the cultural delights of Vienna, the Danube Waltz itinerary offers something for all to enjoy in towns and cities including Melk, Linz and Passau.