The scoop on Viking Longships and what I think about Viking…
I had the pleasure of experiencing the Viking Forseti on the Chateaux, Rivers & Wine itineraries. There are presently 53 longships sailing around the world, 8 itineraries include France. The Forseti is named after the Norse mythology god of justice, “the presiding one”. These Viking longships are basically all designed the same. There is an upper atrium and a lower atrium when you enter the ship. The lower atrium serves as a small boutique with the reception area and the upper atrium hosts a 2-station internet café and the library stocked with books and games. There was an elevator connecting the Main-Upper decks only. Internet is free on the Viking sailings but is currently limited to the areas closest to the atrium. There are nice seating areas in these locations if you’d like to catch up on your email and social media. The decor on this ship is very southing with cremes, warm wood tones, glass and blue carpeting in a modern design. All tolled there are 95 staterooms for 190 passengers. There are five cabin types: 2 Explorer Suites, 7 Verandah Suites, 39 Verandah Staterooms, 22 French Balcony Staterooms and 25 Standard Staterooms. There is no gym, pool/whirlpool or spa in this ship. Here is information about the Verandah Suite:
The lower atrium aft leads to cabins on the main (1st deck) and the 2nd deck, forward on the ship is the dining room. From the upper atrium it leads to the 3rd deck cabins aft, forward is the large lounge, aquavit terrace with seating both inside and outside and large viewing windows. I consider this area the living room of the ship. It’s been where most passengers spend most of their time aside from touring and sleeping. The top deck has a covered area with lounge chairs and tables, a walking area and a multitude of uncovered seating to take in the passing views of the locale.
We enjoyed the French Balcony cabin! It was very comfortable for the two whether the beds are separated or not, I was travelling with my cousin. The sound system is fabulous, and they have a nice variety of genres available as well as news channels. There is a fridge and plenty of drawer space. The bathroom is a nice size and includes a heated floor. The slide open balcony was a treat on the many beautiful days we were sailing on the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde rivers. We lucked out as the weather in France in December was in the high 50’s most days! I must say, the lighting is very well done. The bathroom will not fog after a hot shower and the mirror is very well lighted and suited to make-up application.
Traveling in late November or December is a wonderful time to travel, rates are lower, and crowds are minimal. If you are fine with some chilly weather, I would highly recommend a European cruise during December so you can take advantage of the fabulous experience of Christmas markets in most locales.
When I have people call me about doing a river cruise, one of the first things that comes out of their mouth is Viking. Most people know Viking because Viking cornered the advertising market for years on PBS. Most of the other river cruise lines didn’t advertise and some hadn’t moved into the North American market until recently.
So, what do I think about Viking as a river cruise line? I think it’s perfectly fine, the experience is good, but depending on the destination you have in mind and the particular experience you are looking for, I can likely propose an option tailored to your cruising/travel style that will fit you like a glove. I have over 15 river cruise lines in my portfolio and they’re all different. This is precisely the reason to use a trusted, travel professional to cut through the noise and multitude of options so that you can enjoy a fabulous river cruise, your well-appointed accommodations and destinations that you will remember forever.